The Steady Drip Drip Drip

Downtown Minneapolis mainstay Ike’s is shutting its doors.

The owner doesn’t chalk it up to any single cause. Rather, it’s the slow drip drip drip of urban decay:

According to Winstead, the negotiations were meant to “address restaurant and market conditions” impacting Ike’s bottom line, including “labor costs, operational costs, maintenance costs and taxes.”
“There are so many issues, not any one of them a restaurant killer on its own, but taken altogether it adds up,” [owner Gene] Winstead said. 

And, naturally, the elephant in the room, the bit of blight whose name Minneapolis DFLers dare not speak:

Winstead “also cited a perception of downtown Minneapolis as unsafe for evening diners. ‘There is a little truth to it, but it’s mostly perception,’ he said.”

And it is – there are a lot of suburbans, by no means all conservatives much less Trump voters, who get hysterical about downtown crime.

But it’s not all hype. Unlike Saint Paul, which has its own perception problems, violent crime in general was up sharply in Minneapolis last year, along with a hike in homicide that is lower than Saint Paul’s, but started from a 2018 figure that was already higher.

But let’s back up to economics. When you point out that establishments in MInneapolis and Saint Paul are closing, they’ll respond “There’s always attrition in the hospitality industry”.

It’s not inaccurate.

It’s just that Ike’s other locations are booming right along.

As are suburban branches of other establishments that’ve packed it in in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

A Good Black Guy With A (Machine) Gun

An African-American sailor who received the Navy Cross for his actions during the Pearl Harbor attack is getting what may be, in recent years, the ultimate honor – getting an aircraft carrier named after him. 

Dorie Miller was a Mess Attendant Third Class – which, along with cook and wardroom steward (basically a butler for a ship’s officers) was one of very few trades open to black silors – from Waco Texas.  During the attack, he was stationed aboard the battleship West Virginia, and helped haul the mortally-wounded captain to safety, and helped injured sailors move out of danger – and entered legend by taking control of an anti-aircraft gun on which he’d never been trained.    Miller’s earned the Navy Cross for his actions.  One could say that decoration was in part due to political pressure in the States pushing against a Navy that direly needed black recruits – but there is no question that Miller deserved the honor.  

HIs example – the first black sailor to earn a Navy Cross – earned him a trip back to the states to sell war bonds and help recruit black sailors.  He was promoted to Mess Attendant First Class, and was killed in 1943 aboard the escort carrier Liscome Bay, when it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.  

The Navy has announced that the fourth Ford-class carrier will be named after Miller.  The USS Doris Miller will be laid down in three years, and should be completed in 2028.  If all goes according to schedule it’ll join the fleet at the turn of the next decade.  

It’s worth noting that Miller’s most iconic action during the attack may not have happened.  At the height of the attack, Miller came upon an unmanned .50 caliber antiaircraft gun – and, notwithstanding the fact that he’d never been trained in the weapon, blazed away at Japanese aircraft until he ran out of ammunition.   Various legends, and Michael Bay’s 2000 movie Pearl Harbor, have him shooting down as many as four Japanese planes.  None of the victories are confirmed.  

But Navy policy in 1941 was that black sailors shouldn’t be shooting guns at all – their battle station usually involved hauling ammunition and working on damage control parties.  They weren’t supposed to be at the trigger;  then as now, it was “gun safety policy”.  

Until a person has all the rights and powers, in microcosm, that their government has – including the right and power to defend themselves, their families, property, community, freedom and yes, shipmates from aggression, they’re not really citizens.  They’re subjects. 

Black Americans in 1941, especially in the armed services, were most definitely subjects.  

And while there are many things to salute about Miller’s actions during the war, that’s the one that a whole lot of black Democrat voters need to hear more about during this political year. 

 

Trial And Tribulation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Chief Justice Roberts, whom President Trump has taken no pains to avoid offending, now presides over the impeachment trial. The chickens are coming home to roost.
This is an excellent opportunity for Roberts to prove how impartial and non-partisan the court system is. I doubt it will happen. My guess is he’ll be a Rino squish, ruling in favor of the Democrats every time to show how fair he is, which will prolong the agony and give the Democrat controlled media a chance to work on Squishy Republican Senators. 
Remind me again, how many votes do they need to convict? And what’s our margin of safety?
Joe Doakes

Our margin of safety is going to be Joe Manchin.

I’m being facetious. But only a little.

Gleiwitz, Virginia

On August 31 1939, a team of SS propaganda operators dressed as Polish soldiers “captured” a German radio station near the town of Gleiwitz (today the Polish town of Gliwice), close by the Polish border. They did a quick broadcast in Polish, and then fled – dumping the body of a local, loaded with sabotage paraphernalia, as well as those of a group of Dachau inmates that’d been dressed in Polish army uniforms and then shot to make it look like the Germans had repelled a Polish assault. It was one of many false-flag “attacks” along the German/Polish border that morning used by the Nazi regime as a potemkin casus belli for the invasion that started pretty much before the bodies were cold.

I couldn’t help think about that when I heard that Virginia Governor Blackface McMinstrel was banning legal civilian carry at the Virginia State Capitol during this weekend’s gun right lobbying rally, because of “threats of violence” on the part of (naturally) law-abiding gun owners.

I figured this was more or less like Ilhan Omar’s “death threats” last summer at the State Fair – a few of the usual loonies who make threats from the comfort of their mom’s basement, a steady drizzle of which accompanies most public life, but whose timing, in some cases, is just perfect for diverting attention from an inconvenient reality. In Omar’s case, I have little doubt there was a threat, somewhere, from someone. Credible? No – but enough to throw out there to divert the media’s attention from the gathering storm of allegations against her.

And in the case of Governor McMinstrel, something to cast him, his Democrat legislative majority, and the thin little film of Bloomberg-funded victim disarmament activists standing between him and defeat in the next elections, as the victims – after spending their first term trashing the rights of law-abiding Virginians.

Notwithstanding the fact that law-abiding gun owners, as an absolute rule, are better behaved, singly and collectively, than the general public.

Well, there has been arrest of some people ostensibly headed to Virginia for something. Maybe. That’s what we’re told, anyway. Which, given the electoral fury that McBlackface’s coup on liberty has stirred up (and he may not have seen anything yet), and which may have not yet crested, may may have made the three saps that got arrested the most perfectly-timed patsies since the “North Vietnamese Torpedo Boats” in Tonkin Gulf.

Further Proof, If Any Were Needed…

…that only does Democrat messaging make no logical or intellectual sense, but it isn’t intended for consumption by an audience that worries about moral and intellectual sensibility.

The idea – presented here – that forcing Congress to stop abrogating its responsibility to write laws and stop slothfully fobbing the job off on the Executive Branch, should be fairly uncontroversial.

Not – as the piece posits – a threat to the general order.

“Best Interests”

California’s new “gig worker” “protection” law, “AB5” – essentially requiring companies to treat anyone working for them above a certain, fairly low, threshold as a full-time employee, complete with benefits – is shredding jobs in a plethora of sectors; free-lance technical and design talent, writers

…and the original, literal “gig workers”, musicians.

An organizer of a California Jazz festival – while allowing (as one suspects someone in California arts administration might) he supports the basic idea – testifies to the damage the new law is causing to his organization:

Under AB 5, we will be required to inform all U.S.-based musicians that they must now become employees of San Jose Jazz, or incorporate themselves before they will be allowed to perform for us. 
If band leaders choose to pursue incorporation, they will then need to take on the responsibility of payroll and HR administration for the rest of their band.
In many performing arts disciplines, such as jazz, musicians are constantly reconfiguring line ups, performing as sidemen in various bands, and as one-time special guests for specific performances. 
We will now be obliged to devote tremendous time and resources to constantly hiring, managing and tracking of musicians through this cumbersome process. 
AB 5 unnecessarily complicates other work arrangements found in community cultural programming such as small festivals, neighborhood street fairs, parades and summer music series in our local parks. 
San Jose Jazz is best known for producing our large Summer Fest which brings tens of thousands of visitors and requires hundreds of temporary roles to execute. 
The vast majority of previously contract work roles will now be required to be employees. 
For instance, we are required by the City of San Jose to hire off-duty police officers through their Secondary Employment Unit program to insure a safe and well-run festival. Under AB 5 we will be required to classify these moonlighting officers as San Jose Jazz employees with the attendant oversight and administrative requirements. 

But of course, as in all “progressive” societies, some animals – and gig workers – are more equal than others:

Typical of such legislation, AB 5 comes with a hefty list of exempted categories that are a Who’s Who of the politically connected and well-funded: lawyers, doctors, accountants, brokers, builders, and others. 

“New Urbanism”: Letting The Gini Out Of The Bottle

Everyone else is posting Jordan Peterson videos. Why not me?

With Saint Paul experiencing a three-digit jump in homicides, and Minneapolis tripling down on pumping up high-density, high-income housing (with token “affordable” housing sprinkled hither and yon), I think this one is well worth a thoughtful couple of minutes:

If you don’t have ten free minutes, I’ll help out:

  • Poverty doesn’t cause crime. It’s not even up for rational debate.
  • Income disparity causes crime – it can be measured via a “Gini Coefficient” calculated for any given area and group of people. The Coefficient is, by social sciences standards, apparently incredibly robust, and gives you a pretty solid correlation between income disparity and crime.
  • The reason income disparity causes crime: when young men have no way to try to exert social dominance (i.e. make themselves more attractive to young women) because the social hierarchy is solidly established, they turn to less socially-acceptable forms of aggression – which, from a standpoint of evolutionary psychology, work. The capos of a New York mafia family may not have fit in with Upper-West-Side Manhattan society, but they were at the peak of their own societies – which led to them actually finding women who’d help them propagate their species.

Now – I’m not saying that the “New Urbanism” that afflicts urban planning authorities in places like Portland, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities’ Met Council is intended to create a social Petri dish designed to cultivate a more virulent criminal underclass.

But given what we know about evolutionary psychology, if they were trying to create a permanent criminal mindset, what would they do differently?

DFL Doublespeak

The DFL, 2019: “Guns are out of control! Our cities are victims of “gun culture’s” love of guns over the children! Blood is running in the streets directly onto your hands!”

The DFL, 2020 (in response to the Senate GOP’s recognition of the crime problem in the DFL-controlled Metro area): “Oh, quit being tribalist and divisive. It’s not that bad”.

No, really:

Democrats who control the House said the GOP was trying to stoke fear among Minnesotans.
“It’s unfortunate that the playbook from Donald Trump and the Washington, D.C. Republicans is demonize and divide,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman said in an interview. “I’m really disappointed to see Minnesota Republicans going down that same path.”

Thing is, the MN DFL can have it both ways – at least with our media.

Selective Indignation

I was listening to NPR’s “Fresh Air”, with Teri Gross – the most overrated interviewer in the history of radio, by the way, but I digress – talking with the authors of a book, The Fixers: The Bottom-feeders, Crooked Lawyers , Gossipmongers, and Porn Stars Who Created the 45th President.’

The interview – and, one presumes, the book – beats heavily on the “fake” media, in this case the National Enquirer (Call for Captain Obvious – you’ve been skipped directly to Lieutenant Colonel). The authors – a couple of MSMers putting out the obligatory book on “Why Trump” – riff hard on the atrocious standards, dubious ethics, and penchant for running with implausible stories and willingness to buy and bury real ones…

at The National Enquirer.

And boy, it sure sounds like the pro-Trump media works hard to shape the narrative! And a media that runs its preferred narrative in preference to the truth is an awful thing!

But being radio, a one-way medium, I couldn’t ask the authors, or the terminally annoying Gross, about:

  • the media’s treatment of Nick Sandman (who got a nice settlement from the first of his many defamation suits last week) and the rest of the Covington kids
  • Jussie Smollett, and the rigged “justice” system that allowed him to walk relatively free after lying not only our idiot media (dog licks dog) but the Chicago police
  • The Mueller Report, which the media breathlessly anticipated as an indictment of Trump, and in fact wiped out the left’s case.
  • The ongoing #MeToo moment that is Joe Biden
  • The glowing obits the media ran for Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – the “Austere Scholar”; one might have hardly known from the first round of MSM obits that he ran a murderous theocracy
  • The Jeffrey Epstein story, buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa
  • The media’s embrace of the Steele Dossier, long after the DOJ IG report showed it was absolute garbage.

That was one year’s worth of media miscarriage. None of which Teri Gross, or anyone at NPR (or NPR’s pet media cheerleading show, “On The Media”) have touched.

They live in a world all their own.

Inorganic

Hard as this may be to believe, it appears Greta Thunberg = sixteen year old autistic Swedish child and professional climate scold – just may not be the mind behind her presence.

“All it took to exploit the bug was opening a target page and checking the edit history of a post. Facebook mistakenly displayed the account or accounts that made edits to each post, rather than just the edits themselves,” explained Wired… If you’re one of Greta’s 3 million fans, you might be disappointed to hear that she is likely not the author of all of her posts. According to screenshots shared online, posts that are supposed to be written by Greta may actually have been written by her father, Svante Thunberg, and/or Adarsh Prathap, a climate activist and delegate at the UN’s Climate Change organization—who reportedly founded the page in December 2018.

Five’ll get you ten David Hogg’s social media presence is farmed out, too.

Elections Have Consequences

I say this apropos what’s happening in Virginia right now.

After a chaotic morning at the state capitol in Richmond, and despite huge turnout from thousands of gun owners, Virginia Democrats approved a number of gun control bills in a key committee hearing Monday.

Ten years ago, I’d have said “this kind of overreach is going to lead them to an electoral reckoning”. Power for “progressives” is like a Blackjack table for a habitual gambler.

And it could very well still be the case in Virginia, where most of the counties have declared themselves “sanctuaries” from Governor McMinstrel’s depredations.

But I’m less sanguine about this than I used to be, at least in places like Virginia. Virginia is so dominated by Blue counties, and Blue America has gotten so very, very tribal, intellectually monolithic, entitled and, let’s be honest, stupid – and that’s not even bringing the money of Big Left into the picture.

This could very well be Minnesota next year.

Slipping

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I got Amazon Prime for free 2-day delivery.  Lately, it seems as if they’ve been missing a lot of deadlines.
It’s usually not a big deal, nothing I order on-line is critical.  But a Christmas gift came late, and now a book is delayed another week.  December 28th to January 14th?  Seems like a long time. I could have the book from Barnes & Noble at Har Mar today, if I had known it would take so long.  The extra five bucks would have been worth it.
When part of your sales pitch is prompt delivery, customers expect prompt delivery.  When the merchandise doesn’t arrive as promised, you first lose credibility, then sales.  This is not a good look for you, Amazon.
Joe Doakes

This is how companies that are “too big to fail”, faill

Order

David Brooks is one of those people I simultaneously enjoy very much, and dislike myself for liking.

He’s a “conservative” in the northeastern sense of the term – and very, very much of the Northeastern media/political establishment. He’s the “conservative” that NPR will talk with.

And being of the establishment, he shares a perspective on the events of the day with the people he rubs elbows with.

Which, I theorize, led to this tweet last week:

There’s something to that, sort of. Trump isn’t just a symptom of this nation’s tribalism – he’s someone who’s profited politically by exploiting the tribalism.

But if you think the “decline in discourse” started with Trump’s election, I’ve got tickets to the Hillary Clinton inaugural ball to sell you.

Remember the Tea Party? The utterly egalitarian community of small-government activists that sprang up a little over ten years ago?

Back in those days before Orange Man was Literally Hitler (but after the Good Republican, John McCain, served as Literally Hitler for a few months), the establishment of which Brooks is a member acted like the Tea Party was Andrew Jackson’s supporters tracking mud into John Quincy Adams’s White House. Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign was only deked out of being “the most identity-obsessed campaign in history” by Hillary, who will only be eclipsed by (NOTE TO 2020 MITCH – FILL IN THE NAME OF THE DEMOCRAT NOMINEE).

Trump may well be “stupid” – but he didn’t “make” anyone that way. He masterfully exploited the by-products of the “stupidity – tribalism, anger, arrogance, partisanship – that the Democrats have been cultivating for a couple of decades, now.

Miss Compassion

“Protect“ Minnesota is planning to bring people to the senates hearings on “gun safety“ up in Hibbing next week.

But… Only the right people…

It would be so fun to get some film of The “Reverend” Nancy Norred Ben’s and her enforcers ensuring that no “gun rights advocates” – Or, for that matter, people who are disabled and can’t afford T-shirts – get on the bus.

Iran

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My Fellow Americans,
I’m pleased to announce a major foreign policy accomplishment.  There will be peace in Iraq for the first time this century.  By this time next year, there will be no American troops in Iraq.
Americans went into Iraq because our intelligence agencies assured us Saddam Hussein as stockpiling nuclear material to use against us.  The invasion was a preemptive strike, but it was self-defense, fully justified by the evidence known at the time.
We stayed in Iraq to repair the damage we had done, to rebuilt roads and bridges and schools, to protect innocent Iraqis from opportunistic neighbors and militant troublemakers.  America is not an imperialist nation.  We don’t conquer territory.  We don’t occupy it longer than we must.
Iraq is now a fully functioning liberal democracy, with an elected parliament and civil liberties assured by its government.  They no longer need us to hold their hand.  The’re ready to take their place on the world stage as a proud nation.  
I’m ordering all US military forces in Iraq to submit plans to withdraw from Iraqi territory no later than December 31st.
Some may say our withdrawal is premature, there are still militants, terrorists, neighbors, troublemakers.  But there always will be.  Iraq’s troubles are not our troubles.  The territorial, religious and cultural causes of conflict go back millennia.  An American president can no more solve them than he can order the seas not to rise. The best he can do is get out of the way so the people involved in the conflict – Shia and Sunni, Kurds and Persians, Christians and Muslims – can solve their own problems.
Therefore, I declare to you: the war is over, and we won.  My strongest congratulations go out to every man and woman who served: you made the world a better place.  I’m proud of you all.
Thank you, may God always bless America, and good night.

A Farewell To King

Neal Peart, drummer for prog-rock and high school sci-fi-nerd-rock mainstays Rush, died of brain cancer last week. He was 67.

He’s iconic for his technical prowess on the skins, of course – and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

And along with those immense technical chops came a taste for really, really big drum kits.

How big?

Big enough to serve as a cultural punchline for people from a certain generation – in this case, one of the kids in Freaks and Geeks, perhaps the only retrospective sit-com my generation is ever going to get. It sure got this right:

Over the years, when looking for drummers in bands, when I hear from people claiming to be influenced by Peart’s style, I can feel the back-ache setting in from a long, kit-heavy load-in and load-out even on the phone.

But for me, the most important thing about Peart – who replaced John Rutsey, who died even longer before his time – had little to do with drum technique.

My favorite drummers have tended to be either the human metronomes (Charlie Watts, Max Weinberg) or power-driving madmen (Keith Moon, Johnny Badanjak, Kenny Aronoff). Technical virtuosi like Peart, and Stuart Copeland of the Police, interested me less for their drum chops than for their place in the chemistry of theit various bands. Copeland took the edge off of some of Sting’s interminal pretension and self-importance…

…and in a genre where bloated pretense was the coin of the realm (Yes, Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, King Krimson), Peart was part of an ensemble that simultaneously wrote some great prog-rock (admittedly a genre I care very little about) and had a rollicking sense of humor on the subject, about the genre, and about themselves:

RIP Neal Peart

From Bonn, Frankfurt-Am-Main Is The East

It’s January.  And you know what that means.  

It’s time for people to start arguing on social media about whether Nazis are or are not “socialists”.  

Of course, nobody, left or right, wants to claim the Nazis.   It’s pretty understandable.  

To the left – and, probably, anyone who learned the subject from a textbook in the past 60 years or so, “Nazi” is “right wing” is “the opposite of socialism/communisml”, and because “they fought a war with each other, they MUST be opposites!”

And to the right, the name “National Socialist German Workers Party” includes the “S” word, and das ist alles sie schreibt. 

They’re both wrong.  

I’ll explain. 


People on the left trying to disown the Nazis usually go for three  points:

  • “Naziism is on the right!  Communism and Socialism are on the left!”
  • “Nazis and Communists fought a war/put each other in camps/killed each other”. 
  • “The Nazis didn’t nationalize their whole economy”. 

Let’s go through each of ‘em. 

Left “Vs”. Right – Karl Marx predicted that eventually, a worldwide revolution of the world’s proletariat – the industrial working class – would render all borders irrelevant.  Since then, Socialism has always been “Internationalist”.   Socialism’s major pillars are a command economy (run by central planners), a comprehensive welfare state, and “Internationalism”. 

In 1920, the chairman of the Italian Socialist Party had a revelation.  Socialism was doing so-so in Italy; the country wasn’t “proletarian”, it was agrarian and poor and, being Catholic, pretty socially conservative.  It was also a very new nation – 56 years – and pretty proud of it.  So while a comprehensive welfare state was a pretty easy sell, “Internationalism” was not.  

That chairman saw an opportunity; combine the social welfare state of socialism with frank nationalism.   

It was heresy to Big-“S” socialists – but the chairman was more interested in winning power than popularity contests among university faculty.  So the chairman of the *Socialist* party, a youngish man named Benito Mussolini, broke from the Socialists and created a party that on the one hand led with nationalism – “A but also practiced a command economy, and provided as generous a welfare state as the relatively poor country could afford. They were called the Fascisti, or “Fascist Party”.

The German “National Socialist German Workers Party” started in the waning days of World War 1 – and unlike a lot of political parties, the name actually means pretty much what it says.  It was nationalist, *and*…well, promoted a command economy and a comprehensive welfare state.   And they delivered it; We’ll come back to the command economy below – it wasn’t a whole lot less centrally-planned than that of the USSR.   And the German welfare system – the “Reichswohlfahrtbeamt” – would make a Bernie Bro’s leg tingle, at least in terms of benefits.  Its “social engineering” goals were ambitious (and pretty problematic for non-Aryans).  It was more successful than the welfare states in Italy and the USSR – Germany was a much wealthier, more-developed nation.  

Now, if there’s a term out there for a system with a command economy and a comprehensive welfare state other than “socialist”, I’m not aware of it.  I usually run with “socialism” with a small “s”, but if there’s another one, I’m all ears.   

Anyway – given that *ideologically* the two “different” movements shared the two pillars that actually meant something to people outside the political class, control of the economy and the welfare state, isn’t something to simply bluster past.  

Of course, there’s more to it – and we’ll get that waaaay down below, when we talk about the part the Right gets wrong. 

“Enemies” – The next reason the left gives is that Nazis and Socialists fought brutal street battles, and eventually a World War, with each other.  If they fought, they *must* be opposites.  Right?

Sure.  In exactly the same way as the Gambinos are the “opposite”, intellectually and morally and philosophically, of the Luccheses, or the Bloods are the “opposites” of the Crips.   

As one “academic” (with little background in this subject, which never seems to stop anyone) put it, “Nazis put Socialists in camps”.   True.  They also put Nazis in camps.   The victims of the Nazis’ first round of mass killings were…

…other Nazis, where the Hitler faction killed off members of another faction within the party that Hitler saw, like dictators do, as potential rivals.   Google “Night of the Long Knives” for details; it reads a lot like the part at the end of The Godfather were Michael Corleone rubs out the heads of the other four New York famlies.  

By the “academic’s” logic, Nazis weren’t Nazis.

This episode will come back when we get to the part where the Right gets it wrong, too. 

Looking at politics in subtle intellectual and political shades is a luxury afforded people whose political systems aren’t fundamentally based a choice between getting and keeping power, and a bullet in the head. 

“There were Nazi Capitalists” – when the Nazis took over, two of their primary goals were to re-arm Germany, and to build their way out of the Great Depression.   Hitler was many things, but he wasn’t stupid; he’d observed the thrashing around that’d happened in the USSR when Lenin forcibly nationalized all industry (and everything else).   The contortions – including the death, exile or imprisonment of much of the USSR’s relatively small technical and administrative class, which wasn’t especially big to begin with in 1920 – set back the industrialization of the USSR, and the recovery of its economy from post-Revolution levels, for well over a decade.  And the economy that developed was groaningly inefficient, and stayed that way. 

Hitler and the Nazis, learning from Lenin’s mistakes,  figured that leaving the businesses and their management relatively alone would be the best way to get his short and mid-term goals accomplished.   But they also forced those businesses to operate within the strict guidance of the party’s central planners.   There was a carrot – they got to keep their businesses and wealth.  There was also a stick – some prominent industrialists got quiet threats from local SS offices that some subtle Jewish ancestry might pop up if cooperation wasn’t fast and cheerful.  

It was sort of like the tiki bar scene in “Goodfellas”.  

Academics on the subject differ on whether, and for how long, the Nazis were going to continue to allow industry to operate independently.   There’s evidence that had Germany won or drawn the war, that would have changed, as the party switched to a “Utopia” phase and the industrialists retired by fair means or foul.  Germany lost, so it’s all academic speculation – but there is precisely zero evidence that the Nazis intended to make the market *more* rather than *less* free. 

So – the two ideologies share most of their major components.  Not just intellectual ones like command economies and welfare states, but also a penchant for “retiring” opposition forcefully.   The means differed, the ends were pretty much the same.  And the notion that they are “the opposite” is largely the function of western academics, many of whom started out as fanboys of *both* Stalin and Hitler, and put in a lot of overtime after the Spanish Civil War, and especially World War II (although some took a detour back during the Molotov/Von Ribbentrop pact) to erase that history.  


So what does the American Right get wrong about the history? 

Naziism’s roots, like those of the Italian Fascist party, were simultaneously Nationalist and, with the small “s”, socialist; they believed in Germany/Italy, and in state control of industry.   

But Adolf Hitler – who was the party’s elected, political leader by the mid-twenties, and its parliamentary leader before the end of the decade, before seizing all power in a legal coup in 1933 – didn’t much care about philosophy, or politics.  He wasn’t especially ideological at all.  He believed in getting and holding power. 

In fact, Hitler had contempt for politics, for ideology, and for most *belief* – which is what makes me chuckle during the occasional, endless debates over the premise that “Hitler was a Christian” (or “Hitler was an Atheist”, for that matter).    He loathed all faith, including atheism, the organized *rejection* of faith.  He loathed politicians of all stripes, whether moderate or extreme.   

But he had no problem co-opting any or all of those things to get and hold power.  The Nazis co-opted German “Volk” mythology to win the Nationalist vote (Germany, like Italy, was also a young, proud nation); they also co-opted parts of the German state churches (read Daniel Goldhagen’s “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” for more);  shamefully, they went along at an institutional level (and Lutheran and Catholic clergy who didn’t play ball were among the first residents of Buchenwald).   He had contempt for the Prussian officer class that ran the military – but he co-opted them, as well.  

He loathed, in fact, politics – which was his big electoral “sell”, in the late twenties and early thirties, when he still had to worry about votes.   The German people, after war, civil war, depression, and more near-civil-war, were tired of politics too.  

Folklore, faith, institutions, fatigue – all were  means to an end. 

Likewise, to Hitler and the circle that controlled the party by the mid-thirties, the power of the state was both stick (the secret police, the economic planning machinery) and carrot (the welfare state), both used to help gain and hold power.    It wasn’t a commitment to “socialism”; it was using “socialism” as a tool toward their ends.  

So HItler, and the party he led, weren’t “Socialists” – they were totalitarians for whom socialism was one of many tools that helped them meet their ends.   Calling Hitler, and the Nazis as a whole after about 1937, “socialists” is a little like calling Prince a “guitar player”.  Yes, Prince played guitar – but calling him a guitar player is a big oversimplification.  

So the left is *more* wrong about things, but both sides need to do some serious reading.   All the “conventional wisdom” is either wrong, or way oversimplified. 

Like most popular history. 

Hope that’s settled things.  

Saint Paul: Good News And Bad News

Homicide doubled in Saint Paul last year – but violent crime in general was down.

A Star Tribune analysis of newly released police data shows that while homicides soared in 2019, reports of aggravated assaults, rapes and robberies decreased, contributing to a reduction in overall violent crime. However, property crime reports grew by nearly 12% during the same period.

And the hike in property crime may have been a result of the city’s response to the homicides.

To keep pace with the bloodshed, Police Chief Todd Axtell tapped federal agents to assist with criminal investigations and shifted staff within the department to better manage the growing caseload.
The strategy meant fewer proactive policing visits and an increase in property crimes, characterized as burglary, theft and arson. Auto theft and larceny, in particular, saw double-digit growth.

So if homicide is spiking, but violent crime in general is down – which comports with data around the rest of the country – then I’m inclined to think that Sheriff Fletcher is right – the murder spree is the result of inter-gang beeves going back over a decade, being settled on the streets today.

And that the metro’s DFL legislative contingent’s maniacal, cancerous support for stricter gun control is geometricaly off-point. If you leave out gang-related shootings – which are hard to identify, but certainly a huge part of the death tool this year – the conclusion is inescapable; it’s not the law-abiding citizen doing the killing.

And gang members don’t take background checks, and they don’t file red flag complaints on each other.

Not Even A Slap

It’s almost becoming a truism; behind every spree killer lies a judge, investigator,

prosecutor, psychiatrist or some other alleyway in the system that looked at someone who gave of warning signs…

… And did nothing.

So, naturally, with the case of Thomas Kinnunan, The man who tried to shoot up a church service in White Settlement, Texas a few weeks ago. He killed two people, before being shot by a parishioner on voluntary security duty.And yes, the system has blood on his hands:,

prosecutor, psychiatrist or some other alleyway in the system that looked at someone who gave of warning signs…

… And did nothing.So, naturally, with the case of Thomas Kinnunan, The man who tried to shoot up a church service in White Settlement, Texas a few weeks ago. He killed two people, before being shot by a parishioner on voluntary security duty.And yes, the system has blood on his hands:,

So, naturally, with the case of Thomas Kinnunan, The man who tried to shoot up a church service in White Settlement, Texas a few weeks ago. He killed two people, before being shot by a parishioner on voluntary security duty.And yes, the system has blood on his hands:,

Linden, New Jersey police arrested Kinnunen in September of 2016 for unlawful possession of a firearm.  Kinnunen had been riding a bicycle near a refinery while carrying a 12-gauge shotgun.  He told police he was homeless, traveling on his bike from Texas and taking photos of “interesting sites.”

Kinnunen’s trial took place in January 2017. At that time, he accepted a plea deal finding him guilty of criminal trespass, with no mention of a firearm. The misdemeanor was punished with time served at Union County Jail, totaling about 90 days.

The judge ordered him to forfeit his shotgun – but didn’t bother putting anything on his record that’d help any other jurisdictions deal with the guy.

New Jersey – tough on law-abiding gun owners, easy on criminals.

Intended Consequences

I work in technology. And for the past decade or so, the tech industries and the educational-industrial complex have been fairly begging women to go into “STEM” – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math”. Which is a fine and dandy thing – I work with a lot of exceptional engineers who happen to be women, and it’s not actually a new thing; it’s been true my entire career.

But the appeal has been getting louder, stronger, more strident lately. And I had an idea why.

Turns out I was only half right.


For thirty years now, the education system from kindergarten through the university system has been becoming more and more remorselessly feminized. Boyhood traits – physical play, roughhousing, restless energy – were stigmatized, pathologized and medicated. Being a boy – a young man – was, to the educational-industrial complex that sprang up over the past generation, something to be overcome.

It became, in the parlance of corporate human recourses, a hostile environment.

And as Christine Hoff Summers predicted in The War On Boys, a major result has been higher education becoming largely a female preserve. Currently, about 60% of post-secondary degrees go to women – up from under half forty years ago. Hoff Summers has data predicting it’ll level out around 66% sometime here. That’s two-thirds of all higher education.

“Is this a good thing” is one question – distorting higher ed by making it a hostile environment for one sex is a bad thing – but that’s not the real discussion here.

There’s been an interesting shift as a result of this distortion. Check out this graph, of percentages of bachelors degrees going to women, by year and by degree, over the past five decades:

While the percentage of women in engineering and hard sciences crept slowly up over the past nearly-fifty years – from just about nil in the case of engineering – the share of women in computer science programs actually peaked when I was in college (don’t I know it), has been eroding ever since, and seems to have plunged in the early 2000s. The velocity of the up-curve in engineering slowed around that time, and the percentage of physical science degrees peaked around the same time and is broadly down ever since.

I have absolutely no empirical, objective idea why. But I have a couple of theories.

Solid Ground – if you want to start a fight with a “woke” person with a background in soft science but who is nonetheless an expert at sciencing because they think Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the dreamiest sciencer ever, tell ’em there are innate differences between the sexes. But there is actual scientific evidence that a predisposition toward some traits that are well-suited to sciences – three-dimensional spatial visualization, single-track analytical affect and some others – tend to be associated with males (in a bell-curve distribution with exceptions all over the place, like most human traits).

As a result – my theory, here – young men fled the soft sciences, and especially the humanities (which were in the midst of being taken over by even loonier theorists than had run their high schools), as an alternative to four years of ritual self-abnegation for grades. Young men gravitated toward fields that didn’t innately hate them. Which may have both swelled the numbers of degrees going to males and lowered the proportion of women in the field.

Which, tangentially, is why I suspect gender theorists and “woke” administrators are trying to sqeedge gender theory into, and logic out of, engineering programs.

But I think its also…

Built On Sand – Thirty to forty years ago, before the compete feminization of the academy and the education profession, someone in school – male or female – with an interest in science, learned their math and science from people who taught, well, math and science. To both young men and women.

And that as that focus switched from teaching discplines (and discipline) to teaching ephemeral feelings and lessons in the new social rules, they became less capable of nurturing the STEM-oriented traits of young women who might have been interested in the field. Meaning fewer attempted it.

Since the public schools began their terminal dive into PC twaddle about twenty years ago, I’m going to call it a solid correlation.

For The Birds

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Preventing criminals from obtaining firearms is like keeping squirrels out of your bird feeder.  Tricks and gadgets simply don’t work.
Liberals’ solution is to stop feeding the birds.
Conservatives’ solution is a pellet gun.
I know which solution I prefer.
Joe Doakes

Correction: the “progressive” solution isn’t to stop feeding all birds. Some birds are more equal than others.