One Of These Days I’m Gonna Settle Down, And Take You Back With Me To NARN Town

Join me from 1-3PM today on the NARN!

Today on the show:

  • The “Shutdown”
  • Jennifer Carnahan’s commission
  • A “Minnesota woman”‘s arson spree
  • And so much more!

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is  on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

This Is Your New Senator

Senator Tina Smith on Facebook, failing a question that used to be a no-brainer in ninth grade civics:

“Senator”:  the Continuing Resolution requires sixty votes.

The GOP doesn’t have sixty votes in the Senate.

Senator Smith exhibits a level of command of her office not seen in the Senate since…

…well, gosh, who was the worst Senator in recent memory?

Who, oh, who indeed?

You Just Knew This Was Coming

I mainaged to get through the nineties without seeing more than an episode or two of Frazier, Roseanne,Seinfeld, and of course the big sitcom icon of the era, Friends.  

But thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I managed to binge my way to currency in the NBC classic sometime over the past year.

And when I watched it, I thought “what an almost quaint throwback; it almost felt like a seventies sitcom” – which, in many ways, it was; a transition between the  manners of 70-s and ’80s TV and what we have today.

But as I watched – and mostly enjoyed – I couldn’t help think that stories like this were pretty much inevitable:

Having been given a new life on Netflix two decades after it debuted on NBC in 1994, Friends is being seen by a suspicious new generation with beady new eyes. Those eyes are more determined to find something to be offended by than anyone was in the 1990s, when the Paul Reveres fighting the political-correctness revolution were already warning you, “The idiocy is coming! The idiocy is coming!”

“Millennials watching Friends on Netflix shocked by storylines,” ran the headline of a piece by Ilana Kaplan, writing from New York for the Independent. Examples of the kinds of things Millennials apparently find shocking: “New audiences claimed that Rachel would have been fired for sexual harassment because she hires an assistant who isn’t qualified for the position because she wants to date him.” Fat jokes — “Some girl ate Monica!” cried Joey (Matt LeBlanc) — are also now out of bounds, the Independent huffs. Using the royal “we” for extra authority,

Cosmopolitan writer Katie Stow says “the show is getting ripped to shreds for its ‘problematic’ content and — even as hardcore fans — we can’t help but agree,” scoring the sitcom for “chucking offensive and inappropriate hand grenades all over every episode.” This must be the first time in recorded history that anyone compared Friends’ cutesy banter to hand grenades.

I can not wait for the millennials to have teenagers and twentysomethings of their own.

I Can’t Wait…

…to see how the Democrats and the media (pardon the redundancy) try to paint this as a tile toxic side effect of the Republican tax reform plan.

The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion “contribution” to the U.S. economy over the next five years, although it’s unclear exactly how the company came to that number.

The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.

It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.

It will be an amazingly creative exercise, when it happens. But it will happen.

The Human Factor

Background:  I work in User Experience in the software business. Some people think it’s a matter of “making software look pretty”; it’s actually about making software work better, easier to learn, more effectively, more powerfully and – this is the big one today – more error-proof for real people.

Software for government is simultaneously a “target rich environment” of big problems caused by disregarding user-centered design principles.  For example, when a consultant released a seventy page report on MNSure’s problems – which cost the state an extravagant amount of money to solve – a solid third of them were problems that would have never happened had they  had someone on staff minding the store when it came to designing for real people.

Austin Bay’s piece on last weekend’s false alarm in Hawaii shows that the issue is, in part, rooted in User Experience issues:

The Hollywood movie scene has someone pushing a red button on a control console. HawaiiNewsNow.com reports that a rather mundane act generated Hawaii’s false alert: a single HI-EMA employee selected the wrong option on a confusing drop-down computer menu checklist.

That menu is a mess. On the menu, the “drill” is in close proximity with other choices. Moreover, the state civil defense drill and the for real U.S. Pacific Command civil defense warning for Hawaii option (an attack warning) nest among other options, including high surf and tsunami warnings.

Tsunamis and enemy missile attacks are deadly threats. The menu’s miserable clutter reflects sloppy institutional planning.

8:05 a.m. January 13: instead of selecting the state-PACOM civil defense warning drill, the employee clicked the PACOM civil defense warning option. Then he compounded his error by clicking “yes” on “a second (computer) confirmation page.” The false warning was immediately transmitted to the public.

Since emergency messaging is in the news, Channel 4 did a piece on MInnesota’s system.   And it sounds more error proof – although I doubt the typical reporter knows much about analyzing a system’s human factors issues (note to Channel 4 – have your people call my people).

I imagine we’ll find out sooner or later.

 

“Unarmed”

In more than a few self-defense shooting cases, from Trayvon Martin to this week’s episode in Rochester, people who oppose – and just don’t get – the right of self-defense point at the episode and smile like a toddler than just filled their diaper and chant “He was unarmed!”.

So was the perp in this case:

After the fender-bender, Falce and a man police identified as Alonzo Leron Smith got out of their cars, exchanged words and motioned at each other. Smith then delivered a single punch to the face and Falce fell backward, his head hitting the pavement.

“We believe that he was knocked unconscious almost immediately and he never did regain consciousness,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference.

In Minnesota in 2016, among the 80-odd homicides were at least five “one punch kills” – punches where the victim fatally smacked their head, or suffered a fatal aneurysm or concussion from the punch itself.

Punches and kicks kill ten times as many people as “assault rifles” in an average year – 500 to somewhere around 50.

The Last Straw

A friend of the blog writes:

While St Paul wants to prohibit restaurants from using styrofoam, California legislators want to ban straws.

Now, the reason given is because straws end up in rivers and clogging storm drains. But, the real reason is because Democrats just want a nanny state, they want to control small businesses, they want to placate their most fringey base, and we all know the litany of reasons why. Because if it was really about straws ending up in rivers and storm drains, etc, why would fast food restaurants be exempt? This apparently only applies to sit down restaurants, where trash should end up with other trash, not strewn about in streets, blowing to public waters.

I have heard California has all sorts of real problems. But, by all means, keep focusing on non issues that don’t solve anything. Someday, the voters may wake up.

Virtue-signalling about non-issues;  it’s not just a California thing, of course.  Both Twin Cities mayors seem to devote most of their waking hours to it.

Panic

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hillary criticized Trump’s efforts to contain North Korean aggression, while she was speaking at a conference in China on Tuesday.  She wants to see the six-party talks brought back (North Korea walked out in 2009 to resume its nuclear weapons program).

A few hours later, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile at Japan.  It was not carrying a nuclear warhead  . . . this time.

And still, she wonders why people would rather vote for an orange orangutan than vote for her.

Joe Doakes

I’m amused by people blaming Trump for the fracas last week in Hawaii.  As if the Hawaii emergency management people wouldn’t have made the same mistake, engendering the same panic, under HIllary.

Imminent Domain

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is in the lobby of the AMC Arden Hills, waiting to see “Godzilla Vs. Ayn Rand”.  Stainding coincidentally in front of BERG are several members of the Minnesota 5th Congressional District LIbertarian Party;  Stephanie Marie ANNAN, Community organizer,Garth MULLER, the Vice Chair for Ideological Purity, Carpal POX,  the deputy chair,Victor VON SCLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE, Vice Chair for Education, and Anarchy GOATEEMONGER, inreach director.    The group is talking; BERG is reluctantly overhearing the conversation. 

GOATEEMONGER:  Today in class, my kid told the teacher “Taxation is theft!”.

(General hooting and backslapping ensues).

ANNAN:  You are such a good dad!

MULLER:  Next he’ll be telling them to Vote Harder!

(More backslapping).

GOATEEMONGER:  Right!  And you won’t believe this; the teacher asked him who was going to build the roads!

(Generalized guffawing ensues)

SCHLIEFFENGERG-MOLTKE:  Hah!  Roads!

BERG:  So Mr. Goateemonger – what did your kid answer?

ANNAN:   Here!  Have some more government!~

(More hooting and back-slapping)

MULLER:  Hey, look!  Only government can wipe my butt!

(Broad har-di-harring)

BERG:  Er…so did your kid answer?

POX:  I read an article the other day that says fusion-powered hovercars are right around the corner.  It’s going to be a non-issue any day now.

(Vigorous head-nodding ensues).

SCHLIEFFENGERG-MOLTKE (affecting a constipated sounding voice):  Vote harder!  Vote harder!

(The laughter is becoming brweathless)

BERG:  So – did the kid ever…y’know…answer?

ANNAN: Roads!

(IMore guffawing follows)

BERG  Nothing?

(And SCENE)

Let’s Keep This Quiet…

…because if the Met Council hears about this, it’ll be part of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul building codes ASAP.

A Hong Kong architect has invented what he believed to be the solution of overcrowded cities by turning concrete water pipes into tiny homes.

The OPod Tube Housing system aims to re-purpose concrete tubes measuring just over eight feet in diameter, and turn them into ‘micro-homes’ with 100 square feet of living space.

Artists conception. But you know it’s coming soon to a former warehouse block along the Blue Line, don’t you?

It is the brainchild of architect James Law of James Law Cybertecture who designed the build as a possible solution to the lack of both space and affordable housing in Hong Kong.

it’ll give urban hipsters a way to virtue-signal against those wasteful slobs in their tiny houses.

In Some Ways…

…it seems like it’s been longer than 20 years since this happened.   Sometimes, 20 years goes very fast – but this past 20 years in politics seems like it’s been a very, very long time.

By the way, I keenly remember this being my introduction to internet news; I was working at Best Buy, and was introduced to the Drudge Report by an IT network tech…

named Pat Garofalo.

Yep, it’s been a while.

We Never Had This Problem With Willard Scott

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails in re Matt Lauer:

The biggest name on your most popular program routinely engages in sexual assault in his office but nobody in the world’s largest news organization knows anything about it?  Is everybody in management related to Sergent Shultz?

And yet the media insists I should trust them to fairly and accurately report the news because they have legions of professional investigative reporters and editors with layers and layers of fact checkers.

Joe Doakes

Funny, isn’t it?

Yep, It Was A Great Play.

I’ve watched it many, many times; the Keenum to Diggs pass that made decades of Minnesota sports fandom suck just a little less.

Or so I’m told.  I’m just counting down ’til pitchers and catchers report, honestly.  But while I think I’ve watched less than a half-dozen NFL games from the opening gun to the checkered flag since the greatest game of all time (the 1985/86 Super Bowl, pbui), I did manage to catch the last six playing / forty actual minutes of Sunday mights division final.

And the the pass, with :10 on the clock, was one of those things like Jack Morris’ seventh game and Kirby Puickett’s homer in game six (I don’t have to go into more detail, do I?  Exactly) that even casual fans will be talking about for decades:

So – great play.  Amazing.

But even with all of that – there are some people out there to whom I just want to say “Dude, yoiu take this stuff way too seriously“.

Much Ado About S______es.

News flash: President Trump said something offensive.

Maybe.

The is sure, but can’t confirm it beyond Dick Durbin – a man with a long record of practicing the ethics of convenience – and repeated by the Dems’ stenographers in the media, which only stops them when the subject is a Democrat, but whatever, but whatever; it’s one of the reasons I trust a used car salesman with an untreated gambling addiction more than the institution of the media.

Anyhoo, the President ostensibly referred to certain nations – as distinct from people – as “S***h**es”.

My dislike of Trump goes back, uninterrupted, to the mid-eighties – but let me break this down for you:

If you are referring to a society where the vast majority of the people are short of basic necessities like food, water and jobs because the “government” runs things for the benefit of a kleptocratic ruling “elite” (in the same sense that the Crips, MS13 or the Mafia are “ruled by an elite”) – as in much of subsaharan Africa, and a fair part of Asia and Central and South America – the President may have had a point.

If you are talking about a society that brags about having a culture hundreds or thousands of years old – but all of that cultural history is marked by feudal warlordism, systematic devaluation of the individual, mass murder, indentured servitude and serfdom, systematic ignorance of human rights and endless cycles of variations on single-person or single-party rule, the President isn’t that far off.

If you’re talking about a culture that we’ve had to teach how to stop herding people into death camps at bayonet-point in living memory, or a country where very significant numbers of people were perfectly happy to send their neighbors of an inconvenient ethnicity to their deaths for 13 pieces of silver, or one where millions of people long for the return of the most bloodthirsty tyrant of all time? The President may have been wrong in the literal sense, but not moral or metaphorical ones. `

And if you live in an American city where the achievement gap and the gap between the gentrified “haves” and the ghettoized “have nots” is approaching third-world levels, crime is rising even as the national crime rate is plummeting, and the public debt bubble is growing to catastrophic levels, and the leadership’s response is to virtue-signal about minimum wages and police shootings?

The President wasn’t referring to you, but to foreign countries. So far. But he’s not far off.

I didn’t vote for Trump. But some of the people howling about his (alleged) remarks really need to broaden their focus. All humans are created equal before God and the Law (whether their rulers acknowledge it or not), but all governments and nations are not.

Anyone who disagrees is invited to live in Venezuela until further notice. Which isn’t saying “America – love it or leave it”; it’s saying “History: learn it or end up on the wrong side of it”.

The Poet Receives The Graft; The Taxpayer Gets The Shaft.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I suppose it’s nice that St. Paul still has a Poet Laureate, but I can’t find a website of her commissioned works.  Last poem I recall her writing for St. Paul was “Ode to the City Budget” or something like that, from about 2006.  You’d think a government worker would be more productive.

Wait, what am I saying?

On the one hand, a person might be forgiven for thinking that awarding the Poet Laureate title to a poet who produces no poetry, was simply an excuse to shovel a little graft to a Party insider.  It is St. Paul, after all.

On the other hand, awarding an honored title in exchange for doing nothing is a long-standing Democrat tradition, see, for example, my congresswoman, Betty McCollum, “The Phantom Rep”).

Joe Doakes

A Laureate Poet in Saint Paul
Accepted her government’s call.
She looked once and laughed
at her office’s graft,
and then walked away with a haul.

It’s MLK Day…

..and I”m taking a long weekend, myself.

With that in mind, I’ll urge you to listen, as I do this time every year, to Reverend King’s final, and in some ways most iconic, speech, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop”.

“I Have A Dream”, full of vigor and hope, gets all the headlines; “Mountaintop” is both more sober and more expansive; it focuses on the stump-pulling work of the battle for civil rights. It has lessons for those who fight for all civil rights.

As always, the whole thing is worth a listen.

The Ballad Of The Pink Beret

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We knew the decline had been ongoing for a while.  This is simply the Army adopting the St. Paul school method.  The student didn’t fail, there is no fail, there is only quit. If the student didn’t quit, then the student must have passed.  Good job, here’s your participation award.

The author deplores lowered standards but misses the point – none of the standards matter.  What matters is: can you do the job?  For that, we must define the job.  If it’s going hand-to-hand against elite enemy soldiers, then yes, these girls are going to die.  But is that the job of the Green Berets anymore?

Maybe the job of modern Green Berets is to parade around wearing the uniform to convince congresswomen who are fixated on feminism that they should siphon money away from the Neanderthal Marines so the Army can buy more tanks and helicopters for men who do the actual fighting to use in combat.  Okay, yes, that means Green Berets are now little more than props for the budget presentation, but so what? Advertisers dress up pretty girls to sell products all the time. Congresswomen are the Army’s “customers;” give the customers what they want.

If you’re really interested in debating whether physical standards matter, find some enterprising businessman to organize a reality show.  People who graduated from Green Beret school during the past year will compete against equally ranked recent graduates of other programs.  The best female Green Beret might have placed fifth in her class, for example.  She will parachute into a forest, land-navigate two miles carrying a ruck and rifle to find the target location, then “kill” sentries and destroy an enemy supply dump before escaping a mile away to build a shelter for the night.  Judges will time the run, effectiveness of the attack (grenade, shooting, etc), dump rain on the shelter and score the results.

Next up, the fifth best Force Recon Marine.  On deck, the fifth-best graduate of the equivalent course of the military in the Philippines.  In the hole, the fifth best graduate from Israel.  People love those silly ninja obstacle courses on television.  Let’s see how modern female Green Berets stack up against potential allies and enemies, doing things we would expect actual combat troops to do in the field.

If American girls suck as badly as this author seems to think they will, I bet the show would be a gigantic hit in China and Russia. The only remaining question is: swimsuit competition, or not?

To play devil’s advocate for a moment here – the “Green Berets” (‘ mission is as much about “unconventional warfare” – in other words, going into enemy territory and creating guerrilla groups – as it is about killing sentries and blowing things up (although there’s plenty of that as well).  Part of the job is being able to go deep into enemy territory and use language and cultural skills to create the relationships needed with the indigenous guerrillas.    And women are just fine at language an culture, so that when a team parachutes in to deal with an indigenous culture that has high respect for women, like in Afghanistan or Yemen or…

…oh.

Let me start over.

If we ever have to fight a war against Cambridge, San Francisco or Portland, female Soecial Forces operators could be useful.

Being Evil

Last year, Google’s collective (heh) culture of Urban Progressive Privilege-sotted virtue-signaling intolerance fell onto Google engineer James Damore for the high crime of out that Google, ironically, has a relentlessly PC, virtue-signaling-focused corporate culture.  Damore was summarily fired.

This past week, Damore and his team  filed their lawsuit

Damore has now answered Google with a legal broadside, and it’s extraordinary. Most people don’t have time to read his entire 181-page complaint, but those who do will find a comprehensive argument that Google’s corporate culture encourages, sanctions, and facilitates an extraordinary amount of abuse against conservative white males.

Artists Conception of a Google staff meeting:

 

And he has the receipts. Much of the complaint consists of screen shots of internal Google communications and postings on internal Google message boards that would constitute strong evidence of hostile-environment race-and-gender harassment if the the races and genders were reversed. For example, “Googlers” (that’s what employees call themselves, using Google’s silly corporate language) relentlessly enforce a so-called “Googley” culture where employees blacklist conservatives (blocking them from in-house communications), actually boo white-male hires, and openly discuss committing acts of violence against political opponents. The “punch a Nazi” debate is alive and well at Google, and the definition of “Nazi” is extraordinarily broad. In one posting, an employee proposes a “moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors.” In another, an employee advertises a workshop on “healing from toxic whiteness.” Another post mocks “white fragility.” The examples go on and on, for page after page. Damore also alleges (and again, provides screenshots of emails and other communications to support his claims) that managers actively attacked conservative employees, encouraged punitive actions against dissenters, and even awarded “peer bonuses” for speech attacking conservatives.

Google is a private business?  Sure – they’ve got every right to run things any way they want.   But we’ve seen what mindless monocultures have brought to most of our major cities; what do you think it’ll do to a company?

Googlers may have special coding skills or may fit seamlessly in the company’s Googley culture, but it’s now plain that much of their discourse represents a special kind of pettiness, stupidity, and intolerance. It’s often fact-free, insulting, and narrow-minded. In other words, a Silicon Valley monoculture produces exactly the kind of discourse produced by monocultures everywhere. While there are certainly kind, courteous, and civil progressives at Google, the existence of the monoculture also enables the worst sorts of behavior.

Read the whole thing.

The Haves

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a left-of-center acquaintance of mine – one who workes in the urban education system, and who does, I honestly believe, their level best to try to teach highly disasdantaged kids – about McDonalds aggressively moving to automate its front lines, driving by draconian minimum wage and benefit hikes in ‘progressive” cities.  I pointed out all the entry level jobs, the kinds of jobs this person’s students needed to get started in working life, were going to be lost because of this.

“Well”, this person said, “it was going to happen anyway, and this wijll send a message that companies can’t exploit people”.

The message it sends, I thought demurely to myself, is that progressives really really don’t get economics.  But my response was You are a ‘have” – someone with a career, who back in their teens worked at some crummy minimum wage jobs and learned how to show up for work on time and not be a jerk to people.  Your kids are have-nots, in that respect”.

I never got an reply.

Well, not to the second assertion.  As to the first one, Nancy Pelosi had her own – from the perspective of the “haves” that sre the leadership of the Democrat party:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Thursday continued to slam the recently passed Republican tax reform bill, calling the wage increases and bonuses “crumbs” during her weekly press briefing.

Walmart was the most recent company to announce a wage increase and bonuses as a result of the sweeping legislation, which included a slashing of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.

“A number of companies are attributing the tax bill for being able to give higher wages to their employees as well as being able to give a number of bonuses to their employees. How do you respond to that?” a reporter asked.

“In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic. It’s so pathetic,” Pelosi said.

No word from WalMart employees about whether the $11 minimum and the bonuses are “pathetic” or not.

Not Quite

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who snuck into the country should be deported; but if they’re law-abiding while here, there’s no urgency.

People who snuck into the country and committed crimes while here are worse, so President Trump has prioritized them for deportation.

Lawyers for illegal immigrants are now seeking pardons for their state crimes, so criminal illegals can stay in the pool of not-urgent deportations.  Governor Brown of California issued pardons specifically to interfere with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Just as Not Guilty doesn’t equal Innocent, Pardoned doesn’t equal Law-Abiding.  We were willing to cut you a break for compassionate reasons but this kind of gamesmanship underscores the seriousness of the problem of immigration abuse by immigrants and Liberals alike, and my sympathy flies out the window.

You don’t like us going after criminals first?  Fine.  We’ll go after every illegal immigrant but only in states that defy us.  Pull every Border Patrol agent out of every other state for a two week sweep through California.  Start with nannies and gardeners in Hollywood and Sacramento but don’t just pick up the illegals, go after their employers too.  Let’s see if they still think resistance is fun when their legal defense bills arrive.

And when Congress gets back in town, we demand special legislation that makes receipt of federal funds dependent on cooperation with federal immigration officials.  No more sanctuary cities, or no more money.

The Resistance is a big swamp and it’s not just in Washington.  Drain the whole thing.

Joe Doakes

Lots of training to do.

Too much even for two terms.

MSGA

Switzerland bans asylum-seekers from obtaining Swiss citizenship if they’ve been on welfare in the past three years.  (Article in German;  If you don’t read German, Google Translate is your friend).

The new law also introduces new criteria for integration. For example, those seeking naturalization must develop Swiss friends and associates. And someone imprisioned conditionally for more than three months is ineligible for naturalization.

There are also various language requirements. Similar to Austria, there are different rules in the different cantons (states) of Switzerland. The highest requirements are in the canton of Thurgau. While (Switzerland in general requires applicants to reach standardized language) level B1, those wishing to naturalise in Thurgau must reach B2 in writing. Spoken level in Thurgau will remain B1.

Preventing people coming for the taxpayer-funded goodies?

Requjiring integration into the language, culture an society?

What’ll they think of next?

Compare And Contrast

The Media’s View Of Smokers

The Media’s View Of Marijuana Smokers

Just to be clear – I don’t care if they legalize weed; I’ve never smoked it, and I never will, but I think prohibition does a lot more harm than good.

But the double standard over things you burn and inhale is pretty comical.

(With nod to Shawn Holster)