The New Consumer Math

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, waitresses got less than minimum and earned the rest in tips.  It created a moral obligation to tip: if you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford the meal, you owe her a tip as part of her wages.

Now that waitresses make $9.00 hourly, they don’t need to rely on tips to supplement wages.  They can quit trying so hard and I don’t need to feel guilty about not tipping, right?

Joe Doakes

Oh, why not?  Every other consequence of political manipulation of wages is unintended; why should quality of service be any different?

 

A Tale Of Two City Papers

There was an episode last Friday on Mississippi River Parkway.  Four youths – in masks, one of them waving a gun – jumped a couple of people out for a walk along the river.

One of the citizens – a carry permit holder, and by all visible signs a good guy with a gun – returned fire, mortally wounding one of the attackers.   Then, according to the story, he did exactly what permit holders are told to do if they, heaven forbid, have to defend themselves; called the cops when he determined he and his companion were safe; then, he administered first aid until the cops arrived.

We don’t, of course, know all the details; if it turns out the shooting was so justified that the Ramco Attorney never tries to bring charges, it’s entirely likely we really won’t.   As of today, the police haven’t referred the shooter to the Ramco Attorney, which is a good sign.

But the interesitng part is the coverage the two local dailies gave it.

In the Pioneer Press?  Pretty much just the facts.

In the Strib – whose coverage of the last notable self-defense shooting, behind a Cub on East Lake in Minneapolis in 2010, was maudlin and disgraceful – there was a brief nod toward social-justice-warriorism in the early edition, focusing on the deceased robber’s mother’s reaction, as if some editor was hoping to latch onto another Trayvon Martin publicity bonanza.  However, by the beginning of this week the narrative had settled down to a sober look at teen gangs in Saint Paul – which may be one of the more unreported issues in the city.

The takeaway?  Some shooters are doing the end-zone happy dance.  I’m not; a family lost a son.  A self-defense shooting is the second worst possible outcome.

But never forget that the worst possible outcome is the intended victim dying.  The intended victim is alive today.  And the only useful outcome from this would be for every criminal – whether a wannabee gang thug or a creep looking for some unearned cash – to realize that there are 199,999 more of us as of last Thursday who can do exactly the same thing.

And especially for every kid playing at being a gangster, waving a gun around to intimidate people, to know that this state is crawling with people with the motivation and the ability to end them.  Cold.

And the odds are getting worse every day.  Criminals are mostly rarely bright people – but they have the same sense of self-preservation the rest of us do.

Let’s hope the message gets out.

Immemorial Day

One of the most engrossing bits of reading about this time 35 years ago was the speculative fictional history, The Third World War:  August, 1985 by General Sir John Hackett.

Hackett – a British Army hero from World War II who’d gone on to command all Brit forces in Europe in the seventies – wrote an engrossing story about a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, which followed on a growing series of wars around the world, in the Middle East and east Asia.  The book took the form of a series of third-party-omniscient diary entries, not much unlike my own book, Trulbert.  A series of flashpoints led to the Soviet forces which – most kids today couldn’t tell you – were stationed all over East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union to launch a full assault into Western Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavia.  It ended with nuclear strikes on Manchester and Minsk, which led in turn to a coup in Moscow, ending the war in a tense stalemate.

It was intended as a cautionary tale – about the potential results of Carter-era western weakness and fecklessness, and the potential value of the investments that “hawks” in the West (including, to his credit, Carter, who had hardened up after realizing kittens and unicorns weren’t working with either the Iranians or Soviets) were asking to make in their national defense budgets.

I re-read the book a few years ago.  It’s obviously dated  – the USSR is long gone, and nobody under age 40 can tell you what the Warsaw Pact was anymore.  But it’s still a fascinating bit of history, much the same as The Great Pacific War by Hector Bywater (a book featuring Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Phillippines and Singapore, and resolved with massive American industrial, naval and air power – written in 1925).

At any rate – today, August 4, was the date of the fictional assault across the Inter-German Border, thirty years ago.

If you’ve read this blog, you know that I believe – correctly, along with most historians worthy of the term – that it was Ronald Reagan’s hard line that brought down the USSR and ended not only the threat of such an invasion, but potentially much worse).

What’s worse? A “warmonger” who scares all opponents into avoiding war, or a “peacemaker” who gets walked over with deadly force? Fortunately, the world will never need to know. Well, we didn’t until 2009…

At any rate –  I  think it’s high time we built a serious Cold War memorial.  Perhaps we need to buy an old B-52 from the “boneyard”, and install it on the Capitol Mall in Saint Paul.  Ideally, we could surround it with a model of a torn-down “Berlin” wall, and include a plaque with the names of the 6-7 million Minnesotans who weren’t killed in the Cold War.

For the naysayers?  We could include a plaque showing the economic analysis that indicates Reagan’s deficit spending on defense more than paid for itself during the ’90s, when America cashed in its “peace dividend”, putting all that military production to work building consumer goodies.  That smart phone you’re holding?  It navigates because of technology that was designed to ensure aircraft and submarines knew where they were; the internet itself started as Cold-War effort to harden the information infrastructure against a catastrophic attack.  The benefits go on and on.

Anyway, it’s time to cut the crap.  The time is right.  The price is right (old B-52s stored at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tuscon are going for about a buck a pop, you haul.   I bet we can find some people to donate time and effort to haul it and build a pedestal for it.

What say?  Isn’t it time for a memorial to the war that freed more people than all other American wars put together, and did it without a shot being (directly) fired?

 

 

Bend Over Citizen: Part II – The NYTimes Demands A Police State

This morning, I beat up the Strib’s editorial board for babbling platitudes about gun control that I’m pretty sure none of them really understands.

But there are times that sit back and thank all that is holy that the “brain trust” behind the editorial coverage at Minnesota’s pre-eminent media outlet is merely dotty, smug, and genially ignorant.

As opposed to the toxic, malevolent, dangerous ignorance of the New York Times.   

Last week, columnist Timothy Egan wrote “Guns and the Two Americas“.

Now, I don’t know much about Timothy Egan; I’ve never written about him.  But he appears to be equal parts Dwight Schrute, rote stenographer and closet authoritarian.

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica:  While Egan appears to be the kind of New Yorker that’d soil himself if he walked into the pistol range at Gander Mountain, he is, nonethless, an expert on tactics:

Just after the tragedy in a Louisiana theater a week ago — a shooting by a hate-filled man who was able to legally obtain a gun despite a history of mental illness — Rick Perry called gun-free zones a bad idea.

In his view, echoing that of the fanatics who own the Republican Party by intimidation, everyone should be armed, everywhere. [Aaaaand  there’s the inevitable strawman – Ed.] Once a shooting starts, the bad guy with the gun will be killed by the good guy with the gun, somehow able to get a draw on the shooter in a darkened theater, or behind a pew in church.

This scenario almost never happens. The logic is nonsense, the odds of a perfectly timed counter-killer getting the drop on the evil killer unlikely. And even when such a situation does happen, as in the Tucson shooting of 2011, the armed citizen who jumps into the melee can pose a mortal threat to others. In Tucson, an innocent person came within seconds of getting shot by an armed bystander who wasn’t sure whom to shoot.

There’s nothing “unlikely” about it; readers of this blog can quote the debunkment chapter and verse; even the Feds note that mass shootings where someone – with our without a badge – intervenes with a gun, the death toll is around 2; without intervention, into two digits.  Jabbering about “timing” is ignorant nit-picking by someone who’d seem to have watched too many ninja movies.

And the episode in Tucson in 2011, where a citizen responded to Jared Laughner’s shooting spree that killed six and wounded Representative Gabby Giffords, ready to return fire?  Egan uses as evidence against shooters an example of a shooter who, under pressure that would make Timothy Egan soil himself with fright, did the exact right thing, checking fire at a time when all too many police would have blazed away?

All The News That’s Given To Me And Stamped “Fit To Print”:   Egan is as ignorant and unquestioning about sociology as he is about tactics:

Nationwide, if you want to lessen your chances of getting shot, stay out of the South. The South is the most violent region in the United States, and also the place with the highest rate of gun ownership. More guns, easily obtained by the mentally ill, religious fanatics and anti-government extremists, mean more gun deaths.

But how do you feel about profiling, Timothy Egan?

Leave aside the patriarchal New Yorker references to phantom religious fanatics and militiamen; it’s entirely possible one of them actually will blow a fuse, someday.

Anything can happen.

Egan’s right, to an extent; the South is violent.  Indeed, as readers of this blog know better than anyone who gets their news from the NYTimes, the rural deep south is, per capita, the most violent place in the US.    And it was the same 100 years ago, when it voted solidy Democrat.  And it was 200 years ago, before the Civil War.  And it was 250 years ago, before most rural southerners had guns.

Because the violence in the rural South is not about hardware; it was an offshoot of Scots-Irish culture, which is and has always been more violent than the national average; southern Scots-Irish were dueling for keeps long after the rest of the country took their feuds to court; honor killings aren’t unknown.  And the violence in the South has exactly the same relationship to guns as does the violence in Chicago and Detroit or rural Afghanistan for that matter; the people were violent long before guns and, if you shut down every gun store in Dixie, it wouldn’t change.

Egan is also no better at picking his sources than the dumbest Minnesota liberal blogger:

Better to go to a city or state with gun restrictions, at least if you’re playing the odds. Most of the states with tighter gun laws have fewer gun deaths.

In which he uncritically points to a “study” in the Atlantic that was BS for all the same reasons Eric Ostermeier’s work at the U of M was wrong.

But Timothy Egan is ignorant.  So what?

One People, One Nation, One Times:  Because the Times has given a big megaphone to a guy who believes that the answer to “gun violence” is a smothering police state:

You want protection in a country that allows a deranged man to get an assault weapon to hunt down innocent people in a public space? Go to the airport — that bubble of gun-free security. Or go to a major-league baseball game, or a stadium in the National Football League.

Our big league venues may be engaging only in security theater, as critics assert, but their owners don’t think so. They now mandate metal detectors to snag weapons, and most of them even ban off-duty cops from bringing guns to the games.

 

“Gun Free” zones are dangerous not because they only affect the law-abiding, but because…

Most gun-free zones, like the theater in Lafayette, La., are not gun-free at all. They have no metal detectors or screening — that would cost too much, the theater owners claim. Gun-free is a suggestion, and therefore a misnomer. Eventually, the more prosperous theaters in better communities will pay for metal detectors, further setting apart the two Americas in our age of mass shootings.

…they’re not intrusive enough?

In other words, the answer is “smothering, patriarchal government surveillance?”   Allowing the state to poke and prod and scan us all will keep us safe?

Not just the state, but its private agents – like our own Mall of America?

The Mall of America — more than 500 stores in four miles of retail space, drawing 40 million annual visitors to a climate-controlled part of Minnesota — is trying to be a gun-free zone. “Guns are banned on these premises” is the mall’s official policy…The mall has a security force of more than a hundred people. Yeah — I hear the joke about the feckless mall cops. But the Mall of America trusts them more than well-armed shoppers to protect people, as they should.

No mass shootings have happened at the MOA.  God willing, they never will.   But hey, the signs at the doors must be working!

Of course, Crosswinds Mall in suburban Omaha had signs, and mall cops, when a nutcase killed seven back in 2009.

So, for that matter, did the Clackamas Mall in Portland Oregon, on December 11, 2012 – three days before the Newtown massacre.  When a man with hundreds of rounds of ammunition came into the mall, opened fire and killed two…

…and looked down the barrel of Nick Meli’s Glock.   Meli – like dozens of other armed citizens too mundane for Egan to note – did what Egan believes impossible, or superhuman (unless you have a mall cop badge); he pointed his gun at the killer.  Who, like most spree killers when faced with armed resistance, deflated; he turned, walked into The Gap, and shot himself.

Will the Mall of America’s signs (which are legally not binding, although it’ll take an expensive test case to prove it) and cops and dogs do a better job of protecting the customers?  Well, here’s hoping.

So Timothy Egan’s message is clear; the police state will set you free.  Well, not “Free” in the “life liberty happiness” sense of the term, but free from being killed off by deranged madmen.

Right?

Well, wrong.

Very, wrong.

So wrong, light leaving right won’t reach us until we’re long dead.

Bend Over, Citizen: Part I – Our Ignorant Priests Of Knowledge

Having been one level of activist on the Second Amendment or another for thirty years now, and having seen how far the issue has moved since the mid-eighties – when the Second Amendment seems to be on the ropes – it’s almost tempting to fall into a bit of complacent triumphalism.  This past twenty years has been one of the most impressive grass roots political campaigns in American history.  It’s also given us the class war that the left has always been predicting – in inverted form; the gun grabbers are overwhelmingly drawn from society’s lotus-eating NPR-listening Subaru-driving patricians; the bulk of the Human Rights camp is mainstreet, blue-collar and middle-class Real America.

But the temptation can’t be indulged too long; the bad guys are still out there, and they still have the media for their mouthpiece.   There were two notable calls for more gun control in the big media last week, ranging from the historically ignorant to the hysterically demented.

Continue reading

The Shallow, “Message”-Obsessed Left’s War On Women

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York bar charges women 77 cents on the dollar because . . . pay equity?  Great deal . . . for ugly women.   Pretty girls never pay for drinks.  And most of the wait staff is women, who work for tips, which are based on total tab, which is now 23% smaller.  So women get paid less to protest women getting paid less?  Genius.

Joe Doakes

So will the female servers be giving part of that to the ugly male bartenders, who don’t make nearly as much as they do?

Doakes Sunday: DIY

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Starving workers demand living wage, but only from national chain restaurants and only in the New York City limits.

 

That’s okay, I already bag my own groceries and pump my own gas.  I’m ready for the fast-food touch-screen order menu.  I can enter “No. 5 Extra Value Meal, Small Coffee, 2 Splenda, 2 Cream, To Go” as well as that minimum wage worker can, so go ahead and lay her off.

 

Joe Doakes

And it’ll be boom-time for UX designers in the kiosk business.

Doakes Sunday: Pick Your Poison

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama [last weekend]  made a personal plea for gay rights during his visit to Kenya, warning that “bad things happen” when countries discriminate against certain groups of people.

 

But Obama’s call for universal gay rights was quickly dismissed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who described the issue as something “our culture, our society does not accept.” “For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue. We want to focus on other areas that are day-to-day living for our people,” he said.

 

America’s current obsession with fashionable sexual deviancies such as gay marriage and gender reassignment are signs of a decadent culture not long to survive.  Kenyans can’t afford to subsidize idlers and hangers-on, they need to work for a living.  When Americans run out of Other People’s Money to subsidize favored victims, our massive debts will be defaulted and the world economy will collapse again.  At that point, those Americans who survive will be too busy trying to find food and shelter to worry about trigger warnings and micro-aggressions.

 

Enjoy it while it lasts, fellas.

 

Joe Doakes

Prosperity is a two-edged sword; it makes it possible to solve intractable problems – disease, Naziism – while simultaneously giving us the leisure to develop new intractable problems.

Doakes Sunday: Accessories

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Story makes the point the woman in the car who survived because she was wearing her seatbelt (politically correct), whereas the motorcycle riders who died were not wearing helmets (politically incorrect).

 

Completely missed the point that she had a stop sign, stopped for it, then pulled out in front of the motorcycle.  She caused the accident.  She killed those men, not their helmets or lack thereof.

 

Joe Doakes

Narratives gotta get narrated, dammit.

Got NARN In Pocket

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • We’ll interview Richard Mgrdechian, manager the band “Madison Rising”, about the musical counterculture.
  • We’ll be bidding adieu to producer DJ Maegan Fatale as she begins the next phase of her life, whatever it is

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

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

Join us!

Protection For We, But Not For Ye

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Some local folks lost their home for non-payment of real estate taxes.  Their son allegedly showed up at the county offices, threatened some staff, broke a window.  A restraining order was issued but staff wasn’t satisfied.

“A piece of paper won’t keep him away, he might come back with a gun. We need protection,” they told the County Manager.

Like what?  A guy with a badge?  We have that, the private security guard at the door.

No, he’s just a rent-a-cop.  We are a unit of County government, we want a Deputy Sheriff.

Pull a deputy off patrol to babysit an office building?  How about a Reserve Deputy?  Wears the same uniform and badge, is that okay?

No, Reserve Deputies don’t carry a gun.  We want a real deputy.

So what you want is a Good Guy with a Gun to defend you from the possible Bad Guy with a Gun?

Not necessarily, it could be a female deputy; but basically, yes.

So we got one, she’s been sitting in the squad in the parking lot.  With her gun.

Amazing how being personally targeted clarifies one’s thinking.

Heather Martens would be appalled.

Joe Doakes

Well, I for one think Heather would looooove a police state.

Fit To Be Tied

So after six years of “Hillary is inevitable”, six months of the establishment positing Jeb Bush as the only option, and six weeks of the media trying to wedge the GOP with Donald Trump, we have  what might be surprising news to report (emphasis added):

If the election were held today, Clinton would be tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the poll—down from significant leads in a May 28 survey—but would top the current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on this:  the media has been anointing Hillary as “the first woman president” for a generation, now.  They’ve been pimping Trump to monkeywrench the GOP.  The GOP “establishment” has been pushing Jeb as the next best hope – not without some reason.

And yet the stubborn peasants keep popping up for Walker.

I’ll be more relieved if Walker is atop the polls this spring, naturally.

 

Smile

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

St. Paul wants to spend $1.2 million for body cameras, half of it a grant from the feds.

GoPro costs $500 each.  For the good ones.  Retail.

And there are chinese knockoffs for under $200 that, according to some sources, are even better.

But the political optics aren’t right for that…

What are we buying with the rest of the million dollars?

Joe Doakes

That would be so interesting to find out…

Betty’s Priorities

Minnesota 4th district representative Betty McCollum the FBI to investigate the Bloomington dentist who shot a lion in Zimbabwe…

…which they’ll  apparently have time to do, since she’s not calling on them to investigate Planned Parenthood’s human chop shop operation.

The Improper Wiring That Dare Not Speak It’s Name

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Guy who’s nuts shoots up his own apartment and sets fire to it.

Another guy who can legally own guns because he wasn’t committed.  The judge let him go.

The problem isn’t guns.  The problem is nuts.  The civil commitment laws make it nearly impossible to put away nuts where they’re unable to obtain guns.  If it were easier to obtain civil commitment, there’d be fewer of these incidents and less work for ACLU lawyers . . . a win-win!

Joe doakes

True.

Which is why it’ll never happen.

 

Free Speech

I went – very, very briefly – to the rally at the Planned Parenthood in Saint Paul over the lunch hour yesterday.   It was hot and clammy – so humid the air seemed to congeal into little clumps of atmospheric sweat.

I didn’t even try to count the crowd; it was in the hundreds:

More below the jump.

Continue reading

There’s Just No Way…

…anybody could have predicted this: Seattle workers whose minimum wage has been jacked up to 15 bucks an hour…

…are now asking for fewer hours, so they don’t lose their housing subsidies.

Naturally, the artificially-high minimum wage was supposed to cut welfare dependency, blah blah blah.

So now we’ve got fewer jobs, and just watch – the program dependence is going to stay the same.

Austered The Wrong Way

To: National Public Radio News

From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant

Re: Terminology

Dear NPR:

Over the weekend, while listening to one of your news programs, I caught a story about skilled workers emigrating from Portugal. 

Your story announced that the Portuguese economy was “recovering from austerity”

Austerity was not the problem. Or, rather, austerity was, at most, a symptom; The disease was unsustainable government spending, that sapped the vitality of the private sector economy.  

Unrestrained spending on things like lavish pensions, cradle to grave welfare, a government workforce that displaces private enterprise, and yes, public broadcasting, committed governments to endless, crippling spending that, when the economy goes south, cannot be sustained.  

See that we don’t make this mistake again, shall we?

That is all.

Imports

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A pair of graduate students from the U of M came to the office to learn about Minnesota’s system of land title records.  Seems they’re hoping to institute a new system in Kenya where land records are not reliable, making investment risky which discourages entrepreneurship and that leaves people in poverty, dependent on government hand-outs.  The students propose a computerized system (which will reveal changes and who made them) based on GPS coordinates (that can be re-established in the field by any hand-held GPS receiver).

The students are cargo cultists.  They propose a technological solution to a cultural problem.  I’m skeptical.

Kenya left the British Empire in 1963 and for the last half-century: “the use of land as an object of patronage to engender support and consolidate power has been exacerbated by corruption, forced eviction, government backtracking, and lack of redress for those who have lost land through violence.”

Suppose the computer gives me absolute iron-clad proof that the land records clerk altered the records to give my land to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s friend.  Suppose when I show up in court, the President’s friend arrives with a thick envelope of “last-minute evidence” for the judge, then glances meaningfully at his Reece Squad escorts and says “So, judge, how are the wife and kids?  Be a shame if anything happened to them.”  What are my chances of getting my land back?

Technology can’t solve that problem.  It takes a culture of incorruptibility, of self-less devotion to the Rule of Law, and that culture takes hundreds of years to grow.  Kenya threw that away when it kicked out the British.  Americans are letting our own Kenyan throw it away today.

Joe Doakes

Barack Obama’s worst facet?  He’s bringing the worst facets of Third World/Chicago governance to a national stage.

I’m going to say that before the IRS shuts me down.