Clarence Thomas discusses the legal framework for breaking up Big Tech’s stranglehold on free online speech.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The justification for Dictator-for-Life Walz’ continued use of Emergency Powers, and his endless fondling of the dials to raise or lower limits on normal behavior, rests on the notion that if he failed to act, Covid patients would overwhelm the hospital system leaving sufferers to die on gurneys in hallways and parking lots, up to 70,000 of them in Minnesota alone.
This chart from Kevin Roche at Healthy Skeptic illustrates how stupid that lie was and continues to be. Time to end the lockdowns.
In Minneapolis, the Democrat Party tells the peasants who to thank for their bread and circuses:
No, no no no no – this is totally not the act of a party that knows its voter base is a lumpen gray mass of people with no critical thinking skills.
And don’t you dare call the one-party governments of the Twin Cities mechanisms for transferring taxpayer money to the favored political classes:
Springboard for the Arts said its member artists will receive the first $500 payments in the pilot program in April. The payments will support 25 artists in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods for 18 months.
In a release, Mayor Melvin Carter called Springboard for the Arts a “vital partner” and said guaranteed income will “benefit our entire community.”
The $500 payments are deposited directly to individuals and have no strings attached or work requirements. The recipients will be chosen at random, but Springboard for the Arts says 75 percent of the individuals will be “Black, Native and/or people of color…The city of St. Paul used its CARES Act funding, philanthropy and the Mayors for Guaranteed Income national network to come up with the $1.5 million needed to fulfill the pilot.”
So – not wanting your catalytic converter stolen is “privilege”…
…but being an “artist” entitles you to tax money, not paying which will put me in jail.
That boot-like thing you feel on your neck? It’s a boot.
Polish/Canadian clergyman in Calgary, Alberta ejects police trying to harass his Easter services:
Don’t know about you, but I feel happier and happier the more I see this.
I wasn’t even aware of this last December – but longtime saxophone player in Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band, Alto Reed (born Thomas Cartmell) passed away last December 30. He was 72.
His most famous song with Seger was one of his first – the iconic sax part from 1972’s “Turn the Page”:
But for my money, I’ll go with this reworking of what had been Muscle Shoals guitar player Allan Carr’s ephemeral guitar part on “Mainstreet” – probably my favorite Seger song:
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Democrats take action to signal their virtue, unconcerned by the
downstream ripple effects of those actions. Here are a couple of recent
pleas for help from lawyers whose clients are caught in Governor Walz’
I represent an Homeowner’s Association that completed a foreclosure on
an owner in the Association who hasn’t paid association dues for years.
The owner remains in possession of the unit following the foreclosure
redemption period and refuses to leave. Her unit is a health hazard (she
is a hoarder who uses cups for human waste rather than the toilet.) We
have affidavits from the Fire Marshal about the conditions of the unit
and the dangers to the neighboring units due to fire danger from her
unit. At a recent inspection of the alarms in the building, the marshal
was only able to open her door far enough to put his head in an hear the
alarm worked. There were stacks of items above head level all around
him. The owner no longer can sleep in her unit, but sleeps in the
hallways or common areas. Question – how can I get her out of the unit,
in light of Governor Walz’s Executive Order halting evictions?
Client is an elderly man who owns a duplex and lives in one unit. Tenant
vacated other duplex unit, but associates of former tenant moved in
thereafter. Different people come and go. Current occupants have not
paid rent for nearly a year. No clear exceptions to Governor Walz’
Executive Order 20-79 prohibiting evictions. At some point after current
occupants moved in, utilities were shut off because they were in name of
former tenant who had not paid separately metered utilities. Tenants
threatened to sue the landlord for interruption of utilities so Client
restored and began paying utilities for that unit, though I believe his
only income is Social Security and he can barely keep up with his own
living expenses. I believe an argument could be made that there is
financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult under the MN Vulnerable
Adults Act whereby “tenants” are obtaining services (utilities) for
their advantage to the detriment of PC. However, the Act only provides
for monetary damages and a mechanism for the state to investigate.
Question is whether exploitation of a vulnerable adult landlord could be
pled as basis for filing an eviction notwithstanding Governor Walz’
The first-order effect of the Governor signaling his virtue was to allow
renters and squatters to live free for a year. The second-order effect
is to put everyone in the Homeowner’s Association is at risk because the
Association can’t get one person out of the building; and a senior
citizen is forced to subsidize an endless parade of low-life leaches.
How many other cases are out there, but we don’t know about them since
those cases contradict The Narrative? How many other lives are
threatened or ruined because Democrats needed to exploit Covid?
I’ve got a few friends who could qualify as “transgender”. I’ve always done my best to treat them with compassion and respect, the way we’re supposed to treat human beings.
That part is not open for debate.
But there are a few points open for legitimate debate – and the reason we know this is that the trans “movement” – I’ll just call it Big Trans from now on – works so very hard to suppress that debate. In my forays into looking into how Big Trans behaves on social media, I’ve found no group able to mobilize so much frothing ire so fast – not union goons, not Big Karen, nobody. Their “allies” certainly pull their weight in trying to shut down the conversation as well.
Now, there’s a backlash – some parents of putatively trans children are pushing back against the logrolling disguised as “support” that their children, often deeply vulnerable, receive
This piece – first of a four-part investigation – is very long, and so far utterly worth a read.
You can tell by the accessories out on the street:
Last summer seemed to be “The Season of the Machete” (copywriting the screenplay title).
I just have to ask – where are all the machetes coming from?
An Indian wag and devotee of Mahatma Gandhi once quipped “It costs us a fortune to keep Gandhi poor“.
Likewise, it takes an immense amount of carbon-based fuel for Transportation Secretary and choo-choo train fanboy Pete Buttigieg to virtue-signal his carbon neutrality:
There are, of course, innumerable such conundra on the left. For example, it takes a staggering amount of the fruits of western capitalism to keep Ilhan Omar’s anti-western hatred in business.
Keep it going.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
I’m told sex trafficking is a huge problem, particularly during sporting events. The Star Tribune says pipeline workers in Duluth engage in sex trafficking, which is grounds to shut down the pipeline that the Indians don’t like. And now we have a conviction for sex trafficking a minor during the NCAA Final Four, State v. Abdulazeez, see attached.
Except . . . there was no sex, no minor child, nobody trafficked, in either incident. They’re both undercover police sting operations aimed at ordinary prostitution Johns. The cops neither liberated a trafficked person nor jailed a trafficker. Which tells me that sex trafficking MAY be a problem, but the official statistics cannot be used to support that claim. They are as unreliable as Covid statistics and good only for one thing: demanding more funding.
It’s like the guy in the Target parking lot who wants to panhandle five bucks because he’s out of gas and his girlfriend is pregnant and they’re trying to get home to St. Louis to see his ailing mother before she dies of cancer and . . . lies, they’re all lies to get money out of me. However many cops are involved in fighting imaginary crime in chat rooms – go ahead, defund them all. Won’t stop a single crime in the real world and it will free up resources to man the barricades when People Whose Lives Matter show up with bricks and Molotov cocktails.
Worse, the media missed the most obvious conclusion of all. If sports events create sex predators then sporting events are bad so why are we not only condoning them, but actively subsidizing them? Subsidized stadia = subsidized sports events = trafficked children for sexual predators. Why does the State of Minnesota and the City of Murderapolis promote trafficking children for sex? Why do they hate children and want them to die?
If the people of Minnesota ever start thinking about what their media and government do, it’ll get ugly.
UPDATE: thanks, everyone! It was a very successful couple of days, and I appreciate it.——————-
As this blog moves through its 20th year, I’m endlessly humbled and amazed that people keep coming by.
More below the jump.Continue reading
Like a decent but shrinking share of National Public Radio (NPR) programming, “The Hidden Brain” has some redeeming value – in this case, some fascinating looks into the frontiers of cognitive psychology, at least among the episodes I’ve heard. A repurposed podcast, like an awful lot of NPR programming, it is one of the shows that’s filling the spot “Prairie Home Companion” and “Live from Here” used to fill – and is actually pretty interesting, even with the occasional challenge it provides.
But it’s NPR – National “Progressive” Radio. The network exists largely to affirm the left’s prejudices about itself and society. An NPR bumper sticker or tote bag was an Urban Progressive Privilege virtue-signal long before those became a cultural obsession.
And so when fact peters out, narrative sets in. And there is just no way that narrative gets challenged by anyone on the program. It might be off-topic – you’d be surprised how easy it is to fill an hour of radio – but it seems more and more obvious that NPR isn’t in the “challeninging Big Left’s tropes” business.
And so with last weekend’s episode, on “Honor Societies” – which, the hypothesis goes, include much of the American South and West.
You can argue the premise. You can argue the findings. And by all means, do.
But around forty minutes in, the host and guest swerved into a deeply counterfactual “discussion of ‘Stand your Ground’ laws”. I put it in scare quotes because it was no such thing; it was an unchallenged recitation of Big Left’s narrative about self-defense reform.
I wrote then an email, attached below.
I’m Mitch Berg, from Saint Paul, MN. My day job involves a lot of applied cognitive psychology, so I’ve become a bit of a fan of HIdden Brain . I listen most Saturdays on KNOW in Saint Paul.
And I very much enjoyed your 3/29 episode, about “Honor Societies” – until about 40 minutes into it, where it swerved, hard, into misinformation.
Your host and guest spent a few moments discussing so-called “Stand your Ground” laws. Whether through ignorance or intent, that part of the show was highly legally erroneous at best, and misinformation at worst.
I’ll explain briefly :
- Self-defense laws vary by state – but in every case I’m aware of require that one meet the following criteria:
One must reasonably fear being killed, violently, then and there (where “reasonable” means “would convince a jury”).
- You can only use the force needed to end the threat in #1 above. When an attacker turns to run away, or falls over too injured to hurt you, the threat is over – you can’t hunt them down and finish them off.
- One must not be the aggressor; one can’t start a bar-room brawl (or an “honor” incident, for that matter) and pull a gun when someone breaks a beer bottle.
- One must make a reasonable effort to retreat (same definition of “reasonable” as above). In a “Castle Doctrine” state, this doesn’t apply in the home and, in some states, one’s business. In a so-called “Stand your Ground” state, it doesn’t apply outside the home, anyplace one has a legal right to be, while doing anything one has the legal right to do, provided you meet the three criteria above.
Your guest repeated the “misconception” – in many cases, it’s a propagandistic chanting point, but I’ll presume good motive, here – that “Stand your Ground” means, closely paraphrasing your guest, that “thinking you’re in danger gives you the right to kill someone, and call it self-defense”. In fact, even in situations where “Castle” or “Stand your Ground” laws apply, one must meet the other three criteria, subject to the details of state statute, to the satisfaction of the investigators, the prosecutors, and if worse comes to worst a jury.”Stand your ground” is not a legal grounds to claim the dog ate one’s moral homework to get away with murder.Beyond that? Your guest noted that “Stand your Ground” laws are most common in “Honor States” – implying “Honor”-based attitudes drive “Stand your Ground” laws.
But facts show that the correlation is far from accurate. 29 states, as diverse as Florida, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, have “stand your ground” statutes, and eight more – including Washington State, Oregon and Illinois – have it in case law. (And New York, Maine, Massachusetts and Minnesota are all “Castle” states, via statute or case law). So, rather than “Honor Society”, the valid correlation appears to be states with meaningfully strong and effective libertarian/conservative legislative majorities or minorities have such laws.
Fascinating as much of the episode was (I wound up driving around the city for an extra 40 minutes to hear the whole thing), this part of the episode veered sharply from fact into legal misinformation. And given this is a public radio production, even one I generally enjoy a lot, I’m given to suspect at least a tinge of classist narrative. The show was much the worse off for it.
While I realize the odds of this email being acknowledged, much less broadcast, are about as likely as my getting a hot third date with Anna Kendrick, I grant permission to use this response on the air, and will edit and put it in audio form if you prefer.
I’ll also point out that as part of my “side hustle” (see , below), I’ll be discussing this episode, and my attempt to contact your program about it, on my show, podcast and blog, in the coming week or two, including reaching out (likely pro forms and in the interest of fairness and clarity) to your show’s guest.
651 xxx xxxx
 I mentioned my “day job” – now I should tell you about my side hustle. I’m a talk show host and podcaster at a Twin Cities radio station, as well as a modestly prominent regional blogger. That follows a career in radio and journalism, including at least some time doing news at a publicly-supported station.
 My bona fides: For over two decades, I’ve been an activist and volunteer for the groups that wrote much of MInnesota’s current body of firearms law, which have passed with strong bipartisan majorities and been signed by governors of both parties. I produce the podcast for this group. As a MInnesota carry permit holder, I have had to repeatedly demonstrate knowledge of the law as part of statutory permit training. I’m not a lawyer, but I get most of my information from lawyers who specialize in this area, both in criminal defense and legislative terms. You want cites, I got cites. If there is a person anywhere in American alternative media who’s paid more dues on this issue, I say with all due humility I have yet to be introduced to them.
Public radio – NPR, as always, and increasingly MPR – rarely deigns to acknowledge the proles. Suffice to say, this post (and my next NARN show) will likely be this topic’s only sojourn outside the memory hole.
…don’t you dare claim that major media have become stenographers for Big Left.
Perish the thought.
The Strib tweeted this over the weekend:
I mean, I’ve done it before. I used to give up cursing for Lent. It was a fascinating exercise, even though I’ve never been among the more foul-mouthed people I know.
But I’ve got a better idea:
Let’s do a “Detached Journalism Challenge”. Let’s try to not be stenographers for Big Left for a whole month.
I think I got this
How about you, Star/Tribune?
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The women weren’t really trying, that’s the only reason they lost. Otherwise, they’d totes have dominated the field. For sure.
Because if the professional women athletes really were trying but still got beaten this badly by a bunch of high school boys, we’d have to admit there truly is a physical difference between the sexes and that’s simply Unacceptable.
2+2=Women Can Literally Do Anything As Well As Men, Winston.
Ads don’t appear by accident.
Least of all television ads, with their high production costs and long lead-times. If you see something in a television ad, especially an “agency” spot (produced by an ad agency, as opposed to something shot at a store or TV station for a local merchant, you may be assured someone thought about the message it was portraying.
As we’ve discussed recently, the high numbers of African-Americans in TV commercials challenge the idea that Americans are innately racist. If an add offends someone on some visceral level, it’s just not going to work.
With that in mind, I direct your attention to the latest round of commercials for “Hy Vee”, the national grocery chain, and what HyVee thinks it says about their customers. Both spots are done to the tune of the ’80s song Our House, by the British ska group “Madness”.
Here’s the first one, which came out over the winter:
Note the imagery (amid all the HyVee products):
- Mom is the executive rushing off to the high-power job.
- Dad is not only getting the kids ready for school. Not only is he kind of a bumbler, like most TV ad dads, but he looks like a buffoon.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with dads taking care of kids. I spent 20 years doing it, 11 of ’em mostly by myself, several more covering the day shift and working nights to save daycare. Fathers pulling their weight is nothing new.
But it’s not an unreasonable assumption that, in the typical family – whether two-parent or not – a woman is still making a lot of the shopping decisions. And HyVee, one of the major retailers, believes that not only is the image of the woman being the high-speed executive bread-winner one that appeals to those consumers, but showing hubby as a hapless buffoon who’d be lost without her appeals as well.
HyVee has a new “Our House” spot out – it’s not out on Youtube just yet, so I can’t post it here just yet. And when I first saw it – with its improbably pretty mom cleaning the house to a fine sheen with her array of HyVee products, and a pronounced “Father Knows Best” vibe, I briefly thought “Ooofda – how did this get greenlit? The feministasi are going to have a cow.”.
Then I mentally caught myself. “There’s going to be a whammy”.
And sure enough – Dad finally came home. And he reminded me of Rip Taylor, if Rip Taylor were playing a Gestapo agent (sans long black trench coat – this agent was dressed like, well, Rip Taylor in a HyVee commercial) – simultaneously petulant and way below Mom’s league.
So apparently HyVee’s marketing department believes that an ad Dad who is a mass of caricatures, coming across as a spoiled, petulant martinet to his improbably gorgeous, clearly put-upon spouse, is not only not going to turn their audience off, but will in fact bring them out to the stores?
What does this say about…
…well, not “society”, per se, but the advertising industry’s view of society?
I first observed that Big Left was devaluing the term “Holocaust” – redefining it as “any social change Big Left doesn’t approve of” – over 30 years ago. To be fair that one never really took off – at the time, when people still took “Never Forget” seriously. I’m less sanguine about Big Left’s next attempt to sandbag that word.
Next came “Fascist”. “Anti”-Fa was only the latest among decades of hijacking, during which “Fascism” became equated with “any idea I, a member of Big Left, disagree with on any level” (as opposed to “Socialism combined with nationalism”).
“Hitler” and “Nazi” started taking it in the shorts during the George W. Bush administration, but their devaluation in the not-very-informed minds of a generation is proceeding apace.
Likewise “Racist”, “Misogynist” and pretty much any socially-loaded “-phobia”.
On Big Left, words no longer have meanings. Or, rather, they’re working overtime to detach words for the meanings they’ve always had.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
The Garden Administration wants the Supreme Court to rule that cops can enter your house to take your guns without a warrant.
They want to keep the progressive base slobbering for more power over those they hate.
To wit – never apologize, bring your friends, and punch back twice as hard.
I’ll come back to that.
One of conservatism’s great mistakes was forsaking the small, independent blogs that dominated (along with, naturally, conservative talk radio) the alternative media scene in the 2000s.
During the heyday of the independent blog, there was a natural, organic network of supporters that would rally – almost always online – when one of the left’s droogs started dishing what was, at the time, almost always some pretty pathetic smack.
Since then, two things have happened:
- Altogether too many conservative content producers took their game to Twitter and Facebook – and either got censored into nothing, or just atrophied.
- Big Left invested in turning their attack machine from a pack of chancred losers into a pack of chancred losers with venal, dull but constantly practiced teeth. Cancel culture has become the norm across swathes of society that were still fairly open and healthy a decade ago when Andrew Breitbart warned us about losing the culture war.
So – how do the good guys ‘n gals start to organize, to fight the dirty part of the culture war again?
Ten years ago, when it was still good, clean fun, we had it down. Today, the jackals are running rings around the good guys.
It’s two-minute warning time at the state cuture war finals, and we’re down by two touchdowns.
How do the good guys get back in the game with the game that matters – organization, organic institutions that fight these battles, and the will to fight and win?
(While I run an open discussion at all times, lefties are urged to sit this one out).
…like what this guy said was wrong, or even remotely inaccurate.
Other than the bit about Hyundais being a symptom of creeping progressivism, which left me a little confused.
Homeschooling triples during the pandemic.
It may be the closest thing we have to a good side-effect of this past year.
The state – SD? FL? – who makes tax money given to education completely portable for things like home schooling (individual or group) or vouchers will see an economic and population boom like this country hasn’t seen since the days of Ellis Island.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Seems like forever ago that Michael Mann published his hockey-stick
graph, Mary Steyn made fun of it in a column for National Review, and
Mann sued for defamation. The case has lingered for eight years in the
courts, only now entering the ‘discovery’ phase after National Review
was dismissed as a defendant.
Mark Steyn was deposed by Michael Mann’s lawyer. Steyn uploaded the
transcript here: https://www.steynonline.com/documents/11106.pdf
I suppose reading deposition transcripts isn’t everyone’s cup of tea,
but I found it entertaining. Your mileage may vary.
I can’t imagine those lawyers knew what hit them.
I mean, when even Bill Maher gets uncomfortable…
Former North Dakota Senator and current useless mouth Heidi Heitkamp calls Gina Carano a “Nazi”. Plain and simple, full stop.
I’ll chalk this up to the (utterly true) idea that any Democrat can parrot any narrative twaddle, no matter how moronic, without fear, knowing that their audience hasn’t the critical thinking skills to call them on it. Or anything.
But I won’t get mad. I’ll just get on the air. I sent this to her Facebook page.
I’m Mitch Berg. I grew up in Jamestown. My mother, Jan Berg/Brooks, was a volunteer for any number of your campaigns at the state and federal level.
I fell a bit farther from the tree, politically, of course.
I’d like to make a media request – I’d love to interview y ou on my show (WWTC AM1280) in the Twin Cities regarding your assertion that Gina Carano is a “Nazi”.
I can either do it live on Saturday at 2PM, or record an interview at any time convenient to you.
Hope we can discuss this.
Why, sure – I expect a response! Why wouldn’t I?
Vice President – and let’s be honest, future President, most likely after January 2023, so she has the statutory opportunity to “serve” two full terms of her own – Harris, expressing her deep empathy for working parents with kids at home:
If homeschooling, charter school and private school activists don’t start using this in their ads, they have only themselves to blame.
CNN’s ratings, without Bad Orange Man to thump on, plunge:
That leaves 55 to go.
I’m doing my bit.