The Freedom To Kill Freedom, The Right To Squelch Rights

Ever notice how so much of the power “progressives” seek involves squashing the rights of others – especially those living in one-party “progressive” wastelands?

I’ve been noticing a log of agitation in “prog” media against state pre-emption laws – laws that prevent cities, almost invariably “progressive” cities with authoritarian one-party rule – from passing laws that are stricter than state laws on certain subjects.

And those “certain subjects” invariably involve the economic and personal freedom:

Many of these preemption bills at the state level overrule local decisions about inclusiveness, housing rules, the minimum wage, and other issues. The updated report found the most common issues subject to preemption included tax and expenditure limitations (with laws in 42 states), ride sharing regulations (41 states), minimum wage (28 states) and paid leave (23 states). There have also been preemption legislation aimed at limiting a city’s ability to enact stricter gun laws or ban plastic bags…Preemption has important ramifications for many of the new business models and technologies changing cities and real estate, including home sharing, ride hailing, and the potential introduction of municipal broadband. While statewide regulations can simplify operations, they also sacrifice local nuances and control, and in many cases, take away a localities rights to control or introduce new services. Twenty states have banned localities from creating their own broadband systems.

Pre-emption is the one reason the “citizens” (borderline subjects) of Minneapolis and Saint Paul still have the right to defend themselves.

And you can be the DFL is taking aim at that. Every single session.

All The Wrong Reasons

I’ll admit it. I’ve never much cared for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Even when I was much younger, the idea of pledging allegiance to a government skeeved me out. Governments should get the loyalty they deserve.

Starting in my teens, when I was for any reason involved in saying the Pledge, I’d hold a clenched fist over my heart, by way of saying my allegiance had best not be betrayed – because my real allegiance is to freedom, to government of by and for a free association of equals, ruling by consent of the ruled – to the ideals, not the bureaucracy headquartered in DC with branches close to wherever you live.

But the Saint Louis Park City Council, having solved all the west-suburban town’s other problems, has voted unanimously to stop reciting the Pledge before City Council meetings.

And I’m not impressed with the rationale:

“In order to create a more welcoming environment to a diverse community, we are going to forgo saying the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting,” said Council Member Tim Brausen. At the meeting, Brausen said members might recite it in the future if there’s an appropriate opportunity, like if Boy Scouts are there.  

Any parts of that “diverse community” that are uncomfortable with the fact that this is America should perhaps re-evaluate why they’re here. Stat.

Open Letter To Sen. Klobuchar And Every Single Minnesota DFLer

To: Sen Klobuchar
cc: the entire Minnesota DFL party
From: Mitch Berg, obstreporous peasant
Re: Impeachment Now!

All,

What Senator Klobuchar said.

You owe it to progressivism, to the children, and to all the hopey changey to start working on impeachment now, to make it your only priority, and to spend your every waking moment between now and November 2020 working for it with your every waking breath, and some of the sleeping ones.

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar says she would support impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump “beginning now.”
The Minnesota senator’s comment to CNN Friday followed Trump’s statement this week that he’d take information from a foreign power that offered dirt on an opponent.

Accept nothing less than impeachment!

NOW!

The Ghost of Paul Wellstone will cry if you waste any time or effort on lesser causes!

Damned If The U Of M Does, Doesn’t

Program at the U of M helps transgender women…sound like women…:

“Every time [“Alice”, the transgender woman who is one of this story’s subjects] called [her grandmother] in high school, she would say, ‘Oh, your voice is getting deeper, you sound like you’re growing into such a nice man, you’re going to be like your dad,'” Alice said.
Those were painful words to hear [of course they were – Ed]. Alice remembers artificially raising the pitch of her voice to thwart her grandmother’s comments.
It wasn’t until years later that Alice realized she was transgender. She started to publicly transition during her senior year in college. She’s 23 now and recently graduated from a speech therapy program that helps transgender people safely adjust how they speak, so they can sound more like themselves.
“I’m at a point where for like 90 plus percent of the time, I’m happy with how I sound and how I’m perceived by other people,” Alice said. “This is something I never expected to be in a position of. And it’s really exciting.”

…but only the kind of women they approve of:

Alice did adopt some behaviors, such as using her hands differently when she spoke. But she refused to fall in line with gender norms she thought were antiquated or offensive.
“I am a feminist. I’m going to act like it. Just because this is a typical feminine behavior, if it is just a very patriarchal, like trying to silence and subdue women, I’m not going to do that,” Alice said. “It’s not worth it.”

Wait’ll the Progressive Powers that Be learn that people think they can turn their intesectional triggers on and off.

She’ll never do lunch in the Warehouse District again.

Human Cudgels

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

They don’t. This author is mistaken. The left doesn’t love Islam, they hate The Beav.
You remember Leave it to Beaver, a typical show showing typical American society as it was? The left hates every single thing shown in that program. They are completely dedicated to reversing it.
Instead of men married to women, gay marriage. Instead of boys taught to act like men, boys taught to be girls. Instead of moms making home, moms building careers. Christianity, Automobiles, Law & Order, hard work, Fair play, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, these are all hateful, despicable, horrible, no good, very bad ideas that the left must reverse
It is literally a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater for them, but they don’t care. Social justice is a moral imperative. Sometimes you have to destroy the village in order to save it. And they are working feverishly with gas cans and matches to do just that.
Islam is simply one more stick to beat us with.

During World War 2, the Nazis recruited soldiers from Poland, Ukraine, Arabs, Asians, Russians – people who were slated to be enslaved at best, exterminated at worst. They were mans to the Nazi end.

Same with Muslims in the US and “Progressives”.

Safety

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Not all government safety regulations are an idiotic waste of time. A window washer just fell off our building.

The platform is attached by ropes to a metal contraption on the roof, but the metal contraption didn’t have enough weight so when the worker went over the edge, the contraption did too. The harness caught, swung the worker into the window, then dangled upside down until a ladder could be brought to lower her to safety. Yes, the window washer is a woman. Banged up her leg but the EMTs who took her away said she seemed okay. I guess my job doesn’t suck so badly after all.
I…Woman is damn lucky to be alive, that safety harness saved her life.
Joe doakes

Laws that directly affect public safety? Good.

Laws that direct affect who you can have haul your trash away? Not so good.

I don’t think it’s all that complicated. Which is why I”ll never be an elected official in Saint Paul.

Professional Courtesy

I work in user experience – but I specialize in enterprise, engineering and IT software. Not marketing, e-commerce or “storefront” design.

Because that stuff is not only boring to work on, but I get skeeved out by some of the tactics.

And because I’m not the only one that’s onto ’em.

The only tragedy about the plane that crashed holding 200 marketing and SEO executives was that it coulda held 300.

Gerbils For Freedom

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My granddaughter is on vacation this week in Wisconsin Dells, so Grandma and I are gerbil-sitting. I remember gerbils from the olden days, they were just rats that lived in a big cage and made noise all night. Nowadays, they have a space-age plastic entertainment complex, with a menu of carefully selected natural foods and colorful blocks of wood, scientifically selected from the best species to promote rodent tooth health and avoid chemicals that may be hazardous.
That stupid rat lives better than I do, and vastly better than people in Venezuela, not to mention the free-range rats living in my attic. When did pets become bling?
I suppose I shouldn’t complain. At least she hasn’t declared it to be her emotional support animal, so I can prohibit her from bringing it in the car.
Joe Doakes

When you think about it? Gerbils have gotta be thankful for the blessings of the free market. Not only do they live better than “citizens” (subjects) in Venezuela, but in fact they’re pretty much food down there these days.

Suckin’ On A Chili Dog Outside The Tastee Freeze

OK, so Jamestown never had a Tastee Freeze.

Even better – we had Polar King! The home of all things cool and delicious on hot, dry, windy summer days…

…provided you were willing to work for it. It was north of the college on the way to the airport – a solid mile and a half from home, up the North Hill, beyond the tracks that were pretty much the northern border of my world until I got a bike, a mile and a half away back when that seemed like a long way.

But once I got that bike? They always had a couple of cute high school girls behind the counter (this back when I was in junior high and high school, just to be abundantly clear), and air conditioning, and free water. Polar King was a 50 cent vanilla reward at the end of a long day of pedaling across the dry, windswept plains, warding off boredom and seeing the world outside the little island that Jamestown, like all small towns on the prairie, was back then.

Jamestown had it. No more.

Photo courtesy the Jamestown Sun

The only thing permanent is change.

Change sucks the cool out of a beautiful day.

Intersectional Intersections On Top Of Intersectional Roundabouts

This American Life is a guilty…well, sometimes pleasure, sometimes intellectual hemorrhoid.  Either way, the guilt is real.  As is the pleasure, sometimes.

This piece was a pleasure in the sense that it showed the Escher drawing that is modern intersectionality, and the nightmare it leaves modern Democrats (darn), as vividly as anything I’ve heard recently.

Incented

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A man attacked homeless people, telling them to get out of his city.
Naturally, I deplore violence of any sort.  But it got me to wondering – which is more likely to solve the homeless problem in his town: beating the homeless while demanding they leave, or giving them food, shelter and privileges that law-abiding citizens don’t get (see, for example, San Francisco)?
The article didn’t say whether homeless people were flocking to that city, or fleeing from it.  I wonder . . . .
Joe Doakes

It’s amazing how unaffordable housing had gotten since governments all over the country made “affordable housing” a priority.

MyLyssa Has Questions. Mitch Has Answers.

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking down Grand Avenue, looking for Grand Avenue Distillery Supplies. As he looks in the storefront, MyLyssa SILBERMAN, Reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau, covering the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats, gets out of a cab.

SILBERMAN: Merg!

BERG: (Nonplussed) Er, hi, MyLyssa. What’s up?

SILBERMAN: I’m curious. You continuously say, on your blog and show, that the media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the progressive movement.

BERG: I do. And it’s true.

SILBERMAN: How can you say that? We have layers and layers and..

BERG: …and layers of gatekeepers. Right. Got that. I base my assertion on, well, reading and listening to the media, and taking what they say seriously.

SILBERMAN: Meaning…?

BERG: Well, for example, listen to this bit by NPR’s “On the Media” – supposedly their media “watchdog” show – and the train of ultra-left dogmatics and magical thinking, and tell me any part of it that wouldn’t fit right in with a Wobbly pamphlet in the 1900s.

SILBERMAN: (Puts on earphones. Listens to segment. Removes headphones). I don’t hear anything.

BERG: This is my shocked face

SILBERMAN: It might be the global warming.

BERG: Might be

(And SCEN)E

What Chu Wantin’ In De White Man’s World

Over this past weekend, I saw the movie “Rocket Man”, the Elton John biopic.

And while it was a good movie, as these things go – more below – it left me with one huge, nagging question unanswered.

To wit: what ghastly crime did Bernie Taupin see Reginald Dwight/Elton John commit, and promise to keep quiet about forever, in exchange for Elton John turning his “lyrics“ into songs?

Because it say what you will about Elton John’s music – I liked some of it – but Taupin was the one lyricist in the history of the world that can’t get away with mocking and taunting Desmond Child.

There simply has to be some ghastly conspiracy. There’s no other rational explanation.


More seriously, now – I did in fact see the movie over the weekend.

Truth be told, I was way too cool for Elton John when he was at his peak. I loved the Clash, the Ramones, Springsteen, the Iron City Houserockers, Television, Emmylou Harris, the Pretenders – all the stuff that the rest of the kids in my high school weren’t listening to. It was how a tall, geeky nerd with no athletic talent stood out from the crowd (or thought he did).

And I never had much time for pop stars disintegrating in public, as I watched Elton John (among many other celebs back then) collapse in a welter of excess, booze and cocaine. “You think you got it tough?”, I muttered, reading every week in the pages of “Rolling Stone” down at the library. It’s why I had no time for a lot of seventies pop stars; half the reason I couldn’t stand Styx as a kid was Dennis DeYoung’s constant whinging about what a meaningless illusion being a star was; “then go back to Chicago and work in a ^%$#@ meatpacking plant and make some room for someone else”, I muttered.

And he was a piano player. Nothing against keyboard people – I always wanted to be decent on keys. But they have a very different approach to music than guitar players do. Some of his stuff, like most of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, was marvelously melodic, in the kind of way that piano players can tease out of a song in a way guitar players can’t.

So Elton John was…well, not a non-entity for me as a kid. His public image was something that annoyed me; his music sometimes grabbed me (“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” was guilty pleasure), some didn’t.

Anyway.

“Rocketman” is billed as a “fantasy biopic”, which started me off thinking “what could go wrong?”.

Short answer: Nothing!

In its own way, telling the story of Elton John’s path – from neglected child to piano prodigy to sideman to “overnight star” (it actually took him eight years of gigging, song-writing and session work, given very short shrift in the movie) to one of the biggest selling singers of all time, to recovering addict and, we’re told at the end, happy, loved, well-adjusted elder, is a lot more interesting in the telling that it was in the watching 30-40 years ago. Taron Egerton plays a better Elton John than Elton John himself ever did.

One interesting bit, if you’re a serious music trivia buff; there’s a scene where John and longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin are auditioning for a manager (in a scene that could have come out of every iteration of “The Jazz Singer” or “The Star Is Born”). The manager asks John to play some of his stuff. John, at the piano, tosses out a few songs that the manager cuts off immediately…

…that are actually from the early ’80s, when John and longtime Taupin were on the outs – things like “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” and other stuff from John’s fallow years after going through treatment. The manager only warmed up when John played “Border Song”.

It was just one of the ways in which John – one of the movie’s executive producers – seemed to be saying that his career without Bernie Taupin was never quite what it should have been. Every single non-John/Taupin song is associated with failure, with bottoming out (as when “Victim of Love”, one of John’s most vapid songs, is playing in the background during a scene when he meets the partner in his ultimately sham 1984 marriage). In some ways, Taupin is every bit as much the star of the movie as John is.

So I won’t be coy about it – it’s a lot better than I expected.

The New Racket

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A refugee who wants to come to the United States can apply and wait for approval.  May take years.  Meanwhile, you sit in the refugee camp overseas.
A person who sneaks into the United States can apply for asylum.  Your approval also may take years.  But meanwhile, you’re released into the United States and given a work permit and relocation benefits. 
A person who sneaks into the United States and claims to be an unaccompanied minor seeking asylum, gets all of that plus extra cash and benefits. 
A person who sneaks into the United States and claims to be an unaccompanied minor trans-gender seeking asylum, gets all of that plus extra cash and benefits and now might receive even better preferential treatment.
No documentation is required for any of this stuff.  In fact, if you have it, it can be used against you.  So nobody has any papers when they arrive, the entire system is based on verbal claims.
Now I ax ya . . . if you wanted to get into the United States plus maximize your benefits, what story would you tell?   

The story that was given to you by those who want your vote in exchange, that’s who.

The Problem…

…with trying to run a society with the entitled cranks that make up so much of the modern left is that if you’re a consevative, they really, really hate you and the idea of sharing a society with you.

University of Texas “Anarchist” (really Maxarchist) group promises to “dox” students who joint the campus’s conservative organization:

“Hey #UT23! Do you wanna be famous? If you join YCT or Turning Point USA, you just might be. Your name and more could end up on an article like one of these,” the tweet said, linking to previous doxxing posts of conservative students at the school. “So be sure to make smart choices at #UTOrientation

There are times I wish I was still in school.

Do The Time

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

What’s the appropriate penalty for throwing a cigarette butt on the ground?
What if it’s a lit cigarette?
What if it’s a lit cigarette in an area prone to wildfires?
this seems light, to me.
If your car doesn’t have an ashtray, carry an empty Coke can in drink holder with a few drops of water in the bottom.  Throw your trash in the trash can, not out the window.  Act like a civilized human being, not an ignorant savage.  How hard it is?
Joe Doakes

How hard it is?

Civilization?

I’m starting to think we really can’t handle the truth on that one.

Sins Of The Fore-Fore-Forefathers

SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting in line to get into a Saints game. As he scans the program, Avery LIBRELLE rides up on a segway.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Er…(looks around, sees no escape) hey, Avery.

LIBRELLE: White people owe black people reparations!

BERG: Huh. So you mean that people who’ve never been enslaved are owed money by people who never owed slaves.

LIBRELLE: History has meaning!

BERG: And the actions of one’s ancestors matter, right?

LIBRELLE: Absolutely!

BERG: Huh. So – being as I am descended from people that abolished slavery 700 years before the US, or Britain for that matter, am I owed a big thank you?

LIBRELLE: (stares briefly, guns the segway)

And SCENE

Not Funny

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Proposal to outlaw jokes on campus to fight sexual harassment, if it offends the most sensitive person they can dig up. 
Wouldn’t it be easier to go back to single-sex colleges?  No different sexes, no sexual harassment. 
And if someone offends you badly enough that your honor demands satisfaction, perhaps bring back dueling?  It certainly would help resurrect the manly arts.
Joe Doakes

Single sex colleges? Good idea – until they get turned into 1,200+-gender-combination collees.

The Very Difficult Simultaneous Right And Utterly Wrong Trick

Alexandria “Tide Pod Evita” Ocasio Cortez claimed yesterday that ICE runs “concentration camps” for illegal immigrants, and that makes our treatment of illegals the equivalent of the Holocaust.

MSNBC drone Chris Hedges leapt to her defense:

And he is right on three levels.

Historically and Semantically, the term “Concentration Camp” dates to the Boer War, when the Brits, waging a scorched earth campaign against Boers in South Africa, began rounding up the families of Boer soldiers away at war against them and concentrating them in camps. They were frightfully unpleasant, and a human rights violation at a time when the concept really didn’t exist – but they were expressly intended to kill people (although many died).

Likewise, America’s internment camps were “concentration camps” in that same sense – concentrating those who it was believed needed eyes kept on them at wartime; the camps where German and other Central Power nationals, Turks and Bulgars and Austro-Hungarians, were kept during World War I, and German, Italian and Japanese nationals (and, infamously, US citizens of Japanese birth and ancestry) during World War II.

For that matter, German “concentration camps” – Konzentrazionlslager, or “KZ” camps, were a widely mixed bag, run by a variety of members of the Nazi bureaucracy for a variety of reasons. Most were labor camps, not designed specifically to kill inmates (although they did die in droves, especially at the end of the war when disease, starvation, exposure on forced marches, and last-minute massacre killed people in droves. And some “KZ”s were holding camps for people before they were sent off to the death camps.

Which were another entire wing of the Nazi bureaucracy. Run by the SS-Totenkopfverband, or “Death’s Head Department” – the SS department that ran the Final Solution – they were designed and built for the sole purpose of murdering people in industrial lots, as befitting their name, “Vernichtungslager“, or “Extermination Camp”, abbreviated “VZ”.

The vast majority of people who were sent to “Extermination camps” died. The majority who arrived at a concentration camp left alive (although huge numbers of them were sent to their deaths in VZs).

And the term lost all linguistic nuance in the west – justifiably so – when footage from camps like Buchenwald, Dauchau and Bergen-Belsen showing bodies stacked like logs and emaciated wretches covered in lice, barely recognizable as human, showed in their newsreels – unaware that the Soviets had liberated places far, far worse.

So Hayes is right.

But in modern-day terms, nobody on the southern border is being put to work for 16 hours a day with 400 calories of bread and soup; nobody is shot if they flee; nobody is driving illegal immigrants into gas chambers and choking them to death with diesel fumes.

And hinting as much proves not so much that Ocasio-Cortez and Hayes are stupid and evil, as it indicates they don’t expect their audiences to have the historical, intellectual or moral firepower to check them on such a depraved claim.

And they’re not wrong.

The Wrong Profile

The unqualified David Hogg couldn’t get into a junior college in Florida on his merits, but Harvard grabbed him because he’s got the right Social Justice profile. 

Kyle Kashuv – who survived the same shooting – got into Harvard on his merits.  

Or so he thought.  

Kashuv explains in this twitter thread:

Because it’s not enough merely to be a victim (forget about pretty brilliant). It’s about being the right kind of victim. Otherwise, you’re expendable – and, if you’re too obstreporous, must be destroyed.

Diversion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York is ending the religious exception for vaccinations.
Do we really believe Orthodox Jews in New York are the ones bringing back once-eradicated diseases?  There’s no connection between illegal immigrants from sh**hole countries and rising cases of measles and tuberculosis?
This is the same logic as taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, or looking for your lost car keys under the street light.  It’s easier to find them.  But it doesn’t do any good.
Joe Doakes

Everything that isn’t banned is mandatory

This Is Today’s DFL

If it could be said the MInnesota DFL party has three intellectual standardbearers – the people who define the full depth and breadth of today’s DFL’s worldview, belief structure and moral parameters – they’d be Minneapolis Congressoman Ilhan Omar, Minneapolis city councilwoman Alondra Cano, and William “Robespierre” Davis.

You might recall Mr. Davis from before the 2018 elections, when he “joked” about hauling Republicans “to the guillotines”, the sort of thing that would have gotten a Republican staffer fired and exiled, but seems to have only cemented Davis’ reputation as a (ahem) thought leader.

And you know what they say – thought leaders’ gonna lead thoughts:

“Murder boats”.

Got that, veterans? Forget Tim Walz’s hopey-changey; this is what the Minnesota DFL actually thinks about you.

Vote accordingly.

By the way – I think it’s fascinating how every time an elected DFLer is in a self-inflicted jam, some DFL staffer says something dissociative and inflammatory.

Saint Noise

Kyle Smith on the Met’s new exhibit of notable musical instruments of the rock and roll era.

Read the whole thing. But I thought I’d pullquote this:

Yet the mystical power of some of these objects drowns out the racket. Here is a surviving fragment of the guitar Hendrix doused with lighter fluid and set on fire at the Monterey Pop festival in 1967, in a gesture intended to one-up Townshend’s guitar-ruination. Hendrix famously knelt in a pose of ecstatic worship behind the burning object, conjuring spirits from the vast deep. What was the meaning of that act? Hendrix was playing off the attraction of all things pagan for the hippie generation, but on a deeper level the ritual sacrifice cast rock as an art whose genuineness, hence its attractiveness, was tied up in its inability to control itself. Rock mesmerizes and destroys as fire does. To burn his own guitar showed Hendrix reveling in evanescence as not just the natural passing of youth but also a kind of death wish, an appetite for self-destruction. Like many of his peers Hendrix set fire to himself, and some part of it was performative, dutiful. Three years later he would be dead at 27.
It may be that the age of rock gods has already concluded, like the Jazz Age or the Big Band era. The youngest artists represented at the exhibit — Tom Morello, Lady Gaga, St. Vincent — seem unlikely to inspire veneration, or even much interest, circa 2049. Some alchemy of sound and performance on the one hand and societal tumult on the other made rock a leading cultural indicator, for a time. “You’ve left your fingerprints on the audience’s imagination,” Springsteen once said, “and they stick.” Rock matters, or at least mattered, and the Met’s imprimatur on the form is well justified.

That was certainly what grabbed me as an adolescent with more emotion than reason.

Still does, in some ways.