Agency

A friend of the blog writes:

I worked briefly in a nursing home. Election judges would come around with absentee ballots and nursing home residents had the opportunity to vote. That was good, I thought. Then, I saw children “helping” their parents vote. Parents that couldn’t tell you where they are, what they had for breakfast, etc. They had no idea they were voting. Even if those children tried to vote the way they thought their parents would want, they were only guessing. Is that right?

So, I thought of that experience when I read this tweet.
There are so many responses that imply the Texas Senator does not want people to vote. To me, it sounds like he doesn’t want activists driving people to vote and influencing their vote. It sounds like you can still ask your friend, neighbor, son, brother to drive you. And if you are cognizant enough to ask someone to get you to the polls, then you probably are not going to allow someone else to make the choice for you. Seems fair enough, given the gravity of the right to vote.

Jamming uninformed, or push-informed, people to the polls is a feature, not a bug, for at least one major political party.

Red Herring

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s depressing that anybody would fall for such an obvious diversion. Trump was a rich man during the entire Obama administration, whose IRS was famous for auditing people Democrats didn’t like.  The holdover liberals who make up the Deep State have no problem leaking damaging information.  If Trump had any possible secrets in his tax returns, they would have been leaked and investigated long ago.
Democrats know that, they know there’s nothing to find, they don’t care. They simply want Trump to deny the demand so they can complain that he’s obstructing justice, which diverts attention away from the Attorney General’s investigation into Hillary colluding with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential election.
But you know Minneapolis liberals will swallow it, hook line & sinker.  Depressing
Joe Doakes

They’re holding on to the idea that there’s “something” out there like an eight-year-old holding onto Santa.

The Snowiest Flake

75 years ago, thousands of Americans – teenagers or not far removed from it, mostly – waded through the surf into machine gun fire to begin liberating Europe.

This is their legacy of boldness and forthright courage:

Mr. Ford: the National Day of Prayer “stigmatizes” you in exactly the same way the Irish Fair “stigmatizes” Norwegians.

If Atheists managed to jam down a “National Day of Skepticism”, all it would do is keep them occupied (presumbly withe the vegans and crossfitters) while I go about my business.

But then, I’m not nearly that “woke”, so what do I know?

Pledge Drive

I’ve been doing this blog since 2002 – and while my traffic remains gratifyingly high even as the “glory days” of blogging have passed, I’d still do it if I had five readers a day. I just plain enjoy it, and every reader just adds a little more fun.

But every once in a while I like to pass the hat. I didn’t do it last year – but I figure why not?

So if you can throw a buck or two in the pot, it is much appreciated!

Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who donated yesterday (I’ll send personal thank-yous later on here). I’m going to push this for one more day.

Thanks, all!

Minnesota’s Ongoing Humiliation

Ilhan Omar on the little matter of the barrage of rockets that’ve been raining down on Israel since the weekend:

Gaza is not occupied.

It’s not occupied because Ehud Barak decided to “give peace a chance”, and to give the Palestinians pretty much what they asked for. He pulled Israel – and thousands of Israelis – out of Gaza and gave it to the Palestinians. The hope was that it’d be a first step on a road to a lasting peace.

And – nobody could have possibly seen this coming, honest – Hamas and Hezbollah played it as a sign of weakness and poured weapons into Gaza, and have been using it as a staging ground for wave after wave after wave of aggression.

Ilhan Omar sits on the House Foreign Relations committee.

(That was normally the part of the post where I’d try to write something pithy or scary. And I guess “scary” qualifies).

Let’s Get This Straight

So what we have here is:

  • A bunch of shrill, upper-middle-class, white, college-miseducated “feminists”, duking it out with…
  • People who actually survived, or have relatives who are trying to survive, the socialism-driven implosion of what was once a prosperous nation.

Yep, that’s what we have:

Liberal activists from the anti-war group Code Pink are refusing to leave the abandoned Venezuelan embassy in Washington, vowing to protect the building from a “hostile takeover” as the U.S. State Department labels them “trespassers” and calls on them to leave.
About 50 pro-regime activists have been living inside the building for several weeks in support of embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro. In recent days, they’ve clashed outside the embassy with supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has called for a military uprising in Venezuela and has the support of the Trump administration.


Can there be a better example of Urban Progressive Privilege than people like Media Benjamin progsplaining actual Venezuelans?

It’s sort of the logical extension of former MN State Senator Larry Pogemiller saying on the record that he didn’t believe people knew how to spend their money better than government does.

Tax money, freedom, survival – all pretty much the same, isn’t it?

Up From Zero

As I’ve pointed out in the past, “Protect” Minnesota and their director, the “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence, have never made an assertion about guns, gun owners, gun laws, gun crime, gun statistics, the Second Amendment or its history that is simultaneously:

  • Original
  • Substantial, and
  • True.

You might get two out of three, sometimes.

This next howler?:

The “Reverend” makes three assertions. In reverse order:

Banks stopped using armed guards because they were being targeted: The “Reverend”, or someone she read, apparently thinks people rob banks for the same reason they climb mountains or skydive – to surmount a challenge, to defeat an obstacle.

It’s baked monkey doodle, of course. Banks found that it was cheaper to give bank robbers “bait” money than to resist them, in terms of civil liability.

School shooters, being “suicidal” and wanting to go out in a blaze of glory, would jump at the chance to attack a harder target: Which explains how many mass shooters go straight for the nearby cops when they launch their attacks.

Wait, what? That never happens?

The “Reverend” is making things up again.

While death is part of some spree killers’ fantasy narrative, it only comes after killing as many people as they can first.

If the “Reverend” can show us a single example of a spree killer specifically picking out an armed target, I’m all ears. I’ll wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Allowing teachers and staff to carry firearms would increase the number of shootings, thefts and accidental discharges: Here, the “Reverend” actually comes close to making a point. It’s possible that this could increase the number and rate of incidents.

Because when you’re at “Zero”, anything is an increase. And out of the thousand school districts that allow staff to exercise their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves and their charges, that’s how many incidents there have been in the past twenty years:

After the Columbine school shooting 20 years ago, one of the more significant changes in how we protect students has been the advance of legislation that allows teachers to carry guns at schools. There are two obvious questions: Does letting teachers carry create dangers? Might they deter attackers? Twenty states currently allow teachers and staff to carry guns to varying degrees on school property, so we don’t need to guess how the policy would work. There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, between 6 AM and midnight at a school that lets teachers carry guns.

And how about accidents, or boistrous or larcenous students stealing teachers’ guns?

Again:

Fears of teachers carrying guns in terms of such problems as students obtaining teachers guns have not occurred at all, and there was only one accidental discharge outside of school hours with no one was really harmed. While there have not been any problems at schools with armed teachers, the number of people killed at other schools has increased significantly – doubling between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018.

So, technically, the “Reverend” had a point, here – since in 20 years in 20 states there have been no incidents – none, zero, nada, nichevo – then the first incident would, literally, be an increase. And in a nation of millions, bad things happen. They’re inevitable.

But with a very significant sample, over a significant time span, we’re still waiting. Knock wood.

So The Final Score…: But we don’t give points for techical correctness, since it was in the furtherance of a lie.

So out of a potential three points for her statement being original, substantial and true, the “Reverend” rates…:

That’s So 1977…

I’m old enough to remember when the American political and media establishment wracked itself into knots over the fact that the executive branch had been using the CIA and Hoover’s FBI to spy on domestic political opposition.

Among my earliest memories of politics and news – after Watergate, naturally – were the Church Commission hearings, which clamped down on the use of intelligence and law enforcement for domestic shenanigans.

For a while, anyway.

Seems like everything old is new again:

Following months of angry claims by journalists and Democratic operatives that the Obama administration never spied on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, The New York Times admitted Thursday that multiple overseas intelligence assets were deployed against associates of the Republican nominee. It is not the first time the Times has revealed widespread spying operations against the campaign.

In addition to noting that long-time informant Stefan Halper was tasked with collecting intelligence on the Trump campaign, the Times story details how a woman was sent overseas under a fake name and occupation to oversee the spy operation. The woman’s real name is not mentioned in the article, though the Times says she went by “Azra Turk” and has a relationship with an unidentified federal intelligence agency.

It would be the ultimate Berg’s Seventh Law reference, if it turned out that the left’s two-year-long tantrum over “collusion” were simultaneously deflection and projection.

Human Shield

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember this drawing?  It ran during the last Arab-Israeli conflict, to illustrate the moral difference between the tactics used by the two sides.

That kid who’s on all the news shows, David Hogg, the one demanding gun control?  The Left insists nobody is allowed to disagree with his silly proposals because as a shooting survivor, he has absolute moral authority.  And he’s just a kid, so arguing with him is “punching down.”  Ya big bully. 

I strongly suspect he’s an example of the Palestinian side of the drawing.  He’s the child shielding the people behind him.  They are the true evil.  Their tactics reveal it.

Joe Doakes

He’s sort of the Cindy Sheehan of the 2010s.

Big Personal Data

I’ve never gone into a lot of detail about my personal live – family, relationships, jobs – on the blog.  Not only are there too many creepy stalkers, but the left’s culture of “othering” means they’re far from above trying to screw with the personal lives and livelihoods of people they disagree with.

But to make a long cryptic story short and more cryptic – I’m leaving my contract job of a year and a half to go to a full-time direct position.  I’m wrapping up at my current contract in about a week, and will be starting the new job in the next couple of weeks.

Now, it should surprise nobody who has followed this space, or otherwise knows me in any way, that I take job hunting very seriously. I was a single parent for a long time, so cash flow was, to borrow a Joe Biden quote, “a big f*****g deal” to me. It maybe the one thing in my life I’m seriously OCD about.

And so I keep statistics. I have a googledoc spreadsheet on which I keep the details of every job search I’ve ever been on since I got into the IT business as a technical writer in 1993. I keep them partly out of morbid curiosity, and partly to show myself that I’m really not doing all that badly so don’t get depressed.

So since I’ve got nothing else going on, let’s take a look.

Aggravated Aggregation

I’ve had 29 job hunts since 1993. An average of 2 per year during my five years as a tech writer, and a little less than once a year since I’ve been in UX.

The *average* job hunt – from starting the hunt to getting an offer – has taken 33 days (plus an average of 10 days after the offer before starting the job, whether my choice or their paperwork). This past one was 54 days almost on the button, plus three weeks from the offer to start. (The worst was 2003 – almost five months. The shortest was 2010; I made my first call Friday as I was holding my layoff notice, interviewed Monday at 10AM, got the offer at 11:30).

BUT – in the 54 days I was on the market, I made it to four final interviews – from initial contact to final interview. Three of ’em I didn’t get. The one I actually got? 15 days from initial contact to offer. I’ve been tracking *that* time – the cycle of the final, successful opportunity from first contact to offer – since 2005. The average time for *successful* cycles is…15 days!

Not All Hunts Are Created Equal

Of course, not all job changes are the same. I break ’em into three categories (I said I was OCD, and I meant it):

  • Green: Job hunts where I’m looking while I have another job.
  • Yellow: Job hunts where I have a fixed end date on my current job. It’s been anywhere from 2 to 11 weeks, usually 30 days, but it’s notice.
  • Red: Jobs that end with no notice. Note that I’ve never been fired for cause in my life – even in radio – but sometimes, jobs just end with a bang; an immediate layoff, a contract losing its funding, whatever. Either way, the “Employed” switch gets flipped to “off”.

This past search started as “Green” but changed to “Yellow” – I was told my contract was ending two weeks after I started shopping.

And it’s interesting (well, to me): the times of searches from start to offer are:

  • Green: 37 days
  • Yellow: 29 days
  • Red: 46 days. Although if you leave out the outlier, my five month slog during the 2003 tech recession, it comes down to about 30 days, too. But then, recessions happen. I’ll keep it in the numbers).

So it seems that it’s true – it IS easier to look for work when you *have* a job already! But it also seems that having a fixed end date adds to the urgency a bit…

Jobs Is Jobs?

Oh, yeah – the vast majority of my jobs over the past (koff koff) couple of decades have been contracting (some of them “contract to hire”). Does that make a difference?

Nope. 28 days either way (if I leave out the outlier in 2003).

Glass Half-Empty: I’ve had way too much experience at job hunting.

Glass Half-Full: Stumbling, completely by accident, into the career I’m in was one of my life’s happier accidents. After all this, I still love going to work in the morning.

(Well, OK – I’ve got short-timer syndrome pretty bad, here).

Eggs For The Omelet

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mohamed Noor has been convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Justine Diamond, the woman who called 911 seeking help from her Southwest Minneapolis apartment and ended up being shot dead by the cops who responded.
Her death is a tragedy.  Her parents lost a daughter.  Her fiancé lost a family.  Noor’s wife is losing a husband, his son, a father.  But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that the people who created the situation won’t suffer at all, won’t learn anything by it, won’t hesitate to create it again.  Because for social justice warriors who count progress by color instead of competence, this tragedy wasn’t even a speed bump on the road to Utopia. 

Personally, I blame the police policy of putting the finger on the trigger when drawing a handgun. I suspect the rationale is a cop is only supposed to draw when the threat is immediate and lethal, but it leaves a cop at the mercy of his response to adrenaline. And that can be pretty uncontrollable.

Where Credit And Criticism Are Both Due

As a longtime Trump skeptic, I have been impressed in general with the caliber of his Cabinet.

I’ve been a little depressed at the turnover in that excellent cabinet.

The WSJ contrasts the quality and integrity of Attorneys General between Bob Barr, Trump’s AG, and Obama’s Loretta Lynch:

Democrats and the media are turning the AG into a villain for doing his duty and making the hard decisions that special counsel Robert Mueller abdicated.
Mr. Barr’s Wednesday testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was preceded late Tuesday by the leak of a letter Mr. Mueller had sent the AG on March 27. Mr. Mueller griped in the letter that Mr. Barr’s four-page explanation to Congress of the principal conclusions of the Mueller report on March 24 “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Mueller team’s “work and conclusions.” Only in Washington could this exercise in posterior covering be puffed into a mini-outrage…Contrast that to the abdication of Loretta Lynch, who failed as Barack Obama’s last Attorney General to make a prosecutorial judgment about Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified information. Ms. Lynch cowered before the bullying of then FBI director James Comey, who absolved Mrs. Clinton of wrongdoing while publicly scolding her. That egregious break with Justice policy eventually led Mr. Comey to re-open the Clinton probe in late October 2016, which helped to elect Mr. Trump…This trashing of Bill Barr shows how frustrated and angry Democrats continue to be that the special counsel came up empty in his Russia collusion probe. He was supposed to be their fast-track to impeachment. Now they’re left trying to gin up an obstruction tale, but the probe wasn’t obstructed and there was no underlying crime. So they’re shouting and pounding the table against Bill Barr for acting like a real Attorney General

Repeating a Big Lie even after it’s collapsed? I’m not sure Goebbels even went that far…

Minnesota’s Ongoing Humiliation

It’s hard to even know where to start with yesterday’s Ilhan Omar quote:

The people of the 5th CD get the representation they deserve. Good and hard.

The Definition Of Insanity

There are those who say that the definition of “insanity” is doing something over and over, and expecting a different result.  

As, for example, nations trying out socialism.  As Venezuela has done, and whose endgame was predicted three generations ago:

In 1944, Friedrich Hayek warned in The Road to Serfdom that tyranny inevitably results when a government exercises complete control of the economy through central planning. Over half a century later, beginning with Hugo Chávez’s revolution, Venezuela began its own road to serfdom by expropriating thousands of businesses and even entire industries. The more fortunate companies left before it was too late, while the businesses that remained were handed over to the Venezuelan military, under whose oversight they were neglected into ruins. In a typical demonstration of class warfare, the government publicly vilified these business owners as unpatriotic, greedy lackeys of American interests, claiming that Venezuela’s poverty had been a direct result of their existence.

Chavismo created an atmosphere of distrust in which no one felt safe enough to invest in Venezuela. More important, the courts were no longer the place to get redress. Since 1999, the Venezuelan judiciary had been systematically stacked with judges loyal to the executive. Twenty years after socialism took hold of the country, Venezuela has hit rock bottom on every possible development index. Today, 90 percent of Venezuelans are living below the poverty line and inflation rates exceed 1 million percent. Record numbers of children are dying from malnutrition, and nearly all of the country’s hospitals are either inoperative or in critical need of basic medical supplies. Frequent nationwide power outages have left, at times, up to 70 percent of Venezuela in darkness. Chávez’s socialist agenda purported to be in service of the entire nation, but as Hayek reminds us, “the pursuit of some of [the] most cherished ideals . . . [produces] results utterly different from those which we expected.”

But that’s not the most comprehensive defenition.  To be truly comprehensive, you’d need to add the clause “and then import it to the United States”:

[Seattle] reporter Eric Johnson recently released a documentary called Seattle is Dying which dared to document the city’s collapse into Third World status. 
XXXXXXXXX

But instead of working to resolve the root of the problem (i.e. brain dead liberal economic policies that always lead to destitution and collapse), the city’s elite have launched a P.R. campaign to brainwash local citizens with engineered happy messages that are dutifully broadcast by local news networks.
As Seattle’s City Journal reports:
“Earlier this month, leaked documents revealed that a group of prominent nonprofits—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Campion Advocacy Fund, the Raikes Foundation, and the Ballmer Group—hired a PR firm, Pyramid Communications, to conduct polling, create messaging, and disseminate the resulting content through a network of silent partners in academia, the press, government, and the nonprofit sector. The campaign, #SeattleForAll, is a case study in what writer James Lindsay calls “idea laundering”—creating misinformation and legitimizing it as objective truth through repetition in sympathetic media.”

It took me a second to realize that the hour-long video was from KOMO, one of the city’s Big Three stations.

Watch the video. See if anything looks familiar if you’re from Minneaopolis and Saint Paul.

“Intelligence”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

American intelligence agencies confidently assured us that Saddam Hussein was acquiring weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States. That was false.  A Republican Presidency was hobbled by claims that “Bush lied, people died.”
American intelligence agencies confidently assured us that Candidate Trump was working with Russia to steal the election from Hillary.  That was false.  A Republican Presidency has been hobbled by an investigation into collusion.
These are not trivial errors.  Either American intelligence agencies are so incompetent we shouldn’t believe a word they say; or they’re so thoroughly politicized we shouldn’t believe a word they say.  Both possibilities should be deeply troubling to every American.  We need a deep, searching, thorough investigation to determine which one it is.
Joe Doakes

It’s not just intelligence, either. How can you have a self-governing society when you don’t trust the institutions that enforce the laws, adjudicate disputes, or – in the case of the media – ostensibly hold government accountable?

You really can’t.

And I think that’s intentional.

Habitually Fabulistic And Intellectually Slothful Nancy

I’ve said it in the past – the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, the director of “Protect Minnesota“, has never, not once made a statement about guns, gun laws, gun owners, the Second Amendment, the history of the Second Amendment, or gun crime that is simultaneously substantial, original and true.

Not once.

Yes, I can back that up, if you want to sit down and go through her record point by point. It’s not even close.

She may have sunk to a new low today; she sent this out in her email blast to her organization.

Of course, she is (let’s give her the benefit of the doubt) mistaken; the relentlessly civil and polite to a fault Rob Doar said no such thing. She is referring to Benjamin Dorr , leader of the fraud/huckster Fundraising scam “Minnesota Gun Rights”, Who is (in my relentlessly accurate opinion) a fraud and a loathsome person to boot.

Nord Bence has been informed of her “error” and told to retract. She still has not.

This is the voice of gun control in Minnesota.

UPDATE:  As of Monday night, the statement had been removed from Facebook.  However, as yet no retraction has gone to the dozens who get “P”M’s emails.

This Is What “90% Approval” Looks Like

Last night, the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence called out to the frenzied hordes of “grassroots”activists with “Protect Minnesota”; a “rally” was needed to support the DFL’s gun grab bills, and a rally they got.

Behold the might of “Protect”Minnesota:

This was at 7:05 PM – five minutes after the rally started.

Or, as people who watch “Protect” Minnesota refer to it, “peak frenzy”.

A Civilization That Drowns In Crap…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A city that can’t stop its own residents from pooping in the streets is uncivilized, regardless of how many cool apps they develop to track the city’s decline.
Lack of affordable housing is caused entirely by liberal policies: rent vouchers, zoning and subdivision regulations, public housing subsidies, housing inspectors. 
The author has absolutely no idea how the real world works.  It’s telling that her editor approved this piece, and the magazine published it, and subscribers didn’t burn down the offices in derision.  None of them have a clue, either.  They only know Trump is obsessed with poop.  He’s a Big Poopie Head.  He’s the reason San Francisco is sliding toward catastrophe.

There are a lot of “hallmarks of civilization” – but one of the things that makes advanced, healthy civilization possible is the orderly removal of, um, waste. A society that forgets that might not realize exactly why civilization is becoming less…civil in so many vital ways.

Pile On

For all of their bluster between the election and the beginning of session, it seems the DFL doesn’t have enough votes to pass their Registration and Red flag Confiscation bills on their own. Not even close.

Which is weird. You would think a bill with “90% public support“ would be a cakewalk. Apparently not his; if you rely on the star Tribune for a fact on this issue, that’s pretty much the norm. The DFL are trying to bury the bills in the Public Safety omnibus spending bill

It’s the weasel‘s way out. But hey, Ryan Winkler. Say no more.

Anyway – if you are a supporter of Minnesotans’ Second Amendment human rights, now is the time to pylon. Call your legislator. Tell them you are not amused.

A whole lot of suburban DFL‘s seem to have gotten cold feet. Let’s make them colder.

Sign O The Times

Back about the time I took my first carry permit training, the late great Joel Rosenberg told the story of the time in the early 2000s, during a spate of attacks on synagogues, when a very “progressive”, DFL-leaning local congregation called him and a few other prominent gun rights activists who are also of the tribe, and asked if they might not mind – privately and discretely, mind you – bringing a little “insurance” to services with them.

Just in case.

To the best of my knowledge, they did.

It was probably 2-3 years ago I interviewed the guys from Archway Defense, who discussed how frequently places of worship of all faiths are targeted, by everyone from mentally disturbed vandals to outright hate-criminals and terrorists. The rate – for Christians and Muslims, but especially Jews, is far out of proportion with their numbers in society.

And for all the smug, self-righteous virtue signaling of some congregations, the record is pretty clear; congregations who at least quietly take self-defense into their own hands and leave temporal forgiveness to God tend to do better when someone decides to stage their final blaze of glory in their “sanctuary“.

And common sense is driving some of those congregants and congregations to ask the questions that need to be asked.

And Minnesota’s Second Amendment community has some answers.

We've been contacted by a number of folks in the past day inquiring about arming parishioners at their church, mosque,…

Posted by Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus on Sunday, April 28, 2019

Remember – if you want to deter a spree killer, the only thing that needs to be publicly recognized as “potentially armed” is your congregation, school or group’s reputation.