That Which Can’t Be Sustained, Won’t Be

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Every year for the last 40 years, the United States has run short of money in the budget.  To fill the shortfall, the General Fund borrowed from the Social Security fund, but that still wasn’t enough.  To make ends meet, we borrowed even more.  The total accumulated debt is now $20,000,000,000,000.  That’s twenty trillion, with a T.

 That number does not include the cost of promises the government will be obligated to pay in the future such as Social Security and Medicare, the 20 trillion number is only the total of the promissory notes signed to fund government operations in the past.  Covering the cost of all government promises is closer to 100 trillion, give or take, depending on who you talk to.

 We’re not paying down the debt.  We’re making the minimum monthly payments on existing debt while running up ever more debt, month after month, with no end in sight.

 I don’t care whose fault it is.

 No, I really don’t care whose fault it is.  Finger-pointing and blaming is useless blather, at this point.

 I want to know what we’re going to do about it.

 The reason it comes up is because Republicans in Congress are talking about reforming Obama-care to make it affordable enough that the government can continue to offer the program, but Democrats are screaming the reforms will make the program unaffordable for individual citizens.  Both have fair points.  Both fail to address my point.

 Can government programs run in the red forever?  Can public debt be accumulated forever?  Is there literally no limit to how much debt we can run up?

If so, why?  That’s not true for private individuals or corporations.  If it’s true for government, there must be a reason why it’s true.  What’s the reason?

 Joe Doakes

Let’s ask Paul Krugman.

Oops

The Shakopee School District had a flub in their budget, to the tune of almost $5 million:

According to Thompson’s email, the district found a $4.5 million discrepancy during a yearly financial review.

Finance Director Mike Burlager mentioned the error during the school board’s Truth in Taxation meeting Dec. 12, but did not mention the exact amount. Soon after, Thompson mentioned a $5 million shortfall.

Of course, if it were a charter school, the state would have SWAT team locking the doors by now.

 

NPR On Al Capone’s Vault Trump’s Tax Return

On “Morning Edition”.

NPR Reporter:  “…if it weren’t for the “Alternative Minimum Tax”, Trump would have paid a net tax rate of 3%”.

NPR Anchor:  “Right – but there was an alternative minimum tax, and he paid a net rate of about 25% – considerably higher than Barack Obama and double what Bernie Sanders paid.  So why the pointless “what if?”   You’re “reporting” a complete nothingburger, here.”

(UPDATE:  The anchor never said any of that.  It was just a dream.  The “reporter’s” line is pretty accurate, though).

Liberal Messaging

On issue after issue after issue, the left’s messaging strategery seems to have changed to “pummel the public with inflammatory, scaremongering lies; the votes of the gullible, the incurious, the demented and the un-bright count the same as the votes of smart people, and are easier to secure”.

Focusing on the 2nd Amendment “debate” – it’s the one I read most constantly – the evergreen example is “Stand Your Ground laws allow people to KILL people because of the way they’re dressed”.

It’s balderdash, as we’ve explained in this space over and over.  The smart people know this.  The dumb people…

…are the intended customer for that particular lie.

With that in mind, New York’s junior machine apparatchik Kirsten Gillibrand has sounded off with a level of perspicacity reminiscent of Betty McCollum:


I was going to say “someone’s been watching too many “Miami Vice” reruns” – but that’d be too charitable.  While most liberals (and some Republicans) start out dumb on the gun issue, and some don’t get smarter (McCollum, ibid), it’s not like these hamsters exist in a vacuum.  It’s not like some NRA lobbyist, somewhere, hasn’t made Senator Gillibrand aware that silencers are far from silent.

Which means one of two things: Sen. Gillibrand is incurious about anything that doesn’t comport with the narrative she’s been given by her superiors, or she doesn’t care, and passing the narrative is the only goal.

I’m inclined to think “b”.

Look, Think, Act Like America

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Diversity proponents say “We need an office that looks like America” meaning an office staffed by people who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian but all carefully toe the line chanting the same Liberal ideas.

 It’s especially annoying in federal agencies, where the “deep state” long-term bureaucrats are all committed leftists who feel emboldened to wage war on conservatives.

 Trump should attack that starting with a tweet “We need a government that THINKS like America” meaning a 50-50 balance of political opinion among staff members, regardless of the color of their skin. 

 It will cause a storm of outrage of course, he’s politicizing the non-political jobs, imposing litmus tests, etc., but that’s already happened so the outrage will be a manifestation of Berg’s Seventh Law.  Politicization was done by the left and we’re seeking to restore balance, as diversity proponents themselves insist is necessary.  After all, aren’t they the ones who say we must have a wise Latina on the court to bring that perspective to the law? Well, then, shouldn’t we have intellectual diversity throughout the administration in proportion to the electorate which, as we know, is evenly divided?

 It would be amusing to watch and who knows, it might just open the public’s minds to the possibility of firing ideologically motivated bureaucrats who are sabotaging the new administration with leaks and resistance movements from within.

 Joe Doakes

Intellectual diversity?

That’s misogynist!

 

Lie First, Lie Always: Numbers

Last week at the hearings on  the “Constitutional Carry” and “Self-Defense Reform” bill, the clown antics of Ross Derp (or whatever his name was) got the headlines.  (Update:  It was Ross Koon.  I regret the error).

But something even more indicative of the anti-gun, criminal safety movement was buried in the background

But first, a quick factual tangent:

Berg’s Nineteenth Law:   It’s time to inaugurate Berg’s Nineteenth Law – one of my list of iron-clad laws of human political behavior.    It’s a law because it is always true.

The law reads as follows:

No Minnesota gun control group has ever made, nor will they ever make, a statement of fact that is simultaneously

  • Substantial
  • Original, and
  • True

OK.  Back to last Wednesday.

Dubious:  Before the hearing, “Protect” MN – the pack of ELCA-coiffed biddies who have “led” Minnesota’s clownish gun control “movement” (speaking physiologically, not politically, here), attempting to undercut the “Constitutional Carry” bill, distributed lists of people who’d been rejected for carry permits to the legislators on the committee.

Erick Lucero, from the solid red Northwest, picked up the narrative:

The organization passed out packets to each representative on the committee that contained names of constituents in their districts who were denied permits. Rep. Lucero’s packet consisted of 61 pages with approximately 15 denials on each page, making a grand total of 915 denials. All of the denials listed Hennepin as the county of denial.

So – nearly a thousand denials in Lucero’s district alone?

Sounds pretty damning!

But…

Lucero quickly noticed a discrepancy.

Lucero’s House District 30B exists almost entirely in Wright County. The only exception is the City of Hanover which is split between Wright County and Hennepin County. Of the 3,200 residents in Hanover, only a quarter reside in the Hennepin County portion.

In other words, “Protect” MN would have you believe that every man, woman and child in the Henco portion of Hanover had applied for a permit and been denied, 1.12 times over.  Every liberal exurban anti-gun zealot, every toddler, every man-jack breathing human in the Henco portion of Hanover!

Lucero says this is a classic example of how the left skews facts.

“The anti-Constitution, anti-Second Amendment, gun grabbers pervert statistics and use false information to to promote their anti-gun agenda,” Lucero said.

Being a sitting legisaltor, Lucero must be at least a little diplomatic.

I have no such restriction.

“Protect” MN/s entire “strategy” is to spout bullshit to fool the uninformed, the gullible, the incurious, the casually-irate, and Joan Peterson.

They are liars who think – hope – that Minnesotans are too dumb to know any better.

Paging Alanis Morisette, Part CLXXVII

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I read a good quip the other day:

 Obama policies kill Obama values: if you dither and appease while Russia turns Syria into a charnel house, your commitment to humane treatment of refugees will collapse under the human catastrophe resulting from your fecklessness.

 Okay, technically it’s not true.  Obama’s policies were expressly designed to fundamentally transform America from the nation I grew up loving into a generic second-tier former imperial power like England, France, Spain or Italy.  Sadly, he largely succeeded.

 But the quip works if you replace “Obama” with “Liberal” because then you get:  “Liberal policies kill Liberal values.”

 Welfare intended to help families, disintegrated families.  

 Student loans intended to create an educated populace where students succeed, leave students ignorant and bankrupt.

 Obamacare intended to make health insurance affordable, made it unaffordable.

 Holy cow – this could become another Berg’s Law.

 Joe Doakes

I have a hunch it’s going to be a big year for Berg’s Laws – old and new.

Minnesota’s Bornholmer Strasse

In East Germany in 1991, all it took was one border guard commander to jump the queue and completely short-circuit his communist leaders’ plans to keep communism alive.

Just one cop, opening one gate, and half a century of oppression deflated like a Vikings winning streak.

In Minnesota, we’re not nearly that dramatic.

Jim Surdyk, owner of Surdyk’s Liquor in Minneapolis, decided to open yesterday – four months before Minnesota’s Blue Laws are formally repealed.


The city of Minneapolis will do its darnedest to show them who’s boss, of course.

The Meaning Of The Word “Is”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Former President Obama was furious that President Trump accused him of ordering a wiretap.  A former Obama mouthpiece said:

 “A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” said Kevin Lewis. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

 No.  Sorry, that’s not going to cut it.  I may have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night.  I know how this works.  When Guido put a hit on Lucky Louie, The Don didn’t actually order that, he just mentioned that he really needs this problem to go away.  There’s never an outright order, hasn’t been since some guy innocently wondered “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

 If Obama were innocent, that’s not the way to deny the accusation.  When someone asks: “Did Obama order a wiretap on Trump?” you say “No.”  Unless he did it.  Then you have to weasel around the question.  But not like that.  Like this:

“I don’t believe you can find any evidence of the fact that I have changed Government policy solely because of a contribution.”   

 That’s not to say he didn’t do it, only that he doesn’t believe you can find the evidence that he did it.

That’s not to say there is no evidence, only that he doesn’t believe you can find it.

That’s not to say he didn’t change government policy because of a contribution, only that he didn’t do it solely because of a contribution.

 Now that guy was a straight-up expert at weasel words, Master Class liar.  Obama and his minions are pathetic amateurs by comparison.  Might as well sign the confession and be done with it.

 Joe Doakes

Heh.

I Heard It On The NARN

Here’s the article I wrote about the history of protest violence being designed to beget violence in response.  Be careful at any Republican events, and keep your head screwed on straight; they want you to react violently.  That’ll cement the media’s narrative.

Via Paul Seefeld, here’s some video from the riots last week at the Capitol:

And:

 

Here’s ♫

Great NARN Avenue

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

Today on the show:

  • The Gathering Storm:  the many (smug, entitled, pampered) faces of the toxic left
  • Of Walls and Visas.

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

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

Join us!

All The Usual Caveats Apply

But Trump’s first month of employment numbers are pretty darn good.

“GREAT AGAIN: +235,000,” Trump posted on his Twitter account in a retweet of a Drudge Report headline on Friday minutes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released payrolls data for February showing the U.S. added a net 235,000 jobs during the month.

Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. president who’s now director of the National Economic Council, used the report as validation of Trump’s approach to bolstering the economy, which has included bringing in corporate executives to the White House to press them for hiring commitments and publicly scolding companies over plans to move production abroad.

Like I said, all caveats apply; there are a lot of people out there out of work and off the grid, vis a vis the Bureau of Labor Statistics top-line unemployment nmbers.

But the stats show a rise in pay – which has been fairly absent from Obama’s “recovery” so far.  There is a long way to go, and one month of good news isnt’ “Morning in America” just yet.

My personal jury is still out.  But it’s not a bad start.

The Pool

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The theory of diversity holds that by adding more viewpoints we get a better result, regardless of how smart the individuals holding those viewpoints are.  Diversity increases group intelligence.

 In practice, if you want a smarter group of people, add smarter people.  Diversity dilutes group intelligence.

 This is not news, it’s confirmation of what we already knew from anecdotal evidence. Adding more people to a committee does not increase committee intelligence, it just takes longer to get nothing done.

 It’s settled science.  You’re not a science denier, are you?

 Joe Doakes

To the left, “settled science” means “comports with our  narrative, so shut up”.

Masters And Leashes

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is checking out the deli at the new HyVee.  Bill GUNKEL, former Republican who is now chairmain of the Inver Grove Heights chapter of “Former Republicans for Ron Paul”, notices him and walks over.

GUNKEL:   Hey, Merg.

BERG:  Hey, Bill.

GUNKEL:  I see that a bunch of you went to The Beast to beg your masters for longer leashes.

BERG:  Huh?  Oh, the hearings for the Stand your Ground and Constitutional Carry bills?  Yeah.

GUNKEL:  You’d think with all the time you spend on politics, “Voting Harder” to try to “change things from the inside”  you’d think you wouldnt have to beg masters to do things like protect yourself or buy things on Sundays, and that at least half of your income wouldn’t be stolen from you by your dear leaders…or is it all just in vain?

BERG:  Right.  Libertarians – some of them, anyway – believe that incrementalism is just a way to rationalize tyranny.

Thing is, freedom rarely goes away in a single stroke, and not once in all of history has it come back in one.  Saying “give me all the liberty now!” is fun and satisfying, but it ignores the fact that tyranny, not freedom, is mankind’s natural state. Any freedom we have – bits and pieces, or all of it – is an aberration, not the norm, in human history.

GUNKEL:  Derpity derp.  Eventually, when the current system becomes unsustainable, we’ll have freedom!

BERG: That is such a cute, utterly faith-based statement.

GUNKEL  Are you mocking me?

BERG:  Not as far as you know.  Look, Bill, here’s the problem; the natural order of things is from order to disorder, from freedom to tyranny, from good to bad.

If you don’t incrementally push the needle up – or if all you do is chant harder and withhold consent harder and snark harder, on the assumption that all you have to do is wait for “the collapse”, which will usher in freedom for everyone – the needle will incrementally get pushed down, further and  further, constantly.

GUNKEL:  So bring on the collapse!

BERG:  Sure!  I mean, provided you think there’s any evidence that in the lack of authority, it’s in humans’ nature to revert to freedom, equality, voluntarism

And SCENE

Lie First, Lie Always: The Anti-Gun Amateur Hour

Earlier this morning at the House Public Safety Committee hearings on the “Stand your Ground” billl, a “pro-bill” testifier erupted in a caracature of a pro-Trump, white supremacist tirade; at one point, he reportedly said it was time for gun owners to return to “lynching” people.

Then he got up and walked out.

He’s utterly unknown to Minnesota’s close-knit 2nd Amendment activist community.

The moment I saw the photo (a screen grab from video),  that voice in my head that monitors stereotypes screamed “Carlton graduate and non-profiteer paid to be a false-flagger”.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

“He” registered for the event as “Ross Koon”

And, sure enough, searching for “Russ Koon” leads you to a Facebook profile.

And here’s his publicly-visible post:

So he misrepresented himself about being a pro-gunner, and his “testimony” was a “satirical” sham designed to defame people he pretty much hates.

That’s pretty much the whole story, right?


Of course not.  Anti-gun ghoul Joan Peterson tweeted instantly:

Coincidence that the doyenne of Minnesota criminal-safety is right there ready to go with a tweet in support of this bit of “satire?”

But that’s just a clenched old liberal exercising her penchant for overheated hypberbole – right?

Of course not.   Mr. Koons’ pro-criminal-safety pedigree goes back a ways.  Turns out Mr. Koon’s mother is one Mary Koon.  And Mary Koon is a pastor at ultra-liberal Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, and publicly lists as her “likes”…

…Moms Want Action.

(“But” you might say, “that doesn’t make her a member!”.  Perhaps.  On the other hand, it’s pretty much all you need to do to be counted as a member, so we’ll run with it).

So let’s sum it up:

  • The scion of one of Minnesota’s white, privileged “elite” liberal families lied about his personal beliefs, in order to…
  • Slander gun owners in front of the legislature, and did it…
  • …with the obvious, full knowledge of Minnesota’s anti-gun/pro-criminal-safety “elite”.

This was just the most egregious episode in a hearing where the anti-gunners essentially beclowned themselves, treating the hearings like a private flash mob.

Keep up the good work, Reverend Bence!

(Thanks to the crew from MNGOC for all the research on this post)

UPDATE:  From a witness:

He didn’t immediately leave the building. I watched him get hugs and attaboys from several of the anti-gunners present, including the lady in charge of handing out red Everytown shirts.

This was no random happenstance.

Failure Is The Only Option

SCENE:  At the Minnesota State Capitol.  Mitch BERG, laptop in hand, is walking between the House and Senate chambers when he encounters Dorbert AARONSON, chairman of the group “Gun Owners of Minnesota”, a non-profit incorporated in Des Moines, Iowa.

AARONSON:  Excuse me – do you know the way to the Minnesota state capitol?

BERG:  Er – you’re in it.

AARONSON:  Ah.  Sorry.  I just got into Des Moines,

BERG:  Saint Paul.

AARONSON:  Right.  Saint  Paul.  I”m here for a hearing on a gun rights bill.

BERG:  Ah. So am I.  The Constitutional Carry bill.

AARONSON:  Yeah.  We’re supporting the bill that we drew up.  It requires immediate dropping of all firearms regulations.

BERG:   Wow.  Who’s carrying it?

AARONSON:   Nobody has the balls to carry this bill!

BERG:   Wow.  So how’s it ever going to pass?

AARONSON:  It’s not supposed to pass.   It’s supposed to educate the voters.

BERG:   Educate them…that the way to change policy and win freedom is to demand things that are politically impossible?

AARONSON:   You have to have the courage to demand the impossible, and nothing less!  It’s called the Politics of Confrontation, and we are masters of it!

BERG:  Masters of…what?  What bills are you behind the passage of?

AARONSON:   We passed “Shall Issue” carry permitting in 2003…

BERG:  No, you didn’t.  That was GOCRA!

AARONSON:   We passed the Capitol Carry, Silencers, the prohibition against confiscating guns after natural disasters…

BERG:   All of those were the result of GOCRA, MNGOPAC and the MNGOC.  Your group had nothing to do with any of those!

AARONSON:  We educated voters to demand nothing less than everything!

BERG:  But by demanding things that can not ever pass, you open the door for our rights to be further

AARONSON:   Anything less than everything is nothing, and anyone who settles for anything less than everything is a complete sell-out!

BERG:   You mean the legislators bringing the bills today…?

AARONSON:   Sellouts!  Cowards!   Worthless collaborationists!

BERG: So in other words, you and your group are focused exclusively on things that can only be reached incrementally – and you reject incrementalism.  Which means the goals can never be reached.

AARONSON:  Only by people who are worthy!

BERG:  Huh.  But if it can never be reached, and you keep fundraising forever on the issue…

AARONSON:  Pretty sweet deal, huh?

BERG:   Huh.  Yes.  Yes it is.

AARONSON:  See this watch?  It’s a Rolex, wrapped around another Rolex.

BERG:  Pretty cool.

And SCENE.

(NOTE:  Any similarities between the fictional character above and the Iowa-based “Minnesota Gun Rights” are purely coincidental, and probably unintentional.  Honest).

Collateral Moral Damage

In 1933, after a decade and a half of tumultuous politics that frequently turned into street violence, the German “Reichstag” (parliament) empaneled a cabinet led by Adolf Hitler to run things. Hitler’s “Nazi” party was not the biggest party in the Reichstag – they’d actually lost seats in the most recent round of elections – but they were in a strategic political position.

While the Nazis are (mostly mistakenly) called “far right”, the interesting thing is that the “Hitler Cabinet” had about as much support from Communists and Socialists as it did from the populist and “conservative” (which meant monarchists and Catholics, at the time) blocs in the Reichstag. Both sides – Communist and Monarchist – had the same reason to support the Nazis taking control of a coalition government; a bunch of populist extremists with a private army of thugs would drive the German middle to the Left or the Right. That is most extremists’ first goal; make the center untenable.

It backfired on the brilliant minds of the Reichstag, of course; Hitler, promising an end to divisive politics from all sides, forged “Unity” (by co-opting, neutralizing, exiling or killing the geniuses who’d put him in power); his cabinet led the entire world to war seven years later.

The only thing worse than “divisive” politics is no politics at all.

Keep that in mind when you see episodes like those last Saturday at the MN State Capitol, where masked thugs attacked Pro-Trump demonstrators, or two weeks ago at Berkeley, or…well, the list is going on and on and on, even now. I’ve seen more than a few people on social media, no doubt angry and frustrated, exclaim how they’d like to be at the next such rally, to break some heads (and I’ll confess, in my heart of hearts, the thought’s crossed my mind, at least for a moment before I chased it out).

Just like 85 years ago, that plays into the hands of the *real* extremists. Extremists are happiest when they’re creating more extremists – and it doesn’t even matter whose side those extremists are on. And then, when the vast middle gets sick of “politics”, and turn to someone who’ll just bring “order”…

…well, I’d say “we know where this leads”, but all too many Americans really really don’t.

Shot In The Dark: Today’s Learned Opinion, 11 Years Ago

Kurt Schlichter notes that “You Can Tell What Leftists Are Doing By What They Accuse Conservatives Of Doing

Sound familiar?  Of course it does.

This was codified in 2006, in “Berg’s Seventh Law of Liberal Projection“. To wit: “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

I’ve collected a few thousand examples over the past 11 years.

To paraphrase the immortal John McClain, “Welcome to the party, Schlichter”.

(But read Schlichter anyway.  He’s one of the best). \

I’ll Have A Merlot With My Derangement This Evening

I caught this on MPR last week; arts reporter Marianne Combs’s piece on the new season at the Guthrie, featuring the new “Trump Derangement” theme:

This fall, the Guthrie will stage Lillian Hellman’s “Watch on the Rhine.” The show deals with the rise of fascism on American soil at the start of World War II, but Haj says it feels startlingly relevant today.

“There’s a line in the play that says something like, ‘We don’t send people back — we’re Americans. That’s not what we do.’ And that line was written in 1941,” Haj said. “The reason we do the classics is not to look at plays or stories under glass; it’s to understand that many of these classic texts have absolute resonances to our current times.”

The Guthrie follows “Watch on the Rhine” with Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit,” which at first might seem like a non sequitur. But Haj explained that Noel Coward, a contemporary of Hellman, wrote the play at the onset of World War II.

The message – “we, the Guthrie’s artistic directors, believe we’re living in times just like 11933 Germany; we believe our audience is like the British of 1940, who need something to take their mind off being firebombed every night”.

But don’t dare accuse anyone of Trump derangement!

My Brain Hurts

Joe Doakes from Como Parks emails:

Liberal:  There is absolutely no voter fraud; therefore, we do not need an investigation or voter ID law and you’re a hateful racissss for saying so.

 Conservative:  Dozens of non-citizens voted illegally in Ohio.  There were more votes than voters in Detroit.  

 Liberal:  There is voter fraud; but we do not need an investigation or voter ID law and you’re a hateful racisss for saying so.

 As always, Monty Python anticipates real life, in the “Expedition to Lake Pahoe” sketch:

 “ . . . there is no – I repeat, no – cannibalism in the British Navy.  Absolutely none.  And when I say none, I mean that there is a certain amount, more than we are prepared to admit, but all new ratings are warned that if they wake up in the morning and find any toothmarks at all anywhere on their bodies, they’re to tell me immediately so that I can immediately take every measure to hush the whole thing up.”

 Joe Doakes

I think it’s hilarious that George Orwell’s 1984 has re-entered the best-seller list – since it was written about the Western far-left.  And it still may as well be;  the ease and fluency with which the left’s chanting points bots went from “Our electoral system is perfect, and you’re a racist misogynist transphobe traitor to suggest otherwise” to “our electoral system is a shambles” after November 8 would have beggared Orwell’s imagination.