Challenge Accepted

Chris “The Ken Doll Of News” Cuomo doesn’t like being called a “fake newsman“:

“I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the N-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity,” Cuomo said on SiriusXM.

“That’s what ‘fake news’ is to a journalist,” the CNN host continued. “It’s an ugly insult, and you better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose.”

For startes, Mr. Como – no.  It’s not the same as the N-word.  The N-word is bestowed for no more reason than someone’s skin color.

“Fake News” is earned.  It’s earned by putting agenda before fact.   As the mainstream media has been making a habit of doing, and justifying doing, for decades, but more lately than ever.

 

Would You Like To Take Another Pass At That?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION, ANYTHING-TO-STOP-THE-BLEEDING ISSUE: California’s New Bar Exam Format And ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement Will Adversely Impact Diversity, Women, And Access To The Legal Profession.

 Implied message: women and minorities are not as smart as white men.

 When your best argument against raising standards is that dumb people won’t be able to become bad lawyers, you should sit down and shut up.

 Joe Doakes

I sometimes think that liberalism is a byproduct of damage to the brain’s logic center.

On the other hand, it shows some ability to think about unintended consquences, albeit they seem to turn it on and off pretty fast.

Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper, former chair of the Minnesota GOP and longtime CEO at TCF Bank, passed away earlier this week  at 73.

In addition to leading the MNGOP during the Carlson years, Cooper did two things that made him a hero to me.

Nick-Slapped:  Back in 2005, then-Strib columnist Nick Coleman wrote a deeply dumb column wondering how Scott Johnson of Power Line  managed to blog during his work day (Johnson was at the time TCF’s corporate counsel), and urging TCF customers to pull their money out of the bank in protest over employing an “out” conservative.

Cooper pulled TCF’s ad money from the Strib – $250K a year – and followed up by cutting off the City Pages as well.

And the whining and carping lulled me to a sound, happy nap.   I’d like to think that costing the Strib a cool quarter mill had a lot to do with Coleman’s retirement.   For that alone, we should thank Cooper.

Friends:  In a more serious and productive vein, Cooper was one of the movers and shakers behind “Friends of Education”, a chain of charter schools that were focused on specific communities and educational models.

Friends of Education schools were, and perpetually remain, among the top-performing charters in the state.  And that was in part due to Cooper’s business sense; “Friends” charters that didn’t succeed got shut down; the successful ones carried on.

Lifeboat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump’s executive Order on immigration and refugees is causing angst, but not analysis.  We need analysis.

 For years, I’ve used the lifeboat analogy to discuss immigration.  There’s only so much room in the lifeboat, only so many rations.  There are 7,000,000,000 people in the world who want better lives which, for most of them, means coming to the United States.  We can’t take them all: they’ll swamp the boat.  See, for example, Europe today, and that was only a million immigrants.

 Lately, it occurs to me the lifeboat is the wrong analogy.  A lifeboat implies a temporary accommodation until help arrives.  But the rest of the world is worse off than we are.  Help will never arrive.

 The United States is more like a medieval castle when invading armies arrive, everybody heads for the castle and they slam the gates shut. There’s a limited supply of water and food and limited space.  Extra people endanger the survival of everyone already there. They close the gates every night, for that reason.  Yes, the wolves may eat you, if you arrive late and the gates are already shut for the night; but the gates will not be opened for you in the dark when it’s possible for invaders to slip in.

 In the intelligence world, it’s night right now.  Governments collapsed, sources compromised, consulates sacked, refugees and raiders look alike.  We can’t tell friend from foe so nobody gets in until daybreak when we can sort them out.  Daybreak will arrive when the intel for background checks and deep vetting is strong enough to trust, however long that takes.

 Even after our intel improves, we need to choose carefully who we let in because their kids become our new citizenry.  Carlos and Maria might be ecstatic to get jobs as gardeners and hotel maids in America, but their kids will grow up watching MTV and wearing Nikes.  They won’t be thrilled to take menial jobs.  Second generation Somalis are the ones going on jihad, here and abroad.  N-th generation Blacks are the ones insisting their lives matter.  “Grateful” is not an inherited trait.

 Western Civilization, and particularly our constitutional republican form of government as we know it in England and America, is a relatively recent development and a very small part of human history.  If that’s what we’re trying to preserve in the castle until the Dark Age ends, we need to be very choosy indeed.  We need the best, brightest, hardest working immigrants with morals and cultural values most compatible with our own.  Reuniting Carols and Maria’s extended family of unskilled laborers is heartwarming, but more unskilled labor is not what the nation needs to prosper.

 Trump temporarily halted immigration from countries that sponsor terrorism.  I’d go further and impose a temporary moratorium on ALL immigration, ALL refugees, until we sort out our national priorities and institute procedures to ensure new arrivals don’t threaten our national survival.  It’s not just for me – I’ve already lived most of my life in a clean, safe America – it’s for my grandkids.  Do I want them to grow up in Minnesota or Mogadishu?

 Joe Doakes

To many on the left,  the fact that you worked and sacrificed enough to build a place worth fleeing to makes you unworthy of being there.

Unjustified Self-Esteem

Conor Friedersdorf in the LATimes writes a piece opposing “Calexit” – the proposed secession of California from the union.

Say what you will about the merits or problems with this idea – it’d remove the biggest single glob of “progressives” from the voter roles, and one of the most toxic gobs of unreformed pension debt from the future’s federal budget, both of which are huge wins.

But let’s not focus on the pros and cons of Calexit.  Let’s focus instead, for the moment, on this paragraph from Friedersdorf:

Secession would not improve our values. But it would practically ensure that the rest of the U.S. would drift farther away from our laid-back tolerance and easygoing diversity

Laid-back tolerance:

“Laid-back tolerance” – Berkeley welcomes gay immigrant Milo Yiannopolous.

Easygoing diversity:

Easygoing diversity in action.

Do whatever you want, California – the US will in fact be better off without you all.

But try looking at yourself through the eyes of sane non-narcissists for a while.  You might learn something.

How To Get Liberals To Do Your Publicizing For You In One Easy Step

It’s easier than you think.

But then everything is with them – except a logical, rational, non-ad-hominem or strawman argument…:

Maybe it was crazy but my thinking was that one of the best ways to get young men to go see a movie was to tell them they should not be allowed to see it. What ensued was several months of chaos and controversy that ultimately drove Tucker’s book to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, sold out a multi-college bus tour and ultimately sold millions of dollars worth of tickets, dvds and books.

It was a masterful bit of trolling that admittedly felt a lot more meaningful and exciting when I was younger than it does to me today: We encouraged protests at colleges by sending outraged emails to various activist groups and clubs on campuses where the movie was being screened. We sent fake tips to Gawker, which dutifully ate them up. We created a boycott group on Facebook that acquired thousands of members. We made deliberately offensive ads and ran them on websites where they would be written about by controversy-loving reporters. After I began vandalizing some of our own billboards in Los Angeles, the trend spread across the country, with parties of feminists roving the streets of New York to deface them (with the Village Voice in tow)…I’ve never seen so much publicity. It was madness.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should. Because it’s basically the exact playbook that right wing blogger Milo Yiannopoulos is running on his own cross country trolling tour. By almost any metric but political correctness, it’s been masterfully successful—his book has since been to #1 on Amazon twice, and the protests at UC Berkeley last week generated national headlines and were addressed directly by the President.

I need to amend the old statement:

“None of us are as dumb as all of us – except all of our “elites””.

Tantrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

California Democrats threaten to make the entire state a ‘sanctuary state’ by forbidding local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. Trump, of course, has threatened to withhold federal funds from states that flout federal law.

 This could work out really well in the long run. 

 Start by withholding funds from California.  They’ll either cave in, or they’ll learn to get along without federal money.  If they cave, we win.  If they live without the money, we still win, because it helps reduce the amount of money the federal government needs to balance its budget.

 If enough states join the sanctuary movement, we can eliminate federal funding altogether and go back to the way the Constitution was intended to work.

Genius.

 Joe Doakes

I love it.

Brownshirt Youth

A group of the Brownshirt Youth (known, locally, in this case as the “Knights of Socialism”) are offering to teach inept milllennial snowflakes how to beat up Republicans.

I wonder if anyone has told our stupid younger generation of “anti-fascist” leftists that shutting down others’ speech and excessive militaristic imagery are both hallmarks of…well, you know?

Ayep:

The “Knights for Socialism” group at the University of Central Florida (UCF) held a workshop Sunday to teach left-wing students how to “BASH THE FASH” with a “Leftist Fight Club” open to everyone but Republicans.

“In response to the record number of hate crimes [sic] against Latinxs, Immigrants, Muslims, Women, the LGBTQIA+ community, Jews, African Americans and other minorities since the rise of Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis, Knights for Socialism has decided to host a series of self-defense clinics for anyone that wants to learn how to BASH THE FASH,” asserts the Facebook event page for “Leftist Fight Club: The Rumbles at Lake Claire.”

I can see it now.  Four or five slobbering dingoes (“Knights of Socialismi”) attack a conservative student.

Conservative pounds them into a fine pulp.

Dingoes sue the student and the University.

I joke.  But I’ve found my jokes are usually more accurate than the news, these days.

Hate Trumps Freedom?

Berkeley Republicans involved in organizing the Milo Yiannopoulos even that was shut down by Campus Blackshirts last weekend were in legitimate fear for their lives:

By the time he got to the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union to begin prepping for the event at 5:30 p.m., a throng of students and other demonstrators flanked the building. As he walked through the crowd, protesters surrounded him and closed in on him, pushing and shoving him from all sides.
“We know who you are, you can’t hide from us,” Tahmas recalls them saying as he pushed through the crowd.

“It was so violent at that point,” he said. “They were surrounding me. They were assaulting me.”

Rattled but essentially unharmed, he made it into the building. There he met up with Yiannopolous and other Berkeley Republicans. But it was not long before someone pulled the fire alarm. Then protesters began shooting M-80 firecrackers at the building, with several narrowly missing the group and the police officers attempting to guard them.

Tahmas said one of Milo’s security guards, a former Navy Seal, even commented: “I haven’t seen protests like this since Afghanistan.”

And if you’re a Berkeley Republican, you’ve got a stalker.  Oh, yes you do:

Click on it to view full-size

Don’t you just love the fact that someone who can write “I don’t believe attendance – support – of an event of this nature should be shrouded in secrecy. I believe it is in the public interest to know who supports this kind of thing” is, naturally, anonymous?

As I pointed out the other day – like the original Brownshirts and Blackshirts, this sort of thing is intended to drive everyone to the extreme, to empty out the center.

And at this exact moment, reading this story, it’s working.  I want Milo to come to the U of M, and I want to gather up a few hundred people who actually support free speech, and meet these cowards face to face and rip their ofay little facemasks off.

It’ll pass in an hour.

Maybe.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A good way to tell whether a pundit or citizen understands the field of risk management well enough to critique Trump’s performance is to ask how they view his history of bankruptcies. If a person thinks those bankruptcies are a sign of poor management, they probably don’t know much about business. But if they understand the few bankruptcies – out of hundreds of projects – as part of a diversification strategy with good risk management that siloed off the losers, you might be seeing someone who understands business.

 From Scott Adams on the Dilbert blog

 I would tend to agree – most commentators have no idea how Trump is operating, only that he’s not doing what the traditional politicians normally do, and it bewilders them.

  Joe Doakes

The intellectual ossification of this nation’s self-appointed “elites” never ceases to astound.

For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

We’re in the opening stages of a mayoral race in Saint Paul.

Now, the various stakeholders and activists are doing what they do – thinking big talks, dreaming big dreams via the political system.  As to what I think this city  actually needs from a new mayor?  It’s irrelevant.   We can want whatever we want – but Saint Paul is a one-party town, and what we will get is someone who’s kissed enough DFL-special-interest ass to rise to the top of the oligarchy,   Someone who will give a vigorous speech or two declaiming how his or her repackaging of 1960s liberal orthodoxy is fresh and new and will bring all the changes that the previous mayor’s repackaging of orthodoxy didn’t.  

Leading to 4-12 years of big government-driven stagnation

Part of the problem is that Saint Paul DFLers think that prosperity is something that government, at any level, can bring via careful planning.   It’s a common conceit on the left.

To speak to that, I’d like to make the essay “I, Pencil” mandatory reading for everyone in this country.  The 1958 essay by Leonard Reed, talks about the impossible complexity of building that humblest of tools of the modern world, the #2 Pencil, and how there is not a single person on the entire planet that can create and assemble a pencil, from scratch, with all of its precursors (cedar, graphite, clay, wax, zinc, tin, rubber and petroleum paint, plus the materials and labor that go into producing each of them).  And this complexity is multiplied, and exponentialized, with things that are more complicated – bicycles, cell phones, trains, cars, the Internet.  

And if  you were waiting for the movie?  Here it is:

The idea that a bunch of “political scientists” can legislate, plan or dictate this failing city to prosperity, even if they focus on that (rather than “inclusion” and other social justice fripperies) is…

…well, the status quo in Saint Paul.

Happy Reagan’s Birthday

Today would be Ronald Reagan’s 106th birthday.

I’ve been writing about Reagan – who, along with PJ O’Rourke, Solzhenitzyn, Dostoevskii and Paul Johnson is the reason I’m a conservative today – as long as this blog has been in existence.  His eight years were not perfect, and I don’t beatify my presidents, even if they’ve been out of office for almost thirty years.  His last term wasn’t as stellar as his first, and his last two years were very difficult.

Still and all, he was the greatest president of the second half of the 20th Century.

But in these difficult times, after two terms of a President who promoted  fear and malaise in the guise of “change” and “doing something”, it’s worth remembering Reagan’s example; when times seemed at their most dire, Reagan walked onto the scene with a smile and a vision, and a backbone of steel, and cleaned up the mess lefty by his failed predecessor – something our next president will need even more of in 2016.

And the most important part? He did it by unleashing something that many, then as now, thought was dead – the inner, optimistic, take-charge greatness of the American spirit.

The best we can hope for from our current president is that he approaches the job with the same tenacity to match his vision that Reagan had.

Oh, there are those who say “today’s GOP wouldn’t nominate Reagan!” – to which I respond with a contemptuous sign, before telling the critic to listen to “A Time for Choosing”, and tell me who is more resembles; Arne Carlson, or Scott Walker?

Reagan’s gone. But that spirit, the one he understood, almost alone among American politicans of his era, lives on in the American people. Most of it, anyway.

So Happy Reagan’s Birthday, everyone!

NOTE: While this blog encourages a raucous debate, this post is a hagiography zone. All comments deemed critical of Reagan will be expunged without ceremony. You’ve been warned.

You have the whole rest of the media to play about in; this post is gonna be gloriously one-note.

It Worked For Kirk

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Volkswagen takes over from Toyota as number one carmaker in the world, despite the scandal of being caught cheating on emissions tests.

 

“Despite” the scandal?  Or because of it?  Emissions tests are idiotic and anyone clever enough and bold enough to beat them probably has other good qualities.

From what I understand, it’s standard practice when dealing with the EPA that the actual total emissions are not lowered, they are simply diluted by forcing more clean air or water or whatever through the same discharge outlet.  Too many parts per million of soot coming out the smoke stack?  Don’t lower the total pollutants per pound of fuel used, or per erg of power generated, just increase the total air moving up the smoke stack by installing huge blowers to force more air into the final exhaust.  Tried and approved methods, used widely throughout industry, approved by the EPA.  

 As I understand it, that’s essentially what VW did to pass the test.  But they turned off those useless blowers anytime there was no monitor testing the output since by shutting off the blowers they saved the energy that doesn’t alter the total pollutants one iota, and that energy was diverted to actual work product that moves the car, hence better miles per gallon.  

 The EPA is pissed because VW beat the Kobayashi Maru.

 Joe Doakes

It’s not, fooling Mother Bureaucracy.

You Lock Up You House, Turn Out The Lights, Step Out Into The NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air. And I’ll be hosting it again!

Brad Carlson is out on assignment, so I’ll be filling in.   I’ll be talking with former MN State Senator Dave Hann about his bid for GOP State Chair.

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 (although I’ll be filling in tomorrow…).

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

Join us!

You’re As Cold As NARN

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

Today on the show:  Brad Carlson and I will be out on Medicine Lake for “Holes for Heroes

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 (although I’ll be filling in tomorrow…).

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

Join us!

Diary Of A Burst Of Stifling Entitlement

A candid history of the soon-to-be-late HBO series “Girls”, starring, well, everyone involved in the show.

I’ve seen a grand total of five minutes of “Girls” – don’t ask – and won’t pretend to care for it any more than creator/star Lena Dunham or executive prod Judd Apatow will claim I’m supposed to.

But written in between the lines of the article is the extent to which Urban Liberal Privilege greases the skids of Hollywood.

If The Media Didn’t Have Double Standards Yadda Yadda Yadda

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ivanka went on a date while Liberals were busy protesting in airports.  How dare she?  She should be wearing sack cloth and ashes to atone for the sins of the man who was elected to do what he is doing.

Two thoughts: first, what happened to the “Leave the Children Out of It” policy regarding Presidential offspring?  She’s not the President, she’s not out there making stump speeches for him, she’s not responsible for what he says or does.  Leave her out of it.

 Second, the reaction is quite a contrast to the total silence when The Light Bringer was golfing, or beaching, or just lazing about watching the playoffs as soldiers got killed or ambassadors dragged through the streets.  Almost as if there’s some sort of, I dunno, maybe a double standard?

 Joe Doakes

I’m pretty convinced that:

  1. The Democrats’ current messaging strategy is “just say whatever we need to, because gullible peoples’ votes count as much as anyone’s.  Consistency, logic and ethics are for those square-state rubes”.
  2. The big media are just fine with that, and playing along with enthusiasm.

Everything You Say Can And Will Be Held Against You

“Play stupid games, get stupid prizes”.

It’s a mantra my first carry permit instructor, the late Joel Rosenberg, used to drill into his students’ heads.  The point?  The best case of self-defense is the one you don’t need to state in front of a court.  Don’t put on your legal gun and go to roughneck bars, or hang out where stupidity is likely to break out.   If someone provokes you, walk away – using extreme measures.  “When you’re armed”, Joel used to say, “it’s incumbent on you to be the biggest pussy in the bar”.

And the stupidity doesn’t start when the potential violence does.  Oh, no.

One of the things police and prosecutors would do, if you got into a lethal-force self-defense incident, was pore over everything they can find about your past, to find some way in which they can convince a jury that it wasn’t really self-defense.

Remember – under Minnesota law, there are four factors that must be upheld when you claim self-defense using lethal force:

  1. You must not be a willing participant:  you can’t start a brawl, and then shoot someone who breaks a bottle.
  2. You must reasonably, immediately fear death or great bodily harm.  Reasonable means “it’ll convince a jury”.  Immediate means now; if someone says “I’m gonna kill you…tomorrow”, you can’t kill them first.
  3. You must use appropriate force.  In other words, you can only use the force needed to end the threat.  No more.
  4. You must make a reasonable effort to retreat.  Reasonable.  If you’re pushing your baby in a stroller, you don’t need to leave it behind.  If you’re a 70 year old man with a knee replacement attacked by four youths, you don’t need to try to out run them.  And in Minnesota, it doesn’t apply in your house.  In “Stand Your Ground” states, this provision is disregarded.  Minnesota is not a Stand Your Ground state.

When you claim “self defense”, you must meet all four of the criteria above.  That means all four; if you miss one of them – or if a jury can be convinced you missed one of them, rightly or wrongly – you’re in big trouble.

Big Trouble:  Allen Scarsella was convicted of “Riot”, First Degree Assault and some counts of Second Degree Assault for an episode that happened at the protests outside the Minneapolis Fourth Precinct in November 2015.

The jury deliberated for seven hours following two weeks of testimony from nearly two dozen witnesses — including surprise testimony from Scarsella and a co-defendant — before returning guilty verdicts on all counts.

So – how did Scarsella get convicted?

Let’s go through those four elements.

Fear Of Death:   Observers, and even some of the victims, testified that there was a chase, as at least seven protesters ran after Scarsella and his companions.  Was fear of death or great bodily harm reasonable?  We’d have to ask the jurors – but the law doesn’t require one to be a mind-reader.

 Mobs do stupid things.  Call this a definite maybe.  It would certainly be obtuse to rule it out just because you don’t like the defendant or his motivations; people who believe objectionable things have rights, too.

Convincing a jury of this sort of thing is why defense attorneys make the big bucks.

Duty To Retreat:  Well, no doubt there.  Scarsella and his friends certainly tried to get away.   Call this a no-brainer for the defense.

Was Lethal Force Appropriate?:  Well, assuming it was reasonable to assume the threat was immediate and lethal, the shooting ended the threat.  As far as that goes, let’s call it a non-factor.

Not A Willing Participant:  Here’s the thing about jury trials (or so I’m told by my lawyer friends); a big part of the job is making sure the jury likes you, feels for you, identifies with you.  This becomes important when it comes to this criterion of self-defense in particular.

Going where a confrontation might happen might be considered “willing participation” – but in the Darren Evanovich shooting, where a Good Samaritan chased an armed robber into an alley, the prosecutor decided the evidence showed the Samaritan was not a willing participant; he went looking for the purse, not a fight.

But while Scarsella may well have had second thoughts about attending the protest long before the shooting started, the prosecutors also found some evidence that made him pretty  unsympathetic to the jury:

They watched several videos taken before and after the shooting, including ones of Scarsella making racist comments; and they viewed numerous texts where Scarsella described his intent to kill black people.

Now, could a good lawyer have gotten a jury to disregard this?  Maybe, maybe not.    Even racists have the right to defend their lives; self-defense isn’t a popularity contest.

But jury trials, to a great extent, are.  And the prosecution (according to sources familiar with the case) were able to create an impression with the jury that Scarsella went to the Fourth Precinct looking for a fight.  Which blew away his chance of calling himself an “unwilling participant”, and with it, his self-defense claim.

The obvious lesson – if you value the right to self-defense, and you believe things that a jury might find unsavory, then keep quiet about them, especially on social media, text messages and other searchable media.

And it’s not just racial ugliness.  If you’re a shooter, for crying out loud, don’t be jabbering on Facebook about how eager you are to turn your new shotgun on an intruder.  It’l make it harder for a zealous prosecutor to paint you as a slavering gun nut with an itchy trigger finger.

Another obvious point – the Good Samaritan in the Evanovich case, as well as the Broadbent shooting in 2015, involved citizens who followed the rules; after shooting, they called the police and tried their best to render first aid.  Scarsella fled the scene and didn’t call the police and was caught sometime the next day – a bad tactic if you want to claim self-defense.  It’s good to be a responsible citizen.

Like every self-defense shooting, the Scarsella case should be a sobering reminder – in this case, of what not to do.

Shirts

I was going to start this post out with a wry quip about the irony of people protesting a president they say will oppress people, actually oppressing people.

I’m talking about the riots in – where else? – Berkeley last night.

There, children of the wealthiest society in the history of the world, protesting others’ “privilege” by shutting down a speech (by “provocateur” Milo Yiannopolous – that caused them cognitive dissonance.

Of course, as PJ O’Rourke said, “life is full of irony – if you’re stupid”.

Then it occurred to me – this is far from an original thing.   It’s not new for political movements to have “direct action” wings, designed to radicalize the the “debate” and, eventually, the opposition.

The easy parallel is the “Brownshirts” – Sturmabteilung” – the “direct action” wing of the Nazi Party from the early twenties through the end of World War 2:

“Community Organizing”. “Brownshirts” in action.

One of their primary missions – shut down political events by the Nazis’ opposition.

Of course, given this description…:

The protest turned violent around 6 p.m. when dozens of masked anarchists, dressed in black and wearing backpacks, emerged from the otherwise peaceful crowd.

…a better simile might be Mussolini’s “Camicii Neri” – Blackshirts – who filled the same purpose in Italy…

“Protersters” at Berkeley last night. Oh, I”m kidding. It’s Mussolini and his “Camicii Neri”. Distinction without much difference, really.

…shouting down and beating Communists and Socialists and Monarchists in the streets, turning Italian politics into the full-contact sport that played into the hands of radicals on the left and left.

Darn you, Trump.

Richie Guns The Motor And Fonzie Takes Flight

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Lately, I’ve been watching the reboot of “Hawaii 5-0” on Netflix.  Started out as a typical cop show with the usual shoot-outs and chase scenes, but the real value of the show was the scenery.  No, not island volcanoes and surfboards; every dialogue scene featured the main characters standing on the beach talking in the foreground while bikini-clad hotties paraded behind them.  After a while, it became amusing – apparently the beaches in Hawaii have nothing but hotties.  Where are the pasty beach whales from Minnesota, desperate to get their 5-day tan before the vacation ends?

 Now that I’m into Season 3, the scenery has changed.  Lots of flying over rain forests and aerial views of high-rise hotels, nowhere near as much background beach action.  And the storyline has changed, too, not as many chase-them-until-you-shoot-them action scenes, more trouble-with-her-boyfriend and who-will-get-custody drama.  I started out watching Starsky and Hutch but now I’m watching General Hospital.

 I suspect it’s a deliberate shift away from Guy Show over to Chick Flick.  They’ve ruined it.  I’m done watching before they go full Law and Order, preaching the blessings of gun control, the evil of Christianity and the absolute necessity of whatever ‘right’ is the fad today.

Joe Doakes

I suspect a writers room full of people who want to write Something Meaningful.  With predictable results.