Asking The Questions That Need To Be Answered

I have a mission for you all.

Read this article.

Then vote below – is it satire, or is it straight.

Satire or Straight?

 
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I have read it a few times, now, and my opinion changes with each time I read each paragraph.  I literally can not decide.

Flipping Big Bird

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is walking through the streets of Lowertown when he encounters MyLyssa SILBERMAN, who covers the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats for National Public Radio’s Twin Cities bureau.  SILBERMAN steps out of a Taoist nail salon in Lowertown, and runs into BERG.  

SILBERMAN: Merg.

BERG:  Hey, MyLyssa.  What’s new?

SILBERMAN:  On assignment, looking for the people spreading fake good news about the Trump Administration.

BERG:  Exposer’s gotta expose, huh?

SILBERMAN:  Yep.  It’s why we have public broadcasting – doing the tough, unbiased jobs nobody else would do.

BERG:   Just reporting the facts.

SILBERMAN:  Correct.

BERG:  Like the fact that gun violence is down sharply over the past two decades, and gun control has had nothing to do with it.

SILBERMAN:  Heavens, no.  That would be biased.  Hey – we just finished out pledge drive week.  Did you donate?

BERG:  Nah.  I mean, I listen to the news, and I sometimes tune into mock, taunt and fisk “On The Media“, and I do happen to like what Chris Thile has done with Prairie Home Companion.  But I don’t listen much, and I figure I pay for it with my taxes.

SILBERMAN:   Oh, good heavens, no.  Taxes are just a tiny portion of what Public Broadcasting runs on.  Insignificant, really.  Almost nothing.  Pennies on the dollar, if that.  If you think we’re “government radio”, you’re spreading alternate facts.  Nothing “socialist” about us.  Taxes are pretty much insignificant.  Totally.

BERG:  Whew.  I was worried that I’d hear all sorts of “sky is falling” panic because Trump is proposing cutting federal subsidies to Public Broadca

SILBERMAN:  (Eyes go wide with rage and fear) NO!  CUTTING THE FEDERAL SUBSIDY WOULD DESTROY PUBLIC MEDIA!  YOU’LL BE BOILING BIG BIRD!  YOU’LL BE GANG-RAPING ALL THAT IS GOOD ABOUT OUR SOCIETY!   EVERY SINGLE PENNY OF FUNDING GOES STRAIGHT INTO THE MOJTHS OF THE NEPHEWS AND NIECES OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING EMPLOYEES!   YOU’LL DESTROY THE ONLY RELIABLE SOURCE OF VALID NEWS ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN NOT TO NORMALIZE TRUMP THAT THERE IS IN THE AMERICAN MEDIA!    NOT ONLY MUST NOT A PENNY BE DIVERTED, BUT WE NEED MORE!  MORE!  MORE!

BERG:  So – hands off public radio budgets…

SILBERMAN:  NOT ONE PENNY OR WE’LL ALL STARVE!

BERG:  So it’s really government radio after all…

SILBERMAN:  (resuming nasal NPR-casting voice, complete with faint sound of Ghanaian drum choirs in the background) No.  Absolutely not.

BERG:  Glad we could clarify this.

And SCENE.  

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

The Wonders Each New NARN Brings

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

Today on the show:

  • Jennifer Carnahan  will join me to talk about her bid for the chair of the MNGOP
  • The State of the Trump Union

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!

Instrumentation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In December, “Dangerous” was the number one bestselling book on Amazon.  It sold enough copies to make the New York Times bestseller list.  And the book hadn’t even been published – those were advance sales of a book due to be released in March.

 The book won’t be published at all.  Simon & Schuster has canceled the book due to a relentless campaign of protests, violence, and boycotts orchestrated by the Left to prevent the author’s message from being heard.

 I know what you’re going to say.  The author is a Bad Man who has done Bad Things; therefore, any message he might spread must be a Bad Message which should not be heard, but should be ruthlessly suppressed to protect innocent minds from being corrupted. 

 Of course, that’s merely the Ad Hominem logical fallacy used to apply Alinksky’s Fourth Rule, which is standard fare for Liberals who believe the ends justify the means, I get all that.  Here’s my question:  does it matter whether the Bad Message is suppressed Before it’s published or After it’s published?  Is censorship worse than intimidation?   Is banning better than burning?  Because that’s the side you’re on, Liberals.  You’re standing with the book burners.  

 Are you proud of it?

 Joe Doakes

To the left, there is neither pride, nor good, nor bad.  There is merely power and control.  All else is a sideshow.

Wonder If Lori Sturdevant Caught This?

Lori Sturdevant – like a lot of liberal scolds of a certain age – pines for the halcyon days when Minnesota Republicans and Democrats supposedly worked together “across the aisle”, arm in arm marching toward the great Progressive future.

I’m not sure how much of that fabled past was comity, and how much was Stockholm Syndrome.

Still, after nearly fifteen years of writing this blog, I’m keenly aware how hard it is to remain civil with the current entitled, Privileged, intolerant Left.

Ian Tuttle, by way of reviewing the new Milo Yiannopolis book (or rather, the left’s hysterical reaction to it), answers Sturdevant and her ilk by way of tangent:

But the intelligent, principled Right for which progressives are always waxing nostalgic (“If only today’s conservatives were like . . . ”) is considerably less likely without a Left that can recognize the difference between debate and “danger,” joking and “violence.” Having spent years decrying reasonable right-wing positions as outrageous and unconscionable, progressives are now stunned to find that a chunk of the Right is cheering on an opportunist who glories in being outrageous and unconscionable. Does any of this sound familiar?

To them?  I doubt it.

Unsafe Space

Think it’s cold and snowy?

Sit back and pour a bourbon.  We’ve got a story for  you.

You know what it’s like when your football team has a 21 point lead at the beginning of the third quarter, but then your opponent scores three touchdowns in an amazing display of skill, luck and clutch playing?  And it’s the two minute warning, and the game is tied, and all that “we got this” brio that you had 13 game minutes earlier is replaced by the realization you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you?

72 years ago today, the Battle of the Bulge began.

It was among the coldest winters in recent European history…

Sherman tanks of the 7th Armored Division outside St. Vith, a key crossroads that the Germans seized at great cost to both sides.

…cold enough that, as Steven Ambrose noted in Citizen Soldiers, even the boys from the Dakotas and Montana had met their match.

Covered by atrocious weather that grounded US and British tactical air – which, along with the US artillery, which was fast, accurate, available in huge quantities, and had a tradition of blowing things up with style going back to the Civil War, was the thing the Germans feared most – the Germans attacked the thinly held American lines near the point where Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany’s borders meet, in the Ardennes Forest.  Here, German troops had broken through three times in the past 75 years – in 1870, 1914 and 1940.

Nobody expected lightning to strike four times.  And it showed; the Americans considered it a quiet sector, and garrisoned it thinly, with brand new troops like the 106th Infantry Division, which was just out of training and had no combat experience, as well as the 2nd Infantry Division, which was resting up after having been bled white in the fruitless bloodbath of the Hürtgenwald.

The battle launched legends (the 101st Airborne’s stand at Bastogne, immortalized long before Ambrose’s Band of Brothers brought the story to the HBO audience)…

A paratrooper of the 101st Airborne, armed with an anti-tank Bazooka, watches a road outside Bastogne Belgium.

…and stories that should have been legends (a single platoon of 19 men under Lieutenant Lyle Bouck held off an entire 2,000-man German airborne regiment for a crucial day at the Battle of Lanzerath Ridge, which impeded the German SS-Panzer spearhead, costing it a vital day that may well have allowed the US 2nd Armored Division to get moved into place to stop the advance, to the low-key (the troops of the 99th Infantry Battalion – Norwegian-speaking men from the Dakotas, Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) stopping the German advance cold at Elsenborn Ridge, near Stoumont:

The position held by the 99th Independent Infantry Battalion – Norwegian-speakers from the upper Midwest, originally recruited for a Green-Beret-style role in the invasion of Norway – during the Battle for Elsenborn Ridge.

The high command, thinking Germany was on the brink of surrender, had decided to send new replacement troops to the Pacific to get ready for the invasions of Okinawa and, soon, Japan – so the casualties of the first days of the Bulge caused a huge shortage of manpower.  This gap was filled by pressing units of cooks, mechanics, construction engineers and clerks into service as provisional infantry units and, finally, the induction of black soldiers – many of them truck drivers – into replacement units.  The Army’s superstition at the time was that integrating units would sap morale – so black replacements were sent in 40-man platoons to reinforce companies that had started out as 160 men, but had been whittled way down.  Ongoing casualties caused these platoons to get divided into squads of 10 integrated into platoons of 20-30, and as the attrition went on and men got down to the brass tacks of survival, black and white soldiers sharing foxholes.   The officers who presided over this went on to

Want the whole story?  There are a scad of good books on the subject.  They’re worth a read…

…especially when you realize that the US troops that escaped into the woods, re-formed and turned the tide were, on average, about 19 years old – and there was no safe space, anywhere.

 

Membership Has Its Benefits

The DFL controlled Department of Employment and Economic Development is granting “Dislocated Worker” benefits – designed for large groups of private-sector workers who’ve been laid off – to DFL legislative staffers whose jobs disappeared with their majority and, in many cases, their representatives:

Republicans Say Losing DFLers Shouldn’t Be Getting Job Loss Benefits

As Kelly Fenton notes, this is a first; political work (and work for a legislator or a caucus is political work, and much of it disappears when a party loses a majority) is unstable.  Lose an election?  Lose your staff.  Lose the majority?  Lose more staff.

And word has it some of the workers getting benefits were, in fact, campaign workers.

I say the DFL should defend this action loudly, proudly and stridently.  Preferably by calling their critics “deplorable”.

Election Fraud

Democrats:

October 15:  “We have the best election system in the world, and saying otherwise is paranoia and treason”.

November 15:  “Our electoral system is a joke, and we need to recount every vote”.

December 15:  The election integrity problems aren’t in places that went to Trump, it was carried out by Democrat governments, and the evidence we see highlights the depravity of Democrats

…hey, look!  Russians!

Coaching

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I was worried about a stock market crash in October so I got out of the market. 

Now it’s peaking, record highs. 

I’m not convinced anything has changed.  The fundamentals still feel phony.  It’s irrational exuberance.

Of course, I’m also missing out on the gains.  Time to jump back in?  What say SITD readers?

Joe Doakes

Open floor.

The Most Ironic Berg’s Seventh Law Violation

It’s long been one of the Dems’ favorite – and most childish – chanting points to say that Republicans, being stodgy fundamentalist WASPS, want to make sex impossible to have.

If you follow Berg’s Seventh Law, you know the Democrats are actually doing something worse (or actually enacting the slur).

And you would, as always, be right.  

(And not for the first time).

Mass Flagellation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If Liberals truly believe White Privilege is a thing, that they actually are morally unqualified to hold their jobs and live their lifestyles because of the vestiges of racism in America’s past, then they ought to pull their kids out of honor programs and STEM schools. They ought to refuse to support them in college, insisting they give up their places for people who are morally deserving: blacks, illegal aliens, gays.

They won’t, of course. The people who insist they are guilty also refuse to do penance. Somebody else pays the penance, someone less gifted, less fortunate, less connected.

What happened in this election is the people paying the price decided not to pay it anymore. You feel guilty that your parents treated Blacks poorly at lunch counters? Fine, you make up for it by making your kids drop out, we’re not going to. You give up your job, we’ve had enough of that.

You can’t hold the moral high ground by confessing the crime but making someone else do the time.

Joe doakes

I think most of them think self-flagellation (but mostly flagellating the less worthy in their ethnic group) is penance enough.

NARN Changes Everything

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

Today on the show:

  • The Obama Legacy – and why it’s possible bad news for Republicans.
  • “Fake News”

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!

What A Difference Eight Years Makes

November, 2008:  Many conservatives, yours truly included, were disappointed at the election of Barack Obama, an unqualified junior senator and “community organizer”, to the presidency.  Not surprised, at least in my case, but disappointed.  (Our disappointment was amply justified, but that’s a separate, upcoming post).

In the interest of civility, Obama supporters responded with their primary form of non-televised communication (in the days before industrialized photomemes, anyway), the bumper sticker:

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-11-29-41-am

(Which, if you think about it, is the first industralized photomeme).

And we did, indeed, get over it – and, for many of us, that involved spending a few years in the Tea Party which, before a coordinated assault by Democrat Media/Industrial Complex and the GOP Establishment neutralized it, kicked Democrat ass in a way that, to a smart person, should have been seen as a foreshadowing of Trump; if you stand for something, you win.

(The sum total of “violence” after the Obama election involved a “riot” at Ol Miss that lasted an hour, involved no property damage or arrests and a little naughty language; one church burned in Massachusetts for which the perps were arrested, convicted and sentenced to long prison terms, a couple of minor assaults, maybe, and a few grandiloquent gestures that damanged nobody else or their property)

Anyway.

It’s been two and a half weeks since Trump’s near-landslide electoral victory (and, if you leave California and its millions of useless voting mouths out of the equation, popular victory as well).  Democrats have responded with petulant name-calling, bitter declarations, social barbarism, and rioting.   The Democrat movement in America has made itself look like the petulant, entitled children so many of them in fact seem to be.

So it’s only fair:

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-11-29-54-am

Deal with it.

Just Take The Picture / Bake The Cake / Do The Flowers / Sew The Dress

Dress maker does the thing that got Christian bakers / florists / photographers in trouble; exercises her right of free association:

“As one who celebrates and strives for diversity, individual freedom and respect for all lifestyles, I will not participate in dressing or associating in any way with the next First Lady,” Sophie Theallet wrote in a letter this week.

“The rhetoric of racism, sexism, and xenophobia unleashed by her husband’s presidential campaign are incompatible with the shared values we live by,” Theallet wrote about President-elect Donald Trump.

“I encourage my fellow designers to do the same,” she continued.

Of course, the big difference is that Melania Trump isn’t part of a “protected class”.

Which is rich, isn’t it?  Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Peter Thiele, Jennifer Lopez and Carlos Slim are all “protected classes”.  Because apparently “white privilege” or “straight priviliege”, er, trumps whatever they’ve got.

“Shut Up, All You Ignorant, Uncivil Tribalists!”, He Explained

To:  Minnesota Public Radio
From: Mitch Berg, “tribal” peasant
Re:  Norm Orenstein

MPR,

Last Friday you played an interview with Norman Orenstein on your noon show.   Orenstein is to academia what Lori Sturdevant is to journalism; a myopic scold for a very defined ideology, who after a career of being hailed as a genius by his own echo chamber can not possibly conceive of there being a rational alternative.

Orenstein’s major points:

  • The national conversation is getting very uncivil – due to the right.  Not the left.
  • While he used to support the electoral college, now he does not.
  • The conservative alternative media – Orenstein calls it “tribal” media, in the tone of a British grandée in colonial India – is at fault for everything.

Thanks, MPR.  We don’t get enough of that from the local media.

By the way, MPR?  Why did you book Orenstein?  Self-affirmation therapy for your distraught audience?

That is all.

Ain’t Nothing’ But A NARN Party

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

Today, on our final pre-election show:

  • Phil Krinkie of the Minnesodta Business Alliance joins us to talk about what’s at stake in this election.
  • John Augustine of the Legislative Evaluation Assembly talks about their latest Minnesota Legislative report card
  • Greg Ryan, GOP candidate for US Congress in the Fourth CD, joins us.
  • Senator Dave Osmek joins us to talk MNSure, the upcoming elections.

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!

K. Liff

SCENE:  A freeway overpass relatively close to the Ohio/Pennsylvania border.

A man – Kevin LIFF – clad in a clearly home-made general’s field-dress uniform, stands on the roof of a humvee, overlooking an immense battlefield, dotted with smoking wrecks and and ragged groups of corpses.  Whiffs of smoke scud across the landscape, and the faint cries of the wounded are drowned out by the sound of a column of Ford F150s, loaded to the gills with gun-toting militiamen, driving eastward.

Colonel Terrence RIST walks up to the humvee, trailed by radio operator with a backpack radio set.

RIST:  Reverend Field Marshal?

LIFF:  Yes, brother Colonel?

RIST:  The infidels have been scattered.  Our scouts say the road is clear all the way to Harrisburg.

LIFF: Excellent.  Has the matter of Kansas City been settled?

RIST: The infidel Lutherans and Catholics have felt our wrath.

LIFF:  Excellent.  And the Infidel Army?

RIST: They appear to be gathering in Maryland for a last stand.

LIFF: All right.  We’ll see to them in a moment.  It’s time to get our insidious plan that we’ve had all along underway.  Abolish abortion, and torch all Planned Parenthoods.

RIST:  Yes sir.

LIFF:  Force all gay photographers to shoot straight weddings.  Require all Americans to own guns.  Abolish the income tax.  Roll back Title IX.  Ship the ELCA, NPR fans and members of the ACLU to camps in Idaho.

RIST:   As you command, brother Field Marshall.

(RIST snaps off a salute and walks away).

LIFF: (Turns to his aide, Captain Ry Twing).  I can’t believe that we pulled this off, quite frankly, Captain.

TWING:  Sir?

LIFF:  All these years, we managed to get the Muslims to draw attention away from our preparations.  Only a few managed to see it.  And now, we  stand on the brink of complete victory, and exterminating all opposition.

TWING:  Praise God, sir!

LIFF:  Indeed!

(The men go back to planning the next military move)

(And SCENE).

Oh Noes.  Totes Grody Peeps. 

Social media is a place where demented people have free reign to spout any nonsense they want without much consequence.  .

Most of us have known that for quite some time. Indeed, anyone who’s been running a blog for a decade or more could probably write a book on the delusional, demented and a disgusting people that turn up in comments sections, completely unbidden.

Somebody needs to pass the word to Sally Jo Sørenson, at Blue Stem Prairie, who apparently thinks “somebody saying something in a Senate candidates Facebook page” is the same as a “Senate candidate saying something on their Facebook page”.

And when you’ve told me that, kindly ask her a question for me (since she never responds to anything, ever): was GOP Senate candidate Leilani Holmstedt wrong about the League of Women Voters  having a lobbying arm that is entirely in alignment with the DFL?

Because that was her point…

The Standing Army

As I’ve watched the ongoing militarization of American policing, I’ve become fairly convinced that law enforcement is the “standing army” that our founding fathers were worried about.

A new documentary, Do Not Resist, doesn’t make that exact point – but it’s a short jump to it.

The New York Times reviews the movie. One of many money quotes:

The striking thing about the footage is, again, the utter mundanity of the raid. A family was just violently raided over an immeasurable amount of pot. A man was arrested over that pot. The money he needed for his business was taken from him. Yet there’s no shame or embarrassment from the officers. There’s no panic that the whole thing was captured on video. That’s when it hits you. They don’t think they’ve made a mistake. This is what they do. The lead officers later tells the camera, matter-of-factly, that the raid turned up “a personal use amount of marijuana.” Perhaps realizing that he was also on camera back at the police station promising a much larger stash of drugs, he adds, “It happens. Drug warrants are, you know, 50-50.”

Wants to feel depressed about modern law-enforcement? Read the whole thing.

Yes, I know – most cops are good people, doing a dirty job on behalf of a population that hires them to do the dirty work they don’t want to. I get that.

And I grew up in a time and place where supporting the police is pretty much what good people did, and to do.

But this really is pretty awful.

Everyone’s Deplorable

If you don’t vote for the Democrat party nominee “your best interests”, Democrats get just a little peevish.

Ohio seems to be swinging GOP uncharacteristically early this election, according to some polls.

…left-leaning media appears to be treating the development as sour grapes.

On Monday, one article appeared in TIME magazine and one was published by the AP, both dismissing Hillary’s need for Ohio in her campaign’s electoral college calculus. Things have “changed,” apparently…Over the weekend, the New York Times declared that Ohio is now — of course — too white and uneducated to be considered a bellwether state anymore.

Why?

Party, it’s electoral politics; if true, she’s focusing her campaign where the votes for her are.

But Berg’s Seventh Law exists for a reason; it It’s because deep down inside, for all of their jabbering about about other peoples’ bigotry and prejudice, they really really hate people who aren’t like them.