Why Trump Will Win In 2020: Exhibit AOC-449

One article that’s been providing some fascinating insights into politics (as well as bits and piece of my personal life) over the past couple of years) is “20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You” by Shahida Arabi.

And yes, I know – “Narcissism” is the pop-psych diagnosis du jour meaning “someone I really don’t like”, these days. I’ll ask you to consider my argument on its merits, rather than its resonance with a pulsing mob of pop culture droogs.

Anyway – tactic #3 is called “Nonsensical conversations from hell” – sometimes called “word salad”:

Malignant narcissists and sociopaths use word salad, circular conversations, ad hominem arguments, projection and gaslighting to disorient you and get you off track should you ever disagree with them or challenge them in any way. They do this in order to discredit, confuse and frustrate you, distract you from the main problem and make you feel guilty for being a human being with actual thoughts and feelings that might differ from their own. In their eyes, you are the problem if you happen to exist.

Now, it could be I’m partaking in the pop-culture kool-aid, but I can’t be the only one who thought “word salad” when I they read this.


Remember when Democrats tittered with glee at the (small) number of Republians who were obsessed over Barack Obama’s birth certificate?

They can all, every one of them, shut up now:

…according to a Rasmussen poll released today, a staggering 67 percent of Democrats believe Ocasio-Cortez’s climate change warning to be completely legit.
According to the poll, 48 percent of all likely voters agree that the United States has only twelve years left to fight climate change before the effects are irreversible. The poll did not identify Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders (who still believes the doomsday prediction to be true) while conducting the survey. According to the poll, 40 percent disagree with the prediction, and 11 percent are undecided.

The most fascinating thing about the poll, aside from the large percentage of Democrat sea sponges who believe the 12-year prediction, is how the number of voters who believe it has skyrocketed in just a few months. When Rasmussen first polled on this issue back in January, after Ocasio-Cortez first publicly made her prediction, only 23 percent of voters agreed with it. Back in January, however, only 34 percent of Democrats believed what Ocasio-Cortez says only a sea sponge would have taken seriously. This shows the incredible influence the socialist wing of the Democratic Party has on the party as a whole.

Having Tide Pod Evita as your thought leader is like having Jesse Ventura as your charm school superintendant.

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.

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.

The Atlantic: Like Reading Shot In The Dark Years After The Fact

Sometime back around the time Steven Colbert got a job on late-night TV, late night TV stopped being funny.

Well, funny in the conventional sense, meaning “it arouses some kind of amused reaction from me”.

And it’s not a political thing; I laughed at Dennis Miller just as hard when he was a smug liberal as I do now that he’s a 9/11 conservative of sorts. His White Album – a one-hour monologue from 25-odd years ago – is no less funny than it was when it came out. I didn’t laugh any harder at Norm MacDonald after his low-key and sometimes incongruous conservatism started coming out – he’s just a comic genius. Chris Rock, Dennis Leary, Sam Kinison – all of them are hilarious, and to some degree or another way, way to my left.

There may be no greater litmus test of American social views than one’s opinion of Michelle Wolf’s “comic” routine at last year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Most people think it was pretty dreadful – but the consensus among NPR hosts for the past year has been pretty rapturous. (The free market spoke loud and clear – her Netflix talk show flamed out faster than the sales curve on a Mick Jagger solo album).

Judge for yourself:

The noted conservative tool Andrew Ferguson, and that noted conservative fishwrap The Atlantic, calls it out…:

There had been lots of anti-Trump demonstrations lately, Wolf noted, with protesters carrying homemade signs. How many signs? “Poster board is flying off the shelves faster than Robert Mueller can say, ‘You’ve been subpoenaed!’” If there’s humor in Paul Ryan’s circumcision—and I’m willing to be persuaded—she failed to find it. Chris Christie, Wolf suggested, was fat. She provided her own kind of abortion counseling: If you do terminate a pregnancy, she advised, motioning oddly with her elbow, “you’ve gotta get that baby outa there.” At her last line she leaned intimately into the microphone: “Flint still doesn’t have clean water.”

…among many examples of the complete death of comedy. He refers to late night TV – but I’m pretty sure it’s all of pop culture; political “comedy”, at least as understood by mainstream popular culture, is dead.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m a W-2 employee with employer provided health insurance.  My wife is retired, collecting Social Security and a pension.  We buy license tabs, pay interest on our home mortgage and give to charity.  We adjusted our withholding so we break even – no refund but nothing due.  With the new simplified tax code, we should be able to file our tax return on a postcard, right?  But no, State and Federal is 17 pages.  I lack the skill to file on paper and lack the patience to play with software so I pay a tax preparor $200 to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s.”
If we lived in a socialist country, I wouldn’t have to deal with any of that.  They government would pay for all my expenses and keep everything I earn aside from doling out a small allowance, same as when I was a kid living with my parents.  It’s beginning to appeal to me.
Joe Doakes

As long as I’m the “parent”, I sure don’t mind.

Somehow, that seems unlikely.

Silence Is Golden

When the police and prosecutors talk with you in relation to allegations of criminal activity, you have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer to keep you from saying something stupid or even just inadvertent that can end up putting you in jail.  

And it doesn’t even have to be anything you say to the cops. 

A few  years ago, during the “Black LIves Matter” protest at Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct, a fellow with a carry permit, Alan Scarsella,  shot and wounded someone from a group of protesters that was chasing him.   His fear of immediate death and great bodily harm was real; he attempted to retreat, running a whole block before firing back; he used the force needed to end the threat (the chase stopped cold when he fired).  

But on the way to the protest, he and his idiot friends made some videos, including some statements (which may or may not have been quotes) that the county prosecutor managed to get before the jury as racist provocations that, in the end, negated Scarsella’s attempt to prove that he wasn’t the aggressor in the jury’s eyes.  He got convicted and sentenced to seven years.  

So if you’re a good guy or gal with a gun who, heaven forfend, winds up shooting someone in self-defense, everything you say can and will be used against you – even things you say long before the episode in question, unrelated to the shooting.  

I thought about that when the media started covering this story – a Saint Paul homeowner shot a suspected car thief. 

And what picture did the Strib, and then every single gun-grabber group, run with?

Photo via the Strib’s Sharon Prather.

From the Strib, with emphasis added:

A 36-year-old man with a gun was with the suspect when police arrived, and he identified himself to officers as the homeowner, police said. He cooperated with the investigation and was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of aggravated assault.
The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Police found the man who had been shot in the side yard of the house after hearing gunfire, said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
A sign in the window of the house read, “No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!” The sign punctuates the message with drawings of bullet holes.

The guy – guys, really – are innocent until proven guilty. And Berg’s 18th Law is still in full effect.

But will the police and county attorney – who both cordially detest the law-abiding gun owner and dislike the notion of the Good Guy With A Gun, use this sign as evidence to logroll a jury, if necessary, into believing that the homeowner, whatever the actual situation, was looking for a chance to use his right to keep and bear arms on someone who “had it coming”?


Why embroider it?

If you are a gun owner who is concerned about self-defense, it is imperative that you stop writing on social media, putting stickers on your car, or posting your house with signs talking about what you intend to do to alleged criminals with your firearms.

It’s the same thing I wrote back when I did own guns. I’d never buy another, of course. Guns terrify me.

The Metaphysics Of Beans

As I noted last month, I’ve spent the past year losing almost 80 pounds.

In that time, I’ve discussed the issue with a few of my friends, many of them who like many Americans could stand to lose a few pounds. More than a few of them have responded “I could never give up…” pasta or ice cream or popcorn or whatever. And I do get that. None of them were easy for me to give up – and now that I’ve lost the weight, I indulge once in a while – but when I was in the middle of things, my response was and remains “nothing tastes as good as getting healthier feels”.

But I’ve gotten a response from a few others that’s caused me to think a little higher up the sociological food chain.

My mom wasn’t a bad cook when I was a kid – but dinner time was a matter of being together, rather than about the food, per se. There wasn’t a lot on the menu that had deep cultural or social significance for us, other than maybe my grandma’s lefse.

Dinner was about eating and family. Not pseudo-mystical connection to food itself.

I’ve met people for whom things are quite the opposite; for whom “foodie-ism” is either a nerd outlet, like being a Star Wars buff, or a pseudoreligion. Our culture caters to both; from the “Food Network” to the celebrity chef culture, there are parts of our culture that totemize, even fetishize, food to one degree or another.

Or that’s my theory.

I thought about this over the weekend, when I listened to “The Delicious Dish”…

…I’m sorry, that was an SNL spoof of NPR.

No, I was listening to “Splendid Table”, a show that used to be a pretty accessible recipe show with Lynne Rosetto-Casper, but has turned almost as serious-about-itself as “On Being with Krista Tippett”.

And I was treated to this:

Lucy Long: I lived in Spain for a year. Part of what I was doing was studying the food culture, and people kept telling me that I needed to go to the north of Spain during a certain season and try their bean soups. I was told that every village had their own variety of bean and would make these into soup or stew. And people who were knowledgeable about this tradition, they could look at a bean and tell that it came from a particular village. They’d spend a day, maybe a weekend, traveling to these villages to eat these beans.
I did go to one or two restaurants in villages and try these. To me, it was just bean soup. I was eating out of curiosity. I didn’t have enough knowledge to fully appreciate the distinctions that were being made. I wasn’t going there as a pilgrim; I was going there as a tourist. I could definitely tell that some of the other eaters were there as pilgrims because they were eating very carefully, they were tasting very carefully, and they were experiencing this on a much deeper level that just eating some bean soup.

And leaving aside the pretension in which the show marinades, it struck me – could the fetishization of foodie-ism be part of our problem?

Maybe not by itself: I doubt that people trekking through Spain to catalog seasonal beans are the ones getting Type 2 Diabetes.

On the other hand, I have to think the fact that our society’s been turning food into recreation, network entertainment, a social marker can’t help, either.


California isn’t on the brink of bankruptcy.

Their public unions haven’t passed Illinois and Maryland’s as models of corruption, featherbedding and incompetence.

Their education system doesn’t give New York’s a run for it’s money as a two-tiered money pit.

Their society isn’t becoming an almost third-world example of the wealth gap between Malibu and Riverside.

That’s why they’ve got time for this kind of thing – a ban on long cash-register receipts:

Modeled after a new state law requiring that plastic straws be given in restaurants only upon request, the bill would require businesses to provide electronic receipts by default unless a customer asks for a paper one.Assembly Bill 161 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said his bill is an easy way to reduce paper waste in the state while addressing consumers’ frustrations with excessively long receipts. Customers have taken to social media for years to complain and poke fun at the size of their receipts, particularly at CVS drugstore, posting pictures of the coupon-packed printouts measuring taller than a refrigerator.

“If we are looking at reducing waste, probably the easiest thing we can do is get rid of the material that someone hands us that we don’t want that we hold onto until we get to the next trash can and then throw away,” said Nick Lapis of Californians Against Waste, a bill supporter.

I can think of some waste to reduce…


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, young men found a mate at school, or at work, or at social functions. But nowadays, with feminism and #metoo, it’s risky to ask.
I recently met a guy who’s 40, has his MBA, good job, clean health, clean record, but no girlfriend. He explained it this way: if I ask a girl and she says no, I’ll be alone and humiliated. If I don’t ask her, I’ll still be alone, but I won’t be humiliated. And I can’t be reported to HR.
This is why America seems broken, why average IQ is decreasing, why young people increasingly feel they have no future. They’re right, they don’t.
Joe doakes

Why, it’s almost as if progressivism set out to destroy this nation’s morale from within.

Graphing Madness

SCENE: Mitch BERG is hacking down shrubbery for the spring. Avery LIBRELLE, walking past, hears the chainsaw and walks around the front of BERG’s house.


BERG: Er, hey, Avery. Kinda busy here…

LIBRELLE: The US has more guns than any country in the world, and the highest death rate.

BERG: As you can see here… (produces a chart from his back pocket) …

…while per-capita civilian gun ownership is high – and has gotten higher since the data in that chart – our gun homicide rate is actually down the list a ways.

LIBRELLE: Hah! To laugh! Most of those countries with higher murder rates aren’t industrial?


LIBRELLE: Do I need to speak slowly? They a r e n ‘ t i n d u s t r i a l.

BERG: No, I got that. So what? Is the life of a brown or black person, or a subsistence farmer, worth less than the life of a white middle class liberal American?

LIBRELLE: Why, no!

BERG: Then why do we not count their deaths the same?

LIBRELLE: Do you have any arugula?


Just Can’t Win

Two weeks ago: conservatives got criticized for “pouncing” on “Progressive” hubris, overreach, hypocrisy and factual illiteracy.

This week: we get criticized for not pouncing:

Why, it’s almost like nothing we can do is going to make them happy.

Theater Of The Vapid

Denied a chance to run the policy table by the fact that they don’t control the Senate, DFLers in the upper house are going to try to bully and shame Republicans into submission with today’s “Committee On Banned Bills” “hearing” at the Senate.

“These bills have huge public support and are common sense ideas,” Sen. Little continued, “They’ve been banned for completely crass partisan reasons; because they are targeting certain seats, and don’t want to give certain people any achievements to campaign with. But the senate can’t make good decisions if major options aren’t even on the table. Partisan games like this are rigging our democracy, and blocking bills that voters really want.” 
The Senate Committee on Banned Bills (COBB) is slated to review the proposed bills, take testimony from citizens and expert witnesses [of the caliber of Nancy Nord Bence – Ed.], and debate the merits of each policy.  A wide array of bills will be introduced during the hearing, including legislation dealing with paid family medical leave, gun safety, and the health care provider tax [agenda and complete list of members and bills below].

The bills include:

  1. SF 434 – Latz – Universal gun registration
  2. SF 399 – Hayden – MinnesotaCare provider tax repeal
  3. SF 1012 – Torres Ray – Increase Teachers of Color Act strengthening and appropriation
  4. SF 1060 – Kent – Paid family, pregnancy, bonding, and applicant’s serious medical condition benefits establishment; employment leaves authorization and regulation; data classification authorization and appropriation 
  5. SF 856 – Champion – Right to vote restoration upon incarceration release or sentencing imposition; county attorney voter registration and eligibility investigation obligation repeal
  6. SF 208 – Pappas – Resolution memorializing Congress to remove the deadline for ratification of the equal rights amendment by the states
  7.  SF 200 – Cohen – Constitutional amendment for gender equality under the law

These are the DFL’s priorities – and they clearly believe there are enough uninformed people out there to give them a win.

They may be right.

Berg’s 12th Law Is No Less Universal Than The Others

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Volvo will install in-car cameras to monitor your behavior.
I suspect the signal will be beamed directly to Mac-Groveland for review by a cadre of St. Kate’s students who will scrutinize it for every micro-aggression and Tweet their dismay that offenders remain employed.
Joe Doakes

While not as well-known as Berg’s Seventh Law, Berg’s 12th Law – “The humorous, satirical or hyperbolic explanation of “progressive” behavior will, in direct proportion to the recklessness, extralegality, deviance or confrontiveness of the “progressive” actions being analyzed, to be the correct explanation.” – is both applicable here, and utterly on point.

We may be in line for a corollary, though. “Today’s jokes about “progressive” petulance, hypocrisy and bullying are tomorrow’s headlines, next week’s proposals, and next month’s policies”.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrat candidates are in a bidding war to promise voters the most free stuff.  They don’t understand how society operates and risk destroying it.
In Star Trek, you could have as much as you want simply by punching the button on a replicator.  But until that day arrives, some things will be less plentiful than others. How we deal with scarcity is economics and Democrats don’t understand it at all.
Large, perfect diamonds are scarce but women want them.  Jewelers manage scarcity by price.  Million-dollar paydays are scarce.  Publisher’s Clearinghouse manages scarcity by chance.  College degrees from Harvard – managing scarcity by affirmative action – or USC – managing scarcity by bribery.
Even food can be scarce.  I went to an all-you-can-eat fish fry.  The server brought the first portion but no seconds.  She explained that too many customers had ordered fish, the restaurant was running run out, they were distributing one-to-a-customer.  When I mentioned false advertising, she said: “That IS all you can eat, that’s all we’re going to give you.”  Managing scarcity by rationing.
Free college, free health insurance, free medical care, paid free time, Democrats promise it all . . . but society can’t give everything to everybody for free so how will we manage scarcity?  The candidates are conspicuously quiet about their plans for that.

They’re being “quiet” in the same sense I”m “ghosting Scarlett Johanson”; telling the truth is not part of the vocabulary.

It Could Be Me

I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 – I couldn’t quite do it.

But if things keep going the way George Bardemesser – a self-described “moderate Republican” – describes them, I probably will next time.

Was I worried? Hell, yeah! Was I depressed? You bet. But, really, what options were there? Hillary? Jill Stein? Seriously? Trump wasn’t my first choice or my second choice or my third choice, but by the time November 2016 rolled around, Trump was the only choice on the menu. So I swallowed hard, took a leap of faith, and pulled the lever for the Donald.
Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen Are Non-Issues For Me
And let me tell ya, every time one of these newly minted Democratic “stars” opens their mouth, the same thought goes through my mind: Thank God for Trump. Trump is my last line of defense. Trump is the only thing that stands between me and these hallucinogenic socialist nut jobs. Trump is what’s keeping chaos and left-wing insanity at bay…today, every single Democrat I can name is working overtime to make damn certain that I will pull the lever for Trump again, and with both hands this time. Trump need not worry about locking down my vote––the Democrats are doing all the heavy lifting.

Both hands – as in, “not saving a hand to plug my nose”.

Harvard’s Everlasting Shame

Some think the admissions scandal currently in the news is a mortal blow to the importance of the Ivy League.
After listening to last night’s moronic “Westminster Town Hall” on MPR, featuring David Hogg – well, until I burned the radio out of my dashboard with a blowtorch – I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that Harvard invited him to attend.
Hogg’s address claimed the 2nd Amendment exists to protect “white supremacy”, and even linked it to “climate change” – further proof that Big Gun Control is entirely about logrolling the low-information, emotion-driven voter. He calls, naturally, for sweeping gun controls – and while polls show millennials are actually more libertarian on firearms than their elders, well, I’m pretty sure that’s why Big Left is funding Hogg and his fellow pocket fascists so heavily.
But let’s cut the crap, here.
If you agree with Hogg, and want to exploit hysteria to ban a class of firearms that are mechanically indistinguishable from about 2/3 of the firearms in circulation, and are actually used *less* frequently in crimes, per capita, than any other – or, what the heck, ban all guns, as Hogg pretty much demands – there’s really only one route.
You’ve got to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
That means getting a 2/3 majority of the House and Senate on board. Even the current US House with its thin Democrat majority and growing neo-socialist caucus isn’t getting anywhere close. The Senate won’t, and never will – for reasons we’ll see in the next paragraph.
But you’re not done yet!
At the same time, you’ve got to get the legislatures of 37 states to call for the repeal. So far, I’m counting California, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island, and maaaaaaaybe Illinois, Vermont, and even less likely Washington and Oregon. In the unlikely event they get every single one, that’s 11. The other 26 *will never happen*. And the battle over the issue would likely set in motion city-vs-outstate battles in NY, IL, WA, PA and OR that will make today’s red/blue divide look like a Mr. Rogers marathon, and perhaps even provide the final impetus for California to finally break up into 2-6 smaller states, 1-3 of which would likely vote “Molon Labe” (Kids, ask your friends’ gun-owning parents).
Think we’ve got tribalism today? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
So no. You’re not going to ban guns, or even broad classes of guns. Not legally.
Of course, your other option is to just forget about that pesky Constitution, and go do it anyway. Which *will* – no “maybe” about it – lead to a civil war, one that’ll make the last one look like the Women’s March.
“Hahah, Merg, that’s Treason!”, some will say (indeed, have said). Perhaps, but not in the way they think.
Some greet that notion with a cavalier brushoff. “We’ve got the nukes!” says Rep. Swalwell. Huh. Let that rattle around your head for a bit.
Others – as long as I can remember – respond “What, you think you’re going to fight a tank with a rifle?” Which betrays a serious misunderstanding, I think, of who the military actually are, and where they come from. Hint: largely, not the political class who are pushing this sort of resolution.
Take a deep breath and get real. Gun crime is down over the past 20 years by rates that, had they happened to cancer deaths or high school dropouts or DUIs would be considered modern day miracles.
Schools are 1/4 as dangerous as they were 25 years ago.
The US is NOT the most violent place in the world.
Stop being logrolled by emotional ninnies and the not-very-closeted authoritarians behind them, and get serious.

An Honest Browbeating

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Kamala Harris, candidate for President, says the United States still hasn’t had an honest discussion about race.
Well, Kamala, that’s because “discussion” means “two people talk,” not just “you lecture me.”  The word comes from a Latin root meaning “to take apart, to examine.”  We can’t have a discussion if every time I try to speak, you silence me with a label like “Racist.”
Oh, crap, what that mansplaining?  I guess I’d better shut up while you explain why I’m wrong about that, too.
Joe Doakes

We need a conversation about why you’re evil.

Distrust. Verify. Distrust More

The easiest way to cut down on all the “pouncing” (on Democrats) in politics?

Gundeck all critical insights.

Newswire service Reuters revealed over the weekend that one of its reporters sat on an explosive story about former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) until after his contentious election battle against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) last year, only publishing the story once O’Rourke officially announced his presidential candidacy.

That’s one way of cutting down on all the anger and ire in politics today…

If Justice Exists

Defamation suits are hard to win.  And to a great extent, that’s a good thing; it’d be a terrible thing if litigation could cow the media out of reporting on the rich, famous and powerful, as it does in the UK.

In the US, defamation is, loosely, saying something false about someone in public that can damage their reputation and livelihood.  If the target is a public figure, the defamer has to know it’s a lie.  The standards – actual damages, provable malice – are intentional, and largely a good thing.

And, says Hans Von Spakowski, a surmountable level of proof in Nick Sandman’s defemation case against CNN:

Since Sandmann would not be considered a “public figure” under applicable Supreme Court precedent, he doesn’t have to prove that CNN knew the statements were false, just that they were false. Sandmann’s lawyers make a strong case, though, that CNN acted with “actual malice” and that the network’s behavior was so “outrageous and willful” and such a violation of basic journalistic standards that punitive damages should be awarded.

Interestingly, one of the lawyers representing Sandmann is Lin Wood, the same lawyer who represented Richard Jewell. Jewell was the security guard at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics who was wrongly accused by CNN and other media companies of bombing the city’s Olympic Park. When CNN was sued for defamation, it agreed to pay Jewell an undisclosed amount. That settlement came shortly after NBC agreed to pay Jewell a reported half-million dollars.

Increasingly, our media seems to be acting like a law unto itself.  That needs to change.