It’s Your Fault, Peasants

Jeffrey Toobin – caught on his own camera doing some, er, internal polling earlier this week – doesn’t have the problem.

All of you who are complaining that he was seen, non-social distancing, during a work meeting – you are the ones with the problems!

And that’s also what everyone is going to remember about Jeffrey Toobin, I’m afraid. But that says more about us than it does about him.

According to a 2016 survey, 95% of men and 81% of women in America have masturbated. Yet in the same poll, over half of respondents said they felt uncomfortable talking about it.

So we joke about it, instead, which relieves our anxieties but reinforces the taboo. Witness the outpouring of juvenile humor over the past two days about “Toobin his own horn,” his “sticky situation,” and so on.

Well, there was the little matter that he was “going on his third date with Rachel Maddow” or “universal gun registration” or “nationwide mask mandates” [or whomever it is that “progressive” guys think about while in flagrante solo] during a work meeting. On camera. A nation full of people who’ve been stuck on Teams or Zoom meetings (if we’re lucky) for seven months and joking about people not wearing pants “to work” are suddenly seeing how our self-appointed “elites” spend their time.

So of course you’re the one with the problem.

Expect 30 Minutes Of Tina Smith Ads Per Hour For The Next 12 Days

Usual disclaimers about “the only poll that counts is on November 3 [1] inserted here.

But pessimist that I am, I really didn’t see this coming

Fluke?

Polls finding more-likely voters, ones who’ve actually been paying attention?

We’ll see.

I’ve heard more than a few fellow D-list pundits exclaim disbelief at “12% undecided”. I’m going to chalk that up to some misdirected Pauline Kael syndrome, from people who “write”/tweet about politics constantly, thinking everyone is the same as they are. Smith has tried hard to follow A-Klo’s model of being innocuous and invisible. We’ll see if it works.

Lewis beating the Butcher Of Vandalia would be an early Christmas present.

[1] And, let’s be honest, as we saw in 2008 and 2010, it still may not count, really, but let’s try not to go completely down the rabbit hole.

Where Have You Gone, Learned Foot…

…the nation turns its lonely, topical limerick and haiku writing eyes to you. And Ryan Rhodes.

But since Foot is retired and Ryan is MIA, we’ll have to fill in ourselves.


There once was a fellow named Toobin
(Don’t confuse him with Jennifer Rubin).
His career met its doom,
when he dropped trou on Zoom
Now there’s a different part getting the lube-in.


Toobin takes “lid” off,
Two weeks’ frenzy erupts, as
Biden’s lid stays on.


So Toobin had fun of the kind,
the nuns said would make you go blind.
But there’s no point in moping,
it’s just Jeff’s way of hoping
for less trouble than the conjugal kind.


Carry on.

Not The <I>Babylon Bee</I>

Talking about Hunter Biden’s addiction is mean to addicts.

Do you know what’s really mean to addicts?

Enabling them

Giving a separate justice system to the powerful.

(Notice how NPR “fact checked” the assertion that Biden was kicked out of the Navy? he got an “administrative discharge” – as if he’d have gotten that had he been a kid from Oklahoma…)

Using them as a misapplied political point.

That’s mean to addicts.

No There, There

The question remains: with 85% of downtown workers not working downtown, and at least 10,000 of them never coming back, how much is this article about skyway businesses sodtpedaling the reality?

Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, says only 15% of the typical workforce population works downtown right now.

Several businesses in the Skyway are closed at least temporarily due to COVID-19. Cramer couldn’t specify how many.

“We probably will see a few less of those establishments when things kind of bounce back, but when things bounce back, that will create new opportunities for growth so we’re looking for that hopeful day as well,” Cramer said.

In theory, yes – if Governor clink ever “allows“ things to go back to normal, it’s hypothetically true that all those empty skyway store fronts will provide a world of opportunity for the next round of merchants.

Provided, of course, that people come back – that working from home doesn’t gut the commercial real estate market – and that the public safety situation downtown doesn’t keep businesses away

Orwell Was A Pollyanna, Part CVII

Presidents nominating, and Senates confirming, SCOTUS seats via the the process defined in the Constitution is “packing”

Repealing a working-class tax cut won’t increase taxes on the working class.

Nobody’s coming for your guns.

“Anti”-Fa doesn’t exist.

High density cities, with all their accoutrements (mass transit, densely-packed infranstructure) are more sustainable, livable.

The protests are mostly peaceful.

A decade and a half of demonizing police and running a catch-and-release judicial system, combined with open threats to defund or abolish the police, have no effect on crime rates, silly peasants:

The problem isn’t that the Minneapolis Student Council and the president of its Sustainability Club are lying to the people.

The problem is that they know the people who vote for them are too uncritical, complacent, dependent or stupid to know any better.

So far, it seems like a winning strategy.

Politically, I mean.

If Government Won’t Keep Order…

…then people will do it for themselves. That is not always a good thing.

Last week, Minneapolis was briefly roiled at the story of three black teenagers who died when their car rolled during a police chase.

The roiling muted a bit when it got out that the teens who were just on the brink of getting their lives together had just beaten the dritt out of a 72 year old woman to steal her car.

Pictures capture the marks left on a 72-year-old woman’s face after she was the victim of a carjacking in north Minneapolis.

It’s an experience Schlee says has also left a mark on her aunt’s overall well being.

“They punched her and knocked her to the ground to get her purse. They took off in their car, got halfway down the alley, realized they had the keys to her car backed up and she was standing up by now they got back out, hopped in her car,” said Schlee. 

Schlee says her aunt’s car is the one Minneapolis police were chasing through north Minneapolis early Monday morning, with three teenagers inside.

All three teenagers in the car died when they lost control and crashed. Schlee says her aunt had been in the area near Dowling Ave. N, taking care of a relative’s cat.  

The story didn’t get much coverage, but it did at least same some of the usual outrage hustlers into shutting up for once.

For now.

This is DFL rule in MInneapolis. Or anywhere, really.

Question For Mascists

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Went to Dunn Brothers in Wisconsin this weekend, saw this sign on the door.

Why is Wisconsin’s Mask Order subject to federal law and the US Constitution, when Governor Walz’s is not?

Joe Doakes

Because shut up.

Collective Bargaining

Employees at Spyhouse Coffee – which is sort of like Dunn Brothers, although tonier, more expensive and generally less tasty – want to unionize.

If for no other reason that this response, I may just give them another try:

I’ve always wanted one of these unions, trying to organize a low margin service business like coffee shops or bars, to test the “Labor Theory of Value” by grabbing a group of baristas, huddling them up in a vacant lot, and seeing if a coffee shop spontaneously erupts around them.

DIY Part 2

When law-abiding citizens realize they can’t count on their government for justice – and they are – they’ll establish order for themselves. As we noted earlier, that isn’t always a “good” thing in any sense a modern American would understand.

But for the first time since the thirties – the seventies, in some quarters – people are thinking about it:

NSSF president and CEO Joe Bartozzi spoke at the 2020 Gun Rights Policy Conference over the weekend where he delivered the news on the surge in ammunition sales. He also noted that gun sales were 95 percent higher in the first six months of 2020 than they were during the same time period in 2019.

Bartozzi noted there were nearly five million first-time gun buyers in the first part of the year. He explained that “of all firearms sold to first-time gun buyers, 40 percent were sold to women and personal protection was by far the main purchase driver.”

He suggested there are a few driving factors behind the current surge in gun and ammo sales — one of the key ones being the anti-gun rhetoric of Joe Biden. He suggested Biden looks at gun makers as “the enemy” and recounted Biden’s vow “to bring them down.” He observed that the talk of “mandatory buybacks” of certain firearms is a driving force as well.

We noted some time ago that in most of the country – geographically, at least – gun rights have long since gone viral, and stand to win the parts of the culture war that’s taking place there.

Has the last six months moved the needle in Blue America? We’ll see.

Nothing New Under The Sun

In the eighties, the televangelists had the best grift going. Money pouring in, and for many years no real scrutiny of what they were doing for, or with, all that money.

But that train largely left the station (I’m looking at you, Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar).

But the grift? That just goes on and on.

Ibran X. Xendi is like the Jim Bakker of critical race theory – only his grift involves gaslighting all of western culture.

“Anti-Racism” is a political belief (which in many ways only tangentially intersects with attitudes about race at all), having little to do with ethnics, morality or behavior. Xendi’s statement is pure cultural gaslighting.

Helpfully, Xendi elaborates:

He’s a PhD, remember, and yet doesn’t apparently know the difference between a word and a phrase.

And yet he’s got the kind of scam running that Jim Bakker could only dream about:

Gotta admire Xendi’s ability to cater to a market – even if it’s just self-loathing progressive academics, hangers-on, and NPR personalities.

A Democracy, If We Can Keep It

The weekend before last, I spent the better part of an hour on the NARN with Walter Hudson​, a longtime friend of the show (and someone who needs to be back on the air, one way or another).  It’s one of the the better hours I’ve had on the air recently (and I’ve been proud of a lot of my recent shows).  

Which isn’t to say it was an easy subject to talk about.   

What IF this society’s differences are irreconcilable?  

Dennis Prager points out – mostly correctly, I think, that Americans are more divided today than they were in 1861 [1].   How do we know this?  Because when the South split off, they formed a government that wasn’t a whole lot different than the one in DC.

But for four decades,  “the Great Sort” has been going on.   Americans have grouped themselves socially, economically and especially politically into at least two (I think actually three of four) major blocs, that not only have very little in common with each other (which isn’t all that new), but whose “rules” have made honest conversations about those issues impossible.

Part of America thinks – and is painstakingly training a new generation to think – that America, and Western Civilization itself –  the nation and civilization that have brought more well-being and humanity to this planet than any other in history, combined – are evil and rotten to their core, and needs to be completely rebooted, by means that are, depending on who you ask, more or less revolutionary and intolerant of dissent.   It’s not just “Anti”-Fa and the other militant revolutionary groups, either; some of our biggest, most respected institutions have been dragged on board.  The New York Times has gotten full force behind not only the perversions of the “1619 Project”, but the idea that journalism itself needs to abandon its traditional role of “putting out the facts and giving the consumer the info they need to make up their own minds”, but to use their outsized bully pulpit to directly affect current events.   That part of America believes that the Constitution – the contract that joins the several states together into a federation – is outdated at best, evil at worst, and needs to be radically overwritten, with the electoral college and the deliberative Senate and gun rights eliminated, and the majority disinhibited from absolute rule.   They  pay homage to the politics of Europe or the Pacific Rim nations, Japan at best, China at worst.  

Part of America, sorry to say, believes that America’s first priority is prevailing over that first America.   President Trump tapped in to that anger, and a lot more,  four years ago, and might just do it again.  We’ll see.  

And part of America believes that America, imperfect as it (like all creations of man) has had its problems, and (say some of us) has strayed from its best political instincts over the past 100 years, but on balance has still been far and away the greatest bringer of freedom, of human dignity and the prosperity that make freedom meaningful, in all of human history, and has been the primary driver in the fact that the 21st century, so far, is the best time in history so far to be a living human being.  

These divides aren’t “new”, per se.  But Blue America’s intolerance for the rest of the country started becoming a serious problem after the 2000 election.   And the other Americas started paying it back after 2010, when the establishments of both parties teamed up to slander the Tea Party – the most egalitarian, civil mass movement in recent history – back into the shadows.    (Wanna know where Trump came from?  Shut up about Racism, Putin, Xenophobia and Misogyny – millions of good-hearted Americans saw what coloring inside the lines and playing nice got you).  

So – how do 2-3 societies that neither trust nor care for each other get along?  

The *right* answer is “recommit this nation to Federalism – the system of checks and balances and shared but countervailing powers, from the federal down to the local levels, that made a “nation” of thirteen very diverse states possible in the first place.   Of course, that first America doesn’t want to share power – the idealistic among them say “it doesn’t move America forward”, which shows the complete failure of civics education in this country over the past forty years, from a conservative perspective.   The “revolutionary” part of that first America sees federalism as a bug, not a feature – if they know anything about it at all. 

The wrong answer?  Civil war – which would not be like 1861-65, with 2-5 groups of state withdrawing into their separate camps and starting over as nations.   Although we may wish it were that simple.  “Sorted” as America is, it’d much more likely look  like Bosnia or Kosovo or Rwanda than Gettysburg and Appomattox.

The “right-ish” but likely fantasy answer?  A civil divorce, with the 2-5 Americas staging an orderly breakup, each writing their own Constitution, each forming a new nation and rebooting the idea of (at best) self-government.   That’s not going to happen – between the masses of people who mindlessly chant “we settled that in 1865, you traitor” and people in Blue America eventually realizing that Paul Krugman was full of, er, privilege and that the prospect of having to import all the food and materials that they currently get for domestic prices?   And after that, when the “red” parts of “blue” states try to get out of the inevitable vassaldom (as, indeed, parts of California are already proposing)?    Elegant and easy as it seems – I’d love to see the US281 Corridor and the rural west turn into an energy and food superpower – it’s just not happening without a fight.  See the previous paragraph. 

The middle way?   As Walter puts it in the third segment up above, it’s time for Americans who care about freedom to start making it count, where they live. 

Stop acquiescing to your schools teaching your kids crap – by pulling them out, if need be, with whatever sacrifices that entails.  

When your local business defies Governor Klink’s hamfisted diktats, show up when Keith Ellison’s goons come out with their papers and show them what “defending freedom” really looks like.  

Start taking freedom seriously – vote for candidates, ESPECIALLY locally and the state legislature, who actually care about freedom, and are chomping at the bit to start rolling back the madness at city hall and in Saint Paul.    If you don’t know who I’m talking about, then ask.   State Senate candidates like Alexander Buster Deputie – an immigrant from a war-torn country – and Diane Napper, who being from Philadelphia is about the same – are two great places to start.   

Buy a gun (yes, I know – they’re scarce.  There’s ways to get around that.  And while all my guns fell in the lake, and they terrify me anyway, I do remember a thing or two).  Learn to shoot.   Join your local gun rights group.  Show up.  Be one of those numbers that terrify society’s ninnies.  Because this is one area of the culture war the good guys are winning, these days.  On all individual liberty issues, we can’t just “win” – we need crush it.  

If you’ve got a representative who’s already made their stand for freedom – a county commission that’s declared themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary, a libertarian/conservative City Councilperson who’s made a dent in a DFL cesspool, a sheriff who’s said they’re not going to enforce Governor Klink’s latest “bring me a shrubbery!” outburst, a state legislator who’s fought the fight and has the smear pieces in the media to show for it?  Don’t just vote for them.  Call them to thank them.  And then ask them how you can help. 

 Because it’s when good people see that there are other good people – other people who want that third America, above – that we start pushing the cultural needle back out of the red. 

The alternatives?   Ongoing collapse, or that First America taking power. 

But I repeat myself. 

Heroes 200. Bureaucrats 0.

200 people were completely encircled by the current round of wildfires in California.

CALFIRE – the agency with the Suharto-esque title responsible for fighting the state’s wildfires – wrote them off.

And then, as the California National Guard went to rescue them anyway, CALFIRE told them to wave off.

The Guard did it anyway.

Entire thread on Twitter:

It was a moment of immense heroism, and a Berg’s Third Law reference if there ever was one.

It’s been a bad year for bureaucratic “experts”.

Appeasement

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Kyle Rittenhouse. Murder.  Another tough case for the prosecution. 

Sure, the prosecution has a tape of a kid shooting people.  But the defense gets a turn, too.  Here’s their opening salvo.

And that’s not to mention that all three of the people he shot were convicted felons – not exactly the kind of people Kenoshans want roaming their streets.

Three criminals trying to destroy our town.  A good kid standing up for what’s right.  A racist prosecution to appease the mob.  Liberals may not think those themes will resonate with the jury.  I suspect they will.

Joe Doakes

If he gets acquitted – and I’m far from sanguine, but I think there’s hope – heads will melt.

And that melting will express itself in yet more riots.

Proletarian Heroine

Lenin, Stalin and Castro were all children of the middle-to-upper middle classes – people with a certain amount of privilege in the context of their times.

Hitler was from a bourgeois background. Most of the “Hitler Cabinet” that ran Germany and then the Nazi empire fro 1933 to 1945 were artists, self-styled or successful or, often, not – painters and writers, playwrights, sculptors, musicians, mostly mediocre at best, but all from the class where that kind of pastime was possible.

Most of America’s rioters in the 1960s were the children of the upper middle class – people who could while away their draft eligibility in college, back when college was simultaneously affordable and not the default post-high-school option for vast swathes of society.

The woman who coined the term “white privilege” was, herself, from a family that personified class privilege, who coined the term largely to racialize her, and her colleagues’, immense class advantages.

But has that changed? After 120 years, is the radical left actually made up of the workers whose struggles they’ve appropriated?

Mitch, please.

Statement Against Interest

“Prog” columnist looks at the statute and the evidence, concludes Kyle Rittenhouse will likely be acquitted.

I don’t disagree – and find that there’s ample grounds for caution for all the rest of us that take the Second Amendment seriously.

I homed in on these two passages:

When [the first “victim”, Joseph] Rosenbaum, who was unarmed, finally cornered Rittenhouse, he grabbed for the teenager’s gun. Multiple shots rang out, and Rosenbaum fell, mortally wounded.

Did Rittenhouse have a reasonable belief under the circumstances that if Rosenbaum got his gun he would suffer death or great bodily harm? Jurors in Wisconsin are instructed that “reasonable” means “what a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence would have believed … under the circumstances that existed at the time.”

And this bit here:

A third victim, Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, of West Allis, Wisconsin, who survived, first held up his hands in a gesture of surrender at a distance of a few feet. In one of his hands, he held a gun. But when he “moved toward” Rittenhouse, prosecutors said, Rittenhouse fired, striking him in the arm.

That final shooting “will be the most serious problem” for Rittenhouse at trial, Kling said. ”The guy did have a gun in his hand. But he wasn’t pointing it at or threatening Rittenhouse.”

My first carry permit instructor, the last Joel Rosenberg, used to put it this way: “You’ll be making a life-or-death decision in a split second, likely under incredible stress, in the dark, with incomplete information. The prosector will have weeks and months in a warm, well-lit building, protected by metal detectors and deputies, to decide whether you were right”.

Another of Joel’s sayings: “Shooting in self-defense is a choice between losing your life, and ruining it”.

Because while there’s a lot of rhetoric about deterring the madness, to say nothing of resisting it, it’s still incredibly risky, and under normal circumstances – and even some garden-variety extraordinary ones – best avoided:

Overwhelmingly I hear from the professionals that their plan for dealing with riots and mayhem is “Don’t be there.” Check the ego. Back away from the social media siren call to “be part of the solution.” Inserting yourself into a riot (AKA “war zone”) where we now know there are armed violent criminals (often felons) who are there with the expressed intent to do extreme violence to someone is, in my view, just foolish.

It’s said that good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement. I sure have found that to be true a lot of times. In flying, we say you have a skill bucket and a luck bucket. You hope to fill your skill bucket before using up everything in the luck bucket.

For your consideration.

Vigilance

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Just curious about the vigilance committees the NAACP formed in Minneapolis, after the riots. 

624.61 ARMED ASSOCIATION.

It shall not be lawful for any body of persons, other than the National Guard, troops of the United States and, with the consent of the governor, sons and daughters of veterans and cadets of educational institutions where military science is taught, to associate themselves together as a military company with arms, but members of social and benevolent organizations are not prohibited from wearing swords. Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor.

Should I expect to read about charges being filed, soon?

Joe Doakes

I’ve also noticed a certain…difference in tone in covering groups of “people of color” and immigrants (including a number that I consider friends) arming up to defend their property, and white people doing exactly the same thing with exactly the same motivation.

Away From The Margins

Are there still “independent” voters out there?

I don’t think I’ve called myself “independent” since my 20s. Most people I know are pretty strongly aligned, although “my social circle” is a self-selecting set.

But they apparently exist.

Let’s stipulate in advance – any poll taken before Labor Day is pretty useless. Any poll taken before mid-October is suspect. And as we saw in 2016, all polls are potentially delusional.

That being said – the Dems can’t be liking what this poll tells us:

When asked who they would vote for if the election were being held today, 47% of independents said that they would vote for Trump and 37% said they would vote for Biden, the poll showed. Another 5% said that they weren’t sure who they would vote for and 11% said that they would vote third-party or vote for someone other than Trump or Biden.

I’m gonna guess that, and not Mayor McDreamy and Governor Klink growing spines, is what brought the Guard out to Nicollet Mall last week.

Beggars

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Guthrie Theater had to cancel its entire Spring and Summer run of
performances because of the deadliest virus known to mankind.  They need
help to keep the doors open.  Their state grants and corporate sponsors
aren’t enough.

Won’t you considering digging deep to support the Arts?

Um

Well

No.

Joe Doakes

Hard pass.

Same with you, NPR.

Scouting For Opportunity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is the job I want.  Quoting from the court’s opinion:

“Howard Norsetter, a United States citizen who has maintained permanent residence in Australia since 1984, began working as a scout for Minnesota Twins LLC, in 1990 . . . Norsetter’s scouting duties included evaluating athletes and making recommendations on whether the team should sign them. He developed relationships with players, parents, coaches, and agents, and he established contacts worldwide. He scouted in Australia and also regularly traveled to different countries to evaluate athletes, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, and all over Europe . . . Norsetter also served as the team’s minor-league international supervisor.”

Living in Aussie-land, jetting around the world watching baseball games . . . I wonder what that pays?  Have the Twins EVER signed a player from Down Under?  Is it possible he’s been scouting for 30 years and NEVER found a prospect, but still got paid for it? 

I want that job.

Joe Doakes

Almost like a public union job.

With a garbage hauler.

In New Jersey.