Immemorial Day

One of the most engrossing bits of reading about this time 35 years ago was the speculative fictional history, The Third World War:  August, 1985 by General Sir John Hackett.

Hackett – a British Army hero from World War II who’d gone on to command all Brit forces in Europe in the seventies – wrote an engrossing story about a Soviet invasion of Western Europe, which followed on a growing series of wars around the world, in the Middle East and east Asia.  The book took the form of a series of third-party-omniscient diary entries, not much unlike my own book, Trulbert.  A series of flashpoints led to the Soviet forces which – most kids today couldn’t tell you – were stationed all over East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union to launch a full assault into Western Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavia.  It ended with nuclear strikes on Manchester and Minsk, which led in turn to a coup in Moscow, ending the war in a tense stalemate.

It was intended as a cautionary tale – about the potential results of Carter-era western weakness and fecklessness, and the potential value of the investments that “hawks” in the West (including, to his credit, Carter, who had hardened up after realizing kittens and unicorns weren’t working with either the Iranians or Soviets) were asking to make in their national defense budgets.

I re-read the book a few years ago.  It’s obviously dated  – the USSR is long gone, and nobody under age 40 can tell you what the Warsaw Pact was anymore.  But it’s still a fascinating bit of history, much the same as The Great Pacific War by Hector Bywater (a book featuring Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Phillippines and Singapore, and resolved with massive American industrial, naval and air power – written in 1925).

At any rate – today, August 4, was the date of the fictional assault across the Inter-German Border, thirty years ago.

If you’ve read this blog, you know that I believe – correctly, along with most historians worthy of the term – that it was Ronald Reagan’s hard line that brought down the USSR and ended not only the threat of such an invasion, but potentially much worse).

What’s worse? A “warmonger” who scares all opponents into avoiding war, or a “peacemaker” who gets walked over with deadly force? Fortunately, the world will never need to know. Well, we didn’t until 2009…

At any rate –  I  think it’s high time we built a serious Cold War memorial.  Perhaps we need to buy an old B-52 from the “boneyard”, and install it on the Capitol Mall in Saint Paul.  Ideally, we could surround it with a model of a torn-down “Berlin” wall, and include a plaque with the names of the 6-7 million Minnesotans who weren’t killed in the Cold War.

For the naysayers?  We could include a plaque showing the economic analysis that indicates Reagan’s deficit spending on defense more than paid for itself during the ’90s, when America cashed in its “peace dividend”, putting all that military production to work building consumer goodies.  That smart phone you’re holding?  It navigates because of technology that was designed to ensure aircraft and submarines knew where they were; the internet itself started as Cold-War effort to harden the information infrastructure against a catastrophic attack.  The benefits go on and on.

Anyway, it’s time to cut the crap.  The time is right.  The price is right (old B-52s stored at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tuscon are going for about a buck a pop, you haul.   I bet we can find some people to donate time and effort to haul it and build a pedestal for it.

What say?  Isn’t it time for a memorial to the war that freed more people than all other American wars put together, and did it without a shot being (directly) fired?



Betty’s Priorities

Minnesota 4th district representative Betty McCollum the FBI to investigate the Bloomington dentist who shot a lion in Zimbabwe…

…which they’ll  apparently have time to do, since she’s not calling on them to investigate Planned Parenthood’s human chop shop operation.

A Good Girl With A Gun

A West Virginia sex worker shoots and kills a man who police believe may be a serial killer.

“When he strangled me he just wouldn’t let me get any air,” she said. ” I grabbed my rake and when he laid the gun down to get the rake out of my hands, I shot him. I just grabbed the gun and shot behind me.”

And how do the police figure he’s a serial killer, and not just another Democrat operative looking for something edgier than strip clubs?

He showed up with a “kill list,” multiple pairs of handcuffs and a Subaru full of weapons and tools, including a shovel, knives, a bulletproof vest, a machete, bleach, trash bags, sledgehammers and axes, according to Fox affiliate KPTV.


In Falls’s pocket, police said, was a list of names of potential future victims, all of whom are sex workers who advertised on Backpage, according to the Daily Dot.

The string of killings for which he’s suspected?  Pretty ugly.  Six women are missing in Chillicothe, Ohio – in a population of 21,000.

No word yet on whether Jane Kay or Rep. Heather Martens want to charge the woman for not taking a background check before taking the guy’s gun.

Remember, folks:  no need for a gun.  The police will take care of it.  They’re trained for this sort of thing.

The Cruel Rural Juror

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Screen shot from today’s Star Tribune.  Third paragraph:   “ . . . the very day a jury was cruel enough to justify the death penalty.”



Evidence of liberal bias in the media?


Or simple failure of the layers and layers of checkers and editors that make the mainstream media so much more reliable than bloggers?


Joe Doakes

Why choose?


There’s Just No Way…

…anyone could have possibly seen this coming.

Smoke choked the streets of the city of Houston yesterday as Islamic protesters gathered to oppose the Supreme Court’s decision upholding gay marriage. Throughout the day members of the Muslim community prowled the city streets, tearing down LGBT flags from public buildings and private residences. A large pile containing hundreds of LGBT flags was burned later during a massive anti-gay-marriage rally.

Bring on the hate crime investigation!

Oh, wait…


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Donald said unflattering things about John McCain’s military service, echoes of unflattering things Al Franken said.

 Franken now says it was a joke

So . . . was he kidding, then? Or was he kidding “on the square”? Or is he kidding now about having been kidding then?Hard to when a lying liar is lying. Safest to assume it’s “always.”

joe doakes



Among Second Amendment circles, it’s been a long-term matter of sport to pick out the various “sportsmens” “groups” that are fronts for the gun-grab movement.  Every election cycle, a “group” of “sportsmen” will issue an earnest plea for…gun control.


The groups are invariably ringers, of course.  And maybe it’s just me – but it seems like we’re seeing fewer of them here in Minnesota; if I’m right, perhaps it’s because the antis realize that northern Minnesota is lost to them, and they’re concentrating their Michael Bloomberg’s resources to motivating the ignorant base in the Metro area.

Still, you see all sorts of these potemkin organizations on the left; “people” and “groups” – almost invariably astroturf “organizations” intended to provide unlikely “bipartisan” PR cover for their extreme allies;  groups like “Sportsmen for Gun Safety”, or “Small Businesspeople For A Higher Minimum Wage” or “Babies for Choice”.

And, if i had to guess, this fellow,Izak Pratt,  to whom Brad Carlson introduced us on his July 11 broadcast.  Mr. Pratt claims to be a gay former Republican.

But the sniff test just keeps failing (emphasis added by me):

I voted against my own interests and didn’t think twice about it. I felt it was my duty to uphold what the Bible had taught me. It was my dumy own intereststy to make my parents proud and continue a legacy of “goodness” in an increasingly “immoral” world.

And there’s the first tell; the phrase “…own interests”, which is “progressive” code for “more fiscal and moral entitlements from government”, whether it’s farm bill benefits, an artificially high minimum wage, or government stepping in to tell society what to believe is the first.

I was vehemently against abortion, stem cell research, gun regulation, immigration reform, welfare programs and gay rights. I was also pro-war, slightly xenophobic with somewhat racist inclinations.

In my ignorance and backwards ideology, I had twisted parts of the Bible in order to justify my views — all while refusing to study or learn about differing opinions.

The reduction of all conservative thought to a series of ofay cliches seemingly cribbed from MSNBC – aka “bigoted chanting points delivered with an air of unearned condescension” –  is another big fat reeking tell; Izak Pratt was no more developed as a conservtive than I was as a liberal when I switched to the right.

Only nobody published my testimony indicting the left, naturally…

Then, during the summer of 2012, my views radically changed. I experienced an awakening that began when I immersed myself intensely into researching both sides of the political spectrum.

And all that “immersion” led him to switch to – surprise! – the left, as well as…:


… [dumping] Fox News and questioned everything I had been told.

I love it when progs throw that out there.  I don’t know that I’ve personally ever watched Fox, outside of the occasional waiting room.  CNN, either.

And all of that soul-searching led him to…:

 I guess facts such as the low unemployment rates, strong stock markets, high consumer confidence, equal rights and healthcare are all too inconvenient for many to accept. I mean, who has time for those silly facts, right?

Yawn.  The not-so-silly facts are that  unemployment rate is “low” because people are leaving the workforce, the market is high because companies are hoarding cheap unsustainable no-interest cash from the Fed, consumer confidence is about as reliable a measure of the economy as sheep entrails, and the “free” healthcare is going to clean us out.  Mazel tov on the “equal rights”.

The actual fact, Izak Pratt, is that what you call “facts” are actually chanting points.

And your leaving a GOP and a conservative movement is your loss and our gain; not because you’re gay, but because you’re the kind of gullible, incurious person that the left needs, loves, and fosters.

Glad we settled that.

Not Stirred

Joe Doakes feom Como Park emails:

Man visits flea market, sees Confederate materials for sale, calls 911. He was shaking and almost vomiting, he was so upset because an ancestor suffered under a foreign government. 
Give him a ticket. Misuse of police emergency resources is a serious matter.
And give his house back to the tribe it was stolen from.
Joe Doakes

Up next: the Irish sue the Norwegians and Danes.


Earlier this week, while listening to Jack and Andrew on the lesser talk station, I caught them running through this piece about 38 examples of liberal privelege on college campuses. 

The piece is very much worth a read.

Of course, if you live in a place like the Twin Cities, you realize there’d be room for a similar piece for adults in places where Jon Stewart is considered news and where chanting “settled science!” is considered an argument-ender.

I’m going to take quick shot at it, off the top of my head:  if you’re an adult in a “progressive” city…:

  1. You’ve never had to learn to confront dissent as anything other than either a mortal threat to your worldview, or a joke to be scuttled away from, using ad homina if necessary.
  2. You’ve never had to learn to debate at a level beyond strawmen, red herrings, and chuckling “facts have a liberal bias” as if the saying were handed down by the ancients, rather than by a mediocre comic who made a living satirizing conservatives.
  3. After 12 years of indoctrination in the public schools, and often as not 4-8 years at an institution where dissent is treated as a pathology, you are utterly secure in your faith that your club is the sole source of truth.

35 more to go!

By. By.  By. By. By. 

For the love of all that is holy, people – stop saying  “on accident”.

It is “by accident”.

“On accident” makes, grammatically and etymologically, no sense.

Anyone who says “on accident” in my presence again will be maced. And not a jury in the world will convict me – provided the jury is all literate people.

Some risks are worth taking.

Rule Of Men

joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A federal judge said the President lacks the constitutional power to enact his amnesty scheme, and enjoined it.
The Federal Court of Appeals held there was little chance the government could prevail on the merits of its case, and upheld the injunction.
The government chose not to appeal that decision. The injunction stands.
The President derides the individual federal judge who issued the injunction, failing to mention the Court of Appeals’ finding that the government’s case was a loser.
In Minnesota, it’s a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct to engage in conduct that’s prejudicial to the administration of justice. I believe Minnesota lawyers have been sanctioned for verbally attacking judges, because that conduct brings the entire judicial system into disrepute. Too bad that level of cordiality doesn’t apply outside our borders.
Joe Doakes

Remember when people said Obama’s purported background as a “constitutional scholar” was a stellar qualification for the job? And I responded that the president needs to know no more about the Constitution that a good policeman does – in other words, “follow it”.

Being right all the time is getting tiresome.

No it isn’t. Just scary.

I Heard It On The NARN

Go to Hands Off Our Cans to help push back against Bloomington’s City Council’s proposal to implement a Cuban-style trash collection system.

Here are details about Aluminum Overcast, as well as of the World War II-vintage B-17’s visit to Blaine on June 17-18.

Pre-orders of my new e-book Trulbert: A Comic Novella About the End of the World As We Know It are available at Amazon; the book will be released June 15.

Not Saying. Just Saying.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Progressives hate the Catholic Church because it put homosexual men in positions of authority where they could have sexual contact with boys.

Progressives hate the Boy Scouts because it will not put homosexual men in positions of authority where they could have sexual contact with boys.

Makes no sense to me. Maybe Progressives are just haters?

Joe Doakes

there has never been a knot Gordian enough to simulate the intricacies of “progressive” favor and hatred.

Fighting Racism With Racism

This piece – “Ten Cracka Commandments“, submitted by “Christopher Driscoll”, ostensibly an African-American professor at Lehigh Universithy, as a suggestion for the rules white people should follow in dealing with race – was making the rounds of the clickbait sites last week.

All the usual disclaimers apply; unknown professor (likely trying to make a name, in an academic community where inflammatory publicity-whoring is as important as teaching), clickbait site, the fact that I’m referencing him at all gives him more attention than he’s worth, yadda yadda.

1. #AllLivesMatter won’t matter until #BlackLivesMatter. This commandment is a litmus test and the greatest commandment.

OK, since that would seem to be a matter of mathematical logic, that’s not too big a stretch.

2. Always remember that white privilege is real, even if you do not understand it. Use it to convince other people that black lives, including black women’s lives, matter. Show up for protests, write letters to representatives, and start discussions with other white people about black lives mattering.

OK, privilege is real.  I’ve even defined it, at least for part of “white culture”.

Now what?

What do we do, once we’ve made this assertion?

I’ve never gotten an answer on this.

3. Always remember that ignorance is real, and is a product of privilege. Treat the ignorant with compassion, but hold them accountable.

I love getting lectured about “privilege” by tenured academics.   But I do try to treat them with compassion.  For what it’s worth.

4. Never think that the critique does not apply to you. Just because you were at Barack’s inauguration and your dad was a freedom rider, or because you are the head of your local chapter of GLADD, that does not mean you do not have more work to do on yourself, your family, and your community.

Read: “Your zeal will always be insufficient to satisfy The Movement”.

Lavrentii Beria went from “Stalin’s #2 man” to “dead” in less time than it takes Mark Dayton to flip-flop on an issue.

5. Always remember that it is never a question of if violence, but whose violence are you going to defend. Unjust state-sanctioned and racist violence, or justified resistance; the choice is yours, the choice is ours.

This is where it’s probably a good thing we’re not having this debate in person. I’d start laughing right about here.  It reminds me too much of “last call” at the craphole bars I used to work at.

It’s a false dilemma.  Those aren’t our only choices.   The real range of options is:

  • Unjust State-Sanctioned Violence:  the shooting of Eric Garner qualifies.
  • “Justified Resistance”:  We can argue about examples – I‘ve written about a few – but it’s certainly a choice.
  • Unjustified, out-of-proportion, opportunistic violence with a thin veneer of “resistance” daubed on the top:  The LA riots, the looting and destruction of innocent peoples’ property and livelihoods in Ferguson and Baltimore and, really, anywhere.
  • Justified State-Sanctioned Violence:  It should be rare, and much more closely scrutinized than it is in much of the country.  But it exists.

And you’re right, Professor Driscoll.  The choice is mine.  I’ll take “2” and “4”.  Thanks.

6. Never tolerate racism from your friends or family. Whether it is coming from your eighteen-year-old friend, your thirty-one-year-old cousin, or your eighty-year-old grandmother, confront it always. Confronting racism does not mean you will lose your friend or family. It means you will help to make them act and think in less racist ways.

OK.  Professor Driscoll:  Stop using the term “cracka”.  It implies that white people are inherently slave-masters.  It’s degrading and insulting and racist, and I won’t tolerate it.

7. You cannot love cultural products without also loving the people who make those products. If you like black art or athletics, that appreciation is an entryway into recognizing that black lives matter.

Wait – racism is hatred, right?  You can’t simultaneously love and hate.

So if I “cannot” love cultural products – as I do Levi Stubbs and Walter Payton and Clarence Clemons and LeBron James and Jimi Hendrix and James Brown (both) and Prince – then I cannot simultaneously hate black people?

I mean, that seems reasonable – and seems to contradict the rest of your thesis, Professor Driscoll.

8. Never quote black leaders like Dr. King in order to criticize protesters and activists.

Bullshit.   I absolutely will.  You don’t make those rules.

9. Always embrace uncertainty. Life is uncertain; death is certain. Uncertainty promotes life; certainty produces death and destruction.

I love getting told to “embrace uncertainty” by tenured professors.

10. Never put white fragility ahead of justice. If you are more concerned to argue that you “aren’t racist” than you are with racism or with people dying, you’re priorities are skewed. Do you want justice or comfort?

I’m not concerned about arguing I’m “not racist”.  I’m not.  There’s no argument.

Everyone in the world is a “we-ist” – more comfortable around, and forgiving of, people like them than people not like them. I am, you are, everyone is.  There’s evidence it’s programmed into our DNA; babies recognize adults of different races very early in life.

I just have a hunch our definitions of “Justice” are very different.

UPDATE:  I’m informed that, counter to BuzzPo’s foreword, Professor Driscoll is in fact white.

Which changes none of my conclusions above – except that using the term “cracka”, like he’s a native speaker of ghetto argot, isn’t just presumptuous; it’s a comfortable, fat ‘n happy academic playing “minstrel show”.

Open Letter To Bobby Kahn

To: Bobby Kahn, bike absolutist
From: Mitch Berg, biker with common sense
Re: Your Poor, Put-Upon Friends

Mr. Kahn,

You admit to being friends of the people who, last weekend, decided of their own idiot free will to throw water balloons and super soakers have a pedal pub in downtown Minneapolis.

And then do it again.

Because they just don’t like pedal pubs.

And now they’re trying to set themselves up as Rodney King because they were stupid enough to squirt a pedal pub full of off-duty cops, who proceeded to take them down.

You said they – your friends – are “loveable goofballs”.

No. They’re self-absorbed narcissists.

And if it hadn’t been their idiot luck to spray off-duty cops, but just a bunch of ironworkers or bouncers or big guys, they wouldn’t be able to wrap the just consequences of their stupidity in this year’s white-liberal-guilt-fest.

And…they were angry at pedal pubs? Talk about white privilege.

That is all.

Against It Before They Were For It

During the legislative session: The Senate DFL caucus joined with Senate Republicans to defeat Governor Flint-Smith’s Dayton’s teachers union payoff (A.k.a. “early childhood education” bill) – a proposal that school districts don’t want, and research shows is at best useless for kids development.

Now that the session is over, and the Senate election is in sight: The Senate DFL caucus is puckering up, and homing in on Governor Dayton’s hindquarters:

One day after Governor Dayton announced he would be vetoing the legislature’s $400 million E-12 bill, seven DFL State Senators have made it clear they won’t be a road block to negotiations, saying they are in favor of the Governor’s desire to fund a sustained commitment to early childhood education that works for all schools and includes flexibility.

Reading the article – from the Senate DFL caucus communication office – it’s easy to see who the campaign is aimed at; people who want free stuff, and don’t really care how they get it.