Hollow Democracy

As the Sanders candidacy – the 25% of the left that is the analog of the Trump audience in the GOP – continues to slurp up the attentions of our lazy media, it’s always instructive to be aware of the inevitable failure of democratically-elected socialism in our hemisphere.  Kevin Williamson runs down the dismal record and present of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has continued and extended the misery and repression of the Chavez years.

That’s all bad enough.

Worse?

Maduro, like Chavez and all socialists before him, has been moving aggressively to control public opinion, banning opposition media and driving all dissent underground.

And while the dog is in Venezuela, the tail is here in America:

There is more to democratic legitimacy than open ballots truly counted. As the Founders of our own republic keenly appreciated, genuine democratic engagement requires an informed populace and open debate, thus the First Amendment’s protections, which extend not only to newspapers and political parties but also to ordinary citizens, despite the best efforts of Harry Reid and congressional Democrats to trample those rights. (They call this “campaign-finance reform,” on the theory that political communications more sophisticated than standing on a soapbox outside the Mall of America requires some sort of financial outlay.) But Venezuela has been for years cracking down on newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, even as the Maduro regime’s inspirations in Havana have been locking up outlaw . . . librarians.

Is it an accident that suddenly, the First Amendment is out of style on the left, with a whole generation of college students being raised to see speech as a controlled professional entitlement, the Obama Federal Communications and Elections Commissions constantly moving to control alternative media, using Homeland Security to demonize and the IRS to stifle dissent, and our nation’s chattering elite finding the First Amendment just too complicated for commoners?

Perspective 

Thousands of people – predominantly black and brown, none of them looking like the relatives of NPR executives, mostly poor – killed very, very dead in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington DC over the decades that guns were, in effect,banned by the Democrat ruling machines in those cities: hardly a peep, either from the Democrat political mainstream, the media or from the African-American poverty pimp industry.

Cute, blonde TV reporter murdered by a disgruntled former station employee? Now that’s a story!

#MediaLivesMatter

Nope; No Stultifying, Pervasive Media Bias Here

The Strib actually wrote a piece about Americans for Prosperity’s “Saving the American Dream” summit, which drew conservatives nationwide, including a panoply of conservative candidates, to Columbus, OH last week.

Now, this is Americans for Prosperity we’re talking about – one of the most successful conservative advocacy groups in the country; behind several of the most successful conservative grass-roots campaigns in the past decade.

So what was the Strib’s headline?

Belief growing in Koch-backed group that winning presidency beats finding perfect Republican

And the lede?

The head of the Koch brothers’ flagship political organization says a Republican winning the presidency is becoming a higher priority for more of its members, suggesting a rift between pragmatists and ideologues.

And of course the Kochs put money into AFP.

But when was the last time you saw a headline like:

Alita Messinger-backed group launches ad campaign supporting Democrats

Or a lede like…:

“Heather Martens, whose organization, “ProtectMN”, wouldn’t have a pot to piss in without the Joyce Foundation’s ineptly-spent foundation money…

Or perhaps…:

The story, from Media Matters, an attack PR firm entirely funded by liberal plutocrats with deep pockets, most primarily George Soros and Paul Allen…

It’s just fascinating, the timing with which the Twin Cities media decides to be diligent about “following the money…”

A Good Guy With A Gun – Vindicated

A few weeks back, we discussed the July 31 shooting of Lavauntai Broadbent by a carry permittee whom Mr. Broadbent was apparently attempting to rob.  The shooting took place on the western end of Summit Avenue, above the Mississippi River.

About a week after the decision was expected, the Ramsey County Attorney’s office has announced they will not file charges against a law-abiding citizen:

St. Paul police have said that Lavauntai Broadbent, 16, was killed on July 31 after he brandished a handgun at two people at Shadow Falls Park. The man, whom police have not named, drew his own gun — for which he had a permit to carry — and fired at Broadbent.
The man’s actions were legally justified under Minnesota statute 609.065, based on police evidence in the case, the county attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday.

So John Choi’s office got one right.

By my count, after 12 years (with a year off as a hack judge paid off a chit to his DFL masters), that’s four shootings by post-2004 permit holders that’ve been ruled justified, against one that wasn’t.

And I’m guessing the robbery rate at Summit and East River Road has dropped off a lot.

Paging Alanis Morrissette

Highlight of Jon Stewart’s final broadcast: Bruce and the EStreet Band doing  “Land of Hopes and Dreams”. I don’t care who you are, or what you believe – it’s just a great song.

Unintentional, ironic highlight of the show? John Stewart urging his audience – who, famously, believe his satire show to be straight up reporting – to “be skeptical”.  Mr. Stewart; you’re about 16 years late to start on that.

Gerard Alexander sums up Stu’s greatest shortcoming.

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.”

StribDeathPlant

 

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…

Comedy…

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

 

Prattfall

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.

chanting_points_200px

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.

Privilege

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.