Near As I Can Tell…

…at about this time last year there was exactly one pundit, anywhere in the US or elsewhere, that predicted Donald Trump would win the GOP nomination; heck, I know of only one who predicted Trump would make it past Christmas.

He also happens to be one of America’s painfully-few business writers who are worth reading; Scott Adams, cartoonist and creator of Dilbert.

He was also pretty much alone, last spring, in predicting Trump would win the presidency.  And like all predictions, that one is still very much a long shot.

But Adams has switched his endorsement – comical as it is – from Hillary to Trump.

And as little as I’ve personally ever cared for Trump’s public persona, Adams explains something about The Donald that I do get, and that most of our media and chattering classes are too myopic to understand:

5. Pacing and Leading: Trump always takes the extreme position on matters of safety and security for the country, even if those positions are unconstitutional, impractical, evil, or something that the military would refuse to do. Normal people see this as a dangerous situation. Trained persuaders like me see this as something called pacing and leading. Trump “paces” the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to “lead,” which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump look scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That’s how I see him.

So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a “fascist,” the answer is that he isn’t one. Clinton’s team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump’s “pacing” system is not obvious to the public. They see his “first offers” as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique.

Most pundits have never had to negotiate anything beyond their salary – and that rarely works out well, these days, either.  In any case, too many of our chattering class believe that what Obama, Clinton and Kerry did in Iran, North Korea and Ukraine was “negotation”.  It was – in the same sense that Rodney King’s interaction with the police was.

I’m still not a fan of Trump’s public persona.  I still think his election is a long shot.

But then, like all of the A-through-Y-list pundits above me, I’ve been wrong about everything else, this cycle.

Exhibit A

There are many, many reasons smart Second Amendment activist suppose a national firearms registry; only the law-abiding will register, it’s a natural and essential tool to use in confiscation, and whenever the left says anything about guns, including “nobody’s coming for them”, you can be sure that they will come for them the moment they get the power.

But there’s also this.

This Guy Hunts Down Pedophiles and Beats Them With a Hammer

Whenever you are on a government list, you are only as safe as the dumbesand least ethical  government employee allows you to be.

Inevitable

Rahm Emanuel says “never waste a crisis”.
And the city whose mayor he is – Chicago – is an ongoing crisis that never seems to end.

The city has seen over 2000 shootings so far this year – that’s to say, the first half of the year:

At least 14 people were shot in Chicago over 10 hours Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday, pushing the number of gun victims in the city this year to more than 2,200, including at least 21 children 13 and younger.

Among those shot Tuesday was 6-year-old Tacarra Morgan, who was seriously wounded in the abdomen while sitting on her porch in West Englewood with her mother and grandmother. Police said two volleys of gunfire erupted as three cars drove down the 6000 block of South Paulina Street around 1 p.m.

Very much like the victims have a great misfortune not to look like the children of NPR executives; they are disproportionately black and brown, disproportionately living in the neighborhoods “served” by Chicago’s Democrat elite.

In common with most violent crime victims in the United States, they lived in Democrat run the cities.

Set Straight

Your liberal friends are probably salving their worries over Hillary’s health with a recent NYT hit piece on Scott Walker.

Have no fear. In what is becoming a Berg’s Law-worthy pattern, the Times’ piece is pretty much a NYPost article in a tweed sportcoat.  Christian Schneider notes in the conclusion:

Christopher Hitchens once wrote, “It is a frequent vice of radical polemic to assert, and even to believe, that once you have found the lowest motive for an antagonist, you have identified the correct one.” In this case, the New York Times started with a motive and worked backwards, rather than letting the facts lead them to an honest conclusion.

Read the whole thing.  Refer it to your liberal friends.  Ask if it’s ever been different.

 

It’s Still Way Too High

Trust in the mainstream media hits an all-time low:

A major pollster has some stark news: “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year,” writes Art Swift, an analyst for the Gallup poll, which first asked the nation to weigh in on the press in 1972.

“Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72 percent, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal,” Mr. Swift said.

The sentiment has fallen slowly and steadily, and has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.

14% of Republicans still trust the media – which means I still have work to do.  51% of Democrats trust the media – which is confirmation bias in action if I ever saw it.

Report Card

Frank Drake is running and extremely aggressive, and fairly tart, campaign against Keith Ellison in the fifth Congressional District.

Will it work? I saw the 1980 Olympic hockey team; I do believe in miracles. I’m a Republican in the inner city, so I have to.


Anyway – Drake provides a list of Keith Ellison’s “accomplishments” in office:

Top Keith Ellison accomplishments:

1) I promise to end these wars, and not start any new wars.

2) Minneapolis is now a UN sanctuary city funded by Minnesotans.

3) I can show up anywhere, and I’m the story.

4) The DNC was impartial. That’s why “Keith’s for Hillary” now.

5) Who’s this Frank Drake dude anyway?

6) Community Action of Minneapolis was a great front and money laundering operation until it was seized by the Government for fraud. Bill Davis remains a trusted advisor. President Obama will pardon him before leaving office.

7) Marijuana remains a Class 1 Narcotic, just like Heroin.

8) Keith Ellison was never involved, in any way, with the overthrow of Syria or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

9) Unemployment is low, especially in our urban centers. That 4.5% Unemployment Rate is true, despite 1/3 of all Americans not working. Over 94,000,000 Americans don’t work.

10) Our Government is in the business of War. Private prisons are a growth industry.

11) My ideas are proven in Venezuela and many controlled economies.

Keith Ellison’s ideas resonate like a frying pan dropped from a five-story building hitting the pavement.

Drake has a way with words that we could use a lot more of an inner-city Republican politics.

The Right To Remain Befuddled

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

 

Hilary Clinton repeatedly told the FBI she couldn’t recall details of her email server, security clearance, briefing details.  Trump supporters say she’s still suffering from the concussion in 2012.  I say her inability to recall is not evidence of absent-mindedness, it’s a criminal defense necessity in a politicized law enforcement environment and she knows it, first-hand, from prior experience.

 Remember Scooter Libby, convicted because he “lied” to the FBI about who “outed” Valerie Plame to him?  Libby didn’t “out” Valerie Plame – that was Richard Armitage, which the prosecutors knew all along – but they were digging into who told who.  Libby claimed he learned it from Tim Russert, who denied saying it. 

 Even the Wall Street Journal concluded the entire case was a political witch hunt based on false evidence and a colossal waste of money.  But Libby remains a disbarred convicted felon.

Hillary is smart enough to know you NEVER say anything, NEVER remember anything, NEVER concede anything to the cops. 

Which is not the same as saying she doesn’t actually remember.

 Only that she can’t be convicted.

 Joe Doakes

Follow Up

Joe Doakes from Como Park follows up yesterday’s report from the Saturday “gun buyback”:

I sent this email to the Star Tribune reporter, liz.sawyer@startribune.com

“Your article “After Strong Response” regarding the Minneapolis gun buy-back stated they handed out $25,000 in gift cards. I don’t think that’s correct.

I was the sixth person in line at the South Minneapolis fire station. They ran out of cards before I got mine. Five people at 3 pistols per person is $3,000 maximum, I can’t imagine they handed out $22,000 at the North Minneapolis fire station.

After a couple of hours of dithering, the cop in charge said they’d mail out cards if we wanted to leave our names and addresses, which I did. Today, I called Breanna Brailey at Pillsbury United Communities and Sgt. Cathy Michal, the Public Affairs Officer for Minneapolis PD, to ask when I could expect to receive my cards, but have received no response from either of them. [update: Sgt. Michael called back to say the PD didn’t fund the program, officers were merely there to safely collect weapons, they have no money and aren’t sending any; she directed me to Pillsbury United].

Reporter Libor Jany’s August 24th Star Tribune article stated gun buy-backs generally net 300 guns. This one took in 150 guns but only because the owners extended credit to the cops, who promised to pay after running out of cards. The cops offered to accept voluntary donations but nobody accepted that offer, we only relinquished our guns on promise of payment.

It looks as if Pillsbury and Minneapolis PD are claiming success for PR purposes despite the historically poor result, and the silence about payment hints they are intending to stiff citizens who participated in good faith. A follow-up investigative report would be welcome.”

I don’t expect a follow-up, of course, because what’s in it for the Star Tribune to make a Liberal foundation look bad? Nothing.

But think about it: the PD and Mayor are spinning this event as a Crime Fighting Victory. But they only bought two dozen guns. By historical standards, that’s pitiful.

They took a few dozen more because middle-class White people still have faith in the police: the cop said we’d get paid, we took his word for it. Even with seller-financing, the whole charade netted half of historical levels and intentionally closed six hours early because there was no money. Think of how many guns they’d have gotten if the doors had stayed open for the whole time? People in line wouldn’t have sold to me if they could have sold to the cops. And everybody knows gang-bangers work late hours so they aren’t early risers — no wonder we didn’t get any of their guns.

The gun buy-back was a half-hearted, under-funded FAILURE but it’s being spun as a success. We need to keep reminding people that it’s a pathetic lie and the people peddling it are pathetic liars.

Joe Doakes

I’m not sure Strib reporters actually respond to peasants anymore, but we’ll keep you posted.

Concentration

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Wall Street Journal article headline says “Rich Get Richer as Billionaires Increase in Number” (hidden behind its pay-wall, must subscribe to read). 

 Headline implies world-wide economy is booming, but other possibilities include:

 The world-wide economy is failing and the remaining wealth is consolidating in fewer hands as the middle class loses upward mobility; or

 The world-wide money supply is increasing as governments print money to prop up welfare programs, and the resulting inflation makes “billionaires” out of people who previously would have been “millionaires;”  or,

 The statistics are lies.

 Hard to tell which factor – or combination of factors – is correct.

 Joe Doakes

As with most things economic, I say “both”.

Blowing Smoke

As the story of Ilham Omar’s, er, convoluted legal history starts to seep out into the mainstream media, the DFL is starting to do what it does best when it has a hard time managing a story; make threats.

This is a tweet from Tom Lyden of Fox9 about a tweeted “warning” he received from the president of the MN DFL Youth:

Bear in mind, this is Tom Lyden; he’s never been mistaken for a conservative tool.  Or a conservative anything.   Quite the opposite.

Conrad Zbikowski looks like he’ll have a big future as a Chicago ward heeler.   Or a Mafia soldier.

Remember, Corey – if everyone’s a misogynistic racist, then nobody is.

It’s The Other Guys

Over the weekend I read this piece, about Hollywood’s hypocrisy about guns; they donate to gun-grabber groups, while making billions off of violence-drenched action movies (and living in many cases behind gates with armed security).

It’s nothing new, really – nothing this blog hasn’t been covering for years (although these two examples are still the most obnoxious).

But I thought this quote was interesting; a flak from “Everytown”, Michael Bloomberg’s gun-grabber group, reassuring Hollywood that it’s just not their fault:

“Content creators are quite anxious about that conversation, because they often feel guilty or wonder, ‘Am I somehow responsible?’ ” says Jason Rzepka, director of cultural engagement for Everytown, which launched a creative council in October chaired by Julianne Moore and whose members include J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow and Jennifer Lawrence. “They are usually quite relieved when they hear that from all of our research on this subject,  [Pfffft – Ed.] violence in television and film is by no means a primary culprit in our gun violence crisis in America.”

“Oh, no – don’t change your ways; keep profiting from the exploitation of consquence-free violence, while writing big checks to my employer”.

Let’s leave aside Everytown’s “research on the subject” [Pffft – Ed.] for a moment.   I’m sure anyone claims that “The Expendables” prompted anyone to shoot anyone.

But does Hollywood’s well-trod market for violence without consequences (along with many other media doing the same) cause at least some parts of society that’s already full of fault lines over race, class and myriad other dysfunctions to think violence isn’t the worst possible solution to whatever ails them?

If it takes even one life…

Scroogified

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I didn’t need the revised economic numbers to tell me the economy was bad, I see it driving around town.  Time was, you might see a panhandler at the top of a particularly busy freeway exit ramp.  Nowadays, there are several working shifts plus more at stop lights in town. 

 I wonder why there are so few stories in the mainstream media analyzing the Obama Administration policies that have created so many beggars, versus so many sob stories trying to shame me into giving more charitably.  It’s not working; the more they hector me, the more I feel like Ebenezer Scrooge: “Is there no welfare, no homeless shelter?”

 Joe Doakes

The term “compassion fatigue” is becoming old and shopworn – but it hasn’t lost its meaning.

Bloodlust

Earlier this week: Donald Trump urges Second Amendment supporters to stand up for their rights to the political process. Mainstream media and the left (pardon the redundancy) craps a kitten at the “call for violence” which was not.
Democrat

Earlier this week: Donald Trump urges Second Amendment supporters to stand up for their rights to the political process. Mainstream media and the left (pardon the redundancy) craps a kitten at the “call for violence” which was not.

Democrat strategist calls for assassination of whistleblower. 

Wait – do you think there’s a conclusion to this?

Flare

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In 1994, when Bill Clinton was President, there was another flare-up in the long-standing war between two African tribes – the Hutu and the Tutsis – fought mainly in Rwanda over the issue of political control to give special privileges to the dominant tribe’s members.  The losers fled to The Congo and continued the fight.  Nearly 5 million people have died and inter-tribal killing continues.

 In the United States today, Black people want special privileges.  They’ve been able to shame White people into going along because some White people were guilty of slavery so all White people should pay for it.  Hispanics are less sympathetic and Asians outright hostile because neither of those groups feels racial historical guilt over offenses committed 100 years before they arrived in this country.

 Black Lives Matter has upped the ante.  They called for dead cops and are starting to get them.  Black Lives Matter does not seek progress, it seeks regress.  It seeks to return Western Civilization to the level of Africal Tribal Warfare.

 Hispanics, Asians and Whites get lumped together as “White” for purposes of crime reporting and affirmative action.  As a “tribe,” Whites together with Hispanics and Asians, are 85% of the population.  We’re more numerous, more prosperous and better armed than Blacks.  If Black Lives Matter starts a race war, it’s going to be a damned short one.  But then, if Black Lives Matter had the ability to look at the big picture and take the long view, they wouldn’t be trying to start a race war at all.

 Joe Doakes

Y’know, it’s not something I care to discuss, since no rational person on “either side” is remotely interested in things turning out that way.

But I think the talk of militants – especially militants whose target is society at large – is wishful to the point of comical.

Your Silence Speaks Volumes

Truth!

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Among the best ways for me to file your “argument” under “not worth the effort” is to begin with something like “your silence about [pick an issue that is not actually the subject of the current discussion] speaks volumes”, delivered with a rhetorical and literal “shame finger”.

I mean, I do appreciate the vote of confidence – your apparent belief that my addressing an issue on my show or blog will have some sort of affect on that issue over time, and that my “silence” – generally less “silence” than “lack of opportunity, interest, or any angle on which I have anything to contribute to the discussion” will cause the world such damage.

I assure you, it will not, but thanks for thinking I’m such a big cheese.

Berg’s Seventeenth Eighteenth Law Is In Full Effect

A mass shooting in München (Munich) is just breaking.

Motives are nowhere close to being known – some sources claim “terrorism”, others are invoking Anders Breivik the anti-immigrant Norwegian who killed 70+ a few years ago.

Berg’s Eighteenth Law is iron-clad.

UPDATE:  Hmmmm:

A witness who wanted to be identified only by her first name, Lauretta, told CNN her son was in the bathroom with a shooter at the restaurant.

“That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom … and he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.”

Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”

Again, Berg’s 18th Law is in full effect.  It’s entirely possible the killer is a Christian NRA member from Texas driven crazy by Trumpism and hatred of Obama and black people.    We are assured that a wave of such violence is around the corner – for like 20 years now.

The major media is never to be trusted for fast accurate reporting on these sorts of stories.

Never!

But if true…

The Little Monetary Fund That Cried “Doom”

The International Monetary Fund, after predicting that Britons would be “praying for the sweet release of death” with the Brexit vote, scaled back the gloom and doom:

After saying that leaving the European Union could trigger a UK recession, the International Monetary Fund now expects the British economy to grow by 1.7 per cent this year and 1.3 per cent next year.

That is weaker than the 1.9 and 2.2 per cent growth forecasts before the referendum, but the UK is still set to be the second-fastest growing economy in the Group of Seven industrialised nations this year – behind the United States – and third-fastest next year, behind the US and Canada.

Not that that’s any barn-burner growth rate – but since the IMF and the rest of Europe’s “elites”  predicted a zombie apocalypse, I’d call this a signifcant development.

As predicted, so far.