Trulbert! Part XXXII – Twerking With The Devil

 - 1:26 PM, November 7, 2015 – Washington Avenue, near the Media Entrance, TCF Stadium, University of Minnesota

Dave Os was surprised to hear no noise coming from inside the stadium.

He’d never much cared for professional sports – he regarded pro sports fans as cretins, truth be told – but he’d always imagined the actual games would be loud.

But he heard no noise coming out of TCF Stadium.  Like they’re watching a chess tournament, Os thought – sneering to himself at the commercialization of international chess, longing for its older, purer days.

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Notice

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’ve been threatening to quit the Minnesota State Bar Association for years but chickened out because I get my life insurance through them and I must remain a member to keep the insurance. But I recently got insurance through AAA – I don’t need MSBA anymore. And from the way they act, they don’t need me, either.

When I joined, the Bar Association was a trade organization devoted to helping members be better lawyers. In the past 30 years, it has drifted leftward into Social Justice activism. That’s not why I joined.

I was especially pissed the leadership of the MSBA agitated for gay marriage, taking it upon themselves to speak in my name without ever asking the membership for a vote.

In the March issue of Bench and Bar, the President reports MSBA has decided it should elevate its commitment to diversity and inclusion. MSBA hired a Diversity Director and starting this Spring, will be asking renewing members to self-identify on their online member profiles in four additional areas: Gender (male, female, transgender/gender non-conforming); Race; Sexual Orientation (straight, gay, or bi); and Disability. MSBA hopes collecting this information will quantify areas of disparity and provide concrete evidence for leaders to address inequities based on fact, not anecdote or conjecture.

None of this is any of their business, but if that’s where the organization wants to go, so be it. I don’t need to wait for the survey, I can tell you right now the MSBA has too many straight White cismales. Some of them need to quit.

Glad to be of service.

Joe Doakes

Because privilege!

Smell The Quality

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Main floor bathrooms at work flooded a few weeks back. Restoration has been on hold for weeks . . . waiting for tile.

What the hell, Menard’s has tile. Is this some special hand-made Italian marble tile? What are we waiting for? These are the main public restrooms for a public building – slap up some white subway tile and get them back in service.

They’re cutting tile now. Ceramic dust billowing, sucked up in the exhaust vents, distributed all over the building, everybody is sneezing.

You couldn’t cut it at night after the blowers are off, or on the weekend when nobody is around?

You couldn’t seal the bathroom exhaust vent and suck the dust out through a filter?

True, the dust is making all four floors of the building uninhabitable, but they’re a union shop and low bidder . . . so what’s the problem?

Un. Be. Lievable.

Joe Doakes

Someone’s got to pay those dues to the Teamsters…

Our National Monologue

In all of of this nation’s frenetic back-and-forth – usually just forth – over race, i’ve really just had one question, all all this time ”

What do you want me to do?

Only an idiot doesn’t recognize racism exists, in some form. And that’s above and beyond to the “We -ism” that is endemic to every human being in the world; the race of people around them is one of the first perceptions babies develop, with uneasiness about the difference following closely.

And white privilege exists, too. Of course, the roots of white privilege date back hundreds, maybe thousands of years, when wage Northern European societies developed into patriarchal, militaristic societies dominated by aggressive warrior cultures that were able to avoid being enslaved, for the most part, as societies, at a time when most sub-Saharan African societies were small, matriarchal, and ripe for the picking buy more aggressive societies.

That’s one of the greatest “privileges” a society can hand down to its offspring; a history of freedom.

So racism and privilege exists. Stipulated.

Now what?

Writing at The Daily Beast,” John McWhorter, in a long, excellent article, has the same questions:

However, one can thoroughly understand how racism works and still ask just what this laser focus on “White Privilege” is meant to achieve.

“This is messy work, but these conversations are necessary,” says Sandra Chapman, director of diversity and community at Little Red School House in New York City. OK—but why? Note that the answer cannot be, “So that whites will understand that they are the privileged … etc.” That makes as much sense as saying “Because!” So I’m going to dare to ask a simple question: What exactly are we trying to achieve with this particular lesson?

And the questions keep coming. I will urge you to read the whole thing.

Inconceivable!

Two weeks away from the city minimum wage to $15 an hour, Seattle restaurants are dropping like, well, flies in soup.

Of course, minimum wage hike advocates are claiming it’s all just part of the normal attrition – ignoring the fact that the closings are running ahead of the normal rate of closures.

It’s reminiscent of 2005, when Minneapolis passed it’s smoking ban in bars and restaurants. There was a surge in bar closings – as patrons drove to bars in the suburbs, where until the state wide ban a few years later, you could still smoke.

Apologists for the ban said “bars close all the time!” Which is true. But conversations with bar owner after bar owner after bar owner who had just Tridar their establishments almost inevitably included the phrase:

The smoking ban was the final straw.

Hospitality is a tough business. In Seattle, it just got a lot tougher.

Hostility

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Benjamin Netanyahu urges Congress to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Barack Obama disagrees. Who’s right?

Ayatollah Khamenei, the highest religious leader in Iran, believes the Shia messiah will arrive as soon as Israel is destroyed. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the highest political official in Iran, believes Islam is required to destroy Israel and then, the United States. They’ve said so for a decade, repeatedly, unwaveringly. And they continue to pursue nuclear technology, lying to the United Nations, cheating inspections and breaking promises.

The Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area packs 3 million people into 500 square miles. That’s half the population of Israel living in an area the size of Hennepin County.

A one kiloton nuclear weapon can destroy about 80 square miles, not much damage in an area so large. That’s why America built MIRV warheads – Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles capable of dropping several bombs from one missile, spreading the damage much farther. The Iranians don’t have MIRVs, yet, but the same effect could be achieved by dropping small bombs from many jets, or shooting many nuclear rounds from tanks.

Or better still, suicide bombers could detonate bombs on building rooftops built miles apart. The US Army’s Mk-54 SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) weighs a little over 50 pounds and literally fits into a backpack. Backpacks could be placed in minivans left on parking ramp rooftops. Nuclear bombs could be quietly infiltrated one-at-a-time over months until enough are assembled for a massive strike.

There are parking ramps at Mall of America, downtown Minneapolis, Southdale and Maple Grove Crossing. Terrorists could drive their minivans to their assigned parking ramps at 5:00 a.m., set their timers for 12 hours, take a Metro Transit bus to catch the Empire Builder at the Amtrak station and be drunk in Chicago when Keith Ellison’s congressional district disappears.

If a schmuck lawyer in St. Paul can figure this out, people who spend their entire lives studying warfare in the Middle East can figure it out. Taking down Tel Aviv would be more difficult only because the Israelis work very hard to prevent it. And because the Iranians don’t have nukes. Yet.

The Obama Administration asks us to believe that religious fanatics who are literally on a mission from God will turn aside from carrying out the mission when they finally have the means at hand. I am not persuaded.

Joe Doakes.

The administration doesn’t believe it – and to be fair, most people don’t, either.

“Normalcy bias” – the belief that tomorrow will probably be about the same as today – is a fairly normal phenomenon among individuals, to say nothing of institutions.

At 6 AM on December 7, 1941, most Americans believed there would eventually be a war with Japan. Most would have said you were nuts if you had said you believed that they’d be in the middle of it within two hours.

A Reminder

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

First thing I do before cleaning my gun is load up all the bullets, including one in the chamber, and cock it with the safety off. Then I set it by my kid and go looking for rags and stuff. Always. Because it’s only sensible and what could go wrong?

This guy, too, evidently.

Some days, you just wonder.

Joe Doakes

The painful lessons are all around us.

Timid

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Not every Hero is a Yank. This one is a Canuck. Good on him.

Sadly, Steyn’s fear that the average man is now fretting over microaggresions in an ivory tower is far too real.

In fact, it might make an interesting study to map Physical Altercations against Timidity.

How many physical fights have you had in your life?
How timid are you in business, in finance, in foreign affairs?

It may be that humans need to learn how to fight to learn how to win. Modern Americans never fight – not even verbally. How can we hope to win?

Joe Doakes

Generation after generation, somehow we do.

But hope is not a strategy.

Of Hats And Clowns

The liberal noise machine that largely spent eight years calling George W. Bush “Bushitler” is worked up into a lather because a St. Paul Pioneer press reporter referred to the practice of constantly taking “selfies”(using a snap of Sselfieaddict Pres. Obama as his example) as making one look like a “assclown.”

Sports reporter Kevin Cusick, who wrote the blurb, later walked it back, apologizing for the use of the term, and changing it to “self absorbed celebrity.

He was right both times. I’m not fond of the term “assclown” – or its dumber cousin, “asshat”, both of which sprang out of a trend in the early days of blogging to jam terms together more or less at random to try to insult people. There are many more artful terms that can and should be used.

But while the occasional selfie is a harmless indulgence, Cusick was right the first time; the President is starting to act a little bit like Miley Cyrus.

Everywhere Are Signs

I’ll cop to it.  I’ve felt like assaulting people with those idiot “Coexist” bumper stickers on their cars…

…with the weapon of satire and mockery. Nothing more.

Unfortunately, Muslim thugs in neighborhood near Paris took a more aggressive line, pummeling a street artist who’d painted the platitude on one of their walls.

Four Muslims in Porte Dorée (the Golden door), a ghetto east of Paris, beat artist Combo after he refused to take down his Coexist street art. Combo suffered a dislocated shoulder, bruises and a black eye.

To be fair, I’ve been tempted to do the same thing to graffiti artists.  But again, only using the one-two punch of ridicule and derision.

Still, coexistence is possible:

We just have to be clear about our boundaries.

 

All Right There In Writing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Federal Reserve doesn’t like Sen. Rand Paul’s proposal to have the federal government audit the Federal Reserve.
“Who in their right mind would ask the Congress of the United States — who can’t cobble together a fiscal policy — to assume control of monetary policy?” Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said during an interview with The Hill.

Well, Thomas Jefferson, for one. Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution:

“To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures . . . .”
The Founders knew Congress wasn’t going to be made up of experts so they adopted the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) which, in those days, meant Gold or Silver coins of a known weight and purity. Easy to recognize, hard to counterfeit, holds its value internationally and over time.
Modern experts can argue whether the gold standard is good or bad, but one thing’s for sure – it’s much harder for a privately held corporation to flood the market with trillions of dollars’ worth of gold coins in response to political pressure than it is to dump $40 Billion dollars of electrons into the economy, month after month, without any oversight at all.
Joe Doakes

Remember how the Catholic Church used to kill people who translated the Bible from Latin to “Vulgate”, regular languages?

Sometimes it feels like the government wants to put its entire body of laws, constitution included, in a separate language that nobody understands.

And looking at the way our schools are performing these days, that language just might end up being English…

Force Of Habit

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A local lawyer of my acquaintance wants to be a judge in the worst way. He’s applied several times, never got an interview, thinks maybe he needs to network, find someone to put in a good word with the Judicial Selection Committee.

Dude, you’re playing the game under the Old Rules. It’s not gonna work.

You’re a 49-year-old straight White Male, married with two kids, Christian, not a veteran, not handicapped. You get no diversity points; in fact, you’re the guy we’re trying to replace by giving Everybody Else diversity points.

You’re a party-line Democrat but only in the voting booth; you’re not tight with Senators Amy or Al, Mayor Chris or Governor Dayton’s puppeteers so nobody is willing to move your resume to the top of the pile.

A bunch of kids in his children’s school are sick. He’s certain it’s because of those damned right-wing kook anti-vaccine people. Maybe. Or maybe they’re unaccompanied illegal immigrants that Obama caught, released and disbursed all over the country to spread exotic South American diseases throughout a population that’s not inoculated against them. Gee, sorry your kid is sick but it was an entirely foreseeable consequence of a policy adopted for the Greater Social Good. Gotta break a few eggs, you know, and one of them is yours.

He’s also setting aside money in a 529 Educational Savings plan that Obama wants to tax so other people’s kids can go to college free.

See what being a dutiful Liberal gets you? Not a damned thing. In fact, the exact policies he supports For A Better Society are the ones holding him back. He’s like that guy in the Sprint commercial wanting to “stick it to the man” except it turns out, he is The Man. I believe the French expression is: hoist on your own petard.

I keep waiting for the scales to fall from his eyes and a new Conservative to be born. Any day now . . . .

And the left calls Christians “faith-based”…

Smarter Than Our Leaders

Back during the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain was right about one thing, anyway; despite all of governments foul-ups the fundamentals of the American economy are basically strong.

We have ideas, and entrepreneurial energy, I don’t labor force that (2008 and 2012 elections not withstanding) we’re pretty smart and capable, and one of the worlds larger, wealthier consumer markets. Those, among other things, give the American economy’s a degree of resilience that is going to be hard to extinguish, even after 14 years of flagrant overspending and six years of crypto-socialism.

That’s the economy. Not the governments massive piling up of debt. That’s a whole ‘nother thing.

Why does it matter? Because the fact that the American private market is bigger, stronger, and smarter than its government – for now – may be the only thing that saved it from complete collapse six years ago.

I’m Still Here, He’s All Gone

Sometime next week, this blog will hit its 13th anniversary.

I’ve told the story, of course, many times; when I started this blog, I was inspired by reading Andrew Sullivan’s site. Along with James Lileks, it was Sullivan that I went to to see how this new form of writing was supposed to be done. Back when bloggers kept track of these things, I called him my “blogfather”.

But after 15 years, Sullivan is hanging it up:

Why? Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.

The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.

i’ve gotten some of the same urges, myself; not burn out – although that certainly happens, from time to time. Working through that has been a zen like exercise in self discipline, on the occasions – roughly every two years – when it happens.

But the urge to do things smaller, slower, older and more deliberate is certainly there.

They’re Just Too Smart

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My Android cell phone makes a noise when I plug it into the charger, kind of a “boink-boink” sound. I plugged it in at work, a few minutes ago. Worked fine, then started making that noise. Quit now. Never does it at home.

I suspect power fluctuations in this building. I bet every time somebody starts a microwave down the hall, my cell phone senses the power drop and thinks it’s been unplugged, then immediately senses the power rebound and thinks it’s been plugged back in. boink-boink. Boink-boink.

I mentioned to a buddy who is a Master Electrician. He says:

“More likely power factor issues. The power factor is screwed up by all the fluorescent lights and computers. Those are shifting the power so that voltage sine is out of phase with the amperage sign. That’s the power factor. AC electricity flows in a sine wave, if all is well. When a coil load or capacitor load is introduced the impedance and/or reactance will shift the power out of phase with itself. One shifts the voltage forward, one shifts the amperage forward. As they get out of phase the amperage has to go up to compensate for the loss of actual power because the voltage times amperage of the power as it is actually used is not the same as the multiple of each measured separately. Yes the voltage measured is 120 and amperage measured is 10, but they don’t reach those points simultaneously. As a function of simultaneous use when voltage is 120 amperage is only 9.7 and when it reaches 10.3 the voltage is already sliding back down to 116.5. Your phone and charger may be sensing that.”

Not power fluctuation, power factor. Well, that’s me told, then.

Joe Doakes

one of the scariest days of my life – in a completely unrelated story – when I was when I have an electrician over to my house to look at a circuit that was acting funny. He took it apart, and said “you’re lucky to be alive”.

Good thing I didn’t have a self on the plug into it!

Distinctions And Differences

I missed the State of the Union last night – I was actually busy interviewing a guest for this Saturday’s Northern Alliance broadcast – but I heard some of National Public Radio’s post speech wrap up.

The hosts discussed the conversation about the Keystone XL pipeline; the NPR “analysts” were careful to note that “the number of permanent jobs is actually quite small”; they’d be mostly temporary construction jobs.

Which is true, and all that.

I’m just trying to remember any similar commentary about Pres. Obama’s “Shovel Ready Jobs” six years ago.

I Have A Dog Whistle

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is why I was careful not to eat some my favorite foods on Martin Luther King Day: I didn’t want to offend anybody.

I intentionally skipped Quaker Instant Grits for breakfast, passed up Kentucky Fried Chicken with fried okra and orange pop for lunch, and made certain to avoid Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Q Ribs and corn bread for dinner.

Fifty years of “civil rights” has transformed American into a place where menu choices made to honor Dr. King’s name are twisted into proof of hatred of his memory. I wonder if this is the kind of tolerant, diverse, color-blind society he was hoping for when he said “I have a dream?”

Joe Doakes

in the future, it will be considered “racist” to point out that Michael Jordan could dunk.

Nothing To Hide

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If we’re going to let government ignore the law in favor of inquisitive gossip, here are a few questions I’d like to see:

Have you ever protested official US government policy such as the War in Vietnam or the War in Iraq? [anti-government sentiments]

Are you, or any member of your extended family in this country or abroad, a member of the Muslim faith? [possible terrorist]

Are you gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered? [potential depressive, possible suicide]

Do you live in a predominantly Black, Hispanic or Asian neighborhood? [may tend to violence]

Are you a single mother? [poor judge of character]

When you were in High School, did the Cool Girls Clique snub you? [bitter, resentful]

Do you have a visible means of support upon which you pay state income tax? [shiftless, no-account, lazy]

Have you ever consulted a mental health professional or counsellor, at any time, for any reason? [nuts]

Have you, or any member of your household, ever used, possessed or sold marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, or other illegal drugs? [doper]

Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of an organization committed to the overthrow of the American Way of Life, i.e. the Democrat party? [self-explanatory]

I can’t see why anyone would object to telling Law Enforcement these personal details before being allowed to exercise Fundamental Constitutional Rights. Put them on the Application to Register to Vote, the Application for Welfare and the Application To Have An Abortion, too. What’s the problem?

Joe Doakes

As long as you’re following the rules…