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…

Life’s Rough. Wear A Helmet.

Two quick points as background:

  • It stinks to have a job offer rescinded.  I’ve had it happen once; a contracting agency made me an offer to work a contract at Northern States Power, back when that still existed.  In the two weeks that followed, NSP re-aligned its priorities.  The agency rescinded my offer; there was no job to put me in.  It was worse than a pain in the ass in my case; I had given notice at the job I had (which I hated), and I had a mortgage and three kids to feed.
  • I’m always amused to hear that businesses “recruit on college campuses” – partly because I went to a college that nobody ever recruited at (at the time) unless you were a nursing or computer science major.  I always figured “wouldn’t that be nice?”, but never thought that much of it.
Anyway – from the City Pages, we see that Target has apparently botched some offers to one of their 2014 “class” of junior executive fodder.  Their priorities and funding changed (certainly not because the Minnesota and National economies aren’t just booming, nosireebob, perish the thought), and Target got cold feet about some of their would-be junior suits.

“I can’t deal with that kind of management,” Zhang said, recalling the whole process of interviewing over the phone in October, flying out to Minnesota in early November, learning about the job, and preparing to move. “Don’t tell a whole class that they’re super special, awesome, and perfect for the job if you’re gonna treat us simply as another expense.”

Mr. Zhang:  Sorry you got laid off before you even started.  But let’s try to get two things straight, here:

First:  this may be in conflict with what Target’s recruiting staff, to say nothing of the professors at whatever $40K a year degree mill you just finished attending, told you – but you’re not super special, awesome and perfect.  You are units of talent – or, give your age, potential talent – that a company will measure against its needs.

Second:  all management are like that.  Oh, they don’t all rescind job offers – but every last one of them measures expenses against bottom line.

And “an expense” is exactly what you are.  At best, you’re an “investment” subject to return on investment calculations, just like you learned in business school.   That Target sometimes does that clumsily?  You could have asked anyone in the Twin Cities IT market about that…

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to it.   Or whine to the City Pages.  It’s your call.

I Gotta Keep On Chasing That NARN, Though I May Never Find It

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show:

  • Devin Foley of “Better Ed” joins me to talk about education reform.

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!


On seeing the carnage in Paris, I thought – per usual – “good thing all of the civilians victims were unarmed and utterly helpless, or Mon Dieu knows how bad it could have been!”

France has, by continental standards, a fairly high rate of civilian gun ownership.  But civilian gun laws are as byzantine as California and Washington DC, and for exactly the same reasons.  And the issuance civilian handgun carry permits to carry the kinds of firearms that might have been useful in Paris follows pretty much exactly the same rules as in DC, San Francisco and New York; available only to judges and prosecutors in high-profile cases, or people with enough political clout to sway the bureaucracy; politicians, plutocrats and celebrities with friends in high places.  That’s about it.

The laws, byzantine though they are, didn’t prevent the attackers in Paris from getting fully-automatic Yugoslav-surplus AK47s, the kind that have been illegal in the US for eight decades now, of course.  Laws don’t stop law-breakers.

So – yet again, thugs, criminals and terrorists launch attack on the disarmed.

There’s a reason they don’t do these sorts of attacks in Dallas.

Equal Protection

California high school basketball players will be allowed to wear “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts while warming up before games:

With backing from school officials, the athletic director at Fort Bragg High School, previously told the boys and girls teams from Mendocino High School they could not play in the three-day event if they wore the shirts inspired by the last words of a New York man who died after an officer put him in a chokehold.

Karen Boyd, a First Amendment lawyer who represents one of the players, said the reversal by the Fort Bragg School District came just moments before she intended to file a federal court motion arguing that barring the shirts violated the free speech rights of student athletes.

The agreement will stand as long as the shirts do not cause any serious problems at the tournament. It also allows spectators to wear the shirts, which several did as the tournament got underway Monday at Fort Bragg High School, Boyd said.

“This is always my preference, if we can get things worked out without a lot of court stuff,” she said.

Well, that’s great!

I’m wondering if the school district – not far from San Francisco – would extend the same courtesy to students who chose one chance to California’s racist gun control laws by wearing pro Second Amendment T-shirts?


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Russians fear a run on banks, the ruble is collapsing.

Morons. The solution is for the government to give the banks free money. That’s what Obama has been doing to the average tune of $60 BILLION EVERY MONTH. Look how well it worked for us.

Joe Doakes

Key distinction; Putin’s goal is to make Russia bigger, better and greater. He may not accomplish it, but it certainly is his goal.

Kind of the opposite of Obama’s goal…