The Russians Are Coming!

NPR’s exhaustive investigation has turned up – with the complete cooperation of the NRA – a link to the Russians!

$2,500 worth.

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress.

The NRA said in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., unveiled on Wednesday, that the sum it received from those people was just over $2,500 and most of that was “routine payments” for membership dues or magazine subscriptions.

That’s less than one day of Chelsea Clinton’s “salary” when she was an NBC “correspondent”.

Watch for this to become the biggest “scandal” per dollar transacted in American history…

…if the establishment media can help it.

They Know What Matters!

If you were in the Twin Cities from about 1986 to the early nineties – after Channel 11 changed their call letters from WUSA to KARE – you probably remember their ubiquitous, supremely annoying branding campaign:  “we know what matters”.

Remember those?

Not sure KARE expected any but the dimmest viewers to think that the station was, in fact, the final arbiter of actual meaning.  It’s all what they call imaging in the business; “branding” in other businesses.  It all falls under the rubric of marketing; making people think there’s a reason to tune into your station rather than the other news stations in the market.

Everyone does it.

Including the dozens of stations owned by Sinclair.   Same basic idea – only their ads glom onto something that happens to be a hot subject these days – the fact that most Americans trust used care salesmen and meth addicts more than the media.  Here’s the script:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback”

It’s topical, it’s powerful, and it is utterly factual.

And that makes Big Media all skittery:

This is not exactly a scandalous or groundbreaking message, but you’d think otherwise from observing the reactions from certain entertainers and members of the press.

The Washington Post, for example, referred to the video as “stunning,” and added that the anchors, “seemed to parrot one of President Trump’s favorite themes.” Which is kind of funny, because you could also say they’re parroting one of his critics’ favorite themes about fake news being shared around from untrustworthy sources.

Late-night host and on-again-off-again political commentator Jimmy Kimmel, who is himself no stranger to parroting a demagogue’s talking point, said of the Sinclair video, “this is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

And – this almost reads like parody – the man who took “fake news” mainstream 13 years ago, sounds off on the sanctity of…well, Dan Rather:

Dan Rather, who famously lost his job when he was caught trying to undermine the 2004 U.S. presidential election with forged documents, said: “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

There are mornings I think “this nation can not possibly split into separate red and blue countries soon enough”.

 

 

Our Cravenly Dishonest Media

Channel 11 – which long since gave up any pretense of not being a DFL PR firm – notes that Remington, America’s oldest gun maker, has filed Chapter 11.

Now, people were talking about the likelihood, and even imminence, of Remington’s demise a solid year ago, as the Trump election caused panic-buying of guns (except in certain “progressive” circles) to slow down.

And before that, when people were panic-buying everything that looked like a gun, down to and including pop tarts chewed into gun shapes, people were pointing out that panic-buying was the only thing keeping Remington in business, so unsound was it even during the salad days of 2015-16.

So what did the Kare Bears have to say about it?

It also follows large student-led rallies across the United States calling for stricter gun laws after the mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida in February.

For that matter, it also follows most of March Madness, the Oscars, and the Tide Pod controversy.  Each of them had as  much to do with Remington’s troubles as the Potemkin Protests.

Censorship

Perhaps I’m not prominent enough a conservative for anyone to bother with censoring, but I haven’t been affected yet; my Facebook account remains untouched, my Twitter account (which I don’t use for much, as I hate Twitter with an abiding fury) hasn’t gotten messed with (other than continued stalking by a dissociative old duffer, which isn’t “Censorship” so much as “low comedy”), and generally things are OK.

Knock wood. know people like me are getting more and more rare in the world of conservative social media.

Factless Check

The problem with Snopes isn’t that they’re biased to the left (although they very well may be).

The problem with Snopes is – much like banished commenter Dog Gone – they seem to think “Big Left’s Current Cant” is interchangeable with fact.

As we see here, it just isn’t so.

Snopes.com recently fact-checked a post that we first put up in June 2015 and updated on January 7, 2016.  This became an issue for them because a story that Fox News’ Special Report that had run a couple years ago was getting circulated on Facebook after the Florida high school shooting.  They wrote: “Our conclusion is that this is accurate based on the CPRC’s definition of a mass shooting, but also extremely misleading. It uses inappropriate statistical methods to obscure the reality that mass shootings are very rare in most countries, so that when they do happen they have an outsized statistical effect.”

Watching the CPRC go on to flense Snopes’ claim is joyful thing.  Give it a read.

 

Lie First, Lie Always: Lori Sturdevant, Bloomberg Parrot

In my sixteen years of writing this blog, punching bags have come and, mostly, gone.  Nick Coleman?  The MInnesota Monitor?  Mercury Rising?  Ken Weiner?  I’m still here.  They’re all gone.

But Lori Sturdevant?  She just keeps on ticking.

Maybe “ticking” isn’t the right word.  She keeps on scolding Minnesotans Republicans  for not acting like “Republicans” did (so says the myth Sturdevant pushes) in the sixties and seventies, where the MNGOP was basically Democrats in better suits, and in many cases ran to the left of the DFL.  This was, of course, at a time when Amerca, and Minnesota, had no competition; a time when the entire world was the US’, and Minnesota’s, market.    A time when business could thrive and pay confiscatory taxes and support hiring kids with high school diplomas to bolt headlight bezels onto Fords at the Highland Park plant for upper-middle-class wages with no worry about being uncompetitive – because there was no competition.

This is the world Lori Sturdevant pines for.

The “Good” Republican:   Dario Anselmo is the GOP rep from Edina.  As befits a Republican in a district that’s turning blue – clogged with refugees from Minneapolis’ accelerating failure, but who brought their brick-headed DFL politics with them – Anselmo is “purple”.  I get it – I get along with Rep. Anselmo OK, although I disagree with a bunch of his positions.

Including his very luke-coolness on 2nd Amendment issues.  Sturdevant points out that Anselmo is the son of Barbara Lund, a Duluth heiress who was murdered by her estranged husband in the early nineties.  His aunt it Joan Peterson, an erratic an impervious woman who has been one of the Minnesota gun grab movement’s leaders for a couple decades, now.

Anyway – Anselmo is a “moderate” Republican, which means “the example Sturrdevant wants the entire GOP to follow.   Now, I like Rep. Anselmo, and will hope he gets re-elected (he may actually be in line with Buckley’s Law, the most conservative candidate who can win in his district full of soccer moms and petty functionaries.

Reconstructive History:   But never let it be said Lori Sturdevant lets facts get in the way of her narrative – that the DFL is the same moderate party she grew up shilling for, and the GOP should strive for the same.

Anselmo says he likely would not be backing the universal background checks bill but for his family’s experience. He also sees gun violence from the perspective of a downtown Minneapolis property owner.

Which sounds good…

…until you remember that neither of Dave Pinto’s bills would have prevented Barbara Lund’s murder; the Gun Violence Protective Order bill would have done nothing; there were no domestic violence charges against Russell Lund.  From a PiPress article at the time:

Kim Lund would not say whether her father had ever flashed a violent temper or physically abused Barbara Lund. She said the slayings stunned her family.

“The problem is we don’t know what happened,’” she said. “We have to wait for the criminal justice system to do its role.”

And ‘Universal Background Checks” would have prevented neither the Lund murder nor the crime that vexes Anselmo around his Warehouse district bar, the “Fine Line”.   Criminals don’t take background checks now, and they won’t when they’re “Universal”.  .

Lori The Parrot:  The rest of the column is proof that the only things Lori Sturdevant knows about the issue, she was told over drinks at Murray’s by her friends in the Gun Grab “movement”, and seeks only to serve their ends:

The gun issue, too, seems to be swelling into something bigger than the perennial partisan wedge it has been for decades. Gun violence is so pervasive — especially when one counts suicides as well as homicides — that many Minnesotans now see it in personal terms.

Gun violence is down 50% in 20 years.  Gun violence is schools is down 75% in that same time.

In 2016, more than 38,000 Americans died gun-related deaths.

2/3 of which were suicides, not one of which would have been prevented by any of the DFL’s bills.

What’s more, a new generation is rising and — even in rural places — claiming a campaign to stem gun violence as its own.

Well, that’s the word the media is trying to get out – go counter the fact that the “new generation” may be more pro 2nd Amendment than mine. Which is saying something.

The Phantom Right:   Sturdevant trips into my new favorite topic:

They’re recasting the argument in personal and moral terms, asking whether someone else’s right to own a semiautomatic weapon should outweigh their right to go to school without being shot and killed.

They’re asserting a right to safety.

That may not be in the Bill of Rights. But woe be unto any democratic government that fails to secure it.

Which is a fraction of the woe that betides a “democratic government” that gets  this simple fact wrong:

There is no “right to safety”, 

No more than there is a “right not to get hit by lightning” or “right not to have a fire break out in your kitchen”, or “right not to get t-boned by a drunk driver” or “right not to get robbed”.   There is no right to t-bone people, and there’s certainly no right to rob people.    It’d be absurd as claiming that lightning or fire had a “right” to strike you.  And yet there is no “right” to be free of any of these things.

There is only a responsibility to protect  your family, your property, your community and your self from nature – natural and human.  And that includes a responsibility to protect the students that society has ordered be gathered in your care, or else.

Of course, Lori Sturdevant represents – shills and parrots for, really – a party and movement that has sought only to erode the notion of responsibility on every front, not just safety, for much longer than Sturdevant’s been in public life.

All The News That’s Fit To Manufacture

CNN knows the story they want to be told

A survivor of the Florida high school massacre said in an interview that CNN rejected his proposal to discuss armed guards in schools and instead handed him a “scripted” question to ask during Wednesday night’s town hall on gun rights.

Colton Haab, 17, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and an ROTC member, reportedly used Kevlar vests to shield students during the massacre. He said he decided not to attend the town hall after CNN presented him with the prepared question.

a) There’s some hope for the younger generation.

b) I’ll call CNN “journalism” when CNN calls me “Admiral”.

The Gray Wasteland

Kevin Williamson sums up a vast expanse of “suck” in re the NYTimes’ coverage of gun issues:

he New York Times is uniquely bad on the subject of firearms. There are two ways to understand that sentence, and both apply: Among major news publications, the Timesregularly exhibits an unparalleled level of illiteracy on the subject of firearms, and it exhibits comparable illiteracy on practically no other subject. Even on such self-acknowledged weak spots as American religion, the Times rarely sinks to the level of outright stupidity that characterizes its coverage of firearms and related crimes.

That’s just the introduction.  It gets worse.  Read the whole thing.

CNN Is Shocked…Shocked…

CNN howls that a “gun industry lobbyist” “helped write” a “deregulation” proposal:

The white paper was produced by Acting ATF Deputy Director Ronald B. Turk and dated on President Trump’s inauguration day, January 20, 2017. It says the agency should consider allowing gun dealers to sell across state lines, loosen restrictions on gun noise suppressors, and pull back on its scrutiny of gun shops.

“If I am missing the mark on a major issue or disregarding a major discussion point any feedback you have would be appreciated,” Turk wrote to the lobbyist, Mark Barnes, on January 9, 2017. “My hope is that the agency can demonstrate flexibility where appropriate and identify areas for further discussion, recognizing that solving everyone’s concerns on each side would be difficult.”

CNN also whimpers:

The documents on the drafting of the white paper, as provided by the ATF, do not reflect any input from gun-control groups.

Which stands to reaason; they are jointly and severally worthless; they provide no factual, moral or political value to any policy discussion on the issue. None of them.

But their beef is that a “gun lobbyist” provided policy feedback to the ATF – reminiscent of the chorus of catcalling from the ignorant six year ago about the “American Legislative Exchange Council” providing model legislation to legislators, exactly as dozens or hundreds of other policy think tanks do.

Even – although the “think” is a bit of a stretch – gun grabber groups, as we discovered five years ago when the DFL, emboldened by their electoral sweep in 2012, copied and pasted reams of gun grab legislation from California, Maryland and Connecticut.

You’d think CNN would check those sort of facts…

…oh, I slay me.

Walter Duranty Is Alive And Well

American legacy media trip over, beclown selves with their coverage of the Nadia Comaneci of this year’s winter olympics…

North Korea:

No foreign leader has enjoyed coverage as good as North Korea’s Kim Yo Jong since Vogue profiled Asma al-Assad, first lady of Syria, back in 2011. (That was right before Assad’s regime killed tens of thousands of people and used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war.) A sampling: Reuters: “North Korea has emerged as the early favorite to grab one of the Winter Olympics’ most important medals: the diplomatic gold.” CNN: “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics!” Business Insider: “From her “side-eye” of US Vice President Mike Pence to hints at Korean unification, Kim has stolen the spotlight at the Winter Olympics.” Washington Post: “The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates people in the South at the Olympics.”

All that is necessary to get the coastal media’s blessing is to  be the opposite of Donald Trump.

Without whom this rapprochement, real or fabricated, would not be happening in the first place.

Proportion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Dow dropped the most points ever!  Trump should stay away!
Rubbish. The Dow dropped 666 points to close at 25,520.   An article from Obama’s time, 2015, shows the 10 worst drops in history.  His was number 10.
The analysts are using points instead of percentages which makes it sound scary but is it really?  If the Dow was at 10,000 points and dropped 1,000, that’s a 10% drop but if it’s at 20,000 points and drops 1,000, that’s a 5% drop, only half as bad.  Trump’s drop of 666 on 26,000 is 2.5%, not the worst in history, doesn’t even make in the top 10.   It’s a blip.
Why do you suppose an English major can figure that out, but all the sophisticated market analysts in the media cannot?
Joe Doakes

Make no mistake – they can figure it out.

But the Demorat messaging plan is “Say whatever we need to; our audience is either in on the line, or isn’t smart enough to bother”.

Carrying Ellison’s Water

Earlier this morning I wrote a piece about Keith Ellison’s endorsement of fascist thuggery focused against enemies of the Democrat Party.

But I noticed something beyond that.  In the PiPress story on the subject (bylined from the Associated Press).  The article said:

Ellison’s post said the book should “strike fear into the heart” of President Donald Trump.

Which is a grammatically correct construction.  Almost sounds like an educated person speaking proper English.

But this is what Ellison wrote:

He “found the book that strike fear”… into his enemy.

Now, I’m not going to make much of Ellison’s mangling verb tenses on Twitter.  Everyone has their moments.

But why is the AP cleaning up Ellison’s grammar for him?

Kicking Out The Key Log

The Obama economy stayed sluggish, despite an avalanche of taxpayer and deficit cash, because businesses sat on their money; with cheap credit via “quantitative easing”, their cash on hand zoomed upward (leading to record high stock indices) – but job growth and productivity remained sluggish.   With regulations metastasizing and Obamacare lurking over everything like a that friend from high school who stopped by and you just know is going to hit you up for a loan, business played it very very safe.

No more, it seems – or at least that seems to be written between the lines of this curiously schizophrenic NYTimes piece that seems to make a little room for every possible angle in re Trump, economic or not:

Mr. Trump bragged in a news conference last month that he has rolled back 22 regulations for every new one — 67 deregulatory actions, versus three new regulations. Often in conjunction with the Republican Congress, his administration has canceled several rules approved at the end of the President Barack Obama’s term, including a regulation on limiting mining debris in streams, a requirement that broadband providers obtain permission from customers to collect and use online information, and a ban on plastic bottles in national parks.

Administration officials said last month that, since January 2017, federal agencies have delayed, withdrawn or made inactive nearly 1,600 planned regulatory actions. Further rollbacks will affect financial services as well as energy and labor rules, among others.

And Mr. Trump has appointed outspoken critics of regulation to lead several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All of which, to the Times, are troubling.

 

 

Any Color You Want, As Long As It’s DFL!

Jon Tevlin – who replaced Nick Coleman on columnists row at the Strib a long time ago, and you’d have a hard time telling the difference unless you notice the incremental drop in entitled arrogance – is getting out of the column business:

In the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten worn down by the weekly screeds and wishes that I lead a short, uncomfortable life. I began to dread the 3 a.m. calls and anonymous notes. After many weekends got ruined by hostile chatter on social media, my wife, Ellen, wisely suggested I either kill my column or Twitter. I survived the past few years, in fact, by removing social media from my phone.

I fear we are becoming a mean, arrogant country. In fact, at 6 a.m. the day after voters elected a bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac,

(Yes, I did check to see if he was in that paragraph was intended as satire.  Apparnetly not.  Ed)

I wrote to my financial planner the following words: “I feel like I’ve wasted 30 years of my life. Get me out of here.”

Mr. Tevlin – if you have to ask, you probably did.  Sorry to say.

Paying attention to Twitter is a rookie flub, of course; the day when Twitter’s nonexistent business model finally sinks it will be a great one for public discourse.

But that leaves a vacancy on Columnists Row [1].   Who’ll fill it?

On the one hand, who cares?  It’s the Strib.

On the other?

Well, Bob Collins at MPR writes:

Ideally, the Strib would hang out a “white men need not apply” shingle since the newspaper’s lineup of voices is almost exclusively male, white, and comfortable.

Bob – perhaps  because he’s white and male, but I suspect more because he’s part of a media outlet that is pretty much demographically identical tot he Strib – misses a key point.

The Strib’s columnist stable (outside of Kersten, whose status at the Strib is always nebulous anyway) reminds me of Alan Dershowitz’s assessment of the Harvard Law School faculty: “You think “diversity” is someone with different colored skin, or in a skirt, who thinks exactly the same as you”. (The same could be said of MPR, by the way).

What difference would it make if the Strib hired a non-white non-male (let’s call ’em NWNMs, just for the fun of it) if their writing was indistinguishable from the DFL flaks with bylines that make up the rest of the staff? Would hiring a black woman whose point of view is indistinguishable from Lori Sturdevant or Nick Coleman (or Keri Miller) really be that big a change, much less improvement?

In print,  if someone’s entire perspective on the world is that of a Prius-driving, Whole Foods-shopping, “Al Franken shouldn’t have resigned!”-ing, DFL upsucking, Saint Olaf/Macalester/U of MN Journo program-degree-holding, Kenwood or Crocus Hill-dwelling, mad-about-Bernie-but-still-Hillary-voting intellectual love child of Lori Sturdevant and Nick Coleman, does their skin color or reproductive plumbing really make that big a difference in the newspaper’s output?

Other than in the “virtue-signaling ticket-punching” kind of way, I mean?

Mark my words:  after much sturm und drang, the Strib will pick someone in a skirt, and/or with fashionably dark skin, whose perspective is no different from that of Jon Tevlin, Nick Coleman, Lori Sturdevant, Keri Miller or Kim Ode for that matter.

 

Continue reading

The WaPo: Fake News

That story that Trump has instituted a list of “banned words” at the CDC?

The one the WaPo reported on?

You might as well be reading Buzzfeed.

The terms are “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “evidence-based” and “science-based,” according to a story first reported on Friday in The Washington Post.

But Fitzgerald said in a series of tweets on Sunday said [Note to correspondents at PBS:  check your work.  Sic. Ed] there are “no banned words,” while emphasizing the agency’s commitment to data-driven science.

Oh, there was substitution suggested…:

A group of the agency’s policy analysts said senior officials at the CDC informed them about the banned words on Thursday, according to the Post’s report. In some cases, the analysts were reportedly given replacement phrases to use instead.

But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases.

In other words, it was internal PR.

I know a few reporters. I know they try hard to get facts, even partisan facts – sometimes even partisan facts that jostle their own partisanship – correct.

But people who believe the mainstream legacy media doesn’t operate from systematic political bias are starting to rank down there with moon landing deniers.

Open Letter To The Law-Enforcement/Media Complex

To:  The Mainstream Media, and the cops and prosecutors who are your sources
From:  Mitch Berg, obstreporous peasant
Re:  World’s Smallest Violin

Dear Cops, Prosecutors and their Media mouthpieces,

Last week, a shooter at a WalMart in the Denver area killed three people.

Colorado being a shall-issue state, and WalMart being an almost-stereotypical hangout for Real Americans [1], a number of people reacted admirably, courageously and appropriately, by drawing their legal firearms and getting ready to engage.

And that just annoys all of you, doesn’t it?

But those who drew weapons during the shootings ultimately delayed the investigation as authorities pored over surveillance videotape trying to identify the assailant who killed three people, police said Thursday.

Let me put this as delicately as it deserves to be put;  f**k you, and your whining about being forced to do your jobs because people had the unmitigated gall to defend themselves.  And the media for carrying this whining as if it’s news.

If someone hears shooting in the room they’re in, and their first thought is “I hope my actions don’t impede the police investigating why I am dead”, rather than defending your life, your family and your community (whether by fight or flight, and I’ll never judge either one), then they are mentally ill; if you think that should be the normal response, then you’re a lot worse.

I used to wonder why the news media and officialdom wondered why people these days trust them less than used car dealers.  Now, I curse their gall for wasting my time asking why they wonder.

[1] Defined, in this case, as “people who take all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights seriously, jointly and severally.

Speaking Entitlement To Power

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at the Saint Paul Farmers Market, buying pickling cucumbers.

He is surprised when MyLissa Silberman – National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau correspondent – walks up behind him.

SILBERMAN:  Merg.

BERG:  Oh, hi, MyLyssa.

SILBERMAN: Republicans are trying to destroy the free media.

BERG:  Er, what now?

SILBERMAN:  A Republican legislator is proposing licensing journalists.

The measure would require journalists — defined as anyone writing or broadcasting news for a newspaper, magazine, website or television or radio station — to be registered and fingerprinted by the police and vetted for their “character and reputation.”

BERG:  I think you missed the point.

SILBERMAN:  No – it’s right here:

Committing journalism without a license within 500 feet of school or on a school bus would bump the penalty up from a misdemeanor to a felony. Journalists with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prevented from getting licenses. And unlicensed people would still be able to engage in journalism on property they own or rent.

That’s some serious infringement of a vital constitutional right.

BERG:  Um, yeah.  I heard you report about that.  Problem was, you missed the important part:

State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from the southeastern part of Indiana and a vocal critic of his state’s gun restrictions, drafted the bill by copying language from a state law that requires a license to carry a handgun in public.

With these laws proposed for journalists, Lucas’s measure reads like satire.

SILBERMAN:  What are you talking about?

BERG:  Lucas is satirizing gun control laws; making people get a permit to exercise an essential Constitutional liberty, and putting all sorts of restrictions on it that have not thing to do with either public safety or, in its satirical form, the news.

SILBERMAN: But..Trump!

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG: OK.  So?  Trump said things that make the media uncomfortable.  Big f****ng whoop.  He can’t enforce any of it.

SILBERMAN:  No, Merg.  I repeat:

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG:  Right.  You already said it.  He demonizes the media.

Thing is, this proposal – it’s not even a bill, yet – isn’t about “oppressing the media”.  It’s about pointing out the double standards of the left and media (pardon the redundancy); hawkish absolutists about the sanctity of the First Amendment, dilatory and fuzzy on the Secone.

SILBERMAN:  But that’s unconstitutional.

BERG:  How so?

SILBERMAN:   Were you paying attention?  He said:

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG:   MyLissa, it’s not about the media, per se.  Although the media is certainly focuses on it.  Because it seems that the only civil rights the media really gets exercised about are its own.  First Amendment rights of non-media people?  Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth?   Crickets”.

SILBERMAN: LIsten, Merg:  “President Trump, who has demonized the news media as …”

 

But BERG has already disappeared.  

And SCENE.

Facts In The Dark: If You Get Your News About Gun Crime/Laws/Owners From NPR, You Are Starting The Race With One Leg Tied Behind Your Back

Over the weekend, NPR came out with a “Fact Check” piece about whether Chicago is “proof” that gun laws don’t affect crime.

Is the “fact check”, well, factual?

It’s NPR and they’re talking about guns. What do you think?

NPR starts with Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ post-Vegas press conference statement:

“I think one of the things we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t stop these types of things from happening,” Sanders said Monday. “I think if you look to Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

Pointing to Chicago to suggest that gun laws don’t work is not a new talking point — Trump claimed Chicago had “the toughest gun laws in the United States” in a 2016 presidential debate; his fellow Republican candidate Chris Christie likewise pointed to Chicago as a place with high crime despite tight gun laws.

Now, if you’re a Right to Keep and Bear Arms person, you know what that really means; the idea that tight regulations on law-abiding civlilians owning guns hasn’t the foggiest impact on crime, at best, and a negative impact at worst.  That – crime and death, and how infringing freedom for the law-abiding doesn’t affect either – is what we’re concerned about.

And what does NPR focus on?

The Fussy Tangent:   Hey, at least NPR acknowledges the real problem, sort of:

It’s also true that there were more than 4,000 shooting victims in Chicago in 2016. It’s also true that Chicago has suffered a massive amount of gun crime recently. In 2016, homicides in Chicago sharply rose, mostly as a result of gun homicides, as the University of Chicago crime lab found in a January report.

Gun homicides in the city rose by 61 percent between 2015 and 2016. That helped make the gun homicide rate…25.1 per 100,000 residents in 2016, compared to 14.7 in Philadelphia and just 2.3 in New York.

But never mind all the carnage and death.  It’s Huckabee-Sanders’ assertion that’s the real issue!

But it’s not true that Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country, as other fact checkers have also repeatedly found…”We generally think of California as having the strongest gun laws in the country,” said Hannah Shearer, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The whole state’s laws are pretty strong.”

The center has given California an A rating and ranks it No. 1 in terms of the tightness of its gun laws.

Ah.  So law-abiding citizens are disarmed, and criminals are deterred only by the ministrations of the Chicago Police Department – but they’re not the “toughest” laws, according to the abstract reasoning of a gun grabber group?

This is not a “fact check”.  This is an ideological purity test.

It gets worse.

The Mean Streets Of Hammond:  NPR next revisits the old canard; Chicago would be safe, if it weren’t for those darned Hoosiers and Badgers:

It’s important to remember here that Chicago is very close to two states that have relatively weak gun laws: Wisconsin and Indiana. So while it’s easy to pick on Chicago (or any other high-crime city) for its ugly statistics, says one expert, taking bordering states into account weakens this gun-advocacy talking point.

“It’s not a scientific study. It’s an anecdote,” said Philip Cook, a professor of public policy studies at Duke University. “They might have pointed to Washington, D.C., back in the days when D.C. banned handguns and yet had high gun-violence rates. Those bans are only at best partially effective, because the borders are permeable.”

So why aren’t Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia stacking up bodies like cordwood?    If availability of guns were the problem, then wouldn’t places like North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming be shooting galleries?

NPR does try to drill further into the issue:

2015 study of guns in Chicago, co-authored by Cook, found that more than 60 percent of new guns used in Chicago gang-related crimes and 31.6 percent used in non-gang-related crimes between 2009 and 2013 were bought in other states. Indiana was a particularly heavy supplier, providing nearly one-third of the gang guns and nearly one-fifth of the non-gang guns.

Other evidence corroborates this — a 2014 Chicago Police Department report found that Indiana accounted for 19 percent of all guns recovered by the department between 2009 and 2013.

NPR has found correlation, not a cause.  Yes, there are guns from other states to fill the black market demand for firearms.  Every single one of them is the result of a felony – a theft (a state felony) or a “straw purchase”, a person with a clean record buying a buy and giving/selling it to a criminal, which is a federal felony.

Is it because Indiana has “lax” gun laws?

Or is it because the US Attorney for Northern Illinois announced that his office wasn’t going to spend time prosecuting “straw buyers” anymore?  Because he wanted to focus his office on politically-sexy prosecutions, and nobody ever got elected to the Senate by showing off a record of  prosecuting gang-bangers’ girlfriends, junior high pals and grandmothers?

So, In Summary:  The NPR “fact-check” ignored the actual point of the Trump Administration’s statement – that gun control and public safety are not in any way linked, and in some cases may be inversely correlated –  to pedantically nitpick Huckabee Sanders’ conceptually accurate statement about the legalities, and issue a deflection about other states’ laws that actually reinforces the Pro-Civil Rights’ side’s point.

Facts In The Dark rules this article as part of the NPR’s effort to be part of Big Left’s Praetorian Guard.  

Hate

There’s a lot of hate on the American left for people who are Not Like Them. I see it and hear it, even among friends and acquaintances who are left of center; many of them think the vast quote on washed and put boards in flyover land are just plain less human than they are. They don’t even bother trying to hide it; Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel marinade in disdain for those they consider their inferiors, and they reflect a point of you here in coffee shops and Whole Foods from coast over to the next coast.

Hayley Geftman-Gold’s only mistake was being overheard by the wrong people, and working in one of few parts of the media industry were giving the impression of toxic bias is still bad form:

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

If she’d worked on the programming, or possibly news, sides of the operation, nothing would’ve happened.

Don’t shed a tear for Haley, though. The big left looks out for its own. She’ll have a job, and a darn good one, someplace, soon.

I’m going to bet it’ll be at NPR.

Customer Satisfaction

Democrats’ confidence in the mass media rises dramatically in the past year.

Democrats’ trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” has jumped from 51% in 2016 to 72% this year — fueling a rise in Americans’ overall confidence to 41%. Independents’ trust has risen modestly to 37%, while Republicans’ trust is unchanged at 14%.

They paid for it.  They’d better like it.

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part V: You Broke It, Strib. You Fix It.

Last week, I wrote a bunch of pieces on an editorial that appeared in the Strib the weekend before last.

The Strib complained about the growing street crime – in particular about the consequences of some local and higher court rulings that make enforcement against crimes like public intoxication and panhandling harder without specific legislative intervention.  (They also proposed the same impotent diversions on gun control that every DFL metrocrat shill runs to when faced with a wave of violence).

All the problems come back to one thing – a mayor and city council that may or may not be unable to grapple with the issues, but are certainly unwilling to interrupt the consequence-free virtue-signaling – like strong-arming local businesses with minimum wage hikes and sick time benefits, and social justice warrior-mongering – that obsesses so many of them.

Betsy Hodges in “action”. Crime skyrockets – but Target “Raises its minimum wage”.  Of course, technology has led to them cutting thousands of entry-level jobs, already.  Just like we warned you.  More to come. 

And this is the city council that, in large part, the Strib has supported to a fine sheen for the past sixty years.

And the mayor they’ve supported all along as well; I take you back to October, 2013, when the Strib editorial board endorsed Hodges for mayor:

Hodges is aligned with this page on the need for improved transit, including streetcars and enhanced bus service, as a driver of economic development citywide. As mayor, she’d play a key role in deciding the future of the Southwest Corridor light-rail project.

Although the school board operates independently from City Hall, Hodges says that as mayor she would seek to build consensus around the increasingly desperate need to close the city’s achievement gap, and she puts the right emphasis on early childhood development and prenatal health programs with her proposed “Cradle-to-K” cabinet. She’s talked generally about longer school days, more flexibility for administrators in teacher labor agreements, and support for reforms proposed by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson.

Hodges doesn’t promise lower property taxes, but her record suggests she’ll be a strong steward of city resources and taxpayer dollars.

Hodges also promises to be aggressive in using technology to enhance public safety and would seek more accountability in hiring, training and disciplining cops. In a recent meeting with the Editorial Board, she acknowledged that the police union contract makes it too difficult to fire bad cops.

Does any of this – which reflects the express wishes and position of the most influential editorial board / DFL PR firm in the state – sound like what’s actually happened since the voters gave the Strib, yet again, exactly what they wanted?

Own it, Strib.  You got your wishes in the North Loop, as you have throughout the city.  You did your best to break it.  You fix it.

 

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part IV: Never Waste A Crisis

Last week, the Strib put out a breathtakingly obtuse editorial about the wave of crime sweeping the North Loop in Minneapolis – even as crime statewide continues a long-term downward trend.

The Strib’s editorial board blamed court for limiting the cops’ ability to arrest drunk and panhandlers – but, mirabile dictu, not a single word about getting the Mayor and City Council to take time off from virtue-signaling, political posturing, and  building exquisitely expensive monuments to their own wisdom.

But now, it’s time for the scapegoating:

There’s another, more intractable problem that Freeman, Segal, Arradondo and others wrestle with: guns. “We as a society have refused to provide law enforcement with the resources and laws needed to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Freeman said.

Bravo!

Getting guns out of the hands of those who should not have them!   That’s just brilliant!

So the MPD will start focusing on straw buyers, gangs and habitual offenders?

Don’t be silly, fellow peasant; it’s Minneapolis:

Options here are few, especially in light of the strength of the gun lobby.

Let’s make this absolutely clear:  the “Gun Lobby” is the only party to this discussion proposing anything that will actually affect crime; upcharging gun criminals,

Some attempts at municipal restrictions have been struck down. One notable exception is New York City, where carrying a gun requires a special city permit issued by the police commissioner.

And where crime 35 years ago was off the charts – with the same, exact laws they have today.  It was Giuliani and his “stop and frisk” and “broken windows” policies – none of which the government of Minneapolis would ever condone – that actually lowered crime in NYC.   And by the way – have you noticed how crime is trending since DiBlasio reversed Giuliani and Bloomberg’s policies?

Minnesota typically has had strong Second Amendment protections, but it may be time for Minneapolis to explore its own carve-out.

Because of all the carry permittees that are shooting people up in the North Loop?

Because all those north side gang bangers will get permits?

Because holding out bitterly against the rights of the law-abiding citizen has served Chicago so well?

The legislative delegations from Minneapolis and St. Paul, with assists from city leaders, should make their voices heard on resurrecting a gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks for gun sales made at gun shows, privately and online.  These are the same background checks gun shop owners are required to conduct, and a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last year found strong support for such a measure — 82 percent.

Which only proves that 82 percent of the Strib’s remaining film of readers are idiots.   Criminals don’t take background checks.

No.  The responsibility for the carnage on the North Side and in the North Loop lies precisely in the laps of Mayor Hodges and the pack of virtue-signaling, PC fops that amuse themselves playing “government” at City Hall.  It is they that continue the policies that keep the North Side hopeless, keep the Minneapolis PD busy chasing PC trends, and keep the city as a whole ripe pickings for the criminal class.

Perhaps it’s Minneapolis’ idiot political class that should be taking background checks.

See you

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part II: Kotkin Was Right!

A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin.

Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind?   But he’s made himself persona non grata among urban planning wonks by swimming against the current train of thought, which holds that core cities will rise again; the “Creative Class” loves their inner-urban amenities, and the rest will be forced there by Met Council policies.

Kotkin notes that for the past generation, most growth in this country – economic and demographic – is happening in the outer suburbs and exurbs of major and mid-sized cities.  Kotkin also theorizes that cities are rapidly devolving into a demographic donut:

  1. A downtown area full of well-to-do, gentry – businesspeople, technocrats, upper-middle-class empty-nesting retirees, and “the creative class”.
  2. The rest of the city – where the civil service class warehouses the poor.

The progressive political class tries to conceal this by inducing suburbs to increase the amount of “Affordable Housing” – but we’re going astray, here.

Accoridng to the Strib’s editorial last week, it appears that the outer and inner donut rings are getting too close together:

“Downtown has become everything to everybody,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and that’s a problem. Few downtowns, he noted, have two major homeless shelters, along with the myriad social-services and outreach programs that have located downtown over the years.

Five will get you ten that this is followed by a call to move more of these facilities and services to the ‘burbs – so the people in the donut hole don’t have to deal with them.

“That may be something to rethink,” he said.

Huh.

So – for the past sixty years, the DFL has had iron-clad control over Minneapolis.   They created an interventionistic bureaucracy that fed off the welfare state, and created some of the worst income disparitie in the state.

And now they want someone to get the bums out of their perfectly-coiffed hair:

Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.” Because of the court’s decision, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city’s panhandling laws are no longer enforced.

 

Aggressive panhandling is not benign, and it often is committed by individuals with mental-health problems and addictions. There have been reports of panhandlers confronting individuals and demanding money, even chasing them for “donations.” It is possible that more narrowly targeted laws, aimed at harassing behavior or specific locations, such as near ATMs and transit stops, could survive legal scrutiny. Minneapolis officials should undertake a serious effort to craft legally defensible alternatives, rather than leave an apparently unenforceable law on the books.

Or, Minneapolis could continue to shred through low-income jobs like they grow on trees, enforcing unsustainable, job-killing minimum wage laws and making affordable housing a government-controlled racket.

Maybe that’ll work this time.

Tomorrow – Never Never Land,

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part I: “Solve The Problem We Helped Create!”

I’m not saying the Star Tribune’s Editorial Board is full of people that want a dictator to solve all our society’s problem.

am saying that if a dictator ever wanted to take over, they’d’ need society to be full of people like the Strib’s editors to have a chance of succeeding.

They ran an editorial this past week proposing some solutions to the problem of crime, violence and their bedfellows social and economic decay.

And it’s a masterpiece of double-talk, deflection, and putting a crisis to political use.

Home to nearly 6,000 businesses, downtown Minneapolis swells daily as more than 160,000 workers head in to the state’s economic hub. Its landscape is dotted with major businesses, banks, hotels and a massive football stadium.

Yep.  The idea of the hub-and-spoke downtown is alive and well, in a city that pretty much depends on the idea being propagated for eternity.

But unlike a generation ago, downtown is also a growing neighborhood, home to nearly 40,000 residents. By design, they tend to be educated, affluent professionals craving an urban lifestyle that includes the excitement of a nightlife powered by bars, theaters and restaurants along Hennepin Avenue and in the bustling North Loop.

“By design”.

Two very loaded words.

A generation ago, when I moved to the Twin Cities, the North Loop was a blighted area, nearly vacant after dark but for the occasional roughneck bar and strip joint.   Just down the road from North Minneapolis – which was just as big a problem to the city’s reputation then as it is today, although people were a lot less reticent to say so, or why, back then – it shared some of the same pathologies, albeit without a resident population.   I wrote about my encounter with the old North Loop 11 years ago.

Somewhere in the nineties, Minneapolis noticed the small groups of young entrepreneurs that were taking advantage of cheap, blighted property and, with the aid of a flood of federal and state tax money, decided to turn the North Loop into a little Brooklyn;  to replace all that urban grit with a hipster/young child-free-couple-friendly version; let’s call it “Urban Grit-land”, like an urban fantasy version of a Disney subdivision.

Not that the redevelopment of the North Loop was a bad thing.   More stuff going on is better than less stuff going on, all other things being equal.   The Strib, of course, supported the redevelopment – partly, one must imagine, because it increased the paper vallue of their property up on Eight Street North, the paper’s former printing shop and now headquarters, which allowed them to sell their old property down on 4th and Portland for a huge profit.

And let’s not forget – the Strib has always been a relentless supporter of the DFL politicians and policies that have left the neighboring North Side a blighted battlezone.

Of course, what they also did was put a big population of soft, wealthy (and, election results would seem to indicate, very unlikely to resist) targets within reach of a whole lot of urban grit that hasn’t yet been sanded and laquered to a fine patina yet:

But downtown also has a stubbornly rising crime rate that threatens all of the effort and investment in making this area vibrant and attractive. Robberies are up significantly. Homeless encampments are becoming more common. Weekends bring regular reports of shots fired. Complaints about aggressive panhandling are up, and some light-rail transit stations have become trouble spots that draw crowds of young people late at night.

You mean, exactly as we warned them they would?

These are the early warning signs that can signal greater trouble in the future. Spiraling crime can scare off prospective residents and employers. Residents of downtown, unlike those in most neighborhoods, tend to be renters, for whom moving is as easy as not renewing a lease. Businesses, too, can vote with their feet if they or their employees become uncomfortable.

The Strib then goes on to prescribe some “solutions” for the problems that – as we’ll see – they helped create.

We’ll be looking at this for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow:  Kotkin Was Right!