Open Letter To The MinnPost Editorial Team

To:  Joel Kramer (CEO/Editor), Roger Buoen and Susan Albright (Co-Managing Editors) Don Effenberger (News Editor)
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  They Get What They Pay For

Esteemed Editors:

I was never much of a reporter.  I could always do the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of a story just fine, and earned a living at it, off and on.  But it was never really my thing.

But I do remember, when I worked in the business, that the fastest way to get a reporter, producer or editor up on their back legs was to suggest that journalism partner with business or government to do the job.  They would say – with righteousness rivaling any Baptist minister or Trappist monk – that Journalism’s mission was to be a check and balance on government, business, anyone with power.    To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.   Any whiff of filthy lucre was to be kept on the other side of the thick wall and locked door that separated the Sales department from the newsroom. 

Media analysts – I’m thinking Garfield and Gladstone’s “On The Media” on NPR, and the whole Romanesko borg – go through gyrations worthy of a Talmud symposium sifting through the ethics of mixing journalism and money. 

Now, theMinnPosttalks a big game about journalism.  And you’ve certainly staffed your site with a lot of people with long pedigrees in the regional news business.  And Brian Lambert. 

But I’ve noticed on one issue that your site gets a fair chunk of money from from the Joyce Foundation.  The Joyce Foundation also bankrolls most of the major gun control organizations in the United States, including Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts and “Protect Minnesota“. 

And along with this financial link, the MinnPost’s coverage of Second Amendment issues has gotten more and more slanted, and not a little bit risible in the bargain:

  • Doug Grow has positively fawned over Heather Martens and Jane Kay (of “Moms Want Action”, another astroturf anti-gun group that gets money from the same pool of liberals with deep pockets that bankrolls Protect MN and, I suspect, the MinnPost); his coverage has been less “journalism” and more “holding a rhetorical slumber party”.  His piece on Rep. Hillstrom’s counter to the Paymar/Hausman gun grab bills - one of which Martens, a lobbyist, read into the record, a bizarre flouting of House rules – was so devoid of fact I concluded it could only have been written in advance. 
  • I’ve got nothing but respect for Eric Black as a journalist – but his coverage of Second Amendment issues and their Constitutional history this past year has been a fount of inspiration for us on this blog

The MinnPost gets big bucks from Joyce, and starts a wave of anti-Second-Amendment (I’ll be charitable) cheerleading.  Coincidence?

Which leads us to this week, and Susan Perry’s piece on an academic “study” on gun violence.  It was a puff piece about a junk study

…and it was sponsored – as noted in the story’s headline – by UCare.  An arm of the government of the State of Minnesota.  Now, leave aside that that government is currently controlled by the extreme metrocrat wing of the DFL party.  Here’s the question:  if journalism is supposed to hold government accountable, should be finacially beholden to government?

Or does that only count when it’s not a DFL sacred cow being promoted?

Because when your “journalism” is being done at the behest of issue-oriented non-profits and the government you’re theoritically supposed to hold accountable, isn’t it really just public relations?  Or campaign media?

Thanks,

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

Junk Science, Junk Journalism, Platinum Funding

 The MinnPost – a non-profit-run institutional blog established the the intention to get a jump on the next wave of institutional journalism – gets a whole bunch of money from the Joyce Foundation.  Joyce also bankrolls Minnesota’s “largest” gun grabber group, “Protect Minnesota”, and Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”, as well as paying academics to deliver the conclusions they want

Is that financial relationship related to the fact that the MinnPost has, whenever the subject of guns and the Second Amendment is at hand, turned itself into a risible propaganda organ for the gun-grabbing extreme left?

From Eric Black’s recycling long-obscure legal theories about the origins of the Second Amendment to Doug Grow’s naked puff-piecemongering in support of Heather Martens’ checkbook advocacy group, the MinnPost would seem to be working hard to earn the $50K or so they got from Joyce. 

The latest?  Susan Perry, a “Health” reporter who has pulled her weight in the past on theMinnPost’santi-gun beat. 

Confederate soldiers! With guns! Defending slavery! This is what the MinnPost think you, the law-abiding gun owner, genuflect to.

Yesterday came this piece, entitled…

Well, no.  We’ll get to the title in a bit.  But I’m going to pull a quote from the end of the story first.  I’ll add emphasis for weasel words and a particularly dim strawman:

“Although correlation is not synonymous with causation,” write Bangalore and Messerli, “it seems conceivable that abundant gun availability facilitates firearm-related deaths. Conversely, high crime rates may instigate widespread anxiety and fear, thereby motivating people to arm themselves and give rise to increased gun ownership, which, in turn, increases availability. The resulting vicious cycle could, bit-by-bit, lead to the polarized status that is now the case with the US.”

“Regardless of exact cause and effect, however,” they add, “the current study debunks the widely quoted hypothesis purporting to show that countries with the higher gun ownership are safer than those with low gun ownership.”

So – seventeen paragraphs into a nineteen paragraph article, we hear that the reasearchers aren’t actually drawing conclusions (in attacking a “widely quoted hypothesis” that nobody quotes at all). 

Which is a bit of a letdown for a story whose headline…:

“Idea that ‘guns make a nation safer’ is debunked in study”

…fairly screams “We’ve got a big big big conclusion here!”

 The Rhetorical Slalom Between The Strawmen: I’ll throw this out to the shooters in the audience.  Was this premise…:

The idea that “guns make a nation safer”

…as new to you as it was to me?

Anyway – the “premise”…

…is not true, according to a study published today in The American Journal of Medicine.

In fact, the study found just the opposite: Countries with a low rate of gun ownership have significantly fewer gun-related deaths than those with a high rate.

Right.  In the same way that areas where couples marry have higher divorce rates than areas where they just shack up. 

The study – and Perry’s piece – are honest, in a very dishonest sense; they scrupulously point out that gun death rates are, mirabile dictu, lower in places fewer guns.  But the “study” is equally scrupulous in avoiding apples to apples comparisons, or correlating their conclusions to any data that doesn’t fit inside their razor-thin premise…

…which is to attack a case (“Nations with few guns have higher gun crime rates!”) that, for the life of me, I’ve never heard a single credible person make – about nations, anyway. 

Cherry-Picked:  Perry notes that…

The U.S. leads in gun ownership — and gun deaths

The analysis found that the United States has far and away the highest rate of gun ownership, with 88.8 privately owned guns for every 100 people (“almost as many guns as it has people,” Bangalore and Messerli note)…The United States also has the highest firearm-related death rate: 10.2 deaths per 100,000 residents…At the other end of the spectrum are Japan and the Netherlands. Japan has a gun-ownership rate of 0.6 guns per 100 people, while the Netherlands’ rate is 3.9.

Those two countries also had two of the lowest death-by-gun rates: 0.06/100,000 for Japan and 0.46/100,000 for the Netherlands.

But neither Japan nor the Netherlands is fighting a “Drug War”; neither nation has policies that have turned their inner cities into shooting galleries, controlled by people who have nothing to lose by resorting to violence to protect their markets, using entry-level employees who grow up in a culture that glorifies violence and ignores consequences. 

Neither Japan nor the Netherlands has a major geographical region dominated by a culture that was practicing duelling and honor-killing and treating violence as a way of life long before there was a United States – a culture whose crime rates are, at worst, on par with the worst of the inner cities

Indeed, both Japan and the Netherlands are extremely homogenous countries; homogenous societies tend to be pretty placid – until they have to flirt with heterodoxy (ask the Koreans and the Ainu in Japan, or the Indonesians in the Netherlands).

Indeed, Perry’s article points – unwittingly – at the truth:

The only country that was a bit of an outlier was South Africa. It had a relatively low gun ownership rate of 12.5/100, but a high (the second-highest, just below the U.S.) gun-related death rate of 9.41/100,000.

And of the countries on the list, South Africa is the only one with a significantly – indeed, pivotally – heterodox society.  One with massive urban dysfunction, to boot. 

Which might lead the rational observer to conclude – or see a correlation, anyway – that guns don’t kill people; societal dysfunction does.

Math Is Hard, And Psychiatry Is Harder:  But let’s look at the “gun death” numbers Perry actually does deign to report – the relative gun murder rates in the US, the Netherlands, Japan and…:

[...the] United Kingdom also ranked low on both lists. It has a gun-ownership rate of 6.2 per 100 people and a gun-death rate of 0.25 per 100,000.

But fully half of the US “gun death rate” is suicides.  And the suicide rate in the US (12/100,000) is half of Japans (21.7/100,000), and equal to the UK’s (11.8), and both the US and UK are 50% higher  than the Dutch, at 8.8/100,000. 

We’re not sure if the “study” concluded that guns and depressed, mentally-ill or chemically-addled people don’t mix, or not.  Perhaps the Joyce Foundation will write a grant to study that?

No?

Is This A Strawman, Or A Begged Question?: Perry’s piece continues:

Their conclusion: “There was no significant correlation between guns per capita per country and crime rate, arguing against the notion of more guns translating into less crime.”

This is the third time in Perry’s piece the “notion” that anyone is comparing national gun rates to crime – at least in nations with working legal and law-enforcement systems, which is what the “study” is limited to. 

And for the record, I’m at a complete loss as to a single credible pro-gun advocate who’s made that claim – between nations.  The variables – societal heterodoxy, cultural conditions, criminal justice issues, different judicial systems – are far too complex to make such a case in an intelligent way. 

But when you start eliminating variables?   By just considering different firearms ownership rates in the US?  It’s not rocket surgery – even I can do it, even though I don’t have to because John Lott et al already did.  At worst, in the United States, places with higher legal gun ownership are very generally safer. 

And that’s just a correlation.  I’m not ascribing causation.

And unlike Susan Perry, I’ll admit that without any obfuscation.

So Let’s Summarize:  Susan Perry’s article reports on a non-comprehensive study whose own authors admit it’s a non-”debunk”-ment, that reached no meaningful conclusion about a premise that nobody advanced. 

Follow The Money:  We mentioned the Joyce Foundation – which bankrolls both the MinnPost and the state’s “largest” gun control group. 

One might ask – is it possible to expect honest “journalism” from a publication that has a financial interest in reporting an organization’s slant on the news? 

I’ll ask – because as Perry’s article notes in its heading, in addition to the Joycers…

This content is made possible by the generous sponsorship support of UCare.

So not only is the MinnPost an organ of an anti-gun extremist group, it’s also on the payroll of…

…the State of Minnesota.

Edward R. Murrow would vomit.

Low-Information Reporters

Whenever there’s a big story involving firearms, you can be sure the media will be ready to provide comic relief.

Like Piers Morgan’s reference to Aaron Alexis and his “legally purchased AR15 shotgun“. 

Or the NY Daily News (“Like MSNBC, Only In Print!”) front page story about the AR15 Alexis owned…

…even though it appears that not only didn’t he have one, but didn’t – as was reported yesterday - steal one from one of the base police he murdered after all. 

The Media.  On Second Amendment issues, they are the real low-information voters.

Hypothetical Question

What do you think the Twin CIties media would say, and do, and write, if they found out that…:

  • Power Line, the Twin Cities’ premier political blog (yeah, Hot Air is huge, but it’s not really based here.  Sorry, Ed), and…
  • A hypothetical conservative “mainstream” news outlet – say, the Pioneer Press after a buyout – and…
  • The National Rifle Association, the Gun Owners of America, and the Minnesota Gun Owners CIvil Rights Alliance…

…all got funding from, say, the Koch Brothers?

Take your shot at writing the headlines you’d see in the Strib, on WCCO and KARE, and on MPR (to say nothing of NPR), in the comment section.

Oh, wait – it’s not remotely hypothetical. 

More next week.

Journalism Safely Tucked Out Of The Way

Bill Glahn – who has become one of the essential bloggers in Minnesota – notes something I picked up on in the 2010 race; all “reporting” that might discomfit Democrats takes place at times in the cycle when even wonks are hard-pressed to pay attention, much less Joe and Jane Casual Voter. 

I noted it in 2010, when the Twin Cities media issued one – precisely one – “report” on Mark Dayton’s mental health and alcoholism during the campaign cycle.  Eleven months before the 2010 election.   When nobody, but nobody, cared.   The Strib could tell people honestly that they had covered the issue; it was just at a time when nobody in the world was paying attention.  They buried the story just as effectively as if they’d put it on page E-18. 

As Glahn notes, they’re at it again:

Some 8 months after the data became available, the Minneapolis Star Tribune finally gets around to an analysis of campaign spending in the 2012 election.

The article (headlined “Spending on Minnesota legislative races has doubled in 10 years”) describes how much more money has poured into races for the state legislature in recent years.

Not surprisingly, they bury the lede.  Yes, lots more money is coming into these races, but in recent years, it’s almost all on the Democrat/liberal/progressive side of the ledger.

Of course they do. 

Read the whole thing.

And chalk it up to the pattern; too little, too late, too early. 

Just like the DFL needs it.

The Strib: Keeping The Boogeyman Alive

The Strib ran an editorial from the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch over the weekend, entitled “A senator, scrutinizing ALEC? How dare he.”.

The headline sounds like it was written by Eric Pusey.  The rest of the editorial isn’t much better.  And the fact that the Strib runs it – ergo folds it under their own editorial umbrella – is something we need to highlight. 

The “Senator” involved is Dick Durbin – the guy who wants to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine”, among his many other atrocities. 

And it shows the Democrats, and the Strib’s, hypocrisy on many levels.  Pardon, as always, the redundancy.

Selective Indignation – Yet Again.  The “scrutiny of ALEC”, as we’ve noted in the past, is itself intensely hypocritical – but we’ll come back to that.

On Aug. 6, Durbin sent a letter to about 300 current or former corporate members of ALEC to ask a couple of simple questions. The assistant minority leader wanted to know whether the organization or corporation was still a supporter of ALEC and whether they backed “stand your ground” laws (“For Minnesota think tank, ALEC haters’ witch hunt hits home,” Aug. 14).

Now, just think for a moment what’d happen if, say, Mitch McConnell sent letters to companies asking if they supported Planned Parenthood? 

Think about it for a minute. 

The Strib editorial board would lose bowel control from the sheer anger.  Keri Miller would devote a week of her “Daily Buzz” or whatever they’re calling “Mid-Morning” these days.  It’d be one of those “Chilling Effects on Democracy” that seems to accompany any conservative activity in the minds of the media, only worse. 

Dance, Boogeyman!  Dance! – And why is Durbin so concerned about ALEC? 

In September, Durbin plans to convene a subcommittee hearing to study ["Stand Your Ground"] laws in light of the Florida verdict acquitting George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Inasmuch as ALEC’s support was critical to Florida’s 2005 decision to pass the nation’s first stand-your-ground law, it seems reasonable to ask ALEC’s members and funders whether the Trayvon Martin case changed their minds.

The bad publicity ALEC received after an unarmed Martin was shot dead by Zimmerman led many corporations to withdraw their support for ALEC.

I’m not sure – and I can’t find the data at the moment – but I’m going to say this is likely BS; I doubt they lost any significant revenue, at least not for long  Maybe I’ll find out more soon. 

But what Durbin is doing is trying to is…:

ALEC and the groups are right to tell Durbin to stick his request from whence he got his “Fairness Doctrine” proposal. 

Proof That the Strib knows DFL Voters are Incurious Lemmings Who Are Content To Let Others Do Their Thinking For them – The Pospatch, via the Strib, does the “Wizard of Oz” schtik for the low-information NPR-listening voter:

The group creates cookie-cutter legislation with the primary goal of enriching the corporate bottom line.

As opposed to the National Education Association, or the Teamsters or SEIU or AFSCME, which create cookie-cutter legislation to enrich their leadership.  Or the “Violence Policy Center”, which creates cookie-cutter gun grab legisaltion for state legislators – like the bills Representatives Paymar, Martens and Hausman wasted four months introducing in this past session, all of which were to one degree or another copied and pasted from laws in New York and California.  Or the Joyce Foundation, which not only supports gun control groups like the VPC and “Protect Minnesota” (which provide cookie-cutter legislation on Second Amendment issues to ignorami like the Metrocrat Caucus) but also partisan media outlets masquerading as “objective” media, like the MinnPost, to carry Joyce’s proxies’ water in the public information sphere. 

“They May Be An Untransparent Hack Pressure Group, But They’re Our Untransparent  Hack Pressure Group!”   – This next part is comedy gold, provided you have the capacity to laugh at the bald-faced  disingenuity of the media.  I’ll be adding emphasis:   

This is what makes this war of words so interesting. The real purpose of ALEC is to allow corporations and wealthy benefactors to avoid state ethics disclosure laws. As the nonprofit group Common Cause has meticulously noted in its complaint to the Internal Revenue Service, ALEC pretends it’s a nonprofit charity when really it’s a highly sophisticated lobbying organization that allows corporations to launder their donations without showing taxpayers which lawmakers they are buying and selling.

As opposed to “Common Cause”, which – in deep contrast – pretends it’s a nonprofit charity when in fact it is a highly sophisticated lobbying organization that allows liberal plutocrats and “progressive” advocates and groups to launder their donations without showing taxpayers which lawmakers they are buying and selling. 

That’s how the corporations want it, and that has nothing to do with freedom of speech or other constitutional protections. It’s deceit, plain and simple, and it has a negative effect on the legislative process.

Catch that?  The media – it’s the Pospatch, officially, but this editorial is no less cookie-cutter than a Lori Sturdevant article or an AFSCME-sponsored bill, let alone the ALEC bills it yaps about – is leaning on the purported “deceit” of “ALEC”, which acts, in every way, exactly like every group like it anywhere in American politics, but has been selected as the boogeyman by the Big Left, to draw media attention away from groups like…

…Common Cause, for one, which actually is everything that this editorial claims ALEC is, with comprehensive dishonesty about its own motivations thrown in for good meaure.     

“Corporate America has the right to express its opinion,” Durbin said in an interview. “The difference here is this is a secret operation and they’ve become a major political force.”

Unlike those plucky outsiders at Media Matters.  Or the Joyce Foundation.  Or AFSCME.

Or the “Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota”. 

The sooner the Strib goes out of business, the sooner Minnesota has a chance – slight though it may be – of learning the truth about what’s going on around them.

For the real story, go here and read this.

Triumph Of The Will And Grace

Say what you will about same-sex marriage. I’ve supported civil unions for most of a decade – but events in Minnesota passed that by.

So lets turn away from the overkill coverage of all those gay weddings amd play a little art appreciation, shall we?

Pick apart the symbolism of this photo, from the MinnPost.

20130801-072331.jpg

What thousand words is this photo telling us?

The Minnesota Left’s War Against Women Who Think For Themselves

I noticed this late last week; Buzzfeed noting that the GOP is working on a national level to turn the Democrats’ “War on Women” rhetoric back in their faces:

After enduring an election year in which the Obama campaign advanced a largely successful narrative that the GOP’s platform was anti-woman, the Republican National Committee has spent much of the past month gleefully highlighting the indiscretions and sexual harassment charges of male Democratic politicians.

With a flurry of public memos, tweets, and op-eds, the RNC is working to make the Democratic Party take ownership of Eliot Spitzer, who resigned the New York governorship after a prostitution scandal and is now running for city comptroller; San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, now facing allegations of sexual harassment; and Weiner, whose online sexual dalliances have driven the political news cycle all week, and given RNC communications director Sean Spicer some irresistible ammunition.

I’m inclined to call Reince Preibus and tell him to send his counter-message SWAT team here to Minnesota.

We’ve got a doozy for him.

———-

I had a conversation with a modestly prominent MNGOP source last week. Yet again, the source noted, the DFL-leaning media was trying, in their words, to “shame” a female conservative.

I’m not going to identify the former political figure involved; they’ve asked for people to keep their noses out of their private lives, and I’m going to do exactly that, and urge you to do the same.

But the source referred me to the Twitter feed of Shawn Towle, of “Checks and Balances”, a regional political publication.

Last week Towle tweeted with the breathless glee of a seventh-grader who’s just disovered his older brother’s stash of Playboys:

@ChecksnBalances: @ChecksnBalances: Breaking: alla #weiner style @UMNnews confirmed via source this pic [whose link I'm going to redact] is [the female conservative] 

Towle tries, in successive tweets and with his oddly stunted written delivery (I think “alla” means “a la”), to equate the “incident” – a photo of a female conservative in her underwear – to the Anthony Weiner controversy. 

I’m going to redact the photo; it’s on a “Tumblr” blog with one post – a photo – and no comments. 

And if you have read Shawn Towle, it doesn’t seem a big stretch to think that he does think there’s an equivalence between…:

  • …a sitting congressman sending raunchy photos to women who hadn’t actually solicited them, and…
  • …someone who is not an elected official and whose mildly racy photos – from an episode amid some extreme marital difficulty – were distributed and published very much against her will.

Or, for that matter, that Aaron Rupar of the City Pages – who writes about this “issue” like he’s covering the fall of the Twin Towers, only with that little tinge of smug, self-righteous prurience he seems to bring to ”reporting” on conservative women with marital difficulties or boyfriend trouble – thinks this is a story.

How bad was Towle and Rupar’s “reporting?”  Even Nick Coleman – who rarely has a kind or constructive word to say to anyone to the right of his little brother Chris, the Mayor of Saint Paul – twote:

@NickColeman: City Pages published a pic of [the subject of the story] in underwear? Why on earth? Have they been to the beach? Maybe CP should get out more.

Or stock up on toilet paper.

And Dave Mindeman at mnpAct tweeted:

@newtbuster: [the subject] Story – Embarrassment for Her..Unnecessary For Public http://t.co/DPE18sgV0V

Yep.  This “story” serves no purpose, other than to try to stick it to someone that Rupar and Towle disagree with, in the most personal, ugly way possible.  (And no, none of the links you see in my story lead to the actual “story”)

But the real story here isn’t the fact that a couple of wanna-be liberal journos have gotten themselves a week’s worth of whacking material.

No, there are three real stories here:

Stalking- I’ll take the subject of this story at her word that the photo in question was obtained and distributed illegally.  The woman who is the subject of this story has been cyber-stalked – with the complete, onanistic approval of at least two Twin Cities “media” outlets (and the tacit approval, I maintain, of most of the rest of the media). 

While a civil suit seems a long shot, I do sincerely hope the FBI does in fact find someone to charge in this gross invasion of privacy – and that there are consequences for Towle, Rupar, Checks and Balances and the City Pages.  In a just world, there’d be some way to sue them back to the stone age. 

The Scarlet “C” – It’s that this is the kind of thing that every female conservative in Minnesota faces if they give the Big Left’s smear machine even the slightest whiff of imperfection.  As I said on Friday, there’s a yawning double standard; Bill Clinton’s serial philandering was “Just Sex”; Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner and Jesse Jackson’s sexual (and pseudo-sexual) peccadillos are accepted as the sort of thing that goes along with being great and powerful.  But if a conservative woman for any reason colors outside the social lines that the left abandoned for themselves in the 1970s – gets divorced, has a social life that doesn’t pass their all-critical muster?  They get turned into Hester Prynne with a healthy dollop of puritan-via-Beavis-And-Butthead “shaming” thrown in on top.

Women, to Democrats, are supposed to be barefoot, Democrat, and marching to the voting booth to thank the nice Democrat for their abortion and contraceptives.  Thinking for themselves is the real crime.

 Er, “Blind” Hate – Beyond sheer illogic and “shaming”, though, there’s a whole ‘nother layer of depravity at work here.  What Towle and Rupar have done is isn’t just an Alinsky-ite smear job using the tactics of the internet stalker – which would be bad enough. 

To dig into the personal details of a wretchedly difficult part of a couple’s personal life – a couple that is not currently involved in politics, no less – and pruriently splash it all over the public square?  That’s beyond politics, beyond spite.  That’s the kind of ritual misogyny you see in mobs of inbred cretins stoning a woman for infidelity in some Godforsaken third world backwater. 

If you’re a female conservative, really, that’s what the Democrats – and their junior-league PR interns at the City Pages - are these days; rural Iran with better coffee.

———-

Questioned about this, liberals say “serves them right, belonging to a moralistic party” – which would be illogical even if their own party was itself morally consistent (which it’s not; the self-appointed party of the poor and the working class has left us with a terrible economy for workers.  The self-professed party of minorities has made the economy worse for minorities, and has increased racial strife in this country, all the while mining minority communities for votes.  The putative party of women has made “womanhood” all about the disposition of a uterus).  It’s the ad hominem tu quoque, arguing that personal inconsistency invalidates an argument.  This line of illogic would have you believe that stumping for a moral case is invalidated by not living up to it in every facet of one’s life; it’s actually quite the opposite. 

No.  The only reason this sort of non-story “story” gets covered by lefty “journalists” – and “covered” to the point they risk going blind – is that, true to Alinsky, it makes an example of any woman that leaves the liberal plantation.  It’s done to warn other women – and blacks, latinos, Asians and gays – not to make waves.  To sit down on the left side of the bus, and shut up, or the personal cost to you and your family will be just too high.

The only reason it hasn’t worked so far is that so many of Minnesota’s conservative women have enough guts to make Red Adair look like Woody Allen.

They Have Feelings, Too

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Compare the headline in the paper where the incident actually happened with the headline in the local paper.

In this one, the guy shot himself by accident:

In this one, the gun “went off” and shot him:

The subtle difference is the PiPress article makes it sound as if the firearm can spontaneously discharge at any time; the implication is it’s too dangerous to have one around so we should ban them all, for the children.

What media bias?

Joe Doakes

There may be no subject on which the media is both less balanced and less competent than firearms.

For exampe, the media meme that George Zimmerman “had a round in his chamber, his hammer cocked and his safety off” when the confrontation with Trayvon Martin started.  He was carrying a Kel-Tec 9mm.  It’s a double-action only pistol, a type I hypothetically might have a lot of experience with.  You can’t cock the hammer, and there is no safety.  And of course he had a round in the chamber; that’s where they belong – provided you don’t have a cocked hammer.

Amateur Lawyers Writing Scathing Briefs In Their Scathing Briefs

If you’re a conservative who’s spent the past decade or two assailing theStar Tribune’srigorous editorial pro-DFL, pro-”progressive”, pro-leftist bias, there’s some good news.  

Sorta.

But we’ll get back to that later.   

Jay Larson of Saint Bonifacius t is apparently upset about the Zimmerman verdict, and has apparently seen enough episodes of Law and Order that he feels himself quite the Monday Morning county attorney, in an op-ed that the Strib opted to run in preference to goodness knows how many intelligent pieces they could have run:

In response to the July 15 editorial “Due process plays out in Zimmerman case”: Really?

It is a given that the state of Florida was dragged into the Zimmerman case kicking and screaming because of public pressure from the black community.

Now, I’m sure to Mr. Larson that means something different than it does to people who actually care about justice.

For most of us, the fact that the State of Florida – which is never shy about prosecuting people they believe to have committed crimes, and carrying out sentences with frothy abandon (from a large, full prison system to a legendarily-busy electric chair) didn’t opt to press charges was pretty clear evidence that there was no there there; that the homicide, tragic as it is, was justified on its face under the laws on the books in the sovereign state of Florida. 

To Jay Larson – who apparently believes Sam Waterson was a real lawyer – it means the “justice” system does, and should, respond to whomever cheers or jeers the loudest.   

Due process? What due process? I was appalled at the lack of zeal with which the prosecution tried this case. It allowed the key witness, a young uneducated black girl, to testify without being properly prepared — a girl for whom English was her third language and who was quite evidently intimidated.

“English was her third language?”

Does that sound racist to anyone but me?

And to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go to trial with the witnesses you have, not the witnesses you want.  While Mr. Larson would apparently have preferred the prosectors hire Halle Berry to play the role of Ms. Jeantel, it would seem to be an irreducible fact that the “uneducated” Ms. Jeantel was the best the prosecution could find on one years’ notice. 

Next, the prosecution brought the lead detective, who was supposedly there to bolster the prosecution’s case. He testified that he was certain that George Zimmerman was telling the truth. Why did he say that as a prosecution witness?

Offhand, I’d say “that he felt committing perjury would be a bad career move?”

I’ll give Mr. Larson of Saint Freaking Bonnie this much; he apparently watches a broad range of TV.  In addition to the diet of Law and Order that apparently qualifies him to back-seat-drive the prosecutors’ office, he also apparently watches enough CSI or NCIS to fancy himself quite the investigator:  

There were so many inconsistencies in George Zimmerman’s story of the events that night it was absurd to think that he was telling the truth. For instance, Zimmerman said that Trayvon Martin punched him 25 times and slammed his head against the sidewalk an additional 25 times.

If someone has been hit in the face 25 times, that person is going to exhibit a lot of bruising and swelling around the lips and eyes. Zimmerman had none. If his head had been slammed against the sidewalk 25 times, where is the concussion, where is the blood, where is the swelling?

Well, he doesn’t look quite curb-ready in these crime-time photos:

I’m neither a doctor nor Jay Larson, but this looks painful.

And I suspect when you’re getting your head slammed against a cement sidewalk ones count might not be utterly accurate.  Adrenaline makes detailed actions like “keeping running totals of how many times you’ve been punched and slammed to the pavement” difficult; also.  And I know this not just because the slamming illogic and assumption of Mr. Larson’s piece is making it difficult to think – it is, but it’s not from adrenaline, trust me – but because it’s one of those things they teach you in carry permit training, if nowhere else.   

How could Zimmerman have been constantly screaming if his mouth was covered by Trayvon’s hand and blood was running down his throat from his broken nose?

Question.  Perhaps because his mouth wasn’t constantly covered, perhaps?

 Where was the blood that should have been on Martin’s hands?

If he was slamming the head on the ground rather than punching it – as, by the way, the prosecution said he did?  There’d be no blood. 

How exactly did Zimmerman pull out his gun from his interior holster if he was laying on it? (Additionally, it would have been covered by Martin’s legs if Zimmerman was truly on the bottom as he claimed.)

Good point.  Clearly Zimmerman had his gun drawn as he walked onto the scene, pointing it where he was looking like a wanna-be cop, and waited until he’d been pummeled into near-submission before shooting. 

Alternately; the holster was accessible enough – which isn’t that hard to believe if Mr. Martin had normal legs, or was sitting facing Martin rather than away from himn, pinning the gun to Zimmerman’s stomach with his butt.

As to this next bit (in which I’ll add emphasis)…:

There was no due process in that courtroom. The only process exhibited there was the Jim Crow process of the old South. Granted, this wasn’t the lynching of a black man after a quicky trial. Rather it was the unlynching of a white man who murdered a black child.

I’m wondering if Mr. Larson is even a capable enough writer to know that he’s tacitly admitting that the malicious prosecution and mob-rule attack on Zimmerman was a “lynching”. 

Oh, yeah – the “good news” I talked about at the top?  Here it is:

For years, I’ve believed that the Strib editorial board would cherry-pick the letters and op-eds they’d print.  Now, that’s their right – but I’ve believed (not without justification) that they did it to slant the perception of their reading public by printing letters and op-eds from well-spoken, thoughtful (if usually wrong) liberals, along with a distortedly-pejorative sample of conservatives that sounded like cranks, crackpots and stereotypes.

And the “good” news would seem to be that the Strib, by printing the likes of Mr. Larson, is now giving the left at least a little of the same short, dismal shrift. 

It’s fairer, I suppose.  But is it really progress?

Strib: Aiding And Abetting Racism?

Two weeks ago, when Representative Ryan Winkler shocked the parts of the world that can still be shocked by referring to SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas as an “Uncle Tom” – something even junior-high kids in North Dakota thirty-something years ago knew was a racist slap – the Twin Cities media did what it always does.

Cover for the Democrat. 

(And the Twin Cities leftyblogosphere?  To them, Clarence Thomas, a phenomenally accomplished man, is no different than Michelle Malkin or Star Parker or Alan West; a target for endemic bigotry first, human last, maybe.  When will Eric Pusey condem the racism on his “blog?”). 

Speaking of accomplished people, Chris Fields – a very talented politician who gave Keith Ellison as good a run as any Democrat’s had in the 5th CD lately, and is now the Secretary of the Republican Party of Minnesota and who is a businessman, a retired US Marine and, as it happens, black – wrote an editorial about how very, very objectionable the Winkler flap was.

Now, it’s the mushy institutional left, people like the Star/Tribune editorial board, that constantly remind us we need a “dialogue about race”.  Of course, when they say “dialogue”, they really mean “monologue, with our side doing all the talking and your icky conservatives doing the listening

But in re the Winkler incident, it’s seem the Strib wants no monologue, much less “dialogue”.  Chris FIelds wrote an excellent op-ed about the subject of Winkler and his ignorant racist jape.  It was picked up by other papers – the Pioneer Press and the Mankato Times both ran it (it’s below the fold here). 

But the Strib?  Not so much as an impolite “F Off”. 

Winkler, who represents the lily-white, mushy-left heard of the Strib’s prime demographic, has gotten an unqualified pass from the entire Twin Cities media, which focused on his instant contrition in a way that’d would have seemed less jarring if it were something the Strib, the City Pages or MPR ever did for, say, Todd Akin’s verbal japes or Tom Hackbarth’s post-divorce wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time awkwardness or anything Ann Coulter has ever said, in or out of context. 

But it wasn’t. 

So why didn’t the Strib run Fields’ op-ed?  Is Fields not a compelling commentator on the issue?  Is his perspective not important?  Was his op-ed not well-written and excellent food for thought?  Yes, yes and yes.

Does it afflict someone the Strib’s editorial board and their friends very much want to see remain politically comfortable?  A thousand times yes. 

And so down the memory hole it, and the entire incident, will be shoved. They have their priorities.

Fields op-ed is below the jump.

Continue reading

Orc See, Orc Do

Whatever you thought about the Martin/Zimmerman case, the big loser was the American media. They – and their leftyblog camp followers – did, almost to a fault, an unforgiveably bad job of covering the case – from NBC’s editing Zimmerman’s 911 call to try to make him sound racist to their seeming unwillingness to get even the most basic facts straigth. (Classic example: how many of you read media accounts that said Zimmerman has “a round in the chamber, his hammer cocked and his safety off?” For starters, virtually every person who carries a firearm for self-defense, including every cop you see on the street, has a “round in the chamber”. Beyond that, Zimmerman’s pistol was a KelTec 9mm, a type I’m intimately familiar with; it’s what’s called a “double action only” pistol; there is no safety, and you can’t “cock” the hammer except by squeezing the trigger.

I know. Technicalities. But it’s not just the gun-geek stuff that the media bobbles.

In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict over the weekend, an insufficiently bright liberal on Twitter issued a tweet that included a link to this deeply ignorant hit piece from CBS last year.

It’s just as wrong this year as it was last; I’ll emphasize the :

(CBSMiami.com) – As some state lawmakers are calling for a re-thinking of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows people to defend themselves from danger without the need to first try to get away, an analysis of state data shows deaths due to self defense are up over 200 percent since the law took effect.

“Up over 200 percent”. 

That sounds like a big number.  Especially as against the fact that murder in general, nationwide, is down nearly half in the past 20 years. 

Seems like a…disconnect?

We’ll come back to that.

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin by an armed, self-appointed Central Florida crime watch volunteer who claimed he shot in self defense has sparked a national debate about Florida’s law, technically known as the Castle doctrine.

No.  No, it is not “technically known” as “Castle Doctrine”, which relates to removing the “duty to retreat”while you’re in your home.  Which was the law in Minnesota until the mid-2000s, by the way, but no longer. 

Until 2005, it was generally considered self defense if someone tried to get into your home or invade your property, so long as you could show deadly force was the last resort. In 2005, the “Stand your Ground” law removed the need to retreat before using force, even in public.

And there you go.  One of the reasons people on the left are so ignorant about Second Amendment issues is that the people they get their information from are, in fact, crushingly ignorant on the subject. 

“Castle” referred to  in your home.  “Stand your Ground” was elsewhere. 

According to state crime stats, Florida averaged 12 “justifiable homicide” deaths a year from 2000-2004. After “Stand your Ground” was passed in 2005, the number of “justifiable” deaths has almost tripled to an average of 35 a year, an increase of 283% from 2005-2010.

So what? 

If all of those shootings – 12 or 35 – were people shooting because they were in legitimate fear of death or great bodily harm, and where lethal force was appropriate, and the intended victim wasn’t a willing participant, then that means there are 35 rapists, stalkers, robbers and thugs off the street.

Each death is a tragedy, sure.  But so would be the deaths of those shooting in self-defense – and in every case, as a matter of law , that was the alternative with all 35 of those shootings; death, mutilation, kidnapping, rape. 

Don’t they matter?

Minnesota needs a Stand your Ground law.

Rise Up, Peasants, And Defend The Plutocrats!

I got this letter from “Protect Minnesota” recently.  “Protect Minnesota” was what Rep. Heather Martens (DFLiar – HD66A) had to rename “Citizens for a “Safer” Supine Minnesota” when it turned out her constant lying had damaged whatever credibility the old brand had.

For those who’ve missed earlier installments of my coverage of Ms. Martens, here’s what you need to know; every single substantive thing she had said about gun issues, ever, throughout her career, has been a lie.  Every.  Last.  Word. 

Here’s her letter:

Dear Heinrich ,

It’s been several weeks since the Minnesota legislature went home. Despite passing one bill to fund improvements in Federal gun background check data, the legislature left gaping loopholes in the law that still allow people who shouldn’t have guns to get them easily.

Well, no.  A bipartisan majority of the legislature realized that Martens’ various bills – copied and pasted as they were from New York and California – wouldn’t change criminals’ ability to find guns; they’d just register the guns of the law-abiding, for further targeting by law-enforcement when and if the political winds swing that way. 

We’d never tolerate that sort of treatment of the First Amendment.  Why the Second?

Martens:

We can’t afford to wait for another mass shooting, so we are not letting up in the push for change. We need your help to have one-to-one conversations with voters about what is at stake, and how they can push common sense state and Federal laws. Can you join a phone bank tomorrow? Click here to help phone on Wednesday, July 10, at TakeAction in St. Paul. (Pizza and air conditioning provided!)

Not that there was any doubt that “Protect MN” was part of the ultra-left hive, but the fact that TakeAction – which, like “Protect MN” is an astroturf group funded by unions and liberal plutocrats – just happened to lend “Protect” a phone bank should tell you something.

With more than 75 percent of Minnesotans supporting universal background checks for gun sales,

…according to a push poll whose results have been reported with flagrant disregard for the context of the original survey question; tomayto tomahto, I know…

we had great success engaging voters all over the state, generating thousands of phone calls and emails to legislators.

Martens has been showing an interesting pattern since her bills got tubed by solid bipartisan majorities (which included a bipartisan majority of all House members signing on to co-author a bill that was a direct repudiation of Martens’ bills (channeled via the likes of Michael Paymar and Alice “The Phantom” Hausman); she’s been reduced to trying to turn defeats into victories, at least in the minds of her utterly uninformed followers.

“Thousands” of calls?  By all accounts, calls ran 50:1 against Martens’ bills.  Even the MinnPost’s Doug Grow, who gets at least part of his paycheck from the same place Martens does (the anti-gun Joyce Foundation contributes at least five figures to both “Protect” MN and the MinnPost, which I suspect is in major part behind the MinnPost’s atrociously ignorant and ludicrously slanted coverage of Second Amendment issues this past year), said it was more like a thousand, as if that was a major accomplishment.

In 2013, we didn’t have time to build the power it takes to reverse the long-term effects of gun-rights extremist propaganda. But we have the public on our side, and we can make the change we need, as long as we keep at it!
Click here to join us and our friends at Mayors Against Illegal Guns for the first in a series of summer phone banks!

And there you go.  Two astroturf groups sponsored by liberal plutocrats and government unions (fluffed by a “news” outlet sponsored by those same plutocrats and their plutocrat-supported foundation) are joining with a group of liberal politicians in another astroturf group funded by another liberal plutocrat to try to keep all us unruly peasants in line.

I’ve said it for twenty years, now; the extreme left has always led with the class-warfare rhetoric – and yet on this, the most populist issue of them all, it’s the left who are the patricians, and the gun rights movement in all its bipartisan and non-partisan millions who are the uppity peasants demanding real freedom. 

I might just have to sign up for that phone bank.

Agents Of Decay

I’m of several minds about MNGOP Chair Keith Downey’s broadside at the MNDFL and the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” in the Pioneer Press last Thursday. 

On the one hand, acknowledging it is a sign that the Minnesota Left’s campaign – relying as it does on relentless name-calling and smearing – works. 

On the other hand – it does work.  You don’t need to be a pollster to know that the “Emmer Had Two DUIs” jape likely cost Tom Emmer the 2010 gubernatorial election all by itself. 

And on the third hand, not acknowledging it won’t make it go away. 

And there’s a fourth hand.  We’ll come back to that. 

Downey:

Demonizing personal insults flow far too easily from Minnesota Democrats these days. The latest: Rep. Ryan Winkler calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “Uncle Thomas.” Offensive enough on its own, worse, Winkler’s attack is but a symptom.

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin and Alliance for a Better Minnesota’s Executive Director Carrie Lucking have perfected a systematic program in Minnesota that takes political name calling to a new level.

This strategy is straight out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” Alinsky’s Rule #5 states: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Rule #12 says: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Ken Martin at a meeting with Alida Messinger

 

And the two – Martin, who’s spent a career as Alida Messinger’s cringing lapdog and bag man, and Lucking, a woman who gives off that “my life peaked in high school” vibe, a former junioir high social studies teacher who was a spectacular two-time failure as a campaign manager (oh, crapt, now I’m doing it.  I’m sorry) – have certainly raised name-calling to a low, profane art.

The Democrats’ implementation in Minnesota is intentional and well-developed:

Step one: Attach a negative personal label to an opponent that appeals to emotion and has nothing to do with governing.

Step two: Spend a few million dollars to make the label stick.

Step three: Have your candidates pretend to take the high road.

Although Ryan Winkler never got that memo.

Representative Winkler

DAMMIT!  I’m doing it again!  The slope of civility sure is slippery!

Of course, neither Lucking nor Martin can do anything else; Conservatives on Twitter know that neither of them has the brains or the information to debate at a level higher than name-calling…

…sorry.  I slipped again. 

Downey:

Unfortunately, this formula has proven effective for Democrats. It is now a rapid-response machine. As any Republican candidate steps forward to run for public office in 2014, within hours, usually minutes, Martin and Lucking flood the online and traditional media. Here is a recent sampling: “just another rich guy who likes to fire people”; “just another hypocritical, Gingrich politician”; “vulture capitalist and Minnesota Romney wannabe #2″; “anti-government government official”; “isn’t quite ready for the bright lights”; “failed businessman, failed gubernatorial candidate and right-wing talker”; “a voice for the hard-core right-wing, not hard-working families”; “an extreme choice for Minnesota.”

As I noted a few weeks back, it’s having a noxious effect on politics in Minnesota; I know personally of one potential candidate for significant office for which the specter of the ABM smear machine is a serious consideration; they seriously wonder if it’s worth the damage their families will take at the hands of the droogs that take ABM’s lies seriously. 

Minnesota voters deserve better, and even in politics the truth matters. Public officials and candidates put their lives and careers on hold to step forward and serve the people of Minnesota. Attack their ideas, fair enough; but build a messaging machine to insult them personally?

Now, let’s depart for a moment from Lucking and Martin who, let’s be honest, are just sled dogs pulling the way their musher tells them to. 

Who lets them get away with it?

The media brahmins in the editorial suites at 425 Porland, 5th and Cedar and 7th and Cedar like to wax rhapsodic about the need for civility, an informed electorate, and a better brand of politics – usually intoned while looking down their aquiline noses at (conservative) talk radio. 

And conservatives – most of talk radio and their alternative media included – almost invariably take the high road.  And the closer you get to the seats of conservative power, the less likely you are to see anyone getting their hands dirty. 

Ken Martin, Carrie Lucking and “Governor” Dayton getting ready for a meeting with Alida Messinger.

But ABM’s toxic sleaze campaign is paid for by Mark Dayton’s ex-wife and the group lavishly funded by his biggest supporters –  the unions and liberal plutocrats – and run by the significant other (girlfriend or wife – Lucking is cagey on her domestic specifics) of “Governor” Dayton’s Chief of Staff. 

And you will find not a f****ng word about it in the Twin Cities media

Not one word.

Rachel Stassen-Berger at the Strib, Bill Salisbury at the PiPress, the entire “Capitol Stenography Press Corps”, everyone is hands-off ABM.  TheMinnPost?  Hell, that’s turned into another DFL PR firm.

Nobody prodded the coziness of the relationship – one might call it “chain of command” – between Dayton’s office and the attack-PR firm his ex-wife pays his chief of staff’s girlfriend/wife/whatever to run. 

It’s another example of the media abdicating what some used to call its “responsibility”.

Can You Imagine…

…what would happen if a Republican tweeted this:
20130625-113012.jpg

It’s Ryan Winkler, the Eddie Haskell of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

And if he were a Republican, you can be sure that the Strib, the City Pages and the rest of the Twin Cities media would be giving him a rhetorical proctological exam.

UPDATE:  Mirabile Dictu, Rupar did write about it.

Winkler twote Rupar:

@atrupar I did not understand “Uncle Tom” as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however.

– Ryan Winkler (@RepRyanWinkler) June 25, 2013

He didn’t understand it was a racist term?

I’ll just let that one sit there on its own.

Our Racist Alternative Media

A comment I got off-line from a neighbor got me thinking a little more about (I puke a little in my mouth to say it) last week’s bizarre little Nick Coleman blog post.

I focused on his fabrication of facts in re the cancellation of an open carry event scheduled in conjunction with the “Open Streets” event in Minneapolis this past weekend.  Coleman – the current “Executive Editor” of lefty videoblog “The Uptake” – essentially created a story from pure vapor; in the original latin, I believe the term was “de anus“. 

But there was another aspect to the story that should draw even more brickbats – including from “Uptake” readers and putative “progressives” that actually think about what their “movement” says and how they say it.

Here’s Coleman from his piece last week – starting with his ofay classist jape:

Imagine how reassured you would feel when hundreds of bearded guys from Andover and Elko show up in North Minneapolis or the Summit-University area of St Paul (“Open Streets” events will take place in both of those communities later this summer) with Bushmasters and Brownings slung over their shoulders or Glocks and Rugers hanging from their paunches.

That Minneapolis and Saint Paul are full of vapid Prius-driving government-employed Saint Olaf grads with infinite senses of social entitlement and who’ve never had to confront the notion that there are people out there who disagree with and live life differently than you, in ways other than skin color and sexual orientation isn’t up for debate. 

But here’s the interesting bit:

Here’s a neat mental exercise: Try to imagine hundreds of inner-city residents carrying weapons at the Andover Family Fun Fest, July 13. Just because they can.

Now, as I noted last week, to Coleman – as dork-fingered and inarticulate a Studs Terkel-wannabe as has ever occupied space in a newsroom – “inner city” means “black, Latino and Asian”.  And maybe not Asian. 

And so I’d love to know what Coleman had in mind when he imagined “hundreds of inner city residents” with guns out in the suburbs. 

Is he envisioning an apples-to-apples comparison – hundreds of black, latino and asian citizens over the age of 21 with carry permits and clean criminal records and passed training classes on their resumes?  People among the 140,000 Minnesotans with valid carry permits (the application doesn’t collect ethnic data) who are several orders of magnitude less likely to commit any crime than the general public? 

People like the ones I ran into at Gander Mountain at their Carry event over the winter?   Responsible, adult citizens exercising their legal right to own and carry firearms (once deemed suitably responsible under this state’s legal code) who happened to be black, Latino or Asian?  People that I – who have lived in the Midway for 25 years, but am apparently too Anglo-Scandinavian to qualify as “inner city” – would have no qualms mingling with, armed or not, because they’re just like me – a rigorously law-abiding citizen?

Or is Coleman – grandée and resident-for-life of leafy, lily-whiter-than-Lakeville neighborhoods like Tangletown and Crocus Hill – picturing do-rag-clad teenage thug wannabees, Los Reyes with face tattoos and Hmong tough guys in “rice rocket” Honda Civics – the cliche du jour “inner city” caricature among our media’s pallid chanting classes?

If it’s the former, then I have to ask Coleman; do you think a carry permittee who happens to be black or latino is a better, more reliable citizen than your “paunchy, bearded” honky walking cliches?  Do you have any statistics to bear that out?  (Because the real stats show they’re exactly identical).

If it’s the latter, I have to ask The Uptake; do you accept this form of racism from your staff?  Especially when you layer it atop the giggly homophobia that’s been Coleman’s stock in trade for his entire career?

Because if Bradlee Dean or Jason Lewis or Michelle Fishbach had made a jape about “inner city” residents, or about how living on a submarine can turn people gay because “You have the hot cot thing going on there”, you’d be baying at the moon. 

I know, I know.  If moral consistency were a “progressive” value, “MoveOn” and Sandra Fluke would never exist as media figures, and the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” would be utterly silent.  Asking is a purely academic exercise.

Sturdevant And “Battered State Syndrome”

Lori Sturdevant has a mission.

The DFL – and the PR machine that includes bodies as inseparably-”diverse” as the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, the Joyce-Foundation-funded MinnPost and theStribeditorial board (which has close links to all three of the above) worked tirelessly to try to make Minnesota “Happy to Pay for a Better” state. 

The dim and querulous gave them the Legislature and Governor they dreamed about and paid for. 

But the parts of this state that actually produce the wealth that Our Better Government needs to siphon (and siphon, and siphon some more) are showing signs that they’ve had enough.  That the snapping sound that the fat, lazy, over-entitled riders upon the camel of state enterprise have been hearing is the sound of camel vertebrae giving up the ghost.

And Sturdevant’s apparent mission is to try to shame the camel for all that wobbling.

Our Innumerate Overlords – Sturdevant’s old club-mate Nick Coleman once famously declared that journos were better than bloggers because they “know stuff”, by dint of having written about “stuff” down the long, lonely, ink-smeared decades. 

Sturdevant, like Coleman, continuously show what a low bar “stuff” turns out to be, when it comes to the realities of business and economics:

The numbers always seemed screwy to me. If congressional action allowing all states to apply their sales taxes to online purchases would net Minnesota a cool $400 million a year, as the state Revenue Department keeps saying, why was the new “Amazon tax” only slated to bring in about $5 million per year?

Because – as anyone who followed the Vikings Stadium funding fiasco, or the course of any sort of cigarette or sin tax in history, can tell you – the figures that bureaucrats give when they’re trying to sell a tax are always higher than what you actually get.  Because people and companies modify their behavior, their purchasing, their lives if need be to try, try, try to keep more of their hard-earned income and profits. 

Oh, of course Sturdevant won’t report it that way:

The answer became obvious last week. Amazon unkindly cut off its Minnesota-based advertising affiliates with a bare two weeks’ notice to avoid collecting sales tax on Minnesota purchases starting July 1.

Right. 

And why would they do that?

Two possible reasons:

  1. Because acting as an unpaid tax collector, in addition to shaving money off their own top line, hits their bottom line as well; it involves building systems and hiring people to not only do the collecting, but to handle dealing with the inevitable squabbles over collections with the state governments involved.  As only a small minority of states tax revenues on online sales, it’s just not worth it.
  2. They’re big nasty ugly meanies.

Sturdevant wants the Strib’s readers – which is a synomym for “low information voters”, these days – to pick “2″.  Emphasis added:

The state’s tax collectors allowed that they were not surprised. They’d been expecting as much from Amazon, said Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans. It’s what the tax dodger, er, online retailer has done in at least seven other states. Hence the measly forecast for tax collections from online sellers with Minnesota affiliates.

And there you go; the left’s most noxious conceit; that productivty and its consequences – profit – belongs to government first and foremost; that trying to keep more of it for yourself, having done all the actual work to produce it and all, is a thoughtcrime. 

To avoid having to deal with the administrative and fiscal overburden, not to mention lending legitimacy to a tax that may well be unconstitutional, isn’t good business; it’s a moral offense.  Or so Sturdevant will keep chanting.

And chanting:

(The official name for the new sales tax provision is “affiliate nexis.” It’s not a new tax, but a new requirement that when an online seller has a Minnesota affiliate, the tax on its Minnesota sales must be collected by the seller at the time of purchase, rather than being reported and paid later by the consumer — as all consumers faithfully and fully do every year, right?)

Dunno, Lori.  Do you?

“Atlas!  Knock Off All That Damn Shrugging!” – Up next, an irony that provokes a chuckle every time I see it, which is every time Sturdevant writes about the relationship between government and the people who pay for it, which is every other column; she rails against choice – when it’s The People doing the chosing:

The Revenue Department had been urging enactment of the Amazon tax since DFLer Mark Dayton became governor, even though it was known to be tricky to forecast and fairly easy to dodge.

Truth be told, much the same can be said of most of the $1 billion or so in annual tax increases enacted by the 2013 Legislature.

And after thirty-odd years, Sturdevant still hasn’t figured it out; when you build a spending plan based on making other people - “the rich”, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, the “haves” – pay for your stuff, those other people might just get other ideas. 

Ms. Sturdevant?  Your Institutional Hypocrisy Is Showing – Sturdevant avers that there might be some PR issues with the DFL’s / Alida Messinger’s (pardon the redundancy) “Happy To Make Other People Pay For Our Minnesota” plan: 

For example, the howl that went up from the warehouse industry about a sales tax that will start applying next April to its business-to-business transactions was accompanied by credible threats that warehouses would move to Hudson, Wis.

Right.

Even before the session ended, tax planning seminars popped up offering to coach well-heeled Minnesotans about ducking the new 9.85 percent income tax rate…Then there’s the $1.60-per-pack boost in the cigarette tax [which] might be the easiest to dodge of all. Cigarette sellers just across the Minnesota state lines — and on Minnesota’s Native American lands — can prepare for land-office business after July 1, when Minnesota smokes will become the most expensive in the region…The kind that involves spending six months and a day in no-income-tax Florida? That’s evidently tolerated.

And yep.

Was there another tax “for a better Minnesota” that elicited a howl of protest from a Minnesota institution?  One that threatened to put a 5.5%-to-6.75+% ding in an industrly that’s already shrinking by several points a year? 

One that pays Sturdevant’s paycheck, maybe?

You’ll search Sturdevant’s column in vain for any sign that she’s called her bosses “tax evaders” for having acted in their own enlightened fiscal self-interest.  

Guess the Strib – whose editorial board and occasionally newsroom shilled tirelessly for DFL candidates – doesn’t want A Better Minnesota, unless someone else is paying for it either. 

Keep that in mind in the next section.

She’s Head-Slappingly Ignorant Of Economics And Business – But I’ll Bet She’s Got History Down Cold! – Sturdevant next wraps herself in the flag.

I don’t think she knows it’s the Soviet flag:

…I’ve observed that in the rest of Minnesota, tax avoidance within “perfectly legal” parameters is socially acceptable behavior — so much so that people brag about it to their friends. Those who engage in it count themselves as patriots, and by today’s lights, they may well be. But they don’t think like the fellows in 1776 who pledged to their new venture “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Further proof – were any needed – that the Strib not only caters to low-information voters; they’re trying to create more of them.

The American Revolution was about much more than taxes! It was about defining a new relationship between the Individual and Government – one where the Individual and the fruits of their labor had worth, merit and standing every bit as important as that of government’s; one where government was afree association of equals, not a petty noble demanding tribute of cringing vassals. 

And that whole “STOP FUSSING WITH YOUR SELF-INTEREST, KNAVE!” thing is something you yell at someone you want to have acting like a cringing vassal.

(Speaking of history, Sturdevant adds “In 1933, Farmer-Labor Gov. Floyd B. Olson [Oh, Lord, here we go again - Ed.] made Minnesota a tax outlier. He pushed through a Depression-shocked Legislature the state’s first income tax, one of the few in the country. It was based on ability to pay and dedicated to education, which was struggling just then”.  Does Sturdevant wonder why Minnesota continued to lag the national economy for the next thirty years, until the “Minnesota Miracle?”  No?)

This Batter Doesn’t Go On Fish – No, Sturdevant casts her lot with George III, and the generations of petty self-appointed nobles that have spent the past five decades trying to roll back the relationship our founders fought to create:

They don’t even think about taxes in the way that their parents and grandparents did, economist Stinson noted.

“People who lived through the Depression knew that bad things could happen to good people. They knew that government is necessary when that happens,” he said recently.

Cry us a river.

The state had the whole “help people when times are tough” thing licked by the mid-seventies.  Everything government could do that it should be doing was being paid for, with plenty left over, before Ronald Reagan took office. 

No, the current growth in Minnesota’s spending – and the DFL’s tax and spend orgy – has nothing to do cushioning good people from Bad Things.  

  • It’s about making sure government employee union members can retire at 55 – even if the rest of us have to work ’til we’re 70 to pay for it.
  • It’s about giving billions of dollars to billionaires, to pay for other peoples’ entertainment.
  • It’s about making the parts of this state that work hard, save their money, and pay their bills pay for the parts of this state that don’t. 
  • It’s about paying for an “education” system that educates less, abjectly fails vast swathes of our state society (although it mostly fails black and brown kids who don’t look like the editorial board’s kids, so that gets politely ignored), indoctrinates more, and more and more seems to act as a money-laundering mechanism for the teachers union and Big Administration.
  • It’s about paying chits back to the people who paid for the DFL takeover in Saint Paul. 
  • It’s about enabling the continuing abuse of the state’s productive class.  Battered Spouse Syndrome depends on the victim knuckling under not only to abuse, but to the emotional manipulation that make it possible and keep going on.

In a state where the media is arrogantly and completely in the bag for the Tax and Spend party, where the big institutions are all in bed with and get paid by the Taxers and the Spenders, where elections themselves look to any intelligent person to be rigged to keep the Taxers and Spenders in power, how else are those who actually produce supposed to register their opposition?

With our feet – figuratively, and sometimes literally.

Like any other battered spouse, the only way to end the abuse is for the victims to realize that they have to break it off, and keep it broken off, no matter how hard they berate, belittle and attack you. 

No means no, Lori.

Nick Coleman: Same As It Ever Was

Anyone remember this classic?

So, how is it that nakedly partisan bloggers who make things up left and right are gaining street cred while the mainstream media, which spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, are under attack?

Or this one?

“Bloggers don’t know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square.”

If you’ve been blogging in Minnesota any time at all, you know these quotes.

They’re from Nick Coleman, in his classic column “Blogged Down In Web Fantasy”, from 2004, in which he declared his sloppy brand of war on the Twin Cities bloggers (“Buh-LAW-gurs”, as he memorably pronounced the word on his unlamented radio show) that were starting to chip away at the sand castle he and his fellow “ink stained wretches” lived in.  The Strib removed the column from their website years ago, but its legacy lives on, in local blogger and national journalism circles.   In it, Coleman claimed that card-carrying journalists like himself were better than bloggers because they’d spent years covering the news, as opposed to bloggers, who merely work for decades and raise families and pay taxes and stuff.   Journalists know the rules and operate with accountability, he said (amid a column attacking someone he never did actually name, which was a dodge of accountability and against the rules for “journalists”).

This was when Nick Coleman was riding high – when he had a three-times-a-week column at the Strib for well into six figures, and a morning show at the local leftytalk station…

…where he indulged a curious predilection for crudely sexualizing people who dared to disagree with him (Go ahead – count the gay jokes in the link.  Only liberals on a liberal station can get away with that much homophobia).

Well, in The Boss’ immortal words, we’re still here and he’s all gone.  From the Strib and AM950 (which I’m told is still on the air, not that anyone cares), at least.  I’m not indulging in schadenfreud, here; I don’t believe in Karma, but what goes around comes around. 

But old journos never die – they just get jobs with left-leaning non-profits.

And they start blogs.   In which they do…

…well, pretty much exactly what Nick Coleman warned us about nine years ago.

The State He’s In – Nick popped up on the radar again.  After a stint writing propaganda for a think tank in Saint Cloud, a couple of college classes (in which a fellow student noted he described himself as a “recovering journalist”) and I-really-honestly-don’t-care-what-else, Coleman resurfaced as the “Executive Editor” of “The Uptake”, a videoblog financed by liberals with deep pockets; think a slightly-downmarket MinnPost with more video and less Brian Lambert.

There, he roams the same halls he used to roam.  And he gets positive reinforcement from other lefties:

That’s Coleman, in the jaunty racing cap. With (from L) Doug Grow (from the Joyce Foundation-supported MinnPost), Jane Kay, some minion, and Rep. Heather Martens (DFL-66A).

And he’s got a blog.  And he still knows stuff…

…about crudely sexualizing his opponents with all the grace of an eighth-grade locker room bully.

As to getting a story right, as opposed to just making things up?  Not so much.

Exhibit A:  The piece he wrote about the open carry activists canceling their get-together at “Open Streets” (we wrote about it this morning).

Remember:  He’s A Professional – I’ll add red emphasis to the frequent, dork-fingered sexualizations just to show how very, very juvenile the old duffer is.  Go ahead.  Scan it. 

The gun-slinging flashers who threatened to bring their guns to town and parade them around openly in Minneapolis and St. Paul have put their warm guns back in their happy pockets and backed down, running away at the first signs of gun-control Mommas and urban bicycling activists.

As someone said on my Facebook page: “Buncha candy asses!”

To be fair, “someone on my Facebook page” is no worse a level of sourcing than Coleman ever did during his “official columnist” career. 

And as we discussed this morning, the story had nothing – bupkesto do with “gun control Mommas and bike activists”.  Neither of them ever turned up in the decision.  Second Amendment human rights activists mix it up with the usual “gun control mommas” constantly, and win the debate – emphasis on the term “debate” – every single time.  Because the law, the Constitution, the facts and morality itself are on our side.

There are two absolute, incontrovertible facts to keep in mind:

  • It’s the threats, Stupid:  MN-RKBA – Minnesotans for the Right to Keep And Bear Arms – cancelled their Open Carry gathering entirely due to the threats of violence.  Legal firearms carriers know it’s best to avoid danger.  That’s what they did.  Period.  There was no more to it. 
  • Coleman is lying: He’s trying to help his buddies in the gun-grab movement (see the cozy little group hug photo above) squeedge a victory out of a year where they couldn’t exploit a mass-shooting into a political win at an all-liberal Minnesota state Capitol.  This is the closest they’ve come to one; Coleman is trying, in his ham-fisted way, not to waste the crisis. 

Let me re-emphasize this:  Coleman, and the dim bulb Jane Kay and habitual liar Rep. Heather Martens, are doing the end-zone happy dance over the non-news non-occurrence of a non-event.   

That’s it.  That’s their “victory”, the only one they had, even in a state run entirely by liberals.  For now.

That’s just pathetic.

Insert The Usual Boilerplate – Coleman lays out the scenario.  Sort of:

The story started Monday when a gun-owners group used its Facebook page to invite members to attend the first of this summer’s “Open Streets” events this coming Sunday in South Minneapolis. Although “attend” doesn’t quite cover it: The gun owners specifically were encouraged to bring their weapons and to flash them in public, carrying them openly for the benefit of all those in attendance at “Open Streets,” an ongoing series of good-humored street fairs promoting bicycling and pedestrian rights.

And – Coleman omits – the various virtues of neighborliness.  Second Amendment supporters have been doing events like this for years, most notably our “Open Carry Picnics” a few years back at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, where dozens of regular Minnesotans would gather, eat, talk with their neighbors – many with their legal firearms in plain view. 

If you heard about them, it wasn’t in the news.  The only thing that ever happened was a good time.  In the couple such events I attended (sans visble firearm; that wouldn’t be my style, even if I did own a gun and have a carry permit), I remember one person – white, upper-middle-class, female, oozing “Carlton College” attitude from every manicured pore – running to the park police and demanding mass arrests, and being politely rebuffed because we were doing something legal, in a legal manner. 

He Doesn’t Know Stuff!  – Coleman:

This Sunday’s kickoff event is scheduled for a 20-block stretch of Lyndale Ave. South, one of the south side’s gun-plagued corridors.

And there’s the conceit the left keeps trying – and with the dimmer members of our media and political class, succeeding – at passing off; the idea that guns are the problem.  That there’s a “plague” of guns prowling Lyndale from the Twenties through the Fifties, randomly picking off innocent passersby and kids doing homework in their living rooms.

It’s untrue, of course; we have a plague of people who use guns to enforce their gangs’ rules, protect their (illegal) business’ turf from competition, take out revenge for various slights (in a manner our modern urban culture glorifies), with guns.

Not a one of them has a carry permit.  Not a one of them passed a background check, taken the training course, or bought their firearms legally. 

Maybe Coleman doesn’t know the distinction.  Or maybe he, like the anti-gun groups with whom his “Uptake” shares funders, really really wants the distinction to be blurred. 

If it’s the former, he’s wrong.  If it’s the latter, he’s lying. 

Again.

The Original Classist Gangsta – Coleman – the child of a highly prominent legislator, the stepchild of a prominent publisher – loves to try to pound the outlines of his childhood into the rough-and-tumble Irish-Catholic-In-America myth.  He’s spent a career trying to portray himself as a Studs Terkel “Everyman with a Typewriter” type street journo. 

It’s a crock, of course; the last we checked, Coleman lived in a tony part of Saint Paul, near Grand and Summit, a leafy neighborhood dotted with private colleges and tudor homes.  And more power to him!

But watch Coleman wrap himself in the “urban activist warrior” flag:

 For some reason, the promise/threat of suburban gun flashersbrandishing their weapons along the avenue did not have a reassuring effect on the benighted city dwellers who prefer fewer guns, not more, on their streets.

(“Hey!  We don’t vote on civil rights!” Remember that from the gay marriage debate?)

A quick look at the city’s “shot spotter” maps, in addition to showing an alarming number of recorded gun shots on the city’s North Side (dozens each week), shows that there have been a couple dozen shots fired on the streets in the Lyndale-Hennepin area in the past two months.

Yep.  Now – can Coleman show us that any of them were fired by law-abiding citizens, much less carry permittees?

Of course not. 

Now, it’s time for some classism!:

Imagine how reassured you would feel when hundreds of bearded guys from Andover and Elko show up in North Minneapolis or the Summit-University area of St Paul (“Open Streets” events will take place in both of those communities later this summer) with Bushmasters and Brownings slung over their shoulders or Glocks and Rugers hanging from their paunches.

Condescension for People Not Like Nick is the main color in Coleman’s palette.  That and junior-high pseudo-sexual japery.

It’s also part and parcel of the most cancerous trait of the Left; the battle isn’t ideas versus ideas, or even people vs. people.  The battle they fight is Classes against Classes.  And they define the classes. 

At the very least, it’s a mark of intellectual laziness.  At the worst, it’s a cancer that’s killed millions in the last 100 years.

But let’s run with the thought; what if hundreds of guys from Elko and Andover and Forest Lake – some bearded and paunchy, some elderly and flinty, some young and smokin’ hot, but every last one of them a carry permittee with the legal right to carry a firearm – did show up at the festivals?

What would happen?

The smart money says “Not a damn thing” – other than anti-gunners acting out on their paranoia. 

Thought Experiments for The Unthinking – But since Nick’s in a mood to play hypotheticals, let’s come out and play, shall we?

Here’s a neat mental exercise: Try to imagine hundreds of inner-city residents carrying weapons at the Andover Family Fun Fest, July 13. Just because they can.

Nick, if you’re reading this;  let’s do indeed!

I’ll take you up on your challenge!  Let’s you and I get “hundreds” of “inner city residents” (by which I assume you mean “black people”, as opposed to “family guys who live in Saint Paul’s Midway”, like me), with legal carry permits, just like you had, and just like I may hypothetically have – complete with objective proof that they are law-abiding citizens that the permit conveys – and trek out to Andover on July 13!

And let’s see what happens!

Just think, Nick:  you and me can watch the hijinx unfold!

What do you suppose is going to happen?

Nothing.  Nothing is going to happen.  Oh, some ninny may run to a cop, who’ll investigate, see the “inner city resident” is a regular schlemiel with a carry permit, and gently tell the complainant to relax.   Just like happens with legitimate carriers all over the state or, more usually, doesn’t happen. 

More likely?  The “inner city” – which I suppose does mean “black” or “Latino” or “H’mong”  in Coleman’s mind – carry permittee will tell us to get tied; they have a live to live.

And they’ll be right. 

But let’s do get the ball rolling on this, Mr. Coleman. 

Heres’s How You Tell A Hack With A “Journalist” Badge He Got From A Box Of Cracker Jacks – Next, Coleman drops any pretense of “journalism” that may have evaded extinction, and openly parrots his whiny pals in the gun-grabber movement; I added emphasis to the really demented stuff:

Openly carrying firearms inside the Minnesota Capitol this winter helped gun-law opponents shoot down gun-safety legislation.

Coleman is regurgitating Heather Martens’ delusion that the law-abiding carry permittees who had notified Capitol security of their intent to carry, and visibly wore their legal, permitted firearms into the hearings, were doing it to “intimidate” the legislators.

It’s bullshit, of course.  It was a demonstration of “civil obedience” – showing the legislators that the law-abiding gun owner isn’t the cartoon that ghouls like Jane Kay and Nick Coleman and the City Pages portray to their audiences.  We’re regular schlubs who work day jobs and raise kids, just like everyone else.  And we vote. 

And it worked. 

But Coleman isn’t going to let facts get in his way:

But the tactic backfired this time. Maybe you can intimidate people in the Capitol, but not in the cycling community. Bicyclists wee outraged and told the gunslingers to stay away.

They wavered. Then they cracked. Finally, they called off the whole thing when the Gun Control Mommas stood up to them.

Let me put this as bluntly as it needs to be put:  Coleman is lying.

The “Gun Control Mommas” – “Moms Want Action”, Jane Kay’s toxic little astroturf group with fewer members than “the Uptake” has paid staff – had nothing to do with the cancellation. 

Neither did Coleman’s mythical “cycling community” (Note, Nick:  I’m part of the “cycling community”.  There was no memo). 

Coleman is making things up.  He’s taking correlations (a memo from the impotent Jane Kay, facebook proclamations from wannabe “biking community” spokesbots) and making up a causation.

He’s lying. 

The Gun Flashers ran for cover. By Thursday, the skedaddling gunsters canceled their Gun Wiggle, blaming the liberal media, bicycle punks and the “intolerance” of the mamas who opposed the plan they had clearly hoped would get them some media time and notoriety. Their plan worked, but not the way they hoped. The guns blew up in their faces.

It’s the closest the gun-grabber “movement” – really a collection of astroturf checkbook advocacy groups – have come to a victory in recent years.  And they’re jumping up and down like toddlers that just made a good pants. 

Candy asses.

 That’s big talk, coming from Nick Coleman, a nakedly (ew) partisan blogger who as we’ve shown makes things up left and right to gain “street cred”; a man who knows nothing about anything he wasn’t told by other people in his vanishingly tiny social circle, but who sat down to share his every thought with the moon. Like a grafitti artist holding a spray paint can between his knees, he’s tagging the public square, and doing it very, very badly. 

A man who’ll never answer for any of his lies and distortions because he’s never had to; he’s used and abused the “journalist/columnist’s” factual “get out of jail free” card while enjoying the protection of the Big Institutional Media system his entire career, and who now – let’s be honest – gets paid to parrot the lies he’s told to parrot. 

Same as he ever was.  Just much, much smaller.

UPDATE:  I didn’t even catch all of Coleman’s lies.  Attorney David Gross – one of the legal workhorses of the Second Amendment movement in Minnesota – left a comment which points out even more perfidy. 

One of many quotes worth reading (hence you should read the whole thing):

…Coleman was lying some more, as I read the published material, when he claimed that the Open Streets sponsors were against what Shelley had planned. I guess he can’t help himself from not letting the facts get in his way.
“Priem said Open Street organizers will not ask the gun owners not to attend. ‘Everyone is welcome at Open Streets,’ she said.”

Keep ‘em coming.

Just Like Old Times

How long has it been since I, or any Twin Cities conservative blogger, lit up a Nick Coleman column?

Seems like forever. 

Fisking Nick “I Know Stuff” Coleman used to be to Twin Cities blogging what bread was a a meal; a staple.  But since Nick’s exit from the Strib, he’s been pretty much out of sight.

No more. 

Tune in at noon.

Our Paranoid, Irrational, Hysterical Neighbors

The left, when it goes on its occasional jag of unearned intellectual superiority, is given to referring to itself as the “Reality-Based” community – as opposed to the conservative “Faith-Based” notion, which the left tends to regard as a quirk at least, a dangerous belief in superstition at worst.

Which gives me a chuckle when I read things like  this op-ed in the Strib from one Melissa Schulte:

Sally asks Suzy over for a play date. Suzy’s mother learns through neighborhood gossip that Sally’s family recently adopted a man-eating Bengal tiger named “Roscoe.”

The foreshadowing could have been more hamhanded, to be fair; she could have named the “tiger” “Pakinheet”. 

Ignoring the advice from animal experts, Sally’s parents have decided not to enroll the family in tiger training due to their busy schedules.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Instead of keeping this known killer in a cage, the family lets it roam freely in the house. …The reason Sally’s parents decided to adopt Roscoe is for protection. They believe that simply owning an untrained beast will ward off any human predators who consider entering the house. Even though they live in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood, they feel one can never be too safe.

In Melissa Schulte’s special little world (where “peaceful neighborhoods” are immune to violent crime, naturally), a firearm is a carnivorous animal with intelligence and appetites of its own

An hour into the play date, the phone rings at Suzy’s house. Her parents answer to the sound of sobbing on the other end. It seems the warnings about Roscoe just fueled Suzy’s curiosity, and she could not resist a look at the beast.

Look – if you own  – a gun, keep it as secure as you need to given  your circumstances.  That’s just common sense.  

Nobody wants to get that call – or be responsible for it. 

But this post isn’t about gun safety.  It’s about how very badly-informed our neighbors are.  Schulte:

Would you believe that nearly 40 percent of American households have a Roscoe in their midst?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Roscoes,” otherwise known as guns [Ms. Schulte; the American Academy of Ham-fisted Symbolism has revoked your card from over-use - Ed], cause twice as many deaths in young people as does cancer, five times as many as heart disease and 15 times as many as infections.

Which means the American Academy of Pediatrics needs to have its figures audited.  The CDC puts the number around 70 children a year killed by firearm accidents.  Every one was a tragedy, every one could have been avoided – but it’s a tiny fraction of the number killed every year in the swimming pools that “Suzy” swims in, the car that “Suzy’s” parents drive or even from falling off ladders and playground equipment.

Despite the shocking statistics showing that household firearms are infinitely more dangerous to the people inside the home than any outside threat, gun owners still become indignant when the government attempts to moderate their Second Amendment rights.

Actually, we get indignant when newspapers like the Strib broadcast twaddle like the above paragraph without any check.  It is quite simply a lie, devolved from a 1993 study media wrenched out of context, and that in fact showed that provided nobody in the house is an alcoholic, drug addict, or has a criminal record, a firearm is 400 times more likely to deter a crime than hurt someone unjustifiably.

THAT makes us indignant.

Many gun advocates justify their stance by saying the problem is not the gun; the issue is the irresponsible gun owners who leave weapons available to children.

However, without strict laws as to how firearms should be stored in the home, most guns are as unpredictable in their potential to kill as a man-eating animal.

Remember – the left calls the right “superstitious” and “Irrational”. 

More tomorrow.

Their Assignment

I got this email from a friend of mine who works in a sector that interacts closely with government:

Earlier this year staff members of a Minnesota Congressional Delegation met with workers of a state agency to discuss the sequester. They asked the gathered workers to relate stories of how the sequester was hurting Minnesotans. None of the gathered workers could think of any immediate problems but assured the delegation that they would send along anything they could.

Now lo and behold this story in the Strib.

Mitch, perhaps someone will take up the mantle of “the sequester hurt very few.”

And oh, the tidings of woe the Strib “found”. I’ll let you read it on your own.

Now, I have no hard evidence on which to base my conclusion; just a couple of observations.

First: Journalists rarely stumble upon their own stories. The myth of the old school gumshoe reporter hanging around city hall or the Capitol looking for isolated threads of a story to start pulling does exist – largely in places with Republican politicians. But they get stories fed to them, too, by special interests.

So why did theStribfind tales of sequestration horror that nobody else could find? Because somebody – meaning “some group or organization that either lives off of government, or works to further the politics of those who do” – fed them the story.

Nope, no evidence of that. But I’d bet money.