Thoughtcrime

You’ve heard the stories of the betrothed gay couples who’ve scoured the market for test cases waiting to happen – Christian photogs, bakers, florists and other vendors who politely tried to opt out of participating in ceremonies they don’t believe in.  They were sued into compliance or bankruptcy, or both.

And now, in Canada – a Christian jeweler who actually made the rings for a lesbian couple, who were favorably impressed with his work…

…until they discovered he didn’t personally believe in same sex marriage.  The idea of having their finely-crafted rings made by someone with impure thoughts – thoughtcrime! – sent them running to Big Gay Inquisition to smite the infidels.

Rod Dreher narrates:

Were this a Monty Python sketch and not a horrifying power play, the tendering conversation would presumably have proceeded like this: Customer: We are a lesbian couple who would like you to make us a wedding ring. Business owner: Okay. I do not support gay marriage, but I will serve you as anybody else. This, I understand, is how it works. Customer: You can’t deny me service simply because you hold different views from mine. Business owner: Indeed. I have no intention of doing so. Society is better off when our differences remain private. Customer: Okay, let’s do business. Business owner: Great. Customer: Your private views are disgusting. You can’t make me do business with you. Give me my money back or I’ll unleash the kraken. If this is to be our new standard — and time will tell — it would be useful to know what legal protection our recalcitrant firms will reasonably be able to recruit to their side. In both Canada and in the United States there already exists a pernicious imbalance in the supposedly free marketplace. If a browsing consumer doesn’t happen to like the politics or the race or the religion of a given business owner, he is quite free to decline to associate with it. Thus do some progressives like to skip Chick-Fil-A, an openly Christian business; thus do some conservatives prefer to avoid Apple, whose owner Tim Cook irritated them during the Indiana fight. By that very same law, however, it is strictly verboten for a business to discriminate against customers they themselves dislike — even if they feel that by fulfilling their legal obligations they will be violating their consciences. Are we really going to add to this already lopsided arrangement a general right to break contracts after the fact? Are we going to hand the integrity of our signed arrangements over to the whim of the mob? And if we are not, what are we to expect the government to do about those whose consciences now demand that they renege on their word?

Granted, it’s Canada.

On the other hand, it’s Canada – the prototype shop for all the stupid bits of social engineering leaking into the Western Hemisphere.

If You Can Keep It

I’m not going to say that this is the most depressing thing I’ve read in ages

…oh, the hell I’m not.  It absolutely is:

YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech…

And yes, as PJ O’Rourke reminded us, the ones who’d burn the Rights of Man to save the snail darter are mostly left of the aisle: 

…but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.

 

And just so we’re clear – “stir up hatred” doesn’t mean “actively advocate violence”, which is already illegal.  This refers to, for lack of a better term, offensive speech.

I’m becoming genuinely depressed about the future of this country, as a country.

Listing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

William Mitchell College of Law is looking for legal writing instructors.  I wonder: if the existing professors include a White liberal, a Black liberal, a Woman liberal, an Hispanic liberal, a Pacific-Islander liberal, a Veteran liberal, a Differently Abled liberal and a Pre-Operative Transgender Cis-liberal, has the school achieved sufficient diversity that they can now hire the applicant with the best education, experience and character?  Or do they need to hire a Muslim liberal first?

Joe Doakes

Can’t believe Joe forgot the various flavors of “gay” teachers.

The Death Cult

MPR News spoke with Taye Clinton, the 10-year-old boy who was infamously maced, apparently by a Minneapolis cop, at a “Black Lives Matter” protest last week.

Frontmatter:  Now, since this city is clogged with people whose purpose in “life” is to find little political incorrectnesses with which to invalidate all dissent, let me establish a few things.

Too many cops see the world as “cops vs. potential criminals”; if you’re not a cop you’re a potential criminal.  There are bad cops, and plenty of just-not-very-good cops (I’ve encountered more than my fair share of the latter in Saint Paul, along with some excellent ones); more importantly, until good cops start turning in bad cops, it’s going to be hard for any citizens who cares about civil liberty to trust cops.  And I’m white – which I say not to disqualify my opinion (as some will take, or put, it) so much as to say “you think I’ve got cop problems…”.

15:00 And Counting:  Anway – Susan Montgomery brought little Taye to another protest this past Thursday. Riham Feshir and Peter Cox report (and I add emphasis):

On Wednesday night Taye and his mother were part of a Black Lives Matter and the Black Liberation Project march down Seventh Street to protest Wisconsin authorities’ decision not to charge a white Madison officer in the killing of a 19-year-old biracial man.

Taye, who’s also biracial, says he was frightened.

At least I got Maced and not shot,” he said.

Now, let’s be clear; Taye is 10.  Perhaps he’s an incredibly sharp, precocious kid – a Mozart-like prodigy of juvenile perception of the world around him.  I’ll just say it could be.

It could also be that that’s what the adults in his life, including his mom, Susan Montgomery – who dragged the lad to a protest at 10PM on a school night (not that being out on the street watching people protest is any bigger a waste of time than a day in the Minneapolis public schools) have told him to think about the issue.

The idea that a kid – coached or not – would say such a thing is, itself, a tragedy.

But I’m at a loss to remember any 10-year-old victims of police shootings in any of the Twin Cities, much less Minneapolis.

Now, there’s been a long butcher’s bill of kids Taye’s age killed, crippled, maimed and injured by people waving guns around the cities.  I remember the first gang shooting I encountered in Minneapolis, 30 years ago this fall, when 16 year old Christine Kreitz was executed by the gang bangers she’d been hanging around with in King Park in South Minneapolis.  I remember the first such story I was involved in as a reporter, when a grade-school-aged boy in North Minneapolis was paralyzed by a stray bullet from a Bloods/Crips throwdown a block away (the boy was a solid 60º off the line of fire, in a second-floor apartment – which is, statistically, vastly more dangerous a place to be than an actual participant).

The Question:  So young Taye Clinton is thankful that he’s not the first 10-year-old biracial boy to be shot by a Minneapolis cop.  I can’t argue.

Just curious; has Susan Montgomery warned young Taye about the dangers posed by, to pick a random example, teenage high school dropouts who loiter about the neighborhood and get into random fights with other guys like themselves?

The ones who, statistically and tragedy, have killed a lot more little Tayes than every police department in the Upper Midwest combined?

And did anyone from MPR ask her?

I’m just curious.

Currency Affairs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Women’s group wants to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.  Time for more women on the money, and besides, he was Bad because he enforced the Indian Removal law passed by Congress, which modern Liberals claim was genocide but which Conservative scholars claim averted genocide (if the Indians hadn’t been relocated West, they’d have been wiped out by Eastern Whites).

The women recommend Rachel Carson instead, the “a marine biologist who wrote the hugely influential environmental book ‘Silent Spring.’  That was the book that urged the ban on DDT, the most effective way to kill tsetse flies.   Millions of Blacks now suffer from malaria.

Or Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in America because society needed to kill mentally ill and defective babies.  Which tended to come from families that lacked proper nutrition and health care.  Mostly Black.

Or Betty Friedan, who wrote “The Feminine Mystique” to launch the modern feminist movement by ridiculing stay-at-home-motherhood, saying “. . . housewives are mindless and thing-hungry . . . housework is particularly suited to the capabilities of feeble-minded girls.”

Is it just me, or is there a bit of elitism going on here?  The $1 Susan B. and Saca-bucks aren’t large enough denominations, gotta be $20?  Maybe we can bring back the $1,000 after Hilary gets her email account sorted.

Joe Doakes

I’m sure it’s all in the works.

Rule Four

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Arrest made in Ferguson cop shootings.  Suspect admitted shooting but not at cops; he shot at other people and missed.

What do we always tell hunters:  Be Aware Of Your Backstop!!

Since he was only charged with assault for shooting a cop in the face, then I guess police lives do NOT matter and we can stop hearing about it.

Also, the news reports say the suspect had an outstanding warrant for receiving stolen property.  That’s “undocumented property,” morons.

Joe Doakes

What?  No trigger warning?

(Ba domp bomp)

Berg’ Seventh Law Is Absolute

Last week, when stickers labeling establishments as “exclusively for white people” went up around Austin, Texas, I quietly figured it had to be a “progressive” false flag.

Why?

Because Bergs Seventh Law (“When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”), that’s why.

So – were those “exclusively for white people” stickers a progressive false flag?

Duh…:

[Austin lawyer] Adam Reposa posted the video on YouTube and made a statement on Facebook saying he was trying promote the issue of gentrification in East Austin. (Warning: The video contains explicit language)
“They’re getting pushed out, and pretty quick. This area of town is turning into white’s only,” Reposa said in the clip. “Not by law like it used to be, and everyone’s going to jump on, ‘that’s racist!’ ‘that’s racist!’ Man, this town, the way **** works is racist! And I knew I could just bait all of y’all into being as stupid as you are.”
Reposa went on to blast people for not getting the message.

“You’re just not smart enough to keep up with my argument!”

I started Berg’s Law as a joke, pretty much, back in 2004. But the more I see, the less funny they seem.

Except, of course, is that I still laugh my butt off at “progressives”.

Szerény Javaslat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Prime Minister of Hungary gave his State of the Nation address. Love this line:

“And as far as I see it, Hungarian people are by nature politically incorrect – in other words, they have not yet lost their common sense.”

The Republicans should run this guy against Hillary  No, he wasn’t born in this country.  What difference, at this point, does it make?

Joe Doakes

And trying read Hungarian is about the same as trying to read most legal writing…

Out Of Curiosity

I’ve always been curious about things like this (seen on Facebook yesterday):

IMG_3340.PNG

Foreigners are “baffled by how much water is wasted…while other places in the world are in desperate need of water?”

When foreigners flush a toilet, where do they think the water goes?  Do they think it gets destroyed?   Sent into an alternate universe via a wormhole in time?

That water goes to a treatment plant of some kind or another; usually the icky stuff gets separated out, and the water goes into a holding lake, where it filters down back into the groundwater, or evaporates back into the atmosphere, to fall somewhere in the world as rain, or to float around as humidity, or (mostly) sit in the ocean.

And it’s water that’s here.  Does an American have the option of sending water from his toilet – or from the Great Lakes or the Mississippi River, for that matter – to Ethiopia or the Gobi Desert?   Is there an alternate flush button we could push to send the water (waste-free, natch) to the horn of Africa?

Who are these “foreigners” with no knowledge of the evaporation cycle, anyway?

Open Letter To Mayor Betsy Hodges

To:  Betsy Hodges – Mayor, City of Minneapolis
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Protest Plans

Dear Mayor Hodges,

I, like (I take it, after the news that the Minneapolis Police were ordered to facilitate rather than hinder the blocking of I35W by protesters yesterday) you, am a big believer in the First Amendment right to free speech, especially free speech focused on political protest. 

This is especially important, since it wasn’t all that long ago that Tea Party protesters were being harassed by the police for waving signs above the freeway as “too distracting”. 

This seems like a major step forward!

So if it’s OK with you, I’d very much like to reserve I35W at 28th Street for some of my friends; the limited-government, pro-Second-Amendment, pro-life, pro-school-choice, fiscal-responsibility and other right-of-center movements. 

Have your people call my people!

That is all.

 

Hunter Hits His First Single

The Twins re-signed Torii Hunter. 

Say what you will about the move – signing a 39 year old fielder whose numbers are just a tad off – but I’ll give the man mad props for his first press conference:

When Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press asked Hunter about his previous, well-documented statements against gay marriage and support of political candidates who share his viewpoint, he called Berardino a “prick” and said he was done talking about the topic.

And Hunter is right.

Berardino – and most of the rest of the mainstream media who’ve commented on the acquisition – have burned a lot of column inches babbling about Hunter’s support for traditional marriage, which, let me remind you, the mainstream media has declared trayf via, I presume, “settled science”. 

All dissent must be scourged. 

The media are the new Spanish Inquisition.

Shirtstormtroopers

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Good take on shirt-storm:

“Of course, the very point of the mob action is that no conscious offense by Taylor was required for him to be boiled in online oil. Thoughtcrime does not always proceed from deliberate action; intention is divined by the accusers. The goal is to create an atmosphere of terror, in which everyone is double extra careful to pre-censor their words and deeds, and by extension their thoughts, for fear of career destruction.”

Joe Doakes

It’s like 1984 – except instead of a screen watching you wherever you go, it’s your “fellow citizens”.

News Flash! Women Aren’t Idiots!

The thing that always bothered me about the Democrat “War on Women” meme wasn’t so much that it was BS (there is no “rape culture”, women with the same credentials and experience are not paid less than men, there is no shortage of contraceptives and Republicans are actually the ones trying to get The Pill sold over the counter – a move Planned Parenthood opposes, since it’d cut into part of their, ahem, gravy train). 

No - it’s the fact that it assumes women are stupid.

The whole campaign springs from the same place as Thomas Franks’ idiotic “What’s The Matter With Kansas“, a book based around the ideal that people should vote for “their interests”, meaning “the party that gives you the most goodies”.  Which is, itself, a noxious but inevitable end-result of the fact that while conservatives see people as assets – individuals of boundless worth who via their existence are capable of creating things that are human, moral or financially good additions to our world and lives; liberals, on the other hand, see humans as liabilities.  And liabilities should seek to have their liability mitigated.   Kansans should vote for more subsidies.  Women should vote for someone who keeps spreading the salve on the sense of victimization they’re suppose to feel. 

It’s why the Obama Administration close to depict its prototype American woman in the form of “Julia“, the pathetic lifelong consumer, blowing hither and yon through her life from one government program to another:

To a liberal, people are liabilities.  Stupid incompetent liabilities whose existence without government is of no meaning.

Women, more so; to the left, women are liabilities those sole worth is measured in their “lady parts”. 

That’s why the news that women are turning on the Democrat Party’s  “poor victimized widdle wimmin” schtick is so un-farging-gardly sweet.

Of course, it’s pretty obvious when you compare the two sides’ women; prominent liberal women seem to have gotten to where they are as a result of their spouses (Hillary! Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Wendy Davis, John Kerry), or by pretending to be someone they’re not (Elizabeth Warren).   (The one exception I can think of is Jennifer Granholm – and she was a terrible governor, who left Rick Snyder a Bulgarian goat-rodeo to clean up). 

Conservative women?  I’m at a loss to think of a prominent conservative women who got to where they’re at for any reason other than being very smart, tough and capable (and moreso, having thicker skin than an M1 Abrams given the “conservative-shaming” that seems to so enthrall the American media; I’m at an even bigger loss to think of the name of the spouse of any prominent conservative woman, other than Todd Palin and Marcus Bachmann – and neither Sarah Palin nor Michele Bachmann depended on either of their spouses to get where they are today.  Nikki Haley?  Susanna Martinez?  Shall I keep going? 

As we slog through the final week of the campaign, the Obama Administration and Democrat candidates around the country are doubling and tripling down on the “war on women” meme.

And if the Democrats lose, and lose even bigger because the female vote deserted them (or should I say the unmarried female vote, since married women are more likely to vote Republican anyway), it’ll be a great sign for gender relations in this country…

…and a signal that only a gender-identity feminist, a U of M women’s studies major (but I repeat myself) or a Jezebel staff writer would be stupuid enough to miss.

A Tale Of Three Nations

As the US flirts with Ebola panic, it’s worth noting that Nigeria – more corrupt than Chicago but probably not Camden, with ethnic and social divisions that would make the most hardened academic grievance-monger yak up her skull, and a nation that as a whole is like a Detroit that rarely ends – has managed to stop its Ebola outbreak pretty much cold.  20 were infected, and eight died – a tragedy, sure, but since the outbreak occurred in Lagos, a city of 21 million that is among the least hygenic metropolitan areas in the world, that seems fairly miraculous.   

Nigeria did it by doing the public-heath blocking and tackling that has stanched epidemics from cholera to malaria to dengue fever; isolating the infected and the infection, monitoring the exposed, practicing basic hygiene around the ill and the potentially ill. 

They knuckled down and did what needed to be done. 

Now, the US is one of the healthiest nations on earth.  Perhaps too healthy – modern parents’ mania for germ-killing may be hurting their childrens’ immune systems.  Worse, while some among our public health community are well aware of the dangers a virus like Ebola could cause, it seems there were several major breakdowns in the handling of the first case, Thomas Duncan, a Liberian living in Dallas. 

Will the CDC and the other public health authorities react appropriately to the outbreak?  Especially given that the CDC answers to an Administration that clearly values political correctness over competence? 

Let’s just say that this is one area where I’d love to think government was as competent as big government’s proponents tell us it is. 

The track record is mixed, of course. 

Through much of the last 100 years, between sound public health and public information, and world-leading research (thank you, free enterprise!), most epidemic diseases have been contained, and many former scourges have been nearly eradicated. 

And yet when the AIDS epidemic broke out, it quickly escaped the public health agencies’ ability to control it.  Part of it was the government’s response; in one of three mistakes he made as President, he kept the government’s response low-key. 

Of course, there was plenty of blame to shame.  Some countries contained AIDS using sound, traditional public health practices.  Cuba contained its outbreak far more quickly and effectively than the US, using sound, traditional public health techniques including quarantining the infected…

…which were politically untenable in the US; as the gay rights movement gained traction, the idea of focusing public health efforts on gay culture, much less quarantining gay male patients, as the Cubans did), became politically incorrect. 

(And since some liberal will no doubt read the above as “Mitch Berg calls for quarantining teh gay” – I’d say the same thing if there were a 100% lethal, contagious, viral disease that spread via the behavior of straight Presbyterian conservatives; public health is public health). 

Will the Obama Administration react any better to this crisis than they did the last several?  There’s always hope.  The President certainly isn’t getting useful advice from some of his supporters (hint to MSNBC hosts and other illiterates; the CDC needs a surgeon general to react to an epidemic about like the IRS needs a director to process your 1040 form; Obama needs to quit politicizing public health.  Oh, wait – there it is again!).

Fingers crossed.

A Brief History Of Proportionality

Act 1

[SCENE:  The New Jersey-side bank of the Delaware River, December 24, 1776.  General George WASHINGTON, having just led the ragged Continental Army across the Delaware River, is having a final conference with his senior officers before attacking the Hessians, who are passed out, hung over after their Christmas drinking binges, in their winter camp in Trenton New Jersey.]

WASHINGTON:  Our revolution has had major setbacks this past year.  Now is our time to strike back, re-set the balance of this war, and convince the French, Dutch and Spanish that the Revolution can be sustained!

[The generals cheer - except for A. LIBRELLE, a civilian bureaucrat attached to the Army by the group Justice For Britain].

LIBRELLE:  I’m sorry, General.  This attack is disproportionate.  Your men need to get drunk,, become hung over, and then wake the Hessians so it can be a fair fight.  And lose the cannon.

General Marquis de LAFAYETTE:  Sacre bleu, is this person mad? 

[And SCENE]

Act 2

[SCENE:  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863.  General George Gordon MEADE, commander of the Army of the Potomac, is at the front line atop Cemetery Ridge, alongside his battered, bloodied army.  Across a wide open field, Confederate General George Pickett is lining up his troops for their epic charge across the rolling field of grass, as MEADE's artillerymen load their cannon]

MEADE:  Men – this is it.  It’s here that the union stands, or falls.  We hold here, or the war is over.   Who’s with me, boys!

[The men cheer - except for A. LIBRELLE, a representative from Quakers for Peace, whose head shakes and face scowls disapprovingly].

LIBRELLE:  Wait, General.  This isn’t proportionate.  You should move your men off this hill and away from behind these walls and fences, and move down into the field so that nobody has cover, and it’s a fair fight.  And what’s with the “men” and “boys” bit?  Isn’t that just a tad patriarchal?

MEADE:  It’s the Army…

[And SCENE]

Scene 3

[SCENE:  London, June 5, 1944.  Generals Dwight EISENHOWER, Bernard Law MONTGOMERY and Omar BRADLEY are firming up the final details of the next day's invasion of Europe, known to us as "D-Day".]

EISENHOWER:  The entire fate of Western Civilization hangs on tomorrow’s invasion.

MONTGOMERY:  Quite.

BRADLEY:  We’ve done all we can.  Now, it’s just down to the guts of the regular GI Joe.

[A. LIBRELLE, representative from the United Nations Office of Philosophy, interrupts]

LIBRELLE:  Wait – Generals?  This invasion is by no means proportionate.  You have battleships, paratroopers, waves and waves of bombers.  The Germans have none of theses. 

MONTGOMERY:  Then you suggest…

LIBRELLE:  Do the invasion without the battleships, the bombers, or the paratroopers. 

EISENHOWER:  That’s suicide!

LIBRELLE:  It’s proportional!

[And SCENE]

Scene 4

[SCENE:  Somewhere in the desert of Judea, early in the morning, 63BC.  Roman legionary RICHARDUS Magnus is addressing his Legion before their final assault on the Jewish stronghold of Masada, where dozens of Jewish patriots are making a last stand against the Roman conquerors]

RICHARDUS:  Legionaires!  Today we shall charge up the siege towers and scale the walls and build a pyramid of the enemy’s skulls!

[The soldiers cheer lustily, as A. LIBRELLIVS, a reporters from the news-scroll Tempus Romanii, stands, bored, kicking at clods of sand]

RICHARDUS:  [Looks at LIBRELLIVS with a look of ill-concealed disdain] Anything to add, Librellius?

LIBRELLIVS:  Nah, I got nothing. 

[And SCENE]

Eggs For The Omelet, As It Were

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Michelle Obama wants grocery stores to install talking grocery carts that will encourage shoppers to buy healthier food.
I predict that as soon as my medical records become part of Obama-care, the NSA will monitor the bar code scanner as I load the talking grocery cart with purchases and when it sees the package of Hostess Ding Dongs, a red light will flash and the cart will shout “HELP HELP UNWISE FOOD CHOICE IN AISLE THREE” until a Team Member arrives to take away the unhealthy item to replace it with a nice head of broccoli.
I can hardly wait.
Joe Doakes

It’ll have to do until the kids are trained to do the ratting-out more reliably.

No Pep

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Stopped at Pep Boys on South Robert to buy epoxy for a cracked bumper. Pep Boys Bans Guns In This Store. I asked if that was a franchise decision but the counterman said no, all Pep Boys stores are corporate. So I went up the street to O’Reilly Auto Parts instead.

No, I wasn’t carrying. But if they don’t want my business on my terms, I’m happy to take it elsewhere.

Joe Doakes
Como Park

As everyone should.

I haven’t voluntarily patronized a posted business since 2003. I’ve specifically thanked businesses that took down their idiot signs.

Now is no time to let old habits die.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Are you sure you’ve thought through this lawsuit, Chris?

Chris Kluwe potentially kicks open a Pandora’s Box.

Given Chris Kluwe’s love of role-playing board games, it shouldn’t surprise that his latest actions have more angles than 23-sided dice.

On Tuesday, former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was demanding that the team, through the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P, release the six-month independent investigation into Kluwe’s allegations that he was let go due to his gay marriage activism.  By Friday night, Kluwe (or at least his attorneys) might have wished the Vikings had kept the findings to themselves.

The 29-page summary of the investigation (pdf warning on the link) was notable for two things: 1) proving Kluwe’s story that current Special Teams coach Mike Priefer did indeed make his “nuke the gays” comment; 2) proving little else.  Instead, the investigation brought to light an incident of Kluwe mocking the Jerry Sandusky trial and generally negatively commented on Kluwe’s final years as a Viking:

The record does not support the claim that the Vikings released Kluwe because of his activism on behalf of marriage equality, but instead because of his declining punting performance in 2012 and potentially because of the distraction caused by Kluwe’s activism, as opposed to the substance of such.

Throughout the independent investigation, interviewees characterized Kluwe in similar
ways: someone who is highly intelligent, reads a lot, a prankster or jokester, comfortable with the media and seems to enjoy attention. [Vikings kicker Blair] Walsh stated that Kluwe spent much of his free time in the locker room doing interviews. Walsh also said that Kluwe “loves the attention,” “was focused on everything but football,” and wanted to be in the spotlight.

The fallout was sadly predictable.

The perpetually indignant community – Kluwe’s political base – expressed outrage (outrage!) that the Patron Saint of Punting was a “hypocrite” for engaging in the same sort of outrageously inappropriate locker room behavior that Kluwe supposedly was fighting against by his threatened lawsuit.  While many former media supporters were throwing Kluwe under the bus, the man at the center of the report took to twitter to vent, sparing even with gay marriage supporters and potentially getting the Vikings (and maybe himself) deeper into the dark waters of legal action:

Color me unimpressed with the outrage over Kluwe’s Sandusky jokes.  In the pantheon of vulgar Kluwe behavior/comments, his exposed butt cheeks aren’t even as crass as most of his Deadspin articles.  But Kluwe’s accusation that he (and presumably, the Vikings) knew about statutory rape and did nothing is a world away from Kluwe’s STD shots at Mankato or calling NFL lockout opponents “assh*le f**kwits.”  Kluwe is potentially an accomplice in this (alleged) crime at worst.  At best, he kept silent about actions against minors, but the words of a hot-headed, idiotic Special Teams coach were somehow his personal Rubicon…after he was fired.

Kluwe’s defenders, like ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio, are trying to poke holes in the investigation’s conclusions over the Vikings’ assessment on Kluwe’s punting abilities, setting the stage for Kluwe’s threatened lawsuit that he was dismissed for his beliefs, not his on-field actions.  Despite all the vitriol, the merits of any potential Kluwe lawsuit are few and far between, and minus a heretofore undiscovered “smoking gun” document or testimony, a legal Trojan Horse for the entire NFL should Kluwe prevail.

NFL history, and Minnesota Vikings’ history, is replete with older veterans being replaced for players deemed to have a larger upside who can be signed for less money.  In the last several seasons, the Vikings alone have cut ties with still capable players like kicker Ryan Longwell or defensive end Jared Allen.  These moves aren’t always right or popular (SITD argued against the Allen move months ago) or consistent across franchises.  Denver’s punter, Britton Colquitt, is the highest paid punter in the NFL, earning $3.9 million a year for a 46.1 yards per punt average.  Chris Kluwe was making $1.5 million, due to increase to over $2 million, for a career average of 44.4 yards per punt.  Jeff Locke kicked an average of 44.2 yards for roughly $400,000 for the Vikings in 2013.  Is any of that logical?  By NFL standards, for better or worse, yes.

If Chris Kluwe can convince a jury that a $1.5 million punter with the league’s 22nd best average cannot be cut for a younger, cheaper option because said player is outspoken, then the NFL’s entire collective bargaining agreement will be up for grabs.  In a league with an openly gay 7th round draft pick who isn’t assured of making the team, what will stop current and future NFL players from adopting controversial political/social causes if they believe doing so will complicate their release?  Will the next Tim Tebow decide that his Christianity, not his throwing motion, was the motivating factor in his cutting, and sue his former employer?

A Kluwe victory (again, barring new evidence) means a more political NFL – an outcome that can only hurt the most popular sporting brand in the country.

Footloose

Photoshop out the football and you’ve pretty much recreated Chris Kluwe’s latest press conference

The most famous (or is it infamous?) punter in modern history tries to pin the Minnesota Vikings against their end zone.

Well, in his defense, he no longer has a job to be so focused on.

Chris Kluwe may possess a number of less-than-desirable qualities, but the former punter’s media savvy remains arguably his strongest suit.  Since leveling accusations against the Minnesota Vikings, in particular special teams coach Mike Priefer, of fostering an atmosphere of homosexual hatred which led to his firing by “two cowards and a bigot,” Kluwe has remained relatively quiet.  Perhaps partially motivated by a press corps seemingly less willing to believe him, or realizing that his legal strategy depended upon him dragging many of his former teammates into the mix, Kluwe and his representation had said little about the Vikings’ independent investigation in the past seven months.

That changed Tuesday as Kluwe charged that the Vikings’ investigation has concluded and that the lack of public disclosure over the findings proved Kluwe’s allegations of bigotry:

The onetime punter said Tuesday the team is “reneging on a promise” to release a copy of its completed investigation of alleged anti-gay sentiments expressed by special teams coach Mike Priefer during the 2012 season.

Kluwe and his attorney, Clayton Halunen, announced at a morning news conference that they will file suit against the Vikings alleging discrimination on the grounds of religion, human rights, defamation and “torturous interference for contractual relations.”

The move is self-aggrandizing and potentially premature (the Vikings said the independent investigatory group would provide a report this week).  Had the press conference included accusations of the team of being “lustful c**kmonsters,” it would have been vintage Kluwe.

It was also a somewhat smart public relations ploy.  Now, whenever Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P release their findings, Kluwe can claim his pressure forced the team to do so.  And Kluwe’s willingness to forgo a lawsuit for a monetary settlement that goes towards an LGBT cause also assists both the Vikings, in helping the issue go away faster, and Kluwe himself as even old media allies questioned the punter’s motivations (the KFAN Morning Show, who often gave Kluwe free-rein to voice his opinions on all matter of subjects, openly wondered if he was making a money grab this morning).

But “somewhat smart” isn’t the same as “smart.”  Kluwe’s strategy only truly works if the independent investigation proves some or all of Kluwe’s anecdotes, in particular his claim that Mike Priefer suggested moving gay people to an island and hitting it with a nuclear bomb.  Not unlike the current Jesse Ventura defamation suit, Kluwe’s case ultimately comes down to a “he said/he said” legal battle.  Even if Kluwe is 100% accurate in quoting Vikings’ staff, he would still have to prove a correlation between comments like Priefer’s and his cutting in 2013.  The Vikings can respond about Kluwe’s declining skills and (for the position) high salary – reasons that even Kluwe cited…when cut last summer by the Oakland Raiders.

The outcome of the investigation – or any following legal action – may be pointless.  Kluwe’s defenders will continue to insist the end of his career was due to his gay rights activism, and not his next-to-last finish for punts inside the 20-yard line while making $1.45 million.  Kluwe’s detractors will continue to be maligned as being bothered by his politics rather than his penchant for vulgar name-calling to anyone who doesn’t share his views (on gay rights or other subjects).

Other than attorneys or an LGBT charity, it’s hard pressed to see who benefits from this continued fight.