Fields Of Ire

To:  The Democrat Party
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Campaign 2016


We’re heading toward a presidential election.

You’re facing a field with a highly-accomplished woman, two Latinos, a black man, two very accomplished surgeons, two CEOs, a couple of Horatio Alger stories, a former Solicitor-General of the United States (that means “a really, really smart lawyer”), a former federal prosecutor who beat the Mob like a bongo drum, and a couple of governors who’ve actually accomplished great things (albeit one fewer than I’d have liked, all things considered).

You’ve got a governor who enthusiastically led a failed state, a career senator who’s famous for his malaprops, a retreaded hippie who would run the economy on unicorn farts, and a “feminist icon” who is where she is precisely because she married an up-and-comer, no different than any other Mad Men-era Scarsdale housewife, and has spent the past 40-odd years enabling him no less than the most abjectly-subjugated burqua-clad Pakistani second wife.

This is the paragraph where I normally throw in the punch line.  But I really don’t need one, do I?

That is all.

Clear As Mud

I attended the Black Lives Matter “rally”/demonstration in Saint Paul yesterday.

Or the end of it, anyway; the protesters blocked the Green Line and all traffic on University at Lexigton starting at 9:30 AM, and I got there around 11:30 – in plenty of time for the die-in, a bunch of speeches, and all sorts of chanting.

Uni at Lexington, looking northwest to southeast through spilled coffee. Or maybe a dab of salsa. Or hash brown grease. Not sure. You can sorta make out a cop car on the left; beyond it, the Lexington Avenue Green Line station. The actual protest is out there. Honest.

The bad news?  I brought my camera; I also apperently dripped some coffee on the lens, which coagulated in place, leaving me with really bad photos:

Looking across Uni, cops on the left, protesters behind the crud.

My photos aren’t clear.  I get it.

But they were about as clear as the rationale for the protest.

The stated reason for the protest was to mess with people using the Green Line to get to the Vikings home opener.

But – and let’s leave aside for a moment that Metro Transit routed buses around the stoppage during the entire course of the protest, and had additional buses standing by to carry passengers past the protest – there’s the little matter that…

…no more than a dozen Vikings fans actually park east of Lexington and take the train to downtown Minneapolis.

Speaking of numbers, I counted the following when I was there:

  • Perhaps 75 protesters, including speakers.
  • Of them, 15-18 were African-American. 50-60 were white.
  • There were 14 police squad cars – one state patrol, one Transit cop, the rest Saint Paul.  They blocked University and Lexington a block away on all sides of the protest.
  • There were also four mounted cops and six cops on bike.

The police didn’t outnumber the protesters – but the protesters outnumbered the cops by maybe two or three to one.

So why “protest the NFL” in a place where the NFL and the Vikings will be the absolute last people to notice it?    Why didn’t they hold the protest on the Washington Avenue bridge, blocking the many, many people who take the train up from the Mall of America area from getting to the game, and actually getting the NFL’s attention?

Because – this is my theory, here – the Saint Paul wing of BLM isn’t about protesting power structures.  It’s about 2016, and trying to keep African-Americans fired up to vote in a year where the Democrat party’s entire slate is geriatric white people.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My cousin from Fridley is smart: National Merit Scholar, scholarship to St. Thomas, worked for the State Department abroad, taught college in Madison, lives near Baltimore – a very smart and thoroughly educated woman.

She’s shocked and appalled at gun violence. Something Must Be Done!  But not if it would offend anyone. Can’t focus our efforts on the 13% of the population who commit 50% of the murders, that’d be racissss.  Besides, who says so, the KKK?  No, the FBI.  It’s not hate speech, it’s the truth but she no longer recognizes it because she’s embraced so many lies from The Left, the truth sounds ridiculous to her.

I wish there were a way to have a reasonable discussion but when the first words out of her mouth are “assault rifle,” I know it’s hopeless –

Joe Doakes

Converting someone from the Madison/Macalester/Berkeley version of America’s left is not much unlike deprogramming a cult member.

All Alone

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals never admit to being Liberal, they always claim to be Moderates who represent the mainstream of American political thought, not like those extremist right-wing Republicans.

Try this experiment: ask them to name prominent far-left politicians, the people on the radical fringe.

President Obama and Hilary Clinton, are they far-left?  No, they’re Moderates.

Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, are they radical leftists?  No, they’re Moderates, too.

Look, if everybody is to the Right of you and nobody is to the Left of you, then by definition you are not the Moderate Middle; you ARE the Lunatic Fringe.  Welcome to the asylum.

Joe Doakes

From Moorhead, Detroit Lakes is “Eastern Minnesota”.

Doakes Sunday: Careful What You Wish For

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In a comment to an earlier thread, Emery wrote:
“The free movement of capital.
The free movement of goods and services.
The free movement of ideas and media.
The free movement of people.
The protection of private property.
I’m not a starry-eyed idealist, but I like to think that there is a liberal ideal that we should keep our eyes on, not necessarily as a realistic objective for today, but as a goal to strive for.”
My response is that all that free movement stuff sounds great in theory but I’m wondering about it in practice.  I just poured myself a cup of coffee and dumped in a packet of sugar.  I haven’t stirred it, yet.  The sugar is  concentrated in a heap of sweetness on the bottom of the cup.  That’s America.  The coffee in the rest of the cup is bitter.  That’s the rest of the world.  If I stir the cup, the sweetness will be distributed everywhere, but that also means it will be diluted everywhere.  No one place will be super-sweet, all will be equally semi-sweet.
Wouldn’t free movement of people and money lead to the same result? If you took all the money in America and distributed it to people across the rest of the globe, they would be enriched but we would be impoverished.  If we fling open the borders to let everybody from everywhere in the world come here, will they add to the sweetness of America by bringing prosperity and stability or subtract from it by welfare and crime?
I can see why people in the bitter lands would want their lives to become sweeter.  I can’t see why people in the super-sweet lands would want their lives to become more bitter.  As I cannot be guaranteed the glorious result would obtain, a conservative would eschew the experiment.
Joe Doakes

Perverse incentives?  I get it.

Perverse wishes?  Not so much.

Doakes Sunday: Fourth Generation Nation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The American Revolutionaries wore brown clothes and hid behind trees and rocks to shoot at British soldiers wearing red jackets marching in straight lines.  This was a violation of the “rules of war” of that time period. The familiar Geneva Convention “rules of war” were crafted after World War I to protect draftees compelled to fight for nation-states. Modern military theorists talk of 4th Generation Warfare in which large formations of men and machines are useless against small, agile teams of mobile warriors, like trying to kill a swarm of mosquitoes with a sledge hammer.
Iraq War I, with Stormin’ Norman’s giant lines of tanks encircling armies in Kuwait, was 3rd Generation Warfare, as was much of Iraq War II.  Some parts of America’s military have been learning to fight 4th Generation Warfare, notably the SEALs who fought in Afghanistan.  But they’re still America’s warriors, they serve the nation of the United States.
But what is the United States?  A geographical location?  A shared belief?  A place where groups struggle against each other: rich against poor, Black against White?  Barack Obama seems intent on transforming the United States into something different from what it was then Bush The Elder was President.  What if President Obama is ahead of his time?  What if nation-states are obsolete?  What if the United States is obsolete?  Nations arose out of tribes, what comes after nations?  Maybe by transforming the United States into a collection of factions contesting against each other, he’s moving us toward 4th Generation Society.
Question is:  would that be a good thing?
Joe Doakes

Good for whom?

Doakes Sunday: Fearless Prediction

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hilary was appointed Secretary of State by President Obama.

She immediately set up a private email account and used it for official government business.

Hilary’s non-secure email account was maintained by Platte River Networks, a mom-and-pop operation in Denver, not by the government.

We don’t know why she chose them out of everybody in the world.

Some of the email on her account contained Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information.

TS/SCI is maintained on secure government computers that are not physically capable of connecting to non-secure computers.

The only way TS/SCI information could have gotten into Hilary’s non-secure email system is if someone inside who had TS/SCI clearance accessed the TS/SCI information on the government’s secure computer, downloaded it to a disk and walked the disk over to a non-secure computer to send it to Hilary’s non-secure email account.

We don’t know who did that for her or how often or who authorized it.

The people at Platte River didn’t have TS/SCI clearance to handle those emails.

Platte River had back-up servers, we think, but nobody knows for sure where they are or what’s on them or who has access to them.

When asked to produce the emails, Platte River downloaded them from their non-secure server to a jump drive and gave the jump drive to Hilary’s lawyer, David Kendell, who may have had TS/SCI clearance years ago but may not now.

When the FBI received the actual non-secure server, it had been wiped, leaving Kendell’s jump drive the only copy, we think.

We don’t know if David Kendell copied the emails from the jump drive to a non-secure law firm computer.

David Kendell’s law firm gave printed copies of some of the TS/SCI emails to the Justice Department, the relevant ones.

We don’t know who reviewed all the emails to determine the relevant ones, or what that person’s security clearance is.

We don’t know who printed those copies or what that person’s security clearance is.

We don’t know if the law firm made photocopies of the printed copies it delivered to the Justice Department or what the copy girl’s clearance is.

State Department officials have refused to testify as to the “chain of custody” of Hilary’s emails or list everyone who had access to them.

She’s going to get away with it.

Joe Doakes

Nobody every went broke underestimating the extent Washington will roll over for the Clinton clan.


It Explains So Much

I’m going to imagine most of you have heard this – a bit from a Fargo radio station (that was started by a former GM of mine, by the way).

I thought it was a bit, initially – until I heard the disk jockey’s initial, befuddled reaction.  Music radio guys don’t deal with this kind of stuff often, and when they do, it’s staged as often as not.


Sometimes, when I think about the people who have the same right to vote that I do, I get very depressed.

They’ll Know It When They Hear It

Joe Doakes from Como  Park emails about some noise ordinance litigation:

2,000 rounds fired per weekend, too noisy, annoyed the neighbors.  He might have been alright if he’d applied for the correct permits up front, instead of trying to sneak in under the agricultural exemption.

The troubling thing about the opinion is the statute says no local jurisdiction can impose noise levels more strict than PCA.  So how can they complain about noise?  Because PCA hasn’t issued noise levels for shooting events, and the local ordinance didn’t set any.  The commission acted on their gut instinct in deciding it was too loud.  That’s worthless as a standard – how loud is too loud?

Maybe something for GOCRA to consider, working with agency staff to develop acceptable noise levels?

Joe Doakes

If there’s one thing you learn in Saint Paul, it’s that government prefers rules to be handed down by oral tradition.  More leeway that way.


Green Fizzle

The much-lauded California program that jacked up taxes on out-of-state corporations and devoted half the proceeds to “green” projects has apparently fallen short of expecations

90% short.  At least, as far as they can tell; the program isn’t actually releasing details, which – let’s be honest – means they actually did worse than 10% of projections.

Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.

Money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met, according to a review by The Associated Press.

In other words, the law didn’t repeal human behavior – corporations curtailed California operations to avoid the tax – and, most damningly, the whole thing turned into a wealth-transfer program, moving money from the productive class to the rent-seeking parasites.

I’m Not Saying

Conservative talk radio takes a huge chunk out of liberal/Democrat politicians.

Democratic Party:  “We need to shut up and/or discredit talk radio”.

The Libertarian frat party, three months later:  “Talk radio is teh short bus radio for dummies!”

Republican candidate for President promise, in an election where foreign policy figures to have a significant impact, a policy of confronting and attacking terror.

Democratic Party:  “They are going to eat our feckless party’s lunch on foreign policy, and there’s nothing our Sanders-loving base will let us do about it”

The Libertarian frat party, three months later:  “Warvangelicals!  They just want to kill brown people!”

Benghazi threatens the reputation of the Secretary of State and heir-apparent to the Presidency.

Democratic Party:  “We need to defuse this Benghzi thing”.

The Libertarian frat party, three months later:  “Hey!  Faux News wants a new war, and they’ll chant Benghazi ’til they get one!  You’re paranoid!”

Obama signs a feckless, stupid deal with the Iranians – one that is not only provoking Neville Chamberlain to scream “No!” from the grave, but is making George McGovern angry.

Democratic Party:  “We need to marginalize the opposition to this deal”.

The Libertarian frat party:  “Republicans just want waaaaaaar!”

Hillary Clinton’s email servers may violate the law in the same way David Petraeus’ emails did, only possibly much, much worse.

Democratic Party:  “We need to defuse the email server situation”

The Libertarian frat party, a month later:  “Email server is the new Benghazi!”

No, correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Of course not.

They Are The Law, And The Law Won

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Justice Department says Justice Department did no wrong in targeting payday lenders and gun shops.  Well that’s good to know.

Next time the IRS calls me about my tax returns, I’ll tell them I’ve carefully investigated myself and found no problem at all.  I’m sure that’ll clear it right up.

Joe Doakes

Government never lies to protect government…


Culture Of Failure

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Sanctions are imposed on outlaws; only legitimate governments enter into international agreements.

The starting point for the Iran Deal was the US had to recognize the Rouhani Regime – the successor of the people who stormed our embassy in 1979 and held our people hostage 444 days – as the legitimate government of Iran.

President Obama is exploring diplomatic relations but we don’t get our embassy back – it’s now a hate-America museum.

With awesome results like these, I want John Kerry negotiating for me on my next used car purchase.  What could go wrong?

You could be driving a Pontiac Aztek, that’s what.


Coming Soon To A Poetry Slam Near You

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama wants to save the world.
It’s in danger from Global Warming.
Global Warming is caused by US carbon emissions.
Gasoline emits carbon so we need to reduce gasoline usage.
Driving gas prices to $5 per gallon would reduce gasoline usage.
Obama tried to drive gas prices higher by blocking the Keystone pipeline.
But higher pump prices made it affordable to increase oil production in North Dakota.
North Dakota oil brought down the world price of crude oil, hurting Saudi Arabia’s profits as an oil exporter.
Saudi Arabia cut its crude prices below cost to crush North Dakota oil; it partly worked – they’ve cut back.
Now Obama lifted sanctions on Iran so it can sell oil which will drive down the world price of crude.
Which should bring down gasoline prices at the pump.
So Americans can afford to drive more.
And create more carbon emissions.
To cause Global Warming.
And destroy the world.
Obama wants to save.
Damn that



Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A pair of graduate students from the U of M came to the office to learn about Minnesota’s system of land title records.  Seems they’re hoping to institute a new system in Kenya where land records are not reliable, making investment risky which discourages entrepreneurship and that leaves people in poverty, dependent on government hand-outs.  The students propose a computerized system (which will reveal changes and who made them) based on GPS coordinates (that can be re-established in the field by any hand-held GPS receiver).

The students are cargo cultists.  They propose a technological solution to a cultural problem.  I’m skeptical.

Kenya left the British Empire in 1963 and for the last half-century: “the use of land as an object of patronage to engender support and consolidate power has been exacerbated by corruption, forced eviction, government backtracking, and lack of redress for those who have lost land through violence.”

Suppose the computer gives me absolute iron-clad proof that the land records clerk altered the records to give my land to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s friend.  Suppose when I show up in court, the President’s friend arrives with a thick envelope of “last-minute evidence” for the judge, then glances meaningfully at his Reece Squad escorts and says “So, judge, how are the wife and kids?  Be a shame if anything happened to them.”  What are my chances of getting my land back?

Technology can’t solve that problem.  It takes a culture of incorruptibility, of self-less devotion to the Rule of Law, and that culture takes hundreds of years to grow.  Kenya threw that away when it kicked out the British.  Americans are letting our own Kenyan throw it away today.

Joe Doakes

Barack Obama’s worst facet?  He’s bringing the worst facets of Third World/Chicago governance to a national stage.

I’m going to say that before the IRS shuts me down.



Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama wants to ban people who can’t manage their budget from possessing firearms. So we can add every Democrat politician to the list?
Joe Doakes

He might propose disarming Greece, Portugal and Italy…

… but then, soon enough, he’ll have to disarm the United States.


A Small Liberation

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has smacked down the Gestapo-like no -knock raids  on conservative dissidents:

In a ruling [yesterday] morning, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rendered official what observers have long known: Wisconsin Democrats did, in fact, launch a massive, multi-county “John Doe” investigation of the state’s conservatives, featuring extraordinarily broad subpoenas and coordinated “paramilitary” raids of private homes; the “crimes” that provided the investigation’s pretext were not crimes at all, but First Amendment-protected speech; and the legal theory underpinning the investigation was bunk, “unsupported in either reason or law,” as the court put it.

I can maintain a certain amount of intellectual attachment for most political stories – but the Wisconsin KGB makes me genuinely furious:

The raid victims have suffered severe, long-term consequences as a result of these raids. Almost to a person, they say they no longer feel secure in their own homes. They report watching what they say, terrified that overt political involvement could lead their homes to be invaded again. One victim said, “I tried to create a home where the kids always feel safe. Now they know they’re not. They know men with guns can come in their house, and there’s nothing we can do.” Another victim — whose son was home alone when police arrived, guns drawn — is haunted by this chilling thought: “He could have been in the shower. They could have broken the door down. He could have been shot. Over politics.”

The prosecutors involved need to be removed from public life.  I almost tried to type “public service”, but my fingers stopped and started smoking.   In a just world, they’d be perp-walked out of their homes in their underwear in front of the mocking and jeering of their former victims.

A free society can only remain free while the majority are pulling in the same direction – toward freedom.  Laws are, tautologically, needed for “the rule of law”.  Laws – especially excessive laws, which covers most “campaign finance” laws – are also the footholds by which the unscrupulous eat others’ freedoms.

You’re Crazy To Dissent!

In the 1970s – during Leonid Brezhnev’s kinder, gentler version of the Soviet Union – the gulags of the Lenin and Stalin regimes were largely replaced by “psychiatric hospitals”.

Since disssent from government was considered a mental illness in the Soviet Union, naturally, dissidents needed “treatment”.

Author Dinesh D’Souza – one of the Obama administration’s most prolific and articulate dissidents – got caught up a few years ago in one of the web of speech rationing laws. These laws – commonly referred to as “campaign-finance laws” – are intended to, and eventually will, make all political speech and activity, including (I predict) this blog, potentially prosecutable.

Judges and bureaucrats referring to speech as “illegal” is nothing new; it’s the battle freedom will always have to fight.

But using the psychiatric profession to beat down dissent?  It’s baaaack; D’Souza’s judge has ordered him, for a third time, to seek psychiatric treatment:

D’Souza’s defense counsel Benjamin Brafman provided evidence to the court that the psychiatrist D’Souza was ordered to see found no indication of depression or reason for medication. In addition, the psychologist D’Souza subsequently consulted provided a written statement concluding there was no need to continue the consultation, because D’Souza was psychologically normal and well adjusted.
But Judge Berman, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, disagreed, effectively overruling the judgment of the two licensed psychological counselors the U.S. probation department had approved as part of D’Souza’s criminal sentence.
“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” the judge explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.

Point of basic logic to Judge Berman:  if you’re “requiring” the treatment, you’re not doing it to be helpful.

A Thousand Words

If there’s one thing I cordially detest about social media today, it’s the photo-memeification of all political debate.  On Facebook and Twitter, thousands of people can pass along a graphic, often wrong, frequently giggly/snarky photo in lieu of understanding an issue or being able to state a coherent case.

But sometimes they’re right:

I’ve been harping on the workforce participation numbers since 2011 – and they’ve just gotten worse.

And the fact is, if we’re ever going to reduce that debt figure (which doesn’t, by the way, count all the other unfunded entitlements that are floating about in the ether in numbers that look like they should be expressing Zimbabwean currency), it’s going to take actual productivity – which you’re not going to get when a huge percentage of your most-nominally-productive population are sitting idle, having given up hope that the economy will find a place for them.

(“But Mitch”, someone will no doubt say, “the workforce number reflects the number of baby-boomers that are retiring!”.  Sure, some of it.  But the percentage of Americans over 65 who are at work has actually risen – alone among the age groups – since the recession started.  And people drop off the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ figures after 70, so any retiring boomers will be out of the statistical picture momentarily, here…).