Unquestionable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Big fight over whether the Trump Administration can ask census respondents about their citizenship. The census is used to determine who gets seats in the House of Representatives. So the real issue becomes who are we counting them for?
If the House of Representatives is supposed to represent the citizens living in a district, then we need to know how many of the people responding to the census are citizens. They’re the only ones who should count in determining proportional representation.
If the House is supposed to represent all the residents of a district, then we don’t care about citizenship.
I strongly suspect this is a holdover from slavery days. Slaves didn’t count as full citizens for purposes of proportional representation. And neither do illegal aliens. But people who think they will pick up votes, want them to.
I doubt counting foreigners was the intent of the framers of the Constitution. I foubt counting illegal aliens was the intent of the Voting Rights Act. I think Americans all along, have wanted the House to represent the citizens who reside in the district, not everybody wandering through the district.
I don’t think the court should be meddling with that intent. Add the question.
Joe doakes

I coudln’t agree more. Of all the great scams that Big Left has foisted on us, positing open borders as “kindness” is the most cynical of all.

Priorities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My office assistant is a nice young lady, pink hair and piercings, knows nothing but she’s cheerful and shows up every morning, which is about as much as you can expect these days.
She complains that she has no money, living in her uncle’s basement cuz the rent is cheap, then says she has to take her kitten to the vet to be neutered. Wait a minute, you already have a bird and a dog, why’d you buy a kitten? Oh, she didn’t, someone gave her a free kitten but now she’s looking at vet bills that she can’t afford.
I didn’t even bother to suggest giving it to the animal shelter. I knew that would be unacceptable, because they kill animals that no one wants, and that’s cruel.
How do you explain to someone that their entire view of the world is slanted the wrong direction? If you can’t afford to support yourself, then you can’t afford to support any animals. And you certainly can’t afford to go clubbing in Minneapolis, or have your hair done a brighter color, or a new tattoo. No, just no. You can’t afford it. That’s not cruel, that’s just the way it is.
I am officially a fuddy-duddy.
Joe Doakes.

I’ve had more than a few conversations with “broke” (and woke? I dunno) Millennials with “Sleeves” of tattoos up and down their arms, and wondered “how much less broke would you be without that collection of tacky, tasteless, ugly ink all over you?”

Among other things.

Arsenal Of Hospitality

SCENE: Mitch BERG is taking a walk through a local winery, when he notices Avery LIBRELLE trying to open the tap at the bottom. He tries to reverse course, but LIBRELLE, as always, notices him.

LIBRELLE: Merg! You’re a racist misogynist!

BERG: Uh, OK. Why now?

LIBRELLE: On, no reason. It’s just my new greeting. But Trump is holding children in squalor on the border.

BERG: Separating kids from their parents is a bad thing. But this speaks to the same incompetence that covers most aspects of dealing with the bureaucracy. Nothing to see here.

LIBRELLE: We must treat pre-documented immigrants of color with the respect they deserve.

BERG: Question for you, Avery. Is the US the world’s policeman?

LIBRELLE: No. We can not solve all the world’s problems with the military.

BERG: OK. Are we the the world’s moral arbiter?

LIBRELLE: It is to laugh! We are the most corrupt, least just society on earth!

BERG: Huh. Is the spread of American culture through the world a good thing?

LIBRELLE: We have the most despicable culture there is, buried to its eyeballs in racism and hate. The world’s authentic cultures must be preserved.

BERG: Does the US have anything to teach the world?

LIBRELLE: How to be hateful and horrible.

BERG: So can we keep people from coming here, with or without regard to the law?

LIBRELLE: What are you, a fascist? Everyone has an absolute right to come to the US!

BERG: So if someone comes to this country illegally, or uses an exceptionally broad asylum statute to gain entry to this hateful, horrible, despicable, racist, corrupt, militaristic place, then we are in fact the world’s ATM machine?

LIBRELLE: Why yes! (Turns back to trying to open the tap on the fermentation keg).

BERG: I know I’ll hate myself for asking, but what are you doing?

LIBRELLE: Wine is an appropriation of California culture.

BERG: Of course it is.

And SCENE

Damned If The U Of M Does, Doesn’t

Program at the U of M helps transgender women…sound like women…:

“Every time [“Alice”, the transgender woman who is one of this story’s subjects] called [her grandmother] in high school, she would say, ‘Oh, your voice is getting deeper, you sound like you’re growing into such a nice man, you’re going to be like your dad,'” Alice said.
Those were painful words to hear [of course they were – Ed]. Alice remembers artificially raising the pitch of her voice to thwart her grandmother’s comments.
It wasn’t until years later that Alice realized she was transgender. She started to publicly transition during her senior year in college. She’s 23 now and recently graduated from a speech therapy program that helps transgender people safely adjust how they speak, so they can sound more like themselves.
“I’m at a point where for like 90 plus percent of the time, I’m happy with how I sound and how I’m perceived by other people,” Alice said. “This is something I never expected to be in a position of. And it’s really exciting.”

…but only the kind of women they approve of:

Alice did adopt some behaviors, such as using her hands differently when she spoke. But she refused to fall in line with gender norms she thought were antiquated or offensive.
“I am a feminist. I’m going to act like it. Just because this is a typical feminine behavior, if it is just a very patriarchal, like trying to silence and subdue women, I’m not going to do that,” Alice said. “It’s not worth it.”

Wait’ll the Progressive Powers that Be learn that people think they can turn their intesectional triggers on and off.

She’ll never do lunch in the Warehouse District again.

Intersectional Intersections On Top Of Intersectional Roundabouts

This American Life is a guilty…well, sometimes pleasure, sometimes intellectual hemorrhoid.  Either way, the guilt is real.  As is the pleasure, sometimes.

This piece was a pleasure in the sense that it showed the Escher drawing that is modern intersectionality, and the nightmare it leaves modern Democrats (darn), as vividly as anything I’ve heard recently.

The New Racket

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A refugee who wants to come to the United States can apply and wait for approval.  May take years.  Meanwhile, you sit in the refugee camp overseas.
A person who sneaks into the United States can apply for asylum.  Your approval also may take years.  But meanwhile, you’re released into the United States and given a work permit and relocation benefits. 
A person who sneaks into the United States and claims to be an unaccompanied minor seeking asylum, gets all of that plus extra cash and benefits. 
A person who sneaks into the United States and claims to be an unaccompanied minor trans-gender seeking asylum, gets all of that plus extra cash and benefits and now might receive even better preferential treatment.
No documentation is required for any of this stuff.  In fact, if you have it, it can be used against you.  So nobody has any papers when they arrive, the entire system is based on verbal claims.
Now I ax ya . . . if you wanted to get into the United States plus maximize your benefits, what story would you tell?   

The story that was given to you by those who want your vote in exchange, that’s who.

The Problem…

…with trying to run a society with the entitled cranks that make up so much of the modern left is that if you’re a consevative, they really, really hate you and the idea of sharing a society with you.

University of Texas “Anarchist” (really Maxarchist) group promises to “dox” students who joint the campus’s conservative organization:

“Hey #UT23! Do you wanna be famous? If you join YCT or Turning Point USA, you just might be. Your name and more could end up on an article like one of these,” the tweet said, linking to previous doxxing posts of conservative students at the school. “So be sure to make smart choices at #UTOrientation

There are times I wish I was still in school.

Diversion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York is ending the religious exception for vaccinations.
Do we really believe Orthodox Jews in New York are the ones bringing back once-eradicated diseases?  There’s no connection between illegal immigrants from sh**hole countries and rising cases of measles and tuberculosis?
This is the same logic as taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, or looking for your lost car keys under the street light.  It’s easier to find them.  But it doesn’t do any good.
Joe Doakes

Everything that isn’t banned is mandatory

March Of The Strawmen

Over the weekened, I listened to “It’s Been a Minute” with Sam Sanders – one of NPR’s many mad grabs for virtue-seeking relevance – and I heard a bit that simultaneously nauseated and thrilled me.

It’s at about 17:00 into this week’s broadcast.

But don’t worry – I listened to it, so you don’t have to.

Big Left is finding it necessary to rescue, reclaim and rehabilitate the word “Intersectionality”.

I thought about transcribing some quotes – but I’ll just leave it to y’all.

Because this is the sound of Big Left launching a counter-counter-attack in the culture war and the Battle for the Language.

Now We Have A Precedent. Ho Ho Ho.

Oberlin – perennial contender for the most obnoxiously “progressive” college in the country – gets hit with an $11 million defamation judgment after its social justice legion falsely accused a local bakery of racism:

A Lorain County jury ordered Oberlin to pay $11 million in compensatory damages to Gibson’s Bakery, a local fixture since 1885 that was beset by protests and racism allegations after three black students were arrested for shoplifting the day after the 2016 presidential election.
“The jury saw that Oberlin College went out of their way to harm a good family and longtime business in their community for no real reason, and the jury said we aren’t going to tolerate that in our community anymore,” Owen Rarric, an attorney for the Gibsons, told Legal Insurrection.

The award, which could triple at Tuesday’s hearing on punitive damages, came as a warning to universities that encourage social-justice activism as student protests spill from the campus to the local community.

The protests started after three black students were arrested for shoplifting.

And what of that?

Meanwhile, the three students pleaded guilty to shoplifting and aggravated trespass while issuing statements absolving the bakery of racism.
In 2017, Gibson’s sued the college for libel; tortious influence with business relationships and contracts, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, culminating in the nearly month-long trial in Elyria, Ohio.
“The students eventually pleaded guilty, but not before large protests and boycotts intended to destroy the bakery and defame the owners,” Mr. Jacobson said. “The jury appears to have accepted that Oberlin College facilitated the wrongful conduct against the bakery.”

Let the caterwauling about “chilling effecdts” begin.

More of this. Faster.

UPDATE: It’d seem Oberlin itself is doing its best to make sure more of this happens faster.

UPDATE 2: Oberlin costs $55K a year. Don’t you just love it when people with that kind of pedigree start yapping about other peoples’ “privilege”?

(Post title h/t Paul Havemann)

Snowflake Goes To Work

This epi of “Marketplace” – or, more specifically, its A-line feature on workplaces catering to (liberal) peoples’ politics – may have been one of the most depressing things I’ve heard lately.

It starts at 17:36.

The unstated coda to the piece: “progressive” America wants to “other” all dissent out of every aspect of life.

I just left a contract at a group that was less obnoxious about it than the preening virtue-signalers in the Marketplace piece – but not, I suspect, out of lack of wanting to be. And it got me thinking – for all the talk about “tribalism” – usually from the left, aimed at the likes of Trump supporters and Tea Partiers – it’s Big Left that really takes this stuff seriously.

Orgy Of Penitence

It seems to have become a bit of a ritual on the left to proclaim one’s guilt for…well, all the sins the Church of Intersectionalism recognizes. The louder the better. It’s a tradition that dates back to the Cultural Revolution; to denounce oneself before being denounced (not that that was necessarily protection).

Indeed, it seems to have become literally a religious observance.

Or, alternately, a form of mental illness.

What If You Declared A “Sex Strike” And Nobo…Er, Let Me Try That Again

Last week, amid news of several states’ abortion laws (intended to provoke SCOTUS-ready legal challenges to Roe V. Wade), one-time “actress” Alyssa Milano declared a “sex strike”.

It fared about as well as you’d expect.

And Milano – whose movie credits include “Who’s The Boss”, [NOTE TO MITCH: TRY TO CARE ABOUT ALYSSA MILANO’S “ACTING CAREER” LONG ENOUGH TO GET A LIST IN HERE BEFORE YOU PUBLISH THIS], and, uh, “Who’s The Boss”, reacted, well, about as well as you’d expect:

With states continuing to restrict abortions despite her #SexStrike protest, Alyssa Milano became so furious that she destroyed her own property, she admitted on Twitter Wednesday.
“I just threw my phone across the room. Cracked the screen. Read this. Please,” Milano tweeted, linking to CBS News story about an 11-year-old girl who couldn’t get an abortion because of Ohio’s “heartbeat bill.”… “Heartbeat bills,” which prohibit most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, have passed in four states this year, and Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday voted to effectively outlaw the procedure entirely. Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, was expected to sign the legislation.
Although none of the laws have gone into effect amid legal challenges, pro-choice advocates fear they will push the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1972 ruling enshrining the right to abortion.

She’s a former child star, and not used to getting her way. But then, progs are largely the same.

Question Authority

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The one question people never ask about transgender athletic competition is why.  Why do we have separate Boys’ and Girls’ sports?  If boys and girls are identical in every way that matters, with lifestyle differences simply a matter of personal choice that can be changed at whim, why don’t we have one competition for all?
Minnesota State High School record holders:
Boys’ 100-yard dash: 9.6
Girls’ 100-yard dash: 10.8
Boy’s Shot Put: 65 feet 6 inches
Girls’ Shot Put: 54 feet 8.5 inches.
It’s not about personal choice, it’s about biology.  The fastest girl is slower than every one of the top 10 boys.  The strongest girl’s throw is 11 feet shorter.  At the margin where champions are determined, girls cannot compete against boys.  It sucks.  It’s unfair.  But it’s reality.
People who deny reality are delusional.  We should not allow delusional people to make decisions affecting our children.

And if you ask the the question, the subject gets changed.

Every. Single. Time.

Definitions

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Management ordered Building Maintenance to turn down the heat to fight global warming and save the world. Employees complain they are freezing.
The maintenance guy uses a fancy electronic thermometer to verify the temperature is 68 degrees, precisely as ordered, therefore people can’t be cold.  He is mixing units.  Degrees are a measurement of heat activity, not of comfort. “68 degrees” and “chilly” are perfectly consistent descriptions of the same office space.
Americans have this problem on a broader scale, with politics. We don’t define what we’re measuring, so we can’t explain why we think America was once great and could be again, and why they think it was never great and won’t be until they replace it with something else.
Joe doakes

I think it’s more a matter of intentionally avoiding defining what we’re measuring.

Open Season

The Jussie Smollett case showed us that there’s a whole different set of rules for people who know the right people, politically.

Or at least, it shows it to people who’ve been hiding under a rock and are juuust starting to pay attention.

Prosecutors in Maryland have dropped even the most token charges against the woman who assaulted Kellyanne Conway while she tried to eat at a restaurant.

In short, Montgomery County prosecutors have usurped the role of lawmakers who criminalized assault and determined the range of penalties for it, and of judges who evaluate mitigating factors. Consider the statement of Montgomery State’s Attorney John McCormick:

Was this woman rude? Yes. Did she violate Ms. Conway’s space and try to embarrass her? Yes and yes. Is this a case where criminal sanctions would have been appropriate? No.

But wait! “This woman” did more than violate Conway’s space and try to embarrass her. She physically assaulted Conway. That’s a crime and should be treated as such.

The message sent by McCormick is clear: Montgomery County residents can assault conservatives and Trump administration officials with impunity here. There has been a wave of confrontations by leftists of such figures in the Washington, D.C. area. Montgomery County is saying that it’s okay during these confrontations to grab and shake the target.

Of course, the Woody Kaine case in Saint Paul – where the son of the Democrat veep candidate and his “Anti”-Fa pals didn’t even get slapped on the wrist for an incredibly violent assault – already showed it to anyone who’s paying attention; in Blue America, even the apparatus of “law enforcement” is doing its part to “other” non-“progressive”thoughts, institutions, and ultimately people.

When The “Context” Is Worse Than The “Smear”

What the heck – let’s make *everyone* angry.

Rep. Omar has been taking flak over a video in which she says:

“[the Council on American Islamic Relations] was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Now, the local media and the Associated Press leapt into action to tell the reader that the video is edited to show the remark out of context – which is great, and would be even better if they’d be as diligent on being honest about context on both sides of the aisle. And no, they are not. Only for Democrats.

But it’s true. Here’s the part that came before:

“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it”

The part the GOP oppo researchers clipped out basically makes the remark in the video just a little bit dishonest. Let’s be honest – Omar is not an articulate woman, and it’s easy to nitpick peoples’ statements after the fact. And for those of you who’ve never had to try to operate on a functional, much less professional, level in a language other than your native one, don’t get too cocky

And of course, the media *are* dishonest when they fail to give the same fact-checking diligence to similar smears against conservatives. They fact that they do not – nearly never – is itself proof of corrosive media bias.

But here’s the deal – Omar’s original, in-context statement is even worse than the part in the video.

Second class citizens? Please.

Name a country in the world in which Muslim immigrants have been treated *better*, and been able to more thoroughly integrate into society, than the US? Not “claiming asylum” and “getting benefits”, mind you – actually getting accepted in a society and prospering? In what country in the world, with or without a massive terrorist attack by their radical coreligionists, have they been *more* welcomed and, when they so choose, prospered and enjoyed the *real* benefits of our society *more* than in the US?

Because one can not “become” German or French or Swedish. You can immigrate. You can learn the language, send your kids to school, become a citizen, get a job maybe – but being a German or Dane or Pole or Italian is a matter of birth, language, shared history and ethnicity.

You CAN *become* American – and most Muslim immigrants to the US (Somali teething problems notwithstanding) have, and vastly more successfully than in Europe, which is why there are no “no go” Muslim neighborhoods in the US (and none can every be allowed to happen – for them or any other ethnic group).

What she *actually* said was more ungrateful, more disgusting, more un-American than what the video actually showed.

(This post is about Rep. Omar. Not Islam at large. The usual wave of taqqiyah-theory memes will be purged without comment. Don’t waste your energy. Stay on topic, or find someone else to yap at).

Miserably Woke

One of the reasons I’m such a yuge fan of Dennis Prager is his weekly “Happiness Hour” – in which he talks not only about the practice and moral imperative of being happy (hint:  it’s not just for you), but about the struggle to become happy.

One of his sayings, and his advice, on the subject comes close to an old Hungarian saying I’ve been fond of most of my adult life; “the best way to become wealthy is to appear as if you already are”.   Prager notes that this basic philosophy applies to so very much in life – about getting in shape, about falling or staying in love with one’s partner, and of course happiness.

There’s some science to the premise as well.  There’s a reason that disciplines from music to the military drill one endlessly on things they want to impress into the human brain – because almost nobody plays a piano scale or a guitar chord or clears a rifle jam automatically or intuitively.  But if you drill on them often enough, they become what people call “second nature”, because your brain develops space – neural pathways – for them.

Happiness works a little like that.  Not entirely – being happy isn’t quite as easy as playing a first-position “F” chord – but the idea of wiring the brain to be something isn’t all that conceptually different.

I believe you can push yourself toward happiness.  There’s some science, not to mention thousands of years of human experience, to support the premise.   It’s basic cognitive psychology.

And since one can wire one’s brain to be many good things via practice – a musician, a soldier, a happy person, whatever – it stands to reason you can do the same with unhappy, useless, miserable, depressing things.

Having raised, and working with roomful of, millennials, I’ve observed that the generation seems to collect psychological and psychiatric maladies in young adulthood the same way they used to collect Pokemon cards in childhood.  “I’ve got mild self-diagosed bipolar, which beats your dysthymia and separation anxiety!”.

Modern academia and media preach some miserable stuff to the kids; a common refrain among the young ‘uns is what a miserable world the “boomers” “left” them, with the misery being expressed in terms of climate change, the changing economy and, er, Trump.

And the few times I engage on the subject I mention that I can kind of relate – when I was a kid, the worries were nuclear war and overpopulation.  Of course, there actually were nuclear weapons all about the place, including 25 miles from my hometown, and there were still famines happening.   The nukes are mostly gone, and the obesity is a bigger problem among the poor than famine for the first time in human history.

And our presidents – Nixon and Carter – actually were corrupt and incompetent (respecively).   So compared with the world I grew up in, my kids have it pretty decent.

But I digress.

I thought about the way the world – academia, entertainment, the media – seem to be wiring the younger generation to be a bunch of dysfunctional, whiny mopes when I read this sad, pathetic story about a guy of color who dumped his perfectly good white girlfriend because, well, read the story.

Or don’t.  Maybe you’ll be happier if your brain doesn’t rewire itself just a little bit wrong with that little bit of dysfunction.

Or make yourself a little happier by considering that if this is all the younger generation has to fret about, we’ve done a good job.

Money + Mouth

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I confidently expect your Progressive readers to support Utah’s new law restricting abortions, under the theory of state’s rights the Left is using to propose restrictions on firearms.  Looking forward to it. 
Joe Doakes

Pointing out logical and moral inconsistencies in “progressives” is a little like solving Rubik’s cubes. You can do it a lot, and you can do it fast, and you an do it all day – and in the end, it’s pretty much just kept you occupied.

Mid-Terms For Our Modern Age

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Here is Question One on the Mid-Term Exam for the 1-credit class:  “Making Literature Relevant.”
1.  Explain how China’s Social Credit system is completely different from, and totally superior, to the Puritan attitudes described in The Scarlet Letter.  For extra credit, describe why and how a similar system could be implemented in Minnesota.
Joe Doakes

MILLENNIAL: “Scarlet Letter? What’s a letter? Also – what’s Scarlet?”