Ryan Winkler Should Thank George Takei

Because Winkler is no longer the most ineptly, tone-deafly racist commentator in recent American history.

I’ve had the odd chuckle as George “Mr. Sulu” Takei has oozed back into a wry, giggly mainstream prominence.  He can be a funny guy.  And he’s got an interesting story; growing up in an internment camp, building a career in Hollywood at a time when an Asian couldn’t get a break, yadda yadda.

But someone’s gotta slap him:

In a nasty, racist rant captured by a Fox affiliate in Arizona, former Star Trek actor-turned-gay rights activist George Takei lashed out at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, calling him a “clown in black face.”

Here, a man who became famous sitting on a TV set pushing fake buttons and saying “Warp Factor Five, Aye-Aye” and running a snarky but occasionally hilarious Facebook account, gaysplains to one of America’s most accomplished jurists…

…not only using terms that are groaning with racist baggage, but also legally full of Roddenberry dust.  Thomas is, unfortunately for Takei, correct.  The Obergefell decision was, like Roe V. Wade, conjuring up law from nothing – or, worse than nothing, pure emotion.

Back to snarking on Facebook, George.

Bills

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I overheard a young woman in the building talking on the phone in the break-room.  She’s stressed out today.  She thought she was current on her debt consolidation loan but the bank claims she’s been a month behind for ages.  Out of every $60 payment she makes, $40 goes to interest and $15 to late fees which means the principal has hardly been touched.  She and her live-in boyfriend have no more available credit and can’t get caught up because neither of them have an extra $60 that isn’t already promised to someone else.

I remember those days, when my family was young and struggling, when $60 was not a modest dinner at Red Lobster but an insurmountable obstacle.  Seems like a lifetime ago.  I suppose everybody must go through it – no other way to learn sacrifice, delayed gratification, habits of thrift.

Unless you’re a politician.  Then you just spend whatever you like on whatever you want.  Must be nice.

Joe Doakes

 

Quote Of The Day

I thought this was both appropriate and daunting:

“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”
— George Orwell

These days, it’s the only duty we’re going to have time to do.

Doakes Sunday: Freedom From Offense

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Black people in South Carolina were shot. A bar in St. Paul displays a Confederate Battle flag. Matthew Steen is upset enough to write to City Pages and also to Yelp.

Our Boy Steen’s “logic” confuses me.

The bar owner didn’t shoot those people. The bar owner’s flag didn’t shoot them. Nobody who ever went into the bar and saw the flag, shot them. If the flag had never been in the bar, they’d still have been shot. If the bar owner pulled the flag down today, they’d remain shot.

So what’s the point?

The Battle Flag is a symbol of hatred? Even if that were true, so what? Are we suggesting that if nobody displayed the flag, there’d be no hatred so nobody would get shot ever again?

The Battle Flag is a symbol of the Confederacy, an extinct nation with offensive practices? Even if that were true, so what? The swastika is a symbol of Nazi Germany, the hammer and cycle is a symbol of the Soviet Union and the rainbow flag is a symbol of Sodom, all extinct nations with offensive practices. Forbidding those flags’ display cannot change the historical fact of those nations’ existence.

Looks to me like a case of moral preening. Enlightened Matthew from Eden Prairie is so well educated, so well mannered, so superbly refined that he simply can’t bear to be in the same room with such crass, ignorant people and their crass, ignorant decor. And it’s important to him that we all know it. Because he’s just that special.

Wow. And people think I’m a conceited ass.

Joe Doakes

Words have meanings, and so do symbols.  I can see avoiding a place festooned with swastikas on the principle of it all.

The self-righteous snit is, of course, the part we’re discussing.

OK, not “discussing” so much as “mocking”.

All Hail The Philosopher Kings

On the one hand, I think marriage has existed in its “traditional form” – guy/s and gal/s raising the kids – for thousands of years for pretty significant reason.

On the other hand, in a secular society, sure – let same-sex couples get together, sign a contract, and call it whatever they want. (

On the other other hand, if I ever do get married again, I am not going to bother with a state license. Still – I am not the most violent opponent of gay marriage; I barely support straight marriage, to be honest.

Up ’til yesterday, the thing that bothered me most about the gay marriage “debate” was that it wasn’t a debate; it was a growing minority browbeating the rest of society into submission. If I had a buck for every time I heard “If you don’t support gay marriage for whatever reason, you’re a bigot”, I wouldn’t need to work for a living. (That, and the fallacy that marriage is “about love”).

But today is another day.

The SCOTUS decision is awful – and it would be awful even if it proclaimed a right to keep and bear machine guns, or something else I support without reservation.

Gary Miller put it better on his Facebook page – and since most of you can’t see that, I’m going to pull the money quote:

There is…no right to homosexual marriage in the 14th Amendment or hiding under any magical penumbra thereof. In fact, there is no right to heterosexual marriage enshrined in the Constitution. The document is entirely silent on the matter and, as such, it should have been left to the 13 remaining states to have been shamed into the truth or – alternatively – to govern themselves in a way contrary to the popular zeitgeist and suffer any societal consequences (or benefits as the case may be).
Democracy lost, judicial fiat won, and the culture wars shall continue unabated. Yay, Court.

It’s another step on the path from being a federalist representative republic to a philosopher-kingdom. At best.

The answer, of course, is electing a continuous series of legislatures and Presidents that have the wisdom and cohesion to push back on the Imperial Court. Which seems, today, about as likely as me pitching a called third strike on Torii Hunter.

PS:  All you “progressives” who were whinging about the “legitimacy” of the SCOTUS after Citizens United – anything to add?

PPS:  The decision says the right to marriage is “fundamental” – which, since it’s not reserved to anyone in the Constitution, is reserved to the states and/or people by the Tenth Amendment.  OK, fine…

…but if marriage is an inalienable right, then why isn’t life itself an inalienable right?

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Prodded by the outburst from the peevish, moralistic hipster in this week’s City Page, I met a couple of friends at the Gopher Bar last night.

Unlike most of the “dive bars” so beloved of today’s hipsters, it actually is kind of a dive.  It reminds you of that one bar on mainstreet in every small town in the Midwest – the Wonder Bar in Jamestown, the Ace in Carrington, the Sportsman in Thief River Falls, or fill in the blank in whatever town of less than 20,000 you can think of.

Although the Gopher is a little like that guy every talk radio station used to have back in the eighties, back before talk radio was political, who used to want to offend a little bit of everyone as his gimmick.

Even the front door has something to piss of both liberal and “libertarian” hipsters:

…although their sentiments are pretty clear.

Still, the place doesn’t take itself all that seriously…:

…certainly not nearly as seriously as the kinds of hipsters who write letters to the City Pages (most of whose staff couldn’t find the Gopher Bar, or Saint Paul, if it occurred to them to try).

Of course, while the City Pages doesn’t know much about Saint Paul, the Gopher has read the City Pages.  The staff had heard plenty about the letter to the editor.

And so there it is – the worst flag in the world, without which all racism would disappear:

Of course, if the petulant hipster had turned around, he’d have noticed two more, flanking an apparently racist sailfish.

And there was one other thing the hipster might have noticed had he turned around, observed, and shut his precious yapper; African-American customers.

There were no less than seven in the house when I was there last night (no, I didn’t take pictures of people who just wanted to have a coney and mind their own business).

By the way, that’s seven more African-Americans than have ever worked for the City Pages.

They were no more there to see and be seen than and my dinner companions were.  They were there, like us, for a beer, a coney and fries for under $10.  And as much as I personally hate chili dogs (lots and lots and lots.  Don’t test me on this), the Coneys at the Gopher are really, really tasty.

I know – not a great picture. But trust me; the Coney is as tasty as the photo is blurry.

Anyway – keeping ahead of the ire of Twin Cities social justice warriors is introducing me to some great eats (as I discovered at the River Oasis last summer).

Keep ’em coming, Warriors!

Fake But Inaccurate

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Let’s talk about liars.

Progressives claim they speak Truth to Power to effect Change.  They view themselves as warriors for social justice, all members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, bravely pounding out their messages of hate in the service of a Higher Calling: Hope and Change.  For these courageous soldiers in the war on Everything Traditional, no tactic is too extreme, not even the Fake Review.

Suppose a Non-Progressive author has a new book on Amazon.  Suppose it’s getting great reviews from customers who bought the book and actually read it.  That can’t be allowed to continue . . . innocent readers might believe the high ratings, purchase the book and have their minds polluted with Non-Progressive Thinking.  Plainly, it is the duty of every good SJW to fight those high ratings by posting their own one-star reviews.   That will bring down the average rating to the point where innocents will conclude the book sucks and they won’t buy it, which will not only preserve blank minds to be filled with Progressive indoctrination, but also will hurt the Non-Progressive author’s wallet in the form of lost sales – a two-fer!

We saw that last spring, with the controversy over the River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater posting a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts; Yelp readers from all over the country who couldn’t possibly have ever visited the place left scathing, often disgusting and scatological, reviews on the online restaurant review site.  Dissent must be crushed.

Continue reading

Cis-Schlub

Rachel Dolezal has “identified” as black since she was 5.

I’ve “identified” as a Chicago Bears middle linebacker, an F-15 pilot, as James Honeyman-Scott (albeit not dead) and as a very wealthy guy since I was 6, 12, 16 and 35, respectively.

Let’s show those cis-athletes, cis-pilots, cis-rock starts and cis-plutocrats who’s boss, shall we?

Where’s The Beef?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Just got this email from Administration:

 

***

 

If you plan to attend the employee BBQ and haven’t responded, please do so by tomorrow at 4:30pm so we have a count for food. Please bring your $5 to [redacted] or I by Wednesday June [redacted].  We will have beef, turkey and veggie hot dogs to choose from.

 

***

 

I notice the hot-dog menu is Pork-Free, no doubt in sensitivity to our Jewish and Muslim staff.  They’re having trouble getting turnout from everybody else.  Wonder why?

 

Joe Doakes

You mean people pay attention to the meat that’s in hot dogs?

Privilege

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A friend has a Facebook page. He linked to this

Immediately, a Black woman responded: “People will stop talking white privilege when society doesn’t provide significant benefits to one group for arbitrary reasons. Until then, we have a problem…unless you’re a white male and you’re the one getting all the privileges at the expense of others.”

From her Facebook page, she went to Howard, then DePaul for a JD/MBA and lives in a giant house in Maryland.

I’m thinking of writing a comment to my friend, saying “Geez, dude, why did you join the military to pay for college? Why didn’t you swing by the Office of Giving Free Stuff To White Men for your college degree? Could have picked up the keys to your Lexus and home in the suburbs while you were at it (the house used to come with a free Mexican to handle the yard work but that program was cut under Bush, the bastard).”

I won’t, because on the off chance that she’s a civil rights lawyer affirmatively actioned into the Justice Department to sue White males for Eric Holder, I don’t want to get my friend in trouble.

Can’t have a dialogue with a person like that. Her “dialogue” assumes facts not in evidence and she’s not interested in hearing them.

Racial tension is worse than any time since the Civil War and yet Blacks have never had it better.

Hmmm, I see there’s a civil rights complaint against Harvard

for discriminating against Asians in favor of Blacks. It seems Harvard has been providing significant benefits to one group at the expense of others, for arbitrary reasons. Can we start that dialogue about privilege now?

Joe Doakes

A leader in the local “Black Lives Matter” movement is fond of invoking “white privilege” when she’s stumped in an argument. Which gives us the fax fascinating juxtaposition of a woman with a tenured academic job for life hectoring people in the private job market about “privilege”.

The Bulletin Factory Releases A Bulletin

News Flash from our “Elite” Media:  people who grow up realizing, via their own precocious cognition or through family tradition, pressure or persuasion, that attending an “elite” school gives one a disproportionate shot at “elite” jobs, have a vastly disproportionate shot at getting “elite jobs”:

Lauren A. Rivera, an associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has been looking at investment banks, consulting firms and law firms for the last decade for her upcoming book “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs.”

Rivera spent nine months as an ethnographer in one of these top firms, observing every aspect of the hiring process. She points out the firms may be missing out on top talent.

Well, duh.

In fact, the 99.99% of America that didn’t attend an Ivy League school knows that. The main benefit of going to an Ivy isn’t so much the education – Matt Yglesias went to Harvard, and with that I rest my case.

No – the main benefit is access to the most important benefit; the alumni directory.

“If you want the best and the brightest regardless of social background, if you’re not systematically looking at over half the best and brightest because they don’t qualify in terms of social background, that is not necessarily an equitable or open process,” she says.

Now, I bring this up not because it’s a revelation – please – but because it’s a product of National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program.

Which is a bit of irony – since getting a job at any level of National Public Radio (or any other big Public Radio system) is entirely about having the right alma mater, the right connections, and at times the right politics.

Expectations

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals see themselves as fighting The Man to achieve Justice for the Oppressed. No tactic is unconscionable when the ends justify the means. Call these people Social Justice Warriors.

SJWs complained there weren’t enough women executives in the video game industry; as soon as they got hired, they insisted on changing the product to reduce the violence and sexism that male video game customers wanted to buy. Sales plummeted.

SJWs got control of the Hugo Award for Science Fiction books and insisted the award be given to stories featuring Progressive gay themes instead of spaceships and laser beams. Sales plummeted.

Gamer-gate and Sad Puppies are organized campaigns of traditionalists pushing back against encroachment by the Left. They are relentlessly savaged in the media for it.

SJWs want the Boy Scouts to let gay men sleep in tents with boys and since they won’t, the Left punishes the Boy Scouts at every turn. The Catholic Church is full of gay men having sex with boys so that part is okay with SJWs, but the Catholic Church still isn’t fully on board with women killing their own children so the Church is still the most passionately hated organization in Minnesota. Yes, even more than the National Rifle Association.

“Live and let live” is dead. “March in lockstep” is the new model. Because . . . freedom.

Joe Doakes

The society you thought we were trying to emulate when we were growing up (if you’re over 40) has been flipped on its head.

Balance

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A former colleague was laid off last year, he’s been struggling. He writes:

***

Applied for a job with [unit of government name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a person of color to achieve diversity in the workforce.

Applied for a job with [downtown law firm name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a gay person.

Applied for a job with [corporate headquarters name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a woman.

Just once, I’d like to be judged on the content of my character.

I have a dream . . . .

***

Silly middle-aged White Male; dreams are for kids.

Joe Doakes

That’s so 1963…

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.

The Kids Are Not So Hot

On the one hand, this article in the HuffPo – which bemoans the notion that new college graduates can’t afford an apartment in the 25 “most desirable” cities – is apparently written by people who were on allowances from wealthy families (emphasis added):

Entry level salaries coupled with sky-high rents in the country’s most desirable cities often makes finding a place more of a headache than a happy ending.

As experts at Trulia found, new grads can’t really afford to live anywhere among the country’s 25 largest rental markets. While the median annual income for new grads ranges from about $16,000 to about $41,000 in these cities, the income needed to afford median rent is two to three times that — assuming grads don’t want to spend more than 31 percent of their income on rent.

On the one hand:  Median income?  The price in the middle of the range?

Who are the posh little fops who move straight into the middle of the housing market right out of school?

And since when do new college grades move into apartments alone, much less in the middle of the market?  Get a damn roommate.  Or move to a less “desirable” city!

On the other hand, looking at the list of cities that college grads (or the poor, or the middle class) can’t afford to live in, I think I detect a pattern:

Yes.  I believe I do.

Governor Congeniality

Senator Thompson – who will be a guest on the NARN on Saturday – pretty well nailed the Governor’s tantrum:

And Andy Aplikowski, on Facebook, made the sterling point that Governor Dayton is touring the state trying to convince Minnesotans he “cares about children”…

…with his Lieutenant Governor, Tina Flint-Smith, former executive butcherette of Planned Parenthood (aka “The Vandalia Abattoir”).

Let Them Eat Paper

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Divorce case recently appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, sent back for more fact-finding on this question: were the parties even married? The Court of Appeals’ reasoning infuriates me.

When you fled to Thailand in 1975 to escape the Communists after the Americans abandoned Southeast Asia, and you got “married” to this guy that you met in a refugee camp, did you file a marriage certificate with the Thailand government? No? Well, then, the fact you’ve lived together for 40 years, had six kids together, filed married tax returns and owned real estate in Minnesota is interesting trivia but really, lady, if you can’t be bothered to fill out the proper forms, we have no sympathy for you at all. Shacking up with a guy – even with the tribal elders’ blessing – doesn’t give you the privilege to use the Minnesota divorce court. You can’t get divorced if you were never legally married.

Dude. It’s a refugee camp. There IS no government. And if there were, you’d be a fool to bring attention to yourself. No self-respecting government would issue a marriage certificate without a birth certificate, proof of residency, passport stamps showing legal entry, resident alien visa and payment of appropriate fees to every bureaucrat . . . none of which is possible in a war zone. You couldn’t get “legally” married even if you wanted to. It’s a REFUGEE camp.

Oh, and your husband claims you were already married to another guy when he married you. Well, yes, the guy who stayed behind to cover our escape. No, I don’t have a death certificate but I strongly suspect he was captured by the Pathet Lao so what do you think happened to him? No, I didn’t serve him with a Divorce Summons; there was nobody crazy enough to go back to serve it so I could get divorced while I was struggling to survive IN THE REFUGEE CAMP.

It’s as if these judges lived all their lives in safe, comfortable First World suburbs where the biggest disruption in life is weak Wi-Fi signal; they literally cannot conceive of a place where there are no forms to complete, no pens to complete them, no office to file them in.

Madness.

Joe Doakes

What happened to official Minnesota’s vaunted “cultural sensitivity?”

Evolution

Joe Doakes from Como Oark emails:

Years ago, men and women served in different branches of the military. Discipline was strictly enforced. Sexual harassment was unknown.

Years ago, men and women attended different colleges, or at least lived in different dormitories. Chaperones were strictly enforced. Campus rape was unknown.

Today, men and women are bunked side-by-side in the military and in college dormitories. Discipline and chaperones are unknown. One in five women will be raped on campus and the Army’s number one mission is preventing sexual assault in the ranks.

These societal enhancements were brought to us by Progressives. Isn’t Progress wonderful?

Joe Doakes

i’m pretty sure he’s being extremely sarcastic.

The Ultimate Inequity

Preface: I frequently joke that progressives have developed a habit of turning todays’ satire into tomorrow’s policy.

Conservatives have long known that, no matter what a family’s income level, the best way to stack the odds in a kid’s favor is to:

  • Have the kids in wedlock
  • Stay together
  • Actually raise the kids

Poor families that do this have kids who stand a decent chance of making it out of poverty.  Rich families who don’t often have kids that slide right back down the economic ladder.

You’d think this’d be something that no “progressive” would, or could, mess with.

And you’d be wrong; a couple of (naturally) Ivy League philosophers are pondering the notion that a strong, loving family background is just unfair:

‘I had done some work on social mobility and the evidence is overwhelmingly that the reason why children born to different families have very different chances in life is because of what happens in those families.’

Once he got thinking, [philosopher Adam] Swift could see that the issue stretches well beyond the fact that some families can afford private schooling, nannies, tutors, and houses in good suburbs. Functional family interactions—from going to the cricket to reading bedtime stories—form a largely unseen but palpable fault line between families. The consequence is a gap in social mobility and equality that can last for generations.

So, what to do?

According to Swift, from a purely instrumental position the answer is straightforward.

‘One way philosophers might think about solving the social justice problem would be by simply abolishing the family. If the family is this source of unfairness in society then it looks plausible to think that if we abolished the family there would be a more level playing field.’

Quite a few conservative critics stop with that quote – Swift doesn’t advocate abolishing the family or the role of parents (which isn’t to say he doesn’t support a radical redefinition of “family”, either).

But the “philosophers” (and the ABC reporter who wrote the story, Joe Gelonese) had a choice of angles to take: either “intact, involved families have a positive effect”, or “intact, involved families are unfair”.  And in the world, and with the media culture, we have today, the most depressing thing about this story is that it doesn’t surprise me they took the angle they did.

Had It Coming

Is Pam Geller too provocative?

Geller – a long-time critic, it’s fair to say, of radical Islam and a fair chunk of the rest of Islam as well – has long been a lightning rod for the Political Correctness police, which isn’t in and of itself a bad thing.  I do think she goes to excessive pains to antagonize Islam.

So, naturally, does the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which may have existed for a good reason at one point, but today serves mostly as the supreme procurator of the PC Police.

Of course, Geller doesn’t go to nearly the pains that Chris “VIrgin Mary rendered in Elephant Dung” Ofili or Andres “Piss Christ” Serrano or Peter “Let’s Allow Abortions Through Age 1″ Singer went to antagonize Christians, naturally.

And Ofili and Serrano’s days in the artistic sun came and went before the Internet suffused all of American culture, it’s not a stretch to believe that some keyboard commando, somewhere, threatened them.  And I’m sure Singer – still a professor, naturally – gets some utterly rhetorical abuse.

But last I checked, they’re all alive.  And no gangs of Christian thugs burst into their respective “art” exhibits or “classes” and handed down the mayhem.

But Garland was one of many bloody attacks in the past decade on people who regard Mohammed with the same irreverence most Westerners approach God.

And they were the second planned shooting that used the SPLC’s list of “hate groups” as a hit list.

Our Silly Cultural Conscience

“Rape culture” warriors have been reading the labels on our beer bottles. And by “our beer bottles”, I actually mean “beer I would never drink in a million years”.

But I digress.

Bud Light ‘s new marketing slogan, anyway, is raising eyebrows on the brows of the easily brow-raisable::

“The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night #UpForWhatever” That’s the tagline printed on a Bud Light bottle and photographed by a sharp-eyed Reddit user late last night. Since then it’s ignited a flurry of criticism on social media, where people are saying that a slogan like that promotes rape culture

“Rape culture ” may or may not be a problem. But ” ‘rape culture’ culture” certainly is.
.