Negotiation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Asylum seekers legally prohibited from working, decline voluntary work that generate favorable PR, demand minimum wage instead.

 Gee, maybe Mark Dayton can talk to Angela Merkel about getting some of those folks to move here.

 Joe Doakes

Soon they’ll be going door to door for MPIRG.

ExpIt!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

So – did British unemployment “really” fall following Brexit?  That was entirely contrary to expert predictions.  

 Or did the government massage the figures to hide the decline, as we do in the United States?

 Joe Doakes

Weird.

I’m sure there must be some mistake.

From Thin Air

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is ordering a cup of coffee and a bagel.

Brian FURIOUS, liberal opionblogger for “”MinnesotaLIberalAlliance.blogspot.com”, walks into the coffee shop.

FURIOUS:  Merg!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Brian…

FURIOUS:  I am Brian Furious, defender of fact, crusader of truth!

BERG:  Right.  Or…hey, Brian.

FURIOUS:  Don’t you deny it!  You’ve been writing about Ilhan Omar!

BERG:  Well, mostly I’ve been doing a combination of writing about people writing about Ilhan Omar, and writing about people writing about people writing about Ilhan Omar.  There’s a bit of a difference.

FURIOUS:  What you did was engage in race-baiting, saying that if someone comes to the US they should learn our laws and abide by them,

BERG:  We’ll come back to the “race-baiting” red herring in a bit.  But as re the other bit – you mean, like “learn and abide by our laws” like everyone who comes to the US – or, for that matter, goes to other countries – is supposed to do?

FURIOUS:  That’s not news!

BERG:  Not sure what you mean.  It’s not news that immigrants, like citizens, are supposed to follow the law?

Or do you mean the Ilhan Omar story?   Because it seems like there just might be some news there.  Even the mainstream liberal media seems to think so.

FURIOUS:  But you admitted you probably wouldn’t adhere to laws requiring a marriage license!

BERG:  Well, yeah – like Ms. Omar, I believe that marriages in one’s faith tradition that ignore state licensing are perfectly legitimate.   And, by the way, it’s not “illegal” to eschew the state license.

Anyway, let me repeat the important part; I defended Ilhan Omar’s “marriage in her faith tradition“, while noting that her explanation still left some questions.

You seem to have trouble recognizing that fact.  Perhaps you’re racist?

FURIOUS:  You’re just saying it’s about being “foreign” is just taking a change to stoke anti-immigrant fears and is, yes, race-baiting!   You’re demeaning her, and with her other Somalis for whom she’s an emblem because of her ethnicity.  You’re claiming it’s her “foreign-ness” which is the problem. 

BERG:  Er, yeah – I’d heard you wrote that.  The thing is,  I’ve never mentioned Ilhan’s “foreign-ness”, never alluded to it in anything I’ve ever written or said, never even hinted about it.  It’s a fabrication.

FURIOUS:  No, it’s not!

BERG:  Well, given that I’m supporting Abimalik Askar – a Somali immigrant – in the race for the seat, let’s just say it’s kinda weird.   So – if Ms. Omar’s “foreign-ness” is a problem, wouldn’t that of Mr. Askar – who is from the exact same place – also be a problem?

FURIOUS:  Clearly, Askar is not Somali!

BERG:  He was born in Somalia, and immigrated to the US in 1993.

FURIOUS:  Then it stands to reason you hate him too!

BERG:  Er, no – I’ve interviewed him on my show, and I’ll do it again.  He’s a very sharp guy and is quite clearly the best candidate for the job of any ethnic origin.

FURIOUS:  But he’s a ReTHUGliican!  Clearly he must hate Somalis!

BERG:  Huh.  Hey – look!  A shiny object!

[BERG slips quietly away as FURIOUS furiously whips his head around]

[And SCENE]

The Kids Are Not Really Alright

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I get calls from people wanting to know how to fix problems with real estate title documents, almost always sound like 20-something women, who treat commas as question marks with a rising voice inflection.  It’s painful to listen long enough that I can give the obvious answer.

 “Hi.  My name is Kelli?  From Big Title Company?  I just have a quick question and I’m hoping you can help me.”

 “Okay.”

 “We have this customer?  And she got married?  And changed her name?  But she used her old name on the documents and the County won’t accept them for recording because the name doesn’t match.”

“Okay.”

 “So how do we fix that?”

 “Throw them away and start over.  Do it right this time.”

 Maybe the hesitancy is a generational thing, afraid to make a statement that someone might pounce on as offensive?  I don’t notice it with male callers or older women. 

 Joe Doakes

I don’t know.

But I do know the Millennial generation is on track to replace the Baby Boomers as the most overanalyzed, overhyped generation in history.

Grammar And Usage

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This headline bugs me.  “Former Somali refugee poised to serve. . . .”  

 “Former” means “isn’t anymore.”  It’s a word that modifies another.  A person who retired and moved to Florida would be a “former Minnesotan.”

 Here’s the thing: in my world, “former” only modifies one word at a time.  So if she’s a Former Somali, then she’s something else, maybe American?

 But is she still a refugee?  How – she’s lived here long enough to become a citizen and win an election.  Or is she a Former Somali Former Refugee?

Or is she still Somali because that’s a Good Thing (like being Irish) but she’s a former refugee so the headline should read Somali Former Refugee?

 Joe Doakes

While I’m pretty sure adjectives can modify noun phrases – like “Somali Refugee” or “cluelss Liberal” – I take the point.

Optimism

Kurt Schlichter is predicting a dem meltdown.

Conclusion:

Nineteen sixty-eight was the year normal Americans saw the Democrats for what they were, and that’s the danger for them in 2016 too – that normal Americans will be reminded about what a circus of welfare-chiseling, race-obsessed, work-averse, baby-shredding freaks the Democrat party is.

So keep fighting for purity, Democrats – your painful cramming to pass your dozens of litmus tests is going to provide us with endless amusement. And don’t worry about us Republicans – it’s actually pretty easy to pass ours. You’re disqualified if you have ever given money or a medal to Hillary Clinton. After that, we can talk.

Amid all the predictions that this would be the end of the GOP – and I’m not happy with things, truth be told – this could turn out much worse for the Dems.

By Gaslight

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m old enough that having amateur debaters attempt to play their tricks on me has become tiresome.  In a recent on-line exchange, my opponent said “I can see you have a lot of anger on this issue.  You need help.”  Nice try, but no cigar.  I know that trick and it no longer works on me.

 Accusing me of being angry is a rhetorical device intended to disqualify my opinion by implying that I’m not rational, I’m hysterical.  It’s also intended to thereby divert attention from the hollowness of my opponent’s intellectual position and therefore acts as an admission that her position IS hollow since, if my opponent had a worthwhile argument to make, she’d have made it; the fact she didn’t make one is compelling evidence she had none to make.

 My response was along the lines of: “Don’t snivel.  It’s not seemly to sit there bawling when you’ve been bested.  Stiff upper lip!  Oh, you weren’t crying?  Of course not, no more than I was angry, so let’s both can drop the posturing.  Talk sense if you have it; if not, shut up.”

 Didn’t want that person as a “friend” anyway.

 Joe Doakes

“People who believe as you do are often compensating for something, ifyaknowhatImean.”

“Yes,  We’re compensating for the fact that there are a lot of stupid, evil people in the world.  Oh, as to the blue reference, you “know what I mean” in only the most abstract possible sense, ifyaknowwhatImean.

Mother Nature

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, a child born out of wedlock was illegitimate and not entitled to support from the father.  Fear for her child kept women from straying which contributed to social stability.  Apparently, it’s not just a human thing.

 Too bad the birdbrains who changed our laws are not as smart as sparrows.

 Joe Doakes

The first step to saving our society may be a game show for our politicians and media stars called “Are You Smarter Than A Small Bird?”

I’m afraid we’d have to run qualifiers through a round of “Are You Smarter Than An Invertebrate?”

I’m Sure…

this will turn out to be more right-wing conservative Christian violence.  Or maybe those elusive pro-life Tea Partiers.

Over thirty dead and counting in Istanbul.

Darn that NRA.

Not to snark overly much; I’ve always felt somewhat close to Turkey.  My mom lived there for several years, back in the nineties.

Just waiting to see what kind of “workplace violence” our State Department or Administration try to redact this into.

With Nominees Like This…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s painful to watch the Republican Presidential nominee join in clamoring for a secret, non-appealable Enemies List of un-persons who have been stripped of civil rights by some unaccountable bureaucrat in the federal administration: four years ago, no right to raise money for voter education; last year, no right to private communication by email or cell phone; today, no right to travel by air; tomorrow, no right to self-defense.  Secret blacklists are the McCarthyism that my teachers warned me about.  

I’m going to add emphasis to this next bit:

 How can people not see that empowering the government to decide Who has rights is empowering it to decide Nobody has rights?  Sure, it’s great while your guy is the President, but what if the unthinkable happens and my guy wins?  Will you still be happy when you’re on the receiving end?  Are Americans really that eager to roll back the clock to 1775, to be subjects instead of citizens, to live by sufferance instead of right?

 What’s heartbreaking is the ONLY civil rights organization standing up for Due Process of Law is the NRA.

 Joe Doakes

Not only are about half of Americans unclear on the difference between “Citizen” and “Subject”, but a good chunk of them actively yearn to be subjects.

Provided nobody tells them who to marry or whether they can get an abortion…

…are you seeing a pattern yet?

Reshuffling The Deck

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals instinctively maintain an excruciatingly calibrated hierarchy of victim-hood to determine who occupies the superior rank in any given situation.  Hillary lost the nomination to Obama because Black outranks Woman.  We all know that Gay outranks Christian and last month’s Bathroom Wars made clear that Trans outranks Women, too.

Orlando must have been an eye-opener for GLBT who have been accustomed to holding the top rung of the ladder.  Not only did a Muslim man specifically target gays for massacre, he boasted about it as he was doing it.  But today, the so-called “leaders” that GLBT thought were on their side, are defending the Religion of Gay Hatred.  The President won’t even mention its name.  Liberals are more worried about “toxic masculinity” than about actual dead men.

A week ago, homophobia meant which bathroom to use; today, it means which gravestone to choose.  Bad news folks: you’ve been out-ranked.  No civil rights for you.  Only Last Rites.

Joe Doakes

The “leaders” are also busily trying to manufacture a “gay muslim” constituency with which to feel solidarity – completely avoiding and ignoring the point of the entire massacre to begin with.

Redundancia

Large swathes of America – the west coast, the east coast north of the Carolinas, most cities over 250,000 people – are controlled by an increasingly extremist left-of-center party that governs badly, fosters corruption and leads to a vacuum of effective authority in a way that makes large parts of the country incubators for crime.

The federal government, from that same party, one that has controlled much of the national agenda for over 80 years (even during the occasional period that the party has been out of power) is a centralized authoritarian state governing a decreasingly independent federation, practices “socialism lite”, and carries it out badly.

So when anti-Trump protesters demand we “Make America Mexican Again” – well, for vast swathes of this country, ese tren salió de la estación.

Darn Those White Conservative Christians

Orlando murderer Omar Mateen – a man who seems to have mixed sexual confusion and extreme millenarian Islam on his way to becoming the worst mass-shooter in US history – was giving off warning signs even in childhood:

At age 14, he said he could shoot an AK-47 and mimicked an airplane flying into the World Trade Center. At 26, he bragged to courthouse co-workers of terrorist ties. Weeks ago, at 29, Mateen sought to buy heavy-duty body armor and bulk ammunition.

Many of his violent outbursts aped or celebrated Islamic terrorism and he repeatedly claimed connections to known terrorists, including the Boston Marathon bombers. He cheered the 9/11 attacks on the day they happened and once threatened to shoot partygoers at a barbecue when pork, which is forbidden to Muslims, touched his hamburger.

Bear in mind that Mateen passed not one, but eight background checks:

So let’s walk through this from the beginning:

  1. Mateen spends his entire life as a vocal terror sympathizer.  He also meets all the right people – has contact with other known terror figures, the whole nine yards.
  2. The feds investigate him at least twice.  Maybe they found nothing.  Maybe political pressure led then to foreshorten their inquiry; maybe to avert accusations of “profiling” they took their resources to investigate NASCAR drivers in Alabama.  We don’t know, and probably never will.
  3. Mateen passes eight of the background checks that are the “common sense regulation” that the orcs of Big Gun Control want to subject the law-abiding citizen to – which is further evidence that they don’t care about crime, but do want to register gun owners.
  4. Mateen – who was either in the midst of a struggle over sexuality, or was adopting a “gay” cover to case gay bars for his attacks – becomes enough of a regular figure in Orlando gay bars to not arouse notice.
  5. For their part, the State of Florida made all bars “gun free zones”; every victim at “Pulse” was, by law, disarmed.     While gun owners in many states – the states where “gun free zones” are treated as trespassing rather than misdemeanors or worse – routinely ignore “gun free zone” signs, nobody at “Pulse” apparently did.

Oh, yeah.  It just must be the fault of Christian NRA members.

Update Needed!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Massachusetts passes bill to abolish biological term “sex,” replace with social construct “gender,” variable at whim.

 Next up: a bill to make Pi equal to 3 (to make math more rational and therefore easier for members of the teachers’ union to understand), and a bill to repeal the law of gravity (because it presently affects heavy people more and they tend to be Blacks living in food deserts). 

 I’m outraged that Minnesota Democrats are so far behind the times.  Why wasn’t Minnesota the first?

 Joe Doakes

Minnesota was always at war with Wisconsin, Winston.

“Unintended” Consequences

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Illegal alien injured on the job, confessed to using false documents to obtain employment, was put on unpaid leave until he could prove he was eligible to work in the United States, sued employer for retaliation, Minnesota Court of Appeals takes his side.

 Court says the purpose of federal law is to prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens.  But once you’ve illegally hired them, you can’t fire them when you find out about their illegal status – at least, not if you discover it during a worker’s comp case.  That would be retaliation against the employee for bringing a worker’s comp claim and retaliation is illegal under state law.  So in order to uphold state law, the employer is required to continue to violate federal law by continuing to employ the illegal alien.

 That’s idiotic. Putting the illegal alien on unpaid leave isn’t retaliation for the worker’s comp claim – the worker’s comp claim was merely the mechanism by which the employee’s illegal status was brought to light.  Stopping the illegal employment merely brings the employer into compliance with federal law where it would have been all along, but for the employee’s illegal use of a fraudulent social security number.  And even if putting him on unpaid leave were retaliation for bringing the claim that got his crime discovered, illegal aliens who aren’t supposed to be here shouldn’t be entitled to keep their illegally obtained employment.  Firing the employee for perpetrating a fraud and a crime is perfectly sensible as it deters others from committing the same fraud, the same crime.

 Of course, this is Democrat-dominated Minnesota where all the jurists are Democrat appointees.  The first sentence of the court’s opinion sets the tone:  “Appellant Anibal Sanchez immigrated to the United States in December of 1998.”

 Immigrated?  No, he didn’t.  “Immigrated” would entail a legal process of entry and regularization of status.  What he did was he sneaked in, he slipped across a porous border, swam the river, hid in a fruit truck, stole someone’s identity and committed fraud.  He’s a criminal and should not be allowed to profit from his crime. 

 The entire case would be moot if the Federal government was performing the core function for which we pay taxes: to defend our borders.  If, now that his status and location are known, the feds were to deport him, this entire case would go away, as it should.  The time and money spent taking the case to the Court of Appeals is yet another cost of President Obama’s willful disregard of his duty to uphold the law. 

 Joe Doakes

Laws are for little people.

More later.

Grande

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Mayor of Paris says they can’t have little shanties and camps scattered around, they need one big camp to concentrate the refugees in one place.  A concentration camp, lovely idea.  But that’s a temporary solution to a temporary problem.  Aren’t refugees supposed to go home, eventually?  Or is she talking about establishing another permanent refugee problem, like the Palestinians after the Israeli war, and like America without a Southern Border?  In that case, shouldn’t we be talking about long-term solutions?  The French don’t have a Third Amendment – maybe the government can require citizens to open their homes to immigrants, which would set an international precedent so President Obama could require it here. 

 Joe Doakes

“Another permanent refugee problem” – the Frogs are still paying for the way they handled refugees from Algeria 50 years ago.

And if it’s good enough for the French, Secretary du Etat Kerry will wanna know more.

Experiment

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I studied Government as a Pre-Law student.  The classes were full of poseurs and weasels which is too bad, because it’s actually a worthwhile subject:  what is the purpose of government, what should it do, what should it avoid doing?

 Rosseau thought mankind was basically good but was corrupted by the shackles of government and religion.  Free us from the shackles and everyone would be happy and peaceful. He wanted people to form a social contract to choose their own laws in an elected aristocracy, like the city-states of ancient Greece or maybe Venice.

 Hobbes thought mankind was totally self-interested which made them rotten to each other and only tamed by the shackles of government and religion.  Free us from those shackles and life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.  He wanted a strong, moral government with a religious basis, like English monarchy.

 Mill thought government power should be limited to preventing harm to others.  He wanted strictly a limited government doing nothing but keep the peace, a utilitarian government without any moral or religious basis for its laws.

 Locke thought people had natural rights given by God which government ought to protect.  He wanted morally-neutral limited government with broad religious toleration.  That’s the closest to the Founders’ view, which was lost at least a century ago.

 How to know which is right?  Divide society into experimental sections and say “In Utah, there will be vigorous religious-based law enforcement, in Baltimore, there will be value-neutral weak law enforcement” and wait to see which prevails?  The result would be devastating to people trapped in the failed experiment areas.

 A society can’t perform social experiments on itself and survive.  Can we? 

 Joe Doakes

What, is it rhetorical question week?

Memorial Day, 2016

For this Memorial Day, I reprise I piece I wrote two years ago. I still like it.


There are many of them; well over a million men and women have died in the service of this country, in wars big – the Civil War, World War 2 – and small (the Philippine Insurrection, Desert Storm).

And their memory – and the ones that lived, and are with us – deserve a world of thanks.

A friend of this blog – a Navy veteran, as it happens – posted this on Facebook late last week:

Good morning all! It’s Memorial day weekend again.

Instead of exhorting patriotism and thankfulness from folks who don’t want to hear it I’d like to remind you that our government is keeping tabs on all of us. They are flying drones over our homes and collecting our communications. There are cameras *everywhere* taking our pictures, recording our movements. Our local police are now a military force, equipped with heavy weapons and armor. If you have made any firearm related purchases, or frequent arms related websites, your name is on a list. If you happen to belong to a conservative political group, the IRS has your number, but don’t feel left out Lefties, sooner or later they’ll get around to you too. If this situation is not OK with you, what have you done about it? Written anyone? Called anyone? Shown up in person anywhere to get in your legislators grill?

If you don’t care enough to protect the freedoms so many have died for, please don’t post a bunch of smarmy pictures & canned slogans; I don’t want to hear it.

There’s a place for the simple and the sentimental, of course…

…but the writer is correct; the real challenge facing those of us who haven’t died in the service of this country is to make sure that this country is worthy of their sacrifice.  To make sure that those who died to preserve freedom didn’t die in vain.

Those who founded this country knew perfectly well that the greatest threats to this nation’s freedom weren’t from overseas.

The writer wrote the piece in honor of a comrade…:

CWO3 Mike Sheerin; missing you today brother. Not many left around to pick up the slack you left; nobody at all to fill the shoes.

We’ve been blessed with just the right people to pick up the slack when they’ve been needed.

And these days, we all have slack to pick up.


Not only has that message not changed in two years – it’s redoubled.

A Fine Line Between Experiment And Lunacy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Immigrants are good for Minnesota: they bring us exciting new possibilities, interesting insights, exotic diseases such as tuberculosis.  

 “An alternative public health policy–one that the United States used for decades in the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century–is to test immigrants and refugees for infectious disease before they are allowed into the country.

 In that earlier era, those who tested positive were sent home. Today, however, many are welcomed in and pose a risk of infecting the rest of the American population.”

 So – is America a melting pot, or is it a Petri dish?

 Joe Doakes

Find a fondue joint.

See if there aren’t health and safety standards for them.

Then let’s talk.

Stakes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Do religious organizations such as Little Sisters of the Poor have an obligation to provide morally repugnant procedures for their employees, in violation of the organization’s religious beliefs?  Must nuns provide for abortions?

 Supreme Court failed to decide, stuck 4-4, sent the cases back to federal courts for more findings.

Note the reporter carefully calls these “contraceptive services” as if we were talking about rubbers.  We’re not.  The Liberal definition of “contraceptive” equates to “birth control” which means “we control who gets born” which isn’t limited to rubbers, it includes killing infants before they’re born, i.e., abortion.  The Obama Administration wants to force Catholics to pay for abortions.

 Scalia. 

 The election.

 Joe Doakes

There are those who say “I can’t vote for Trump, on basic principle”.

My guiding principle is “don’t screw up the country”.

I don’t know what the answer is for this election, other than “not Hillary, ever”.

Assimodation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

State Senate passed an omnibus bill (not yet law).  Section 8, Article 28, starting at line 195.20, says:  

Sec. 28. IMMIGRATION INTEGRATION ADVISORY TASK FORCE.

(a) The Immigration Integration Advisory Task Force is created to research state laws

and rules that negatively affect immigrants. The task force is composed of the following:

(1) five members appointed by the governor to represent Minnesota’s diverse

immigrant communities;

(2) two members of the house of representatives, one appointed by the speaker of

the house and one appointed by the minority leader; and

(3) two senators, one appointed by the senate majority leader and one appointed by

the senate minority leader.

(b) At its first meeting, the task force shall elect a chair and cochair from its

membership. The commissioner of human rights shall provide meeting space and

administrative and staff support for the task force.

(c) The task force shall conduct research and hold meetings to:

(1) determine the extent to which current state laws and rules negatively affect

Minnesotans based on their status as immigrants; and

(2) develop methods to ensure that future proposed state laws and rules consider

the impact of the proposals on immigrants.

The task force shall consult with the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, the Council for

Minnesotans of African Heritage, and the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans. The task

force shall report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees in the

house of representatives and the senate with jurisdiction over human rights by January 15,

2017, with recommendations and draft legislation for changes in state laws, consistent

with federal law, that will reduce the negative impact of state laws on immigrants, and

ensure that future state laws and rules consider the impact on immigrants.

(d) The appointing authorities must make their initial appointments by August 1,

2016. The commissioner of human rights shall convene the first meeting of the task

force by September 1, 2016.

(e) Public members shall be compensated and reimbursed for expenses as provided

in Minnesota Statutes, section 15.059, subdivision 3.

(f) The task force shall expire on January 30, 2017, or the day after submitting the

report required under paragraph (c), whichever is earlier.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 So the DFL will pack it with Liberals and Rent Seekers who will write a report to the Legislature detailing how hateful our laws are.  What then?

Take Murder, for instance.  If my daughter dates a Jew, she shames me, shames my whole family.  I must kill her, my religion says so.  But Minnesota law says no.  Hateful.

Accommodate or assimilate? 

Joe Doakes

Assimilate in your accomodation.  Peasant.