Fingers In Your Pockets

A friend of this blog writes:

So there was a letter to the Villager editor, which I thought made quite a bit of sense regarding paid family leave. Then, I happened to see a discussion on Twitter about that letter. The responses on Twitter seem to be what is wrong with the entitlement generation/class. (I suspect the discussion is by mostly millennials.) 

The most striking comment from the person who assumes that she pays twice as much in student loan debt as the money the editorial writer set aside to raise a family. This from a person who, per her Twitter account, is a lawyer and who apparently owns a house not just in St Paul, but also in Mexico.

But, all of the comments assume we have no choice in how we spend our money. The entitled confuse needs with wants, lack control in their own lives. It is where they decide the rest of us need to be in the cycle of debt in which they find themselves.

Misery loves company.

“Democratic” socialist misery requires it.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

European wacko, far-right, fringe party . . . wins 36% of the vote.  The mainstream, sensible, traditional parties couldn’t scrape together enough to get into the runoff election.

 The media keeps using that word: “fringe.”  I don’t think it means what they think it means. 

 This election result is not an accident, this is the beginning of Europeans taking back their governments because of the immigrant crisis.  Next will come fences and deportations.  

 Meanwhile, America frets about bathrooms.

 Joe Doakes

For now, anyway.

For now.

New Frontiers In Social Justice

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In 2013, the St. Paul YMCA instituted separate swim hours for Muslim girls so they could change into swimsuits and swim in the pool without breaking Sharia law by revealing too much skin to men.

 On April 19, 2016, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Title IX requires high schools which receive federal money to allow students to use the high school bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity instead of their biological sex.  Males can use the Female’s bathroom if they claim to be transgender – no proof required.

 Responding instantly to the shift in societal wind, Target changed its bathroom policy: shoppers can use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity instead of their biological sex.  Target receives no federal money, it’s simply adapting to the shuffle in Liberal Victim Hierarchy: Trans trumps Woman.

 What I want to know is: how come the Y still offers separate swim hours for girls?  When will they change their policy so perverts can lurk in the locker room to watch the girls change into their swimsuits?

 How come the Y is such a bunch of haters?  Shouldn’t we organize a boycott?  No, wait, a girl-cott?  A perv-cott?  Or maybe a trans-cott? 

 Joe Doakes

We’ll have to wait until someone “identifies” as a transgendered orthodox Muslim, I suppose.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The internet is full of Liberals saying “I’m not afraid to let my little daughter go to the bathroom alone because transgender men are not rapists or child molesters.”  Yes, agreed; this is not about Bad Trans.  But straight people CLAIMING to be transgender men so they can camp out in women’s bathrooms, those pretenders might be rapists and child molesters.  That’s a possible problem Liberals aren’t acknowledging.

 The response is “That’s dumb, who would pretend to be trans?”

 If a wealth philanthropist (a member of the Rockefeller family, for example) were to offer $50,000 cash on the spot to everyone who would pretend to be transgender and use the ladies’ room at Target one time, would you reject it out of hand?  How about $100,000? 

 So yes, at least some straight people would pretend to be transgender in order to use the ladies room, if the motivation was sufficient.  The question is what would those pretenders consider sufficient motivation?  Cash in hand?  Access to little girls? 

 I note these are the same Liberals who vilify the Boy scouts for allowing pedophilia, but then attack them for excluding the largest group of identifiable individuals most likely to be pedophiles.  It’s as if Liberals can’t wrap their heads around the notion that not everybody plays by their unicorn-and-rainbow rules.  I’m not certain if that’s plain stupidity or willful obliviousness.  I’m leaning toward willful obliviousness but it wouldn’t take much to persuade me to change my mind.

 Joe Doakes

That’s become the latest addition to the left’s toolbox of noxious debate tactics; right out of the gate, disagreeing with their proposal is based on “fear”.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There are 300,000,000 people in the United States. Each year, about 300 men complete sex reassignment surgery to become women. Real trans aren’t all around us, they’re a one-in-a-hundred-million rarity. The odds against a genuine trans person wanting to shower with the girls in the local high school are right up there with winning the lottery.

North Carolina legislators can do math. They know the vast, overwhelming, majority of young men wanting to shower with the girls are not trans, they’re the same kind of guys who’d drill a hole through the wall to peek into the girls shower to see naked chicks. The legislators decided girls’ privacy was more important than giving boys a thrill so they banned boys from showering with girls in public high schools. Liberals are losing their minds because of a possible insult to a hypothetical victim who conceivably might someday exist, against those one-in-a-hundred-million odds.

It is impossible to run a nation on the basis of “Nobody can ever be offended.” That is not a rational way to structure orderly society. The North Carolina way makes perfect sense. Which is why Liberals can’t understand it.

Joe Doakes

It’s like being governed by fourth-graders.  “I don’t care about the rules, I want what I want!”

The ACLU Vs. The First Amendment, Freedom, and “Choice”

So if you take the idea of “choice” on moral issues  – like, say, abortion – seriously, then people are supposed to be able to make “choices” about participating in the practice.

Because the First Amendment protects freedom of conscience!

And the ACLU protects the First Amendment.  Right?


A federal judge just tossed the ACLU’s suit against a chain of Catholic hospitals, because he found that the plaintiff’s claim that women were “harmed” by having to look for, y’know, a non-Catholic hospital to get an abortion was specious:

On Monday, weeks before oral arguments were scheduled to take place, Judge Gershwin E. Drain of the U.S. district court for Eastern Michigan dismissed the suit, calling the ACLU’s claims “dubious.” It’s tempting to follow suit and dismiss from our minds the agenda underlying the ACLU’s legal action. But we can’t afford to do that.

Emphasis added:

Think about it: The ACLU argued that a hospital should require its doctors and nurses to perform abortions even if the hospital recognizes that a new human life begins at conception and holds that the moral weight of abortion is no less than that of taking the life of a born person. The playing field is shifting under our feet. This lawsuit wasn’t about “choice” at all; it was about ensuring that medical professionals can’t act on their beliefs if they clash with assumptions that are politically in vogue. Rather than invoke the old mantra that abortion is between a woman and her doctor, the ACLU did the opposite, arguing that the government should be involved in decisions for abortion by stipulating that others participate in them.

The goal, of course, is to make abortion safe, legal, and enforceable under thoughtcrime statutes.

What Once Was Trayf Is Now Orthodox!

2014:  Barring service in support of activities with which one morally disagrees – for instance, declining to provide flowers or baking for a same-sex wedding – is wrong wrong wrong.

2015:  Barring service as a result of activities with which one morally disagrees – like North Carolina – is a moral imperative.

Sign the petition supporting Bruce Springsteen’s campaign to support free association!

The American Left:  Moral Schizophrenics!


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

North Carolina passed a law saying boys can’t shower with girls in public high schools, and dirty old men can’t lurk in the girls’ restrooms at the park.
Here is the text of the law.
Liberals are losing their minds over it. Can someone explain why?
Joe Doakes

For the same reason they lost their minds over Target in 2010; because they were told to.  Because the left need a cause to rally their troops around one of two geriatric honkies in November.

If I Did Conspiracy Theories…

…which I don’t, this one would jump out at me.

For most of human history, abortion has been considered one variety of undesirable or another.  Then, two things happened:  First, Margaret Sanger ushered in the idea of using abortion as a Eugenic tool, to control the population of what Sanger and other eugenicists considered undesirable – especially black people.  Second, abortion became a political litmus test on the left.    Result:  African-Americans vote overwhelmingly for a party whose primary civil sacrament is a procedure that has killed tens of millions of them (not to mention a “war on poverty” that has kept them disproportionally poor).

In other words, the left are dedicated to killing black people, and they’ve talked black people into voting for them.

So follow me, here.

For most of human history, the social labor contract has been this: you work hard to learn a skill of sufficient value that someone is willing to pay you to do it (or, similarly, develop the skills to start a business that someone is willing to pay you to patronize), and you earn.  Then, two things happened:  the left developed another civil sacrament, the “Living Wage” – the idea that merely existing entitled one to a wage sufficient (so we’re told) for maintaining a lifestyle.  Second, technology developed the means to cost-effectively supplant workers whose pay was statutorily higher than their value.   It’s nothing new, of course; industrial automation replaced a generation of guys who’d gotten high school diplomas and wandered into union jobs turning wrenches for middle-class incomes.  It happened on the assembly line, it’s going to happen at Burger King.

In other words, the left is dedicated to policies that will make the poor even poorer.  Yet again.

Whew.  It’s a good thing the education system is in such a mess, or people would start to see whats…

…oh.  Right.

Never mind.

(And yet Democrats jabber about places like Kansas and Wisconsin “voting against their interests”.  That’s always worth a laugh).

I Hate Photomemes

The “photomeme” – the bits of graphic overlaid with a simple, usually simplistic, message – may be, along with Twitter,  the greatest step toward Orwell’s “duckspeak” that Western communications have ever taken.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not occasionally brilliant:


But it’s rare. Oh, so rare.

Open Letter To Bruce Springsteen

To:  Bruce Springsteen
From:  Mitch Berg, Longtime Fan
Re:  Beliefs


As everyone knows, I’m a longtime fan – at least in part because you are, or at least were during your heyday, the writer of some of the most evocative music there is for conservatives.

Now comes news that you’ve cancelled your concerts in North Carolina, because of (the liberal media’s distorted version of) a rest-room bill.

Some, especially on my side of the political fence, will no doubt criticize you for this stance.

I, however, come to praise you for it.  Because, given that there are no doubt contractual obligations involved with your North Carolina appearances between your promoters, your production company, the venue and the countless vendors involved, not to mention tens of thousands of tickets for the event, you would seem to be risking a lot…

…to stand up for a businessperson’s right to not serve people they morally disagree with.


That is all.

For Purposes Of Argument

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals moan about money in elections. Imagine the Liberals are correct and it’s possible to buy politicians. How much would you pay to buy a Supreme Court justice seat to replace Scalia, knowing that failure gives the other side decades to control the law?

Joe doakes

I for one will throw a bake sale.

I Know You Are…

Victor Davis Hanson reminds us:  If you don’t like something Trump has said, just take a deep breath…

…and remember when a Democrat inevitably said, or did, something much worse:

Trump reprehensibly has urged his supporters to physically tangle with opponents. But, after Chicago, did he emulate a presidential urge “to argue with them and get in their face!”? When Trump does his next Philadelphia rally, will he, in Obama fashion, egg on his Trumpsters with this: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” Or maybe Trump could adapt another line from Obama and use it with his working-class white supporters, cautioning them that, instead of sitting out the election, they should say, “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” Or maybe Trump could try still another adaptation of a line from President Obama for those stubborn senators who favor open borders: “Those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

Oh, there are many, many more.  Read ’em.

Berg’s Seventh Law is universal.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

After border-crossers have lost their court cases and been denied asylum, federal law considers them “illegal aliens” and they are ordered to be deported.  While they’re awaiting deportation, Liberals claim they’re entitled to the same level of humane treatment as we give to American children in the foster care system, which our detention centers don’t provide.

Liberals hope by getting detention centers shut down, the government won’t be able to hold people for deportation and therefore, nobody will get deported.  Seems to me the solution is build a wall to keep them out in the first place.  Trump is right, again.

Meanwhile, providing what Liberals consider “humane” treatment is actually cruel.  The illegals come from places with housing standards substantially lower than expected in this nation.  So why are we obligated to improve their lot even as they are deported?  Making detention facilities nicer only highlights their loss when illegals eventually are returned to the squalor from whence they came.

Instead of that, illegal aliens awaiting deportation should be housed in comparable conditions to those they face when they are returned.  Giving them the taste of the land of milk and honey knowing they will have it ripped from them when they return to the land where nobody cares if they live or die . . . that’s heartless cruelty.

America is better than that.
Joe Doakes

The only greater cruelty?  Reminding them how very unlucky they were to be deported, much less caught at all.

This Story…

…is being treated as a sign of how very out-of-touch and cripplingly politically-correct Chicago, and the city’s airport authority, are:  airport cops – who are unarmed at O’Hare and Midway Airports – are being instructed to scamper away and hide in the event of a mass shooting at either airport:

“If evacuation is not possible, you should find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Block entry to your hiding place and lock the door,” but Matt Brandon, secretary-treasurer of the airport officers union, told CNN they have serious issues with the protocol.

“These men and women are sent to the Chicago police academy, and trained as police officers, and being a former police officer, I know your first instinct is to go to the problem — not run away from the problem.”

On the other hand?  I think every cop in America should be given the opportunity to contemplate facing a mass shooting with nothing but their wits and charm…

…well, no.  Not every cop in America.

Just every urban police chief.

Every urban police chief – the ones the gun grabbers always cite as supporting gun control – should be inveighed spend some time in a “gun free zone” as a “gun-free” person.  Not as a Blue Noble with the power of life and death.  No – just like every other schlub.

Failing that, though?  Unarmed cops at two of the major airports in one of the biggest “gun-free” cities / crime cesspools in the country?

Just brilliant.

The New Authoritarians

Remember when this was a representative Republic?

Either do the elites who, under Obama, have pretty well taken over:

Under President Obama, rule by decree has become commonplace, with federal edicts dictating policies on everything from immigration and labor laws to climate change. No modern leader since Nixon has been so bold in trying to consolidate power. But the current president is also building on a trend: Since 1910 the federal government has doubled its share of government spending to 60 percent. Its share of GDP has now grown to the highest level since World War II.


 Today climate change has become the killer app for expanding state control, for example, helping Jerry Brown find  his inner Duce. But the authoritarian urge is hardly limited to climate-related issues. It can be seen on college campuses, where uniformity of belief is increasingly mandated. In Europe, the other democratic bastion, the continental bureaucracy now controls ever more of daily life on the continent. You don’t want thousands of Syrian refugees in your town, but the EU knows better. You will take them and like it, or be labeled a racist.

Political correctness is to the new authoritarians what rocks through the window were for the Nazis.

Already the disconnect between the hoi polloi and the new bureaucratic master race has spawned a powerful blowback, as evidenced by the rise of rightist, even quasi-fascist parties throughout the old continent. The people at the top—including much of the business leadership—may like the idea of a central European master-state, but support for the EU is at record low. Increasingly Europeans want, at the very least, to dial down the centralization and bring back some control to the local level, and something of the primacy of traditional cultures and what are still perceived  as “European values.”

Read the whole thing.  This will be a big subject on Saturday’s show.


The “Honesty” Cult

Over the holiday week, this story – “Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Lie To Your Kids About Santa“, by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry – was making the rounds on social media.

According to Mr. Gobry – who, in common with a distressing number of people who lecture parents about how they should raise their kids, let the record show, has no children actually has a kid, will miracles never cease – says it’s all wrong because our rationalizations are all incorrect.

To wit:

The argument goes something like this: lying to children is bad.

Gobry thinks that the Santa story is “lying to children”.  We’ll come back to that.

It’s not just a story. Parents usually defend the Santa lie by saying that it’s just a story, like Snow White. But there’s a difference between fiction and lying.

And there’s a difference between both and “shared cultural traditions”.

It doesn’t do anything for their imagination. This is usually the next line of defense: tricking kids about Santa somehow helps their imagination. But that makes no sense. You’re not asking kids to actually imagine anything, you’re feeding them beliefs.

So what?  We “feed” our kids all sorts of beliefs; “Because I’m daddy, that’s why”, “don’t trust strangers unless they’re in  uniform”, “Jesus loves me, this I know…”, and of course, “honesty is the best policy”.  We look forward to the day when they think critically – but that’s down the road a bit, and until then, we need them to know some things  just because.

Who cares if it’s tradition? For a very long time, tradition included such smart education principles as “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Now our society doesn’t believe in beating children — and that’s a good thing.

Right.  Santa’s just like that.

Families that celebrate Christmas should have Christmas traditions! …You don’t need to invent a supersonic fat man to show your children you love them.

And if Gobry thinks that’s why we still have “Santa”, then this is going to be a difficult conversation indeed.

It’s bad tactics. From the parents’ purely self-interested perspective, the Santa lie is just dumb parenting. First of all, it erodes your trust capital. Once your kids discover that you were actively lying to them for several years, how much do you think they’ll trust you?

To be honest, this is the part where I figured out Gobry has never raised a kid in his life.  He honestly thinks kids, after about 12, need any single reason not to trust their parents?  And that they won’t seek out other reasons like a Dave Matthews fan looking for Cheetos?

The Santa lie is also used to control children: if you’re “good” you’ll get presents, and if you’re “naughty” you won’t. But really, has that ever worked?

Any parent who uses “Santa Claus” seriously, with a straight face, to “control” childrens’ behavior, as opposed to “a fun excuse to share a fun moment with the family once a year”, and maybe “as a shared inside joke with other parents”, is heading for much bigger problems.

It’s just morally wrong. Sorry to repeat ourselves, but lying to children is just wrong. It is. Just because someone is gullible is no reason to lie to them, and children have a right not to be deceived like everyone else. You can make a case for some “white lies” but the Santa lie is not a white lie. It’s just a lie.

Oh, it’s not a white lie.  Glad you cleared that up for all of us, Mr. Gobry.

Actually, I think not having Santa in their lives is a moral wrong.  Yes, eventually they, like most kids, figure out that their parents have been pulling a fast one on them.  The smart kids figure out “my parents spent all those years getting up in the wee hours to put this little hint of magic in my life, because they wanted to see me be happy.  That’s odd – but the odd bit of happiness was sure cool!”   The not-so-smart ones get neurotic about Christmas and become NPR listeners – but then, if “Santa” doesn’t do it, something will.  And the real dumb ones never quite lose the idea that some beneficent supernatural being brings them stuff for nothing, and go on to support Bernie Sanders.

And why does the “always be honest with kids” thing stop with Santa Claus?  Why are we not telling our kids “There’s a 50-50 chance Mommy and I will wind up divorced”, or “Remember, Sophia, that a meteor could wipe us all out someday!”, or “You will very likely die of a chronic, wasting disease, in a nursing home, hooked up to tubes”?

I mean, is complete, utter, academically-transparent honesty with kids the best policy, or not?

And even if it’s a lie, then learning to deal with cognitive dissonance without falling apart is one of life’s great lessons.  If a kid falls apart because “my parents lied to me about Santa Claus”?  Then the kid isn’t “falling apart because of Santa Claus”, if you catch my drift.

And, frankly, I think dealing, eventually, with the fact that Santa might not be real is a great lesson for kids; having to come to terms with the fact that not all of life is black and white, and that we all have to wrestle with cognitive dissonance, is one of life’s most vital lessons.  I pity the poor kid who doesn’t figure this out until they get rejected by a college or turned down for a promotion or dumped by a boyfriend.

It’s selfish. That’s the biggest reason. Despite their protestations to the contrary, parents don’t do it for the benefit of the children. They do it for their own benefit. When pressed and rebutted, parents will eventually blurt out “But they’re so cute when they believe in Santa!” That’s the real reason, isn’t it?

Yep.  It’s reason.   Not the reason, but one of them.

So what?

Mr. Gobry doesn’t know it, and I suspect never will, but when you have a kid, you’re signing up for eighteen years of joy – and eighteen years of sleepless nights, vacation days spent with sick kids, evenings in urgent care, birthday parties, out-of-tune concerts, looking through hair for nits, puberty, tension, “tough love”, shouting matches, junior high rebellion, head-butting and exhaustion.

You’re damn right I took a moment once a year to enjoy one of the short list of pure unadulterated episodes of crystalline happiness that the whole experience offers.  And f**k you, Pascal-Emanuel “childfree fop” Gobry, for thinking you know better.

UPDATE:  Sure enough, PEG has a kid.

Doesn’t change my point.

Selective Vapors

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who enter the United States without proper documentation (sneaking across the border from Mexico, for example) can apply for affirmative political asylum.  Asylum decisions are made by immigration court but the system is swamped so applicants are given a notice to appear for a future court date and released.  While the court case is pending, they can live anywhere in the country and can work while waiting for a decision.  If they miss their court date, or if they appear but fail to persuade the court, they are denied asylum and an order is issued to remove them from the country.  The Obama administration reports these people as “deported” and claims this proves the administration has been vigorously enforcing the immigration law.

But many who were ordered to leave do not leave, maybe as many as a million.  Failure to obey the court order is a crime: they are now truly illegal aliens.  They hide in sanctuary cities, where law enforcement is forbidden to check their status.  They work illegally, shop at food shelves, feed their children at public school – three meals a day in some districts – and receive medical care at emergency rooms. They are waiting for the next wave of amnesty.

After months of pounding by Donald Trump, President Obama now proposes to enforce those court orders by finding and removing the people who have exhausted their due process rights and shouldn’t be in the United States any more.  Democrats are aghast.

My question: what is the Democrat vision of America?  If we refuse to exercise control over our borders, if we reject the immigration court’s decision, if we accept any immigrant at any time for any reason . . . what makes us America anymore?

Joe Doakes

They’re trying to obscure that as fast as they can.

Just One Life

Mitch BERG is walking through a pet food store.  He rounds a corner and runs into Avery LIBRELLE, who is plastering “Simulated Meat Is Murder!” stickers on bags of dog food.   Although BERG tries to evade, LIBRELLE sees him.  


BERG:  Aaaagh.  Er…hi, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  It’s time to institute universal background checks, ban clips that shoot thirty assault bullets a second, and get rid of assault AR47s.

BERG:  Two of those things don’t exist, and one of them will have no effect on crime but burden the law-abiding citizen exclusively.

LIBRELLE:  But if we save just one life, it’ll be worth it.

BERG:  So saving “just one life”, no matter how improbably, should be the basis for policy?

LIBRELLE:  Yep.  Human life is sacred.

BERG:  So then we should shut down the Green and Blue lines – about ten dead?  Or perhaps get rid of Obamacare?  Or for that matter, shutting down Planned Parenthood?

LIBRELLE:  Nooooo!  Some things are more important than human life!

(LIBRELLE puts bags of dog food around ears, runs from the store)