The S Word, Part II: Our Fathers’ House

Years ago, a bunch of people I’ll call The Original Bloggers wrote:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Or at least impel them to think about it.  I mean, we’re just thinking, here…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–

Let’s talk about Liberty.  The NSA is snooping on your phone calls.  The IRS is selectively sandbagging the First Amendment.   The federal and state governments are attacking the First Amendment (FEC regulations, sueing businesses that don’t recognize gay marriage on First Amendment freedom of religion grounds, placing gag orders on politicized investigations). You don’t even have the freedom to pick a healthcare plan that works for you anymore.  Your Fourth Amendment rights are out the window if someone tells the cops you might have traffic-sized lots of pot in your house; your property can be forfeited even if you’re never convicted.  The Tenth Amendment is effectively a dead issue; the Feds can claim absolutely anything is their jurisdiction ever since FDR turned the Commerce Clause into the dominant statement in the Constitution.

They’ve even started walking over the Third Amendment, for crying out loud.

So then what?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Let’s emphasize; just powers.  By consent of the governed.

The powers that the US Government is exercising are – to say the least – flirting with unjust.

Says me.

…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

If you’re a blue-stater, you no doubt believe that Red America is engaged in a war against Choice.  We want to impound your Lady Parts, or something.   The Tea Party wants to force you into a national church.

And if you’re a red-stater, you know that the apparatus of government, from the IRS scandal to Secretary Napolitano’s McCarthyistic “Enemies Lists” made up of pro-lifers, tax protesters and Second Amendment activists, are the stocking feet that warn of the jackboot aimed at your throat.

Decision Point:Here’s the key to the whole thing.  It may be the most important part of the Declaration of Independence.  Read it twice.

 Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

So do the “abuses and usurpations” rise to the level of “evincing a design” that invokes our “right and duty” to reboot the American experiment the government America hires to defend the borders and plow the streets?

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

Usurpations: Time has rendered some of the listed injuries and usurpations obsolete – but others still ring true, to people on both sides of the aisle.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

Any Second Amendment supporter that’s ever played “find the roaming hearing” at the Capitol in Saint Paul knows how this works.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners

If you’re a Blue American, you may feel this way.

If you’re a Red American, you might think He has done the opposite; refused to prevent the population of the states by the un-naturalized.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

Homeland Security, anyone?

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

I’d say the current militarization of the police and Federal law enforcement, and the ritual abuse of property forfeiture laws, certainly qualifies.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

And giving the police and prosecutors immense power, especially at the federal level, to make jury trials mere formalities.

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

Lefties; testify!

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

That’s not an especially absurd way to describe the gutting of the Tenth Amendment and the ballooning of the Commerce Clause.

Distant, Arrogant, Unresponsive:  So no matter what part of our society you’re from, there’s something to complain about.  And if the Presidency and Congress change hands, the left will no doubt return to their complaints apace.

But they all sound basically the same.  Our society is hobbled by the tyranny of people who just aren’t like us.

If you’re a Blue American, you no doubt wonder how much better a nation this would be if it weren’t held back by all those god-bothering, bitter, gun-clinging fat white Jeebus freaks that clog fly-over-land.  Indeed, the left fantasizes about it – from Paul Krugman’s dissociative fantasies disguised as NYTimes columns, to Seth McFarland’s “What if Algore had won?” episode of Family Guy.

And if you’re a Red American, you no doubt see the nation you love being turned from a representative democracy into an bureaucratic oligarchy; morphing from a “free association of equals” into a hierarchical, top-down society run by, for, and in the image of a self-appointed caste of brahmin elites that care nothing for society outside the Beltway or between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre, but need to control it anyway.

So – why are we still together?

More next Tuesday.

Everyone’s Protected!

Well, we now have a statewide “bullying law”.   Mazel Tov.

Of course, we had a bullying law before.  As noted in this Channel 5 interview with lawyer Christa Groshek,. it was 37 words long, and basically required school districts to have a bullying policy.   Now, it’s 14 pages long.

Everyone Can Be A Victim!:  The law specifies so many different “protected” classes that it’s really not specific at all; in addition to affectional orientation, religion, affectional orientation, race, affectional orientation, gender and affectional orientation, the bill “protects” people from bullying based on academic status, marital status, socioeconomic status, and…

…appearance?

Where was this law when I was a greasy-haired, acne-ridden, athletically-inept 14 year old?  Oh, the fellow students – and not a few teachers – whose lives I could have ruined!

Intent Is In The Eye Of The Beholder:  And it seems to do for “bullying” what sexual harassment laws did for sexual harassment; define “bullying” as “anything that makes anyone upset in any way.

And yes, I know bullying happens, and sometimes it’s incredibly serious, and in extreme circumstances kids kill themselves over it.

But combine this with the law’s anonymous notification provisions – which are necessary in some cases, obviously, but are an open invitation to abuse as well – with the fact that parental recourse is limited to the point of absurdity, and if you know anything about how public schools work these days, the “unintended consequences” will swerve quickly into absurdity.

Or litigation.  Which, given the support the DFL gets from trial lawyers, can not in the least bit be an “unintended” consequence.

Make-Work:  Along those lines; the previous bullying law left the mechanics of the policy to the individual districts.

The new law?  It creates three levels of state bureaucracy above the districts to deal with “bullying”:

A Task Force, a Council and a “Center”.

I asked a gay activist on Twitter – who was clearly happy about the bill being signed into law, although he clearly understood little but Big Gay’s chanting points about the bill or its consequences – why he supported the new law.  ”Because we now have one policy for the whole state” was his main answer.

Liberals never realize – this is a bug, not a feature.

The further you remove policy from its implementation, the worse your policy will get.  It’s true of healthcare, taxes – and in few areas more than education.  It’s why charter schools (as a general model) are succeeding while the larger, urban and centralized-rural public systems are failing.

Parents Last:  Another problem – and this may be the big one – is that if you’re a parent concerned about an accusation against your child, your rights are pretty much nonexistant.

Now, let’s be realistic; your rights are pretty much nonexistent in the public system, especially in the major urban districts, today; as I found out in my own Kafkaesque struggle with Saint Paul’s idiot administration, your “rights” as a parent are pretty much written to fit around the convenience and protection of the sitting Administration.  If you think your child has been wrongly accused, or even just want to find out facts about this episode that is going on your child’s permanent record beyond “your child has been accused, convicted and sentenced; have a nice day”, the “process” is a passive-aggressive, sisyphean ordeal that pretty much requires you be a freaking amateur lawyer.  Or, naturally, hire a professional one.

On the Upside:  On the other hand, I can think of one upside to the new law; it’s excellent preparation for today’s modern university experience; it trains students to check their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door (or before interacting in any way with anyone that might go through that door with them); it’s excellent training for dealing with today’s speech codes.

So there’s that.

The Clinker, As Always:  As I’ve noted in this space before, bullying has tended to go up after these laws are passed.  Now, chalk it up to more-thorough reporting if you’d like – but anyone who expects a statewide policy and bureaucracy to “solve bullying” is in for a major disappointment.

Because setting policy – whether in a 37 word statement or a 14 page bill – is the easy part.  Any idiot can do it, and the DFL majority proved it.

But here’s the bad news.  Ask yourself this; who’s going to be carrying out the policy?

School Administrators.

And while many school administrators mean well (and I’m talking about all of you out there that are friends of mine,  whom I jointly and severally except from the following statement), a disturbing number of them are idiots, or worse.

Bureaucratic “policy” is, at its worst, an excuse for the not-bright, the stupid, the corrupt and the depraved to shrug their shoulders at things that would make any human with a living soul and any common sense leap to their feet in horror.  Anti-violence “policy” routinely sweeps up the non-violent.  Anti-sexual harassment policy, enforced by idiots, has results like this.   “Zero Tolerance for Weapons” “policy” gives us this, and – on a more personal level, this (Part One and Part Two), in the hands of “administrators” who are, notwithstanding their PhDs are too stupid, in a just world, to hold any job at all.  Even something as benign as a “pedagogical model” can be turned into an instrument of, dare I say, bullying - of students and their parents – by teachers and administrators who are focused on “policy” rather than “children”.

Which, increasingly, they – especially adminstrators – are.

Just saying – with today’s generation of toxic administrators, it’s smart to expect the unintended.

This law “solves” a problem that can’t be solved (beyond the extent to which previous law already did), by giving even more power to people who should have much, much less than they already do, from a bureacracy that makes sure they mis-use it with gusto!

Chanting Points Memo: The New Gulag

Last January, I pointed out that the left’s newfound demand for “transparency” – in the form of making sure every (conservative) causes’ donors were made publicly available – was the prelude to an attempt to purge conservatives from business, academia and any other place the Big Left could get them purged from.

And the purging has started; Brandon Eich – inventor of Javascript (a frequently-misused tool that is also one of the most important factors of the past decade and change for making the web usable to non-geeks) and a long-time browser engineer, one of the foremost experts on how the web actually works – was cashiered from Mozilla (maker Netscape) for donating to California’s Proposition 8, which headed off gay marriage for a few years:

When this fact first came to light, Eich, who was then CTO of Mozilla, published a post on his personal blog stating that his donation was not motivated by any sort of animosity towards gays or lesbians, and challenging those who did not believe this to cite any “incident where I displayed hatred, or ever treated someone less than respectfully because of group affinity or individual identity.”

There were no examples.  There never are.  ”Thoughtcrime” – like most offenses in the “progressive” legal canon, like “sexual harassment” and their definition of “racism” – requires no actions, or even intent.

Conservatives think liberals are wrong; liberals think conservatives are evil.  The Eich incident is only the latest and largest example of “progressives” trying to purge dissenters from private as well as public life.  Even at the lowest and most meaningless level; one of every conservative blogger’s nightmares is when a pack of liberal droogs starts snooping through your private life, trying to get you fired or at least make your political beliefs an issue with your employers or clients.  I’ve been there and done that, and it’s one reason I never mention where I work on any social media, and never talk about politics in the office (even in offices where people know my politics and extracurricular activities.

At any rate, it’s time for choosing for “progressives”; either:

  • Choose America:  Recognize that “democracy” needs a rational, reasoned dissent, and a consensus that comes from a rational debate – and, more importantly, that people have the right to disagree civilly without having to fear for their livelihoods (or lives).  Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia puts it well – it’s “Time for a gay CEO with balls to hire Eich and halt this crap“.  Or…:
  • Choose Maoism:  Live and act as if your ends really do justify your means.  Crush all intellectual opposition (or, given that most of America outside the coastal enclaves is relatively conservative whatever its political party, try to, and face the inevitable consequences, of which more later this week).

My hunch:  progressivism is well on its way toward making “the American experiment” as we know it today unviable.

More on this – much, much more – tomorrow and in coming weeks.

In Re: The Matter Of Brandon Eich: Comment 1 Of Many

To:  Gay rights supporters doing the end-zone happy dance (to an impeccable techno beat) over the lynching of Brandon Eich
From: Mitch Berg, uppity libertarian-conservative Christian
Re:  Forgiveness and Memory

Dear activists,

To all of you who are doing the end-zone happy dance over the ouster of Brandon Eich as CEO at Mozilla?   A couple of points:

The “H” Word:  I’m one who believes the word is very, very over-used in our society today – but it applies here:  if you have ever, even once, said “politics is too nasty, vitriolic and rancorous”, but support the Eich ouster, then you are a hypocrite.

And The “F” Words:  A lot of libertarian conservatives – including, on some facets of the issue, yours truly – did battle with our own tribe on this issue, supporting the idea of same sex unions to one degree or another (in my case, I support civil unions, while wanting government out of the business of sanctioning civil statuses altogether).    I didn’t expect much better out of Big Gay – any more than I do out of any other Big Left movement – but I know a lot of libertarian-conservatives are feeling burned today.  Many of us will forgive, but we don’t forget.

Wind, Whirlwing, Et Al:   Read Matt Walsh’s piece on the subject.  We’ll talk.  Oh, yes.  We will.

That is all.

 

As Long As It Fits Under A Helmet…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The traditional High and Tight would solve this problem, if we weren’t trying so hard to be stylish and ethnic that we can’t figure out how to be a soldier.

I recommend every non-minority officer above Captain be fired and we pay millions of dollars in reparations to the women whose feelings were hurt.

Joe Doakes

Perhaps a better answer: since the military’s most elite troops – “Delta” and “Seal Team Six” (neither unit has actually gone by either name in decades) wear their hair long and even wear beards, clearly the answer is to turn the entire Army and Navy into Deltas and Seals.

Then everyone will be happy.

“Welcome To Marriage Mart, Your Home Of Equality!”

According to Senator Dan Hall, the DFL is about to propose a bill that would allow notary publics to perform civil weddings.

what this actually means is that the DFL campaign for “marriage equality” has been about making all forms of marriage worthless – a civil institution with all the more gravity involved in renewing your license tabs.

I know conservatives say there’s a case to be made for pushing back on this – and I think the “cheapen the institution of the family” lobby is going a bridge too far, even in Minnesota.

But even now with this proposal, I think the next step for supporters of the traditional family is obvious.

It’s time for people of faith to start pushing, hard, the idea of the “covenant marriage” – a marriage, even if only initiated between people of faith and ignoring the whole civil process, that holds the ideal and idea of marriage to a higher standard than the civil variety.

One of the problems with the debate about marriage in this past couple of decades has been that it’s been a little like debating which variety of 1972 Chevy Vega was worse. Marriage in general has been cheapened in the past 40 to 50 years – no fault divorce played its role, as did the changing secular notion of “family”.  The civic idea of “family” has changed in our society, perhaps (in its current form) fatally. The state to which marriage was actually observed in our society has slipped to a point where it’s hardly a defensible institution, its present form.

Along with the drive on the part of many conservatives and people are faced to privatize marriage comes the imperative to make the religious institution of marriage demonstrably better thing that the civil, profane alternative.

Pink On Blue

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

As women moved out of the kitchen and into the workforce, the Law of Supply and Demand came into play:

Everybody’s wages dropped.

Is the War on Women a case of Friendly Fire?

If we brought in millions of new immigrants, would the numbers get better or worse?

Joe Doakes

And if most of the immigrants were female, how much worse would it get?

The War On Home

It’s one of those lines conservatives have been using for a decade, maybe two; the “progressive” left wants to move people out of single-family homes with yards and driveways, and into high-density housing.

Only it’s not a “line”.  It’s here, and it’s in Minneapolis right now.

Without warning, on Friday March 7th, 2014 the Minneapolis City Council passed a Moratorium(a full stop) on all new construction and certain remodeling projects EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY in the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods of Linden Hills, Fulton, Armatage, Lynnhurst, and Kenny. This Moratorium prohibits anyone without a completed permit from starting construction on a project for up to one year from the effective date.

They passed it unanimously.

The moratorium hurts everyone (except progressive planners), especially taxpayers in Minneapolis:

The reduced potential property tax base and permit revenue lost from the moratorium will cause property taxes on residents to go up yet again. So the question you should ask is, “Why should I pay the same tax rates now with a moratorium that I paid when I could fully use my property?”

Dear (mostly) relentlessly PC liberals of South Minneapolis:

This was the sort of thing that, 240 years ago, impelled a bunch of other impeccable liberals to throw a…

…dare I say it? A Tea Party.

I, Social Conservative

In recent weeks, especially with the convention ouster of Dave Fitzsimmons from the candidacy for the MN House seat in Wright County, and the challenge to Jennifer Loon in the southwest subs, both over their votes on gay marriage in the last session, the “liberty” crowd has adopted a new kick-toy – the “SocialCon”, or social conservative.

I’d like to take a moment to get some of them to think a moment.

Social conservatism tends to get linked to two issues – abortion and marriage.  Those are the highest profile issues, of course;  one is social conservatism’s most emotional issue (and, despite infanticide’s hideous death toll, arguably social conservatism’s greatest non-legislative victory; the abortion rate has been dropping, largely due to indirect means.  It’s a start), and the other, same sex marriage, is the MNGOP (and the state’s) biggest bloody nose in recent years.   It’s the issue that has led to the biggest single whiff of acrimony – the Loon and Fitzsimmons battles – in the GOP so far in this cycle.

But there is much more to being a social conservative – because there are many, many more social issues than just abortion and gay marriage.  And all of them are important, most of them haven’t been decided yet, and some of them have the potential – if the MNGOP can just shed that whole “stupid party full of single-issue voters” thing – to transform Minnesota politics and make the Republican party a flaming screaming electoral juggernaut.  That is, of course, a huge “if”.

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”

So let’s talk about the rest of the whole, wide, social conservative world:

Education:  Yep.  Education is social issue.  Here in Minnesota it is, in fact, by far the most expensive social issue.

And our education system is failing, and it’s failing for reasons that are inextricably tied to progressivism; in a society where no two people’s cell phones are the same, we’re to expect that a single national curriculum and methodology is supposed to effectively teach tens of millions of different children a year?

Conservative notions of…not just “the free market”, but of choice, of the ability to say “no” to a failing school or system or methodology, the way they said “no” to Pepsi Clear or Ashley Simpson or the Edsel or horse meat or any other thing that doesn’t serve the consumer’s needs perfectly enough, is the only way education is going to be saved.

And while some political thinkers and consultants say conservatives waste their time going after traditional Democrat constituencies like the inner city, it is the education issue that gives conservatism its best long-term chance of cracking that monopoly – if the GOP develops the skill to play chess rather than checkers.

But whether we look at it as matter of winning votes in the future or not, the fact is that it’s a fiscal issue as well; the current system of education (which is really more a system of political patronage with a little indoctrination mixed in) is getting more and more expensive, and is unsustainable.  And things that can’t be sustained, won’t be.

Either way, it’s a social issue.

Immigration:  Yep.  It’s a social issue.   One that has the potential to change society.

And there is ample evidence that Latinos favor an approach that is in many ways more conservative than most conservatives favor; the “high fence and wide gate”.  Make illegal immigration hard, but make legal immigration much easier and more transparent.  Along with that, cut down on the talk of mass deportations; most Latinos, even Latinos whose families have been here for longer than most of us honkies, have some corner of their family tree that crossed over without bothering excessively with getting their paperwork stamped.

Again, not a few checkers-playing consultants and pundits say that the issue isn’t going to win the 2016 election for the GOP.  Perhaps.  But it has the potential to blunt the Democrats’ overwhelming lead among Latinos.

And it’s a social issue.

Welfare, Poverty and the Family:  While the DFL roots and scrabbles around with deckchair-rearranging feel-good measures like trying to raise the minimum wage, they are also fueling an inflationary cycle – via minimum wage hikes, but especially via untrammeled deficit spending – that  devalues everyone’s paycheck.

Worse, Democrat policies over the past few years have made it harder for people to get out of the lowest economic classes; while social spending makes grinding poverty a viable lifestyle, only work, and the opportunity hard work leads to, actually gets people and families out of poverty.

But Democrat policies kneecap Horatio Alger at every turn.  One of the surest ways to ensure you’re out of poverty by your thirties is to finish high school and not have a baby before you’re with a stable, long-term partner (social conservatives think of this in terms of “marriage”, and with good reason – it works better than cohabitation).  But the welfare state subsidizes the exact opposite – and it is a truism that when you pay people to do things, even stupid counterproductive things, they’ll do them.

And the Democrats are doing their best to marginalize work; their latest spin, that Obamacare will “give people more free time”, is just slapping a happy coat of paint on selling the idea of personal economic stagnation to people.    If you’re upper middle class, cutting hours is a nice fantasy.  If you’re struggling to get out of poverty, it’s a financial death sentence.

Republicans, especially the conservative ones, should own this issue – which, in its own way, is the mother (single, with three kids) of all social issues.

Healthcare:  It’s not just a fiscal issue.  How society deals with health insurance for those who can’t afford it (or don’t want to pay for it) is, obviously, a huge issue.

Conservatives have many plans – none of them is a panacaea, like Obamacare and Hillarycare both claimed to be; any of them would have done a better job.  Some still could.

Crime:  If there’s an issue that the Democrats have lost, but Conservatives are too stupid to know it, it’s crime.  Conservative policies – tougher sentencing, visible law enforcement, allowing and encouraging the law-abiding to arm themselves – have lowered the crime rate; the islands of high crime are the ones dominated by Democrats and their policies.

———-

Social conservatism. It’s about a lot more than gays and abortion.

In fact, it needs to be.

The “Stasi Bill” Versus The “Anti-Bullying Bill”

The DFL’s “bullying bill” is a special interest sop; it creates protected classes against whom bullying is double dog bad.   It’s a type of bill that seems, elsewhere in the country, to have the effect of increasing bullying of the kids they’re intended to protect – not to mention increasing the official “bullying” and censorship of dissent.    It might be better called the “Stasi Bill”.

Of course, the real reason the DFL supports it is that it creates yet another well-paid, unionized bureaucracy to staff with members of the political class.

The GOP, thankfully, is offering an alternative – a bill that offers to-the-point protection of actual victims, rather than a generalized snitching system that can be used as a cudgel against pretty much anyone doing anything:

Republican senators Monday afternoon announced the “Stamp Out Bullying” bill, which is modeled after legislation that’s been successful in other states and receives a top rating from a national anti-bullying group…State Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, a leading critic of Dibble’s bill, said in a news release that he expects the alternative anti-bullying bill to receive bipartisan support. He said his legislation will protect students while allowing school districts to maintain local control.

“This proposal keeps school resources in the classroom where they belong, and doesn’t place an added burden on school districts already struggling with tight budgets. It protects all students, keeps parents informed, and gives school districts a solid framework to develop solutions that work for their communities,” Chamberlain said.

Being realistic?  I’d say the GOP’s best hope is to get Republicans and not-insane DFLers to push either for Chamberlain’s bill, or to amend Dibble’s ‘bill to strip out the objectionable stuff like the Stasi provisions and the protected classes…

…which is the stuff that the Metro DFL wants, which makes them poison pills.

Such is politics in the minority.

Elections have consequences.

Everyone’s A Minstrel

You know what I can’t stand?  Chinese violin and piano players.  [1]

The violin (as we understand the instrument today) and especially the piano are utterly western inventions.  They are utterly inseparable with the development of western music, and thus art, and thus culture. 

Ditto Japanese blues guitarists, and Arabic hip-hop artists and African opera singers, and the like.   [2]

When, say, Asian or African or Arabic people put on tuxedoes and sit in philharmonic orchestras, and do art assocated with western civilization, while not being actual westerners who grew up thoroughly marinated in the culture, they are essentially playing in “whiteface”, pretending to be western.  They have no concept of these artifacts of western culture - they don’t gather for jam session in garages, they don’t sit on street corners in the Bronx, they don’t know the feeling of Renaissance-era Italy. 

“Wait”, you say – “adopting parts of other languages and cultures into one’s own is an essential part of humanity!”

Huh.

OK.  I guess you could say so. 

But tell it to this joyless slagathor at the apparently-racist, nativist rag Salon.  Who has, by the way, adopted a form of communication – the “opinion piece” – that is not native to her ethnic culture.  Why is she turning my culture into a white-face minstrel show?  [3]

[1] Not really . This is satire.

[2] See 1, above.

[3] It’s her logic, not mine.

Do The Right Thing

SCENE:  Mitch BERG, accompanied by Joe TUCCI, Attorney at Law, and paralegal Lance PFLAU, steps out of a black Chevy Suburban and walks up to the Highland Park home of Avery LIBRELLE.  BERG knocks on the door.  Eventually, LIBRELLE answers. 

BERG:  Hey, Avery.  Let’s go. 

LIBRELLE:   Huh?  Where?

BERG: To the pistol range.  We’re going to get you started shooting, and get you started on your carry permit. 

LIBRELLE:   What?

BERG:  It’s time you did the right thing. 

LIBRELLE:   How is forcing me to pick up an instrument of violence “the right thing?” 

BERG: Because it’s a right.  We have the right to keep and bear arms. It’s very important to many of us, and until everyone is intellectually and socially assimilated into that right, the right is not safe. 

LIBRELLE:   But…but, you can’t force me to exercise a right I disagree with, especially on moral grounds, like the gun thing!  You can’t!

BERG:  Of course I can!    Just like the gay couples who are sueing the bakers and photographers and florists who tried to opt out of rendering their services at same-sex weddings.   Rather than just let the Christians have their way and go find a gay-friendly baker or photographer or florist, they hauled them into court, at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars to both sides, not so much because they wanted to use their products, but to send a message to all of society; dissent from our orthodoxy will not be tolerated!   Just as they will be doing, shortly, somewhere or other, to some church somewhere or another in this country.

LIBRELLE:   Pshaw!  That’ll never happen.  The First Amendment protects freedom of religion!

BERG:  Right. Just like the Tenth Amendment trumps the Commerce Clause, the Fifth protects American citizens who end up on terror watch lists, the Fourth protects us from no-knock raids and property forfeiture, the Third keeps the police from throwing you out of your house to set up a stakeout, the Second is protecting the people of Connecticut from gun confiscations, and the First protects, well, those bakers and photographers and florists.  Rights are only truly safe when everyone has been forced to comply with them.   

LIBRELLE:   I refuse!

BERG:  I thought you might.  Mr. Tucci?

(TUCCI turns to PFLAU, who takes a document out of his briefcase)

TUCCI:  You’ve been served. 

LIBRELLE:   What the… (Reads papers) A lawsuit?

TUCCI:  Yep.  To compel you to come shooting, get a carry permit, and support the Second Amendment as incorporated upon the states by the Supreme Court in McDonald Vs. Chicago

LIBRELLE:   That’s BS!  That’ll never fly in court!

BERG:   Perhaps.  But it’ll cost you thousands and thousands of dollars to retain an attorney to litigate the case, even if it’s dismissed on summary judgment.   Heck, even if you go pro se, you’re going to eat up a lot of time.

LIBRELLE:   Look, you’re arguing a false equivalence.  Business are subject to public accomodations laws!  They have to serve the reasonable demands of their customers!

BERG: Ah.  So when I walk into a halal market and demand pork chops, they can’t refuse?

LIBRELLE:   Huh? 

BERG:  Pork is trayf under halal.  They won’t even touch the stuff. 

LIBRELLE:   Well, you can’t.  You’re not a memeber of a protected class.

BERG:  What now?

LIBRELLE:   Under public accomodations law, merchants can not refuse service on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation!  You’re a straight white male, so you have no race, gender or orientation!

BERG:  Ah.  So the rights of gay people trump the rights of religious people to act according their consciences. 

LIBRELLE:   Right!  Gays were born that way!  You can’t refuse to serve people based on conditions they were born with.  Religion is chosen!

BERG:  So the rights of people who were born some way trump the rights of people who choose something.

LIBRELLE:  Sure!

BERG:  Well, our rights are endowed to us by our creators, so I was born with the right to keep and bear arms.  And so were you. 

LIBRELLE:  That’s really stretchy, Merg!

TUCCI:  We can sort that out in court, Mis… (looks to BERG and PFLAU, both of whom shrug) …um, Avery. 

BERG:  So some peoples’ rights are more important than other peoples’s rights?

LIBRELLE:   Absolutely.   Why should I be forced to associate with people that I morally disagree with?

BERG:  Wait – so you embrace the ideal of “free association”…

LIBRELLE:  Yes!

BERG:  …unless the law says you have to associate with them?

LIBRELLE:  Yes!  We can’t have discrimination!

BERG:   Hm. OK.  Mr. Tucci?

TUCCI:  Mr. Pflau?

PFLAU:  I am gay.  I demand you come to the range. 

LIBRELLE:  You’re gay?

PFLAU:  Well, I’m a little curious. And addicted to Glee

(LIBRELLE stands, holding papers, slowly deflating)

TUCCI:  May I remind you; No h8. 

(An air of resignation visitly wafts over LIBRELLE)

LIBRELLE:   OK.  Got me there. 

(The four walk down to the street and bundle LIBRELLE into the Suburban.  In the back seat sit Professor William G. KRIEPPI and blogger Edmund DUCHEY, morosely wearing “NRA” hats and maroon GOCRA shirts)

LIBRELLE (to KRIEPPI and DUCHEY):  They got you too? 

(The other two sullenly nod as the Suburban departs for Burnsville Pistol Range, Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns and Money” playing loudly on the car stereo).

(And SCENE).

The GOP’s Stockholm Syndrome

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Thomas Sowell has an interesting column that contains this line:

“Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them.”

He’s got a point.  If we applied Democrat’s immigration logic to other laws in a reductio ad absurdum analysis . . . .

There are 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, of which 400,000 are child molesters.  Applying the same criminal justice probabilities to child molesters as we do to other rape, we can assume there are 10 non-convicted offenders for every offender who was convicted.  Therefore:

There are 4 million child molesters in the United States, living in the shadows, unable to freely pursue their dreams.  They live in constant fear, looking over their shoulders for government agents.  They are forced to live in an underground, cash-based, off-the-books culture.  These are hard-working, productive members of society with families.  They pay sales taxes.  They would vote Democrat if they weren’t convicted felons.  Society must legalize their status, bring them out of the shadows, brush away the obstacles and make them full members of society. Do it now, for the children.

Okay, that’s idiotic.  And so is this latest round of immigration amnesty.  House Republicans selling their souls for Chamber of Commerce donations are killing their own party while they destroy the future of the nation.

Joe Doakes

Yet another reason the Tea Party really, really needs to complete its takeover of the GOP.

Match Made In Heaven

A move has begun in Oklahoma to get the state out of the marriage business.  While the news story on the subject phrases it as “prohibiting marriage”, what the proposal would really do is end the practice of issuing government marriage licenses, and leave the institution of marriage – or whatever – to the individual.

If you wanted to marry in a church – provided the church recognizes your form of union – then mazel tov.   And if they don’t – or you’re just not that religious, anyway – then you would just write up a contract, and live by it.

Of course, this proposal will likely rile up both extremes; the extreme left has come to regard redefining marriage (in the eyes of the state, anyway) as its big victory; this would be removing the issue from the table, which would be a slap in the left’s face akin to turning the Stonewall Bar into a condo development.

Social conservatives – or at least the short-sighted ones – will howl like stuck cats, too; many of them see government as a vehicle for building society in their image, no less than the far left does.  But it is short-sighted; by getting marriage out of the public sphere, they can save the traditional version of it now that “let’s let government define our social mores” thing is backfiring badly.

By getting the state out of marriage, everybody wins; traditional marriage can sprout where it’s bloomed; “alternative” ideals of the institution can grow between whomever wants them.

Of course, the extreme left isn’t looking for a win-win.   And we’ll have to see about the social right.

But for now?  The idea is a brilliant one.

Rebranding

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama celebrated the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade with one curious omission – he never mentioned the word “abortion.”

Instead, he dwelt on access to health care, reproductive freedom, right to privacy, safe and healthy communities, opportunities to fulfill their dreams . . . what a snooze.  That same litany of mushy feel-good platitudes could roll across the Teleprompter any day of the week.  We’re here to talk about killing babies, something like 50 million of them since the decision was issued.  And according to Democrats, that’s a good thing. Fine, then say so.

It’s almost as if the President is afraid to speak the plain truth, for fear people will recoil from it.  Perhaps we haven’t been de-sensitized enough.  Might be time to recycle some Dead Baby jokes from my junior high school days.  Remember those?  Can’t remember the last time I heard a Dead Baby joke.  Perhaps with 50 million of them piled up, it’s not funny anymore.

Joe Doakes

One can hope.

How many Planned Parenthood executives does it take to change a light bulb?

None.  They just declare darkness a woman’s right.

Legal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Conservative turned down by liberal photographer. This is not a problem because “Conservative” is not a Protected Group under civil rights law and therefore not entitled to legal rights. He has no rights because we say he has no rights. It’s purely a matter of definition.

Baby killed, chopped into pieces. This is not a problem because Unborn Child is not a Person and therefore not entitled to legal rights.

800,000 Tutsis killed by Hutsus in Rwanda, 1994. This is not a problem because Tutsis are Enemies of the State and therefore not entitled to legal rights.

Jew gassed to death in Nazi Germany. This is not a problem because “Jew” is not a Full Citizen and therefore not entitled to legal rights.

Black man whipped to death by White man – in 1820. This was not a problem because a Negro was a Possession and therefore not entitled to legal rights.

Sooner or later, wouldn’t you think people would begin to notice a pattern? That when a society gets comfortable using its legal institutions to over-ride rights divinely given to all human beings, things end badly?

Now let’s talk about modern Democrat electoral tactics, and where they’re likely to take the country.

“It’s the law” is the new “we’re just following orders”.

This Is Today’s “Progressive” Journalism

SOUTH DAKOTA MOVES TO LEGALIZE MURDER OF ABORTION PROVIDERS”

The headline – re-tweeted by legions of “progressive” alt-media droogs – wasn’t remotely ambiguous; supposedly, a bill in the South Dakota legislature would legalize the murder of abortion providers. 

Now – what’s the rule?

If the leftymedia says something about conservatives, distrust.  Then verify.  Then, almost invariably distrust some more, because it’s a lie (with the propability approaching 100% in direct proportion to the sensationalism of the claim.  Indeed, I’m going to call this the Mother Jones Corollary to Berg’s Tenth Law, since MaJo is one of the most consistent offenders. 

So - read the article - which screams its throat raw that South Dakota is going to all but sell license to kill Infanticidiatricians.   

Then note the updates, which gingerly note that the bill actually makes a legitimate immediate threat of death or bodily harm to a fetus via an illegal act a justification to homicide, per South Dakota law, same as with any other person.  With the emphasis being on illegal acts, which abortion, more’s the pity, is not. 

So all together now; if the “progressive media” says it, it’s probably a lie.  And if you check into it, it’ll turn out to be pretty much always definitely a lie. 

Hope we’ve cleared that up.

Today’s Feminist Hero

Wendy Davis – “Abortion Barbie”, the lefty pinup girl who shut down the Texas legislature with a screaming mob of ignorant infanticide buffs – will be campaigning for Al Franken on the “War on Womyn” slate.

Wendy Davis. Trophy wife, baby-death advocate, Al Franken supporter.

Her bio – the inevitable “nineteen year old single mother who worked her way through Harvard” – is the sort of “Strong Womyn!” narrative that seems to have been snatched from the Lifetime Network.

Oh, yeah – it’s fudged just a bit:

Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced. She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter.

A single mother working two jobs, she met Jeff Davis, a lawyer 13 years older than her, married him and had a second daughter. He paid for her last two years at Texas Christian University and her time at Harvard Law School, and kept their two daughters while she was in Boston.

Hey, wait!  ”Trophy Wife” doesn’t fit the narrative!  What the…?

When they divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support.

In a state where women can normally win custody after killing someone, that says something.  The first husband went on to run for office as a Republican.

Davis apparently gave her second husband the brown helmet the day after she graduated from Harvard.

Anyway – Abortion Barbie will be coming to Minnesota to campaign for Franken…

…unless she made that up, too.

Please, Al Franken campaign.  I beg of you.  Bring Abortion Barbie to Minnesota.  Feature her up at the podium with you.

Wendy Davis is the face of feminism today.

What Used To Be Vices Could One Day Be Entitlements

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Odd to see Democrats adopting a fundamentalist moralizing tone towards women’s occupational choices. Apparently, being a sex worker is no longer a perfectly acceptable lifestyle.

House Democrats say Global Warming turns women into prostitutes.

Increasing the supply of prostitutes should bring the price down. So is that a bug, or a feature?

Joe Doakes

It’ll be a feature when President Obama institudes the Affordable Sex Act, forcing everyone in the US – married or single, punctilious or libertine, patron or not – to pay for everyone else’s hookers.

Why’s Johnny So Depressed?

Youth Misery Index – a combination of unemployment rate, college loan debt and each youth’s share of the national debt - breaks all prior records under Obama:

The index, released Wednesday, was calculated by adding youth unemployment and average college loan debt figures with each person’s share of the national debt. While it has steadily grown over the decades, under Obama the figure has shot up dramatically, from 83.5 in 2009 to 98.6 in 2013.

The index has increased by 18.1 percent since Obama took office, the highest increase under any president, making Obama the worst president for youth economic opportunity, according to the nonprofit that released the figure.

“Young people are suffering under this economy,” said Ashley Pratte, program officer for Young America’s Foundation, which developed the index and calculates it annually using federal statistics. “They’re still living in their parent’s basements, unable to find full-time jobs that pay them what they need in order to pay back their debt.”

Like most people who have a younger generation to talk to, I will tell the young ‘uns that things were much tougher when I was a kid than today.  The snow was deeper, the weather colder, the wind sharper, the teachers meaner. 

And in many cases I’m right.

But as a guy who grew up under the Carter years, and turned 18 right after Reagan’s election, even I don’t envy the lot of today’s 16-to-25-year-olds.

Devaluation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

As I predicted back when Obama first announced this, the military is watering down the standards so women can pass the test to serve in combat roles.

Can’t do 3 pull-ups?  For crying out loud, I can probably do 3 pull-ups and I’m 35 years older and 150 pounds heavier than these women. Hope to God we never need them do to anything strenuous to defend the country.

It’s a pretty sad day for the Marines when boosting your own fat ass over an obsticle is deemed a “team lift.”

Joe Doakes

 

All that’s true. But it could be worse. If the military adopts Common Core, Marines will be trained to run toward what they can reasonably infer is the sound of gunfire. And Naval Aviators will merely have to show they reasonably tried to get the hook onto the third wire…

This Warmed My Heart

A Charlie Brown Christmas, the 1965 animated classic which has been on the TV every Christmas season for 48 years now, beat the finale of The X Factor in the rush ratings last week:

Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” came to an ignominious end on Thursday night. The battered series not only finished third in its time slot, it drew fewer viewers than a rerun of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired on CBS in 1965. It’s been on TV every year since then. Last night the ABC special pulled 6.41 million total viewers vs. “X Factor” with 6.22 million.

All hope is not lost.

It’s not the best Christmas present ever, but I’m not selling it short either…