Decline

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

By 1963, before we had The Great Society, before we had Civil Rights, before we had a Department of Education, feminism, no-fault divorce, abortion on demand, unlimited immigration, the EPA, Clean Water Act, public employee unions the prevailing wage and transgender bathrooms, Americans had built Hoover Dam and the Empire State Building, won a world war, rebuilt Europe and the Far East, started the interstate highway system and were on the way to putting a man on the moon not just once, but several times.  The United States was a great nation.

 Could any of that happen today?

 If not, what would need to change in order to make it possible again?

 Joe Doakes

Step one:  put government back in the place where it belongs; defending the country and its interests, and running a court system, and not a hell of a lot more.

Juxtaposition

Islam.

For 90-odd percent of its adherents, it may well be a religion of peace.

But they seem to have other attitudes that bear some examination.

For example:

This hatred of early’80’s country-pop star Judy Kay “Juice” Newton…

…is perplexing to outsiders.

Lifeboat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump’s executive Order on immigration and refugees is causing angst, but not analysis.  We need analysis.

 For years, I’ve used the lifeboat analogy to discuss immigration.  There’s only so much room in the lifeboat, only so many rations.  There are 7,000,000,000 people in the world who want better lives which, for most of them, means coming to the United States.  We can’t take them all: they’ll swamp the boat.  See, for example, Europe today, and that was only a million immigrants.

 Lately, it occurs to me the lifeboat is the wrong analogy.  A lifeboat implies a temporary accommodation until help arrives.  But the rest of the world is worse off than we are.  Help will never arrive.

 The United States is more like a medieval castle when invading armies arrive, everybody heads for the castle and they slam the gates shut. There’s a limited supply of water and food and limited space.  Extra people endanger the survival of everyone already there. They close the gates every night, for that reason.  Yes, the wolves may eat you, if you arrive late and the gates are already shut for the night; but the gates will not be opened for you in the dark when it’s possible for invaders to slip in.

 In the intelligence world, it’s night right now.  Governments collapsed, sources compromised, consulates sacked, refugees and raiders look alike.  We can’t tell friend from foe so nobody gets in until daybreak when we can sort them out.  Daybreak will arrive when the intel for background checks and deep vetting is strong enough to trust, however long that takes.

 Even after our intel improves, we need to choose carefully who we let in because their kids become our new citizenry.  Carlos and Maria might be ecstatic to get jobs as gardeners and hotel maids in America, but their kids will grow up watching MTV and wearing Nikes.  They won’t be thrilled to take menial jobs.  Second generation Somalis are the ones going on jihad, here and abroad.  N-th generation Blacks are the ones insisting their lives matter.  “Grateful” is not an inherited trait.

 Western Civilization, and particularly our constitutional republican form of government as we know it in England and America, is a relatively recent development and a very small part of human history.  If that’s what we’re trying to preserve in the castle until the Dark Age ends, we need to be very choosy indeed.  We need the best, brightest, hardest working immigrants with morals and cultural values most compatible with our own.  Reuniting Carols and Maria’s extended family of unskilled laborers is heartwarming, but more unskilled labor is not what the nation needs to prosper.

 Trump temporarily halted immigration from countries that sponsor terrorism.  I’d go further and impose a temporary moratorium on ALL immigration, ALL refugees, until we sort out our national priorities and institute procedures to ensure new arrivals don’t threaten our national survival.  It’s not just for me – I’ve already lived most of my life in a clean, safe America – it’s for my grandkids.  Do I want them to grow up in Minnesota or Mogadishu?

 Joe Doakes

To many on the left,  the fact that you worked and sacrificed enough to build a place worth fleeing to makes you unworthy of being there.

Anger!

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is stopped at a light on University Avenue.  He sits, window rolled down, waiting for the green.

Avery LIBRELLE pulls up next to BERG is a city bus.  The window is cracked open.

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!  Dona’d Trump’s immigration moratorium is pure racism!

BERG:  Was it racist when Obama barred immigration from Iraq?

LIBRELLE:  No, and..

BERG:  And remember – these immigrants are from the same countries Obama has spent the last years bombing and droning, likely in violation of all manner of law in the process.

LIBRELLE:  Trump has been. doing all sorts of unconstittions……

(But BERG has rolled down his window and driven away)

(And SCENE)

Playing Chess Against Checkers Players

Glenn Reynolds

Obama did a 6-month immigration pause on Iraq, nobody cared.  Trump does a 3-month pause on a list of countries the Obama Administration put together, and he’s literally Hitler.  

And don’t forget the P.S:

Do you want more Trump? Because explosive anger mixed with sanctimony is how you get more Trump.

I’m not sure the left gets just how much smarter than them Trump seems to be.  

Answers

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m glad the women had fun marching, nice weather for it. But I remain unclear on what it’s all about or why I should care.
Votes for women? Already have them but don’t bother to use them, which is why Trump won.
Equality? So, what, end affirmative action for women in education and employment? I’m okay with that.
Abortion on demand, no-fault divorce, presumption of custody, mandatory child support, homosexual marriage, vigorous prosecution of sexual assault and domestic abuse . . . already have all that.
Look, I’m all in favor of ending oppression but you’ve got to give me a hint, here. How, exactly, are American women oppressed and what, specifically, must be done to end it? Mansplain it to me, please. I seriously want to know: what do women want?
Joe Doakes

My hunch – and it’s just a hunch?  It’s the Democrat party trying to whip up support / hysteria as a hedge against complete electoral catastrophe in 2018, and beyond that to gin up support for a field likely to be led by another geriatric white ultraliberal in 2020.

All Is Proceeding Exactly As I Predicted

Back when legalizing same-sex marriage started gaining traction, I noted that its supporters – at least, many of its most vocal ones – seemed to have a pollyannish view of same-sex couples.  Because their love was (officially) denied, it was so much more real than unions of straight people.  “I wish had gay parents; they’d be better than my parents!”, said not a few overpraised teenagers, to the barking-seal-like praise of camera-toting activists who, I suspect mostly, had never raised teenagers, and know they would say the same thing about satanist, Nazi or Yankee fan parents, if that would piss their real, boring, imperfect hetero parents off enough.

In the heady days when same-sex marriage was all about activism, gay couples were perfect couples, in the public imagination.

I wondered, out loud (figuratively and literally), what would happen when it turned out that gay couples are only human?  And (admittedly, somewhat cynically) that the real beneficiaries would be divorce lawyers?

Because as it turns out, they are.

The whole piece is worth a read, by the way.    I have friends and colleagues who are in same sex marriages, and I certainly don’t wish them any of the misery divorce brings.

And I have to wonder – how many couples got married for the same reasons those teenagers up above threw their parents under the bus – to flip a bird at all the squares?

There are lots of dumb reasons to get married, no matter who you’re marrying.  That’s one of them.

Uneventful

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I watched the inauguration.  I was expecting an earth-shattering kaboom when Trump was sworn in and the world ended, as Liberals have been telling me it would do.  Makes me wonder what other lies I’ve been told.

 Remember the federal employees who promised to quit and celebrities who promised to move if Trump became President?  Can we get an updated head count on that?

 Joe Doakes

As Bogey reminds us…

…word of mouth is not always a good guide in life.

Poke The Rat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York Times writes about Milo Yiannopoulos’ new bookFirst line of the story says Milo is “infamous” and a “Donald J. Trump” supporter. 

 Infamous – as in “a day that will live in infamy?”  He’s that bad?  Care to give us any examples, show us any bodies?  Guess not.

 And who the Hell is Donald J. Trump?  Is that the new President’s son?  Nephew?  Look, if you’re talking about the guy who just got elected President, why not call him that?  Identity would be certain and you could skip the middle initial, because there’d be no possibility any reader would confuse him with any other ‘President-elect Donald Trump.’

 Setting the tone of disapproval in the very first sentence is letting readers know we’re talking about a Bad Person that some publisher has unaccountably decided to publish.  Horrifying!  Other publishers didn’t want the book – might offend older and religious conservatives.  No wonder there’s controversy, as well there should be, from all right-thinking persons.  Oh, and one little detail that didn’t make the story . . . . it’s the #1 New Release on Amazon, presently ranking up there with Fahrenheit 451 in Censorship and Politics.  

 Hasn’t even been released yet, doesn’t come out until March, and it’s selling like hotcakes. Astonishing that a publisher might be willing to print a best seller.  What were they thinking?

 I’ve read some of Milo’s stuff.  He’s a gay British guy with a Greek last name so you might assume he’s a typical Liberal twit but no, he’s funny and completely unafraid to say what ordinary Joes like me are thinking.  I’ve never paid $13.99 for a Kindle book before.  This just might be the start, if for no other reason than to poke a stick in the eye of the New York Times.

 Joe Doakes

Remember when dissent was a virtue…

…well, some of it is, again.

Milo, and most of you, and me?  We’re not the right kind of dissent.

Sometimes A Great Notion

A Swiss community is un-thrilled by the immigration by a “left wing vegan” Dutch woman:

A left-wing Dutch vegan who campaigned against cowbells in the Swiss village where she lives has had a request for a Swiss passport thrown out after annoying the locals.

Nancy Holten, who was born in the Netherlands but moved to Switzerland at the age of eight, is a fluent speaker of Swiss German and has children who are Swiss nationals.

And she wanted a Swiss passport herself, but was refused after locals who were consulted about her request said they were ‘fed up’ of her challenging Swiss traditions by campaigning against the use of cow bells.

And for you liberals who read this and think “how terrible!”, but were campaigning against the Electoral College last month?  This is what majority rule looks like.

Although this is a salutary example.  If you’re Swiss.

Tolerance = 0

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember in school when one kid refused to stop talking when the bell rang to start class, so nobody got recess?  Remember how much that used to annoy you?  It still annoys me.

 There were rumbles at a dozen malls across the country.  Now comes the inevitable response: nobody gets recess.  Everybody gets punished.  The local PD acknowledges the mall fights were caused by “a pretty discrete group of people . . . it tends to be teenage boys,” but the new policy extends to everybody. 

 Look at the video.  The brawlers are Black teenage males.  They’re the problem group, they’re the ones who ought to be banned and everybody knows it.  We see the news, we know about FBI crime statistics, we know who the troublemakers are.  You’ve got a problem?  Solve the problem.

 But that would be politically incorrect and therefore society can’t do what everybody knows it ought to do, and also why nobody can talk about it.  Liberals claim they’d rather let 10,000 guilty men go free rather than convict 1 innocent man, but in practice they punish 10,000 innocent girls so the 100 guilty boys doesn’t feel they’ve been disrespectfully singled out.

 Black Lives Matter blocking State Fair traffic didn’t raise awareness, it raised blood pressure.  So will this new policy.  I don’t think it will help ease racial tension.  It will drive it underground, festering, same as when the idiot in class cost you recess.

 By the way – what group in society has more disposable cash to piss away at the mall than unaccompanied teenage girls?  This policy is deadly in more ways than one.

 Joe Doakes

It’s hard to pick just one policy that’s screwed up our schools. But Zero Tolerance on on the short list.

Confirmation Bias

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It might be funny to write a letter to the editor.

 I’ll claim to be a left-handed Black Transgender Lesbian.  The story will be about my struggle, how I was oppressed by Conservative teachers in college, passed over in employment so they could hire Whites, afraid to speak my mind at work because everyone there was a Republican and they’re notorious for being petty and vindictive, how traumatized I felt when Trump won and I realized my life was in danger.

 I bet I could get it published to rave reviews.  “So Brave.” 

 Then I’ll use the “find and replace” function to change “Black” to “White” and “Republican” to “Democrat,” change the whole thing mirror image, send it to the people who raved about the first column to see what they think.  My guess is they’ll hate it.  “Racist.”

 Can one person be both brave and racist?  Apparently so, if the analyst relies on the most superficial sorting.

 I could be a success like this guy.  

 Joe Doakes

To paraphrase PT Barnum, nobody every got their Letter to the Editor scuppered for not playing to the media’s prejudices.

That “Epidemic” Of White Supremacy

An arrest was made in connection with a series of “hate graffiti” incidents in Nassau County, New York:

According to authorities, Jasskirat Saini, 20, of Central Park Road, was arrested at 12:38 p.m. for multiple bias incidents at Nassau Community College. Police say Saini drew two swastikas on the exterior wall of Building H and “KKK” on the floor of F Building Cluster 225 before his arrest on Tuesday.

Police had been responding to the campus for instances of swastikas drawn on buildings since October. Most of the swastikas were found drawn in men’s bathrooms in the various buildings around campus.

As the “Garden City Patch” is part of the left-leaning “Patch” chain of community “news” sites, one may assume that had Mr. Saini had even the most tenuous link to the GOP, much less Donald Trump, it’d have gotten mentioned.   That doesn’t necessarily mean that Mr. Saini was a Democrat who was hoaxing the media to create the fraudulent impression that Nassau County was a hotbed of racism.

No.  Of course not.  Perish the thought.

Future Tense

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Last February, my wife and I stayed at an all-inclusive condo on Cozumel.  We asked the staff about tipping – not required but okay if you want to.  How much to tip?  Well, the groundskeepers, the people who speak no English and have no particular skills, make 70 Pesos per day.  The wait staff in the restaurants have some English skills so they make 100 per day.  Everyone was super-efficient and friendly because there was a line of applicants for those jobs.  At those wages in that economy, they weren’t just jobs – they were GOOD jobs.

 At the time, one American dollar was 15 pesos.  The groundskeeper was making about $5.00 per day; the waitress, $7.00.  Not per hour.  Per day. 

 One year later, Trump’s been elected and one American dollar is worth 20 pesos.  Yes, I’m glad Trump’s been elected, the strength of the dollar shows the rest of the world is glad, too. 

 Will it make America look like the Promised Land?  The starting wage for one day of part-time work at McDonalds is an entire week’s pay back home.  

 Will illegal immigration increase? 

“Build the Fence” is a wonderful short-term solution but eventually there will be 500 million inside the fence and 6,000 million outside it.  Can a fence hold off Billions of immigrants?  What’s the long term solution?

 Obama’s long-term solution seems to have been “if we make America into a Third World country, nobody will bother to come here.”  What’s Trump’s long-term solution?

 Joe Doakes

Not sure Trump was about long term solutions – but I’ve been surprised before.

Don’t Let The Door Hit You

Barbara Boxer is leaving Congress.

Unfortunately, that departure is a result of being feted at a retirement party, rather than frog-walked out of her office by the FBI.

But gone is gone – not that it matters much given California’s delegation.    It remains blinkered far-left, and is still home to some of the our worst Congresspeople, even absent Boxer.

Boxer moved to the Senate a generation ago as female candidates rode a burst of popularity, she noted in her official farewell address Wednesday. She departs just after the defeat of the first female presidential nominee.
She entered public life when it was considered a “noble” profession, she reminded listeners, and will leave just before the inauguration of a man who succeeded in large part by denouncing politicians.

The sooner that idea is mocked out of existence, the better we all will be.

Representing the people isn’t dishonorable.  Turning government into a cash cow for one’s self and one’s special interests is no more “honorable” than being a pimp.

Mark My Words

Someday, when there is a post-cold-war style reckoning with the past crimes of the American media – and I realize this may be more an “afterlife” kind of thing – the ongoing effort by the American media to slander people not like them, politically speaking, will be an entire wing in the museum.

Let’s allow up front that in a nation of 320 million people there will be loonies of every description afoot, and that not everyone deals with frustration, bigotry or hatred well or constructively.

With that out of the way?

There is no wave of Trump-inspired hatred in this country.  The media is, er, trumping up a series of:

…into a “story”, and spinning it into a largely fictional narrative.

Why?

To wag the dog.  To try to create the movement that they’re reporting on.  To try to do for hate what they did for Armenian valley girls and Flava Flav.

Will it work?

Well, their efforts didn’t give us an Empress President HIllary.  But that may have been a lucky break.

And “luck” isn’t a plan.

Holiday Season Open Letter To Minnesota / National Public Radio

To:  National Public Radio (cc: Minnesota Public Radio)
From:  Mitch Berg; not really a pollyanna
Re:  The Season For The Wheezin’

Dear various PRs,

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  And like every week after every Thanksgiving, I know what that means, especially vis-a-vis Public Radio programming.

To listen to your broadcasts, we are on the precipice of a national mental health plague, something Americans only survive with the aid of therapy, drinking or an endless slathering on of (wry, fashionable-understated) cynicism.   A time of year where all ceremony is onerous, all family members are insane or intolerable, all travel is wearing, all human interaction is a layer of plastic fakery over a rotten, frothing core of anxiety and desperation.

That’s right – the Holiday season.

Public radio programming will be clogged with with newscasters droning on about seasonal mental health afflictions; with “entertainers” jabbering about the only kind of get-togethers any of them seem to have – ugly, dysfunctional ones; with obscure writers and artists elevated (?) to radio commentators, testifying to the ordeal we’re all about to go through.

Point taken, Public Radio – the upper-middle-class, over-miseducated, secular (wildly-disproportionally secular-jewish) crowd is exquisitely bored with the whole thing.

But might I suggest you poke your collective (heh) nose outside your Subaru-driving, Oberlin/Bard/Saint Olaf-educated, Whole-Foods-shopping, free-range-alpaca-wearing, urban-liberal-privilege-wallowing, Israel-divesting, coffee-shop-music-loving, prematurely gray, bumper-sticker-clad Obama-shilling bubble and take note that for a whole lot of people, perhaps the majority, the holidays aren’t about mindless personal drama, and bring us some measure of joy?

I mean, fine – you’ll joke about how pathetic you find it.  That’s fine – and nothing new!

Just saying – perhaps you can put down the bottle and take your head out of the oven and look around a bit?

That is all.

Wag The Pigs

You want a lot of publicity for very very very little effort?

Put on a white pointy robe and yell “Make America Great Again!”

David Harsanyi points out what a lot of us on the right already know: the “Alt-Right” is to 2016 what the “Vast Rightwing Conspiracy” was to 1995, and the “War on Women” was to 2012;  a smear, pushed with relentless dedication by a media that were basically Democrat operatives with bylines, to smear the Democrats’ opponents by associating them with the a convenient, if barely extant, boogeyman.  It was something that Saul Alinsky called “framing”, and that anyone who’s studied psychological abuse calls “Gaslighting”.

David Harsanyi points out the facts on what is, to borrow a phrase, “fake news”:

Every major cable news network had a discussion about the importance of the [National Policy Institute – the place where the “crowd” yelled “Hail Trump”]. But here’s a little nugget from the NPR piece that asserts the election has given this “once fringe movement a jolt”: “About 300 people — split nearly evenly between conference attendees and protesters of the conference outside — were on hand at the downtown D.C. event.”

300 people – 150 of them attendees?

150 people go to the big game warehouse in Roseville to play Warhammer every weekend with no media coverage.

Four times that many people turn out in maroon shirts at the Legislature every time some liberal bobblehead tries to introduce a gun grab bill.

There are bowling leagues with more people and political clout than the National Policy Institute.

About 300 people? Some jolt. To put that into context, there were well over 300 people at thousands of churches and temples across the Washington area this weekend praying for peace on Earth. In this country, you could pull together 300 people for a meeting about anything, actually. Thousands of UFO enthusiasts got together in the Arizona desert last year in hopes of not being mass abducted by space aliens.

A few years ago, I attended the Socialist convention in Chicago, where at least a thousand activists gathered to discuss how to end economic freedom. Since then, 43 percent of Democrat primary goers have given this extreme movement a jolt, I guess.

In a nation of a third of a billion people, there should be a lot more crazies than that.  And who knows; if CNN and the NYTimes wave enough cameras around looking for boogeymen, then that’s exactly what we’ll get.  You create a media market for something, you’ll get…something.

Devils Of Our Nature

I hate to indulige in schadenfreude.

Part of it is because I’m a pretty emphathetic guy.  I put myself in others’ shoes pretty easily.

Part of it is that while I don’t believe in karma, I do believe what goes around comes around.

However, hearing about the psychic trauma some “blue-staters” are feeling over this past weeks, I’m rapidly giving into my worse nature and saying “Good.  Suffer, you vacuous hamsters.  If your well-being is so wrapped around a presidential election that it affects your mental health, you should really not participate”.

“But Mitch – isn’t that an unfair caricature?”

Sorry, but no – it’s not.

Fringe-y

SCENE: Mitch BERG is shoveling his sidewalk. As he’s shoveling to the east, Avery LIBRELLE, out for a walk, comes up from the west and catches BERG by surprise.

LIBRELLE: Hey, Merg!

BERG:  Uh…hi, Avery.  What’s…

LIBRELLE:   Drumpf is appointing racist white supremacists from the Alt-Right to his cabinet!

BERG:  Avery, I have a question for you.  One of the reasons I support the Second Amendment is that I believe it’s possible – not “highly likely”, but possible – that despite all the safeguards built into the Federalist system, our government could one day be take over by people who actively trample the peoples’ freedom.

LIBRELLE:  That’s paranoia, treason, and an ammosexual gun fondler fantasy.

BERG:  Huh.  But Donald Trump is now president, and you’re worried…

LIBRELLE:  …that government is actively going to stifle and quash peoples’ freedom.

BERG:  Gotcha.  So when a Second Amendment supporter says that they’re acting in defense of liberty, they are…

LIBRELLE:  Fat bald white gun fondlers who’ve watched Rambo too many times and are probably terrorists waiting to happen.

BERG:   And when Hillary Clinton supporters say it about Trump, they are…

LIBRELLE:  Guarding freedom against a fascist tyrant.

BERG:   Gun owners…

LIBRELLE:  Fat angry stupid traitors.

BERG:  People attacking Trump…

LIBRELLE:  The highest expression of democratic ideals.

BERG:  Conservative…

LIBRELLE:  Evil.  Hate.  Death.

BERG:  “Progressive”

LIBRELLE:  Love.

BERG:  Naturally.

And SCENE