Social Distortion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals don’t mind open borders because those immigrants won’t take their jobs, or their kids. And government spending doesn’t matter because government loans never have to be repaid. Half a million illegal immigrants have swarmed the border this year, all claiming to be refugees entitled to food, shelter, medical care, in-state tuition and public defenders. Oh, and interpreters, because although they don’t speak English they sure as Hell know their rights.
In completely unrelated news, .22 LR shells are still impossible to find on the shelves, as right-wing kook bitter clinging racist homophobes continue to snatch them up the instant they roll off the truck.
This cannot end well.
Joe Doakes

That which cannot be sustained, won’t be.

Footloose

Photoshop out the football and you’ve pretty much recreated Chris Kluwe’s latest press conference

The most famous (or is it infamous?) punter in modern history tries to pin the Minnesota Vikings against their end zone.

Well, in his defense, he no longer has a job to be so focused on.

Chris Kluwe may possess a number of less-than-desirable qualities, but the former punter’s media savvy remains arguably his strongest suit.  Since leveling accusations against the Minnesota Vikings, in particular special teams coach Mike Priefer, of fostering an atmosphere of homosexual hatred which led to his firing by “two cowards and a bigot,” Kluwe has remained relatively quiet.  Perhaps partially motivated by a press corps seemingly less willing to believe him, or realizing that his legal strategy depended upon him dragging many of his former teammates into the mix, Kluwe and his representation had said little about the Vikings’ independent investigation in the past seven months.

That changed Tuesday as Kluwe charged that the Vikings’ investigation has concluded and that the lack of public disclosure over the findings proved Kluwe’s allegations of bigotry:

The onetime punter said Tuesday the team is “reneging on a promise” to release a copy of its completed investigation of alleged anti-gay sentiments expressed by special teams coach Mike Priefer during the 2012 season.

Kluwe and his attorney, Clayton Halunen, announced at a morning news conference that they will file suit against the Vikings alleging discrimination on the grounds of religion, human rights, defamation and “torturous interference for contractual relations.”

The move is self-aggrandizing and potentially premature (the Vikings said the independent investigatory group would provide a report this week).  Had the press conference included accusations of the team of being “lustful c**kmonsters,” it would have been vintage Kluwe.

It was also a somewhat smart public relations ploy.  Now, whenever Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P release their findings, Kluwe can claim his pressure forced the team to do so.  And Kluwe’s willingness to forgo a lawsuit for a monetary settlement that goes towards an LGBT cause also assists both the Vikings, in helping the issue go away faster, and Kluwe himself as even old media allies questioned the punter’s motivations (the KFAN Morning Show, who often gave Kluwe free-rein to voice his opinions on all matter of subjects, openly wondered if he was making a money grab this morning).

But “somewhat smart” isn’t the same as “smart.”  Kluwe’s strategy only truly works if the independent investigation proves some or all of Kluwe’s anecdotes, in particular his claim that Mike Priefer suggested moving gay people to an island and hitting it with a nuclear bomb.  Not unlike the current Jesse Ventura defamation suit, Kluwe’s case ultimately comes down to a “he said/he said” legal battle.  Even if Kluwe is 100% accurate in quoting Vikings’ staff, he would still have to prove a correlation between comments like Priefer’s and his cutting in 2013.  The Vikings can respond about Kluwe’s declining skills and (for the position) high salary – reasons that even Kluwe cited…when cut last summer by the Oakland Raiders.

The outcome of the investigation – or any following legal action – may be pointless.  Kluwe’s defenders will continue to insist the end of his career was due to his gay rights activism, and not his next-to-last finish for punts inside the 20-yard line while making $1.45 million.  Kluwe’s detractors will continue to be maligned as being bothered by his politics rather than his penchant for vulgar name-calling to anyone who doesn’t share his views (on gay rights or other subjects).

Other than attorneys or an LGBT charity, it’s hard pressed to see who benefits from this continued fight.

Too Late The Hero

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama wants to get tough on immigration but those darn Republicans won’t let him.  He has asked Congress to let him borrow an extra $3.7 Billion to beef up border patrols and speed up deportation cases.

No mention of the President’s career-long opposition to immigration reform, his decision to sue Arizona in 2010 to stop the state from getting tough on illegal immigrants, or his decision four weeks ago to stop deportations and give work permits to millions of student-aged illegal immigrants.  Here’s where the money goes, 90% for resettlement and public defenders so illegal immigrants can stay in the country.

I wonder why Republicans don’t believe this latest offer is sincere?  They must be racisssssssssssssss

Joe Doakes

What other answer could there be?

No, seriously – after almost six years, you’d think they could come up with another defamatory deflection…

I Guess This Means Obamacare Is Irrelevant To Me, Eh?

Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, in debate with John Thune of South Dakota.

That’s South Dakota.  The one to the south:

A smart fence which is what Senator McCain and I want to build – since he’s from Arizona, I think he knows more about this than the Senator from South Dakota, who only has a border with Canada that is quite different.

Leave aside the logical fallacy -border state congresscritters are just as clueless about our sovereignty as anyone else – huh?

I was apparently born in Canada, and not one of the lower 57.  Who knew?

Remember – they’re the smart party.

Asymmetric

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Baby killers used to tell pro-lifers “If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one.” It was considered a crushing rejoinder even though it put personal liberty over loss of innocent life. The implication was that a mother taking action to kill her child was so obviously moral that it was beyond reproach.

Seems to me that line could be re-cycled by the Second Amendment crowd: “If you don’t want to carry a firearm, then don’t.” I wonder if Liberals would consider my decision to take action to Prevent someone from killing my child, to be equally valid?

Joe Doakes

If the left approached this issue (or most others) from a logical position…

…well, it’s a moot question, isn’t it?

Hillary! Was Right – Sort Of

In regard to Terry Gross’ interview with Hillary Clinton last week – in which the eternally-overrated Gross spent ten minutes badgering Clinton about the “evolution” in her views on same-sex marriage – I’m of two minds, depending on who you are:

If You’re a Liberal:  Gross showed Hillary! up as the hypocrite she is.  Clearly Elizabeth Warren is the only person fit to run for President in 2016.  To accept any less would be to short-sell this nation. 

If You’re a Smart Person:  This piece in The Federalist by Mollie Hemingway sums up nicely the things – not by any means good things – that Gross’ badgering says about modern “progressivism”. 

She badgered Clinton for an answer that Gross was tacitly demanding – self-abnegation over her history on the issue – that Clinton is too smart to give. 

Gross pretended that all of American society outside the NPR-infused ultra-left hadn’t largely changed their minds on the issue in a blazingly short time. 

Gross was also engaging in the ritual that is emerging on the left, the Orwellian need for all “progressives” to show that they were exhibiting PC correct-think on every issue from the very beginning. 

And worst?  Gross is showing how very unskeptical and unenquiring her breed of “journalist” is when revealed dogma is involved. 

Now, I know the popular view among our deep thinkers in the media is that recognizing [the definition of marriage as being an institution where one or more man and one or more woman raised children has been remarkably consistent across societies, systems, religions and eras througout human history] should probably be a capital offense. But to paraphrase and quote something I wrote in “The Rise of the Same-Sex Marriage Dissidents,” marriage is historically understood as being based on the reality that all humans have complete biological systems in their body save one. That one for which we all have only half is the reproductive system — the means by which we propagate the species. Humans have all sorts of relationships but marriage was about sexual complementarity for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with bigotry, obviously.

Now if one wants to change marriage laws to reflect something else, that’s obviously something that one can aim to do. We’ve seen the rapid, frequently unthinking embrace of that change in recent years, described one year ago in the humanist and libertarian magazine Spiked as “a case study in conformism” that should terrify “anyone who values diversity of thought and tolerance of dissent.”

Here in Minnesota, the main persuasive approach of the same-sex marriage crowd (“if you don’t support it without stint or question, you’re a bigot”) was the sort of thing that gave Orwell indigestion seventy years ago. 

I do urge you to read the whole thing.

Saturday Plans!

Tomorrow on the Northern Alliance, I’ll be talking with:

  • MNGOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour
  • Amy Alkon, the Advice Goddess, on her new book Good Manners for People Who Sometimes Say F**k.  And yes, I will be using my radio training to the hilt tomorrow. 

Hope you can tune in from 1-3PM on AM1280!

Doakes Sunday: Conundrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Wisconsin lawmakers want to be certain doctors performing an abortion kill only one person at a time. They require abortion doctors to have hospital privileges, in case something goes wrong during an abortion and the mother needs to be whisked to the hospital.

Planned Parenthood says this places an undue burden on women seeking to exercise their Constitutional right to an abortion, and is suing.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Washington, DC has ruled that a law requiring people to appear in person at a government office during government hours to be photographed and fingerprinted and re-registered every three years, does not unduly burden persons seeking to exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms that someday might have the potential to kill someone in self-defense.

Both rulings are based on the Constitution so here’s my question: Why did the Founding Fathers insist it be easier to kill an innocent, than to prevent an innocent from being killed?

Joe Doakes

you’re only innocent”, really, when your story l supports the right agenda.

Doakes Sunday: Sprung

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

You can’t keep convicted murderers locked up for life, it’s intolerable.  They must be allowed day passes to stretch their legs, enjoy life a bit.  They generally come back to prison.  Not all of them, but many.

Sheesh, where is this prison, Stalag 13? Monty Python wouldn’t try this skit, nobody would believe it.

Joe Doakes

The good news?  It’s just the Brits.

The bad news?  The Brits are our canary, and we’re down in the same exact coal mine.

The No-Brainer

A majority of Minnesotans support Sunday liquor sales.  And every year, as another generation of Minnesotans runs out of beer for a Sunday cookout for the first time, that support rises.

And yet the Minnesota Senate killed an amendment to an omnibus booze bill that would have legalized Sunday liquor sales for the first time.

In a state where taxes are booming and small business is being strangled, it seems like a minor issue – and it is.  But it’s also a no-brainer if you claim to support limited government and scaling back on pointless, mindless regulation – which are things Republicans talk about a lot.

Walter Hudson goes over the reasons,and finds them wanting:

While liquor stores near the border may clamor to compete with stores in surrounding states who enjoy a surge of business from exiled Minnesotans each Sunday, most of the liquor industry likes their state-mandated day off. Union contracts would have to be renegotiated if Sunday sales were legal. Routines would have to be adjusted. Staff might need to be hired and trained. Things would change, and change is icky.

Other special interests include moralizing theocrats who believe the state should force others to conform to their religious preferences, along with mother hens concerned that a seventh day of drinking invites untold carnage…Can you smell the nanny-statism? Do you see the cronyism at work? This is why rank-and-file activists and average everyday Minnesotans find this issue so provocative. There’s no plainer case of special interests wielding undue and wholly illegitimate influence over the rights of individuals.

And you’d think this’d be a no-brainer for Republicans.

And for a little over half the Senate GOP caucus, you’d be wrong.  While the DFL voted overwhelmingly to kill the Amendment, at the behest of their union benefactors and one of the state’s main booze-retail lobbies, the Senate GOP also voted 14-12 to kill the amendment.    Here are the votes.    And the s

And while it is a minor issue – to me more than most, since I go to liquor stores maybe once or twice a year – Hudson explains as capably as any I’ve read why that makes it, in some ways, even more important:

Why does this issue matter? Because if we can’t conjure the political will to overcome special interests in defense of individual rights when it barely matters at all, how are we going to champion rights when the stakes are huge?

If we can’t achieve consensus on the political Right that people should be free to open their businesses when they please, how are we going to win the argument that parents should educate as they please, or that individuals should own their healthcare, or that any of us own our life in any meaningful way? If the legislature can cite some social benefit to banning Sunday sales, why can’t they cite a social benefit to banning anything imaginable?

While 12 of the GOP caucus supported the Amendment (proposed by Branden Petersen, who is fast turning into the Rand Paul of the MN State Senate, and I mean that as a good thing), we need to have a word with Bruce Anderson, Gary Dahms, Michelle Fischbach, Paul Gazelka, Dan Hall (to whom I give a partial pass at voting for a higher principle as a Catholic lay priest, but it’s only a partial pass), Bill Ingebrigtsen,  Mary Kiffmeyer,  Warren Limmer,  Carla Nelson,  John C. Pederson,  Eric Pratt,  Julie A. Rosen,  Bill Weber and the normally-excellent Torrey Westrom.

NoH8!

Now, I’ve never been much for bashing on people who are different than me.

Gays, in particular.  While I am a committed straight breeder, bashing on gays for their orientation has never really interested me.

And when the whole genre of gay-baiting humor, to say nothing of hatred, went out of style (except in the world of all those democrats who produce hip-hop, naturally), I breathed a muted sigh of relief.

So we’re all good.

Now, gay movement; could you please see to these hatemongers?  Before someone gets pissed and starts putting on “Pranciest Fairy” contests again?

Because “H8″ really does cut both ways.

Thanks.

The Left’s War On The Western Intellect

One never needs to look far for a Berg’s Seventh Law violation.  But this one may be the big daddy of them all.

For all the left’s bargling about how smart they are and how stupid the teabagging wingnuts are, it’s the left that’s waging a war against the intellectual traditions that made the West a great, and – by world historical standards – free, prosperous and enlightened place.

The Late, Great Debate:  I did debate team for one year, and speech team for two in high school.  And with all due respect to the debaters in my social circle – including John Hinderaker, a national college debate champ – there was no question about it; debate team was the lesser set of skills.  The best “debaters” merely honed their ability to rattle off, auctioneer-style, factoids in a coherent-sounding case; oratorical style and even audible legibility didn’t make the cut as priorities.  Debaters tended to make lousy “forensics” speakers.

But debate teaches a vital skill – indeed, perhaps one of Western Civilization’s most vital skills; classical logic.  A good debater knows how to contruct a logical argument, quickly, steering clear of glaring logical fallacies which will, of course, cost them points with literate judges.

Or rather, they knew it.

John Hinderaker relates the story of the decline and fall of collegiate debate, where teams are now winning “debate” tournaments while ignoring the stated topic and swerving into their own personal polemics, often in “slam poetry” and hip-hop styles and, dumber still, declaring the idea of “logic” and “structure” to be racist:

The assertion that “the framework of collegiate debate has historically privileged straight, white, middle-class students” is puzzling. By “privileged,” the writer apparently means that these are the people who have been good at it. Historically, most college students have of course been white and middle-class, but so what?

“Collegiate debate” has turned into the MinnPost comment section!

I’m tempted to declare that the structure, rules and equipment of the NFL are ageist, classist and ableist, and play using only a shotgun and a hockey stick; why should those privileged with athletic talent and lack of years have all the fun and money?

Well, no – I won’t.  Because I’m not an idiot.

The underlying message from the academy (and hip hop forms notwithstanding, the end of collegiate debate is a battle between academic points of view, not tastes in music) is that logic and structure – the building blocks of western philosophy, “liberal” government, modern science, and indeed every Western intellectual tradition worth preserving – are matters of racist “privilege”.

Would we have had a small-”l” liberal government, ann Enlightenment, a Renaissance, math and science as we know it, a legal system remotely worth having, and any common intellectual tradition without classical logic?

Happy To Be An Intellectual Midget For A Better Minnesota!:  Of course, it’s more than just a national thing; the Minnesota Left has been doing its best to make politics and public life in Minnesota  dumber, coarser, nastier thing.

Bill Glahn dials this tendency in as remorselessly as a sniper:

As the 2014 election campaign heats up, a drearily familiar pattern is repeating itself. Flush with big dollars from out-of-state donors, Democrat-front group Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) is attacking Republican candidates under the theme Wrong for Minnesota…Back in the dim mists of time—when dinosaurs still trod upon the earth—I was taught that arguing against the person (ad hominem) rather than what the person was saying, defied the laws of logic.

When I was in debate in high school, and moreso when arguing points in college, leading with the ad hominem was a good way to have your thesis sent to the showers.

I was taught in classical Greek rhetoric that a message that relied exclusively on raw emotion (pathos)—rather than reason (logos) or an appeal to values (ethos)—was considered the lowest form of communication.
Ad hominem and pathos are the only form of expressions ABM is capable of. The reason why ABM relies on these tactics is because they work. The object is not to engage in debate, but to end debate by surpressing voter turnout. ABM is not trying to convince you that you should vote for Democrats, they are trying to convince you that no Republican possesses the personal character worthy of your vote.

And it works.  A potential candidate for higher office talked with me about ABM’s efforts last year; this person wanted very much to run for an office that would be up for election this year, but couldn’t; while they have the political savvy, experience and record to do the job, ABM would make their personal life – things unrelated to politics, of course – a living hell.  And so a good candidate opted out of the race – leaving that bit more room for an inferior Democrat.

To add insult to injury?  The same media full of Lori Sturdevants and Keri Millers that snivel about the “vitriol” and “anger” in politics, are utterly silent about the Alliance’s crimes against logic:

Should a Republican whisper about the health of our current governor or the temperament of our junior senator, they are immediately shouted down by local media.

Either because of personal relationships or broad sympathy with the aims of ABM, these tactics are never questioned by local media. ABM’s increasingly fantastic and desperate claims against Republicans are never subjected to the “fact-check” apparatus.

And why is that?

Why has MPR, especially their “Fact-Check” operation, “Poligraph”, never systematically looked into ABM’s propaganda?  Catherine Richert?  Mike Mulcahy?  Tom Scheck? Anyone?

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.