Hard Core

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I guess my political views are pretty hard-core right-wing. Even so, I can see a way for the taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood.

If they offered sex education and free condoms or IUDs, so people who weren’t ready for kids wouldn’t get pregnant and contribute to the overall welfare caseload, I could support that.

If they offered abortions for women who suffered rape or incest; and the abortions were conditional upon the victim fully cooperating with law enforcement including saving fetal tissue for DNA testing; I could support that.

If Planned Parenthood offered the services it says it offers, and nothing more, then I’d be willing to fund them. The problem is that’s not all they do. The undercover videos of Planned Parenthood doctors negotiating for body parts shows they’re not in the baby-prevention business as much as the baby-killing business just like Kenneth Gosnell (but with better PR).

Killing the baby as it’s being born might technically qualify as “birth control,” but only in the most contorted use of the word. We could reduce class sizes in schools, if we murdered half the students. We need to look beyond the ends, we need to question the means, to see if they’re compatible with our notions of civilized society. To the extent Planned Parenthood persists in performing savage rituals and lying to me about it, I have no problem de-funding them. If Democrats want to shut down the entire government over that issue, I’d do it.

Saving babies is a political hill I’m willing to die on. The shameful part is there are so few of us.

Joe Doakes

I’m getting more militant about it the older I get.

All The Lies The Democrats Demand Be Printed

The NYTimes lied about Republicans, guns, Sarah Palin, and pretty much everyone in their editorial about the Hodgekinson attack – down to making up facts from thin air 

Davie French unravels the Times’ depraved attack on truth:

Let’s be blunt. In its zeal to create moral equivalencies and maintain a particular narrative about the past, the Times flat-out lied. There is simply no “link to political incitement” in Loughner’s murderous acts. The man was a paranoid schizophrenic who first got angry at Gabby Giffords years before Palin published her map.

This is, of course, part of an ongoing pattern of slandering everyone to the right of Martin O’Malley:

Let’s not forget, this is the same editorial board that, one year ago, laid blame on Republican Christian politicians for an Orlando terrorist attack by a confessed Islamic jihadist. Omar Mateen swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but the Times editors believed (again, without any evidence) that he was inspired in part by Republican objections to granting men access to women’s restrooms. The editorial board should retract its editorial and apologize.

And would someone – Pat Kessler?  Bob Collins?  Erik Black?  Cat Richert? Nina Totenberg? – finally let slip the dogs of our mainstream media’s vaunted “fact-check” industry?  We’ve got a chain of howlers here:

In addition to lying about Palin, the Times couldn’t resist yet another nonsensical attack on gun rights — claiming that “studies” have shown that armed citizens would “probably” kill or wound innocent bystanders in the effort to stop the killer. Which studies? In fact, we have considerable real-world experience showing that armed citizens can stop mass shootings without harming innocent civilians.

We do, indeed.

As Dennis Prager says, the Second Civil War has been underway for some time, now.  Until Wednesday, it largely wasn’t a shooting war.

French also notes how Sarah Palin likely has a decent defamation case against the Times, even though she’s a public figure.  I hope she does.  I’ll contribute.

Hate Crime

Big Left has been warning us that there’s a wave of ideological hate crime just around the corner, and that  you gotta watch out for those crazy right-wingers.

It’s a Berg’s Seventh Law occurrence, of course.

A gunman attacked a Republican congressional baseball practice this morning.  His mission?  “Kill as many Republicans as possible”.

Shortly after the shooting Wednesday morning at a congressional baseball practice, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) told NBC News that it appeared the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.” Walker, who was at the practice for the upcoming annual congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia, confirmed he was “shaken but okay.”

“Punch a Nazi”.

“Anti-Fa”.

Hello, Liberals – when so much of your side is awash in demented hatred (the real thing, not the “disagreement with our narrative is hate” thing that so many of you jabber about), and given the instability wrapped in entitlement that so many people on your side have, what do you think is going to happen?

Be careful out there, Real Americans.  It’s gonna get worse before it gets better.

UPDATE:  While Berg’s 19th Law is still in effect (“Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts”), the shooter’s Facebook page indicates he is a Sanders supporter.

UPDATE 2:  The WaPo has ID’ed the shooter as a 66 year old Illinois man.

UPDATE 3:  As usual, many on the left are acting like poo-flinging baboons.

UPDATE 4:  James Hodgkinson is the name, and this is from his Facebook page:

Apparnetly “& Co” is “All Republicans”.

Clearly, we need universal background checks for Democrat voters buying guns.

I Thought About Doing An “Avery Librelle” Dramatization…

…of a smug, entitled, East-Coast fop “analyzing” the blue-collar white people who put Donald Trump in office – the line “Shut up, you worthless sister-boinking Budweiser-drinking white trash” Avery explained” croxsed my mind – but in the end, I figured this piece in (where else) Slate by (who else?) Isaac Chotiner parodied itself far beyond my feeble talents.

Shot:

If there is one thing everyone should be able to agree on about the past seven months, it is that the white working class can no longer be described as “forgotten.” Beaten-down? Racist? Mistreated? Angry? Victimized? Sure. We have read and heard the white working class described in all of those ways. But the election of Donald Trump has ensured that we are discussing this group ad nauseam.

Chaser:

I spoke recently by phone with [author Joan Williams], who is also a distinguished professor of law at University of California Hastings College of the Law. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed Trump’s view of his own voters, the role of racism in class resentments, and whether there is any way to avoid being “condescending” to Trump’s supporters.

 

Go head, read it.  And as you do, just note – that sound you’re hearing is Donald Trump measuring the drapes for his second term.

Open Letter To Kathy Griffin

To:  Kathy Griffin, Comedian-Turned-Not-Very-Intelligent Political Satirist
From:  Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  I Don’t Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Ms. Griffin,

I say this as someone who actually used to enjoy your standup routine, until you decided you had to be Culturally Important.  Please take it in the spirit intended.

You are not being “bullied”.   The people you (and people like you, including your former employers and most of your fellow A-through-D-list “entertainment” figures) have been bullying punched you back.

Like most bullies (cultural or physical), you don’t like it.

Waaah, waaah, waaah.  There.  That’s my sympathy for you, like all bullies.

That is all.

(P.S. to those of you who call yourselves “the Resistance” to Trump:   While you are a demographic minority, you have vast, disproportionate control over this culture’s news, entertainment, culture, style, and national conversation.  You were the occupiers; the Trump voters were “the resistance”).

Lie First, Lie Always: The City Pages – Making It Up As They Go Along

The City Pages, 1997:   Solid (if solidly-left-of-center) reporting, a keen eye on local events (at least in Uptown, Downtown and Dinkytown), and some investigative reporting that shamed the local dailies.

The City Pages, 2017:  Creeping on Facebook pages, calling it “news”.

Mike Mullen – who we’ve encountered before – found a Facebook post which he opted to not only turn into a story, but one that is misleading to the point of fiction.  Here’s the headline:

It’s in regard to a rally on June 10 by “ACT for America”, an anti-immigration group.

Go ahead.  Read the text of Mullen’s little excrescence.  Find any reference to the NRA being involved?

Only an unlinked blurb of dubious provenance about AFA referring to itself as “the NRA of National Security”.

I’m loathe to quote from the piece – it’s dumb enough to be on Minnesota Progressive Project, which is a terminal condition.    But this piece caught my wary eye:

These cowboys won’t be alone at the Capitol. Liberal protest groups like the local Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) call ACT a “racist hate group,”

Well, there’s a shock.

If a conservative orders a pizza in the woods, and “SDS” (“Antifa”, the SPLC, Media Matters, Alonda Cano, Tina Liebling or Ken Martin, etc, etc, etc)  aren’t there to hear it, is it still “hate speech)?

 

Mordida

The DFL wants to kill the budget bill and shut down the state government to…

…well, just guess why (emphasis added)?

“I am urging our DFL leader and my friend, Governor Mark Dayton, to veto the Public Safety Omnibus Bill. It is long overdue that Minnesota do the right thing and lead on this important moral issue. The language inserted at the last moment by the Republicans will make it harder for the State to grant drivers licenses to all people working in Minnesota. As an ally of Minnesota’s diverse immigrant communities, I want to bring awareness to how devestating (sic) this policy is to immigrant families throughout our state…I am sharing this letter from the DFL Latino Caucus who very movingly capture the importance of this issue to their community and the broader immigrant community here in Minnesota

In other words, drivers license for illegal immigrants.

“But Mitch – he just said “immigrants”.  Why do you infer “illegal” into that?”

Because when the DFL refers to “immigrants”, they pretty much always mean illegals.

And why is that?

“Given demographic trends, earning the Latino vote is critical to the DFL’s future success. According to DFL Chair Ken Martin’s recent report to the DFL State Central Committee, although many other demographic groups didn’t turn out to vote in large numbers in the 2016 presidential election, Latinos in Minnesota greatly increased our voter turnout and helped keep Minnesota blue. We are the fastest-growing community of color in Minnesota, and will progressively represent a larger portion of the electorate. Signing this bill in its current form could damage the bond between immigrant communities and the DFL, and could depress Latino voter turnout in future elections.”

Bones are being thrown.

Walking Out On Reason

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Students walked out of Pence’s speech.

“The move was not totally unexpected, since the student organization WeStaNDFor had shared their plans ahead of time. They believe that the politics Pence, the former Indiana governor who was raised Catholic, represented contradicted the Catholic social virtues Notre Dame extols.”

“Our members lived in South Bend when Mike Pence was governor,” the group said in a statement. “We know all too well how his policies endangered or caused direct harm to public education, health care, women’s rights, the environment, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants and refugees, reproductive rights, local infrastructure, the economy of our state, and more.”

Hang on – reproductive rights?  That’s Liberal code speak for “abortion” which Pence opposes but so does the Catholic Church.  Doesn’t Notre Dame oppose it, too?  Isn’t protecting innocent life a Catholic social value?

Are these kids heretics, Protestants or simply idiots?

(Ahem, Joe – might wanna pick some better comparisons – Your Pro-Life Protestant Editor)

Notre Dame used to stand for something.  It could again.  If you walk out on the Vice President of the United States during commencement, that indicates you failed to learn the values of inclusiveness, of open-minded discussion, of discovery and examination of issues from all points of view, of basic human respect AND respect for his office; it’s an insult not only to him but to this entire campus who you embarrassed.  In consequence, you don’t graduate from Notre Dame.  Take your credits someplace where that behavior is tolerated.  We’ll share your transcript same as anyone else, you can take your credits over to leftist U and get their diploma but you won’t have one with our name on it.  You failed the final exam, and there is no do-over.

Joe Doakes

If only.

Although suffice to say I will never hire any of them, if it’s my call…

When The Future Is Forgotten

Most of Europe’s political leaders – almost without exception, among the big ones – have no children.  The list is almost airtight:  Frances’ Emmanuel Macron; Germany’s Angela Merkel, the UK’s  Theresa May,Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon, Italiy’s Paolo Gentiloni, the Netherlands’Mark Rutte, Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel – none have kids.  Sweden’s Stefan Löfven has no bio-kids; the EU’s uber-bureaucrat Jean-Claude Juncker is also “child-free”.

 

And this is significant:

One of the benefits of parenthood is the daily confrontation with free will—a human nature. Parents may have their child’s life, career, and happiness planned out, but a child has other ideas -constantly. Love, patience, teaching, negotiating, scolding—nurture—can help direct the child, but the overwhelming otherness of the child is undeniable. They are not blank slates upon whom the parent exercises his will.

Political leaders without this experience of parenthood may be susceptible to the idea that people are blank-slates, interchangeable units of human capital. As a parent and a teacher, I have seen many brilliant and well-meaning parents and colleagues crash their will and intellect against the rock of a child’s independent nature. Now, scale such a hubristic paternalism to a nation. Or a continent.

Contemporary childless leaders, however ascendant they feel today, may be the last gasp of secularism. The future is won by those who show up, and only the religiously orthodox are having children.

The number of utopians – good and evil (and as opposed to totalitarian gansters, who may talk of utopia but never practice it), from the far left, far right, and the far libertarian fringe – who have eschewed parenthood is also a little daunting.

I know my own approach to politics was a lot more…entitled?  Absolutist?  Based on assumptions that raising kids showed me were unsupportable?   All of those and more, before I had kids.

So now we have the leadership of one of the world’s most powerful blocs of natoins, all governing from the perspective of people who’ve never had to deal with kids?

I think it’s also significant that the leaders of the former Communist countries in Europe – Poland, Hungary (fiive kids!), the Czechs, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria – people who’ve had to deal with genuine cognitive dissonance and the imperfection of institutions in their lifetimes – tend to have kids.

Big Lake. Big Litter-Storm.

The fastest-growing school sport in Minnesota today is trap-shooting.  All over greater Minnesota, even into the outer Metro, trap teams are popping up, and drawing all kinds of students into the shooting sports.  The growth in terms of numbers and percentage is overwhelming; we’ve got regular commenters on this blog who can go into the specifics, but it’s been pretty meteoric over the past five to ten years.

But they never promised us a rose garden, as they say.

The Big Lake school district is refusing to allow the Big Lake High School Trap Team’s official team photo into the school’s annual for this year.

Because never mind the breakdown of the nuclear farmily, or a popular culture that glorifies violence to those who are least able to process what “violence” actually  is and who have no concept of the permanence of “mortality” (teenage boys), marketed with slick cynicism by a Hollywood advertising machine that has no soul.  And never mind the fact that Big Lake is well within the part of Minnesota that has a murder rate roughly half that of Norway.  Or the fact that while trap shotguns are, technically, weapons, the sport isn’t about violence – certainly nothing compared to the martial overtones and actual pummeling of high school football.

No.  Apparently photos of guns are enough to make people violent.

“It’s policy”, says the district – not allowing “weapons” into the yearbook.

Photo courtesy MNGOPAC

But a search of district policies shows nothing about weapons.   You can’t bring a gun to school (which may be why Big Lake has never had a school shooting?  I don’t know), but there is nothing in the district’s policy about pictures of skeet guns in the hands of a school-sponsored team that is participating in a legal, school sanctioned event.  

Anyway – the students on the trap team are doing their best to whip up a litter-storm of Biblical proportion, and I’m going to do my best ton contribute to it.

Polite, measured, reasonable phone calls and emails to be Athletic Director, the Principal and the Superintendent are in order.

As Breitbart said, politics is downstream of culture.   It’s battles like this – where the idiots of our society try to de-normalize conservative values – that are where the war for the culture take place every day…

…and where you and me can actually affect them.

I’m off to kick up that biblical litter-storm.

UPDATE:  They’re hearing us:

Big Lake School Board Chairman Mark Hedstrom told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS via email that he wants to see the trap team included in the yearbook.
“I have made a request to the superintendent to please add this item to (Thursday) night’s school board meeting agenda so the board can look at making an exception (to) this handbook guideline,” Hedstrom wrote.
The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Big Lake.

Big Lake-ians (?), your mission is clear. Make sure your school board hears you.

Sometimes the voice of reason has to be louder than the voice of stupidity, ignorance and tyranny to be heard at all.

UPDATE 2:  In a statement redolent with “HOLY CRAP, MY EARS HURT”, Big Lake HIgh School has walked back its decision.  The picture will appear in the annual.

Thanks.  Good job.

Politics is downstream of culture.  The water downstream is a little more drinkable today.

Threshold

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We complain that young people act like children.  Why shouldn’t they?

 

A Minnesota resident can start having sex and get a driver’s license at 16, abortions and cigarettes at 18, and liquor and beer at 21; but he doesn’t have to get his own health insurance until 26.

Is that when he’s finally grown-up enough to be responsible for taking care of himself?  Is that when he becomes an “adult?”  Why would anybody want to be an adult when all the good stuff is available to kids?

Want to reform behavior?  Make the ages all the same and vigorously enforce the law.  No fun until you’re an adult in all respects.

Now, what age should that be?

Joe Doakes

When they can pay their own rent for a year without help. Could be 17, could be 35.

In an unrelated matter?  The whole notion of “fetal viability” in the abortion debate is a red herring.  A “fetus” isn’t vital until it can get a job, a place of its own, and start its own 401K.

A Fools’ Sanctuary

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We won’t cooperate in enforcing federal law.  But we still want the federal gravy

 Liberals are big on equal outcomes, right?  Everything has to be equal in order to be fair?  Okay, then.  Treat them like kids in grade school.  When someone farted and wouldn’t own up, everybody skipped recess. 

 If any city in the nation refuses to cooperate with federal law enforcement official, no city in the nation gets federal funding.  End it.

 I’d bet a brand-new nickel the cities that were in compliance weren’t the ones sucking up the biggest share of the funds.  Let’s turn off the spigot and see who cracks first.

 Joe Doakes

The bluff is overwhelming.

Culture Shock

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A young woman who works in my building looks to be about 24 years old.  Chatty person, tell you her whole life story. Went to 2-year course for some paraprofessional thing, been working here 3 years. 

 She has student loans, of course.  She racked up credit card debt then consolidated that into another loan.  Old car was junk, bought a new one, has a car loan.  Constantly texting her friends about how tough it is, using her brand-new hand-held computer with unlimited data plan, all on convenient monthly payments.  Every month is down to the wire.  Getting married this fall, needs to save money. Moved back in with her fiancee’s parents to save on rent.  Money is tight.

 Okay, listen, I get it.  I know about stretching the budget. I worked days while I went to law school nights.  My wife and I raised three kids and that ain’t cheap.  We’ve been there.  Nothing wrong with that.

 She’s got an appointment to get Lasik surgery.  She’s tired of wearing glasses.  She wants to be to see without them.  Yes, it’s $1,000 or so but she’ll save money in the long run because she won’t be buying glasses every year.  It’s not an indulgence, it’s an investment, see?

 I bumped into her in the hall a moment ago.  She was running out to Subway to buy lunch because she doesn’t get up early enough to pack a lunch and besides, sandwiches get dried out and that’s just gross.

 Why do I feel so old, all of the sudden?

 Joe Doakes

We’ve got a generation – or part of one – that’s never really known want, and, since their Depression-era relatives are mostly gone, haven’t heard about it.

What would they know?

Bedrock Principles

Some believe that liberals have no princples; that it’s all about power.

Well, some liberal have some principles, it’s true, and some of them aren’t about getting and keeping power.

But as Jonah Goldberg points out, it’d be a mistake to think that liberals aren’t constitutional originalists, as seen during the Gorsuch hearings (I’ll add the emphasis):

After noting a bunch of court cases that reaffirmed Roe, Feinstein went on to make an additional point: “Importantly, the dozens of cases affirming Roe are not only about precedent, they are also about a woman’s fundamental and constitutional rights.”

I’m a bit fuzzy about what she sees as the distinction between fundamental and constitutional rights, but that doesn’t matter. Clearly her bedrock belief is that the process of constitutional evolution stopped with Roe v. Wade. One might say that instead of being a 1789 originalist, she’s an originalist of 1973.

As Bill Clinton said to the intern after sitting on the couch and patting his lap, do you see what I’m getting at?

To borrow a phrase from Michelle Obama, today’s liberals weren’t really proud of America until then…

 

The First Priority Is To Have Priorities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Trump issued an Executive Order on immigration last month, pursuant to a law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama two years ago.   A Federal judge in California blocked it. 

 President Trump issued a revised Executive Order that took into account the judge’s objections.  A Federal judge in Hawaii has blocked the new order on the grounds that a Muslim Imam living in Hawaii may have a First Amendment right to invite anybody from anywhere in the world to come to Hawaii to visit him, if he feels like it, and therefore the United States government has no power to stop any invited guest from entering the country.

 This is sheer fantasy, of course, utterly unsupported by statute or any prior interpretation of the Constitution.  If it went up the ladder to the Supreme Court, it would be . . . well, now wait a minute.  That court is divided 4-4 because of the Scalia vacancy.  We can’t say what would happen.  Neil Gorsuch was nominated to fill the Scalia seat.  Did that happen?

 No.  The Establishment Republicans in Congress – the ones who supported Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan for President – the ones who swore “Never Trump” – are in charge of the Supreme Court nomination.  It’s the single most important thing they have on their plate but it’s stalled. 

 They’re busy, you see.  They never thought Trump would win so they didn’t bother making plans to repeal Obamacare.  Now that he’s dropped this tar-baby in their laps, they’re atwitter over how to appear to be doing something to keep their phony-baloney jobs without doing anything that might make the New York Times call them names.  It’s a conundrum, you see, which might possibly go away if they wait long enough and Trump is impeached.

I read the other day that North Korea claims to have a nuclear missile capable of reaching Hawaii.  Reeeeeeealy?  Hmmmmmmmm.

 Joe Doakes

 Not sure regular commenter Mammuthus Primigenius would approve – and losing Hawaii but keeping California just leaves the country in the same boat we’re in.

Breslin

Jimmy Breslin died over the weekend.  He was 88.

We’ll come back to that.


The media today – or at least, people of a certain age (i.e. older than me) who are still in the media – remind me of circus performers telling inside jokes about what the ringmaster did after that one show in Lincoln, or of mailmen amongst themselves about the worst breeds of dog to encounter, or  city bus drivers reminiscing about the foibles of that old model of bus that got retired a couple of decades ago, unlamented by anyone but, well, them.  They remind me of any group of clubby, beleaguered insiders who turn the foibles, peccadillos and petty miseries of their callings into legends in their own minds.    Not like World War II veterans telling niche anecdotes from a little tiny window of the fight to save freedom.  Just guys who did something most people don’t care about all that much, building it in their minds into something worthy of the life they built around it.

Unlike arthritic old circus hands, mailmen and bus drivers, journalists buy newsprint by the rail car and ink by the barrel – so they can inflict their particular tales, traditions and argot onto the rest us.  And lest anyone accuse me of ridiculing other people, I am one of them, at least as regards the radio industry.

I remember hearing some longtime Twin Cities journalists talk about Nick Coleman leaving the Star/Tribune.  “He was a great, old-time newspaperman”, one of them said.  “One of the best”.

Why, I asked.

What followed was an explanation I can’t possibly reproduce here – but it boiled down to Coleman epitomizing what an old-school “ink-stained wretch” was supposed to look, act and write like.

And I thought “this is the Nick Coleman who made an outsized contribution to the decline and fall of journalism.  If he didn’t like you, he’d just make s**t up; he’d conjure up community groups from his imagination,  or make up facts when he didn’t know enough to dig, ask or wait for the real ones.  And he played a bigger-than-average role in the financial ruination of the field he, and the journos who reminisce about him, try to earn a living in.

But no matter.  Journalists are like those hold each other to a standard that only they understand, and really only makes sense, or matters, really, to them.

And so Nick Coleman is a hero, while journalists who actually do what journalists are supposed to do but don’t know the secret handshake get mocked and derided by the bus drivers.  Er, circus geeks.

Damn.  I mean journos.


Along those lines, Journos like to tells themselves their mission nis to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable”.

It’s pretty inevitably b******t.  Most reporters spend their careers covering city council meetings and one-car crashes and writing obits and, today, probably selling ads to help their outlet get by.   Their biases are irrelevant, because their beats are all about the mundanities of civic and public life that are just too boring for partisanship.

But Jimmy Breslin, like Studs Terkel and Jim Klobuchar and, heaven help us, Nick Coleman, was on a different plane.  A columnist as well as a reporter, or maybe a reporter who got to have opinions, a pioneer in what they used to call “New Journalism” – subjective, advocacy-oriented, opinionated, journalism that put white and black hats on its subjects…

…rather than letting the reader do it for themselves.

To journos – and consumers of a certain outlook – it was brilliant, pioneering stuff.  And it certainly did pioneer the idea of the journalist as the crusader rather than the crier, the seeker of goals rather than the reporter of facts – as the ones who could comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.  As being able to fight, as one of Breslin’s obituary writers said, for the little guy.

I found out Breslin’s regard for the little guy, straight from the horse’s mouth.  I met Breslin once, back in 1986.  He was doing a book tour, back when book tours meant traveling the country and doing radio live in the studio; I booked him on the Don Vogel show.

This was in the wake of one of Bernard Goetz’s trials.  Vogel asked him a question about Goetz – an electrician who’d been mugged, over and over, and reacted famously by shooting a group of muggers in the subway with an unregistered gun (only celebrities and politicians could get handgun license in New York – and that’s still pretty much true).

Breslin oozed contempt for Goetz.   It was sneering, visceral, hateful – as if the thought that a mere hoi polloi’s life was worth defending itself violated the public order.

But Goetz wasn’t “the little guy” to Breslin or the “journalism” establishment who aped him.  The criminals – with whom the purveyors of the myth of New York in the sixties and seventies had long since made fitful peace – were the little guys; not predators, not even pests; part of a zen-like symbiosis that one had to tolerate to “be a New Yorker”.

To the likes of Breslin and his many many imitators.

He was there for the right little guys.

Like most journos.

But never let it be said I speak ill of the dead.  Breslin did write one thing in his long career that rocked me back on my heels; the piece he wrote about the surgery he underwent a few decades back for an aneurysm.   Positively brilliant.  I can’t find it, but I will keep looking.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Anti-Gun Amateur Hour

Earlier this morning at the House Public Safety Committee hearings on the “Stand your Ground” billl, a “pro-bill” testifier erupted in a caracature of a pro-Trump, white supremacist tirade; at one point, he reportedly said it was time for gun owners to return to “lynching” people.

Then he got up and walked out.

He’s utterly unknown to Minnesota’s close-knit 2nd Amendment activist community.

The moment I saw the photo (a screen grab from video),  that voice in my head that monitors stereotypes screamed “Carlton graduate and non-profiteer paid to be a false-flagger”.

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

“He” registered for the event as “Ross Koon”

And, sure enough, searching for “Russ Koon” leads you to a Facebook profile.

And here’s his publicly-visible post:

So he misrepresented himself about being a pro-gunner, and his “testimony” was a “satirical” sham designed to defame people he pretty much hates.

That’s pretty much the whole story, right?


Of course not.  Anti-gun ghoul Joan Peterson tweeted instantly:

Coincidence that the doyenne of Minnesota criminal-safety is right there ready to go with a tweet in support of this bit of “satire?”

But that’s just a clenched old liberal exercising her penchant for overheated hypberbole – right?

Of course not.   Mr. Koons’ pro-criminal-safety pedigree goes back a ways.  Turns out Mr. Koon’s mother is one Mary Koon.  And Mary Koon is a pastor at ultra-liberal Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, and publicly lists as her “likes”…

…Moms Want Action.

(“But” you might say, “that doesn’t make her a member!”.  Perhaps.  On the other hand, it’s pretty much all you need to do to be counted as a member, so we’ll run with it).

So let’s sum it up:

  • The scion of one of Minnesota’s white, privileged “elite” liberal families lied about his personal beliefs, in order to…
  • Slander gun owners in front of the legislature, and did it…
  • …with the obvious, full knowledge of Minnesota’s anti-gun/pro-criminal-safety “elite”.

This was just the most egregious episode in a hearing where the anti-gunners essentially beclowned themselves, treating the hearings like a private flash mob.

Keep up the good work, Reverend Bence!

(Thanks to the crew from MNGOC for all the research on this post)

UPDATE:  From a witness:

He didn’t immediately leave the building. I watched him get hugs and attaboys from several of the anti-gunners present, including the lady in charge of handing out red Everytown shirts.

This was no random happenstance.

Collateral Moral Damage

In 1933, after a decade and a half of tumultuous politics that frequently turned into street violence, the German “Reichstag” (parliament) empaneled a cabinet led by Adolf Hitler to run things. Hitler’s “Nazi” party was not the biggest party in the Reichstag – they’d actually lost seats in the most recent round of elections – but they were in a strategic political position.

While the Nazis are (mostly mistakenly) called “far right”, the interesting thing is that the “Hitler Cabinet” had about as much support from Communists and Socialists as it did from the populist and “conservative” (which meant monarchists and Catholics, at the time) blocs in the Reichstag. Both sides – Communist and Monarchist – had the same reason to support the Nazis taking control of a coalition government; a bunch of populist extremists with a private army of thugs would drive the German middle to the Left or the Right. That is most extremists’ first goal; make the center untenable.

It backfired on the brilliant minds of the Reichstag, of course; Hitler, promising an end to divisive politics from all sides, forged “Unity” (by co-opting, neutralizing, exiling or killing the geniuses who’d put him in power); his cabinet led the entire world to war seven years later.

The only thing worse than “divisive” politics is no politics at all.

Keep that in mind when you see episodes like those last Saturday at the MN State Capitol, where masked thugs attacked Pro-Trump demonstrators, or two weeks ago at Berkeley, or…well, the list is going on and on and on, even now. I’ve seen more than a few people on social media, no doubt angry and frustrated, exclaim how they’d like to be at the next such rally, to break some heads (and I’ll confess, in my heart of hearts, the thought’s crossed my mind, at least for a moment before I chased it out).

Just like 85 years ago, that plays into the hands of the *real* extremists. Extremists are happiest when they’re creating more extremists – and it doesn’t even matter whose side those extremists are on. And then, when the vast middle gets sick of “politics”, and turn to someone who’ll just bring “order”…

…well, I’d say “we know where this leads”, but all too many Americans really really don’t.

Kosher Crocodile Tears

Now that Donald Trump is president, anti-semitism is a topic.

Suddenly.

Because it never existed before January 20, right?

 The press was largely uninterested in December 2010, when 200 tombstones were overturned—an assault just as large as the one in St. Louis—at the aforementioned Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. There were no fundraisers by Muslim-Americans or anybody. It was covered by the New York Post and Brooklyn weeklies but otherwise largely ignored. Not a word in the Times. To be sure, this was not part of a “wave” of anti-Semitism, such as we have seen. Still, 200 tombstones is 200 tombstones. Two hundred families traumatized, assuming they knew. Not even worth a paragraph? RELATED: What’s Behind the Rash of Anti-Semitic Incidents More recently, outside the pro-Israel echo chamber there was little interest in February 2015, when President Obama said—and his spokesman reiterated—that the attack on a Jewish grocery in Paris by Islamist terrorists was just a “random” attack on a bunch of “folks.” I doubt very much that the press would have accepted such mumbo-jumbo from Donald Trump or Sean Spicer.

I’m waiting for the press to blame Trump for the failure of Obamacare.

The Plantation

Rep. Eric Lucero is a Republican, Latino…

…and is being told to get back on the DFL plantation by race-baiting DFL stooges:

During the Public Safety Policy and Finance Committee Wednesday, Lucero was repeatedly harassed and shouted at, first for not being a person of color, and then after his heritage was established, for being a person of color and not voting with Democrats…A testifier at the committee hearing scolded the committee for “not having a single person of color.” Lucero quickly corrected the testifier, who neither recognized Lucero’s ability to comment on racial issues nor apologized for judging him based on the color of his skin alone.

After the committee voted to pass the legislation, an African American testifier stood up and began shouting remarks at Lucero like, “I’m coming for you indigenous brother!” “Take off your KKK hood!” – calling Lucero a “pawn for the racist game” and telling him he’s “furthering racism.”

I’m sure you can imagine what the Twin Cities media would do if a white person started berating a minority legislator with racist twaddle.

Imagination is all you have in this case:

The major television stations and newspapers in the Twin Cities captured every moment of the exchange, and not one outlet reported on it.

Why would they?  They’re part of the plantation-owning class.