Cafeteria American

I had the rare treat of listening to the utterly ironically named “MPR News with Keri Miller” earlier this week.  And by “treat” I meant “update of the notion that Keri Miller is the one “journalist” in the Twin Cities that’d be ill-advised to tell Esme Murphy “dial back the shilling for the DFL and Big Left, you Big Left Shill, you””.  

Anyway – she had a show on Tuesday featuring a Hindi woman talking the co-option of Yoga by non-Hindi.  Not “decrying” it, per se – just urging people to be aware of, and perhaps learn something of, its Hindi roots.  

Pull quote:  the woman, Suhag Shukla, describing the various non-Hindi permutations of Yoga, including…:

SHUKLA: “…even Christian Yoga!”

MILLER: (In the background) (Disgusted, mocking snork)

Now, Ms. Shukla has a point – part of her culture has been appropriated. Like solstice trees and Chow Mein and polyrhythm and virtually everything else about every culture in the world that hasn’t been isolated from every other culture in the world, “appropriation” is a two-way street.

As someone who’s lost eighty pounds and wants to gain some flexibility and joint resiliency, I’m interested in yoga (although I haven’t done it yet). As a Christian, I have only intellectual interest in Hinduism. You wanna talk, Ms. Shukla? We’ll talk.

But since Keri Miller – and by association, the modern progressivism for which she shills – is the venue that brought me and Ms. Shukla together, let’s talk appropriation.

Big Left, like a suburban housewife going to an agnostic Hot Yoga class in a strip mall in Minnetonka, appropriates the convenient parts of the American experiment – the fun parts, like free speech and privacy. Like that housewife, or the Cafeteria Catholic, or the Allah-carte Muslim (actor, comedian, and observant but not fundie muslim Rami Yusef’s term, and I love it), they leave out the inconvenient parts – the citizen as self-sufficient atomic political unit, with the same rights, powers and responsibilities in microcosm of actual states are. The whole “government by consent of the governed” and “Free Association of Equals” bit.

If you want to practice the fun parts of the American experiment – immigrating to a country with freedom and opportunity, getting paid to be on the radio, free speech and waving signs about? Then pay some thought to the complex stuff – the tension between order and liberty, the moral right of the free market versus the stifling moral decay of socialism.

It’s a fine day for that, isn’t it?

Safety

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Not all government safety regulations are an idiotic waste of time. A window washer just fell off our building.

The platform is attached by ropes to a metal contraption on the roof, but the metal contraption didn’t have enough weight so when the worker went over the edge, the contraption did too. The harness caught, swung the worker into the window, then dangled upside down until a ladder could be brought to lower her to safety. Yes, the window washer is a woman. Banged up her leg but the EMTs who took her away said she seemed okay. I guess my job doesn’t suck so badly after all.
I…Woman is damn lucky to be alive, that safety harness saved her life.
Joe doakes

Laws that directly affect public safety? Good.

Laws that direct affect who you can have haul your trash away? Not so good.

I don’t think it’s all that complicated. Which is why I”ll never be an elected official in Saint Paul.

Critical Mass

When you’re a civil liberty supporter, it’s easy to get discouraged.  And with most libertarian issues, sometimes it seems as if the train has left the station for good.

But to borrow a cliche, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees, especially when the Big Media and Big Left (ptr) are bombarding you with weed elms.

Gun rights are winning – not just the legislative, judicial and demographic battles, but the biggest battle of all, the social battle.

Even with polls like this, claiming 90% of the people support gun control?

Yep.

Even with states like California and New Jersey doubling and tripling down on gun control?

Not only is it “even with” them; their radical gun control is a symptom of and reaction to the near complete victory in the courts, legislatures, Congress, the marketplace of ideas, and society as a whole.

Even outside the traditional “white male conservative” groups?

Especially outside those groups.

The conclusion of the piece, by Kareem Shaya:

On one hand you have an idea that has been growing for almost 30 years across almost all demographic groups; is more popular with young people than ever; spread permissive carry laws from just nine states in 1986 to 42 states and DC today; grew the installed base of its dearest shibboleth by a factor of 30 since the 1990s; and by its nature grows exponentially after reaching critical mass, because it spreads via the same natural laws that drive social networks, compound interest, and nuclear fission (see Kevin Simler’s incredible “Going Critical” for more on how that works).

Definitely check out “Going Critical”.

On the other hand you have an idea that went from grand national ambitions to eking out compromises in a small minority of states, and which gets less popular the more people learn about it. (That’s also compound interest, but with a negative sign in front of it.)

That’s one thing that is missing from the “debate” most people see, the one in the media – the sense of history.

Shaya’s piece points out that 35 years ago, complete bans on handguns and national registration of hunting rifles was the mainstream, pushed by groups like “The National Coalition to Ban Handguns” and “Handgun Control Incorporated”.

Today – barring polls taken after emotionally wrenching events like mass shootings – gun rights tends to outpoll gun control, and the grabber groups have had to continuously scale back not only their ambition, but their marketing:  “Handgun Control Inc.” became “The Brady Organization”, among others.

Read the whole thing.  Pass it along.

This Is What “90% Approval” Looks Like

Last night, the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence called out to the frenzied hordes of “grassroots”activists with “Protect Minnesota”; a “rally” was needed to support the DFL’s gun grab bills, and a rally they got.

Behold the might of “Protect”Minnesota:

This was at 7:05 PM – five minutes after the rally started.

Or, as people who watch “Protect” Minnesota refer to it, “peak frenzy”.

Kamala Harris Is Everything That’s Ugly And Stupid About Government

The thing about “progressivism” is that while it flaps its jaws about “helping” the vulnerable, it inevitably ends up harming them.

Give them a $15 minimum wage and mandatory sick time? Get them laid off!

Attack landlords for the “quality” of housing they provide? Make housing unaffordable!

Kamala Harris, in her celebrated (by the media) record as a prosecutor, did more than her fair share of being unfair.

. Her crusade against the scourge of parents whose kids skip school, for example:

The good news is that post-CNN town hall, although much of the media lauded Harris and posted adoring articles about her acumen and likability, several took it upon themselves to resurface videos of Harris’s recent support for cracking down on truancy violations.
In 2010, for example, video shows Harris saying, “I believe a child going without an education is tantamount to a crime. So I decided I was gonna start prosecuting parents for truancy.”
“Well, this was a little controversial in San Francisco,” Harris noted, with a folksy giggle.
Another video showed Harris bragging about her power: “As a prosecutor in law enforcement, I have huge stick. The school district as a carrot. Let’s work together in tandem…to get those kids in school.”

Have I ever mentioned how much I love prosecutors who are drunk with their own power?

Her policies involved $2,000 fines, and even jail time, for parents whose kids missed “too much” school.

Which, people who actually pay attention to this issue will tell you, is a stupid, stupid plan, unless your goal is to paint yourself as “tough”:

…the people hurt by this carceral approach are the very people who are most likely to be financially crippled by a few fines. We’re not talking about wealthy people here, and generally speaking, criminal justice reform advocates fear using punitive means to “help” poor people because it can be so easy for them to get trapped in a cycle of unpaid fines that leads to jail time, which leads to time forcibly taken off of work, which leads to even less money and even less ability to pay outstanding debts.
None of this, you can imagine, helps children get a more stable home life with more attention from parents. 

With junior high and high school kids, truancy often isn’t something parents can control (while still holding down jobs, anyway).

With younger kids? If they’re missing school regularly, it’s usually not a matter of “truancy”; it’s problems at home, more often than not problems stemming from one personal or social pathology or another.

In what other area of society do we try to address this sort of thing with fines and jail time?

Kamala Harris is a public cancer.

The Wrong Lesson

Four Houston cops were shot (and another sustained a non-gunshot injury) serving a warrant against a couple of drug dealers.

That’s bad enough.

Worse?

Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi was upset:

“We are sick and tired of dirt bags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and our families,” he said. “Enough is enough.”

I get that. It’s downright understandable.

This next part – where he apparently declares war on anti-police thoughtcrime? A little more troublesome:

“If you’re the ones that are out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, just know we’ve all got your number now, we’re going to be keeping track of all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure that we hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.We’ve had enough, folks. We’re out there doing our jobs every day, putting our lives on the line for our families.”

I’m curious what level of criticism

In Which Tide Pod Evita…

…calls for a repeal of the First Amendent:

There’s really no other way to put it.

Unconstitutional

Beto O’Rouke – flirting with the idea of running for president with all the grace of an elementary school choir singing a medley from Les Miserables – discusses his take on the Constitution.

Caveat: I did not make this up. Emphasis added by me.

“I’m hesitant to answer it because I really feel like it deserves its due, and I don’t want to give you a — actually, just selfishly, I don’t want a sound bite of it reported, but, yeah, I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work?” O’Rourke said. “Can an empire like ours with military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships . . . and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?

More and more, I’m starting to believe those who do believe we can, and must, govern ourselves by those principles should seek an amicable divorce from those who can’t.

Priorities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump plans to withdraw the 2,000 US military members from Syria.  Neo-Cons are upset.  Defense Secretary Mattis is resigning.  The establishment consensus is Trump is making a horrible mistake.  Is he?
George Washington warned against entangling alliances.  That’s pretty good historical precedent for Trump to bring our troops home.  Yes, the neo-cons reply, but the world has changed since Washington’s time. We need to police the world.  Failing to do so is isolationist.  Failing to fight every battle means people will die, nations will fall.
So?  The world, to Americans, means Christendom.  True, that world has changed.  Rome ruled for 500 hundred years before it fell.  A thousand years later, England, France and Spain were the great powers; then the Axis Powers for a decade; then the nuclear nations calling themselves the Security Council; power constantly changing.
But England is no longer a great power (despite having nuclear weapons).  It contributes a few hundred people to each global conflict, not enough to tip the scale.  As a power, they’re a has-been.  So are France, Spain, Rome.
We’re headed their direction.  The economic and military domination we enjoyed after WW II is gone.  We should stop pretending, stop over-extending.  We should pull back to our own shores, fortify against the coming global crash, hope to ride out the long night while the rest of the world burns.
Socialism is a disease and we’re facing an epidemic.  The treatment for an epidemic is quarantine: save the ones you can, let the rest die.  Isolation is not a bad thing for a nation, it’s the responsible thing.  Put America First.
Joe Doakes

I’m starting to think we’ll need that internally.

Build a wall around California, Illinois, and the mid-Atlantic states. And make them pay…

…well, no, let’s not get fancy . Just build it.

America has survived many external enemies – but “progressivism” is one internal enemy that has the potential to actually destroy it.

And the “Administrative State” – which, along with the Non-Profit-Industrial complex is where the regulatory rubber hits the road – is in many ways the spear point of the “progressive’ attack on everything that makes America worth living in. Nothing saps America’s resilience, vitality and prosperity like the Administrative State, which exists largely to transfer wealth from taxpayers to “progressive” stakeholders.

Recent weeks have been marked by the whining and caviling of “progressives” about the actions of the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state assembly, which acted to greatly reduce the power of the incoming Democrat governor.

Lost in all of the sore-losering – or intentionally concealed in it – is the fact that over the past eight years, Wisconsin has taken steps to curb the excesses of the Big Administrative State that the rest of the country, and the nation, would do very well to emulate:

In 2011, much attention was given Act 10, Governor Walker’s signature reform to public-sector collective bargaining. Less well-known was Act 21, which can rightly be considered the beginning of an administrative-law revolution in Wisconsin. In 2017, Acts 39, 57, and 108 added to those reform efforts. And this past summer, the Wisconsin supreme court issued a significant decision in Tetra Tech v. Department of Revenue, creating a stricter framework for courts to apply when considering the amount of deference to provide agency interpretations.

Much of what we now consider the standard rule-making process in Wisconsin was first set out in 2011 Act 21. At its core, Act 21 provides that no agency may implement or enforce any standard, requirement, or threshold (including as a term or condition of any license it issues) unless such action is explicitly required or permitted by statute or rule. Gone are the days of implied or perceived authority.

Additionally, for each proposed rule, the act required agencies to submit a “statement of scope” to the governor for review and prepare an economic-impact analysis relating to specific businesses, business sectors, public-utility ratepayers, local governmental units, and the state’s economy as a whole.

You should read the whole thing – and pass it on.

It’s Veteran’s Day

And lest one think our veterans only bought our freedom, there are a lot of people around the world free today to remind you otherwise.

Poland became independent 100 years ago today.  The events were not unrelated:

Freedom isn’t free, and recent history shows it’s not contagious, either. But it can certainly splatter.

Miscarriage Of Justice – Part II

Yesterday, I started telling the story of Dr. Massoud Amin – a man who came to the US as a teenager with his parents after the Iranian Revolution, became a citizen, and rose to the highest levels not only of academia, but of national security, as one of the nation’s foremost experts in cybersecurity.

And then, in the middle of a rancorous divorce with more than a whiff of academic backstabbing mixed in, an overzealous prosecutor turned a paperwork discrepancy in a civil divorce filing into, literally, a criminal case.

Pursuant to that case, the prosecutor and the police searched Dr. Amin’s house, and confiscated Dr. Amin’s firearm collection,  planting the story of “The Iranian professor who collected a bunch of guns and swindled his soon-to-be-ex” – simultaneously defaming him to the left (“Serves the gun nut right!”) and the less-bright parts of the right (“Probably a terrorist!”).

The trial?  It was a comedy of errors – but not remotely funny.   All exculpatory evidence was suppressed, and that was just the beginning.   The ending?   A conviction – aided  by bizarre courtroom antics and some sketchy lawyering on both sides.

The prosecution is asking for a ten year prison sentence for a conviction that normally carries a years’ suspended sentence and probation for a first-time offender – which Dr. Amin, who held a top-secret security clearance until the conviction, most assuredly was.

Why so much irregularity in what started as a typical ugly American divorce?

We’ll be talking with Dr. Massoud about that this Saturday on my show.   Tune in, and call in if you havre questions.

Limiting Government

Let’s give credit where it’s due – David French at National Review has been on fire lately, with his coverage of the Guyger shooting, his sweeping change in his coverage of police shootings, and the concomitant broadside – with copious fascinating legal cites – at the way Qualified Immunity is practice today.

I’m not going to pullquote them.  There’s just too much.  Go read them.  Then discuss.

Things That Make Joe Go “Sigh”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Senator Feinstein’s driver didn’t have access to sensitive information, so who cares that he was a Chinese spy?

 

Unless she talked on the cell phone, maybe to Hillary . . . .

 

***

 

Dang, I was just getting ready to buy an iPhone SE.  But if they won’t allow hate speech, I couldn’t talk to anybody.

 

***

Pretty soon, all speech that isn’t banned will be mandatory.

 

As The Civil Cold War Heats Up

New York Governor Cuomo is popping off shots at the Bill of Rights no less than Gen. Beauregard at Fort Sumter:

The NRA accuses Cuomo of running a campaign of “selective prosecution, backroom exhortations and public threats.” It claims the government seeks to halt its defense of the Second Amendment.

“Simply put,” the NRA alleges, Cuomo and New York regulators “made it clear to banks and insurers that it is bad business in New York to do business with the NRA.

The Government of the state of New York; like the Medellin Cartel, only in cheaper suits.

Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State

While Trump plies his wiles trying to get the feckless Germans and Dutch to pay their share of defending their stagnating continent, at least part of free Europe doesn’t need reminding of the consequences of not standing up for their own freedom.

The Poles need no reminding about keeping their defenses strong.

And to their north, the Latvians, Lithuanians, and especially Estonians, in the wake of Obama’s debacle in Ukraine, seem to grasp the need to defend their freedom.  Four percent of Estonia’s entire population is in the military or the (voluntary) reserves – not bad for one of the more libertarian states in Europe.

It‘s very personal to them:

Like almost all Estonians of his generation, what drives [Estonian special forces Colonel Riho] Uhtegi is intensely personal, and tends to be tied up in the history of his country.

“We all had one grandparent that remembered independence,” said Uhtegi, speaking of growing up during the Soviet occupation, “and they filled our heads with stories of it.” He shifts his very blue Estonian gaze back from the distance. Unspoken is the fate of all the other grandparents—the ones who were executed by the Russians or died somewhere in a gulag. Wartime casualties aside, more than 10 percent of Estonia’s population was deported before Stalin’s death in 1953.

And it’s not even a little bit abstract:

“You know why the Russians didn’t take Tbilisi in 2008?” Uhtegi asked me. “They were just up the road, 50 kilometers or so, and nothing was stopping them.”

Having spent many years in Georgia, I knew the answer to this one: because Georgians are crazy. Uhtegi barked a laugh. “Yes. Exactly. Georgians are crazy, and they would fight. The idea of this unwinnable asymmetric fight in Tbilisi was not so appealing to the Russians.”

He continued: “There are always these discussions. Like, yeah. The Russians can get to Tallinn in two days. … Maybe. [The Estonian capital is about 125 miles from the Russian border.] But they can’t get all of Estonia in two days. They can get to Tallinn, and behind them, we will cut their communication lines and supplies lines and everything else.” That dead-eyed Baltic stare fixes me again. “They can get to Tallinn in two days. But they will die in Tallinn. And they know this. … They will get fire from every corner, at every step.”

Read the whole, fascinating thing.

The Moral Arc

There’s a quote attributed to Martin Luther King that President Obama liked to use a lot – “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. It’s an inspiring saying
 
It’s also a platitude with no historical basis.
 
Kevin Williamson paraphrased it and made it much more accurate: “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward tyranny and oppression”.
 
I like to think about that on July 4; of all the people who have ever lived in human societies in the past 20,000 years, the vast majority, before and after July 4 1776 lived under one form of strongman, chieftain, divine-right monarch or capo or another (at least, those who weren’t living in hunter-gatherer tribes – who lived a life that was “nasty, brutish and short” under the even more merciless tyranny of nature).
 
The idea that humans could live under anything *other* than those circumstances had scarcely occurred before the Declaration of Independence; the idea that human rights were something one was born with, rather than endowed by a benevolent monarch, was vastly more revolutionary and threatening to the status quo than the beat-up little army that faced off against the British was.
 
And it still is. Most of Europe’s “democracies” *still* believe that rights are granted by the community, not one’s creator. Which means that when (not if) a government goes off the rails, those rights follow suit.
 
Today we – those of us who are paying attention – celebrate an idea that most Americans can’t possibly comprehend: the very fact that a free society (albeit one overrun with an authoritarian bureaucracy and an arrogant, entitled political class) exists at all, even in deeply imperfect (aka “human”) form, defies not only history, but human nature itself. In the history of humanity, it’s as rare as a blue tulip.
 
What Nietzsche called the “Will to Power” – the ascendance of those with the desire to be in control not only of themselves but those around them – has driven most of human history. The fact that our society has managed to tame that impulse – or at least channel into a form that doesn’t end with endless wars, beheadings, forced famines and reprisals, is nothing short of miraculous…
 
…and about as fragile as that blue tulip, if we’re not careful.
 
Which is why we need to demand more of our media (who’ve become largely impotent, cowardly tools of the establishment in recent years), and government (whose bureaucracy more and more serves its own future), and most of all ourselves; to not let Facebook shut us up, not let the modern day brownshirts disarm us, not let bureaucrats with the Will to Power sap our right to privacy, to demand that people who want to come to America actually believe in what America *means*, not just what it gives.
 
The moral arc of history is not your friend. The job of bending it back never ends.
 

The Manhattan Civil Liberties Privileges Union

The ACLU doesn’t quite make it official – but leaked memos show that the former civil liberties and current “civil liberties” group doesn’t really fuss with actual freedom much anymore:

The American Civil Liberties Union will weigh its interest in protecting the First Amendment against its other commitments to social justice, racial equality, and women’s rights, given the possibility that offensive speech might undermine ACLU goals.

“Our defense of speech may have a greater or lesser harmful impact on the equality and justice work to which we are also committed,” wrote ACLU staffers in a confidential memo obtained by former board member Wendy Kaminer.

Hearing it from the proverbial horse’s mouth is really just making it offiicial-ish; it’s been pretty obvious for decades, on some issues (most notably the Second Amendment).

Virtue-Stomping

Dick’s Sporting Goods has earned the ire of 2nd Amendment human rights activists, over and over.

In 2013, they publicly announced they were out of the “assault weapon” business after the Newtown shooting (where a deranged boy killed his mother to get her AR15).

They apparently slowly retrenched, because they publicly did it again after the Parkland shooting.

Nothing like conviction.

But now, they want to take it to the next level…

…of virtue-signaling stupidity:

After announcing policies that most gun owners saw as alienating, Dick’s Sporting Goods said it will go one step further and destroy its remaining inventory of firearms dubbed “assault weapons.”

A spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the remaining inventory at the retailer’s Field & Streams stores will be destroyed and then recycled.

“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” she said. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”

I’m sure the shareholders will be thrilled.

Irreconcilable

There are times I wonder if this isn’t the right answer.

UPDATE:  Clearly, I wrote this before looking at the map.  While the article makes sense, clearly the author thinks all northerners look alike.  The idea of the Dakotas, Montana and Idaho siding with New England is as risible as Rebecca Otto’s candidacy.

My two cents?   It’s not just two nations (Dems aren’t the only ones fighting the last war).  Short of dividing up by counties (which would be much more politically accurate), I could see several options:

  • Two nations .- with the West Coat, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Chicago existing as an archipelago of liunacy
  • Three nations – a Japan and China-aligned West Coast, a New England/Mid-Atlantic nation that’d join the EU, and the rest of the country.
  • Four nations:  the above, with the former confederacy (less Texas, perhaps) forming a socially-conservative nation and the remainder a libertarian-conservative agricultural and petroleum based nation.

But again, it’s all hypothetical.

Or is it?

Unserious

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

This congressman is correct that the second amendment exists so the people can resist a tyrant. Whether trump is such a tyrant is not the point, he’s correct about the purpose of the amendment.
So why’s he a gun control advocate? What, the people will rise up and take back the country with their .38 revolvers?
If he really meant the resist tyranny comment, then he ought to be pushing to repeal the 1934 machine gun ban. Let ordinary citizens equip themselves with the same weapons as the military and let’s see how arrogant the deep state bureaucrats are.
Hey, don’t the Swiss have something like that? Everybody serves, everybody takes their service weapon home when they muster out.
Somebody ought to call him on it. Big signs: “How can we resist Tyrant Trump if you take our guns?” at every rally from now until he loses in November.
Joe Doakes

The Democrats aren’t any more serious about “Resisting Tyranny” (after they get a majority) than they are about equality.

Putting Their Money Where Their Ink Was

The mainstream media is, if not predictable on Second Amendment issues, at least prone falling into patterns.  The usual ones are:

  • Broad-based ignorance of – and at worst, incuriosity about – the actual facts of gun related issues, beyond the chanting points provided by the anti-gun groups that dominate the “thinking” in most reporters’ social circles.  It’s not malicious, it’s just uninformed, or lazy, or sometimes entitled.
  • Occasional bursts of good solid reporting  – like Pat Kessler’s excellent piece on Channel 4 last week pointing out what this blog has been telling you for a couple years now; while Minnesota has a very high per capita rate of carry permittees (almost triple the rate estimated when the Legislature passed the law), our crime rate is among the lowest in the country.
  • Inevitably, the overwrought editorial or op-ed demanding a repeal of the Second Amendment.

That latter usually comes from the “elite” level of the media – the NYTimes, the WaPo and the like.

So it was with a chuckle I read about an episode from the Civil War, when “journalists” had to be made of sterner, more realistic stuff.

It was right after the draft – and its  onerous exemption provisions, allowing the wealthy to pay for substitutes – was instituted.  Mobs began rioting – and one of their targets was the New York Times.

At the time, the Times was a Republican paper, and supported Lincoln, abolition and the war.  The rest of New York City, then as now, was Democrat – and was also fairly squarely against abolition, since much of New York’s economy was based around cigars and textiles – which depended on cheap tobacco and cotton, which depended on slavery (which is why I relish the times when smug little liberal moppets try to rip on “slave states’, knowing that NYC prospered more from slavery than anyplace else).

But I digress.

The rioters descended on midtown Manhattan.  And there, the publishers of the NYTimes were waiting:

The riot quickly spread through adjoining parts of the city, with rioters attacking leaders of the Republican Party and their property, as well as “such symbols of privilege and power as police stations, arsenals, and the homes and shops of the wealthy,” Gilje wrote. The offices of abolitionist New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley were attacked twice. The New York Times was defended by its staff, who wielded several Gatling guns borrowed from the Army. Manning one of the Gatling guns was millionaire speculator Leonard Walter Jerome, Winston Churchill’s maternal grandfather and a major investor in the paper.

The paper’s publisher issued rifles to the staff – there was apparently a cache of firearms in the Times offices – and an armed skirmish line of reporters, printers and other staffers were all that stood in the way of the mob burning and looting the Gray Lady…

…and, in the end, deterred that attack.

So – the news media used the Second Amendment to protect the First Amendment.

Huh.

Imminent Domain

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is in the lobby of the AMC Arden Hills, waiting to see “Godzilla Vs. Ayn Rand”.  Stainding coincidentally in front of BERG are several members of the Minnesota 5th Congressional District LIbertarian Party;  Stephanie Marie ANNAN, Community organizer,Garth MULLER, the Vice Chair for Ideological Purity, Carpal POX,  the deputy chair,Victor VON SCLIEFFENBERG-MOLTKE, Vice Chair for Education, and Anarchy GOATEEMONGER, inreach director.    The group is talking; BERG is reluctantly overhearing the conversation. 

GOATEEMONGER:  Today in class, my kid told the teacher “Taxation is theft!”.

(General hooting and backslapping ensues).

ANNAN:  You are such a good dad!

MULLER:  Next he’ll be telling them to Vote Harder!

(More backslapping).

GOATEEMONGER:  Right!  And you won’t believe this; the teacher asked him who was going to build the roads!

(Generalized guffawing ensues)

SCHLIEFFENGERG-MOLTKE:  Hah!  Roads!

BERG:  So Mr. Goateemonger – what did your kid answer?

ANNAN:   Here!  Have some more government!~

(More hooting and back-slapping)

MULLER:  Hey, look!  Only government can wipe my butt!

(Broad har-di-harring)

BERG:  Er…so did your kid answer?

POX:  I read an article the other day that says fusion-powered hovercars are right around the corner.  It’s going to be a non-issue any day now.

(Vigorous head-nodding ensues).

SCHLIEFFENGERG-MOLTKE (affecting a constipated sounding voice):  Vote harder!  Vote harder!

(The laughter is becoming brweathless)

BERG:  So – did the kid ever…y’know…answer?

ANNAN: Roads!

(IMore guffawing follows)

BERG  Nothing?

(And SCENE)