Trulbert! Part XIX – A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Scream

-  3:00PM, November 1, 2015 – A Block East of Fake It Til You Make It School, Minneapolis, MN

The coffee shop was still safe and sound.  Hana and Traian had grabbed a few valuables, locked things down a little tighter, and gotten back on the road with Lynn.

It was a fairly brisk mile to the school.  They avoided blocks where it looked like “Fairness Patrols” were working, which took a little extra time.

The three turned the corner – and saw the school grounds crawling with Methodists.  Above the front door, and over the hastiliy-painted “Fake It Til You Make It” sign, was a banner; “Fairness Academy”.

Lynn stood for a second, frozen, like a ball of Icy Hot was in her stomach.

“We should go”, said Hana.

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We Warned You

We were warned; if we voted for Mitt Romney, free speech would evaporate.

And they were right; Obama’s FEC is moving to regulate online political speech, including this blog

Late Friday, Ann M. Ravel, the Democratic vice chair of the Federal Elections Commission, said the FEC would begin the process to regulate Internet-based campaigns and videos which are currently free from oversight by the federal government. The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard said one Republican FEC chairman, Lee E. Goodman, warned that anyone who writes a political blog, a politically active news site or even a chat room, could be regulated….Earlier in the year, Bedard noted, Goodman warned that Democrats on the panel were gunning for conservative websites like the extremely popular Drudge Report, a site that typically sees some 30 million visits per day.

The beef is ostensibly about political groups disseminating videos via blogs and social media that would be regulated on television. 

But then, they’d manage that by regulating everyone who links or carries the content.  Which, in plain English, means regulating political content in all social media, including here on Shot In The Dark.

Not only is it imperative that the Democrats lose and lose big next month – it’s even more imperative that the GOP actually provide a meaningful alternative.

“The Most Dictatorial President We’ve Ever Had”

Watch this video starring Ted Nugent, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage, in which President Obama is called…well, exactly that.

UPDATE:  I lied.  It’s not Nugent, Hannity and Savage.  It’s Nat Hentoff, liberal civil libertarian and godfather of the ACLU.  He’s a liberal – but he has been committed enough to actual civil liberty over the decades that he’s even pissed liberals off at him…

Trulbert! Part XVIII – In The Thick Of The Dawn

 - 04:45AM, November 1, 2015 – The Hendrickson Residence, Minneapolis, MN

Paul Hendrickson was exhausted to his core.  But he couldn’t sleep.

They’d taken a while to get everyone settled into the cozy, tidy bungalow; Traian and Stefan both flopped on the couch, their heads at either end; Nicolau and  Dave Os curled up on easy chairs in the family room.  Jessica Hardman and Hana Codriciu shared the guest room; Dan-Marius slept on the hallway floor outside the guest room door, wrapped in a borrowed blanket.

Paul and Lynn Hendrickson lay, flopped on their bedspread, still wearing the clothes they’d worn all day.

“How are you, hon?” Paul asked his wife.

“Oh, I don’t know”, she started, sounding exhausted.  “The world is going crazy.  There are people with machine guns in the streets.  I have a house full of armed Romanians.  One of my daughters is a cold-eyed sniper, and the other does a Dennis Miller impression that sounds more like Dennis Leary.  My husband just got blown up and shot at twice”.

“Four times”.

“Four times.  My husband got shot at four times”.

She yawned, as Paul wrapped his arms around her.  She laid her head on his bicep.

“All and all, it’s sucked”, she murmured.

“Sleep tight” Paul whispered.  “Tomorrow is another day”.

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Trulbert! Part XVII – Between Heaven And Richfield

 - 12:00AM, November 1, 2015 – Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell

All was bliss.

“Freeks and Geeks” was on.  Hell, it was still on the air – new, original first-run productions.  Better than the original.  So was “Arrested Development”, come to think of it.  And “The Sopranos”, and ”The Wire”.  Simultaneously.

And on the radio, the Vikings had just won their third straight Super Bowl.

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Trulbert! Part XVI – The Tracer Dance

 - 7:43 PM, October 31, 2015 – Corner of LaSalle/Blaisdell and Franklin, Minneapolis, MN

Paul Hendrickson never heard the 14.5mm KPV machine gun on Todd Chuffle’s truck fire.  He was dimly aware of a blinding flash.

But mostly, he sensed the back of his Toyota Camry getting violently slammed to the right, causing him to slew to the left.

He corrected hard to the right and jammed on the gas – but although the engine whined and the tachometer redlined, the car slowed, and its movement got more labored, as the sounds of grinding and smell of burned rubber and hot metal seeped in.  The car ground to a stop just around the corner, sheltered by a building.

“Holy crap”, he exhaled, sensing the car was tilting backward.

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Democrats: Pissing On The First Amendment

In Houston last summer, the Democrat-run government passed an “anti-discrimination” ordinance which, like most such ordinances, did little about discrimination but did sodomize freedom of association.   It was opposed by a variety of religious groups, for a variety of reasons.

But that was just the warmup.

Perhaps inspired by Barack Obama’s siccing of the IRS against dissenters, Houston’s Democrat-run city government is looking for payback against dissenters; it’s subpoenaing ministers’ sermons from the run-up to the vote for the ordinance.

That’s subpoenaing; not just sternly asking:

The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

“The city’s subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented,” Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. “The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions.”

ADF, a nationally-known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are “overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious.”

Dear Wisconsin “Jon Doe” prosecutors; I take it back.  You are no longer the most corrupt pettifoggers south of the Fed.

And this is not an aberration.  This is every Democrat, everywhere in the country.  Oh, they make nice noises about “liberties” like making dung statues of the Virgin Mary and waving their genitals around in public; but when it comes to the real ones, speech (by people not favored by the ACLU’s ministrations, meaning people from flyoverland in general), assembly, association, the fruits of ones labor, self-defense, self-determination?

If your local Democrats haven’t sicced the IRS, or a prosecutor, or their county attorney, on you yet, it’s just that they haven’t had a clear opportunity yet. 

All eggs to be broken to make the state omelet.

PS:  Don’t you dare say there’s a war on religion.

Trulbert! Part XV – Gone South

 - 7:29 PM, October 31, 2015 – Dripping With Irony Coffee Shop, Minneapolis, MN

“What is he saying?” Dan-Marius Codriciu asked his sister in Romanian.  His English had always been weaker than Hana’s, especially when the speaker wasn’t in the blue-collar warehouse worker vernacular that Dan-Marius had learned in his five years in America.

“It looks like he’s telling the people to get up and join him?” Hana said, not quite believing what she was watching.

There were maybe ten people sitting drinking coffee and eating bakery goods in her little coffee shop on East Lake Street.  As every Sunday evening, the TV was tuned to “We’ve Got Issues”.  But this was no dry discussion of school board elections or corruption in the Richfield Water Department.

 “Rise up! Rise up and seize this moment! For they may have taken our pensions, and our programs, and our security – but they can never, ever take our birthright!” said the man – Myron Ilktost – on the screen.

“Dan-Marius”, Hana said, in Romanian, nearly in a whisper, “call the cousins.  Have them get down here.  Now”.

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Because I’m Here To Solve Problems

Police departments – at least, some that Mother Jones talked with – are ostensibly trying to get rid of surplus military gear:

Even before police militarization made the news, hundreds of police departments were finding that grenade launchers, military firearms, and armored vehicles aren’t very useful to community policing. When Chelan County police officers requested one armored car in 2000—the request that landed them three tanks—they pictured a vehicle that could withstand bullets, not land mines. Law enforcement agencies across the country have quietly returned more than 6,000 unwanted or unusable items to the Pentagon in the last 10 years, according to Defense Department data provided to Mother Jones by a spokeswoman for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has spearheaded a Senate investigation of the Pentagon program that is arming local police. Thousands more unwanted items have been transferred to other police departments.

The catch?  The Pentagon doesn’t really want it all back.  It’s cheaper to let local cops maintain it than to keep it in Federal storage.

Which is vexing some cops:

In reality, however, police departments may find the returns process slow, mystifying, or nonfunctional. Online law enforcement message boards brim with complaints that the Pentagon refuses to take back unwanted guns and vehicles—like this one, about a pair of M14 rifles that have survived attempts by two sheriffs to get rid of them.

I’ve got an obvious answer – one that’ll make cops, the Pentagon and citizens (the right ones, anyway) happy: sell it to private citizens.  Or at least the private citizens that pass the same background check that qualifies them for a state carry permit.  It’ll save government money, and make the country safer by making Real Americans better-armed.

Facetious?   Halfway.  A fair chunk of this equipment could, and should by all rights, be going into the “Civilian Marksmanship Program”.  But Barack Obama has been sandbagging the CMP for the past six years – which is why the price of surplus M-1 Garand rifles (from WW2 and the Korean War) is so very high these days.

But I digress.

And I’m about to digress some more; it’d seem we have some real powderpuffs in uniform (empasis added):

[Hillsborough NC police lieutenant Davis] Trimmer has twice requested permission to return three M14 rifles that are too heavy for practical use.

“Too heavy for practical use?”  They weight eight pounds.  Our troops lugged them all over Vietnam, for crying out loud.

Maybe the lieutenant was referring to carrying all three of them together?

Turn them over to me, if that’d help…

Trulbert! Part XIV – Trick Or Death

-5PM, Octoer 31, 2015 – The Hendrickson Residence, Minneapolis, MN

Paul and Lynn Hendrickson sat on their front porch.  The first of the trick-or-treaters were out on the street; Lynn dipped into a bowl of fun-size TacoBars for the little kids, and handed out airplane bottles of vodka to the adults; they appreciated it.  There was a brisk nip in the air.  Winter would be here soon.

The door opened, and the kids came out.

Abby was first; she was dressed as a large sheet of paper; over her face, she wore a nylon stocking with a question mark on the forehead.

“Wow, Abby – I’m stumped.  So what are you?”, asked Paul.

“I’m the authors of the Federalist Papers”.

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Trulbert! Part XIII – The Shrieking Of Autumn Leaves

- 10:00 AM, October 29, 2015; Offices of Claimtech Enterprises, Minneapolis, MN

“There’s good news, and there’s bad news”, Shirley Bleagelle said, firing up a presentation on her laptop.

“Let’s get the good news first”, said Robert Roberts, sitting at the head of the table, playing with a Blackberry.

“OK”, said Jim Perforate (pronounced per-for-ah-TAY). “On the one hand, we’re still growing. More and more parts of the upper Midwest are using the Cud as their primary currency, and the converter apps are selling like botox at a Kardashian family reunion, and the currency exchange is making a metric poo-ton of money”.

“Excellent!”, said Roberts.

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Trulbert! Part XII – The Klieg Lights Of Freedom

 - 7:30AM, October 29, 2015 – the WCCO Morning News

“After weeks of attacks in  Minneapolis involving arson, murder, and groups of armed people, last night saw two incidents in the suburbs – one in Bloomington, one in Fridley”.

Anchor Juan Del Amore grinned the seductive smile that had finally landed him the job in a major market, finally getting him the hell out of hellholes like Lubbock and Tuscon, into a market with some decent freaking restaurants, rather than trying to impress women at Denny’s, he absentmindedly thought, and looked to the next line on his teleprompter.

“Reporter Jessica Hardman begins our team coverage, from Bloomington”.

“Thanks, Juan”, said Hardman, her perfectly-coiffed blond hair waving in the light autumn breeze, her plum blouse unbuttoned just the way the consultants said had tested so well in their latest round of focus groups.

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The Democrats’ War On The First Amendment

Kevin Williamson’s conclusion:

The only thing stopping federal authorities from suffocating free speech — not only by independent groups such as the SBA List, but by individuals, trade groups, National Review, and the New York Times — is the First Amendment.

And Harry Reid wants to gut it. Figure out why that is and you’ll know everything you need to know about the Democratic party, which with each passing day functions less and less like a political party and more like a crime syndicate.

What led him to the conclusion?

Well, here’s the opener:

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent is the lowest form of crime. If you are a drone in the hive of the Left, it is possible — easy, in fact — to believe both of those things at the same time.

Just read the whole thing.

Trulbert! Part XI – Rumor Of Warp

 - 8AM, October 28, 2015 – Behind “The Stretchy Premise Cafe”, Downtown Minneapolis

It was a chilly, clear morning – even inside a red wool blazer, like the one Jared Voorhees was wearing.  He also wore a red wool “Jets” stocking cap over his normally sculpted mop of blond hair.

t had been a rough month for the Jets – once Minneapolis’ most powerful street gang.  First, there had been the escalating series of battles against the Sharks, who came repeatedly to street fights armed with handguns and submachine guns, making short work of Jets and their switchblades and broken bottles.

Then – it was hard for Voorhees to believe it’d been just a few days – the decapitation attack against Lester Sommerfeldt and the rest of the Jets’ leadership, outside Cafe Acrimony, just a few blocks away.  Continue reading

Trulbert! Part X – Human Nature

6PM, October 25, 2015 – Dripping With Irony Coffee Shop, Minneapolis, MN

The the big-screen TV in the corner, which was usually turned down during the work day, was tuned to CNN.

At a table in front of the TV sat Dave Os, Arnie Quist and Frena Marquette.

The top of the hour commercial break ended, and the opening montage for “41 Minutes:  CNN’s Weekly Newsmagazine”, opened with an explosive swoosh.

Os, Quist and Marquette applauded, excited.

Hendrickson took a seat at a table behind them, as the show’s host, Jordyn Mendez, a former Miss Ohio, wearing a navy blazer coyly unbuttoned over a yellow silk camisole top that showed just enough cleavage to be enticing without enough to be Fox News, her long black hair draped over her shoulders, framing her geometrically-perfect face in a way that had bidden men in countless marketing focus groups to stand and cheer in raw animalistic delight, began speaking in a delivery that conveyed the confidence with the teleprompter she’d gleaned working as a morning anchor for three years in Huntsville, Alabama prior to her “discovery” at CNN.

“Good evening, and welcome to 41 Minutes, CNN’s weekly newsmagazine.  I’m Jordyn Mendez.

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Trulbert! Part IX – Freedom

 - 9AM, October 24, 2015 – Second Federal Bank, Minnepolis, MN

Paul Hendrickson walked out of the bank feeling half his weight.  His little house in South Minneapolis was all his.

It’d been a matter of timing.  With the collapse of the Dollar, Second Federal’s stock in trade was suddenly worthless.  And whatever economy had sprung up in the Twin Cities in the previous seven weeks had largely bypassed banks – at least, traditional ones, like Second Federal.

More complicated still? 

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Yet Another Reason To Loathe Tim Walz, Tim Nolan And Betty McCollum

HR 1962 is a proposal for a press shield law. 

The beef of the bill says that…

In any matter arising under Federal law, a Federal entity may not compel a covered person to provide testimony or produce any document related to information obtained or created by such covered person as part of engaging in journalism, unless a court determines by a preponderance of the evidence, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to such covered person…

…is closely involved in an imminent crime or act of terrorism.

OK, so far so good. 

Except that the bill serves only to protect the mainstream media – the ones that largely kiss Democrat ass:

The term covered person means a person who, for financial gain or livelihood, is engaged in journalism and includes a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such covered person.

In other words, institutional media – and, likely, the institutionally-paid alt-media that have been Walz and Nolan’s BFFs, ermuhgerd, I’m writing like Sally Jo Sorenson, oh noes – are covered.

All the rest of us – the ones that actually try to hold government accountable?  We’re on our own. 

Why do representatives Walz, Nolan and McCollum hate freedom of the (non-Democrat-aligned) press?

I’m Trying. I Really Am.

To be a nicer, more civil person.  I truly am.

Here’s the deal.  I left the Libertarian Party in 1998 largely over the LP’s complete illiteracy on foreign policy and defense.

Now, many “Libertarians” are drawn to the belief, and the party, by the reductionistic magical thinking that all of the world’s questions break down into binary, black-or-white answers.  The right answer to everything lies in unbending, unyielding adherence to “principles”, any deviance from which for any reason is an unforgiveable impurity.

Which is a fine and dandy thing, if your “principles” are so well-thought-out as to account for all of the myriad gray areas life, human nature and history throw into one’s path.  For example, the idea that some “libertarians” have that one is either an isolationist peacenik…or a “warmonger”, with nothing in between.  Too stupid to mock.

Anyway.

What I’m trying to do is figure out a way to write “if everything you know about history and foreign policy is stuff you read from the inside of Ron Paul’s anterior colon, you probably are not going to be a partner in a serious debate”.

And I got nothing.

I’m open to suggestions.

Trulbert! Part VII: In Hoc Slogan Vinces

 - 9:59AM, October 14, 2015 – in front of Dripping With Irony Coffee Shop, East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN

Paul Hendrickson pulled up to a parking spot on Lake Street.  He was running a little late today – it’d been a long night working on getting TransactionTech available for its rollout later today.  Coffee was not just a nicety.

He walked inside.

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Standing

When the founding fathers created our Constitution, one of their biggest fears was that of the standing army.  In Europe at the time (and in most dictatorships today), the Army was a professional, full-time force, frequently composed of mercenaries whose loyalty to the local king was purchased; in larger kingdoms, it was composed of units from different parts of the kingdom, who had no loyalty or affection to the people of the local province.

The Army, in short, was an agent of oppression.

The first municipal police department (in London in the 1820′s) on the other hand was an attempt to distance itself from the idea of the military.

Kevin Williamson at NRO goes through the squandered legacy of Sir John Peel, the inventor of the modern police force.   Peel’s nine guidelines to the then-new Metro Police are – or were – a standard for cops for well over a century:

The first order of police work is, according to Peel, “to prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.” The second principle is “to recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions, and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.” He called this “policing by consent.” The policeman, in Peel’s view, was a citizen: “The police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”

And the importance of the uniform.  The bright colors and towering headdresses of the uniforms of post-medieval Europe (still worn by the Guards at Buckingham Palace) were intended to try to intimidate the opposition, especially an opposition of peasants and rabble that didn’t have uniforms:

In that context, the function of the police uniform is simply that of an imprimatur — of the municipal government of London or of New York or Mayberry. It tells little Peter Pat whom he can trust.

We seem to have lost that idea:

Our contemporary and increasingly militarized police uniforms are designed for a different purpose: the projection of force. Peel organized the Metropolitan Police as an alternative to “military repression,” but we, in turn, have turned our police into quasi-military organizations: Armored vehicles roam the mean streets of Pulaski County, Ind. Why? “It’s more intimidating,” the sheriff says.

Cops will note in response that there are times when they do need to assert control – to “intimidate”.  That’s true.  But that “time” is not “when in contact with a general public that is exercising its right to protest”, among quite a few others.

The more I think about it, the more it seems modern law enforcement has become the standing army our founding fathers were worried about.