Procedure

Andrew Klavan finds pretty much the entire left in Jimmy Kimmel.

Read the whole thing – but the conclusion does, well, conclude things pretty well:

Kimmel doesn’t matter. He’s just another half-smart big mouth Hollywood multi-millionaire. But they’re all Kimmel, all the left. They’re all doing the Kimmel Three-Step: 1. Emotion. 2. Hectoring. 3. Violence. Trying to get you to give them and their government your money and your freedom.

In short, and in order, Kimmel follows Big Left’s template:

  1. Lead with emotion
  2. If that doesn’t shut up the opposition, follow with name-calling
  3. If that doesn’t work, move to the violence.

It’s been the case with just about every lefty pundit I’ve ever dealt with.

For Once, Allahpundit Is The Pollyanna

Some critics say Hillary’s new blame-all autobio includes a “bizarre misreading” of George Orwell’s 1984.  Among them is Allahpundit, from Hot Air.

There are establishmentarians, there are big-government establishmentarians, and then there are people who read Orwell and see a parable about insufficient trust in authority:

Here’s the passage

I say they’re being pollyannaish.

Hillary’s a lot of things – I’ll skip the hour-long session of listing them all – but she’s not stupid, and she’s not illiterate.

We’ve noticed this with not a few figures on the left; they’re pretty much sure they can get away with saying anything; God knows the media will never call them on it. I’ve focused on it in particular as re Second Amendment policy – this blog has  a  large, well-populated tag documenting the Minnesota victim disarmament movement’s serial fabulism – but we’re really just scratching the surface.

My thesis:  Hillary thinks knows she can say anything she wants; the media will never check her; her supporters can’t stop jabbering about their credentials, intelligence and level of information (they watch Rachel Maddow, dammit!) to bother reading the damn book in the first place.

Creative Clash

Distort the economy of a sector, an industry or a city to benefit an industry, a policy or a class of people, and you’re going to cause unintended consequences – almost all of them bad, at least for someone.

Fifteen years ago, the NPR-listening, Whole Foods-Shopping, Volvo-driving set nodded and snapped their fingers to the beat of Richard Florida, who wrapped up a bunch of toxic economic interventions in a bunch  of artisanal wrapping paper and slapped a name on it – appealing to the “Creative Class” – that was marketing genius, making the children of America’s upper-middle-class feel like their apps, their hedge funds and their vegan restaurants were part of something Big and Important.

Cities – or rather, city planning wonks (who love to see themselves in that Creative Class – fell all over themselves to engineer cities to draw this class, on the promise that they’d spur economic growth.

The results?   Well, I predicted this – and now, Richard Florida himself is acknowledging it:

The rise of the creative class in such cities as New York, Washington, and San Francisco did produce economic growth—but mostly just for those who were already wealthy. The poor, and especially the working class poor, were right out of luck. They were priced out of the city and driven out to the suburbs, where they created the kind of urban problems known only to the cities. The modern city is the greatest economic engine the world has ever known, but these days it seems to run only for the aid of those who need its benefits least. When the rich, the young, and the bohemian revitalized Austin, Boston, and Seattle, they induced a cycle of soaring prices and class replacement. The creative class brought an income inequality that hadn’t been predicted. Florida could call them a new class all he wanted. They proved to be merely the children of the old white-collar meritocracy, grown doubly rich from the rising tide of urban renewal.

So, in The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida takes a long second look at the nation’s cities. He doesn’t admit that he had been wrong in 2002 with The Rise of the Creative Class, mostly because he doesn’t think he was wrong. The city progressed just the way he described. But what he has called the “externalities” have mounted to such an extent that they now outweigh the gains he saw 15 years ago. The creative class triumphed, and his prize cities have turned into wealth preserves—the old gated communities of the suburbs, transplanted to the urban core.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Tribes

The Big Media complains that America is just too tribalistic.

And I have to ask myself – why, oh why?  Why does half of America seem to hate the other half with a fury beyond Dodgers vs. Yankees?

Stephen Colbert’s contribution to civil, de-tribalized discussion in this country. Yes, he’s “Sieg-Heil”-ing Trump.

Why on earth would half of America distrust the other half?

Blackshirts of “Anti”-Fa in masks attacking unarmed Republican demonstrators.

Why would half of America think the other half is not only imposing itself on the rest of the country, but doing it on behalf of ideas that have failed miserably?

The book that asked “why don’t Red states vote for their ‘best interests'” – like the people of Baltimore, Newark, Trenton, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Stockton, Saint Louis, Camden and Minneapolis did.  Notice the cover, by the way; like any good delusional, the author thinks the donkey is carrying the elephant.  

Why, oh why?

 

Bring The Backlash

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Engineering school is not exempt from Social Justice Warriors.

Purdue is shifting from teaching engineers how to build a bridge, to teaching them how to feel about bridges.

I’m sure that will be enormously helpful when the next I-35 disaster occurs.

Joe Doakes

My new theory – and it’s so new, I haven’t even thought it out:  Trump’s presidency is entirely designed to squeeze all of Big Left’s lunacy out into public view, so the public will be so disgusted, the left will be shamed out of power forever.

But a guy can dream.

Loyalty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The next step in the culture war:  fire employees for their political views.

I’m all for it.  Start by repealing tenure, fire all the pointy-headed leftists in academia, save millions of young minds from their poison.

Next, career bureaucrats in the IRS and State Department who claim they’re “The Resistance” – out you go, to make room for true patriots.

Yes, this is a wonderful advance in employment law.  Glad the Liberals adopted it, makes cleaning house much easier.

Joe Doakes

Given the concern some “progs” are showing, suddenly, for federalism and limiting government power, you never know.  Anything’s possible.

Turnabout

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Logical argument does not persuade people. We know this from conversations with Liberals in everyday life. They are motivated by rhetorical and emotional appeals.

That’s why this new campaign is so effective.  Somebody borrowed the anti-fascists slogan to use on posters.  The posters have an emotional impact that turns people against the slogan.  “Punch a Nazi” becomes synonymous with domestic abuse.  It makes clear that all people who employ violence are evil-doers.

 

Genius

Joe Doakes

Interesting – just as I opened Joe’s email, I was thinking “perhaps ridicule is the answer to “Anti”-Fa.

But Joe’s right.  It is an ingenious campaign.  Or will be provided that Big Left doesn’t excuse domestic violence “for all the right reasons’ too…

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is looking through the stacks at Midway Used Books.  G. Wellington BENBRIDGE-GELLER – better known to his social circle and fellow ‘Anti-Fascist Action Macalester” colleagues as “Wookie” – comes around the corner.  BENBRIDGE-GELLER, age 25, a graduate of Carlton College (BA Anthropology and Women’s Studies), is dressed in black from head to toe, including a black hoodie splotched with home-painted slogans, over a “Che Guevara” t-shirt – the only color in his mien.  He carries a gas mask and a bottle of bear spray in an NPR tote bag.  

BENBRIDGE-GELLER:  Hey, Merg!

BERG:  Uh, hey, “Wookie”.  What’s up?

BENBRIDGE-GELLER:  Fascist symbols are, themselves, a threat of violence to their targets, and thus justify violence in response.

BERG:  Meaning what?

BENBRIDGE-GELLER: It’s time to Punch a Nazi.

BERG:  Huh.  And you can tell Nazis by…

BENBRIDGE-GELLER:  Swastikas.  Brown shirts.  Make America Great Again caps.  GOP elephants.

BERG:  So, pretty much anyone who disagrees with you is a Nazi, so you feel you have leave to punch pretty much anyone.

BENBRIDGE-GELLER:  Yep.

BERG:  That means if anyone sees you, as you are an immediate threat to them, they can respond violently to you, then, as you are an immediate threat to them?

BENBRIDGE-GELLER:  Nope.  (Stops for a moment).  Hey – aren’t you a conservative talk show host?

(BENBRIDGE-GELLER winds up to kick BERG, but BERG reacts first, emptying a container of CS spray into his BENBRIDGE-GELLER’s face.  The younger guy falls to the floor, screaming, as BERG squirts the last remnants of the bottle at BENBRIDGE-GELLER’s head.  He tosses the empty bottle container, hitting the younger man in the face, and then grabs the reading stool and brings it down on BENBRIDGE-GELLER’s solar plexus before turning to walk out of the store.  A couple of patrons look at him, shocked)

BERG:  What?  You’re expecting a mildly sarcastic comic send-off to the bit?

(Bystanders go back to shopping as BERG pays for a couple copies of King and Country, and leaves store). 

And SCENE.

So Much Work To Be Done

So many statues out there – ergo, so much triggering.

As Big Left prowls the country looking for history that “triggers” them and must be destroyed [1], it’s probably worth pitching in and helping findi more history that needs to be expunged.

Exhuming McCarthy:  much has been made of the statue of Lenin in, where else, Seattle:

... Lenin Statue - "Sunday Strip" - Seattle, WA Visit - Mueckenfett

Leftover “art” from some misbegotten WPA project from hell?

No – a labor of “love” in the full Orwellian sense of the term;  from Wikipedia:

Lewis E. Carpenter, an English teacher in Poprad originally from Issaquah, Washington, found the monumental statue lying in a scrapyard ready to be sold for the price of the bronze; Carpenter had met and befriended Venkov while in Czechoslovakia. In close collaboration with a local journalist and good friend, Tomáš Fülöpp, Carpenter approached the city officials with a claim that despite its current unpopularity, the sculpture was still a work of art worth preserving, and he offered to buy it for $13,000.[1] After many bureaucratic hurdles, he finally signed a contract with the mayor on March 16, 1993.[4]

With the help of Venkov, the statue was cut into three pieces and shipped to the United States at a total cost of $40,000.[1] Carpenter financed much of that via mortgaging his home

The architect of a kleptocratic thugocracy that murdered tens of millions of people over seventy years?  I’m #triggered!  Break out the tow cables and the blowtorches!

But we’re not done expunging Communism’s murderous legacy.   The Minnesota State Capitol is crowded with paintings and sculptures of people who were figures in the “Farmer Labor” Party, and the early years of the merger between them and the Democrats to form the “DFL”.

The Farmer-Labor, as well as the DFL it joined, was expressly pro-communist.  The new party inherited the FLP’s support for the USSR and Josef Stalin.   The infant DFL, in other words, supported the party of the Holodomor, of the Gulag, of the Purge.

It’s time to rid our state of this noxious legacy of genocide.  I suggest a painting-burning and smashing.

Politically Incorrect:   Next, it’s time to address statues and other public art that pays omage to a  Christianist preacher who was a very powerful spokesperson against gay marriage – one whose influence among opponents to gay marriage today is too huge to calculate; one who, were he alive today, would be railing against same sex marriage with a fluency and authenticity today’s speakers can only dream about.

That anti-gay bigot?

What did MLK think about gay people?

Martin Luther King!

His failure to support gay marriage – presaging the mass dissent from most black Christian ministers, even today-

MLK memorial dedicated on the National Mall – Summit County Citizens ...

Can this be allowed?

Continue reading

The Privilege Of Barbering About Privilege

I said it during the 2016 campaign. I’m gonna say it again.

The reason everyone had to start talking about “white privilege” was to pre-empt discussion of “class privilege” – of the sort that is Big Left’s real power base.  If the body politics – especially the part that votes Democrat – were too busy barbering about “white privilege”, the notion that a hot tar roofer from Little Rock with an Arklahoma accent has some innate leg up over Oprah Winfrey because white – they wouldn’t have time to fuss about the class divide that separates Kenwood from North Minneapolis, Carlton from North Hennepin Community College,

Every time I’m ready to completely give up on David Brooks – and it happens frequently enough – he writes a column like this, about  how class privilege (especially in our “progressive” zip codes) perpetuates itself.

Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.

Brooks’ point is a good one – language is  a primary way to include or exclude people.  And it’s not just vocabulary; a southern accent is sure to draw discrimination here in Minnesota, while a mid-Atlantic, Boston or Brooklyn accent will engender zoo-like curiosity.

And Brooks’ point is that these dividers – both social, and their more concrete legal varieties, like zoning codes, transit strategies and the like, cost our economy dearly; Brooks quotes one estimate at 50%, which strikes me as high, but you don’t have to look at Minneapolis long to see that there’s a problem.

But it goes way beyond simple inclusion and economics:

American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class. They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, “You are not welcome here.”…

To feel at home in opportunity-rich areas, you’ve got to understand the right barre techniques, sport the right baby carrier, have the right podcast, food truck, tea, wine and Pilates tastes, not to mention possess the right attitudes about David Foster Wallace, child-rearing, gender norms and intersectionality.

The educated class has built an ever more intricate net to cradle us in and ease everyone else out. It’s not really the prices that ensure 80 percent of your co-shoppers at Whole Foods are, comfortingly, also college grads; it’s the cultural codes.

And the first rule of Urban Progressive Privilege club is, you never talk about Urban Progressive Privilege club.  You deflect to White, Male Privilege (where the Urban Progressive white male has already declared nolo contendere), and deflect like mad.

As is maddeningly common with Brooks, you should read the whole thing.

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”).

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.

Uneventful

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

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

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

 Joe Doakes

As Bogey reminds us…

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

Tolerance = 0

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Joe Doakes

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

Don’t Let The Door Hit You

Barbara Boxer is leaving Congress.

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

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

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

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

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

Devils Of Our Nature

I hate to indulige in schadenfreude.

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

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

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

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

Sorry, but no – it’s not.

Bulls, China Shops

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, people recognized differences.  Sunday morning, you wore one set of clothes, went to a specific place and behaved in a specific manner.  Monday morning, you wore different clothes, went to a different place, and behaved in a different manner.  And dinner, you changed into yet a third set of clothes, went to different places and behaved in still different ways.

Nowadays, Liberals cannot distinguish differences in time and place.  Every place and every time is Political.  Every activity is Political.  Making dresses is Political.  Playing football is Political.  Every gathering is Political.

Which is why Democrats thoughtfully distributed the Know Your Stuffing guide to help you start Political arguments over Thanksgiving dinner.

Which is why I never vote for Democrats. 

Joe Doakes

To be fair, it’s just one of the latest reasons on the pile.

Open Letter

To: Anti-Trump Protesters, Celebribities moving to Canada, Garrison Keillor, People curled up in your safe spaces, and other people who are angry at the world today
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant an Scott Walker vote
Re:  Why Trump Won

I  didn’t vote for Trump, but I most definitely voted for the GOP majority that he helped usher in.

I’ll just leave you with this:

Everyone who’s out there breaking things and beating people up?

Everyone who’s calling the election result a macroaggression and running for your safe space?

Everyone who keeps repeating that Trump called all Mexicans rapists (he didn’t) or that he’s going to bring on a wave of anti-gay repression (even the NYTimes called him the most pro-LGBT candidate among the GOP field, a year ago)?

Every teacher who called in “Grief Counselors” for the kids they’d painstakingly trained to be distraught over the election?

Everyone who took Wednesday off from work to cry about the election? Posting “He’s not my president” memes on Facebook? Jabbering about moving to Canada?

And above all, everyone who sniffs down your nose at what a bunch of morons your fellow citizens seem to be?

YOU are why Donald Trump won.

Not “racists”. Not Wall Street (they donated overwhelmingly to Hillary). Not ignorant rubes. Not me, a humble weekend talk show host who cordially disliked Trump’s public persona twenty years before most of you were making The Apprentice appointment TV.

You.

I’m All About The Help

To:  Jon Stewart, Chelsea Handler, Miley Cyrus, Neve Campbell, Lena Dunham, Cher, Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, Babe Streisand, Amy Shumer, Samuel L. Jackson, Natasha Lyonne, George Lopez, Raven Symone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Byron Cranston.

From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant

Re:  Moving to Canada

Need help packing?  Say when.  I’m there for you.

That is all.

(Is it just me, or is this the first time in 15 years that Neve Campbell’s been in the news at all?)

What A Difference Eight Years Makes

2008:  Discussion of secession from the union (by Texas, were the sentiment is pretty strong) or from oppressive an alienating state governments (inland and northern California) are “treason” and a call for a return to slavery.

2016:  Calls for secession are all the liberal rage.

I say keep it up.  You may never get seceded (although good riddance, California), but you’ll give me the impetus I need to revive one of my old online larks into a full fledged book.