No

Professor Galloway: I hear what you’re saying.

I do.

And on behalf of all the small businesses strangled by your mistake, all the parents who watched their kids slowly go crazy and stupid, and felt their personal, social and business relationships fraying and breaking?

I reject it.

Forgiveness without atonement is meaningless.

Try again.

Compromise

Someone walks up to you with a baseball bat. They say they want to kill you.

Your response is “no, I don’t want to get beaten to death with a baseball bat”.

Looks like you have a standoff. A controversy. A conundrum.

Someone else steps in and asks “How about we compromise? Will you settle for a traumatic brain injury?”

It’s the middle way, after all. The guy with the bat might even say “sure, I just wanna hit you, hard!“

You might respond “No – in fact, I don’t want anyone hurting me in any way. At all”

And the buttinski responds “Why won’t yiou compromise?”

Who’s right?

You?

The guy with the bat?

Or the person striving to find the middle ground between the two of you?

If your response is “I’m putting my foot down; nobody is hitting me with a bat for any reason at all“, and the other to ask “why do you hate the guy with the bat?“, does that change anybody’s mind?

Point being, sometimes the middle path, the compromise, is not the most moral path forward.

Seven Year Plan

Minneapolis has big plans for transit, and Minneapolitans are part of them, whether they like it or not.

June 24, 2023 – 2:00 PM

In seven years, Minneapolis transportation planners want 60% of trips in the city taken on public transit, or made by biking, walking or rolling.

The effort to achieve that ambitious goal, which is laid out in the city’s Transportation Action Plan, began this month as the city partnered with marketing agency Vision Flourish to kick off the mode-shift campaign called “As You Go Minneapolis.”

“We want to shift people’s behavior and thinking about how to move about the city,” said Amy Barnstorff, a transportation planner in the city’s Public Works Department.

No word on how they plan to enforce compliance with this diktat.

It was about this time fifteen years ago that I was in the middle of my 11-month experiment at doing without a car.

Among my conclusions from that experiment:

I want to laugh when I see some of the lefties – especially the transit-oriented leftybloggers – yapping about running their lives on transit.  I notice that not a single one of them seems to have kids; children are the big clinker in the “transit-oriented lifestyle”.  If you have to get kids to an after-school event, it’s a major expedition; if you have to take one to urgent care, it’s either miserable (hauling sick kids on the bus is a rotten feeling, although I never had to do it) or expensive (cabs in the Twin Cities are nothing to write home about). 

Just to run down the hunch, I checked out the transit planner featured in the article.

And sure enough, she punched all the expected tickets; her and her significant other apparently have a dog, but no children.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who can walk that particular walk without having a car for a backup.

Someone prove me wrong.

Property Rights

Democrats, learning Twitter banned discussion on politically fraught topics at FBI request: “Hey, it’s a private company. They can do what they want!”

Democrats, being asked to pay $8 a month for their precious blue checks: “Musk is STIFLING FREE SPEECH ZOMG!!! REEEEEEEEE!!!”

Security

A friend of the blog emails:

These people see downtown Target locking down everything and see it as corporate greed.

I hear about it and think of failed policies that create a mass of poverty stricken people who have fallen morally into the way of a Les Miserables story, where stealing is justified. It of course is justified by the very same people upset by the Target locking down basic supplies. It’s a cycle, which will continue to infinity until the cycle is somehow broken. 

We have an entire generation of over-schooled, under-educated people who think of the world in terms of corporate black hats and social justice white hats.

Remember Back In The ’80s?

When pop culture went through a phase of giggling at videos of school kids “ducking and covering” to practice for nuclear attacks?

I have a hunch that people in the 2040s are going to do the same with video of some of today’s dimmer, more dissociative bulbs:

That is to say, if they stop winning all the elections.

Let It Be Noted

I stay pretty relentlessly civil, especially when discussing politics. There’s enough pointless anger out there.

But I’m going to say this, and I don’t care what you think about it: If you are part of the lefty social media mob that thinks “Kyle Rittenhouse is a murderer”, you are a flat-earther.

Complicated stuff follows. Stay with me, progressives.

You think someone’s trying to kill you. You shoot them – maybe fatally, maybe not. You’re arrested. The DA presses charges – assault, homicide, whatever.

To even be allowed to *argue* self-defense for assault or homicide, you have to show a judge evidence, to a legal standard, that:

  • you reasonably feared being killed
  • That threat was immediate – it was literally them or you, right then and there.
  • you were not the aggressor [1]
  • you used ONLY the force needed to end that lethal threat.
  • in many states (including MN, but not WI), that you *reasonably* tried to get away [2].

That’s *before* the trial. If your evidence on any of those 4-5 criteria doesn’t stack up, you’ll be a defendant in a murder trial, not a self-defense trial.

Once you’ve gotten past that? On to trial!

And there, if the prosecution disproves any of those 4-5 factors beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury? You’re going to prison – for assault if nobody died, and murder if they did.

That’s a pretty high burden of proof for a “Murderer” to skate past. (Don’t think so? That’s just ignorant.

“But the judge was biased”

No, he wasn’t.

Rittenhouse may not have been a hero [3]. And if you think the whole episode is stupid and unfortunate, I don’t disagree – although in a moral society, the burden should fall on those who set out to damage and destroy others property.

Either way calling Rittenhouse a “murderer” is ignorant at best. And there’s an implied clause after “at best” [4]…

…but again, I try to stay civil.

I try. But I’m only human. It can’t last forever.

[1] And no, doing something you have every legal right to do does not make you an aggressor. Rittenhouse had a right to be where he was, and to carry a rifle. Don’t like it? Take it up with the Wisconsin Assembly.

[2] Where “reasonable” is defined by statute or, much more usually, in a stack of case law references that you have to be a lawyer to understand.

[3]But after seeing the mayhem that the entitled children of the politicalclass got away with scot-free in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis and Kenosha, it’s not hard to understand why some people think he is a hero.

[4] And that implied clause may or may not but definitely does include the thought that a whole lot of the “Rittenhouse is teh murdererer” crowd think rioting and rioters are justified, which is a pretty problematic view.

Our Betters Know It

We are living in a meritocracy that is utterly lacking in merit. And our betters know it. If the current leadership in Washington were confident in their abilities and in their support, you would not see FBI raids on political opponents and political show trials on national television. 

You are under no obligation to like the Bad Orange Man. Likely a plurality of the regular writers of this feature are, if not actively anti-Trump, certainly Trump-skeptical. We all know him and, in a better world, he’d be back on television pretending to fire C-list celebrities. 

We don’t live in that world. We have a hopelessly corrupt federal government and, at least in Minnesota, a kleptocratic political machine built for the amusement of the parlor pinks who support them. These are the same people who especially enjoy voting for Ilhan Omar, because doing so is brave and transgressive. Ask the local gentry and they will say it’s elementary.

If you’ve read The Great Gatsby, you’ll recognize the type — there are plenty of Tom and Daisy Buchanans in the world. They like what they like and they don’t like arrivistes from the outer boroughs. And they don’t care about the damage they leave in their wake, because they are, in the main, immune from the consequences. We send people like Betty McCollum and Vin Weber to Washington to dance for the Buchanans and, if their performances pass muster, they get to stick around long enough to make bank. And when the spirit moves, the politicos send us back a percentage the money they extract from all of us. And for the most part, those of us who follow politics pretend the labels our dancers wear really matter.

This construct has lasted a long time, at least 90 years and arguably all the way back to Grover Cleveland. All of it is getting shaky now, though. And in Joe Biden, we have the decrepit embodiment of the rot that has been building since the one-time Garanimals customers started learning their Gramsci alongside the trust-fund swells.

It can’t continue. And our betters know it. They are showing force, but they are not confident. They may be able to gaslight their way past November, but the reckoning draws near.

Pauline Kael Syndrome

To: Lieutenant Governor Flanagan
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: This…

Lieutant Governor Flanagan,

About this appearance, on a local, uh, livestream, I guess?

I have so many questions.

Baaaaaaaaaaahb: For starters: Does anyone really care how you dress? And by “anyone”, I don’t mean “Baaaaaaahb from FRIDley” – although we’ll come back to him, and to there. You’re a public figure. You’re going to get, uh, “Feedback”.

But you are one of the four most powerful people in MInnesota; you are arguably the most powerful Lieutenant Governor in recent Minnesota history, since the Governor only serves at the pleasure of the extreme “progressive” caucus you lead. Beyond that, yoiu’re a member of the political class, from a social echo chamber in you can do pretty much anything you want, without any consequences whatsoever (and, indeed, have done just that). You (and your family) have a lifetime sinecure, on the taxpayer’s dime. You could wear aluminum foil pants and a 2LiveCrew t-shirt, or pretty much anything but a MAGA cap, with complete impunity.

(Indeed – given that you’ve never, not once in your life, worked in the private sector, you are in the very rare position of never having had to obey any sort of conventional dress code, outside whatever rules the MN House of Representatives imposes – and if you had any problems about any rules you had to follow on that steppingstone to power, the record is silent).

So even if some (fictional?) “Baaaaaaaaaahb from FRIDley” dunks on your attire – so what?

Does it affect you, your life, your living, your power, in any way?

Because if not, it isn’t unreasonable to think you’re doing it to drum up some phony grievance, a bloody shirt of phony victimization for one of the most powerful, entitled people in Minnesota to wave about. .

Beyond that?

FRIDley?: I was struck by the contempt you clearly felt for Baaaaaaaaahb from Fridley. I was more struck by the laugn your audience shared with you about the reference.

You seem to feel a palpable contempt for people who aren’t like you and your neighbors in the leftist echo chamber, and to feed off the contempt you, plural, feel for them.

Why is that?

That is all.

Think “Walz Checks”, Only Gassy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Modern Monetary Theory says the government can borrow and spend as much as it likes without consequences. If we can afford a gas tax holiday, why not an income tax holiday, a social security tax holiday, a liquor tax holiday?

Or is MMT a lie and the gas tax holiday simply at attempt at buying votes with taxpayer money?

Joe Doakes

It is, of course, a purely academic exercise, like so much of the policy big left has been foisting on this country for the past hundred years and change.

Checked And Balanced

A state district judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of parents Who were seeking an order requiring the governor to issue a state wide mask mandate and to reinstate the state of emergency.

Thankfully, the judge shot the request down:

“While this court is gravely concerned about the public health consequences of the failure of school districts to implement the guidance of the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health regarding the use of masks for children, teachers, and staff in K-12 public schools,” the judge wrote in his ruling, “the judiciary cannot order a co-equal branch of government to exercise its discretionary, political judgment to implement a specific educational policy.”

In other words…

… (Mitch takes a deep breath)…

…the parents wanted a member of the judicial branch to compel the head of the executive branch do seize all of the authority of the legislative branch.

Sure, we have a public health crisis. We have an even bigger crisis in civics education in this state.

That’s A Daring Stance Indeed

Professor “joins the lowercase ‘movement'” (sic) to reject the “symbols of hierarcy”.

Let’s forget for a moment that she’s keeping the “Doctor” in front of her name – as noxious a symbol of hierarchy as there is.

But let’s dig a little further.

Writing in pure lower case is the sort of stylistic affectation afforded almost exclusively to “artists”, from the wonderful e.e.cummings to a raft of “quirky” and almost invariably tiresome cartoonists, “writers” and other “artists” – almost all of whom get whatever legitimacy they claim from being part of the academy or some genus of counterculture or another…

…all of which is another term for class privilege.

Wonder if I can find a “lowercase movement” meeting somewhere?

Also – it’d be interesting to run a poll of indigenous Americans to see if professors affecting lower case helps them, and how much…

Urban Progressive Privilege: My Scientific Research Project

Title: Analyzing the Propensity of Modern Feminists, Progressives and the Media to Overstate Accrued Virtue.

Aim of the Experiment: The aim of the experiment is to test whether there is any activity approved of by “Big Left” that a woman can do, that will not be turned into a example of supreme personal moral virtue.

Hypothesis: It is predicted that, provided the activity is one promoted by “Big Left”, that there is no activity a woman can carry out that will not be referred to as “Brave”, “Courageous”, “Fierce” or other such superlatives.

Background Theory: It is believed that the rhetorical “Bar” for an action to be considered an act of personal moral courage, when the action is:

  • Congruent with the values of modern political and social “progressives”, and
  • Performed by a woman

…has dropped to the point of nearly being indistinguishable from any normal activity.

Methodology: The research team:

  1. Observed an extensive list of actions
  2. We specifically looked for examples of morally unremarkable, mundane, even counterproductive activities not being referred to in morally superlative terms
  3. We documented the results.

Results: We found no examples.

Discussion of Results: In comment section

Conclusion: There is literally nothing a woman can do (provided it’s congruent with the values of Big Left) too unremarkable, mundane or even destructive that won’t be called ‘Brave’.

Impunity

I’ve been thinking about impunity.  It’s why:

-Black Lives Matter and Antifa can burn down cities;

-Keith Ellison can orchestrate a lynching;

-Tim Walz can imprison the whole state for an entire year;

-someone in the Biden Administration can send troops to kick down doors
in Syria;

-China can humiliate our diplomats in Alaska;

-sex fiends and pedophiles can prey on victims for years;

-illegal immigrants can swarm our border.

When people know they can get away with bad behavior, they engage in
more of it.  Swift punishment deters bad behavior.  How can we restore
the deterrent necessary to end bad behavior?

Joe Doakes

A city without any political opposition, and a political system without any major media scrutiny, all lead to people acting with impunity.

This Is What Urban Progressive Privilege Looks Like [1]

Every spousal abuser in history: “Yeah, sure, I hit you. But you provoked me – again. So you’re at least partly to blame. Maybe mostly. I mean, actions have consequences, baby…”

Big Left’s latest line – through one of its local mouthpieces, former Reprentative and Lt. Gov. Candidate and Urban Progressive Privilege poster child, Erin Maye Quade:

This statement ticks off nearly half of the traits one associates with someone with a serious personality disorder.

And before anyone stars a’yappin’ – I’m not saying Ms. Maye Quade suffers from any psychological illness.

Merely the movement she’s part of.

[1] Not to mention a culture of abuse, and a serious collective group personality disorder.

The New McCarthyites

I really can’t boycott “Hollywood”. because given the fact that Tinseltown can’t seem to get its heart into doing much of anything but comic book movies, and I just can not bring myself to go to a comic book movie, I mean, why bother?

So I’ve never seen any of Disney’s various Star Wars spinoff productions. The last, “first” three chapters of the Star Wars saga soured me on the whole franchise to the point where I just don’t care much. I’m told The Mandalorian is worth watching – but I honestly wouldn’t know.

So when I heard Gina Carano had been jettisoned from Mandalorian, after talk of her getting her own spinoff series was making the rounds, it took me a moment to dig and find out why it mattered.

It’s alleged by some media that she was tubed for being just a little too irascibly un-woke:

Carano was the subject of much criticism recently when, in a now-deleted Instagram post, she compared being a modern-day Republican to being Jewish during the Holocaust. The hashtag #FireGinaCarano has trended on social media in recent months after other incendiary comments by the television and film star.

And what were those “incendiary comments?” Especially as to “comparing” modern GOPers to German Jews in the ’30s?

Details are very, very thin. But I’ll defer to that not-remotely right-wing outlet, Variety, for the closest we have to core facts:

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children,” Carano wrote Instagram. “Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views.” The post originated on a different Instagram account.

In other words, totalitarians turn societies against themselves?

If the Woke Mob things that’s politically incorrect, we’re gonna have a real difference of opinion in our society sooner than later.

In another post, Carano shared a photo of a person wearing multiple cloth masks with the caption, “Meanwhile in California…

If riffing on California is politically incorrect, I don’t wanna be PC.

#UnityAndHealing

My first thought in reading this story, I kid you not, is that I’m a little amazed a city government or law enforcement establishment actually did anything about an offense like this:

After a hearing last Friday and conversations with the city attorney, the employment of part-time Library Specialist Cameron Dequintez Williams was terminated on Wednesday.

He was charged with burning books from the library written by conservative authors.

Library officials said, “The city of Chattanooga Human Resources Department completed its investigation of an allegation that books were removed from the Chattanooga Public Library’s Main Branch on Dec.https://w.chattanoogan.com/photo.aspx?a=8&t=11, 2020. 

“The investigation determined that part-time Library Specialist Cameron Williams violated city and Library policies by improperly removing items from the Library’s collections.”

As one wag remarked:

Now, it remains to be seen if the real reason was that the library board wants to do all of that themselves.

Bonus observation: Am I the only one thinking Lt. Governor Flanagan feels pretty good, having not only gotten away with having ideological mercenaries do her cultural cleansing for her, but having them in effect rewarded for their efforts?

I see a posh consulting job for Flanagan, if she ever leaves office.

If I Were A Harvard Alum…

…I’d be passing the hat to get David Hogg…

…to transfer or drop out.

But have no fear, Master Hogg. Logically, factually and intellectually, the intellectual foam pillow that is your worldview and movement has been on Mars for quite some time now.

Bigotry Of Bizarre Expectations

Kind of a good news, bad news situation here. But maybe not in the way you think.

A teachers union president in Washington State refers to reopening schools as a “white supremacist” initiative.

The good – or “good” – news: this is an example of the type of rhetorical, social and policy overreach one can expect when “progressives” – in this case invariably white, middle-class, and visibly “progressive” – find themselves in power. This statement – literally, “wanting your kids back in schools, and wanting some sense of stability and normalcy for their mental health, at a time when teenage suicide is exploding all over the country, is racist” is the very definition of “2+2=5” – mental health is mental illness, concern for kids is a pathology, truth is lies. (And the ability to say it without having ones own peers pelt one with rocks and garbage is Urban Progressive Privilege).

ut another way, evil – no scare quotes. Inverting moral truth and moral falsehood is as textbook a definition of venial evil as exists.

That’s the “good” news.

The bad news? About half the country, as this is written, doesn’t know any better, or just doesn’t want to think about it that hard.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 0

I spent a lot of time thinking about this scene last week:

I first started paying serious attention to politics in about 1980. Like a lot of high school kids, then and now, I was somewhere out on what would be called “the left”; I wrote a platform for North Dakota Boys State (a statewide mock government program put on by the decidedly conservative American Legion) that called for systematic redistribution of wealth, abolishing nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament, and a whole bunch of stuff that would be pretty mainstream among the Bernie Bros today.

Three years later, due to the good graces of my English professor, Dr. Jim Blake, I had re-evaluated most of my assumptions. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984, and never really looked back.

And I had no reason to. None of us did. Although the history books, all being written from the perspective of the Left, will never admit it, the two decades from 1980 to 2000 were, objectively, the last American Golden Age. I’ll squeak out an optimistic coda and add “so far”, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t been feeling it, but I’m a firm believer in acting like you want to feel, and so there is is. “So far”.

I’ll come back to that.

There’s no denying it was one of the high points of American history. We led an economic surge that brought more wealth to more people than any in history. We, as a nation, led a political surge that led to the collapse of one of the most evil regimes in history (although not the other one – so far).

Maybe it’s just the perspective of one guy’s lifetime – but I suspect you’d have to look long and hard to find a place and time when it was generally better to be a human.

Not just in material terms, but in terms of the tension between freedom and order, one of the hardest things about running a self-governing society, being in relative balance – and, more importantly, the general commitment to the system and process that kept all those moving parts in balance.

And it’s been downhill from there.

The arc from Morning in America in 1980 to last week’s skirmish at the Capitol – which, loathe as I am to come even close to Democrat chanting points, was a form of coup, not against President-Elect Biden, but against the states’ constitutional power to select electors – peaked…somewhere in the late ’90s – when one of the glories of the American system, gridlocked government, combined with a Peace Dividend brought about by the end of the Cold War (thanks, President Reagan), led to an outburst of technological, entrepreneurial and market power that brought so much wealth, and security, and general well-being, to so many people that it may have been as close to a uptopia, in some ways, as humanity can get. Because of the gridlock in government.

Somewhere between 1998 and 2005, things started to turn back south again. It’d be easy to point to the polarization of American politics, starting with the various Clinton scandals, through the fiasco of the 2000 election, the near-decade of squabbling over the War on Terror and the 2008 government-caused financial meltdown, as the cause – but it went in parallel with a lot of other changes in our nation’s political, moral and social lives that have led to their…

…I was going to say “culmination” last week at the Capitol. But of course, that’s not true. Last week’s sorry episode was, like last summer’s riots, and the social back and forth that gave us Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Trump himself, and the movements that supported them all in a way that was increasingly “un-American” (I’m still claiming a meaning for that term), and if you think that was the peak, or trough, or any sort of ending to the story, you just haven’t paid attention to 20,000 years of human nature.

So let’s not call it a culmination. Let’s call it a checkpoint, on a path that may be going up, or down, but control over which We The People need to take before the phrase “We The People” is forever relegated to the museum.

How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?

Let’s talk about it.

We’ll start with President Trump, next.

But we’re damn sure not going to finish with him.