I used to ask Twin Cities media figures why they kept taking the likes of Heather Martens and the “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence seriously, treating them as legitimate sources on the news, when the leading intellectual lights of Minnesota’s gun control movement burned them so consistently on actual fact.
In a sense, they have a point: I’ve been gleefully urging Democrats to push impeachment without rest almost since Trump was elected, seeing it as at best a goldmine for Trump, and at worst a gateway to a candidate I’d have actually supported on my own in 2016, Mike Pence, to the Oval Office.
But it’s almost like they want citizens to think that impeachment was part of some GOP/NRA/Heritage-Foundation/Military Industrial Complex plan to make the Democrats look like idiots.
And the worst thing is, Democrat voters will probably believe it.
Jessica Kwong, progressive stenographer at former magazine “Newsweek”, on Donald Trump’s thanksgiving:
“it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake”
In other words, pre-written.
The Big Media aren’t “the enemy of the people”. They’re worse; after assuming the mantle of “guardian of democracy” (which, we are told, without their ministrations would “die in darkness”), they are doing something very, very different. They’re worse than an enemy; they are betraying a trust – however misbegotten.
About ten years ago or so, he ran a blog – “MNPAct” – which was a website for putative organization Dave putatively ran.
Now, let me be clear: Dave was one of a small handful of “progressive” Metro-area bloggers from blogging’s heyday in the ’00s that didn’t and, to the best of my knowledge, still doesn’t belong under police surveillance; when my garage burned down, he didn’t feel compelled to disavow responsibility for it.
So there’s that. When you’re a conservative in the metro, you become thankful for the small things.
But that’s not to say Dave knows how to frame an argument any better than the rest of them ever did.
Example – last week, Dave felt the need to post this on Twitter:
Of course, Dave – confident as he seems to be in his side’s chanting points – didn’t know that Shannon Watts, like Nancy Nrd Bence (and Heather Martens before) has never, not once, said anything about guns, gun laws, gun owners, gun crime or gun statistics that’s simultaneously original, substantial and true; Lott’s “recent” testimony was 16 years ago.
I responded, natch – knowing, all along, I’d regret it, but such is the life of the contrarian.
It drew a “response” from Mindeman – one that was pretty clearly the fruits of a quick google for “John Lott Sucks” or some other “Dog Gone”-caliber thrashing about. Dave came up with…:
Now, if you are of a certain age, you might remember when MoJo was known for some capable journalism, even if it was always hard-left.
But the once-fabled counterculture investigative publication has fallen on risibly hard times; Babylon Bee doesn’t even bother parodying them anymore. What would be the point? (Interesting to see, by the way, that MoJo’s current “CEO” is City Pages hanger-on Monika Bauerlein).
The article – by “Writing Fellow” (read: glorified intern who’s hoping not to have to look for a job at Buzzfeed next) Gloria Exstrum, covers research Lott did on abortion and immigration, in addition to his usual gun research. I can’t comment on the abortion and immigration stuff – I cover my zone – but once it turns to the gun stuff, Exstrum’s article is proof that you never, ever use MoJo as a source on anything Second Amendment.
Following the 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, President Barack Obama and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged Congress to pass gun control legislation. “I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings,” Obama said in a statement after the incident, “this just doesn’t happen in other countries.” In a 2015 post on theCrime Prevention Research Center website, Lott’s group argues that “this claim is simply not true.”The analysis points out that, during the Obama administration, the United States ranks below several European countries in death rate per million people from mass public shootings. Predictably, conservative media outlets picked up the story, and Lott wrote a column for Fox News referencing his findings after the Las Vegas shooting.
So far so good. She got the basic assertions right – which is not something you can take for granted these days.
But here’s a challenge: try to figure out what the esteemed “writing fellow” is saying in response to Lott in this next bit. Honestly, I’m sort of at a loss, here:
However, as a Media Matters for America analysis points out, Lott’s claims only focus on public mass shootings involving machine guns, a criteria which excludes deadly incidents like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and the Pulse nightclub shooting.
For a “writing fellow”, Ms. Exstrum is either a terrible researcher, a lousy reporter (evidence toward this: using “Media Matters” as a source), a substandard writer, or – who knows? – maybe any 2-3 of the above. Whatever it is, I have read this sentence a dozen times, and I can’t figure out what she’s trying to say. But I’ll give it a try, here:
Is she saying Lott excluded mass shootings involving machine guns? Well, yeah – there’s never been mass shooting by a legally-owned machine gun – meaning “fully automatic weapon” – in US history, at least not since the 1934 National Firearms Act (shaddap about the Valentine’s Day Massacre). Lott “excluded” them because history and fact “excluded” them. They don’t exist in the past 85 years, to say nothing of the six year time frame of the study Ms. Exstrum is yapping about.
Is she saying that the overseas shootings used “machine guns” – well, no, the raw data points out that non-US mass shootings used a variety of firearms – the vast majority of them subject to stringent gun control, by the way, which would tend to reinforce Lott’s point, not Exstrum’s. The list below includes incidents with “machine guns” (notably the 11/13 Paris massacre, carried out with military-grade AK47s – which are as illegal in France as they are here) , semi-automatic weapons, even manual repeaters:
Is the dispositive point that Lott focuses on foreign “public” “mass shootings?” It makes no sense – Lott’s list of shootings in the US from 2009-2015 includes all sorts of locations – almost all public, mostly “gun-free zones”:
LIterally, there is no way to read “writing fellow” Exstrum’s sentence that makes it jibe with the facts.
I’m open to suggestions, here.
Exstrum also wrote – sort of – about Lott’s foray into police-on-black-citizen shootings:
In a 2016 study, Lott and co-author Carlisle Moody, a professor at the College of William & Mary and a member of the Crime Prevention Research Center’s academic advisory board, argue that white police officers do not unfairly discriminate against black suspects. In a Fox News op-ed about the study, Lott says, “Many people incorrectly believe the police are racist.”
To which she adds:
Of course, ampleresearch has concluded that black suspects are much more likely to be shot by police than white ones. But the study nonetheless received coverage from the National Review, Breitbart, and the Washington Times, with Breitbart saying Lott’s research “runs against the claims of groups like Black Lives Matter.”
“Ample research”. Is anyone but me seeing a google search for “shooting black people consensus” as Ms. Exstrum’s “research”?
Of course, there’s ample research on the other side as well – including this one, by Harvard professor Roland Fryor – that confirms at least the broad outline of Lott’s conclusion. Fryer happens to be black, and also happened to have started his research believing he’s find the opposite conclusion – so this finding, against interest (where “interest” <> intellectual honesty).
Conclusions Er, don’t start a land war in Asia, and don’t use MoJo as a source against someone who’s been paying attention?
They say the most arrogant and obnoxious residents of New York City are the ones born in Buffalo.
Likewise, the most annoying, provincial, arrogant hangers-on to any ideology are the ones that came to it with the most personal sturm und drang.
There’ a former conservative blogger who, along with some other personal changes, flipped their politics a while ago. They’ve written a few angst soaked social media posts theatrically apologizing for and renouncing having ever been a conservative, much less an outspoken one.
Which I found a little insulting and a lot depressing. I mean, I grew up liberal, to the extent that I didn’t tell anyone that I’d voted for Reagan (in the middle of one of the most Republican states in the Union, mind you) – but consider the things I learned as a larval prorgressive key to my development. I’ve never apologized for having once written a party platform at a mock government that’d send a tingle up Bernie Sanders’ leg – although some have thought I should (and have been told to go pound sand, albeit in a good-natured kind of way).
So be what you want to be. Go with God. It’s a free country. So far.
Which is why the ever-more-constipated-sounding virtue signaling of Max Boot, once one of the best foreign policy writers out there, has been such a buzzkill. He’s changed his alignment…
…well, no. He’s let his never-Trumpism define his politics, which were always “Eisenhower Republican”; think New Dealers who opposed communism.
MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch says Democrats should spare no effort to “put Trump in jail”.
Zzzzzzzzzz. That’s not “dog bites man”. That’s not even “dog licks dog”.
The iinteresting thing here is Deutsch’s…er, permissive and selective self-image. Emphasis added:
Deutsch … implored Democrats to use “fear” to campaign against Trump to paint a picture of a “dystopian society” that will follow a Trump second term.
“The one tool we have to use that the Democrats never use is fear,” Deutsch said on ‘Morning Joe’ Friday. “Start to stop talking about Donald Trump today and yesterday and start to paint a picture of what the next four years would look like. Maybe even the next 8, 12 years because he doesn’t think he’s going anywhere of the possible path to a dystopian society. There is no more playing. We cannot bring a knife fight to a bazooka gunfight.”
Democrats “never use fear”.
climate change (or at least the parts they claim will require bigger, richer government to “fix”
Gun violence (it’s dropping, not rising)
White guys (we’re in year 11 of Democrats assuring us that there’s a wave of “white nationalist violence” around the corner. Any day now. Honest.
Women being turned into robots, a la Handmaid’s Tale
I’d hate to see what it’s like when they do start appealing to fear…
A little over 100 years ago, the President of the United States – who was the former president of Princeton, an Ivy League university, not some pettifogging Son of the Confederacy – re-segregated the Federal government, opened the statutory floodgates for Jim Crow, and showed Birth of a Nation in the White House.
Eighty years ago, the Klan controlled entire cities and states. The could claim tens of thousands of members, and easily muster hundreds of marchers…in Minnesota.
Racial swamp critters like Father Coughlin and Gordon Winrod commanded massive radio audiences; in the thirties and forties, they commanded audience shares of the audience easily comparable to today’s talkers.
And the Deutch-Americanische Bund, an American outcrop of the Nazi party, had a significant following in the US – peaking during an evening in 1939 when, NPR reminds us, the Bund held an event in Madison Square Garden that drew 20,000.
A little over fifty years ago, segregationist Democrat George Wallace carried five states, cementing Hubert Humphrey’s political humiliation. The Klan actively, sometimes violent, resisted Civil Rights efforts earlier in the decade – in some cases, with relative impunity.
30-40 years ago, “Christian Identity” murdered Denver talk show host Alan Berg (no relation) on his way to the station. Groups like the American Nazi Party, the Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord, and (in my home state) the Posse Comitatus operated in the openly (and, in 1983) violently.
20-25 years ago, there was a Nazi cell operating semi-openly (at least, if you believed their Usenet BBS account) in Saint Cloud, and there was a White Supremacist record label operating in Saint Paul. A “Klan” rally drew about a dozen wan-looking “Klansmen” and a couple hundred counterprotesters to the Minnesota state capitol . There was a map of the greater Denver area that advised hikers and campers not to go into the mountains north of Boulder because of all the “Christian Identity” members that made their homes up there (although that was arguably humor or hysterics in action).
Today? The “Klan” musters nine people to a rally in Dayton, a city that was once one of their hotbeds north of the Mason Dixon. “White Supremacists” from 8-10 states mustered maybe 100 people in Charlottesville a couple years ago. You can search the world far and wide for a White Supremacist (off the Internet, anyway) who isn’t a doughy mid-thirties convenience store clerk who lives in his parents’ basement and leads a band of race warriors…on Reddit.
By any objective, concrete measurement, “white supremacy” as an organized activity has nearly disappeared.
(“White Supremacy” as an academic chanting point designed to bully and gaslight the vulnerable is another matter – but that’s another article).
And yet the media pushes the notion that “White Supremacy” is waxing across the country.
Am I the only who to whom it seems like the Big Media – and the Big Left for whom it works – is pushing the story to convince more loonies to try the White Supremacist lifestyle?
“Hey, dysthemic losers! Look at these other people like you! Come on out in the sunshine and romp and play! And maybe assemble in a group in front of this camera, with hand-lettered, misspelled signs? And when you do, make sure the one with the MAGA hat is up front! You are not alone!“
It reminds me of the Red Scare movies of the 1950s – if you get people thinking there are commies behind every bush, pretty soon someone will start seeing commies behind the bushes.
SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking down Grand Avenue, looking for Grand Avenue Distillery Supplies. As he looks in the storefront, MyLyssa SILBERMAN, Reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau, covering the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats, gets out of a cab.
BERG: (Nonplussed) Er, hi, MyLyssa. What’s up?
SILBERMAN: I’m curious. You continuously say, on your blog and show, that the media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the progressive movement.
BERG: I do. And it’s true.
SILBERMAN: How can you say that? We have layers and layers and..
BERG: …and layers of gatekeepers. Right. Got that. I base my assertion on, well, reading and listening to the media, and taking what they say seriously.
BERG: Well, for example, listen to this bit by NPR’s “On the Media” – supposedly their media “watchdog” show – and the train of ultra-left dogmatics and magical thinking, and tell me any part of it that wouldn’t fit right in with a Wobbly pamphlet in the 1900s.
SILBERMAN: (Puts on earphones. Listens to segment. Removes headphones). I don’t hear anything.
Big Leftymedia is concerned that former ISIS fighters who defected from France to the Caliphate aren’t getting due process:
[Human Rights Watch spokesman Belkis] WILLE: The trials of ISIS suspects in Iraq are fundamentally unfair. We say this based on sitting through many of these trials over the last two years. And what we see is that defendants do not get any of their basic due process rights granted to them under international law, as well as under Iraqi law. There is absolutely no presumption of innocence when they walk into the courtroom. And many times, defendants are alleging that they have been tortured.
[NPR Middle East correspondent Jane] ARRAF: France doesn’t have a death penalty. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said it would relay its opposition to sentencing the men to death. But it also said it respected Iraqi jurisdiction. The men were handed over by Kurdish Syrian forces to Iraq because the alleged crimes were committed in Iraq and Syria.
Due process is a human right, and it’s be disingenuous of someone who supports Western Civilization to say otherwise.
I’m just wondering where the concern was when ISIS was on the ascendant?
I want to make a video, fisking John Oliver’s moronic piece claiming Australia’s gun laws “debunk” the “American gun ownership myth”. Spoiler: the only parts that are wrong are the parts where Oliver is moving his lips.
The problem is, watching John Oliver gives me a very unpleasant physical reaction. Watching him literally makes me ill.
It’s not just how he smugly mangles context and cherry picks factoids, and mugs for the trained seals in his audience; that was Jon Stewart’s schtick, too. But I can watch (and heckle and fisk) Stewart and enjoy doing it.
John Oliver could read a phone book, or “Goodnight Moon”, or even quotes from Margaret Thatcher and William F. Buckley, and I’d still feel my skin crawing, and start wanting to throw up.
I don’t even react like this to the useless Steven Colbert.
I literally get ill watching Oliver.
The only other thing like it? I get a headache watching Tim Burton movies. No kidding – I even got a headache watching one Burton movie even before I learned what it was and who directed it. It can be a Burton movie I love (“Nightmare before Christmas”) or hate (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), but it’s the same headache. Something about his style. I don’t know.
But even that reaction is nothing like the one I get from John Oliver.
Not-especially-seemly confession; I’ve never been to a strip club.
But there are a few photos circulating from thirty years ago that, I suspect, a few lefty social media gerbils would flog their nether bits into frenzies of microturgidity if they could find ’em; I’m talking with a couple of strippers in a bar.
We’re all working in the bar (including them – clothed. It was a promotion for the sleazy DJ service I worked for). And they were friends of mine; we shared a stretch of our lives working in bars entertaining drunks in widely varying ways.
I thought about that when I saw an article recently about a Buzzfeed piece in which the “writer” “slut-shamed” Tucker Carlson for sharing a friendly (literally, nothing more) moment with a “Sex Worker” at the funeral of a mutual friend. It was a display of the sort of moral cretinousness that today’s left is perfecting.
And the responses have been interesting; Big Leftymedia tittered like a bunch of fourth-graders (or perhaps fourth-graders titter like “liberal” “journalists”); in the meantime, the conservative commentary site “The Federalist” gave the woman a forum:
That it was made an issue speaks to the fact that a progressive journalist believed that a man to whom she has ascribed a belief system would be shamed by being in this photo. She attempted to call out his hypocrisy, as journalists so often do. But the hypocrisy didn’t exist. Moreover, if Aurthur, as a good leftist, has no problem with sex work then why would she have an issue with someone else not being troubled by it either? Christina Parreira, the sex worker featured in the photo, found a place to speak her truth in The Federalist, a conservative outlet long derided by the progressive left for mostly vacuous reasons. The fact that a sex worker had to set the record straight in The Federalist about a Twitter-based kink shaming hoax speaks to the change that has been happening throughout our media. Outlets that were once considered to be beacons of free expression are now more prudish and censorious than the outlets they critique.
Their only real morality is “tear down the ‘opposition'”.
Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed is, as of this year, a teenager, and as is true of many teens it has an unrealistic view of its own likely future. BuzzFeed dreams of landing the Disney prince of profitability by dolling itself up in two ways. One is to cut costs. Unload most of the journalists producing the kinds of pieces that could in theory appear in an actual newspaper because this stuff loses money. Dozens of people have been laid off already, with more to come. Yet BuzzFeed is at the same time advertising for “editorial fellows” (journalistic lingo for “low-paid employees”) to apply for jobs. Clear out all those 28-year-olds whose salaries have soared worryingly into the mid-five figures and replace them with 23-year-olds willing to work for Starbucks wages. Hey, being a journalista beats being a barista, right? And as hinted above, it’s not like BuzzFeed has any hangups about the quality of its content. If you can make a latte, you can probably make a listicle.
The second part of the BuzzFeed makeover, coming soon, is to grow. BuzzFeed has hinted that it intends to hoover up many other similar sites, all those fourth-rate imitators of a third-rate product that also seek to provide micro-dopamine infusions to cupcake-scarfing arrested-development cubicle prisoners as they daydream of shopping at Forever 21 and wonder if Jafar is kind of hot. If 17 bajillion dollops of extreme-low-quality content delivering 150 gajillion eyeballs doesn’t work, double down! If gigantic scale doesn’t work, activate ludicrous scale!
If Buzzfeed spirals in, one hopes the American people would get smarter.
These days, it’s more likeliy it’d get replaced by something worse…
MoveOn.org was made for moments like 20 years ago, when an aging lothario was facing impeachment, and Democrats with deep pockets wanted to defend his administration and power from his own arrogant excess.
To: Entire US Senate GOP Caucus
From: Mitch Berg, Cranky Peasant
Re: A Big Lie
Confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Now.
The allegations against him are of a piece with nearly every leftist narrative today – utter crap. It’s transparent BS. Like most lefty memes – “gun violence”, the “War on Women”, the $15 minimum wage and on and on, it is largely a set of chanting points that aren’t intended to convince the intelligent. They are intended solely to leverage the tribalist ignorance of the masses of entitled would-be elitists who make up Big Left’s voting bloc; they don’t fact check jack; they hear things on the media, and the left’s alt-media, and parrot it like the obedient little schnauzers most of them are.
Confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Now.
Nothing reinforces a tactic like success. If Big Left manages to scuttle Kavanaugh, you can expect every single conservative – I almost added “male” to the list, but as we saw with Sarah Palin and MIchele Bachmann, the left hates conservative women even more – will meet the same scabrous, defamatory treatment.
Confirm Kavanaugh. Now.
And if Big Left tries to call out the schnauzers of “The #Resistance”, then yes, let’s meet them – in court if they choose wisely, at the barricades if they don’t.
But confirm Kavanaugh. Now.
If you fail to do this, you will get brutalized this November.
Caron Monahan – the ex-girlfriend of anti-somatic DFL congressman Keith Ellison, who is running for state auditor this fall – reports that the big social media platforms appear to be engaging in shenanigans.
Since the big social media platform is our plan I’d like to make sure the actual record gets out:
Berg’s Seventh Law: “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character, humanity or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”
Remember during the campaign, when Donald “The Donald” Trump’s history of sexist japes, braggadocio and womanizing went from being a Hollywood inside joke to grist for a desperate Clinton campaign to dig out of a hole?
Of course you do. You couldn’t escape it.
And as I saw that unfolding in Hillary’s attempt to claw her way into office, I kept thinking; “Yes, it’s about drawing attention away from Bill and her history of committing and abetting unspeakable horrors upon women to the winking and chuckling of their buddies in high lefty places”.
But I also thought “it’s gotta be more than this”.
And with the juxtaposition of Roseanne Barr (whose show was tanked within a day of her racist jape on Twitter) and Samantha Bee (who will be a cause celébre on the left, just you watch), it became clear; the borg that is Big Left just doesn’t think their own (the “elite” at the top of the prog pile – the Clintons, Emmanuels, Feinsteins, Waterses and the like) can be guilty of anything.
Case in point:
Ivanka legitimized trump by being pretty & seeming sane, & libs created a (kinda sexist) Rapunzel narrative that she was ‘trapped’. She’s from a crime family, she married into a crime family, she’s a grown up. She will do as much damage as she can get away with. Sam was too kind.
When you have a movement whose “elite” (koff koff) takes private jets halfway around the world to conferences where they tell everyone else to move into apartments and take transit? That sends its kids to private academies but hectors you for putting yours in a charter school? That parks its money in tax shelters run by rooms full of tax lawyers and tells you you’re unpatriotic for wanting your taxes lowered?
Who tell you “Misogyny is bad” while excusing…ugly stupid misogyny (in terms so patronizing and sexist that they’d have gotten any Republican politican exiled to rural Alaska)?
I guess I can see why they deflect to “Racism” when talking about why Trump won.