Because Katy Perry Doesn’t Do That Much Politics, Really

I try to be civil. I truly do.

But John Fugelsang is the one person on this entire planet that saves Samantha Bee from the title of “Most Vapid Pundit On Planet Earth”.

Seriously – Fugelsang, whose qualifications as a public intellectual seem to begin and end at “hairdo”, has already earned himself a Berg’s Law, and just keeps getting worse.

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To which one responds “Only in America can you be pro-gun-control, pro-“campaign finance reform”, turn a blind eye to intellectual censorship and oppression on campus (and, increasingly, elsewhere), pretend “Antifa” is no big deal, oppose school vouchers and homeschooling, propose or support “Climate Nuremberg Tribunals” for scientific skeptics, and still call your self “pro-choice” with one cerebral lobe tied behind one’s back to make it fair.

Upper Middle Class White Peoples’ Burden

As we noted earlier this morning, the mayor of Seattle is expanding his “soda tax” to cover diet pop1 because apparently minorities drink more sugar-sweetened pop than honkey does.

And the tax – which was ostensibly about taxing people into health – became a matter of crushing white privilege.

As commenter Mammathus Primigenius noted in the comment section, the idea that upper middle class honkeys drink diet pop is sooooo 1986.

If the Mayor of Seattle (and let’s be honest, Minneapolis will want to keep up with the social justice joneses; it’s the city’s one productive industry) wants to stick it to honkey, I think we need to create a list of things that are genuinely associated with his and Betsy Hodges’ main voting bloc  upper-middle-class urban “white privilege”.

I’ll start things out.  You feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.  I’ll send them to the Mayor when we’re done:

  • Kombucha
  • Coconut Oil
  • Raw Denim
  • Beard-care products
  • Any coffee or tea beverage that includes more than coffee or tea
  • Riding bicycle paths
  • Skateboarding
  • Art crawls
  • Skiing and snowboarding
  • Yoga classes and accessories
  • Four year private colleges
  • Membership fees in “gun safety”, environmental and animal rights groups and the ACLU.
  • Subarus
  • Whole Foods goods of any and all types
  • Doulas
  • Anything purchased from Etsy

Carry on!

Paging The 14th Amendment…?

The Earl Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, proposed a Bloomberg-style pop tax.

Bad enough?  Sure.

Then, the social justice warriors sounded off, pointing to statistics saying that minorities drink more pop than honkeys.

At first, the tax was to make distributors of sugary drinks pay 2 cents per ounce with the mayor claiming it would bring in $16 million.

It won’t.  But, again, not the point.

The mayor changed his tax when his staff told him that it would disproportionately affect minorities, who apparently have higher soda consumption rates than white people.

The tax has now become an “issue of equality” as far as the mayor is concerned because “upper-middle-class white people” who consume diet drinks more frequently must be taxed to fight “white privileged institutionalized racism”, according to Reason.

I’m beyond thinking the laws actually affect this sort of behavior on the part of government.

There Is No Space Safe From The Social Justice Cheka

Purdue hires a social justice warrior to head its engineering program.  

While overt sexism and homophobia are less common than historically, they still play out in ways that are subtle and, therefore, insidious and hard to combat. How do you see this happening in the sciences, and how do you deal with it?

One of the biggest sources of sexism and homophobia is lodged in the epistemology of science. How we think, and what we think, matter in determining what we know and don’t know, and affects our workplace interactions in very negative ways. We think that we eliminate bias by keeping our “personal lives” – some aspects of ourselves – out of the lab, classroom, or office. But actually this is how we allow implicit bias to seep in and saturate everything we do, because that which is male, straight, white, able-bodied, monied, is not left behind in the practice of science and engineering – it is just so normative that lots of us don’t notice.

The story came out on Saturday.  I can only hope it’s an April Fool prank – perhaps the most insanely brillaint one o al time.  

I’m not very hopeful.

Would You Like To Take Another Pass At That?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION, ANYTHING-TO-STOP-THE-BLEEDING ISSUE: California’s New Bar Exam Format And ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement Will Adversely Impact Diversity, Women, And Access To The Legal Profession.

 Implied message: women and minorities are not as smart as white men.

 When your best argument against raising standards is that dumb people won’t be able to become bad lawyers, you should sit down and shut up.

 Joe Doakes

I sometimes think that liberalism is a byproduct of damage to the brain’s logic center.

On the other hand, it shows some ability to think about unintended consquences, albeit they seem to turn it on and off pretty fast.

The First “Trump 2020” Campaign Ad

After an election where Identity Politics generated an identity politics backlash that overwhelmed the Identity Politicians, MTV News triples down with perhaps the most textbook example of tone-deafness in a movement that can’t carry a tune in a bucket in the first place.

Broad, ofay stereotyping is now good, apparently:

“White guys”.  Huh.  Because an Italian about as much socially in common with a Swede as a Korean has with a Philipino?

My “favorite”?  “Learn what ‘mansplaining’ is, and stop doing it”.

Ma’am, I know what “mansplaining” is.  It’s a way to dismiss someone’s argument without actually having to address it.  It’s a weaponized rhetorical coin trick that genderizes, at most, poor communication, and at the very least, personal annoyance and peevishness.  Nothing more.  In a world run by Mitch Berg, using the term “Mansplaining” to cut off an argument would be grounds for spraying people in the face with mace.

And if I could just take a moment to express my complete fatigue with Millennial hipster pajama-boy gamma male virtue-signalling?

I plan on circulating this far and wide – until it gets disappeared, at least.

It’s also more than a little tempting to do my own New Years resolutions list for MTV and our Social Justice Warrior community.

Not Ready For Prime Time

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

White cop shoots Black youth in view of a million witnesses and store security video.  Where are the protests?

 Granted, the cop was off-duty, in civilian clothes, on personal business in a shopping center.  Granted, the youth was busy slashing shoppers with a knife.  Still – why isn’t this a racial hate crime?

 Maybe Somalis born in African who come to America as refugees don’t count as “African-American” but count as “White” the way Asians do for college admissions, and therefore this kid is not protest-worthy?  Or maybe the kid was a White Somali – they have them, you know; they sign up at the same place as Hispanics like that guy in Florida.   

Maybe St. Cloud is inconveniently far away if you depend on light rail for transportation to the protest?

 It’s just odd.

 Joe Doakes

In point of fact, they don’t count as “African-American”.

Optimism

Kurt Schlichter is predicting a dem meltdown.

Conclusion:

Nineteen sixty-eight was the year normal Americans saw the Democrats for what they were, and that’s the danger for them in 2016 too – that normal Americans will be reminded about what a circus of welfare-chiseling, race-obsessed, work-averse, baby-shredding freaks the Democrat party is.

So keep fighting for purity, Democrats – your painful cramming to pass your dozens of litmus tests is going to provide us with endless amusement. And don’t worry about us Republicans – it’s actually pretty easy to pass ours. You’re disqualified if you have ever given money or a medal to Hillary Clinton. After that, we can talk.

Amid all the predictions that this would be the end of the GOP – and I’m not happy with things, truth be told – this could turn out much worse for the Dems.

The World Is Their Safe Space

Faux Feminist “writer” Lindy West blocks conservatives wholesale on Twitter.

How wholesale?

Even lowly little me, Mitch Berg, from the far frontiers of conservatism, am blocked.

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I actually feel pretty jazzed about that.  Although I shouldn’t; West likely uses some sort of online ‘bot or another to block every account that references conservatism or libertarianism.

I guess I’m not that special after all.

It’s actually a sign of deep intellectual vapidity – being completely unwilling to deal with any form of dissent.  And it’s pretty much the norm on the American left’s social media.  Go ahead – try to leave a question with any leftist on Twitter.

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The account should be named “OnlyCertainPeople4Alondra”.

Or Facebook.

I got banned from Rep. Norton's page after asking her to come on my show to discuss her legislation.

I got banned from Rep. Norton’s page after asking her to come on my show to discuss her legislation.

Or on their blog, Youtube channel, Snapchat…

They want the whole world to be their safe space – or at least the only parts of the world they let near them.

This Is What 1933 Looks Like

Christina Hoff Summers, Steven Crowder and Milo Yiannopolous versus the campus PC brownshirts.

Yes, I said “brownshirts”.  I very rarely invoke Nazi references.  I studied Naziism pretty closely; I invoke the history very, very sparingly, and with the precision of a brain surgeon.

Brownshirts on the inside.

UPDATE: Can’t believe I missed this; thankfully, someone got it in the comments:

Is it “1984”, or is it Macalester?

The Red Line

Clearly, all of America’s school problems have been solved.

No, we know this, because thousands of American teachers will be taking time off during the school  year to attend a conference on “white privilege”.

The annual event is aimed at promoting the theory of White Privilege – that American society is hopelessly stacked against minorities and the only way to fix the system is for white people to acknowledge their immense “privilege” and repent.

Which brings up the two questions:

  1. What is “white privilege”
  2. What is it that you’d have us do about it.

The first?  Even asking will get you called a racists (as I found out on one particularly bobbleheaded neighborhood Facebook forum a few weeks back).   But one BLM activist defined it for me pretty well, last summer:  it’s being able to go into a room and not have everyone wondering if you’re “one of the good ones”.

Which sounds, to me, like freedom and equality.  Which may be a “privilege”, but it’s also supposed to be one of this nation’s ideals.

As opposed to this next bit (emphasis added):

“Our vision is to build a community committed to dismantling white privilege, white supremacy and oppression, every day, everywhere,” wrote Eddie Moore Jr., founder and president of “The Privilege Institute,” which organizes the event.

If “privilege” is equality, freedom, justice, and being seen as a person rather than a label, then you’ll “dismantle” it over my dead body.  You don’t gain freedom and equality by taking others’ away.  The Germans didn’t get any more free by killing Jews; the Klan got no more justice by lynching black people.

Repent, my ass.  It’s time to spread “privilege” around to all races, classes, orientations, religions, humans.

If this is the place where the civil war starts, then lock and m********ng load.

Rhetorically speaking, of course.

Privilege

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’ve been informed that as a White Male, I have White Privilege and therefore, my life is easy. It doesn’t seem easy. I decided to check what privileges I got from being a White Male. I’m having trouble finding any and that’s unfair. All the other White Males get to feel guilty, they all have an excuse to wave signs while they stand around on freeways, I don’t get to. I can’t see that I’ve ever gotten a benefit from my White Privilege.

I grew up in a town with no Black families at all. Every boy in school was a White boy. When teachers went looking for the kid who caused the trouble, I got no preference for being a White boy.

To be accepted to college, I had to meet a certain minimum GPA and test score. The college needed Black Males to meet its affirmative action goals so the GPA and test scores were lowered for Black Males. It happened again when I applied to graduate school. I received no preference for being a White Male.

To be hired for a government job, I had to score in the top 5% on the civil service exam to get an interview. The agency needed women to meet its affirmative action goals so they hired a woman who scraped by with a minimum passing score instead of hiring one of the top scoring applicants. I received no preference for being a White Male.

Supposedly, my White Privilege protects me from harassment by the police. When I was a teenage White Boy cruising at night in a bright red Mustang, you can bet I caught the eye of every traffic cop. Now that I’m a middle aged man commuting from work in a sedan, cops never notice me. I’m just as White and Male as ever, but I’m not driving a noticeable vehicle and I don’t drive badly or during high-crime hours. That’s not a privilege, that’s adulthood.

So where do I go to get my share of the privilege?

Joe Doakes

A question I keep trying to ask people who prattle about “privilege”; so let’s say Nekima Levy-Pounds, the boss of Black Lives Matter in Minneapolis, a law professor with tenure and an upper-middle-class income who can pretty much do anything she wants without fear of getting fired, and Billy Bob Bodine, a hot tar roofer from Shreveport Arkansas who sounds like an extra from Deliverance, walk into MPR or Minneapolis City Hall or the U of M.

Who would have the “privilege”?

The Clicking Sound Of “Justice”…

…must be tempered by the knowledge that the only reason this happened – University of Missouri professor Melissa “Poster Child for Moral Constipation” Click, was fired earlier this week – was that her little meltdown was caught on video:

(Looking at the “Students” in this video may be the most deeply depressing thing I’ve done lately.  Fascism is alive and well and drinking latte on a thousand university campuses)

How many professors out there commit the same, and worse, crimes against free expression and critical inquiry every day, unrecorded and, thanks to the outdated practice of academic tenure, utterly untouchable?

In a just world, every one of those “students” will have this video hounding them throughout their “lives”.

Additional Question:  Any bets on whether Click gets hired at one of the Twin Cities’ surplus crop of mediocre colleges?

What Was Once Bigotry Is Now PC

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Oh, thank God.  I was so afraid that my ongoing failure to comment on Black music was evidence of my exclusionary hatred of all things Black motivated by racism; but now it turns out I was simply being respectful of a culture that I don’t understand. 

Separate but equal.  Got it.  Good to go.

Joe Doakes

I guess I’m an appropriator.

Tough.

Cultural Appropriation

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is in his car, at the drive-through at Taco John’s in Little Canada.

Suddenly, Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK steps around the corner and up to BERG’s driver window.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Merg! Stop the cultural appropriation!

BERG:  What are you talking about?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Places like Taco Johns that prepare ethnic food outside its original cultural context are practicing cultural appropriation!

BERG:  So?  All cultures practice appropriation.  And by the way, who are you – a twenty-something graduate of Saint Olaf, and of Camp Wellstone, who works as a telemarketer for “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”, and is as white as the driven snow – doing jabbering about “cultural appropriation”, anyway?

BIRKENSTOCK:  I identify as a wise Latina!

BERG: Huh.  OK.  So no member of a culture can use anything from another culture without, what?  An accompanying certificate of authenticity?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Don’t be a smart-aleck, Berg.   Appropriating other cultures diminishes them!

BERG:  Huh.  Well, OK, then.  In for a dime, in for a dollar.

BIRKENSTOCK:  What does that mean?

BERG:  Well, people from other cultures should stop appropriating things that are identified with a European cultural context.  Universities.  Voting.  The emphasis on the rights of the individual.  The idea of democratic government and one-person, one-vote rule and equality of all people of all classes before a law that is written by consent of those governed.  The ideals of free speech, the right to petition for the redress of grievances, fair trials, enumerated powers and unenumerated rights – all of them are Western, “white” ideals, most of them American.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Nonsense.  All of them were invented by the Iroquois.

BERG:  And are you Iroquis?

BIRKENSTOCK:  I have always identified as Iroquis.

BERG:  Iroquis and Latina?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Don’t mansplain!

BERG:  Do you also identify as Hindi?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Huh?

BERG: That toe ring you’re wearing is “appropriated” from South Asia.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Check your privilege!  You’re a white male who’s trying to mansplain!

BERG:  Now you’re appropriating elements of our linguistic heritage; “Privilege” is from the Norman French, while “Check” comes from Saxon roots.

DRIVE-THRU SPEAKER:  May I take your order?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Just a small Potato Olé, please.

BERG:  Hey – I was in line.

BIRKENSTOCK:  I identified as ahead of you, so I appropriated your spot.

And SCENE.

 

Check Your Urban Liberal Privilege

Minneapolis ninth Ward representative Alondra Cano likes to paint herself as the champion of the underprivileged…

…while availing herself of that most excellent privilege, awesome vacations on the taxpayers dime.

(And that other awesome liberal privilege, using the government she works for to strong-arm those she disagrees with, all the while claiming to be the victim).

Alondra Cano Doxxes The Halls With Abuse Of Power. Fa La La La La, La La La Lawless.

Minneapolis City Councilwoman Alondra Cano makes no bones about the fact that she’s a progressive.  Her Twitter bio begins “Daughter of the Third World Feminist movement”, which may or may not be true, but she’s certainly a product of the sort of unbridled prosperity that First World free-marketeering has wrought; it takes a lot of prosperity to make a public life like hers sustainable.  And thank goodness for that prosperity – since her future as an industrial engineer looks dim indeed.

At any rate, she spent a good chunk of yesterday on social media rooting for Black Lives Matter’s protest at the Mall of America.  And while Ms Cano seems as confused about the distinction between public and private property as the rest of the City Council usually does, I’ll certainly defend her right to protest in favor of or against anything she wants.

Provided, of course, she doesn’t abuse her office to do it.

And we’ve got a problem, there.

Chicago-y:  On her Twitter feed yesterday, she went around and around with some of her critics.

Including, as it happens, some who’d written to her on her City of Minneapolis feedback form – the one people use on the City website to send her feedback.

She took to posting some of the responses she disagreed with.  Note:  While I redacted personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses, from the screenshots, Ms. Cano did not:

Cano 1

Cano 2

Cano3

And this condescending little jape:

Cano4

When people tried to call “foul” on Twitter, Cano responded:

CanoAccountable

Emails may be public – but one might ask why a public official is posting citizens data on Twitter, when they contacted her via the City’s contact form.  Because she expects them to be reading Twitter?  Seems unlikely.

And while she pleads “public data”, you’ll note that she only published the names, email and home addresses of detractors, not supporters.

In short, Cano used her city social media presence and city-supplied data to try to intimidate constituents who disagreed with her.  Furthermore, she used city-supplied data to stump for Black Lives Matter.  While Cano has every right to believe what she wants, and protest on their behalf, using data from a city web form to intimidate citizens is grossly inappropriate.

screenshot-twitter.com 2015-12-23 20-44-40

It’s hard out there for a member of a major urban political elite.

So while Ms. Cano – an elected officeholder and high-ranking member of a power structure that has boundless power over a major American city – may try to eke out a shard of victimhood out of the fact that anyone would ask…:

screenshot-twitter.com 2015-12-23 21-13-27

I haven’t seen the term “womyn” used unironically in twenty years. Minneapolis is truly a commemorative museum of progressivism.

…I’m going to ask anyway.

I posted four questions to Ms. Cano – although I suspect I’ll be blocked from her Twitter feed long before she reads them, even if she did.  But for the record, here they are:

  1. Why are you, Ms. Cano, using Twitter to respond to feedback that came to you via the feedback from on the city website?  She can’t possibly believe that the correspondents were going to read her on Twitter, did she?
  2. While it may be true that emails from the feedback form are “public”, Twitter is hardly a data practices request, now, is it?
  3. Is it proper for a city councilwomen to use data from a public website to shape opinion for a private group?  Black Lives Matter is not city business!
  4. In what way is posting citizens’ home phones, addresses and email addresses not intimidation?  And is it proper to use social media to intimidate people at all, whether on behalf of government or someone completely different?

If you live in Minneapolis, I urge you to ask Ms. Cano exactly that.

And maybe tell her to check her urban liberal privilege.

My Virtual Client Is Obviously Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park – who, let the record show, is an attorney – emails:

I don’t understand Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s legal analysis in charging the BLM shooter with assault with a deadly weapon.

When Black people protest, it’s a Constitutionally protected right.  If White people counter-protest, it should be just as protected, right?

Yes, I know, the White people said they were going to stir up trouble.  They know somebody who owns a Confederal flag.  They talked trash on video.  That’s bad manners, agreed.  But filming Black protestors and even calling them names is no less protected speech than burning a cross in somebody’s yard and we know that’s constitutional, decided decades ago in RAV v. St. Paul.  So going to the protest should be good.

If the White guys were racially offensive in implementing their counter-protest, does that negate the shooters self-defense claim?  The standard is:

  1. Did not initiate the physical conflict, must be a reluctant participant.
  2. Attempted to retreat by running away
  3. Reasonably believed they were about to suffer great bodily harm at the hands of an enraged mob
  4. Used reasonable force to repel the attack by firing a few rounds, only one of which injured anybody

I’m sure the prosecutor and the media will portray the White men as the aggressors, not as reluctant participants.  But that doesn’t sound right to me.  If you and I are having a heated discussion, the guy who throws the first punch is the aggressor, regardless how annoying the words are.

There might be such a thing as “fighting words” to justify a quick punch.  But there’s no such thing as “chasing-down-an-alley” words to justify a mob beating.  The Black mob initiated the threat of physical violence, the White men attempted to retreat and used reasonable force as a last resort.  I would think the shooter has a pretty good case for self-defense.  I would expect Mike Freeeman to see that.  I therefore conclude the assault charge is grandstanding to pacify the same mob that initiated the violence.  That’s not a good long-term strategy for maintaining public order.

Joe Doakes

“Progressive” politics is always a matter of balancing respective mobs of constituents, usually against each other.

“Please Please Please Please Please Send Cameras Please Please Please”

So there’s kind of a theme coming out of  “Black Lives Matter” here in the Twin Cities.

PC Alert!

Last week, Rashad Taylor, one of the organizers of Saturday’s protest that’ll be starting a few blocks from my house and proceeding up Snelling – the busiest street in the state during Fair time – to the State Fairgrounds, hinted that there juuuust might be some violence at the protest:

“We’re gonna disrupt [the fair]. There’s nothing they’re gonna be able to do about it…. If we’re met with any resistance or threatened with any resistance, we’ll meet them with that same resistance.”

Huh.

And on Facebook, Nekima Levy-Pounds – the leader of Black Lives Matter in the Twin Cities, and a woman with a PhD and a lifetime tenure-track job in a make-work academic discipline, who nonetheless complains about “white privilege” – posted:

Friends, Please pray for those brave and courageous souls who will be participating in the ‪#‎BlackFair‬ demonstration outside of the State Fair on Saturday. The level of racial hatred and animus that has come to the surface in Minnesota is appalling. These racist attitudes are typically hidden behind a Minnesota Nice facade. Now, we are able to see the truth of how these folks really feel about blacks and other people of color.

Some have taken these statements as a threat of violence.

Call me a pollyanna if you want; maybe, more accurately, you can accuse me of transposing my own motives on those of others. I read these statements, and I see a couple of people saying “Heeeeey, news media! Make sure you got plenty of cameras lined up on Snelling this Saturday. You wouldn’t wanna miss another…Ferguson or Baltimore, would you?”

Am I wrong?