Exuberance – Rational Or Not

To be a conservative in Minnesota (forget for a moment that neither Trump nor today’s GOP are “conservative”) is to assume all hope is illusory, even a little bit cruel.

And yet Biden and Harris are spending time here – a state that should be a gimme for them, at least at the Presidential level.

I hate to harbor hope.

But sometimes I still do.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats want me to believe 160,000 Americans died on Trump’s watch because he could have prevented the virus and didn’t; therefore. we should elect Biden to replace him

Really?

Perhaps someone could lay out the step-by-step plan by which President Trump could have prevented a virus from killing old sick people this Spring or the step-by-step-plan by which President Biden will prevent it from killing them next Winter.

A timetable and citations to statutory authority would be helpful.

Joe Doakes

Affirmation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s acts like this that reaffirm my intention to vote for President Trump.  Not because of any one specific policy, but because I think his heart is in the right place.  He genuinely cares about America and wants it to succeed. 

I wish I could say that about the Never-Trumpers and Democrats, but I just don’t believe they do. 

I believe Never-Trumpers care about America, but have little idea how to make those wishes reality.

As to the Dems? They love America – at least, the one they envision. Which is nothing like the one we have, much less the one conservatives, or Trump see.

Open Letter To President Trump

To: President Trump
From: Mitch Berg, Irasicble Peasant and Scott Walker supporter
Re: Disaster Request

Mr. President,

This past week, Governor-For-Life Walz asked you to declare Minneapolis and Saint Paul “disaster areas”.

Make no mistake – they are.

But they are a disaster entirely due to generations of DFL policy, decades of mismanagement, and a week of seemingly assessing the situation during the various riots and seemingly selecting the stupidest, most self-destructive response.

  • Standing idly by while looters ravaged East Lake and other areas.
  • Evacuating the Third Precinct hours before the rioting re-started.
  • Sending in a token force of National Guard, nearly a day and a half after Mayor Frey’s half-hearted request, and basically hiding under the table as that force and the few Minneapolis cops left along Lake got chased all the way to Nicollet.
  • Responding days late with effective force.
  • Giving the rioters “space to destroy” at their will.
  • Trying to fob the blame on “white supremacists” when anyone looking at the graffiti can tell you it was the white, radical far-left – “Anti”-Fa – meaning “the children and nephews of the state’s and America’s leftist elite” – knowing that even if Minneapolis is burned to the last vertical stick and the earth is salted beheath the city’s feet, keeping the Minnesota DFL’s “progressive” wing fat and happy and unmolested is the real priority.

So – just as insurance companies won’t cover damage to your house if you take a sledgehammer to your walls and countertops, there is no way the taxpayers of the United States – or Greater Minnesota – should be on the hook for the Minnesota DFL’s stupidity.

As they point out whenever they win an election, they “…own these towns”. Paying federal tax money to ameliorate the stupidity of Walz, Frey, and generations of DFL politicians before them is throwing good money after bad.

But I’m nothing if not a uniter. So I have a suggestion.

Tell Minneapolis to start rebuilding with whatever’s left of the $500,000 Mayor Frey charged your campaign for the nonexistent “security” at your rally at the Target Center last year. You know – the one where mobs of leftist droogs (including at least one City Council member) attacked your supporters out in the streets (usually five or six of thugs, and their soi-boifriends, ganging up on an old guy, or a woman, usually from behind), all but cheered on by the Mayor. There is no way any of that “security” money got spent. Tell the DFL to use that.

Please don’t let Real America down on this. Please, please tell the Governor-for-life and Mayor Frey to go f*** themselves. Preferably in as many words, preferably on national TV. Until there are consequences for their, and their party’s, crimes against their positions and the people they govern, nothing will ever improve.

That is all.

Divisive!

The Paper of Walter Duranty, the one that published the deeply ahistorical, revisionistic and nothing-but-inflammatory “1629 Project”, the one that published Paul Krugman’s innumerate claims that “blue” America bankrolls “red” America, which has been openly advocating “progressive” ideals in its editorial pages since I was in high school, which has been one of the primary PR agents for the left in America’s cultural cold civil war, the one that has not only been a “progressive” flak for generations but whose young, “woke” red guard faction has moved beyond shaping the informational battlefield to actively purity-testing the left-leaning editorial staff to drive it further to the cultural and political left…

has the victorian vapours about “cultural divisiveness” over Trump’s weekend speech at Mount Rushmore.

Watch for yourself.

The only thing that I could find that was remotely “divisive” was exhortation about three minutes in stating that Mount Rushmore would never be desecrated – which, I imagine, some post-modern academics find profoundly hostile.

Or maybe the bit around 5:10 here he said the rights of man will never be taken away. That has got to make Tim Walz nervous.

Perhaps the part around 6:10, where he points out that Americans aren’t “weak and submissive” in facing the war on American culture, but will in fact prevail. That’s a pretty clear and direct threat to…someone.

Too bad, so sad.

Berg’s Seventh Law is iron-clad and absolute.

Distillation

From the American Heritage dictionatry, the word “Distillation”

  • n.The evaporation and subsequent collection of a liquid by condensation as a means of purification.
  • n.The extraction of the volatile components of a mixture by the condensation and collection of the vapors that are produced as the mixture is heated.
  • n.A distillate.

With that definition in mind: this article in the Atlantic is as pure a distillation of Berg’s Seventh Law as rhetorical chemistry will allow.

Crowd Psychology

Imagine this:

It’s the middle of June, 1940. Germany has just conquered all of Europe. The British have just withdrawn their army from the continent, in a miraculous evacuation that was the only redeeming note in a catastrophic defeat.

The army had left virtually all of its equipment – just about everything heavier than a rifle – in France; it would pretty much have to be re-equipped from scratch. The Royal Navy had been badly bloodied. The Royal Air Force, likewise, leaving itself under strength to face the German Air Force in the upcoming campaign to try to bomb the UK either to the negotiating table or into a state ready to be invaded. German U-boats were ravaging the merchant shipping on which Britain depended for not only all of its industrial raw materials and oil, but virtually all of its food.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill went on the radio and gave a speech after the last of the British Expeditionary Force arrived home.

What speech did he give?

He could’ve given a realistic speech – pointing out the sobering facts of the situation, and readying the British people for what was likely going to be at best a disheartening and economy-gutting armistice that left them sitting alone on their island, and at worst complete conquest in the face of an invasion that would certainly follow, if the Navy and Air Force failed.

But no.

Churchill gave a speech that was, if all you cared about was the facts on the ground, utterly unrealistic; he told Britain, and the world, that the United Kingdom would fight to the last inch of ground, and if Britain fell the Commonwealth would carry on the fight forever, until Europe was free again.

It was a little like that poster of a mouse holding up a middle finger at a diving eagle; “the last great act of defiance“ was the caption.

And it was one of the greatest bits oratory in the history of the English language.

And it was completely unrealistic.

But it was leadership.

In 1987, Ronald Reagan had already proved he was the best president of my adult lifetime. His leadership had brought America back from the worst case of emotional depression it had ever suffered, and from an economic downturn every bit as nasty as 2008, but much more short-lived. And after running for office on a stridently anti-Communist message, he had already sent the message that Soviet expansionism was off the agenda, and made it stick.

He was scheduled to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate – the very symbol of divided Germany, and the high watermark of communism in the west.. It was a time when most political and academic “experts“ in the west expected the Soviet union – the “second world“ – was here to stay; well five years later everyone said the USSR was eventually going to collapse, nobody that anybody was paying attention to was saying it in 1987. They had the worlds largest military, the worlds largest nuclear arsenal, and they controlled a good chunk of Europe and Asia.

Reagan’s advisers urged him to take a moderate, conciliatory tone toward the east Germans, the Soviets, their new (or at least newish) leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and the wall he was standing in front of.

To give a “realistic” speech.

 instead, he gave a speech that electrified the resistance in Eastern Europe, that galvanized support for democracy among the downtrodden, and did its part, along with much of the rest of Reagan’s policy, in the downfall of the Soviet union that had a thousand fathers by 1995, but was very nearly an orphan before Ronald Reagan was elected.

It wasn’t “realistic“ to the conventional wisdom of the day. It was leadership.

Donald Trump is no Winston Churchill, and he’s no Ronald Reagan.

This week, he said that he wants America to be “back to work“ by the Easter weekend.

Is this realistic? Maybe not. The experts say it’s unlikely. The legions of not very funny late night comics and blue-checked droogs say the idea itself is risible.. And the whole business of declaring America open or closed is mostly the responsibility of the state governments, and the free market itself. I, myself, plan on working from home (although I am working, knock wood).

But America is a restless, endlessly creative, impatient nation, overstocked with people who are not going to sit on their hands and wait for things to get better; it’s a nation full of people who are descended from people who came from all over the world, uprooting everything they knew, to make things better.

Trump could have echoed the words of the scientists and experts gathered around him. He could’ve lectured the nation like a hectoring schoolmarm, or like Barack Obama. But he’s got a stage full of experts, including his vice president, and more importantly 50 state governors, already doing exactly that.

Trump urging America to “go back to work“ Easter weekend is not the Dunkirk speech, and it’s not the Brandenburg gate speech.

It’s not eloquent, and it’s not going to go down in history.

But it’s leadership..

The economy runs as much on psychology as it does on money, analysis and marketing. It’s trends depend as much on how people are feeling as objective fact. Don’t believe it? Have you checked the toilet paper aisle lately?

The nation’s psyche needs a boost. Trump is setting a tone; the United States is not going to be on sick leave forever. He’s telling a nation with cabin fever that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When? Maybe Easter, maybe memorial day, but it’s coming.

It was brilliant. It wasn’t scientific. It may not of even been all that well advised.

But it’s what America wants to think, and wants to hear. We’re not stupid, we’ll hash out the details later..

Democracy Dies In Conspiracy

Conservatives, especially conservatives who are “out” critics of the mainstream media, get routinely accused of “hating” journalism. The late Nick Coleman was particularly, er, “acerbic” in his criticism of those who had the gall to criticize the news/industrial complex, claiming in one bout of hysteria that bloggers “wanted to kill the Strib”.

While we correctly savaged the Strib, and especially Coleman, on issue after issue, it was still baked wind. Self-government, small-“D” democracy, needs a functional, and above all trustworthy, media (among many other institutions) to survive.

And by “”trustworthy”, we mean “can be trusted to report the news, truthfully, regardless of its own institutional and individual political opinions.

In Europe, the media are pretty honest about their political points of view, on an editorial level; the Times of London and the Frankfurter Allgemeine are center-right; Guardian and Die Zeit and Le Monde are all various degrees of left. You know the slant before you pick up the paper. You can account for it.

American media has built a myth of objectivity, or at least of being a so-called “neutral voice”, around itself; Minnesota Public Radio news even made “No Rant, No Slant” their motto for a while, and it’s not much different than the mythology American media built for itself over the past hundred years or so. In my freshman year journalism class,

And it’s never really been true. Some journos do in fact do their best to separate their personal views, of course – I’ve got nothing but respect for the best of them.

Many journalists also do their best, but inevitably reflect the fact that their entire frame of reference is left-of-center. Their education, their workplace, their social circle, are an ecosystem where some variety of The Left is the old, current and future Normal. When they confront a different point of view, they can seem a little like Jane Goodall venturing out among the gorillas.

And when things are chugging along like normal, who cares, right?

The New Abnormal . But then something pops up that threatens the order, and not in a good way. What then?

The media has been rightly seen as slanted to the left for close to fifty years. With the rise of talk radio and alternative news 30 years ago, you could sense that the “elite” media were starting to give up on the pretense of balance and detachment. The notion of the “neutral voice” has been

But with the election of President Trump, the floodgates got dynamited.

The “neutral voice”, isn’t.

“Oh, Mitch – you and your hyperbole”.

No. Not at all.

The Gatekeepers Speak: “On the Media” is a production of WNYC Radio in New York. It’s a public station, one of the flagship station in the National Public Radio chain. Like a lot of NPR productions, sometimes it’s excellent. Sometimes the smug rolls off it like fog off a loch.

And sometimes, it accomplishes its mission – which in the case of “On the Media”, is to serve as the exposed id of the “elite” media in this country.

With that in mind: this show was broadcast on December 1, 2016 – probably as fast as could be put together on NPR timelines. It had four segments:

  1. The first gazed navel-ly about “how the media should cover President Trump“. Because conveying the facts and letting the audience make up their own mind was presumably not good enough anymore.
  2. How talking about Trump “Normalizes” him – unless the media changes the rules when discussing him. This featured reprentatives, not from The Nation and Slate.com or Buzzfeed or Samantha Bee. No, they were from the NYTimes and Washington Post. That led to another segment…
  3. How the language itself needs to be understood, and harnessed.
  4. And, lest the foregoing was too oblique for the casual listener, a segment linking the (as yet unstarted) Trump administration to Putin’s variety of autocracy, and laying out the imperative for the media to use it’s power to prevent “Normalizing” the president-elect.

And the media’s behavior in the three and a half years since has mapped to that template, as the media has grasped at every possible straw to try to “take down” the President.

We didn’t even need to get this leaked to us, like ‘Journo-list’ – although I suspect I may have been the only conservative listening to that groaningly pompous program, and I suspect that’s WNYC’s assumption as well.

TL:dr – At least some of the people at the apex of the “layers and layers of gatekeepers” have abolished the old rules of journalism, publicly but yet internally, as re Donald Trump.

The “elite” media’s entire coverage of Trump over the past four years, on every issue, has followed the template that’s suggested, sub rosa, in the four On the Media pieces above.

Will the rules change back when Trump leaves office? Of course not – the media had the same general attitude toward Republicans, conservatives and the issues of the right for a generation before 2016.

But the institutional imperative to use the media’s power toward political and social ends? That’s not going to end.

Distrust, but verify. And then, almost inevitably, if some smidgeon of partisan politics is involved, distrust some more.

Unwarranted

America’s left, sotted as it is with Urban Progressive Privilege, has little doubt that it is the the smart crowd.

Of course, you don’t have to be a conservative in Saint Paul, or on social media, to know that that’s just not so. This has been bouncing around for a while, but it’s worth a read.

Pullquote:

In the 2018 GSS, respondents were asked for whom they voted in 2016 (PRES16) or for whom they would have voted if they had voted (IF16WHO): Clinton, Trump, someone else, or no one.

On the verbal ability test (WORDSUM), not surprisingly the median number of vocabulary questions correct was the same for both Clinton and Trump supporters: 6 out of 10 words correct.  The mean verbal ability score for Trump supporters was 6.15 words correct, while the mean verbal ability score for Clinton supporters was 5.69 correct, a difference of nearly a half a question on a 10-question test.  This moderate difference is statistically significant at p<.0005.

Further, Trump supporters score significantly higher on verbal ability (6.15 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.70 correct), whereas Clinton supporters score significantly lower on verbal ability (5.69 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.98 correct).

I know, I know – another self-service social science survey that makes one side feel good and jabs at the other. Notify the media.

Wait. I am the media.

Big Left’s smug superior self-image is…irrationally exuberant.

Priorities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Colleges are telling students not to return from Spring Break. Schools are closing.  Employers are letting people work from home.  Everybody is taking the virus seriously.

Except local government.  The courts are open.  They’re going to stay open, all of them, until the State Court Administrator tells them to shut down.

Look, for people who get arrested and need an arraignment to get out on bail, fine, I get it.  You need a judge on duty.  Same for Orders for Protection, emergency guardianship, etc.  But the hearing doesn’t have to take place in person in the courthouse, it could be Skype.

For nearly everybody else – conciliation court, family court, probate, real estate, contract disputes – the hearing is postponed indefinitely.

Why not get out ahead of it now?  Why wait?

I blame Trump.  I suspect Democrats are afraid that if they close down the court system, Trump will pounce on it as an excuse to impose martial law and there will never be another election again.  No, seriously, I really do think they’re that paranoid. After all, that’s what they would do, if the shoe were on the other foot.

Joe Doakes

Berg’s 7th Law.

Nobody’s laughing now.

The Historian’s Conundrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Shouldn’t the torn-up pieces of Trump’s speech be in the Smithsonian? First State of the Union Address Ripped Up by the Opposition Live and On Camera?
If Trump was black they would have done it. Just because he’s orange is no reason to discriminate against him. This is racism, straight up.
Joe Doakes

I have to wonder what Trump is doing to the chemical tan business…

Fake Reporting

The success of the Babylon Bee has apparently caused the mainstream media to try to horn in on the “Real-sounding fake news” thing, without quite getting what “satire” is.

CNN “reporter” Joe Lockhart on Twitter yesterday (via Hugh Hewitt, who’s noted the “Retweets” the “Reporter” got.

Moments later:

You just know that TV stations, local NPR affiliates and newspapers around the country are going to run the former and ignore the latter.

Trial And Tribulation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Chief Justice Roberts, whom President Trump has taken no pains to avoid offending, now presides over the impeachment trial. The chickens are coming home to roost.
This is an excellent opportunity for Roberts to prove how impartial and non-partisan the court system is. I doubt it will happen. My guess is he’ll be a Rino squish, ruling in favor of the Democrats every time to show how fair he is, which will prolong the agony and give the Democrat controlled media a chance to work on Squishy Republican Senators. 
Remind me again, how many votes do they need to convict? And what’s our margin of safety?
Joe Doakes

Our margin of safety is going to be Joe Manchin.

I’m being facetious. But only a little.

This Iranian Situation Will Take Intelligence And Critical Thought

None of which will come from our idiot “elite”.

Rose MacGowan – who, I’m told, is something of a movie star – twote:

Ms. McGowan – I suggest going to Teheran to work this out personally.

Wearing the outfit in your Twitter profile photo.

Get back to us. If you can.

The assassination of Soleimani does present some gnarly questions: he was a fair target under current international agreements about terrorism – but one could raise questions about whether it was a great idea. Also whether it was an act of war.

On the other hand, we’re treated to the spectacle of watching politicians, deep-staters, media drones and celebs who batted not an eyelash over Obama’s constant, intense campaign of drone, air and special ops “hits”, complaining about Orange LIterally Hitler Man doing it to a target that actually matters, but up to whom The LIghtworker sucked…

…and having to choose, in public, during an election year, with whom to side in public.

Troublling?

Brilliant?

Why choose? It’s both.

Recourse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Office of the President of the United States. 

Dear Mister Berg.
Congratulations, you’ve been selected to participate on President Trump’s advisory team. Its job is to come up with the priorities for this administration for the next four years.
I started a list of priorities, which I’d like you to rank. Feel free to add others if I’ve missed some. 
Please note that when ranking your priorities, we are hoping to concentrate on two or three which actually can be accomplished, given that the House of Representatives is dead set against us and half the Senate Republicans are Never-Trumpers who will back-stab us the first chance they get.
Climate change. Border wall with Mexico. Trade Agreement with China. North Korean nuclear weapons. Islamic Terror. Fracking. Taxes. Conservative judges. The national debt. Health insurance. Immigration law reform. Foreign aid. United Nations. NATO.
Thank you for your assistance. I know it’s a frustrating and challenging task to make a list which the media will blast and everyone whose pet peeve doesn’t get top billing will hate. 
Now you know what it feels like to sit in the big chair.
Sincerely yours

Joe Doakes
Advisory Team Lead

I’ve been a critic of Trump, especially his personality, since most Democrats were faithfully tuning in “Celebrity Apprentice” weekly.

But under the circumstances, seeing the legislative landscape greeting his agenda makes “Crank the Trump Persoanlity to 11 and let fly” actually makes a lot of sense.

Proof

A friend of the blog writes:

This retweet- I have no words…

except that if the couple he was retweeting ever read this, then they would find the racism in the US.

Berg’s Eighth Law – “American progressivism’s reaction to one of “their”constituents – women, gays or people of color – running for office or otherwise identifying as a conservative is indistinguishable from sociopathic disorder.”

– applies here.  

And applies, and applies, and applies some more.  

Memoryholed

CBC erases Donald Trump’s cameo from the movie Home Alone 2.

Steyn’s comment is the part I love throwing out there. Trump is a former Democrat, and spent a couple of decades as a blue state cultural icon before going apostate.

Or, as I put it on the air, “I disliked Trump back when “Celebrity Apprentice” was appointment TV for many of his critics today”.

Just For A Moment, Let’s Cut The Crap

The media rolls its eyes and plays innocent about the attempted coup going on in Washington. They’re just reporting the news, maaaaaaaaaaaaaan:

Mollie Hemingway from Federalist points out the elephant in the room:

You could hear it, in plain sight (as it were), in November of 2016, when reps from the NYTimes and WaPo newsrooms. 

No.  Seriously.  Listen to it.  Be disgusted.  I’m not a huge Trump fan – seriously, not.  But listening to that?  Let’s say Big Leftymedia doesn’t want to start a civil war.  

If they did, what would they be doing differently? 

Christmas Deadline

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Before Christmas, Democrats in Congress expect to vote on articles of impeachment to remove President Trump from office.
Before Christmas, funding for the federal government runs out, unless President Trump agrees to continue the funding.
This creates an opportunity for President Trump. I can’t wait to see how he uses it.
Joe Doakes 

Me too. Unlike the Boehner-era Republicans, Trump and McConnell might just do the right thing with an opportunity like this.

Victims

This is the Associated Press, over the weekend:

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.