Planet Of The Humans, Part 3: Steam

Democracy can’t survive if we can’t trust our institutions.

We’ll come back to that.

Steamed

In Tom Wolfe’s 1987 satire Bonfire of the Vanities, a young black man is run over by a car driven y a millionaire bond trader. A Bronx DA and couple of New York cops investigate.

In one part of the story, a huckster minister, clearly modeled after Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or some such, explains his role in the community to the investigators.

In his metaphor, community anger is “steam”, building inexorably as the heat rises, ready to blow the boiler sky high if something isn’t done. That “something”, naturally, is the good reverend plying his services, as a “steam valve”.

For a price.

The book was head, shoulders and ankles better than the movie – a box office bomb that nearly ended Tom Hanks as an A-lister, thirty years back – but this scene more or less gets the point across:

The reference I’m calling out is 2:00 minutes into the clip

But remember – they’re the ones that cover the news to the highest of standards.

We’ll come back to that.

Answering Their Master

Republicans since Richard Nixon have known that the media was biased to the left. Over this past twenty years, it’s been almost beyond parody. Over the past five years, literally, parody has been more accurate than journalism.

But there’s a level of parody beyond which even The Onion or The Babylon Bee would feel awkward going. Our “elite” media has no such limits:

More locally? I could go back a bit, to the media’s response to conservative protest and the Tea Party – and that was the least of the problems. The IRS abused its power to try to shut the Tea Party down.

And there was nary a peep from the establishment media. “Law enforcement” under the Obama administration did nothing at all. The agent of the scandal, Lois Lerner, retired with her full government pension and the tacit thanks of the Obama regime.

More recently, there’ve been two episodes that show how very, very unequal we are in this country, depending on your politics.

On March 4, 2017, a group of Republicans held a rally at the Capitol. A group of “Anti”-Fa used a counter-demonstration for a delivery system, violently attacking the Republicans, injuring several.

And how did the justice system in Ramsey County work? Like a fraternity hazing. Without the hazing. The defendants – including the son of Hillary Clinton’s VP nominee, weren’t so much prosectuted as féted. Had John Choi done otherwise, he’d have never done lunch at the Lex again.

More recently? Last summer, a Minnesota state DFL legislative candidate famously threatened brutal violence on a Twin Cities suburb for being home to Bob Kroll.

It passed.

Fast.

This, of course, after a series of citywide riots for whichi justice was slow, dilatory and diverted by stories of “white supremacists with umbrellas” doing improbable feats of mischief.

And, behind it all, a long trail of elaborate rationalizations for the rioting: after centuries of (checks notes) systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, economic and environmental racism and mansplaining, a riot was a positive public health good, to deal with all that built up “steam”.

But only the correct rioting.

Because if Pro-Life Action tried to block a freeway, Jacob Frey would have water cannon and attack dogs out there before the protesters got over the fence. And everyone involved knows it.

As re protesting, there are Two Americas.

But only one America gets to release its “steam” in polite company.

What About

I’ve mentioned this to others in the past week.

Some have said “mind the ‘whataboutism'”.

This isn’t whataboutism.

This is pointing out that when sides perceive, correctly, that the deck is stacked against them, they will find coloring outside the lines more and more acceptable.

Which is the exact rationalization the left uses for BLM’s shenanigans; inequality begets rage!

Well, yeah. It does. As we’ve seen.

But it’s not just the usual enemies.

More tomorrow.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 1: The Devil Wears Orange

Donald Trump inspired clichés by the big-box store-load long before he dipped his toe into politics. Even back when he was a pop-culture hero of sorts among the crowd that worshipped blinged-out idols, even before MC Hammer brought it to the mainstream:

Y’know – back when he was a Democrat.

You don’t need me to list Trump’s faults as a person, politician and President – indeed, we have a multi-billion dollar industry devoted entirely not only to cataloging them, but making up new ones out of thin air.

We’ll come back to them.

The Usual Bla Bla Bla

But along with all of the faults imagined from whole cloth (the “Fine People” slander hops to mind – which, again, we’ll come back to later), and his many offenses against the supposed decorum of the Presidency (real or imagined – and I’ll skip past Bill Clinton’s desporting himself in the Oval Office to jump back to Woodrow Wilson using it as a de facto Ku Klux Klan field office to try to introduce a little context into the notion of decorum), he had some real ones; I can’t help but think if he’d just turned his Twitter feed over to a moderately clever mid-level staffer, he could have kept the “outflank the media” aspects of his social presence without the, let’s be honest, crazy and intemperate and, God help me for saying it, unpresidential parts of his public presence. Enough to have won the election? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Of course, to be intellectually honest, you – and by “you”, I mean “the Never Trump clacque” – need to admit he did some things very, very well. For starters, he did the one thing I, a Trump skeptic, had hoped for, and exceeded my hopes by half; he empaneled a genuine originalist majroitiy on the SCOTUS. And in foreign policy terms, he may have been the most successful President we’ve had since George HW Bush, and Reagan’st first term before him.

Never Never Land

The previous paragraph might be read as a swipe at the “Never Trump” crowd – which includes some people I respect very much, and some I never really did, and some for whom I’ve gradually lost regard over time.

“Never Trump” largely, if not completely, devolved into a bunch of scolds of no more political use than the Libertarian Party, chanting “I Told You So” with all the convincing authority of that “Karen” who yaps at you about putting your groceries on the conveyor before the cashier has sanitized it.

I say this as someone who has been an active Trump skeptic since 1986 – back when most Democrats and Never-Trumpers were making Trump a TV star through most of the 2000s, as I’m fond of pointing out – and who was actively interested in “Never Trump” activities up to and including reviving the Federalist party around this time five years ago.

The Real Deplorable Thing

But the biggest problem with Trump isn’t Trump. The media and pop culture would have said many of the same things about Mitt Romney or John McCain or Marco Rubio, or most likely Martin Luther King if he were alive today and voting Republican.

Trump won in the first place because he saw the left’s strategy – harness the populist power of identity politics – and, for five years, did it better than the Progressives. He turned blue collar whites, and people in Red state in general, into an identity group and fairly coherent voting bloc – finally ending the 100 year old notion that Democrats were “the party of the working man” once and for all.

So populism was the car that drove him to the White House. Where he governed in some ways as a conservative (in foreign policy terms, on the SCOTUS, in slashing regulation), and in some ways as the most profligate “progressive” in history (he spent like the Democrat he used to be).

But there was something worse.

Personality

Remember Ron Paul? In 2008 and 2012, a lot of Republicans, especially younger ones, staged and insurgency in the GOP behind the Texas Libertarian-Republican. Much as I supported much of what Paul stood for (domestically, at least – his foreign and defense policies were just as historically ignorant as the Libertarian Party’s), looking at his mobs of idealistic acolytes, I asked more than once “You do realize that even if he’s elected, he’ll be able to do nothing he promises, since there’s not a majority of Paulite House and Senate candidates running to help push the agenda, right? And that the only way to enact that idealistic vision of government would be for Paul to stage a libertarian coup, and impose an absolute Libertarian dictatorship, and force Liberty on the people against their will.

There was no telling that to the Paul Kids – not back then, anyway. Such is the allure of the personality cult, among those who haven’t really paid attention to how much drag and lag and need for consensus is (as of 2020) built into the system.

And Trump certainly developed his own personality cult in the GOP.

On the one hand – the Never Trumpers remind us – Trumpism is not conservatism. And they’re right. It’s populism, and populism, giving people what they want now, is only rhetorically distinguishable between the Left and the Right. “Trumpism” tramples the principles of conservatism behind which the GOP…

…er…

…I was going to say “behind which the GOP stands”. Of course, the GOP, at least in DC, hasn’t for a long time.

We’ll come back to that.

Anyway – “Trumpism” turned, at least at the point of the retail-political sphere, into a personality cult, no less impervious to logic than the Hillary or Obama cults, no less focused on the person rather than the policy than the Ron Paul fan club.

To far too many Trump supporters in all of our social circles, policy wasn’t the goal; Trump was.

And given the GOP’s behavior over the past decade, why wouldn’t someone who didn’t care about how the political sausage was made, but how awful it tasted, see it any differently?

We’ll come back to that two episodes down the road.

It’d be easy, and facile, but no more than a little inaccurate, to say last week’s riot at the Capitol was about keeping the person in office (assuming you discount the notion that “Anti”-Fa provocateurs did the job – and for purposes of this argument, I do), rather than the policies and the repudiation of the oppression of Big Left. To way too many people, Trump doesn’t lead the effort against the toxic, narcissistic marginalization that Democrats relentless focus on identity politics brings; he is that effort.

It’s a toxic perception – indeed, a toxic reality. Democracy dies in cultism.

That cult didn’t occur in a vacuum, of course.

More on that coming up next.

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.

Democracy Dies In Self-Inflicted Darkness

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

President Trump got elected despite the near universal opposition of legacy media by going around them, using social media to communicate with the public.  President Trump believes he was re-elected despite the near universal opposition of legacy and social media, but his victory was stolen from him.

Twitter has banned President Trump, Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and other Trump supporters.  It has banned discussion of the disputed election results. 

Apple and Microsoft have banned Parler, a Twitter alternative, so President Trump and his supporters cannot simply switch software to get his message out. Facebook has a history of shadow banning, throttling and now outright banning Conservative voices such as Alex Jones, Milo Yainnopoulos, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, #WalkAway and President Trump himself.When the quote was uttered nearly a century ago, the State directly controlled the legacy media and social media did not exist.  Nowadays, the State doesn’t need to control anything: willing collaborators and eager fellow-travellers control all the information outlets. The Big Lie has been spoken.  It is endlessly repeated in Liberal messaging and dissent ruthlessly suppressed. 

Democracy dies in darkness and Liberals are thrilled to be doing it. My question: what comes after democracy?  

Joe Doakes

History has that answer.

It’s not pretty.

You Ain’t A Human Being

Dennis Prager has a great line – “Relationships can survive a lot, but no relationship can survive contempt”

When parties can’t see one another as human, forget about reaching common ground on differing ideas and ideals, can there be any point to trying to live together? I wouldn’t work for couples – why would it work for a nation?

It dawned on the world too late that when the Nazis actively portrayed the Jews as not very human…

…they meant it.

If there’s one thing more useful than one eliminationist Nazi cartoon, its’ two. Here goes:

Wait.

That wasn’t even in German.

That was the Washington Post.

On Christmas Eve.

This is up there with “bitter, gun-clinging Jeebus freaks” and “Deplorables” and the rest of the litany of conceits Blue America holds on Red America.

But most importantly? It’s about contempt.

I’ve been pointing out examples of Blue America’s contempt for the rest of us in this space since the beginning, really. And if the Trump era has done anything, it’s helped parts of the right come out of their shells (yes, some, like our friend Pete Strunk, haven’t been in their shells fir a very long time, but its fair to say Pete’s always been an outlier)

Priorities

A friend of the blog emails:

I don’t really like having police departments barricaded. But, I understand it. I look at [Saint Paul city councilwoman] Nelsie Yang’s post and I really don’t see a lot of support for her demand that the barricade be torn down, especially from non-White constituents, the very people she claims to be supporting in this action-

To social justice warriors like Yang and, let’s be honest, most of the Saint Paul and the entire Minneapolis City Councils, “social justice” with all its intellectual and political trappings is an abstract, academic concept that has little to do with the lives of their constituents – or at least the ones not employed in non-profits and academic humanities and soft science departments.

Rarely do people like Yang allow themselves to come into contact with the real life concerns of those they “represent”

When they do? It’s entertaining, at least.

Scenario

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats conspired with Deep State bureaucrats to prevent Trump’s
election with the phony dossier. Didn’t work.

Democrats conspired with Deep State bureaucrats to impeach Trump based
on claims Russian Facebook ads influenced the election. Didn’t work.

Democrats conspired with Deep State bureaucrats to steal the election by
falsifying the machine count (as well as by stuffing the ballot box with
truckloads of illegal ballots).

Democrat Governors used the false election result to certify a slate of
Electors.

Republican legislatures adopted their own Electors.

When Congress meets in joint session to count the Electors’ votes,
Republicans will challenge Democrat Electors from the fraudulent
states. Under the Counting Electors Act, the House and Senate will
separately debate the challenge, Democrats will refuse to concede they
cheated because that would blow the whole plan to win by cheating.
Instead, Congress will be deadlocked so under the Act, the Governors’
slates will be counted. A Chinese puppet will be elected President.

To prevent that, President Trump declares there was foreign interference
in this election and Democrat governors conspired with the foreigners to
deprive Americans of their fundamental right to elect their government;
therefore, the Governors are engaged in an act of insurrection and
rebellion against the United States. The Governors’ slates of electors
are illegal and cannot be accepted.

Liberals already have a tame federal judge lined up to sign a
nation-wide injunction declaring the President’s actions illegal and
directing Congress to accept the Governors’ slates of electors. Trump
will declare civil courts have no jurisdiction over states in
rebellion. The Supreme Court will order him to stand down. Trump will
declare it’s a separation of powers issue wherein the Judicial Branch
has no authority over the Executive Branch exercising his Constitutional
Duty to defend the nation from insurrection. The President will ignore
the Supreme Court. If they send US Marshals to arrest him, he will order
military troops to arrest the Marshals and also arrest the justices who
are conspiring with the rebels.

The President will announce that his exercise of authority under the
Insurrection Act will be temporary and will last only so long as
necessary to correct the damage done by the rebellion. He will order
the military to take charge of all ballots in the disputed states and
count them by hand, in the presence of observers who can challenge any
ballot. Protestors or demonstrators attempting to interfere with the
recount or intimidate witnesses will be arrested as insurrectionists and
held indefinitely without trial. The right of habeus corpus will be
suspended in rebel territories until the rebellion ends.

When the ballot contests are decided, and the hand recount of paper
ballots is completed, the President will announce the results of the
election and will end the restrictions. If he loses, he will leave
office gracefully. If he wins, he will appoint Special Prosecutors to
root out the insurgents and insurrectionists.

Democrats, professors, students, the media will scream that the
President has engaged in a coup to overthrow the government, that he is
Literally Hitler, and that everyone who supports him should be fired
from their jobs before their homes are burned down and their children
shot. The names and home addresses of suspected Trump supporters will
be published on the internet. Stores will be burned and looted. A few
looters will stray into residential neighborhoods where they will be
shot dead by homeowners. Law enforcement who arrest those homeowners,
and County Attorneys who prosecute them, will find their own homes
firebombed, their own staff and officers shot by snipers at home, in
their cars and on the streets.

Governors will attempt to call out the National Guard to restore order
but President Trump will have nationalized them to serve under his
command. They will be ordered to protect federal properties and let the
rest of the insurrectionist state burn.

This is the Good scenario. Only a few people die. We avoid the massive
casualties of total civil war. But people will die.

Unless Joe Biden concedes.

Joe Doakes

What seemed far-fetched a year ago seems “enh, not unimaginable” today.

Adding Insult to Injury

I believe a blogger of our acquaintance predicted this was going to happen.

c”A Minnesota court recently agreed to an uncommon approach to resolve criminal charges filed after the statue of Christopher Columbus was toppled at the Minnesota Capitol on June 10, 2020.

Ramsey County Chief Judge Leonardo Castro accepted the restorative justice approach proposed by the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. Under the arrangement, a suspended prosecution would end in no conviction for defendant Mike Forcia.”

So in other words, if you’re fashionably “progressive” in Ramsey County, you can commit a crime, and be “punished” by telling school kids why the crime you committed was a good thing.

I can’t have been the only one to think of this episode:

…only done with a straight face.

Masklighting

Whether government responded to Covid with draconian lockdowns (New York, the UK, Germany, Norway) or deferred to individual responsibility (most of the rural west), or skittered back and forth between both extremes (Italy, Sweden), Covid infection rates have seemed to exhibit the behavior of…

…well, respiratory viruses, waxing and waning along with weather conditions more than any government action, or lack of it.

But throughout, the pro-authoritarian (“Mascist”) wing of America’s response has had one consistent villain; Americans. “If they only followed the rules and wore their masks”, they whinge (when not whinging about the feds’ response), “we’d have already conquered this” – completely ignoring the fact that many of the places that “conquered” the virus with aggressive measures are still, or have started, suffering horribly of late).

Of course, it’s pure gaslighting. Even early in the summer, before the “Mask Wars” became part of the ongoing cultural bar brawl, Americans were wearing masks voluntarily at among the highest rates in the Western world.

And, studies show, they always have, and still are:

The data, released in [the CDC’s] weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, is roughly in line with other polls showing that most Americans report wearing masks, at least when they are inside stores.

For example, Pew Research reported in August that 85 percent of 13,200 adults they surveyed said they wore masks in stores, up from 65 percent in June.

In a National Geographic poll released early this month, 92 percent of 2,200 Americans surveyed said they always or sometimes wore a mask when leaving the house.

Now, this thread isn’t about whether masks are or aren’t effective – that discussion has happened more than a few times in the comment section.

It’s about government – as it becomes ever more authoritarian – using “masks” as a vehicle to blame the average schnook for its own failings in dealing with the pandemic.

Which is only going to get worse over the winter.

Follow The Money

Downtown Minneapolis boosters are split over the news that Dollar General is putting a store on the ever-more-desolate Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

On the one hand, you’ve got the one that chortle at all the “People of Walmart”-style stories they associate with Dollar General – a chain usually associated with towns too small or neighborhoods too poor for a Walmart.

On the other hand you’ve got the “aren’t we better than this?” mob.

Rick Nelson at the Strib kinda straddles the line:

Yes, “tacky” and “depressing” are two words to describe the appearance of a dollar store on what is widely viewed as Minneapolis’ Main Street, a thoroughfare that recently underwent a $50 million makeover. “Distressing” could be another, since the appearance of this type of merchant might be an indication that downtown’s dwindling retail scene is taking yet another step in the wrong direction.

The store’s new home in the Andrus (the historic building formerly known as Renaissance Square) at S. 5th Street and Nicollet Mall won’t be sullied with a glaring yellow-and-black Dollar General logo. Instead, there will be a hip “DGX” marquee, reflecting Dollar General’s curated version of its discount store.

So what does it all mean, for a street that the city of Minneapolis just spent tens of millions of dollars refurbing (and BLM and “Anti”-Fa spent a couple of nights hacking away at)?

Why, it’s almost as if when you treat a major city like an urban studies lab, make driving onerous and parking prohibitive, and treat public safety as a sign of misbegotten privilege even if someone hasn’t burned down your favorite destination (or closed it forever via a hamfisted lockdown), the people from the outlying parts of the city that downtown used to depend on for all that juicy revenue will take their money elsewhere?

Rule Changes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats in the Senate couldn’t get President Obama’s judicial
nominations approved under the old rules, so Chuck Schumer changed the
rules.  Republicans saw the rule change and used it to President Trump’s
judicial nominations approved.  Rule changes cut both ways.

Democrats couldn’t get Joe Biden elected using legitimate ballots, so
they kicked out poll watchers and dumped half-a-million phony ballots in
key counties to steal the election.  Democrats refused to play by the
old rules in this election.  Republicans, seeing this . . . what?  Will
keep playing by the old rules in the next election?  That means losing
for certain.  Even die-hard RINOs like Pierre Delecto and Susan Collins
aren’t that stupid.

In 2022, if Republican activists block polling places armed with
AR-15’s, burn down Democrat poll watchers’ homes, storm into vote
counting centers to throw ballots on the floor amidst thousands of fake
ballots . . . who can complain?  The old rules no longer apply, remember?

And if Democrat activists try to do the same but Republican activists
resist and innocents are killed in the cross-fire . . . is this truly
how we want future elections to run?

Will there even BE future elections?  Will President Harris allow them? 
The rules have changed . . . .

Joe Doakes

It’s only “paranoid” until it comes true.

“Anti”-Fa and the parts of BLM that are more forthright about their Marxism make no bones about the fact that it’s a revolution they want.

Violence?

With or without, they are clearly fine either way.

Higher Calling

Florida governor DeSantis proposes broadening Florida’s self-defense laws to make shooting in defense of property against looters more legally tenable.

The media is howling that it would enable roaming packs of vigilantes to slaughter people on the streets. Like most media reports on expanding self-defense rights, it’s a lot more nuanced than that:

The law would expand the state’s self-defense law, which currently forbids “the use of force in defense of property,” by increasing what constitutes a “forcible felony,” according to the Miami Herald. DeSantis seeks to make looting or “interruption or impairment” of a business such a felony, thereby justifying deadly force to prevent it…The Republican’s bill would also make it a third-degree felony to obstruct traffic, and would allow drivers to have legal immunity if they unintentionally kill or maim anyone engaging in blocking a roadway during a demonstration, according to the Herald. The law, which is only a draft at the time of publishing, is also set to grant state authorities the ability to withhold funds from localities that choose to reduce their police budgets

Expect much pants-wetting from the class that still thinks looters are “mostly peaceful”.

But they’re missing the point. The target of this bill isn’t looters.

It’s Kamala Harris.

DeSantis is setting himself up as the “Law and Order and Competence” candidate for the presidency in 2024.

And after this past year, I gotta say he’s on my short list.

Just In Case

Apparently, the Menards in the Midway was worried about rioting Trump supporters.

They stacked up huge pallets of lumber in front of the doors – just like they did during the George Floyd riots / May.

Apparently, those Trump supporters I’m going to riot.

Any day now.

Just like those waves of “white supremacist terror“ we’ve been assured are imminent for the past 12 years or so.

Let’s Be Clear, Here

“Anti”-Fa is an “idea”.

So are ISIS, Al Quaeda and every other toxic ideology in the history of the world.

Here’s the new documentary, “Antifa – Rise of the Black Flag”. It traces “Anti”-Fa’s roots back to the Communist Party of Weimar Germany…

…and straight through to the present day, right here and now.

Watch it:

This is not just an idea. It’s also not just a bunch of crazy kids. It’s not even just a domestic terror group. It is an insurgency.

Watch it.

Pass it along.

Make sure the Democrats, especially the MN DFL, owns it.

Evolution?

December, 2016: “Perhaps “blue” America, especially its “celebrity” class, has learned its lesson – that gratuitously insulting half of the population, treating them like a bunch of cartoonish caricatures, wasn’t the best approach to winning an election”.

November 2020: Narrator: “They did not learn their lesson”.

For The Record

The problem isnt that Trump hasn’t condemned racism and “white supremacy”.

In fact, here we see him do it 38 times:

The problem is that it isn’t literally the first and last thing out of his mouth whenever he speaks, which Democrat messaging seems to assume puts it outside the attention span of the typical Democrat voter.

Which the partisan media is counting on.

And yes, the media is partisan.

The Inmates

Don’t let the title – or the fact that it’s in the generally unforgiveable Slate, for that matter – put you off from reading this piece, “The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd “.

This piece captures not only the history of CUP Foods, the South Minneapolis bodega whose employee called 911 on George Floyd last Memorial Day, a Palestinian immigrant family that’s worked a couple of generations of butts off to succeed in a “transitioning” neighborhood through a couple of waves of blight.

More than that, it captures the successive waves of fervid racism (Black on Arab, Black on European, Arab and Black on European), community spirit, delusion, and the unlikely trifecta of community spirit infused with delusion and racism:

Toussaint Morrison, a Black Lives Matter organizer in Minneapolis, said he doesn’t actually see any problem with CUP Foods reopening. But he doesn’t necessarily think anyone should shop there…On CUP Foods reopening, he said, “I say get a Black-owned corner store near there, and say shop here. We’ll beat all of their prices. Even if we lose money, whatever.” The point, he said, is to keep Black money in the Black community: “Whether they open or not, it’s on us as a community to not buy their shit. It’s that simple.”

So – far from dismissing it because of a “woke” copy-editor’s inelegant titling, or its laughable origins (Slate, for flock’s sake), I urge you to read it as a guide to everything that’s going to slowly strangle Minneapolis.

And to maybe hang onto it as a time capsule showing future generatons how “community” became impossible.

Once Bitten

A majority of Americans are not only worried about violence after the election – they’re doing something about it:

When asked about just what sort of violence they expected to see, those polled responded with “riots,” “looting,” “burning” as some of their predictions. “Trashing of cities” was another response.

The YouGov poll was completed between October 1 – 2, 2020 and used 1,503 respondents.

It followed another poll released October 1 that found 61 percent of Americans agree with the concern the U.S. could be on the verge of another Civil War.

Additionally, 52 percent of consumers have also stockpiled food or essential goods in anticipation of social unrest tied to a resurgence of coronavirus in the coming months and/ or the election.

Unmentioned – they’re also gunning up numbers that crush all previous records.

This could be good news for conservatism in the long run; genuinely self-reliant people tend not to vote “progressive”.

Provided the GOP doesn’t screw it up…

…oh.

Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

Tipping Point

Jen at Redhead Ranting, by way of a visit to her her family’s area in a local cemetary, notes a reminder of a crime that had a disproportionate impact on law and order in the Twin Cities a generation ago:

Not far from my grandparents are the markers of the graves of the 5 Coppage children who died in a fire ordered by a rival gang member of their older brother in 1994.

The deaths were horrible. Few in the community were left untouched by the 1994 tragedy. The cops, as they always do with brutal crimes involving children, took it personally and declared war on the gang, building a federal drug case that led to the convictions of about 22 gang members in 1998. (full article)

This happened at about the apex of of the “Murderapolis” years, and I think it’s fair to say it marked a tipping point in law enforcement in Minnesota. People demanded that government do its one unambiguously legitimate job – preserve order, the job that makes living in close conjunction with other people, and the commerce, society and community that result, possible.

What followed was a period of relative (!) order and tranquility – or so it seems in retrospect. Minnesota became, up until this past spring, the safest state in the union that had a major metropolitan area; the Twin Cities, especially Saint Paul, were for all their faults quite a safe metro area.

The stats are up this year – but perceptions about crime aren’t about stats, especially when “rational critical thought” is near the bottom of the priority list.

But eventually, people will demand order. They’ll either get it from government, or they’ll get it themselves (that’s the romantic notion a lot of people have – and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was occasionally one of them) or they’ll get it from whatever “strongman”, be it a street gang or a mob racket or a “vigilante militia” that offers enough of it in exchange for what they take to make it worth it, or worth it enough.

Here’s hoping sane heads prevail.

Body Count

A “security guard” with lefty sympathies allegedly killed a pro-police protester, in Denver over the weekend.

The video is disturbing:

The “guard” – who apparently lacked a security guard license – was contracting through Pinkerton Security, one of the big rentacop jobbers, to Denver’s NBC affiliate.

The Denver Police quickly leapt to Big Left’s defense, disclaiming any “Anti”-Fa or BLM links…:

…although crowdsourcing showed quite the opposite – Dolloff appeared to have left-of-center sympathies. More on that will come out in the near future, I suspect (although you won’t get any of it in the mainstream media). Unconfirmed reports after a bit of social-media sleuthing indicate…:

Which, if proven by a county prosecutor (assuming Denver’s left-leaning administration allows a serious prosecution), could all be used as evidence that Dolloff was a “willing participant”.

Whatever Dolloff’s sympathies, Big Left was certainly clear on its feelings about the death of :

Be careful out there.

“It’s An Ideology!”

“Anti”-Fa, we’re told, is not a real group, but rather an ideology.

So, for that matter, was Al Quaeda.

An the comparison holds up all the way down to the root level:

There are different types of bloc organization styles. The building block of antifa is what’s called an affinity group, people you live and work with and trust and know in real life. All the planning is done within that closed bloc, and they don’t let everyone know [what they’re going to do]. I didn’t know that they were going to burn the Portland Police Association when I joined. What they did was put a call out that said, “Anyone show up in black that night at this place, and you can join the action.”

That’s called a semi-open bloc. The planning is done within the closed group, but anyone who’s dressed in black can come join the action. If you know what you’re looking for, you can spot affinity groups that are working together. One thing they’ll do sometimes is have written agreements with other protest organizations that aren’t in black bloc. I know of one from Berkeley that illustrates this: “We agree that to not take pictures of anyone in antifa.” It will say that literally in writing, so everyone’s working together. It’s like a combined arms type thing, almost like the military. They work together and are mutually reinforcing.

Cells, “Affinity Groups”, tomayto tomahto.

Toward A More Awesome Union

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The first requirement of an orderly society is order which must be imposed by an impartial judiciary.  That cannot happen when the judicial system is afraid of violence.

***

Old:

From: Chief Judge
To: All Employees

You may have read or heard that the Court House was locked down today for about 15 min. After a sentencing hearing on a homicide, the families of the defendant and victim engaged in a dispute that was broken up by deputies. Soon after, gun shots occurred on Wabasha and 6th St.  Deputies locked down the courthouse as a result of the gunfire. It is not clear to me if the events were related. 

Based on information I have received, no one was injured and bullet casings were collected. The matter is under investigation. It appears that at no time was our courthouse security compromised. The deputies took swift and appropriate action throughout this disturbing incident.

New:

From: Chief Judge Joe Doakes
To: All Employees

In the past, when the judicial system was subject to violence, we hid and hoped to be killed last.  From now on, when a violent situation arises, all employees shall report to the nearest Arms Locker where the Master at Arms will distribute restraints, gas masks, and weapons, at which time use of deadly force to protect both judicial property and employee lives is authorized.  Employees may stand their ground to do so; the requirement to retreat is suspended.

***

That ought to help. Now, let’s talk about the George Floyd trial, and about Supreme Court nominees.

Joe Doakes

The policies that’d go into effect if Mitch Berg were in charge – suffice to say it’d be more than judicial branch employees.

Once the governor declared “state of emergency” related to the breakdown of public order, the order to retreat would go the way of the Hibbing chopstick factory, and the sign of a weapon in the hands of a violent mob would serve as reasonable threat of death or great bodily harm, and one’s property would be every bit as defensible as lives.

Make me Governor, and this, I promise.

Representative Molotov

Once upon a time, I got some great life advice.

“Find what you’re good at, and run with it”.

John Thompson, would-be DFL rep from District 67A, the East Side, apparently got and practices the same advice.

He does seem to like burning down suburbs. Or at least talking about it.

A lot:

Sure, that’ll solve police overreach against blacks. Run with it.

Hey, DFLers – this is the mainstream of your party.