The Kobayashi Moron Test

So one dares not criticize “Progressive” establishments – like all major cities, especially the failed ones, like Baltimore – because racism.

But one dare not actually put one’s skin in the game and try to fix, or even tidy up after, the mess progressivism created, because…racism.

The Baltimore Sun bags on conservatives helping clean up the mess for which they’ve been a cheerleader for generations.

And by “clean up”, that’s literally what we’re talking about:

Brandon Morse wrote Tuesday about the inspiring story of conservative activists who stepped up to the plate to help citizens in the poverty-stricken areas of Baltimore. The effort was organized in the aftermath of the uproar over President Trump’s criticisms of the city and of Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose Congressional district runs through Baltimore.
[Scott] Presler, who said he is an ardent supporter of Trump, is a grassroots conservative activist who has an enormous social media following. Presler said one tweet last week launched 1,000 trash bags in Monday’s efforts.
Presler, who also told the news outlet that the gathering was not meant to be “pro-Trump” or “anti-Elijah Cummings”, posted numerous photos and videos of the clean-up day on his Twitter page.

Not good enough for the the Democrat party’s pro bono PR firm, the Baltimore Sun:

In a condescending piece titled “We assume it was pure motives that led a Trump supporter to launch a cleanup in Cummings’ district, right?”, here’s what they wrote (bolded emphasis added by me):
The effort was organized by pro-Trump activist Scott Presler. He claimed the event was not political. Yes, he was inspired to come by tweets from President Donald Trump describing the area, represented by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, as a “rodent infested mess.” But the visit wasn’t about showing support or animosity for either man, he said.

Call us skeptical.

Call me unsurprised.

Revelation

I have these two jokes – which in a sense aren’t jokes at all.

First – when it comes to progressivism, yesterday’s joke is today’s proposal and tomorrow’s policy.

And the second: Babylon Bee is becoming less and less distinguishable with “real news”.

And now, the former “fact-check” site Snopes is trying to deplatform Babylon Bee because…well, apparently they think satire confuses people?

And it occurs to me – it’s all clear, and the dots all connect, now: Snopes is trying to deplatform Babylon Bee because they’re actually the real news, 2-3 years ahead of time.

No Guns, No Coverage

When I first saw the headline for this piece on social media, I thought it was Babylon Bee spoofing big modern media:

Kyoto Animation arson killings didn’t get much attention because we couldn’t demonize guns

Sure enougb, it’s an actual USAToday editorial, about the Kyoto Animation Studio mass killing -= which involved arson, not guns, so the American media snoozed it out:

The limited attention here in the United States cannot be explained away on account of distance. Compare the coverage with that of the mosque shootings last March in Christchurch, New Zealand, a location even farther from our shores. U.S. newspapers and wire services featured the Christchurch massacre five times as much as the Kyoto mass murder.
Sure, there are some differences between the two tragedies in term of victim count and motive. Thursday’s attack involved a personal agenda rather than a political one — never raising the dreadful specter of terrorism. The Kyoto massacre may not have been an act of terror, but the young victims undoubtedly experienced tremendous terror as the flames swelled around them and smoke invaded their lungs. 
Mass shootings remain one of the most widely discussed topics here in the United States. By comparison, we just don’t seem to be as unnerved by mass killings carried out by other methods, unless of course they hint of terrorism, be it of foreign or domestic origin.

This wasn’t always the case; when over 90 were killed by an arsonist at the Happyland Social Club in the Bronx in 1990, there was media coverage…

…but it didn’t lead to “National Conversations” about mental health, since that’s a) intractable, b) involves beating on no political opponents.

And I’ll posit this right here: If an insane arsonist killed 34 black people in Chicago, there’d be a similar shrug of the media’s shoulders. Because there’s no political angle to beat on gun owners in between editorials bemoaning “tribailism” in our culture.

Kicking And Screaming

The Star Tribune, motivated (I’d suspect) by the very real spectre of being made to look like an in-the-bag PR flak for the DFL (perish the thought) by mushrooming coverage from out-of-town and national media, finally reports on Ilhan Omar’s alleged marital “irregularities”

New investigative documents released by a state agency have given fresh life to lingering questions about the marital history of Rep. Ilhan Omar and whether she once married a man — possibly her own brother — to skirt immigration laws.
Omar has denied the allegations in the past, dismissing them as “baseless rumors” first raised in an online Somali politics forum and championed by conservative bloggers during her 2016 campaign for the Minnesota House. But she said little then or since about Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the former husband who swept into her life in 2009 before a 2011 separation.

“But Mitch – you ascribe this to sensitivity about the Strib’s part about its reputation?”

I do – because the Strib does:

The new documents also detail the Omar campaign’s efforts to keep the story of her marriage to Elmi out of the press, arguing that detailed coverage would legitimize the accusations and invade her privacy.

“Efforts” that have been, until now, utterly effortless.






The Best Way To Get Publicity As A Republican “Candidate” In A One-Party District…

…is to be anywhere off the mainstream. To say nothing of getting arrested.

of getting arrested.

“Danielle Stella”, of whom nearly nobody in the Fifth CD GOP has ever heard, and who has absolutely no chance of getting the nomination to run against, much less beat, Ilhan Omar, is making all sorts of international headlines:

A pro-Trump Republican candidate for Congress who is aiming to unseat Ilhan Omar in Minnesota has been charged with a felony after allegedly stealing from stores.
Danielle Stella was arrested twice this year in Minneapolis suburbs over allegations that she shoplifted items worth more than $2,300 from a Target and goods valued at $40 from a grocery store. She said she denied the allegations

And with that, Danielle Stella’s miscreancy just got more publicity than all of Ilhan Omar’s allegations have gotten in the Strib’s.

Shut Up And Report

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There is a difference between a reporter and a journalist.
A reporter tells you what happened: who, what, when, and where.
The journalist tells you how he feels about it, and you should too, if you weren’t such a hateful, racist, sexist, misogynist hater who hates.
This is why people love reporters and hate journalists. This is why Trump is making points with people who agree with him that journalist and their fake news are actually enemies of the people who want accurate information to make informed decisions.
Joe doakes

Experience on this blog shows this not to be a bad definition.

One Day In The Star/Tribunes “Morgue”

SCENE: It’s the “Morgue” at the Star-Tribune’s “Morgue” – a room full of file cabinets, deep underground, where no light has penetrated since the Kennedy administration.

The door opens, and the MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES STORY, wherein mismanagement under two DFL administrations led to hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud, including credible allegations of welfare money being transferred to terrorists – is tossed into the room, which is crowded with other news stories.

ILHAN OMAR’S APPARENTLY FRAUDULENT-MARRIAGE STORY: Hello.

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES STORY: Hi. Where am I?

WELL-CONNECTED DEMOCRAT KIDS GET OFF WITH A WARNING FOR MASS AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND HATE CRIMES AGAINST REPUBLICANS STORY: This is the Star-Tribune’s “morgue” file.

STEVE SIMON IS STONEWALLING THREE COURT ORDERS DEMANDING HE RELEASE INFORMATION ABOUT VOTING IRREGULARITIES STORY: It’s where news stories that the DFL establishment doesn’t want covered go to…

KEITH ELLISON’S HISTORY OF ANTISEMITISM STORY: …for a nice long break.

(The other stories chuckle)

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES STORY: So when do we get out of here?

(The question is met with a few guffaws)

ILHAN OMAR’S ANTISEMITISM STORY: When the Strib reports about Minnesota having “paradoxically” liberal gun laws and the lowest crime rate in the nation for a state with a major metro area in it.

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES STORY: So – a long time?

KEITH ELLISON’S HISTORY OF ANTISEMITISM STORY: You have no idea.

(And SCENE)

Thought Experiment

If I walked into your store with a sawed-off shotgun, demanded you hand over all your money, turned to leave with the loot, slipped on a banana peel, and cracked my head open, gushing blood all over the floor and rating a trip to the ER, would the local newspaper say I’d “donated blood” and “brought extra income to the local hospital?”

Only if I were a “progressive” who was the vessel of all the area’s media and Big Left felt about themselves.

The Knowledge Gap

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Modern journalists are innumerate.  The numbers in this article don’t work.  270 million people world-wide were lifted out of poverty, 271 million of them in India, alone.  Huh?
But far more importantly, HOW was it done?  Taxing the rich?  Foreign aid?  Free college?  Moving to the US?  The article is conspicuously silent.
Perhaps . . . say it softly . . . capitalism works?
Joe Doakes

Typos happen – especially now that “layers and layers of gatekeepers” have gone through fifteen years of layoffs are are now just a metaphorical doorbell camera.

But altering the fundemantal principles of most journos’ lives? That capitalism has, at best, yuge problems, just like their profs used to say?

Good luck with that.

Cafeteria American

I had the rare treat of listening to the utterly ironically named “MPR News with Keri Miller” earlier this week.  And by “treat” I meant “update of the notion that Keri Miller is the one “journalist” in the Twin Cities that’d be ill-advised to tell Esme Murphy “dial back the shilling for the DFL and Big Left, you Big Left Shill, you””.  

Anyway – she had a show on Tuesday featuring a Hindi woman talking the co-option of Yoga by non-Hindi.  Not “decrying” it, per se – just urging people to be aware of, and perhaps learn something of, its Hindi roots.  

Pull quote:  the woman, Suhag Shukla, describing the various non-Hindi permutations of Yoga, including…:

SHUKLA: “…even Christian Yoga!”

MILLER: (In the background) (Disgusted, mocking snork)

Now, Ms. Shukla has a point – part of her culture has been appropriated. Like solstice trees and Chow Mein and polyrhythm and virtually everything else about every culture in the world that hasn’t been isolated from every other culture in the world, “appropriation” is a two-way street.

As someone who’s lost eighty pounds and wants to gain some flexibility and joint resiliency, I’m interested in yoga (although I haven’t done it yet). As a Christian, I have only intellectual interest in Hinduism. You wanna talk, Ms. Shukla? We’ll talk.

But since Keri Miller – and by association, the modern progressivism for which she shills – is the venue that brought me and Ms. Shukla together, let’s talk appropriation.

Big Left, like a suburban housewife going to an agnostic Hot Yoga class in a strip mall in Minnetonka, appropriates the convenient parts of the American experiment – the fun parts, like free speech and privacy. Like that housewife, or the Cafeteria Catholic, or the Allah-carte Muslim (actor, comedian, and observant but not fundie muslim Rami Yusef’s term, and I love it), they leave out the inconvenient parts – the citizen as self-sufficient atomic political unit, with the same rights, powers and responsibilities in microcosm of actual states are. The whole “government by consent of the governed” and “Free Association of Equals” bit.

If you want to practice the fun parts of the American experiment – immigrating to a country with freedom and opportunity, getting paid to be on the radio, free speech and waving signs about? Then pay some thought to the complex stuff – the tension between order and liberty, the moral right of the free market versus the stifling moral decay of socialism.

It’s a fine day for that, isn’t it?

MyLyssa Has Questions. Mitch Has Answers.

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking down Grand Avenue, looking for Grand Avenue Distillery Supplies. As he looks in the storefront, MyLyssa SILBERMAN, Reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau, covering the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats, gets out of a cab.

SILBERMAN: Merg!

BERG: (Nonplussed) Er, hi, MyLyssa. What’s up?

SILBERMAN: I’m curious. You continuously say, on your blog and show, that the media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the progressive movement.

BERG: I do. And it’s true.

SILBERMAN: How can you say that? We have layers and layers and..

BERG: …and layers of gatekeepers. Right. Got that. I base my assertion on, well, reading and listening to the media, and taking what they say seriously.

SILBERMAN: Meaning…?

BERG: Well, for example, listen to this bit by NPR’s “On the Media” – supposedly their media “watchdog” show – and the train of ultra-left dogmatics and magical thinking, and tell me any part of it that wouldn’t fit right in with a Wobbly pamphlet in the 1900s.

SILBERMAN: (Puts on earphones. Listens to segment. Removes headphones). I don’t hear anything.

BERG: This is my shocked face

SILBERMAN: It might be the global warming.

BERG: Might be

(And SCEN)E

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

In the wake of the session, the Pioneer Press ran a letter to the editor – “Democrats offered plenty of compromises on gun bills” – from one Jo Haugen.   I wrote a response.  It never got printed.

Shocking, right?

Well, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog, now, isn’t it?

My response to the PiPress:

——————–

In her May 22 letter to the editor (“Democrats offered plenty of compromise on gun bills”), Jo Haugen criticized Senate Majority Leader Gazelka for kililing the DFL’s gun control bills, because “a vast majority of Minnesotans as well as law enforcement support these bills”

If “mandate” were real, then Speaker Hortmann and Majority Leader Winkler should have had no trouble passing the measures – “Red Flag” confiscation and “Universal” registration bills – as standalone measures, confident that that massive support would be greeted with hosannas at election time.

Curiously, they could not.  Winkler didn’t have the votes to do that, and snuck them into the omnibus Public Safety bills against bipartisan opposition.

Either the House DFL leadership are cowards for ignoring Ms. Haugen’s supposed mandate, or the “vast majority” of Minnesotans support nothing of the sort, and the polling to which Ms. Haugen refers was a bogus piece of propaganda.

Minnesota’s gun control movement:  The few, trying to control the many with the acquiescence of the gullible.

Mitch Berg
Saint Paul

BoCo

I was remiss (overwhelmed with life, really) in not noting last week the big local media news – Bob Collins of MPR has retired after 27 years at the Taj Ma Klling and 45 in radio all together.

Bob worked at MPR, so it’s an absolute given we’d disagree on…well, most things. We sparred a time or two over at the “NewsCut” blog he ran for many years over at MPR. Which says something – Bob would spar. Most MPR figures hid behind the organization’s magisterial facade and didn’t bother engaging the peasantry.

Not Bob. He was the only MPR staffer – and one of very few mainstream media figures – to ever appear at a MOB party, back in blogging’s heyday. The image of Collins talking, I think, sports with Gary Miller was one of the highlights of that whole time of my history doing this blog thing.

And I would be lying if I didn’t admit that he wrote two of the things that I’ve been proudest of in all my years of doing this.

In 2007, I wrote a piece o the death of Bo Diddley, about which Bob wrote:

Mitch Berg, author of the Shot in the Dark blog, pens a tribute (by the way, to see why Berg is, perhaps, the best blog writer in Minnesota when it comes to music, see his post on Bruce Springsteen.), invoking some long-forgotten images of when rock married politics, as in the 1989 George Bush inaugural

I’ve gotten a lot of compliments writing this blog – notably, the fact that so many of you spend time reading it every day – but yeah, that one coming out of the blue stuck with me.

And the next year, during the run-up to the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, I walked from my job at the time over to a news conference held by a group of groups that were planning the demonstrations at the convention. Collins took up the scene:

What about what most people think when they hear a term like militant, violence, for example?
“The violence that I’m worried about is the violence that’s being carried out in Iraq right now,” she answered, which isn’t really an answer.
“You’re not answering my question,” a blogger said, uttering the five words that mark a great political journalist.
“I know,” she said, adding that she doesn’t consider the blockades being planned — allegedly — by other groups “violence.”
“That’s not what we’re planning,” she said.

I was the blogger, natch. And while I’ve never been a “political journalist” – I’ve always preferred “irascible peasant” – I always took that as a great compliment.

Anyway, good luck out there, Bob.

Almost

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Last Summer, the Associated Press reported 40% of families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs.  The story was based on a press release by the Urban Institute. And what was the biggest problem for struggling families?  Cost of medical care.  Why?  Because Obama-care destroyed health insurance. This week, CBS recycled that storywithout bothering to mention the story was six months old and based on data that’s 18 months old, and also without mentioning the latest employment numbers.  I’m all for recycling, but it’s almost as if the media aren’t really interested in the truth, only in bashing a Republican administration. 
Joe Doakes

And if you’ve ever been around reporters at a bar, you know they’re not carbon-neutral, shall we say.

It almost seems that Big Media is working hand in glove with Big Left to pass a narrative to low-information but high-emotion voters.

That’s just crazy talk.

Right?

This Is What A Nobel-Prize-Winning Member Of The “Elite” Media Thinks Like

Paul Krugman – who worshipped Barack Obama like a ’90s high school girl worshipped the Back Street Boys – twote:

Andrew Stiles notes Barack Obama’s list of PMoF’s:

  • Michael Jordan
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Meryl Streep
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Robert Redford
  • Robert De Niro
  • Tom Hanks
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Barbara Streisand
  • James Taylor
  • Diana Ross
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Warren Buffett
  • Tom Brokaw
  • Lorne Michaels
  • Joe Biden

To which a committed Dem might point out “Hey, no golfers!”.

And to which someone with honesty and integrity would add “And Paul Krugman is a travesty”.

What’s Spanish For “Hack”?

I love languages. I speak three of ’em passably enough not to get made as a Yank, and can order a drink, pay a tab or find a bathroom in a bunch more. If I could learn more full-time, I would. I’m a linguistics geek.

I’m probably an outlier among Americans at large – we’re a big mostly monolingual country, so most Americans don’t need to learn another language.

But the word “hatchet job” means the same thing in an amazing number of languages. That occurred to me while reading this, well, hatchet job from the WaPo, claiming that about half of Republicans get annoyed hearing other languages. According to Pew:

47 percent of such Republicans say it would bother them “some” or “a lot” to “hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.” Eighteen percent of white Democrats said they would be similarly bothered.
Aside from politics, age and education are the major predictors of linguistic discomfort. Eighteen percent of whites younger than 30 said they would be bothered by a foreign language being spoken, compared with 43 percent in the 50-to-64 age group, and 45 percent among those 65 and older.
Among all racial groups, whites (34 percent) are most likely to be bothered hearing foreign languages, followed by blacks (25 percent), Asians (24 percent) and Hispanics (13 percent). Among Americans overall, 70 percent put their level of unease at “not much” or “not at all.”

And this article is kinda hatchet-y. 

For starters, it doesn’t say *why* “half of white Republicans” have that reaction. Oh, the WaPo knows what it *wants* people to think – that’s why they included the utterly unrelated “High profile confrontations”. Racists!

And yet of those Republicans, the vast majority reported being “bothered” only a little bit – which doesn’t seem like it’d be a byproduct of hatred. It doesn’t go into motivations. 

I’m to postulate the vast majority of that isn’t racism, but people in a largely monolingual culture reacting to being excluded. Remember the question – they’re reacting to hearing people “speak a language other than English in a public place.” Language is an excluder; it’s a private club. It’s why my grandma never spoke her native Norwegian unless she was among fellow native speakers; it’s why I don’t talk in German or Norwegian in meetings with mostly Anglo co-workers. It’s kind of rude. 

The reaction is hardly limited to Americans, much less “white Republicans”. Check out how the French react to groups of Americans talking English sometime. 

I’m gonna strongly suspect most of the result comes from social annoyance rather than bigotry or provincialism. 

Men hva vet jeg?

Stupid Myopic Panic-Stricken Millennials

I almost thought this tweet, apparently by a 20 year old Grievance Studies major from Oberlin College, to be the sort of thing that only Snopes would think wasn’t parody:

Of course, “Edelweiss” was written by Rogers and Hammerstein, in the late fifties. For a movie about some escaping from Naziism.

Here it is, in all its storm-trooper-y goodness:

Silly millennials

UPDATE: I’m told that Ms. Haberman is not actually a grievance studies major from Oberlin, but in fact NBC’s White House correspondent and one of the “elite” “gatekeepers” that are supposed to keep the public’s news safe and hygienic.

My mistake.

Trying To Tell The Difference…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People are objecting to Russian television using a mindless robot news reader because they’re afraid it will spread propaganda.
What, unlike the mindless news readers presently spreading propaganda on CNN, MSNBC, etc.?  Are you kidding me?
Since they’re all just reading the news that someone off-camera gave them, personally, I preferred Ananova. She was a computer simulation of a human rather than an android simulation or Democrat simulation, but she was hot. If I’m going to be lied to anyway, might as well be someone pretty.
Joe Doakes

I can not watch the Russian newsbot just as efficiently as I don’t watch the American news bots…