The Usual Suspects

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump supporters on the Mall

“Trump Supporters” who stormed the Capitol.

We’ve seen the horned-hat guy before:

Wasn’t there a famous incident a centuray ago, a fire blamed on innocent people which gave a certain politician the excuse to seize power?
Are we absolutely certain the troublmakers were ordinary Trump supporters, same as the rest of the crowd outside, and not infiltrators hoping to cause a backlash against President Trump and his supporters protesting the stolen election

Joe Doakes

Whether the riot was launched by provocateurs or not, plenty of Trump supporters did participate with great glee. There’s a dilemma, of course – if there’s one thing we learned during the Tea Party, at gun rights and pro life and tax-protest rallies, it’s that conservatives need to behave impeccably, because the media and the Dems oppo research staff (pardon the redundancy) will pick over every utterance, visual and thought for wrongthink).

(If there’s another thing we learned it’s that the left’s slander machine and control of the administrative state makes perfect behavior irrelevant. Lefty social media today is awash in claims that the Tea Party was racist, violent, and a tool of the Koch Brothers, who (we’re told) bought all of American politics for a few years).

But whoever turned the demonstration into a riot, and whatever the reasons, the left is responding to last week’s events with a technique they’ve mastered; not wasting a crisis. Whoever did what, it will be spun relentlessly to their advantage.

If We Start Giving “Walter Duranty” Awards…

…I hereby nominate Twitter:

Bonus question – which late-night host or CNN “personality” will be the first to parrot this?

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.

Ricardo Lopez: Middle School Reporter

Ricardo Lopez writes for “MN Reformer”, which is a website in the tradition of the old “MN Monitor” – basically a propaganda site funded by progressive plutocrats with deep pockets,

Further proof that not only the Democratic party, but its pet media (and the Reformer is nothing but a paid PR lapdog for Ken Marti) can assume that their audience isn’t an especially critical bunch of thinkers.

Because, say what you will about Miller’s letter, logically or epidemiologically, but other than choosing the word “Exchange” over the more apposite “Exposure”, he got the mechanics of how we currently know Covid is spread pretty right.

It took Lopez’s apparently eighth-grade sense of discernment to read “sexual transmission” into a choice of words that, otherwise, got things basically correct.

But in a world where Samantha Bee is among the left’s top journalists, it doesn’t not make sense that someone like Lopez would do…well, this.

Somewhere In The Afterlife, Walter Duranty Is Chuckling Like A Teenager Telling A Fart Joke

Times change.

Politics swing from left to right and back and forth again.

Perceptions go from one extreme to the other.

Fashions and social mores skitter back and forth and up and down over time.

So what on this earth can we always count on?

If there’s a totalitarian, somewhere, anywhere, the New York Times will shill for them:

I mean, when they’re not shilling for totalitarians like Fredo Cuomo and Squiggy DiBlasio.

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)

Profiles In Courage

As clubby, self-referential and solipsistic as the modern “elite” (and even not-so-elite) media is, I should have probably predicted we’d see scenes like this whenever Trump was on the brink of leaving office.

Never mind that “the Lightworker” Obama was did a whole lot more actual oppressing of “journos” than Trump.


Links

No. To these coddled hamsters…:

…covering Trump was up there with going ashore with the first wave on Omaha Beach, or like riding in a B24 with Charles Collingwood.

Which is a little ironic, given that The LIghtworker was, in fact, the most press-hostile President since Woodrow Wilson – and given the deep-state leaks with which the executive branch was riven, it would have been pointless for The Donald to even try to match Obama’s record.

Rhetorical Media Questions

It’s rhetorical, because Big Media never actually responds to the plebs.

But is it possible…:

…that there could be a less scientifically literate phrase than “believe in Science?”

How about “Think Critically about the data in front of us, and make an informed decision?”

Nah, that’s just more radical conservative talk.

National Slander

I’m particularly proud of the interview I had last weekend with Peter Wood, author of 1620 – A Criticial Review of the 1629 Project. Wood and his book take a hammer to the historical fraud that the NYTimes sicced on the nation…

…and, worse, the miseducation of an entire generation about the history of our country.

It starts at 33 minutes into the hour:

Prager U has a similar message:

My Checklist

My “Black Friday” checklist:Wednesday before Thanksgiving:

  1. Make sure I’ve got groceries and essentials sufficient to get through ’til Monday. Check.
  2. Anticipate the places I need to go for the next three days, and map out routes avoiding major malls, Targets, Walmarts and commercial districts. Check.
  3. Switch on NPR and start counting all the “celebrities” and “newscasters” referring to this next four weeks as the most miserable, dysfunctional time of the year, full of family one hates because of their politics and the onerous nature of having to engage in forced civility while celebrating gratitude and humility while apparently feeling neither. Make sure I have a fresh set of legal pads, since it gets worse every year. Check.
  4. Silently ponder, for yet another year, converting to Russian Orthodox Christianity, at least in part to put Christmas off til January 6 and get some awesome savings on presents in the week between Christmas and New Years. Check.

OK. I’m good to go.

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, everyone!

What A Difference Four Years Makes

The New York Times, 2020: “Our elections are unimpeachably honest and fair and not problematic at all”.

New York Times, 2016: “Not only did the Russians install Donald Trump, but we’ll show you how they probably did it by doing it ourselves:

I could keep saying “Democrats and the NYTimes (ptr) can reverse themselves all they want, because their target audience is unthinking lemmings”…

…but I’m starting to feel like I’m repeating myself.

Out Come The Long Knives

What Tom Bakk and Dave Tomassoni did this week in Minnesota, it seems Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is doing, more or less, in the US Senate.

And progs aren’t happy about it:

While he would certainly never acknowledge it, Joe Manchin just took it upon himself to go on national television, and had the brilliant idea to singlehandedly throw away any reason someone in the state of Georgia would have to vote for a Democrat in order for them to take the Senate. If he has already positioned himself as someone more interested in catering to the right as opposed to the left, and it’s all but guaranteed he will act as a barrier to any meaningful legislation whatsoever that Democrats could pass, does he not understand he just essentially told people that nothing was going to get done if Democrats control the Senate? Does he not realize he essentially just told voters to go ahead and make the Democrats the majority, while at the same time telling them there was actually no reason to do so considering he has made himself the barrier to anything their base wants to see done?

However the George Senate runoffs turn out, Joe Manchin is going to be one of the most powerful people in the United State for the next two years, at least.

Follow The Absence Of Money

A friend of the blog emails:

St Paul City Councilmember Mitra Jalali says that capitalism crushed a local alternative weekly.

I’m scratching my head at this because the print and online versions were free. So, if they couldn’t survive by giving away whatever they had, how did capitalism crush them? One would think something free would “crush” something more expensive. That’s usually what is said of Walmart- they offer things so cheaply that the small businesses can’t compete. In this case, what is the issue? Free publications can’t compete with more expensive subscription news? Or is it actually can’t compete with better sources online that are also free? Is that capitalism? I guess maybe it is because we here in the USA do have lots of choice and are also free to start another weekly in City Pages place. So, if that choice and opportunity bothers Mitra Jalali, just what alternative does she want for us? 

I suspect councilwoman Jalali – who was “Mitra Jalali-Nelson” until having a hint of Scandinavian became a negative in Metro DFL politics – knows this.

I suspect she, like all DFL pols, knows her voters don’t think about it all that hard, and that nobody in the media is ever going to make an issue of it.

As Assigned

The 2024 campaign has started…

…and the Associated Press is doing its job: trying to undercut Republican challengers.

In this case, South Dakota’s Kristy Noem, widely seen as a solid dark-horse contender (I’ve added emphasis):

It’s unlikely that much, if any, of the money will end up going to Trump, said Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, a campaign finance watchdog. Ryan, a campaign finance lawyer, pointed out that the governor can give a maximum of $2,800 to Trump’s campaign under federal law. If she wanted more to flow to Trump, she could have directed donors to the president’s own donation site.

“In all likelihood, she is keeping this money that she is raising,” Ryan said. “If she were actually interested in raising money for Donald Trump’s own legal efforts, she would use a joint-fundraising committee.”

Note the source – Common Cause, a “campaign finance watchdog”…

…that is part of the progressive non-profit industrial complex, outside of media quotations.

They must worry about her.

Merry Autumn

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Kool 108 has already gone to the all Christmas music format.

No. Just no.

Joe Doakes 

Enjoy it while you can. A Biden FCC will require equal time for lesbian coffee shop folk music.

Motivations

So the pre-election polling saying the electorate was going toward Biden in landslide lots was wrong?

Who could have possibly figured that out?

Oh, yeah – anyone that’s been reading this blog for the past ten years.

There are three possible explanations:

1. Evolution! – The pollster’s craft hasn’t caught up with the “new normal”, in a society where people legitimately fear being “canceled”, losing jobs, social standing and being targeted for violence because of their beliefs.

That is simultaneously possible, and not mutually eclusive

2. Incompetence! – The pollsters absorbed the lessons of 2016, where they actually did a little better than they did this year…

…and learned nothing.

3. Never Ascribe to Incompetence What Can Be Chalked Up To Malice – I’m going to present three facts and a conjecture:

Fact 1 – On December 1, 2016, representatives of the New York Times and Washington Post newsrooms went on WNYC radio’s “On the Media“ program (syndicated on NPR) and said, In as many words, that was time to change the rules of journalism. It was time to move past “passing the facts on to people and letting them make up their own minds” to “Denormalizing Donald Trump“.

Fact 2 – in 1986, a UCLA psychology professor, Dr. Mehrabian, showed the existence of a “bandwagon effect“; when polls showed that a candidate had no chance of winning, “swing“ voters tended to stay home or vote for someone else.

Fact 3 – for the past 30 years, the Star Tribune “Minnesota Poll” has had a fairly clear pattern; the closer a race ended up being, the more wildly distorted pre-election polling numbers were. For example, they showed Tim Pawlenty, Norm Coleman and Tom Emmer getting blown out just before the election. All three races ended up being famously close. On the other hand, they tend to report blowouts pretty accurately; they had Amy Klobuchar and Kurt Bills pretty much dead on.

Conjecture: It’s not an “accident”, or a learning error, that polling predicting a landslide up until election day was completely wrong.

Thoughts?

Pining For The Hipster Fjords

I do “get” nostalgia.

My first radio station – KEYJ, which became KQDJ during my senior year of high school – was one of the formative experiences of my life. 

But sometime around 2000, it changed from a local middle-of-the-road station to a “computer in a closet” station relaying ESPN Sportsradio and the occasional high school sports event.  They moved the studio from above the drugstore on mainstreet to a nondescript suite in a strip mall downwind from a Walmart.  I don’t drop by to visit, because it’s not the station it was when I was 16.  It’s not a radio station anyone in 1980 would have recognized at all. 

The past is a keen, formative memory.  The present is a 10 year old PC passing along people jabbering about the NBA.   

If it disappeared tomorrow, the memory would remain.  The present wouldn’t be lamented at all. 


The CIty Pages – which was the last survivor of an endless stream of “alternative” weekly tabloids (Twin Cities Reader, Nightbeat, Cake, Buzz, and no doubt others) that used to sit in bins outside record stores, co-ops and cafes all over town – has closed, effective whoah, that was fast:

“Since City Pages revenue is 100% driven by advertisers and events—and those investments have dropped precipitously—there’s no reasonable financial scenario that would enable us to continue operations in the face of this pandemic,” Star Tribune Chief Revenue Office Paul Kasbohm said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we foresee no meaningful recovery of these sectors or their advertising investments in the near future, leaving us no other options than to close City Pages.”

City Pages will stop publishing in print and online immediately, according to a news release. The last print edition of City Pages will be distributed this week.
The closure eliminates all City Pages positions.

I come not to praise the City Pages, but to bury it. But fairness demands a little clarity.

The City Pages were the last survivor of what used to be a bumper crop of freebie tabloids that popped up in bins outside restaurants, co-ops, record stores and bars. There were a bunch – Nightbeat in the eighties, Twin Cities Reader in the eighties and nineties, joined by Cake and Buzz and a few others in the nineties. The field winnowed down to just the City Pages by about 2000.

In the eighties, it was where writers like David Brauer, Brian Lambert and James Lileks got their starts – indeed, it was where Lileks gave me my first legit-media plug, 33 years ago.

And for a few years, in the ’90s and early 2000s, City Pages did some great journalism. They did more, better long-form and investigative reporting than the Strib or PiPress, at their best, under editor Steve “Don’t even think about singing ‘Oh Sherry’ around me” Perry. It was biased to the left to a fault. But beneath all that, the reporting was otherwise generally solid. And Perry could go off the reservation; in about 1997, Perry was the first journo in the Twin Cities to write that the swelling push for carry permit reform in Minnesota hadn’t brought blood to the streets of a couple dozen other states, wasn’t going to bring it to Minnesota, either.

When Perry left in 2005-ish (to return as editor of the Soros-funded attack-PR site Minnesota Monitor, which became the Minnesota Independent, and distinguished itself in journalistic glory under neither guise), the City Pages slid and slid hard. For most of the past 10-15 years, the paper’s “journalism” has been at best risible hackery, or incompetent hackery, self-parodying hackery, or sloppy gurgitations of DFL chanting points or, when female conservative politicians were involved, creepy panty-sniffing.

If the City Pages had been its 1998 self, its collapse would have been something to mourn, maybe, for some reason other than the nostalgia local establishment journos have been venting about.

But the City Pages of the 21st Century has been not a shadow, but a mockery, of anything of real value that it may once have been.

Reconstructive History

I have two observations about Joe Biden’s performance in last Thursday’s debate.

First – his campaign is all platitudes. He has a “plan” for everything. A government “plan” and three bucks will get you a cup of Caribou. It’s all there to gull the gullible.

Second – like all Democrats, he can pretty much say any billshut he wants, because his voters are all low-information drones who have the critical thought skills of herd animals, and the media like it that way.

There were many examples of this during the debate on Thursday – “I never said I’d ban fracking”, “nobody lost their plan to Obamacare”, and on and on.

The one that made me jump out of my seat with the most incredulity? “We had a great relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe”.

He was half right. The US had a lousy relationship [1] with the Nazi regime – to FDR’s rare credit

The U.S. didn’t have a good relationship with Hitler before he “invaded Europe. The German dictator was, however, beloved in certain quarters, including the editorial offices of the New York Times.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t attack Hitler directly before the war began, but relations between the U.S. and Nazi Germany were by no means good. In September 1938, Roosevelt sent a telegram to Hitler lecturing him about the importance of keeping the peace and stating: “The conscience and the impelling desire of the people of my country demand that the voice of their government be raised again and yet again to avert and to avoid war.” Implying that Hitler was a warmonger was hardly a hallmark of cordial relations between the two countries.

Failing to get a satisfactory response from Hitler, on October 11, 1938, Roosevelt announced that he was increasing national defense spending by $300 million (over $5 billion in today’s dollars). No one thought that money was going to build up our defenses against Britain and France.

But the New York Times? They loved them some Hitler:

The historian Rafael Medoff recently noted that on July 9, 1933, just over five months after he became Chancellor of Germany and years after his virulent anti-Semitism and propensity for violence had become notorious worldwide, the New York Times published a fawning puff piece on Hitler that rivals even today’s media adulation of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Nancy Pelosi in its one-sidedness, myopia, and disdain for essential facts.

Pulitzer Prize-winning “journalist” Anne O’Hare McCormick traveled to Berlin to become the first reporter from an American news outlet to interview the new chancellor, and she was an intriguing choice for the Times editors to make to conduct this interview, as in the presence of this man whose name has become justly synonymous with evil, she was decidedly starry-eyed: “At first sight,” McCormick gushed, “the dictator of Germany seems a rather shy and simple man, younger than one expects, more robust, taller. His sun-browned face is full and is the mobile face of an orator.”

As if that weren’t enough, she continues with a description of the Führer as outlandish and adulatory as likening the supremely zaftig Stacy Abrams to a supermodel: “His eyes are almost the color of the blue larkspur in a vase behind him, curiously childlike and candid. He appears untired and unworried. His voice is as quiet as his black tie and his double-breasted black suit.”

This, of course, as Walter Duranty was all but french-kissing Joseph Stalin. The NYTimes were equal-opportunity up-suckers.

It wasn’t just the NYTimes, of course – Time named Hitler their “Man of the Year” in 1938:

Although as Time laboriously clarifies:

That choice abided by the dictum of TIME founder Henry Luce, who decreed that the Man of the Year — now Person of the Year — was not an honor but instead should be a distinction applied to the newsmaker who most influenced world events for better or worse. In case that second criterion was lost on readers, the issue that named Hitler dispensed with the portrait treatment that cover subjects typically got. Instead he was depicted as a tiny figure with his back to the viewer, playing a massive organ with his murdered victims spinning on a St. Catherine’s wheel.

Which, in context, makes sense.

Moreso than the NYTimes’ excuse, anyway.


[1] Speaking generally in re the government, of course. Some in the government – Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, Ambassador to the UK, Democrat eminimento and father of progressive icons John F. and Robert F. Kennedy – spent the early years of the war pulling for the Nazis to conquer the Brits, whom he hated.

Where Have You Gone, Learned Foot…

…the nation turns its lonely, topical limerick and haiku writing eyes to you. And Ryan Rhodes.

But since Foot is retired and Ryan is MIA, we’ll have to fill in ourselves.


There once was a fellow named Toobin
(Don’t confuse him with Jennifer Rubin).
His career met its doom,
when he dropped trou on Zoom
Now there’s a different part getting the lube-in.


Toobin takes “lid” off,
Two weeks’ frenzy erupts, as
Biden’s lid stays on.


So Toobin had fun of the kind,
the nuns said would make you go blind.
But there’s no point in moping,
it’s just Jeff’s way of hoping
for less trouble than the conjugal kind.


Carry on.

Denormalizing

Remember December 1, 2016?

Maybe not.

But if you don’t, I consider it my mission to make sure that date lives on – dare I say, in infamy.

It was the date that reps from the New York Times and Washington Post newsrooms went on the air and told the nation…

…well, the tiny, self-selecting part of the nation that listens to NPR on the weekend – that it was time for the news media to stop playing by the rules that they always told the nation they played by, the whole “telling people the facts and let them draw their own concusions” thing, and started using their power to “de-normalize” President Trump.

And almost four years later, here we are:

Not Martin Van Buren, the most genuinely corrupt president in history.

Not James Buchanan, the inept buffoon who all but sent out engraved invitations to the Civil War.

Not Woodrow Wilson, the Princeton dean who lied about keeping the nation out of war, did more than any other single person to federalize and weaponize Jim Crow and empower the Klan, and launch the bureaucratic state that’s eating the nation alive today.

No. Trump. A coarse populist buffoon who has, nonetheless, pretty much done what he said he’d do (start bringing troops home, revive the economy after the slowest recovery since the Depression, nominate conservative SCOTUS justices), a few nobody expected (roll the ball farther toward peace in the middle east than any president, defeated ISIS), and brought the extreme delusional madness of the left fully out in the open, where (if America is wise) it can be stomped on hard, God willing…

…oh. I get it now.