Come Back, Aaron Rupar: All Is Forgiven

To:  The City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  You Suck

Dear “City Pages”,

While you’ve always been a freebie hipster lifestyle ‘zine, you used to have some great writing.  Thirty years ago, you were the home of Lileks and Jim DeRogatis.

Twenty years ago, led by Steve Perry,  you had some great journalism – as in, some of the best reporting in the Twin Cities.  And as smugly left-of-center as you’ve always been, you surprised us; under Perry’s watch, you were the first newspaper in town to fairly and accurately cover the Concealed Carry debate.  I said so at the time, and I say it now – kudos.

Twenty years ago.

Today, though?

Just saying – this kind of fratboy drunk-Facebooking pablum would have been laughed out of my high school newspaper.  And this piece here might legitimately make someone wonder if the City Pages is getting money, directly or indirectly, from Bloomberg (more tomorrow).

Speaking of which – is City Pages getting money from Bloomberg?

It’s almost, but not quite, a Berg’s Law; whenever you think the City Pages can’t get any dumber, it will get dumber.

That is all.

Product Placement

A story from Kentucky is the usual kind of dog bites man piece that keeps internet news services in the chips; a couple was busted for getting their freak on in clear view of a Hardee’s drive-in in the town of Harlan.

But the wording of the story has me scratching my head (emphasis added):

The couple’s vehicle, a police citation notes, was parked next to the drive-thru lane, in full view of customers waiting to order Hardee’s favorites like the loaded breakfast burrito or the smoked sausage biscuit.

Fanciful/sloppy story editing?  Or product placement run amok?

Radio Daze

It occurs to me – even though we’ve got all the internet we want these days, I’ve never gone out and looked up a lot of the people I used to know in the radio business.

Of course, from my first, probably most “famous” gig in Twin Cities radio – KSTP, thirty years ago – some of them are all too easy.  Don Vogel died over twenty years ago; John MacDougal, not long after that.  Cathy Wurzer has been part of the furniture at MPR for almost as long.  Mark Boyle has been the voice of the Indiana Pacers for a quarter century now; his sports sidedkick Bruce Gordon is a communications guy with the State of Minnesota.

But of the people who were on the air, the one I get asked about the most is Geoff Charles.  The self-styled former-marine / former hippie and the only person in American media who’s farther out than Art Bell, who was just as mercurial and enigmatic in person as he was on the air (and one of the genuinely nicest people I’ve ever met in the racket, once I started working for him) is…

…utterly, counterintuitively, a long-time fixture in radio in Providence, Rhode Island.

And the idea of G Charles staying anywhere that long is a psychic acid trip in its own right.

Democrat Party Exploits Vote Fraud To Pay For Planned Parenthood


Note to “The Other McCain” readers:  Welcome!

Note that the title of this post is misleading; I have no (new) evidence of voter fraud or payoffs to Planned Parenthood.

The title was bait for a regular comment section, er, “visitor”.  

Inside jokes are the best, aren’t they  

Hope you enjoy the stay here!


To:  Semi-regular commenter who makes big claims but never, ever responds when the claims are debunked
From:  Mitch Berg, blog owner
Re:  Questions

Dear regular commenter,

I thought that title would get your attention.  Great.  I have asked you a few questions in recent months.  I figured I’d direct your attention back to them.

  1.  A while ago, you said that gender-reassignment surgery would result in the subject having different DNA.  Please elaborate.
  2. Last week, you said that  you “observed” that Heather Martens – president and one of vanishingly few members of “ProtectMN” – had accomplished a lot during her decade-plus at the helm of the group.  I’d very much like to hear specifically what you think she’s accomplished, politically, in policy terms, or or socially.   Please be specific.

It’s one of dozens of questions you’ve left unanswered over the years, but why quibble over a few hundred issues, right?

Those two will be a great start.

Thanks!

Joy At Demise

Twitter stock is dropping like Johnny Manziel’s career bell curve.

Part of it is the complete lack of a business model that includes a road to real profit.

But the other part?  Twitter’s efforts to actively antagonize half of the population – including yours truly:

The company recently put in a place a “Trust and Safety Council” that they staffed with hard-left social justice nuts.  And I do mean real nuts — one of them includes an Islamic “research center” that makes CAIR look like choir boys.

Of course, being a private company, they can ‘censor’ anyone they want, for any reason they want.  They can have a “Trust and Safety Council” with Rachel Maddow, Jane Fonda and the board of NOW, for all it matters.

But…

But Twitter might want to think about the fact that about half of the population in this country is conservative, and the other half liberal.  It’s not quite that simple of a division, but it’s close enough.

And unlike a little privately-run place like this, where my first and foremost goal is not to maximize my advertising revenue, that is precisely Twitter’s first and foremost goal.

It’s only a matter of time before a public company that does this sort of thing winds up like MySpace.

And while Twitter, being an ultra-ultra-liberal operation that swims in the liberal pond that is San Francisco, may not actually know, or really believe that, one need only look at the successive flops of efforts that need general acceptance but actively antagonize half the populations (see also; every anti-war movie of the past decade, Truth, MSNBC, and on and on).

And good riddance.  As I wrote about the other day, Twitter is a vast wasteland of stupid punctuated by the rare little points of misplaced brilliance; like someone doing an impromptu Mozart violin concerto at Wrestlemania.

Let it burn.

Comedy Gold

What would be the only thing funnier than Fast Eddie Schultz – the liberal talk show host who really was as dumb as liberals think conservative talk show hosts are – trying to make it as a big-time political player and kingmaker?

“I feel like I am perfectly positioned with my national platform, with my name and visibility and credibility with the middle class, to be the person to head up this super PAC,” he told  told the Fargo Forum. “We are a 527; we are a nonprofit; we are incorporated in Washington, D.C., and we are going to get involved in issues around the country that are vital to a strong middle class, with our focus on jobs and wages, health care, education, trade agreements and justice.”

“Middle class issues are here to stay,” Schultz continued.

The answer is “Schultz, inevitably and comically, not merely flopping at it, but cratering worse than the movie Truth” (emphasis added):

According to Mediate, Schultz ran up $10,345.44 in legal fees, $3,000 in web design fees, and a $100 loan and only collected $25 in donations to the organization which was apparently headquartered at a UPS store in downtown Washington D.C.

“It was well-intended, I really wanted to do Americans for a Strong Middle Class,” a tired-looking Schultz said in a video explaining why the PAC crashed and burned.

It just hasn’t been Schultz’s decade.

Who could have foreseen such a thing?

 

 

 

Name-Dropping

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at a large gas station in Minnetonka, MN.  Having just bought gas, he’s looking for a new windshield wiper.  He turns down the aisle marked “Windshield Wipers/Condiments/Magazines Showing People Getting Hit In The Groin”, and notices Gutterball GARY – a blogger at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“, who describes his hobbies as bowling, heckling people, and shouting really loud – reading a magazine.  

BERG tries to backpedal out of the aisle, but GARY notices him. 

GARY:  Hey, Merg!   You’re stupid!

BERG:  Nothing my mother doesn’t say.

GARY:  The Second Amendment is not an individual right!

BERG:  Well, the Supreme Court in the Heller and McDonald cases disagreed, and made it both a precedent and incorporated it to the states.

GARY:   You’re stupid and you have no idea what you’re talking about!  Justice Burger said the Second Amendment was “a fraud on the American public.”

BERG:  So?

GARY:  He was a conservative!

BERG:  Maybe compared to Nixon, who appointed him, but not really.   And he was really arguing a strawman; he was saying the Second Amendment doesn’t preclude regulation…

GARY:  Burger disagrees with you!  And he’s from Minnesota! It’s further proof you don’t know what you’re talking about!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

BERG:  Um,…

GARY:  …ha ha ha ha ha!

BERG:  Say, Gary?  In what case did Burger  write that opinion?

GARY:  Huh?

BERG:  Was that statement from a Supreme Court, or even an appelate, case?

GARY:  Huh?

BERG:  The thing Burger said?

GARY:  You’re stupid!

BERG:  Right.  It wasn’t part of a case.  It was a personal opinion, in a 1990 PBS interview.  It was of no more legal weight than you or me talking to PBS.

GARY:  He was a conservative, and he disagrees with you, and he’s a Supreme Court judge, so you’re stupid!

BERG:  Huh.  So because a “conservative” SCOTUS justice had a personal, private opinion that dissents from conservative and libertarian orthodoxy, I’m stupid.

GARY:  Yeah!  Ha ha ha ha…

BERG:  um…

GARY:  …ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

BERG:  So who said this:  “Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. … The right of the citizen to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible.”

GARY:  That sounds like Ted Nugent!  Which means you’re an anti-semite!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

BERG: Actually…

GARY:  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

BERG:  Actually it was Hubert H. Humphrey.  A “progressive”, a former Vice President and Senator, and the greatest politician Minnesota ever produced.  And it’d seem he disagrees with  Justice Burger.

GARY:  Who cares what an anti-semite thinks?

BERG:  Oh, the Nugent thing?  Pfft.  I didn’t even like Ted Nugent as a guitar player all that much; I certainly never appointed him my spokesperson.

GARY:  Nope!   Nugent is on your side, so you’re an antisemite!

BERG:  Ah.  So if someone were to say “With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush’s policy to secure Israel. . . . [S]preading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats.”

GARY:  Sounds like Nugent or some other ReTHUGliCON.

BERG:  First – I’m always amazed to hear people actually talking in caps.  Second – no.  It was Democrat senator Fritz Hollings.

So – does that make you anti-semitic?

GARY:  You’re stupid.

BERG:  Natch.

And SCENE.  

All The News That’s Fit To Control

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the mainstream media, everybody gets their news from Associated Press, farmed out to every newspaper, radio and television station.  If AP doesn’t report it, you don’t see it.

Fortunately, there’s the internet.  You can Google anything and come up with suggested websites taking you right to the truth.

Well, for some things you can.  Google tweaks its search algorithm to omit objectionable content, being content they don’t want you to see.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss; we won’t get fooled again?

Joe Doakes

It’s gone way past “conspiracy theories”.

A Bridge From Nowhere

I’ll admit it; I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut when dealing with the left and media (pardon the redundancy).

Especially when they talk about “reaching across divides”.  Whenever people on the left talk about “Reaching” across one “divide” or another (let’s leave aside the fact that divides are always of their making), the best one can hope for is that they’ll act like Jane Goodall – ideological anthropologists, here to furrow their brows and write about the Conservatives in the Mist.   At worst, they come to mug for their fans and exude their self-perceived superiority and laugh at the locals.

Both efforts pretty generally backfire when the subject is firearms and the Second Amendment.  The mugging and smugging usually gets undercut by a lot of unforced errors.  And once in a while, the lefty has a Road to Damascus moment and sees the light.  Yes, it happens.

Continue reading

Help Me Out Here

To:  Colgate
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Super Bowl Ad

Colgate,

So I watched the teaser for your Super Bowl spot:

I get it.  There’s big money in appealing to the altruism of the soft-core social justice warrior.  There’s a whole generation of Millennials out there who are impressed by symbols.

And I am not one of the people who “wastes” water like the guy in the ad.  I’m way too frugal for that.

But I have a question.  Several, actually:

  1. If I did leave the faucet running, what do you think would happen (other than inflating my water bill)?   Would the water disappear from the face of the earth, never to be seen again?    Of course not; it runs down the drain, through the sanitary sewer, back to sewage plant and a holding pond, where it evaporates, turning into humidity, clouds, and eventually rain or snow, falling…somewhere in the world, usually to repeat the cycle over and over and over.
  2. For that matter, what do you think happens to the water I drink?  That it disappears from the earth for good?  No – it comes back out in one form or another; #1, #2, sweat, tears, spittle, whatever.  It eventually gets back to the environment, where it evaporates and becomes humidity, clouds, fog, snow, rain, ice, glaciers, or something.  And then repeats the cycle, over and over again.
  3. You end the ad with a young, ethnically-ambiguous girl (Asian? Central American?  Briilliant casting, actually) thirstily and heart-rendingly slurping up every drop of the “wasted” water she can get her hands, literally, around.  Now, I live in a part of the world blessed with a lot of water.  My city water comes from the Mississippi River.  And any water I don’t physically consume eventually probably gets back there, or seeps down into an aquifer, or evaporates back into the atmosphere to go heaven-only-knows where.  So please tell me; if I don’t use a gallon of water, how do you propose that it gets to that little girl in Myanmar or Honduras?  Can I pack it up in a jug and send it there, with Colgate paying the freight? Will you be holding a water drive?  How is my use of water – which, between nature and a government that handles basic services with some degree of competence, is plentiful where I live – related to the availability of water in a third-world hellhole beset by banana-republic socialists, corruption and incompetence?   Can the water I don’t use be re-purposed to drowning the successive waves of dictators that have managed to make places like the little girl’s hometown short of water, even though they’re by a freaking rain forest.

Thanks in advance.

Meet The DFL’s Praetorian Guard

The City Pages – the Twin Cities’ media’s aggressively dumb and mindlessly aggressive little brother – engages in “Trump-shaming”, in an article that asks the question that’s on every Minnesotan’s “mind”:

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

Who among us would give to Donald Trump? These people, that’s who.

The article then publishes the names of everyone (they could find) who’s donated to Trump, from the $1,000 donations down to $19.

Now, let nobody be under the delusion that the City Pages is anything but the low end of the DFL’s PR chain, covering the “dumb, entitled, self-impressed would-be hipster” market segment.

But this is part of a larger Democrat strategy – and it’s nothing new.  Back in 2010, the DFL used the media to help “shame” Tom Emmer’s corporate donors into acquiescence.   Newspapers around the country have been trying to “gun-shame” carry permit holders (in states that have less-effective protections for permittees than Minnesota law does, thankfully) ever since they could.  Even Minneapolis city councilwoman, Generalissima and Councilwoman for Life Alondra Cano, used/abused her position with the city to try to “shame” her critics by publicizing their personal contact information.

This is your Twin Cities media, doing its job.

No, I mean its real job.

Now I’m Laughing

Steven Colbert built a career playing a broad “Major Bloodnock”-style caricature of a conservative, designed to make liberals titter knowingly (if, usually, autonomically; Colbert may have been, if possible, even more an innovation of “duckspeak” than his benefactor, Jon Stewart.

Now that he’s gotta be himself and win and audience?

What’s that smell?  Yep – the stench of death.

Heh.

Vide The Intellectual Giants Of The American Media

Jonah Goldberg:

I caught some of Morning Joe from my hotel room before I left for the airport. The caption for one discussion was “Were They Radicalized?” I keep seeing stories asking this question as if it’s some great mystery we may never get to the bottom of. The media and the Democratic party are working very, very, hard to pound the wet clay of San Bernardino into a story about runaway gun violence in America.

Just curious: What discrete piece of info are we waiting for to get a definitive answer to that question? Because I thought it might be the thousands of rounds of ammo, the remote-control-car-bombs, the decision to abandon their six-month-old daughter, the contacts with terror suspects and, oh yeah, the murder of 14 people. But hey, that’s just me.

I used to think PJ O’Rourke was being hyperbolic when he said J-school students were the ones too dumb to get into Education.

Muggeridge’s Law is in full effect, obviously.

Still, amid the japing about our dimbulb journalistic “elite”, there’s a serious issue.  The people are being actively disinformed:

Right now the media and the Democratic party are working very, very, hard to pound the wet clay of San Bernardino into a story about runaway gun violence in America. Bogus stats about there being a mass shooting on average once a day streak across the media firmament like so much St. Elmo’s Fire. The fact that gun violence has been in a decades-long decline doesn’t count for much. Poor Charlie Cooke is running around like the last artillery officer on a 19th-century British warship, trying to return fire from each cannon station.

Cook is doing his usual great job.  But he’s far from alone on the, er, gun deck.

 

Lie First, Lie Always: Crowd Source Edition

So the next time some anti-gun talking head says “There’ve been 355 mass shootings so far this year”, remember – the figure comes from this site, “Shootingtracker.com“.  It’s a crowd-sourced site that allows pretty much anyone to report a “mass shooting” – defined as any event where three or more people (including the shooter) get shot.

Now, the media presents this as if every incident is a spree killing – someone setting out to kill innocent people at random (Columbine, Red Lake, the DC Navy Yard et al) or as acts of terrorism (San Bernardino, Chattanooga etc).

Of course, it includes many more mundane crimes; thugs shooting into crowded bars, family murder-suicides, and many, many criminal acts gone terribly awry.

And, it seems, one act in 2015 of whose genesis we’re not remotely sure.

Check out #345.  It was the shooting in North Minneapolis on November 23.

Now, you can find Mr. Scarsella’s motives repugnant – I certainly do, if they are as alleged.  And you can note, very correctly, that if Messrs Scarsella, Macey, Gustavsson and Backman wanted to claim self-defense, waiting for the Minneapolis Police to find them was the wrong way to do it.

But they do, in fact, seem to have at least a passing claim at self-defense, not something that can be dismissed out of hand no matter how much one may wish to.

So while it may be legitimate to count it as a “mass shooting” – a mass of three or more people were shot! – lumping it in there with San Bernardino, and the Navy Yard, and Umpqua, with their perps that fully intended to kill innocent people for purposes of either media immortality or political terror, is deeply dishonest – whether on “Shootingtracker.com”‘s part, or on the media’s.

It also introduces the question:  does it include other shootings, where a citizen interrupted a mass shooting with return fire?

I’ll be looking this over in coming days.

Anatomy Of A Chanting Point

Some years ago, an anti-gun group published a “study” showing that the rate of gun deaths was higher in red, square, stereotypically conservative flyover states where guns were plentiful and available to the law-abiding.

chanting_points_200px

Of course, it’s a misleading point – in keeping with the gun control dictum to “Lie First, Lie Last, Lie Always”.  The vast majority of gun deaths are suicides – and this is especially true in the rural west, as a disproportionate number of people, usually older, male, depressed, often very ill, decide to check out via the most reliable means they have available, their firearms.  It’s tragic; it’s also not the same as murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape, aggravated assault or other violent crimes committed against others.   And it doesn’t take many suicides in a thinly-populated rural western county to send that per capita death rate soaring.

But no mind; fake as it is, this particular narrative made the usual rounds:

  • Through the various far-left blogs that pretty much exist to recite the left’s chanting points
  • To the various gun grabber groups, whose only real source of “information” is the chanting points they’re fed by their superiors in the “progressive” food chain
  • And finally, mainstream “news” organizations.

And so – barely a decade after having been chastened to a fine sheen for using fraudulent sources, CBS News is still in the business of mindlessly parroting fake chanting points.

Charges

The Henco Attorney’s office hit the noon deadline on Monday to charge the suspects in last week’s shooting at the Black Lives Matter rally.

And the charges are interesting:

Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville, was charged with six counts including second-degree riot and second-degree assault. Joseph Martin Backman, 27, of Eagan, Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 22, of Hermantown and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26, of Pine City were each charged with one count of second-degree riot-armed with a dangerous weapon.

Bear in mind that Macey was one of those rare Asian white supremacists.

Quite the melting-pot we have, here.

Anyway – as the media begins the process of trying this case in public, some people are going to be disappointed right out of the gate:

Freeman said the Minnesota hate crime law only moves a misdemeanor crime to a gross misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor to a felony. The four men were not charged with that because the sentences for them, especially the suspected shooter, Scarsella, would be significantly longer for the riot and second-degree assault charges. However, Freeman noted he has been consulting with U.S. Attorney Andy Luger about this case and if federal hate crime sentences would draw a longer sentence, he would be willing to turn the case over to them.
There is no doubt, he said, that this attack by the four was racially motivated.
“The defendants’ own statements, their videos, show that these are sick people,” Freeman said. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable.”

Unlike every media outlet in the Metro, I’m not going to attempt to try this case on this page.  As we discussed the other day, there’s at least a chance that this could be tried as self-defense – although as I pointed out at the time, if one plans to try to plead self-defense, it’s best to go to the police, rather than having them come and get you first.

Back To ’67

The biggest news this past year is the general consensus (among those who are paying attention) that Barack Obama is worse – much worse – a president than Jimmy Carter.  He’s more along the lines of Woodrow Wilson or LBJ.

Ed Driscoll on how apt the LBJ parallel actually is:

Between the race riots, the campus riots, the massive expansion of the federal government and the concurrent belief in its infallibility, the military debacles overseas, a feeling in general that the nation was out of control and now this latest call for the wise men to bail him out, it really does feel like we’re living out the last year of the Johnson administration, doesn’t it? Funny, when Democratic operatives with bylines were submitting Tiger Beat-style articles in 2007 and 2008 dreamily forecasting which Democrat presidencies Obama’s would most closely resemble, LBJ’s rarely made the list. Wonder why?

Because none of them remembered back that far?

Topic Number One And Only…

…in the media, these days, seems to be the idea that “the GOP is racist”, since Donald Trump, who has certainly brought out more than his fair share of the angry and the ignorant (sort of the flipside of Bernie Sanders, who, let’s not forget, is pimping xenophobic socialism himself) and who will be out of the race in a couple of months, is being closely tailed, and in the aggregate outnumbered, by two Latinos, a woman, and an African-American, all vying for the chance to take a shot at one of the three geriatric honkies on the Democrat side.

Which, in turn, is the sum, total, entire reason the media is obsessing over “racism”.