Congratulations Are In Order!

To:  Mike Mullen, City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Best Wishes

Mr. Mullen,

As we’re coming up on high school graduation, I can only wish you the best in your future endeavors.  Hopefully your college studies will lead you to an adult life that you find fulfilling and exciting.

Reach for the stars.

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

PS:  I’m assuming you’re a high school kid who’s interning at the CP based on the tone, style and quality of “journalism” in this piece, which reads like something from a click-bait site.  If I’m mistaken, and you’re an actual “reporter” and “writer”, I apologize.  I mean, basically. 

That is all.  

Open Letter To Samantha Bee

To:  Samantha Bee, Overpromoted Woman With LibFluff Show
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Inequity

Ms. Bee,

It is easier to buy either a gun or get an abortion or register to vote or buy methamphetamine than it is to put a show on cable entitled, say, “Full Frontal With Mitch Bee”.  Because you own that trademark.  It’s  your, um, “intellectual” property.

Kind of like the NRA Eagle.

The liberal “alt”-media; actually as dumb as the left thinks talk radio is.

That is all.

(Well, not quite all.  Remember when everyone was saying John Oliver was the greatest thing since Michael Moore?    Brilliant, incisive, yadda yadda?  I watched his famous “expose” on Donald Trump.  And the big, marquee point that was the conclusion to the whooooooole buildup?   The most damning thing they had on Trump, one of the most damnable people in modern American life?  His family’s original name was “Drumpf”.  That’s it.  I want that 25 minutes of my life back).

I Hate Photomemes

The “photomeme” – the bits of graphic overlaid with a simple, usually simplistic, message – may be, along with Twitter,  the greatest step toward Orwell’s “duckspeak” that Western communications have ever taken.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not occasionally brilliant:

12963577_936285993159353_1286409048676422616_n

But it’s rare. Oh, so rare.

The Stench Of Death

You walked in off of First Avenue in Jamestown, the sky still dark at 5AM, turned your key and tugged on an aluminum door frame that fit a little tight in its jamb, and stepped into a building that dated back to before 1900; on the main floor was White Drug – the first Whites in what is still today a major regional chain.

You walked up eighteen stone stairs to a small landing, turned left, and walked up six more, to a terrazzo-floored hallway.  To your left was an insurance office, dark and quiet  As you turned right, to your right was a law office of some kind.  But you walked straight ahead, toward the rear of the building.

On the right, after the men’s room, was a soundproof aluminum door that led into a room not much bigger than a walk-in closet.  We’ll come back to that.

Next to it?  Through a couple of large glass windows, a room, jammed with antique electrical and electronic equipment; closest to the window, a large, battleship-gray control console, looking a little like the front of a 1940 Buick; a control panel built literally before World War II, all Bakelite knobs and control keys, a couple of exquisitely-balanced VU meters bouncing their stately way back and forth – very unlike the meters that accompanied the age of cheap stereo gear, all herky-jerky and frenetic.  The meters seemed, themselves, to the throwbacks to a slower, more deliberate time.

To the right of the chair were two ancient turntables; to the left, a couple of bins of records.  Behind it?  Stacks of transmitter controls and reel-to-reel and cassette tape decks, and a couple of  “plectrons” – basically 1960’s versions of what we’d call “pagers” in the 1980’s, before even the pager became passe; about the size of a late ’90’s IBM PC, they carried fire calls, for the city and rural fire departments.  Each of the town’s volunteer firemen had one at home; the radio stations had ’em too.

Behind the stacks of gear?  Stacks of albums.  Thousands of them, tucked into wall shelves; stuff that’d be treasures today, sought after by rock and roll vinyl collectors (first-edition Beatles and Stones albums from the sixties), or retro collectors (obscure albums by Dean Martin, Perry Como, and even Lorne Greene); genres that haven’t shared shelf space in decades; modern jazz, forties pop, even copies of Devo and Ramones albums that snuck in there some how.  There was no rhyme or reason.  It was a huge jumble.

A door at the back led into the “closet” a few paragraphs back – the “newsroom”.  A single steel desk and a couple of file cabinets and, to your left, chattering away 24/7, an AP teletype, sitting in a closet, churning through boxes of yellow-y fanfold paper a week; an endless rotation of international headlines, national news, North Dakota and Tri-State news, National and North Dakota/Tri-state scores, and of course weather.  Forecasts updated hourly; extended forecasts and 24-hour temperature summaries; occasionally when things were slow, “lites” – funny stories – and, once a day around midnights, “pronouncers”, lists of phonetic pronunciations of names in the news (which were pretty vital, in 1980, as American newsmen learned how to convey news about Sadegh Ghotzbzadeh to the public).

Going to work on a Saturday morning at 5AM, the first job was to turn on the power to the transmitter and its remote controls; the transmitter was a mile and a half away, next to where the James River passed under I94, by the road to the State Hospital.  You turned on the big box full of vaccuum tubes – the station was years away from going solid-state – and watched the needles climb into their nominal operating range, noting the readings on the transmitter log.

Then, you went into the newsroom, and gathered up the 100 feet of fanfold copy that had streamed out overnight.  You rolled it up, hauled it through the studio, and into a room on the other side, with a table that seated eight people, and a small remote control board with a “1931” date stamp on the back, all brownish-red burled metal and impeccably-balanced bakelite knobs, nursed along year to year by a patient engineering staff and a famously penurious boss.   Although you didn’t know what “talk radio” was yet, and neither did anyone else, it was where the station’s owner and the news director hosted a one-hour daily talk show, five days a week, with guests from around town.

You sat down at the table, and started ripping and sorting the wire copy.  National news, regional, local, sports and weather – you’d wind up reading a little of each several times over the next ten hours.  With a little practice, you could flense 100 feet of wire copy down into neat stacks in a half hour, stack them into newscasts – you’d have full-hour news, weather and sportscasts at 6AM, 7AM and noon – buy a coke from the vending machine next to the boss’ office (across and down the hall), and wait for 5:50AM.

Then, it was time to flip the “Plates” control to “on”; this sent power to the transmitter’s final output stage.  It was accompanied by a buzzing, and smell of ozone, as vacuum tubes engaged and power and signal started moving through the wires.  You took readings voltage and wattage readings from the output stage and antenna, wrote them on the transmitter log, “signed on” the station with your signature on the log…

…and pulled out tape the tape cartridge that would accompany your signon.

The clock ticked to straight-up 5:55AM.  You flipped the key on the main board mike to “on”, and read – or, after a few Saturdays, recited – the sign-on script that had ushered the station on the air seven days a week since 1949.

At this time, radio station KEYJ in Jamestown, North Dakota, begins the broadcast day.  KEYJ operates at a frequency of fourteen-hundred kilocycles at one thousand watts daytime and 250 watts at night, by authority of the Federal Communications Commission, and is owned and operated by KEYJ Incorporated of Jamestown, North Dakota.

We invite you to stay tuned to KEYJ for the latest in news, weather, sports, and information.  Good morning!

You then punched the “start” button to your tape cartridge machine – a “Cart”, which looked and functioned just like an eight-track tape – which launched the National Anthem.  At the end of which, you read the day’s forecast and long-range forecast, which took you to the 6AM newscast from Associated Press Radio.

And your day began.

That was how I spent my Saturday mornings in high school – at a little 1000 watt AM radio station; on the air from 5:55AM to 3PM; hours of news and info at 7, 8 and noon; “Trading Post” (a half-hour swap and shop show) at 10, and usually a taped Class B high school game of some sort or another after 1PM.

KEYJ launched a lot of careers; many of the biggest names in North Dakota radio started at KEYJ.  Not just North Dakota, either – Terry Ingstad, known to a couple generations of LA listeners as “Shadoe Stevens”, started there in the sixties; his youngest brother, Dick, a year a head of me in high school and a good friend, showed me the ropes when the boss and longtime owner, Bob Richardson, finally hired me in August of ’79.

KEYJ was sold to a group of slickee boys who tried to run it like a major-market station – including firing all the locals, including me, and changing the call letters to the charmless “KQDJ” – and failed in about a year.  More management teams came and went; the station changed hands many times, became a satellite oldies station, moved out of the old office above White Drug to a soulless little shack on the south hill, and finally became an “ESPN Sports” affiliate – like many small stations today, it has no local staff; it’s basically a computer in a closet, like Hillary’s email server, pumping digitally-sequence product and commercials to the transmitter (which is still in the same place, at least).

Like so much of the radio industry, it’s dead to me today.

Claudia Lamb writes about the implosion at once-great KGO in San Francisco – once the WCCO of the West Coast.   It illustrates a lot of what has ailed, and ultimately destroyed, most of the radio industry in the past 20 years, taking it from a thriving industry to a drain-circling corpse (outside of certain niche markets, like Spanish, Sports and conservative talk).

Worth a read.

Fingers Crossed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy had an insight why Hillary won’t be indicted, won’t even be seriously questioned, about her ever-shifting lies:
The standard has shifted. Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie” was replaced by Hitler’s The Big Lie which was replaced by Bill Clinton’s The Great Lie.
The Great Lie does not mean the person is a convincing liar. That went out the window with Slick Willie. We all knew he was lying, but the media decided that as long as his lies were told in furtherance of the Progressive Agenda, the media would let them ride. This is the mindset of reporters like Nina Burleigh, who graphically described how she would reward President Clinton for keeping abortion legal. That attitude brought us the era of The Great Lie, the lie that is, in modern parlance, “too big to fail.”
The frustration of Democrats and their wholly-owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, is the GOP hasn’t accepted the new standard. The GOP still thinks it’s fair to indict Hillary for lying about her crimes. Hillary’s lies are, of course, brazen and transparent. But the objective that the lies are protecting – electing her President – is too important for the media to call out the lies, as that might jeopardize attainment of the objective.
The stakes are too high to hold Hillary to the truth because the truth would derail the process of crowning her to lead us into the abyss.
The Great Lie has become the accepted method for every Progressive issue. Universal free medicine is too important to allow truth to interfere with the dream, so The Great Lie that Obama-care is working must be accepted without question. Climate change is too important to be clouded with truth so The Great Lie must prevail even if we have to silence scientists and distort the data to fit the theory. Gun control, Muslim terror, campus rape, the methodology is always the same.
There is an added incentive for the mainstream media to endear themselves of The Great Lie: it frees them from the shackles of ethics, truth, due diligence, etc. If the issue is sufficiently important in the Progressive Agenda, then no outdated journalistic ethos need slow down the machinery of printing garbage for the masses. It’s a much more efficient than the old methods of sourcing facts, confirming identities and access of the informants or suppliers of facts, editorial oversight to check for balance and fairness. The only people who suffer are those who care about the truth.

Joe Doakes

The idea of “journalistic ethos” is to news consumers (and journo students) what Santa Claus is for children.

Ready For The Party

Jurors comment on their verdict in the Gawker-Hulk Hogan trial, which awarded a nine-figure settlement to Hogan that, if upheld, should purge the foetid abcess that is Gawker from existence, blessedly, forever.

The Gawker tried to argue they have a First Amendment right to trash peoples’ rights to privacy – using the cunning legal theory that “we’re entitled to”.

Well, close enough:

The jurors had strong words for Gawker founder Nick Denton and the website’s former editor-in-chief, A.J. Daulerio, who was ordered in the verdict to pay Hogan $100,000 in punitive damages.

“I mean there was a quote in there that it was fair game for a celebrity that’s over five to be exposed, and we’re like, ‘What?,’ and this was a quote from A.J.,” O’Neil said. “You could tell he didn’t want to be there. He was very arrogant, very pompous in his response and he made that statement at the end.”

“I think it made everybody, it made me pause, and I was just like, ‘You did not say that,'” he said. “That means you really do think you’re above the law and it was that philosophy, we’re Gawker. We can get away with anything.”

“He treated the deposition the way he treats journalism,” Young said, while Eastman called Daulerio, “very flippant.”

Stevens said she was looking at Denton in court while the verdict was being read because she wanted to see whether he would show any signs of remorse. She didn’t believe he displayed any remorse during his testimony.

Rot in hell, Gawker.  And get your hands off the First Amendment.

Everything You Need To Know About Heather Martens, “Everytown” And Moms Want Action

To:  The Twin Cities Media
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  A Guide To Gun-Grabber Rhetoric

Dear Media,

When the topic turns to guns, the Second Amendment and gun control, there is so much that so many of you are groaningly misinformed about.

Now, many of you are actually doing what, 20 years ago, would have been unthinkable; going to people on the gun-rights side who know something about the issue, like Andrew Rothman and Bryan Strawser – as you write your stories.  Not all of you, but enough so that one can be satisfied the facts can be found – which is a good start.

But I think many of you are unclear on a basic, unalterable fact about the gun issue that needs to be reinforced.  I’ll emphasize it here.   Remember it in your dealings on this issue, and you will have a good head start.  I’ll give it some emphasis, so it sticks out:

The Minnesota “gun safety” movement – Heather Martens, Jane Kay, Kim Norton, Joan Peterson, singularly or as a group – has never made a statement about guns, gun rights or “gun safety” that is simultaneously original, substantial and true.  

What does that mean?

I’ve provided this little truth table to help you figure it out:

They may have said something that was: For Example: But:
True “The Colt M1911 is a good choice for self-defense” (Heather Martens, House Public Safety committee testimony for magazine limits) It’s neither original (Jeff Cooper started saying it in the seventies) nor especially substantial (it’s a matter of opinion, and it added nothing to the “debate”, such as it was.
Original It’s easier to get a gun than a book in Minneapolis It’s original-ish, but it’s not true (for the law-abiding citizen).  You could argue it’s insubstantial – I’d stay “trite and manipulative” – as well.
Substantial “Gun Violence is on the rise” Its not true – it’s down over half in the past 20 years . It’s not original, but that’s the least of the problems.
Original and (in a sense) true-ish “A majority of Minnesotans favor universal background checks” There might be a survey that shows a majority of Minnesotans, not selected for knowing and caring about the issue, might have answered “yes” to the question.  It’s insubstantial, of course; most of those polled have no idea about the substance or ramifications of the proposal; when they do, the numbers changed
Sort of original and vaguely substantial-sounding “Background checks have lowered crime; eliminating them raises crime” Nope.  You’ll find that the “drops in crime” tracked with similar drops in nearby areas that didn’t institute background checks.  The crime hikes?  They tracked with crime increases in urban areas where criminals just don’t get background checks.  False!

Apply this test to everything Heather Martens, Joan Peterson, Jane Kay, Nick Coleman, “Everytown” and “Moms Want Action” say; is it original, AND substantial, AND true?  Ask someone who knows the facts about the issue – Rothman, Gross, Doar, Strawser, or even lil’ ol’ me.

And you will – inevitably and without meaningful exception – find it to be an absolute truth; the “Gun Safety” lobby in this state has never, not once, said something that was true, original and substantial.

Never.

(Want to challenge me on that, gun-grabbers?   Let’s do it. In public.  Neutral turf, neutral moderator, debate rules.  I will win, you will slink from the room at best, slink from the room behind a screen of ad-homina at worst.  I’m up to the challenge.  Let’s pretend that you are, and go for it).

Human Progress

While sometimes it seems society is sliding backwards into oblivion, there are occasional bits of encouragement to be found.

The biggest one of recent years?  The Hulk Hogan lawsuit may finally kill Gawker Media.

Last week’s jury verdict awarding Hulk Hogan $115 million had onlookers predicting the death of Gawker Media, a collection of gossip and news web sites that was found to have invaded the privacy of the 80’s wrestling star by posting snippets of him in a sex tape online

It’s not a done deal – appeals, and possible requests to lower the awards, could save the most loathsome brand in American media.

But until then, the policy of this blog is to support killing the Gawker with fire.

The day Gawker finally shuts its pustulent doors, I shall throw a party.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Strib Marinades In The Bloomberg Kool-Aid

The Star/Tribune’s editorial board is a group of people, apparently in their sixties and seventies, who seem to spend their days pining away for a time when the media could say anything they want without fear of being caught out in public by people who know better.

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

Those days are long gone.  Only the editorial board doesn’t seem to know it, or recognize it, as shown in last week’s editorial calling for, at the least, hearings on a “universal background check” bill.

And like everyone on the institutional left, they participate – with all the grace of a German jazz band – in the left’s only real tactic on the issue of gun control; Lie First, Lie Always.

Why, it’s almost as if Heather Martens, in addition to being a State Representative, is a Strib editor…

Continue reading

In-Kind Contribution

SCENE:  At the offices of Kornbluth Chadwick Communications – a big Democrat-leaning PR firm in Boston.   A tastefully spare room furnished in the Danish style, with a full-height window overlooking downtown Boston, includes a number of people in just-ahead-of-the-fashion-curve PR-wear.  

Hanna EPSTEIN-FAEGER, director of the firm’s political communications practice, sits at the head of a glass table and calls the meeting to order. 

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  We’re here to find out what went wrong with the independent expenditure ad we did against Ted Cruz.  Ruth?

Ruth LOWENSTEIN-NEDZVINSKI, an assistant project manager, picks up a sleek, buttonless remote, and presses “play”

EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I think we can all agree it was brilliant.  Joshua?

Joshua-Micah KORN-FLEEBER, the ad’s producer – a slight man in a lumberjack beard wearing a “Feel The Bern” t-shirt under his hemp sports jacket, speaks up.

KORN-FLEEBER:  That’s correct, Hanna.  The ad includes all the things that we believe that the vast majority of voters respond to:  belief in the need to reinterpret the Constitution, the throbbing desire throughout the country to repeal the Second Amendment and the traditional view of marriage and remove all reference to faith from public life – and, of course, Robert Reich himself.

LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  Americans  love Robert Reich!\

(Entire table nods assent)

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  And yet the focus groups, one after the other, showed that representative voters from west of the Hudson River and east of the Sierra Madre unanimously thought it was an ad for Ted Cruz?

KORN-FLEEBER:  I’m sorry.  I just don’t get it.

LOWESNSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  One quote from one focus group said “this is a fiendish parody of the east-coast liberal echo chamber”.

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  The what?

LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  No idea.

(Muted chuckling)

EPSTAIN-FAEGER:  So – middle-Americans unanimously thought it was a pro-Cruz ad, and some thought it was a parody of how the left thinks?

(General nodding)

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  I say it’s a blip in the data.  Let’s run it!

(Everyone nods and gathers their notebooks, phones and tablets and moves to their next meeting)

And SCENE

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.