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”.

 

The Peasants Are Restless

A Survey USA poll shows Hillary losing to every single GOP candidate.

In Minnesota.

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

Longtime friend of the blog Fresch Fisch writes in re poll (about which more later today):

I predict the Minnesota Poll will come out in a couple of weeks showing her back on top.

True.

But she won’t just be back on top, but on top by a margin guaranteed to discourage GOP turnout.

Autobiographical

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Listening to NARN, you quoted someone saying an adult writing a book should know that no students at West Point have scholarships, they have commissions, and failure to clearly say this makes one unqualified for President. Similarly, an adult writing a book about his life should know where he was born – Africa or America – and failure to clearly state the truth he later chooses, disqualifies him for president.  Unless, of course, it’s a form of simplification for explanation, or dramatic license, or hyperbole, or…

Carson could simply, a la Obama, say it was a “composite” of several schools, military and civilian…

Evolved

For years, I’ve been listening to my various liberal friends grunt and shriek in horror as various school boards around the country adopt policies that call for their various school districts to recognize, in one curricular form or another, the existence of creationism.

To which I’ve responded with two questions:

“First – if someone who’s refinishing your driveway, or checking out your groceries, or working on the app that you use to calculate your heart rate, is a young earth creationist [because the type of liberals who always huff and puff about creationism tend to own fitbits, naturally, believe everyone who isn’t like them is in the service class], what difference does it make to you?”

The answer, generally, is something with pretensions to altruism with overtones of intellectual thuggery; “we want everyone in our society to start with the same basis of actual knowledge,” or some such.

Which leads to my second question: “So – let’s say that you go to the hospital with a life-threatening aneurysm in your brain.  And as you’re getting ready for surgery to stent a weak spot in a cranial artery to prevent it blowing like a water balloon, killing you in less time than it takes me to say this, you find out that your brain surgeon – a person who spent four years in a hypercompetitive hard-science-based pre-med program vying for a seat in a medical school, and then four more in a medical program designed to weed out the non-hackers, and not only surviving the cut but doing it brilliantly enough to get accepted to post-doctorate training and residency as a brain surgeon, and then years of experience operating on peoples’ brains – is a creationist?  Do you get up off the operating table, loudly proclaim “you, madame, have no respect for science!” and walk away, looking for a non-creationism brain surgeon?”

There was a time when it was a hypothetical question.  Ben Carson, the media is jumping up and down to remind us, is an old-earth creationist (who abjures ruling out a very old earth).  And – as the Clinton’s praetorian guard is reminding us these days, he believes a few other oddball things.

Now, Carson isn’t my guy at this point, although he’d be a better President than anyone on the Democrat ticket.

But let’s acknowledge a few things; he’s a very smart guy.  Literally, a brain surgeon.  To quote a less brilliant candidate, “that’s f****ng huge!”    But he believes in creationism, and that pyramids were used as granaries.

Hmm.

But I have a quesiton: is that any wackier than believing you can offer free college tuition without blowing up the deficit and distorting the higher education market out of recognition?  Or in believing that storing classified emails in a bathroom and telling the American people that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim video were good ideas?

Trump Card

A longtime correspondent of this blog writes:

I note that the MSM is promoting Latino group offers $5K for calling Trump a racist on ‘SNL’”
By a Norman Mailer I’m referring to a description of his contact with feminist protesters from this article in Salon:

“For example, back when I was in college at Berkeley, I attended a lecture by then bad-boy, self-advertised anti-feminist, self-proclaimed macho-man, world-famous novelist and essayist Norman Mailer. I should mention that he had been preceded a week before by Gloria Steinem. The stage was set.  As soon as Mailer took the podium there was a smattering of shouts, signs flashed up, a protest began. He looked over the crowd and held his hands up, and said, “OK, OK.  I get it.” Things quieted down a bit.  Mailer continued,  “So everyone who thinks I’m an asshole, hiss.”  Of course the room was soon filled with violent hisses.  When they stopped Mailer smirked and said, “Obedient little bitches.””

My hope would be that Trump would come out for the opening monologue and ask everyone in the audience to join together and call him a racist, he could even hold up a cue card with the exact words, then he could hold up another cue card with the contact information for Deport Racism PAC and assure the audience that each one of them is eligible for/guaranteed a $5,000.00 reward. I figure Studio 8H has about 200 seats in it so at $5k a head that could cost the Deport Racism PAC $1.2million. Its a safe bet they would renege on the offer giving Trump & the GOP in general a lot of counter attack ammunition.

Whatever you can say about Trump – he’s not my guy – he’s one I could actually see bringing this kind of thing to the campaign.

Debateable Impressions: Let Me Be The Two Millionth To Say…

Finally:  the evening’s host, CNBC

What the conservative pundocracy says:  The performance of the CNBC panel –  the smirky, mugging Carl Quintanilla, the smug and snarky Becky “Not Very” Quick, and Mike “Where Have You Gone, Candy Crowley?” Harwood, with an appearance by Jim Cramer (who sounded like he’d just lost a UFC match) was a laughingstock – even when mentioned in the same breath as CNN’s loathsome performance four years ago.

What I say:  The conservative pundocracy was too kind.  I got the impression that the media has settled onto a “strategy” of turning debates (well, the GOP ones, anyway) into political reality shows.  Part of me expected Flavor Flav or Khlamidia Khardashian to show up to ask a question [1].  It was clearly a goldmine for CNN last month – to me, it looked like CNBC wanted to make their panel the stars of the debate.  Here’s hoping that the rumors of the backfire on CNN aren’t exaggerated.

Verdict:  News flash: anyone who expects anything from the MSM but sniping and hackery is deluded.  And you can tell Reince Preibus I said so.

[1] Khlamidia is one of the sisters – right?

Debateable Conclusions: Populosity

Up next:  Mike Huckabee.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He did well.

What I say:   I didn’t see it.  Granted, I missed half the debate – but my signal impression of Huckabee was his resounding rejection of…means testing.

I get it – he’s a “Southern” conservative; socially conservative, but not especially afraid of big government or spending.

It was just an odd moment at a debate for the support of a party that’s getting more hawkish on budgets and spending.

Verdict:   Back to talk radio, Mike.

Debateable Impressions: Walter Rising

Up next:  John Kasich.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  Kasich kept himself in the running with a strong, if cranky, performance.  Others point to his fairly bald-faced, McCainish up-sucking to the media.

What I say:  My short list, two months ago, was Walker, Jindal, Kasich.  With Walker gone and Jindal mired in the undercard and barely running a campaign, it looks like Kasich is the last man standing.  He gave a strong showing last night.  But am I the only one who saw his cranky demeanor and though about Jeff Dunham’s puppet-character “Walter”?

Verdict:   Let’s hope he can morph into something other than the campaign’s resident senior scold.

Debateable Impressions: Punching At His Weight

Next up:  Marco Rubio.

What the conservative pundocracy says:   Rubio came back from what could have been a very tough night, and did it with style.

What I say:  His take-down of the moderators’ harping on the Orlando Sun-Sentinel’s loathsome hatchet-job editoral call for his resignation (for missing about half as many votes as President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry, both of whom the Orlando SS endorsed) was sharp-eyed and surgical; his turn back to his actual policy – against the moderators’ wishes, natch – was smooth and authoritative.

Verdict:   I’ve been trying to figure out who’d replace Scott Walker on my short list.  Rubio might be it.

Maybe.

Debateable Impressions: Speaker Points

Up next:  Ben Carson.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He held steady.

What I say:   While I respect virtually everything Carson stands for (he’s pretty hopeless on the Second Amendment), I’m always amazed when I see him at debates; quiet, unprepossessing, like an amiable professor who dropped into a WWE match.

Verdict:  He did well.  Not much more to say.

Debateable Impressions: Howling Into The Void

Up next:  Rand Paul

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He’s a dead issue, and should start focusing on holding his Senate seat forthwith.

What I say:   I’ve been a Rand Paul fan for a long time now.   But I sensed that his support was similar to his father’s in Minnesota during the last convention season; a mile deep and twenty feet wide.   Not to say he’s done poorly in any debate – he’s stated his case just fine.  But at no point has he gotten anyone to say “he’s the man” who wasn’t saying it two years ago.

Verdict:  I think the party needs Rand Paul in the race for the same reasons it needs Christie.  I’m just not sure how much longer he can justify it.

Debateable Impressions: Smooth As His Combover

Next on the agenda:  Donald Trump.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  He did well, repairing some previous gaffes and not harming himself – at a time when some polls show him slipping and needing to not screw up.

What I say:  Major points for fixing his Mexican gaffe from the Reagan Center debate by noting that the President of Mexico was a smarter, better executive than Barack Obama -which would seem to be the truth.  I think he made fewer mistakes than in the second debate.

Verdict: He didn’t hurt himself, and left himself in a good position to try to duke it out for Carson and Rubio for the lead.

Debateable Impressions: You Talkin’ To Me?

Up next:  Chris Christie.

What the conservative pundocracy says:  Solid performance – but not enough to vault him onto the short list.

What I say:  By all rights, Christie shouldn’t have gotten this far.  He’s not the darling of the establishment, and conservatives fear him because he’s a “northeast” conservative; strong on business and security, adequate on entitlement and fiscal policy (and hampered by both a Democrat power stranglehold and a fairly inept New Jersey GOP), weak on civil liberties.   Heck – go back and forth on Christie.

Verdict:  I think the party needs him on the short list, just to keep the short-listers on their toes.