Berg’s 18th Law Is Still In Full Effect

I’ll do my due diligence and make my usual reference to my self-coined but completely accurate dictum:

Berg’s Eighteenth Law of Media Latency

Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.

I will continue to observe this law.

But to speculate just a bit? I’m going to go out on a short sturdy limb and guess mass shooting at the Covenant School disappears down the memory hole.

The shooter, y’see, is a former student who, while being almost universally “deadnamed” in the media by her original, female identity, seemed to be pretty actively presenting her…er, him…er, xheirself as (what biologists used to call) male:

That’s two spree killings in one. year carried out by gender-dysmorphic people. The avalanche of mental illness spurred on by the lockdowns and America’s general spiritual and emotional decline is paying dividends for those who benefit from both.

Darn that NRA.

And I’m sure various cultural cues, like this and this…

…were utterly unrelated.

By the way – like most spree killers, the murderer chose the target because there was less chance of resistance. The school was a “gun free zone”, and had other vulnerabilities that beckoned:

[Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake] answered, “Yes,” [that Covenant was the only school targeted] but noted there was another location the suspect considered striking as well. However, he said the suspect did “a threat assessment” of the other location and decided there was “too much security.

Draw your conclusions. I certainly am .

Unlike the Uvalde shooting, initial reports indicated the police response was fast, violent and decisive – something that the Feds long ago determined was a key factor for dealing with spree killers, and that this blog has noted time and again and again and again and again and again is of paramount importance in containing and ending these shootings.

Of Gratitude And Goals

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

I have so much for which I should be grateful – and I’ll be going through the list, as far as I can, tomorrow.

But I’m going to jump the (if you’ll pardon the expression) gun, and say I’m thankful I’m not that this grift.

Whoah – did I say grift? I meant, “dinner party“:

Jackson and Rao are the founders of an organization called Race2Dinner. For $5,000 the two women will attend your eight-person dinner party and bring along “Lisa Bond, our Resident White Woman.” For that price, they will berate you about your racism. They will share their own experiences with racism, which sometimes don’t sound like actual racism. But if you object or even if you agree, they will tell you that’s what white women do and you’re part of the problem. The two have a lot of observations about “what white women do.” White women are mean to each other, for instance. When they are accused of racism white women accuse black women of being “angry” or “crazy.” White women also say they’re not racist. White women like dinner parties. And they like to say they’ve donated money to the ACLU. If you suggest that black women may be mean to each other or that they may like dinner parties, you’re also a white supremacist. Because how would you know? Don’t say you have black friends because that too would be a sign of white supremacy.

Questioning whether spending $5,000 to have people call you names is also “white supremacy,” and the authors explain, “we are tired of it.” The fact that you are complaining about the price is evidence that you “see this work as charity. You doing us a favor. … White supremacy culture has you believing that you are doing us a favor by even caring about racism or antiracism. This results in your incessant demands that we educate you—on your own racism, on a system you created to harm us for your benefit. For free.

On the one hand, it sounds as hellish as the left tells us Thanksgiving with one’s family ostensibly is.

On the other hand, if I had a lot more money than bills – or friends who’d be willing to pitch in – I think it’d be fun to pony up, invite the ladies, and watch the sparks fly.

Nobody Could Have Known…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals call for Covid Amnesty.   They say Conservatives should forgive
Liberals for all the bad things resulting from government’s response to
Covid.  They say none of those bad things are Liberals’ fault because
They Didn’t Know.

Nonsense.  We knew when the Diamond Princess docked in February 2020
that Covid afflicted mostly old people with existing co-morbidities.  We
knew the death rate was 2% of those affected while the death rate of the
entire cruise ship population was 14 out of 3711 or .3%.   And that’s
using the phony numbers from counting all respiratory illness deaths as
Covid deaths.  Covid was never a threat to the population at large – it
was never more than a bad flu – and we knew it early on, which is why we
learned to elbow bump and wash our hands while singing the alphabet song.

Yes, but Liberals were forced to impose lockdowns, mask mandates and
school closings because all the best scientists said so.  If there were
alternatives, They Didn’t Know.

Nonsense.  The Great Barrington Declaration was signed in October 2020
by some of the worlds leading experts in epidemiology to codify in a
simple statement what medical and statistical experts had been saying
since the panic began.  Lockdowns, mask mandates, and school closings
were never the correct way to respond to the outbreak – traditional
responses were the correct way – and we knew it within a few months.

Yes, but those people were outliers, malcontents, reactionaries and
nay-sayers.  Liberals were forced to rely on government bureaucrats and
computer models because Liberals had no other source of information. 
Liberals were left with no choice but to implement lockdowns, mask
mandates and school closings to avoid the looming surge of infections
and resulting hospital overloads.

Nonsense.  Governor Walz announced his lockdown based on computer
modeling that was proven wrong within two months.  There was no surge
and hospitals were not overloaded but instead laid off staff for lack of
business, keeping beds open for Covid patients who never arrived.  The
models were worthless and we knew it long before school resumed.  Nurses
knew it too but danced in the hospital to prove how much smarter they
were than those of us watching.  They had time to dance.  They had no

Yes, but lockdowns, mask mandates and school closings were necessary to
prevent the virus from spreading until we had a safe and effective
vaccine, which was not generally available to the public until after
President Biden took office.  Liberals had no choice but to enact
temporary stopgap measures to keep the public safe.

Nonsense.  There was never any compelling evidence that lockdowns, mask
mandates or school closings prevented the virus from afflicting those it
targeted most – the elderly frail population – and considerable evidence
that warehousing sick elderly with healthy resulted in killing far more
of them. Controlling for age, existing illness, and quality of medical
care, there is very little difference in Covid mortality between states
like Minnesota (strict restrictions) and Florida (few restrictions). 
There is substantial difference in economic difference and, I suspect,
in education outcomes.

The blogger Sundance writing at Conservative Treehouse coined the phrase
“pretending not to know” to explain why Liberals keep doing things which
Conservatives can plainly see are wrong, but never expect to be held
accountable for the consequences.  That’s what’s happening with Covid
Amnesty.  Liberals are pretending they didn’t know so they shouldn’t be
held to account.

They knew.

And did it anyway.

And we’re never going to forgive the damage they’ve done.

Now, let’s talk about the election.

Joe Doakes

Forgiveness without atonement is meaningless.

And that’s what those asking for the “amnesty” are trying to sideslip.

No amnesty. As noted elsewhere, I’ll settle for a Truth and Reconciliation commission.

California in the rear-view mirror

California residents continue to vote with their feet. From this NYT article in May,

For the second time in two years, the California Department of Finance has reported a drop in the state’s population.

California lost 117,552 residents last year, driven largely by the Covid death toll and a sharp drop in foreign immigration. This followed a slightly bigger decline in 2020, when the state lost 182,083 residents — the first time in more than a century that California got smaller.

The latest data is further evidence that California, whose identity has been tied to expansive growth going back to the Gold Rush days, is now a state of stagnant growth. That has already resulted in the state losing a congressional seat for the first time in its 170-year history.

This City Journal article found that since 2000, California saw a net loss of over 2.6 million people. Many of those are taxpayers.

The comforting tale that only the old, bitter, and uneducated are moving out simply does not withstand scrutiny. An analysis of IRS data through 2019 confirms that increasing domestic migration is not dominated by the youngest or oldest households. Between 2012 and 2019, tax filers under 26 years old constituted only 4 percent of net domestic outmigrants. About 77 percent of the increase came among those in their prime earning years of 35 to 64. In 2019, 27 percent of net domestic migrants were aged 35 to 44, while 21 percent were aged 55 to 64.

As an unscientific experiment, I looked up U-Haul rates for a 10′ truck, picking up on September 6, both leaving and going to California, with Texas and Florida as the other ends of the trip.

from Los Angeles, California…

Los Angeles to Dallas – $2,701
Los Angeles to Miami – $4,416

to Los Angeles, California…

Dallas to Los Angeles – $1,296
Miami to Los Angeles – $2,760

from San Francisco, California…

San Francisco to Dallas – $3,350
San Francisco to Miami – $4,902

to San Francisco, California…

Dallas to San Francisco – $1,462
Miami to San Francisco – $3,065

It’s 60-100% more expensive leaving California than going to California. What might that say about demand in California and which direction trucks are going, and where they’re staying?

The tech and entertainment industries can survive longer because so many of their dollars come from outside the state, but as crime and lawlessness and leftist policies drive out more and more people, eventually the California tax base won’t support the status quo. Then we can sit back with some popcorn and watch the fireworks.

Our Betters Know It

We are living in a meritocracy that is utterly lacking in merit. And our betters know it. If the current leadership in Washington were confident in their abilities and in their support, you would not see FBI raids on political opponents and political show trials on national television. 

You are under no obligation to like the Bad Orange Man. Likely a plurality of the regular writers of this feature are, if not actively anti-Trump, certainly Trump-skeptical. We all know him and, in a better world, he’d be back on television pretending to fire C-list celebrities. 

We don’t live in that world. We have a hopelessly corrupt federal government and, at least in Minnesota, a kleptocratic political machine built for the amusement of the parlor pinks who support them. These are the same people who especially enjoy voting for Ilhan Omar, because doing so is brave and transgressive. Ask the local gentry and they will say it’s elementary.

If you’ve read The Great Gatsby, you’ll recognize the type — there are plenty of Tom and Daisy Buchanans in the world. They like what they like and they don’t like arrivistes from the outer boroughs. And they don’t care about the damage they leave in their wake, because they are, in the main, immune from the consequences. We send people like Betty McCollum and Vin Weber to Washington to dance for the Buchanans and, if their performances pass muster, they get to stick around long enough to make bank. And when the spirit moves, the politicos send us back a percentage the money they extract from all of us. And for the most part, those of us who follow politics pretend the labels our dancers wear really matter.

This construct has lasted a long time, at least 90 years and arguably all the way back to Grover Cleveland. All of it is getting shaky now, though. And in Joe Biden, we have the decrepit embodiment of the rot that has been building since the one-time Garanimals customers started learning their Gramsci alongside the trust-fund swells.

It can’t continue. And our betters know it. They are showing force, but they are not confident. They may be able to gaslight their way past November, but the reckoning draws near.

Just A Touch Of Backlash

BLM harpy crashes a block party in the neighborhood that’s actually been complaining loudly enough to get the Governor’s attention.

Gets told – in the middle of “woke”, “progressive” downtown Minneapolis’s condo-land – to take it elsewhere.

The push back against the stormtroopers of the extreme left is starting slowlyi – and from some unlkely (and let’s be honest, safe to them) places rooted in left-wing privilege.

But it’s starting.

While Making Your Afternoon Listening Plans

Please tune in to AM1280 this afternoon from 4-6PM for a special broadcast about Critical Race Theory in Minnesota, and what you and I can do about it.

It’ll feature:

  • Kendall Qualls and Alfrieda Baldwin from “Take Charge Minnesota”
  • Catrin Wigfall from the Center of the American Experiment
  • Rebekah Hagstrom from “Education Nation”.

We’ll be having the actual conversation that the CRT crowd plays lip service to.

I’ll be moderating the discussion.

Hope you can listen in!

Fully As Expected

Big Left has had to reckon with the idea that, among major states, Florida and its science-driven approach to Covid has been more successful than the states that Big Media cast its lot with last year.

And by “reckon”, I mean “try to undercut, among the ‘try-not-to-think-too-hard’ crowd” that is the “progressive” base.

The Atlantic tries to cover both sides of Florida’s approach. And the story makes a decent shot at fairness of a sort:

If you want to say something declarative that will be proved wrong in a few months, I strongly encourage you to comment on Florida. Liberals projected that the state would suffer disproportionately for its casual approach to the pandemic, but its deaths are in line with the national average. Conservatives hailed the state for its open-air and open-business approach to 2020, but the available evidence doesn’t seem to prove that Florida’s economy is doing exceptionally well compared with those of its southern neighbors.

And, in fact, the story notes that Florida’s record, on Covid fatalities and economics, is relatively middle of the road:

As far as I can tell, though, it didn’t. At 4.8 percent, its unemployment rate is 18th in the country, and not meaningfully different from that of the median states, South Carolina and Virginia, at 5.3 percent. Real-time data tracking state spending and employment show that Florida is doing, again, no better than average. Compared with January 2020, its consumer spending is down 1 percent, which is right in line with the national average. Its small-business revenue is down about 30 percent—again, almost exactly the national average. These statistics may be missing something. But the national narrative of an exceptionally white-hot Florida economy doesn’t match the statistical record of its performance.

I mean, true – as far as it goes.

But that wasn’t the standard that was set for Florida, then or now .

Nearly a year ago, the media looked up from polishing Andrew Cuomo’s toenails only to confidently predict Florida’s policies would lead to a Walking Dead-level die-off that never came.

The Atlantic piece compares Florida with the average, and finds it right there.

But the valid comparison is with New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts – states with the opposite, media-blessed approach.

Mass Death Fails To Materialize: Big Karen Bereft, Distraught

Big Karen warned us – those Super Bowl tailgate parties in Tampa were going to lead to the extinction of Florida Man.

Those of us who paid attention in high school science noted that there’s incredibly low correlation between outdoor gatherings and Covid transmission.

“The science says ‘obey or die!'”, Big Karen responds.

Observation indicates – well…

You can almost feel the disappointment wafting out from Big Karen.

When they’re not busy deflecting away from the fact, that is.

The New McCarthyites

I really can’t boycott “Hollywood”. because given the fact that Tinseltown can’t seem to get its heart into doing much of anything but comic book movies, and I just can not bring myself to go to a comic book movie, I mean, why bother?

So I’ve never seen any of Disney’s various Star Wars spinoff productions. The last, “first” three chapters of the Star Wars saga soured me on the whole franchise to the point where I just don’t care much. I’m told The Mandalorian is worth watching – but I honestly wouldn’t know.

So when I heard Gina Carano had been jettisoned from Mandalorian, after talk of her getting her own spinoff series was making the rounds, it took me a moment to dig and find out why it mattered.

It’s alleged by some media that she was tubed for being just a little too irascibly un-woke:

Carano was the subject of much criticism recently when, in a now-deleted Instagram post, she compared being a modern-day Republican to being Jewish during the Holocaust. The hashtag #FireGinaCarano has trended on social media in recent months after other incendiary comments by the television and film star.

And what were those “incendiary comments?” Especially as to “comparing” modern GOPers to German Jews in the ’30s?

Details are very, very thin. But I’ll defer to that not-remotely right-wing outlet, Variety, for the closest we have to core facts:

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children,” Carano wrote Instagram. “Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views.” The post originated on a different Instagram account.

In other words, totalitarians turn societies against themselves?

If the Woke Mob things that’s politically incorrect, we’re gonna have a real difference of opinion in our society sooner than later.

In another post, Carano shared a photo of a person wearing multiple cloth masks with the caption, “Meanwhile in California…

If riffing on California is politically incorrect, I don’t wanna be PC.

Blue Fragility, Part MMXMLCIII: Pious Fury!

When it comes to state-level Covid restrictions – bans, shutdowns, snitch lines and the rest – the big media and the pundit class (pardon, more and more, the redundancy) act a lot like strict but blinkered Fundamentalists confronting two-for-ones at happy hour; the impenitent deserve any horrors that befall them, in this life or the next.

All through the summer, Big Media was fairly drooling at the notion that, while Covid was ravaging New York and Boston and Minneapolis, “it’s gonna hit the red states MUCH harder”, with a perceptible thrill in their voice.

Which is all I have to explain the way Big Media has covered the surge in Covid in the Dakotas. I’ve called the phenomenon “#BlueFragility” – the notion that no matter what goes wrong in a Blue city or state – crime, corruption, costs, Covid, bureaucratic legerdemain – it’s going to be worse in the Red areas, and it’s probably their fault besides!

The level of joy that came out a few weeks ago when North Dakota’s case load surged (after a cold, wet October – the same weather that’s gonna cause a surge everywhere else, before too long) had a pronounced “Scarlet Letter” vibe to it.

And it’s not just pseudomoral schadenfreud. It’s bastardizing both science and journalism (to the extent that benighted craft can still be bastardized). Remember the Sturgis rally? When snarky bobbleheads with tin “reporter” badges uncritically regurgitated garbage “science” tying every single case in the upper midwest to the Sturgis rally? That made the headlines. The clarification – it was more like 80 cases in Minnesota – got Section C page 16.

Oh yeah – being big media, pretty much everything they’ve written about the situation is wrong. To pick just one bit of misreporting – the story from a few weeks back that Gov. Burgum was asking infected but asymptomatic staff to keep working:.

“Anger in North Dakota After Governor Asks Covid-Positive Health Workers To Keep Working.” That does sound pretty dire – the state is so swamped that the sick are treating the sick.

Except this is a phenomenon in agricultural states generally because they rely on small rural Critical Access Hospitals, often with few beds and limited or nonexistent intensive care capabilities. “COVID-19 patients and other critically ill patients who need to be cared for in an intensive care unit are typically transferred to larger regional hospitals, which can be hundreds of miles from the small critical hospitals,” notes USA Today when it’s not berating the Dakotas. This adds extra pressure to city hospitals and can potentially increase case severity and death. In fact, the CDC spells out guidance for areas in such situations that allows such working situations precisely because unlike what we normally think of as a disease case, that is, an exhibition of a certain cluster of symptoms, many Covid-19 “cases” are asymptomatic and non-spreading. It’s just one of the many idiosyncrasies of how this disease is treated compared to others. 

While I chalk this up to a frenzy of secular-revivalist fervor, the author, Michael Fumento, adds another wrinkle to the diagnosis:

Say you’re a writer in New York or Los Angeles living in something approaching a coronavirus police state and fearing for your job and pining for a pint and you learn North Dakota ranked second in least economic distress from the pandemic while South Dakota also did quite well. Further, a U.S. Census Bureau poll found that the two states least suffering from anxiety and depression right now are, yup, the Dakotas. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s freedom!

I do urge you to read the whole thing.

By the way – unlike pretty much any mainstream media figure, I’ve spent time in the Dakotas since the pandemic started. A *lot* of time. Four times since March. While there was no state mask mandate, people *on their own* were wearing them, no less than in the Twin Cities.

And in a better contrast still? Listening to Governor Burgum addressing the state is a wonderful contrast to Governor Klink; he treats his audience like someone he has to respect as adults, puts the actual science out there, and doesn’t play stupid stunts like hiding his math, a welcome comparison to the gym teacher with his knobs and levers and vanishing models.

Moving as I did from NoDak to the big city 35 years ago, I’ve had an adult lifetime of dealing with “blue” stereotypes of the rural west. I’d say “I’m gonna enjoy watching them choke on them”, but it’s probably too soon.

Where Have You Gone, David Dinkins?

New Yorkers are leaving NYC in record numbers.

I’ve added emphasis in a few places:

City residents filed 295,103 change of address requests from March 1 through Oct. 31, according to data The Post obtained from the US Postal Service under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Since the data details only when 11 or more forwarding requests were made to a particular county outside NYC, the number of moves is actually higher. And a single address change could represent an entire household, which means far more than 300,000 New Yorkers fled the five boroughs.

Whatever the exact number, the exodus — which began when COVID-19 hit the city in early spring — is much greater than in prior years. From just March through July, there were 244,895 change of address requests to destinations outside of the city, more than double the 101,342 during the same period in 2019.

As long as they don’t bring their infantile New York politics with ’em…


Poker players look for the other guys’ “tell,” a facial tic or mannerism that indicates the bid is a bluff. When they see the tell, they know he’s faking.

The security precautions to get into the doctor’s office include standing in line 6 feet apart wearing a mask and answering a bunch of questions. But they’re self-reported answers, unverified. No, I haven’t been out of the country, I don’t have a fever, I haven’t been in contact with anybody who has the deadliest virus known to man. What if I’m lying?

It reminds me of the pre 9-11 security precaution. The airlines used to ask did you pack your own bag? Did anyone ask you to carry anything on board? Has your bag been out of your control? No. But what if I’m lying?

Self-reported security. That’s the tell. It’s all fake. And they know it. So do you. So why do we put up with it?

Joe Doakes

Because you need the damn appointment or the load of groceries, and you just wanna get home and get back to work without a pack of murder hornets…er, Karens descending on you.

Standing on principle is time consuming and emotionally wrenching. Having no boundless supply of either, I pick my battles. I suspect we all do.

Blue Fragility – State Of The States

The pandemic is beginning its eighth month – and the lockdown is well into seven months of devastation America’s economy, mental health and well-being.

And you’re starting to see Big Left hopping up in down with glee – the case numbers are starting to move upward in “Red” America, justifying their almost onanistic, millenialistic desire to see the infidels pay for their impudence.

But how’s it really going out there?

I took the stats from Worldometers as of October 13th, and broke them down across a few different statistical groupings:

GroupingCovid fatalities per capita as of 10/13, 2020
National average666
“Blue” state average713
Red State average362
“Purple” state average (“red” states with major, usually Democrat-controlled, metro areas)569
States with > 10 milllion population704
States with > 20 million population863
States with <1 million population (all “colors”)354 (307 if you leave out hard-blue Rhode Island)

The Redneck Bloodbath just isn’t happening.

Blue Fragility: It Never Ends

This is not the Babylon Bee.

“Alternate reality”.

New York still has a per capita death toll triple the national average. New York City’s economy – off Wall Street, anyway – is in the tank. It’s school system is saved from being a shambles only by having been a shambles before the epidemic. Fredo Cuomo and Ratzo DiBlasio spent the last six months playing out petty intra-party political squabbles as New Yorkers died in box lots.

Progressives do, indeed, exist in an “alternate reality”.

Blue Fragility: Be It Resolved

Whereas the United States’s death toll per million citizens ranks as the eighth-highest among significant nations (forget about Andorra and San Marino), at 572 Covid fatalities per million…:

All graphs taken from Worldometers, September 2, 2020. Make sure you sort by the Deaths per Million column, or you won’t be any smarter or better informed than a Strib reporter.

And whereas every state with a death toll (in fatalities per million) higher than 572 per million (as of September 2, 2020) is a “blue”, Democrat-run state with the sole exception of Mississippi:

And whereas within even those states, the overwhelming concentration of the death toll in terms of fatalities per million is in those states’ “blue”, Democrat-run urban areas (Example: New York):

(Example. California):

And whereas the states about which the American left has been caterwaulilng about – Florida and Texas – have per-million fatality rates below the de factor national average of 572 per million

(and whereas even in those examples, the fatalilties are overwhelmingly concentrated in Democrat-run areas within those Republican-run states (Texas shown below),


Notwithstanding the fact that after months of insisting that “Red” states were going to get completely bludgeoned by the virus, any day now, every single state (with the exception of sparsely populated Vermont and Maine and isolated Hawaii) in the bottom 15 states in terms of fatalities per million is a Republican-run state, even after the resurgence of infections in July, and

Wheras the deaths among the most vulnerable, the elderly, are overwhelmingly concentrated in “Blue”, Democrat-run states from New York to Minnesota, as a result of policies that were systematically abjiured in “Red” States, and

Whereas terms like ‘Wuhan Flu” and “China Vinus” are, we are told, inaccurate not to mention racist,

Be it resolved that from now on, the Covid-19 virus shall be known as “The Blue City Democrat Plague“.

Blue Fragility: Open Letter To Jonathan Chait

To: Johnathan “Chaitful” Chait
From: Mitch Berg – Red State Sleeper Agent
Re: This Little “Eliminationist Hatred” Problem You Have

Mr. Chait

We go way back, of course – and not in a good way. You have a bit of a history of being a horrible excuse for a human being. But you are a gift that keeps giving, for people like me, so for that I thank you, even if backhandedly.

This past week, you wrote an article in “New York Magazine” claiming that the Republican response to Covid is, in your terms, a “Death Cult”.

I won’t pullquote anything – the article is long, and never really improves over the title.

But I have two questions.

First, some background – here’s the listed Covid fatalities/million as of last Friday:

  • NY (D): 1,684
  • NJ (D): 1,790
  • US average: 474
  • FL (R): 319
  • MN (DFL): 291
  • TX (R): 241
  • ND (R): 135

So I’ve got two questions for you, Mr. Chait:

  1. Did you ever refer to Cuomo (or the governors of NJ/CT/MA) as running a “death cult?” I’ll confess, I’m an infrequent reader of yours. I only read you (or John Fugelsang) when you step on your d**k spectacularly – but I’d hate to be unfair.
  2. I wager you a shiny new quarter that as of November 3, 2020, TX and FL will be below half NY’s fatalities per million. Any action on that bet?


By the way – at the risk of sounding uncharitable, there are times that I think you are God’s karmic gift to me for never teasing the short-bus kids in elementary school. For this, I thank Him, and urge you to keep up the, uh, work, karmically speaking.

That is all.

Side Note: I’m making this the The George W. Bush Corollary To Berg’s Seventh Law – All of a Republican’s sins, imaginary or (for sake of argument) real, will be forgotten once the Republican can no longer hold office. 

Complementary Mass Psychoses

I figured this out the other day.

Just as “White Privilege” is really class privilege sanitized for white progressives’ protection

…so, too, is “white fragility” in fact “blue fragility” – the inability of “blue-state” progressives to reconcile their class advantages with their white prog guilt.

And both, also, are one sweet bit of grifting, if you got in on the ground floor:

DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” article was, in a sense, an epistemological exercise. It examined white not-knowing. When it was published in 2011 in The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, it reached the publication’s niche audience. But three years later it was quoted in Seattle’s alternative newspaper The Stranger, during a fierce debate — with white defensiveness on full view — about the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s casting of white actors as Asians in a production of “The Mikado.” “That changed my life,” she said. The phrase “white fragility” went viral, and requests to speak started to soar; she expanded the article into a book and during the year preceding Covid-19 gave eight to 10 presentations a month,

This is verging on becoming, if not a full-fledged “Berg’s Law“, at least a corollary to the 7th.  

Indecency Plus Blue Fragility

Governor Cuomo’s “Marie Antoinette” moment:

The Democrat fielded questions Wednesday while angry protesters outside expressed their displeasure with ongoing shutdown policies. A reporter said she spoke to many of the protesters and found them to be “regular people who are not getting a paycheck.”

“Some of them are not getting their unemployment check and they’re saying that they don’t have time to wait for all of this testing and they need to get back to work in order to feed their family,” she said, CBS News reported. “Their savings are running out. They don’t have another week. They’re not getting answers. So, their point is, the cure can’t be worse than the illness itself. What is your response to that?”

Mr. Cuomo’s response suggested that government-imposed shutdowns might exist as long as a single person was at risk of dying from the contagion.

“The illness is death,” he said. “What is worse than death? Economic hardship? Yes, very bad. Not death. Emotional stress from being locked in a house — very bad. Not death. Domestic violence on the increase — very bad. Not death.”

This seems to be the tack the “shutdownists” – a term I use advisedly, as it seems to be almost a matter of religious faith among its adherents – use; the only alternative to completely shudown is mass death.

And then (with emphasis added):

The reporter countered that protesters are in an untenable position, given that they cannot pay immediate bills while simultaneously being told they cannot work.

“They can’t wait for the money,” she said. “They’re out of money.”

“They can say, ‘Unemployment insurance isn’t enough,’” the Democrat replied. “I get it. Even with the $600 check and the $1,200 check, and the unemployment benefit is not enough. I understand the economic hardship. We all feel it. The question is, ‘What do you do about it?’ And do you put public health at risk? And do you drive up the number of deaths for it, because you have no idea how to reopen now.”

Mr. Cuomo was then asked if a fundamental right to work exists if “the government can’t get [citizens] the money” they need in a timely manner.

“You want to go to work?” Mr. Cuomo replied. “Go take a job as an essential worker.”

Preferably as a dues-paying public union member, no doubt.

Joe Public Vs. Blue Fragility

“The Authorities” don’t have much faith in people. They never really have.

Before 9/11, it was the official view of “the authorities” that if a major disaster were to unfold in a Manhattan skyscraper, it’d be best to tell the people in the building to stay put and await instructions. They simply couldn’t be trusted to look out for themselves; without the firm, teutonic voice of authority, they’d rip each other to shreds trying to get through the door into the stairwell.

To the authorities, people are mindless panicky cattle.

Of course, on 9/11 the people disregarded the orders to stay put on the overhead speakers, and organized themselves and got themselves and their handicapped colleagues out of the building. Almost nobody below the impact point died in the Towers that day.

And without ignoring the panics that have ˆhappened, it’d be myopic to ignore the many times officialdom – “the authorities” – panicked first and loudest. The behavior of the people in charge of the lifeboats on the Titanic was one notable example.

The fact is, people usually – not always, usually – see to their self-preservation pretty well; since the group they are part of is often an integral part of that self-preservation, groups of everyday schnooks tend to self-organize modestly well, as well.

The best thing “authorities” can do, often, is provide useful, factual information, provide a framework for that self-organization, while seeing to the things the average schnook can’t feasiibly do; get supplies expedited, get expertise to where it’s needed and the like.

But “authorities” and “experts” have a disturbing tendency, even if they don’t panic and cause more harm than good, to go full-bore Dwight Schrute. To treat their expert status as a license to flex their power. To treat information as power – and act like they’ve got both, and know it.

I commend do you this excellent piece on “Elite Panic” – the tendency of the “authorities” to behave exactly as they fear citizens will – is a real, destructive phenomenon. And it kills people.

In this case, victims of the 1964 Anchorage Earthquake, the worst in America in modern times:

For the police, fear of public chaos outweighed, at least temporarily, concern for possible victims. Before dispatching those casually deputized citizens to keep order in the streets, the Anchorage police chief suspended the search for survivors in damaged buildings. “Arguably, the city was protecting its ruins from looters more conscientiously than it was looking for people trapped in them,” Mooallem writes.

Disaster researchers call this phenomenon “elite panic.” When authorities believe their own citizens will become dangerous, they begin to focus on controlling the public, rather than on addressing the disaster itself. They clamp down on information, restrict freedom of movement, and devote unnecessary energy to enforcing laws they assume are about to be broken. These strategies don’t just waste resources, one study notes; they also “undermine the public’s capacity for resilient behaviors.” In other words, nervous officials can actively impede the ordinary people trying to help themselves and their neighbors.

That’s exactly the phenomenon behind “Berg’s Third Law of Human Resilience” – the “authorities” never give human survivors of catastrophes enough credit. Never.

And that’s just panic, misplaced priorities and incompetence. Sometimes, outright depravity sets in:

Elite panic frequently brings out another unsavory quirk on the part of some authorities: a tendency to believe the worst about their own citizens. In the midst of the Hurricane Katrina crisis in 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin found time to go on Oprah Winfrey’s show and lament “hooligans killing people, raping people” in the Superdome. Public officials and the media credulously repeated rumors about street violence, snipers shooting at helicopters, and hundreds of bodies piled in the Superdome. These all turned out to be wild exaggerations or falsehoods (arguably tinged by racism). But the stories had an impact: Away from the media’s cameras, a massive rescue effort—made up of freelance volunteers, Coast Guard helicopters, and other first responders—was underway across the city. But city officials, fearing attacks on the rescuers, frequently delayed these operations. They ordered that precious space in boats and helicopters be reserved for armed escorts.

And whatever your view of government – from DFLer to Libertarian – you’d think getting reliable information to the people would be a priority:

Too often, the need to “avoid panic” serves as a retroactive justification for all manner of official missteps. In late March, as the coronavirus pandemic was climbing toward its crest in New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to defend his record. Host Jake Tapper pressed the mayor on his many statements—as recently as two weeks earlier—urging New Yorkers to “go about their lives.” Tapper asked whether those statements were “at least in part to blame for how the virus has spread across the city.” De Blasio didn’t give an inch. “Everybody was working with the information we had,” he explained, “and trying, of course, to avoid panic.” How advising people to avoid bars and Broadway shows would have been tantamount to panic was left unexplained.

Authorities only deserve the respect they earn.

Blue Fragility, Part V

In which NPR’s On the Media, the exposed, yapping inner id of the “elite” media, #progsplains us that notwithstanding the very plain facts that about half of all Covid deaths are concentrated in one of America and the world’s most densely-populated metro areas, and that 80% are in states centered around major, densely populated metro areas, and the slowly emerging science that seems to show that Covid’s spread is closely tied to density…

…that rural red states are gonna get it, but good, because racism. Just you watch.

As predicted.

Blue Fragility, Part III

SCENE: Mitch BERG is out at Menards picking up some shop towels for making face masks out of. While looking around a corner, he runs smack-dab into Avery LIBRELLE


BERG:   Ah, sssssss….sssshure is nice to see you.  How are you doing, Avery? 

LIBRELLE:   You conservatives sure did yuk it up over the Trump Virus spreading through blue cities. 

BERG:  No, nobody “yukked it up”.  But there certainly seems to be a correlation between pandemics and blue cities, which tend to be very mass-transit dependent, and have populations even denser than some of their mayors, like DiBlasio. 

LIBRELLE:  Hah!  Well, red states shall get their comeuppance!

BERG: Perhaps.   Epidemics follow biological rules, not political ones.  

LIBRELLE:  Pffft.   Look at South Dakota.   Governor Noem refuses to order South Dakotans to stay at home!  And now the virus is out of control!

BERG:  South Dakota’s case rate is very heavily skewed because of a big outbreak at a pork processor in Sioux Falls, which has skewed the state’s cases per million waaay up; as of April 14, South Dakota had 1,142 cases per million; Minnesota has 307.   But that’s very skewed – South Dakota doesn’t have a million people, so an outbreak causes a disproportionate jump in per capita numbers. 

LIBRELLE:   Not issuing draconian stay at home orders kills!

BERG:   Enh.  South Dakota’s death rate per million is 7, which is half Minnesota’s rate.  Both of those will change, especially if the cases in Sioux Falls manage to overwhelm the region’s healthcare system…

LIBRELLE: …which is will !

BERG:  …which it’s not.  And God willing it won’t. 

LIBRELLE:  Oh, you and your God and thoughts and prayers.  Science!   It shows governors need to put their foot down!  

BERG:  North Dakota, which has about the same population and population density as South Dakota and has taken a similar set of approaches to the epidemic,  but which has no outbreak like the Smithfield plant, has statistically similar cases and deaths per million as Minnesota with Governor Walz’s much more draconian approach.  And yes, the outbreaks have been going on about the same length of time in all three states.  

LIBRELLE:  MERG!   If Governor Noem hadn’t been a stupid red-state governor and issued a stay at home order, the Smithfield outbreak wouldn’t have happened!

BERG:  So what kinds of businesses are exempt and “essential” under the MInnesota shelter in place order?

LIBRELLE:  Essential stuff like grocery stores, liquor stores, Democratic political action groups, medical stuff…

BERG:   What do they do at that Smithfield plant?

LIBRELLE:   I don’t know.  It’s South Dakota.  I have no idea.  Aren’t they Amish?  I’m gonna guess Amish furniture.  

BERG: It’s a pork processing plant.  Where exactly do you think the food that the grocery stores sell, comes from?

LIBRELLE:  Amazon!

BERG:  Yeah, food processing plants are pretty much open everywhere…

( But LIBRELLE has skipped away, pushing  a cart full of plastic bags to use as make-shift head coverings). 



Blue Fragility, Part II

It’s a steroetype of “blue” America – at least, the “elite” version of it that gets (and makes) the headlines – that liberty, at least the kind that involves something other than waving one’s genitals about and dunking crucifixes in urine – terrifies them.

Stereotypes exist for a reason. Blue Amerca’s official vision is that liberty is a scary thing. Of course, this vision is broadcast by an “elite” that thinks they stand to benefit from living in a society where an elite – including them, natch – makes the trains run on time.

Which is why as calls from the hinterland to open up the economy get louder, you can expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing, equating those calls with scary backwoods guys with un-oiled bears and lots of guns.

Bonus steroetype: why did the New York Times put scare quotes around “liberty” in the headline?