Happy Days Are Here Again

So how to stop Dobbs? Declare a sex strike:

Some on the left have come up with creative ways they think will encourage people to save Roe v. Wade.

Earlier this week on The View, co-host Joy Behar floated the idea of a sex strike.

“Women in the world have conducted sex strikes in history,” Behar explained. “In 2003, a sex strike helped to end Liberia’s brutal civil war and the woman who started it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2009, Kenyan women enforced a sex ban until police political infighting ceased. Within one week, there was a stable government.”

“We have more power than we think we do and some of it could be in the bedroom,” Behar insisted.

As a general rule, restricting the supply of something that generates little to no demand doesn’t change much. And for Behar and her colleagues, their greatest output is not sex appeal, but rather self-regard. So go ahead, get on the picket line!  And rest assured, we won’t cross picket lines on this one.

Oil For Europe

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Lesko Brandon’s domestic oil policies spiked gas prices so he released a million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help consumers at the pump.

In Europe.

You paid for that oil.  He gave it away. Track its progress here.

Joe Doakes

So let’s get Brandon’s energy policy summed up: oil that Americans aren’t allowed to drill but must be imported from nations that hate or are actively planning war against us, can be given away to “allies” who’ve spent the past three decades actively making themselves dependent on our (and, unbeknownst to them, their) enemies, that being preferable to America drilling its own oil (forget about building more nukes).

I think I got it.

Variations On The Two Latest Pop-Psych Affectations

If there’s one thing people love, it’s feeling better than others.

And as America has undergone its “Great Sort”, pop psychology has provided a dysfunctional society boundless opportunities to do just that. Those opportunities are scientifically dubious, but just plain feel good, because they satisfy that primal need to dunk on other people.

These opportunities came in successive waves of theories: “Conservative/liberals have better sex lives than liberals/conservatives”, self-adulatory navel gazing about Boomers/Xers/Millenials/GenZs, the brief fixation on the joys and superiority of introversion, endless diagnoses (during the Trump years, “narcissistic personality disorder” was in vogue)…

…and, I suspect, this latest one: pathologizing “stupidity”.

In 1976, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley published an essay outlining the fundamental laws of a force he perceived as humanity’s greatest existential threat: Stupidity.

Stupid people, Carlo M. Cipolla explained, share several identifying traits: they are abundant, they are irrational, and they cause problems for others without apparent benefit to themselves, thereby lowering society’s total well-being. There are no defenses against stupidity, argued the Italian-born professor, who died in 2000. The only way a society can avoid being crushed by the burden of its idiots is if the non-stupid work even harder to offset the losses of their stupid brethren.

Let’s take a look at Cipolla’s five basic laws of human stupidity:

The “five laws” are there, and make sense, more or less.

But I’m wondering – does nobody think this sort of affectation through? Ever?

Because if combine this (I predict) fad-to-be with the fad that is currently ebbing – the “Dunning Kruger Effect – people doing the diagnosing will realize that they are, largely…

…well, subject to which facile, self-adulatory cultural trope?

Again – don’t wanna keep seeing the same hands, here…

When I First Heard…

…that the loathsome Whoopi Goldberg had said the Holocaust wasn’t about racism, I thought it was bad.

Hearing what she actually said?

‘When you talk about being a racist, you can’t call this racism,’ she said. ‘This was evil. This wasn’t based on skin. You couldn’t tell who was Jewish. You had to delve deeply and figure it out. My point is: they had to do the work.

‘When you talk about being a racist, you can’t call this racism,’ she said. ‘This was evil. This wasn’t based on skin. You couldn’t tell who was Jewish. You had to delve deeply and figure it out. My point is: they had to do the work.

“The Jews all look the same to me”.

Even worse.

It fits snugly into the left’s current notion that racism is a uniquely American phenomenon that has always driven everything about the American experiment.

Which is becoming accepted as gospel.

Mene Mene Tekel Polling-in

While it’s always worth casting a cold eye on polling numbers, it’s striking how poorly the Leader of the Free World is doing these days across the board. Real Clear Politics has the numbers and they aren’t pretty:

RCP Average                            12/17 – 1/11 —           41.9               53.1               -11.2
Quinnipiac                                 1/7 – 1/10 1178 RV    35                  54                  -19
Politico/Morning Consult           1/8 – 1/9 2000 RV      44                  53                  -9
Rasmussen Reports                 1/9 – 1/11 1500 LV     40                  58                  -18
Economist/YouGov                   1/8 – 1/11 1258 RV     45                 51                   -6
IBD/TIPP                                   1/5 – 1/8 1308 A         44                 45                   -1
Reuters/Ipsos                            1/5 – 1/6 1000 A         45                 51                   -6
Economist/YouGov                    1/2 – 1/4 1201 RV      43                 51                   -8

It’s one thing if Rasmussen, a pollster generally favorable to the GOP, posts ugly numbers for Joe Biden. What’s truly eye-opening are the results from Quinnipiac, a poll historically gentle with the portsiders. If their numbers are accurate, Biden’s disapproval rating is a whopping -19, and that’s from a poll conducted after the recent Pelosi-produced passion play of 1/6.

So what are the larger implications? A few thoughts:

  • If you’re Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema, do you fear the political wrath of the leader of your party? Apostasy has rarely been safer.
  • If you’re Xi or Putin, do you concern yourself with anything Joe Biden says? Or, for that matter, with anything he does? I doubt the citizenry of Ukraine or Taiwan is particularly sanguine at the moment.
  • If you’re Mitch McConnell, do you sleep well? Never better, I would guess, and certainly better than your average Ukranian.
  • If you’re Stacey Abrams, do you see any value in hanging with Grandpa Joe?

While there’s certainly entertainment value in watching Uncle Joe moving kinda slow, we’re not headed for Petticoat Junction at the moment.

Dear Hostage-Takers – And Hostages

To: Mayors Carter and Frey
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Your Hostages

Mayors,

You just announced your new and, if I may be frank, moronic Covid restrictions:

Let’s make sure we’re clear here.

I had the OG Covid, way back in 2020. Back before it got easy to catch and less virulent.

I’ve donated convalescent plasma. As much as I could, in fact.

Got vaccinated – not out of any ideological drive, but because I’ve got some exceptionally vulnerable relatives.

Pretty sure I just got over Omicron.

I’ve been contributing to herd immunity since most of you, my “Karen” neighbors, were hiding in your basement and dunking your food in rubbing alcohol before eating it. I am likely the immunologically safest person you will meet anytime soon.

And I will not be spending one dollar in Minneapolis or Saint Paul until this is over. And if I get completely out of the habit of spending in Saint Paul?

Oh, no.

Bear in mind – I’ve been trying to spend more money in harried Saint Paul establishments over the past 20 months; I’ve tried to help my neighbors out.

No more. You people voted for these hamsters. You all can go down with the ship.

Not another dime.

Continuum Of Sanity

If we consider the notion of “sanity“ as a continuum, with “very very sane“ on one end, and “not sane at all“ on the left, it’s pretty fair that our systems Covid fear mongering has driven this particular mother (and teacher) to the “left“ end of the scale:

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Houston-area mother whose teenage son was allegedly found in the trunk of her car at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site on Friday…According to the charging documents, Beam told Gordon that her child was in the trunk because he had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, wanted to “prevent her from getting exposed to possible COVID” while driving him to get additional testing at the stadium.

Gordon told Beam that she “would not be receiving COVID testing until the child would be removed from the trunk of the vehicle and place[d] in the back seat of the vehicle.”

On the other end of the scale? This entire Twitter thread:

Sanity is pounding at the door.

And from inside the trunk, where applicable.

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum. And The Schools.

Schools in Edina – once known as a good school district – are

Pictures of Normandale Elementary School in Edina show students eating their lunch outside with hats, coats and mittens on.

“Since the beginning of school, I learned that essentially if you brought a lunch from home, you were eating outside,” said Carissa Palm, the mother of a third-grader at the school.

The related article, from KSTP-TV, is too full of nauseatingly idiotic school administrator pullquotes, or, worse, “no comments”, to get through without yelling at the screen.

Government is the things we do together – stupidly and with the lowest common intellectual denominator in charge.

They’re Always Loaded

The number one story in the world this past three days: Alec Baldwin accidentally shot a cinematographer on a movie set in New Mexico.

It’s easy to feel Schadenfreud for someone who’s wallowed in so much of it himself:

I try to remain above that…

…but I’m only human.

Still.

Back in college, I worked as a stage hand (as well as acting in a few shows). The lady who ran the theater department had a long history working in show business of all kinds; she had been the first female theatrical producer in Los Angeles, had worked as a make up person on the original “Planet of the Apes“ (and had one of the masks in her office to show for it) and on and on.

We had two productions back then that involved some sort of weapons work; in one, one of the actors (and a classmate) “shot“ someone. The “prop gun“ in this case was a starter pistol, borrowed from the track and field team. The chamber was only big enough to hold starter gun caps. The barrel was not a barrel; there was no hole down the middle for a bullet.  The only way to kill someone with that pistol would’ve been to beat them over the head with it – and even then, it would have been a long, slow process. Professor Lavin drilled us – the whole crew, not just the actor doing the shooting, since anyone onsince anyone on the crew might have to handle the starter pistol – on the safety rules like everybody’s life depended on it.

The absolute ironclad rule was “don’t point the gun at a person, even during the scene when you are “shooting” someone.  The scene was “blocked out” (actors arranged about the stage) so that it would look like the gun was being aimed at the victim – but was in fact, pointing to a spot offstage with no cast, crew or audience. [1]

That was a piker, by the way, compared with all the things I had to learn to do a sword fight, when I played Henry II in “Lion in Winter“.

This was all emphatically nonunion.  Professor Lavin relayed all sorts of stories about how universal this knowledge was among Hollywood crews.

So while I am minding Berg’s 18th Law on waiting for the facts, I find it less than completely convincing that *someone* on that set – the armorers, the prop people, the day labor on a set in rural New Mexico, and even Baldwin himself, who has engaged in gunplay in at least one movie in his career (chasing the spy through the “Sherwood Forest” of missile tubes in Hunt for Red October, a Union shoot if there ever was one) hadn’t been through the four basic rules of gun handling at the very least.

I can imagine why someone would put a live around into a “prop gun“; it looks more realistic when it fires.

Why someone would do it when they were apparently checking the blocking on the scene (I have to imagine the fact that the director and the cinematographer were standing directly in the line of fire meant they were setting up a camera shot) when the prop master/armor was yelling “cold gun“ (which tells me someone knew something about proper procedure on that said) is completely beyond me.

So I’ll keep following Berg’s 18th Law.


 [1] That’s one of my dirty little secrets among conservatives; growing up in a anti-gun household, I learned all of my gun safety from a Democrat theater professor :-).  I literally learned three of the four essential rules of gun safety – they are always loaded, never point them at something you’re not willing to destroy, and never put your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot – doing theater.

Looks Like We Got Us A Convoy

Let those truckers roll:

President Joe Biden claimed on Wednesday that he once drove an 18-wheeler truck, but his remark—made during a visit to a Mack Truck factory in Lower Macungie Township, Pennsylvania—quickly garnered a skeptical reaction.

In audio recorded by local news channel WFMZ-TV, Biden can be heard off camera telling workers at Mack Truck Lehigh Valley Operations: “I used to drive an 18-wheeler, man […] I got to.”

This claim is, like many of the Leader of the Free World’s observations, unmoored from reality. Apparently back in 1973, Biden took a long ride with a truck driver, but there’s no evidence he ever drove the rig:

Zach Parkinson, director of RNC Research, also questioned the president’s claim, sharing a 1973 opinion piece written by Biden, who was then a first-term senator.

In that article, Biden talked about how he had ridden in a “47,000-pound cargo truck” on a 500-mile-plus trip from Delaware to Ohio.

“There is zero evidence that Biden ‘used to drive an 18 wheeler,'” Parkinson tweeted.

“The extent of Biden’s trucking experience is that he **rode in** a truck once, for one night in 1973 (he made sure to return home by plane though).”

Truck drivers and CB radios were a thing back in the 1970s and an advertising guy from Omaha named Bill Fries had a big hit single under the name C.W. McCall. The song “Convoy” made it to #1 on the country and the pop charts in the early part of 1976 and it led to a huge rise in sales for CB radios, which had been, up to that time, primarily a tool for truck drivers and other people in the transportation industry. The song was catchy and the trucker jargon lyrics were entertaining to hear coming through on the AM radio of your ’75 Cutlass:

Well, we rolled up Interstate 44
Like a rocket sled on rails
We tore up all of our swindle sheets
And left ’em settin’ on the scales

By the time we hit that Chi-town
Them bears was a-gettin’ smart
They’d brought up some reinforcements
From the Illinois National Guard

The amusing thing about Fries/ C.W. McCall is he was never a truck driver, either:

“I was never a truck driver, even though people think I must have been,” Fries says. “I wanted to sound authentic. I wanted to talk like people talk. If you want to talk to truckers, you have to sound like a trucker.”

Biden has been straining for authenticity for 50 years now. He’s truck driver, a tough guy from Scranton, friends with Corn Pop and God only knows what else. And he has access to the nuclear codes. 

Come on and join our convoy
Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
‘Cross the USA

Sleep tight, everyone.

Consequences

I’m as close as you can get to a First Amendment absolutist.

As a small L libertarian, I’m also big on due process and the restraint of excessive police power.

With all of that said?

I can’t be the only one who wouldn’t of minded seeing this jagoff “bump his head“ getting into the police car.

Because I’m A Gentleman…

…I would not dream of responding to a tweet like this…:

…with something snarky like “So the good news is, I’d avoid a carnal quagmire with the Bride of Chucky. The bad news is I’d lose enough advertising space on that forehead for one of those yuuuuuge LED billboards.”

Fortunately, I am too much of a gentleman for that sort of thing.

Glad was settled that.

New York Bookstores And Suburban Gas Stations

We’re a week past the lifting of the mask mandates. But as Miranda Devine notes in the New York Post, confusion reigns:

This is how confused New Yorkers are about masks. At Barnes & Noble Wednesday, no mask was required to browse the bookshelves, but on the other side of Union Square, the Strand bookstore had mandated masks for all shoppers. Practically everyone inside both stores was wearing a mask, anyway, despite CDC advice that you don’t need one, indoors or outdoors, if you’re vaccinated against COVID-19.

Considering that more than half of Manhattan has been fully vaccinated, something is very wrong with the way we are processing risk. The trust between public health experts and the public is broken and now no one knows what to believe.

Why is that? Devine has a culprit:

We can blame one man above anyone for this parlous state of ­affairs: Saint Anthony Fauci, the coronavirus czar once hailed as the most trusted man in America for his leadership through the pandemic. He has flip-flopped on every piece of advice, never admits doubt and tells lies with ­brazen indifference.

True, Fauci is a dissembler for sure. But the weirdness must be just in places like Manhattan, right? But what are we seeing here in Minnesota? 

Mitch shared a few examples yesterday. Here is what I’ve seen: I get a cup of coffee every morning at a gas station near my home. While I live in Ramsey County, I am not a St. Paul resident and there is no mask mandate for our community. The mask requirement signs are all taken down. But based on what I’ve observed, just about everyone who enters the station, at least in the morning rush, is wearing a mask. I started watching this behavior midweek. In the two days I observed, I saw about 25 people enter the store. Almost all of them were still wearing masks. The only guys who consistently didn’t wear a mask going into the store were the guys delivering milk. And, um, me.

Is there a health benefit to still wearing a mask, especially if you’re vaccinated? Or is it theater? Back to Devine:

It was just on Tuesday that Fauci admitted it was not science but theater that kept him wearing a mask — even double masking — despite being fully vaccinated for ­almost five months.

“I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals,” he told “Good Morning America.” “But being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low.”

So it is. But even then, he squirted out more octopus ink:

“I think people are misinterpreting, thinking that this is a removal of a mask mandate for everyone. It’s not,” Fauci told Axios. “It’s an assurance to those who are vaccinated that they can feel safe, be they outdoors or indoors.”

And Devine isn’t having it:

Fauci at this point is being deliberately confusing. He is feeding the mental disorder of vaccinated Karens who cling to their masks. He needs to tell them the truth and stick to it.

I agree. And don’t expect Governor Walz to help straighten things out.

 

 

 

With A Sickly Nod To South Park

Note: Thius story is safe for work. But use caution

Perhaps it’s a sign that I take firearm safety rules so very very seriously, but I can’t be the only one who looked at the specific piece of hardware in this story and got a nauseous feeling in the pit of their gut because:

  1. the firearm in question was loaded
  2. the trigger has no trigger guard
  3. I don’t know for sure, but I can’t imagine with a hammer that small it’s a single-action piece, and
  4. a trigger pull that short ain’t much safety even if it’s double-action.

None of the above was intended to be a double-entendre, pinky swear, although on second read it occurs to me that not only is every word of it is exactly that, but tjhere is literally no way around it.k

In The Best Of Hans

Remember when Trump nominated a raft of extremists for high executive offices?

No?

Right. There’s a reason for that.

In the meantime, this is who President Harris has picked to run Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the agency that regulates firearms, and occasionally participates in anti-gun psyops like “Fast and Furious”:

The fact that Democrats can say anything they want, anything at all, because their key demographic just isn’t that bright, is on the verge of being a Berg’s Law.

None Dare Call It Slander

I mean, when even Bill Maher gets uncomfortable…

Former North Dakota Senator and current useless mouth Heidi Heitkamp calls Gina Carano a “Nazi”. Plain and simple, full stop.

I’ll chalk this up to the (utterly true) idea that any Democrat can parrot any narrative twaddle, no matter how moronic, without fear, knowing that their audience hasn’t the critical thinking skills to call them on it. Or anything.

But I won’t get mad. I’ll just get on the air. I sent this to her Facebook page.

Senator,

I’m Mitch Berg. I grew up in Jamestown. My mother, Jan Berg/Brooks, was a volunteer for any number of your campaigns at the state and federal level.

I fell a bit farther from the tree, politically, of course.

I’d like to make a media request – I’d love to interview y ou on my show (WWTC AM1280) in the Twin Cities regarding your assertion that Gina Carano is a “Nazi”.

I can either do it live on Saturday at 2PM, or record an interview at any time convenient to you.

Hope we can discuss this.

Thanks.

Why, sure – I expect a response! Why wouldn’t I?

Fairness

The Strib is trying to shame people into getting the Covid vaccine:

Let’s apply this (for sake of argument) “Logic” to other patterns of behavior, shall we?

  • People who are “child free by choice” are “demographic moochers”. Everyone else’s children are going to have to pay the taxes and premiums to support them in their dotage, as well as their own parents.
  • People who live bike and transit-centered lifestyles are “fiscal moochers”. The taxes that pay for their bike lanes, paths, and transit routes and vehicles are paid, extremely disproportionally, by drivers and their gas taxes.
  • Those of you who are getting vaccinated, as opposed to getting and recovering from Covid the old-fashioned way, are moochers on multiple levels.
  • People who net out at no taxes paid in are “tax moochers”. The benefits they disproportionally receive are paid in their entirety by others.

Please see to this, Strib.

Thanks.

Hometown Boy Makes Good Idiot Of Self

The good news: After hearing Ben Shapiro roasting Rupar last week on his radio show, I have to say it’s been amazing seeing that more people nationwide are learning what we in the Twin Cities have known for most of a decade: that City Pages alum and Vox “writer” Aaron Rupar is a really terrible “journalist” and not an especially bright man (read the whole thread):

The bad news: these days, competence and discernment are less important than ideological purity and loyalty.

And, Rupar being simultaneously a definer and beneficiary of Urban Progressive Privilege, he’ll never be held to account for it any more than Jim Acosta or Esme Murphy.

Send In The Kangaroos

City of Minneapolis reaches an independent settlment with the Floyd family…

…just in time to jeopardize the Chauvin trial.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called it a milestone. The city council unanimously approved the settlement.

Announcing the settlement in the middle of jury selection for the murder trial of Derek Chauvin confused legal experts.

“It was absolutely terrible timing, I would say for both sides,” said Mary Moriarty, the former chief public defender in Hennepin County.

Prospective jurors in the trial can still be questioned about their thoughts on the settlement, but Moriarty says no one knows how the news will affect the seven already seated.

“Most jurors I think would perceive [the settlement] as the city’s belief that Chauvin did murder George Floyd and that they are liable,” Moriarty said.

It’s assumed that it’d be very difficult to insulate any jury from hearing about the settlement.

Given the Minneapolis City Council’s performance over the past year, it’s hard to guess whether it was incompetence, malice or arrogance.

I say “Its the Minneapolis City Council. Why choose?”

Our Genius Ruling Class

Rep. Eric Swallwell – “Duke Nuke ’em” of yore, who is trying to be his own honky Squad – may be, along with the Squad, one of the great boons to the GOP in 2022.

This, about Neela Tandon whose Twitter feed got her booted from a cushy appointment as Biden’s budget director:

I dunno, genius – maybe tell them to look at the sitting VP?

And then for a good example, the former governor of South Carolina, former UN ambassador and possible future president, Nikki Haley?

Normally about this point when a Democrat politician or talking head said something this daft, I’d throw in something about them really knowing better, but being able to count on the typical Democrat voter not knowing the difference, and being so bereft of any critical thought after years or decades of “progressive” reductionism that it makes no difference.

But I’m genuinely not sure Swalwell is actually smart enough to qualify for that exception.

AOC: “It’s All About Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

After spending the past week wrapping herself in traumatic victimhood (and sliming a Capitol cop in the bargain) for her experience in the January 6 riot, it turns out that she wasn’t nearly as close to the danger as her teary Instagram video might have made it seem:

Allahpundit looked into this on Tuesday, but the story behind Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s massively popular Instagram video where she describes her experience during the January 6th Capitol Hill riot keeps growing more convoluted. Despite claiming that she thought she “was going to die” and at least insinuating that rioters were attempting to break into her office, AOC wasn’t even in the actual Capitol Building when all of the action went down. Over at RedState, Nick Arama breaks down the distinctions between reality and perception. AOC’s office is in the Cannon Building which was never breached during the riot. She was briefly evacuated along with everyone else there, but other members were in immediate danger inside the Capitol Building and were far more at risk.

The writer – Jazz Shaw at Hot Air – points out he believes the #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett hashtag that erupted earlier this week on Twitter may have been a little off target – the Representative certainly didn’t concoct the riot from whole cloth.

I’m sure that AOC was legitimately afraid during the riot and with good reason. Assuming there’s a television in her office and she had the news on she would have known that hundreds of angry people were busting up the Capitol Building and acting in a threatening fashion. Given her unusually high profile for a very junior member, it would be reasonable for her to believe that some of the rioters could present a physical danger to her.

With all of that said, however, AOC failed to make one thing clear in her video (which quickly amassed more than six million views). At no time did any rioters enter the hallway where her office is located and it’s not clear that any of them ever entered any part of the Cannon Building at all. The one person who did reach her office was a Capitol Hill Police officer who was coming to evacuate her and her staffer. They had located a suspicious package (which was later cleared as being random and mundane) so they were getting everyone out of the building in an abundance of caution.

Leaving aside the sliming of the Capitol cop – who had a whole building to evacuate as his colleagues were being overrun a few blocks away – and even if you don’t make the Smollett comparison, I do find one thing intensely troubling.

The whole episode – the assault on the electoral process as well as a riot that led to five deaths, directly or indirectly – to her is nothing but a stage for…

…Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Her feelings, her sense of assumed victimnood…her.

To AOC, AOC is always the real story – by way of using that story to slime her boogeymen-du-jour.

UPDATE: I’m going to expand on this just a tad.

AOC was about as far from the Capitol riot as I was from the pharmacy that burned down, about 1000 feet from my house, during the riots.

Were either of us under immediate threat? No. Were both of us right to be nervous? Yep.

Should either of us be appropriating the experiences of those who were in immediate danger?

Let’s just call it emotionally manipulative overkill and hope everyone can do better in the future.

A Barrel With No Bottom. Ever.

Decades ago, in an effort to keep housing “affordable”, the city of New York imposed rent control. No existing rental unit could increase its price, absent jumping throught a Byzantine series of bureaucratic hoops.

The “market” responded to the bureaucratic muddling – at first, creatively. The rent control stayed with the the renter. When the renter died or moved, the rental rate could move with the market. But the “ownership” of the rental could be passed down through any semblance of the original renters families – so children, nephews and nieces, stepchildren, further-order descendants, and utterly phony descendants – a fraud that was almost never investigated. Also, renters (and their descendants) could, and did, sublet, and even subdivide, apartments, renting the spaces out at much better than market rates and making a tidy profit on the deal. People are pretty creative when it comes to skirting rules, and New York City government is equally thud-witted and uncreative at creating the rules people skirt. It became almost

The second-order consequences were less salutary. While rents were frozen, utilities and property taxes were not – so landlords got squeezed hard. Landlords with sufficient means sold their properties to “co-ops”, or went condo, or found the few available loopholes – and there were very few, since the powers that be (and are) in New York treated landlords as a populist enemy to be demonized for political gain. The less affluent landlords fell behind on taxes. Squeezed by the city to pay up, repairs sufferend. Eventually these landlords stopped repairing their properties in less desirable areas, which quickly became even less desirable; vast swathes of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Harlem fell into deep blight, with block after block of apartments abandoned…

…in a city with an “affordable housing crisis” where even in the 1980s, it was impossible to find a place to live for under $2,000 a month in 1985 dollars (which is $4,500 to 5,000 today).

Of course, all that blight begat crime. By the late ’70s, much of New York was a shooting gallery, wit over 2,000 dead per year.

Of course, there is a lot of money in New York, and a lot of people want to be there, so the real estate didn’t sit idle for too long – begetting the third-order consequences: developers moved in, took over the blighted, abandoned real estate, and built it back up. Of course, given New York’s regulatory “zeal” and astronomical taxes, it wasn’t just any developers. It was the ones with enough money to do the building, to navigate the bureaucracy (read “Money”) and pay the taxes (read – “keep the money coming”). The up-front costs were high – and the rest was even higher.

So after decades of “rent control”, one can not live in a decent place on Manhattan with an income of less than $500,000 a year.

I write this to highlight the path that the Minneapolis City Council – known among those in the know as “the dumbest city council between Chicago and Los Angeles” – is drooling to drive Minneapolis down.

Neo-populist progressive economicallly-illiterate stupidity – a barrel that, in Minneapolis, has no bottom.

Progsplaining Orwell

The left’s urge to control thought has gotten to none other than George Orwell himself – a push that is positively…

…well, you know where I’m going.

The piece is an object lesson on how American education has failed society in completely abrogating the teaching of critical thinking. How can we tell?

The gaping irony of this bit, for starters, responding to people who “reduce” Orwell to “tyranny bad, liberty good”:

But Orwell’s book is much more sophisticated. Orwell was interested not just in communicating the badness of totalitarian regimes but also dissecting how they succeed through the manipulation of language.

And in comparing the fascists Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War (on the side of the doomed communists) with Trump supporters, the writer and USAToday participate in the reduction of the language to a tool of political coercion.

Our Cuturally-Illiterate Elite

I may owe Ryan Winkler an apology.

I mean, growing up in rural North Dakota back when only Al Gore had access to the Internet, even I knew what “uncle Tom” meant when applied to a black man – so naturally I figured someone in his position, Harvard grad and all, would as well. Clearly, so did many others.

And although I’m an Anglo from the northern Plains, I’ve known what a Coyote – a slang term for a human trafficker who brings people across the border, either as illegal immigrants, sex slaves or mules – was for quite a while now.

But apparently a Harvard education does one no better in this context:

Y’know what’s “sickening”? Having a bunch of people whose opinion is considered above the rest of the world by dint of being a “blue check”, who are given to lecturing the deporables about their cultural illiteracy, who are themselves so culturally illiterate:

Just remember that when Blue America starts talking about getting rid of the electoral college.