Watching…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

1984 is a little late, but it’s arrived in St. Paul.

 Those new blue recycling carts in St. Paul, you know the ones, you got one.  The City forgot to mention that each has an embedded microchip.

 St. Paul has mandatory recycling and the chips allow the trucks to see if you’re recycling enough.  The City claims they have no plans to enforce the recycling ordinance that way . . . but that’s what the State said about seatbelts, too.  Has nobody heard of the camel’s nose?

 When they quietly implement the next phase, the justification will be to save the planet ‘for the children.’ But that means the recycling company (hence the government) will be able to track not just how many pounds of recycling you submit, but also which brand of booze you drink, which magazines you read (Playboy ‘for the articles’, NRA kook stuff, survivor militia newsletters, right-wingnut National Review), what foods you eat (so they can assist you in healthier life choices no doubt), and so on.

 I suppose next, I’ll have to go sneaking around putting my recycling in neighbors bins so I don’t get targeted by the gun control squads coming to take my weapons and ammo ‘for my own safety.’  I tell ya, it gets harder every year to justify living in this burg.  

 Joe Doakes

Never put anything past Saint Paul.

Question For NPR/MPR, The Strib, Alondra Cano, Betsy Hodges And Every Other Minnesota Liberal Figurehead

To:  NPR, the Strib,  Alondra Cano, and every other Twin Cities liberal that’s spent the lasdt six months romanticizing the NoDAPL “pipeline” protest
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant and actual North Dakota native
Re:  Just Curious, Here

All,

You all – media and political figures alike – have spent the past six months romanticizing the “No Dakota Access Pipeline” protests more thoroughly than a Scarlett Johansson cheesecake photo shoot.

NPR / MPR?  You had your reporters out in the wilds of south-central North Dakota, doing your best to make the protests sound like an organic grassroots phenomenon, sprung up from the soil to protect the river.  Y’know – the Missouri.  The river that flows through middle of the Dakotas and Nebraska.

Of course, while your reporters (yours too, Strib) plead “It’s Settled Science” on many convenient issues, you ignored it over and over again on this issue.  It’s a simple fact – while the oil that powers your Subarus does indeed have some risk of spilling in its remote location far from any major population center, it’s many orders of magntitude per barrel lower that that same risk the way the oil is currently transported – by truck and train, through the middle of Bismarck, Jamestown (blocks from my father’s house, actually), Fargo, Fergus Falls, Saint Cloud, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Madison and Chicago.   As in astronomically more safe.

But let’s not pretend that Alondra Cano knows the first thing about statistics, or cares a rats ass about a bunch of white, rural, Trump-voting North Dakotans’ safety (or, for that matter, how many Strib or MPR reporters could name the river the “protesters” are “protecting”).   And your logical consistency about the oil that powers your cars and buses and printing presses and transmitters is no less dubious than about where your food comes from.  Yep, same place.

In fact, let’s forget the logical and moral inconsistency of your entire story – you media figures’ selective and incurious reporting, you politicians’ illiterate grandstanding.  Ignore it all for now.

Let’s focus on today – where the “protesters” have left an ungodly mess at their “protest” site.  North Dakota’s top tow-truck driver notes:

There are roughly 200 vehicles down there at last count, ranging from cars and pickups to rental trucks. We’re going to have a very drastic situation trying to keep these vehicles from getting into the river – what everybody’s been trying to protect from day one. We can’t leave them there. We don’t know what kind of biohazard is going to be produced with all the fluids or any other garbage that’s inside the vehicle.

Here’s a Bismarck TV station’s report:

So – for six months you, the Twin Cities’ left leaning media and grandstanding left-wing politicians, romanticized the NoDAPL “protests” and “protesters”.

Just as you did “Occupy”, and the RNC protests , and the various G7 protests, and every other “protest” you can imagine (except the Tea Party, naturally).

And just like every protest other than the Tea Party, the NoDAPL “protesters” left behind filth and squalor.

And they left by the banks of the river they were supposedly “protecting” – cars full of fuel, human waste, and over a thousand tons of general trash.   All right there, waiting for the next Missouri River flood.

This, mind you, in a part of the state that is very sparsely populated even by North Dakota standards – miles down a two-lane road from Mandan.   Not the wealthy exurbs from which most of you media and political figures hail.

Oh, yeah – and it’s upstream from the Standing Rock reservation.

So – if you’re not running stories about the squalor left behind, and – this is for you, Alondra Cano – actively soliciting people and money and other resources for cleaning up after the people you encouraged to leave the mess, you’re not only hypocrites…

…you’re racists.

Suck on that.

That is all.

It’s Not The Cure, Or The Disease; It’s The Organism Itself

Students at the University of California San Diego are protesting an appearance by the Dalai Lama, caling him “offensive” and “oppressive”.

The students are, of course, from China, and are parroting the chanting points given to them by their Communist government back home.

Ignorant students trying to shut down free speech by people that people “above” them in the progressive hierarchy deem dangerous.    We’ve just described not only the entire campus protest movement, but most of the campuses themselves.

The Enemy Of My Enemy…Still Makes Me Feel Slimy

Lena Dunham.

On the one hand, she writes indulgent, entitle twaddle like Girls.  Including lines like:

… and the other thing about me is I give zero f***s about anything, yet I have a strong opinion about everything, even topics I’m not informed on.”

Which is simultaneously risibly vacuous and as perfect a sample of Urban Liberal Privilege as you can find.   (The phrase “Zero F****s Given” is a primary indicator of a deeply vapid person).

On the other?  She throws Paul Krugman under the bus.

Talk about a fight where there is no winner, except all the rest of us.

 

Parallels

I’ve been re-reading Modern Times:  The History of the World from the 1920s to the 1980s by the great historian (and former leftist intellectual) Paul Johnson.

I highly recommend it for a sold re-grounding ni the history of the 20th century, including the century’s most noxious, toxic, and yes, evil impulses – the intertwined phenomena of Communism and Naziism, and the west’s initial bout of insanity – abandoning the great tenets of western civilization for the callow blandishments of “progressivism”, and the side effects that had.

And I was thinking – as bad as the sixties and seventies were, the current rot – of which Barack Obama was just a loud, friendly symptom – in many ways may be as bad as the intellectdual cancer of the thirties.

Along those lines, and reading just after the Berkeley “Yiannopoulos” riots, I found this quote – Johnson quoting Lionel Teilling, writing about the western lefts reaction to Stalin’s show trials in the thirties.  Trilling described…:

…an imposed monolithic government they saw the promise of rest from the particular acts of will which are needed to meet the many, often clashing, requirements of democratic society … they cherished the idea of revolution as the final, all-embracing act of will which would forever end the exertions of our individual wills.

In other words, the only thing worse than politics is the complete lack of politics.

Which you get, among other ways, by making politics too painful, risky and dangerous for those in “the middle”.

They’re right on track.

Like Farmers

When I was a kid, I’d go into the local bakery, whrere area farmers would be sitting and talking.  When they talked, there were two subjects:

If it was raining out:  complaining that it was too wet.

If it wasn’t raining about:  complaining about how dry it was.

Over this past few months, watching California go from being a parched wasteland to a potentially flooded wasteland,, and hearing Californians complaining about it, I’ve thought:

  1. Hey!  Just like North Dakota farmers!
  2. And you expected what, building a society in an almost uninhabitable desert, prone to almost nothing but extremes?

Dear Cali:  hope your dam doesn’t break.  If you hurry up and secede from the union, you might just be able to recover from a dam break without all that pesky help from a federal government you hate!

Conundrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Should the United States military ever be used against United States citizens on American soil, even to restore civil order?

We’ve heard for years about plans to occupy cities, black helicopters, urban warfare, the Vigilant Guard 2010 drill, FEMA camps in the desert, and much more.  Say it’s all true – is it okay?  Should we care?

 I suspect the Founders would have said “Not just No, but Hell No.”  They were opposed to a standing army because they knew the politicians in charge of that army would be tempted to use it for political purposes. 

 But there also are times when civil order breaks down and ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, when they expect government to step in to restore order.  George Washington led troops to break the Whiskey Rebellion when the nation was only a few years old. 

 Okay, but those were state militia, not regular federal troops, and states often call up the National Guard to restore order, so that’s different.  Except the National Guard was federalized a while ago (that’s why the Minnesota Red Bulls were in Iraq).  So there’s no meaningful difference between the part-time state militia and the regular standing army, when you’re the one being disarmed and told to report to a federal holding area “for your own safety.” 

 Add to that, the courts have totally ignored the stated reason for the Second Amendment as articulated in the Federalist Papers – to resist a tyrannical government – and the fact that civilians are forbidden to bear arms comparable to those of the standing army whose tyranny we’re supposed to resist, and it’s beginning to look as if the Founders were right to be concerned. 

 But I still want someone to help restore order, if we need it. 

 It’s a conundrum.

 Joe Doakes

I’m a lot less worried about the military imposing tyranny (outside of epochal circumstances).   Especially in re the classic 2nd Amendment red herring about “fighting tanks with AR15s”; the people who the feds will be trying to disarm will be the same class that are doing the dirty work – the children of rural and exurban blue-collar families of all races.

Federal law enforcement?  I’m a lot more concerned about them.

Unjustified Self-Esteem

Conor Friedersdorf in the LATimes writes a piece opposing “Calexit” – the proposed secession of California from the union.

Say what you will about the merits or problems with this idea – it’d remove the biggest single glob of “progressives” from the voter roles, and one of the most toxic gobs of unreformed pension debt from the future’s federal budget, both of which are huge wins.

But let’s not focus on the pros and cons of Calexit.  Let’s focus instead, for the moment, on this paragraph from Friedersdorf:

Secession would not improve our values. But it would practically ensure that the rest of the U.S. would drift farther away from our laid-back tolerance and easygoing diversity

Laid-back tolerance:

“Laid-back tolerance” – Berkeley welcomes gay immigrant Milo Yiannopolous.

Easygoing diversity:

Easygoing diversity in action.

Do whatever you want, California – the US will in fact be better off without you all.

But try looking at yourself through the eyes of sane non-narcissists for a while.  You might learn something.

Brownshirt Youth

A group of the Brownshirt Youth (known, locally, in this case as the “Knights of Socialism”) are offering to teach inept milllennial snowflakes how to beat up Republicans.

I wonder if anyone has told our stupid younger generation of “anti-fascist” leftists that shutting down others’ speech and excessive militaristic imagery are both hallmarks of…well, you know?

Ayep:

The “Knights for Socialism” group at the University of Central Florida (UCF) held a workshop Sunday to teach left-wing students how to “BASH THE FASH” with a “Leftist Fight Club” open to everyone but Republicans.

“In response to the record number of hate crimes [sic] against Latinxs, Immigrants, Muslims, Women, the LGBTQIA+ community, Jews, African Americans and other minorities since the rise of Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis, Knights for Socialism has decided to host a series of self-defense clinics for anyone that wants to learn how to BASH THE FASH,” asserts the Facebook event page for “Leftist Fight Club: The Rumbles at Lake Claire.”

I can see it now.  Four or five slobbering dingoes (“Knights of Socialismi”) attack a conservative student.

Conservative pounds them into a fine pulp.

Dingoes sue the student and the University.

I joke.  But I’ve found my jokes are usually more accurate than the news, these days.

Hate Trumps Freedom?

Berkeley Republicans involved in organizing the Milo Yiannopoulos even that was shut down by Campus Blackshirts last weekend were in legitimate fear for their lives:

By the time he got to the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union to begin prepping for the event at 5:30 p.m., a throng of students and other demonstrators flanked the building. As he walked through the crowd, protesters surrounded him and closed in on him, pushing and shoving him from all sides.
“We know who you are, you can’t hide from us,” Tahmas recalls them saying as he pushed through the crowd.

“It was so violent at that point,” he said. “They were surrounding me. They were assaulting me.”

Rattled but essentially unharmed, he made it into the building. There he met up with Yiannopolous and other Berkeley Republicans. But it was not long before someone pulled the fire alarm. Then protesters began shooting M-80 firecrackers at the building, with several narrowly missing the group and the police officers attempting to guard them.

Tahmas said one of Milo’s security guards, a former Navy Seal, even commented: “I haven’t seen protests like this since Afghanistan.”

And if you’re a Berkeley Republican, you’ve got a stalker.  Oh, yes you do:

Click on it to view full-size

Don’t you just love the fact that someone who can write “I don’t believe attendance – support – of an event of this nature should be shrouded in secrecy. I believe it is in the public interest to know who supports this kind of thing” is, naturally, anonymous?

As I pointed out the other day – like the original Brownshirts and Blackshirts, this sort of thing is intended to drive everyone to the extreme, to empty out the center.

And at this exact moment, reading this story, it’s working.  I want Milo to come to the U of M, and I want to gather up a few hundred people who actually support free speech, and meet these cowards face to face and rip their ofay little facemasks off.

It’ll pass in an hour.

Maybe.

Diary Of A Burst Of Stifling Entitlement

A candid history of the soon-to-be-late HBO series “Girls”, starring, well, everyone involved in the show.

I’ve seen a grand total of five minutes of “Girls” – don’t ask – and won’t pretend to care for it any more than creator/star Lena Dunham or executive prod Judd Apatow will claim I’m supposed to.

But written in between the lines of the article is the extent to which Urban Liberal Privilege greases the skids of Hollywood.

Shirts

I was going to start this post out with a wry quip about the irony of people protesting a president they say will oppress people, actually oppressing people.

I’m talking about the riots in – where else? – Berkeley last night.

There, children of the wealthiest society in the history of the world, protesting others’ “privilege” by shutting down a speech (by “provocateur” Milo Yiannopolous – that caused them cognitive dissonance.

Of course, as PJ O’Rourke said, “life is full of irony – if you’re stupid”.

Then it occurred to me – this is far from an original thing.   It’s not new for political movements to have “direct action” wings, designed to radicalize the the “debate” and, eventually, the opposition.

The easy parallel is the “Brownshirts” – Sturmabteilung” – the “direct action” wing of the Nazi Party from the early twenties through the end of World War 2:

“Community Organizing”. “Brownshirts” in action.

One of their primary missions – shut down political events by the Nazis’ opposition.

Of course, given this description…:

The protest turned violent around 6 p.m. when dozens of masked anarchists, dressed in black and wearing backpacks, emerged from the otherwise peaceful crowd.

…a better simile might be Mussolini’s “Camicii Neri” – Blackshirts – who filled the same purpose in Italy…

“Protersters” at Berkeley last night. Oh, I”m kidding. It’s Mussolini and his “Camicii Neri”. Distinction without much difference, really.

…shouting down and beating Communists and Socialists and Monarchists in the streets, turning Italian politics into the full-contact sport that played into the hands of radicals on the left and left.

Darn you, Trump.

Reader Mail

From today’s mailbag, we’ve got a question…

…for Joe Doakes from Como Park:

Hello Mitch…

Does “Joe Doakes from Como Park” have time to answer a question from the Norwegian Lutheran contingent of the NARN Peanut Gallery?  [Not sure that narrows it down much – Ed]

My question:  In her haughty refusal to obey a Presidential executive order. One vetted by the DoJ Office of Legal Counsel and which counters Emperor Obama’s previous directive that ignored federal law…

Did Miss Yates also violate 18 USC 2384?

Respectfully submitted, 

– Tor S.

Scum of the earth technical writer

Deplorable infidel

Lord of the low frequencies

I need a Doakes Signal to shine on a low-hanging cloud.

Unintended Consequences

When a leftist high on his own sense of intellectual entitlement punched white supremacist Richard Spencer last week, the leftyverse erupted in a wave of self-congratulatory justification; even the NYTimes wiggled its way into justifying physical violence (by liberals only, of course) against those declared “Nazis”.

Alex Griswold notes how very stupidly caustic this idea is.

Among criticisms of Spencer’s white supremacist website are that it is “a notoriously racist publication… reminiscent of early Nazi propaganda with anti-Semitic illustrations of Jewish people.” It “has motivated others to participate in hate crimes against Muslims.” It caters to “already angry people who are trembling with xenophobia and paranoid discomfort that immigrants are coming to take over their way of life.”

Given all the above, is it okay to attack Spencer? Kill, even? Would you say he was asking for it?

Wait for it…

Wait…for…it…

Those raising your hands: what if I told you all the above quotes were actually criticisms of Charlie Hebdo?

Griswold notes the primrose path that this idea takes us down:

The man who punched Spencer took the law into his own hands and appears to have unilaterally declared he was too dangerous to be allowed to speak. If we praise that man, we teach others to do the same so long as there are enough people to declare them heroes on social media. That includes the alt-right, that includes Islamists, that includes anyone with an ax to grind in today’s hyperpartisan world. Wherever words have no effect, fists and baseball bats will become the substitute.

Embrace this man, renounce the classical liberal understanding of free speech, and you light a fuse. Don’t act surprised when it blows up in your own face.

Maybe literally.

Indeed.

Do you suppose our “elites”, in and amid their juvenile justification for violence (I’ve heard “processing grief” as a justification) realize that…:

  1. They started with a President who got into office with a set of calculated lies – and helped launch a movement that calculated them better
  2. They ran a campaign based on identity politics – and were shocked when their enemies became an identity group in response.

When do you suspect is going to happen when the left starts attacking people?

Maybe that’s the idea.

Yelling And Breaking Things

I’ve been writing this blog for fifteen years.    In that time, I’ve written something like 20,000 posts.    I’ve written about a lot of topics, of course – but there’ve been some recurring themes.

Liberalism is bad for children and other living things.  The right to keep and bear arms is key among the things that separates citizens from subjects.  The less centralized authority is, the better.  The justification for “elites” being “elite” fades rapidly over intellectual generations.

And the Star/Tribune editorial board is a bunch of out-of-touch upper-middle-class patricians with little comprehension of the political world since Walter Mondale left office.

And I’m unlikely to change that any time soon.

But like the proverbial blind squirrel, they get one right once in a while, in their piece giving grudging support – the same grudging support I give – to increasing the penalties for blocking freeways during protests:

Blocking a freeway or a train track goes beyond peaceful protest. Those are inherently aggressive acts, designed to trigger a confrontation with law enforcement. They pose an immediate hazard to the protesters and motorists, as well as law enforcement.

The Legislature must be mindful of the right to peaceful protest, and of the danger in ignoring the concerns of those who feel aggrieved. But protesters must recognize they do not have a right to jeopardize the safety of others.

They’re pretty close, here.   Earlier in the piece, they say:

Any law that seeks to restrict the right to protest must strike a careful balance that preserves public safety, without trammeling on the right to speak against perceived injustice.

As Walter Hudson points out, there is no “balance” between freedom and criminal behavior.

If this particular reform doesn’t pass, though, I’d like to propose a further, different reform.  Currently, the “right” to block freeways is entirely contingent on a group’s level of favor with Betsy Hodges’ and Chris Coleman’s administrations.  Both need to stay cuddled up to the far left – so Black Lives Matter has carte blanche.  

So I say go ahead – let people protest on the freeways.  But require a permit, same as any other protest that impacts the public – not to censor the event, but to allow people notice.  And require them to be issued to everyone.

No.  Everyone.

So if the pro-lifers think they’d draw attention to their cause by protesting on the main arterials leading into Kenwood, Crocus Hill, Nicollet Island and Edina, keeping the DFL’s grandées from getting from their non-profits to their feminist drum circle meetings, they’d be able to do it, too.   They can check their Urban Liberal Privilege!

It’s a plan B.

Perhaps The Most Inspiring Thing I’ve Seen All Week

Women berating Trump supporter on a plane is ejected as fellow passengers, likely of all political stripes, cheer.

The guy – a working schlub who flew to DC to watch the inauguration – was trapped in the window seat by a HIllary supporter who oozed hate and entitlement.

While I enjoy flying, I hate sitting in airliners.  Being trapped by someone with pathological Urban Liberal Privilege is among my worst nightmares.

Uneventful

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I watched the inauguration.  I was expecting an earth-shattering kaboom when Trump was sworn in and the world ended, as Liberals have been telling me it would do.  Makes me wonder what other lies I’ve been told.

 Remember the federal employees who promised to quit and celebrities who promised to move if Trump became President?  Can we get an updated head count on that?

 Joe Doakes

As Bogey reminds us…

…word of mouth is not always a good guide in life.

Open Letter To Those Who Just Don’t Get It Yet

To:  Some Of You Trump Opponents Out There
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:  Terminology

Dear Hollywood and New York Showbiz and Media “Elites”

As we come up on inauguration day, some of you are still sore about Donald Trump.  I get it.  I mean, I didn’t vote for him, either.

You’d like to pretend he’s not your president.  Yadda yadda.  Whatever.  Gotcha.  It’s a free country (and will stay that way, so quit  your whining), so you can say what you want, and I can mock you for it.  But relax; I’m not mocking you for that.  Not now.

No, this is worse.

It’s come to my attention that some of you Hollywood types are calling yourselves “the Resistance”.

Stop.  Now.

You are among the wealthiest, most privileged, most untouchable residents in one of hte wealthiest, most privileged parts of the wealthiest and free-est society in the world.   You lost an election.  In four years, you’ll get a rematch (although the way you all are going at this point, most of you will stroke out by mid-terms).  And you will get the rematch; there’ll be no dictatorships, no camps, no nothing.  Why, I bet a President Trump won’t even jabber about siccing the Federal Elections on your blogs, or turn a politicized IRS and DHS loose on your political movements, the way Obama did for eight years.  Our democratic process, imperfect as it is, will go on, and if you don’t go full-blown Joan Crawford on us, you might have a shot, again, someday, God help us all.

So stop using – I believe the term these days is “Appropriating” – the term “Resistance”.  That’s a term used by people who had actual skin in the game; the Jews who, as disarmed as you want us all to be, fought back against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto; the Norwegians who overcame the impossible and destroyed the Nazi nuke program; the Polish fighters who rose and took Warsaw, only to be betrayed by one dictator and hunted down like rats by another; the Danes who, the risk of a summary execution hanging over their heads, snuck their nation’s Jews out to safety; people who, with all hope extinguished, still pulled together and rose up and, mostly, died, but gave their tormentors and murders and bloody nose and, in a few cases, against higher odds than Michael Moore winning the NYC Marathon, survived the war to witness against their captors.

Real people, who left behind whatever hadn’t been taken from them, and fought a real enemy who promised to kill them and their families if they failed.

Not overpaid, plushbottom Hollywood prima-donnas upset that they can’t install their choice of president by coup now that the hoi polloi have rejected their candidate.

Here’s my promise to you; call yourselves “the resistance” to my face, and I will spit in yours.

That is all.

“Oceania Has Always Been At War With Eastasia”

Hearing the strum und drang from Democrats over Trump’s impending inauguration brought this little tidbit to mind:

It’s from the fake-news site and memes-for-dumb-people mill “Occupy Democrats” – one of very few “news” “sources” in the world not equipped to mock Minnesota Progressive Project’s relative intelligence – back in 2012.

Suddenly, I suspect, dissent is the highest virtue again.

“Urban Liberal Privilege” is when nothing you say is ever inconsistent, much less wrong.

In The Footsteps Of Stalin, The Shadow Hecklers Stagger Through The Winter

A group of Obama supporters are planning to hold a “clap-a-thon” to, er, “honor” the outgoing President:

“His legacy is one of kindness and grace,” according to Bejidé Davis, a 29-year-old New York lawyer who organized the clap-out. That opinion is not universally held, to say the least — the consequential policy innovations of President Kindness and Grace include assassinating American citizens, a line that even Prince of Darkness Dick Cheney never crossed — but this is a question of affiliation, not a question of judgment. The people gathering to applaud for President Barack Obama as President Donald Trump waits in the wings are not really making a statement about the outgoing president. They are making a statement about themselves: “This is our tribe.”

And why does that matter?

Kevin Williamson, on the politics of applause, in a piece with too many good parts to pick few enough pullquotes for this post to fall under “fair use”.

Of Fish And Water

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Got this message from the Real Property Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, sent to all members:

“The MSBA Real Property Law Section seeks feedback on what our members find valuable about the Section. To streamline the process, we put together a short survey for members, and in return, five members who complete the survey will be rewarded with a gift card to Target worth $50 in stores or online. The information gathered from the survey will be used to evaluate the Section’s current and future initiatives and keep us focused on the things that matter most to our members.”

Sent this message in return:


Dear MSBA:  I won’t be completing the survey. I thought I’d let you know why not.

I pay dues to support the section out of my pocket, not reimbursed by my employer.  The section will use my dues as a reward for contributing to the survey.  But not in cash which members could spend on anything they like; the section will only allow winners to spend the reward at a particular vendor.

The reason that matters is this particular vendor has chosen to embrace controversial corporate values which are not shared by everybody in the state, such as the recent bathroom controversy or even stocking policies under which customers cannot buy ordinary items sold at other discount retailers such as spark plugs.  Target management makes these decisions to make a political statement of its corporate values, the better to market its brand to its selected customer base. 

Fine, Target can make marketing decisions as it sees fit.  But by specifically choosing that particular vendor over Walmart or Fleet Farm or a Visa gift card spendable anywhere, the Real Property Section signals to members that it shares Target’s value system and wishes to contribute to its bottom line profitability with my dues.  What does that action say to members of the section – or to the public at large – who do not share those values? 

It doesn’t matter whether I, personally, share Target’s values.  I don’t think MSBA should be in the business of rewarding businesses on the basis of which political positions they embrace.  I think MSBA and all its sections should be neutral.  I don’t wish to participate in an activity that makes it appear that I, as an attorney and officer of the court, have chosen to promote one set of controversial values over the values held by other citizens of this state.   Therefore, I will not complete the survey.


This is the sort of unconscious Liberalism that blindsided Hillary supporters.  They literally don’t think anybody disagrees with them, never even occurs to them to wonder about it. I doubt my note will do any good – I suspect they write it off as “another cis-gendered White male curmudgeon” – but somebody ought to say it.

Joe Doakes

Someday, the concept “Urban Liberal Privilege” will need to be officially codified.

This is certainly a case study.