Tu Quoque

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

One of the standard tricks lawyers use at trial is to show that a witness has lied about something, then argue “We know that she lied about X so we know she’s a liar – what else has she lied about?  Why should we believe anything she says?”

 Remember all the Liberals who promised to move to Canada, or to quit their federal jobs, or to abide by the results of the election?  Turns out they were lying about that. 

 What else have Liberals been lying about? 

 Why should I believe anything they say?

 To be fair, Liberals never promised to abide the results of the election.  They demanded that Trump do so, and when he declined they claimed that was a direct repudiation of 240 years of tradition, constituted banana republic thinking, that he was attempting to start a civil war.  But they never said that the same standard would ever apply to them.  

 Rule No. 4 of Saul Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’ says: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”  Great – but what if they don’t acknowledge any?  What if their only rule is “Heads we win, tails you lose?”

 Joe Doakes     

The libs who followed Alinsky may have been depraved, but they weren’t stupid.

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Most Americans agree there should be different standards for different classes: children have fewer rights than adults; felons have fewer rights than innocent; military have fewer rights than civilian. 

 Not so with Liberals.  It’s taken for granted that Liberals have more rights than the rest of us, and the Queen Liberal, like the Boy Emperor, have ultimate rights including the right never to be doubted and certainly not prosecuted.

 I suspect the double standard of preferential treatment toward Hillary’s email problem cost her more than Democrats will admit.

 Joe Doakes

I suspect that a fair part of the left thinks of media and other lefty groupthink sort of like a court system;  once their starchamber has decided, the issue is over.

I think this past election showed that, at least for now, it’s not true.

Journalism Without Limits!

Well, the title is a little misleading.  Where I wrote “without limits”, I guess I what I meant was “no bottom to the barrel”.

Because in the arc of downfall for the City Pages, from its heady days in the eighties publishing James Lileks, and its journalistic peak in the nineties, where they ran a lot of excellent reporting, the CP just keeps falling.

And every time I think “they can’t possibly get any worse as reporters?”   They somehow pull it off.

I didn’t think they could get any worse than Dan Haugen’s factual malaprops – but sure enough, Kevin Hoffman was right there with the onanistic panty-sniffing disguised as high-school-caliber schadefreud.  From thence, we’ve had a couple years of the ongoing gift of hilarity that is Corey Zurowski’s writing, which has been its own reward.

So given that the City Pages seems to have no lower limit, I’ll refrain from saying Pete Kotz’s piece about the GOP’s pushback on cities trying to jam down $15 minimum wage laws bespeaks any descent below any journalistic or factual pale.

Because there’s always more ground below the barrel.

But oh, lord – it’s getting worse.

Continue reading

New Years Resolutions For MTV And Other Ofay Social Justice Warriors

A week back, I linked to the fairly noxious MTV video showing a raft of millennials giving “white guys” a series of “new years resolutions”.  I’m not going to  display it again – once was plenty.

But I figure, one good turn deserves another.  I’ve got some resolutions for Social Justice Warriors to observe for the coming year.

Enough with the Whitesplaining:  Y’know who I consider the apex of credibility when it comes to running down the crimes of the Caucasoid ethnicity and the scourge of “white privilege”?    Upper-middle-class white pseudoacademics with advanced degrees and cupboards full of Whole Foods packages, that’s who!

The next such person to whitesplain (condescendingly explain the sins of “whiteness” while being, y’know, white) me is getting pantsed.

Snowflakes Who Cried Wolf:   Not everything that you disagree with is “hate”.   Not everyone that disagrees with you “hates” you.

When you call all disagreement, all difference of opinion, all dissent, all views different than yours “hatred”, you make any meaningful discussion impossible.

Speaking of which:

Silence Is Golden:   Stop jabbering about “seeking a dialogue” or “wanting a conversation” about an issue, and then aggressively blocking all attempts by people who disagree with you to actually have the disagreement.  I’m not gonna name names, but it’s  hypocrisy and cowardice, Kim Norton and Alondra Cano and “Protect” Minnesota .

Innocence Until Proven:  Believing that suspects are innocent until proven guilty by a jury of one’s peers does not make one “pro-rape”.  Say it around me and you will get your face singed so bad you won’t be able to get a tan for 20 years.

You’re welcome.

Feel Safe?

The next time you’re getting a cavity search, watching purses get rifled through and having a wand jammed down your throat at a Vikings or Twins game, just remember; three people were apparently able to smuggle a huge banner, and rappelling gear, into the USBank Stadium, climb the rafters, and stage a demonstration yesterday.

We do the security theater precisely why, again?

Get The Sad Trombone

Gun-control melodrama Miss Sloane has bombed at the box office.

Well, no.  That understates it.  Howard the Duck and Ishtar bombed.  Miss Sloane was dropped from a single B-29, and like that iconic single bomb, has a decent shot at helping to bring a war to an end.

After lavish television advertising – Miss Sloane had a bigger TV budget than the inescapable Rogue One – and fawning reviews from liberal critics and media, the movie earned $3.2 million dollars.  Which, divided by the number of screens and a $10 ticket price, meant an average of around ten people attending each showing.

And it wasn’t for lack of trying to get people to show up. Out of the 200 highest-grossing movies of 2016, only ten exceeded the $15.9 million television advertising budget of Miss Sloane, and seven of those did so by very small amounts. Miss Sloane spent more than the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One, Star Trek, Pete’s Dragon, Arrival, Doctor Strange, and Hacksaw Ridge. It had twice the advertising budget of such hits as Sully, The Girl on the Train, and The Secret Life of Pets. For every dollar spent on advertising, Miss Sloane brought in just 21 cents in ticket sales. By this measure, it came in dead last out of the 200 top-grossing movies in 2016. No one else was even close. Coming in second-to-last was Collateral Beauty, which made 53 cents per advertising dollar. The average movie made almost $2 for each dollar spent on advertising.

Of course, the movie’s core conceit – that gun grabbers are a bunch of plucky, underfunded underdogs, duking it out with a “gun lobby” that is floating in money – is a preposterous fiction.  Michael Bloomberg and other anti-gun plutocrats fund the “safe criminal” movement lavishly.

For example, here in Minnesota during the 2016 campaign, groups affiliated with the safe criminal lobby spent well over a million dollars – easily ten times as much as the Human Rights movement did – and employed at least four full-time paid staffers.   Not a single person in Minnesota is paid to lobby the legislature or organize the community; the movement is entirely volunteers, working on their own time out of pure devotion to the Bill of Rights.   In other states – Nevada, Washington, Maine – the spending ratio was closer to 30 to 1.

I suspect most Americans can tell the movie doesn’t pass the stink test;  Sloane’s premise reeks like a full pea-soup diaper on a dog day in the bayou.

And its failure is of a piece with the collapse, over the past fifteen years, of nearly every single Hollywood anti-war movie.

When I saw the trailer – during one of my ever-so-brief episodes of watching broadcast TV – I heard the trailer in the background.  I think it was the normally-excellent Sam Waterson, playing one of the “gun lobby” bad guys.  I think I envisioned a character wearing a black cape and top hat, twisting a painstakingly-maintained handlebar mustache as he tied Ms. Chastain…er, Sloane to the tracks.  I actually laughed out loud.

But hey, Hollywood; keep ’em coming.

Point Of Failure

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We distribute computer information so a single crash isn’t devastating.  We distribute warehouses so deliveries are quicker.  We distribute police officers so criminals don’t have a safe space to operate.  Distributed transportation – everybody having their own car and good roads to drive it on – are what built America into the world leader in mobility and prosperity.

 Urban planners insist we should move to cities, live densely in converted warehouses, ride trains.  That’s essential to save the planet. The plan assumes the trains will run.  What if they don’t?  Then everybody is stuck, captive, held hostage to the demands of the train crews.

I vaguely recall America having this sort of trouble, years ago, employees essential to the national transportation system went on strike threatening to cripple the nation.  Seems to me Ronaldus Magnus handled that problem swiftly and decisively.  Might be worth looking into, Ms. May.

 Joe Doakes

In the world of the utopian left, nothing ever actually goes wrong.

The First “Trump 2020” Campaign Ad

After an election where Identity Politics generated an identity politics backlash that overwhelmed the Identity Politicians, MTV News triples down with perhaps the most textbook example of tone-deafness in a movement that can’t carry a tune in a bucket in the first place.

Broad, ofay stereotyping is now good, apparently:

“White guys”.  Huh.  Because an Italian about as much socially in common with a Swede as a Korean has with a Philipino?

My “favorite”?  “Learn what ‘mansplaining’ is, and stop doing it”.

Ma’am, I know what “mansplaining” is.  It’s a way to dismiss someone’s argument without actually having to address it.  It’s a weaponized rhetorical coin trick that genderizes, at most, poor communication, and at the very least, personal annoyance and peevishness.  Nothing more.  In a world run by Mitch Berg, using the term “Mansplaining” to cut off an argument would be grounds for spraying people in the face with mace.

And if I could just take a moment to express my complete fatigue with Millennial hipster pajama-boy gamma male virtue-signalling?

I plan on circulating this far and wide – until it gets disappeared, at least.

It’s also more than a little tempting to do my own New Years resolutions list for MTV and our Social Justice Warrior community.

Why The Electoral College Matters

It protects the minority from the majority.

Given that Florida and Texas are fairly red and growing fast, and New York and California are blue and shrinking, I’d suspect a lot of liberals would agree that that’s going to be a good thing for them before too terribly long.

But watching how the left is panicking over executive orders and the “nuclear option” now, after applauding Obama and Harry Reid for for broadening EOs and the Nuclear Option, I don’t think long-term planning is one of their strong suits.

Electoral Community College

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hillary won New York and California, which gave her the popular vote but not the electoral college vote.  How to reform the electoral process so The Will of the People is properly expressed?

 Option 1: do nothing.  It’s working now, it’s worked for a long time, it’s good enough.  Hillary’s loss isn’t novel or frightening, it’s the result of poor campaign strategy and a lousy candidate running against a media celebrity.

 Option 2: eliminate the electoral college, go strictly by popular vote.  Voters in big Liberal cities would select the President for everyone, save a lot of campaign money and fewer commercials in small states who won’t matter in the election.

 Option 3: award electoral votes based on congressional districts instead of winner takes all, which more accurately reflects the entire state’s opinion, not just the dominant city.  In Minnesota, that would have given Trump some of Hillary’s electoral college votes.

 Option 4: break up New York and California into smaller states.  Give some of California to Nevada, give some of New York to Maine, no state allowed to have more than X electoral votes, to eliminate undue influence in the election. 

 Any others?

 Joe Doakes

One more idea:  eliminate the Electoral College, but provide an easy path to secession.

Minnesotans For Rule By California!

Yet again, Democrat representative John Lesch – along with some well-meaning but deeply mistaken Republicans – is pushing legislation to scrap the electoral college and adopt  “California Rules America”.

The legislation is actually called the “National Popular Vote”, but let’s be honest (Lesch being a DFLer, he certainly won’t be); what it means is subjecting the fifty states to being ruled in perpetuity by California, New York and Illinois.

For what little it may be worth, I will be turning whatever bully pulpit I have on any Republicans who support this legislation.  I urge you to do the same, once the various voices shake out on this issue – and when they do, I will be making sure you know.

For the record?  I have nothing against a national popular vote – provided secession is also legalized and made relatively simple.

Faster!

The progressive chattering classes are all in a tizzy because many of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees are long-time opponents of the departments they’ve been chosen to lead:

  • Rick Perry at Energy – who has advocated disbanding the entire department and reducing a cabinet seat
  • Ben Carson at HUD, who has criticized federal housing
  • Betsy DeVos at Education – a major proponent of school choice and degrading the government monopoly on education
  • Scott Pruitt at the EPA, an agency against whom he’s spent years litigating
  • Andy Puzder at Labor, who would oppose most “progressive” labor regulations
  • Tom Price at HHS, who advocates rolling back Obamacare.

The chattering classes are all aflutter.  Perhaps because most of these departments are nothing but make-work programs for worthless Ivy Leaguer poli sci grads like, well, themselves.

Or perhaps because the American people might just support it:

And that leads us to the really burning question: Will anyone miss those departments if they go away?

We could try to answer that question by diving into the bitterly partisan political and economic debate over the size of government that’s been dividing people in this country since the days of Jefferson and Hamilton. Or we could wisely dump that academic argument and realize that the answer lies in how well the Trump team manages to make sure the changes get noticed by normal voters in a positive way. In politics, perception truly is reality.

And Trump, for all his faults, gets that better than most other Republicans.  For worse or, when it comes to slashing the size and power of the Federal Government ,much much better.

Brakes On Magic-Thinking Gravy Train

The Midway in Saint Paul – at least, the part between Selby and Thomas – could use a break.  After the “Green Line” strangled dozens of local businesses and ate up most of the parking that the street’s businesses depended on, the city looks ready to inflict a soccer stadium on the neighborhood.

But it appears at least one business thought it’d be worth taking a risk on stale, blighted, and ostensibly demo-bound Midway Center.

Which makes the local Soccergentsia nervous:

Magical thinking is, apparently, not robust thinking.

Change In The Weather

This past three weeks has been fascinating; I’ve watched a whole lot of people I’d considered fairly rational, sensible people completely losing their grip on reality. I could talk – “joke”, sure, what the heck – about how people on the political left frequently seem groaningly ignorant about history, but that’s a separate subject for another time.

I’ve seen some of them writing or sharing *precisely* the sort of end-of-the-world apocalyptic gloom and doom that they were mocking *some* Republicans for writing eight years ago – advice about surviving the end of civilization, the fall of civil society, barbarians at the gates, pretty much the whole “Walking Dead” bit.

The part that has me the most interested, though, is the dark, furtive references some of them are making to “resisting”…whatever it is they’re worried about. Some are even taking measures they’d considered downright unholy – indeed, measures that a month ago most of them were working to foreclose.

And while I detest schadenfreud, I just have to ask those liberals; are you finally starting to understand (however irrationally and mistakenly) why some of us bitter, gun-clinging deplorables fought to hard to protect the *originalist* interpretation of the Second Amendment?

Maybe just a little?

I’ve seen more than a few liberal writers claim that black people arming themselves is how we’ll “finally” get gun control.  Only at the hands of Democrats.  The NRA has been arming minorities since 1866.

Holiday Season Open Letter To Minnesota / National Public Radio

To:  National Public Radio (cc: Minnesota Public Radio)
From:  Mitch Berg; not really a pollyanna
Re:  The Season For The Wheezin’

Dear various PRs,

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  And like every week after every Thanksgiving, I know what that means, especially vis-a-vis Public Radio programming.

To listen to your broadcasts, we are on the precipice of a national mental health plague, something Americans only survive with the aid of therapy, drinking or an endless slathering on of (wry, fashionable-understated) cynicism.   A time of year where all ceremony is onerous, all family members are insane or intolerable, all travel is wearing, all human interaction is a layer of plastic fakery over a rotten, frothing core of anxiety and desperation.

That’s right – the Holiday season.

Public radio programming will be clogged with with newscasters droning on about seasonal mental health afflictions; with “entertainers” jabbering about the only kind of get-togethers any of them seem to have – ugly, dysfunctional ones; with obscure writers and artists elevated (?) to radio commentators, testifying to the ordeal we’re all about to go through.

Point taken, Public Radio – the upper-middle-class, over-miseducated, secular (wildly-disproportionally secular-jewish) crowd is exquisitely bored with the whole thing.

But might I suggest you poke your collective (heh) nose outside your Subaru-driving, Oberlin/Bard/Saint Olaf-educated, Whole-Foods-shopping, free-range-alpaca-wearing, urban-liberal-privilege-wallowing, Israel-divesting, coffee-shop-music-loving, prematurely gray, bumper-sticker-clad Obama-shilling bubble and take note that for a whole lot of people, perhaps the majority, the holidays aren’t about mindless personal drama, and bring us some measure of joy?

I mean, fine – you’ll joke about how pathetic you find it.  That’s fine – and nothing new!

Just saying – perhaps you can put down the bottle and take your head out of the oven and look around a bit?

That is all.

False Equivalence

I was listening to some archival coverage from NPR over the weekend, from May of 1945, about the death of Adolf Hitler.  I was kind of surprised:

“On the one hand, he directly ordered the death of 11 million Jewish, gay, Roma, Sinti and Slavic civilians in a campaign of ethnic cleansing, and launched a war that led to the deaths of between 50 and 70 million people.

On the other hand, he was a committed vegetarian and dedicated to animal rights, and his death by gun suicide highlights attention on the epidemic of gun violence, in which guns killed millions of Europeans.

So the truth is somewhere in between.”

Well, no.  I made the whole thing up.  Well, not the whole thing; Hitler could in fact not bear the though of animals coming to harm.  He was a very forthright vegetarian, and had no tolerance for any sort of cruelty to animals.  But nobody in history has suggested that those facts even nudge the scale in comparison to his crimes against humanity and morality.

That would be just stupid.

I thought about this as I was listening to NPR talking about the death of Fidel Castro.

It was a series of “Journalists” bending over backwards to ensure the world knows that there were two sides to Fidel Castro; the one who “stood up for the little guy” (using funds taken from Russian and Eastern-European “little guys”, but that’s getting too detailed, right?), who was a huge patron of Cuban arts and sports, and public health on the one hand…

…and who may have been a bit of a totalitarian tyrant on the other. The truth, an NPR reporter sonorously reminded us, was “somewhere between the two”.

And it made me wonder – how many people WOULD he have had to murder to push the needle?

A visitor to this planet might wonder who’s being more satirical, NPR or me.

 However, one can forgive NPR for being at least a little less detached from reality than five notable world leaders in their statements about Castro’s expiry.   If you happen to be a citizen Canada, have a word with Prime Minister McDreamy, eh?   Likewise, if you’re from Ireland or the EU, you need to see about changing leaders.  (If you are an Iranian citizen, you don’t have much more choice than the Cubans did; if you are a member of Britian’s Labour Party, you probably don’t know any better.
Fortunately, the WSJ has some moral sense, and has written about the effort to count Castro’s victims (from a conservative 9,000 to an all-too-plausible 90,000).

 

Fringe-y

SCENE: Mitch BERG is shoveling his sidewalk. As he’s shoveling to the east, Avery LIBRELLE, out for a walk, comes up from the west and catches BERG by surprise.

LIBRELLE: Hey, Merg!

BERG:  Uh…hi, Avery.  What’s…

LIBRELLE:   Drumpf is appointing racist white supremacists from the Alt-Right to his cabinet!

BERG:  Avery, I have a question for you.  One of the reasons I support the Second Amendment is that I believe it’s possible – not “highly likely”, but possible – that despite all the safeguards built into the Federalist system, our government could one day be take over by people who actively trample the peoples’ freedom.

LIBRELLE:  That’s paranoia, treason, and an ammosexual gun fondler fantasy.

BERG:  Huh.  But Donald Trump is now president, and you’re worried…

LIBRELLE:  …that government is actively going to stifle and quash peoples’ freedom.

BERG:  Gotcha.  So when a Second Amendment supporter says that they’re acting in defense of liberty, they are…

LIBRELLE:  Fat bald white gun fondlers who’ve watched Rambo too many times and are probably terrorists waiting to happen.

BERG:   And when Hillary Clinton supporters say it about Trump, they are…

LIBRELLE:  Guarding freedom against a fascist tyrant.

BERG:   Gun owners…

LIBRELLE:  Fat angry stupid traitors.

BERG:  People attacking Trump…

LIBRELLE:  The highest expression of democratic ideals.

BERG:  Conservative…

LIBRELLE:  Evil.  Hate.  Death.

BERG:  “Progressive”

LIBRELLE:  Love.

BERG:  Naturally.

And SCENE

A Little Tense

At least one lefty keyboard commando on Facebook isn’t ready to make nice:

tolerance2

The little fella apparently lives in upstate New York – his Facebook page has disappeared – so I’m not sure how he plans to evict people from red states.  I’ll look for his plan.

Someone is clearly compensating for something.

If you can spare some prayers for the little fella’s sanity, the timing might be just about right ifyaknowwhatImean.

Dear Democrats

To:  All Democrats
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:  Prescription

Democrats,

What this guy said.

You didn’t go far enough to the left.

So let’s endeavour (Canadian spelling! Wou hou!) to:

  • Condescend to the working class more
  • Write more editorials sniffing down your nose about the “Best Interests” of “Flyover Land”
  • Insult gun owners more!

You can do it!

Safed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My Facebook page is full of complaints by Liberal friends. They’re hurting now because ignorant racist misogynist Trump voters rejected Hillary.  They demand that Trump voters be respectful of their feelings.  Don’t gloat over winning: reach out, be inclusive, help heal America.  They’re unfriending family members who crow about Trump winning because if they did that, they really can’t have been very good friends to begin with.

In other words, Liberals demand a ‘safe space’ on Facebook. Everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it agrees with theirs; dissent is hatred.  Winning requires surrender.

Yeah, well, I remember the attitude they showed to us when Obama won.

Man, am I sick of Liberals.

Joe Doakes

My sense of sportsmanship pretty much foreswears all but tongue-in-cheek gloating.  I may have been the last generation raised with the idea of “sportsmanship” – and that’s not a good thing.  We’d be a better place.

But yeah, Joe, I totally hear you.

If They Gave Pulitzers For Great Writing About Important Topics

There was a time when “Cracked” magazine was “Mad” magazine’s downmarket, cheap competitor; “Guitar World” to “Guitar Player”, “Hustler” to “Playboy”.

I have no idea what this online world has wrought – but while Cracked has turned into a hit-generating listicle mill, it has come to feature some excellent writing.

Now, forget the market talk.

In fifteen years, I’ve been trying to come up with an article that would explain this nation’s rural/urban divide – the divide that’s driving the Trump candidacy and the surge of animus behind it – as well as this article, by David Wong.

Just an exerpt, from the exposition:

If you’d asked me at the time, I’d have said the fear and hatred wasn’t of people with brown skin, but of that specific tribe they have in Chicago — you know, the guys with the weird slang, music and clothes, the dope fiends who murder everyone they see. It was all part of the bizarro nature of the cities, as perceived from afar — a combination of hyper-aggressive savages and frivolous white elites. Their ways are strange. And it wasn’t like pop culture was trying to talk me out of it:

Ruthless Records
“… And Into Some Nightmares”

It’s not just perception, either — the stats back up the fact that these are parallel universes. People living in the countryside are twice as likely to own a gun and will probably get married younger. People in the urban “blue” areas talk faster and walk faster. They are more likely to be drug abusers but less likely to be alcoholics. The blues are less likely to own land and, most importantly, they’re less likely to be Evangelical Christians.

No, it goes way way way beyond that.    This may be the best thing I’ve read on the internet all year

Read the whole thing.  Forward it to your friends – especially blue-state fops who really just don’t get why Trump is a thing – and why he may just be the tip of the iceberg.