The Left’s “Conversation About Guns”

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch forced to move her family due to constant, legitimate death threats…

…from “Violence” activists:

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch announced Sunday on Twitter that her family had been forced to move suddenly after she received multiple death threats from gun control advocates.

Loesch, a conservative commentator and syndicated talk radio host, followed the announcement of her family’s move by condemning the way politically progressive society has treated not just her, but conservative women as a whole.

There are two huge points here:

The threats from gun control activists is pretty much par for the course.  Even locally, some local “gun safety” activists like to spice up their social media interactions with weird, muted threats of mayhem.

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Harvey Weinstein story is troubling.  It’s as if he thinks a powerful man can walk up to women, grab them by the p—y, do anything to them.  And we know that’s false because everybody jumped all over Donald Trump when he said it – didn’t DO it – merely said it.  This guy actually did it, repeatedly, and everybody around him not only knew about it, they helped him get away with it.

Where are the pink hat people marching in protest?

Joe Doakes

Rhetorical question, right?

People Addict People

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

There is a crisis.  People who are prescribed drugs containing opioids can become addicted to them.

There is a problem.  People who receive medical treatment have privacy rights.  We don’t know who’s doing the prescribing, who’s doctor-shopping, who’s obtaining prescriptions only to sell them.

There are proposed solutions, but they’re mostly paperwork regulations that have no more effect on real-world issues than putting up a Drug Free Zone sign on a schoolhouse door.  More warning labels won’t help: people take the medicine doctors prescribe because we trust doctors.  Restricting prescriptions won’t solve the end problem: no doctor prescribes heroin and people who self-medicate their personal problems with drugs will obtain them illegally, as they always have.  Adding a new federal registry of sensitive information on individuals – does the word “Equifax” ring any bells?

“Opioid” is simply the new word for “narcotic” which has been a staple in the War on Drugs since Coke took cocaine out of its soft-drink 100 years ago.  The problem isn’t the tool, the problem is the tool user.

Joe Doakes

As with any plan, philosophy, worldview or kind of government – the problem is people.

Of Goals And Means

Two incumbent Minneapolis city councilbots, and five challengers with decent chances of winning, said they can see a future without a Minneapolis Police Department:

Asked, “Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?” two incumbents and five serious challengers running for City Council answered “yes.”…Those who did and said they believe “we could ever have a city without police” were Bender, Ninth Ward Council Member Alondra Cano; Phillipe Cunningham, who’s running for council in the Fourth Ward; Jeremiah Ellison, who’s running in the Fifth Ward; Janne Flisrand, who’s running in the Seventh Ward; Ginger Jentzen, who’s running in the Third Ward and Jeremy Schroeder, who’s running in the 11th Ward.

Let’s be clear; even the candidates (mostly) say this is in the realm of imagination, if not fantasy:

“It’s aspirational, but it’s way aspirational,” said Council Member Lisa Bender, who said yes to the question. “We have a very long way to go before we would approach public safety without police.”…”The question wasn’t, ‘Do you promise to eliminate MPD by the end of your first term,’ it was ‘Can you imagine a city without police,’ ” said [long-shot candidate Phillippe] Cunningham, who’s running against Council President Barb Johnson…

Now, let’s be frank; a society without the need for police would be a good thing, from a conservative perspective.  And it can, and has, worked; in the old west, before the idea of “police” had migrated out from places like New York and Boston, communities did in fact police themselves.   Of course, they also governed themselves – without the need for Minneapolis-style city councils and bureaucracies…

…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Here’s the problem; part of it is that it’s a spitballing fantasy.

Part of it is that, being not merely DFLers but DFLers to the left of Betsy Hodges, they’re putting their faith in the wrong institution to bring this utopian vision about:

[Several of the respondents said] they were describing an ideal future in which inequality and racism are eliminated and government policy has solved many of the social problems now handled by police arresting and imprisoning people.

Uh oh.

For starters, government policy is behind most of the social problems facing Minneapolis, especially the North Side; from the warehousing of the poor in places like North Minneapolis, to the inertia of the police reform process, to the artificial hikes in the minimum wage and immigration policies that have made entry level work impossible to get for too many poor youth, most of the problems trace back to City Hall, the State Capitol, or DC.

But here’s a more troubling part:

Prosperity without order is impossible (even if it’s enough “prosperity” to pay taxes to support a leech-like bureaucracy like Minneapolis’s); freedom without prosperity is meaningless.  If you think that’s an idle bromide, look at Detroit, Camden or Stockton.

So something has got to keep order.  Sometimes – like in small towns out west, or in the Old West example above, or in areas where natural disaster has swept away government at least temporarily, that order is kept by the people agreeing on some basic rules to live by, and some simple means to enforce them.

In this day and age, in the big city, it’s a police department, a prosecutor’s office, a judicial system, a corrections system, and a parole and probation system, and the bureaucracies that recruit, train, advise, pay, and take care of all the above after they retire, and the bureaucracies that do the same for those bureaucracies.

What could be worse?

One of the study’s designers answers:

“Police reform doesn’t actually work,” [survey organizer, designer and artist Ashley] Fairbanks said. “We need to radically re-imagine what policing will look like in our community.”

And all those roads seem to lead, according to any of the councilpeople, to policing attitudes, not behavior.  To eliminating badthink.

In other words, they’d get rid of the guys in cars patrolling for speeding tickets, and replace them with thought police.

Bonus Sign of the Apocalypse:  And in this survey, one of the voices of practicality, of feet-on-the-ground common practical sense, of dealing with the “now” rather than fantasizing about the indeterminate future, is…

…Alondra Cano?

Cano said right now she actually wants a greater police presence in the Ninth Ward, which includes several neighborhoods along East Lake Street.

“The solution is not really no cops, but it’s more how do we get rid of homelessness, how do we get rid of commercial sex exploitation, how do we get rid of chemical dependency?” she said. “Then you start alleviating the pressure that a lot of police officers feel to address these very deeply rooted challenges in our community, which they themselves know they’re not going to be able to solve.”

Given Minneapolis’ electorate’s state of mind these days, that might come back to haunt her.

 

 

In Other Words, The Status Quo

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Powerline discusses income inequality.  It’s almost entirely caused by White Privilege but not in the way the Left means it.

The newest study says highest income goes to people who stayed in school, stayed out of trouble, got a job and kept it, got married before having kids and stayed married, and have at least two children.   In other words, traditional, conservative, “acting White” behaviors that Leftists call “White Privilege” but we call “normal” or “common sense.”  And those behaviors pay off.

Plainly, this is unfair.  The only solution is to make everyone come out equal:

Prevent studious children from getting better grades than goof-offs by doing away with grades;

Prevent scholars from getting better educations than drop-outs by teaching nothing useful in the schools;

Prevent the law-abiding from having better records than troublemakers by declining to prosecute or by plea bargaining, expunging and eliminating ‘the box’ on employment applications;

Prevent the industrious from having better work records than slackers by making all jobs part-time and temporary, even if it means we must impose exorbitant overhead like Obama-care premiums and $15 minimum wages;

Prevent the burden of dealing with the consequences of sex outside marriage by paying to kill “oops” babies;

Prevent marriage by making it a farce available to every perversion, and punish men who try by making family court a life sentence of penury.

America will only be a Fair society when we all live identical lives and since we can’t elevate everyone to the penthouse, we’ll have to reduce everyone to the trailer park to live solitary, poor, nasty and brutish lives.

We’re well on the way and ordinary Americans know it.

Which might be why Trump’s campaign slogan resonated with so many people.

Joe Doakes

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part IV: Never Waste A Crisis

Last week, the Strib put out a breathtakingly obtuse editorial about the wave of crime sweeping the North Loop in Minneapolis – even as crime statewide continues a long-term downward trend.

The Strib’s editorial board blamed court for limiting the cops’ ability to arrest drunk and panhandlers – but, mirabile dictu, not a single word about getting the Mayor and City Council to take time off from virtue-signaling, political posturing, and  building exquisitely expensive monuments to their own wisdom.

But now, it’s time for the scapegoating:

There’s another, more intractable problem that Freeman, Segal, Arradondo and others wrestle with: guns. “We as a society have refused to provide law enforcement with the resources and laws needed to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Freeman said.

Bravo!

Getting guns out of the hands of those who should not have them!   That’s just brilliant!

So the MPD will start focusing on straw buyers, gangs and habitual offenders?

Don’t be silly, fellow peasant; it’s Minneapolis:

Options here are few, especially in light of the strength of the gun lobby.

Let’s make this absolutely clear:  the “Gun Lobby” is the only party to this discussion proposing anything that will actually affect crime; upcharging gun criminals,

Some attempts at municipal restrictions have been struck down. One notable exception is New York City, where carrying a gun requires a special city permit issued by the police commissioner.

And where crime 35 years ago was off the charts – with the same, exact laws they have today.  It was Giuliani and his “stop and frisk” and “broken windows” policies – none of which the government of Minneapolis would ever condone – that actually lowered crime in NYC.   And by the way – have you noticed how crime is trending since DiBlasio reversed Giuliani and Bloomberg’s policies?

Minnesota typically has had strong Second Amendment protections, but it may be time for Minneapolis to explore its own carve-out.

Because of all the carry permittees that are shooting people up in the North Loop?

Because all those north side gang bangers will get permits?

Because holding out bitterly against the rights of the law-abiding citizen has served Chicago so well?

The legislative delegations from Minneapolis and St. Paul, with assists from city leaders, should make their voices heard on resurrecting a gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks for gun sales made at gun shows, privately and online.  These are the same background checks gun shop owners are required to conduct, and a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last year found strong support for such a measure — 82 percent.

Which only proves that 82 percent of the Strib’s remaining film of readers are idiots.   Criminals don’t take background checks.

No.  The responsibility for the carnage on the North Side and in the North Loop lies precisely in the laps of Mayor Hodges and the pack of virtue-signaling, PC fops that amuse themselves playing “government” at City Hall.  It is they that continue the policies that keep the North Side hopeless, keep the Minneapolis PD busy chasing PC trends, and keep the city as a whole ripe pickings for the criminal class.

Perhaps it’s Minneapolis’ idiot political class that should be taking background checks.

See you

The State Full Of Sun-Baked “Progressive” Bobbleheads That Doesn’t Learn From History…

Half of Californians say housing prices are making them think about leaving the state, and an awful lot of them think rent control is the answer:

About half of the state’s voters – 48 percent – said they consider the problem of housing affordability “extremely serious.” Concerns are more prevalent in areas seen as ground zero for the crisis, including the Bay Area, where 65 percent of voters described the problem that way.

The issue has led to an intensifying debate over rent control in California. In Los Angeles County, 68 percent of voters said they support stronger limits on rent increases, while 63 percent in the Bay Area said so.

The majority of support for rent control is among renters, who have seen prices grow nearly 4 percent since last year, according to data compiled by the real estate listing service Apartment List. California’s median rent for a one-bedroom is now at $1,750, while a two-bedroom is $2,110, Apartment List found. Among the most expensive cities are San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento.

Of course, being progressives, they don’t bother with history – and I doubt the history of rent-control in places like New York City is covered in the textbooks progressives are allowed to read.

But in New York, it worked a little like this:

  1. Rent controls were established
  2. Their incomes constricted by rent control, landlords fell behind on the little things, like routine repairs.
  3. City officials leaned on the landlords to make the repairs, prices and income be damned, and threw on fines to make the whole mess even less affordable.
  4. Sick to death of being stuck between a regulatory rock and a cost hard place, the landlords tried to sell out.
  5. Local regulations – like the ones Ray Dehn proposes in Minneapolis – make selling a rental property a daunting prospect.   Landlords unloaded properties at firesale prices or, if the neighborhood was bad enough and the debt intractable enough, walked away – creating either gentrification-ready areas of cheap buildings or, for less desirable locations, acres of vacant buildings ready to be turned into crack dens.
  6. Alarmed by the decline in “affordable housing” caused by their own policies, the city’s government ratcheted up the regulations even more; as the saying goes, the beatings will continue until morale improves…

Given the mindless “progressivism” of California government, this will hasten the state’s decline.  The bad news?  It’ll also increase the number of Californians bringing their bobble-headed politics to sane states.

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part II: Kotkin Was Right!

A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin.

Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind?   But he’s made himself persona non grata among urban planning wonks by swimming against the current train of thought, which holds that core cities will rise again; the “Creative Class” loves their inner-urban amenities, and the rest will be forced there by Met Council policies.

Kotkin notes that for the past generation, most growth in this country – economic and demographic – is happening in the outer suburbs and exurbs of major and mid-sized cities.  Kotkin also theorizes that cities are rapidly devolving into a demographic donut:

  1. A downtown area full of well-to-do, gentry – businesspeople, technocrats, upper-middle-class empty-nesting retirees, and “the creative class”.
  2. The rest of the city – where the civil service class warehouses the poor.

The progressive political class tries to conceal this by inducing suburbs to increase the amount of “Affordable Housing” – but we’re going astray, here.

Accoridng to the Strib’s editorial last week, it appears that the outer and inner donut rings are getting too close together:

“Downtown has become everything to everybody,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and that’s a problem. Few downtowns, he noted, have two major homeless shelters, along with the myriad social-services and outreach programs that have located downtown over the years.

Five will get you ten that this is followed by a call to move more of these facilities and services to the ‘burbs – so the people in the donut hole don’t have to deal with them.

“That may be something to rethink,” he said.

Huh.

So – for the past sixty years, the DFL has had iron-clad control over Minneapolis.   They created an interventionistic bureaucracy that fed off the welfare state, and created some of the worst income disparitie in the state.

And now they want someone to get the bums out of their perfectly-coiffed hair:

Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.” Because of the court’s decision, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city’s panhandling laws are no longer enforced.

 

Aggressive panhandling is not benign, and it often is committed by individuals with mental-health problems and addictions. There have been reports of panhandlers confronting individuals and demanding money, even chasing them for “donations.” It is possible that more narrowly targeted laws, aimed at harassing behavior or specific locations, such as near ATMs and transit stops, could survive legal scrutiny. Minneapolis officials should undertake a serious effort to craft legally defensible alternatives, rather than leave an apparently unenforceable law on the books.

Or, Minneapolis could continue to shred through low-income jobs like they grow on trees, enforcing unsustainable, job-killing minimum wage laws and making affordable housing a government-controlled racket.

Maybe that’ll work this time.

Tomorrow – Never Never Land,

Creative Clash

Distort the economy of a sector, an industry or a city to benefit an industry, a policy or a class of people, and you’re going to cause unintended consequences – almost all of them bad, at least for someone.

Fifteen years ago, the NPR-listening, Whole Foods-Shopping, Volvo-driving set nodded and snapped their fingers to the beat of Richard Florida, who wrapped up a bunch of toxic economic interventions in a bunch  of artisanal wrapping paper and slapped a name on it – appealing to the “Creative Class” – that was marketing genius, making the children of America’s upper-middle-class feel like their apps, their hedge funds and their vegan restaurants were part of something Big and Important.

Cities – or rather, city planning wonks (who love to see themselves in that Creative Class – fell all over themselves to engineer cities to draw this class, on the promise that they’d spur economic growth.

The results?   Well, I predicted this – and now, Richard Florida himself is acknowledging it:

The rise of the creative class in such cities as New York, Washington, and San Francisco did produce economic growth—but mostly just for those who were already wealthy. The poor, and especially the working class poor, were right out of luck. They were priced out of the city and driven out to the suburbs, where they created the kind of urban problems known only to the cities. The modern city is the greatest economic engine the world has ever known, but these days it seems to run only for the aid of those who need its benefits least. When the rich, the young, and the bohemian revitalized Austin, Boston, and Seattle, they induced a cycle of soaring prices and class replacement. The creative class brought an income inequality that hadn’t been predicted. Florida could call them a new class all he wanted. They proved to be merely the children of the old white-collar meritocracy, grown doubly rich from the rising tide of urban renewal.

So, in The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida takes a long second look at the nation’s cities. He doesn’t admit that he had been wrong in 2002 with The Rise of the Creative Class, mostly because he doesn’t think he was wrong. The city progressed just the way he described. But what he has called the “externalities” have mounted to such an extent that they now outweigh the gains he saw 15 years ago. The creative class triumphed, and his prize cities have turned into wealth preserves—the old gated communities of the suburbs, transplanted to the urban core.

The whole thing is worth a read.

When Making Your Weekend Plans

I’m going to be doing a special Northern Alliance Radio Network this weekend.

I’ll be doing a show about “Anti”-Fa, the self-styled “anti-fascist” thugs who are, in point of fact, worse – more violent, more toxic, more corrupting at this point in American history – than the “facists” they pretend to “attack”…

Upper-middle-class pansy maces Republican in the rotunda at the Capitol last March. The offender – just pled guilty and allocuted to the fact that he intended to attack a defenseless group of people. This is “Anti”-Fa.

…when they’re not attacking their usual prey; workadaddy, hugamommy conservatives, Republicans and Trump supporters going about their peaceful business.

Remember – their line is “punch a Nazi” – but then, pretty much everyone they disagree with, including at one point yours truly, is a “Nazi”.  And so, by the way, are you, if you get in their way in any way.

I’ll be talking with Preya Samsundar of Alphanews – who was attacked at an “Anti”-fa even last spring – and Jonathan Aanestad, who was among those attacked at the GOP rally last March at the Capitol.

Blackshirts patrolling the streets looking for free speech to pummel.

The goal?  To completely dismiss and debunk the idea that “Anti”-Fa is any better than the Klan or the Neo-Nazis, and to take to task anyone that thinks otherwise.

Join us from 1-3PM on Saturday.  Hopefully, nobody will punch you for listening, but I can make no absolute guarantees.

Progs Can’t Do Moral Math, Either

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals believe the law of supply and demand is suspended during times of scarcity caused by natural disasters.  Hotels charging high prices after a hurricane is shameful, harms the local economy.

Liberals believe the law of supply and demand is in full effect during times of scarcity caused by sporting events.  Hotels charging high prices for the Superbowl is wonderful, helps the local economy.

Herein the problem with ascribing morality to mathematics.

What really grinds me about the hurricane article is the self-absorbed arrogance of the writer.  It demonstrates the stunning disconnect between the leftist media and the real world.  They have the audacity to write this article about a TV crew being gouged while sucking up scarce resources (hotel space, food, water, gasoline) so the TV crew can document the misery of the locals which the TV crew will use, not to alleviate the misery, but to increase ratings which will enable the TV station to sell more advertising at higher prices and thereby earn a larger profit.  If anybody is engaging in exploitation, it’s the media.

The TV crew should be charged a 1000% markup, or more.  It’s a public service to do so.  A natural disaster is a limited opportunity to charge high prices to outsiders who are carpet-bagging their way into the region.  It’s an opportunity to take from the vultures to support the local economy that is in turmoil.  They should be happy to pay for a better Houston.

Joe Doakes

It’s all about who the heroes and villains are on any given day.

Milk Is Racist!

No, really!

And, snark aside, they have a point – it’s people from northern Europe, as well as people from cold, high-altitude places like Tibet and the Caucasus, that have any tolerance for other species’ milk; it was a trait selected for by millennia of survival in places where people couldn’t eat most of the vegetation most of the time, but animals could, turning inedible celliulose into edible fat.

But that’s about all the slack I’ll give the article, by one Andrea Freeman, a law professor; the rest of it is chock full of lines like this:

Popular racial stereotypes cast African-Americans and Latinos as fat and lazy, lacking the will power necessary to ward off obesity and other food-related illnesses.

Popular smug liberal stereotype of honkeys is that we “cast African-Americans and Latinos” as anything at all as a group.

The Fix

There are indeed Two Americas, as John Edwards used to say.

There’s the America where reguliar schnooks get crucified in court for “crimes” that exist only as federal regulations…

…and there are people who are  immune to the law.

It seems Obama ordered Comey to sandbag the “investigation” into the email server:

In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted. Conveniently, his remarks (inevitably echoed by Comey) did not mention that an intent to endanger national security was not an element of the criminal offenses Clinton was suspected of committing – in classic Obama fashion, he was urging her innocence of a strawman crime while dodging any discussion of the crimes she had actually committed. As we also now know – but as Obama knew at the time – the president himself had communicated with Clinton over her non-secure, private communications system, using an alias. The Obama administration refused to disclose these several e-mail exchanges because they undoubtedly involve classified conversations between the president and his secretary of state. It would not have been possible to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information without its being clear that President Obama had engaged in the same conduct. The administration was never, ever going to allow that to happen.

We fought a revolution over less.  Not less than one fixed conviction – but less than “two parallel systems of justice”.

Never Waste A Crisis

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If the dams break, if Houston is washed away, if the earth is scraped clean . . . what a wonderful opportunity for urban planners to rebuild ‘the right way.’

 

Tear up all freeways and residential streets.  Replace them with bike trails and light rail.  Mail and deliveries to be made by electric drone.

 

Ban fossil fuel vehicles.  Permit electric trucks in alleys to restock stores but nowhere else.

 

Ban single-family houses, strip malls, chain bookstores and big-box retailers.

 

Build apartments with a pocket park every six blocks for picnics.  Require space for a coffee shop, nail salon, cell phone store and sub shop in every development.

 

Chase away all industry.  Dig up all underground tanks from former gas stations.  Rename public places in Esperanto to avoid cultural insensitivity.

 

This is an exciting opportunity.  The city council should adopt the new plan fast, before any scruffy citizens can show up at the meetings to complain.

Wanna bet Betsy Hodges wishes we got hurricanes?

I’m Not Saying The Strib Editorial Board Seeks A Totalitarian Government.

I’m just saying that in the future, if some future wannabe despot wants to take over this country, suspend the Constitution and crush our freedoms without firing a shot (up front, anyway), he’ll need a society full of people who “think” like the Strib editorial board to have a chance of succeeding.  r

They want the President to stop having rallies like last week’s event in Phoenix – for everyone’s best interest:

These campaign-style rallies serve little practical purpose with the next presidential election not until 2020. Instead, they unnecessarily stoke anger and division at a volatile time, with the rally locations attracting the violence-prone on all sides of the political spectrum.

Well, no.  For the past year and a half, they have drawn unstable, violence-prone, Urban-Progressive-Privilege-sotted “Anti”-Fa blackshirts.  Lately, to be sure, they’ve drawn people on the other side who’ve come to aggressively defend themselves.  What, you expect people to stand still while they’re being gassed and clubbed for exercising their rights?

Clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters have already left one woman dead. It is only by the grace of God that more people didn’t die in Charlottesville. Or that violence didn’t spiral out of control during another gathering last Saturday in Boston.

Excluse my middle English, but bullshit.  All the violence in Boston was on the left.   Thousands of drooling scumbags descended on an expressly peaceful event that specifically excluded and condemed “white supremacists”.  Boston was a monument to the spoiled entitlement of Big Left and its idiot children – which is why it’s disappeared from the media.

It’s just common sense to let these tensions settle down and, until then, not offer up another obvious gathering point for extremists itching for action. President Trump should have recognized this before Tuesday’s rally, but making his way through the large, tense and often heavily armed crowd in Phoenix should have really driven that point home. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries Tuesday, but the event clearly strained local law enforcement’s capacity.

Look at the bright side; being a Red area, at least the cops in Phoenix showed up.

My suspicion; Big Media is decreasingly able to cover up the depravity of its nephews and nieces in the extreme left.

News Conferences I’d Love To See. And Participate In.

SCENE:   Press conference where a Free Speech Rally is being announced for the Minnesota state capitol grounds.   A group of reporters is questioning the organizers of the rally – Madison JAMES, Tyrone JEFFERSON, and Jorge WASHINGTON.

WASHINGTON:   …So to sum up, we will hold our Free Speech rally at precisely noon.  We have our permit, and we are ready to stand up for the free speech rights of all Minnesotans and all Americans.

JEFFERSON:  Even those we don’t agree with.

JAMES:  We’ll now take questions.   (Sees hands rising, points to a sallow endomorph in his late forties with severe acne).  Yes.

REPORTER 1:  I’m Edmund DuChey, from “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com”.  So your rally of Nazis and White Supremacists…

WASHINGTON:  Yeah, you can stop right there.  As noted before, this rally specifically denounces the American Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and everyone who would actively curtail the rights of others based on their ethnicity, religion or anything else.

JAMES:  And we’ve specifically disinvited them from the rally, and are ready to enforce that.

JAMES:  Next question.

REPORTER 2:  Walter Lennon-Marks from Minnesota Public Radio.  I notice that you have not disinvited people who plan on carrying firearms, concealed or openly, from the rally.

JEFFERSON:  That’s correct.

LENNON-MARKS:  Don’t you find that intimidates other speech?

WASHINGTON:  I find that it most definitely intimidates those who would threaten our rally with violence like “Anti”-Fa did in San Francisco.

JEFFERSON:  Or those who would act on those threats, as “Anti”-Fa did in Boston, and clearly plan to elsewhere.    Inducing them to keep their speech non-violent is a feature, not a bug.

JAMES:  Next question?

REPORTER 3:   Yes – Yvette Stahlen from the Star Tribune.  Why do all three of you make the scare quotes with your fingers whenever you say the “anti” in “Antifa?”

WASHINGTON:  Because they are “against fascism” in exactly the same way the Bloods are against the Crips, or the Gambinos were “against” the Luccheses.   These are two sides of the same noxious, anti-democratic, anti-freedom, pro-totalitarian coin.

STAHLEN:  But my editors’ oldest daughter is a member of Antifa, and has been ever since zhe graduated from Oberlin.

WASHINGTON:   (Walks down from the stage with a microphone, hands it to STAHLEN).  Here.

STAHLEN:  What do you want me to do with this.

WASHINGON:  Drop it for me.  I couldn’t possibly have ended this better than you did.

(And SCENE)

Doing The Legal Rain Dance

For years, the “Southern Poverty Law Center” has been slandering perfectly legitimate conservative organizations, smearing them as “hate groups”.

The practice hit home a few years back, when they called the “Taxpayers League of Minnesota” a “hate group”. Their “hate” was, apparently, manifested by getting lawmakers to pledge not to raise taxes – because taxes, apparently, are love.

Most slandered people can’t fight back, as I found out myself a few years back; it’s expensive, courts err very sharply on the side of free speech (which is a good thing in the great scheme of things, of course), and even if you “win” in court, the judge can rule that a retraction and apology will suffice (as I myself was told in 2012 by a lawyer, who told me I had a very strong defamation case against an online stalker – provided I came up with a $20K retainer and accepted the fact that there was a very strong chance of a legal victory with no financial payback whatsoever).  B

But with all that aside, it’s good to see someone  taking it to the fake watchdog group

On Tuesday, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) filed a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the charity navigation organization GuideStar, and Amazon for defamation, religious discrimination, and trafficking in falsehood. The SPLC listed DJKM as a “hate group,” while GuideStar also categorized it in those terms, and Amazon kept the ministry off of its charity donation program, Amazon Smile.

“We embarked today on a journey to right a terrible wrong,” Dr. Frank Wright, president and CEO at DJKM, said in a statement Tuesday. “Those who knowingly label Christian ministries as ‘hate’ groups, solely for subscribing to the historic Christian faith, are either woefully uninformed or willfully deceitful. In the case of the Southern Poverty Law Center, our lawsuit alleges the latter.”

The SPLC has labeled DJKM an “anti-LGBT hate group” for its opposition to same-sex marriage and transgenderism.

I’m hoping Kennedy wins and wins huge.

If I can find a place to donate to the legal fund, I’ll post it after I donate.

Rebooting Berkeley

This email was circulated at Berkeley earlier this week, according to an acquaintance of mine:

 “Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
This fall, the issue of free speech will once more engage our community in powerful and complex ways. Events in Charlottesville, with their racism, bigotry, violence and mayhem, make the issue of free speech even more tense. The law is very clear; public institutions like UC Berkeley must permit speakers invited in accordance with campus policies to speak, without discrimination in regard to point of view. The United States has the strongest free speech protections of any liberal democracy; the First Amendment protects even speech that most of us would find hateful, abhorrent and odious, and the courts have consistently upheld these protections.
But the most powerful argument for free speech is not one of legal constraint—that we’re required to allow it—but of value. The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university. The philosophical justification underlying free speech, most powerfully articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty, rests on two basic assumptions. The first is that truth is of such power that it will always ultimately prevail; any abridgement of argument therefore compromises the opportunity of exchanging error for truth. The second is an extreme skepticism about the right of any authority to determine which opinions are noxious or abhorrent. Once you embark on the path to censorship, you make your own speech vulnerable to it.
Berkeley, as you know, is the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students on the right and students on the left united to fight for the right to advocate political views on campus. Particularly now, it is critical that the Berkeley community come together once again to protect this right. It is who we are.
Nonetheless, defending the right of free speech for those whose ideas we find offensive is not easy. It often conflicts with the values we hold as a community—tolerance, inclusion, reason and diversity. Some constitutionally-protected speech attacks the very identity of particular groups of individuals in ways that are deeply hurtful. However, the right response is not the heckler’s veto, or what some call platform denial. Call toxic speech out for what it is, don’t shout it down, for in shouting it down, you collude in the narrative that universities are not open to all speech. Respond to hate speech with more speech.
We all desire safe space, where we can be ourselves and find support for our identities. You have the right at Berkeley to expect the university to keep you physically safe. But we would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous. We must show that we can choose what to listen to, that we can cultivate our own arguments and that we can develop inner resilience, which is the surest form of safe space. These are not easy tasks, and we will offer support services for those who desire them.
This September, Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos have both been invited by student groups to speak at Berkeley. The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal. If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.
We will have many opportunities this year to come together as a Berkeley community over the issue of free speech; it will be a free speech year. We have already planned a student panel, a faculty panel and several book talks. Bridge USA and the Center for New Media will hold a day-long conference on October 5; PEN, the international writers’ organization, will hold a free speech convening in Berkeley on October 23. We are planning a series in which people with sharply divergent points of view will meet for a moderated discussion. Free speech is our legacy, and we have the power once more to shape this narrative.
Sincerely,
Carol Christ
Chancellor”
In between the lines, it looks like the Chancellor is trying to reboot Berkeley’s policy to disallow violent suppression of dissenting opinions.  This is a marked contrast from the University’s behavior over the winter.
Of course, the real bellwether would be “how do the campus’s tiny conservative minority fare in day to day interactions”.   That’s the part I’m most intrested in.
But it’ll be interesting to see if this announcement is followed up with effective execution – and if any other schools follow suit.

The Last You’ll Hear Of This Story

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is waiting to speak to a manager at O’Gara’s about some entertainment business.  

Avery LIBRELLE walks into the bar, holding a tin cup, seeking donations for Carlton students with “Triggering Fatigue”.  LIBRELLE notices BERG.

LIBRELLE:  MERG!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Avery. How ya doing?

LIBRELLE:  Fascists are launching that wave of violence.

BERG:  Actually, it’s “Anti”-Fa’s blackshirts that are actually doing the violence.

LIBRELLE:  Har di har!

BERG:  Remember that episode last March, where a permitted group of Trump supporters were…

LIBRELLE:  …where they encountered a group of anti-Fascists who were just minding their own business, and the blame was on both sides.

BERG:  That’s your story, and you’re sticking with it?

LIBRELLE:  Of course.  It’s settled science.  Neil DeGrasse Tyson says so.

BERG:   Yeah, not so much.  One of the snowflakes involved in the attack took the deal.    And as part of the deal, he had to admit on the record what happened.  Here, let me read fro this bit from Alphanews:

Sagermerek, who initially pled not guilty during his first court appearance, told the court he “maced someone” and had intentions of disturbing the peace when affirming he would plead not guilty.

However, when Taheri and Sagermerek went over the events of the March 4 Trump rally, Sagermerek contradicted himself by stating that he intended to counter-protest peacefully, though he later admitted to carrying mace in his pockets.

Describing Trump supporters as protesters and the alt-right, Sagermereck told the court he was covered head-to-toe in black, wearing a studded jacket and bandana over his face, that he arrived with several other people.

Acknowledging Trump supporters had built a wall to keep counter-protesters away from their event, Sagermereck told the court that is when he grabbed the canister of mace and “sprayed it at one of the Trump supporters.” He announced the attack to be one that was “unprovoked and not in defense.”

Seven other counter-protesters have been charged and are currently awaiting trial.

LIBRELLE:  Ah.  So the Trump supporters tried to keep the counter-protesters…

BERG:  …in their bandanas and blackshirt-wear…

LIBRELLE:  …away from their demonstration?   Well, there you go.  Hate crime.

BERG:  Of course it is.

But LIBRELLE has already walked to the other bar to try to order a gluten-free diet Pepsi. 

And SCENE.

 

This Is My Shocked Face

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump said only one side had a permit to be at the rally in Emancipation Park.  The Left jumped all over that – it’s a lie, the counter-protesters had a permit, too.

No, they didn’t.  Their permit is for two different parks, a couple of blocks away.  When they left their permitted area to go to the other side’s permitted area, they were acting without a permit, exactly as Trump said.

Trump is correct.  The Left is lying.  Again.

Who’s got my shocked face?  I need it back.

Joe Doakes

When the left started jabbering that the “counterprotestes” had a permit, my BS detector started howling.   Permits exist to prevent confrontations.  That’s why protests are supposed to get them.

Proxy War

At Berkeley, police stood down as the Blackshirts attacked conservative events – twice.

At Middlebury College in Vermont, police stood idly by as “Anti”-fascists attacked a conservative speaker and one of their own professors.

And in Charlottesville last weekend, the police were given a “Stand Down” order, (by a mayor who condemned the permitted protesters, but pointedly refused to address the Blackshirts) allowing the Blackshirts to attack a “white supremacist” rallly with impunity

Nope – nobody dare suggest that Big Left is all about getting and holding power.  Perish the thought.