Stasis

Change is all around us.
Some things – technology, reality TV, the Dow – change very quickly.

Others – glaciers, the cityscape or landscape around you – change so slowly as to be imperceptible, until you look at a time lapse photograph or think back over 20 years in a place, and go “wow –  that snuck up on me”.

Indeed, the “expanding universe” model of astrophysics says that literally every single thing in the universe is changing, all the time.

There is only one thing in all of the known universe that is not changing. And that is…: 

… Oliver Willis will always be Oliver Willis.

Everything You Need To Know…

…not only about the shootout (not “riot”) between rival outlaw biker gangs in Waco over the weekend, but about the idiot left’s race-baiting response?  Yep – Kevin Williamson already has it, in this piece from NRO.

I’ll let you read the whole thing.  With Williamson, it’s always worth it; he bludgeons the incendiary mythmongering of the left’s activists and media (ptr) wings.

I’ll cut to the big pullquote:

The Waco police did not follow the lead of the Baltimore police; the mayor of Waco did not follow the lead of the mayor of Baltimore and declare an outlaw-biker free-fire zone. Instead, the police swooped in, arrested the better part of 200 people, started booking them, and peace was restored.

And nobody in Waco gave any press conferences about the need to understand the legitimate rage of the poor white peckerwood dumbass class.

And that’s as it should be.

Cue Captain Renault

The big news in the alt-media world in the Twin Cities last week was the MinnPost’s profile of Michael Brodkorb.

Michael has been rhetorical catnip for both sides of the aisle for the past decade or so.  When he was “Minnesota Democrats Exposed”, especially in his pseudonymous phase before 2006, he was the Minnesota left’s Public Enemy #1.

And his role in the scandal that whipsawed the GOP’s majority in the Senate a few years back made him non grata in a lot of GOP circles.

I’m not one of the conservatives that tossed Michael under the bus; I’ve considered him a friend ever since I first met him – when he revealed on my show back in ’06 that he was MDE.  I’m not going to say that I agree with all his choices, but I’m not the one to cast the first stone.  I’m also not on board with his approach to politics these days – but that’s something I’ll tackle issue by issue.

And I have some questions over a lot of what he says in the MinnPost profile.   Which would make for an interesting conversation, on or off the air.

But to me, the interesting part of the MinnPost profile isn’t so much the unpacking of the past couple years of Brodkorb’s life; it doesn’t cover all that much new ground.

No – the interesting part for me is lines like…:

“Republicans couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. It was a vicious mix of schadenfreude and shunning.”

“You understand the tactic [of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners PR]? Now you see it as having become counter­productive?

“Do you advise Republicans that [an aggressive, ideological approach to the media] only marginalizes them among general voters?”

“The “fringe of the fringe” of course is great fodder for the media. Every experienced reporter knows they’re fringe people saying fringe things”

“Well, the obvious irony is that for a lot of people around here they look at you and see the guy who kind of invented the partisan bomb-­thrower game”

And especially this one:

“But the tone and traffic you generated with [your writing] certainly helped … in establishing your bona fides within the party and achieving the post you held with the Senate”

The writer, of course, is Brian Lambert.

Now, Lambert’s not a bad guy.  But while I laud his sudden commitment to civility and reason, it’s hard to separate the Lambo in this piece from the Brian Lambert who was throwing partisan rhetorical rocks and garbage at conservatives years before it became the fashion.  Literally – my first encounter with Lambert was on December 18, 1985 – my first day as a screener at KSTP.  And Lambo was sitting in for Geoff Charles.  And he was not an iota less disdainful of and condescending to conservatives then than he was in his years at the Pioneer Press (when the “tone and traffic he generated with his writing helped establish his bona fides” for a job with then-Senator Mark Dayton), his turn as the liberal id of the old “Janecek and Lambert” show, and pretty much everything he’s ever written at the Twin Cities Reader, the Rake, MinnPost, and whatever I’ve forgotten in between.

And I’m thinking his solicitousness toward Brodkorb is going to be a new corollary to Berg’s 11th Law (“The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”); perhaps “the Republican that Democrats don’t pelt with rocks and garbage is the one that does their throwing for them”.

The Boogeygun Is Everywhere!

The night before the infamous “Saint Valentines’ Day Massacre” – in which Al Capone’s Italian mob rubbed out much of Bugs Moran’s Irish gang in Prohibition-era Chicago – the Italians spent a sleepless night assembling their Tommy Guns from parts they’d purchased around and about Chicago and its surrounding area.

And before going out to massacre innocent locals or groups of high school kids, Mexico’s loathsome narcotraficantes frequently spend days in machine shops, a patiently milling and drilling and cutting bits and pieces of metal into workable weapons.

Yeah, of course I made that up.

Criminals in America’s most crime-ridden cities – Chicago and Camden and DC and New Orleans – can get illegal firearms far easier than the law-abiding citizen can get legal ones, and there’s no assembly required.

But in the imagination of the American left’s ninny chorus in the media, criminals are real do-it-yourselfers.   Because you can get “assault weapon parts” on EBay; I’m going to add some emphasis:

Yet for as little as $500, anyone with an eBay account can purchase all but one of the dozen or so necessary parts.

The only missing piece of the gun – the lower receiver

Let’s stop right there.

If you know anything about guns, you know that “I got everything I need for an AR15 but the lower receiver” is a little like saying “I got an entire car – except the frame”.

can be bought secondhand from private sellers who post classified ads on other websites, such as Armslist.com. The receiver is the only regulated part of the gun, but there are workarounds for obtaining one, too. Partially complete receivers can be purchased privately without a background check or serial number and finished by buyers themselves, or they can be built from scratch at home to sidestep having to register the finished gun.

In other words, if a crook wants an unregistered AR15, the options are to gather a bunch of parts – a barrel, a bolt and bolt carrier, a stock, a forearm, a couple of hundred bucks worth of goodies – and then either:

  • buy a complete lower receiver, which must be transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensed-dealer (with paper trail).
  • buy an unfinished lower reciever and, using non-trivial skills and tools – metal drills, a metal router and a few others – finish it.  And by finish it, we mean to a rather fussy level of tolerances; the AR15 is no zip gun.
  • Put all the parts in their junk drawer and buy a complete, stolen AR or AK from any number of sources; stolen guns, gangs, or Eric Holder.

It might be simplistic to say that “if criminals had the skills needed to assemble a complete, shootable AR, they wouldn’t need to be criminals.  But only barely.

It is, of course, the latest attempt by the US media to manufacture a gun crisis – which is easier than manufacturing the guns themselves; as a Mother Jones correspondent couldn’t very well conceal a couple years ago, back when the AK47 was still the left’s official boogeygun (again, emphasis is mine):

The hosts collect our paperwork without checking IDs. We don eye protection and gloves, and soon the garage is abuzz with the whir of grinders, cutters, and drills. Sales of receivers—which house the mechanical parts, making a gun a gun—are tightly regulated, so my kit comes with a pre-drilled flat steel platform. Legally, it’s just an American-made hunk of metal, but one bend in a vise later and, voilà, it’s a receiver, ready for trigger guards to be riveted on. Sparks fly as receiver rails to guide the bolt mechanism are cut, welded into place, and heat-treated. The front and rear trunnions, which will hold the barrel and stock, are attached to the receivers.

Sounds easy?

Well, I know there are machinists in my audience.  But to the less handy among us – say, Mojo writers – it’s a non-trivial exercise.   I love the illustration in the Mojo story:  “Making your own receiver – the part that holds the firing mechanism – requires no background check”.  Which may be true, but it also requires a non-trivial set of metalworking skills and tools.

You’re a crook.  What’s easier; spending an evening with a bunch of people painstakingly assembling  an AK (or the much fussier AR) from scratch, or buying one from a fellow crook in a tenth of the time?

It’s not confusing to anyone who’s not an NPR reporter.

The Blonde Is Obviously Guilty

When the usual suspects – 99% of Twitter users – jumped on board in attacking ESPN correspondent Brett McHenry for her altercation with the folks at an impound lot, I thought to myself “let’s hold out for a moment here”.

Yes, sports “journalists” usually don’t rate much in the way of consideration. If Ancient Rome had had cable TV, ESPN would have made major bank covering gladiator fights.

But if there’s a group of people in the world that have not earned themselves much in the way of indulgence for their behavior, it’s the folks at tag and tow impound lots like “Advanced Towing”, where Ms. McHenry had her dustup.

Sure enough – a few days have past, and it looks entirely possible that Ms. McHenry’s outburst may have been rhetorical self-defense against a tag ‘n tow clerk who was, to put it politely, being a pig.

A review of the company’s Yelp page reveals many disgruntled customers who aren’t just griping over the fact they got towed.
According to NBC Washington, there have been incidents where the company towed cars with a golden retriever and even children inside.

Are you smelling what I’m cooking, “Mark’s” in Eagan, or Goebbels’ Towing in New Brighton?

Oops

Over the Easter Weekend/news hole, Rolling Stone magazine and their writer, Sabrina “Amoral Pig” Erdely, retracted their hatchet job University of Virginia rape story. I’ll add emphasis:

On Sunday, Ms. Erdely, in her first extensive comments since the article was cast into doubt, apologized to Rolling Stone’s readers, her colleagues and “any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.”

She apologized to her readers, colleagues, and people who felt triggerwarned?

Well, isn’t that special.

Nothing for the people she falsely accused?  

The people she nifonged?

In an interview discussing Columbia’s findings, Jann S. Wenner, the publisher of Rolling Stone, acknowledged the piece’s flaws but said that it represented an isolated and unusual episode and that Ms. Erdely would continue to write for the magazine. The problems with the article started with its source, Mr. Wenner said. He described her as “a really expert fabulist storyteller” who managed to manipulate the magazine’s journalism process. When asked to clarify, he said that he was not trying to blame Jackie, “but obviously there is something here that is untruthful, and something sits at her doorstep.”

So Amoral Pig Erdely ran a story without even the faintest whiff of what used to be considered journalistic due diligence, buuuuuuuuut of course she’ll continue to “write” for Rolling Stone.  

It’s been my theory for most of a decade now that the “Society of Professional Journalists'” “Code of Ethics” is nothing but a framework by which media outlets can justify absolutely anything they do, even if only by pleading “we subscribe to the SPJ Code of Ethics”.

It’s very close to becoming a new Berg’s Law.

Status Quo Ante

While this blog has repeatedly referred to Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie as “one of about five Minnesota liberal bloggers that don’t deserve police surveillance” – not the highest compliment I can give, but the highest warranted under the circumstances – one should not presume that I agree that Ms. Sorenson will go out of her way to tell a story that the DFL doesn’t want, or  pay to have, told.

So with yesterday’s post about the Minnesota Senate “tightening” media credentialing rules, which was signal for including just the bits that fit the DFL’s narrative about media and communications:

Via David Montgomery’s post at the Pioneer Press’s Political Animal blog, MN Senate tightens rules for press credentials and The Uptake’s MN Senate Tightens Media Credential Rule, we learn that ““individuals affiliated with a political organization” can no longer be credentialled as journalists or keep their press pass at the Minnesota Senate.

Now, the mainstream press is noplace to get information about this issue, since they’ve been blissfully above it all from the beginning.  And the Uptake has a bit of a conflict of interest, as it was the DFL’s favoritism toward them (they gave credentials to the stridently partisan Uptake, but denied them to conservatives) in 2010 that led to the whole “Senate Media Rules” fracas in the first place.

Back when the GOP took over the Senate in 2011, then-Senate-GOP-comms guy Michael Brodkorb convened a working group to come up with new rules for media credentialing.  I was part of the group, along with David Brauer.  And we did a really good job; they were among the best, fairest rules in the country, balancing the investment the big mainstream media outlets had made in coverage with the access for alternative media sources.

And to prevent the system from being hijacked by the parties, the rules barred people who were on party payrolls from getting credendialed.  Period.

In 2013, the DFL took control of the Senate:

Montgomery reports:

That’s a pretty broad definition, but the background appears to be related to a blogger named Shawn Towle, who received a Senate press pass while also being paid by the Senate DFL.

Republican senators made a stink about Towle in April of 2014, putting out a press release accusing DFL leader Tom Bakk of “secret payments” to Towle.

Introducing the proposed change today, Bakk described it as “something the rules committee had considerable conversation about near the end of the session last year.”

In other words, Bakk is reiterating the process that we came up with in 2011.  With a great deal of noise, he returned the Senate to the rules it had before.

Thank goodness.

One presumes that the DFL will find some way to sneak Towle, their favorite hit-piece writer, into the room – but it’ll be the traditional Democrat way; rules be damned!

And that is the rest of the story.  

Degrees

I’m not sure which was greater; my degree of un-shock that Gary Trudeau bought the University of Virginia Gang-Rape hoax hook, line and sinker…

…or shock that Trudeau and Doonsbury are respectively still alive and being published.

Lying, Criminal Or Both?

There’s an old saying; “success has a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan”. 

In the wake of the Democrat party’s nationwide electoral humiliation, the left is looking for things to hang their hopes on. 

It’s human nature; the good guys were doing it two years ago, too.

So here’s what the Democrats are hanging their hats on; in a blue state, a 67 year old governor who gets mistaken for his entrepreneur anscestors, a superannuated standup comic, and a couple of congressmen dragged out of mothballs at the Museum of Pettifogging eked out wins in a state where…they were expected to eke out wins. 

But remember – whatever success there is has a thousand fathers.  Er, parents.  And the local left is stepping all over itself to claim their piece of the success less-failure. 

“In These Times” is the sort of “progressive” publication you can imagine a room full of Grace Kellys producing.  I don’t read it much, because it’s just not a challenge. 

But in their post mortem of the MN elections, they made an interesting and, dare I say, surprising claim.

No, it’s not the callow reference to stereotypes.  That’s no surprise from any “progressive” publication:

Mike McIntee, who lives in Eagan and is executive producer [Hah!  – Ed] of The UpTake, a citizen journalism-driven, online video streaming website, has seen his first-ring suburb change politically. The residents of Eagan’s cul-de-sacs no longer exclusively resemble an episode of The Brady Bunch, but include different ethnicities and low-income housing.

“White People” = “Brady Bunch”. 

Huh. 

Anyway – here’s the interesting part (emphasis added by me):

McIntee also credits the work of Protect Minnesota, which works to end gun violence by turning it into a political issue in urban and suburban areas. Protect Minnesota sent out mailers this election season attacking candidates who opposed gun control. Its gun-safety champions who won on Tuesday include Ron Erhardt, who represents the suburb of Edina. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association’s influence may be waning in Minnesota. Three rural DFLers who were endorsed by the NRA all lost.

Protect Minnesota?

The gun grabber group led by Heather Martens known mainly for its comic ineptitude, has done more harm than “good” for the gun grabber movement in the past…couple of decades.  They mobilize no significant people (a couple of dozen might turn out for a vital hearing, as opposed to hundreds of Real Americans. 

But what of their claims? 

  • McIntee claims “Protect” Minnesota sent out “mailings attacking candidates“:  Now, the Minnesota Human Rights community is pretty good at keeping tabs on what the orcs are doing.  And nobody seems to have seen a “Protect Minnesota” mailer.  None.  Michael Bloomberg and the DFL both hit on guns – but both groups carefully excised the hapless “Protect Minnesota” from their strategy.
  • What “Gun Safety Champions?”  Protect MN is a lobbying group, not a PAC.  Did they endorse candidates?  If so ,they broke the law; lobbying groups can’t endorse candidates.
  • They’re claiming credit for Ron Erhardt?  If Mike McIntee or Heather Martens wants to make the claim that guns were behind Ron Erhardt’s razor-thin win in Edina, feel perfectly free.  But be ready to be slapped down hard.   It’s an absurd claim. 
  • They’re Claiming They Have The Momentum?:  “Three rural DFLers endorsed by the NRA” lost – but then, most rural DFLers lost, whatever their NRA and MNGOPAC endorsement. The election wasn’t about guns! But even so, over 3/4 of MNGOPAC’s endorsed candidates, GOP and DFL, won on election night – and many of the ones that lost in Greater Minnesota lost to other candidates with high GOCRA and MNGOPAC ratings.  Either way, gun owners won.  To claim the Gun Rights movement lost last Tuesday is a Baghdad-Bob-level bit of delusion. 

But delusion is Heather Martens’ stock in trade.  From the “Protect” MN website:

From the “P”M website. Click on the link to actually see it.

Look, “Progressives”; if it makes you sleep easier at night thinking that…:

  • Mark Dayton, who has spent the past two cycles trying to defuse Real American opposition by claiming he has a couple of .357 Magnums at home for self-defense, and
  • Al Franken, who touches on guns as obliquely as his caucus will allow him to, and
  • Rick Nolan, who ran away from the anti-gun movement (ineptly), and
  • Colin Peterson, with an NRA “A” rating, along with…
  • 11 new Republicans, all of them pro-gun, mostly MNGOPAC endorsed, all of them Second-Amendment-friendly, and
  • a solidly pro-Human Rights MN House, with Michael Paymar’s Metrocrat caucus demoted to the cheap seats…

…are a “victory” for “gun safety?”  Go for it!

It’s Heather Martens’ take, and it’s delusional…

…but I repeat myself. 

Note to Mike McIntee and the rest of the “progressive” feed trough; if that’s the best source you can pick, no wonder you guys are getting your asses kicked on Second Amendment issues.

A Simple Request…

…for everyone in the mainstream media, alternative media, and talk radio – even conservative talk radio:

Unless you work at a Red Wing outlet store and are changing your shelving, could you never, Ever, EVER use the term “Boots on the Ground” again?  It’s gone so far beyond cliché, light leaving “cliché” right now won’t reach us until our great-grandchildren are getting AARP cards.

“Troops in the field” actually works.

Thank you all in advance for seeing to this.

That is all.

I Think We Broke Their Brains

Last week, Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie – one of the small minority of Minnesota progblogs that don’t deserve police surveillance or restraining orders – was jumping up and down over this article in the Minnesota Daily, the U of M newspaper.

It’s an interview with a couple of design and communications professors, going over the symbology of various campaign signs.

On the one hand, I do a lot of that sort of thing as part of my day job.  It’s more than an academic subject to me.

On the other hand?

Sorenson quotes the piece in the Daily by Kevin Karner, in re the two professors’ comparisons of the signs in the Secretary of State Race between Steve “Couldn’t Get To 45% in the Primary” Simon and Dan Severson:

Severson also tries to indicate his party affiliation through color, but the placement of the blue ribbon with white stars over a red backdrop almost evokes the Confederate Flag — an odd choice for Minnesota.

Here’s the Confederate Flag – the “Stars and Bars”, which sounds a little like an uptown hipster tavern.

Yep – red field, blue bars, white stars.   Modeled after the Union Jack.  Maybe the regional left needs to get on the Scots and Brits for their racist microaggressions.

Here’s Severson’s:

Red “Republican” background. Blue stripe – unlike the Rebel flat, there’s one, not two of them, and not only is it wavy, but it and its white stars seem to vanish into the distance. Almost like something zipping across the sky.  Leaving contrails behind it, even.

Now, I’m not a college professor or a progblogger, so I have no idea what one might associate with Dan Severson…

…that would involve something with a star on it flashing across the sky into the distance?

Being neither an  associate design professor nor a progblogger with numerous elite academic credentials, I’m obviously too stupid to figure it out.

Heck, we all are!  It just has to be a Confederate flag reference!  Sometimes I just feel so stupid.

Hm.  What could that slashing, star-clad blue ribbon mean?

DUURRR! DAAAAAAAR!  Stupid conservative blogger!  Must smash things!

Oh, yeah; Sorenson:

Given the side Minnesota’s soldiers fought on in the Civil War, it’s odd indeed.

Given the side Ms. Sorenson’s Democrat party forebears fought on in the Civil War, I suppose it’s just high time for incongruity.

Our Douchebag Opposition

Anti-NRA “Daily Beast” writer wonders why the NRA – which famously rails against domestic overreach – isn’t defending black people in Ferguson Missouri (with the not-so-muted conclusion that it’s all in the racism).

The real answer:  for the same reason the National Organization of Women isn’t protesting against whaling.

The NRA focuses like a laser beam on the Second Amendment.

You’ll note – although the “Daily Beast” writer does not – that the NRA supported to the hilt the action by Otis McDonald, which led to the Supreme Court incorporating the Second Amendment as a “right of the people”.

Odd how that got forgotten.

Priorities

MNSure is a disaster that’s going to cost us hundreds of millions of dollars – much more, in fact, that most of the state’s natural disasters.  .

Behind the happy talk, the state’s economy is showing signs of slowing

Our major cities’ minority achievement gaps are worse than those in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Detroit.  Indeed, we are worse than the proverbial “cold Omaha”. 

So what’s been the top news of the week among the left and media (pardon the redundancy)?

Some ill-advised tweets about Robin Williams by the MNGOP’s deputy.

Follow-up question:  What is it that bothered the left/media about Mr. Fields’ tweets?  Was it the politicization of a tragedy?  Or was it that someone would tweet something grossly inappropriate? 

Because I’m sure nobody on the left would politicize a tragedy or tweet something stupid.

I’m sure we’ll hear back on that.

Breaking Some Eggs

I had a great pleasure of meeting seven or eight of my closest friends at the River Oasis Café in Stillwater Saturday morning.

We talked about the cafe last week; they aroused the ire of the entire Minnesota Left – few of whom would ever seem to have been at the River Oasis – by putting their “minimum wage fee” on their receipts:

20140811-065434-24874747.jpg

First things first: It’s a classic American diner – like Mickey’s on West Seventh, or Keys, and not a whole lot of others out there anymore. The food was excellent.

I had the pleasure of talking with Craig Beemer, the owner, on my show on Saturday afternoon (and his wife on Saturday morning). And we learned a couple of things about the place, and the “controversy”.

Money:  One of the left’s main whining points about the public “minimum wage fee” is that it’s “disrespectful to the employees”.  

Of course, it’s a stupid point.  Unlike most restaurants, the Beemers already pay the back of the house staff – the line cooks, dishwashers and the like – better than minimum wage, and (according to Beemer) very competitively with the similar places in Stillwater.  That’s the kind of “respect” I actually cared about when I was a low-wage employee.

The only people making minimum wage are the waitstaff – and when you add on tips, they’re making closer to $25 an hour, often more, and the minimum wage is not an issue. 

Except for the Beemers, for whom the wage hike was a $10,000/year hit on the bottom line.   Remember – restaurants across the river in Wisconsin have a minimum wage of $3-and-change per hour.

Because they have a tip credit.

Power:  Which is what Governor Dayton’s sons asked for earlier this summer.  Andrew and Eric Dayton, owners of “The Bachelor Farmer”, a chi-chi restaurant in Minneapolis, complained to Dadders because the new, higher minimum wage hike was harshing their fiscal mellow.  They asked for…

…a tip credit.

Bonus Explanation For Leftybloggers, none of whom apparently have ever worked for tips:  you don’t work for minimum wage.  Even when there’s a “tip credit” in effect and your “wage” is $3-and-change/hour, like in most surrounding states, you’re still making more.  How much more?  If you work at a crummy place with lousy food, maybe not enough more.  If you work at Manny’s Steakhouse and tend to tables  that rack up $400-$1000 for a meal, you can make well into six digits.  In between?  It’s a complex set of dependencies; waiting skill, clientele, season, even the weather. 

But for all the crap that Tom Emmer took for his “waitstaff making over $100,000″ “gaffe” four years ago, you might be amazed at the number of waitstaff that take home solid middle-class “living wages”; $50,000, $75,000 and more. 

Which isn’t bad for a trade that requires no education, licensing or anything but talent and hard work.

Which may be what bothers liberals about all of this.

“If Ifs, Ands And Buts Were Candy And Nuts, We’d All Have A Wonderful Unbedankfest”:  Here’s another note for ignorant leftybloggers; a “tip credit” acknowledges the fact that for a good waiter at a good establishment with a good clientele, the minimum wage is the fringe of their income; the owner can apply some of the waitstaff’s tips to the wage, in effect. 

“I think tipping is just wrong”, whined a massive clot of liberals last week, “and I think we should do away with it; it’s unfair.  They should all just be paid”, they say, reflecting the “progressive” desire to oversimplify the free market (and working for tips is the ultimate meritocracy). 

Of course, it’s been tried.  Not a few restaurants have tried to abolish tipping – paying their waitstaff more, and jacking up the prices accordingly, to a brief flurry of adoring media attention. 

Then they quietly vanish.  And a few years later, the cycle repeats. 

“It’s So Tacky!”:  Tackier than jamming down a minimum wage increase with the barest possible minimum of debate, and then reconsidering when the governor’s kids get into a jam? 

“Why don’t they publicize all the costs that hit their bottom line?”:   Because if they use too much electricity, they can unscrew the lightbulbs in the bathrooms.  If the price of tomatoes goes up, they can use fewer of them in their recipes.  If Ecolab cleaning products are too expensive, they can switch to Servicemaster.   In other words – as with everything in the free market (including restaurant choices), they, the consumer, can say “no” and pick a better option. 

But they can’t switch states.  Tempting as it is for many businesspeople.  Government is the one thing you can’t say “no” to, without having men in uniforms with guns busting down your door eventually. 

And the hypocrisy of a “progressive” movement that twisted itself into knots to try to legitimize the “Occupy” movement turning around and attacking an actual working business for using its right to free speech is enough to put me off my breakfast, were it less delicious.  

“What are you going to do, Berg?  Hang out there all the time?”:  It’s not really about me.  But when in Stillwater – a place I may get to annually – sure why not? 

The “point” they’re shooting for is that conservatives won’t be going there forever, and the liberals among the Oasis’ clientele will stay gone. 

I’m going to guess that most of the people doing the “protesting” have never been there, and would never have gone – and if they did, they were, like most liberals, lousy tippers anyway. 

Anyway – kudos to the Beemers.  And thanks for a fantastic breakfast, a great discussion, and for fighting a battle that a lot more people need to fight.

Saturday Breakfast

Earlier this week, Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie unleashed the nagging, hectoring, joyless scolding hordes of the Minnesota left on the River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater for daring to protest against the DFL’s minimum wage hike jamdown by informing their diners how the price hike was affecting their meal price.

The comments on Sorenson’s piece were the same sort of uniformed ad-hominem that the mindless cattle of Minnesota specialize in, in their bovine way.  And given that most of them  are idlers with more time on their hands than brain cells to burn, we can only assume that they’ve taken other actions against the River Oasis. 

Because protest is a good thing, unless it’s the DFL that’s being protested against. 

Anyway – any establishment that’s got the seeds to tell the emperor they have no clothes deserves the thanks of the people who really make this state work, the taxpayers for whom the DFL has such oozing pustulent contempt.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m gonna run out there (here’s the map link) for breakfast Saturday morning. 

And if you’re a Minnesota taxpayer, businessperson or citizen who thinks that real people speaking truth to stupid power is a good thing, I’ll invite you to join me.  For breakfast. 

(Separate checks, by the way).

If it’s just me, that’s fine.  But feel free to come on out.  Drop me a comment if you get a moment, just so I know whether to expect company.

That Joyous Moment…

…when liberals actually realize they have to pay for the “progressive” legislation they demanded.

A cafe in Stillwater tacked on a “Minimum Wage Fee” to their bills, to show their customers – this being Stillwater, mostly DFLers – what their “generosity” with other peoples’ bottom lines was costing everyone. 

Sally Jo Sorenson – one of the handful (literally – maybe five, no more than ten) liberal bloggers in Minnesota who don’t belong under police surveillance – just doesn’t like those peasants getting uppity:

The restaurant industry had tried–but failed–to make the case to the Minnesota legislature for a “tip credit” system under which wait staff could be paid less than the new minimum wage. New legislation raised the state’s minimum wage to $8.00/hr on August 1, with new raises for workers until the wage is $9.50/hr in August 2016.

Accurized:  The restaurant industry’s case had no more chance of being heard in a legislature dominated by a DFL that owed their union benefactors big bucks than Ice Cube has of getting applauded at a Ted Nugent concert.  The minimum wage was going to pass, no matter what. 

And once the DFL has spoken, to the left (via Sally Jo Sorenson), people should just shut up and forget all that “free speech” and “protest” crap. 

The cafe in question should oughtta be careful, of course; next, it’ll be the IRS. 

Reading the smug, PC commenters (as if Sorenson deigns to print any other kind) is just precious.

I’d like to find out what the cafe is, so I can grab breakfast there this weekend and thank them for forcing the Minnesota left to marinade in its own cowardly hypocrisy.

Compare And Contrast

A Conservative media outlet (blogger, talk host, writer, etc):  Sees a story about a two-bit Democrat candidate whom even fellow Democrats shun at the polls making an over the top depraved statement.  He briefly considers posting it as a sign that it’s truly Democrats who are waging a “war on women” – but notes that the guy is so fringe that even most Democrats refudiate the guy.   Decides that writing about the guy would give him just a little more unjustified publicity, opts to do his little bit to return the creep to obscurity by ignoring the story.

A Liberal media outlet – say, “Think” Progress, gets a story about an obscure GOP candidate who’s running third in the primary for a city council seat in Brackwater Alabama saying “AIDS is God’s revenge on gays”.  Within 12 hours, every liberal media outlet from MSNBC all the way down to Dim Tim Sweeney’s twitter feed, and thence further to AM950, bleats “PROMINENT REPUBLICAN SAYS GOD HATES F**S!”.

Zzzzzzzzzz

Word has it that Fast Eddie Schultz – the single liberal talk show host in the business who understood anything about doing radio – is calling in the dogs and whizzing on the fire.

(Yes, I know – Stephanie Miller. But her only good idea is copying Laura Ingraham’s show in every single particular; otherwise, she’s just another shrill Taylor Marsh clone).

On the one hand, Schultz was literally the only liberal in talk radio who understood anything about doing radio, as opposed to standup comedy, essay writing or speaking to a roomful of people. They’re very, very different things.

On the other hand? Schultz may be the only host in talk radio who is actually as dumb as the left thinks conservative talk hosts are.

So adios, Fast Eddie. It’s one step further on the journey to forgetting you ever existed.

Drinking Symptomatically

I used to make a concerted effort to read Minnesota liberal blogs.  But it’s been a long time.

Part of it is that most of the good ones – and there were good ones – have moved on.  There are a few left that are worth reading, but I can count them on one hand hand have and have a couple fingers’ worth of change.

I’ve said for years that the biggest problem liberals communicating with non-believers – for the precious few that want to – is that very few of them have ever learned how to actually debate.  Oh, most of them may start out a “debate” with a round of factoids lifted from “Think” “Progress” or “Kos”.  But let those “arguments” be challenged, and the next round, almost without fail, will be either a logical fallacy – a strawman, a tu-quoque, an ad-hominem, a red herring – or it’ll be a personal attack.

And as Jeff Kolb found when he attended “Drinking Liberally” last week, that’s if you’re lucky:

I shook a few hands and only got one “fuck you,” and figured that ain’t too bad, so I sat back down to watch the show which had just kicked off.

While I’ve rarely encountered that level of hostiity, I won’t say I expect a whole lot better.    And that’s fine – anyone who needs to react to dissent, or a dissenter, that way deserves pity, not anger.

Kolb:

I tweeted at one point that I had the feeling some of the people in the room had never actually spoken to a real-life Republican. One guy asked me at the end of the night if Republicans cared about free speech. After I answered in the affirmative, and used the example of the recent Condoleezza Rice event to illustrate the point, he replied that we only care about free speech “if it wears a suit.” The only response I could muster to this was a blank stare.

And in a way, it’s hard to know how it could be much different:  Minnesota liberals come up through a K-12 system that indoctrinates kids to think the left is the baseline.  They mostly go through a university system that actively crushes dissent from “progressivism”.  They largely work in institutions – government, academia, big corporations – that can ignore dissent or minimize it at their pleasure.

It’s a lifelong path of least intellectual resistance.  Who could expect a cogent argument?  It’s the dissenters who have to develop the intellectual muscles you get from swimming against the tide.

And yes – it suspect it cuts both ways.   I’d imagine conservatives in Utah can be pretty smug and blinkered; I’d imagine liberals in eastern Montana have to either bring an A game or shut up.

The Hypocrisy Record Books

1988:  Carl Rowan, the WaPo columnist with a long record of vicious attacks on the idea of civilian gun ownership, shoots at a teenager who was in his swimming pool.

2012:  Barack Obama, while claiming the GOP is fighting a “War on Women”, pays his female employees much less than his male staff.

2013:  DFL rep Ryan “Eddie Haskell” Winkler, who routinely attacks the integrity of his opponents on issues of race, calls accomplished jurist Clarence Thomas “Uncle Tom”.

2014:  Media Matters, a George Soros-funded attack-PR firm which has spent years railing against “Right to Work” laws nationwide, brings in the big guns as SEIU tries to unionize MM4A’s underpaid drudge-workers:

Media Matters has retained a law firm whose focus is representing management in labor disputes. It’s forcing its employees into a secret-ballot election, which is the kind of vote card-check proponents like the good folks at Media Matters decry whenever Republicans insist it’s important to maintain.

But the year is still young!

She’ll Never Do Lunch In Berkeley Again.

I’ve always tried to understand people from “across the aisle”.

Part of it was the fact that I was a liberal for a while.  It’s easy for me not to see libs as “evil”; I wasn’t evil, I was just naive.

And over the years I’ve found that getting to know people who think differently, outside the context of politics, can be useful, especially for people whose primary interaction is via some sort of social media.  Social media – and the whole online user experience – tends to reduce inhibitions and focus emotion – which is a lousy combination for civil discussion.  And over the decade or so of doing MOB parties, I’ve met a lot of people who disagree with me – but spent enough time talking about anything but politics that it was easier to start treating each other like human beings rather than collections of caricatures.

(I said a lot.  Not all of them.  There are some Twin Cities leftybloggers who are not redeemable, and not worth knowing or understanding, because they are depraved and of no value.  But I’m not naming names).

And it cuts both ways.  Liberal  commentator and strategist Sally Kohn spent some time, er, commentating at Fox News, and learned that conservatives are, in fact, human.

My time at Fox News was marked by meeting and working with some of the kindest, smartest, and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in life. As I said in my TED talk, Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet – and even now that I’ve parted ways with Fox, he remains a good friend and mentor.

For a radical progressive who once harbored negative stereotypes about folks on the right, it was a turning point for me to meet people such as Mr. Hannity, Karl Rove, Monica Crowley, Sarah Palin, and so many others, and see that – though we certainly disagree profoundly on political issues – they’re personable and kind and human. Just like me.

It’s strange to suggest that a seemingly simple realization such as that is in fact a profound revelation, but in our hyperpartisan era, when we often vilify the other side as being less-than-human, it is.

I’m going to be watching for the waves of hatred that this piece generates.

Because it will.