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”. 


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.


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:


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!”.


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.


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.

Ad Diminam

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Our Friend has a post on Penigma explaining why Stand Your Ground is a bad idea because a certain legislator who might support such a bill, if it came before the legislature, was Not convicted of a crime in another state.  Okay, he wasn’t convicted – he wasn’t even charged – but another guy Was charged and has Not been convicted either.  So that proves that Stand Your Ground is bad legislation.

Attacking the man instead of attacking his idea might prove the man is a bad man, but it doesn’t prove the idea is a bad idea.  That’s why an Ad Hominem argument is a logical fallacy and unpersuasive to thinking people.  Which, apparently, does not include Our Friend or, presumably, the people who read her blog.

So does that mean I applaud bad men, celebrate them, and approve of all their actions?  Obviously not; and even if I did, that still wouldn’t mean Stand Your Ground is a bad idea.

It’s too bad the legislator isn’t a Black man because then Our Friend’s opposition to his ideas would be racissss.  Can’t you just hear the heads exploding all across Mac-Groveland?

Joe Doakes

The number of liberals – especially Minnesota liberal bloggers, but including not a few higher-level operatives – who can conduct a rational debate using the basics of logic, and without wallowing in all manner of logical fallacies, is disturbingly tiny, and supports my contention that Minnesota liberals are terrible debaters because they never have to learn how to debate rationally.

He Who Forgets Never Knew History Is Condemned To Being A Liberal “Journalist”

The Democrats are in trouble.  Obamacare is tanking, and the economy is “growing” at a pace that would have been considered a disaster were Barack Obama, the vessel of the left’s hopes and dreams, not President. 

And despite a concerted media attempt to black out the bad news, people are starting to talk. 

And so the left is doing its best to get people to talk about…other things. 

Any other things. 

So when my Twitter feed (actually a tweet from one-time SITD commenter “TimInStP”, one of the most incisive liberal minds ever to comment in this space) screamed “The GOP Just Named its Hot New Innovation Lab After a Nazi Pistol”, I figured it was worth looking into. 

It wasn’t.  I mean, it was from Gawker, which is to national liberal media what Minnesota Progressive Project is to Minnesota; ergo, not worth the time it took, to look into.

But as a view into the lengths the deranged left will go to to try to slander dissenters, it’s instructive anyway:

The Republican National Committee today excitedly announced the launch of a new startup lab to bring techies and creatives together, Silicon Valley-style, to get Republicans elected. Oh, and they named it for a Nazi gun, a type of ammo, and a philosophy that puts war before peace.

Welcome to Para Bellum Labs, America!

Para Bellum?  Why, I took enough Latin to know that means “prepare for war!”.

And Gawker got that part right.  Sorta. 

In fact, it’s part of an old Roman cliche, “Si vis pacem, para bellum”—if you seek peace, prepare for war. That’s been quite an inspiring little phrase through history, at least to militarists. It was especially inspiring to Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken, the German government’s arms manufacturer from the late imperial era to World War II.

DWM started using the “parabellum” phrase as a name for its signature guns—first, the light machine gun used by the Kaiser’s best during World War I, and then its most iconic gun: the Parabellum Pistole, or the Luger pistol…Yep, Nazi parabellum!

So let me get this straight:  Because the Republican startup used a phrase that was also used by, among hundreds or thousands of others, a German company (in corrupted form) in 1908 to describe a pistol that was used, 30 years later, by a regime that wouldn’t even start to form for fifteen years, the GOP “named its lab after a Nazi gun?”

Oh, it gets better.

The gun was so popular in the Third Reich that its ammunition—one of the first to use a slug that was 9 millimeters in diameter—became known as “9 mm parabellum,” which you can find now at your local gun store.

It was nowhere near “one of the first” 9mm rounds (and if you walk into your gun store and ask for “9mm Parabellum”, the clerk will know you learned everything you know about guns from video games; it’s “9mm Luger”, or “9×19”).  And the “Parabellum” pistol (usually called a “Luger”, or a “P-08” in German) was so popular among the Nazis that they phased it out of production in favor of the Walther P-38, which was simpler to produce and easier to maintain in the field…

But wait!  P-38 was the same designation as the plane flown by America’s top fighter ace, Superior Wisconsin’s own Richard Bong! 

Richard Bong was a Nazi!

(Calms down).

Oh, yeah – most police in America today carry 9mm pistols.  Are they also Nazi sympathizers?

Gawker is like a lobotomy that you don’t have to pay for.


Ann Coulter is proving my point; liberals don’t know how to debate conservatives

However, there is at least one Republican who wants to appear on The Ed Show. You might have heard of her. Her name is Ann Coulter.

She wants to be on The Ed Show so badly that she actually called Schultz a “lying pussy” as an apparent means of motivation. She did this on Twitter last night in response to Schultz saying that Republicans don’t like to appear on his show.

The full tweet reads: “Invite me on your show, you lying pussy.”

Will Coulter’s call to action work? Time will tell.

It won’t.

There are some liberals who have the cojones to meet conservatives face to face and have that kind of discussion.  R.T. Rybak was one; he came on the NARN a few years back.  We had a great time.

But the sub-genre of liberals of whom Schultz is part?   Their entire oeuvre depends on never, ever leaving the echo chamber.  They do their bullying purely from within their little circle jerk.

Like a vast swathe of Twin Cities liberals – they splinter like Wal-Mart end tables when they have to try to sustain an actual debate.

Because most Minnesota liberals can not debate .

Schultz is a classic example.  The painfully polite and effortlessly erudite Michael Medved made him look like a badly-trained dog at a debate in the Twin Cities a few years back; Schultz was reduced to trying to mock Medved’s Harvard degrees, and calling yours truly (a co-moderator of the event) an “a-hole” on the air the next day.

I’ve spent six years now trying to invite Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison and even Representative Heather Martens on the NARN.   Bupkes.

Even a barking seal like Schultz knows his limitations.  If he let Coulter in the studio with him, within ten minutes of the mikes going live he’d be trussed up like a turkey (rhetorically speaking) and sputtering like a badly tuned lawn-mower (not rhetorically).

What Could Go Wrong?

Ezra Klein has left the WaPo, to start a new blog to help readers “contextualize” the news.

Unlike about 20,000 news and politics blogs.  Including this one. 

But Ezra Klein – with a little help from friends like Matt “One-Man Education Bubble” Yglesias – is going to bring special “context” to the news. 

Here was an example of the sort of “context” Klein and Yglesias bring “to the news”, from an excellent adventure they had on the Chicom tab a few years back.

This Is Today’s “Progressive” Journalism


The headline – re-tweeted by legions of “progressive” alt-media droogs – wasn’t remotely ambiguous; supposedly, a bill in the South Dakota legislature would legalize the murder of abortion providers. 

Now – what’s the rule?

If the leftymedia says something about conservatives, distrust.  Then verify.  Then, almost invariably distrust some more, because it’s a lie (with the propability approaching 100% in direct proportion to the sensationalism of the claim.  Indeed, I’m going to call this the Mother Jones Corollary to Berg’s Tenth Law, since MaJo is one of the most consistent offenders. 

So – read the article – which screams its throat raw that South Dakota is going to all but sell license to kill Infanticidiatricians.   

Then note the updates, which gingerly note that the bill actually makes a legitimate immediate threat of death or bodily harm to a fetus via an illegal act a justification to homicide, per South Dakota law, same as with any other person.  With the emphasis being on illegal acts, which abortion, more’s the pity, is not. 

So all together now; if the “progressive media” says it, it’s probably a lie.  And if you check into it, it’ll turn out to be pretty much always definitely a lie. 

Hope we’ve cleared that up.

It Verges On A New “Berg’s Law”

What do I always say? 

If a liberal talking head – whether it’s Grace Kelly or Martin Bashir – says something about any conservative or conservative group?  Distrust but verify.  And then, having verified and found the claim vaporous, pretty much invariably continue distrusting. 

“What?  Even with a Rhodes Scholar like Rachel Maddow?”

Especially with a Rhodes Scholar like Rachel Maddow


Just As A Matter Of Consistent Integrity

To:  Liberals Who Pretend To Care About The Military when Veterans Benefits Are Threatened
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Put Up


You know who you are.  You’re the liberals who screech like worn-out brake calipers when conservative political actions even obliquely threaten military or veterans benefits (which liberals barber about because it’s the one part of the military that’s the most like a social program).

So by all means, lefties; it’s time for you to screech.  Let your inner stuck cat howl like Jimi Hendrix’ Strat turned to 11.

That is all.

Stupid Or Lying?

Moms Want Action is, apparently, a national thing.

Who knew?

Anyway – “Think” Progress, the national left borg site, claimed to be onto something; a photo of gunnies intimidating a Moms Want Action meeting in Texas.

Now, what have we told you before?  Whenever the left says anything about guns (and, pretty much, everything else)?

Distrust, then verify.

Then, almost without fail, distrust some more.

Because what the group looked like depended on the angle; what from one angle could be teased into looking like a group aggressively intimidating was, from the actual intended angle, a group portrait:

That sums it up well.

Any anti-gun-rights voices, whether activists, media (ptr) or punditry, will be presumed either liars or misinformed until proven otherwise.

And they are almost never proven otherwise.

Oh, Noes! Hypstr Doesn’t Know History, But Lekturez The Grownupz About It Anyway

It’s not really my intention to spend the week bagging on Sally Jo Sorenson – proprietor of Bluestem Prairie, and one of a tiny fringe of Minnesota “progressive” bloggers that don’t belong under police surveillance.

But I saw this post, and I just couldn’t resist.


Zeit Full Of Geiste: History is a two-edged sword.  On the one hand, we need to learn from it, or we’re screwed.  On the other hand, lazy, out-of-context historical parallels are a rhetorical crutch that can be an unsatisfactory substitute for actual thought.  On the other other hand, rejecting historical comparisons can also be a lazy unearned “gotcha”.

So it’s a three-edged sword, I guess…

The big historical kahuna this past hundred years, of course, is World War 2.  And World War 2 is an amazingly complex subject, open to endless debates on nearly-infinite tangents.   And one of the most potent subjects in the biggest war in human history was “how did the Nazi Party – a fringe fascist party that preached a pseudo-mystic, ethnic-mythology-based hypernationalism, ethnic purity, and conquest in pursuit of both – ever take power of what would today be called a “First World” power?”

History’s my bag.  So are languages.  (Music, too, but that doesn’t really apply).  I would have majored in History, but back in the eighties the job outlook just wasn’t there if you didn’t want to be a teacher, so I went with the much-more-marketable English degree.

But I minored in History, and German – mostly because of my interest in, well, Germany in history.  Indeed, you could very well say dürch meine Interesse in Deutche Geschichte waren Deutsch und Geschichte in College meine Nebenfäche.  


Point being, making Nazi analogies can be intellectually lazy; saying “Obama is taking us the way Germany went in the twenties” can be as lazy as chanting “Bush is taking us the way Germany went in the twenties”.

But then so can rejecting them out of hand.  Germany started the 20th century as a constitutional monarchy with one of the most literate populations, advanced economies, respected educational systems (we modeled ours after theirs), richest artistic canons and well-developed industrial bases in the world.  Forty years later, they were firebombing London and machine-gunning Polish villages.  Wondering “what’s the worst that can happen to a large, wealthy, advanced, progressive society” isn’t entirely idling.

But for heaven’s sake, both are dumb if one is utterly ignorant of the history involved.

Politically Uncorrect: Anyhoo, Sorenson unleashed the post in question swiping at a woman from Hutchinson, Kitty Werthmann, and someone who wrote to praise her in the Hutchinson paper.

Werthmann – a native of Austria who was a child during the Anschluß (Hitler’s relatively peaceful coup bringing Austria into the Reich) – has been preaching that America is on the same road to Tyranny that Europe was on.

Is she right?  On the one hand, I take most such claims with a block of salt.  On the other?  Our government is spying on us; Obama has used the IRS to stifle opposition speech, and Homeland Security to demonize and harass political opponents.  Petty abuses are the starter drug of the tyrant – and the road from freedom to tyranny is always  a slippery slope.  Always.  Nazi?  Probably not.  Authoritarian?  Doy.

But I come not to analyze Werthmann – I’ll leave that to the reader.

No, I come to assail Sally Jo Sorenson.

Shamelessgoy:  Mostly, her piece addresses Werthmann’s heritage – presumably with intent to discredit her perspective on Naziism.  I’m going to add some emphases for later reference:

An Austrian Catholic who immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s, Werthmann was 12 when Germany annexed her native country. By her own account, she witnessed Nazi oppression first hand, but was never sent to a concentration camp or jailed herself. Prominent horrors of Hitler’s regime for Werthmann, president of the South Dakota Eagle Forum, include equal rights for women (historians have discovered a rather different story about women in the Third Reich than what Werthmann recalls).

(It was a mixed bag; German women got some rights they’d not had before, but also were strongly urged to be good brood sows, creating new Volksdeutsch to carry on the Kampf.  The Nazis even gave out medals – the military kind – to women who had the most kids, provided they were Aryan.   But I digress).

The letter-writer noted some of the cultural mileposts that Werthmann cites as evidence.  Sorenson responds:

While no state-sponsored prayer in schools has been the law of the land since a Supreme Court ruling in the1960s, Piker and Werthmann seem confused about flags being “taken out of our schools.” As for banning wearing of crosses, that seems to be related to bone-headed, if well-intentioned, anti-gang efforts; such restrictions have been condemned by both the American Center for Law and Justice and the ACLU.

(And the Germans had all sorts of reasons for their laws as well – which were opposed by more-liberal Germans, including the GCLU.  OK, I made the “GCLU” up – but point being, there was a debate over the changes in German law.  Until debate became illegal – which was enacted by legal means years before it required deportations and concentration camps.  One of the first steps?  Declaring debate “seditious!”    Seriously – it’s not like a bunch of brownshirts charged into the Reichskanzlerei and forcibly converted Germans from playing Hayden and and Fußball and Dreigroschenopern to firebombing Rotterdam overnight; there were years of gradual change  But again, I digress)

Sorenson chronicles a fascinating back-and-forth in the Hutch paper’s letters section, before concluding:

Dare to challenge a sketchy analogy between Obama and Hitler made by a non-Jewish Austrian Catholic who survived the German annexation without being imprisoned?

Then you must have forgotten the Holocaust. Or just be too young to remember.

Or perhaps you’re just staggeringly ignorant about history.

Parade of Calumny:  Look at the parts I bolded in Sorenson’s screed;  Werthmann is “Catholic”; she’s “non-Jewish”; she was neither “imprisoned” nor “sent to a concentration camp”.

Then I guess Kitty Werthmann’s World War 2 was pretty posh, huh?

Well, not necessariliy.  The Nazis murdered Jews, of course – 70% of all Jews in Europe.  Over 90% of all Jews that had lived in Eastern Europe.

Of course, they had a jones for gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses and gypsies, as well.  And the mentally ill.   Few of any of those groups survived the war.

Communists in Germany and every place they conquered?  Yep.  Them too – indeed, like totalitarians everywhere, they murdered not only enemies – communists, but also Social Democrats, Monarchists and “liberals” of all stripes – but friends who might get in their way; other fascists, and even Nazis who lost out in intra-party squabbles.

Yes, they also murdered plenty of Catholics.  Protestants – even Lutherans in Germany, the home of Martin Luther, too, for that matter.  The Nazis – a fundamentally atheistic movement – wanted to co-opt the German churches, especially the state Catholic and Lutheran demominations; linking traditional German Volk culture to Naziism via the Church was a key part of re-engineering German society.  The Nazis didn’t waste a lot of time on clergy who didn’t play ball.  The early concentration camps were full of non-compliant priests and pastors, goyim all.

And of course you didn’t have to be murdered, imprisoned or deported to the camps to have suffered horribly.  Germany suffered between 5 and 7 million dead, including as many as 2.5 million civilians – as much as a tenth of the entire population.  Austria alone lost a quarter of a million soldiers and 120,000 civilians – in a nation of six million, not much bigger than Minnesota is today.   By the end of the war – when Werthmann was a teenager – Germans and Austrians, Nazis and just-plain-folks alike were living hand-to-mouth, scraping to get by in a way Americans never, ever have since maybe the Civil War.

And after the war?  The parts of the economy and infrastructure that hadn’t been bombed flat or firebombed to a crisp had been fought over by five different armies; the towns that the Russians didn’t destroy by carpet-rocketing or the US and Britain didn’t blow to smithereens with their artillery out of sheer tactical overkill were looted and burned by the French out of pure spite.  The people were treated (not without justification) as unindicted co-conspirators under strict military occupation.  Food was strictly rationed in the West for a decade, and in the East tacitly until 1991.  Germans (and Austrians, who were treated as the willing accomplices so many had in fact been) alive at the time talk of being constantly on the ragged edge of starvation – whether they were actual Nazis, sympathizers, goers-along, or utterly apathetic about German politics.

But Kitty Werthmann isn’t Jewish, so according to Sally Jo Sorenson, clearly World War 2 must have been a gas.

This is your Minnesota “progressive” blogosphere’s best in action.

Oh, Noes! Hypstr Chick Imposes Sexist, Classist Emo Templates On Discussion She Doesn’t Really Understand!

I’ve said it a few times; Sally Jo Sorenson of the outstate leftyblog “Bluestem Prairie” is one of the few Minnesota leftybloggers who don’t deserve to be under some kind of police surveillance.

But that doesn’t mean she gets all that much right.

Or maybe when your target is “voters who don’t think that hard about voting”, “getting it right” isn’t the goal.

I’ll commend to you this piece on

…well, apparently the Sibley County GOP thinking Things That Make Sally Jo Sorenson Angry Even Though She Doesn’t Appear To Understand Them All That Well.

I’ll add some emphasis here and there:

Bluestem’s favorite Minnesota Republican Basic Party Operating Unit (BPOU) is at it again, promoting an informational town hall against the court-delayed organizing of home-based daycare providers, while simultaneously asking the readers of the New Ulm Journal to dream of a future where moms can stay home and care for their own kids.


Yes, indeedie: Emily Gruenhagen and her fellow executive board members are here to save daycare so they can destroy itThe more recent epistle, Childcare Unionization Town Hall Meeting, repeats standard talking points against the organizing drive by AFSCME, before asserting this vision for a better Minnesota:


“Imagine a society with taxes and utility rates so low that mothers have the economic freedom to choose to stay home with their children, again…”


Yes, indeedie. Those days of women staying home in the glory days of the 1950s and 1960s (or 1850s and 1860s) had absolutely nothing to do with wages, and everything to do with low taxes and utility rates.

And yes indeedie-doo, the market for daycare today is all about women with degrees in Arts Admin from Saint Olaf having time to run off to their day job at an arts-education non-profit to negotiate a visit by a Bulgarian women’s therapeutic drum circle co-op.

Sure.  Sometimes it is.

But much more often, it’s about low-income women (and, uh, men) needing someone to watch the kids while they earn a living – something that Sally Jo Sorenson’s Democrat party just made a whole lot harder, especially in rural Minnesota.

And daycare unionization will do absolutely nothing for those families – or the daycare union providers – but make it less affordable.

Sorenson swerves through a krazy kwilt of other bits of outstate un-PC before returning, eventually, to the daycare topic:

Representatives Glenn Gruenhagen and Dean Urdahl, along with Senator Scott Newman and anti-daycare union advocate Hollie Saville, who shares the belief that allowing daycare providers to vote to choose or reject representation amounts to “forced unionization,” will speak at the meeting, the letter notes.

According to the Sibley County Republicans, “the lying DFL” isn’t concerned about low income people, just “more money for unions, which everyone knows their leaders run the DFL.” 

And here we thought it was George Soros, with the billions he was making in shale gas, along with Alida Messinger, who ran the DFL.

The good ol’ “if you can mock it, it must be false”.  Never seen that one before from every single Minnesota “progressive” blogger.  Nosirreebob.

But there are two objective facts that every “progressive” supporter of the union jamdown is either ignorant about, or just lies about:

  1. The “election” to unionize is always, always stuffed with ringers – unlicensed providers that the unions drag into the election to stuff the ballot boxes.  It’s what they’ve done to pass unionization in many states (Michigan jumps to mind), and it’s what they’re doing in Minnesota.  So when people like Sally Jo Sorenson say “what’s wrong with letting daycares choose?”, they either don’t know how the plan works, or they’re lying. You know where my money is.
  2. If and when the jamdown happens, the “union” will provide absolutely nothing to the daycare providers but a bill for services.   No more money (that’s between the providers and their clients).  No more “training” that the providers aren’t obliged to provide for themselves via state law already (and no help getting that).  Nothing.  Bupkes.  All it’ll be is a bill – that must be either eaten, or passed on to the parents, their clients, or avoided by refusing families who take part in the government daycare subsidy program – which in turn raises the price and lowers the supply of daycare.

So Sally Jo Sorenson is pushing a rigged election that will lead to a jamdown the licensed providers don’t want (they can already join the union, although 99.5% don’t), that will lead to hikes in Minnesota’s already-high daycare prices, pricing more working families out of the market for daycare.

I’m going to guess Sally Jo Sorenson has never been a parent in one of those poor working families.  I have.  Daycare costs more than rent for many families; it did for mine, twenty years ago.  Jacking up that bill for no benefit other than giving the public employee unions (and the DFL they own) a new $2 million annual revenue stream isn’t just cynical; it’s cruel.

Why does Sally Jo Sorenson hate working families?

Oh, you don’t have to believe me.  Hollee Saville – one of the leaders of the brilliant grassroots campaign against the DFL/AFSCME/SEIU’s well-funded push – tried to leave Sorenson a comment.  Now, Sorenson doesn’t often post critical comments – and never without writing her response first, which is certainly her right; it’s her blog.  But it sorta screams “insecure”, doesn’t it?

Anyway – goodness only knows if Saville’s response will ever see the light of day on “Bluestem Prairie”.

So with her permission, I’m posting it here.  Below the jump.

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