Hidden Blessing?

It may be a bit much to hope that America’s celebrity culture (like “expert”-worship) might be an ongoing casualty of Covid-19.

But it’s been an encouraging year on that front, if nothing else.

And just to help remind you how “we’re all in it together”, here’s a parade of society’s useless celebrity mouths, from last spring, telling all of us plebs to be patient, because socialism is on the way, ho ho ho:

To Think They Say Progressives Are Economic Illiterates

SCENE: Mitch BERG is at Fleet Farm, looking for new liners for his old chopper mittens. Engrossed in his search, he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE walking around the corner, a quizzical look on hi…er, he…er, Avery’s face. LIBRELLE notices BERG.


BERG: Uh, hi, Avery. What brings you out to Fleet Farm?

LIBRELLE: Picketing against the Navy and farmers!

BERG: Of course…

LIBRELLE: It’s time to tax the billionaires for all the excess profits they’ve been earning because of the deadly Trump pandemic.

BERG: So let me make sure I get this straight…

LIBRELLE: Uh, heteronormative…

BERG: Huh? Oh, for f…ranklin Delano Roosevelt’s sake. OK. Let me make sure I get this correct: you want to raise taxes on the e-commerce billionaires who are prospering mightily…


BERG: …because the small businesses that were competing with them were destroyed by the government’s ham-fisted handling of the pandemic, which was imposed by the government that you now want to make the ultimate beneficiary of the government’s own dork-fingered, utterly catastrophic mis-handling of the response?

(But LIBRELLE has already wandered off, looking for wherever the ships are).


All In This Together

Further evidence that the “state of emergency” is more about power and wealth transfer than public health: the ritzy French restaurant where Gavin Newsom (among many Democrat pols) entertained his friends in flagrant violation of his own quarantine rules, keeps on profiting from its special connection.

And as Megan Fox at PJM notes, the story comes from an unlikely source – a mainstream media investigative unit:

But real journalists still exist and ABC7, a local station in the Bay Area, did an amazing piece of investigative work that uncovered that The French Laundry applied for and received more COVID relief than any other restaurant in town. And not just more, but seventeen times more.

The luxury restaurant where Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed were notoriously spotted dining during a COVID-19 surge, reportedly received millions in PPP funding.

Yountville’s highly acclaimed French Laundry received multiple loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, totaling more than $2.4 million, according to an ABC7 analysis of newly-released data from the Small Business Administration.

The French Laundry received two loans that were both approved on April 30, 2020. According to the SBA, the first loan was for more than $2.2 million to retain 163 employees. The second loan was for $194,656 to retain five employees.

ABC7’s analysis found the company received 17 times more than what the average Bay Area restaurant received.

Other restauranteurs weren’t so lucky.

“That’s a lot of money. But, what can I do about it?” said Dennis Berkowitz, former owner of San Mateo restaurant Vault 164.

Berkowitz struggled to get around $318,000 to retain roughly 50 employees. The loan amount wasn’t enough to sustain his business, and he was forced to sell the restaurant in July.

“I’ve had a 40-year run in the restaurant business, so I consider myself fortunate,” he said. “I really feel bad for the next generation of restaurateurs because they’re screwed.”

The investigative team at ABC7 ought to win an award for this one. They uncovered what we have suspected for a while. Most of those COVID loans went to the guys with the big bucks who can purchase influence, while the little guy got screwed. 

My hunch, on the other hand? Nobody in that newsroom will do lunch on Market Street again.

We’ve Got To Destroy Regular Everyday Life To Save Regular Everyday Life

A list – and a partial one at that – of the Twin Cities restaurants that’ve spun in so far in 2020.

I say “partial”, because every Khan’s Mongolian BBQ I’ve driven past in the last few weeks has been either listed “for Lease” or, in the case of the Roseville store, been replaced by…

…you guessed it, a national chain (Olive Garden, in this case) with the resources to ride out a government-induced depression. I don’t see them on the list.

Not sure what’s more disturbing – the number of restaurants that list “burned down during the riots” as their cause of death, or the ones that say from beyond the business grave that they support Governor Walz’s draconian state of emergency even though it’s destroyed their business/es.

Blue Fragility: Pandemic Of Straw

“We’d have solved Covid, if only the American people weren’t so petulant and childish about petty infringements on freedom for the public good”

It’s the Karen lullaby.

And it’s wrong:

Polls since March have shown that Americans overwhelmingly aren’t in denial: They believe the threat of Covid-19 is real, they are reasonably good at identifying medical misinformation, and they are largely complying with public health recommendations. Compared to their peers in Europe, Americans are more willing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, similarly likely to wear masks, and no more prone to believe common conspiracy theories about the pandemic’s origins.

The U.S.’s response to Covid-19 has been bungled in many respects, but widespread public denial doesn’t explain why.

The obsession with denialism isn’t just inaccurate. It’s corrosive for at least three reasons. First, it needlessly alienates the interested public with false accusations. Second, by conflating reasonable dissent with unreasonable misinformation, it stifles debate, even about issues that genuinely warrant discussion. Third, the myth of denial deflects blame from the policy failures of politicians, who use it to claim they’ve done all they could, leaving only the denialists (and cheesecake eaters) to blame.

Back last summer, when an orgy of Blue Fragiility had Minnesotans claiming that the state’s Covid numbers were driven by unmasked Dakotas residents flagrantly crossing the border, I pointed out, as someone who (unlike pretty much any progressive in the world) had been to a Dakota (four times in 2020 so far) that people there were no less socially-distanced (above and beyond their normal natures, even) and masked up than Minnesotans.

And to about the same effect.

Rhetorical Media Questions

It’s rhetorical, because Big Media never actually responds to the plebs.

But is it possible…:

…that there could be a less scientifically literate phrase than “believe in Science?”

How about “Think Critically about the data in front of us, and make an informed decision?”

Nah, that’s just more radical conservative talk.

Train Of Usurpations

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who invested their lives and fortunes, who filled out forms and jumped through hoops, who passed background checks and credit checks and character checks, people who pay wages and taxes and fees and support the local schools, are dirty, rotten, low-down criminals who ought to be thrown in the hoosegow.  Keith Ellison is all over it.

From the article: “Two more courts have recognized the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the firm legal foundation of the State’s legitimate interest in putting a stop to it,” Ellison said.

Somehow, I doubt that. I’d bet a brand-new nickel the court didn’t listen to one minute of testimony from anybody about the Covid virus, its infectiousness or its fatality rate to determine whether Covid was actually a severe problem or not.  And I seriously doubt there was extensive briefing on the rational basis between the alleged problem and the Governor’s solution, which is the Constitutional standard for government restrictions that take away a vested property right.  Governor Walz’ restrictions are so arbitrary, so whimsical, so ridiculous that even the New York Times had to admit they were unscientific and bizarre.  I’d be surprised if a court found differently.

Instead, my guess is the court simply presumed the order was a valid exercise of executive power and like the Red Queen, skipped the trial to go directly to punishment.  As long as Democrats refuse to return power to the elected representatives of the people, Ellison will use the infinite power of the state to crush business owners, the courts will lie back and let him, and Minnesotans will continue to suffer.

When the political process is unavailing, the judicial system is unavailing, and the result is unjust, what’s the remedy?

Joe Doakes

Whatever it is, let’s f*****g get on with it.

In Which I Do Governor Walz’s Work For Him

To: Governor Walz
From: Mitch Berg, impudent peasant and Covid “Survivor”
Re: I’m Here To Help

My Liege,

You and your administration have been having a hard time getting ahead of the Covid virus, and your stated goal of “controlling the spread”.

I’m here to help.

More proximately, I’m here to help by showing you policies from elsewhere in your own career that can fix things, deux ex Moderna, for you.

So this is what you need to do solve Covid’s violence against Minnesotans:

  1. Find some national organization to whom you can (falsely, without any actual link) tie Covid. Which organization? Doesn’t matter – could be Ducks Unlimited for all we care. Just fine one, and start demonizing them.
  2. Get your progressive plutocrat funders to pony up to created “grassroots” non-profits to push “common sense Covid laws” in the Legislature.
  3. Support creating a registry of people who get Covid. Because it’s just common sense to know who’s got this deadly disease.
  4. When citizens suspect someone might have Covid, allow citizens to file court orders allowing the policy to go into their homes and enforce quarantines.
  5. If people have the kind of Covid that includes the skin rash, take it away from them. Nobody needs that.

Glad I could help with these commonsense Covid laws.

That is all.

Just Dropping By To Say…

…that if you call yourself an “ethicist” on the one hand, but on the other seek to deny people either a good or service for which they’ve paid, or perhaps to which they are entitled, directly or indirectly, because they exercised their right to free speech, you’re not actually an ethicist.

You’re a wanna-be Mussolini given a stage, at least for a while, by the misery of others.

Glad I could settle that.

Carry on.

All About The Science!

Cornell – the Dollar General of the Ivy League – is requiring students to get vaccinated for Covid when a vaccine is available.

Well, most students:

That is, unless those students are “Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC).” Those students aren’t subject to the same stringent vaccine requirements of their white classmates, and though they are strongly encouraged to get tested and get the flu shot, the university offers them an exemption should they choose not to. The university even describes the requirements foisted on whites as “suspect or even exploitative” to its students of color.

Cornell won’t dispatch racial scientists to check the skin tone of any of these students, or ask for a DNA test. Merely identifying as “BIPOC” is considered grounds for exemption, meaning bonafide crackers like Shaun King or Rachel Dolezal could avoid the shot, were they students at Cornell.

Because apparently one’s stated identity has physiological effects.

We have the dumbest ruling class ever.


Whether government responded to Covid with draconian lockdowns (New York, the UK, Germany, Norway) or deferred to individual responsibility (most of the rural west), or skittered back and forth between both extremes (Italy, Sweden), Covid infection rates have seemed to exhibit the behavior of…

…well, respiratory viruses, waxing and waning along with weather conditions more than any government action, or lack of it.

But throughout, the pro-authoritarian (“Mascist”) wing of America’s response has had one consistent villain; Americans. “If they only followed the rules and wore their masks”, they whinge (when not whinging about the feds’ response), “we’d have already conquered this” – completely ignoring the fact that many of the places that “conquered” the virus with aggressive measures are still, or have started, suffering horribly of late).

Of course, it’s pure gaslighting. Even early in the summer, before the “Mask Wars” became part of the ongoing cultural bar brawl, Americans were wearing masks voluntarily at among the highest rates in the Western world.

And, studies show, they always have, and still are:

The data, released in [the CDC’s] weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, is roughly in line with other polls showing that most Americans report wearing masks, at least when they are inside stores.

For example, Pew Research reported in August that 85 percent of 13,200 adults they surveyed said they wore masks in stores, up from 65 percent in June.

In a National Geographic poll released early this month, 92 percent of 2,200 Americans surveyed said they always or sometimes wore a mask when leaving the house.

Now, this thread isn’t about whether masks are or aren’t effective – that discussion has happened more than a few times in the comment section.

It’s about government – as it becomes ever more authoritarian – using “masks” as a vehicle to blame the average schnook for its own failings in dealing with the pandemic.

Which is only going to get worse over the winter.

Maybe It Was Considered A Peaceful Demonstration?

A friend of the blog emails:

Wow! Think the media will report Covid19 at our military academies in the coming weeks. No distancing, many with masks not covering their faces. 
Nothing to see here, right?

Another friend of the blog pointed out that the cadets and midshipmen were all parts of training cohorts that were pretty much together all the time anyway. Which to me introduced the question – if we take the information civilians in GenPop are given, doesn’t that still mean that the service academies are “superspreaders?”

That being said, I wasn’t too concerned, given that everyone involved is young, healthy, selected in part for a lack of pre-existing conditions, largely sequestered away from those that aren’t, and part of a demographic cohort with roughly a 100% survival rate.

And as neither was the NDSU Bison, it didn’t rise to the level of a priority for me anyway.

Christmas Dinner Plans

Never heard of this guy and his Baltimore restaurant – but I like the cut of his jib.

Crab cakes are sounding mighty good for Christmas dinner at the moment.

As If By Rote

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Just finished my annual physical, which I must take to get my prescription renewed for diabetes medicine. The doctor mentioned I am due for a colonoscopy this year but I said I was thinking about putting it off so I didn’t catch the Covid since medical facilities are one of the most contagious places. He said oh no, it’s bars and restaurants, that’s where all the cases are coming from.

Later, he asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving, I told him my mother had canceled Thanksgiving because Covid, they live near Rochester and there’s a huge staff shortage at the Mayo Clinic. Yes, he agreed, 900 staff people are out because of Covid and everyone should stay home for Thanksgiving.

So those Mayo Clinic doctors are a bunch of drunks? They’ve been hanging out in the bars where everybody catches it?

Ridiculous.  If health care professionals aren’t catching the virus at work, it’d be the first epidemic in history where that’s true.  Here’s the chart from the Minnesota Department of Health website on November 23, 2020.

TravelCongregate LivingCorrectionsHomeless/ShelterHealth CareCommunity: outbreakCommunity: knownCommunity: no knownUnknown050,000100,000150,00

Bars and restaurants aren’t even listed separately, they’re lumped in with all other “community outbreak” which includes weddings, funerals, political rallies, riots, and workplaces that are not residences such as meat packing plants.  Bars and restaurants are nowhere near as contagious as health care facilities and that makes perfect sense – hospitals are full of sick people, of course the virus spreads there.

I’m disappointed in my doctor.  He’s just reciting the party line, no independent thought, no analysis of contradictory statements made moments apart, but I should trust him because he’s a medical professional: he has a white lab coat and everything. 

I’ve met religious fanatics before, and also Liberals, so there’s no point in arguing about it. Just nod my head and make plans to buy medicine from Mexico online. No prescription required. 

Joe Doakes

I’ll cut clinic staff a little slack – between the pandemic and the state’s bizarre gyrations in “managing” the healthcare system, it might be more fun to work in one of those meat packing plants these days.

But I said a little slack. Let’s not get carried away. The doctor that skip “critical thought” on this will do the same when it comes to that “do you have guns in the house” question, when doctors start caring about that again.

Blinding Science

The worst part of this pandemic may be how “science” has been turned from a system for analyzing what we don’t know, into a weapon to logroll people into line behind a conclusion.

It’s not just Karens karen-ing, or @NPRNews claiming there’s a “Team Science”, a consistant, constant body of knowledge and its high priests standing united against the uninformed peasants attacking the metaphorical observatory with pitchforks and torches. That’s bad – but it’s been a problem for a while, now.

Scientists are now adopting social media tactics, and “influencing” “followers” to “cancel” scientists they disagree with.

People are turning science into Scientism – a pseudo-religious, faith-based mass of dogmas combining the worst aspects of revival religion and social media herd mentality.

Taking Business Elsewhere

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Governor Walz has ordered restaurants closed for dine-in service. So on Saturday morning, I buzzed over the new Highway 36 bridge to eat breakfast at a cafe near Somerset.

Dine-in service. Normal table separation. Packed with customers. Cheerful wait staff running non-stop. Generous portions. Reasonable prices. No masks required.

If Minnesota doesn’t want my business, I’ll take it elsewhere. Because that’s The American Way, right? Maybe that will get the Governor’s attention.

Joe Doakes

I don’t know. His paycheck isn’t going anywhere.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Governor Walz [last Tuesday] announced a new Executive Order intended to save Minnesotan lives from the deadliest virus ever known, Covid-19.

“More than 100 people died of Covid-19 the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s sad, but it’s their own fault.  They failed to follow my instructions to cancel Thanksgiving and they paid the price for it.  I’m only sorry the scofflaws took so many of their aged neighbors with them.  This blatant disregard of my Executive Orders cannot continue.   Effective immediately, all Christmas parties are banned during the month of December.  And since we now know I cannot depend on people to voluntarily obey the arbitrary rules, I’m announcing a new compliance program.  You’ve heard of Toys for Tots?  Well, this is Cash for Christians.  Report your neighbor’s holiday gathering and receive a check from the state.  The more violators, the bigger the reward.”

In response to Republican claims that such an order would somehow violate the “Constitution,” a spokesman for Attorney General Ellison stated, “Since the Governor’s order is authorized by statute and has not been overturned by the Legislature, it is presumptively valid. There is ample legal precedent to take action against people who threaten public peace under pretext of religion, particularly Executive Order 44 issued by the Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri in 1838. The notion that the Governor lacks the authority to suspend people’s so-called “Constitutional rights” during the time of state-wide emergency is absurd on its face.”

Local ministers called a press conference to protest the order but were summarily arrested and have not been heard from since.  An aide to the Governor confirmed he has reserved the Xcel Center for several events in coming weeks and also has instructed the Minnesota Zoo to stop feeding the big cats, but rumors of plans to feed Christians to the lions on pay-per-view were denied.

In Saint Paul, Joe Doakes, reporting.

Given that the state owns a freezer morgue that is empty (since Ken Martin let John Thompson out after the election), I suppose it brings new meaning to “putting suspects on ice”….

Yet Another Order

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Saint Paul, Minnesota
November 22, 2020
For Immediate Release

Dictator-for-Life Walz today announced a new Executive Order intended to save Minnesota lives from the deadliest virus ever known, Covid-19.

“Some have questioned the wisdom of my Executive Orders, citing downstream consequences as reasons why the Orders should not have been issued and should not be obeyed. These questions undermine public confidence in the government and put everyone at risk of dying in agony. Therefore, effective immediately, no person shall question any of my Orders at any time, for any reason, on pain of imprisonment or deportation.”

In response to Republican claims that the order constituted a prior restraint on free speech which somehow violated the “Constitution,” a spokesbeing for Attorney General Ellison said, “Since the Governor’s order is authorized by statute and has not been overturned by the Legislature, it is presumptively valid. There is ample legal precedent for this measure provided in the Alien Friends and Sedition Acts of 1798. The notion that the Governor lacks the authority to suspend people’s so-called “Constitutional rights” during the time of state-wide emergency is absurd on its face.”

Local ACLU officials called a press conference to support the order, pointing out that Republican Hate Speech is not Protected Speech.

From Saint Paul, Joe Doakes, reporting

The ACLU bit is so close to “not satire at all” that it’s a little scary.

And The List Goes On

Nancy Pelosi’s haircut and blowout was more important than the public health measures whose jamdown she supported – after which the speaker and masses of her droogs took it upon themselves to try to defame the stylist for apparently fooling the hapless speaker of the house and Powerful Woman into acting like Marie Antoinette.

Chicago mayor Lori “Walker” Lightfoot also needed a haircut denied to mere proles – and figured hobnobbing with masses of people celebrating a Biden win would be immune, because “relief” conveys immunity, apparently.

Gavin Newsom’s swanky and flagrantly non-compliant dinner, with his public health authorities, was apparently not only an exception to the rule but so awesome that the Mayor of San Francisco did the same thing, the next night, at the same $400-a-seat San Fran restaurant.

The Mayor of Denver got on a plane not 30 minutes after telling his subjects…er, constituents not to even think about traveling. As did the Mayor of San Jose.

Not to be outdone, an LA County supervisor went to a big dinner, right after voting to shut down outdoor dining.

I’d ask “what do they all have in common?”, but after almost 19 years on this blog, we all know, don’t we?

Onerous Usurpations

When I posted the social media companion pieces to yesterday’s post on the grotesque parody of “science” that played out over the shopping weekend, I had a lot of people respond “It’s time for restaurants to throw their doors open and dare Keith Ellison do to something about it”.

Here in the Metro, of course, Ellison wouldn’t have to do squat. Ramsey, Hennepin and Dakota county authorities would yank operation licenses so fast it’d look like a confetti parade. In Greater Minnesota? Probably much less so.

But what if they did?

In Michigan – one of a small selection of states with worse governors than Minnesota – a restaurant chain is adjusting its gloves:

Y’know, I’ve been doing a little more takeout lately – much of it at a inner-city restaurant run by immigrants who spent their time during the riots up on the roof, visibly armed. I’ve been leaving ’em 30% tips, too.

But I suspect if we organized a mob of shoppers to support restaurants defying the shutdown, that might have some clout.



To download an app to my device that’d allow government to track my every move (even more effectively than they already can), and keep that information in custody of people who can’t even deliver data-access apps on time and on budget, much less secure things like personal data?

Or not to?

I’ll take “not”, thanks.

More Orders

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed, again, about a week or so ago:

Saint Paul, Minnesota
November 21, 2020
For Immediate Release

Dictator-for-Life Walz, Peace Be Upon Him, today announced a new Executive Order intended to save Minnesotan lives from the deadliest virus ever known, Covid-19.

“Shocking new evidence has been discovered which completely changes our strategy for combating this deadly virus,” said Governor Walz. “We have learned that the Jewish ceremony of slaughtering and eating Christian babies takes place without masks, and without social distancing or hand sanitizing measures in place. These super-spreader events put everyone at risk and cannot be allowed to continue. Effective immediately, all Jews must present themselves to local authorities for removal to Permanent and Isolated Relocation Authority camps to be confined for the remainder of the emergency.”

In response to Republican claims that such an order lacked a factual basis and would somehow violate the “Constitution,” a spokesman for Attorney General Hakim X. stated, “The factual basis is clear: Jewish dietary practices are well-documented in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Since the Governor’s order is authorized by statute and has not been overturned by the Legislature, it is presumptively valid. There is ample legal precedent for this measure provided in the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. United States. The notion that the Governor lacks the authority to suspend people’s so-called “Constitutional rights” during the time of state-wide emergency is absurd on its face.”

Local rabbis called a press conference to protest the order but were summarily arrested and have not been heard from since. It is believed they are the first Jews to be sent to the Relocation Camps, although that rumor cannot be confirmed.

In Saint Paul, Joe Doakes, reporting.

At some point, if things don’t start to improve, satire becomes journalism.

Blue Fragility, Part MMXMLCIII: Pious Fury!

When it comes to state-level Covid restrictions – bans, shutdowns, snitch lines and the rest – the big media and the pundit class (pardon, more and more, the redundancy) act a lot like strict but blinkered Fundamentalists confronting two-for-ones at happy hour; the impenitent deserve any horrors that befall them, in this life or the next.

All through the summer, Big Media was fairly drooling at the notion that, while Covid was ravaging New York and Boston and Minneapolis, “it’s gonna hit the red states MUCH harder”, with a perceptible thrill in their voice.

Which is all I have to explain the way Big Media has covered the surge in Covid in the Dakotas. I’ve called the phenomenon “#BlueFragility” – the notion that no matter what goes wrong in a Blue city or state – crime, corruption, costs, Covid, bureaucratic legerdemain – it’s going to be worse in the Red areas, and it’s probably their fault besides!

The level of joy that came out a few weeks ago when North Dakota’s case load surged (after a cold, wet October – the same weather that’s gonna cause a surge everywhere else, before too long) had a pronounced “Scarlet Letter” vibe to it.

And it’s not just pseudomoral schadenfreud. It’s bastardizing both science and journalism (to the extent that benighted craft can still be bastardized). Remember the Sturgis rally? When snarky bobbleheads with tin “reporter” badges uncritically regurgitated garbage “science” tying every single case in the upper midwest to the Sturgis rally? That made the headlines. The clarification – it was more like 80 cases in Minnesota – got Section C page 16.

Oh yeah – being big media, pretty much everything they’ve written about the situation is wrong. To pick just one bit of misreporting – the story from a few weeks back that Gov. Burgum was asking infected but asymptomatic staff to keep working:.

“Anger in North Dakota After Governor Asks Covid-Positive Health Workers To Keep Working.” That does sound pretty dire – the state is so swamped that the sick are treating the sick.

Except this is a phenomenon in agricultural states generally because they rely on small rural Critical Access Hospitals, often with few beds and limited or nonexistent intensive care capabilities. “COVID-19 patients and other critically ill patients who need to be cared for in an intensive care unit are typically transferred to larger regional hospitals, which can be hundreds of miles from the small critical hospitals,” notes USA Today when it’s not berating the Dakotas. This adds extra pressure to city hospitals and can potentially increase case severity and death. In fact, the CDC spells out guidance for areas in such situations that allows such working situations precisely because unlike what we normally think of as a disease case, that is, an exhibition of a certain cluster of symptoms, many Covid-19 “cases” are asymptomatic and non-spreading. It’s just one of the many idiosyncrasies of how this disease is treated compared to others. 

While I chalk this up to a frenzy of secular-revivalist fervor, the author, Michael Fumento, adds another wrinkle to the diagnosis:

Say you’re a writer in New York or Los Angeles living in something approaching a coronavirus police state and fearing for your job and pining for a pint and you learn North Dakota ranked second in least economic distress from the pandemic while South Dakota also did quite well. Further, a U.S. Census Bureau poll found that the two states least suffering from anxiety and depression right now are, yup, the Dakotas. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s freedom!

I do urge you to read the whole thing.

By the way – unlike pretty much any mainstream media figure, I’ve spent time in the Dakotas since the pandemic started. A *lot* of time. Four times since March. While there was no state mask mandate, people *on their own* were wearing them, no less than in the Twin Cities.

And in a better contrast still? Listening to Governor Burgum addressing the state is a wonderful contrast to Governor Klink; he treats his audience like someone he has to respect as adults, puts the actual science out there, and doesn’t play stupid stunts like hiding his math, a welcome comparison to the gym teacher with his knobs and levers and vanishing models.

Moving as I did from NoDak to the big city 35 years ago, I’ve had an adult lifetime of dealing with “blue” stereotypes of the rural west. I’d say “I’m gonna enjoy watching them choke on them”, but it’s probably too soon.