Let’s Stir Up Another Republic-Threatening Hornets Nest: Part I

I saw “The Fall of Minneapolis” again last week.

Now, when I first mentioned seeing it a few months back, a few smart people whose opinions I never discount asked “is there anything new that the courts didn’t settle?”

That brings up a couple of questions.

In our society, we usually think that if a court – an impartial jury of our peers, a couple of adversarial attorneys patiently digging out the facts, a fair and impartial judge facilitating it all via “due proces” – decides something, that’s that. The truth has been found.

There’s problems with that.

The was this guy, James Fleming, a Facebook friend, shooter and criminal defense attorney. He used to snap at people who referred to “due process” by itself as a reason to trust something. Paraphrasing: due process isn’t a guarantee of fairness, much less justice. It means the proceedings all check the same checkboxes and standards. The fairness and justice is all in the details.

So – how can that go wrong?

Years ago, I was *very* tangentially involved in the case of a man who’d been accused of a fairly grisly rape and murder in 1982. He had been kind of a lowlife, a petty criminal and drug addict, the kind of guy you’ve seen on a thousand episodes of “Cops” insisting to the officer “I have NO IDEA whose gun and cocaine that is!” He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

The courts settled the matter.

A decade and change later, a group of people did enough digging and agitating on his behalf to get the attention of “The Innocence Project”, a group of pro-bono lawyers that works on what they believe to be unjust convictions.

The lawyers found that the original conviction had been secured via:
– A jailhouse snitch with a history of perjury whose testimony nonetheless was allowed
– A District Attorney hiding exculpatory evidence.
– An incompetent public defender.

The exculpatory evidence included forensic evidence that, with modern DNA testing, could have shed some light on who the attacker was. But it vanished as completely as whispering “due process” in the wind.

After years of legal wrangling, the lawyers found the evidence – and with more modern DNA testing, determined that the man, who’d been convicted “beyond a reasonable doubt” after “due process”, couldn’t have possibly been the murderer. In 2003 he was released, after 21 years on Death Row.

And he’s not alone. In the past 50 years, *185* inmates have been released from Death Row. Not granted new trials. Not commuted to lesser sentences. *Released* from Death Row to the world – because their “convictions beyond a reasonble doubt” were in error, due to perjury, official misconduct, incompetence, and even some honest but terrible mistakes.

So – do I think the answer to “is it true?” is “the courts have spoken?”

Let’s just say I believe in (grudging, conditional) trust but verification. Throw in a heaping dollop of skepticism about the integrity of public officials and systems.

More later this wee4

Controlled Demolition

This past Sunday was the 34th anniversary of one of the highpoints of the entire history of Western Civilization.

Along with the signings of the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence, VE Day, and a short list of other highlights, the literal and figurative collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the fall of the Soviet Union, was a high point in history – a time I felt divinely privileged to have witnessed and, in my tiny way, participated in.

But when Francis Fukuyama extrapolated from the fall of the Wall that “history had ended”, I figured that one would have to have an incredibly expensive education to believe something so stupid.

I was right. Go figure. .

Jon is one of the reasons to stay on Twitter – a brilliant commentator.

But he’s got one part wrong.

The lessons weren’t forgotten. They were buried by a class in our society that rooted for the rulers on the east side of the old wall – and likely believe in their heart of hearts either that they just hadn’t tried real Marxism, or that they’d be the ones in the dachas rather than the gulags.

It was a controlled intellectual demotion.

The Enemy Within, Around And Above

This is this sort of thing that should send Americans to be barricades. This is ample reason to block freeways (in DC and Silicon Valley and Saint Paul’s Government Canyon anyway). This is a reason to break out tar and feathers and lots and lots of harsh tweets.

It’s a thread. Click through in Twitter.

Not that this is news – but here’s one of a wallet full of money quotes:

-EIP [Election Integrity Partnership – Ed.]“stakeholders” (including the federal gov’t) would submit misinformation reports

-EIP would “analyze” the report and find similar content across platforms

-EIP would submit the report to Big Tech, often with a recommendation on how to censor

If you’d told me 15 years ago that voting for candidates attitudes about censorship, lockdowns, mandates and enforcing top-down social cohesion would be as important as stances on spending, immigration, healthcare and foreign policy, I’d have shaken my head and wondered “what else are they going to tell me – CD8 will someday be Republican?”

Controlled Demolition, Part III

Earlier in this exceptionally loosely linked series, I lamented that the conditions that set up the great American resurgence of the early 1980s aren’t, largely, there in our society today.

I’ll return to the example of France. The French nation and people have a culture that goes back, in one form or another, to pre-Roman times, through Vercingetorix, Charles Martel, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, a phalanx of seminal authors and artists, and centuries of stories, mythical and historical, that helped define what “French” actually meant, to the world but especially to France.

The demographic bleeding-out of World War I caused a crisis in faith in that myth – a malaise, to borrow a term that’s come up in this series before, and most certainly will again. With nearly 10% of the population dead, wounded or missing. and much of the country’s heartland devastated, it’d be fair to say France had Les Bleus

Unlike France in 1940, America hasn’t been demoralized by a great military, demographic and spiritual catastrophe in its recent past (and remember – the end of World War 1 and the invasion of France were about as far apart as 9/11 and today). In the past 40 years, America vanquished its greatest foe to date without a (non-proxy) shot being fired, followed by the greatest expansion in wealth in history. America should be stoked.

But we’re kind of the opposite today.

Every rational, sane, intellectually honest American knows our history – like the history of every nation – is full of imperfections, things that modern mores reject. That’s true of every country ever – at least, the ones that evolve positively. And for the most part, with a few extremely notable exceptions, Western Civilization has done that for the past few hundred years. The notion of “progress” in the human condition was meaningless before Western Civilization as we know it today started evolving.

And so Western culture – especially American culture – developed its own myths and legends. It was the land of opportunity, and of equality.

No, not equal opportunity for everyone at every time – but that, too, has progressed. And generations of immigrants choosing American, and disproportionally succeeding at it, are evidence that the myths have not only some basis in truth, but are in fact not merely myths of facts of American life.

But the powers that be in our culture have been working to undercut those parts of our national mythology.

Equality? In 1987, a Gallup poll showed that about a third of black Americans thought racism was a driving force in American life. In 2015, that figure had doubled. Does anyone seriously think that America got twice as racist between 1990 and the third year of Barack Obama’s third time?

Even more toxically in the long run? The notion that we are a nation of equal opportunity is being pecked away at by a league of leftist intellectual lilliputians.

I was listening to NPR a few weeks ago (so you don’t have to), a show called Marketplace, a show that tries to talk about economics.

They were interviewing Alyssa Quart, a woman whose career seems to revolve around convincing Americans that there is no opportunity. She was flogging a book, Bootstrapped: A Self-Made Myth And The Dystopian Social Safety Net It Created.

And it’s exactly as cynical as you might think:

“Boots were really important in the 19th century,” Quart said in an interview with “Marketplace” host Reema Khrais. “If you’re wealthy, you had someone who could help you put them on. If you’re a working man, you were struggling to pull them up every day. So pulling yourself over your bootstraps became this symbol of getting ahead in this country all on your own steam.”

In her latest book, “Bootstrapped: Liberating Ourselves From the American Dream,” Quart looks at how this symbol helped create what she calls the “dystopian social safety net.”

“If we have a country where the social welfare state is much more fragile than, say, other advanced industrialized countries,” said Quart, “you have people then relying on this ragtag network of nonprofits, volunteers, crowdfunding.”

Quart’s message is being spread on fertile ground, at least among Gen-Zs, who’ve grown up with the message that “Boomers” got all the money and left them the scraps (which, by the way, I also felt as an angry and under-employed GenXer just out of college).

Thing is, Quart made a good point – unintentionally, and in a way that indicts the modern Left’s sabotage of American culture. She endlessly belabors the lack of government insitutions to “support” the poor, which is the usual leftist twaddle. Because…

…of course the idea of dragging one’s self up, completely solo, “by one’s bootstraps” is rare to unheard of. Of course America had institutions that fostered that.



Communities – and by that, we’re talking social communities, not governments.

Which are the things Big Left has been aggressively demolishing.

So yeah – coming up by one’s bootstraps is hard. Never easier than in any other culture in history…

…but Big Left is going to change that.

As The Forefathers Warned

This is a new Australian Army recruiting video.

Who are they training to fight?



The Chinese?


After three years of absurdly restrictive Covid regulations met by some strenuous civil and less than civil resistance, they are not just training to fight Australians – who are officially disarmed – but they are putting that out that as a feature for recruiting new soldiers.

Who puts this kind of campaign together?

More troublingly – who do you think this sort of campaign appeals to?

From. My. Cold. Dead. Hand.

Things I Dream About

One of mine is that one day, I get a chance to respond to a grievance pimp like Cori Bush tyhe way Alex Epstein does here (around 1:30 into the video):

Til I do, I guess I’ll just keep practicing. And eating my vegetables.

Believe In Miracles

It was 43 years ago today that this happened:

It was one of a short series of events that blasted the US out of its post-Vietnam, Watergate-era funk, and played a role, at least psychologically, in ushering in one of the greatest eras in American history.

To paraphrase Sydney Greenstreet in that other great American moment, Casablanca, “It’ll take a miracle to bring the USA back, and Big Left has outlawed miracles”.

Which is all the more reason to believe.


To: Rep. Liz Cheney
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Rep Cheney,

I’m not the biggest fan of Marjorie Taylor Greene.

For that matters, I’m not the most passionate of your detractors.

But on this issue?

So let me make sure I’m clear on this; if our government is violating the Constitution you’re wrapping yourself in, how long are we supposed to go along with it?

“Our country is governed by the Constitution”

One might hope. But when the government turns the executive branch institutions – the FBI, IRS, BATFE, CDC – against the peoples freedom? When the government trashes the separation of powers and undercuts federalism, and proposes violating the contract under which small states agreed to share some of their sovereignty with big states by eliminating the Electoral College and making the Senate reflect popular rather than state votes…

…how long before dismissing those usurpations with an ofay “Well, the Constitution” isn’t by itself an answer?

Secession is unconstitutional


So was the American Revolution.

Saying “secession is illegal” is like trying to end a moral argument with “…because the Bible said so”. It’s vapid and cowardly. Is it illegal even if the Constitution has been rendered moot? Because saying that is like saying the preservation of government is the point, not the system the Constitution establishes and the eternal rights it enshrines.

Which do you think it is, Rep. Cheney?

That is all.

Also Ran

Secretary of State Simon wants to throw away whatever a little relevance Minnesota has in presidential elections.

No, really. He said it in as many words on Monday:

Let’s be clear about this: the Electoral College exists because smaller states realized that a national popular vote for President would essentially leave the Executive branch of government to be elected by the voters of the most populous states. All the decisions the President and his branch make – the enforcement of all laws, the spending of all budgets – would be determined by the residents of the most populous parts of the country, and those parts would be who the President answered to.

The Electoral College was part of a contract – our Constitution – by which smaller states avoided getting logrolled, and thus consented to join the union.

If they abolish the Electoral College, there is literally no reason for any states other than California, New York, California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and maybe Pennsylvania, and the de facto mono-state of New Jersey/Connecticut/Massachusetts/Rhode Island, to remain in the union, since everyone else will be vassals.

Simon is calling for Minnesota to become irrelevant to Presidential politics. .

Let’s be clear: abolishing the Electoral College is, i’ll be charitable, at least as great a threat to American democracy as January 6. And that’s being charitable and meeting the Sixers halfway.

And before anyone responds in the comments with “Hahaha that was settled in 1865” – no. It was settled in 1776.

It’s About Suburban Maryland…

…but Jude Russo’s description of a train ride from his home into the District of Colombia may as well be about the Twin Cities, from the post-Covid pathologies of the drivers on the freeways…:

I rarely leave the greater D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, so I cannot speak to the case in other parts of the country, but here the drivers have simply become worse since the pandemic shutdowns.

In particular cases, it is clear what is happening—a 20-year-old Camry in the passing lane, going ten under the limit and reeking of the botanicals that the people of my state last year voted to legalize, holds no mystery. But we have also added speed demons and weavers and those inscrutable drivers who insist on going the exact speed as the cars in the lanes next to them, making passing impossible. The etiology of these pathologies, whether chemical or spiritual, is unknown to me.

…to the state of the state (or, I guess, district) overall:

It is difficult not to feel that something has come loose these past few years. Public standards for everything from dressing to doing your job to maintaining infrastructure have slipped. But the Maryland government ran a surplus last year, and may repeat the feat with the help of gambling tax revenue; Alstom is in the black, as is SP Plus.

Everyone has more money but is poorer; things are more profitable but worse; there are more legal ways to have fun than ever, but everyone is miserable. “The purveyor of rare herbs and prescribed chemicals is back. Will we never be set free?”

It’s worth a read…

…assuming you haven’t been living it,here or there.

The Tytler Spiral

A quote:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler

In completely unrelated news, Governor Klink proposes a budget that is 21% larger than the previous budget.

As predicted by yours truly, it turns the entire “surplus” [1] into permanent spending, giving a pittance back to those earning less than $75,000 – in other words, the ones that didn’t pay the taxes – and calls the payments “Walz Checks”.

I’m a little amazed they’re not called “Walz/Flanagan Checks”.

Not sure why I thought those two things at precisely the same time.

[1] Which is not only the usual overtaxation, but heavily comprising one-time federal money, and spending driven by federal stimulus and inflated a solid 8%. Only the inflation is going to remain.


Hamline University – my neighbor here in the MIdway, a university with almost as much hamfisted woke cred as Saint Thomas and Macalester, recently fired an art professor for showing an artistic representation of Mohammed.

Here’s a quick rundown:

López Prater, an adjunct professor, showed a picture of the Prophet Muhammad in an art history class-causing an uproar back in October. Since, many Muslims viewing visual representations of the prophet are prohibited, some thought the professor’s actions as highly “Islamaphobic”. Take a look:

Despite a “trigger warning”, it appears the student was triggered when Dr. López Prater, showed the classroom a medieval depiction of Muhammad, an “incident of hate and discrimination“, apparently. Hell, even the university’s associate vice president of inclusive excellence (AVPIE) found it to be “undeniably inconsiderate, disrespectful and Islamophobic“.

It sent the message for all to hear: “triggered students are more important than academic, or really all, freedom.”

The story got some national play – which couldn’t have helped the struggling little university.

Of course, Hamline’s concern for diversity of academic opinion, or for that matter the less fashionable consitutional rights, is just as dismal.

But let’s stick with today’s controversy. Hamline is trying to back-track. Ellen Watters, chair of Hamline’s board of trustees, wrote:

In the interest of hearing from and supporting our Muslim students, language was used that does not reflect our sentiments on academic freedom. Based on all that we have learned, we have determined that our usage of the term ‘Islamophobic’ was therefore flawed…It was never our intent to suggest that academic freedom is of lower concern or value than our students — care does not ‘supersede’ academic freedom, the two coexist.

But it may be too late. Lopez Prater has filed suit:

The lawsuit filed on behalf of López Prate states the professor suffered loss of income from her adjunct position, emotional distress and damage to her professional reputation and job prospects.

David Redden, a lawyer for Dr. López Prater, says the university’s change of heart on the “islamaphobia” accusations does not change the lawsuit and that he, and his client, will pursue legal action against the university.

And other academics have risen to the defense…

…of their fellow academic.

So the good news is, even some academics have reached a point where they won’t spontaneously erupt into a Maoist struggle session on command. Provided it’s their freedom at stake.

It’s a tiny, tiny start.

The Drawing Board

An anonymous lawyer friend (who is not Joe Doakes) writes:

I’d get in so much trouble if I posted this, but when I see people say that 70% opposethe overtruning of Roe v. Wade, my first thought is that no more than 2% even know what it says, much less what overturning it would mean.

And they also have no idea what the Mississippi law, challenged in the current case, says.

In terms of what it means?

I’m looking forward to explainingi this to pro-choicers: it means you’re going to have to do what we Second Amendment people have been doing for about the past fifty years; convincing people, one at a time, nationwide, of the rightness of your cause and case.

35 years ago, the same polls of uninformed and largely disinterested people said that 85% supported gun control, including a majority that supported banning handguns completely. That number is under 50% for the first time in a couple of generations.

And that’s because 2-3 generations of people have spent a lot of time, treasure and shoe leather convincing their fellow Americans that a constitutional right of the people is, in fact, a constitutional right of the people.

The terror the pro-choicers seem to feel about that concept tells us that while 70% of the people may respond to “Do you support women’s ‘reproductive rfights'” with “yes”, when you change it to “how are you with the thought of killing a gestating human?” it’s going to drop way off.

Paper Tigers

Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

Richard Fernandez writes an uncomfortable column about Ukraine, and the United States.

Joe Doakes

As with pretty much everything Fernandez has ever written, it’s worth a read; in this case, a pull quote:

In a counterfactual world where the Russian president agreed with this site and continued to feint, where NATO was still in awe of the supposedly unstoppable Russian army and Putin still hitting Biden up for nickels and dimes to keep him from unleashing it, the Kremlin might still be the capital of a great power. But it would be no more substantial than a fleet-in-being that is nine-tenths shadow and one part solid is; a thing powerful only in narrative. For in truth, Russia fell a long time ago with its crashing demography; its uncompetitive, oligarch-ridden industries; its incompetent autocratic leadership. Ukraine was a mirror into which Putin dared look when a man of his mien ought not. But whether he looked or not he was ugly just the same.

If there’s any lesson in this for Washington, it must be to ask: how much of America’s power is a myth, like Russia’s? Dare we collapse the wave function? If too much is spin, then put it not to the test, but keep on bluffing until the reality is restored. You can’t live in the narrative forever.

I’m going to suggest you read the whole thing anyway.

Speaking Of Munich

After reducing the size of the German military by 85% in the face of a resurgent Russia, decommissioning all of Germanys nuclear power plants and actively making the German economy in effect entirely dependent on Russian natural gas (as the German “green energy program” – could could have seen this coming? – ignominiously flopped), and essentially setting Germany up to be a commercial patsy of the oligarchs, could we stop referring to Angela Merkel as a political genius?

And by “we”, I mean the Western “intelligentsia” and pseudo-intelligentsia?

Dudley Do-Fus

The backpedaling has begun. Politicians throughout the U.S. are winding it all down and hoping (against hope) that the blowback won’t be anything approaching what is happening in Ottawa.

Mind you, it’s been peaceful thus far, despite the increasingly manic sputterings of Justin Trudeau, who didn’t think much of those who would suggest a course correction:

“Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy and our fellow citizens’ daily lives, it has to stop,” Trudeau said in a speech to Canada’s parliament on Monday evening. “People of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighborhoods. They don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner or Confederate flag.”

Are there actually swastikas flying in the streets of Ottawa? Here’s a recent photo:

Updates: Officials condemn 'desecration' of monuments, hateful signs on  display at trucker convoy protest - The Globe and Mail

Looks like a maple leaf to me, but one never knows.

Trudeau, like many other politicians, senses a reckoning is nigh. And perhaps there will be violence. But don’t count on it coming from the maple-flavored C.W. McCalls currently deployed in the streets of Ottawa. 

Culture Is Everything

Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

Is this a clever public relations ploy to divert attention from Ukraine, is it a mere prank tweaking the Left’s nose, or have Russians actually become more sensible than Democrats?

Substitute “America” for “Russia” and I could sign up today.

Joe Doakes

It’s all three.

And I suspect most conservatives already have signed up – to the private sector initiative, at least.

Not For Turning

It was a generation ago – when I was in high school – that Margaret Thatcher become Prime Minister. The media and popular culture were less tribalized then than they are today – but the drumbeat from the cultural authorities was this is a very bad thing.

And it foreshadowed the great American resurgence that followed; a wave of center-right leaders followed – Kohl in Germany, Mitterand in France, Pope John Paul II in the Vatican, and of course Ronald Reagan – who altered the course of, and in many ways saved (or postponed the demise, at least) of Western Civilization.

Is Eric Zemmour cut from the same cloth?

I don’t know, and he’s only a candidate at the moment.

But if he turns into the man of the moment in France, perhaps there’s still hope for the West.

Here’s his speech announcing his candidacy. Translation here.


It’s an incredible work of political rhetoric and, if not oratory, certainly videography.

Steven Hayward:

Today Zemmour released a video declaring his candidacy for president, and I’ve heard comparisons (including from a French student in my political science class this semester) comparing it to Charles de Gaulle’s famous July 18, 1940 radio broadcast pronouncing the cause of Free France amidst the nation’s collapse before the German army. 

This caught me:

We are worthy of our ancestors. We will not allow ourselves to be mastered, vassalized, conquered, colonized. We will not allow ourselves to be replaced

It’s an overtone of my wish, every Memorial Day, that we leave a society worthy of the sacrifice so many have made for this civilization.

The other overtone?

The moment isn’t a whole lot less grave.

Countdown to anguished “think” pieces on NPR starts now.

When He’s Right…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In which I find myself nodding as Russian President Vladimir Putin describes the decline of Western Civilization, and wondering why America can’t find leaders who talk like that.

Joe Doakes

In Paul Johnson’s classic history of the 20th century, Modern Times, the pivotal chapter, about the moral collapse underway in the 1970s, combined with the peak of communism‘s fortunes around the world, was called “the Suicide of the West“.

The first edition of the book was written just as Reagan had been elected, and after Margaret Thatcher had been on the job for about a year at trying to fix things, so that 80s as we know them today were just the faintest wisp of hope as Johnson wrote the history at the time.

And as awful as that era was, things are far worse today. I don’t think the term “suicide of the west“ is inappropriate.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Richard Fernandez writes an insightful column about The Garden Administration’s stunning reversal of fortune. From the economy to the border to foreign affairs to the culture war, we’re losing everything, everywhere, and all at once. On the bright side, they may have killed the last, best hope for freedom in the world; but their pronouns are up-to-date.

Joe Doakes

As someone who was there (albeit very young, and very Democrat), this feels an awful lot like the 1970s.

But there is no Herb Brooks warming up in the wings. R

on DeSantis has a chance of being well Reagan, at least.

Last Day

Liberals insist their beliefs are the only acceptable beliefs and anybody who thinks differently is insane, their children should be taken away and sent to Re-education Camps, and the parents should be ‘cleansed’ from America.

Assume Liberals are not lying this time and actually go through with it.  If you knew that today was your last day of freedom before the authorities broke down your door to put you on the train heading Way Up North where you’ll spend a life sentence in a gulag counting the birches as a political prisoner, how would you spend your day?

I sat at my computer updating work instructions and form templates for the person who will replace me.  The work won’t go away, only I will go away.  But I’m leaving good notes and a clean desk instead of taking the day to goof off and leaving a mess for the new person. 

In the Bad Old Days, that’s what was known as ‘being a White Man about it.’  You made your bed.  You picked up your stuff.  You chopped wood for the next camper.  You returned the borrowed car full of gas, the lawn mower washed.  You told the grocery clerk when she undercharged you and paid the difference so her till would balance.  You did things that nobody else noticed and you wouldn’t have been punished for failing to do because . . . it was the right thing to do. 

Nowadays, of course, it’s hateful and racist and sexist to expect people to act like responsible adults, so they don’t; they burn police stations and occupy hotels and form communes called Autonomous Zones.  I’m not convinced the new way is better which is why I’ll be on the train, soon.  Best of luck to you all.  Spend your last days wisely.

Joe Doakes

The conventions that made Western Civilization – which is dependent not on skin color, but on a set of ideals commonly observed – is the enemy these days, and they don’t care what they have to do or who they have to step over to destroy them.

Of Consequence

I’ll just commend to you this thread by John Hayward – perhaps the thing most worth reading on the misbegotten morass that is Twitter in a long, long time – without further comment:

Other than urging you to drill in and read the whole thing.

Some Animals Experience More Convenience Than Others

They’re building bridges over their roads for the reindeer to cross safely.

In fact, let’s go one step farther.  Let’s dig tunnels under the roads for raccoons to cross safely.  And paint different colored stripes for bicycles to cross safely.  And lower speed limits so jaywalkers can cross safely.

You know what?  Why are we messing around with half-measures?  If we’re going to do it, just do it right.

Ban vehicles and tear up the roads completely, so everyone and everything can cross safely.  Because what’s more important – moving people and goods efficiently, or signaling our virtue?

Do it . . . for the reindeer.

Joe Doakes

To be fair, not only are “we” doing it…

…but the “we” in this case is the Utah Highway and Natural Resources departments – arguably less likely to be swayed by bizarre priorities than Texas.

Say what you will – it’s a fascinating watch.

Let’s Be Clear, Here

“Anti”-Fa is an “idea”.

So are ISIS, Al Quaeda and every other toxic ideology in the history of the world.

Here’s the new documentary, “Antifa – Rise of the Black Flag”. It traces “Anti”-Fa’s roots back to the Communist Party of Weimar Germany…

…and straight through to the present day, right here and now.

Watch it:

This is not just an idea. It’s also not just a bunch of crazy kids. It’s not even just a domestic terror group. It is an insurgency.

Watch it.

Pass it along.

Make sure the Democrats, especially the MN DFL, owns it.

A Democracy, If We Can Keep It

The weekend before last, I spent the better part of an hour on the NARN with Walter Hudson​, a longtime friend of the show (and someone who needs to be back on the air, one way or another).  It’s one of the the better hours I’ve had on the air recently (and I’ve been proud of a lot of my recent shows).  

Which isn’t to say it was an easy subject to talk about.   

What IF this society’s differences are irreconcilable?  

Dennis Prager points out – mostly correctly, I think, that Americans are more divided today than they were in 1861 [1].   How do we know this?  Because when the South split off, they formed a government that wasn’t a whole lot different than the one in DC.

But for four decades,  “the Great Sort” has been going on.   Americans have grouped themselves socially, economically and especially politically into at least two (I think actually three of four) major blocs, that not only have very little in common with each other (which isn’t all that new), but whose “rules” have made honest conversations about those issues impossible.

Part of America thinks – and is painstakingly training a new generation to think – that America, and Western Civilization itself –  the nation and civilization that have brought more well-being and humanity to this planet than any other in history, combined – are evil and rotten to their core, and needs to be completely rebooted, by means that are, depending on who you ask, more or less revolutionary and intolerant of dissent.   It’s not just “Anti”-Fa and the other militant revolutionary groups, either; some of our biggest, most respected institutions have been dragged on board.  The New York Times has gotten full force behind not only the perversions of the “1619 Project”, but the idea that journalism itself needs to abandon its traditional role of “putting out the facts and giving the consumer the info they need to make up their own minds”, but to use their outsized bully pulpit to directly affect current events.   That part of America believes that the Constitution – the contract that joins the several states together into a federation – is outdated at best, evil at worst, and needs to be radically overwritten, with the electoral college and the deliberative Senate and gun rights eliminated, and the majority disinhibited from absolute rule.   They  pay homage to the politics of Europe or the Pacific Rim nations, Japan at best, China at worst.  

Part of America, sorry to say, believes that America’s first priority is prevailing over that first America.   President Trump tapped in to that anger, and a lot more,  four years ago, and might just do it again.  We’ll see.  

And part of America believes that America, imperfect as it (like all creations of man) has had its problems, and (say some of us) has strayed from its best political instincts over the past 100 years, but on balance has still been far and away the greatest bringer of freedom, of human dignity and the prosperity that make freedom meaningful, in all of human history, and has been the primary driver in the fact that the 21st century, so far, is the best time in history so far to be a living human being.  

These divides aren’t “new”, per se.  But Blue America’s intolerance for the rest of the country started becoming a serious problem after the 2000 election.   And the other Americas started paying it back after 2010, when the establishments of both parties teamed up to slander the Tea Party – the most egalitarian, civil mass movement in recent history – back into the shadows.    (Wanna know where Trump came from?  Shut up about Racism, Putin, Xenophobia and Misogyny – millions of good-hearted Americans saw what coloring inside the lines and playing nice got you).  

So – how do 2-3 societies that neither trust nor care for each other get along?  

The *right* answer is “recommit this nation to Federalism – the system of checks and balances and shared but countervailing powers, from the federal down to the local levels, that made a “nation” of thirteen very diverse states possible in the first place.   Of course, that first America doesn’t want to share power – the idealistic among them say “it doesn’t move America forward”, which shows the complete failure of civics education in this country over the past forty years, from a conservative perspective.   The “revolutionary” part of that first America sees federalism as a bug, not a feature – if they know anything about it at all. 

The wrong answer?  Civil war – which would not be like 1861-65, with 2-5 groups of state withdrawing into their separate camps and starting over as nations.   Although we may wish it were that simple.  “Sorted” as America is, it’d much more likely look  like Bosnia or Kosovo or Rwanda than Gettysburg and Appomattox.

The “right-ish” but likely fantasy answer?  A civil divorce, with the 2-5 Americas staging an orderly breakup, each writing their own Constitution, each forming a new nation and rebooting the idea of (at best) self-government.   That’s not going to happen – between the masses of people who mindlessly chant “we settled that in 1865, you traitor” and people in Blue America eventually realizing that Paul Krugman was full of, er, privilege and that the prospect of having to import all the food and materials that they currently get for domestic prices?   And after that, when the “red” parts of “blue” states try to get out of the inevitable vassaldom (as, indeed, parts of California are already proposing)?    Elegant and easy as it seems – I’d love to see the US281 Corridor and the rural west turn into an energy and food superpower – it’s just not happening without a fight.  See the previous paragraph. 

The middle way?   As Walter puts it in the third segment up above, it’s time for Americans who care about freedom to start making it count, where they live. 

Stop acquiescing to your schools teaching your kids crap – by pulling them out, if need be, with whatever sacrifices that entails.  

When your local business defies Governor Klink’s hamfisted diktats, show up when Keith Ellison’s goons come out with their papers and show them what “defending freedom” really looks like.  

Start taking freedom seriously – vote for candidates, ESPECIALLY locally and the state legislature, who actually care about freedom, and are chomping at the bit to start rolling back the madness at city hall and in Saint Paul.    If you don’t know who I’m talking about, then ask.   State Senate candidates like Alexander Buster Deputie – an immigrant from a war-torn country – and Diane Napper, who being from Philadelphia is about the same – are two great places to start.   

Buy a gun (yes, I know – they’re scarce.  There’s ways to get around that.  And while all my guns fell in the lake, and they terrify me anyway, I do remember a thing or two).  Learn to shoot.   Join your local gun rights group.  Show up.  Be one of those numbers that terrify society’s ninnies.  Because this is one area of the culture war the good guys are winning, these days.  On all individual liberty issues, we can’t just “win” – we need crush it.  

If you’ve got a representative who’s already made their stand for freedom – a county commission that’s declared themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary, a libertarian/conservative City Councilperson who’s made a dent in a DFL cesspool, a sheriff who’s said they’re not going to enforce Governor Klink’s latest “bring me a shrubbery!” outburst, a state legislator who’s fought the fight and has the smear pieces in the media to show for it?  Don’t just vote for them.  Call them to thank them.  And then ask them how you can help. 

 Because it’s when good people see that there are other good people – other people who want that third America, above – that we start pushing the cultural needle back out of the red. 

The alternatives?   Ongoing collapse, or that First America taking power. 

But I repeat myself.