Masterpiece:  Good News, Bad News

Conservatives were excited yesterday over the Masterpiece Cake Shop ruling – and understandably so; Big Left has been on a mission to curtail religious freedom (not to mention undermine the church) as long as I can remember.

Gail Heriot, writing at Instapundit, reminds us  there’s good news and there’s bad news

On the one hand, I’m sure it’s not comforting for the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop to think that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission might have won if its members had only disguised their contempt for people of faith a bit better. On the other hand, as my colleague Maimon Schwarzschild has written in “Do Religious Exemptions Save?,” the alternative—a Constitutionally-mandated duty to accommodate religion—may not work so well either.

The only real answer is a culture that actually embraces actual tolerance – which is something Big Left has been working overtime to extinguish at our universities and in our schools.

Rational Basis Conclusion

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Supreme Court declared the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right.  But we all know fundamental rights can be infringed (can’t yell fire in a crowded theater).  The question is: what’s the test to decide whether a government regulation affecting a fundamental right is valid or void?

The Illinois city ordinance banning ‘assault rifles’ is staking out a “rational basis” test.  If the regulation is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, it stands.  That’s the test we use for zoning ordinances, or speed limits.  That’s the least protective of citizens’ rights.

In contrast, the test for freedom of speech is “strict scrutiny,” which is a much harder test for the government to pass.  That’s why a crucifix in urine, nude dancing, flag burning and Citizens United’s right to show a film critical of Hillary Clinton are all protected by the First Amendment.

These tests are all made-up rules adopted by the Supreme Court, which hasn’t stated the test it will apply to gun rights cases.  It’s absolutely critical Second Amendment supporters keep the pressure on politicians and the courts to make certain the right to defend yourself with arms is as vigorously protected as the right to defend yourself with words.

Joe Doakes

The good guys have been on a fifteen year winning streak.  Some have gotten complacent.

It’s time to change that.

Pandora’s Box

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hmmm, so according to Mr. Justice Stevens, the Supreme Court is capable of getting a decision wrong, as it did in the case he dissented from. I wonder what other cases also were wrongly decided and therefore ought to be ignored by all right-thinking people?

Brown v. Board of Education – separate but equal?

Roe v. Wade – abortion on demand?

Stenberg v. Carhart – partial birth abortion?

Obergefell v. Hodges – gay marriage?

The retired justice may have done the nation a great service, opening the door to invite us to ignore the Supreme Court.

Joe Doakes

What he’s also done is shown us what he’d never have put in a legal opinion; why repeal the Second Amendment if it isn’t in fact a broad protection of citizens’ gun rights?

The First Priority Is To Have Priorities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Trump issued an Executive Order on immigration last month, pursuant to a law passed by Congress and signed by President Obama two years ago.   A Federal judge in California blocked it. 

 President Trump issued a revised Executive Order that took into account the judge’s objections.  A Federal judge in Hawaii has blocked the new order on the grounds that a Muslim Imam living in Hawaii may have a First Amendment right to invite anybody from anywhere in the world to come to Hawaii to visit him, if he feels like it, and therefore the United States government has no power to stop any invited guest from entering the country.

 This is sheer fantasy, of course, utterly unsupported by statute or any prior interpretation of the Constitution.  If it went up the ladder to the Supreme Court, it would be . . . well, now wait a minute.  That court is divided 4-4 because of the Scalia vacancy.  We can’t say what would happen.  Neil Gorsuch was nominated to fill the Scalia seat.  Did that happen?

 No.  The Establishment Republicans in Congress – the ones who supported Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan for President – the ones who swore “Never Trump” – are in charge of the Supreme Court nomination.  It’s the single most important thing they have on their plate but it’s stalled. 

 They’re busy, you see.  They never thought Trump would win so they didn’t bother making plans to repeal Obamacare.  Now that he’s dropped this tar-baby in their laps, they’re atwitter over how to appear to be doing something to keep their phony-baloney jobs without doing anything that might make the New York Times call them names.  It’s a conundrum, you see, which might possibly go away if they wait long enough and Trump is impeached.

I read the other day that North Korea claims to have a nuclear missile capable of reaching Hawaii.  Reeeeeeealy?  Hmmmmmmmm.

 Joe Doakes

 Not sure regular commenter Mammuthus Primigenius would approve – and losing Hawaii but keeping California just leaves the country in the same boat we’re in.


If Donald Trump never does another single good thing in office, or if he falls down an elevator shaft tomorrow (heaven forfend), he will have accomplished the one solitary hope I, and a lot of conservatives, had for a Trump adminsitration:  appointed a worthy successor to Antonin Scalia. in Neil Gorsuch:

As Gorsuch put it (in Cordova v. City of Albuquerque), the Constitution “isn’t some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams . . . , but a carefully drafted text judges are charged with applying according to its original public meaning” (emphasis added). In his one foray as a National Review Online contributor, in 2005 (before he took the bench), Gorsuch lamented that “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”

Music to my ears.

Senate Republicans:  Screw this up at your peril.

Who else thinks Gorsuch is a good, “mainstream” choice?  This conservative talking head.

A Sigh Of Relief

The biggest relief of the Trump landslide?   The SCOTUS.  If Trump keeps his promise to draw from his list of Supreme Court nominees, this nation has at least a hope of having a backbone of relative sanity for the next generation.

I’m relieved to see that that was the impetus for an awful lot of voters:

The future of the Supreme Court’s ideological balance proved to be a critical factor for many Republican voters. In exit polls, about 1 in 5 voters said the Supreme Court appointments were “the most important factor” in their decision, and those voters favored Trump by a 57% to 40% margin, according to ABC News.

For me, the Supreme Court – and keeping Hillary and her owners, George Soros and the Saudis, away from it – was as close to a single-issue litmus test as I’ve ever had.

When Democrats Comment About The Constitution…

…it always makes for low-brow entertainment.


Republicans, say the Democrats, owe the President deference. Elections have consequences and Obama won re-election in 2012.

Yes. And the Republicans won the Senate in 2014 — if anything, a more proximal assertion of popular will. And both have equal standing in appointing a Supreme Court justice.

I keep pointing this out to DFLers who jabber about the President’s election.  I never, ever get a response beyond name-calling.

I’ll be adding emphasis to this next stretch:

It’s hard to swallow demands for deference from a party that for seven years has cheered Obama’s serial constitutional depredations: his rewriting the immigration laws by executive order (stayed by the courts); his reordering the energy economy by regulation (stayed by the courts); his enacting the nuclear deal with Iran, the most important treaty of this generation, without the required two-thirds of the Senate (by declaring it an executive agreement).

(Side note:  there are actually Democrats who think Obama is “the most disrespected president in history.  As if the George W Bush’s administration never happened).

Minority Leader Harry Reid complains about the Senate violating precedent if it refuses a lame-duck nominee. This is rich. It is Reid who just two years ago overthrew all precedent by abolishing the filibuster for most judicial and high executive appointments. In the name of what grand constitutional principle did Reid resort to a parliamentary maneuver so precedent-shattering that it was called the nuclear option? None. He did it in order to pack the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia with liberals who would reliably deflect challenges to Obamacare.

Power is all that matters to the left.  And they can do it, knowing the media gave up checking and balancing about the time man landed on the moon.

So This Is What It Felt Like When Pearl Harbor Was Bombed

Justice Scalia,  dead at 79.

Dear so-called GOP Senate majority; if you never deliver any other thing, you had better come through on this.

More tomorrow/Monday.

UPDATE:  There’s hope:

Thin hope, but hope nonetheless.

UPDATE II:  The NARN Curse?   Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Terry Schaivo and now Scalia, all initially reported dead moments after the NARN goes off the air (after discussing them) on Saturday.

UPDATE III:  Sean Davis of the Federalist:

“If Donald Trump wants to end this race tonight, he’ll vow that his first act as president will be appointing Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court.”

There’s something to that.  As I noted today while the NARN was on the air, the sole reason I’d vote for Trump if nominated is because of the chance that Scalia or Kennedy would leave the court.   Knowing that Scalia would be replaced by a solid conservative justice – as Cruz would be – would calm my conscience greatly.

What If?

On the weekend before the official kickoff of the GOP nomination season, Donald Trump would seem to have the momentum.  Now, both of “my guys” for this race – Walker and Jindal – are long gone, so my short list is (in very rough order) Rubio, Cruz, Paul, Christie.

Trump’s ascendancy has, of course, brought out the usual jeremiads about the oncoming implosion of the GOP (to which cooler and more historically-grounded heads reply “What?  Again?  This happens every eight years or so“).

But I keep getting asked – what if Trump is, at the end of the day, the nominee?

Simple.  I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.

It’s not just because I regard third-party candidacies as irrelevant exercises in personal philosophical navel-gazing – that’s between you and your conscience, and is none of my business.

And it’s not that I’m a “my party, right or wrong” guy; I’m a Tea Party Conservative who votes GOP because it is, to evoke Buckley, the most conservative party that can win.  And if Trump, heaven forefend, is the most conservative person on the ballot who can win next November, then I’ll vote for him.

But Trump promises to be a rerun of the Jesse Ventura years, only coast-to-coast.   So why bother?

Three reasons:  Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia – one of the better conservative minds in the history of the court – lamentably can’t last forever.  Having Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders nominate his “replacement” – or that of Kennedy, the most powerful “Moderate” in the history of the universe – would turn the SCOTUS bright blue for decades to come.  Kiss any chance of rolling back Obamacare, getting control of immigration or voting or the borders, or the Second Amendment, goodbye right now.

And by the opposite token, if Kennedy retires, or Ginsburg gets called by her overlords back to her mothership, during a GOP administration, there’s at least a chance of getting a much better, more conservative justice on the bench.  And don’t be caterwauling at me about what disappointments Roberts and Souter turned out to be as conservatives; without a GOP president and GOP Senate, “eventual disappointment” is the best you can hope for.

Remember – Trump may well nominate a complete idiot.  But the Senate has to confirm them.  And if both a hypothetical President Trump and a GOP Senate are idiots, then we’re screwed – but those are both “maybes”; you can bet a hypothetical President Sanders will nominate Saul Alinksky, and Clinton’s nominees will make Sonia Sotomayor look like John Marshall.

So yeah.  I’ll hold my nose and vote Trump.

And then set to work on fixing the rot that led us to this point.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Justice Scalia says separation of church and state isn’t Constitutional law and shouldn’t be used to purge religion from the public eye.  I’d go farther and suggest the lack of shared moral behaviors is destroying the country.  If some of the country thinks it’s just fine to give false testimony against their neighbors (UVA “rape” scandal) and to covet their neighbors’ goods (Bernie Sanders), then the rest of the country never can be certain when they’ll be the next target, when they’ll lose their job to a false accusation, when their bank account will be looted, when their children’s future will be threatened.  And how does a nation obtain shared moral behaviors?


Joe Doakes

When you ask “atheists” “why is murder wrong”, and they (many of them) start with “it just is

, dude”, and work their way down to photomemes about how dumb Christians are, I’d say we’ve got a problem.

Plain English

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Supreme Court justices write lengthy opinions to explain and justify their decisions.  Must they?  Or is that simply cover to placate the mob?
Suppose when the next gun control case comes up, Justice Kennedy is joined by the Liberals to make a majority and writes an opinion that says: “From this moment on, the Second Amendment means that only government agents are allowed to possess firearms and ammunition.  Because we said so, that’s why.  So waddya gonna do about it?”
Seriously, what would we do about it?  There’s no higher court to appeal to.  Congress can’t pass a law that trumps the Constitution, changing it requires a Constitutional Amendment and in this political climate, is there any real chance we could get Congress to adopt a proposed amendment reversing the decision and then convince 38 states to ratify it?
And if they did ratify a Constitutional Amendment that says “Every competent law-abiding adult has the right to possess firearms and ammunition,” suppose the Supreme Court said “The new Constitutional Amendment is unconstitutional and shall be given no effect.  Because we said so.”  What then?  Ignore the court?  Can’t – Liberals like Obama would send troops to confiscate privately held firearms in a heartbeat, if they thought the Court would let them get away with it.  Get Congress to impeach the justices?  See above political climate problem.

Liberal Justices write legal-sounding opinions to give cover to their social engineering but they wouldn’t have to.  They could be as blatant as they wanted and there’s no real-world thing we could do about it.  They are unelected dictators for life, imposing their views to the acclaim of popular media, from whose decisions there is no appeal: philosopher-kings, just as Mitch called them earlier. Kim Jong-un in North Korea wishes he had it so good.

I blame Madison for making the big power grab in the Marbury case.  I have no solution short of Constitutional Convention or another revolution.

Joe Doakes

Let’s shoot for “convention”.  It’s a bit soon for another civil war.

One Vote

John Hinderaker, at Power Line, asks the question that has been completely absent from the major media’s/far left’s (pardon the redundancy) celebration of Friday’s 5-4gay marriage ruling:

What would you think if the Court had decided the opposite? That is, if the Court had held that same sex marriage is unconstitutional, so that all state laws approving such unions are void, and all court decisions establishing same sex marriage are overruled. Would you then think it appropriate for “five lawyers,” as Chief Justice Roberts put it, to remove this issue from the democratic process and purport to resolve it by judicial fiat?
I am pretty sure you wouldn’t. I am pretty sure that in the face of such a ruling, you would howl with outrage and insist that the issue of same sex marriage be determined by democratic processes.

The Supreme Court, due process, and separation of powers are wonderful things or obsolescent white elephants that need to be repealed, depending on whether the Supreme Court is ruling on gay rights, gun rights, abortion-rights or speech rationing.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The first time around, the Supreme Court said “Congress claims Obamacare is not a tax but if that were true, the act would be unconstitutional because Congress has no power to force people to buy stuff they don’t want. But Congress could have made it a tax and if they had, the act would be a perfectly valid exercise of its power to lay and collect taxes. So we’re going to pretend Congress made it a tax and therefore, it’s fine.”

This time around, the Supreme Court said “Congress said people in state exchanges don’t get a subsidy but if that were true, giving them subsidies would be illegal. But Congress could have said people in state exchanges get a subsidy and if they had, giving them a subsidy would be perfectly legal. So we’re going to pretend Congress gave subsidies to people in a ‘state or federal exchange’ and therefore, it’s okay.”

Even if the Supreme Court has the power of Judicial Review, I’m not at all convinced it has the power of Legislative Repair. This is blatant judicial activism. And there’s no pretending otherwise.

Joe Doakes

I’m not sure that the Supremes much care what we think anymore.

Doakes Sunday: The Imperial Court

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Chief Justice Roberts says there’s an ambiguity in the Obama-Care Act: the limited definition of State Exchange and the broad requirement to subsidize qualified individuals means we can’t tell what Congress intended.

I don’t practice in federal court, maybe their rules are different. Here in Minnesota, if a Court finds the statutory language ambiguous, it looks to the intent of the legislation as articulated in testimony to the Legislature at the time of enactment. Conservative media has extensively reported on Obama-care architect Jonathan Gruber’s testimony that participants in federal exchanges were not intended to receive subsidies, only qualified individuals in state exchanges were meant to receive subsidies. That testimony wasn’t found to be dispositive; indeed, Gruber’s name does not appear anywhere in any of the opinions.

The Court said it didn’t know what the law was intended to do, then ignored the testimony of the guy who wrote the law, explaining what the law was intended to do. The only explanation for that behavior is the Court simply substituted its own preferences for those of Congress and re-wrote the law from the bench.

That’s judicial activism and once it happens, there is no further appeal. That’s why some Constitutional scholars doubt the Founders intended the Court to have the power of judicial review at all – it upsets the balance of powers and puts the Supreme Court in a position to act as unelected and unaccountable Supreme Legislators whenever the court feels like it. That’s completely antithetical to the carefully constructed powers the Founders gave each branch. And again today, we see the wisdom of their plan.

Joe Doakes
Saint Paul

Today’s big question:  how do you reform a body that can declare reforms unconstitutional?

Hobby Lobbyist

Hobby Lobby won its case – to not be forced to provide contraception – 5-4:

The justices’ 5-4 decision Monday is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

Look for an escalation of “War on Women” rhetoric in 3…2…1…

Looks Like The DFL Is Going To Have To Find $2 Mill Somewhere Else!

The SCOTUS rules 5-4 that forcing private independent healthcare contractors (and, presumably, child-care workers) to join unions violates the First Amendment:

The ruling is a financial blow to labor unions that have bolstered their ranks in Illinois and other states by signing up hundreds of thousands of home health care workers.

 The case was brought by a group of Illinois in-home care workers who said they didn’t want to pay fees related to collective bargaining. They claimed the “fair share fees” violate their constitutional rights by compelling them to associate with the union.

According to a local attorney involved in the case, the opinion distinguishes between actual public employees and those – like daycare providers and Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) that are employed by their customers. 

Minnesota’s PCA/daycare unionization law is a dead issue now – as is the Messinger Dayton administration’s litigation to defend it.

Up next, Hobby Lobby.

RIP Otis McDonald

In the late sixties, a justifiably obscure SCOTUS’ “decision”,  “US v. Miller” (a depression-era case involving a robber who was murdered before his case made it to the court, and for whom no attorney argued before the high court) was dragged out of the legal ether by a series of liberal, activist judges, and installed into a misbegotten place as binding precedent that led, by a tortuous “logical” route, to the Second Amendment being interpreted for four decades as a “collective right”.   Just the way the Ku Klux Klan interpreted it until the 14th Amendment came along.

The Heller case began the process of flushing this noxious bit of authoritarian posturing down the latrine of history.

But it fell to Otis McDonald – a seventy-something black man who just wanted to defend his life and property against the crime that had overrun the neighborhood where he’d lived since 1971, in which he’d raised three of his children – to deliver the coup de grace against Chicago’s racist, classist gun ban.

Otis McDonald

It was merely the latest of several fights for McDonald, who was 76 when the SCOTUS upheld his demand to be allowed to defend himself, his family and his property, and not be treated like the government’s livestock.

It was one of many battles he fought in his long, full, unsung-but-productive life.

McDonald started life as one of 12 children of a Louisiana sharecropper who’d left the land at 17, deep in the Jim Crow era.  He worked for decades as a janitor at the University of Chicago, joined the union, earned a living, raised a family…

…and watched his neighborhood decay from a comfortable blue-collor area to a crime-ridden gang shooting gallery.

He sought “permission” to own a handgun – because as an older man, he couldn’t stand up in fight against one predatory teen, much less the whole pack.  The city of Chicago, adhering to the gun control movement’s orthodoxy that black people must only be seen and heard at the polls, and shouldn’t be getting all uppity in between elections, shut him down with, as it were, prejudice.

And so he, along with three other co-plaintiffs, filed suit – which duly led to the Supreme Court and, in 2009, victory in the case that bore his name, and incorporated the Second Amendment as law binding all lesser jurisdictions; the right to keep and bear arms was, as it has always been, a Right of The People, not the National Guard, not to be frittered away by self-appointed racist elitists out of the fear of armed brown men that motivates all gun control.

McDonald, on the day of his case’s epic victory.

McDonald, a humble man without even a high school education, accomplished more to secure freedom than many buildings full of Ivy-League-spawned pundits and lawyers ever will.

Otis McDonald passed away last week at age 79, after a long battle with cancer.

Massood Ayoub:

As a black man in America, he fought his way up from economic disadvantage to earning a good living for his family. He fought against violent crime in his adopted city of Chicago, and in so doing came to his most famous battle as the lead named plaintiff in McDonald, et. al. v. City of Chicago. In the plaintiffs’ landmark victory in that case in 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that neither the Windy City nor any other city could ban law-abiding citizens from owning handguns for defense of self and family. The McDonald decision helped pave the way for the concealed carry permits now being issued throughout Illinois

.And the wages of McDonald’s victory are being felt – despite the media’s attempt to suppress them – today.  More at noon.  Oh, yes – oh, so much more at noon.

And so rest in peace, Otis McDonald.  Your legacy – leaving your world a freer place than the one you came into  – is one that shames those of a whole lot of people who came into this world with advantages you never dreamed of.

At noon today:  McDonald’s legacy is already saving lives.

Hold The Straw

One of the least useful arguments against gay marriage was “so it’s about love?  So if you love your goat, or a child, you could marry them?”

Neither goats nor children (age of consent laws notwithstanding) have standing to sign contracts, of course.  It’s kind of a strawman.

But the other, inevitable part of the argument is “so what about polygamy?”

Remember – it’s all about love, and civil rights.  And groups of people most definitely do sign contracts.  So who are we to hold our antiquated “monogamous” standards over polygamists’ heads?

No, it’s not a strawman

What’s magical about the number two?

In fact, you could argue that there is an even better argument for polygamy than for same sex marriage. For one thing, there’s a long tradition (just look at the heroes of the Old Testament.) It’s also intimately tied to religious practice, which means that by prohibiting polygamy, we might also be undermining the “free exercise thereof.”

Why should we impose our values on others?

Now, you might say that there is historical evidence to support the fact that polygamy is bad for women and children. This is sophistry. The truth is that right now about half of all marriages end in divorce, and lots of kids are already struggling, so it’s not like traditional marriage is a panacea. Besides, nobody is forcing you to be a polygamist. This is a choice.

And unlike gay marriage, which is entirely a modern Western social construct, Polygamy has occurrred througout human history, including our own. 

There are practical reasons, too. It’s harder and harder these days to make ends meet. As a man, I can only imagine how much more efficient it would be to have one wife in the workforce and another wife at home with the kids. This would be much better for the children than shipping them off to some nursery school. And having three parents is a lot better than having just one … or none.

Yesterday’s SCOTUS decision, and last fall’s election in Minnesota, had clear-ish verdicts; “marriage” is “about love” and “civil rights”.

So what – legally – is the difference between a monogamous and polyamorous family unit, since those are the standards?

Just So We’re Clear On This

On Tuesday, lefties squealed like stuck cats that the SCOTUS were a bunch of racist fascists for repealing the parts of the Voting Rights Act that said that the states of the Old South – in many of whom blacks have better election turnout than whites – should forever be judged by their pre-1960 election records.  States Rights were a bad thing!

Yesterday, the same precise lefties danced in the streets due to the SCOTUS’ getting the feds out of the way of states rights. 

Just making sure we all follow this.

The Eternal Three-Branch Campaign

I don’t so much care about the repeal of DOMA itself; I thought it usurped laws that should be reserved to the states, and why shouldn’t gays pay into the divorce industry like everyone else anyway?

But Justice Scalia’s dissent on the DOMA decision was instructive:

“The Court is eager—hungry—to tell everyone its view of the legal question at the heart of this case. Standing in the way is an obstacle…”

The Court has “power to decide not abstract questions but real, concrete ‘Cases’ and ‘Controversies.’ Yet the plaintiff and the Government agree entirely on what should happen in this lawsuit. They agree that the court below got it right; and they agreed in the court below that the court below that one got it right as well.”

“What, then, are we doing here?”

Parts of the majority decision read like a Media Matters press release.


Legal Chum

What to say about the SCOTUS striking down parts of the Voting Rights Act?

The Act was intended to add federal oversight to elections in states with long-standing patterns of discrimination in voting, and gross disparities in turnout.

In 1960, about 70% of whites in Mississippi voted compared to under 7% of blacks.  The most recent figures show blacks in Mississippi have higher turnout than whites.

Is it time for the feds to give the states back what is under the Constitution their sovereign right, subject to further litigation in cases where actual discrimination does still exist?  Well, so says the SCOTUS.

Naturally, the left is playing this as “Voting Rights for Blacks Gutted!”, which is disingenuous at the very least, but it’s what they need to do to get ready for what will no doubt be a tough election for Democrats in 2014.

Perhaps its time for the Feds to look at elections in Minnesota.

Chanting Points Memo: Only The Master Gets To Write Gun Control Laws

Over the years on this blog, I’ve made certain observations about human behavior as manifested through online media, like blogs and Twitter.

I’ve captured and codifed some of these observations as “Berg’s Law“, a series of common observations that I’m pretty sure are universal.

One of the most commonly-invoked Laws is “Berg’s Seventh Law”, which states “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”.

I’ve rung up quite a number of occurrences of Berg’s 7th over the years. And I’ve found another.


Continue reading

Eric Black, Flat Earther

I hinted at this in the past few weeks; one of the hard parts about being a Second Amendment supporter is that it feels a lot like the movie Groundhog Day.  Every time the left goes through one of its spasms of gun-grabbing, they bring up the same, exact, precise points every single time.  There is nothing new, ever, under the sun when it comes to anti-gun “arguments”.  Never!

And yet every single liberal, especially in the media, receives the same threadbare worn-out arguments from their elders during every spasm of this debate, as if they’ve discovered some new logical Killer Anti-Gun App.  And they trot them out with all the pride of a toddler that just made a good pants, repeating the moldy meme with a nod and a knowing, condescending wink, as if they think you’re lucky they suffer fools like you.

And you – me, in this case – shake your head, and re-muster facts that you’ve been deploying since before your children were born, and feel a little like the burned-out gunfighter in a Clint Eastwood movie; I’ve lived this day, or at least this argument, more times than I can remember.  I know these facts backward and forward.  There is not a corner of the left’s argument that I can’t make better than the lefty I’m wasting my time with.  

And on you go.

Fortunately, we’re not alone.


The problem with Eric Black isn’t that he’s a lefty who’s been getting steadily more “out” about it for years, in the “pages” of the MinnPost, whose focus has been sliding away from “legitimate journalism” toward “being a DFL Public Relations organ” for this past year or so.

It’s that he believes, and reports, so much that is just not so.

Yesterday, he – oh, God, it’s that Groundhog Day endless repetition thing again – dragged out the theory by the gloriously-occuponymous Dr. Carl Bogus, that the Second Amendment was written to protect slave-owners.

I read it yesterday, and thought “even in monster movies, there’s only so many times you have to kill the critter before the movie ends”.  So with the esteemed Carl Bogus.

Fortunately, Joe Doakes from Como Park – an actual lawyer – took over.  I’ll add the odd bit of emphasis to Joe’s email:

God, not that old chestnut again. Carl Bogus? Really?

 Okay, facts: Bogus was indeed a law professor. He wrote a law review article for UC Davis in 1998. He admitted there was plenty of evidence the Founders intended the Second Amendment so ordinary people could resist tyrants. But he argued Southern slaveholders probably wanted to keep ordinary people armed to prevent slave rebellion. Therefore, the Second Amendment might have served two purposes: resist tyrants and oppress slaves. Bogus’ explicit argument is that ordinary people couldn’t have resisted tyranny and oppressed slaves acting alone so when the Founders said “the people” they must have meant “state militias.” His implicit argument is that since slavery is bad, the Second Amendment is tainted so we can ignore it.

Bogus’ arguments were immediately rebutted by other legal scholars, see for example “The Approaching Death of the Collectivist Theory of the Second Amendment” by Douglas Roots, 39 Duq. L. Rev. 71.; and “The Supreme Court’s Thirty-Five Other Gun Cases” by David Kopel, 18 St. Louis U. L. Rev. 99. The Supreme Court cited several of Bogus’ works in District of Columbia v. Heller, 128 S. Ct. 2783 (2008) but the majority opinion expressly rejected his collectivist legal theory. Bogus was mentioned in Justice Stevens’ dissent in MacDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct 3020 (2010) as the source for a single statistic on handgun violence, but not even Stevens endorsed Bogus’ collectivist legal theory. Nobody endorses his secret slavery theory.

Bogus’ legal theories are not taken seriously by Constitutional scholars, only by gun-control advocates hoping to rent his diploma to give the appearance of credibility. That’s why Bogus was appointed a director of Handgun Control, Inc. and served on the advisory board of the Violence Policy Center. That’s also why Eric Black cites him. It’s as if the Flat Earth Society suddenly learned of this brilliant mathematician named Ptolemy who PROVED the Sun does indeed revolve around the Earth and thus vindicated what they’ve believed all along. Sorry, fellas, serious scholars have moved beyond that hoax.

Joe Doakes

Como Park

I’m thinking; is there an issue besides guns where a journalist can get away with so much guileless incuriosity as the gun issue?

And wrap that incuriosity in so much misguided-yet-inflammatory rhetoric?

Inevitably, the MinnPost ran a photo of Confederate soldiers along with Black’s piece. I suppose we should be thankful it wasn’t a photo of white guys lynching a black guy, huh?
That said, I suspect I just gave some clever MinnPost copy editor another bright idea for the next round of anti-gun articles, along with the next, inevitable citation of Carl Bogus as an expert on the Second Amendment.    You’re welcome, MinnPost.

Feminist dogma patrol, maybe, and even that doesn’t generally impact the Constitution.

Mark Dayton’s mental health?  That’s not so much “incuriosity” as “a gentlemans’ agreement between journalists and the DFLers who own them”.

What is it about Second Amendment issues that makes so many journalists act like journalists think mere partisan bloggers act?


Nothing against Eric Black, of course.  He’s doing his job, which these days seems to be “advancing the DFL and Democrat Parties’ narratives”.  It’s good to have a gig.

But the mainstream media in the Twin Cities has gotten a free pass on their habit of just slopping whatever crap fits the DFL’s narrative in front of the public for far too long.