Do Your Homework

A longtime friend of this blog writes:

I really am not familiar with Mike Rowe, but a quick Google indicates he has a reality TV show on cable. But, I really enjoyed this and thought you might enjoy it as well:

I had seen the article by Rowe already.  And it made a point that, I suspect, only he could make.

Our push to get people to the polls, and elevate voting to the highest of civic virtues, is intensely misguided.

Uninformed? Incurious?  Have a worldview based entirely on chanting points?  Why should you go out of your way to make your fairly facile voice heard, running the most complex organization in humanity, when you really don’t get how it works or why?

You Can Keep Your Doctor, Provided Your Doctor Is A Unicorn

Obamacare’s state exchanges are melting down – some faster than others, none faster at the moment than Tennessee:

Seventy-three out of Tennessee’s 95 counties will have only one insurer on the exchange, meaning no meaningful competition whatsoever. In regions where BlueCross BlueShield is pulling out, there will be two remaining major carriers, Cigna and Humana. The only large metro area with more options will be Chattanooga.

Then there are the premiums. State regulators have already approved the highest annual rise in the nation, a weighted average of nearly 56%, according to data at The rate increases authorized in late August include an average of 62% for BlueCross BlueShield, 46% for Cigna and 44% for Humana. The latter two companies could ask to revise their rates upward depending on how many former BlueCross consumers they pick up.

The idea that Obamacare is a conspiracy designed to fail, to leave only “single payer” government healthcare as a viable option, is looking less and less like a conspiracy theory.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Concealed carry permit holders should ask for a subcommittee to deal specifically with the issues of how police treat lawfully armed citizens.

Joe Doakes

Up until the Castile shooting, I’d have said most Minnesota cops were pretty decent around law-abiding shooters.

I suspect most are.  But as the anecdotes roll in, clearly there’s room for improvement.

So let’s improve.

If They Gave Pulitzers For Great Writing About Important Topics

There was a time when “Cracked” magazine was “Mad” magazine’s downmarket, cheap competitor; “Guitar World” to “Guitar Player”, “Hustler” to “Playboy”.

I have no idea what this online world has wrought – but while Cracked has turned into a hit-generating listicle mill, it has come to feature some excellent writing.

Now, forget the market talk.

In fifteen years, I’ve been trying to come up with an article that would explain this nation’s rural/urban divide – the divide that’s driving the Trump candidacy and the surge of animus behind it – as well as this article, by David Wong.

Just an exerpt, from the exposition:

If you’d asked me at the time, I’d have said the fear and hatred wasn’t of people with brown skin, but of that specific tribe they have in Chicago — you know, the guys with the weird slang, music and clothes, the dope fiends who murder everyone they see. It was all part of the bizarro nature of the cities, as perceived from afar — a combination of hyper-aggressive savages and frivolous white elites. Their ways are strange. And it wasn’t like pop culture was trying to talk me out of it:

Ruthless Records
“… And Into Some Nightmares”

It’s not just perception, either — the stats back up the fact that these are parallel universes. People living in the countryside are twice as likely to own a gun and will probably get married younger. People in the urban “blue” areas talk faster and walk faster. They are more likely to be drug abusers but less likely to be alcoholics. The blues are less likely to own land and, most importantly, they’re less likely to be Evangelical Christians.

No, it goes way way way beyond that.    This may be the best thing I’ve read on the internet all year

Read the whole thing.  Forward it to your friends – especially blue-state fops who really just don’t get why Trump is a thing – and why he may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Blind Squirrel

Governor Dayton admits Obama care is a flaming goat rodeo.

On its surface, the story is about one of the most left of center governors in America throwing Obamacare under the bus. And that’s all interesting, don’t get me wrong.

But the governor – and depressed it’s been covering for him for six years – is counting on you,or at least the mainstream Minnesota medias audience,forgetting a few things. He overrode the legislatures decision to get out of the Obama care exchanges. Then, he presided over one of the two or three most botched attempts to build an exchange. MNSure’s gestation was protracted, obscenely costly, and a technical nightmare. And for all that, the products that delivers – with soaring prices, ballooning deductibles and lower availability and choice – are worse.

The media coverage of the governors admission that the Minnesota state exchange, and Obamacare itself, has worked out very badly, tends to portray the governor as a kindly but well meeting fellowadmitting that his ministration’s signature product has had some teething problems.

It’s much, much worse than that.

Before Obamacare and MNSure, Minnesota had the best level of health insurance in the United States; between public and private plans, 92% of the states population was covered..

Proponents of the state/federal plans claim that number is up to 96%, today.  And that maybe true – but more and more people are hanging onto that insurance – policies much bigger than they need, with higher premiums, and deductibles that in many cases will bankrupt families  (What, you could pay her $12,000 a year deductible, along with 20% coinsurance?)

And people wonder why the media obsesses about things Donald Trump said on the TV 11 years ago…

Just You Wait…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Paul Ryan has become an Establishment Republican.  He’s not going to help Trump win.  He thinks that’s the smart play but I wonder if his voters will mind that he’s back-stabbing the Republican candidate? They’re already booing him in his home state.

 Trump isn’t the one who killed the GOP.  He’s just the one who walked up to it and poked it with a stick to be sure it’s dead.

 Last time, the base turned out nice, polite Tea Partiers who left the lawn cleaner than when they arrived.  This time, we picked Trump who is loud and vulgar but at least knows the greatest threat facing America is not global warming.  If the Democrats, the media and the Establishment GOP conspire to keep him out of the White House, just wait to see who comes next.

Joe Doakes

The anticipation is killing me.

‘Til The Lights Go Out

I’ve believed it for a long time. I’ve believed it a necessary step for this country’s survival for years.

This campaign has elevated it to nearly a life’s mission.

The American mainstream media needs to be rendered extinct.

Not every reporter – although a strong minority of them at the very least are the problem.

Not the notion of “reporting” – but when it comes to politics, there is very little of that going on anymore.

But there can be no rational argument with the proposition that the American mainstream media “elite” has been serving as Hillary’s personal PR agency, willing and eager to massage and shape the news to fit the Clinton agenda for Hillary every bit as much as Bill.

Far from “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable”, as the old (and utterly apocryphal) press bromide promises, the mainstream media in DC (no moreso than in Minneapolis and Saint Paul) comforts the corrupt and afflicts their victims.

And so it is time for the mainstream media to go.  As far as ad revenues have fallen, they need to fall farther.  As far as rating have plunged, there is still a bottom down there.  They need to die.

Not every reporter – indeed, the death of the mainstream media may give actual honest reporters a chance to redeem their craft, currently trusted less than used car salesmen and Serbian war criminals.

Not the notion of reporting – although the death of our “elite” media, from the Times and CNN down to the Strib will certainly open up the market for reporting as oppposed to Democrat Party PR.

So where can we hit the media to keep the bleeding going today?

Everything Is Exactly As Predicted

Alan Schulkin, Democrat member of NYC’s voting commission, admits that vote fraud is rampant in New York, and that some sort of ID requirement would be a great idea:

While discussing the potential for fraud, Schulkin volunteered that in some parts of the city, “they bus people around to vote . . . They put them in a bus and go poll site to poll site.”

Asked which neighborhoods, Schulkin said, “I don’t want to say.”

When the undercover mentions black and Hispanic neighborhoods, Schulkin responded, “Yeah . . . and Chinese, too.”

At another point in the conversation, he discussed potential absentee ballot fraud.

“Oh, there’s thousands of absentee ballots . . . I don’t know where they came from,” he said.

He later claimed that he made his responses to placate the reporter.  Which makes sense, because it’s highly doubtful he’s used to reporters asking him actual questions.

Also; he doesn’t want to wind up a “suicide” in the East River with four shots in the back of his head.

“Big And Blue And Full Of The Mind Of God”

The quote is from “Dakota:  A Spiritual Geography” by Kathleen Norris.  It’s from a young Afro-American girl at a base school in Minot, ND, commenting about the sky in her adopted (likely temporary) home.

As James Lileks once put it, the sky is the big attraction when you drive across North Dakota; it’s a “painting that changes every fifteen minutes”.

Joshua Eckl is a photographer from back there, and he’s done a wonderful set of time-lapses of the North Dakota twilight and night sky:

It’s one of the things I miss about living up there.

Lie First, Lie Always: Ninnies Gonna Ninny

Guns are a public health crisis.

Not the way anti-gun advocates claim they are, of course; gun deaths are down 50% in twenty years, and further still in places with more guns (not so much in Democrat-addled urban cesspools).  If cancer or heart disease deaths had dropped 50% in twenty years, “public health” advocates would declare a miracle.

But there is a public health problem related to guns.

It’s the mental health of uninformed, emotionally-supercharged gun haters that would seem to be the crisis.

The Bryght:  Bryan Strawser runs Bryghtpath, LLC – a business consulting firm that works with corporations on disaster preparedness, recovery, communications and security.   Strawser is also a leader of the MInnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee – which gets involved in political campaigns – and the Minnesota Gun Owners’ Caucus, which lobbies the legislature (along with the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance).  It’s a good business.

His company has an office in the Northrup King Building (NKB) complex – a 100-year-old group of warehouse and light-manufacturing buildings that were turned into offices a while back, when Northeast became hip again.  The complex rents to a number of businesses – and a warren of artists, who keep their studios in the shabby-chic-yet-affordable space the NKB offers.  The complex is not an arts collective – it’s a bit of commercial real estate – but with nearly 200 artists, studios, and small galleries, the NKB is one of the lynchpins of Northeast’s art scene.

Strawser briefly listed the Coalition and the PAC alongside Bryghtpath on his office mailbox.  He also allowed a friend (a mutual friend, as it happens) to use the space to conduct a few carry permit classes (which, for those who haven’t been, consist of lectures and Powerpoints; the actual guns used for qualification are used at the firing range).

Anyway – Strawser has run his business out of that space for a little over a year now.

Along the way, a few of the artists who rent space took notice of Strawser’s affiliations, and took umbrage.  Strawser, being a communications guy, dealt with the issue the way he usually does; inviting people down to his office to talk.  Many of them did.  Conversations were had, agreements to disagree were reached, nerves were salved to the point where Strawser and a few of his artist neighbors threw an open house to discuss the issue with the rest of the building.

And that shoulda been it.  Right?

Not Bryght:   Please.  This is Minneapolis.  A city that elects Alondra Cano to office.

Howard Christopherson is an artist in the NKB; in addition to building picture frames, he runs one of the many small studio/gallery spaces that the NKB hosts.

And last summer, he started casting aspersions about Strawser on the building’s tenant page, as well as his own Facebook account.

And he was displeased:

For 13+ years I have proudly described this building as a great place. A giant Art Building, filled with artists, creators, furniture makers and sellers along with jewelers, painters and photographers etc. I guess we now add Pro Gun People who will for some money, teach you how to conceal and carry and they will lobby the St. Paul Capital to keep the gun pipeline flowing and easy to obtain.
I am disappointed, confused and dismayed that a Gun Proponant has a studio in the same building.

And, social media being what it is, a few of the building’s other artists started kibitzing amongst themselves.

Around this time, the building’s management pointed out the obvious; Strawser was a law-abiding person, running a perfectly legal business, doing something he had every legal right and qualification to do.  Not only that, but he’d agreed to keep all carry permit training out of the building.

Not good enough for Christopherson who, to protest against the indignity of sharing a building with people who saw the world differently than he, decided to fight back with the only weapon he had; to deprive the world of his deathless and eternal art.  He sent out a mass email to his list promising to refrain from displaying during any of the building’s constant stream of arts events.  One other building tenant, Sharra Frank, has apparently opted to break her lease because of Strawser – after spurning with Victorian theatricality Strawser’s offer to sit down and discuss.

And that’s where things sat for a while.

Layers and Layers of Gatekeepers:  Enter Sheila Regan, the “arts” “reporter” for the City Pages and fairly well-known left-wing activist in the Twin Cities (including, according to some reports, a member of an anti-gun organization – something a real journalist might have felt the need to disclose in reporting this sort of story).

She  took a statement from Strawser.  (I can’t speak for Bryan, but I know that when dealing with today’s City Pages, I’d never consent to a verbal interview without recorders rolling.  I’d prefer to do it entirely in writing; that way there’s a paper trail to correct the inevitable inflammatory inaccuracies.  Of which there were plenty; the online story went through three rounds of corrections as Regan repeatedly referred to Strawser as a “lobbyist”.  He’s not).

She did, however, end the story with a charming little editorial coda; she posted this bit of “art” (I prefer the term “artiness”, but nobody asked me):


It’s “Journalism” AND “Art!”   It’s called “NRA Aphrodisiac”, 2015 Tom Quinn Kumpf, “Love in 2016.”

Speaking of public health crises – why is it that antis are so obsessed with shooters’ genitals, sexuality and bodily fluids?

Oh, yeah – it’s just another way that bullies try to shame dissidents; by sexualizing the non-sexual; a simultaneous deflection into meaninglessness and an attempt to humiliate.  It’s the visual version of what Donald Trump said, and Bill Clinton did.  It’s a stupid person’s substitute for knowing things.  It’s why anti-gunners love to fall back on tropes like “shooters are compensating for something”, and “gun fondler” – because it’s easier than knowing what you’re talking about.

And, given how prevalent the left uses it as a substitute for knowing anything about the subject, it may be another one of those public health crises we’re talking about.

Heroes Are Hard To Find: Anyway, Regan apparently interviewed Christopherson, and Christopherson gave his side of the story.  And in so doing, while wrapping himself in the “peace” label that artists supposedly spend their creative lives marinading in 1, let slip some interesting factoids (emphasis added):

Christopherson says his vocal opposition to Strawser being in the building was instinctual. Many of his heroes have been shot or killed by guns, including his father (in WWII), President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon, Che Guevara, and Dian Fossey. He also lost his brother, Jimmy, and his good friend Eduardo Blidner recently to gun suicide.

Mr. Christopherson:  you can not simultaneously wrap yourself in “peace” and lionize Che Guevara, a racist, homophobic, totalitarian mass killer.   Sorry about your father and brother, but it wasn’t a “gun” that killed either of them; it was an enemy soldier and a mental illness.

Robert Kennedy and John Lennon were murdered in a place where civilian guns are illegal.  And not to nitpick – that’d be kinda ghoulish – but Dian Fossey was not shot; she was bludgeoned to death.  

The other tenant, Sharra Frank, also had a complaint (again, I’ve added emphasis):

Around that time, Frank had been helping to arrange a field trip for her son’s school, where they would tour the Northrup King building. “When I discovered this tenant was there, I felt so conflicted,” she says. “I thought this was such a family-friendly safe space.”

When she brought her concerns to the manager regarding whether guns were allowed in the building, she learned that by state law, landlords can’t restrict their tenants from having guns or carrying guns in a space.

So Frank decided to leave. “I know I can’t invite people into a space where I’m hiding info that might make them uncomfortable,” she says. She adds that she doesn’t feel safe bringing in youth and people from marginalized communities into the building. “Also, I didn’t feel I could creatively make work because I would feel distracted.”

So many questions, Ms. Frank.

Since when are artists “family friendly?”   I love artists – I am an artist, for chrissake, and most of my family two generations before and after me are to one degree or another too – but I will scout out any gallery before I bring kids inside.  Some of those folks are seriously twisted.

“Youth”, who grow up playing “Red Dead Redemption” and “Grand Theft Auto”, will be distracted by a genial, law-abiding guy sitting in an office, believing different things than you do?  Do tell.

And “marginalized youth” are in plenty of danger from guns…

…owned and carried illegally by the people in their communities who are doing the marginalizing.

And if demonstrably law-abiding people doing legal things in a legal way that is a minimum of two orders of magnitude less likely to get you hurt than the general public makes you and your clients uncomfortable – well, I think I found our “public health crisis”.

So Where Are We Now?:  Mr. Christopherson is apparently still mortified that someone in his building is doing a legal thing he’s allowed to do, and, operating under the assumption that the Northrup King building is an arts collective (it’s not), mobilize a campaign of shaming and bullying against someone…doing perfectly legal stuff that makes him unconmfortable for utterly irrational reasons.

Ms. Frank has apparently broken her lease.  Since space in the NKB is both inexpensive and in immense demand, I’m sure that’ll work out well for her.

Both would seem to have turned Bryan Strawser’s presence in “their” building into a neurotic obsession, which they’re manfesting in bullying, shaming and gaslighting, apparently seeking the thing that all “artists” seek; absolute ideological and personal conformity. 2

So all you gun-grabbers who jabber on about guns being a “public health crisis”?  You’re right.

Oh, yeah – Bryan Strawser continues to be a law-abiding citizen doing things he’s legally entitled to do.  No trail of bodies seems to have ensued from this.

Sheila Regan still hasn’t disclosed her political bent in covering the story.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Join the backlash!  If you’re an artist – or just value freedom – “like” “Artists for the Second Amendment” on Facebook.

Continue reading

Berg’s Seventh Law: Universal And Immutable

Remember when Democrats couldn’t stop talking about the Koch brothers (who aren’t even among the top fifty political donors in the country) and the American Legislative Exchange Committee, a “think tank” utterly similar to an array of such groups on both sides of the aisle?

And you – a smart person – asked “why all the fuss?”

Simple – provided you remember Berg’s Seventh Law.

Because it really does explain everything, every time.

Steer Clear Of Any Mirrors

Democrats behave pretty atrociously around women.

JFK had a thing for banging interns less than half his age.

LBJ was a philanderer who had a thing for letting the cow out of the barn in deeply inappropriate places.  Indeed, he seemed to be fairly obsessed with, er, Lyndon Baines’ johnson – which, it occurs to me, may be one of the reasons so many liberals’ arguments inevitably swerve back toward genitalia today.

And of course, Clinton – a serial mass philanderer who harassed, groped and raped women with the assurance of a conquering Mongol – and his wife, who actively used her power to shut his victims up.

Now – pointing out the true facts of fifty years of Democrat presidents’ abuse of women (often with the nodding, grinning compliance of the major media) doesn’t excuse Donald Trump’s piggish comments and behavior over a (I am flabbergasted)  open mic during his 2005 video with (ugh) Access Hollywood.   As I pointed out on the show Saturday, this wasn’t entirely unpredictable; when the interview was recorded, Trump had been a “Master of the Universe” for over 30 years; party to the kind of wealth, power and access that allows people like him to get away with things (or at least think so) that’d have had most people drummed out of polite society.  His marital record shows it hasn’t been entirely without consquence.  It’s one of the reasons I’ve been a vocal non-fan of Trump’s public persona for over 30 years.

But saying “Democrats did much worse, and did it first” doesn’t excuse Trump, any more than “they started it!” excused me when I was a kid, or my kids when they were.


To support Hillary Clinton for president, one has to ignore, or rationalize, or plead ignorance of, decades of her aiding and abetting her husband’s predations; at least one rape, several cases of blatant sexual harassment, constant philandering, and predation on younger, star-struck women who were – let’s be clear, here – his employees and staff (the kind of behavior that’d have any responsible corporate board ushering a CEO toward the exits faster than you can say “grab that cat” in this litigious age).

So, Clinton supporters?  I’m not saying this to attack Hillary and Bill’s character.

I’m attacking your character.

Keeping The Peace

As very few of you know, I was on the road a good chunk of this past two weeks; in Hartford the last week of September, and I just got back from Jacksonville late yesterday.

Naturally, I was keeping a close eye on Hurricane Matthew, which I beat out of Jax by about 12 hours.

The most vulnerable time for people and communities during these sorts of disasters is when the population is dislocated; evacuated, out of power, or bludgeoned with massive damage.  If worse comes to worst, coastal Florida and South Carolina might be all three of the above.

Just a reminder to potential looters; last year, Governor Scott signed a law allowing law-abiding gun owners to carry their firearms while complying with evacuation orders without need for a permit (emphasis added).

“As Hurricane Season approaches it’s critical that our rights are protected during natural disasters,” advised Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-Petersburg, in a statement. “With the signing of SB 290, all lawful gun owners will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon if they are complying with a mandatory evacuation during a state of emergency. I’m proud to have sponsored this bipartisan bill ensuring that we have the right to protect our families during these sometimes chaotic times.”

Brandes bill, SB 290, creates an exception to Florida’s prohibition against concealed carry of a weapon without a permit by allowing adults not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to temporally do so while evacuating. The law allows for a 48-hour window that this would be allowed after the evacuation has been ordered. However, the governor can authorize an extension as needed.

Compare this to the arm-twisting that needed to happen with the metro DFL to ban the governor from confiscating firearms during emergencies, and you can see who actually supports freedom, to say nothing of public order.


It’s A Fine, Fine Day For A NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

I’l be on from 1-3PM today this afternoon.   Today’s subject:  The media is biased.  So what?

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is normally heard on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

“You Won’t Be Seeing Me Again”

The FBI released the details of their initial investigation into the Saint Cloud mall mass stabbing last month, including the first public look at the store video.  MPR News covered it.

Warning; the video is  graphic, if you haven’ been completely desensitized to violence:

The investigators also praised Jason Falconer.

Falconer’s actions are instructive to anyone who is a carry permittee, and – with a little luck – to voters this fall:

Thornton said Adan had asked Falconer if he was Muslim. Falconer, said no but saw the knives and identified himself as an officer.

Adan initially turned away from Falconer and the officer followed repeating that he was law enforcement and ordering the man to drop the weapons.

If you were a citizen with a carry permit and a legally-carried handgun, at this point, you’d have a bit of a conundrum.

The Minnesota self-defense statute allows lethal force in self-defense to protect one’s self “or another” from death or great bodily harm.  But case law also establishes a “duty to retreat” (outside one’s home) – you have to undertake all “reasonable” means to avoid the use of lethal force.

What is “reasonable?”  For your purposes as a citizen, that will be decided by a county attorney.  As Joel Rosenberg used to say, while you, the citizen, had seconds to decide whether to defend yourself or not, under immense stress, often under low-light or confusing conditions, with a lethal threat bearing down on you, the county attorney will take days or weeks, in a well-lit, warm office, with sheriff’s deputies guarding him, to decide that question.  And at the end of the day, it’ll likely be at least in part a political decision; a DFLer will often file charges (although we’ve been surprised in the past), while a DA in Kandiyohi or Pennington counties will hail the shooter as a hero.

In other words, it’s vague.  Intentionally so; county attorneys like to have lots of discretion; they don’t like to have to work under all sorts of immutable rules any more than you do.  Of course, you and I don’t hold peoples’ lives, freedom and lifes’ savings in the palms of our hands, either.

That was the crux of the”Stand your Ground” law that passed the Minnesota legislature in 2012 with a decisive bipartisan majority, only to get vetoed by a governor who was acting as a marionette of big-money anti-gun special interests; put the benefit of the doubt on the side of the law-abiding citizen.

Oh, yeah – and the next time some gabbling anti-gun hamster asks “why does anyone need more than seven shots?”, you can show them what happened in Saint Cloud; Jason Falconer is an expert “three-gun” competition marksman and marksmanship instructor, an absolute master of the craft of putting pieces of lead into things.

And here’s what happened (I’ve added emphasis):

“Upon following Adan into Macy’s and repeatedly announcing his authority and commands to drop the knives, Adan ran toward Falconer with the knives raised two separate times, then continued to crawl toward him with a knife in his hand even after being shot during to separate prior charges at the officer,” Thornton said.

Falconer fired 10 rounds, striking Adan six times, he added. Store video showed Falconer shooting while backing away from Adan as the attacker continued to approach with his back turned.

Adan fell to the ground multiple times after being shot and still had a knife in hand. He tried to get up a final time using a store sign for balance.

So – an expert marksman (and cop) fires ten shots at contact range, and misses four times (which is actually abnormally good, even for point-blank range engagements); he scores six hits, during most of which the attacker kept charging.

If the shooter had been less expert, and hit the attacker fewer times?    If the attacker had been high, or dissociative?  If the defender had a smaller-caliber firearm (Falconer’s pistol was a 9mm)?  If the defender didn’t have any unobstructive, flat, clean room to back-pedal away from a charging man with two knives?

If there’d been more than one attacker?

Even with a “large” magazine, a defender in that situation could very well have learned what a Thanksgiving turkey feels like.

The lesson for the law-abiding gun owner?

No compromise.  No retreat.  No surrender.  


Wages Of Hegemony

Kevin Williamson, by way of hammering both Clinton’s self-destructive take on national security and Donald Trump’s simplistic and wrong-headed one, points out a consequence of American military, cultural and social hegemony that eludes Big Left and some of the libertarians who, these days, are increasingly indistinguishable from the left:

The American example has changed — forever — what the people of this world believe to be possible for themselves, bringing into present reality peace and prosperity that even the most utopian thinkers of three centuries ago would not have permitted themselves to dream of. Having liberated ourselves from the superstition of zero-sum economic thinking, the United States grew rich while helping other nations grow rich, too. That, too, is neither entirely altruistic nor entirely self-interested: When the United States intervened to save India from famine 50 years ago, and when Norman Borlaug et al. helped India to make a century’s worth of agricultural advances in a relatively short period of time, nobody was thinking about American exports or business practices in 2016. But it is the case that a rich India is much better suited to buy the things that America exports — aircraft, industrial machinery, optical and medical instruments – than is a poor India. For all our present anxiety, a rich China will be much better for the United States – and the world – than a poor China.

As always with Williamson, read the whole thing.

And then ask yourself; what good does an America that doubts and checks itself do anyone else?


Marty Neuman – who took over Keegans when the great Terry Keegan retired – is bringing another of my favorite brands to Nordeast across from Surdyk’s:

The owners of Keegan’s Irish Pub are opening a franchise location of Red’s Savoy Pizza next door to their University Avenue location, in what was formerly the clothing boutique Mona.

Keegan’s Owner Marty Neumann says he bought the franchise for the location. He’s looking to have the Red’s Savoy open by Jan. 1st.

No word whether Alondra Cano has criticized the deal for appropriating Italian culture, but this is otherwise fantastic news.

The Standing Army

As I’ve watched the ongoing militarization of American policing, I’ve become fairly convinced that law enforcement is the “standing army” that our founding fathers were worried about.

A new documentary, Do Not Resist, doesn’t make that exact point – but it’s a short jump to it.

The New York Times reviews the movie. One of many money quotes:

The striking thing about the footage is, again, the utter mundanity of the raid. A family was just violently raided over an immeasurable amount of pot. A man was arrested over that pot. The money he needed for his business was taken from him. Yet there’s no shame or embarrassment from the officers. There’s no panic that the whole thing was captured on video. That’s when it hits you. They don’t think they’ve made a mistake. This is what they do. The lead officers later tells the camera, matter-of-factly, that the raid turned up “a personal use amount of marijuana.” Perhaps realizing that he was also on camera back at the police station promising a much larger stash of drugs, he adds, “It happens. Drug warrants are, you know, 50-50.”

Wants to feel depressed about modern law-enforcement? Read the whole thing.

Yes, I know – most cops are good people, doing a dirty job on behalf of a population that hires them to do the dirty work they don’t want to. I get that.

And I grew up in a time and place where supporting the police is pretty much what good people did, and to do.

But this really is pretty awful.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Indian tribes claim a pipeline company should not be digging on certain lands because the written easement has not yet been signed and verbal permission to proceed is insufficient.

They also claim the easement should not be given at all because the tribe recently discovered the lands in question are sacred lands.  The tribe didn’t realize it earlier because they have no written records; everything is done verbally, that’s their tradition.

Heads – Whites must have everything in writing; tails – Indians need not have anything in writing.  

Joe Doakes

And is writing a form of cultural appropriation?  Or does that only work one way?

Everyone’s Deplorable

If you don’t vote for the Democrat party nominee “your best interests”, Democrats get just a little peevish.

Ohio seems to be swinging GOP uncharacteristically early this election, according to some polls.

…left-leaning media appears to be treating the development as sour grapes.

On Monday, one article appeared in TIME magazine and one was published by the AP, both dismissing Hillary’s need for Ohio in her campaign’s electoral college calculus. Things have “changed,” apparently…Over the weekend, the New York Times declared that Ohio is now — of course — too white and uneducated to be considered a bellwether state anymore.


Party, it’s electoral politics; if true, she’s focusing her campaign where the votes for her are.

But Berg’s Seventh Law exists for a reason; it It’s because deep down inside, for all of their jabbering about about other peoples’ bigotry and prejudice, they really really hate people who aren’t like them.