Irreconcilable

There are times I wonder if this isn’t the right answer.

UPDATE:  Clearly, I wrote this before looking at the map.  While the article makes sense, clearly the author thinks all northerners look alike.  The idea of the Dakotas, Montana and Idaho siding with New England is as risible as Rebecca Otto’s candidacy.

My two cents?   It’s not just two nations (Dems aren’t the only ones fighting the last war).  Short of dividing up by counties (which would be much more politically accurate), I could see several options:

  • Two nations .- with the West Coat, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Chicago existing as an archipelago of liunacy
  • Three nations – a Japan and China-aligned West Coast, a New England/Mid-Atlantic nation that’d join the EU, and the rest of the country.
  • Four nations:  the above, with the former confederacy (less Texas, perhaps) forming a socially-conservative nation and the remainder a libertarian-conservative agricultural and petroleum based nation.

But again, it’s all hypothetical.

Or is it?

The Ultimate Urban Progressive Privilege…

…is being able to blame “privilege” for every transgression, real or perceived, for which one’s facts, logic or intellect doesn’t equip one to respond.

A friend of the blog writes:

I guess we uppity peasants got put in our places. If one complains, uprises against the government, it is only because of privilegeand wealth. We are instead to sit passively, for the good of all, and let organized city services have their way with us. After all, they apparently make better choices for us then we can make ourselves.

Really. And here I thought it was our right to protest when government over stepped into our lives. I guess I will remind people of this when the next Black Lives Matter protest happens over an incident with an organized city service.

As we noted when we first defined Urban Progressive Privilege, another of its great privileges is not having people calling you on inconsistencies.

Vigiles

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The case for mandating gun ownership.   And why serving in the militia should be compulsory.
As a general rule, I react negatively to the suggestion that I should be required to do anything for the federal government.  But the point about civic virtue is important.  In a world where people think bacon comes from a store and cops shouldn’t be so mean when they arrest murderers, a little time spent patrolling the streets of your own town might open some eyes.
Who knows, maybe we could form a committee of citizens to maintain vigilance in the neighborhood.  Might be a good deterrent to crime.

Joe Doakes

I think public safety is like tax withholding; if you had to do it yourself, your point of view would be very different.

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.

I Wonder If Lori Sturdevant Has Read This?

Republicans just don’t want to work across the aisle. 

This, the Democrats say about a party that’s nominated John McCain, Mitt Romney, Dubya, Tim Pawlenty, Mike McFadden…

…well, you know the list.

But on the far left, chucking even Big Left’s current unconvincing veneer of “bipartisanship” is becoming outré:

In this current period of American politics, at this juncture in our history, there’s no way that a bipartisan path provides the way forward. The way forward is on the path California blazed about 15 years ago.

In the early 2000s, California faced a similar situation to the one America faces today. Its state politics were severely polarized, and state government was largely paralyzed. The Republican Party was trapped in the brain-dead orthodoxies of an ideology stuck in the past. The party was controlled by zealous activists and corrupt special interests who refused to face up to the reality of the new century. It was a party that refused to work with the Democrats in good faith or compromise in any way.

To which their response is – let’s not compromise in any way ourselves!

The solution for the people of California was to reconfigure the political landscape and shift a supermajority of citizens — and by extension their elected officials — under the Democratic Party’s big tent. The natural continuum of more progressive to more moderate solutions then got worked out within the context of the only remaining functioning party…California today provides a model for America as a whole. This model of politics and government is by no means perfect, but it is far ahead of the nation in coming to terms with the inexorable digital, global, sustainable transformation of our era.

You could say Cali provides a model for the rest of the country…

…but not in the way the authors (alt-media, TED talk and public broadcasting darlings Ruy Texeira and Peter Leyden) think.

Wonder if Lori Sturdevant is going to give Leyden and Texeira a stern talking-to?

UPDATE:  Not sure if Sturdevant’s read it, but Kurt Schlichter has.

California is a bankrupt failed state that is essentially Illinois with palm trees and better weather. Outside the coastal urban enclaves where Jack and his pals mingle, drinking kombucha and apologizing for their white privilege to their baffled servants, it’s a crowded, decaying disaster. Bums wander the streets, littering the sidewalks with human waste. Crime is rising. Illegal aliens abound, more welcome in the Golden State than actual Americans. California is an example all right, but a cautionary one.

Read both of ’em.  The Second Civil War is underway.  Not a shot has been fired (well, not many of them anyway) – call it the Civil Cold War if you’d like.

Off The Table

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Chicago PD needs to get guns off the streets to bring down the murder rate which is higher than New York.  You know what would get guns off the streets?  Stop-and-frisk.  Don’t even bother to arrest the people in possession – that raises all the Fourth Amendment defenses and exacerbates racial disparity convictions – just take the guns and auction them to lawful buyers to fund midnight basketball programs.  Who could possibly object to that?

One big guess…

 

Don’t Know Why I NARN Like I Do

Join me from 1-3PM today on the NARN!

Today on the show:

  • MNGOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan
  • Xavier Bicott and Lee McGrath talking about the civil forfeiture reform law, which is being stalled in the legislature.

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

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

Join us!

Throwback Friday

Tim Pawlenty is officially in the Governor’s race, surprising nearly nobody that’s been paying attention for the past few months.

Ideological conservatives are unimpressed, of course.  Being an ideological conservative myself, I completely get it.   Pawlenty wasn’t and isn’t a doctrinaire conservative.  He’s the sort of pragmatic center-right small-c conservative that is a product of a career in the legislature, rather than as a doctrinemonger.

But remember – just four years before he was elected governor, the Minnesota Republican party had gotten Arne Carlson elected.  Carlson may have been to the left of the liberal, Rudy Perpich, that he beat in his first bid for office on many bedrock Republican issues.

Is Pawlenty “conservative enough?”  Of course not.

Is Minnesota going to elect a doctrinaire conservative?  Highly doubtful (although I do hope for a Wisconsin-like miracle one of these days).

Indeed – is conservatism in and of itself a winning ideology, statewide, in Minnesota?  I have  my doubts.

I follow the Buckley doctrine – elect the most conservative Republican who can win.

I’m still open to being convinced.

The Scapegoat

The media has found someone to blame for the Minnesota motor vehicle licensing computer system (MNLARS), just in the nick of time:

An outside investigator hired by the state’s information technology department found the official in charge of Minnesota’s troubled vehicle licensing system knew there were numerous defects prior to its launch last summer but failed to address them.

The report says Paul Meekin, who was officially fired from his job at Minnesota IT Services last month, fell short of expectations related to pre-launch testing and several key management responsibilities, including communication and staffing.

The $93 million Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) was rolled out on July 24, 2017, replacing a 30-year-old system. There were immediate problems, including delays in the processing of license and title transactions.

Just in time for the elections!

It’s complete baked wind, of course.  While Meekin may or may not have been a terrible program manager, it’s common knowledge among Twin Cities IT people that Minnesota’s government IT bureaucracy is systemically sclerotic, and largely incapable of delivering software effectively and efficiently.

But it’s government work.  As long as there’s a politically-acceptable scapegoat, nothing will change.

Want To Watch A Story Disappear?

Non-white, non-male shooter who can’t be affiliated even plausibly with any segment of the right wing, carrying out a mass shooting in a state that is already a gun grabber’s turgid dream, after giving off signs of potential trouble?

Nasim Aghdam, 39, of San Diego, was believed to be upset with YouTube’s policy and practices before opening fire in the company’s headquarters in San Bruno, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. Police are still determining the exact motive, but said her hatred toward the company appears to be the prime reason…Aghdam, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, did not have a specific target and did not know any of the victims.

“[We] have no indication that she was selecting individuals to fire at,” Barberini said.

The self-described “vegan bodybuilder” got into the building through a parking garage. Investigators are in the process of executing search warrants at two properties…“She was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life,” Aghdam’s brother, Shahran, also told reporters, according to Mercury News.

In two weeks, Nasim Aghdan won’t even be a trivia answer.

It’s Only Sarcastic Until It’s The Law

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The State of Minnesota will be printing election ballots soon.  The more candidates, the more voter confusion, the greater the risk the wrong person will be elected by mistake. The State has a legitimate interest in keeping elections fair and transparent.  One method would be to limit the number of candidates.  We already do that tto some extent, by requiring a certain number of signatures to get on the ballot, but there still are too many candidates who qualify.  It’s reasonable to restrict the number of candidates for voter convenience.  But not in a random or discriminatory manner; instead, the restriction should apply to candidates that have the fewest number of likely voters and therefore the least likelihood of being elected.  Eliminating them from the ballot won’t affect the outcome of the election – they weren’t going to get elected anyway.
As it happens, those sure-loser candidates mostly are Republicans, who haven’t won elective office in the Twin Cities for decades.  Republican candidates serve mainly to confuse and mislead voters which threatens the integrity of the elections.  Henceforth, Republican candidates are banned in Minnesota.
It’s a restriction that is reasonably related to a legitimate government interest and therefore passes the “rational basis” standard of review for infringements on liberties protected by the Constitution. It’s every bit as Constitutional as this law:

Joe Doakes

And if the DFL manages to pass it, the Supreme Court of Minnesota won’t dream of challenging it.

Open Letter To The Parkland Kids

To: David Hogg et al
From: Mitch Berg, irascible peasant
Re: Agenda item

7 dead in one Chicago neighborhood in 12 hours.

Of course, they were mostly black and brown, so they don’t look like any of you.  And they were mostly killed by people with criminal records (and, sadly, at least of the victims likely had records, too – that’s the way of inner city crime, which accounts for over 3/4 of this nation’s homicides (with and without guns) every year.   That means more people killed in two days that have died in all school shootings in the past five years, all rolled together.

But they’re black and brown and killed in ones and twos with weapons that aren’t on the social engineers’ hit lists yet.  And they had the bad fortune to be murdered  almost exclusively in cities run by the same political class that pays for your airfare and security and sign printing and also gets you all that A-list media treatment.  Cities that already have all the gun control measures “you” are so stridently demanding (fat lotta good they did, huh?) so nobody’ll be talking about those murders, will they?

Will they?

Will you all be marching through Chicago?  Calling a bunch of gang-bangers “terrorists” and “Murderers?”

No?

That is all.

They Know What Matters!

If you were in the Twin Cities from about 1986 to the early nineties – after Channel 11 changed their call letters from WUSA to KARE – you probably remember their ubiquitous, supremely annoying branding campaign:  “we know what matters”.

Remember those?

Not sure KARE expected any but the dimmest viewers to think that the station was, in fact, the final arbiter of actual meaning.  It’s all what they call imaging in the business; “branding” in other businesses.  It all falls under the rubric of marketing; making people think there’s a reason to tune into your station rather than the other news stations in the market.

Everyone does it.

Including the dozens of stations owned by Sinclair.   Same basic idea – only their ads glom onto something that happens to be a hot subject these days – the fact that most Americans trust used care salesmen and meth addicts more than the media.  Here’s the script:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback”

It’s topical, it’s powerful, and it is utterly factual.

And that makes Big Media all skittery:

This is not exactly a scandalous or groundbreaking message, but you’d think otherwise from observing the reactions from certain entertainers and members of the press.

The Washington Post, for example, referred to the video as “stunning,” and added that the anchors, “seemed to parrot one of President Trump’s favorite themes.” Which is kind of funny, because you could also say they’re parroting one of his critics’ favorite themes about fake news being shared around from untrustworthy sources.

Late-night host and on-again-off-again political commentator Jimmy Kimmel, who is himself no stranger to parroting a demagogue’s talking point, said of the Sinclair video, “this is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

And – this almost reads like parody – the man who took “fake news” mainstream 13 years ago, sounds off on the sanctity of…well, Dan Rather:

Dan Rather, who famously lost his job when he was caught trying to undermine the 2004 U.S. presidential election with forged documents, said: “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

There are mornings I think “this nation can not possibly split into separate red and blue countries soon enough”.

 

 

#MeTube

We’re told that a woman shot up the headquarters of Youtube yesterday.

Now, Berg’s 19th Law is still in effect, so we won’t know much just yet; NPR and CNN are trying to tie it to the ownership of guns in general, naturally; never waste a crisis!

Of course, I suspect fake news; the shooter, one Nasim Aghdam, was said to have fired twenty shots – but California banned large magazines, so that couldn’t have happened.

Still…:

Aghdam has a robust presence on YouTube. In a video posted in January 2017, she says You Tube “discriminated and filtered” her content. In the video Aghdam says her channel used to get lots of views but that after being filtered by the company, it received fewer views. In a Facebook post from February 2017 Aghdam blasted YouTube saying, “There is not equal growth opportunity on You Tube.”

Now, Berg’s 19th Law says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, especially not based on the media’s current reporting, which will be sensationalist and likely biased.

But…:

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has also learned the license plate on a car towed from YouTube’s campus Tuesday is registered to Aghdam. In 2014, she posted a video on YouTube of what appears to be the same car, stating that it was vandalized by “anti-vegans” because the car had a sign saying “meat is murder.”

So she’s a liberal.

You may argue – but care to place a bet?

Oh yeah – the warnings were there.

It must have been the gun.

Ganders

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is waiting for a table at his local Korean restaurant when Avery LIBRELLE walks in behind him.   

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG:   Ugh,  I mean, hey , Avery.

LIBRELLE: The kids from Parkland High School returned to class, and they feel like they’re “in prison“.

BERG: Do tell.

LIBRELLE: I’ll read from this article:

“Going to school is really so hard, and now it’s going to be so much worse,” said Isabelle Robinson, a senior. “A lot of the people I’ve talked to are dreading going back.”…MSD students will only be allowed to carry clear backpacks on campus and will be required to wear new student IDs at all times.
There will be an increased police presence on campus, as Gov. Rick Scott provides extra Florida Highway Patrol officers to beef up security and provide support to Broward County sheriff’s deputies. Students will have limited points of entry to the school.
The school district also says it’s considering whether to install metal detectors at the school’s entrances. A letter from Principal Ty Thompson sent to families on Friday said that step has not been taken yet.
“It feels like being punished,” Robinson told CNN. “It feels like jail, being checked every time we go to school.”

BERG: Huh.

LIBRELLE: Its just so unfair.

BERG: Why?

LIBRELLE: These kids are being punished for the crimes of a lunatic…

BERG: …even though they, themselves, did nothing and would never have dreamed of harming anyone ?

LIBRELLE: Yeah!

BERG:   So let me get this straight – punishing innocent people – people who’d have never even thought of committing a crime – because of the crimes of a lunatic is a bad thing?

LIBRELLE:  Every time, no exceptions.

BERG:   Huh.   (Notices the waitress motioning him toward a table)   Er, are you going to get a table or order something?

LIBRELLE:  Oh, no.  I’m just here to offer solidarity to these people and their leader Kim Jong Un.

(And SCENE)

Macroaggression

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Whenever a microaggression occurs, Al Sharpton is on the first plane to lead the march.

Think David Hogg is heading to YouTube HQ?

Joe Doakes

Given that logic has nothing to do with gun control?  Sure, why not?

Dear Yale Panelists

To:  Yale “People Against Police Brutality”
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: “White Saviorism”

Dear PAPB,

A panel composed of social justice warriors from your campus recently indulged in one of the great twisted pleasures of Urban Progressive Privilege; intersectionalizing every corner of life.

You the plague of “white saviorism” – honkies who mistake “interacting in any way with non-white-communities” as “good”.

A five-person panel discussed how white supremacy and the idea of of the “white savior” affect the operations of nonprofits in New Haven and across the United States on Wednesday night at the Afro-American Cultural Center. Over the course of an hour, panelists described to the packed house the prototypical white savior who does not truly understand or meet a community’s needs, applying the concept to the nonprofit sector.

“The nonprofit industrial complex is very real and very alive in New Haven and needs to be dismantled just like any other oppressive system,” said Kerry Ellington, organizer for People Against Police Brutality. “White folks are centering themselves in these spaces and don’t know how to listen to the communities they serve.”

Normally, I’d be snarking at the bloodless identitymongering involved in a claim like this.

But today, I just want to draw your attention to these people.   If “white saviorism” is what you’re jabbering about, they really really qualify.

Go to it.

That is all.

Open Letter To Fleet Farm

To:  Mills Fleet Farm
From:  Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re:  Blowing With The Wind Breeze.

Dear Fleet Farm,

I’ve  been shopping Fleet Farm for a lot of sundries besides guns and ammo (back when I had guns, which I don’t anymore, because they terrify me).

But no more.

Stand with the heroes, or lie down with the sheep.  There is no in between.

That is all.

Just To Be Clear

I do advocate tolerance.  Most notably and recently, I’ve mixed it up with activists in the MN GOP who’ve said there’s no room in the Republican party for people of the Muslim faith, because – this is a paraphrase cut so closely it might as well be a quote – the Koran tells Muslims to deceive the infidel, and all Muslims follow the Koran to the letter in exactly the same way.  And their goal is to spread Sharia law everywhere.  Even in the MN GOP.

Of course, they – and I – say Muslims, and all immigrants, should assimilate into our culture (and, for my part, that “multiculturalism” must be killed with fire).   To which I respond “What on earth is more assimilatory than trying to attend a Minnesota GOP caucus?

Some of them have gone so far as to say there’s no room for people who are inclusive of Muslims (not Islam, mind you –  they they gotta support the rest of the GOP’s platform and, of course, the US) and them.  To which I’ve replied “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out”.

But with all that said – this is the sort of thing that needs to be kept on the other side of a high, spike-topped, literal and intellectual border wall