Open Letter To Seth Rogen

To: Seth Rogen
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: Issues In Fulfilling Your Request

Mr. Rogen,

In regards to your request that everyone who questions “Black Lives Matter“ should“F*** off” and not go to any of your movies: We’ve got a bit of a problem here.

I’m not going to say I haven’t enjoyed a few of your movies; “Zack and Miri make a Porno” was worth a watch. And Freaks and Geeks was pretty essential, although that was mostly a Linda Cardellini thing – and you played basically the same role you’ve played in just about every movie since.

Which brings us, with all due respect, to the point; you’ve kind of got a formula – to the extent that once you’ve seen one of your movies, you’ve kind of seen them all.

Which puts us in a bit of a pickle. I can’t “f*** off” and skip your movies, since logically, unless your formula changes, I have already seen all your future, lovable-bumbling-stoner/slacker-fish out of water movies as well

Please see to this.

That is all.

Putsch

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Republicans agreed to police reform bills in the second special session.  This is a mistake.

There should be NO legislative action, on ANY proposal, until Dictator Walz relinquishes his totalitarian control over the entire state back to the peoples’ elected representatives in the legislature.

Otherwise, it never ends.  Ever.  And in that case, why do we need the Legislature at all?

Joe Doakes

One hopes the MNGOP gets this message.

The Most Heinous Crime Of This Heinous Year

The “Mask Mandate” – which, as of a week ago, was of such crucial “scientific” importance that it was on the table in negotiations about the bonding bill – will become official policy as of Friday midnight.

Not only long after Covid peaked in Minnesota, but long after most Americans led the world in voluntarily adopting masks:

Which is more or less what I said a couple weeks ago – give Americans good information, a transparent request, and clear statement of interests, and we’ll do what needs to be done.

Here’s the thing – as we’ve noted, Covid is a disease spread by density. It might be a red-county meat-packing plant, or a major-metro bar, restaurant, open-plan office, bus or train, but the correlation between packing people together for extended time and the spread of Covid seems pretty clear.

Here in Minnesota, about half the counties have had no Covid deaths. Outside the metro areas – Twin Cities, Saint Cloud, Duluth and Rochester – and a few rural meat-packing facilities, the disease is just plain rare.

Senate Majority Leader Gazelka had the termerity to point this out – that perhaps a one-size fits all state mandate for a disease for which one size does not fit all, makes absolutely no sense.

Governor Klink’s response:

Someday, there will need to be an accounting for the damage the American Left has inflicted on the term “science”. For much, indeed most, of the American left, “science” is treated like saying “no sipsies” in high school when you bought a can of pop – a way to pre-emptively foreclose any argument, because you were the first to invoke “science”.

But y’see, Governor Klink, science is observation.

Observe this – pattern of the spread of the disease after five months in Minnesota:

So explain the “science” to us, Governor Klink?

What is the special science-fu that means a disease that spread between metropoli halfway around the world from each other in a matter of weeks, has yet to ravage the low-density hinterlands after five months?

The Governor isn’t talking science. He’s talking Blue Fragility.

Snappy Answers To Casual Gaslighting, Part IV

“Check your privilege”

OK. Let’s check my privilege.

I grew up descended from people from an inhospitable place that nobody wanted to conquer and that nobody managed to enslave (or who managed to kill everyone that tried). My dominant culture has no experience of being enslaved – indeed, it abolished slavery hundreds of years before the rest of the world. It’s a “privilege” that every human in the world should have, and that I’m more than happy to share.

I grew up in a family where the parents stayed together (until we were all adults, anyway), and worked their butts off to give us a stable, loving upbringing where we were expected to grow up into productive, self-sufficient adults. My parents themselves were “privileged” with the same basic family structure, notwithstanding the Depression and World War 2.

Those are privileges I’m more than happy to spread to the whole world, and have nothing to do with my skin color.

I went to a public school system that was more concerned with teaching me to read, write, calculate, present myself, and reason than indoctrinating me in a view of society. It’s a “privilege” afford to very few these days.

I got a post-secondary education (thanks to my Mom working at the local college, with the commensurate tuition break) that focused on reason, logic and critical thought, rather than post-structural twaddle – not merely a “privilege”, but a decisive advantage in so many areas of my life.

Somewhere, I got a work ethic. I was blessed with ways to exercise it – for which I’m thankful. I’m more than happy to do my bit, and more, to make sure you get the same privilege.

I am a free person, with all the rights God endowed me, and all the responsibilities that position gives me. Freedom and responsibility are “privileges” I’ll fight to provide anyone who wants them, and against anyone who’ll deprive either of us of them.

In no case are those “privileges” zero-sum. My freedom takes nothing away from your freedom (that you’re not willing to give up, or at least pretend you’ve given up). And taking freedom away from others gives you no more; Germans, the Klan and Red Guards gained no freedom, no prosperity, no happiness from oppressing Jews, Afro-Americans or “counterrevolutionaries”; quite the opposite, in fact.

Freedom is the ultimate “privilege”. And it’s contagious, if you let it be. Try it, Sparky.

You are, of course, not referring to any of those. You are referring to the stretchy, sketchy concept of racial privilege which is in fact almost entirely a matter of class, not race, and is almost entirely an attempt to expiate White Progressive Guilt.

Soft Targets

Lara Logan – one of the precious few actual reporters in national journalism today – on the nature of the “Anti”-Fa attacks on federal property:

One other thing: just like the 9/11 terrorists, they use the “weaknesses” of an open society – free speech and assembly, relative transparency and accountability – against it, to cover their activities and wedge their opposition.

“Anti”-Fa should be considered a domestic terror group.

They won’t be, because they are the idiot children and pathetic nephews and nieces of the political class.

But they should be.

Mister Feminist

Keith Ellison says cops shouldn’t be the ones responding to rapes.

Emphasis added:

“If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault and the assailant has ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with as opposed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm, right?” he asked.

Ellison posed this question during a broadcast featuring himself, Democrat Congresswoman Karen Bass and Yamiche Alcindor, PBS’s White House Correspondent on July 17. As he spoke, both the congresswoman and reporter looked downward and did not interrupt.

The Republican National Committee research team discovered the clip and posted it across social media.

Side note – “…the assailant has ran away?”

He went to law school, for chrissake.

But yes – he think social workers, not investigators, should be the first to respond to rapes.

“Keith Ellison clearly is not even aware of the MN Post Board standards for police training. Licensed police officers receive a variety of training in multiple subjects including how to interview a rape victim. As a state leader he should be more familiar with state standards before he makes assumptions,” says the officer. This is the same officer who has delivered verifiably factual information to Alpha News previously.

The fact that Ellison apparently doesn’t believe there’s an investigative component to responding to sexual assault should make everyone in Minnesota with a female in their life really, really angry.

Snappy Answers To Casual Gaslighting, Part III

“If You’re Not Part Of The Solution, You’re Part Of The Problem”

People who use this statement always use it incompletely. I’ll do it again, filling in and emphasiing the words that are unstated but that actually define the statement.

“If you’re not part of the solution I’m demanding, you’re part of the problem that’s in my way“.

It’s incumbent on you to convince me – everyone – that your solution isn’t worse than the problem. If you are a socialist, if your “solution” can be shown via a rational argument based in fact to be worse than the problem you see, then you’re going to have a tough time of it.

And if you use statements like “If you’re not part of the solution…”, it’s going to be even tougher, because if you knew all that rational, factual, “convincing people” stuff, you wouldn’t have to resort to such twaddle.

Governor Waaaaaaaahlz

Governor Walz, during his presser yesterday:

And yet, somehow, the four states surrounding us, with the same exact federal government, managed to avoid a complete slaughter in their long-term care facilities.

Weird.

Y’know what’d be cool?

If we had some institution that’d probe a little further with the Governor on questions like this.

Perhaps an institution with printing presses and transmitters. Staffed by people who see themselves as a monastic cult of truth-seekers1

Naaah. That’s just crazy talk.

Also – if all the specifics of the state’s Covid response depend on federal action, then there’s really no need for the Governor to maintain emergency powers, is there? Tangent – isn’t that a curious combination? Decisively seizing emergency power, and then whining about how he as no…power?

1 All due respect to Tom Hauser, who seems to be the closest thing the Twin CIties media has to a genuine journalist.

Affirmation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s acts like this that reaffirm my intention to vote for President Trump.  Not because of any one specific policy, but because I think his heart is in the right place.  He genuinely cares about America and wants it to succeed. 

I wish I could say that about the Never-Trumpers and Democrats, but I just don’t believe they do. 

I believe Never-Trumpers care about America, but have little idea how to make those wishes reality.

As to the Dems? They love America – at least, the one they envision. Which is nothing like the one we have, much less the one conservatives, or Trump see.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Minneapolis mulls a proposal to supplant police with “citizen patrols”.

And its primary mission – transfer money from taxpayers to favored “community” organizations – is front and center:

The Minneapolis City Council Budget Committee has approved moving $500,000 from the police budget and putting it into the Office of Violence Prevention to help pay for civilian safety patrols.

Jamil Jackson is a paid consultant with the Office of Violence Prevention and he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he’s been asked to put together a proposed plan to implement the civilian patrols.

“It would have to be multiple groups that get the money,” Jackson said.  “But, how the money is going to be disbursed hasn’t been decided at this point, because those are things that are still being tweaked and worked out.”

The – for sake of argument – proposal involves groups of 20 civilians each, patrolling the North and South sides, and another in downtown.

And when – not if – danger sprouts up?

Jackson says the civilian patrols will not be doing any police work and they will not be out in the community fighting crime. The group will not be armed, but men with permits to carry will be allowed to do so if they choose.

Ooof – acting as a surrogate cop in a climate of hatred for cops and their surrogates, with none of the legal protections a cop gets? Thanks, but no.

The possibilities are endless:

  • What a wonderful place for people with latent Dwight Schrute-like tendencies to exercise their need to control others?
  • Could there be a better springboard for corruption, both for the ‘patrols’ as well as the organizations sponsoring them?

Anyone in for a pool on how long the patrols last before they dissolve in a welter of corruption and scandal?

Snappy Answers To Casual Gaslighting, Part II

“If You’re ‘On The Fence’, You’re Complicit”\

No. If I’m “on the fence on an issue”, then neither side has convinced me yet. “Better to be quiet and have people think you might be a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.

And being considered a fool by anyone using a line like the star of today’s piece is at best irrelevant and at worst mutual.

The Unmarked Van Of Remorseless Logic

I’ve had a couple people ask what I thought about Federal law enforcement, driving rental vans and wearing generic mil-cop camouflage, grabbing individual “protesters” off the streets of Portland.

To be honest, I’m not of two minds about it. Maybe three or four.

Bear with me, here.

I was a Libertarian with a capital L. I’m still a libertarian with small “l'”. I read my Soviet history (which is why I’m not a DFLer or a “progressive”). Cops descending out of nowhere and throwing people into vans and driving off is not a good look.

And if you can show me that those people have disappeared without a trace – as opposed to appearing in federal court being arraigned on charges involving destroying federal property and other federal crimes – then we’ve got something to talk about.

On the other hand:

I will wager a shiny new quarter that every single one of these “peaceful” protesters is going to appear in enough video, witness statements and other credible evidence to support at least an indictable allegation that they were involved in destroying federal (as in “you and me paid for it”) property, and/or travelled across state lines to organize other peoples’ felonies.

Now – given that Portland has in effect been turned over to “Anti”-Fa [1], and in effect told its own police to leave them alone and get out of the way, what’s going to be the best way to get these alleged violent conspirators – rolling up in a van labeled “FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT”, warning the wannabe tough guys to form a mob and get their bats and bike chains and guns out, and starting yet another riot?

Or maybe take the subtle approach, get the organizers they want, and leave without letting the mob destroy the neighborhood – again?

On the other, other hand:

All of you people demanding openness and transparency in law enforcement in tracking and arresting (for sake of argument) people who are credibly alleged to be organizers of violent riots that have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to private, local and federal property: Where were you brave, iconoclastic souls in 2011-2013, when prosecutors in Wisconsin were serving no-knock “John Doe” warrants with SWAT teams armed not one degree behind the Specal Forces fashion curve, along with gag orders signed by courts that the Kangaroos released a statement saying they didn’t want to be associated with, against people accused of…

…supporting Scott Walker for Governor?

Where were you?

Is opaque government only a problem when it’s the people you agree with (?) getting arrested under unseemly circumstances?

And on the other, other, other hand:

Is Federal law enforcement and the whole federal justice system, with its 98% conviction rate and its indulgent rules that allow federal prosecutors to squeeze people to choose between guilty pleas or having their lived completely destroyed and being personally, legally and financially ruined forever, too powerful?

Well, I agree – and if you root for that same system when they pick out a white collar criminal to hound to death (read Howard Root’s “Cardiac Arrest” for a great local story by a guy who beat the rap – at the cost of $25 million), but get the vapors when it’s an entitled, upper-middle-class, over-schooled but under-educated “progressive” anarchist, then yes, I am going to point out your (let’s be polite here) inconsistency.

Snappy Answers To Casual Gaslighting, Part I

“Silence is Violence”.

No. It’s not.

Silence – if you catch me silent at all – is me keeping my mouth shut while I figure out what I think, to say nothing of what I’m going to say. Your freedom of speech doesn’t give you the right to tell me what I’m going to say.

If your response to that is “there is only one thing to say”, and that’s to agree with your point of view – then most likely you’re trying to logroll and shame people into knocking off all that pesky thinking, and just acquiescing.[1] If your position is worthy, I may eventually agree with you. Not doing so, in and of itself, doesn’t make me the immoral one.

Logically, it’s Orwellian – silence is the opposite of violence. Morally, it’s worse than Orwellian.

If your response is “that’s how Germans reacted when Jews were getting hauled off” – well, there’s your opportunity to convince me that the issue we face is, actually, that clear-cut.

If it’s not? If there are some facets to the issue at hand over which reasonable people may debate?

If you were to tell a spouse or a significant other “if you’re not verbally acquiescing with my point of view, you are party to evil”, a therapist would call you an emotional abuser.

And they’d be right.

Logrolling is no substitute for a convincing argument.

Unfortunately, people using this form of logrolling, gaslighting chanting point aren’t trying to “convince”, and they’re not trying to provoke thought.

Terrorists

Portland cop (who happens to be black) – the leftist protest mob, especially those organizing them, are the actual racists:

You’re be hard-pressed to show that the “protesters” rioting in Minneapolis weren’t the same pack of over-schooled, under-educated, entitled upper-middle-class honkies.

More later today.

Ham Radio

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s dying, like hoop rolling and tethered airplanes and lots of other 1930’s activities, because young people don’t care for it.

What, you just talk to people?  You can’t see them, no interactive video?  So the people are in different countries, so what?  It’s basically a telephone.  What fun is that?

Joe Doakes, ham radio license KE0GCG, on the 2 meter band

It’s been on my long “to do” list for years. May just accelerate that.

Our Orwellian Overlords

Individualism is groupthink.

Hard work is indolence.

Objectivity is emotion.

Respect is hate.

Delayed gratification is fleeting and temporal.

Apparently Orwell is “the New Normal”, at least among progs:

Not just Orwellian – socially illiterate. These are traits of Western Civilization – which sprouted in the West, which happens to have been almost entirely white until a few hundred years ago, but could hypothetically have happened anywhere the ideals of individual worth and the value of the individual’s work have caught on. For all the left’s yapping about “historical accidents” and “lotteries of history”, this was the ultimate one, in human terms.

I used to wonder what these people supposed would happen when you treat a group that isn’t fundamentally an “Identity” group  as as identity group.   

Now I’m pretty sure that’s the goal. 

A State Of Cowards

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Looking at the spike in violence, Christian Science Monitor asks: “Who owns the streets?

In Minnesota, it’s the criminals.  Minnesota is a mandatory cowardice state.  You cannot stand your ground to defend yourself.  You have a legal duty to run away from criminals.  They can roam wherever they want.  You cannot. 

The man quoted in the article isn’t worried about the lack of cops.  He carries a gun for protection. Good for him.  But he’s in Georgia, which is a stand-your-ground state.  He can fight to protect himself on the street.  Minnesotans cannot.  

Yes, there is technically a loophole.  You don’t have to retreat if you can’t do it safely.  But guess what?  In order to use that loophole, you first must admit you killed the person, then the burden is on You to convince the judge and jury that you were allowed to kill him because you could not retreat, it wasn’t safe.  If they aren’t convinced, you’ve just pled guilty to murder.

Republicans tried to pass Stand Your Ground in Minnesota.  Democrats blocked it. 

I guess we know whose side they’re on.

Joe Doakes

Self defense reform – including the reforms commonly called “Stand Your Ground” – was passed by a bipartisan majority, but vetoed by Governor Flint Smith.

I know, I know, it was Dayton. Pffft.

And yes – it gives criminals an advantage on the street, and in court, where they are innocent until proven guilty, while citizens defending themselves effectively plead guilty and then hope their lawyer can overcome jury prejudice and the jury instructions from a judge who may have a less enlightened take in citizens’ rights but who has absolute power nonetheless.

The title is a reference to Jeff Snyder’s classic monograph “A Nation of Cowards“, by the way, a seminal article in the history of gun law reform from almost thirty years ago. It’s very germane. If you’ve never read it, do.

If It’s A Spurious Correlation, It Leads

Correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Every kid with a decent junior high science teacher knew that by, well, the end of junior high.

But Millennials didn’t have good science teachers. Seriously – how did medical schools find students, much less graduate doctors, over this past 15 years?

But I digress.

It also seems to be what passes for “Journalism” lately.

To wit – according to the WaPo, a spike in violent urban crime over the past three months “followed” the greatest wave in history of people…

  1. Standing in line, sometimes for hours
  2. Digging through diminished stock
  3. Taking a federal background check (sometimes, as in Minnesota, twice) and often jumping through other permitting hoops
  4. Buying a gun legally

“led to” a spike in violent crime.

Not dumb enough for you?

“We find that states where individuals are more likely to search for racial epithets experienced larger increases in June firearm sales,” they wrote, “even after adjusting for the personal security concerns that likely generated the March spikes in gun sales.” This is a new development: Running the same analysis on previous spikes in gun-buying yielded no correlation between racial animus and purchasing behavior.

No, it’s not the Babylon Bee. But it’s pretty damn close.

Question for the “reporters” involved: why are we so sure it’s not the other way around – that the crime wave didn’t cause the surge?

The death rate for media credibility is way ahead of the one for Covid.

Complementary Mass Psychoses

I figured this out the other day.

Just as “White Privilege” is really class privilege sanitized for white progressives’ protection

…so, too, is “white fragility” in fact “blue fragility” – the inability of “blue-state” progressives to reconcile their class advantages with their white prog guilt.

And both, also, are one sweet bit of grifting, if you got in on the ground floor:

DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” article was, in a sense, an epistemological exercise. It examined white not-knowing. When it was published in 2011 in The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, it reached the publication’s niche audience. But three years later it was quoted in Seattle’s alternative newspaper The Stranger, during a fierce debate — with white defensiveness on full view — about the Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s casting of white actors as Asians in a production of “The Mikado.” “That changed my life,” she said. The phrase “white fragility” went viral, and requests to speak started to soar; she expanded the article into a book and during the year preceding Covid-19 gave eight to 10 presentations a month,

This is verging on becoming, if not a full-fledged “Berg’s Law“, at least a corollary to the 7th.  

This Is Our Ruling Class

My MN House rep, Rena Moran, on Twitter yesterday:

The part Rep. Moran is missing, of course, is that Florida has over four times as many people as Minnesota has.

And that when you look in terms of fatalties per million people, it boils down (as of today) to:

  • Minnesota: 276 fatalities per million
  • Florida: 210 fatalities per million.

Now – does Rep. Moran truly not know the different between raw numbers and per capita numbers?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But the typical DFL voter, be they in the Midway or Wayzata, certainly does not.

Uncanny

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember the Indians who tore down the Columbus statue on the capitol grounds, as Capitol Police stood by and did nothing?

Governor Walz promised there would be “consequences.”  Haven’t noticed any news articles about charges being filed. Did they get a time out? Double secret probation?

What exactly are the consequences for destroying government property? I’m feeling oppressed by the health department. Can I go burn it down?

Joe Doakes

If the “Penalty” for destroying statuary is nervous foot-shuffling and occasional statements with no followup, I’m totally going after that Floyd Olson statue.