Trulbert! Part XXXII – Twerking With The Devil

 - 1:26 PM, November 7, 2015 – Washington Avenue, near the Media Entrance, TCF Stadium, University of Minnesota

Dave Os was surprised to hear no noise coming from inside the stadium.

He’d never much cared for professional sports – he regarded pro sports fans as cretins, truth be told – but he’d always imagined the actual games would be loud.

But he heard no noise coming out of TCF Stadium.  Like they’re watching a chess tournament, Os thought – sneering to himself at the commercialization of international chess, longing for its older, purer days.

Continue reading

The Booming Legal Economy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County doesn’t use District Court Judges to hear Family Law cases, they use Referees who hold hearings, swear witnesses, take testimony, and recommends Findings and Conclusions for final Decree to be signed by the real judge.  Anybody out there interested in spend all day, every day, listening to divorcing couples bicker?  Oh, and you also get to wallow in domestic abuse and listen to excuses from juvenile delinquents.

On the other hand, it pays well.

***

The Second Judicial District has the following job opportunity available:

Referee (2 positions available)

Applications accepted until 4:30 p.m., March 27, 2015

How much worse than “having teenagers” could it be?

Great Danes

At roof-top levels, the British de Havilland Mosquito F.B.VI fast bombers buzzed through the heart of Copenhagen on March 21st, 1945.  The 18 bombers, supported by 30 P-51 Mustang fighters, raced past shocked German anti-aircraft gunners.

Their target was the Shellhus, the headquarters of the Gestapo in occupied-Denmark.  With Allied forces breaking through the German lines in both the East and West, the sense that the war had but months or weeks or go was becoming rapidly apparent.  For the dozens of Danish resistance fighters imprisoned in the Shellhus, an attack by the RAF might be their only hope of escaping execution.  Despite the risks of attacking a target in the middle of a heavily-fortified city, both for civilians and attacking pilots (one plane flew so low that it was clipped by a lamp post), the British went ahead.

The raid would be among the last acts in the unique history of Denmark’s survival under Nazi occupation.

Danish troops the morning of the German invasion in 1940 – 2 of the young men in this photo were killed later that day. In all, it only took the Germans 6 hours to subdue Denmark – the shortest campaign of World War II

The history of Nazi Germany’s occupation throughout Europe was one of human degradation and political humiliation for the vanquished.  Where German boots touched the ground, the Nazis found either willing collaborators like Norway’s Vidkun Quisling or politically expedient allies like the Vichy French.  Whether direct or in-direct, Nazi rule bled into every facet of the society of its occupied victims.

Except in Denmark. Continue reading

In The Footsteps Of NARN, The Shadow Figures Stagger Through The Winter

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

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

Join us!

The Empire Strikes Back

The educational establishment is calling in its markers with the mainstream media, and beating the drums against charter schools in particular, and school choice in general.

Of course, it’s the same set of out of context factoids they trot out every 2-3 years.

Finances:  Some charter schools have a hard time making a financial go of it.  Of course they do; they can’t run to the taxpayer and crank up the local education mill levy (“for the children!”) whenever they spend their way into a hole, the way the district schools can.

Grades:  Some charter schools, especially schools in urban areas catering to black, Latino, Asian, immigrant and Native American kids. lag the public districts in terms of achievement.  We’ve been through this; back in 2009, after Nick Coleman joined into a previous round of catcalling charters, I ran through the stats.  Some charters – including many urban charters full of minority and immigrant kids – spanked the public districts.  Others lagged.

Paternalism:  The great unstated fact that none of charters’ opponents ever addresses; 80% of urban charter kids are minorities and immigrants.  Every black, Latino, Asian, Native or Somali kid that leaves the public school system is leaving the the reservation that the DFL is counting on to train its future voter base.

But charters in the city – especially the ones catering to older kids – have two handicaps, as I showed in 2009:

  • Burnout:  They take a disproportionate number of kids who’ve been terribly failed by the district schools, and have had their love of learning – something pretty much every child is born with – beaten out of them pretty decisively.  It takes a good charter some time to help a kid back to the point where he or she gives a crap again.  With some, it never works.  With others, it does – but rarely overnight.
  • Cooked Testing Books:  After age 16, the big district schools can shunt their less-enthusiastic students, or the ones with difficulties (criminal records, kids of their own, and on and on) off into the “Alternative Learning Centers”, or ALCs.  There, they’re off the books; their test scores aren’t held against the district.  Charters have no such option; every kid’s score counts.

If someone in the educational-industrial complex ever wanted to get the fact about charter schools versus public schools, they could do two things:

  1. Cut The Umbilical Cord:  Let public schools exist on their per-student allotments and whatever money they could raise themselves.  I know.  It’ll never happen.  If it did, over half of public schools would shut down in a year.
  2. Longitudinal Testing:  Every single current comparison of public and charter school achievement relies on straight-up comparisons on how students are doing right now.  They are the average score of every student in the charter school, versus the average of every kid in the public school that hasn’t been shunted into a diversion program.  But if they did a longitudinal study comparing how individual students did over time – specifically, comparing how students who left public schools with low achievement fared over the rest of their educational career, versus control groups of similar kids who stayed in the public systems – that would be more accurate (and, given the graduation rates for Twin Cities public schools, more damning.

But we’ve been through all this before.

The real question today is, what’s behind this latest round of out-of-context piss-balloon-throwing from the educational-industrial complex?  Why are they attacking charter schools this time?    Why is Big Education’s propaganda machine going to work to slag the hundred labors of love that make up the Minnesota charter school sector?

Why?  Oh, why?

Oh, right.   Minorities getting all uppity.   And as they leave the public districts, that’s a lot of jobs, and funding, for the political class that are harder to justify.

It must be stopped.

And that’s why the left’s useful idiots are attacking charters this year.   And next year.

Out Of Curiosity

I’ve always been curious about things like this (seen on Facebook yesterday):

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Foreigners are “baffled by how much water is wasted…while other places in the world are in desperate need of water?”

When foreigners flush a toilet, where do they think the water goes?  Do they think it gets destroyed?   Sent into an alternate universe via a wormhole in time?

That water goes to a treatment plant of some kind or another; usually the icky stuff gets separated out, and the water goes into a holding lake, where it filters down back into the groundwater, or evaporates back into the atmosphere, to fall somewhere in the world as rain, or to float around as humidity, or (mostly) sit in the ocean.

And it’s water that’s here.  Does an American have the option of sending water from his toilet – or from the Great Lakes or the Mississippi River, for that matter – to Ethiopia or the Gobi Desert?   Is there an alternate flush button we could push to send the water (waste-free, natch) to the horn of Africa?

Who are these “foreigners” with no knowledge of the evaporation cycle, anyway?

Restraint

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I must be getting old.  I hear lies and remember hearing them before.

Bill Clinton wanted to ban “cop-killer” bullets in the 90’s.   Barack Obama wants to ban cop-killer bullets now.

Still not one cop killed by those bullets, yet the lie is recycled as if nobody ever heard it told, or heard it refuted.  Does the entire country have Alzheimer’s?  Can’t anybody remember we went through this once before, and why it was dumb then so it’s just as dumb now?

Interestingly, public reaction to the lie has changed.  In Bill Clinton’s day, everybody was on board with supporting local law enforcement.  Nowadays, a lot more people seem to think “Politicians and the media promise me cops are racists who delight in shooting Gentle Giants holding their hands up, so why should cops get special protection?”  Lot more push-back and ATF was much quicker to pull the ban proposal “for further study.”

It boils down to a difference in philosophy:

Liberals believe that if you tear down enough of the institutions that brought order out of chaos, the result will be utopia.

I suspect that’s too optimistic – I suspect Heinlein and Burke were right, the result will be a reversion to chaos.

Joe Doakes

Part of it – the liberal part – is as Joe describes.

There’s also a more libertarian streak to the GOP that didn’t exist 20 years ago.  While the GOP still has all sorts of law-enforcement fanboys who figure if the cops say, do, or arrest it, they must be right, there are a few more who believe restraint is in order.

One Morning At Starbucks

SCENE: Mitch BERG walks into a Starbucks and approaches the order counter.  Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK, the barrista, is behind the counter.

BERG:  Large light roast and some of that lemon cake, please.

BIRKENSTOCK:  Sure.  But first – what do you think about race?

BERG:  Huh?

BIRKENSTOCK:  When did you first become aware of your race?

BERG:  The race I’m in to get to work?  About 45 minutes ago.

BIRKENSTOCK:  What?

BERG:  It’s a joke.  Research shows that race is among the first things babies perceive about people in the world around them.  Even tiny babies are uncomfortable around people that aren’t the same race as their parents.  So a form of “racism” – being uncomfortable around people like you – is born into human beings.

BIRKENSTOCK:  White babies?

BERG:  All babies.   And I think it holds true through peoples’ lives, and expands on itself.  People are more comfortable around people like them; they are uneasy around people who aren’t.  And it’s not just race – class is something babies learn later on – but race is a big one.  Some middle class whites are uncomfortable around blacks.  Middle-class blacks get nervous around blue-collar white people under certain circumstances.  Jennifer Lopez probably watches herself around people who still are “from the block”.  White MPR listeners avoid being around white people with leathers and Harley-Davidsons.

Everyone on earth – including Barristas who went to Carlton…

BIRKENSTOCK:  …eeeew.  I went to Saint Olaf!

BERG:   Exactly.  Now – could you leave a little room for cream…

BIRKENSTOCK:  What do you think about your privilege?

BERG:  My privilege?

BIRKENSTOCK:  White privilege!

BERG:  I think there’s a reason that black people – and white people with liberal guilt – talk about it, and Latinos, Asians, and African immigrants largely don’t.

BIRKENSTOCK:  They’re racists too!

BERG:  No, they and their ancestors largely came here of their own free will, while the African-Americans are culturally as well as geneologically descended from slaves.  And 150 years of emancipation and 50 years of full rights haven’t undone 500 years of cultural damage.  So the question is, what do you do about it?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Have I asked you about your privilege yet?

BERG:  The privilege is this:  I’m descended from a culture that, going back almost 1,500 years, was dominated by a patriarchal society that was ruled by a warrior elite and venerated fighting skill and still doesn’t have a word for “relax, man”, but had more words for “combat” than Eskimos have for “snow” or the Irish have for “vomit”.  And between geography, the market, and my ancestors’ skill at killing their enemies, nobody managed for the most part to enslave my ancestors.  And the biggest thing I have to say about privilege is that I’m sorry for those whose ancestors and their matriarchal, hunter-gatherer societies were unable to protect their people from slavery.

But what do you want me to do about it now?

BIRKENSTOCK:  So…do you think your choice of coffee is itself racist?

BERG:  (Turns and walks out the door)

BIRKENSTOCK:  Can I interest you in the new Cold Play CD?

(And SCENE)

Priorities

David “Iowahawk” Burge writes a rare, “not funny” tweet:

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And he’s spent more time and effort fighting domestic dissent in the US – via the IRS’ gundecking conservative groups’ free speech via tax and campaign law and attacking dissenters, via “net neutrality”, and via his eternal campaign’s patrolling masses of droogs (in and out of the media), than he spent bringing free speech to the people of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba or anyplace else.

It’s Back

“Stand Your Ground” is back.

The bill – which would do nothing but remove the “duty to retreat” from self-defense on your property and in your car – was slandered as a “Shoot First” bill three years ago when it was passed by a bipartisan majority in both chambers (which, as an aside, is positive proof that the opposition was looking for the stupid vote; does anyone knows what happens to the person who shoots second?).  Governor Messinger Dayton issued a veto that was bought and paid for by big anti-gun interests; the metrocrats that controlled the Legislature at the time didn’t override him.

This year’s edition has a bipartisan slate of authors, a decisive majority of support in the House, and enough support in the Senate to make it interesting…

…and a governor – Tina Flint Smith – who will veto it forthwith (by pulling wires attached to Mark Dayton’s writing hand).

Of course, the point with this bill – and Senator Branden Petersen’s “Constitutional Carry” bill – is to do what the Second Amendment movement did over the previous two DFL-controlled sessions; rack up anti-gun votes by DFLers in greater Minnesota.  The DFL got trounced outstate in the 2014 elections in large part on the strength of gun votes; it can happen in the Senate in 2016.

Which is exactly how we got “Shall Issue” carry permits 12 years ago.

I worry at times that the lessons from the Carry Permit battle have been lost to a generation of pro-gun activists.  Shall Issue took from 1995 to 2003 (and again in 2005) to pass.  Eight years (with another year of maneuvering around a pet DFL judge).  It involved playing political chess, not checkers.

So suit up, people.  Winning your freedom isn’t for the faint of heart.

Rewarding Failure

After four years of abject failure, the St. Paul public school district renewed superintendent Valeria Silva’s contract earlier this week.

And it’s a nice one, indeed:

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Photo courtesy Bob Murphy

8% over four years – which, with compounding, is over 10%.

People who are actually accomplishing anything aren’t getting raises like that.

Lousy graduation rates. Unchanged achievement gap.

Money well spent.

Notice

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’ve been threatening to quit the Minnesota State Bar Association for years but chickened out because I get my life insurance through them and I must remain a member to keep the insurance. But I recently got insurance through AAA – I don’t need MSBA anymore. And from the way they act, they don’t need me, either.

When I joined, the Bar Association was a trade organization devoted to helping members be better lawyers. In the past 30 years, it has drifted leftward into Social Justice activism. That’s not why I joined.

I was especially pissed the leadership of the MSBA agitated for gay marriage, taking it upon themselves to speak in my name without ever asking the membership for a vote.

In the March issue of Bench and Bar, the President reports MSBA has decided it should elevate its commitment to diversity and inclusion. MSBA hired a Diversity Director and starting this Spring, will be asking renewing members to self-identify on their online member profiles in four additional areas: Gender (male, female, transgender/gender non-conforming); Race; Sexual Orientation (straight, gay, or bi); and Disability. MSBA hopes collecting this information will quantify areas of disparity and provide concrete evidence for leaders to address inequities based on fact, not anecdote or conjecture.

None of this is any of their business, but if that’s where the organization wants to go, so be it. I don’t need to wait for the survey, I can tell you right now the MSBA has too many straight White cismales. Some of them need to quit.

Glad to be of service.

Joe Doakes

Because privilege!

Smell The Quality

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Main floor bathrooms at work flooded a few weeks back. Restoration has been on hold for weeks . . . waiting for tile.

What the hell, Menard’s has tile. Is this some special hand-made Italian marble tile? What are we waiting for? These are the main public restrooms for a public building – slap up some white subway tile and get them back in service.

They’re cutting tile now. Ceramic dust billowing, sucked up in the exhaust vents, distributed all over the building, everybody is sneezing.

You couldn’t cut it at night after the blowers are off, or on the weekend when nobody is around?

You couldn’t seal the bathroom exhaust vent and suck the dust out through a filter?

True, the dust is making all four floors of the building uninhabitable, but they’re a union shop and low bidder . . . so what’s the problem?

Un. Be. Lievable.

Joe Doakes

Someone’s got to pay those dues to the Teamsters…

Our National Monologue

In all of of this nation’s frenetic back-and-forth – usually just forth – over race, i’ve really just had one question, all all this time ”

What do you want me to do?

Only an idiot doesn’t recognize racism exists, in some form. And that’s above and beyond to the “We -ism” that is endemic to every human being in the world; the race of people around them is one of the first perceptions babies develop, with uneasiness about the difference following closely.

And white privilege exists, too. Of course, the roots of white privilege date back hundreds, maybe thousands of years, when wage Northern European societies developed into patriarchal, militaristic societies dominated by aggressive warrior cultures that were able to avoid being enslaved, for the most part, as societies, at a time when most sub-Saharan African societies were small, matriarchal, and ripe for the picking buy more aggressive societies.

That’s one of the greatest “privileges” a society can hand down to its offspring; a history of freedom.

So racism and privilege exists. Stipulated.

Now what?

Writing at The Daily Beast,” John McWhorter, in a long, excellent article, has the same questions:

However, one can thoroughly understand how racism works and still ask just what this laser focus on “White Privilege” is meant to achieve.

“This is messy work, but these conversations are necessary,” says Sandra Chapman, director of diversity and community at Little Red School House in New York City. OK—but why? Note that the answer cannot be, “So that whites will understand that they are the privileged … etc.” That makes as much sense as saying “Because!” So I’m going to dare to ask a simple question: What exactly are we trying to achieve with this particular lesson?

And the questions keep coming. I will urge you to read the whole thing.

Clearly All Of Minnesota’s Problems Have Been Solved

Because they have time for this:

A bipartisan Minnesota House proposal suggests the engraving on a statute of Christopher Columbus should be edited. It now reads “Discoverer of America.” The proposal says it should be re-written to read, “Landed in America.”

The bill is sponsored by DFLer John Persell, of Bemidji.  Who, to be fair, may be (fairly and accurately) representing for his Norwegian constituents, who may prefer to honor North America’s actual European discoveror, Leif Ericson.

Still.  They have the time for this?

Silent Language

Winning the battle for the English Language is always a challenge when you’re a conservative. The left understands, and wages without mercy, the war for the language.

And for the most part, the media reflects the left’s view of how language portrays things.

So it’s been interesting watching the media coverage of the raft of Gun Rights bills.  In a Twin Cities media that will refers to using ones’ carry permit as “packing heat” so frequently it’s beyond satirizable, there’ve been some improvements.

This past few weeks, a bill that would allow Minnesotans to join 39 other states in owning mufflers for their guns has been advancing though committee.

And it’s been interesting reading the headlines that local news organizations having been using for the story (in this case taken from online coverage); do they refer to gun mufflers with techical accuracy as “suppressors”, or with conspiratorial, theatrical scaremongering as “silencers”.

Here are some examples, with emphasis added by me:

So minor kudos to the Twin Cities media; at least as re the very basics of language, you’re coming around ever so slightly.

Now, if we could do something about using the term “packing heat”, like, ever…

Break Out Your Maroon Shirts

Tonight, and Thursday morning, the legislature is going to be debating a bill – HF722, sponsored by representative Jim Newburger – which would prevent government from confiscating civilian firearms during states of emergency.

This is no idle worry; after Hurricane Katrina, the police went door to door through the storm ravaged neighborhoods, confiscating peoples firearms, leaving them helpless in the face of looters and thugs.

There are going to be two rounds of hearings:

  • Tonight at 6 PM, in the Civil Law committee. This will be in room 500, at the State office building. You can park for free in lot AAA, at Aurora and rice, after 4 PM – and meters are generally open along John Ireland Boulevard after business hours, too.
  • Thursday morning at 10:15 AM in the Public Safety committee. This will be in room 10 at the state office building.

Second Amendment humans rights advocates are on the offensive, this session – but that doesn’t mean anything is a shoe in. Showing up at hearings, or calling your legislators, is still essential.  Maybe moreso than ever.

Any DFLer who votes against this bill is essentially tipping their hand; they won’t “waste a crisis”, and if offered the chance will use that crisis as an excuse to extort firearms from the law abiding citizen. They need to be held accountable for this 2016

Chicago: Going Greek?

After four years under firmer Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Chicago has run up an absolute mountain of debt, and is among the ranks of cities that could easily go bankrupt in the near future.

So naturally, inveterate democrat Chicago voters appear likely to go the Greek route, and kick the physical can down the road even further, appearing to favor someone even further to the left:

Three weeks remain before the April 7 runoff between Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner and fellow Democrat whose candidacy is the vehicle for grievances against the mayor and his efforts to steer the city away from insolvency. Chicago has $20 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, a school system deep in deficit and a credit rating dropping toward junk. It’s in danger of being overwhelmed by debt unless it embraces onerous solutions that probably would include retirement benefit cuts and tax increases.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen such financial uncertainty and so many moving parts all going on at once, and no one wanting to blink first by saying what he’s going to do about it,” said Donald Haider, a former Chicago finance director who ran for mayor in 1987.

Of course, they have to walk a very fine line; essentially, both have to campaign on who’s willing to be the most brazen about waiting for a federal bailout, without actually saying it.

Risky

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Found in an on-line bulletin board:

“Room available for the summer for a college aged girl to live with us for free in exchange for weekday child care. Text or call if this sounds like a good fit for you.  Contact Info: 651-xxx-xxxx”

Is this merely tax fraud, a Wage and Hour violation and a Sex Discrimination in Housing complaint; or it is an invitation to be sold into sexual slavery?  Or maybe just some well-intentioned Mac-Groveland DFLers, aghast at the already-obscene cost of non-union daycare?

Whatever, it absolutely cannot be legal to hire an Au Pair in Minnesota.  That would be, just, wrong, on so many levels.

Joe Doakes

Depends on the prosecutor and the (administrative law) “judge”, now, doesn’t it?

Word’s Getting Around

Heather Martens has never once made a substantial, true statement about firearms or the Second Amendment.

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Her testimony at the Minnesota House was more of the same: Martens claimed that silencers were “designed” to allow people to commit murder and get away with it.

Sure – in the same way that car mufflers were designed to allow hit-and-run drivers to sneak up on victims.

If you want real facts about suppressors, GOCRA as usual has the answers.