Muted Applause

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Lots of cheering from the Establishment Republican crowd: hooray for gun rights, hooray for overturning Roe! After 50 years, we did it.

No, you didn’t. Those things didn’t happen because your foundation wrote White Papers that nobody read; or because you held round-table discussions on celebrity cruises; or because you made endless fundraising appeals to elect a majority in Congress. Those things happened because a Certain Somebody nominated three rock-solid conservatives to the Supreme Court and stood by them when they were attacked in confirmation hearings, a Certain Somebody whom you opposed every step of the way from the moment he rode down the escalator to announce his candidacy til the moment you confirmed an obviously stolen election just to get him out of the Oval Office.

I haven’t seen anybody from Powerline or National Review giving that Certain Somebody credit for the greatest conservative victories in the last half century. Who knows how 2022 would have turned out if we’d had a Conservative President in office instead of a President under Conservatorship? But hey, no mean tweets. That’s gotta count for something, right?

Joe Doakes

Enh. Going to meet you halfway on this one, Joe.

Anyone out there remember Ron Paul? Libertarian congressman from Texas? Built up a fairly powerful grassroots movement of young libertarian conservatives, many of whom say he was cheated out of the nomination in 2012? Who, had he been elected President, could have eggs enacted almost 0% of his very ambitious and generally absolutely satisfactory libertarian agenda, because he had a congressional libertarian caucus how about three representatives? I used to joke with libertarians that the only way Ron Paul was going to get his agenda enacted was if he had staged a libertarian coup d’état, Established an absolute libertarian dictatorship, and imposed liberty on the nation by force.

Without a fairly solid (if deeply imperfect) conservative base in Congress, Trump would’ve accomplished nothing.

And that majority came from somewhere.

UPDATE: On the other hand, David French needs to start finding a new career:

No idea who “drew” this, but I stole it from Sean Sorrentino.

I Heard It On The NARN

Rob Doar is the Political Director of the MN Gun Owners Caucus. If you’re in MN and want to fight for the right to keep and bear arms, they are the group doing the heavy lifting,

Beth Baumann contributes to Armed American News. Here’s the thread on the “Bipartisan Safe Communities Act” – AKA the “Civil Rights Lawyer Full Employment Act”.

And here’s today’s song list!

Dobbs

Dobbs finally arrived:

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the majority. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

He was joined in the majority opinion by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. Justice Roberts filed a separate opinion concurring with the majority.

“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” wrote Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in a joint dissent.

The issue of abortion will now be returned to the individual states to regulate as each sees fit. Dark blue states are expected to impose the most radical pro-abortion policies while dark red states may ban all abortion. Many states may choose to allow abortion only under certain circumstances.

A few thoughts:

  • I am Catholic. We walk by faith and reason. Both faith and reason point to why Catholics have always opposed abortion. In that sense, today is a great day.
  • Now the battle really begins, and I do not mean the inevitable attacks and violence that will unfold over the coming days. The real battle is to win hearts and minds where possible. As long as Roe existed, all potential discussions about the morality and efficacy of abortion laws were always more theoretical than real, because 7 dudes said so. Now, for good and bad, the people and their elected representatives get to decide the matter.
  • The Court’s decision is, at bottom, an admission of humility. Roe was always an exercise in raw judicial power, as Byron White said in his dissent nearly 50 years ago. And as is often the case, the best use of power is sometimes to refrain from wielding such power.
  • Between this decision and the court’s earlier decision this week in the Bruen case, the court has at least started a necessary process of returning to first principles. And if the Court were to continue this process, I’d certainly like them to look at earlier abusive rulings. I’d start with Wickard v. Filburn.

Cherry-Picked

Not to sound cynical about big media – good heavens no, not me – but when I see the New York Times reporting on active shooters, I pretty much expect their “reporting” to either lie, or to hide the accurate conclusion in plain sight.

And they’ve done that.

They include a snazzy, Edward Tufte-style graphic to explicate their case – and they reached this conclusion:

“It’s direct, indisputable, empirical evidence that this kind of common claim that ‘the only thing that stops a bad guy with the gun is a good guy with the gun’ is wrong,” said Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama, who has studied mass shootings for more than a decade. “It’s demonstrably false, because often they are stopping themselves.”

So let’s look at the graphic:

So let’s take a look at the numbers.Out of nearly 250 mass shootings that ended before the police arrived, nearly 10% ended with the assailant being shot by a “bystander“ – A “good guy with a gun“. That’s nearly 10% of spree shootings, ended before the cops arrive

(That is, of course, presuming the media actually recognizes the episode. For example, they studiously ignored this recent incident .

Even so, that is actually a tad higher than I’d have figured; given that spree killers tend to pick targets where nobody is likely to be able to resist them, and nowhere near 10% of the population at large generally carries a firearm, that’s actually a better result than one might rationally expect.

But now, let’s look at the other resolutions.

Of the 249 mass shootings that ended before the cops arrived, nearly 80% end with the killer either leaving the scene or committing suicide.

And the devil with these shootings is in the details. Some of the spree killers do leave the scenes of their crimes on their own two feet. But others “leave” because a citizen threatened them with immediate death – as in this case four years ago, where two good guys with guns changed a would-be racist spree killer’s plans, one with the threat of death, one with gunfire, causing him to run away. He was apprehended later.

One that killed himself, did it after killing two people – before a good guy pointed a gun at his head. He ran into a nearby store, and killed himself.

Or this case, where a church “security guard” (a volunteer with a carry permit) shot a spree killer who’d murdered four people already. He killed himself, it’s true – after his plan had been fatally derailed by a good gal with a gun.

So what’s my conclusion?

You can tell Big Media is lying about guns when their lips are moving, or their fingers are touching keyboards.

Same as it ever was.

Minneapolis’s Eternal Memory Hole

None of the Twin Cities major media covered this story: carjackers attack woman in Northeast Minneapolis.

The surveillance video caught the episode, outside Tony Jaros’s River Garden:

That man then threw her to the ground in the parking lot, cocked the gun, beat Marlo, and pistol-whipped her across the head. Marlo said it appeared the gun jammed. His accomplice then walked over. It’s when Marlo says the bar’s cook just happened to be outside on a smoke break when he heard the commotion and came to her rescue.

They all tussled on the ground before one of the masked men knocked her keys away and attempted to get into the car. Marlo again got up to stop them from driving off. A group of men from the bar also joined the fight and another man pulled up in a pickup truck to help.

The men all dragged the driver out of the car and onto the ground. The two thieves eventually ran off.

I can not be the only one wishing the locals would have kept stomping when they got the punks on the ground.

It’s gonna happen someday, if the Hennepin County Attorney and the Minneapolis City Council don’t start taking this seriously.

Inflated

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

UBack when the Lesko Brandon administration was insisting price inflation didn’t exist, I detailed the recent history of price increases in a single product as a way to prove the lie.

Now that price inflation is admitted, turns out to be a good thing because it helps consumers cut back on needless expenses. Such as chip dip. Which just went to $5 per jar up from $3 less than a year ago.

Thanks, President Brandon, dieting has never been easier!

This photo explains why Democrats are in a panic about the upcoming election. They can blame Putin. They can blame oil companies. They can blame makers of baby food, tampons, and DEF. They can quote ‘experts’ telling consumers not to believe their lying eyes. But consumers don’t care about that. They see the evidence of inflation. They see Lesko Brandon’s policies hurting them. Whether they’re angry enough to do something about it at the polls, to punish the people who are punishing us, remains to be seen.

Joe Doakes

It certainly didn’t help Jimmy Carter much.

But at the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I don’t think people are as smart now as they were back then.

Shall Not Be Infringed

The Supremes have struck down New York’s “Show Cause to Carry” law:

The state law at the heart of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen required anyone who wants to carry a concealed handgun outside the home to show “proper cause” for the license. New York courts interpreted that phrase to require applicants to show more than a general desire to protect themselves or their property. Instead, applicants must demonstrate a special need for self-defense – for example, a pattern of physical threats. Several other states, including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, impose similar restrictions, as do many cities.

Clarence Thomas, God bless him, wrote the majority opinion (joined by the entire conservatie majority – Roberts, Coney Barrett, Kavanaugh, Alito and Gorsuch:

“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’” Thomas wrote in the opinion. The exercise of other constitutional rights does not require individuals to demonstrate to government officers some special need. The Second Amendment right to carry arms in public for self-defense is no different. New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”

I’m no lawyer, but this part – from the text of the ruling – appears to be important:

Says Rob Doar from the MN Gun Owners Caucus:

It’s a great day in America.

Updating this post as events warrant.

UPDATE:

The Progressive world as of 6/22: “Anyone who distrusted the Constitutional process in any way – say, on 1/6 – is a TRAITORRRRRRR!

The Progressive world on 6/23:

Why is it that “political commentators” whose sole background in life is yapping about grown men chasing balls around fields – Ed Schultz, Mike McFeely, Keith Olbermann – always so invincibly stupid?

UPDATE 2:

Democrats say things like this, thinking they’re making a great point:

Also in 1789, there was no internet, television, linotype, radio or morse code…

…but the smart people already know this. They’re not the people that the likes of Hochul are talking to.

UPDATE 3:

Inside baseball from Charles CW Cooke.

Unseemly

So have you noticed how many “journalists “in the Twin Cities are doing the DFL‘s job for it?

For example, here’s WCCO TV is Esme Murphy:

What is the difference between actively propagandizing for the DFL, and referring to a cash giveaway as “Walz Checks“?

Call them a propaganda wing of the DFL. Call them the DFL‘s branding or public relations service.

Just don’t call it reporting.

The Shrill, Entitled Voice Of, Um…(Checks Scorecard) Moderation (???)

HIllary Clinton openly wonders if the Democrat Party benefits from hitching its political fortunes to transgender ideology.

In another sign to transgender activists that their increasingly unpopular cultural crusade has become a liability for their Democrat enablers, Hillary Clinton has suggested that the feelings of a minuscule but noisy percentage of the population shouldn’t take priority over the party’s political concerns.

The embittered sore loser of the 2016 presidential election sat down with the UK’s Financial Times for an interview that was published on Friday to discuss a wide range of issues. And while her insistence that she was not going to run in 2024, deferring to President Joe Biden initially got the most attention, her remarks throwing transgenders under the bus have set off a firestorm on Twitter.

She’s not running for anything, she’s not nothing to lose, and she’s fleeced more money from Clinton Foundation saps than she can possibly spend in her lifetime.

On the other hand – I had to think the “moderates” would have to start to get worried about this sort of thing eventually.

Look At Meeeeeeeeeeeee

Joel Doakes from Como Park emails:

Protesters outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Barrett.

First, it’s illegal to protest outside the home of a federal judge and rightly so. There are limits to free speech: fighting words, fire in a theater, perjury on the witness stand, and threatening/intimidating a judge are off limits. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, these gals can take their protests to their state legislatures. They have no place here.

Second, the sign makes clear this protest is not about saving Roe v. Wade’s “first trimester” limitation; it’s not about saving Casey’s “undue burden” limitation; it’s about Kermit Gosnell-style partial birth abortion butchery and Planned Parenthood’s baby-parts-to-order sales. They might be the only seven women in the nation who demand that. The rest of the nation recoils in horror.

Third, their costumes are meant to emphasize their plight. The bloody pants mean that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will have to seek back-alley abortions from unqualified practitioners who will leave them hemorrhaging from botched abortions. The tied hands holding the baby mean the women will be prisoners/slaves forced to carry the baby they conceived until it is born and can be given up for adoption. Dire predictions, considering that many states have already moved to guarantee abortions and some employers have even offered to pay for interstate travel if required to obtain one. This is not 1950. Alleys are for drug sales and commercial sex acts, not abortions.

The fact that seven women can get national media coverage for their little stunt instead of a quick trip to the local jail followed by prosecution in federal court indicates the effort likely is coordinated from the very top of the Lesko Brandon administration, probably the same people who sent the FBI after parents who complained to school boards about pedophile grooming curricula and covering up transgender rapes. I hope Democrats run this photo in every campaign ad from now until the election. It’s too much to hope that Republicans would be smart enough to do it.

Joe Doakes

Of course it’s too much to hope the Republicans do it.

But I’m going to help them.

Irrational Reason

One of the most noxious traits modern society inherited from “The Enlightenment” is the practice of piddling on the notion of miracles; the notion that all things can, and must, be explained by pure reason.

Let’s talk about one example.


The surreptitious rescue of most of Denmark’s Jews, almost 80 years ago, is one of the few modestly happy-ish endings in one of the most dismal stories of human history. I’ve written about it more than a few times in this space.

The evacuation of Denmark’s Jews is broadly regarded as a miracle.

Not so”, says the grandson of one of the couples evacuated back in 1943.

It wasn’t a miracle; was a matter of the top Nazi in Denmark tipping the Jews off:

This became known as the “Miracle Rescue” but many Danish historians now believe it was less miraculous than it seems. And my grandparents’ experience provides evidence for this theory…I suspect my grandfather’s hands shook as he took the measurements and fitted the suit of this particular German officer, who must have been pleased with the finished article as he then offered my grandfather and brother-in-law a warning: “Get out, while you still can. There’s a round-up coming.”…

…The source of the leak that saved my Danish family was none other than Dr Karl Rudolph Werner Best – the very man who, as Germany’s plenipotentiary in Denmark (and, moreover, deputy head of the SS) was in charge of ensuring that Denmark’s Jews were sent to their death.

Soooooo let me get this straight: a senior official of an occupying military of a nation that was fully committed to exterminating Jews, who came to Denmark after organizing the Einsatzgruppe death squads that worked to perfect the craft of ethnic cleansing in Poland and Russia, after a career as a senior officer in the SS…

…tipped off Jews allowing them to escape the roundup he was in charge of…

…and you don’t believe in miracles?

Watergate: the cover-up begins

When individuals associated with Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign were arrested in the Watergate Office Building in the early hours of June 17 1972, the men around the President spent the next several days deciding how to respond. They were in a bind. Indeed, crimes had already been committed. The five men arrested in the attempt to bug the DNC offices, and the two men who led the team, Liddy and Hunt, would be convicted on charges related to the burglary and wiretapping. One of the charges John Mitchell would be convicted of was approving the wiretapping while still the Attorney General.

There was still a chance to prevent the scandal from becoming what it eventually ballooned into. The President and the people around him could’ve taken the political hit of having people associated with the campaign committing crimes in the name of political dirty tricks. The President could’ve been insulated from the men working for him. There was never any evidence that Nixon knew about the burglary before the fact. Others could’ve fallen on their swords.

But, with the election just five months away, that was the risk the President’s men did not want to take. They also knew that the burglary wasn’t the only operation the so-called Plumbers had been involved. The previous year the Plumbers broke into the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

In An American Life, Jeb Stuart Magruder, the deputy director of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP), writes about the lack of discussion over whether to give birth to the maxim, the cover-up is worse than the crime.

My life changed that day. For the first time I realized, and I think we all realized, that we were involved in criminal activity, that if the truth became known we could all go to jail. During the spring, when Liddy was presenting his break-in plan, I should have been aware that it was illegal, but somehow it seemed acceptable, perhaps because we were discussing it in the office of the Attorney General of the United States. But at some point that Saturday morning I realized that this was not just hard-nosed politics, this was a crime that could destroy us all. The cover-up, this, was immediate and automatic; no one ever considered that there would not be a cover-up. It seemed inconceivable that with our political power we could not erase this mistake we had made.

At that point, LaRue (another deputy directory) was only marginally involved in the break-in conspiracy, in that he was aware of discussions of it, and Mardian (aide to Mitchell and counsel to CRP) was not to my knowledge involved at all. Either of them might have saved themselves great difficulty by walking away from the whole affair. That they did not was due to personal loyalty to Mitchell and political loyalty to the President. In all our discussions, there was a great deal said about “protecting the President.” We were trying to do that, certainly, but it was also true Mitchell and I hoped to save our own skins in the process. We were in so deep there seemed to be no turning back, no alternative but to plunge ahead, that is I wanted to go to the Justice Department and tell the prosecutors all I knew, I could probably walk away from the mess a free man. But that was never a serious consideration. My fellow conspirators were also my friends, and you didn’t save yourself at the expense of your friends.

The next day, Sunday, Magruder called White House Chief of Staff Haldeman, the man who had hired Magruder for the CRP. Magruder told him about the arrest.

We discussed the press statement we had drafted, but never released. McCord’s identity had by then become known, and we agree that a statement must be issued minimizing McCord’s ties with CRP. Later that day we issued a statement by Mitchell which stressed the fact that McCord was not technically and “employee” of CRP, since we contracted with his McCord Associates to handle security for CRP.

I told Haldeman of Mitchell’s plan to have Mardian return to Washington to take charge of the situation.

No, the President doesn’t trust Mardian,” Haldeman said. “You come back and take charge.”

It was a short talk. I gave him the facts and got my instructions. I spoke with the assumption that he knew about the break-in plan, and nothing he said indicated did not.

When I arrived at my office the next morning I stepped immediately into the double life I would live for the next ten months. On the one hand I spent much of the morning moving about our offices and reassuring CRP’s staff that nothing was wrong, that we had no idea what McCord had been up to, that the best thing was for everyone to get back to work.

The first person I talked to was Hugh Sloan, our treasurer. We knew by then that several thousand dollars in $100 bills had been found on the burglars. What we did not know, and I hoped Sloan could explain, was whether the money had come from CRP, and if so, is there was any way it could be traced to us. Sloan said the money found on the burglars was money he had given to Liddy, and that it could probably be traced to us.

Continue reading

The Right Of All People To Keep And Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed

One of Big Left’s favorite bits of ignorant slander: “If black people start buying guns, wypipo will suddenly favor gun control”.

Looks like we’ll get to test that. Black Americans are the fastest growing population of shooters:

Further, in the first quarter of 2021, another [National Shooting Sports Federation] report revealed 90 percent of gun retailers reported a general increase of Black customers, including an 87 percent increase among Black women…The foundation said 40 percent of the overall gun sales in 2020 were to first-time gun purchasers. Black gun owners, old and new, say the rise is a byproduct primarily of a heightened fear they could be targeted like those in Buffalo or at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, when nine Black church members were killed by a white supremacist.

Or, y’know, the “white supremacists” that destroyed East Lake Street and University Avenue.

#snork

Back on topic: I’ve been looking for those honkies demanding gun control that I’m assured really most sincerely exist…

Wag The Vegetable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:Joe Dokes from Como Park emails:

It’s incidents like these which make people look at Uvalde and say, “Hmmmmm.”

An attempted mass shooting at a school was thwarted when the shooter found doors were locked, the school had an armed officer on scene, and responding police officers took prompt, effective action to end the threat. In other words, the system worked exactly as it should, exactly the way Conservatives have spent the last two weeks saying it would, because the people responsible for school safety did their jobs. Give them all a medal, they deserve it.

Which makes us wonder – why didn’t it work in Uvalde? An incredibly long string of coincidental but accidental failures, or a glow-in-the-dark operation intended to stir up public support for gun control just when the ‘President’ needs a wag-the-dog distraction from the unfolding disaster that is the Lesko Brandon administration?

Hmmmmm.

Joe Doakes

Given the craven depravity with which the Lesko Brandon administration is running things, it seems simultaneously like a conspiracy theory and documentary evidence.

Redder Flag

Rabidly pro-gun Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf sticks a fork in the idea of Red Flag laws, showing their complete absurdity.

Can you spot the problem, here?

No, it’s not the lack of an adversarial hearing, where “Randy” and his lawyer can argue his case. Although there’s that.

It’s not the fact that the standard of evidence to seize the guns (“clear and convincing evidence”) is vastly lower than the standard “Randy” must meet to get his property back (“preponderance of evidence”). Although it’s that, too.

It’s not even the fact that the police in step 6 drive away with the guns and leave “Randy” in, er, crisis. Although that’s also reason enough to balk.

No – it’s step 2, where “Jane” notices..pictures of guns.

As Wolf – who is to the right of Ted Nugent on guns – rightly points out, this is literally what Seoond Amendment people have been warning about for years; antis using any sign of sympathy for gun rights as grounds for harassment, using sympathetic, often Soros-funded prosecutors.,

And so I thank the radically pro-gun Governor Wolf for his public service.


UPDATE: I’m informed that Governor Wolf is an anti-gun Democrat, and that this cartoon was intended as a defense of Red Flag laws.

I regret the understandable confusion .

It’s Transit Memorial Day


Today is the 18th anniversary of the opening of the Metro Transit Blue Line – the beginning (or re-beginning) of light rail transit in the Twin Cities.

So on this anniversary, let us remember the people who gave their lives – unwillingly and in most cases unwittingly – to further Minnesota’s political class’s obsession with feeling like a Big City.

That’s 30 dead, so far. 30 lives sacrificed so that the Met Council, the various governments, and other people who love to play with the dials and levers of government can feel like they’re “running” a big city with all the trimmings. 

Let’s take a moment today to remember these innocent victims of government narcissism and megalomania.

Best Effort

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Chief of Police speaks, giving  a completely different take on Uvalde.

So maybe our new School Security Plan – in addition to keeping outside doors locked and having an armed resource officer on the scene – includes changing the locks?  There ought to be one master key to open every door and the cops ought to have access to it (how about storing it in a lock-box on scene, like the fire department does).

I have trouble understanding why it was possible to bust windows in neighboring classrooms to evacuate those children, but not to bust the window in this classroom to shoot the gunman.

I have trouble understanding why firemen couldn’t use the jaws of life to open the classroom door.

I have trouble understanding why everybody stood around outside waiting for an hour as the Chief waited in the classroom corridor until the Border Patrol eventually stormed the shooter.

I have trouble understanding why it took the Chief so many days to tell his side of the story.

Unless . . .

. . . he lawyered up and this is the best story they could concoct. 

Yes, I am that cynical.

Joe Doakes

By this point, if you’re not cynical, you’re not paying attention.

Oh, yeah – what if the door wasn’t locked at all?

Unspoken

International swimming‘s governing body ruled over the weekend that transgender athletes will have to have completed their transition by age 12 to compete in international events.

“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pearce, who is the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press.

I’m noting this, not so much because of the merits of the compromise – which strikes me as the closest they can get to banning transgender competition without explicitly saying so – As to point out the commentary of our “gatekeeper“ class on the subject.

I was listening to the BBC announcing this decision on Sunday. The anchor was interviewing a representative from the international governing body.

She asked “and does this apply to transgender men as well?“

Perhaps I’m projecting – but there was a split second of silence, just a little conversational bitch where, perhaps only in my imagination, the representative seemed to be thinking “are you kidding? How many moons do you imagine orbit a planet where transgender men are a factor in international athletic competition?“

It was probably just me. He answered very politely.

Perhaps knowing that a bunch of lawyers are about to become very, very wealthy.

Junetwentieth

Goivernor Klink on Twitter over the weekend, commemorating Juneteenth:

“…work to dismantle unjust systems of oppression”

Like open-ended emergency powers that can be extended endlessly at the whim of a political party in power?

Like arbitrary authority that allows a governor to crush businesses at a whim, but spare the ones that donate to his campaign?

Those sorts of systems of oppression?

On it.

Meet The Gatekeepers

Washington Post correspondent David Weigel – with whom I had a few minor interactions, back in the 1990s when he was working at the late, unlamented “City Pages “– got suspended from the WaPo last week for retweeting an un-PC joke that was around most likely before man landed on the moon.

Now, I’m not exactly leaping to Weigel’s defense, here. When covering a Minnesota legislative race, he once got into a bit of trouble (I’m told) for getting the candidates District wrong. Also the candidates name. You know – the kind of stuff that journalists used to get into trouble for getting wrong.

Nonetheless, he was hounded into a suspension without pay by a group that has become, in fact, the equivalent of the layer of commissars that used to accompany the Soviet army into battle: the parallel political advisors that could veto the decision of any military commander.

One of them – a male and graduate of the Stanford journalism program – wrote a student op-ed castigating the University‘s food service for not prepackaging his meals, since he had too much anxiety to go to the buffet.

Excerpt:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds himself rooting for this twerp and Weigel to have a cage match.

Beyond that?

Sometimes I wonder if the problem with millennials is that they had no great existential struggles in life, as a group.

Humans have evolved over humanities history to be keenly adapted to responding to existential crises. And life certainly threw them crises. Up until our great great grandparents times, life itself – surviving past age three, not succumbing to famine or injury or childhood diseases or childbirth or a war, was a great and noble struggle in its own right.

Our parents/grandparents generations had the depression and a couple of world wars to deal with. The generation after that, a number of decidedly first world crusades; ending communism or ending poverty, and/or getting to the moon, depending on one’s point of view.

After that?

We’ve got a generation now, maybe two, whose greatest struggles have been a recession and society — and, it would seem, at the end of the day, the least worthy and yet most intractable opponent of all, themselves.

Fathers Day

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day arose from a desire to acknowledge the importance of parents, the people who guide, protect and care for the Next Generation. They deserve a day of recognition.

You know who else deserves a day of recognition? Step parents. The people who fill empty shoes to guide, protect and care for the Next Generation, but without the natural authority of being a parent, and frequently while being undermined by both natural parents.

When I was a divorce lawyer, I always felt sorry for them. They put up with backtalk from children who say, “you aren’t my parent,” visitation disputes that disrupt holiday and vacation plans, fill the budget gap that child support doesn’t cover . . . and get no credit from natural parents who say “Oh, you wouldn’t understand, you don’t have children.”

Really? Which do you think is easier: to love your own child, or to love someone else’s child as if it was your own?

No, I’m not advocating for another greeting card occasion, or more days off government work with pay. But look around your children’s classroom and count the number of intact families which celebrate natural mother and natural father’s days. All the rest are being raised by unacknowledged heroes.

Joe Doakes

I used to have a real trip on my shoulder about Father’s Day. Not have any personal animus; mostly out of anger for the way so many fathers are treated in Family Court, and for the way fatherhood has been devalued in our society.

But as a father of two, and a stepfather of one, I couldn’t agree more.

Watergate

50 years ago today, in the wee hours of that Saturday morning, Frank Wills was doing his rounds as a security guard at the Watergate Office Building when he noticed a door leading into the building from the underground parking garage had tape over the latch, preventing the lock from engaging. Wills simply removed the tape and thought nothing of it. However, some time later when Wills came around again, the tape had been put back. His suspicions now sufficiently aroused, Wills called the police, triggering the biggest political scandal in US history. When all was said and done, 48 people would be convicted, and Richard Nixon would resign as President.

Three officers responded and when searching the DNC’s offices on the sixth floor, they discovered five men: James McCord, Bernard Barker, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez and Eugenio Martínez. Unbeknownst at the time, watching this unfold from a hotel room across the street was Alfred Baldwin, a former FBI agent. Baldwin was the lookout but failed to notice the police arrive or that they were searching the DNC offices until it was too late.

The story that appeared in the Sunday Washington Post the next day about this seeming act of political hijinks described what they were carrying.

All wearing rubber surgical gloves, the five suspects were captured inside a small office within the committee’s headquarters suite.

Police said the men had with them at least two sophisticated devices capable of picking up and transmitting all talk, including telephone conversations. In addition, police found lock-picks and door jimmies, almost $2,300 in cash, most of it in $100 bills with the serial numbers in sequence.

The men also had with them one walkie-talkie, a short wave receiver that could pick up police calls, 40 rolls of unexposed film, two 35 millimeter cameras and three pen-sized tear gas guns.

This was actually a second break-in. The first had occurred May 28. This second attempt has made to repair some faulty equipment placed in the first break-in. The first thread to unravel was not so much what the burglars were doing in the DNC offices, but rather who they were, and who they knew.

The genesis of the break-ins was a few months earlier in January 1972 at a meeting with Liddy, Mitchell, Magruder and John Dean, the White House counsel. Liddy presented an extensive plan to gather intelligence for the campaign. Magruder had been hired by H.R. Haldeman, White House Chief of Staff. Magruder had wanted Dean at this meeting for cover from the White House.

James McCord was the security coordinator for the Committee to Re-elect the President, for my money the worst bit of political branding in history. This fundraising branch of the 1972 Nixon campaign for President became known as CREEP as the scandal unfolded. Watergate was born within the CRP, and many of its officers figurd prominently in the scandal. G. Gordon Liddy was finance counsel. Jeb Stuart Magruder was the deputy director. John Mitchell was still Attorney General at the time of this January meeting, but would retire two months later to become the director of the CRP. Other CRP names that won’t arise until later in our look back at Watergate are Herb Kalmbach, Fred LaRue, Don Segretti, Hugh Sloan and Maurice Stans.

Maybe of the people involved with Watergate wrote books about their experiences. In his book Blind Ambition, John Dean described Mitchell’s reaction to Liddy’s wild-eyed plan this way.

Liddy took his seat. The show was over. We all waited for Mitchell to react. I knew he was offended by the wilder parts of the act, but I also knew he would not say so to Liddy’s face. He disliked confronting people directly. It was a trait I had noticed in myself and felt was a weakness. Mitchell usually had other people express his blunt feelings.

Mitchell did not approve of Liddy’s plans. In his book An American Life, Magruder described Liddy’s presentation this way.

None of us were prepared for the nature of the plan that Liddy was outlining with such self-assurance. It was, as John Dean said later, mind boggling. It included mugging squads, kidnapping, sabotage, the use of prostitutes for political blackmail, break-ins to obtain and photograph documents, and various forms of electronic surveillance and wiretappings.

Yet Mitchell did not reject the entire plan, for we all felt there was a need for intelligence-gathering, and we were interested in the wiretapping aspects of the plan. Mitchell ended the meeting by telling Liddy he should come back with a less expensive plan that focused on intelligence-gathering and countering demonstrations.



Liddy worked with E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA officer, to put together the wiretapping operations. Hunt was a consultant for Chuck Colson, director of Nixon’s Office of Public Liaison. As others later surmised, if Hunt was involved, the White House was implicated. Hunt had been suggested to Liddy by Dick Howard, another Colson aide.

In a rather shocking breach of OpSec, Hunt’s name was in Barker and Martínez’s address books. On the 18th, Liddy called Magruder to inform him of the break-in. Magruder described the conversation this way.

‘Liddy, what the hell was McCord doing inside the Watergate?’ I demaned. ‘You were supposed to keep this operation removed from us. Have you lost your mind?’

‘I had to have somebody on the inside to handle the electrons,’ Liddy said. ‘McCord was the only one I could get. You didn’t give me enough time.’

I couldn’t believe it – Liddy was blaming his fiasco on me. But there was no point arguing with Liddy so I calmed down and asked him to give me all the facts he had. He explained that the four men arrested with McCord were Cuban freedom fighters whom Hunt had recruited in Miami. He said all five men had given false names when arrested, but we had to assume their true identities would be discovered.

Later that Saturday morning, Bob Woodward at the Washington Post got a call from the city editor about the break-in. The story linked to above was under the byline of Alfred Lewis, and in All the President’s Men, Woodward describes Lewis this way.

The first details of the story had been phoned from inside the Watergate by Alfred Lewis, a veteran of 35 years of police reporting for the Post. Lewis was something of a legend in Washington journalism – half cop, half reporter, a man who often dressed in a Metropolitan Police sweater buttoned at the bottom over a brass Star-of-David buckle.

Lewis told Woodward the men arrested were going to appear in court that afternoon at a prelimnary hearing. Woodward attended, and at the hearing McCord told Judge Belsen he worked in government for the CIA. Woodward uttered an expletive, and helped contribute to the Lewis story that appeared on the front page.


Next week we’ll take a look at other conversations that took place over the subsequent weekend, and how the scandal was seemingly contained.

Parody Is Obsolete

One of the best of Dennis Prager’s many great aphorisms is “everything the Left touches, it destroys”.

Along with, apparently, itself.

I read Charles Cooke’s satirical take on the recent meltdown at…well, any number of leftist institutions, as the Woke Mob eats itself.

“What”, I thought, “could better than a Cooke takedown?”

Only the actual article being (as far as events allow) lampooned, and the facts and history presented – which read as first-class, if unintentional, parody on their own.

This is, of course, a caricature of the left: that socialists and communists spend more time in meetings and fighting with each other than changing the world. But in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election, and then Joe Biden’s, it has become nearly all-consuming for some organizations, spreading beyond subcultures of the left and into major liberal institutions. “My last nine months, I was spending 90 to 95 percent of my time on internal strife. Whereas [before] that would have been 25-30 percent tops,” the former executive director said. He added that the same portion of his deputies’ time was similarly spent on internal reckonings.

“Most people thought that their worst critics were their competitors, and they’re finding out that their worst critics are on their own payroll,” said Loretta Ross, an author and activist who has been prominent in the movement for decades, having founded the reproductive justice collective SisterSong.

“We’re dealing with a workforce that’s becoming younger, more female, more people of color, more politically woke — I hate to use that term in a way it shouldn’t be used — and less loyal in the traditional way to a job, because the whole economic rationale for keeping a job or having a job has changed.” That lack of loyalty is not the fault of employees, Ross said, but was foisted on them by a precarious economy that broke the professional-social contract. That has left workers with less patience for inequities in the workplace.

“All my ED [executive director] friends, everybody’s going through some shit, nobody’s immune,” said one who has yet to depart.

It appears they’ve shot themselves in the foot with their own ideology:

The silence stems partly, one senior leader in an organization said, from a fear of feeding right-wing trolls who are working to undermine the left. Adopting their language and framing feels like surrendering to malign forces, but ignoring it has only allowed the issues to fester. “The right has labeled it ‘cancel culture’ or ‘callout culture,’” he said, “so when we talk about our own movement, it’s hard because we’re using the frame of the right. It’s very hard because there’s all these associations and analysis that we disagree with, when we’re using their frame. So it’s like, ‘How do we talk about it?’”

For years, recruiting young people into the movement felt like a win-win, he said: new energy for the movement and the chance to give a person a lease on a newly liberated life, dedicated to the pursuit of justice. But that’s no longer the case. “I got to a point like three years ago where I had a crisis of faith, like, I don’t even know, most of these spaces on the left are just not — they’re not healthy. Like all these people are just not — they’re not doing well,” he said. “The dynamic, the toxic dynamic of whatever you want to call it — callout culture, cancel culture, whatever — is creating this really intense thing, and no one is able to acknowledge it, no one’s able to talk about it, no one’s able to say how bad it is.”

That’s the good news.

The bad news? It reads like an ideological mirror image of the Minnsota GOP.

Divorce, American Style

The divorce between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, finalized three months ago, has entered its most half-cocked bizarro phase:

And people thought OJ Simpson’s legal team was big and expensive.

UPDATE: I’m informed the parties in this post are Kim Jong Un of North Korea, and the West.

Not sure it makes sense, but I’ll take it under advisement.