Unintended But Delicious Consequences

Remember during the Cold War, when the running joke was that the best way for a small, poor country to get ahead was to go to war with the US, for all the rebuilding assistance they’d get afterward?

The modern corollary may be “the best way for a business to succeed is to become the target of liberal PC virtue-signaling and boycotts”.

Chik-Fil-A is now Ameirca’s #3 fast food joint.

Chick-fil-A, which has been the target of a left-wing boycott campaign due to the problematic socially conservative views of its founder, has absolutely dominated the chicken market over the past decade. The chain’s sale have tripled, and its U.S. market share among chicken-centric restaurants has increased from 18 percent in 2009 to 33 percent, while its chief competitor, Kentucky Fried Chicken, has seen its market share fall from 29 percent to 15 percent over the same period. That’s what winning looks like. Congrats on the boycott, libs!

And by the way – has anyone checked in on Hobby Lobby lately?

Oh.

Absolute Moral Authority

I wonder if these kids will get lionized and treated as the authorities that David Hogg has?

Survivors of a Colorado school shooting walked out of a vigil for their slain classmate Wednesday night in protest of politicians and other groups using it as a platform for gun control, a local report said.
The students from STEM High School, where two gunmen killed a student and wounded eight others Tuesday, began yelling from the stands that they “wanted to be heard” after two politicians and pro-gun control advocates addressed the crowd, according to the local NBC affiliate, KUSA.
They then stormed out of the vigil after Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet and Democratic Congressman Jason Crow addressed the crowd, the Denver Post reported.
The kids chanted “Mental health” and hurled expletives at the media, according to the report.

And I don’t know about you, but suddenly I”m feeling kind of proud:

“What has happened at STEM is awful. But it’s not a statistic. We can’t be used as a reason for gun control. We are people, not a statement,” one student said, according to video by KUSA.
Speaking of the lone fatality, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, another student added, “We wanted Kendrick to be mourned. We wanted all of you to join us in that mourning, but that was not allowed here. We all walked out. We were not kicked out.”

This nation needs fewer tragedies.

But if we had more of this kind of moral courage, we’d have a great start.

Unexpectedly

Rising tides, it turns out, do actually lift boats:

In April, the unemployment rate for Americans with a high school degree fell to the lowest rates since before the Great Recession. Unemployment for workers with disabilities fell from eight percent to 6.3 percent over the last 12 months, the lowest level since the measure began in 2008.
Hispanic unemployment is the lowest it has been since 1973 (also when the measure began). Black unemployment remains close to historic lows, climbing slightly since the end of 2018.
One could hardly wish for a better trend. This economy is working for every class of American.

I think if the Democrats started devoting every scrap of their energy to pushing for impeachment, taking their (what else?) collective hive mind off of policy for the next year or so, it’d be the best thing that could possibly happen to this nation’s poor.

Rotten To The Core

There are some facts about the gun control debate in this country that are pretty dead-lock cut and dried.

“Gun Safety” advocates don’t care about crime – they care about control.

White liberal gun control activists only really care about crime that affects white liberals – emotionally.

You can tell Nancy Nord Bence is lying when you see her lips moving.

But the fact is, if you dig deep, there really aren’t any good guys in the debate. The gun grabbers and Democrats, of course – but even the Republicans, at least at a national level. never faill to disappoint.

I’m going to drop the beginning of a Twitter thread – this is just the first, but please read the whole thing:

It’s the sort of thing that led me to leave the GOP 25 years ago – out of general disgust more than any actual ideological differences.

This Is The DFL

Rep. John Lesch wrote this on Facebook yesterday, in response to a post about Shoreview DFL gun-grabber rep Kelly Moller:

“Child Murder Apologists”. And he’s not referring to his own, Stepford-Eunuchs-like support of Planned Parenthood, here.

He’s talking about you, Ms. and Mr. Law-Abiding Gun Owner.

It’d be a mistake to call this another oe of the gaffes for which Rep. Lesch is famous. This is the mindset of today’s DFL – that you, the law-abiding citizen, are rooting for spree killers. Lesch only let his guard down.

Never, ever forget – they want the 2nd Amendment. And that’s just an appetizer.

This Is What A Nobel-Prize-Winning Member Of The “Elite” Media Thinks Like

Paul Krugman – who worshipped Barack Obama like a ’90s high school girl worshipped the Back Street Boys – twote:

Andrew Stiles notes Barack Obama’s list of PMoF’s:

  • Michael Jordan
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Meryl Streep
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Robert Redford
  • Robert De Niro
  • Tom Hanks
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Bob Dylan
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Barbara Streisand
  • James Taylor
  • Diana Ross
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Warren Buffett
  • Tom Brokaw
  • Lorne Michaels
  • Joe Biden

To which a committed Dem might point out “Hey, no golfers!”.

And to which someone with honesty and integrity would add “And Paul Krugman is a travesty”.

What’s Spanish For “Hack”?

I love languages. I speak three of ’em passably enough not to get made as a Yank, and can order a drink, pay a tab or find a bathroom in a bunch more. If I could learn more full-time, I would. I’m a linguistics geek.

I’m probably an outlier among Americans at large – we’re a big mostly monolingual country, so most Americans don’t need to learn another language.

But the word “hatchet job” means the same thing in an amazing number of languages. That occurred to me while reading this, well, hatchet job from the WaPo, claiming that about half of Republicans get annoyed hearing other languages. According to Pew:

47 percent of such Republicans say it would bother them “some” or “a lot” to “hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.” Eighteen percent of white Democrats said they would be similarly bothered.
Aside from politics, age and education are the major predictors of linguistic discomfort. Eighteen percent of whites younger than 30 said they would be bothered by a foreign language being spoken, compared with 43 percent in the 50-to-64 age group, and 45 percent among those 65 and older.
Among all racial groups, whites (34 percent) are most likely to be bothered hearing foreign languages, followed by blacks (25 percent), Asians (24 percent) and Hispanics (13 percent). Among Americans overall, 70 percent put their level of unease at “not much” or “not at all.”

And this article is kinda hatchet-y. 

For starters, it doesn’t say *why* “half of white Republicans” have that reaction. Oh, the WaPo knows what it *wants* people to think – that’s why they included the utterly unrelated “High profile confrontations”. Racists!

And yet of those Republicans, the vast majority reported being “bothered” only a little bit – which doesn’t seem like it’d be a byproduct of hatred. It doesn’t go into motivations. 

I’m to postulate the vast majority of that isn’t racism, but people in a largely monolingual culture reacting to being excluded. Remember the question – they’re reacting to hearing people “speak a language other than English in a public place.” Language is an excluder; it’s a private club. It’s why my grandma never spoke her native Norwegian unless she was among fellow native speakers; it’s why I don’t talk in German or Norwegian in meetings with mostly Anglo co-workers. It’s kind of rude. 

The reaction is hardly limited to Americans, much less “white Republicans”. Check out how the French react to groups of Americans talking English sometime. 

I’m gonna strongly suspect most of the result comes from social annoyance rather than bigotry or provincialism. 

Men hva vet jeg?

With The Band

“Hired Gun”, on Netflix, is a movie about “sidemen” – guitar, bass, drum and keyboard players who get hired by musicians to support them on tour, sometimes for a tour or two (Jason Hook, a metal guitarist spent time touring with Mandy Moore and Hillary Duff), sometimes joining the band (Jason Newsted with Metallica), sometimes bouncing around between being session musicians, touring with other musicians and being part of their own bands (Steve Lukather, Ray Parker Jr.).

It’s a little like “20 Feet From Stardom”, only with teeth.

Takeaways:

  • I’d have never thought Rudy Sarzo – who played with Ozzy Ozbourne, both editions of Quiet Riot, and Whitesnake – would come across as pretty savvy philosopher.
  • If you don’t like Billy Joel, get ready to hate him. If you like Billy Joel, get ready not to like him so much. While I acknowledge his talent, I’ve never liked him much (other than “Songs in the Attic”, which had some cool songs, and “Innocent Man”, which was a great album), but the stories that Russ Javors and Liberty DiVito tell about Joel’s snide arrogance (and the role it may have played in Doug Stegmeyer’s suicide) re-centered my attitude on the little fop.
  • Alice Cooper (as a friend of mine pointed out on Facebook) is the opposite of Billy Joel – a great boss.
  • Kenny Aronoff – who played drums on all of John Mellencamp’s best records in the eighties, and is currently with the BoDeans – may be becoming my favorite living drummer. His story behind that little two-bar drum solo in “Jack and Diane” is a lot cooler than I’d imagined it would be.
  • If all you think about when the name “Ray Parker Jr.” comes up is “Ghostbusters”, then stop what you’re doing, cuz I’m about to ruin the image of the star that you’re used to (#NailedTheReferenceTieIn!). The guy was one of the better session guitar player in R&B for a looong time. But the story of how “Ghostbusters” came about is exactly as dorky as the video Parker shot for it back in ’84.
  • I will never feel adequate on guitar again.

There are happy endings, some really sad ones, and all in all if you care about music at all you should just watch it.

Agency

A friend of the blog writes:

I worked briefly in a nursing home. Election judges would come around with absentee ballots and nursing home residents had the opportunity to vote. That was good, I thought. Then, I saw children “helping” their parents vote. Parents that couldn’t tell you where they are, what they had for breakfast, etc. They had no idea they were voting. Even if those children tried to vote the way they thought their parents would want, they were only guessing. Is that right?

So, I thought of that experience when I read this tweet.
There are so many responses that imply the Texas Senator does not want people to vote. To me, it sounds like he doesn’t want activists driving people to vote and influencing their vote. It sounds like you can still ask your friend, neighbor, son, brother to drive you. And if you are cognizant enough to ask someone to get you to the polls, then you probably are not going to allow someone else to make the choice for you. Seems fair enough, given the gravity of the right to vote.

Jamming uninformed, or push-informed, people to the polls is a feature, not a bug, for at least one major political party.

Red Herring

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s depressing that anybody would fall for such an obvious diversion. Trump was a rich man during the entire Obama administration, whose IRS was famous for auditing people Democrats didn’t like.  The holdover liberals who make up the Deep State have no problem leaking damaging information.  If Trump had any possible secrets in his tax returns, they would have been leaked and investigated long ago.
Democrats know that, they know there’s nothing to find, they don’t care. They simply want Trump to deny the demand so they can complain that he’s obstructing justice, which diverts attention away from the Attorney General’s investigation into Hillary colluding with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential election.
But you know Minneapolis liberals will swallow it, hook line & sinker.  Depressing
Joe Doakes

They’re holding on to the idea that there’s “something” out there like an eight-year-old holding onto Santa.

The Snowiest Flake

75 years ago, thousands of Americans – teenagers or not far removed from it, mostly – waded through the surf into machine gun fire to begin liberating Europe.

This is their legacy of boldness and forthright courage:

Mr. Ford: the National Day of Prayer “stigmatizes” you in exactly the same way the Irish Fair “stigmatizes” Norwegians.

If Atheists managed to jam down a “National Day of Skepticism”, all it would do is keep them occupied (presumbly withe the vegans and crossfitters) while I go about my business.

But then, I’m not nearly that “woke”, so what do I know?

Pledge Drive

I’ve been doing this blog since 2002 – and while my traffic remains gratifyingly high even as the “glory days” of blogging have passed, I’d still do it if I had five readers a day. I just plain enjoy it, and every reader just adds a little more fun.

But every once in a while I like to pass the hat. I didn’t do it last year – but I figure why not?

So if you can throw a buck or two in the pot, it is much appreciated!

Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who donated yesterday (I’ll send personal thank-yous later on here). I’m going to push this for one more day.

Thanks, all!

Minnesota’s Ongoing Humiliation

Ilhan Omar on the little matter of the barrage of rockets that’ve been raining down on Israel since the weekend:

Gaza is not occupied.

It’s not occupied because Ehud Barak decided to “give peace a chance”, and to give the Palestinians pretty much what they asked for. He pulled Israel – and thousands of Israelis – out of Gaza and gave it to the Palestinians. The hope was that it’d be a first step on a road to a lasting peace.

And – nobody could have possibly seen this coming, honest – Hamas and Hezbollah played it as a sign of weakness and poured weapons into Gaza, and have been using it as a staging ground for wave after wave after wave of aggression.

Ilhan Omar sits on the House Foreign Relations committee.

(That was normally the part of the post where I’d try to write something pithy or scary. And I guess “scary” qualifies).

Let’s Get This Straight

So what we have here is:

  • A bunch of shrill, upper-middle-class, white, college-miseducated “feminists”, duking it out with…
  • People who actually survived, or have relatives who are trying to survive, the socialism-driven implosion of what was once a prosperous nation.

Yep, that’s what we have:

Liberal activists from the anti-war group Code Pink are refusing to leave the abandoned Venezuelan embassy in Washington, vowing to protect the building from a “hostile takeover” as the U.S. State Department labels them “trespassers” and calls on them to leave.
About 50 pro-regime activists have been living inside the building for several weeks in support of embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro. In recent days, they’ve clashed outside the embassy with supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has called for a military uprising in Venezuela and has the support of the Trump administration.


Can there be a better example of Urban Progressive Privilege than people like Media Benjamin progsplaining actual Venezuelans?

It’s sort of the logical extension of former MN State Senator Larry Pogemiller saying on the record that he didn’t believe people knew how to spend their money better than government does.

Tax money, freedom, survival – all pretty much the same, isn’t it?

Up From Zero

As I’ve pointed out in the past, “Protect” Minnesota and their director, the “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence, have never made an assertion about guns, gun owners, gun laws, gun crime, gun statistics, the Second Amendment or its history that is simultaneously:

  • Original
  • Substantial, and
  • True.

You might get two out of three, sometimes.

This next howler?:

The “Reverend” makes three assertions. In reverse order:

Banks stopped using armed guards because they were being targeted: The “Reverend”, or someone she read, apparently thinks people rob banks for the same reason they climb mountains or skydive – to surmount a challenge, to defeat an obstacle.

It’s baked monkey doodle, of course. Banks found that it was cheaper to give bank robbers “bait” money than to resist them, in terms of civil liability.

School shooters, being “suicidal” and wanting to go out in a blaze of glory, would jump at the chance to attack a harder target: Which explains how many mass shooters go straight for the nearby cops when they launch their attacks.

Wait, what? That never happens?

The “Reverend” is making things up again.

While death is part of some spree killers’ fantasy narrative, it only comes after killing as many people as they can first.

If the “Reverend” can show us a single example of a spree killer specifically picking out an armed target, I’m all ears. I’ll wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Allowing teachers and staff to carry firearms would increase the number of shootings, thefts and accidental discharges: Here, the “Reverend” actually comes close to making a point. It’s possible that this could increase the number and rate of incidents.

Because when you’re at “Zero”, anything is an increase. And out of the thousand school districts that allow staff to exercise their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves and their charges, that’s how many incidents there have been in the past twenty years:

After the Columbine school shooting 20 years ago, one of the more significant changes in how we protect students has been the advance of legislation that allows teachers to carry guns at schools. There are two obvious questions: Does letting teachers carry create dangers? Might they deter attackers? Twenty states currently allow teachers and staff to carry guns to varying degrees on school property, so we don’t need to guess how the policy would work. There has yet to be a single case of someone being wounded or killed from a shooting, let alone a mass public shooting, between 6 AM and midnight at a school that lets teachers carry guns.

And how about accidents, or boistrous or larcenous students stealing teachers’ guns?

Again:

Fears of teachers carrying guns in terms of such problems as students obtaining teachers guns have not occurred at all, and there was only one accidental discharge outside of school hours with no one was really harmed. While there have not been any problems at schools with armed teachers, the number of people killed at other schools has increased significantly – doubling between 2001 and 2008 versus 2009 and 2018.

So, technically, the “Reverend” had a point, here – since in 20 years in 20 states there have been no incidents – none, zero, nada, nichevo – then the first incident would, literally, be an increase. And in a nation of millions, bad things happen. They’re inevitable.

But with a very significant sample, over a significant time span, we’re still waiting. Knock wood.

So The Final Score…: But we don’t give points for techical correctness, since it was in the furtherance of a lie.

So out of a potential three points for her statement being original, substantial and true, the “Reverend” rates…:

That’s So 1977…

I’m old enough to remember when the American political and media establishment wracked itself into knots over the fact that the executive branch had been using the CIA and Hoover’s FBI to spy on domestic political opposition.

Among my earliest memories of politics and news – after Watergate, naturally – were the Church Commission hearings, which clamped down on the use of intelligence and law enforcement for domestic shenanigans.

For a while, anyway.

Seems like everything old is new again:

Following months of angry claims by journalists and Democratic operatives that the Obama administration never spied on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, The New York Times admitted Thursday that multiple overseas intelligence assets were deployed against associates of the Republican nominee. It is not the first time the Times has revealed widespread spying operations against the campaign.

In addition to noting that long-time informant Stefan Halper was tasked with collecting intelligence on the Trump campaign, the Times story details how a woman was sent overseas under a fake name and occupation to oversee the spy operation. The woman’s real name is not mentioned in the article, though the Times says she went by “Azra Turk” and has a relationship with an unidentified federal intelligence agency.

It would be the ultimate Berg’s Seventh Law reference, if it turned out that the left’s two-year-long tantrum over “collusion” were simultaneously deflection and projection.

Human Shield

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember this drawing?  It ran during the last Arab-Israeli conflict, to illustrate the moral difference between the tactics used by the two sides.

That kid who’s on all the news shows, David Hogg, the one demanding gun control?  The Left insists nobody is allowed to disagree with his silly proposals because as a shooting survivor, he has absolute moral authority.  And he’s just a kid, so arguing with him is “punching down.”  Ya big bully. 

I strongly suspect he’s an example of the Palestinian side of the drawing.  He’s the child shielding the people behind him.  They are the true evil.  Their tactics reveal it.

Joe Doakes

He’s sort of the Cindy Sheehan of the 2010s.

Big Personal Data

I’ve never gone into a lot of detail about my personal live – family, relationships, jobs – on the blog.  Not only are there too many creepy stalkers, but the left’s culture of “othering” means they’re far from above trying to screw with the personal lives and livelihoods of people they disagree with.

But to make a long cryptic story short and more cryptic – I’m leaving my contract job of a year and a half to go to a full-time direct position.  I’m wrapping up at my current contract in about a week, and will be starting the new job in the next couple of weeks.

Now, it should surprise nobody who has followed this space, or otherwise knows me in any way, that I take job hunting very seriously. I was a single parent for a long time, so cash flow was, to borrow a Joe Biden quote, “a big f*****g deal” to me. It maybe the one thing in my life I’m seriously OCD about.

And so I keep statistics. I have a googledoc spreadsheet on which I keep the details of every job search I’ve ever been on since I got into the IT business as a technical writer in 1993. I keep them partly out of morbid curiosity, and partly to show myself that I’m really not doing all that badly so don’t get depressed.

So since I’ve got nothing else going on, let’s take a look.

Aggravated Aggregation

I’ve had 29 job hunts since 1993. An average of 2 per year during my five years as a tech writer, and a little less than once a year since I’ve been in UX.

The *average* job hunt – from starting the hunt to getting an offer – has taken 33 days (plus an average of 10 days after the offer before starting the job, whether my choice or their paperwork). This past one was 54 days almost on the button, plus three weeks from the offer to start. (The worst was 2003 – almost five months. The shortest was 2010; I made my first call Friday as I was holding my layoff notice, interviewed Monday at 10AM, got the offer at 11:30).

BUT – in the 54 days I was on the market, I made it to four final interviews – from initial contact to final interview. Three of ’em I didn’t get. The one I actually got? 15 days from initial contact to offer. I’ve been tracking *that* time – the cycle of the final, successful opportunity from first contact to offer – since 2005. The average time for *successful* cycles is…15 days!

Not All Hunts Are Created Equal

Of course, not all job changes are the same. I break ’em into three categories (I said I was OCD, and I meant it):

  • Green: Job hunts where I’m looking while I have another job.
  • Yellow: Job hunts where I have a fixed end date on my current job. It’s been anywhere from 2 to 11 weeks, usually 30 days, but it’s notice.
  • Red: Jobs that end with no notice. Note that I’ve never been fired for cause in my life – even in radio – but sometimes, jobs just end with a bang; an immediate layoff, a contract losing its funding, whatever. Either way, the “Employed” switch gets flipped to “off”.

This past search started as “Green” but changed to “Yellow” – I was told my contract was ending two weeks after I started shopping.

And it’s interesting (well, to me): the times of searches from start to offer are:

  • Green: 37 days
  • Yellow: 29 days
  • Red: 46 days. Although if you leave out the outlier, my five month slog during the 2003 tech recession, it comes down to about 30 days, too. But then, recessions happen. I’ll keep it in the numbers).

So it seems that it’s true – it IS easier to look for work when you *have* a job already! But it also seems that having a fixed end date adds to the urgency a bit…

Jobs Is Jobs?

Oh, yeah – the vast majority of my jobs over the past (koff koff) couple of decades have been contracting (some of them “contract to hire”). Does that make a difference?

Nope. 28 days either way (if I leave out the outlier in 2003).

Glass Half-Empty: I’ve had way too much experience at job hunting.

Glass Half-Full: Stumbling, completely by accident, into the career I’m in was one of my life’s happier accidents. After all this, I still love going to work in the morning.

(Well, OK – I’ve got short-timer syndrome pretty bad, here).

Eggs For The Omelet

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mohamed Noor has been convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Justine Diamond, the woman who called 911 seeking help from her Southwest Minneapolis apartment and ended up being shot dead by the cops who responded.
Her death is a tragedy.  Her parents lost a daughter.  Her fiancé lost a family.  Noor’s wife is losing a husband, his son, a father.  But that’s not the worst of it. The worst is that the people who created the situation won’t suffer at all, won’t learn anything by it, won’t hesitate to create it again.  Because for social justice warriors who count progress by color instead of competence, this tragedy wasn’t even a speed bump on the road to Utopia. 

Personally, I blame the police policy of putting the finger on the trigger when drawing a handgun. I suspect the rationale is a cop is only supposed to draw when the threat is immediate and lethal, but it leaves a cop at the mercy of his response to adrenaline. And that can be pretty uncontrollable.

Where Credit And Criticism Are Both Due

As a longtime Trump skeptic, I have been impressed in general with the caliber of his Cabinet.

I’ve been a little depressed at the turnover in that excellent cabinet.

The WSJ contrasts the quality and integrity of Attorneys General between Bob Barr, Trump’s AG, and Obama’s Loretta Lynch:

Democrats and the media are turning the AG into a villain for doing his duty and making the hard decisions that special counsel Robert Mueller abdicated.
Mr. Barr’s Wednesday testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was preceded late Tuesday by the leak of a letter Mr. Mueller had sent the AG on March 27. Mr. Mueller griped in the letter that Mr. Barr’s four-page explanation to Congress of the principal conclusions of the Mueller report on March 24 “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the Mueller team’s “work and conclusions.” Only in Washington could this exercise in posterior covering be puffed into a mini-outrage…Contrast that to the abdication of Loretta Lynch, who failed as Barack Obama’s last Attorney General to make a prosecutorial judgment about Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified information. Ms. Lynch cowered before the bullying of then FBI director James Comey, who absolved Mrs. Clinton of wrongdoing while publicly scolding her. That egregious break with Justice policy eventually led Mr. Comey to re-open the Clinton probe in late October 2016, which helped to elect Mr. Trump…This trashing of Bill Barr shows how frustrated and angry Democrats continue to be that the special counsel came up empty in his Russia collusion probe. He was supposed to be their fast-track to impeachment. Now they’re left trying to gin up an obstruction tale, but the probe wasn’t obstructed and there was no underlying crime. So they’re shouting and pounding the table against Bill Barr for acting like a real Attorney General

Repeating a Big Lie even after it’s collapsed? I’m not sure Goebbels even went that far…

Minnesota’s Ongoing Humiliation

It’s hard to even know where to start with yesterday’s Ilhan Omar quote:

The people of the 5th CD get the representation they deserve. Good and hard.