It Was Thirty Years Ago Today

I was in the control room at KSTP-AM.  It was a hot, stiflingly muggy July day.

I was screening calls for the Don Vogel show.    With me in the control room were Dave Elvin, the other producer, and news director John MacDougall.

I got a call on the hotline from John Lundell.  Lundell – the manager of the Twin Cities’ Metro Traffic branch – was doing an experimental traffic broadcast from an airplane that day.

Lundell told me, with some urgency, that he and his pilot were watching a tornado as they flew over the newer, sparsely-populated suburb of Blaine.

We put him on the air immediately; Lundell did play by play as he watched the storm develop.

I flipped on KARE11 on the control room TV, and watched as the Bears put up their own coverage, live from one of their choppers:

We’d beat them by a solid minute or two – but the video footage was some of the best taken of a live tornado to date.

It was one of the more amazing afternoons I ever spent on the radio.

This Changes Everything!

Lest you were in doubt about the left’s motives re the 2nd Amendment:

Watch out – it’s Andrew Minck, “Educator, News Connoisseur, Marathoner, MinnPost News Quizmaster”, on Twitter.

Promptly chirping in to support Minck was MnPost “journalist” Beth Hawkins:

That’d be “education” reporter Beth Hawkins.

I think we can give ’em and education…

Rumor Mill

To: Betsy Hodges, mayor, Minneapolis.

From: Mitch Berg, ornery peasant

Re: Rumors

Mayor Hodges,

Over the weekend, the rumor mill announced that you had told a gathering somewhere in Minneapolis you were planning on holding a “gun buyback”.

Please, please please please please please, oh please, please please please please please, I beg of you; go ahead with it.

You simply have to. I beg of you, with all my heart.

That is all.

UPDATE:  Rumor mill says it’ll be held August 27 at thePillsbury United Communities, or somewhere in that vicinity.

An Invitation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m too lazy to look up Mike Pence, the fellow Trump as picked for a running mate.

Hey, Dog Gone – give us a quick FACT CHECK on this guy, would you, so I know what not to believe? 

 Joe Doakes

It has become a pretty good barometer, hasn’t it?

Now My NARN Are Blazing

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

  • We’ll be talking with House candidates Monique Giordana (65A) and Margaret Stokely (65B)
  • We’ll have Paul Ridgeway, afternoon host at AM980, to talk about a national prayer vigil,
  • Brad Gerten and Pat Hammond (51A and 51B, respectively), candidates in the Eagan area.

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

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

Join us!

Falling Far Behind

Whenever the subject of Islamicist terror is brought up, the left and media (ptr) springs to action to remind us that domestic “right wing terror”, which is just around the corner (we are constantly assured.



And who knows?  It could happen!

But if “the right” – with about four incidents of lethal terror in the past 25 years – is going to be much much worse. it’s going to pass Islamicist terror, they’re going to have to get hoofing to make up the numbers from this year alone.

A Good Guy With A Gun

26 year old Antione Cooper walked into a Waffle House in DeSoto, Texas with an AK47, robbing several patrons:

And then…:

A handgun-licensed customer, whose wife was on her way to meet him at the restaurant, followed Cooper to the parking lot, fearing for his wife’s safety, according to DeSoto police.

Police said the customer called to Cooper once they were outside. Cooper pointed the AK-47 in the customer’s direction, prompting the customer to shoot Cooper several times, according to police in the southern Dallas suburb.

The citizen was not arrested – as befits someone who’d seem to any rational person to be a hero.

Breaking The Silence

Sometimes, you hold a secret that’s so inflammatory, so divisive, so certain to lead to sturm und drang, that you just hang onto it.  You keep it bottled up inside, and let it fester, for months, years, even decades.

Sometimes you take those secrets to the grave.

But sometimes – rarely, but it blessedly happens – something allows you to break the silence, and let the secret out, and let the truth be known.

This is one of those times.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When did protesting become an all-purpose Get Out Of Jail Free card?

 Black Lives Matter want to protest police brutality, so they walk down the middle of the freeway.  That costs the taxpayers money paying cops overtime to guard the protestors and paying highway crews overtime to clean up after them, money which is NOT going to repairing our failing infrastructure of roads and bridges.  The cost per protester might easily be thousands of dollars.  

 If I wanted to film the chase scene for a movie set on that same stretch of freeway, I’d have to get a permit, film at non-rush hour, pay the cops and pay for clean-up. Why should those services be free for protesters?

 Add in the societal cost of blocking I-35 during rush hour last year, or blocking I-94 on 4th of July Weekend, the thousands of hours lost by people who couldn’t get home, the tons of additional pollutants discharged by idling engines, the emotional damage to families caused by “Are we there yet” and “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” making this the Worst Vacation Ever . . . the protesters have much to answer for.

 Arrest them, charge them with a crime, sentence them to time served and a one-dollar fine PLUS restitution.  Let’s see how serious they are when the real cost of their anti-social activities are laid at their feet.

 Joe Doakes

The whole point of “civil disobedience” is accepting the consequences of doing something illegal and confrontational, to highlight the injustice – especially if it’s really, really unjust.

Water cannon blasting black school children?  Highlighted injustice pretty starkly.

People blocking interstates, keeping other people from getting to/from work with no consequence to themselves?  Not so much.

Comprehensive Truck Control

As this is written, as many as sixty dead in Nice, France.  The weapon?  A truck.

Berg’s 17th Law is in full effect; the mainstream media will get every single fact of this story wrong for the next 24-48 hours.

So I won’t speculate yet.

CNN – which is part of the mass media we should not trust for the next day or two – says the occupants (pl) of the truck started shooting at the crowd after they rammed into the throng.

We’ll see.

UPDATE:  We don’t know if this is linked with Nice, but it sure doesn’t look good:

UPDATE 2:  Le Monde says sixty dead:  the Daily Mail and Le Figaro say 73.  Frankfurter Allgemeine is saying 73 dead, 120 injured.

UPDATE 3:  Some French media reports on Twitter say the fire at the Eiffel Tower was just a truck full of fireworks burning.

If true, that’d be a pretty amazing coincidence…

UPDATE 4:  Sky News quotes French authorities saying it’s a terrorist attack, saying 75 dead, in critical condition.  They are also quoting a witness who said they saw one of the occupants of the truck coming out shooting

Here’s the live Sky News feed:

As this is written – 7:30PM Central US time – they’re vamping. Berg’s 17th Law is in effect.


Putting On Squalid Airs

One of the aphorisms that I’ve always used to guide my life is an old Hungarian saying; “the best way to become wealthy is to appear as if you already are”.  It’s not just about money; Dennis Prager notes a similar principle when it comes to happiness.   Prager and others note that when all else fails, the best way to bring love back to a loveless relationship is to act as if you are still very much in love.  More mundane?  Innumerable business books advise young would-be up-and-comers to dress for the position they want, not the one they’re in.

Ameircan slang also renders the saying as “fake it ’til you make it”.

And it’s not bad advice; the best way out of poverty is to stop acting poor.

Unfortunately, government is spending a lot of (your) money to promote the idea that acting poor is good for you.

Along these lines, a friend of the blog writes:

Last week, before Philando Castile was shot, a friend of mine, who is black, and I were discussing racism in Minnesota. He was shaking his head, wondering why black people are told to act, dress, and talk a certain way when he sees Somalis “getting a pass.” “And they’re the ones trying to blow us up!” he says.

What would he change? Well, when he was born, his parents lived in Cabrini Green. So, he has a good perspective. He would stop building subsidized housing for black people. He would stop forcing everyone to take the bus. “I’d never let my kids on those things.” He’s told me before that he’d told his family to do whatever they need to in order to afford a car- even if it means giving up a lot of other things.

I have a feeling that many other black people feel the same way. And I think it is great that the protests are happening at the Governor’s mansion, because obviously Dayton is part of the problem in terms of what my friend would fix. But, it’s too bad that Black Lives Matter is just another activist group with no more intention of helping people than any other activist group- my friend’s message will never get heard over the special interests.

 It’s both symbolic and eminently practical; our government is trying to jam us into “high density” lifestyles, which is code (!) for “how poor people live”;  to live, work and travel crammed together like passive-aggressive sardines.

We could have literally bought 140,000 late-model used cars for $10,000 a pop for the money we spent on the Green Death Machine.  That’s more than enough to equip every impoverished family in Saint Paul with a reliable vehicle – a portal to better jobs, to school choice, to opportunity.

But no.  We spent $1.4 billion so they, and a lot of middle-class people, could be poor…on tracks.

We sent the poor people to failing schools so they can be poor…with administrators with really great pensions.

What’s wrong here?

My Challenge To The Reverend Bence

Lately, the left has been making the following fairly fantastic claim:


I’ve heard this a few times – and it gave me one of my customarily-brilliant ideas.

I challenge the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, Joan Peterson, and any other leaders of “Everytown”, “Moms Want Action” and “Protect” MN to meet me in North Minneapolis or Dayton’s Bluff…

(you may have to Google them, since you don’t seem to have any of your gun violence protests in either place)

…and play what I call “The Meme Scavenger Hunt”.

The goal is this:  They’ll drop us in the neighborhood.  My mission:  find a book.  Your mission:  find a gun.  First one to find the book or gun wins; loser buys dinner for the winner.

Any action on that challenge?

For The DSM7

There are two types of people in the world:

Type 1: People who don’t sort people into elaborate taxonomies.

Type 2: People who DO sort people into elaborate taxonomies.

  • Type 2a: People who create taxonomies for a living
    • Type 2a1: People who do it for academic purposes
    • Type 2a2: People who do it as market research
    • Type 2a3: People who do it for illicit purposes (arguments exist over whether this is a separate subclass)
  • Type 2b: Those who create taxonomies for recreational purposes
    • Type 2b1: Those for whom the exercise is a study in human nature
    • Type 2b2: Those for whom it’s a study in order and structure that could apply to any group or set.
  • Type 2c: Those who create taxonomies due to mental illness
    • Type 2c1: Obsessive-compulsives
    • Type 2c2: Obsessive “Sorters”
    • Type 2c3: Classic overanalyzers

That is all.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There are 10,000 sworn officers employed in Minnesota.  They shoot an average of 10 people per year for the past 15 years  No police officer was charged in any of those deaths.   There are 200,000 Minnesotans with valid permits to carry a firearm.  The Violence Policy Center (a gun-control advocacy group) tracks their offenses going back to 2008.  Permit holders shoot an average of 2 people per year.   Four permit holders have been charged with crimes (two are pending).

Police shoot 1 person per 1,000 cops.  Permit holders shoot 1 person per 100,000 permit holders.  Permit holders shoot fewer people in total, and fewer people per capita, than police. Minnesota police are 100 times more likely to shoot somebody than Minnesota pistol permit holders.

 Minnesota police shooters are never charged, just like FBI shooters are never charged.  That could be because no Minnesota law enforcement officer has ever made a mistake;  it could be because of institutional bias shielding members of the law enforcement community from the consequences of their mistakes; or it could be because the law gives police officers special privileges that are denied to permit holders.

 What is the correct procedure when an officer is approaching a vehicle during a traffic stop?  Hand on pistol, just in case the driver is a threat to the officer.

 What is the correct procedure when the driver identities himself as a cop?  Most likely, the officer can take his hand off his pistol because even though the driver has a gun, that particular driver is not a threat to the officer.  If the officer wants the driver out of the car, what’s the procedure to secure a fellow officer’s gun — take it away or let him keep it?

 What is the correct procedure when the driver identifies himself as a permit holder?  Statistically, that driver is even less likely to be a threat to the officer than when the driver is a cop.  Shouldn’t the “not-a-threat-to-the-officer” procedure be similar – hand off the pistol?  If the officer wants the driver out of the car, what’s the procedure to secure a permitted carrier’s gun – take it away or let him keep it?

 If the procedures are not identical, why not?  If the statistics show permitted carriers are less likely to shoot than fellow cops, why is the procedure different?  Tribalism, loyalty to the Blue Line Clan?  Stereotyping?  That’s not a rational basis for treating safer people worse.

 If there were a rational basis for a difference in procedures, how should they differ?

 And most importantly of all, how do we inform officers and permitted carriers of the procedure, to make sure that nobody dies from mis-communication?

 Joe Doakes

It’s the second-scariest thing about carrying.

Lie First, Lie Always: Our Loathsome Fellow Citizens

“The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”.
— Often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, possibly apocryphally.

Deterrence:  America is the result of a revolution – not an ideological or market revolution, but a military revolt against what the colonists (or at least the ones who ended up winning) considered a hostile occupying power.

Whether or not the Second Amendment was specifically intended to allow Americans to rebel against a future tyranny is the subject of any number of debates by both the informed and the less-so; in the seminal Yale Law Review article “The Embarassing Second Amendment”, Sanford Levinson notes that in Professor T. Cooley’s ” T. Cooley, The General Principles of Constitutional Law in The United States of America 298 (3d ed. 1898), that the thinking among scholars in the nineteenth century was “Should the contingency ever arise when it would be necessary for the people to make use of the arms in their hands for the protection of constitutional liberty, the proceeding, so far from being revolutionary, would be in strict accord with popular right and duty.”

The notion that The People have a right to rebel against a government that becomes unjust and tyrannical is instituted in a number of state constitutions:  New Hampshire, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina and most notably Texas all consider the right to rebel important enough to bake into the foundation of their state government.

Beyond that?  The constitutions of Germany, Greece, and the Czech and Slovak Republics – all of whom have experience with real live tyranny within living memory – all recognize a human right to fight against tyranny.

And if that’s not enough for you?  That noted favorite of conservatives, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares:

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law.

Which is an oblique way of recognizing the justice of armed uprising against tyrants.

So it’s not like the idea that free people have the right to remain free, even if they have to convince their idiot government to stay that way, is a product of the American lunatic fringe.

Of course, rebellion against a civil government is a daunting task, not for the faint of heart.  And it’s certainly not to be undertaken trivially.   To paraphrase the computer in War Games, the only way to “win” a rebellion is to never really have to fight it with force of arms.

Fortunately, our founding fathers were smart enough to enact a little poison pill to deter tyranny.

The Second Amendment.

The idea, and ideal, being that a government that knew a lapse into tyranny could be answered by an armed, motivated people, was built into the Constitution, not a battle plan for future citizens, but as a deterrent to anyone with bright ideas of squashing the rest of the freedoms granted us all by our creator.

And so far it – the deterrent – has worked.

Useless Idiots:  The National Rifle Association, since its rise as a political organization forty years ago, has embraced the idea that the Second Amendment deters tyranny.

And key to any deterrent is the certain knowledge among those to be deterred that the threat is not idle.   If you buy a pit bull to guard your house, but advertise that he’s always muzzled, meaning his bark will be all the dog has going for him?  His value as a deterrent is limited.

So the NRA – like most gun-owning, politically-active Americans – is not slavering away for an armed revolt.  War is, as Sherman said, hell.  It hurts people and breaks things.

Long story short:  deterrence.  Not war.

Someone needs to tell it to the precious snowflake who wrote this excrescent bit of bile for the HuffPo:

 The gun lobby has long preached armed insurrectionism as a panacea for those facing oppression.

The “writer” – one Ladd Everett, director of some fragrant non-profit -states this repeatedly as settled fact.   The conflates “deterrence” with “wishing for violence”.  It’s dishonest…

…but it’s the gun control movement we’re talking about here; “dishonesty” is “dog licks dog”.

When Micah Xavier Johnson opened fire on Dallas law enforcement officers during a Black Lives Matter protest on Thursday night, killing five and injuring seven others, he was fighting what he perceived as government oppression with a method that has long been advocated by the National Rifle Association and gun lobby: force of arms.

Let me see if I can get this straight:

  • When a “Black Lives Matter” protest chants “Pigs like bacon, fry ’em in a pan”, theatrically threatening death to cops,  it’s the organic rhetorical uprising of the black community.
  • But when one of them actually does it, it’s the NRA’s fault?

It doesn’t really add up.

The NRA has long disseminated propaganda telling African-Americans that gun control is “racist” and that they must prepare for war with their own government in order to truly be free. For example, current NRA board member (and past president) David Keene has claimed that “the initial wave of [gun control] was instituted after the Civil War to deny blacks the ability to defend themselves.”

Keene claimed it – because it’s true.  After the Civil War, Klan-dominated southern governments tried to bar black freedmen from having guns; they were shooting up too many Klan attacks.  It helped lead to the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th Amendment.

In 2013, NRA favorite Glenn Beck was the featured speaker at their annual meeting, where he told those in attendance that “universal access to firearms is indistinguishable from Emancipation.”

And while I’m not a huge Beck fan, he was right.  The ability to protect one’s self, property, family, community and democracy is one of the things that distinguishes a citizen – one who actively participates in governing himself and his society – from a subject, a serf, a fyrd, a slave.

If one is not armed, one’s freedom exists only through the beneficence of those who are.

In Dallas, the NRA’s prescription for oppressed minorities was fully realized. According to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, at least 20 people showed up to the rally on July 7 openly carrying rifles and wearing “protective gear,” making a not so-subtle threat of violence against a government which they believe has overstepped its bounds in terms of policing.

So let’s get this straight; when a group of protesters chants “Pigs are like bacon; fry ’em in a pan!” to indicate to the police that they’re angry enough with police abuse to threaten death, it’s the apogee of free speech.  When one of those same (?) people shows up showing that he has the means, as a free citizen, to make it stick, suddenly it’s wrong?

So “freedom” only matters when it has no consequences?

Micah Xavier Johnson then made good on that threat, destroying at least six families in the process.

Well, no.  The open-carriers threatened nobody.  They exercised their constitutional and legal rights.  Micah Jackson violated the rights of others – of a whole city – in the most profound way possible, by doing something none of the other shooters did.

Of course, getting the distintion would imply that Ladd Everett “gets” civil rights.

He doesn’t.  He is a propaganda mouthpiece.

How do I know?  This next bit is the tell:

Let’s keep in mind that there is nothing principled about the NRA’s call for black Americans to arm themselves. For them, it is entirely about profit motive. They understand that fear sells guns, and they have intimate financial ties to the gun industry. Their priority is to push product.

The whole “NRA is about profit” line showcases the gun controllers’ logical vacuity.    Americans have been armed well enough to deter tyranny since our founding.  Americans have had a (legtimate) disdain for tyranny since before even that.    That is the status quo, among Americans who actually think about the nature of government and man (who are fairly common between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre, though vanishingly rare outside those borders).

The “fear” – that the status quo will be changed – which drives the current astronomical gun sales and three-shift gun production is entirely a product of the left’s eliminationist hysteria about guns.

So you will likely continue to see insurrectionist appeals and transparent efforts to market firearms to urban youth like the NRA’s “Noir” show.

Aaaaand the racism.

The NRA makes no more “insurrectionist appeal” than do six state and four national Constitutions, and the United Nations.

It’s the people for whom Ladd Everett is a useful idiot that are prone to the violence.

Vacuous Hipster Lives Matter

While I don’t support Black Lives’ Matter Twin Cities’ strategy or leadership, I don’t doubt for a moment that black people have every legitimate reason to protest against perceptions of excessive police violence…

…while noting that the loudest calls for more police in neighborhoods like the North Side of Minneapolis, the lower East Side of Saint Paul, and the North End come from…

…black and other minority residents, who are the main victims of crime in those neighborhoods.

I also will not pretend to be qualified to judge the violent demonstration that broke out Saturday night in Saint Paul – although Governor Flint Smith Dayton’s statements on the Castile shooting were deeply stupid.  I do think that the subtext of these protests is to try to drive everyone to one extreme or the other – to “Frame” them, in Alinskyite terms.

WIth all that out of the way?  Here’s the mug shot gallery of those arrested at the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday:



I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you – to see that all but five of the 46 arrested were visibly annoying, Whole Foods shopping, oil-belching-Subaru driving and/or cargo-bike-up-Snelling-At-Universty-at-11PM riding, non-profit-“working”, amateur-“Professional-Protester”, Sanders-voting lilywhite hipsters.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, of course – but then, I won’t beg forgiveness, since what are these protests but judging all humans by skin color – for and against?

I’ll Bet All You Sanders Supporters Feel Berned Now

To:  Bernie Sanders supporters
From: Mitch Berg – Uppity Peasant
Re:  Feeling Stupid?


Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary?

Why, isn’t that exactly like endorsing the Wall Street and military-industrial complex he railed against?

Yeah.  It totally is.

Every last one of you has been had.  Played for fools.  Suckers.

That is all.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Democrats want to use the No Fly list to deny suspected terrorists the right to buy guns. If Hillary wins, considering the Clinton’s history of renting out the Lincoln bedroom in exchange for campaign contributions, I would anticipate them expanding the program and operating it like a Public Television fundraiser.

If you make no donation, your name stays on the list and you cannot exercise Constitutionally protected rights.

For $25, you will not be subject to a “random” tax audit. This doesn’t protect you from a justified audit based on red flags on your return, but it will avoid the “random” audit of political enemies that President Obama pioneered in his first term. 

For $50, you can take one round-trip flight.   Go ahead and book that vacation, you’ve got flight insurance.

For $100, you can vote in this year’s election. Special discounts are available for groups likely to vote Democrat: Blacks, welfare recipients, illegal immigrants.  And by “discount” of course, I mean a program like the Earned Income Credit where the government pays you.  But it’s per vote so in some cities, it could be a huge economic stimulus.

For $500, you can apply for a permit to be considered to purchase a single round of ammunition. Not guaranteed, it’s dependent on a background check and is discretionary with the local Democrat party chairman who will consider whether you are a person of “Good Moral Character” meaning “not a Republican.” But you can apply.

For a cool million, you can buy any firearm you want, even fully automatic, no background check, no waiting, conveniently delivered to your door by agents of the ATF themselves.  Because if you can afford to make that large a donation, by definition you are one of the Good People and not one of the Little People, so ordinary laws don’t apply to you.

The sad part is Republicans are poised to give it to them.

Joe Doakes

Sad, but true.

Memories And Memory Holes

Do you remember when the left and mainstream media tried to tie Sarah Palin to Jared Loughner’s spree killing in Tuscon, which wounded Gabby Gifford (and killed a bunch of people the media don’t care about) because she’d completely innocently used “crosshairs” on a map?

Of course you do.

Do you remember when Al Sharpton told people to kill cops in as many words?

Speaking of memory holes:  it’s been five days since the slaughter in Dallas.  By this point in most recent mass-killings, we has a lot of detail about the killers; Holmes, Mateen, Loughner, Lanza, Harris and Klebold, Cho, even Hassan.   And we’d had detailed dissections of the firearms they’d used – because those were the real enemies, natch.

And yet a cursory examination shows very little interest, it seems, in Micah Jackson’s past, and very little scrutiny about his SKS rifle.

We don’t know the details, and that means you or me.  But if someone wanted to bet me $100 that the silence was because Jackson was a known “progressive” activist, and the SKS was an utterly unmodified, thoroughly plain-jane rifle, I wouldn’t take the bet.

A Quick Favor

The House candidate in my district (65A), Monique Giordana, is running against Rena Moran, about whom the best that can be said is that she’s what you get when machines control cities.

Monique is a very sharp woman.  She gets healthcare – she’s a pharmacist at a cancer center, and sees the results of MNSure and Obamacare first-hand, every day.  She lives in the neighborhood (obviously).

And she got into the race late, but is running a good campaign so far.  She also needs to get to a $1,500 threshold, in increments of $50 or less, by Monday to get a subsidy from the state (I know, I know – but that’s how the game is played in this state.

So if you’ve got a buck or two, and could spare a few to help out an underdog in a race where it’d be fantastic to have a real impact, please go here and learn more about Monique, and if you can, peel off a buck or two for her over here.

She’s gonna be on the NARN this weekend, by the way, along with 65B candidate Margaret Stokely.