You’ve Got A Lot Of Nerve…

The Saint Paul City Council, “just for fun”, has opted to honor former Minneapolitan Bob Dylan by renaming part of Fourth Street “Positively Fourth Street”, in honor of a Dylan song (named, most likely, after a street in Greenwich Village).

I’d like to offer a similar resolution; let’s start renaming streets after colors of the rainbow.

Then we can have a little fun with the never-ending nightmare of road work on Snelling Avenue by saying we’re “Tangled Up In Blue”.

It’s as close as well get to a better pun in Saint Paul, whose city government is locked in the late sixties, ensuring the Times will Never A-Change.

Rules For The Paleo Man

Last week, the NYTimes published a piece by a Brian Lombardi, “27 Rules for the Modern Castratus” – retitled “27 Rules for the Modern Man” at publication time.  In it, he spelled out a list of “rules” for what passes for a “modern man” among NYTimes readers and staff – a few that were pure common sense, and a bunch more that seemed to devolve from some combination of “feminization” and “slavery to marketing”.

And while the criticism of the piece was immediate and usually hi-freaking-larious, I figured it was high time we codified the rules for those of us who consider modernity to be a cancer when it comes to matters of eternal principle.

And so I present “Rules for the Paleo Man”

  1. The Paleo man does a good job, whatever his job is.  He also knows it’s his responsibility alone to know what “good job” means, and how to do it.
  2. A Paleo man presents himself to the world exactly as he needs to to be appreciated as what he is; whether a CEO, a plumber, a soldier or a radiology technician, he says what he needs to say, does what he needs to do, wears what he needs to wear to convey the impression that he does a good job.  Fashions and trends and brand names are irrelevant; being seen as a good investment of others’ time and stewards of others’ investment, property, well-being or safety is.
  3. The Paleo man respects himself.  He treats himself accordingly in his personal habits.
  4. Because the Paleo man respects himself, he respects others, and acts accordingly.  It also means he keeps the opinions of others in proper perspective; they’re feedback, not guideposts.
  5. The Paleo man respects women in general, and his significant other in particular.
  6. The Paleo man has integrity; he practices what he preaches, and he only preaches what he needs to.
  7. The Paleo man takes care of his kids, whatever it takes.
  8. The Paleo man protects himself, his loved ones, his neighbors and his property; whether childproofing his living room or becoming proficient with a shotgun – and teaching them how to do the same – he learns, and does, what needs to be done.
  9. The Paleo man has the tools he needs to do all of the above; whether that tool is a socket set, a book on “Diaper Changing for Dummies”, a melon baller, a new Java Virtual Machine, a shotgun or an Armani, he knows, obtains and takes care of the tools he needs to earn a living, care for and protect his family.  Brands and fashions and trends don’t matter to him; effectiveness does.
  10. A Paleo man doesn’t need a list of rules to tell him any of this.
  11. A Paleo man doesn’t tell others how to live their lives.  And he quietly dismisses others who try to tell him how to live his.
  12. A Paleo man only goes into a club with a DJ if it’s a very promising date.   Otherwise, it’s either a live band, or a jukebox.


Taking Back The Tenth Amendment By Default

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

America was founded on the belief that people were endowed by their Creator with certain rights, including the right to life, which carries with it the right to defend one’s life from those who would take it.  A gun-free zone denies effective self-defense which jeopardizes the right to life; it is an unjust law.


The classical philosophers from St. Augustine and Abraham Lincoln through Thoreau, Martin Luther King and Gandhi agree we have a moral duty to obey just laws, and a moral duty to disobey unjust laws.


Turns out, guns are common on that Oregon college campus despite the gun-free policy.   Lots of classical philosophers there.  Good for them!


Joe Doakes

That may be the best hope for democracy that we have; much of our society – at least between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre – is becoming in tune with the idea of nullifying laws by ignoring them.

At least when it comes to gun free zones, speed limits and the like.

You gotta start somewhere.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My brother claims the reason I hate light rail has nothing to do with public transportation, and everything to do with Junior High math. See the problem is, I want to meet my buddy for beer after work, but if my train leaves Saint Paul at 5:00 and his leaves Minneapolis at 5:15, both traveling 35 miles an hour and randomly hitting the lights, which bar will we meet and what time? Last one to arrive buys and it’s always me. I think my brother is on to something.

Some days, you’ll meet on the part of the Green Line where the only bar will be the White Castle.

I’m As Free As A NARN, Now…

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!

Today on the show,

  • Marty Neuman of the NARN’s longtime haunt, Keegans Irish Pub,  will join us to talk about Minneapolis’ new restraurant-killing worker scheduling rules.

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

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

Join us!

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts after a pretty awful day yesterday:

Incongruity: So if #BlackLivesMatter, why do they only make the news the relatively small percent of the time when there’s a white shooter?

X Marks The Lack Of Spot: Speaking of shooters, MNGOPAC has a little reminder for everyone that’s jabbering about “commonsense gun control”:


They should add a line for “repeal gun free zones”.

It wouldn’t necessarily result in a green check box.  We’d need a third tick mark; a blue question mark labeled “would probably deter killers, give victims a chance“.

We Need More Like This:  Sheriff John Hanlin – the Douglas County Sheriff in whose juridiction the shooting took place – has long sparred with gun control hamsters.

And yesterday, his office refused to name the murderer – doing his best to deny the human roach the infamy and publicity he desired.

Heroism Is Not Enough

I’ll urge prayers, or whatever your worldview calls for, for Chris Mintz, an Army veteran who was shot seven times trying to save others during yesterday’s mass-murder in Oregon.

While the details are still sketchy, it appears Mintz was shot repeatedly trying to either protect others, or to stop the murderer during his killing spree.  He’s still in very serious condition with seven gunshot wounds, in the back, abdomen, hands and apparently legs.

Mintz is, by all indications, a hero.

And hopefully via the grace of God he’ll come out of this a living hero.

But to paraphrase the vacuous suit that 52% of our low-information neighbors put into office, heroism is not enough.

Chris Mintz is a big, strong guy – he’s apparently done some cage-fighting – trained to a peak of physical power.  And he was laid low – hopefully temporarily – by a coward with a firearm.

But another hero – a 110 pound woman, a 70 year old man, a handicapped guy in a wheelchair – would have had a decent chance of taking the coward down even with a feeble little pocket .380.

Exactly as happened on December 11, 2012, just 120 miles north of Umpqua Community College, when Nick Meli confronted a man intent on mass-murder at the Clackamas Mall in Portland. Meli and his Glock didn’t even need to fire a shot; the man, intent on mass murder and who’d already killed two innocent people.  The killer saw Meli, realized the jig was up (as happens with most mass-murderers when confronted with unexpected lethal force), and slunk away to kill himself.  Exactly as has happened at many other episodes, where a “good guy or gal with a gun” ended a mass shooting before it became too “mass”.

Victory for the good guys.

But Umpqua is a gun free zone.

How’d that work out?

PS:  Heroism under fire seems to be in the water out there; one of the heroes from last month’s French train episode was from the same area in Oregon.

Homo Timesiens

The NYTimes has favored us with a piece by one Brian Lombardi of De Freaking Kalb Illinois, on “27 Ways to be a Modern Man“.

And I must have missed the vote when all of us guys voted for Mr. Lombardi to write up the spec sheet, and for that I apologize – but I will reserve my right to confirm or veto as appropriate.

And it is oh, so appropriate:

Being a modern man today is no different than it was a century ago. It’s all about adhering to principle. Sure, fashion, technology and architecture change over time, as do standards of etiquette, not to mention ways of carrying oneself in the public sphere. But the modern man will take the bits from the past that strike him as relevant and blend them with the stuff of today.

Although the “principles” Mr. Lombardi “adheres” to seem to be more about “being a modern NYTimes / MPR fan” than being a man.

1. When the modern man buys shoes for his spouse, he doesn’t have to ask her sister for the size. And he knows which brands run big or small.

It’s both harmless, good marriage tactics…and kinda trite, doncha think?

2. The modern man never lets other people know when his confidence has sunk. He acts as if everything is going swimmingly until it is.

Yes, but John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart taught us this 80 years ago.

3. The modern man is considerate. At the movie theater, he won’t munch down a mouthful of popcorn during a quiet moment. He waits for some ruckus.

That’s a good one.

4. The modern man doesn’t cut the fatty or charred bits off his fillet. Every bite of steak is a privilege, and it all goes down the hatch.

Again – 50% “well duh” and 50% trite and cloying.  I suppose it’s a little more couture than having a “princple” about bacon, though.

5. The modern man won’t blow 10 minutes of his life looking for the best parking spot. He finds a reasonable one and puts his car between the lines.

I can get behind this one.

Better still?  The Modern Man doesn’t ever combat-park in a crowded parking lot.

6. Before the modern man heads off to bed, he makes sure his spouse’s phone and his kids’ electronic devices are charging for the night.

Spouse?  Again, just good marital tactics.

Kids?  Baloney.  Kids gotta learn some things by themselves.

7. The modern man buys only regular colas, like Coke or Dr Pepper. If you walk into his house looking for a Mountain Dew, he’ll show you the door.

Dr. Pepper is a cola?

And no.  Just…no.

8. The modern man uses the proper names for things. For example, he’ll say “helicopter,” not “chopper” like some gauche simpleton.

Seems like an odd litmus test, don’t you think?

9. Having a daughter makes the modern man more of a complete person. He learns new stuff every day.

Presumably Mr. Lombardi and his Times-reading friends are the first men ever to have daughters.

10. The modern man makes sure the dishes on the rack have dried completely before putting them away.

I’m not a betting man – but I’d wager real money that when people beat Mr. Lombardi up in high school, the teachers figured it was justifiable.

11. The modern man has never “pinned” a tweet, and he never will.

No, Mr. Lombardi; the mondern man doesn’t know what “pinning” a tweet is.

12. The modern man checks the status of his Irish Spring bar before jumping in for a wash. Too small, it gets swapped out.

A quick reminder:  this is being printed in the New York Times.  The Newspaper of Record.  All the news that’s “fit to print”.

Acres and acres of gatekeepers.

13. The modern man listens to Wu-Tang at least once a week.

I’m looking for the bourbon now.

14. The modern man still jots down his grocery list on a piece of scratch paper. The market is no place for his face to be buried in the phone.

This modern man would buy a copy of the NYTimes on paper, and jot down his grocery list over Mr. Lombardi’s

15. The modern man has hardwood flooring. His children can detect his mood from the stamp of his Kenneth Cole oxfords.

No man, modern or not, gives a rat’s ass about the brand of any shoes that doesn’t have steel reinforcement in the toes.

16. The modern man lies on the side of the bed closer to the door. If an intruder gets in, he will try to fight him off, so that his wife has a chance to get away.

“Get away?”  To where?  Does the modern man’s bedroom have a back door?

And in view of Mr. Lombardi’s #25, we can presume that the Modern Woman is pretty much dead meat if an “intruder” comes through the door.

17. Does the modern man have a melon baller? What do you think? How else would the cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew he serves be so uniformly shaped?

Nothing about knowing how to navigate.  How to make a plant grow.  How to fix a flat or change his own oil.

Melon ballers.


18. The modern man has thought seriously about buying a shoehorn.

The modern real man has no shoes that need more than one hand to put on.

19. The modern man buys fresh flowers more to surprise his wife than to say he is sorry.

In other words – the modern man has common sense?

Well, perhaps.  Mr. Lombardi, on the other hand…

20. On occasion, the modern man is the little spoon. Some nights, when he is feeling down or vulnerable, he needs an emotional and physical shield.

While there might be a place and time for being the little spoon, it’s got nothing to do with being any kind of a man.

21. The modern man doesn’t scold his daughter when she sneezes while eating an apple doughnut, even if the pieces fly everywhere.

One wonders what prompted Mr. Lombardi to discover this timeless, vital truth.  Also, what is an apple doughnut?

22. The modern man still ambles half-naked down his driveway each morning to scoop up a crisp newspaper.

What the hell is this “newspaper” he’s yapping about?

23. The modern man has all of Michael Mann’s films on Blu-ray (or whatever the highest quality thing is at the time).

The smart modern man has 2-3 of Mann’s better films tucked away behind his Complete Works of John Ford or Billy Wilder.

24. The modern man doesn’t get hung up on his phone’s battery percentage. If it needs to run flat, so be it.

Words to live by.

25. The modern man has no use for a gun. He doesn’t own one, and he never will.

Because the Modern Man is, apparently, expendable.

26. The modern man cries. He cries often.

No.  Men do not cry.


That is all.

27. People aren’t sure if the modern man is a good dancer or not. That is, until the D.J. plays his jam and he goes out there and puts on a clinic.

So according to the NYTimes, the “modern man” is is a slave to marketing, technically hapless, literally helpless.

I’m proud to be a Paleomale.

PS:  A much better response, from Stephen Miller in NRO.  All of them great – especially #27:

The modern man knows he can’t dance, and refuses to attend any event with a DJ instead of a live band, on principle

I can’t believe I missed that.

PS2:  Larry Correia’s fisk is even better.

Next week:  the real rules for proud paleo men.

All The News That’s Fit To Gin Up From Pretty Much Nothing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Star Tribune breathlessly reports that “questions” have been raised, front page, above the fold.  Why did 98% of the new state subsidies for rural bus routes go to Mn/DOT Commissioner Zelle’s former employer?  Conflict of interest?  Shenanigans?  What’s going on here?

“Jefferson Lines and Land to Air Express were two of three firms who applied for the state funding that year. The third, Rainbow Rider Transit, received less than $8,000 in state subsidies.”

Three firms applied.  Rainbow Rider is the short bus for handicapped people in a few counties in Western Minnesota, counties you never heard of, like Grant and Pope.  They got a few bucks.  The other companies provide bus service and airport shuttle.  They got the rest because Nobody Else Applied.  Which isn’t surprising – how many bus companies can you name besides Greyhound and they run long-haul between cities, not back lanes to Clodhopper, Minnesota.  There’s no conflict, there isn’t even a question, it’s perfectly clear and obviously the whole thing is completely above-board.

So why the headline?  The headline leads low-information voters to think the Commissioner’s a crook when the story itself completely exonerates him.  What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

Joe Doakes

They’re just asking questions:

“But why don’t you subscribe to the Strib, Mitch?”

And Another One

A shooting at Umpqua Community College in southwestern Oregon has apparently claimed 10.

First things first; I’ll urge prayers, or whatever your worldview calls for, for the survivors, and the families of the victims.

And I urge you not to believe anything the media has to say about it for the next couple days.

But it bears noting that Umpqua is – you guessed it…:

The community college is a gun-free campus.

“Possession, use, or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols, and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on college property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited,” the college’s security policy states.

How many more innocent lives will be sacrificed to the false god of gun control?

UPDATE: Well, this is kinda interesting:

[Korney Moore, an 18 year old student] said she saw her teacher get shot in the head, apparently after the gunman came into the classroom. At that point, Moore told the newspaper, the shooter ordered everyone to get on the ground. The shooter then asked people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing, Moore said..


Low Expectations

Democrats are fond of trying to find statistics that try to show that the Obama Administration has not been a complete economic disaster.

One way is via a blizzard of charts that claim to show a long series of months with job growth:

Raw Numbers

“It’s Bush’s fault! It’s Bush’s fault!”

Of course, as Mark Twain once said – and it’s a cliche I almost regret to say – but there are three types of data; lies, damned lies, and statistics put out to defend Democrat economic policy.

A graph will look very, very different, and depict very different things, depending on the two dimensions you select, as Philip Bump points out in the Wall Street Journal.

Obama looks best when you compare his job creation record with the day he took office – a graph which, by the way, has some liberals chortling, in that it makes Jimmy Carter look like a boss job creator:

Versus First Month

Of course, Clinton is the champ – he’s the only two-term president since World War II that didn’t have a recession on his watch – thanks, of course, to Ronald Reagan and the Peace Dividend, as well as Newt Gingrich stifling the worst of Bill and especially Hillary’s agenda.  Clinton was a champ in spite of himself, and largely due to his opposition.

We also note that more jobs were created on Dubya’s watch in three years than in six and a half of Obama; remember, Dubya had the 9/11 recession and the housing bubble in his eight years.

But isn’t comparing job growth versus a president’s first day in office a little artificial?

Sure.  Let’s compare presidents with their administration’s low points:

Versus Low



So in other words, Obama’s like Nixon.  I wasn’t very old at the end of the Nixon administration, but we all know what a lousy time that was.

But of course, the population has changed; Reagan added 17 million jobs in a population that was around 260 million.  Obama has added nine million jobs in a nation of 315 million (although nobody’s really counting anymore).  So how about we measure this in terms of concrete percentages?

Versus Population
As anyone who was looking for work back then knows, life under Reagan was infinitely better; the economy added a higher percentage of jobs in the quarter after the end of the’82 recession than it has in the six years of the Obama recovery.

Print out that last graph.  Share it with your liberal friends.


So after decades of ignoring the place, Hollywood has apparently set some sort of television show in “North Dakota”.

“Blood and Oil”, starring Don Johnson (who some of you may remember from, ahem, thirty years ago) airs on ABC – which is one of those “TV Networks” your parents used to talk about before even they switched to Netflix.   It gives off the appearance of being a Dallas-style soaper.

How do you think it turned out?

That was the question no doubt going through the minds of many people in the state when ABC’s new drama “Blood & Oil” premiered last week to modest ratings. The show is ostensibly set in North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields, though it’s hard to tell, given the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains looming in the background of exterior shots.
The Rockies, in case you needed an update on your geography, reside hundreds of miles to the west of North Dakota.
There were other guffaw-worthy moments for North Dakotans in the show’s first episode. A character killed a white moose at one point — moose aren’t at all common on the prairies of North Dakota — and a scene depicting two characters wrestling in jet black oil was downright incongruous.

But it could have been changed – with the help of subsidies, naturally.  North Dakota doesn’t offer them; Utah does:

Turns out it’s all about money. Utah offers filmmakers a 25 percent tax rebate. For filming “Blood & Oil” in that state, the Utah Film Commission gave the show’s creators an $8.34 million tax credit.

North Dakota, on the other hand, offers filmmakers exactly nothing. Which is why some in the state think subsidies could fix “Blood & Oil’s” scenery problem.

It’s the same reason Gran Torino, whose screenplay was set in Saint Paul, was filmed in Detroit; because Michigan has a program to transfer wealth from Detroit to Hollywood.

Which is something North Dakota’s legislature turned down by a 2-1 margin.

Which is roughly the ratio of Republicans to Democrats in the North Dakota legislature.

Diagnosis: Idiots

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

An electrician friend had his van broken into, hundreds of dollars of copper wire stolen.  Repeatedly.

The cops wrote a police report so he can report it to his insurance company.  But there’s a $500 deductible for each incident, so the few nickels the thieves make selling scrap wire cost him thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.  Thievery in Minnesota is a “cost of doing business.”

Minnesota is too civilized to punish thieves by cutting off their hands and thereby dissuade others.  We put them on probation to steal again.

Minnesota is too civilized to punish thieves.  Nobody is dissuaded from crime.

Minnesota is too civilized, too afraid of offending the offensive.

Minnesota is . . . doomed?

Joe Doakes

When citizens can’t count on “law and order” to uphold the law and preserve order (and, let’s be honest, also count on law enforcement to prosecute organic civilian efforts to enforce law and order more rigorously than actual criminality), how long can a free society survive?

Combat Record

Yesterday, the guided missile frigate USS Simpson was decommissioned.

The Simpson is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, commissioned thirty years ago last week, at the height of the Cold War.

She was designed as a (relatively) low-cost, high-performance anti-submarine escort, intended to guard convoys against Soviet submarines and aircraft.

But as the Cold War wound down and the Middle East heated up, she found herself in the Persian Gulf on her first overseas deployment.  As the Iran-Iraq war slogged on, she was part of the multinational effort to escort oil tankers through the Persian Gulf, in response to another ship – Simpon’s sister ship, the Samuel Roberts – hitting an Iranian mine in international waters.

There,  on April 18 1988, Simpson and two other US ships attacked an Iranian intelligence station aboard an oil platform.  The Iranian missile boat Joshan – a French-built fast attack craft armed with US-built Harpoon missiles – launched a Harpoon at the US force.  The missile was shot down or decoyed away from the task force.

A “Combattante II” class missile boat – in this case, the Greek “Plotarchis Vlachavas”, a sister of “Joshan”.

Simpson then returned fire with four “Standard” antiaircraft missiles, hitting Joshan in the superstructure.  The task force finished the Iranian ship off with gunfire.   Simpson shared credit as one of the very few US vessels since World War 2 to actually sink an enemy ship in combat.

Simpson went on to a long career; it rescued the crew of a burning naptha tanker two years later; it served in Desert Storm, as well as several deployments on humanitarian and counter-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia.

But beyond that, it’s not an especially notable ship, and its decommissioning isn’t big news; it’s one of many, as the Obama Administration mothballs the Navy at an alarming rate.

But the notable thing about the decommissioning of Simpson is that with its departure from active service, the US Navy now has exactly one vessel in commission (that is to say, an active, commissioned vessel in the Navy, as opposed to a museum ship or a decommissioned vessel in the reserve “mothball fleet”) that has ever sunk an enemy ship in action.

This one:

The USS Constitution, commissioned in 1797, and which racked up quite a record in the undeclared war with France in 1806, the War of 1812, and the actions against the Barbary Pirates, and still a commissioned US Navy warship.

True Colors

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Got a note from a colleague saying, in effect, “You know real estate law, you’d be an asset to the group, why don’t you participate in more bar association stuff?”   I’d respond but I can predict how the conversation will go:

I’m not in The Liberal Lawyer’s Club because I’m not a Liberal lawyer.

It’s not a Liberal Lawyer’s club, it’s for all lawyers, but even if it were, you should be a Liberal;  all lawyers should be Liberal lawyers because we’re so welcoming and tolerant of diversity.

No, you’re only tolerant of things that don’t matter.  For things that do matter, you’re shunning and intolerant.  For example, a case comes to court, the Plaintiff is White and the Defendant is Black, who wins?

The color of the parties doesn’t matter, only the facts and law matter.

Okay, second example, the Plaintiff’s lawyer is a Straight man, the Defendant’s lawyer is a Lesbian, who wins?

Again, the gender and sexual orientation of the lawyers doesn’t matter, only the facts and law matter.

Yet the bar association is obsessed with color, gender and sexual orientation.  You have committees and outreach programs for every one of the Things That You Say Don’t Matter.  But half the state voted for Conservative Norm Coleman over Liberal Al Franken so half the lawyers in the state ought to lean Conservative, too.  But there are no programs for Conservative lawyers, no committees, no outreach to the half the lawyers in the state who are not bar association members, perhaps because you’re not open and tolerant of diversity of opinion, perhaps because Conservatives are not welcome?

Well, of course we don’t welcome haters, sexists, bigots and homophobes.  If that’s the kind of horrid person you are, we wouldn’t want you to participate in bar association stuff.

Exactly . . . .

It also works for Saint Paul community council groups.

Mob Mentality

It was designed to change the Entente’s fortunes in the Great War.

Across open fields clouded by chlorine gas, 6 divisions-worth of newly trained British soldiers threw themselves at the lightly defended (but heavily fortified) German line.  For the first time in 1915, the British were taking on a significant role in operations on the Western Front.  The young men who were leading the charge had answered the call from Britain’s Secretary of State for War, Lord Horatio Kitchener, whose very image had surplanted the traditional “John Bull” (the British “Uncle Sam”) in rallying Britons to defend the Entente.  After a hard year of bloodletting from their French allies, “Kitchener’s Army”, or “Kitchener’s Mob” as his critics derided the volunteer recruitment effort, was to go into battle at the French town of Loos-en-Gohelle.

The Germans never saw the attack coming, and coupled with a surprise artillery burst and the first use of poison gas by the British, the Allied advance looked to be successful.

It ended in another wholesale slaughter.

The Battle of the Loos – the “mist” is 140 tons of chlorine gas

By the fall of 1915, Britain’s strategy to win the Great War had gone horribly adrift.   Continue reading

Follow The Money. And Jobs. And People.

I do a lot of speaking to GOP, Tea Party and Conservative groups around the Metro Area.  And when I drive out to a place like Mound, or Maple Grove, or Lakeville, I often start my remarks with something like “It’s so nice to be here – with that smell of competence, prosperity and success all around”.

It’s at least in part a dig at Saint Paul – a beautiful city with a failed one-party government.

But census data also shows it’s absolutely true; Red states are leading whatever economic “recovery” that’s going on:

The new Census data on where we live and where we moved to in 2014 shows that the top seven states with the biggest percentage increase in in-migration from other states are in order: North Dakota, Nevada, South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, and Texas. All of these states are red, except Colorado, which is purple.

Meanwhile the leading exodus states of the continental states in percentage terms were: Alaska, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Kansas. All of these states are blue, except Alaska and Kansas.

There’s a reason the left’s noise machine focuses as much “energy” as it does on Kansas; it’s neither a failing Democrat hellhole like New York, nor a booming Conservative success story like North Dakota, Florida or Texas.

Get That Popcorn Ready

“Black Lives Matter” has announced that they intend to protest at, and attempt to block, the Twin Cities Marathon.

Let’s make sure this is clear; after months of protesting at things that the DFL elites in Kenwood and Summit Avenue revile (the Mall of America) or are outside their frame of reference (the State Fair, the Green Line during a Vikings game) or that isn’t part of their lives (or rush hour on I94 in the Midway, I35W in South Minneapolis, or Snelling Avenue), they may have finally gone a bridge too far; they’re not just inconveniencing the proles this time; they’re going to mess with one of those things of which white, upper-middle-class, MPR-listening, St. Olaf-alumniing, Volvo-driving, Whole-Foods-shopping Minnesota is most proud; an institution that is one of the A-list faces of the part of Minnesota that wants to look at the rest of the world and say “yeah, we’re a little like New York!”.

As I started thinking about writing, I got an email from a regular reader:

I’ve been minimally following the BLM plans to protest the marathon.  I know people who run the marathon who have never supported BLM, so their reaction is obviously anger.  However, secretly I kind of like that the group is finally disrupting something other than poor and working class people getting to and from work.  Especially when I read comments on Facebook that suggest the mindset of “why are you protesting us?  We support you.” to which BLM protesters respond with something like “if you support us, what have you done to make real changes?” (not exact quotes, but enough similar sentiments on the Facebook pages that [the operator of a local political discussion listserver] linked to) Liberal types who tend to think they’re helping by voting for all of the stuff that Liberals like probably are scratching their heads at that, which at least makes this protest fun to follow.

It’s more than just Schadenfreude, of course…

…although there’s plenty of that, too.

For example:  what must it be like to be Betsy Hodges or Chris Coleman, right now?  They’ve bent over 90 degrees past backwards for BLM – who, being liberal and (partly) black, they consider their electoral property – allowing them to block city streets numerous times without the protest permit every other group would need to bet, much less blocking interstate highways and mass transit over and over again.  And now – after all those favors – BLM ungratefully wants to screw with one of Hodges and Coleman’s marquee events?

Will either of them decide to “get tough”, as the eyes of the marathon-running world are on them?

But beyond that?  As the emailer pointed out – how will “progressive” Minnesota react to their own hypocrisy being sent up on a world stage?

The Vortex

The GOP is about to embark on a bruising battle over who’ll succeed John Boehner as Speaker of the House.

Kevin Williamson notes that it really might not matter that much, because Congress at the moment is little but a speed bump (emphasis added):

As [Conservative speaker candidate Louis] Gohmert notes without quite saying so, these United States are in the process of transforming the form of their union government from that of a democratic republic to that of a unitary autocratic administrative state. Barack Obama and other progressives have hastened that transformation in no small part because they consider the American constitutional order in purely instrumental terms rather than as a good in and of itself. Sometimes the constitutional order serves progressive ends and sometimes it constrains them, which is why President Wilson despised the Constitution and President Obama simply ignores it when he believes it necessary, adopting as he has — with rather less fuss than one might have expected — a Gaullist rule-by-decree model.

And if you’re a frustrated conservative Republican?  You’ve got reason:

The familiar ratchet effect is in operation: The Left in power expands the state, particularly the executive, and the Right in power does not reverse the turn, in part because conservative politicians like power, too, in part because reversing those expansions is difficult, and in part because even if conservatives win the fight there’s not much juice in it.

Is this part of an eccentric, unpredictable cycle of the ebb and flow of power?  Or an inevitable part of the United States getting just too big and too diverse?

 As my colleague Charles C. W. Cooke points out, the lack of an American king and an American prime minister has not prevented the traditional English contest between crown and parliament from sneaking into American politics. And the crown is winning. The waxing of the president and the consequent waning of Congress is a result of the deep psychological structure of mass democracy on the American scale, probably an inevitable one. TAmerican democracy was born in the New England town-hall meeting and in state assemblies, relatively intimate venues where following the operations of government was non-cumbrous. A population of more than 300 million with worldwide interests is a very different sort of thing. From the very beginning, the mere scale of the American project ensured that most Americans would find it incomprehensible: How many Americans at the time really understood that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton went into the Philadelphia Convention plotting to abolish their government and set up a new one? How many can identify the main points of contention between Senator Cruz and Senator McConnell?

It’s easy to try to boil it all down to simplistic chanting points – and both sides do it.

But the American experiment was largely predicated on the idea that we’d have a population full of people who weren’t all that different from each other (intellectually and politically, anyway) – a point the unwitting nostalgia for which I satirized in Trulbert, but which also happens to have had some merit in analyzing our founding.

We’re anything but that, anymore.

Our Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes To You

What do we really need for President?

Jack Kemp.

The former Bills quarterback and congressman from Buffalo was perhaps the most influential American politician who never became President; he was behind much of the “get out of the way” legislation that led us to the prosperity of the ’80s and ’90s.

And he rose to prominence during an era with great similarities to today.

Morton Kondracke and Fred Barnes write in the WSJ:

The present era resembles the miserable 1970s. Growth is glacial. Incomes are stagnant. The country’s mood is sour. Divisions are widening. In 1979 only 12% of Americans thought the nation was headed in the right direction. Now it’s around 30%. And politicians are pitting class against class: the “1%” against the “47%”; white workers against Mexican immigrants. The public is furious with Washington, and no wonder. Polarized Republicans and Democrats do nothing for them.

Jack Kemp shook things up—but with dramatic ideas about policy, not by pitting outsiders against insiders. The Republican establishment resented the gall of a backbencher’s butting into tax policy. Democrats hated tax-cutting, even though Kemp kept reminding them that President John F. Kennedy first proposed lowering the top rate to 70% from 90%. Special interests were furious when Kemp proposed reducing their tax breaks. He once wrote Reagan’s deficit-hawk budget director, David Stockman,demanding to know why Mr. Stockman wanted to raise taxes on working people and cut food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start, but keep subsidies and tax breaks in place forBoeing,Exxon and Gulf Oil.

Go on and read the whole thing.

And then ask yourself – which candidate would Kemp support?

Kemp was, of course, one of the people who converted me to conservatism.  We could do much, much worse, and we usually do.