“Earthers”

Remember when Democrats tittered with glee at the (small) number of Republians who were obsessed over Barack Obama’s birth certificate?

They can all, every one of them, shut up now:

…according to a Rasmussen poll released today, a staggering 67 percent of Democrats believe Ocasio-Cortez’s climate change warning to be completely legit.
According to the poll, 48 percent of all likely voters agree that the United States has only twelve years left to fight climate change before the effects are irreversible. The poll did not identify Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders (who still believes the doomsday prediction to be true) while conducting the survey. According to the poll, 40 percent disagree with the prediction, and 11 percent are undecided.

The most fascinating thing about the poll, aside from the large percentage of Democrat sea sponges who believe the 12-year prediction, is how the number of voters who believe it has skyrocketed in just a few months. When Rasmussen first polled on this issue back in January, after Ocasio-Cortez first publicly made her prediction, only 23 percent of voters agreed with it. Back in January, however, only 34 percent of Democrats believed what Ocasio-Cortez says only a sea sponge would have taken seriously. This shows the incredible influence the socialist wing of the Democratic Party has on the party as a whole.

Having Tide Pod Evita as your thought leader is like having Jesse Ventura as your charm school superintendant.

Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

US currency is legal tender for all debts, public and private.

80% of all currency contains trace amounts of cocaine

Possession of a trace amount of cocaine on currency in your pocket is a felony, regardless of how the cocaine got on the currency.

You are required to use our money, but you are prohibited from using our money.  Catch 22.  Look, people, that book was satire, not a guide to public policy.  Fix the law.

Joe Doakes

To much of our administrative class, “everyone is an inadvertent felon” is a feature, not a bug.

The Beef

I’ve spent most of my life – virtually my entire adult life – first raising and now working with millennials. And getting used to their various quirks – like, the way the seem to collect diagnoses and physical and mental illnesses (or at least their labels) the way they used to collect Pokemon cards. If I had a nickel for every group of millennials I’ve heard comparing being celiac and dysthemic to being “on the spectrum” and having anxiety, I could contribute enough money to get a republican elected in Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’ district.

Bemusement turns to irritation when they start yapping about “the world the previous generations left them”. The Great Recession, “climate change” and Trump, I guess, all combine to make millennials all goth-y about the world around them.

I’ve tried – without much success – to expose the idea that maybe, just maybe, the world they’re growing (Still. Interminably) is actually, if not better, at least no more malignant than the worlds their elders had:

  • Their grand, or sometimes great grand, parents of the “Greatest Generation”, of course, had the Great Depression and World War 2 – with some of them adding Korea and Vietnam. They had hard economic times after the war, as well as a sharp little recession in the late sixties – after which, in their thirties and forties, they got to start watching the social fabric fray throughout the sixties.
  • Their children, the “Baby Boom”, had Vietnam and the immense social dislocation that brought, the JFK and RFK and MLK assassinations, the turning of our major cities into dysfunctional hellscapes, the miserable miasma of the seventies with stagflation, an unprecedented political crisis in Watergate, and shag carpeting, and of course the ongoing Cold War.
  • My generation – I’m not a baby boomer – started out being told overpopulation was going to kill us all; India was going to starve itself down to 100 million people, and there would “inevitably” be food riots in the US by the 1980s. If pollution didn’t kill us first, of course. The seventies – which I remember from the news as a kid – gave way to a recession as brutal as the 2007 one (but shorter, and followed by the sort of robust growth that usually follows recessions, thanks to conservative policies, not that the Jon Stewarts of my generation were any smarter about economics than the Jon Stewarts of the millennial generation, whoever they are). Terrorism in the Middle East became a constant lifestyle. And just as we started getting into adulthood, this mysterious disease started killing people off; gay guys, drug users and Haitians, at first, but – we were assured – it was going to affect us all, and could even kill us all off! And above it all (to me, anyway), the Cold War, with its constant, ambient threat to incinerate us all (I grew up in missile country, and it wasn’t an abstract thing at all), with bombers on standby and Europe split down the middle with barbed wire and troops and mines in between, and Jakov Smirnov an A-list star. Plus we had the 1980-81 season of “SNL”, plus “I’ve Never Been To Me“, by Charlene.

It never really sinks in. But then it never really does, with the young.

David Harsanyi moves from memory to fact, to prove the point – millennials just don’t have it that bad, and to the extent they do, it’s largely because of lifestyle choices. From his conclusion:

Of course life has a new set of challenges for every generation, and no one expects millennials to sit around prefacing every complaint by noting, “Hey, life is better for me in so many ways.” But it’s simply untrue, despite a sense of unearned victimhood, that millennials have it harder than those who came before them. In most ways, the opposite is true.

I’d urge you not just to read athe whole thing, but to pass it on to a millennial close to you. Presuming they’re not triggered.

Overpowered By Awful

I just finished spending a year and a half riding the Vomit Comet (aka “the Green Line”) to work and back most days.

At its best, it was a serviceable ride.

At its most middling, it was crowded with free-loading University kids and, early on cold mornings, homeless people curled up sleeping on the chairs.

At its worst? I navigated between puddles of vomit, stepped in a pool of urine, and was to the point of intervening as a man attacked a woman.

You can almost sense the defeat in the Met Council’s latest release:

Metro Transit is ending 24/7 service on the Green Line between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis.
The change, which is scheduled to take effect in August, comes amid concerns about drug use, assaults and other misconduct on the trains.
Under the plan, the light rail trains will not run between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. weekdays.
General Manager Wes Kooistra said the trains will be replaced with buses that will stop near each Green Line station.
Kooistra said the two-hour shutdown will also give crews more time to clean train cars and repair tracks

Emphasis on “clean the cars”.

Misdiagnosis

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If the defendant in this case had somehow managed to obtain a gun and shoot up City Hall, Liberals would demand universal background checks and ammunition taxes and identification-stamped bullets and God knows what all else.  They’d insist those measures were necessary, to prevent this kind of shooting.
But the real cause of the shooting would be they let him out of the nuthouse.  Twice!  Once in 2012 and again in 2017.  After he was released, he refused to take his meds.  What a shock!  Totally out of the blue.  Who could have predicted it?
We don’t have a gun problem.  We have a mental health treatment problem.  Everyone who is concerned about gun violence needs to read “My Brother Ron,” by Clayton Cramer.  If you can’t afford to buy your own copy, let me know and I’ll buy it for you.
Joe Doakes

I second the nomination of Cramer’s book. Cramer’s departure from blogging was a dismal day for the medium.

Shot In The Dark – Today’s News, Five Months Ago

We noted earlier this year that Philadelphia’s tax on pop was taking down soft drink sales, and jobs and stores with it.

And it turns out that that’s true – pop sales are down by half in Philly.

But people are healthier – right?

Er…right?

While researchers found that sales of sugary beverages fell in Philadelphia after the tax, beverage sales in nearby towns and counties without the tax went up. That suggests people may have been traveling to get their soda at a reduced price.

But…but…Revenue! Right?

Jazz Shaw did the math that I thought about, but didn’t, since Jazz did it…:

So, let’s look at this assuming one million ounces of soda was sold anually before the tax went into effect. If sales had remained the same, the city would have realized $62,400.00 in revenue instead of $54,300.00. But with the volume cut in half, they managed to slash their revenue to $31,200.00. (I was told there would be no math. Apparently City Hall in Philadelphia was operating on the same assumption.) Great job, guys. You gutted your revenue stream, caused layoffs in the beverage industry and depressed sales in the city’s retail outlets, likely impacting entry level jobs.

Of course, this is “unexpected” only if you haven’t followed similar stories from coast to coast, including here in Minnesota, where the rapacious and punitive increases to the cigarette tax enriched a lot of North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin convenience stores a few years back.

Just Another Evening On The Vomit Comet

According to police dispatch, a “crowd of 8-10 men with hammers and iron bars” attacked people on the Green Line (aka “Vomit Comet”) platform on the East Bank, at the U of M.

According to Alpha News:

A person who claimed on social media to have been at the station when the incident occurred said that the group of males had “hammers and bars,” and that they seemed to be “attacking anyone who looked like they had money or were white.” The witness, who said he isn’t white, said he didn’t want to “[take] on a bunch of dudes with blunt objects,” and that he “hurried an older white lady away” and they walked a few blocks to catch a bus.

There is considerable effort on the part of local progressives to discredit the story – as it comes from conservative Alpha News via those neocon tools, the Minneapolis Police Scanner and U of M Pollice Departments.

According to the Pioneer Press:

Police responding to a report of a group threatening people at a light-rail station at the University of Minnesota stopped seven juvenile males who fled from the Minneapolis platform, a university representative said Monday.
Two males who were carrying metal pipes were identified through video surveillance and witness descriptions, said Lacey Nygard, a University of Minnesota spokeswoman. Police issued them citations.

That first paragraph has had the local PC police all a-twitter: “Only two had pipes, not ten hammers”, because thugs never throw away pipes and crowbars when the police are chasing them, naturally.

Stomping Their Impeccably-Shod Feet

As I’ve noted in the past in this blog, I am Minnesota’s best feminist.

Now, let’s be honest – I did it, back in blogging’s heyday (from about 2004 throug about 2009) mostly to troll lesser feminists; watching commenters at shriekblogs like “Mercury Rising” rage and thunder against a conservative guy declaring himself the “best feminist” made my heart well with joy.

But at the core, it’s still true. I do believe in the things first-wave feminist sought; things like my daughter and granddaughter being treated equally in the eyes of the law, and accorinding to their actual merits in society and the workplace.

And not only has that battle been largely won, but in some areas of society – the treatment of boys in schools and universities, the effects of family court and the “Violence Against Women Act”, the pendulum has swung a little too far.

But that’s “first-wave” feminism – the part that started with the right to vote, and continues with beating on Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK and Al Franken.

Then, there’s the kind of “Feminism” that seeks to turn women into an identity class and political bloc (progressive, natch). Some call it “Toxic Feminism”, but the technical term is “Second Wave Feminism”. Books could be written on the subject (indeed, they have been – scads of them, mostly garbage).

And in reading the bleatings of the “Feminist Identity” movement over the years, I got the same feeling I used to get when I was beset by angry junior high kids; the solipsistic grasp of the world, the same echo-chamber logic, the same grounding in a world that exists only in fantasy, the same bottomless entitlement.

Camille Paglia noticed the same thing:

My favorite period in feminism has always been the 1920s and 1930s, when American women energized by winning the vote gained worldwide prominence for their professional achievements. My early role models, Amelia Earhart and Katharine Hepburn, were fierce individualists and competitors who liked and admired men and who never indulged in the tiresome, snippy rote male-bashing that we constantly hear from today’s feminists. I am an equal opportunity feminist who opposes special protections for women. What I am saying throughout my work is that girls who are indoctrinated to see men not as equals but as oppressors and rapists are condemned to remain in a permanently juvenile condition for life. They have surrendered their own personal agency to a poisonous creed that claims to empower women but has ended by infantilizing them. Similarly, boys will have no motivation to mature if their potential romantic partners remain emotionally insecure, fragile, and fearful, forever looking to parental proxies (like campus grievance committees or government regulators) to make the world safe for them.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt say it again – the biggest problem with Ilhan Omar isn’t that she’s Muslim. It’s that she’s a progressive who’s serving as a role model for other immigrants to suck them into the world of intersectional, dysfunctional, identity-obsessed modern progressivism.

Anniversary

Those who think school massacres and “Assault weapons” are inextricably tied together haven’t read the story of the Bath, Michigan massacre, which happened 92 years ago this morning.

I wrote at some length about it a few years back.

While gun control laws are short-sighted and sclerotic (even if you presume “preventing crime” is their motive, and I do not), but evil is nimble and creative.

Anomaly

A friend of the blog sent me this; it’s a map showing the most-common birth country for immigrants, by state, excluding Mexico.

And with most states, you see either what would appear to be the effects of random distribution according to economic forces (the fairly even spreading of Indians, driven heavily by immigration of engineers, academics and other technicians), proximity (Philipinos in the West, Canadians in the North, Cubans in Florida), one that stumps me (Germans in New Mexico?)…

…and Somalis in Minnesota.

Why, it’s almost as if a political movement decided to import an entire class of voters and concentrate them in a swing-y state, and indoctrinate them into a multi-generational voting bloc or something.

.

This Is What $91 Mill Gets You

Jeff Koons’ Rabbit has sold for $91 million dollars.  

Yep. It’s a steel rabbit, all right. You could have bought a late-model F16 for that kind of money, with a MacLaren to get you to the airport, and money to run ’em both for years…

It’s a three foot tall steel casting made from an impression of…a balloon rabbit.  

It’s the sort of thing that gets the usual people huffing and puffing the usual blandishments – but not everyone is kissing up to the artist or the buyer. This from – who else – NPR’s Neda Ulaby:

ULABY: Jed Perl, another distinguished art critic, is even more grossed out than Jerry Saltz by the sale. Perl doesn’t even like the sculpture. Here’s how he describes the most expensive piece of art by a living artist.
PERL: It’s a metal molding of a plastic blow-up toy.
ULABY: Perl finds the smooth, faceless “Rabbit” emotionally empty to the point of being dead. But plenty of other people see a sense of humor in the sculpture and in its highly polished surface, a reflection of our increasingly impersonal and overhyped world.

Well, I certainly see humor in the fact that something this trite has people this completely bonkers.

Is anyone but me working on a polished-steel casting of a tulip bulb, just out of pure ironic commentary? (Liberals – ask you economically-literate parents).

What If You Declared A “Sex Strike” And Nobo…Er, Let Me Try That Again

Last week, amid news of several states’ abortion laws (intended to provoke SCOTUS-ready legal challenges to Roe V. Wade), one-time “actress” Alyssa Milano declared a “sex strike”.

It fared about as well as you’d expect.

And Milano – whose movie credits include “Who’s The Boss”, [NOTE TO MITCH: TRY TO CARE ABOUT ALYSSA MILANO’S “ACTING CAREER” LONG ENOUGH TO GET A LIST IN HERE BEFORE YOU PUBLISH THIS], and, uh, “Who’s The Boss”, reacted, well, about as well as you’d expect:

With states continuing to restrict abortions despite her #SexStrike protest, Alyssa Milano became so furious that she destroyed her own property, she admitted on Twitter Wednesday.
“I just threw my phone across the room. Cracked the screen. Read this. Please,” Milano tweeted, linking to CBS News story about an 11-year-old girl who couldn’t get an abortion because of Ohio’s “heartbeat bill.”… “Heartbeat bills,” which prohibit most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, have passed in four states this year, and Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday voted to effectively outlaw the procedure entirely. Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, was expected to sign the legislation.
Although none of the laws have gone into effect amid legal challenges, pro-choice advocates fear they will push the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1972 ruling enshrining the right to abortion.

She’s a former child star, and not used to getting her way. But then, progs are largely the same.

This Is What “90% Support” Looks Like

The gun control measures that “have 90% support” failed in conference committee yesterday, after having to be buried in the House Public Safety omnibus finance bill because the DFL didn’t have the votes to pass them as standalone bills, even in the Metrocrat-dominated House.

And I hope, hope, hope that the DFL keeps running with that “90% support line” in the Senate elections next year.

Deep Fried Woke

“Infinite Elgintensity” is a comically-arrogant and usually hilarious lawyer and Youtube bodybuilding videoblogger…

…who does some of the best commentary about the Social Justice militia out there, on the side.

I say that to point out that while I thought about writing something about Burger King’s self-parody-ingly “woke” Unhappy Meal campaign, once I saw IE’s video take, I gave up and decided to punt to him. Language not safe for work, btw:

(His two cents on the Gillette fiasco were worth at least a nickel as well)

And it makes me wonder – will there come a time when Millennials get tired of people not only walking on eggshells around their seemingly paper-thin collective skin, but talking and advertising down to it?)

Almost

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Last Summer, the Associated Press reported 40% of families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs.  The story was based on a press release by the Urban Institute. And what was the biggest problem for struggling families?  Cost of medical care.  Why?  Because Obama-care destroyed health insurance. This week, CBS recycled that storywithout bothering to mention the story was six months old and based on data that’s 18 months old, and also without mentioning the latest employment numbers.  I’m all for recycling, but it’s almost as if the media aren’t really interested in the truth, only in bashing a Republican administration. 
Joe Doakes

And if you’ve ever been around reporters at a bar, you know they’re not carbon-neutral, shall we say.

It almost seems that Big Media is working hand in glove with Big Left to pass a narrative to low-information but high-emotion voters.

That’s just crazy talk.

Right?

Listening To You, I Feel The Music

The Who’s rock opera “Tommy” turns 50 this year.

Kyle Shaeffer has a retrospective:

Yes, Tommy is very 1960s. Pinball competitions and psychedelic acid trips are not exactly hallmarks of today’s world. But of course, what makes the album sotimeless is the music. From great singles such as “Pinball Wizard,” “I’m Free,” and “The Acid Queen” to the more intricate musical tapestry and recurring themes laid out in the five-minute overture, this is an album one can, and should, listen to front-to-back in one sitting.

While hailed as a triumph by most critics upon its release, Tommy did have its detractors. Some found the theme overly twisted and its ideas of physical and sexual abuse and subjecting children to acid trips just too distasteful. Even at the ripe old age of 23, when he began work on the project, Pete Townshend was not a simple man. It should be noted that to compose songs for the two most disturbing parts of the opera, “Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About,” Townshend asked bassist John Entwistle to do the honors. Having been sent by his parents to live with a clinically insane grandmother for two years as a child, they brought up too many dark memories better left to his autobiography.

I discovered The Who about the same time I discovered pop music – I was a moody adolescent, and Pete Townsend was a moody arrested adolescent, so it wasn’t a huge stretch. I think I was 15 when I first checked out Tommy from the library. I did in fact sit down and learn the whole thing on guitar – I probably could have played it from memory, almost, at one point.

And I thought – next year, Tommy will be closer to the end of World War I than to the present day. Or,, to put it another way, neither were all that long ago, really…

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.