Mischaracterization

I try to find things in common with people with whom I disagree.  I really do.

Part of it was growing up a liberal, into my twenties.  I don’t see liberals as “the enemy” – not reflexively, at least.  They’re people, mostly.

Do both sides have crazies?  People who regard dissent and disagreement as signs of depravity and evil, things to be eradicated?  Sure. 

Unfortunately, on the left the crazies are pretty mainstream.  One of my enduring memories was after the death of Tony Snow, the former talk show host who’d become Dubya’s press secretary before being diagnosed with colon cancer.  The outpouring of hatred in the lefty alt-media after the death of Snow – one of the most genuinely good people in the media racket - was a telling moment; to a big part of the “intellectual” left, it’s not just about elections and bills; it’s a scorched-earth battle for control of the entire culture. 

So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the NYTimes expresses…shock?  Confusion?  Befuddlement at Republicans in Congress expressing their concerns for the President’s security; I’ll add emphasis:

WASHINGTON — President Obama must be touched by all the concern Republicans are showing him these days. As Congress examines security breaches at the White House, even opposition lawmakers who have spent the last six years fighting his every initiative have expressed deep worry for his security.

“The American people want to know: Is the president safe?” Representative Darrell Issa of California, the Republican committee chairman who has made it his mission to investigate all sorts of Obama administration missteps, solemnly intoned as he opened a hearing into the lapses on Tuesday.

Genuine desire not to see the President and his family killed?  It doesn’t seem a stretch – on the right.  Conservatives see Liberals as wrong; Liberals see Conservatives as Evil.  Evil people wish death upon their political opponents.  (Anyone but me seeing a Berg’s Seventh Law reference here?)

Put another way:  Today’s GOP, for all its maddening problems, is directly descended from the party that freed the slaves and brought about a shot at freedom for hundreds of millions in the Eastern Bloc.  Today’s Democrats are controlled by extremists who are intellectual descendents from sixties radicals who drank from the same well of Kool Aid that might not have openly endorsed herding kulaks and counterrevolutionaries into railroad cars to ship to Siberia – but they could see the reasoning behind it, too.

Mark Andrew’s Ninety Seconds Of Hate

Mark Andrew is a former Henco commissioner and former DFL chair.  He also works in the “green energy marketing” biz.  Since “government” is the primary target of green industry “marketing”, it’s fair to say Andrew is part of our nation’s ongoing green graft racket – by which the “green” industry tries to chivvy tax money from friendly governments.

And as yesterday’s Strib op-ed shows, he really really doesn’t like the Koch Brothers – their refinery (the Flint Hills refinery in Rosemount), them, or their business:

What make’s their businesses so dirty is not just what they do, but how they do it.

Koch Industries’ corporate ethos is to pollute the American landscape with impunity.

(Really, Mark?  That’s their “ethos”?  The Kochs base their behavior on the idea that polluting is a moral good?  That seems a bit far-fetched).

After hours, they fuel a dark labyrinth of propoganda networks to spew out pollution of another kind-disinformation, defamation and denials. Their goal is not to gain market share–it is to rid the world of government oversight of their businesses and the nefarious groups that prop them up. This is how they roll.

Put another way – and in this case an accurate one?  The Kochs use some of their fortune (in the tens of billions) to press libertarian solutions (some of their stances have angered conservatives and would probably have gotten Andrew’s support, if he were intellectually honest, which this article pretty much confirms he’s not).

Oh, yeah – they’re thought-criminals (emphasis added):

The brothers over the years have outspent ExxonMobil’s subsidies of shadow climate denier groups by a 3-1 margin.

But this piece isn’t just an attack on the Kochs.

No – it’s against those polluted by association – in this case, the Ordway Theatre in Saint Paul, which the Koch Brothers help underwrite (again, emphasis added):

It is not so curious then, that the Koch’s would want to align themselves with St.Paul’s Ordway Theatre, one of the nation’s leading non-profit live performance venues. The 14th Annual “Flint Hills International Children’s Festival, presented by the Ordway” opens this weekend, and is the perfect halo under which the conglomerate might dwell for a few days, basking in the glow of delighted children whose lives are put at risk by their business and political actions.

The Koch’s [sic] and the Ordway’s that birthed the theatre couldn’t be a starker study in contrastsBathed in a riot of color, the brochure captures multi-colored children carefully photographed and captivated by a phantasmagoria of dance, music, acrobatics and reverie. And not a refinery to be found!

The stagings are fantasy adventures as far removed from daily reality as the Koch brothers’ climate change denials.

One wonders if the Kochs slither about in black capes and top-hats and laugh maniacally as they twirl their waxed mustaches.

What Andrew is trying to do is “shame” the Ordway – and the rest of Minnesota’s cultural community – into putting the Kochs “beyond the pale”.   Something like this:

Look for more of this; well-heeled liberals badgering Big Minnesota into dissociating with anyone who pushes back against Big Narrative.

Because to the Minnesota left, the only act that can be shamed any more is disagreeing with Big Left.

Epilogue:  A local journo pointed out on Facebook that Andrew’s op-ed reads a lot like Andrew’s former boss at the Minnesota Daily – Nick Coleman.

I toyed with responding on Facebook “A badly-written hatchet job, long on name-calling, thoughtcrime-shaming and innuendo and short on fact?  Yes, I see the similarity”.

But I don’t like it when people gunk up my Facebook page, either.   But it never ceases to amaze me – journalists actually think Nick Coleman is a good writer and reporter.

Sack Of Garbage

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Excellent job of capturing what the DFL thinks about Ambassador Stevens’ dead body being dragged through the streets of Benghazi as a result of the failure of Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama’s Middle East policy.

Courtesy Star Tribune

Joe Doakes

Two points:

  • Editorial cartoonists trend left – but I’m at a loss to think of a major-market editorial cartoonist who is a more baldfaced Democrat lapdog than Steve Sack.
  • This city is full of crappy cartoonists.
  • I think this qualifies as a Berg’s Seventh Law citation.

No Wonder The Left Hates Him So Much

Charles Koch, one of the “Koch Brothers”, the left’s current boogeymen du jour and donor of a tiny fraction of the money bequeathed to progressivism by much more “generous” liberal plutocrats, writing in the WSJ, with occasional emphasis added:

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens.

That last emphasized sentence is going to be the subject of a couple of blog posts very soon here. 

The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

The whole thing is worth a read.

The Kochs are fundamentally libertarian-conservatives; they have some stances that vex some paleos. 

Asking “progressives” to explain exactly what’s wrong with the Koch Brothers – especially in light of the fact that there are dozens of plutocrats that give much more money to the left – is akin to watching Daffy Duck sputter; lots of flying saliva, not much fact, logic or reason. 

So why do they do it?

Berg’s Seventh Law explains it all.

The Puppet Caucus

Say what you will about Minnesota’s gun-control movement – and I certainly have over the past 12 years on this blog – it’s always been local.  Even “Grass Roots”, even if only in the sense that “there just isn’t that much grass out there”. 

And the movement’s leadership was at least local; while Rep. Heather Martens (DFL, 66A) has never, not once, made a significant factual assertion about the Second Amendment, gun rights or the law-abiding gun owner; Jane Kay is a frothing bigot; Joan Peterson is just insane.  Together, they created a legacy of PR incompetence, in conjunction with a local media which, once bought-off by the Joyce Foundation, spent the better part of a year giving Martens, Kay and Peterson a rhetorical tongue-bath – or just making things up to fit the narrative. 

But it was local.

But now, the local gun control “movement” seems to be entirely run from Michael Bloomberg’s offices.  The face of Minnesota’s anti-civil-rights movement has morphed from the doddering, morally-incontinent visages of Martens, Kay and Peterson to those of a crew of highly-paid lobbyists who’ve never been publicly associated with gun control, but do know how to spend Bloomberg money. 

Which is ironic, since the last has spent the past two years demonizing conservative groups like ALEC for “copying and pasting” bills and being “under the control of lobbyists”. 

Of course, the entire war on ALEC was a case of applied Berg’s Seventh Law; when lefties complain about a conservative behavior, they’re deflecting from the same or worse on their part.  

Minnesota’s anti-civil-rights “movement”, anæmic as it has always been, has evolved from incompetent low-grade astroturf to pure, out-of-state funded carpetbagging colonial status. 

You’ve come a long way, baby.

The Left’s Koch Habit

I was about to write “if the Koch Brothers – eeeeevil shadowy right-wing financiers – didn’t exist, the left would have to invent them”…

…but in fact h they did.

This – and last year’s fixation with the American Legislative Exchange Commission (ALEC), a small lobbying group no different than a raft of identical left-leaning groups – may be the most dramatic manifestation of Berg’s Seventh Law ever.

It Verges On A New “Berg’s Law”

What do I always say? 

If a liberal talking head – whether it’s Grace Kelly or Martin Bashir – says something about any conservative or conservative group?  Distrust but verify.  And then, having verified and found the claim vaporous, pretty much invariably continue distrusting. 

“What?  Even with a Rhodes Scholar like Rachel Maddow?”

Especially with a Rhodes Scholar like Rachel Maddow

 

Colorado Thugly

Remember – Berg’s Seventh Law has no known exceptions. 

When you have people like Heather Martens – who has never made a substantive true statement in her entire career – and Michael Paymar saying they feel intimidated by gun owners bringing legaly-owned, permitted firearms into the Capitol, you may be certain it’s to draw attention away from the American Left’s inherently thuggish approach to, well, everything. 

And you’d be right to assume it

Otherwise, it’d be called “Berg’s Seventh Theory”. 

 

Berg’s Seventh Law Is Everywhere

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When the IRS scandal broke and Progressives were poo-pooing it, I said it wasn’t about mistakes or miscommunication but voter suppression.  The Obama Administration used the IRS to prevent conservatives from raising money to get their message out, so Romney lost the election.

Now there’s proof.

All that time Dog Gone was howling about voter suppression, she was engaging in one of your most famous laws.

I knew it.

Joe Doakes

Eventually everyone knows it.

It’s Another Berg’s Seventh Law Post!

A shooter friend of mine posted this on Facebook:

LOGICAL GUN CONTROL
In 1863 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States .

In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States who later died from the wound.

In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States .

In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States .

In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan.

In 1984 James Huberty a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

In 1986 Patrick Sherril a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

In 1990 James Pough a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office

In 1991 George Hennard a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria

In 1995 James Daniel Simpson a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory

In 1999 Larry Asbrook a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 8 people at a church service.

In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush President of the United States

In 2003 Douglas Williams a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32  people in Virginia Tech.

In 2009 a registered Democrat named Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed 13 and injured 32 at Ft. Hood, Texas

In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger a disgruntled Democrat shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis

In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people in a school.

One could go on, but you get the point, even if the media does not.
Clearly, there is a problem with Democrats and guns.

SOLUTION: It should simply be illegal for Democrats to own guns.

I don’t entirely endorse the data – I’m  not sure we can ascribe politics to dementees like Ho, Loughner or Holmes.  Or alleged jihadis like Hassan, for that matter; by that logic, the 9/11 hijackers were Democrats, too. 

And I’m extremely leery about junk psychology “studies” that ascribe defects or pathologies to other peoples’ politics – especially politics I disagree with – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that Democrats are very frequently much angrier than the rest of us; the farther left they are, the more out there they seem. 

So may be the conclusion is “keep guns out of the hands of rabid statists”. 

I can live with that.

Berg’s Seventh Law: Exam Study Guide

One of the most important primers there is when it comes to explaining and understanding modern political dynamics is Berg’s Seventh Law:  “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

It’s a simple law – and yet it has applications all over our society’s political interactions.

I thought I’d spell out a few real-world applications of Berg’s Seventh Law, the better to help you recognize examples on your own.

Case Studies in Berg’s Seventh Law
When a liberal says…  …they really mean…:
 ”The Koch Brothers are spending millions on politics!”  ”Pay no attention to George Soros, Paul Allen, Alida Messinger, Michael Bloomberg and the other liberal plutocrats who are pouring up to a billion dollars a cycle into liberal politics – a couple of orders of magnitude more than the Kochs!”
 ”The GOP is waging a war on women!”  ”Ignore the way we smear conservative women, all the way down to the most irrelevant details of their personal lives, in a way that would get any conservative labelled a “Taliban” if they were doing it to a Democrat woman (which they don’t).  To say nothing of the fact that women get paid less by liberal executives…”
 ”The Koch Brothers buying the Strib would be an offense against freedom!”  ”Please, someone help stop the free market from providing an alternative to the liberal stranglehold the left already has on the mainstream media!”
 ”The Strib is conservative!”  The Strib’s editorial board is among the most extremely left-wing editorial boards in the mainstream media.
 ”Conservatives are anti-science!”  The “Scientific Method” means “believe what we tell you and shut the eff up”.
 ”ALEC sends model legislation to lawmakers!”  …exactly as any other legislative exchange group, lobbying group, special interest, and union that interacts with legislators can, and does, do.
 The Tea Party is racist and violent!  We can’t find any evidence of racism and violence, but we’re going to keep repeating it so the stupid people can find some false equivalence with the depravity of so many left-leaning organizations, which are objectively more lilkely to indulge in violence. 
“Fox – er, excuse me, “Faux” News (did I make that up myself?  I believe I did!) is biased!”  Please pay no attention to the corrosive, constant, omniscient bias of ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/MSNBC, the NYTimes, the WaPo, the Boston Glob, the Star Tribune, and National Public Radio.

Demonology

A liberal acquaintance of mine on Twitter told me yesterday that this bit spelled out the case against the NRA “in a logical way”.

It’s by John Fugelsang.  Now, I do try to seek civil conversation, but Fugelsang is becoming to the left what Bob was to Baghdad; people who quote or cite Fugelsang are justly derided as ninnies; he’s best ignored completely, or as we conservative bloggers say, “Billied”.

But since the lefty tweep took the trouble, let’s show all the ways in which this piece (transcribed below) does not lay out any case with any logic.

It’s almost too densely-misguided to even “fisk” in the classical sense.  For starters, let’s stick with calling out the individual misstatements, evidence-free chanting points and distortions in blue.  Like this:  {Chanting Point!} 

Maybe you’re someone who, like the majority of Americans, supports the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, but you feel kind of creepy about the weapons-grade cretins who run the NRA and do all they can to keep Americans {Ad-hominem – name-calling!} safe from any gun laws that might keep Americans safe.  {Assertion made without evidence; not a single gun law proposed would have “kept” a single American “safe”}

Well, you’re not alone. And this is why: loving the Second Amendment while opposing the NRA is every bit as natural as loving Jesus while opposing Westboro Baptist Church.

Let’s take a break here.  This is straight out of Saul Alinsky.  Linking a mainstream organization of regular Americans – five million of us – with the “God Hates Fags” church?  Seems a stretch.

In fact, Wayne LaPierre’s fake constitutional rights lobbying group  {Perhaps Fugelsang would favor us by telling us how the lobbying is “fake”?} that gun manufacturers use to buy off congressmen actually has quite a bit in common with the revoltingly fake Christians of Westboro.   {The “Buy Off” meme is an interesting one; we’ll come back to that…} 

You see, Westboro is to Christianity what Jesus was to ignorance, hatred and inbreeding. They travel the country holding these vile, un-Christian protests at the funerals of anyone evil enough to live in a land that doesn’t stone gay people to death, Leviticus-style. They don’t want to hate gays — they’re just doing it because God commands them and they’re only following orders. It’s like Nuremberg, but with very bad teeth.

There’s a sign that Fugelsang’s piece is targeted at the insufficiently bright; he has to explain who Westboro – the church that pickets soldiers’ funerals – is.

These guys don’t picket outside gay bars or gay bathhouses or gay dance clubs or Lindsey Graham’s Senate office. Just places guaranteed to cause the most outrage possible – like funerals. Then when someone tries to stifle them, they engage in First Amendment lawsuits.  

Then you’ve got the NRA. And please understand, when we talk about the NRA, we’re not talking about their members. {Oh, heavens, no!} In Frank Luntz’s 2012 poll of NRA members, 87 percent said they believed Second Amendment freedom went hand in hand with preventing gun violence. That’s responsibility.

But you wouldn’t know that from the group’s leaders. Under the stewardship of Wayne LaPierre, or as I call him, “Il Wayne,” the NRA has become the front for gun manufacturers, the guys who’ve cashed in big time since Newtown.

So much “wrong” packed into two paragraphs.

Where precisely does Fugelsang think the NRA gets its leadership?  Who does he think elected, and re-elected, LaPierre?  The members – whom current events show to be among the most engaged, informed voters (especially on gun issues and the NRA itself) out there.

And the “Front for Gun Manufacturers” meme is one that the left bruits about without ever showing what the problem is.  It’s as if gun manufacturers, staring at legislation that would in many cases actively destroy their market – between the various confiscations, limits and price hikes that the bills would impose on the law-abiding and the law-abiding alone, don’t have a right to take up common cause with the biggest nationwide organization that’s on their side?

If someone tried to ban NPR, you don’t think Volvo or Patagonia or Starbucks would pony up for the defense?

They’re the reason why in America it’s now easier for a civilian to buy lots of weapons designed to kill lots of people really fast than it is for you to remember your old MySpace password.  {What the hell is he talking about?  This is just barking lunacy} 

But while they’re protecting profits, they’re also juicing up profits through fear-mongering mailings about how Obama’s coming to confiscate your weapons.

Here’s a little tip, Skeeter: The fact that you’re able to heavily arm yourself while publicly calling Obama a gun-grabbing tyrant is pretty much proof that he’s not.

And there’s your proof that liberal never have to learn how to debate conservatives.  I’ve heard that last bit countless times, even here in Minnesota during the session; if a noxious provision – a useless and price-gouging background check, a magazine restriction with a confiscation provision – hasn’t been signed into law yet, it doesn’t exist, so shut up about it.

But only if it’s about guns.  Not like abortion, or defunding NPR, or defending traditional marriage, the very whisper of which is cause to rally the liberal troops.

By opposing background checks at gun shows — checks supported by 90 percent of Americans — the NRA guarantees that guns can be legally bought through the gun-show loophole by felons or third parties who sell to felons. And then those legal guns just kind of disappear, get sold a few more times, and when the cops recover those weapons years later from a killing that wiped out a playground full of kids, the NRA can say, “Look, illegal guns! Background checks wouldn’t have stopped anything.” See, who needs the black market when you’ve ensured that bad guys can get guns freely on the open market?  {In junior high writing class, the story would then end “And Then I Woke Up”.  The scenario exists only in John Fugelsang’s imagination} 

Background checks only infringe on your Second Amendment rights if you’re a felon, a terrorist or criminally insane. And if you’re all three, you probably already work as an NRA lobbyist. {Not just an ad-hominem, but a really stupid one} It’s all about the money.

Westboro ignores the teachings of Jesus and takes one line of Leviticus out of context to justify their homophobic evil.

The NRA ignores the Second Amendment’s “well regulated militia” part and takes one line out of context to justify their blood-soaked greed.

The NRA ignores nothing – “well-regulated” meant “can hit what it shoots at” in 1787, and it still does.  But Fugelsang, like every liberal who skis this well-worn rhetorical slope, ignores the whole “right of the people” bit.   In his blood-soaked ignorance.

OK. It’s time for the home stretch.  The part where Fugelsang – who has become one of the  lefty alt-media’s name-brand public intellectuals, their sine qua non of debate – closes his case with eloquent logic, a command of fact, and calm reason:

Homophobia is an insult to God, and opposing gun safety is an insult to living people.  {That’s right!  If you smear the label “gun safety” on a polished turd like Michael Paymar’s background check bill – which will never deter a single crime – you love death!}

These groups are both rackets and they’re both doomed. Because the WBC has made untold Americans realize, “Hey, I don’t want to be like that.” {The NRA’s membership has increased by over a quarter since Newtown} 

And now, the deal closer – the all-important final sentence: 

And Wayne LaPierre’s complete indifference to the consequences of gun proliferation makes more NRA members realize every day, “Dude, maybe I’m OK with my own penis size.”

All that buildup…for a dick joke?

(I could throw in a “Berg’s Seventh Law” reference here, but that’d be gratuitous)

Here’s the scary part:  it’s no dumber than most of the left’s arguments.

But John Fugelang?  Not so much.

Berg’s Seventh Law Is Universal

I got this via email yesterday; it’s on Facebook:

A friend of mine was a Sovietologist with an almost prescient ability to predict what the Soviets were doing internally. When asked by her doctoral advisor how she did it, she said ‘I listen to what they are saying about us.’ I realized a long time ago that that is a way to decrypt liberal statements. Whenever they say something… odd, simply reverse it. ‘The right wing is engaged in the politics of self-destruction’ thus becomes ‘The left wing is engaged in the politics of self destruction.’ ‘There is a vast right-wing conspiracy’ becomes ‘We are part of a vast left wing conspiracy’. ‘We will have the most transparent administration’ becomes ‘we will have the most opaque administration.’ Seriously, try it. You’ll find that more and more things make sense.

If you read this blog, you’ve known this for years.

But it’s good to see it spreading.

Crisis Wasted

President Obama’s effort to jam down a gun grab died yesterday in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The effort was politically dodgy from the beginning; even with the saturation media coverage of the Newtown massacre, most Americans weren’t fooled; the facts remain that mass shootings are at low historical rates and violent crime overall is dropping (outside Chicago).   Only 4% of the American people consider controlling guns a vital issue.

But that didn’t stop The One from trying.

Krauthammer put it well; the entire push was emotional blackmail (emphasis added):

“If you’re going to make all of these emotional appeals,” he said, “you’ve gotta show that if this had been law, it would have stopped Newtown. It would not have. It’s irrelevant. I wouldn’t have objected, I might’ve gone the way of McCain or Toomey on this, but it’s emotional blackmail to say ‘You have to do it for the children.’ Not if there’s no logic in this, and that I think is what’s wrong with the demagoguery that we’ve heard out of the president on this issue.”

And in defeat, the emotional badgering only got worse.  From the President’s Rose Garden speech immediately after the vote (emphasis added):

“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Mr. Obama said in the White House rose garden about 90 minutes after the vote. “It came down to politics.” …

“This pattern of spreading untruths … served a purpose. A minority in the U.S. Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms, even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery. It’s not going to happen because 90 percent of Republicans just voted against that idea.” …

And, as always, he accused Republicans of politicizing the issue.

Remember Berg’s Seventh Law:  ”When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”   When President Obama accuses Republicans of “politicizing the issue”, he’s saying he’s angry because they politicized it better than he did.

The gun legislation was never about controlling guns, and it was never “about the children”.

John Hinderaker at Power Line spelled it out clearly (emphasis added):

As we have noted more than once, pretty much everything Obama does is intended to stir up the Democratic Party’s base to drive turnout in 2014. Obama knows he can’t do much of anything as long as the GOP holds the House, so his primary goal is to stoke outrage on the left, in hopes that 2014 will look like 2008 and 2012, and not like 2010. So no doubt he hoped that some gun control measure–any gun control measure!–could get through the Senate, so that pressure, probably irresistible, could be brought to force a vote on the same proposal in the House. Not so that it might pass, but so that House Republicans would be on record voting against gun control. Obama could have raised countless millions from his fervently anti-gun base to go after the more vulnerable such Republicans. Now, the issue won’t even come up in the House, and Obama and the Democrats will have to find something else.

That, I think, is the best explanation for the profound disappointment that Obama showed today.

If those children hadn’t promised Obama a way to save the second half of his term, Obama would have never attached his political future to it.   They’d have been of no more use to him than, say, the people killed in Benghazi.

And the media would have let it fade into tragic history three months ago.  Like Benghazi.

A Confederacy Of (Those Who Want You To Be) Dunces

One of the worst aspects of our current hyper-polarized political climate is that many institutions that the American people used to rely upon for something close to objectivity and reliable, politically-untinted information have turned into partisan propaganda.

Journalism is long gone, of course; the notion of the “objective” media died among anyone who pays attention nearly four decades ago.  The civil service bureaucracy is largely beholden to the big government unions.  Clergy at all too many mainline Protestant and Catholic churches are air-headed liberal chanting-point-bots.

And now, the left is trying to co-opt science – or at least how the public perceives science.

One of the cultural left’s favorite conceits is to try to wrap itself in the trappings of “science” – or, like the Wizard of Oz, at least enough trappings to keep the ignorant in line.

And I’ve seen few more brazen examples of this than Susan Perry’s interview in the MinnPost last Tuesday with Dr. Steven Miles, who Perry credits as “a professor of medicine and bioethics at the University of Minnesota”.

The list of titles lends credibility to Dr. Miles’ responses.  And apparently Ms. Perry thinks that’s enough.

As we’ll see, it’s not.

Establish The Boogie/Straw Men – Perry opens the door for the de rigeur nod to Alinsky:

MinnPost: Do you believe that public-health officials are doing enough to reduce gun violence? 

Before Dr. Miles gets to his answer, I’d like to draw your attention to Berg’s Seventh Law: “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

 Dr. Steve Miles: No, I don’t, and partly it’s because they’re hamstrung. Since 1996, the NRA, which also functions as an anti-science institution, has cut U.S. funding for gun-related research from a public-health perspective by over 95 percent. So, in terms of impairing the types of data collection and data analysis that’s necessary to do a public-health perspective, we’ve currently wound up in a situation where the science itself is impaired.

“Anti-science”.

“Racist”.  ”Anti-Woman”.  ”Bigot”.

They’re all slurs that the cultural left uses to try to cow conservatives into silence and compliance.

But the public health community impaired its own science decades ago by allowing itself to be co-opted into an arm of the gun control movement.  ”Public health research” is paid for by anti-gun groups (a fact that’s never reported by a media that seems to have lost interest in afflicting the intellectually and politically comfortable).  Indeed, an amazing preponderance of “academic inquiry” into the Second Amendment is paid for by anti-gun organizations like the Joyce Foundation – legal, political, and academic, across the board.

As to the actual “science” that Dr. Miles is flogging?  We’ll come back to that.

Facial Absurdities – Next, Miles turns to the left’s canonical notion that without guns, everything would be juuuuust fine:

MP: What do you think will most surprise your audience on Wednesday about gun-violence statistics?

SM: Clearly, everybody understands that having a gun available increases the lethality — that is, the deadliness — of the suicidal impulse. If one has a suicidal impulse and there is a gun available as opposed to a knife, then the suicide attempt is much more likely to be lethal.

I’ll give Miles this much:  everyone knows that mental illness and guns don’t mix.

But availability of guns has little to do with suicide rates.  The suicide rate in the US is statistically identical to that in the UK, with its celebrated gun ban.  It’s a shade below Cuba, where only police and the military have guns.  It’s 15% lower than Hong Kong, where guns are not part of the culture; a little over half those of China and Japan, where civilian guns are strictly banned.

One – or Dr. Miles – could reply “but that’s a matter of cultural differences”.  And then one would be onto something,  something that applies across the gun control debate.

We’ll come back to that, too.

What’s so interesting is that it’s also true for homicide. The idea advanced by the NRA people is that homicides are basically done by monster criminals. But what really seems to be going on is that as the number of guns increases, as more houses have guns, as the gun saturation in the society rises, it’s the availability of guns that turn ordinary interpersonal disputes, including domestic disputes, into lethal events.

And if sheer availability of firearms were the dispositive factor in determining whether disputes turned lethal, then the streets of DC and Chicago would be relatively placid, and rural Montana, Utah and North Dakota would be shooting galleries.

But the opposite is true.

And in fact one could note that murder in, say, Chicago - where guns are legally illegal – is far from evenly distributed; some neighborhoods are as safe as suburban Fargo, while others are vastly more dangerous than Baghdad.

And one could fairly note in response that parts of the rural South – where guns are generally very available – have fairly liberal gun laws and high rates of violence.  But cities in those same areas are often quite statistically placid.

So when Dr. Miles says…:

So homicide looks very much like suicide in being gun-prevalence-driven.

…one must add “except when you look at actual facts and stuff”.

And?  And?  AND?  – One of the left’s favorite tactics in the gun debate (as with so many debates) is to give an emotionally-chilling (and thus manipulative) factoid with no context whatsoever.

Right on cue: 

MP: One of the statistics in your presentation that jumped out at me was the high number of American children who die in gun accidents. As you note, the accidental gun death rate is 11 times higher among 5- to 14-year-olds in the U.S. than the combined rates of 22 other high-income developed countries.

Hm.  That must be some number.

SM: It’s a very sad number.

And I’m sure when we see that number – the number of children killed in accidents – it’ll make our hearts ache.

When you have a gun in the house, for kids there is a 16-fold increase in the risk of a lethal accident involving a gun.

Oh, my.

So what’s the number?

So, despite what everybody says about gun education and gunlocks, it just doesn’t work.

Hm.  OK, so I’m sure the number will bear this out.

What’s the number, again?

A gun in the house is an accident just waiting to happen.

So you say, Dr. Miles.  So what’s the number?

MP: As you also note in your presentation, the NRA…

Er, huh?

What’s the number?

According to the CDC, in the entire US, in 2010 (the latest numbers the CDC provides), the number of kids below 15 killed by firearms was…

And yep, every one of those deaths is a tragedy.   Education and gun locks are no guarantee, but they do help.  So does training gun owners in general.

But as a “public health” issue, accidental firearms deaths come in well below:

  • Drownings (832)
  • Accidental poisoning (220)
  • Fires (372)
  • Car accidents (forget about it; 1432)

And about the same as the number killed in falls (74).

And so I have to ask (since no “journalist” ever will) – while, as a parent, I recoil at even one  child dying in an accident, I have to ask; what was Ms. Perry referring to when she said “One of the statistics in your presentation that jumped out at me was the high number of American children who die in gun accidents?”  Tragic, yes.  High?

Huh?

Schools Of Red Herrings Say “Huh?” – Miles next goes after the notion of armed self-defense with a hearty “I know you are but what am I?”

MP: As you also note in your presentation, the NRA often says that guns prevent their owners from becoming crime victims. In fact, they claim that huge numbers of gun owners find themselves in situations each year in which they are forced to use their weapons to defend themselves and their families.

SM: I spent some time tracking that down. [And by "some", Miles apparently means "not a whole lot".  But I'm getting way ahead of myself - Ed.] Mostly, they cite an article from 1995 by Kleck and Gertz, which cites 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year. But the Cato Institute — which is an anti-gun-control conservative group — took a different approach. What they did is [search] eight years of news clippings. They found only a few hundred events over those eight years — somewhere around 450 or so. That’s a long way from 2.5 million.

This paragraph presents its “data” so very, very misleadingly that if I were a teacher grading Dr. Miles’ paper, I’d swat him on the knuckles with a ruler and have a word with him about intellectual honesty.  To try to introduce him to the subject.

Let me count the misstatements, frauds and lies in the above statement:

  1. Only Two Sources?  – Miles cites Kleck (whose seminal 1991 work Point Blank has been the main source for all sides in the debate), and an article by Cato – and that’s it?  Our choices are 2.5 million a year or 450 over eight years?  No reference to the FBI (which estimates about 80,000 deterrences a year)?  Or even Kleck critic David Hemenway, who attempted to “invalidate” Kleck with an estimate of between 55,000 and 80,000 defensive gun uses per year?
  2. Misstating Cato - Cato’s research was of a completely different scope and intent than Kleck.  While the research leading to Point Blank was a detailed, academic, scholarly investigation of national figures (Kleck is a professor of criminology), the Cato piece was a glorified blog post, and admitted as much: “it is important to remember that news reports can only provide us with an imperfect picture of defensive gun use in America”; the Cato piece also notes that “Gun control proponents cannot deny that people use guns successfully against criminals, but they tend to play down how often such events take place. The purpose of this map is to draw more attention to this aspect of the firearms policy debate”.

So Miles’ approach – compare an informal survey of news coverage to a detailed, peer-reviewed study of the subject – is academically ludicrous as well as intellectually void.

When one looks at the number of justifiable homicides — which does not include, for example, instances when citizens deterred a crime — even so, one is talking about less than 100 a year. So these events where there is a defense-of-gun use are actually extraordinarily rare, especially when one puts it in the context of somewhere around 30,000 gun deaths per year.

Miles is either ignorant, or lying.  The FBI puts the number of defensive justifiable homicides at over 200 per year.

And why so bloodthirsty?  Isn’t deterrence better than killing?

The Slow Steady Drip - Miles next moves to the case for turning doctors into agents of the state, and the Joyce Foundation:

MP: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians talk at least once a year with parents about the danger of guns. Why is that important?

SM: I think one of the things that’s important is for us to de-sanctify guns.

Their words, not ours.

 We should treat a gun like we would any other risk factor for injury. We know that tobacco is a risk factor for injury, and we ask about it, even though there is no medical use for tobacco. We recognize that the non-use of bicycle helmets is a risk for injury, and so we ask about those. And we should ask about guns because this is an important way to protect the public health.

And in the first two cases, doctors and their data have been used to further political as well as scientific ends.  There’s neither a constitutional right nor any especially emotional imperative to ride without a helmet; smoking is filthy and dangerous, but while the public health case against the practice is justifiable, the political infringements on free association, property rights and individual choice are precisely why many gun-owning liberty-conscious people are pushing back at “scientists” poking into our personal data…

…to feed an attack on something that is a constitutional right.

The Conservative War On Straw - Boogeymen!  Boogeymen!

MP: Rush Limbaugh has said that this makes doctors “deputies [and] agents of the state.”

SM: Rush Limbaugh and his partners have made many claims [about the Affordable Care Act] that are not scientifically based, including death panels and all the rest of it, and this is just more of the same.

Managed Care is “death panels”, and who the hell cares?

Miles does!

I think the issue here comes down to anti-science. In many ways, the pro-gun groups, including the NRA, act like other industrial anti-science groups, such as the tobacco lobby and the soft-drink manufacturers when they were trying to defend soft drinks in school. What these groups do is construct false facts, and they do their best to prevent real science from being done. That’s what we’re seeing with gun violence as well.

But as we’ve shown throughout this piece, it’s Dr. Miles who’s constructed “facts”, omitted more, and beggared the notion of intellectual inquiry in his appeal to ignorance and incuriosity.

Bonus question:  Does it ever occur to Susan Perry to press Miles on any of this?

Or is that not what she’s being paid for?

Do You Remember When Boilerplate Was Bad?

Speaking of Governor Cuomo – “Paul” writes:

Early on, I was struck by the boilerplate language in the [assault weapon ban] and magazine ban bills … And then I read this:

From the middle of the article:

“A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.”

“The governor thought the limit on the size of [gun] magazines would only apply to assault-style rifles, not to handguns,’’ said the source.

“That’s why there’s the big problem now with handguns, among other things in the statute.’’

The legal sale of virtually all semiautomatic handguns will soon be impossible because Cuomo’s law limits the size of bullet-holding magazines to seven shots [or, at least temporarily, not - see below], virtually none of which are manufactured for sale.

“Much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff,” the source said. “That’s why there are so many problems with it.’’

Much like Representative Martens from 66a and the Colorado experience of having 4 MAIG full time lobbyists parachute in and haunt the halls of government, We are getting boilerplate laws that have PROVEN they don’t work.

 Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Maybe if we do it harder this time …

Oh, it’s all that.

And it’s also another example of Berg’s Seventh Law – “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds.”

Remember last year, when the GOP controlled the legislature and the lefty message machine’s boogeyman-du-jour was “ALEC” and their “model bills” – no different in any way than the model bills put out by every political action group from the teachers union to the AARP, but framed as a dirty word for the low-information voter by the DFL message-bots?

These aren’t the first bills – especially in re guns – that’s looked like it was copied off the web and pasted into a Word file and submitted, so far this session.

Berg’s Seventh Law In Action, Part MMMCCXIX

Republican “xeroxes” a bill:  Leftymedia chants indignantly.

Democrat not only copies and pastes a bill from a special interest group, but allows that special interest’s registered lobbyist to sit in in the role of a legislator to introduce and read the bill into the record?

{crickets}

Berg’s Seventh Law may be the single most prescient thing I’ve ever written.

Behold The Exposed Id Of The Minnesota Left

Remember when the left thought Sarah Palin’s jaunty “I’m Not Retreating, I’m Reloading” was a lethal threat?

I know; any human being with an IQ above plant life knew that the left was being drama-queeny at best, cynically manipulating an argument for low-information voters at worst.

Beyond that?  It was Berg’s Seventh Law in action.  Because while there’s not a psychopath simmering inside every liberal, or even most, it’s an ideology that promotes and rewards it.

As with this “guy”:

@LETargets is, of course “Law Enforcement Targets“, a Minnesota company that’s gotten flak for making custom targets of armed children, senior citizens and pregnant women, to help de-sensitize police officers to the idea of shooting to kill any of them.

The police’s current focus on “officer safety” at the expense of “citizens’ safety” is certainly worth discussing.

Desensitizing people to killing conservative legislators?  It’s worth condemning.

Chanting Points Memo: Only The Master Gets To Write Gun Control Laws

Over the years on this blog, I’ve made certain observations about human behavior as manifested through online media, like blogs and Twitter.

I’ve captured and codifed some of these observations as “Berg’s Law“, a series of common observations that I’m pretty sure are universal.

One of the most commonly-invoked Laws is “Berg’s Seventh Law”, which states “When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”.

I’ve rung up quite a number of occurrences of Berg’s 7th over the years. And I’ve found another.

Big-time.

Continue reading

Berg’s Seventh Law Has No Exceptions

Liberals complain that if people have the right to keep and bear arms, then angry, unstable people with no regard for human life will use them to kill people for no reason.

And they were right!

In a segment on Piers Morgan’s CNN program, sports columnist for the Daily Beast, Buzz Bissinger, shockingly states:

“I don’t care what the justification is that you’re allowed in this country to own a semi-automatic weapon – much less a handgun. But what do you need a semi-automatic weapon for? The only reason I think you’d need it is, Piers, challenge Alex Jones to a boxing match, show up with a semi-automatic that you got legally and pop him.”

Abby Huntsman (Huffington Post) : “I’d love to see that… [laughter] in uniform.”

Piers Morgan: “I’ll borrow my brothers uniform.”

Maybe the NICS database needs to screen for Obama voters and left-leaning pundits?

Or maybe teachers?

We’ve Talked About This, Haven’t We?

The “reporting” by “Mother Jones” on Mitt Romney’s “47%” remark is looking, more and more, to be an invocation of the McKay Corolllary (“Any time the liberal media (to say nothing of leftyblogs) “reports” on putative conservative misdeeds, they should be distrusted but verified.  And then, to an almost-mathemetical standard of invariably, distrusted some more.”) to Berg’s Seventh Law (“When a Liberal issues a group defamation or assault on conservatives’ ethics, character or respect for liberty or the truth, they are at best projecting, and at worst drawing attention away from their own misdeeds”)

When originally presented by David Corn of Mother Jones, there was no disclosure that part of Mitt Romney’s controversial answer about 47% of voters was missing from the tape.

Since only an edited version originally was presented, there was no way to know if something was missing. After all, it was edited, so of course something was missing by definition.

Romney has admitted that the answer on the video, which he didn’t remember except for the video, was “inelegant.” That’s why Romney asked for the full audio/video to be released.

Corn reacted vigorously to Romney’s suggestion that he only provided “snippets,” and then Corn released what purported to be the complete audio/video in two parts. The “complete” version was consistent with the original edited audio/video. Again, there was no disclosure by Corn that there might be something missing. (Corn added an “update” after my original story ran.”

To the contrary, Corn went out of his way to assert that there was no “filtering” and that the full audio/video had been released. As Corn explained to Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast (emphasis mine):

Is the liberal media making too much of the Romney video? “It feeds into a narrative he’s been fighting all along, that he’s a 1 percenter, not one of us, doesn’t really understand it,” Corn says. And since these are the candidate’s own words, “there’s no filter here whatsoever, there’s no out-of-context argument to be made.”

But there was a filter. As reported in my prior post, Corn has admitted that 1-2 minutes of audio/video are missing. That missing audio/video includes part of Romney’s controversial answer.

Maybe even Berg’s Seventh Law and its McKay Corollary, hitherto nearly airtight, is obsolete and needs strenghening?  Maybe upgrade to the “Sixty-First-Minute Law of Media Bias“; any time the mainstream (to say nothing of overtly liberal) media presents supposedly damaging information about conservatives, they should presumed guilty of dishonest editing or outright manufacturing of evidence until proven innocent”.

Berg’s Seventh Law: There Are, It Seems, No Exceptions

The chair of the California Democrat Party compares Republican “tactics” to those of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels:

“They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie,” Chairman of the California Democratic Party John Burton told KCBS Monday in Charlotte. “As long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know.”

a) It was Hitler, in Mein Kampf, not Goebbels.  Hitler coined the saying – and I say this with full, creepy and utterly appropriate irony – to accuse “The Jews” of telilng big lies often until the thick-headed believed them.  Goebbels used it the same way – accusing Churchill of being a big fat liar.  In other words, the real story of “the Big Lie” is actually a classic example of Berg’s Seventh Law.

b) Again – I guess civility isn’t the supreme civic virtue anymore, is it?

“First of all,” he continued, “you’ve got Republicans who truly believe the Earth is flat, so I don’t know exactly what, you know, what’s going to do, but they, I think that when people figure out that these people say they do not care about the truth and they will lie and they don’t care if they lie because it doesn’t matter if they lie.”

He’s referring, in his preliterate way, to the “progressive” conceit that conservatives don’t care about science.

And it’s another punch in the ticket for the Democrat quest to reel in the “Low-Information Voters”.

And, naturally, further proof that Berg’s Seventh Law is immutable.

UPDATE:  Chairman Burton has apparently departed Charlotte for a “pre-scheduled root canal” that he, apparently, arranged during his party’s most important quadrennial event.  These things happen, I guess.

(Via commenter Prince Of Darkness)

Has There Ever Been…

…a dumber person in American politics than Debbie Wasserman-Drescher?

It’s further evidence of Berg’s Seventh Law that the party of “Sarah Palin is teh dummy!” elevated “The Nanny” to their ostensibly top position (although it’s also evidence that the Democrat Party nationwide is no more relevant than they are in Minnesota; just as the DFL is nothing but a front for Alida Messinger, the national Dems are basically water-carriers for the Soros-led claque of liberal plutocrats, the government employee unions, and their useful idiots in Hollywood).

Buying Minnesota – 2012 Edition

Two years ago, this blog led the Twin Cities media in documenting the extent to which liberal plutocrats and government employee unions were buying the gubernatorial race.

Because remember – money in politics is baaaad, unless it’s from a liberal plutocrat…

…like Alita Messinger, billionaire and scion of the Rockefeller fortune and, need we mention, ex-wife and chief bankroller of Mark Dayton.  She is the prime financier of a network of little-publicized groups – “Alliance for a Better Minnesota”, “Win Minnesota”, “Common Cause Minnesota” – that funnel vast sums of money into epic, toxic sleaze campaigns against Republican candidates.

And Alita Messinger is back with a vengeance.  While her epic sleaze campaign against Tom Emmer was able to eke out a win for her ex in 2010,. the uppity peasants went and elected a Tea Party legislature.

And uppity peasants are one thing up with which she will not put:

Philanthropist  [!!!!!!!!] Alida Messinger, the ex-wife of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, is putting big money into overturning Republican control of the Minnesota Legislature.

Fundraising reports released Tuesday showed that Messinger gave $500,000 to the WIN Minnesota political fund. That group funneled money to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a Democratic-supporting independent expenditure group expected to sink significant amounts into key legislative races.

Among others, they are pouring money into trying to unseat Doug Wardlow in Eagan and Dave Hancock in Bemidji.

Dayton is asking voters to give Democrats control of the Legislature for the second half of his term.

This story is Berg’s Seventh Law in action; months of caterwauling about the Koch Brothers and “ALEC” have been done, entirely and without exception, to either distract attention from Messinger and her fellow plutocrats’ flow of money, or at least to let them say “Yeah, but you do it too!”:

Messinger’s donations dwarfed all others to independent groups so far this year. Three Republican-oriented funds combined had $380,000 on hand.

In 2010, Messinger was a major donor to funds that ran ads attacking Republican Tom Emmer in the governor’s race, which Dayton won by less than 1 percentage point.

On the one hand, this election is the national debate writ small:  Dayton, like Obama, depends almost entirely on big donors – Obama on Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Dayton on the Hamptons and the government unions – to cling to relevance.

On the other?  The Democrats know they can count on at least 43% of the voters to be ill-informed enough to fall for their propaganda machine’s slop.

The GOP’s freshman class in the legislature brought a lot of good, hard-nosed, idealistic conservatives into office – Wardlow and Hancock and Roger Chamberlain and Mary Franson and King Banaian and many others included, many of whom are on Messinger’s hit list.  They’re counting on the disarray in the state party to help them.

The GOP – especially its freshmen, who largely kept their promises – need your support more than ever.  If there were ever a time for Minnesota’s conservatives – a true Army of Davids – to pull off an upset against the DFL’s League of Plutocrats, this is the time.

Because the GOP Freshmen are all that stand between us and Minnesota becoming a cold Greece.