Open Letter To The Entire Twin Cities Media

To:  The Entire Twin Cities News Media
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant
Re:  The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence

Back during my brief and unlamented reporting career, I had not a few editors and producers warn me off using certain sources – the ones that had a habit of feeding them bum information.

I’m going to do the same for you today.  To wit:

On the subject of guns, the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence – the director of “Protect” Minnesota – has never made a single, substantial, original, true statement. 

Not One..

Every word in there is a key qualifier.  I don’t doubt that she makes true, substantial, original statements about other things – Lutheran theology (I’ll let you Missouri Synod people mix it up on that), her family, sports trivia, whatever.   Those are not at issue.

But on the issue of guns, gun laws, gun owners, violence statistics, then the Reverend Nord Bence and her organization have never – not once – made a single statement that is simultaneously substantial, original, and true.

She/they may have made statements that are substantial and true – like, repeating broad statistics from the Department of Justice website (before they embroider them, anyway) – but the statements aren’t original.

They may have said things that are substantial and original – like “Stand your Ground is a threat to minorities and immigrants” – but it’s not true.   It’s devoid of fact.

The Reverend may have said things that true and original – like “Ron Latz supports our agenda” – but they were not substantial contributions to the debate; they were, as lawyers say, de minimis.  

And of course, as we’ve shown in several long series of threads on the Reverend, her predecessor in the office, and their “organization”, they have a long history of saying things that are substantial but unoriginal and false; of things that are original but insubstantial and false, and of course things that are true but insubstantial and unoriginal.  That goes without saying.

But the overriding realization is that the Reverend, and her precessessor Heather Martens, and their entire organization have yet to say a single thing on Second Amendment issues hat is simultaneously all three things – original, substantial and true.

And I’ll welcome the chance to prove it to any or all of you, point by point, with or without the Reverend there to speak on her behalf. The challenge is rhetorical – she openly tells her group never to engage with dissenters, and all too many of you in the media indulge her inability to defend her largely fraudulent agenda.

But this isn’t about her.  This is about you.  You need to stop treating the Reverend and her group as a legitimate source on Second Amendment issues.

She is not.   She feeds you false information, and you – God bless you all, journos tend not to know much about the subject – run it without any serious fact-checking.

More tomorrow.

To The Minneapolis And Saint Paul City Councils

To:  Our Bobbleheaded Overlords
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re:  “Fight For Fifteen!”

All,

From a friend of this blog, here’s where the $15/hour minimum wage leads, inevitably and inexorably:

It’s at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport – an early adopter of the #FightFor15 – in case you were wondering. Photo courtesy Brian Skon.

Let me just take a moment to say, I don’t think the “#FightFor15” has anything to do with raising worker wages, or taking any sort of care of the little guy.  If it were, you’d be fighting for the only sustainable minimum wage there is – widespread prosperity

No.  This is about virtue-signaling to your base (and I don’t mean minimum wage earners) and showing small business who’s boss.

That is all.

Open Letter To Those Who Just Don’t Get It Yet

To:  Some Of You Trump Opponents Out There
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:  Terminology

Dear Hollywood and New York Showbiz and Media “Elites”

As we come up on inauguration day, some of you are still sore about Donald Trump.  I get it.  I mean, I didn’t vote for him, either.

You’d like to pretend he’s not your president.  Yadda yadda.  Whatever.  Gotcha.  It’s a free country (and will stay that way, so quit  your whining), so you can say what you want, and I can mock you for it.  But relax; I’m not mocking you for that.  Not now.

No, this is worse.

It’s come to my attention that some of you Hollywood types are calling yourselves “the Resistance”.

Stop.  Now.

You are among the wealthiest, most privileged, most untouchable residents in one of hte wealthiest, most privileged parts of the wealthiest and free-est society in the world.   You lost an election.  In four years, you’ll get a rematch (although the way you all are going at this point, most of you will stroke out by mid-terms).  And you will get the rematch; there’ll be no dictatorships, no camps, no nothing.  Why, I bet a President Trump won’t even jabber about siccing the Federal Elections on your blogs, or turn a politicized IRS and DHS loose on your political movements, the way Obama did for eight years.  Our democratic process, imperfect as it is, will go on, and if you don’t go full-blown Joan Crawford on us, you might have a shot, again, someday, God help us all.

So stop using – I believe the term these days is “Appropriating” – the term “Resistance”.  That’s a term used by people who had actual skin in the game; the Jews who, as disarmed as you want us all to be, fought back against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto; the Norwegians who overcame the impossible and destroyed the Nazi nuke program; the Polish fighters who rose and took Warsaw, only to be betrayed by one dictator and hunted down like rats by another; the Danes who, the risk of a summary execution hanging over their heads, snuck their nation’s Jews out to safety; people who, with all hope extinguished, still pulled together and rose up and, mostly, died, but gave their tormentors and murders and bloody nose and, in a few cases, against higher odds than Michael Moore winning the NYC Marathon, survived the war to witness against their captors.

Real people, who left behind whatever hadn’t been taken from them, and fought a real enemy who promised to kill them and their families if they failed.

Not overpaid, plushbottom Hollywood prima-donnas upset that they can’t install their choice of president by coup now that the hoi polloi have rejected their candidate.

Here’s my promise to you; call yourselves “the resistance” to my face, and I will spit in yours.

That is all.

Holiday Season Open Letter To Minnesota / National Public Radio

To:  National Public Radio (cc: Minnesota Public Radio)
From:  Mitch Berg; not really a pollyanna
Re:  The Season For The Wheezin’

Dear various PRs,

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving.  And like every week after every Thanksgiving, I know what that means, especially vis-a-vis Public Radio programming.

To listen to your broadcasts, we are on the precipice of a national mental health plague, something Americans only survive with the aid of therapy, drinking or an endless slathering on of (wry, fashionable-understated) cynicism.   A time of year where all ceremony is onerous, all family members are insane or intolerable, all travel is wearing, all human interaction is a layer of plastic fakery over a rotten, frothing core of anxiety and desperation.

That’s right – the Holiday season.

Public radio programming will be clogged with with newscasters droning on about seasonal mental health afflictions; with “entertainers” jabbering about the only kind of get-togethers any of them seem to have – ugly, dysfunctional ones; with obscure writers and artists elevated (?) to radio commentators, testifying to the ordeal we’re all about to go through.

Point taken, Public Radio – the upper-middle-class, over-miseducated, secular (wildly-disproportionally secular-jewish) crowd is exquisitely bored with the whole thing.

But might I suggest you poke your collective (heh) nose outside your Subaru-driving, Oberlin/Bard/Saint Olaf-educated, Whole-Foods-shopping, free-range-alpaca-wearing, urban-liberal-privilege-wallowing, Israel-divesting, coffee-shop-music-loving, prematurely gray, bumper-sticker-clad Obama-shilling bubble and take note that for a whole lot of people, perhaps the majority, the holidays aren’t about mindless personal drama, and bring us some measure of joy?

I mean, fine – you’ll joke about how pathetic you find it.  That’s fine – and nothing new!

Just saying – perhaps you can put down the bottle and take your head out of the oven and look around a bit?

That is all.

“Shut Up, All You Ignorant, Uncivil Tribalists!”, He Explained

To:  Minnesota Public Radio
From: Mitch Berg, “tribal” peasant
Re:  Norm Orenstein

MPR,

Last Friday you played an interview with Norman Orenstein on your noon show.   Orenstein is to academia what Lori Sturdevant is to journalism; a myopic scold for a very defined ideology, who after a career of being hailed as a genius by his own echo chamber can not possibly conceive of there being a rational alternative.

Orenstein’s major points:

  • The national conversation is getting very uncivil – due to the right.  Not the left.
  • While he used to support the electoral college, now he does not.
  • The conservative alternative media – Orenstein calls it “tribal” media, in the tone of a British grandée in colonial India – is at fault for everything.

Thanks, MPR.  We don’t get enough of that from the local media.

By the way, MPR?  Why did you book Orenstein?  Self-affirmation therapy for your distraught audience?

That is all.

Open Letter

To: Anti-Trump Protesters, Celebribities moving to Canada, Garrison Keillor, People curled up in your safe spaces, and other people who are angry at the world today
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant an Scott Walker vote
Re:  Why Trump Won

I  didn’t vote for Trump, but I most definitely voted for the GOP majority that he helped usher in.

I’ll just leave you with this:

Everyone who’s out there breaking things and beating people up?

Everyone who’s calling the election result a macroaggression and running for your safe space?

Everyone who keeps repeating that Trump called all Mexicans rapists (he didn’t) or that he’s going to bring on a wave of anti-gay repression (even the NYTimes called him the most pro-LGBT candidate among the GOP field, a year ago)?

Every teacher who called in “Grief Counselors” for the kids they’d painstakingly trained to be distraught over the election?

Everyone who took Wednesday off from work to cry about the election? Posting “He’s not my president” memes on Facebook? Jabbering about moving to Canada?

And above all, everyone who sniffs down your nose at what a bunch of morons your fellow citizens seem to be?

YOU are why Donald Trump won.

Not “racists”. Not Wall Street (they donated overwhelmingly to Hillary). Not ignorant rubes. Not me, a humble weekend talk show host who cordially disliked Trump’s public persona twenty years before most of you were making The Apprentice appointment TV.

You.

I’m All About The Help

To:  Jon Stewart, Chelsea Handler, Miley Cyrus, Neve Campbell, Lena Dunham, Cher, Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, Babe Streisand, Amy Shumer, Samuel L. Jackson, Natasha Lyonne, George Lopez, Raven Symone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Byron Cranston.

From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant

Re:  Moving to Canada

Need help packing?  Say when.  I’m there for you.

That is all.

(Is it just me, or is this the first time in 15 years that Neve Campbell’s been in the news at all?)

Dear Democrat Friends

To:  My various Democrat friends
From:  Mitch Berg, ornery peasant
Re:  The sun will come out.

Suck it up, little campers.

I survived the last eight years.  You’ll survive the Trump years, as well -provided you don’t slash your wrists tonight, or freeze to death in a Canadian winter.

If it’s any consolation to y’all?  While a Hillary victory would have left a Democrat party marching in its usual lockstep, the GOP is going to have to work just as hard to focus Trump as it would have had to do to oppose HIllary.

By the way – is the nuclear option immoral again?

That is all.

Open Letter To Every Single Movie Ticket Website

To: the owners of every single movie ticket website
From: Mitchell Berg, cranky consumer
Re: Huh?

All,

I went out on your website – which one doesn’t matter, because you’re all pretty much the same – last night to try to buy a ticket to “Sully”.

Ticket prices are insane – I get that.

But below the ticket price, you added a two dollar “convenience fee”.

For two dollars, I’ll stand in the line for 40 seconds. I shut off the browser and went to the Riverview Theater to see “Blazing Saddles”.

But I had a brilliant idea. Stop charging the “convenience fee” to buy the ticket. But start selling concessions online, have them ready at a “will call” window for concessions when I get there, and I will pay the two dollars not to stand in line for my damn popcorn..

See to this.

That is all.

Counterpunch This

To:  Donald Trump
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re:   Doyyy

Mr. Trump,

I started disliking your public persona thirty years ago.   While I’m told you are a perfectly fine human being in person, your public persona – the garish extravagant gaudiness, the constant noise – was always off-putting. Still is.

Now, this time a year ago I was a Scott Walker supporter.  And I still am.  If there were a way to get him into the race (and lamentably, there is not), Shrillary would get pounded like a piece of cheap steak.

But that’s neither here nor there.  Because here we are.

Anyway – I’m not one of the #NeverTrump crowd, if only because crowds annoy me.  The idea of Hillary Clinton nominating SCOTUS justices should terrify everyone who cares about the Bill of Rights.   And the Libertarian ticket isn’t an option (forget about the Greens).

So I don’t like your persona – but I don’t vote for personas.  I don’t like what your campaign has done to the GOP, but then the GOP has been frustrating lately, too.  And I don’t like the way you’re running this campaign, but then it’s your campaign, not mine.

But this?  This is just plain stupid.

You’ll help NATO countries if they’ve “paid their way?”

What’s this tell you?

The NATO members in the most immediate danger from Russia – the Poles and Estonians – are taking their defense pretty seriously.  Latvia and Lithuania are coming around (both have increased their spending in 2016 – Latvia’s spending is actually up 50% in the past two years).

And can you think of four nations that have “spent” more freedom in the past 30 years that those four?  Not just in terms of budget, but in terms of actually resisting tyranny?

No, I don’t imagine you can.

Think about it, Mr. Trump.

That is all.

Rumor Mill

To: Betsy Hodges, mayor, Minneapolis.

From: Mitch Berg, ornery peasant

Re: Rumors

Mayor Hodges,

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

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

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

That is all.

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

I’ll Bet All You Sanders Supporters Feel Berned Now

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

All

Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary?

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

Yeah.  It totally is.

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

That is all.

Rick Nolan, Banana Republican

To:  Everyone in Northern Minnesota
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Congressional Representative

All,

Here’s Rick Nolan, your representative from CD8.

Banana Republicans (from L): Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Rick Nolan.

Banana Republicans (from L): Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Rick Nolan.

It was taken this past Wednesday, as he participated in a “sit-in” on the floor of the House, in favor of a bill that would have gutted due process by allowing the government to bar firearms from anyone on a “terrorism watch list” that government can put people on with no due process, no accountability, and no recourse.

All government has to do is put your entire group – pro-lifers, hunting rights groups, even union activists – on the “watch list”, and boom; no guns for you.   And there’s nothing you can do about it.

Just like in the Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, or any banana republic.

This is what Rick Nolan is spending his taxpayer-funded time and money on in DC; pretending that you, the people of CD8, want this country to turn into a banana republic.

Remember this in November.

That is all.

Top Secret Letter To Jabba The Congresswoman

To: Rep. Liz Krueger (D-NY)
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Plan

Rep. Krueger

Sssssh.  This is just between you and me.

Rep. Liz Krueger (D-NY)

Rep. Liz Krueger (D-NY)

Last week in Congress, you suggested people “infiltrate the NRA”.

Brilliant plan.  I found the double-dog secret gateway that leads into the inner sanctum.  Here it is.  Please make sure you share this only with trusted agents of the Big Plan.

Remember – we’ve always been at war with the NRA

That is all.

Open Letter To “Starting a Conversation” With Katie Couric And The Entire News Media

To:  Katie Couric and the entire American news media
From:  Mitch Berg, peasant
Re:  Starting a Conversation

Ms Couric et al,

As we discussed last week, you got busted doing something that, in my day (and yours) would have gotten any young reporter unceremoniously fired; you edited a story specifically to invert the history, record and fact in an interview with a group of Virginia gun rights activists, expressly to mislead the public and drive your chosen narrative.

As Jonah Goldberg notes (in a piece on the left’s new conceit, that any kind of fabulism is OK as long as you’re “starting a conversation”):

“I can understand the objection of people who did have an issue about it,” Couric said. (The “it” here is the deliberate falsifying of the truth). “Having said that, I think we have to focus on the big issue of gun violence. It was my hope that, when I approached this topic, that this would be a conversation-starter.”

Here is the “conversation” about guns – the entire conversation:   as law enforcement targets gun criminals, gun crime is dropping, even as the number of guns in the hands of the law-abiding skyrockets.  The only exception is in inner cities, where it’s not the law-abiding citizens doing the shooting.  Discuss.

There.  There’s your conversation.

But I have a better conversation.  Let’s talk about when the media became the PR wing of the America left. And that’s fine, to a point – most of us have come to except that, to one point or another, at least considering it part of America’s intellectual background noise.

And that’s fine, to a point – most of us have come to accept that, to one degree or another; it’s part of America’s intellectual background noise.

So let’s “converse” about this:

When Bernie Maddoff  sells phony investments, and bilks people of their life’s savings, it’s a huge scandal – justifiably so – and righteous outrage ensues.  The entire faith in the investment industry – a vitally important one – took a hit.

When Enron falsifies its records, people like you, the media, jump up-and-down and hoot and holler – and very justifiably so. The lying utterly guts the credibility that was the foundation of that industry.  So far so good?

When Wall Street misleads the public, and itself, about what it’s actually investing in, causing a collapse of the entire housing market, that’s a breach of “trust” (or market discipline) that caused huge problems.  Ja?

When the police cover up wrongdoing to protect one of their own from the consequences of their wrongdoing, it’s a big story – one that cuts to the foundation of our trust in government, especially law enforcement.  Right?

So how is what Katie Couric did any different?

And more importantly, how is the entire news media’s failure (along with their cheerleaders) to rise up and condemn Couric’s perfidy as the blot on whatever trust for the media might still exist any different?

Other than saying you really don’t care anymore?

That is all.

Open Letter To Sen. Latz, Rep. Schoen, Rep. Norton, Rev. Nord Bence, Jane Kaye, Heather Martens, and Joan Peterson

To:  The Abovementioned
From: Mitch Berg, Mere Peasant
Re:  Your signage where your mouths are

All,

You are the leaders of Minnesota’s gun-grabber movement.  You and your wan little pack of Volvo-driving, alpaca-wearing, NPR-listening, St. Olaf-graduating, ELCA-coiffed followers want to take away Minnesotans’ right and means to defend themselves.

Now, crime in Minnesota is very, very low – and a higher percentage of Minnesotans have carry permits than Texans.  Crime is lowest of all in places where the number of legally-carried guns is the highest.

And vice versa.

So you all live in your hideaways in Kenwood, Saint Anthony Park, Crocus Hill, Rochester and Saint Louis Park, in part made safer by the deterrent effect of all of us shooters.

So why not make an integrity move, and eschew that deterrence?

Put one of these babies in your yard:

Show America’s gun culture that you  patently reject the collateral benefit of their – our – prudence!

Tell Minnesota – all Minnesotans – that you trust all 5.5 million of your neighbors to stay honest.  Tell them that you implicitly trust that if something goes hinky, that you trust the police will be there fast enough to make a difference.

You do trust the police to protect you, just as you want us to trust them – don’t you?

Please see to this immediately.

What?  You’re not afraid, are you?

Because I’d hate to think you all were a bunch of hypocrites.

That is all.

Congratulations Are In Order!

To:  Mike Mullen, City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Best Wishes

Mr. Mullen,

As we’re coming up on high school graduation, I can only wish you the best in your future endeavors.  Hopefully your college studies will lead you to an adult life that you find fulfilling and exciting.

Reach for the stars.

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

PS:  I’m assuming you’re a high school kid who’s interning at the CP based on the tone, style and quality of “journalism” in this piece, which reads like something from a click-bait site.  If I’m mistaken, and you’re an actual “reporter” and “writer”, I apologize.  I mean, basically. 

That is all.  

Open Letter To Samantha Bee

To:  Samantha Bee, Overpromoted Woman With LibFluff Show
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Inequity

Ms. Bee,

It is easier to buy either a gun or get an abortion or register to vote or buy methamphetamine than it is to put a show on cable entitled, say, “Full Frontal With Mitch Bee”.  Because you own that trademark.  It’s  your, um, “intellectual” property.

Kind of like the NRA Eagle.

The liberal “alt”-media; actually as dumb as the left thinks talk radio is.

That is all.

(Well, not quite all.  Remember when everyone was saying John Oliver was the greatest thing since Michael Moore?    Brilliant, incisive, yadda yadda?  I watched his famous “expose” on Donald Trump.  And the big, marquee point that was the conclusion to the whooooooole buildup?   The most damning thing they had on Trump, one of the most damnable people in modern American life?  His family’s original name was “Drumpf”.  That’s it.  I want that 25 minutes of my life back).

Come Back, Aaron Rupar: All Is Forgiven

To:  The City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  You Suck

Dear “City Pages”,

While you’ve always been a freebie hipster lifestyle ‘zine, you used to have some great writing.  Thirty years ago, you were the home of Lileks and Jim DeRogatis.

Twenty years ago, led by Steve Perry,  you had some great journalism – as in, some of the best reporting in the Twin Cities.  And as smugly left-of-center as you’ve always been, you surprised us; under Perry’s watch, you were the first newspaper in town to fairly and accurately cover the Concealed Carry debate.  I said so at the time, and I say it now – kudos.

Twenty years ago.

Today, though?

Just saying – this kind of fratboy drunk-Facebooking pablum would have been laughed out of my high school newspaper.  And this piece here might legitimately make someone wonder if the City Pages is getting money, directly or indirectly, from Bloomberg (more tomorrow).

Speaking of which – is City Pages getting money from Bloomberg?

It’s almost, but not quite, a Berg’s Law; whenever you think the City Pages can’t get any dumber, it will get dumber.

That is all.

Help Me Out Here

To:  Colgate
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Super Bowl Ad

Colgate,

So I watched the teaser for your Super Bowl spot:

I get it.  There’s big money in appealing to the altruism of the soft-core social justice warrior.  There’s a whole generation of Millennials out there who are impressed by symbols.

And I am not one of the people who “wastes” water like the guy in the ad.  I’m way too frugal for that.

But I have a question.  Several, actually:

  1. If I did leave the faucet running, what do you think would happen (other than inflating my water bill)?   Would the water disappear from the face of the earth, never to be seen again?    Of course not; it runs down the drain, through the sanitary sewer, back to sewage plant and a holding pond, where it evaporates, turning into humidity, clouds, and eventually rain or snow, falling…somewhere in the world, usually to repeat the cycle over and over and over.
  2. For that matter, what do you think happens to the water I drink?  That it disappears from the earth for good?  No – it comes back out in one form or another; #1, #2, sweat, tears, spittle, whatever.  It eventually gets back to the environment, where it evaporates and becomes humidity, clouds, fog, snow, rain, ice, glaciers, or something.  And then repeats the cycle, over and over again.
  3. You end the ad with a young, ethnically-ambiguous girl (Asian? Central American?  Briilliant casting, actually) thirstily and heart-rendingly slurping up every drop of the “wasted” water she can get her hands, literally, around.  Now, I live in a part of the world blessed with a lot of water.  My city water comes from the Mississippi River.  And any water I don’t physically consume eventually probably gets back there, or seeps down into an aquifer, or evaporates back into the atmosphere to go heaven-only-knows where.  So please tell me; if I don’t use a gallon of water, how do you propose that it gets to that little girl in Myanmar or Honduras?  Can I pack it up in a jug and send it there, with Colgate paying the freight? Will you be holding a water drive?  How is my use of water – which, between nature and a government that handles basic services with some degree of competence, is plentiful where I live – related to the availability of water in a third-world hellhole beset by banana-republic socialists, corruption and incompetence?   Can the water I don’t use be re-purposed to drowning the successive waves of dictators that have managed to make places like the little girl’s hometown short of water, even though they’re by a freaking rain forest.

Thanks in advance.