Lines Must Be Drawn

To:  The Powers That Be
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  The Future Of Our Civilization

Dear Powers,

Since I, myself, don’t much care if they legalize marijuana – and believe it would actually solve some social problems, beyond its medicinal purposes – the idea of a pot vending machine doesn’t especially faze me.

However, any marijuana legalization, to succeed, must include a provision allowing anyone using the term “Budtender” to refer to Chiba be killed with flaming grease.

That is all.

Open Letter To Every Single News Reporter In Minnesota

To:  Every Single News Reporter In Minnesota (and pretty much everywhere else)
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Spade Is Dead

Dear every single news reporter in Minnesota,

It’s come to my attention for the 20th year in a row that some of you are falling back on the crutch that Kate Renner did in her story on the U of M kids fighting for their human right of self-defense:

U of M freshman William Preachuk believes things could have ended differently if he’d been able to pack heat

Please be advised:  Not a single actual person outside the news media has used the phrase “packing heat”, at least non-ironically, in close to 70 years. 

That is all.

Oblivious

To:  Governor Dayton
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:   Remember all those pieces of paper you signed last spring?

Governor Dayton:

Yesterday, you told MPR News in re the new $90 million Senate Palace that Tom Bakk rammed through at the literal last possible moment of the last session…:

“I think the building itself is necessary … We’re talking about a project for the next century,” Dayton told reporters Wednesday. “But I think the price tag on it, and appearance of it, are a little high.”

Er, Governor Dayton?  You signed the appropriation into law.

Or at least we presume it was you, and not Carrie Lucking moving your hands.

That presumption looks weaker and weaker these days.

Dayton said he wants a more modest, less expensive version and planned to share his concerns soon with Senate leaders…The new building is needed to make up for the square footage lawmakers will lose once the renovation of the Capitol is complete, Bakk added. Under present Senate arrangements, the majority party is housed in the Capitol while the minority is housed in the State Office Building. Bringing Democrats and Republicans together under one roof is important, Bakk said.

Here’s a solution.  Mere blocks from the Capitol lies downtown Saint Paul.  It’s got a 30% vacancy rate – and I suspect that’s even higher in the gulch between Cedar and Jackson streets, where there is virtually nothing living (thanks, largely, to DFL policies).

Why not move the Senate into the old USBank building?  Or 375 Jackson?  The Hamm?   Alliance?  The Big Red One?

Or maybe Macy’s?   That’d seem…appropriate.

PS to Governor Dayton:  Nancy Pelosi was being just a little bit flippant, I think, when she said “you have to pass it to see what’s in it”.  It technically is your job to know what you’re signing into law.

Just As A Matter Of Consistent Integrity

To:  Liberals Who Pretend To Care About The Military when Veterans Benefits Are Threatened
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Put Up

All,

You know who you are.  You’re the liberals who screech like worn-out brake calipers when conservative political actions even obliquely threaten military or veterans benefits (which liberals barber about because it’s the one part of the military that’s the most like a social program).

So by all means, lefties; it’s time for you to screech.  Let your inner stuck cat howl like Jimi Hendrix’ Strat turned to 11.

That is all.

It’s Apparently Not Just The Players Who Are Suffering From Concussions

To: Roger Goodell, President, The National Football League
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  It’s Apparently Not ThePlayers

Mr. Goodell,

You run a tax-exempt “non-profit” that is the biggest license to print money in the United States.

Your organization regularly loots city and state treasuries to build your venues – including mine.  You’ve crudely extorted hundreds of millions of dollars from our idiot governor and from a bunch of legislators who should have known better, using tactics that well befit the mobsters that are among the main beneficiaries of your profits.

Your athletes have turned, over the past thirty years, from role models into reprobates.

But you turned down this Super Bowl ad, from Daniel Firearms?

(To whom I’ll be giving free advertising, today and on Super Sunday, and likely more than a time or two in between)

I’m picturing the reasons.

Because you’re worried about violence:  So are we.  Especially when I go into a bar or restaurant where there might be NFL players present. (Yep, I used to DJ at the old Eddie Websters.  To be fair, back then the biggest danger was being on the same stretch of road as a Viking after closing time).

Because you’re worried about the game’s image:  Right.  Hey, is that Miley Cyrus’ ass at the halftime show?

Because you’re in bed with a bunch of liberal metro-area politicians:  Oh.  Right.

I think you might just be creating some baseball fans out there.

Open Letter To Minimum Wage Strikers

To:  All you folks “striking” for a $15/hour minimum wage
From:  Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re:  Money from nothing

“Protesters”,

Today, you’ll be out and about around dozens of McDonalds, Taco Bells, WalMart and other low-wage employers.

I saw one of you on “Today” this morning; a cute, blonde, twenty-something single mother (what else?) and front-counter worker who notes for the camera that sometimes she has to choose between work clothes and bus fare.

I feel for you.  I do.  Twenty-odd years ago, I was in my twenties, had a couple of kids and a $7/hour job.  It was hard making ends meet.  Really, really hard. 

Of course, it was hard because of choices I’d made, not my diabolical employers.  I’d devoted myself to my first career – radio, which paid really badly, too - with a monastic intensity.  That career crashed – and it took me a few years to realize it. 

And after a year of floundering, I got the aforementioned $7/hour crummy job. 

Where I learned a couple of things; how to work in an office.  How to use a computer (that wasn’t something people were born doing back then).  How to work days instead of nights. 

I had made a few good choices, of course; when I was a teenager, I’d stayed in school and learned a few useful things, and kept it in my pants long enough to get through college (with a BA in English, which was no more a ticket to wealth then than it is today). 

Point being, that lousy $7/hour job was how I found my next job for $9/hour.  And thence got into technical writing.  And then into the career I have. 

And if that $7/hour job had gone away because legal document coders had decided to strike for $12 an hour, causing most of the crummy entry level jobs to be eliminated, where would I be today? 

The same place you’ll  be if they double the minimum wage for working the counter.

By the way, the woman on “Today” also parroted the same thing I’ve heard from ostensibly smarter liberals: without workers, there’d be no business.

That’s 180 degrees wrong, of course; without the business, there’d be no jobs. Don’t believe me?  Let’s try a quick thought experiment.  Find a vacant lot somewhere.  Put on a fast food uniform, and stand there saying “May I help you?”   Wait – where’s the burgers?  Where are the customers?  Where’s the counter and the till?  Where’s the building

What?  The SEIU goons behind the “strikes” never mentioned this?

Huh.

Since The Subject Is “Integrity”

To: Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, Hosts, NPR’s On The Media
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Concern For Journalistic Integrity

Ms. Gladstone / Mr. Garfield

I caught your story in this week’s edition of On The Media criticizing NBC for paying, not only for footage (of this spectacular skydiving accident) but for exclusive access to the principals to the story.

This – paying for access to news – is one of those things that furrow the brows of journo-wonks.   And the two of you were audibly furrowed.  Gotta hand you that.

So – paying for access to a news story is bad.  Gotcha.

So is being paid by a partisan pressure group to run a news story even worse?

Get back to us on this.

That is all.

An Open Letter To MPR News

To:  MPR News
From:  Mitch Berg,Uppity Peasant
Re:  Re-Joyce And Be Glad

MPR,

Last week, in a similar open letter to the management at the news-blog MinnPost, I asked how they squared the fact that they were accepting sponsorship for their “news” coverage – let alone sponsorship from non-profit issue advocacy groups and the government that journalists are supposed to hold accountable - with professional journalism’s purported ideals and ethics.

These ideals are – we are told – set forth in the “Society of Professional Journalists’ “Code of Ethics“. 

Now – in 2011, MPR accepted a grant from the Joyce Foundation supporting the production of a series, “Following the Firearm“.   As Joyce notes…:

The Center selected reporters working in the Great Lakes region and awarded them fellowships to enable them to undertake in-depth investigative reporting projects. The fellows also attended workshops to learn from experts in gun crime and gun policy. MPR News reporter Brandt Williams spent four months researching the story. The four-part series looks at the sources of Minneapolis crime guns, sentencing for gun crimes, the impact of gun violence on the African American community, and the challenges surrounding firearm tracing.

Now, as has been noted in this space, the Joyce Foundation is the primary sponsor of gun control groups in the United States.  They donate a lot of money to groups like Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns“, the Violence Policy Center (whose “research” on Second Amendment issues is notable for its strident inaccuracy)…

and the MinnPost, whose own “journalism” on the subject has been increasingly suspect for the past year or so; the MinnPost would seem to have turned into a PR firm for the “Gun Safety” movement.   

But enough about them; let’s talk about MPR.

The SPJ Code of Ethics’ “Accountability” section says that the journalist should…:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.  So how does reporting news on a controversial subject that is directly sponsored by a group that is a generous advocate for one side of the story not a real conflict of interest?
  • Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.  I’d say getting sponsored by a key pressure group – including having, according to Joyce, a parade of Joyce-approved “experts” paraded before your reporters – qualifies. 
  • Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.  Seems pretty self-explanatory.
  • Disclose unavoidable conflicts.  Was there disclosure?  Yep, there was, to a point; Joyce’s involvement was noted, although Joyce’s stake in the issue - its funding of gun control groups to the tune of tens of millions of dollars – was, near as I can tell, not. Strikes me as avoidable. 
  • Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.  How does MPR News’ acceptance of sponsorship from a special interest group not qualify?

 Your series aired back in 2011 – and to be fair, it presented factual information without pushing a political point of view especially overtly.  But neither did it go out of its way – in my opinion as a news consumer, activist on the subject and one-time reporter – to present much considered dissent from material supporting Joyce’s desired narrative, either. 

Which would make for an interesting parlor discussion – not that MPR News is especially interested in parlor discussions with people outside the Journo tribe. 

But beyond that?  About a month after the Joyce-sponsored series ran on MPR, the MPR News website published a commentary piece by Heather Martens - director and one of very few members of “Protect Minnesota”, a gun-control group.  The piece was notable for its complete absence of fact; every single non-numeric assertion made in the “Commentary” was false.  Every single one.  

And since I can’t imagine MPR News would publish a commentary by, say, a 9/11 Truther, or someone who favors white supremacy on biological grounds at all, much less without some sort of dissenting comment, I thought it was odd that MPR News granted her the bandwidth they did.

“Protect Minnesota” is also sponsored – almost entirely – by the Joyce Foundation, which had underwritten MPR’s series the previous month. 

Am I connecting dots that don’t belong connected?

Perhaps.  But if MPR had allowed its reporting to be sponsored by the NRA, and then ran an unaccompanied op-ed by Ted Nugent, people would talk, wouldn’t they? 

I don’t expect an answer, of course; MPR News doesn’t like engaging people outside the tribe (as I found last year, when one of your executives mis-addressed an email telling an MPR News staffer not to engage with me, to me). 

But since MPR News spends such time and effort claiming the moral and ideological journalistic high ground – claims to which I’ve given public credence in the past – it’s worth asking. 

Even the SPJ Code of Ethics says so.

Sincerely,

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

Continue reading

Open Letter To The MinnPost Editorial Team

To:  Joel Kramer (CEO/Editor), Roger Buoen and Susan Albright (Co-Managing Editors) Don Effenberger (News Editor)
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  They Get What They Pay For

Esteemed Editors:

I was never much of a reporter.  I could always do the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of a story just fine, and earned a living at it, off and on.  But it was never really my thing.

But I do remember, when I worked in the business, that the fastest way to get a reporter, producer or editor up on their back legs was to suggest that journalism partner with business or government to do the job.  They would say – with righteousness rivaling any Baptist minister or Trappist monk – that Journalism’s mission was to be a check and balance on government, business, anyone with power.    To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.   Any whiff of filthy lucre was to be kept on the other side of the thick wall and locked door that separated the Sales department from the newsroom. 

Media analysts – I’m thinking Garfield and Gladstone’s “On The Media” on NPR, and the whole Romanesko borg – go through gyrations worthy of a Talmud symposium sifting through the ethics of mixing journalism and money. 

Now, theMinnPosttalks a big game about journalism.  And you’ve certainly staffed your site with a lot of people with long pedigrees in the regional news business.  And Brian Lambert. 

But I’ve noticed on one issue that your site gets a fair chunk of money from from the Joyce Foundation.  The Joyce Foundation also bankrolls most of the major gun control organizations in the United States, including Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts and “Protect Minnesota“. 

And along with this financial link, the MinnPost’s coverage of Second Amendment issues has gotten more and more slanted, and not a little bit risible in the bargain:

  • Doug Grow has positively fawned over Heather Martens and Jane Kay (of “Moms Want Action”, another astroturf anti-gun group that gets money from the same pool of liberals with deep pockets that bankrolls Protect MN and, I suspect, the MinnPost); his coverage has been less “journalism” and more “holding a rhetorical slumber party”.  His piece on Rep. Hillstrom’s counter to the Paymar/Hausman gun grab bills - one of which Martens, a lobbyist, read into the record, a bizarre flouting of House rules – was so devoid of fact I concluded it could only have been written in advance. 
  • I’ve got nothing but respect for Eric Black as a journalist – but his coverage of Second Amendment issues and their Constitutional history this past year has been a fount of inspiration for us on this blog

The MinnPost gets big bucks from Joyce, and starts a wave of anti-Second-Amendment (I’ll be charitable) cheerleading.  Coincidence?

Which leads us to this week, and Susan Perry’s piece on an academic “study” on gun violence.  It was a puff piece about a junk study

…and it was sponsored – as noted in the story’s headline – by UCare.  An arm of the government of the State of Minnesota.  Now, leave aside that that government is currently controlled by the extreme metrocrat wing of the DFL party.  Here’s the question:  if journalism is supposed to hold government accountable, should be finacially beholden to government?

Or does that only count when it’s not a DFL sacred cow being promoted?

Because when your “journalism” is being done at the behest of issue-oriented non-profits and the government you’re theoritically supposed to hold accountable, isn’t it really just public relations?  Or campaign media?

Thanks,

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

Open Letter To Alliance For A “Better” Minnesota”

To:  Carrie Lucking, “Executive Director”, Alliance for a Better Minnesota
From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re:  Chain Of Command

Ms. Lucking,

The “Special Session” to deal with disaster relief teed up a few hours ago.

Just a hint; it might behoove you to copy your audioanimatronic marionette “Governor” Dayton on any legislation that gets proposed, or especially passed.  The vision of your audioanimatronic marionette our “Governor” proclaiming shock at legislation that the DFL has jammed through embarasses this state makes your chain of command look “not ready for prime time”. 

It’s pretty simple; route things from Governor Ms. Messinger, to you, to handler “Chief of Staff” Bob Hume, to Mr. Dayton.  And spend some time making sure he really knows what’s getting written into law. 

You’re welcome.

That is all.

Attention Senators McConnell, Cruz, Rubio And Paul

To:  All Conservative Senators
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  We Need The Truth

Senators,

It’s time to send a letter to corporations who donate money to Planned Parenthood, asking them for specifics about their positions on “Reproductive Rights”. 

Please see to this immediately. 

That is all.

PS:  Please forward this to every liberal non-profiteer, union official, ”journalist” and blogger – the ones that actually think, rather than copying and pasting press releases, anyway – that you can.  And do it before noon.  I want their reactions.

Open Letter To Ryan Winkler

To: Representative Ryan “Beavis” Winkler”
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Minimum Wage Thing

Rep. Winkler,

Here’s what technology has to say about your minimum wage hike.  Read it and think. 

That is all.

PS:  No, it’s not.  I know you’re not paid to think about these things; yours is not to reason why.  But those who support you?  Maybe not in your stu-foresaken district, but in the rest of Minnesota?  There might be hope.  And so I write.

My Submission For The DSM-6

To: American Psychiatric Assocation (APA)
From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re: Cyberphrenia

To whom it may concern,

Please accept the following submission for the sixth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-6), whenever you release it:

Cyberphrenia: a personality disorder which presents with a complete dissociation between the subject’s “online” and offline personalities.

This usually (but not uniformly) manifests as a subject developing an “online” personality that manifests as negative ideation ranging from mild impulse-control and conduct disorders to symptoms resembling full-blown sociopathy or narcissistic personality disorder.

Keep me posted.

That is all.

Rise Up, Peasants, And Defend The Plutocrats!

I got this letter from “Protect Minnesota” recently.  “Protect Minnesota” was what Rep. Heather Martens (DFLiar – HD66A) had to rename “Citizens for a “Safer” Supine Minnesota” when it turned out her constant lying had damaged whatever credibility the old brand had.

For those who’ve missed earlier installments of my coverage of Ms. Martens, here’s what you need to know; every single substantive thing she had said about gun issues, ever, throughout her career, has been a lie.  Every.  Last.  Word. 

Here’s her letter:

Dear Heinrich ,

It’s been several weeks since the Minnesota legislature went home. Despite passing one bill to fund improvements in Federal gun background check data, the legislature left gaping loopholes in the law that still allow people who shouldn’t have guns to get them easily.

Well, no.  A bipartisan majority of the legislature realized that Martens’ various bills – copied and pasted as they were from New York and California – wouldn’t change criminals’ ability to find guns; they’d just register the guns of the law-abiding, for further targeting by law-enforcement when and if the political winds swing that way. 

We’d never tolerate that sort of treatment of the First Amendment.  Why the Second?

Martens:

We can’t afford to wait for another mass shooting, so we are not letting up in the push for change. We need your help to have one-to-one conversations with voters about what is at stake, and how they can push common sense state and Federal laws. Can you join a phone bank tomorrow? Click here to help phone on Wednesday, July 10, at TakeAction in St. Paul. (Pizza and air conditioning provided!)

Not that there was any doubt that “Protect MN” was part of the ultra-left hive, but the fact that TakeAction – which, like “Protect MN” is an astroturf group funded by unions and liberal plutocrats – just happened to lend “Protect” a phone bank should tell you something.

With more than 75 percent of Minnesotans supporting universal background checks for gun sales,

…according to a push poll whose results have been reported with flagrant disregard for the context of the original survey question; tomayto tomahto, I know…

we had great success engaging voters all over the state, generating thousands of phone calls and emails to legislators.

Martens has been showing an interesting pattern since her bills got tubed by solid bipartisan majorities (which included a bipartisan majority of all House members signing on to co-author a bill that was a direct repudiation of Martens’ bills (channeled via the likes of Michael Paymar and Alice “The Phantom” Hausman); she’s been reduced to trying to turn defeats into victories, at least in the minds of her utterly uninformed followers.

“Thousands” of calls?  By all accounts, calls ran 50:1 against Martens’ bills.  Even the MinnPost’s Doug Grow, who gets at least part of his paycheck from the same place Martens does (the anti-gun Joyce Foundation contributes at least five figures to both “Protect” MN and the MinnPost, which I suspect is in major part behind the MinnPost’s atrociously ignorant and ludicrously slanted coverage of Second Amendment issues this past year), said it was more like a thousand, as if that was a major accomplishment.

In 2013, we didn’t have time to build the power it takes to reverse the long-term effects of gun-rights extremist propaganda. But we have the public on our side, and we can make the change we need, as long as we keep at it!
Click here to join us and our friends at Mayors Against Illegal Guns for the first in a series of summer phone banks!

And there you go.  Two astroturf groups sponsored by liberal plutocrats and government unions (fluffed by a “news” outlet sponsored by those same plutocrats and their plutocrat-supported foundation) are joining with a group of liberal politicians in another astroturf group funded by another liberal plutocrat to try to keep all us unruly peasants in line.

I’ve said it for twenty years, now; the extreme left has always led with the class-warfare rhetoric – and yet on this, the most populist issue of them all, it’s the left who are the patricians, and the gun rights movement in all its bipartisan and non-partisan millions who are the uppity peasants demanding real freedom. 

I might just have to sign up for that phone bank.

Open Letter To Badge-Carrying Journos

To: “Badge-Carrying” Journalists
From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re:  Here’s My F***ing Badge

Two whom it may etc etc,

Over the past 11 years or so, not a few journos have asked “citizen journalists” to show you their “journalist badges”.

I haven’t eaten Cracker Jacks in years, so I don’t even know how I’d get one.

But as a blogger, here’s my “badge”:  In the SCOTUS case of Lovell v. Griffin (1938), Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote for a unanimous Supreme Court:

“The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our own history abundantly attest. The press in its connotation comprehends every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion.”

Given that we uppity bloggers are the ones that actually “defend liberty”, I think that settles that.

That is all.

Open Letter To Jim Graves

To: Jim Graves, ex-candidate
From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re: Personal!

Mr. G,

I want to start a hotel chain.

It’s main goal is to knock off Marriott.

What’s its concept? Who cares! I don’t care if people are sleeping on rows of cots under oil light, as long as I kill off Marriott.

Seems dicey? Well, duh. When one says “I wanna knock off Marriott, one can fairly ask “with what?” It’s an important question.

It’d be a stupid business plan!

So when you withdrew from the CD6 race – daunted by the district’s Romney +15 showing (14 points better Han Rep. Bachmann) and what’ll no doubt be a national funding drought – you said you’d accomplished your mission – removing Bachmann. By implication, you seem to mean “whether by a Republican or a DFLer”.

Really?

So the day after the election, your mission would have been accomplished? The rest of your two years in DC would have been a tabula rasa?

(Well, duh, no. You’d have danced with the ones that brung you;youd have been little more than Betty McCollum with supernatural hair).

Did “my considered agenda ends on Day 2 in office” ever pop up in your campaign material?

That is all.

Open Letter To Speaker Thissen

To:  Speaker of the House Thissen
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Vote NOW!  For the Children!

Speaker Thissen,

You’re taking a lot of flak for pulling Rep. Paymar’s gun grab bill from the agenda.

Representative Paymar

You’re getting the flak from the usual crowd; astroturf checkbook advocacy groups whose executives are also their entire membership; “faith” groups of the type PJ O’Rourke once described as “having faith the same way some people have halitosis”, the smug preening “faith” of the church that has adopted government as a sort of Executive Assistant to God.

A group of anti-gun zealots.  They’re frowning because someone – I bet it was the second guy from the right, in the glasses – forgot to invite anyone that wasn’t a white, Volvo-diving, NPR-listening, alpaca-wearing pre-1970 Saint Olaf graduate.  Courtesy of the Joyce-Foundation-supported MinnPost.

And while I wouldn’t ordinarily dignify any of these people with considered ridicule – because in this case, they’re people using their invincible ignorance in service of a lie – I think they have a point.  I’ll take this quote from this story, from MinnPost (which is funded in part by a grant by the Joyce Foundation, an anti-gun zealot group):

The Minnesota Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, which encompasses the main people and organizations working for firearm regulation in Minnesota, staged a rally/press conference on Friday to demand Thissen allow the measure to come up for a vote.

 “It seems to me that Speaker Thissen is trying to protect the caucus,” said Sami Rahamim, whose father, Reuven Rahamim, was killed in the Accent Signage shooting last year.

Rahamim posed a tough question for Thissen and the rural Democrats who tanked the gun-control bill: Does the DFL House caucus need protecting, or “hardworking citizens like my father?”

I know – the Accent Signage shooting both takes attention away from the fact that violent crime (outside North Minneapolis) has been in free fall for 20 years.  And the anti-gunners are using Rahamim and the searing images of that horrible shooting to distract from the fact that nothing in any of the bills that the DFL has been pushing would have prevented the Accent shooting in any way whatsoever – that, indeed, the only thing that might have would have been a guy in the plant with a gun and the will to resist, whether a guard or just a regular schnook with a carry permit.

But never mind that, Speaker Thissen; the real point is coming up:

Advocates for more regulations stressed that polling shows the public supports such measures as universal background checks, which would regulate the private sale of firearms at gun shows and over the Internet, among other avenues.

That’s right, Speaker Thissen.  Ignore your lying eyes, which showed you Greater Minnesota hates your bill.  Ignore the polls that show support for your bills was an uninformed mile wide and an inch deep (gun control is a vital issue to 4% of the voters); never mind the historical fact that the last time the MNDFL crusaded against the law-abiding citizen’s right to keep and bear arms, you lost the House.

But no.  The people who carried the water

 “With the will of the majority behind us, we believed our state would pass a universal background check bill” this session, said Jane Kay, of Moms Demand Action [heh heh] for Gun Sense in America. “That has all been swept aside.”

Heather Martens [DFL Rep. HD 66A], executive director of Protect Minnesota, which lobbied lawmakers extensively on the issue, said Thissen should bring the measure up for a vote, even if it is doomed to fail.

“I think he has a responsibility to reconsider that decision,” she said.

And for once, notwithstanding the fact that she has not uttered one substantive word of truth in her public life, I agree with Representative Martens.

You need to bring this to a floor vote, Speaker Thissen.  And you need to do it immediately.    Because it’s the right thing to do.  Do it for the children.  You owe it to them.

And you need to bust some knuckles in your caucus to make sure they vote the party line too.   Get everyone in the DFL caucus to vote the Metrocrat conscience, and do it this week.  None of this “voting their constituency” BS;  make sure Joe Radinovich and Zac Dorhold and Steve Howe vote the most enthusiastic “yea” they can manage.

And smile for the cameras when you do.  Thanks.

That is all.

Open Letter To President Obama

To: President Barack Obama
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Optics

President Obama,

You made a big show of flying the “Newtown Parents” – white, upper-middle-class suburban Americans all – to the White House on Air Force One.

I have nothing but sympathy for the parents of Newtown.  Losing a kid is the worst thing I can imagine.  And God willing, imagining is all I have to do so far.  Knock wood.

But I’m wondering – were there any bereaved parents from Chicago on the plane?   Any standing with you in the Rose Garden yesterday?

No, Mr. President.  You surrounded yourself with bereaved parents who looked like NPR producers and CNN reporters, rather than residents of projects and parents of “working families”.  Why was that?

Because it looks to me like you’re trying less to make America – including the parts of it where black people are being gunned down daily – safer, and more like you’re trying to get white, upper-middle-class people to dig deeeeeep for the next Congressional election.

That is all.

Open Letter To The Entire American People

To:  Everyone in the USA
From: Mitch Berg, Peasant who’s been through it all before
Re:  ”Sequestration”

Hey, everyone,

You may not remember this, but we’ve been through all this before.  Remember the “partial government shutdown”, back in the nineties?  It was a whole big nothing-burger.

Oh, the Clinton Administration tried to make sure that the people felt whatever pain was generated – closing parks, cramping down on the voters.  But as a rule, the whole thing affected nobody.

And here in Minnesota, we had a “complete” shutdown two years ago (which, again, wasn’t – the courts kept most of the government going as “essential”).  It lasted a few weeks.  Then Governor Messinger Dayton abandoned it, when he realized Minnesotans, for all his efforts to squeeze and scare them – shutting down state parks and highway rest areas, threatening to lay off teachers – barely noticed any difference.  While the media did its best to prop up the Messinger Dayton line, the people of Minnesota heard the gales of calumny but saw and felt a big fat nada burrito.  Even Governor Messinger Dayton – as cosseted and isolated from reality as his staff keeps him – noticed; on his trip around the state to whip up support for the DFL budget, he saw tepid crowds of union droogs, and a few professional protesters, and realized he had nothin’ (which may be why Dayton makes so few public appearances these days).

So it’s time for “sequestration” – the “radical” budget cuts that Obama and the super-di-duper commission agreed to as a stick to lead everyone to the “carrot” of an actual federal budget.  We’ve been waiting nearly 1,400 days for a budget from the Democrat-addled Senate, so Washington figured a “stick” was needed.

By the way – how radical and drastic are those cuts?:

Yep. They’re not even cuts.  They’re reductions in the increase.  Indeed, almost completely worthless, if cutting spending is your goal, but really nothing but a fart in the wind; sort of like “dropping HBO” in your family budget, even though your gas bill is rising and your teenage kids are costing more and more.

Obama will try to make “sequestration” hurt; he’ll slow down the TSA lines, he’ll gundeck some ship overhauls and clamp down some military maintenance budgets, he’ll inveigle some big cities to lay off a few cops and teachers, he’ll shut down Yellowstone as the cameras record photos of crestfallen children.  Hell, Joe Biden may even personally try to close the gates at Disney World.

But there is no there, there.  It’s a scare tactic, engineered by Obama and his compliant media.

It needs to be ignored.

That is all.

 

Lesch And Local Control

To: Rep. John Lesch, HD66B and closet authoritarian
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  ”Local Control”

Rep. Lesch,

Last week, at the House Public Safety Finance Committee hearings on the DFL’s various gun grab bills – the one that’d funnel all carry permit applications through the local police chief, if applicable, rather than the county sheriff – you kept repeating “it’s about local control”, as if you were one of those old pull-string toys with the little tape recorder inside.

Little story for ya, here, Leftenant.

Perhaps you recall; back in the bad ol’ days before the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act, when we had a discretionary-issue system where getting a permit depended entirely on ones’ connections, one of the metro-area police chiefs – I think it was Bloomington – said he’d never, ever, ever, ever give out a permit to a common peasant (although he issued one to his wife, as memory serves).

Now, if citizens wanted to voice their displeasure at the transparent unfairness of the system, they had to organize a battle to win the mayor’s office – at whose pleasure the chief served.  Not the citizens’ – the mayor’s.   Which means you need to go a couple of levels of government removed from the citizen in the street to voice any meaningful dissent from the system.

But then the MPPA got passed. And the Sheriffs’ offices got the job, statewide.

And perhaps you remember this, Rep. Lesch:  your old buddy Bob Fletcher got caught denying three times as many permits as any other sheriff in the state, including Hennepin County.  And a huge percentage of those denials, when contested, were coming back losers for the County, costing Ramco a ton of money.

And it was us shooters – of all races, genders and social levels or, put briefly, the people – who were part of the coalition that tossed Fletcher from his job at the polls.

That - a law enforcement official who answers directly to us, as opposed to the local machine and bureaucracy – is what “local control” is.

That is all.

Open Letter To Ron Paul

To:Ron Paul, Personality Cultist and Former Presidential Candidate
From: Mitch Berg, Crabby peasant and former big-L Libertarian
Re: Dumb

Mr. Paul,

Y’know, I try. I really do.

But when I see things like this on Twitter…:


…I’m more than a little tempted to say that the best thing you can do for your libertarian cause, and those of us who subscribe to at least parts of it, it so shut up and find yourself a little piece of pasture to go out to.

And go out to it.

Please.

That is all.

Posting this on Facebook yesterday caused a bit of a kerfuffle.  Some Paul supporters asked me why I was attacking Libertarianism.

I’m not, of course; I am a libertarian-conservative, and have been since long before it was cool.  I was – and am – criticizing Ron Paul.  But it’s a little discouraging how many of his supporters conflate the two.