Riddle

Who’s got two thumbs, and is the only person in the world who can’t call Donald Trump’s Twitter feed “an ill-advised mass of ready/fire/aim malaprops?”

Why, that’d be Representative Ryan Winkler, if he were pointing two thumbs at himself:

50-90% of Covid patients are asymptomatic. For many others – myself included – it felt like the chest cold I get nearly every spring; if it weren’t for a strange rash on my hand, I wouldn’t have even gotten an antibody test, much less a serology test.

So – now Ryan Winkler is Covid-shaming. Seems he knows as much about epidemiology as he does black history.

This is today’s DFL.

If He Didn’t Exist…

I’m pretty sure the Minnesota GOP would have to invent Ryan Winkler.

This was him over the weekend on social media:

So in other words, our House Majority Leader stands for the abolition of Federalism – one of the things our country got completely right.

Oh, he’s not done yet:

He went to Harvard, you know – but apparently never read the Federalist Papers.

The Constitution is precisely about denying unlimited power to the majority!

Not sure if Winkler, and the people he’s aping, want a civil war

But if they do, it’s hard for me to figure what they’d do differently.

The Worst Thing Ever

Ryan Winkler, the House Majority Leader, isn’t thrilled with President Trump stealing Joe Biden’s thunder:

Then the Majority Leader has had a pretty sheltered life.

Know what’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard?

Other than the Holocaust, the Great Leap Forward, the Gulag, the Holodomor, the Rape of Nanking, the subjugation of Tibet, the history of Haitian slavery, or pretty much an garden-variety genocide?

Well, not this…

But it was pretty bad anyway. And if Bogdan Vechirko – who owned no “white supremacist” paraphernalia at all, and heroically avoided hitting anyone (who wasn’t trying to get hit) wants to sue for slander, I’ll host a fundraiser.

Have you people call my people.

He’s Baaaaack

Ryan Winkler, Minnesota’s House Majority Leader – let that thought rattle around in your head a bit – replies to Senate Majority Leader Gazelka yesterday:

“Trump’s America is deadly!”

But the Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan’s Minnesota is the part that is rioting, burning, looting, shedding businesses and jobs, boarding up, moving to the burbs or Wisconsin or the Greater or Lesser Dakota, buggering off, hitting the dusty trail for freer and safer horizons.

Alondra Cano’s Minnesota is the part that can’t run itself even in good times without massive transfers of wealth from the parts of the state that work (for now), the Republican parts.

Lisa Bender’s Minnesota is the part that considers “law and order” a form of unsustainable “privilege” for all you plebs, but pays a lot of your money so that it has that privilege for itself.

Ryan Winkler’s Minnesota is the part where a Harvard graduate and machine politician from a lilywhite “progressive” suburb full of NIMBYs can call one of the most distinguished jurists of our time an “Uncle Tom”, and then turn around and yap about “white supremacy” when his opponent compliments the men and women who are taking time off from their real lives to clean up yet another DFL mess.

If Ryan Winkler didn’t exist, the GOP would have to invent him.

Open Letter To House Majority Leader Winkler

To: Rep. Ryan WInkler, House Majority Leader
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Timing

Rep. Winkler,

Yesterday you tweeted in re the shooting in Kenosha:

Rep Winkler, I say the following with all due respect.

I’m just spitballing, here, but maybe a white, suburban Harvard grad who called one of the leading jurists in the nation an “Uncle Thomas” because he departed the Democrat Party’s plantation, might want to sit out the whole “white supremacy” thing.

That is all.

This Is Today’s DFL

This is DFL-endorsed candidate for the MN House, Bob Thompson, this past Saturday in Hugo, outside the home of Lt. Bob Kroll.

It certainly didn’t end there:

Additional footage of Thompson’s speech showed him wondering why protesters “were so peaceful.” He then told a man holding a blue lives matter sign to “take that sign” and “stick it in [his] ass.”

We coming for everything that you motherf–ers took from us,” he added. “This whole [vulgarity] state burned down for 20 [vulgarity] dollars. You think we give a f– about burning Hugo down?”

Huh.

The story has evaded the Mainstream Media, of course – they want the DFL to hold those suburban seats. You’ve got to go to the honest, conservative media to get the story.

By the way – when former state rep Matt Dean asked one of the area’s freshman DFL reps to comment, this was what Amy “Profile in Courage” Wazlawik had to say

Pretty sure Rep. Runbeck’s position on the demonstration is clear.

Unlike Wazlawik’s.

Or those of Ken Martin, Melissa Hortman or Ryan Winkler, for that matter.

Quick question for our DFL readers – do you disavow this?

Yes or no.

Oh, yeah – we know where Governor Klink stands:

This is the party that wants to rule Minnesota. Not govern – rule.

This Is Today’s DFL

The GOP-controlled Senate passed an Insulin bill yesterday…

…but apparently they didn’t give House Majority Leader Ryan “Uncle Tom” Winkler the adulation he so craves:

And what is he, er, “apologizing” for?

This little outburst:

He’s flipping off Senator, and Doctor, Scott Jenson – on of the most moderate Republicans there is, BTW.

This is what half your neighbors voted for.

These Are The Barricades

The similarities in demographics in population between Virginia and Minnesota are inescapable. Both states are large, solid red expanses of land and people, surrounding small, densely populated democrat dominated Metropolitan areas.

And of course, both states have Democratic parties prone to going wild on orgies of spending and power grabbing whenever they get unfettered power. As the Democrats did in Virginia over the past year, driving a wave of “progressive” legislation pretty much across-the-board, but especially focusing on gun control.

And watching Virginia’s Democrats, it’s not hard to think that they might actually be a little bit calm and restrained compared to the ones we have in Minnesota, the party of Ryan Winkler and Alondra Cano and Melissa Melissa and Ilhan Omar.

It’s hard to imagine what that crew would stop at if they got unrestrained power Dash say, by flipping the Senate this fall, giving them raw, unfettered access to all the money and all the power.

This isn’t problem just for Second Amendment advocates, of course.

But Second amendment advocates are among the best organized to do something about it; I’ve been telling conservative groups for a decade that they need to learn something from the Second Amendment movement nationwide.

Four Minnesota counties – Clearwater, Marshall, Roseau and Wadena – have declared themselves “sanctuaries” for the Second amendment (some choose the term “dedicated” to avoid confusion with immigration issue – the effect is entirely the same). It’s not just a symbolic statement; the resolutions include language about litigation against intrusive legislation, as well as well as demurrals from enforcing unconstitutional laws.. Resolutions have been introduced in three more counties – and probably a few dozen more have some degree of activity on the subject.

Yours could be one of them, if you live in Minnesota; in fact, you could be the one to get things going in your county. The Gun Owners Caucus has a list of resources right here, as well as a list of sanctuary/dedicated county groups around the state.

Because what better way to show the DFL; This Is What Power-Drunk Overreach gets you.



Now, Let’s Watch The Saint Cloud Times And Star/Tribune Hyperventilate

A proposal to make Sherburne County a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” has been floated.

If you live in SherbCo, your mission is clear.

The proposal, from State Rep. Shane Mekeland, from the “New House Republican Caucus”, would commit SherbCo and its law enforcement to defying any future oppressive gun restrictions:

The Saint Cloud Times has Mekeland elaborating:

In a phone interview Monday afternoon, Mekeland said the resolution is basically the county board saying it will not support perceived threats to Second Amendment rights should they come from the state level.

Will SherbCo go through with it? I think it’s doubtful. And I don’t think it matters.

I think the real payoff was what we saw in Richmond yesterday – the movement gives the silent majority a coherent focus for their political power.

There may not be any Second Amendment sanctuaries in MInnesota this time next year – but a lot of Real Americans will come to the polls because of the movement.

Expect much tut-tutting from the Saint Cloud Times, the Strib, MPR and Ryan WInkler.

Other Than Bring One Of The World’s Great Countries Back From The Brink Of Suicide, I Mean…

The Smartest Woman Ever and her daughter, Chelsea “The Ryan Winkler Of New York” Clinton, wrote a book about great women.  

And of course – you could see this coming – they left out “arguably” the greatest woman of the 20th Century. 

Just going to take a moment to remind you that Berg’s Eighth Law is not called “Berg’s Eighth Tactful Hint”:

American liberalism’s reaction to one of “their”constituents – women, gays or people of color – running for office or otherwise identifying as a conservative is indistinguishable from sociopathic disorder

Come for the Berg’s Eighth Law.  Stay for the thrashing around seeking relevance.  Margaret Thatcher made a positive difference.   Hillary Clinton made only a negative one – being an awful and tone-deaf enough candidate to get even Donald Trump elected president.  

Paragraph 10

Maybe it’s just me – but I think I sense some backing away going on.

I’m referring to the faint air of “we got dragged into this” in Melissa Hortman’s op-ed about the just-ended legislative session in the Strib.

Remember – in 2018, the DFL wrapped itself around gun control, claiming that the issue flipped the metro, and that “90% of Minnesotans” supported their agenda of Universal Registration and Red Flag Confiscation.

Fast forward to April and May, when Ryan “Uncle Tom” Winkler’s DFL majority didn’t have the votes to bring either to the floor as stand-alone measures – which, if Minnesota were behind the measures by a ratio of 9:1, would be kind of unthinkable.

Fast forward still more, to paragraph 10 of her op-ed – the very last graf about policies discussed during the session, the one before the closing, the graf about the measures that supposedly swept the DFL into power last year.

Smell the distancing:

Beyond our core values of education, health care and economic security, Minnesotans have called on legislators to make communities safer by addressing the epidemic of gun violence. Republicans have said “no” to common-sense gun violence prevention measures that have become law in Republican-led states — criminal background checks for all gun sales and red-flag laws to prevent people who have indicated an intent to cause harm from possessing firearms until the danger has passed. These measures would save lives. DFLers will continue efforts to enact these provisions into law.

Catch that? “Minnesotans called…”. “Republicans said no”.

As if Hortman is saying “don’t look at us! MInnesotans asked for it, and the GOP said no! We are just simple vessels of others’ will!”. Of course, they get so much money from Michael Bloomberg that they have to keep making with the hopey-changey.

But – and it could be just me – it doesn’t sound like her heart is in it.

One could almost say you can detect the faint aroma of that albatross around their neck starting to go bad.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

In the wake of the session, the Pioneer Press ran a letter to the editor – “Democrats offered plenty of compromises on gun bills” – from one Jo Haugen.   I wrote a response.  It never got printed.

Shocking, right?

Well, that’s one of the reasons I started this blog, now, isn’t it?

My response to the PiPress:

——————–

In her May 22 letter to the editor (“Democrats offered plenty of compromise on gun bills”), Jo Haugen criticized Senate Majority Leader Gazelka for kililing the DFL’s gun control bills, because “a vast majority of Minnesotans as well as law enforcement support these bills”

If “mandate” were real, then Speaker Hortmann and Majority Leader Winkler should have had no trouble passing the measures – “Red Flag” confiscation and “Universal” registration bills – as standalone measures, confident that that massive support would be greeted with hosannas at election time.

Curiously, they could not.  Winkler didn’t have the votes to do that, and snuck them into the omnibus Public Safety bills against bipartisan opposition.

Either the House DFL leadership are cowards for ignoring Ms. Haugen’s supposed mandate, or the “vast majority” of Minnesotans support nothing of the sort, and the polling to which Ms. Haugen refers was a bogus piece of propaganda.

Minnesota’s gun control movement:  The few, trying to control the many with the acquiescence of the gullible.

Mitch Berg
Saint Paul

Pile On

For all of their bluster between the election and the beginning of session, it seems the DFL doesn’t have enough votes to pass their Registration and Red flag Confiscation bills on their own. Not even close.

Which is weird. You would think a bill with “90% public support“ would be a cakewalk. Apparently not his; if you rely on the star Tribune for a fact on this issue, that’s pretty much the norm. The DFL are trying to bury the bills in the Public Safety omnibus spending bill

It’s the weasel‘s way out. But hey, Ryan Winkler. Say no more.

Anyway – if you are a supporter of Minnesotans’ Second Amendment human rights, now is the time to pylon. Call your legislator. Tell them you are not amused.

A whole lot of suburban DFL‘s seem to have gotten cold feet. Let’s make them colder.

I, Problem Solver

There is a proposal making the rounds to change the name of Saint Croix State Park to honor former Minnesota Senator and Vice President, Walter Mondale.

Of course, there’s some pushback. The park already has a perfectly good name with history that matters to the area and the state:

People who live near the park, which opened in 1943 and featured dozens of New Deal-era buildings, say history would be lost as a result of renaming. They are circulating petitions seeking to keep the current St. Croix name.

“Yes, (Mondale) did some wonderful things for our waterways,” said Maria Nichols, who lives one mile from the park. “But I have been to the point where I’ve almost thought of calling him and saying, ‘Help us!’”

It should surprise nobody that Ryan Winkler wants to jam the name down anyway.

Since my role in this world seems to be “solve other peoples’ problems”, I”ll step in here.

Let’s rename Lilydale State Park after the former Vice President.

Since it suffers from landslides.

How I Spent My Saturday

About 1,000 of my closest friends turned out for the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus’ “2019 Rally To Protect The 2nd Amendment” on Saturday.

Photo by Sarah Cade, Cade Imaging
Photo by Sarah Cade, Cade Imaging

Bear in mind – the weather on Saturday was inclement at best. I think the good guys expected half this number for turnout.

Compare this to “Protect” Minnesota’s turnout on a beautiful day a few weeks back:

Photo – Rob Doar

The comparison is inescapable – Second Amendment Civil Rights activists are real people, motivated by their real passion for securing civil liberty for all Americans; gun control activists are uninformed dupes of plutocrats who seek to enslave Real Americans.

Go ahead, Ryan Winkler. Bring those bills to the floor. I dare you.

Comforting The Comfortable, Afflicting The Afflicted

I don’t know about you – but these days, when a accusation of a “hate crime” gets massive, immediate coverage, I’ve started to assume it’s a hoax until proven otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong – hate crimes exist. But the more publicity the unproven allegations get, and the more lurid the charges against someone in a MAGA cap, the more likely it seems the whole story turns out to have all the substance and integrity or a Ryan Winkler presentation on Black History Month.

Jussie Who?:Three weeks ago, I had not heard of Jussie Smollett. I’ve never had occasion to watch Empire, and I doubt I ever will.

But when I heard the story of the “Hate Crime” that reached out and, per his story, caught him a few weeks ago, nothing, even to my rather cursory listening, seemed to add up.

Kyle Smith – not a cop, but rather a writer at National Reviewnoticed the same things, and has 27 questions for the “journalists” who presumed Smollett’s story – of “MAGA”-screaming rednecks who attacked him without really attacking him – was unassailably true.

8 . How likely do you think it is that attackers would shout, “This is MAGA country” in Chicago, a place that no one thinks is MAGA country?

There are 26 more – the sort of thing “journalists”, ostensibly being the curious sort, should have asked.

13. Don’t you think it strange that his attackers fled without much harming Smollett or robbing him?

14. Related to (13), did it not occur to you that the whole alleged attack looked a bit like the criminal equivalent of a press release, meant to send a message rather than accomplish anything?

15. If you were beaten up, would you somehow remember to pick up your Subway purchase afterward?

Goalposts Moved: Over the weekend, as Smollett’s story began to collapse, the narrative changed; Smollett’s actions weren’t themselves a publicity “hate crime” against deplorables; they were “starting a conversation”:

I don’t know about you, but I think Jussie Smollett, and especially all the #Resitance media sycophants who parroted the story because, if you hate the MAGAs, it’s just too good to fact-check, just made life a lot harder for people who actually do wind up on the wrong side of bigotry.

Other than deplorables, obviously.

Freedom Dies In “Efficiency”

Alternate title: “Ryan Winkler tries to make the trains run on time”.

The DFL majority in the House has moved all the House’s committees under the Ways and Means committee – meaning that Ways and Means chair Lyndon Carlson can can move bills around, and forward to votes, without a whole lot of scrutiny:

According to the DFLers who now make up the majority in the House, the newish method of managing the flow of budget-related bills is more efficient: a way for legislation to spend less time on the House floor and more time in committees, where the heavy lifting of legislating is really done.

But for House Republicans — both the 55-member Republican Caucus and the four-member “New Republican” caucus — those same rules constitute an anti-transparency move that puts democracy at risk. The newbie GOP even borrowed the motto of the Washington Post — “Democracy Dies in Darkness” — when discussing the rules, and one person testifying against them even drew a comparison to the casus belli of the Revolutionary War.
So is the move anti-democratic or a way of making things more efficient? Both? And does anyone outside the halls of the state Capitol much care?



Given that we now have situations with pages of bills moving through “divisions” – not even “committees”, anymore – with a single terse memo of commentary, I’d say “anti-democratic”.

Indeed, given that Ryan Winkler is behind it, I’d say “prima facie anti-democratic“.  

Unpacking Peggy McIntosh

About a year and a half ago, I wrote one of my favorite pieces in the history of this blog – Unpacking the Invisible NPR Tote Bag, which spelled out the ideal of “Urban Progressive Privilege.

I described the phenomenon if “Urban Progressive Privilege” by tracing a line from the document from which the term “White Privilege” sprang – Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by one Peggy McIntosh:

Urban Progressive Privilege is like an invisible weightless NPR tote bag of special permissions, immunities, secret handshakes, Whole Foods gift cards, a virtual echo chamber accompanying everyone who has that privilege, filtering out almost all cognitive dissonance about political, social or moral questions, and a virtual “cone of silence” immunizing them from liability for anything they say or do that contradicts the group’s stated principles.  As we in Human studies work to reveal Urban Progressive Privilege and ask urban progressives to become aware of their power, so one who writes about havingUrban Progressive Privilege must ask, “having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?”

It was, to a degree, satire – and, like a lot of satire, it was simultaneously journalism.    Privilege does exist in our society – but social, economic, educational and geographic class at the end of the day count for (I’ll be charitable) every bit as much as race.   Can anyone say that Clarence Thomas is held in lower regard (by people other than Ryan Winkler, anyway) than John Roberts?

I wrote the piece originally because the ideal that “whiteness” – whatever that means, as if a “race” that simultaneously includes Norwegians and Armenians, Slavs and Spaniards, has any actual ethnic meaning – conveys so much privilege by itself that a white house painter in Spooner Wisconsin has social, cultural, financial and legal advantage over Oprah Winfrey or Sarah Jeong is so comically absurd.

So absurd, I thought, that it had to have been written by someone who was so detached by class privilege that they hadn’t the foggiest idea what life was like outside of their class bubble.

Lo and behold, I was right.

William Ray digs into Peggy McIntosh’s knapsack in this brightly illuminating piece in Quillette.

When I say “I was right” – well, I was being modest:

Peggy McIntosh was born Elisabeth Vance Means in 1934. She grew up in Summit, New Jersey where the median income is quadruple the American national average—that is to say that half the incomes there are more than four times the national average, some of them substantially so. McIntosh’s father was Winthrop J. Means, the head of Bell Laboratories electronic switching department during the late 1950s. At that time, Bell Labs were the world leaders in the nascent digital computing revolution. Means personally held—and sold patents on—many very lucrative technologies, including early magnetic Gyro-compass equipment (U.S. Patent #US2615961A) which now helps to guide nuclear missiles and commercial jets, and which keeps satellites in place so you can navigate with your phone and communicate with your Uber driver. Means is also recorded as the inventor of a patent held by Nokia Bell in 1959 known as the Information Storage Arrangement. This device is the direct progenitor of ROM computer memory, and is cited in the latter’s patent filed in 1965 for IBM. So, long before Peggy McIntosh wrote her paper, her family was already having an outsized effect on Western culture.

Elizabeth Vance Means then attended Radcliffe, a renowned finishing school for the daughters of America’s patrician elites, and continued her private education at the University of London (ranked in the top 50 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings), before completing her English Doctorate at Harvard. Her engagement to Dr. Kenneth McIntosh was announced in the New York Times‘s social register on the same page as the wedding of Chicago’s Mayor Daley. McIntosh’s father, Dr. Rustin McIntosh, was Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia University. His mother was President Emeritus of Barnard College, an institution in the opulent Morningside Heights district of Manhattan, famous since 1889 for providing the daughters of the wealthiest Americans with liberal arts degrees…[husband] Kenneth McIntosh was himself a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, which boasted alumni including Daniel Webster, the sons of Presidents Lincoln and Grant, and a number of Rockefeller scions. He later completed his elite education at Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School. By the time of his marriage to Elizabeth, Kenneth McIntosh was a senior resident at the prestigious Brigham Hospital in Boston, founded by millionaire Peter Bent.

In other words, Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained ensconced there ever since.

So Peggy McIntosh is the scion – scienne?  Scionette? – of a family that is in the top fraction of the top 1% of people in this country in terms of social, educational (or at least “Educational Affiliation”), financial and cultural stature.

And this leads up to a summation that could soon become a Berg’s 7th Law corollary:

Her ‘experiential’ list enumerating the ways in which she benefits from being born with white skin simply confuses racial privilege with the financial advantages she has always been fortunate enough to enjoy.

And – I’d add, from my position as an observer – it provided cover for the vastly more toxic “Urban Progressive Privilege”.   Ray says nearly as much:

All of which means that pretty much anything you read about ‘white privilege’ is traceable to an ‘experiential’ essay written by a woman who benefitted from massive wealth, a panoply of aristocratic connections, and absolutely no self-awareness whatsoever. This alone calls into question the seriousness and scholarly validity of the derivative works, since they are all the fruit of a poisonous tree. But McIntosh’s hypothesis was eagerly embraced nonetheless, because it served a particular purpose—it helped to mainstream a bitter zero-sum politics of guilt and identity. This dark epistemology has quietly percolated through the universities and the wider culture for two decades now. It has had the effect of draining attention from a massive and growing wealth gap and it has pitted the poor against one another in public spectacles of acrimony and even violence.

“Progressivism” has ended up on the “wrong” side of the class war it has always espoused: they are the patricians, and have been for over a century now.

Idenitymongering – and the firehose of “privilege” allegations that are one of its weapons – is one way of dividing the unruly plebes against each other, as Ray points out:

A school board in British Columbia even thought it would be a good idea to greet its poor and working class white middle school students with this poster reminding them of the guilty burden they bear on account of their skin:

No, it’s not a flyer for a community theater production of “1984”. Yet.

I grew up a very poor white kid. By which I mean, single-mother-on-welfare-in-Alberta poor. As a child, I remember feeling utterly hopeless about ever making any sort of life for myself. If I were at school in British Columbia today, I would now have to deal with seeing this admonition every morning as well. One wonders why Teresa Downs doesn’t simply step down from her $200,000 a year job and pass it to a person of colour since she acquired it unfairly. Is her public declaration of culpability supposed to be compensation enough? Presumably, like Peggy McIntosh, she has convinced herself that human well-being will be better served by shaming the children of people whose average annual income is around $23,000.

I suggest you read the whole thing; as much as I pullquoted, there is so much more.

The Return Of Eddie Haskell

When we last talked about Ryan WInkler, he was on his way to Belgium, in as much disgrace as the media ever allows a DFL golden child to face, after having called SCOTUS justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom”.   Winkler – who got a degree at Harvard – claimed he wasn’t aware of the history of the term.  But no matter; he took a break.

But he’s baaaaack, and running for Attorney General.

And this oughtta be a great campaign; he’s got the same Twitter smarts as the President seems to have:

Our old friend Chad the Elder of the late, great Fraters stepped up, with results that, if you know Winkler, are utterly predictable:

He wants to be attorney general.

This oughtta be a fun campaign.

(Via Gary Gross)

Heads? Disaster. Tails? Catastrophe

As we noted earlier in the week, the left is just dying to get the NRA out of its way.

And they have been since I started following this issue – in probably 1980.

It seems that lately, the left has taken to a three-tiered strategy for fighting the Second Amendment Human Rights movement:

  1. Lie About Everything.  Everyone from the President to the hapless Heather Martens, and the entire media class in between, has spent the past couple of years relentlessly churning out easily-debunked lies; no, Mr. President, we’re not the most violent nation in the world, and states with tight gun laws aren’t safer.  And it seems to be working – while violent crime in general and gun crime in particular has plummeted over the past 20 years, most people don’t know it.
  2. Refuse To Engage the Second Amendment Human Rights Movement Directly:  They always lose in open, head-to-head debates based on facts.  Always.  There has never in history been an exception, and there never will be.
  3. Appeal to Magic:  The NRA is going to go away!   Someday!  You just gotta believe!

This blog has spent nearly a decade and a half engaging points 1 and 2.  Today, it’s all about the 3.

The National Boogeyman Association:  As I pointed out earlier in the week, the NRA is both vital and irrelevant; while it’s a juggernaut at federal lobbying, it’s mostly a bystanding helper at the state level, where most of the actual legislation happens.   But the left – being a fear-based institution – needs a big, centralized boogeyman.  And for this, the NRA serves their purposes.

And let’s be frank; organizations come and go (although the NRA is, and remains at, a peak of numbers and power).

 Adam Winkler – a UCLA law prof who’s popped up on this blog before, and not as an idiot – wrote an op-ed in the WaPo (reprinted earlier this week in the Strib, Read It And Weep:  The NRA Will Fall.

Before I respond, let me establish something.

Baselines:  When I first started covering the battle for Second Amendment human rights, about 30 years ago, the gun grabber movement used to wave around a Gallup poll showing that 85% of the American people favored gun control.  While that number dropped sharply as the poll got into specifics (even then, near the nadir of the Second Amendment’s fortunes), it showed where The People were at regarding our right to self-defense.

But thirty years later, things have changed; a distinct majority support the right to keep and bear arms.

All by way of saying – peoples’ attitudes change over time.

Changes:  I won’t quote extensively from Winkler’s piece – which is based on the idea that the NRA, and the Second Amendment movement, are doomed by demographics; that Latinos, African-Americans, urbanites and women are much less supportive of the Second Amendment and the NRA than rural white males.

On the one hand?  That may be true – today.  Just as it was true of 85% of the people – thirty years ago.  Attitudes change.  Are they changing for or against the NRA and the Second Amendment?  All evidence is anecdotal; the fact that Minnesota has well over twice as many carry permittees today as were ever forecast before the passage of “Shall Issue” reform might be a hint that the swing might actually be in the NRA’s favor.

Are Latinos more favorable to gun control?  Perhaps.  But Latinos aren’t a monolithic bloc; while Latinos in general vote Democrat, those who’ve been in the US longer than 2-3 generations are much more likely to vote GOP.

Asians, Winkler notes, support gun control – but again, they’re hardly monolithic; Koreans and H’mong are actually fairly likely to be shooters (if not “NRA supporters”).

Women tend to be pro-gun-control. They are also the fastest-growing group of shooters in America today.

How will these changes shake out over two decades?  Will policy be dragged to the left, reflecting these minorities’ left-leaning politics?  Or will they, too, evolve?

I know what I’m working toward.

(Let’s also not forget that most of the anti-gun minorities live in states like California, New York and Illinois, that are already relatively hostile to gun ownership).

Omens:  But let’s say Winkler is right; that minorities, new Americans, women and urbanites’ current attitudes will stay static over time.   It is a fact – noted by the estimable Kevin Williamson – that many of our minorities have vastly different perspectives on the concept of risk and freedom than white, middle class Americans do.

So if New Americans and minorities-who-will-one-day-be-the-majority don’t support the Second Amendment, is that going to be a problem for the NRA?

Who the hell cares?  It’s going to be a problem for the whole idea of “America” as a place built on the ideal of freedom.  And by “freedom”, we mean the traditional American founding interpretation – life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, protection of private property, freedom of speech, conscience, religion, press, assembly, keeping and bearing arms, security in your home, trial by jury with representation, equality before the law, the whole shebang – as opposed to the “freedoms” the Democrat party is pushing these days; the “freedom” from consequences, the “freedom” to force other people to make you free of want, the “freedom” to have government force others to give you stuff at gunpoint and enforce an arbitrary, politically-motivated concept of “fairness”; the freedom to abort your fetus and wave your privates around in public.

If the Second Amendment collapses because a majority of “Americans” don’t understand what it is to be “American” or what “America”, indeed, is, then the demise of the NRA will be the least of our problems, because there will be nothing to prevent the rest of the Constitution, and the freedoms it ostensibly guarantees, from being shredded much, much more comprehensively than it already is.

Ryan Winkler Should Thank George Takei

Because Winkler is no longer the most ineptly, tone-deafly racist commentator in recent American history.

I’ve had the odd chuckle as George “Mr. Sulu” Takei has oozed back into a wry, giggly mainstream prominence.  He can be a funny guy.  And he’s got an interesting story; growing up in an internment camp, building a career in Hollywood at a time when an Asian couldn’t get a break, yadda yadda.

But someone’s gotta slap him:

In a nasty, racist rant captured by a Fox affiliate in Arizona, former Star Trek actor-turned-gay rights activist George Takei lashed out at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, calling him a “clown in black face.”

Here, a man who became famous sitting on a TV set pushing fake buttons and saying “Warp Factor Five, Aye-Aye” and running a snarky but occasionally hilarious Facebook account, gaysplains to one of America’s most accomplished jurists…

…not only using terms that are groaning with racist baggage, but also legally full of Roddenberry dust.  Thomas is, unfortunately for Takei, correct.  The Obergefell decision was, like Roe V. Wade, conjuring up law from nothing – or, worse than nothing, pure emotion.

Back to snarking on Facebook, George.

Smoke On The Water; NARN In The Sky

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • Peter Johnson will talk about church security
  • Twila Brase will talk about the latest in healthcare freedom and her interview in Dailiy Caller with Ginny Thomas (wife of a certain SCOTUS justice who Ryan Winkler said something really dumb about…)
  • Jon Heyer joins us to talk about his plans in MN 66A – Heather Martens’ district.

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

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

Join us!

The Problem With Ryan Winkler…

…was, paradoxically, only incidentally about Ryan Winkler.

Our Big Game of Telephone:  From the mid-nineties on, when Michele Bachmann was still organizing the Maple River Education Coalition, before she even ran for the State Senate, the late Karl Bremer was dinging on the future Presidential candidate and conservative lighting rod.

And conservatives, in turn, dinged on the irascible Bremer.  I’m not one to speak ill of the dead – but it’s a simple fact that the guy was prone to using imagination when the facts didn’t give him the story he wanted.   For years, finding and pointing out all the logical and factual holes in his peevish tirades was for conservative bloggers what “mending nets” is for Spanish fishermen.  In short – he was like a blogger, only more so.

But if you ask a left-leaning member of the Minnesota Media “elite”, you got a different story; Bremer was lauded as a hero, treated as one of the club, given the secret handshake.  He won an award from the “Society of Professional Journalists” – something like “best digger of documents”.

It was all, every bit of it, related to Bremer’s nearly two-decade-long mania for “covering” / writing about / stalking Michele Bachmann.  The enemy of the Twin Cities’ media’s enemy is the Twin Cities media’s friend.

And had Bremer turned all of that manic energy on Paul Wellstone or Keith Ellison?  Not a single member of the Twin Cities media would have acknowledged his existence, much less pissed on his grave.

Warm, Fuzzy:  With that in mind, take a good read through Doug Grow’s profile of the retiring Representative Ryan Winkler.

Entitled “Why the Legislature will miss Ryan Winkler”, it’s full of assurances, via Pat Garofalo, that Winkler’s big and rapidly-moving mouth was “all business, nothing personal” – which is a fine thing, and mildly reassuring (although mere nonelected proles who encountered Winkler on Twitter had mixed experiences with the lad)…

…and maybe even true, as far as it goes.

But read the article.

You’ll scan it in vain for any mention of Winkler’s “Uncle Tom” jape.  And that’s fine; people make mistakes; to err is human and to forgive divine, yadda yadda.  If every political “opposition researcher” in the world suddenly broke their femurs and spent six months in traction, and the world could forgive politicians their past oopses, the world would be a happier place, and maybe a  little bit better one too.

That might actually be a wonderful thing.

But as I – and quite a few other people – noted when Winkler announced his retirement, Winkler was only the symptom.  The disease?  The Minnesota Media’s double-standard.

Because if Winkler’d been a Republican, you can bet “Uncle Tom” would have popped up in Grow’s epitaph; it’d be carved large on the media’s collective memory of the guy for all eternity.

Winkler has painstakingly avoided ruling out a return to Minnesota politics.  Five will get you twenty that when he does, “Uncle Thomas” will not rate a single inch of copy.

Anywhere.

“Sharp-Tongued”

Ryan Winkler is leaving the House of Representatives.

Winkler spent nine sessions in the Legislature.  During the last five or six of them, his job, coming from an utterly safe seat in Golden Valley, seemed to be “the DFL’s Costco version of Sidney Blumenthal”; to say and do the things that no DFLer in a contested district – or human with an education and a conscience – would dare to say.

Winkler racked up a long, storied history:

…enough that he seemed to be well on the way to becoming Minnesota’s Joe Biden.

Of course, Paul Thissen said what caucus leaders are supposed to say about their hatchet men:

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he’ll miss Winkler’s “impatience with injustice. He is always willing to take on the tough fights and not back down. He drove the discussion forward about how to make our economy work better for people. His work to raise the minimum wage and improve opportunity for average Minnesotans is a tremendous legacy.”

Um yeah.  When a Minnesotan loses a job to pay for his precious minimum wage hike, we need to say they’ve been “Winklered”.

But this isn’t about my observations.  Look at the adjectives the media uses in describing Winkler’s career; “outspoken” (as in “outspoken advocate on behalf of…” yadda yadda), “sharp-tongued”, “Harvard-Educated”, and the like.

If he’d been a Republican, I’d have looked for adjectives more like “Controversial”, “stridently partisan”, and maybe “gaffe-prone”.   More to the point?  A “sharp-tongued” Republican would be “contibuting to the nasty partisanship” around the Capitol.

But he’s a DFLer in Minnesota.   He was just a character, one that the reporters could always get a cutesy quote from.

Ryan Winkler is the poster child for the Minnesota media’s double standard.