So Much Work To Be Done

So many statues out there – ergo, so much triggering.

As Big Left prowls the country looking for history that “triggers” them and must be destroyed [1], it’s probably worth pitching in and helping findi more history that needs to be expunged.

Exhuming McCarthy:  much has been made of the statue of Lenin in, where else, Seattle:

... Lenin Statue - "Sunday Strip" - Seattle, WA Visit - Mueckenfett

Leftover “art” from some misbegotten WPA project from hell?

No – a labor of “love” in the full Orwellian sense of the term;  from Wikipedia:

Lewis E. Carpenter, an English teacher in Poprad originally from Issaquah, Washington, found the monumental statue lying in a scrapyard ready to be sold for the price of the bronze; Carpenter had met and befriended Venkov while in Czechoslovakia. In close collaboration with a local journalist and good friend, Tomáš Fülöpp, Carpenter approached the city officials with a claim that despite its current unpopularity, the sculpture was still a work of art worth preserving, and he offered to buy it for $13,000.[1] After many bureaucratic hurdles, he finally signed a contract with the mayor on March 16, 1993.[4]

With the help of Venkov, the statue was cut into three pieces and shipped to the United States at a total cost of $40,000.[1] Carpenter financed much of that via mortgaging his home

The architect of a kleptocratic thugocracy that murdered tens of millions of people over seventy years?  I’m #triggered!  Break out the tow cables and the blowtorches!

But we’re not done expunging Communism’s murderous legacy.   The Minnesota State Capitol is crowded with paintings and sculptures of people who were figures in the “Farmer Labor” Party, and the early years of the merger between them and the Democrats to form the “DFL”.

The Farmer-Labor, as well as the DFL it joined, was expressly pro-communist.  The new party inherited the FLP’s support for the USSR and Josef Stalin.   The infant DFL, in other words, supported the party of the Holodomor, of the Gulag, of the Purge.

It’s time to rid our state of this noxious legacy of genocide.  I suggest a painting-burning and smashing.

Politically Incorrect:   Next, it’s time to address statues and other public art that pays omage to a  Christianist preacher who was a very powerful spokesperson against gay marriage – one whose influence among opponents to gay marriage today is too huge to calculate; one who, were he alive today, would be railing against same sex marriage with a fluency and authenticity today’s speakers can only dream about.

That anti-gay bigot?

What did MLK think about gay people?

Martin Luther King!

His failure to support gay marriage – presaging the mass dissent from most black Christian ministers, even today-

MLK memorial dedicated on the National Mall – Summit County Citizens ...

Can this be allowed?

Continue reading

Nope. Never Seen This Before.

SCENE:  Avery LIBRELLE is running down the street, clearly hysterical.  BERG sees Avery. 

BERG:  Avery!  What’s the matter?  Do you need help?

LIBRELLE:   There is  no help for this!  Trump is going to lead us into a nuclear war with North Korea!  We’re all doomed!

BERG:  How on earth do you figure?

LIBRELLE:   All that toxic masculinity!  That always leads to disaster!

BERG:  Er – have you read this yet?

LIBRELLE:  (Reads article).  Ah.  Another big win for Obama’s legacyi of diplomacy.

BERG:  That makes no sense… (But LIBRELLE has already skipped away)

And SCENE. 

Factoid To Remember

Fqctoid to remember the next time the Victim Disarmament / Safe Criminals movement starts jabbering about the “Gun Lobby”:

Contrary to the ignorant assumptions that inform our political discourse, the NRA is a relatively small spender when it comes to campaign donations and lobbying, being at the moment the 460th-largest campaign donor and the 156th-highest-spending lobbyist.

Use it in good health.

Otherwise Occupied

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The lead article in the August issue of the Midway Monitor is about Frogtown Radio WFNU 94.1 being on the air.  It’s low-power community radio, covers a 5-mile diameter reaching from Har-Mar to the river, from the U of M to the Capital.  They want to give the diversity of talent in the Frogtown area the chance to be heard.

Sounds like an opportunity for a member of a historically under-represented minority to get on the air.  I’m talking, of course, about Conservatives, who have been systematically excluded from the halls of power in St. Paul since the Great Depression. With your experience in radio, you’d be a shoo-in.

And your very first program could be an investigative piece.  The article quotes the Station Director explaining the need for community radio was driven by people who are not cis-gendered white men having limited access to higher education.  I, for one, would love to hear why Brown Institute refuses to accept women, LGBTQIA and persons of color as students.

There’s an open slot in the programming schedule on Sunday afternoons.  The community needs you.

Joe Doakes

I’m flattered, but I don’t think Salem would cotton to it.

However – I’d be more than happy to help any Saint Paul conservative who wants to make a go at it; application help, coaching, production…whatever.

Have yoiur people call my people.

Ray Dehn: “We’ve Got To Destroy Affordable Housing To Save It”

If Ray Dehn is elected Mayor of Minneapolis, he will do for “Affordable Housing” in Minneapolis exactly what sixty years of “progressivism” have done for it in Manhattan and Detroit.  Simultaneously.

Brooklyn in the 1970s, after twenty years of “affordable housing” rules.

He released his “affordable housing” plan this week.    And it promises to send more Minneapolitans racing for the ‘burbs”.

Guesses as to Part 1 of the plan?  Please – Dehn is a “progressive”.  It’s got to be “Redistribute Money!”

Increase funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF): With national- and  state-level funding cuts, the city needs a consistent revenue stream to build more affordable housing. As Mayor, I will propose:

  1. Linkage Fees: A fee paid by developers on residential, office, and industrial space per square foot of built space.
  2. Luxury Housing Tax: An tax levied on luxury condos and rental units.
  3. Housing Bond: A city ballot initiative for a housing bond to substantially increase the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Recently, the cities of Portland and Denver have both voted to approve bonds in the amounts $258 million and $150 million, respectively.

Apartments in NYC in the 1970s. Hey, they were rent-controlled!

So in a city business community that is already terrible for business, Dehn will add a perverse incentive to move development to the ‘burbs, and push condos elsewhere.

And for what?  To ape Portland and Denver – where housing is getting scarcer and less affordable, the more their “progressive” governmetns intervene.

Build affordable housing at every income level: We currently build affordable units at 50% AMI, leaving too many families with nowhere to live in the city. The flight of low-income households to first and second ring suburbs also adds to our transportation crisis, where many remain underserved forced to find new ways to commute to work. By requiring additional units be built at 30% AMI or lower, we can limit displacement.

Thus continuing the city’s policy of warehousing the poor.  On the North Side and Phillips, of course.  Not Kenwood or Minnehaha Parkway or Nicollet Island.  Perish the thought.  That’d be too much limiting of displacement.

Implement innovative tax policies like value-capture financing (VCF): VCF distributes the benefits of neighborhood revitalization fairly among all residents, not just landlords by allowing the city to ‘capture’ a portion of the increase in land value. Any increases in property value will be directed into specific funds to be reinvested into the community to fund and preserve affordable housing

Brilliant!  Let’s gut the incentive to improve real estate!

The bad news? You can’t evict anyone no matter what they do. The good news? Eventually they leave on their own.

What’s Dehn’s slogan?  “Keep the North Side Decrepit?”

  1. End exclusionary zoning and implement equitable zoning practices: Exclusionary zoning is rooted in the legacy of discriminatory practices around housing in our city. It has been utilized as a tool to keep low-income families and POCI out of middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. A solution to increasing density in our city is building more affordable units to foster mixed-income neighborhoods.
    1. Pass an inclusionary zoning ordinance: This incentivizes developers to build a certain percentage of affordable units in market-rate projects. With the housing gap, it is both fair and appropriate to expect new development to contribute to the solution.
    2. Re-zone neighborhood interiors: Encourage the development of mid-size construction in neighborhood interiors. We will need to up zone some single-family homes into duplex and triplexes.

In other words, saddle all development with a requirement to build multi-unit housing, market be damned.

  1. Expand funding for community land trusts: Community land trusts are nonprofit, community-led organizations which purchase land and enter into long-term renewable leases with renters and homeowners. They allow low- and moderate-income people build wealth, and create permanently affordable housing.

Also known as “transferring public money to the city’s DFL political class”.   These “non-profits” are the DFL’s graft machine.

Dehn knows where his bread is buttered, anyway.

  1. Increase funding for limited-equity housing cooperatives: Minneapolis currently has 34 registered housing cooperatives. Limited-equity cooperatives are housing arrangements controlled by the tenants who reside in the building. The resale value of units is limited by the cooperative’s rules to preserve affordability. Currently, the biggest barrier to forming cooperatives is the overhead price. In order to overcome this, we must dedicate funds to assist residents in purchasing a cooperative.

Economics 101:  when you force someone to pay something other than what they would on their own, “unintended” consequences are inevitable.

  1. Implement Tenants’ Right of First Refusal: Requires an owner putting a property on the market to first present the tenant’s with the option to pool their resources and buy the property. The new owners can then either form a cooperative and elect a board of directors, or resell the property on their own timeline.

Yet another bureaucratic hoop to hop through, yet another disincentive to buy, improve and develop rental properties.

  1. Form a Minneapolis Renters’ Commission: Create a commission comprised of housing advocates and low-income renters. This will be an institutional mechanism for renters to advocate on behalf of their own interests, advise the City Council and Mayor on housing policy, and conduct education and outreach to the city’s renters.

More graft, more DFL sinecures.

  1. Oppose preemption on rent control: Currently, the state of Minnesota does not allow cities to enact rent control policies. Fighting to change this policy will benefit residents of Minneapolis.

Rent control nearly extinguished the supply of “affordable housing” in all five boroughs of New York.

  1. Pass a just-cause eviction ordinance: Reduces landlord’s ability to evict residents to certain reasons (e.g failure to pay rent, violating the terms of the lease, etc)

On the one hand, Minneapolis will penalize developers and landlords for improving their property, make it impossible to evict tenants who are destroying or economically dragging the property, and making it harder to sell the damn thing to get the hell out of Minneapolis.

Detroit today. NoMi in 20-30 years under Dehn’s policies. SoMi down to the forties not long after that.

I smell a wave of apartment arson coming up.

  1. Utilize policies to help residents mitigate and erase eviction records: Nearly 50% of renters in the Northside zipcodes 55411 and 55412 have experienced eviction filing in the past three years, further increasing barriers to renting and homeownership.

In other words, make one of the few tools small landlords have completely useless.

  1. Enact inclusionary financing models to make housing more environmentally friendly: A mechanism for low-income renters and owners to participate in energy efficiency and clean energy without upfront cost, a loan from the bank, home ownership, or a credit score.

So – warping the model for lending money to borrowers with dubious credit histories?

When has that ever blown up causing immense misery?

  1. Fight for funding restoration for Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA): The MPHA is currently operating on a $127 million shortfall, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Trump administration is planning to cut the funding for public housing even deeper.

“We want more graft, and we want taxpayers nationwide to pay for it”.

But let’s set aside the graft for a minute.

In the fifties and sixties, New York City implemented policies that were broadly similar – rent control, gains taxes on development, absurdly bureaucratic eviction processes, yadda yadda.

Rent control meant landlords’ income from existing property was strictly limited.  Eviction laws meant that the consequences for skipping rent or trashing property could be delayed for months, sometimes years.  Gains taxes were easily absorbed or loopholed by the wealthy, but catastrophic for the small and mid-sized landlord.

As a result, by the seventies Manhattan was unaffordable to the middle class, while entire square miles of Brookliyn, the Bronx and Queens were full of vacant, burned out buildings that had once been actual, affordable housing before the landlords gave up.   And as NYC’s fortunes turned around under competent Republican leadership, the gans taxes ensured that only the wealthy could afford to build or improve properties in the formerly distressed neighborhoods.

So today, thanks to “affordable housing efforts” over the past three generations, Manhattan and most of the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn across the East River from it are unaffordable to anyone that’s not well into six figures, and the poor have to commute in from the Rockaways and New Jersey.

And the polices that have made Detroit, Oakland, Saint Louis, Camden, Newark, Baltimore, Los Angeles and a slew of other cities simultaneously unaffordable to the poor and overflowing with abandoned buildings?  Substantially the same.

It’s a series of stupid decisions.

You just know Minneapolis will vote for it, don’t you?

Proxy War

At Berkeley, police stood down as the Blackshirts attacked conservative events – twice.

At Middlebury College in Vermont, police stood idly by as “Anti”-fascists attacked a conservative speaker and one of their own professors.

And in Charlottesville last weekend, the police were given a “Stand Down” order, (by a mayor who condemned the permitted protesters, but pointedly refused to address the Blackshirts) allowing the Blackshirts to attack a “white supremacist” rallly with impunity

Nope – nobody dare suggest that Big Left is all about getting and holding power.  Perish the thought.

Don’t You Dare Say The Cultural Left Has Gone Insane

Exhibit Z55:

You do not need to try to make it work with someone who thinks of people as “illegals.” Just divorce them. Those divorced couples made the right choice.

This may not always be possible. Some people may not have the financial or practical means available to get a divorce, but if you do have those means? DIVORCE THEM.

I’m tempted to tell Harpers Bizarre to breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes.

When i say “the cultural left is unable to have a literate debate about politics because they have been raised from birth to see dissent as both a caricature and a mortal threat“, this is what I’m talking about.

Charlottesville Was The Goal All Along

If you wrap your politics in Nazi trivia, you deserve to be marginalized.  And if you drive your car into a bunch of protesters (who are not a current threat to you), you pretty much deserve to spend a couple of decades in prison.

With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.

The Original Anti-AntiFa:  After the 1932 German parliamentary elections,  the Reichstag established what become known as “The Hitler Cabinet”, to try to establish some of the political stability the German people craved.

In what seems counterintuitive to people who understand neither German history nor the world of extremist politics, the idea of the Hitler Cabinet it had the support of the Communists, with whom the Nazis had been fighting in the streets for nearly a decade and a half. The Communists supported the Nazi-led cabinet – they figured, not without justification, that more Nazi thugs patrolling the streets would drive more of the undecideds in the middle toward the hard left.

Courtesy John Gilmore

They figured they were playing the long game.  They miscalculated, only because they underestimated the speed with which the new cabinet would assimilate and co-opt the power of the state and the Army.

The larger lesson is this; Extremists love a world of white hats and black hats.

And as we saw in Charlottesville over the wekeend,  they’re slowly getting it.

Steam:  In Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, the character of Reverend Bacon – a race-baiting hustler who was clearly a composite of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton – had a memorable metaphor about activism; it was about channeling “steam”.   Steam – anger – always tries to expand, finding any place it can to push outward to equalize the pressure.  The goal of at community activist is to channel that “Steam” in the desired direction.  Which the Reverend Bacon, of course, does.  Read the book.   It may be more valuable today than it was when it was publsihed.

In 2009 and 2010, the Tea Party tried to channel a lot of conservative, libertarian, originalist “steam” the right way. We were civil, we were utterly inclusive, we left our protest sites cleaner than we found them, and not only was there *zero* violence (except for leftists who came to start fights), but nearly every time someone showed up with a racist sign, the blogswarm found out they were ringers from the left (when I keynoted a rally in 2010, we made it widely known that all signs would be photographed and published; for *some* reason, everyone was above board. Go figure). We CRUSHED Obama in 2010.

And the media worked overtime to smear, slander and demonize us – with the active connivance of the Beltway GOP establishment.

At the same time, Obama’s Homeland Security department was passing around lists of “right wing hate groups” that included pretty *every* conservative grassroots organization; pro-life, 2nd Amendment, tax reform, land rights, court reform groups all got labeled “Terrorists”.

If you tell 160 million people – half the country – who assemble peacefully to redress their grievances that they are all racist extremist white supremacists who are a bigger threat than radical islam, eventually some of them going to figure that whole civility thing is a crock, and can never work.

Voila:  Of course, that was the goal, Marty. To create more extremists. Because Big Left needs a right-wing extremist boogeyman to rally against. And after nearly a decade of trying, now they got one.

Yep.  I condemn Nazis.  But then that’s not the point, is it?

.

Bring On The Horseshoes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals say the Second Amendment doesn’t protect my right to have military-grade weapons to resist my own government.  They say America should be more like Sweden.

Sweden – where widespread availability of hand grenades resulted in a 550% increase in people throwing hand grenades at government targets.  Jiminy Cricket – who knew Swedes were such violent domestic terrorists in their own country?  And why now, all of the sudden?

The latest attack was in Malmo, Sweden.  Hmmmm, Malmo, Malmo . . . why is that name familiar?

Joe Doakes

Grenades don’t kill people.  People with violence on their mind and grenades do.

It’s A NARN’s World

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

Today on the show:

  • Urban Progressive Privilege at Google
  • What The Hell Is Going On In Charlottesville?

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson is  on “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

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

Join us!

While We Wait For That “Tidal Wave Of Right Wing Terror”…

…we’ve got yet another story of a Democrat executing a Republican.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, police responded to the 300 block of Box Elder Drive for a dispute between Carter and Jennings about cursing and video recording in the back yard. Police said they were able to resolve that dispute.

Then at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday, police say the neighbors got into another dispute. Carter told police that Jennings shined a light into his eyes while he was outside. Carter then allegedly pulled a car onto his lawn, shining the high beams of the car on Jennings’ property.

Carter then allegedly retrieved a .380 semi-automatic handgun from his house and confronted the victim again outside.

Officials say Carter shot Jennings once in the head, knocking him to the ground. Carter then allegedly stood over Jennings’ body and shot him once more in the head.

The victim was on his own property, police said…

…Jennings’ wife allegedly heard the first gunshot, then saw Carter stand over her husband as he fired the second shot.

Carter is described as a virulent Anti-Triump fanatic; Jennings was a Chester County Pennsylvania GOP committeeman.

Yet another entry in my “Climate of Hate” page – wh

Represent!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

 

Texas woman shoots dead an armed home invader.  A private citizen using a pistol for self-defense?  That’s gonna mess up Penigma’s narrative, right there.

I think it was more Dog Gone’s narrative, although they shared some elements.

At any rate – Ms. Gone’s narrative has been moot for quite some time. here in MN and elsewhere.   She’s not here to defend herself – but that’s her fault.

No mention of a medal.  Surely some group should give her a medal?

“We, the members of the Podunk Booster Club, honor Mrs. Dorothy Smith for her courageous actions defending her home and her neighborhood, awarding her this Marksman Medal, a check for $357 which is her favorite caliber, and we invite her to ride in our car in the next parade.”

With a photo in the newspaper of her wearing the medal holding the enormous cardboard check, that could be a great PR move in certain areas of the state.

Joe Doakes

I like it.

Blowback

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus has responded to “Protect” MN’s slanderous Facebook post yesterday:

On Wednesday August 9th, local gun control activist group Protect Minnesota published a statement on their Facebook page implying that the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus has information on the attack at the Dar Al Farooq Mosque, and was withholding that information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We are outraged by these libelous, defamatory, and false accusations made by Protect Minnesota, “ said Bryan Strawser, Chair, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. “Our organization is committed to the defense of civil rights. This statement and its implications are baseless and offensive. Needless to say, we have no information on this tragic attack.”

“It’s truly unfortunate that at a time when we should be pulling together as a community to condemn terror, Protect Minnesota has chosen to engage in accusations that have no basis in fact and will only serve to distract investigators from swiftly bringing the perpetrator of this heinous act to justice.”

“Sadly, this approach has become the norm under their current leadership, “ added Rob Doar, Vice President & Political Director. “We always welcome thoughtful conversation on policy issues with any organization. Engaging in false accusations and misinformation following an incident of this magnitude is abhorrent. I sincerely hope that Protect Minnesota will cease this behavior and elevate their level of discourse.”

“We demand an immediate public retraction of these false assertions,” added Strawser.

Doar’s aside about “current leadership” is important:  while Heather Martens was a doddering incompetent, Nancy Nord Bence is a smug, passive-aggressive, entitled incompetent.

UPDATE:  No apology, naturally – but they’re trying to stuff their slander down the memory hole:

Well, aren’t they just a bunch  of profiles in courage?

They know their audience is neither curious nor critical enough to bother with the details.  But Nancy Nord Bence’s oompa-loompas are getting lazier and more reckless as they move out toward the extreme.  It’s eventually gonna cost ’em.

It’s already cost them their credibility.

Damore, Damerrier

James Damore is exploring his legal options against Google.

And apparently he has some:

According to Dan Eaton, an attorney and ethics professor at San Diego University, the engineer certainly has grounds for a case on two fronts. “First, federal labor law bars even non-union employers like Google from punishing an employee for communicating with fellow employees about improving working conditions,” Eaton writes.

And second, because the memo was a statement of political views, Eaton says Google may have violated California law which “prohibits employers from threatening to fire employees to get them to adopt or refrain from adopting a particular political course of action.”

An international corporation with armies of both lawyers, Google knew all this. They decided to take their chances with state and federal law anyway rather than stick up for one of their employees and risk public backlash. That’s an incredibly telling decision from a company that has mastered everything from artificial intelligence to self-driving cars.

Question:  Will a Goodle “self-driving car” actually drive someone who opposes Planned Parenthood?

But I digress.  If Mr. Damore has a legal plaintiff’s fund, I’ll be contributing.

By the way –

If The Left Forgets History, Are We Condemned To Repeat It With Them?

The “far” left has revived the tradition of blackshirts (literally) beating up their opponents.

Could this have been far behind?

The designs, created by KA Designs and sold on the site, all display large swastikas in the front.

One shows the Nazi-associated symbol in rainbow colors with the word “Peace”, another one with the word “Zen”, one reading “Love” and a third design, in black, shows a spiral of swastikas. They range in price from $20 to $35.

I fully expect to see Oberlin graduates building camps where they will teach people to concentrate on social justice.

The Book Of Reagan, Chapter 3, Verse 5-19

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Justice Department is part of the Executive Branch.  They work for the President.

In theory, the Justice Department ought to be non-political.  But as these articles note, the career bureaucrats have their own agenda and they resent their bosses telling them what to do.  The comments by former Obama administration officials make it clear that they believe they are not accountable to the President.  They’re not accountable to anybody.

The notion of unaccountable bureaucrats pursuing their own agenda is anti-American.  There is no authority for it in the Constitution, legislation or case-law.  It usurps lawful authority.  It’s a form of coup, undermining the rightful government.  They are the swamp Trump promised to drain.

Take a lesson from Ronaldus Magnus.  Fire them all.

Joe Doakes

I’m becoming more convinced every day that Federal Law Enforcement is the “standing army” that the founding fathers were worried about, but couldn’t have possibly conceived of.

Lie First, Lie Always: Slander

We’ve been pointing out for years – correctly – that “Protect” Minnesota has never, not once, made a single statement that is simultaneously original, substantial and true.

But today, the’ve slid over the line into slander.

“We hope that groups like Minnesota Gun Rights, Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance can provide good information to the FBI to find and arrest the people responsible” for the Dar Al Farook firebombing?

Even by Nancy Nord Bence’s, er, casual standards of honesty and integrity, this is – pardon the middle-English – chickenshit.

And in a jiust world, it’d be actionable.  Let’s review from a couple years ago; Defmation – Libel and Slander – are when Party A says something about Party B that:

  • Is untrue
  • Can damage Party B’s livelihood and reputation in the community
  • If Party B is a public figure (and the three groups that Nord Bence slandered certainly are),  it can be shown that Party A acted with a malicious disregard for fact.

“P”M’s claim that any Minnesota 2nd Amendment group knows who bombed Dar Al Farook is certainly untrue.  Accusations of abetting terrorism are certainly damaging to a community non-profit group.  And given Nancy Nord Bence and her associates’ long record of scabrous attacks on GOCRA and MNGOC, malice isn’t a huge stretch.

If the gun groups want to sue, I’ll set up a kickstarter to raise funds.

PS to lawyers in the audience:  Yep.  I know.  Negligence is a defense against the “Malicious Intent” element.  It says something that “P”M’s big defense in this case is “We’re too stupid and morally bankrupt to know any better”.  God bless America.

“Terrorism”

Earlier this week “Governor” Dayton declared the firebombing of a Bloomington mosque “terrorism” – notwithstanding the fact that no investigating agency has released any conclusions about motive.

Which is a little strange, given that tis’ been five days, now.

Make no mistake; there is a xenophobic minority in this state.  Eventually, one of them could – or may have – done something stupid.

But on Monday, I pointed out that if I were a betting man (and I’m not), I’d put at least a little money on the idea that the Bloomington attack was a hoax.   Too much says “contrived” to me:

  • The “firebomb” was tiny; it scorched the floor and burned some drapes.  Not that there’s such a thing as a good firebomb, but still.
  • It landed in an unoccupied room.  Now, that could have been blind happenstance.  But…
  • …the actual sanctuary of the mosque was full of people conducting morning prayers – who would, of course, be “witnesses” to this hate crime.

I could very well be wrong – but I say even money it was a hoax.

Oh, yeah – one other factor.  Nearly every other “hate crime” since November 8 has been a hoax as well.  By my unscientific but focused count, it’s not even close; among “hate crimes” that’ve gotten any publicity, it’s been overwhelmingly hoaxes.

Seems like people think being a victim includes victimizing oneself.

And there is, unfortunately, precedent; the vandalism at a Saint Cloud mosque two years ago, which was trumpeted far and wide as a sign of gathering xenophobia, turned out to be a parishioner – who, to his dubioius “credit”, turned out to be operating less from misplaced political victimology-mongering than from being, from the press report, kind of an impulsive idiot.

Which didn’t stop Minnesota’s Big Left from trying to pin that attack on, well, you and me.

Aesthetic Crisis

When I was a kid, a tattoo meant one of two things; you were a veteran (good) or you’d been in prison (bad).

Sometimes, the old ways are the best.

I’m not ever going to tell anyone how to live their life, much less how to decorate themselves.  I will say that there are few thing in the world more depressing that sitting at the beach and watching a tooled saddle in a bikini in roughly the shape of what might have been a breathtakingly attractive 20-something women walking along the beach.

Again – do what you want.

But America’s tattoo fetish is turning into an aesthetic crisis:

If tattoos were once an act of rebellion against cultural norms, now they are a well-established norm. If you want a tattoo, hey, it’s a free country. But it seems many people still get them laboring under the delusion that they’re a hallmark of individualism. The desire to use visual signals on your skin to proclaim yourself unique to people you don’t even know can’t be terribly healthy. It is, in a subtle and penetrating way, kind of selfish. Or maybe my misanthropy is showing, but the omnipresence of people begging to be noticed for such superficial reasons is surely annoying.

At a baseball game last year, I sat a few rows directly behind a woman with a tattoo on the back of her neck in typewritten script that said, “I’m the hero of this story.” She seemed like a perfectly nice woman—from what I observed, she was also a doting mom—but in these circumstances I was all but forced to stare downward at her tattoo. And the more I thought about the sentiment, the more irritating I found it. It took every ounce of patience within me to make it through nine innings without marching down to her and explaining to this self-proclaimed hero of her story that there’s such a thing as an unreliable narrator.

Also, get off my lawn.