Yep, It Was A Great Play.

I’ve watched it many, many times; the Keenum to Diggs pass that made decades of Minnesota sports fandom suck just a little less.

Or so I’m told.  I’m just counting down ’til pitchers and catchers report, honestly.  But while I think I’ve watched less than a half-dozen NFL games from the opening gun to the checkered flag since the greatest game of all time (the 1985/86 Super Bowl, pbui), I did manage to catch the last six playing / forty actual minutes of Sunday mights division final.

And the the pass, with :10 on the clock, was one of those things like Jack Morris’ seventh game and Kirby Puickett’s homer in game six (I don’t have to go into more detail, do I?  Exactly) that even casual fans will be talking about for decades:

So – great play.  Amazing.

But even with all of that – there are some people out there to whom I just want to say “Dude, yoiu take this stuff way too seriously“.

Much Ado About S______es.

News flash: President Trump said something offensive.

Maybe.

The is sure, but can’t confirm it beyond Dick Durbin – a man with a long record of practicing the ethics of convenience – and repeated by the Dems’ stenographers in the media, which only stops them when the subject is a Democrat, but whatever, but whatever; it’s one of the reasons I trust a used car salesman with an untreated gambling addiction more than the institution of the media.

Anyhoo, the President ostensibly referred to certain nations – as distinct from people – as “S***h**es”.

My dislike of Trump goes back, uninterrupted, to the mid-eighties – but let me break this down for you:

If you are referring to a society where the vast majority of the people are short of basic necessities like food, water and jobs because the “government” runs things for the benefit of a kleptocratic ruling “elite” (in the same sense that the Crips, MS13 or the Mafia are “ruled by an elite”) – as in much of subsaharan Africa, and a fair part of Asia and Central and South America – the President may have had a point.

If you are talking about a society that brags about having a culture hundreds or thousands of years old – but all of that cultural history is marked by feudal warlordism, systematic devaluation of the individual, mass murder, indentured servitude and serfdom, systematic ignorance of human rights and endless cycles of variations on single-person or single-party rule, the President isn’t that far off.

If you’re talking about a culture that we’ve had to teach how to stop herding people into death camps at bayonet-point in living memory, or a country where very significant numbers of people were perfectly happy to send their neighbors of an inconvenient ethnicity to their deaths for 13 pieces of silver, or one where millions of people long for the return of the most bloodthirsty tyrant of all time? The President may have been wrong in the literal sense, but not moral or metaphorical ones. `

And if you live in an American city where the achievement gap and the gap between the gentrified “haves” and the ghettoized “have nots” is approaching third-world levels, crime is rising even as the national crime rate is plummeting, and the public debt bubble is growing to catastrophic levels, and the leadership’s response is to virtue-signal about minimum wages and police shootings?

The President wasn’t referring to you, but to foreign countries. So far. But he’s not far off.

I didn’t vote for Trump. But some of the people howling about his (alleged) remarks really need to broaden their focus. All humans are created equal before God and the Law (whether their rulers acknowledge it or not), but all governments and nations are not.

Anyone who disagrees is invited to live in Venezuela until further notice. Which isn’t saying “America – love it or leave it”; it’s saying “History: learn it or end up on the wrong side of it”.

The Poet Receives The Graft; The Taxpayer Gets The Shaft.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I suppose it’s nice that St. Paul still has a Poet Laureate, but I can’t find a website of her commissioned works.  Last poem I recall her writing for St. Paul was “Ode to the City Budget” or something like that, from about 2006.  You’d think a government worker would be more productive.

Wait, what am I saying?

On the one hand, a person might be forgiven for thinking that awarding the Poet Laureate title to a poet who produces no poetry, was simply an excuse to shovel a little graft to a Party insider.  It is St. Paul, after all.

On the other hand, awarding an honored title in exchange for doing nothing is a long-standing Democrat tradition, see, for example, my congresswoman, Betty McCollum, “The Phantom Rep”).

Joe Doakes

A Laureate Poet in Saint Paul
Accepted her government’s call.
She looked once and laughed
at her office’s graft,
and then walked away with a haul.

It’s MLK Day…

..and I”m taking a long weekend, myself.

With that in mind, I’ll urge you to listen, as I do this time every year, to Reverend King’s final, and in some ways most iconic, speech, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop”.

“I Have A Dream”, full of vigor and hope, gets all the headlines; “Mountaintop” is both more sober and more expansive; it focuses on the stump-pulling work of the battle for civil rights. It has lessons for those who fight for all civil rights.

As always, the whole thing is worth a listen.

The Ballad Of The Pink Beret

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We knew the decline had been ongoing for a while.  This is simply the Army adopting the St. Paul school method.  The student didn’t fail, there is no fail, there is only quit. If the student didn’t quit, then the student must have passed.  Good job, here’s your participation award.

The author deplores lowered standards but misses the point – none of the standards matter.  What matters is: can you do the job?  For that, we must define the job.  If it’s going hand-to-hand against elite enemy soldiers, then yes, these girls are going to die.  But is that the job of the Green Berets anymore?

Maybe the job of modern Green Berets is to parade around wearing the uniform to convince congresswomen who are fixated on feminism that they should siphon money away from the Neanderthal Marines so the Army can buy more tanks and helicopters for men who do the actual fighting to use in combat.  Okay, yes, that means Green Berets are now little more than props for the budget presentation, but so what? Advertisers dress up pretty girls to sell products all the time. Congresswomen are the Army’s “customers;” give the customers what they want.

If you’re really interested in debating whether physical standards matter, find some enterprising businessman to organize a reality show.  People who graduated from Green Beret school during the past year will compete against equally ranked recent graduates of other programs.  The best female Green Beret might have placed fifth in her class, for example.  She will parachute into a forest, land-navigate two miles carrying a ruck and rifle to find the target location, then “kill” sentries and destroy an enemy supply dump before escaping a mile away to build a shelter for the night.  Judges will time the run, effectiveness of the attack (grenade, shooting, etc), dump rain on the shelter and score the results.

Next up, the fifth best Force Recon Marine.  On deck, the fifth-best graduate of the equivalent course of the military in the Philippines.  In the hole, the fifth best graduate from Israel.  People love those silly ninja obstacle courses on television.  Let’s see how modern female Green Berets stack up against potential allies and enemies, doing things we would expect actual combat troops to do in the field.

If American girls suck as badly as this author seems to think they will, I bet the show would be a gigantic hit in China and Russia. The only remaining question is: swimsuit competition, or not?

To play devil’s advocate for a moment here – the “Green Berets” (‘ mission is as much about “unconventional warfare” – in other words, going into enemy territory and creating guerrilla groups – as it is about killing sentries and blowing things up (although there’s plenty of that as well).  Part of the job is being able to go deep into enemy territory and use language and cultural skills to create the relationships needed with the indigenous guerrillas.    And women are just fine at language an culture, so that when a team parachutes in to deal with an indigenous culture that has high respect for women, like in Afghanistan or Yemen or…

…oh.

Let me start over.

If we ever have to fight a war against Cambridge, San Francisco or Portland, female Soecial Forces operators could be useful.

Being Evil

Last year, Google’s collective (heh) culture of Urban Progressive Privilege-sotted virtue-signaling intolerance fell onto Google engineer James Damore for the high crime of out that Google, ironically, has a relentlessly PC, virtue-signaling-focused corporate culture.  Damore was summarily fired.

This past week, Damore and his team  filed their lawsuit

Damore has now answered Google with a legal broadside, and it’s extraordinary. Most people don’t have time to read his entire 181-page complaint, but those who do will find a comprehensive argument that Google’s corporate culture encourages, sanctions, and facilitates an extraordinary amount of abuse against conservative white males.

Artists Conception of a Google staff meeting:

 

And he has the receipts. Much of the complaint consists of screen shots of internal Google communications and postings on internal Google message boards that would constitute strong evidence of hostile-environment race-and-gender harassment if the the races and genders were reversed. For example, “Googlers” (that’s what employees call themselves, using Google’s silly corporate language) relentlessly enforce a so-called “Googley” culture where employees blacklist conservatives (blocking them from in-house communications), actually boo white-male hires, and openly discuss committing acts of violence against political opponents. The “punch a Nazi” debate is alive and well at Google, and the definition of “Nazi” is extraordinarily broad. In one posting, an employee proposes a “moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors.” In another, an employee advertises a workshop on “healing from toxic whiteness.” Another post mocks “white fragility.” The examples go on and on, for page after page. Damore also alleges (and again, provides screenshots of emails and other communications to support his claims) that managers actively attacked conservative employees, encouraged punitive actions against dissenters, and even awarded “peer bonuses” for speech attacking conservatives.

Google is a private business?  Sure – they’ve got every right to run things any way they want.   But we’ve seen what mindless monocultures have brought to most of our major cities; what do you think it’ll do to a company?

Googlers may have special coding skills or may fit seamlessly in the company’s Googley culture, but it’s now plain that much of their discourse represents a special kind of pettiness, stupidity, and intolerance. It’s often fact-free, insulting, and narrow-minded. In other words, a Silicon Valley monoculture produces exactly the kind of discourse produced by monocultures everywhere. While there are certainly kind, courteous, and civil progressives at Google, the existence of the monoculture also enables the worst sorts of behavior.

Read the whole thing.

The Haves

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a left-of-center acquaintance of mine – one who workes in the urban education system, and who does, I honestly believe, their level best to try to teach highly disasdantaged kids – about McDonalds aggressively moving to automate its front lines, driving by draconian minimum wage and benefit hikes in ‘progressive” cities.  I pointed out all the entry level jobs, the kinds of jobs this person’s students needed to get started in working life, were going to be lost because of this.

“Well”, this person said, “it was going to happen anyway, and this wijll send a message that companies can’t exploit people”.

The message it sends, I thought demurely to myself, is that progressives really really don’t get economics.  But my response was You are a ‘have” – someone with a career, who back in their teens worked at some crummy minimum wage jobs and learned how to show up for work on time and not be a jerk to people.  Your kids are have-nots, in that respect”.

I never got an reply.

Well, not to the second assertion.  As to the first one, Nancy Pelosi had her own – from the perspective of the “haves” that sre the leadership of the Democrat party:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Thursday continued to slam the recently passed Republican tax reform bill, calling the wage increases and bonuses “crumbs” during her weekly press briefing.

Walmart was the most recent company to announce a wage increase and bonuses as a result of the sweeping legislation, which included a slashing of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.

“A number of companies are attributing the tax bill for being able to give higher wages to their employees as well as being able to give a number of bonuses to their employees. How do you respond to that?” a reporter asked.

“In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic. It’s so pathetic,” Pelosi said.

No word from WalMart employees about whether the $11 minimum and the bonuses are “pathetic” or not.

Not Quite

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who snuck into the country should be deported; but if they’re law-abiding while here, there’s no urgency.

People who snuck into the country and committed crimes while here are worse, so President Trump has prioritized them for deportation.

Lawyers for illegal immigrants are now seeking pardons for their state crimes, so criminal illegals can stay in the pool of not-urgent deportations.  Governor Brown of California issued pardons specifically to interfere with federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Just as Not Guilty doesn’t equal Innocent, Pardoned doesn’t equal Law-Abiding.  We were willing to cut you a break for compassionate reasons but this kind of gamesmanship underscores the seriousness of the problem of immigration abuse by immigrants and Liberals alike, and my sympathy flies out the window.

You don’t like us going after criminals first?  Fine.  We’ll go after every illegal immigrant but only in states that defy us.  Pull every Border Patrol agent out of every other state for a two week sweep through California.  Start with nannies and gardeners in Hollywood and Sacramento but don’t just pick up the illegals, go after their employers too.  Let’s see if they still think resistance is fun when their legal defense bills arrive.

And when Congress gets back in town, we demand special legislation that makes receipt of federal funds dependent on cooperation with federal immigration officials.  No more sanctuary cities, or no more money.

The Resistance is a big swamp and it’s not just in Washington.  Drain the whole thing.

Joe Doakes

Lots of training to do.

Too much even for two terms.

MSGA

Switzerland bans asylum-seekers from obtaining Swiss citizenship if they’ve been on welfare in the past three years.  (Article in German;  If you don’t read German, Google Translate is your friend).

The new law also introduces new criteria for integration. For example, those seeking naturalization must develop Swiss friends and associates. And someone imprisioned conditionally for more than three months is ineligible for naturalization.

There are also various language requirements. Similar to Austria, there are different rules in the different cantons (states) of Switzerland. The highest requirements are in the canton of Thurgau. While (Switzerland in general requires applicants to reach standardized language) level B1, those wishing to naturalise in Thurgau must reach B2 in writing. Spoken level in Thurgau will remain B1.

Preventing people coming for the taxpayer-funded goodies?

Requjiring integration into the language, culture an society?

What’ll they think of next?

Compare And Contrast

The Media’s View Of Smokers

The Media’s View Of Marijuana Smokers

Just to be clear – I don’t care if they legalize weed; I’ve never smoked it, and I never will, but I think prohibition does a lot more harm than good.

But the double standard over things you burn and inhale is pretty comical.

(With nod to Shawn Holster)

Top Heavy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

60 million receiving Social Security, 120 million paying into it, a 2-to-1 ratio of workers to beneficiaries.  We’ve reached the level of the Ponzi scheme pyramid where the scam becomes unsustainable.

How to save it?  Maybe start by eliminating payments to non-citizens.   Why not, they can’t vote you out of office and the rest of us certainly will.  Side benefit – money is fungible.  Every dollar we don’t send to non-citizens living in Mexico is a dollar to Build The Wall and have Mexico pay for it.  Campaign promise kept!

Joe Doakes

I can hear the sputtering already.

A Sign You’ve Solved All The Serious Crises

Dogs at Los Angeles’ animal shelters may  be going vegan:

The idea was proposed by Commissioner Roger Wolfson, a Hollywood screenwriter who cited research that he contended shows vegan diets “eliminate” many health problems in dogs, which are omnivores. But he said rethinking the dogs’ meals is about far more sweeping matters — the environmental effect of a meat industry that produces the main ingredients in lots of dog food and the ethics of feeding animals to animals.

“We have to embrace the fact that the raising and killing of animals for food purposes must only be done if we have absolutely no other choice,” Wolfson said at the meeting, according to a recording published on a county website. “This is about the long-term survival of every man, woman and child in this room, and all of the people in our lives.”

While “progressives” are all about “science” when it comes to smooching Bill Nye’s hindquarters or browbeating fundamentalists, it’d seem they’re swimming against the scientific current here…:

The city’s chief veterinarian, Jeremy Prupas, was not convinced. In a report to the commission, he recommended rejecting the proposal, saying that it could deprive dogs of sufficient protein, calcium and phosphorus and that it could be inadequate for injured, pregnant or lactating pups. Prupas said he’d consulted three clinical nutritionists at veterinary medical schools, one shelter medicine specialist and a veterinary toxicologist who works with a pet food company. None endorsed vegan dog diets, he testified.

Oh, yeah – and vegan dog food, not unlike vegan human food, costs four times as much as the regular stuff.

Which is all fine, if you’re just playing “government dress-up” with other peoples’ money.

Which is another way of saying “California”.

Although if it passes in LA, look for Alondra Cano to propose it in short order in Minneapolis.

“Unexpected”

Canadians raise the minimum-wage – in other words, force people to pay more for a commodity, labor, then it is otherwise worth – and are, inevitably, shocked, shocked, when it backfires.

I’ve always joked, without really joking, that being a progressive requires being ignorant of history as well as economics. It would seem current events also has to be pretty dodgy as well.

Shocked. Shocked.

Mahdatory diversity courses do nothing useful

A crminiology prof at Eastern Carolina University found out that:

After assessing the bias of students before and after the course—using prompts such as “a woman should worry less about their rights and more about becoming good wives and mothers” and “if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites”—Stacey found that the course hadn’t altered students’ attitudes towards race or gender.

Only their attitudes towards homosexuality had changed, she found.

“The results of the t-test indicate that the only significant change over time in the scales was in attitudes toward homosexuality generally,” Stacey reports. “This would suggest that the course has no effect on [attitudes towards women], symbolic racism, or attitudes toward gays/lesbians specifically.”

that’s actually better than I expected; I’d have figured the courses would make matters worse.

Especially given that their purpose is not to foster diversity, but rather to provide jobs for activists and teach students not to question the Big Left’s narrative.

You’re Just Another Panel In The Wall

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The United States border with Mexico is about 1,900 miles long.  Trump seeks $18 billion to build The Wall over 10 years.  Not good enough.  He’s only in office three more years, after which his successor can halt construction.  We’ve seen this before.

Reagan traded amnesty for promises of increased border security, in 1986.  A few miles of fence were built in San Diego in 1990 but Democrats handled the promise like a Popeye cartoon.

Bush signed the Secure Fence Act in 2006 which authorized 700 miles of fence, again mostly in border towns.  It’s just a fence, nothing particularly hard to defeat, and it’s only a short part of the border. 1,200 miles are still wide open.  Immigrants walked around the end of the fence, by the millions.

Bureaucrats complain it’s hard to build a fence in the desert but Israel built a border fence to keep terrorists out after the 2000 conflict.  It’s 450 miles long and they completed it in 3 years, start to finish.  It’s been amazingly effective at keeping out terrorists. Israeli engineers are capable, but Americans are not?  Nonsense.

The lesson from history is clear:  Trump must get the entire remaining 1,200 miles of fence built before he leaves office, or it won’t happen.  The only way to make that happen is to hang a hammer over the heads of amnesty advocates.

When the fence is FINISHED, we will amnesty to qualified immigrants who can prove they were in the country as of 2017.  No new arrivals (end chain migration and anchor babies).   No convicts.

Otherwise, I suspect Derb is correct:  We shall end up with a bill giving amnesty to the DACA illegals in return for an end to the “diversity visa” lottery and a new paint scheme for the border posts. And Trump will be a one-term wonder.

Joe Doakes

And the thing is, even the Border Patrol union – the only government union to endorse Trump – said that they don’t need a wall along the entire border; some parts of the high desert are too remote for all but the most desperate illegals – and anyone with the cojones to cross out in the middle of that Godforsaken nowhere might just deserve a shot at being an American; maybe ship out some millennial “Studies” majors to make it even.

The Pitch Meeting Writes Itself

Noted in advance:  It’s the Daily Mail, which gives tabloids in general a bad name.

On the other hand, the story’s too good to doubt:  British SAS troopers (the unit Delta is modeled after), ambushed in Afghanistan and running low on ammo, take drastic measures to hold out until help arrived:

An SAS soldier decapitated an ISIS terrorist using only a spade after their unit was ambushed by militants during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan.

The veteran sergeant is said to have cut-off the gunman’s head in one swoop after running out of ammunition during a fierce six-hour gun battle.

After killing him, the elite soldier then used the jihadist’s own weapon to kill more ISIS henchmen.

To make the episode even more movie-perfect, the troopers were rescued by a couple of American attack helicopters, in a scene that reads not a lot different from the climactic scene in Lone Suirvivor.

Daily Mail, schmaily schmail.  I want to believe it.

Bring It On

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Governor Dayton appointed Lt. Governor Tina Flint Smith to Al Franken’s seat in the United States Senate.  By operation of the Minnesota state constitution, the President of the Senate, Michelle Fischbach, was automatically promoted to Lt. Governor.

Her promotion created a vacancy in the Senate to be filled in the next Special Election this Fall.  Meanwhile, there is no President of the Senate and Republicans say they won’t appoint one, they want Fischbach to continue filling both roles.  They offered to call a special session so Dayton could appoint a Democrat to the Lt. Governor spot but Democrats declined since they want the tactical advantage of an evenly divided Senate.  Even the Star Trib thought that was a dumb move.  If the controversy goes to the Democrat “justices” on the state Supreme Court, we know they’ll rule the Republican seat is vacant because that creates a deadlock in the Senate which gives Democrats a tactical advantage to extort concessions.

Here’s the thing – what if the Senate meets on February 20th and cannot pick a President?  What if Lt. Governor Fischbach resigns as Lt. Governor to run for her seat in the Special Election?  Then there is no Lt. Governor and a stalemate in the Senate – the worst of both worlds, right?  No, it gets better.  If there’s no President of the Senate, there’s nobody to preside over the Senate, nobody to schedule debate, nobody to take votes, nobody to decide whether legislation passes.  The Senate does nothing this year.

And since Governor Dayton vetoed the Legislature’s funding last year, the Legislature is running on fumes.  When those are gone and the stalemated Senate can’t vote for new funding, the Legislature shuts down and when that happens, there’s no money appropriated to run the Executive, Judicial or Legislative Branches so the entire state government shuts down. We’ll save a bundle.

Wait – there’s more.  The Minnesota Supreme Court’s ruling in November upholding Governor Dayton’s line-item veto said that only the Legislature can appropriate money. But if there’s no money appropriated and the Court has no authority to order it, the entire state government shuts down.

Lack of functioning civilian government is one of the conditions when the President is empowered to impose martial law.  Send General Mattis to St. Paul.

This keeps getting better and better.  Governor Dayton, Closet Republican.  I’m warming up to this guy.

Joe Doakes

Heh.

More Of That Trump Racism

Unemployment among blacks – after reaching very  persistent and long-lasting highs during the Obama regime – has dropped to a record low:

Black unemployment fell to 6.8 percent in December, the lowest ever recorded by the U.S. Labor Department since it began tracking the black unemployment rate in 1972.

Economists say it’s a sign the recovery from the Great Recession is finally starting to help a wider swath of the U.S. population.

During the aftermath of the financial crisis, black unemployment soared to 16.8 percent in 2010, meaning more than 1 out of every 6 African Americans was looking for a job but could not find one. The rate has steadily declined since, breaking the prior all-time low of 7 percent that was set in 2000 during the dot-com boom.

The writer – and, by extension, the WaPo – does their level best to ensure the impact is softened with lots of anti-Trump factoids.  It’s the WaPo, after all.   Trump’s popularity among African-Americans remains microscopic.

Although I have to wonder; would a black American be any more likely to admit being a Trump fan than a Minneapolitan be to admit they owned a gun?

 

The Art Of The Possible

I’ve been saying it on my blog for a couple of years now; I’m not a Donald Trump fan.  Never have been.

Like a lot of mainstream conservatives, I’ve found bits and pieces of peace to make with Trump’s presidency; his SCOTUS nomination, the most conservative cabinet of my adult lifetime, a belated but intense confrontation with mindless identity politics, among others.

But Scott Adams – who, two years ago, was the only pundit that actually got Trump and his phenomenon right – adds another, more-human-than-strictly-conservative reason to be happy after a year of Trump; he‘s pushing back the limits of what is ‘possible”:

Do you remember when it was common wisdom that if the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel it would be a huge problem? President Trump did it anyway. So far, it looks like a minor problem at most.

Do you remember when experts said President Trump shouldn’t mess with the Iran nuclear deal because it could cause a huge problem for the United States and its allies? He did it anyway, and it is likely a supporting variable for the Iranian protestors who don’t like how their government is creating problems that don’t need to be problems.

Do you remember when experts said China will never help squeeze the economy of North Korea because China fears a refugee crisis? President Trump encouraged China to squeeze anyway. Then he helpfully provided satellite photos of tankers cheating on the high seas. After South Korea grabbed and held a second cheating tanker, the economics of smuggling oil have turned negative, or will soon. And North Korea is sounding — at least to my ears — more flexible than ever.

Adams actually lists many more examples; feel free to read ’em.  Of course, the fat lady has yet to sing; will the tax reform gamble pay off with Reagan-era-level growth?  We don’t know.   Only politicians think policy = destiny.

But…:

The meta-impact of President Trump routinely doing the “impossible” is that it changes how all of us view our world. If Trump can keep doing the impossible, time and time again, why can’t we?

Sometimes things are literally impossible. But much of the time we are only limited by our imaginations. Many of us simply couldn’t imagine that a number of the things President Trump has done would work out well. These were not simple surprises; these were failures of our imagination.

And after the eight years of deadening, Carter-like malaise that Obama left (outside the activist class, anyway), that alone is a wonderful thing.