Attention All “Progressives”

To:  All Democrats and “Progressives”, Nationwide
From:  Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: 2020

All,

You owe it to your country, and your progressive souls (well, you know, whatever) to accept nothing less than the following in a Presidential, Congressional, State Executive and Legislative, and city candidate:

  • Push for impeachment.   Tirelessly.  Every news cycle.  Every time you’re on MSNBC or CNN.   And out to dinner.  And while alone in the bathroom.
  • Support banning guns, by executive order if you can’t make it happen via the legislative process.
  • Insist that taxpayers eat $2,000 for every man, woman and child to pay for other peoples’ voluntary borrowing.
  • Support diluting the franchise that is one of the hallmarks of our freedom until it becomes just another bit of graft to be apportioned by our betters.

Accept nothing less.  No matter what it takes.

Orwell Was Right

Ohio Democrat tries to exempt black infants from the legislature’s fetal heartbeat bill.

Because…:

Rep. Janine Boyd proposed Amendment 0291 which would have provided an exception for black mothers to abort their babies. 
Boyd suggested protecting black children from abortion is akin to slavery.
“Black slaves were once treated like cattle and put out to stud in order to create generations of more slaves,” she said during her remarks, which were broadcast on The Ohio Channel. “Our country is not far enough beyond our history to legislate as if it is.”

So – life = slavery?

In case you were wondering if the Democrat “Stupid Caucus” has a deep enough bench waiting in line behind Jerry Nadler, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and the like, fear not.

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.

Stupid Myopic Panic-Stricken Millennials

I almost thought this tweet, apparently by a 20 year old Grievance Studies major from Oberlin College, to be the sort of thing that only Snopes would think wasn’t parody:

Of course, “Edelweiss” was written by Rogers and Hammerstein, in the late fifties. For a movie about some escaping from Naziism.

Here it is, in all its storm-trooper-y goodness:

Silly millennials

UPDATE: I’m told that Ms. Haberman is not actually a grievance studies major from Oberlin, but in fact NBC’s White House correspondent and one of the “elite” “gatekeepers” that are supposed to keep the public’s news safe and hygienic.

My mistake.

Trying To Tell The Difference…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People are objecting to Russian television using a mindless robot news reader because they’re afraid it will spread propaganda.
What, unlike the mindless news readers presently spreading propaganda on CNN, MSNBC, etc.?  Are you kidding me?
Since they’re all just reading the news that someone off-camera gave them, personally, I preferred Ananova. She was a computer simulation of a human rather than an android simulation or Democrat simulation, but she was hot. If I’m going to be lied to anyway, might as well be someone pretty.
Joe Doakes

I can not watch the Russian newsbot just as efficiently as I don’t watch the American news bots…

Open Season

The Jussie Smollett case showed us that there’s a whole different set of rules for people who know the right people, politically.

Or at least, it shows it to people who’ve been hiding under a rock and are juuust starting to pay attention.

Prosecutors in Maryland have dropped even the most token charges against the woman who assaulted Kellyanne Conway while she tried to eat at a restaurant.

In short, Montgomery County prosecutors have usurped the role of lawmakers who criminalized assault and determined the range of penalties for it, and of judges who evaluate mitigating factors. Consider the statement of Montgomery State’s Attorney John McCormick:

Was this woman rude? Yes. Did she violate Ms. Conway’s space and try to embarrass her? Yes and yes. Is this a case where criminal sanctions would have been appropriate? No.

But wait! “This woman” did more than violate Conway’s space and try to embarrass her. She physically assaulted Conway. That’s a crime and should be treated as such.

The message sent by McCormick is clear: Montgomery County residents can assault conservatives and Trump administration officials with impunity here. There has been a wave of confrontations by leftists of such figures in the Washington, D.C. area. Montgomery County is saying that it’s okay during these confrontations to grab and shake the target.

Of course, the Woody Kaine case in Saint Paul – where the son of the Democrat veep candidate and his “Anti”-Fa pals didn’t even get slapped on the wrist for an incredibly violent assault – already showed it to anyone who’s paying attention; in Blue America, even the apparatus of “law enforcement” is doing its part to “other” non-“progressive”thoughts, institutions, and ultimately people.

Land Of 10,000 Insecurities

My NARN colleague Brad Carlson pointed this out to me on social media this morning: Minnesota media, poring over the Mueller report, found…

…a mention of Minnesota.

Something about one of the personalities involved in the case?

Perhaps one of the alleged meetings took place at Madden’s?

Maybe one of Maria Butina’s assignations happened at the Radisson Blu at the MOA?

No.

And when I say “no”, I mean “no, and I’m slinking away in shame about living in a state with media this insecure and pathetic“:

Among the topics they discussed: the electoral battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this didn’t make the news in Detroit, Milwaukee or Philly.

Story

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

You know how you see a person and based on appearance and a few words, make up a story about that person in your mind?  Maybe you don’t.  I do.
I was at Cub, just walking up to the checkout (with actual cashier because I had more than 20 items).  A woman came quickly from an aisle and almost beat me but my cart was ahead of her so she stopped short, holding her basket.
I said “You only have a few items, why don’t you go ahead” and she said “Thank you” and did.  No problem, I’ve got time and she’s obviously in a hurry.  I noticed she’s not wearing a wedding ring but lots of women don’t.  40-ish, very tanned, curly haired, could have been mixed race or could have recently returned from vacation or maybe she hits the tanning booth, none of my business.
So she checks out and starts bagging, I’m moving my cart to the end so I can bag when my stuff is done scanning, she’s talking to the casher.  “Can I get the belt turned on?”  I notice her stuff is only half-way down the conveyor to her. The clerk tells her to push the button but she says “I want it to move constantly.”  It’s one of those padded black squares that you can push with your hip to make it move constantly. She wearing Spandex, not a silk dress.  I’m thinking to myself: lean on it, lady, it’s not that hard.
So right away, I have this story in my mind.  Pushy and not too bright.  Teacher.  Divorced.  Spring break tan. Big hurry because her life matters.  If I were to tell her “Hey, lady, we’ve all got somewhere to be, lighten up,” it’d be a giant insult and possibly a hate crime. I know it’s a complete fiction, a story that I made up in my head about someone I don’t know at all, but I’d be willing to bet I’m right about a lot of it.
Which goes to show why stereotypes are a good thing. They’re efficient.  They allow us to skip all the tedious fact-gathering and elimination of possibilities so we can go straight to avoidance.  It’s why Jesse Jackson is relieved to hear footsteps following him and find it’s an older White guy instead of a young Black guy.
I suppose it would be considerate of me to help other people write their own head-stories so they can more quickly begin avoidance and leave me alone.  Where can I get a MAGA cap?
Joe Doakes

This is more common than people thi…

…OK – it’s more common than people think, as I personally imagine them thinking.

How Not To Defend Yourself

Vincent Nesta Trotter. an eastside Saint Paul homeowner who shot a guy who was alleged to have crashed a stolen car and fled from police, has given us an object lesson on what not to do in a self-defense situation.

Remember – when claiming self-defense, you have to prove you were in reasonable, immediate fear of death or great bodily harm, you tried to disengage, you used only the force you needed to end the lethal threat, and (when outside your home) made a reasonable effort to disengage.

And if, heaven forfend, you are in a shooting that you believe fits those criteria (and in Minnesota, it had better)? My first carry permit instructor, the late Joel Rosenberg, drilled it into his students’ heads; when talking to the police, say only:

I want to talk to a lawyer. I don’t consent to a search.

That – and pointing out evidence and witnesses who attest the fact that you met those four criteria above – are all you say.

You do that so evidence that you violated at least three of those four criteria doesn’t wind up in front of the entire jury pool in the local media. As it seems to have done for Mr. Trotter:

The complaint says Trotter followed police instructions and put the gun on the ground, telling officers, “I pull up and he’s by my door.” The complaint states he also said, “I told him don’t move, he moves, and I let 3 or 4 rounds go. I see blood, so I think I hit him. I tried to hit him. I carry a 45.”
Officers identified the man who was shot as the suspect in the auto theft incident, and believed that he had fled police not long ago. He denied that, but told police that he was walking through the yard at Trotter’s address when a man pulled up in a vehicle and began yelling. He told police he heard shots and got on the ground. He said he was walking away and the man yelled, “Don’t turn around,” then started shooting.

And as if that’s not bad enough:

Surveillance footage shows the shooting victim walk up onto Trotter’s porch and sit down, never attempting to get inside the home. When Trotter’s vehicle pulls up five minutes later, the video shows the victim walk down the porch steps and take about two steps toward Trotter. His hands are visible and away from his body.
The video then shows the man walking away from Trotter, “looking back over his left shoulder as he retreated,” the complaint states, and then Trotter advancing and a muzzle flash from the gun.
Trotter continues to advance with his gun in a “high ready position” while saying something.
“It is clear from the video that (the victim) was retreating away from Trotter as Trotter fired his handgun,” the complaint says.

I’m no lawyer (dear God, thanks) and Mr. Trotter is innocent until proven guilty.

But to the casual observer, it’d seem that Mr. Trotter was not in immediate threat of death or any kind of harm – the guy was walking away and seemed (according to the media report) to show no signs of being armed. He made no effort to retreat – quite the opposite.

We don’t know how the trial (or plea-bargaining) is going to go, but the moral of the story is this: if you’re going to carry a firearm for self-defense, learn the law. And figure out if it’s something you’ve got the temperament to do.

The Gatekeepers

As I try, in my peasant-y way, to navigate the reefs and shoals of all the “fake news” the world throws before us, I’m thankful we’ve got gatekeepers like “Snopes.com” to do our thinking for us.

That’s the American “Fact-Check” industry – guarding the ramparts of American intellectual integrity.

A Nation Of Logrolled Sheep

Gun violence is schools is a quarter what it was 25 years ago, even with the tragic mass shootings in recent years thrown in.

But Big Left and Big Media have succeeded in convincing a fair number of people that 2+2=5:

Twenty years after the Columbine High School shooting made practicing for armed intruders as routine as fire drills, many parents have only tepid confidence in the ability of schools to stop a gunman, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
And while most Americans consider schools less safe than they were 20 years ago, the poll finds a majority say schools aren’t at fault for shootings. Bullying, the availability of guns, the internet and video games share more of the blame.

If you tell people the sky is falling often and consistently enough, people will start carrying umbrellas.

Simplify

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m a W-2 employee with employer provided health insurance.  My wife is retired, collecting Social Security and a pension.  We buy license tabs, pay interest on our home mortgage and give to charity.  We adjusted our withholding so we break even – no refund but nothing due.  With the new simplified tax code, we should be able to file our tax return on a postcard, right?  But no, State and Federal is 17 pages.  I lack the skill to file on paper and lack the patience to play with software so I pay a tax preparor $200 to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s.”
If we lived in a socialist country, I wouldn’t have to deal with any of that.  They government would pay for all my expenses and keep everything I earn aside from doling out a small allowance, same as when I was a kid living with my parents.  It’s beginning to appeal to me.
Joe Doakes

As long as I’m the “parent”, I sure don’t mind.

Somehow, that seems unlikely.

Notre Dame

It was a Sunday morning in the second week of June, 1983. I had just gotten out of my sophomore year of college, and was on the trip to Europe I had been saving for since I was 14.

For the first three weeks, I was in Europe – the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland and what we used to call West Germany (kids, ask your parents) – with the Jamestown College choir. I’ve written about the choir before – it was the little college choir that could; at one point, it had been rated as one of the three best small college choirs in the United States. And 11 years earlier, 1972, it had been the first American choir to be allowed to sing at Notre Dame.

It was 11 years later – a period that doesn’t seem so long anymore. We were getting ready to sing one of the big masses on Sunday morning.

And I had a horrible cold.

And for a beautiful, glorious hour and change, I didn’t care.

The cathedral was built centuries before amplification – and yet the spoken voice carried clearly through the sanctuary; it seems like you could hear every congregant praying, individually, as you sat in the choir.

And singing?

It was one of the most sublime musical experiences of my life.

After the mass, the cold reasserted itself. I needed sleep. I found a cabinet in the basement that looked like it’s been there for hundreds of years, and was covered in dust that looked like it remembered Napoleon. I didn’t care; I slept for two hours and got i shape for the afternoon concert – a full performance for the afternoon audience of worshippers and tourists.

And in that room that had been built halfway between Leif Erickson and Christopher Columbus, I stood and sang and marveled at the sheer acoustic glory of the whole experience.

Not my choir.

I was still sick – but I wasn’t going to waste a gorgeous summer Sunday in Paris. I went to rhe Louvre – because who goes to Paris without going there? – and then got intentionally lost in the Latin Quarter, spending a few hours wandering around quite happy not to know where I was or what I was doing.

I knew I could find my way to the Seine river – and of course, the spire at the Cathedral was almost always visible, wherever I was.

I thought about that the other day, as I watched the spire come crashing to the ground.

And that’s really the last I want to think about that image.

Silence Is Golden

When the police and prosecutors talk with you in relation to allegations of criminal activity, you have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer to keep you from saying something stupid or even just inadvertent that can end up putting you in jail.  

And it doesn’t even have to be anything you say to the cops. 

A few  years ago, during the “Black LIves Matter” protest at Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct, a fellow with a carry permit, Alan Scarsella,  shot and wounded someone from a group of protesters that was chasing him.   His fear of immediate death and great bodily harm was real; he attempted to retreat, running a whole block before firing back; he used the force needed to end the threat (the chase stopped cold when he fired).  

But on the way to the protest, he and his idiot friends made some videos, including some statements (which may or may not have been quotes) that the county prosecutor managed to get before the jury as racist provocations that, in the end, negated Scarsella’s attempt to prove that he wasn’t the aggressor in the jury’s eyes.  He got convicted and sentenced to seven years.  

So if you’re a good guy or gal with a gun who, heaven forfend, winds up shooting someone in self-defense, everything you say can and will be used against you – even things you say long before the episode in question, unrelated to the shooting.  

I thought about that when the media started covering this story – a Saint Paul homeowner shot a suspected car thief. 

And what picture did the Strib, and then every single gun-grabber group, run with?

Photo via the Strib’s Sharon Prather.

From the Strib, with emphasis added:

A 36-year-old man with a gun was with the suspect when police arrived, and he identified himself to officers as the homeowner, police said. He cooperated with the investigation and was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of aggravated assault.
The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Police found the man who had been shot in the side yard of the house after hearing gunfire, said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
A sign in the window of the house read, “No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!” The sign punctuates the message with drawings of bullet holes.

The guy – guys, really – are innocent until proven guilty. And Berg’s 18th Law is still in full effect.

But will the police and county attorney – who both cordially detest the law-abiding gun owner and dislike the notion of the Good Guy With A Gun, use this sign as evidence to logroll a jury, if necessary, into believing that the homeowner, whatever the actual situation, was looking for a chance to use his right to keep and bear arms on someone who “had it coming”?

Yes.

Why embroider it?

If you are a gun owner who is concerned about self-defense, it is imperative that you stop writing on social media, putting stickers on your car, or posting your house with signs talking about what you intend to do to alleged criminals with your firearms.

It’s the same thing I wrote back when I did own guns. I’d never buy another, of course. Guns terrify me.

Evergreen

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

One of the benefits of working in a government building frequented by diverse members of the recently immigrated public is their wide variety of food choices which result in powerful aromas and startling splatter patterns in the men’s restroom.  Sadly, not all of them have fully assimilated the culture of flushing upon completion.  Bladder control in older men is occasionally a problem but I am pleased to report I can now hold my breath for quite a long time.
Joe Doakes

Or, put another way…:

“The cabbie smelled like someone eating gorgonzola cheese while getting a perm in a septic tank beneath a slaughterhouse”
— Dennis Miller

Ethnic food and peoples’ digestive tracts is an evergreen source of yuks.

PC would take that away from us.

Will we stand for it?

Please sit!

The Squeakiest Wheel

So last Monday and Tuesday I went to see *both* nights with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Dakota.

Now, this’ll be the fourth year, I think, I’ve caught Johnny and the band at the Dakota – which is as far west as they ever go, since their fan base never got far west of New Jersey even during their commercial heyday (big album sales in the seventies; some big placements in the eighties; one top-forty single with the help of Jon Bon Jovi, Springsteen, and Steve Van Zandt in 1991).

Now, they are perhaps the tightest band I’ve ever seen. LIterally – the whole seven piece band (guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, trumpet, trombone and sax) taking cues on the fly and launching songs from a 45 year career instantly.

And once every night – just once, a little before halfway through – Johnny seems to decide to test the band on that, by asking the audiene “What do you all wanna hear?”

And then he filters through the cacaphony from the audience, and finds a song, and calls it out – or sometimes just starts singing the first line – and the band counts off and plays.

And in previous years, the call from the stage caught me flat footed.

But not this year. I spent time practicing, drilling on my response, so I’d be there with a title when the challenge when out.

Monday night, when Johnny presented the opportunity to the crowd, I was right there. I donned my projecting radio/command voice, and shouted out “Got To Be A Better Way Home!” – a deep cut from their 1978 album “Hearts Of Stone”.

And a second or two later, boom. There it was.

(Not *quite* that fast).

Now, I do believe gluttony is a sin. But doggone it how many times do you get to go for a bifecta in life?

So the second night, when we got to that part of the show, I was ready. “Sweeter than Honey!”.

And darned if they didn’t launch straight up into it:

I’ll be attending both shows next year, God willing. But I think I’ll sit out the request time. I had my fun.

Worse Than Watergate

Remember the 1970’s?

When society got so skeeved out by domestic spying by the CIA, and abuse of the FBI, and the Church Commission reformed the way the government intelligence was supposed to act around Americans?

Either did the Obama Administration:

A report from journalists John Solomon and Sara Carter last week, based on recently declassified documents, exposed what went on. As Solomon and Carter write:

More than 5%, or one out of every 20, searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards President Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa. …

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying that the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor,” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans. …  The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard Americans’ privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

As former anti-terrorism prosecutor and national security expert Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review, this is a very serious abuse. And potentially a crime. If such material were leaked to the press for political advantage, that’s another crime.

If people can’t trust the institutions with which they share their power, then how is a representative republic possible?

And is that even the goal for many of those in power?

I’m Not Hopey-Changey

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember when Hillary was asked if she wiped her email server and she asked “Wiped?  Like with a cloth?” 
Democrats in Congress asked:  “Did the FBI spy on the Trump campaign?”
Spy?  You mean peer at them through a spyglass, like a pirate might use?  No, we’re the FBI.  We’re not pirates.  We never spy on people. We employed covert agents to infiltrate their campaign, and electronic surveillance to listen to their conversations, which we turned over to political appointees in the White House to forward to the Clinton campaign for use in formulating strategy.
That’s completely different.
Joe Doakes

A dispassionate examination will one day show Barack Obama’s administration no less corrupt than Nixon’s.

The Metaphysics Of Beans

As I noted last month, I’ve spent the past year losing almost 80 pounds.

In that time, I’ve discussed the issue with a few of my friends, many of them who like many Americans could stand to lose a few pounds. More than a few of them have responded “I could never give up…” pasta or ice cream or popcorn or whatever. And I do get that. None of them were easy for me to give up – and now that I’ve lost the weight, I indulge once in a while – but when I was in the middle of things, my response was and remains “nothing tastes as good as getting healthier feels”.

But I’ve gotten a response from a few others that’s caused me to think a little higher up the sociological food chain.

My mom wasn’t a bad cook when I was a kid – but dinner time was a matter of being together, rather than about the food, per se. There wasn’t a lot on the menu that had deep cultural or social significance for us, other than maybe my grandma’s lefse.

Dinner was about eating and family. Not pseudo-mystical connection to food itself.

I’ve met people for whom things are quite the opposite; for whom “foodie-ism” is either a nerd outlet, like being a Star Wars buff, or a pseudoreligion. Our culture caters to both; from the “Food Network” to the celebrity chef culture, there are parts of our culture that totemize, even fetishize, food to one degree or another.

Or that’s my theory.

I thought about this over the weekend, when I listened to “The Delicious Dish”…

…I’m sorry, that was an SNL spoof of NPR.

No, I was listening to “Splendid Table”, a show that used to be a pretty accessible recipe show with Lynne Rosetto-Casper, but has turned almost as serious-about-itself as “On Being with Krista Tippett”.

And I was treated to this:

Lucy Long: I lived in Spain for a year. Part of what I was doing was studying the food culture, and people kept telling me that I needed to go to the north of Spain during a certain season and try their bean soups. I was told that every village had their own variety of bean and would make these into soup or stew. And people who were knowledgeable about this tradition, they could look at a bean and tell that it came from a particular village. They’d spend a day, maybe a weekend, traveling to these villages to eat these beans.
I did go to one or two restaurants in villages and try these. To me, it was just bean soup. I was eating out of curiosity. I didn’t have enough knowledge to fully appreciate the distinctions that were being made. I wasn’t going there as a pilgrim; I was going there as a tourist. I could definitely tell that some of the other eaters were there as pilgrims because they were eating very carefully, they were tasting very carefully, and they were experiencing this on a much deeper level that just eating some bean soup.

And leaving aside the pretension in which the show marinades, it struck me – could the fetishization of foodie-ism be part of our problem?

Maybe not by itself: I doubt that people trekking through Spain to catalog seasonal beans are the ones getting Type 2 Diabetes.

On the other hand, I have to think the fact that our society’s been turning food into recreation, network entertainment, a social marker can’t help, either.

When The “Context” Is Worse Than The “Smear”

What the heck – let’s make *everyone* angry.

Rep. Omar has been taking flak over a video in which she says:

“[the Council on American Islamic Relations] was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Now, the local media and the Associated Press leapt into action to tell the reader that the video is edited to show the remark out of context – which is great, and would be even better if they’d be as diligent on being honest about context on both sides of the aisle. And no, they are not. Only for Democrats.

But it’s true. Here’s the part that came before:

“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it”

The part the GOP oppo researchers clipped out basically makes the remark in the video just a little bit dishonest. Let’s be honest – Omar is not an articulate woman, and it’s easy to nitpick peoples’ statements after the fact. And for those of you who’ve never had to try to operate on a functional, much less professional, level in a language other than your native one, don’t get too cocky

And of course, the media *are* dishonest when they fail to give the same fact-checking diligence to similar smears against conservatives. They fact that they do not – nearly never – is itself proof of corrosive media bias.

But here’s the deal – Omar’s original, in-context statement is even worse than the part in the video.

Second class citizens? Please.

Name a country in the world in which Muslim immigrants have been treated *better*, and been able to more thoroughly integrate into society, than the US? Not “claiming asylum” and “getting benefits”, mind you – actually getting accepted in a society and prospering? In what country in the world, with or without a massive terrorist attack by their radical coreligionists, have they been *more* welcomed and, when they so choose, prospered and enjoyed the *real* benefits of our society *more* than in the US?

Because one can not “become” German or French or Swedish. You can immigrate. You can learn the language, send your kids to school, become a citizen, get a job maybe – but being a German or Dane or Pole or Italian is a matter of birth, language, shared history and ethnicity.

You CAN *become* American – and most Muslim immigrants to the US (Somali teething problems notwithstanding) have, and vastly more successfully than in Europe, which is why there are no “no go” Muslim neighborhoods in the US (and none can every be allowed to happen – for them or any other ethnic group).

What she *actually* said was more ungrateful, more disgusting, more un-American than what the video actually showed.

(This post is about Rep. Omar. Not Islam at large. The usual wave of taqqiyah-theory memes will be purged without comment. Don’t waste your energy. Stay on topic, or find someone else to yap at).

Scandal-“Free”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

next time a SITD critic claims the Obama administration was extraordinarily clean, not a single conviction, remind them of this:
joe doakes

Percpetion is reality.

If Obama’s cronies in the media and Democrat party messaging (ptr) say his time in office was “scandal free” enough times, people will perceive it that way.

Put another way – if Trump worked to defame Latinos the way Obama did to defame law-abiding gun owners, the Southern Poverty Law Center would have issued a fatwa.

Culture Of Paranoia

Forget “conspiracy theories” – the public record shows that the Nixon Administration spied on the Trump campaign…

…sorry. Obama Administration. Obama. No similarity. Perish the thought.

At this point in time, at least six different methods that the Obama administration used to spy on the Trump campaign have been made public:
1. FISA Warrant: Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was targeted with a FISA warrant by the FBI in October 2016. The warrant was subsequently renewed three times for 90-day periods. Other members of the Trump campaign might have had FISA warrants on them, as well.
2. Unmasking: Hundreds of so-called unmasking requests were made for the identities of members of the Trump campaign in intelligence reports. The House Intelligence Committee has so far identified Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, and former CIA Director John Brennan, as having filed such requests.
3. Undercover Informant: The FBI used Stefan Halper, an undercover agent, to infiltrate the Trump campaign. He contacted Trump campaign associates Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Halper has ties to the CIA, as well as MI6.
4. National Security Letters: The use of national security letters to target the Trump campaign was first revealed by officials to The New York Times in a May 16, 2018, article. National security letters allow the FBI to secretly subpoena customer records from banks, phone companies, internet service providers, and others.
5. Foreign Intelligence: British intelligence agency GCHQ provided officials within the CIA with information on the Trump campaign as early as late 2015, The Guardian reported in April 2017. Then-head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan also provided Brennan with sensitive information on the Trump campaign on a “director level” in the summer of 2016.
6. Reverse Targeting: Brennan admitted in an Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that the CIA had obtained the communications of Americans associated with the Trump campaign through what appears to have been the use of reverse targeting. “We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA’s foreign intelligence collection authorities,” Brennan said.

Nixon’s use of federal law-enforcement, and less institutional private entities, to spy on his political opponents was a national scandal.

LBJ’s and Kennedy’s, and everyone who presided over J. Edgar Hoover’s reign at the FBI, less so, for some weird reason.

When The Hail Mary Pass Falls Incomplete

Ever have a friend who’s pinned their hopes on something that, to the outside observer, seemed unlikely if not impossible? A “big investment opportunity”, the “house flip that’s gonna set ’em up on easy street”, the “girl way out of his league saying yes”, the “can’t miss deal”, or any one of life’s hail mary plays?

You’re not an animal – so you may have some sympathy, or at least empathy, for them – but that’s tempered with the realization that the dumbass pinned all his hopes in life on a long shot.

I’m reminded of that watching my Democrat friends responses to the collapse of the expectations of the Mueller Report.

I saved a dozen file-gallon jerry cans of tears to water my “Hahahaha” plants this spring from the opening day alone:

I know, I know – too much Hannity. Work with me, here.

The impact on their psyches, as manifested on social media at any rate, seemed to be…

disproportionate?

Democrats seem both angry and frightened, and their kneejerk and perhaps even somewhat panicked response right now is to try to destroy Barr.
You can feel the frisson of fear they emanate. They waited two years for the blow of the Mueller report to fall on Trump, and now other investigative blows may fall on them. The Mueller report combined with Barr’s appointment could end up being a sort of ironic boomerang (whether or not boomerangs can be ironic I leave to you to decide).
How could this have happened? they must be thinking. How could the worm have turned? But they are spinning in the usual manner, hoping that—as so often has happened in the past—their confederates in the press will work their magic to make all of it go away and boomerang back to Republicans instead.
But whatever comes of it all, if anything, Democrats cannot believe that at least right now their dreams have turned to dust and they taste, instead of the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.

I try to stay sympathetic, on one level – but on another, it’s hard to cut too much of a break for people who put that much of their emotional well-being in long shots, especially the ones that seems so transparently stretchy, over and over and over.