It’s Reform Time

Imagine this: you are walking through downtown…er, Brainerd. It’s dark out, with a tinge of fog in the air. A car full of rural youth with mischief on their minds rolls up and jumps out. One has a gun, another a baseball bat. They are making loud, rural-youth-y noises. In a split second, you discern:

  1. Your life is in immediate danger
  2. They, not you, are the aggressors
  3. You being a middle-aged man or woman, and they being spry rural teens, you don’t reasonably have the means or opportunity to run away.

In a split second, you decide that your concealed handgun is the best way to resolve the situation – whether you shoot or not.

And after the episode, you call the police, lawyer up, and get ready for the process of proving to the court that your decision was correct…

…during which time a county attorney, sitting in a warm, safe office with a Keurig and stacks of law books and protected by metal detectors and deputies, will pick over the life-or-death decision you were forced, against your will, to make on a cold, dark, foggy night in Brainerd, with a grisly death potentially seconds away, to see if your attempt to flee was satisfactory enough under not only statue, but according to at least a dozen items of Minnesota case law.

Seem reasonable?

If so – in what world? Seriously?

Turnabout

After a couple of sessions of playing on the defensive on gun rights, the good guys are going over to the attack.

A Self Defense Reform bill has been introduced at the MIinnesota State Legislature.

ACTION ALERT – STAND YOUR GROUND
BILLS INTRODUCED IN HOUSE & SENATE
Our Stand your Ground bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate by Senator Carrie Ruud (R – SD 10) as Senate File 13 (SF13) and in the Minnesota House by Representative Lisa Demuth (R – 13A) and Representative Matt Bliss (R – 5A) as House File 131.

This bill, known as Self-Defense Law Reform, or “Stand your Ground”, legislation simplifies Minnesota’s self-defense law by codifying the 10-12 court cases that interpret our existing statutory law while removing the ridiculous “duty to retreat” concept that requires Minnesotans to retreat from an attacker before defending themselves with force.

This is our Stand your Ground legislation with bill content honed by use of force and legal experts and backed by our years of advocacy experience.

Why propose the change to law? See the example above.

But why try to pass the bills now?

Future Math

You may ask yourself “Why? What’s the point? There’s a DFL governor, and the House is controlled by Melissa Hortman and Uncle Ryan Winkler?”

Think about it for a moment: the DFL lead in the House is pretty thin, and several of those DFLers are in distant suburbs that went for Trump, or are net-Red districts in normal times. And there’s history – in 2002, the gun rights movement pretty much extincted all the anti-gun DFLers, leading in short order to passage of Carry Permit reform in 2003. And that was at a time when the state wasn’t nearly as polarized on gun issues as it is today. And if Hortman causes the bills to be tabled in the House while it passes the Senate? That’ll be remembered in 2022.

And Governor Walz? If he vetoes such a bill, it’s going to be used as an electoral sledgehammer against every DFLer outside 494 and 694. And it’ll draw blood.

Turn Out

The MN Gun Owners Caucus runs an “Action Center” with info on contacting your legislators, as well as all the other things we can do to move the needle on this. Remember – Senate File 13, and House File 131.

Eventually the Legislature is going to get tired of replacing melted switchboards.

Berg’s Seventh Law Is A Sledgehammer

Democrats. after an election when media both mainstream and social worked overtime to install them in office, propose to “rein in the media”:

During a lengthy Instagram Live on Tuesday evening where she revealed that she feared for her life during the siege, the “Squad” member accused the mainstream media of “spewing disinformation” ahead of the deadly riot in which five people died.

“There’s absolutely a commission that’s being discussed but it seems to be more investigating in style rather than truth and reconciliation,” she said.

“I do think that several members of Congress in some of my discussions have brought up media literacy because that is part of what happened here,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went on.

“We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” she said.

So – yet again, while calling all Republicans “Nazis” by implication and association, Democrats act like…

…well, Democrats.

#Unexpected

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A couple of days ago, I urged application of Berg’s 18th Law of Media Latency to the events at the Capitol. I was right. The FBI has charged a Leftist for the Capitol riot. He was running a false flag operation, dressing as a Trump supporters to infiltrate the crowd to commit violence.

Still, I’m seeing bloggers and columnists on the Right saying that even though President Trump did not urge his supporters to commit violence; and even though Leftist infiltrators did commit it; it’s still President Trump’s fault.

Look, I expect the Left to blame the victim of its false flag operation – that’s the point of running a false flag operation. I expect Never-Trumpers to do it too, because they hate Donald Trump and want him gone by any means.

I wasn’t expecting it from people nominally on our side. It’s disappointing. There’s a flavor of Saint Peter’s Denial about it, of throwing the man under the bus to avoid denunciation by the Liberal mob, of saving one’s own skin at the expense of one’s own principles.

In terms of fighting the system, I think Donald Trump may have been the greatest American President since Andrew Jackson. I think his reelection victory was stolen from him. I think he has received shabby treatment from his friends and allies, people I thought were my friends and allies.

Monday is a federal holiday to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., another man who fought the system and lost. I’m taking a few days off to think about things. Take care, everyone.

Joe Doakes

There’s a lot to think about this month.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 3: Steam

Democracy can’t survive if we can’t trust our institutions.

We’ll come back to that.

Steamed

In Tom Wolfe’s 1987 satire Bonfire of the Vanities, a young black man is run over by a car driven y a millionaire bond trader. A Bronx DA and couple of New York cops investigate.

In one part of the story, a huckster minister, clearly modeled after Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or some such, explains his role in the community to the investigators.

In his metaphor, community anger is “steam”, building inexorably as the heat rises, ready to blow the boiler sky high if something isn’t done. That “something”, naturally, is the good reverend plying his services, as a “steam valve”.

For a price.

The book was head, shoulders and ankles better than the movie – a box office bomb that nearly ended Tom Hanks as an A-lister, thirty years back – but this scene more or less gets the point across:

The reference I’m calling out is 2:00 minutes into the clip

But remember – they’re the ones that cover the news to the highest of standards.

We’ll come back to that.

Answering Their Master

Republicans since Richard Nixon have known that the media was biased to the left. Over this past twenty years, it’s been almost beyond parody. Over the past five years, literally, parody has been more accurate than journalism.

But there’s a level of parody beyond which even The Onion or The Babylon Bee would feel awkward going. Our “elite” media has no such limits:

More locally? I could go back a bit, to the media’s response to conservative protest and the Tea Party – and that was the least of the problems. The IRS abused its power to try to shut the Tea Party down.

And there was nary a peep from the establishment media. “Law enforcement” under the Obama administration did nothing at all. The agent of the scandal, Lois Lerner, retired with her full government pension and the tacit thanks of the Obama regime.

More recently, there’ve been two episodes that show how very, very unequal we are in this country, depending on your politics.

On March 4, 2017, a group of Republicans held a rally at the Capitol. A group of “Anti”-Fa used a counter-demonstration for a delivery system, violently attacking the Republicans, injuring several.

And how did the justice system in Ramsey County work? Like a fraternity hazing. Without the hazing. The defendants – including the son of Hillary Clinton’s VP nominee, weren’t so much prosectuted as féted. Had John Choi done otherwise, he’d have never done lunch at the Lex again.

More recently? Last summer, a Minnesota state DFL legislative candidate famously threatened brutal violence on a Twin Cities suburb for being home to Bob Kroll.

It passed.

Fast.

This, of course, after a series of citywide riots for whichi justice was slow, dilatory and diverted by stories of “white supremacists with umbrellas” doing improbable feats of mischief.

And, behind it all, a long trail of elaborate rationalizations for the rioting: after centuries of (checks notes) systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, economic and environmental racism and mansplaining, a riot was a positive public health good, to deal with all that built up “steam”.

But only the correct rioting.

Because if Pro-Life Action tried to block a freeway, Jacob Frey would have water cannon and attack dogs out there before the protesters got over the fence. And everyone involved knows it.

As re protesting, there are Two Americas.

But only one America gets to release its “steam” in polite company.

What About

I’ve mentioned this to others in the past week.

Some have said “mind the ‘whataboutism'”.

This isn’t whataboutism.

This is pointing out that when sides perceive, correctly, that the deck is stacked against them, they will find coloring outside the lines more and more acceptable.

Which is the exact rationalization the left uses for BLM’s shenanigans; inequality begets rage!

Well, yeah. It does. As we’ve seen.

But it’s not just the usual enemies.

More tomorrow.

Questioning The Narrative

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A few people have asked me why those wacko idiot Trump supporters don’t
believe Biden won the election fair and square. I can’t speak for other
wacko idiot Trump supporters, only for myself:

An election is announced.
Voters cast ballots in person and by mail.
Election observers gather to watch the ballots being counted, to ensure
it’s done fairly.
Election officials order observers out of the counting room.
Election officials put cardboard over the windows so observers can’t see in.
Election officials secretly count the ballots by machine and announce a
result.
The losing candidate doubts the result.
The losing candidate requests a manual recount with ballots individually
verified.
Instead, election officials run the same ballots through the same
machines again.
The losing candidate requests access to the software to verify the result.
Election officials order the software logs wiped.
The losing candidate requests access to the paper ballots to verify the
result.
Election officials order the paper ballots shredded.
Citizens post videos and swear affidavits that election fraud occurred.
Statisticians and computer techs give expert opinions that election
fraud occurred.
The court declines to review any evidence from the losing candidate for
lack of ‘standing’ meaning he can’t bring his case until the Secretary
of State certifies the election results.
The Secretary of State certifies the machine results.
The court declines to review any evidence from the losing candidate on
the grounds of ‘laches,’ meaning he waited too long to bring his case.
The state legislature de-certifies the machine result and sends its own
result to DC.
Bureaucrats in the National Archives decide to accept only the machine
results.
Congress accepts the machine results and declares the losing candidate lost.
The ‘losing’ candidate and his supporters exercise their First Amendment
rights to protest.
Violence breaks out, which is blamed on the ‘losing’ candidate despite
his calls for peace.

After seeing these events, millions of Americans join the ‘losing’
candidate in doubting the machine results and suspecting the ‘losing’
candidate actually won the election but his victory was stolen from him
by fraud committed by Election Officials. Liberals declare people who
question the machine results are obtuse, they’re dumb, they’re idiots
and retarded. People who question the machine results are banned from
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; blocked from Google ads and YouTube
videos; accused by prominent politicians of plotting to overthrow the
government; a national media figure declares the government should take
away their children to be sent to re-education camps; a congresswoman
demands they be blacklisted from future employment; and the media calls
for the ‘losing’ candidate’ family to be criminally prosecuted, their
assets confiscated, their business forfeited.

My response my questioner is: seeing the chicanery, the coverup and the
vicious vindictiveness toward all who seek to verify the election
results, how can you believe Biden won the election fair and square?

Joe Doakes

The usual answer is “why are you a Nazi”.

Let’s see how the usual suspects in the comment section manage.

Progsplaining Orwell

The left’s urge to control thought has gotten to none other than George Orwell himself – a push that is positively…

…well, you know where I’m going.

The piece is an object lesson on how American education has failed society in completely abrogating the teaching of critical thinking. How can we tell?

The gaping irony of this bit, for starters, responding to people who “reduce” Orwell to “tyranny bad, liberty good”:

But Orwell’s book is much more sophisticated. Orwell was interested not just in communicating the badness of totalitarian regimes but also dissecting how they succeed through the manipulation of language.

And in comparing the fascists Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War (on the side of the doomed communists) with Trump supporters, the writer and USAToday participate in the reduction of the language to a tool of political coercion.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 2: The Donkey In The Room

Pardon a brief, but I believe illuminating detour into psychology.

For this detour, I’ll ask your brief indulgence; try to go back to a time, five short years ago, where the term “Narcissism” hadn’t been hijacked by cancel culture to refer, like “Racism”, “Whiteness” and “Fascism”, to refer to “anything that triggers me or refers to people I hate but can’t reasonably define why”. Like all those terms, and many more, modern leftist academic and media culture has dumbed it almost out of existence. Remember a few years back, when the term “narcissism” was both an ethical description of a personality trait – solipsism to the point of self-destruction – and a clinical diagnosis, one of many flavors of “Personality Disorder”.

With that indulgence asked, onward.

I may be the only pundit in the world who refers to this article, 20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You – a key tool for describing modern-day “progressives”.

And when you read through them, it’s not even a stretch.

  • Gaslighting: “Mask (or climate, or white supremacy) denialism shows you don’t care about others!”,
  • Projection: This blog has made a virtual science out of cataloging that trait.
  • Nonsensical conversations from hell: the language of modern academic “social justice”, which has been leaching into and leeching from public education for decades, is the very definition of the “word salad” that defines this trait.
  • Blanket Statements and Generalizations: “One in five women will be raped at university”, and the concepts of “Toxic Masculinity (Whiteness, Individualism, etc, etc)” leap out at one.
  • Deliberatelly misrepresenting your thoughts and feelings: Here was a master class in the subject.

That’s just the first five. I could – and soon, no doubt, will – go on from there.

Indeed, I commend you to read the list, and think of how it applies to the Progressives you deal with.

Control

Captain Obvious phoned in with the following statement of the plain-as-day: As the Democratic Party has moved sharply to the left, and been taken over by people who reject the tenets and goals principles of the civilization that the United States has always led, control of power has become the goal.

“Yeah, but that’s all politics”.

Sure, in a sense. And I don’t want to overidealize the way 240 years of American politics have hewed to those principles.

But it’s not a stretch to say that Hubert Humphey would be laughed out of today’s Democratic Party; that Lyndon Johnson would be revered not for his principles, but for his tactical acumen; that Jimmy Carter would be treated like a naive college kid.

You can say, if you want, that the Democratic party doesn’t itself exalt the worst, most toxic traits of modern “progressive” culture – cancel culture, identity politics, an academy that would have made Orwell recoil in horror, and a desire to control not only the narrative but history itself that Mao would have loved.

You could say – as many Democrats have said to me – that the fact that Biden is, himself, proof that Democrats reject this. To do this, you have to ignore the fact that his mental shelf date is (I take no joy in saying this, dealing as I am with a parent with dementia) very obviously approaching, and those waiting in the wings make no bones about their own goals and means. You have to ignore the way the left is governing at the state and especially local level, looking at the left’s “bench”, the Lori Lightfoots and Gavin Newsomes and Fredo Cuomos and Squiggy DiBlasios, not to mention the endless self-adoring prattle of The Squad.

And you can look at the tortuous rationalizations – “Nonsensical conversations from hell” – by which they justify the months of rioting to which, it’s fair to say, last week’s rumble at the Capitol was in large part a response.

But let’s be clear on something, here:

Where Blame Is Due

The blame for the Capitol riot goes to the rioters, and those, up to and including the President, who fomented it. No way around it.

But it didn’t happen in a vacuum.

Progressivism – with its habit of hamfisted power that rules by turning people against each other – was the fuel for the fire, not only last week but behind our society and country’s downward arc this past few decades.

And like all fires, it needs a spark and air to start burning.

We’ll come back to that next.

Some Animals

A democracy can not survive if people do not trust its institutions – the law enforcment, courts, voting systems, education, and the media that is ostensibly charged with keeping government accountable.

Hold that thought.

On March 4, 2017 – six or so weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration – a Republican event in the rotunda at the Capitol in Saint Paul was crashed, literally, by a group of “Anti”-Fa. They hit an elderly woman in the head with a smoke bomb, one of the “men” in the group punched a seventeen-year-old girl in the face, and they pepper sprayed a group of Republicans who had the termerity to fight back.

It was low-grade terrorism – trying to shut down one’s opposition with violence.

The offenders – including “Woody” Kane, son of Hillary Clinton’s VP nominee, Tim Kane – got off too lightly for it to be called a slap on the wrist. More like DFL loyalist John Choi whispering “slap” at Kane’s wrist while giving him a back rub.

Think a Republican would have gotten off so lightly maliciously attacking Democrats?

Jacob Frey all but gave “Anti”-Fa an engraved invitation to attack Republicans at the various Trump rallies in Minnesota; the hospitality apparently convinced them to stay around and burn the place in the bargain.

In the meantime, utterly peaceful groups like the GOP National Convention and the Tea Party were actively oppressed.

It’s not just the Twin Cities, of course; while there’s a broad sense of disquiet at Trump’s post-election behavior, the same people who insist Trump ordered the riot at the Capitol (hint: give us a pointer to the time-mark in a video. We’ll wait) are utterly silent about Nancy Pelosi’s ongoing, onanistic fantasies about violence about Republicans, uppermost among those of many, many other Democrats.

Bring this up in the context of law week’s Capitol riot, and you’re accused of “whataboutism”.

False.

The point isn’t “Democrat do it too”.

The point is, if we can’t trust our institutions to hold everyone accountable, by the merits of the case rather than their politics, how is a free society supposed to survive?

Jenn at Redhead Rambling comments along similar lines:

The left hasn’t bothered to look into why 73 million people cast their vote for Donald Trump this election. I don’t know if they don’t care, or they don’t want to know the answer or if they assume deplorables are so beneath them it’s simply not worth the effort. Not all 73 million of those votes came from people like the ones who breached the Capitol. Most of them came from regular people, even if they won’t admit it to you.

It would behoove the left to figure out why because the midterms are fast approaching and shit like this ^ will impact that vote.

In the USA we govern by laws, laws meant for everyone to follow, not just the deplorables and the peons. We actually expect people like Nancy Pelosi and Chris Cuomo to follow the same rules and laws they expect us to follow. It’s actually one the things that makes this a pretty awesome country.

One would logically suspect that even the most blinkered Blue-stater would realize that without a nation, they really have no meaningful power.

The Usual Suspects

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump supporters on the Mall

“Trump Supporters” who stormed the Capitol.

We’ve seen the horned-hat guy before:

Wasn’t there a famous incident a centuray ago, a fire blamed on innocent people which gave a certain politician the excuse to seize power?
Are we absolutely certain the troublmakers were ordinary Trump supporters, same as the rest of the crowd outside, and not infiltrators hoping to cause a backlash against President Trump and his supporters protesting the stolen election

Joe Doakes

Whether the riot was launched by provocateurs or not, plenty of Trump supporters did participate with great glee. There’s a dilemma, of course – if there’s one thing we learned during the Tea Party, at gun rights and pro life and tax-protest rallies, it’s that conservatives need to behave impeccably, because the media and the Dems oppo research staff (pardon the redundancy) will pick over every utterance, visual and thought for wrongthink).

(If there’s another thing we learned it’s that the left’s slander machine and control of the administrative state makes perfect behavior irrelevant. Lefty social media today is awash in claims that the Tea Party was racist, violent, and a tool of the Koch Brothers, who (we’re told) bought all of American politics for a few years).

But whoever turned the demonstration into a riot, and whatever the reasons, the left is responding to last week’s events with a technique they’ve mastered; not wasting a crisis. Whoever did what, it will be spun relentlessly to their advantage.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 1: The Devil Wears Orange

Donald Trump inspired clichés by the big-box store-load long before he dipped his toe into politics. Even back when he was a pop-culture hero of sorts among the crowd that worshipped blinged-out idols, even before MC Hammer brought it to the mainstream:

Y’know – back when he was a Democrat.

You don’t need me to list Trump’s faults as a person, politician and President – indeed, we have a multi-billion dollar industry devoted entirely not only to cataloging them, but making up new ones out of thin air.

We’ll come back to them.

The Usual Bla Bla Bla

But along with all of the faults imagined from whole cloth (the “Fine People” slander hops to mind – which, again, we’ll come back to later), and his many offenses against the supposed decorum of the Presidency (real or imagined – and I’ll skip past Bill Clinton’s desporting himself in the Oval Office to jump back to Woodrow Wilson using it as a de facto Ku Klux Klan field office to try to introduce a little context into the notion of decorum), he had some real ones; I can’t help but think if he’d just turned his Twitter feed over to a moderately clever mid-level staffer, he could have kept the “outflank the media” aspects of his social presence without the, let’s be honest, crazy and intemperate and, God help me for saying it, unpresidential parts of his public presence. Enough to have won the election? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Of course, to be intellectually honest, you – and by “you”, I mean “the Never Trump clacque” – need to admit he did some things very, very well. For starters, he did the one thing I, a Trump skeptic, had hoped for, and exceeded my hopes by half; he empaneled a genuine originalist majroitiy on the SCOTUS. And in foreign policy terms, he may have been the most successful President we’ve had since George HW Bush, and Reagan’st first term before him.

Never Never Land

The previous paragraph might be read as a swipe at the “Never Trump” crowd – which includes some people I respect very much, and some I never really did, and some for whom I’ve gradually lost regard over time.

“Never Trump” largely, if not completely, devolved into a bunch of scolds of no more political use than the Libertarian Party, chanting “I Told You So” with all the convincing authority of that “Karen” who yaps at you about putting your groceries on the conveyor before the cashier has sanitized it.

I say this as someone who has been an active Trump skeptic since 1986 – back when most Democrats and Never-Trumpers were making Trump a TV star through most of the 2000s, as I’m fond of pointing out – and who was actively interested in “Never Trump” activities up to and including reviving the Federalist party around this time five years ago.

The Real Deplorable Thing

But the biggest problem with Trump isn’t Trump. The media and pop culture would have said many of the same things about Mitt Romney or John McCain or Marco Rubio, or most likely Martin Luther King if he were alive today and voting Republican.

Trump won in the first place because he saw the left’s strategy – harness the populist power of identity politics – and, for five years, did it better than the Progressives. He turned blue collar whites, and people in Red state in general, into an identity group and fairly coherent voting bloc – finally ending the 100 year old notion that Democrats were “the party of the working man” once and for all.

So populism was the car that drove him to the White House. Where he governed in some ways as a conservative (in foreign policy terms, on the SCOTUS, in slashing regulation), and in some ways as the most profligate “progressive” in history (he spent like the Democrat he used to be).

But there was something worse.

Personality

Remember Ron Paul? In 2008 and 2012, a lot of Republicans, especially younger ones, staged and insurgency in the GOP behind the Texas Libertarian-Republican. Much as I supported much of what Paul stood for (domestically, at least – his foreign and defense policies were just as historically ignorant as the Libertarian Party’s), looking at his mobs of idealistic acolytes, I asked more than once “You do realize that even if he’s elected, he’ll be able to do nothing he promises, since there’s not a majority of Paulite House and Senate candidates running to help push the agenda, right? And that the only way to enact that idealistic vision of government would be for Paul to stage a libertarian coup, and impose an absolute Libertarian dictatorship, and force Liberty on the people against their will.

There was no telling that to the Paul Kids – not back then, anyway. Such is the allure of the personality cult, among those who haven’t really paid attention to how much drag and lag and need for consensus is (as of 2020) built into the system.

And Trump certainly developed his own personality cult in the GOP.

On the one hand – the Never Trumpers remind us – Trumpism is not conservatism. And they’re right. It’s populism, and populism, giving people what they want now, is only rhetorically distinguishable between the Left and the Right. “Trumpism” tramples the principles of conservatism behind which the GOP…

…er…

…I was going to say “behind which the GOP stands”. Of course, the GOP, at least in DC, hasn’t for a long time.

We’ll come back to that.

Anyway – “Trumpism” turned, at least at the point of the retail-political sphere, into a personality cult, no less impervious to logic than the Hillary or Obama cults, no less focused on the person rather than the policy than the Ron Paul fan club.

To far too many Trump supporters in all of our social circles, policy wasn’t the goal; Trump was.

And given the GOP’s behavior over the past decade, why wouldn’t someone who didn’t care about how the political sausage was made, but how awful it tasted, see it any differently?

We’ll come back to that two episodes down the road.

It’d be easy, and facile, but no more than a little inaccurate, to say last week’s riot at the Capitol was about keeping the person in office (assuming you discount the notion that “Anti”-Fa provocateurs did the job – and for purposes of this argument, I do), rather than the policies and the repudiation of the oppression of Big Left. To way too many people, Trump doesn’t lead the effort against the toxic, narcissistic marginalization that Democrats relentless focus on identity politics brings; he is that effort.

It’s a toxic perception – indeed, a toxic reality. Democracy dies in cultism.

That cult didn’t occur in a vacuum, of course.

More on that coming up next.

Greetings, New Absolutists!

I’d like to issue a hearty “welcome” to all of you “progressives” out there who, in view of Twitter’s wholesale de-platforming not only of President Trump but masses of fairly mainstream conservatives, have become zealots for property rights (private and corporate) and freedom of association.

Good for you! It’s a big step!

Now – you and your movement owe a bit of an apology to all those bakers, photographers and florists you’ve been legally harassing for the past decade.

But baby steps! You can do it!

Rubble Bounced

My old friend and radio colleague Ed Morrisey is one of more than a few Republicans who, disgusted by (obviously) the riots, but  moreso by the usurpation of the state control of elections and Electors that happened in Congress last week (the real “coup attempt”, and one of the  most self-destructive power grabs in my memory), is leaving the GOP.

Read the whole thing at your leisure.  Here’s the conclusion

The caveat of “I don’t support violence in any way” is meaningless — a dodge around the betrayal of the principles on which this party stood at one time. This is nothing more than an endorsement of brute-force majoritarianism at best, and at worst an explicit endorsement of mob rule. In fact, it seems like a celebration of mob rule, one cheered on by Donald Trump’s closest formal adviser in the White House.

Before this, questions had already arisen as to how republicanism could coexist with populism. This goes waaay beyond that question. The disgrace in Congress, even apart from the mobs, severed the connection between Republicans and republicanism in any meaningful American sense. They aren’t republicans now, but instead a radical form of small-D democrats whose only aim is gin up outrage in sufficient quantities to “own the libs.” That’s not just on Donald Trump; it’s now on the entire party and its leadership.

That’s their choice; my choice is very clear. I don’t choose to participate in such a nihilistic political party. I’ll stand on my own as an independent, ready to vote for responsible conservatives but under no obligation to vote for or support anyone else. Until the GOP comes to its senses and returns to true republican and federal principles, I will not be back.

Speaking for myself?  I’m not going to pretend that my party affiliation matters for much of anything to anyone.  I stopped donating money to non-conservative candidates years ago, after the party’s establishment slandered the Tea Party away from its place at the table.  I stopped being an activist two years ago – not “over Trump” per se (again, I’m not of the opinion that my choices of affiliations, or activism, matter in the great scheme of things all that much).

For what it’s worth?   I intend to fight to re-save the soul of the GOP.   There is a legacy worth saving, and passing on to people who haven’t seen much evidence of it in the past decade.

But it ain’t gonna be easy.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 0

I spent a lot of time thinking about this scene last week:

I first started paying serious attention to politics in about 1980. Like a lot of high school kids, then and now, I was somewhere out on what would be called “the left”; I wrote a platform for North Dakota Boys State (a statewide mock government program put on by the decidedly conservative American Legion) that called for systematic redistribution of wealth, abolishing nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament, and a whole bunch of stuff that would be pretty mainstream among the Bernie Bros today.

Three years later, due to the good graces of my English professor, Dr. Jim Blake, I had re-evaluated most of my assumptions. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984, and never really looked back.

And I had no reason to. None of us did. Although the history books, all being written from the perspective of the Left, will never admit it, the two decades from 1980 to 2000 were, objectively, the last American Golden Age. I’ll squeak out an optimistic coda and add “so far”, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t been feeling it, but I’m a firm believer in acting like you want to feel, and so there is is. “So far”.

I’ll come back to that.

There’s no denying it was one of the high points of American history. We led an economic surge that brought more wealth to more people than any in history. We, as a nation, led a political surge that led to the collapse of one of the most evil regimes in history (although not the other one – so far).

Maybe it’s just the perspective of one guy’s lifetime – but I suspect you’d have to look long and hard to find a place and time when it was generally better to be a human.

Not just in material terms, but in terms of the tension between freedom and order, one of the hardest things about running a self-governing society, being in relative balance – and, more importantly, the general commitment to the system and process that kept all those moving parts in balance.

And it’s been downhill from there.

The arc from Morning in America in 1980 to last week’s skirmish at the Capitol – which, loathe as I am to come even close to Democrat chanting points, was a form of coup, not against President-Elect Biden, but against the states’ constitutional power to select electors – peaked…somewhere in the late ’90s – when one of the glories of the American system, gridlocked government, combined with a Peace Dividend brought about by the end of the Cold War (thanks, President Reagan), led to an outburst of technological, entrepreneurial and market power that brought so much wealth, and security, and general well-being, to so many people that it may have been as close to a uptopia, in some ways, as humanity can get. Because of the gridlock in government.

Somewhere between 1998 and 2005, things started to turn back south again. It’d be easy to point to the polarization of American politics, starting with the various Clinton scandals, through the fiasco of the 2000 election, the near-decade of squabbling over the War on Terror and the 2008 government-caused financial meltdown, as the cause – but it went in parallel with a lot of other changes in our nation’s political, moral and social lives that have led to their…

…I was going to say “culmination” last week at the Capitol. But of course, that’s not true. Last week’s sorry episode was, like last summer’s riots, and the social back and forth that gave us Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Trump himself, and the movements that supported them all in a way that was increasingly “un-American” (I’m still claiming a meaning for that term), and if you think that was the peak, or trough, or any sort of ending to the story, you just haven’t paid attention to 20,000 years of human nature.

So let’s not call it a culmination. Let’s call it a checkpoint, on a path that may be going up, or down, but control over which We The People need to take before the phrase “We The People” is forever relegated to the museum.

How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?

Let’s talk about it.

We’ll start with President Trump, next.

But we’re damn sure not going to finish with him.

If We Start Giving “Walter Duranty” Awards…

…I hereby nominate Twitter:

Bonus question – which late-night host or CNN “personality” will be the first to parrot this?

Democracy Dies In Self-Inflicted Darkness

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

President Trump got elected despite the near universal opposition of legacy media by going around them, using social media to communicate with the public.  President Trump believes he was re-elected despite the near universal opposition of legacy and social media, but his victory was stolen from him.

Twitter has banned President Trump, Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and other Trump supporters.  It has banned discussion of the disputed election results. 

Apple and Microsoft have banned Parler, a Twitter alternative, so President Trump and his supporters cannot simply switch software to get his message out. Facebook has a history of shadow banning, throttling and now outright banning Conservative voices such as Alex Jones, Milo Yainnopoulos, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, #WalkAway and President Trump himself.When the quote was uttered nearly a century ago, the State directly controlled the legacy media and social media did not exist.  Nowadays, the State doesn’t need to control anything: willing collaborators and eager fellow-travellers control all the information outlets. The Big Lie has been spoken.  It is endlessly repeated in Liberal messaging and dissent ruthlessly suppressed. 

Democracy dies in darkness and Liberals are thrilled to be doing it. My question: what comes after democracy?  

Joe Doakes

History has that answer.

It’s not pretty.

Ricardo Lopez: Middle School Reporter

Ricardo Lopez writes for “MN Reformer”, which is a website in the tradition of the old “MN Monitor” – basically a propaganda site funded by progressive plutocrats with deep pockets,

Further proof that not only the Democratic party, but its pet media (and the Reformer is nothing but a paid PR lapdog for Ken Marti) can assume that their audience isn’t an especially critical bunch of thinkers.

Because, say what you will about Miller’s letter, logically or epidemiologically, but other than choosing the word “Exchange” over the more apposite “Exposure”, he got the mechanics of how we currently know Covid is spread pretty right.

It took Lopez’s apparently eighth-grade sense of discernment to read “sexual transmission” into a choice of words that, otherwise, got things basically correct.

But in a world where Samantha Bee is among the left’s top journalists, it doesn’t not make sense that someone like Lopez would do…well, this.

Grabbing While The Grabbing’s Good

On the one hand, Democrats have (aside from any contrariness Joe Manchin may express) complete control of Federal government for the next couple of years.

What does this mean for law-abiding gun owners?

Well, they are certainly floating the trial balloons already. And Biden (and, perhaps more importantly, Harris) were pretty clear during the campaign: they want to ban “assault weapon”, clap arbitrary limits on magazine sizes, and make it possible to register guns and allow pretty much anyone with a personal beef to get your guns confiscated.

It’s in their DNA, of course. But I suspect there’s going to be a certain urgency about it.

For one thing, even before 2020 there was a solid case to be made that gun culture” is winning the culture war.

And while the mainstream media will never dig into it, there’s a solid case to be made that gun ownership and the culture that goes with it broke even farther out of its traditional white/male/30-60/rural niche and went even more widespread in society.

“First-time gun buyers favor Biden over Trump,” the Dallas Morning News reported of pre-election Texas survey results. “In fact, 51% of first-time purchasers surveyed favored Biden, while 43% favored Trump.”

As you might expect, this complicates matters for Democrats who have long used gun restrictions as an easy way to bash political enemies while doing minimal harm to their own constituents. With gun ownership becoming a nonpartisan taste, restrictive laws threaten to inconvenience and anger supporters as much as opponents.

Sure enough, “Americans’ appetite for gun control is the lowest it has been since 2016,” according to Gallup. And while a large majority of Democrats still favor tighter restrictions, support has declined even in that group by five points. New gun owners, along with long-time shooters, are likely to respond to stricter gun laws with prickly defiance.

And this bit here – which is something I’ve been hoping would evolve for a loooong time:

“Previous studies have proposed two sides of gun culture: one focused on recreational use and a second on self-defense. But the new BU study identifies a third mentality, made up of people who view the defense of the Second Amendment as necessary to freedom in the United States,” Boston University (BU) announced last summer. “This so-called ‘gun culture 3.0’ has increased the most in states that have strengthened their gun laws to the greatest degree, suggesting it may be triggered by perceived threats on individual liberty by the government.”

So my thesis – call it aspirational, if you want, because you’re not wrong – is that the Progs who now control the wheels and levers of federal government need to make their move now, because they may not get another chance.

And given that depending on Joe Manchin’s sympathies (and perhaps a few other relatively moderate Dems in the Senate), the difference between a bill being “Law” and “Oppo research ready for the 2022 campaign to extinct every non-metro anti-gun candidate between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre” might be one vote? That might just moderate the push.

I’m hoping not, of course – I want the progs to put their cards on the table, and have it blow up in their faces in two years.

Hidden Blessing?

It may be a bit much to hope that America’s celebrity culture (like “expert”-worship) might be an ongoing casualty of Covid-19.

But it’s been an encouraging year on that front, if nothing else.

And just to help remind you how “we’re all in it together”, here’s a parade of society’s useless celebrity mouths, from last spring, telling all of us plebs to be patient, because socialism is on the way, ho ho ho:

Noted For Future Reference

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ashli Babbit was shot and killed in the United States Capitol during a
demonstration to protest the election. Early reports indicate Ashli was
married and a veteran,she was unarmed, and she was shot by a police
officer.

Other early reports and photos suggest Antifa infiltrators caused the
major damage to provoke a backlash against President Trump supporters
and that the violence was successful in convincing Senators to lay aside
concerns about the stolen election in order to rush through
certification of Joe Biden as President.

Early reports are always confused; I urge application of Berg’s
Eighteenth Law of Media Latency.

And remember that even if a few dozen agitators spoiled the party,
hundreds of thousands showed up to engage in lawful political protest
and millions more wish they could have. Congress, RINOs, the media and
the Deep State can huff and puff about decorum and attempt to shame us
with double standards but in the end, it boils down to Never-Trumpers
sneering, “Let them eat cake.”

We’ll remember that.

Joe Doakes

First things first – as a practical suggestion, Republican / conservative / Trump groups need to make a point of having saturation level surveillance of their events, especially demonstrations. This is something we learned during the Tea Party – when someone shows up in a racist T-shirt, it’s good to be able to crowd-source them and prove that they were actually a Democrat operative (which happened during the Tea Party A lot).

More on this, likely, tomorrow on the show and next week in the blog.

The John Ireland Boulevard Speech

Mr. Walz, if it’s being perceived as a governor for all of Minnesota that you seek, come to this chain-link fence.

Photo courtesy Rob Doar

Mr. Walz, If you truly seek the “transparent” government to which you pay so much lip service, open this gate.

Mr. Walz, if you are serious about all of your “one Minnesota“ prattle, tear down this chain-link fence.

The New Dacha

A friend of the blog emails:

I would love it if the pandemic caused developers to incorporate more parking into their apartments. The sky is the limit- we don’t have to use more land just to build out parking. I think of the benefits this could have on lower and middle class neighborhoods in regards to snow plowing, if people actually had space to put their cars. Of course, elite ruuing class liberals look at an article like this and laugh at the poor. They say, “I got my parking garage, and I got you a bike lane, what’s your problem?” Oh, on opportune days, they ride their bicycles and opine about the freedom bicycles give, ignoring the car they have tucked away at home. I would wager that most in this article even supported policies that took away parking and allowed development without adequate parking for tenets. Will they relate their support/votes with problems affecting them?

I’ve written in the past, during my years as a single parent, that a transit and bike-centered lifestyle is pretty much unsustainable, even in the urban core, for middle class people, to say nothing of the “working class”.

Being “able” to go without a car, in this age of fluid jobs and multiple careers and services that families need increasingly centralizing rather than moving closer to people, is perhaps the ultimate sign of disonnected “privilege”.

Trranslation Services, While You Wait

Here’s Minnesota governor, transcribed from a “virtual fundraiser“:

“ They are using this as a way to try to divide us along cultural lines, along ethnic lines“

Clearly the DFL has a problem in greater Minnesota; look at the results of the last three or four elections. The DFL is losing, not gaining, traction among those whom Governor Klink refers to as “rocks and cows“

Let’s translate this.

In 2018 Governor Klink threw “Greater Minnesota” under the bus and french-kissed the Metro Progressives to get into power.

In 2020, the DFL is all but extinct outside the Metro – and his hamfisted, incomptetent Covid quarantine has disproportionally affected Greater MN. Klink has to try to make inroads in what could be a pretty monolithic GOP vote outside the Twin Cities, because the Metro vote alone may not be enough.