Throwback Friday

Tim Pawlenty is officially in the Governor’s race, surprising nearly nobody that’s been paying attention for the past few months.

Ideological conservatives are unimpressed, of course.  Being an ideological conservative myself, I completely get it.   Pawlenty wasn’t and isn’t a doctrinaire conservative.  He’s the sort of pragmatic center-right small-c conservative that is a product of a career in the legislature, rather than as a doctrinemonger.

But remember – just four years before he was elected governor, the Minnesota Republican party had gotten Arne Carlson elected.  Carlson may have been to the left of the liberal, Rudy Perpich, that he beat in his first bid for office on many bedrock Republican issues.

Is Pawlenty “conservative enough?”  Of course not.

Is Minnesota going to elect a doctrinaire conservative?  Highly doubtful (although I do hope for a Wisconsin-like miracle one of these days).

Indeed – is conservatism in and of itself a winning ideology, statewide, in Minnesota?  I have  my doubts.

I follow the Buckley doctrine – elect the most conservative Republican who can win.

I’m still open to being convinced.

The Scapegoat

The media has found someone to blame for the Minnesota motor vehicle licensing computer system (MNLARS), just in the nick of time:

An outside investigator hired by the state’s information technology department found the official in charge of Minnesota’s troubled vehicle licensing system knew there were numerous defects prior to its launch last summer but failed to address them.

The report says Paul Meekin, who was officially fired from his job at Minnesota IT Services last month, fell short of expectations related to pre-launch testing and several key management responsibilities, including communication and staffing.

The $93 million Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) was rolled out on July 24, 2017, replacing a 30-year-old system. There were immediate problems, including delays in the processing of license and title transactions.

Just in time for the elections!

It’s complete baked wind, of course.  While Meekin may or may not have been a terrible program manager, it’s common knowledge among Twin Cities IT people that Minnesota’s government IT bureaucracy is systemically sclerotic, and largely incapable of delivering software effectively and efficiently.

But it’s government work.  As long as there’s a politically-acceptable scapegoat, nothing will change.

Want To Watch A Story Disappear?

Non-white, non-male shooter who can’t be affiliated even plausibly with any segment of the right wing, carrying out a mass shooting in a state that is already a gun grabber’s turgid dream, after giving off signs of potential trouble?

Nasim Aghdam, 39, of San Diego, was believed to be upset with YouTube’s policy and practices before opening fire in the company’s headquarters in San Bruno, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. Police are still determining the exact motive, but said her hatred toward the company appears to be the prime reason…Aghdam, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, did not have a specific target and did not know any of the victims.

“[We] have no indication that she was selecting individuals to fire at,” Barberini said.

The self-described “vegan bodybuilder” got into the building through a parking garage. Investigators are in the process of executing search warrants at two properties…“She was always complaining that YouTube ruined her life,” Aghdam’s brother, Shahran, also told reporters, according to Mercury News.

In two weeks, Nasim Aghdan won’t even be a trivia answer.

It’s Only Sarcastic Until It’s The Law

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The State of Minnesota will be printing election ballots soon.  The more candidates, the more voter confusion, the greater the risk the wrong person will be elected by mistake. The State has a legitimate interest in keeping elections fair and transparent.  One method would be to limit the number of candidates.  We already do that tto some extent, by requiring a certain number of signatures to get on the ballot, but there still are too many candidates who qualify.  It’s reasonable to restrict the number of candidates for voter convenience.  But not in a random or discriminatory manner; instead, the restriction should apply to candidates that have the fewest number of likely voters and therefore the least likelihood of being elected.  Eliminating them from the ballot won’t affect the outcome of the election – they weren’t going to get elected anyway.
As it happens, those sure-loser candidates mostly are Republicans, who haven’t won elective office in the Twin Cities for decades.  Republican candidates serve mainly to confuse and mislead voters which threatens the integrity of the elections.  Henceforth, Republican candidates are banned in Minnesota.
It’s a restriction that is reasonably related to a legitimate government interest and therefore passes the “rational basis” standard of review for infringements on liberties protected by the Constitution. It’s every bit as Constitutional as this law:

Joe Doakes

And if the DFL manages to pass it, the Supreme Court of Minnesota won’t dream of challenging it.

Open Letter To The Parkland Kids

To: David Hogg et al
From: Mitch Berg, irascible peasant
Re: Agenda item

7 dead in one Chicago neighborhood in 12 hours.

Of course, they were mostly black and brown, so they don’t look like any of you.  And they were mostly killed by people with criminal records (and, sadly, at least of the victims likely had records, too – that’s the way of inner city crime, which accounts for over 3/4 of this nation’s homicides (with and without guns) every year.   That means more people killed in two days that have died in all school shootings in the past five years, all rolled together.

But they’re black and brown and killed in ones and twos with weapons that aren’t on the social engineers’ hit lists yet.  And they had the bad fortune to be murdered  almost exclusively in cities run by the same political class that pays for your airfare and security and sign printing and also gets you all that A-list media treatment.  Cities that already have all the gun control measures “you” are so stridently demanding (fat lotta good they did, huh?) so nobody’ll be talking about those murders, will they?

Will they?

Will you all be marching through Chicago?  Calling a bunch of gang-bangers “terrorists” and “Murderers?”

No?

That is all.

They Know What Matters!

If you were in the Twin Cities from about 1986 to the early nineties – after Channel 11 changed their call letters from WUSA to KARE – you probably remember their ubiquitous, supremely annoying branding campaign:  “we know what matters”.

Remember those?

Not sure KARE expected any but the dimmest viewers to think that the station was, in fact, the final arbiter of actual meaning.  It’s all what they call imaging in the business; “branding” in other businesses.  It all falls under the rubric of marketing; making people think there’s a reason to tune into your station rather than the other news stations in the market.

Everyone does it.

Including the dozens of stations owned by Sinclair.   Same basic idea – only their ads glom onto something that happens to be a hot subject these days – the fact that most Americans trust used care salesmen and meth addicts more than the media.  Here’s the script:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback”

It’s topical, it’s powerful, and it is utterly factual.

And that makes Big Media all skittery:

This is not exactly a scandalous or groundbreaking message, but you’d think otherwise from observing the reactions from certain entertainers and members of the press.

The Washington Post, for example, referred to the video as “stunning,” and added that the anchors, “seemed to parrot one of President Trump’s favorite themes.” Which is kind of funny, because you could also say they’re parroting one of his critics’ favorite themes about fake news being shared around from untrustworthy sources.

Late-night host and on-again-off-again political commentator Jimmy Kimmel, who is himself no stranger to parroting a demagogue’s talking point, said of the Sinclair video, “this is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

And – this almost reads like parody – the man who took “fake news” mainstream 13 years ago, sounds off on the sanctity of…well, Dan Rather:

Dan Rather, who famously lost his job when he was caught trying to undermine the 2004 U.S. presidential election with forged documents, said: “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

There are mornings I think “this nation can not possibly split into separate red and blue countries soon enough”.

 

 

#MeTube

We’re told that a woman shot up the headquarters of Youtube yesterday.

Now, Berg’s 19th Law is still in effect, so we won’t know much just yet; NPR and CNN are trying to tie it to the ownership of guns in general, naturally; never waste a crisis!

Of course, I suspect fake news; the shooter, one Nasim Aghdam, was said to have fired twenty shots – but California banned large magazines, so that couldn’t have happened.

Still…:

Aghdam has a robust presence on YouTube. In a video posted in January 2017, she says You Tube “discriminated and filtered” her content. In the video Aghdam says her channel used to get lots of views but that after being filtered by the company, it received fewer views. In a Facebook post from February 2017 Aghdam blasted YouTube saying, “There is not equal growth opportunity on You Tube.”

Now, Berg’s 19th Law says we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, especially not based on the media’s current reporting, which will be sensationalist and likely biased.

But…:

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has also learned the license plate on a car towed from YouTube’s campus Tuesday is registered to Aghdam. In 2014, she posted a video on YouTube of what appears to be the same car, stating that it was vandalized by “anti-vegans” because the car had a sign saying “meat is murder.”

So she’s a liberal.

You may argue – but care to place a bet?

Oh yeah – the warnings were there.

It must have been the gun.

Ganders

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is waiting for a table at his local Korean restaurant when Avery LIBRELLE walks in behind him.   

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG:   Ugh,  I mean, hey , Avery.

LIBRELLE: The kids from Parkland High School returned to class, and they feel like they’re “in prison“.

BERG: Do tell.

LIBRELLE: I’ll read from this article:

“Going to school is really so hard, and now it’s going to be so much worse,” said Isabelle Robinson, a senior. “A lot of the people I’ve talked to are dreading going back.”…MSD students will only be allowed to carry clear backpacks on campus and will be required to wear new student IDs at all times.
There will be an increased police presence on campus, as Gov. Rick Scott provides extra Florida Highway Patrol officers to beef up security and provide support to Broward County sheriff’s deputies. Students will have limited points of entry to the school.
The school district also says it’s considering whether to install metal detectors at the school’s entrances. A letter from Principal Ty Thompson sent to families on Friday said that step has not been taken yet.
“It feels like being punished,” Robinson told CNN. “It feels like jail, being checked every time we go to school.”

BERG: Huh.

LIBRELLE: Its just so unfair.

BERG: Why?

LIBRELLE: These kids are being punished for the crimes of a lunatic…

BERG: …even though they, themselves, did nothing and would never have dreamed of harming anyone ?

LIBRELLE: Yeah!

BERG:   So let me get this straight – punishing innocent people – people who’d have never even thought of committing a crime – because of the crimes of a lunatic is a bad thing?

LIBRELLE:  Every time, no exceptions.

BERG:   Huh.   (Notices the waitress motioning him toward a table)   Er, are you going to get a table or order something?

LIBRELLE:  Oh, no.  I’m just here to offer solidarity to these people and their leader Kim Jong Un.

(And SCENE)

Macroaggression

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Whenever a microaggression occurs, Al Sharpton is on the first plane to lead the march.

Think David Hogg is heading to YouTube HQ?

Joe Doakes

Given that logic has nothing to do with gun control?  Sure, why not?

Dear Yale Panelists

To:  Yale “People Against Police Brutality”
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: “White Saviorism”

Dear PAPB,

A panel composed of social justice warriors from your campus recently indulged in one of the great twisted pleasures of Urban Progressive Privilege; intersectionalizing every corner of life.

You the plague of “white saviorism” – honkies who mistake “interacting in any way with non-white-communities” as “good”.

A five-person panel discussed how white supremacy and the idea of of the “white savior” affect the operations of nonprofits in New Haven and across the United States on Wednesday night at the Afro-American Cultural Center. Over the course of an hour, panelists described to the packed house the prototypical white savior who does not truly understand or meet a community’s needs, applying the concept to the nonprofit sector.

“The nonprofit industrial complex is very real and very alive in New Haven and needs to be dismantled just like any other oppressive system,” said Kerry Ellington, organizer for People Against Police Brutality. “White folks are centering themselves in these spaces and don’t know how to listen to the communities they serve.”

Normally, I’d be snarking at the bloodless identitymongering involved in a claim like this.

But today, I just want to draw your attention to these people.   If “white saviorism” is what you’re jabbering about, they really really qualify.

Go to it.

That is all.

Open Letter To Fleet Farm

To:  Mills Fleet Farm
From:  Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re:  Blowing With The Wind Breeze.

Dear Fleet Farm,

I’ve  been shopping Fleet Farm for a lot of sundries besides guns and ammo (back when I had guns, which I don’t anymore, because they terrify me).

But no more.

Stand with the heroes, or lie down with the sheep.  There is no in between.

That is all.

Just To Be Clear

I do advocate tolerance.  Most notably and recently, I’ve mixed it up with activists in the MN GOP who’ve said there’s no room in the Republican party for people of the Muslim faith, because – this is a paraphrase cut so closely it might as well be a quote – the Koran tells Muslims to deceive the infidel, and all Muslims follow the Koran to the letter in exactly the same way.  And their goal is to spread Sharia law everywhere.  Even in the MN GOP.

Of course, they – and I – say Muslims, and all immigrants, should assimilate into our culture (and, for my part, that “multiculturalism” must be killed with fire).   To which I respond “What on earth is more assimilatory than trying to attend a Minnesota GOP caucus?

Some of them have gone so far as to say there’s no room for people who are inclusive of Muslims (not Islam, mind you –  they they gotta support the rest of the GOP’s platform and, of course, the US) and them.  To which I’ve replied “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out”.

But with all that said – this is the sort of thing that needs to be kept on the other side of a high, spike-topped, literal and intellectual border wall

 

Sexist But True

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I suspect the reason Stormy Daniels’ interview didn’t hurt Trump was because of the subconscious comparison it caused.
Look up the women Trump has sex with, compare them to the women Obama and Clinton married, then tell me who the Big Dog is.
Joe Doakes

He’s got a point.

This Is Not The Rally You Want

Over the weekend, there was a “gun right rally”.

The rally was put on by a group called “Minnesota Gun Rights”.  We’ve addressed this group in the past – for being a scam that fleeces Minnesota gun owners, and is politically ineffective at best (and at worst, they do more harm than good).   Some legislators that once supported it have seen the light and condemned the group as a scam.

Unfortunately, the media doesn’t know the difference between gun rights groups; many Twin Cities news outlets credited the Minnesota Gun Owners’ Caucus and the Gun Owners Political Action Committee for the event (as they giggled about the fairly sparse turnout a week after 20,000 Hoggites turned out for the “Stop Shooting White Kids!”  rally the week before).

The real rally, sponsored by MNGOC, the GOPAC, the NRA and other actual gun rights groups is coming up on April 28 at noon at the Capitol.  This will be the time that all law-abiding gun owners should plan on being at the Capitol to demonstrate for their rights, and against the attempt to whittle them away – from both sides of the aisle, it pains me to say.

It takes place during my show – but I’m going to try to be there anyway.

Market Discipline

While Academia is a vast holdout against the free market in countless ways, it appears to be exerting some hint of market discipline in at least one case:

Hillary Clinton’s take on the speaking circuit is not even on par with a reality TV star like Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, nj.com reports.

Clinton reportedly received $25,000 for a Thursday speech at historic Rutgers University that promised the skinny on “politics, American democracy and her role in shaping women’s political history,” but Snooki, of “Jersey Shore” fame picked up a $32,000 pay check for her analysis of American academia, suggesting that potential graduates “study hard, but party harder.”

Snooki may actually bring more value to students’ lives…

Hillary Clinton’s take on the speaking circuit is not even on par with a reality TV star like Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, nj.com reports.

Clinton reportedly received $25,000 for a Thursday speech at historic Rutgers University that promised the skinny on “politics, American democracy and her role in shaping women’s political history,” but Snooki, of “Jersey Shore” fame picked up a $32,000 pay check for her analysis of American academia, suggesting that potential graduates “study hard, but party harder.”

Mama Said NARN You Out

Join me from 1-3PM today on the NARN!

Today on the show:

  • Let’s Make David Hogg a TV Star.
  • US Senate candidate Jim Newberger

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

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

Join us!

The Back Door

It’s been my theory for a long time now that Federal law enforcement, not the military, have become the “Standing Army” that the Founding Fathers worried about.

Likewise – who needs a surveillance state, when you can can get over-wealthy, under-wise nerds to build it for you?

Where, a decade or so ago, the tech world’s products served to liberate us from the control of big institutions — I wrote a book on that! — now they seem designed to keep us under the thumb of big institutions. People used to start blogs to express themselves. Now they communicate via giant quasi-monopoly “social media” sites that mute and ban users over their politics. Your computer and phone used to be ways for you to learn more about the world than had ever been possible before in human history; now your devices have turned into tools for governments and corporations to keep tabs on you in ways that have never been possible before in human history.

And now we have the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Cambridge Analytica allegedly scraped data from Facebook users — apparently in accordance with Facebook rules at the time — but that has a lot of people hot and bothered. To be fair, if someone working for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump had done this, there’d be less outrage in the press (in fact, when Obama’s campaign collected Facebook user information in 2012, the press mostly praised their ingenuity). But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an issue.

The whole thing is worth a read.

More Hogg Now!

To:  National Rifle Association
From:  Mitch Berg, devious peasant
Re:  David “Boss” Hogg

Dear NRA,

You need to pay any price, bear any burden, to get David Hogg a TV show.  Perhaps on Fox News.

You’ll have a supermajority in favor of the post-Heller interpretation of the Second Amendment for the next two generations.

With rhetoric like this:

“The pathetic f***ers that want to keep killing our children, they could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action because they all still see those dollar signs,” Hogg said before describing the “exhaustion” he’s experienced as a result of his month-long stint as a political activist.

“At this point its like when your old-a** parent is like, ‘I don’t know how to send an iMessage’ and you’re like, ‘Ok give me the f***ing phone’ and you take it and you get it done in one second. Sadly, that’s what we have to do with our government because our parents don’t know how to use a f***ing democracy so we have to do it.”

Prime time cable network nightly show.  Now.

Maybe have John Paul Stevens for his first guest.

Pandora’s Box

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hmmm, so according to Mr. Justice Stevens, the Supreme Court is capable of getting a decision wrong, as it did in the case he dissented from. I wonder what other cases also were wrongly decided and therefore ought to be ignored by all right-thinking people?

Brown v. Board of Education – separate but equal?

Roe v. Wade – abortion on demand?

Stenberg v. Carhart – partial birth abortion?

Obergefell v. Hodges – gay marriage?

The retired justice may have done the nation a great service, opening the door to invite us to ignore the Supreme Court.

Joe Doakes

What he’s also done is shown us what he’d never have put in a legal opinion; why repeal the Second Amendment if it isn’t in fact a broad protection of citizens’ gun rights?

Unexpected

I never cared for Donald Trump – his public persona, at least.

And I certainly have never been a big fan of Roseanne Barr.

The debut of the reboot of Rosanne shows what I know, I guess.

Roseanne made a triumphant return Tuesday night, blowing past projections with a 5.2 adults 18-49 rating and 18.2 million total viewers for the debut of its revival, which drew 10% more viewers than the original series finale 21 years ago.

While nostalgia was expected to bring in eyeballs, no one predicted such a huge turnout on premiere night for the blue-collar family sitcom with a Donald Trump-supporting protagonist, especially among the younger demographic. But then, few predicted that Trump would become the Republican nominee and would win the presidential election when he first announced his candidacy.

But one thing that has become predictable is that liberal Hollywood and New York are shocked, shocked, that people in “flyover land” can take a break from fawning over Los Angeles and New York-centered, virtue-signal-clogged, impeccably progressive entertainment to partake in a little of (let’s be honest) the cultural Resistance:

But it worked, leaving many TV insiders shellshocked today by the magnitude of the revival’s ratings success that revealed the untapped potential of comedies that provide realistic portrayal of blue-collar America. What’s more, Roseanne did that while also making a social commentary, something rarely seen since All in the Family, Norman Lear’s 1970s classic that has long been rumored to get a reboot.

Y’know what’d be fun (and never, never get greenlit)?   A reboot of All in the Family with a crusty, intolerant patriarch who was a former hippie, longtime “progressive” activist and virtue-signaling bigot, whose daughter marries a hard-working conservative square-stater.

That would be a fun reboot.

I Love A Happy Ending

Statistician from the vaunted FiveThirtyEight.org starts out as an anti-gunner…

…before realizing that the whole thing is a sham. 

There are l literally too many good parts to find just one pull quote – read the whole thing already – but this bit about the fact that complicated problems (crime, suicide) don’t respond to simplistic solutions:

Even the most data-driven practices, such as New Orleans’ plan to identify gang members for intervention based on previous arrests and weapons seizures, wind up more personal than most policies floated. The young men at risk can be identified by an algorithm, but they have to be disarmed one by one, personally — not en masse as though they were all interchangeable. A reduction in gun deaths is most likely to come from finding smaller chances for victories and expanding those solutions as much as possible. We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

Do your friends a favor and circulate it widely.

Museum Pieces

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Retired Supreme Court Justice Stevens calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment.  It’s a relic of the 18th century.

His proposal would make sense if humanity had been so fundamentally transformed by the passing years that we no longer needed a check on government power.  Looking around the world, or even at our own FBI, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Hey buddy, you know what else is a relic of the 18th Century?  The Constitution itself.  Let’s dump that, too.  Make Donald Trump President-for-Life, abolish the concept of judicial review and expand Congress to 5,000 members that can form and dissolve coalitions at will, as other third world s***holes do.

Why not?  What could possibly go wrong?

Joe Doakes

With the modern left, today’s jokes are tomorrow’s crises.