Lost in Translation

We’ve fallen a little behind on our World War I series.  Over the next few weeks/months, we’re going to work to get caught-up to the calendar.

The cable handed to America’s ambassador to Germany, James W. Gerard, in early January of 1917 was an unusual request.

Since the start of the Great War, Germany’s telegraph lifelines to the rest of the world had been severed by the Royal Navy.  But the undersea cables connecting the United States to Europe had remained undisturbed, and in an effort to demonstrate the nation’s commitment to their stated policy of neutrality, the Wilson administration had allowed Germany use of their lines.

The terms of Germany’s use of America’s transatlantic cables were fairly simple – all messages had to be transmitted “in the clear” – uncoded – or they would not be relaid to other German embassies.  The message in Gerard’s office was coded, set to be delivered to the German ambassador to the United States, Johann von Bernstorff, in Washington.  The cable was coming from the newly installed Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmermann, who had won Wilson’s trust by positively responding to the American administration’s peace overtures.  Zimmermann was a career bureaucratic from a middle class family – not a member of the German royalty that Wilson privately blamed for the war.  In the interest in building trust with Zimmermann’s office, Gerard let the cable go through on January 16th, 1917.

The recipient may have been Ambassador Bernstorff, but Washington was not the message’s final destination.  Bernstorff relayed the contents to Germany’s Mexican ambassador – an offer of a German/Mexican/Japanese alliance against the United States.  In return for Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, Mexico would join the Central Powers in the event of America entering Europe’s war.

Arthur Zimmermann believed he was ensuring Germany’s defense.  Instead, he had poured the foundation of Germany’s eventual defeat.

The Zimmerman Telegram made headlines around the world and enraged the United States – leading to her entry into the Great War


The Mexico of 1917 was simmering with political mistrust and foreign intrigue.  And it had started – in small part – over an insufficient apology.    Continue reading

Let’s Watch Betsy Demigogue

Stephanie March – top foodie at  Minneapolis / Saint Paul magazine – lays into Mayor Hodges and the unbending cynicism of her dismissal of a “tip credit” (or lower minimum wage for tipped employees).

One of many potential pullquotes:

The fact that you would equate tipping with slavery, one of the most abhorrent systems in human history, to court outrage and support your cause, is beyond disgusting to me. To compare today’s restaurant owners with those in the past who didn’t comprehend humanity just shows that you still really, really don’t get it. I defy you to find a more giving industry, name another that regularly shows up at all the fundraisers, gives gift cards for silent auctions, allows start up business to pop-up in their locations so that the employees can one day become owners too. It seems that you desperately need this to be seen as an US vs. THEM situation, you are promoting division. When you continually refer to solutions proposed by the small businesses that are trying to find a way to survive this massive increase as “compromise” complete with quotes, you belittle them, you snidely create around them an aura that they are no different than McDonald’s. Your locally grown independent restaurants, your constituents who most likely started out as servers and cooks, don’t want to see their employees suffer, especially in this tight labor market. It benefits no one. They understand that change is needed in this fluctuating service landscape, but you who don’t understand the business or the culture, are not the one to mandate it.

While Ms. March is correct on the moral and ethical plane, she’s wrong in a practical sense; in a one-party town, Hodges may as well be absolute royalty.   In a city full of restauranteurs who vote DFL, this is what you get.

They are working hard to come up with creative solutions at Pathway to $15a coalition that wants to support owners and all service employees. But they tell me they feel largely unheard by you, that your listening sessions are just pandering, that your drive to put us into this experiment with bigger cities like Seattle and San Francisco is what is most important to you. I dare you to prove us wrong.

Fearless prediction:  It will never happen.  By the time her policies come home to roost, she’ll be on to Congress / a state executive branch staff job / a lobbying gig / a plush non-profit job.  It’s not her problem.

Not to take anything away from Ms. March, but Hodges doesn’t care any more about restaurant employees than she does about the owners’ bottom lines.

Tomayto, Tomahto

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Trump gave a speech [last week] referring to problems caused by immigrants in which he mentioned “what’s happening last night in Sweden.”  But nothing happened [last] Friday night in Sweden so the media are giving him a hard time about it.

 Oops.  The immigrants didn’t riot in Sweden until Monday night.  

 Look, it’s no big deal, it was a minor staff error.  The speech he gave Saturday was meant to be given Tuesday, they’re just out of order, that’s all.  Simple mix-up, could have happened to anybody. 

 And you’re missing the point:  Sweden is a nice, clean, civilized country.  Sweden let in a pile of immigrants who aren’t assimilating.  The immigrants are causing problems such as a massive spike in sex crimes.  We should learn from Sweden’s example and reconsider our own immigration policy before we suffer similar problems.  What’s controversial about that?

 Joe Doakes

Rhetorical question, right?

Once You Were A NARNer And You Sailed The Seven Seas

I’m filling in for Brad Carlson today.

Today on the show:

  • Chris Fields talks about his run for MNGOP chair
  • Enemy Of The People

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

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

Join us!

I Heard It On The NARN

Here’s the link to Howard Root’s book, Cardiac Arrest:  Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO on the Feds’ Hit List.   Read it, and disabuse yourself of the notion that the US Department of Justice is about, y’know, Justice.  Wanna get to a book signing or learn more about the book?  Here’s the book’s website.  Andrew McCarthy writes about the same issues in the National Review.   Wonder what happened to the Twin Cities’ once-vibrant Medical Device industry?  That’s what.

Here’s the Nick Eberstadt piece about the hollowness of the US economy.

And of course, here’s todays’ ♫

You Dropped A NARN On Me

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

Today on the show:

  • Howard Root talks about his recent victory over the DOJ
  • The gap in the American economy

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

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

Join us!

Shame In? Shame Out!

THEM:  “The only reason you didn’t vote for Obama was because he’s black!”

US:  “Er, yeah, right.  Because if a while socialist were running or office, I’d vote for him because he was white.  Right?  That’s freaking ingenious!  You must be one of those ‘smart liberals’ everyone keeps talking about”.


THEM:  “The alt-right is an outlet for White America’s endemic racism”.

US:  “The “white supremacist right” is a fraction of the size it was 25-35 years ago – but has suddenly gotten a surge in mainstream media coverage.  So the “white supremacist right” is really more of an outlet for the Big Left’s hatred of Middle America, and a clumsy, Alinskyite attempt to frame Middle America.   But keep trying, genius”.


THEM:  “You’re insensitive to the plight of transsexuals and gays”

US:  “I’m a working stiff who has to bang out all kinds of overtime to break even. I don’t have time to be ‘sensitive’ to my own sexuality, ifyacatchmydrift, much less anyone else’s.  Carry on your little tantrum elsewhere, snowflake.


THEM:  “Stand your Ground’ allows white people to kill black people, no questions asked”.

US:  “Riiight.  Go buy a gun, go to Florida, kill a black kid at random, plead ‘I don’t like hoodies’, and see what happens.  Wave ‘hi’ from the electric chair, genius. ”


THEM (in this case, a woman with a German last name playing at being Native American):  “Have some Brawndo, Christianists.  You won’t be happy until the earth is dead and cold”.

US:  “Reel it in, lapsed-Catholic-with-Daddy-issues playing Native American dress-up.  Pollution is a fraction of what it was 40 years ago, at least here.   But science is hard, isn’t it?”


THEM:  “HItler was elected.  Just like Trump!”

US:  “No.  Hitler was elected, just like Al Capone was elected.  Learn your history, you gabbling illiterate”.


Tired of being “shamed” by our society’s useless yellow buildup of Social Justice warriors?

As Glenn Reynolds says, it’s ‘time to punch back twice as hard.

It Works In So Many Ways

While it’s not statutorily legal, even under the French legal system, I love this idea on so many levels.

The caption, “Oui On Peut”, is French for “Sure, what the hell, it’s not the dumbest idea to come out of the French left in the past sixty years”. Seriously.

American liberals would reflexively attack anyone who claimed He wasn’t actually born in France as a racist.

And John F. Kerry, stricken with jealousy, would no doubt leave the country to run against him.

Assyle ‘Em!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Canada will not crack down on asylum seekers sneaking across from the USA, the borders will remain open.

 This is great news for us.  Trump ought to announce that starting March 1st, the federal government will be renting busses to give free rides to the northern border, for any undocumented immigrant, illegal alien or asylum-seeking refugee who wants to live in Canada.   We’ll drive you to the border and drop you off so you can waltz into paradise, no questions asked.

 Limited time offer: expires at 11:59 p.m. on June 30th.  Starting on July 1st, anybody caught in the USA will be sent to holding facilities in the desert outside Phoenix until their court hearing and, if found to be illegal, will be instantly driven to the border and dumped into Mexico.

 Wonder how many takers he’d get?

 Joe Doakes

I think I’d forgive an element of force for those Hollywood celebs who promised to move.

The Tide

As we watch the progress of Minnesota’s “Consitutional Carry” bill – which would remove the law-abiding citizen’s requirement to ask the government for a permit to exercise their Constitutional right to carry a firearm – it’s worth noting the tide that is building in Free America for this utterly sensible measure.

So far this year, Missouri and New Hampshire have enacted Constitutional Carry.  That brings the total to 12 states that don’t interfere with their residents’ Constitutional rights.

And North Dakota looks to be likely to pass it shortly (along with a “First Armed Responder in Schools” bill allowing trained school staff to carry permitted firearms).  This shows one of the many good things that happen when a state’s Democrat party is reduced to a shadow organization.

My prediction:  It passes the Minnesota Legislature with bipartisan majority, to get vetoed by Governor Flint Smith.

Let ’em.  Flint Smith can run against that in 2018.

Bad Information

Rep. Erin Maye-Quade sent this bit out to her constituents earlier this week:

Looks familiar, doesn’t it?

It’s the same, precise set of fallacious claims made by The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence a few weeks ago.

Neither of the bills would “eliminate” the permit to carry.  That’s not the point, of course, so we’ll let that slide for now.

 

Neither bill will eliminate background checks for purchasing firearms.  Having a card saying you’ve got a clean background is more or less irrelevant; if a cop has time to see a card, they’ve got time to run your driver’s license or car’s license plates and make sure you’ve got a clean record themselves.  The carry permit does nothing but price the right to self-defense out of reach of working-class people.

And the last paragraph is gibberish.  Guns sold online have to go through a licensed firearm dealer, lest they break a slew of federal and state laws on both ends.  Every firearm sold at a gun show in Minnesota gets a background check already.  And the only thing separating a legal and illegal personal transaction is the participant’s honesty and willingness to tell the government what they’re up to.  Criminals don’t, and never will.  It’s not that complicated.

For most of us.

Rep. Maye Quade is either:

  • Grossly ininformed
  • Taking part in a disinformation campaign.

Given that Maye Quade’s wife is a field worker for the Bloombergs, I suspect the answer is “both”.

Instrumentation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In December, “Dangerous” was the number one bestselling book on Amazon.  It sold enough copies to make the New York Times bestseller list.  And the book hadn’t even been published – those were advance sales of a book due to be released in March.

 The book won’t be published at all.  Simon & Schuster has canceled the book due to a relentless campaign of protests, violence, and boycotts orchestrated by the Left to prevent the author’s message from being heard.

 I know what you’re going to say.  The author is a Bad Man who has done Bad Things; therefore, any message he might spread must be a Bad Message which should not be heard, but should be ruthlessly suppressed to protect innocent minds from being corrupted. 

 Of course, that’s merely the Ad Hominem logical fallacy used to apply Alinksky’s Fourth Rule, which is standard fare for Liberals who believe the ends justify the means, I get all that.  Here’s my question:  does it matter whether the Bad Message is suppressed Before it’s published or After it’s published?  Is censorship worse than intimidation?   Is banning better than burning?  Because that’s the side you’re on, Liberals.  You’re standing with the book burners.  

 Are you proud of it?

 Joe Doakes

To the left, there is neither pride, nor good, nor bad.  There is merely power and control.  All else is a sideshow.

Today’s Chuckle

Being told I am “using my white privilege” to make a point…

… by a white liberal in a comment thread on the Minnesota Public Radio website.

For my part? I’ve decided that Bill Maher is right; the best way to deal with this sort of smog smug, entitled babble is to point it out, laugh at it, and mock it.

Rinkeby Dinkeby

SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting in line at Taqueria Pineda on South Robert Street.  Avery LIBRELLE walks in just after Berg orders.

LIBRELLE:  Merg!

BERG:  Oh.  Hi, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  Trump is such a baffoon.

BERG:  Did you just pronounce it “baffoon”

LIBRELLE:   Yes.  Just like it’s spelled.  Donald Trump is such a fool.

BERG:  Do tell.

LIBRELLE:  He thinks there was a terrorist attack in Sweden.  Sweden!

BERG:   Er, between the mis-speak and the misreport, you could kinda lose the fact that things kind of suck in Sweden, and are getting dodgy all over Europe, these days.

LIBRELLE:   Har di har!  (Turns to counter person)  Hey!  Key-arrow oono burrito vegano!  Capeesh?

BERG:  That’ll work.

And SCENE

Watching…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

1984 is a little late, but it’s arrived in St. Paul.

 Those new blue recycling carts in St. Paul, you know the ones, you got one.  The City forgot to mention that each has an embedded microchip.

 St. Paul has mandatory recycling and the chips allow the trucks to see if you’re recycling enough.  The City claims they have no plans to enforce the recycling ordinance that way . . . but that’s what the State said about seatbelts, too.  Has nobody heard of the camel’s nose?

 When they quietly implement the next phase, the justification will be to save the planet ‘for the children.’ But that means the recycling company (hence the government) will be able to track not just how many pounds of recycling you submit, but also which brand of booze you drink, which magazines you read (Playboy ‘for the articles’, NRA kook stuff, survivor militia newsletters, right-wingnut National Review), what foods you eat (so they can assist you in healthier life choices no doubt), and so on.

 I suppose next, I’ll have to go sneaking around putting my recycling in neighbors bins so I don’t get targeted by the gun control squads coming to take my weapons and ammo ‘for my own safety.’  I tell ya, it gets harder every year to justify living in this burg.  

 Joe Doakes

Never put anything past Saint Paul.

Question For NPR/MPR, The Strib, Alondra Cano, Betsy Hodges And Every Other Minnesota Liberal Figurehead

To:  NPR, the Strib,  Alondra Cano, and every other Twin Cities liberal that’s spent the lasdt six months romanticizing the NoDAPL “pipeline” protest
From:  Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant and actual North Dakota native
Re:  Just Curious, Here

All,

You all – media and political figures alike – have spent the past six months romanticizing the “No Dakota Access Pipeline” protests more thoroughly than a Scarlett Johansson cheesecake photo shoot.

NPR / MPR?  You had your reporters out in the wilds of south-central North Dakota, doing your best to make the protests sound like an organic grassroots phenomenon, sprung up from the soil to protect the river.  Y’know – the Missouri.  The river that flows through middle of the Dakotas and Nebraska.

Of course, while your reporters (yours too, Strib) plead “It’s Settled Science” on many convenient issues, you ignored it over and over again on this issue.  It’s a simple fact – while the oil that powers your Subarus does indeed have some risk of spilling in its remote location far from any major population center, it’s many orders of magntitude per barrel lower that that same risk the way the oil is currently transported – by truck and train, through the middle of Bismarck, Jamestown (blocks from my father’s house, actually), Fargo, Fergus Falls, Saint Cloud, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Madison and Chicago.   As in astronomically more safe.

But let’s not pretend that Alondra Cano knows the first thing about statistics, or cares a rats ass about a bunch of white, rural, Trump-voting North Dakotans’ safety (or, for that matter, how many Strib or MPR reporters could name the river the “protesters” are “protecting”).   And your logical consistency about the oil that powers your cars and buses and printing presses and transmitters is no less dubious than about where your food comes from.  Yep, same place.

In fact, let’s forget the logical and moral inconsistency of your entire story – you media figures’ selective and incurious reporting, you politicians’ illiterate grandstanding.  Ignore it all for now.

Let’s focus on today – where the “protesters” have left an ungodly mess at their “protest” site.  North Dakota’s top tow-truck driver notes:

There are roughly 200 vehicles down there at last count, ranging from cars and pickups to rental trucks. We’re going to have a very drastic situation trying to keep these vehicles from getting into the river – what everybody’s been trying to protect from day one. We can’t leave them there. We don’t know what kind of biohazard is going to be produced with all the fluids or any other garbage that’s inside the vehicle.

Here’s a Bismarck TV station’s report:

So – for six months you, the Twin Cities’ left leaning media and grandstanding left-wing politicians, romanticized the NoDAPL “protests” and “protesters”.

Just as you did “Occupy”, and the RNC protests , and the various G7 protests, and every other “protest” you can imagine (except the Tea Party, naturally).

And just like every protest other than the Tea Party, the NoDAPL “protesters” left behind filth and squalor.

And they left by the banks of the river they were supposedly “protecting” – cars full of fuel, human waste, and over a thousand tons of general trash.   All right there, waiting for the next Missouri River flood.

This, mind you, in a part of the state that is very sparsely populated even by North Dakota standards – miles down a two-lane road from Mandan.   Not the wealthy exurbs from which most of you media and political figures hail.

Oh, yeah – and it’s upstream from the Standing Rock reservation.

So – if you’re not running stories about the squalor left behind, and – this is for you, Alondra Cano – actively soliciting people and money and other resources for cleaning up after the people you encouraged to leave the mess, you’re not only hypocrites…

…you’re racists.

Suck on that.

That is all.

To The Minneapolis And Saint Paul City Councils

To:  Our Bobbleheaded Overlords
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re:  “Fight For Fifteen!”

All,

From a friend of this blog, here’s where the $15/hour minimum wage leads, inevitably and inexorably:

It’s at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport – an early adopter of the #FightFor15 – in case you were wondering. Photo courtesy Brian Skon.

Let me just take a moment to say, I don’t think the “#FightFor15” has anything to do with raising worker wages, or taking any sort of care of the little guy.  If it were, you’d be fighting for the only sustainable minimum wage there is – widespread prosperity

No.  This is about virtue-signaling to your base (and I don’t mean minimum wage earners) and showing small business who’s boss.

That is all.

When Mob Justice Isn’t Good Enough

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Computer hackers got into the hotel’s electronic key system and locked guests out of their rooms until management paid a ransom.

 It’s a variation on the ransom-ware scam being used with other computer users.  Pay up or you won’t get your system back.

 This is modern-day piracy.  There should be world-wide jurisdiction to pursue them, and bounties paid for their scalps.  

 Joe Doakes

No argument here.  In fact, we‘ve touched on this before.

The Holy Alliance

We’ve fallen a little behind on our World War I series.  Over the next few weeks/months, we’re going to work to get caught-up to the calendar.

It was well after midnight on December 29th, 1916, but the staff of the Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg was preparing for a party.

The Palace’s wine cellar had been temporarily redecorated for their expectant visitor.  Furniture and carpets had been moved in, along with a gramophone playing “Yankee Doodle” on a continuous loop.  Several bottles of wine had been set aside for the occasion, in addition to a variety of sweet petit fours.  The number of attendees were unknown – only a few key members of Russia’s nobility and their assistants would later amid to being present.  The host, Prince Felix Yusupov, was attempting to entertain his guest of honor – Grigori Rasputin.  Yusupov had sought out the supposed “mad monk” weeks earlier to attempt to learn some of the controversial holy man’s healing techniques.

What followed was a mixture of partial facts blended with mysticism and politically-motivated exaggeration.  Popular legend states that Yusupov fed Rasputin treat after treat laced with potassium cyanide to no effect.  Re-interpretation suggests that one of the night’s conspirators, a doctor, couldn’t violate his Hippocratic Oath to poison the famed mystic.  Reality suggests the food was either never poisoned or was administered before being baked, evaporating the cyanide in the process.

After an hour, an exasperated Yusupov had tired of playing guitar and listening to an increasingly drunk Rasputin.  The Prince would retrieve his gun and, according to his testimony years later, “a shudder swept over me; my arm grew rigid, I aimed at his heart and pulled the trigger.”  Rasputin was seemingly dead – only to reanimate himself and stumble out the door where he kept moving despite four more shots.  Only a following head shot supposedly slayed the infamous corruptor of the House of Romanov.

In reality, Yusupov’s first shot had passed through Rasputin’s mid-section without major damage.  One of the Prince’s co-conspirators, politician Vladimir Purishkevich, had fired multiple times at Rasputin and connected only once – a bullet to his spine.  The body was dumped in the Malaya Nevka River with such haste that one of Rasputin’s galoshes was stuck in the bars of the bridge.  Unsure of how to react, the participants dismissed the police sent to investigate the gunshots heard at the Palace, only to re-invite them back to brag about killing Rasputin…all the while insisting the officers keep the incident quiet.

Grigori Rasputin had been an enigma in life – his role in Tsarist Russia a subject of heated debate then and now.  In death, the man from the Siberian Plain would become a legendary indictment of Russia’s nobility and government in the First World War.

The truth of Rasputin is difficult to uncover – many “facts” of his life have later been proven false.  Allegations abound as to his behavior and influence over the Romanovs


By the winter of 1916, St. Petersburg had become a national paradox – the seat of government for Tsarist Russia, yet a capitol increasingly void of political power.

Tsar Nicholas II had long since left the capitol for Moghilev, some 400 miles away, after appointing himself Commander-in-Chief following the Russian army’s rout in the summer of 1915.  Left behind in St. Petersburg to manage the domestic affairs of state were Nicholas’ wife, the Tsarina Alexandra, and a deeply divided State Duma with little actual authority.   Continue reading