In The Interest Of Investigation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats keep telling me how easy it is to buy guns, easier than buying fresh vegetables.

I have cash. I’m a willing buyer. How do I find one of those sellers?

I’m not worried about the background check – I could pass – I just want to buy one of those “off-the-street” pistols all the cool kids have.

I presume the sellers are mostly criminals. Sadly, I spend all my time around bureaucrats. I’m like those guys in “Office Space” trying to find a money-launderer . . . I don’t know any criminals, or even where to look for them.

Any SITD readers know any criminals looking to make a quick buck selling me a pistol for cash? Or I’d take an assault rifle, if that’s more convenient. Either one.

Joe Doakes

I wish some of the puling lower vertebrates that make these claims – like Heather Martens – would actually go out with a video camera and try to prove it.

That would be pretty interesting.

I Have Become Comfortably NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • Paul Driessen Will talk with us about Warren Buffett’s involvement in shutting down the proposed Sandpiper pipeline)

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

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

Join us!

Surplus Of Stupid

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is ordering a Banh Mi sandwich at iPho on University.  Avery LIBRELLE enters the store.

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!   After four years, Minnesota’s economy is rocking under Mark Dayton, while Wisconsin is sucking pond water!

BERG:  How do you figure?

LIBRELLE:  Minnesota has a $2 Billion surplus

BERG:  Right.  After raising taxes by…$2 Billion.  Now, if the economy is humming along, you’d think that the surplus would be bigger than the tax increase, now, wouldn’t you?

LIBRELLE:  At least Minnesota has a surplus!

BERG:  Right – apparetly, entirely due to the tax hikes.  In the meantime, Wisconsin is headed toward a surplus without the need for tax hikes – or, as we call it, a sustainable surplus.

LIBRELLE:  Yeah, but our economy is still better!

BERG:   Most of Minnesota’s growth is in metro-area medical, medical device, insurance and financial services companies – the ones that benefitted from Obamacare and “Too Big to Fail” stimuli.  Things aren’t nearly as rosy in Greater Minnesota.  In the meantime, Wisconsin’s growth is being held back by the slow manufacturing sector – which is a much bigger share of Wisconsin’s economy than Minnesota’s, and isn’t doing all that well here, either.

LIBRELLE:  If Minnesota had elected Tom Emmer governor in 2010, we’d be in the same boat!

BERG:  Right.  We’d have two economies being dragged down by Democrat policies.

LIBRELLE:  What?

BERG:  The parts of Wisconsin that are dragging the state’s economy are the ones that have been run by Democrats for generations.  The decay of Milwaukee’s manufacturing base is the state’s biggest economic problem.

LIBRELLE:  Hah!  But in Minnesota, it’s the Democrat-run cities that are winning…

BERG:  …as a result of national Democrat probrams to transfer wealth from consumers to banks and health insurance companies.

LIBRELLE:  You should issue a rape trigger warning.

BERG:  Clearly.

[And SCENE]

Perspective

While legalizing firearm suppressors has gotten most of the attention this legislative session, I think the most vital part of the Public Safety Omnibus bill is Rep. Newberger’s “Katrina Bill”, which would bar the state government from confiscating citizens’ firearms during a state of emergency.

How important is this?  As we speak, in Maryland, the government is clamping down on the availability of ammunition…

IMG_3593.JPG

…which is another way of making civilian firearms useless.  Of course, during Hurricane Katrina, the local police went door-to-door, confiscating firearms.  Current Minnesota law allows the state governnment even more-onerous leeway than Maryland law.

And a quick note to the “Minnesota” gun groups that advocate focusing only on “Constitutional Carry”; even if that were to pass, it wouldn’t affect state emergency powers.

This bill needs to pass.

Our Silly Cultural Conscience

“Rape culture” warriors have been reading the labels on our beer bottles. And by “our beer bottles”, I actually mean “beer I would never drink in a million years”.

But I digress.

Bud Light ‘s new marketing slogan, anyway, is raising eyebrows on the brows of the easily brow-raisable::

“The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night #UpForWhatever” That’s the tagline printed on a Bud Light bottle and photographed by a sharp-eyed Reddit user late last night. Since then it’s ignited a flurry of criticism on social media, where people are saying that a slogan like that promotes rape culture

“Rape culture ” may or may not be a problem. But ” ‘rape culture’ culture” certainly is.
.

Who Could Have Predicted?

The economy under wan, feeble socialist Obama has grown at an anemic rate compared to the rates under the healthy, happy free-marketeer Reagan.

Ronald Reagan’s economic plan saw GDP surge at a 3.5% clip – 4.9% after the recession. That’s a 32% bump.

During the Obama years, thanks to his big government policies, the US economy has stalled. Today the quarterly GDP was announced. The GDP for the first quarter of 2015 braked more sharply than expected at only a .2% pace. The US economy has grown an anemic 9.6% during the Obama years (excluding today’s dismal number).

Who woulda thunk it?

Everyone who didnt’ skip Econ 101 to go to a Noam Chomsky speech, that’s who.

No Loose Ends

I got this via email from a long-time friend of this blog and the show, from Highland Park:

A week and a half ago the city told the neighborhood and businesses on the east side of Cleveland and Randolph(Luci, Sportsmans Barbers, and KEA photography) that the city was taking away their street parking and making it bike lanes.

They announced a meeting this Wednesday at Nativity Church to “get neighborhood feedback”. Kinda seems like they have their minds already made up.

Yep.  My thesis; there hasn’t been a “public feedback” meeting in the Twin Cities in thirty years that was actually intended to gather, y’know, feedback from the public.

It’s about “the process”.  The process says you have one or more meetings at some point in the process; you have the meetings, and you move on.

Randolph Ave is already full people that own homes and St Kates students/employees. There is no parking on the west side of the street, and James Ave a block up is a packed residential street. These people are screwed.

Sportsman Barbers has been their for more than 40 years owned by Ray Newton and his son Joe. I am friends with Kristie Anderson of KEA photography and she thinks our way. Her lease was up and she is leaving, but she can give you some great insight on this

I know you are a biker, but the bike lobby is wielding a heavy hand right now in our city. Damn the business community.

This is a good story

You know how lawyers say “never ask a witness a question that you don’t already know the answer to?”

The public analogue is “never ask for feedback when it can still affect the political class’ master plan.

A Thought Experiment

National Public Radio, as part of its mission to help half the country feel it’s smarter than the other half, published this “Study” from the National Science Foundation earlier this week.

Among its (not especially dramatic) “findings” (I’m going to add a bit of emphasis):

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation...To the question “Does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth,” 26 percent of those surveyed answered incorrectly.

In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that “The universe began with a huge explosion” and only 48 percent said “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”

It’s kind of funny that NPR is so confident in its own audience’s vaunted intelligence that it had to subtly point out which answers were correct.

On the other hand…:

Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

I’m amazed that Americans did that well on what is, in day to day life, rather more important.

It’s an indictment of the American education system, isn’t it?  Wait – maybe not:

As alarming as some of those deficits in science knowledge might appear, Americans fared better on several of the questions than similar, but older surveys of their Chinese and European counterparts.

Didn’t see that coming, didja?

This “study” is a pet peeve of mine. Let’s take the survey at face value; that some Americans are unclear about the order of the universe, believe in evolution, and don’t know about any Big Bang Theory that doesn’t involve Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco. 

So what? 

If the person who believes the sun revolves around the earth is refinishing your driveway or washing dishes or working for your city’s Public Works department, what difference does it make? He’s not your doctor. 

(And if your doctor is unconvinced by the Big Bang theory? Again, so what? She got through medical school…)

Seems like these studies are just an elaborate way of allowing half the country to laugh at the other half.

Psychological Warfare

I got this letter from a left-wing PR group yesterday, asking people to come out to protest against “conversion therapy” – the controversial practice of trying to “convert” gay kids to being straight – and, I suspect, ban the practice:

Dear Rudolph,

OutFront Minnesota’s Lobby Day is this Thursday…Contact your legislators right now and tell them that no child should be subjected to dangerous and discredited conversion therapy…It’s those same conversations with legislators that will make the difference in whether we can protect youth from conversion therapy in Minnesota.

With pride and respect,

Marty Rouse
National Field Director

The thesis is that trying to use therapy to try to undo a key component of a person’s personality and identity can be traumatic, damaging and a bad idea deserving to be banned via the weight of government. Now, if someone voluntarily wants to give conversation therapy a try, I’m not sure where it’s the state’s interest…

…but let’s focus on the basic principle; dabbling in engineering peoples’ identities can cause all sorts of psychological harm.  And psychology/psychiatry have known for decades (or as close as those two deeply inexact sciences ever get to “knowing” anything, anyway) that trying to force people to change their personality causes huge problems.

And just so we’re clear; I agree.   I agree that forcing people to be someone they’re not causes long-lasting, terrible damage to the human psyche.

And that’s true whether you’re trying to “cure” homosexuality…

…or boyhood, which has been turned by our feminized academic establishment into a semi-treatable psychiatric pathology (subject to diagnosis by people with BAs in Education rather than MDs and PhDs) that needs to be wiped out.

So how about it?  Should we treat all assaults against the human psyche as abuse?  Or just the politically-incorrect ones?

The Spectator

The sun was setting in the tiny hamlet of Giulino di Messegra as the Fascist prisoners were off-loaded from a truck.  The handful of men, and one woman, had spent the previous night in a cold farm house, having just been captured off a German convoy by Italian communist partisans.  The partisan’s local leader, Walter Audisio, ordered his prisoners to stand against a wall at the entrance to the Villa Belmonte.  One of the other partisans closely watched the prisoners, noting that the most prominent one among them “was like wax and his stare glassy, but somehow blind. I read utter exhaustion, but not fear…[he] seemed completely lacking in will, spiritually dead.”

What happened next remains somewhat debated.  Audisio, reading orders from his superiors in the Italian Communist Party, supposedly issued a death sentence to those held captive.  He immediately aimed his machine gun at the group and squeezed the trigger.

The gun jammed.  The life of Benito Mussolini would gain a few additional seconds.

“Yes, madam, I am finished. My star has fallen. I have no fight left in me. I work and I try, yet know that all is but a farce … I await the end of the tragedy and – strangely detached from everything – I do not feel any more an actor. I feel I am the last of spectators.”

- Benito Mussolini to a Journalist in January of 1945

Mussolini’s Rescue – September, 1943: Despite the Italian government’s efforts to hide the former Il Duce, German intelligence quickly located him after the Italians switched sides

Benito Mussolini had spent a lifetime fighting.  Fighting Austrians and Germans in the Great War.  Fighting communists in the early days of the Fascist Party.  Fighting wars from Abyssinia to Greece.  By September of 1943, the deposed Italian Head of State, Il Duce (the leader) hadn’t the stomach for another battle. Continue reading

Two Billion Ways To Die

In three years, the price estimate for the Southwest LRT, from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie, has jumped from 1.5-ish billion to, as of yesterday, two billion dollars.   And in a move that smacks of “giving the DFL political cover” (or, if you feel really cynical, responding to the NIMBY responses of his Kenwood neighbors), Governor Dayton has started what looks like walking the project back:

Dayton said in a statement released Monday that the rising costs to design and build the Southwest light rail “raises serious questions about the viability and affordability,” of the project.

Dayton called on the Metropolitan Council, which he appointed, to review other options for providing public transit to the region.

In the news conference Monday, Dayton said the project will not get additional money until costs are under control.

Prediction:  Governor Dayton and the DFL are going to use any potential cancellation as proof of their “fiscal responsibility”, as well as to inoculate the Met Council from further criticism.

Tipping Point

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In the olden days, waitresses got paid less than minimum wage and made it up in tips. If you didn’t tip, you were stiffing her wages. The rule of thumb was 15-20% to cover her wages and the quality of her service.

Now they’ve changed the law so waitresses get minimum wage. So, why am I tipping 15-20%? Not to make up wages, you already got that. For quality service? Okay, what’s the percentage for quality service?

If Mark Dayton and the DFL already covered her wages for me, then my “quality of service” tip should be 5-10% instead of 15-20%, right? I haven’t noticed restaurants re-programming the helpful chart on their receipts. Am I missing something?

Joe Doakes

No, Joe. You’re not.

Cue Captain Renault

The big news in the alt-media world in the Twin Cities last week was the MinnPost’s profile of Michael Brodkorb.

Michael has been rhetorical catnip for both sides of the aisle for the past decade or so.  When he was “Minnesota Democrats Exposed”, especially in his pseudonymous phase before 2006, he was the Minnesota left’s Public Enemy #1.

And his role in the scandal that whipsawed the GOP’s majority in the Senate a few years back made him non grata in a lot of GOP circles.

I’m not one of the conservatives that tossed Michael under the bus; I’ve considered him a friend ever since I first met him – when he revealed on my show back in ’06 that he was MDE.  I’m not going to say that I agree with all his choices, but I’m not the one to cast the first stone.  I’m also not on board with his approach to politics these days – but that’s something I’ll tackle issue by issue.

And I have some questions over a lot of what he says in the MinnPost profile.   Which would make for an interesting conversation, on or off the air.

But to me, the interesting part of the MinnPost profile isn’t so much the unpacking of the past couple years of Brodkorb’s life; it doesn’t cover all that much new ground.

No – the interesting part for me is lines like…:

“Republicans couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. It was a vicious mix of schadenfreude and shunning.”

“You understand the tactic [of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners PR]? Now you see it as having become counter­productive?

“Do you advise Republicans that [an aggressive, ideological approach to the media] only marginalizes them among general voters?”

“The “fringe of the fringe” of course is great fodder for the media. Every experienced reporter knows they’re fringe people saying fringe things”

“Well, the obvious irony is that for a lot of people around here they look at you and see the guy who kind of invented the partisan bomb-­thrower game”

And especially this one:

“But the tone and traffic you generated with [your writing] certainly helped … in establishing your bona fides within the party and achieving the post you held with the Senate”

The writer, of course, is Brian Lambert.

Now, Lambert’s not a bad guy.  But while I laud his sudden commitment to civility and reason, it’s hard to separate the Lambo in this piece from the Brian Lambert who was throwing partisan rhetorical rocks and garbage at conservatives years before it became the fashion.  Literally – my first encounter with Lambert was on December 18, 1985 – my first day as a screener at KSTP.  And Lambo was sitting in for Geoff Charles.  And he was not an iota less disdainful of and condescending to conservatives then than he was in his years at the Pioneer Press (when the “tone and traffic he generated with his writing helped establish his bona fides” for a job with then-Senator Mark Dayton), his turn as the liberal id of the old “Janecek and Lambert” show, and pretty much everything he’s ever written at the Twin Cities Reader, the Rake, MinnPost, and whatever I’ve forgotten in between.

And I’m thinking his solicitousness toward Brodkorb is going to be a new corollary to Berg’s 11th Law (“The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”); perhaps “the Republican that Democrats don’t pelt with rocks and garbage is the one that does their throwing for them”.

Priorities

With the Minnesota Wild’s current hot streak, we’ve seen the usual parade of scolds.  The quote usually runs something like “Yeah, now that the Wild are hot, we see the bandwagon fans coming out”.

Now, let’s be clear; I don’t really care about hockey.  It’s just not my game.  I doubt I’ll watch any Wild games, even if they go to the Stanley Cup, which they won’t [1]

Main point?  Of course I’m a “bandwagon fan”.  You think I have time to waste on losers?  What the hell is the point of spending precious time slogging along behind a team that is only going to turn the whole thing into a collossal waste of time, money and effort?

Except for the Bears, of course.

[1] Which I say not because I genuinely doubt their ability to make it downtown, but because while I don’t know much about hockey, I do know that Berg’s Fourth Law of Media/Sports Inversion (“A Minnesota sports team may be a contender until the moment the local media actually believes they will be contenders. At that moment – be it spring training, late November in the NFL season, or week 72 of the NHL playoffs – the season will fall irredeemably apart”) applies to all Minnesota sports teams equally.

I’m doing it for you.

You’re welcome.

Working On NARN Without Any Clues

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • Ted Lillie of the Taxpayers League will join us to talk about the League’s Tax Freedom Day event next week.

Don’t forget - King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

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

Join us!

The LA Times Is To “Science” As Public Rest Rooms Are To “Rest”

I’ve been beating up media figures and their attempts to besmirch the Second Amendment and its defenders for most of the past thirty years, in one form of media or another; talk radio, newsletters, email list-servers, the blog, and talk radio again.

And I’ve noticed two major trends:

  • As the actual facts about guns and society get out to real people, and the pendulum swings ever-further in favor of human rights,  the true, die-hard orcs just get worse and worse, and sloppier and sloppier, at plying their dubious trade.  Example:  Heather Martens has never been one to fall back on fact in stating her case (she’s never once in her career made a substantial, factual original statement), but lately she’s sounded more and more like a banana-republic dictator protesting the health of her regime as things swirl down the drain.
  • On the other hand, the orcs continue to excel at their one useful skill; manipulating a biased, gullible and un-bright mainstream media.  And the latest tool toward that end is “science”.

No, really;  Harvard professor David Hemenway pretty much leads off his piece in the LATimes by not only trying to wrap himself in “science”, but admitting that it’s a tool for bludgeoning people into obeisance:

 

One of the reporters I complained to said that he had covered climate change for many years. He explained that journalists were able to stop their “balanced” reporting of that issue only when objective findings indicated that the overwhelming majority of scientists thought climate change was indeed happening, and that it was caused by humans.

So we’re off to a great start.

Hemenway’s goal; to do to coverage of the Second Amendment what politicized science has done for coverage of climate change.

And the method toward this “science” is the kind of intellectual clown car that might pass muster with leftybloggers, but not with anyone who can outthink sea monkeys:

So I decided to determine objectively, through polling, whether there was scientific consensus on firearms. What I found won’t please the National Rifle Assn.

The NRA might not have been “pleased” by what Professor Hemenway had to say, but only because they, like all of us pro-human-rights media activists, are so un-freaking-Godly bored by refuting the same intellectual effluvium, over and over and over again.  Which, naturally, they have done.

But this is my article – and to paraphrase the great Dexter, it’s a wonderful day to throw rocks and garbage at BS that’s mislabeled “science”: 

My first step was to put together a list of relevant scientists. I decided that to qualify for the survey the researcher should have published on firearms in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and that he or she should be an active scientist — someone who had published an article in the last four years. I was interested in social science and policy issues, so I wanted the articles to be directly relevant. I was not interested in scientists doing research in forensics, history, medical treatment, psychiatric issues, engineering or non-firearms (for example, nail guns, electron guns).

Most of the scientists who were publishing relevant articles were from the fields of criminology, economics, public policy, political science and public health.

So let’s recap:

  • Hemenway sought “scientific consensus” – a term that is itself unscientific.
  • He sought it primarily from “researchers” in fields that are, except for public health, not really “sciences” at all, and are generally famous for their shoddy standards and politicized nature of their research.
  • He sought it from people working at institutions (and even moreso, academic departments) where Constitutionalist, Originalist, conservative/libertarian thought has been largely extinguished, where academics who exhibit same can find their tenure denied and careers threatened.
And his conclusion:

This result was not at all surprising because the scientific evidence is overwhelming. It includes a dozen individual-level studies that investigate why some people commit suicide and others do not, and an almost equal number of area-wide studies that try to explain differences in suicide rates across cities, states and regions. These area-wide studies find that differences in rates of suicide across the country are less explained by differences in mental health or suicide ideation than they are by differences in levels of household gun ownership.

I’ll let you read the entire thing at your own leisure; the howlers keep coming.

I’ll sum it up for you; Hemenway:

  • managed to find a stratum of academics who manage to generate “scientific” effluvium about the danger of guns that manages to ignore the statistical fact that while the number of guns has skyrocketed and the liberality of gun laws has vastly increased in the past 20 years, violent and gun-related crime has dropped by half
  • found “public health” researchers who claim – via “metastudies”, or studies of other studies – that suicide is related to the availability of guns rather than mental health, even though the suicide rates of many nations that strictly control or ban guns are vastly higher than ours.
There are times that I wish the orcs could at least come up with an advocate who’d make it interesting.

Stampeding The Herd

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin – who currently resides atop my short list for 2016 – paid a visit to the Minnesota state capitol yesterday.

He spent some time visiting with lawmakers.

GOP ones, anyway.  A DFL linked Twitter account noted that Democrat lawmakers stayed away from the Governor.

I can see why.  Every Democrat who crosses his path gets defeated.

We need to bring him to Minnesota in 2016.

Trulbert: The Final Installment (V)

 - 7AM, November 10, 2015:  1725 Slough Avenue, Scranton, PA

“You see yourself as a sort of Hendrickson figure?” Schrute said with an air of contempt to his longtime nemesis and recent Bestische Mensch, Jim Halpert.

“Well, yeah”.

“That’s stupid”, Schrute harrumphed.  ”I’d be Myron Ilktost”.

“Dwight, in so many ways, I think you’re right”.

Is that how Trulbert ends?  

That’s what she said!  

Check back June 15!

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.

Indeed.

With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.