Representative Norton’s MkKarthyistic Kangaroo Kourts

Yesterday, we noted that Rep. Kim Norton – the soon-to-be retired legislator from Rochester who’s going to be pushing the various gun-control bills that the DFL is copying and pasting from their benefactors at Bloomberg – accused people who oppose US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s “idea” of barring anyone on the government’s double-dog-secret “Terrorist Watch List” from buying guns, of “supporting allowing terrorists to have weapons”.

No, I’m serious.  In an incredible display of the kind of logic that most adults were shamed out of using back in fourth grade, Norton accused Bryan Strawser of the MN Gun Owners Political Action Committee of supporting guns in the hands of terrorists:


And this introduced an interesting question: what does it take to get on the list?

From that noted conservative tool, the HuffPo, we learn that this watch list is something of a roach hotel; easy to get in, impossible to get out.  I’m abridging the copy from the HuffPo, which you should read in its entirety:

1. You could raise “reasonable suspicion” that you’re involved in terrorism. “Irrefutable evidence or concrete facts” are not required.

In determining whether a suspicion about you is “reasonable,” a “nominator” must “rely upon articulable intelligence or information which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts,” can link you to possible terrorism. As Scahill and Devereaux noted, words like “reasonable,” “articulable” and “rational” are not expressly defined. While the document outlines the need for an “objective factual basis,” the next section clarifies that “irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary” to make a final determination as to whether a suspicion is “reasonable.” So how could intelligence officials be led to put you on the watch list?

Funny they mention that:

2. You could post something on Facebook or Twitter that raises “reasonable suspicion.”

facebook twitter logos

According to the document, “postings on social media sites … should not be discounted merely because of the manner in which it was received.”

Someone who doesn’t like you reports you to a governnment bureaucrat, who thinks “what the heck, better safe than sorry!”, and will never be held accountable for it…

…and boom!  There you are!

(Whoops – can I say “boom” anymore?)

And if you think government wouldn’t do that?  Do you really think Lois Lerner was the only bureaucrat to abuse her authority for political ends?

3. Or somebody else could just think you’re a potential terror threat.

The guidelines also consider the use of “walk-in” or “write-in” information about potential candidates for the watch list. Nominators are encouraged not to dismiss such tips and, after evaluating “the credibility of the source,” could opt to nominate you to the watch list.

In other words, there are no checks and balances.

And these next two…:

4. You could be a little terrorist-ish, at least according to someone.

(Given the liberal fad of “Swatting” conservatives – calling the police to report a conservative is dealing drugs and child porn and guns out of their houses, to draw a swat team, it’s not an idle threat).  Or…

5. Or you could just know someone terrorist-y, maybe.

…should make your blood run cold, when you remember #6:

6. And if you’re in a “category” of people determined to be a threat, your threat status could be “upgraded” at the snap of a finger.

The watch-list guidelines explain a process by which the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism can move an entire “category of individuals” to an elevated threat status. It’s unclear exactly how these categories are defined, but according to the document, there must be “current and credible intelligence information” suggesting that the group is a particular threat to conduct a terrorist act.

And the Obama Administration has designated vast swathes of people who disagree with him as potential terrorists.

If you’re a pro-lifer?  Second Amendment activist?  Tax protester?  Land rights, Tenth Amendment, open-government, anti-war?  You name it – you could find yourself on the watch list for any reason.

Or…no reason at all:

7. Finally, you could just be unlucky.

The process of adding people to the terror watch lists is as imperfect as the intelligence officials tasked with doing so. There have been reports of “false positives,” or instances in which an innocent passenger has been subject to treatment under a no-fly or selectee list because his or her name was similar to that of another individual. In one highly publicized incident in 2005, a 4-year-old boy was nearly barred from boarding a plane to visit his grandmother.

And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  There’s no due process; there’s noplace to file an appeal.

You’re screwed. Your liberties can be held hostage by any petty bureaucrat, any ex-spouse, anyone who really, wants to mess you up in the most passive-aggressive yet damaging way possible.

So I’d like to ask Kim Norton (if she takes questions, which she does not) – how many of our civil liberties does she believe should be subject to a secret list with no due process or accountability?

Back To ’67

The biggest news this past year is the general consensus (among those who are paying attention) that Barack Obama is worse – much worse – a president than Jimmy Carter.  He’s more along the lines of Woodrow Wilson or LBJ.

Ed Driscoll on how apt the LBJ parallel actually is:

Between the race riots, the campus riots, the massive expansion of the federal government and the concurrent belief in its infallibility, the military debacles overseas, a feeling in general that the nation was out of control and now this latest call for the wise men to bail him out, it really does feel like we’re living out the last year of the Johnson administration, doesn’t it? Funny, when Democratic operatives with bylines were submitting Tiger Beat-style articles in 2007 and 2008 dreamily forecasting which Democrat presidencies Obama’s would most closely resemble, LBJ’s rarely made the list. Wonder why?

Because none of them remembered back that far?

Everything’s A Loophole

Joe Doakea from Como Park emails:

Democrat gun control advocates have a new idea: ban anyone on the No Fly List from buying a gun. The rationale is that the only people on the list are terrorists and terrorists shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns so closing the No Fly List loophole will keep America safe from gun violence.


Of course, nobody knows if the people on the list actually are terrorists because the feds refuse to say how your name gets on the list – it could be something political or religious that you said, or someone you visited, or a place you went that makes you a suspected terrorist. And that assumes the No Fly List is honestly administered by the Obama Administration which, after Joe the Plumber scandal, IRS scandal, Fast and Furious scandal, and internet-video-caused-Benghazi scandal, is an assumption that’s open to question.


But setting minor objections aside, if the basic idea is good, shouldn’t we expand it to other Constitutional rights? Shouldn’t we change the law so people on the No Fly List can’t get a driver’s license to drive other suspected terrorists around, vote in elections, attend worship services where they might pass messages to other suspected terrorists, obtain tax refunds or welfare benefits, travel by bus, train or auto between states to confer with other suspected terrorists, get a job, enroll in school (especially not flight school or essential services such as nuclear power, water plant operation, electrical power generation, computer technology) . . . after all, we don’t want terrorists doing any of those things, right? We should ban them, right?

Don’t wait for conviction, ban on secret accusation!

I call on Congress to close the Due Process Loophole.

Joe Doakes

we will be talking a lot more about this in the coming days.  A lot of Democrats are making themselves look very stupid.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Liberals hate civil rights.

Oh, not the civil rights that involve snarking at religion or aborting babies or waving ones’ privates about in public.  Those are pretty sacrosanct on the left.

But actual rights that matter?  Life, liberty, personal property, economic freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom from dependence?  Not so much.

And whenever The People get more of those freedoms, the left – Chicken Littles, all – get very, very nervous.

A change in Kansas law now will allow students and staff with carry permits to bring their legal firearms to school.

Some folks get it:

As Kansas moves toward a time when guns will be as welcome on university campuses as laptops, students are starting to take notice and talk about how they’ll handle that day when it comes.

For many, it’s no big deal. For students who grew up in a largely rural state, surrounded by guns, having the student at the next desk carrying one in pocket or purse doesn’t feel particularly unfamiliar or uncomfortable.

And others – following in the tradition of generations of legislators, pundits and non-profiteers – insist that, notwithstanding thirty years of such predictions

Others are predicting disaster when any student or employee over 21 can carry concealed on campus, without a permit or training in how and when to deploy a deadly weapon…Kennedi Grant, a junior from St. Louis who also is involved in the group, said marginalized students feel danger on campus already without concealed weapons and that “adding that to the mix will only cause more chaos.”

Grant, a journalism student [no cigar for guessing that – Ed. ], said allowing concealed firearms on campus increases the likelihood of a shooting. “It’s not even a matter of if anymore, it’s become a matter of when,” she said.

See also: Every single jurisdiction where the law-abiding citizens have won the right not to be defenseless sheep, and their solons wet their collective (heh) pants.  I’ll direct you in particular to Minnesota’s own “debate” on the subject in 2003, where Senator Wes “Lying Sack of Filth” Skoglund predicted gang-bangers getting carry permits and shooting people up at random (because they weren’t doing that before, and aren’t doing it now, and it’s because they can’t get carry permits, clearly).

(Has anyone noticed how very afraid of Black people our Democrat legislators seem to be?)

Of course, it never happened; it didn’t happen in the idiot Twin Cities, and it won’t happen in sane, sensible Kansas.

But we knew that.

Komissar Kim Norton, MkKarthyist

We’ve gone around and around with Representative Kim Norton of Rochester.  Norton, who is retiring from the Legislature after this coming session, is going to be carrying Michael Bloomberg’s water; she’ll be sponsoring, so we’re told, a number of gun control bills.

Not that you can get a straight answer out of her; although she went into great detail in the Rochester Post-Bulletin in which she called for a “conversation about guns”, she also told anyone who wanted to engage in dialog (as opposed to echo-chamber monologue) that she really had no idea what she was going to put into any bill, and had nothing to talk about.

Which is kind of hilarious, if you think about it.

Of course, on Twitter over the holiday weekend, she found a specific proposal to support – from Bloomberg’s chief streetwalker in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand.

And her response (below) to MNGOPAC leader Bryan Strawser is one for the record books, and one that every Rochester voter should take up with Ms. Norton:  That’s right – for opposing denying civil rights to people who wind up on a non-transparent, easily-abused, unsupervised grab bag of names collected so willy-nilly it’s become the stuff of folk legends, for which the Feds don’t have to tell why, or even whether, you’re on it, Rep. Norton, one of the DFL’s inner circle thought leaders, equates you with a terrorist.

Remember when Democrats were opposed to mysterious starchambers handing down secret lists of enemies, with no transparency or accountability?  I’ll bet Rep. Nortdon does.

This is today’s DFL.

Question:  Do you suppose anyone in the media will question Rep. Norton on this?

The Man On NARN Is Through With Bars, And Through With Cars…

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

Today on the show,

  • We’ll be talking about your chance to help with the South Washington County recount

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!

Today In Amman, Jordan

(SCENE:  Major Thomas ASHTON and Sergeant Major Iain MACTAGGART, members of the British 22nd SAS Regiment – Britain’s premiere Special Forces unit – are standing by a helicopter pad.  Both are suited up for a mission that nobody will confirm is a hostage rescue mission deep into ISIS territory; guns, ammunition, grenades, radios, and survival gear)

ASHTON: Should be a bit of a dustup, eh, MacTaggart?

MACTAGGART:  Aye.  Not the first bloody time, Major.

ASHTON: True.   All right, Sergeant-Major.  Let’s check the men’s kit.  This is going to be a nasty one.

(An orderly – Royal Air Force communications specialist Aircraftman Sheila O’RIORDAN – jogs up to ASHTON with a piece of paper.  She stands at attention and salutes the Major)

ASHTON (taking the paper):  Yes?

O’RIORDAN:  Flash message from Ministry of Defense, sir.

ASHTON:  Thank you.  Dismissed.

(O’RIORDAN salutes.  ASHTON returns the salute.  O’RIORDAN jogs back to the radio tent)

MACTAGGART:  So w`hat’s MOD say, Major?

ASHTON:  President Obama has declared a climate conference.  ISIS has surrendered.

MACTAGGART:  ISIS couldn’t face the onlaught of Powerpoint, eh?

ASHTON:  Sounds like the mission’s off.

MACTAGGART:  Peace has broken out?

ASHTON:  Yes, Sergeant-Major.

(Both men stand for a beat – and then erupt in laughter)

MACTAGGART:  I’ll tell the helos to spool up.

ASHTON:  Right.  Wheels up in ten.


Today, In Raqqah, Syria

SCENE:  Abu Bakr AL-BAGHDADI, leader of ISIS and self-proclaimed “caliph” of the new “Khelifa” or Caliphate, is in a conference with a group of his lieutenants, including Sheikh Abu Ali HABIB.

AL-BAGHDADI:  Reports from the front look good.  We’re holding the Kurds, we’re gaining ground in Syria, and the Iraqis are folding like  a Salafist end-table.

LIEUTENANTS:  Allahu Akbar!

AL-BAGHDADI:  And the Great Satan is reacting as we expected; with dithering disguised as grand pronouncements.

LIEUTENANTS:  Insh’allah!

HABIB:  Caliph, I have some bad news.

AL-BAGHDADI:  What is it, Sheikh?

HABIB:   Little Miss Satanette – President Obama (group snickers) is holding a…

(HABIB pauses, catches breath)

….climate change conference.

(Entire group cringes in horror)

AL-BAGHDADI:  That does it.  Let’s give up.  Find an evangelist; I’ll devote my life to Christ.

(Entire group pauses for a silent beat – then breaks into uproarious laughter)


Today In Kurdistan

(SCENE:  Two Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Ali and Sayid, are manning a Russian-built machine gun, scanning a valley warily, watching for ISIS movement.  Suddenly, the radio crackles)

RADIO:   Kebab Six to all Kebab.   President Obama is holding a climate change conference.  Six out.

ALI:  (scanning with binoculars)  Well, I’ll be.

SAYID:   What?

ALI:   (Hands Sayid the binoculars)  Look!

SAYID:  (Looks through binoculars)  Wow.

(Cut to scene through binoculars.  ISIS troops are climbing out of foxholes, hurling their weapons, ammunition and webgear into the distance, and running away, leaving a cloud of dust behind them)

ALI:  Huh.  Don’t see that every day.

SAYID:  Like I’ve been telling you, Ali – it’s all about the climate.

ALI:  Gotta hand it to you.  When you’re right, you’re right.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Just thought I’d drop a quick line; posting will be light today and, likely, tomorrow.

I’m thankful today for all the usual stuff – family, friends, a job, a home, the means to provide; my kids, my granddaughter, and the opportunities we all have.

And speaking of opportunities, I’m thankful for the chance I get to talk to you every day on this blog, and once a week on the air.  Thank you all for that!

Have a great weekend.  I’ll be on the air Saturday.

Every Picture Tells A Story

This is not a green square.  It’s a grid of green squares, separated by little black lines.

Each green square represents the proportion of privately-owned guns in America not used in a homicide.

The red square represents the proportion of privately-owned guns that are used in homicides.   Americans legally own close to 300 million guns; roughly 8,000 a year are used in homicides.  That’s about one quarter of one percent of one percent.


Joe Doakes fromComo Park emails:

The shootings in France are the latest in a long line of Soft Targets. America has our share of them, too. How to provide better security? And what kind of security?
People in a soft target fall into the same four categories as those in a bar: staff, non-violent customers, drunks and criminals. The first two create no security problems, the last two fall within the expertise of bouncers. Ah, but what if a couple of mass murderers sneak in? The fastest way to neutralize a Bad Guy with a gun is for a Good Guy with a gun to shoot him. Soft Targets need an immediate, on-site armed response. How to provide it?
Cops are too expensive and too well-skilled to waste standing around at football games, rock concerts, movie theaters. Yes, I said too-well skilled. Sworn officers are the law enforcement equivalent of Marines – full time professionals trained at their craft. They know how to clear and search buildings. They know what facts to allege to support a search warrant. They know the current case-law on Reasonable Suspicion and how it differs from Probable Cause. They know how many grams of which drugs are contraband. None of that is required when the bullets are flying.
I’m thinking of a way to swell the ranks of effective immediate responders in places they’re usually absent: football games, rock concerts, worship services, shopping malls, county fairs. I’m trying to think outside the box, spit-balling, throwing out ideas, help me out here.
America has a long tradition of using volunteers to fill public service needs. Small-town volunteer fire-fighters and part-time police officers. Justices of the Peace and Conciliation Court Referees. Civil Air Patrol flying search and rescue. Ham radio operators relaying messages after Katrina. Weather watchers and tornado spotters. Absolutely critical work, thousands of lives and billions of dollars of property at issue, with mistakes irreversible, and yet we rely on volunteers for all these jobs, have done for decades. Volunteers may not be as experienced as full-time professionals who do the job every day, but we accept that shortcoming because they’re already on the scene. An amateur helping now is better than an expert helping an hour after it’s too late.
One reason permitted carriers are distrusted is fear of their response. Will they shoot blindly? Will they make things worse? And there’s some validity to the concern. In all honesty, the weapons skills required of permitted carry holders is a lot closer to once-a-year deer hunters than to sworn police officers. I recognize that it’s a Constitutional right and I’m all for open carry, machine guns, too, yada, yada, but we’re not talking about how to convince the choir, we’re talking about how to get people to consider coming into the church.
Could select civilian permit holders volunteer to be trained to a higher level, to serve as Police Supplements in a limited support role? Something higher than an unarmed Police Reserve officer directing traffic, something less than the full-time officer? Maybe one day a month and one week a year – a scaled down version of the National Guard, focused solely on weapons safety, training, shooting skills, movement, cover. You’d have no arrest power. No handcuffs. No pepper spray, Tazer or baton. You don’t go on patrol looking for troublemakers. You only work when and where assigned. You only have one tool – a firearm – and like a Sky Marshal, you have one mission: shoot the killer.
Obviously, there are details to work out. Police Supplements must pass the same background check as sworn officers (they already do, to have a permit to carry, but it doesn’t hurt to remind the public these are law-abiding citizens not yahoo cowboys). Some might volunteer for even more training, to be Police Supplement Warrant Officers, leading groups of Police Supplements in times of civil unrest or natural disaster, all under the supervision of sworn officers. There are thousands of Gulf War vets, could they help? The possibilities are endless – if we have the imagination to make them possible.
Probably 99.9999999999% of the time, you get a free pass to watch the game and that’s it. But the one time we need you . . . .
Joe Doakes

Lie First, Lie Always: November 25 Edition

There was a shooting at the 4th Precinct demonstrations, late Monday night.  Three men, described by BLM as “white supremacists” – and in retrospect it appears they were, although to be fair some elements in BLM call everyone  a white supremacist – shot five protesters.  Thankfully, none of the injuries are “serious”, although let’s be honest, if I get hit by a bullet, it’s freaking serious.

But it’s the left we’re talking about, here.  It’s a crisis.  Waste not, want not.

How’s That Again?:  The three shooters – apparently identifiable as “White Supremacists” by dint of wearing masks, were being “escorted away from the protest”, according to the media’s accounts, or (according to these two people in, er, masks), “escorted” rather more aggressively:

Anyway, the three men – whose arrest the Strib reports – ran, and then opened fire, hitting five.  It took about 12 hours for the police to catch them.

They were apparently white men, some of whose Facebook pages bespeak some kind of Caucasianist sympathies, we’re told.

More on the accused later.

Until then, let’s talk about what happened during those 12 hours:

Thanks, Betsy!:  Now, if you’re not in the Twin Cities, let’s set the stage for you; Mayors Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis and Chris Coleman of Saint Paul have done everything possible under, and beyond, the law to accomodate Black Lives Matter.  They’ve allowed BLM to repeatedly block freeways and mass transit during rush hour; they not only let BLM block Snelling Avenue for four hours during the State Fair – one of the busiest days of the year – they gave them a full, aggressive escort on their march.  And they’ve tolerated a protest around a police station that has at times blocked access, teetered on the edge of violence, and required drawing police from other parts of the city for nights on end.  Rumor has it the police leave mints on the pillows of Rashad Turner and Nekima Pounds-Levy.

And yet, when the chips were down, Minneapolis NAACP boss Raeisha Williams knew exactly who to blame:

No word if the suspects are sleepers for the MPD.

What?  You Thought There Was Going To Be An Article About Habitual Lying That Didn’t Include Heather Martens?: Heather Martens of “Protect” MN blamed carry permittees for the shooting.

The suspects apparently are not carry permit holders.

I’m not going to quote it. I’m not going to link it.  Heather Martens doesn’t deserve the attention of any sentient being (which may be why the media gives her so much credence).

But if you’re in the media?  Ask yourself why you keep citing this idiot.

Topic Number One And Only…

…in the media, these days, seems to be the idea that “the GOP is racist”, since Donald Trump, who has certainly brought out more than his fair share of the angry and the ignorant (sort of the flipside of Bernie Sanders, who, let’s not forget, is pimping xenophobic socialism himself) and who will be out of the race in a couple of months, is being closely tailed, and in the aggregate outnumbered, by two Latinos, a woman, and an African-American, all vying for the chance to take a shot at one of the three geriatric honkies on the Democrat side.

Which, in turn, is the sum, total, entire reason the media is obsessing over “racism”.


Giving Up Freedom For Security…

France’s “state of emergency” is trampling whatever civil liberties the French may have actually thought they had.

Which, on the one hand, highlights what a different place the US is – where fundamental human rights are endowed by our creator, not an allowance from a benificent state (although big government has been leaching that away for decades, too).

And on the other, shows how fragile the freedoms are that we take for granted.

It also shows why the most important piece of gun legislation signed by Governor Dayton this past session was the law barring the State from confiscating legal guns during a “state of emergency”.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The fact that Jamar Clark has a felony armed-robbery conviction, pending charges for fleeing police in a high-speed chase and for violence against another woman, beat this woman badly enough she needed paramedics and then interfered with the paramedics rendering medical treatment to the women he beat, are sufficient facts for me to conclude that this is a person of Bad Character.

That’s not airtight proof that he acted in conformity with his Bad Character when the police arrived. It’s not conclusive proof that he fought the police and tried to kill them with their own guns. There’s eyewitness testimony on both sides of the issue, both sides have motive to lie so that’s a wash, and the video hasn’t been released yet. Who to believe comes down to reputation and character.

As between a person of Bad Character and a couple of cops who have unblemished reputations (as far as I know), I’m inclined to suspect the suspect did act in conformity with his Bad Character, did engage in another instance of assaultive behavior, did try to gain a weapon he could use to murder the police, did put the cops into a life-and-death struggle, and therefore did, in fact, deserve to be shot, and shot as many times as it took for him to stop trying to kill them.  

Notice I did not mention the word “Black.” That’s because race doesn’t matter to this analysis. This is about human nature, about how people really act in the real world. When a guy with a history of violence threatens violence, reasonable people believe him, as his ex-girlfriend believed he really did intend to burn her alive. Later, when the cops shoot him, it’s reasonable to believe he was beating on them as he beat on his new girlfriend. I’m not drawing a legal conclusion, my conclusion is not admissible in a court of law, but I think it’s an entirely reasonable at this stage of the proceedings to strongly suspect that the dead guy deserved it.

Also, speaking of character, I note Governor Deer-in-the-Headlights found time to meet with the Bad Character’s family but has not found time to visit the only true victim in this situation, the domestic abuse victim. His priorities lay revealed. 

Domestic Abuser Lives Matter?

Joe Doakes

True to form, the DFL is following the advice of its Lord and Savior, Rahm Emanuel: never waste a crisis.

With Our Feet

Over the weekend, I went out looking for a movie to watch.  I don’t go to a whole lot of movies, but I’d heard that Truth, the mash note to Mary Mapes and Dan Rather, staring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford (someone I dimly remember being a star when I was in grade school) had been out for a couple of weeks.  So I tried to find it on a screen somewhere in the Metro.  It wasn’t so much out of interest, or any expectation that the film would be anything but a rhetorical tongue bath for Rather and Mapes from their BFFs in Hollywood.

But the collapse of Rather (along with the Gordon Kahl shootout) is one of two major news stories where I’ve been, if not “involved”, at least watching from the sidelines rather than the bleachers; John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson were co-hosting the NARN at the time they broke the story; the show on the Saturday following the seminal “Sixty First Minute” posting at Powerline was one of the most intense programs I’ve ever been involved in in my life.

I couldn’t find the movie.  A month after release, after a disastrous opening (one of the 100 worst wide-release openings in history), I couldn’t find it anywhere.  The shamefully revisionist retelling grossed a little over $2 million on a budget of $11 million.   “Lucy Ramirez”, Bill Burkett’s fictional source for the fraudulent documents, is easier to find than a screen playing Truth.  [1]

The search for a screen – any screen – in the Twin Cities showing Truth, starring Robert Somebodyorother and Cate Galadriel over the weekend, got a little intense.

Now, even the critics thought the movie adequate at best, for starters.  But is the fact that it’s also basically unvarnished American progressive propaganda part of the reason it tanked so very very badly?

Tankage: I don’t expect much from our self-appointed coastal “elites”. Most of them serve only as warning signs about the diminishing value of an “elite” education.

But I have always counted on Hollywood, if no one else, knowing how to protect its own market.

Apparently, not so. More and more, Hollywood seems to find its ideology – at the corner of which is preening contempt for everyone who lives between the Hudson river and the Sierra Madre – more important than its bottom line.

And this seems more clear than ever, given last weekend’s box office results; three other “can’t miss” movies open to results anywhere from bad to disastrous.  None of the movies were especially political – but their stars certainly took an ill-advised run at it.

“Secret In Their Eyes”, vehicle for Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts (a pair of women most famous for being redheads  married to vastly more talented men back in the 1990s, both of whom have been flexing their hatred for conservatives, Republicans and Christians on overdrive for years) opens to less money than the Northern Alliance earns on a typical weekend.

Documentary evidence that Julia Roberts once existed.

And the latest Seth Rogen movie – whose name elludes me, but was probably about being really drunk – tanked with a bullet not long after the notoriously self-impressed Rogen erupted in an obscene tirade against Ben Carson for, presumably, leaving the plantation.

No – the photomeme caption is not satire.

Most shockingly? The “can’t miss” final episode in the Hunger Games franchise came in about 20% below expectations.

Jennifer Lawrence, this time in the indescribably wonderful and utterly apolitical Silver Linings Playbook, for which she earned a very well-deserved Oscar, back before she tried to turn into Rosie O’Donnell. No, you know what I mean. Seen here with her co-star, Bradley Cooper, long before his own Oscar-caliber turn in American Sniper, which probably renders him trayf to J-Law. I’m just going to sit and think what could have been for a few minutes, here.

Why?  Well, maybe this:

A mere ten days before the film’s release, Lawrence went so far as to expose her anti-Christian bigotry, telling Vogue magazine that Christians are “those people holding their crucifixes, which may as well be pitchforks, thinking they’re fighting the good fight. I grew up in Kentucky. I know how they are.”

“I know how they are”.

In Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper and Lawrence’s characters hilariously botch their big final move at the dance contest. Cooper reputedly reprised this scene with Joy Behar during rehearsals for American Sniper  to simultaneously build bulk and method-act some of the horror and depression Chris Kyle felt when he came home from the war.

Presumably she means “like a bunch of undergrad Social Justice Warriors out seeking confessions from politically incorrect professors”.

Bradley Cooper, out of his dancing shoes, trying to find a screen showing Truth anywhere in the Metro, and failing.

Anyway – these, along with the almost complete lack of box office interest in non-Hurt-Locker-related left-wing propaganda using the War on Terror as a stage, especially compared to efforts like American Sniper, Zero Dark Thirty, Lone Survivor and Act of Valorwhich treat war as complex and horrible, but somehow fail to show Americans and American troops as bloodthirsty racists savages, make me wonder – does Hollywood really not care about the market as much as it does carrying the hard-left’s water?

Yes, it’s a partly rhetorical question.

[1] I know, I know – it was one one screen at the Lagoon – the art-house multiplex over in Uptown.  That may actually reinforce my point.

A Good Guy With No Gun Allowed

A couple of factoids to start with, first:

  • For over a decade, now – since law Enforcement’s disastrous response to Columbine – law enforcement “active shooter” doctrine and training has emphasized resisting active shooters.  Their attacks are almost always more or less meticulously planned; resistance throws the plans off, and disrupts the shooters’ fantasy state.
  • Homeland Security, in the wake of all earlier advice about staying calm and going along with terrorists’ demands flying out the window on 9/11, now advises people to resist hijackings, if they can.
  • Nonetheless, major urban police chiefs – including Saint Paul’s chief, Tim Smith – poo-pooh the idea that a “good guy with a gun” can ever have a positive effect on a dangerous situation.  They are, of course, universally appointees who serve at the pleasure of Democrat mayors and city councilors, so it’s to be expected they’ll repeat their masters’ lies, even though the truth is out there in black and white.

With those out of the way, let’s get to the story:

Tear ‘Em Up!:  The chief of the Washington Police Department is urging the public to “take down” active shooters:

 “Your options are run, hide, or fight,” the D.C. police chief said. “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

Now, that sounds both commonsensical and in line with current law-enforcement thinking on the subject (as we noted above).

Now, there are many ways to “take down” a gunman.  If you’re a highly trained ninja, there’s all sorts of ninja fu.  Or you can charge at them and hit them with a bottle, a tablecloth, a book, or a WWE sleeper hold.

Or those diligent civilians could use the most effective means of self-defense there is; a firearm.  A legal handgun.  Police know as well as anyone else that someone resisting a lethal force attack with lethal force is four times as likely to survive as someone who who resists with non-leethal force, and seven times as likely as those who don’t resist.

Civilians can – and do – avail themselves of this constitutional, legal and deadly effective means of defending themselves against crime, whether lowly street crime or a would-be mass-shooter.

Half-Baked:  Or at least they can in most of the United States.  But not if they’re in DC.

Lanier – police chief for a city that still actively fights against civilian gun rights – is apparently endorsing the “good guy with a gun” idea that the National Rifle Association and every other gun rights group (and, incidentally, current police training regarding active shooters these days) endorses – only without the gun.

In other words, she’s advising people to do battle with murderous maniacs – only without the means to make it anything but nearly suicidal.

She’s endorsing every part of the “Good Guy with a Gun” scenario but the gun – the part that makes it work.

Easier To Get A Basketball Than A Book

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy sent me this.  I forward it, unedited:

“Here in a nutshell is what’s wrong with this nation:

Roseville Library

Mon-Thu10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun12 – 5 p.m.

Closed – Thursday, January 1, 2015
Closed – Monday, January 19, 2015
Closed – Monday, February 16, 2015
Closed – Sunday, April 5, 2015
Closed – Monday, April 20, 2015
Closed – Monday, May 25, 2015
Closed – Saturday, July 4, 2015
Closed – Monday, September 7, 2015
New Brighton Library will be closed Sept 7-11 for Community Center maintenance!
Closed – Monday, October 12, 2015
Closed – Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Closed – Thursday, November 26, 2015
Open – Friday, November 27, 2015
Closed – Thursday, December 24, 2015
Closed – Friday, December 25, 2015
Open – Thursday, December 31, 2015 until 5 p.m.
Alert – New Brighton Library will close at 4 p.m. on December 31, 2015
Closed – Friday, January 1, 2016


The library is closed pretty much all hours and days that any working person could get there.  Closed at 5 on Friday and Saturday.  Opens at noon on Sunday, for 5 hours.  When I had the kids for the weekends I could get there only if we made a special day of it, couldn’t do anything else around getting to the library.  We could just barely get there on Sunday if we ate early then got on the road right after to make it to the hostage exchange on time.   Roseville is the busiest library in the entire system, hence it has the longest hours.  The others are far worse.

Books bad, basketball good.


Rec centers:

MondayFriday – 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Saturday – 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Sunday – 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

All sites are CLOSED for the following major holidays:

Thursday, November 26 – Thanksgiving Day
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
Friday, January 1 – New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day


So the library, where books are, is closed on any holiday, real or imagined, on weekend evenings, most of the day on Sunday, etc.  Where as the rec center is open nearly all the time, and the feds want to spend money keeping them open at midnight for basketball.

Joe Doakes

Back when the GOP controlled the Legislature, the DFL used to whinge “they want to close the libraries!”.  I used to ask “What?  They’re open?”

The library in my neighborhood – a neglected old place that’s perpetually on the city’s chopping block, and hasn’t nearly the hours that the huge Roseville library has – seems to be open at times most convenient to…library staffers.  Not school kids, much less working adults.

And don’t get me started on the fact that the new Roseville “library” seems to allot about 20% of its space to…books.

But maybe that’s what the President means when he prattles about guns being easier to get than books; he’s referring to guns and books owned by government.  You can’t get to a book during hours any working person could get there – but the Department of Justice will give you a gun – if you’re a narcotraficante.

Slouching Toward Havana

The Mac Groveland Community Council – apparently acting as a de facto city planning agency – has been leading the way toward socialized trash collection in Saint Paul.

And they’re going to be having one of the “public meetings” that have been, in Saint Paul recently, more or less rubber-stamps on the plans the Met Council wanted to pass anyway.

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