Common Sense Alt Media

Many of you reading this blog are amateur journalists; we met back when everyone was a exercising their First Amendment rights with blogs and the like.

Now, writing online – blogs, tumblr, Facebook, whatever – is fine. And audio podcasts are OK.

But nobody really needs video. It’s just too much.

I’ve worked as a real reporter; I’ve had actual training with real video. And if you don’t believe me, believe many, many professional journalists, who’ll tell you – regular people just don’t need video.

It’s common sense.

Stacked

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds wasn’t writing about the Twin Cities’ Met Council in his USA Today piece, “Why Politicians Love Cities”.   But in another sense, he was precisely writing about the Met Council.

Reynolds cites urban theorist and “New Urbanism” critic Joel Kotkin’s new book (we’ve met Kotkin on this blog before) in getting to three reasons why politicians – like the Met Council – loooove big cities;  snobbery, graft and politics.

I’ll commend Reynolds’ article to you for the first two.  As to the politics?

Cities tend to repel – and, ultimately, exclude – people who intend to raise children; it’s become something of a phenomenon.   What it’s not, it would seem, is accidental:

Politicians like to pursue policies that encourage their political enemies to leave, while encouraging those who remain to vote for them. (This is known as “the Curley effect” after James Michael Curley, a former mayor of Boston.)  People who have children, or plan to, tend to be more conservative, or at least more bourgeois, than those who do not. By encouraging high density and mass transit, urban politicians (who are almost always on the left) encourage people who might oppose them to “vote with their feet” and move to the suburbs.

This isn’t necessarily good for the cities they rule. Curley’s approach, which involved “wasteful redistribution to his poor Irish constituents and incendiary rhetoric to encourage richer citizens to emigrate from Boston,” as David Henderson wrote on theEconLog, shaped the electorate to his benefit. Result: “Boston as a consequence stagnated, but Curley kept winning elections.”

But that’s OK. Politicians don’t care about you. They care about power, in urban planning and in everything else.

Pushing people who tend more conservative out of the city/ies is just plain good politics for the DFL that the Met Council exists to serve.

Crazy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats in Congress are staging a sit-in for gun control in response to a gay man shooting up a gay nightclub in Orlando. 

 People suffering from mental illness are banned from owning guns for the obvious reason that they’re a danger to themselves or others.  Homosexuality was a mental illness until 1973, when it was redefined as normal.  Did gay men get less dangerous or were they never dangerous?  Should we have banned them from owning guns in the past?  Given the evidence of Orlando, should we ban gay men from owning guns now?

 Today, Liberals claim Conservativism is a mental illness.  And Democrats want to characterize receipt of Social Security Disability benefits as an adjudication of mental illness. Plain to see where that is heading.

 And, of course, the Soviet Union had a well-developed network of psychiatric hospitals devoted to housing patients suffering from “sluggish schizophrenia,” a person determined to be mentally ill because he failed to conform to Socialist ideas about the Truth. Won’t surprise me a bit if Hillary revives that plan and expands it to include anybody whose name does not appear on the DNC campaign donor list.

 And yet every bus, every street corner, every train yard has a bum, a homeless vet, a person who actually suffers from mental illness but won’t take his meds and nobody can make him because Liberals insist on liberty above public safety.  Clayton Cramer’s book “My Brother Ron” should be required reading before any discussion of mental illness and firearms.

Joe Doakes

It’s a tricky subject – by nature, and by political intent.

Saturday On The NARN, And Every Day’s The Fourth Of July

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

I’m back from assignment.  I’ll be talking about:

  • Democrats against freedom!
  • I’ll be talking with Frank Drake, GOP Candidate for the 5th Congressional District

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

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

Join us!

MNSure: All Is, Naturally, Proceeding As Predicted

The Blues are eliminating scads of individual plans.

In response Gov. Mark Dayton highlighted gains in enrolling more Minnesotans in health insurance plans since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He also acknowledged the BCBSM departure reflects the instability in the market for individual and family coverage.

In other words, as people have been squeezed out of the private plans they originally chose, they are dribbling in to MNSure’s more expensive plans with higher deductibles and more-constricted networks.

He thinks has been told to think it’s a win.

“This creates a serious and unintended challenge for the individual market: the Minnesotans who seek coverage there tend to have greater, more expensive health care needs than the general population,” said Dayton. “Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision to leave the individual market is symptomatic of conditions in the national health insurance marketplace.

University of Minnesota health economist Roger Feldman called the Blues’ departure a major blow to Minnesota’s already troubled individual market.

“What this says about the individual market is that it is very unstable and it has been disrupted by a number of events and we still don’t know whether it will recover or not from those disruptions,” said Feldman.

Apparently we have to cripple healthcare before we can save it.

Offer

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails – reiterating something I myself posted on Facebook the other day:

Since the tragedy in Orlando, this sign has been popping up and gun sales to GLBT buyers are soaring.  

Shootback1

Great – if you know how to use one.  I’ve been shooting 40 years.  My sincere offer: if any GLBT new gun owner would like lessons, let Mitch know and we’ll arrange it.  No politics; no judgment; no fee: just safety and accuracy.

Joe Doakes

I did in fact make this offer on Facebook.

Continue reading

Rick Nolan, Banana Republican

To:  Everyone in Northern Minnesota
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Congressional Representative

All,

Here’s Rick Nolan, your representative from CD8.

Banana Republicans (from L): Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Rick Nolan.

Banana Republicans (from L): Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Rick Nolan.

It was taken this past Wednesday, as he participated in a “sit-in” on the floor of the House, in favor of a bill that would have gutted due process by allowing the government to bar firearms from anyone on a “terrorism watch list” that government can put people on with no due process, no accountability, and no recourse.

All government has to do is put your entire group – pro-lifers, hunting rights groups, even union activists – on the “watch list”, and boom; no guns for you.   And there’s nothing you can do about it.

Just like in the Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, or any banana republic.

This is what Rick Nolan is spending his taxpayer-funded time and money on in DC; pretending that you, the people of CD8, want this country to turn into a banana republic.

Remember this in November.

That is all.

Scenarios

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is working on the potato boxes in his backyard.    Avery LIBRELLE walks through the back gate into BERG’s back yard.

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!  The case of workplace violence in Orlando proves that it’s time for America to get serious about guns.

BERG:    We did.  Or at least parts of the country did; the parts that ratcheted up the penalties for gun crimes, and seriously prosecuted straw buyers, saw a marked decrease in gun crimes.   Of course, that wasn’t “sexy” enough for the Democrat-run governments of most major cities – so while the rest of the nation’s crime rate plummets, in major Democrat-run cities it’s rising…

LIBRELLE:  I’m already bored.   The Orlando workplace violence episode proves that guns are no defense.

BERG:   It showed that a cop working security was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that Mateen, unlike most mass shooters, didn’t fold up when he ran into resistance.   As might befit someone who was carrying out a terror attack, as opposed to someone just seeking immortality as a spree killer.  That’s just a theory…

LIBRELLE:  …I’m still bored.

BERG:  Well, bore yourself with this; had a any person in that club had a legal, permitted firearm, they could have stopped the shooting.

LIBRELLE:  Can you guarantee that?

BERG:   There are no guarantees in life.  But I’d like to talk you through three hypothetical scenarios.

LIBRELLE:  Don’t make me bored!

BERG:   What’s with the boredo…oh, never mind .

Scenario 1:  You’re out at a bar.  Someone starts shooting.   People around you are getting hit left and right.

Suddenly, a schlub nearby sees an opportunity while the shooter is shooting the other way; they draw their legal handgun, and they kill the attacker.

LIBRELLE:  That’s unrealistic.

BERG:  Why?

LIBRELLE:  The attacker would shoot them first.    They’d sense they were about to be attacked, and turn and kill them.  Which would just make it worse for everyone else in the club.

BERG:  What, you think mass shooters are superman ninja warriors or something?

LIBRELLE:  Doesn’t matter.  That never happens.

BERG:   By my count, it’s happened at least sixteen times in recent years.

But that  brings us to the second scenario.  Let’s say a citizen draws, and misses, or doesn’t kill the shooter, and the shooter kills the citizen.  That’d be tragic – but it’d throw the shooter’s plan off, and give people time to escape in the confusion, and probably safe at least a few lives.

LIBRELLE:  You’re dreaming.

BERG:   Well, it’s happened.  But it probably beats the third scenario.

LIBRELLE:  Which is?

BERG:  (Very, very quietly, with an air of fervent, quiet concentration).  You’re at a bar.  (LIBRELLE listens intently; BERG continues, quietly).  Shooting rings out.  People are dying left and right.  But the bar is a gun-free zone, and everyone in the bar followed the law tonight.  So there’s exactly one armed person in the joint – the mass shooter, motivated by hate, or desire for immortality, or on a terror mission.  And the shooter keeps on going, blasting away, killing defenseless person after defenseless person (BERG grows quieter, leaning toward LIBRELLE, who leans closer as well), killing everyone around you until…

(BERG stops)

LIBRELLE:  Until wha…

BERG:  (At a whisper) he lifts his gun, and (BERG yells at the top of his lungs) BOOM!  RIGHT AFTER YOU PROJECTILE CRAP YOURSELF WITH FEAR, HE BLOWS YOUR F****NG HEAD INTO A MILLION F****NG PIECES ALL OVER THE WALL!

LIBRELLE:  (Leaps backward eyes, wide  with fear, transfixed, hyperventilating).

BERG:  Your choice.

LIBRELLE:  (Quickly shuffles out of BERG’s back yard).

BERG:  Seriously, Avery.  It is your choice.

(And SCENE).

Whither

Today’s the big day for “Brexit” – the referendum on the UK’s exit from the European Union.

We’ll come back to that.


25 years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed (for a while).   The media was confused and befuddled; most of them had bet on the wrong team during the Cold War.

Now, whenever a huge, all-encompassing, not to mention totalitarian, system completely collapses, there will be a certain amount of chaos, as people, not to mention nations, economies and political systems, try to find their feet after a generation or two under a completely different system.   Turning from “Totalitarian Gangster State” to “Social Democracy” – forget “Free Market” for now – isn’t something nations and societies can do with easy grace, any more than Tom Brokaw can do an Olympic Gymnastics routine.

But our mainstream media apparently didn’t know or believe that.  In 1994 – barely two years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain – Poland was in a recession.  Tom Brokaw, on the NBC Evening News, echoing the sentiments of many MSM chin-strokers, gravely intoned “It appears that Poland’s experiment with free markets has failed”.

Two whole years after the Wall fell.

It was wishful thinking from a mainstream media that missed having a constant crisis to cover (not to mention an “enemy” with whom they were so sympathetic).   Poland went on to become one of Europe’s economic success stories. Eastern Europe has had ups and downs – but other than a few crypto-authoritarian splinter states (shut up about Belarus), none of them are pining for a return to Communism.    Quite the opposite.

Statue of Ronald Reagan in Warsaw, Poland – one of many monuments to the greatest leader of the second half of the 20th century that dot the lands he played a pivotal role in freeing.

Anyway, point being this:

  1. American mainstream media and the establishment whose PR firm they largely are forecast gloom and doom with the breakup of the USSR, since it was uncertain, and they had little faith in freedom or the market.
  2. Eastern Europe largely, imperfectly, and with inevitable struggle, succeeded.
  3. Mainstream media ignored the success.

Thus endeth the history lesson.


Today the American mainstream media is predicting various degrees of disaster should the UK pull out of the big, arthritic bureaucratic pseudo-state that is the EU.

Maybe they’re right.

But their record in betting against freedom, autonomy and the market isn’t all that good, unless by “good” you mean “consistent”.

Reshuffling The Deck

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals instinctively maintain an excruciatingly calibrated hierarchy of victim-hood to determine who occupies the superior rank in any given situation.  Hillary lost the nomination to Obama because Black outranks Woman.  We all know that Gay outranks Christian and last month’s Bathroom Wars made clear that Trans outranks Women, too.

Orlando must have been an eye-opener for GLBT who have been accustomed to holding the top rung of the ladder.  Not only did a Muslim man specifically target gays for massacre, he boasted about it as he was doing it.  But today, the so-called “leaders” that GLBT thought were on their side, are defending the Religion of Gay Hatred.  The President won’t even mention its name.  Liberals are more worried about “toxic masculinity” than about actual dead men.

A week ago, homophobia meant which bathroom to use; today, it means which gravestone to choose.  Bad news folks: you’ve been out-ranked.  No civil rights for you.  Only Last Rites.

Joe Doakes

The “leaders” are also busily trying to manufacture a “gay muslim” constituency with which to feel solidarity – completely avoiding and ignoring the point of the entire massacre to begin with.

One For Your Mental Library

I commend this article – Why I “Need” An AR15″, from the left-leaning “Medium”, by apparently left-leaning writer Jon Stokes – to all of you who have an interest in the Second Amendment, pro or con.

Those of you who oppose the Second Amendment – or even just “assault weapons” – should read it to unlearn some of the complete fabulism that a sloppy and incurious (at best) media has brought to the subject.

Those of you who support the Second Amendment can fill in your intellectual war chest with some new arguments; as, indeed, I did.

For that matter, the disclaimer at the beginning is pure gold:

some 5 million Americans have decided that they do, in fact, “need” an AR-15. Are all of these people bloodthirsty savages? Delusional survivalists? Military fetishists? Insecure men with tiny… hands?

If you’re prepared to answer ‘yes’ to all of the above and consider the case closed, then please move on and don’t read anymore. This article isn’t my attempt to justify anything to you — it’s not a defense of what’s in my gun safe or of the AR-15 itself. If, for you, my AR-15 ownership is prima facie evidence of my mental instability, sexual inadequacy, lack of a conscience, or what-have-you, then I honestly don’t care what you think about this issue. You can go back to broadcasting your own moral superiority on social media, and I can go back to tuning you out until your rage therapy session is over.

(Nota bene: While my comment section is intended to be a vibrant, diverse conversation reflecting many points of view, comments I deem to reflect the point of view in the second-to-last sentence – AKA “stupid” comments – will be deleted without fanfare.  Disagree with me all you want.  Do it stupidly in almost every other post on this blog, past, present or future.   But not here.   That is all).

Worth a read.

Redundancia

Large swathes of America – the west coast, the east coast north of the Carolinas, most cities over 250,000 people – are controlled by an increasingly extremist left-of-center party that governs badly, fosters corruption and leads to a vacuum of effective authority in a way that makes large parts of the country incubators for crime.

The federal government, from that same party, one that has controlled much of the national agenda for over 80 years (even during the occasional period that the party has been out of power) is a centralized authoritarian state governing a decreasingly independent federation, practices “socialism lite”, and carries it out badly.

So when anti-Trump protesters demand we “Make America Mexican Again” – well, for vast swathes of this country, ese tren salió de la estación.

And To The Banana Republic For Which It Stands

While our professional ninny class was jabbering about the Second Amendment (almost entirely to try to gin up enthusiasm for a geriatric white woman this November), America actually, quietly, and with the nodding approval of an ignorant majority, became an actual police state.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that evidence found by police officers after illegal stops may be used in court if the officers conducted their searches after learning that the defendants had outstanding arrest warrants.

The Fourth Amendment is as near-death today as the Second was thirty years ago, and for pretty much the same reasons; political expediency.

We, the people, brought the Second back to life. Who’s going to do it for the Fourth?

UPDATE:  The more I read about the actual case, Utah v. Strieff, the more nuance I see in the majority decision.

Which doesn’t change the fact that the Fourth Amendment has been beaten to a pulp this past 50 years.

In Case You Hadn’t Had Enough Good News Today

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When Central Americans sneak across the border to the US, the ones who get caught claim asylum as refugees.  That entitles them to due process which means a hearing on their claims.  Except the courts are backed up for years. 

We don’t keep refugees in concentration camps at the border, we release them on their own promise to appear.  And being potential refugees, they’re immediately eligible for welfare, plus they can work pending the hearing, and the US Government pays their way to be resettled across the nation while awaiting the hearing.

The Orlando gunman worked for the company that has the contract to provide the transportation.

 Joe Doakes

Well, at least he’s not working at an airport…

oh, crap.

The Green Line Of Death: All Is Proceeding Exactly As Predicted

Two years after it first “rolled” out, the results of the “Green Line” train between the downtowns are, put diplomatically, “mixed”:

As Metro Transit’s $957 million Green Line project marked its second anniversary on June 14, even die-hard transit advocates acknowledge jobs, housing and commercial development have been a mixed bag.

“I think we’re on a great track with housing, and we always knew that housing was an area that would grow first,” said Mary Kay Bailey, director of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

Well, of course they knew that housing was an area that’d grow first; it’s being subsidized by various levels of government.

If you pay people to do something, someone’ll probably do it.

“But I think it’s time to keep our eyes on job growth. … We want to see it improve with more job-focused development. That’s an important piece for us as a city.”

While Minneapolis and St. Paul have increased their job base by 7 percent since 2011, the collaborative found that job growth averaged less than half that along the Green Line corridor, with wide variation from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some segments of the Green Line have yet to regain jobs lost since light rail construction began nearly six years ago.

The article mentions not a word about the crime rate in the neighborhood.  I’m not going to blame reporter Frederick Melo for that just yet – he does a generally conscientious job of covering Saint Paul.

But while the city’s various spokespeople will downplay it for all they’re worth, the general sense in the neighborhood is that crime is up, especially south of Thomas Avenue, four short blocks north of University.  And one undeniable fact – which, to be honest, may be a fluke; only time will tell – is that many of the city’s murders this year have happened up and down University Avenue.   Of course, it’s early to tie that statistically to the train  (notwithstanding one victim who literally died alongside the tracks last March) – but when you see smoke, it’s not unreasonable to think there’s a fire down there somewhere.

Pass

My mom worked at a nursing school. My niece is a NICU nurse.  I have quite a few nurses among my closest friends.  

So it’s hard not to say “I have all the sympathy in the world for the nurses that are striking at the various Alina hospitals”.

So I will let Larry from “Very Angry Bird” say it for me:

Normally, I am very sympathetic to anyone who is affected by the treachery and deceit of ObamaCare. The only ones who escape by shoulder to cry on are union types who supported ObamaCare when it was first being hatched. Since most unions are Democratic strongholds, the nurses union all supported ObamaCare. To put it in old west terms – they now know what it is like to be shot with their own gun.

nurses are wonderful people – but the nurses union is as hard left as the SEIU. The union jumped up and down and did cartwheels for Obama, and Obamacare, eight years ago.

Now, as the “Affordable Care Act” makes healthcare I’ll truly unaffordable for millions – exactly as predicted – the union is trying to insulate itself and its members from the policies that the union supported, worked for, and donated its members ‘money to.

Sorry, nurses. You lost me on this one.

Good Customers With Guns

While the pundits and talking heads make fervid proclamations about the Second Amendment – something many of them really just don’t get – the free market is voting with its feet:

“After getting robbed twice over the last three months, the owner of a Shell gas station in Sauk Rapids wanted to get more customers during the evening, hoping it would improve safety,” kstp.com reports. “Last week, station owner Frank Schwagel offered a 10-cent-per-gallon discount for law enforcement or people with proof of permit to carry after 7 p.m. each day.”

I’ve got four trips through the area planned between now and the end of October.   I’ll make a point of stopping at Schwagel’s store – even before 7PM, with no discount – to support them.  I hope you will too.