Return Of The DFL Dictionary

One of the features that originally put this blog on the map was “The DFL Dictionary” – a list of the Democrat party’s perversions of the English Language.

It occurs to me – the feature hasn’t been updated in close to eight years.

So today I’m going to start working on an update

New Terms:  Here are some of the new terms I’d like to try to define:

  • Rape Culture
  • Safe Space
  • Trigger
  • Systemic Racism
  • Black Vulnerabilty
  • cultural normalcy
  • Vagenda of Manocide
  • Mansplaining
    Patriarchy
  • Voter Suppression
  • Wage Gap
  • Consent Text
  • Privilege
  • Cisgender
  • Shaming
  • Police Brutatily / Police Overreach
  • Race based
  • Hands Up Don’t Shoot
  • “Justice” (saka “Racial Justice”)
  • “Oppressor”
  • Social Justice Warrior
  • Privilege
  • Appropriation
  • Supremacy
  • Xenophobic
  • Misogynistic

I’m open for new definitions of these terms (and I have a few myself, but most of you are smarter than me).   If you’ve got a definition or two, throw ’em in down in the comment section.

And then…:

What Have I Missed?:  I know I’ve missed some terms.  Throw ’em in down in the comment section!

When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife

In the past, we’ve spent some time beating up the group “Minnesota Gun Rights” – a group based in Iowa, affiliated with the National Association of Gun Rights.  NAGR’s affiliates nationwide have a fairly cohesive strategy:

  1. Lead with a lot of no-compromise rhetoric – often on non-issues – on cheap social media.
  2. Use that rhetoric to raise a lot of money.
  3. Claim credit for other groups’ work to raise more money.

We see this yet again this cycle.

MGR is flogging this ad on social media:

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-7-06-08-am

With this caption:

Senator Rod Skoe voted AGAINST pro-gun Constitutional Carry legislation! Add your name to those demanding he apologize for betraying gun owners!

APOLOGIZE, Sen. Skoe!

Now, Rod Skoe is a DFLer – but he’s about as outstate a DFLer as you can get.  He’s been solidly pro-2nd-Amendment.  He’s one of the linchpins of the gun movement’s bipartisanship (outside the 494-694 ring) in this state.  He’s one of the good guys, and always has been. 

Oh, yeah – and there never has been a vote on “Constitutional Carry” (which would make the 2nd Amendment your carry permit) on the floor of the Minnesota Senate.   Or, to the best of my recollection, the House.  A quixotic Constitutional Carry bill from Brandon Peterson died in committee, I think, last session – but that was it.

If Minnesota Gun Rights says it, its probably false.

 

Pre-Written

Did Chelsea Clinton take a private jet to a “clean energy” conference that was a mere five hour drive (or one-hour commercial flight) away?

Oh, what do you think?

The Clinton campaign promised during the Democratic primary that their entire operation would be “carbon neutral” and had some friendly reporters write stories about how even campaign manager John Podesta took the bus.

The campaign doesn’t talk about that pledge much anymore, given the how much the Clintons love flying on private jets, presumably out of class envy.

Here’s the problem; after 15 years of writing a blog, I’m running out of synonyms and other ways to write “some animals are more equal than others”.  One can only quote Solzhenitsyn so many times, if only because one only rarely spells Solzhenitsyn correctly.

 

Misplaced

President Obama unveils an unseemly snobbery:

On Sunday’s season premiere of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” the president discussed food and foreign policy over noodles with the celebrity chef in Vietnam…“Is ketchup on a hot dog ever acceptable?” Bourdain asked the leader of the free world in an episode taped in May.

“No,” the president quickly responded. “I mean that … that’s one of those things like, well, let me put it this way, it’s not acceptable past the age of 8.”

Bam. Obama out.

Mr. President; you’re eating a hot dog.   Pretension is misplaced.

La Generalissima

On her Twitter page, Minneapolis city Council woman Alandra Conno refers to herself as a “Third World feminist” – or did, before she blocked me for questioning her thuggish ways last winter, when she published personal addresses, emails and phone numbers of her critics who had written her on the city of Minneapolis website.

I couldn’t speak to the “feminist” part, but Conno certainly has the basics of banana republic tactics down; her response to the ethics charges that came out of the episode last winter (on which My coverage led the entire Twin Cities media) is a big game of “I know you are, but what am I, and if you say anything I’m going to her you twice as hard and quote.
No my coverage led the entire Twin Cities media) is a big game of “I know you are, but what am I, and if you say anything I’m going to her you twice as hard and quote.

No, really:

“I disagree with the findings and have kept screenshots of the ways other Council Members, including CM Frey (Ward 3), Bender (Ward 10), Glidden (Ward 8), Abdi (Warsame, Ward 6) and others have used city property for ‘political purposes.’” She goes on, threatening to “speak out against the vote and circulate a press release to the media about the issue with the screenshots I’ve gathered since January of 2016” if the Council moves forward with approving the Ethics findings.

John Edwards of Wedge Live responds:

Cano responded to the stories about her email on Facebook, saying: “When a person of color speaks up, it should not be misconstrued as a “threat” to society, it should be respected as their truth.” Whatever Cano’s intent, the reason people interpreted her email as a threat, is because she constructed it that way: if you vote against me, I’ll put out a press release with incriminating screenshots. This is not to say Cano can’t make an argument that she’s being singled out unfairly, or that she can’t produce evidence to support her defense. But if she was trying to make that argument, she obscured it by writing an email that looked like blackmail.
Alondra Cano really has been the target of vicious racist attacks because of her support for BLM. Separate from those vile attacks, Council President Barb Johnson and some of Cano’s other colleagues really have gone out of their way, to a sometimes comical degree, to trash her in the local media. But it’s also true that Cano picks too many unnecessary battles, irritating her colleagues in a way that transcends race and ideology.

That an elected member of a party with sole control of a major city thinks she can complain about others’ “privilege” is a laugh riot.

And while she may or may not be a “third world feminist”, she’s certainly got the Chicago tinhorn ward-heeler thing down.

Ineluctible Math

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Before 6,000 Somali Muslims were imported to St. Cloud, a town of 60,000 souls, nobody with a knife attacking shoppers while quizzing them on their religion or talking about Allah.

 One might be tempted to think that the first thing led to the second, but that would be an example of the logical fallacy post hoc ergo prompter hoc.  Fortunately, the media and political leadership wisely avoids drawing any such conclusions.  The attacker’s motive may never be known.  

 Even if this does turn out to be an act of Muslim terrorism as the Muslim terrorist group ISIL claims, the terrorist probably was simply another member of Local 473 of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves so nothing to worry about, St. Cloud has the capacity to absorb more terrorist attacks.

Joe Doakes

Isn’t it amazing how tolerant the media and political class get about peoples’ motives, when there’s a whiff of ethnic/religious terrorism involved?

A Heart-Acheing Work Of Staggering Genius

Writing at Vulture.com, Caryn Rose ranks all 314 Bruce Springsteen songs 1 from worst to first.

First things first:  Rose found a break on one of the primary laws of Springsteen-fandom; there actually is a song worse than “Mary, Queen Of Arkansas” (from 1973’s Greetings From Asbury Park).  I won’t ruin the surprise.

But otherwise, it was a herculean job.  And by the time you get to the top 100, it had to be hard to rank ’em.  But she did a decent job.

I said “decent”. Not perfect.   There is no way “41 Shots” (#22) outscores “She’s the One (#24), among many other examples.

I’m here for the perfect.  I’ll do the real top 10.

  1. Born to Run
  2. Darkness on the Edge of Town
  3. This Hard Land
  4. Racing In The Street
  5. Thunder Road
  6. The Promised Land
  7. Rosalita
  8. The River
  9. Night
  10. Atlantic City

Still, a noble – and needed – effort.

1 That is to say, songs written by Springsteen that appeared on commercial releases.   Sorry, Seeger Sessions and forty years of “Steel Mill” bootlegs.

Spoils

I can not conceal my joy at the death of Gawker, the website that did more than any other to make the internet useless.

Hulk Hogan – who pulled off the nearly-impossible by winning a defamation case against Denton while still a public figure – is reveling in the spoils of his victory.  And while I’ve never given a rat’s damn about professional wrestling, I say “good on him”.

In the meantime, Denton’s media buddies are circling the wagons, funding (after a fashion) a fellowship to report on Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley innovator and billionaire who helped fund Hogan’s suit.

Or maybe you think that the public could benefit from better understanding of Thiel’s bold, nuanced vision of free speech.

“I want to help the CPJ defend the rights of online journalists,” Thiel has previously stated, announcing his substantial support for the Committee for the Protection of Journalists. That support overlapped with the time PayPal famously froze WikiLeak’s account at the request of lawmakers, and before he was revealed to have secretly bankrolled a series of lawsuits to bankrupt the independent publisher Gawker, an act he called “one of my greater philanthropic things that I’ve done.”

Dear mainstream media; “free speech has consequences, if it’s defamation” isn’t “nuanced”.

Brown Bag Nation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Post makes a discovery.  About 20 years behind the rest of the nation, but yeah, lunch is expensive.  How is this possible, since there’s no inflation under the Obama administration?  The article doesn’t say.

The correlation between price and the decline in visits is a revelation to the Post but glaringly obvious to me.  Prices have shot way up.  Three years ago, the Golden Arches offered several value meals for under $5.00.  Now there aren’t any, most are in the $7.00 range.  A 40% price increase is noticeable to guys like Joe Shlabotnik, whose disposable income has not kept pace.  So he packs a lunch from home, which pointy-headed economists call “substitution” but which everybody else calls “the new normal.”

 More proof of the utter disconnect between coastal elites and fly-over country hicks.  We knew about this years ago; they’re just now figuring it out.  So who are the real dummies?

 Joe Doakes

Rhetorical question, right, Joe?

Contrast

National Public Radio spent the weekend essentially on wall-to-wall coverage of the Smithsonian’s African-American History Museum over this past weekend.

And other than the spectacle of the President of the United States trying affect an Alabama accent, the event – and the museum – sounded interesting, and very much worth a stop the next time I’m in DC.  Whenever that might be.

In stark contrast stands the Minnesota African-American museum, which, notwithstanding three million dollars in various kinds of financing, grants and gifts, has been auctioned off to satisfy creditors:

The latest chapter in a complicated, seven-year tangle of funding struggles and work disputes took less than two minutes in an auction held Tuesday at a counter in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office. Attorneys for the construction, plumbing and electrical companies that had previously won a court judgment for unpaid work at the museum joined together to purchase the property for $1.3 million: the total amount a judge found that they are owed. The group was the sole bidder at the public auction.

Supporters of the museum are now trying to strike a deal with Minneapolis Community and Technical College to display some items and exhibits, but the museum is without a permanent home — and some financial backers are out thousands of dollars in investments.

Leaders of the museum have not spoken publicly about their plans. The museum’s president, Nekima Levy-Pounds, declined to comment and its last executive director, Lissa Jones, could not be reached for comment. Other prominent supporters, including founder Roxanne Givens and state Sens. Bobby Joe Champion and Jeff Hayden either declined to discuss the museum’s sale or could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

It might be possible to look at the facts of this episode and not conclude that the whole thing was a means of transferring wealth from taxpayers and non-profits to favored members of the political class.

I’m not sure how you get there, but it’s possible.

Near As I Can Tell…

…at about this time last year there was exactly one pundit, anywhere in the US or elsewhere, that predicted Donald Trump would win the GOP nomination; heck, I know of only one who predicted Trump would make it past Christmas.

He also happens to be one of America’s painfully-few business writers who are worth reading; Scott Adams, cartoonist and creator of Dilbert.

He was also pretty much alone, last spring, in predicting Trump would win the presidency.  And like all predictions, that one is still very much a long shot.

But Adams has switched his endorsement – comical as it is – from Hillary to Trump.

And as little as I’ve personally ever cared for Trump’s public persona, Adams explains something about The Donald that I do get, and that most of our media and chattering classes are too myopic to understand:

5. Pacing and Leading: Trump always takes the extreme position on matters of safety and security for the country, even if those positions are unconstitutional, impractical, evil, or something that the military would refuse to do. Normal people see this as a dangerous situation. Trained persuaders like me see this as something called pacing and leading. Trump “paces” the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to “lead,” which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump look scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That’s how I see him.

So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a “fascist,” the answer is that he isn’t one. Clinton’s team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump’s “pacing” system is not obvious to the public. They see his “first offers” as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique.

Most pundits have never had to negotiate anything beyond their salary – and that rarely works out well, these days, either.  In any case, too many of our chattering class believe that what Obama, Clinton and Kerry did in Iran, North Korea and Ukraine was “negotation”.  It was – in the same sense that Rodney King’s interaction with the police was.

I’m still not a fan of Trump’s public persona.  I still think his election is a long shot.

But then, like all of the A-through-Y-list pundits above me, I’ve been wrong about everything else, this cycle.

The Economics Of Duh

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals think 2% inflation is a good thing, it keeps the economy growing.

That’s insane.

The definition of “money” is “a store of value.”  The whole point of using a monetary system instead of a barter system is to maintain the

value of money.  Inflation erodes the value of money.

If there’s 2% inflation and you get no cost-of-living adjustment in your wages, then at the end of the year you can buy 2% less stuff because the

money you earn isn’t enough to buy the same amount of stuff at the new, higher prices.  Everybody knows this but they accept it because we’re

conditioned to accept it.

Suppose instead there was 0% inflation, but your employer cut your wages 2% each year.  End result would be the same – the smaller amount money

you earn isn’t enough to buy the same amount of stuff.  But would people shit a brick?  Damned right.  They’re working just as long, just as

hard, but they’re losing ground.

To me, it’s so obvious I want to scream.  How can Liberals not see this?

Joe Doakes

“Liberal economist” is another word for “economic phrenologist”.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

Trevor Noah – who inherited “The Daily Show” from Jon Stewart – took a swipe at the restaurant in Lonsdale that had the infamous “Muslims Get Out” sign (which may have been less a matter of “hate” than “crummy editing”, by the way).

Noah (with emphasis added):

You know what’s also strange is this man genuinely thought people who go around blowing people up would be stopped by a sign? You realize you’re talking to terrorists, not vampires. They don’t need to be invited in, alright? Or maybe he’s onto something, because if you think about it, we’ve never tried that. We’ve never actually tried to repel terrorists with signs.

Sure we have.  But I digress.  Noah:

Yeah, maybe that’s all the airports need is a sign that says “No Terrorists,” yes? Yeah, and then guys are going to be walking going, “Oh, I was going to blow up the airport, but the rules are rules and they said I can’t come in. They said I can’t. They said I can’t come in.”

So, Trevor Noah: you’re saying that putting up a sign that impugns the vast, innocent majority, doesn’t actually prevent evil people from carrying out their plans, then?

According to Trevor Noah, the Mall of America might not be completely safe in perpetuity because of these signs. This could cause problems, couldn’t it?

Huh.  Let’s continue to explore this, Trevs.  Have your people call my people.

After they sweep your jaw up off the floor.

Shocked. Shocked, I Tell You.

I held off talking and writing about the Cascade Mall shooting on Friday, where a man the media immediately and hopefully desdribed as “Hispanic-looking” killed five at a Macy’s.

LIke any good Mitch Berg, I observed Berg’s 18th Law (“Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.”), believing with sickening certainty that the shooter would be a Muslim with extremist sympathies, and believing in a somewhat more sarcastic vein that the shooter would be a Democrat.

And while we’re still technically under the boundaries of Berg’s Law, I just have to say;  Check:

A suspect in a mass shooting at a Washington state mall is arrested in Oak Harbor, Wash. (Twitter/Gerry Oliver)

Island County Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Hawley told reporters that he spotted Cetin near the suspect’s home in Oak Harbor, around 30 miles due west of the mall. Hawley said he immediately recognized Cetin as the suspect, turned his patrol car around and arrested Cetin without incident.

Arlan Cetin is an immigrant from Turkey.   While I may be a deplorable conservative, I do know Turkey is not “Hispanic”.

And although it’s premature to make the jump, the FBI is not ruling out terrorism.

And, er, check on the third point:

I’ll insert the usual disclaimers:  the vast majority of Muslim immigrants are perfectly fine people and good Americans.

Hillary voters, on the other hand…

 

Exodus

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

Joe’s got some good ideas…

…but when you combine a “one size fits all” model of education, combined with a system that is designed to provide sinecures for the ruling political class’s care and feeding much more than “educating” people (despite the best efforts of a lot of teachers), what do they expect?

Or, more importantly, what do they expect you to expect?

Our Name Will Never Die, This NARN Will Be Forever

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

I’l be on from 1-3PM today this afternoon.

  • I’ll be talking with former state senator Brian LeClair about early voting, which is starting…well, early.
  • Also – that sign in Lonsdale.

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!

Fear The Walking Sheep

Millennials are vexing their baby boomer elders/bosses by breaking ranks on the mother of all individual rights issues – gun control.

The millennial generation just isn’t buying the BS:

The article – by millennial filmmaker Jesse Winton – explores a number of theories for this phenomenon, both Winton’s own and some of the inevitably condescending, laughable ones from the big media.

I’ve got my own theory.

If “The Walking Dead” and its various spinoffs aren’t the #1 cable show among millennials, they’re certainly on the short list.  They – and the popularity of dystopian literature, TV and films ranging like “The Hunger Games” franchise through the popularity of frayed-around-the-edges entertainment from “Batman” through “Narcos” – reflect a whole different attitude about the world, and at least some subconscious view of the future, than previous generations had.

But the popularity of “Walking Dead” in particular – on its surface, a story about a zombie apocalypse, which is really a meditation on human nature in a world without external order (similar to Trulbert, although my book used satire rather than exploding zombie brains as its medium) – should tell us something about millennials’ view of the world; they see, consciously or not, that “order” is an artificial and paper-thin construct when things go very very off the rails.

I had that same moment, 35 years ago.   It was long after the glory days of the zombie B-movie, and decades before “Walking Dead”.  My ‘ZOMPOC” moment was reading Alas Babylon by Pat Frank – the story of a small central Florida town in the middle of a Cuban Missile Crisis gone horribly, cut off from the world and left to its own devices.  The book – which I read when I was still a liberal, and still more or less in favor of some sort of gun control – and the years of observing human behavior since then, in one disaster after another, left me with the ineluctable conclusion; while humans are supremely capable of self-organization, there will be some segment of the population whose self-organization will be to prey off the rest of the world.

In disaster after disaster – from acute crises like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, to the LA riots, to the ongoing collapses of order in places like Detroit, Oakland, Saint Louis and the less fashionable parts of Chicago – it became clear that trusting “society” to take care of you was a pollyannaish abdication of your responsibility to yourself, your family, and your society.

I think millennials – entering the workforce at a time when the things previous generations had seen as guarantees were just not happening – have questioned a lot of the assumptions that lead the smugger, more entitled parts of our society to embrace disarming the law-abiding.

Because the world is always throwing zombies of one type or another at us;  history is spectacularly unkind to the idea that there’ll be a Rick Grimes riding to your rescue, always and forever.

So Let Me Get This Straight

Australia bans vast swathes of political and cosmetically inconvenient guns – drawing the favorable attention of Barack Obama and Hillary Herself.

Thing is, Australia never really had a “gun problem”.  They had a couple of mass shootings, to which the political class responded with pure emotion.

And now?  Years after they banned most politically-charged weapons?  Well, who’da thunk it, they have a gun problem.

(The kind where criminals have guns, and use them on each other and on their innocent victims.  Not the “law-abiding citizens can protect themselves” kind of “gun problem” that so exercises Minnesota’s “gun safety” community).

Exhibit A

There are many, many reasons smart Second Amendment activist suppose a national firearms registry; only the law-abiding will register, it’s a natural and essential tool to use in confiscation, and whenever the left says anything about guns, including “nobody’s coming for them”, you can be sure that they will come for them the moment they get the power.

But there’s also this.

This Guy Hunts Down Pedophiles and Beats Them With a Hammer

Whenever you are on a government list, you are only as safe as the dumbesand least ethical  government employee allows you to be.

Mystery!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 

Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

I’m not saying “Making the schools crappy” was a diabolical DFL plot to make conservative-leaning people leave Minneapolis and Saint Paul, to consolidate control forever in the hands of the DFL.

But if it were their plan, how would it be working any differently?

The Club

Say what you will about Michael Brodkorb (and when I say “say what you will”, I don’t actually mean in the comment section of this post; I realize many of you really really don’t like the guy, and I get it, but that’s also not the subject of this thread; I have heard your objections and noted them)

But like Brodkorb or hate him, there’s little way around the conclusion that he was instrumental in breaking open the Grazzini-Rucki parental kidnapping case, for which Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced yesterday.   He did, in fact, the sort of thing that “journalists” used to see as their goal; telling stories – the whole stories – and comforting the afflicted by righting the wrongs against them.

Which is, of course, not what modern “journalism” is about.   Yeah, they have a political outcome in mind, naturally, at least at an institutional level – but for an awful lot of “journalists”, the biggest goal seems to be keeping their status as society’s “high priests of information” intact against the interlopers.

One of the lower high priests for the past thirty years has been Brian Lambert.  And he breaks down the “journalists’ conundrum; to hail someone who may have done one of the few notable works of actual journalism in Minnesota in recent years, or to admit that someone who “journos” regard as politically unclean (not so much for his present activities  as for his previous life as a no-holds-barred GOP operator, for which there is no statute of limitations) is not only one of them, but better at it than most of them?

Brian Lambert at the MinnPost is like most journalists, only moreso; while most Twin Cities “journalists” merely don’t have any conservatives in their daily social circles, Lambert has had an actual toe in DFL politics (he was hired to be then-Senator Mark Dayton’s press guy right in time for Dayton to leave office).

And Lambert runs down the real conundrum that Brodkorb presents the media:

The circus aspect of the [Grazzini-Rucki] case aside, the episode highlights a question asked more and more frequently as the business of news gathering fragments away from just a few major institutions and into the hands of activist citizens, people with more time and interest in a given story than traditional news organizations.

And that question is (with emphasis added by me)…:

Specifically, if Michael Brodkorb was practicing journalism by reporting steadily on the Grazzini-Rucki matter, is he then in effect a journalist entitled to First Amendment protections and collegial support afforded normal reporters?

In other words, can he go from not just a mere citizen, but a formerly very trayf one, to joining The Club?

And if so, why haven’t more journalists come to his defense in the wake of the restraining order, which among other things, he says, has left him confined to Dakota County this past week and taking calls from police for things he’s written since the order went out?

My guess – and let’s be honest, it’s more than just a guess – is because Brodkorb worked for “the bad guys”, and ate “the good guys'” lunch.

In fact, we get it in almost as many words:

Speaking for himself, Joe Spear, managing editor of the Mankato Free Press and the [Society of Professional Journalists’] current secretary, has some sympathy for Brodkorb’s predicament but agrees with the SPJ’s official decision to wait until after Thursday’s hearing before making a statement on the matter.

“It does appear [Brodkorb] was acting as a journalist, at least in some capacity. Although not in the same capacity as if he was working for the Star Tribune or another organization.

The hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with an axe.  Not only is the First Amendment not a toy reserved for people who get a check from a newspaper – it’s a right “of the people”, not “of people who work for the right organization”…

…but this is the same “Society of Professional Journalists” that gave an award to Karl Bremer, an irascible crank whose only real “journalistic” accomplishment was stalking Michele Bachman.  The award, by the way, was for…stalking Michele Bachmann.

No, I’m not exaggerating; here’s Lambo’s long-time colleague David Brauer:

Bremer uncovered stories about Bachmann that the mainstream media missed and later got around to reporting, Brauer said.

“You can argue that his pursuit of Michele Bachmann was at times obsessive and excessive, but, really, I think … we need approaches like Karl’s,” Brauer said. “We need people to remind us that journalists can be hellraisers and rabble rousers and opinionated. He added facts to the debate.”

In other words, Karl Bremer did exactly what Michael Brodkorb did – covered something the mainstream media didn’t (or, in the case of stalking Michele Bachmann, couldn’t do while maintaining an illusion of decorum).

But Bremer covered the right people, while Brodkorb largely bedeviled the “journalists’s” drinking buddies and in many cases, let’s be honest, future employers.

We wouldn’t be having this discussion if Brodkorb hadn’t switched his sights to Keith Downey.

Oh, and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.