Memorial Day, 2016

For this Memorial Day, I reprise I piece I wrote two years ago. I still like it.


There are many of them; well over a million men and women have died in the service of this country, in wars big – the Civil War, World War 2 – and small (the Philippine Insurrection, Desert Storm).

And their memory – and the ones that lived, and are with us – deserve a world of thanks.

A friend of this blog – a Navy veteran, as it happens – posted this on Facebook late last week:

Good morning all! It’s Memorial day weekend again.

Instead of exhorting patriotism and thankfulness from folks who don’t want to hear it I’d like to remind you that our government is keeping tabs on all of us. They are flying drones over our homes and collecting our communications. There are cameras *everywhere* taking our pictures, recording our movements. Our local police are now a military force, equipped with heavy weapons and armor. If you have made any firearm related purchases, or frequent arms related websites, your name is on a list. If you happen to belong to a conservative political group, the IRS has your number, but don’t feel left out Lefties, sooner or later they’ll get around to you too. If this situation is not OK with you, what have you done about it? Written anyone? Called anyone? Shown up in person anywhere to get in your legislators grill?

If you don’t care enough to protect the freedoms so many have died for, please don’t post a bunch of smarmy pictures & canned slogans; I don’t want to hear it.

There’s a place for the simple and the sentimental, of course…

…but the writer is correct; the real challenge facing those of us who haven’t died in the service of this country is to make sure that this country is worthy of their sacrifice.  To make sure that those who died to preserve freedom didn’t die in vain.

Those who founded this country knew perfectly well that the greatest threats to this nation’s freedom weren’t from overseas.

The writer wrote the piece in honor of a comrade…:

CWO3 Mike Sheerin; missing you today brother. Not many left around to pick up the slack you left; nobody at all to fill the shoes.

We’ve been blessed with just the right people to pick up the slack when they’ve been needed.

And these days, we all have slack to pick up.


Not only has that message not changed in two years – it’s redoubled.

“Something’s Wrong With Our Bloody Ships Today”, Part I

The term “arms race” is almost – sort of – falling into disuse these days.

I’m sure it won’t last forever.

Those of us of a certain age well remember the ultimate arms race – the race to build nukes  between the US, the USSR, China, and their various proxies and allies in the Cold War.  The goal of that arms race – it almost seems counterintuitive – was to build weapons that’d deter their use by others.  So far so good.

It wasn’t the first arms race.  Far from it.

But 100 years ago today, one of the history’s biggest, most expensive arms races was coming to a violent, explosive, and yet fitful and indecisive conlusion in the chilly waters of the North Sea.

And along with the arms themselves, and the men who worked them, other things were being weighed and found wanting; grand strategies, and the the technocrats who conceived them.

Brittania Rules The Waves:  In 1588, an armada from Spain attempted an invasion of England; the fledgling Royal Navy defeated and scattered it.  It was the kind of victory that launches – and did, indeed, launch – myths and legends around which nations build themselves.

And indeed, that’s what happened; for the next 350 years, the Royal Navy thwarted every attempt to invade Britain, and eventually became the glue that held together the British Empire, the tarp that’d smother any brushfires that might break out, and the shield that kept it safe from any who’d dare try to bite off a chunk.

The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 set the pattern for the next century; the British Navy, with no rivals anywhere on the planet, was in effect the world’s beat cop; with it, the British Army – highly professional by the standards of the day, and extremely small for the world’s dominant superpower – could be carried to the scene of the Empire’s countless little brushfire wars in safety, to fight with the aid of colonists, mercenaries and proxies to put down the insurrection.

At the twilight of the Age of Sail, as the technology of the iron cannon and the sail-powered ship drew to a close, the Royal Navy dominated territory that made Alexander and Rome’s legions green with envy.

Disruption:  Marketing weasels today are fond of talking about “disruptive innovation”.   And 21st century westerners are often of the conceit that we, here and now, live in an era of unparalleled disruption.

But the world between 1815 and 1865 went through a spasm of technological, cultural and social revolutions that were in many ways the underpinning of our entire world today (and I strongly recommend Paul Johnson’s The Birth Of the Modern to go into them in wondrous depth); from trousers (yes, a revolutionary development) to the consumer piano to the steam and internal combustion engines to the notion of serious art to the idea of direct election of representatives to the asphalt road to the to the rise of Social government to Edinburgh Renaissance to the mechanical analog computer, the age was perhaps the most amazing in history.

Several of those disruptions brought changes that threatened to completely disrupt the world order – indeed, some of them led to the changes that brought about World War I in the first place.

  • The rise of the European nation-state, replacing the dog’s breakfast of duchies and kingdoms with large, centrally organized nation-states.  Joining France (regaining strength in the century after Napoleon) and the Austro-Hungarian Empire (a weak “empire” whose energy largely went to trying to keep its myriad ethnic factions playing nice) were Italy, in a position to dominate the Mediterranean, and most of all Germany – industrious, industrial, culturally homogenous, and governed by a militaristic semi-constitutional monarchy nominally under a Kaiser but governed mostly by an authoritarian, militaristic bureaucracy, the new Germany set about becoming an industrial and military power; in humblingFrance in 1871, they showed themselves a serious contender.
  • The Ironclad Warship:  Field-tested in the American Civil War, the armored warship instantly made the vast fleets of wooden ships – like the Royal Navy of the day – obsolete.  (Not so much the steam engine; the British adopted steam with uncharacteristic speed).   Suddenly, nations that had been second or third-rate powers were, for a brief moment, on an even keel with the mighty Royal Navy; for a moment in the 1860s, the Brits were genuinely worried about the fleets of France and Italy, which briefly led them in ironclad technology, a gap made up only at great expense and with immense pain.
  • The Torpedo:   Ultimately even more revolutionary – the effects of this invention are still with us today.  Also field-tested in the Civil War, the original “torpedo” was an explosive charge on a long spar carried at the front of a small boat (as well as in front of the first submarine, the Confederate Navy’s “Hunley”).   It broached the prospect that small boats could sink the mightiest battleships – a prospect made starker just after the war, when a Briton, Robert Whitehead, working in Italy and Croatian, replaced the boats that carried the spar torpedoes, putting an engine behind the explosive charge, allowing the boat to shoot the torpedo from hundreds of yards away.
  • Cheap Steel:  Steel had been considered an almost-exotic material through most of human history.  Occurring in tiny amounts in nature, manufactured only with extreme difficulty, it was a scientific oddity and technological dream.   And so through the American Civil War, most of the world’s metallurgy – especially cannon and armor – was in iron and bronze.    That changed in the mid-1800s, as changes in technology made steel passably affordable and usable in the market – first for building smaller objects, like cannon, and eventually as a structural material.    While the age of the wooden ship lasted from the dawn of navigation to the 1850s, the age of the iron ship was perhaps two generations.    And as the world’s cannon switched from relatively soft, brittle iron to hard, durable steel, the power and range of the cannon rose exponentially – driving the ranges of cannon from hundreds of yards to, by the turn of the 20th century, the limits of visual range, heaving payloads that rose from 24-48 pounds in the 1820s to nearly a ton a century later.  And to use this range and power, the final innovation became vital:
  • Computing:  In our 70-year-old digital age, it’s hard to remember that for over a century and a half, computers were analog; gear spins, cam rotations, and rack and pinion movements in elaborate mechanical assemblies did what 1s and 0s do in your smart phone do today.

For roughly forty years, the world’s maritime powers tinkered with each of these technologies, trying various takes on the formula for the perfect warship.

And just a little over 100 years ago, all of these innovations came together in the form of the ship that was the currency of record for naval warfare for two generations.

It Dreads Nought;  In 1906, the British launched HMS Dreadnought – the first ship launched that tied all of these technological advances into one package, which would define what a “battleship” actually was, for the next 3-4 generations.  Designed by Admiral “Jacky” Fisher – one of history’s great naval architects and thinkers, whose greatest contribution to life today may have been the invention of the term “OMG” Dreadnought was a large, fast (by the standards of the day – 20 knots/24 mph) all-steel warship armed with a uniform battery of 12-inch guns (supplemented by a small group of 3-inch guns, intended to swat away torpedo boats), armored to withstand hits from the same-sized weapons (with special arrangements to try to negate torpedo hits); the big guns were aimed by a central mechanical fire-control “computer” that calculated a firing solution based on the Dreadnought’s speed and course, and it’s targets range, course, bearing and speed, as well as the wind, the temperature and the type of ammunition being fired, electromechanically linked to the gun and turrets, allowing the entire battery to be aimed  as a single group (controlled by a fire-control crew atop the ship’s mast, with the best visibility on the entire ship), and fired by single electrical button.

HMS Dreadnought

Which leads us to one of the myths this series focuses on; while the world credits the British battleship HMS Dreadnought as the first ship to perfect the formula, the Japanese and Americans had similar ships on the ways; the Brits finished Dreadnought weeks before the US launched  the South Carolina, ensuring that two generations of all-big-gun, turbine-powered battleships with heavy armor and centralized fire control would be called “Dreadnoughts” rather than “Southcarolinas”.

The USS Texas, the world’s last surviving first-generation Dreadnought. Built six years after the British ship, it served in both World Wars; it was borderline obsolescent even in World War I, but served in WWII as mobile invasion-support artillery, including a stint bombarding the D-Day invasion beaches.

And so the technology was there.  What remained was that national will to do something with it.

The Great Race:  With the world’s naval calculus completely reset for the second time in fifty years, the playing field was at least briefly leveled.  The world’s second-tier naval powers – France, the US, the Austro-Hungarians, Russia, Italy, and especially Japan – jumped into Dreadnought construction with both feet.   Even third-tier powers – Brazil, Argentina and Chile – began acquiring “Dreadnoughts” (bought, generally, from British shipyards).

But most of all, there was Germany.

SMS Kaiser, one of Germany’s 17 dreadnoughts. Although the German ships were fewer in number, they had some technical advantages; German armor steel was better than the Brits. And German propellant powder was more stable, and its handling equipment and procedures were better – as the Brits found out 100 years ago today to their immense chagrin.

The German state, run by militarist oligarchy that co-opted a long series of historical myths to drive German expansionism, had designs on being the most powerful nation in Europe, and to building a world empire.  It had gotten a fair little start – with important colonies in the Pacific, along the Chinese coast, and especially Africa.

And to make the empire viable, Germany needed a navy to protect the lines of communication between Germany and the colonies.

And while many powers – France, Austria, Italy, Russia, Japan – might conceivably take a run at a German colony, and might logically start by cutting the colony off from the Fatherland by naval action, there was only one power that could interfere with a nascent German empire, decisively and completely, anywhere in the world; Britain.

And with the playing field leveled by technology, Germany made its move.  The German state embarked on a building spree unlike any other in Europe.

The British, who’d been building dreadnoughts at a brisk pace to stay ahead of similar building in Austria, Italy, France, Japan and the US, reacted by making a national priority of countering, and exceeding, German production.

And so in the 1900s and 1910s, both nations engaged in a building frenzy that strained both nations’ treasuries to the brink.  Indeed, as World War I loomed, the Germans – facing the combined might of the British Navy and French Army (the British Army was deemed fairly negligible, an error that’d cost the Germans dearly in August, 1914) in the west and the immense Russian Army in the east – tried to negotiate a treaty with the Brits, guaranteeing British neutrality in a coming war, enabling Germany to dial back the hideously expensive naval building program to concentrate on the Army.  The British rejected the offer – although the building program was taxing even their immense wealth.

HMS Warspite, one of the British “Queen Elizabeth” class of “Superdreadnoughts” – with 15 inch guns that fired 2000-pound shells, the five ships were far superior than any German ship commissioned during the war. It’s seen here in its World War II configuration; it served in both wars with distinction – and suffered near-fatal damage in both. The ridges around the waterline are anti-torpedo bulges – standoff spaces to theoretically allow torpedo and mine explosions to lose some energy before hitting the armor plate inside the ship’s hull.

And so by the beginning of the war, Britain had 29 dreadnought battleships (and 20 “pre-dreadnoughts”, obsolete ships from the “tinkering” era) to the Germans’ 17 (plus 12 pre-dreadnoughts).  France added 10 to the Allied side; Austria-Hungary, four to the Germans’, all in the Mediterranean.

And 100 years ago today, these fleets of ships would meet their first, and only, test.

More tomorrow.

Summer’s Here And The NARN Is Right For Racing In The Street

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!

  • Senator Dave Osmek will join us to talk about the continuing cash suck that are our rail lines
  • Holly Harris will talk about the drug sentencing reform law that Governor Dayton signed.

Don’t forget – 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!

The Villain

Was the “school service officer” in this video – posted on Facebook yesterday, shot at Central High School in Saint Paul – the bad guy, using a lot of force to subdue a guy who, it’s claimed, had transferred to a different school and was back for some unspecified reason?

Or, as the school district said, was he just doing his job with an uncooperative, trespassing student?

None of us saw how this episode started.  And Black Lives Matter is involved – they had a rally at Central yesterday – so all sides are going to go into siege mode; we’ll never know.

And since we’ll never know, most would say it’d be most prudent to say we don’t know who the good and bad guys are in this video.

But we do. We most definitely do have a bad “guy”; the school staffer who swoops into the frame around 1:21, to tell the kid to stop taping what’s going on?

She’s the bad guy.

Pick Your Poison

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

C.S. Lewis’ famous quote:

 “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

 Seems appropriate for this election: Trump versus Hillary. 

 Joe Doakes

Although Sanders probably most perfectly fits the definition of “moral busybody”, as opposed to “self-aggrandizing megalomaniac” or “political robber-baroness”.

Lie First, Lie Always: The Media And Guns

Katie Couric’s “docoumentary” “about” “guns in America” has been busted engaging in misleading editing to try to embarass pro-Human-rights activists.

Here’s what appeared on Couric’s broadcast:

However, raw audio of the interview between Katie Couric and the activists provided to theWashington Free Beacon shows the scene was deceptively edited. Instead of silence, Couric’s question is met immediately with answers from the activists. A back and forth between a number of the league’s members and Couric over the issue of background checks proceeds for more than four minutes after the original question is asked.

Here’s the raw audio:

 

The first, most obvious lesson? If you’re a human rights advocate, and someone from the media actually deigns to speak with you, and they want to do it in recorded form – record the interview. You’ll have to do it surreptitiously – mainstream media people often demand to have complete control of the narrative. So record them anyway. You are more likely than not to bust them in a lie.

Why?

Because this category is called “Lie First, Lie Always”.

Under the Gun bills itself as a documentary that “examines the events and people who have kept the gun debate fierce and the progress slow, even as gun deaths and mass shootings continue to increase.”

Which they have not.

But you knew that.

The only surprise would have been had they not been caught lying.

Cap’n Jim

Word came this past week of the passing of broadcasting legend Jim Rohn – or, if you grew up within 100 miles of Fargo in the sixties and early seventies, “Captain Jim”:

Rohn got his start in 1946 on the radio at KSJB-AM in Jamestown following his service in World War II.

He was radioman/gunner on Navy dive bombers during the war.

A very young Rohn, in a KSJB head shot.

KSJB was the “enemy”, the station across Main Street from the station I grew up at.

After a few years, he moved to Fargo when sisterstation KXJB-TV was launched, where he was a fixture for many years as a weatherman, among other roles.

He was known to viewers who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s as “Captain Jim,” his persona in a children’s show, a name that stuck among viewers of a certain age for years afterward.

Captain Jim. It ran every afternoon from long before I was born until sometime after I had school in the afternoon.

 

Rohn also hosted “Polka Party” on Saturdays, dressed in a Bavarian lederhosen outfit.

“He was a real character,” said Al Aamodt, a veteran broadcaster at KVLY and KXJB’s Valley News Live.

I had lost track of Rohn when he left KXJB when I was in probably second grade – and was amazed to hear him on the air when I was driving through the Lakes area probably ten years back.

Don’t Mess With Texas Entrepreneurs

The city of Austin, Texas essentially ejected Uber and Lyft – the ride-sharing services that have been disrupting the urban transportation model – to protect the local taxi cartel.

Austinians – while continuing to elect the special-interest-sodden Democrat hamsters that have made Austin “the Minneapolis of Texas” – are not amused.

Remember – government regulations are always less about safety than about making sure government controls the graft industry:

Now that Uber and Lyft are gone, Austin—generally thought to be a tech-savvy city—has instead put itself on the map for its ham-fisted governance. The city’s response is only making things worse. Last week it held a job fair for out-of-work Uber and Lyft drivers, at which it encouraged drivers to get fingerprinted and sign up for the only remaining ridesharing company in town, a local app called Get Me…In other words, the city used taxpayer dollars to promote the one private ridesharing company that chose to comply with its onerous regulations.

Austinians are, instead, flocking to “black market” ride-share sources on Facebook and Craigslist.

Where “black market” = “market solutions that serve the actual need”.

Which is pretty revolutionary, isn’t it?

Security Pantomime

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Milo Yiannopoulos is a gay British man who holds right-of-center views.  He’s been invited to speak at several American colleges campuses and calls his trip the “Dangerous Faggot Tour” which gives you an idea of his wicked sense of humor.

 His speech at DePaul University was disrupted by Black Lives Matter hecklers as campus security did nothing to maintain order. 

 Found this comment on another site:

 “DePaul ‘Security’ was analogous to the hand waving sign language translator from the Nelson Mandela memorial.  You don’t have to actually do a job, you just wear the shirt and scowl a lot and they write you checks!  Cargo Cult Security ™.”

 I am SO stealing that phrase!

 Joe Doakes

You and me both, Joe.

Sharks Everywhere!

First things first:  I am pretty ambivalent about the Rest Room crisis.  I’ve joked that it’s a battle between hysterical ninnies on one side, and the smug, arrogant and complacent on the other.

But the “hysterical ninnies” have a point;  ambisexual restroom policies will give society’s thin residue of pervs one more avenue by which to exercise whatever urge overtakes them – in a society that, let’s be honest,  already offers them no shortage of venues.

So there’s a useful discussion to be had.

One of the most useless contributions to this discussion comes from “Dear Creepy Heterosexual Men Guarding Our Bathrooms”  a Facebook post by one Kasey Hodge (which has been breathlessly recirculated by a small army of others).

Sample excerpt:

So to those of you who think you’re being helpful by “protecting” me and my fellow women, you’re like a shark sitting in the Lifeguard chair. I wasn’t uncomfortable until you showed up at the pool and the only potential predator I see is you.

The most is being called “remarkable”, and Hodge “brilliant”, by a whole lot of people that, let’s be honest, we can’t expect to know better.

Now, I don’t disagree with a couple of Brilliant Kasey’s konclusions – that we need to end sexual violence *outside* bathrooms (does anyone seriously argue this?) and stop sexualizing children (some radical feminist agendas *do* dispute this, by the way) and that the restrooms are the least of our problems.    

But Briliant Kasey’s point of view – and the mass of fuzzy-thinkers who are golf-clapping it – concerns me on three levels.  

Four Billion “Sharks”:   Brilliant Kasey’s fear of heterosexual men seems to be misplaced and, let’s be honest, the kind of “overwrought” that takes a formal education to achieve. 

Think about it; when she calls the police, the odds are pretty good it’ll be men answering; the law of averages indicates 97% of ‘em will be heterosexuals (yep, there are female cops; when they wind up  in a jam with a bigger, badder bad guy, it’ll be the male cops who bail ‘em out).  When there’s a fire, it’ll be mostly males who go racing into the smoke (and yep, there are women on the fire department; when they can’t lift Brilliant Kasey’s obese uncle, it’ll likely be a guy who pitches in).  If she goes on a feminist drumming mission to Pakistan and gets kidnapped by the Taliban, it’ll be a bunch of males (straight and otherwise) who tramp through the mountains to find her.  

I have no doubt that she’s had a generation or two of professors and ideological matrons telling her that inside every straight male is a rapist just dying to get out.  

It’s a sick, offensive way of looking at 47% of the world. 

Inner Nature:  No civilized person would dream of telling a gay person to “shut up and act straight”.  Demanding people deny *what they are* is pretty barbaric.  

And yet Brilliant Kasey is mocking and denigrating males (including most gay ones) for exercising something what *they* are wired to be, by tens of thousands of years of evolution.   Evolution pretty much wires women to be nurturers, and men to be guardians (and “pretty much” is a surgically-precise qualifier, in this case; there are exceptions.  Please feel free not to spell them out when responding). 

Is that urge *arguably* misplaced in re the rest room controversy?  Arguably, maybe.   

So make *that* argument, Brilliant Kasey, rather than denigrate a strong plurality of humanity (with the enthusiastic, if deeply confused, agreement of much of this forum).   

Shut Up, Norman Lear:  Brilliant Kasey, apparently a high school student, perpetuates the myth that women are “oppressed” by – you get one guess, here – straight males.  This notwithstanding the facts that:

  • Those straight males grow up in a school system that systematically denigrates, and tries to medicate out of existence, “male” traits – aggressiveness, roughhousing, competition.  Go ahead, look at the Saint Paul Public Schools; “maleness” is a treatable condition in all but name!  Our school system spends 12 years very overtly trying to make boys act like girls.  “But wait!   Look at all the violence in our schools!”, you and Brilliant Kasey may respond.  That’s a *consequence* of this policy!   
  • Brilliant Kasey has a lot of female company at that school of hers; we’re on track to have between 60-66% of college degrees issued to women.   By the time young men decide whether or not to go to college, the education system has long since beaten any love of learning – or at least interest in schooling – out of them.  
  • One of the reasons feminists are bellowing more loudly than usual about “pay disparity” is that the claim has a shelf-life. In part because of the disparity in degrees among millennials, women below the age of 30 are earning *more* than men their age.  
  • While Brilliant Kasey has gone all splotchy with rage over the thoughtcrimes of heterosexual men, many of her sorority sisters are wondering where all the potential mates are.  Young men – disgusted and disillusioned by the social landscape they see – are opting to stay out of the whole “long term relationship” thing.  And getting blamed for it, natch – but by their mid-twenties, they’re pretty much used to that.  Some even revel in it.  
  • Let’s say Brilliant Kasey *does* overcome her fear of heterosexual men, and deigns to marry one.   Her spouse can look forward to a life of being considered guilty until proven innocent of any allegations of domestic abuse (men are guilty until proven innocent, although women initiate every bit as much domestic violence as men do), and, when Brilliant Kasey feels the need to “find herself” (again), an 80+% percent chance of losing his kids and most of what he *has* earned.  

And what happens after that lifetime of being denigrated, medicated, undereducated, underpaid, castigated, and legally excoriated?  Brilliant Kasey and her ideological wardens probably aren’t aware that male life expectancy has held steady, while it’s risen steadily for women.  It’d disrupt their narrative to note that while life is getting pretty good, or at least longer, for women, something’s amiss among the guys. 

If I were a betting man, I’d wager serious money that most responses to this will involve some variation on saying I’m “angry”, “fearful” or some such.  Just you watch.

I’m already laughing.  You’re been warned.  

Big Brah Is Watching

A longtime friend of this blog writes in re h this story, about Hawaii jumping ahead of San Francisco and Chicago in terms of leaning on the law-abiding gun owner; they plan to enter all the state’s legal gun owners into a federal database: 

Scary enough that they are targeting gun owners.  MORE scary that the database they are talking about already exists

I would be very interested in finding out who currently meets the criteria to be included in the “Rap Back” database and is already entered into that database without their knowledge or acquiescence.

The database – no doubt product of an earlier generation of hysteria – tracks “people in positions of trust” – school teachers, bus drivers and the like, allowing authorities to find out quickly if one of them is arrested for anything.

Sounds acceptable, right?

On its surface, maybe.  But to provision the list you need…what?

To know every gun owner in the state.  Meaning the State of Hawaii has the data they need to beat down any law-abiding citizen’s door when they change their mind about the Second Amendment.

The World Is Their Safe Space

Faux Feminist “writer” Lindy West blocks conservatives wholesale on Twitter.

How wholesale?

Even lowly little me, Mitch Berg, from the far frontiers of conservatism, am blocked.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 9.58.09 AM

I actually feel pretty jazzed about that.  Although I shouldn’t; West likely uses some sort of online ‘bot or another to block every account that references conservatism or libertarianism.

I guess I’m not that special after all.

It’s actually a sign of deep intellectual vapidity – being completely unwilling to deal with any form of dissent.  And it’s pretty much the norm on the American left’s social media.  Go ahead – try to leave a question with any leftist on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 10.03.24 AM

The account should be named “OnlyCertainPeople4Alondra”.

Or Facebook.

I got banned from Rep. Norton's page after asking her to come on my show to discuss her legislation.

I got banned from Rep. Norton’s page after asking her to come on my show to discuss her legislation.

Or on their blog, Youtube channel, Snapchat…

They want the whole world to be their safe space – or at least the only parts of the world they let near them.

A Fine Line Between Experiment And Lunacy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Immigrants are good for Minnesota: they bring us exciting new possibilities, interesting insights, exotic diseases such as tuberculosis.  

 “An alternative public health policy–one that the United States used for decades in the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century–is to test immigrants and refugees for infectious disease before they are allowed into the country.

 In that earlier era, those who tested positive were sent home. Today, however, many are welcomed in and pose a risk of infecting the rest of the American population.”

 So – is America a melting pot, or is it a Petri dish?

 Joe Doakes

Find a fondue joint.

See if there aren’t health and safety standards for them.

Then let’s talk.

As The Narrative Burns

A few weeks ago, Nekima Levy-Pounds went to the Minneapolis park and recreation board, and did what she does best; made a lot of noise, claiming the Park and Rec board was…

wait for it…

wait for it…

racist.

Unfortunately – according to the City Pages – the facts don’t exactly bear out her charges of  “Racism” against the park board (emphases added):

Parks and Rec breaks down its budget into North, Northeast, South, and Southwest service areas. North has 49 park properties and 59,119 residents, according to the 2010 census. Parks and Rec allocated $243 per person in north Minneapolis from 2010-14…During the same time, Southwest received $85 for each of its 120,376 people, and South received $83 for each of the 136,160 residents

Oh yeah, and the Park Board has big plans – and they don’t include the southside:

While parks all over the city will get some funding to maintain what’s already there, neighborhood parks in areas of concentrated poverty will be the only ones getting any funding for improvements — amenities like playgrounds, wading pools, fields — during the first five years.

Parks in wealthier neighborhoods won’t see a cent more than what it costs to prevent them from breaking down.

I’m not sure what the race-relations version of “all moo / no cow” is, but I’ll be looking for it.

Between The Lines

Yesterday was “Beyonce Day” in Minnesota.

Congratulations, Ms. Beyonce.

But the interesting part of the story was here (emphasis added):

In honor of Beyoncé’s performance tonight, Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith have proclaimed Monday, May 23, 2016, to be “Beyoncé Day” in Minnesota.

Huh.

So when was the last time you say the Lieutenant Governor specifically mentioned in issuing this kind of proclamation?

They’re preparing the battlefield for Dayton’s resignation, and for Flint-Smith’s appointment as Governor.

The more I think about it, the more I think the “after the Super Bowl” predictions for Dayton’s resignation were dead-on.

Unplanned Obsolescence

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Star Tribune playing the race card for Somali terrorists.  The reporter asks why there are no Blacks on the jury.  The reporter is stuck in a mental rut, asking the wrong question. 

 Americans are entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers, but what does that mean?  “Black” in the context of American racial relations means “descendant of African slaves.”  Those Blacks are supposedly entitled to special privileges as compensation for centuries of slavery and Jim Crow which included all-white juries convicting Blacks solely on the basis of race.  The courts have elaborate procedures to protect Black defendants’ right to a fair trial.

 “Black” in this context does not mean “anybody whose skin color is darker than mine.” Somali immigrants were never slaves in America, they never suffered under Jim Crow, they’re not entitled to special privileges as redress.  American Blacks might look upon Somali refugees as brothers-in-arms because they’re all struggling against The White Man; I sincerely doubt that Somali refugees look upon American Blacks as their peers.

 This trial is not about race, it’s about religion.  It’s not about Black, it’s about Islam.  Scott Johnson nails it.  But the Star Tribune reporter – terrified of mentioning Islam in an unfavorable light and stuck with Approved Victim categories established in the 1960’s – misses the point.

 Joe Doakes

The Strib editorial board cut its teeth in the sixties and seventies.

The world needs some eighties people running things.

Because I don’t think the 2000s and 2010s people are going to be much of an improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions XIV

Who Is Joe Doakes?  Is he just a pseudonym for…Mitch Berg? – I get this a lot.  I have to chuckle a good-natured chuckle when I do; I’ve written something like 20,000 posts on this blog over the years; I do not need a medium for additional writing on this blog.  That’d be like Rush Limbaugh coming up with some character voice to do another talk show.

Joe Doakes is in fact a pseudym for a local lawyer.  He writes under a pen name because – he’s a local lawyer.

That’s the whole story.

You used to read and report on what a lot of Democrat-leaning blogs were writing about.  You don’t so much anymore.  Why?   I waste less time by just subscribing to the Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota email blasts.

Some of your commenters have to be sock puppets:  Nope.  Never done it, never will.  Oh, it’s been tempting – the idea of abandoning my stentorian detachment under the cover of a fictitious identity and just cutting loose.  But no, ever done it.

Isn’t it high time you updated the DFL Dictionary?:  Oh, yeah  Great idea.  Stay tuned.   More to come shortly.

In your various pieces about “Protect Minnesota”, “Everytown” and “Moms Want Action”, you’ve referred to something called “ELCA Hair” to describe members of the groups.  What do you mean?  That’s a good question; it’s probably pretty opaque to people who aren’t familiar with liberal culture in Minnesota.

There’s something of a “uniform” among upper-middle-class white liberals in Minnesota.  This “uniform” – it’s got plenty of variations, but work with me here – generally includes:

  • a degree from Carlton, Saint Thomas, Macalester, Saint Olaf or the Humphrey Institute
  • a Volvo or Subaru, frequently coated with virtue-signaling bumper stickers
  • “ELCA Hair”.

“ELCA Hair” is, loosely, a hairdo prominent among upper-middle-class white members of the “Evangelical Lutheran Church of America”, a liberal Lutheran synod centered in Minnesota.

What is it?  Well, it’s easier to show than to tell.

This photo is almost a museum-piece of ELCA Hair, something that could appear in an anthropological exhibit:

Every person visible in this photo exhibits a flavor of “ELCA Hair” (except the woman at the microphone; Minnesota liberalism grants Jewish liberals  an exemption from ELCA Hair).  The ‘do is the most effective frame for a face that’s sagged into place from, and for, a lifetime of self-righteous scowling.

Let’s look next at the photo below.  There are several subspecies of “ELCA Hair” in this photo:

  • The young man on the left wears the cut acceptable for men below the age of about 34, provided they work for a non-profit.  At 35, they morph into the versions in the photo above.
  • The three women adjacent to him exhibit the ‘do deemed acceptable to women below roughly age 33.
  • The second woman from the left in the back row has just turned 35; she has hacked her shoulder-length hair off at the ears, apparently to keep her Whole Foods club card.

For men, it’s parted, just long enough to look a wee bit raffish and “counterculture”, just short enough to not draw attention.

For women?  It stands to reason that ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the leader of the denomination, has it,  And she surely does…:

(Bishop Eaton is a little bit unusual; most women with ELCA Hair go gray once they reach about 38 years old.  I suspect divine intervention).

Anyway – that’s it for today!

 

 

The DFL’s Praetorian Guard: Still Praetorian. Still Guarding.

What do the headlines say about the legislative session?

The Strib: the session “imploded“.

The PiPress:  It “collapsed“.

MPR:  It “melted down“.

All fairly passive verbs; imploding, collapsing and melting down are all actions without authors.

It’d be much more accurate to say the session was killed.  By the DFL.  For political reasons.

Choo Choo Trains Are The New “Shutdown”:  As of yesterday, the Legislature had reached an agreement on a Bonding Bill.   The bill had been through conference committee.  The DFL Senate and GOP House had agreed to a bill without funding the Southwest Light Rail Transit line – a big GOP promise.  The bill – as bills coming out of Conference Committee are supposed to be – was ready for the governor’s signature.  It was ready to be passed with no further fanfare, assuming both sides went at it in good faith, of course).

As always, the DFL did not.

Two Minute Drill:   With five, count ’em, five, count ’em again, five minutes left in the session, the DFL introduced an amendment reintroducing Southwest Light Rail into the Bonding Bill.

Could this be because the DFL really likes their trains, and really really wants to see the choo choo built to Eden Prairie?

Could be.

More likely?  As DFL legislative candidates are starting to fan out across the state, trying to woo voters in a year when they have a Presidential option not much more inspiring than Ole Savior, the DFL wanted to induce a crisis – the death of the Bonding Bill, funding one of this state’s precious few legitimate jobs – and turn around and blame it on the GOP.

So the Transportation Bill didn’t “implode”, “melt down” or “collapse”.   It was given a poison pill.  It was blown up.  It was shot in the face.

Preparing The Battlefield:  But by taking a murder and calling it an accident, the media gives the DFL, and their propaganda arm Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a wide-open playing field on which to romp and play with public perception of the issue.

Mission accomplished!

Stakes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Do religious organizations such as Little Sisters of the Poor have an obligation to provide morally repugnant procedures for their employees, in violation of the organization’s religious beliefs?  Must nuns provide for abortions?

 Supreme Court failed to decide, stuck 4-4, sent the cases back to federal courts for more findings.

Note the reporter carefully calls these “contraceptive services” as if we were talking about rubbers.  We’re not.  The Liberal definition of “contraceptive” equates to “birth control” which means “we control who gets born” which isn’t limited to rubbers, it includes killing infants before they’re born, i.e., abortion.  The Obama Administration wants to force Catholics to pay for abortions.

 Scalia. 

 The election.

 Joe Doakes

There are those who say “I can’t vote for Trump, on basic principle”.

My guiding principle is “don’t screw up the country”.

I don’t know what the answer is for this election, other than “not Hillary, ever”.

You Can NARN Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

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, I’ll be live at the MN state GOP convention.  Who will be on the show?  What’ll we be talking about?  Tune in!  I’ll probably know three minutes before you hear it!

Don’t forget – 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!

NARN-day I’ve Got Friday On My Mind

Tonight, we’ll be doing a special edition of the NARN, live from the GOP State Convention in Duluth, from 6-8PM!

Who will be on the show?  What’ll we be talking about?  We’ll be talking a fair amount about the goings-on at the GOP State Central Committee – and of course, the Judicial Elections Commission.

Don’t forget – 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!

Tricia Bishop: Let The Courage Of Your Convictions Guide You

Baltimore Sun “reporter” Tricia Bishop, on her way to admitting she worries less about criminals than law-abiding gun owners (in Baltimore.  I’ll let that bit of knot-headedness sink in), says:

And so, as President Barack Obama announced plans this week to tighten background checks for gun buyers and increase gun tracking and research, I thought, that’s all well and good, but how about adding something immediately useful: a gun owner registry available to the public online — something like those for sex offenders. I’m not equating gun owners with predatory perverts, but the model is helpful here; I want a searchable database I can consult to find out whether my kid can have a play date at your house.

Ms. Bishop:  First, how about we have a database of people who don’t like guns.  I mean, you’re the ones trying to shave away at the edges of a constitutional right – isn’t the burden of, well, being burdened, on you?

Why not let’s try this:  we put in in a public database that says:

I, TRICIA BISHOP, AM UNARMED AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE!

And maybe post one of these in your yard:

You do that for a couple years, we can talk.

 

Edumication

The next time some liberal friend of yours cites the Zimmerman-Martin shooting as a gross injustice – a “white man shooting an unarmed black child” – refer them to this long, but utterly impeccably researched series by the great Massood Ayoob.

Then sweep up the debris of their “argument”.

Side benefit; you’ll likely learn a lot yourself.

 

Assimodation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

State Senate passed an omnibus bill (not yet law).  Section 8, Article 28, starting at line 195.20, says:  

Sec. 28. IMMIGRATION INTEGRATION ADVISORY TASK FORCE.

(a) The Immigration Integration Advisory Task Force is created to research state laws

and rules that negatively affect immigrants. The task force is composed of the following:

(1) five members appointed by the governor to represent Minnesota’s diverse

immigrant communities;

(2) two members of the house of representatives, one appointed by the speaker of

the house and one appointed by the minority leader; and

(3) two senators, one appointed by the senate majority leader and one appointed by

the senate minority leader.

(b) At its first meeting, the task force shall elect a chair and cochair from its

membership. The commissioner of human rights shall provide meeting space and

administrative and staff support for the task force.

(c) The task force shall conduct research and hold meetings to:

(1) determine the extent to which current state laws and rules negatively affect

Minnesotans based on their status as immigrants; and

(2) develop methods to ensure that future proposed state laws and rules consider

the impact of the proposals on immigrants.

The task force shall consult with the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, the Council for

Minnesotans of African Heritage, and the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans. The task

force shall report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the committees in the

house of representatives and the senate with jurisdiction over human rights by January 15,

2017, with recommendations and draft legislation for changes in state laws, consistent

with federal law, that will reduce the negative impact of state laws on immigrants, and

ensure that future state laws and rules consider the impact on immigrants.

(d) The appointing authorities must make their initial appointments by August 1,

2016. The commissioner of human rights shall convene the first meeting of the task

force by September 1, 2016.

(e) Public members shall be compensated and reimbursed for expenses as provided

in Minnesota Statutes, section 15.059, subdivision 3.

(f) The task force shall expire on January 30, 2017, or the day after submitting the

report required under paragraph (c), whichever is earlier.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective the day following final enactment.

 So the DFL will pack it with Liberals and Rent Seekers who will write a report to the Legislature detailing how hateful our laws are.  What then?

Take Murder, for instance.  If my daughter dates a Jew, she shames me, shames my whole family.  I must kill her, my religion says so.  But Minnesota law says no.  Hateful.

Accommodate or assimilate? 

Joe Doakes

Assimilate in your accomodation.  Peasant.