The Greatest

RIP Buddy Ryan:

The defensive mastermind that was, perhaps even more than Mike Ditka, behind the greatest team in the history of NFL football, Ryan had a long, long career:

Beloved by his players and hated by opposing offenses (and sometimes hated even by his own offenses), Ryan masterminded Chicago’s 46 defense that won Super Bowl XX. He later served as head coach of an Eagles team that had a great defense in its own right, and ended his coaching career as head coach of the Cardinals in 1994 and 1995.

Ryan’s 35-year career as a football coach began in 1961 as a defensive line coach with the University at Buffalo Bulls, and in 1968 he moved to the Jets, helping them win Super Bowl III. He spent two years with the Vikings in 1976 and 1977 before George Halas hired him to coach the Bears’ defense in 1978.

He and his ’85 Bears were the subject of an ESPN biopic last year; he really wasn’t looking good (and either was Jim McMahon).

But we’ll always have ’85.

Rights

I’m not going to talk politics, here. I’m going to talk morality and ethics.

First: as a general rule, it’s considered immoral to make someone accountable and responsible for something, but to withhold the rights needed to carry that responsibility out. It’d be wrong to say “raise this kid!” without giving someone the rights to, y’know, raise the kid.

Right?

Second: If someone said to you “I have the right not to be hit by a tornado”, you’d think they were nuts – right? Your rights don’t affect nature – do they?

Likewise, if someone said “I have a right not to get hurt while driving”, you’d likely respond “there is no “right” to be exempt from bad luck, equipment failure, or even human negligence – your own, or someone else’s”.

No – in both cases, you have the *responsibilty* to protect yourself, and especially your family, from these dangers that nature, technology and human nature throw at you. You listen to the sirens and haul the kids down to the basement; you check your tires, you make sure your kids are belted in, and yourself to boot; you watch for drivers who seem impaired or reckless, and drive defensively. You have the *right* to take action to meet your responsibility to *avoid* having human nature, mechanical nature, or Mother Nature harm you and yours.

So in this past week and a half, since the atrocity in Orlando, a lot of people have been arguing about the Second Amendment. One line I’ve heard a lot is “your Second Amendment right doesn’t trump my right not to get shot!”, usually from people who think they’re making a show-stopper point.

They’re half right; the Second Amendment trumps nothing. Literally. Because there *is* no “right not to get shot”. There is only a responsibility to try to deter, deflect or end threats to your community, to you, and your family.

Like Mother Nature, human nature is full of ugly surprises and perversions; people who want to take what’s not theirs (criminals), people who think that violence is a means to a political end (terrorists), some who think killing is their ticket to immortality (rampage killers) and, every so often, someone who thinks their will to power is more important than your life, liberty and happiness; none of them have the “right” to do any of it, but that doesn’t prevent them from doing it anyway.

Do you have a “right” not to be affected by the worst human nature has to offer? In an abstract sense, maybe – but discussions of “rights” with criminals, terrorists, madmen and tyrants are about as useful as discussions with tornados and flat tires.

You don’t have a “right” not to be affected by perversions of human nature, any more than you have a right not to be affected by tornados, earthquakes or blowouts. But you do have that responsibility.

To meet that responsibility, you have rights; the right to take actions that protect everyone; you don’t need a permit to check your tires, to take your kids to the basement when the sirens go off [1]…

…and the *right* to defend you and yours from the worst of human nature with a firearm (among many, many other options – from speech, peer pressure and dogs, to locked doors and motion lights, through restraining orders, police calls and the like). The Second Amendment doesn’t grant this right; our creator did, just like our rights to speak, worship, publish, and so on. To try to suppress that right – the right to uphold that responsibility to protect ones self, community and family – is as immoral as giving people any other responsibility without rights.

There is no more “right not to get shot” than there is a “right to shoot people” [2].

——

OK, I lied. There’s some politics in here too.

Some people who should know better have been given to stroking their chins and intoning “y’know, the 2nd Amendment exists and is a right – but we’ve rolled back other rights, like the right to own slaves”.

Sure – we’ve changed the Constitution. The 13th Amendment abolished the “right” to own other humans – an institution that was morally repugnant BECAUSE it stripped away the other human’s rights. Basic principle, here: one person’s rights can not infringe other peoples’ rights.

But abolishing the Second Amendment – or more likely, trying to ban a class of firearms – has less in common with the 13th Amendment than the 18th, which banned alcohol. Like Prohibition, the gun grabbers believe that if they just regulate what people can get their hands on, they can repeal human nature itself!

Prohibition made everything that it was trying to help, even worse, and had unintended consequences that were far worse than the original problem (all-time high crime rates, ballooning government spending, contempt for the law).

Naturally, this’ll be different.

Anyway – you don’t, ever, get more freedom by taking other peoples’ freedom away.

[1] although don’t give the Saint Paul DFL any ideas

[2] other than in self-defense, naturally

Huh

An attack by a Muslim acting on behalf of ISIS, who was a registered Democrats, got this reaction at the New York “Pride” Parade over the weekend:

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 9.17.46 AM

The Democrat Party – and let’s be frank, it’s the Democrats who are behind banners like this – is all about ending the namecalling and anger…by Republicans.

With Nominees Like This…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s painful to watch the Republican Presidential nominee join in clamoring for a secret, non-appealable Enemies List of un-persons who have been stripped of civil rights by some unaccountable bureaucrat in the federal administration: four years ago, no right to raise money for voter education; last year, no right to private communication by email or cell phone; today, no right to travel by air; tomorrow, no right to self-defense.  Secret blacklists are the McCarthyism that my teachers warned me about.  

I’m going to add emphasis to this next bit:

 How can people not see that empowering the government to decide Who has rights is empowering it to decide Nobody has rights?  Sure, it’s great while your guy is the President, but what if the unthinkable happens and my guy wins?  Will you still be happy when you’re on the receiving end?  Are Americans really that eager to roll back the clock to 1775, to be subjects instead of citizens, to live by sufferance instead of right?

 What’s heartbreaking is the ONLY civil rights organization standing up for Due Process of Law is the NRA.

 Joe Doakes

Not only are about half of Americans unclear on the difference between “Citizen” and “Subject”, but a good chunk of them actively yearn to be subjects.

Provided nobody tells them who to marry or whether they can get an abortion…

…are you seeing a pattern yet?

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.