Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We took very precise, very careful climate temperature measurements that did not show the result we wanted, then ran them through a black box that nobody understands and we cannot replicate.  And what do you know, now the results DO show the result we wanted.  You can’t deny science.  

 Joe Doakes

When you politicize science, you don’t get scientific politics;  you get politicized science.

Field Recognition Guide

When I saw that Democrat protesters – led, inevitably, by paid activist shills – were howling and stomping at Republican town hall meetings, I knew it was a matter of time before our dimbulb media started making comparisons with the Tea Party.

And sure enough, they are.

So with two “Tea Parties” floating around, how can you tell the difference?

Never let it be said I’m not here to help.   Here’s the Shot In The Dark “Tea Party Field Recognition Guide.

If the “Tea Party” event you’re watching is: Then it is:
Large, organic, and animiated but well-mannered A conservative Tea Party
Foul-mouthed, vituperative and rife with threats (whether verbalized or not) A liberal “Tea Party”
Leaves the protest site a mess choked with trash and debris A liberal “Tea Party”
Leaves the place neater than when they showed up: A conservative Tea Party.
Is attended by leftist ringers with racist signs and t-shirts parading in front of a (let’s be charitable) gullible media A conservative Tea Party
A challenge to the GOP A conservative Tea Party
Indistinguishable from the Democrat Party, because it’s a paid offshoot of the Democrat Party A liberal “Tea Party”

Hope that helps!

White Friday

We’ve fallen a little behind on our World War I series.  Over the next few weeks/months, we’re going to work to get caught-up to the calendar.

The men of the Austro-Hungarian 1st Battalion of the Imperial Rifle Regiment Nr.III likely considered themselves fortunate.  Stationed at the summit of Mount Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites section of the Alps, the soldiers were on a fairly passive part of the Italian front.  Their barracks, build into the mountain side in the summer of 1916, was well protected by rock cliffs, which limited the effectiveness of Italian artillery.  Even the weather was reasonable.  Despite the massive snowfalls of that winter, the temperatures were warming.

The roar that the battalion heard at 5:30 in the morning on Friday, December 13th, 1916, didn’t sound like artillery.  It groaned and seemed to move closer towards them, shaking the very earth under their feet.  Most the men in the unit had been awakened by the sound, only moments before 200,000 tons of snow and ice collapsed on top of them.  In an instant, 270 Austro-Hungarian soldiers were killed by an avalanche – a part of 10,000 men killed by falling snow in December of 1916 alone.

The Italian front continued to find new ways to claim lives.

Austro-Hungarian troops survey their position – the Hapsburgs would suffer nearly 2.4 million casualties on the Italian front


It had taken multiple failed offensives, and a nearly successful Austro-Hungarian counter-offensive, but Italy’s fortunes in the Great War had finally improved.

The late summer of 1916 had presented Italy with an opportunity.  Between the Battle of Asiago and the Brusilov Offensive of that summer, the Dual Monarchy was on the verge of a military collapse.  Vienna had transferred hundreds of thousands of men from the Eastern front to the Italian front, and when that gambled failed, had been forced to do the same back to the East as the Romanians pressed into the underbelly of the Habsburg Empire.  Despite five different attempts at breaking the deadlock at Isonzo over the course of a year and a half, for the cost of over 175,000 casualties, Italy now held something it never had before – a numerical advantage.    Continue reading

Note For This Week

I’m running a round of usability testing this entire week.

Which means I’m going to be in a lab, focusing on people doing stuff with software.

Which means if your comment goes in the moderation queue, it will be likely late afternoon before I can get around to approving comments.

That is, of course, for those of you whose comments get approved pro forma.  Those of you on suspension will still need to do what you were asked to do to unblock your comments.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

Conundrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Should the United States military ever be used against United States citizens on American soil, even to restore civil order?

We’ve heard for years about plans to occupy cities, black helicopters, urban warfare, the Vigilant Guard 2010 drill, FEMA camps in the desert, and much more.  Say it’s all true – is it okay?  Should we care?

 I suspect the Founders would have said “Not just No, but Hell No.”  They were opposed to a standing army because they knew the politicians in charge of that army would be tempted to use it for political purposes. 

 But there also are times when civil order breaks down and ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, when they expect government to step in to restore order.  George Washington led troops to break the Whiskey Rebellion when the nation was only a few years old. 

 Okay, but those were state militia, not regular federal troops, and states often call up the National Guard to restore order, so that’s different.  Except the National Guard was federalized a while ago (that’s why the Minnesota Red Bulls were in Iraq).  So there’s no meaningful difference between the part-time state militia and the regular standing army, when you’re the one being disarmed and told to report to a federal holding area “for your own safety.” 

 Add to that, the courts have totally ignored the stated reason for the Second Amendment as articulated in the Federalist Papers – to resist a tyrannical government – and the fact that civilians are forbidden to bear arms comparable to those of the standing army whose tyranny we’re supposed to resist, and it’s beginning to look as if the Founders were right to be concerned. 

 But I still want someone to help restore order, if we need it. 

 It’s a conundrum.

 Joe Doakes

I’m a lot less worried about the military imposing tyranny (outside of epochal circumstances).   Especially in re the classic 2nd Amendment red herring about “fighting tanks with AR15s”; the people who the feds will be trying to disarm will be the same class that are doing the dirty work – the children of rural and exurban blue-collar families of all races.

Federal law enforcement?  I’m a lot more concerned about them.

Behind Blue NARN

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

Today on the show:

  • Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad DeVos?
  • Consistency Is So 2015
  • And finally – ten observations after fifteen years of blogging.

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!

Juxtaposition

Islam.

For 90-odd percent of its adherents, it may well be a religion of peace.

But they seem to have other attitudes that bear some examination.

For example:

This hatred of early’80’s country-pop star Judy Kay “Juice” Newton…

…is perplexing to outsiders.

Challenge Accepted

Chris “The Ken Doll Of News” Cuomo doesn’t like being called a “fake newsman“:

“I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the N-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity,” Cuomo said on SiriusXM.

“That’s what ‘fake news’ is to a journalist,” the CNN host continued. “It’s an ugly insult, and you better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose.”

For startes, Mr. Como – no.  It’s not the same as the N-word.  The N-word is bestowed for no more reason than someone’s skin color.

“Fake News” is earned.  It’s earned by putting agenda before fact.   As the mainstream media has been making a habit of doing, and justifying doing, for decades, but more lately than ever.

 

Would You Like To Take Another Pass At That?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION, ANYTHING-TO-STOP-THE-BLEEDING ISSUE: California’s New Bar Exam Format And ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement Will Adversely Impact Diversity, Women, And Access To The Legal Profession.

 Implied message: women and minorities are not as smart as white men.

 When your best argument against raising standards is that dumb people won’t be able to become bad lawyers, you should sit down and shut up.

 Joe Doakes

I sometimes think that liberalism is a byproduct of damage to the brain’s logic center.

On the other hand, it shows some ability to think about unintended consquences, albeit they seem to turn it on and off pretty fast.

Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper, former chair of the Minnesota GOP and longtime CEO at TCF Bank, passed away earlier this week  at 73.

In addition to leading the MNGOP during the Carlson years, Cooper did two things that made him a hero to me.

Nick-Slapped:  Back in 2005, then-Strib columnist Nick Coleman wrote a deeply dumb column wondering how Scott Johnson of Power Line  managed to blog during his work day (Johnson was at the time TCF’s corporate counsel), and urging TCF customers to pull their money out of the bank in protest over employing an “out” conservative.

Cooper pulled TCF’s ad money from the Strib – $250K a year – and followed up by cutting off the City Pages as well.

And the whining and carping lulled me to a sound, happy nap.   I’d like to think that costing the Strib a cool quarter mill had a lot to do with Coleman’s retirement.   For that alone, we should thank Cooper.

Friends:  In a more serious and productive vein, Cooper was one of the movers and shakers behind “Friends of Education”, a chain of charter schools that were focused on specific communities and educational models.

Friends of Education schools were, and perpetually remain, among the top-performing charters in the state.  And that was in part due to Cooper’s business sense; “Friends” charters that didn’t succeed got shut down; the successful ones carried on.

Lifeboat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Trump’s executive Order on immigration and refugees is causing angst, but not analysis.  We need analysis.

 For years, I’ve used the lifeboat analogy to discuss immigration.  There’s only so much room in the lifeboat, only so many rations.  There are 7,000,000,000 people in the world who want better lives which, for most of them, means coming to the United States.  We can’t take them all: they’ll swamp the boat.  See, for example, Europe today, and that was only a million immigrants.

 Lately, it occurs to me the lifeboat is the wrong analogy.  A lifeboat implies a temporary accommodation until help arrives.  But the rest of the world is worse off than we are.  Help will never arrive.

 The United States is more like a medieval castle when invading armies arrive, everybody heads for the castle and they slam the gates shut. There’s a limited supply of water and food and limited space.  Extra people endanger the survival of everyone already there. They close the gates every night, for that reason.  Yes, the wolves may eat you, if you arrive late and the gates are already shut for the night; but the gates will not be opened for you in the dark when it’s possible for invaders to slip in.

 In the intelligence world, it’s night right now.  Governments collapsed, sources compromised, consulates sacked, refugees and raiders look alike.  We can’t tell friend from foe so nobody gets in until daybreak when we can sort them out.  Daybreak will arrive when the intel for background checks and deep vetting is strong enough to trust, however long that takes.

 Even after our intel improves, we need to choose carefully who we let in because their kids become our new citizenry.  Carlos and Maria might be ecstatic to get jobs as gardeners and hotel maids in America, but their kids will grow up watching MTV and wearing Nikes.  They won’t be thrilled to take menial jobs.  Second generation Somalis are the ones going on jihad, here and abroad.  N-th generation Blacks are the ones insisting their lives matter.  “Grateful” is not an inherited trait.

 Western Civilization, and particularly our constitutional republican form of government as we know it in England and America, is a relatively recent development and a very small part of human history.  If that’s what we’re trying to preserve in the castle until the Dark Age ends, we need to be very choosy indeed.  We need the best, brightest, hardest working immigrants with morals and cultural values most compatible with our own.  Reuniting Carols and Maria’s extended family of unskilled laborers is heartwarming, but more unskilled labor is not what the nation needs to prosper.

 Trump temporarily halted immigration from countries that sponsor terrorism.  I’d go further and impose a temporary moratorium on ALL immigration, ALL refugees, until we sort out our national priorities and institute procedures to ensure new arrivals don’t threaten our national survival.  It’s not just for me – I’ve already lived most of my life in a clean, safe America – it’s for my grandkids.  Do I want them to grow up in Minnesota or Mogadishu?

 Joe Doakes

To many on the left,  the fact that you worked and sacrificed enough to build a place worth fleeing to makes you unworthy of being there.

Unjustified Self-Esteem

Conor Friedersdorf in the LATimes writes a piece opposing “Calexit” – the proposed secession of California from the union.

Say what you will about the merits or problems with this idea – it’d remove the biggest single glob of “progressives” from the voter roles, and one of the most toxic gobs of unreformed pension debt from the future’s federal budget, both of which are huge wins.

But let’s not focus on the pros and cons of Calexit.  Let’s focus instead, for the moment, on this paragraph from Friedersdorf:

Secession would not improve our values. But it would practically ensure that the rest of the U.S. would drift farther away from our laid-back tolerance and easygoing diversity

Laid-back tolerance:

“Laid-back tolerance” – Berkeley welcomes gay immigrant Milo Yiannopolous.

Easygoing diversity:

Easygoing diversity in action.

Do whatever you want, California – the US will in fact be better off without you all.

But try looking at yourself through the eyes of sane non-narcissists for a while.  You might learn something.

How To Get Liberals To Do Your Publicizing For You In One Easy Step

It’s easier than you think.

But then everything is with them – except a logical, rational, non-ad-hominem or strawman argument…:

Maybe it was crazy but my thinking was that one of the best ways to get young men to go see a movie was to tell them they should not be allowed to see it. What ensued was several months of chaos and controversy that ultimately drove Tucker’s book to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, sold out a multi-college bus tour and ultimately sold millions of dollars worth of tickets, dvds and books.

It was a masterful bit of trolling that admittedly felt a lot more meaningful and exciting when I was younger than it does to me today: We encouraged protests at colleges by sending outraged emails to various activist groups and clubs on campuses where the movie was being screened. We sent fake tips to Gawker, which dutifully ate them up. We created a boycott group on Facebook that acquired thousands of members. We made deliberately offensive ads and ran them on websites where they would be written about by controversy-loving reporters. After I began vandalizing some of our own billboards in Los Angeles, the trend spread across the country, with parties of feminists roving the streets of New York to deface them (with the Village Voice in tow)…I’ve never seen so much publicity. It was madness.

If any of this sounds familiar, it should. Because it’s basically the exact playbook that right wing blogger Milo Yiannopoulos is running on his own cross country trolling tour. By almost any metric but political correctness, it’s been masterfully successful—his book has since been to #1 on Amazon twice, and the protests at UC Berkeley last week generated national headlines and were addressed directly by the President.

I need to amend the old statement:

“None of us are as dumb as all of us – except all of our “elites””.

Tantrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

California Democrats threaten to make the entire state a ‘sanctuary state’ by forbidding local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. Trump, of course, has threatened to withhold federal funds from states that flout federal law.

 This could work out really well in the long run. 

 Start by withholding funds from California.  They’ll either cave in, or they’ll learn to get along without federal money.  If they cave, we win.  If they live without the money, we still win, because it helps reduce the amount of money the federal government needs to balance its budget.

 If enough states join the sanctuary movement, we can eliminate federal funding altogether and go back to the way the Constitution was intended to work.

Genius.

 Joe Doakes

I love it.

Brownshirt Youth

A group of the Brownshirt Youth (known, locally, in this case as the “Knights of Socialism”) are offering to teach inept milllennial snowflakes how to beat up Republicans.

I wonder if anyone has told our stupid younger generation of “anti-fascist” leftists that shutting down others’ speech and excessive militaristic imagery are both hallmarks of…well, you know?

Ayep:

The “Knights for Socialism” group at the University of Central Florida (UCF) held a workshop Sunday to teach left-wing students how to “BASH THE FASH” with a “Leftist Fight Club” open to everyone but Republicans.

“In response to the record number of hate crimes [sic] against Latinxs, Immigrants, Muslims, Women, the LGBTQIA+ community, Jews, African Americans and other minorities since the rise of Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis, Knights for Socialism has decided to host a series of self-defense clinics for anyone that wants to learn how to BASH THE FASH,” asserts the Facebook event page for “Leftist Fight Club: The Rumbles at Lake Claire.”

I can see it now.  Four or five slobbering dingoes (“Knights of Socialismi”) attack a conservative student.

Conservative pounds them into a fine pulp.

Dingoes sue the student and the University.

I joke.  But I’ve found my jokes are usually more accurate than the news, these days.

The Knockout

We’ve fallen a little behind on our World War I series.  Over the next few weeks/months, we’re going to work to get caught-up to the calendar.

It was 7pm on December 6, 1916, as several of the key members of Britain’s War Cabinet arrived at Buckingham Palace.  For the past 24 hours, Britain had been without a Prime Minister – and seemingly no one was willing to accept the position.

Herbert Henry (H.H.) Asquith had not been a particularly popular war-time Prime Minister, as he had been increasingly mistrusted by both the left and right in his coalition government.  Nevertheless, Asquith’s resignation the day before had come as a shock.  Even more surprising was that the office’s natural successor, the Conservative opposition leader Bonar Law, had declined George V’s offer to form a new coalition.  Law had insisted on Asquith’s continued presence in the War Cabinet; Asquith spoke of resigning from politics altogether and escaping to Hawaii.  Despite George V’s negotiations throughout the day of the 6th, the Monarch couldn’t bring together the disparate parties.

Now the torch of British leadership was being offered to a man who just two years earlier had been accused of being a pacifist, a political radical, and a “Little Englander” (a supporter of self-government for many of Britain’s colonies).  Instead, for the next two years, David Lloyd George would be one of the strongest proponents for continuing the Great War and expanding the British Empire.


David Lloyd George inspects the troops. He would go from war skeptic to hard-line war supporter within the course of the conflict

Britain and the Entente had seen many crises during the Great War, forcing out elected leadership in most of the democratic members of the alliance.  By the fall of 1916, the French were already on their third Prime Minister, with two more to follow before the fighting was done.  By comparison, the Italians, infamous for their dysfunctional governance, would have only three different PM’s throughout the entire conflict.   Continue reading

Hate Trumps Freedom?

Berkeley Republicans involved in organizing the Milo Yiannopoulos even that was shut down by Campus Blackshirts last weekend were in legitimate fear for their lives:

By the time he got to the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union to begin prepping for the event at 5:30 p.m., a throng of students and other demonstrators flanked the building. As he walked through the crowd, protesters surrounded him and closed in on him, pushing and shoving him from all sides.
“We know who you are, you can’t hide from us,” Tahmas recalls them saying as he pushed through the crowd.

“It was so violent at that point,” he said. “They were surrounding me. They were assaulting me.”

Rattled but essentially unharmed, he made it into the building. There he met up with Yiannopolous and other Berkeley Republicans. But it was not long before someone pulled the fire alarm. Then protesters began shooting M-80 firecrackers at the building, with several narrowly missing the group and the police officers attempting to guard them.

Tahmas said one of Milo’s security guards, a former Navy Seal, even commented: “I haven’t seen protests like this since Afghanistan.”

And if you’re a Berkeley Republican, you’ve got a stalker.  Oh, yes you do:

Click on it to view full-size

Don’t you just love the fact that someone who can write “I don’t believe attendance – support – of an event of this nature should be shrouded in secrecy. I believe it is in the public interest to know who supports this kind of thing” is, naturally, anonymous?

As I pointed out the other day – like the original Brownshirts and Blackshirts, this sort of thing is intended to drive everyone to the extreme, to empty out the center.

And at this exact moment, reading this story, it’s working.  I want Milo to come to the U of M, and I want to gather up a few hundred people who actually support free speech, and meet these cowards face to face and rip their ofay little facemasks off.

It’ll pass in an hour.

Maybe.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A good way to tell whether a pundit or citizen understands the field of risk management well enough to critique Trump’s performance is to ask how they view his history of bankruptcies. If a person thinks those bankruptcies are a sign of poor management, they probably don’t know much about business. But if they understand the few bankruptcies – out of hundreds of projects – as part of a diversification strategy with good risk management that siloed off the losers, you might be seeing someone who understands business.

 From Scott Adams on the Dilbert blog

 I would tend to agree – most commentators have no idea how Trump is operating, only that he’s not doing what the traditional politicians normally do, and it bewilders them.

  Joe Doakes

The intellectual ossification of this nation’s self-appointed “elites” never ceases to astound.

For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

We’re in the opening stages of a mayoral race in Saint Paul.

Now, the various stakeholders and activists are doing what they do – thinking big talks, dreaming big dreams via the political system.  As to what I think this city  actually needs from a new mayor?  It’s irrelevant.   We can want whatever we want – but Saint Paul is a one-party town, and what we will get is someone who’s kissed enough DFL-special-interest ass to rise to the top of the oligarchy,   Someone who will give a vigorous speech or two declaiming how his or her repackaging of 1960s liberal orthodoxy is fresh and new and will bring all the changes that the previous mayor’s repackaging of orthodoxy didn’t.  

Leading to 4-12 years of big government-driven stagnation

Part of the problem is that Saint Paul DFLers think that prosperity is something that government, at any level, can bring via careful planning.   It’s a common conceit on the left.

To speak to that, I’d like to make the essay “I, Pencil” mandatory reading for everyone in this country.  The 1958 essay by Leonard Reed, talks about the impossible complexity of building that humblest of tools of the modern world, the #2 Pencil, and how there is not a single person on the entire planet that can create and assemble a pencil, from scratch, with all of its precursors (cedar, graphite, clay, wax, zinc, tin, rubber and petroleum paint, plus the materials and labor that go into producing each of them).  And this complexity is multiplied, and exponentialized, with things that are more complicated – bicycles, cell phones, trains, cars, the Internet.  

And if  you were waiting for the movie?  Here it is:

The idea that a bunch of “political scientists” can legislate, plan or dictate this failing city to prosperity, even if they focus on that (rather than “inclusion” and other social justice fripperies) is…

…well, the status quo in Saint Paul.

Happy Reagan’s Birthday

Today would be Ronald Reagan’s 106th birthday.

I’ve been writing about Reagan – who, along with PJ O’Rourke, Solzhenitzyn, Dostoevskii and Paul Johnson is the reason I’m a conservative today – as long as this blog has been in existence.  His eight years were not perfect, and I don’t beatify my presidents, even if they’ve been out of office for almost thirty years.  His last term wasn’t as stellar as his first, and his last two years were very difficult.

Still and all, he was the greatest president of the second half of the 20th Century.

But in these difficult times, after two terms of a President who promoted  fear and malaise in the guise of “change” and “doing something”, it’s worth remembering Reagan’s example; when times seemed at their most dire, Reagan walked onto the scene with a smile and a vision, and a backbone of steel, and cleaned up the mess lefty by his failed predecessor – something our next president will need even more of in 2016.

And the most important part? He did it by unleashing something that many, then as now, thought was dead – the inner, optimistic, take-charge greatness of the American spirit.

The best we can hope for from our current president is that he approaches the job with the same tenacity to match his vision that Reagan had.

Oh, there are those who say “today’s GOP wouldn’t nominate Reagan!” – to which I respond with a contemptuous sign, before telling the critic to listen to “A Time for Choosing”, and tell me who is more resembles; Arne Carlson, or Scott Walker?

Reagan’s gone. But that spirit, the one he understood, almost alone among American politicans of his era, lives on in the American people. Most of it, anyway.

So Happy Reagan’s Birthday, everyone!

NOTE: While this blog encourages a raucous debate, this post is a hagiography zone. All comments deemed critical of Reagan will be expunged without ceremony. You’ve been warned.

You have the whole rest of the media to play about in; this post is gonna be gloriously one-note.