Bark For Your Treat, Part IV

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My neighbor just renewed her Permit to . . . okay, you get the picture.

The Revolutionary War started in 1776 and ended in 1783.  The Constitution was adopted in 1787, four years after the war ended.  What were the Founders doing all that time?  Thinking.  Studying.  Debating.  Trying to answer the most basic questions: what is government?  What is it for?  What is its purpose?  What should it Do and what should it Not Do?

Some people wanted a king, some wanted a strong parliament, some wanted the power of government severely limited.  As for the people who favored the Constitution, we know what they were afraid of and why because we can read their thoughts in pamphlets.  We know which rights they found particularly important to protect from government, because they made a special point of adding the Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

The Founders warned us that the right to keep and bear arms is the right that secures all the others.  If The People lack the means to force the government to back off, The People do not have Rights, they merely have Privileges awarded on whatever conditions are set by whomever is running the government at the moment.  My prior posts on Permit to Vote, Permit to Pray, Permit to Publish are intended to highlight just how differently modern society treats the right to keep and bear arms, a distinction the Founders would have found utterly abhorrent.

Joe Doakes

Pretty sure our founders would have long since moved on to another country if they came back to life today.

Poland, maybe.  Some place that appreciates freedom.

Hipster Gets Vapors, Throws Snit

I caught this in the City Pages – as reliable a barometer of the Twin Cities far-left, as well as the attitudes and mores of the wanna-be hipster, as there is.

A Minneapolis hipster was offended by something he saw at the Gopher Bar:

Letter to the editor:

I fancy myself something of a dive-bar enthusiast, and the Gopher Bar was just about the last feather to place in my Twin Cities cap.

No doubt an ironic seed cap.  No,wait – that was hipsters ten years ago.

Whenever hipsters talk “dive bars”, they’re talking “dive bars hipsters go to”.  Which are to “dive bars” what the Disneyland “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride is to having your ship boarded by cuttthroats.

But the Gopher probably qualifies.  It gives off all the signs of being “not upmarket” and “not even a little bit gentrified”.

Click to see full size

Click to see full size


Some signs, indeed, that make one suspect the lad might wet his pants, had he stayed long enough to read all the bar’s “flair”.

Which he did not:

Having spent the entire drive down talking to my friend about how troubled I was with the church shooting and resulting racial insensitivity, it seemed almost surreal to walk into Gopher Bar and see the Stars n’ Bars flying proudly. Upon asking the bartender about it, he replied with an (almost self-aware?) “Man, that doesn’t mean anything.” All I could squeak out was, “I beg to differ on behalf of nine families in Charleston” and walked out.

Confederates didn’t kill those nine people in Charleston.  A mentally disturbed narcissist who’d latched onto racism as his vehicle to fifteen minutes’ fame did.

But I get it.  The Confederate flag was the symbol of a nation that existed in large part due to slavery; the political crisis that led to its forming was over slavery; the economic battle between the North and South was between industry and slavery.  The “preservation of the union” argument leading to the war was over the right to secede…over issues that all traced back to slavery.   I have my misgivings about the Confederate flag.

We’ll come back to that.

The next morning I called and spoke with a woman, simply informing her that she had alienated a customer, to which she replied: “Actually, if you’re offended at that then you’re the racist, and for every one of you that leaves we have ten that come in because of that flag.”
My natural, earnest follow-up question was “Is this a Klan bar?”
That response was met with an expletive and a phone-slam.

And that was better than the earnest young hipster lad deserved.  I wish he’d come into the place and ask in person.

But let’s diverge from our earnest young hipster friend for a moment and look at some history.

Rejection!:  The day after VE Day, in 1945, the Swastika was trayf, worldwide.  Everyone in polite, and most impolite, soceity linked it with world war, with the Holocaust, with millions of dead.  Since then, the Swastika (outside of its traditional Sanskrit context) is only used for history, or to shock people.  There’s never been any ambiguity about that.

Not so the Confederate flag.  Southerners say it’s a symbol of the south’s valor – which is legitimate.  In many ways, the South fought the right fight to defend the wrong cause. One might rightly say that “a wrong cause is a wrong cause”, and there’s a point there.

But most of our society was very slow to get it.  The Confederate flag has been a symbol in pop culture roughly forever:

I mean, big pop culture:

Even popular music:

Lynyrd Skynrd yn thyir heydyy.

Now, a modern hipster might not recognize Lynyrd Skynyrd, but they were kinda PC for their day; how many southern bands today espouse gun control?

PC, hell –  – even artists with impeccable liberal credentials have apparently committed thoughtcrime!

Here’s Tom Petty in 1985.  Check around the 0:17 mark in the video:

It’s from an entire album about being southern and misunderstood by all us damn Yankees that practically jammed the kudzu down your throat

Even back with my father’s father, they called us all rebels

They tore up cornfields, and burned our cities to level

Well I still feel the eyes of those blue-bellied devils,

When I’m walking around at night,

through the concrete and metal,

Hey hey hey!

I was born a Rebel!

And yeah, it’s a great freaking song – one of Tom Petty’s greatest.

So – is he a racist?

Or, for that matter, the Allman Brothers…:

Click it. It takes you to the official Allman Brothers website.

…which wrapped itself in the Confederate flag at times – with its drummer, Jaimoe Johanson.

Now – was Jaimoe Johanson an “Uncle Tom” token, a victim of the Allman Brothers’ corrosive racism?

Or was it just that as of 40-50 years ago, the Confederate flag just wasn’t considered all that corrosively racist, in and of itself, devoid of any further context?

Or even 35 years ago?

Or 25 years ago?



Now – were Bill Clinton, Algore and Goofytooth corrosive racists?

Or has the flag had different meanings to different people over time?

And if Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Bill Clinton in 2002, and the Allman Brothers in 1969, and Hollywood in the seventies, get a pass on that “different meanings” clause, why not the almighty Gopher Bar?

Pick Your Symbols:  Back to the hipster lad:

I realize what a self-righteous, white-privileged Social Justice Warrior I’m coming off as, [Any bets on that?  – Ed] and I suppose I tacitly must support this establishment’s right to display hate paraphernalia if they so choose [Mighty big of you – The Founding Fathers via Ed.]. I just think (especially with the increased foot traffic from CHS Field) potential patrons should be forewarned and take their business to the plethora of less abrasive, ignorant, and bigoted establishments in the area.

The hipster lad – his name is “Matthew Steen” – is certainly entitled to go where he wants.  As someone who goes to the Gopher from time to time – for the cheap drinks and the Coneys, not the racism, which I personally have never noticed – I say it matters not what it takes to make hipsters go elsewhere, provided they actually go elsewhere.

But if I were to meet Mr. Steen, I’d have to ask:  does he have a similar petulant outburst when he encounters this symbol of genocide and ethnic cleansing, which enjoys periodic bits of ironic hipness?

Or this one, which seems to be fairly timeless in hipster circles?

Mr. Steen – I’d be more than happy to entertain your reply.

Bloomie Hits The Bricks

As I was digging around through the Campaign Finance Board’s lobbying reports yesterday, I happened upon this little bon mot among “Everytown for ‘Gun Safety'” “Minnesota’s” various disclosures:

Click to see full-size

Click to see full-size

First – to the surprise of absolutely nobody who hasn’t been marinading their head in “progressive” kool-aid – “Everytown for Gun ‘Safety'” “Minnesota” is (see the upper red rectangle) based in New York City; it is about as Minnesotan as open displays of emotion and capable professional sports (I say this so as not to jinx the Twins with unseemly optimism).

And in the lower rectangle?

They’re gone.  Done.  Hanging up their scolding sticks and sending their monogrammed checkbooks back to New York and jabbering away into the sunset.

This, after outspending the pro-human rights, Real Americans who support our civil liberties by a lopsided margin.

I’m sure they’ll be back for 2016, of course – if not as “Everytown”, as something else; maybe “No More Dead Children Inc” or something equally measured and rational.

But for now?  It’s like the Germans racing back across the Rhine in the summer of 1944.

And that’s a good thing – if you’re on the right side.

Pooing Where They Eat:  The funny part – if you’re a Real Minnesotan – is that when Bloomberg rolled into town with his armored car full of cash, he basically told the local pro-gun-confiscation group, “Protect” MN, and “Moms Want Action”, to sit down and shut up and let the competent folks do the thinking.

And so while in the past election and session Everytown disclosed a metric poop-ton of spending, as we pointed out yesterday, “Protect” MN spent not one dime on lobbying.

Again, have no fear; Bloomie will be back.  So will the blow-dried slickee boys who tried to browbeat the legislators during this past session and election.

Now would be a fine time to join GOCRA and MNGOPAC, by the way.  If you don’t keep Bloomberg and the gun-grabbers at bay, who will?

You Have To Order It In Austrian

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The South Carolina church shooter killed people for their race. He owns a Glock. Which is made in Austria. So was Hitler. Who also killed people for their race.

It all makes sense, now. Stop the Senseless Slaughter! Immigration Reform Now! Ban Austrians, All Their Works!

What the heck, it makes as much sense as the other people seizing this tragedy to flog their pet agendas.

Joe Doakes

It’s time the President got tough on Rhodesia.  I’m sure he’ll put Joe Biden on the job.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Boris Yeltsin*, head of the Federal Reserve, declares the short-term interest rate the Fed charges banks will remain nearly zero.  That will keep loan interest rates down hoping to stimulate the economy.  And with interest rates low, buyers can afford a larger loan so sellers can afford to retire to Fort Meyers.  Unalloyed good, right?

Maybe not.  When I bought my first house in 1987, our loan was 9.5% because the seller paid two points to buy down the rate.  My wife and I were dancing in the street – Free Money!  On a $70,000 house, our PITI was about $1,000 per month.  We could afford that as we were both working full time.

That same house today would cost $150,000.  At 4%, the payment is still around $1,000 per month.  But can Millennials afford to pay that?  They have more student loans than we did.  Their debt to income ratio is worse.  Are they getting married as my generation did, working full time as we did, giving up vacations and iPhones and luxuries as we did?  If not – how can sellers afford to sell and move?

I don’t have a solution, I merely note that zero interest rate is not a silver bullet to cure all economic ills.  And once you’ve fired it – as the Fed has done – there’s nothing left to try.  After that, we’re down to the Iceland Option.

*Oops, I misspoke – Janet Yellen is head of the fed.  Boris Yeltsin was the dictator whose policies led to economic collapse.  I get confused.

Joe Doakes

Something liberals, with their decades of tinkering with the buttons and levers and switches of government, never quite understand; the intrinsic value of things never really changes (allowing for variables like location, quality, or whatever applies).  A house is a house.  An appendectomy is an appendectomy.  A flipped patty is a flipped patty.

Tinkering with the money supply only changes the value of the things we use to represent those concrete values.  Making more money only works if you make more stuff for that money to represent.

We’re not doing nearly enough of that.

The Smell Of Defeat?

For well over a decade, “Protect MN” – it’s changed its name several times since it started way back when – has been the dotty, not-too-bright face of the gun control movement in Minnesota.

While the wave of Michael Bloomberg money in 2013 moved the center of gravity over to “Everytown for Gun Safety” and its “local” affiliate, Heather Martens has remained an inescapable farce in Minnesota politics.

Force. I meant force.  Honest.  I’ll catch it in post-production.  Sorry.

But a correspondent who follows these things found this bon mot during some recreational reading of state Campaign Finance Board filings.

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Dear Karl Rove

To: Karl Rove

From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant

Re:: Agenda item


Say what you will, but you did, once upon a time, teach Republicans an important lesson; if you don’t win elections, all the principles in the world are just wind in sails.

But the mercenary, “anything to get elected” dross of your philosophy has caused a lot of problems for the GOP.

And with this latest remark of yours, perhaps it’s time for you to take up gardening. Just saying.

That is all.

As Fuzzy As Rand Paul Is…

…on foreign policy and defense, the more I see of this kind of talk, of a 14.5% flat income tax for individuals and businesses…:

So on Thursday I am announcing an over $2 trillion tax cut that would repeal the entire IRS tax code—more than 70,000 pages—and replace it with a low, broad-based tax of 14.5% on individuals and businesses. I would eliminate nearly every special-interest loophole. The plan also eliminates the payroll tax on workers and several federal taxes outright, including gift and estate taxes, telephone taxes, and all duties and tariffs. I call this “The Fair and Flat Tax.” . . .Even Mr. Obama’s economic advisers tell him that the U.S. corporate tax code, which has the highest rates in the world (35%), is an economic drag. When an iconic American company like Burger King wants to renounce its citizenship for Canada because that country’s tax rates are so much lower, there’s a fundamental problem.


…the more I want him to remain a contender.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

How many specialty license plates do we need?


joe doakes

Enh.  I’ll cut the veterans some slack.

I’ll draw the line at “Cis-Female Veteran”.

Schrimpe Auf Dem Grill

A long-time friend of this blog emails:

President Obama specifically said that the Charleston type killings did not happen in other Western countries.

Perhaps it was lost in translation because we know he can’t speak Austrian.

Your friend,

On the one hand, I’m inclined to cut people breaks when it comes to languages – and Austrian does have a different accent, vocabulary and style than German.

On the other hand, there’s no way that the president who went Queen Elizabeth the Blueray collection of Eastenders for a Golden Jubilee present [1] knows that.

I’m pretty sure Obama once told a “Crocodile Dundee” joke when speaking to the Austrian ambassador.

[1] Or whatever it was.


Change is all around us.
Some things – technology, reality TV, the Dow – change very quickly.

Others – glaciers, the cityscape or landscape around you – change so slowly as to be imperceptible, until you look at a time lapse photograph or think back over 20 years in a place, and go “wow –  that snuck up on me”.

Indeed, the “expanding universe” model of astrophysics says that literally every single thing in the universe is changing, all the time.

There is only one thing in all of the known universe that is not changing. And that is…: 

… Oliver Willis will always be Oliver Willis.

They Don’t Give You Any Choice, ‘Cuz They Say That It’s Treason

Associating ones opponents with all that is evil in the world – the lowest behavior, the highest crimes, the grossest infractions against decency – is always the number one standby of demagogues, and intellectual thugs, and the propagandists that pimp their message.

I saw this on a highly on a highly over-trafficked lefty Facebook page the other day: 
Now, don’t get me wrong – i’m not going to say this is what every “progressive” believes in the deepest pit of their heart.  Indeed, it’s tempting to chalk it up to the likes of the heinous AM950 audience (or on air staff).

But that is just as much an oversimplification.

I heard the same basic sentiment a couple of years ago – that failure to support a law that the administration had pushed through was tantamount to treason – in a comment thread on the Facebook page of a  left of center friend of mine, from a woman who had a non-trivial, six-figure education.


Addlepated as it is, and whoever the audience is, it’s of a piece with “there’s a Republican war on women!” and “and rampage killings don’t have been in other countries!” and  “The DFL will lower property taxes!”; it’s intended to scare, and bamboozle, people who don’t no much and don’t have much interest in learning the truth.

Fake But Inaccurate

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Let’s talk about liars.

Progressives claim they speak Truth to Power to effect Change.  They view themselves as warriors for social justice, all members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, bravely pounding out their messages of hate in the service of a Higher Calling: Hope and Change.  For these courageous soldiers in the war on Everything Traditional, no tactic is too extreme, not even the Fake Review.

Suppose a Non-Progressive author has a new book on Amazon.  Suppose it’s getting great reviews from customers who bought the book and actually read it.  That can’t be allowed to continue . . . innocent readers might believe the high ratings, purchase the book and have their minds polluted with Non-Progressive Thinking.  Plainly, it is the duty of every good SJW to fight those high ratings by posting their own one-star reviews.   That will bring down the average rating to the point where innocents will conclude the book sucks and they won’t buy it, which will not only preserve blank minds to be filled with Progressive indoctrination, but also will hurt the Non-Progressive author’s wallet in the form of lost sales – a two-fer!

We saw that last spring, with the controversy over the River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater posting a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts; Yelp readers from all over the country who couldn’t possibly have ever visited the place left scathing, often disgusting and scatological, reviews on the online restaurant review site.  Dissent must be crushed.

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Smoke On The Water; NARN In The Sky

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,

  • Peter Johnson will talk about church security
  • Twila Brase will talk about the latest in healthcare freedom and her interview in Dailiy Caller with Ginny Thomas (wife of a certain SCOTUS justice who Ryan Winkler said something really dumb about…)
  • Jon Heyer joins us to talk about his plans in MN 66A – Heather Martens’ district.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

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

Join us!

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

Call me a cynic…


…no.  Call Barack Obama a Cynic.

Our Ghoulish President:  The bodies were literally not cold from the Charleston shooting when the President started trying to politicize the incident:

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he continued. “Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. … We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Tell it to Charlie Hebdo.

Sure it happens in other countries.  A sickening amount of it.  The US doesn’t even top the list on most categories of “rampage killing”. Not even the “religious or hate crimes” category, where the US isn’t even in the top five (Roof is tied for seventh).  And who’da thunk it; car-crazy Americans barely make the top ten in vehicular spree-killings.   [1]

The US is not uniquely violent – indeed, the left’s constant claim that we’re the most violent country in the world is  wishful thinking.  While the rate is a fraction of what it was 20 years ago, it is higher than European countries – whose populations tend to be small, homogenous and very orderly.  Among large, populous, heterogenous industrial states, Russia and Argentina and Brazil, among others, all have much higher murder rates.

The President is not talking fact.

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A Tale Of Two Churches

First things first: Like every human being with a living soul, I abhor the violence that took place yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina.

While one can expect the Obama Justice Department’s to politicize this episode for all it’s worth (more later), in this case the hate crime investigation seems entirely warranted; the alleged shooter, who seems at first glance to be a fairly demented young man, gives off a lot of the surface signs of being motivated by some form of racial hatred or another, rather than mere insanity.

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Rights, Schmights

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails as part of a theme he’s had for a couple days:

My neighbor just renewed her Permit to Reproduce.  She’s good to go for another five years.

You didn’t know about that?  Oh yes, it turns out that Deciding to Have a Child is not a Right protected by the Constitution, it’s a Privilege given by the government to those who qualify.  Applicants must be over 21 years of age, reside in this country legally, take a class at personal expense, demonstrate proper technique before a certified evaluator, show photo ID and submit an application with payment of fees to the County, authorize release of medical data and criminal history . . . it’s fairly involved, requires planning ahead and costs a bit of money.  But the permit is necessary to ensure no child is born unwanted, or born into poverty.  It’s a common sense birth-control requirement.

Wait, did I say Reproduce?  I meant Carry.  Sorry, my bad.

Joe Doakes

Someone’s gotta make sure we’re using our rights correctly.

John Edwards Was Only 2/3 Right

Former Senator and two-time Presidential hopeful John Edwards was an immensely tragic figure, in a purely satirical sense, in that he may have been the only Democrat candidate in history to be derailed by violating conventional prole social mores.

But he made one great contribution to American life; the phrase starting “There are Two Americas…”.  This is a gift that has kept on giving to satirists, and likely always will.

But in some cases, it doesn’t go far enough.

Because in cities like Saint Paul, at least in re the Met and City Councils’ ongoing plans to bike-ify the streets and make driving cars utterly unpalatable, there are three Saint Pauls:

The Midway, Saint Anthony Park, Merriam Park, Battle Creek, Payne-Phalen, Summit-Uni and the like:  In these neighborhoods, there is a minority of bikers – and no real resistance to the idea of having the neighborhood’s streets whittled down to one lane plus bike lanes and, maybe, parking.

The East Side, The North End, Frogtown, Dayton’s Bluff:  Nobody bikes, and nobody wants to build bike lanes through them.

Highland:  A powerful minority of well-connected bikers went up against a powerful minority of well-organized NOMASs (“Not On My Arterial Steet!”) – and the NOMAS won a victory, even if only temporary.

The council voted 6-0 for Council Member Chris Tolbert’s amendment to study possible bike lanes on Finn Street and Prior Avenue as well as Cleveland, and to ask the Public Works department to draw up “a robust public engagement plan” to get more input from residents, business owners, district councils and others before deciding by the end of the year where to put the lanes.

Finn?  That’s narrow enough already!

Prior?  That’s two blocks from Cleveland!

And four blocks from already bike-friendly Fairview.

Tolbert said based on the feedback he had gotten — “the most public engagement I’ve received since I’ve been on the council” — he wasn’t sure the issue had been properly vetted. He represents the area south of St. Clair Avenue, where business and property owners said they had collected more than 1,000 signatures opposing bike lanes down Cleveland.

“Both sides have brought up a lot of good issues and a lot of issues that need to be resolved, and we haven’t had a lot of time to let that happen,” Tolbert said.

Now, in most cases – see “The Green Line”, the “Lebanon Hills Park Bike Path” – the “public engagement” is just a ticket the bureaucracy punches on the way to doing what it had planned all along.

In this case?  NOMAS in Highland Park might actually bring some teeth to the issue.


SCENE:  Avery LIBRELLE is marching at a minimum wage protest outside a local coffee shop.  Mitch BERG walks out.  LIBRELLE sees him. 

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  People who work deserve to earn a living!

BERG:  Hm.  OK – let’s say that you need your pipes repaired…

LIBRELLE:  I do!  I have eco-friendly biodegradable pipes in my house.

BERG:  Of course you do.  So – I, an English major, come over to fix your pipes.  I have no plumbing skills whatsoever.  But I will no doubt work very hard to try to do the job.  So – do I “deserve” $15 an hour?

LIBRELLE:  Well, if you can find a plumber who can work for $15 an hour, that’s an incredible bargain!

BERG:  Not if he can’t do the job.  And you’re deflecting.  The point is, if I have no skill worth spending any money for, why do I “deserve to make a living”.

LIBRELLE:  [Holds arms up across face]

BERG:  What’s that?

LIBRELLE:  I’m blocking you.

BERG:  Huh?

LIBRELLE:  That’s what I do on my “Minimum Wage Activist” facebook page; I block people who just don’t get it.

BERG:  Huh.  [Holds up arms across own face]

LIBRELLE:  Why do you hate communication?