Settled Science

Via h John Hinderaker at Power Line, still more empirical evidence that “shall issue” laws reduce violent crime, including/especially gun crime:

The CCW dummy variable is significant and positive, but the assault weapons ban is insignificant. Given that the average gun-related murder rate over the period in question was 3.44, the results of the present study indicate that states with more restrictive CCW laws had gun-related murder rates that were 10% higher. In addition, the Federal assault weapons ban is significant and positive, indicating that murder rates were 19.3% higher when the Federal ban was in effect. These results corroborate the findings of Lott and Mustard (1997). These results suggest that, even after controlling for unobservable state and year fixed effects, limiting the ability to carry concealed weapons may cause murder rates to increase.

I urge you to read the study.  Long story short:  ”shall issue” laws, at the very worst, have no negative effect on crime, and may reduce it.  ”Assault weapons” bans, on the other hand, are worthless.

Yet again.

Chanting Points Memo: The New Gulag

Last January, I pointed out that the left’s newfound demand for “transparency” – in the form of making sure every (conservative) causes’ donors were made publicly available – was the prelude to an attempt to purge conservatives from business, academia and any other place the Big Left could get them purged from.

And the purging has started; Brandon Eich – inventor of Javascript (a frequently-misused tool that is also one of the most important factors of the past decade and change for making the web usable to non-geeks) and a long-time browser engineer, one of the foremost experts on how the web actually works – was cashiered from Mozilla (maker Netscape) for donating to California’s Proposition 8, which headed off gay marriage for a few years:

When this fact first came to light, Eich, who was then CTO of Mozilla, published a post on his personal blog stating that his donation was not motivated by any sort of animosity towards gays or lesbians, and challenging those who did not believe this to cite any “incident where I displayed hatred, or ever treated someone less than respectfully because of group affinity or individual identity.”

There were no examples.  There never are.  ”Thoughtcrime” – like most offenses in the “progressive” legal canon, like “sexual harassment” and their definition of “racism” – requires no actions, or even intent.

Conservatives think liberals are wrong; liberals think conservatives are evil.  The Eich incident is only the latest and largest example of “progressives” trying to purge dissenters from private as well as public life.  Even at the lowest and most meaningless level; one of every conservative blogger’s nightmares is when a pack of liberal droogs starts snooping through your private life, trying to get you fired or at least make your political beliefs an issue with your employers or clients.  I’ve been there and done that, and it’s one reason I never mention where I work on any social media, and never talk about politics in the office (even in offices where people know my politics and extracurricular activities.

At any rate, it’s time for choosing for “progressives”; either:

  • Choose America:  Recognize that “democracy” needs a rational, reasoned dissent, and a consensus that comes from a rational debate – and, more importantly, that people have the right to disagree civilly without having to fear for their livelihoods (or lives).  Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia puts it well – it’s “Time for a gay CEO with balls to hire Eich and halt this crap“.  Or…:
  • Choose Maoism:  Live and act as if your ends really do justify your means.  Crush all intellectual opposition (or, given that most of America outside the coastal enclaves is relatively conservative whatever its political party, try to, and face the inevitable consequences, of which more later this week).

My hunch:  progressivism is well on its way toward making “the American experiment” as we know it today unviable.

More on this – much, much more – tomorrow and in coming weeks.

A Technical Question

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails with a request for some geek help:

I know some tech people read this blog.  Anybody have an opinion on the Samsung Chrome Book, $249 at Staples?

On vacation, I use a Toshiba Excite 10” tablet to surf the web and check email and Facebook.  No keyboard = frustrating.  The Chrome Book would solve that without adding a Bluetooth keyboard to lug around.

At home, the grandkids use the tablet to play touch-screen games like Angry Birds but I don’t play them so touch-screen gaming is irrelevant to me.

Any other serious drawbacks I’m missing?

Joe Doakes

Might have to see if AM1280′s assistant ops manager Jon Osburn is tuned in…

…And Ask Questions Later

It’s looking more and more like Miriam Carey, the Connecticut mother who was killed last year near the Capitol  was guilty of nothing more than having a panic attack around the wrong cops.

The DC Capitol Police first called it a terrorist incident.  Then, they said Carey was on drugs.

Now?  Apparently she was just a flustered driver who panicked over cops’ response to her driving:

Columnist Mark Steyn memorably remarked, “Ms. Carey does not appear to be guilty of any act other than a panic attack,” and, “We are told Ms. Carey was ‘mentally ill,’ although she had no medications in her vehicle and those at her home back in Connecticut are sufficiently routine as to put millions of other Americans in the category of legitimate target.”

But now, it is a certified fact that Carey did not even have prescription drugs in her system when she was shot to death.

Even before that confirmation, it became clear months ago that there was no good explanation for why Carey was shot, and the story disappeared entirely off the mainstream media radar.

It’s been six months since the shooting, and the DC Capitol Police still haven’t released their report on the incident.

The list of explanations for this other than “the cops are closing ranks to cover up a major screw-up leading to the death of an innocent, panicky woman” is fast dwindling through the lower single digits.

The traditional deflection against charges of excessive police power and force is “if you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear”.  The line is corrosively stupid on its surface…

…but if “making cops nervous” rates a bullet in the back of the head, then clearly even that very stupid line is wrong, these days.

The whole article is worth a read.

In Re: The Matter Of Brandon Eich: Comment 1 Of Many

To:  Gay rights supporters doing the end-zone happy dance (to an impeccable techno beat) over the lynching of Brandon Eich
From: Mitch Berg, uppity libertarian-conservative Christian
Re:  Forgiveness and Memory

Dear activists,

To all of you who are doing the end-zone happy dance over the ouster of Brandon Eich as CEO at Mozilla?   A couple of points:

The “H” Word:  I’m one who believes the word is very, very over-used in our society today – but it applies here:  if you have ever, even once, said “politics is too nasty, vitriolic and rancorous”, but support the Eich ouster, then you are a hypocrite.

And The “F” Words:  A lot of libertarian conservatives – including, on some facets of the issue, yours truly – did battle with our own tribe on this issue, supporting the idea of same sex unions to one degree or another (in my case, I support civil unions, while wanting government out of the business of sanctioning civil statuses altogether).    I didn’t expect much better out of Big Gay – any more than I do out of any other Big Left movement – but I know a lot of libertarian-conservatives are feeling burned today.  Many of us will forgive, but we don’t forget.

Wind, Whirlwing, Et Al:   Read Matt Walsh’s piece on the subject.  We’ll talk.  Oh, yes.  We will.

That is all.

 

Outgoing Fire

The first officially recorded legal self-defense case involving a civilian with a legal handgun and carry permit in Chicago in several decades took place over this past weekend.

Real American 1.  Scum 0.

The incident happened about 2:40 a.m. on the 5400 block of West Van Buren Street, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Michael Sullivan.

The man was walking from his garage to the front of his home when two males in hoodies appeared in a gangway between his home and the neighbor’s home, Sullivan said.

One of the two men pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed at the man who took out his own gun and managed to fire several times at the males, Sullivan said.

The males fled the area without being struck and the shooting did not result in any property damage, police said.

The Real American wasn’t charged with anything, and probably won’t be.

But this even is important far beyond that little gangway between those two houses.  For the first time, the common schnook in Chicago has exercised his right – and moral duty – to defend himself, his family, his neighborhood, his city and his society from crime.  After decades of having to sit and take the incoming gunfire like it’s just another variety of Lake Michigan gale, and to watch a generation of (mostly minority) kids get ravaged by gang bangers who’ve turned the city’s less fashionable zip codes into their private shoot-em-up arcade with real guns, Chicago’s Real Americans have joined the fight to take their streets back without the city treating them like “the real problem”.

To many more!

Saint Paul: “Start With The Luxuries; The Necessities Take Care Of Themselves!”

The roads in Saint Paul have been particularly awful this year.  Hamline Avenue between I94 and University was (until about a week ago) a strut-crunching road worse than a Bolivian goat path, passable at maybe 5MPH (maybe 10, now, with a coat of hot patch a week or so ago).  And others are just as bad; I saw a few “smart cars” completely disappear into a couple of potholes in the past few weeks.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The streets in St. Paul are falling apart.  The Mayor has no money to fix them without help from Congress.  Why not?

Take a typical house in the Midway valued around $175,000.  The homeowner pays property taxes totaling nearly $300 per month: $900 to the county,  $700 to the city, $1,000 to the school district, more to other entities including $70 for the Light Rail and $100 to “other special taxing districts.”

But wait, there’s more!

The homeowner also pays a $175 Special Assessment for Right of Way Maintenance and an additional $50 Special Assessment for Storm Sewer.  That sounds suspiciously like money dedicated for street repairs including curb-and-gutter.  And it isn’t a one-time deal: St. Paul charges those Special Assessments to every property including schools and churches, every single year.  So where’s that money?

Spent it all on street repairs and it’s still not enough?  Then the city’s budget managers are incompetent.

Spent it all on . . . something else?  Then we need some tar, all right, and feathers, too.  And a rail, so certain people can ride it out of town.

As society evolved from savagery, cities were formed to provide basic services: police, fire, sanitary sewer, clean water, passable roads to move goods from farm to market.  Everything else is gravy.  St. Paul city government is failing its fundamental purpose.

Joe Doakes

But..refrigerated ice rinks!

Unspun

The IRS Scandal was even less “balanced” than the media have been spinning it (emphasis added):

“Only seven applications in the IRS backlog contained the word ‘progressive,’ all of which were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons,” according to the Oversight staff report, which was obtained by The Daily Caller.

“[T]he Administration and congressional Democrats have seized upon the notion that the IRS’s targeting was not just limited to conservative applicants,” the report states. “These Democratic claims are flat-out wrong and have no basis in any thorough examination of the facts. Yet, the Administration’s chief defenders continue to make these assertions in a concerted effort to deflect and distract from the truth about the IRS’s targeting of tax-exempt applicants.”

The media is doing everything it can to keep this scandal buried.

55 Lives

UPDATE:  Some of the commenters (see way below) are right.  It is a little early to be doing the end-zone happy dance. 

So I’m going to park my conclusions until a) the end of summer and b) a year from now.  I am 104% confident I’ll be doing an end-zone happy dance then, and that will be largely attributable to carry  permitting (and focusing law-enforcement on criminals, rather than law-abiding citizens.

Yep, I jumped the, er, gun. 

For now.

———-

The murder rate in Chicago is off this year.

Sharply.

As in, 55 fewer than at this time last year.  That translates into about a 40% reduction in the murder rate.

That’s not just a reduction.  That’s a free-fall.

And while one can expect crime to get worse in the summer, this is a month on month comparison.

So what’s changed in Chicago in the past two years (2012 was horrible, 2013 merely very very bad)?  Was in the police chief?  The police’s methods?  The number of gang-bangers?  A sudden ”come to Jesus” by the gang bangers?

No, nay, nope and uh-uh.

No – the only real change in Chicago’s legal landscape in the past year is that law-abiding citizens can get firearms.

Locked And Loaded: And the difference is drastic:

The first three months of 2014 have seen the fewest number of homicides since 1958 — six fewer than this time in 2013, and 55 fewer than this time in 2012, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The city is on track to have hundreds fewer deaths – perhaps a 30-40% drop – than in 2012.

Emanuel: Firing Blanks From A .25: The city of Chicago is trying to spin things otherwise, claiming it’s gotten illegal guns off the streets and has changed up its training – which reinforces the point Real Americans have been making all along; it’s the criminals, stupid.  Make life complicated for criminals, and stop bothering the law-abiding citizen, and you get less crime.

It’s fun to watch the left – led by Media Matters, a Soros-sponsored attack-PR firm that prefers poor black inner city people to sit down and shut up unless they’re at the polls voting Democrat – try to spin their way out of this.  Here was Media Matters after a particularly bloody weekend in Bear town last summer:

The recent bloody headlines out of Chicago relayed the sad tale of the city’s deadly weekend, where seven people were killed in shootings and more than 50 were victims of gunfire…the Chicago news triggered the usual response from conservative gun advocates, who love to mock the city’s homicide rate…Conservative conspiracists such as Rush Limbaugh even claim Democratic politicians, including Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel, want the city’s murder rate to remain high so they can use the killings to advocate for stronger gun laws.

Call it “satirical but accurate”.

Cut The Crap, Focus On The Results: Not satirical but still accurate is the fact that Media Matters and the entire left were wrong again, as always.  And we – the Real Americans – were right.

And there are 55 families in inner city Chicago right now who are mighty happy about it.  They may not know who they are.  And that’s the way it should be.

Why are white liberals so blasé about dead black children?

RIP Otis McDonald

In the late sixties, a justifiably obscure SCOTUS’ “decision”,  ”US v. Miller” (a depression-era case involving a robber who was murdered before his case made it to the court, and for whom no attorney argued before the high court) was dragged out of the legal ether by a series of liberal, activist judges, and installed into a misbegotten place as binding precedent that led, by a tortuous “logical” route, to the Second Amendment being interpreted for four decades as a “collective right”.   Just the way the Ku Klux Klan interpreted it until the 14th Amendment came along.

The Heller case began the process of flushing this noxious bit of authoritarian posturing down the latrine of history.

But it fell to Otis McDonald – a seventy-something black man who just wanted to defend his life and property against the crime that had overrun the neighborhood where he’d lived since 1971, in which he’d raised three of his children – to deliver the coup de grace against Chicago’s racist, classist gun ban.

Otis McDonald

It was merely the latest of several fights for McDonald, who was 76 when the SCOTUS upheld his demand to be allowed to defend himself, his family and his property, and not be treated like the government’s livestock.

It was one of many battles he fought in his long, full, unsung-but-productive life.

McDonald started life as one of 12 children of a Louisiana sharecropper who’d left the land at 17, deep in the Jim Crow era.  He worked for decades as a janitor at the University of Chicago, joined the union, earned a living, raised a family…

…and watched his neighborhood decay from a comfortable blue-collor area to a crime-ridden gang shooting gallery.

He sought “permission” to own a handgun – because as an older man, he couldn’t stand up in fight against one predatory teen, much less the whole pack.  The city of Chicago, adhering to the gun control movement’s orthodoxy that black people must only be seen and heard at the polls, and shouldn’t be getting all uppity in between elections, shut him down with, as it were, prejudice.

And so he, along with three other co-plaintiffs, filed suit – which duly led to the Supreme Court and, in 2009, victory in the case that bore his name, and incorporated the Second Amendment as law binding all lesser jurisdictions; the right to keep and bear arms was, as it has always been, a Right of The People, not the National Guard, not to be frittered away by self-appointed racist elitists out of the fear of armed brown men that motivates all gun control.

McDonald, on the day of his case’s epic victory.

McDonald, a humble man without even a high school education, accomplished more to secure freedom than many buildings full of Ivy-League-spawned pundits and lawyers ever will.

Otis McDonald passed away last week at age 79, after a long battle with cancer.

Massood Ayoub:

As a black man in America, he fought his way up from economic disadvantage to earning a good living for his family. He fought against violent crime in his adopted city of Chicago, and in so doing came to his most famous battle as the lead named plaintiff in McDonald, et. al. v. City of Chicago. In the plaintiffs’ landmark victory in that case in 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that neither the Windy City nor any other city could ban law-abiding citizens from owning handguns for defense of self and family. The McDonald decision helped pave the way for the concealed carry permits now being issued throughout Illinois

.And the wages of McDonald’s victory are being felt – despite the media’s attempt to suppress them – today.  More at noon.  Oh, yes – oh, so much more at noon.

And so rest in peace, Otis McDonald.  Your legacy – leaving your world a freer place than the one you came into  - is one that shames those of a whole lot of people who came into this world with advantages you never dreamed of.

At noon today:  McDonald’s legacy is already saving lives.

As Long As It Fits Under A Helmet…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The traditional High and Tight would solve this problem, if we weren’t trying so hard to be stylish and ethnic that we can’t figure out how to be a soldier.

I recommend every non-minority officer above Captain be fired and we pay millions of dollars in reparations to the women whose feelings were hurt.

Joe Doakes

Perhaps a better answer: since the military’s most elite troops – “Delta” and “Seal Team Six” (neither unit has actually gone by either name in decades) wear their hair long and even wear beards, clearly the answer is to turn the entire Army and Navy into Deltas and Seals.

Then everyone will be happy.

Guns And NARNs

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – brings you the best in Minnesota conservatism, as the Twin Cities media’s sole source of honesty!

  • I’m live at Bill’s Gun Range in Robbinsdale from 1-3.  I’ll be talking with Mark Okern of the Minnesota Gun Owners’ PAC about the session, the election, and the state of gun legislation in Minnesota.  Then, Susan Eckstein from the U of M College Republicans on the Campus Carry Campaign.
  • Don’t forget the King Banaian Radio Show, on AM1570 “The Businessman” from 9-11AM this morning!
  • Tomorrow,  Brad Carlson is on “The Closer”!

(All times Central)

So tune in to all six hours of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Twin Cities’ media’s sole guardians of honest news. You have so many options:

Join us!

Don’t Forget

When making your weekend plans – tomorrow the NARN will be broadcasting live from Bill’s Gun Shop and Range, for the Shooter Show. 

And remember – ahem:

You Get To Test-Fire Your Choice Of Firearms, For Free!

(You buy the ammo…)

The show starts today, and runs through Sunday – but I hope you’ll join me for the broadcast, and a ton of shooting, tomorrow from 1-3PM!

(I’ll be adjourning to “the Lodge”, next door, for a drink or two after the show.  Hope you can join me there!)

Rethinking The Seventies: Baseline (Reboot)

(NOTE:  I first ran this piece almost a year ago – April 17 2013 – fully intending to follow through and write this series.  And then…I didn’t.  But now I am.  So I’m going to re-run the piece from waaaay back when, and try to do a new piece roughly every Friday).

As I noted when I started this series a week or so ago, part of the reason I didn’t care much for most of the music of the seventies was because, in my drive to be just plain different than everyone around me, I figured if I was in for a dime, I’d best be in for a buck; go all-in with the punks and whatever else was cooler-than-thou.

When I was a kid in the seventies, I was too tall, coulda used a few pounds; the athletic gene skipped a generation (or at least the “willing to put up with coaches” gene did).  I wasn’t popular, I wasn’t especially smart, I wasn’t “in” with any crowd.  I had greasy hair and terminal social awkwardness.

But I did read Rolling Stone.  I knew what the cool kids were listening to in New York and LA and Chicago, and I sought it out; the Clash, the Sex Pistols and Generation X, to be sure, but all sorts of other stuff that was “alternative” in its day; Tom Petty, Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen, the Police, all of them were off the beaten pop path at that point.  That they all became the top forty within half a decade is one of the glorious things about early-eighties music.

And I buried my teenage identity in pretty much anything that the kids in North Dakota weren’t listening to.  The guys?  They dug Bad Company, Shooter, Trooper, Rush, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kiss and the like; the girls were into Dan Fogelberg, Styx and the Bay City Rollers and God only knows what else. The music geeks thought Chicago and Alan Parsons and Emerson, Lake and Palmer were just dreamy.

So I was pretty insufferable.

But it needs to be added that it was, in many ways, a terrible, terrible decade for pop culture.

Maybe it reflected a hangover from the turmoil of the sixties.  Maybe it was a measure of a society floating aimlessly and beginning to decay after a couple of decades of purpose and dynamic growth.  Maybe it was just all those baby boomers.

But like polyester clothes, The Brady Bunch and the Chevette, much of the music of the 1970s was a reminder that times were really not good.

Continue reading

Oceania Has Never Bullied Eastasia, Winston

The bill that the Metrocrats chose to call the “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” passed the Senate. 

Let’s look at what’s in a name.  Because the name “Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act” is intensely misleading – almost to a geometric fault.

There are so many names for this bill that are more appropriate:

The Redundant Feel-Good Act:  Every school district already has a bullying policy.  It’s the law. 

The PC Payoff Act:  This bill - probably soon to be a law – is a chit being paid back to the DFL’s supporters by the party currently in power, creating not only a protected class of students, but a super-di-duper protected class. 

The Full Employment For Bureaucrats Act:  This bill – which creates a huge unfunded mandate on top of all the others foisted on our school systems, to the point where many districts are nothing but mandate delivery systems with occasional spurts of “education” – will create a whole new class of administrators.  And they’ll belong to unions, who donate their dues money to the DFL. 

The Full Employment For Trial Lawyers Act:  The bill makes the entire process of dealing with “bullying” even more legalistic than it already is.  Legalistic means “designed to be controlled, and especially litigated (at an exquisitely expensive hourly rate) by lawyers”. 

The Type-Cast Your Child For Life Act:  Everything related to everything that can be defined as “bullying”, no matter how torturously, will become part of a child’s permanent academic record.  Which will affect childrens’ future chances at higher education, jobs, the military, jobs requiring security clearances and the like, long after the child has grown out of whatever phase they were in when they were bullies (and that’s assume they were rightly and justly accused of “bullying”, since the bill is also…)

“Stasi Had The Right Idea!” Act:   Anonymous informants?  Giving those who accuse others of bullying complete immunity from consequences if it turns out that the accusations were fabricated? 

The “Further Proof That North Dakotans Are Smarter Than Minnesotans” Act:  Other states – including our grown-up neighbor, my home state of North Dakota – address bullying by addressing bullying, passing laws that address actual behavior rather than creating the infrastructure for a network of secret denunciations and…

The Ideology Police Act:  …making all beliefs that don’t toe the PC line, especially personal religious beliefs, however manifested or stated, a form of behavior that needs to be watched and suppressed, overtly or subtly, “for the good of the children”.       

The “Let’s Have More Bullying, Not Less!” Act:  Bullying tends to go up, rather than down, in places with bullying bills.   

The Metrocrat Power Grab Of 2014 Act:  The bill – which does nothing to address bullying of children that isn’t already covered by existing policies – does coalesce more power to indoctrinate, to punish dissent from the state-sanctioned social views, and to extort more from the taxpayer in the bargain.  And it does it during the last session during which the DFL is guaranteed absolute power.                 

Could someone in the legislature please see to this?

Conservatives: Invariably Smarter

New scientific poll proves that conservatives are better readers than liberals – and this translates into higher general intelligence.

This is, of course, as I’ve always suspected; liberals are big on talking about how intelligent they are, what conservatives usually stick to demonstrating it in their jobs, families, and daily lives.

For all of their babbling about snake-handling and “Faux” News and Christine O’Donnell and the like, any actual conservative dealing with liberals on a daily basis knew this to be a fact, in the pit of their gut. 

But that was anecdotal.  This?  This is settled science.

Continue reading

Pass All The Bucks

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A buddy notes the insidious lure of Somebody Else’s Money:

 The old Federal rule was that you can’t get food stamps unless you qualify under income guidelines. OR if you get at least $1.00 of heat share relief. So of course the various state programs freely handed out the $1.00 because they could leverage that dollar into 50 times as much in food stamps for their citizens.

 Congress, in an effort to curtail the cheating, raised the cut-off to require $20.00 in heat share assistance, thereby avoiding the token assistance cheating. Well, except that the states now simply raised the payment to $20.00. The heat share comes out of federal funding also, and in another article the funding was described as block share grants that typically have left-over funding at the end anyway. So there is no incentive not to hand out more of one welfare to qualify for more of another welfare.

 Right back to the typical hamster wheel. The voters would never vote to raise their own taxes to build a street car, or refrigerate an outdoor ice rink, or put art on $50,000 drinking fountains for the bums. We only go along with it because it’s paid for with magic federal money that doesn’t come from OUR taxes. So if we now need to kick in a small portion of the total wasted cost in order to get someone else to pay for the rest, we’ll gladly do it.

 This is akin to what is taught at the college level, of course. For one easy example: Housing on campus routinely costs double or triple what housing on the local economy will cost. (And of course either costs more than housing at the parental home but that comparison would ignore the value of NOT living at home while in school–the value of actually being part of the school environment.) Although it costs double or triple to live on campus, the financial aid office is geared to get you more in loans and grants to subsidize (short term) that inflated cost. Of course the same is true for any other cost on campus. Books that are used one day but cost $200/e. Lab fees for history class, things like that. Since it all gets hidden into the grants and loans the kid is taught that it isn’t worth discussion or worry. Just run up the tab and go with the flow.

 Joe Doakes

If you haven’t read “The End Is Near (And It’s Going To Be Awesome)” by Kevin Williamson, you need to.

No Wonder The Left Hates Him So Much

Charles Koch, one of the “Koch Brothers”, the left’s current boogeymen du jour and donor of a tiny fraction of the money bequeathed to progressivism by much more “generous” liberal plutocrats, writing in the WSJ, with occasional emphasis added:

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens.

That last emphasized sentence is going to be the subject of a couple of blog posts very soon here. 

The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

The whole thing is worth a read.

The Kochs are fundamentally libertarian-conservatives; they have some stances that vex some paleos. 

Asking “progressives” to explain exactly what’s wrong with the Koch Brothers – especially in light of the fact that there are dozens of plutocrats that give much more money to the left – is akin to watching Daffy Duck sputter; lots of flying saliva, not much fact, logic or reason. 

So why do they do it?

Berg’s Seventh Law explains it all.

Publishing Notes

While we wait for further news on Katie Kieffer’s first book – of which more to come soon – I’m happy to notice that XKCD is publishing a book this fall.

Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions will be published September 2nd by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Starting today you can pre-order it from your favorite bookseller (Barnes & NobleAmazonIndie Bound).  There are also foreign editions, including a UK and Commonwealth edition and a German edition

Sounds like my next couple of airplane trips are covered!

Lies, Damned Lies, And Government Damned Lies

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Government statistics are unreliable.

No lie, Bwana.

In the absence of reliable data, nobody can make sensible plans for business expansion, for retirement.  Our own government is killing our economic recovery.

The aggression of our government towards its own citizens in defense of politicians’ idiotic pet programs dwarfs the threat of Russian aggression.

Government aggression toward the citizens – and its parent, government believing it’s here to govern you, rather than the other way around – are going to be make-or-break problems for this society.

I have to say I’m not feeling optimistic.

Saturday Plans

Don’t forget – the “Shooter Show” is happening all weekend at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Robbinsdale.   I’ll be be broadcasting live from the range (or, ideally, the other side of a soundproof wall from the range) on Saturday from 1-3. 


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Here’s the deal:  there’ll be 50-odd manufacturers there.  You can try out any of the guns on display – just buy the ammo. 

And I’m fixing to adjourn to a neighborhood watering hole after the show.  Call it a NARN “Shoot and a Shot” party. 

Hope to see you there!

 

Like Waiting For “One Direction” Tickets In A Blizzard

(SCENE:  Mitch BERG is walking his dog down Grand Avenue in Saint Paul.   He’s walking past an organic car repair shop when Avery LIBRELLE walks out, almost bumping into BERG).

LIBRELLE:  Merg!  Hah! I woke up this morning thinking “Merg must be feeling sad today! Obamacare is a huge success!”

BERG:  Well, it’s not really…

LIBRELLE:  Which bums you out more, Merg – that more people weren’t insured, or that less weren’t?

BERG:  Well, I’m just trying to figure out what all the happiness is about.

LIBRELLE:   Seven million subscribers!

BERG:  Let’s assume the Administration is giving real numbers.  That’s seven milion people who’ve signed up.  Not seven million paid, issued policies.  But if you put it up against the five million people wholosttheir coverage over the past year, that means we’re up a net two million – assuming they all actually pay their premiums, which all of them will not.

LIBRELLE:  You’re just jealous that no Republican healthcare plan gets people lining up for it!

BERG:  Wait – you say that’s a good thing!

LIBRELLE:  When people line up to buy something, that means it’s popular.    Like an iPhone!

BERG:  If that analogy held up – if Obamacare is extremely popular – then they’d have been waiting in line last October, when the plans first hit the market.  This is like people waiting in line to buy iPhone 3s before they go out of production.

LIBRELLE:  That’s stupid!  Nobody would do that!

BERG:  Unless it was your only shot at getting a phone, and you were going to wind up without a phone if you waited another day.  The “lines” had less in common with these…:

HyPsTrZ at the sacrament of unveiling.

…and much more in common with these…:

Waiting for bread in Moscow, 1980s

…or these:

Minnesota clinic, 2018. Just kidding – it’s a DMV line.

People trying to get something before an onerous deadline makes it impossible.

LIBRELLE:  Wow.  You’re a real debbie downer.

BERG:  As always, I’m a realist.  The Administration is trying to put lipstick on a dead pig in time to save the Democrats in time for the mid-terms.

LIBRELLE:  Hey – you used the word Democrat!  You hate women and their children!

(And SCENE)

Blowing In The Wind

Winston Churchill once said “I’d rather be right than consistent”.  I’ve always agreed with this; I don’t personally care if I – or someone else – changes their mind on an issue, as long as the mind gets changed in the right direction. 

Turns out Governor Messinger Mark Dayton knows that quote too.

Of course, as MPR’s Tom Scheck notes, if you simultaneously take every position on an issue – say, medical marijuana - you can be right no matter what. 

Right?

Here’s a sampling of what he’s said since January.

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• “I told law enforcement groups when I ran for office four years ago that I would not support medical marijuana over their strident opposition, and they are still stridently opposed.” — TPT Almanac, Jan. 31

• “I’m told by law enforcement that you can buy marijuana in any city in Minnesota. We have the distribution system already set up. It’s extra legal. It’s basically not a crime, excuse me a very minor crime, for people who possess an amount for personal use.” — conference call with reporters, March 13.

• “The real goal is to help as many of these kids as possible. The experiment is part of the framework of it but our real goal is to help people and to relieve suffering and pain.” — news conference, March 21.

• “Absent the interests of the authors in accepting something that can be supported more broadly, I don’t think there’s anywhere to go this session.” — MPR News interview, March 25.

• “I’ve said all I’m going to say about medical marijuana. You had statements. You asked questions. I’ll give you another statement. I’m just not going to discuss it further.” — news conference, March 28.

And as Scheck notes, it’s far from the first time Dayton has tired to play all sides of a fractious issue; Taxes, Zygi WIlf’s real-estate improvement handout…the list goes on. 

My thesis – Dayton is going to bounce around like a blind overcaffeinated ferret in a daycare playroom on any issue where Alita Messinger and Carrie Lucking haven’t affirmatively told him what to think.