Éirí Amach na Cásca

The halls of the Irish General Post Office in Dublin, An Post, were quiet at noon on April 24th, 1916.  The day, Easter Monday, was a holiday in Ireland, leaving the gigantic Georgian building practically empty save perhaps for a few support staff who weren’t taking Easter Week off.

As such, there was no resistance as 400 armed men stormed past the An Post‘s pillars and burst through the front doors.  The men, members of the armed Socialist trade union the Irish Citizen Army (ICA), raised two Irish Republican flags and began reading from the prepared pamphlets they had printed in secret – a proclamation of an Irish Republic.

Across Dublin, 1,200 Irish volunteers representing a cross-section of the various rebellious groups constituting the Irish Resistance spread out, occupying most of the significant buildings of the city.  Despite ample intelligence forewarning of Irish intentions, the British were taken completely by surprise.  For the next week, one of the hottest battlefields in the Great War would be in the heart of the Entente.

“Ireland is too great to be unconnected with us, and too near us to be dependent on a foreign state, and too little to be independent.”  Future Prime Minister William Grenville to the Duke of Rutland, December 3, 1784

 

Monday, Bloody Monday – a British barricade in Dublin during the Easter Rising

If one is to talk of the seeds of the Irish Easter Rising of 1916, there are no shortage of dates that can be chosen from which to start.  Did it begin with the Norman Invasion of the 12th Century?  The Tudor conquest in the 16th?  The overthrow of the Catholic parliamentary majority in 1614?  The Acts of Union of 1800, which ended semi-Irish independence as the country was politically absorbed into the British Parliament?    Continue reading

Sign O The NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on live from 1-3PM today.  We’ll be talking conventions, Harriet Tubman, Prince, and so much more!

  • Christina Norman will join us to talk about the movie “Climate Hustle”

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

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

Join us!

Some Say A Man Ain’t Happy, Until A Man Truly Dies

“Prince is like your generation’s version of Elvis dying”.

That’s what my daughter said as I was eating dinner last night.  And she’s got a great point.

We’ll come back to that.

Everyone in the Twin Cities, it seems, has a “when I met Prince” story.  Mine’s pretty mundane; it was a First Avenue, not long after I moved to town.  I probably noticed the people Prince was with long, long before I noticed Prince himself – he was, like, 15 inches shorter than me.

My better “Prince” story was more of a one-degree-of-separation tale:

The other guitar player in my band worked at a coffee shop located by where all the Twin Cities record labels were based, and where groups like Husker Du and the Replacements were based. He did it for the music networking.   One day I was having a cup of coffee, and my guitar player introduced me to a new waitress, a dizzyingly attractive latin-american woman. She was a musician. I started trying to work whatever magic I had at that time of my life.

“I have a demo tape I’m going to give to Prince”, she said.

You and me and every other musician in town I thought; “I’d love to hear it sometime”, I said. She played me something on her Walkman. I resolved to come back and talk more.

A few weeks later, news made the rounds that she was dating Prince; they lived together for a bit, and he produced at least one album for her.

So close, but yet so far.

I Was Working Part-Time At The Five And Dime;   More seriously?

If I had a nickel for every blog post I’ve begun over the years with “They didn’t have much “black” music in North Dakota when I was a kid”, I could skip a year’s worth of pledge drives.

But the confluence of MTV, Top40 radio making it to Fargo, and kids from out of state moving to North Dakota when I got to college, introduced me to the radical notion of someone who was:

  1. A black guy
  2. From Minneapolis
  3. Who played funk that rocked,
  4. and rock that was intensely funky
  5. that was completely marinated in S
  6. E
  7. X

And so I listened.

And as I got into my early twenties, and started to ponder where it was that I wanted to start my adult life, and thought “a music scene that can spawn the likes of not only the Replacements, the Hüskers, but this…:

(Unfortunately, not the version shot at First Avenue – the idea that there was a club like that place looked in the movie was a part of the draw, too)

…and I was sold.   If that was a city that could keep that kind of a polyglot scene happening, it was the place for me.

So while my “when I met Prince” stories may be among the Twin Cities’ most underwhelming, I can at least say that he affected my life that much.

Has Anybody Heard About The Quake?:  First things first – Prince was an astounding musician.

Let’s start with the fact that he was the most criminally underrated guitar player of all time.

No, really:

Prince was scandalously underrated as a guitarist.

And as a bassist.

And drummer.

And keyboardist.

And…well, he was generally recognized as an excellent singer. Although in fact he was really several singers; a crooner, a Little-Richard-style rocker, a James Brown-style R&B raver.

He was, in fact, not just a one-man band (he recorded all the instruments and vocals on his first several albums, up through 1999, and many of his recent albums, and many more of the thousands of songs reputed to be “in the can” out at Paisley Park), but a one-man-band composed of some of the best musicians in the business on their respective instruments.

And he played over 20 of them.  In addition to writing all his own music, producing something like 60 studio albums (and, legend has it, enough backlog to release an album a year for several decades – as of the early 90s)

White, Black, Puerto Rican, Everybody Just a-Freakin’:  Back to my daughter’s remark that started the whole thing; the idea that Prince was my generation’s Elvis.

In his prime, Elvis (and the rest of the Sun Records lineup) did something that the best genres in American music before – folk, jazz – did; wantonly mix “black” and “white” music into an all-new form.  Ditto the Beatles, at least early on.

And after the Beatles drifted into psychedelia and Hendrix died,  black and white music seceded from each other in the early seventies.   They stayed in their neutral corners…

…until Prince, touring with a band that was two black guys, two white guys and two white women, became simultaneously the best R&B band on the planet and, pound for pound, one of the best rock and roll bands, too.

In a half-decade that saw some of the most glorious genre-bending that we’d seen since the Rascals were passing for “black” on the radio, Prince and the Revolution were the bleeding edge of the fashion curve.

No, really; check out his halftime performance at the 2007 Super Bowl; he invoke and mixes and eventually purees Queen, James Brown, Hendrix, Ike and Tina, Creedence Clearwater, Clapton, the Foo Fighters, and his own catalog into an explosion that had to have had James Brown dancing in his grave:

Forget the building in Cleveland; this is what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be.

Purple Reign:  I made it downtown for some of the party yesterday (it’s where most of this post’s photography comes from).  For all I know, the block party may still be going on in Minneapolis.  Part of me wishes I could have been there.

In a sense, I was – from 1985 through the late eighties.  It was an amazing time. Ask anyone who was there; we’ll tell you about it ’til your ears bleed.

But in a way, the party came to everyone;  it was a big night for purple around the world:

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome

San Francisco City Hall

The Melbourne, Australia Arts Center (or Centre)

The Prince George’s County (Maryland) Hospital

image1

The Mississippi River in Minneapolis

As my friend Erik “The Transit Geek” Hare put it, he’s so huge, he owns an entire color.

 

I Love The Smell Of Napalmed Narratives In The Morning

You could practically sense the institutional left’s glee at the thought of conservatives’ reaction to Harriet Tubman being selected for the face of the new $20 bill.  Indeed, reading some of their pieces, I got the impression that the “reactions” were written not only well in advance, but written at some centralized content mill.

12998670_10156839507600026_8499000420762460210_n

Then, Thursday happened – and the vast majority of conservatives applauded the choice; a gun-toting Republican freedom fighter who not only led slaves on the Underground Railroad but led Union troops back the other way, replacing the slave-owning, genocide-mongering founder of the Democrat Party.

The standard-bearer of orthodox conservatism, the National Review, points out the facts that most Democrats don’t know:

In fact, Harriett Tubman was a gun-toting, Jesus-loving spy who blazed the way for women to play a significant role in military and political affairs.

Indeed, her work on the Underground Railroad was mostly a prelude to her real achievements. Born into slavery as Araminta Ross, Tubman knew the slave system’s inhumanity firsthand: She experienced the savage beatings and family destruction that were par for the course. She eventually escaped and, like most who fled, freed herself largely by her own wits.

 

Which is something the Democrats are doing their best to school out of black people.

Beyond that, though?

Tubman was one of the most valuable field-intelligence assets the Union Army had. She had hundreds of intelligence contacts and could establish new ones — particularly among African Americans — when nobody else could.

During one of her scouting missions along the Combahee River, she became the first woman and one of the first African Americans to command a significant number of U.S. troops in combat. The raid she organized and helped to command freed far more enslaved people than her decades of work on the Underground Railroad. She also was a strong advocate of allowing African Americans into the Union Army. She knew Robert Gould Shaw, who commanded the almost entirely African-American 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry regiment — the unit at the center of the 1989 film Glory.

So go for it, Democrats.  Tell us something we don’t know.

Interesting Times

It’s been a fairly violent year in Saint Paul.   This past weekend was worst of all; nine total shootings, with two dead:

On the upside, I haven’t noticed the metro’s anti-gun crones blaming the shooting wave on the law-abiding gun owner yet; partly, I suspect, because they’re still learning how to update blog posts, and partly because most Metro gun grabbers don’t know where Saint Paul is (outside the Griggs Building, anyway.  BTW, if you’ve ever asked yourself “why is there a Green Line stop at Fairview Avenue, it’s because the Griggs Building is the home for most of the Democrat, Union and “Social Justice” non-profits who provide most of the Green Line’s non-criminal riders).

The bad news?  It‘s still a DFL-run city:

Addressing the root causes of violence has also been important to the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council, said Deanna Abbott-Foster, the executive director. Sunday’s homicide occurred in Dayton’s Bluff.

“We’re hoping not just to respond to violent incidents, like a murder, where we all rise up and say, ‘Oh no!’ and then go back to business as usual,” Abbott-Foster said. “We’re hoping to … take a more holistic approach and ask, ‘What’s happening here?’ There’s a lot of poverty, a lot of unemployment, all kinds of issues that lend themselves to violent outbreaks.”

Yeah, focus on that.  That’ll work.

Because poverty causes crime, right?   Like, as P.J. O’Rourke wrote 25 years ago, “if you took Thurgood Marshall’s bank account away, he’d wind up selling crack at the Port Authority”.

No.  A society where there is motive, opportunity, and increasingly little consequence for dumb people to try to take what isn’t theirs is the problem.

And after years of dodging that, er, bullet, Saint Paul is arriving in the 21st century in the worst possible way.

Contextualized!

The Department of the Treasury has just tossed the slave-owning, Indian-genociding founder of the Democrat party off the $20 bill…

..and replaced him with a gun-toting Republican.

(No, it wasn’t my line:  it’s David “Iowahawk” Burge…

…and it was too good not to pay homage)

Real Americans: It’s Go Time

This has been a fairly quiet session as re gun control bills far.  With the passage of the committee deadline, no new bills can be brought to the floor -and no gun grabber bills survived committee.  As expected.

But that’s going to change next week.

While the committee deadline has passed, there is no deadline for amendments.  And Senator Latz is going to bring his Universal Registration amendment to the floor in coming weeks.

And to go along with that, he and the Bloomberg Travelling Circus are going to be having a pep rally (at taxpayer expense) next Tuesday; the technical term is “hearing”, but let’s cut the crap, it’s a pep rally.  They are going to try to do two things; whip up enthusiasm for Democrat candidates, and lay the groundwork for a bigger, more-coordinated gun-grab push next session.

So the Good Guys need you, the Real Americans, to turn out.

Details:

Tuesday, April 26
8:30AM
Senate Office Building, Room
95 University Avenue W. (Corner of Rice and University)
St. Paul, MN 55155

Yep.  8:30AM on a workday.  Latz and the Bloomberg know as well as you do that gun-controllers don’t have jobs; they are mostly layabout trust-fund wives from Kenwood and Crocus Hill, hipster “writers” from lower Northeast, and community organizers who get paid to be there.   They know that you – the Second-Amendment supporting Real Americans – spend your mornings getting your kids to school; by 8:30, you’ve been at work for a while already.

They’re counting on it.

Tickets are first-come, first-serve basis, before 8:30 AM.    Some groups of Real Americans will be lining up at 7AM, when the building opens to the public.

I’m going to try to be there.  I hope you can too.

 

Wages Of “Democratic” Socialism

Sanders campaign tries to get a restraining order against a parody:

Yesterday, April 14th, the Bernie Sanders campaign sent a cease and desist letter claiming that I am unlawfully selling my parodies because they used the likeness of the official Bernie Sanders for President logo in this shirt.

Here’s the satirical image (with a click-through to the site where you can buy this samizdat classic):

What next:  Book-Berning?

Congratulations Are In Order!

To:  Mike Mullen, City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Best Wishes

Mr. Mullen,

As we’re coming up on high school graduation, I can only wish you the best in your future endeavors.  Hopefully your college studies will lead you to an adult life that you find fulfilling and exciting.

Reach for the stars.

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

PS:  I’m assuming you’re a high school kid who’s interning at the CP based on the tone, style and quality of “journalism” in this piece, which reads like something from a click-bait site.  If I’m mistaken, and you’re an actual “reporter” and “writer”, I apologize.  I mean, basically. 

That is all.  

All Is Proceeding As Foreseen

When President Obama threw out the welcome mat for the Castros, essentially giving them the legitimacy they’ll need to live out their lives and likely their kids’ lives in complete control and obscene wealth with no more American uppityness about “human rights” and “democracy” but all ready to allow American companies (with political clout and who are willing to play ball with the Castros on the Castros’ terms) to make money in Cuba (and sharing a lot of it with the regime, replacing all that Venezuelan and Soviet money they’ve been missing), I said that it’d be a terrible time to be a dissident; like if Ronald Reagan had given the Soviets and General Jaruzelski the money, political cover and permission to send Lech Walesa to prison unimpeded.

And that’s what’s happening.  Worse, the feds would seem to be doing the Castros’ work for them, here in the US.

Sánchez is a well-known activist in South Florida, who also has staged a number of hunger strikes to bring attention to various Cuba-related causes. In recent days, he had begun a protest campaign against what he considered a discriminatory act by Carnival Corp., which is abiding by a Cuban ban on allowing Cuban-American passengers aboard its Fathom cruise line sailing to Havana on May 1. Cuban law prohibits Cuban-born individuals from traveling to Cuba by sea.

Sánchez characterized the letter as “political pressure” by the Obama administration to try to thwart his plans for the flotilla and other future actions to promote democracy in Cuba.

I’m so proud to be an American today.  

Appetite For Destruction

Restaurants – I’m talking the high-end, “acclaimed” places that vie for foodie critics’ affirmation – are dropping like, er, flies lately.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is asking if we’re in the midst of an independent-restaurant massacre in the core of downtown Minneapolis.

Brasserie Zentral. Foreign Legion. Vincent. Masa. Solera. Workshop at Union.

The list of critically acclaimed eateries that have closed up shop in the state’s biggest city continues to grow.

Wonder why that is?

Two years ago, we had Governor Dayton’s sons asking a return of the old “tip credit”, to offset the effect of the hike in the minimum wage.  They are certainly not the only ones hurting.

And I’ve heard – very, very off the record – that as restaurants get big and successful enough, and edge closer and closer to that magic “50 employee” mark, whereupon they are considered big businesses, required to provide Obamacare for their employees, the amount of money it’ll take to actually keep the business running becomes utterly untenable.

In the link above…:

Moskowitz Grumdahl, a senior editor for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, joined MPR News host Steven John to talk more about what’s behind this trend, how St. Paul is benefiting from it and what downtown Minneapolitans can do about it.

Saint Paul isn’t benefitting.  Restaurants are closing here, too.

Expect to see a DFL proposal to prop up restaurants that are “too tasty to fail”.

The Slow Advance Of Progress

Last week, Mississippi became the ninth “Constitutional Carry” state – allowing any citizen who is legally entitled to carry a gun to carry, without need for a state permit (which was the system in Minnesota until 1974, by the way).

And in the wake of that move, North Dakota legislators sound like they’re maneuvering to make the state the tenth state to not require law-abiding citizens to jump through hoops to exercise their Constitutional rights.

Rob Port:

I spoke with Becker about the legislation last night, and he said it’s an important issue for our state.

“A Constitutional Carry law removes the restrictions that are an impediment to ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’ clearly stated in the Second Amendment,” he told me.

If Constitutional Carry passes, and when – not if – it is a complete success, it will be much harder for Minnesota’s pro-dictatorship groups (ProtectMN, Moms Want Action, Everytown For Big Brother) to yap about it.

 

Today’s Real American Hero

Missouri Democrat introduces an amendment to “prove a point” about the “absurdity” of open carry…

…and loses track of time, and is unable to withdraw the amendment.

Rep Deb Lavender (D) introduced an amendment to a bill dealing with open carry and [concealed carry permittees]. Her amendment would open the capitol building up to lawful carry of firearms for every lawful citizen rather than just for the elected officials.

I think she was about to withdraw the amendment during her closing argument when she talked her way through the 1 minute limit for her closing speech and the speaker slammed the gavel and opened the board for her amendment to be voted on.

SHE TALKED SO LONG SHE RAN OUT OF TIME TO WITHDRAW HER AMENDMENT.

The amendment passed with about 115 voting YES and now the proposed bill is an even stronger 2nd amendment bill because of her amendment.”

Which passed.  

Order

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There are 300,000,000 people in the United States. Each year, about 300 men complete sex reassignment surgery to become women. Real trans aren’t all around us, they’re a one-in-a-hundred-million rarity. The odds against a genuine trans person wanting to shower with the girls in the local high school are right up there with winning the lottery.

North Carolina legislators can do math. They know the vast, overwhelming, majority of young men wanting to shower with the girls are not trans, they’re the same kind of guys who’d drill a hole through the wall to peek into the girls shower to see naked chicks. The legislators decided girls’ privacy was more important than giving boys a thrill so they banned boys from showering with girls in public high schools. Liberals are losing their minds because of a possible insult to a hypothetical victim who conceivably might someday exist, against those one-in-a-hundred-million odds.

It is impossible to run a nation on the basis of “Nobody can ever be offended.” That is not a rational way to structure orderly society. The North Carolina way makes perfect sense. Which is why Liberals can’t understand it.

Joe Doakes

It’s like being governed by fourth-graders.  “I don’t care about the rules, I want what I want!”

The Red Line

Clearly, all of America’s school problems have been solved.

No, we know this, because thousands of American teachers will be taking time off during the school  year to attend a conference on “white privilege”.

The annual event is aimed at promoting the theory of White Privilege – that American society is hopelessly stacked against minorities and the only way to fix the system is for white people to acknowledge their immense “privilege” and repent.

Which brings up the two questions:

  1. What is “white privilege”
  2. What is it that you’d have us do about it.

The first?  Even asking will get you called a racists (as I found out on one particularly bobbleheaded neighborhood Facebook forum a few weeks back).   But one BLM activist defined it for me pretty well, last summer:  it’s being able to go into a room and not have everyone wondering if you’re “one of the good ones”.

Which sounds, to me, like freedom and equality.  Which may be a “privilege”, but it’s also supposed to be one of this nation’s ideals.

As opposed to this next bit (emphasis added):

“Our vision is to build a community committed to dismantling white privilege, white supremacy and oppression, every day, everywhere,” wrote Eddie Moore Jr., founder and president of “The Privilege Institute,” which organizes the event.

If “privilege” is equality, freedom, justice, and being seen as a person rather than a label, then you’ll “dismantle” it over my dead body.  You don’t gain freedom and equality by taking others’ away.  The Germans didn’t get any more free by killing Jews; the Klan got no more justice by lynching black people.

Repent, my ass.  It’s time to spread “privilege” around to all races, classes, orientations, religions, humans.

If this is the place where the civil war starts, then lock and m********ng load.

Rhetorically speaking, of course.

In The Closet

While Hollywood (a wholly owned subsidary of the American Left) toes the left’s designated political line, they get almost…conservative, sometimes, when the proverbial chips are down:

On some issues, Hollywood can be downright right-wing. From the value of guns in The Walking Dead to the honor of police in countless dramas to the importance of family in most sitcoms, there is a lot more conservatism, broadly understood, on TV than conservatives or liberals ever notice.

And so it is with abortion. With the exception of Maude (an awful left-wing 1970s TV show)  and some “edgy” HBO series, there have been no major sitcoms in which a character has had an abortion.

I’d add Neve Campbell’s “Julia Salinger” from Party of Five which, it’s alarming to note, was 22 years ago.

Why? Well, one reason is abortions aren’t funny. There’s no reason to write a storyline in which a character gets pregnant only to decide later not have a baby. That’s not a punch line, it’s a tragedy. Even the very liberal Mindy Kaling, star and producer of The Mindy Project, says the show won’t touch the issue of abortion — and Kaling plays a gynecologist.

And so while politics is downstream of culture, at least some part of the culture business finds it in its interest to remember that most people are, broadly, conservative.

Not Dumb

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A few years ago, Ramsey County Sheriff Fletcher got in hot water for using the list of carry permit holders to raise money for private charities. Lots of things wrong with that idea and he deserved to be rebuked.

But the notion of the Sheriff’s department working with carry permit holders still intrigues me. Could there be a useful public safety function?

Some law enforcement officials worry that the shooting skills of civilian carry permit holders are not up to snuff. Hell, I’m sure they’re not – my wife and I have our permits and in good light, wide awake, at a motionless target 15 feet away . . . we’re deadly. But public ranges won’t allow low-light shooting, barricades, moving targets so there’s no good way for civilians to improve their skills for a real-life situation.

The Sheriff has access to a shooting range, range safety officers and shooting instructors. His deputies have to pass realistic qualification courses every so often – why not open them up to civilians, on a voluntary basis?

What if the Sheriff offered “refresher” classes to carry permit holders? For a nominal fee and a box of your own ammo, you could bring your carry gun to the range, shoot a realistic course of fire and have your shooting critiqued by an instructor. For some of us, of course, it would simply confirm that we are, in fact, the World’s Best Shots. But for those few others whose skills aren’t quite up to snuff, it might be a useful wake-up call.

Yes, it would cost the Sheriff some overtime, some targets, some potential liability if someone gets hurt. Fees might cover some of that. The program would generate publicity that the Sheriff is doing something to make the streets safer by helping carry permit holders make themselves safer (the anti-gun crowd will hate it, but they’re like Mikey, they hate everything, so that’s not a big minus).

There are potential drawbacks. If I shoot the Sheriff’s range and fail, then kill some “youth” in Frogtown, it’s going to look bad for the Sheriff (why didn’t you pull his permit) and also for me (you knew you shouldn’t be carrying). If I shoot the Sheriff’s range and pass, then kill some “youth” in Frogtown, it’s going to look bad for the Sheriff (teaching crackers to kill youths). Okay, so the Sheriff’s got a tough job and why make it worse? Except in some cases, maybe he can make it better? Maybe one or two of those folks will realize they shouldn’t be carrying on the street and will leave the gun at home? Or maybe we’ll get the training we need to be safe when carrying on the streets?

Joe Doakes

If a DFL controlled County sheriffs office were to develop such a level of common sense, it would be a very good sign indeed.