If Weasels Were The Size Of Elk

When it comes to “vaccine passports”, the Minnesota Department of Health is keeping its options open:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said just eight days ago that he does not want to implement a “vaccine passport” system that requires Minnesotans to carry documentation that they’ve received the coronavirus vaccine.

“I have no intention of doing vaccine passports,” he told reporters, per KSTP. “Our vaccine passport is get the shot. Get the shot, and we get beyond this. So we have no intention of doing it.”

“Does not want”.

“No Intention”.

If weasels were the size of moose, they could still slip through the wiggle room the Governor has left himself and his administration.

And here come the elk-sized weasels:

However, the governor’s own health department seemed to broadcast a different message via a statement posted to Facebook just six days later, on April 13.

“We don’t know yet know [sic] if you’ll need to show proof of vaccination for things like traveling, concerts or other activities,” the MDH wrote.

Remember – if you assume the typical MNDFL voter has the critical thinking skills of a tenth-grader, it all makes sense.

A Ton Of Prevention Is Worth A Gram Of Cure

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went to Regions to visit a relative who is recovering from a heart attack.  New Covid rules: only one visitor per day.  Not one visitor at a time –  one per day.  If her spouse visits from 10 am – noon, nobody else can visit until 10 the next day when visiting hours start again.

Visitor must wear a mask at all times; must stay in the patient room, use the bathroom there; cannot bring in food or drink but must order from room service and pay by credit card; must leave by 8:00 pm and cannot stay overnight no matter how much the patient begs not to be left alone in the hospital. 

Turns out it’s not only the hospital.  Different relative dying of cancer in a long-term care facility cannot have visitors at all, not even with masks and social distancing.  Might bring in Covid so she spends her days dying alone. 

Covid, you see.  Science.  What am I, a science denier?  Do I want people in the hospital to die? Do I want to kill old people in the nursing home?

Not necessarily.  But heart disease and cancer aren’t the only things that people die from.  People can die of loneliness, too, and from hopelessness. 

Joe Doakes

In the meantime, some facilities have radically different rules. Some long term care facilities are pretty much open (with precaution similar to but less than the ones Jo described in the hospital, above); others, like Joe says, are in full blown lockdown mode.

Science!

Frequently Asked Questions XV

It’s been a few years since I’ve done one of these. It’s probably high time.

Why don’t you manage your comment section more thoroughly?
I work a day job, a couple side hustles, I try to have some semblance of a life outside of all of them…

…and, call me pollyannaish, but I wonder why I should have to? And I know, I know – we’re all grownups, but we’re really not all grownups, either. Such is the nature of online forums – they bring out the worst in some people.

What’s your comment policy?
I still have one of those. I always tried to keep things simple. I summed it up in one of these FAQ pieces a while back. All I ask is:

  1. Don’t write something that’ll get me in legal trouble
  2. If your entire reason for being on the blog is to personally bash me – not an article, or my reasoning, but me, personally, over and over and over – then it’s not me, it’s you, and you and this blog will be parting company.

Perhaps I’ve gotten spoiled – I haven’t had a lot of problems since about 2010. But there you go.

Hey, you removed a comment of mine, even though (fill in name) regularly says things that are far worse. What gives?
Posting a comment doesn’t connote agreement. What do you think I am, Sally Jo Sorenson? But I give a lot more leeway to people I know, and have met personally. I know where they live, at least, figuratively. I know that they aren’t going to “Swat” me, start blogs to publicize “dirt” on me (well, try to.. There really isn’t a whole lot), or start poking at my kids.

With anonymous commenters – people I’ve never met, and likely never will – it’s a little different. I allow anonymous and pseudonymous commenters, and nd pointedly respect their pseudonymity – until the behavior swerves to the wrong side of the risk/reward line.

But what about threadjacking?
Yeah, I’ll whack the occasional threadjack, if it’s obnoxious enough.

But hey – you knew “Dog Gone”. You allowed her increasingly dissociative ranting for about a decade. And then, poof , she was gone. Doesn’t that contradict what you wrote above?
Hardly. I tolerated DG because it was fun watching her narrative – that conservative commenters were a bunch of idiots – get pummeled like the New York Generals. For about a decade, it was a perfect metaphor for modern society – a “progressive” with no particular visible expertise in anything, getting factually rumbled by a comment section that includes lawyers, MDs, a literal rocket scientist, engineers and generally well-read polymaths mirrors the modern social debate pretty perfectly.

Then she started using the fact that she had met me, and did know my kids (when they were 1 and 3, anyway), and took a creepy turn…

…and she got flushed like a gas station burrito and tequila, the morning after.

Does a commenter violate the “Hands Off” principle? Dog Gone did. Other commenters who are the subject of occasional complaints never have, and I suspect never will.

That’s pretty much it.

So that’s it? It’s all about you?
Well, in a sense, duh. The whole blog is about me, if you think about it. I’m the only (regular) writer.

I loathe echo chambers – as a personal matter, and a practical one. Intellectually, I’m still pollyanna enough to think in terms of political and social engagement as a “debate”, rather than mobilizing support to “own” or destroy “the enemy”.

Glad we could chat.

Ritual

A friend of the blog emails:

Recently I was in a meeting with State of Minnesota bureaucrats. They said it is now the practice for state of MN meetings to start each one with this recital.

Why is this necessary? Why not an acknowledgement for the ingenious federal republic devised to govern such a vast and varied people? Why not an acknowledgement for the free enterprise market that has done more to raise more people out of poverty than any other economic system ever invented.

I was just so floored by the Land Acknowledgement. Really.

That floors me, too.

And I have sat through Saint Paul school board meetings.

Systemic

It’s the position of this blog that you can tell everything you need to know about what people and companies really think by observing where their money goes – especially money that is intended to get people to give them more money back.

Especially advertising.

As we’ve noted in the past:

So – what does that tell us about “the System” and what it really believes?

The (Unintentional) Comedy Scene In Minneapolis Is Recovering Nicely

Phillippe Cunningham, Minneapolis DFL City Councilman, writes:

Let’s get this straight: Cunningham, powerful elected member of a party that has had single-party control over one of America’s (formerly) great cities since it was a great city, a man who along with his family will be a part of the political class in power for the rest of his life, is complaining about “the Establishment”.

I mean, why not? “Eurasia” was taken.

Some Animals…

This was Keith Ellison, the other night in Brooklyn Center:

So we have:

  • Minnesota’s top “law enforcement officer”
  • Out after the curfew his political class imposed
  • Telling (the right) people to go ahead and flout the curfew

I’m going to need to find all these examples of Ellison’s perfidy and collect ’em all in one place for 2022. This stuff needs to get dragged out of the memory hole…

…for whatever good it’ll do.

Why, It’s Almost Like It’s A Pattern

If Vegas bookmakers ever start putting odds on hate crimes ending up as hoaxes, I, and everyone who takes Berg’s 20th Law seriously, will become fabulously wealthy.

You recall last week’s story, about anonymous, abusive, “White Supremacist” emails at White Bear Lake High School?

What do you think?

The district’s Superintendant:

Over the last week, we have worked with the FBI and local law enforcement, who investigated the racist, hateful, and threatening messages that were sent to several of our students of color from an anonymous Instagram account. The messages have caused great pain to our students and caused a material and substantial disruption in our school.

This afternoon, a young person took responsibility for posting hateful messages on social media. While we are working to learn more about the motives behind this action, we understand that race is at the center of this incident and any use of hateful language against another student is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. Our anger around racist acts and bullying remain critical to our work as parents, educators and community.

Since the student’s race wasn’t mentioned, that can really only mean one thing.

Sick Joke

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We knew this was happening in Ramsey County in the ’90s – when a powerful sentence enhancement wound up getting pled out literally every single time it was applicable in a prosecution for a gun crime.

This is a pattern on the left: focus on hammering the law-abiding.

Michael Savage – Prophet?

I was never a big Michael Savage fan – but I totally got his schtick. Confrontration draws people – people who agree, and those who don’t but who enjoy beating their heads against the wall.

Me being me, I didn’t much care for the title of his book, Liberalism is a Mental DIsorder. But I got the idea.

And maybe Savage was onto something – more correlative than causative, perhaps, but something: white “progressive” women appear very likely to have some sort of mental health-related diagnosis:

The study, which examined white liberals, moderates, and conservatives, both male and female, found that conservatives were far less likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues than those who identified as either liberal or even “very liberal.” What’s more, white women suffered the worst of all. White women, ages 18-29, who identified as liberal were given a mental health diagnosis from medical professionals at a rate of 56.3%, as compared to 28.4% in moderates and 27.3% in conservatives.

Which is not posted, in the study, article or here as a point of mockery – I’ve had my own battles with depression, so that dog don’t track.

But, as the article goes on to point out, the correlation between pathology and political behavior could be a whole lot more interesting than the browbeating potential.

As to diagnosing the whole movement? I’ve placed that bet long ago.

Been Travelin’

I just got back from North Dakota. I had to take care of some family business. Other than driving on roads made greasier than Kamala Harris’s ethics by a spring snowstorm, it was a lot of fun.

Mostly observing the differences between government in a free state, and Minnesota.

There is no mask mandate. Some businesses will suggest a mask; in those, about half the people comply.

One enduring memory of growing up there: I was 16 before I met a black person. The ethnic mix has changed considerably – at the Walmart in Minot, I ran into pretty much the same assortment of people one runs into in any Twin Cities suburb. But “more ethnic minorities” doesn’t seem to have translated into “crappier politics”, because unlike Twin Cities suburbs, the place seems to have gotten more conservative over time, judging by Presidential and Gubernatorial results.

And yet the place is prosperous – “Help Wanted” signs were all over the place even though the oil boom is long past and I wasn’t in “oil country” anyway. There are some Democrats in Fargo who try to wave the class and race grievance flags, but generally “new” residents seem to be fitting in – including, in one highly unexpected case, a fairly prominent transgendered person who’s moved to a very unlikely place – which I bring up not to post PC points (about which I don’t care) but to point out that this move, along with most of the above, which would be called unthinkable by your CNN clacque, has gone over without any noticable social muss and fuss in this most utterly conservative place.

Why, it’s almost as if conservatism breeds tolerance, and a focus on what matters in life?

I come home to notice I’m not the only one who’s noticed it.

Enough

Watching what’s going on now, I’ve had just about enough of two responses:

“It’s just property”

Let’s say you’ve worked hard, and spent $40,000 on a car. Since the average median income is about $40,000, that’s a year out of your life (your math may vary; If you make $100,000 a year, imagine you bought a Range Rover). You can spread that out over 4 to 7 years with a loan – but it’s still got to get paid, which means you are still going to spend a year of your life to pay for that car.

Somebody steals or destroys it. That means they have taken the work from a whole year of your life.

Without paying you.

And saying “it’s covered by insurance“ is a copout; instead of appropriating the life and labor of one person, you’re spreading it out across everyone. Insurance against accidents and the vicissitudes of life is one thing; assuming insurance is there to pay for someone’s looting or crime spree is the same as saying “this group of people is entitled to that group of people’s labor, without compensation.”

Stealing and destroying things, and saying “someone else will pay for it“, whether it’s one person or hundreds of thousands, is no different than making them work for you for free.

If someone openly talked about forcing a group of people to work for them for free, what would you do?

If someone were coming at you with the explicit purpose of forcing you to work for them for free, what would you call it?

Hint: we fought a Civil War over it at one point.

The other saying: “Complaining about destruction of property is privilege”

Your G___damn right it is. It’s a “Privilege“ you, and I, and every chump Of every race, religion, gender and orientation who pays taxes to any level of government, earn, in full expectation that government will carry out its absolute minimum legitimate role.

Which is not “building bike paths” or “running resiliency departments” or even “making life happy and equitable”.

It is “ upholding the rule of law“.

Which all sounds very square, like the John Lithgow character in “Footloose”…

…until you remember that without some minimum standard of order – for example, knowing that the home you work to pay for and the business you work to build, and the community that you work to create, aren’t going to be stolen and destroyed arbitrarily – prosperity [1] is impossible.

And without prosperity, “freedom“ is irrelevant. What difference does it make if you can vote, if you are working from sunup to sundown to stave off famine and don’t have time to keep up on the news?

It is the same level of “privilege“, by the way, that leads one to legitimately expect the justice system to which we lend some of our freedoms to work, fairly and impartially, no matter who the defendants are.

I’m done with taking either of these arguments as anything but the abominations they are. Our entire society needs to be done with them both.

Excusing looting, whatever its motivations, is an attack on everybody’s freedom. It’s time to treat it as such.

[1] and by “prosperity“, I don’t mean “Jay-Z driving around in a Bentley“. I mean “most of us aren’t out working in a field from the sunrise until sunset, to earn a famine prone subsistence living, so we have time to read books and raise our kids and think about things other than trying not to starve“. Which, throughout millions of years if human history, has been the rule, not the exception. That is mankind‘s natural state, not this relative utopia we are living in today.

Sides

Reading Governor Klink‘s response to the situation in Brooklyn Center…:

… Several questions jump to mind.

One of those questions is not, as it happens, “who is side is the governor on“. That’s easy; whichever side gets him credit with the “progressive“ wing of the DFL, to whom he owes his position in every possible way.

This is, of course, the inevitable and result of single party democrat governance. You dear Fellers like to chant “you we own this town!“ After your little lopsided, fraud a tinge to factories.

Yes, you do. Every bit of it. To the hilt.

Note To High School And College Kids In The Audience

To: High School and College Kids in the audiene (or parents of same)
From: Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re: A Tip From Future You

Dear Kids,

Study up, get into a Tier 1 law school, and get into medical malpractice law:

Your future self, sitting on the deck of your yacht, will thank your present self. And, by extension, me.

That is all.

Better

A friend of the blog emails:

The supposedly pro-renter, pro-density council member, Mitra Jalali, has voted against the development on Lexington. It’s a development that would replace a vacant lot rather than tearing down houses that single families could buy. It also was a development that was not asking for any subsidies.h
Apparently, the city council thinks they can make Alatus (the developer) do it better or find someone who can do it better. Do what better is unclear. Of course, with Jalali’s push to enforce rent control, get rid of background checks, and reduce landlords ability to evict problem tenants, who will build anything here?
Well, there probably is some developer who funded Jalali’s campaign who “can do better.” But, we’ll see how much that type of donation costs us taxpayers when Alatus sues the city for this questionable decision. 

Ignorance?

Malfeasance?

When you’re dealing with a movement whose unstated motto is “our ends justify our means”, that has single-party absolute power over all the knobs and levers of government, ignorance, the answer is “irrelevant”.

Demand For Justice!

The hue and cry grows:

But if that black woman isn’t transgender, then this movement is no better than Hitler.

By the way – remember when the advice was “never read the comments?” It’s even more true w/r/t comment sections of lefty pressure groups tweets.

In The Best Of Hans

Remember when Trump nominated a raft of extremists for high executive offices?

No?

Right. There’s a reason for that.

In the meantime, this is who President Harris has picked to run Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the agency that regulates firearms, and occasionally participates in anti-gun psyops like “Fast and Furious”:

The fact that Democrats can say anything they want, anything at all, because their key demographic just isn’t that bright, is on the verge of being a Berg’s Law.

Did Anyone Not See This Coming?

Biden: Texas, Mississippi and Florida going free-market on mask mandates and lockdowns is “Neanderthal Thinking”.

Reality:

And Minnesota’s not looking so hot, with its death rate pulling ahead of Wisconsin’s after being tied for months.

That Nagging Feeling Something Is Just Not Right

Background point 1: the Woke Mob in Hollywood has, for the past few years, been twisting itself into a self-righteous tizzy about “Tropic Thunder”, the 2008 satirical action comedy best described as “The Three Amigos go to Vietnam“; three prima donna actors to to Southeast Asia to shoot a Vietnam movie, and end up in the middle of a guerrilla war.

The movie was…not bad for anything involving Ben Stiller after Something About Mary. It also included Jack Black at the peak of his overexposure…

…and Robert Downey Junior, literally in (supposedly, satirically) blackface.

The PC mob, in full “eat its own” mode, has been on the…I can’t say “warpath” anymore, can I? The PC mob has been after the movie for Downey’s “blackface” appearance…

…notwithstanding that the whole point of the role is spoofing the arrogance of Hollywood’s “method actor” crowd, whose real-life methods weren’t a whole lot less absurd at the height of the fad. The “white method actor in blackface” schtick was, in fact, the same point the woke mob would like to make – actors sure can be disconnected, pretentious and arrogant – if they had senses of either humor or proportion.

It’s a point that is in fact, the only memorable part of that movie – which I remember being funny enough and not half bad, but then I only remember that because it’s the movie with Robert Downey in the perfectly absurd makup.

Background point 2: A key tenet of feminism is that women can do literally everything men can – and, more proximate to this post, females can do anything males can. (We’ll leave out the whole “even if they’re trans men and they’re in a weightlifting competition” bit – for purposes of this post, anyway).

OK. On to the post.


I don’t watch a lot of TV. I literally went six years without watching a network TV show – from the finale of The Office til sometime in 2020, I didn’t watch a single network television show (and other than local weather, nothing on their local affiliates).

For that matter, I went from the finale of Breaking Bad until probably a few months into the pandemic without watching much of anything on cable.

And truth be told, my habits haven’t changed much.

Even a show with a brilliant promotional campaign will rarely reel me in – and I say “rarely” out of pure intellectual honesty; it could happen, it might have happened, but I honestly can’t recall if it has happened.

If there was a show whose promos were not, no way, no how, ever going to reel me in, it’s…

Continue reading

Hackery Most Foul

John Hinderaker asks a question many of us have been mulling for nearly two decades: why does 60 Minutes still exist?

It’s a holdover from a time when American media held some general (and often ill-deserved) respect for fairness and, if not “objectivity” (that’s a myth) at least detachment.

But between Rathergate, 17 years ago, and last week’s revelations that the show presented an “expose” of Ron DeSantis edited so far out of context as to be an absolute lie, it bids the critical thinker to ask: why is the show still on the air at all, if not to serve as a Democrat PR production?

Hinderaker has the original, and edtied-out, text. It is beyond damning. You be the judge.

My only regret is, having not watched the show in nearly 20 years, I have nothing to boycott.