Trulbert! Part XXX – Armageddon’s Two Minute Warning

 - 1:23 PM, November 7, 2015 – TV Control Trailer, Outside TCF Stadium

The control room crew had hurried through the line, grabbing styrofoam plates of walleye and cheese and eating a quick meal at their stations.  Tartabull – first in line – had briefly looked at Fleen, sensing something a little off, but he had bigger fish to fry, as it were.

By 1:23, the crew had finished their lunches, and the network was about ready to throw back to Minneapolis for commentary from Jackson, Khalid and Bazongas.

Fleen, Hendrickson, the Codricius and Broadman dug under piles of uneaten walleye as Tartabull got his crew ready to start the second half.

“OK”, said Tartabull, donning his headset.  ”Stand by.  What’s the count?”

“Back in ten” said the satellite producer.

“Ready 51, ready swoosh, stand by in the booth”. Tartabull got ready to head into the second half.

“Excuse us.  There’s a change in the plan for today’s broadcast”, Todd Fleen  exclaimed.  The assembled control room crew turned as one to see Fleen holding a clump of cheese-drenched fish to Lisa Rothchild’s head.

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The Cell Phone Neutrality Act Of 1987

Where would we be today if the federal government had enacted a “Cell Phone Neutrality” act in 1987?  A policy saying that nobody could pay a premium for a snazzy, newfangled, small cell phone until everyone had a big, clunky, expensive one?

How about a “Car Safety Neutrality” act in 1971, saying that no one could pay a premium for a car with airbags until everyone had a car with airbags?

What if we passed us a law saying that nobody could pay a few bucks extra for good healthcare until everyone had crappy healthcare… Oh, wait.

The United States government: giving the most successful piece of infrastructure of the 21st-century regulation that didn’t work in the 1930s.

Note to liberals/”progressives”:  when companies release “premium” products, other companies notice that less-”premium” people want them too – and they find ways to make those “premium” products more affordable.  And everyone wins.

Which is why poor people have cell phones, consumer electronics and cars of higher quality than the rich had 30 years ago – but their healthcare, education and mass transit keep getting worse.

From The Boneyard

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We’re restoring an airplane that was built in the 1950′s and parked in the desert for a decade . . . because we don’t have enough flyable airplanes to defend the nation without it.

What. The.

Joe Doakes

look at the bright side – and there are some bright sides. A government program – “The Boneyard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona – worked as designed; an aircraft in long-term storage is actually brought back from reserve. And it cost far, far less to do it then it would have to build a new airplane…

… even if the American defense industry were capable of building another aircraft like it. Which it’s not, without going through the Pentagon’s long, costly and disgracefully wasteful procurement process.

Fashionable Bigotry

Conservatives and Christians have been saying it for years; there really is only one acceptable form of bigotry to our political class these days.

And as Maggie Gallagher at NRO shows, it‘s not just an idle complaint.  A disturbing number of the “educated” upper middle class hold some fairly intense bigotry against people of faith Christians.

“Restrict their ability to become judges, senators, representatives, member of Cabinet, military chief of staff and other powerful members of government,” said a man over 75 with a bachelor’s degree. “Should not be able to make decisions regarding the law, they should somehow have to be supervised if they are working with other people (drastic, I know),” said a woman under 45 with a master’s degree. “We should put in place mandatory extreme prison sentences for anyone or any group that attempts to take away civil liberties guaranteed by our constitution,” said a middle-aged man with a master’s degree. “Churches should not be allowed to provide orphanages and adoption programs,” said one elderly man with a doctorate. “I think we should restrict the indoctrination of children in religious dogma and ritual” said a middle-aged man with a master’s degree. Conservative Christians should “not be allowed to hold political office, be police etc., serve in the armed forces,” said another middle aged man with a doctorate.

Gallagher’s piece is actually a response to the movie “Kingsman”, which indulges in some pretty lurid eliminationist anti-Christianism.  And while Gallagher takes great (and probably correct) pains to note that it’s a minority opinion, nobody knows how minor the minority is:

“No academic inquiry has investigated how individuals from a highly educated and politically powerful subculture may express attitudes that dehumanize out-groups,” reports Yancey and Williamson. Until now. So I am concerned when Hollywood begins to gratify the kind of hatred on display by the minority of progressives, and for the same reasons Yancey and Williamson are concerned about the minority of socially empowered progressives who express open hatred, dehumanization, and even murderous fantasies about Christians. The fact that such views are openly expressed by even a minority of educated elites likely means that they are acceptable expressions in powerful subcultures.

There’s the rub; bigotry on the part of conservatives likely comes from its underclass; on the left, it’s from (at least parts of) its self-appointed “elite”.

Don’t believe me?  Ask President Obama to point you to a bigger, gun-clinging, snake-handling Jeebus freak.

Liberals Warned Us…

…that if we voted for Mitt Romney, we’d have a government beholden to plutocrats, that trampled on the people and the law itself to get its wishes, while marinating in luxurious unaccoutability.

And they were right.  Even parts of the Left are smart enough to see it, albeit possibly too late.

Note To John Kline, Erik Paulsen, Tom Emmer and (if you’re smart) Colin Peterson:  Oppose this.  Seriously.

Signs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Presidential elections are coming up. Hilary Clinton is the Democrat front-runner and Scott Walker the Republican front-runner for President. It’s so hard to know who to vote for. Let me help you out:

The last time Hilary Clinton drove a car was 1996, when Magic Johnson was playing, Don Shula retired and Taylor Swift entered grade school. Hilary’s been chauffeured around in limousines ever since.

Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, rides a Harley.

That’s all you need to know.

Although to be fair, when your constituency includes Milwaukee, it’s probably a good idea to ride a Harley even if you hate them.

But the larger point is valid; do you remember how people castigated George HW Bush for not remembering what the price of a gallon of milk was, after 12 years in the administration and of not being allowed to go near a grocery store by the Secret Service?

Trulbert! Part XXIX – The Scent Of Walleye

  – 1:12PM, November 7, 2015 – The Press Box, TCF Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

“And the Packers are going to punt the ball away at third and long, as we approach the two minute warning for the first half.  And it’s a donnybrook here at The Bank in Minneapolis, with the Vikings and Packers tied at 30 in a game that…”

Buck Jackson picked up an index card he’d been handed by a producer.

“…a game that will help Minnesotans under the benevolent leadership of their Methodist protectors shake off the chains of Wisconsinite tyranny”.  Jackson flipped the card over his shoulder in disgust.

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The American Gulag

So according to the UK Guardian, the City of Chicago runs its own private Lyubyanka:

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.

If it’s confirmed that the Chicago Police have been pelting the Fourth Amendment with rocks and offal – then :

  • It’s time to send US troops to liberate Chicago, and
  • it makes perfect sense that it’s in a Democrat-controlled city.

Much as I love Chicago, I won’t spend another tourist dollar there until those responsible for Homan Square are frog-walked out of their offices and put into Federal custody.

And it’ll be interesting to see what other such places pop up around the country.

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Stacks Of Mistaken Identities

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Unisex bathrooms are used by both men and women.

Bisexuals are physically attracted to both men and women.

Either the bathrooms are misnamed or the swingers are.

Joe Doakes

While on the one hand bisexuals and transgenders aren’t the same thing, who’s to say a transgender can’t also be bi?

Trulbert! Part XXVIII – Gladiators’ Waltz

 - 10:42 AM, November 7, 2015 – Outside TCF Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

 The rattly blue Ford Econoline van with the “Magnificent Catering” decals slowly peeling off the sides trundled up Washington Avenue, leaving a faint haze of blue in its wake.

Marcus Boardman drove the van up to the first checkpoint, at the edge of the U of M Campus.  There, under the cover of a Social with a huge machine gun in the back,   a group of Methodists, backed up by soldiers from the NFL, were checking papers for vehicles coming toward the service gates.   He got into the line of vehicles and waited his turn.

“Everyone get your papers ready”, Boardman said.  ”They’re checking everyone”.

Fleen, Hendrickson and the Codricius, sitting in the back of the van amid the trays of food, got their passes out.

Boardman hoped they were all in order.  That is one huge machine gun, he thought, controlling his breathing as he looked at the gun in the back of the Social.  It was the biggest machine gun Marcus Boardman had seen since the huge GAU-8s on the old A-10 Warthogs he’d worked on back in the Air Force.  Not quite that big, Boardman thought – at least from the side.  From the business end – where he was, now – they all looked like battleship cannon.

He eyed the heat on his van as it idled, gradually moving forward as the vehicles in front of him were admitted.

And finally they were at the front of the line.  A pudgy Methodist carrying a menacing black handgun and wearing an old Hennepin County Sheriff hat walked up to Boardman’s door, as Marcus rolled the window down.

“Back unlocked?” the man asked, visibly bored.

“Yep, officer.  Go right ahead and check”, Boardman nodded, smiling.

The Methodist, along with another who carried a black pump action assault rifle, walked to the back of the van, and pulled the door open.

Henrickson, the Codricius and Fleen handed over their papers.  The doughy man looked at the paperwork, and inspected each of their faces – lingering a little longer with Hana Codriciu, who batted her eyes and smiled.

He man nodded, handed back the papers, and shut the door.  ”Go ahead!”

Boardman pulled ahead, and drove to the service entrance, and down under the stadium – right past the Master Control trailer, Fleen noticed.

“OK, everyone”, Fleen said, pointing at the trailer.  ”That’ll be our target.  Remember where we go to get there”.

Boardman pulled into a parking spot, and the five started unloading trays of food onto two-wheeled carts.

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It’s Go Week

This is going to be a big week at the legislature for Second Amendment bills; five vitally important gun rights bills are going to be hitting the legislature in the next week.

End The Trap: Currently, you have to notify the head of capitol security if you are a carry permittee who wishes to carry at any building in the Capitol complex – the Capitol, the office buildings, and even the Minnesota history center, across the freeway. This is what’s called a “felony trap” – an obscure law which happens to be a felony. It’s also obsolete; it made sense, back when carry permits were cardboard chits carried in the wallet, and police didn’t have instant access to computers. But today they do; police can validate a carry permit as fast as they can validate a drivers license these days. This law serves only to trip up people who aren’t clairvoyant about the law, and it needs to go away. Representative Jim Nash Will be introducing a capitol carry bill today,

End The Other Trap: Did you know that it was illegal to buy a gun in a state not directly bordering Minnesota? I’m pretty up on the law, and I didn’t know this. But it’s true – if you buy a firearm from a state other than Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa or Wisconsin, you have to transfer it through a federally-licensed firearms dealer. It’s a stupid law, and another felony trap, and it needs to go. And go it shall, if the bill be introduced by Representative Lucero passes into law. Lucero is introducing the bill tomorrow.

Secure In Your Homes A lot of urban legends sprang up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One that was all too real? On government orders, the police went door-to-door, confiscating firearms and leaving the remaining citizens disarmed and helpless in the face of looters and gangs. And the fact is, Gov. Dayton could order the same confiscation after any sort of disaster, here in Minnesota, today. Heck, he could order firearms confiscated if he sees the walls pulsing in his office. Representative Newberger is introducing a bill on Thursday that will restrict governments emergency power to confiscate guns from the law-abiding citizen.

A Right of the People – The vast majority of states have a state constitutional provision echoing and reinforcing the US Constitution’s Second Smendment guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms to the people. It’s not redundant; states have Powers reserved to them by the constitution, and it’s good to make sure that they are enumerated. Representative Hackbarth will hopefully be introducing an amendment to the Minnesota state constitution this week.

Noise – if you drive your car without a muffler, you get a ticket. But if you try to put a muffler on your gun – to forestall the hearing loss that can accompany the noise involved in shooting – it’s a state felony.

Minnesota is one of very, very few states that bands civilian ownership of firearm suppressors. They’re called “silencers” by people who know nothing about firearms; they don’t “silence” anything. In fact, a suppressed firearm is still fully detectable I shot spotter, which is the police’s Big beef with the proposal to allow suppressors. They are governed by federal law – it requires a federal license to own a suppressor, so it’s not like this bill will open them up to criminals. Indeed, there has never been a confirmed crime committed using a suppressor of any kind, much less he legally owned one. Ever. Outside the movies, anyway. Hopefully, there will be a bill legalizing federally licensed suppressors in Minnesota next week.

All of you Second Amendment supporters, need to get your dialing finger is Limbird up. We’re going to have all sorts of work to do.

By the way – after this last two sessions, it’s nice to be on the offensive again, isn’t it?

Fishing I Could Live With

Call me un-Minnesotan if you’d like – I’m fine with that – but the idea of standing on a dock, sitting in a boat, or huddling in an ice house watching for a line to bob for hours on end doesn’t especially grab me.

I joke I’m not much of a fisherman because “the heavy shot loads destroy too much meat, and the light loads skip off the water”.  It’s tongue-in-cheek, of course…

…but I read about this take on fishing, and think “this actually sounds like fun“.

 

Pay Up For Your Rights

Up until 1974, Minnesotans didn’t need a permit, or a sheriff’s permission, or a card costing $100, to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm. Minnesotans could carry anything they wanted, subject to their criminal record; they could do it anywhere they wanted to subject to their senses of etiquette.

From 1974 to 2005, Minnesotans had to beg, convince, or suck up to their local police chief to exercise their Second Amendment rights. And since 2004, Minnesotans have had to pay for the privilege of having Minnesota law-enforcement try to prove they weren’t legally entitled to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

So over the context of the past 40 years, things are moving generally in the right direction.

But there is a proposal of footage, floating around somewhere in the legislature, to adopt “Constitutional Carry” – as several other states around the union have. Constitutional Carry means that any law-abiding citizen can carry a firearm, openly or concealed, as long as they don’t have a criminal record that would deny that ride.

Not only is that exactly the way Minnesota law stood before 1974 – it is, in effect, exactly the way it is today; The law abiding jump through hoops to exercise their right to carry, and criminals carry anyway. Just as they did before 1974.

The actual record is clear and unequivocal; law-abiding citizens in Minnesota are phenomenally unlikely, statistically, to commit any kind of crime of all:

I think the proposal is a good one; Gov. Dayton will veto it, of course, but before that we will get some votes on the table before 2016.

But after 40 years of having to pay, and submit to scrutiny, to exercise our God given constitutional rights, I think we need to have a proposal with more teeth to it.

I think we need a Mandatory Carry law.

Under my law, all law-abiding citizens over the age of 21 will be required to have a firearm on their person.

Now, anyone who doesn’t want to have a firearm will be able to exercise that right – by getting a “Permit to Not Carry”. This permit can be gotten one of two ways:

  • Pay $100 to your local county sheriff to obtain a Permit Not to Carry,
  • Applying to your county sheriff, with proof you have reason not to carry a firearm.

I think that would be perfectly fair. Or, at least, bring a form of Justice after this past 40 years.

Blood on the Lakes

The morning was cold and grey as journalist J.M. Beaufort, an American observer with the German army, left with a detachment of German soldiers stationed in the Polish (then Russian) town of Augustów.  Just days earlier, on February 23rd, 1915, the town had been part of the gigantic battlefield known as the Masurian Lakes, and the German troops were looking for stranglers from both the German and Russian armies.

Deep within the woods, Beaufort and his German escort came across a disturbing scene.  Seated in the snow a “giant Russian” cradled the decapitated head of a dead German soldier, whose body lay covered by the Russian’s army jacket.  An empty flask sat between them, with the Russian dead-eyed and soaked in blood.  As they approached, the realized most of the blood was the Russian’s own – his left elbow was all but gone.  Momentarily brought out of his daze, the Russian looked at Beaufort and said only one word: “Nitchewo” (“It is nothing”).

He had been part of the 220,000 men Russia had brought to the Masurian Lakes.  Only 20,000 walked away.

The German line at the Masurian Lakes. Germany hoped to launch an offensive before Russia could launch her own

The war between Tsarist Russia and Imperial Germany was in some ways the inverse of the conflict both nations would fight a generation later. Continue reading

Anniversary

It was 70 years ago today, as US Marines were fighting the most brutal battle of their war, trying to eke out a foothold out on a tiny volcanic rock about one third the size of Manhattan named Iwo Jima – that five Marines and a navy medic raised an American flag atop Mount Suribachi, long extinct volcano.

As it happens, photographer Joe Rosenthal was there to record the image – one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century:

IMG_3286.JPG

The story of that flag raising, and of the six Marines – three of whom were killed before the battle ended, over a month later – is pretty well-known.

Less well-known is the fact that it was the second such flag raising, a reenactment of an event that that had happened a few hours earlier. A small group of other Marines – including a young flamethrower operator from Linton North Dakota, Charles Lindberg – had tied a flag to a piece of scrap pipe and hoisted it atop the mountain earlier that morning.

IMG_3287.JPG

The flag was smaller, and less imposing, but no less a symbol to the Marines clinging to their foothold on the beach below.

Lindbergh wrote a book about his experiences in the early 1960s , which I read in high school. Lynberg moved to the Twin Cities not long after, and lived at his days as an electrician. David Strom interviewed him on his leg, great radio show about 10 years ago; one of my great regrets is not having gotten to interview him before he passed away.

Sitting Sheep

As the Twin Cities mulls over the news that Al Shabaab – the Somali terrorist group – has called for jihadists to attack the Mall of America and other large symbols of commerce, it’s worth noting that virtually every single mass shooting that’s happened at a mall has been at one that is, like the MOA…

…posted “No Guns” for law-abiding people.

Because the more dead civilians there are, the more chances for Pulitzers for local media?

Good Thing Al Quaeda’s Dead And All…

Al-Shabab directly threatens the Mall of America by name:

At the end of the video, a masked man says: “If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, then imagine what the dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to American — or Jewish-owned shopping centers across the world? What if such an attack were to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota? Or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada? Or in London’s Oxford Street?”

The man then urges fighters to “hurry up.”

I firmly believe that the vast majority of the Twin Cities’ tens of thousands of Somalis are here to escape their homelands’ ancestral religious squabbles, and live productive lives.

But the numbers of kids, born and raised in Minnesota, who are going back to Somalia, to Syria and Iraq to fight against the west, and against apostate Islam, shows that Muslim teenagers can be just as rebellious as their American neighbors.

The vast majority of Chechens in the US came here to earn a living – but two of the, the Tsarnaev brothers, did not.

The vast majority of Palestinian-Americans, including at least a few of my neighbors, came here to escape the constant miserable conflict in their homeland; but Nidal Hussein created some of his own.

It only takes one or two people to make a “vast peaceful majority” irrelevant.

More Words, More Problems

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Always hated Word Problems in Math class. What’s the point? When will I ever use that stuff?

“If the amount on Line 8 of Form M1 is over $36,080 but not over $143,350, then Enter on Line 9 of Form M1 $1,930.28 + 7.05% of the amount over $36,080.”

From Table Rate Schedule, Table 29, Minnesota Individual Income Tax Forms and Instructions, 2014

That’s it. I’m a Flat Taxer from now on.

Joe Doakes

what’s the old joke? “A conservative is a Democrat that’s been mugged; a libertarian is a conservative that’s been audited?”

Trulbert, Part XXVII: Avengers Brunch

 - 4AM, November 7, 2015 – the Hendrickson Residence, Minneapolis, MN

The evening had started so well.

The rumor was right, Paul Hendrickson thought.  Imminent danger does get the libido cranked up. 

But that – the third “that”, anyway – was a few hours ago.  And now Hendrickson lay awake, staring out the window, not sleeping a bit.

It seemed like just this past summer, life had been so…normal.  Him a humdrum project manager at a mediocre services company; Lynn a bored teacher; both of them frazzled parents of teens and tweens.  Average.  Boring.

Hell, Hendrickson thought, it was last summer.  

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