It’s NARN Out Here For A Pimp

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

Today on the show,

  • Senator Dave Osmek will join me to talk about the E-12 bills that will dominate a proposed special session, among many other things.

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

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

Join us!

Open Letter To Bobby Kahn

To: Bobby Kahn, bike absolutist
From: Mitch Berg, biker with common sense
Re: Your Poor, Put-Upon Friends

Mr. Kahn,

You admit to being friends of the people who, last weekend, decided of their own idiot free will to throw water balloons and super soakers have a pedal pub in downtown Minneapolis.

And then do it again.

Because they just don’t like pedal pubs.

And now they’re trying to set themselves up as Rodney King because they were stupid enough to squirt a pedal pub full of off-duty cops, who proceeded to take them down.

You said they – your friends – are “loveable goofballs”.

No. They’re self-absorbed narcissists.

And if it hadn’t been their idiot luck to spray off-duty cops, but just a bunch of ironworkers or bouncers or big guys, they wouldn’t be able to wrap the just consequences of their stupidity in this year’s white-liberal-guilt-fest.

And…they were angry at pedal pubs? Talk about white privilege.

That is all.

Quote Of The Day: Minimum Wage Edition

Kevin Williamson on the stupid futility of raising the minimum wage:

Dollars are just a method of keeping count, and mandating higher wages for work that has not changed at all is, in the long run, like measuring yourself in centimeters instead of inches in order to make yourself taller, or tracking your weight in kilograms instead of pounds as a means of losing weight. The gentlemen in Washington seem to genuinely believe that if they measure their penises in picas they’ll all be Jonah Falcon — in reality, their interns won’t notice any difference.

It is kind of a rush to say I’m 5,544 pixels tall – until I get to “pixels”.

Privilege

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A friend has a Facebook page. He linked to this

Immediately, a Black woman responded: “People will stop talking white privilege when society doesn’t provide significant benefits to one group for arbitrary reasons. Until then, we have a problem…unless you’re a white male and you’re the one getting all the privileges at the expense of others.”

From her Facebook page, she went to Howard, then DePaul for a JD/MBA and lives in a giant house in Maryland.

I’m thinking of writing a comment to my friend, saying “Geez, dude, why did you join the military to pay for college? Why didn’t you swing by the Office of Giving Free Stuff To White Men for your college degree? Could have picked up the keys to your Lexus and home in the suburbs while you were at it (the house used to come with a free Mexican to handle the yard work but that program was cut under Bush, the bastard).”

I won’t, because on the off chance that she’s a civil rights lawyer affirmatively actioned into the Justice Department to sue White males for Eric Holder, I don’t want to get my friend in trouble.

Can’t have a dialogue with a person like that. Her “dialogue” assumes facts not in evidence and she’s not interested in hearing them.

Racial tension is worse than any time since the Civil War and yet Blacks have never had it better.

Hmmm, I see there’s a civil rights complaint against Harvard

for discriminating against Asians in favor of Blacks. It seems Harvard has been providing significant benefits to one group at the expense of others, for arbitrary reasons. Can we start that dialogue about privilege now?

Joe Doakes

A leader in the local “Black Lives Matter” movement is fond of invoking “white privilege” when she’s stumped in an argument. Which gives us the fax fascinating juxtaposition of a woman with a tenured academic job for life hectoring people in the private job market about “privilege”.

My Telethon

The usual suspects in the media are soiling themselves over this story – Americans who are going to Iraq to help teach Iraqi Christians how to fight against the ISIS butchers who are shooting, beheading and burning them alive.

Mainstream Christianity has not been an especially martial faith for the last 500 years or so. Mainstream American Christianity in particular fairly wets itself at the thought of individual self defense; I can see an ELCA Lutheran congregation in Edina shooting steam out it’s ears at the thought of arming and training fellow Christians against those who, you know, are killiing the men, raping the women and selling the children into slavery (when they’re not burning them alive).

The Jews – and for that matter, Irish Catholics – haven’t had the leeway to be as stupid over the centuries.

My million dollar idea for today: a national telethon of Christian radio stations to raise money for the Christian resistance in the Middle East.

We are, indeed, our brothers keeper. Mercy and forgiveness are wonderful qualities – when your children, and Our children, aren’t under immediate threat.

The Bulletin Factory Releases A Bulletin

News Flash from our “Elite” Media:  people who grow up realizing, via their own precocious cognition or through family tradition, pressure or persuasion, that attending an “elite” school gives one a disproportionate shot at “elite” jobs, have a vastly disproportionate shot at getting “elite jobs”:

Lauren A. Rivera, an associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, has been looking at investment banks, consulting firms and law firms for the last decade for her upcoming book “Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs.”

Rivera spent nine months as an ethnographer in one of these top firms, observing every aspect of the hiring process. She points out the firms may be missing out on top talent.

Well, duh.

In fact, the 99.99% of America that didn’t attend an Ivy League school knows that. The main benefit of going to an Ivy isn’t so much the education – Matt Yglesias went to Harvard, and with that I rest my case.

No – the main benefit is access to the most important benefit; the alumni directory.

“If you want the best and the brightest regardless of social background, if you’re not systematically looking at over half the best and brightest because they don’t qualify in terms of social background, that is not necessarily an equitable or open process,” she says.

Now, I bring this up not because it’s a revelation – please – but because it’s a product of National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program.

Which is a bit of irony – since getting a job at any level of National Public Radio (or any other big Public Radio system) is entirely about having the right alma mater, the right connections, and at times the right politics.

Force Protection

It seems the St. Paul Police Department and/or the Ramsey County Sheriff office (the article is a little unclear on which) has gotten itself involved in a First Amendment case.

Now, to me, the case itself, involving a police dustup with of those “First Amendment activists” who seems to have all the time in the world to prowl the streets with a video camera trolling for the faintest whiff of police misconduct – is less interesting than this quote from an officer of the St. Paul police union (Emphasis added):

“I don’t know of a time in our profession where we as cops have needed to be any more vigilant about our personal safety and the security of our facilities, than the present,” said Mark Ross, treasurer of the St. Paul police union.

Blame it on cable TV; cops aren’t the only ones who think it’s the most dangerous time in history.

It’s not:

Even with the uptick in the past year or two, it’s less dangerous than it was five years ago.  Or ten years ago.  There are are 1/4 fewer cop killings than there were 20 years ago.  And less than half as many as a little over forty years ago; 1973-74 were more dangerous than 9/11.

I added emphasis to this part:

“There are safety considerations too numerous to list as to why a person making videos of police officers and police facilities creates enough reasonable suspicion to stop, detain and identify somebody engaged in that type of activity.”

Too numerous to list?  No, I think it’s worth a little time and discussion.

Go ahead and list the “safety considerations” of people videotaping cops, officer.

Every last one of them.

I get it; the “video activist” involved was one of those pains in the ass who’s constantly sniffing around looking for something to wave around; he’s sort of like an assistant county attorney, if you think about it.

But let’s hear the “safety considerations” that a guy with a camera offers you that every other person out there, no matter what they’re doing, doesn’t also present every police officer, everywhere.

I’m serious.

Expectations

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals see themselves as fighting The Man to achieve Justice for the Oppressed. No tactic is unconscionable when the ends justify the means. Call these people Social Justice Warriors.

SJWs complained there weren’t enough women executives in the video game industry; as soon as they got hired, they insisted on changing the product to reduce the violence and sexism that male video game customers wanted to buy. Sales plummeted.

SJWs got control of the Hugo Award for Science Fiction books and insisted the award be given to stories featuring Progressive gay themes instead of spaceships and laser beams. Sales plummeted.

Gamer-gate and Sad Puppies are organized campaigns of traditionalists pushing back against encroachment by the Left. They are relentlessly savaged in the media for it.

SJWs want the Boy Scouts to let gay men sleep in tents with boys and since they won’t, the Left punishes the Boy Scouts at every turn. The Catholic Church is full of gay men having sex with boys so that part is okay with SJWs, but the Catholic Church still isn’t fully on board with women killing their own children so the Church is still the most passionately hated organization in Minnesota. Yes, even more than the National Rifle Association.

“Live and let live” is dead. “March in lockstep” is the new model. Because . . . freedom.

Joe Doakes

The society you thought we were trying to emulate when we were growing up (if you’re over 40) has been flipped on its head.

Like A Train, Without Tracks

I’ve been saying it for 25 years; The free market will develop a hydrogen powered car, at a network of fuel stations to support them, decades and generations before government can build rail networks capable of adequately serving the needs of people in large, dynamic cities. Assuming they could afford to do it, which they can’t.

The self driving car isn’t exactly the advance I was hoping for the market to provide – working in IT as I do, I know I’m a better driver than most programmers are coders – but my basic point still stands; people will vote with their feet, and their earnings, for the solution that allows them choice, hands down, over the one that takes it away from them.

Ergo – look for government to begin the major campaign against self driving cars, sooner than later.

Balance

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A former colleague was laid off last year, he’s been struggling. He writes:

***

Applied for a job with [unit of government name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a person of color to achieve diversity in the workforce.

Applied for a job with [downtown law firm name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a gay person.

Applied for a job with [corporate headquarters name redacted]. Sorry, they needed a woman.

Just once, I’d like to be judged on the content of my character.

I have a dream . . . .

***

Silly middle-aged White Male; dreams are for kids.

Joe Doakes

That’s so 1963…

The Problem With Ryan Winkler…

…was, paradoxically, only incidentally about Ryan Winkler.

Our Big Game of Telephone:  From the mid-nineties on, when Michele Bachmann was still organizing the Maple River Education Coalition, before she even ran for the State Senate, the late Karl Bremer was dinging on the future Presidential candidate and conservative lighting rod.

And conservatives, in turn, dinged on the irascible Bremer.  I’m not one to speak ill of the dead – but it’s a simple fact that the guy was prone to using imagination when the facts didn’t give him the story he wanted.   For years, finding and pointing out all the logical and factual holes in his peevish tirades was for conservative bloggers what “mending nets” is for Spanish fishermen.  In short – he was like a blogger, only more so.

But if you ask a left-leaning member of the Minnesota Media “elite”, you got a different story; Bremer was lauded as a hero, treated as one of the club, given the secret handshake.  He won an award from the “Society of Professional Journalists” – something like “best digger of documents”.

It was all, every bit of it, related to Bremer’s nearly two-decade-long mania for “covering” / writing about / stalking Michele Bachmann.  The enemy of the Twin Cities’ media’s enemy is the Twin Cities media’s friend.

And had Bremer turned all of that manic energy on Paul Wellstone or Keith Ellison?  Not a single member of the Twin Cities media would have acknowledged his existence, much less pissed on his grave.

Warm, Fuzzy:  With that in mind, take a good read through Doug Grow’s profile of the retiring Representative Ryan Winkler.

Entitled “Why the Legislature will miss Ryan Winkler”, it’s full of assurances, via Pat Garofalo, that Winkler’s big and rapidly-moving mouth was “all business, nothing personal” – which is a fine thing, and mildly reassuring (although mere nonelected proles who encountered Winkler on Twitter had mixed experiences with the lad)…

…and maybe even true, as far as it goes.

But read the article.

You’ll scan it in vain for any mention of Winkler’s “Uncle Tom” jape.  And that’s fine; people make mistakes; to err is human and to forgive divine, yadda yadda.  If every political “opposition researcher” in the world suddenly broke their femurs and spent six months in traction, and the world could forgive politicians their past oopses, the world would be a happier place, and maybe a  little bit better one too.

That might actually be a wonderful thing.

But as I – and quite a few other people – noted when Winkler announced his retirement, Winkler was only the symptom.  The disease?  The Minnesota Media’s double-standard.

Because if Winkler’d been a Republican, you can bet “Uncle Tom” would have popped up in Grow’s epitaph; it’d be carved large on the media’s collective memory of the guy for all eternity.

Winkler has painstakingly avoided ruling out a return to Minnesota politics.  Five will get you twenty that when he does, “Uncle Thomas” will not rate a single inch of copy.

Anywhere.

Thoughtcrime

You’ve heard the stories of the betrothed gay couples who’ve scoured the market for test cases waiting to happen – Christian photogs, bakers, florists and other vendors who politely tried to opt out of participating in ceremonies they don’t believe in.  They were sued into compliance or bankruptcy, or both.

And now, in Canada – a Christian jeweler who actually made the rings for a lesbian couple, who were favorably impressed with his work…

…until they discovered he didn’t personally believe in same sex marriage.  The idea of having their finely-crafted rings made by someone with impure thoughts – thoughtcrime! – sent them running to Big Gay Inquisition to smite the infidels.

Rod Dreher narrates:

Were this a Monty Python sketch and not a horrifying power play, the tendering conversation would presumably have proceeded like this: Customer: We are a lesbian couple who would like you to make us a wedding ring. Business owner: Okay. I do not support gay marriage, but I will serve you as anybody else. This, I understand, is how it works. Customer: You can’t deny me service simply because you hold different views from mine. Business owner: Indeed. I have no intention of doing so. Society is better off when our differences remain private. Customer: Okay, let’s do business. Business owner: Great. Customer: Your private views are disgusting. You can’t make me do business with you. Give me my money back or I’ll unleash the kraken. If this is to be our new standard — and time will tell — it would be useful to know what legal protection our recalcitrant firms will reasonably be able to recruit to their side. In both Canada and in the United States there already exists a pernicious imbalance in the supposedly free marketplace. If a browsing consumer doesn’t happen to like the politics or the race or the religion of a given business owner, he is quite free to decline to associate with it. Thus do some progressives like to skip Chick-Fil-A, an openly Christian business; thus do some conservatives prefer to avoid Apple, whose owner Tim Cook irritated them during the Indiana fight. By that very same law, however, it is strictly verboten for a business to discriminate against customers they themselves dislike — even if they feel that by fulfilling their legal obligations they will be violating their consciences. Are we really going to add to this already lopsided arrangement a general right to break contracts after the fact? Are we going to hand the integrity of our signed arrangements over to the whim of the mob? And if we are not, what are we to expect the government to do about those whose consciences now demand that they renege on their word?

Granted, it’s Canada.

On the other hand, it’s Canada – the prototype shop for all the stupid bits of social engineering leaking into the Western Hemisphere.

Twenty-One Demands

With a world at war, and new nations joining the fight, the events of May 25th, 1915 would have seemed blessedly contradictory – two nations signing a peace treaty.

There was little drama or media fanfare as representatives from Japan arrived in Peking to meet with the Republic of China’s first (semi-democratically) elected President, Yuan Shika. The course of nearly five-months of bitter negotiations, and the threat of expanded war in Asia, had led to this meeting. At issue were Japan’s “Twenty-One Demands” – a list of diplomatic concessions Japan wanted from China, including territories, industry, and most concerning for Japan’s fellow Western allies, de facto control of Chinese government ministers.

If accepted, China would become little more than a Japanese protectorate. If refused, the Great War would expand even further.

Japanese artillery at Tsingtao. A German-held Chinese port, Tsingtao was captured in 1914 by a joint British-Japanese invasion, setting the stage for further Japanese expansion in China

When we started this retrospective on World War I, we mentioned that it made sense after covering World War II since the conflicts “really were two different phases of the same war.”  And most assuredly, the seeds of Japan’s imperialist designs on China – and war against the United States and Britain – were firmly planted on May 25th, 1915.   Continue reading

I Used To Do A Little But A Little Didn’t Do It, So The NARN Got More And More (Bumped)

It’s a double-dip of NARN this weekend!

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

  • Saturday on the show, I’ll be talking with Senator Dave Thompson about the session that was
  • Sunday, I’ll be talking with Bryan Strawser of the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee about the five bills that got passed – and where the Human Rights movement goes next year.

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

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

Join us!

Italy, Unredeemed

The enthusiasm was contagious in the Italian Chamber of Deputies.  As the 482 Deputies out of the Chamber’s 500 poured into their seats, the Deputies applauded were those who wore military uniforms.  Men hooted, waiving flags amid cries of “Viva Italia!”  For the dozens of diplomatic attendees, ranging from representatives of the Entente to neutral American observers, the atmosphere was more carnival than political.

A few minutes before the session began the Italian nationalist poet, Gabrielle D’Annunzio, appeared in the rear of the public tribune which was so crowded that it seemed impossible to squeeze in anybody else.  But the moment the people saw him they lifted him shoulder high and passed him over their heads to the first row.

The entire chamber, and all those occupying the other tribunes, rose and applauded for five minutes, crying “Viva D’Annunzio!”  Later thousands sent him their cards and in return received his autograph bearing the date of this eventful day.  Premier Antonio Salandra entered, followed by all the members of the Cabinet.  “Viva Salandra!” roared the Deputies, with the cheering lasting longer than anyone cared to count.  After the formalities of the opening of the Chamber, Premier Salandra, deeply moved by the demonstration, arose and said:

“Gentlemen, I have the honor to present to you a bill to meet the eventual expenditures of a national war.”

On May 23rd, 1915, Italy willingly chose to enter the horrors of the Great War.

The Triple Alliance – Italy was allied with the Central Powers before 1914, but felt very much the junior partner. The animosity was mutual – Austria was contemplating a surprise attack against Italy as late as 1911

For most of the combatants in the Great War, their entry into the conflict was, in some way or another, strategic.  Austria had to punish a nation which had assassinated a royal heir.  Germany couldn’t afford to be trapped in a two-front war against Russia and France, and thus felt it had to strike first.  Even Britain, ostensibly fighting for Belgian independence, joined the battle to keep Germany from dominating continental geopolitics.  But for Italy, the Great War was far more ideological. Continue reading

The Good Guys Win One

Governor Dayton has reportedly signed HF878, the Public Safety omnibus bill that included five second-amendment-related provisions:

  • Barring thengovernornfeom confiscating guns during states of emergency

  • enacting carry permit reciprocity with several other states
  • allow Minnesotans to buy long guns in non-contiguous states
  • eliminated the capitol felony trap
  • allows Minnesotans to own and use their federally-licensed suppressors.

This is a big win for human rights.

Thanks to Governor Dayton for heeding the overwhelming will of The People, and signing the bill.

Thanks also to a newly-active NRA, to MN-GOPAC and to GOCRA, as well as to the legislators who made it happen.

And thanks to you, the Real Minnesotans, for speaking out so loudly and clearly.

What does this mean for next session? More on the show this weekend, and on the blog next week.

“Sharp-Tongued”

Ryan Winkler is leaving the House of Representatives.

Winkler spent nine sessions in the Legislature.  During the last five or six of them, his job, coming from an utterly safe seat in Golden Valley, seemed to be “the DFL’s Costco version of Sidney Blumenthal”; to say and do the things that no DFLer in a contested district – or human with an education and a conscience – would dare to say.

Winkler racked up a long, storied history:

…enough that he seemed to be well on the way to becoming Minnesota’s Joe Biden.

Of course, Paul Thissen said what caucus leaders are supposed to say about their hatchet men:

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he’ll miss Winkler’s “impatience with injustice. He is always willing to take on the tough fights and not back down. He drove the discussion forward about how to make our economy work better for people. His work to raise the minimum wage and improve opportunity for average Minnesotans is a tremendous legacy.”

Um yeah.  When a Minnesotan loses a job to pay for his precious minimum wage hike, we need to say they’ve been “Winklered”.

But this isn’t about my observations.  Look at the adjectives the media uses in describing Winkler’s career; “outspoken” (as in “outspoken advocate on behalf of…” yadda yadda), “sharp-tongued”, “Harvard-Educated”, and the like.

If he’d been a Republican, I’d have looked for adjectives more like “Controversial”, “stridently partisan”, and maybe “gaffe-prone”.   More to the point?  A “sharp-tongued” Republican would be “contibuting to the nasty partisanship” around the Capitol.

But he’s a DFLer in Minnesota.   He was just a character, one that the reporters could always get a cutesy quote from.

Ryan Winkler is the poster child for the Minnesota media’s double standard.