So Let Me Get This Straight

So we’re told requiring an ID to vote is irredeemably racist; apparently, minorities can’t keep track of government issued photo ID is, and requiring voter ID would make us corrosively racist, Denmark and the UK.

But in New York City, now, one requires a proof of vaccination – a de facto ID card, one way or the other Dash to participate in much of indoor public and social life.

The logical inference: racism is OK when it is about health?

Or something?

Preview

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Oh, please, please, let this be as good as it looks.

Joe Doakes

I’ve read a few good reviews – although I’ve tempered my enthusiasm by remembering that, outside classical music, the “critic” class is bastardized beyond salvation.

Still – if one couldn’t hope, why would one live?

Void

There was a time, from the late ’80s into the very early 2000s, when they did some genuinely good journalism. When Steve Perry ran it, before he went full-bore crazy partisan with the Minnesota Independent (which, true to its name, depended for its existence entirely on progressive plutocrats with deep pockets), the CP did some useful journalism – the kind of stuff you didn’t have to agree with, politically, to see the merit.

Those days were over 15 years ago. The likes of Mike Mosedale, Dan Haugen and Aaron Rupar pawned whatever legacy the CP’s earlier incarnations had earned, and pawned it very very cheap.

So last fall, when the City Pages oozed to its final, unlamented (outside navel-gazing journos) end, I tried to play it straight down the objective middle: they had had a good run, for a decreasingly talented group.

Some people just can’t take a karmic hint:

The much-loved Twin Cities alternative paper City Pages shut down abruptly last fall after its parent company the Star Tribune Media Company said it was no longer financially viable.

Now several former City Pages editors are launching a new digital news publication called Racket that officially launches August 18.

I “much loved” the final incarnation of the paper mainly because it was a boundless font of material.

Jay Boller:

We want to fill the void that City Pages left, which we feel is considerable… Bringing that legacy into the future is the mission statement.

The “void” the CP “left” was smaller than the void when it existed.

There’s a real reader demand for a type of news that doesn’t really fit the boilerplate definitions of what a newspaper sounds like. … It’s to check power balances. It’s to keep institutions on their toes, including other news organizations. And just kind of being that pesky force that is beholden to no one.

I get what they’re going for – that was this blog’s motivation, and still is.

But “check power balances?”

If The Racket is anything like the City Pages in its past decade and change, it will be yet another yappy little junior partner of the the media we currently have.

Like it needs any more.

When It Rains, It Pours

Looks like the DFL, tired of chasing after the John Thompson crazy-car and facing a likely round of unpopular “Covid” measures from Governor Klink, needs a scandal to divert attention away from itself. Again.

They is appear to be having no such luck.

DFLers are attacking Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent’s handling of a sexual harassment complaint – spurred by DFL staffers going public:

I did say “public”:

While I fully expect this to get memory-holed, pronto, it’s interesting that this story is coming from a left-leaning news source.

“Science”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New CDC guidelines on masks.  We’re told it’s necessary because we must follow the SCIENCE.  Let’s review how we got here:

In March of 2020, when the Covid panic really took hold, there weren’t enough test kits specific for Covid.  States were told to count all deaths from respiratory illness (pneumonia, influenza, emphysema) as Covid deaths even without a test.  And Congress passed the CARES act, which gave hospital administrators a financial incentive to over-count Covid cases to receive the 20% higher reimbursement rate.  The number of deaths attributed to Covid shot up, giving rise to fears of a Surge which would overwhelm hospitals and morgues.  It never arrived.  The refrigerated warehouse sits empty.

House arrest, mask mandate and social distancing were imposed by Governor Walz with vague references to “science” but no scientific studies were cited to support the measures.  The Peacetime Emergency remains in effect.  Governor Walz retains the authority to ‘adjust the dials’ governing every aspect of life, at whim.

In July, the FTC approved RT-PCR test kits.  Reported case numbers skyrocketed as more people tested positive but hospital admissions for confirmed cases of Covid did not.  Instead, the graph of Covid resembled the graph of seasonal influenza – peaks in winter, gone in summer.  The national charts of Covid cases versus mask mandates show mask mandates made no difference to Covid cases.

By the election, President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed had delivered results but mask mandates, social distancing and lock-downs remained in place as case numbers rose (following the same graph as seasonal influenza).  Thanksgiving was cancelled. Christmas was moved outdoors.  No studies were provided to support the orders. In December, the FDA issued emergency approval of Covid vaccines.  It also withdrew its request for emergency approval of the RT-PCR test which some critics had said resulted inover-counting of cases to artificially inflate the numbers to justify extreme measures.

On April 14, 2021, Governor Walz extended his restrictions again but on April 29 he ended many of them.  No new scientific studies were cited to support the change.  Covid case numbers continued to fall, following the pattern of seasonal influenza.

On May 1, 2021, the CDC stopped counting ‘breakthrough’ cases of Covid among vaccinated persons The obvious result is Covid cases are only counted among un-vaccinated persons, which gives rise to claims that the vaccine is working when the truth is we have no numbers to support that claim because we stopped collecting those numbers. 

The change is significant because it makes a year-to-year comparison impossible.  In 2020, millions of Covid cases were reported but was that because there were millions of infected persons or millions of false positives?  In 2021, far fewer Covid cases will be reported but is that because the vaccine works or because we no longer count Covid cases in vaccinated persons, making them the statistical equivalent of false negatives?  And where are the scientific studies which justify mask mandates, social distancing and distance learning?  Where is the SCIENCE?

It’s difficult to make public policy recommendations when the severity of the threat is unknown because the numbers are unreliable but as far as I can tell, the new CDC mask mandates make no sense and are not supported by any scientific justification.  The verifiable evidence supports the conclusion that Covid is a bad flu and should be treated like one – quarantine the sick, liberate the healthy.  The best Covid site on the web is Healthy Skeptic.  This post from last April is a good summary.

Joe Doakes

If only there were a group – in or out of government – devoted to providing Americans (and their policymakers) reliable, unvarnished, unpoliticized information.

But I dream.

Shake And Bake Crisis

Who predicted, nine months ago in this very space, that the federal case of the “kidnapping plot against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer“ would turn out to be a federal shake and bake operation, intended to give us some pretense of delivering on the “wave of right wing terror“ that the feds have been promising since 2009?
 
Why, it was me.
 
 
People have short memories; the feds got in trouble for the same thing back in the 1970s, when it turned out The FBI had infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan so thoroughly that most of the conspiracies that got rounded up were actually spawned by federal informants and undercover operatives.
 
I wrote about this last week; it would appear that the “conspiracy“ was driven by undercover agents and informers.
 

So you say people don’t trust government and its institutions?

The hell you say…

(Note to the peanut gallery: go ahead, respond “so what you’re saying is, yoiu support white supremqcists?”. I dare you.

When You Think Moonshine…

,,,you most likely think about the deep South or the Appalachians, of stills talked way back into mountain haulers and people driving boxes of plain white whiskey to sell out of the backs of their cars behind bars and in dusty back allways.

I’m just here to say that my rural North Dakota homies, 90 years ago next summer,pretty much showed the world how it was done.

Equity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If taking a selfie in the Capitol is insurrection and attempted assassination of Congress, what is giving The Deadliest Virus Every Known to members of Congress, their staff members and people in the White House?

Why aren’t Texas Democrats held in solitary confinement until their treason trials?

Joe Doakes

Because the Texas Democrats don’t allow the Democrats, nationally, to deflect away from their support for the costliest riots in US history?

While Making Your Afternoon Listening Plans

Please tune in to AM1280 this afternoon from 4-6PM for a special broadcast about Critical Race Theory in Minnesota, and what you and I can do about it.

It’ll feature:

  • Kendall Qualls and Alfrieda Baldwin from “Take Charge Minnesota”
  • Catrin Wigfall from the Center of the American Experiment
  • Rebekah Hagstrom from “Education Nation”.

We’ll be having the actual conversation that the CRT crowd plays lip service to.

I’ll be moderating the discussion.

Hope you can listen in!

Life Is Full Of Ironies, If You’re Stupid

A few years ago, when people started talking about the “Dunning Kruger Effect” – the notion that the less someone knows about a subject, the more expert they feel about it – the first thing I thought was “Well, this isn’t going to get turned into a form of onanistic self-ongratulation, used in service of political hackery, nosireebob”.

I was right, of course, judging by this “Dunning-Kruger-For-Dummies”-level primer:

During the 2016 election and in the months after the presidential inauguration, interest in the Dunning-Kruger effect surged. Google searches for “dunning kruger” peaked in May 2017, according to Google Trends, and has remained high since then. Attention spent on the Dunning-Kruger Effect Wikipedia entry has skyrocketed since late 2015.

There’s also “much more research activity” about the effect right now than immediately after it was published, Dunning said. Typically, interest in a research topic spikes in the five years following a groundbreaking study, then fades.

“Obviously it has to do with Trump and the various treatments that people have given him,” Dunning said, “So yeah, a lot of it is political. People trying to understand the other side. We have a massive rise in partisanship and it’s become more vicious and extreme, so people are reaching for explanations.”

“People are trying to understand the other side”, and why politics has become more vicious and extreme, by trying to quantify your opponents idiocy?

Seems legit.

In so many ways:

Many people “cannot wrap their minds around the rise of Trump,” Sloman said. “He’s exactly the opposite of everything we value in a politician, and he’s the exact opposite of what we thought Americans valued.” Some of these people are eager to find something scientific to explain him.

In other words, people using the “Dunning Kruger Effect” to explain the rise of Trump, qua Trump, without understanding the demography and class-conflict aspects of 2016 (and today) are exhibiting…

what pop-psychological syndrome?

I don’t wanna keep seeing the same hands, here…

The New Lubyanka

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Been reading claims that the US holds political prisoners to punish Trump supporters.  Here’s a list of everybody arrested in the Four Hour Insurrection with their charges and detention status.

A lot of them are out, either on bail or personal recognizance.  A few  haven’t had their bail set yet, which strikes me as being a ridiculously long time to get around to it.   Only a few have been denied bail and remain in jail: those are mostly people who allegedly attacked cops or were engaged in Assaultive / Violent Behavior. 

Attacking a cop is still not enough reason to deny bail in any ordinary criminal case.  The courts have consistently held that bail is a constitutional right.  It’s being delayed/denied.  The charges against the January 6th accused aren’t serious enough to support the denial of bail.  And denial of bail for trespass-type offenses while holding the accused in solitary confinement, is inconsistent treatment considering that we’re emptying the jails everywhere else so people don’t catch Covid.
The hype could simply be complaints from defense lawyers looking for a better deal for their clients, or from political grifters who will seize any stick to beat the administration.  But the fact the DOJ’s own list confirms the claims makes this smell political. The fact the government refuses to turn over video evidence makes it smell political.  The fact the judge made histrionic claims to justify the sentence for a non-violent protester makes it smell political.   It smells like an attempt to punish these Trump supporters and intimidate the rest.  It smells like federal law enforcement is holding political prisoners.  That’s Third World banana republic stuff, like stuffing ballot boxes or imposing martial law on the capital city or calling for ‘reeducation camps’ or telling the media which news stories to take down.   That stuff could never happen in America, right? 

Right?

Joe Doakes

Democracy can not survive if people don’t trust its institutions to be even-handed.

We’ve got a big problem, then.

Just So We’re Clear On This

I’m far from “Anti-Vax”. I got the J&J vaccine – partly to shut Karen up, and partly because the science that exists convinced me it was worth the fairly minimal risk.

But there are times I wish this country had a national organization, one dedicated to disseminating unvarnished, unbiased, scientific information about public health to the public.

But I dream.

If we did have such an organization – and a news media that actually reported facts rather than emotions and political narrative…

…again, I dream.

By the way, I commend for your attention this 8-10 tweet thread on the latest science re the immunity provided by both natural and vaccine-based immunity. The news is largely if not uniquivically good…

…and you’ll hear little to none of it from our useless media.

I bring that up to arm you all for the upcoming fight – with the CDC sending out trial balloons about renewed mask mandates, and bobblheads like Gavin Newsom actively locking things down again. And if Newsom is talking about it, you know Tim Walz is fantasizing about reliving his Mussolini days, too.

Now, for me it’s an emergency, no matter what our idiot bureaucracy says; I have parents in their 80s in about the health one might expect of people in their eighties, so I take the precautions needed, either way.

But as the inevitable tsunami of Karens who believe one “believes” science, and whose idea of “science” is an NPR piece from April 2020, by a morose millennial reporter living in an apartment in Brooklyn venting their personal depression in the form of a “news” piece about how awful things are, I urge you to keep an eye on the actual science:

Because this time, there can be no deferring to the good will of the participants, like most of us did in the spring of 2020.

This isn’t public health,. This is a social power grab. Nothing more. .

Lining Up For Final Approach On That Windmill

When I first heard that there was going to be a recall vote against Gavin Newsom, I figured “Quixotic” was an understatement. The early polling showed California’s incompetent governor walking away with a recall election.

And when Larry Elder took leave from his national talk radio show (Disclosure: on my station, on the Salem Network, for which I work part-time), I figured it was yet another symbolic drive to get people talking about the issues.

But as Ed Morrissey notes, I want to believeˆ.

Indeed, I believe in miracles.

We’re not anywhere near “Miracle” level yet, and we may never get there. But the path to get there just got a little more brightly lit:

Californians who say they expect to vote in the September recall election are almost evenly divided over whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, evidence of how pivotal voter turnout will be in deciding the governor’s political fate, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.

Ed Morrissey notes:

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who last week won a court battle to appear on the Sept. 14 recall ballot, leads in the race to replace Newsom among the dozens of candidates in the running, while support for reality television star Caitlyn Jenner remains low, the survey found. Forty percent of likely voters remain undecided on a replacement candidate, providing ample opportunity for other gubernatorial hopefuls to rise in the ranks before the Sept. 14 special election…

One potential advantage – special elections (and a recall is the special-est election there is) offer at least a slight premium for the motivated. Has this past couple of years of incompetent elitism left enough Californians angry enough to bring on a spasm of rebellion?

The odds are still very, very long. But maybe not as long as we’d thought.

And if it succeeds? Mid-terms are gonna be lit.

Ruparing

I’d like to claim this as a late addition to the DFL Dictionary – but alas, it’s actually from the Urban Dictionary:

Rupar (Verb): To purposely (sic) mislead. To completely mischaracterize a statement or video by omitting context.

Yesterday, at a “press conference” on the Capitol steps, as embattled representative John “Burn Hugo Down” Thompson, the DFLer from either Saint Paul, Superior or someplace else, was promising not to resign, a woman – “Tammy Jo”, we’re told – drove “onto the Capitol Mall” (looks like the upper parking lot to me) and waved a Trump flag.

KARE11’s John Croman – who is distinguised by being “Not Quite Esme Murphy” – tweeted what would appear to be a troubling outburst:

Now, my first thought was that “Tammy Jo” was likely a DFL plant, a DFLer from Woodbury, sent to lend Thompson and his press conference a cleansing blast of the unambiguous victimhood that is his only line. That, I surmised, would explain why not a single member of our city’s press corps – the people who ran down “Umbrella Man” and his life story run down while the rubble was still burning last year – has come up with a complete identification of “Tammy Jo”.

I’m sure it’ll happen.

But even given the in-the-bagginess of the Twin Cities media, that seemed a bit of a stretch.

Still – it’s not merely the Twin Cities media; it’s KARE11, the station that led the local TV market to “Woke”-ness. There’s got to be a DFL-upsucking angle, I thought. I mean, this wasn’t a “hate crime” per se, but Berg’s 20th Law seems to be proximate: “All incidents of “hate speech” not captured on video (involving being delivered by someone proven not to be a ringer) shall be assumed to be hoaxes until proven otherwise.” There might need to be an Esme Murphy Corollary: “Hoaxes, and/or DFL PR operations”.

Because the DFL had a need, and Croman fulfilled it.

Leave it to David Steinberg, who on issue after issue – Keith Ellison, Ilhan Omar, the riots, the Minneapolis City Council – does the reporting the Minnesota Media can’t be bothered, or haven’t been told by Ken Martin they’re allowed, to do.

So – what really happened?

Aaron Rupar isn’t the disease. Coming from the Twin Cities media scene as he did, he’s just a symptom.

God, Guns And Gold!

I haven’t honestly watched so much as a second of the Olympics – any Olympics – since watching the biking events in 2012 while I was stuck sick in a hotel room.

The current Tokyo games have been marred by Covid hysteria and parts of the US Team mistaking their celebrity for a social mandate.

But there are still some reasons to cheer. The US shooting team is not only taking home the jewelry…

….but got a surprisingly evenhanded treatment from the left-leaning Guardian:

…marksmanship aficionados were treated to the slightly less refined spectacle of Piers Morgan sniping on Twitter as an American won the first gold medal of the Rio Games and USA Shooting, the governing body, firing back by accusing the gun-control advocate of trolling.

Morgan’s facile argument: it is no wonder that a country of 330 million people with an estimated 400 million guns in circulation and a serious homicide problem is good at shooting. “What we do out here on the skeet fields and on the rifle range has nothing to do with crime and violence,” Matt Suggs, the chief executive of USA Shooting, said.

The US is indeed the all-time medal leader, with roughly as many gold medals as the next three countries (China, Russia and Italy) combined. But Ginny Thrasher’s first-day success in the 10-metre air rifle was the US’s only shooting gold of the 2016 Games, while top-ranked Italy won four. Though the US has a large number of competitive shooters, they are not necessarily taking aim in the international disciplines featured in the Olympics.

Because street criminals are the ones moving up to the Olympic team. And to think we accuse leftists of being bovine intellectual herd animals.

Having just shot skeet for the first time earlier this month, I’m a little in awe of my nephews’ facility at blasting clays – and a lot in awe of the kind of shooting the serious competitors do.

What’s The Difference?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Garden Administration will take in refugees from Guatemala but not Cuba. Why not? They are all Latinx. They’re all fleeing poverty and persecution. Why take some and not the others?

Perhaps because Cuban-Americans vote Republican? Could Democrats really be that crass, that callous, that low – sorting refugees by political affiliation?

Joe Doakes

Rhetorical question, Joe?

The 1788 Project

So, just how wrapped up was the American Revolution and the founding of the American Republic wrapped around slavery?

Not.

Quite the opposite: while all of the 13 colonies had originally allowed slavery, it had been abolished in most of the states by the revolution…

…and was recognized by most of the founding fathers as explicitly contrary to all of the Revolution’s interests except self-preservation (dividing in the face of the British would have been national suicide)…

…and abolition was a driving force behind the framing of the Constitution.

Just in case you need some ammo for your next spar with your next “progressive” relative.

The Boon That Keeps On Doggling

The Southwest Light Rail Line appears likely to go years and “hundreds of millions of dollars” over schedule and budget.

…what’s happening between Park Siding and Depot Street today is construction of a half-mile tunnel that will carry the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT project through a pinch point in its 15-mile path from downtown to Eden Prairie. Complexities with water, underground debris, and construction methods seem poised to push the line’s opening deep into 2025 or 2026.

Ever since word started to leak out last fall that the Kenilworth tunnel construction was stuck in a sloppy mess of water and boulders, contractors and Met Council officials have known the line could not meet its opening estimates, and that tunnel costs could blow through the project’s contingency fund. But the agency insists even today that it cannot estimate the magnitude of delay nor additional cost.

But in midwinter, in a private call with government stakeholders, the Met Council did offer some specificity, [Twin Cities Business] has learned. At the time, the project was expected to be delayed by at least two years into late 2025, say individuals on that call, including state Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), who chairs the state House Transportation Committee. Hornstein is a supporter of the project who frames himself as disappointed in its current state.

“We raised questions about all these problem areas. They were waived away. Every dire prediction came true, the ones about cost overruns, the ones about the tunnel, the millions given away to railroads in negotiations,” he said in a spring interview.

Who could have possibly predicted this?

Heck – who reported on the ghastly overruns when the bill was half what they’re talking now?

They Don’t Just Super-Spread Social Toxicity Anymore

After 18 months of warning about “superspreaders” that never panned out, Democrats – in this case, the Texas Fleebaggers – finally put their money where their gaping, unmasked-on-airplanes mouths are:

On Tuesday, Axios reported that an aide to the speaker and a White House official tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a rooftop reception to honor the fugitive lawmakers. Both individuals were fully vaccinated, although a White House official downplayed the staffer’s illness.

“Yesterday, a fully-vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week,” said Drew Hammier, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi.

The group of 50 Texas Democrats flouted federal regulations implemented by President Biden that require passengers on privately charted planes to wear masks for the duration of a flight. As of publication, no legal action has been taken against them, even though the Centers for Disease Control issued explicit warnings about not wearing masks. The Federal Aviation Administration did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon.

Since their arrival in Washington, D.C., six of the Texas Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19. The whereabouts of the Texas Democrats are unknown, and the public does not know how many people they infected during their trip to the nation’s capital. Texas state representative Gene Wu, a prominent member of the group who has shared news articles on Twitter about coronavirus strains entering the country while on the lam, did not respond to a request for comment.

Of course, their mission – gundeck the election reforms via foul means in a way they could never do via fair – remains accomplished.

Call it “divine retribution”.