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.

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.

Urban Progressive Privilege: My Scientific Research Project

Title: Analyzing the Propensity of Modern Feminists, Progressives and the Media to Overstate Accrued Virtue.

Aim of the Experiment: The aim of the experiment is to test whether there is any activity approved of by “Big Left” that a woman can do, that will not be turned into a example of supreme personal moral virtue.

Hypothesis: It is predicted that, provided the activity is one promoted by “Big Left”, that there is no activity a woman can carry out that will not be referred to as “Brave”, “Courageous”, “Fierce” or other such superlatives.

Background Theory: It is believed that the rhetorical “Bar” for an action to be considered an act of personal moral courage, when the action is:

  • Congruent with the values of modern political and social “progressives”, and
  • Performed by a woman

…has dropped to the point of nearly being indistinguishable from any normal activity.

Methodology: The research team:

  1. Observed an extensive list of actions
  2. We specifically looked for examples of morally unremarkable, mundane, even counterproductive activities not being referred to in morally superlative terms
  3. We documented the results.

Results: We found no examples.

Discussion of Results: In comment section

Conclusion: There is literally nothing a woman can do (provided it’s congruent with the values of Big Left) too unremarkable, mundane or even destructive that won’t be called ‘Brave’.

As Predicted Here

Last year, when the FBI triiumphantly claimed that they’d busted a plot to kidnap MIchigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, I said, in as many words, “I bet a shiny new quarter this was a setup by the feds”.

My quarter is looking safer and safer:

The explosives expert was the undercover FBI agent. He was the one who figured out where to plant the explosive and offered to obtain as much as the group wanted. Would there even have been a plan to blow up the bridge without him? The Iraq War veteran is heard barking at the other members about not hanging around unless they were “down with the thought of kidnapping.” It almost sounds as if he had to talk some of them into it. A government informant from Wisconsin was the person who traveled around the country and introduced various militia members to each other, sometimes paying their travel costs. Many of the eventual members had never met each other before this. There were fully a dozen informants and undercover agents involved every step of the way.

When you put all of that together, you are forced to consider the question that Buzzfeed is asking. Without all of those agents and government informants holding people’s hands and guiding their steps, would there even have been a conspiracy without them? The defendants are saying no. They claim that the whole idea of kidnapping Whitmer never rose above the level of fantasy, though they freely admit going to paramilitary training sessions together and engaging in anti-government conversations and online chats.

My two cents: the establisment wants to deliver on that “wave of white supremacist terror” they’ve been promising since 2009, they’re willing to create it from scratch.

The Mutual Disgust That Dare Not Say Its Name

Americans – at least the noisy ones that take part in politics – don’t like each other very much. Dennis Prager notes that we’re more divided, politically and intellectually, today than we were in 1861; other than slavery and its various side effects and the state and regional social differences that they led to, Americans weren’t that far apart back then.

Today? The hate is palpable. I felt it almost two decades ago, and it’s gotten much, much worse in the five years.

Half the country is using the nation’s government and media institutions and, increasingly, the corporate world to gain control over the other half.

And as the Declaration of Independence notes, people are inclined to suffer from indignities and oppression…

…until they’re not.

So – what if that other half finally says “enough”, and decides we’re better off apart?

Ignore the source – pseudonymous social media trolls are cheaper than Dogecoin derivatives these days. With that said, whoever drew this…:

…must live in Texas (or Florida?), and be one of those Texans / Floridians who doesn’t spend a lot of time paying attention to the rest of the country. The Dakotas will join a mostly-blue Midwest only via a hypothetical conquest, and Minnesotans invading North Dakota would look a little like this, or maybe this.

I digress.

Idle speculation?

Of course.

But sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier and more productive than the situation we have.

So Let Me Get This…Er, For Lack Of A Better Term, “Straight”

Let me try to fomulate the logic, here.

:If it biological man says she identifies as a woman, that decision must be treated as sacred.

Ditto a biological woman claiming to now be, or identify, as a male.

Naturally, someone of any gender declaring an affectional orientation for their own gender is to be supported.

Industries and entire areas of academic disciplines have sprung up to support all of those decisions. Institutions, up through and including academia, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a fair chunk of corporate America, deem that decision to be absolute, inviolate and ironclad. Naturally, there’s a branch of medical science devoted to helping people transition physically as well as psychologically, to support that identity.

But a gay person deciding they want to identify as straight, and making efforts to do so, must be squashed with the full power of the state?

Why the special treatment?

What side effects affect “gay conversion therapy”, that don’t affect any other change in identity?

I’m not judging, one way or the other; I’m just trying to figure out the moral logic.

Hate

Disclaimers offered in advance: it’s The Blaze, so it’s just a smidgen suspect.

But if it’s true, I’m not sure I like this story all that much: The police charged a Utah woman with a “hate crime“ for destroying a “Back the Blue“ sign and quote smirking and “at a deputy in an “intimidating“ manner.

“As I concluded my traffic stop and released the individuals, I observed some of the individuals’ friends approach them and attempt to console them,” the deputy wrote in a probable cause affidavit, the News said.

“I observed one of the friends, later identified to be Lauren Gibson, stomping on a ‘Back the Blue’ sign next to where the traffic stop was conducted, crumble it up in a destructive manner, and throw it into a trash can all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me,” the deputy added, according the paper.

On the one hand? I’m not going to say there’s not some smidgen of glorious schadenfreude involved in seeing one of these entitled little “progressive“ twerps getting a comeuppance.

On the other?

Think of all the legitimate hate crimes that “Progressive“, under the cover that urban progressive privilege grant them, have carried out over the past 10 or 15 years; James Hodgkinson and his shooting spree against Republicans, the assault on Senator Rand Paul, and for that matter this little list of politically motivated bias crimes that I used to maintain until it stopped being fun, for that matter, among many others.

Distraction of signs and “intimidating“ “smirking“? That’s every election season for every conservative in Saint Paul.

Is it a good thing that, of all of the non-Leftist victims of bias-based assaults in this country, only cops seem to be covered by hate crime laws?

For Their Own Good

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided but the Supreme Court shows no sign of correcting its mistake.  That decision is here to stay and with it, the societal consequences it generates.  

We’re often told that No Child Should Be Born Into Poverty.  That child will suffer compared to its peers.  Supporters of Roe v. Wade tell us that child should be aborted, instead, out of kindness and mercy.

It follows, then, that No Child Should Have To Grow Up In Poverty. If being born into poverty is a bad enough outcome to justify killing the child who has never known anything else, surely being thrown into poverty after a lifetime of plenty and leisure is far worse.  

Children of families who suffer divorce, death, disability or sudden job loss of a breadwinner will suffer cruelly when Daddy can’t afford Summer Camp or a new car for graduation.  It is inhumane to force those children to bear the deprivations and shame of poverty.  It would be much kinder to put them out of their misery.  Plus, it would break the cycle of generational welfare dependency. 

Kill the children – for the children.  It’s the Roe thing to do.

Joe Doakes

It’s not even that big a caricature of “prog” logic…

Wrongly Decided

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Roe v. Wade, 1973 the Supreme Court case which legalized abortion, was wrongly decided.  The Court failed to include a necessary party in the case – the unborn child – and that failure renders the decision unconstitutional and unjust.

The Fourth Amendment say no person shall be deprived of liberty or property without due process.  Due process consists of notice of the intended action and an opportunity to be heard by a neutral decider.  Originally binding only on the federal government, due process rights were incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment.

In Roe, the court was asked to declare that the right of the mother to end her unborn child’s life was superior to the right of the government to save that child’s life.  The Supreme Court agreed.  No lawyer appeared to argue for the rights of the unborn child.  No Guardian Ad Litem was heard.  The Court did not decide where on that spectrum the rights of the unborn child would fall. The Court held the mother could deprive the child of life, at whim.

Without explicitly saying so, the Court decided the unborn child was not a necessary party to the case because the unborn child was not a ‘person’ in the eyes of the law; therefore, the unborn child had no rights which could have been affected by the outcome of the case.  Well, but what else could the Court have done?  Either a person has rights, or they don’t.

Not so.  A person convicted of a crime loses the right to liberty when confined in prison, but not the right to life which the Warden.  A person suffering from mental disability may lose the right to control her own money because the Conservator manages it for her, but she might retain the right to vote or get married.  A minor child lacks the legal capacity to enter into contracts but is entitled to life, liberty, support, protection, and education. The Court could have determined an unborn child was a ‘person’ with diminished rights like any of those other ‘persons.’

Instead, the Court determined an unborn child has the same legal status as a Negro slave in The Old South.  The slave’s owner can kill the slave at whim.  The mother of the unborn child can, too.

We abolished slavery because it was unjust.  We should abolish abortion-on-demand on the same basis.

Joe Doakes

It’ll bve interesting to see what cases come to the SCOTUS on the subject in the next decade or so.

The Fix

I’ve observed, with tongue half-heartedly about a quarter of the way into my cheek, that you could tell there not a significant number of “white supremacists” in last year’s riots, because as the Midway burned, vandalized and/or caked with graffiti, Allianz Field, the playground of upper-middle-class white progressive Europhiles and, we were once told, immigrants, protected by not so much as a row of barberry bushes, had not so much as a squiggle of Sharpie on it.

So the notion that “white supremacists” were behind the riots seems…far-fetched.

But it’s interesting that the owners of Allianz Field and “Minnesota United” would seem to be the only people who stand to profit, maybe immensely, from the riots.

What’s Swedish For Omertá?

When people can’t trust the “Justice” system, they create their own.

From Irish cops to legends of The Godfather and Goodfellas and The Sopranos to the various warlords and cartels of Central America (and what is a cartel but a warlord with a product people want to buy?), the long legacy of people, even in a place that’s prided itself on this justice system, who find themselves needing to turn to their own communities (read: the elements of their communities with the fewest scruples about applying force to gain power) to get, if not “justice”, at least a order they as a group can live with, albeit at a cost.

The trick? Get the locals to fear you, and the erstwhile authorities at least to give you some room out of mutual convenience, if not outright getting on your payroll. And/or both.

So – can we, the people, trust our institutions?

  • Our “elite” media is a joke. They are nothing but propaganda shills, and they only pay lip service to the contrary to gull the gullible.
  • The FBI and the Justice Department are thoroughly politicized.
  • So are academia and education and the bureaucracy.
  • While lefist groups get the run of major cities without even the formality of a slap on the wrist, those perceived as “right of center” come in for, let’s not mince words, oppression.

And when the Normals color inside the lines, as we did during the Tea Party, we get both sides sliming us; when they learn the lesson and elect a candidate who doesn’t play by the K Street rules, they get slandered as a group. Oh, yeah – and told they’re defectives who are wired to hate from birth, and are just waiting to blow up.

It seems like Big Left is a bully kicking sand in the Normals’ faces, trying to provoke a fight.

Am I the only one who can’t possibly think it’s a coincidence?

Hastily Made Portland Tourism Ad?

So is this a tourism ad, or a cry for help?

Odd tourism ad, doncha think? Usually you get a picture of nature, or a soaring skyline, or beatiful people enjoying dazzling nightlife. But not this time.

So what does a tourist do in Portland? Apparently you can cross a bunch of bridges. That might have some allure. I have it on good authority that Portland has a number of restaurants, but it’s difficult to tell what the bill of fare might be from this brown paper ad. It’s possible the restaurants in Portland feature word salad. “We’re a place of dualities that are never polarities.” What does that even mean? Does it mean this?

Portland crowd-control police unit resigns en masse after team member  criminally charged - East Idaho News

That might be the dazzling nightlife? After all, things are going well:

Every member of a police crowd-control unit in the US city of Portland has resigned after one of its officers was indicted on an assault charge.

The charge stemmed from violent anti-racism protests that rocked the city, in the state of Oregon, last year.

Prosecutors allege the officer used “excessive and unlawful use of force” against a protester in August 2020.

But Portland’s police union described the decision to prosecute the officer as “politically driven”.

The reporting here is from the BBC. Looks like they didn’t get the “mostly peaceful” memo. 

Satire Is Impossible

Fearless prediction: the adherence of the left’s official opinion-makers to this video:

…whether its’ Samantha Bee or Ibram Kendi, to an almost plagiaristic level (but for the fact that it will be in earnest, not at all satirical) is going to take six months.

Burdened

A friend of the blog emails:

Given that I am pretty sure that the low birth rate is among the class that can afford to have kids, I am also sure that this op ed is unrelateable to most people.

The frightening part is the end where after her rant, we learn that the author is actually going to have a baby. 

I read the article, and wondered – what must it be like to see the world entirely in terms of caricatures and stereotypes?

Approval

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I dislike federal holidays as partisan political  propaganda but I’m rethinking my position. I’m willing to support Juneteenth, if this becomes the official advertising poster.

It gets better.

After the Yanks freed the last of those slaves, a number of black freedmen who’d served in the Federal army settled in Galveston, bringing their training, and guns, with them.

So when the Klan came a-calling, they were met by a bunch of battle-hardened former Union grunts. They sent the Klan reeling…

…all the way to Austin. Where they pushed the Democrat government to ban guns in the hands of Negroes.

Litigation over which (thanks, NRA) went on to become one of the driving bodies of litigation behind the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

We’re going to need a bigger poster.

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art Imitates SITD

The world has become too absurd to be satirized
– G.K. Chesterton

When live imitates satire – why write satire?

Pinky swear – when I started writing the various “Berg’s Laws“, something like 17 years ago, they started out as wry quips. Sarcastic bits of bemused satire.

I didn’t expect every last one of them to turn out to be iron-clad descriptions of modern political and human behavior.

It’s made things a little…difficult? It’s no doubt thrown a monkey wrench at satirists like the Babylon Bee, who no doubt didn’t set out on their mission intended to become America’s best actual news source.

The Bee’s edtior, Seth Dillon, comments on not only how often, but how quickly, the arc of the news turned toward exactly what the Bee started by mocking:

As to “Berg’s Law” – the more I think about it, the more I think I’m onto something.

Unlike “Resiliency Director” Katie Knuth…

…Minneapolis’s PR firm is going be earning its pay over this next one-to-fifty years.

“Protesters” took to blocking off streets in the Uptown area over the weekend – leading to an incident where someone drove into the crowd, killing one woman.

Which led a crowd to block off Lake Street yet again. And it wasn’t an especially “peaceful” bunch of protesters.

One local news crew actually videotaping a woman wandering around, gun in hand, shooting at God only knows what or two:

I’ll try to post the video when and if it becomes publicly available.

By the way – ain’t Uptown looking grand these days?

Two Rules, One Narrative

If government tells you something, distrust but verify. And then, usually, distrust some more.

If the media tells you something – at least, anything about an event that is especially socially fractious – distrust, and verify even harder. And, as always, usually wind up distrusting even more.

If any of Big Left’s social hangers on declares some thing with immense servitude? Distrust, verify, and, well, you know the drill.

Last week was the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

“Perish the thought, it couldn’t possibly have been a deranged man tied to and eliminationist sect of Islamism“, Big Media media assured us. “It was an anti-LGBTQ hate crime, nothing more, nothing less“.

Which is how the media and Biden administration have been treating it, over this past weekend

Distrust. Verify.

Continue distrusting.