Impunity

I’ve been thinking about impunity.  It’s why:

-Black Lives Matter and Antifa can burn down cities;

-Keith Ellison can orchestrate a lynching;

-Tim Walz can imprison the whole state for an entire year;

-someone in the Biden Administration can send troops to kick down doors
in Syria;

-China can humiliate our diplomats in Alaska;

-sex fiends and pedophiles can prey on victims for years;

-illegal immigrants can swarm our border.

When people know they can get away with bad behavior, they engage in
more of it.  Swift punishment deters bad behavior.  How can we restore
the deterrent necessary to end bad behavior?

Joe Doakes

A city without any political opposition, and a political system without any major media scrutiny, all lead to people acting with impunity.

This Is What Urban Progressive Privilege Looks Like [1]

Every spousal abuser in history: “Yeah, sure, I hit you. But you provoked me – again. So you’re at least partly to blame. Maybe mostly. I mean, actions have consequences, baby…”

Big Left’s latest line – through one of its local mouthpieces, former Reprentative and Lt. Gov. Candidate and Urban Progressive Privilege poster child, Erin Maye Quade:

This statement ticks off nearly half of the traits one associates with someone with a serious personality disorder.

And before anyone stars a’yappin’ – I’m not saying Ms. Maye Quade suffers from any psychological illness.

Merely the movement she’s part of.

[1] Not to mention a culture of abuse, and a serious collective group personality disorder.

The New McCarthyites

I really can’t boycott “Hollywood”. because given the fact that Tinseltown can’t seem to get its heart into doing much of anything but comic book movies, and I just can not bring myself to go to a comic book movie, I mean, why bother?

So I’ve never seen any of Disney’s various Star Wars spinoff productions. The last, “first” three chapters of the Star Wars saga soured me on the whole franchise to the point where I just don’t care much. I’m told The Mandalorian is worth watching – but I honestly wouldn’t know.

So when I heard Gina Carano had been jettisoned from Mandalorian, after talk of her getting her own spinoff series was making the rounds, it took me a moment to dig and find out why it mattered.

It’s alleged by some media that she was tubed for being just a little too irascibly un-woke:

Carano was the subject of much criticism recently when, in a now-deleted Instagram post, she compared being a modern-day Republican to being Jewish during the Holocaust. The hashtag #FireGinaCarano has trended on social media in recent months after other incendiary comments by the television and film star.

And what were those “incendiary comments?” Especially as to “comparing” modern GOPers to German Jews in the ’30s?

Details are very, very thin. But I’ll defer to that not-remotely right-wing outlet, Variety, for the closest we have to core facts:

“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children,” Carano wrote Instagram. “Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views.” The post originated on a different Instagram account.

In other words, totalitarians turn societies against themselves?

If the Woke Mob things that’s politically incorrect, we’re gonna have a real difference of opinion in our society sooner than later.

In another post, Carano shared a photo of a person wearing multiple cloth masks with the caption, “Meanwhile in California…

If riffing on California is politically incorrect, I don’t wanna be PC.

#UnityAndHealing

My first thought in reading this story, I kid you not, is that I’m a little amazed a city government or law enforcement establishment actually did anything about an offense like this:

After a hearing last Friday and conversations with the city attorney, the employment of part-time Library Specialist Cameron Dequintez Williams was terminated on Wednesday.

He was charged with burning books from the library written by conservative authors.

Library officials said, “The city of Chattanooga Human Resources Department completed its investigation of an allegation that books were removed from the Chattanooga Public Library’s Main Branch on Dec.https://w.chattanoogan.com/photo.aspx?a=8&t=11, 2020. 

“The investigation determined that part-time Library Specialist Cameron Williams violated city and Library policies by improperly removing items from the Library’s collections.”

As one wag remarked:

Now, it remains to be seen if the real reason was that the library board wants to do all of that themselves.

Bonus observation: Am I the only one thinking Lt. Governor Flanagan feels pretty good, having not only gotten away with having ideological mercenaries do her cultural cleansing for her, but having them in effect rewarded for their efforts?

I see a posh consulting job for Flanagan, if she ever leaves office.

If I Were A Harvard Alum…

…I’d be passing the hat to get David Hogg…

…to transfer or drop out.

But have no fear, Master Hogg. Logically, factually and intellectually, the intellectual foam pillow that is your worldview and movement has been on Mars for quite some time now.

Bigotry Of Bizarre Expectations

Kind of a good news, bad news situation here. But maybe not in the way you think.

A teachers union president in Washington State refers to reopening schools as a “white supremacist” initiative.

The good – or “good” – news: this is an example of the type of rhetorical, social and policy overreach one can expect when “progressives” – in this case invariably white, middle-class, and visibly “progressive” – find themselves in power. This statement – literally, “wanting your kids back in schools, and wanting some sense of stability and normalcy for their mental health, at a time when teenage suicide is exploding all over the country, is racist” is the very definition of “2+2=5” – mental health is mental illness, concern for kids is a pathology, truth is lies. (And the ability to say it without having ones own peers pelt one with rocks and garbage is Urban Progressive Privilege).

ut another way, evil – no scare quotes. Inverting moral truth and moral falsehood is as textbook a definition of venial evil as exists.

That’s the “good” news.

The bad news? About half the country, as this is written, doesn’t know any better, or just doesn’t want to think about it that hard.

Planet Of The Humans, Part 0

I spent a lot of time thinking about this scene last week:

I first started paying serious attention to politics in about 1980. Like a lot of high school kids, then and now, I was somewhere out on what would be called “the left”; I wrote a platform for North Dakota Boys State (a statewide mock government program put on by the decidedly conservative American Legion) that called for systematic redistribution of wealth, abolishing nuclear energy and nuclear disarmament, and a whole bunch of stuff that would be pretty mainstream among the Bernie Bros today.

Three years later, due to the good graces of my English professor, Dr. Jim Blake, I had re-evaluated most of my assumptions. I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984, and never really looked back.

And I had no reason to. None of us did. Although the history books, all being written from the perspective of the Left, will never admit it, the two decades from 1980 to 2000 were, objectively, the last American Golden Age. I’ll squeak out an optimistic coda and add “so far”, but I’ll be honest – I haven’t been feeling it, but I’m a firm believer in acting like you want to feel, and so there is is. “So far”.

I’ll come back to that.

There’s no denying it was one of the high points of American history. We led an economic surge that brought more wealth to more people than any in history. We, as a nation, led a political surge that led to the collapse of one of the most evil regimes in history (although not the other one – so far).

Maybe it’s just the perspective of one guy’s lifetime – but I suspect you’d have to look long and hard to find a place and time when it was generally better to be a human.

Not just in material terms, but in terms of the tension between freedom and order, one of the hardest things about running a self-governing society, being in relative balance – and, more importantly, the general commitment to the system and process that kept all those moving parts in balance.

And it’s been downhill from there.

The arc from Morning in America in 1980 to last week’s skirmish at the Capitol – which, loathe as I am to come even close to Democrat chanting points, was a form of coup, not against President-Elect Biden, but against the states’ constitutional power to select electors – peaked…somewhere in the late ’90s – when one of the glories of the American system, gridlocked government, combined with a Peace Dividend brought about by the end of the Cold War (thanks, President Reagan), led to an outburst of technological, entrepreneurial and market power that brought so much wealth, and security, and general well-being, to so many people that it may have been as close to a uptopia, in some ways, as humanity can get. Because of the gridlock in government.

Somewhere between 1998 and 2005, things started to turn back south again. It’d be easy to point to the polarization of American politics, starting with the various Clinton scandals, through the fiasco of the 2000 election, the near-decade of squabbling over the War on Terror and the 2008 government-caused financial meltdown, as the cause – but it went in parallel with a lot of other changes in our nation’s political, moral and social lives that have led to their…

…I was going to say “culmination” last week at the Capitol. But of course, that’s not true. Last week’s sorry episode was, like last summer’s riots, and the social back and forth that gave us Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Trump himself, and the movements that supported them all in a way that was increasingly “un-American” (I’m still claiming a meaning for that term), and if you think that was the peak, or trough, or any sort of ending to the story, you just haven’t paid attention to 20,000 years of human nature.

So let’s not call it a culmination. Let’s call it a checkpoint, on a path that may be going up, or down, but control over which We The People need to take before the phrase “We The People” is forever relegated to the museum.

How have we gotten from the peak of Western Civilization to…this, in my adult lifetime?

Let’s talk about it.

We’ll start with President Trump, next.

But we’re damn sure not going to finish with him.

Premonition

Oh, so NOW they’re starting to talk about it?  I’ve been pointing out this looming problem for years.
Look, people can afford about $1,500 per month for housing.  If interest rates are 7%, then most of the payment goes to interest so principal must be lower – home prices fall. But if home prices fall, Baby Boomer home owners lose equity.   
The Fed has kept interest rates low to preserve the equity in Baby Boomers’ homes; but that also meant low interest rates on savings.  Boomers have money tied up in their houses because there’s nowhere else to invest. 
Most Boomers are sheep, they follow the herd.  When they decide to sell their existing homes and move to retirement homes, the competition for buyers will lead to reduced home prices.  The race to the bottom, coupled with low interest rates on savings, will wipe out the wealth of an entire generation.
Since they have no savings, and no equity, Boomers will be dependent Social Security and Medicare.  But those programs already are incapable of self-support and young people carrying college debt and new homes can’t afford to pay higher taxes.  The entire thing is an actuarial nightmare.  Or more accurately, a house of cards awaiting the slightest puff of breeze to bring it down.
When the US economy collapses in a mountain of unsustainable debt, the world economy goes with it.  
Our military preparedness is low, our economy is suspect, our enemies are gaining strength, our borders are undefended.  It’s beginning to feel as if I’m sitting in Rome in 450 AD.  What lies ahead is a thousand years of darkness.
Luckily, Democrats are focused like a laser on what’s important – making sure Americans cannot defend themselves after the crash
Joe Doakes

Best case, that collapse leads to forced privatization of…well, most everything. It’s not implausible.

But given the sheep-like nature and entitlement of the “elites” of the Millennial generation, I’m not too bullish on best-case solutions.

More on that, probably, later this week or next.

The Problem…

…with trying to run a society with the entitled cranks that make up so much of the modern left is that if you’re a consevative, they really, really hate you and the idea of sharing a society with you.

University of Texas “Anarchist” (really Maxarchist) group promises to “dox” students who joint the campus’s conservative organization:

“Hey #UT23! Do you wanna be famous? If you join YCT or Turning Point USA, you just might be. Your name and more could end up on an article like one of these,” the tweet said, linking to previous doxxing posts of conservative students at the school. “So be sure to make smart choices at #UTOrientation

There are times I wish I was still in school.

Snowflake Goes To Work

This epi of “Marketplace” – or, more specifically, its A-line feature on workplaces catering to (liberal) peoples’ politics – may have been one of the most depressing things I’ve heard lately.

It starts at 17:36.

The unstated coda to the piece: “progressive” America wants to “other” all dissent out of every aspect of life.

I just left a contract at a group that was less obnoxious about it than the preening virtue-signalers in the Marketplace piece – but not, I suspect, out of lack of wanting to be. And it got me thinking – for all the talk about “tribalism” – usually from the left, aimed at the likes of Trump supporters and Tea Partiers – it’s Big Left that really takes this stuff seriously.

What If You Declared A “Sex Strike” And Nobo…Er, Let Me Try That Again

Last week, amid news of several states’ abortion laws (intended to provoke SCOTUS-ready legal challenges to Roe V. Wade), one-time “actress” Alyssa Milano declared a “sex strike”.

It fared about as well as you’d expect.

And Milano – whose movie credits include “Who’s The Boss”, [NOTE TO MITCH: TRY TO CARE ABOUT ALYSSA MILANO’S “ACTING CAREER” LONG ENOUGH TO GET A LIST IN HERE BEFORE YOU PUBLISH THIS], and, uh, “Who’s The Boss”, reacted, well, about as well as you’d expect:

With states continuing to restrict abortions despite her #SexStrike protest, Alyssa Milano became so furious that she destroyed her own property, she admitted on Twitter Wednesday.
“I just threw my phone across the room. Cracked the screen. Read this. Please,” Milano tweeted, linking to CBS News story about an 11-year-old girl who couldn’t get an abortion because of Ohio’s “heartbeat bill.”… “Heartbeat bills,” which prohibit most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, have passed in four states this year, and Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday voted to effectively outlaw the procedure entirely. Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, was expected to sign the legislation.
Although none of the laws have gone into effect amid legal challenges, pro-choice advocates fear they will push the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1972 ruling enshrining the right to abortion.

She’s a former child star, and not used to getting her way. But then, progs are largely the same.

Comforting The Comfortable

To: Andrew Zimmern, Celebrity Chef
From: Mitch Berg, irascible peasant
Re: Appreciation!

Chef,

I caught this on Twitter over the past weekend:

Glad to see you’ll be giving “Free” food to people who missed two checks…

…well, no. Wait. They had two checks delayed before getting it all paid back, amid a national welter of corporate virtue signaling of financial support – extremely low-interest loans, offers to skip payments, and, well, free food.

I and a few million private sector workers would have loved some of that ‘compassion” when we were struggling.

Know what I heard from one bill collector when I was out of work back in 2003? “Get a job”.

Hold that thought, Chef.

That is all.

Darn All That Republican Rhetoric

I’ve become convinced that the greatest ever in rotation of Berg’s 7th law has been this past two decades’ drum beat of promises that there is “an avalanche of right wing terrorism” just around the corner.

Any day now.

Honest.

Actor James Cromwell predicts – I would say it’s more like “calls for” – “revolution” if the Republicans win the midterms:

Speaking to Variety at the event, he warned of the turn that he sees America taking and cautioned there will be “blood in the streets” if Republicans remain in control.

“This is nascent fascism. We always had a turnkey, totalitarian state — all we needed was an excuse, and all the institutions were in place to turn this into pure fascism,” Cromwell said. “If we don’t stop [President Trump] now, then we will have a revolution for real. Then there will be blood in the streets.”

The star, who previously played George H.W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s “W,” echoed these sentiments during his acceptance speech, where he warned that he believes the country is headed toward the possibility of a violent revolution.

“We’re living in very curious times, and something is coming up which is desperately important to this country and to this planet, and that is an election, in which hopefully in some measure we are going to take back our democracy,” he said. “We will have a government that represents us and not the donor class. We will cut through the corruption, [and] we won’t have to do what comes next, which is either a non-violent revolution or a violent one, because this has got to end.”

I don’t think members of the “elite” Realize how many Americans are ready to take him up on that. I don’t think it’s going to go nearly as well as they – Cromwell – think it will.

Semi-Open Thread

It’s been a busy year – and among the things that’ve slipped has been my “Climate of Hate” page, in which I document the ongoing wave of leftist violence in America, especially as relates to the “#Resistance”.

So if you’ve got any links to campaign thuggery that I’ve missed, if . you’ve got a moment, please leave ’em in the comment section.

Thanks!

I Love A Happy Ending

“Anti” Fa thugs attack Trump supporters.

And the MAGAs stomp them like Irish clog dancers attacking a cockroach infestation.   Only less Irish.

I’m proud to be an American today.

Keep it up, patricians.

Fight The Power

Senator Warren just held a press conference saying that genetics tests prove that she is of between 1/64 and 1/512 Native American ancestry – and therefore “Native American”

Those same tests say that I – one of the most northern European people I know, and proud of it – am between 1/64 and 1/256 African-American.

If I were to use my “African-American heritage” to get preferential treatment, including prestigious academic appointments, based on a genetic sample like that, not only would people mock and taunt me, I would mock and taunt myself. And I would deserve it.

Please, my Democrat friends – nominate this woman for president in 2020.

Relax

The world isn’t coming to an end over politics.  It’s not going to.

Kevin WIlliamson, on how good things generally are – and why some parts of our society are having such a hard time accepting that.

Especially those on the left who consider the way things are today an “emergency”.  It’s a laden term:

Those familiar with the political career of Indira Gandhi will have a special appreciation for the concept of “emergency.” The Emergency refers to a 21-month period during which Mrs. Gandhi suspended civil liberties, ruled by decree, jailed political opponents, censored newspapers, and laid the foundations for what might have been a permanent dictatorship. Dissident political parties were banned, regional governments were dissolved and their leaders incarcerated. (The Malthusians never sleep: India also set on a course of involuntary sterilization during this period, as a means of population control.) There had been political unrest and political violence (as, unhappily, there long had been in India), but the proximate cause of the Emergency was the fact that Mrs. Gandhi had lost a court case that might have resulted in her being removed from office. The Emergency was the fact that there was political opposition to her government, and that the opposition was effective.

Our situation is not quite so stark, but it is analogous. Longstanding American institutions ranging from the First Amendment to the Electoral College to the Senate have been suddenly and rashly declared “illegitimate.” Why? Because, at the moment, they are keeping the Left from getting what it wants. The Left wants to silence certain right-wing critics and dissidents, and the First Amendment stops them. The Senate and the Electoral College perform their intended constitutional role in protecting the interests of the less-populous states and their residents, ensuring the protecting of minority interests from the tyranny of the majority. This annoys the would-be tyrants. (They are, to their discredit, unable to truly appreciate that political tides turn, and that majorities are fickle things.) The ordinary political processes of the United States have produced results that the Left does not like, and, hence, those processes and the institutions that enable them must be considered illegitimate. The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is to be understood as a national emergency because . . . Democrats would prefer to have somebody else, and they believe they having something like a divine right to rule.

And one can only hope that it’s their eventual undoing.

On Latte Support?

Daniel McCarthy at American Spectator noticed the same thing about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings that I do about every single “Protect” Minnesota rally; Where are you ends, and the participants, or almost exclusively upper middle class Caucasians. The few African-Americans there are either from Allied political groups there for the optics, or people like Senator Kamala Harris, Who is political career is largely floated by… White liberals.

And according to McCarthy, the hearings are a sign that that breed of upper middle-class white liberalism is dying off.

But the Democratic voters out there yelling about Kavanaugh were as white as any country club gathering of Republicans. They looked like a line of Starbucks patrons — Caucasian, professional, largely millennial, with earth tones and earnest expressions aplenty. Men and women wore the same fashionable glasses and more or less the same clothes. It was a Pumpkin Spice Riot.

Where were the black Democrats? Where were the non-yuppies? Hillary Clinton could have asked the same questions on November 9, 2016, after she failed to get them to show up for her the way they’d showed up for Barack Obama. That election, like the Kavanaugh protest, showed that white liberalism has a problem: it’s too liberal for a majority of whites, yet too distant from the concerns of most non-whites. But its proponents enjoy so much cultural prestige as liberals and so much self-confidence as part of a historic white majority — however much they may disdain such a thing — that they failed to recognise alienated they are from everyone else. They see themselves as the natural moral arbiters of society. But nobody else sees them that way. Nothing says that a multiracial or multicultural society has to be politically centre-left, after all. India has a right-wing nationalist and religious fundamentalist government. Brazil looks set to elect a right-wing president in a runoff later this month. Yet white American liberals cling to the belief that demographic magic will rescue them from the insufficiency of their ideology appeal. White liberalism is in fact in more trouble in this country than conservatism is. The only places where white liberals values matter are in elite cultural institutions — which is why getting Kevin Williamson fired from The Atlantic is a lot easier than getting senators to vote against confirming Kavanaugh.

In of movement dominated by magical thinking, it’s no surprise that magical thinking about them selves would be part of the deal.

Thoroughly Modern

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is waiting for the train at University and Hamline.  

Suddenly, a group of 20 through 60-something women with protest signs and pink “feline” caps rushes across the street, waving signs and chanting chants.  One of them is Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK, a twenty-something graduate of Saint Olaf, and of Camp Wellstone.  She works as a telemarketer for “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”. 

She notices BERG.

BIRKENSTOCK (Loudly, aggressively):  Merg!

BERG:  Um, hi, Moonbeam…

BIRKENSTOCK:  Women are strong!  We are invincible!  A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle!  We will eclipse masculinity!  We will smash the patriarchy!

BERG:  Huh.  So women who make any sort of claim of abuse…

BIRKENSTOCK:  Must be believed without question or reservation!

BERG:  Huh.  You don’t think that’s already a big contradic…

(But BIRKENSTOCK has already run down the platform, joining a mob stomping on a roll of MEN-tos. 

BERG:  Huh.

(And SCENE)

Dispatches From Never-Never Land

A friend of the blog writes:

Oh, boy. I think we know why this person isn’t a business owner.

I just think about my own job on this. Imagine your nurse showing up late or leaving early because she biked. Imagine morale amongst the co-workers who don’t have that luxury to bike, but have kids to pick up from school or other obligations, yet they need to cover the bicyclist’s 40 minutes of non-work. But, hey, I hope she does actually try to start a business. She might learn a lot.

She’ll have a flat tire and miss the grand opening.

The Real #Resistance

Silicon Valley – and its various satellites around the country, including whatever software design culture that exists in the Twin Cities – has trended left of center for a long, long time (although not forever; it used to be fairly libertarian – a change that’s been a net loss for everyone).

That’s changed, of course; when James Damore was fired at Google for the high crime of pointing out the patently obvious about Google’s internal political culture – think Arthur Miller’s The Crucible – it surprised absolutely nobody that’d been following the way the Bay Area’s software development culture has been evolving.

An engineer at Facebook has started a conservative group.   Which is big news.  David French notes:

…the internal conservative revolt at Facebook may — just may — represent one of the most consequential news developments of the year. A senior engineer named Brian Amerige posted a short statement on Facebook’s internal message board. It began with words that will ring true to employees at hundreds of major American corporations and academic institutions:

We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views.​ We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology. We throw labels that end in ​*obe​ and ​*ist​ at each other, attacking each other’s character rather than their ideas.

We do this so consistently that employees are afraid to say anything when they disagree with what’s around them politically.​ HR has told me that this is not a rare concern, and I’ve personally gotten over a hundred messages to that effect. Your colleagues are afraid because they know that they — not their ideas — will be attacked. They know that all the talk of “openness to different perspectives” does not apply to causes of “social justice,” immigration, “diversity,” and “equality.” On this issues [sic], you can either keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.

Amerige invited colleagues to join a group called “FB’ers for Political Diversity” and — as the New York Times reports — more than 100 employees have joined. It’s a small fraction of the Facebook workforce, but it’s enough that it can’t be easily squelched.

Indeed, the Times reports that angry colleagues have already tried to appeal to Facebook to shut down the group. So far, they’ve failed

This is something I wrestle with daily – at work (I work at a place with a bit of a political monoculture, as luck would have it, and suffice to say I’m not in the majority) and elsewhere in my life (I’ve changed my church affiliation, and the world of dating is rife with people who just can not tolerate the idea of being around someone whose politics challenge their own).  Like most conservatives, I want my politics to stay in my mind, my news, and at the polling station; I don’t want it to eat my entire life.

Which is of course what Big Left wants, and needs; to divide and conquer an inchoate mass of individuals.

And so this is something to follow – and, let’s be honest, emulate in our daily lives.

Much more to come.