Try Some, Buy Some

Every desktop should have a link to The Devil’s Dictionary, the masterwork of Ambrose Bierce, who had his primary success in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s. Bierce’s cynical lexicography still rings true, a full century after he wandered into Mexico to meet his Maker circa 1914. To use one example, Bierce defines “adherent” as follows:

ADHERENT, n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.

All politicians are on the lookout for adherents, especially a guy like Gavin Newsom, the upmarket Jacob Frey who is (a) governor of California and (b) facing a recall. Newsom is a man in a hurry, so he’s looking to get some adherents in bulk:

Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a second round of $600 state stimulus checks on Monday to hasten California’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, hoping to expand the payments from low-income residents to also include middle-class families, and noting that doing so would ensure benefits for 2 out of 3 state residents.

The proposal to deliver $8 billion in new cash payments to millions of Californians is part of a $100-billion economic stimulus plan made possible in part by a budget that has swelled with a significant windfall of tax revenues, a surplus the governor put at $75.7 billion.

You might wonder where the money came from, but never mind that, because ol’ Gavin’s not done — he’s also rent seeking, er, offering rent assistance: 

Newsom also proposed $5 billion to double rental assistance to get 100% of back rent paid for those who have fallen behind, along with as much as $2 billion in direct payments to pay down utility bills, proposals that were supported by legislative leaders on Monday.

This is hilariously corrupt but hey, who doesn’t love a stimmy? And since California is famously a one-party state, no one is gonna stop Newsom from buying his way out of a recall. Recall elections in Minnesota are essentially impossible, so Tim Walz doesn’t need to do this sort of thing, but there’s little doubt he’d pull the same stunt were it required. I think it’s safe to assume all Dem officeholders who find themselves in trouble will make it rain next year.  

Duty

I’ve got a lot of Catholic friends who are also conservatives.

I keep asking them – “when is your bureaucracy going to start enforcing the church’s supposed beliefs, like publicly supporting the right to life, or at least not being pro-infanticide, on “Catholic” politicians?

“We will. We will”.

But they don’t. Never.

But is the specter of Joe Biden, a publicly practicing Catholic, being called “the most faithful President in recent history” (by a chattering class that generally regards Christianity as a den of know-nothjing ignorance) and a representative face for Christianity and Catholicism in public, finally goading the Bishops into action?

Maybe, but don’t bet your mortgage payment on it:

But we now hear from a few murmuring bishops that the Church must address Biden’s unworthy reception of Communion. “US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop taking Communion,” reads a recent AP headline. Nothing concrete, however, is likely to come from these complaints. The U.S. bishops, as a whole, lack the will to withhold Communion from Biden, even though canon law says that they not only have the right but the duty to do so. Canon 915 “obliges the minister of Holy Communion to refuse the Sacrament” to those in “manifest grave sin.” If Biden’s direct facilitation of the killing of unborn children doesn’t fall into that category, what does?

Not being Catholic, I’m not hip to the vagaries of intra-curial politics, but the American bishops strike this Orthodox Presbyterian as not a whole lot more concerned about such things than the ELCA.

Degüello, Metaphorically Speaking

Question: Why did President Harris go so long on gun control at Biden’s “bedtime chat” the toher night?

Answer: Because Big Left may not get another chance at it, at least not via due process of law.

Americans are ditching gun control:

The number of Americans supporting enacting new gun laws over protecting gun rights fell from 57 percent to 50 percent, a seven-point drop from when the poll was last conducted in 2018. The number of Americans favoring gun rights jumped from 34 to 43 percent, a nine-point jump. The difference between the two positions narrowed by 16 points overall.

The sharpest decline in support for new gun-control measures came among 18 to 29-year-olds and Hispanics. Both groups saw a 20 percent drop. Rural Americans and strong conservatives saw a 17-point drop.

The downturn in gun-control support comes even after multiple high-profile mass shootings in Colorado, Indiana, and Georgia. The ABC/Washington Post poll is the second in as many weeks to show support for gun control waning. A Pew Research poll released on April 21 found the same seven-point drop in support for stricter gun laws.

The polling trend lends support to the idea new gun owners are beginning to change their attitudes on guns. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gun makers and dealers, estimated there were 8.4 million new gun owners in 2020. Since gun owners tend to oppose new gun-control measures at a higher rate than non-gun owners, the drop in polling support for new gun laws may be a result of those new gun owners changing their minds.

There’s a strong case to be made that gun rights are winning the culture war – we’ve talked about it before – and this stiudy is some fairly solid evidence toward the thesis.

That’s the good news.

Here’s the problem: when we’re on defense, gun owners and gun rights supporters are second to none. If every conservative constituency in the US were as diligent at organizing and wielding power as shooters, Congress would look like the North Dakota legislature – there wouldn’t be enough elected Democrats to staff their committee assignments. When there’s a threat, we turn out like an onslaught of biblical wrath.

But when times are good?

Most especially when Republicans – who are reliably pro-gun, and the few exceptions prove the rule – control Congress and our legislatures, we go back to “real life”. Which befits us, as (mostly) conservatives; we don’t want politics to be our daily grind. We have real lives.

But with the SCOTUS on the brink of taking on a case that could impose strict scrutiny on state gun control laws, we, the good guys, need to resolve to fight this thing through to its bitter conclusion, just as our grandparents and great-grandparents did in 1945 – until the war is over for good. Until there’s no doubt.

Until gun control is as dead as the slavery in which is was born.

No quarter. No compromise.

UPDATE: Well, that went to hell quickly.

The Case We’ve Been Waiting For?

News came out yesterday.

WIth a win for the NYSRPA would – presumably if incorporated – require “strict scrutiny” of gun laws compliance with the Second Amendment. Literally, they could not infringe the right of the people to keep and carry firearms, provided they aren’t otherwise disqualified from doing so.

The left is getting the vapors.

And while Roberts conservative credentials have proven to be less than stellar, it’s worth remembering he voted with the majority on Heller and MacDonald.

Expect Big Left to mount the mother of all full-court presses.

Citizens United big?

I’d wager a shiny new quarter on it.

Much more on this on Monday’s episode of the “MN Gun Report” podcast (which, as noted about ten words ago, comes out on Monday).

Better

A friend of the blog emails:

The supposedly pro-renter, pro-density council member, Mitra Jalali, has voted against the development on Lexington. It’s a development that would replace a vacant lot rather than tearing down houses that single families could buy. It also was a development that was not asking for any subsidies.h
Apparently, the city council thinks they can make Alatus (the developer) do it better or find someone who can do it better. Do what better is unclear. Of course, with Jalali’s push to enforce rent control, get rid of background checks, and reduce landlords ability to evict problem tenants, who will build anything here?
Well, there probably is some developer who funded Jalali’s campaign who “can do better.” But, we’ll see how much that type of donation costs us taxpayers when Alatus sues the city for this questionable decision. 

Ignorance?

Malfeasance?

When you’re dealing with a movement whose unstated motto is “our ends justify our means”, that has single-party absolute power over all the knobs and levers of government, ignorance, the answer is “irrelevant”.

Grab Your Popcorn

I’ve got a few friends who could qualify as “transgender”. I’ve always done my best to treat them with compassion and respect, the way we’re supposed to treat human beings.

That part is not open for debate.

But there are a few points open for legitimate debate – and the reason we know this is that the trans “movement” – I’ll just call it Big Trans from now on – works so very hard to suppress that debate. In my forays into looking into how Big Trans behaves on social media, I’ve found no group able to mobilize so much frothing ire so fast – not union goons, not Big Karen, nobody. Their “allies” certainly pull their weight in trying to shut down the conversation as well.

Now, there’s a backlash – some parents of putatively trans children are pushing back against the logrolling disguised as “support” that their children, often deeply vulnerable, receive

This piece – first of a four-part investigation – is very long, and so far utterly worth a read.

All In This Together. Yuuup.

Vice President – and let’s be honest, future President, most likely after January 2023, so she has the statutory opportunity to “serve” two full terms of her own – Harris, expressing her deep empathy for working parents with kids at home:

If homeschooling, charter school and private school activists don’t start using this in their ads, they have only themselves to blame.

Logic

No less an authority than Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream informs me that public schools are hotbeds of systemic racism.

No less an authority than President Trump informed me that racism is evil.

Plainly, then, the conclusion must be obvious: public schools are evil.

Minnesota spends more than $13 Billion per year promoting evil.

We should stop doing that. 

We should close all public schools at once.

Parents who care about education and who can afford to send their children to private school, will.

Parents who care about education but who can’t afford to send their children to private school, will home school.

Parents who care about education but who can’t afford to send their children to private school nor to home school them will be out of luck and their children will grow up ignorant and poor like their parents who probably were Trump voters anyway, so they deserve it.

Teachers, administrators, support staff laid off when the schools close, should learn to code.

Joe Doakes

The thing about calling racism “structural” is you gotta get rid of the “structure” to fix it.

For Me But Not For Ye Yadda Yadda Bla Bla

California teachers union official who’s spent months claiming that schools are unsafe…

…you already know where this is going, don’t you? Yet another Democrat official demanding compliance from the proles, while seizing special treatment for them and theirs. Right?

Right. And you know he’s a Democrat, because, well, he’s white, and elected, and in Berkeley, and I’ll just defer to the physical description:

“White man with dreads”. Only Urban Progressive Privilege conveys that level of immunity to charges of “cultural appropriation”.

Anyway – Meyer was caught on tape by “reopening” activists dropping his kids off at a private pre-school. I’ve added emphasis:

“Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union,” the group wrote in a tweet on Saturday along with video footage of Meyer. “He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school.”

Meyer told Fox News in a statement that the video, which blurred out his child’s face, was “very inappropriate” and an intrusion of his child’s privacy. He added that there were “no public options for kids her age.”

Right – because of him, his union, and the state government over which both have inordinate control.

The Democrats are going to need another Republican to go to Cancun, and stat.

But Don’t You Dare Call Big Left Horrifyingly Reductionist

SCENE: Mitch BERG is at a local roastery, picking out some bourgeois coffee. Avery LIBRELLE walks in. BERG can’t quite react fast enough.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Oh, f…for crying out loud, it’s been a long time, Avery. What’s…

LIBRELLE: (Interrupting) You say Democrats have trouble with critical thinking…

BERG: (picking a medium roast, ordering a half pound ground for french press) Yup.

LIBRELLE: …and that conservatism takes more mental energy…

BERG: …and it absolutely does, for people in modern society…

LIBRELLE: and that the modern left is hopelessly reductionistic.

BERG: You bet.

LIBRELLE: That is so wrong.

BERG: Nah. Here’s one of the modern left’s intellectual thought leaders at work:

BERG: Boiling a complex argument with lots of real world context down into an evil cover of a nursery rhyme is…

(BERG looks at LIBRELLE – who is happily clapping along and whispering the words)

(BERG silently pays for his order, leaves)

(And SCENE)

(

Indoctrination

Whatever you do, don’t you dare suggest public schools have become leftist indoctrination factories:


According to whistleblower documents and a source within the school, a fifth-grade teacher at the inner-city William D. Kelley School designed a social studies curriculum to celebrate Davis, praising the “black communist” for her fight against “injustice and inequality.” As part of the lesson, the teacher asked students to “describe Davis’ early life,” reflect on her vision of social change, and “define communist”—presumably in favorable terms.

At the conclusion of the unit, the teacher led the ten- and eleven-year-old students into the school auditorium to “simulate” a Black Power rally to “free Angela Davis” from prison, where she had once been held while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder. The students marched on the stage, holding signs that read “Black Power,” “Jail Trump,” “Free Angela,” and “Black Power Matters.” They chanted about Africa and ancestral power, then shouted “Free Angela! Free Angela!” as they stood at the front of the stage.

Apologists may respond “this is an anomaly! Not all public schools try to get away with this kind of thing!”

No. Just the ones in districts so blue that there will be no consequences – serving both to socialize (heh heh) the concept with other teachers, and to lower the bar of what’s “acceptable” elsewhere; “Oh, fer gosh sakes, Edina doesn’t have them chant “Free Angela” and talk about black “ancestral power”. No, perish the thought. We just study why Angela Davis is a hero (omitting all context about her crimes and communism itself, naturally), and why “whiteness” is a social cancer. Totally different things!”

Remember – Berg’s 21st Law is pretty clear on this: “When it comes to “progressive” policy, yesterday’s absurd joke is today’s serious proposal and tomorrow’s potential law”

Don’t be surprised.

Bad News / Good News

The bad news: As I observed with Ann Bauer while filling in for Brad Carlson last week, lockdowns are killing kids – especially kids who are, like so many these days, predisposed to mental illness:

Millions of American kids are struggling, and their chances for long-term improved mental health is predicated on the notion that we will now prioritize their emotional well-being, which our society has tragically shown it has no intention of doing.

Our hope for raising an emotionally healthy and mentally stable generation is dissipating with every day kids are kept locked in their bedrooms and out of schools. Skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety are in no small part due to the fact that children feel neglected and forgotten, and they are not wrong to feel that way.

Our society has abandoned them and treated them as disposable. The damage caused by this abandonment is incalculable, and compounding every day we allow inertia, irrationality and the craven priorities of teachers unions to rule our decision-making.

The good news?

What, are you new around here? This is progressivism at work, operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries “Big Education” and “Big Karen”. Short of turning our culture around, there is none.

Government By Platitude

Governor Walz released…

…well, he called it his “education plan”, earlier this week.

Those of us who work in business – which significantly, has never included anyone in our executive branch – can identify what this…thing, is.

It’s a two page list of platitudes. One and a half when you leave out the header.

None of it has specifics. None of it is testable to see if it’s working or isn’t, in any way. And while we are assured that there’s more “plan” coming, mark my words – there’ll be no more substance in the thousands of pages of institutional gobbledigook that are surely to come.

But let’s translate the terms from their current Educational/Bureaucratic dialect – the form of English with the lowest signal to noise ratio of all our many argots – into actual English:

  • “‘Caring and Qualified’ Teachers” – Get ready to get logrolled with a few years of sob stories about how underpaid teachers, especially in the Metro, are.
  • “Expand opportunities and mental health staff” – Full employment for soft-science and non-profiteers in the school system.
  • “Statewide Mentor Program to help retain teachers” –
  • “Expand full service community school model statewide” – We need to expand the system’s efficiency at transferring taxpayer dollars, not just to Education Minnesota, but to the non-profit/industrial complex that’s attached to it like a remora fish – and all you schools in greater Minnesota need to step up and do your bit.
  • “Establish an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center” – Because why should we pay Pacific Consulting Group millions to screw up our schools when we’ve got PCG-trained career bureaucrats who can do it for us. Although we’ll still be transferring plenty of wealth to PCG.
  • “Expand rigorous coursework options” – You bought an education system! Now, for just a few billion more, you can have one that actually teaches stuff to kids! Maybe!
  • “Prioritize school funding to the students that need it most” and “Guarantee that compensatory aid funding supports students traditionally left behind” – jigger the various knobs and levers to move more money to the Metro.
  • “One time investment to ensure pandemic enrollment loss does not negatively affect students.” – parents and students are bailing on the public schools in record numbers. We need a bailout.
  • “Strengthen community and school partnerships” – No “community” non-profit left behind.

Hope that helps.

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.

The Usual Suspects

Trump supporters on the Mall

“Trump Supporters” who stormed the Capitol.

We’ve seen the horned-hat guy before:

Wasn’t there a famous incident a centuray ago, a fire blamed on innocent people which gave a certain politician the excuse to seize power?
Are we absolutely certain the troublmakers were ordinary Trump supporters, same as the rest of the crowd outside, and not infiltrators hoping to cause a backlash against President Trump and his supporters protesting the stolen election

Joe Doakes

Whether the riot was launched by provocateurs or not, plenty of Trump supporters did participate with great glee. There’s a dilemma, of course – if there’s one thing we learned during the Tea Party, at gun rights and pro life and tax-protest rallies, it’s that conservatives need to behave impeccably, because the media and the Dems oppo research staff (pardon the redundancy) will pick over every utterance, visual and thought for wrongthink).

(If there’s another thing we learned it’s that the left’s slander machine and control of the administrative state makes perfect behavior irrelevant. Lefty social media today is awash in claims that the Tea Party was racist, violent, and a tool of the Koch Brothers, who (we’re told) bought all of American politics for a few years).

But whoever turned the demonstration into a riot, and whatever the reasons, the left is responding to last week’s events with a technique they’ve mastered; not wasting a crisis. Whoever did what, it will be spun relentlessly to their advantage.

Ricardo Lopez: Middle School Reporter

Ricardo Lopez writes for “MN Reformer”, which is a website in the tradition of the old “MN Monitor” – basically a propaganda site funded by progressive plutocrats with deep pockets,

Further proof that not only the Democratic party, but its pet media (and the Reformer is nothing but a paid PR lapdog for Ken Marti) can assume that their audience isn’t an especially critical bunch of thinkers.

Because, say what you will about Miller’s letter, logically or epidemiologically, but other than choosing the word “Exchange” over the more apposite “Exposure”, he got the mechanics of how we currently know Covid is spread pretty right.

It took Lopez’s apparently eighth-grade sense of discernment to read “sexual transmission” into a choice of words that, otherwise, got things basically correct.

But in a world where Samantha Bee is among the left’s top journalists, it doesn’t not make sense that someone like Lopez would do…well, this.

National Slander

I’m particularly proud of the interview I had last weekend with Peter Wood, author of 1620 – A Criticial Review of the 1629 Project. Wood and his book take a hammer to the historical fraud that the NYTimes sicced on the nation…

…and, worse, the miseducation of an entire generation about the history of our country.

It starts at 33 minutes into the hour:

Prager U has a similar message:

Cautionary Tale, 2020

Dennis Prager notes that everything The Left touches, it destroys.

If you’re a conservative, in a well-run conservative state like the Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Carolina, Idaho, Utah or most of Montana, Texas, Oklahoma or Indiana, be careful.

All these people fleeing the mess their own politics have made do screw up your politics. You’ve seen it in rural New England, where Boston refugees pretty much zorched everything forty years ago.

Colorado? Virginia? Lost to refugees from California and DC over a decade ago.

Arizona?

It’s becoming mini-California.

The Seattle Times reports that the refugees from California, Washington, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Nevada, Florida, and Utah, in that order, fled to the state with Cactus League baseball, more conservative politics, the Grand Canyon, and the Red Rocks of Sedona. And then they approved legal pot, the state’s highest tax increase ever, and put Democrats in the highest offices – the Senate and White House – to ensure their new home will be every bit as expensive and over-regulated as the one from which they fled. Toke up, ‘Zonies!

You’re seeing this in Fargo and Grand Forks, as colonies of academics from all over the blue-o-sphere set up residence, and then start turning the area into everything they fled.

Watch out, Hudson.

My Checklist

My “Black Friday” checklist:Wednesday before Thanksgiving:

  1. Make sure I’ve got groceries and essentials sufficient to get through ’til Monday. Check.
  2. Anticipate the places I need to go for the next three days, and map out routes avoiding major malls, Targets, Walmarts and commercial districts. Check.
  3. Switch on NPR and start counting all the “celebrities” and “newscasters” referring to this next four weeks as the most miserable, dysfunctional time of the year, full of family one hates because of their politics and the onerous nature of having to engage in forced civility while celebrating gratitude and humility while apparently feeling neither. Make sure I have a fresh set of legal pads, since it gets worse every year. Check.
  4. Silently ponder, for yet another year, converting to Russian Orthodox Christianity, at least in part to put Christmas off til January 6 and get some awesome savings on presents in the week between Christmas and New Years. Check.

OK. I’m good to go.

Happy Day After Thanksgiving, everyone!

Memory

Memory is a survival trait.

Squirrels remember where they buried the nut, so they can eat it later
to survive the winter.  Those that don’t, die.

Children remember burning their finger, so they treat fire
respectfully.  Those who don’t, burn to death.

Conservatives remember past public policy disasters, so we can avoid
repeating them.  We use monuments and books to help us remember.

Liberals remember . . . nothing.  Nothing ever happened before they were
born, except slavery, which was bad and therefore everything that
happened before they were born, is bad.  So it must all be torn down and
thrown out and replaced with something that sounds better.  And it must
be done right now, because Liberals have no patience for history lessons
or experience or hard-gained wisdom.  Why would they need any?  What
could possibly go wrong?

Half the population believes President Trump bungled the Covid response
by failing to impose a travel ban and nation-wide lock-down in January,
when Covid hit the news.  They literally cannot remember that we spent
January dealing with impeachment, or the World Health Organization
telling us Covid was nothing to worry about, or hand washing and
elbow-bumps as sensible precautions, or all the Democrat protests over
banned flights from China.  They believe 200 million Americans died of
Covid because they don’t remember differently.

Loss of memory is an anti-survival trait and half our society is eagerly
embracing it.  This does not bode well for the continued existence of
the nation.

Joe Doakes

I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say “Progressives” (I’m not gonna continue debasing the term “liberal” – the left did enough of that) have no memory.

Orwell showed us how important controlling history – our “collective” story about ourselves – was to a would-be tyrant. This has been borne out in countless socialist and totalitarian regimes – knowing the wrong history could be a lethal error.

Having the correct memory, the one one is told to have, correctly and punctually, is a survival trait, historically (ahem) on the left.

The Fix

Macalester students, forced to “study” remotely, get not a dime’s worth of break on their tuition.

Their institutions’ president has other priorities:

Now might be a fine time for conservative entrepreneurs to start getting into the higher ed business.

Male Like Me

President Trump is so strong, so virile, so . . . hyper-masculine, just like a Vladimir Putin or  some Confederate general. 

MPR really misses Pajama Boy.

Joe Doakes

I’ve got friends…well, semi-professional acquaintances that haven’t gone completely mad with partisan rage, anyway – at MPR, so I’ll not comment on the locals.

But it seems to have been decreed from on high that male voices that aren’t audibly African-American must sound like most of America thinks Pajama Boy sounded.