Inhuman

Remember in the 1980s, when some “conservative” fundies rejoiced at the deaths of AIDS patients.

It was a pretty depraved stance. Everyone knows that.

Someone tell the fairly irredeemable LA Times drone Michael Hiltzik – who has reprised that particular bit of human depravity by declaring “Mocking some anti-vaxxers’ deaths is necessary“.

Helpfully, he adds “My exception applies to those who have actively undermined public health for the sake of an ideology and a culture war”.

I’m not going to extensively pull-quote the column – which is full of the sort of “two weeks to stop the virus” cheerleading that seems to have come from a CDC press release in April 2020, or from someone who thinks Gavin Newsom is on the right track.

That’s not especially remarkable.

Remarkable? Humanity is secondary to progs like Hiltzik:

It may be ghoulish to celebrate or exult in the deaths of vaccine opponents. And it may be proper to express sympathy and solicitude to those they leave behind.

But mockery is not necessarily the wrong reaction to those who publicly mocked anti-COVID measures and encouraged others to follow suit, before they perished of the disease the dangers of which they belittled…There may be no other way to make sure that the lessons of these teachable moments are heard.

Actually, there is another way: : stop politicizing public health. Stop spreading distrust of “the Trump Vaccine” during the elections, and then turn around and claim credit for it. Stop making “sowing controllable panic” the default setting for public health messaging. Stop being whores for the Democrats, if you’re the media.

Of course, this is more about them than – and their needs to find a scapegoat for their frustrations – than the unvaccinated.

But let’s not pretend this – mocking and giggling about opponents, on whatever issue, that die unfortunate deaths – is anything but the default setting for ghouls like Hiltzik. After watching people like him giggle and guffaw over the deaths of Tony Snow, Antonin Scalia and Rush Limbaugh, and hoot and holler for the death of Steve Scaliise, it’s a stretch to assume they have any other setting.

Sort of like guffawing about dead AIDS patents, only apparently acceptable.

Rule Of Law

Governor Klink had a union obligation to save the bloody shirt yesterday:

I mean, he’s not wrong – although I doubt he knows why.

The part of our “democratic ideals” that the mooks ofJanuary 6 attacked was the process – the Constitutionally-mandated steps for determining who the President is.

The rioters tried to circumvent that process. That – not the hooliganism in the Capitol itself – was the attack on democracy.

When government encourages or (hold onto this word) allows people to chuck the process and impose rule themselves – that’s the very definition of an attack on democracy.

Like, January 6? Sure.

Even if they’re dead sure the election was stolen, because Rudy Giuliani said so, and Sidney Powell had

Like when a group of protesters tore down the statue of Christopher Columbus on the Minnesota Capitol mall – bypassing the rule of law (the Capitol Architecture Committee), but with the tacit blessing of the Administration (whose Lieutenant Governor, Peggy Flanagan, chairs the committee); the DFL machine then “punished” the ringleader by “sentencing” him to preach to school kids why Columbus was evil enough to warrant trashing the process. Which would be more or less like “sentencing” Sheriff Hutchinson to a punitive round of tequila shots.

Is the destruction of the statue as big an assault on the rule of law as the riot a the Capitol?

In and of itself, of course not.

Is the fact that our institutions, and our media, tolerate one side attacking the rule of law while hammering on the oppositions attacks?

Yeah,that doesn’t help one little bit.

Mention

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed me yesterday:

Today is the Honorable Sixth, the day when patriots everywhere raise their fingers to the usurper in Washington, in memory of the innocents slaughtered and the political prisoners still held captive for attempting to secure democracy by peaceful means.

Joe Doakes

I mean, if it were Democrats and the occupant were a Repubican, that’s what we’d have heard all day yesterday…

The First Of Many Wavings Of The Bloody Shirt

I don’t disagree with any of the particulars of the National Review’s editorial about January 6:

There is no defense for what the mob did that day. None. The people have a right to form loud, angry crowds to petition and protest their government. They need not do so in ways that are pleasant or polite. The “Stop the Steal” protesters who listened to the speeches and went home were exercising their rights as citizens.

But ours is a government of laws, not of men. A rule-of-law system has no place for physical intimidation or mobs obstructing the peaceful, constitutional transfer of power. The Founding Fathers feared few things more than mob rule. They created a federal district to avoid a repeat of a 1783 riot around the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

Donald Trump, his lieutenants (especially Sidney Powell and the tragically-fallen Rudy Giuliani), and Trump’s personality cult, did something that doesn’t, and can’t, play well with small-“d” democracy: it put the person ahead of the process:

There is also no defense of what Donald Trump did to summon the crowd, tell it that there remained any option but counting Biden’s electoral victory, and urge the assemblage to march on the Capitol because “if we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country . . . you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Trump’s recklessness disgraced the office of the presidency.

Additionally, there is no defense of Trump’s pressuring Pence to take unilateral, unlawful action against the counting of electoral votes, then telling the crowd that Pence might do so, knowing full well that they would discover when they reached the Capitol that Pence would not. Some of them, entering the Capitol, chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.” It was Trump who led them to believe that his own vice president was allowing their country to be stolen.

Let’s be honest about what that explosion of personality cult over process actually did:

What happened at the Capitol that day is best understood as a riot that was particularly dangerous because of its setting and context. It was not a purely peaceful protest, or a cartoonish costume party with a little bit of trespassing. The Secret Service had to rush Pence to safety. Members of Congress emptied the chamber and fled for cover. The vote-counting process was interrupted for five and a half hours. The Capitol itself was wreathed in smoke. This is the stuff of a banana republic.

When the subject of banana republics pop up, Democrats perk their ears up, being wannabe Generalissimos in their own ways. Republicans, even Trump supporters, are correct in pointing out that Democrats were trashing the democratic process since before Donald Trump was a reality TV star, much less President:

For two decades, prominent Democrats have attacked the legitimacy of American elections. They claimed that the 2000 election was stolen from Al Gore. They indulged ridiculous fantasies about Ohio being stolen in 2004, resulting in dozens of Democratic members of Congress objecting to counting its electoral votes. Many of those Democrats are now powerful committee chairs, including the chair of the committee investigating January 6. Violent protests marred Trump’s inauguration, and leading Democrats denounced him as illegitimate. Polls showed that supermajorities of Democratic voters believed that Russian hackers stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton, and she has given every indication that she shares that view. In 2018, Stacey Abrams was anointed a hero by her party for refusing to accept the legitimacy of her loss of a governor’s race. It would have been wrong for Trump to emulate this behavior; but he went well beyond what even the most reckless Democrat has done in contesting an election.

Left-wing mobs have targeted the workings of government, for example overwhelming the Wisconsin state capitol in 2011 to protest Scott Walker’s union-dues bill. Republican legislators had to be evacuated by police, as Democratic legislators egged on the mob. In 2018, protesters repeatedly disrupted the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, chased Republican senators down hallways and into elevators, accosted them in restaurants, and broke through Capitol barricades, resulting in hundreds of arrests. Law enforcement was unduly lax in punishing these offenses against democratic self-government.

It’s true. But it’s no excuse – any more than January 6 will be a legitimate excuse for more Democrat violence and tyranny-mongering. That is, in fact, something that Republicans of good conscience need to stomp on, hard. Because it dismisses nothing to note that January 6 was an attack on the Constitutional process different from others only in its perps:

The New York Times editorializes that “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now,” and one of its columnists argues that Democrats should “Wave the ‘Bloody Shirt’ of Jan. 6” as Republicans did against Democrats after the Civil War — as if this compares to a four-year war in which 3 million Americans served and 750,000 died. Other opportunists (including Joe Bidencall the riot the “worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War” or say it is comparable to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. CNN and other cable news obsessives plan wall-to-wall coverage of the anniversary in order to inflate its importance and help Democrats wave that bloody shirt.

This is a loss of perspective. In 1915, a former Harvard professor set off a bomb at the Capitol and shot J. P. Morgan. In 1954, five congressmen were shot by Puerto Rican nationalists in the House chamber. In the early 1970s, the left-wing Weather Underground set off bombs at the Capitol, the Pentagon, and the State Department. In 1983–84, the Communist group M19 bombed the Capitol, an FBI office, and Fort McNair and the Navy Yard in D.C. In 2001, 3,000 people died on 9/11, air travel was grounded across the country, the president was shuttled to a secure location, and a wing of the Pentagon was destroyed. In 2017, a gun-toting Bernie Sanders supporter attempted to massacre Republican congressmen at a baseball practice, gravely wounding Steve Scalise, the Republican House whip.

I say “Republicans of good conscience” because there are Republicans who have joined the personality cult, and many who’ve prospered, politically and financially, greatly from it.

And some Republicans have reacted by washing their hands of the GOP – some for reasons I can respect (Ed Morrissey), others I can not (the Lincoln Project), many in between. Some “Never-Trumpers” yip and bark at the party like bitter ex-spouses.

Others presume the GOP’s reckoning rates a generation in the minority – as Kevin Williamson says in his otherwise worthy piece on the subject, again, I agree with in most particulars – except for its conclusion:

It is my view that none of the Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 results should ever hold office again, and that no candidate who is unwilling to forthrightly condemn both the violence of January 6 and the lies that inspired that violence ought to enjoy the support of any conservative, any organ of the Republican Party, or, indeed, any American who calls himself a patriot. No candidate who cannot give a simple yes or no answer — and give the correct one — to the question of whether the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump ought to hold office. If that puts the Republican Party into the minority for a generation, then the Republican Party deserves it, having become a menace not only to the conservative principles and governance it purports to cherish but to the political structure of the nation and the Constitution itself. Those who have no use for caudillos and mobs, and who hope to see our constitutional order endure, should seriously consider separating themselves from the Republican Party unless and until it proves capable of reforming itself.

“Reforming itself”

Like, magically?

Well, no. The party “reforms itself” when those who show up decide it shall be reformed.

Our democracy – and the Constitutional process Williamson rightly extols elsewhere – won’t survive a generation of one-party government by today’s Democrat party. The Democrat party of the Watergate era, led by Ernie Hollings and Scoop Jackson and Daniel Inouye, people who believe in America whatever their political differences, didn’t see power as the means to the end. They weren’t the generation of “progressives” that gave us San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore and Minneapolis, or for that matter California and Illinois, as they are today; those are the inevitable consequences of one-party rule, at least by this Democrat party at this time in its history.

Packed courts.

Centralized elections.

A packed Senate.

More promotion of the administrative state to circumvent the legislative and judicial processes that can’t be won in elections.

Those are the consequences of a “generation of minority status” for the opposition.

That’s not acceptable.

The GOP will have to “reform itself” by good people showing up and reforming it.

Not by sitting splendidly above it all listening to Bulwark podcasts and heckling.

Not by waiting for some third-party to spring into place.

Not by waiting for the Reform Fairy.

Not, for that matter, by waiting for someone else to reform it. With all due respect to those who stormed out in a cloud of principled righteousness in 2015, 2017 and 2020, starting next month, your opinions are duly noted, and will no longer be of any relevance.

No. It happens by reforming the GOP.

More on that next week.

It’s Not Us. It’s You.

This nation has two choices, if we’re to remain a nation (or, potentially, a viable society).

One of them – by far the most radical and traumatic – is secession; from individual states, and maybe from the US itself.

(And no – that wasn’t “settled in 1865” any more than it was settled in 1776. It’s only “illegal” when the secedees have the will to bring the secessionists to heel).

Big media is noting one, fairly welll established, such movement, in greater Oregon:

In the summer of 2015, a chimney sweep in Elgin, Oregon, redrew the map of the American West. “Imagine for a moment Idaho’s western border stretching to the Pacific Ocean,” Grant Darrow wrote in a letter to the editor of his local paper. Rural Oregon, he insisted, should break its ties with the urbanites of Portland and liberals of Salem, and join Idaho. “The political diversity in this state is becoming unpalatable,” he argued. “Rural Oregonians in general and Eastern Oregonians in particular are growing increasingly dismayed by the manner in which Oregon’s Legislature and Oregon’s urban dwellers have marginalized their values, demonized their lifestyle, villainized their resource-based livelihoods, and classified them as second-class citizens at best.”

In the half decade or so since Darrow’s diatribe, a simple and outlandish idea, percolating in rural Oregon since the 1960s—what if we were just Idaho?—has grown into a grassroots secession movement. Last month, Harney County, in the high desert of eastern Oregon, became the state’s eighth to pass a nonbinding ballot measure supporting Darrow’s proposal. Move Oregon’s Border signs now dot the region’s empty highways, and Mike McCarter, a retired agricultural nurseryman and gun-club owner who runs a group pushing for the boundary reshuffle, travels the state in a bright-red trucker hat bearing the slogan. “We don’t care to move, because we’re tied to our land here,” he told me recently. “So why not just allow us to be governed by another state?” He mentioned a supporter so certain that her property will become part of Idaho that she already flies its state flag on her lawn. “We’re going to be Idaho,” she told him.

The movement has passed in nearly every county in which it’s gone to the ballot. As the article points out, it seems unlikely the Idaho legislature will accept the new border (which would drive Idaho’s western border to the Pacific – much less Oregon’s California-lite legislature full of unicorn-chasing feebs.

Let’s see – urban lotus-eaters, out of touch with and imposing their dystopian vision on the rest of the state, from a riot-torn city full of people who love central planning? Sounds familiar.

The second option – getting serious about Federalism, checks and balances, and enumerated, divided power, again – would be hypothetically simpler. And, sometimes, I think it would lead just as quickly to mass secession, as Big Left decided to hit the exits.

I’m Pretty Convinced…

…that Covid provides a disturbing proportion of our society with a reason to wake up in the morning; “enforcing the misery” gives their lives whatever meaning it has.

Which brings us to this:

First, kudos to the guy, who learned the important lesson: when a woman, no matter how wrong, no matter how impaired, no matter how depraved, attacks you, don’t hit back; your best bet is to hope for enough bruising (or, nowadays with video everywhere, clear video) to make your case in court.

Which I hope the guy does – winning everything this vile shrew owns or will ever own.

Back on point: as the emergency winds down, expect more of this, as Karens, bereft of their purpose and. meaning, lash out.

And – given that most “wars of religion” are really wars over other longstanding fault lines that happen to have a veneer of religious difference slapped on, what other fault lines will the pandemic adhere to?

We’ve got race, class, region, economics…?

Gurgitation On Cue

SCENE: Mitch BERG is looking for a new heat gun at a hardware store when Kirk THUNT, used car salesman and chairman of The Arne Carlson Project, an anti-Trump organization based in Forest Lake, walks around the corner.

THUNT: Merg.

BERG: Er…hi ,Kirk…

THUNT: You routinely refuse to condemn Donald Trump for trying to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when he was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: I condemn, and condemned, the riot, the “storming” of the Capitol, and anyone who thought they could overtake the Constitutional process by force. All the talk about killing the Vice President is just baked wind; the Secret Service would have leveled anyone who tried. The electoral commission was alarmed – justifiably – but they finished their job. Democracy was never in danger, and everyone involved is in a world of legal hurt. The federal criminal justice system is doing what it does.

THUNT: The January 6 Commission just learned that Chief of Staff Meadows has text messages proving Trump was involved.

BERG: Maybe they do.

THUNT: Maybe? So you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: The commission is an investigation – of sorts. Findings are not a conclusion. I’m not going to pretend I know enough to draw a conclusion, even if my conclusion matters to anyone. Let the investigation run its course.

THUNT: Huh. Let it run its course? So you’re right there behind the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Again, no. I am saying I believe the left has glommed onto it as a way of deflecting, eternally, away from their many very deliberate attempts to undercut out democracy, and the riots that they supported from 2015 to 2021.

THUNT: Deflection? So – you are a big fan of the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: I’m pretty sure I said exactly the opposite, several times. My “crime” with you seems to be the fact that I haven’t wet myself with outrage over Trump, with regard to this episode or any other during his administration. I was a Trump non-fan back when you were watching The Apprentice. I’m intellectually honest about the things he did right and wrong, but if you’re looking for…

…on cue from me, you’ve got the wrong guy .

THUNT: So you dismiss concerns about the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: For the fourth time in 90 seconds – no. I do think Big Left uses January 6 the same way a certain European socialist leader used this episode. But we’ve got a whole new set of problems to deal with, as a nation and, frankly, as a Republican.

THUNT: So you don’t think the GOP is forever rendered toxic by its association with Trump, meaning you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when he was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Er, Kirk? I’ve just explained that every single point you make is bulls**t. And yet every time you take a breath, you tell me I support the…what is it you say?

THUNT: You are a hypocritical supporter of the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: And again, I am not.

THUNT: Denial means you are an enabler of the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: That’s false.

THUNT: Disagreement means you are a supporter the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Once you got on the green, you only had to use your putter twice, right?

THUNT: Nonsensical responses mean you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Look. The heat gun I’m looking for.

THUNT: Using heat guns means you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

(But BERG has already left the room)

Travesty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

You’re a cop. You’ve stopped a driver and have him standing on the side of the road because he’s got warrants for his arrest. He dives back into the car, presumably going for his gun. What do you do?

a. grab him from behind and wrestle with him. No, because he might still grab his gun and shoot you.
b. grab your expandable baton and smack him. No, because he’s diving into the car and there’s no room to swing the baton.
c. grab your pepper spray and Mace him. No, because inside the car, it’ll blind you, too.
d. grab your Taser and shock him. Maybe, depends on who else has hands on him that will also get shocked. What other options do you have?
e. grab your . . . .

. . . too late. He shot you. You’re dead and so’s your partner.

Intellectually, she intended to grab her Taser but instinctively, she grabbed her pistol. It’s a learned response. It’s what cops practice the most. Gun instructors say “train as you will fight” because that’s how your body will react in the half-second available. And cops train with guns because that’s ‘the gravest extreme,’ when the training matters most.

Officer Potter did not commit murder. This was a horrible accident but entirely foreseeable because the decision-action table is too long, too many variables to run through, and nobody can ‘train as you fight’ for all of them.

Joe Doakes

A roof on qualified immunity quite a bit – Justifiably so – but at its core, it is intended to protect people like police from excessive liability for exactly this sort of situation.

Unlike civilians, who are legally strongly discouraged from doing anything but running away from altercations, the police are expected to go toward the sound of trouble.

The pendulum likely need to swing back. I’m pretty sure this is a terrible case to enact that swing.

It’s Not Us. It’s You.

A relationship can survive anything, says Dennis Prager, except contempt.

And there is a lot of contempt in our society.

Mostly one-way:

Nearly a quarter of college students wouldn’t be friends with someone who voted for the other presidential candidate — with Democrats far more likely to dismiss people than Republicans — according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling.

And a disturbing number of leftists don’t want to hire or employ those people, either.

It’s the ugly, militant side of Urban Progressive Privillege: not only do people with UPP never need to recognize any different perspectives on life, they increasingly work to actively cleanse their echo chambers of any dissonance.

You could call it cultural cleansing:

The Democrats routinely call Republicans and their activists “culture warriors,” but when it comes to pushing the country in a particular direction away from where it currently is, it’s always the Democrats who have been at the forefront. On abortion, they have been pushing to open up the definition to make it as widely available and as routine as any other form of birth control. With social spending, they have moved to make it more and more available while lowering the requirements further and further, creating programs that are impossible to pay for.

On issues like education, they are tightening their control as much as possible and shutting families out, even going so far as to label concerned parents as “terrorists.”

Everything’s A Wedge

According to Dana Milbank…

…dissenting from Big Left/Big Media/the Brandon administration is “fascism”..

Not sure if they’re trying to foment a civil war.

If they were, what would they be doing differently?

(And how is the Brandon Administration “salvaging democratic norms?” Labeling everyone that disagrees a “white supremacist?”)

Urban Progressive Privilege: Am I The Only One That Thinks…

…that the current, possibly-excessive, garment-rending over the “Omicron” variant is the sound of an awful lot of people who’ve gone through lives with little purpose or meaning, and have found a perverted version of both in bullying, shunning and scarlet-lettering people with different conclusions and means of dealing with Covid?

That depression and anxiety might be the least of society’s mental health issues when it comes to this pandemic – that the wave of cultural narcissism it’s released dwarves everything else (except, obviously, the suicide?)

Rittenhouse: Good News, Bad News

I’ve had to spend a long weekend explaining to a lot of “progressives”: it’s entirely possible that not only are both of the following true:

  • Something can be a bad idea, legally and in common sense terms,
  • Self-defense is not only legitimate, but a very high hurdle to meet under the law in every state I’m aware of; that it’s a “license to kill” if you consider being arrested, spending two months in jail, having to bond for $2.5 Million to get released, spending 15 months in legal limbo, God only knows how much in legal bills, standing trial with a risk of two life sentences and a couple more decades to boot, and having to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder in case some depraved, entitled lefty narcissist decides to “even the score” to be a “license to kill”.

Most disturbing? Beyond the number of people who think that:

  • we should just ignore the law and make Rittenhoue an example because “we don’t want people wandering around defending themselves, or that
  • “crossing state lines” is a crime, or that
  • Kyle Rittenhouse was a “vigilante” for going to a riot with a gun, but Gage Grosskreutz wasn’t, or that
  • Rioting is sacrosanct protected speech?

…what could be worse?

This: I think both sides missed the most important lesson.

Which is, I believe, this.

Some Background: It is human nature to create order.

thout order, prosperity is impossible – and by “prosperity“, I don’t mean “his and hers Bentleys“, I mean living as something other than a subsistence farmer.

Without prosperity, freedom is academic. (And without freedom, order is tyranny, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves).

I’m no expert, but I think this is the real lesson of Kenosha that a lot of people on the right, and a lot more on the left, need to get.

We pay taxes to government – lots and lots of them. And providing “order” is the one unambiguously legitimate role of government.

And if government isn’t going to provide order, fairly and equally across society, in exchange for the burden of supporting it, and keep our businesses from getting burned, our cars from getting stolen, our kids from getting mugged on the way home from school?

People will start creating order for themselves. And one of these next times, it won’t be a 17 year old kid with more idealism than common sense and a loaner rifle.

It’ll be people who won’t run to the police to surrender when nasty nastiness happens.

It’ll be people who do their self-defense pre-emptively. People who don’t care about the high rhetoric and due process of the legal system.

People for whom shooting people isn’t something from video games; it’s something they do or did for their livelihood, either in the neighborhood or in Fallujah or Mogadishu or Helmand or somewhere in the Pine Barrens.

It’ll be people who keep secrets – you could even say, people who observe, and enforce, “codes of silence”.

Sounds like…the Mob? A Cartel? Omar’s crew from The Wire?

Weird.

Rittenhouse: Not Guilty On All Counts

Live feed.

Count 1 (Rosenbaum): Not guilty

Count 2 (McGuinness) Not guilty

Count 3 (Jump Kick Guy) Not guilty

Count 4 (Huber) Not guilty

Count 5 (Grosskreutz) Not guilty

Strap in, Kenosha. It’s gonna be a bumpy night. :

And here’s hoping Rittenhouse follows Nick Sandman into civil court.

UPDATE: Judge Schroeder after the Jury left the room: “Motion of the defense is granted, the charges are dismissed with prejudice. Mr. Rittenhouse is released from the obligation of his bond”.

That was what you call “bouncing the rubble” .

A Long Train Of Abuses And Usurpations

If society can’t trust its public institutions to do their jobs fairly and impartially, self-government is impossible.

We’ll come back to that.


In the generally outstanding Danish TV program Rita – about a middle school teacher fighting burnout – there was one particularly jarring moment, if you were an American parent; the eponymous teacher was discussing problems with a particular student, and reacted with derision and a little muted disgust to the idea that the kid’s parents knew better about how to deal with the situation than her and the rest of the school staff.

It’s not an uncommon view in Europe; German schools have a similar point of view, but the Scandinavians have taken it to what seems to libertarian Americans an absurd extreme.

I say libertarian Americans, with a small “L”, as opposed to more-communitarian Americans. I once ran into an American – a DFL ward heeler from Saint Paul – who said loudly and proudly in public that he was happy to leave his kids education to “the experts”. I was never sure if that was entirely because that’s what he believed, or if he knew he’s get thrown in the stocks by the teachers unions that control so much of the DFL.

But it’s worth a reminder that the sentiment – not just of my DFL friend, but of a good chunk of America – probably jibes more with “Rita” than with most of the people reading this blog.

This particular op-ed in the WaPo, written by a couple of teachers union shills, titled “Parents claim they have the right to shape their kids’ school curriculum. They don’t“, has been drawing a lot of ire on the cultural right.

The thesis of the article shows us part of the problem:

In their search for issues that will deliver Congress in 2022, conservatives have begun to circle around the cause of “parents’ rights.” …curtail the established rights that Americans have over the educational sphere. Yet what’s actually radical here is the assertion of parental powers that have never previously existed. This is not to say that parents should have no influence over how their children are taught. But common law and case law in the United States have long supported the idea that education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of parents.

And there’s a decent point in there, actually. To be educated is, in fact, to have the basis to think for oneself, to stake out one’s own beliefs in the world, to figure out who one actually is and what one really believes. By historical accident or design, my own education more or less fit the bill; I’m sure if my parents had had full sway over everything I learned and how I learned it, I may have become a conservative much later, if ever.

So. yeah – “education” in the classical sense of the term is one of the things that enables a child to become a separate, autonomous adult…

provided that the schools actually teach critical thinking.

And that’s a big caveat:

 When do the interests of parents and children diverge? Generally, it occurs when a parent’s desire to inculcate a particular worldview denies the child exposure to other ideas and values that an independent young person might wish to embrace or at least entertain. To turn over all decisions to parents, then, would risk inhibiting the ability of young people to think independently. As the political scientist Rob Reich has argued, “Minimal autonomy requires, especially for its civic importance, that a child be able to examine his or her own political values and beliefs, and those of others, with a critical eye.” If we value that end, “the structure of schooling cannot simply replicate in every particularity the values and beliefs of a child’s home.”

Which would be a perfectly legitimate idea…

provided the schools weren’t doing exactly what they “worry” about the parents doing.

Can you honestly say modern state schools teach critical thought?

The authors of the piece seem to think so – but I suggest they are describing an education system that has existed since the 1980s only in their fantasy.


If society can’t trust its institutions do do their job, fairly and impartially, self-government is impossible.

Can we trust public education to do the mission the authors claim it has?

I think you know my vote.

Meet The Petard

Barack Obama found a low-key culture war – including a racial divide that had largely settled down – and fanned it, deliberately and to his electoral benefit.

And now that the wind seems to be changing?

From 2009 – when Obama started peddling the story of the impending wave of “white supremacist terror ” that was going to “dwarf 9/11” – to the exploitation of every racially-tingled incident, Obama was the Erwin Rommel of the Culture Wars. The right is still waiting for its Montgomery.

And I’d like to remind our DFL friends – the “phony trumped-up culture war’ he’s talking about is the cover-up of sexual assauilts in the Loudon County, Virginia schools.

So. .#MeToo.

The culture war, at least in terms of issues affecting the 2022 mid-terms, seems to be blowing in the Dems faces.

I’m Old Enough…

…To remember when “insurrections against civil government” or a bad thing.

That’s “Anti”-Fa, projecting their emblem onto the wall of the Multnomah County courthouse in Portland.

It is literally no less objectionable than projecting a swastika, by the way. The emblem is directly descended from that of the German communist party’s version of the Brownshirts.

Somehow, the media never covers it that way…

Taking Stock

So let’s take stock of where were at in the Biden administration so far:

  • Our shelves are getting kinda bare. “But Merg – you couldn’t find toilet paper during the last year of Drumpf’s regime”. Yep – for free market reasons that actually made sense. Try again.
  • The borders are in effect open.
  • We have a de facto hostage crisis
  • The Taliban in back in control in Afghanistan
  • Fuel costs aren’t just rising, they’re skyrocketing.
  • Public education is getting even worse.
  • The social divides that erupted in violence during the Obama regime have escalated.
  • Indeed, inflation is back for the first time since my freshman year of college.
  • The executive branch, which as been too poiwerful for a long time, is starting to act on that fact.
  • After a year of government acting like a scolding “Karen” of a neighbor and “two weeks to flatten the curve”, not only has Covid gone nowhere, but the economic effects of lockdowns are getting worse.
  • The workforce – one of the four key pillars of the economy, along with land, capital and management – has been “unintentionally” distorted far out of whack, with dire consequences.
  • China is ratting its sabers as never before.

What am I missing?

Offsetting

On the one hand, I see stories like this Dash people protesting at the home have a school board member…

…and point out that what they’re doing isn’t really a whole lot better than what John Thompson did.

On the other hand, I read stories like this, and wonder if a little well focused fear wouldn’t be a very good idea for a lot of public officials?

Ersatz Replacement Usurper

Joe Doakea from Como Park emails

It’s entertaining to make fun of people running around promoting wide-eyed, far-right, moon-bat crazy, pants-on-head conspiracy theories. Like, for instance, Trump didn’t lose the election, the election was stolen from him. Biden and Harris were never the popular choice, they’re merely placeholders until the Real Usurper pulling the strings behind the scenes can be installed as President-For-Life. Okay, it’s completely nuts and nobody believes it, but just for kicks . . .

Biden is senile and Harris is hated. Kill Harris in a false flag operation blamed on Conservatives, bum-rush Congress into appointing the Real Usurper as Veep, then use the 25th Amendment to remove Biden. Could work. So who’s the Real Usurper?

Here’s an article reviewing the 50 most popular Democrats in America. Those are the talent pool to replace Biden.

Some of them are dead. Carter, Clinton and Gore are too old. Pelosi, Warren, Bloomberg are theoretically possible but carry a lot of baggage.

Tulsi is cute but I doubt she has the influence to pull it off.

Bernie is wildly popular with the Democrat base. They’d do anything for him. He’s a real possibility.

Obama. He couldn’t be ELECTED to a third term, but he could be appointed Vice President and then move up. With the new election laws being rammed through Congress, he wouldn’t have to worry about winning another election as long as he lives. Question is – does he still have enough influence with the Democrat party and the Deep State bureaucrats to pull it off? And does he hate America enough to fundamentally transform it from a republic to a dictatorship, with himself at the helm?

Might make a good novel but it’s all a wild fantasy, right? Nobody would ever believe it, right?

Joe Doakes

Our New, New Normal

Over the past few days, there’s been an undercurrent on social media of people saying the implosion of Afghanistan, culminating [1] in yesterday’s suicide-bomb attack killing (so far) 10 Marines and close to 100 people all told was “the angriest/saddest they’ve felt since 9/11”.

For me? In some ways, it’s worse.

9/11 wasn’t a “surprise”, per se – if you’d been paying attention through the ’90s, with the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers and the first WTC Bombing, it was a natural progression. But it was enemies doing what enemies do. We were attacked – like Pearl Harbor, like the Norks crossing the 38th Parallel, it was people who hated us, doing what people who hate us say they’re going to do.

This past two weeks? That same motivation was – let’s not delve into conspiracy-land here – colossal incompetence on every level of our own government, humiliating this country. It’s basketball team doesn’t just shoot a three-pointer into their own basket, but every member of the team slamming a dunk into their own bucket, as the coach says “yep, that’s the plan – score 100 points for the other guys; then we’ll have ’em where we want ’em”, and the other team does casual free-throws when there isn’t one of our guys hanging from the rim.

They say “never chalk up to malice what can be better explained by stupidity”. But if the Biden Administration had planned from the very beginning to humiliate this nation, what would they have done differently? Make Robin DiAngelo the chair of the Joint Chiefs, and put Steven Colbert in charge of Special Operations Command?

Seeing our nation blind-sided twenty years ago was bad enough.

Seeing our nation humiliate itself? Over and over?

This is a new one for me.

This is not the nation I wanted to leave for my kids, my grandkids.

And as far as I can help it, I won’t.

[1] And when I say “culminating”, I mean “so far”. This seems to be a barrel with no bottom.

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!

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.