Nothing To See Here

Hunter Biden paid $50K a month to rent a house he claimed he owned:

Hunter Biden claimed he paid $49,910 a month to live at President Joe Biden’s Delaware residence where classified documents were discovered, a document shows.

The file, labeled “background screening test,” shows Hunter Biden lived in the president’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence between March 2017 and February 2018. Hunter Biden also claimed to “own” the property, according to the document.

The document was originally discovered on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, according to the Washington Examiner, and was reshared on Twitter by the New York Post’s Miranda Devine.

Of course it’s money laundering. It won’t be confirmed until long after Biden has left office, but STFU. This is a payment to the Big Guy.

My only question: how will Big Leftymedia limber up for the logical and factual gymnastics they need to do to bury this?

Unquestionably

The U of M paid Nikole Hannah-Jones $50K to speak at the U – and complied with a demand to conceal the evidence (emphasis added by me):

Hannah-Jones participated in a Dec. 6 “moderated discussion” as part of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series.

According to a contract obtained by Alpha News, the university paid Hannah-Jones’ agents $50,000 for her appearance on campus. The contract prohibited the university from recording the live event, which some school officials took issue with.

“Is the no recording item firm? I would like to remove that if possible. I am looking at one of our local news reporters for the moderator, and we’ve had great success with replaying the conversation via Minnesota Public Radio when we use their hosts. This, along with providing the recording to classrooms for instruction and discussion is important to us,” wrote Gail Fridlund, an events manager with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

But of course, the U acquiesced.

Tom Gagnon, executive vice president of the Lavin Agency, said “that provision is firm” but offered to explain the “good” reasons for the recording prohibition.

“I don’t want folks to think she’s being a diva!” he said in a later email.

The university ultimately agreed to prohibit recording and covered the costs of Hannah-Jones’ travel and lodging expenses.

Those “good reasons” are none other than you and me – taxpayers with the capacity for critical thinking. They’ve seen what happens when the plebs see how the grift works.

If someone knows someone with a samizdat recording, let me know.

Two Plagues

Call me a curmudgeon if you will. I don’t care. If caring about the classic art and craft of doing radio makes me a curmudgeon, then I’ll get a “Curmudgeon” face tattoo and wear it with pride.

Figuratively speaking. Face tattoos are a horror.

Anyway.

There are two plagues afoot in the world of radio.

Decline And Fall: Broadcasters – especially big broadcast networks – have been strapped for cash for a decade and a half. Big chains, like IHeart, went on leveraged buying sprees in the mid 2000s, just in time for the advertising market to collapse in 2008. The revenue never really bounced all the way back – the recovery from 2008 coincided with the rise of streaming, “renting” music, and a near complete collapse of the music radio market that had kept radio handsomely afloat from the late fifties to the early 2000s.

So big radio networks are in the same bind as companies that manufacture white-out, paper checks and rotary phones; they cater to a market that’s shrinking by the month. Outside of conservative talk, Spanish and sports radio, most of the radio industry involves trying to coax a shrinking cohort of baby boomers and Gen-Xers to tune in to morning shows. Music radio, once the marketing cornerstone of the music industry, is scarcely relevant.

The traditional talent pool in broadcast, up until probably the 1990s, worked a little like this: people started as disk jockeys, usually in small markets, and via combination of talent, perseverance, opportunism and luck, worked their slow, laborious way up the ladder of market size; from Cody Wyoming to Casper, thence to Palm Springs, then on to San Diego and finally Los Angeles was a typical trajectory, with each echelon in the market weeding out tranches of non-hackers, who went into sales or real estate or managing Shopkos, leaving only the most talented, determined and lucky to make it on the air in the big-money markets.

Rush Limbaugh altered that dynamic in talk radio – pre-empting the bottom of the talk food chain with his syndicated shows; joined by Hannity and Pagliorulo and Prager and Hewitt and the rest, the middle of the ladder pretty much evaporated as well.

And then in the rest of radio – with little money left in the industry, and most of what was there soaked up by the Dave Ryans and Tom Barnards who were left in the business, most of the “disk jockey” jobs at the bottom, and then the middle and upper-middle, of the ladder transformed into “voice tracking” – recording bits onto computer files which would be stitched into place between songs by computer. A jock might earn decent money – but be tracking for several stations during a given shift, not really building up an identity as a “star” anywhere. Which was fine, given that stardom was more or less irrelevant.

And so with the talent pool in both music and talk radio disrupted, the big broadcasters needed to find another source of talent to fill in slots when the holdovers from the golden ages of music and talk started leaving the scene.

The Plaguecast. And so major broadcasters – commercial and public – turned to the pool of “podcasters” that sprang up around the time streaming began supplanting broadcast.

And it’s been mostly dreadful.

Here’s why.

Good radio is the original social medium. Since the dawn of music and talk radio, the hallmark of good radio is being able to reach through the signal chain – the microphone, the transmitter, the electromagnetic spectrum, your receiver, and finally to you – and give you the impression the announcer, the host, is talking to, playing a record for, telling a joke or story, to and for you. To be able to push that “live” energy through all those layers of misdirection, not to talk at you, but to talk to you. Personally. Or at least give you that feeling deep down in your gut. Its a live medium (or used to be), a conversation with stimulus and response traveling back and forth at the speed of sound and, in between us, the speed of light.

Podcasts, on the other hand, is one or more people talking into a microphone and getting recorded. There is no fact, much less illusion, of pushing energy out to real, live people. Podcasts are, at best, storytelling (which can be wonderful, but is not interactive; it’s tellers, and it’s listeners, and never the twain shall meet. At worst? It’s a group of people having a conversation that you listen to.

And you can tell when someone who’s started in that medium tries to transpose that style to live (or live-ish) radio. Buck Sexton and Clay Travis (or is it Buck Travis and Clay Sexton? I have no idea, to be honest), who sit in Rush Limbaugh’s time slot ‘cross much of the land, but can’t seriously be said to have “replaced” him, are classic examples. They chatter through the issues of the day – but unlike Limbaugh, who pushed an energy down the signal chain that felt like he was in your car with you, talking to you. Clay and Buck came up through the world of podcasting, and they were very successful at it. And they sound like a couple of guys kibitzing – because they are a couple of guys kibitzing, via a digital connection, watching each other via Skype.

The format makes a little more sense on NPR – because public radio has always given the impression that it’s a room full of “elites” talking to each other (barring a few old-timers, like “Weekend Edition”‘s Bob Simon, who is one of the most gloriously talented and utterly underrated broadcasters on NPR…

…which is rapidly becoming a podcast network, in the worst sense of the term.

We’ll come back to that later today.

Chatter. Speaking of Public Radio…

One of the iron clad bits of craft in traditional radio is “Don’t half-ass it with an open mic. Say something, or be silent. Don’t create background chatter”, whether that chatter be walking over other voices, or just making inchoate noises in the background. They are a distraction. They divert the energy you’re trying to push out in the world.

But over this past 2-3 years, something has crept into the NPR style guide that annoys the crap out of me.

It goes a little something like this:

HOST: “So, what’s your take on the situation”

GUEST: “Well, the impact it’s had has been drastic…”

HOST: (Quietly, almost non-verbally) Hmmm.

GUEST: “and weill be affecting the area for years…”

HOST: (Barely audibly) “Huh”

GUEST: “…to come”.

I say “Added to the style guide”, because to paraphrase Fred Thompson in Hunt for Red October, Public Radio doesn’t take a dump if it’s not in the script ,and it’s not in the script if it’s not vetted against a style guide by an editor.

Why? To give the illusion of empathy? To create the audio impression the host is paying attention?

Little subvocal interjection are all over the place, and they drive me absolutely insane.

Together, they are two of many plagues upon the radio industry.

More about both, tomorrow noon.

Paging Alan Dershowitz

The Strib hails the…uh, “diversity” of the incoming class at the MN Legislature.

As Alan Dershowitz said, the Strib’s and DFL’s (pardon the redundancy) idea of “diversity” is…

…someone in with different color skin, or in a skirt, who thinks exactly the same as you.

I’m not sure if the Strib noted the fact that the House MInority leader and several other incoming GOP freshmen in both chambers are “Republicans of Color” – but I suspect most echo the words of former Representative and now Senator Eric Lucero:

As a Hispanic minority myself married to an Indian minority, I categorically reject the Democrat definition diversity equals skin color. I firmly hold to the truth content of character over color of skin and true diversity equals diversity of thought and ideas.

Which is a message today’s Left actively disparages.

NPR’s War On Things That Just Work

I listen – as rarely as I can – to NPR’s “On the Media”. The show is basically an unthinking cheerleader for America’s “elite” media.

And their latest theme is participating in the war on “Nostalgia” – particularly, against the notion of looking to the past for lessons that might help with the present and the future.

The first segment was keynoted by a fellow – some sort of historian – who declaimed in an adenoidal ,mid-Atlantic voice no different than a thousand others on NPR “What does nostalgia for the fifties get you? It gets you dead, sooner! The life expectancy was 66 years! Now it’s 78!”

That’s right – if you think society could gain by returning to some of the social and moral stanards of the past, you also have to roll back science! And bring the Klan back too!

Not really exaggerating that last bit – because nostalgia isn’t just wanting to derive some wisdom from another time. Nosirreebob, it’s bringing Hitler back to life!

You’re not learning from the past. You’re begging to repeat it, all of it, especially the worst of it.

We can not defund NPR fast enough.

It Seems Appropriate

This bit, from Thomas Sowell, seems appropriate…:

…in light of Big Media’s meltdown over a number of Twitter suspending the accounts of a number of “journalists” who were, by any rational definition, doxxing Elon Musk.

And after two years of social media canceling those who said there are two genders, that masks are pointless, and even writing satire (the Babylon Bee just got reinstated recently)…

suddenly we’re looking at a crisis!

But don’t you dare claim that the media only cares about its own civil rights.

The funniest part? Journos who didn’t get suspended, trying to grab their own little slice of victimhood:

There’s a reason people trust used car salesmen more than journos these days.

Waiting On “Wilson Derangement”

I flipped on NPR last night to catch a (large) part of a Terry Gross interview with historian Adam Hochschild, on his new book about the grave threats to democracy during World War 1.

And it was a dismal time indeed. “Sedition”, defined broadly, threw thousands in jail. The Department of Justice deputized people to enforce government speech codes and arrest people for suspicion of, basically, thought-crime; it was the first time in history that federal institutions had enough power and budget to get weaponized, and that is exactly what happened. Jim Crow was, by the way, federalized.

But here’s the thing; while Hochschild calls the repression “Trump-y” at one point, and Gross makes a raft of her usual Kaelian innuendos, you can listen to the piece all the way through…

…in vain for a reference to the fact that Woodrow Wilson, the father of modern “progressivism”, and an enthusiastic actual white supremacist to boot, drove all of this from the ground up.

“He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present, controls the past”.

Let Them Eat Pasta!

Anyone remember Mika McFeely? He’s sort of the Filene’s Basement version of Ed Schultz, another guy who got his start talking about grown men chasing balls around fields, and decided to go into being a political, talking head. He’s the Heitkamp family’s token liberal on KFGO in Fargo, and proof that the talent bench for progressive talk hosts in Fargo is even shallower than in the Twin Cities.

I wrote about him (checks notes), a little over 12 years ago, when he wrote easily the stupidest hatchet piece I’ve ever seen, about Mary Franson, during the 2012 elections.

Anyway – he came to Minneapolis over the weekend. Ironically, it was to see Les Mis, a play featuring an out of touch patrician class that attacks a plebaian class whose travails they neither share nor understand.

Oh, yeah – he had a great time!

In other words, he went to a show, with hundreds of other people, and then went to a tony restaurant on the south end of the gentrified North Loop. Back to the hotel – or on the road back to Fargo? – by 11!

And look – no crime!

Guess all those people talking about crime in Minneapolis are wrong!

Speaking of crime – tourist McFeely has an interesting perspective on recent Twin Cities history:

Not sure it’s “Anti”-Fa that’s shooting up crowds after bar closing on First Avenue.

But he’s getting a little warmer: “Anti”-Fa are the children of the Twin Cities bon vivant class. But they didn’t burn the Ordway, or Kenwood or Linden Hills. They burned East Lake and University – the places where immigrants and lots of entrepreneurs and workers try to earn a living.

But he didn’t go to a show on Lake, or Uni, or up at Plymouth and Sheridan, now, did he?

Well, I guess that settles it!

Diverse!

Outgoing speaker Pelosi poses with her cheerleaders…

…hahaha. Just kidding. She’s posing with (most of) the female members of the White Houe press corps…

…oops. Distinction without much difference.

Anyway, here’s the photo:

Now, the cynics among you – like the Tweeter I’m linking – might scoff “Whoah, check out all that diversity!”.

Pish-tush. Some of them are from Ivy League schools, and some are from Oberlin!

I’m Old Enough To Remember…

…when the center-right Christian satire site [1] Babylon Bee got banned from Twitter for “misinformation” – for writing satire – and not a single media outlet lamented the erosion of freedom.

To say nothing of gundecking, at government request, stories from Mark Dayton’s health up through Hunter Biden’s kickbacks to “Big Guy”.

I’m old enough to remember when big leftymedia was incredibly blasé about public-private partnerships leading to de facto censorship.

But you’d have to be very young indeed to remember the day Big Leftymedia started squawking about being victimized. It’s a brand new thing. Emphasis added by me:

According to a report in The Intercept, Musk has suspended several notable left-wing accounts over the past week or so. A number of them were anti-fascist researchers and organizers who focused on documenting far-right activity.

Notably, the disabled accounts documented in the report were singled out for criticism by the far-right writer Andy Ngo, who Musk often publicly interacts with on Twitter. “Musk invited Ngo to report Antifa accounts’ that should be suspended directly to him,” the Intercept reported. In at least once case, Ngo seems to have succeeded at directing Musk to suspend an account that Ngo failed to get suspended by Twitter before Musk took over the company.

Just you watch. “Censorship” – of the left, natch – will become a topic, starting right about…now.

Democracy desperately needs a free, inquisitive press that holds all government’s feet in the fire.

And we objectively do not have that today. And people know it.

[1] Also perhaps the most legitimate news source in the US

Open Letter To All Progressives

To: Every Single Progressive
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreperous Peasant
Re: Berg’s 18th Law

To some extent, I created Berg’s 18th Law to protect me, and people like me, from going out on long, brittle factual limbs.

The law is pretty clear:

Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.

But after a couple of days of listening to people like you claiming that all conservative social and economic thought was a form of “stochastic terror” aimed directly at LGBTQIAetcetc people, it’s worth noting that I wrote it even more for you.

Countergaslight

Are you old enough to remember when our Expert Class (TM) sicced it’s PR machine, and Big Left’s army of howler monkeys, from Stephen Colbert down to its horde of demi-human twitterbots, on anyone who expressed even ambivalence about Ivermectin?

“Hahaha, he’s peddling horse medicine!” was about the level and extent of the discourse?

Are you that old?

If you’re a toddler, yes – you are.

If you’re older than a toddler, you remember the “expert” response – from the ridicule…

…to the regulators:

But never mind history; they’re trying to change that:


“Hey, it’s not our fault if you took all that gaslighting and all those insults seriously! We’re the FDA, maaaaan”.

Don’t get gaslit.

Intentional Confusion

So you read the headline of this Strib article, and you think perhaps straw-purchased guns are turning up more often, or maybe that some people out there with clean criminal records are going out to Fleet Farm, picking a gun from the display case, conducting a completely legal and above board purchase, and then embarking on the life of crime.

But then you read the lead, and it’s…

…about stolen guns being used in crime.

That were purchased legally, at one point or another.

I’m not sure if they’ve thought this through.

Unless some enterprising gang conducts a heist from the loading dock add Glock USA, literally every firearm available in the United States was legally purchased at one point or another.

“Even the Mauser KAR 98K grandpa brought back from World War II?“

Well, yeah, the German government purchased it from Mauser in the 1930s or 1940s, and give it to some soldier, from whom your grandfather got it by means fair or foul.

I don’t mean to make light of what is, honestly, a fairly scabrous campaign on the part of big left, the anti-gun movement and the media; the latest chanting point is “there’s a very fine line between legal guns, and legal gun owners, and criminals“.

Of course, with the owners, there is almost invariably not. The overwhelming majority of people who commit crimes with guns have significant criminal records and aren’t allowed to touch, much less own, a firearm.

With the guns? I mean, as long as you gloss over theft (or the federal felony of straw purchasing), it’s both technically true and complete balderdash.

Place Yer Bets

It’s finally Election Day and we can all breathe easier now that we won’t have to see Angie Craig’s alternating rictus grin/contorted face of rage multiple times a day on television, social media and other media. But will we see Craig going forward? While I sincerely hope not, it’s difficult to know. So let’s hazard a few guesses on how it will play out today and in the coming days.

Governor: Tim Walz deserves to be tossed out on his well-padded posterior, but I suspect he and Peggy Flanagan will survive. Scott Jensen ran a decent campaign but it’s difficult to overcome all paid advertising from Alida Messinger and the free advertising from the Esme Murphys of the local media.

Secretary of State: Steve Simon is a smooth operator and Kim Crockett is not. Should those traits matter? No, but they do. Simon wins.

Attorney General: We have had the DFL Lucys pull this football away before. Recent polling suggests Keith Ellison is in trouble and that Jim Schultz is leading. Do you believe it? I don’t, but I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

Auditor: If the Republicans are allowed to win a statewide office, it will likely be this one. Republican Ryan Wilson has run a fine campaign and you can’t spell blah without DFLer Julie Blaha. The auditor has limited power but a committed auditor can at least turn over a few rocks the DFL would prefer to keep stationary. Wilson wins.

CD-2: While there are 8 congressional districts in Minnesota, apparently only the 2nd is being contested this year. We’ve seen dozens, maybe hundreds of ads featuring the odious incumbent, Angie Craig, and her rival Tyler Kistner. It’s been a nasty race and Craig has serious money behind her. She’s vulnerable because of redistricting, but it’s not clear to me that Kistner has made the sale. A left wing veteran’s group has also run some stolen valor ads in the final weekend that may affect the outcome; I have not been able to determine if their claims are accurate, but if Kistner loses, that last-minute attack might make the difference. As an aside, I really wish we’d seen Republicans make more of an effort in CD-3, where it’s been entirely too easy for Dean Phillips.

Elsewhere: Control of the House and Senate are at stake and the deep unpopularity of the Democrats will almost certainly mean Congress will be in Republican hands in 2023. A few guesses on races in other states:

Wisconsin: while the population and demographics of Wisconsin are similar to Minnesota, Wisconsin is not a blue state. Milwaukee and Madison are lefty enclaves, but their overall population is less than 40% of the total population, while the Twin Cities are about 60% of the total population here. As a result, it is easier for Republicans to win. Ron Johnson, the incumbent Republican senator, is a bit on the crusty side, but he’s a smart, effective campaigner and looks to be a good bet to win against his opponent, Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, a gladhander in the Hakeem Jeffries/Barack Obama style, but less effective. In the governor’s race, Republican challenger Tim Michels is also a bit crusty, but the fluke incumbent governor, Democrat Tony Evers, is an ineffective milquetoast. Look for the Republicans to win both. Continue reading

Deflecting Like Their Lives Depend On It

The DFL is getting nervous about crime; their line has morphed from “We ARE tough on crime!” to “The other guys are no better”.

Dane Smith’s editorial parrots the execrable Paul Krugman; both of them are utterly, unforgivably wrong.

“Red” states with crime problems have one or more of the following factors in common:

1) They have one or more large cities, usually Democrat-controlled. Tennessee has Memphis. Louisiana has NOLA. Alabama has Birmingham. Even in Minnesota, if you leave out Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the violent crime rates are almost European level.

2) Scots-Irish culture, exacerbated by centuries of poverty driven by the servitude culture that led to “white trash” culture. Dueling, honor killing and violence as an accepted part of life are still fairly routine down south. They were even MORE routine when the South was Democrat. They were, in fact, routine before the US was a nation. It’s why parts of rural South Carolina and Louisiana are as dangerous, *per capita*, as Chicago.

Krugman and Smith ignore a couple of vital facts.

1) Yes, *Conservative* policies *do* curb crime. 30 years ago, New York City was one of the most dangerous cities in America. They elected Rudy Giuliani, who replaced social justice mewling with law enforcement – and made NYC a place you could take your kids to. He wasn’t the only one; Jersey City elected Brett Schundler 30 years ago, and nine years of his very conservative leadership turned Jersey City from a crime-riddle hellhole to the jewel of the Jersey side (for a while, anyway).

2) Why do neither Krugman nor Smith point out that places like the rural, hard-red West have crime down around European levels? “But empty land doesn’t have crime problems”, some innumerates may reply – but we’re talking *per capita rates*. Still, they make a point – cities have pathologies that lead to crime. And they are overwhelmingly blue. Correlation? Causation? I don’t know – and it’s for certain Krugman and Smith don’t.

3) “Red” policies DID work, already, in Minneapolis. In the late ’90s, the city went from being among the nation’s most dangerous to a fairly safe one for close to a decade and a half, ENTIRELY due to diliegent law enforcement, including cracking down on career criminals. (Were there excesses? Absolutely. That’s the hard part – given a choice between public safety and ethical police, CHOOSE BOTH, NO EXCEPTIONS .

4) Whatever you can say about “red” law enforcement, “blue” law enforcement has been a failure…EVERYWHERE. In large part because they believe, in Lisa Bender’s words, that public safety is a “privilege”.

So – if a Democrat says it, and it’s about crime in particular, it’s a lie. There’s no way to pretty that up.

Smith and Krugman are trying to deflect the gullible. Do not let it work.

Connected

A friend of the blog emails:

Certain people in the media know who [Umbrella Man] is and won’t reveal it.

Do you think he’s connected or related to a well known DFL elected official or donor?

It’s starting to look that way.

If Big Leftymedia felt that the identity could impugn the GOP before an election, or reinforce the “the whole right is a bunch of wytespremecists” narrative, we’d hear about it at the top of every newscast for the next three weeks.

When people stop trusting the media to tell the stories impartially, democracy takes a hit. And anyone who trusts our media to tell the story impartially is an irredeemable pollyanna.

Rochelle Olson: Still A DFL PR Flak After All These Years

Sixteen years ago, Rochelle Olson and the Strib put out one of the yellowest bits of reporting there has ever been – a hatchet job against CD5 GOP candidate Alan Fine, who was up against Keith Ellison in his first run for Congress. A month before the election, Olson wrote a piece about an incident where Alan Fine was arrested for domestic abuse – somehow, without finding room to mention that there was no physical evidence, that he was never charged, that Fine eventually got custody of their son (which doesn’t generally happen for men with domestic abuse raps) and that in fact his soon-to-be-ex had been arrested for abuse later.

On my show, she said “there just wasn’t room” for all that extra information; I pointed out how she or her “editors” could have easily fit the relevant information into the story with room to spare.

Anyway, the old Rochelle is back.


Sunday, the Strib ran a piece, headlined:

Bad Republican Draft Dodger Pounces On Good Democrat.

Well, no. That wasn’t the title. But close enough. Here’s the real thing:

GOP opponent who never served criticizes Gov. Tim Walz’s exit from National Guard

The rest of the story doesn’t get any better.

Joseph Eustice, a 32-year veteran of the guard who led the same battalion as Walz, said the governor fulfilled his duty.

“He was a great soldier,” Eustice said. “When he chose to leave, he had every right to leave.”

Eustice said claims to the contrary are ill-informed and possibly sour grapes by a soldier who was passed over for the promotion to command sergeant major that went to Walz.

Eustice is indeed listed as a “Command Sergeant Major” (CSM) in the 125th Field Artillery, the Mankato National Guard unit in which Walz served.

Olson’s article refers to one “Command Sergeant Major” whose stories are dogging the Governor – Tom Behrends, whose story first came out four years ago.

But there are a total of three. Rochelle Olson and the Strib didn’t seem to think that was worthy of a mention.

And while CSM Eustice blames “sour grapes” by someone who maybe got passed over, all three of the men who’ve gone on record against Walz were Command Sergeants Major – the same rank Walz held before accepting demotion on retirement. And one of those exceptionally senior NCOs was in fact the CSM of the entire 34th Infantry Division – two levels of hierarchy above Walz. There weren’t many positions to move up to in the MInnesota Guard.

That retired divisional CSM is Command Sergeant Major Doug Julin – the senior NCO in the entire 34th Infantry Division:

Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Douglas L. Julin most recent assignment was as the Division Command Sergeant Major of the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division, headquartered in Rosemount, Minnesota

If Julin is upset about not being promoted, one wonders exactly how.

But Julin is upset:

Julin said he spoke with Walz directly in 2018 after Behrends sent a letter to the media about Walz’s military record. He said he expressed his frustration and concerns to Walz, who said he appreciated Julin talking to him about it, but “that was about it,” Julin said.

Julin told Alpha News he doesn’t really take issue with Walz using the CSM title after not completing all of the requirements to earn the rank. What matters to him most is how he walked away from his troops.

He wanted to share his story ahead of the election because he believes Minnesotans deserve better.

“Why should we be quiet? He uses the military to promote himself when he abandoned his soldiers,” he said. “He let the soldiers down. How can you be entrusted to be the governor of Minnesota when if something is not to your liking, you quit or you serve yourself and not others?”

Olson’s piece studiously avoids mentioning Julin, or the other retired CSM, Paul Herr – who spoke with Alphanews over the summer:

And apparently Olson and the Strib are counting on readers not investigating their claims, and just gullibly accepting their assertions as fact. CSM Eustice said:

Somehow, the Strib, Olson or the editors apparently found room to mention Jensen’s draft record (he became eligible for the draft as the Vietnam War and conscription were both winding down) and repeatedly chanting Jensen “didn’t serve” – like the vast majority of men in his age bracket whose numbers weren’t drawn in the waning days of the war.

Oh, yes, this will be a subject on Saturday.

It’s Quiet

A week after a massive, potentially catastrophic hurricane, and the media is fairly quiet about things.

It’s because while it was a disaster, they haven’t been able to pin anything on Ron DeSantis.

They’ve tried. Oh, Lord, they’ve tried.

But the attacks have bounced off like lawn darts off an M1 Abrams. Even the complete fabrications squibbed:

So come on, Dems. If you think you’re gonna convict Trump of something, do it, so DeSantis can sweep unopposed to the nom in 2024.

In Cold, Alcohol-Thinned, Probably Mentally Ill Blood

UPDATE: Welcome, fellow Power Line fans!


Let’s talk about Cayler Ellingson.

Berg’s 18th Law” says that after any politically and emotionally fraught event – mass shootings, police killings, riots, pretty much any event over which people disagree – we need to wait at least 72 hours before taking anything we hear seriously from the media, since they will be more interested in scooping the competition than getting facts straight. I made an executive decision to stretch that deadline to a full week, since on a good day the mainstream media might know how to find North Dakota on a map.

Here are the things we know after a couple weeks:

  1. After a street dance in McHenry, ND (population 64) on September 18, an extended altercation of some sort happened between the 18 year old Ellingson and 41 year old Shannon Brandt, of nearby Glenfield (population 94).
  2. After a back-and-forth that went long enough for Ellingson to call his mother several times to ask for a ride home, Brandt hit Ellingson with his truck, and drove home.
  3. Brandt, who has a DUI and some other low-level crimes on his record, was arrested there a few hours later, intoxicated. Ellingson died shortly after.
  4. While being interviewed later, he said he thought Ellingson was an “Extremist Republican” who was calling friends to come and get him.
  5. The Foster County [1] prosecutor (They’re called “states attorneys“ in North Dakota) initially charged Brandt with vehicular homicide, and released him on $50K in bail.

This – and a complete absence of coverage in mainstream media outside North Dakota – led to a tsunami of anger in conservative media, based around two points:

  • the charges and bail seemed ridiculously lenient – and, according to some, politically so.
  • the media coverage was lackadaisical, given the politics involved.

Let’s talk about both.


On the show, I pushed back on the first point; the job of Foster County’s State’s Attorney Kara Brinster is to bring charges she and her (tiny [2]) office can prove beyond a reasonable doubt given the evidence they have, without regard to public opinion or pressure. My theory – Brandt’s statement made “Criminal Vehicular Homicide” a slam dunk right away the morning after Ellingson’s death. Anything beyond that would take investigation – and the States Attorney has all the time they need to do that. The national criticism – up to and including Tucker Carlson – apparently didn’t faze Brinster. She investigated, got the evidence she needed, and had Brandt re-arrested on murder charges. He’s being held in the Stutsman County Jail [3]. If convicted of murder, he could get life without parole.

Some think it happened because of the national attention. I say BS – Brinster ignored the media (none of whom came within 100 miles of the story, literally) and did her job. Keith Ellison should so as well [4]. Criminal justice everywhere should be as lucky.

As to calling the original charge, and (statutory) bail, politically motivated? That’s a good way to show you have no idea about North Dakota politics. It’s perhaps the most conservative state in the union. Trump won by 30 points – and most of the Democrats live within ten miles of the Minnesota border; the Democrats who live west of ND Highway 1 would fit into two booths at Kroll’s Diner in Minot. State’s Attorney Brinster was elected in a county that likely voted 3:1 for Republicans.

So let’s park those allegations in the back 40 and let them quietly rust away.


Now let’s talk about the politics that are involved.

I’m not even talking about the fairly trite point – if a Republican had run down an 18 year old Democrat, it’d be national news, with commentators furrowing their brows and declaiming about tribalism and right-wing violence., regardless of the actual facts.

That’s a given; it’s background scenery with today’s media.

But let’s focus on the details of this case.

Shannon Brandt, according to reports, as a reputation around Glenfield of being a little mentally ill, possibly with a bit of a drinking problem. By appearances and reports, he’s the kind of doughy but dimly malevolent loser that everyone from a small town recognizes, polishing bar stools in double-wide taverns off of two-lane roads until they get enough liquid articulation to start talking, then yelling, and so on.

So he went to a street dance, gets into a fight with a kid less than half. his age, allegedly chases him down, runs him down and kills him…

…and the first thing he thinks of to try to excuse, or get sympathy for, his action is to claim he thought his victim was an “Extremist Republican?”

Last month, in an address full of bizarre thirties-retro authoritarian imagery, President Biden called Republicans “fascists”. An awful lot of Democrats took that statement very, ebulliently, gleefully seriously; they want to believe that the other half are part of a political philsosophy against which our grandparents went to war, fighting whom 412,000 of their generation died; people that anscestors, some of the still with us, spent the best years of their lives killing.

And lo and behold, mere days later, a demented drunk, whether acting out of considered political malice or drunk and mentally ill self-preservation, picks *that* excuse to ennoble, excuse, or at least try to explain killing a human being?

Have we connected those dots yet?


[1] Trivial but topical disclosure – I lived in Foster County, briefly, while working at the radio station in the county seat, Carrington. Being a ND native, I’d imagine I know people who know both the perp and victim, and likely the county attorney and the law enforcement involved, if I asked around for thirty seconds.

[2] The population of Foster County – the whole county – was 3,231 in 2020. About 2,000 of them live in Carrington alone.

[3] Further trivial disclosure – it’s two blocks from the house I grew up in.

[4] But can’t, and won’t.

From The Horse’s Mouth

No reporter in Minnesota has covered the Feeding Our Future scandal like Bill Glahn. (Few have tried, but that’s another issue all together).

With that in mind, rather than trying to recap all the facts we know, I’m just going to attach this video of Glahn talking with John Hinderaker at the Center of the American Experiment:

It’s easy to see why Big Left has been swerving the hate machine toward the CAE lately.

Possibilities

Let’s talk about the Cayler Ellison case.

Berg‘s 18th law normally takes affect for the first three days after a politically charged event, since our main stream media is more concerned about ratings and “scoops“ than getting facts straight, especially in politically charged events.since our main stream media is more concerned about ratings and “scoops“ then about getting facts straight, especially in politically charged events.

And I’m going to make an executive call, and in this case extend the statutory Bergs 18th law deadline to a solid week, since the main stream media got no closer than 100 miles from McHenry, ND, the actual scene of the crime – i’ve seen no evidence of any journalists reporting from any place closer than Fargo.

But here’s what we know so far: at a street dance in McHenry last Sunday, some sort of altercation lead Shannon Brandt, age 41, to run down the 18-year-old Mr. Ellington. Ellington died of his injuries.

Brandt, Who has a drunk driving record and who blew over a .08 after his arrest, told of the 911 operator the afternoon that Ellingson was a member of a “extremist Republican“ organization.

Big media has soft pedaled this story. Conservatives say it’s evidence of media bias. Progressives hope it’s true, and that they can erase both another Republican and red state voter from the list.

Let’s consider the actual possibilities, Hare:

It’s The Bias, Stupid: for the past decade and a half, big media has been wedded to the idea that the next big wave of terrorism is going to be white, Republican extremists. A democrat extremist doing the actual terrorizing, much less killing? Is that – like the would-be Brent Kavanaugh assassin, or the many other examples of Democrats killing or attacking Republicans – doesn’t fit the narrative. Narratives beget lazy journalism.

But in McHenry North Dakota?

And it’s easy for journalists to get lazy when it comes to covering places like McHenry, North Dakota – in Foster County (where I lived, briefly), a very red place in one of the most Republican states in the union, a County were Donald Trump may have won by just shy of a three digit margin.

Which sets off a small warning bell with the conservative narrative: it’s easy to conceive of people roaming around looking to kill conservatives with impunity in places like Highland Park or Cambridge Massachusetts. but in rural North Dakota?

Let’s put a pin in that idea.

Of Course It’s The Bias – But Not The Bias You’re Thinking About: so let’s say that, rather than being it would be Democrat assassin roaming rural North Dakota looking for “Republican extremists“, you’re just a guy with a drunk driving record and, according to his neighbors, a history of troubling behavior. You’ve just gotten into a spat with someone less than half your age, at a street dance, and run them down.

What’s your alibi? The thing that you think that is going to make you a less unsympathetic perpetrator?

“He was a Republican extremist?“

The idea that there are people out there for whom that is their first thought, even in an alcoholic or psychiatric fog, should concern everyone, no matter what your politics.

Occam’s Shot Glass: let’s go back to the pin we put, earlier.

Brandt’s neighbors say he has a history of being, basically, nuts. He drinks a bit. He’s got a criminal record.

I don’t think I’m going to outside of Berg‘s 18th laws statutory boundaries to think perhaps this episode was both

  • Less less of a political assassination then a crazy drunk Freestyling his way into the middle of America‘s toxic political divide, and
  • Via his choice of “Republican extremist“ as his drunk/crazy excuse for having just committed a hit-and-run, a symptom of how toxic the political divide in this country actually is.

Hopefully we will find out sooner than later.

Campaigning 102

Ryan Wilson – who’s running for State Auditor, and is leading incumbent DFLer Julie Blaha in the latest Trafalgar poll on Minnesota statewide races – did a whirlwind tour of Minnesota yesterday, as recounted in this twitter thread.

Read the thread, and notice what’s missing:

At no point in the tour did he drive of the road in a cloud of White Cloud cans, like incumbent DFLer Julie Blaha and her sidekick, Melisa Franzen-Lopez. There was no need for MNGOP chair Dave Hann need to pull up to the scene in a converted Scooby Doo “Mystery Machine” and rescue Wilson from the cops.

At no point did Wilson crash and roll his vehicle leaving a trail of beer cans and ammo, like Dave Hutchinson, the retiring DFL sheriff of Hennepin County and, possibly, the only sheriff in the state that would endorse Keith Ellison.

“No driving off the road in a cloud of empties” would seem to be a low bar…

…oops.. Wrong term. Sorry.

I should say – I assume that Wilson didn’t drive off the road leaving a trail of empty beer cans. If a Republican had done any such thing, we’d have heard about it in the media. endlessly, between now and November. Sort of like when Tom Emmer’s DUI at 20 got wall to wall media coverage, Tim Walz’s at age 31 was completely ignored – that’s how I know .

Anyway – the GOP: the candidates who don’t drive off the road.