From Thin Air

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is ordering a cup of coffee and a bagel.

Brian FURIOUS, liberal opionblogger for “””, walks into the coffee shop.


BERG:  Oh, hey, Brian…

FURIOUS:  I am Brian Furious, defender of fact, crusader of truth!

BERG:  Right.  Or…hey, Brian.

FURIOUS:  Don’t you deny it!  You’ve been writing about Ilhan Omar!

BERG:  Well, mostly I’ve been doing a combination of writing about people writing about Ilhan Omar, and writing about people writing about people writing about Ilhan Omar.  There’s a bit of a difference.

FURIOUS:  What you did was engage in race-baiting, saying that if someone comes to the US they should learn our laws and abide by them,

BERG:  We’ll come back to the “race-baiting” red herring in a bit.  But as re the other bit – you mean, like “learn and abide by our laws” like everyone who comes to the US – or, for that matter, goes to other countries – is supposed to do?

FURIOUS:  That’s not news!

BERG:  Not sure what you mean.  It’s not news that immigrants, like citizens, are supposed to follow the law?

Or do you mean the Ilhan Omar story?   Because it seems like there just might be some news there.  Even the mainstream liberal media seems to think so.

FURIOUS:  But you admitted you probably wouldn’t adhere to laws requiring a marriage license!

BERG:  Well, yeah – like Ms. Omar, I believe that marriages in one’s faith tradition that ignore state licensing are perfectly legitimate.   And, by the way, it’s not “illegal” to eschew the state license.

Anyway, let me repeat the important part; I defended Ilhan Omar’s “marriage in her faith tradition“, while noting that her explanation still left some questions.

You seem to have trouble recognizing that fact.  Perhaps you’re racist?

FURIOUS:  You’re just saying it’s about being “foreign” is just taking a change to stoke anti-immigrant fears and is, yes, race-baiting!   You’re demeaning her, and with her other Somalis for whom she’s an emblem because of her ethnicity.  You’re claiming it’s her “foreign-ness” which is the problem. 

BERG:  Er, yeah – I’d heard you wrote that.  The thing is,  I’ve never mentioned Ilhan’s “foreign-ness”, never alluded to it in anything I’ve ever written or said, never even hinted about it.  It’s a fabrication.

FURIOUS:  No, it’s not!

BERG:  Well, given that I’m supporting Abimalik Askar – a Somali immigrant – in the race for the seat, let’s just say it’s kinda weird.   So – if Ms. Omar’s “foreign-ness” is a problem, wouldn’t that of Mr. Askar – who is from the exact same place – also be a problem?

FURIOUS:  Clearly, Askar is not Somali!

BERG:  He was born in Somalia, and immigrated to the US in 1993.

FURIOUS:  Then it stands to reason you hate him too!

BERG:  Er, no – I’ve interviewed him on my show, and I’ll do it again.  He’s a very sharp guy and is quite clearly the best candidate for the job of any ethnic origin.

FURIOUS:  But he’s a ReTHUGliican!  Clearly he must hate Somalis!

BERG:  Huh.  Hey – look!  A shiny object!

[BERG slips quietly away as FURIOUS furiously whips his head around]


28 thoughts on “From Thin Air

  1. Teh Peevee from your Penisblog link:

    Omar’s conduct is not outside the customs of her society, nor even American culture in the whole.

    Let’s leave out American culture; leftists will start chanting racisss if we go there. Where, in either Somali or Muslim custom is it acceptable for a woman to marry one man, in a mosque, by an Imam, “divorce” that man be evidently claiming they are divorced, marry another man, legally and formally per American law, not divorce that one and then “remarry” the first?

    Where, in Muslim culture, is it even possible for a woman to divorce her husband, period?

    Here’s what i think. I think she didn’t file the first marriage license because it would have messed with her juicy Minnesota welfare benefits. I think she legally married the second guy to get him into the country; if he’s not related (and that has not been disproven) I think he probably paid her to do it. I don’t think she ever left the first guy, and there is, in fact some documentation that suggests all three were living together for awhile.

  2. is that the same coffee shop where Michelle Bachman always gets her coffee?

    Its a shame the left/progressives are so extremely misogynist in their treatment of MB and yet one has to ask why is DG completely silent on that issue? Why does DG hate women?

  3. Swiftee,

    Interesting your brought this up from that other blog:

    Omar’s conduct is not outside the customs of her society, nor even American culture in the whole.

    I think it’s fascinating that on the one hand he writes the above (as well as criticizing me for suggesting immigrants should follow the law in the countries the move to)…

    …and then turns around and tries to criticize me for “probably not adhering” to the law (which is untrue; apparently the writer doesn’t know the law does allow faith tradition marriages without getting a license, although hoops must be jumped) – in other words, agreeing with at least part of Omar’s case.

    It’s kind of hard to know exactly what to say, sometimes.

  4. In the olden days (before 1975), the state required a license before couples could marry so that the state could make sure (1) they were serious about it, after the 5-day waiting period, because there was no easy No-Fault divorce; (2) they weren’t in-breeding, to avoid birth defects; (3) they weren’t already married to someone else, a hold-over from Anti-Mormon religious intolerance, or to a same sex member, a hold-over from Anti-Gay religious intolerance; and (4) to establish identity of spouses and heirs for inheritance purposes.

    Nowadays, reasons (1) and (4) are moot and reason (3) obviously is unconstitutional. As far as I know, no government employee does a background investigation to check reason (2) so there’s no reasonable prospect that the license will accomplish the purported goal.

    There’s no point in a state marriage license except to generate $35 application fees.

  5. JD, do you need sate marriage license for custody and tax status? Whenever one of us would fly with one of our minor kids, along with a permission letter we always had to provide a marriage certificate to a border agent .

  6. Why do you keep writing fake crap where someone you are characterizing as your opposition calls you by the wrong name? I’ve never done so, Pen has never done so.

    More fake victim crap from you.

    And no, Pen and I called you out NOT for writing something about a controversy, but for giving space to a non-controversy. to a story without substance that maligns an individual and attempts to cause pain and public embarrassment to their family.

    The criticism is that you give space on a regular basis to stories that are not factual.

    So, yes Ms. Omar was married once, and is getting a divorce. Not really a story there. Marriage licenses were taken out by Ms. Omar; they expire after six months when not used. No story there. No evidence she ever married her brother, no evidence that she ever engaged in immigration fraud.

    Yet you keep going on and on about the story — and not at all on about the anonymous source or the lack of evidence. At most you focus on a religious custom which emphasizes difference from the dominant religion and customs of your largely homogenous readers who are hostile to differences.

    That makes it agit prop.

    In the larger context of the many stories you write over and over that also lack a factual foundation.

    That would include – among many – the story about three school buses of high school students being taken to vote and being only provided a ballot of democratic candidates, and being bribed to vote for them. The real story? Students who were eligible to vote were encouraged to inform themselves and to register to vote as part of a civics class program; three, not three busloads, of students went to the polls where they registered and were given a standard ballot reflecting all candidates. They did not travel on a school bus, which had traditionally been paid for by a grant from a local church supporting the school civics program, because that year they didn’t have the funding to do so. Instead they offered to let those three students go with other voters from their church in the church van, since the church was in close proximity to the school. After voting that regular ballot the people taking the church van stopped for ice cream, and the three students were invited to join them. THAT was the basis of the claim students were bribed, being invited to join church goers on the way back.

    YOU never researched that claim; I DID. YOU spun some bullshit about teacher unions and corruption in voting that was stupid on the face of it.

    You did something similar with the accusation that a woman in a nursing home voted through the efforts of nursing home staff, with again, an elaborate scenario of voter fraud blaming unions that was false. I was the one who pointed out that who voted was a matter of record and that “I VOTED” stickers were handed out to anyone who wanted one — like toddlers and elderly senile people. YOU pushed a stupid story that contributed to the false belief on the right of voter fraud. That’s agit prop. No fact checking, just a lot of stupid speculation without fact behind it.

    Same thing with the snow plow slow down. LOTS of coverage of that, lots of wild speculation bashing unions. ZERO coverage of the FOUR separate investigations that showed it was not true. ZERO coverage of the fact the guy who started the story later admitted he made the whole thing up. I DID THE FACT CHECKING ON THAT STORY TOO, the fact checking you never bothered to do, did not apparently want to do. Agit prop = ginning up fake outrage at unions, ginning up fake claims of corruption.

    There are a lot of those agit prop stories on your blog; NEVER with critical thinking or fact checking applied to them. And they are always from exclusively right wing sources with a bad record of factual information and with bad accountability.

    It would be a fair claim to say you were just covering stories in the media, IF and ONLY IF you also reported on the flaws of those stories – the lack of factual foundation for them – and if you wrote about the persistent and frequent problems of those stories being false when the only source for them is the right wing media, and IF, BIG IF, you also wrote about how they turned out to be wrong, BADLY WRONG.

    The fact that you don’t means you are just one more source of fake stories to gullible readers who don’t ask smart questions and who fail to demonstrate normal adult skepticism when told ridiculous things.

    NO, Joe D. marriage licenses do more than generate a fee, and they cost a lot more than $35. It is $115 unless you get premarital counseling when it goes down to $40; and as of this month, there is no longer a five day waiting period. And NO, the fee is not generating a profit for the state off of marriage, it is a fee that covers the costs of maintaining a data base of legal records and in enforcing the state laws regarding marriage — like those against bigamy or underage marriages, and those which help the MN Sec State verify and maintain the accuracy of state voter rolls. THAT is why there is an ID requirement.

    But hey- keep up that bullshit agit prop about government just grabbing your money for no valid service in return. It is one more reason you have no credibility as a site.

    Last night I wrote a piece blasting to hell one more of the right wing agit prop stories based on totally bogus claims. The one about Huma Abedin supposedly spending a decade working for a radical muslim publication. She did not.

    She spent about ten months after leaving the WH working for a highly prestigious academic journal affiliated with the Oxford University program on Islamic studies.

    The tabloid — you like tabloid sources like the Daily Fail – in this case Rupert Murdoch’s rag the NY Post – specifically claimed Huma Abedin was in Saudi Arabia while she was working full time plus overtime in Washington DC. They specifically claimed she was involved at that time in an article published in 1996 arguing against rights for Muslim women. FACTS, no such article ever appeared in the prestigious journal, the editorial board that sets publication policy demonstrates it is not now and never has been radical in any way, or promoted radical writing, and Abedin did not work for them in 1996, she worked for them part time over aprox. ten months overlapping 1998-9. My particular favorite in the fact checking, an Islamic scholar from Murdoch University in Australia (named for Rupert Murdoch’s great uncle, who actually had some credibility and distinction), is among those on the editorial board of the JMMA, ensuring it remains a prestigious academic publication not a radical Muslim rag.

    I wouldn’t expect you to offer up proof in response to an anonymous web site claim that was taken down. Why do you promote the story, other than it contributes to right wing beliefs in lies that unfairly maligns your opposition? Where is your outrage over the lack of multi-sourcing, the poor quality of the source accusing Omar, the lack of facts supporting claims of marrying her brother or immigration fraud?

    The difference between you and Pen and I is that we would be defending you if you were the target of such a tacky tawdry and malicious attack without evidence from anonymous sources promoted by unreliable hacks like Powerline if YOU were the one attacked, the same way we defended Ms. Omar.

    You don’t. Shame on you for recirculating those attacks to your gullible and unthinking audience. THAT is what differentiates us, a single standard, facts, and better ethics. And we always get your name right.

  7. A source close to Ilhan Omar confirms to Fox 9 that the three of them — religious husband and newly married husband — did live together for a short period of time, saying like all separations, it was complicated.

    al Shabaab would have beheaded all three. Muslim custom isn’t complicated at all.

  8. It’s funny that Penny takes the attitude that it’s none of the government’s business about her marriage arrangements. I’d normally agree, but not in this case. To get purported hubby into the country she had to personally guarantee that no public assistance would be required, yet there is documentary evidence that public housing was used. As such, she committed fraud even granting that her personal commitments were as (ahem) “complicated” as she claims. It seems to me that criminally fraudulent behavior might be a relevant discussion when considering a candidate.

    Penny wants Trump’s taxes revealed. I’d love to see if Penny wants to examine Ilhan’s taxes to see what she claimed her marital status was, and to see whom she claims as her “husband.”

  9. The KMSP – 9 segment this weekend on this was pretty good. Omar looked like a seasoned politician, ducking the reporter. Evading the questions. If this story gets bigger, Tom Lyden may make a name for himself.

  10. I know nothing of federal border law, JPA, so I don’t know why they’d want a marriage certificate.

    Minnesota has revised its parentage laws several times. Nowadays, I believe the Father of every child born outside marriage is asked to sign a Recognition of Parentage. If the Father declines, the county generally brings a court action to establish paternity so the court can set child support, which always is owed when the parties have no marriage license.

    Custody is based on “best interest of the child” which is an independent determination.

  11. If any of you ever get pulled over at 11 PM on a Saturday night and the officer asks you if you’ve been drinking, just say “its complicated”.

  12. DG
    It is impossible to tighten down the spigot of bigotry that daily spews hatred and disinformation to the willfully ignorant left wing of the political spectrum. It’s not apparently that the progressive side of the political spectrum CAN’T fact check, the problem is that they don’t want to know facts or truth. They want to be lied to as regards their hateful and inaccurate world view. They LIKE hating other people, and they rigorously resist facts getting in the way of their evil and unjustified prejudice.

    ya see how I fixed that for ya? NOW its accurate!

  13. DG,

    I doubt you’ll read this – your ego seems to be such that you think your writing is self-confirming, all by itself.


    Why do you keep writing fake crap where someone you are characterizing as your opposition calls you by the wrong name? I’ve never done so, Pen has never done so.

    Satire is not “writing fake crap”. It’s caricaturing real crap.

    In the rest of your exceedingly long and badly thought-out comment, you deflect (nobody cares what wedding licenses cost), jabber nonsense (not sure that I’ve ever “cited” “The Daily Fail” as anything but a humorous reference) and fly off on irrelevant tangents (Rupert Murdoch? WTF cares?)

    In the meantime, you and your blog partner FABRICATED the idea that I am after Mrs. Omar because she’s a foreigner – while I support…an immigrant from exactly the same country!

    Do you ever actually think about what you write? Or are strawmen, red herrings, clumsy defection, ad-hominem and unearned (!!!) condescension all you can do?

    gullible and unthinking audience

    At least two lawyers, a couple of engineers, a couple of scientists, and a lot of people who actually have to know things to keep their jobs, versus a woman whose entire oeuvre seems to be writing long, badly-thought-out, comically-condescending comments on blogs with better reputations than hers.

    You’re the one who likes to play the “appeal to authority” game. How does that stack up to you?

    A response would be appropriate here.

  14. Well DG that was a classic (and for us, entertaining) manic run but its time to start taking your meds again.

  15. By the way, DG…

    …I write satire (or as you charmingly call it, “made up crap”) because its more interesting for me, and I suspect more entertaining for my valued readers, than writing a purple-veined jeremiad about “Penigma LIED about what I said”.

    He did, in fact, infer that I said something that I did not. But why not have a little fun getting there? And, perhaps more importantly, why not make an important point in the form of humor that doesn’t necessarily hyperpersonalize the issue? Where perhaps everyone can learn something without beating the shit out of each other?

    I have no personal need for pointless, mindless drama. Why bother?

  16. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 08.22.16 : The Other McCain

  17. Evidently ICE doesn’t read Penisblog, cause they are going after those muzzy criminals.

    Seems like a sackless liar and an ignorant twat just can’t get any respect these days.

  18. One last thing, DG:

    Your breathless little list of episodes where you think you caught me in some sort of error or another? Well, bully for you!

    I could come up with a list of dozens, probably over a hundred, of your comments that have been utterly savaged by the “Mitchketeers”, as either devoid of fact, or where the “Facts” you presented didn’t mean what you thought they meant, or in many cases actually refuted the case you were trying to make and supported mine.

    Save the indignation, DG. You haven’t earned it.

  19. “…I write satire (or as you charmingly call it, “made up crap”) because its more interesting for me,”

    Mitch, technically DG, like peev, has a very limited skillset when it comes to writing. She has not over the years shown any positive range in her writing. As you noted a few days ago she used to be classier but if anything she has devolved into a crude even coarse scribe who steadfastly refuses to learn anything new or develop her skills beyond their rudimentary state. You only need to scan her posts from 7 years ago to see the adamant, even slavish devotion to a set formulaic approach to every post, every story she engages is a consistent monotone of style and substance. Her refusal to grow or develop her skills as a writer springs largely from two things, first, her overwhelming need for emotional gratification (the unearned condescension, ad hominem, refusal to engage, etc), and second her servile devotion to a sense of ideological purity that has as a hallmark a set of constantly redefined goalposts, so she sticks to a form that requires she mimic the most common polemics extant. Its called writing down to your market.
    Any writer who loves their trade wants to learn and do more so they inevitably engage and often master the different forms (essay, reportage, fiction, satire, technical, etc) as much to expand themselves as to acquire new markets. At the heart any good writer wants to persuade their audience. DG doesn’t respect her “craft”, she has no wish to persuade only to bully and coerce, so TL:DR your satire is “crap” because it is utterly beyond her capacity or comprehension.

    What is my justification for this assessment? Read through DG’s posts roughly from 2008 through the present (if you can stand it – its like listening to 20 years of bootleg concert tapes of the Grateful Dead) not for the political content, but for the technical skills. You will find a hollow corse with close, dim horizons and no interest in growth. Through her own words it is clear DG (like the soci@lists she admires) continually lives at the end of her personal history, there is nowhere she wants to go.

  20. While I am not an attorney, nor an engineer, I have earned a CPA designation. Not in Minnesota, but in another state. My current position has not required the certification from this state, so I never bothered with the reciprosity. So you have law, physics and some business/economics covered by your readership.

  21. Every time I read one of these “why do you keep writing fake crap” from Dog Gone I imagine one of Bill Shakespeare’s dense friends writing something similar: “Why do you have to make things up, Bill? Why don’t you write about the Queen?”.

  22. It’s pretty rich to see Mad Dog claiming she never told her host what to write about. Sorry, I’ve been reading, and one does not need a Ph.D. to figure that out. Even if her claims were true in her comment here, “calling someone out for writing about a non-controversy” is exactly the same as telling her host what to write.

    Forget higher degrees in engineering or science for her; howzabout basic competence in the English language for her instead?

    One other thought regarding this very real controversy; marriage, in the legal sense, entails a number of privileges and responsibilities like support. So when someone just kinda walks away from marriage without solemnizing a divorce, there are things hanging out there that ought to be of interest to voters. Most of our trillion dollars a year in welfare is, after all, due to parents not paying for the upkeep of their own children. No?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.