Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Crime time

The last 24 hours have been busy. Hennepin County finally got around to charging the cop who killed Justine Damond. A good guy with a gun stopped a shooter in a high school in Maryland. And the guy who was terrorizing Austin with bombs blew himself up as the police were closing in.

Of these stories, the one in Maryland is the most important, but also most likely to disappear from the news cycle, because it runs counter to the narrative. See if this argument sways you:

Speaking of fantasies
I'm not sure how Zal (whoever he is, but he's official) plans to stop all kids from getting guns, but I have to imagine a certain amount of fantasy, backed by overwhelming brute force, would be necessarily involved. Apparently in Zal's world, doing what works gets in the way of doing what he wants. And while a 17-year old is not legally an adult, it's misleading to refer to him as a child. Show us your plan, Mr. Zal. Tell us how you're going to prevent "children" from getting guns. Provide details, please.

We'll be watching the Damond case closely, but at this point I only have one conclusion -- it's still awfully tough to convict a cop.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Back in town

A few random thoughts:

We've been traveling a fair amount the last week, most of it two trips to Galesburg coinciding with Benster's spring break. He's almost done now and will be graduating in June. Fearless Maria will be starting her collegiate adventure in the fall; although we're now about 90% certain where she'll be, a few things could change, so we won't be certain until the end of the month.

We've been so busy that it's been difficult to find time to blog much, as you've likely noticed. Beyond that, I remain tired of the news cycle. I honestly think that, left to his own devices, Donald Trump would operate in fairly normal parameters as president, but from the jump he's been forced to fight every day just to take the reins. It's exhausting to watch from this distance; I can't imagine what it must be like inside the Beltway.

My photography project continues; on the way back from Galesburg we stopped in Plainfield, Iowa, a town that apparently has a population of 438, but I only saw one person in the short time we were there. I did see buildings that seemed to be derelict:

I'm making a point to stop more often on these trips. There's clearly a story here, but I don't know what it is. I do know that at 2 p.m. on a Monday afternoon, this place seemed like a ghost town. I've had that vibe one time before, back in 2005, when we drove through Eveleth, Minnesota. All the action in Eveleth, including the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, was on the highway; when you went into the city itself, it seemed like no one was there. When we stopped in Waverly, Minnesota, a few weeks back, it was clear the town was alive. There are a lot of towns in the Midwest to explore and a lot of highways to travel. I suspect some of the better stories, or at least some of the more mysterious ones, are there, on what Frank Sinatra called "dots on the map."

Friday, March 16, 2018

Get with the program, kid

It's important to express your opinion, so long as it's approved:
Minneapolis police say no arrests have been made after a student carrying a flag with the word “Trump” on it was assaulted outside of Southwest High School.

Police say the altercation happened while students were outside of the building during National School Walkout Day Wednesday morning.
He totally had it coming. There's more:
As students were observing a moment of silence, two students confronted the flag-bearing student across the street from campus.

Six other students joined in the confrontation, taking away his flag, damaging his camera and inflicting minor injuries.
8 kids against 1. Sounds fair. But they took the kid out for cake later:

Have some
Here's a hint to our crusading young people. If your school allows you to walk out, you're not risking anything for your protest. You're enlisting in their cause. Do what you want, but understand you aren't speaking truth to power. You're getting in line.

Useful advice

Kurt Schlichter, again making the point that needs to be made:
I remember when we used to talk about character counting, but you know what? Our opponents mocked us for being uptight and uncool – remember all the talk about how sophisticated European leaders all had mistresses? Oh, us repressed hayseeds and our sanctity of marriage nonsense! Well, moral purity came up for a vote and we were outvoted by the very same people who want me to rev up some oh-so convenient caring.

Well, no go-backsies now that those Old Rules would be useful again. You liberals made the New Rules, and by doing so you deprived yourselves of being able to leverage human frailty to weaponize our morality and score a victory based on collateral antics where you can’t win on substance.
Yep. And there's more:
My favorite part is when you libs start with the Jesusplaining to me. I have to say, the best social media is the social media where I’m bombarded with demands that I conform to their version of Christianity where just a few tweets before they were explaining how we’re stupid about having our “invisible sky friend.” I gotta break it to ya – there are no series of theological contortions that result in us having to allow the election of a monster like Hillary. But hey, you keep trying. Eventually, if you nag us enough, we’ll totally take your advice about how to live our religious values.

Oh, since Christianity is so important to you, now do abortion. Just kidding!
How did Shakespeare put it, in the voice of Antonio, in The Merchant of Venice?

Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

It's not particularly complicated, folks. Our betters don't give a damn about anyone's morality. They only care about getting their way. Whether they purport to think better of you, they don't give a damn about you, or what you think, or what you want, unless you agree with them and support what they think and want.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Open thread

Not much to say today. Perhaps you have something to say. If so, add it in the comments. Meanwhile, a remnant of a place that seems to have been replaced with John Deere dealership, outside of Galesburg:

Do a little dance, make a little love

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lightning Round - 031418

Stuff happens:

  • From what I can tell, Rex Tillerson and Donald Trump weren't on the same page for much of Tillerson's tenure as Secretary of State, so giving him the pipe makes sense. Mike Pompeo seems like a sharp enough guy and he's certainly better than, say, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton. Another round of confirmation hearings gives Chuck Schumer a chance to posture, too, so it's a win-win for everybody.
  • I can't think of any Packers fan who isn't sad to see Jordy Nelson leave. He gave the Packers a decade of fine play at the wide receiver position and by all accounts was a mensch. It's a tough business, though, and wide receivers who can't run well don't generally deserve 8-figure salaries. I also know finding quality wide receivers is significantly easier than finding talent at other positions, including tight end, so picking up Jimmy Graham makes sense. I also think getting Muhammad Wilkerson for the defensive line on a "prove it" deal is a smart move. If he's motivated, he'll be a monster. If he's not, you get rid of him.
  • As for the locals, I am still not sold on Kirk Cousins, but he's apparently coming to town. He throws a nice ball and he's been pretty durable throughout his career, but are you convinced he's a significant upgrade over the guy who led the Purple last season, Case Keenum? Last season the Vikings had the 3rd best quarterback in the division before Aaron Rodgers was injured. When Cousins takes the reins, they still will. Ask yourself, Vikings fans -- would you really take Cousins over Matt Stafford? And if Mitch Trubisky develops for the Bears, Cousins might be the worst quarterback in the division. We'll see if he's good enough to take the Vikings to the promised land. I wouldn't count on it. 
  • By the way, the Bears are coming on. Watch and see.
  • Most of the political stories we see are bread and circus events. Other stories are more important. Like this one. Click that link.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Charm Offensive

America's sweetheart, reminding us of our sins:
Hillary Clinton on Saturday partly blamed her 2016 presidential loss on white women and said that they voted for Donald Trump because their husbands told them to vote that way.

Clinton spoke at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai, India over the weekend, where a journalist introduced her as the "woman who should have been the president of the United States of America."

The event's host, India Today Editor Aroon Purie, asked Clinton how 52 percent of white women could vote for Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tape was released in the final weeks of the campaign, which featured Clinton making crude sexual remarks about women.

"Democrats, going back to my husband and even before, but just in recent times going back to Bill and our candidates and then President Obama, have been losing the vote, including white women. We do not do well with white men and we don't do well with married white women," Clinton said.

She went on to say that white women face an "ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should."
That's sure to ingratiate her with potential voters. She wasn't done:
Clinton said that she was on the way to winning the white women vote until then-FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to leaders in Congress less than two weeks before the election stating that the FBI reopened its investigation into her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

"All of a sudden white women, who were going to vote for me and frankly standing up to the men in their lives and the men in their workplaces, were being told, ‘She's going to jail. You don't want to vote for her. It's terrible, you can't vote for that.' So, it just stopped my momentum and it decreased my vote enough because I was ahead. I was winning, and I thought I had fought my way back in the ten days from that letter until the election. I fell a little bit short," Clinton said.
Get your Stepford on, ladies.

This is nonsense. It's 2018. Men and women make up their own minds all the time. I know plenty of married couples whose votes essentially cancel each other's out. I also see a lot of married white women who post left-wing memes and diatribes on social media all day long. I also know conservative women who have left-wing husbands. Mrs. Clinton is a married white woman herself.

She had more to say:

If you want to know the truth, I think the main reason she lost is pretty simple: we all know people like Hillary -- nasty, hectoring, dismissive. You can't avoid all of them, especially if they are relatives, or neighbors, or co-workers. But you don't have to have them in your living room every day if you don't elect them to office. Trump may be a lot of things, but he's not a misanthrope. Hillary Clinton is the worst retail politician I have ever seen.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Things are happening and changing, but it seems like there isn't much news right now. Yes, it's significant that Donald Trump may meet with Kim Jong-Un, but it doesn't mean much until it happens. It took a while longer, but we're starting to move past the Parkland school shooting. Not surprising, really -- outrage is difficult to sustain, even for the perpetual motion machine that is our MSM. The economy is humming along. No one really cares about Stormy Daniels, because there's nothing particularly interesting about the story -- everyone has known Trump is a cad for 30 years.

We were off to Galesburg again this weekend. The Benster is home for the week, his final spring break before graduation. Fearless Maria is gone for the week, still on her band trip to Greece. We keep trudging through the snow piles, which are slowly disappearing as March unfolds. We've never been busier as a family, but we're moving so quickly that there's little time available to analyze the larger meaning of it all. In about six weeks we'll have clarity on any number of issues, but for now we put one foot in front of the other.

Friday, March 09, 2018

il miglior fabbro

Yes, you should read the whole thing when it comes to this piece by Lee Smith. But a pullquote is in order:
The same process of weaponizing foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes that the Obama administration road-tested during the Iran-deal fight was used to manufacture Russiagate and get it to market. Except instead of keeping a close hold of the identities of those swept up during “incidental collection” of U.S. persons, departing Obama White House officials leaked the names to friendly reporters.

Leaking classified intelligence is a felony, which means that Obama officials, many in the intelligence community, who leaked the names of Americans whose communications were intercepted to the press, were breaking the law. A crucial concern, then, was the trustworthiness of the intermediaries chosen to publish classified intelligence. It is to those intermediaries that anyone seeking to understand how the press became an instrument of the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy’s information war must now turn.

[Adam] Entous, now The New Yorker’s man in Washington, had already proved his trustworthiness by shaping the story about Obama administration spying on congressional and American Jewish-community leaders in a way that was favorable to the administration, and disguised blatant abuses of power. More stories would now come his way, courtesy of the U.S. intelligence community.
Lots more. All at the link.

Closed circuit to Ted Cruz

This isn't difficult. Your opponent wants to be known as Beto. Just use a creative mispronunciation. If Barack Obama could refer to Sarah Palin's hometown as "Wasilly," Cong. O'Rourke's name simply becomes "Beta."

You're welcome. Carry on.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Photo of the day

Still in Waverly, Minnesota:

Love me some roadside Americana
It's a garage and art studio. Why wouldn't it be?

Home Truth

It should be no surprise that less than a year after a Bernie Sanders fan took a rifle and attempted to erase the Congressional GOP for the crime of having different political views that some cretin decided to send Donald Trump Jr. a packet of mystery white powder. After all, Don Jr. is not a progressive, so don’t his and his family deserve to be terrorized, if not murdered?

  Or did I misunderstand the progressives’ stand by their near total silence?

 Well, not total silence. The Twitter left sure had a ball with it, yukking it up. Dousing someone in fake anthrax – hilarious! And totally justified, in their minds, because Don Jr. supports his father and is conservative. That makes it okay. In fact, let’s help by posting his home address!
We're in a bad place. I have a college friend who thought it would be nifty and cool to dox a prominent conservative writer. This guy is a professional with a successful practice. He knows better, but we're at a point where treating your political enemies as subhuman is standard operating procedure and he's gone over to the mania. Schlicter has more examples in the linked piece. The bad place is going to get worse.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


We just dropped Fearless Maria off at her high school. Nothing new about that; we've done it countless times over the last four years. The reason is different this time -- she's headed to Europe on her band trip, along with about 80 other kids. She'll spend the next nine days in Greece. After she returns, we'll be back to the usual hectic winter drumline schedule for a month, and then in another month she'll be graduating from high school and headed off to college in the fall.

When we started this blogging business, Maria was in kindergarten. She decided she wanted to be called Fearless Maria because she wanted to be fearless. She's made good on the notion. We've had a lot of adventures over the years with the kids and it's almost coming to an end. Fear can defeat you before you ever get started. We should all strive to be fearless.