Forget the editorials, even the NY Times Styles section is a no-Trump zone

Capital Times hero: Jamie Kuhn for refusing the Pledge of Allegiance
Villain: tortured Vietnam POW Don Heiliger

Picking up where we left off (“The news media isn’t biased, it’s just liberal”), let us pre-empt the nattering nabobs who will cavil, “but that’s the editorial page!” It’s not just the opinion page. The major news media is deeply and thoroughly liberal-progressive-socialist from Page One to the funny papers. So much so it is embedded into their genomes.

Take, for instance, the New York Times Magazine. At the back of the book it features a Q and A it calls “Talk.” With whom does it talk? Usually, a liberal. Sunday (6-18-17) we get Naomi Klein, author of “No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics, yadda yadda yadda.”

The one-page “Talk” feature includes a sidebar on Ms. Klein’s “Top 5 Boycotts” in case you doubted her lib-prog-soc bonafides. It’s not just that the NY Times prefers liberals for its interview subjects, but that the interviewer herself is a Lefty. Here’s one “question” that is freighted with bias:

You talk about [Trump] as if he’s a triumph of capitalism, even though he’s not — he inherited his wealth.

That’s a question?! More like a peewee league tee ball. Mr. Trump did inherit wealth, it is true. But he did not inherit “his wealth.” Donald Trump was dealt a good hand, but by all measures he greatly expanded that wealth.

NY Times Editorial Page is shown at right; the editorial at left is the “Styles” section.
Got to admit, opposing Trump is very much in style among the Breakfast at Tiffany’s set

O.K., that’s the magazine. Now let’s turn to the Times Sunday “Styles” section (what, in another age, would have been called the Women’s Page). On the cover is a photograph of Sen. Al Franken and actress Olivia Wilde. Two more liberals. What do THEY think about Donald Trump. Gee, we can hardly wait. Continue reading

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The news media isn’t biased, it’s just liberal

As another Father’s Day approaches, I think of the Old Squire, who tilled the soil and fought a war.

Sunday, after Mass and the noon chicken dinner, he piled mom and the six kids into the Chevy Nomad for a Sunday drive. If a neighbor was in the driveway, he’d stop for a chat while we kids petted their dog. Just as often, he’d pull to the shoulder of the road to inspect a corn crop.

If that corn stood shorter than his own, he’d exclaim, “Why this man is no farmer!” But if another field grew taller, he’d speculate that “they must have got a rain that we didn’t get.”

So, it can be difficult to determine who is or is not a farmer. I say the same about journalists. In the age of tweets and twitters, who is and who ain’t?

Monona Grove school board member Jeff Simpson is pretty sure he knows.  Continue reading

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Loughner and Hodgkinson: One of these is not like the other

The confessionals would be full this weekend if there was repentance for the sin of equivalence. Because America is undergoing an orgy of false equivalence over the shooting of Republican congressmen playing baseball.

Wednesday morning’s tragedy (Baseball practice before 7 a.m.!) is being compared to the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords in Phoenix six years ago. My hero Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist AND an attorney, made this point on Fox last evening: Jared Loughner was, indeed, batshit crazy. Diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.

James Hodgkinson was, by all accounts, normal, even boring. A run of the mill Bernie Sanders Democrat except for the fact that he is blue collar, not a tenured government employee.

Which one looks crazy, which does not?

“Perhaps as a coping mechanism,” James Freeman writes in Best of the Web, the New York Times now opinionates that the Alexandria baseball shooter “was surely deranged, and his derangement had found its fuel in politics.” Freeman observes:

One can argue that anyone who seeks to assassinate politicians is by definition deranged. Some people might even argue that Hodgkinson’s proposal to lift marginal tax rates to “70% or more” was insane.

But neighbors, former customers, and family members say the guy seemed normal. His record, unlike Loughner’s, argued the same.

The politics of crazy men

Immediately after the Giffords shooting (we forget that six people, including a federal judge and a 6-year-old girl, died in the fusillade), the Left was quick to indict talk radio in general and Sarah Palin in particular, the latter for drawing a bulls eye around Gifford’s House seat and declaring it targeted. Of course, that is a standard term used by both parties before and since.

Search as they might, Loughner was found to be entirely disconnected from politics — as well as reality. That didn’t stop the New York Times today from repeating that long-discredited meme. Its correction today:

An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.

Whereas, Hodgkinson could have passed for a UW Havens Center graduate. He was a Bernie volunteer, identified with Bernie on his Facebook page. Signed all the right petitions.

The man could be dismissed as a one-off except that his sentiments — in just about the same words — are echoed on university campuses and in the Left’s journals. When you describe your opponents as fascists, political assassination is patriotism.

“The Resistance,” it’s being called, putting to mind beret-wearing freedom fighters booby trapping the outdoor café and assassinating the local gauleiter.

Trust us, bad guys will give up their guns

Hodgkinson does not represent the Bernie Left, the Bernie Left insists. But he does represent all gun owners, apparently. For, starting with Virginia’s governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, gun control is the answer.

Which is why the N.Y. Times mocks Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama.

“It’s not easy to take when you see people around you being shot and you don’t have a weapon yourself,” the Times allows. “That’s an entirely reasonable reflex. All people in that situation, unarmed and under fire, would long to be able to protect themselves and their friends.”

That small concession out of the way, the Times gets back on message:

Yet consider the society Americans would have to live in — the choices they would all have to make — to enable that kind of defense. Every member of Congress, and every other American of whatever age, would have to go to baseball practice, or to school, or to work, or to the post office, or to the health clinic — or to any of the other places mass shootings now take place — with a gun on their hip. And then, when an attack came and they returned fire, they would probably kill or wound not the assailant but another innocent bystander, as studies have repeatedly shown.

Except for some of what Al Gore would call inconvenient facts. Hodgkinson sought out Republicans, not Democrats. He even asked one of them to make certain he didn’t kill the good guys. And where did he choose to unleash his righteous anger? At a baseball field far from police patrols, where the players would have had trouble concealing weapons or openly carrying.

What’s more, the two officers assigned to the majority whip were in plain clothes. It is fair to conclude that had they been uniformed, Hodgkinson would have devised a Plan B. In other words, the bad guy (pray for Rep. Scalise, he is not out of the woods yet) chose a gun-free zone, de facto if not de jure.

Gun-free zones are a fraud unless secured by airport-level screening and/or armed police protection on premises. If not, so-called gun-free zones only disarm the good guys and invite predators. Which is why schools are frequent targets. And why we need armed police officers IN them.

UPDATE: The situational ethics of Bernie Sanders (and his supporters)

After the Gabbie Giffords shooting six years ago, Bernie Sanders called on Republican Sen. John McCain “to stand up and denounce the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right wing and exert his influence to create a civil political environment in his state.”

… Yet, when he took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to condemn the attack, Sanders made no such connections to the virulent anti-Trump rhetoric many of his supporters have used. And, as the vessel of Hodgkinson’s political adoration, he said nothing to denounce the actual violence at far-left protests in places like Berkeley, California, and Portland, Oregon.

… Others on the left were likewise quick to blame Trump for inciting violence and are just as quick to denounce any connections between Hodgkinson and left-wing rhetoric. — SE Cupp at CNN.

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Let’s play the name game

Bo-na-na fanna, fo-fanna
Fee fi fo-manna …

It is the source of more news than any building in Madison, save for the State Capitol. But its name is the most anodyne imaginable and a real bitch for headline writers. We’re talking the CCB, aka the City-County Building.

So yeah, the Policy Werkes here at the Stately Manor will entertain a new name for the seat of Madison and Dane County government — after 60 years.

Why not? A high school student wants to rename Madison Memorial H.S. because the author of the Constitution held slaves. Which leaves the small problem of the name of the host city, itself, founded in the year of the great man’s demise.

City and county leaders are proposing to name the CCB after another President: Barack Obama. Kewll!

ObamaCounty Supv. Al Matano explains, “The idea is that the current name is just a generic description, and President Obama is the only President known to have stepped foot in the building. This is the first step in a process which would include our partners with City of Madison government.”

So it would be the Obama Building. County Executive Joe Parisi is said to be on board, along with a gaggle of alders and county supervisors. At least it wouldn’t be the Bernie Sanders Center, so I suppose we should be grateful for that.

Of course, local government could sell naming rights to the place like the domed baseball stadium in Milwaukee. The Smith & Wesson Center has a nice ring to it. But Obama’s connection with the CCB is tenuous.

Personally, I’d name the pile after the late Lyman Anderson, who was Mr. Dane County for so many years. As it is, the agricultural extension building is named after Lyman even though he voted against building it where it is located, on the far east side of town.

Hellz bellz, I’d be O.K. with naming it after the other personage with whom the place is better associated: Paul Soglin. Why wait till Hizzoner is dead and buried? The WHEDA building on W. Washington Ave. is named after Tommy Thompson and my mentor continues to make history.

No, my liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances, if you want to name something after the first black president (always with the identity politics!), go big. Tear down that slaver’s name, sandblast it out of history, obliterate any mention of it like a Soviet history book. Name the Emerald City itself after the 44th president.

I can see the TV news reporter’s stand-up in my mind’s eye: “Reporting live from the Soglin Center in downtown Obama, this is …”

Me, I call on Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald to name the State Capital after Ronald Reagan just to hear the Lefties howl!

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It’s getting real. GOP congressmen targeted. ‘It was basically a killing field’

Sources call it a deliberate attack

Was shooter a Bernie Sanders supporter?

Lone shooter targets Republican congressmen at baseball practice outside Washington D.C., hits Republican majority whip Steve Scalise, one staffer, A Tyson Foods lobbyist, and two Capitol Police, who fire back even as injured. 50 to 100 shots fired. Had it not been for the police presence, “It would have been a massacre,” Sen. Rand Paul said.

“It was basically a killing field.” More here on this breaking story.

Meanwhile, Leftists are defending casting the assassinated Julius Caesar in a New York City staging of Shakespeare’s play as a bloodied Donald Trump. It’s “just another opportunity for outrage,” tut tuts a New York Times opinion piece.

“The right-wing commentators stoking this scandal are using it to get attention and attack liberals.”

Let’s unpack that. New York’s intelligentsia indulge their Trump assassination fantasies by casting a blond-haired actor wearing a business suit and red tie as Julius Caesar and conservatives have the nerve to object?

A Trumpian Caesar? Shakespeare Would Approve,” a New York Times opinion writer assures. What about using Republicans for target practice?

So Trump deranged are our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances that they are spitting the F-word like it was their personal mantra.

Relax folks

Kathy Griffin and, at right, a scene from the Shakespeare in the Park staging of Julius Caesar.

Then of course, there is Kathy Griffin, “comedienne.”

UPDATE #1: Fox News had U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis on air. The Republican from Illinois was at bat this morning when the shooting began. He indicted the current atmosphere of “political, rhetorical terrorism.”

We (and he, by inference) do not excuse from responsibility for this toxic environment the current Tweeter in Chief. We are on record castigating Donald Trump for coarsening the public discourse, dating back to his churlish comments on fellow Republicans during the run-up to the convention. His exhortations at his political rallies when confronted by disrupters itself threatened to incite violence.

But disrupting speeches is itself a form of violence, something our liberal-progressive-socialist news media here in Madison refuses to address.

Or, The collectivists who support the black-maked Antifas breaking windows and burning cop cars, whether on the UC-Berkely campus or during the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C. A leading voice of the Bernie Sanders Left is The Nation magazine. It celebrated the “Anti-Fascists [who] Will Fight Trump’s Fascism in the Streets.”

In stark contrast with many liberals, antifa activists refuse any dialogue with Trumpism. … disruption, confrontation, doxxing and altercation remain tactics anyone taking seriously a refusal to normalize Trump-era fascism should consider.


“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy.
It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

— Hodgkinson on his Facebook page 3-22-2017.

James T. Hodgkinson has been identified as the shooter who opened fire on Republican members of Congress Wednesday morning at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, the Washington Post reports.

Hodgkinson, 66, was from Belleville, Illinois, the newspaper reports. A motive for the shooting is not yet known, but Hodgkinson’s Facebook page shows someone who had a high interest in politics, who supported Bernie Sanders during the presidential election and expressed anger with President Donald Trump and Republican Congressmen.

Hodgkinson was shot by police and taken to the hospital. President Donald Trump announced in a televised statement that Hodgksinson has died. …

Two Congressmen, Rep. Jeff Duncan and Rep. Ron DeSantis, described an encounter with a man who asked them if those practicing were “Republicans or Democrats” before the shooting. DeSantis, when shown a photo of Hodgkinson, confirmed he was the man who approached him,CNBC reports.

Hodgkinson’s Facebook home page features a Bernie Sanders photo.

James T Hodginson


Our … acquaintances are holding their tongues

It is 5:38 p.m. CST. Still waiting for Democracy Now! to post something other than “House Majority Whip Steve Scalise & Congressional Aides Shot Playing Baseball.” No causative agent, i.e. Bernie supporter.

Absolutely NOTHING at The Nation. Closest is “Can Berniecrats reclaim Democratic party?”

Nothing at The Progressive. Its top line, Flag Day in the Trump Era … has become a tool to galvanize a jingoistic patriotism.”

Daily Kos? Mute., the same.  Vox attempts objectivity: “The blood is on their hands”: how the right-wing media blamed Democrats for the Scalise shooting.”






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Gardening in the heat under the Hoops of Hope with Mr. Green Beans

UPDATE: The official outdoor ice cream bucket here at the Work Farm recorded exactly 2.00 inches of precipitation overnight and early this morning. The crops are already bustin’ out! Yahoo!

We’re having a heat wave, a continental heat wave. We just knew that when Trump pulled out of Paris …

The unlettered field hands here at the Experimental Work Farm are toiling in the verdant growing fields, their bare backs glistening in the summer sun. Singing as they work, mainly from the discography of Motley Crüe and Def Leppard, although thought I heard Judas Priest the other day. (May have been a comment on the pay.)

The Squire is not without compassion. In the heat of the afternoon — temps may reach 90 degrees F again today — the hands get an extra 15 minutes respite in the shade of lady Oak and a dipper of cold Madison tap water to wet their whistle while the Squire mixes his gin with tonic.


Buttercrunch lettuce on the hoof

The heat pulls groundwater to the surface, which should be plentiful from the monsoons of May, but the tender seedlings reach their roots not very deep at all, so they need our help. The Work Farm (and Penal Colony) has been irrigating all weekend but nothing can replace a good soaker from the sky. Fifty percent chance of that tonight, the weather fellow predicts. (And there’s only a 50% chance of that!) Farmers reported last week that soil moisture is adequate.

The aging Squire has ordered the mowers to Stay Off the Grass, you kids! While others shave their bluegrass, fescue, and perennial rye to the crown, we let ours grow shaggy as that Walt Disney dog. Even a sharp blade does injury to the plant, exposing its water-bearing capillaries to the blazing sun. Further, short stuff cannot shade its roots. Grass likes cool feet. Ireland is the Emerald Isle because it is cool and wet. Also, leprechauns.

Work farm philosophy 101

Our philosophy here at the Work Farm is simple, as are its day laborers.

  • We grow what grows. That takes peas off the list. Love the stuff but never could grow them.
  • We grow what fits. Successful sweet corn is measured in acres, not rows. In any event, Eugsters or Peck’s will set up their parking lot stands soon enough. Same thing with potatoes. Also, peas.
  • We grow what we eat. We’ve grown muskmelon. They’re tricky, but even when we succeed, the Squire doesn’t eat them. So they’re out.
  • We are biased toward that which is better fresh than stored (in both senses of the word). Leaf lettuce fits that bill. We’ve been eating the Buttercrunch variety for a week now, just minutes from the garden. The very definition of a good salad. The major proviso, protect from bunny rabbits. Now that our crop is table ready, we drape cloth over the top of the fenced enclosure to shade from the heat. We don’t want the lettuce to bolt.

We’ve been taking asparagus since late April. Although they’ve gone to trees, a few fresh stalks can always be found. We don’t fertilize. Just top off the rows with dark soil from the compost pile behind the garden shed. We dug the beds 25 years ago, waited the recommended three years and have been feasting ever since. As a side vegetable (just add butter, salt & pepper) or an integral partner with scrambled breakfast eggs.

A couple of eggplants and pepper plants (purchased potted) are in the ground. Make a mean ratatouille with zucchini. We eat kohlrabi (seeded) like radishes, with which I’ve had little luck. (See soil, below.)


The Hoops of Hope bearing beans (left) and supporting tomatoes (right) last August

Mr. Green Beans

But the main export crop here at the Farm is green beans. Continue reading

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