Our Semi-Constitutional Monarchy

What says “One MInnesota” better than living in a million dollar lakeside mansion on the taxpayers dime?

As Minnesotans stagger through inflation, gas prices and an economy that is teetering on the brink of crisis, the state is putting $6 million into repairing the govenor’s mansion. The governor and his family will be parked in a lakeside house on Sunfish Lake, for $17,000 a month, for 18 months.

Why so posh?

We’re told it’s partly practical:

The state had a 17-point list of qualifications and indicated that the property would need to have security features, be relatively close to the Capitol and be open to “official ceremonial functions,” as is required by state law.

Now, I’m no expert, but I suspect the state’s got no shortage of suitable places for “official ceremonial functions”. We’ll come back to that.

And, we’re told, it’s partly security:

House Speaker Melissa Hortman, the top DFLer in the Minnesota Legislature, said she understands why space, security and neighborhood considerations make temporary lodging for the governor so expensive.

“When you have folks going to protest a governor at his house, you have the entire block of people who are there, not only the governor’s wife and children but the neighbors who didn’t necessarily sign up for this,” she said. “So, I’m not surprised that it’s an expensive proposition to house a governor in a secure location.”

As Hortman’s fellow DFLer Lisa Bender said, public safety is a privilege.

As someone whose house was on the edge of the DFL’s “room to destroy”, I think it’d be perfectly appropriate for the Walzes to get a place in the city, subject to the DFL’s capricious notion of law enforcement. Maybre someplace up at Plymouth and Sheridan.

Governor Klink responded with his usual grace and evenhandedness:

“I’m pretty agnostic, where I lay my head,” Walz said. “I certainly welcome if the legislators’ job is oversight. Go do it. It’s better than banning books. It’s better than demonizing kids. Go do that oversight. I accept whatever they find.”

Speaking of “doing the job” – Governor Klink has been making himself pretty scarce. He hasn’t responded by my repeated invitations – not even a curt “F*** Off” – but even the largely DFL-friendly Blois Olson:

Olson is being a bit of a pollyanna; their strategy is to stay within the bubble wrap; the Governor comes out of the mansion to do carefully stage-managed dog and pony shows like going to pizzerias and donut shops and the occasional train derailment, surrounded by his comms people and nice tame social media droogs, for some cheesecake photos, and then it’s back in isolation.

“Official ceremonial functions?” All the governor does is stuff his face while “Lieutenant Governor” Flanagan looks on, beaming like a proud mom.

They really do think they are royalty, don’t they?


Nashville shooting – or at least, the purchase of the firearms – could have been prevented if people took mental health reporting seriously:

Under federal law, it is illegal for “any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person, including as a juvenile” who has “been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution at 16 years of age or older.”

“Mental defective” is a term you don’t hear often anymore, and some may find it offensive, but under federal law, it has a specific meaning: a finding by any court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person “is a danger to himself or to others; or lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs,” as a result of “marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease.”

The Nashville shooter was, indisputably, a danger to others, and that threat to others was almost certainly connected to her mental illness. The evidence was there for her to be declared legally mentally defective and barred from owning firearms. The shooter’s parents believed she should not be allowed to own a firearm, indicating the shooter had said or done things that made her parents believe she was a potential threat to herself or others. But no one acted upon those concerns, and no one reached out to police.

Tennessee does not have a “red flag” law that would allow police to seize the firearms of individuals that are at elevated risk of harming themselves or others. However, under Tennessee law, anyone who has been deemed “mental defective” cannot purchase a firearm in the first place.

How much of this was “fog of war” (from a mental health perspective), how much was bureaucratic inertia, and how much was unwillingness on officialdom and, most likely, the familiy’s part to piss of the increasingly militant trans lobby?

Sticking It To The Man

A friend of the blog, a member of a public employee union in the healthcare field, emails:

My silly colleagues are having a vote to authorize a strike (which will probably win).

Our contract that they’re negotiating already has won 6 months of maternity/paternity leave, 220 hours of PTO being carried over year to year, our company paying 85% of our health insurance, we get to remain salaried, so we don’t have to punch in/out, we got an increase in the number of people we can allow off for PTO per day, bereavement pay for extended family members, and the company has agreed to a guaranteed 2% raise for the next 3 years.

But, we’re voting to strike because the company isn’t agreeing to a $12 pay increase with a 6% pay raise yearly guaranteed.

Eye roll- glad we’re not as greedy as the company’s corporate heads- you know, the ones who per the union’s own words are at a ghastly 12 to 1 employee pay ratio…

220 hours of PTO carried over?

I’m trying to think if I’ve had 220 hours of PTO in the past two years.

A Hell “We” Can Make Happen

I came across this tweet last week.

At first blush, I thought it was parody, and not especially good.

I moved from there to Assumption B – a chuckleheaded sophomore political science major from Austin, or Seattle, or maybe the University of Saint Thomas. It can be hard to tell parody from reality with them, sometimes.

That’s what I thought. Or, let’s be honest, that’s what I hoped. Parody, or young lefty dolt.

But no. Mr. Lee is a California state assemblyman, detailing the world he and most of Big Left hold out as their idea.

No mention of that social credit score you gotta pass to get into your “public bank account”. No mention of who’s going to be teaching at those “awesome public schools” or building, maintaining and operating that “green transit”, or even why either would exist if people get Universal Basic Income. No mention of how in a world without the generation of value and wealth, the “UBI” will pretty much inevitably devolve into ration tickets, to buy…what? Who’s doing the producing, the farming? Robotic cricket mills creating insect paste is about the only logical option.

What’s In A Name

“What if someone built a restaurant named ‘Swastika’?”

It wasn’t a question I ever got to ask the owner of Uptown’s late, lamented (?) Soviet-themed restaurant. I wasn’t going to ask the waitstaff or the bartender; they’re working stiffs and they don’t need to care one way or the other. But when friends asked me to meet there, I was a little uncomfortable; nobody would attend, much less open, a restaurant named “Swastikas”. You could probably sneak a few themes through: Blutwurst und Boden, or maybe Ein Fork, Ein Stein, Ein Menu.

But Hammer and Sickle? A direct reference to the emblem of one of the three most lethal regimes in history?

I went – long story. Great selection of vodka, and the best piroshki I’ve had since the Vomit Comet killed off the late, great “Russian Tea House” on University Avenue. It wasn’t my party, didn’t need to make a fuss…

…but I wasn’t especially pained to see that the concept has apparently gone to the great restaurant Lubyanka in the sky.

But when one door closes, a window opens. Maybe.

Another new restaurant, this time on the East Side of Saint Paul, gets into funky historical and cultural turf – maybe.

Juche is the official ideology of the North Korean regime. It’s Stalinism with a Korean accent. In terms of cultural and historical overtones, it’s a simple word that, viewed through a Nork lens, is as loaded as Lebenraum or Wrecker.

Not viewed through a Nork lens, it’s not entirely unlike the idiomatic and unobjectionable-to-admirable Finnish maxim of Sisuself-reliance, grit, determination, stoicism.

And I’d love to figure it out. So, long story short, I guess I know where I’m eating next weekend.

To The Hardest Working Man In Science…

….the late, highly esteemed Dr. Bill Gleason, mornings like this gave him an almost childish degree of glee.

He’d frequently tweet, or post on the blog wrote about me, how his pleas had been listened to, and some divine technological retribution had finally been served on me, and I’d been smitten from the Internet.

I had, of course, forgotten to pay my domain renewal. Nothing more. Within a few hours, the blog was back in action. HIs tweets for the rest of the day felt…cheated? Crestfallen?

But he’d go on about his day,, creating deathles science or something.

Anyway, it was another one of those mornings. Most likely the last such – because after 16.5 years of procrastination, I finally added an annual reminder on March 25 to make sure it gets paid.

I’m sure that the great Doctor is bellowing into the void up in the great beyond even as we speak.

I’lll pour out a forty for him now. [1]

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Not For Turning

The DFL noise machine has been treating this speech by Rep. Walter Hudson – longtime friend of this blog, and by far my favorite outside NARN guest host – like a return of the Nuremberg Laws.

It’s in response to the Transgender Sanctuary (AKA “Kidnapping Protection”) legalization.

Walter’s right. And it’s time for people who support, not just American freedom, not just Western Civilizaiton, but objective reality, to take a place in the fight.

In “1984”, the tipping point in Riley breaking Winston Smith was getting him to say “2+2=5” like he really meant it.

This isn’t new.

From abusive marriages to Communist countries the first step is convincing you reality isn’t real. Women are “vulva owners”. Truth is false. Freedom is slavery.

It’s reality versus fantasy time.

The H Word

SCENE. Mitch BERG is in his muddy driveway, replacing a taillight on his truck. Avery LIBRELLE, happily inspecting the contents of peoples recycling bins for violations, sees him, and saunters over before BERG notices.


BERG: Uh…hey…

LIBRELLE: I read your bit on Watler Hudson’s hateful speech calling for genocide against trans children.

BERG: If you’re down to nothing but lies, I don’t think we’ve got anything to talk about…

LIBRELLE: Shut up. You are motivated by pure hate.

BERG: Saying those who disagree with you on *policy* issues act out of “hate” is the mark of a dolt.

Don’t flatter yourself. I won’t risk corroding my soul wasting hate on those who disagree with me. I love those who differ from me – including transgender people – as my savior said to love my fellow imperfect human.

Hate? Get over yourself. If you thought it before, you were delusoional. If you believe it now, you’re manipulative, gaslighting human garbage.

LIBRELLE: Oooh. You’re melting down.

BERG: Maybe if I splashed water on you, you would.


By The Book

Unlike Uvalde and Parkland, the cops at the Covenant School shooting in Nashville did what cops (and citizens, for that matter) are supposed to do in the face of a spree killer: meet them with lethal force as quickly and effectively as possible.

As a general rule, spree killers spend a long time, sometimes years, planning their attacks, and frequently carry them out in a fugue state, almost a fantastical reverie. And resistance, especially with lethal force, even if it doesn’t kill or incapacitate them, frequently/usually makes them break off the attack, usually giving up or killing themselves as their fantasy comes to an abrupt end.

The Nashville cops appear to have done it right:

Here’s the body cam footage.

Warning: Extremely graphic.

And these cops, I will thank for their service.

When Making Weekend Plans

I don’t normally put much music stuff on the blog – I’d rather not dilute the gravitas of this publicatio with rock and roll

…but my band, Elephant in the Room, is playing Shamrock’s on West 7th in Saint Paul, Friday night at

We go on at 930PM.

It’s one of those rooms I’ve been dying to play for like fifteen years, now.

Anyway – if you stop by, say hi!

Berg’s 18th Law Is Still In Full Effect

I’ll do my due diligence and make my usual reference to my self-coined but completely accurate dictum:

Berg’s Eighteenth Law of Media Latency

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.

I will continue to observe this law.

But to speculate just a bit? I’m going to go out on a short sturdy limb and guess mass shooting at the Covenant School disappears down the memory hole.

The shooter, y’see, is a former student who, while being almost universally “deadnamed” in the media by her original, female identity, seemed to be pretty actively presenting her…er, him…er, xheirself as (what biologists used to call) male:

That’s two spree killings in one. year carried out by gender-dysmorphic people. The avalanche of mental illness spurred on by the lockdowns and America’s general spiritual and emotional decline is paying dividends for those who benefit from both.

Darn that NRA.

And I’m sure various cultural cues, like this and this…

…were utterly unrelated.

By the way – like most spree killers, the murderer chose the target because there was less chance of resistance. The school was a “gun free zone”, and had other vulnerabilities that beckoned:

[Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake] answered, “Yes,” [that Covenant was the only school targeted] but noted there was another location the suspect considered striking as well. However, he said the suspect did “a threat assessment” of the other location and decided there was “too much security.

Draw your conclusions. I certainly am .

Unlike the Uvalde shooting, initial reports indicated the police response was fast, violent and decisive – something that the Feds long ago determined was a key factor for dealing with spree killers, and that this blog has noted time and again and again and again and again and again is of paramount importance in containing and ending these shootings.

While “Moving Forward” In “One MInnesota”

All last week: the DFL telling the peasantry that 2+2=5.

The weekend:

Having your selfie photographed. Words fail. So it’s a good thing we’ve got pictures.

Endless gauzy-focused, staged cheesecake (literally, this weekend) photo-ops, breathlesslyt lapped up by a tame, generally almost worthless media.

Remind anyone of any utterly depressing and ever-more-timely literary masterpieces?

How I Spent My Saturday

I did a prerecorded show, so I could attend the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus’s annual (after a few years off) Rally at the Capitol.

Huge crowd.

Great speakers – Rob Doar, Bryan Strawser, Reverend Tim Christopher, and an array of pro-2nd Amendment legislators.

Rob – the MNGOC’s political director – was able to announce that most of the DFL’s gun bills – the semi-auto/”Assault Weapons” ban, the magazine limits, banning guns for people under 21 – are dead this session.

But Universal Registration and Red Flag Confiscation bills could still leak through. Hence the rally – and Rob’s injunction that “we need ten of you for every one that’s here”.

If you’re not in the MNGOC already, consider this your engraved invitation.

By the way: I’ve been to a lot of these rallies – like, all of them, ever – and I’ve never seen a police presence like I did on Saturday.

State Patrol, all over the main level. There was an equal number of very bored officers at the lower entrace. There were SP and SPPD cars parked at most of the. intersections within a block or two of the Capitol.

Rumor had it that the cops had been told to expect trouble. No specifics about who was going to cause the trouble, or who felt it; I suspect the Speaker of the House and the Governor indulged their base and wanted to put on a show of force.

Notwithstanding, ,the cops were universally friendly, even helpful. Not to project, but they knew that nobody was going to cause problems.


So when a parent leaves a narcissistic piece of drama royalty who is using their children’s physiques and psyches as their personal doodle board, but their ex hauls them to Minnesota to complete the job, the Minnesota House has just voted to make the state a safe haven for kidnapping.

No, seriously:

And this is how popular it is here in Minnesota:

According to the latest Thinking Minnesota poll (February 26-28), an overwhelming majority (67%) of Minnesotans oppose sex change operations for minors. The poll was released as the Minnesota House prepares to debate a bill Thursday making Minnesota a “trans refuge” state where the practice will be protected and even encouraged. All political subgroups in the poll opposed sex change operations for minors including Democrats. There is a 51-point gap in support for the practice among Minnesota independents (16%-67%).  

The poll was conducted by Meeting Street Insights, a nationally recognized polling operation based in Charleston, South Carolina. Using a mix of cell phones and landline phones, the company interviewed 500 registered voters across Minnesota from February 26-28, 2023. The margin of error is +-4.38 percent.

And the DFL knows it:

But the DFL doesn’t care. They are using their “trifecta” of complete progressive control to do exactly what I said they’d do in 2018: jam down everything they can, knowing that even if they lose the trifecta next year, it’s going to be almost impossible to roll most of it back.

More on the show tomorrow.

Learning From Failure?

A friend of the blog emails:

The tides seem to be changing

I remember when a similar editorial was written about downtown Minneapolis and the man who wrote it was basically canceled. And the Star Tribune took it down.
It’s interesting to note how the writer says, “I don’t raise these opinions in certain rooms, because I am deeply enmeshed in the progressive ecosystem of belief, and have adapted to those spaces for much of my life.”

Glad he finally feels brave enough to raise these concerns. Hope we can get some real enforcement nationwide on Fentanyl use, crime, etc. 

Hope springs eternal, I suppose. But that would involve admitting there’s a problem – and what the causes of those problems actually are.

Baby steps, maybe.

Mister Bad Example

I’m not sure how I missed this piece, from five years ago, about supremely complicated story of Warren Zevon – a deeply flawed person who wrote some of the best music ever about deeply flawed people.

It’s a sprawling article that covers a lot of turf – too many

In an old Late Show episode from the ’90s, when Zevon was guesting as bandleader, David Letterman asks Zevon to play “Desperados Under the Eaves,” which he had never performed on the show. Zevon demurs, suggesting that he needs an orchestra backing him to do the song justice. Maybe he just didn’t want to play his big hymn about L.A. on the opposite coast from that “beautiful, sensual morgue.” Either way, Dave never was able to convince Warren to play it for him.

The best song can’t ever be your favorite song, because the best song belongs to everybody, whereas a favorite song belongs only to you. Goldsmith goes with “The French Inhaler,” a telling choice for a songwriter — it boasts a parallel narrative that references Zevon’s bitter break-up with the first love of his life and mother to Jordan, Marilyn “Tule” Livingston, and the controversy over Norman Mailer’s 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe. It’s the sort of song — sophisticated without making a big deal about it — that professionals wish they had written.

Favorite but not “best”? Probably a three way battle between “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and “A Certain Girl”.

The rebooting of Zevon’s reputation – from untouchable to secular saint, in the two decades since he died – fills a lot of the article, and it’s fascinating, and a little bit of a blast down memory lane to the days when he was one of the most alcoholic-y alcoholics around:

One of the most haunting passages from I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead concerns “Reconsider Me,” Zevon’s most poignant love song. (Given how much Zevon labored over his lyrics, the use of “reconsider” seems especially crucial.) Crystal Zevon recounts how Warren showed up at her place at some point in the mid-’80s, before he got sober, to play her the song. In spite of everything, they were thinking about giving their marriage another go.

Their daughter, Ariel, was excited to show her daddy her report card and a drawing she made for him. But when he walked in, he ignored Ariel, instead fixating on Crystal as he played her his beautiful love song. The little girl looked on, quietly devastated.

It’s an illuminating and fascinating read if you’re a fan. And I am.

Things Continue To Go Just Great!

Brooklyn Park WalMart to close:

Walmart spokesperson said after a “careful and thoughtful review process” the company made the “difficult decision” to close the location on Friday, April 21. 

In a statement, they added that the store didn’t perform  “as well as we hoped” and didn’t meet the company’s financial expectations, but employees will be able to transfer to another store.

This follows on the heels of Target announcing they’ll be closing their Uptown mini-store. With that closing, the chain’s explanation made sense; the price of the land in Uptown was higher than the low-service mini-Target was worth.

For now.

As to Shingle Creek Crossing? It’s not land values. The shoplifting got it.


Social media droogs from Crocus Hill and Northeast are chortling, thinking the store will be turned into an abstract performance space or something.

As Predicted

Last December 8, when the DFL was crowing about having a “$17.6 Billion Surplus”, I noted tha the so-called “surplus” was nothing but bIllions of dollars in federal Covid stimulus dollars, routine Minnesota DFL overtaxation (plumped up by receipts driven up by inflation in the cost of the goods being taxed, and that all of that that taxation and inflation was going on over an epipandemic surge in stimulus-swollen consumer spending that would end with the subsidies.

And I predicted:

  • The DFL will turn that “$27.6 Billion in Surplus” into permanent spending
  • The economy will slow into recession (as even the DFL’s cheerleaders in their bespoke press are starting to observe).
  • Without the Covid stimuli, and with the economy contracting, tax receipts will crash again. “Unexpectedly”
  • The state will have a multibillion dollar deficit by 2026, probably 2024.

I think it’s fair to say the first bullet is in the 10 ring:


Of course, some are taking this as a cue to celebrate:

No word from Rep. Stevenson if making the trains run on time is next.

My ultimate prediction – billions in deficits – is now inevitable.

No, it’s not just me. Walter Hudson:


SCENE: Mitch BERG is spreading salt and grit on his sidewalk, trying to stay ahead of the thaw-refreeze cycle. So engrossed is he, he doesn’t see the Nissan Leaf with GUTTERBALL GARY and CAT SCAT, both bloggers at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“. They pull to a stop and get out of the car.

SCAT: Merg!

BERG: Oh, shiiiiure great to see y’all…

GUTTERBALL GARY: Shut up. You ReTHUGliCon wingnuts are running on “woke”, but most Americans love woke!

BERG: Provided they are spoon-fed an indulgent definition of the term first.

SCAT: Well, none of you crazy fat wypipo can define

BERG: “Woke” is believing that

  1. the institutions of American society are currently and intentionally set up to oppress (minorities, women, the poor, fat people, etc.) and that…
  2. virtually all gaps in performance between large groups prove that this oppression exists,
  3. the solution to this is equity – the artificial levelling of the social, sexual, political, economic and in some cases literal playing fields across ornate intersectional lines
  4. This “Equity” is enforced by relentless mob action.

GUTTERBALL GARY and SCAT stand, slack-jawed, as BERG continues casting salt upon the land. Er, sidewalk.

BERG: Anything else?

There is nothing.


Metaphor Alert

A billion dollar train with nobody on it runs a stop signal and rams a car that had the right of way pinning it between it and another LRT train.

Is there a more perfect bunch of parallels for government in the Twin Cities these days?