It’s Transit Memorial Day


Today is the 19th anniversary of the opening of the Metro Transit Blue Line – the beginning, or re-beginning, of light rail transit in the Twin Cities.

So on this anniversary, let us remember the people who gave their lives – unwillingly and in most cases unwittingly – to further Minnesota’s political class’s obsession with feeling like a Big City.

It was a relatively quiet year on the rail lines – if you leave out crime at the train stations and on board the trains, of course. But the trains didn’t run over anyone new.

Still:

That’s 30 dead, so far. 30 lives snuffed out so that the Met Council, the various governments, and other people who love to play with the dials and levers of government can feel like they’re “running” a big city with all the trimmings. 

Let’s take a moment today to remember these innocent victims of government narcissism and megalomania.

Filed Under “Things That Don’t Happen In Texas, Wyoming Or The Dakotas”

It was just another day in the suburbs of Toronto, where gun control has solved all street crime:

I’d say “the prosecutor most likely charged the cameraman for photographing a license plate”, but I don’t want to give Mary Moriarty any ideas.

A Little Unfair

The “CrimeWatchMpls” twitter account – which is one of the few actual accurate and current sources of information on crime in Minneapolis – found a photo of a group of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) staffers with their recent awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

You might say that crowd doesn’t look especially diverse.

I beg to differ.

Some of them are from Macalester; some, Saint Thomas; others, the U of M School of Journalism

Hope we’ve settled that.

Back To The Future

Just in time for the 1984 Olympics, the hot new social trend ripped straight from the world’s streets:

Coming up in the 2028 games? Streaking.

Seed Corn

I’ve got leftist acquaintances who chuckle derisively every year about the “War On Christmas”.

I meet them halfway. The war isn’t just on Christmas, of course; it’s on everything that builds a stable, functional society

Especially families.

The “hild-free”/movement is one of modernity’s more galling little affectations. Not so much the people who just decide they don’t want to have kids – although I have questions – much less the ones that can’t.

No, I’m talking about the ones that take affirmative pride at disdaining all thing child: having them, putting up with them in public, making any allowances for them or their parents in any way.

It’s not just their dubious social skills; to be intentionally “child-free” is to say “when I’m too old to take care of myself – financially, socially and literally – I’m going to give the job to your kids and grandkids”. The burden in insurance premiums, social overhead and literal time (CNAs don’t grow on trees) will come from the children and grandchildren of the people they’re condescending to today.

Of course, like every other harebrained notion, they’ve got their carefully-curated “Facts” – which in this case Jordan Peterson was good enough to flense for us:

Answer #5 in particular grabbed me:

Much of modern culture seems to mistake a dopamine for purpose and meaning – and among millennials and Zoomers, it shows.

Pre-Emptive

A friend of the blog emails:

If you recall, back in 2020 there were similar reporting coming out about Trump picking up ground in the black community around this same time, and then we suddenly had race riots and George Floyd within a week of those reports coming out.

Are we going to have to gear up for another black community getting burned to the ground to put them back on the proverbial Democratic Party plantation?

Riot? Maybe.

All I know is, Democrat gaslighting of Black Communities is going to shift into hyperdrive.

Supreme

What’s so funny about showing up to work on time, rational thought and planning for the future?

Joe Doakes, formerly from Como Park, emails:

I am retiring in three weeks.  I gave my notice in April but my employer still has not posted my job.  HR is considering the job listing.  Are those minimum qualifications in line with our commitment to racial justice and diversity in the workforce, or are the minimums too restrictive considering our goal of being a progressive and enlightened workforce?  Personally, I don’t care if the job goes unfilled – I’m outta here and not looking back – but it occurs to me that HR’s quandary stems from confusion about cause-and-effect.   

In America’s distant past, White people owned Black people as slaves.  To make up for it, my employer claims to be Equal Opportunity but in practice implements Affirmative Action to give Black people a leg up in hiring over White people.  Except there aren’t enough Black people on the list of eligible candidates so we substitute another “protected class” and hire Asian women instead. 

How does hiring an Asian woman today redress the injustices done to Black men a century ago?  How can Affirmative Action possibly accomplish its intended goal?

Okay, let’s say it could.  So why aren’t there more Black people on the eligible list?  Most didn’t apply, the ones who did apply scored too low on the exam, and the ones who scored well have already been snapped up by other employers to meet their Affirmative Action goals and timetables (we do not have quotas, nobody ever has quotas, quotas are Bad; we have “goals and timetables” which are Good even though the results are identical).

Why didn’t more Black men apply for a job which requires a diploma?   Why didn’t more Black men score higher?  Perhaps because staying in school, showing up on time, working hard, are attributes of White culture (at least, according to the Smithsonian)…

…so obviously authentically Black people don’t apply.  But is the applicant’s culture any of my employer’s business?  If it is, why aren’t we testing for the cultural values of the culture we want to hire, instead of the culture we’re trying not to hire?  And what are those values of Authentically Black Culture?  How are they different from the values of White Culture?  What should we be testing for?

We must do something about White culture!  Really, why?  It’s what made this nation work, it got us where we are.  Why are we throwing it away?  How do we as a nation, benefit from that trade?

Joe Doakes, no longer in Como Park

“It’s what’s made this nation work”

There’s your problem right there. To our new ruling elite, that’s a bug, not a feature.

Campaign Ad?

Not sure if the Trump campaign should send this g…

…er, this…

…uh, this person a check for producing perhaps the perfect Trump campaign ad?

This, uh, person may have done a better job of convincing me than Charlie Kirk, Sebastian Gorka and Laura Loomer combined.

Love The Art. Ignore The Artist

For those of a certain age, it’s a bit of a “back to the future” moment – or perhaps a “there’s nothing new under the sun” moment.

Eric Clapton really is kind of morally erratic.

If you’re of that certain age, you may remember the controversy about Clapton either “being way ahead of the curve on immigration” or “being a corrosive racist”, depending on your ponit of view, in the seventies, as he approached bottoming out on booze, coke and heroin. It led to him, with a nod to Laura Ingraham, “shutting up and singing” for most of the last five decades or so.

Oh, he had his moment of grace during Covid…

…until his anti-lockdown and COVID vaccine statements and his singing on a Van Morrison-penned song, “Stand and Deliver.”  

These gestures infuriated many on the left, and in 2021, flamewars raged in guitar forums over Clapton’s statement, and of course, the Enoch Powell rant resurfaced from those who were pro-lockdown, given its being reprinted in numerous American newspaper columns about Clapton, and from those wishing to cancel him on social media. 

But it seems that Clapton, now 78, is in the “I’ll say what I want and I don’t care” phase of life:

But now Clapton has outdone himself when it comes to displaying his own antisemitism, moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy. In an interview with The Real Music Observer YouTube channel, he criticizes the Senate hearings into antisemitism on US college campuses, while stating that Israel is running the world (a clear antisemitic trope). At the same time, he fawns over Putin, Russia, and China – who he claims are all unfairly demonized – while expressing the desire to play there with his “brother” Roger Waters:

I’ve always observed the adage “love the art, ignore the artist”. It really doesn’t matter whether I agree with the artist (or can find reasons that the artist agrees with me whether they like it or not) or don’t.

And I’ll keep doing that.

Sorry, Eric. Shut up and play the guitar:

Minoritarian

What’s the next front in the specious war on “white supremacy?”

We’ll come back to that.

Redundant And Extraneous: Something I’ve always wondered about; why does Minnesota have a Senate, but the Senate just replicates each pair of House districts?

It give you all the disadvantages of a purely majoritarian unicameral legislature, which an added layer of bureaucracy which doesn’t actually protect the population from the tyranny of the majority.

I’ve often thought it’d be best to make the legislature more analogous to the US Senate, including the focus on blunting the power of the pure majority – either 2-3 Senators per Congressional district, or one per County.

And I’m not the only one.

Adversarial: The move to give Minnesota a minoritarian, deliberative Senate has finally gotten a mention out there:

That would shift power to lower-population counties, and make the Minnesota Legislature more like the U.S. Congress, with the House membership based on population proportionality and the Senate membership elected one per county, no matter how many people live in that county.

“The real problem is the representation in Minnesota,” [propoenent Allen] Lysdahl told the Becker County Board during the open forum period on Tuesday, June 4. ”It’s either very concentrated in some areas or very diluted in others.” The existing system is “pure majority rule,” he added. “It’s not conducive to good government — majority rule is like a lynch mob

It would help the legislature bridge the tribal divides that currently slop most legislation into our current, useless three-person junta. And it’d help prevent the orgy of one-sided spending caused by the Metro area’s stranglehold on the Legislature.

Smug Alert: So you know the DFL is going to hate it.

That’s right – the party that gave us ranked choice voting, ballot harvesting and season-long early voting windows, and has spent this state into decline and oblivion, is complaining about “rigged elections”.

Suffice to say, I support it. It will, of course, take a GOP trifecta, and a decisive one at that, to make it happen.

ERMUHGEEEERD!!!

I’m going to take a break from dunking on the left’s hysteria and myopia to dunk on some of my own peeps.

Some, broadly conservative, are howling with rage that a Russian “fleet” – a frigate, a submarine, a replenlishment ship and, uh, a fleet tugboat, have been exercising in the Caribbean.

It marks the largest show of force by the Russians with their longstanding ally Cuba in many years. The US assesses that the Kazan does not have nuclear weapons on board, a US official said.

The vessels will carry out a five-day official visit to the Caribbean island – a show of Russian force just 90 miles from Florida as tensions rise between the US and Russia over the war in Ukraine.

And some – again, broadly right of center – are losing their minds.

First: back in the ’80s, this sort of thing was confined to “days ending in ‘Y'”. Overflights, reconaissance planes approaching our ships and aircraft, Soviet spy ships and subs parked off American ports? Unless shots were fired, it was all in a day’s sparring.

And – they brought a tugboat. Because today’s Russian ships are as likely to break down as fight.

Indeed, it’s probably more an opportunity than a threat:

The actual threat is the illegal immigrants.

The DFL Is Minnesota’s Gaslighting Abusive Spouse

In the immediate aftermath of declaring that realizing the non-charges against Trooper Londregan were “anti-queer” (???), Henco Attorney Mary Moriarty tells us that all that talk about crime in her jurisdiction is fearmongery:

During a May 28 event, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty explained she believes there’s an effort to cause the public to fear crime.

“Moderate Democrats have done a lot of work in making people afraid of downtown Minneapolis,” she said. “There is a concerted effort to make people afraid of crime.”

The conversation took place between Moriarty and Dr. T. Anansi Wilson, a Mitchell Hamline School of Law professor. The discussion centered around being “good trouble” and activism.

Quick – which “protected class” suffers least from society”s alleged intesectionalities – a lesbian county attorney or a black tenured law professor?

“Crime is down”

VIolent crime? In Minneapolis? Not as of yesterday, it isn’t:

This is the sort of thing they talk about inside the echo chamber:

She also discussed her advice for current law students, which was to ask more questions. “You talk about the rule of law, it’s like, what is that? I mean, I kind of wonder how anybody talks about the rule of law now. Wasn’t Roe v. Wade rule of law? I mean, what happened to that?” Moriarty said.

To the modern ultra left,

  • “innocent until proven guilty” is “anti-queer”
  • “democracy” is “getting what we want”
  • “rule of law” is “making sure we get what we want”.

The only upside? If today’s generation of Henco voters actually do replace Moriarty, it’ll be with someone worse.

The New Political Geography

Perhaps you heard – conservatives won big in EU elections last weekend.

You might have missed it, because the news only referred to “the far right” – as if Francisco Franco were back from the dead.

Indeed, it’s yet another term that today’s left have rendered meaningless:

Let not pretend this is accidental. Big Left has been working for decades to gain control of the language and its perception. The systematic turning of all “right wing’ thought into some neo-fascist aberration shifted into high gear in 2009, when Obama’s Homeland Security czaritsa Janet Napolitano told the nation’s law enforcement “don’t mind all those leftist terrorists, watch out for all that right wing terror which is going to come out of nowhere someday, pinky swear!”.

Just watch – in a month, NPR and the NYTimes will furrow their brows and wonder why society has had a “Big Sort”…

The good news: these sorts of results usually bode well for elections in America, at least for the upcoming cycle.

Ugly

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Classic literature instructs us:

*** 

Said the Mock Turtle with a sigh, ‘I only took the regular course.’

‘What was that?’ inquired Alice.

‘Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,’ the Mock Turtle replied; ‘and then the different branches of Arithmetic—Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.’

‘I never heard of “Uglification,”‘ Alice ventured to say. ‘What is it?’

The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. ‘What! Never heard of uglifying!’ it exclaimed. ‘You know what to beautify is, I suppose?’

‘Yes,’ said Alice doubtfully: ‘it means—to—make—anything—prettier.’

‘Well, then,’ the Gryphon went on, ‘if you don’t know what to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton.’

Minnesota Democrats know what it means and they are hard at it

I don’t like it.

Joe Doakes, no longer in Como Park

The problem with the flag – and to a lesser extent the license plate – is that they were designed by graphic designers, judged by people whose background was graphic design (filtered through politics), by criteria that make sense only in graphic design terms.

And while graphic design is one of many tools used to get ideas across to people, when applied for its own sake it’s an intensely myopic discipline. It certainly doesn’t help that so much of my own field has been dragged down by visual designers masquerading as problem-solvers.

Take all that and filter it through politics, and you get the same effect as when you filter science through politics; bad design and/or politics.

The Minnesota DFL destroys everything it touches.

Decoy

SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting at a local bar for a small debate society. He’s reading the menu, and doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE has entered the bar, carrying a protest sign reading “Debate Is White Supremacy”. BERG doesn’t notice LIBRELLE – but LIBRELLE notices him.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Ah, sssshhhhiiut the front door, it’s Ave…

LIBRELLE: Shut up. The verdict against Hunter Biden shows that we do not have a two-tiered justice system! Nobody is above the law!

BERG: Sure.

LIBRELLE: Hah. I thought you’d say…(stops) Er, what?

BERG: If you ignore the fact that the Department of Justice made a concerted effort to slow-walk the tax evasion and corruption allegations so that the statutes of limitations expired, especially on the allegations that could have led investigators to “the Big Guy”? Yeah. Perfectly just.

LIBRELLE: (Uneasily) Er…right. Right?

BERG: As far as you know, yes.

LIBRELLE: Whew. I thought so. (Walks away, waving sign and trying to disrupt the debate)

And SCENE

Decay

Minnesota’s gross domestic product growth – which has long run far ahead of national averages – isn’t anymore:

I’ve been observing this for a while now – when I decided to move to Minnesota, the state was simultaneously a mecca of opportunity in the Midwest, a place that Fodor Travel Guides called “The Athens of the 20th Century” in a fit of not-excessive hyperbole – that was nonetheless modestly affordable for a 22 year old guy with a BA in English, as opposed to an MBA or a software engineering degree.

And that is just not true anymore.

And it might seem rote and predictable to follow that with “and it’s the DFL’s fault”.

But, honestly, who else has been driving the ship for the past 16 years?

Contest Time

Joe Doakes, formerly of Como Park, emails:

I suggest a contest for readers to give new slogans to the Republican party

Trump or Biden, handcuffs or Depends. You decide.

Trump or Biden, mean tweets or elder abuse. You decide.

Want to kill your baby?  Vote Democrat.

Democrat dilemma, taxes or groceries?

 Have you been discriminated against? You may be entitled to compensation.  Unless you’re White. Then you’re just a hater. Vote Democrat. 

Cast your votes in the comments

Words To Live By

This needs to be said.

Dennis Prager says “everything the left touches, it destroys”. The language is one of those things, and the left’s been actively working on it for decades.

The left has made so many words meaningless:

  • (Toxic) masculinity
  • Fascism
  • Treason
  • Racism (and its meaningless analogue, “anti-racism”.
  • White Supremacy

And, in this campaign, “Democracy” – which has come to mean “everything the Democrat party wants”.

What A Difference A Mask Makes

This was the “white nationalist rally” in Charlottesville seven years ago looked like:

Kind of a cantina band scene, a grab bag of endomorphic remainders from a dozen states, waving tiki torches and chanting.

Now, here’s another “white supremacist group” – the “Patriot Front” – marching in NYC.

Fit-ish looking.

Matching uniforms.

Marching in step.

And no reporter has ever tried to interview them.

No crowd of “counterprotesters” in sight – odd, considering every time ten “KKK” members gather outside a Speedway, they draw hundreds of opponents.

Huh.

What a difference wearing a mask makes.

The Experts Have Spoken

As I noted a couple of years ago, I lost my mother to Alzheimers.

There was no treatment that seemed to do anything useful. She went from first really noticeable symptoms to gone in about six years.

Research on the disease has been heavily focused on exploring brain-protein anomalies noted in a paper led by a U of M researcher 18 years ago.

The paper has been retracted – perhaps the most-cited research paper ever to have been completely retracted:

Authors of a landmark Alzheimer’s disease research paper published in Nature in 2006 have agreed to retract the study in response to allegations of image manipulation. University of Minnesota (UMN) Twin Cities neuroscientist Karen Ashe, the paper’s senior author, acknowledged in a post on the journal discussion site PubPeer that the paper contains doctored images. The study has been cited nearly 2500 times, and would be the most cited paper ever to be retracted, according to Retraction Watch data.

“Although I had no knowledge of any image manipulations in the published paper until it was brought to my attention two years ago,” Ashe wrote on PubPeer, “it is clear that several of the figures in Lesné et al. (2006) have been manipulated … for which I as the senior and corresponding author take ultimate responsibility.”

David Strom at HotAir is covering this:

What makes this retraction so significant is that it has driven research into Alzheimer’s treatments for nearly two decades, and treatment approaches based on its conclusions have failed to yield results. 

If the hypothesis that amyloid protein buildups cause Alzheimer’s symptoms is wrong, Lesné is responsible for perhaps billions of wasted research dollars and two decades of scientists following a false lead. 

Scientific research makes mistakes; lobotomies and phrenology were “settled science” once upon a time, before they weren’t. The application of science goes down rabbit holes, sometimes with perfectly good intentions.

But fraud?

That’s what Science magazine is asking about:

Lesné, who did not reply to requests for comment, remains a UMN professor and receives National Institutes of Health funding. The university has been investigating his work since June 2022. A spokesperson says UMN recently told Nature it had reviewed two images in question, and “has closed this review with no findings of research misconduct pertaining to these figures.” The statement did not reference several other questioned figures in the same paper. UMN did not comment on whether it had reached conclusions about other Lesné papers with apparently doctored images.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Strib or MPRNews cover this, and how. Both outlets seem to feel a vested interest in helping the U uphold the Ski-U-Mah Curtain.