Transfer Of Wealth

Chicago teachers are on strike.

Again.

But it’s not just for them, this time. Nosirreebob.

In the last two contract fights, the union brought up these issues, but they also had to concentrate on protecting their members whose jobs were being threatened by school closings and the opening of charter schools. The school district also had a budget deficit that made it difficult to argue for more resources.
This year, they saw an opening to try to win big on these social justice issues. The school district has more money after a change in the state’s funding formula and Lightfoot has said she believes schools need additional resources. The union also feels compelled to push these demands after years of budget cuts that led to staff losses in schools .
Many teachers say conditions in schools are unacceptable.
Lightfoot and her team have maintained they are committed to adding 250 more nurses, 200 social workers and more special education case managers to schools. But they say putting these promises in the contract would limit their flexibility.

Between the lines: it’s a weath transfer, from Illinois taxpayers to Chicago public employees.

Special “Elite” Media Messaging Bonus: Listening to MPR discussing the story this morning, “Morning Edition” host Bill Inskeep, talking with a Chicago NPR reporter, emphasized (and I’m very closely paraphrasing here): “Just to make sure we’re clear on this – the union is doing this for the kids’ well-being…”

Stymied

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Gloomy, rainy day.  I have things I should do, but don’t want to.  I have things I want to do, but shouldn’t.  So I’m sitting here, on-line, complaining about it. 
OMG I’m becoming a Millennial.
Joe Doakes

The email’s from last week. But the sentiment – and millennial kvetching – is eternal.

Freedom Is Dangerous

“Liberals”, 2004: “Question authority! Free speech is *the* most essential right!”

“Progressives”, 2019: “Free speech is too dangerous for people without tin ‘journalist’ badges to be using”


In the old Soviet Union, citizens used to joke that when a shortage of butter was anticipated, the state media would start running stories on how *bad* butter was for you.

I couldn’t help but think about this over the weekend. And not *just* because our media is resembling the old Soviet media more and more, either.

Following on the NYTimes’ op-ed on free speech being too “dangerous” for mere proles, NPR’s “On the Media” – which is to the big media what a fawning mall cop is to your local blue-and-white – took up the same refrain, giving Marantz a full hour to reiterate his claim (and in so doing giving a whole new spin on “physician, heal thyself”).

Oh, they wrap it in a dirty-sounding word, “absolutism” – but like the NYTimes piece…

…it’s all a rationalization for turning speech over to the “professionals”, to whittle that right (or “right”) down to a size that proles can handle.

And we’re seeing a *lot* of this lately; how checks and balances are just tooooo haaaaard, and the Bill of Rights is just tooooo complex for the herd to deal with.

Makes me think of Soviet Radio. Apropos nothing.

Just saying, Democrats – I liked y’all better 15 years ago.

Stupid Victims

Grief and stupidity make people say stupid things. I’m sure aggressors’ families blaming the victim when their spawn comes to grief is nothing new.

What’s new is, this sort of story – the family of some felon shot by a law-abiding citizen while committing a crime, complaining that armed citizens make for an unfair fight – seems to be making the news more and more,

I recall two parents of “Teens” killed trying to rob people, and the family of someone killed by citizen with an AR, that’ve made the news in recent years saying the same kind of thing “yeah, whatever, my relatives were threatening people with lethal force – BUT THE VICTIM SHOULDN’T HAVE SHOT THEM!”.

In this week’s installment, the sister of armed robber Roosevelt Rappley – who has apparently lost a previous brother to “gun violence” – condemns the store clerk who shot her brother after Mr. Rappley allegedly pointed a gun at the clerk:

“Right and wrong is wrong, that was wrong for that clerk to shoot my brother in the chest. Yes, he’s robbing them. Oh, well! Call the police, that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re not supposed to take matters into your own hands.”

Rappley is a person of interest in several other store robberies.

Watch the video for the full effect.

Almost like Big Media trying to get stupid people to believe something even dumber.

Flip

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember the case of the dog that didn’t bark? How come nobody is asking Democratic candidates for president what they would do about Syria, Trump, and the Kurds?
If everyone in the Washington establishment is correct and withdrawing is such an obvious blunder, then what’s the correct strategy? How many troops, where, for how long?
Tell us your plan: how many American kids will you kill to protect the Kurds?
Joe Doakes

The interesting part, for me, is watching Minnesota Democrats suddenly pretend they ever cared for the Kurds.

Requirements

SCENE: Mitch BERG is taking in a glorious fall day walking around Lake Como when, unbeknownst to him, a Tantric Protest class in the pavilion building lets out. Before BERG can react, he’s confronted with Cat SCAT (the designated “fact checker” at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“), Edmund DUCHEY (roprietor of that blog, and a person who was badly scarred by a childhood in which he was routinely bullied – by much younger children), Gutterball GARY (another of DuChey’s co-bloggers, who describes his hobbies as bowling, heckling people, and shouting really loud) and Avery LIBRELLE. Berg can’t get away before they notice him.

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Uh…hi, er, all of y…

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: The founding fathers never envisioned “assault rifles when they wrote the Second Amendment.

BERG: Huh. Forget for a moment that the British “Tower” Musket was the AK47 of its day – reliable, easy to train, with a high rate of fire. And the Kentucky Rifle was the sniper rifle of its day – hard to learn, a little fickle, but capable of killing people at undreamed-of ranges. Forget about all that for just a moment.

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: Consider it forgotten.

BERG: No doubt. Know what else the founding fathers did?

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: We’re not constitutional lawyers.

BERG: True. They required all citizens to keep one of the “assault rifles” of their day, and a battle or two’s worth of ammunition, at home, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: (Nothing).

BERG: Nothing.

GARY: I’m going to hide peep through your windows until I can find something about you to write about.

BERG: So – no change, then?

AND SCENE

NIMBY = “Not In My Borough, Yo”

New York assemblywoman argues that housing is a right:

“Unexpectedly”, she also is a plaintiff suing against affordable housing…in her district:

In a Wednesday piece for the New York Daily News, [Assemblymember Yuh-Line] Niou and activist Feliz Guzman argue that the Saturday murder of four homeless people in New York City could have been prevented by more government spending on housing and social services.
“If they had been housed, four of our neighbors would very likely still be with us today,” they write. “We must choose to guarantee every New Yorker the right to a safe and affordable home to prevent a tragedy like this one from ever happening again.” Niou and Guzman call out both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for falling short of their own promises to build affordable housing:

Awkwardly, Niou is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against an affordable housing project being built by a coalition of developers, including Habitat for Humanity, in Little Italy. The project, named Haven Green, would add 123 units of affordable senior housing to Niou’s district, including 37 units for the formerly homeless…So why is she suing to stop it? It’s all about the open space.
The Haven Green project will replace the privately managed Elizabeth Street Garden that currently occupies the city-owned site. In March, the garden, and a separate non-profit that advocates for its preservation, filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing that it erred in approving the project without conducting an adequate environmental study.
“While Lower Manhattan is desperately in need of affordable housing, we cannot pit the need for housing against the need for green space, especially when so many good alternatives are available,” Niou said in a statement.

So her constituents’ desire for open space trumps the “right” to housing…

…in Niou’s district?

Forewarned

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

hen people complain the St. Paul City Council is a bunch of crooks . . . they’re right.
The Pioneer Press has helpfully published a guide to the candidates’ criminal history so voters can make an informed choice which crook to vote for.  Don’t see that in a lot of cities.  The guide, I mean, not the crooks running for office, they’re everywhere.
Joe Doakes

The next step toward truly becoming Chicago on the Mississippi would be for the candidates to turn those records into a matter of pride.

It’s coming.

Minnesota Department Of Predictive Intersectional Hate Hoaxing

Gary Gross, proprietor of Saint Cloud’s Let Freedom Ring blog, noticed something fishy in the Saint Cloud Times‘ coverage of the postponement of a “Dismantling Hate Crimes” meeting being held in Saint Cloud.

The Times carried a statement from MInnesota Department of Human Rights commissioner Rebecca Lucero about the postponement. I’ll add some emphasis:

“Hate is not a value in St. Cloud or in any part of our state. Our community deserves better,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “I am heartbroken by the attempts to silence discussion on hate crimes. The goal of the forum was to discuss the community we want to create. One that is full of dignity and joy.”

The “attempt to silence” the discussion was a protest against the event, and ostensible threats.

But Gary did something that the Times apparently doesn’t, anymore; checked the facts.

Found in their own coverage:

If they had done that, they would have read the quote from Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton, who said that the SCPD hadn’t received any threats regarding the event.

And the timeline (again adding emphasis):

the event was cancelled at 1:16 p.m. That’s the timestamp on the Facebook post from the St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Commission announcing the cancellation of the event. That’s important because the “protesters” didn’t arrive until 2 p.m.
Isn’t it interesting that the event got cancelled before the protesters showed up? Why would the Minnesota Department of Human Resources and the St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Commission cancel an event that didn’t get threatened?

Because communicating with “progressive” audiences is never about facts. It’s about getting the desired emotional reaction.

This Is Today’s #MNDFL

From the Trump rally:

Notice the shrieking harpy sucker-punching the woman. Canny move – any response would have gotten on CNN as “Trump Supporters Attack Woman Of Color!”

And it was smarter still, in that “resistance” “men” would have needed 5-6 to one odds – but only if the boyfriend wasn’t there.

And no, charges will never be filed.

Beware Leftists Talking “Conversations”

In 2010, Governor Dayton pledged to make education his top priority.

In 2018, Walz did the same

And after the spending of billions of dollars – much of it extracted with the same exploitive gaslighting and logrolling that were the calling cards of both Dayton and Walz’s gubernatorial races – the results are…

…well, predictable:

Math scores on the biggest statewide exam have plummeted for six straight years, troubling some education officials and teachers — and prompting deep discussions about how to teach math in a more holistic way.
Last year, just 55% of students met state standards on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, or MCAs, a slide of six percentage points in just over a decade. The decline spans all racial groups, and has diverged from the trend in reading scores, which have largely remained flat.

A smart government and bureaucracy would think in terms of, perhaps, inviting different people to the “conversation”.

Crystal Dodged A Bullet

Former Crystal Mayor ReNae Bowman took one of the dumbest swipes I’ve ever seen at Andy Richter, founder of “Community Solutions” and one of the driving forces behind Crystal’s libertarian/conservative insurgency – an insurgency that’s undone a lot of ex-mayor Bowman’s toxic legacy.

But never let it be said the woman doesn’t ooze class.

Emphasis on “ooze”:

Bowman’s lunacy, and borderline slander, gets worse – including a swipe at Richter’s wife that’s straight out of some trailer park reality show.

I’m going to presume Bowman is angry with Andy for two reasons: he clobbered her in a city that was supposed to be a DFL sinecure, and Andy helped lead the way doing the most unforgivable sin in the “prog” religion; peeled back “progressive” power.

Richter’s response was as classy as Bowman’s was toxically “progressive”:

The truth is Ms. Bowman you don’t scare me. You’re nothing more than a classless coward. While I go out and work hard with my blog and my podcast and on campaigns, you sit around on social media and spread 24/7 hate. it’s a pathetic existence. If you’d like to be as successful as my group I have a suggestion; why don’t you come up with a positive agenda and persuade people to support it?
I know I’ve helped defeat you and all your friends in Crystal and that has to be eating at you. I can understand that. Losing that much has to drive someone crazy. She probably dreams about defeating our group in just one election. And why not? Dreams are important. I won’t knock them.

And since Bowman still harbors political ambitions, I’m gonna post this for my friends in Crystal:

Having said all this, I will support Ms. Bowman’s right to free speech. If I try and shut her up then I’m no better than she is. Her first amendment rights will be supported by this group even it attacks me and my family. What I will not do, under any circumstances, is stop exposing her vulgar and despicable words. These are her words, published in their entirety. Voters of Crystal will know what she says and who she supports. No amount of attacking me will intimidate me into silence. One thing Bowman won’t do is shut up, so you can rest assure that her conduct will continue to be exposed here.

Your choice is clear – achievement, competence and success, or “Honey Boo Boo Moves To City Hall”.

The Irreducible Logic Of An Illogical Choice

I’ve said it before, I’ll no doubt say it again; I don’t like Donald Trump. I discovered my dislike of him in 1986. I kept it going, cordially, even through the 2000s, when many of today’s “resistance” (gag koff choke) were making him reality TV’s most popular personality.

And I like a lot of Trump supporters even less. Not present company of course.

I voted for Scott Walker in 2016 – and still think he was the best person for the job by a Wisconsin mile. I didn’t think Trump had a chance – of staying in the race after caucuses, then of getting anywhere near the nomination, and finally of getting elected. I literally went into shock, on the air, when it became clear he was going to win three years ago.

I figured, best case, we’d get a couple good SCOTUS justices. Two down, maybe another to go, here. If nothing else, I consider him a success for that alone. There’s been more; obliterating ISIS (although this Kurd thing could screw that all up), focusing the nation on illegal immigration, rolling back some of the damage Obama did on foreign policy…

…but of course, he’s spending like a Democrat (and the Democrats, who control the House, which controls appropriations, *could* do something about it, but they won’t, so shush, Dems). Which is going to be a huge problem…someday

Thing is? Given any of the alternatives to Trump? I couldn’t in conscience vote for any of them.

*Every last one* of them at the top of the ticket (except Tulsi Gabbard, and I have as much chance of getting the Democrat nomination as she does) is promising to do to the Bill of Rights what Donald Trump bragged about doing to fictional women; grab it and molest it. A vote for *any* Democrat is a vote for a gutting the First, Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, for abolishing the Electoral College (making the entire country serfs, paying obeisance to New York and California), for imposing “our best interests” on us exactly the way it’s done in Baltimore, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, or all of California. From sea to crumbling ,dysfunctional, crime-ridden sea. But hey, abortion will be legal until the sixth trimester…

Sorry, Libertarian friends – if you normally vote GOP, a third-party vote is a vote for the Dems. More’s the pity. See you down-ticket, maybe. And all you “withhold my consent” folks? All due respect, but that’s just too precious for me.

So – will I vote Trump? We’ll see.

Will I vote for *any* Democrat who’s actually going to get on a ticket outside of a red Congressional district? I couldn’t do that in any form of conscience that could be reached at the speed of light in my lifetime. I prefer Trump. God help me.

Attention, Mayor Orwell

To: Jacob Frey, Mayor, Minneapolis
From: Mitch Berg, cantankerous peasant
Re: “Love”

Mayor McDreamy,

You said “love trumps hate.”

Was this the “love” you were talking about?

Do you even regard this as a problem? Or are you and your staff high-fiving each other over this kind of thing today?

Serious question.

That is all.

Nosotros Todos Somos Venezueleaños!

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking through the Roseville Best Buy, looking for a USB-C to HDMI cable, when, engrossed in thought, he fails to notice Avery LIBRELLE walking up behind him.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Er, hi, Avery. Just kinda busy…nñ

LIBRELLE: Voters need to stop voting against their best interests, and vote Progressive!

BERG: Because “progressivism”…

LIBRELLE: Why are you making scare quotes?

BERG: …is everyone’s best interests?

LIBRELLE: Of course!

BERG: So the places where “progressives have control are the places where all our “best interests” are being seen to?

LIBRELLE: Yes! Yes! Yes! We may be making progress here!

BERG: So places like Detroit, Cleveland, Newark, Camden, Baltimore, Chicago, Saint Louis, North Minneapolis, Oakland and New Orleans represent our “best interests”? Or California, the entire state, which is looking more and more like Venezuela?

LIBRELLE: Um…

BERG: Yes?

LIBRELLE: You see, the problem with “best interests” is that they’ve never been tried in their truest form.

BERG: Huh. Where have I heard that before?

LIBRELLE: You haven’t.

BERG: Of course not.

(And SCENE)

Surprising Nobody. Not Even The “Reverend” Nord Bence”.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Analyst reviews new FBI crime stats.  Surprise,  it’s not the black rifles.
Joe doakes

It’s no surprise to anyone that’s ever paid attention.

Of course, you don’t have to talk with a crowd of those who are the few remaining “swing voters” on this subject for long without seeing how very uninformed – misinformed – they are.

A Thousand Times “Yep”

While driving about yesterday during the mid-day, I caught a piece on MPR – basically a recycled “Documentary” podcast on “Education” looking at the tension between free speech and “inclusion” at the U of M, viewed in the context of a squabble over a panel on the Washington Avenue bridge in 2016, where Campus Republicans wrote “build the wall”, spawning the usual suspects’ usual performances about the need to make free speech not nearly so free.

I sat, mostly dumbfounded, as a series of academics, consultants and activists responded to the notion of the importance (to say nothing of sanctity ,and vitality to a democracy) of free speech with an ever-increasing series of “Yabbuts”.

There were too many chilling moments to pick just one pullquote; I’d read or listen to the whole thing, if you’re in the mood to feel immense forboding.

But this part here caught my attention; I’ve added some emphasis:

Over the course of [Rebecca Ropers, a vice provost for faculty and academic affairs at the University of Minnesota]’s career, she has witnessed an increasing ability for people that are marginalized on campus to articulate what is going on in their lives, but she doesn’t see administrators and other students showing a commensurate ability to hear and acknowledge those experiences. She said that the university now knows more about managing diversity and free speech, but school officials don’t always implement what they know.
“If administrators and faculty could have students’ backs and continue to articulate the importance of free speech, while also saying, ‘Yeah, and I really find that reprehensible,” I think maybe that’s a good strategy for academic leaders to take at this point,” Ropers said.

“Acknowledgment”. It’s the “bring me a rock” of modern sociology; the “acknowledgment” sought is never, ever the kind offered; there’s always a bigger, better, different form that’s really demanded, although it’s up to the acknowledgor to figure that out.

If the modern academy – at least, outside most engineering and hard science departments – expends energy in anything other than endless self-flagellation over the current view of identity politics, what is it?

Although I’ll clarify – it’s not so much self-flagellation; call it flagellation of some “other” on the part of the upper-middle-class academics and activists doing the flagellation, who are never called upon for any meaningful sacrifices as a result.

Don’t Mind Me

I’m just waiting and watching to see if Minneapolis lives down to everyone’s expectations.

The Trump campaign, of course, would benefit greatly from lots of goons desporting in the streets and trying to crack heads.

On the other hand, Mayor McDreamy would love to paint Trump supporters’ self-defense as “white supremacist violence” and create a city department (run by a retired city councilperson or state legislator and staff of dedicated DFL functionaries who need salaries) to “study” the issue.

Maybe the weather will curb some of the Red Flags‘ enthusiasm.

More Good News For Saint Paul’s Poor!

Fred Melo in the PiPress:

So – a fake “faith” non-profit is actively campaigning for a policy that’s made poverty even more miserable and costly in Saint Paul?

You mean, exactly as they’ve campaigned for policies that increase crime, destroy entry-level jobs, and turn the city into a warehouse for the poor?

Whyl, it’s almost as though ISAIAH is a fraud or something…

Siriusly Hateful

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I have a subscription to Sirius XM radio in my car, but I’m going to cancel it. This morning, I heard a song that triggered me so bad, I can’t even.
I was listening to the 70 station and some guy came on making fun of homosexuals, using stereotype words like Sugar Plum Fairy and encouraging me to take a Walk on the Wild Side. And then he started using racial epithets, claiming the colored girls go doo, doo-doo, doo-doo, doo, doo-doo, doo, doo-doo, doo-doo….
Sure, I could have changed the station, but why should I have to? Why are they allowed to put hate speech on the radio? The radio I’m paying for! That’s it, I’m done, I’m canceling my subscription and starting a Twitter boycott. 
Joe Doakes

Lou Reed, being a New York “artist”, was given a pass on all that.

Potemkin Mall

A longtime friend of the blog emails:

CM Warsame [of Minneapolis] is trying to push through an African mall on a city owned parking lot. Neighbors and businesses in the area don’t want it.
But, there is a quote from a hopeful woman- “Marian Hersi, a longtime Cedar-Riverside resident, said the idea of a new mall in her neighborhood is reviving her dream of becoming a business owner. Hersi, who grew up selling bread and tomatoes on the streets of Somalia, has been working as a janitor for Macy’s in Edina for the last 17 years. But once the mall opens, she said she wants to own a convenience store.”
I don’t want to rain on anyone’s dreams, especially someone who left horrible conditions to come to our great USA with ideas of living free and making a decent living. But, I have to here.
1- CM Warsame’s African Market isn’t about helping anyone achieve their dreams. It is politically motivated to make it difficult to drive to the community, gut out the community that is there and eventually build unaffordable housing.

“The only way to save the neighborhood is to destroy it”

2- Ms Hersi would be better off starting with a business with low overheard and working her way up if she wants her own business. There are many organizations that help people learn about small businesses. None of them are politicians.

True.

And none of them will be allowed anywhere near the “mall”, because…

3- The American dream allows janitors to move up and start businesses if one chooses, by working hard, making sacrifices, and taking risks. I have my doubts, though, that this African Market and the people involved have any intention of allowing someone like Ms Hersi a spot. 

Minneapolis is a little like Chicago in the sense that this sort of project will be filtered through some assortment of “community organizers” or another. These are people who’ve built their careers running long grifts at the expense of…

…well, everyone who’s not in the political class.

Ms. Hersi, if you get into that mall as anything but a janitor, it’ll be as temporary window-dressing.

What Do You Want, A Cookie?

The media is gushing – not inappropriately – over Ellen DeGeneres’ defense of her friendship with Dubya.

To which I, and the vast majority of middle America who actually have to live in this world, respond “this is real life for most of us, the ones who don’t live in progressive cocoons.

Of course, Urban Progressive Privilege is all about living in a cocoon:

Urban Progressive Privilege means feeling entitled to feel upset that cognitive dissonance exists, and feeling you’ve got the right to make someone pay for it.