Rumor Of War

The Chauvin trial wrapped up yesterday. As this is written, the jury is deliberating.

But well into last week, Saint Paul was strapping in.

Holiday station, Hamline at Marshall. That’s some solid woodwork on those plywood window covers.

Saint Paul is smoking ’em if they got ’em.

Laundromat, University and Pascal. At least 2-3 other buildings east and west of here burned last May. The strip mall across the street was more or less looted out – allowing the property managers to sell to the owners of “Minnesota United”. The riots were indeed very good for Saint Paul’s plutocrats.

The Midway Menards hasn’t yet piled stacks of plywood in front of the store – which is the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” moment, from where I sit.

Some merchants are of the opinion that some kind of supplication to the crowd might buy them some grace.

I’m not going to say what the store is – and I’ll block anyone who tries, and it’ll be so permanent it’ll make “Dog Gone’s” exile look like Woody Kane’s sentence.. They’re a local, family-run business, and they were burned and looted, although not totaled out, last year. They’ve been warned to expect more of the same. Fingers crossed for all of them.

But most of the biggest victims last year were immigrants and merchants “of color”, and there’s no reason to expect the white left-wing college kids who did most of the burning last year are going to be any different this time around.

If some legislator wants to push a bill removing “duty to retreat” and allowing self-defense of felony-level destruction of property via lethal force, I’ll pound all the pavement they need.

Or, y’know, assert the rule of law:

Assert it equally, regardless of class, race or all the rest? Absolutely – suggest otherwise (or suggest I suggest otherwise) and you are depraved and need to be shunned.

But assert it, for chrissake.

Incomplete

The press “reports” on Maxine Waters’ weekend trip to Brooklyn Center:

Did they cover everything?

Miss anything?

Like…the incitement to violence?

From the party (and media) that seems to think that there was no political violence in this country before (or apparently after) January 6?

UPDATE/BUMP: Oh, yeah – like Lisa Bender and Philippe Cunningham, Waters wanted special treatment while she incite her violence.

This Is A Sincere Question…

…for any DFLers that happen to be reading.

Yesterday, on the one hand, DFL rep Jennifer McEwen, sounding as if she were nearly in tearms, chided her GOP colleagues for attacking Maxine Waters, who spent her weekend telling Demcorats to riot if they didn’t get the verdict they wanted in the Chauvin trial…

Right after that, the DFL moved a resolution condemning the National Guard – part-time soldiers who live among us all – for supporting the effort to keep “Anti”-Fa from burning down. more poor, immigrant and minority neighborhoods:

Do these people speak for you?

And if you deflect to “January 6”, in the seeming belief that there was no pollitical violence in this country before that day, I will mock and taunt you for a month straight, and you will deserve it.

Estate Plan

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I visited a woman in the hospital this weekend.  She had a heart attack and was unresponsive on arrival.  The doctors didn’t know if she would make it.  Here’s a note from her husband (I did their estate plan, back when I was in private practice):

“When you are laying in bed at 2:00 a.m and your mind is running the gerbil wheel of ‘what if she doesn’t wake up,  would she want burial or cremation and what do I do with the ashes, keep them or scatter them, and what funeral home should I hire, and who is going to scan photos for the video but would she even want a memorial, and what are her friends’ phone numbers or maybe invite only family, and can we even have a memorial, what are the Covid rules and oh God, what if she doesn’t wake up?’ . . . it’s not as much fun as you might think.  Spend some time talking to your family so they know the plan.”

Joe Doakes

What Joe said. 

This Is What Screwed Looks Like

Governor Walz yesterday morning, as he got ready to head into the studio for his ritual toenail-painting with Esme Murphy:

Ever notice how the press never cares about civil rights being trashed until its their civil rights being trashed?

He’s wrong, of course. A press that holds power accountable is “foundational to democracy”. So we’re screwed.

By the way – not holding “emergency power” long after the emergency has passed is also “foundational to democracy”.

If Weasels Were The Size Of Elk

When it comes to “vaccine passports”, the Minnesota Department of Health is keeping its options open:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said just eight days ago that he does not want to implement a “vaccine passport” system that requires Minnesotans to carry documentation that they’ve received the coronavirus vaccine.

“I have no intention of doing vaccine passports,” he told reporters, per KSTP. “Our vaccine passport is get the shot. Get the shot, and we get beyond this. So we have no intention of doing it.”

“Does not want”.

“No Intention”.

If weasels were the size of moose, they could still slip through the wiggle room the Governor has left himself and his administration.

And here come the elk-sized weasels:

However, the governor’s own health department seemed to broadcast a different message via a statement posted to Facebook just six days later, on April 13.

“We don’t know yet know [sic] if you’ll need to show proof of vaccination for things like traveling, concerts or other activities,” the MDH wrote.

Remember – if you assume the typical MNDFL voter has the critical thinking skills of a tenth-grader, it all makes sense.

A Ton Of Prevention Is Worth A Gram Of Cure

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I visited a woman in the hospital this weekend.  She had a heart attack and was unresponsive on arrival.  The doctors didn’t know if she would make it.  Here’s a note from her husband (I did their estate plan, back when I was in private practice):

“When you are laying in bed at 2:00 a.m and your mind is running the gerbil wheel of ‘what if she doesn’t wake up,  would she want burial or cremation and what do I do with the ashes, keep them or scatter them, and what funeral home should I hire, and who is going to scan photos for the video but would she even want a memorial, and what are her friends’ phone numbers or maybe invite only family, and can we even have a memorial, what are the Covid rules and oh God, what if she doesn’t wake up?’ . . . it’s not as much fun as you might think.  Spend some time talking to your family so they know the plan.”

Joe Doakes

What Joe said. 

Went to Regions to visit a relative who is recovering from a heart attack.  New Covid rules: only one visitor per day.  Not one visitor at a time –  one per day.  If her spouse visits from 10 am – noon, nobody else can visit until 10 the next day when visiting hours start again.

Visitor must wear a mask at all times; must stay in the patient room, use the bathroom there; cannot bring in food or drink but must order from room service and pay by credit card; must leave by 8:00 pm and cannot stay overnight no matter how much the patient begs not to be left alone in the hospital. 

Turns out it’s not only the hospital.  Different relative dying of cancer in a long-term care facility cannot have visitors at all, not even with masks and social distancing.  Might bring in Covid so she spends her days dying alone. 

Covid, you see.  Science.  What am I, a science denier?  Do I want people in the hospital to die? Do I want to kill old people in the nursing home?

Not necessarily.  But heart disease and cancer aren’t the only things that people die from.  People can die of loneliness, too, and from hopelessness. 

Joe Doakes

In the meantime, some facilities have radically different rules. Some long term care facilities are pretty much open (with precaution similar to but less than the ones Jo described in the hospital, above); others, like Joe says, are in full blown lockdown mode.

Science!

Frequently Asked Questions XV

It’s been a few years since I’ve done one of these. It’s probably high time.

Why don’t you manage your comment section more thoroughly?
I work a day job, a couple side hustles, I try to have some semblance of a life outside of all of them…

…and, call me pollyannaish, but I wonder why I should have to? And I know, I know – we’re all grownups, but we’re really not all grownups, either. Such is the nature of online forums – they bring out the worst in some people.

What’s your comment policy?
I still have one of those. I always tried to keep things simple. I summed it up in one of these FAQ pieces a while back. All I ask is:

  1. Don’t write something that’ll get me in legal trouble
  2. If your entire reason for being on the blog is to personally bash me – not an article, or my reasoning, but me, personally, over and over and over – then it’s not me, it’s you, and you and this blog will be parting company.

Perhaps I’ve gotten spoiled – I haven’t had a lot of problems since about 2010. But there you go.

Hey, you removed a comment of mine, even though (fill in name) regularly says things that are far worse. What gives?
Posting a comment doesn’t connote agreement. What do you think I am, Sally Jo Sorenson? But I give a lot more leeway to people I know, and have met personally. I know where they live, at least, figuratively. I know that they aren’t going to “Swat” me, start blogs to publicize “dirt” on me (well, try to.. There really isn’t a whole lot), or start poking at my kids.

With anonymous commenters – people I’ve never met, and likely never will – it’s a little different. I allow anonymous and pseudonymous commenters, and nd pointedly respect their pseudonymity – until the behavior swerves to the wrong side of the risk/reward line.

But what about threadjacking?
Yeah, I’ll whack the occasional threadjack, if it’s obnoxious enough.

But hey – you knew “Dog Gone”. You allowed her increasingly dissociative ranting for about a decade. And then, poof , she was gone. Doesn’t that contradict what you wrote above?
Hardly. I tolerated DG because it was fun watching her narrative – that conservative commenters were a bunch of idiots – get pummeled like the New York Generals. For about a decade, it was a perfect metaphor for modern society – a “progressive” with no particular visible expertise in anything, getting factually rumbled by a comment section that includes lawyers, MDs, a literal rocket scientist, engineers and generally well-read polymaths mirrors the modern social debate pretty perfectly.

Then she started using the fact that she had met me, and did know my kids (when they were 1 and 3, anyway), and took a creepy turn…

…and she got flushed like a gas station burrito and tequila, the morning after.

Does a commenter violate the “Hands Off” principle? Dog Gone did. Other commenters who are the subject of occasional complaints never have, and I suspect never will.

That’s pretty much it.

So that’s it? It’s all about you?
Well, in a sense, duh. The whole blog is about me, if you think about it. I’m the only (regular) writer.

I loathe echo chambers – as a personal matter, and a practical one. Intellectually, I’m still pollyanna enough to think in terms of political and social engagement as a “debate”, rather than mobilizing support to “own” or destroy “the enemy”.

Glad we could chat.

Ritual

A friend of the blog emails:

Recently I was in a meeting with State of Minnesota bureaucrats. They said it is now the practice for state of MN meetings to start each one with this recital.

Why is this necessary? Why not an acknowledgement for the ingenious federal republic devised to govern such a vast and varied people? Why not an acknowledgement for the free enterprise market that has done more to raise more people out of poverty than any other economic system ever invented.

I was just so floored by the Land Acknowledgement. Really.

That floors me, too.

And I have sat through Saint Paul school board meetings.

Systemic

It’s the position of this blog that you can tell everything you need to know about what people and companies really think by observing where their money goes – especially money that is intended to get people to give them more money back.

Especially advertising.

As we’ve noted in the past:

So – what does that tell us about “the System” and what it really believes?

The (Unintentional) Comedy Scene In Minneapolis Is Recovering Nicely

Phillippe Cunningham, Minneapolis DFL City Councilman, writes:

Let’s get this straight: Cunningham, powerful elected member of a party that has had single-party control over one of America’s (formerly) great cities since it was a great city, a man who along with his family will be a part of the political class in power for the rest of his life, is complaining about “the Establishment”.

I mean, why not? “Eurasia” was taken.

Some Animals…

This was Keith Ellison, the other night in Brooklyn Center:

So we have:

  • Minnesota’s top “law enforcement officer”
  • Out after the curfew his political class imposed
  • Telling (the right) people to go ahead and flout the curfew

I’m going to need to find all these examples of Ellison’s perfidy and collect ’em all in one place for 2022. This stuff needs to get dragged out of the memory hole…

…for whatever good it’ll do.

Why, It’s Almost Like It’s A Pattern

If Vegas bookmakers ever start putting odds on hate crimes ending up as hoaxes, I, and everyone who takes Berg’s 20th Law seriously, will become fabulously wealthy.

You recall last week’s story, about anonymous, abusive, “White Supremacist” emails at White Bear Lake High School?

What do you think?

The district’s Superintendant:

Over the last week, we have worked with the FBI and local law enforcement, who investigated the racist, hateful, and threatening messages that were sent to several of our students of color from an anonymous Instagram account. The messages have caused great pain to our students and caused a material and substantial disruption in our school.

This afternoon, a young person took responsibility for posting hateful messages on social media. While we are working to learn more about the motives behind this action, we understand that race is at the center of this incident and any use of hateful language against another student is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. Our anger around racist acts and bullying remain critical to our work as parents, educators and community.

Since the student’s race wasn’t mentioned, that can really only mean one thing.

Sick Joke

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I visited a woman in the hospital this weekend.  She had a heart attack and was unresponsive on arrival.  The doctors didn’t know if she would make it.  Here’s a note from her husband (I did their estate plan, back when I was in private practice):

“When you are laying in bed at 2:00 a.m and your mind is running the gerbil wheel of ‘what if she doesn’t wake up,  would she want burial or cremation and what do I do with the ashes, keep them or scatter them, and what funeral home should I hire, and who is going to scan photos for the video but would she even want a memorial, and what are her friends’ phone numbers or maybe invite only family, and can we even have a memorial, what are the Covid rules and oh God, what if she doesn’t wake up?’ . . . it’s not as much fun as you might think.  Spend some time talking to your family so they know the plan.”

Joe Doakes

What Joe said. 

We knew this was happening in Ramsey County in the ’90s – when a powerful sentence enhancement wound up getting pled out literally every single time it was applicable in a prosecution for a gun crime.

This is a pattern on the left: focus on hammering the law-abiding.

Michael Savage – Prophet?

I was never a big Michael Savage fan – but I totally got his schtick. Confrontration draws people – people who agree, and those who don’t but who enjoy beating their heads against the wall.

Me being me, I didn’t much care for the title of his book, Liberalism is a Mental DIsorder. But I got the idea.

And maybe Savage was onto something – more correlative than causative, perhaps, but something: white “progressive” women appear very likely to have some sort of mental health-related diagnosis:

The study, which examined white liberals, moderates, and conservatives, both male and female, found that conservatives were far less likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues than those who identified as either liberal or even “very liberal.” What’s more, white women suffered the worst of all. White women, ages 18-29, who identified as liberal were given a mental health diagnosis from medical professionals at a rate of 56.3%, as compared to 28.4% in moderates and 27.3% in conservatives.

Which is not posted, in the study, article or here as a point of mockery – I’ve had my own battles with depression, so that dog don’t track.

But, as the article goes on to point out, the correlation between pathology and political behavior could be a whole lot more interesting than the browbeating potential.

As to diagnosing the whole movement? I’ve placed that bet long ago.

Been Travelin’

I just got back from North Dakota. I had to take care of some family business. Other than driving on roads made greasier than Kamala Harris’s ethics by a spring snowstorm, it was a lot of fun.

Mostly observing the differences between government in a free state, and Minnesota.

There is no mask mandate. Some businesses will suggest a mask; in those, about half the people comply.

One enduring memory of growing up there: I was 16 before I met a black person. The ethnic mix has changed considerably – at the Walmart in Minot, I ran into pretty much the same assortment of people one runs into in any Twin Cities suburb. But “more ethnic minorities” doesn’t seem to have translated into “crappier politics”, because unlike Twin Cities suburbs, the place seems to have gotten more conservative over time, judging by Presidential and Gubernatorial results.

And yet the place is prosperous – “Help Wanted” signs were all over the place even though the oil boom is long past and I wasn’t in “oil country” anyway. There are some Democrats in Fargo who try to wave the class and race grievance flags, but generally “new” residents seem to be fitting in – including, in one highly unexpected case, a fairly prominent transgendered person who’s moved to a very unlikely place – which I bring up not to post PC points (about which I don’t care) but to point out that this move, along with most of the above, which would be called unthinkable by your CNN clacque, has gone over without any noticable social muss and fuss in this most utterly conservative place.

Why, it’s almost as if conservatism breeds tolerance, and a focus on what matters in life?

I come home to notice I’m not the only one who’s noticed it.

Enough

Watching what’s going on now, I’ve had just about enough of two responses:

“It’s just property”

Let’s say you’ve worked hard, and spent $40,000 on a car. Since the average median income is about $40,000, that’s a year out of your life (your math may vary; If you make $100,000 a year, imagine you bought a Range Rover). You can spread that out over 4 to 7 years with a loan – but it’s still got to get paid, which means you are still going to spend a year of your life to pay for that car.

Somebody steals or destroys it. That means they have taken the work from a whole year of your life.

Without paying you.

And saying “it’s covered by insurance“ is a copout; instead of appropriating the life and labor of one person, you’re spreading it out across everyone. Insurance against accidents and the vicissitudes of life is one thing; assuming insurance is there to pay for someone’s looting or crime spree is the same as saying “this group of people is entitled to that group of people’s labor, without compensation.”

Stealing and destroying things, and saying “someone else will pay for it“, whether it’s one person or hundreds of thousands, is no different than making them work for you for free.

If someone openly talked about forcing a group of people to work for them for free, what would you do?

If someone were coming at you with the explicit purpose of forcing you to work for them for free, what would you call it?

Hint: we fought a Civil War over it at one point.

The other saying: “Complaining about destruction of property is privilege”

Your G___damn right it is. It’s a “Privilege“ you, and I, and every chump Of every race, religion, gender and orientation who pays taxes to any level of government, earn, in full expectation that government will carry out its absolute minimum legitimate role.

Which is not “building bike paths” or “running resiliency departments” or even “making life happy and equitable”.

It is “ upholding the rule of law“.

Which all sounds very square, like the John Lithgow character in “Footloose”…

…until you remember that without some minimum standard of order – for example, knowing that the home you work to pay for and the business you work to build, and the community that you work to create, aren’t going to be stolen and destroyed arbitrarily – prosperity [1] is impossible.

And without prosperity, “freedom“ is irrelevant. What difference does it make if you can vote, if you are working from sunup to sundown to stave off famine and don’t have time to keep up on the news?

It is the same level of “privilege“, by the way, that leads one to legitimately expect the justice system to which we lend some of our freedoms to work, fairly and impartially, no matter who the defendants are.

I’m done with taking either of these arguments as anything but the abominations they are. Our entire society needs to be done with them both.

Excusing looting, whatever its motivations, is an attack on everybody’s freedom. It’s time to treat it as such.

[1] and by “prosperity“, I don’t mean “Jay-Z driving around in a Bentley“. I mean “most of us aren’t out working in a field from the sunrise until sunset, to earn a famine prone subsistence living, so we have time to read books and raise our kids and think about things other than trying not to starve“. Which, throughout millions of years if human history, has been the rule, not the exception. That is mankind‘s natural state, not this relative utopia we are living in today.

Note To High School And College Kids In The Audience

To: High School and College Kids in the audiene (or parents of same)
From: Mitch Berg, Ornery Peasant
Re: A Tip From Future You

Dear Kids,

Study up, get into a Tier 1 law school, and get into medical malpractice law:

Your future self, sitting on the deck of your yacht, will thank your present self. And, by extension, me.

That is all.

Sides

Reading Governor Klink‘s response to the situation in Brooklyn Center…:

… Several questions jump to mind.

One of those questions is not, as it happens, “who is side is the governor on“. That’s easy; whichever side gets him credit with the “progressive“ wing of the DFL, to whom he owes his position in every possible way.

This is, of course, the inevitable and result of single party democrat governance. You dear Fellers like to chant “you we own this town!“ After your little lopsided, fraud a tinge to factories.

Yes, you do. Every bit of it. To the hilt.

Danged If You Do…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I visited a woman in the hospital this weekend.  She had a heart attack and was unresponsive on arrival.  The doctors didn’t know if she would make it.  Here’s a note from her husband (I did their estate plan, back when I was in private practice):

“When you are laying in bed at 2:00 a.m and your mind is running the gerbil wheel of ‘what if she doesn’t wake up,  would she want burial or cremation and what do I do with the ashes, keep them or scatter them, and what funeral home should I hire, and who is going to scan photos for the video but would she even want a memorial, and what are her friends’ phone numbers or maybe invite only family, and can we even have a memorial, what are the Covid rules and oh God, what if she doesn’t wake up?’ . . . it’s not as much fun as you might think.  Spend some time talking to your family so they know the plan.”

Joe Doakes

What Joe said. 

#Unexpectedly

Better

A friend of the blog emails:

The supposedly pro-renter, pro-density council member, Mitra Jalali, has voted against the development on Lexington. It’s a development that would replace a vacant lot rather than tearing down houses that single families could buy. It also was a development that was not asking for any subsidies.h
Apparently, the city council thinks they can make Alatus (the developer) do it better or find someone who can do it better. Do what better is unclear. Of course, with Jalali’s push to enforce rent control, get rid of background checks, and reduce landlords ability to evict problem tenants, who will build anything here?
Well, there probably is some developer who funded Jalali’s campaign who “can do better.” But, we’ll see how much that type of donation costs us taxpayers when Alatus sues the city for this questionable decision. 

Ignorance?

Malfeasance?

When you’re dealing with a movement whose unstated motto is “our ends justify our means”, that has single-party absolute power over all the knobs and levers of government, ignorance, the answer is “irrelevant”.

Demand For Justice!

The hue and cry grows:

But if that black woman isn’t transgender, then this movement is no better than Hitler.

By the way – remember when the advice was “never read the comments?” It’s even more true w/r/t comment sections of lefty pressure groups tweets.