Miscarriage Of Justice – Part II

Yesterday, I started telling the story of Dr. Massoud Amin – a man who came to the US as a teenager with his parents after the Iranian Revolution, became a citizen, and rose to the highest levels not only of academia, but of national security, as one of the nation’s foremost experts in cybersecurity.

And then, in the middle of a rancorous divorce with more than a whiff of academic backstabbing mixed in, an overzealous prosecutor turned a paperwork discrepancy in a civil divorce filing into, literally, a criminal case.

Pursuant to that case, the prosecutor and the police searched Dr. Amin’s house, and confiscated Dr. Amin’s firearm collection,  planting the story of “The Iranian professor who collected a bunch of guns and swindled his soon-to-be-ex” – simultaneously defaming him to the left (“Serves the gun nut right!”) and the less-bright parts of the right (“Probably a terrorist!”).

The trial?  It was a comedy of errors – but not remotely funny.   All exculpatory evidence was suppressed, and that was just the beginning.   The ending?   A conviction – aided  by bizarre courtroom antics and some sketchy lawyering on both sides.

The prosecution is asking for a ten year prison sentence for a conviction that normally carries a years’ suspended sentence and probation for a first-time offender – which Dr. Amin, who held a top-secret security clearance until the conviction, most assuredly was.

Why so much irregularity in what started as a typical ugly American divorce?

We’ll be talking with Dr. Massoud about that this Saturday on my show.   Tune in, and call in if you havre questions.

Miscarriage Of Justice – Part I

Last year, a story broke that had a little something for everyone – where by “everyone” you’re referring to “incurious, uncritical consumers of shabby information”.

It involved a professor from the University of MInnesota, Dr. Massoud Amin.   Amin was convicted of “Theft by Swindle” for, it was alleged, concealing funds from his soon-to-be ex wife during a nasty divorce.

We’ll come back to that.

The story got liberals exercised because Amin was a gun collector (with, dare I say, a penchant for finding bargains).   That is a classic dog whistle for the left.

And for the, shall we say, less bright on the right?   A middle-eastern sounding name like Amin’s is enough to get the “WATCH FOR TEH SHARIA” crowd into a froth.

And the media coverage of his divorce proceedings – including the swindle allegations – were decidedly unsympathetic.

Sentencing in his trial is scheduled for November 9.

The client is obviously guilty – right?

Not so fast.  And according to sources with close knowledge of the case, the charges and conviction are well beyond a miscarriage of justice; they were the tip of an iceberg of shenanigans – borne of malice up against incompetence at best, cynical ambition at worst, all  slathered with a layer of legalism.

And when you peel back the onion, you still have something for everyone – among critical thinkers, this time:

  • A divorce from hell
  • City bureaucrats hamfistedly persecuting a law-abiding gun owner
  • A legal process that reads like something between Michael Crichton and Franz Kafka, tainted by racism and amoral careerism
  • And, at the end of the day, an American who has done decades of groundbreaking work defending this country from cyberterrorism, facing ten years in prison for something that, even if it were a legitimate conviction.
  • Which, given the evidence I’ve encountered, it was not.

More tomorrow.

The Trainee Is Obviously Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Got this email from HR today:

“We are happy to announce that Ellie Krug will be coming to provide a professional development opportunity on “Gray Area Thinking”. Ellie will share her personal story as we learn about human inclusivity. This will be first of a series of professional development opportunities available throughout the year. We value employee development and will make sure opportunities are available for all employees. This is mandatory and all employees are expected to attend one of the sessions.”

Somehow, I missed the mandatory half-day training on how horrible Minnesota white people are, what with having white privilege from slavery and all. I sure hope I can make it to this mandatory two-hour training session so I can learn how horrible straight people are.

It would be a shame if government employees accurately processed paperwork in a timely fashion, without being sufficiently sensitive to the plight of the mentally ill. Wouldn’t it?

Joe Doakes

In a system built on rent-seeking, consultants are going to seek rent.

Shining The “Mammuthus Primigenius” Light On The Cloud

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Astonishingly, Hawaii does not have enough hurricane shelters for all its inhabitants. Reminds me of New Orleans. And Puerto Rico. And pretty much every other burg run by Democrats who have plenty of money for illegal immigrants, street mimes, diversity coordinators and homeless bums but not enough money to patch the streets or shelter citizens from disaster. I wonder if their Resilience Officer spent all his time organizing garbage collection, as St. Paul’s has? I’m sure that will be a big help when a tornado rips through the heart of town, or a blizzard knocks down the power lines.

Joe Doakes

Given our last brush with “Protect” Minnesota, it seems they consider genuine resilience to be a bug, not a feature.

Our Own Lying Tastebuds

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The reason that cases like this infuriate people is we know what’s going on behind the curtain.

The public wants to be protected from impure food.  The customers in the lobby can’t see what’s going on in the kitchen.  Commercial food preparation is hidden from view, it’s not transparent, we can’t evaluate how much risk we’re taking.  So we empower the government to inspect food preparers, to make sure they are sanitary.  Safe food preparers get a permit to sell to the public.  The $30 fee is supposed to cover the cost of inspections.

A kid selling bottled water from his porch is different because his food preparation is transparent.  We can see the seal on the lid.  We know the risk we’re taking.  And even if it’s a kid selling Dixie Cups of Country Time lemonade poured from a pitcher, we can see the kid and judge the likelihood he’s infected our drink with salmonella or E. Coli.  We can decide whether to take our chances.  In that case, we don’t need the government to inspect the kid’s kitchen and the kid shouldn’t need a permit to sell to the public.

If the public can make that distinction, instinctively and automatically, why can’t the bureaucrat?  Because the food preparers who had to pay for the permit will complain that letting the kid sell without a permit is not fair, the kid is cutting into their business, the bureaucrat should level the playing field.  That’s not a public health issue, that’s rent-seeking and it pisses people off.

People learn.

Bureaucrats and bureaucracies, it seems, never do.

Black Wednesday

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

First half property taxes are due May 15th. When I arrived at work this morning, customers were already lined up outside, waiting for the doors to open at 8 AM.

Retail stores open at midnight on Thanksgiving to serve customers. Banks are open on weekends to serve customers. Why aren’t we having extended hours when we know demand will be heavy?

Why doesn’t government have customer service?

Joe Doakes

It doesn’t need it.  While in the private sector “Service” means, well, service, in government it’s a euphemism for “showing the proles who’s boss”.

Our Slimy Overlords

Mark my words:  Any police official who refers to citizens as “sheep” (and, perforce, to police as “Sheepdogs” or “Lions”) needs to be escorted from public life, sans badge, gun, and power, with extreme prejudice.

Like Broward County sheriff Scott Israel – whose office didn’t have time to investigate nearly forty contacts with Nikolas Cruz, but has had time to act like…

…well, a Democrat pol in office:

Israel had been a Republican but ran for office as a Democrat. He was first elected sheriff in 2012, then re-elected in 2016. According to the Sun Sentinel:

The outreach workers, who mainly attend community events, are in addition to political activists and others Israel hired into community affairs roles, writing and designing printed pieces about the agency, and sharing it on social media. The employee log shows six hired into community affairs roles, their salaries totaling $388,729.

Israel’s opponents say he’s built a publicly funded political machine, paying back supporters with jobs and using them to keep him in office. They say the money could be better spent, particularly after the sheriff complained about not having enough funding to secure the county courthouse, where a murder suspect recently escaped.

Sound like the priorities in a city rhyming with “Every schmiberal city in the schmunited shmates” to anyone but me?

Oh, yeah – and this next bit?

Asked about the allegations, Israel responded, “What have I done differently than Don Shula or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Ghandi?”

He also said, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.” That’s a paraphrase of a quote from the Game of Thrones character Tywin Lannister, a villainous public administrator known for promoting his family’s interests ahead of the government’s or the people’s.

Sheep.

That’s what he thinks of citizens.  Not unlike way too many cops.

It’s time for some changes in Broward County.

On The One Hand…

…the bureaucracy – any bureaucracy – runs by rules of its own.  Those rules usually have  more to do with sustaining bureaucracy itself than to solving whatever problem or administering whatever service that bureaucracy is supposed to be doing.

On the other?  Read past the bureaucratese in this report and it appears that the Minneapolis Police Department has been shaving a lot of corners on psychological testing of its new recruits.

Does this have anything to do with, among other things, the Damond shooting?  Bureaucratic checkbox-checkers running amok?

Maybe a little bit of both?

Ripped From The Fictional Headlines

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Scene:  a cluttered office, a fat, balding man chewing a cigar, reading a script and scowling at it.  A young man steps into the doorway and raps on the door, three times, quickly.

Writer:  Boss, I’ve got a great idea for a new show.  It’s a political thriller, got action, intrigue, it’s great.

Boss:  Yeah?  Siddown and lay it out for me.

Boss tosses the script he was reading onto his desk and leans back in his chair, studying the young man.  Young man sits down, butt on the edge of the seat, and leans forward, speaking eagerly

Writer:  okay, there’s the guy, see?  And he works for the FBI.  He’s a true patriot, he hates the way the country is going and he wants to help a good candidate get elected.  He makes a donation like everybody in the office, but he wants to do more.  All the sudden, he finds himself assigned to investigate his favorite candidate for breaking the law.  But he doesn’t want to do it, see?  But he has to, see?  So there’s dramatic tension.

Boss: yeah, but the law is the law.  What’s he gonna do?

Writer:  that’s the cool part.  He interviews the candidate but he “forgets” to put her under oath.  So none of her answers can be used against her, right?  And there’s a suspicious death tied to the charges but he knows this candidate has a long trail of suspicious deaths and shady dealings so he’s afraid she might be involved with this one, too.  So he doesn’t want to investigate that, see?  But he’s torn about it, see, because maybe she really is as crooked as the rest of them.  But maybe she’s not, and besides, her opponent is a real jerk.  So he calls the death a “robbery gone bad” and when his boss is going to make a press announcement saying the candidate broke the law, our guy changes it to say she did NOT break the law.

Boss: wait, why wouldn’t the boss notice the change?

Writer:  the boss isn’t a cop, he’s a political hack, a time-serving moron.  So he goes along with the charade and the candidate gets away with the crime and stays in the election.

Boss: okay, weak, but we can work with it.

Writer: wait, it gets better!  His candidate loses the election.

Boss: what the hell?  How’s that help?  The show’s over.

Writer: no, no, it’s just getting started.  The candidate was supposed to win, see?  All the polls said so. All the experts said so.  She was so far ahead, she didn’t even campaign the last week, the election was in the bag.  She booked a hall and ordered fireworks and had her victory speech written and when she lost, it was stunning.  The talking heads on tv were stunned.  The losing candidate was drunk two days, couldn’t give a concession speech.  Total disaster.  And meanwhile, the smug jerk who won the election is all over Twitter rubbing it in, offering her five cents on the dollar for the fireworks she doesn’t need anymore.

Boss: yeah, so?  Sounds like a depressing show.  Nobody wants to watch that.

Writer:  Yeah, yeah, but our guy, remember him?  He’s in the FBI.  They see all kinds of wacko stuff, all kinds of nuts and goofballs with conspiracy theories.  So he’s devastated that his gal lost and the jerk won and he’s sitting at his desk moping when he glances at this file on his desk.  Some kook claims the jerk was in cahoots with the Russians to help him steal the election and he stayed in a Russian hotel where a team of hookers gave him a golden shower right on the hotel bed.

Boss: whoa, whoa, we can’t put that stuff on television.  Not in prime time.

Writer: okay, so maybe we don’t show it on screen

Boss: but maybe a special episode on cable?  Pay per view?  Hmmmm.

Writer: yeah, yeah!  Like that.  And anyway, so our guy, he sees this folder and he knows it’s bullshit but he thinks “If only the public knew what a jerk that guy is.”  Just then his boss walks by and says “I’m headed to brief the President-Elect, anything new I should know?” And all the sudden, on impulse, our guy hands his boss the folder and says “You might want to warn him this stuff is going around, so he doesn’t get blind-sided.”  The boss, being a dope, doesn’t realize it’s a set-up, he thinks our guy is being all noble and professional, so the boss goes right along.  But one of the long-term staff people in the President’s briefing sees the dossier is political dynamite and leaks it to his buddies in the press.  Ka-boom, huge political outrage, our guy’s losing candidate gets cheered up, the president-elect looks like an idiot, our guy is grinning like crazy.

Boss: and then?

Writer:  and then things get interesting.  The losing candidate’s political party seizes on the Russian Collusion angle and demands an investigation.  The new Attorney General is a another political appointee, not used to how the game is played in the bureaucracy, so he recuses himself.

Boss: excuses himself?

Writer: no, recuses.  He steps aside and lets the long-term staffers handle it.  And they all hate the new President.  So the staffers convince the new President the only way to clear his name is to appoint a special investigator.  And they recommend their old boss, who they assure him is a straight shooter, which he is – straight in your back.  But the new President doesn’t know that, see, so the new President goes along with it.

Boss: inside baseball.  boring.

Writer: no, wait!  The special investigator hates the new President, too.  And he hires a team of assistants to help him, all of them hate the new President.  And here’s the best part – he decides that for his top assistant on the team, he needs the guy who knows the most about the collusion.  He needs the guy who discovered the folder.  He needs OUR GUY!  Our guy is now the top assistant on the team investigating the new President.

Boss:  okay, more interesting.  Keep going

Writer:  so our guy is only part of the investigation, he can’t go after the President directly.  But he remembers that during the campaign, his team used a little “creative phrasing” to convince a judge to let them wiretap some people in the jerk’s campaign.  And one of those people is now the new President’s aide.  Our guy drops by the aide’s office to chat and just happens to ask some questions about one of the wiretapped conversations.  He doesn’t tell the aide he’s under investigation, the aide doesn’t have a lawyer present, the conversation isn’t recorded, but our guy goes back to the office and dummies up some notes in the file as to what our guy claims the aide said.

Boss:  so?

Writer: so our guy walks into the special investigator’s office and says “Hey, the President’s aide lied to me.  Here’s what he said on the wiretap and here’s what he told me in person.  He’s a liar.  We can prosecute him for lying and maybe get him to roll over on his boss, testify against the President.”  So the special prosecutor is liking that and ready to run with it but our guy screws up.  See, he’s married but he’s also having an affair with an FBI lawyer – that’s the love interest and we can get some steamy scenes out of that, too – and our guy sends his lover some texts bragging about his scam.  But somehow the texts leak

Boss: how?

Writer: I’m working on that.  But anyway, the texts leak and the special investigator finds out our guy is bent so his testimony is worthless,  but the special investigator really hates the President so he quietly reassigns our guy out of the way for a bit while he tries to finesse the aide into pleading guilty so he can get something to use against the President.

Boss: wait – what happened to our guy?  I thought this show was about him?

Writer: he’s reassigned to Human Resources to lay low until it blows over.  The special investigator temporarily becomes the star of the show.  It’s like when the main star is pregnant so the co-star gets a few episodes, you know?

Boss: yeah, okay.  Then what?

Writer: well, that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  But it’s great, right?  It’s got everything – sex, crime, politics, drama . . . so when do we start shooting?

Boss;  I gotta hand it to ya, kid, I really do.  Ya got a terrific imagination.  But this stuff, it’s too much.  It’s over the top.  One guy at the center of a conspiracy to take down the President?  Nobody would ever believe it.  And what the hell kind of name is Strzok?  Fuggedaboutit, kid.  Get the hell out of my office.

End scene

Joe Doakes

It’s only fiction if you ignore the real world.

This Is What $1.4 Billion Of Government Work Gets You

It used to be that when you waited for the Green Line train, a little billboard on the platform told you how many minutes away the next train was.

Today?

The time is nice, if you have a schedule and the trains are on time (which you don’t and they’re not).

The track number?  There’s one track going in that direction.

But along with the news that mere citizens will be barred from the trains on Super Bowl week, I suspect it’s just another way of telling the peasants “be happy we grant you this much largesse, peasant! Be grateful!”

Prioritization

While MInneapolis’ mayor Betsy Hodges has spent four years diffusing her efforts over a bewildering jumble of social-justice virtue-signals, the poor woman will never top the list of “Mayors with Bizarre Priorities” list while New York’s Bill DiBlasio is in office.

Hizzoner’s latest target?  In a city with rising crime, infrastructure that’s crumbling faster than an Alka-Seltzer tablet in a glass of Seven-Up, and a financial situation that is rapidly decaying, DiBlasio is…

…confiscating electric bicycles – which are booming in popularity, especially among delivery riders for stores and restaurants; they are in fact the most efficient way of navigating the most street-space-starved city in America:

On Thursday, de Blasio announced the nation’s largest city would start fining restaurants in addition to operators, expanding and formalizing a style of broken-windows policing favored by the NYPD, which has confiscated 900 e-bikes this year. His justification? E-bikes are “just too dangerous,” the mayor said at a press conference.

How dangerous are they? Nearly 70 pedestrians (and 13 cyclists) have been killed by cars, trucks, and buses in New York City this year. No one has been killed by a bicycle. As for e-bikes in particular? The NYPD has no data on e-bike accidents or complaints. Nor does the city have any information about how the crackdown affects restaurants or riders. De Blasio was acting on instinct: The crackdown began when a local cyclist, Matthew Shefler, called into his radio show to complain.

Slower, more expensive deliveries; more congestion; yet another handicap for small business, even the ones that don’t get fined.

Betsy has some huge shoes to fill in the “bizarre priorities” deparatment.

The Swanson Conundrum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The State of Minnesota is suing President Trump for ending payments that a federal judge has already ruled must be ended.  Attorney General Lori Swanson’s argument: President Obama started giving us illegal payments and President Trump continued the illegal payments while Congress worked on the problem.  We budgeted based on receiving illegal payments.  To suddenly end the illegal payments would inconvenience us by making us live within our own means, so therefore we’re entitled to continue receiving illegal payments, forever.

It’s illegal to follow the law.

Joe Doakes

To be fair to the Attorney General, it’s how the DFL has handled budgeting for the past six decades or so.

Meet The New Tree; Same As The Old Tree

Eagan has a new city logo:  a more expensive version of the old city logo:

[The old] symbol, a more realistic green tree outlined in black, was in use since 2004. It was sometimes compared to a stalk of broccoli.

Eagan’s new, non-cruciferous-vegetable-looking logo. $75K. Not sure if that included the new city font.

A prominent graphic designer who lives in Eagan, Allan Peters, designed the updated logo for $75,000.

But practice makes perfect:

The city is on its fourth logo since the 1970s, each featuring what the city called a “strong, independent tree.”

This is what happens when a formerly sensible suburb gets overrun by DFLers fleeing DFL policies in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but who bring their DFL politics with ’em.

People Addict People

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

There is a crisis.  People who are prescribed drugs containing opioids can become addicted to them.

There is a problem.  People who receive medical treatment have privacy rights.  We don’t know who’s doing the prescribing, who’s doctor-shopping, who’s obtaining prescriptions only to sell them.

There are proposed solutions, but they’re mostly paperwork regulations that have no more effect on real-world issues than putting up a Drug Free Zone sign on a schoolhouse door.  More warning labels won’t help: people take the medicine doctors prescribe because we trust doctors.  Restricting prescriptions won’t solve the end problem: no doctor prescribes heroin and people who self-medicate their personal problems with drugs will obtain them illegally, as they always have.  Adding a new federal registry of sensitive information on individuals – does the word “Equifax” ring any bells?

“Opioid” is simply the new word for “narcotic” which has been a staple in the War on Drugs since Coke took cocaine out of its soft-drink 100 years ago.  The problem isn’t the tool, the problem is the tool user.

Joe Doakes

As with any plan, philosophy, worldview or kind of government – the problem is people.

Let’s Sue The President Over His Twitter Account

A bunch of journos are apparently getting ready to sue the President for blocking them from his Twitter account.

I’m about ready to send money to their plaintiff’s fund.

Wny?

Because the journos are right.  Why should pols get to decide whose speech to restrict, and from whom they can restrict access to their public speech?

It’s downright un-American.

And I’ve got quite a little list of DFL pols who’ve done exactly the same to me, and I’d guess most every conservative pundit in Minnesota.

In some cases – like Kim “Profile in Courage” Norton – it was because I publicly called out her lies over “criminal protection” laws.

And yes, I may have actually broken the story of Alondra “The Industrial Engineer” Cano distributing personal information on Twitter about people who’d criticized her privately  (or so they thought() on the City of Minneapolis website to try to bully them into silence.

Both of these politicians blocked me almost immediately after I publicly ate their lunches.  Waah waah waaah.

Likewise, the Twitter accounts of “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” and “Protect MN” have long since blocked me – because I crush them every time I turn my attention to them.

But others – Rep. Melissa Hortmann, Senator Tina LIebling, as well as several DFL-xupporting non-profits – already had me blocked before I ever attempted to write/tweet about them.

I know that there are apps that can systematically block all social media from authors matching some lists or algorithms – which is why I suspect the blanket block from DFL pols.

But I don’t care.  If it’s fair for CNN, it’s fair for me.

Remember that in all cases, while I am a stone-cold purveyor of unassailable fact, I am also scrupulously polite to a fault.    Anyone who wants to claim otherwise is welcome to prove it – and yes, there I AM more than willing to file a test case.  I’m not the sharpest tool in the box, but I’m way smarter than that.

So yes, “journos”.  Sue Donald Trump.  I beg of you.  Indeed, there’s some legal grounding already starting to happen:

So let the courts court, and the juries jurr.

Then get it incorporated onto all the states.

And hurry.  Some MN Pols need some freaking free speech already.

And we’ve got some lost time to make up for.

But Where’s The Opportunity For Graft?

City comes up with an estimate of $65,000-$110,000 to build a stairway linking two levels of a city park, and replacing a rutted path with a steep incline that was causing injuries.

Citizen builds the stairway for $550.

Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job.

“I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel on Wednesday.

Astl says he hired a homeless person to help him and built the eight steps in a matter of hours.

Problem solved, right?

Well, no.

Because boy, is the government mad:

City bylaw officers have taped off the stairs while officials make a decision on what to do with it. However, Astl has not been charged with any sort of violation.

Mayor John Tory acknowledged that the city estimate sounds “completely out of whack with reality” on Wednesday. [Noooooo! – Ed] However, he says that still doesn’t justify allowing private citizens to bypass city bylaws to build public structures themselves.

“I think everyone will understand that it will be more than $550,” he said on Wednesday. “We just can’t have people decide to go out to Home Depot and build a staircase in a park because that’s what they would like to have.”

Of course not.

There are consultants – members of the political class – to be paid to study the issue.  There are contractors – favored by the political class, frequently due to polices promulgated and administered by other members of the political class – to whom money must be funneled, usually via other members of the political class.

If people just made stuff work, the system would completely break down!

“But what about the handicapped?”

He pointed out that the park already has an accessible path for those who worry about falling down the incline, which is essentially a shortcut from the parking lot to the garden area.

It’s all about showing the peasants who’s boss.

Disgust

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

St. Paul Police Chief Axtell does not know what he’s talking about.

Gun violence is exploding in St. Paul.  The Chief says “ . . . basically it’s yesterday’s fistfights are today’s gun fights.”  But then he says it’s “ . . . a community health problem, this is a public health crisis.”

No.

A health problem is caused by disease.  The cure is quarantine and medical treatment for those infected, and sanitation to prevent spread of illness.  Americans know very well how to handle outbreaks of disease.  St. Paul does not have a public health problem.

St. Paul has a cultural problem.  Perfectly healthy people are choosing to shoot each other instead of fistfight.  We’re not willing to quarantine residents in Frogtown and there is no medical treatment, no vaccine that cures bad behavior.  Bad behavior is cured by deterrence and punishment, to make bad behavior unacceptably costly to the actors.

When Charles Napier wanted to end the Hindu practice of burning wives alive on their husband’s funeral pyre, he explained to the priests: “This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”  The practice of suttee ended abruptly.

In fairness, it may be that the Chief knows exactly what’s going on in his city, but he’s afraid to speak the truth because the City Council is a bunch of liberals more concerned with signaling their virtue by mouthing politically acceptable platitudes than with protecting their citizens by enacting effective law enforcement measures.  As long as the people dying are young Black men and poor children on the East Side, what’s the big deal?

Can we talk about adding another light rail line now? Because that’s a big deal. That’s something we care about.

Joe Doakes

I have to hope that there’s a lot of smart cops out there acting dumb because they want to keep their jobs.

The alternative?  Remember – today’s police forces didn’t exist when the Constitution was written.  I have a hunch they are more like the standing armies our forefathers feared than our current standing army is.

The New Brahmins

Democrat congresswoman tells commoner that her First Amendment rights are “Different” than his:

A bit of background:  when Rep. Demings was a police chief, her gun was stolen from her car; it’s tautological that her gun fell into the hands of a criminal.

Demings is, naturally, a gun grabber:

So that’s two “rights of the people” where this Demcorat rep thinks some people are more people than others.

Only Complete Subjugation Will Do

The City of Minneapolis has decided not to completely put Surdyk’s out of business for the “crime” of selling liquor on Sundays because Sunday liquor sales would be a catastrophic moral blow to the state even though the law hasn’t quite expired yet.    The city negotiated the fine down from a multimillion dollar one-month suspension of the liquor license to $6,000 in fines and eight Sundays of suspension…

…only to have a City Council committee reject the deal.

Why?

Reading between Lisa Goodman’s lines, it’s because the greatest crime is defying Mother Government, or even not paying instant obeisance:

“We went down and asked him not to open, the state called him and asked him not to be open, and he basically said, ‘Too bad, I’m not going to do it,’” Council Member Lisa Goodman said. “If he had shut down right after they came in and asked him to do so, I might have felt different.”

“Justice” in Minneapolis is a matter of connections, after all:

A new deal must be negotiated over the next month, the council committee said, and there may be a public hearing. Goodman said she has heard from “a lot of members of the public” about the matter, and they are not happy that Surdyk might have gotten off with a $6,000 fine and 10-day suspension.

Yeah, Goodman.  I just bet you did, and I just bet they’re not.

The worst part?  The best defense seems to be self-abasement:

His lawyer, Dennis Johnson, told council members that a $6,000 fine would wipe out any profit Surdyk made on March 12, the day he opened illegally. Johnson attempted to make no justification for his client’s actions, however.

“It’s simply that it was a boneheaded move,” Johnson said. “We need to deal with it, and accept any consequences that come from the city.”

Johnson said Surdyk just wants the problem to be resolved, and he is hoping that time and the fact that his business has been a model of regulatory compliance for 40 years, will help the city show some leniency.

“In the heat of the moment he made a horrible decision,” Johnson said, as Surdyk looked on. “He can’t justify what he did. He screwed up.”

It’s American in 2017, and striking a blow for freedom against a stupid regulation in an autocratic bureaucracy needs to be defended by pleading “I just can’t make decisions without the beneficent hand of the all-wise Council guiding me”.

This nation is doomed.

Reader Mail

From today’s mailbag, we’ve got a question…

…for Joe Doakes from Como Park:

Hello Mitch…

Does “Joe Doakes from Como Park” have time to answer a question from the Norwegian Lutheran contingent of the NARN Peanut Gallery?  [Not sure that narrows it down much – Ed]

My question:  In her haughty refusal to obey a Presidential executive order. One vetted by the DoJ Office of Legal Counsel and which counters Emperor Obama’s previous directive that ignored federal law…

Did Miss Yates also violate 18 USC 2384?

Respectfully submitted, 

– Tor S.

Scum of the earth technical writer

Deplorable infidel

Lord of the low frequencies

I need a Doakes Signal to shine on a low-hanging cloud.

Charitable Exhortation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In what conceivable way is my charitable giving any of my employer’s business?  

 More annoying – they pick some charity they want to fund and hit up everybody to contribute.  I nominate the National Rifle Association.  No?  Why not?  Why does it have to be the United Way funneling money to Leftist causes?

 A “charitable contribution” is, by definition, a non-governmental activity for which my contribution is tax-deductible.  Why would a governmental entity be encouraging government employees to reduce the tax revenues from which we’re funded?

 Joe Doakes

It’s not like tax revenue ever really drops…

Shades Of Things To Come?

Why does the American political class spend so much time jabbering about “gun safety”, about gay marriage, about climate change?

To distract you from the economy, and the oncoming deflation of a huge entitlement debt bubble that is going to have drastic impact on…well, everything.

The California pension system – which is a bellwether for most blue-state-model pension systems around the country – is starting to groan under the strain of the contradictions it labors under (emphasis added):

As Steven Malanga has noted, both of these union-managed funds are notorious for pulling political stunts even as they face gaping shortfalls, going on a misguided “green” investing binge that flushed taxpayer money down the drain, and pulling out of tobacco companies on moral grounds just before those stocks began to rise.

But the underlying flaw with the funds is not their politicization. If anything, these kinds of moves are a distraction from more pressing crisis of public employee retirement systems: That state legislatures have epically over-promised the level of retirement benefits they can reasonably provide, and obscured this reality by presuming levels of investment returns that are impossible to sustain, especially in this era of historically low interest rates.

The choice is pretty stark – massive reforms, including a shift away from defined-benefit pensions for public employees, and other tough choices.

Politicians from both sides hate tough choices – but it’s the blue model that’s given us this debt, and it’s the blue states that are facing the most immediate fallout.

Minnesota’s public plans are – depending on your political point of view – either better-administered, or do a better job of laundering the money.  Maybe it’s a little bit of both, combined with a state that has a better income-to-debt ratio than California for now, but the pain might strike us later.

Emphasis is on “later”.