The Warm Flint, The Cold Baltimore

What’s the only thing worse than politics?

No politics.  Or, rather, no need for politics, since someone is making all the decisions without any need for all that pesky “compromise” and “discussion”.

History is full of the big examples – the USSR, East Germany, Germany itself, Communist China, India under Indira Gandhi, and on and on – places where politics was essentially a one-party exercise in internal spoils division.

The examples come closer to home, of course; places like Baltimore, DC, Newark, Camden, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Oakland, Stockton and Sacramento – all one-party cities where “politics” is a matter of internal Democrat party power utilization.

And of course, there’s California, where even some liberals are figuring it out:

We’re a case study in what a political community looks like when Republicans wield little or no power — and an ongoing refutation of the conceit that but for the GOP, the United States would be free of dysfunction.

Sure, the Golden State gets a lot right. It’s the sixth-largest economy in the world.

But California ranks in the lowest fifth of states in education. Housing costs are out of control. Our major cities face a crisis of homelessness. Our police officers kill citizens at rates comparable to the rest of the country. Our infrastructure is severely overstressed due to underinvestment. The bullet train project meant to connect L.A. to the Bay Area is a national joke. Our counties, cities and schools are being crushed by an unsustainable pension burden. Our taxes are already among the nation’s highest.

And it is no longer plausible to blame any of this on Republicans. For the foreseeable future, Democrats own every Golden State success and failure.

That particular article, written by the LaTimes’ token moderate-lefty (moderate = he hasn’t called for any violent overthrows laterly) Conor Friedersdorf, is mere acknowledgement that California Democrats had best be alert, since they’ve got no other parties to pass the buck to.  Victor Davis Hanson is more forthright.

Closer to home?  Horowitz’s Frontpage says what nobody in Minnesota dares say; Minneapolis is burning, whether you admit it or not.  After “only” forty years of one-party DFL rule (challenged, briefly, from the left by the Green Party in the nineties and early 2000s), Minneapolis’ decay has accelerated with DFL hegemony:

The result has been disastrous. As of 2015, the poverty rate in Minneapolis was 25.3%, nearly twice the 14% statewide rate for Minnesota and the 14.3% rate for the United States as a whole. In 2010, a study of 142 metro areas in Minnesota found that only 15 bore a heavier property-tax burden than Minneapolis, and that was before the city raised its property taxes by 4.7% in 2011.

More recently, Minneapolis property taxes increased by 3.4% in 2016, and by a crippling 5.5% in 2017.

 Notwithstanding the growth in revenues generated by these taxes, the government of Minneapolis has been incapable of balancing its budget. In 2015, for example, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority’s budget included $84 million in federal subsidies and grants. In 2017, the Metropolitan Council—which describes itself as “the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region”—received $91 million in federal funding. That same year, the Minneapolis Public Schools operated with a budget deficit of nearly $17 million.

But massive deficits, coupled with ever-increasing dependency on federal assistance, have done nothing to persuade the political leaders of Minneapolis to question their zealous devotion to leftist political solutions, including an unwavering commitment to the “sanctuary” policies that prevent city employees from assisting federal immigration authorities. When President Donald Trump in 2017 announced that he planned to cut off all federal funding for sanctuary cities, for instance, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges stated defiantly: “As long as I stand as Mayor, he’s going to have to get through me.”

He probably won’t, though.  Because as Minneapolis’s decay inevitably accelerates, and Betsy Hodges cashes in her sinecure points and moves on to a non-profit that contributes to the problem, the decay and collapse of the city will do what Donald Trump can not.

Hodges-To-English Translation

Recently, a series of phony social media accounts, and a phony job posting, have appeared for a “Draft Jacob Frey for Congress” committee.   Frey is, of course, the extreme-extreme-liberal city councilman who is challenging extreme liberal mayor Betsy Hodges in the upcoming Minneapolis mayoral race.

Turns out it all came from someone in her campaign; Hodges’ campaign manager blames “an intern”.

She delivered an “apology” yesterday:

“It happened. I did not know about it until it was brought to my attention, and when it was I immediately took action to remedy the situation,” Hodges wrote on Facebook. “That is not the kind of campaign I choose to run nor the kind of person I choose to be. I extend my apologies to [Council Member] Frey and his team for the incident and will work to make sure nothing like that happens from my team again.”

Hodges said she learned of the fake posting Monday night from Contreras, and told campaign staff that if something like this happens again, someone will lose their job.

“I communicated to my team, with vehemence, what my values are, what my expectations are about how we operate, that this falls outside my values, and that if it happens again the result will be termination,” she said.

Translation:  it was no intern.  It was someone on her team.

As Sarah Janecek notes – show us the intern.

(And as Janecek points out, that intern had better be making $15 an hour.  If they exist.  Which they do not).

To Protect And Serve…The Special Interests That His Bosses Kowtow To

Not that you’d know if have a life, but Minnesota’s little coterie of gun-grabber groups had a “March” yesterday.

Of course, they didn’t march where the actual violence was.  They “marched” about the tony, safe fields of Boom Island, nestled into the upscale neighborhood across the river from Downtown Minneapolis; close to the killing fields of North Minneapolis as the crow flies, but still a million miles away.

The ELCA Hair was safely covered with hand-knit artisanal wool caps.   The orange Dreamsicle t-shirts were covered by more North Face on the “Marchers” than on the actual north face of any mountain in the area.

There was much misplaced bravado, at least on social media (“SEE YOU AT THE CAPITOL” indeed – but not for long, since not a single one of your bills will make it to the floor of the GOP controlled legislature, absent some hue and cry to do so – and the last election pretty well refudiated the notion  that there is any such hue and cry).

But there was one other “Marcher” that drew this blog’s interest:

It’s a Minneapolis police lieutenant (I won’t name him), wearing a Dreamsicle cap.

Leftenant:  you’re wearing a cap from a group that wants to deny a God-given liberty to law-abiding American citizens, along with your uniform and badge.

Does this give us some idea of the treatment law-abiding gun owners can expect in your area of responsibility?

I can’t imagine that this is legal, even under Janae Harteau’s special-interest-friendly set of policies.

If you’re a law-abiding citizen in Minneapolis who exercises your Second Amendment rights, be careful.

But you knew that.

We’re #25!

24/7 Wall Street calls Minneapolis the 25th most dangerous city in the US, based on FBI stats:

Minneapolis landed on the 25th spot on the list, with a violent crime rate of 1,063 incidents per 100,000 residents. The website noted that robbery is especially common in Minneapolis, with 459 reported incidents per 100,000 residents – the 10th highest robbery rate in the nation.

The story – from WCCO – notes that despite the city’s nominally low unemployment, that…:

…the city has struggled with stark racial disparities, with people of color, particularly blacks, making less money, having lower home ownership rates and higher unemployment rates.

Right – fully a third of Minnesota’s murders, for the whole state, in the past year occurred on the North Side, which has a neighborhood murder rate of 100/100,000.  Which is, quite frankly, catastrophic.

But chalking up the murder rate to income, home ownership rates and unemployment is an evasion of responsibility; as PJ O’Rourke once said, “if you took away his bank account, it’s not like you’d find Thurgood Marshall selling crack at Union Station the next day”.

Is the crime rate in Minneapolis (the article painstakingly avoids mentioning the North Side) a result of poverty, or is the poverty a result of the crime and cultural breakdown?

 

La Generalissima

On her Twitter page, Minneapolis city Council woman Alandra Cano refers to herself as a “Third World feminist” – or did, before she blocked me for questioning her thuggish ways last winter, when she published personal addresses, emails and phone numbers of her critics who had written her on the city of Minneapolis website.

I couldn’t speak to the “feminist” part, but Cano certainly has the basics of banana republic tactics down; her response to the ethics charges that came out of the episode last winter (on which My coverage led the entire Twin Cities media) is a big game of “I know you are, but what am I, and if you say anything I’m going to her you twice as hard and quote.
No my coverage led the entire Twin Cities media) is a big game of “I know you are, but what am I, and if you say anything I’m going to her you twice as hard and quote.

No, really:

“I disagree with the findings and have kept screenshots of the ways other Council Members, including CM Frey (Ward 3), Bender (Ward 10), Glidden (Ward 8), Abdi (Warsame, Ward 6) and others have used city property for ‘political purposes.’” She goes on, threatening to “speak out against the vote and circulate a press release to the media about the issue with the screenshots I’ve gathered since January of 2016” if the Council moves forward with approving the Ethics findings.

John Edwards of Wedge Live responds:

Cano responded to the stories about her email on Facebook, saying: “When a person of color speaks up, it should not be misconstrued as a “threat” to society, it should be respected as their truth.” Whatever Cano’s intent, the reason people interpreted her email as a threat, is because she constructed it that way: if you vote against me, I’ll put out a press release with incriminating screenshots. This is not to say Cano can’t make an argument that she’s being singled out unfairly, or that she can’t produce evidence to support her defense. But if she was trying to make that argument, she obscured it by writing an email that looked like blackmail.
Alondra Cano really has been the target of vicious racist attacks because of her support for BLM. Separate from those vile attacks, Council President Barb Johnson and some of Cano’s other colleagues really have gone out of their way, to a sometimes comical degree, to trash her in the local media. But it’s also true that Cano picks too many unnecessary battles, irritating her colleagues in a way that transcends race and ideology.

That an elected member of a party with sole control of a major city thinks she can complain about others’ “privilege” is a laugh riot.

And while she may or may not be a “third world feminist”, she’s certainly got the Chicago tinhorn ward-heeler thing down.

Report Card

Frank Drake is running and extremely aggressive, and fairly tart, campaign against Keith Ellison in the fifth Congressional District.

Will it work? I saw the 1980 Olympic hockey team; I do believe in miracles. I’m a Republican in the inner city, so I have to.


Anyway – Drake provides a list of Keith Ellison’s “accomplishments” in office:

Top Keith Ellison accomplishments:

1) I promise to end these wars, and not start any new wars.

2) Minneapolis is now a UN sanctuary city funded by Minnesotans.

3) I can show up anywhere, and I’m the story.

4) The DNC was impartial. That’s why “Keith’s for Hillary” now.

5) Who’s this Frank Drake dude anyway?

6) Community Action of Minneapolis was a great front and money laundering operation until it was seized by the Government for fraud. Bill Davis remains a trusted advisor. President Obama will pardon him before leaving office.

7) Marijuana remains a Class 1 Narcotic, just like Heroin.

8) Keith Ellison was never involved, in any way, with the overthrow of Syria or the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

9) Unemployment is low, especially in our urban centers. That 4.5% Unemployment Rate is true, despite 1/3 of all Americans not working. Over 94,000,000 Americans don’t work.

10) Our Government is in the business of War. Private prisons are a growth industry.

11) My ideas are proven in Venezuela and many controlled economies.

Keith Ellison’s ideas resonate like a frying pan dropped from a five-story building hitting the pavement.

Drake has a way with words that we could use a lot more of an inner-city Republican politics.

Question

Reading over the story about Saturda’s “gun buyback”, I have a question.

By Joe’s count, there were a total of six cops at the South Mpls location, most of them on overtime.  Let’s assume the same number at the North Side “buyback”.

If I recall correctly, cops get about $40 an hour for overtime (someone correct me if I’m wrong.

If there were six cops at each location, and they were all on overtime, that’s $480 an hour; since the event was schedule for eight hours, that means someone, somewhere budgeted just shy of $4,000 for 12 cops’ overtime…

…for what is, let’s be honest, a frivolous political exercise – turning over Pillsbury donors’ money, essentially, to “artists” and owners of unserviceable firearms.

So was it just Pillsbury donors, or was it also Minneapolis taxpayers paying for crappy agenda art?

 

Nope

Nope.

No trend here.

The exodus of restaurants from Minneapolis – with its onerous regulations, psychotic city offices, minimum wage laws and constant flirting with more mandatory benefits for part-time workers – is claiming high-end restaurants and, now,  long-time staples of the Minneapolis food scene:

After a 36-year run, Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is calling it quits.

“Thirty-six years is a long time to do anything,” said Keith Levit in a statement. Levit is son of founder Jack Levit. “We’ve been a staple in the community for much of that time and that’s something we’re very grateful for. It’s sad that it’s coming to an end here but we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

As the article notes, Nicollet Mall has seen three staple joints close in the past year or so.

No – no pattern here.

Rumor Mill

To: Betsy Hodges, mayor, Minneapolis.

From: Mitch Berg, ornery peasant

Re: Rumors

Mayor Hodges,

Over the weekend, the rumor mill announced that you had told a gathering somewhere in Minneapolis you were planning on holding a “gun buyback”.

Please, please please please please please, oh please, please please please please please, I beg of you; go ahead with it.

You simply have to. I beg of you, with all my heart.

That is all.

UPDATE:  Rumor mill says it’ll be held August 27 at thePillsbury United Communities, or somewhere in that vicinity.

Alondra Cano: Bully

You might recall Minneapolis City Councilor Alonda Cano; last winter, she was abusing her access to city data to “shame” people who criticized her support for Black Lives Matter.  Then, when called for alleged laziness by (of all outlets) the City Pages, she…

…well, that actually brings us up to this week:

Tuesday evening, it was Cano’s turn to join the public conversation, doing so in the form of a Facebook post on her city council page. Cano wrote it was “hurtful and disappointing” to read the words “lazy,” “always late,” and “clueless” used to describe her work ethic on the council.

“It is important to illuminate,” Cano went on, “that these words, when used to frame women and people of color, carry a history of coded language that serve to create negative racial stereotypes.”

That could be.

Those words, when referring to someone who’d rather grandstand than learn their damn job, are also not-coded-at-all terms to refer to lazy, inconsiderate people who don’t do their homework, whatever their skin color.

Cano wrote that the negative story “weighed on me heavily,” and she went back and forth on whether she should respond to it. After all, she and her south Minneapolis constituents in the Ninth Ward have far greater concerns: wage theft, slumlords, a lack of paid sick time for workers, even working moms.

Which Cano, apparently, isn’t doing jack for.

“However,” Cano continued, “when loaded and biased attacks occur, it is vital that we stand up and speak the truth. In this case, this story was racist, sexist, and it was an attempt to smear all of the things I stand for.

Well, no.  It was an attempt to tell the public that Cano – who reportedly has ambitions to run for Mayor or the Legislature – isn’t doing a very good job, when her job doesn’t involve granstanding, or taking spiffy trips on the taxpayer’s dime.

I want you to know that I am unabashed in my commitment to continuing to advance a racial and social justice agenda no matter the backlash.”

Let’s take a moment to go over what just happened.  Alondra Cano – an elected member of a power bloc with absolute one-party control of a major city, a person with in effect a lifetime sinecure either in government or non-profits for her and (likely) her entire family, one who wields the kind of power that mere citizens don’t even know how to dream of – is trying to paint herself as a victim.

Cano – like Nekima Levy-Pounds, another person with immense power and privilege herself – is perfectly fine using her position to shame critics who don’t buy newsprint by the trainload; when someone – even the lowly City Pages – comes along and hits her from the level, she cries “victimization”.  

Question, Minneapolis:  Do you deserve better, or not?

 

Minneapolis: “We Can’t Be Bankrupt – We Still Have Checks!”

The government of Minneapolis under the last (note to Mitchell: find the number of consecutive DFL mayors the city has had) has observed that old Scarsdale ritual:”Take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves!”

And it’s working about as well as it does for any entitled Insurance salesperson’s spouse:

According to the city Finance Department, Minneapolis is on the hook for about $1.6 billion in debt and operational costs for the convention center, the Vikings stadium, and the Timberwolves arena over the next 20 years.
Broken down, that’s an annual three checks adding up to $80 million, money that’s off the table for paving East Franklin Avenue, fixing swings at Kenwood Park, or financing low-interest business loans on West Broadway.

Instead of economic development, a city chose rich man’s stadiums.

That also explains why the City Council today is expected to approve spending another $800 million to fix crumbling roadways and haggard parks over the next 20 years.

Simply put, a lot of money is already gone

The funny part; while the situation in Minneapolis no doubt will spawn a few instant budget hawks, five will get you 10 the thin trickle of media that do bother to cover the story will be back shilling for the DFL by Labor Day.

When You’ve Lost “City Pages”…

City Pages turns on Alondra Cano.

Which is not unusual – the City Pages, as always,  loves throwing dirt around.

Perhaps more telling? Other members of Minneapolis is DFL-strangled city Council are turning on Cano:

“She’s always late to meetings. Sometimes she doesn’t show up at all,” says a council member, who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity to maintain their working relationship. “When she does, she hasn’t done her homework and has to wing it. That’s what she was trying to do here. The problem is this is stuff she’s supposed to know. It’s city council 101.”

Cano also didn’t have a printed version of her amendment. For 13 minutes, Cano grasped as she tried to figure out how to add her amendment. In other words, what should have been as simple as adding a couple words became a Laurel and Hardy skit.

“Why don’t you try to walk us through what you would like to do,” suggested colleague Elizabeth Glidden.

“I guess should I just read it?” asked Cano.

” — if you’d like me to assist you a little bit,” Glidden offered.

The problem with Cano isn’t so much that she’s absentminded, or apparently thinks that staying in a Holiday Inn Express actually does make you an expert.

No.  It’s the fact that while she bills herself as a “Third World Feminist”, she tends to act more like a “Third World Banana-Republic Tyrant” in real life.

The City Pages has decayed into “bad high school newspaper” territory in recent years.  The only real interesting question in this fracas is “which Minneapolis DFL ward heeler is using the ‘Pages to undercut Cano, and why?

My guess:  whichever councilor besides Cano that files for Mayor in the next city election.  `

Strib and NoMi: Accidental Honesty

The Strib ran on op-ed by a Mickey Cook, of North Minneapolis.

The whole thing ably reflects the elephant in the Metro DFL’s collective room; the CIty of Minneapolis has, for decades, left North Minneapolis to other people to fix.  While the City has invested endless money, time and care in the South side, Northeast and Dinkytown, the Northside is the hot potato in a perennial game between the City, the State and the Feds, with everyone going “Not It”.

It’s a good piece; read the whole thing.  Here’s the pullquote:

This community is falling apart, and Minneapolis is investing in an overpriced football stadium downtown and green ways and bike lanes that go largely unused in “NoMi.” The City Council is voting to ban plastic bags, while investors shoehorn complex after complex of “affordable housing” into north Minneapolis neighborhoods. Yet we can’t even maintain the mainstays of a decent retail chain store or a reliable grocery store that isn’t constantly threatening to pull out. We can’t get take-out without getting taken out. We have no peace with all of the boom cars.

Mr. (?) Cook has got the problems figured out cold.

The solution?  Let’s talk (emphasis added):

We can see you, Minneapolis. We can see the lack of attention from the police chief and the mayor, failing to enforce what few laws we do have.

There is no shortage of laws in North Minneapolis, or anywhere else in the state.  Everything that goes wrong in NoMi breaks some kind of law or another.

But enforcement?

We can see the rats’ nest of bureaucratic yarn tangle. These two officials have wholeheartedly turned their backs on this neighborhood. Their predecessors, as far back as I can remember in my four decades of living in Minnesota, have never summoned enough gusto to get things truly under control.

One wonders what sort of effort, or gusto, it would take – and whether Minneapolis’s Social Justice caste (based more in Kenwood and Crocus Hill than in NoMi, and sodden with political clout in both city halls and the state capitol) would tolerate it.

But least of all would the Social Justice caste tolerate the one thing the citizens of North Minneapolis could do that would give them a genuine voice; break their ties with the DFL and vote for an alternative to the failed one-party system that’s gotten them where they are.

Some Say A Man Ain’t Happy, Until A Man Truly Dies

“Prince is like your generation’s version of Elvis dying”.

That’s what my daughter said as I was eating dinner last night.  And she’s got a great point.

We’ll come back to that.

Everyone in the Twin Cities, it seems, has a “when I met Prince” story.  Mine’s pretty mundane; it was a First Avenue, not long after I moved to town.  I probably noticed the people Prince was with long, long before I noticed Prince himself – he was, like, 15 inches shorter than me.

My better “Prince” story was more of a one-degree-of-separation tale:

The other guitar player in my band worked at a coffee shop located by where all the Twin Cities record labels were based, and where groups like Husker Du and the Replacements were based. He did it for the music networking.   One day I was having a cup of coffee, and my guitar player introduced me to a new waitress, a dizzyingly attractive latin-american woman. She was a musician. I started trying to work whatever magic I had at that time of my life.

“I have a demo tape I’m going to give to Prince”, she said.

You and me and every other musician in town I thought; “I’d love to hear it sometime”, I said. She played me something on her Walkman. I resolved to come back and talk more.

A few weeks later, news made the rounds that she was dating Prince; they lived together for a bit, and he produced at least one album for her.

So close, but yet so far.

I Was Working Part-Time At The Five And Dime;   More seriously?

If I had a nickel for every blog post I’ve begun over the years with “They didn’t have much “black” music in North Dakota when I was a kid”, I could skip a year’s worth of pledge drives.

But the confluence of MTV, Top40 radio making it to Fargo, and kids from out of state moving to North Dakota when I got to college, introduced me to the radical notion of someone who was:

  1. A black guy
  2. From Minneapolis
  3. Who played funk that rocked,
  4. and rock that was intensely funky
  5. that was completely marinated in S
  6. E
  7. X

And so I listened.

And as I got into my early twenties, and started to ponder where it was that I wanted to start my adult life, and thought “a music scene that can spawn the likes of not only the Replacements, the Hüskers, but this…:

(Unfortunately, not the version shot at First Avenue – the idea that there was a club like that place looked in the movie was a part of the draw, too)

…and I was sold.   If that was a city that could keep that kind of a polyglot scene happening, it was the place for me.

So while my “when I met Prince” stories may be among the Twin Cities’ most underwhelming, I can at least say that he affected my life that much.

Has Anybody Heard About The Quake?:  First things first – Prince was an astounding musician.

Let’s start with the fact that he was the most criminally underrated guitar player of all time.

No, really:

Prince was scandalously underrated as a guitarist.

And as a bassist.

And drummer.

And keyboardist.

And…well, he was generally recognized as an excellent singer. Although in fact he was really several singers; a crooner, a Little-Richard-style rocker, a James Brown-style R&B raver.

He was, in fact, not just a one-man band (he recorded all the instruments and vocals on his first several albums, up through 1999, and many of his recent albums, and many more of the thousands of songs reputed to be “in the can” out at Paisley Park), but a one-man-band composed of some of the best musicians in the business on their respective instruments.

And he played over 20 of them.  In addition to writing all his own music, producing something like 60 studio albums (and, legend has it, enough backlog to release an album a year for several decades – as of the early 90s)

White, Black, Puerto Rican, Everybody Just a-Freakin’:  Back to my daughter’s remark that started the whole thing; the idea that Prince was my generation’s Elvis.

In his prime, Elvis (and the rest of the Sun Records lineup) did something that the best genres in American music before – folk, jazz – did; wantonly mix “black” and “white” music into an all-new form.  Ditto the Beatles, at least early on.

And after the Beatles drifted into psychedelia and Hendrix died,  black and white music seceded from each other in the early seventies.   They stayed in their neutral corners…

…until Prince, touring with a band that was two black guys, two white guys and two white women, became simultaneously the best R&B band on the planet and, pound for pound, one of the best rock and roll bands, too.

In a half-decade that saw some of the most glorious genre-bending that we’d seen since the Rascals were passing for “black” on the radio, Prince and the Revolution were the bleeding edge of the fashion curve.

No, really; check out his halftime performance at the 2007 Super Bowl; he invoke and mixes and eventually purees Queen, James Brown, Hendrix, Ike and Tina, Creedence Clearwater, Clapton, the Foo Fighters, and his own catalog into an explosion that had to have had James Brown dancing in his grave:

Forget the building in Cleveland; this is what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be.

Purple Reign:  I made it downtown for some of the party yesterday (it’s where most of this post’s photography comes from).  For all I know, the block party may still be going on in Minneapolis.  Part of me wishes I could have been there.

In a sense, I was – from 1985 through the late eighties.  It was an amazing time. Ask anyone who was there; we’ll tell you about it ’til your ears bleed.

But in a way, the party came to everyone;  it was a big night for purple around the world:

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome

San Francisco City Hall

The Melbourne, Australia Arts Center (or Centre)

The Prince George’s County (Maryland) Hospital

image1

The Mississippi River in Minneapolis

As my friend Erik “The Transit Geek” Hare put it, he’s so huge, he owns an entire color.

 

Appetite For Destruction

Restaurants – I’m talking the high-end, “acclaimed” places that vie for foodie critics’ affirmation – are dropping like, er, flies lately.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is asking if we’re in the midst of an independent-restaurant massacre in the core of downtown Minneapolis.

Brasserie Zentral. Foreign Legion. Vincent. Masa. Solera. Workshop at Union.

The list of critically acclaimed eateries that have closed up shop in the state’s biggest city continues to grow.

Wonder why that is?

Two years ago, we had Governor Dayton’s sons asking a return of the old “tip credit”, to offset the effect of the hike in the minimum wage.  They are certainly not the only ones hurting.

And I’ve heard – very, very off the record – that as restaurants get big and successful enough, and edge closer and closer to that magic “50 employee” mark, whereupon they are considered big businesses, required to provide Obamacare for their employees, the amount of money it’ll take to actually keep the business running becomes utterly untenable.

In the link above…:

Moskowitz Grumdahl, a senior editor for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, joined MPR News host Steven John to talk more about what’s behind this trend, how St. Paul is benefiting from it and what downtown Minneapolitans can do about it.

Saint Paul isn’t benefitting.  Restaurants are closing here, too.

Expect to see a DFL proposal to prop up restaurants that are “too tasty to fail”.

La Generalissima

Alondra Cano – “third world feminist” (whatever that means) and Minneapolis City Councilwoman – took time off from not bothering with her actual constituents’ real problems to sound off, like every other demigogue, on the Freeman press conference yesterday.

Her Facebook page seems to be set up to disallow copying, so I screenshot the whole dismal lashup:

 

screencapture

Let’s be clear, here; I don’t find the inquisition into possible police wrongdoing comical.

I find Alonda Cano – industrial engineer par excellence, social-media bully and frothing-yet-brittle demigogue – comical.

“Political pressure?”   The City of Minneapolis has bent over backwards to accomodate Black Lives Matter.  If a Tea Party or Pro-Life group ever blocked a freeway, the Minneapolis or Saint Paul police departments would rain down attack dogs and billy clubs like the Great Deluge.

Like all wannabe liberal demigogues, she’s making up her reality as she goes along, knowing the stupid and gullible won’t care.

It’s Probably A Good Thing It’s Raining Out

Mike Freeman is set to announce whether there will be charges in the Jamar Clark shooting at 10:30 this morning.

Fox9 reports that Freeman will also show a number of videos – likely the ones that “Black Lives Matter” has been clamoring for.

My guess – and it’s only a guess?  The videos will support the officers’ side of the story, and Freeman will announce no charges.  Since Freeman isn’t running for office again, he can be the target for the community’s ire, taking some of the heat off of Mayor Hodges and Chief Harteau.   Again – it’s my speculation.

UPDATE:  No charges will be filed against the officers.

UPDATE 2:  Freeman is showing the videos.

UPDATE 3:  Nekima Pounds-Levy apparently wants to have quotas for charging and convicting officers.

UPDATE 4:  Did someone just threaten to burn the city down?

UPDATE 5:  Question from social media; “who let BLM (Pounds-Levy) into the press conference?”   Answer:  The same people who let them out onto 35W without repercussion.  The cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul have coddled BLM more than they would any other protest group.

Congratulations, Minneapolis

The scourge of plastic bags has been lifted from your lives.

Now, on to solving the worst-in-the-nation achievement gap, poverty, the worst-in-Minnesota crime rate (which, in the Camden and Near North neighborhoods, is up there with Baltimore and Detroit), the sagging business climate, the eroding infrastructure (notwithstanding the staggering amounts the city has spent) and the tense racial climte.

With the bag thing out of the way, it should be a breeze.

Shots Fired

Rep. Kim Norton is going to come for your guns this session.

It may not work, but it’s the next measure in what Big Left hopes to make into a steady drumbeat that eventually wears the great, underinformed middle down on the issue.

But the facts are out there.

Location, Location, Location:   If you live in Minnesota, you know that North Minneapolis is the state’s little Oakland.  While Minnesota as a whole has a murder rate of 1.6 per 100,000 people, the North Side’s violent crime (about 30 murders last year, in a population of under 40,000 people) teases out to a murder rate of 75/100,000 – higher than Venezela, double that of Columbia.

Of course, Minneapolis (and Hennepin County in general) has among the lowest legal firearms ownership rates in the state:

So if the left’s conceit  – less guns (in the hands of the law-abiding) equals less crime – would seem to predict a nice, low crime rate in Minneapolis.

But the MinnPost ran a piece earlier this week – and for starters, it confirmed what everyone already knew; the North Side is a shooting gallery, at least judging by the MPD’s “Shot Spotter” system.

Here’s a “heat map” of the city:

screenshot-www.minnpost.com 2016-01-19 12-16-08

 

 

There’s a faint dribble of shooting in the “Phillips” neighborhood (between Franklin and Lake, east of 35W and west of Hiawatha), and some in the central core of the south side between 35W and probably Chicago (and just so we’re accurate, here, the shot-spotter microphones are only installed in high-crime areas; we don’t see shots fired in Linden Hills or along Minnehaha Creek because there are no microphones in Linden Hills or along Minnehaha Creek.  But there are no microphones there because, objectively, there really isn’t a big “gun violence” problem there.  Or Nordeast.  Or by Nokomis. Or even on Lake Street east of Hiawatha or much west of Nicollet.

More telling?  Shooting has been trending down on the south side for the past six years:

screenshot-www.minnpost.com 2016-01-19 12-16-33
Even the NYTimes knows that North Minneapolis is a free-fire zone:

But as Willesha Moorehead, who came here from Chicago a dozen years ago, can attest, struggle is baked into its streets.

Seven of her friends or members of her family, including the father of her first child, have died from gun violence in North Minneapolis. She has struggled to get work, in part because she could not find child care for her two daughters, she said. And for the past three years she has bounced between the homes of friends and family because she could not find affordable housing.

The problem, the NYTimes seems to imply, is that not enough money gets spent on the North Side:

Public transportation is poor, residents say, and though local officials are planning to spend more than $1 billion on a light-rail line, North Minneapolis residents have been critical because it will run through downtown and the suburbs but skirt their community.

So clearly, the answer is to crack down on guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens in Northeast and Saint Paul and Anoka and Thief River Falls.

That should solve it.

The real problem?  The government has been using the North Side as a warehouse for the poor for a couple of generations now.  The city has been fine with that – they’re a nice pool of captive DFL voters – but now, the social consequences of keeping a bull pen full of dependents is catching up with the city.

Again.

Alondra Cano: Transparent As An Iron Curtain, “Conversational” As Rain Man

Busted last week for using public data to try to shame constituents who disagreed with her participation in a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America, Alondra Cano is sorry…

…that all you dissenters are such racisssss rubes:

“It was not my intent to put anyone in danger by any means, and this was not an attempt to punish anyone,” Cano said. “But it was actually an attempt to have a public conversation about the importance of Black Lives Matter and how the public should continue to have that debate publicly without fear of having to hide your thoughts behind some rationale that doesn’t make sense.”

“…behind some rationale that doesn’t make sense”.  Hmmm.

Of course, her “public conversation” talk would seem less bullshit-y if Cano actually had a conversation.  She didn’t. She took the four dissenters contact information from a city server, and published it on Twitter – which is sort of like “having a conversation” with someone after you’ve hung up the phone with them.

And her “conversation” – like Heather Martens and Kim Norton before her – is, of course, a monologue; everyone who criticized her on Twitter got blocked; she responded to no media requests.

Which is an interesting response for someone who claims “”I did it out of a belief in government transparency and public discourse”;  intimidate dissenters, ignore questioners, hide from reporters.

Check Your Urban Liberal Privilege

Minneapolis ninth Ward representative Alondra Cano likes to paint herself as the champion of the underprivileged…

…while availing herself of that most excellent privilege, awesome vacations on the taxpayers dime.

(And that other awesome liberal privilege, using the government she works for to strong-arm those she disagrees with, all the while claiming to be the victim).