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).

Shot In The Dark: Today’s News, Yesterday

Even the Strib has noted that real people are not amused about Alonda Cano’s abuse of power yesterday.

As I had hoped, one of the people she doxxed – Mr. Dent – is filing an ethics complaint with the city:

Stephen Dent, who said he had previously contributed to Cano’s campaign, wrote to her and told Cano she was unfit to serve on the council by “closing private property” and “supporting illegal actions.”

Cano then tweeted Dent’s email address and phone number to her roughly 2,000 followers.

“What she did to me and others put a huge chill on our democratic society,” Dent said in a phone interview early Thursday. “It has broken my trust with public officials in the city of Minneapolis.”

Attempts to reach Cano Thursday morning were not successful.

Oh, I just bet they weren’t.

Alondra Cano Doxxes The Halls With Abuse Of Power. Fa La La La La, La La La Lawless.

Minneapolis City Councilwoman Alondra Cano makes no bones about the fact that she’s a progressive.  Her Twitter bio begins “Daughter of the Third World Feminist movement”, which may or may not be true, but she’s certainly a product of the sort of unbridled prosperity that First World free-marketeering has wrought; it takes a lot of prosperity to make a public life like hers sustainable.  And thank goodness for that prosperity – since her future as an industrial engineer looks dim indeed.

At any rate, she spent a good chunk of yesterday on social media rooting for Black Lives Matter’s protest at the Mall of America.  And while Ms Cano seems as confused about the distinction between public and private property as the rest of the City Council usually does, I’ll certainly defend her right to protest in favor of or against anything she wants.

Provided, of course, she doesn’t abuse her office to do it.

And we’ve got a problem, there.

Chicago-y:  On her Twitter feed yesterday, she went around and around with some of her critics.

Including, as it happens, some who’d written to her on her City of Minneapolis feedback form – the one people use on the City website to send her feedback.

She took to posting some of the responses she disagreed with.  Note:  While I redacted personal information, including phone numbers, email addresses and home addresses, from the screenshots, Ms. Cano did not:

Cano 1

Cano 2

Cano3

And this condescending little jape:

Cano4

When people tried to call “foul” on Twitter, Cano responded:

CanoAccountable

Emails may be public – but one might ask why a public official is posting citizens data on Twitter, when they contacted her via the City’s contact form.  Because she expects them to be reading Twitter?  Seems unlikely.

And while she pleads “public data”, you’ll note that she only published the names, email and home addresses of detractors, not supporters.

In short, Cano used her city social media presence and city-supplied data to try to intimidate constituents who disagreed with her.  Furthermore, she used city-supplied data to stump for Black Lives Matter.  While Cano has every right to believe what she wants, and protest on their behalf, using data from a city web form to intimidate citizens is grossly inappropriate.

screenshot-twitter.com 2015-12-23 20-44-40

It’s hard out there for a member of a major urban political elite.

So while Ms. Cano – an elected officeholder and high-ranking member of a power structure that has boundless power over a major American city – may try to eke out a shard of victimhood out of the fact that anyone would ask…:

screenshot-twitter.com 2015-12-23 21-13-27

I haven’t seen the term “womyn” used unironically in twenty years. Minneapolis is truly a commemorative museum of progressivism.

…I’m going to ask anyway.

I posted four questions to Ms. Cano – although I suspect I’ll be blocked from her Twitter feed long before she reads them, even if she did.  But for the record, here they are:

  1. Why are you, Ms. Cano, using Twitter to respond to feedback that came to you via the feedback from on the city website?  She can’t possibly believe that the correspondents were going to read her on Twitter, did she?
  2. While it may be true that emails from the feedback form are “public”, Twitter is hardly a data practices request, now, is it?
  3. Is it proper for a city councilwomen to use data from a public website to shape opinion for a private group?  Black Lives Matter is not city business!
  4. In what way is posting citizens’ home phones, addresses and email addresses not intimidation?  And is it proper to use social media to intimidate people at all, whether on behalf of government or someone completely different?

If you live in Minneapolis, I urge you to ask Ms. Cano exactly that.

And maybe tell her to check her urban liberal privilege.

Crime Tips From Mike Freeman

A friend sends this passage from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, on KSTP news last night:

Today’s crime tips from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman:

“If you’re going to rob or burglered (sic) you know, the burgluring you can do in an unoccupied home and take the stuff and get out of there. If you’re going to rob a person you knock them down, take their money, and go. You don’t kill them.” – KSTP News at 6:30

i’m sure that will help.

My Virtual Client Is Obviously Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park – who, let the record show, is an attorney – emails:

I don’t understand Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s legal analysis in charging the BLM shooter with assault with a deadly weapon.

When Black people protest, it’s a Constitutionally protected right.  If White people counter-protest, it should be just as protected, right?

Yes, I know, the White people said they were going to stir up trouble.  They know somebody who owns a Confederal flag.  They talked trash on video.  That’s bad manners, agreed.  But filming Black protestors and even calling them names is no less protected speech than burning a cross in somebody’s yard and we know that’s constitutional, decided decades ago in RAV v. St. Paul.  So going to the protest should be good.

If the White guys were racially offensive in implementing their counter-protest, does that negate the shooters self-defense claim?  The standard is:

  1. Did not initiate the physical conflict, must be a reluctant participant.
  2. Attempted to retreat by running away
  3. Reasonably believed they were about to suffer great bodily harm at the hands of an enraged mob
  4. Used reasonable force to repel the attack by firing a few rounds, only one of which injured anybody

I’m sure the prosecutor and the media will portray the White men as the aggressors, not as reluctant participants.  But that doesn’t sound right to me.  If you and I are having a heated discussion, the guy who throws the first punch is the aggressor, regardless how annoying the words are.

There might be such a thing as “fighting words” to justify a quick punch.  But there’s no such thing as “chasing-down-an-alley” words to justify a mob beating.  The Black mob initiated the threat of physical violence, the White men attempted to retreat and used reasonable force as a last resort.  I would think the shooter has a pretty good case for self-defense.  I would expect Mike Freeeman to see that.  I therefore conclude the assault charge is grandstanding to pacify the same mob that initiated the violence.  That’s not a good long-term strategy for maintaining public order.

Joe Doakes

“Progressive” politics is always a matter of balancing respective mobs of constituents, usually against each other.

Charges

The Henco Attorney’s office hit the noon deadline on Monday to charge the suspects in last week’s shooting at the Black Lives Matter rally.

And the charges are interesting:

Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville, was charged with six counts including second-degree riot and second-degree assault. Joseph Martin Backman, 27, of Eagan, Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 22, of Hermantown and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26, of Pine City were each charged with one count of second-degree riot-armed with a dangerous weapon.

Bear in mind that Macey was one of those rare Asian white supremacists.

Quite the melting-pot we have, here.

Anyway – as the media begins the process of trying this case in public, some people are going to be disappointed right out of the gate:

Freeman said the Minnesota hate crime law only moves a misdemeanor crime to a gross misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor to a felony. The four men were not charged with that because the sentences for them, especially the suspected shooter, Scarsella, would be significantly longer for the riot and second-degree assault charges. However, Freeman noted he has been consulting with U.S. Attorney Andy Luger about this case and if federal hate crime sentences would draw a longer sentence, he would be willing to turn the case over to them.
There is no doubt, he said, that this attack by the four was racially motivated.
“The defendants’ own statements, their videos, show that these are sick people,” Freeman said. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable.”

Unlike every media outlet in the Metro, I’m not going to attempt to try this case on this page.  As we discussed the other day, there’s at least a chance that this could be tried as self-defense – although as I pointed out at the time, if one plans to try to plead self-defense, it’s best to go to the police, rather than having them come and get you first.

Lie First, Lie Always: November 25 Edition

There was a shooting at the 4th Precinct demonstrations, late Monday night.  Three men, described by BLM as “white supremacists” – and in retrospect it appears they were, although to be fair some elements in BLM call everyone  a white supremacist – shot five protesters.  Thankfully, none of the injuries are “serious”, although let’s be honest, if I get hit by a bullet, it’s freaking serious.

But it’s the left we’re talking about, here.  It’s a crisis.  Waste not, want not.

How’s That Again?:  The three shooters – apparently identifiable as “White Supremacists” by dint of wearing masks, were being “escorted away from the protest”, according to the media’s accounts, or (according to these two people in, er, masks), “escorted” rather more aggressively:

Anyway, the three men – whose arrest the Strib reports – ran, and then opened fire, hitting five.  It took about 12 hours for the police to catch them.

They were apparently white men, some of whose Facebook pages bespeak some kind of Caucasianist sympathies, we’re told.

More on the accused later.

Until then, let’s talk about what happened during those 12 hours:

Thanks, Betsy!:  Now, if you’re not in the Twin Cities, let’s set the stage for you; Mayors Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis and Chris Coleman of Saint Paul have done everything possible under, and beyond, the law to accomodate Black Lives Matter.  They’ve allowed BLM to repeatedly block freeways and mass transit during rush hour; they not only let BLM block Snelling Avenue for four hours during the State Fair – one of the busiest days of the year – they gave them a full, aggressive escort on their march.  And they’ve tolerated a protest around a police station that has at times blocked access, teetered on the edge of violence, and required drawing police from other parts of the city for nights on end.  Rumor has it the police leave mints on the pillows of Rashad Turner and Nekima Pounds-Levy.

And yet, when the chips were down, Minneapolis NAACP boss Raeisha Williams knew exactly who to blame:

No word if the suspects are sleepers for the MPD.

What?  You Thought There Was Going To Be An Article About Habitual Lying That Didn’t Include Heather Martens?: Heather Martens of “Protect” MN blamed carry permittees for the shooting.

The suspects apparently are not carry permit holders.

I’m not going to quote it. I’m not going to link it.  Heather Martens doesn’t deserve the attention of any sentient being (which may be why the media gives her so much credence).

But if you’re in the media?  Ask yourself why you keep citing this idiot.

Fort Apache, The North Side

Perhaps you’ve heard – it’s been in all the headlines – a “Black Lives Matter” protest at the Fourth precinct police station in Minneapolis yesterday turned into a scuffle between riot police and demonstrators ostensibly angry over the death of Jamar Clark.   Clark was killed in a confrontation with the police; the incident is controversial, and still very much under investigation, and we’re not going to get any reliable news about it for quite some time. However, the police union is doing its best to make the officers involved look like angels walking among us on the earth, while the protesters portray them as dead-eyed executioners, and mayor Betsy Hodges, through her stenographers in the media, splitting the difference (maybe just a little on the side of the protesters).

The story on KARE 11 relates the broad details of the scuffle – which include  incoming bricks and Molotov cocktails, and outgoing bean bag rounds – and also gives us one interesting sidelight:

There was an interesting moment as Jamar Clark’s sister drove up on the scene as protesters were shouting down police. Javille Burns opened her window and addressed protesters, clearly angry, asking them what their goal was. “You’re pissing people off,” she shouted. “These officers can’t do nothing for you… you’re ignorant.” When one protester tried to engage her, Burns jumped out of the car and ran at him. “That’s my brother that got shot… my blood (expletive) brother!”

While the investigation into the actual incident waiting to Mr. Clark’s girl is still very much under investigation, one can feel sympathy for Ms. Burns; her brother, whether an erratic wife beater or an innocent victim, is having his name and demise hijacked by a bunch of people whose interests of little to do with him.

More later.

Putting The Trailer Before The Tractor

Manhattan; a city which was, at least below 42nd St., laid out well before the Civil War. As in, designed for pedestrians, horses and buggies. Not, really, cars.End result; it’s hard to find a parking spot anywhere in Manhattan, especially in the older parts of the city.

Unfortunately, people live there. And they buy things.

Which means things need to be delivered. Things that can’t be carried in taxis on subway cars – like shipments of food, toiletries, organic arugula, and all the other necessities of modern urban life on amid six figure income.

Hardest of all? Finding a spot to park when you are a delivery truck, hauling all of those necessities to all of the stores in lower Manhattan.

Since “widening the streets” is not an option, New York City adapted by, essentially, selling licenses to double park. That’s not really what they are – it’s basically just a special plea bargain that draws a cut rate for parking tickets incurred while delivering to stores. But it’s a market reaction, and a not completely stupid response by government, and as a result, goods actually get to lower Manhattan.

So what could go wrong?

“New Urbanists” who see more tax money to be squeezed out of the productive part of society, same as always:

The latest chapter New York’s working people and the city’s dumb, dumb urbanists:

When the city zeroes out the cost of undisputed tickets for delivery companies as part of a special program to reduce the cost of parking violations, it’s also giving them a pass on a fee required by the state. That surcharge funds anti-drunk driving programs, among other initiatives, and advocates say the city and state could be missing out on tens of millions of dollars each year.

“Missing Out” – provided one presumes that one’s money belongs to the state first, then the people and companies that earn it.

And they do presume that:

“We’ve taken issue with the stipulated fine program before,” said TA Executive Director Paul Steely White, “[for] essentially giving large freight haulers or delivery companies incentives to break parking laws.”…
Bolofsky estimates that three million of the city’s approximately 10 million annual traffic tickets go through the Stipulated Fine or Commercial Abatement programs. That means up to $45 million in uncollected surcharges each year, though the number is likely lower since not all violations are reduced to $0 under the program.
“It does appear that in their rush to give discounts to large carriers, that they have potentially been missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue for various life-saving programs,” White said. “It’s another reason why they should end the preferential treatment of pervasive lawbreakers.”

Oh, just wait; when the urbanists win in the Twin Cities, it’ll be the same here.