The Darkness Before More, Darker Darkness

The news is full of stories about the preparations for Monday’s opening of the Derek Chauvin trial.

Signally, all those preparations seem to involve fortifying government buildings.

That includes Minneapolis City Hall, where taxpayers are paying a lot of money to fortify a building wherein most of the City Council members believe the expectation of public safety is a privilege.

As to protecting the small businesspeople? Residents?

Additionally, Sasha Cotton, the director for the city’s new Office of Violence Prevention, said her department is working with the city’s Neighborhood and Community Relations Department on a preparedness toolkit—which includes safety tips and best practices, among other information—to help neighborhoods and residents.

A “preparedness kit”.

In other words, smoke ’em if you got ’em. You’re on your own.

Again. Government has its priorities. Government is government’s priority.

But it’s OK – because city officials are pointing out the precedent they’re concerned about.

January 6.

Not May 25.

“Never Waste a Crisis!”

A city’s agony is just another excuse to feed into the blood libel that there is a massive wave of “white supremacist right wing violence that’ll dwarf 9/11” waiting out there, any day now.

Checklist

As Minneapolis heads towards what is almost certain to be a metaphorical and fiscal bloodletting, if not perhaps a literal one, the city is going through its crisis preparedness checklist:

  1. After nearly a year of calling public safety a privilege, erecting lots and lots of privilege around itself.
  2. Continue not only proving that public safety is a “privilege” in Minneapolis, but continue contributing financially to keeping it that way.
  3. Keep on gaslighting the proles. Er, taxpayers. Same/same.
  4. Transferring more wealth to adjunct members of the political class.
  5. Focusing on politically correct irrelevancies – perhaps to earn carbon credits for all the smoke the city expects to see generated.
  6. Ponder turning downtown into a social justice park and business-free zone.
  7. Keep letting Keith Ellison try, and fail, to pretend he’s a prosecutor, rather than the anti-market version of a personal injury attorney?
  8. Start reading up on life in Grozny, Baghdad, Beirut and Detroit.

You’re in the best of hands, Minneapolis.

Good News, Minneapolis!

The city looks for leadership.

And jumping into the vacuum is…

Kate Knuth.

The exceptionally undistinguished former state representative who went on to be a city wealth-transfer bureaucrat who was distinguished, if “Anti-Distinguished” is a thing [1].

Remember – if the ineffective, over-his-head Pajama Boy Frey gets replaced, it’ll be by someone worse, farther to the left, and an even more overt puppet of the far-left interests that are calling all the shots in the city.

[1] And whose mother was in fact the bureaucratic gargoyle in the denouement of this story. While the sins of the mother aren’t necessarily visited on the child, I’m guessing the pie doesn’t fall far from the cow. .

Plans

A friend of the blog emails:

The people of Portland and Seattle might get a break seeing so many will be in Minneapolis.

Super Bowl, Basketball Final Four, and Chauvin trial, come to Minneapolis.

We used to call them “professional protesters”. And they most certainly do exist.

But I think we also have a class of “riot tourists”.

And it looks like the Twin CIties are a destination.

The Darkness Before The Darkness

A longtime friend of the blog emails:

With the impending Derek Chauvin trial, the fortification of the 4th Precinct has begun this morning.

A wall of cement traffic barricades are being set around the perimeter. Back last summer it was reinforced with razor wire.

I am so deeply saddened by what has happened to my city.

Sad. And disgusted.

Kevin Williamson was right. This isn’t decay. This is municipal suicide.

They’re Mad As Hell…

Owners of the iconic “Town Talk Diner” at Lake and MInnehaha in Minneapolis – which was turned into the “Town Talk Pile of Rubble” during the Floyd Riots – are sueing the City of Minneapolis for failing to protect…

…well, much of anyone or anything – notwithstanding it being one of the city’s only unambiguously legitimate jobs.

I’m not gonna do a pullquote – just read it.

And list for me in the comments:

  1. How the city will respond
  2. Why a “progressive” appointee will throw the case out. .

I was tempted to say “wrong answers only”, like all the kids are doing on social media these days.

But I figure even the right answers will test credulity these days.

Go to it.

A Barrel With No Bottom. Ever.

Decades ago, in an effort to keep housing “affordable”, the city of New York imposed rent control. No existing rental unit could increase its price, absent jumping throught a Byzantine series of bureaucratic hoops.

The “market” responded to the bureaucratic muddling – at first, creatively. The rent control stayed with the the renter. When the renter died or moved, the rental rate could move with the market. But the “ownership” of the rental could be passed down through any semblance of the original renters families – so children, nephews and nieces, stepchildren, further-order descendants, and utterly phony descendants – a fraud that was almost never investigated. Also, renters (and their descendants) could, and did, sublet, and even subdivide, apartments, renting the spaces out at much better than market rates and making a tidy profit on the deal. People are pretty creative when it comes to skirting rules, and New York City government is equally thud-witted and uncreative at creating the rules people skirt. It became almost

The second-order consequences were less salutary. While rents were frozen, utilities and property taxes were not – so landlords got squeezed hard. Landlords with sufficient means sold their properties to “co-ops”, or went condo, or found the few available loopholes – and there were very few, since the powers that be (and are) in New York treated landlords as a populist enemy to be demonized for political gain. The less affluent landlords fell behind on taxes. Squeezed by the city to pay up, repairs sufferend. Eventually these landlords stopped repairing their properties in less desirable areas, which quickly became even less desirable; vast swathes of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Harlem fell into deep blight, with block after block of apartments abandoned…

…in a city with an “affordable housing crisis” where even in the 1980s, it was impossible to find a place to live for under $2,000 a month in 1985 dollars (which is $4,500 to 5,000 today).

Of course, all that blight begat crime. By the late ’70s, much of New York was a shooting gallery, wit over 2,000 dead per year.

Of course, there is a lot of money in New York, and a lot of people want to be there, so the real estate didn’t sit idle for too long – begetting the third-order consequences: developers moved in, took over the blighted, abandoned real estate, and built it back up. Of course, given New York’s regulatory “zeal” and astronomical taxes, it wasn’t just any developers. It was the ones with enough money to do the building, to navigate the bureaucracy (read “Money”) and pay the taxes (read – “keep the money coming”). The up-front costs were high – and the rest was even higher.

So after decades of “rent control”, one can not live in a decent place on Manhattan with an income of less than $500,000 a year.

I write this to highlight the path that the Minneapolis City Council – known among those in the know as “the dumbest city council between Chicago and Los Angeles” – is drooling to drive Minneapolis down.

Neo-populist progressive economicallly-illiterate stupidity – a barrel that, in Minneapolis, has no bottom.

Four More Years. Of…

LIke MInneaolis doesn’t have enough problems…

Jacob “McDreamy” Frey is going to run for re-election.

As one wag noted:

Suggested camaign motto: “Stay the Curse”.

The thing about Minneapolis, of course, is that if Frey gets unseated, it’ll be to someone from the left.

And that person will be unseated by someone from their left.

I’m afraid the vortex is unescapable.

Student Senate Is Haaaaaard

Minneapolis police note that they were kept from the crime scene of a recent shooting near “George Floyd Square“ near 38th and Chicago in south Minneapolis, and that parts of the “citizens committee“ that have turned the area around the intersection into a de facto “autonomous zone“ contaminated the evidence that could be used to try to prosecute the perps, if they are ever found.

A couple of the inspectors involved have emailed a few members of the student Senate… um, City Council.

To give the minimum possible credit where it is due, and indicate how very low the actual bar is, Councilman Andrea Jenkins seems to have a veered close to something within rifle shot of common sense in her response:

Jenkins told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she supports the memorialization of George Floyd Square and wants it to become a permanent fixture as she and others on the City Council pursue racial justice and police reform. But she does not condone any action which inhibits police investigations.

‘We want justice for everybody and it concerns me and I am not happy with what I read in the email,’ said Jenkins. ‘To somehow disrupt or delay that kind of response is completely irresponsible and an obstruction of justice.’

My fearless prediction; Jenkins will be castigated as a conservative reactionary, and will have a primary opponent from the left. be castigated as a conservative reactionary, and will have a primary opponent from the left.

This Is A Test

Ever since the retirement of Phyllis Kahn for being too moderate for her crazy-left district in Minneapolis, it’s seemed fairly plain – no matter what happens in Minneapolis politics, the drift will be the left.

So this post is both a test of my theory, and a prediction.

Alondra Cano is leaving office.

Now, you know me. I have never come to praise Cano, but to try to bury her in ridicule.

But here’s my prediction: she will be replaced by someone who makes her look like Phyllis Schlafly in comparison.

Predictions as to what she’ll do next? Leave your predictions in the comment section.

UPDATE: Hardly seems possible this was five years ago, already. It may be my favorite post title in the history of this blog.

Orwell Overestimated Minneapolis DFLers

From the never-ending “It depends on what the meaning of the term ‘is’, is” files – after seven months of demanding the defunding of the police, and a week of acting on it, members of the Minneapolis Student Senate…er, City Council claim they’re just misunderstood:

In June, Minneapolis city council members Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham appeared with seven colleagues on a stage bearing a huge sign reading ‘Defund Police’ during a protest in Powderhorn Park.

Now, the duo seem to be mincing words, with Fletcher telling KSTP-TV on Tuesday: ”Defund’ is not the framework the council has ever chosen,’ as Cunningham audibly agreed. 

‘If we’re going to look at how we fund different programs, it would be very hard to do that without taking that money from the Minneapolis Police Department,’ he continued.

Have you ever noticed that the only establishment media that ever actually reports on Minneapolis is in the UK?

A Point Of Clarification

There’s been a lot of chatter about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s announcement last Thursday that his office won’t be asking bail for the following offenses starting next year:

It’s not that Henco is legalizing these activities.

It’s merely providing no direct consequences for skipping trial for accused forgers, felony-level vandals, burglars, porch pirates, kiters, shoplifters, frauds, drug dealers, counterfeiters or welfare cheats.

If they skip trial, a warrant will be issued for their arrest, and if they eventually come into contact with the law, the warrant will be on their record when they are arrested for the next offense that they won’t be charged bail for before skipping trial.

Glad we settled that.

Follow The Money

Downtown Minneapolis boosters are split over the news that Dollar General is putting a store on the ever-more-desolate Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

On the one hand, you’ve got the one that chortle at all the “People of Walmart”-style stories they associate with Dollar General – a chain usually associated with towns too small or neighborhoods too poor for a Walmart.

On the other hand you’ve got the “aren’t we better than this?” mob.

Rick Nelson at the Strib kinda straddles the line:

Yes, “tacky” and “depressing” are two words to describe the appearance of a dollar store on what is widely viewed as Minneapolis’ Main Street, a thoroughfare that recently underwent a $50 million makeover. “Distressing” could be another, since the appearance of this type of merchant might be an indication that downtown’s dwindling retail scene is taking yet another step in the wrong direction.

The store’s new home in the Andrus (the historic building formerly known as Renaissance Square) at S. 5th Street and Nicollet Mall won’t be sullied with a glaring yellow-and-black Dollar General logo. Instead, there will be a hip “DGX” marquee, reflecting Dollar General’s curated version of its discount store.

So what does it all mean, for a street that the city of Minneapolis just spent tens of millions of dollars refurbing (and BLM and “Anti”-Fa spent a couple of nights hacking away at)?

Why, it’s almost as if when you treat a major city like an urban studies lab, make driving onerous and parking prohibitive, and treat public safety as a sign of misbegotten privilege even if someone hasn’t burned down your favorite destination (or closed it forever via a hamfisted lockdown), the people from the outlying parts of the city that downtown used to depend on for all that juicy revenue will take their money elsewhere?

The Inmates

Don’t let the title – or the fact that it’s in the generally unforgiveable Slate, for that matter – put you off from reading this piece, “The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd “.

This piece captures not only the history of CUP Foods, the South Minneapolis bodega whose employee called 911 on George Floyd last Memorial Day, a Palestinian immigrant family that’s worked a couple of generations of butts off to succeed in a “transitioning” neighborhood through a couple of waves of blight.

More than that, it captures the successive waves of fervid racism (Black on Arab, Black on European, Arab and Black on European), community spirit, delusion, and the unlikely trifecta of community spirit infused with delusion and racism:

Toussaint Morrison, a Black Lives Matter organizer in Minneapolis, said he doesn’t actually see any problem with CUP Foods reopening. But he doesn’t necessarily think anyone should shop there…On CUP Foods reopening, he said, “I say get a Black-owned corner store near there, and say shop here. We’ll beat all of their prices. Even if we lose money, whatever.” The point, he said, is to keep Black money in the Black community: “Whether they open or not, it’s on us as a community to not buy their shit. It’s that simple.”

So – far from dismissing it because of a “woke” copy-editor’s inelegant titling, or its laughable origins (Slate, for flock’s sake), I urge you to read it as a guide to everything that’s going to slowly strangle Minneapolis.

And to maybe hang onto it as a time capsule showing future generatons how “community” became impossible.

Orwell Was A Pollyanna, Part CVII

Presidents nominating, and Senates confirming, SCOTUS seats via the the process defined in the Constitution is “packing”

Repealing a working-class tax cut won’t increase taxes on the working class.

Nobody’s coming for your guns.

“Anti”-Fa doesn’t exist.

High density cities, with all their accoutrements (mass transit, densely-packed infranstructure) are more sustainable, livable.

The protests are mostly peaceful.

A decade and a half of demonizing police and running a catch-and-release judicial system, combined with open threats to defund or abolish the police, have no effect on crime rates, silly peasants:

The problem isn’t that the Minneapolis Student Council and the president of its Sustainability Club are lying to the people.

The problem is that they know the people who vote for them are too uncritical, complacent, dependent or stupid to know any better.

So far, it seems like a winning strategy.

Politically, I mean.

It’s Better To Look Good Than To Be Good

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

June – Minneapolis City Council President on CNN – expecting police to prevent crime comes from a place of white privilege.

June, July, August – Minneapolis City Council to all Minneapolis Police Officers: You’re horrible people and we’re going to de-fund your entire department, to start from scratch and reinvent public safety

September – Minneapolis City Council to Minneapolis Police Chief: Crime is out of control and residents are terrified.  Why aren’t police officers doing a better job of preventing crime?

The Minneapolis Chief of Police is Medaria Arrando, a Black man.  When the Council fires him, he’ll join the ranks of other Black police chiefs fired as scapegoats for White city council virtue-signaling gone wild including Le’Ron Singletary, Carmen Best, and U. Renee Hall

But firing the Black police chief flies in the face of a study claiming to prove that police departments run by Black police chiefs have Fewer shootings.

It’s almost as if Liberals don’t care about actual results, only about looking good to the media.

Joe Doakes

Among “progressives”, participation trophies are good enough.

Also mandatory.

This Is What Dismantlement Looks Like

Oddly enough, when you work for a boss that actively disparages, nay, defames the work you do, loudly, constantly and in public, employees are going to react.

The numbers for the Minneapolis Police Department are well-nigh catastrophic:

Nearly 40% attrition in four months. And I suspect the recruit stream has not only dwindled to a trickle, but is heavily made up of people you don’t want wearing badges and carrying guns.

Historically? Minneapolis went through similar (albeit not nearly so drastic) problems in the nineties, and before that in the seventies – and the city paid the price in terms of officer quality both times.

This could well make both of those troughs look like the good times.

The Phantom Boogeyman

Salem had “witches”.

The far right and far left in Europe from the middle ages through the 1940s (and beyond) had “Jews”.

Jordan, Minnesota had “satanists“.

And Governor Klink and Mayor McDreamy had “white supremacists”.

It seems like such a long time ago that Big Left started predicting an imminent wave of “right wing white supremacist terrorism“.

And, like OJ, they are still looking:

This notion – that Big Left has been getting ready to launch a violent war against dissent, while blaming mostly-phantom “right wingers” – is where Berg’s Seventh Law ceases to be funny.

Privileged Couple’s Gentrified Night Out Interrupted By Austere Social Scholars’ Mostly Peaceful Protest

OK, that’s not the real tag line on the story.

Yet.

But it doesn’t seem implausible at all, does it?

Minneapolis couple out on the town in the North Loop, attacked by 8-10…

…well, the piece leaves that wide open:

Probably more white supremacist Hells Angels. They’re behind everything that’s wrong in Minneapolis.

Darned white supremacists.

Puff

The Strib: “Minneapolis City Councilwoman Lisa Bender is doing a high stakes juggling act“.

That’s right.

She’s juggling, on the one hand, the rage of citizens, whose city, and their investment in it, is disintegrating around them, against the demands of the extremist progressive establishment that provides her funding, her power base and her electoral future.

That sounds difficult.

So who do you suppose she’ll side with in this “jugging act?”

You get one guess.

He’s Baaaaack

Ryan Winkler, Minnesota’s House Majority Leader – let that thought rattle around in your head a bit – replies to Senate Majority Leader Gazelka yesterday:

“Trump’s America is deadly!”

But the Tim Walz and Peggy Flanagan’s Minnesota is the part that is rioting, burning, looting, shedding businesses and jobs, boarding up, moving to the burbs or Wisconsin or the Greater or Lesser Dakota, buggering off, hitting the dusty trail for freer and safer horizons.

Alondra Cano’s Minnesota is the part that can’t run itself even in good times without massive transfers of wealth from the parts of the state that work (for now), the Republican parts.

Lisa Bender’s Minnesota is the part that considers “law and order” a form of unsustainable “privilege” for all you plebs, but pays a lot of your money so that it has that privilege for itself.

Ryan Winkler’s Minnesota is the part where a Harvard graduate and machine politician from a lilywhite “progressive” suburb full of NIMBYs can call one of the most distinguished jurists of our time an “Uncle Tom”, and then turn around and yap about “white supremacy” when his opponent compliments the men and women who are taking time off from their real lives to clean up yet another DFL mess.

If Ryan Winkler didn’t exist, the GOP would have to invent him.

Remember

If you run a business in the Twin Cities, this is what you are up against:

Lotus has been a tradition in the Twin Cities as long as I’ve been here, and considerably longer. Even as Vietnamese restaurants got taken over by Thai joints (Unjustifiably, in my book), the Lotus has carried on.

But will they come back downtown? Will Ruth’s Chris? Brit’s?

Especially given that the photo above described, exactly, the support they can expect from the city of Minneapolis?

Would you?

Open Letter To Governor Walz: Therapy

To: Governor Walz
From: Mitch Berg – Former Rock and/or Cow, current Deplorable
Re: “Healing”

Governor,

Last night, as yet another round of looting began over a false rumor of another police shooting, you tweeted:

Heal?

You don’t “heal” from cancer while your tumors are still metastatizing.

Minneapolis’s disease is the long-standing tolerance of lawlessness toward political ends.

Every blocked freeway. Every “Anti”-fa outrage given a faint whisper of a slap on the wrist. Every child of the political class whose arson and looting and thuggery gets ignored. Every “progressive” city that declares itself above Federal immigraiton law. Every time you nudge and wink at progressive thugs – the spoiled, entitled, emotionally brittle, violence-prone, over-schooled / under-educated children of our political class (including, it might seem, the daughter of a certain sitting governor), every time you conflate “First Amendment” with “Room to Destroy”, every time you abandon parts of the city to the mob?

Every time you treat minority votes as your chattel?

Every time you and your party treat minority and immigrant neighborhoods as a place for people to take out their real or ginned-up frustrations with fire and baseball bats?

That’s the disease.

There is no healing until the disease is gone.

There will be no “healing” while cities like Minneapolis are nothing but Jimmy’s First Political Experiment Kit, for the political class to twirl the knobs and yank the levers and try to build a “progressive” utopia, rather than places where people live, work, and expect some level of fiscal and social return on the “investment” that is their taxes.

I’m not going to say “progressivism is the disease”.

But it’s the delivery system for everything Minneapolis needs to “heal” from.

That is all.

Waves Of Schadenfreud

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minneapolis Police Chief tells residents to prepare to be robbed, to hand over cars, wallets and cell phones, to obey criminals. 

Wonder if lack of law enforcement will affect the rape situation around the U of M?  Outstate parents still thinking of sending their daughters to college in Minneapolis might want to reconsider.
Speaking of reconsidering . . . do Minneapolis crime victims have any thoughts on reviving Stand Your Ground legislation?

Joe Doakes

It’s been a little depressing, reading the number of Powderhorn Park residents on some of the neighborhood social media who think that they deserve what they’ve got coming to them.

And when you think about it, they’re right, although not for the reasons they think. They think their “privilege” makes them justifiable targets.

Call it schadenfreud, but I say it’s “60 years of voting DFL as if it’s the only option you have”.

But there are a few that are getting the message.