A Gratifying Outburst Of Common Sense

The heads of both the Minneapolis and Saint Paul police unions went on the record with their views on gun control…

…and suffice to say, I don’t think either of them will get getting invites to lunch with their cities’ DFL elites.  But their statements were heartening; someone involved in the city’s political class gets it:

“Stricter gun laws are not the solution for officers on the street, or the general public, because the bad guys will find new ways to get those weapons anyhow,” Kroll said.

Kroll said the officers his union represents are frustrated because they are making arrests for illegal guns and gun-related crimes, but the offenders are often back on the street committing the same crime in a matter of months.

This jibes with what I’ve heard; the Cities’ DFL leadership plead away gun charges partly out of convenience, and partly to avoid giving gun rights groups a win to point to.

“We need to put these habitual offenders away for a long time and not give them chance after chance after chance, which just puts officers and the public at risk,” he said.

But we’re not.  As we noted a few years ago.

The whole article is worth a read.

Of Goals And Means

Two incumbent Minneapolis city councilbots, and five challengers with decent chances of winning, said they can see a future without a Minneapolis Police Department:

Asked, “Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?” two incumbents and five serious challengers running for City Council answered “yes.”…Those who did and said they believe “we could ever have a city without police” were Bender, Ninth Ward Council Member Alondra Cano; Phillipe Cunningham, who’s running for council in the Fourth Ward; Jeremiah Ellison, who’s running in the Fifth Ward; Janne Flisrand, who’s running in the Seventh Ward; Ginger Jentzen, who’s running in the Third Ward and Jeremy Schroeder, who’s running in the 11th Ward.

Let’s be clear; even the candidates (mostly) say this is in the realm of imagination, if not fantasy:

“It’s aspirational, but it’s way aspirational,” said Council Member Lisa Bender, who said yes to the question. “We have a very long way to go before we would approach public safety without police.”…”The question wasn’t, ‘Do you promise to eliminate MPD by the end of your first term,’ it was ‘Can you imagine a city without police,’ ” said [long-shot candidate Phillippe] Cunningham, who’s running against Council President Barb Johnson…

Now, let’s be frank; a society without the need for police would be a good thing, from a conservative perspective.  And it can, and has, worked; in the old west, before the idea of “police” had migrated out from places like New York and Boston, communities did in fact police themselves.   Of course, they also governed themselves – without the need for Minneapolis-style city councils and bureaucracies…

…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Here’s the problem; part of it is that it’s a spitballing fantasy.

Part of it is that, being not merely DFLers but DFLers to the left of Betsy Hodges, they’re putting their faith in the wrong institution to bring this utopian vision about:

[Several of the respondents said] they were describing an ideal future in which inequality and racism are eliminated and government policy has solved many of the social problems now handled by police arresting and imprisoning people.

Uh oh.

For starters, government policy is behind most of the social problems facing Minneapolis, especially the North Side; from the warehousing of the poor in places like North Minneapolis, to the inertia of the police reform process, to the artificial hikes in the minimum wage and immigration policies that have made entry level work impossible to get for too many poor youth, most of the problems trace back to City Hall, the State Capitol, or DC.

But here’s a more troubling part:

Prosperity without order is impossible (even if it’s enough “prosperity” to pay taxes to support a leech-like bureaucracy like Minneapolis’s); freedom without prosperity is meaningless.  If you think that’s an idle bromide, look at Detroit, Camden or Stockton.

So something has got to keep order.  Sometimes – like in small towns out west, or in the Old West example above, or in areas where natural disaster has swept away government at least temporarily, that order is kept by the people agreeing on some basic rules to live by, and some simple means to enforce them.

In this day and age, in the big city, it’s a police department, a prosecutor’s office, a judicial system, a corrections system, and a parole and probation system, and the bureaucracies that recruit, train, advise, pay, and take care of all the above after they retire, and the bureaucracies that do the same for those bureaucracies.

What could be worse?

One of the study’s designers answers:

“Police reform doesn’t actually work,” [survey organizer, designer and artist Ashley] Fairbanks said. “We need to radically re-imagine what policing will look like in our community.”

And all those roads seem to lead, according to any of the councilpeople, to policing attitudes, not behavior.  To eliminating badthink.

In other words, they’d get rid of the guys in cars patrolling for speeding tickets, and replace them with thought police.

Bonus Sign of the Apocalypse:  And in this survey, one of the voices of practicality, of feet-on-the-ground common practical sense, of dealing with the “now” rather than fantasizing about the indeterminate future, is…

…Alondra Cano?

Cano said right now she actually wants a greater police presence in the Ninth Ward, which includes several neighborhoods along East Lake Street.

“The solution is not really no cops, but it’s more how do we get rid of homelessness, how do we get rid of commercial sex exploitation, how do we get rid of chemical dependency?” she said. “Then you start alleviating the pressure that a lot of police officers feel to address these very deeply rooted challenges in our community, which they themselves know they’re not going to be able to solve.”

Given Minneapolis’ electorate’s state of mind these days, that might come back to haunt her.

 

 

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part V: You Broke It, Strib. You Fix It.

Last week, I wrote a bunch of pieces on an editorial that appeared in the Strib the weekend before last.

The Strib complained about the growing street crime – in particular about the consequences of some local and higher court rulings that make enforcement against crimes like public intoxication and panhandling harder without specific legislative intervention.  (They also proposed the same impotent diversions on gun control that every DFL metrocrat shill runs to when faced with a wave of violence).

All the problems come back to one thing – a mayor and city council that may or may not be unable to grapple with the issues, but are certainly unwilling to interrupt the consequence-free virtue-signaling – like strong-arming local businesses with minimum wage hikes and sick time benefits, and social justice warrior-mongering – that obsesses so many of them.

Betsy Hodges in “action”. Crime skyrockets – but Target “Raises its minimum wage”.  Of course, technology has led to them cutting thousands of entry-level jobs, already.  Just like we warned you.  More to come. 

And this is the city council that, in large part, the Strib has supported to a fine sheen for the past sixty years.

And the mayor they’ve supported all along as well; I take you back to October, 2013, when the Strib editorial board endorsed Hodges for mayor:

Hodges is aligned with this page on the need for improved transit, including streetcars and enhanced bus service, as a driver of economic development citywide. As mayor, she’d play a key role in deciding the future of the Southwest Corridor light-rail project.

Although the school board operates independently from City Hall, Hodges says that as mayor she would seek to build consensus around the increasingly desperate need to close the city’s achievement gap, and she puts the right emphasis on early childhood development and prenatal health programs with her proposed “Cradle-to-K” cabinet. She’s talked generally about longer school days, more flexibility for administrators in teacher labor agreements, and support for reforms proposed by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson.

Hodges doesn’t promise lower property taxes, but her record suggests she’ll be a strong steward of city resources and taxpayer dollars.

Hodges also promises to be aggressive in using technology to enhance public safety and would seek more accountability in hiring, training and disciplining cops. In a recent meeting with the Editorial Board, she acknowledged that the police union contract makes it too difficult to fire bad cops.

Does any of this – which reflects the express wishes and position of the most influential editorial board / DFL PR firm in the state – sound like what’s actually happened since the voters gave the Strib, yet again, exactly what they wanted?

Own it, Strib.  You got your wishes in the North Loop, as you have throughout the city.  You did your best to break it.  You fix it.

 

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part IV: Never Waste A Crisis

Last week, the Strib put out a breathtakingly obtuse editorial about the wave of crime sweeping the North Loop in Minneapolis – even as crime statewide continues a long-term downward trend.

The Strib’s editorial board blamed court for limiting the cops’ ability to arrest drunk and panhandlers – but, mirabile dictu, not a single word about getting the Mayor and City Council to take time off from virtue-signaling, political posturing, and  building exquisitely expensive monuments to their own wisdom.

But now, it’s time for the scapegoating:

There’s another, more intractable problem that Freeman, Segal, Arradondo and others wrestle with: guns. “We as a society have refused to provide law enforcement with the resources and laws needed to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Freeman said.

Bravo!

Getting guns out of the hands of those who should not have them!   That’s just brilliant!

So the MPD will start focusing on straw buyers, gangs and habitual offenders?

Don’t be silly, fellow peasant; it’s Minneapolis:

Options here are few, especially in light of the strength of the gun lobby.

Let’s make this absolutely clear:  the “Gun Lobby” is the only party to this discussion proposing anything that will actually affect crime; upcharging gun criminals,

Some attempts at municipal restrictions have been struck down. One notable exception is New York City, where carrying a gun requires a special city permit issued by the police commissioner.

And where crime 35 years ago was off the charts – with the same, exact laws they have today.  It was Giuliani and his “stop and frisk” and “broken windows” policies – none of which the government of Minneapolis would ever condone – that actually lowered crime in NYC.   And by the way – have you noticed how crime is trending since DiBlasio reversed Giuliani and Bloomberg’s policies?

Minnesota typically has had strong Second Amendment protections, but it may be time for Minneapolis to explore its own carve-out.

Because of all the carry permittees that are shooting people up in the North Loop?

Because all those north side gang bangers will get permits?

Because holding out bitterly against the rights of the law-abiding citizen has served Chicago so well?

The legislative delegations from Minneapolis and St. Paul, with assists from city leaders, should make their voices heard on resurrecting a gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks for gun sales made at gun shows, privately and online.  These are the same background checks gun shop owners are required to conduct, and a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last year found strong support for such a measure — 82 percent.

Which only proves that 82 percent of the Strib’s remaining film of readers are idiots.   Criminals don’t take background checks.

No.  The responsibility for the carnage on the North Side and in the North Loop lies precisely in the laps of Mayor Hodges and the pack of virtue-signaling, PC fops that amuse themselves playing “government” at City Hall.  It is they that continue the policies that keep the North Side hopeless, keep the Minneapolis PD busy chasing PC trends, and keep the city as a whole ripe pickings for the criminal class.

Perhaps it’s Minneapolis’ idiot political class that should be taking background checks.

See you

Downfall

Betsy Hodges’ campaign?

All is not going well:

Among those who have stepped away from the reelection effort are spokesperson Alida Tieberg and adviser Jim Niland, a former city council member who’s held in deep respect within DFL circles.

The news comes just five months after the resignations of Jorge Contreras, Hodges’ first campaign manager, and organizing director Kyrstin Schuette.

The reasons behind the resignations are described as a perfect storm of sorts, according to sources who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity because the don’t want to ruffle feathers within the DFL.

The City Pages answers to the same DFL chain of command that that “whistleblowers” do.

The mayor’s campaign coffers are said to be running on fumes at around $6,000, according to a source who’d spoken with former staff. Hodges’ most recent disclosure from August showed it had a cash balance of about $58,000. However, it also showed the campaign still owed five vendors roughly $25,000.

The only question I have is “will Minneapolis go even further to the left and vote for Ray Dehn.

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part II: Kotkin Was Right!

A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin.

Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind?   But he’s made himself persona non grata among urban planning wonks by swimming against the current train of thought, which holds that core cities will rise again; the “Creative Class” loves their inner-urban amenities, and the rest will be forced there by Met Council policies.

Kotkin notes that for the past generation, most growth in this country – economic and demographic – is happening in the outer suburbs and exurbs of major and mid-sized cities.  Kotkin also theorizes that cities are rapidly devolving into a demographic donut:

  1. A downtown area full of well-to-do, gentry – businesspeople, technocrats, upper-middle-class empty-nesting retirees, and “the creative class”.
  2. The rest of the city – where the civil service class warehouses the poor.

The progressive political class tries to conceal this by inducing suburbs to increase the amount of “Affordable Housing” – but we’re going astray, here.

Accoridng to the Strib’s editorial last week, it appears that the outer and inner donut rings are getting too close together:

“Downtown has become everything to everybody,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and that’s a problem. Few downtowns, he noted, have two major homeless shelters, along with the myriad social-services and outreach programs that have located downtown over the years.

Five will get you ten that this is followed by a call to move more of these facilities and services to the ‘burbs – so the people in the donut hole don’t have to deal with them.

“That may be something to rethink,” he said.

Huh.

So – for the past sixty years, the DFL has had iron-clad control over Minneapolis.   They created an interventionistic bureaucracy that fed off the welfare state, and created some of the worst income disparitie in the state.

And now they want someone to get the bums out of their perfectly-coiffed hair:

Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.” Because of the court’s decision, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city’s panhandling laws are no longer enforced.

 

Aggressive panhandling is not benign, and it often is committed by individuals with mental-health problems and addictions. There have been reports of panhandlers confronting individuals and demanding money, even chasing them for “donations.” It is possible that more narrowly targeted laws, aimed at harassing behavior or specific locations, such as near ATMs and transit stops, could survive legal scrutiny. Minneapolis officials should undertake a serious effort to craft legally defensible alternatives, rather than leave an apparently unenforceable law on the books.

Or, Minneapolis could continue to shred through low-income jobs like they grow on trees, enforcing unsustainable, job-killing minimum wage laws and making affordable housing a government-controlled racket.

Maybe that’ll work this time.

Tomorrow – Never Never Land,

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part I: “Solve The Problem We Helped Create!”

I’m not saying the Star Tribune’s Editorial Board is full of people that want a dictator to solve all our society’s problem.

am saying that if a dictator ever wanted to take over, they’d’ need society to be full of people like the Strib’s editors to have a chance of succeeding.

They ran an editorial this past week proposing some solutions to the problem of crime, violence and their bedfellows social and economic decay.

And it’s a masterpiece of double-talk, deflection, and putting a crisis to political use.

Home to nearly 6,000 businesses, downtown Minneapolis swells daily as more than 160,000 workers head in to the state’s economic hub. Its landscape is dotted with major businesses, banks, hotels and a massive football stadium.

Yep.  The idea of the hub-and-spoke downtown is alive and well, in a city that pretty much depends on the idea being propagated for eternity.

But unlike a generation ago, downtown is also a growing neighborhood, home to nearly 40,000 residents. By design, they tend to be educated, affluent professionals craving an urban lifestyle that includes the excitement of a nightlife powered by bars, theaters and restaurants along Hennepin Avenue and in the bustling North Loop.

“By design”.

Two very loaded words.

A generation ago, when I moved to the Twin Cities, the North Loop was a blighted area, nearly vacant after dark but for the occasional roughneck bar and strip joint.   Just down the road from North Minneapolis – which was just as big a problem to the city’s reputation then as it is today, although people were a lot less reticent to say so, or why, back then – it shared some of the same pathologies, albeit without a resident population.   I wrote about my encounter with the old North Loop 11 years ago.

Somewhere in the nineties, Minneapolis noticed the small groups of young entrepreneurs that were taking advantage of cheap, blighted property and, with the aid of a flood of federal and state tax money, decided to turn the North Loop into a little Brooklyn;  to replace all that urban grit with a hipster/young child-free-couple-friendly version; let’s call it “Urban Grit-land”, like an urban fantasy version of a Disney subdivision.

Not that the redevelopment of the North Loop was a bad thing.   More stuff going on is better than less stuff going on, all other things being equal.   The Strib, of course, supported the redevelopment – partly, one must imagine, because it increased the paper vallue of their property up on Eight Street North, the paper’s former printing shop and now headquarters, which allowed them to sell their old property down on 4th and Portland for a huge profit.

And let’s not forget – the Strib has always been a relentless supporter of the DFL politicians and policies that have left the neighboring North Side a blighted battlezone.

Of course, what they also did was put a big population of soft, wealthy (and, election results would seem to indicate, very unlikely to resist) targets within reach of a whole lot of urban grit that hasn’t yet been sanded and laquered to a fine patina yet:

But downtown also has a stubbornly rising crime rate that threatens all of the effort and investment in making this area vibrant and attractive. Robberies are up significantly. Homeless encampments are becoming more common. Weekends bring regular reports of shots fired. Complaints about aggressive panhandling are up, and some light-rail transit stations have become trouble spots that draw crowds of young people late at night.

You mean, exactly as we warned them they would?

These are the early warning signs that can signal greater trouble in the future. Spiraling crime can scare off prospective residents and employers. Residents of downtown, unlike those in most neighborhoods, tend to be renters, for whom moving is as easy as not renewing a lease. Businesses, too, can vote with their feet if they or their employees become uncomfortable.

The Strib then goes on to prescribe some “solutions” for the problems that – as we’ll see – they helped create.

We’ll be looking at this for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow:  Kotkin Was Right!

Quiz: Parody, Or Actual News Release

It’s quiz time!

Is the following passage one of my hamfisted parodies of Minnesota “progressives?”  Or an actual bit of “Progressive” content?

Lefse and kale wraps, kombucha tasting with Garrison Keillor and an artisan-crafted hotdish featuring organic, locally sourced tofu are just a few things that could bring people from Minneapolis and Los Angeles together. Are there more? You betcha. Both cities are filled with creative, progressive people who make their communities better and more inclusive for everyone. We have a lot in common.

It’s never been more important for all of us to work together—in cities all over the country. Whether you’re a Minnesotan who immigrated to Los Angeles or a native Angelino who happens to know the Twin Cities as some of coolest places on Earth, I hope you’ll join me for a fundraiser supporting the reelection of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. She’ll be there, along with Mayor Eric Garcetti and David Stone from William Morris Endeavor, who are the co-hosts for this event at the Wilshire Country Club.

Answer:   It’s an actual bit from Betsy Hodges’ website.   So it’s not, technically parody.

Technically.

(Thanks to Swiftee for the tip)

Ray Dehn: “We’ve Got To Destroy Affordable Housing To Save It”

If Ray Dehn is elected Mayor of Minneapolis, he will do for “Affordable Housing” in Minneapolis exactly what sixty years of “progressivism” have done for it in Manhattan and Detroit.  Simultaneously.

Brooklyn in the 1970s, after twenty years of “affordable housing” rules.

He released his “affordable housing” plan this week.    And it promises to send more Minneapolitans racing for the ‘burbs”.

Guesses as to Part 1 of the plan?  Please – Dehn is a “progressive”.  It’s got to be “Redistribute Money!”

Increase funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF): With national- and  state-level funding cuts, the city needs a consistent revenue stream to build more affordable housing. As Mayor, I will propose:

  1. Linkage Fees: A fee paid by developers on residential, office, and industrial space per square foot of built space.
  2. Luxury Housing Tax: An tax levied on luxury condos and rental units.
  3. Housing Bond: A city ballot initiative for a housing bond to substantially increase the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Recently, the cities of Portland and Denver have both voted to approve bonds in the amounts $258 million and $150 million, respectively.

Apartments in NYC in the 1970s. Hey, they were rent-controlled!

So in a city business community that is already terrible for business, Dehn will add a perverse incentive to move development to the ‘burbs, and push condos elsewhere.

And for what?  To ape Portland and Denver – where housing is getting scarcer and less affordable, the more their “progressive” governmetns intervene.

Build affordable housing at every income level: We currently build affordable units at 50% AMI, leaving too many families with nowhere to live in the city. The flight of low-income households to first and second ring suburbs also adds to our transportation crisis, where many remain underserved forced to find new ways to commute to work. By requiring additional units be built at 30% AMI or lower, we can limit displacement.

Thus continuing the city’s policy of warehousing the poor.  On the North Side and Phillips, of course.  Not Kenwood or Minnehaha Parkway or Nicollet Island.  Perish the thought.  That’d be too much limiting of displacement.

Implement innovative tax policies like value-capture financing (VCF): VCF distributes the benefits of neighborhood revitalization fairly among all residents, not just landlords by allowing the city to ‘capture’ a portion of the increase in land value. Any increases in property value will be directed into specific funds to be reinvested into the community to fund and preserve affordable housing

Brilliant!  Let’s gut the incentive to improve real estate!

The bad news? You can’t evict anyone no matter what they do. The good news? Eventually they leave on their own.

What’s Dehn’s slogan?  “Keep the North Side Decrepit?”

  1. End exclusionary zoning and implement equitable zoning practices: Exclusionary zoning is rooted in the legacy of discriminatory practices around housing in our city. It has been utilized as a tool to keep low-income families and POCI out of middle- and upper-class neighborhoods. A solution to increasing density in our city is building more affordable units to foster mixed-income neighborhoods.
    1. Pass an inclusionary zoning ordinance: This incentivizes developers to build a certain percentage of affordable units in market-rate projects. With the housing gap, it is both fair and appropriate to expect new development to contribute to the solution.
    2. Re-zone neighborhood interiors: Encourage the development of mid-size construction in neighborhood interiors. We will need to up zone some single-family homes into duplex and triplexes.

In other words, saddle all development with a requirement to build multi-unit housing, market be damned.

  1. Expand funding for community land trusts: Community land trusts are nonprofit, community-led organizations which purchase land and enter into long-term renewable leases with renters and homeowners. They allow low- and moderate-income people build wealth, and create permanently affordable housing.

Also known as “transferring public money to the city’s DFL political class”.   These “non-profits” are the DFL’s graft machine.

Dehn knows where his bread is buttered, anyway.

  1. Increase funding for limited-equity housing cooperatives: Minneapolis currently has 34 registered housing cooperatives. Limited-equity cooperatives are housing arrangements controlled by the tenants who reside in the building. The resale value of units is limited by the cooperative’s rules to preserve affordability. Currently, the biggest barrier to forming cooperatives is the overhead price. In order to overcome this, we must dedicate funds to assist residents in purchasing a cooperative.

Economics 101:  when you force someone to pay something other than what they would on their own, “unintended” consequences are inevitable.

  1. Implement Tenants’ Right of First Refusal: Requires an owner putting a property on the market to first present the tenant’s with the option to pool their resources and buy the property. The new owners can then either form a cooperative and elect a board of directors, or resell the property on their own timeline.

Yet another bureaucratic hoop to hop through, yet another disincentive to buy, improve and develop rental properties.

  1. Form a Minneapolis Renters’ Commission: Create a commission comprised of housing advocates and low-income renters. This will be an institutional mechanism for renters to advocate on behalf of their own interests, advise the City Council and Mayor on housing policy, and conduct education and outreach to the city’s renters.

More graft, more DFL sinecures.

  1. Oppose preemption on rent control: Currently, the state of Minnesota does not allow cities to enact rent control policies. Fighting to change this policy will benefit residents of Minneapolis.

Rent control nearly extinguished the supply of “affordable housing” in all five boroughs of New York.

  1. Pass a just-cause eviction ordinance: Reduces landlord’s ability to evict residents to certain reasons (e.g failure to pay rent, violating the terms of the lease, etc)

On the one hand, Minneapolis will penalize developers and landlords for improving their property, make it impossible to evict tenants who are destroying or economically dragging the property, and making it harder to sell the damn thing to get the hell out of Minneapolis.

Detroit today. NoMi in 20-30 years under Dehn’s policies. SoMi down to the forties not long after that.

I smell a wave of apartment arson coming up.

  1. Utilize policies to help residents mitigate and erase eviction records: Nearly 50% of renters in the Northside zipcodes 55411 and 55412 have experienced eviction filing in the past three years, further increasing barriers to renting and homeownership.

In other words, make one of the few tools small landlords have completely useless.

  1. Enact inclusionary financing models to make housing more environmentally friendly: A mechanism for low-income renters and owners to participate in energy efficiency and clean energy without upfront cost, a loan from the bank, home ownership, or a credit score.

So – warping the model for lending money to borrowers with dubious credit histories?

When has that ever blown up causing immense misery?

  1. Fight for funding restoration for Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA): The MPHA is currently operating on a $127 million shortfall, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Trump administration is planning to cut the funding for public housing even deeper.

“We want more graft, and we want taxpayers nationwide to pay for it”.

But let’s set aside the graft for a minute.

In the fifties and sixties, New York City implemented policies that were broadly similar – rent control, gains taxes on development, absurdly bureaucratic eviction processes, yadda yadda.

Rent control meant landlords’ income from existing property was strictly limited.  Eviction laws meant that the consequences for skipping rent or trashing property could be delayed for months, sometimes years.  Gains taxes were easily absorbed or loopholed by the wealthy, but catastrophic for the small and mid-sized landlord.

As a result, by the seventies Manhattan was unaffordable to the middle class, while entire square miles of Brookliyn, the Bronx and Queens were full of vacant, burned out buildings that had once been actual, affordable housing before the landlords gave up.   And as NYC’s fortunes turned around under competent Republican leadership, the gans taxes ensured that only the wealthy could afford to build or improve properties in the formerly distressed neighborhoods.

So today, thanks to “affordable housing efforts” over the past three generations, Manhattan and most of the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn across the East River from it are unaffordable to anyone that’s not well into six figures, and the poor have to commute in from the Rockaways and New Jersey.

And the polices that have made Detroit, Oakland, Saint Louis, Camden, Newark, Baltimore, Los Angeles and a slew of other cities simultaneously unaffordable to the poor and overflowing with abandoned buildings?  Substantially the same.

It’s a series of stupid decisions.

You just know Minneapolis will vote for it, don’t you?

The Joneses

“Police Reform” is suddenly the hot ticket in Minneapolis’ mayoral “race”:

State Rep. Ray Dehn has called for police to be “disarmed.”

Mayor Betsy Hodges just ousted her embattled police chief.

Nekima Levy-Pounds is demanding a “paradigm shift” in police culture in Minneapolis.

Police reform is suddenly moving to the forefront of the race for mayor in Minneapolis, propelled there most recently after an officer on July 15 shot and killed an unarmed woman, Justine Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. Candidates for mayor, a job directly responsible for the police department, are scrambling to explain to voters how they will change the Minneapolis Police Department and prevent civilian deaths at the hands of cops.

My two cents:  empty fairy-land gestures, “sending messages” and organization-speak are what they amount to now, and all they’ll ever amount to.   It’s DFL politics.  The message is the medium.

Deep Thoughts From Minneapolis’ Next Mayor

With Betsy Hodges’ administration rolling downhill faster than Creed’s career bell curve, Minneapolis looks likely to swerve hard left.

As hard left as Ray Dehn?  Maybe not – maybe Jacob Frey appears like a sensible moderate in comparison with the other frontrunner in the mayoral race.  Maybe.  This is Minneapolis.

But Dehn’s remarks in the wake of the Noor shooting, the resignation of chief Harteau, and the pandemonium at Hodges’ press conference gives Dehn a yuge platform, at least for now.  And he’s using it – for better or worse:

Crime is not a product of individual morality but the consequence of scarcity in our society. We must divest resources, disarm officers, and dismantle the inherent violence of our criminal justice system which continues to uphold white supremacy. Our approach to public safety must reflect a belief that our communities are safer when they have housing, clean air and water, access to education and employment, and quality healthcare.

“Like if you took away Thurgood Marshall’s bank account, you  think you’d see him selling crack at the Union Station bus terminal?”

– P. J. O’Rourke

Is Minneapolis anywhere close to hitting “Peak Left?”  A moment like the 1977 New York Blackout, prompting New Yorkers to stop the insanity?

I don’t think so.  Minneapolis’s DFL establishment is controlled by people who aren’t affected by the city’s collapse; people in Kenwood, Nicollet Island, Minnehaha Parkway and the like, who can and do remain above it all – or, like Alondra Cano, dabble in “it all” for effect.

Remember all the Democrats who rode Detroit, Camden, Oakland, Newark and New Orleans straight into the ground, bleating about peoples’ “best interests” all the way.

It’s gonna get worse before it gets better, Minneapolis. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

 

Today’s DFL: Never Waste A Crisis

Tragic shooting in South Minneapolis;  woman from Australia killed by cop originally from Somalia.

Steve Cwodzinski – the teachers union foot soldier who “replaced” Dave Hann in the MN Senate seat representing Eden Prairie, follows Rahm Emanuel’s dictum to a fault:

“Two immigrants came to the United States searching for the American dream. One came to heal; the other, to protect. Now due to the fear and violence surrounding firearms, both have realized the American nightmare.”

The mission of today’s DFL:  Deflect the glare from:

  • the problem with police powers, especially qualified immunity
  • an apparent problem with officer training (Minneapolis cops, I’m told, are trained to keep their fingers on the trigger at all times, in and among any number of other issues in the incident)
  • suspicion about affirmative action hiring in police departments
  • the extent to which the mayor and council’s embrace of Black Lives Matter has caused the police to “stand down” – taking action only when they see a felony in progress
  • the social collapse of much of Minneapolis

…by jabbering about “fear and violence surrounding firearms” that were present only in the hands of the cop, whom the DFL would have us believe are the ones who can be “trusted” with that constitutional right.

People of Eden Prairie;  you sent him to Saint Paul.  Take him back.

Dhim And Dhimmer

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is pumping gas at the corner Superamerica when Polly LITTELL – proprietor of the Facebook page “Makeng Minnessota GRAET AGEN” page, pulls up to the next pump. 

LITTELL:  Merg!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Pollly.  (Eyes the meter on the pump, shakes the handle in a futile effort to get it to pump faster).

LITTELL:  So a MUSLIN cop, Mohammed NOOR, murdered a white woman in South MInneapolis!   It’s terrorism!

BERG:  Er, OK – why do you say that?

LITTELL:  Because it’s in the Koran that THEY are supposed TO attack us when THEY CAN.

BERG:  OK, Polly.  So it was terrorism.

LITTELL:  Yes.  Just like they are told to do IN THE Koran.

BERG:  So this “act of terrorism” involved shooting one woman.  Not his partner.  Not every other bystander, and every cop that responded.  And then, surrendering and apparently following the standard post-shooting process that a non-Muslim, non-terrorist cop would follow.

LITTELL:   Why do you hate America?

BERG:  Naturally

(And SCENE)

The Slip That Reveals

After a 14 hour convention that descended at one point into fisticuffs, the Minneapolis City DFL Convention reached no endorsement – but  Ray “The Kommissar” Dehn had a lead in the delegate count for mayor.

Further proof that the Minneapolis DFL is pushing too far left even for Betsy Hodges?  Sure.

But it’s the ephemera that tell us how far to the left.  This was one of Dehn’s congrats on Twitter:

“Comrade”.

This is Minneapolis today.

 

I Don’t Think That Word Means What They Think It Means

Former ineffective DFL legislator Katie Knuth has been hired as the City of Minneapolis’ “Chief Resilience Officer“.

When I think “resilience”, I think “bouncing back from crises”, “being able to sustain a major human or natural disaster and keep functioning”, or “take a licking and keep on ticking”.

Well, no.  It’s described as:

…a new position that coordinates the city’s work on urban challenges from housing affordability to climate change.

Kate Knuth will join a network that includes dozens of chief resilience officers around the world, in cities that have joined the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project.

Knuth, 36, previously served three terms in the state House as a DFLer representing New Brighton before leading the Institute on the Environment’s Boreas Leadership Program at the University of Minnesota. The City Council approved her hiring on Friday.

Put another way, it’s “providing a paycheck to people who are part of the political class”.

They take care of their own.

Brand New Bag Ban

A friend of mine wrote this on social media earlier this week, in re the City of Minneapolis’ proposed plasstic bag ban.

I know this is asking a lot, but I would like environmental activists to think more than one step in front of their faces. Case in point: The City of Minneapolis wants to ban the use of plastic bags in grocery stores (fortunately, the state legislature ended that, but please keep reading). Consumers would have to pay to take their groceries home in a plastic bag. At the same time, a Minneapolis sanitation ordinance says pet waste must be double bagged — in plastic!

So, we’ve taken in 2 cats who needed a loving home. And when we scoop their poop, we’re supposed to put it in a plastic bag that goes into another plastic bag before it goes into the garbage for collection by the city. But instead of re-using the plastic bags we get for free (just by virtue of buying groceries), we’re supposed to pay for the manufacture of “designated” plastic bags for pet waste? The sheer number of people who walk their dogs in the neighborhoods and city parks who are “required by city Ordinance” to pick up and dispose of their pet waste in plastic bags” is staggering.

Are you freaking kidding me??? Are you pet/environmentally friendly or not? And if you think pets are good for low-income and elderly residents who benefit from the companionship, you are penalizing them for the benefit you champion. Look past your nose!!!

We’re lucky enough that the City Limit is less than 5 minutes by car from our house. We can drive outside of Minneapolis to a suburb to shop where we are not penalized for using plastic bags.

The people further inside the city, without vehicles, are the ones being harmed by this environmental activist masturbation.

What’s that old definition of totalitarian?  Everything that isn’t mandatory is banned?

PS: She also notes that while walking around one of Minneapolis’ lakes, they noticed a lot of garbage lying about.   I know – Minneapolis has Socialist trash collection, how can that be, right?   And so they took time out from their walking to bring gloves and (presumably) plastic, legal bags for picking it up.

Might need a lawyer to do that in Minneapolis, these days.

Vital Questions – Answered

From the email:

Mitch

I see that the Minneapolis park board has changed the name of Lake Calhoun to “Lake Bde Maka Ska”.

How in the flaming hootie-hoo is that pronounced?

Sincerely,

Woe-Begone

Ms. Begone:

“Bde Maka Ska” is pronounced “Betsy Hodges Slop”.

Glad to help.

That is all.

Now That All Of Minneapolis’ Problems Are Solved

The city of Minneapolis is going to vote on whether to change the name of Lake Calhoun – currently named after John Calhoun, an ardent supporter of slavery.Among their top choices of new names:

10.  Lake Quetzl-Jambo-Wang-Tse (a perfectly-engineered word incorporatiing all indigenous traditions except English).

9.  Lake Julia

8.  Lake Grievance

7.  Collective Lake

6.  Lake Debs

5. Lake Marx

4. Lake Wobegone

3. Lake Castro

2. Gus Hall Lake

1. Lake Guevara

Votes in the comment section.

Rebooted Morality!

Remember when questioning the provenance of immigrant voters was a baaaad thing?

Either does Alondra “The Brain” Cano, the “third world feminist” and Minneapolis City Council ward heeler:

Minneapolis City Council candidate Mohamed Farah is accusing Council Member Alondra Cano of “Jim Crow tactics” after she questioned the credentials of many of the Somali-American delegates chosen in the Ninth Ward caucus earlier this month.

Cano’s campaign filed challenges with the Minneapolis DFL saying 101 delegates elected in the near south Minneapolis caucus did not sign in to participate in the April 4 event at South High School. At least 27 delegates and alternates did not write down their addresses when they registered, Cano’s campaign said, and “we have identified at least three delegates who do not live in the precinct they were elected in.”

I love watching tyrants eating each other.

Only Complete Subjugation Will Do

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This nation is doomed.

Betsy Hodges Is Number Two

Betsy Hodges is the second-worst mayor in America, according to Observer:

She has taken a weak stance on crime that appears to be based as much on wishful thinking as it is on strategy and tactics. While violent crime in the city continues to climb, Hodges has actually braggedabout making fewer arrests. Her mishandling of the Jamar Clark protests, which led to an 18-day stand-off between police and protestors in North Minneapolis, led the US Department of Justice to conclude that “…the apparent strained relationship between Mayor Hodges and [Police] Chief Harteau, and the mayor’s unfamiliarity with the implications of the terminology she used when in charge, likely contributed to the inconsistent direction given to MPD personnel and the resulting frustration among officers over poor communication and inconsistent, uncoordinated leadership.”

Hodges missteps aren’t limited to issues of public safety and community relations. She has been the point-person on several expensive, never-ending, and unimaginative urban reconstruction projects that have disrupted small businesses and local transportation. Gross mismanagement of public works (a simple downtown pedestrian mall “makeover” under Hodge’s stewardship has taken longer to complete than the new state-of-the-art home of the Minnesota Vikings) has been a hallmark of her mayoralty. And when a group of Minnesota businessman got the green light for a Major League Soccer expansion team, Hodges wouldn’t even meet with the new owners to discuss a stadium; they went next door to St. Paul where Mayor Chris Coleman welcomed them and their revenue base with open arms.

As awful as she is, I’m not sure she’s worse than Rahm Emanuel.

Doesn’t matter; she’s got velocity.  She’ll be angling to hold the title free and clear next year.