Schrimpe Auf Dem Grill

A long-time friend of this blog emails:

President Obama specifically said that the Charleston type killings did not happen in other Western countries.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/at-least-two-killed-in-austria-after-man-drives-into-crowd-before-stabbing-passersby-in-graz-10333891.html

Perhaps it was lost in translation because we know he can’t speak Austrian.

Your friend,
[Redacted]

On the one hand, I’m inclined to cut people breaks when it comes to languages – and Austrian does have a different accent, vocabulary and style than German.

On the other hand, there’s no way that the president who went Queen Elizabeth the Blueray collection of Eastenders for a Golden Jubilee present [1] knows that.

I’m pretty sure Obama once told a “Crocodile Dundee” joke when speaking to the Austrian ambassador.

[1] Or whatever it was.

Fake But Inaccurate

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Let’s talk about liars.

Progressives claim they speak Truth to Power to effect Change.  They view themselves as warriors for social justice, all members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, bravely pounding out their messages of hate in the service of a Higher Calling: Hope and Change.  For these courageous soldiers in the war on Everything Traditional, no tactic is too extreme, not even the Fake Review.

Suppose a Non-Progressive author has a new book on Amazon.  Suppose it’s getting great reviews from customers who bought the book and actually read it.  That can’t be allowed to continue . . . innocent readers might believe the high ratings, purchase the book and have their minds polluted with Non-Progressive Thinking.  Plainly, it is the duty of every good SJW to fight those high ratings by posting their own one-star reviews.   That will bring down the average rating to the point where innocents will conclude the book sucks and they won’t buy it, which will not only preserve blank minds to be filled with Progressive indoctrination, but also will hurt the Non-Progressive author’s wallet in the form of lost sales – a two-fer!

We saw that last spring, with the controversy over the River Oasis Cafe in Stillwater posting a “minimum wage fee” on its receipts; Yelp readers from all over the country who couldn’t possibly have ever visited the place left scathing, often disgusting and scatological, reviews on the online restaurant review site.  Dissent must be crushed.

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Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste

Call me a cynic…

chanting_points_200px

…no.  Call Barack Obama a Cynic.

Our Ghoulish President:  The bodies were literally not cold from the Charleston shooting when the President started trying to politicize the incident:

“I’ve had to make statements like this too many times. Communities have had to endure tragedies like this too many times,” he continued. “Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun. … We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”

Tell it to Charlie Hebdo.

Sure it happens in other countries.  A sickening amount of it.  The US doesn’t even top the list on most categories of “rampage killing”. Not even the “religious or hate crimes” category, where the US isn’t even in the top five (Roof is tied for seventh).  And who’da thunk it; car-crazy Americans barely make the top ten in vehicular spree-killings.   [1]

The US is not uniquely violent – indeed, the left’s constant claim that we’re the most violent country in the world is  wishful thinking.  While the rate is a fraction of what it was 20 years ago, it is higher than European countries – whose populations tend to be small, homogenous and very orderly.  Among large, populous, heterogenous industrial states, Russia and Argentina and Brazil, among others, all have much higher murder rates.

The President is not talking fact.

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DFLers: Do Not Bakk Down!

I heard Steve “Spotty” Timmer on the lesser talk station the other day.  He’s leading a “movement” to petition Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk to resign his leadership role.

Now, I periodically refer to regional progressive bloggers as “people who don’t belong under police surveillance.   And how about those Twins?

However, if you are a Minnesota progressive, Timmer is exactly right.  You need to excise Tom Bakk from power forthwith, or all of your “progressive” chatter is just baked wind.

You must rise up and remove Bakk from power by all means necessary.

Accept nothing less than progressive perfection!

Get on this, folks. It’s vital.

Seems Perfectly Legitimate 

One of the state officials responsible for “crafting” Minnesota’s medical marijuana law…

…is taking over at one of Minnesota’s new medical marijuana companies:

A Health Department official charged with overseeing Minnesota’s medical marijuana program has been hired away by one of the state’s new cannabis corporations.

LeafLine Labs, which is growing half the state’s supply of medical marijuana, announced Thursday that it had tapped Assistant Health Commissioner Manny Munson-Regala as its new chief executive.

“I’m thrilled,” LeafLine co-founder Dr. Andrew Bachman said Thursday. “I have incredible respect for Manny and he has helped to motivate and inspire our organization in this journey.”

And doesn’t this response seem just a little… precious to you?:

Munson-Regala, who had been overseeing the rollout of the Office of Medical Cannabis for the better part of the year, said his reaction when LeafLine approached him last Wednesday was a startled, “What?” In the end, he was attracted to the idea of helping to build a fledgling industry that sits “at the intersection of public policy and health.”

And in the clutch almost reads like a journalistic “April fools” joke, state official is quoted as saying Munson-Regal didn’t make any decisions about medical marijuana “in the past week”.

Well, then…

North Korean Trash Collection: Not Just For Bloomington

A longtime friend of this blog from Mac-Groveland notes that the socialized trash racket is sniffing around Saint Paul, too:

Join us for a community conversation on organized trash collection this Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hamline Midway Library (1558 W Minnehaha).

Have you taken the organized trash collection survey yet? We’ll be closing the survey at the end of this week, so be sure to take the survey to be entered to win a $50 gift card to the grocery store of your choice.

If you’re a Saint Paul resident – they’re coming for your trash freedom; they want to institute a system where the City Council picks the winners and losers from among whomever has the most clout with…the City Council.

It’ll give Saint Paul a trash-collection system like they have in Sudan – or, worse, Maplewood and Minneapolis.

Take the survey, Saint Paulites.  This has to stop.

It’s A Start

Bloomington residents turn out against racketized trash hauling (emphasis added):

Some angry residents want to take decisions on trash hauling out of the City Council’s hands. Residents are circulating petitions for both an initiative and a referendum that would allow citizens — rather than their elected officials — to have the final say on the issue.

Hard to say if the bolded parts are a little bit of editorializing by the Strib writer, John Reinan – but either way, it was a great turnout:

Nearly 100 residents testified for more than three hours at a public hearing on trash hauling Monday night. The city is proposing to implement a system of “organized collection.” In essence, the seven private haulers now licensed to do business in the city would carve up the territory and charge a single negotiated rate.

In other words, the city will pick winners and losers, and give everyone – resident and hauler – an “our way or the highway” “choice”.

The part that fascinates me, whenever people get to choose between freedom and socialism, is the rationalizations people choose for socialism:

[Supporters of the racket plan] pointed to the cost savings projected by the city, which add up to more than $8 a month for the average household.

“That will save the average person $103 a year,” said resident Greg Thompson. “Given the choice between choosing the color of the [garbage] bin and the name on the side of the truck, and saving 103 bucks, I choose the 103 bucks.”

You could choose bin colors and names.

Or you could choose prices.  That’s your call, in a free market system.  I, for one, stick with prices and service.

And if you believe that the “city negotiated price” is going to stay the same, once the trash haulers have no reason to compete in Bloomington, and that service will stay the same when the trash haulers have to cut cost corners to maximize profits (which is their job), you’re clearly a Democrat voter.

And you’re in ample company, as the Bloomington City Council is controlled by the DFL.  And it shows:

City residents last week received a mailing from Garbage Haulers for Political Choice, an industry group opposed to organized collection. That didn’t sit well with Council Member Andrew Carlson.

“What concerns me is, [the haulers] are negotiating in good faith — but at the same time, actively engaged with an organization whose purpose is to oppose organized collection. That doesn’t square up well with me,” Carlson said.

Complexity is hard.  If you’re a politician.

A Blast

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama’s decision to ban local police from using IED-resistant vehicles comes just two weeks after he learned ISIS has 71 warriors in-country, ready to target five American cities for terrorist attacks.

 

Another amazing coincidence, no doubt.

 

Joe Doakes

I suspect it is – but it made me think.

Remember when the left assumed Ronald Reagan was a doddering idiot?  There was even a great SNL bit on the subject, back when SNL still did great bits.

Now, we conservatives merely assume that Obama is a blundering idiot, a community organizer in a President costume, over his head like Klamydia Khardashian at an Oxford Union debate.

But what if the whole “Dumb Reagan” scenario has completely flipped?

 

The Problem With Ryan Winkler…

…was, paradoxically, only incidentally about Ryan Winkler.

Our Big Game of Telephone:  From the mid-nineties on, when Michele Bachmann was still organizing the Maple River Education Coalition, before she even ran for the State Senate, the late Karl Bremer was dinging on the future Presidential candidate and conservative lighting rod.

And conservatives, in turn, dinged on the irascible Bremer.  I’m not one to speak ill of the dead – but it’s a simple fact that the guy was prone to using imagination when the facts didn’t give him the story he wanted.   For years, finding and pointing out all the logical and factual holes in his peevish tirades was for conservative bloggers what “mending nets” is for Spanish fishermen.  In short – he was like a blogger, only more so.

But if you ask a left-leaning member of the Minnesota Media “elite”, you got a different story; Bremer was lauded as a hero, treated as one of the club, given the secret handshake.  He won an award from the “Society of Professional Journalists” – something like “best digger of documents”.

It was all, every bit of it, related to Bremer’s nearly two-decade-long mania for “covering” / writing about / stalking Michele Bachmann.  The enemy of the Twin Cities’ media’s enemy is the Twin Cities media’s friend.

And had Bremer turned all of that manic energy on Paul Wellstone or Keith Ellison?  Not a single member of the Twin Cities media would have acknowledged his existence, much less pissed on his grave.

Warm, Fuzzy:  With that in mind, take a good read through Doug Grow’s profile of the retiring Representative Ryan Winkler.

Entitled “Why the Legislature will miss Ryan Winkler”, it’s full of assurances, via Pat Garofalo, that Winkler’s big and rapidly-moving mouth was “all business, nothing personal” – which is a fine thing, and mildly reassuring (although mere nonelected proles who encountered Winkler on Twitter had mixed experiences with the lad)…

…and maybe even true, as far as it goes.

But read the article.

You’ll scan it in vain for any mention of Winkler’s “Uncle Tom” jape.  And that’s fine; people make mistakes; to err is human and to forgive divine, yadda yadda.  If every political “opposition researcher” in the world suddenly broke their femurs and spent six months in traction, and the world could forgive politicians their past oopses, the world would be a happier place, and maybe a  little bit better one too.

That might actually be a wonderful thing.

But as I – and quite a few other people – noted when Winkler announced his retirement, Winkler was only the symptom.  The disease?  The Minnesota Media’s double-standard.

Because if Winkler’d been a Republican, you can bet “Uncle Tom” would have popped up in Grow’s epitaph; it’d be carved large on the media’s collective memory of the guy for all eternity.

Winkler has painstakingly avoided ruling out a return to Minnesota politics.  Five will get you twenty that when he does, “Uncle Thomas” will not rate a single inch of copy.

Anywhere.

“Sharp-Tongued”

Ryan Winkler is leaving the House of Representatives.

Winkler spent nine sessions in the Legislature.  During the last five or six of them, his job, coming from an utterly safe seat in Golden Valley, seemed to be “the DFL’s Costco version of Sidney Blumenthal”; to say and do the things that no DFLer in a contested district – or human with an education and a conscience – would dare to say.

Winkler racked up a long, storied history:

…enough that he seemed to be well on the way to becoming Minnesota’s Joe Biden.

Of course, Paul Thissen said what caucus leaders are supposed to say about their hatchet men:

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he’ll miss Winkler’s “impatience with injustice. He is always willing to take on the tough fights and not back down. He drove the discussion forward about how to make our economy work better for people. His work to raise the minimum wage and improve opportunity for average Minnesotans is a tremendous legacy.”

Um yeah.  When a Minnesotan loses a job to pay for his precious minimum wage hike, we need to say they’ve been “Winklered”.

But this isn’t about my observations.  Look at the adjectives the media uses in describing Winkler’s career; “outspoken” (as in “outspoken advocate on behalf of…” yadda yadda), “sharp-tongued”, “Harvard-Educated”, and the like.

If he’d been a Republican, I’d have looked for adjectives more like “Controversial”, “stridently partisan”, and maybe “gaffe-prone”.   More to the point?  A “sharp-tongued” Republican would be “contibuting to the nasty partisanship” around the Capitol.

But he’s a DFLer in Minnesota.   He was just a character, one that the reporters could always get a cutesy quote from.

Ryan Winkler is the poster child for the Minnesota media’s double standard.

The Madding Horde

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“Doc. No. XXX is stated as being expired, but was not listed on the spread sheet. Please make sure that this is inserted and in the future when you discover a new one please add it to the list. Thanks much.”

Another example of a clerical mind-set employee who knows the procedures, but not the reason for the procedures.

I started the spreadsheet as a way for me to track expired restrictive covenants that kept showing up in conveyances. Most of those documents were recorded by developers in the 1950’s, before suburbs had zoning ordinances, so they afflicted whole subdivisions with crap like “can’t build closer than X feet from the property line” or “building must be at least X square feet” and of course, the ever popular “cannot sell to colored people.” They expired under the 40-year law but must be manually removed each time I see one.

Unless the restrictive covenants reserved easements for utilities or drainage, in which case they can’t be manually removed but instead must be corrected to say “reserves easement.”

I created the spread sheet so I wouldn’t have to read the restrictive covenant document every time; instead, I’d glance at the spread sheet to see which ones had to be carried forward with corrections and which could be omitted.

The document in question is a deed that affected one single platted lot. It did not reserve easements. So I ordered it removed. Now that it’s been removed, it’ll never be a problem in the future. Do we need to list that deed on the spreadsheet? No, of course not. But she has to make a point of sending an email to the whole office reminding us to do it, just to be certain we know that she’s paying attention to every single thing we do, searching for mistakes to correct them, to prove how valuable she is. It’s “quality control,” you see. To enhance “customer service.”

Except it’s not a mistake, I deliberately chose not to clutter up the spread sheet with useless data. The employee knows the procedure but not the reason for the procedure, and therefore confuses the means with the end. Of course, saying so would be mansplaining, a hurtful and sexist thing to do, and elitist because I have a degree as well as ageist since she’s been here 30 years and it’s disrespectful not to respect her opinion, even if wrong.

You wonder why government isn’t fast on its feet – it’s because of all the ankle-biters slowing us down.

Joe Doakes

Government bureaucracy – where people are penalized for being too good at their jobs.

Double Standard

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

White cop shoots Black guy in Madison, prosecutor declines criminal charges against cop, riots ensue. Another gentle giant not doin nuttin, shot by racissss cops.

Well, maybe doing nothing wrong by local community standards, which allow for tearing things up, jumping on cars, beating on people, being doped up, etc. That might be ordinary, normal, accepted behavior in that neighborhood’s culture. But by broader, more civilized standards of law-abiding society, yes, he was doing something wrong, several things. So cops are called, cop strolls in, no big deal, just another moron to talk to like any other day. Suddenly the gentle giant attacks, cop reacts, now the protests and death threats start.

I’m not reflexively pro-cop (that reflex was killed off by the Mike Sauro fiascos). But a big guy doped up and causing trouble is not an innocent victim on the way to church, either. Turning every law enforcement encounter into a racial extravaganza won’t lead to a more peaceful community.

Of course, for some people, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Joe Doakes

AKA “A crisis not to be wasted”.

What A Century Of Democrat Governance Gets You

Chicago’s mountain of debt has been downgraded to “Junk”:

“Whether or not the current statutes that govern Chicago’s pension plans stand, we expect the costs of servicing Chicago’s unfunded liabilities will grow, placing significant strain on the city’s financial operations absent commensurate growth in revenue and/or reductions in other expenditures,” the agency said in a release.

The downgrade affected $8.9 billion of general obligation, sales, and motor fuel tax debt, according to Moody’s.

The firm said its downgrades could trigger up to $2.2 billion in accelerated payments on Chicago debt.

Who knew – trying to run a spending/”service”-heavy regime based on systematically transferring money from producers to consumers (with a healthy gratuity for the political class in between) is no way to run a government?

Some of us did, anyway.

How long ’til Saint Paul, Duluth and Minneapolis follow suit?

Let Them Eat Paper

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Divorce case recently appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, sent back for more fact-finding on this question: were the parties even married? The Court of Appeals’ reasoning infuriates me.

When you fled to Thailand in 1975 to escape the Communists after the Americans abandoned Southeast Asia, and you got “married” to this guy that you met in a refugee camp, did you file a marriage certificate with the Thailand government? No? Well, then, the fact you’ve lived together for 40 years, had six kids together, filed married tax returns and owned real estate in Minnesota is interesting trivia but really, lady, if you can’t be bothered to fill out the proper forms, we have no sympathy for you at all. Shacking up with a guy – even with the tribal elders’ blessing – doesn’t give you the privilege to use the Minnesota divorce court. You can’t get divorced if you were never legally married.

Dude. It’s a refugee camp. There IS no government. And if there were, you’d be a fool to bring attention to yourself. No self-respecting government would issue a marriage certificate without a birth certificate, proof of residency, passport stamps showing legal entry, resident alien visa and payment of appropriate fees to every bureaucrat . . . none of which is possible in a war zone. You couldn’t get “legally” married even if you wanted to. It’s a REFUGEE camp.

Oh, and your husband claims you were already married to another guy when he married you. Well, yes, the guy who stayed behind to cover our escape. No, I don’t have a death certificate but I strongly suspect he was captured by the Pathet Lao so what do you think happened to him? No, I didn’t serve him with a Divorce Summons; there was nobody crazy enough to go back to serve it so I could get divorced while I was struggling to survive IN THE REFUGEE CAMP.

It’s as if these judges lived all their lives in safe, comfortable First World suburbs where the biggest disruption in life is weak Wi-Fi signal; they literally cannot conceive of a place where there are no forms to complete, no pens to complete them, no office to file them in.

Madness.

Joe Doakes

What happened to official Minnesota’s vaunted “cultural sensitivity?”

Who Could Have Predicted?

The economy under wan, feeble socialist Obama has grown at an anemic rate compared to the rates under the healthy, happy free-marketeer Reagan.

Ronald Reagan’s economic plan saw GDP surge at a 3.5% clip – 4.9% after the recession. That’s a 32% bump.

During the Obama years, thanks to his big government policies, the US economy has stalled. Today the quarterly GDP was announced. The GDP for the first quarter of 2015 braked more sharply than expected at only a .2% pace. The US economy has grown an anemic 9.6% during the Obama years (excluding today’s dismal number).

Who woulda thunk it?

Everyone who didnt’ skip Econ 101 to go to a Noam Chomsky speech, that’s who.

No Loose Ends

I got this via email from a long-time friend of this blog and the show, from Highland Park:

A week and a half ago the city told the neighborhood and businesses on the east side of Cleveland and Randolph(Luci, Sportsmans Barbers, and KEA photography) that the city was taking away their street parking and making it bike lanes.

They announced a meeting this Wednesday at Nativity Church to “get neighborhood feedback”. Kinda seems like they have their minds already made up.

Yep.  My thesis; there hasn’t been a “public feedback” meeting in the Twin Cities in thirty years that was actually intended to gather, y’know, feedback from the public.

It’s about “the process”.  The process says you have one or more meetings at some point in the process; you have the meetings, and you move on.

Randolph Ave is already full people that own homes and St Kates students/employees. There is no parking on the west side of the street, and James Ave a block up is a packed residential street. These people are screwed.

Sportsman Barbers has been their for more than 40 years owned by Ray Newton and his son Joe. I am friends with Kristie Anderson of KEA photography and she thinks our way. Her lease was up and she is leaving, but she can give you some great insight on this

I know you are a biker, but the bike lobby is wielding a heavy hand right now in our city. Damn the business community.

This is a good story

You know how lawyers say “never ask a witness a question that you don’t already know the answer to?”

The public analogue is “never ask for feedback when it can still affect the political class’ master plan.

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.

Indeed.

With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.

Our Passive-Aggressive Overlords

The IRS, beset by scandals over the agency’s politicization under Chairman President Obama, slashes its customer-service budget even as it rolls in taxpayer revenue:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts–funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak–but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015–a 76 percent cut.

John Koskinen may be the biggest weasel in all of “public service”.

Revenue Streamski

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Russians hacked the White House, got sensitive Obama data.

I wonder if that “sensitive data” included his college transcript?  Birth certificate before it was Photo-Shopped?  Original manuscript of his book?

The Russians could make a fortune selling the data.  Or being paid NOT to sell it.

Joe Doakes

They could replace all the money they’re not getting from oil.

More Like Guidelines

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

May 1st is Law Day. It was the idea of Charles Rhyne, President of the American Bar Association in 1958. He thought Americans should have a day to reflect on the Rule of Law in the foundation of the country and recognize its importance for society. He chose May 1st specifically because it was the day Communists celebrated their totalitarian rise to power.

The notion that we are a nation of laws, that no public official is above the law, that Congress makes the laws and the President upholds and faithfully executes them . . . are obsolete remnants of racist patriarchal oppression. The Obama Administration honors Law Day only in the breach.

Joe Doakes

Breach is the new Integrity.