Accountability

The Senate GOP – the only real bit of power the opposition has in Minnesota – is finally going to ask the question that it seems nearly nobody in our media will.

Why didi the DFL politiclal “chain of command”, from Mayors Carter and McDreamy up through Governor Klink, allow two of the Twin Cities poor, blighted but slowly recovering neighborhoods to get torched, looted and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition?

Republicans specifically want to know the details of what led Minneapolis police to abandon the Third Precinct police station. Additionally, they want to know why the National Guard was not a visible presence on the ground in Minneapolis until the weekend, four days after the violence started.

At the press conference, Gazelka did not directly answer a question about whether there will be subpoenas issued for the hearings, but a top aide clarified that the Senate Judiciary Committee does have subpoena power, and they will be involved in these hearings.

Democratic senators will be part of these hearings as well. It sets up for what is likely to be a spectacle at the Capitol, with Republican Senators, most of whom are from greater Minnesota, grilling top state and even city officials over the basic question of what happened.

The DFL’s evasion controls are set to “emergency”:

Susan Kent, the DFL Senate leader, responded to Republican plan to hold hearings, saying that Republicans should be just as focused on criminal justice reform as they are on the destruction of property. She noted that these hearing come after a recent special session, where no police reform proposals were agreed upon, during which the Senate held a single, informational hearing for criminal justice reform.

“It is deeply discouraging and troubling to see Senate Republicans prioritize hearings that completely fail to address racial disparities within our criminal justice system,” she said, adding: Minnesotans statewide are asking us to do our jobs and take meaningful action. The one informational hearing they held on weak proposals doesn’t cut it. It is now abundantly clear they were never really interested in passing critical legislation.”

And I’ll agree with the suburban doyenne Sen. Kent, at least halfway; we should examine the “racial disparity”.

Why is it always the black neighborhoods that the hordes of white “anarchists” and “anti”-fa and other members of the DFL’s direct action force flock to to burn and loot?

Compare And Contrast

In watching yesterday’s kerfuffle about the couple in suburban Saint Louis who strapped up – to a horde of catcalls about their deeply flawed gun handling – against a bunch of “peaceful” protesters who’d just smashed their community’s gate – I can’t help but recall four scan weeks ago…

…when armed Americans were briefly all the rage, if a confused sort of rage, to our cultural betters…

…provided it’s the right people with the guns.

Take Your Pick

The left, last week: “People don’t need the police! People can defend their own communities!”

The left, this week after people defended their own community:

“Chilling”. The “protesters” were encroaching on private property after forcibly breaking down a gate. The implied threat could miss nobody who isn’t already insulated by Urban Progressive Privilege.

The only “chilling” part of this episode is the atrocious firearm-safety the couple are exhibiting; fingers on triggers, sweeping each other and people who aren’t immediate threats. Get some training, people.

And it’s instructive to note how “chilling” it wasn’t to the mainstream media last month, when stories about black neighborhoods and business owners strapping up to deter looters met with…uncomfortable acquiescence.

Let Them Eat Committee Minutes!

Minneapolis voted last week to change its police force into…

…well, something.

And if that makes you nervous, don’t worry – accountability for the results of this sweeping change is going to be split 14 ways. Because we all know the stories of successful enterprises in the worlds of politics, business and ideas that’ve had 14 co-equal chief executives.

What it does mean, so far, is a transfer of power from the mayor to the City Council, a transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the myriad “community” groups and non-profits that will be part of the system – a system that feeds money, influence and people to the DFL…

…and a transfer of accountability for public safety from a police chief and a mayor (both of whom flunked the test terribly this past month) to…well, leave a message and someone will get back to you.

But hey – if you’re really worried about your safety, there are other options…

provided you’re part of the class that actually matters

A Little Bit Country

I left North Dakota for a lot of good reasons. Pretty much everything I wanted in life, especially back when only Al Gore had the Internet, was in a major metropolitan area; a place to try to be a songwriter, a musician, a writer, or something just different than I could be back in one of the most rural states in the US.

And that judgment was largely right, then and now. I found opportunity in the big city that would have eluded me back in the rural west, then and, let’s be honest, now. I’d have never fallen out of college into a major market talk radio job; I’d have never tripped into either of the careers I’ve had since then; nothing that is my life today had I stayed in North Dakota, other than faith and family – and my family is mostly here, too.

And for better or worse, that’s the way it’s going to be for at least the next five years. I was working remotely – at least for a while – before it was cool; from 2015 through most of 2017 I worked from home. And it was great. But when the jobs ended – and they did – the immutable fact is, being where the work was, having a network and a presence and a reputation among a critical-enough mass of people in the industry to find the next job was pretty much non-negotiable.

So the ties that bind me to the big city are emotional, financial and personal.

Oh, yeah – and I’m stubborn. I may eventually walk away from the city, to someplace in Minnesota with a functional two-party system, or across the river to solid, competent, red Northwest Wisconsin. But I’ll do it on my own time. I won’t run away from the mob, either on the street or in city hall. Not if I can help it.

So I’ve got my reasons for being here, and I’m fine with that.

Still, I brought a little bit of my home here. North Dakotans are famously stoic, and calmly but ruthlessly pragmatic – and it shows in the way the state governs itself. And, to be honest, it did, mostly, even when the state’s governor and its congressional delegation were longtime Democrats – although the likes of George Skinner and Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad would look like Barry Goldwater in the modern Democratic Party; Collin Peterson is as close as you’ll find in the wild today. And I compare the public life of my “new” home of 30-odd years to my old one, and find it grossly wanting. Perhaps the lower population density means that there’s noplace to escape the wrath of an angry populace; perhaps the more modest budget for a permanent political and non-profit class means that politicians of all stripes need to mind their manners, since they are unlikely to wind up in permanent political sinecures. More than a few former governors in the Dakotas and Montana went back into private legal practice after leaving office; perhaps knowing they were going to be back on Main Street one day tempers behavior in a way that looking forward to a “teaching” job at the Humphrey Center and a cushy and largely ceremonial “job” at a law firm or non-profit doesn’t. And I suspect it’ll take a genuine catastrophe – not the twin, training-wheels problems, Covid and the Floyd Riots – to strip away enough of the surplus wealth that enables rot-enabling dross like our non-profit/industrial complex and academic complexes to thrive. And that’s a level of catastrophe that will make Governor Walz’s original models look pollyannaish – a serious epidemic, like aerosol Ebola or a reawakened Bubonic Plague; rioting with guns instead of spray paint.

And let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

I’ve got a fair number of people in my metro social circle who are making active noises about moving to the rural west. South Dakota is a current favorite – Governor Noem has distinguished herself in leading SoDak through the Covid crisis to the point where there’s talk of her being, unthinkably, a national contender. (In a just world, Governor Burgum of North Dakota would be a legitimate contender as well – but being a billionaire and by all indications pretty dang happy where he’s at, he’d have no reason to want to). I ask, mostly in fun, “you have two Dakotas to choose from, and you pick that one?”, but I get it…

…mostly.

My next question is absolutely serious: “Go to South Dakota…and do what?” If you’ve got a career that’s genuinely portable and can exist anywhere – or no career at all, and able to start over from rock bottom – then that makes sense. If you earn your living via the many, many parts of the economy that only occur in metro areas larger than 250,000 (and Fargo makes the cut, more or less, batting well above its weight economically – but it’s also developed its own class of “progressive” useless mouths, and along with Grand Forks the state’s only real collection of institutional Democrats), you may be looking long and hard to find a way to make ends meet. And if you’re counting on your remote job to carry you through – check those connections, both on the Internet and on your LinkedIn. You’d best have a very high profile in your industry to be able to find your next job from your den in Aberdeen.

Still, for all the Metro governments have poured into the bogus, politically-correct, perverted-to-the-point-of-Orwellian definition of “resiliency”, Victor Davis Hanson reminds us in his meditations on Æsop’s fable of the City Mouse and Country Mouse that life in the more rural areas offers the real thing – the ability to provide one’s own “safety net” far more resilient than that of even a well-intentioned social one, a genuine community.

And there are times that sounds attractive.

Two Minnesotas

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We don’t like the statue of Columbus on the Capitol Grounds.

We tried to get it removed through official channels.

We lost.

We announced we were going to tear it down ourselves.

We heard the Governor tell us not to, that the police would stop us.

We didn’t care.

We tore it down ourselves.

We weren’t stopped.

We weren’t arrested.

We weren’t charged.

We weren’t even scolded.

We are heroes, taking back the lands our ancestors sold a century ago.

We’re coming for your house, next.

Joe Doakes

Some animals are more equal than others.

Too Far

The stupidity of the mob that is seizing headlines and rewriting/erasing history is on daily display.

But now, they’ve gone far, far beyond too far:

It’s a statue of legendary confederate general, slave trader and blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Wait – he was never a confederate general, never owned a slave, and was born nearly 100 years after the Civil War.Indeed, Vaughan was something of a center-lefty during his way too short life.

So of course the mob is vandalizing his statue.

Blue Fragility, Part VIII: Unequal Risk

If you remember the 1980s, you might recall the early years of the AIDS epidemic. While it was clear fairly early on that the disease particularly targeted gay men and IV drug users (leading to the overnight extinction of what had been a fairly thriving “bathhouse” scene in Minneapolis), government health authorities kept hammering on the line that “anyone could catch it” and “nobody was immune”.

Which was, literally, epidemiologically the truth. Cases of children and suburban housewives coming down with AIDS got wide play in the media, to prove the point.

But eventually the world figured out AIDS was a blood-borne pathogen, spread by behaviors that transferred contaminated blood between people; sharing needles, inadvertent exposure to infected peoples’ blood, and various intimate practices that had a tendency to tear skin.

And so people learned. ER staff masked and goggled and gloved up. Condoms became mainstream. Cities gave out free needles – aggravating to law-and-order types, but it did help slash the infection rate.

Unsaid but unmistakeable? While anyone could get it, the odds moved greatly, almost completely, in one’s favor with a few minor behavioral and prophylactic practices.


So I was in North Dakota over the weekend, taking care of some family business.Here’s a county by county breakdown of the Covid situation in North Dakota as of this past Friday.as of this past Thursday.

Big Left tells us, in a tone usually reserved for devotional prayers and aspirational mantras, that Red America is going to get it. Covid is going to ravage the square states, they say, like a revival preacher winding stems on the Old Testament lesson. “We’re all in this together”, after all.

So let’s take a look at North Dakota’s numbers:

The red circles with white numbers are death counts.

Of the states 74 total Covid deaths as of last Thursday, 62 of them were in Cass County – which is Fargo. Four more were in Grand Forks County.

And, significantly, the counties containing North Dakota’s four Indian reservations – which, conventional wisdom here in the Twin Cities tells us, are the most vulnerable populations in the entire state outside of nursing homes – account for a grand total of six cases, and no deaths.

It’s not lack of testing, in this reddest of states; as of last week, North Dakota has the third highest test per million rate in the country, triple that in Minnesota.

Maybe it’s time to just cut the crap and admit that Covid – and most diseases that spread via aerosol transmission – are particularly transmissible by people breathing the same air, jammed into close quarters for extended times?

Nursing homes, of course – but also bars and restaurants, mass transit, open-plan offices, and other artifacts of high-density urban life?

That’d scotch the attractiveness of any “high density” social investments (the ones that aren’t already plummeting in the wake of this month’s rioting), of course…

…which would jeopardize the gravy train for a lot of transit consultants, urban nonprofiteers, insect farmers, public union employees and other big-state hangers-on.

On The One Hand…

I’m rooting for the guy in this video who, attacked by small mob of “Anti”-Fa sympathizers in Albuquerque, including one who tried to beat him over the head with a skateboard, came up shooting:

Another video shows the man certainly tried to retreat:

So let’s go over the elements of a self-defense case (as best I know them, not being a lawyer or especially familiar with New Mexico law):

There was an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm – He was hit on the head with a skateboard, and the thugs – or as NPR refers to them, “protesters” – were shouting “Kill Him”. I call that a reasonable threat.

Reasonable Effort to Retreat – Looks like the man made more than a reasonable effort.

Used only the force needed to end the threat – And how. That pack of bullies turned into a bunch of sheep faster than Tim Walz discovering a new regulation.

Can’t be the aggressor – Might be the problem. According to the NPR story:

As protesters surrounding the statue chanted “Tear it down!” and one of them swung a pickax at the statue’s base in an effort to bring it down, a confrontation erupted between the demonstrators and a group of armed men.

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence,” Police Chief Michael Geier was quoted in a department tweet as saying. “If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution.”

The inevitable “white supremacist” allegations are flying around. Of course, even people with unfashionable, even reprehensible, views have the right to self-defense. Berg’s 18th Law is in effect here.

Still and all, maybe some of these morons will realize that the next woman six or seven of them gang up on might be able to do the same. And society might just get a little more polite.

I’ll be following developments in this case.

Must Be The “White Supremacist” They’ve Been Looking For

22 year old Dylan Robinson was arrested earlier this week in Breckenridge, Colorado, on suspicion of torching the Third Precinct.

Well, with a name like “Dylan”, he’s certainly not immigrant or black.

But what about “White Supremacist”? Is he one of the crowd that the Governor and both Mayors blamed for all the violence and destructrion, as well as all that leftist graffiti all over town?

Let’s check and see:

Nope. While you can’t judge a book by its cover, I’ll bet a shiny new quarter he’s either with, or likes to pretend he’s with, “Anti”-Fa.

I bet another shiny new quarter that the Henco Attorney’s case gets quietly gundecked, and Robinson ends up skating, since – another quarter here – he’ll be connected with some Democrat poobah or another.

Any takers?

Know Your Council

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Two St. Paul City Council members want to completely abolish the St. Paul Police Department.

Nelsie Yang, representing Ward 6 (NE St. Paul, Phalen area) and Mitra Jalali representing Ward 4 (NW St. Paul, Hamline-Midway, Merriam Park, Saint Anthony Park, and parts of Mac-Groveland  and Como).

I wonder if they plan to replace the cops with armed citizens forming vigilance committees to dispense street justice? 

Joe Doakes

Jalali – who seems to have dropped the “-Nelson” from her last name just in time for prime ethnic virtue-signaling season – has been particularly Canoesque.

Ripped From The Headlines Of Pure Fiction. Honest.

SCENE: Debate hall at the University of Minnesota. Mitch BERG is getting ready for a debate with Stacey HINTON. HINTON – a white woman from Edina – is president of the group “Keep All Racists Equally Nonplussed”, a social justice group without portfolio. The moderator takes the stage, as a small audience rustles in its seats.

MODERATOR: Mr. Berg, Ms. Hinton, you know the rules (both nod ). Let’s get started. What do you advocate doing about the Covid virus.

BERG: Look, I think the only things that have worked are first, protecting the vulnerable – certainly more effectively than we do here in Minnesota – then isolate the infected, and re-open the economy for everyone else.

MODERATOR: Ms. Hinton?

HINTON: You’re white.

BERG: Well, yeah, I am.

HINTON: So that’s your privilege talking.

BERG: What does “privilege” have to do with observing that the places with the best combination of public health and medical performance all did exactly that?

HINTON: Check your privilege.

MODERATOR: OK. On to the next topic. Whither Minneapolis? We’ll start with you, Ms. Hinton.

HINTON: The rioting was a bunch of white boys running around vandalizing neighborhoods of color.

BERG: Well, there certainly were “white boys” and girls doing the rioting. The implied message is “white supremacist” boys and girls. If so, they were pretty ingenious “white supremacists”, coating entire neighborhoods with graffiti associated with the left.

HINTON: Spoken like a white boy.

BERG: What does that even mean?

MODERATOR: Let’s move along. What do we do about reforming law enforcement? Mr. Berg.

BERG: Get serious about reforming qualified immunity. It is used to excuse a lot of horrific abuses, not just by the police, but by every other variety of public employee. It basically turns public employees into a higher legal caste. This doesn’t bode well for self-government.

HINTON: Something a white guy would say.

BERG: Ma’am? Do you have any thing to add other than my ethnic background?

HINTON: Yes.

BERG: Let’s hear it.

HINTON: It’s true of all white guys.

MODERATOR: Let’s move along. Ms. Hinton – what do we need to do about race relations in this country?

HINTON: White people need to listen to black peoples’ stories, and check their privilege.

BERG: Huh. All due respect, ma’am, but that’s the kind of meaningless word salad that people like you – “progressives” who are, if I may say so, a lot whiter than I am use to try to diffuse their own white liberal guilt.

HINTON: Again, that’s your privilege talking, white boy.

BERG: To the extent I have “privilege”, it’s because I was born in a functional two-parent household, with parents who stayed together until I was an adult, taught me a work ethic, and made sure I stayed in high school. And that kind of privilege is not an exclusive club – in fact, like freedom, the more of this “privilege” society has, the more there is to go around.

But let’s cut the crap. The concept of “white privilege” was, from its origins, a way for wealthy white progressive academics to try to expiate their guilt about the privileges their class gave them. To insulate themselves from gnawing class guilt while preserving that holier-than-thou feeling that white progressivism feeds on, they created and adopted the preposterous concept that being white meant a hot tar roofer from Arkansas has “privileges” that Oprah and Jay-Z don’t, while giving the likes of Mark Dayton and Mark Zuckerberg a moral pass, like indulgences sold by “church” that never forgives and offers no salvation.

MODERATOR: Ms. Hinton?

HINTON: Whitey white white white white white. White white white.

MODERATOR: Thank you all for coming out to today’s debate!

False Equivalence

SCENE: Mitch BERG is looking for almond flour at a Cub Foods, when Cat SCAT, designated “fact checker” at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“, and the office manager at a small phrenology practice, glomphs up from behind.

SCAT: Hah hah, Merg! People are removing racist statues from the Capitol grounds! That’s gotta make all you fat angry old white men wet your pants with rage!

BERG: (Beholding the red-faced, utterly Caucusoid and, shall we say “zaftig” SCAT, and silently contemplating and then thinking better of commenting). Yeah, it’s the mob showing the rest of the world that they don’t have to play by the rules.

SCAT: It’s no different than the fall of the Berlin Wall!

BERG: The…Berlin…Wall?

SCAT: Haha! Yes! Take that!

BERG: OK, let’s compare and contrast.

Columbus: Problematic but incidental figure, who wasn’t even the first European to come to North America – that was the Norwegians, five hundred years earlier – and who has had no affect other than symbolism on anyone in centuries, the un-personing of whom from history should be a cause for a critical discussion.

With me so far?

SCAT: Yeah! Evil white man!

BERG: Riiight. OK – the Berlin Wall: Not just a symbol of the contemporary division of Germany and the current subjugation of tens of millions of people to the bloodiest regime in history, but an actual current militarized barrier along which seventeen people had been murdered in the decade, and three in the year, before it was destroyed. The demolition of which was subject discussed thoroughly but quickly in the immediate aftermath of people on both sides of the wall deciding to jettison the Communism that had reigned in the East (the government that many of the statue-yankers are shilling for, interestingly enough), and, other than the massive “vandalism” of the wall after the Bornholmerstraße incident and the collapse of the DDR (which was one of the great images of my lifetime, but remarkably ineffective, leaving as it did a, well, wall through the middle of Berlin), was dealt via due process leading to its orderly and deliberate demolition, with remarkable worldwide unanimity, mourned by nobody that didn’t have hands still dripping with fresh blood.
Other than that? Same/same!

SCAT: So what about the alt-right taking over those six blocks in Seattle, and turning it into a slave plantation?

BERG: It’s “Anti”-Fa, and they turned it into an “Occupy” camp, only mixing in extortion with the rape and filth, and you’re changing the subject as well as lying about the substance of both subjects…

(But SCAT has already wandered away)

And SCENE

Not Ready For Prime Time

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Looking at the SF article on armed citizens again – 

“As the car fills with the acrid scent of burning chemicals, Ellison tells his friend in the driver’s seat to pull over. Before they come to a stop, Ellison, 30, flings open the door and jumps out with a pistol in one hand and a small fire extinguisher in the other. He walks briskly down the street, scanning the block for the origin of the fumes.”

Even assuming he has a permit to carry, that’s “brandishing,” and it’s a crime.  What are you doing waving a gun around, one-handed?  What’s your target?  Where’s the imminent danger?  Why is that damned thing out of the holster???

His father’s the attorney general. That’s his legal justification, peasant.


“At one checkpoint, a young man nervously looked down the street as a car approached, his finger on the trigger of a semiautomatic rifle half-raised in front of him.”
Get Your Booger Hook Off The Bang Switch!!  What the hell is wrong with you?  Have you no firearms safety training at all? 

The author is PRAISING these idiots for running around the streets with loaded guns and no idea how to use them safely.

Every time a new group gets frightened enough to run out to buy guns – women, gays, trans – I make the same offer:  I will teach you how to use it, safely, for free.  Time to step up my game.  Whole lotta people desperately need help before somebody gets hurt from sheer stupidity.

Joe Doakes

There are a whole lot of people who’ve come over to the 2nd Amendment side this past few months. There are a lot of opportunities for us to show them how it’s done.

Although I’m not sure Jeremiah Ellison is going to be one of the ones who learns much.

Cultural Appropriation For Ye, But Not For We

This was the House Democratic leadership, doing their (nothing but) symbolic photo-op before the George Floyd funeral:

They’re wearing “Kente” cloths – apparently Ghanaian in this case, but there are similar adornments all through Africa. They have cultural significance.

And to Pelosi and her little claque, they are nothing but costumes.

Some actual Africans were not amused at the virtue-accessorizing:

But remember – don’t go eating burritos, honky.

Urban Progressive Privilege: when making the right progressive-y noises is enough, at least within your social circle.

Transcripts From Minneapolis City Council Meeting, 2024, Brought To You Today Courtesy Of The City Of Chicago

The Daily Caller published transcripts from the Chicago City Council’s “meltdown” during the riots.

And it’s not pretty. It’s the sound of modern “progressive” urban government getting its ass smacked by reality.

A couple of the excerpts are of particular interest (emphasis added by me):

“A war zone.”
Lopez said his district had turned into a “war zone” as gang members were taking neighborhood security into their own hands. “It’s just like a war zone right now … The gang members are now getting involved, walking around with AK-47s, threatening to shoot, I hate to say it, black people,” Lopez said, whose district, the 15th Ward, has a large Hispanic population. Lopez previously said in a May 31 tweet that members of the Latin Saints gang were “engaging and chasing looters” in his ward.

Huh.

So – gang bangers in a city with rigid, comprehensive gun control, have “AK47s”?

Weird.

“There aren’t enough cops.”

“Right now and I’m sure I echo what everybody else has said, there aren’t enough cops. We’re getting overwhelmed in this thing,” Burke said on the call. The mayor agreed. “It’s hard to fathom that we have 13,404 [officers], the highest headcount that we’ve had in probably a decade, and given the volume of looting, it feels like we’re a tiny police force,” Lightfoot said.

Private citizens, they’re going to become vigilantes, they’re going to protect themselves, because the police aren’t reachable, there’s not enough men or women to respond when the call is made but the call doesn’t get answered,” Burke added.

Wait – you mean if government doesn’t do one if its few legitimate jobs – preserving order – then people will do it themselves?

When Government Imitates “The Onion”, The People Will Imitate “Babylon Bee”

North Carolina speedway declares its stock car race a “peaceful protest”:

A North Carolina speedway drew a crowd of more than 2,000 spectators in defiance of the state’s coronavirus restrictions after declaring the race a “protest.”

The governor’s office had warned Ace Speedway in Elon earlier this week that a crowd of more than 25 would violate the state’s Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions.

But news outletsreport that more than 2,000 attended a race Saturday night. A sign from management outside the speedway said, “This Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere.”

That might be what I need to do to have that NARN Tenth Anniversary party.

Open Question For “The Party Of Science”

To: Governor Walz and the Minnesota DFL
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant who passed College Biology
Re: Help me underdstand this

Governor Walz

So let me get this straight. According to you;

Covid19 is a lethal epidemic.

Attending protests to seek the re-opening of the state during the middle of the pandemic threatens grandma and, since “essential workers” will bear the brunt of any outbreak, likely racist as well.

But when one is attending mass demonstrations, even ones involving violence and property damage, against a politically-acceptable cause, or attending a funeral in a packed church full of un-masked people, it’s utterly acceptable from an epidemiological standpoint.

Unless there’s tear gas involved. Because then, Covid is a deadly pandemic.

Remembering, as always, that y’all are the “party of science”, not febrile superstition, yessireebob.

That is all.

Sheer Brilliance

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking along University Avenue, looking unsuccessfully for “white supremacist” graffiti. Distracted, he misses Avery LIBRELLE, who is roaming the streets with a cell phone, reporting people who aren’t socially-distanced enough to the governor’s snitch line. They nearly run into each other.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Uh, hey, Avery…

LIBRELLE: It’s time for cities to de-fund the police!

BERG: Huh. Seems…illl-advised.

LIBRELLE: It’s high time we did it! It’s the only way to cure systemic racism.

BERG: Right. And deaths from house fires will stop when cities abolish fire departments.

LIBRELLE: We’ll come back to that.

BERG: Huh. Hey, what could go wrong?

LIBRELLE: Camden, New Jersey did it! In 2012! And guess what, Merg? Crime fell!

BERG: Yep. It “fell” because in 2012, it was literally the most dangerous city in the US, of any size. A city of about 77,000 people in 2010 – about the size of Fargo or Duluth – it had 69 homicides. You do the math…

LIBRELLE: Hey…

BERG: Sorry, my bad. I’ll do the math. That’s a homicide rate well over 100 per 100,000 – triple that of Detroit.

LIBRELLE: And guess what, Merg? Crime has fallen!

BERG: Along with the entire rest of the US. And it’s “fallen” to 31 per 100,000. Which is, if it were a city over 200,000, would make it the fifth most dangerous city in the US, after Saint Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It’d be tied with Kansas City.

And they do all that magic with a “re-organized” police force double the size of the old one .

LIBRELLE: (Has become distracted) Hey – is that a white supremacist I see over there? With an assault rifle?

BERG: It’s a city road crew worker with a jackhammer.

LIBRELLE: I”d better see what Vox.com says about it…

BERG: Er…about crime?

(But LiIBRELLE has wandered away already)

And SCENE

Probably An Academic Question

Watching Mayor Trudeau crying with all the convincing grace of a rented mourner over the casket of George Floyd, at the not-remotely-socially-distanced funeral (violating the Mayor’s own directives, after a week during which he abandoned a fifth of the city to looters, reigned over press conferences that looked like outtakes from “Reno 911”, got caught like a deer in the headlights when asked what his “plan” was, got bailed out by the marginally-less-incompetent State administration, blamed the destruction (accompanied as it was by thick layers of left-sympathetic graffiti) on nearly nonexistent “White Supremacists” (who managed to somehow leave a thick layer of leftist graffiti and leave an amazing number of clearly labeled “black owned” stores more or less unscathed), I have to wonder…

,..is there some level of unintentional comedy below which the voters of the City of Minneapolis won’t go?

Open Letter To Midtown Global Market

To: Midtown Global Market
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Cancel This

In response to the “revelation” that one of the Holy Land Deli’s employees – the daughter of the owner, himself an immigrant and inspirational story – had some “racist” social media in her past (as in, years ago, while a teenger) you canceled the Holy Land’s lease in your Midtown Marketplace building, at Lake and Chicago, effective immediately

I’m going to guess if you went through the social media feeds of every single employee in your building who grew up in the era of South Park and Idiocracy, you’ll fine something regrettable.,

Speaking of regrets? While I’ve been a fan and customer of Midtown Market ever since it opened, I will never spend another dime there as long as you follow through on this absurd, selective, and by all appearances grudge-driven “cancellation” of the Holy Land space.

I urge you to reconsider forthwith. This is the lowest form of cultural cowardice, I won’t reward it with my time or money, and I’ll be urging everyone I know to do the same when they are able to get out and start spending money again.

M Berg
The Midway

Privatization

A friend of the blog emails:

The Walker Art Center is just one of several venues and school systems that are just now discovering the benefits of privately funded security. They can hire their own private security, do background checks, control unwanted behavior a little better.

Wonder if there will be more support for private funding of other systems that take advantage of all of us- health insurance, school, etc?

I wonder if the cognitive dissonance will ever actually dawn on any of the parties involved?

By the way – I’m gonna guess that spending all day Tuesday putting black backgrounds on every bit of social and traditional media will fix it.

Privilege

Children of Tim Walz and Ilhan Omar made their sympathies known bright and early last week.

Isra Hirsi, daughter of Rep. Omar, tweeted out calls for ‘supplies’ for rioters. Called on it by Andy Ngo, she reverted to virtue-signaling:

Now, I can possibly cut Hope Walz a little slack. Make no mistake, she annoyed the crap out of me during the election; she spent a lot of time on Twitter dunking on her father’s opponents; when called out, she responded to the effect of “what, you’re attacking a high school kid for supporting her father?” So she’s definitely angling for a career as a professional feminist, and maybe Amy Klobuchar’s PR flak.

But she’s gotten some flak for this tweet:

And she’s not wrong. She was, in fact, relating facts; the National Guard doesn’t come sliding down a fire poll and jump into their Hummers and race to the scene when the governor gets on the radio – as some thought they did.

I’ll cut Walz – the younger, anyway – a little slack.

Off Boat Pushed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s dad was a cop.  I wonder what he thinks, seeing what his son has let the city come to.
Businesses at the intersection of Como, Front, and Dale Street, a mile or so from Mitch’s house. Sign says: “RIP George Floyd, BLM, minority-owned.”

Hoping to be eaten last is not a winning business strategy. But it’s all that’s left in St Paul.

Joe Doakes

That’s what occurred to me last Thursday, watching “black-owned”, “minority-owned” or, in some absurd cases, “community owned” businesses frantically post themselves to throw their white neighbors under the bus (not always successfully – Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis looked particularly hard-hit).