How Not To Defend Yourself

Vincent Nesta Trotter. an eastside Saint Paul homeowner who shot a guy who was alleged to have crashed a stolen car and fled from police, has given us an object lesson on what not to do in a self-defense situation.

Remember – when claiming self-defense, you have to prove you were in reasonable, immediate fear of death or great bodily harm, you tried to disengage, you used only the force you needed to end the lethal threat, and (when outside your home) made a reasonable effort to disengage.

And if, heaven forfend, you are in a shooting that you believe fits those criteria (and in Minnesota, it had better)? My first carry permit instructor, the late Joel Rosenberg, drilled it into his students’ heads; when talking to the police, say only:

I want to talk to a lawyer. I don’t consent to a search.

That – and pointing out evidence and witnesses who attest the fact that you met those four criteria above – are all you say.

You do that so evidence that you violated at least three of those four criteria doesn’t wind up in front of the entire jury pool in the local media. As it seems to have done for Mr. Trotter:

The complaint says Trotter followed police instructions and put the gun on the ground, telling officers, “I pull up and he’s by my door.” The complaint states he also said, “I told him don’t move, he moves, and I let 3 or 4 rounds go. I see blood, so I think I hit him. I tried to hit him. I carry a 45.”
Officers identified the man who was shot as the suspect in the auto theft incident, and believed that he had fled police not long ago. He denied that, but told police that he was walking through the yard at Trotter’s address when a man pulled up in a vehicle and began yelling. He told police he heard shots and got on the ground. He said he was walking away and the man yelled, “Don’t turn around,” then started shooting.

And as if that’s not bad enough:

Surveillance footage shows the shooting victim walk up onto Trotter’s porch and sit down, never attempting to get inside the home. When Trotter’s vehicle pulls up five minutes later, the video shows the victim walk down the porch steps and take about two steps toward Trotter. His hands are visible and away from his body.
The video then shows the man walking away from Trotter, “looking back over his left shoulder as he retreated,” the complaint states, and then Trotter advancing and a muzzle flash from the gun.
Trotter continues to advance with his gun in a “high ready position” while saying something.
“It is clear from the video that (the victim) was retreating away from Trotter as Trotter fired his handgun,” the complaint says.

I’m no lawyer (dear God, thanks) and Mr. Trotter is innocent until proven guilty.

But to the casual observer, it’d seem that Mr. Trotter was not in immediate threat of death or any kind of harm – the guy was walking away and seemed (according to the media report) to show no signs of being armed. He made no effort to retreat – quite the opposite.

We don’t know how the trial (or plea-bargaining) is going to go, but the moral of the story is this: if you’re going to carry a firearm for self-defense, learn the law. And figure out if it’s something you’ve got the temperament to do.

Silence Is Golden

When the police and prosecutors talk with you in relation to allegations of criminal activity, you have the right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer to keep you from saying something stupid or even just inadvertent that can end up putting you in jail.  

And it doesn’t even have to be anything you say to the cops. 

A few  years ago, during the “Black LIves Matter” protest at Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct, a fellow with a carry permit, Alan Scarsella,  shot and wounded someone from a group of protesters that was chasing him.   His fear of immediate death and great bodily harm was real; he attempted to retreat, running a whole block before firing back; he used the force needed to end the threat (the chase stopped cold when he fired).  

But on the way to the protest, he and his idiot friends made some videos, including some statements (which may or may not have been quotes) that the county prosecutor managed to get before the jury as racist provocations that, in the end, negated Scarsella’s attempt to prove that he wasn’t the aggressor in the jury’s eyes.  He got convicted and sentenced to seven years.  

So if you’re a good guy or gal with a gun who, heaven forfend, winds up shooting someone in self-defense, everything you say can and will be used against you – even things you say long before the episode in question, unrelated to the shooting.  

I thought about that when the media started covering this story – a Saint Paul homeowner shot a suspected car thief. 

And what picture did the Strib, and then every single gun-grabber group, run with?

Photo via the Strib’s Sharon Prather.

From the Strib, with emphasis added:

A 36-year-old man with a gun was with the suspect when police arrived, and he identified himself to officers as the homeowner, police said. He cooperated with the investigation and was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of aggravated assault.
The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Police found the man who had been shot in the side yard of the house after hearing gunfire, said Sgt. Mike Ernster.
A sign in the window of the house read, “No trespassing. Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again!” The sign punctuates the message with drawings of bullet holes.

The guy – guys, really – are innocent until proven guilty. And Berg’s 18th Law is still in full effect.

But will the police and county attorney – who both cordially detest the law-abiding gun owner and dislike the notion of the Good Guy With A Gun, use this sign as evidence to logroll a jury, if necessary, into believing that the homeowner, whatever the actual situation, was looking for a chance to use his right to keep and bear arms on someone who “had it coming”?

Yes.

Why embroider it?

If you are a gun owner who is concerned about self-defense, it is imperative that you stop writing on social media, putting stickers on your car, or posting your house with signs talking about what you intend to do to alleged criminals with your firearms.

It’s the same thing I wrote back when I did own guns. I’d never buy another, of course. Guns terrify me.

Where Will I Go When I Want To Watch Drunk People Fighting Over Laundry Hampers?

The Midway Walmart is a former K-Mart, with all that implies. It’s a great place to go if you want a look at customer service from the old East Germany. It’s basically a small Walmart, with fewer groceries and more inner-urban dysfunction.

And now, via Fred Melo at the PiPress:

My fearless (and likely balderdash) prediction: both sites will sit, unchanged, for the next five years.

Then, Major League Soccer (or at least the Minnesota club) will fold, and all three sites will sit vacant (or blighted, in Walmart’s case) for a decade or two while various inner-city power interests argue for decades.

Unexpected, Part MCLVIII

When Saint Paul opted for Tony-Soprano-style trash collection, they used a “formula” more or less like the Five Families used to divvy up racketeering in New York and New Jersey; each of the trash haulers got a slice of the city more or less equal to their market share.

This meant there was no “need” to compete for customers – and also no benefit in competing for customers.

Some small trash haulers just pulled out of Saint Paul without any further ado.

Others?

Eventually, Saint Paul is going to have three trash haulers – BFI, Waste Management and maybe Aspen. They will have monopolies in their territories, costs will rise, customer service will eventually worsen…

…oh, wait. Who said “eventually?”

Wings So Good, They’re Worth Going To Jail For

A Saint Paul woman, upset that a local Dominos Pizza had forgetten her wings in her delivery, decided to take the law into her own hands.

Well, not “the law”, per se.   More like “Customer Service”:

Police were called to the Domino’s at 1110 Grand Avenue just before 9 p.m. Thursday on a report of a customer pointing a handgun at staff.

When police arrived, they were told that the Robinsons — who had already left — were upset that their wings hadn’t been delivered with their pizza to their home in the 1000 block of Dayton Avenue. An argument had ensued.

It was fairly easy to find the Robinsons’ home, since the order had recently been delivered there. Police drove to the address, and — while waiting for a supervisor to arrive on scene — Holly Robinson came out of the home and began talking to officers.

“She didn’t want to wait for another order because they had already waited for an hour, so she decided to go to Domino’s because it would be faster,” a police report stated. The two had demanded a refund.

The Robinsons never got their wings, or a refund. The daughter told officers the “manager had an attitude,” and said her mother had brought a gun because she feared a physical confrontation. She took it out and held it at her hip but never pointed it, the daughter said.

The first thing I thought on hearing the story was “please don’t have a carry permit”.

Since it’s been about a week and we haven’t had Nancy Nord Bence yipping about it, I’m gonna guess Ms. Robinson doesn’t.

“Unexpected”

SCENE: Mitch BERG is building a snow wall around his property.

Before he can close the last gap along the sidewalk, MyLyssa Silberman – reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau, covering the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats – pulls up in a Subaru Outback.

SILBERMAN: [stepping out of the car]Merg!

BERG: Er…hi, MyLyssa. What’s up?

SILBERMAN: I’m doing a series on the purveyors of brisk, quippy rhetorical memes and their use in disseminating “fake news”.

BERG: Of course you are.

SILBERMAN: If I may. In the past, you have referred to the new municipal trash collection systems in cities like Bloomington, Saint Paul and other cities as [riffles through notes] “Soviet-style trash collection”. Also [squinting] “East German”, “Tony Soprano-Style”, “Cuban” and…

BERG: North Korean.

SILBERMAN: Here in my notebook it says “North Korean”.

BERG: Yep.

SILBERMAN: Are these racist references against Russians, Germans, Sicilians, Latinos and Asians? And how are they affected by climate change?

BERG: No, and not at all.

SILBERMAN: OK, we’ll come back to that. But what do those terms mean?

BERG: It’s a reference to the fact that in countries that try to repeal the free market – among them most “socialist” nations – there is no incentive to serve customers better. In planned, marketless economies, all goods and services are essentially rationed, and there’s no impetus to provide a good or service better, more efficiently, or even more cheerfully than anyone else, since there’s no upside to it; you get paid the same whether you’re a jerk or an Employee of the Month.

SILBERMAN: OK, but how does this relate to trash collection in the Twin Cities? We haven’t suspended the free market.

BERG: Well, we’re going to need a price check on that statement. Saint Paulites are complaining about the service they’re getting from the hauler their city so graciously selected for them:

Beginning Jan. 30, [Waste Management, the hauler allocated to a large part of the East Side by the City Council’s “Sopranos”-style division of the city’s turf] skipped pickups on her street, Cottage Avenue East, for three weeks in a row. Rather than complete full collection Wednesday, drivers exited their vehicles to take pictures of overflowing trash carts and lids that couldn’t fully close. Some they emptied. Some they didn’t.
Now, residents are bracing for financial penalties.
“They drove through the alley yesterday, right past all the garbage cans that were out and not covered with or buried in snow, and only emptied two cans,” said Riggs on Thursday in an email to Ward 6 City Council member Kassim Busuri’s office. “Since that seems to be one of many excuses they use, yes, the lids are not closed, which is another thing they will charge us extra for. According to St. Paul policy, they must close. Otherwise it is $3

BERG: By the way, MyLyssa – my old trash collector would only upcharge me for an over-full container if a good chunk of the bag was visible. The new haulers are gloriously Minnesota passive-aggressive about it, and the customer service is atrocious, even in other neighborhoods.

Who picked up your trash, by the way?

SILBERMAN: I live in a condo downtown, so my trash just goes away.

BERG: Right. Continuing:

Busuri said he’s more than just sympathetic. He’s in the same boat.
“I’ve had the same problem myself,” Busuri said, “where the trash was not picked up for going on three weeks. It bothers me to see a garbage hauler not fulfilling their obligation in the contract. There’s a section in the contract where we can charge the haulers for every collection they miss. I’m looking into that

SILBERMAN: See! They’ll fix it!

BERG: Sure. The city council will cross the actions of a previous city council, most of whom have gone on to positions of bureaucratic power that .can be used against them.

SILBERMAN: What do you mean?

BERG: OK, so imagine you were to park in Teri Gross’s parking spot…

SILBERMAN: That would be really bad.

BERG: See?

SILBERMAN: No.

BERG: It’ll never get fixed. There’s no market imperative to do anything, and plenty of bureaucratic imperatives not to.

SILBERMAN: So you’re saying you’re transphobic.

BERG: Are you by some chance working on getting a PR job with the city?

And SCENE

Unbooked

Garrison Keillor is selling his saint Paul bookstore:

“I opened Common Good Books because I loved the bookstores I knew around the U, Perrine’s and McCosh’s and Heddan’s and Savran’s,” Keillor said Wednesday in an email. “And now I’m leaving town and am busy writing a book of my own so it’s time to turn over the business to someone else. The world is full of wonderful independent bookstores and needs every one.”

Keillor put his St. Paul home on Summit Avenue up for sale last year. He wrote in a Facebook post last month that he and his wife, Jenny Nilsson, had moved to Minneapolis.

I may actually have to get in there Dash I rarely make it south of Midway books these days…

Since we’re talking Garrison Keillor, I thought I would throw this out there; Keillor had a reputation as one of the worst bosses in radio, and he always brought so much smug entitlement to his brand of Minnesota politics that it was sometimes hard to parity without lapsing into self-parody in turn – but I loved A Prairie Home Companion. I listened to it most weekends for probably 15 years. Whatever Garrison Keillor’s many flaws, he got small town rural Scandinavian life.

Nowadays the show – rechristened Live From Here after it turned out Keillor was #HimToo, and still starring PHC’s designated replacement Chris Thile, seems to specialize in a really, really excellent underground country/bluegrass music, really really really really really bad standup comics, and skits written to a target audience of Brooklyn hipsters by, apparently, Brooklyn hipsters that Garner the occasional giggle and usually make me desperately miss Tim Russell and Sue Scott.

So who knows – maybe I’ll run down and buy a book from the old guy.

But it will be some Hayek or Paul Johnson. He’s not winning this thing.

White Liberal Gilt

A friend of the blog writes:

Those young, progressive, priveleged white men who fight their older progressive, priveleged counterparts are just so entertaining. Here, the new executive director of Union Park District Council is essentially calling some of the people in Union Park racist because they are opposing large development projects in their backyards.

He, and other young progressives, cry about lack of affordability (for some other group of unknown people), while they live in their single family homes in Mac Groveland or Highland Park (as is the case for this director.) Thinking about affordability, I wonder how these young, just out of college people afford their houses in neighborhoods like Mac Groveland or Highland Park. Thinking about racism, I wonder why these young, privileged white people chose those neighborhoods instead of the more transit connected, affordable neighborhoods in the city…

Urban Progressive Privilege – when nobody who matters in your social and vocation circle will ever call you on “inconsistencies” like this.

I’ve found that the correlation between these young non-profiteers and old Saint-Paul-DFL money is really, really high.

Life In A One-Party Town

In the past few months, I’ve been treated to the sight of Saint Paulites – almost all of them people who’d never dream of voting for anything but a DFLer – reacting with Major-Renault-like shock, shock, that…

  • Saint Paul’s Mafia-style trash-collection system costs more, offers fewer options and miserable customer service, all delivered with the sort of arrogance we’ve come to expect from Saint Paul’s government (Motto: “Government is the things we do together, arrogantly and imcompetently”).
  • Mayor Carter’s shunting of budget from police and fire to “Sustainability” (e.g. institutional virtue-signaling) would pave the way for more crime
  • The Soccer stadium, ballyhooed as the core of an urban renaissance with green space,  shops with walkable access and the rest of the urban planning buzzwords – is going to wind up being precisely the plutocrat plaything in the middle of a sea of asphalt that all of us skeptics predicted.

And, now, Saint Paul’s school-building spree turns out to make the Pentagon look like a Bemidji Norwegian Lutheran church’s decoration committee.

St. Paul Public Schools vastly underestimated the cost of an ambitious 2016 plan to improve the look and function of every building it owns.

Eight major school projects that got underway last year will cost the district a total of $214 million, according to the latest figures from the school district.

That’s $63 million more than the district estimated in 2016, a Pioneer Press analysis has found, a difference of 42 percent.

New estimates for the next eight large projects, all scheduled to break ground in the coming five years, total $220 million. That’s $91 million, or 70 percent, higher than the 2016 estimate.

There will be shock.

And then a majority of them will vote for an even further-left Democrat next election.  ∂

The Carnage Continues Apace

The Green Line (aka “The Vomit Comet” – ride it late on a weekend night or early on a weekend morning to find out what that means.  Or…don’t) has claimed its second life this year:

The crash occurred at Syndicate Street and University Avenue about 4:30 p.m., according to Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla. Two men were crossing the tracks at the intersection, when a westbound train struck one of them.

The man who was struck by the train was taken to Regions Hospital, where he died about 5 p.m., Padilla said.

The crash disrupted Green Line service between Hamline and Western avenues until shortly after 5:30 p.m., according to posts on Metro Transit’s Twitter account.

That’s on top of another, two blocks away, last January, and at least 2-3 more previously.

That’s a project I may need to take on – going over the human factors problems that make the Green Line such a death machine.

On top of the six (last I checked) on the Blue Line, and makes the Metro Transit trains’ body count roughly 11 times that of Minnesota carry permit holders.

 

The Neighborhood

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s at University and Marion, a couple of blocks West of the Capitol.   7:00 a.m. and already, there are scruffy people carrying backpacks, strolling aimlessly around the parking lot, sidewalks, sitting on the lawn.  Not school kids waiting for the bus – I passed them at their assigned corner, every eye glued to a cell phone.  These were people with nowhere to go, nothing to do, no one to do it with, watching me get out of my car.

Inside, the restaurant is staffed entirely by employees with Hispanic name tags, speaking to each other in Spanish.  The food appears promptly, the order is correct, the dining area is immaculately clean, but it’s also totally deserted.  The drive-through does steady business.  Nobody wants to get out of the car to dine in, for fear of being panhandled, or worse.

This is the picture of an area in decline.  Providing food and shelter for homeless people attracts homeless people, same as putting out bird food and building birdhouses attracts birds.  How hard is that to understand?

Note to Mr. Doakes;  Please address this to the city’s Resiliency staff.

One Reason Reason I Love StPaul

There has been a wave of crime, including a fair number of drive-by shootings, in the lower reaches of Saint Pauls North End neighborhood this summer.

Saint Paul being a one party neosocialist dystopia, the city bureaucracy and political class is having the usual reaction; no reaction. It’s just the north end.

But the North End hasn’t gone full-blown Bernie Sanders – not entirely. Even the media is noticing that some North Enders are responding in ways that are completely pathetic and stupid:

Tin Cup’s Owner, Gidget Bailey, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she’s obtained a permit to carry and half her staff has done the same so she can have two to three staff members armed with a firearm each night her restaurant is open.

“It is just a shame that it has come to this,” Bailey said. “But, when you have to do this to make sure of your own safety, in a life or death situation, while you’re making an honest living at work is pathetic, just pathetic.”

Mohr, faster, please.

If you live in the north end (Or, let’s be honest, anyplace else), and are interested in seeing to your own defense, holler. Will get you hooked up.

Ooooooh. Aaaaaaaaah. Wooooooooow.

None of that will be heard cascading down from Mounds Park this July 4 – at least, not on the city’s dime.

Mayor Carter is declining to spend tax dollars on fireworks:

Mayor Melvin Carter announced on his Facebook page Wednesday that he would be scrapping the annual fireworks display, stating he believes there are better uses for tax dollars.

In his post he writes, “As I’ve considered the budgetary priorities we manage across our city in the first year of my administration, I’ve decided I can’t in good conscience support spending tax dollars on a fireworks display in Saint Paul this year.”

The budget hawk in me applauds – until he realizes that the Saint Paul City Councijl will find  much dumber uses for any money saved.

More philosophically?  I support the Mayor’s decision.  I’m a patriotic American who believes in the ideals of the state that was founded in 1776; a celebration by a government that eschews those ideals, in favor of (at best) those of the Swedish or Danish (or Venezuelan) social welfare states is an appropriation of my culture.

There.  There’s your fireworks.

(Although watching liberals heads exploding over the Kennedy retirement might just be a better display anyway).

Why I Worry About The American Left

Can you – the relatively normal reader – imagine treating something like this as an accomplishment?

It’s Ron Perlman – a great actor and supremely weird but impeccably hard-left person.

Peasants: Your Overlords Grant You Clemency!

StPaul residence now have until Friday to pick a trash cart…

… to replace the perfectly good trash buckets they had from the perfectly good trash haulers that, in many cases, they’ve been happily using for years. (Like my own trash hauler of this past decade, Highland Sanitation; if you live in their service area, they come highly recommended).

And if you are a low income or fixed income person who has been extemporizing by sharing a bucket contract with another neighbor?

Shush, present, and be happy to pay for your bureaucrats pensions!:

“Each unit does need to have its own cart and service,” \said Lisa Hiebert, a spokeswoman for St. Paul Public Works. “If they’re in a multi-unit building, or they’re sharing, there is no opt-out option

Of course it’s not an option. This is serious business.

And by serious business, I mean “this is a featherbedded contract to generate more city employees, meaning more public sector union dues, meaning more contributions to the Saint Paul DFL.

So with those stakes in mind, you will get exactly the options you are given, peasants!

Resilience

When I hear city governments talking about hiring “resilience directors” – like Minneapolis and Saint Paul – the job usually involves…

…well, let’s let the City of Minneapolis explain it:

…expanding access to affordable housing, and the impact that would have on our other goals, including building an inclusive economy and strengthening police-community relations,

In other words, it’s a non-profit executive being paid for directly by the taxpayer.

Of course, when I originally heard the term “resiliency officer”, I thought they meant something like this – actually working to make their cities more, y’know, resilient:

In the wake of Harvey, Houston has become a prominent test case for resilient rebuilding. Last month, the Houston City Council approved regulations requiring new buildings in the 100- and 500-year floodplains be built 2 feet above ground level or above the projected water level of a 500-year flood. The city previously mandated a 1-foot height for homeowners in the 100-year floodplain, and a report earlier this year found that 84 percent of Harvey-damaged homes in the area’s floodplains could have been spared with the higher height standard.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who originally proposed the new height rule, also is seeking funding to build a third reservoir for the city, though such a project would take years to complete.This year’s hurricane season, which begins June 1, is forecast to be “slightly above average.”

Leave it to the DFL to pervert the term “Resilience” beyond all recognition.

 

The Vape Filled Room

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Should the job of Chief Law Enforcement officer be a political appointee?  Because that’s what’s happening.

Voters in Ramsey County overwhelmingly cast their votes for the candidate endorsed by the Democrat Party.  As a practical matter, that means the election is decided once the party endorsement is given.  But the endorsement is awarded at the county convention which is attended by insiders and activists, the dedicated handful of true believers who hand-pick the candidates.  The decision isn’t made in a smoke-filled back room only because true-believers have banned smoking.  The fix is in.

How does that make Republicans feel about their prospects of being treated fairly by law enforcement?

About the same as the prospects from any other branch of Saint Paul government…

Unintended Consequences

Minnesota has a miniimum wage of $9 an hour.

Minor league baseball players, working on a (very low) salary and putting in long hours, frequently earn less than that.

Saint Paul is about to phase its minimum wage up to $15 an hour.  That’s pretty much more than anyone on a Single-A team makes.

And so the Saint Paul Saints – after wheedling a stadium out of the city’s taxpayers – say they may have to shut down if they don’t get an exemption:

Noting league rules limit the baseball team’s payroll, the Saints say without the exemption they could possibly be forced to cease operations.

“We’re in a league that has a salary cap,” Saints Executive Vice President and General Manager Derek Sharrer told state lawmakers earlier this week. “So … if minimum wage and overtime laws were to impact us, then we may be in a position to not be able to abide by our league bylaws, which would force us not to be able to operate.”

The issue comes just three years after the Saints moved into their new home, CHS Field, in downtown St. Paul. Public funds contributed $51.4 million to the ballpark’s construction.

They’ll get it.  Lawmakers love sports teams.

All the businesses in Saint Paul without the same level of political clout?

Let’s just watch the implosion.

Skeeze For Thee But Not For We

A friend of the blog writes

Can #metoo now remove her from the council for sexual misconduct, please?

I think one of the offshoots of the Franken controversy is that the DFL is now giving its own people outside the presidency  a pass on sexual harassment.

But t’s Amy Brendemoen – the City Councilor last known for shutting down a successful restaurant in the city-owned Como Pavilion to give the lease to friends of hers (whose high-gloss concept restaurant closed last fall).

And she’s upset, now, about cheerleaders:

After watching the Super Bowl Sunday night, St. Paul city council member Amy Brendmoen took to Facebook to vent her annoyance at seeing bikini-clad cheerleaders rush the field with players.

“Once again, when are we going to address the cheerleading scene in pro sports?” she asked her friends and followers, intending to stir conversation.

She included an upskirt selfie of a U of M cheerleader as evidence.

Will anything happen?

It’s Chicago.  Saint Paul on the Mississippi.  What do you think?

Dirty Jobs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Note to St. Paul city government: when people say St. Paul should be a Sanctuary City for Snowflakes, they mean a safe space for students at Macalester College where they will not be disturbed by unfamiliar thoughts, not actual, you know, snowflakes.
I was out of town for a few days, missed the big snow.  From what I heard, St. Paul got about 12 inches of snow which is a lot in one go but come on, we live in the North, that can’t be enough to cripple the city.  School buses stuck?  Streets impassable?  Mitch wrote about it the other day – drive across Larpenteur Avenue and look at the streets in Roseville.  They managed.  Why can’t St. Paul?
Parking.  St. Paul has narrow streets in the old residential districts and the hard-surface lot coverage ordinance leaves insufficient off-street parking.  Plowing around parked cars is pointless so first we wait for the snow to stop, then we wait for people to move their cars, then we wait for cops to ticket the remaining cars so we can wait for tow trucks to tow them, then we plow.  Meanwhile, everybody else is driving on the snow, packing it down, polishing the intersections with spinning tires . . . hopeless.
Ban on-street parking from November 1 to April 30 and plow the streets While The Snow Is Falling, before it gets a chance to become unmanageable.  Yes, it will cost a fortune.  News flash:- that’s why we HAVE a city government, not for trendy developments or grandstanding resolutions.  Safe drinking water.  Sanitary sewer treatment.  Police and fire protection.  Passable transportation routes and that means plowing in winter and filling potholes in summer.
Done properly, city government isn’t sexy or exciting, it’s boring.  Start boring me.  Plow the damned streets.
Joe Doakes

I get the impression most of Saint Paul’s government – mayor, city council, bureaucracy – got into the politics business after spending their formative years playing Sim City.  Where the fun part is building big, flashy toys – stadiums, business districts, the cool stuff.  Not doing the dirty grind jobs that are the few reasons we’re supposed to try to tolerate city government in the first place.

Chris Coleman Whistles Past The Clogged Street

A friend of the blog writes

As I was helping my Congolese neighbor out of the alley this morning, we talked more about the roads in DRC versus here. He told me that being buried in snow here is not as bad as being buried in mud there because at least you can dig out of snow. Then, he said the DRC government tells the people that those muddy wreck of roads are International roads. He said that is an example of a fake government.

Again, I can’t help but draw comparisons to what liberal St Paul voters and liberal elected leaders would like the city to become.

When the St Paul GOP merely posed the question of why major streets in St Paul can’t be plowed during the storm, rather than waiting until it’s all over, Democratic candidate for Governor, Chris Coleman, so stupidly believes that meant plowing before any snow fell.

 

(I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is only pretending to be that stupid). But, his statement on Twitter (along with many other falsehoods he told during his time as mayor) certainly give me the impression that St Paul government is somewhat fake, too.

Not suire if the former Mayor and current Goober candidate is “stupid” so much as “very poorly placed to comment”; Saint Paul’s snow plowing went from “spotty but effective” under Norm Coleman and Randy Kelliy to “third world” level under Coleman.  During snowstorm ater snowstorm, Saint Paul’s streets would resemble Bolivian goat paths after six inches of snow. . “It’s a biblical deliuge”, the city’s bureaucrats and flaks would protest – but a drive across Larpenteur into Roseville would show you that the only biblical retribution that the city faced were a plague of locusts working as bureaucrats in charge of getting ostensibly useful things done.   (And it’s not just snow plowing).

So Mayor Coleman’s quip is a bitter joke for any Saint Paul taxpayer – especially the ones that needed to drive anywhere during the 24 years it seemed he ran the place. . .

“You Guys Are Lucky I Don’t Know How To Build A Bomb”

I haven’t talked much about the case of Tnuza Hassan, the woman accused of setting fires at Saint Kate’s last week.   If the allegations in the press are true, she couldn’t have been more clear about her motives if she’d hired a Madison Avenue ad firm:

Tnuza J. Hassan, of Minneapolis, allegedly told police that “she wanted the school to burn to the ground and that her intent was to hurt people,” ..lShe told police and fire investigators, “You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.”

I’ve reached no conclusions – we don’t know much, and even when we do, my conclusions will be of little or no consequence.

Just a couple of observations:

Hold The Narrative:  The usual suspects have pointed it out – “She’s a domestic Muslim terrorist”.   I’ve seen some snarky comments about Hassan’s family travel plans: ” She said she had been a student at Saint Catherine’s but quit last fall because she and her family were planning to vacation in Ethiopia,”

Which has caused the usual crowd of Fudds to chant “Ah HAH.  She’s going back to her Muslim terrorist hellhole”.

The thing is, though, that Ethiopia is majority Christian; most of its people are Coptics.  There is a sizeable Muslim minority, but there’s just not a lot of strife between the two over there.

And while Somalis have picked up a dodgy reputation – some earned, some unfair – the story of Ethiopian immigration to the US is placid and successful; Ethiopian immigrants’ crime rate is vanishingly low, and they have assimilated well into American society.   And I’ve seen or heard of no split between Ethiopian Coptics and Muslims when it comes to assimilation.

Now – there are plenty of Somali Muslims who’ve moved to Ethiopia over the years; like Democrats moving from Minneapolis to Edina, they have brought some problems with them.  We don’t know much about Miss Hassan’s family or background.   Does that bear on it?

We’ll come back to that.

Homegrown:  When I read Miss Hassan’s rhetoric (as related by the police to the press, anyway), I thought “something here sounds amiss”.

To me, Hassan’s statements didn’t sound like those of a young, self-radicalized Muslim – or, I should say, not just like one.  The tone – again, third or fourth hand – sounded like the sort of thing you could hear (with or without accompanying violence) at a Women’s March, or a BLM rally, an “Anti”-Fa rally, in any campus newspaper opinion (or “news”) section, or any number of other events common among young, identity-politics-addled bobbleheads found on today’s campuses…

…especially relentlessly PC institutions like Saint Kates.

So while many are asking the young Muslim woman accused of arson “do you think you, a woman, could get any kind of education at all in your squalid homeland”, it may be worth asking if in fact Miss Hassan’s little outburst isn’t a repudiation of her education…

…but a symptom of it?

The Poet Receives The Graft; The Taxpayer Gets The Shaft.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I suppose it’s nice that St. Paul still has a Poet Laureate, but I can’t find a website of her commissioned works.  Last poem I recall her writing for St. Paul was “Ode to the City Budget” or something like that, from about 2006.  You’d think a government worker would be more productive.

Wait, what am I saying?

On the one hand, a person might be forgiven for thinking that awarding the Poet Laureate title to a poet who produces no poetry, was simply an excuse to shovel a little graft to a Party insider.  It is St. Paul, after all.

On the other hand, awarding an honored title in exchange for doing nothing is a long-standing Democrat tradition, see, for example, my congresswoman, Betty McCollum, “The Phantom Rep”).

Joe Doakes

A Laureate Poet in Saint Paul
Accepted her government’s call.
She looked once and laughed
at her office’s graft,
and then walked away with a haul.