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.

So How Do Liberal Cities Get The Way They Are?

In Saint Paul, on top of the feds, the state, the county and the city, we have a de facto fifth level of government, the “Community Council”.   They’re not technically “government”, but they administer much of the city’s planning agenda, and serve as a group of ready labor for cajoling, shaming and bludgeoning neighborhood businesses into line.

Their boards are “elected”, but the elections are kept a fairly closely guarded secret to avoid any dissenting voices joining.  They are essentially training grounds, and sometimes salaries, for the DFL farm club in Saint Paul.

And some of them go through money they don’t have like it’s going out of style.

The Pioneer Press is covering the ongoing collapse of the Dayton’s Bluff Community Councijl, on the lower East Side.   In the report – you can read it here – you can see a lot of the hallmarks of DFL control writ small; a paid administrator with big ambitions and dubious command of finance; a “cultural director” with a mutual-back-scratching arrangement with the council, and a board elected by a neighborhood that bleeds blue and wouldn’t know what “dissent” is in a one party town.

The results?  Among many others (and you should read the whole thing):

In an interview, Abbott-Foster acknowledged that the council’s 2017 proposed budget was about $470,000 — and they’ll likely only pull in $300,000.

“It was probably a crazy budget proposal. But every year we’d gone up. That was on trajectory,” she added, noting the 2016 actual budget was in the $400,000 range.

She said her own salary was $83,000.

“When I started we were on a $70,000 budget. And each year I was there, we increased the budget by $70,000,” she said.

She blamed the shortfall on several factors: two regular funders, including the St. Paul Foundation, pulled out this year. Their radio station didn’t get any significant underwriting.

DFL governnance:  cover the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves.


Who Could Have Predicted Such A Thing?

Is it just hypothetically possible that Saint Paul – a city run by people whose only experience with business is working for non-profits that harass actual productive businesspeople – has gotten the city into an epic Ponzi scheme?  

Neil DeMause at Deadspin  talks with a group of sports economists that aren’t especially bullish on this year’s hipster diversion, the MLS:

“When Forbes last looked at MLS finances, it had to perform mathematical contortions to explain why franchise values are rising even as annual losses continue to mount.”

“That business model and this financial trajectory suggests that MLS’s sea of red ink is either a loss leader or a Ponzi scheme, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two until it’s too late. Several sports economists, though, aren’t optimistic.”

“The best indicator of expansion franchise worth is success at the bottom of the league” in revenues, says Stanford economist Roger Noll. For MLS, “that still looks more like AAA baseball except for a few million per year more in TV revenue.”

But as DeMause explains, the TV revenue isn’t going to happen – not the way the league is currently run – because there are already better leagues on the TV.  Mexican “Liga MX” games get better ratings; English Premiere League games on Saturday mornings get better numbers than MLS games in prime time.  


Because they have better soccer.  

But won’t the MLS improve?  

Not the way it’s currently set up.  Unlike *every* successful sports league, all MLS players get paid by the league – not their teams.  Instead of teams competing with teams around the US and world for talent that’ll make actual soccer fans interested, the league as a whole competes with leagues that are made up of teams that are competing with each other, and the whole world, for talent.   As a result, the payroll for the *entire MLS league* is lower than the *average* payroll for a single Premiere League team.  MLS spends at about the same rate as the Bulgarian national league .   The MLS model is designed to *control espenses*, not foster the competition that creates a watchable product.  

So all those new immigrants that are supposed to keep MLS afloat?  They’ve already got *good* leagues to watch.  MLS is to Premier or the German Bundesliga or even Liga MX as the Saint Paul Saints are to the Twins, in terms of talent.   Why would people from parts of the world were soccer is the main sport bother with a product that’s not only inferior, but *designed to stay that way*?

As the current TV ratings show – they’re not.  Not outside of New York or LA, anyway. 

And yet the cost for an MLS franchise has grown from $10M at the turn of the century to $150M today – a price tag that currently gets the owner a piece of $100M in losses, in a businesss that is structurally incapable of improving, and doesn’t even have the level of competition that “promotion and relegation” – moving the worst major league teams down to the minors, and promoting the better minor league teams to the majors, like in every major Euro league – brings.


“Whether current MLS honchos actually have this in mind now, or are still guzzling their own Kool-Aid, is tough to say. But for most big-market teams and early adopters, even if the expand-o-ganza goes south, it’s a fair bet they’ll be left with a chair when the music stops—franchises like New York and Los Angeles should be safe and potentially profitable, even if the likes of Raleigh or Nashville might be screwed.”
I gave the Minnesota franchise five years from the opening kickoff before it folds.  I’m feeling more optimistic about my prediction – if not about the “investment” the DFL forced me to make via my tax dollars – every day.

Saint Paul: Meet The New Mayor; Same As The Old City Council President

Melvin Carter won a slight majority of first-round ballots in the election for mayor of Saint Paul last night.

A long-time friend of this blog, who is a resident of Saint Paul, writes:

“White privilege elects next St Paul mayor”

That’s a headline that is accurate, but we won’t see. From what I know of Carter, and I know people who worked closely with him in his role of council member, he didn’t do a lot for his constituents. Black families in Frogtown felt disappointed by him, told his aide that they wouldn’t even vote for him in the special election when Carter left his council seat.

When he was on the council, Carter had a reputation for yelling “Off what” when Kathy Lantry – the then-president of the City Council – said “Jump”.  He wasn’t what you’d call a leader – which, when you’re dealing with DFL politics, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

But it is what the DFL establishment wants in a city with a nominally strong-ish mayor system.

But, lots of white people supported Carter. They seemed to hand pick him as the token candidate of color who could represent those people in St Paul. They hand picked him as the candidate of color who would help bring whites and blacks together. “See? We are so progressive, we elected a black candidate for you. One whose father was a cop. Doesn’t that help with all your recent problems?”

There are many problems with that logic. Is this the candidate that Black people wanted? St Paul Black Lives Matter supported Pat Harris.

To be fair, they are surveys that show less than a third of African-Americans approve of BLM.

But the correspondent is right about the institutional virtue-signaling among honkey progressives that’s accompanied Carter’s election.  On a Saint Paul politics forum, one writer – a white woman with impeccable “progressive” credentials – wrote “I had personal friends who are Latino, Asian, Black, and White, all of whom voted for Melvin Carter”.

Can you imagine the howling if a white, Republican male had written “some of my best friends are minorities and voted for the minority?”

But, from what I know of Carter, he will look to the White people and ask, what do you want me to do? He will ask Chris Coleman to leave a check list so Carter can continue down the same path. Nothing that will help people in poverty in the city, though Carter will probably keep them in their place like Chris Coleman did. Which will help the Whites who elected him feel good about their decision.

It’s not that any of the candidates really had much different opinions, but at least some of them had independent thought and had the appearance of being able to make a decision based on reality versus the fantasy that all is well if we just declare the city to be liveable.

The PR bubble enveloping Saint Paul’s political class is impermeable to reality, reason and fact.

Of course, I have my own fantasy world. I keep thinking that at some point, the city will be degraded enough that a sensible, conservative candidate will bring out the angry voters in droves. And that a sensible conservative candidate will get fair media coverage so that those angry voters will be aware of the candidate.

I think that’s really the only hope for both cities.  it’s not a completely demented fantasy; it happend in NYC in the eighties with Giuliani (yes, he was a conservative, at least on money and crime), and in Jersey City in 1991 with Brett Schundler.

But like any mid-level addict, Saint Paul has a ways to fall before it hits bottom, yet.

Another Good Guy With A Gun?

Details are sparse as this is written, but it seems as if a citizen with a carry permit shot a would-be robber in downtown Saint Paul last night :

The shooting happened during an attempted robbery at Wacouta St and 5th St E in St. Paul just before 8 p.m.

Lindsers say the would-be robbery victim happened to be a conceal carry permit holder and shot him. He received non-life threatening injuries.

Was it a good shoot?  Well, if it was, we likely won’t hear any more about it.

Fingers crossed.

Election Day

A longtime friend of this blog writes:

Every election, I hear people complaining that voting is on a Tuesday, that it should be on a weekend, that it should be a holiday. Of course, the people complaining also seem like the people who do find a way to get to the polls. And I always laugh at such a blatant example of how out of touch people like that really are.

For one, who is it that they believe can’t make it to the polls? I am guessing they envision people with minimum wage jobs who are afraid to speak up and actually take time to vote as is allowed by law, providing they are actually at work during voting hours.

But, how many of these minimum wage workers are also working on weekends, on holidays. Why is it that people think voting turn out would be any different? And we do have absentee voting as well as early voting now. Again, who is it that is not voting that would magically appear if voting day was a holiday or on a Saturday? Maybe the people who are not voting already understand that most of what happens in government screws them, insults them and says it’s for their own good. Why bother voting for that?

And on that note, happy voting day. I do know who I am voting for. But, I’m curious where to rank Nosemarie, Clu, and Puff this year for St Paul mayor?

I’ll be putting Clu at the top of my ballot.    Nose and Puff have both left is in the past 18 months, so they are no probably registered as DFL voters.

The Syndicate

Saint Paul reaches an “agreement” on Cuban North Korean Sopranos-style trash collection.

After 14 months of negotiations, seven contract proposals and 10 drafts, St. Paul officials say they have reached an agreement for coordinated collection with the city’s 15 private waste haulers. The city council will vote on the contract next Wednesday and set rates the following week.

“This contract allows us to provide residents with efficient and equitable service at reasonable and uniform rates,”

The “Reasonable and uniform rate” is, naturally, about $5 a month higher than I’ve been paying for the past five years.

Which will, of course, help pay the salary of at least another DFL-union-dues-paying city employee.

Mayor Chris Coleman said in a written statement. “It also ensures that all current haulers will maintain their market share, which was one of my top priorities. It is the right direction for garbage collection in Saint Paul.”

Bobby Stewart, head of operations with Highland Sanitation, said while he and other haulers had been opposed to coordinated collection, “it is a plan that we can live with and shouldn’t endanger our ability to survive as a business.”

City officials say the proposal incorporates most — though not all — of their 17 goals, from implementing predictable rates and services to reducing the number of trucks on city streets.

Crime is rising.  The city’s tax and employment bases are shrinking.  The achievement gap is among the worst in the nation; the public schools are collapsing.

But hey, we’ve got “coordinated” trash collection.

Saint Paul city government; stupid and worthless.

Open Letter To Melvin Carter

To:  Melvin Carter, DFL Candidate for Mayor of Saint Paul
From:  Mitch Berg, irascible peasant
Re:  Gandered

Councilman Carter

I’m Mitch Berg.  I’m one of Saint Paul’s tiny film of conservatives, so you’ve never had the faintest hint of a reason to pay attention to me, and you likely never will.  And it – like everything about Saint Paul’s governance – shows.

But I come today not to bury you, but to show you some common ground.

Councilman Carter, you may be a politician, but otherwise you are by all accounts a law-abiding citizen.    There’s no indication you don’t follow the rules [1].

And yet here you are, getting smeared by the police union (an integral part of the Metro DFL establishment) that you are also a loyal, elected part of) for things that are not you fault, that you’re not responsible for, and that you have nothing to do with [2], *even as* the person who allegedly burgled your house – the bad guy, here – slides anonymously and without ceremony toward his eventual, inevitable catch-and-release date.

In other words, Melvin Carter, yoiu on the business end of the same collective smear Big Left dishes out to *all* law-abiding gun owners; blaming the law-abiding for the actions of the criminal;  burdening the law-abiding but ignoring the criminal.

(“But wait!  It’s not bigotry against gun owners!  It’s racism!”, someone will say.  Why choose? It’s both; the roots of gun control are intensely racist).

Welcome to the party, Councilman Carter.  Perhaps you might want to rethink your party’s assumptions about the rest of us?  [3]

Mitch Berg
The Midway

[1] Including the laws and rules about securing the guns;   the law is about safeguarding kids, not burglarproofing your collection; a trigger lock or locked gun box is ample to meet the law’s requirements.  If the law required us to make every potential danger in our houses theft-proof, we’d all live in fortresses, and we’d all *still* be criminals one way or another.

[2] Other than, of course, the culplability he shares with this city’s current government, ruling party and political class of which he’s a part, of course.

[3] Speaking conceptually, here.  I don’t own guns.  They terrify me.

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

A friend of this blog writes:

The title of this piece says a lot

The title: “Mayor: If restaurants can’t be ordered to use recyclables, persuasion is a lost cause”.

And it means exactly what it says:

Mayor Chris Coleman’s office and St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections are showing little enthusiasm for spending another year encouraging store owners to voluntarily switch toward recyclable and compostable to-go food containers.

The city council voted 5-2 on Oct. 11 against requiring restaurants, convenience stores and other eateries to make the switch outright. Instead, council members opted to give city staff another year to help connect them to environmentally friendly container vendors.

Why, it’s almost as if free-market businesses, when given the “choice” over whether to cut their margins to little or no economic or environmental benefit, will choose “No thanks!”.

Which just frosts the city’s rice krispies (emphasis added):

But on Wednesday, DSI staff and the mayor’s office informed council members by email that after roughly a year of outreach, they would not devote another year of staff time to the effort without a guarantee that the new rules will be adopted.

You drown more flies with vinegar than honey.  Just look at Minneapolis.

Foreman Said “These Jobs Are Going, Boys, And They Ain’t Coming Back…”

Coopers Super Valu, the longtime West Seventh / Highland Park anchor, is closing.

And while the city’s establishment will do its darnedest to suppress any mention of it, city “social justice” policy is at least in part the culprit:

“Sales here have been shrinking,” said Cooper, who noted that difficult union negotiations, record-keeping related to the city’s new sick-leave mandate, the decline in strip mall tenancies and the store’s pension liabilities were of no help.

Strip malls come and go – and Sibley Plaza seems to be on the “..and go” side of the equation – but as the city pours money into Lowertown and upper West Seventh, it’s orgy of regulations is  causing problems in parts of town where prosperity is a little more strained.

Reasons To Get Your Carry Permit, Part CLXVIII

Four Saint Paul yoots arrested for systematic robberies, followed by brutal rapes.

The sexual assaults began with a robbery. The suspects used a gun to threaten the teens and two of their friends and, before stealing their cellphones, forced them to unlock the phones and turn off applications used to find stolen cells.

Three of the four young men charged are gang members, the Ramsey County attorney’s office said.

“Despite the victims complying with their orders and handing over their valuables, the perpetrators in this case forced the female victims into a car and repeatedly raped them,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “These allegations are brutally horrific, and we will prosecute these defendants to the fullest extent of the law as we attempt to achieve justice for the victims, their families and our community.”

I”m gonna go out on a limb and say that not only would “jiustice” have been achieved if one or more of the thugs involved had ended up sprawled on the ground with 4-5 shots to the chest, but the deterrent effect would make the riverfront a lot safer.

I mean, has anyone tried to rob anyone on East River Road by Saint Thomas lately?

Judges Gone Wild

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This case turns on an idiotic interpretation of the statute which these three judges made, I suspect, because the judges don’t agree with the notion of individual citizens having a right of self-defense and therefore choosing to sabotage that right by intentionally being obtuse.

The case hinges on the definition of “carry” as in “carry a pistol in a public place.”  What does that phrase mean?  The court decided “carry” was not defined the same as the section of the statute right before this one, but instead was intended to have an entirely different definition in the broadest general sense to mean “convey or transport,” the same as you’d “carry” a bag of groceries from the car to the house.  Can anyone imagine them being as cautious, as restrained, as obsequious to Webster’s Dictionary, when deciding a gay rights or abortion case?

Everybody knows the way you carry a gun in the car when driving from your house to the shooting range is to unload the gun, put the gun in a case, put the case in the trunk, and drive to the range.  When you get there, you park, take the gun case out of the trunk and carry the gun case into the range.  That is the ordinary, normal, and perfectly acceptable way to transport a firearm.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re stone-cold sober or not: the procedure is the same.

Yes, technically, you have “conveyed or transported” a gun in a public place, and yes, technically, you did it with your hands so the gun is “on or about your person,” but until this case was decided, nobody would have believed you were “carrying a gun” within the meaning of the Permit to Carry statute. And it’s even dumber to believe there’s a distinction between carrying a pistol in this manner versus carrying a rifle or shotgun in this manner.

This ruling is idiotic.  The Permit to Carry statute was intended to make it easier for honest citizens to carry a loaded gun in public, typically in a holster.  Everybody knows that – it was endlessly debated; enacted and struck down and enacted again; and it’s been working just fine since it was adopted.  I suspect these judges simply don’t like the law.

Note well: this is a City of St. Paul case meaning the liberal Democrats running this city are ones pushing the judges to tighten and narrow and undermine the law statewide, using a pathetic excuse for legal reasoning.  Now imagine what they’ll do to you if you are forced to shoot somebody.

Joe Doakes

If the City of Saint Paul (and Minneapolis) can’t repeal the Pre-Emption Statute, they’ll undermine it in court.

Pounding A Square Peg Into A Round Hole – On Your Dime

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County tore down the old jail and West publishing buildings on Kellogg Boulevard, now the county is ready to negotiate with a developer for new buildings on that site.  When government “negotiates” with developers, I fear the only question will be “how much are Joe Doakes’ taxes going up to pay this developer to take this white elephant off our hands?”

The part that kills me is this: “One of Saint Paul’s greatest assets is the Mississippi River,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Saint Paul. “Redevelopment on this site will play an important role in further enhancing downtown vibrancy and embracing our position as a river city. This site allows us to connect our downtown community to one of Saint Paul’s most incredible natural landmarks, and I applaud Ramsey County for entering negotiations with a developer who shares that vision.”

No, Jonathan, you’re dead wrong and your council knows it, which is why the City isn’t jumping into this briar patch, they’re letting the County do it.  The river is nothing in St. Paul as presently situated – that’s why the initial colony was located to the East of the present downtown and was called Pig’s Eye – because that’s where the land slopes down to the river so you can get out of your canoe.

San Antonio has a riverfront development.  Tours, shops, restaurants, a wonderful natural resource to exploit.


Here is a photo of the West building, nearly demolished.  This is the view from Kellogg Boulevard, the major street that runs past the Xcel Center where the Wild play hockey.





Fine, an ugly three story building gone, right?  Not quite.   Here’s the view of the building from the bridge over the river.




There were three stories ABOVE Kellogg Boulevard and six stories BELOW Kellogg Boulevard, then a railroad track that cannot be relocated, and then a four-lane road (Shepherd Road) before you get to the riverbank.  You won’t be sipping your latte on the bank of the river or strolling along the waterway, you’ll be looking at it from 200 yards away, right about where the yellow crane is sitting in this photo.

Minnesota doesn’t have riverfront developments, mostly because the river bank is a flood zone.  Even St. Anthony Main isn’t on the river – it’s separated by a road.  It’s not a “riverfront” development, it’s a “river view” development, and if you’ve ever priced homes you know that distinction is incredibly important.

This whole thing is idiotic.  Which means nobody would build it on their own, they’ll build it only if they can get a big enough bribe.  I’m already paying for a better Minnesota; I’m not looking forward to paying for a nicer riverfront.

Joe Doakes

But pay you shall.

The Twin Cities are  noted as two river cities whose downtowns turned their backs on their riverfronts, literally and symbolically.   And in Saint Paul’s case, it’s happened in ways that’ll take a generation or two and an exquisite amount of money to fix.

Speaking Justice To Power

On March 4, a group of thugs, concealed in an un-permitted counterprotest, attacked a pro-Trump rally in the Rotunda at the State Capitol; a 17 year old girl was punched, at least one man was maced by someone who was trying to crash through a group of Trump supporters to disrupt the peaceful pro-Trump rally, a woman was hit in the head by a smoke bomb – an incendiary device…

…and you have already spent more time reading this than Ramco Attorney John Choi spent in deciding not to press charges against the six upper-middle-class snowflakes that were arrested, incuding Linwood Kaine, son of Hillary Clinton’s veep candidate.

They are, of course, the children of the golf buddies of the city’s DFL establishment, or at least the children of similar Democrat apparatchiks elsewhere.  Urban Liberal Privilege grants them a separate, unequal, nicer brand of justice than the rest of us get.

But there’s an effort afoot to change that.  The “Protecting Civil Discourse” rally on March 18 demanded that the Ramco and Saint Paul City Attorneys offices actually listen to the actual evidence, and follow the logical conclusion and charge the snowflakes.

Calls and emails are eminently appropriate:

Of course, John Edwards was right – there are Two Americas.  The children of our misbegotten “elite” live in one of them, where people with the right political backing can beat people up, block freeways and vandalize not merely freely, not merely at will, but with a nudge and a wink from the powers that be.

Time to let those powers know we’re watching.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

1984 is a little late, but it’s arrived in St. Paul.

 Those new blue recycling carts in St. Paul, you know the ones, you got one.  The City forgot to mention that each has an embedded microchip.

 St. Paul has mandatory recycling and the chips allow the trucks to see if you’re recycling enough.  The City claims they have no plans to enforce the recycling ordinance that way . . . but that’s what the State said about seatbelts, too.  Has nobody heard of the camel’s nose?

 When they quietly implement the next phase, the justification will be to save the planet ‘for the children.’ But that means the recycling company (hence the government) will be able to track not just how many pounds of recycling you submit, but also which brand of booze you drink, which magazines you read (Playboy ‘for the articles’, NRA kook stuff, survivor militia newsletters, right-wingnut National Review), what foods you eat (so they can assist you in healthier life choices no doubt), and so on.

 I suppose next, I’ll have to go sneaking around putting my recycling in neighbors bins so I don’t get targeted by the gun control squads coming to take my weapons and ammo ‘for my own safety.’  I tell ya, it gets harder every year to justify living in this burg.  

 Joe Doakes

Never put anything past Saint Paul.

For The Miseducated Liberal In Your Life

We’re in the opening stages of a mayoral race in Saint Paul.

Now, the various stakeholders and activists are doing what they do – thinking big talks, dreaming big dreams via the political system.  As to what I think this city  actually needs from a new mayor?  It’s irrelevant.   We can want whatever we want – but Saint Paul is a one-party town, and what we will get is someone who’s kissed enough DFL-special-interest ass to rise to the top of the oligarchy,   Someone who will give a vigorous speech or two declaiming how his or her repackaging of 1960s liberal orthodoxy is fresh and new and will bring all the changes that the previous mayor’s repackaging of orthodoxy didn’t.  

Leading to 4-12 years of big government-driven stagnation

Part of the problem is that Saint Paul DFLers think that prosperity is something that government, at any level, can bring via careful planning.   It’s a common conceit on the left.

To speak to that, I’d like to make the essay “I, Pencil” mandatory reading for everyone in this country.  The 1958 essay by Leonard Reed, talks about the impossible complexity of building that humblest of tools of the modern world, the #2 Pencil, and how there is not a single person on the entire planet that can create and assemble a pencil, from scratch, with all of its precursors (cedar, graphite, clay, wax, zinc, tin, rubber and petroleum paint, plus the materials and labor that go into producing each of them).  And this complexity is multiplied, and exponentialized, with things that are more complicated – bicycles, cell phones, trains, cars, the Internet.  

And if  you were waiting for the movie?  Here it is:

The idea that a bunch of “political scientists” can legislate, plan or dictate this failing city to prosperity, even if they focus on that (rather than “inclusion” and other social justice fripperies) is…

…well, the status quo in Saint Paul.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Ramsey County Sheriff Bostrom is retiring to move to England to study whether it would improve law enforcement if they hired persons of good character as police officers. 

The fact he’s having to go all the way to Oxford to find anybody willing to seriously consider the question shows just how far American academic and law enforcement standards have fallen.

 Meanwhile, St. Paul has decided the less people know about law enforcement practices, the better police oversight will be.  So when civil rights activists complained the Internal Affairs Review Commission was biased, the City ordered a report of interviews with 25 people conducted by the U of M Center for Restorative Justice and now the Council has decided to adopt the recommendations of the “study.”  Kick the cops off, pack it with activists, move it out of the police department, hold meetings out in the neighborhoods and give its recommendation to the Chief of Police.

 My question is: when the Commission finds that a St. Paul cop acted wrongly but the Chief of Police declines to accept that decision on the grounds the reviewers don’t know what they’re talking about, will there be more peace in the community, or less?

 Joe Doakes

Either way, the needs of both the bureaucracy and the “activist” communities – both fully-owned subsidiaries of the DFL – are served.

And that’s called a win-win!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Mayor Chris Coleman is running to replace Governor Deer-in-the-Headlights, hoping to bring the same vibrant economy to the rest of Minnesota as he’s brought to St. Paul.

St. Paul is facing a $32 million shortfall after the Supreme Court declared its special assessment scheme was illegal.  Black unemployment in St. Paul is nearly 20 percent.  St. Paul high schools graduate 75 percent of their classes but only 38 percent of St. Paul students can do math at grade level and only 39 percent can read at grade level. I can’t find current data on crime and shootings – looks as if bad news isn’t published anymore.