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.

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.  

Why? 

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.

DeMause:

“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.