Clear As Mud

I attended the Black Lives Matter “rally”/demonstration in Saint Paul yesterday.

Or the end of it, anyway; the protesters blocked the Green Line and all traffic on University at Lexigton starting at 9:30 AM, and I got there around 11:30 – in plenty of time for the die-in, a bunch of speeches, and all sorts of chanting.

Uni at Lexington, looking northwest to southeast through spilled coffee. Or maybe a dab of salsa. Or hash brown grease. Not sure. You can sorta make out a cop car on the left; beyond it, the Lexington Avenue Green Line station. The actual protest is out there. Honest.

The bad news?  I brought my camera; I also apperently dripped some coffee on the lens, which coagulated in place, leaving me with really bad photos:

Looking across Uni, cops on the left, protesters behind the crud.

My photos aren’t clear.  I get it.

But they were about as clear as the rationale for the protest.

The stated reason for the protest was to mess with people using the Green Line to get to the Vikings home opener.

But – and let’s leave aside for a moment that Metro Transit routed buses around the stoppage during the entire course of the protest, and had additional buses standing by to carry passengers past the protest – there’s the little matter that…

…no more than a dozen Vikings fans actually park east of Lexington and take the train to downtown Minneapolis.

Speaking of numbers, I counted the following when I was there:

  • Perhaps 75 protesters, including speakers.
  • Of them, 15-18 were African-American. 50-60 were white.
  • There were 14 police squad cars – one state patrol, one Transit cop, the rest Saint Paul.  They blocked University and Lexington a block away on all sides of the protest.
  • There were also four mounted cops and six cops on bike.

The police didn’t outnumber the protesters – but the protesters outnumbered the cops by maybe two or three to one.

So why “protest the NFL” in a place where the NFL and the Vikings will be the absolute last people to notice it?    Why didn’t they hold the protest on the Washington Avenue bridge, blocking the many, many people who take the train up from the Mall of America area from getting to the game, and actually getting the NFL’s attention?

Because – this is my theory, here – the Saint Paul wing of BLM isn’t about protesting power structures.  It’s about 2016, and trying to keep African-Americans fired up to vote in a year where the Democrat party’s entire slate is geriatric white people.

You Had One Freaking Job

From the beginning of the planning for the useless monument to the “wisdom” of our sitting government that the Met Council is pleased to call the Green Line, I accepted a few things as givens.

I accepted that the traffic, never pleasant on University Avenue, was going to turn into a Sisyphean ordeal.

I accepted that businesses more than a block or two from the stops, and businesses that depended on people making impulsive left turns for roughly half of their business, were going to have trouble.  Didn’t like it, but what are you gonna do?

I accepted that the parts of University Avenue that weren’t gentrified into ridiculousness would become even more blighted than they were.

I even accepted that the entire thing was a mammoth exercise in picking winners and losers – the stores, constituents and ethnic groups that were more favored by the city came out better than those that were not.  It was a great thing for DFL-voting fans of “high density” living along the corridor – white, middle class, middle-aged, professional.  It was an OK thing for people who owned, or could obtain, or could afford to continue, businesses within easy and convenient walking distance of the stops.

All I asked – well, not all I asked, but the big favor to which I supplicated the demons of urban “progress” – was, whatever else you eff up, at least leave the Russian Tea House alone.

The Russian Tea House, a little hole in the wall at University at Fairview that sells the best piroshki, vareniki, borscht and other Russian goodies anywhere in town, is taking it in the shorts, naturally; the train from hell, which has blocked off all left turns that used to lead to the little restaurant, has slashed traffic to the store so badly, they’re down to one day a week:

“The first day they started ripping things out, a quarter of my customers went away. For the three years, I shut down for the whole summer,” he said. “All during construction, business was really bad. Now that the Green Line is open, there are no left hand turns, no parking in the street. The regular busses still stop, and if you’re behind the busses, you stop every block. We’re next to Wendy’s and their business is down 25 percent.”
“We’re opened only on Fridays now because during the week, no one comes. We’re two and a half blocks from a station. No one comes off the light rail to come here. No one will want to walk from there in the winter.”

The stupid is rolling over StPaul in waves.

Dear City Of Saint Paul

To:  City of Saint Paul
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Protests

Dear City,

I caught part of the Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend.  Everything turned out OK – partly due to BLM’s leadership’s abrupt change in tone, from “we’ll meet resistance with resistance” to Saturday morning’s “de-escalation training”, and partly due to the heavy presence by the Saint Paul Police, who blocked off most of Snelling Avenue for a fair chunk of the day.

The police also directly intervened in a few incidents where “counterprotesters” – I think that exaggerates their numbers and role, but whatever – heckled the march, moving to screen the “counterprotesters” off from the march in what was likely a prudent effort, but wasn’t one of the First Amendment’s shining hours on either side.

But enough pleasantries; I have a question for you.

If I wanted to have a Tea Party march from Hamline Park up Snelling Avenue, completely blocking traffic during one of the busiest money-making days of the year for Midway merchants – say, next Saturday, also during the State Fair – could I expect the same level of accomodation and forebearance from the City that BLM got?   While, like BLM, not bothering to get a city permit to use a street and block traffic?

I mean, forget for a moment that 2/3 of the people in my parade likely won’t be the white liberals and union people that made up 2/3 of the BLM march, and also keep your bosses, Mayor Coleman and his city council, in office.

What would your response be?

That is all.

“Please Please Please Please Please Send Cameras Please Please Please”

So there’s kind of a theme coming out of  “Black Lives Matter” here in the Twin Cities.

Last week, Rashad Taylor, one of the organizers of Saturday’s protest that’ll be starting a few blocks from my house and proceeding up Snelling – the busiest street in the state during Fair time – to the State Fairgrounds, hinted that there juuuust might be some violence at the protest:

“We’re gonna disrupt [the fair]. There’s nothing they’re gonna be able to do about it…. If we’re met with any resistance or threatened with any resistance, we’ll meet them with that same resistance.”


And on Facebook, Nekima Levy-Pounds – the leader of Black Lives Matter in the Twin Cities, and a woman with a PhD and a lifetime tenure-track job in a make-work academic discipline, who nonetheless complains about “white privilege” – posted:

Friends, Please pray for those brave and courageous souls who will be participating in the ‪#‎BlackFair‬ demonstration outside of the State Fair on Saturday. The level of racial hatred and animus that has come to the surface in Minnesota is appalling. These racist attitudes are typically hidden behind a Minnesota Nice facade. Now, we are able to see the truth of how these folks really feel about blacks and other people of color.

Some have taken these statements as a threat of violence.

Call me a pollyanna if you want; maybe, more accurately, you can accuse me of transposing my own motives on those of others. I read these statements, and I see a couple of people saying “Heeeeey, news media! Make sure you got plenty of cameras lined up on Snelling this Saturday. You wouldn’t wanna miss another…Ferguson or Baltimore, would you?”

Am I wrong?

Putting The Trailer Before The Tractor

Manhattan; a city which was, at least below 42nd St., laid out well before the Civil War. As in, designed for pedestrians, horses and buggies. Not, really, cars.End result; it’s hard to find a parking spot anywhere in Manhattan, especially in the older parts of the city.

Unfortunately, people live there. And they buy things.

Which means things need to be delivered. Things that can’t be carried in taxis on subway cars – like shipments of food, toiletries, organic arugula, and all the other necessities of modern urban life on amid six figure income.

Hardest of all? Finding a spot to park when you are a delivery truck, hauling all of those necessities to all of the stores in lower Manhattan.

Since “widening the streets” is not an option, New York City adapted by, essentially, selling licenses to double park. That’s not really what they are – it’s basically just a special plea bargain that draws a cut rate for parking tickets incurred while delivering to stores. But it’s a market reaction, and a not completely stupid response by government, and as a result, goods actually get to lower Manhattan.

So what could go wrong?

“New Urbanists” who see more tax money to be squeezed out of the productive part of society, same as always:

The latest chapter New York’s working people and the city’s dumb, dumb urbanists:

When the city zeroes out the cost of undisputed tickets for delivery companies as part of a special program to reduce the cost of parking violations, it’s also giving them a pass on a fee required by the state. That surcharge funds anti-drunk driving programs, among other initiatives, and advocates say the city and state could be missing out on tens of millions of dollars each year.

“Missing Out” – provided one presumes that one’s money belongs to the state first, then the people and companies that earn it.

And they do presume that:

“We’ve taken issue with the stipulated fine program before,” said TA Executive Director Paul Steely White, “[for] essentially giving large freight haulers or delivery companies incentives to break parking laws.”…
Bolofsky estimates that three million of the city’s approximately 10 million annual traffic tickets go through the Stipulated Fine or Commercial Abatement programs. That means up to $45 million in uncollected surcharges each year, though the number is likely lower since not all violations are reduced to $0 under the program.
“It does appear that in their rush to give discounts to large carriers, that they have potentially been missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue for various life-saving programs,” White said. “It’s another reason why they should end the preferential treatment of pervasive lawbreakers.”

Oh, just wait; when the urbanists win in the Twin Cities, it’ll be the same here.

Royalty Doesn’t Need Feedback

The Saint Paul Public Schools are discontinuing TV broadcasts of the “public feedback” segment of school board meetings.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on what we’re talking about here; the public feedback part of the meeting is about half an hour, starting at 5:30 (which is a brutally difficult time to make, for people who have day jobs), during which the School Board deigns to allow commoners to address it, in slices of three minutes, while they converse amongst themselves or pretty visibly try to fight nodding off.  I did it a few years ago; you could tell that most of the board would rather have been getting a root canal.

But people watched those session via cable -and occasionally they drew blood:

…a May 2014 appearance before the St. Paul school board by five district teachers pushing for greater expectations of students and consequences for those who misbehave is credited with sparking a Caucus for Change movement dedicated to unseating board incumbents….

Board Member Anne Carroll [Who else? – Ed] argued that the change is part of a series of moves related to the collection of public comments that should give citizens a greater voice. She cited a new policy of taking online submissions that will be documented in the same way as in-person comments.

Board Member John Brodrick, who opposed the move in what was a 5-1 vote, said that having people speak to the board but not to the public via broadcast “betrayed the meaning of public comment.”…

…Currently, the comment period begins at 5:30 p.m., and when finished, gives way to an agenda item recognizing the “good work provided by outstanding district employees.”

Which sounds – I kid you not – like deputies in the old Supreme Soviet of the USSR rising to congratulate one of the collective farms in their district for meeting their five year plan with sufficient socialist fervor.  Seriously; these recognitions sound like competitions to see how many times you can fit the words “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” into sentences while still maintaining a sentence structure.

Anyway – a school district that already hides out in its Stalineque bunker on Colborne Street, above, beyond and away from its constituents, is trying to become even more so.




Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Honoring Indians would be giving them their own day, maybe one that corresponds with an ancient traditional Indian festival or another.


Renaming Columbus Day is an intentional insult.


On the other hand, I’m glad to see the City Council got the roads all fixed, crime is at zero, welfare has licked poverty, so the City Council didn’t have anything more important to do.  That’s good to know.


Oh, and it being the St. Paul City Council, of course it not only has the legal authority to override an act of Congress to re-name a holiday, it also has the moral authority to disregard the racial and religious basis of the city’s own name.


Joe Doakes

Further proof that, in the name of the Establishment Clause, we need to rename the city “Reagan”.


I predicted in June, 2014 that the “Green Line” – the light-rail between downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul – would kill three people and account for a dozen vehicle accidents in its first year.  It turned out to be two dead, I’m not sure how many vehicle accidents – and even more injured pedestrians than I’d figured.

Partly because the pedestrian “interface” for the Green Line stations and right of way is a complete joke.

And now, a reporter is talking about it – and I suspect the PiPress’ Maja Beckstrom is thankful she can talk about it.  She relates the story of a recent close call, at University and Raymond:

Until now, I’d assumed that the people who have been hit by light rail in the Twin Cities were wearing ear buds and spacing out. I figured they were the kind of people who strolled straight down the rails and on the shoulders of busy streets, who crossed against red lights and took chances. Now I wonder if they were just like me, a bit confused and in a very wrong place at the wrong time.

I’m a regular bus commuter and no stranger to public transit, but I’d ridden light rail only once before. I decided at the last minute to catch it to work in downtown St. Paul. I was by Raymond Avenue dropping off a kid at summer camp, so I parked my car on a side street and walked down to University Avenue, where I could see the Raymond Avenue Station to my left halfway down the block. The pedestrian light turned green, and I walked across University’s westbound traffic lane. I figured there would be a sidewalk running up the middle of the street from the intersection to the station. Makes sense, right?

And I’m not the only one:

[The Transit cops who yelled at her after her close call] told me about the two people who have been hit and killed on the Green Line. They told me about a woman who was standing between train lines who was knocked by one train toward another oncoming train and who survived only because the fast-thinking driver of the oncoming train sped up so she fell into the side of the train rather than into its path. I later looked up the statistics. Eight pedestrians have been struck since testing began in January 2014 on the Green Line between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“In your defense, that intersection isn’t well designed,” one cop finally conceded, as he mellowed in the face of my contrite confession. “People get confused.”

In my day job, I try to design things to make sense for real people.  And the design of the Central Corridor’s stations astounds me.

Yet again – big government at work.

Ramsey County Social Services Declines To Indict

Last night, the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) and the local neighborhood association put on a community forum at Saint Thomas University, to answer questions about the shooting that happened last Friday, as well as crime in general in the neighborhood.

I attended, fully expecting to be marooned deep in Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing, trigger-warning-observing country.  And I largely was – but there were a few friends there as well.

Just the Facts:  the major subject of the meeting, of course, was the two incidents that happened last weekend.

The first was the shooting at Summit and Mississippi River Boulevard (the facts of which as discussed by the police didn’t differ much from the account presented in this space);  Laurentai Broadbent and his accomplices had apparently stolen a car (in which two handguns had been stored by their owner), carried out a couple of robberies, and were test-firing the guns on the bluffs above the Mississippi below the monument at East River Road and Summit when they saw the couple, figured them as “targets of opportunity”, and tried to rob them.

Continue reading

Open Letter To Ramco Attorney John Choi

To: John Choi, Ramco Attorney
From:  Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re: Wrist Slaps

Mr. Choi,

This week, you charged the three accomplices of Laurentai Broadbent – the Saint Paul teen and apparent gang wannabe – with aggravated robbery, vehicle theft, and discharge of a firearm.

The law allows you to charge accomplices in a crime that leads to a death – even of one of the criminals – with murder.

So why not murder, or manslaughter?

Gang activity in Saint Paul is booming – or at least that’s how it appears on the street.  So why not deter all those young wannabees from committing crimes against, y’know, actual citizens?

It almost looks like you don’t want to deter them all that bad.

Please think about it.  Then think about it harder.

That is all.

Open Letter To Minneapolis/Saint Paul Parents Of Teenagers

To:  Parents of teenagers
From:  Mitch Berg, veteran
Re:  Crazy kids.


In the wake of last weeks’ shooting of a Saint Paul-area teenager by a carry permittee, we heard the usual response from the kid’s parents; “he was a good kid”, “he’d have never hurt anyone”, and “if he’d known someone had a gun, he’d have dropped his”.

Look – teenagers are difficult.  I had two – and my kids’ teenage years damn near killed me.  And you can be Parent of the Year and still have kids go off the path on you, just like kids raised in crack dens with no parents can go to Harvard and become doctors.  Most of us are somewhere in between; imperfect people doing an imperfect job of raising imperfect people.

Now, the kid killed in mid-robbery last week was allegedly linked to gang activity – but let’s leave all of that out for the moment.  Let’s address the mom’s statement, “He’d have dropped the gun if he’d have known someone else had one”.

Forget the obvious question – what, as long as he’s dealing with defenseless people, he’ll wave a gun around?

What would you think if someone said “If I knew I was going to cause an accident, I wouldn’t have driven drunk.”   How about “If I’d have known I was going to catch AIDS, I’d have worn a condom,” or “if I’d have known I was going to break three vertebrae and end up in traction for six weeks I’d have never jumped off the cliff?”   Or “If I’d known that was a cop, I wouldn’t have asked him to bid on those Malaysian girls I had in the van”.

Not much, right?  Because actions have consequences, and some of them are unintended.

Pointing a gun is one of them.    It is, in and of itself, a lethal threat.

Here’s the deal; A gun – or any weapon that a jury would look at and go “yep, that looks like an immediate threat to my life” – can kill a person in less time than you’ve spent reading this paragraph.

When a person is faced with what they reasonably believe to be an immediate lethal threat (and isn’t a willing participant, and makes a reasonable effort to retreat), the law says they can use lethal force in self-defense.  The law doesn’t require the person to be a clairvoyant mind-reader; they they don’t have to try to divine whether your son really means it, or whether the gun is loaded, or whether he’s really a nice kid who’ll deflate in the face of a threat.  The time to make that clear came before he drew the gun, or, God willing, after.

For the love of God, tell your idiot teenagers that waving weapons in peoples’ faces is, in fact, justification for shooting back.  Cops will do it.  200,000 Minnesota carry permittee can do it.   I did.

If they absorb that, if nothing else, maybe we can avoid more of these episodes.

(Side question:  I’m gonna guess he knew better not to point a gun at a big, nasty gang-banger – right?)

That is all.

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Prodded by the outburst from the peevish, moralistic hipster in this week’s City Page, I met a couple of friends at the Gopher Bar last night.

Unlike most of the “dive bars” so beloved of today’s hipsters, it actually is kind of a dive.  It reminds you of that one bar on mainstreet in every small town in the Midwest – the Wonder Bar in Jamestown, the Ace in Carrington, the Sportsman in Thief River Falls, or fill in the blank in whatever town of less than 20,000 you can think of.

Although the Gopher is a little like that guy every talk radio station used to have back in the eighties, back before talk radio was political, who used to want to offend a little bit of everyone as his gimmick.

Even the front door has something to piss of both liberal and “libertarian” hipsters:

…although their sentiments are pretty clear.

Still, the place doesn’t take itself all that seriously…:

…certainly not nearly as seriously as the kinds of hipsters who write letters to the City Pages (most of whose staff couldn’t find the Gopher Bar, or Saint Paul, if it occurred to them to try).

Of course, while the City Pages doesn’t know much about Saint Paul, the Gopher has read the City Pages.  The staff had heard plenty about the letter to the editor.

And so there it is – the worst flag in the world, without which all racism would disappear:

Of course, if the petulant hipster had turned around, he’d have noticed two more, flanking an apparently racist sailfish.

And there was one other thing the hipster might have noticed had he turned around, observed, and shut his precious yapper; African-American customers.

There were no less than seven in the house when I was there last night (no, I didn’t take pictures of people who just wanted to have a coney and mind their own business).

By the way, that’s seven more African-Americans than have ever worked for the City Pages.

They were no more there to see and be seen than and my dinner companions were.  They were there, like us, for a beer, a coney and fries for under $10.  And as much as I personally hate chili dogs (lots and lots and lots.  Don’t test me on this), the Coneys at the Gopher are really, really tasty.

I know – not a great picture. But trust me; the Coney is as tasty as the photo is blurry.

Anyway – keeping ahead of the ire of Twin Cities social justice warriors is introducing me to some great eats (as I discovered at the River Oasis last summer).

Keep ’em coming, Warriors!

John Edwards Was Only 2/3 Right

Former Senator and two-time Presidential hopeful John Edwards was an immensely tragic figure, in a purely satirical sense, in that he may have been the only Democrat candidate in history to be derailed by violating conventional prole social mores.

But he made one great contribution to American life; the phrase starting “There are Two Americas…”.  This is a gift that has kept on giving to satirists, and likely always will.

But in some cases, it doesn’t go far enough.

Because in cities like Saint Paul, at least in re the Met and City Councils’ ongoing plans to bike-ify the streets and make driving cars utterly unpalatable, there are three Saint Pauls:

The Midway, Saint Anthony Park, Merriam Park, Battle Creek, Payne-Phalen, Summit-Uni and the like:  In these neighborhoods, there is a minority of bikers – and no real resistance to the idea of having the neighborhood’s streets whittled down to one lane plus bike lanes and, maybe, parking.

The East Side, The North End, Frogtown, Dayton’s Bluff:  Nobody bikes, and nobody wants to build bike lanes through them.

Highland:  A powerful minority of well-connected bikers went up against a powerful minority of well-organized NOMASs (“Not On My Arterial Steet!”) – and the NOMAS won a victory, even if only temporary.

The council voted 6-0 for Council Member Chris Tolbert’s amendment to study possible bike lanes on Finn Street and Prior Avenue as well as Cleveland, and to ask the Public Works department to draw up “a robust public engagement plan” to get more input from residents, business owners, district councils and others before deciding by the end of the year where to put the lanes.

Finn?  That’s narrow enough already!

Prior?  That’s two blocks from Cleveland!

And four blocks from already bike-friendly Fairview.

Tolbert said based on the feedback he had gotten — “the most public engagement I’ve received since I’ve been on the council” — he wasn’t sure the issue had been properly vetted. He represents the area south of St. Clair Avenue, where business and property owners said they had collected more than 1,000 signatures opposing bike lanes down Cleveland.

“Both sides have brought up a lot of good issues and a lot of issues that need to be resolved, and we haven’t had a lot of time to let that happen,” Tolbert said.

Now, in most cases – see “The Green Line”, the “Lebanon Hills Park Bike Path” – the “public engagement” is just a ticket the bureaucracy punches on the way to doing what it had planned all along.

In this case?  NOMAS in Highland Park might actually bring some teeth to the issue.

No Loose Ends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a good story

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

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

Can’t Swing A Cat

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Wildcat Wednesday . . . are you doing your part to stop wild animals from killing birds?

Best of all, you get the feral cat back to release into the wild!

You know, when I was a lad, every kid in the neighborhood had the equipment to handle a problem like stray cats, and the willingness to use it. And we never put anybody’s eye out, either. Too bad the obvious solution is a misdemeanor in St. Paul.

Joe Doakes

If we went with the obvious solutions, what would the dues-paying city employee do?

Wheat And Chaff

The Saint Paul Public Schools need to close a $20,000,000 budget shortfall.

This is on a budget in an exceptionally highly-taxed city, that is already well over half a billlion dollars.

What’s the plan (emphasis added)?

Chief Executive Officer Michelle Walker said the district looked to cut administrators and supervisors rather than those who work in the schools, but “there are going to be impacts on both sides.”

The deficit represents 3.8 percent of the school district’s $533 million general fund budget. It’s largely a product of negotiated increases in salary and benefits, as well as inflationary increases for things like utilities and equipment.

First:  as we’ve seen with the recent layoffs in Minneapolis, it’s interesting that the districts are so loaded up on useless administrative mouths to feed in the first place.

Second:  The “Equipment” line item is an interesting one:

Louise Seeba, who opposed the district’s 1:1 iPad initiative, which will cost roughly $8 million a year, suggested next year’s cuts are a consequence of frivolous spending.

“I guess the voters, our parents, have to say, ‘You know what, thanks for that iPad, but now I don’t have special ed services to the level that I expect.’ I think if the schools are upset, they might have a reason,” she said.

Others downplayed iPads as a factor in the present budget picture because a referendum dedicated that money to technology.

In other words, “the iPads are being paid for by a special levy extracted from taxpayers due to an obscure vote in a low-turnout election dominated by teachers union spending; nothing to see here”.

File under “life in a one party city”.

Saint Paul Republicans: It’s Go Time

If you live in St. Paul, and I’m a Republican, or conservative, or just someone who’s tired of St. Paul being a one party city, then I hope you can turn out tonight.

It’s the St. Paul Republican City Committee caucuses, and they’re being held tonight in the auditorium at St. Paul College.

It’s hard enough being a Republican in StPaul – and over the previous few years, the city committee fell into near complete your relevance. There’s new leadership – full disclosure, I’m part of it – and we’re hoping to change that. Starting tonight.

We’ll have a couple of guest speakers – Sen.Dave Thompson, and Andy Richter of “CommunitySolutions”, which has turned around politics in the city of Crystal. Will also be talking about the nuts and bolts of turning the cities political culture around.

St. Paul College is a block north of the Cathedral, at Summit and Marshall. If you park in the college’s parking lot, save your ticket – vouchers will be issued, so parking won’t cost you.

Come on down!


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Police reassured citizens that downtown St. Paul is Safe, despite a string of violent attacks on innocents by groups of yutes wearing gang colors.

You keep using that word . . . .

Joe Doakes

According to the SPPD and it’s statistics, in 2014 the Downtown district had 14 rapes. 71 robberies, 60 aggravated assaults, and other violent crimes averaging out to about 14/month.

Among the responses from some city and light rail apologists: “It’s a city. What do you expect?”

Every Other Problem Is Clearly Solved

Those worried about the plague of having too many transportation options independent of Government controlled monopolies can rest just a tiny bit easier today; the city of St. Paul, responding to the demands of the taxicab industry that donates so much money to their campaigns, is about to fix all that. Emphasis added by me:

The new rules, passed on a 5-2 vote, will govern everything from vehicle inspections to insurance. They closely mirror a raft of regulations approved by the city of Minneapolis this summer.

Nevertheless, city council members Dave Thune and Dan Bostrom expressed concern that the rules do not go far enough to protect the city and the public and do not create a level playing field for taxi drivers.

of course, the “level playing field” is the problem that companies like Uber and Lyft were created to solve.

When the government “levels” “playing fields”, you may be sure that those fields are being leveled in favor of someone who’s already on the field, to protect them from newcomers.

Saint Gruber

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is why the cities of Brooklyn Park, Waite Park and Lake Park need to pay more taxes: so Saint Paul gets more LGA for an $8 million public library in the city’s wealthiest neighborhood, Highland Park.

Meanwhile, my street still hasn’t been plowed or even sanded, and the Mayor wants Congress to pay for street repairs.

No reason to prioritize when you’re spending Other People’s Money.

joe doakes

Proponents of the system will tell you that the money comes from two different sources; that there’s no way the library money could be spent on the streets.

In other words, they’re “Grubering” you.

Democracia Ahora!

¡Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When I went outside this morning to put up my American flag, a pickup full of illegal immigrants stopped to ask if this is where they vote Democrat For Immigration Amnesty. No dude, that’s the Rec Center down the street. And they don’t open til 8. Yes, ocho. Yeah you have a good day, too.

In Saint Paul, the line between satire and truth is so gray and blurry, it hardly exists.

What Not To Do

I can almost hear every carry permit instructor in the Twin Cities writing down the details of this case as their prime example of what never, never, ever to do with your firearm and permit:

The complaint said [Matrix Richard] Lee got up and ran at the woman to retrieve the purse, but she drove at Lee and lifted her arm making some sort of gesture that, in fear of being shot, prompted Lee to grab his handgun, insert a full magazine and fire around the fleeing vehicle. The driver apparently gave him the finger, and angrily, he fired an additional shot at the car in effort to pop the tires, Lee told police.

Pro tip: if they are fleeing, and so far away that you have to steady your arm for a long range shot at a moving target, you are probably not “in immediate fear of death or great bodily harm”.

If the facts of the case are exactly as presented (always the caveat when the mainstream media is reporting on self-defense cases) then Mr. Lee would seem to deserve to be prosecuted for a whole dogs breakfast of charges, not the least of them reckless endangerment.

And not only will Mr. Lee truly deserve it, but I think we need to take a close look at whoever his carry permit training instructor was, just in case.

It Isn’t Very Pretty What A Town Full Of NIMBYs Can Do

The Irvine Park neighborhood, south of West Seventh Street and downhill from the XCel Energy Center, votes reliably DFL.

And so they care a ton about the homeless.

Provided they are walled away from them.

The Dorothy Day Center – across 7th Street from the X – wants to expand.  And that’s got Irvine Parkers up in arms:

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that residents of the nearby Irvine Park neighborhood want more say into the plans for the expanded shelter and service center.

Few will deny there’s a real need for the expansion. But neighbors say they already see homeless people spill over into the nearby park and onto their properties while waiting for the shelter to open each evening. They say the proposed design of the upgraded facility won’t do much to alleviate the situation.

Either will sixty more years of DFL rule, complete with using the inner city as a warehouse for the poor and de-institutionalized.

Who do we protest to about that?