In the olden days, people and goods traveled by ship. Nowadays, people and goods travel by car.
In the olden days, pirates took ships by force, leaving people and goods stranded. Nowadays, carjackers take cars by force, leaving people and goods stranded.
In the olden days, law enforcement officials were spread too thin to prevent piracy so private persons were granted Letters of Marque allowing them to seize ships from pirates, deliver the pirates to the authorities, and keep the ships as a reward.
I don’t really like having police departments barricaded. But, I understand it. I look at [Saint Paul city councilwoman] Nelsie Yang’s post and I really don’t see a lot of support for her demand that the barricade be torn down, especially from non-White constituents, the very people she claims to be supporting in this action-
To social justice warriors like Yang and, let’s be honest, most of the Saint Paul and the entire Minneapolis City Councils, “social justice” with all its intellectual and political trappings is an abstract, academic concept that has little to do with the lives of their constituents – or at least the ones not employed in non-profits and academic humanities and soft science departments.
Rarely do people like Yang allow themselves to come into contact with the real life concerns of those they “represent”
Governor Walz’ team of experts confidently predicted a Surge of Covid cases so large it would overwhelm hospitals. Patients would die on gurneys in hallways and parking lots, untreated. Bodies would lie in streets, uncollected. Everyone was at risk, from 6-month-old infants to 91-year-old seniors. 75,000 people would die, unless we ‘flattened the curve.’
To prevent that, the Governor declared a Peacetime Emergency and issued a Stay Home order which effectively suspended the United States Constitution, an act never before attempted in this country. Religious worship was banned. Political assemblies were banned. Jury trials were banned. Non-essential travel was banned. And non-emergency medical treatments were also banned, to keep hospital beds open for the Surge of Covid cases.
There was no Surge. Hospitals had on-going expenses for heat and lights, payroll, benefits and insurance amounting to nearly $1 million A DAY for the state’s largest medical providers, but no patients to pay those expenses. Medical providers are still scrambling to catch up. Fairview Health is closing two hospitals in St. Paul – Bethesda (two blocks North of the Capital) and St. Josephs (downtown). The move will save the company money but it will cost the community hundreds of hospital beds and the entire psychiatric care unit. The company also is closing 14 primary care clinics in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin, a total of 900 jobs in all, hoping to slash expenses fast enough to keep the company alive.
Ramsey County is helping out. It’s leasing Bethesda Hospital for $1.2 million to use as a homeless shelter, December through May. Room, board, staffing and security for 100 homeless people will run about $66 per person per day, which is a pretty good rate (slightly cheaper than staying at the Motel 6 on I-94 and White Bear Avenue). The Board of Commissioners didn’t mention where that money was coming from.
To date, rounded to the nearest whole number, Covid has killed Zero percent of Minnesotans. The long-term costs of the Stay Home order have yet to be totaled up.
It’s a crisis not to waste. They’re doing a fine job of it – or so the polls tell us.
In a shocking late-breaking story, Roseville – a first-tier northern suburb of Saint Paul – has broken with its long-standing tradition of embracing and upholding racism, and has undertaken a bold stance:
It’s good to see cities swim against the current.
Of course, I drove further, and on seeing the single coolest jungle gym I’ve ever seen in my life, something that actually made me want to be six years old again, I had to wonder…
…if their next bold stance would be against militarism, and phallocentric patriarchy.
Because you just know one of the Karens that’s taken the suburb over is going to go there, don’t you?
A friend of the blog emails in re the Taco Bell at Snelling and Edmund in the Midway:
Hmmm, are we positive that the city council didn’t pay people to riot in St Paul? Now I just read that the Taco Bell on Snelling can’t reopen until a conditional use permit for drive thru is issued because they need that in order to rebuild. (Even though they already have a drive thru currently).
I know the city has been itching to get rid of the shopping center and the Taco Bell both. Seems too easy…
As we noted last week, the whole “renovation by Molotov Cocktail” thing this past month does seem to have been all too convenient…
Jenny Hui got choked up earlier this week when talking about the family business being shut down.
She’s 28-years old and essentially grew up inside Golden Gate Cafe.
Her parents opened the restaurant in St. Paul’s Midway Shopping Center shortly after they emigrated from China decades ago.
“They worked super hard all these years to build everything we have now,” Hui said. “It’s devastating to see it go out like this.”
But the aftermath of civil unrest last month left parts of the Midway Shopping Center significantly damaged, and the landlord has informed tenants that he intends to terminate their leases.
The Pioneer Press obtained a copy of a letter dated June 25 in which the landlord cited a clause in the lease agreement that allows him to terminate in the case of extensive damage. He noted that all personal property must be removed from the premises by July 1
Now, stop me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t “MN United” looking to clear that shopping center out of the way to make way for its own development plans – plans that cater only dubiously to the neighborhood?
Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United principal owner Bill McGuire is involved in the property, though owner Rick Birdoff with RK Midway wrote the letter to tenants. Neither responded to requests for comment.
The Midway Shopping Center sits in the shadows of the newly constructed Allianz Field soccer stadium, home to Minnesota United.
There was an apparent homicide last night – a woman was killed in the alley behind the Trend Bar on University at Pascal. The Trend – known throughout the neighborhood as “the place where alcoholics go to get drunk and robbed, and the drug trade goes to romp and play” – is eight blocks south of my house.
It’s squarely in the district of Councilwoman Mitra Jalali – who ran for office as “Mitra Jalali-Nelson”, but apparently that whole Swedish surname thing has become less convenient in Saint Paul politics in recent months.
I don’t know who re-worded this Villager article, but it was a white woman who thought she was pretty clever on Twitter. I haven’t actually looked at the Villager article yet, but did have fun making the “clever” woman’s edits more real-
A man died while in police custody May 25. The four officers involved are now in custody awaiting trial and charged with 2nd degree murder. The death sparked protests to highlight that police brutality still exists. Others took the opportunity to loot and commit arson in two marginal neighborhoods of the Twin Cities. The neighborhoods, which have higher populations of people of color, have been the target of DFL endorsed politicians for years as DFL endorsed mayors and councilmembers pushed through light rail construction, zoning changes, house developments, soccer stadiums and bike lanes despite calls from residents that those were not the priorities for their neighborhood. “They’ve been wanting to get rid of our community for years, and this is the last straw,” says one black resident who only gave a first name of Tyrone. Other local business owners of color are saying, “we survived the 2008 recession, the never ending construction, the zoning changes since we weren’t immediately remodeling, but this is the absolute end. We’re packed and already moving.”
Hope springs eternal that black, Latino and Asian voters will figure it out: the riots the DFL wanted, condoned, celebrated and in many cases DFLers (or their idiot children), participated in, in the city whose entire economy has been jiggered against them by progressive plutocrats with deep pockets, just might not deserve their continued loyalty…
My permit to carry expires in July. I finished the class May 19th and called the Sheriff for drop-off instructions on the 22nd. Sorry, you have to make an appointment to drop off your renewal application. Earliest date is June 9th.
Just called me today (June 3rd). They have to re-schedule. They’ll be on lock-down June 9th, I won’t be able to get into the building to drop off the paperwork. Soonest I can come is June 26th.
Seriously? Look, it’s just dropping off paperwork, there’s nothing to it. I’ve had a permit to carry for years, my record is clean, it’s utterly straight-forward. Why can’t the paperwork be dropped off by mail, or by email? If I can’t come into the building, why can’t staff come out for curbside service like Applebee’s? Why is it so difficult for government to do their jobs?
It’s almost as if Sheriff Fletcher is taking advantage of the Covid crisis and the Floyd riots to intentionally make it difficult for people to get their permits. Which is weird, because I never got that vibe from him before. The last time he was involved with permitted carriers, it was to offer us training which was controversial (because he used the list of permit holders to invite us) but sensible (because if you’re going to be carrying, you ought to be practicing). It’s just weird.
Word to the wise – if your permit to carry is up soon, start the renewal early!
Urban pols are not, as they say, wasting thecrisis.
Thursday evening, I decided to walk down to Snelling Avenue to check out the situation.
I saw broken glass at Lloyd’s Pharmacy, at the corner of Snelling and Minnehaha. I decided to check out the situation.
The situation nearly came to me. I saw a vibrant group of youths carrying bags of merchandise out of the Speedway station across the street, chased by the immigrant family who run the place. The other gas station up the block was in the process of being looted as well.
A small group of twenty-somethings jumped out of a car in rudimentary riot-wear, and ran past me, headed toward the Speedway. They took no interest in me – which was good for all concerned. Take that as you wish.
I beat a hasty retreat home, and rode out the rest of the evening.
The next morning, it looked like this:
Lloyd’s, which had been in this building for 102 years, as one of the last of Saint Paul’s small independent pharmacies, was gone. They’d remodeled last year, adding more lab space and some offices for a medical office – a vote of confidence in the neighborhood.
Here’s what confidence in Saint Paul gets you:
That’s 102 years worth of rubble.
Some wag commented with a sign:
Lloyd’s, and the looted gas stations , were the only visibly damaged bulidings north of Thomas – although it was hard to tell if the stores were boarded up as a preventive measure…
Or repairing damage.
I don’t know.
All I know is that my neighborhood, the Midway – my tough, scrappy, blighted little underdog of a neighborhood – feels gutted today.
Did I say tough and scrappy? Hell yeah. The staff from one restaiurant, immigrants all, climbed up on their roof on Thursday night, vislbly armed, entirely to deter the looters that’d gone over so miuch of the street the night before. I won’t name them here – I don’t want the neighborhood’s many Soy Boys and Karens to try to cancel them for their impudence.
During the day on Friday, University was crawling with people with dustpans and brooms, descending on University to clean up the mess.
They clearned out later in the afternoon, though, as sporadic incidents of looting and violence started to speckle the map. Recovery? Just ending the nightmare seemed a long, hard slog away, given Mayor Frey and Governor Walz’s performance.
Anway – to those of you who’ve been burning down my neighborhood, looting my neighbors’ shops, trying to wreck our lives – the neighborhood where I raised my kids, started a business or two, and have lived for what seems like an entire lifetime?
You want to talk about police brutality? Cultures of entitlement? Systemic racism?
Want to talk anger?
Want to make some changes, over what happened to George Floyd? Hey, guess what – I’ve got huge problems with excessive police power, too. Let’s get things done!
But talking isn’t’ fast or dramatic enough for you? Want to browbeat dissent into submission? Want to vent your inchoate rage on innocent third parties? Want to burn things that don’t belong to you?
And if you want to fight opporession with more oppression?
This is for you .
Go back to taking your rage out on your family, or your professors, or on yourself. Jam your adolescent entitlement someplace nature never intended things to be jammed.
Screw your “revolution” – I brought my own.
I’ll be here long after you move on to other tantrums. I will listen, if listening and discussion is what you want. But I’m not running anywhere.
This is my town, sparky.
This is our town. All the good people, black and white, Korean and H’mong, Turkish and Ethiopian, and every other flavor of humanity God put here. The ones who built this place, and the ones who’ll rebuild it after you’ve had your excellent weekend of fun.
We deserve better elected “leaders”, it’s true. But we were here first, and we’ll be here last.
Saint Paul barbershop, facing a life-or-death business decision, chooses life:
In the shadows of the State Capitol, King Milan Barbershop had, for the first time in seven weeks, its lights on. Milan Dennie is the owner.
“It’s my livelihood,” Dennie said. “I’ve been sitting here coming up with strategies and plans on how to open up and do it correctly.”
His customers outside had at least two things in common: The plea to reopen businesses, and the need for a haircut.
For two hours, Dennie enforced social distancing and sanitizing as a way to prove he’s serious for the 16 clients he served.
…well, not “death”.
Let’s go for “mindless, unquestioning acquiescence to even the most arbitrary decision of The State”
The 17th person to walk in was St. Paul police.
“We just stepped outside and he talked to me,” Dennie said. “He said he feels what I’m going through, but the order is in place right now.”
Technically, the state can shut him down and fine Dennie up to $25,000. He’s aware he could lose his shop by this decision to reopen. He’s convinced he’d lose it by staying closed.
When the doors did close, donations came in along with support. Some from fellow barbers who are also stressed from not providing.
“Everybody keeps saying, ‘File this, file that.’ You file everything you want to, until your hands hurt,” Burnsville barbershop owner Nile House said. “You can keep typing til your hands are aching, but you’re not going to get it because it’s not coming.”
When people stop respecting what government does, you can expect people to start working around, rather than with, it.
So among all the bad news about the pandemic, it seems there is a silver lining: the administrations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are being forced to stop playing Sim City with real money and people, and actually do he things city governments are supposeed to do.
Or, well, try. Emphasis added by me:
In Minneapolis, meetings to discuss the hotly debated Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment have been postponed. Discussions about millions in funding for neighborhood organizations and reimagining the city’s transportation networks have been pushed to the summer.
The coronavirus is causing a major slowdown for the two cities, which have in recent years raised the minimum wage, overhauled zoning and made other changes consistent with a progressive policy agenda for workers and the environment. Now, they’re scrambling to find ways to meet the immediate needs of struggling residents while protecting their own workers.
In bold, you almost literally see a shopping list of “progressive” virtue-signals – gone (until the spigot turns back on).
I’ve said it for years – especially since the Walking Dead was the most popular show on TV: catastrophe makes everyone a conservative, one way or the other.
“It’s nice to want to change the way things happen, but we don’t have the luxury of promoting change at this point,” said Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman. “We have the responsibility to make sure we provide the basic services of the city.”
And, when conversations on those more ambitious goals resume, they won’t look the same.
And one can hope that the people of MInneapolis and Saint Paul, when they see how badly the Cities take care of the basics after a decade of no practice, react to that change in the “conversation” by changing the way they’re governed.
Likely? Absolutely not. But if we don’t have hope, why bother?
“States of Emergency” are like catnip for government. Transparency rules get “relaxed” in “everyone’s best interest”, so government can “get things done”.
Of course, it’s not all “Emergency” stuff getting done. The Saint Paul City Council is jamming down an exquisitely expensive rework of Ayd Mill Road – a road that rides like an Andean goat path, whose repaving has been held hostage as the Right Crowd tries to get it turned into their pet path, a bikeway with one lane of car traffic in each direction rather than the current two-ish, at at least quadruple the cost.
And…whatdya know, the dog ate the public hearings.
This is life in a one-party town with an “emergency”.
Teachers say they’re striking because the schools are unsafe, not just for money. But the solutions they propose don’t address the root causes of the problem.
Society painted itself into this corner a little at a time, each new initiative sounding good but each one sacrificing a little, too. In every aspect of life, when there isn’t enough to go around, society must practice triage, must decide who gets the scarce commodity and who is robbed of it. I suggest we’ve been making the wrong decision.
Child 1 has autism. He needs special education, extra attention from teacher, additional time on tests but we’ve mainstreamed him in the classroom with average and smart kids. While teacher is working with him, the other 29 students are bored, learning nothing.
Child 2 doesn’t want to be in school but is lumped with students who do. He acts out, picks fights, talks back, disrupts class but we can’t remove him because of his race. While the teacher is dealing with him, the other 29 kids are bored, learning nothing.
Child 3 has mental health problems. You get the idea.
Two kids might have better lives, the disruptive one probably will drop out soon. 27 kids fail the reading and math test for their grade level. Which is understandable, since they’ve been sitting in class learning nothing all year.
The solution may not be hiring mental health counselors in the main office or racism monitors in every building. The solution may be removing the three who need special attention so the 27 can thrive. No amount of teacher salary raises will solve that problem.
All very true – if the goal is to actually educate children.
And for many, probably most, teachers that is the goal. But for the administrative class, and a public employee unions that really control the whole situation, it’s really about power and transfer of wealth. If any children actually get educated, chalk it up to collateral benefits achieved by pure happenstance.￼
As this is written, I’m not sure if teachers in ￼the Saint Paul Public schools are going to be going out on strike today. It seemed very likely.
One things for certain: the teachers unions PR people have been earning their money. Minnesota Public Radio’s coverage of the strike in particular sounds as if it is written directly from teachers union talking points.￼
St. Paul educators lead the nation in a strategy of using their contract negotiations as a lever to not just get better pay for themselves, but to make their schools a better place for their communities, said Lesley Lavery, an associate professor at Macalester College who studies education.
“Teachers are continuing their strategy of bargaining for the common good which they started about a decade rago,” Lavery said. “They’re trying to listen to community members and listen to teachers’ concerns on the theory that teachers are working most closely with students.”
Raise? Hell, you’re almost wanna give them a medal, don’t you?
Seriously – the entire time of MPR is coverage smacks of one pseudo-governmental fiefdom scratching another pseudo-governmental fiefdoms back.￼
￼￼On the surface, these salary increases may seem reasonable, but a deeper dive into the numbers provides more clarity around the union’s demands. Pay increases are built into the salary schedule for the first 20-or-so years of a teacher’s career. The 3.4 percent and 2 percent increases would be on top of the salary increase formula already included in the existing union contract, commonly called the “step and lane” progression. Despite participating in countless media interviews leading up to the strike, the teachers’ union has neglected to mention these built-in increases that already exist.
Grotto and Arlington is one block from the rec center, where I know for a fact they have entertainment programs for youth. It’s also a couple of blocks from my house, on the east side ofComo Park.
This is not Frogtown. This is a good part of town. But now we have feral youth traveling in packs attacking citizens. And the police can do nothing about it?
When will Reverend Nancy send her hordes of orange shirt supporters into the streets to protect the elderly and frail in St Paul?
Because the longer she waits, the more likely some armed citizen will deprive the world of a future president, astronaut, or scientist destined to cure cancer, who was just beginning to turn his life around when it was tragically cut short by innocently participating in….. you know the rest.
Well, the Reverend Nancy is out of the picture; she’s moved onto electing the candidates who caused the problem.
But the larger point? At some point, “at risk youth” are going to wind up coming up against citizenry who just aren’t feeling it.
And the demagoguery – on the left, which will have to reckon with claims that it supports crime in urban blight – will be out of this world.
I’ve lived in Saint Paul for a little over three decades.
I’ve seen worse crime than the current wave. It was much worse in the mid-eighties.
One thing I don’t remember was the DFL’s frantic swishing between pollyannaism and alarm when it comes to crime.
For example, when the subject is law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights, we’re told there’s a wave of violence. But when it’s…well, we just don’t know who it is, do we – then you’re raciss for bringing it up, because there’s no crime and also shut up.
Thing is, there’s crime. Five violent armed robberies in two days, earlier this week, including this episode:
A 56-year-old St. Paul man said he was out for a morning jog Monday near Como Lake when a group of teenagers came up behind him and threw him into a snowbank – all for his iPhone. He asked FOX 9 to conceal his identity for safety reasons.
“You hear about this stuff and, ‘it’s not going to happen to me,’ and it happened. I mean, I could have died,” he said.
Some of the images from his head injury are graphic, but he wants them shared so people understand how serious this problem is.
“They were punching me and kicking me and then using the billy club on my body,” he said.
Surrounded by the suspects, the victim said he tried to fight back. Eventually, they took his iPhone and hopped into a car that police say was stolen and left.
“They did beat me pretty good. I got a bunch of staples in my head and the reason I’m doing this interview is so people can be more concerned of these vicious acts going on,” he said.
Waiting to see how and why those five victims are “white supermacist” for acknowedging being attacked.
A loaded gun, a ballistic vest, multiple magazines and 18 rounds of loose ammunition. That’s what police say they discovered inside a vehicle parked in an alley in the 1000 block of Beech Street in St. Paul last Saturday night. The man in the driver’s seat has been arrested four times since September. Each time officers found firearms, say court records, which detail just three of the arrests. The firearm, a loaded Brugger & Thomet TP9 handgun, was beneath the driver’s seat, according to the complaint. The ballistic vest, three Glock 9-millimeter magazines, two Tec magazines and the loose rounds of ammunition were in a suitcase in the back seat. Lincoln was arrested at the scene and declined to make a statement to investigators. The female passenger with him said she didn’t know anything about guns in the vehicle. State law prohibits Lincoln from possessing a firearm since he was convicted of felony level domestic assault in 2011, court records say. He has two other unlawful gun-possession cases pending against him in Ramsey County from earlier this fall. In the first, officers pulled him over Sept. 13 after noting that his vehicle’s windows were illegally tinted and found multiple bags of marijuana, as well as two loaded handguns, inside, charges say.
A Star Tribune analysis of newly released police data shows that while homicides soared in 2019, reports of aggravated assaults, rapes and robberies decreased, contributing to a reduction in overall violent crime. However, property crime reports grew by nearly 12% during the same period.
And the hike in property crime may have been a result of the city’s response to the homicides.
To keep pace with the bloodshed, Police Chief Todd Axtell tapped federal agents to assist with criminal investigations and shifted staff within the department to better manage the growing caseload. The strategy meant fewer proactive policing visits and an increase in property crimes, characterized as burglary, theft and arson. Auto theft and larceny, in particular, saw double-digit growth.
So if homicide is spiking, but violent crime in general is down – which comports with data around the rest of the country – then I’m inclined to think that Sheriff Fletcher is right – the murder spree is the result of inter-gang beeves going back over a decade, being settled on the streets today.
And that the metro’s DFL legislative contingent’s maniacal, cancerous support for stricter gun control is geometricaly off-point. If you leave out gang-related shootings – which are hard to identify, but certainly a huge part of the death tool this year – the conclusion is inescapable; it’s not the law-abiding citizen doing the killing.
And gang members don’t take background checks, and they don’t file red flag complaints on each other.
Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell sends New Years greetings to the city – with a challenge (to which I’ve added emphasis):
Happy New Year, Everyone! As we embark on another trip around the sun, I want to take a minute to thank each of you for the friendship, support, advice and adventure we’ve shared over the past year. And this year, I want to try something new. For a change, I want to make a resolution that’s actually achievable (unlike my previous resolutions related to exercise and weight loss—which have obviously failed …). For some time now, I’ve been troubled by a clause in the Minnesota State Constitution. It involves the word slavery, which doesn’t reflect our state values. Article I, Section 2 reads: “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the state otherwise than as punishment for a crime of which the party has been convicted.” This means that even today, 162 years since the State of Minnesota banned slavery and servitude, there is still an exception in our Constitution that allows it. Slavery is not a Minnesota value. Words matter. That’s why I’m making it my 2020 resolution to raise awareness of this clause to ignite a movement among people who care about doing what’s right—a movement to champion an amendment removing slavery from the Minnesota State Constitution. This document, the original of which is kept right here in Saint Paul, is wonderful in so many ways. It protects our rights, defines and limits government power, and guides us as we address emerging issues and concerns. It’s also supposed to reflect our values. And here in Minnesota, they include equity, freedom and respect for all people. It’s time we amend our constitution to make that clear. As a Minnesotan, at the start of the 2020s, it is my belief that it is time – beyond time – to move forward together and strike out slavery from our shared constitution. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you have a safe New Year’s Eve and a new year filled with happiness and health. #WordsMatterMN
I’m an English major, so let’s briefly re-read the sentence. The constitution bans slavery and involuntary servitude except as a result of a criminal conviction – referring to the “involuntary servitude” to the state known as prison.
The Chief is right – words have meanings.
So does history.
In 1859, banning slavery in a state Constitution was a solid, courageous statement. Minnesota was admitted to the union during the run-up to a war this nation fought, entirely over slavery and its side-effects. That clause was a pretty stark line in the sand in its day; the new state committed itself to human freedom.
Does this effort – which has garnered the support in the House of the estimable Representative and profile in courage John Lesch – merely respond to the current trend of erasing the most trivial reminders of history, while repeating its mistakes wholesale?
I mean, fine – erase the word “slavery”. Does that mean Minnesota has joined the 20th Century 12- years late?
Or will it erase the principled stance of a generation for whom principle was a matter of life, death, blood and lost years?
We live in a generation that is forgetting its history. You know the rest of the sentence, right?
As if stealing a package from someone’s front steps isn’t cruel enough, a porch pirate in St. Paul added an insulting “thank you” note for the package’s rightful owner. “Two days ago Hilary was notified that a package was delivered to her home on the 800 block of Watson Avenue. When she got home from work at about 5 p.m., the package was missing, replaced with a thank you note from the porch pirate. Unbelievable,” wrote St. Paul Police Department in a tweet. The note reads: “So just a quick little thank you for leaving me the opportunity of stealing your package very nice of you. Thank you.” The note is signed by “The new owner of your package.”
Mayor Carter: It’s time to do the right thing.
Repeal the ordinances that prohibit booby-trapping.