The Second Bull Run Of The Second American Civil War

The Atlantic hired, and then fired, Kevin Williamson – perhaps America’s best political journalist, and one of the best interviewees I’ve ever had in a decade and a half of doing the NARN.

Andrew McCarthy has thoughts on the subject.

My thoughts?

I’ve observed for years that one of the greatest side-effects of Urban Progressive Privilege is a complete inability to “debate” anyone who’s not part of their club – because they have no concept of cognitive dissonance when it comes to politics or any area of life touched by politics (and politics touches every area of their life.

Differ with an blind date’s politics?  Ghost ’em!

Differ with a fellow student’s politics?  Shame them!

Disagree with a co-workers’s politics?  Slander, ostracize and try to destroy them!

The Progressive Cage Match

The CD8 DFL had a very long convention on Saturday,  After ten ballots, everyone promised to go to the primary.

Nothing especially unusual htere.

The unusual thing?  The DFL trucked a bunch of Latino activists from the Twin Cities to canvass for the Metro DFL’s chosen candidate.

Phifer, a college professor who previously worked at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, initially entered the race to challenge incumbent DFL Rep. Rick Nolan.

When Nolan announced his retirement in February, Phifer had the advantage of a five-month head start over the four candidates who jumped into the race afterward. It showed on Saturday: her blue-shirted supporters were a vocal presence in the convention hall, and she got the most votes of any candidate on each of the 10 ballots.

But Phifer’s background as an ICE employee revealed a deep rift on immigration: members of the Latino DFL Caucus protested her candidacy and urged delegates to reject her in a speech from the floor, one of the convention’s most dramatic moments.

Which leads us to the sort of unintended comedy that makes me love the Metro DFL so much.  Alondra “The Brain” Cano, tweeting (what else) about a Duluth DFLer’s response to the fllood of – I”ll emphasize this – non-CD8 ringers – with the sort of club-footed fake victimization that’s become her trademark:

Don’t you just love it when elected members of a one-party autarchy with boundless political privilege and power unimaginable to regular schnooks start whining at other people with similar Urban Progressive Privilege about what victims they are?

The Ultimate Urban Progressive Privilege…

…is being able to blame “privilege” for every transgression, real or perceived, for which one’s facts, logic or intellect doesn’t equip one to respond.

A friend of the blog writes:

I guess we uppity peasants got put in our places. If one complains, uprises against the government, it is only because of privilegeand wealth. We are instead to sit passively, for the good of all, and let organized city services have their way with us. After all, they apparently make better choices for us then we can make ourselves.

Really. And here I thought it was our right to protest when government over stepped into our lives. I guess I will remind people of this when the next Black Lives Matter protest happens over an incident with an organized city service.

As we noted when we first defined Urban Progressive Privilege, another of its great privileges is not having people calling you on inconsistencies.

Appropriation

“Aliza Worthington” describes herself as “Brooklyn-bred, Baltimore by choice, music snob, history nerd, family-obsessed, friend-dependent, amateur glassblower, passable dancer, & since age 40, a writer”

She may have had a point until she hit that last clause.

Ms. Worthington – a honky – writes a piece in the ever-more-loathsome “Medium” entitled “Black Panther” Is Not For Us, White People“.

I’m gonna stop just short of telling white people NOT to see it. To be clear, I hope this movie makes A BAZILLION GAFLILLION SCHMATRILLION dollars opening weekend, and wins every single award possible. Speaking to my fellow white people, though, can we please consider letting Black people have this joy without us ruining it for them with our presence?

We have ruined, and continue to ruin so much for Black folx.[That’s right. Folx.  She is that dumb – Ed] Yes, often just by inserting ourselves where they are rightfully trying to enjoy their greatness in peace, and without our white nonsense.

Ms. Worthington:   do black “folx” (#VomitInMouth) need your help defending their culture?

I’m sure they’ll rise as one and offer their “thanx”.

Or, if you get tickets, and you notice it’s sold out, and some Black folx are outside bummed they weren’t able to get tickets, give your tickets to them and go to Applebee’s instead.

How very, very twee.

It just has to be tough, being both a honky and ˆ”authentic”.   Well done.

Ms. Worthington:  I’m going to exercise that greatest “white privilege” (I choose to call it “freedom”, and invite everyone of all races to partake in it) and go wherever I damn well want, do what I want, and mock your appropriation of the voice of American blacks.  They don’t need your help.

Being Evil

Last year, Google’s collective (heh) culture of Urban Progressive Privilege-sotted virtue-signaling intolerance fell onto Google engineer James Damore for the high crime of out that Google, ironically, has a relentlessly PC, virtue-signaling-focused corporate culture.  Damore was summarily fired.

This past week, Damore and his team  filed their lawsuit

Damore has now answered Google with a legal broadside, and it’s extraordinary. Most people don’t have time to read his entire 181-page complaint, but those who do will find a comprehensive argument that Google’s corporate culture encourages, sanctions, and facilitates an extraordinary amount of abuse against conservative white males.

Artists Conception of a Google staff meeting:

 

And he has the receipts. Much of the complaint consists of screen shots of internal Google communications and postings on internal Google message boards that would constitute strong evidence of hostile-environment race-and-gender harassment if the the races and genders were reversed. For example, “Googlers” (that’s what employees call themselves, using Google’s silly corporate language) relentlessly enforce a so-called “Googley” culture where employees blacklist conservatives (blocking them from in-house communications), actually boo white-male hires, and openly discuss committing acts of violence against political opponents. The “punch a Nazi” debate is alive and well at Google, and the definition of “Nazi” is extraordinarily broad. In one posting, an employee proposes a “moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors.” In another, an employee advertises a workshop on “healing from toxic whiteness.” Another post mocks “white fragility.” The examples go on and on, for page after page. Damore also alleges (and again, provides screenshots of emails and other communications to support his claims) that managers actively attacked conservative employees, encouraged punitive actions against dissenters, and even awarded “peer bonuses” for speech attacking conservatives.

Google is a private business?  Sure – they’ve got every right to run things any way they want.   But we’ve seen what mindless monocultures have brought to most of our major cities; what do you think it’ll do to a company?

Googlers may have special coding skills or may fit seamlessly in the company’s Googley culture, but it’s now plain that much of their discourse represents a special kind of pettiness, stupidity, and intolerance. It’s often fact-free, insulting, and narrow-minded. In other words, a Silicon Valley monoculture produces exactly the kind of discourse produced by monocultures everywhere. While there are certainly kind, courteous, and civil progressives at Google, the existence of the monoculture also enables the worst sorts of behavior.

Read the whole thing.

Everything You Need To Know About Today’s Left…

…or at least its’ “progressive” wing, was predicted 38 years ago:

Don’t believe me? Watch Pete eat Repeat.

(And at the risk of sounding ungracious, I have to say that watching “Pantsuit Nation” – a group of entitled, Urban Progressive Privilege-sodden Hillary supporters – squirting tears after Trump’s election was, alone, enough to make this non-Trump-fan smile a big, broad smile).

Dear progs:  if you wanna eat your own, I’ve got some vegan, gluten free salt you can have for a modest price.

People Ask Me…

…”Mitch, why on earth did you write the character Avery Librelle?”

To which I respond “You mean, why did I create a ditzy, morally-flatlined person who seems to live in a world all hi…er, he…er, their own when it comes to the effects “progressive” policy have on real people?”

And my questioner responds “Yes!  Exactly!”

And I answer “Because it’s not even close to fictional”.

These are the people who claim to be non-violent – but not only tacitly support “Anti”-Fa, but ponied up a million dollars to defend a former terrorist who’d become a Highland Park liberal with impeccable credentials.

These are the people who say out of one corner of their mouth they worship science (especially that dreamy Neil DeGrasse Tyson) but reject everything evolution has wrought in regard to, to pick one example, gender roles.

And they are the ones who wrap themselves in feminism, up to and including the notion of scrapping due process when a woman accuses a man of any level of sexual harassment, abuse or assault…

…but only the wrong men.  Not the men that give us the legislation we like, or say the things we agree with.

On the other hand, Avery Librelle would have scoffed at the Strib’s letters to the editor about Garrison Keillor as being “too over the top”.

Selected quotelets about Keillor:  “Tears came to my eyes as I awoke Thursday morning, still partly in a wonderful dream in which I was going to an “A Prairie Home Companion” show. Garrison Keillor and a Walter Cronkite-type character were in the front seat of our carriage and we were in the back….They had unique takes on the world today, and past — and wisdom, hope and jokes to offer for the present and the future. Then, in real-word time, we discussed how incredibly sad we were, and my tears continued”.

“I’m convinced that in his professional life he was pure, mostly. That is all we can ask of anyone.”

“I think the knee-jerk response in this case is really over the top. Keillor really is the shyest guy in the room. I do not believe he ever knowingly committed any impropriety. This is becoming French Revolution stuff — just a single comment and it’s “off with his head!””

“The Star Tribune should step up and recognize that all mistakes have gradation — the kid who steals a Snickers and the bank robber are neither morally nor criminally equal. ”

“There is a significant cultural context to this issue. Keillor’s artistic creations added an important element to this state’s identity. So the steps MPR has taken not only diminish Keillor’s reputation, they also undercut what we believe to be good about Minnesota.”

True, he touched a woman in a place that isn’t her soul, and doing that wasn’t appropriate. But what he did isn’t fire-worthy. He’s apologized to her. We all have our foibles.”

Minnesota liberals?  I didn’t invent Avery Librelle.  You did.

Crucial Yet Irrelevant

As we head towards another round of off year elections – including an awful lot of Democrat-controlled cities – a piece of re-usable narrative that is rapidly becoming a hallmark of the Trump age is starting to break out again; the notion that voting – or more precisely, “expecting your vote to affect anything”-  is “irrational”.– where “irrational” is defined as “your vote may not be the single vote that decides the election.

An expectation that seems, itself, a tad irrational.

Bear with me, here.

It popped up over the weekend before last on Minnesota public radio, on NPR’s syndicated “New Yorker Radio Hour”

Big Left has thrown out that particular notion in a couple of election cycles now – the idea of that voting is irrational and to the point of bizarre because one single, solitary vote it’s not the one that will determine the election. Which, if you follow it to its logical conclusion, leads to the supremely undemocratic idea that the only vote that doesn’t matter it’s the one that negates all other folks – the “vote” to overthrow democracy, consent and elections, and seize power for its oneself. Which, if you’re cynical – also supremely realistic – about Big Left, which seem to be their goal..

So far, the narrative seems to be about trying to deflect away from the idea of illegal voting. Especially if it illegal immigrants voting.

The narrative goes like this; given the irrationality of a voting, why would one risk capture, prosecution, conviction and deportation over a vote that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t matter at all.

(Of course, it’s nearly impossible to convict anyone of illegal voting – and in the cities where illegal voting is most likely, illegal immigration is a pretty safe bet as well.

Which speaks to my theory – which is almost a Berg Law, I’ll have you know – that Big Left doesn’t even bother trying to tell the truth to its own people; the gobble up any crap that I slept in front of them. Because we all know it’s almost impossible to get arrested for voter fraud; it’s almost an unprosecutable crime, especially in any “progressive” – run jurisdiction – like Minnesota.

So there’s no need to tell all of those lavishly funded nonprofits that are busy getting out the vote, pushing to allow eagle illegal immigrants the right to vote, and to clear allA chance to win for us election integrity as “racist”. The people who run Big Left don’t believe it either.

It’s just aimed at people who take democracy, the franchise, and the notion of “government by the consent of the governed” seriously.

Glad we were able to settle that..

Life Cycle Of Uselessness

It was over a year ago that we carried the story of the Pillsbury Foundation’s buyback fiasco.   Which doesn’t narrow it down much; while the buybacks last year in Minneapolis were very poorly organized, their effect on crime was the same as any other buyback program.

Nil.

But this buyback was different in one way; unlike other buybacks that just sell guns for scrap (allowing criminals to dispose of crime guns without leaving a paper trail), the guns gathered were doing to be donated to “artists” to do “art” that was supposed to “raise awareness” about “gun violence”.

A friend of the blog writes:

more “gun art” that will never be displayed on anyone’s wall

The Pillsbury folks paid for this apparently

The only thing really on display (at least in the objects pictured) is the paucity of imagination in these “artists”

Look at the things that have created great art over the centuries:  Longing, anger, the search for justice, the search for God, the quest for beauty – lots of motivations.

“Spoiled, subsidized, entitled, Urban Progressive Privilege-sotted pseudo-“artists” barking like dogs on their political masters’ command” isn’t one of them.

Virtue Laundering

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Suppose you’re a politician who accepts campaign donations.  Turns out, one of your donors is a bad egg.  What do you do with that money?

If you keep it, you are guilty by association.  If you give it back, the bad egg will donate it to your opponent to use against you.

“After the Las Vegas shooting on October 1, State Rep. Erin Murphy, a fellow DFL candidate for governor, called on [Rep. Tim] Walz to return the $18,000 in campaign contributions he has received from the NRA over the course of his political career. Walz agreed, and plans to donate the funds to a veterans’ organization.”  Nothing against veterans, but why them?  Why not victims of the Las Vegas shooting?

The Democrat National Committee received $300,000 from accused sex abuser Harvey Weinstein.  It will forward $30,000 of that money to Emily’s List (supports candidates who favor abortion rights), Emerge America (trains Democrat women for office) and HigherHeights (supports Black women running for office).  Basically, Democrats are forwarding the money to their own constituencies. Why them?  Why not a group working with survivors of sexual assault?  And why only tithe 10%, how is that enough to purge their guilt-by-association when others must return all the money?

If the money is so tainted that you are stained the moment you touch it, then forwarding the money to a favored group doesn’t cleanse you of the stain, it makes you a middleman helping spread the stain to others.  Either keep it or give it back, but don’t try to convince me that money-laundering makes you righteous.  That’s just insulting.

Joe Doakes

They’re OK with that.

The Left’s “Conversation About Guns”

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch forced to move her family due to constant, legitimate death threats…

…from “Violence” activists:

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch announced Sunday on Twitter that her family had been forced to move suddenly after she received multiple death threats from gun control advocates.

Loesch, a conservative commentator and syndicated talk radio host, followed the announcement of her family’s move by condemning the way politically progressive society has treated not just her, but conservative women as a whole.

There are two huge points here:

The threats from gun control activists is pretty much par for the course.  Even locally, some local “gun safety” activists like to spice up their social media interactions with weird, muted threats of mayhem.

Of Goals And Means

Two incumbent Minneapolis city councilbots, and five challengers with decent chances of winning, said they can see a future without a Minneapolis Police Department:

Asked, “Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?” two incumbents and five serious challengers running for City Council answered “yes.”…Those who did and said they believe “we could ever have a city without police” were Bender, Ninth Ward Council Member Alondra Cano; Phillipe Cunningham, who’s running for council in the Fourth Ward; Jeremiah Ellison, who’s running in the Fifth Ward; Janne Flisrand, who’s running in the Seventh Ward; Ginger Jentzen, who’s running in the Third Ward and Jeremy Schroeder, who’s running in the 11th Ward.

Let’s be clear; even the candidates (mostly) say this is in the realm of imagination, if not fantasy:

“It’s aspirational, but it’s way aspirational,” said Council Member Lisa Bender, who said yes to the question. “We have a very long way to go before we would approach public safety without police.”…”The question wasn’t, ‘Do you promise to eliminate MPD by the end of your first term,’ it was ‘Can you imagine a city without police,’ ” said [long-shot candidate Phillippe] Cunningham, who’s running against Council President Barb Johnson…

Now, let’s be frank; a society without the need for police would be a good thing, from a conservative perspective.  And it can, and has, worked; in the old west, before the idea of “police” had migrated out from places like New York and Boston, communities did in fact police themselves.   Of course, they also governed themselves – without the need for Minneapolis-style city councils and bureaucracies…

…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Here’s the problem; part of it is that it’s a spitballing fantasy.

Part of it is that, being not merely DFLers but DFLers to the left of Betsy Hodges, they’re putting their faith in the wrong institution to bring this utopian vision about:

[Several of the respondents said] they were describing an ideal future in which inequality and racism are eliminated and government policy has solved many of the social problems now handled by police arresting and imprisoning people.

Uh oh.

For starters, government policy is behind most of the social problems facing Minneapolis, especially the North Side; from the warehousing of the poor in places like North Minneapolis, to the inertia of the police reform process, to the artificial hikes in the minimum wage and immigration policies that have made entry level work impossible to get for too many poor youth, most of the problems trace back to City Hall, the State Capitol, or DC.

But here’s a more troubling part:

Prosperity without order is impossible (even if it’s enough “prosperity” to pay taxes to support a leech-like bureaucracy like Minneapolis’s); freedom without prosperity is meaningless.  If you think that’s an idle bromide, look at Detroit, Camden or Stockton.

So something has got to keep order.  Sometimes – like in small towns out west, or in the Old West example above, or in areas where natural disaster has swept away government at least temporarily, that order is kept by the people agreeing on some basic rules to live by, and some simple means to enforce them.

In this day and age, in the big city, it’s a police department, a prosecutor’s office, a judicial system, a corrections system, and a parole and probation system, and the bureaucracies that recruit, train, advise, pay, and take care of all the above after they retire, and the bureaucracies that do the same for those bureaucracies.

What could be worse?

One of the study’s designers answers:

“Police reform doesn’t actually work,” [survey organizer, designer and artist Ashley] Fairbanks said. “We need to radically re-imagine what policing will look like in our community.”

And all those roads seem to lead, according to any of the councilpeople, to policing attitudes, not behavior.  To eliminating badthink.

In other words, they’d get rid of the guys in cars patrolling for speeding tickets, and replace them with thought police.

Bonus Sign of the Apocalypse:  And in this survey, one of the voices of practicality, of feet-on-the-ground common practical sense, of dealing with the “now” rather than fantasizing about the indeterminate future, is…

…Alondra Cano?

Cano said right now she actually wants a greater police presence in the Ninth Ward, which includes several neighborhoods along East Lake Street.

“The solution is not really no cops, but it’s more how do we get rid of homelessness, how do we get rid of commercial sex exploitation, how do we get rid of chemical dependency?” she said. “Then you start alleviating the pressure that a lot of police officers feel to address these very deeply rooted challenges in our community, which they themselves know they’re not going to be able to solve.”

Given Minneapolis’ electorate’s state of mind these days, that might come back to haunt her.

 

 

In Other Words, The Status Quo

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Powerline discusses income inequality.  It’s almost entirely caused by White Privilege but not in the way the Left means it.

The newest study says highest income goes to people who stayed in school, stayed out of trouble, got a job and kept it, got married before having kids and stayed married, and have at least two children.   In other words, traditional, conservative, “acting White” behaviors that Leftists call “White Privilege” but we call “normal” or “common sense.”  And those behaviors pay off.

Plainly, this is unfair.  The only solution is to make everyone come out equal:

Prevent studious children from getting better grades than goof-offs by doing away with grades;

Prevent scholars from getting better educations than drop-outs by teaching nothing useful in the schools;

Prevent the law-abiding from having better records than troublemakers by declining to prosecute or by plea bargaining, expunging and eliminating ‘the box’ on employment applications;

Prevent the industrious from having better work records than slackers by making all jobs part-time and temporary, even if it means we must impose exorbitant overhead like Obama-care premiums and $15 minimum wages;

Prevent the burden of dealing with the consequences of sex outside marriage by paying to kill “oops” babies;

Prevent marriage by making it a farce available to every perversion, and punish men who try by making family court a life sentence of penury.

America will only be a Fair society when we all live identical lives and since we can’t elevate everyone to the penthouse, we’ll have to reduce everyone to the trailer park to live solitary, poor, nasty and brutish lives.

We’re well on the way and ordinary Americans know it.

Which might be why Trump’s campaign slogan resonated with so many people.

Joe Doakes

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part IV: Never Waste A Crisis

Last week, the Strib put out a breathtakingly obtuse editorial about the wave of crime sweeping the North Loop in Minneapolis – even as crime statewide continues a long-term downward trend.

The Strib’s editorial board blamed court for limiting the cops’ ability to arrest drunk and panhandlers – but, mirabile dictu, not a single word about getting the Mayor and City Council to take time off from virtue-signaling, political posturing, and  building exquisitely expensive monuments to their own wisdom.

But now, it’s time for the scapegoating:

There’s another, more intractable problem that Freeman, Segal, Arradondo and others wrestle with: guns. “We as a society have refused to provide law enforcement with the resources and laws needed to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Freeman said.

Bravo!

Getting guns out of the hands of those who should not have them!   That’s just brilliant!

So the MPD will start focusing on straw buyers, gangs and habitual offenders?

Don’t be silly, fellow peasant; it’s Minneapolis:

Options here are few, especially in light of the strength of the gun lobby.

Let’s make this absolutely clear:  the “Gun Lobby” is the only party to this discussion proposing anything that will actually affect crime; upcharging gun criminals,

Some attempts at municipal restrictions have been struck down. One notable exception is New York City, where carrying a gun requires a special city permit issued by the police commissioner.

And where crime 35 years ago was off the charts – with the same, exact laws they have today.  It was Giuliani and his “stop and frisk” and “broken windows” policies – none of which the government of Minneapolis would ever condone – that actually lowered crime in NYC.   And by the way – have you noticed how crime is trending since DiBlasio reversed Giuliani and Bloomberg’s policies?

Minnesota typically has had strong Second Amendment protections, but it may be time for Minneapolis to explore its own carve-out.

Because of all the carry permittees that are shooting people up in the North Loop?

Because all those north side gang bangers will get permits?

Because holding out bitterly against the rights of the law-abiding citizen has served Chicago so well?

The legislative delegations from Minneapolis and St. Paul, with assists from city leaders, should make their voices heard on resurrecting a gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks for gun sales made at gun shows, privately and online.  These are the same background checks gun shop owners are required to conduct, and a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last year found strong support for such a measure — 82 percent.

Which only proves that 82 percent of the Strib’s remaining film of readers are idiots.   Criminals don’t take background checks.

No.  The responsibility for the carnage on the North Side and in the North Loop lies precisely in the laps of Mayor Hodges and the pack of virtue-signaling, PC fops that amuse themselves playing “government” at City Hall.  It is they that continue the policies that keep the North Side hopeless, keep the Minneapolis PD busy chasing PC trends, and keep the city as a whole ripe pickings for the criminal class.

Perhaps it’s Minneapolis’ idiot political class that should be taking background checks.

See you

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part II: Kotkin Was Right!

A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin.

Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind?   But he’s made himself persona non grata among urban planning wonks by swimming against the current train of thought, which holds that core cities will rise again; the “Creative Class” loves their inner-urban amenities, and the rest will be forced there by Met Council policies.

Kotkin notes that for the past generation, most growth in this country – economic and demographic – is happening in the outer suburbs and exurbs of major and mid-sized cities.  Kotkin also theorizes that cities are rapidly devolving into a demographic donut:

  1. A downtown area full of well-to-do, gentry – businesspeople, technocrats, upper-middle-class empty-nesting retirees, and “the creative class”.
  2. The rest of the city – where the civil service class warehouses the poor.

The progressive political class tries to conceal this by inducing suburbs to increase the amount of “Affordable Housing” – but we’re going astray, here.

Accoridng to the Strib’s editorial last week, it appears that the outer and inner donut rings are getting too close together:

“Downtown has become everything to everybody,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and that’s a problem. Few downtowns, he noted, have two major homeless shelters, along with the myriad social-services and outreach programs that have located downtown over the years.

Five will get you ten that this is followed by a call to move more of these facilities and services to the ‘burbs – so the people in the donut hole don’t have to deal with them.

“That may be something to rethink,” he said.

Huh.

So – for the past sixty years, the DFL has had iron-clad control over Minneapolis.   They created an interventionistic bureaucracy that fed off the welfare state, and created some of the worst income disparitie in the state.

And now they want someone to get the bums out of their perfectly-coiffed hair:

Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.” Because of the court’s decision, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city’s panhandling laws are no longer enforced.

 

Aggressive panhandling is not benign, and it often is committed by individuals with mental-health problems and addictions. There have been reports of panhandlers confronting individuals and demanding money, even chasing them for “donations.” It is possible that more narrowly targeted laws, aimed at harassing behavior or specific locations, such as near ATMs and transit stops, could survive legal scrutiny. Minneapolis officials should undertake a serious effort to craft legally defensible alternatives, rather than leave an apparently unenforceable law on the books.

Or, Minneapolis could continue to shred through low-income jobs like they grow on trees, enforcing unsustainable, job-killing minimum wage laws and making affordable housing a government-controlled racket.

Maybe that’ll work this time.

Tomorrow – Never Never Land,

Creative Clash

Distort the economy of a sector, an industry or a city to benefit an industry, a policy or a class of people, and you’re going to cause unintended consequences – almost all of them bad, at least for someone.

Fifteen years ago, the NPR-listening, Whole Foods-Shopping, Volvo-driving set nodded and snapped their fingers to the beat of Richard Florida, who wrapped up a bunch of toxic economic interventions in a bunch  of artisanal wrapping paper and slapped a name on it – appealing to the “Creative Class” – that was marketing genius, making the children of America’s upper-middle-class feel like their apps, their hedge funds and their vegan restaurants were part of something Big and Important.

Cities – or rather, city planning wonks (who love to see themselves in that Creative Class – fell all over themselves to engineer cities to draw this class, on the promise that they’d spur economic growth.

The results?   Well, I predicted this – and now, Richard Florida himself is acknowledging it:

The rise of the creative class in such cities as New York, Washington, and San Francisco did produce economic growth—but mostly just for those who were already wealthy. The poor, and especially the working class poor, were right out of luck. They were priced out of the city and driven out to the suburbs, where they created the kind of urban problems known only to the cities. The modern city is the greatest economic engine the world has ever known, but these days it seems to run only for the aid of those who need its benefits least. When the rich, the young, and the bohemian revitalized Austin, Boston, and Seattle, they induced a cycle of soaring prices and class replacement. The creative class brought an income inequality that hadn’t been predicted. Florida could call them a new class all he wanted. They proved to be merely the children of the old white-collar meritocracy, grown doubly rich from the rising tide of urban renewal.

So, in The New Urban Crisis, Richard Florida takes a long second look at the nation’s cities. He doesn’t admit that he had been wrong in 2002 with The Rise of the Creative Class, mostly because he doesn’t think he was wrong. The city progressed just the way he described. But what he has called the “externalities” have mounted to such an extent that they now outweigh the gains he saw 15 years ago. The creative class triumphed, and his prize cities have turned into wealth preserves—the old gated communities of the suburbs, transplanted to the urban core.

The whole thing is worth a read.