“Terribly Sad”

Can you imagine the tone if the two “idealistic young lawyers” in this story had worn MAGA hats?

I’m sure those young lawyers will do just fine pleading “moment of madness’ in court.

Mr. Spoor (a prog lawyer who has the most wonderfully occoponymous name, if you speak any Dutch at all) says that young people are prone to doing stupid things (true), and that we should have some forgiveness in our hearts. Throwing a firebomb shouldn’t rate 35 years in federal prison.

But forgiveness without atonement is meaningless – and I wager a shiny new quarter that the overentitled, over-schooled, under-educated wannabe Che Guevaras in this story feel no remorse whatsoever.

Regret over being caught? Sure.

Remorse? That’s for plebes.

This Is A Job For The Counselor Squad

Shot: Vandals of sorts “attack” Lisa Bender’s house:

Chaser: And in response Bender filed a…

…well, let’s look at the Channel 5 story:

The Minneapolis Police Department told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there is an incident report filed concerning an act of vandalism that occurred at the home of Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender last week.

Bender declined an interview request from KSTP.

I smell some more private security for the more-equal animals.

And I’m not the only one, if you read between the lines:

Three Minneapolis City Council members, Andrea Jenkins, Alondra Cano and Phillipe Cunningham recently received threats that prompted safety concerns, and the city paid for private security companies to provide extra protection.

Jenkins told KSTP there have been protests outside the homes of several city council members in recent weeks. After the vandalism at Bender’s home, she said she has never seen this type of vitriol aimed at the city council during her 16 years of work at city hall.

And remember – there are two Betg’s Laws in effect here; the 18th Law covers the media’s reaction, and let’s not rule out the 20th Law in re Councilwoman Bender or her staff themselves.

Shot In The Dark: Today’s News, Months Ago

Someone in the press leaked the body cam video of the George Floyd arrest. Taking nothing away from the tragedy or the anger that went along with it – “knee on the throat” isn’t a good look – but seeing this, I’m thinking Keith Ellison would need Vasily Ulrikh on the bench to get a Murder conviction.

I have little to add, except that this piece from two months ago is looking better and better.

Oh, yeah – strap in. Officer Chauvin will be acquitted of “Unintentional Second Degree Murder”, and the other three will get away with lesser included charges. It’s going to make the last week in May look like a kindergarten full of kids who broke into the Koolaid.

Course Of Events: A “Berg’s 21st Law” Story

Found on Twitter. Verdict: Absolutely true – but it doesn’t go far enough.

30 Days from Now: “Expecting protests to be ‘peaceful’ is a sign of white privilege.”

60 Days from Now: “Any ‘violence’ inflicted on you at a peaceful protest is deserved – expecting not to have violence committed on you at a protest is a sign of privilege”

90 Days from Now: “Violence is Peace”

Remember – Berg’s 21st Law is a law for a reason.

Seattle: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

Seattle cops, barred the use of tear gas and other non-lethal force, are telling businesses “sorry – you’re on your own”.

Given that “keeping order” – making a city a safe place for law-abiding taxpayers to be – is one of local government’s most unambiguously legitimate missions, this should really wake all but the most deluded Seattleoids up.  

I said ‘should”. 

In Much The Same Way As OJ Is Looking For “The Real Killers” (Part II)…

…Big Left is scouring the world for that wave of “white terror” that, we have been assured since 2009, is imminent.

But again, Big Left has met its enemy, and they are it:

In Much The Same Was As OJ Is Looking For “The Real Killers”…

…Big Left is looking for the real racists.

But they have met the enemy, and it is them.

Decree From Management

To: Readers of “Shot In The Dark”
From: Mitch Berg, Editor/Publisher/Writer
Re: Accepted Terminology

Esteemed Reader,

In the past, on this blog, I have referred to “Antifa” – the descendent of the Communist version of the Brownshirts – as “Anti”-Fa, to infer, correctly, that they are “anti” fascist in the same sense as Stalin was “different’ from Hitler.

This is simply too laborious.

With that in mind, henceforth the group will be referred to by a more correct and rhetorically economical moniker.

Vanilla ISIS.

Thanks for seeing to this.

That is all.

Jeopardy, 2021

CONTESTANT 1: “I’ll take “Riddle Me This” for $600, Alex”

TREBEK: “A couple of shades of melanin”

(CONTESTANT 2 Rings in)

TREBEK: Irving…

CONTESTANT 2: “What is ‘the difference between a community group of ‘freedom fighters’ and a ‘scary right wing militia’ to Big Media?”

TREBEK: Correct, and you have the board…

Soft Targets

Lara Logan – one of the precious few actual reporters in national journalism today – on the nature of the “Anti”-Fa attacks on federal property:

One other thing: just like the 9/11 terrorists, they use the “weaknesses” of an open society – free speech and assembly, relative transparency and accountability – against it, to cover their activities and wedge their opposition.

“Anti”-Fa should be considered a domestic terror group.

They won’t be, because they are the idiot children and pathetic nephews and nieces of the political class.

But they should be.

The Unmarked Van Of Remorseless Logic

I’ve had a couple people ask what I thought about Federal law enforcement, driving rental vans and wearing generic mil-cop camouflage, grabbing individual “protesters” off the streets of Portland.

To be honest, I’m not of two minds about it. Maybe three or four.

Bear with me, here.

I was a Libertarian with a capital L. I’m still a libertarian with small “l'”. I read my Soviet history (which is why I’m not a DFLer or a “progressive”). Cops descending out of nowhere and throwing people into vans and driving off is not a good look.

And if you can show me that those people have disappeared without a trace – as opposed to appearing in federal court being arraigned on charges involving destroying federal property and other federal crimes – then we’ve got something to talk about.

On the other hand:

I will wager a shiny new quarter that every single one of these “peaceful” protesters is going to appear in enough video, witness statements and other credible evidence to support at least an indictable allegation that they were involved in destroying federal (as in “you and me paid for it”) property, and/or travelled across state lines to organize other peoples’ felonies.

Now – given that Portland has in effect been turned over to “Anti”-Fa [1], and in effect told its own police to leave them alone and get out of the way, what’s going to be the best way to get these alleged violent conspirators – rolling up in a van labeled “FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT”, warning the wannabe tough guys to form a mob and get their bats and bike chains and guns out, and starting yet another riot?

Or maybe take the subtle approach, get the organizers they want, and leave without letting the mob destroy the neighborhood – again?

On the other, other hand:

All of you people demanding openness and transparency in law enforcement in tracking and arresting (for sake of argument) people who are credibly alleged to be organizers of violent riots that have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to private, local and federal property: Where were you brave, iconoclastic souls in 2011-2013, when prosecutors in Wisconsin were serving no-knock “John Doe” warrants with SWAT teams armed not one degree behind the Specal Forces fashion curve, along with gag orders signed by courts that the Kangaroos released a statement saying they didn’t want to be associated with, against people accused of…

…supporting Scott Walker for Governor?

Where were you?

Is opaque government only a problem when it’s the people you agree with (?) getting arrested under unseemly circumstances?

And on the other, other, other hand:

Is Federal law enforcement and the whole federal justice system, with its 98% conviction rate and its indulgent rules that allow federal prosecutors to squeeze people to choose between guilty pleas or having their lived completely destroyed and being personally, legally and financially ruined forever, too powerful?

Well, I agree – and if you root for that same system when they pick out a white collar criminal to hound to death (read Howard Root’s “Cardiac Arrest” for a great local story by a guy who beat the rap – at the cost of $25 million), but get the vapors when it’s an entitled, upper-middle-class, over-schooled but under-educated “progressive” anarchist, then yes, I am going to point out your (let’s be polite here) inconsistency.

Terrorists

Portland cop (who happens to be black) – the leftist protest mob, especially those organizing them, are the actual racists:

You’re be hard-pressed to show that the “protesters” rioting in Minneapolis weren’t the same pack of over-schooled, under-educated, entitled upper-middle-class honkies.

More later today.

If It’s A Spurious Correlation, It Leads

Correlation doesn’t equal causation.

Every kid with a decent junior high science teacher knew that by, well, the end of junior high.

But Millennials didn’t have good science teachers. Seriously – how did medical schools find students, much less graduate doctors, over this past 15 years?

But I digress.

It also seems to be what passes for “Journalism” lately.

To wit – according to the WaPo, a spike in violent urban crime over the past three months “followed” the greatest wave in history of people…

  1. Standing in line, sometimes for hours
  2. Digging through diminished stock
  3. Taking a federal background check (sometimes, as in Minnesota, twice) and often jumping through other permitting hoops
  4. Buying a gun legally

“led to” a spike in violent crime.

Not dumb enough for you?

“We find that states where individuals are more likely to search for racial epithets experienced larger increases in June firearm sales,” they wrote, “even after adjusting for the personal security concerns that likely generated the March spikes in gun sales.” This is a new development: Running the same analysis on previous spikes in gun-buying yielded no correlation between racial animus and purchasing behavior.

No, it’s not the Babylon Bee. But it’s pretty damn close.

Question for the “reporters” involved: why are we so sure it’s not the other way around – that the crime wave didn’t cause the surge?

The death rate for media credibility is way ahead of the one for Covid.

Uncanny

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember the Indians who tore down the Columbus statue on the capitol grounds, as Capitol Police stood by and did nothing?

Governor Walz promised there would be “consequences.”  Haven’t noticed any news articles about charges being filed. Did they get a time out? Double secret probation?

What exactly are the consequences for destroying government property? I’m feeling oppressed by the health department. Can I go burn it down?

Joe Doakes

If the “Penalty” for destroying statuary is nervous foot-shuffling and occasional statements with no followup, I’m totally going after that Floyd Olson statue.

Rounds Two And…Three?

Like a lot of Twin Cities residents, I’m eyeing next spring – sometime after the scheduled March opening of the Derek Chauvin trial – nervously, remembering that the LA riots (at least the ones everyone remembers) began not with the pummeling of Rodney King, but with the acquittal of the four officers involved.

And here’s a fearless prediction (one I’ve already made): Chauvin will be acquitted of Second Degree Unintentional Murder – not because of any legal cop-fu, but because while I’m not a lawyer, I don’t think you need to be a lawyer to see why it’s going to be very hard to show that Chauvin was – check the emphasis, taken from the statute for 2nd Degree Unintentional Murder…:

(1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting; or

Is a cop responding to a call “the commission of a felony?” I can see Alondra Cano believing that – but Ellison? Someone who’s ostensibly been to law school?

Unless there’s some bodacious lawyer-fu in store, or the Attorney General’s office plans on tampering with the entire witness pool, I’m just not seeing it.

But does the concept of qualified immunity mean there could be yet a third adverse verdict for George Floyd’s supporters and the Twin CIties’ far left’s many professional and amateur hooligans?

Was it “clearly established” on May 25 that kneeling on a prone, handcuffed arrestee’s neck for nearly nine minutes violated his Fourth Amendment rights? The issue is surprisingly unsettled in the 8th Circuit, which includes Minnesota.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit blocked civil rights claims in two recent cases with broadly similar facts: handcuffed detainees who died after being restrained face down by several officers. Unlike those detainees, Floyd was not actively resisting at the time of his death, except to repeatedly complain that he could not breathe.

While that distinction could make a difference in the constitutional analysis, we can’t be sure. Even if the 8th Circuit concluded that Chauvin’s actions were unconstitutional, it could still decide the law on that point was not clear enough at the time of Floyd’s arrest, meaning Chauvin would receive qualified immunity.

The 8th Circuit could even reach the latter conclusion without resolving the constitutional question, as courts have commonly done since 2009, when the Supreme Court began allowing that shortcut. To defeat qualified immunity in this case, says UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz, a leading critic of the doctrine, Floyd’s family “would have to find cases in which earlier defendants were found to have violated the law in precisely the same way.”

The whole piece is worth a read – and the whole concept of seriously reforming qualified immunity is something conservatives need to take an enlightened lead on.

Because it’s for damn sure the other side won’t.

Fortuitous

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…

Dear DFL: You Own This Town

The feds turn down Governor Klink’s disaster funding request:

The federal government has denied Gov. Tim Walz’s request for aid to help rebuild and repair Twin Cities structures that were damaged in the unrest following George Floyd’s death.

Walz asked President Donald Trump to declare a “major disaster” for the state of Minnesota in his request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on July 2. More than 1,500 buildings were damaged by fires, looting and vandalism in the days of unrest that followed Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis police custody, racking up more than $500 million in damages, according to Walz.

“The Governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support,” [Walz spokesperson Teddy] Tschann said in a statement. “As we navigate one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history, we look for support from our federal government to help us through.”

The “disaster” was, of course, caused by sixty years of DFL governance that is swerving exponentially to the left, decades of mismanagement, a toxic culture run by white liberals more concerned with virtue-trumpeting than competence and justice, and of course by a city that simultaneously rolls out the red carpet for young, largely white, largely upper-middle-class radicals (the direct action arm of the DFL) which the city was packed full of when Mayor Frey made his ill-fated decision to evacuate law enforcement from East Lake Street.

Why should the American taxpayer – especially those who work hard to support competent government, almost invariably in red states – pay for the DFL’s decades of depraved indifference to their own incompetence?

You break it, you buy it.

Casualties Of “Woke”. Or…

A few weeks ago, I joked – well, “joked” – that you could that most of the destructive rioters were upper middle class white kids, closely linked to the Twin Cities’ political class.

How could I tell this?

Because Allianz Field, home of “Minnesota United” soccer club, and a mere block from stores that were burned or looted wall to wall, didn’t have so much as a single graffito on it.

We’ll come back to Allianz Field in a moment.

The strip mall that adjoins Allianz, the “Midway Center”, essentially the Midway’s “main street”, was damaged extensively in the riots – but not comprehensively.

That hasn’t stopped the mall’s owner from terminating all the leases in the complex.

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.

Convenient, huh?

Open Letter To President Trump

To: President Trump
From: Mitch Berg, Irasicble Peasant and Scott Walker supporter
Re: Disaster Request

Mr. President,

This past week, Governor-For-Life Walz asked you to declare Minneapolis and Saint Paul “disaster areas”.

Make no mistake – they are.

But they are a disaster entirely due to generations of DFL policy, decades of mismanagement, and a week of seemingly assessing the situation during the various riots and seemingly selecting the stupidest, most self-destructive response.

  • Standing idly by while looters ravaged East Lake and other areas.
  • Evacuating the Third Precinct hours before the rioting re-started.
  • Sending in a token force of National Guard, nearly a day and a half after Mayor Frey’s half-hearted request, and basically hiding under the table as that force and the few Minneapolis cops left along Lake got chased all the way to Nicollet.
  • Responding days late with effective force.
  • Giving the rioters “space to destroy” at their will.
  • Trying to fob the blame on “white supremacists” when anyone looking at the graffiti can tell you it was the white, radical far-left – “Anti”-Fa – meaning “the children and nephews of the state’s and America’s leftist elite” – knowing that even if Minneapolis is burned to the last vertical stick and the earth is salted beheath the city’s feet, keeping the Minnesota DFL’s “progressive” wing fat and happy and unmolested is the real priority.

So – just as insurance companies won’t cover damage to your house if you take a sledgehammer to your walls and countertops, there is no way the taxpayers of the United States – or Greater Minnesota – should be on the hook for the Minnesota DFL’s stupidity.

As they point out whenever they win an election, they “…own these towns”. Paying federal tax money to ameliorate the stupidity of Walz, Frey, and generations of DFL politicians before them is throwing good money after bad.

But I’m nothing if not a uniter. So I have a suggestion.

Tell Minneapolis to start rebuilding with whatever’s left of the $500,000 Mayor Frey charged your campaign for the nonexistent “security” at your rally at the Target Center last year. You know – the one where mobs of leftist droogs (including at least one City Council member) attacked your supporters out in the streets (usually five or six of thugs, and their soi-boifriends, ganging up on an old guy, or a woman, usually from behind), all but cheered on by the Mayor. There is no way any of that “security” money got spent. Tell the DFL to use that.

Please don’t let Real America down on this. Please, please tell the Governor-for-life and Mayor Frey to go f*** themselves. Preferably in as many words, preferably on national TV. Until there are consequences for their, and their party’s, crimes against their positions and the people they govern, nothing will ever improve.

That is all.

Accountability

The Senate GOP – the only real bit of power the opposition has in Minnesota – is finally going to ask the question that it seems nearly nobody in our media will.

Why didi the DFL politiclal “chain of command”, from Mayors Carter and McDreamy up through Governor Klink, allow two of the Twin Cities poor, blighted but slowly recovering neighborhoods to get torched, looted and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition?

Republicans specifically want to know the details of what led Minneapolis police to abandon the Third Precinct police station. Additionally, they want to know why the National Guard was not a visible presence on the ground in Minneapolis until the weekend, four days after the violence started.

At the press conference, Gazelka did not directly answer a question about whether there will be subpoenas issued for the hearings, but a top aide clarified that the Senate Judiciary Committee does have subpoena power, and they will be involved in these hearings.

Democratic senators will be part of these hearings as well. It sets up for what is likely to be a spectacle at the Capitol, with Republican Senators, most of whom are from greater Minnesota, grilling top state and even city officials over the basic question of what happened.

The DFL’s evasion controls are set to “emergency”:

Susan Kent, the DFL Senate leader, responded to Republican plan to hold hearings, saying that Republicans should be just as focused on criminal justice reform as they are on the destruction of property. She noted that these hearing come after a recent special session, where no police reform proposals were agreed upon, during which the Senate held a single, informational hearing for criminal justice reform.

“It is deeply discouraging and troubling to see Senate Republicans prioritize hearings that completely fail to address racial disparities within our criminal justice system,” she said, adding: Minnesotans statewide are asking us to do our jobs and take meaningful action. The one informational hearing they held on weak proposals doesn’t cut it. It is now abundantly clear they were never really interested in passing critical legislation.”

And I’ll agree with the suburban doyenne Sen. Kent, at least halfway; we should examine the “racial disparity”.

Why is it always the black neighborhoods that the hordes of white “anarchists” and “anti”-fa and other members of the DFL’s direct action force flock to to burn and loot?

Two Minnesotas

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We don’t like the statue of Columbus on the Capitol Grounds.

We tried to get it removed through official channels.

We lost.

We announced we were going to tear it down ourselves.

We heard the Governor tell us not to, that the police would stop us.

We didn’t care.

We tore it down ourselves.

We weren’t stopped.

We weren’t arrested.

We weren’t charged.

We weren’t even scolded.

We are heroes, taking back the lands our ancestors sold a century ago.

We’re coming for your house, next.

Joe Doakes

Some animals are more equal than others.

Too Far

The stupidity of the mob that is seizing headlines and rewriting/erasing history is on daily display.

But now, they’ve gone far, far beyond too far:

It’s a statue of legendary confederate general, slave trader and blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Wait – he was never a confederate general, never owned a slave, and was born nearly 100 years after the Civil War.Indeed, Vaughan was something of a center-lefty during his way too short life.

So of course the mob is vandalizing his statue.

On The One Hand…

I’m rooting for the guy in this video who, attacked by small mob of “Anti”-Fa sympathizers in Albuquerque, including one who tried to beat him over the head with a skateboard, came up shooting:

Another video shows the man certainly tried to retreat:

So let’s go over the elements of a self-defense case (as best I know them, not being a lawyer or especially familiar with New Mexico law):

There was an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm – He was hit on the head with a skateboard, and the thugs – or as NPR refers to them, “protesters” – were shouting “Kill Him”. I call that a reasonable threat.

Reasonable Effort to Retreat – Looks like the man made more than a reasonable effort.

Used only the force needed to end the threat – And how. That pack of bullies turned into a bunch of sheep faster than Tim Walz discovering a new regulation.

Can’t be the aggressor – Might be the problem. According to the NPR story:

As protesters surrounding the statue chanted “Tear it down!” and one of them swung a pickax at the statue’s base in an effort to bring it down, a confrontation erupted between the demonstrators and a group of armed men.

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence,” Police Chief Michael Geier was quoted in a department tweet as saying. “If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution.”

The inevitable “white supremacist” allegations are flying around. Of course, even people with unfashionable, even reprehensible, views have the right to self-defense. Berg’s 18th Law is in effect here.

Still and all, maybe some of these morons will realize that the next woman six or seven of them gang up on might be able to do the same. And society might just get a little more polite.

I’ll be following developments in this case.