If you run a business in the Twin Cities, this is what you are up against:

Lotus has been a tradition in the Twin Cities as long as I’ve been here, and considerably longer. Even as Vietnamese restaurants got taken over by Thai joints (Unjustifiably, in my book), the Lotus has carried on.

But will they come back downtown? Will Ruth’s Chris? Brit’s?

Especially given that the photo above described, exactly, the support they can expect from the city of Minneapolis?

Would you?

Open Letter To Governor Walz: Therapy

To: Governor Walz
From: Mitch Berg – Former Rock and/or Cow, current Deplorable
Re: “Healing”


Last night, as yet another round of looting began over a false rumor of another police shooting, you tweeted:


You don’t “heal” from cancer while your tumors are still metastatizing.

Minneapolis’s disease is the long-standing tolerance of lawlessness toward political ends.

Every blocked freeway. Every “Anti”-fa outrage given a faint whisper of a slap on the wrist. Every child of the political class whose arson and looting and thuggery gets ignored. Every “progressive” city that declares itself above Federal immigraiton law. Every time you nudge and wink at progressive thugs – the spoiled, entitled, emotionally brittle, violence-prone, over-schooled / under-educated children of our political class (including, it might seem, the daughter of a certain sitting governor), every time you conflate “First Amendment” with “Room to Destroy”, every time you abandon parts of the city to the mob?

Every time you treat minority votes as your chattel?

Every time you and your party treat minority and immigrant neighborhoods as a place for people to take out their real or ginned-up frustrations with fire and baseball bats?

That’s the disease.

There is no healing until the disease is gone.

There will be no “healing” while cities like Minneapolis are nothing but Jimmy’s First Political Experiment Kit, for the political class to twirl the knobs and yank the levers and try to build a “progressive” utopia, rather than places where people live, work, and expect some level of fiscal and social return on the “investment” that is their taxes.

I’m not going to say “progressivism is the disease”.

But it’s the delivery system for everything Minneapolis needs to “heal” from.

That is all.

If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Get Out Of The Cul-De-Sac

Among the left’s long list of abusive rhetorical techniques, and the one that has me in a particular state of pique, is the phrase “SAY HIS (or HER) NAME”.

It’s a pretty ghastly bit of emotional manipulation – basically a bit of on-the-spot brainwashing, and the crudest, most blunt-force kind of framing there is.

With that in mind, Governor Klink is clearly getting the message – the suburbs, which gave the DFL the majority that keeps his dictatorial power in place, are clearly not amused by last weekend’s shenanigans and malarkey in Hugo.

But he can’t quuuiiiiiite put it in words without getting his progressive puppetmasters to whack him on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper:

Well, just a doggone minute, Governor.

What threatening behavior? What bloodthirsty rhetoric?

From whom?

Say his name.

And his party.

Hint: it’s the party – from the leadership on down – that is always the one actually attacking people and breaking things.

Go ahead, Governor Walz. Or, let’s be honest, Flanagan.

If you live outside the Jonestown cult that is the DFL in the Twin Cities, you need to make sure your neighbors seriously absorb this episode. It tells you everything there is to know about today’s DFL.

This Is Today’s DFL

This is DFL-endorsed candidate for the MN House, Bob Thompson, this past Saturday in Hugo, outside the home of Lt. Bob Kroll.

It certainly didn’t end there:

Additional footage of Thompson’s speech showed him wondering why protesters “were so peaceful.” He then told a man holding a blue lives matter sign to “take that sign” and “stick it in [his] ass.”

We coming for everything that you motherf–ers took from us,” he added. “This whole [vulgarity] state burned down for 20 [vulgarity] dollars. You think we give a f– about burning Hugo down?”


The story has evaded the Mainstream Media, of course – they want the DFL to hold those suburban seats. You’ve got to go to the honest, conservative media to get the story.

By the way – when former state rep Matt Dean asked one of the area’s freshman DFL reps to comment, this was what Amy “Profile in Courage” Wazlawik had to say

Pretty sure Rep. Runbeck’s position on the demonstration is clear.

Unlike Wazlawik’s.

Or those of Ken Martin, Melissa Hortman or Ryan Winkler, for that matter.

Quick question for our DFL readers – do you disavow this?

Yes or no.

Oh, yeah – we know where Governor Klink stands:

This is the party that wants to rule Minnesota. Not govern – rule.

Don’t You Think You’re Being A Little Hard On Our Little Creep?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rioting in Portland for 60 days now, most recently trying to burn down a police station. The Press says the riots are “mostly peaceful.” 

Puts me in mind of a certain movie. I can imagine our anti-fa hero coming up from the basement, dressed in black, telling Mom he’s going out with his friends. “That’s nice dear, have fun storming the courthouse.”

Joe Doakes

It’s all funny until self-government becomes impossible because nobody trusts our institutions…

Nice Business You Got There. It’d Be A Shame If It…Broke, Or Something

Minneapolis businesses destroyed when the City failed – no, abnegated, competely – at its responsibility to deliver the public safety and order that taxpayers expect…

have to pay in advance on their taxes to clear the rubble of the businesses that the City didn’t even bother protecting with last year’s taxes:

Light leaving “moral” today won’t reach Minneapolis’s city goverment until long after Mayor McDreamy’s great-grandchildren are collecting social security.

Until Proven Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is the kind of analysis the jury is likely to hear in the Floyd case, which is why I’ve been saying all along that it’s going to be a tough case to win.

Not saying this guy is correct, or that the jury will find his analysis persuasive, but this column shows why serving on the jury is not as simple as watching the video before voting to convict.  The defense gets a turn, too.

Joe Doakes

Attorney friends tell me Earl Gray is the real deal, defense-wise.

In other words, buckle in and pray for an April blizzard.

Peaceable Assembly

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

First Amendment of the Constitution protects the fundamental right to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
60 days of rioting, burning down buildings, destroying property, is not what the Framers contemplated. Those are not peaceful protests so they’re not covered by the First Amendment. They are Insurrection, which must be put down to preserve civil order.

Portland needs to announce that we’ve had our little fun, but we’re done now. Starting tonight, anybody suspected of Riot will be shot on sight. Then shoot a few people,  “a whiff of the grape,” to encourage the others.

The time-out from reality is over. We are going back to constitutional republic.

Joe Doakes

The government of Portland – like that of Minneapolis, except apparently the Charter Commission – is so dependent on the (politically connected parents and aunts and uncles of the) mob in the streets, they wouldn’t dare raise a finger to them.

“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.


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.


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.