Just Goes To Show You

A couple of Berg’s Law references, here:

Berg’s Eleventh Law of Inverse Viability: The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.

And its corollary:

The McCain Corollary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: If that respected conservative ever develops a chance of getting elected, that “respect” will turn to blind unreasoning hatred overnight.

Both could be renamed “The Paulsen Principle”.

CD3 GOP representative Erik Paulsen has been cutting a decidedly moderate tack in his time in Congress, after replacing equally moderate representative (and fellow Jamestown ND native) Jim Ramstad.

It’s portrayed as common sense; the 3rd CD, says the conventional wisdom, is trending blue and is a very possible flip when and if Paulsen leaves office.

And so while Paulsen’s challengers have been unimpressive so far, he’s been moving inexorably to the center for years, trying to keep it that way.

But – for those who need it – here’s proof that there’s really no pleasing the leftymedia.

An Inconvenient Response

The New York Times actually gets something about gun violence right, in an article that almost belongs in a legitimate source of news.

While the MSM – including the NYTimes’ own editorial page – is blubbering about the same old narrative driven gun grab schemes, none of which have ever affected or will ever affect crime, this piece notes that there are ideas that have affected crime rates without gutting the civil liberties of the law-abiding:

In the 1990s, a highly effective gun violence reduction strategy was developed in Boston by a group including law enforcement officers, researchers, and black clergy members. According to the National Institute of Justice, it resulted in a 63 percent reduction in the average monthly number of youth homicide victims in that city, an accomplishment that was called “the Boston Miracle.”

Since then, variations of that strategy have been implemented in cities across the country. For example, according to a study by the Campbell Collaboration, a nonprofit organization that evaluates the effects of this type of intervention, Stockton, Calif., saw a 42 percent reduction in its monthly count of gun homicidesin the first year of the strategy’s implementation; similarly, Oakland, Calif., saw just under a 30 percent reduction. (In 2017, the city is on track to have its second-lowest homicide rate in over 30 years.)

Of course, for much of the “gun safety” movement, it’s not about solving crime; Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer care less about the lives of poor black and brown people than David Duke ever did.  It’s about controlling society.

But if you leave that out, it’s an excellent article, and well worth a read.

Facts In The Dark: If You Get Your News About Gun Crime/Laws/Owners From NPR, You Are Starting The Race With One Leg Tied Behind Your Back

Over the weekend, NPR came out with a “Fact Check” piece about whether Chicago is “proof” that gun laws don’t affect crime.

Is the “fact check”, well, factual?

It’s NPR and they’re talking about guns. What do you think?

NPR starts with Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ post-Vegas press conference statement:

“I think one of the things we don’t want to do is try to create laws that won’t stop these types of things from happening,” Sanders said Monday. “I think if you look to Chicago where you had over 4,000 victims of gun-related crimes last year they have the strictest gun laws in the country. That certainly hasn’t helped there.”

Pointing to Chicago to suggest that gun laws don’t work is not a new talking point — Trump claimed Chicago had “the toughest gun laws in the United States” in a 2016 presidential debate; his fellow Republican candidate Chris Christie likewise pointed to Chicago as a place with high crime despite tight gun laws.

Now, if you’re a Right to Keep and Bear Arms person, you know what that really means; the idea that tight regulations on law-abiding civlilians owning guns hasn’t the foggiest impact on crime, at best, and a negative impact at worst.  That – crime and death, and how infringing freedom for the law-abiding doesn’t affect either – is what we’re concerned about.

And what does NPR focus on?

The Fussy Tangent:   Hey, at least NPR acknowledges the real problem, sort of:

It’s also true that there were more than 4,000 shooting victims in Chicago in 2016. It’s also true that Chicago has suffered a massive amount of gun crime recently. In 2016, homicides in Chicago sharply rose, mostly as a result of gun homicides, as the University of Chicago crime lab found in a January report.

Gun homicides in the city rose by 61 percent between 2015 and 2016. That helped make the gun homicide rate…25.1 per 100,000 residents in 2016, compared to 14.7 in Philadelphia and just 2.3 in New York.

But never mind all the carnage and death.  It’s Huckabee-Sanders’ assertion that’s the real issue!

But it’s not true that Chicago has the toughest gun laws in the country, as other fact checkers have also repeatedly found…”We generally think of California as having the strongest gun laws in the country,” said Hannah Shearer, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The whole state’s laws are pretty strong.”

The center has given California an A rating and ranks it No. 1 in terms of the tightness of its gun laws.

Ah.  So law-abiding citizens are disarmed, and criminals are deterred only by the ministrations of the Chicago Police Department – but they’re not the “toughest” laws, according to the abstract reasoning of a gun grabber group?

This is not a “fact check”.  This is an ideological purity test.

It gets worse.

The Mean Streets Of Hammond:  NPR next revisits the old canard; Chicago would be safe, if it weren’t for those darned Hoosiers and Badgers:

It’s important to remember here that Chicago is very close to two states that have relatively weak gun laws: Wisconsin and Indiana. So while it’s easy to pick on Chicago (or any other high-crime city) for its ugly statistics, says one expert, taking bordering states into account weakens this gun-advocacy talking point.

“It’s not a scientific study. It’s an anecdote,” said Philip Cook, a professor of public policy studies at Duke University. “They might have pointed to Washington, D.C., back in the days when D.C. banned handguns and yet had high gun-violence rates. Those bans are only at best partially effective, because the borders are permeable.”

So why aren’t Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia stacking up bodies like cordwood?    If availability of guns were the problem, then wouldn’t places like North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming be shooting galleries?

NPR does try to drill further into the issue:

2015 study of guns in Chicago, co-authored by Cook, found that more than 60 percent of new guns used in Chicago gang-related crimes and 31.6 percent used in non-gang-related crimes between 2009 and 2013 were bought in other states. Indiana was a particularly heavy supplier, providing nearly one-third of the gang guns and nearly one-fifth of the non-gang guns.

Other evidence corroborates this — a 2014 Chicago Police Department report found that Indiana accounted for 19 percent of all guns recovered by the department between 2009 and 2013.

NPR has found correlation, not a cause.  Yes, there are guns from other states to fill the black market demand for firearms.  Every single one of them is the result of a felony – a theft (a state felony) or a “straw purchase”, a person with a clean record buying a buy and giving/selling it to a criminal, which is a federal felony.

Is it because Indiana has “lax” gun laws?

Or is it because the US Attorney for Northern Illinois announced that his office wasn’t going to spend time prosecuting “straw buyers” anymore?  Because he wanted to focus his office on politically-sexy prosecutions, and nobody ever got elected to the Senate by showing off a record of  prosecuting gang-bangers’ girlfriends, junior high pals and grandmothers?

So, In Summary:  The NPR “fact-check” ignored the actual point of the Trump Administration’s statement – that gun control and public safety are not in any way linked, and in some cases may be inversely correlated –  to pedantically nitpick Huckabee Sanders’ conceptually accurate statement about the legalities, and issue a deflection about other states’ laws that actually reinforces the Pro-Civil Rights’ side’s point.

Facts In The Dark rules this article as part of the NPR’s effort to be part of Big Left’s Praetorian Guard.  

Hate

There’s a lot of hate on the American left for people who are Not Like Them. I see it and hear it, even among friends and acquaintances who are left of center; many of them think the vast quote on washed and put boards in flyover land are just plain less human than they are. They don’t even bother trying to hide it; Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel marinade in disdain for those they consider their inferiors, and they reflect a point of you here in coffee shops and Whole Foods from coast over to the next coast.

Hayley Geftman-Gold’s only mistake was being overheard by the wrong people, and working in one of few parts of the media industry were giving the impression of toxic bias is still bad form:

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.”

If she’d worked on the programming, or possibly news, sides of the operation, nothing would’ve happened.

Don’t shed a tear for Haley, though. The big left looks out for its own. She’ll have a job, and a darn good one, someplace, soon.

I’m going to bet it’ll be at NPR.

He Looked In Al Capone’s Vault, And Found Some Journalistic Integrity

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m not normally a big fan of Geraldo Rivera, but look at these tweets.  Calling out the New York Times for reckless lies?  Whoa, talk about speaking truth to power.

Here’s another page of excellent bits – don’t send us cops, don’t give to the corrupt government, problem in Puerto Rico is incompetent management.

Here’s the best one.  In response to the mayor of San Juan claiming people are dying.

He’s not 100% pro-Trump for everything, but on the Puerto Rico stuff, I’m impressed.  Nice to see somebody standing up to the rest of the media.

Joe Doakes

I’m not 100% pro-Trump either; I’m somewhere between 40-55%, depending on the day.

But Rivera’s coverage has been good (or at least from what I’ve seen and heard), and much-needed.

The Honest Scholar

NPR’s Robert Siegel  interviews a Harvard researcher – Professor Thomas Abt, of Harverd’s Law School and Kennedy School – about the recent spike in violent crime.

They try to get Abt to blame the ownership of guns by law-abiding civilians.

Abt doesn’t:

SIEGEL: First, let me put to you a very common reaction to rising violent crime or rising murder rates. It’s guns. It’s the number of guns that are out there. Can we say that’s a cause?

ABT: I think it’s unlikely. The reason is I don’t think anything is fundamentally changed in the gun markets in the United States. The second reason is because overwhelmingly gun crime is perpetrated with weapons that are already illegal.

SIEGEL: So there’s a relationship to violent crime, but it’s not necessarily a relationship to a spike in violent crime over the past couple of years.

ABT: Yes. That’s the tension. On all sides, there is an urge to simplify these issues down to one factor, and it’s usually the factor that that particular person or constituency cares most about.

And NPR actually ran it.

My shocked face doesn’t translate to print well, unfortunately.

Customer Satisfaction

Democrats’ confidence in the mass media rises dramatically in the past year.

Democrats’ trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” has jumped from 51% in 2016 to 72% this year — fueling a rise in Americans’ overall confidence to 41%. Independents’ trust has risen modestly to 37%, while Republicans’ trust is unchanged at 14%.

They paid for it.  They’d better like it.

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part V: You Broke It, Strib. You Fix It.

Last week, I wrote a bunch of pieces on an editorial that appeared in the Strib the weekend before last.

The Strib complained about the growing street crime – in particular about the consequences of some local and higher court rulings that make enforcement against crimes like public intoxication and panhandling harder without specific legislative intervention.  (They also proposed the same impotent diversions on gun control that every DFL metrocrat shill runs to when faced with a wave of violence).

All the problems come back to one thing – a mayor and city council that may or may not be unable to grapple with the issues, but are certainly unwilling to interrupt the consequence-free virtue-signaling – like strong-arming local businesses with minimum wage hikes and sick time benefits, and social justice warrior-mongering – that obsesses so many of them.

Betsy Hodges in “action”. Crime skyrockets – but Target “Raises its minimum wage”.  Of course, technology has led to them cutting thousands of entry-level jobs, already.  Just like we warned you.  More to come. 

And this is the city council that, in large part, the Strib has supported to a fine sheen for the past sixty years.

And the mayor they’ve supported all along as well; I take you back to October, 2013, when the Strib editorial board endorsed Hodges for mayor:

Hodges is aligned with this page on the need for improved transit, including streetcars and enhanced bus service, as a driver of economic development citywide. As mayor, she’d play a key role in deciding the future of the Southwest Corridor light-rail project.

Although the school board operates independently from City Hall, Hodges says that as mayor she would seek to build consensus around the increasingly desperate need to close the city’s achievement gap, and she puts the right emphasis on early childhood development and prenatal health programs with her proposed “Cradle-to-K” cabinet. She’s talked generally about longer school days, more flexibility for administrators in teacher labor agreements, and support for reforms proposed by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson.

Hodges doesn’t promise lower property taxes, but her record suggests she’ll be a strong steward of city resources and taxpayer dollars.

Hodges also promises to be aggressive in using technology to enhance public safety and would seek more accountability in hiring, training and disciplining cops. In a recent meeting with the Editorial Board, she acknowledged that the police union contract makes it too difficult to fire bad cops.

Does any of this – which reflects the express wishes and position of the most influential editorial board / DFL PR firm in the state – sound like what’s actually happened since the voters gave the Strib, yet again, exactly what they wanted?

Own it, Strib.  You got your wishes in the North Loop, as you have throughout the city.  You did your best to break it.  You fix it.

 

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,

The North Loop Is Burning!, Part I: “Solve The Problem We Helped Create!”

I’m not saying the Star Tribune’s Editorial Board is full of people that want a dictator to solve all our society’s problem.

am saying that if a dictator ever wanted to take over, they’d’ need society to be full of people like the Strib’s editors to have a chance of succeeding.

They ran an editorial this past week proposing some solutions to the problem of crime, violence and their bedfellows social and economic decay.

And it’s a masterpiece of double-talk, deflection, and putting a crisis to political use.

Home to nearly 6,000 businesses, downtown Minneapolis swells daily as more than 160,000 workers head in to the state’s economic hub. Its landscape is dotted with major businesses, banks, hotels and a massive football stadium.

Yep.  The idea of the hub-and-spoke downtown is alive and well, in a city that pretty much depends on the idea being propagated for eternity.

But unlike a generation ago, downtown is also a growing neighborhood, home to nearly 40,000 residents. By design, they tend to be educated, affluent professionals craving an urban lifestyle that includes the excitement of a nightlife powered by bars, theaters and restaurants along Hennepin Avenue and in the bustling North Loop.

“By design”.

Two very loaded words.

A generation ago, when I moved to the Twin Cities, the North Loop was a blighted area, nearly vacant after dark but for the occasional roughneck bar and strip joint.   Just down the road from North Minneapolis – which was just as big a problem to the city’s reputation then as it is today, although people were a lot less reticent to say so, or why, back then – it shared some of the same pathologies, albeit without a resident population.   I wrote about my encounter with the old North Loop 11 years ago.

Somewhere in the nineties, Minneapolis noticed the small groups of young entrepreneurs that were taking advantage of cheap, blighted property and, with the aid of a flood of federal and state tax money, decided to turn the North Loop into a little Brooklyn;  to replace all that urban grit with a hipster/young child-free-couple-friendly version; let’s call it “Urban Grit-land”, like an urban fantasy version of a Disney subdivision.

Not that the redevelopment of the North Loop was a bad thing.   More stuff going on is better than less stuff going on, all other things being equal.   The Strib, of course, supported the redevelopment – partly, one must imagine, because it increased the paper vallue of their property up on Eight Street North, the paper’s former printing shop and now headquarters, which allowed them to sell their old property down on 4th and Portland for a huge profit.

And let’s not forget – the Strib has always been a relentless supporter of the DFL politicians and policies that have left the neighboring North Side a blighted battlezone.

Of course, what they also did was put a big population of soft, wealthy (and, election results would seem to indicate, very unlikely to resist) targets within reach of a whole lot of urban grit that hasn’t yet been sanded and laquered to a fine patina yet:

But downtown also has a stubbornly rising crime rate that threatens all of the effort and investment in making this area vibrant and attractive. Robberies are up significantly. Homeless encampments are becoming more common. Weekends bring regular reports of shots fired. Complaints about aggressive panhandling are up, and some light-rail transit stations have become trouble spots that draw crowds of young people late at night.

You mean, exactly as we warned them they would?

These are the early warning signs that can signal greater trouble in the future. Spiraling crime can scare off prospective residents and employers. Residents of downtown, unlike those in most neighborhoods, tend to be renters, for whom moving is as easy as not renewing a lease. Businesses, too, can vote with their feet if they or their employees become uncomfortable.

The Strib then goes on to prescribe some “solutions” for the problems that – as we’ll see – they helped create.

We’ll be looking at this for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow:  Kotkin Was Right!

Word Choice

Rolling Stone, reeling from a decade of decay of the print publication biz and its own growing irrelevance, is on the market; Jann Wenner is looking for a buyer.

The NYTimes notes (emphasis added by me):

But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

“Botched”.

“Unproven”.

The actual word is “false”.

 

I’m Not Saying The Strib Editorial Board Seeks A Totalitarian Government.

I’m just saying that in the future, if some future wannabe despot wants to take over this country, suspend the Constitution and crush our freedoms without firing a shot (up front, anyway), he’ll need a society full of people who “think” like the Strib editorial board to have a chance of succeeding.  r

They want the President to stop having rallies like last week’s event in Phoenix – for everyone’s best interest:

These campaign-style rallies serve little practical purpose with the next presidential election not until 2020. Instead, they unnecessarily stoke anger and division at a volatile time, with the rally locations attracting the violence-prone on all sides of the political spectrum.

Well, no.  For the past year and a half, they have drawn unstable, violence-prone, Urban-Progressive-Privilege-sotted “Anti”-Fa blackshirts.  Lately, to be sure, they’ve drawn people on the other side who’ve come to aggressively defend themselves.  What, you expect people to stand still while they’re being gassed and clubbed for exercising their rights?

Clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters have already left one woman dead. It is only by the grace of God that more people didn’t die in Charlottesville. Or that violence didn’t spiral out of control during another gathering last Saturday in Boston.

Excluse my middle English, but bullshit.  All the violence in Boston was on the left.   Thousands of drooling scumbags descended on an expressly peaceful event that specifically excluded and condemed “white supremacists”.  Boston was a monument to the spoiled entitlement of Big Left and its idiot children – which is why it’s disappeared from the media.

It’s just common sense to let these tensions settle down and, until then, not offer up another obvious gathering point for extremists itching for action. President Trump should have recognized this before Tuesday’s rally, but making his way through the large, tense and often heavily armed crowd in Phoenix should have really driven that point home. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries Tuesday, but the event clearly strained local law enforcement’s capacity.

Look at the bright side; being a Red area, at least the cops in Phoenix showed up.

My suspicion; Big Media is decreasingly able to cover up the depravity of its nephews and nieces in the extreme left.

“Political Thuggery Is Peace, Winston”

Reuters calls “Anti”-Fa “Peace Activists”:

Reuters: rapidly catching up with CNN at introducing Duckspeak to their style guide.

UPDATE: The tweet was apparently spiked. Which tells us as much as the original tweet…

Oh, Snowflakes. Just You Wait.

Twin Cities far-left doesn’t trust the left-wing media, creates its own.

Distrust of the news media has permeated recent protest movements in Minnesota and nationwide. It’s changed the way groups spread their message. When organizations like Black Lives Matter have something to say, they’ll put it on Facebook or Twitter instead of going to a news outlet.

On social media, there’s little filter of information, [Hah Hah Hah – Ed.] and the groups can control the entirety of their message instead of handing it off to a reporter to present it.

Activists say news organizations have a history of unequally or inaccurately representing minority groups, which they say contributes to systemic oppression. That makes nontraditional groups like Unicorn Riot an easier source for social justice movements to trust.

There’s no question that the local mainstream media favors the big, institutional left – read “DFL”.

I suspect that’s more a matter of convenience (and the fact that most activists are terrible sources).

The Last You’ll Hear Of This Story

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is waiting to speak to a manager at O’Gara’s about some entertainment business.  

Avery LIBRELLE walks into the bar, holding a tin cup, seeking donations for Carlton students with “Triggering Fatigue”.  LIBRELLE notices BERG.

LIBRELLE:  MERG!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Avery. How ya doing?

LIBRELLE:  Fascists are launching that wave of violence.

BERG:  Actually, it’s “Anti”-Fa’s blackshirts that are actually doing the violence.

LIBRELLE:  Har di har!

BERG:  Remember that episode last March, where a permitted group of Trump supporters were…

LIBRELLE:  …where they encountered a group of anti-Fascists who were just minding their own business, and the blame was on both sides.

BERG:  That’s your story, and you’re sticking with it?

LIBRELLE:  Of course.  It’s settled science.  Neil DeGrasse Tyson says so.

BERG:   Yeah, not so much.  One of the snowflakes involved in the attack took the deal.    And as part of the deal, he had to admit on the record what happened.  Here, let me read fro this bit from Alphanews:

Sagermerek, who initially pled not guilty during his first court appearance, told the court he “maced someone” and had intentions of disturbing the peace when affirming he would plead not guilty.

However, when Taheri and Sagermerek went over the events of the March 4 Trump rally, Sagermerek contradicted himself by stating that he intended to counter-protest peacefully, though he later admitted to carrying mace in his pockets.

Describing Trump supporters as protesters and the alt-right, Sagermereck told the court he was covered head-to-toe in black, wearing a studded jacket and bandana over his face, that he arrived with several other people.

Acknowledging Trump supporters had built a wall to keep counter-protesters away from their event, Sagermereck told the court that is when he grabbed the canister of mace and “sprayed it at one of the Trump supporters.” He announced the attack to be one that was “unprovoked and not in defense.”

Seven other counter-protesters have been charged and are currently awaiting trial.

LIBRELLE:  Ah.  So the Trump supporters tried to keep the counter-protesters…

BERG:  …in their bandanas and blackshirt-wear…

LIBRELLE:  …away from their demonstration?   Well, there you go.  Hate crime.

BERG:  Of course it is.

But LIBRELLE has already walked to the other bar to try to order a gluten-free diet Pepsi. 

And SCENE.

 

Punch Back

The builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline are suing the racket of “environmental” groups that spent half a year obstructing their work:

From last summer through the first couple of months of 2017 there was an all-out assault on the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters, summoned to rural south central North Dakota by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a myriad of environmental groups, blocked roads and set fires and harassed pipeline workers all in an attempt derail the project.

It didn’t work. Oil flows through the Dakota Access Pipeline today, but the State of North Dakota did run up a $38 million bill for the law enforcement response.

Anyway, today Energy Transfer Partners (the company behind DAPL) filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing some of the environmental groups involved in the protests of racketeering.

For all the fawning coverage MInnesota Public Radio gave the protests and protesters, I’m almost amazed they weren’t named as co-respondents.

Otherwise Occupied

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The lead article in the August issue of the Midway Monitor is about Frogtown Radio WFNU 94.1 being on the air.  It’s low-power community radio, covers a 5-mile diameter reaching from Har-Mar to the river, from the U of M to the Capital.  They want to give the diversity of talent in the Frogtown area the chance to be heard.

Sounds like an opportunity for a member of a historically under-represented minority to get on the air.  I’m talking, of course, about Conservatives, who have been systematically excluded from the halls of power in St. Paul since the Great Depression. With your experience in radio, you’d be a shoo-in.

And your very first program could be an investigative piece.  The article quotes the Station Director explaining the need for community radio was driven by people who are not cis-gendered white men having limited access to higher education.  I, for one, would love to hear why Brown Institute refuses to accept women, LGBTQIA and persons of color as students.

There’s an open slot in the programming schedule on Sunday afternoons.  The community needs you.

Joe Doakes

I’m flattered, but I don’t think Salem would cotton to it.

However – I’d be more than happy to help any Saint Paul conservative who wants to make a go at it; application help, coaching, production…whatever.

Have yoiur people call my people.

The Man Without A Party

Saint Paul representative and attorney general candidate John Lesch has been given a $25,000 fine for irregularities in handling his campaign finances.  One little smidgen of emphasis is added:

After working with Lesch, his treasurers — one of whom is the representative’s wife — and investigating the situation for more than three years, the campaign finance board fined the lawmaker $25,000 for the violations.

Incumbent Legislator John Lesch, DFL, has been 66B’s rep. at the capitol for ten years. Lesch is challenged this election season by Republican candidate Ben Blomgren.
The board found that Lesch generally transferred money from his campaign account to his personal account at times when there otherwise would have been “insufficient funds” without the campaign cash.

“Rep. Lesch’s immediate need for resources in per personal accounts at or close to the time of the unexplained transfers further supports the Board’s conclusion hat the transfers were for personal use,” the campaign finance board’s report says.

The emphasized “DFL” reference?  It wasn’t in the original story.

Imagine that.

 

 

Backwards Schadenfreud

I’m not sure what I like most about the proposed plan to save KFAI Radio – the long- running ‘Publicly-Supported” Pacifica affiliate in the west bank (where, I note in full disclosure, I was a volunteer news guy 25 years ago, trying to find a way to infiltrate the MPR Borg).

Is it the idea that a plucky underdog might survive against the MPR juggernaut (MPR’s former generalissimo, Bill Kling, spent decades trying to extinguish small community stations, the better to snarf up their funding sources)?

Could be.

But I think it’s the fact that the plan involves actual radio people bringing some actual radio programming common sense to the station, which endlessly cheeses off the sort of people who’ve been killing off these sorts of “community” stations.

 

Balance, Public Radio Style

When a Democrat makes an allegation against a Republican

BROADCASTER:  “Democrat Don Key has accused Republican Allie Funt of wearing army boots.  In other news..,”

When a Republican makes an allegation against a Democrat

BROADCASTER:  “Republican Gia Piey alleges that Democrat Dawn Quie wears army boots.   A spokesperson for the Quie campaign denies this, noting that  there is no evidence supporting the allegations”.