Blast From The Past

Robert Fisk – the gassy far-left Brit columnist upon whose oeuvre the term “fisk” was launched – is back with a bit of virtue-signaling…

…that actually has a point, although I’m not sure Fisk knows it.

The headline – “When you watch Dunkirk, remember that it’s a whitewashed version which ignores the bravery of black and Muslim soldiers” – set off a bit of a teapot-tempest on social media over the weekend.

He’s got about a third of a point.

About a third of the French Army in 1940 was from France’s overseas colonies; black troops from Guinea and Cameroon, Muslim Arabs from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, and Black Muslims from Senegal and Chad.    They were among France’s best troops, too – solid fighters who didn’t bother much with hardships in the field.  They were a significant part of the French First Army, the vanguard of the French armed forces which had joined with the Brits in advancing into Belgium, only to be cut off by the Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes.

And when Churchill decided to evacuate the “British Expeditionary Force” – the British Army in France and Belgium – with the original stated intent of sending them back to Franch to continue the battle – it was the French First Army that held the Germans off long enough to carry off the evacuation (and then, long enough to get about half of its own troops evacuated).

And among those troops – among the best and bravest of them – were the colonials.


A justly cynical revue of Nolan’s Dunkirk by Francois Pédron in Paris Match points out, correctly, that 18,000 French troops paid with their lives to hold the Dunkirk perimeter and 35,000 were made prisoner – almost 140,000 French soldiers were rescued from Dunkirk – but that not only do the victors write history. Filmmakers write the “history” too, Pedron wrote. He is right. The true story of the Algerian and Moroccan units has still to be filmed. It would make a terrifying drama. The Germans threw raw meat into the prison cages of Algerian and African troops – to show cinemagoers how they fought for the food and tore it to pieces like animals. Algerians were massacred by the Nazis on racial grounds – an act which strongly supports the suspicion of some intellectual Arabs today: that Hitler, after destroying the Jews of Europe and the Middle East, would have next turned his exterminating fury against their Semitic Arab brothers.

All true enough.


But if you remember the movie, there really was exactly one filmic depiction of the French Army holding the line; the squad of metropolitan French holding the roadblock in the town of Dunkirk, in the first two minutes of the show.  That’s it.

So yes – Christopher Nolan, in telling the story of three British people at Dunkirk, neglected the stories of black and Muslim French soldiers.

Also those of the rest of the French Army – Catholic, atheist, and otherwise.

It’s the French as a nation, stupid.

And just to show that Robert Fisk is still the fisk-worthy fella he’s been for a decade and a half:

Much has been made, inevitably in The Guardian, of Nolan’s failure to acknowledge the presence of Muslim troops at Dunkirk – Muslim Indian Commonwealth soldiers (from what is now Pakistan)

Which may be because Christopher Nolan is a racist.

Or, perhaps, because the British Expeditionary Force included no “Bengali” (what they called Pakistani) troops – or, for that matter, any of the much more numerous Indian Hindi troops that also served the Brits in the millions.  While the British military included millions of troops from colonies like India and Hong Kong, like the French, colonial troops served in colonial units.  The Indian and Bengal troops served in large numbers in North Africa, the Middle East, and southeast Asia – including defending India itself from a Japanese invasion – but only rarely did they serve in Northwest Europe during /world War 2.

While PC virtue signaling is easy, facts are hard.

I’m Not Sure…

…what struck me the most about President Trump’s speech in Warsaw.    The fact that it was an excellent speech – presidential, inspirational – but that showed he’s got an interest in Making Western Civilization Great Again…

…or the fact that Big Left found a way to poo-poo the value of Western Civilization:

In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.

… The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.

And here we go.

Yep. The society that first recognized the value of the individual, that figured rights were endowed to us by our creator and not government, that decided every government rules by consent of the governed, happened to be caucasoid and Christian; elements of western history and Christian faith make both amendable to those ideas.

What do critics like Peter Beinart want?  To make Western civilization more like all those non-western, non-Christian civilizations?

Have the left learned nothing?


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A shopper at a Roseville liquor store was upset that store management wanted to check her large bag.  She was at the store on Sunday with about a dozen people, picketing, signs saying “MGM Racist” and “Treat Everyone Equally.”

Maryam S., the person who complained on YELP on 7-1-17, says MGM never checks anybody’s bags.  That’s how she knows she was singled out.  Scroll past a few Fake Reviews by Social Justice Warriors from places like Arlington, Virginia and Apple Valley (who obviously never shop there), you find a review from Gnos G. dated six weeks before the complaint, another Asian whose bags got searched.

Maryam says when she called the owner, she was told that searching bags is carefully limited to people whose conduct is suspicious.  The owner pointed out that historically, most shoplifting in that store has been done by Black shoppers.

In other words, you were not singled out to be searched, Maryam, because searching bags has been store policy for weeks (and that sign has been on the door for years – I know because that’s my regular liquor store).  And you were not profiled for being Asian, they check Black people’s bags, too.

Searching large bags in a store is not racism.  It’s loss prevention.  If you worked in retail instead of being an Emergency Room Doctor at St. John’s Hospital, you’d know that.  I realize it’s jarring to suddenly find yourself being treated unfairly because of what other people have done in the past.  Believe me, I know exactly how that feels.

I am constantly berated for having White Privilege.  The fact that long ago and far away some White people mistreated some Black people doesn’t mean that THIS White person has mistreated any Black people.  I never owned any slaves, no Black person living in Minnesota today toted any bales of cotton, so using the same logic as Maryam’s example, I shouldn’t have to hear another damn word about White Privilege.

What’s that you say?  Embedded in the culture?  Indirect beneficiary of other people’s crimes?  Guilt by association?  Racial stereotypes?  That door swings both ways, too.  Identity politics paints everyone with broad brushes.

It’s all fine and good to mouth Liberal platitudes about justice and equality and vestiges of institutional oppression.  But when it comes right down to the bottom line, shoplifting is a crime and loss prevention is the solution.  Leave your backpack in the car next time.

Joe Doakes

I’m verging on just about done for apologizing for my skin color.

Trapped In A World, Identity And Reality That I Never Made

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If race is a social construct with no fixed definition but is something we do and others do to us, then why can’t a person identify as a different race?  Example, Rachel Dolezal, was the White woman who identified as Black so she could run the Seattle chapter of the NAACP.  What’s wrong with that. Apparently, asking that question is hateful.

I thought the justification for affirmative action and protection legislation was because people were being discriminated against on account of things they had no control over, such as being Black or being a woman.  But if race and gender are now self-determined, why do they need protection?  Shouldn’t those laws be repealed?

I was disappointed that neither the author nor the scholar mentioned the most brilliant transracialist of all: Godfrey Elfwick.  #wrongskin.  The struggle is real.

Dear George Orwell:  you were an optimist.

Funny Thing Is…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I astonishes me how much law enforcement has improved during the Trump Administration.  He should get more credit for it.

No, really: remember last Summer when thousands of people demonstrated against police, insisting that Black Lives Matter?  They shut down Snelling for the State Fair, shut down freeways, marched all over, all the time, all for the same purpose — to protest unfair treatment of Blacks by law enforcement.

There hasn’t been one such march since Trump took office; therefore, Trump solved the problem and he ought to get credit for it.

Either that, or there never was a problem, the whole thing was a billionaire-financed fake movement intended solely to whip up minority support for the Democrat candidate for President.  Now that she’s lost, there’d be no need to spend money on agitators and consequently no marches.  Who could believe such a cynical thing?  That can’t possibly be the reason.  No, it must be all Trump’s doing.  He saved the nation from a heinous and ongoing civil rights injustice.  Good for him.

Joe Doakes

As we noted earlier this week, the Obama Administration’s big “victory” was fairly destroying race relations in this country.

Mission Accomplished, Dumb*sses

It’s 2009.

Barack Obama is president – elected in part by a biblical wave of support from black voters and novelty in the general election, and identity-mongering in the primaries.

You’re a Democrat strategist, planning ahead to the next two elections.  You need to keep women – Hillary Clinton voters – engaged enough to vote for Obama again in four years.  Child’s play; engineered a fake “war on women” and assign the media to run it.  Which they will.  They always do what you tell them.  It doesn’t always work – NPR was trying to make “Occupy” a thing for a solid year after the last rat-infested rape camp was carted to the landfill – but often enough, it gets the ignorant riled up enough to move the dial.

But look ahead four more years.  Obama will be termed out.  The Democrat bench is painfully shallow; the buffoon Biden, Fauxcahontas, the photogenic failure Martin O’Malley, and a few other governors that (you can’t possibly know or believe, yet) will be turned out of office next year…and the donkey in the room, the inevitable Hillary Clinton.

Who you gonna call?

Of course Hillary’s the front-runner.  She’s been painstakingly grooming herself and building a machine since 1998; but for the tsunami of identity that carried the freshman Senator Obama into office, she’d likely have already been president already.

But – but, you think she’s going to be like 200 years old in 2016.

So how do you get a tsunami of African-Americans to turn out in the same kind of numbers for a geriatric honky?

Create a race relations crisis, and send the order down the chain of command to the mainstream media to create a national issue of it.  Then, exploit it with a presidential campaign that was about virtually nothing but identity politics.

Well, as re the crisis, it’s mission accomplished:

Unfortunately (for Hillary), the relentless identity-mongering backfired, turning blue-collar honkies into an identity group in its own right.

And so today we have Hillary still out of office, a lingering race relations crisis that’s killing hundreds of people a year in our inner cities…

…and a media awaiting orders for the next national politically-based squirrel chase.

Prediction And Opportunity

Last week, the “hate crime” at Saint Olaf – a typewritten racist message left under a black students windshield wiper – turned out to be a hoax.

As, in fact, have the vast majority of “Hate Crime” incidents in the past six months; for all the caterwauling about the wave of hate certain to accompany Donald Trump’s election, nearly every episode has turned out to be lefty false-flags.

I Don’t Make The Rules::  It’s gotten to the point where it’s time to codify this as law.  Berg’s Law – in this case,

Berg’s Twentieth Law of Social Justice Warmongering:   All incidents of “hate speech” not captured on video (involving being delivered by someone proven not to be a ringer) shall be assumed to be hoaxes until proven otherwise.

No, Actually, I Do Make The Rules:  Saturday, the City Pages ran a story involving some anti-semitic, anti-muslim imagery around Uptown and Lake of the Isles:

The street sidles Lake of the Isles one block to the west in the Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis.

On Thursday, a resident was enjoying the agreeable spring morning when she came upon a disconcerting sight. Affixed to light poles on the northwest side of the lake along a paved trail were anti-Semitic and Islamophobic stickers.

“Fuck Jews” read one. The other had a hand giving the middle finger and the word “Islam” below it.

She summarily took down the stickers and contacted Councilwoman Lisa Goodman,  telling her, “I was so shocked. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like that in Minneapolis.”

As of late Thursday afternoon, neither the Minneapolis Police Department nor the Park Police had received report of the incident.


At the bottom of the Islamophobic sticker listed a website:

“It’s not illegal to be white… yet!” reads tightrope’s main page.

The site is a one-stop shop for all goodies intolerant, from the “Racist Joke Book” to “White Lives Matter” stickers to KKK hats.

This episode doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Whi;e, “” could just as easily be legitimate as a false flag ( the proprietors die in a fire, either way), putting a link on a poster is easy.

But the posters around Uptown and Lake of the Isles?  My BS detector practically jumped out of its mounting bracket.

First – cutesy photoshops with mid-level production values that look like they were done by art school fops, profaning religious imagery?  That’s a Minneapolis lefty thing (If I didn’t know better – and I actually don’t – I’d say that middle finger up above looks like Ken “Avidor” Weiner’s work – but I’m told he’s at least semi-retired from whatever it was he did).

And Uptown and Lake of the Isles?   Please.

Most people who do this sort of thing stay on home turf.   There’s a reason the snowflake at Saint Olaf dropped a racist note at ˆSaint Olafˆ- because it’s home turf.   The perp knows that if he’d have dropped anti-black racism in North Minneapolis and been caught, they’d be finding pieces of him in dog stools for weeks.

My guess – and it is a guess, but if I were a gambling man I’d bet money on it – is that this was done by a couple of twenty-something social justice snowflakes looking to false-flag the right – all the right.

Am I right?

Who knows?   I’ve been wrong – once or twice.

But’s called “Berg’s 20th Law” for a reason.

Possible New Berg’s Law

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I hadn’t heard about this case.  It’s a bad decision.

 A jury of one’s peers that deliberates in secret is fundamental to the American system of justice.  Every other system is subject to corruption and undue influence that deprives the defendant of a fair chance at an impartial verdict.

 The defendant has an opportunity to investigate jury members before they are seated, to question them through voir dire, and to strike for cause any potential juror who reveals prejudice.  If the strike-for-cause motion is denied, the defense still gets to strike jurors without cause, using preemptory strikes.

Invading the sanctity of the jury room to second-guess the jury’s motivations after the fact is a terrible precedent.  It opens the door to second-guess everything that happens in the jury room and throw out verdicts that result from the “wrong” deliberations.  That precedent strikes directly at the heart of secret deliberations.  They’re no longer secret anymore. 

 There could be a host of reasons the jury didn’t acquit the defendant: they ignored the judge’s instructions, they misapplied the law, they hated the defense attorney’s tie, they resented the defendant forcing them to burn up their personal leave days listening to his pathetic lies . . . and none of those are grounds to overturn the jury verdict.   

 But if we allow the defense to second-guess the jury as to racial animus, then you know the next thing will be defendants wanting to second-guess jurors who may have been influenced by sex, religion, disability, veteran’s status, receipt of public assistance, gender orientation . . . and why stop there?  What if a jury member voted for Trump, clear evidence of raging hatred and mental illness?  Now we need thought police stationed in the jury room to make sure the secret deliberations come out right, the way right-thinking persons want them to come out, which is exactly what a jury is supposed to prevent.

 Here’s another illustration of that new Berg’s Law:  Liberal Policies Destroy Liberal Values. 

 Joe Doakes

It may actually be one of the better candidates for a Berg’s Law we’ve seen in a while.


One of my most fearless predictions of this campaign cycle; “Black Lives Matter” will be shown up as an election-year artifice of the Democrat party.

While the movement may well have started organically, it has most certainly been harnessed by Soros money toward the goal of getting black voters to turn out, after two cycles of voting for the First (Actual Ethnic) Black President, to vote for a geriatric authoritarian white woman.

It’s a legitimate worry for them – legit enough to drive Hillary to some fairly absurd lengths.

But some folks just can’t be pleased; Louis Farrakhan is not a Hillary fan:

“Mrs. Clinton backed the crime bill and then called our young people super predators. Of course she apologized, but just a minute. See Hitler could’ve said to the Jews after Auschwitz, ‘I’m so sorry.’ Would that be enough to satisfy you?”

“Look at this award that she got,” he continued. “In 2009 Hillary Clinton received the Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood. It was Mrs. Sanger who advocated population control of black and poor people.”

Farrakhan is hardly a speaker for all of African-America.

But he’s not wrong…

Follow The Trail

Fearless Prediction:  If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, Black Lives Matter will disappear faster than you can say “Hands Up Don’t Shoot”.

Reason for my Fearless Prediction:  Given its funders, it’s bald-facedly obvious that Black Lives Matter largely exists to inflame the black vote for an election where the Democrats will be fronted by a geriatric woman, rather than an black man.   While it’s not strictly an arm of the Democrat party, it may as well be.

Evidence:  BLM has come out against charter schools – an institution whose most passionate supporters in the Twin Cities are in fact black families.  So much so that their controversial Saint Paul organizer, Rashad Turner, is resigning from the group:

Rashad Turner, who led Black Lives Matter St Paul for nearly two years, says he is leaving his position after the national Black Lives Matter organization joined forces with the NAACP to call for a moratorium on charter schools….Turner says public schools not only have a bad record of staff assaulting black students [to say nothing of consigning them to an inferior education – Ed.], but offer less options for black families, stating, “I think that this moratorium really takes away the student voice, it takes away the parent voice, because we’re seeing families in increasing numbers want to attend charter schools.”

Mark my words.   Budget cut to zero by January.

The Diversity Scam

Studies are starting to show what our lying eyes have been telling us all along; force-feeding “diversity” to people makes things…less diverse than if it merely organically.

Why is this happening?

Well, the money, sure; pimping diversity is an epic make-work program and graft opportunity for the Social Justice industry:

But it goes way beyond money.

Turmoil and turbulence create ideal opportunities for asserting power.   Poking at “fault lines” – and race was a fault line that was getting relatively stable until fairly recently – creates opportunities to accrete political power.

Which leads, inevitably, to more money.

Disparately Delicious

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The President calling on cops to admit they’re racist and the Pioneer Press article on racial disparity in regional park use gave me an inspiration: I plan to spend the weekend observing the customers at Big Daddy’s BBQ at Dale and University.  I strongly suspect that although the percentage of Black people in the United States is only 15%, the percentage of Black customers at a BBQ joint in the heart of a predominantly Black neighborhood will be significantly higher.

In the past, I would have said “Well, duh, it’s the local joint and they have award-winning food so why wouldn’t locals go there” but now that I’ve been educated about disparate impact, I can see it’s a clear case of institutional racism against White people.  I intend to protest this hateful practice until I get my order free.

 I’m having the half-rack of Beef ribs with collard greens and cornbread.  Wanna join me?

 Joe Doakes

I’m in.  See you there.

It reminds me of a story – quite possibly apocryphal – from North Dakota.  Back in the eighties, the Pentagon noted that roughly half of one percent of the population in North Dakota was black.   They sent a letter fo the North Dakota National Guard tellling them to take care that at least 1/2 of one percent of the NDNG were African-American – including officers and NCOs.

As the story goes, the state’s adjutant general wrote back, telling the Pentagon that the overwhelming majority of African-Americans in North Dakota were either college students, and thus only temporary residents, or already members of the United States Air Force and stationed in Minot or Grand Forks, and there really weren’t any eligible blacks to recruit.

Not out of institutional racism – but because at the time no black people lived there.

Policies Matter

Not so long ago, a not overly bright person on a community forum called me a “racist” for asking “what does Black Life Matter” actually want?”

One might wonder if BLM is “racist” for finally answering my question.

Thing is, their ideas aren’t entirely wrong:

1. End “broken windows” policing, which aggressively polices minor crimes in an attempt to stop larger ones.

Broken windows policing has always been controversial.  But it’s worked; it was a key element in turning New York from a crime-sodden wasteland in 1975 to one of the safer cities in America in 2005.

It did lean hard on “communities of color” – because some of those communities have had all sorts of problems, both “broken windows” and crime.  We can debate the reasons for that – and a lot of African-Americans disagree with BLM on that; it’s usually they who are asking for more, and more integrated, police presence in their communities.

Is it possible to get good policing in a trouble community without impacting those, in the community, who are trouble?

2. Use community oversight for misconduct rather than having the police department decide what consequences officers should face.

I don’t disagree in principle:  groups investigating themselves never works.

But community review boards, especially in Democrat-run cities where most police problems are, inevitably turn into political footballs.

Better idea?  Make police carry individual liability insurance.  It’ll have the same effect it has on drivers; it’ll show us who the “bad” ones are, and fast.

3. Make standards for reporting police use of deadly force.

Excellent idea.

4. Independently investigate and prosecute police misconduct.

This would seem to make good common sense.

5. Have the racial makeup of police departments reflect the communities they serve.

A passable-sounding idea in principle; very hard to carry out in practice; if applicants for police service reflect the larger American community – 12% Latino, 11% black, 2% Asian, 75% white – what is “the community” supposed to do?  Assign cops to precincts on the basis of race?

Is it a good idea, though?  If our idea of “justice” is “bean-counting based on skin color”, then haven’t we really lost?

6. Require officers to wear body cameras.

Fine idea in practice, and I support it in principle.

The devil is in the details.  Can we allow officers to turn off their cameras?  Do you want officers stopping at Superamerica to take a dump preserved on the public record?

I’m not asking to be funny or gross.  If you allow officers to turn off the camera for purposes of bodily functions, then you create an opportunity – several, in fact.  Unethical officers will use that facility.   Bureaucrats will create more rules and procedures around cameras, which’ll take more time away from policing.

I’m in favor, but with questions.

7. Provide more training for police officers.

Not a bad idea, provided the “training” is useful.

8. End for-profit policing practices.

We’re talking about civil forfeiture, and even if the other nine proposals had been complete hogwash, this alone would be worth it.  Using funds from “crimes” that haven’t even gone to trial should be stopped, now.

9. End the police use of military equipment.

I’ll meet ’em halfway on this.   The hero gear gets way too much of a workout.  When you have armored cars and police in full battle rattle knocking down doors to serve warrants for non-violent crimes – pot dealers, people who owe the city money, that kind of thing – that does kinda send a message about what you think about “a community”.

10. Implement police union contracts that hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Now that is going to be interesting to see out in practice.

BLM’s got a few useful ideas.  Where they go wrong is in relying on politics and politicians to do the reforming for them.

Diversity Now!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If a White male lawyer represents a landlord in an eviction case where tenant is represented by a Black Lesbian lawyer, who should win?  

 If you said “The race, sex and orientation of the lawyers doesn’t matter, what matters is the law and facts of the case,” then why does every law school give bonus points to women and Black applicants?  Why does the Bar Association have a Diversity Outreach Program?  Why does the Judicial Selection Commission have Affirmative Action requirements to appoint women and minorities as Minnesota judges?  Why was it necessary to confirm a Wise Latina to the Supreme Court?

 The very things that we insist are irrelevant to justice are the things the administrators of the justice system emphasize above all else.

 It’s as if the goal isn’t to enhance justice, it’s to enhance self-esteem.  Promoting a few of the downtrodden allows elites to assuage their guilt toward all the downtrodden without actually getting their own hands dirty lifting up any of the downtrodden.  It’s virtue-signaling, a balm for the conscience.

 And yet we wonder why the downtrodden believe the justice system doesn’t produce justice?

 Joe Doakes

Weird, huh?

Putting On Squalid Airs

One of the aphorisms that I’ve always used to guide my life is an old Hungarian saying; “the best way to become wealthy is to appear as if you already are”.  It’s not just about money; Dennis Prager notes a similar principle when it comes to happiness.   Prager and others note that when all else fails, the best way to bring love back to a loveless relationship is to act as if you are still very much in love.  More mundane?  Innumerable business books advise young would-be up-and-comers to dress for the position they want, not the one they’re in.

Ameircan slang also renders the saying as “fake it ’til you make it”.

And it’s not bad advice; the best way out of poverty is to stop acting poor.

Unfortunately, government is spending a lot of (your) money to promote the idea that acting poor is good for you.

Along these lines, a friend of the blog writes:

Last week, before Philando Castile was shot, a friend of mine, who is black, and I were discussing racism in Minnesota. He was shaking his head, wondering why black people are told to act, dress, and talk a certain way when he sees Somalis “getting a pass.” “And they’re the ones trying to blow us up!” he says.

What would he change? Well, when he was born, his parents lived in Cabrini Green. So, he has a good perspective. He would stop building subsidized housing for black people. He would stop forcing everyone to take the bus. “I’d never let my kids on those things.” He’s told me before that he’d told his family to do whatever they need to in order to afford a car- even if it means giving up a lot of other things.

I have a feeling that many other black people feel the same way. And I think it is great that the protests are happening at the Governor’s mansion, because obviously Dayton is part of the problem in terms of what my friend would fix. But, it’s too bad that Black Lives Matter is just another activist group with no more intention of helping people than any other activist group- my friend’s message will never get heard over the special interests.

 It’s both symbolic and eminently practical; our government is trying to jam us into “high density” lifestyles, which is code (!) for “how poor people live”;  to live, work and travel crammed together like passive-aggressive sardines.

We could have literally bought 140,000 late-model used cars for $10,000 a pop for the money we spent on the Green Death Machine.  That’s more than enough to equip every impoverished family in Saint Paul with a reliable vehicle – a portal to better jobs, to school choice, to opportunity.

But no.  We spent $1.4 billion so they, and a lot of middle-class people, could be poor…on tracks.

We sent the poor people to failing schools so they can be poor…with administrators with really great pensions.

What’s wrong here?

Vacuous Hipster Lives Matter

While I don’t support Black Lives’ Matter Twin Cities’ strategy or leadership, I don’t doubt for a moment that black people have every legitimate reason to protest against perceptions of excessive police violence…

…while noting that the loudest calls for more police in neighborhoods like the North Side of Minneapolis, the lower East Side of Saint Paul, and the North End come from…

…black and other minority residents, who are the main victims of crime in those neighborhoods.

I also will not pretend to be qualified to judge the violent demonstration that broke out Saturday night in Saint Paul – although Governor Flint Smith Dayton’s statements on the Castile shooting were deeply stupid.  I do think that the subtext of these protests is to try to drive everyone to one extreme or the other – to “Frame” them, in Alinskyite terms.

WIth all that out of the way?  Here’s the mug shot gallery of those arrested at the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday:



I’m shocked – shocked, I tell you – to see that all but five of the 46 arrested were visibly annoying, Whole Foods shopping, oil-belching-Subaru driving and/or cargo-bike-up-Snelling-At-Universty-at-11PM riding, non-profit-“working”, amateur-“Professional-Protester”, Sanders-voting lilywhite hipsters.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, of course – but then, I won’t beg forgiveness, since what are these protests but judging all humans by skin color – for and against?

Falcon Heights And Dallas

I’m going to take a moment to cite Berg’s Eighteenth Law of Media Latency:  “Nothing the media writes/says about any emotionally charged event – a mass shooting, a police shooting, anything – should be taken seriously for 48 hours after the original incident.  It will largely be rubbish, as media outlets vie to “scoop” each other even on incorrect facts.

Yesterday was a pretty crappy day for everyone – except the “let’s force everyone to one extreme or the other, for easier framing” community.

We’ll come back to that.

First, let’s talk about Falcon Heights.

On Edge:  Watch this video:

Kinda scary, huh?

Kinda makes you want to curl up in an armored coccoon, doesn’t it?

Sources in law enforcement tell me that this video is shown to most new police recruits on or about their first day of training, these days.

Not a video of a cop settling a dispute between errant neigbhors.

Not a video of a cop catching a sex trafficker (let’s assume they’re real, while we’re up).

Not one of a cop setting a young stalker straight before he seriously screws up his life.

No – the impression that police departments start their rookies off with is that “any situation you’re in, any contact you make, anything you do and anything you don’t do, can end up with you being gunned down like Old Yeller by the side of the road.  Be careful out there.

What message does this send to new cops?  “There are two kinds of people out there; people in badges, and people who might kill people in badges.  Be careful out there”.    It’s a sort of siege mentality.

We’ll come back to that.

Take a little siege mentality.  Add in what may have been really poor training; the Saint Anthony Police Department has come in for some criticism even before Wednesday’s events.

Part of that poor training, perhaps?   In carry permit training, students (of all races) are warned; handling cops if you get pulled over is one of the most dangerous parts of having a carry permit.  All cops get cautious when the “g” word comes up; some of them go way beyond (notwithstanding the fact that carry permittees are a couple orders of magnitude less likely to shoot anyone, much less a cop, than the general public).  If it turns out Castile was a carry permit holder, and he was (as his girlfriend pointed out in the video she shot from the scene) reaching for his permit as most people are taught in their carry permit training, then at least one cop needed some better training on that subject.

Was Castile the victim of racism?  Perhaps.  Although the herd consensus that there’s an epidemic of racist cops killing black people is not exactly statistically clear-cut, much less unanimous.   All shootings, including those involving the police, are complicated.

So on the one hand, you have a police force that operates from a basis of “force protection”, rather than “protecting and serving the community” – more of a military than civil concept – and a community with some serious beefs over how that works in the community, at a time when racial tensions are the highest they’ve been in fifty years (thanks, President Obama, for all that racial healing), in a state where the dominant political establishment is politically tied to both the police unions and the non-profit “social justice” sector”.

Sound like it’ll be hard to unravel?  You’re probably right.

Dallas:  And any chance of unraveling that first Gordian Knot got blown away in a fusillade of sniper fire last night in Dallas.

I can’t begin to comment; Berg’s Eighteenth Law applies to me, too.

More on the show tomorrow.

Another Shooting

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails about the story of the day:

White cop from St. Anthony department shot Black man at traffic stop on Larpenteur at Fry in Falcon Heights.  Passenger took video, protests and vigils occurring.

you might want to reiterate your policy of refusing to comment until facts are known to stop speculation on SITD.

As with all shooting stories; the first 24-48 hours of media reporting will be absolutely squalid.    I’ll be withholding most comment.

Doakes continues, speaking about the narrative from the video (which I’ll include below the jump):

Passenger says cop asked driver for his wallet, driver reached down for it and while reaching, told cop that driver had a concealed carry permit and was carrying (which they tell us in training you’re supposed to do).  Cop told driver to put his hands up, driver brought his hands back up and officer opened fire because driver was making threatening movements, possibly bringing up the gun.

I’m guessing young cop, twilight, Black guy, gun . . . yeah, that script pretty much writes itself.  Girlfriend and child in the car watched it all.

Not an accidental discharge, by the way, several shots fired.

Driver age 32, employed, no serious criminal record if he had a concealed carry permit . . . bad scene all around.

Not just employed; employed by the Saint Paul Public Schools, apparently, in a position for which (I’m informed) one needs to pass a background check.

My focus would be additional mandatory training for law enforcement and for permitted carriers: What, exactly, are permitted carriers supposed to do if stopped when carrying? Play-act it.  Drivers need to know so they don’t alarm officers, and officers need to have a standard method of handling the situation.

Joe Doakes

While I neither confirm nor deny I own or carry any firearms, I have sat through carry permit training; the most prudent course seems to be to inform the officer only when there’s a likelihood of a search – like, if you’re asked to get out of the car.    This was posited for exactly the reasons that seem likely to have occurred in this incident;   an incident that started as a fix-it ticket (apparently) escalated because a (law-abiding, black) man told the (apparently jumpy, possibly rookie) cop that he had a permit and gun in a manner that had likely been prescribed to him in his training.

We don’t know all the facts, though.

Indeed, that’s my only real answer to everything in this incident; we don’t know the facts yet.  Everything that everyone is saying is conjecture at this point.  Not pure, unadulterated conjecture; the video shot by the girlfriend an interesting wrinkle to this case (statements made while the incident is still in progress are admissable under Minnesota rules of evidence, although I’m not sure of any limitations that might apply); her story, for what it’s worth, stays very consistent through several retellings on video.

Question:  if Philando Castile was shot unjustly, was it because of paranoia over black men, or over the new plague of urban paranoia over gun owners?

Anyway, I’ll urge everyone to reserve judgment, knowing full well nobody will.

Video follows:

Continue reading

Cop’s Gonna Cop. Grievance Pimp’s Gonna Pimp Grievance.

Preface:  I don’t have a whole lot of pet peeves.  I really don’t.  I’m one of the most easygoing guys you’re likely to ever meet, ever.

But I do have a few:

  • Using the term “begging the question” as a synonym for “that brings up another question”.  It’s not.  It’s just not.  “Begging the question” means “using your conclusion as evidence for your conclusion”.  That may come up in this story.
  • The phrase “right not to get shot“.
  • People who bring a conversation – usually a business meeting – to a screeching halt with either of the following:
    • “Let’s take a step back”
    • “I”m just trying to understand, here”
  • Anyone who pronounces the word “processes” like “Pro-se-SEEZ”.

But the biggest one of all is people who try to tell me what I’m really thinking.  People who know what I’m thinking better than I do, and aren’t afraid to tell me not only what it is, but why it’s a horrible thing.

Attention:  You – whoever you are – are not qualified to tell me what I’m really thinking.


I don’t like it when people do it to me, and I don’t much like people making constant habit of doing it to other people.  Telling people what they really think (especially because that’s what your narrative says they’re really thinking) is no less noxious than telling them what they really are.

OK.  On to the actual story.

Tony Cornish is a former cop.  He’s also been among the most steadfast protectors and advocates for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the Minnesota legislature, so he’s one of the good guys.

He’s raised a kerfuffle among the kerfuffling class with a recent op-ed in the Strib that gave some fairly radical advice:

In a letter to the Star Tribune, Cornish lays out rules for interacting with police:

  • “Don’t be a thug and lead a life of crime so that you come into frequent contact with police.”
  • “Don’t rob people, don’t use or sell drugs, and don’t beat up your significant other.”
  • “Don’t hang out on the street after 2 a.m. Go home.”
  • “Don’t make furtive movements or keep your hands in your pockets if told to take them out.”
  • “Don’t flap your jaws when the police arrive. Don’t disobey the requests of the police at the time. If you think you are wrongfully treated, make the complaint later.”

“Don’t hang out and yell at people after midnight,” he said over the phone. “Don’t be involved in crime. Don’t give police a reason to be there in your face.”

On the one hand, the small-l libertarian in me thinks some of those – especially the whole “don’t be out after 2AM” when you have every legal right to be out at 2AM bit – veer a little close to “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about”.  And you’d have to be a serious pollyanna to think that some cops don’t abuse the whole “lawful order” thing.

And as far as “making a complaint later”?  Yeah, that never works.  You’ll be making a complaint about cops, to cops.  Or to people whose best interest it is to stay tight with the cops.  Either way, what’s the point?

On the other hand?  If there’s anyone who’ll make you sympathetic for cops, warts and all, it’s some of their critics:

Cornish says his letter is a response to the activist groups wondering how to reduce the use of police force. He says it’s not complicated, and he provides a list for how to not get shot by police.

In a phone interview with WCCO, Cornish says he’s tired of news stories about police violence in which the *cops* get blamed for using excessive or deadly force against people he calls “thugs.”

“You see all these cop videos where they give order after order, and they just stand there and something bad happens and they wonder why in the world that happened,” he said.

I want to ask “is it too much to wish that everyone in the world, citizens and cops both, had the good common sense not to be idiots and pocket tyrants?”, but if you study any human nature at all, you’ll know it’s really only a rhetorical question.

Speaking of rhetoric (I’m adding emphasis):

[Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima] Levy-Pounds called the letter “racist,” and “intolerable,” with coded language aimed at the African American community.

Coded language.

See my preface above.  When someone accuses someone of “coded language”, what they’re saying is “you’re not saying what you  think you’re saying, and you’re not thinking what you think you’re thinking.  You’re saying and thinking what say you’re saying and thinking.  And boy oh boy, are you an awful person for saying what I’m saying you’re really saying!”

I get it.  Political rhetoric ain’t beanbag.  But invoking “coded language” is the weasel’s argument.

“He’s drawing upon racial stereotypes that people often use to justify the use of excessive force against African-Americans, even when African-Americans — who are unarmed — are killed by law enforcement,” she said.

While I’m not going to excuse all police shootings – sometimes people make mistakes when the stress is on . And some people, cops included, do just-plain-evil things.

But someone being “unarmed” doesn’t mean they’re not potentially a lethal threat.  Every year, among Minnesota’s 90-odd homicides, some portion are people who are beaten to death – including, every year, a couple of “one punch kills”.  A big enough guy hitting someone hard enough to break a piece of brain loose, or to drop his head on a curb, can kill them just as dead as any gun will.  Circumstances matter.

Levy-Pounds says that’s exactly what the letter is really about — what she calls, “the Jim Crow North.” She’s been leading protests over the over-concentration of police in black neighborhoods, and over-criminalization of African-Americans in Minnesota.

There is certainly a discussion to be had about overcriminalization – and not just of black people in North Minneapolis.  There is also a conversation to be had about the collapse of the black family, which is not helping the black community out one little bit.

But the last person who will start that conversation is Levy-Pounds, who (along with many of her followers) will accuse you of “white supremacy” for, for example, disagreeing with her on any point of her agenda.  Or for taking the last parking spot.  Or for ordering mayo on a sandwich.

If everything is “racist”, then, really, is anything racist?

UPDATE: Commenter Night Writer brought up the good question: Is Chris Rock also a White Supremacist?

As The Narrative Burns

A few weeks ago, Nekima Levy-Pounds went to the Minneapolis park and recreation board, and did what she does best; made a lot of noise, claiming the Park and Rec board was…

wait for it…

wait for it…


Unfortunately – according to the City Pages – the facts don’t exactly bear out her charges of  “Racism” against the park board (emphases added):

Parks and Rec breaks down its budget into North, Northeast, South, and Southwest service areas. North has 49 park properties and 59,119 residents, according to the 2010 census. Parks and Rec allocated $243 per person in north Minneapolis from 2010-14…During the same time, Southwest received $85 for each of its 120,376 people, and South received $83 for each of the 136,160 residents

Oh yeah, and the Park Board has big plans – and they don’t include the southside:

While parks all over the city will get some funding to maintain what’s already there, neighborhood parks in areas of concentrated poverty will be the only ones getting any funding for improvements — amenities like playgrounds, wading pools, fields — during the first five years.

Parks in wealthier neighborhoods won’t see a cent more than what it costs to prevent them from breaking down.

I’m not sure what the race-relations version of “all moo / no cow” is, but I’ll be looking for it.

What Did Malcolm X Know That Nekima Levy-Pounds Doesn’t?

Rapper Azealea Banks noted something has been screechingly obvious for decades, to anyone who’s not competely left-addled:

On Saturday afternoon, singer Azealia Banks expressed her support for the GOP candidate in a spree of tweets, kicking off the conversation with, “I REALLY want Donald Trump to win the election.”


Ms. Banks has a point.

It’s a point originally made by none other than Malcolm X himself:

Sixty years ago, 40% of African-Americans voted GOP.  That changed in 1960, when Kennedy reeled in the black vote with promises of civil rights legislation…

…on which he promptly reneged.

As the Democrat party has done, over and over again, for two generations.   Indeed, virtually every problem that the urban African-American community has, these days, springs from their relentless support of the Democrat machines that run their cities…into the ground.

Ms. Banks won’t be able to get a table at Carl’s Junior after this, at least in show-biz circles, of course.   But she – and Mr. X – are both right.