Planet Of The Humans, Part 5 – Fizzle On The Launchpad

In the eighties and nineties, the cultural clichés about young people getting started in life were Hollywood’s fables about the young and gorgeous, weighing offers for competing top-tier business and law schools, on their way toward earning a solid middle class income straight out of school.

Tom Cruise in Risky Business was looking at Harvard, but would settle for Penn State as a safety school. The brat packers in Bright Lights, Big City and The Secret Of My Success and Breakfast Club and, worst of the lot, Saint Elmo’s Fire, slid from the inevitable Evanston that John Hughes froze in time, to Big Ten or Ivy League credentials, to jobs in the big city, whence story devolved into plot devolved into genre.

Real life was a little more pedestrian – but there was opportunity out there. I could pack up everything I owned and trek off to an affordable-enough city – which Minneapolis was at the time – and with little more than a dream, find a trade to ply. and start the process of building a life.

Now, on the one hand, I think when I was in high school and college, people were realistic; my English major advisor never told anyone a BA in English was going to pave your way to success, the way kids over the past fifteen years have been sold on the idea.

Kids today are, at least for the moment, embracing the far left. Socialism is seen as not merely viable but preferable by a dispiriting number of younger people.

Why?

Generational Failure

The education system certainly plays a role – kids today get twelve years of “progressive” indoctrination. If you did it to dogs, you’d get them taken away.

And the post-secondary system, which has spent years turning college into a semi-private wealth transfer that grifts kids into unrealistic expectations, plays its role.

But even with all that, between college debt and a bulge of baby boom workers still in the workforce and the perverse incentives that impel companies to work toward short-term return rather than long-term growth and prosperity, there’s a solid case that this is a tough time to be an entry-level worker.

And those perverse incentives – like the college debt crisis itself – are downstream of government policy. Companies chasing an IPO, or a valuation bubble to draw mergers and acquisitions, draw away from the kind of focus that used to lead to companies building for and working toward the long term.

This hasn’t surprised anyone who’s been paying attention. And while Democrat-driven regulation bears plenty of blame, the GOP focus on benefitting business qua business, as opposed business as part of a free, sustainable market, is part of the problem as well.

30-40 years ago, America’s most recent golden age was built by people whose prospects were, as a sarcastic but on-point song of the era pointed out, so bright they had to wear shades. The breezy optimism of John Hughes movies was a caricature, but not a sarcastic one.

And optimistic people b uild golden ages.

We’re lacking both today.

To Think They Say Progressives Are Economic Illiterates

SCENE: Mitch BERG is at Fleet Farm, looking for new liners for his old chopper mittens. Engrossed in his search, he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE walking around the corner, a quizzical look on hi…er, he…er, Avery’s face. LIBRELLE notices BERG.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Uh, hi, Avery. What brings you out to Fleet Farm?

LIBRELLE: Picketing against the Navy and farmers!

BERG: Of course…

LIBRELLE: It’s time to tax the billionaires for all the excess profits they’ve been earning because of the deadly Trump pandemic.

BERG: So let me make sure I get this straight…

LIBRELLE: Uh, heteronormative…

BERG: Huh? Oh, for f…ranklin Delano Roosevelt’s sake. OK. Let me make sure I get this correct: you want to raise taxes on the e-commerce billionaires who are prospering mightily…

LIBRELLE: Yes.

BERG: …because the small businesses that were competing with them were destroyed by the government’s ham-fisted handling of the pandemic, which was imposed by the government that you now want to make the ultimate beneficiary of the government’s own dork-fingered, utterly catastrophic mis-handling of the response?

(But LIBRELLE has already wandered off, looking for wherever the ships are).

(And SCENE)

Train Of Usurpations

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

People who invested their lives and fortunes, who filled out forms and jumped through hoops, who passed background checks and credit checks and character checks, people who pay wages and taxes and fees and support the local schools, are dirty, rotten, low-down criminals who ought to be thrown in the hoosegow.  Keith Ellison is all over it.

From the article: “Two more courts have recognized the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the firm legal foundation of the State’s legitimate interest in putting a stop to it,” Ellison said.

Somehow, I doubt that. I’d bet a brand-new nickel the court didn’t listen to one minute of testimony from anybody about the Covid virus, its infectiousness or its fatality rate to determine whether Covid was actually a severe problem or not.  And I seriously doubt there was extensive briefing on the rational basis between the alleged problem and the Governor’s solution, which is the Constitutional standard for government restrictions that take away a vested property right.  Governor Walz’ restrictions are so arbitrary, so whimsical, so ridiculous that even the New York Times had to admit they were unscientific and bizarre.  I’d be surprised if a court found differently.

Instead, my guess is the court simply presumed the order was a valid exercise of executive power and like the Red Queen, skipped the trial to go directly to punishment.  As long as Democrats refuse to return power to the elected representatives of the people, Ellison will use the infinite power of the state to crush business owners, the courts will lie back and let him, and Minnesotans will continue to suffer.

When the political process is unavailing, the judicial system is unavailing, and the result is unjust, what’s the remedy?

Joe Doakes

Whatever it is, let’s f*****g get on with it.

Christmas Dinner Plans

Never heard of this guy and his Baltimore restaurant – but I like the cut of his jib.

Crab cakes are sounding mighty good for Christmas dinner at the moment.

Weaponized “Charity”

It’s been nine months since Minnesota landlords have been able to evict people for non-payment.

Charity? Well, sure – and an easy one for the State to pay for, since it’s all coming out of the pockets of landlords.

In Democrat parlance, landlords are an easy, cheap villain to demonize in order to rally support among renters. They’ve been the kick toy of both cities’ administrations for decades. The small, private landlord – a working stiff renting out his parents’ old houses or his own investment property – has been treated as a convenient Man in Black for a generation; there are urban non-profiteers who literally cannot refer to these people as anything but “slumlords”.

And the campaign has largely succeeded – both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have done a fine job of zoning, coding and harassing the small landlord out of existence in the Cities (replaced largely with public housing authorities who are, frequently, slumlords, by the way).

So – is the “eviction moratorium” an act of charity, or just another way for the DFL-addled state to help the cities finish extincting the small landlord?

The state’s defense to this lawsuit may help provide some answers to that.

Subsequent Order Effects

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

You are playing pool in a bar. You strike the cue ball with the cue stick and the cue ball moves. That is a First Order Effect. The cue ball moves in response to your striking it with the cue stick.

The cue ball rolls along until it strikes another ball, perhaps the 10. The 10-ball moves. That is a Second Order effect of your cue stick action. The 10-ball rolls along until it strikes the 8-ball, knocking it into the pocket and causing you to lose the game. That is a Third Order effect of your cue stick action. They all result from your action. They are direct, predictable, foreseeable results and good pool players know better than to take that shot.

Governor Walz issues Executive Orders based on the First Order effects. He orders the bar closed to prevent the spread of Covid, the bar is closed, First Order Effect. What are the Second Order effects? The bartender and wait staff lose their jobs. They can’t pay their rent. They’re looking at eviction and homelessness, the Second Order Effect. They apply for unemployment and welfare, which increases the state budget deficit, leaving less money available for schools and local government aid, the Third Order Effect.

These are direct, predictable, foreseeable results and good Governors (in other states) know better than to implement those policies.

Joe Doakes

And if we had a caste of journalists who actually worked to tell the story, as opposed to logrolling people into compliance with the narrative they’ve been given, people would know this.

Follow The Absence Of Money

A friend of the blog emails:

St Paul City Councilmember Mitra Jalali says that capitalism crushed a local alternative weekly.

I’m scratching my head at this because the print and online versions were free. So, if they couldn’t survive by giving away whatever they had, how did capitalism crush them? One would think something free would “crush” something more expensive. That’s usually what is said of Walmart- they offer things so cheaply that the small businesses can’t compete. In this case, what is the issue? Free publications can’t compete with more expensive subscription news? Or is it actually can’t compete with better sources online that are also free? Is that capitalism? I guess maybe it is because we here in the USA do have lots of choice and are also free to start another weekly in City Pages place. So, if that choice and opportunity bothers Mitra Jalali, just what alternative does she want for us? 

I suspect councilwoman Jalali – who was “Mitra Jalali-Nelson” until having a hint of Scandinavian became a negative in Metro DFL politics – knows this.

I suspect she, like all DFL pols, knows her voters don’t think about it all that hard, and that nobody in the media is ever going to make an issue of it.

Intended Consequences

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember President Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program?  Trade in an old
car for a more fuel-efficient one, get up to $4,500 in federal rebate
money.  Your clunker was crushed.  The effect of the program was to
distort the used car market, driving up prices of starter vehicles for
the young and poor, making it harder for them to get to work.  The
distortion took months to settle out.

Remember the Obama administration pushing mortgages for minority
borrowers?  It was actually possible to get into a house with less
out-of-pocket investment than getting into an apartment; I saw lots of
examples in the land records.  The effect of that program was to distort
the lending market and when sub-prime mortgages crashed, it took a
decade for the foreclosures and bankruptcies to settle out.

Governor Walz issued his Stay Home order closing businesses and throwing
more than a million Minnesotans out of work (we know this because a
million people filed for unemployment, which is not available to youth,
part-time, casual, contract or small business owners; therefore, the
total who lost their incomes is much, much higher).  The mortgage
delinquency rate is the highest in 20 years but Congress put
foreclosures of federally insured mortgages are on hold and Governor
Walz imposed a moratorium on evictions. The effect is to distort the
housing market again.  There’s a flood of foreclosures and evictions
coming down the pike as soon as the pandemic restrictions are lifted. 
That flood will cause a slump in home values as lenders dump foreclosed
homes, which will drive home prices down, which will be reflected in
worse economic numbers for whomever is President at the time.  It may
take years to settle out, again.

None of this was unforeseen.  The foreseeable consequences of the lock
down were ignored in order to gin up support for mail in voting to make
the election easier to steal.  The cost of that decision is going up
every day.

Joe Doakes

This is what happens when there’s no real check on power.

Waves

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There is no Third Wave of Covid cases.  There was no Second Wave.  This is still the First Wave. 

When Covid was detected, the Governor issued a Stay Home order to “flatten the curve” so that we wouldn’t overwhelm our limited number of ICU rooms with Covid patients.  That would have meant leaving people to die in hallways and parking lots, untreated, for lack of ICU space. Instead, the plan was to slow the spread of the virus which would delay some Covid hospitalizations.  Rather than a massive surge, we’d see a continuous caseload that was within our ICU capacity.  And it worked . . . no hospital ICU were overwhelmed.

The Stay Home order was never intended to permanently halt Covid deaths.  We knew all along people were going to die, we just didn’t want them to die for lack of treatment in a Surge.  Instead, we wanted them to die more slowly, with treatment if possible.  That’s working, too.

Covid kills old sick people in nursing homes, which created nursing home bed vacancies. But nursing home beds don’t stay vacant – there’s always a waiting list.  New residents move in, they catch the virus from the existing patients or the staff, they die of Covid.  It’s not a wave issue, it’s a location issue.  Nursing homes are slaughterhouses. 

And it’s not going to end.  As the virus kills today’s old sick people, other sick people are aging.  Tomorrow’s old sick people are going to die of Covid, too.  And the day after that, and the month after that, and the year after that.  Because that’s what old sick people do in the nursing home: they die, of influenza, emphysema, cancer, diabetes and yes, of Covid.

Nothing President Trump could have done would have prevented the virus from acting according to its nature. It’s here to stay, just like other illnesses that kill old sick people.  Get used to it.

Joe Doakes

Lose that extra weight (if I did it, anyone can). Get your blood sugar and blood pressure under control (it ain’t easy, but your life may depend on it). Wear a mask and don’t be lingering around older people and people you know are vulnerable.

Start trying to rebuild the economy the Democrats have utterly f****d.

That’s the way forward.

We hope.

Pining For The Hipster Fjords

I do “get” nostalgia.

My first radio station – KEYJ, which became KQDJ during my senior year of high school – was one of the formative experiences of my life. 

But sometime around 2000, it changed from a local middle-of-the-road station to a “computer in a closet” station relaying ESPN Sportsradio and the occasional high school sports event.  They moved the studio from above the drugstore on mainstreet to a nondescript suite in a strip mall downwind from a Walmart.  I don’t drop by to visit, because it’s not the station it was when I was 16.  It’s not a radio station anyone in 1980 would have recognized at all. 

The past is a keen, formative memory.  The present is a 10 year old PC passing along people jabbering about the NBA.   

If it disappeared tomorrow, the memory would remain.  The present wouldn’t be lamented at all. 


The CIty Pages – which was the last survivor of an endless stream of “alternative” weekly tabloids (Twin Cities Reader, Nightbeat, Cake, Buzz, and no doubt others) that used to sit in bins outside record stores, co-ops and cafes all over town – has closed, effective whoah, that was fast:

“Since City Pages revenue is 100% driven by advertisers and events—and those investments have dropped precipitously—there’s no reasonable financial scenario that would enable us to continue operations in the face of this pandemic,” Star Tribune Chief Revenue Office Paul Kasbohm said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we foresee no meaningful recovery of these sectors or their advertising investments in the near future, leaving us no other options than to close City Pages.”

City Pages will stop publishing in print and online immediately, according to a news release. The last print edition of City Pages will be distributed this week.
The closure eliminates all City Pages positions.

I come not to praise the City Pages, but to bury it. But fairness demands a little clarity.

The City Pages were the last survivor of what used to be a bumper crop of freebie tabloids that popped up in bins outside restaurants, co-ops, record stores and bars. There were a bunch – Nightbeat in the eighties, Twin Cities Reader in the eighties and nineties, joined by Cake and Buzz and a few others in the nineties. The field winnowed down to just the City Pages by about 2000.

In the eighties, it was where writers like David Brauer, Brian Lambert and James Lileks got their starts – indeed, it was where Lileks gave me my first legit-media plug, 33 years ago.

And for a few years, in the ’90s and early 2000s, City Pages did some great journalism. They did more, better long-form and investigative reporting than the Strib or PiPress, at their best, under editor Steve “Don’t even think about singing ‘Oh Sherry’ around me” Perry. It was biased to the left to a fault. But beneath all that, the reporting was otherwise generally solid. And Perry could go off the reservation; in about 1997, Perry was the first journo in the Twin Cities to write that the swelling push for carry permit reform in Minnesota hadn’t brought blood to the streets of a couple dozen other states, wasn’t going to bring it to Minnesota, either.

When Perry left in 2005-ish (to return as editor of the Soros-funded attack-PR site Minnesota Monitor, which became the Minnesota Independent, and distinguished itself in journalistic glory under neither guise), the City Pages slid and slid hard. For most of the past 10-15 years, the paper’s “journalism” has been at best risible hackery, or incompetent hackery, self-parodying hackery, or sloppy gurgitations of DFL chanting points or, when female conservative politicians were involved, creepy panty-sniffing.

If the City Pages had been its 1998 self, its collapse would have been something to mourn, maybe, for some reason other than the nostalgia local establishment journos have been venting about.

But the City Pages of the 21st Century has been not a shadow, but a mockery, of anything of real value that it may once have been.

Robo

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

During election season, I get lots of robocalls encouraging me to get out and vote for The People’s Choice, The Working Man, the guy who struggled his way up and wiil take on the big special interests. They’re annoying, but they’re seasonal, so I can put up with them.
What puzzles me are the other robocalls. The IRS has levied a judgment on my Social Security account. My automobile warranty is about to expire. I can get rid of my timeshare condo without paying any fees. I’m paying too much for health insurance.
I can see where get-out-the-vote calls might actually make a difference, but honestly, how many of these other robocalls can possibly connect with a person gullible enough to call and give out their personal information?
If these calls are targeting the elderly, the ignorant, the vulnerable, then they are particularly heinous and the government should be doing something about them. Since they’re not, I’m going to step up and offer my services. I’ll issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal to anyone who wants to go head hunting, you can keep the loot you collect, and I will pay a bounty for each telemarketers head delivered to my doorstep. No CODs.
Joe Doakes

Phone spam strikes me as supremely counterproductive (outside the few cases Joe notes). But it must be working somewhere, or why would people be doing it?

Biden Ad – Part 1

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I saw an ad on television. Donald Trump only cares about the stock market. He gave tax cuts to the rich. Joe Biden will fix all that.

Stock market – fat cats – rich people. Yeah, screw ’em. Not like it’ll affect my family at all. Go for it, Joe!

Well, except for that IRA that I had from private practice. And my kid’s 401k. My wife’s Deferred Compensation and Health Care Savings Accounts. Those are all invested in the stock market. And they’re not insured like bank accounts so if the market tanks, they lose everything.

Not me. I’m a government employee. We have defined benefit pensions through Minnesota State Retirement, Public Employees Retirement, or Teacher’s Retirement, all of which are administered by the State of Minnesota and prudently invested in . . . the stock market. Which Biden’s going to tank to punish the rich.

Oh, crap.

Joe Doakes

It’s gotten to the point where you hope Biden’s ads are just chanting points to con the gullible.

No There, There

The question remains: with 85% of downtown workers not working downtown, and at least 10,000 of them never coming back, how much is this article about skyway businesses sodtpedaling the reality?

Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, says only 15% of the typical workforce population works downtown right now.

Several businesses in the Skyway are closed at least temporarily due to COVID-19. Cramer couldn’t specify how many.

“We probably will see a few less of those establishments when things kind of bounce back, but when things bounce back, that will create new opportunities for growth so we’re looking for that hopeful day as well,” Cramer said.

In theory, yes – if Governor clink ever “allows“ things to go back to normal, it’s hypothetically true that all those empty skyway store fronts will provide a world of opportunity for the next round of merchants.

Provided, of course, that people come back – that working from home doesn’t gut the commercial real estate market – and that the public safety situation downtown doesn’t keep businesses away

Due To Covid

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I used to drive to work, half-an-hour each way.  I listened to Sirius XM
in the car.  They sent me a renewal reminder: $160 for another year.

I called and told them to let it lapse.  I work at home, I don’t listen
to the car radio.  Oh, but they can offer me a promotional rate.  And
expand my package to let me listen on-line.  And . . .

No.  If you hadn’t tried to gouge me, maybe I’d have let it renew.  But
teaser rates and short-term promotions won’t lure me back; they only
serve to prove you could have offered me a better deal earlier, but
chose not to.

I suspect there will be a raft of business failures in the next year or
two, prompted by similar experiences.

Joe Doakes

I’ve got my own beeves with Sirius’ way of doing business. A company whose technology is that expensive and whose service is nonetheless that expendable needs to be a lot smarter than Sirius is.

MEDIA CLICHÉ ALERT

Especially in these uncertain times.

I had to do it once.

Collective Bargaining

Employees at Spyhouse Coffee – which is sort of like Dunn Brothers, although tonier, more expensive and generally less tasty – want to unionize.

If for no other reason that this response, I may just give them another try:

I’ve always wanted one of these unions, trying to organize a low margin service business like coffee shops or bars, to test the “Labor Theory of Value” by grabbing a group of baristas, huddling them up in a vacant lot, and seeing if a coffee shop spontaneously erupts around them.

Dead, Dead, Dead

A friend of the blog emails:

Downtown St Paul does need some improvement. It has been pretty lifeless for a while.

But, I don’t think collecting more money from the few businesses that remain there is quite the way to improve it, though I guess it is better than burning it down as they did for the Midway Improvement Project.

If you see both projects as glorified transfers of wealth from whatever private sector remains in Saint Paul to the political class, it all makes perfect sense.

Great Job, Fredo

Just remember – according to the mainstream media, Andrew Cuomo is the smart governor.

Nearly 90% of New York bars and restaurants didn’t make their rent last month:

Eighty-seven percent of bars, restaurants, nightclubs and event spaces in the five boroughs could not pay their full August rent, according to data from 457 businesses surveyed between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11, in a new study released Monday by the nonprofit NYC Hospitality Alliance.

It’s a 7 percentage-point increase from June and a four-point jump from July, darkening the dire picture for eateries desperately seeking relief following six months of partial — and in some cases total — closure due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

Some 34 percent of this group said they could not pay rent at all last month, and only 12.9 percent were able to meet full payments.

With winter coming up, and an administration of Karens running things, NYC’s restaurant and night life scene may just start looking like the proverbial “cold Omaha”.

Although Omaha is faring much better these days.

Urban Progressive Privilege: The Free Market Of Ill-Informed, Class-Privilege-Sodden Twaddle They Are Pleased To Call “Ideas”

I listen to NPR so you don’t have to.

And there are some reasons it’s worth it. I mean, that’s where you get Live From Here with Chris Thile.

Well, for now, anyway.

Otherwise, there’s…

…well, a lot of racial virtue-signaling. I suspect the most lilywhite of America’s organizations is fearing a lot of backlash when the Bolsheviks come for the Mensheviks.

Speaking of which, it’s always a bit of a chuckle when the “progressives” that are NPR’s staff, social circle and pool of sources try to explain things like economics to the pool of “progressives” that are NPR’s audience.

Case in point – a piece from yesterday’s All Things Considered, an interview with one Eula Biss, about her new book about Capitalism.

Biss – a “non-fiction writing” major who has lived within the academic echo chamber her entire career, is the author of “Having and Being Had” – a primer on…

…wait for it…

…Capitalism.

Or, rather, a coddled, over-schooled/undereducated resident of the academic echo chamber’s perversion of the cartoon term “capitalism”, itself a hijacked representation of “the free market”…

…not that either term isn’t completely lost on Professor Biss.

Let’s start with this passage, which the NPR crowd will no doubt take for an emanation of wisdom, but merely proves that Biss’s son and babysitter are smarter than she is:

PFEIFFER: At one point, you’re talking about your son paying for a Pokemon card, although someone else thought he overpaid for the Pokemon card. What was it like for you to watch your son try to figure out what something was worth and why and maybe not figuring it out correctly?

BISS: Oh, it was amazing. In watching him learn how to play Pokemon the way it was being played in first and second grade at his school, I felt like I was seeing an economy be invented. But it was also somewhat excruciating to me because I saw the ways in which other children and his babysitter and I were training the values of capitalism into him. So, yes, at one point, he gave away a valuable Pokemon card because he just didn’t like it very much.

And then I heard his babysitter saying to him, were you a smart negotiator? And I thought, oh, no. What are we doing? This kid is only 6, and we’re already training him not to be generous and to get as much out of an exchange as he can possibly get out of it even if he doesn’t care about the thing he’s giving away.

PFEIFFER: Oh, that’s so interesting. I mean, diamonds are objectively very expensive and valuable, but if I don’t care about them and I just want to give them away, is that fine, or is that flawed financial thinking?

BISS: Under the logic of capitalism, it’s insane, right? But by some other logic, it makes perfect sense, especially since diamonds aren’t incredibly useful. You can’t eat them, and you can’t live inside them.

The interview – and one suspects the book – is a cavalcade of white progressive guilt, the sort of consequence-free wailing that afflicts our current layer of pseudointellectual societal overburden:

BISS: One of the things that I didn’t want to have happen to me as I entered this new life and lifestyle [i.e. – bought a house in a tony neighborhood near Northwestern Universitiy] was I didn’t want to begin to think that I had what I had because I’d worked hard, which is one of the patterns of thought very common to upper middle class. I don’t believe that I got what I got because I worked hard. I believe that I got what I got because the system favors me in a number of different ways – one, because I’m white, but also because I started out middle-class.

Notice she doesn’t mention “…because I’m part of an academic-industrial complex to which being a recipient of Urban Progressive Privilege gives me a priority ticket”.

Ms. Biss: If you’re that concerned about the things your “work” didn’t “earn” you, give up your teaching gig at Northwestern and become one of the people you describe later in the interview:

I think one of the possibilities that I could perceive, especially once the pandemic arrived, was the possibility of – what if we compensated the people we speak of as essential workers? So what if everyone who is essential to the daily workings of our lives was paid well and had health insurance and had basic security? That’s entirely possible. It’s even possible within capitalism, but that involves us making a series of changes in policy and, to some extent, in what we collectively value.

It’s entirely possible – say, within the context of a real epidemic, a modern-day Plague with a two-digit mortality rate, something that legitimately shuts down society for the duration of a disease serious enough to impinge even Nancy Pelosi or Lori Lightfoot’s lifestyles – for the skills and presence of “supply chain” workers, from the farm to the Walmart, to become very, very valuable. Vastly moreso than, say, writing professors at Northwestern.

But I don’t think that’s the “policy change” she’s referring to.

The bad news: these are the people teaching the “next generation of leaders”

The not-so-bad news: nobody she teaches will amount to anything outside the academic-industrial complex.

Remember

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?

Unexpectedly

Dozens of businesses are expecting to leave downtown Minneapolis.

A new survey by the Downtown Council shows 45 business owners say they are considering leaving downtown – citing the lack of people working or socializing downtown – and the idea that the police department could be dismantled.

Though they won’t say which businesses are considering pulling out of downtown, the council says one of the businesses employs 600 people.

That could mean a lot of empty spaces.

On the up side, I suppose “moving” implies some intent to survive.

Wonder how many downtown businesses have closed for good without making it onto any surveys?

Price

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went to dinner at Old Mexico in Roseville, sat on the patio, a pleasant evening. Dinner for three, one drink each, no appetizer or dessert, with tip, $100.

Is it just me, or are post-covid prices significantly higher than pre-covid prices?
 This is going to cut into my dining budget, which will extend the economic harm from the governors orders. 

Joe Doakes 

Restaurants are pricing the contortions they’re going through into their menus.

Or going out of business.

My favorite BBQ joint has jacked up its prices. Still worth it, but I can feel the pain – some of it. I imagine it’s worse for them (although they are doing very well).

Not much in between.

Sustainable!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Looking at the recycle bin at my house, I’m curious how many trillion board-feet of lumber get turned into cardboard for Amazon boxes every year?

The lumberjacks and paper mills should be kissing the ground Jeff Bezos walks on.

Joe Doakes

Oh, I have a hunch they are.

And how long has it been since you heard someone protesting forestry?

This Is War

Shizzle just got way too real:

This is getting personal.

Keegans was where I met some of the favorite arcs in my social circle: the NARN guys (Brian, Chad, Ben, Ed Morrissey, King Banaian, Michael Brodkorb), John Stewart and Marjorie Farnsworth Stewart and their kids Patience Stewart and Faith Worley , who at least started the process of meeting her husband Ben Worley (long story) there at a Trivia night one summer. It’s where I first met (socially, at least) David Strom and Margaret Martin, and Christopher K. Senn and Chris Neugent, where we were trivia regulars with Brad Carlson and Nancy LaRoche and Bill Charette and Guy Collins and Peg Kaplan and so many more, a place where Gary M. Miller and Bob Collins shared a table over a couple beers and some sports talk, where I met the likes of Tracy Eberly and Julie Hanson and Mark Heuring and Jacq Smith and Sean Michael and Diane Napper and Bridget Cronin, where I met Don Lokken after 20 odd years. where celebs like Mike Nelson and Lynn McHale’s husband rubbed elbows with a bunch of my other closest friends, and the last place I saw Joel Rosenberg and Sarah Janecek before their untimely passings, and…

…well, so many memories, it’s hard to catalogue them all.

Keegans – and the Savoy next door, both owned by the redoubtable Marty Newman – is closing after Tuesday night. Marty, like Terry (a Marine vet from Vietnam) and Virginia Keegan before him who founded the place, is a classic small businessman, is pretty much SOL.

The place was always jam packed – always – so let’s hear none of this “bars and restaurants close all the time” bullsh*t. This place was killed by the Governor’s ham-fisted quarantine combined with Minneapolis’ unicorn-driven small business policies.

This is a kick in the teeth.

I will be heading there Tuesday night. I guess that would be tonight…