Student Senate Is Haaaaaard

Minneapolis police note that they were kept from the crime scene of a recent shooting near “George Floyd Square“ near 38th and Chicago in south Minneapolis, and that parts of the “citizens committee“ that have turned the area around the intersection into a de facto “autonomous zone“ contaminated the evidence that could be used to try to prosecute the perps, if they are ever found.

A couple of the inspectors involved have emailed a few members of the student Senate… um, City Council.

To give the minimum possible credit where it is due, and indicate how very low the actual bar is, Councilman Andrea Jenkins seems to have a veered close to something within rifle shot of common sense in her response:

Jenkins told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she supports the memorialization of George Floyd Square and wants it to become a permanent fixture as she and others on the City Council pursue racial justice and police reform. But she does not condone any action which inhibits police investigations.

‘We want justice for everybody and it concerns me and I am not happy with what I read in the email,’ said Jenkins. ‘To somehow disrupt or delay that kind of response is completely irresponsible and an obstruction of justice.’

My fearless prediction; Jenkins will be castigated as a conservative reactionary, and will have a primary opponent from the left. be castigated as a conservative reactionary, and will have a primary opponent from the left.

Orwell Overestimated Minneapolis DFLers

From the never-ending “It depends on what the meaning of the term ‘is’, is” files – after seven months of demanding the defunding of the police, and a week of acting on it, members of the Minneapolis Student Senate…er, City Council claim they’re just misunderstood:

In June, Minneapolis city council members Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham appeared with seven colleagues on a stage bearing a huge sign reading ‘Defund Police’ during a protest in Powderhorn Park.

Now, the duo seem to be mincing words, with Fletcher telling KSTP-TV on Tuesday: ”Defund’ is not the framework the council has ever chosen,’ as Cunningham audibly agreed. 

‘If we’re going to look at how we fund different programs, it would be very hard to do that without taking that money from the Minneapolis Police Department,’ he continued.

Have you ever noticed that the only establishment media that ever actually reports on Minneapolis is in the UK?

Oppressing From Below

Our stereotype of the banana republic dictator is that he/she does their oppressing from above – with the military, the secret police, the “legal system” and so on.

And that’s all true – the KGB, the Gestapo, the Pasdaran, were or are all pretty effective at making life miserable, nasty, brutish and short for those who didn’t toe the authorities’ lines (and, often enough, for those who did, just to be safe).

But Americans are blessed to live in a place where, for the most part, we haven’t had to learn about how authoritarians subjugate us from “below” – by weaponizing the “underclass” against the middle.

History is chock full of examples, of whom most Americans are blissfully uneducated.

The Soviets weaponized envy against the closest thing that existed to a “middle class” in much of the USSR, the “kulaks” – which, like “counterrevolutionary”, was a fungible, malleable term that ould be expanded to include pretty much anyone those in power disdained. Sort of like “racist”, “misogynist” and “fascist” today.

The Nazi Sturmabteilung – popularly “the Brownshirts” – were a popular way for people with no particular talent or skill to fit into something, by being a thug and smacking down the opposition (and the Communists’ Rote Fahne, which lives on as “Anti”-Fa today, were the same thing for the communists).

The “Red Guards” in China certainly weaponized class envy, along with a parallel groups in Cambodia.

Former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega enlisted his “Dignity Battalions” – a “paramilitary” mass of down-and-outers and slum-dwellers who beat down opposition without a whole lot of ceremony.

Iran’s Basiji – basically a theo-political militia reporting to the Revolutionary Guards – serve much the same purpose in Iran; they are “Karen” with firearms. ]

And Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Militia of Venezuela” – basically a half-million-strong mob of thugs that bypasses the military chain of command to report to Maduro? Same exact model – a mass of characters with no particular stake in life other than upholding the regime/s that gave, or give, them any status at all.

All of them were threats looming out there, awaiting anyone who spoke up, who demonstrated, who were seen to be thinking about being a threat to the various regimes. A nervous knot in the stomach that everyone needed to keep in mind, and keep happy.

The lesson is obvious – a population that’s nervous about getting pummeled in the street, and publicly castigated out of public life by a drooling mob of (usually armed, always legally-supported) people, can’t do mundane (to Americans) things like organize, speak, oppose the regime. It ratchets the consequence curve outside the range of more and more people’s abilities to accept.

Nervous people are politically passive people.

I thought about that reading the news that Los Angeles County is decriminalizing a wide swathe of offenses:

In a new policy directive entitled “Declination Policy Directive,” Gascon has directed his subordinates not to enforce Penal Code Section 602 (trespass), Penal Code Section 415 (Disturbing the Peace), or Driving without a Valid License (Cal. Vehicle Code Section 12500).

Social justice warriors believe these are all statutes the white aristocracy uses to subjugate members of minority communities, institutionalizing racism. Resisting Arrest will also no longer be prosecuted.

Gascon will end the practice of charging minors as adults for murder and other serious crimes. He will extend victims services to the families of anyone shot by police. He will eliminate gang enhancements in criminal complaints, a practice Republicans initiated in the 1990s. He will have no cash bail, and the death penalty will no longer “be on the table.”

So – if you’re a “normal” in LA County, you have to worry about your city/county regime arbitrarily shutting down your livelihood. You have to worry about “Anti”-Fa and the cancel mob coming after your personal and professional reputation. And even without all that, you have to be concerned about the ongoing decay in your community that these sorts of policies inevitably bring.

LA County is doing de jure, by the way, what Minneapolis is doing de facto today. Watch for the student senate that runs Minneapolis to keep up with the Joneses before too terribly long.

A Point Of Clarification

There’s been a lot of chatter about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s announcement last Thursday that his office won’t be asking bail for the following offenses starting next year:

It’s not that Henco is legalizing these activities.

It’s merely providing no direct consequences for skipping trial for accused forgers, felony-level vandals, burglars, porch pirates, kiters, shoplifters, frauds, drug dealers, counterfeiters or welfare cheats.

If they skip trial, a warrant will be issued for their arrest, and if they eventually come into contact with the law, the warrant will be on their record when they are arrested for the next offense that they won’t be charged bail for before skipping trial.

Glad we settled that.

Orwell Was A Pollyanna, Part CVII

Presidents nominating, and Senates confirming, SCOTUS seats via the the process defined in the Constitution is “packing”

Repealing a working-class tax cut won’t increase taxes on the working class.

Nobody’s coming for your guns.

“Anti”-Fa doesn’t exist.

High density cities, with all their accoutrements (mass transit, densely-packed infranstructure) are more sustainable, livable.

The protests are mostly peaceful.

A decade and a half of demonizing police and running a catch-and-release judicial system, combined with open threats to defund or abolish the police, have no effect on crime rates, silly peasants:

The problem isn’t that the Minneapolis Student Council and the president of its Sustainability Club are lying to the people.

The problem is that they know the people who vote for them are too uncritical, complacent, dependent or stupid to know any better.

So far, it seems like a winning strategy.

Politically, I mean.

Tipping Point

Jen at Redhead Ranting, by way of a visit to her her family’s area in a local cemetary, notes a reminder of a crime that had a disproportionate impact on law and order in the Twin Cities a generation ago:

Not far from my grandparents are the markers of the graves of the 5 Coppage children who died in a fire ordered by a rival gang member of their older brother in 1994.

The deaths were horrible. Few in the community were left untouched by the 1994 tragedy. The cops, as they always do with brutal crimes involving children, took it personally and declared war on the gang, building a federal drug case that led to the convictions of about 22 gang members in 1998. (full article)

This happened at about the apex of of the “Murderapolis” years, and I think it’s fair to say it marked a tipping point in law enforcement in Minnesota. People demanded that government do its one unambiguously legitimate job – preserve order, the job that makes living in close conjunction with other people, and the commerce, society and community that result, possible.

What followed was a period of relative (!) order and tranquility – or so it seems in retrospect. Minnesota became, up until this past spring, the safest state in the union that had a major metropolitan area; the Twin Cities, especially Saint Paul, were for all their faults quite a safe metro area.

The stats are up this year – but perceptions about crime aren’t about stats, especially when “rational critical thought” is near the bottom of the priority list.

But eventually, people will demand order. They’ll either get it from government, or they’ll get it themselves (that’s the romantic notion a lot of people have – and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was occasionally one of them) or they’ll get it from whatever “strongman”, be it a street gang or a mob racket or a “vigilante militia” that offers enough of it in exchange for what they take to make it worth it, or worth it enough.

Here’s hoping sane heads prevail.

It’s Better To Look Good Than To Be Good

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

June – Minneapolis City Council President on CNN – expecting police to prevent crime comes from a place of white privilege.

June, July, August – Minneapolis City Council to all Minneapolis Police Officers: You’re horrible people and we’re going to de-fund your entire department, to start from scratch and reinvent public safety

September – Minneapolis City Council to Minneapolis Police Chief: Crime is out of control and residents are terrified.  Why aren’t police officers doing a better job of preventing crime?

The Minneapolis Chief of Police is Medaria Arrando, a Black man.  When the Council fires him, he’ll join the ranks of other Black police chiefs fired as scapegoats for White city council virtue-signaling gone wild including Le’Ron Singletary, Carmen Best, and U. Renee Hall

But firing the Black police chief flies in the face of a study claiming to prove that police departments run by Black police chiefs have Fewer shootings.

It’s almost as if Liberals don’t care about actual results, only about looking good to the media.

Joe Doakes

Among “progressives”, participation trophies are good enough.

Also mandatory.

The Cupboard Is Bare

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Fleet Farm, Labor Day Weekend. No .22, .223, .357, .38, .40, . 45, 5.56mm, or 9mm. Cabellas, the same. None expected. 

People who have confidence in their civic institutions do not panic about defending their families. 

Democrats have much to answer for.

Joe Doakes

As we noted the other day – people seek order.  If government doesn’t provide it, they’ll do it for themselves.  That’s not always a pleasant thing. 

DIY

When people can’t trust “the system” to keep them safe, they take matters into their own hands.

Italian immigrants – with social, religious, linguistic and cultural impediments to assimilation, cutting both ways – brought their underworld organizations from the old country to get some order (at a price) in their lives.

Ditto the Irish in New York and Chicago, and Jews all over the place.

Blacks? Remember Malcolm X and the Black Panthers?

And now? Middle class Minnesotans of all races, creeds and backgrounds. are strapping up. Gun purchase background checks (which, remember, only apply to handguns and “assault weapons”; shotguns, varmint rifles and plinkers require no contact with the government) are up well over 50% between August 2019 and last month.

And – as we’ve observed elsewere – the new buyer is a lot less likely to fit the stereotype Big Left puts out:

Dave Amon, an agent at Gunstop of Minnetonka, said the demand shows no signs of slowing especially as the changing role of law enforcement is in the spotlight, the Star Tribune reported.

“I’ve seen a lot more single moms that are scared and need something to protect them,” he said. “They’re scared when people talk about defunding the police.”

Given how long the DFL has bet on gun confiscation in the past year – clearly drooling over taking control of the Senate – I wonder if this is going to slow down the rush to grab, or accelerate it to try to get ahead of broad social acceptance?

Being a pessimist, I choose “B”.

Via Gary Gross.

This Is What Dismantlement Looks Like

Oddly enough, when you work for a boss that actively disparages, nay, defames the work you do, loudly, constantly and in public, employees are going to react.

The numbers for the Minneapolis Police Department are well-nigh catastrophic:

Nearly 40% attrition in four months. And I suspect the recruit stream has not only dwindled to a trickle, but is heavily made up of people you don’t want wearing badges and carrying guns.

Historically? Minneapolis went through similar (albeit not nearly so drastic) problems in the nineties, and before that in the seventies – and the city paid the price in terms of officer quality both times.

This could well make both of those troughs look like the good times.

Ain’t S**t Indeed

John Thompson – the DFL endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House, who threatened to burn down Hugo, Minnesota – is clearly not a fan of the police.

And it’s causing the DFL problems – while by all indications Ken Martin is keeping Thompson locked up in a closet and not letting him anywhere near the public, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, normally a reliable endorser of DFL candidates, has switched its endorsements in two swing House districts, and possibly more. The kerfuffle – which the media hasn’t been able to bury, despite their best efforts – caused the DFL to bag a fundraiser with Thompson and other DFL officials last week, which is a big deal, two months before an election.

Now, I’ve had a policy since the beginning of this blog: I leave peoples’ families out of it. Some of my various stalkers haven’t been quite as discriminating – and yes, that does make me a better person than them.

And I’m not going to change that now.

But while it seems that candidate Thompson’s son has had some brushes with the law, it also seems that the son also owes his life to one of the Saint Paul cops who, Thompson the Elder reminds us, “ain’t s**t”:

In early August 2018, a St. Paul officer was credited with saving his life after he was shot outside a funeral home on the 700 block of Portland Avenue.

Thompson was found in an alley with gunshot wounds to his chest and abdomen after a confrontation with a fellow citizen became violent. The St. Paul Police Department said that officer Mathew Jones aided Thompson and stemmed his bleeding until EMS arrived to transport him to the hospital. It is unlikely that Thompson would have survived without the medical care Jones administered, authorities said.

Reports from Fox 9 and the Pioneer Press identified the man who was shot on Aug. 6, 2018 as Thompson’s son Damarco. The St. Paul Police Department confirmed with Alpha News that Damarco’s life was saved by Jones, who received the Life Saving Award for his actions that day.

“While the saving of a life is generally attributed to the hospital and responding EMS crews, the officers who take those initial actions, such as Officer Jones, should receive the lion’s share of the credit,” St. Paul Fire’s EMS coordinator, Captain Kenneth Adams, said of the incident. “For if it were not for them and their actions, the EMS crews and hospital staff would not have a patient to work with.”

I leave families out of things – but it doesn’t seem remotely unfair to point this out.

Privileged Couple’s Gentrified Night Out Interrupted By Austere Social Scholars’ Mostly Peaceful Protest

OK, that’s not the real tag line on the story.

Yet.

But it doesn’t seem implausible at all, does it?

Minneapolis couple out on the town in the North Loop, attacked by 8-10…

…well, the piece leaves that wide open:

Probably more white supremacist Hells Angels. They’re behind everything that’s wrong in Minneapolis.

Darned white supremacists.

Cop Out

Hopkins School Board Vice-Chair Chris LaTondresse – did he tell you he’s an “Obama administration alum” yet?

The Defund the Police movement hitches it’s wagons into the western suburbs.

In the apparently halcyon days of April 2018, students and school officials of the Hopkins School District gathered together in what was called “National Walkout Day” in memory of the horrific tragedy of the Columbine school shootings 19 years earlier.  Students spoke of issues of gun control and school safety.  And while none of the student speakers were even alive when Columbine occurred, a common theme of seeking safety at school echoed in the various speeches.

A time-traveler from that April day in 2018 would have a hard time reconciling the Hopkins School District of just two and-a-half years later as the School Board voted to keep guns out of their schools – guns in the form of local police protection:

The Hopkins school board on Tuesday night embraced a student-led call to remove police from Hopkins High School — with the action to come at year’s end.

The 6-1 vote brings a suburban voice to a national movement that has sought to end the use of school resource officers, or SROs.

The move to defund Hopkins School Resource Officers comes after several months of intense online lobbying by a group calling themselves “CopsOutHHH” and a poll of Hopkins students in favor of the movement – a poll in which only 183 of the District’s 1,600 students voted.  By the end of the year, Hopkins will sever it’s relationship with the Minnetonka Police Department (the Hopkins School District includes parts of Edina and Minnetonka) in a move that supporter and Board Vice Chair Chris LaTondresse bizarrely described as not actually “defunding” the police since the contract was due to expire anyway.

LaTondresse, a DFL endorsed candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner who touts his consulting work for USAID as making him an “Obama administration alum” in the same way that I apparently was a member of Congress because I visited Washington D.C. once, claims the move will allows for more mental health funding.  Considering the SRO budget is $113,142 out of a budget of $91,502,418, the idea that shifting 0.01% of the School Board’s resources away from security and towards mental health will address either issue is laughable at best and incredibly dangerous at worse.

It’s also a conclusion that files in the face of peer-tested research.  Carleton University conducted a two-year study of SRO programs and in their report, published by Routledge in 2019, they concluded that for every dollar invested in the program, a minimum of $11.13 of social and economic value was created.  While attention would likely focus on the role the SRO could or did play in the estimated 525 school shootings over the past decade (a number in partial dispute as it groups any gun-related incidents on a school campus together), left unreported are the number of incidents prevented by early SRO intervention.  The group Averted School Violence has begun to attempt to collect and analyze such data, a task made somewhat difficult by the very nature of the endeavor – incidents that don’t escalate into violence rarely make the news.

LaTondresse and the Hopkins School Board also want to cite that SROs make students of color fundamentally uncomfortable.  While data can’t contend with feelings, even a Brookings Institute report from 2018 which was less than fully supportive of SROs as agents of school safety didn’t see any correlation between SROs and race.  Brookings believed context for arrest records and racial backgrounds were lacking and thus a poor metric to judge whether or not SROs were more likely to discriminate or otherwise negatively impact minority students.

But no amount of data – or even common sense – was present on Tuesday night as the Hopkins School Board voted to eliminate basic security without even so much as a concept of what would replace their School Resource Officers.  Instead, a small but vocal minority has continued to push a partisan agenda that endangers students for the goal of striking symbolic blow against the police.

Waves Of Schadenfreud

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minneapolis Police Chief tells residents to prepare to be robbed, to hand over cars, wallets and cell phones, to obey criminals. 

Wonder if lack of law enforcement will affect the rape situation around the U of M?  Outstate parents still thinking of sending their daughters to college in Minneapolis might want to reconsider.
Speaking of reconsidering . . . do Minneapolis crime victims have any thoughts on reviving Stand Your Ground legislation?

Joe Doakes

It’s been a little depressing, reading the number of Powderhorn Park residents on some of the neighborhood social media who think that they deserve what they’ve got coming to them.

And when you think about it, they’re right, although not for the reasons they think. They think their “privilege” makes them justifiable targets.

Call it schadenfreud, but I say it’s “60 years of voting DFL as if it’s the only option you have”.

But there are a few that are getting the message.

A Commie On The Trail, A Monarchist In The Courtroom

The Democrats are proposing Kamala Harris as the next President (after, let’s be honest, Creepy Joe’s inevitable resignation or removal).

It’s not like I’m in any danger of voting for any Democrat, ever – that shouldn’t be a surprise.

But I wouldn’t vote for Kamala Harris if she were a fiscal conservative free-marketeering Second Amendendment advocate (which she has never been and will never be).

Let’s just cut to the chase: there is no circle of hell cold enough for prosecutor with Harris’s dubious relationship with honesty, ethics and morality.

She’s not ethically fit to be President – even in the post-Bill-and-Hillary Clinton sense of the term. Or even the post-Trump sense, if you’re wired that way.

She’s not morally fit to be mulch.

A little background: I support capital punishment for every reason but one – the inevitability, whether through accident or deliberate prosecutorial malfeasance, of executing innocent people. It’s already happened at least once, and at least 14 executions in the last since the death penalty was rebuilding a 19 7600s of people have been released directly from death row, their convictions “beyond a reasonable doubt“ vacated, very frequently because of prosecutorial misconduct.

That’s a sign, if you think about it, somethings very, very wrong with capital punishment.

Kamala Harris is one of those things that is very, very wrong.

I have a little personal background with a case of a man wrongly convicted in a grisly rape and murder case,

He spent those 22 years on death row because a prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence that would have led to his acquittal in the initial trial.

There is no circle in hell cold enough for a prosecutor who withholds exculpatory evidence in any case – least of all a death penalty case.

Kamala Harris has a long history of playing fast and loose with ethics rules, including gundecking exculpatory evidence in capital cases.

People like that aren’t fit to be president of the United States.

People like that aren’t fit to be mulch, morally speaking.

Until Proven Guilty

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

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

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

Joe Doakes

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

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

“Terribly Sad”

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

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

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

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

Regret over being caught? Sure.

Remorse? That’s for plebes.

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

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

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

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

Seattle: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

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

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

I said ‘should”. 

Mister Feminist

Keith Ellison says cops shouldn’t be the ones responding to rapes.

Emphasis added:

“If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault and the assailant has ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with as opposed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm, right?” he asked.

Ellison posed this question during a broadcast featuring himself, Democrat Congresswoman Karen Bass and Yamiche Alcindor, PBS’s White House Correspondent on July 17. As he spoke, both the congresswoman and reporter looked downward and did not interrupt.

The Republican National Committee research team discovered the clip and posted it across social media.

Side note – “…the assailant has ran away?”

He went to law school, for chrissake.

But yes – he think social workers, not investigators, should be the first to respond to rapes.

“Keith Ellison clearly is not even aware of the MN Post Board standards for police training. Licensed police officers receive a variety of training in multiple subjects including how to interview a rape victim. As a state leader he should be more familiar with state standards before he makes assumptions,” says the officer. This is the same officer who has delivered verifiably factual information to Alpha News previously.

The fact that Ellison apparently doesn’t believe there’s an investigative component to responding to sexual assault should make everyone in Minnesota with a female in their life really, really angry.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Minneapolis mulls a proposal to supplant police with “citizen patrols”.

And its primary mission – transfer money from taxpayers to favored “community” organizations – is front and center:

The Minneapolis City Council Budget Committee has approved moving $500,000 from the police budget and putting it into the Office of Violence Prevention to help pay for civilian safety patrols.

Jamil Jackson is a paid consultant with the Office of Violence Prevention and he told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he’s been asked to put together a proposed plan to implement the civilian patrols.

“It would have to be multiple groups that get the money,” Jackson said.  “But, how the money is going to be disbursed hasn’t been decided at this point, because those are things that are still being tweaked and worked out.”

The – for sake of argument – proposal involves groups of 20 civilians each, patrolling the North and South sides, and another in downtown.

And when – not if – danger sprouts up?

Jackson says the civilian patrols will not be doing any police work and they will not be out in the community fighting crime. The group will not be armed, but men with permits to carry will be allowed to do so if they choose.

Ooof – acting as a surrogate cop in a climate of hatred for cops and their surrogates, with none of the legal protections a cop gets? Thanks, but no.

The possibilities are endless:

  • What a wonderful place for people with latent Dwight Schrute-like tendencies to exercise their need to control others?
  • Could there be a better springboard for corruption, both for the ‘patrols’ as well as the organizations sponsoring them?

Anyone in for a pool on how long the patrols last before they dissolve in a welter of corruption and scandal?