The Henco Attorney’s office hit the noon deadline on Monday to charge the suspects in last week’s shooting at the Black Lives Matter rally.

And the charges are interesting:

Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23, of Lakeville, was charged with six counts including second-degree riot and second-degree assault. Joseph Martin Backman, 27, of Eagan, Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 22, of Hermantown and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26, of Pine City were each charged with one count of second-degree riot-armed with a dangerous weapon.

Bear in mind that Macey was one of those rare Asian white supremacists.

Quite the melting-pot we have, here.

Anyway – as the media begins the process of trying this case in public, some people are going to be disappointed right out of the gate:

Freeman said the Minnesota hate crime law only moves a misdemeanor crime to a gross misdemeanor and a gross misdemeanor to a felony. The four men were not charged with that because the sentences for them, especially the suspected shooter, Scarsella, would be significantly longer for the riot and second-degree assault charges. However, Freeman noted he has been consulting with U.S. Attorney Andy Luger about this case and if federal hate crime sentences would draw a longer sentence, he would be willing to turn the case over to them.
There is no doubt, he said, that this attack by the four was racially motivated.
“The defendants’ own statements, their videos, show that these are sick people,” Freeman said. “Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but the language they use, and what they say about fellow Americans, citizens, are just not acceptable.”

Unlike every media outlet in the Metro, I’m not going to attempt to try this case on this page.  As we discussed the other day, there’s at least a chance that this could be tried as self-defense – although as I pointed out at the time, if one plans to try to plead self-defense, it’s best to go to the police, rather than having them come and get you first.

Best Practices

In recent weeks, this blog, as well as the rest of the media, I’ve noted a bit of an uptick in publicized violence in the St. Paul public schools.

The Minneapolis public schools seem to of
been paying attention – and turn their best minds on to the problem of school violence.

We know this, because they have solve the problem.

The Minneapolis public schools are now a “violence free zone“.

Midway Between Lexington And Hell

I remember back in the eighties, back when I used to occasionally frequent bars on University Avenue on the weekend, ducking into Big V’s, near Snelling.  Back then – long before the Turf Club became a hangout for music hipsters – it was a place to go if you were in the mood to crowd into a long, narrow room with a cement floor and a single row of ripped naugahyde stools and listen to a band that was on the floor three feet away from you, under the watchful eye of bartenders who could rip your arms out at the shoulders, and the men who loved them.

I haven’t been there in a while – which was why it was a bit of a shock to see that they were going to start closing down early because the area is getting just too dodgy.

I got this from a regular reader of this blog:

I was at Big V’s a few weeks ago and my friends and I were talking about this very topic- is the area less safe? I was saying it felt that way to me and others agreed, but we wondered if it was because we were now older, perhaps some of us more sober, so we noticed more around us.

You may be older and more sober – but there’s more to notice.

Up by my house, half a mile north of Big V’s, we’ve had two smash-and-grab burglaries and, a few weeks back, the first daylight armed robbery I can remember in 22 years on the block.

On the Hamline/Midway neighborhood Facebook page, there is of course the usual tension; those who believe that crime is on the rise, and think that the Green Line has turned into a commuter line for criminals, those who say there’s nothing to see here, move along, citizen.

I really want to believe that, but I know the Russian Tea House owners have noticed a decrease in sense of safety and now Big V’s.

Which is a good reminder; if you’re in Saint Paul on Friday, go to Russian Tea House for lunch.  You’ll thank me.  Then you’ll thank me again. It’s a neighborhood treasure.

And Metro Transit’s response? The increase in the number of service calls [reported by the Saint Paul police] doesn’t mean anything. Some of those numbers include “proactive visits” to the area. Right..because the cops are always running proactively to the safe parts of the city.

Light Rail lines nationwide tend to be commuter lines for criminals.   Expect the establishment in the Twin Cities to deny that has hard and often as they can.

Nothing Here But Us Un-Enhanced Sentences

Back during one of the previous crime waves in gun-hostile Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the legislature – with the help of gun rights groups – passed a pretty significant tool for prosecutors to use against gun crimes; an up-charge for committing a crime with a firerarm, with a mandatory five year sentence.

In a subsequent crime wave, it was noted that the Ramsey County attorney at the time, the useless Susan Gaertner, had pled the upcharge out in every single case in which it was offered.

We also noted, in relation to last summer’s shooting of an armed robber by a citizen with a gun in Saint Paul, that the Ramsey County Attorney’s office had declined to use the statute to charge Laurentai Broadbent’s accomplices.

Now, MPR – in a piece by Brandt Williams – notes that  it’s a statewide trend; it’s the exception rather than the rule that prosecutors use the upcharge for gun crimes. MPR notes that the sentence is applied in only 42 percent of applicable crimes.

I’m going to speculate, here; those 42 percent come disproportionally from Greater Minnesota, most likely districts with conservative majorities or pluralities.

I’m going to try to find the numbers involved, and see if there is some sort of geographic correlation to this discrepancy.

Piling On

The City of Cambridge is proposing making harming a cop a “hate crime”.

It’s a hot-button issue right now, both nationally in the wake of a series of politically charged police-killings (against a backdrop of a generally very safe year for police) and the killing of a rural Minnesota sheriff’s deputy over this past weekend.

It’s a dumb idea, and not just because “hate crime” legislation is misguided.

Police have a dangerous job; not the most dangerous job, but why split hairs?

But right now, any sort of attack against a police officer – from lethal force to harsh words – is already accompanied by harsh upcharges and sentence enhancements.  If the thought of “life without parole” doesn’t deter a potential cop-killer, why would “life without parole and a hate crime conviction?”

More Guns (In The Hands Of The Law Abiding) And Fewer Liberals = Less Crime

After every mass-shooting incident, both sides in the Second Amendment debate sound off.  The left believes “commonsense gun control” leads to less crime.  The right believes “more guns equals less crime”.

Both sides tend to leave it at the level of chanting points, without ever really submitting evidence, much less proving anything [1].

So I thought I’d give it a shot.  What brings more “gun safety” – more guns, or less?

Definition Of Terms:  To start with, I took crime data from the states and the the 70 or so largest US cities – places with over 250,000 people.

For lack of a better measure, I used each state’s governor s the bellwether of the city’s political makeup – which may not be academically perfect, but as a practical matter it’s as useful a measure of each state’s sympathies as we have.

States of Affairs:  And the murder rates break down like this:

  • Democrat States: 12.2 murders per 100,000
  • GOP States: 11.0 murders per 100,000 (all figures henceforth will be per 100,000).

Well, that looks pretty even; that’s like an 10% variation.  Hardly outside the margin of error, really (although as we discussed some time ago, there’s plenty of variation there, too).

The differences in violent crime, robberies and aggravated assaults and rapes and the like, are a tad more dramatic – but only just:

  • Democrat States: 841.18
  • GOP States: 749.12

Democrat states have 12% more violent crime.  Again – could be just statistical noise.

Urbanity:  But if you’re from Minnesota, or most states with a large urban area that controls half the population, you know that state politics don’t tell you everything.  In places like Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Iowa, even New York and California, solid-blue cities float in huge placid prosperous lagoons of red.

Again – I broke out “control” by the city’s current mayor, or in the case of the few cities using  Manager/Commission government, the control of the commission.

So when you break out the murder rates of American cities of over 250,000, they come out more like this:

  • Democrat Cities: 12.9
  • GOP Cities 7.77

So the murder  rates in cities that have mayors from the Democrat Party are 60% higher than in GOP-run cities.

OK, that’s significant.  And the violent crime rates are similarly skewed:

  • Democrat Cities: 875.3
  • GOP Run Cities: 561.0

There is 56% more violent crime in cities run by Democrats.

More Guns, Less Guns…:  But when cornered by Gun Rights supporters, gun control activists punt to the line that “it’s all about the availability of guns”.

The only true measure of the availability of guns is “can you find one that you can afford without breaking the law?”

But I figured I’d meet the left and the gun grabbers halfway on this one; I measured all cities by the “Brady Campaign Scorecard” rating of the state in which they reside (which is a little unrealistic, since some cities have “tougher” gun laws than their states; I’ll work on that).

The assumption:  A “high” Brady rating, an A or B, implies “tougher” gun laws and, by extension, fewer guns (for the law-abiding).

And the numbers break out like this (“winners” will be in bold type):

Brady Rating  All Cities Democrat Cities GOP Cities Difference
A 12.48  13.3  8 Democrat cities rate 66% higher
B 12.75  13.75 None No B-rated GOP cities.
C 14.16  16.1  6.4 Democrat cities have 251% higher murder rate.
D 10.22  10.7 11.25 (two cities) GOP cities 5% higher.  Skewed by Oklahoma City’s crime rate.
F 10.51  11.77 8.03 Democrat cities 47% higher.

Violent Crime by Brady rating

 Brady Rating All Cities Democrat Cities GOP Cities Difference
A 816.73  909.88  499.5 Democrat cities rate 82% higher
B (only Boston and Chicago) 835  835 (only Boston reported)  NA No B-rated GOP cities
C 913.85  1032.2 440 235% higher in Democrat cities
D 727.97  770.35  558.45 38% higher in Democrat cities
F 758.1 805.75 673.56 20% higher in Democrat cities.

So the big variables seem to be not so much the availability of guns or the strictness of gun control laws, which doesn’t seem to be correlated with any rises and falls in murder or violent crime rates.

But being controlled by the Democrat party?  There’s a straight line correlation there.

Now, I’m not saying that Democrats cause crime.  Democrats bleed just like the rest of us do.

But the pathologies that one-party “progressive” Democrat rule inevitably brings do seem to be correlated with higher murder and violent crime rates.

Correlation doesn’t mean causation.  But it suggests a possible path to causation.

[1] I know – the Second Amendment crew does submit evidence, and has proven its case to everyone but our idiot media.  I’m just saying it for purposes of argument.


Airman First Class Spencer Stone – one of the heroes of last summer’s episode on the French train, when Stone and two American friends disarmed and subdued a Muslim terrorist with an assault rifle – has been stabbed in the chest.

Stone is apparently in stable condition.

Sacramento police said it was a random happenstance, not related to the incident in France.

Still looking to see if Homeland Security is rounding up “right wing terrorists” as suspects.

And Another One

A shooting at Umpqua Community College in southwestern Oregon has apparently claimed 10.

First things first; I’ll urge prayers, or whatever your worldview calls for, for the survivors, and the families of the victims.

And I urge you not to believe anything the media has to say about it for the next couple days.

But it bears noting that Umpqua is – you guessed it…:

The community college is a gun-free campus.

“Possession, use, or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols, and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on college property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited,” the college’s security policy states.

How many more innocent lives will be sacrificed to the false god of gun control?

UPDATE: Well, this is kinda interesting:

[Korney Moore, an 18 year old student] said she saw her teacher get shot in the head, apparently after the gunman came into the classroom. At that point, Moore told the newspaper, the shooter ordered everyone to get on the ground. The shooter then asked people to stand up and state their religion and then started firing, Moore said..


Diagnosis: Idiots

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

An electrician friend had his van broken into, hundreds of dollars of copper wire stolen.  Repeatedly.

The cops wrote a police report so he can report it to his insurance company.  But there’s a $500 deductible for each incident, so the few nickels the thieves make selling scrap wire cost him thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.  Thievery in Minnesota is a “cost of doing business.”

Minnesota is too civilized to punish thieves by cutting off their hands and thereby dissuade others.  We put them on probation to steal again.

Minnesota is too civilized to punish thieves.  Nobody is dissuaded from crime.

Minnesota is too civilized, too afraid of offending the offensive.

Minnesota is . . . doomed?

Joe Doakes

When citizens can’t count on “law and order” to uphold the law and preserve order (and, let’s be honest, also count on law enforcement to prosecute organic civilian efforts to enforce law and order more rigorously than actual criminality), how long can a free society survive?

Chalk One Up For The Good Guys

Bank robber in Warren, Michigan – suburban Detroit – fought the law and pointed his gun at an innocent, law-abiding citizen.

And the citizen won – to the tune of three hits on the would-be robber, and an arrest:

“It’s not every day you see a bad guy get shot and get taken down,” said witness Gary Guyette.
The 43-year-old suspect turned his gun on the wrong customer, a 63-year-old CPL holder who was packing heat, himself.

“The 63-year-old responded in kind by defending himself,” said Mayor Jim Fouts. “It’s his Second Amendment right.”

“The one guy’s arm was full of blood,” said Guyette.

Guyette pulled up in front of the bank to see police apprehending a wounded and whimpering robber

“They cuffed him and then they surrounded him,” he said. “He was moaning and kind of screaming and paramedics pulled up and started working on him.”

FOX 2: “Is it surprising at all to hear about this?”

“To be honest with you, no,” said Stefan Bahry.

No charges are expected against the citizen.  I’m going to guess that bank’s gonna be safe for a while.

Speaking of which – I haven’t heard about a lot of street crime at Summit and East River Road lately…

Marginal Note

As I’ve noted for many years, I oppose the death penalty for one, and exactly one, reason: The inevitability that an innocent person or people will be executed. It’s not academic – it’s happened.

I support the death penalty for every other reason you can imagine.  And it’s irrelevant – because the inevitability of executing the innocent is more than enough to tilt the balance for me.

With that out-of-the-way? I won’t be protesting outside any South Carolina prisons if Dylann Roof gets the death penalty.

For Want Of A Badge

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New York City cops fire 84 shots on city streets to hit a suspect once, Chief says they’ll investigate but expects it to be justified.
Man trapped in his own Minnesota apartment fires three shots to stop attacker, convicted of Reckless Discharge.  

Joe Doakes

Milwaukee County Sheriff Clark – whom I’ve praised in Thao space before, and no doubt will again – said “stop focusing on fixing the police.  Fix te ghetto”. 

I say there’s room for both. 

Dumb And Dumber

Dumb: a couple of Iowa men, visiting Boston for the “World Pokémon Championships”, post a threat to social media, and are busted in notoriously anti-gun Boston with a car full of firearms and ammunition.

Dumber: the Boston police’s response:

Boston Police characterized the take down of the Pokemon subjects as a win for counter-terrorism.

Questions about the episode were  referred to assistant chiefs Dwight Schrute and Cliff Clavin.

Doakes Sunday: Big Talk

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is disturbing.  These people are delusional.  And nobody is calling them on it, which is the same as encouraging them to it.


We’re ready for war!”


No, you’re not.  Unarmed looters are not ready for war.  Teenagers shooting pistols sideways, are not ready for war.  You’re ready for a “war” like the War on Poverty, where somebody hands you free stuff.  You’re ready for a “war” like the Palestinians, where you stage fake outrages for sympathetic media.


You’re not ready for the kind of war you’re likely to get if you stop shooting each other in the ghetto and come out to the suburbs where the hunters live, where a 9mm pistol is not a terror weapon but an object of derision, where even liberal Democrats own a shotgun and deer rifle with ammo on hand and experience using it.  Your weapons are useless beyond a city block, you have no food supplies for extended conflict or medical supplies to treat wounded.  Your communications are cell phones until the authorities shut off the towers.  Your tricked-out Buicks have limited transport load and no off-road maneuvering capability.  Your enemy won’t be wearing uniforms for easy identification, they’ll be in makeshift blinds, wearing camouflage, using 3x scopes and defending their own turf.


The government would no doubt call out the military to preserve order, attempting to disarm the suburbanites while providing asafe space for rioters.  Might work.  Or some hothead homeowner might shoot some National Guardsmen and then all bets are off.


Chant all you want, in the ghetto.  Shoot each other, rob your own stores, burn the entire thing down, if that’s what makes you happy.  Just don’t start believing your own fantasies.  That would get real ugly, real quickly, with no winner in sight and no clear path to victory.


Joe Doakes

This blog eschews big, bloody-minded talk, no matter who it’s from.

Which puts me 50% ahead of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ramsey County Social Services Declines To Indict

Last night, the Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) and the local neighborhood association put on a community forum at Saint Thomas University, to answer questions about the shooting that happened last Friday, as well as crime in general in the neighborhood.

I attended, fully expecting to be marooned deep in Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing, trigger-warning-observing country.  And I largely was – but there were a few friends there as well.

Just the Facts:  the major subject of the meeting, of course, was the two incidents that happened last weekend.

The first was the shooting at Summit and Mississippi River Boulevard (the facts of which as discussed by the police didn’t differ much from the account presented in this space);  Laurentai Broadbent and his accomplices had apparently stolen a car (in which two handguns had been stored by their owner), carried out a couple of robberies, and were test-firing the guns on the bluffs above the Mississippi below the monument at East River Road and Summit when they saw the couple, figured them as “targets of opportunity”, and tried to rob them.

Continue reading

Open Letter To Ramco Attorney John Choi

To: John Choi, Ramco Attorney
From:  Mitch Berg, uppity peasant
Re: Wrist Slaps

Mr. Choi,

This week, you charged the three accomplices of Laurentai Broadbent – the Saint Paul teen and apparent gang wannabe – with aggravated robbery, vehicle theft, and discharge of a firearm.

The law allows you to charge accomplices in a crime that leads to a death – even of one of the criminals – with murder.

So why not murder, or manslaughter?

Gang activity in Saint Paul is booming – or at least that’s how it appears on the street.  So why not deter all those young wannabees from committing crimes against, y’know, actual citizens?

It almost looks like you don’t want to deter them all that bad.

Please think about it.  Then think about it harder.

That is all.


From the news about the shooting last week, in which a citizen with a carry permit shot Laurentai Broadbent, age 16, as he tried to rob him:

A memorial service was held for Broadbent at Memorial Park on Aug. 2, during which a white Mercedes crashed into a water fountain and the monuments. Shots were also fired.

No word on whether any Confederate flags were involved.

Open Letter To Minneapolis/Saint Paul Parents Of Teenagers

To:  Parents of teenagers
From:  Mitch Berg, veteran
Re:  Crazy kids.


In the wake of last weeks’ shooting of a Saint Paul-area teenager by a carry permittee, we heard the usual response from the kid’s parents; “he was a good kid”, “he’d have never hurt anyone”, and “if he’d known someone had a gun, he’d have dropped his”.

Look – teenagers are difficult.  I had two – and my kids’ teenage years damn near killed me.  And you can be Parent of the Year and still have kids go off the path on you, just like kids raised in crack dens with no parents can go to Harvard and become doctors.  Most of us are somewhere in between; imperfect people doing an imperfect job of raising imperfect people.

Now, the kid killed in mid-robbery last week was allegedly linked to gang activity – but let’s leave all of that out for the moment.  Let’s address the mom’s statement, “He’d have dropped the gun if he’d have known someone else had one”.

Forget the obvious question – what, as long as he’s dealing with defenseless people, he’ll wave a gun around?

What would you think if someone said “If I knew I was going to cause an accident, I wouldn’t have driven drunk.”   How about “If I’d have known I was going to catch AIDS, I’d have worn a condom,” or “if I’d have known I was going to break three vertebrae and end up in traction for six weeks I’d have never jumped off the cliff?”   Or “If I’d known that was a cop, I wouldn’t have asked him to bid on those Malaysian girls I had in the van”.

Not much, right?  Because actions have consequences, and some of them are unintended.

Pointing a gun is one of them.    It is, in and of itself, a lethal threat.

Here’s the deal; A gun – or any weapon that a jury would look at and go “yep, that looks like an immediate threat to my life” – can kill a person in less time than you’ve spent reading this paragraph.

When a person is faced with what they reasonably believe to be an immediate lethal threat (and isn’t a willing participant, and makes a reasonable effort to retreat), the law says they can use lethal force in self-defense.  The law doesn’t require the person to be a clairvoyant mind-reader; they they don’t have to try to divine whether your son really means it, or whether the gun is loaded, or whether he’s really a nice kid who’ll deflate in the face of a threat.  The time to make that clear came before he drew the gun, or, God willing, after.

For the love of God, tell your idiot teenagers that waving weapons in peoples’ faces is, in fact, justification for shooting back.  Cops will do it.  200,000 Minnesota carry permittee can do it.   I did.

If they absorb that, if nothing else, maybe we can avoid more of these episodes.

(Side question:  I’m gonna guess he knew better not to point a gun at a big, nasty gang-banger – right?)

That is all.

A Tale Of Two City Papers

There was an episode last Friday on Mississippi River Parkway.  Four youths – in masks, one of them waving a gun – jumped a couple of people out for a walk along the river.

One of the citizens – a carry permit holder, and by all visible signs a good guy with a gun – returned fire, mortally wounding one of the attackers.   Then, according to the story, he did exactly what permit holders are told to do if they, heaven forbid, have to defend themselves; called the cops when he determined he and his companion were safe; then, he administered first aid until the cops arrived.

We don’t, of course, know all the details; if it turns out the shooting was so justified that the Ramco Attorney never tries to bring charges, it’s entirely likely we really won’t.   As of today, the police haven’t referred the shooter to the Ramco Attorney, which is a good sign.

But the interesitng part is the coverage the two local dailies gave it.

In the Pioneer Press?  Pretty much just the facts.

In the Strib – whose coverage of the last notable self-defense shooting, behind a Cub on East Lake in Minneapolis in 2010, was maudlin and disgraceful – there was a brief nod toward social-justice-warriorism in the early edition, focusing on the deceased robber’s mother’s reaction, as if some editor was hoping to latch onto another Trayvon Martin publicity bonanza.  However, by the beginning of this week the narrative had settled down to a sober look at teen gangs in Saint Paul – which may be one of the more unreported issues in the city.

The takeaway?  Some shooters are doing the end-zone happy dance.  I’m not; a family lost a son.  A self-defense shooting is the second worst possible outcome.

But never forget that the worst possible outcome is the intended victim dying.  The intended victim is alive today.  And the only useful outcome from this would be for every criminal – whether a wannabee gang thug or a creep looking for some unearned cash – to realize that there are 199,999 more of us as of last Thursday who can do exactly the same thing.

And especially for every kid playing at being a gangster, waving a gun around to intimidate people, to know that this state is crawling with people with the motivation and the ability to end them.  Cold.

And the odds are getting worse every day.  Criminals are mostly rarely bright people – but they have the same sense of self-preservation the rest of us do.

Let’s hope the message gets out.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

St. Paul wants to spend $1.2 million for body cameras, half of it a grant from the feds.

GoPro costs $500 each.  For the good ones.  Retail.

And there are chinese knockoffs for under $200 that, according to some sources, are even better.

But the political optics aren’t right for that…

What are we buying with the rest of the million dollars?

Joe Doakes

That would be so interesting to find out…

A Fearless Prediction

It turns out that a Marine and a sailor at the Chattanooga navy reserve office during the spree killing last week committed a bit of a naughty, and apparently fired personal sidearms at Mohammed Abdulazeez.

A report distributed among senior Navy leaders during the shooting’s aftermath said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, the support center’s commanding officer, used his personal firearm to engage Abdulazeez, Navy Times confirmed with four separate sources. A Navy official also confirmed a Washington Post report indicating one of the slain Marines may have been carrying a 9mm Glock and possibly returned fire on the gunman.

Federal law, of course, protects spree killers against danger from anyone but law enforcement and military police on federal property.

My fearless prediction: once the politically-correct military leadership and the Obama Administration’s stonewalling falls away, it will be found that the return fire was what caused Abdulazeez to break off his attack.  Law enforcement now accepts as fact that getting shots off at a spree killer as soon as possible is the best tactic; it breaks the killer out of his psychotic reverie, and disrupts their lavishly-orchestrated plan.  They usually kill themselves, give up, or – as I strongly suspect will be discovered in Chattanooga, commit “martyrdom by cop”.

What the law enforcement establishment doesn

I never gamble money.  But I’ll stake bragging rights on this one.

Vicious Circle

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s videos like the arrest of Sandra Bland, of cops who act like that, that make ordinary citizens lose respect for all police, which makes police feel more insular and more dependent on each other so they close ranks to protect all cops, even the crappy ones.  It’s a self-inflicted vicious cycle.

And the fact it’s a White cop abusing a Black woman on video isn’t just bad optics; in this Presidency, it’s automatically a racial incident.  The cops as a whole can’t seem to understand that each of these incidents not only inflames the Black community, it’s distasteful to the White community too and reduces our willingness to put up with it.

Look for some cops to get ambushed soon.  That’s how things are handled in the strata of society that can’t raise $500 bail to get their loved one out of a Texas jail – they have no meaningful access to the “justice” system so they utilize “alternative dispute resolution” which comes in 9mm parcels.

I took vacation days to stand the flag line with the Patriot Guard to honor fallen Marines returned from the war.  Armed citizens are taking vacation days to stand guard outside unarmed recruiting centers in Tennessee.  Nobody would volunteer to stand guard over cops having lunch so they aren’t ambushed.  There’s a deep and important lesson there, if only they would learn it.

Joe Doakes

Joe says “look for cops to get ambushed soon”; not sure if he’s counting the two New York cops killed late last year, in the wake of the Ferguson and Garner incidents.

In my 22 years in Saint Paul, I’ve met some good cops, and I’ve met some bad ones.  But it’s dawned on me in recent years that at the moment, “Law Enforcement” as an institution is perilously close to becoming the “Standing Army” that our forefathers warned us about; the arrogant mercenaries that care less about the people they’re defending than about the government that pays them.

I’m hoping some of the good cops figure this out sooner than later.


I never quite understood the hatred for Tim Tebow.

And while I don’t much care one way or the other about gender reassignment surgery – I’m going to plead the classic libertarian “it’s their business, not mine” – I’m not really sure I understand the enraptured love of Caitlin “Chris” Jenner, either.

And I still don’t.

Although if that’s what it took to get away from the Kardashians, I’m certainly not going to second-guess him.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Some members of Summit Avenue Assembly of God Church wanted to show their appreciation for police.  They planned a celebration, lunch, photos of kids with officers, petting zoo, a fun way for members to say “Thanks for your service” on a Saturday afternoon.  Almost didn’t happen.


St. Paul’s Black Lives Matter objected to showing appreciation for police.  Protesters disrupted worship service in the weeks prior to the event.  The celebration had to be changed to include firefighters and other first responders to avoid further protests.  The church had to assign members to a security detail (my wife was on the foot patrol team with radios to report any sign of trouble), the television news showed up hoping for conflict, the volunteers were so alert for trigger warnings and micro-aggressions they were exhausted from stress.  That’s one “community celebration” that’ll never happen again.


You know, if I were a fiendish racist scheming to convince a bunch of polite, moderate Christians that Black people are selfish, hateful and bigoted, I could not possibly have conceived of a better tactic than these “activists” did all on their own.  Way to go, morons; you’ve turned back the racial relations clock a hundred years in that congregation.


Joe Doakes

Y’know, it’s high time someone organized a group.  Perhaps call it #BlackNeighborhoodsMatter.  Represent the majority of people in inner city neighborhoods – who don’t condone police bias, but who support a strong aggressive police presence in the neighborhood because it helps lower the crime rate that disproportionally plagues the neighborhoods.

But of course, the people who’d start such a group are too busy working and raising families, I’m going to guess, to be able to do much organizing, marching and agitation.