“…And I’m Here to Help”

Joe Doakes from Como  Park emails:

When told the EPA broke open a retaining wall releasing 3 million gallons of toxic waste into the river but declared it safe two weeks later, the mine owner reportedly said “Well, hell, you didn’t need to do that for us; we could have done it ourselves.”
joe doakes

And for much less money, too.

Sleep With One NARN Open, Hugging Your Pillow Tight-Ah

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air! I will be on from 1-3PM today!

Today on the show,  I’ll be talking self-defense, Occupy Racism (oops – I mean, Black Lives Matter) at the Fair, Free Speech, and much more.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1570, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 1-3PM.

So tune in the Northern Alliance! You have so many options:

Join us!

Pride Of The Marines National Guard and USAF

A pair of US Marines riding on a French train disarmed an apparently Islamist shooter intent on mass murder.

Chalk up a victory for situational awareness:

Belgian journalist Marin Buxant Tweeted that the US Marines were on leave in Brussels when they spotted the man and followed him on the train. When the suspect went into the toilet, the Marines recognised the sound of a weapon being armed and decided to act immediately.

The Marines overpowered the attacker, 26-year old Ayoub Qazzani; one of them was wounded in the neck, but his injuries are apparently not.life-threatening.

President Obama has praised the leathernecks – so i suspect the obvious case of profiling might go uncharged.

I feel a lot better about being an American today.

PS:  I’m counting the minutes until Heather Martens puts out a press release noting that since the Marines resisted a mass shooter without guns, so can the rest of us.

UPDATE:  The heroes were apparently, according to the AP, , an Air Force veteran and a Nationsl Guardsman, as well as a civilian college student.

Lessons learned: A) Never trust the mainstream media in any of these stories, for at least the first couple of hours. B) All American service people apparently look alike to Europeans.  C) Even better; they weren’t Superman. Just average guys on vacation.

Provided the Associated Press got the story right, anyway…. 

Putting The Trailer Before The Tractor

Manhattan; a city which was, at least below 42nd St., laid out well before the Civil War. As in, designed for pedestrians, horses and buggies. Not, really, cars.End result; it’s hard to find a parking spot anywhere in Manhattan, especially in the older parts of the city.

Unfortunately, people live there. And they buy things.

Which means things need to be delivered. Things that can’t be carried in taxis on subway cars – like shipments of food, toiletries, organic arugula, and all the other necessities of modern urban life on amid six figure income.

Hardest of all? Finding a spot to park when you are a delivery truck, hauling all of those necessities to all of the stores in lower Manhattan.

Since “widening the streets” is not an option, New York City adapted by, essentially, selling licenses to double park. That’s not really what they are – it’s basically just a special plea bargain that draws a cut rate for parking tickets incurred while delivering to stores. But it’s a market reaction, and a not completely stupid response by government, and as a result, goods actually get to lower Manhattan.

So what could go wrong?

“New Urbanists” who see more tax money to be squeezed out of the productive part of society, same as always:

The latest chapter New York’s working people and the city’s dumb, dumb urbanists:

When the city zeroes out the cost of undisputed tickets for delivery companies as part of a special program to reduce the cost of parking violations, it’s also giving them a pass on a fee required by the state. That surcharge funds anti-drunk driving programs, among other initiatives, and advocates say the city and state could be missing out on tens of millions of dollars each year.

“Missing Out” – provided one presumes that one’s money belongs to the state first, then the people and companies that earn it.

And they do presume that:

“We’ve taken issue with the stipulated fine program before,” said TA Executive Director Paul Steely White, “[for] essentially giving large freight haulers or delivery companies incentives to break parking laws.”…
Bolofsky estimates that three million of the city’s approximately 10 million annual traffic tickets go through the Stipulated Fine or Commercial Abatement programs. That means up to $45 million in uncollected surcharges each year, though the number is likely lower since not all violations are reduced to $0 under the program.
“It does appear that in their rush to give discounts to large carriers, that they have potentially been missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue for various life-saving programs,” White said. “It’s another reason why they should end the preferential treatment of pervasive lawbreakers.”

Oh, just wait; when the urbanists win in the Twin Cities, it’ll be the same here.

A Good Guy With A Gun – Vindicated

A few weeks back, we discussed the July 31 shooting of Lavauntai Broadbent by a carry permittee whom Mr. Broadbent was apparently attempting to rob.  The shooting took place on the western end of Summit Avenue, above the Mississippi River.

About a week after the decision was expected, the Ramsey County Attorney’s office has announced they will not file charges against a law-abiding citizen:

St. Paul police have said that Lavauntai Broadbent, 16, was killed on July 31 after he brandished a handgun at two people at Shadow Falls Park. The man, whom police have not named, drew his own gun — for which he had a permit to carry — and fired at Broadbent.
The man’s actions were legally justified under Minnesota statute 609.065, based on police evidence in the case, the county attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday.

So John Choi’s office got one right.

By my count, after 12 years (with a year off as a hack judge paid off a chit to his DFL masters), that’s four shootings by post-2004 permit holders that’ve been ruled justified, against one that wasn’t.

And I’m guessing the robbery rate at Summit and East River Road has dropped off a lot.


Say what you will about the Center for Medical Progress’ video stings of Planned Parenthood; they’ve done one thing masterfully; they’ve taken abortion out of abstract realm that many conservatives who focus on other issues, and even many liberals with consciences, had shunted it into, and made the issue very, very sickeningly real.

David French at NRO in re the latest round of videos:

Federal law defines “born alive” as “the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean s

ection, or induced abortion.” So, yes, “technically” that child was alive. California law is also clear: “The rights to medical treatment of an infant prematurely born alive in the course of an abortion shall be the same as the rights of an infant of similar medical status prematurely born spontaneously.” But that’s not what happened. StemExpress wanted to “procure a brain,” so the baby had to die in gruesome fashion…

And there’s nothing “abstract” about it:

It had a face. It wasn’t completely torn up. It’s nose was very pronounced. It had eyelids. And its mouth was pronounced. And then since the fetus was so intact, she said, “Okay, this is a really good fetus, and it looks like we can procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure a brain. So . . . the moment I hear it . . . that means we’re going to have to cut its head open. We’re going to have to cut its head open.

It gets much worse.

I’m sorely tempted to print the whole article up and leave it on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood.

Build It And They Will Rent

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails about a new apartment building being constructed by the Mall of America:

“Chmielewski said rents haven’t been set, but because the project is being developed with tax-increment financing, some units will be income-restricted.”


I think the usual percentage is 20% low-income for the first 5 years, then they can go market-rate at which time the developer will convert the whole thing to a condo and sell the units.


So another 100 low-income apartment units next door to the Mall of America.  That ought to help the trendy, high-end retail shops in the Mall.  And no danger of gangbanging riff-raff scaring away other customers.  No wonder the City jumped at the chance to fund it.


Joe Doakes

And the Met Council said “It Is Good”.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The weather was too nice to sit in the office [last week] so I cut out early and took my 11-year-old grandson to the shooting range.  He already knows how to shoot a bow and a shotgun, thanks my son-in-law.  I had planned to let the boy try a single-action .22 revolver first, then work our way up to bigger guns on a later visit.  Didn’t happen.


Every member we met asked: “Would you like try this gun?  Here, let me show you how it works.”  He ended up shooting several revolvers and semi-auto pistols, an AR variant, a brand-new 9mm carbine and finally an exquisitely preserved 70-year-old .30 caliber M1 carbine that I suspect is worth more than my car.


All these people, spending a few moments of their time and donating their own ammunition to show some kid they never met how to shoot a different gun . . . that’s how a cultural heritage is preserved.  It’s passed down from the grandparents’ generation, from people who are thrilled to see a young person take an interest in something us oldsters have loved our whole lives long.




Joe Doakes

It’s heartwarming.

No, I”m not being glib or sarcastic.

Royalty Doesn’t Need Feedback

The Saint Paul Public Schools are discontinuing TV broadcasts of the “public feedback” segment of school board meetings.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on what we’re talking about here; the public feedback part of the meeting is about half an hour, starting at 5:30 (which is a brutally difficult time to make, for people who have day jobs), during which the School Board deigns to allow commoners to address it, in slices of three minutes, while they converse amongst themselves or pretty visibly try to fight nodding off.  I did it a few years ago; you could tell that most of the board would rather have been getting a root canal.

But people watched those session via cable -and occasionally they drew blood:

…a May 2014 appearance before the St. Paul school board by five district teachers pushing for greater expectations of students and consequences for those who misbehave is credited with sparking a Caucus for Change movement dedicated to unseating board incumbents….

Board Member Anne Carroll [Who else? – Ed] argued that the change is part of a series of moves related to the collection of public comments that should give citizens a greater voice. She cited a new policy of taking online submissions that will be documented in the same way as in-person comments.

Board Member John Brodrick, who opposed the move in what was a 5-1 vote, said that having people speak to the board but not to the public via broadcast “betrayed the meaning of public comment.”…

…Currently, the comment period begins at 5:30 p.m., and when finished, gives way to an agenda item recognizing the “good work provided by outstanding district employees.”

Which sounds – I kid you not – like deputies in the old Supreme Soviet of the USSR rising to congratulate one of the collective farms in their district for meeting their five year plan with sufficient socialist fervor.  Seriously; these recognitions sound like competitions to see how many times you can fit the words “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” into sentences while still maintaining a sentence structure.

Anyway – a school district that already hides out in its Stalineque bunker on Colborne Street, above, beyond and away from its constituents, is trying to become even more so.



Much Ado About Who Gives A Crap?

The biggest story in the world today?   As ISIS saws off Christians’ heads, and Planned Parenthood does the same for babies, and the nation lurches toward a Presidential election that, if it were held at this moment according to the results of junk media polls taken six months before caucuses and 15 months before the election, would be a contest between the star of a real reality show and the co-star of a virtual reality show?

Ashley Madison’s data breach.

Ashley Madison is, of course, a website purportedly devoted to helping married people find extramarital amoreuses.  And the hint that some of the people ostensibly busted in the breach were famous “family values” crusaders (notwithstanding the high likelihood that they were fake accounts) had the usual social-lefty suspects aroused to a fever pitch; social conservatives straying from their message is the social-lefty’s hard-core pornography.

What this episode shows us is that lots of Americans – including many who design and build websites – are illiterate about data security.

Among other things:

Tech tabloid editors are foaming at the mouth, just thinking about finding something that’ll implicate someone they know. You’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of people downloading the torrent file to see if their loved ones, or boss, local priest, sister, father, scout leader, or public figure’s names are in the cache. It’s hard to feel even a morsel of remorse for any cheating hack husband, wife, or partner who gets caught out.

But, even the worst people in this society should expect — and deserve — privacy.

It’s certainly hard to defend a cheating spouse.

But I’d nominate a few other people – drug-cartel hit men, late-term abortion providers, serial killers, Sidney Blumenthal, pedophiles, people who hack off other peoples’ heads – for “Worst People In Our Society”.


Labor Pains

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Donald says illegal immigrants have to go.  The Wa-Po is clutching its pearls – that would wreak havoc!  Would it?

Wa-Po says work now done by illegal immigrants wouldn’t get done: picking crops, hotel maids, day laborers, nannies and gardeners.  Hmmm, that’s the same argument made by the South to defend slavery.  Seems to me the answer is the same: the market will adjust.  Work that isn’t economical to be done, won’t be done; work that must be done will no longer be done at below-market wages, it’ll be done by machine or by hiring Americans at living wages.  Yes, prices will go up.  Low prices don’t justify open borders.

Trump offers to keep families together when the illegals go. What about mixed families with one legal and one illegal parent?  They can choose: both can go or legal residents can stay.  Sad marital choices shouldn’t drive national policy.

What about illegals who’ve been here a long time?  That only means you’re a career criminal, it doesn’t justify the crime.

What about children who were born in America and have birthright citizenship?  Parents can choose: take your kids with you or leave them here with legal residents.  Having a child doesn’t mitigate your crime any more than if you were a bank robber.

Ordinary Americans don’t have a problem with these proposals because if we have to follow the law, so should everybody else.  The people having a hissy are the one-percenters who’ll be inconvenienced having to find new nannies and gardeners.  That’s a poor basis to set national policy and the best justification I can think of, to change it.

Joe Doakes

Me?  I’d just settle for a high fence, and some clear policies for legal immigration.  As, it happens, would most Latinos.  The ones who are citizens of the US, anyway.


When I was in high school, I may have been the last generation to actually spend any time watching instructional films.  Not videos – productions shot on film.

Now, my beef is not with the medium on which the production was shot; video versus film is an aesthetic argument, and not one that I’m particularly involved in.

But along about time time video supplanted film, computer animation began to replace an older, more fascinating art – the building of explanatory models.

Explaining complex processes, equations, and mechanical concepts is difficult.  And in a way, I’ve found the plethora of computer-based animations used to do the explaining today are almost too accurate to do a job of explaining complex concepts.

Filling that gap, long before there were any computers, was the operating model.

An operating model took a complex concept, mechanism or process, simplified it, magnified the important stuff while omitting (or deferring) the minutia, and explained it.

And it’s kind of a lost art.

Which was why I loved this film – which explains the function of the auto differential, a bit of mechanical engineering that always amazes me…:

…and this one, which is as good an explanation of pretty much every firearm operating system in the business:

And I can watch them for hours.

We Interrupt The All Trump, All The Time…

…menu in the mainstream media for an actual substantive policy argument among Republicans.

Walker’s concept:

Walker’s proposal would repeal all of ObamaCare, dismantling its federal healthcare exchanges and eliminating the tax credits now provided for people to buy health insurance policies. It would replace them with a system that doles out federal dollars based on an individual’s age, instead of income.

For example, a person between the ages of 18 and 34 would receive $1,200, while a person between the ages of 50 to 64 would receive $3,000. The tax credits would only go to people without employer-sponsored coverage.

Unlike ObamaCare, his plan would also allow groups, such as small businesses or farmers, to band together to negotiate lower rates and allow all individuals to purchase coverage across state lines.

James Capretta at NRO runs down the details of the Walker, Jindal and Rubio plans.

For those who’d rather talk policy than combovers.


Minnesota Public Radio announced what amounts to a fairly sweeping set of layoffs in the newsroom yesterday:

The identities of the laid off staff members have not been confirmed, but a series of tweets by MPR Newscut blogger Bob Collins Thursday night suggest that they are:

Newscaster Beth Kidd; higher ed reporter Alex Friedrich; politics reporter Catharine Richert; arts reporter Chris Roberts; producer Emily Kaiser; photographers Jeffrey Thompson and Jennifer Simonson; reporter/producer Nikki Tundel; and editor/reporter David Cazares. (List compiled by the Business Journal).

Waxing purely editorially here – it appears that the House that Keillor Built is running into the same buzz saw  the rest of the radio industry ran into 6–7 years ago, and that the old Big Three broadcast operations have been wrestling with for a decade; the fact that the audience is splintering, drawn to other media spawned by new technology.

The amazing factoid? I’ve always known that Minnesota Public Radio news was a massive operation, certainly in scale with the rest of the be behemoth that is MPR, filling out the huge building on 7th and Cedar in downtown St. Paul like it does. Even I had had no idea how huge the newsroom was; the nine layoffs amounted to 13% of the newsroom; that meant MPR’s newsroom alone was somewhere north of 70 people.

It’s disappointing – and a telling – to see among the nine above a number of a good, solid journalists losing their jobs, while Keri Miller just keeps prattling away.

PS: On the other hand, assuming “producer Emily Kaiser” is the same one who used to “write” at the City Pages

…well, it’s bad karma to kibitz about people who just got whacked.  I’ve been there way too many times myself.

Best of luck, everyone.

Location, Location, Location

Hillary’s celebrated email server was apparently kept in a bathroom closet.

Big deal.  I think the radio station I started at – KQDJ AM1400 in Jamestown ND – is now a computerized station in a bathroom closet, too.

And that computer would be a better SecState or POTUS, too.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This is where I plan to flee after the Zombie Apocalypse.  Because there’s nobody to stop me from moving there and living like a king.



The epitome of the European ideal: welfare for all, retirement at 42 after working a few hard years of 30 hour weeks, universal medical . . . but of course, none of it can be supported if you also defend the country.  So obviously . . .


Joe Doakes

Watching the disarmament of Europe – as if history really did end in 1991 – has been amazing; the typical continental European state, Germany and Norway and the Netherlands, has about 1/6 the military power it had in the Cold War.  Sweden (and Belgium) are worse; France and the UK, better.  Only Poland and Finland – Russia’s neighbor and enemy – and Greece and Turkey, who hate each other, are the exceptions.

It makes 1940 look positively stable.


SCENE:  Mitch BERG is having a shish kebab at a Turkish restaurant.  Avery LIBRELLE walks in, starts to order, and then notices BERG. 

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!  It’s time for Minnesota to legalize marijuana.

BERG:  There’s a case to be made.  But there’s the little matter of the federal law involved.

LIBRELLE:  Screw federal law!

BERG: Right.  Sort of how Saint Paul says “screw federal law” by being a sanctuary city?

LIBRELLE:   Exactly. What do the feds know that the states, the laboratories of government, don’t?

BERG:  Well, yeah. You’re a real paragon of federalism.

LIBRELLE:  Them founders knew they’re stuff.

BERG: You realize you misspelled “their”, even in your speaking voice?


BERG:  Never mind.  So – the states that are cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, because every single one of their non-abortion services is provided by other sources,a nd for cheaper…

LIBRELLE:  AAAAAAAAAAH!  (Jumps up from table in a position to repel an attack)

BERG:  What?

LIBRELLE:  You can’t!

BERG:  Why?

LIBRELLE:  Federal law is sacrosanct!





Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Liberals in academia, government and tax-funded non-profit social agencies want everyone to live in rent-controlled apartments in densely populated cities, riding the train together and paying high taxes to support public expenses.  That’s what’s best for society so everyone should not only live that way, they should WANT to live that way: they should be Happy to Pay for a Better Minnesota.


So why do commercials stress the opposite?  Nobody advertises a new car by showing it stuck in traffic, it’s always sailing along an empty winding mountain road – zoom, zoom!  Travel companies stress the miles of open white beaches.  The slogan isn’t “Get Trampled In The Crowd” but instead is “Get Away From It All.”  Just you and possibly a loved one or two, enjoying the mountain streams, blue skies and wide open spaces by yourselves


I speculate that ad agencies who make a living selling products instead of extorting taxes understand that people do not want to live in hives, they want a little elbow room and are willing to pay for it, so that’s what they show in the ads.


Which is more likely to be wrong: millions of people deciding for themselves, or a few “experts” telling the rest of us how to live?


Now think about Hilary as President.


Joe Doakes

To a conservative, that’s a trick question.

To a liberal?  A grad school seminar.

Green Fizzle

The much-lauded California program that jacked up taxes on out-of-state corporations and devoted half the proceeds to “green” projects has apparently fallen short of expecations

90% short.  At least, as far as they can tell; the program isn’t actually releasing details, which – let’s be honest – means they actually did worse than 10% of projections.

Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure raise taxes on corporations and generate clean energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved.

Money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met, according to a review by The Associated Press.

In other words, the law didn’t repeal human behavior – corporations curtailed California operations to avoid the tax – and, most damningly, the whole thing turned into a wealth-transfer program, moving money from the productive class to the rent-seeking parasites.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Honoring Indians would be giving them their own day, maybe one that corresponds with an ancient traditional Indian festival or another.


Renaming Columbus Day is an intentional insult.


On the other hand, I’m glad to see the City Council got the roads all fixed, crime is at zero, welfare has licked poverty, so the City Council didn’t have anything more important to do.  That’s good to know.


Oh, and it being the St. Paul City Council, of course it not only has the legal authority to override an act of Congress to re-name a holiday, it also has the moral authority to disregard the racial and religious basis of the city’s own name.


Joe Doakes

Further proof that, in the name of the Establishment Clause, we need to rename the city “Reagan”.

Doakes Sunday: Priorities, Redux, Redux

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Donald Trump isn’t the only one talking about the dangers of unlimited immigration.  Everything Britain’s Foreign Secretary says about immigration applies equally to the US, where even the Department of Labor admits that since the start of the recession in 2007, all net job gains for women have gone to immigrants.


Britain is trying to stop legal immigrants at the border.  The Obama Administration assists illegal immigrants to resettle across America. Who is trying to save their country, and who to destroy it?


Joe Doakes

Salvation is destruction, Winston.

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.