Sheer Brilliance

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking along University Avenue, looking unsuccessfully for “white supremacist” graffiti. Distracted, he misses Avery LIBRELLE, who is roaming the streets with a cell phone, reporting people who aren’t socially-distanced enough to the governor’s snitch line. They nearly run into each other.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Uh, hey, Avery…

LIBRELLE: It’s time for cities to de-fund the police!

BERG: Huh. Seems…illl-advised.

LIBRELLE: It’s high time we did it! It’s the only way to cure systemic racism.

BERG: Right. And deaths from house fires will stop when cities abolish fire departments.

LIBRELLE: We’ll come back to that.

BERG: Huh. Hey, what could go wrong?

LIBRELLE: Camden, New Jersey did it! In 2012! And guess what, Merg? Crime fell!

BERG: Yep. It “fell” because in 2012, it was literally the most dangerous city in the US, of any size. A city of about 77,000 people in 2010 – about the size of Fargo or Duluth – it had 69 homicides. You do the math…

LIBRELLE: Hey…

BERG: Sorry, my bad. I’ll do the math. That’s a homicide rate well over 100 per 100,000 – triple that of Detroit.

LIBRELLE: And guess what, Merg? Crime has fallen!

BERG: Along with the entire rest of the US. And it’s “fallen” to 31 per 100,000. Which is, if it were a city over 200,000, would make it the fifth most dangerous city in the US, after Saint Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It’d be tied with Kansas City.

And they do all that magic with a “re-organized” police force double the size of the old one .

LIBRELLE: (Has become distracted) Hey – is that a white supremacist I see over there? With an assault rifle?

BERG: It’s a city road crew worker with a jackhammer.

LIBRELLE: I”d better see what Vox.com says about it…

BERG: Er…about crime?

(But LiIBRELLE has wandered away already)

And SCENE

Probably An Academic Question

Watching Mayor Trudeau crying with all the convincing grace of a rented mourner over the casket of George Floyd, at the not-remotely-socially-distanced funeral (violating the Mayor’s own directives, after a week during which he abandoned a fifth of the city to looters, reigned over press conferences that looked like outtakes from “Reno 911”, got caught like a deer in the headlights when asked what his “plan” was, got bailed out by the marginally-less-incompetent State administration, blamed the destruction (accompanied as it was by thick layers of left-sympathetic graffiti) on nearly nonexistent “White Supremacists” (who managed to somehow leave a thick layer of leftist graffiti and leave an amazing number of clearly labeled “black owned” stores more or less unscathed), I have to wonder…

,..is there some level of unintentional comedy below which the voters of the City of Minneapolis won’t go?

Open Letter To Midtown Global Market

To: Midtown Global Market
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re: Cancel This

In response to the “revelation” that one of the Holy Land Deli’s employees – the daughter of the owner, himself an immigrant and inspirational story – had some “racist” social media in her past (as in, years ago, while a teenger) you canceled the Holy Land’s lease in your Midtown Marketplace building, at Lake and Chicago, effective immediately

I’m going to guess if you went through the social media feeds of every single employee in your building who grew up in the era of South Park and Idiocracy, you’ll fine something regrettable.,

Speaking of regrets? While I’ve been a fan and customer of Midtown Market ever since it opened, I will never spend another dime there as long as you follow through on this absurd, selective, and by all appearances grudge-driven “cancellation” of the Holy Land space.

I urge you to reconsider forthwith. This is the lowest form of cultural cowardice, I won’t reward it with my time or money, and I’ll be urging everyone I know to do the same when they are able to get out and start spending money again.

M Berg
The Midway

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My permit to carry expires in July.  I finished the class May 19th and
called the Sheriff for drop-off instructions on the 22nd.  Sorry, you
have to make an appointment to drop off your renewal application. 
Earliest date is June 9th.

Just called me today (June 3rd).  They have to re-schedule. They’ll be
on lock-down June 9th, I won’t be able to get into the building to drop
off the paperwork.  Soonest I can come is June 26th.

Seriously?  Look, it’s just dropping off paperwork, there’s nothing to
it.  I’ve had a permit to carry for years, my record is clean, it’s
utterly straight-forward.  Why can’t the paperwork be dropped off by
mail, or by email?  If I can’t come into the building, why can’t staff
come out for curbside service like Applebee’s?  Why is it so difficult
for government to do their jobs?

It’s almost as if Sheriff Fletcher is taking advantage of the Covid
crisis and the Floyd riots to intentionally make it difficult for people
to get their permits.  Which is weird, because I never got that vibe
from him before.  The last time he was involved with permitted carriers,
it was to offer us training which was controversial (because he used the
list of permit holders to invite us) but sensible (because if you’re
going to be carrying, you ought to be practicing).  It’s just weird.

Word to the wise – if your permit to carry is up soon, start the renewal
early!

Joe Doakes

Urban pols are not, as they say, wasting thecrisis.

I’m No Lawyer…

…and I’ll leave plenty of room for those of you who are.

But as re Keith Ellison taking over the prosecution of the officers involved in the George Floyd case, I can’t help but think the following:

Hot Potato: Mike Freeman just got the most controversial case in his misbegotten career off his plate. He can’t help but be relieved to get this “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” monstrosity off his docket.

Priorities For starters, Ellison’s not trying the case personally – the head of his trials division is.

On the other hand, the MN Attorney General’s office, under a fifty-year-long series of DFL occupants (Ellison, Lori Swanson, Mike Hatch, Skip Humphrey and Warren Spannaus), has basically turned into a Better Business Bureau with guns, and a 1-800-ASK-GARY for political non-profits looking to harass businesses into compliance with their pet policies. I’m not gonna say the MNAGO doesnt have the expertise to prosecute a shoplifter caught on camera – but it’s not exactly been their front foot for the last, oh, couple generations or so.

I’m gonna guess the state’ll be paying a lot for “consultants” on this case.

A Charge Or Two Too Far: So let’s take a look – via my admittedly non-lawyer perspective – at the three charges. I’ll add emphasis to what I – again, a non-lawyer – think the “beef” is.

Murder in the Second Degree:

Whoever does either of the following is guilty of murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years:

(1) causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation

[(2) relates to drive-by shootings – clearly not applicable]

Subd. 2. Unintentional Murders. Whoever does either of the following is guilty of unintentional murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years:

(1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting; or
[(2) relates to killing people who’ve taken out restraining orders]

Now, let’s look at Murder in the Third Degree

(a) Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.

[(b) relates to selling drugs to someone who dies of an overdose – not applicable here – Ed]

Here’s Manslaughter in the Second Degree.

 A person who causes the death of another by any of the following means is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both:

(1) by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another; or [several sections related to actions that don’t apply – the statute is linked, holler if you disagree – Ed]

So – knowing what we know now, what do you think is going to fly beyond a reasonable doubt?

That:

  1. The officers intended to kill Floyd while committing a felony offense – which would involve proving that “doing their jobs” was a felony? Or
  2. Unintentionally killed Floyd while committing an eminently dangerous act? You could say kneeling on someone’s neck might be eminently dangerous, and I might agree 100%, but qualified immunity – the doctrine that if one government employee gets away with something, they all get away with it – and the tactic is not completely outlandish, if discouraged, in police circles, might be a problem, here.
  3. The officers were culpably negligent and created an unreasonable (i.e., would fail to convince a jiury) risk.

The usual caveats apply: case law colors how statues are applied, and I’m not a lawyer.

But given that it appears to this non-lawyer that charging Chauvin with Second Degree murder was a) done to placate the crowd and b) find charges for the other three officers and c) looks like a very long shot, I have to wonder if they aren’t banking on, in effect, making a political statement and not bothering with justice.

Politics First: Being entirely a puppet of “progressives” with deep pockets, you knew Ellison was going to have to bump up the charges to…well, whatever he could get away with. The party he answers to needs to have a ritual stoning, or some other red meat to throw its constituents and, ideally, beat Republicans over the head with in the fall…

…without actually having negative consequences for the November elections.

Ellison, himself as graceful and fluid in his deflections as a German jazz band, telegraphed this during his initial presser, saying a trial would take “months”. Meaning – it’ll stay in the realm of political mud-throwing until after November, giving the DFL PR machine plenty of time to repair damage from the inevitable disturbances that erupt after Chauvin is acquitted for Second Degree murder (and, I can’t help but think, delaying that verdict until the depth of a Minnesota winter, deterring a lot of rioting).

Privatization

A friend of the blog emails:

The Walker Art Center is just one of several venues and school systems that are just now discovering the benefits of privately funded security. They can hire their own private security, do background checks, control unwanted behavior a little better.

Wonder if there will be more support for private funding of other systems that take advantage of all of us- health insurance, school, etc?

I wonder if the cognitive dissonance will ever actually dawn on any of the parties involved?

By the way – I’m gonna guess that spending all day Tuesday putting black backgrounds on every bit of social and traditional media will fix it.

Privilege

Children of Tim Walz and Ilhan Omar made their sympathies known bright and early last week.

Isra Hirsi, daughter of Rep. Omar, tweeted out calls for ‘supplies’ for rioters. Called on it by Andy Ngo, she reverted to virtue-signaling:

Now, I can possibly cut Hope Walz a little slack. Make no mistake, she annoyed the crap out of me during the election; she spent a lot of time on Twitter dunking on her father’s opponents; when called out, she responded to the effect of “what, you’re attacking a high school kid for supporting her father?” So she’s definitely angling for a career as a professional feminist, and maybe Amy Klobuchar’s PR flak.

But she’s gotten some flak for this tweet:

And she’s not wrong. She was, in fact, relating facts; the National Guard doesn’t come sliding down a fire poll and jump into their Hummers and race to the scene when the governor gets on the radio – as some thought they did.

I’ll cut Walz – the younger, anyway – a little slack.

Off Boat Pushed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s dad was a cop.  I wonder what he thinks, seeing what his son has let the city come to.
Businesses at the intersection of Como, Front, and Dale Street, a mile or so from Mitch’s house. Sign says: “RIP George Floyd, BLM, minority-owned.”

Hoping to be eaten last is not a winning business strategy. But it’s all that’s left in St Paul.

Joe Doakes

That’s what occurred to me last Thursday, watching “black-owned”, “minority-owned” or, in some absurd cases, “community owned” businesses frantically post themselves to throw their white neighbors under the bus (not always successfully – Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis looked particularly hard-hit).

Dear Virtue-signaling Political Demigogues And White “Progressives”

When the Irish underclass in New York City – themselves indentured servants, or descended from them – brutalized black slaves and freedmen…

When the serfs of Russian Eastern Europe, themselves slaves in all but name, terrorized and murdered their Jewish neighbors…

When the “white trash” of the deep south and all over the country – a pretty hopeless underclass even before the Civil War – joined the Klan…

When Germans decided that “subhumans” – Gypsies, Gays, the disabled, Slavs, and of course Jews – were a useful kick toy to exorcise their anger after the miseries of World War 1, Versailles and back-to-back economic collapses…

When people in Los Angeles took our their rage at a catastrophically unjust system on…themselves…

…in no case did they get any more justice, more freedom, more prosperity, more equality. Just the opposite, in fact. “Passing injustice on to others to get more justice for oneself” is batting .000 through all of history. At best it’s a record of horror and misery; at worst, it consolidates power in the hands of those who benefit from horror and misery (see “demigogues”).

Freedom, justice and equality aren’t like toilet paper aisles, with a finite supply to be doled out, or fought over, with haves and have nots. They are a store that can be – needs to be – continually added onto.

Anger is justified. It can be a powerful motivator. And one thinks you, pliural, would have figured this out after 2016, where leading with hatred and oppression got answered with people reacting to being hated and oppressed, to vote for a president you all find hateful and oppressive…

…are you seeing a pattern here, yet?

For those of you in the “Urban Progressive Privilege” set who are trying to spread the injustice around, rather than eliminate it? You think you’re helping?

See the list above.

This Is What Single-Party Authoritarian Government Looks Like

A friend of the blog writes:

Now I understand why our councilmember, who represents part of the community that was destroyed in Saint Paul, ran as a woman of color versus running as a person with experience and knowledge- she thinks that is all that matters and that people who look like her would only be liberal. 

As she says in her tweet- “the conservacrowd who has never actually had to fight for their livelihoods from the state or the police or hate-filled organizations all at once.”
This implies a lot. None of it positive or particularly helpful and lacks an understanding of her constituents and small business owners in her community, history, and just about anything to do with what is happening right now. 
Screen shot of the quote, whole thread here: http://www.twitter.com/mitrajunjalali/status/1266780175204790272

Interesting how the councilwoman – who “represents” my ward – dropped the “-Nelson” from her last name.

Also – how a woman who holds a sinecure in a one-party town, pretty much guaranteeing a lifetime of income for her and her family at the expense of the rest of us, is wrapping herself in the “struggle” banner.

I’m going to be seeking an audience with her highness. This should be interesting.

Oh, yeah. “Unity”.

Follow The Hidden Money

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It has become obvious there were two groups reacting to George Floyd’s death.  His family/friends/supporters who wanted wanted answers from government and were exercising their First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and petition for redress of grievances; and the Antifa, looking to cause trouble.
Antifa has been very careful – there have been no homes destroyed, nobody killed, no personal danger.  They are destroying businesses to protest capitalism’s exploitation of low income and minority people.
Except . . . most businesses carry insurance and most of those policies cover “civil unrest” which means Antifa is really striking at insurance companies.  Fine, they’re capitalist organizations, they deserve it.  
Except insurance companies spread their risk over multiple lines – home, auto, business – so if the company takes a hit in the business line, they can cover it by raising rates in the home and auto lines.  Which means Antifa is really attacking every home owner and car owner in Minnesota.  Fine, they’re rich capitalist pigs, they deserve it, too.
Except . . . remember all those programs to help low income and minorities into homes?  The escalator to wealth?  The first step on the ladder?  Those homes were all purchased with loans that require the homeowner to maintain insurance.  For wealthy homeowners, no problem, pay the higher rates.  But for marginal homeowners, it’s an issue.  And it’s a bigger issue in the time of Covid, when minority and low income people have been laid off in higher numbers.  Which means Antifa is really attacking low income and minority homeowners.  
I know, it takes effort to understand your actions have effects which are SEEN and also effects which are UNSEEN.  it takes effort to see the ripple effect of Black homelessness downstream from burning some schmuck’s bar.  It takes effort to redirect your actions into productive, positive, beneficial work instead of mindless destruction.
But failure to think the problem all the way through, means you end up harming the people you intended to help.  That includes your supporters, like Governor Walz’ daughter Hope and Attorney General Ellison.  
Joe Doakes

We’ll need to revisit this in ten years, when the DFL power structure wonders where the &^%^% their tax base went.

The Fifth Killer

Police and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) deal with a lot of people in crisis – including various medical crises, exacerbated or caused by drugs, alcohol, mental illness, or physical pathologies.

Combining the stress of a contact with police, the medical episode and other contributing factors can cause all sorts of problems, some of them potentially fatal:

  • Excited Delirium – a physical condition involving, essentially, the brain and body speeding out of control. It sounds fun – I thought I was in an excited delirium when I met the Bangles. But no, it’s deadly serious.
  • Positional Asphyxia – where someone is in, or is being restrained in, a position where they can’t breathe – frequently because their chest is constrained from moving. When combined with the other effects of high stress, the blood becomes “acidotic“, which can quickly lead to cardiac arrest.

A standard method of dealing with Excited Delirium and Positional Asphyxia, while detaining and maintaining physical control over someone, is to turn them on their side. It’s easy enough, relatively, to maintain physical control – but their chest can expand, their diaphragm can expand and contract the lungs which, with someone in crisis, helps bring down the blood acids that lead to Acidosis, lowering the risk of cardiac arrest.

Or at least, that was what the Minneapolis Police Department was taught by Hennepin EMS, the paramedic service for Hennepin County, which helped train Minneapolis cops in basic first aid and other medical techniques used to stabilize people in crisis, even when they needed to be detained an controlled.

And for cases where more intervention is needed, some paramedics use a drug called ketamine. it’s a sedative, used in operating rooms for starting general anaesthesia – but it works just fine for sedating someone in a crisis, letting them breathe and recover while de-stressing, physically as well as mentally. Hennepin EMS was the first paramedic agency in the country to use Ketamin to sedate people in medical emergencied, along with about a third of all EMS agencies in the US. It’s a “very safe drug that works quicker [in his experience] than anything else”, says my source.

But – says my source – the article, the inevitable raft of subsequent lawsuits and regulatory investigations resulted, in my source’s words, in some EMS medics “…being spooked. As an agency, we were less likely to administer optimal treatments.”

It’s also a component in some “date rape” drugs – which we’ll come back to.

Hennepin EMS trained Minneapolis cops – and used Ketamine to de-escalate medical crises.

That is, until just about two years ago.

That’s when a story came out in the Star Tribune, by Andy Mannix, entitled “At urging of Minneapolis police, Hennepin EMS workers subdued dozens with a powerful sedative“.

A source formerly located in Hennepin EMS, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells me the Mannix article got pretty much every substantive fact about the use of Ketamine wrong (“He spelled Hennepin right”, my source quipped).

But the damage was…well, not done. It began. Minneapolis broke its training arrangement with Hennepin EMS, and stopped the use of ketamine.

Breathing: Fast forward to Memorial Day, 2020, and the infamous encounter outside Cup Foods in South Minneaoplis.

The New York Times put together what my source calls an excellent video on the killing – including some camera angles and audio I hadn’t encountered before. My source says the Times did an “outstanding job”.

It’s distressing, but worth a watch.

And as you do, notice – Floyd was clearly having a medical emergency. He was a big guy, so having his wrists cuffed already restricted his breathing. His claustrophobia was self-stated – but as a 6’5 guy (Floyd was 6’6) the thought of being wedged into one of those passive-aggressively cramped little police cruisers makes me a little panicky all by itself. Stress on top of medical crisis – strikes one and two.

And then officers Chauvin and Moua arrived, pulled Lloyd out of the back of the car, and commenced kneeling on his neck and back – seriously impairing his breathing.

Some wannabe social media doctors have missed the point, borrowing lessons from Heimlich Maneuver training and claiming that since Floyd could say “I can’t breathe”, he could breathe.

But, my source relates, it wouldn’t matter, if the killer symptom – acidosis, which Floyd was unable to ventilate – was leading to a cardiac arrest.

One of the officers figured it out, asking Officer Chauvin if they might roll Floyd onto his side – which Chauvin rejected, keeping Floyd under his knee until EMS arrived.

By which point Floyd was well past mere “crisis” – unresponsive, apparently acidotic, sliding toward the cardiac arrest that was reported by the EMS when they reached 36th and Park – mere blocks from Cup Foods.

Did a sloppy news story and a subsequent frenzy of litigation and regulation take a vital tool out of paramedics’ toolkits? One that might have prevented George Floyd’s death, and the orgy of misery that it led to?

Calculating Risk

The question “why does anyone need a thirty-round magazine?” is one BIg Gun Control likes to throw around among the uninformed.

To them, there is no valid answer.

As Minneapolis and Saint Paul sloooowly start bundling the last of our “Anti”-Fa rioters up and sending them back to college for summer term, it’s worth noting that the grabbers are wrong of course. There’s a pretty solid justification.

I’m going to answer you with a question. three, actually.

First: are you ever going to be attacked by someone who wants to kill you, then and there? If you answer “I have no idea“, that’s a perfectly valid, honest answer. Violent attacks – robberies, kidnappings, rapes, aggravated assaults, spree killings, terror attacks – are exceptionally rare. Rarer still if you have no criminal record, don’t associate with criminals, and don’t work in a business where a lot of criminals are part of the clientele. That accounts for the vast majority of people.

Not a single person who gets robbed, kidnapped, raped, suffers a home invasion, owns a business near a riot flashpoint, or is at a location where a spree killer decides to stage their blaze of glory, woke up that morning thinking “I bet I’m going to be the target of a violent incident today!“ Did they?

Second: if the person decides to attack you with the lethal force we mentioned above, and you decide to defend yourself, how hard is it going to be the end the threat to your life?: impossible to predict, right? Many robberies, assaults and rapes, and even a few spree killings , have been ended by a good guy pulling out a gun, with no shots fired. Sometimes an attacker falls over unconscious, or dead, after a punch to the face. On the other hand there are records of people who’ve been shot 20 times and still had the strength to shoot, stab or hit before they bled out. I know one story of a woman who barricaded herself and her kids in an attic during a home invasion; when the guy broke into the attic, she shot at him six times at a range of 2 feet, hitting them five times in the face and head – and he lived without a lot of complications ( other than a lengthy prison sentence). Alcohol, drugs and mental illness all affect this as well – drunk people are harder to deter from doing stupid things; people who are extremely high may not experience pain, even pain from a gunshot wound. There are cases of people who were very, very high who never noticed they’d been shot until they bled to death.

So the question is: how many shots (if it’s a gun you choose) will it take to stop one person from following through on trying to murder you? The answer, given the evidence we have seen above, is “0 to 20 shots – maybe”.

Bear in mind that, under stress, almost nobody hits their target with every shot. Even at close range. Even if you practice shooting a lot (although that helps) the police, in self-defense situations, hit with an average of about one shot in every six. Put another way, the police fire an average of 17 shots to end an engagement.

So – you don’t know how many hits you’re going to need to end a lethal or threat to you (or your family, or innocent bystanders), and you don’t know how many shots that you fire are going to hit the person who is trying to kill you.

That’s with one attacker.

Which brings us to the third question

Third: how many people will be trying to kill, Rob, attack, rape or kidnap you?: The scenarios above are predicated on one attacker. Can you predict how many people are going to attack you?

Before you answer, think of this past week. You’re a shopkeeper who runs afoul of a band of looters, a homeowner whose home some group decides to invade.

The riots have those scenarios front-and-center but even in “normal” times, terrible things can come in groups. In Saint Paul a few years back, there was a series of home invasions. Four people would break into a house, violently subdue any occupants who were present, and take what they wanted. Nobody died in that series of incidents – but other home invasions do lead to murder, almost always murder of unarmed people.

Remember – none of the victims woke up that morning thinking “I bet I’m going to have a violent home invasion today”.

Now – if you hear somebody kick in your door in at midnight, ask yourself – how many of them are there? Are they armed? Are they drunk or on some sort of mind altering substance that warps their perception of risk, danger, and/or pain? How will they react to someone resisting (or not resisting)?

You are not going to know. All you know is that there is a potentially lethal threat to your life down there. Maybe the sound of a pistol racking up will send all of them scampering from your house. Or maybe the sight of one of them falling over, gushing blood after you shoot one of them will send them running.

Or maybe you pull out your six shooter, and fire all six shots of the first attacker you see – leaving you holding an empty revolver while robbers two, three, and four come at you with baseball bats, ice picks and a shotgun.

So the answer to your question is “When we are responsible for defending ourselves, our families and our community from a violent threat to our lives and we can’t predict who is going to carry out that attack, how many of them there will be, and what it will take to deter/stop them, we want a magazine that is less likely to run out of ammunition before the attacker runs out of attack”.

I hope that answers your question.

Open Letter To MPR

A friend of the blog who fled Saint Paul just in time writes:

this msg is making the rounds of the S.MPLS progressive/arts set

Per Jon Collins at MPR News- “South Minneapolis: I know this sounds crazy. But it’s 2020. And I’m working on story now about white supremacists coming to Minneapolis to foment race war under cover of the protests. I need your help, and your friends help. Please refer anyone with real, credible info (not rumor or speculation) or sources to me at (I’m gonna redact that)

What the heck – let’s give this a shot:

 Mr. Collins,

I’m Mitch Berg.  I’m  a talk show host at WWTC-AM in Eagan, and I write the blog “Shotinthedark.info”.  

Last week you put out a call to your listener mailing lists, looking for confirmed sightings of “white supremacists”.  

I’m genuinely curious – did you find anything?

While I am a very overt conservative (I went from Bob Collins’ Christmas Card list to…well, not on it over the past few years), I also spent time covering radical groups of all stripes back when I was in the mainstream media.  

And while I realize this is very unlikely, I’d like to invite you on my show (Saturday, 1-3PM) to talk about your findings.   Because it’s everyone’s city. 

Thanks, and stay safe

Mitch Berg
Host, WWTC-AM

Given that I saw a lot of “AmeriKKKa” and “Destroy the 1%” graffiti, but not a single swastika or “14 words” reference, I’m thinking the Twin Cities either got the most inept “white supremacists” in the history of bigotry, or they were the most ingenious – fiendishly tricking a whole city full of leftists into doing the job for them.  

Smooth Move

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

In which Mike Freeman drops a banana peel in front of Keith Ellison while saying “Hey, join the team,” and chuckles as Ellison eagerly rushes in.
https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/05/31/keith-ellison-prosecutions-george-floyd

Freeman is a jerk but he’s also an experienced prosecutor.  Remember the Somali cop who shot the little White woman in the alley?  He got convicted of 3rd degree and got 12 years, nothing close to what the mob wanted. Freeman survived that fiasco and he intends to survive this one.  
He’s read the autopsy report.  He knows Floyd didn’t die from lack of air (obviously not, or he couldn’t have been talking).  Freeman knows the victim was stoned and had other medical issues that may have been exacerbated by the arrest, which might possibly make the officer careless or negligent, but Freeman knows there’s no way to make Murder 1 stick and that’s the only thing that will satisfy the mob.
So how’s he get the mob off his back?  He asks Keith Ellison for help.  Ellison – who has no prosecution experience – will now “take the lead.”  Which means whatever goes wrong with the case from here on out, Freeman points at Ellison and says “Don’t ask me, he’s in charge.”
Early in my career, I spent a few years as a prosecutor.  A criminal case isn’t won by clever speeches or Twitter comments, it’s a s***load of hard work.  Ellison has no idea.  He’s being set up to take the fall when the cop walks.  Freeman will shrug and carry on.  Walz will remind us what a great job he’s done on Covid.  Charlie Foxtrot all around.
Joe Doakes

More on this later today.

This Is My Town, Sparky

Thursday evening, I decided to walk down to Snelling Avenue to check out the situation.

I saw broken glass at Lloyd’s Pharmacy, at the corner of Snelling and Minnehaha. I decided to check out the situation.

The situation nearly came to me. I saw a vibrant group of youths carrying bags of merchandise out of the Speedway station across the street, chased by the immigrant family who run the place. The other gas station up the block was in the process of being looted as well.

A small group of twenty-somethings jumped out of a car in rudimentary riot-wear, and ran past me, headed toward the Speedway. They took no interest in me – which was good for all concerned. Take that as you wish.

I beat a hasty retreat home, and rode out the rest of the evening.

The next morning, it looked like this:

Lloyd’s, which had been in this building for 102 years, as one of the last of Saint Paul’s small independent pharmacies, was gone. They’d remodeled last year, adding more lab space and some offices for a medical office – a vote of confidence in the neighborhood.

Here’s what confidence in Saint Paul gets you:

That’s 102 years worth of rubble.

Some wag commented with a sign:

Lloyd’s Pharmacy rubble pile

Lloyd’s, and the looted gas stations , were the only visibly damaged bulidings north of Thomas – although it was hard to tell if the stores were boarded up as a preventive measure…

Asian buffet on Snelling at Van Buren

Or repairing damage.

Korean and Vietnamese buisnesses on Snelling at Blair

I don’t know.

All I know is that my neighborhood, the Midway – my tough, scrappy, blighted little underdog of a neighborhood – feels gutted today.

Did I say tough and scrappy? Hell yeah. The staff from one restaiurant, immigrants all, climbed up on their roof on Thursday night, vislbly armed, entirely to deter the looters that’d gone over so miuch of the street the night before. I won’t name them here – I don’t want the neighborhood’s many Soy Boys and Karens to try to cancel them for their impudence.

During the day on Friday, University was crawling with people with dustpans and brooms, descending on University to clean up the mess.

They clearned out later in the afternoon, though, as sporadic incidents of looting and violence started to speckle the map. Recovery? Just ending the nightmare seemed a long, hard slog away, given Mayor Frey and Governor Walz’s performance.

Anway – to those of you who’ve been burning down my neighborhood, looting my neighbors’ shops, trying to wreck our lives – the neighborhood where I raised my kids, started a business or two, and have lived for what seems like an entire lifetime?

You want to talk about police brutality? Cultures of entitlement? Systemic racism?

Want to talk anger?

Let’s talk.

Want to make some changes, over what happened to George Floyd? Hey, guess what – I’ve got huge problems with excessive police power, too. Let’s get things done!

But talking isn’t’ fast or dramatic enough for you? Want to browbeat dissent into submission? Want to vent your inchoate rage on innocent third parties? Want to burn things that don’t belong to you?

Racism, inequality and brutality is oppression. But so is rioting.

And if you want to fight opporession with more oppression?

This is for you .

Go back to taking your rage out on your family, or your professors, or on yourself. Jam your adolescent entitlement someplace nature never intended things to be jammed.

Screw your “revolution” – I brought my own.

I’ll be here long after you move on to other tantrums. I will listen, if listening and discussion is what you want. But I’m not running anywhere.

This is my town, sparky.

This is our town. All the good people, black and white, Korean and H’mong, Turkish and Ethiopian, and every other flavor of humanity God put here. The ones who built this place, and the ones who’ll rebuild it after you’ve had your excellent weekend of fun.

We deserve better elected “leaders”, it’s true. But we were here first, and we’ll be here last.

The New, Old And Future Normal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

One’s outrage over George Floyd’s death varies depending on one’s definition of normal.
If you’re just going about your business, acting in an ordinary and normal way, the cops shouldn’t hassle you and certainly shouldn’t kill you. So what is “normal?”
Philandro Castillo was driving and carrying a pistol while high on marijuana. The Black community considered that normal. His death was an outrage… to them.  The rest of us could understand why the officer panicked and shot him. Driving and carrying while stoned is not normal…for us.
I don’t know how hard it is to restrain a 6 ft 6 in tall, 250 lb former NBA player, who is drunk and passing counterfeit money. Does that take a polite request? Or three cops kneeling on his neck? I have no idea. But to me, getting arrested for committing a crime would be normal, and you sort it out later in court. For the Black community, passing funny money while stoned is normal and the cops should have left him alone.
The autopsy report shows George Floyd did not die of asphyxiation. He had an underlying medical condition. His arrest may have contributed to it, but the cops didn’t murder him. His death was merely incident to the arrest which makes us question whether the arrest itself was justified, which brings us back to whether his behavior was so unusual and abnormal as to justify an arrest.
This difference in perception – what is normal and acceptable behavior – is the heart of the dispute, not just for this one fellow, but for Black lives matter, antifa, achievement gap, racial reparations, affirmative action …
Joe Doakes 

And the perception gaps among so many different, parts of society are so radically different, it’s hard to see how any of it squares up, ever.   Especially since arriving at some sort of consensus is both absolutely vital…

…and utterly impossible given not only our current political, social and media state, but the opposite of what most of Minneapolis’ ruling class wants.  

I Have A Theory

My theory: America is protesting – angrily, but generally peacefully – over the death of George Floyd and all of the history in, about and around it.

America is rioting, on the other hand, because America is bored stiff after ten weeks of being cooped up inside with each other, unemployed or underemployed, being told they are “nonessential“, stricken with stage IV cabin fever, with no place to go but the online world that, hey, lookie here, told them about a huge get together!

No, not joking.

The Minneapolis police killing George Floyd was the spark.

A nation of Karens, on the other hand, had been piling up tinder for months.

Siege

For those who might be curious, I’m safe.

The neighborhood that has been my home for most of the last 33 years? Not so much. More on that later.

The cities that have been my home, and the place that I raised my family, for the last 35 years?

Lloyds Pharmacy, at Snelling in Minnehaha. My pharmacy for most of the last 30 years. Or what’s left of it, anyway.

We are in the worst possible hands.

Yesterday afternoon, I almost wrote that Mayor Frey’s press conference was the worst train wreck I have ever seen in public.

I would’ve spoken too soon.

The mayors 1:30 AM press conference last night…

… Well, words fail me. I come up with words for a living, and a hobby, and I’ve got nothing.

There is literally not the faintest shred of leadership under that perfectly coiffed hairdo of his.

Asked why he ordered the third precinct evacuated, he prattled something about the building being just a symbol – human lives are the important part. Why no reporter thought to follow up by asking “what about the lives that are being put in direct jeopardy by the complete turnover of the streets to the mob? What about the symbol you’re sending – that the police protection that is one of the few legitimate reasons to have a government, is being pulled out at the height of the crisis? Do you want to talk symbols, let’s talk symbols!”

The Menards, at University at Prior. There was apparently a minimal amount of looting, before police and security cleared the building. Front and loaders piled barricades made of lumberyard materials in front of the doors.

Naturally, nobody asked that.

But a reporter actually DID ask an incisive question, something the mayor clearly isn’t used to ever getting. “What’s the plan?“. The mayor responded, initially, with five seconds of deer in the headlights silence, before asking the reporter “plan for what?” like a junior high kid who’d forgotten this week was midterms, before starting “there’s a lot of pain out there…“ and another couple minutes of gibberish that didn’t even address, much less answer, the question.

Forget about the facts on the ground – if you are a resident of Minneapolis, that press conference should have you howling with anger. The feelings of the mob – not people demonstrating against police brutality, but the roving mass of thieves and provocateurs – are more important than your livelihoods, your lives.

Call it the tyranny of low expectations, but when I saw St. Paul police chief Todd Axtel‘s press conference I found myself almost happy to see a police chief saying “we’re not abandoning our city“. In normal times, I would say, dumbfounded, “what, do you want a cookie? That’s your job!“ We’ve seen today that you can’t take that for granted.

Part of me wants to apologize for former New Orleans Ray Nagin for calling him the worst mayor in the history of America in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

Anyway – curfew in effect.

This is how I curfew. Miscreants, take the hint.

“One Minnesota“ my ass.

———-

If you think this would be an opportune time to slip some virtue signaling about the justification for the rioters into the comments, think again.

Taking Sides

So as law biting, hard-working, taxpaying Twin City ends wake up to get another day under siege, it’s providence to ask yourself – whose side are your leaders on?

Not just comic book characters like our “Attorney General”:

Did anybody else watch Minneapolis Mayor Frey’s press conference yesterday? It looked like an outtake from “Reno 911”. Minneapolis needed a leader – a Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, John F Kennedy.

They got pajama boy.

Social Attitudes

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Court Administrator sent a message at 3:00 warning all court employees in St. Paul to evacuate because a mob was coming. My wife and I have the grand-kids for a sleep-over. I was concerned the kids’ mother might say “Riots? Get my kids out of there!”

She’s a Southren girl, married my boy while he was in the Navy. She asked two questions: “Are the riots near y’all?” Well, no. “Grandpa Joe’s got a gun, doesn’t he?” Well, yeah. “Well, alright then.”

I LOVE THAT GIRL.

Joe Doakes

You should, Joe.

Tourists

A friend of the blog writes:

What, did they just come to town, Google for chain stores that might be open and close to the freeway? Apparently they did.

I don’t know a single local protester who would have thought SunRay would be the place to March/riot.

I have lived in the Twin Cities for decades, and I can’t remember a single time when it was the perfect place to…shop.

Breaking News: Retreat

According to a very reliable source, a Minneapolis police officer reports that all Minneapolis police have been moved out of the Third Precinct to the Fourth, and told to “sit tight, do nothing”.

And the police are – according to my source’s source – “pissed”.