There Are Millions Of Reasons…

… why I will never donate a single penny to Minnesota Public radio, even though I listen to them (primarily news and classical music) constantly.

Two of them, for starters, are:

  • Keri Miller
  • WNYC’s “On The Media”.

But a few more million of them are right here; as Minnesota Public radio lays off much of what used to be a pretty good news room, their executive staff still keep getting paid, well, like this:

To add insult to injury, MPR’s national production group, “American Public Media”, is canceling “Live from Here with Chris Thile” – the excellent show that grew from the ruins of “Prairie Home Companion”, and one of the few original production non-news shows worth listening to.

MPR hastens to point out that their C-suite is taking a 30% pay cut. Which sounds like a big deal, until you realize that a whole lot of private sector CEOs are cutting their pay to $1 for the duration.

Two Minnesotas

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We don’t like the statue of Columbus on the Capitol Grounds.

We tried to get it removed through official channels.

We lost.

We announced we were going to tear it down ourselves.

We heard the Governor tell us not to, that the police would stop us.

We didn’t care.

We tore it down ourselves.

We weren’t stopped.

We weren’t arrested.

We weren’t charged.

We weren’t even scolded.

We are heroes, taking back the lands our ancestors sold a century ago.

We’re coming for your house, next.

Joe Doakes

Some animals are more equal than others.

While We’re Destroying Things With Objectionable Cultural Connotations…

Georgetown and Harvard universities were both built with slave labor and the proceeds from sales of human beings.

Yale is named after an actual slave trader.

The city of New York didn’t ban slavery till 1827, and people in NYC still owned slaves into the 1840s, and the industries that made it wealthy before 1861 – textiles and cigars – were entirely powered by cheap material produced by slavery. New York City voted for the proslavery candidate for president in 1860 end, after three years of Civil War, 1864. The New York City draft riots of 1863 overwhelmingly targeted freed black men and pro-abolition businesspeople, politicians and groups.

The father of modern progressivism (as well as today’s bureaucratic administrative state), Woodrow Wilson, was one of the most corrosive racists In the history of American government; he is overwhelmingly responsible for the institution of Jim Crow at the federal level, which had cascade effects throughout the country, including an expansion of Jim Crow laws at the state and local levels, and the expansion of the KKK to its greatest power.

So if today’s “protesters“ are really serious about tearing down the legacies of a racist history, they need to tear down the ivy league, New York City, the Internal Revenue Service and about half of the executive branch departments.

Let’s go to it!

Too Far

The stupidity of the mob that is seizing headlines and rewriting/erasing history is on daily display.

But now, they’ve gone far, far beyond too far:

It’s a statue of legendary confederate general, slave trader and blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Wait – he was never a confederate general, never owned a slave, and was born nearly 100 years after the Civil War.Indeed, Vaughan was something of a center-lefty during his way too short life.

So of course the mob is vandalizing his statue.

Recycling

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I wonder what they’re going to do with all those statues the Left is
tearing down?   Can I have them?

I might put a few around the perimeter of my back yard, looking in
toward the yard.  Dress up the place a bit.  Put some nice hostas around
them.  St. Francis of Assisi.  Robert E. Lee. Christopher Columbus. 
George Washington.  Are they tearing down Aphrodite?  I’ll take her, for
sure.

Maybe put a fire ring in the corner of the yard so I could enjoy a
“recreational fire” with a few cold ones while I admire intelligence and
beauty.  Make a nice change of pace for a guy who lives in St. Paul.

Joe Doakes

I’ve taken to going to churches that have no hymns written in the past 100 years.

I could see doing the same as re art, soon enough.

Blue Fragility, Part VIII: Unequal Risk

If you remember the 1980s, you might recall the early years of the AIDS epidemic. While it was clear fairly early on that the disease particularly targeted gay men and IV drug users (leading to the overnight extinction of what had been a fairly thriving “bathhouse” scene in Minneapolis), government health authorities kept hammering on the line that “anyone could catch it” and “nobody was immune”.

Which was, literally, epidemiologically the truth. Cases of children and suburban housewives coming down with AIDS got wide play in the media, to prove the point.

But eventually the world figured out AIDS was a blood-borne pathogen, spread by behaviors that transferred contaminated blood between people; sharing needles, inadvertent exposure to infected peoples’ blood, and various intimate practices that had a tendency to tear skin.

And so people learned. ER staff masked and goggled and gloved up. Condoms became mainstream. Cities gave out free needles – aggravating to law-and-order types, but it did help slash the infection rate.

Unsaid but unmistakeable? While anyone could get it, the odds moved greatly, almost completely, in one’s favor with a few minor behavioral and prophylactic practices.


So I was in North Dakota over the weekend, taking care of some family business.Here’s a county by county breakdown of the Covid situation in North Dakota as of this past Friday.as of this past Thursday.

Big Left tells us, in a tone usually reserved for devotional prayers and aspirational mantras, that Red America is going to get it. Covid is going to ravage the square states, they say, like a revival preacher winding stems on the Old Testament lesson. “We’re all in this together”, after all.

So let’s take a look at North Dakota’s numbers:

The red circles with white numbers are death counts.

Of the states 74 total Covid deaths as of last Thursday, 62 of them were in Cass County – which is Fargo. Four more were in Grand Forks County.

And, significantly, the counties containing North Dakota’s four Indian reservations – which, conventional wisdom here in the Twin Cities tells us, are the most vulnerable populations in the entire state outside of nursing homes – account for a grand total of six cases, and no deaths.

It’s not lack of testing, in this reddest of states; as of last week, North Dakota has the third highest test per million rate in the country, triple that in Minnesota.

Maybe it’s time to just cut the crap and admit that Covid – and most diseases that spread via aerosol transmission – are particularly transmissible by people breathing the same air, jammed into close quarters for extended times?

Nursing homes, of course – but also bars and restaurants, mass transit, open-plan offices, and other artifacts of high-density urban life?

That’d scotch the attractiveness of any “high density” social investments (the ones that aren’t already plummeting in the wake of this month’s rioting), of course…

…which would jeopardize the gravy train for a lot of transit consultants, urban nonprofiteers, insect farmers, public union employees and other big-state hangers-on.

Statistics, Damned Statistics And Lying Statistics

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Here we go again.  Liberals deploying statistics as weapons without understanding how to operate them. 
First chart: White household income is twice Blacks’.  Yes, but a “household” is a family unit.  A two-parent family household with both parents working $15 an hour jobs makes $60,000.  If the family splits up or never marries, the same parents working the same jobs are  reported as only $30,000 per household.  Whites are twice as likely to get married and stay married as Blacks so their household numbers reflect combined totals instead of single-parent totals. This is a cultural choice, not systemic racism.
First chart notes that Blacks get paid less than Whites.  Yes, because Blacks work lower skilled jobs than Whites, because of the educational “achievement gap” which has stubbornly persisted for decades despite all efforts to change it. Individual Achievement Plans, Affirmative Action, school funding, court monitors, forced bussing . . . nothing changes the fact that Black kids do less well academically than White or Asian kids.  Which might be because Black kids are simply not as smart, as IQ researchers consistently find, or because Black culture deplores “acting White” but protects disruptive Black students who are passed along to avoid trouble.  This is not systemic racism against Blacks. 
Second chart – Minnesotans in poverty – is the result of broken households and also family size.  Black women tend to have more children than White.  More people in a single-income household = closer to poverty.  This is a consequence of cultural choices (not to marry and stay married, to have more children), not systemic racism against Blacks.
Third chart: Black unemployment is 40%.  Point the finger directly at Governor Walz for that one.  He shut down “non-essential” businesses which tended to employ more Blacks.  But as stupid as the Stay Home order was, it wasn’t intentional racism, it was a panic response to the Covid pandemic. But even before the shut-down, Black unemployment was still twice that of Whites.  
That’s not because of intentional racial discrimination, it’s because Minnesota’s economy is largely white-collar which requires educated workers (see education gap, above) plus we’ve experienced a huge influx of low-skilled Black immigrants.  There are only so many taxi driver jobs available; the rest sit idle.  These are functions of economics and immigration, not systemic racism.
Final chart: Blacks are more likely to die of Covid than Whites.  Nobody knows why that’s so.  It’s an interesting fact but it cannot be the result of systemic racism – the virus hasn’t been around long enough for Whites to develop plans and methods of discriminating against Blacks based on the virus.  Maybe it’s genetic?  
We are endlessly lectured by Liberals that all cultures are equally valid, and therefore Whites have no moral grounds to impose our culture on other people.  Fine, but that also means we have no duty to ensure their cultural choices result in the same achievement outcomes as ours.  Stay in school, get a job, wait to have kids until you’re married: these are the keys to academic and economic success in America, regardless of your race.  But the keys only work if you’re willing to use them.  Otherwise, you remain locked out of prosperity and it’s nobody’s fault but your own.  
Joe Doakes

For some, blame is easier than fixing the problem. And we have an entire political party devoted to harnessing that fact.

Defund Mayor Frey And The Minneapolis City Council

Norm Coleman – former Senator, and more appositely former mayor of Saint Paul – jumps back from retiredment to pimp-slap Mayor Frey and his City Council for demanding the defunding of the Minneapolis Police.

They’re defunding the wrong part of government:

Remarkably, the same mayor whose lack of leadership led to the ruinous riots and burning of his city, doesn’t agree with dismantling the Police Department. Yet in endorsing the governor’s investigation, Frey said:

“For years in Minneapolis, police chiefs and elected officials committed to change have been thwarted by police union protections and laws that severely limit accountability among police departments. … Breaking through those persistent barriers, shifting the culture of policing and addressing systemic racism will require all of us working hand-in-hand.”

What is it about the culture of politics in Minneapolis that failed time and time again to address what is now labeled “systemic racism” in the city’s Police Department?

Blaming the police union is, no pun intended, a cop-out.

Blaming Republicans isn’t an option as there isn’t an elected Republican in the city as far as the eye can see.

With their city in ruins from lawbreakers who burned it down, the same elected officials whose failed leadership did nothing to eliminate the racism they now lament have seized upon the solution: to disband their Police Department.

Mayor Frey didn’t condemn rioting and looting in his city when he should have but encouraged people intent on looting and burning to wear face masks and stand 6 feet apart from one another.

When a couple of news conferences professing his love for Minneapolis and delivering stern stares at the camera failed to stop the violence, he abandoned the police headquarters in the Third Precinct.

He left citizens and businesses alone to fend for themselves amid marauding mobs who claimed their prize by burning it down and the neighborhood along with it.

The members of the Minneapolis City Council didn’t step up either to protect their citizens. Now they purport to have the best interests of their city in mind with the idea that defunding and dismantling the Police Department is really a better way to ensure public safety.

The lawless always want less law.

Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender claims that calling police during an emergency is an act of “privilege.”

On the contrary, the first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens — all its citizens.

It’s depressing that a bit of common sense like this in the public domain feels so extraordinarily wise.

Only A Couple Of Explanations For This

This is Senator Tim Kane, father of an “Anti”-Fa thug who punched a 17 year old girl at a Trump rally, and who came within an electoral miracle of becoming the Vice President of the United States:

Now, there are a few reasons he might say something like this:

  1. The Babylon Bee hired an impersonator, and this is satire beyond parody or reason.
  2. He’s really that stupid.
  3. He knows better, but he believes his audience actually is that stupid.

Thoughts?

Talk About Injustice

Budget cuts have claimed Live From Here with Chris Thile, the show that picked up where A Prairie Home Companion was amputated when Garrison Keillor got #HimToo-ed.

While I don’t think its move last fall to the Town Hall Theater in NYC helped it one little bit (it had to be a lot harder to meet the nut there than at the Fitz in Saint Paul), the show was one of the few local MPR non-news productions to be genuinely worth the time.

And yet Keri Miller just ticks on and on.

Waiting For Word From “Protect” MN, Everytown And Moms Demand

The “warlord” of the Seattle Peoples Autonomous Zone hands out AR15s to fellow “revolutionaries”:

Not a background check among ’em.

The gun groups seem to be silent on this particular example of gun proliferation.

Promises, Broken

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We were PROMISED 1,440 dead from Covid by the end of May and a huge surge in cases this Summer.  We’re not even close on deaths and there’s no evidence of a surge, here or anywhere else in the nation.  And hospitalizations are declining.

 
So is the Health Department admitting it was wrong, wrong, and wrong?   Of course not.  The linked article has several charts but notice the one that’s missing – the chart we saw in every press conference – the “flatten the curve” chart.  That’s because there never was a curve to flatten.  We never got close to overwhelming the system.  The epidemic was basically over before we noticed it. 
 
A million Minnesotans lost their jobs and we still can’t get back to normal.  For what? 
 
Joe Doakes
 
 

For the government’s power to exert…well power. That’s what.

Steam

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
— “Animal Farm”, George Orwell

So let me get this straight:

Lt. Governor Flanagan, who chairs the Capitol Architecture Committee, who is a “progressive” (koff koff) who has made her displeasure with the Capitol mall’s statue of Christopher Columbus amply known in the past, and whose entire place in the Walz administration is to placate the MN DFL’s ever more extreme left wing (who rejected Walz for endorsement at the 2018 convention, and certainly could do it again in 2022 if he doesn’t kiss up to the Left sincerely and often enough), may well have been involved in interfering with the response by the State Patrol who, despite six hours’ warning (according to Channel 5’s Tom Hauser) got the the Capitol juuuust too late to do anything about the illegal destruction of state property, which amounted to a de facto nudge and wink by the Walz Administration to people (who were, we’re told, “Frustrated” by their inability to get the statue removed, even though there was no record of any petition to remove the statue on record)…

…who were, in the most supreme of ironies, protesting government “overreach and unaccountability” in the Floyd case?

You don’t have to be a genius to see that there really are two Minnesotas, when it comes to the law; those who are in the favor of those in power, and those who aren’t. The state government deploys its full weight and might to go after bars in rural areas with no Covid problem, but allows Lake Street and University Avenue to burn (mostly at the hands of the sort of white leftists whom the administration can’t afford to offend or, really, discomfort in any way); some groups, favored by the DFL establishment, can block freeways with impunity while others, not so favored, get penned into ‘free speech zones’ at best.

This is “progressive” government.

*Totally* unrelated, honest – you need to watch this classic animated version of “Animal Farm” before the cancel culture gets it removed and disappeared:

On The One Hand…

I’m rooting for the guy in this video who, attacked by small mob of “Anti”-Fa sympathizers in Albuquerque, including one who tried to beat him over the head with a skateboard, came up shooting:

Another video shows the man certainly tried to retreat:

So let’s go over the elements of a self-defense case (as best I know them, not being a lawyer or especially familiar with New Mexico law):

There was an immediate threat of death or great bodily harm – He was hit on the head with a skateboard, and the thugs – or as NPR refers to them, “protesters” – were shouting “Kill Him”. I call that a reasonable threat.

Reasonable Effort to Retreat – Looks like the man made more than a reasonable effort.

Used only the force needed to end the threat – And how. That pack of bullies turned into a bunch of sheep faster than Tim Walz discovering a new regulation.

Can’t be the aggressor – Might be the problem. According to the NPR story:

As protesters surrounding the statue chanted “Tear it down!” and one of them swung a pickax at the statue’s base in an effort to bring it down, a confrontation erupted between the demonstrators and a group of armed men.

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence,” Police Chief Michael Geier was quoted in a department tweet as saying. “If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution.”

The inevitable “white supremacist” allegations are flying around. Of course, even people with unfashionable, even reprehensible, views have the right to self-defense. Berg’s 18th Law is in effect here.

Still and all, maybe some of these morons will realize that the next woman six or seven of them gang up on might be able to do the same. And society might just get a little more polite.

I’ll be following developments in this case.

Must Be The “White Supremacist” They’ve Been Looking For

22 year old Dylan Robinson was arrested earlier this week in Breckenridge, Colorado, on suspicion of torching the Third Precinct.

Well, with a name like “Dylan”, he’s certainly not immigrant or black.

But what about “White Supremacist”? Is he one of the crowd that the Governor and both Mayors blamed for all the violence and destructrion, as well as all that leftist graffiti all over town?

Let’s check and see:

Nope. While you can’t judge a book by its cover, I’ll bet a shiny new quarter he’s either with, or likes to pretend he’s with, “Anti”-Fa.

I bet another shiny new quarter that the Henco Attorney’s case gets quietly gundecked, and Robinson ends up skating, since – another quarter here – he’ll be connected with some Democrat poobah or another.

Any takers?

Know Your Council

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Two St. Paul City Council members want to completely abolish the St. Paul Police Department.

Nelsie Yang, representing Ward 6 (NE St. Paul, Phalen area) and Mitra Jalali representing Ward 4 (NW St. Paul, Hamline-Midway, Merriam Park, Saint Anthony Park, and parts of Mac-Groveland  and Como).

I wonder if they plan to replace the cops with armed citizens forming vigilance committees to dispense street justice? 

Joe Doakes

Jalali – who seems to have dropped the “-Nelson” from her last name just in time for prime ethnic virtue-signaling season – has been particularly Canoesque.

Ripped From The Headlines Of Pure Fiction. Honest.

SCENE: Debate hall at the University of Minnesota. Mitch BERG is getting ready for a debate with Stacey HINTON. HINTON – a white woman from Edina – is president of the group “Keep All Racists Equally Nonplussed”, a social justice group without portfolio. The moderator takes the stage, as a small audience rustles in its seats.

MODERATOR: Mr. Berg, Ms. Hinton, you know the rules (both nod ). Let’s get started. What do you advocate doing about the Covid virus.

BERG: Look, I think the only things that have worked are first, protecting the vulnerable – certainly more effectively than we do here in Minnesota – then isolate the infected, and re-open the economy for everyone else.

MODERATOR: Ms. Hinton?

HINTON: You’re white.

BERG: Well, yeah, I am.

HINTON: So that’s your privilege talking.

BERG: What does “privilege” have to do with observing that the places with the best combination of public health and medical performance all did exactly that?

HINTON: Check your privilege.

MODERATOR: OK. On to the next topic. Whither Minneapolis? We’ll start with you, Ms. Hinton.

HINTON: The rioting was a bunch of white boys running around vandalizing neighborhoods of color.

BERG: Well, there certainly were “white boys” and girls doing the rioting. The implied message is “white supremacist” boys and girls. If so, they were pretty ingenious “white supremacists”, coating entire neighborhoods with graffiti associated with the left.

HINTON: Spoken like a white boy.

BERG: What does that even mean?

MODERATOR: Let’s move along. What do we do about reforming law enforcement? Mr. Berg.

BERG: Get serious about reforming qualified immunity. It is used to excuse a lot of horrific abuses, not just by the police, but by every other variety of public employee. It basically turns public employees into a higher legal caste. This doesn’t bode well for self-government.

HINTON: Something a white guy would say.

BERG: Ma’am? Do you have any thing to add other than my ethnic background?

HINTON: Yes.

BERG: Let’s hear it.

HINTON: It’s true of all white guys.

MODERATOR: Let’s move along. Ms. Hinton – what do we need to do about race relations in this country?

HINTON: White people need to listen to black peoples’ stories, and check their privilege.

BERG: Huh. All due respect, ma’am, but that’s the kind of meaningless word salad that people like you – “progressives” who are, if I may say so, a lot whiter than I am use to try to diffuse their own white liberal guilt.

HINTON: Again, that’s your privilege talking, white boy.

BERG: To the extent I have “privilege”, it’s because I was born in a functional two-parent household, with parents who stayed together until I was an adult, taught me a work ethic, and made sure I stayed in high school. And that kind of privilege is not an exclusive club – in fact, like freedom, the more of this “privilege” society has, the more there is to go around.

But let’s cut the crap. The concept of “white privilege” was, from its origins, a way for wealthy white progressive academics to try to expiate their guilt about the privileges their class gave them. To insulate themselves from gnawing class guilt while preserving that holier-than-thou feeling that white progressivism feeds on, they created and adopted the preposterous concept that being white meant a hot tar roofer from Arkansas has “privileges” that Oprah and Jay-Z don’t, while giving the likes of Mark Dayton and Mark Zuckerberg a moral pass, like indulgences sold by “church” that never forgives and offers no salvation.

MODERATOR: Ms. Hinton?

HINTON: Whitey white white white white white. White white white.

MODERATOR: Thank you all for coming out to today’s debate!

For The Ne’er Do Well’s Itinerary-Making Convenience

Remember in 2004? When a bunch of bars up and down the not-yet-very-gentrified West Seventh in Saint Paul signaled their virtue by posting themselves “No Guns Allowed” after the passage of carry reform…

…for about two weeks, until they realized the posted bars were getting robbed?

Like, a lot?

I”m sensing that some pizza chef / social justice unicorn with a food truck is going to be getting a similar rude awakening:

And..voila. It didn’t even take armed robbers to harsh the hipster’s mellow.

History

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Back in the 1800’s, after the United States bought the Louisiana Purchase which extended its territory from the Atlantic to the Rocky Mountains,  our young nation encountered Indian nations living on the lands we bought.  Conflicts ensued, which were settled by a series of treaties. 

The land on which the statute of Christopher Columbus sat on the grounds of the State Capitol was not “stolen” from the Indians.   The Indians sold it to us

Now, the Indians want it back.  That’s the behavior that gave rise to the term “Indian giver.”  The fact the Governor and Lt. Governor don’t understand the history of the state they govern, is shameful.

Joe Doakes

True enough.

But to Big Left, it’s never about history, math, or any other factual basis of analysis.

It’s inevitably about because shut up.