Betting Long On Ignorance

Like most of the Real Americans that support the Second Amendment, I am agog at the gullibility and willful illiteracy of most American gun control advocates, up to and including many of their leadership.

For years, I’ve thought “this just has to be part of a strategy to rope in the gullible, the badly-informed, the fear-driven, and the intellectual-legends-in-their-own-minds”.

And as with most of my flippant observations about human behavior that start out as sarcastic jokes and almost invariably turn out to be ironclad truths, it turns out I’m exactly,l precisely correct.

The “Violence Policy Center” – a “think tank” supported by liberals with deep pockets, that’s short on the “think” and long on the “in the tank” – did a report on gun control tactics in 1988.   While I was pro-Second-Amendment back then, I didn’t spend a lot of time reading the opposition on the subject.

And if I had, I’d have spent the past 27 years beating on this coming quote like John Bonham playing “Moby Dick”:

“The semi-automatic weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

In other words, the past three decades of the gun control movement have been predicated on exploiting technical ignorance, fear and gullibility.

It extends to all areas of their agenda, of course – stats, policy, history – but rarely do you find a grabber putting it in as many words.

Power

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I went to a new restaurant and hated it – there were too many menu choices and they all sounded so good that I couldn’t decide because I worried there was a better choice.

Cops have that problem.  The deputy sheriff guarding our building wears a Batman Belt giving her the choice of responding to problems with handcuffs, baton, pepper spray, Taser, pistol . . . too late, you’re dead.  Took too long to decide because you were worried there was a better choice.

We should go back to the old way: nightstick and a pistol, forget the rest.  If you go in the cop car peacefully, we won’t need handcuffs; if not, you’ll either go in the ambulance or the hearse and again, we won’t need handcuffs.  Should make the rules of behavior easier for cops and much clearer for People Whose Lives Matter.

Joe Doakes

I’m gonna indulge in a rare disagreement with Joe here.  The less we treat cops like medieval knights and civilians like peasants, the better.

“Please Please Please Please Please Send Cameras Please Please Please”

So there’s kind of a theme coming out of  “Black Lives Matter” here in the Twin Cities.

Last week, Rashad Taylor, one of the organizers of Saturday’s protest that’ll be starting a few blocks from my house and proceeding up Snelling – the busiest street in the state during Fair time – to the State Fairgrounds, hinted that there juuuust might be some violence at the protest:

“We’re gonna disrupt [the fair]. There’s nothing they’re gonna be able to do about it…. If we’re met with any resistance or threatened with any resistance, we’ll meet them with that same resistance.”

Huh.

And on Facebook, Nekima Levy-Pounds – the leader of Black Lives Matter in the Twin Cities, and a woman with a PhD and a lifetime tenure-track job in a make-work academic discipline, who nonetheless complains about “white privilege” – posted:

Friends, Please pray for those brave and courageous souls who will be participating in the ‪#‎BlackFair‬ demonstration outside of the State Fair on Saturday. The level of racial hatred and animus that has come to the surface in Minnesota is appalling. These racist attitudes are typically hidden behind a Minnesota Nice facade. Now, we are able to see the truth of how these folks really feel about blacks and other people of color.

Some have taken these statements as a threat of violence.

Call me a pollyanna if you want; maybe, more accurately, you can accuse me of transposing my own motives on those of others. I read these statements, and I see a couple of people saying “Heeeeey, news media! Make sure you got plenty of cameras lined up on Snelling this Saturday. You wouldn’t wanna miss another…Ferguson or Baltimore, would you?”

Am I wrong?

Hollow Democracy

As the Sanders candidacy – the 25% of the left that is the analog of the Trump audience in the GOP – continues to slurp up the attentions of our lazy media, it’s always instructive to be aware of the inevitable failure of democratically-elected socialism in our hemisphere.  Kevin Williamson runs down the dismal record and present of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has continued and extended the misery and repression of the Chavez years.

That’s all bad enough.

Worse?

Maduro, like Chavez and all socialists before him, has been moving aggressively to control public opinion, banning opposition media and driving all dissent underground.

And while the dog is in Venezuela, the tail is here in America:

There is more to democratic legitimacy than open ballots truly counted. As the Founders of our own republic keenly appreciated, genuine democratic engagement requires an informed populace and open debate, thus the First Amendment’s protections, which extend not only to newspapers and political parties but also to ordinary citizens, despite the best efforts of Harry Reid and congressional Democrats to trample those rights. (They call this “campaign-finance reform,” on the theory that political communications more sophisticated than standing on a soapbox outside the Mall of America requires some sort of financial outlay.) But Venezuela has been for years cracking down on newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, even as the Maduro regime’s inspirations in Havana have been locking up outlaw . . . librarians.

Is it an accident that suddenly, the First Amendment is out of style on the left, with a whole generation of college students being raised to see speech as a controlled professional entitlement, the Obama Federal Communications and Elections Commissions constantly moving to control alternative media, using Homeland Security to demonize and the IRS to stifle dissent, and our nation’s chattering elite finding the First Amendment just too complicated for commoners?

Perspective 

Thousands of people – predominantly black and brown, none of them looking like the relatives of NPR executives, mostly poor – killed very, very dead in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington DC over the decades that guns were, in effect,banned by the Democrat ruling machines in those cities: hardly a peep, either from the Democrat political mainstream, the media or from the African-American poverty pimp industry.

Cute, blonde TV reporter murdered by a disgruntled former station employee? Now that’s a story!

#MediaLivesMatter

Unforgiven

I oppose the death penalty.  I oppose  it for one reason; the inevitability of executing the innocent.

It’s not that no case has ever made me want to see some one eaten by mice, of course.  Classic example; the Susan Smith case.  Smith was convicted twenty years ago of pushing her car, with her kids strapped into the back, into a lake to their deaths.  At the time she was alleged to be involved with another guy, and killed her boys to keep their father from getting custody.

She’s “setting the record straight“.

I read it.

I’ll stick with the mice.

Another Fearless Prediction

Lars Walker, author and longtime friend of this blog, has a prediction (from Facebook):

Here is my prediction. Within a day or two, we will begin to see character attacks in the media against the 3 American service men who prevented the terrorist murders in France. Our culture cannot bear the sight of heroes.

I wouldn’t take that bet at 10:1.  The mainstream media, dedicated as it is to the narrative that America is a corrupt, awful place that is the source of this world’s problems, will have these guys on Joe the Plumber watch before you can say “sacre bleu”.  

Punt

Joe Doakes from Como Park writes in re the Minnesota police union’s lawsuit against the NFL for barring off-duty officers from carrying their firearms at games:

The NFL says only on-duty peace officers can carry during football games.  An off-duty officer was relieved of his weapon at TCF Stadium.

The trial court held the NFL cannot exclude him from carrying his weapon because the Minnesota permit-to-carry law doesn’t give property owners that right.

The Court of Appeals punted.  It says the permit-to-carry law doesn’t apply to cops, on duty or off, so that particular law doesn’t determine whether the property owner must admit them, or can refuse to admit them.

Other laws may apply so the case was sent back for a do-over.

Personally, it seems to me that an off-duty cop should be in the same category as a permitted carrier –  trusted to carry a weapon by society, but maybe not trusted by the property owner, so if it wants to turn us both away, that’s its right.   It’s also possible the legislature could have intended off-duty cops to be treated differently from permitted carriers, so I think the appeals court decided correctly when it sent the case back.

Joe Doakes

It’s a dilemma for a judge; how to serve both political correctness and the state’s monopoly on force.

The Street’s Alive, Secret Debts Are Paid

Born to Run  – for my money, one of the ten greatest albums in the history of American rock and roll, and of that list, one of my 2-3 favorites – turns thirty years old today.

No, wait – 1975?  That’s forty years go.

Ouch.

I’m going to re-run a post I first did on the album’s thirtieth anniversary.  Which is, itself, kind of a chronological whack in the head; I’ve been blogging long enough to cover two decennials of this album.

But it was one of my favorites when I first wrote it, and I’m glad to put it out there again.


Bruce Springsteen released Born To Run thirty years ago today.

Thirty years. The album is twice as old as I was when I first heard it.

Amazing.

borntorun_front.jpg

I hear the album today, and it’s still just as fresh as it ever was. If Rock and Roll is a matter of crystalline moments that still cut and shine through the tarnish of the years and the background noise of everyday life, Born To Run is the mother of all diamonds.

I remember being a seventies-addled junior high kid, watching the guy at Mother’s Records in Jamestown – the one across from the high school – drop the needle on the first copy of Born To Run I ever saw, on the one hand thinking “no way it’s better thanBoston“, on the other hand looking at the sleeve – a 26 year old Bruce leaning on a 33 year old Clarence (with a Fender Freaking Telecaster Squire, in the middle of the heyday of the Gibson Les Paul, no less!), presaging the joy and tension and just plain ENERGY in the album, and thinking “Wow. That’s rock and roll”.

Clarence Clemons, Bruce, and Miami Steve, at Bruce’s UK debut in support of Born to Run, at the Hammersmith in London.

And then – Thunder Road:

The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch. As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that’s me and I want you only
Don’t turn me home again, I just can’t face myself alone again

A girl! Dancing on the porch! Sign me up!

Outtake from the Born to Run cover photo session.

All prelude of course, to the burst of energy to come that washed over me, that shot a chill up my spine:

With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night’s busting open
This two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, Heaven’s waiting on down the tracks…

Bruce has done better albums (Darkness on the Edge of Town, Tunnel of Love), he’s had records that sold more albums (Born In The USA) – but no album, before or since, has ever had moments like Born To Run.

It breaks my heart just a little that two of the three guys in this 1975 pic – organist Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons – are gone now.

Moments – it’s a prosaic word, but in the world of Mitch, as applied to Rock and Roll, it has a very specific meaning that, for purposes of explanation, I should make clear; a “moment” is something, some tiny snippet of a song, that sends a chill up your spine, that rattles you to the core of your being. They can be huge and dramatic (Roger Daltrey’s scream in “Won’t Get Fooled Again”), or light and subtle (Susannah Hoffs’ cooing “to a perfect world” at the end of “Dover Beach”, from the first Bangles album); they can be part of a great song (the final “to bring the victory Jesus won…” in U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, the murderous guitar hooks in Big Country’s “Where The Rose Is Sown”, the bridge in Smokey Robinson’s “Cruisin’”), a mediocre one (the final coda in the Alarm’s “Blaze of Glory”, the bridges in the Babies’ “Isn’t It Time”), even a crappy one (Neil Schon’s entrance in Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”), it can beat you over the head (the beginning of Barry Goudreau’s blazing final solo in Boston’s “Long Time”), it can seduce you (the mournful, whispered chorus of Richard Thompson’s “Jenny”, Aimee Mann’s transclucent last line of the last verse of Til Tuesday’s “Coming Up Close”). You get the picture.

Moments are ephemeral, unpredictable. Most artists never have one (Laura Brannigan and Dee Snider searched their whole careers in vain); most albums never send a single chill up a lonely spine. A single such moment can redeem an otherwise mediocre career; the world could forget the Monkees, Roxette, 10,000 Maniacs, the Cars and Abba tomorrow, but I’d love them for a grand total of maybe fifteen seconds worth of moments among them (brief snippets of “I’m A Believer”, “It’s All Over Now”, “These Are Days”, “Bye Bye Love” and “SOS”, two-second flares of pop brilliance that are all I need). A talent for such moments – the ability to create more than one or two on a couple of albums – is a rare thing indeed, almost mythical. Pete Townsend, Ray Davies, Chuck D, Lennon/McCartney, Paul Westerberg, Chrissy Hynde (until about 1985), Bono/The Edge, Stuart Adamson, Smokey Robinson, Levi Stubbs, Aimee Mann – it’s a small, select list.

The Born to Run era E Street Band; Clarence Clemons, Steve Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Bruce, Roy Bittan, Danny Federici, Gary Tallent.

And in no album are there more such moments jammed so tightly together, moments enough to define the careers of a dozen other artists, moments that, thirty years later, still thrill and chill and drag you out into onto the Jersey Turnpike of the mind in Dad’s jalopy. None. Ever:

  • Thunder Road – “…roll down the window”, “it’s a town full of losers, and I’m pulling outta here to win…”
  • Tenth Avenue Freezeout – “While Scooter and the big man bust this city in half!”
  • Night – Almost too many to count – the frenetic opening, the raw harmonies of the first verse, the bridge (“Hell, all night, they’re busting you up on the outside…”)
  • Backstreets – The crescendo when the entire band joins, the exit from the bridge (“…but I hated him, and I hated you when you want away – whoooooah”, raw with aching and longing and unrequited pain)
  • The title cut – Again, too many to catalog; “Boom” Carter’s half-bar drum intro, “Beyond the palace, hemi-powered drones…”, the moment when Bruce counts off the beat to the last verse…
  • She’s The One – The band stomping into the Bo Diddley beat from the intro, heavy enough to crush rocks but deft enough to dance to – in fact, impossible not to dance to.
  • Meeting Across The River – All the sly little moments that tell us the song is about a couple of desperate losers looking for the big break; “Here, stuff this in your pocket, it’ll look like you’re carrying a friend…”
  • Jungleland – Too many to list; the first “Down…in…Jun…gle…Laaaaand”, the glorious guitar solo, “…in the parking lots the visionaries dress in the latest rage…, and of course, the song’s cornerstone “…and the poets down here write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be…”

Born To Run is the encyclopedia of rock and roll – one moment at a time.

And thirty years later, it still crackles like static from the speakers, feeling barely controlled, throbbing with potential energy (“Backstreets’” ominous buildup) and thundering with explosive release (“Night”), careening from smokey barroom to dragstrip to rumble to backseat like one of those lost weekend evenings from your teens – or the teenage years you imagined other people having – packed into a sleeve.

Born to Run is one of those rare records that feels as good today as the day it was released; it hasn’t aged or dated itself one iota; one of those bits of art that will long outlive its creator.

One moment at a time.


My writing has changed a bit in the past ten years.  So has Bruce’s.

But Born to Run has stuck with me, through my own 35 or so years of over-the-top fandom, like few other albums ever.

Politics?  Who cares.  I mean, yes – between 1975 and 1987 Bruce wrote a cavalcade of songs that couldn’t resonate with conservatives more if he had campaigned for Steve Forbes in 2000 – but again, some things are just more important than politics.

Anyway.  I’m outta here for the rest of the day, hanging out with the Duke Street Kings.

Our Idiot Elite: Freedom Is Slavery, Winston

Was there a time when being published in The New Yorker meant you were a better, smarter, more capable writer than, say, a liberal blogger?

I dimly remember such a time.

But in reading Kalefa Sanneh’s “The Hell You Say” – an apologia for gutting the First Amendment and letting government decide how much freedom of speech we really need, because that’s the way Europe does it.

It’s a target-rich environment of bad research and lazy writing, a bit of journalism of entitlement that would fit in on Minnesota Progressive Project.

Yep.  That bad.

I picked one bit – in which Sanneh argues that unregulated speech as we know it really only started in the past 100 years due to – wait for it – white privilege:

This, in essence, was Justice Holmes’s rationale, in 1919, when he argued in an influential dissent that antiwar anarchists should be free to agitate. “Nobody can suppose that the surreptitious publishing of a silly leaflet by an unknown man, without more, would present any immediate danger,” he wrote. Free-speech advocates typically claim that the value of unfettered expression outweighs any harm it might cause, offering assurances that any such harm will be minimal. But what makes them so sure? America’s free-speech regime is shot through with exceptions, including civil (and, in some states, criminal) laws against libel.

Right.  But defamation requires both untruth and actual, tangible, real damages.  It’s intentionally hard to win a defamation / libel case.  For good reason.

By what rationale do we insist that groups—races, communities of faith—don’t deserve similar protection?

Races?  Who would file the petition?

Communities of faith?  Boy, are us Christians going to go to town when we lawyer up.

Many free-speech arguments turn on a deceptively simple question: what is speech? It’s clear that the protected category excludes all sorts of statements. (The First Amendment will be of no use to someone who writes a fraudulent contract, or who says, “Hand over your wallet and iPhone,” and means it.)

And in not knowing the difference between Speech and Robbery,Sanneh has not only forever destroyed The New Yorker as a source of useful journalism, but ousted Grace Kelly from her throne as the least cogniscent writer in the world.

The howlers come with a density that I’ve only rarely encountered, much less tackled.

Indeed, so insidiously bad is the piece that Greg Lukianoff mobilized ten free speech advocates to tackle and beat Saleh’s piece unconscious.

Read Sanneh to see the id of today’s left in action.

Read Lukianoff to see it dismembered.

There’s your assignment for the day.

Dumb And Dumber

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

Dumber: the Boston police’s response:

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

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

Wolves

Want to get me to drop you from my Christmas card list forever?  Call police and the military “sheepdogs”.

Because what do sheepdogs do?  They move sheep around, in a big, passive, helpless herd.

The term is part and parcel of the contempt in which bureaucracies, from the Intelligence and Homeland Security bureaucracies all the way down to all too many local police, hold civilians.

The official take on large groups of civilians is that, in the face of a life-threatening even, people will freeze up and/or mill about in panic like a flock of sheep, waiting for their “sheepdogs” to take charge.

The truth, up to and including 9/11, is pretty much the opposite; in episode after episode, while the bureaucracy bumbles ineffectually about at worst, and arrives on the scene too late to do any good at best, it’s the people – regular people – on the scene who have the reflexes, the intelligence and the information to act.  And when they have the tools at hand to turn action into results, they accomplish miracles.

  • On 9/11, not only did the passengers on Flight 93, armed with information from the ground, realize that the pre-war advice to sit down and not challenge hijackers had become instantly obsolete, and launch a doomed but successful counterattack without the aid of a single bureaucrat – but the mass of civilians in the World Trade Center largely self-organized the evacuation of the Twin Towers.  Which takes nothing away from the police and fire responders; the fact is, without tens of thousands of people thinking for themselves, disobeying their official instructions to stay put, and getting themselves out of the towers, the death toll would have been many times higher and the sacrifice of the FDNY and NYPD would have been been fruitless.
  • Law enforcement notes that the best way to deal with an active shooter is to shoot back.  They phrase this in the form of police shooting back – but the fact is, history shows us the responder doesn’t need a badge to deter a spree killer.
  • Last weeks’ episode on the Amsterdam/Paris train shows that not only are typical Americans perfectly capable of taking rational, sensible action under extreme stress, but it’s not even solely an American thing.

Glenn Reynolds renews his call, that America be a pack, not a herd.

I could scarcely agree more.

And to it, I add; all you “sheepdog” people?  Shut up.

They’ll Know It When They Hear It

Joe Doakes from Como  Park emails about some noise ordinance litigation:

2,000 rounds fired per weekend, too noisy, annoyed the neighbors.  He might have been alright if he’d applied for the correct permits up front, instead of trying to sneak in under the agricultural exemption.

The troubling thing about the opinion is the statute says no local jurisdiction can impose noise levels more strict than PCA.  So how can they complain about noise?  Because PCA hasn’t issued noise levels for shooting events, and the local ordinance didn’t set any.  The commission acted on their gut instinct in deciding it was too loud.  That’s worthless as a standard – how loud is too loud?

Maybe something for GOCRA to consider, working with agency staff to develop acceptable noise levels?

Joe Doakes

If there’s one thing you learn in Saint Paul, it’s that government prefers rules to be handed down by oral tradition.  More leeway that way.

 

Nope; No Stultifying, Pervasive Media Bias Here

The Strib actually wrote a piece about Americans for Prosperity’s “Saving the American Dream” summit, which drew conservatives nationwide, including a panoply of conservative candidates, to Columbus, OH last week.

Now, this is Americans for Prosperity we’re talking about – one of the most successful conservative advocacy groups in the country; behind several of the most successful conservative grass-roots campaigns in the past decade.

So what was the Strib’s headline?

Belief growing in Koch-backed group that winning presidency beats finding perfect Republican

And the lede?

The head of the Koch brothers’ flagship political organization says a Republican winning the presidency is becoming a higher priority for more of its members, suggesting a rift between pragmatists and ideologues.

And of course the Kochs put money into AFP.

But when was the last time you saw a headline like:

Alita Messinger-backed group launches ad campaign supporting Democrats

Or a lede like…:

“Heather Martens, whose organization, “ProtectMN”, wouldn’t have a pot to piss in without the Joyce Foundation’s ineptly-spent foundation money…

Or perhaps…:

The story, from Media Matters, an attack PR firm entirely funded by liberal plutocrats with deep pockets, most primarily George Soros and Paul Allen…

It’s just fascinating, the timing with which the Twin Cities media decides to be diligent about “following the money…”

Horse

If you listen to, read, or talk to me, you know I’m not a Donald Trump fan. Very, very, not.

But over the weekend, I listened to NPR’s “On the Media” program.  It’s NPR’s in-house out-house of media “criticism”.  I listen because it’s a fairly reliable barometer of the narcissism of the mainstream media elite, and because it’s a bottomless font of material.

Anyway – they ran a work of (intentional) fiction yesterday; a smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous, intellectually entitled fictional look back at a Trump presidency (adapted from an article in The Atlantic, or as we in the know call it, “American Progressive Project).

It’s narrated with smug unctuousness by one of NPR’s stable of voice-over people that can affect that perfect, detached, smug “NPR accent”. And even if you don’t like Trump – and I do not – you have to think “whomever the front-runner would be, they’d be doing the same, exact bit of fiction”.

And it started me thinking.

One of the current mainstream conspiracy theories is that Trump is a Pat Buchanan or, worse, Ross Perot figure, working the field to get ready for a third-party candidacy that, at best (Buchanan) dilute the GOP nomination process, and at worst (Perot) doom a GOP candidate.

But what if it’s the other way around?  What if Trump is merely playing this for big publicity, using his big turbocharged mouth to bring lots of attention to issues that’d be trayf for a legitimate candidate to broach, if not discuss…

…and soak up all the biased media’s hatred, allowing the real candidates to duke out the endorsement battle unmolested by Nina Totenberg and CNN and the rest of the Democrats’ PR firms?

A stretch?  Sure.

Implausible?  Maybe.

Impossible?  Who cares?

“…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.

Effects

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”.