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”.

Never Was

SCENE: Mitch BERG is standing at the east end of the Marshall Lake Bridge, looking through binoculars at the fires along East Lake Street. Absorbed, he doesn’t notice LEAKY THE BEAGLE – a superannuated dog wearing sunglasses and a fake mustache, and affecting a cheap version of a German accent – riding up behind him on a recumbent moped.

LEAKY: Muuurrrg!

BERG: (Turning around, not quite recognizing the dog) Huh. A dog on a recumbent moped – don’t see that every day.

LEAKY: You don’t remember me?

BERG: Can’t say as I do.

LEAKY: Zo you’re involved in zat “EssentialMN” vebsite und Facebook page? Ze one dedicated to reopening Minnezota at all costs?

BERG: No, it’s the one dedicated to re-opening Minnesota safely while saving the economy.

LEAKY: Ze group favors removing Govenor Walz!

BERG: Huh. Where did you read that?

LEAKY: On my blog, “Minnesota Dog Progressive”.

BERG: Never heard of it.

LEAKY: Sure you have.

BERG: Sorry. Nope.

LEAKY: Anyvay, ze owner, David Shtrom, wants to remove ze Governor.

BERG: Nah. He knows, as I do, that that’s just about impossible, under all but the most extreme circumstances. First you have to get the Supreme Court to agree that the Governor has done something to warrant removal – which is a high bar, and justifiably so, and harder still given that Walz hasn’t done anything that most other governors haven’t.

Then, you’ve got 90 days to get signatures from 25% of the people who voted in the last statewide election. That’s 625,000 valid signatures, which means more like 800,000, since not all signatures will be valid or unique.

Then, you go to a recall election, agains the full weight and power of the Metro DFL fraud machine and the in-the-bag media.

And if you “win”, then you get…

…Governor Peggy Flanagan…

(Looks at LEAKY, who is furiously humping a lamppost)

BERG: You’re a Flanagan fan?

(Time passes)

LEAKY: Well, zat’s not how I put it in my blog. In my blog, Shtrom is a vingnut pushing for removal of a governor, which is crazy.

BERG: Your what?

LEAKY: My blog, “Minnesota Progressive Dog”.

BERG: Never heard of it.

LEAKY: Sure you have. I’m huge. People respect me.

BERG: Clearly.

LEAKY: You must be a crazy wing nut too!

BERG: (Calmly pulls a hand-carved model ambulance, flings it down the street. LEAKY chases it – while BERG makes his escape.

And SCENE

DFL: You Do Own This

When the DFL wins yet another one-party election in one of their one-party towns, Minneapolis or Saint Paul, they are – or, not too long ago – were wont to chant “We own this town”. They may not be quite so loud about that anymore.

And yes, Minnesota DFL – you own Minneapolis this morning. Every one of you, from Duluth to Worthington , from La Crescent to Moorhead. Minneapolis is all of your town. Your responsibility. Every death – by cop, by gangster, by overdose in the increasingly hopeless communities, by accidents on the streets whose “calming measures” have ramped up the road rage.

Minneapolis is your city. Every scorched brick and broken window and looted business on East Lake and in Uptown belongs to you.

There’s not a single person with a soul worth worrying about that didn’t blanche at the video of George Floyd dying literally under the knee of a Minneapolis cop. The fact that the union didn’t demand the usual cooling off period after officer-involved killings indicates that they felt the same way.

But this is nothing new in Minneapolis. The cops had a reputation for brutality when I moved to Minneapolis – just down the road from the infamous Third Precinct – in 1985, when the last Republican mayor was twenty years in the rear-view mirror and the last Republican city councilman was still in living memory. The reputation carried on during the “Murderapolis” years, when Dave Sauro was a household name – kids, ask your parents about both.

And so it is today, after two generations of single party rule.

Two generations after Plymouth Avenue burned, taking whatever economic viability North Minneapolis had with it, the North Side is still a warehouse for the poor.

Because the DFL owns Minneapolis.

Crime has been on the rise – against the trend and tide in the rest of the state (which has the lowest crime in the nation for a state with a major metro area) and the nation.

Because the DFL owns Minneapolis.

The schools have the worst achievement gap in the nation. Because the DFL owns Minneapolis.

The city has been stocking up on desperate underclasses, imported to Minneapolis explictly or implicitly, drawn by tax-funded goodies, kept here to serve as votes on the hoof by a one-party city that cares about remaining a one-party city more than anything else.

Because the DFL owns Minneapolis.

And East Lake is burning – still, at 6 AM – and the National Guard and the Saint Paul cops are on the way to try to put the greased squirrel back in the shopping bag.

Because the DFL owns Minneapolis.

Every fire. Every murder. Every homeless person wandering their life away, up and down, whether on Lake Street or Eat Street.

Proud?

Times In Which The Mundane Is Spectacularly Radical

Let’s say I write an article in which I assert that the mid-day sky is actually bright scarlet red in color.

You might respond “You’re just Mitch Berg. You’re a conservative, so you always think stupid things”. That response is half, maybe 3/4 true – but doesn’t say anything about the color of the sky. What it does is say “your argument is false because of who you are”. The term is “Argumentum ad Hominem” – latin for “arguing against the man”, rather than the facts the Man presented. It’s a logical fallacy. Who I am has no bearing on the facts I present, right or wrong.

You might then respond “You don’t have a degree in meteorology – how would you know anything about the sky?” That’s also true – I’m not a meteorologist. But it doesn’t address the facts presented, but rather my credentials. It’s called an “Appeal to Authority”, and it’s another logical fallacy. One’s credentials might lend authority to a statement – but not truth or falsity, all by themselves.

You could try another tack, something like “you are an idiot”. That’d be called an “Appeal to Ridicule”. Again – I might be actually an idiot, but it doesn’t address my factual assertion in any way. It’s…yep, another logical fallacy.

Maybe you could dig back on Twitter, and find some example of me saying “the sky is blue”, and post a before-and-after saying “Hah! You’re being inconsistent!”. That’s called the “Argumentum Tu Quoque” – focusing on the fact that one has changed their mind on a subject, rather than the facts at hand – which is a really dumb one; the fact that I was a Democrat growing up, for example, doesn’t make me less a conservative today (or vice versa for someone else).

You could go on the offensive, and claim that if I believe the sky is scarlet with “Sooooo, what you’re saying is you want old people to die”. That’s called a “Straw Man Argument” – trying to make someone defend an argument they never made. I said the sky was scarlet – nothing about Grandma at all.

You could write “the sky is blue, because as I noted above, the sky is blue”. That’s called “Begging the Question” – perhaps the most mis-used phrase in the quasi-educated dialect of English, which people usually use to refer to “asking a question again”. It means “using your conclusion as proof of your conclusion”.

Or – here’s a radical thought, you could post a picture of a bright blue, or dull gray, sky and tell the world “Look! The sky above is blue! It’s not even a little bit scarlet!”. That would address the actual facts of my assertion that the sky was bright scarlet.

And the technical term for that is “a factual argument”.

I’m writing this not because I’m trying to go all Jordan Peterson on you, but because our society would be a lot stronger, smarter and BS-proof if more people learned how to make a logical argument, and to spot and call out an illogical one.

“That’s just NPR!” or “That’s just National Review” or “that info came from people allied with “the swamp”” and many other arguments…aren’t really arguments at all. They are illogical deflections.

Not to go all Walt Kowalski, but there was a time people had to learn this stuff. And there are times I think, reading social media, that learning the basics of, if not logic, at least spotting gross illogic and not being illogical, should be required before people can vote…

much less post on Facebook or Twitter.

And if I’m ever appointed king, or otherwise become a benevolent strongman…

(Careful, kids – in some quarters, particularly academia, the above is very un-PC. It’s what we used to call Samizdat. )

This post was originally run on May 11 2020. I’m re-running it because, well, it seems appropriate.

Dense

“Red” states are 45% of the nation’s population – and about 21% of the nation’s Covid19 deaths (and 25% of the cases, as far as testing shows, although that’s a fuzzy numerator at best in many states, including Minnesota).

That leaves most of this epidemic’s carnage to the 100 most densely-populated counties – almost all of them “blue”. Indeed, Dallas and Houston – two of the only “red” major cities in the ocuntry – aren’t even in the top 100 metropolitan areas for infection rates.

And the red-state natives are getting restless (emphasis added):

“The cure is worse than the disease, no doubt,” said Mark Henry, a Republican who oversees the Galveston County government in southeast Texas. “There are businesses that were shut down that are never going to open again.”

In the country as a whole, outbreaks in conservative rural counties are rising, but not on a scale that would close the gap in the virus’s impact on red and blue counties.

Overall, the infection rate is 1.7 times as high in the most urban areas of the country compared with nearby suburbs, and 2.3 times as high in the suburbs as in exurban and rural areas.

That bolded bit is kinda key. The more incendiary, less filtered parts of the Blue commentariat are openly predicting – “hoping” and “praying to the God they don’t believe in” might be more like it – that the impudent Reds get their comeuppance, like some Biblical penitence for disbelieving. It’s the mirror image of the fundie crones who are saying the plague is God’s vengeance on the cities…

…except that the Blue scolds have an actual platform and audience.

Blue Fragility: “Science!”

I’ve been pretty stringently self isolated since March 16. I’ve got my reasons – a number of people in my family and immediate social circle with immune and cardiovascular problems, as well as a mother in memory care and a father who is doing quite well, but he’s 82, so why chance it, anyway? I’m blessed with a job that allows me to work from home. It makes perfect sense for me to do so.

I believe the closest thing we have to scientific consensus – drawn from decades of experience in operating rooms worldwide – is that masks don’t prevent anyone from catching viruses; they prevent them from being spread from the infected to other people. Which is my operating room staff wear them. And if you were able to get all the worlds asymptomatic yet infected people to wear masks, I suspect you might cut the infection rate down by a fair chunk.

That being said, I think the current orgy of virtue signaling over masks is largely pseudoscientific logrolling – a festival of malinformed logrolling and bandwagoneering.

And with that, in turm, being said, I’ve worn a mask twice in the past week: both times to go to Menards, which requires masks. It’s private property, and it’s about 7 miles closer than the nearest big box home improvement store that doesn’t require a mask. Putting on a cheap surgical mask for 10 minutes burns up less of my time than driving all the way to Home Depot.

Wearing a mask, in short, is purely a matter of contingency, not belief.

And I believe that Mayor Frey’s order that all people wear masks while in any indoor public accommodation in Minneapolis is, if not pointless, then merely virtue signaling of the most callow order.

And yet, if I had taken the call from the Strib’s “ Minnesota“ Poll, I would’ve come down on the “make everybody wear a masks” side of this fairly dimwitted bit of propaganda, which appeared as an at taken out by the DFL on the various Star Tribune online properties over the weekend. It read:

74% of Minnesotans have worn a mask in the past week

Minnesotans support the lockdown!

Now, we don’t know how many people among the “74%” in this “Paul” are like me Dash people who wore masks for utilitarian or social reasons, rather than out of any conviction that Governor Walz is anything but Way over his head and being led around by a bunch of party hacks whounderstand neither business nor science.

And, obviously, we have no idea how many of them are committed mask wearers, like this woman, whose mooring in the world of science is clear and utterly unassailable:

That’s the thing I love about “ progressives”: their absolute, categorical commitment to science and reason.

But the Democrats – and some of their apologists in the “center” – are claiming this isstar Tribune Minnesota poll is a mandate for the governor.I don’t think that necessarily means The DFL, the posters or the various media organizations involved (the Strib, MPR and KARE11) are stupid.I think it means they are counting on Minnesota voters to be stupid. And doing their best to keep them that way.

Minnesota Is Finally Number 1

Minnesota has the highest share of long-term-care residents as fatalities of any state in the union. So we’re finally champs at something.

And looking at the numbers in that spreadsheet, it’s beyond shocking – nearly ten percent of all ilong term care residents in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – the Blue Triangle of Death – have died in this pandemic.

Minnesota, thus far, has lost 2.8% of its nursing home population – the 14th-worst result in the US, thus far. That’s far, far above the death toll in the two states that are every Minnesota “progressive’s” favorite punch lines, Mississippi (1.9%) and Florida (1.5%).

The Dakotas – the two neighbor states that Minnesota Progressives just can’t stop bashing? Both tied in the bottom five – at 0.1% of the long term care population.

And while politicizing the results isn’t entirely fair or appropriate, it’s worth noting that the top 25 states in terms of deaths in long-term care are all “blue” states (with the exception of Louisiana, whose main population center and Covid hot spot is utterly dominated by the Democrats.

Great job, Walz-y.

Never Waste A Crisis – Libertarian Edition

I pointed out with a bit of mindly tart surprise last month that California, after voting in lock step with the statist agenda for the past thirty years, had rediscovered the virtues of federalism via the current public health crisis, and the (to progressives) greater crisis of Hillary losing the election.

That was a tad sarcastic – but as José Niño at the Mises Institute points out, after quite a few policians romping and playing in power like Scrooge McDuck bathing in his coin vault…:

Amusingly, the COVID-19 saga has been host to some of the most flagrant political posturing in recent memory. Early in March (which feels like eons ago in today’s frenetic media cycle) New York City mayor de Blasio was telling people to go to the movies and have fun. Now, he’s done a complete 180, shutting down most private businesses and even calling for the nationalization of certain industries and begging the federal government for military aid to combat the epidemic.

…there’ve been some object lessons show, and learned, on the value of federalism coming out of this crisis:

We are indeed living in the strangest of times when LA Times columnists are expressing sentiments that better belong in a passage of Human Action. The jury is still out on whether this is merely oppositional posturing from the Left, but any kind of conversation entailing the restoration of federalism is a welcome surprise.

The “authorized” right can generally be counted on to disappoint its constituents who genuinely believe in small government principles. To their credit, there have been some bright spots on their side in the present pandemic. States like Texas have gone out of their way to declare gun stores essential businesses and to deregulate several parts of its economy at a time where bureaucracy is impeding various vital economic functions.

Elected officials like State Representative Matt Gurtler in Georgia have raised the stakes by floating a proposal that would allow law-abiding Georgians to concealed carry anywhere. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem projected a stark contrast in her relatively lax approach to handling the pandemic. Jeff Deist used her example as the basis for several pragmatic measures that state governments can take to reopen their economies without throwing civil liberties into the wood chipper. No doubt there is much work to be done, but we can find glimmering signs of promise every now and then.

The example I like to use – after Katrina, gun rights groups noticed the speed at which Louisiana and New Orleans’ layers of incompetent Democrat governments turned to confiscating the firearms of law-abiding citizens. In 2015, Minnesota’s gun rights groups pushed a law in Minnesota barring the state from confiscating guns from law-abiding citizens under states of emergency, or shutting down gun stores before every other store in the state was closed. The bills passed, with bipartisan majorities in both chambers powerful enough to scare Governor Dayton’s handlers away from telling him to sign a veto.

We – the good guys – need to do that with every other civil right.

Starting in November.

Idle Question For Governor Walz

Question: why are tiny United Churches of Christ in small towns in southwestern Minnesota, the huge Cathedral of Saint Paul, and the sprawling Living Word Church which seats several thousand people several times every normal Sunday, all limited to 10 attendees?

What’s the ostensible “science” behind concluding fifty people on a restaurant patio – any restaurant patio – but the same limit holds for churches that seat 5,000 as 50?

Why, it’s almost as if Minnesota’s ongoing response to Covid has become so reflexively, un-scientifically, sclerotically unscientific and bureaucracy-driven that even the “elite” media is starting to take notice.

But you know what would be cool? If we had some group of people, perhaps working for companies that owned printing presses or transmitters, maybe even people who see themselves as heroic comforters of the afflicted and afflictors of the comfortable, who’d ask questions like this theselves.

Other than Tom Hauser, sometimes. .

Huh. I guess all this quarantining is making me delusional.

Unimpressed

The governors “reopening plan“ – it might be better referred to as a “slow strangulation plot” – Might not actually be is designed to destroy small businesses, especially in low density parts of the state.

 

But if it were, it would be hard to tell what they would do differently.

 

Representative Mary Franson voiced her displeasure yesterday:

I’m in decent health – I’ve never missed the 80 pounds I lost over the last two years less than I have this last two months – and so I have to say in all honesty, I’m a lot more worried about surviving governments response to this epidemic that I am the epidemic itself.

That’s not to say I don’t take it seriously, Karen: I have people in my family who are in several of the various risk groups.But it’s time for the real people of the state to ratchet up the opposition.More later this week, maybe.

Make Minnesota Productive Again

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Since the Governor won’t let me go out to play, I’m spending my time at
home wisely.

I’m taking the on-line class to renew my Permit to Carry a Pistol. I’m
also shopping on-line for guns (to be shipped to my local FFL for
delivery) and stocking up on ammunition (to be shipped directly to my
doorstep).

Thanks, Governor. Just what I needed.

Joe Doakes

Do it while you can.

If the Democrats take the Senate and hold the House this fall, Minnesota will make Virginia look like Wyoming.

Blue Fragility, Part VI: Lysenkoism Vs. Actual Science!

Those of us who favor a safe, science-driven re-opening of the economy are frequently derided by the “shut down until ______” (fill in the blank du jour) crowd as either callous or ignorant.

But looking at examples of states that have managed to combine generally good public health outcomes with a relatively sane course on economic re-opening, two patterns emerge:

1) those paths tend to be steered by governors with experience in the private sector – the likes of Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Doug Burgum of North Dakota and especially Ron DeSantis of Florida) treat science as a way of finding the truth, as opposed it being a tool to coerce compliance.

2) The success tends to follow a parade of calumny in the “blue” media – followed by the media moving on to another story when none of the predictions pans out.

The response to Governor DeSantis’s plans early in the epidemic (the sky was going to fall!) and now (it didn’t!) is illustrative:

An irony of the national coverage of the coronavirus crisis is that at the same time DeSantis was being made into a villain, New York governor Andrew Cuomo was being elevated as a hero, even though the DeSantis approach to nursing homes was obviously superior to that of Cuomo. Florida went out of its way to get COVID-19-positive people out of nursing homes, while New York went out of its way to get them in, a policy now widely acknowledged to have been a debacle.

The media didn’t exactly have their eyes on the ball. “The day that the media had their first big freakout about Florida was March 15th,” DeSantis recalls, “which was, there were people on Clearwater Beach, and it was this big deal. That same day is when we signed the executive order to, one, ban visitation in the nursing homes, and two, ban the reintroduction of a COVID-positive patient back into a nursing home.”

DeSantis is bemused by the obsession with Florida’s beaches. When they opened in Jacksonville, it was a big national story, usually relayed with a dire tone. “Jacksonville has almost no COVID activity outside of a nursing-home context,” he says. “Their hospitalizations are down, ICU down since the beaches opened a month ago. And yet, nobody talks about it. It’s just like, ‘Okay, we just move on to the next target.’”

Perhaps more understandably, The Villages, the iconic senior community, was a focus of media worries. According to DeSantis, as of last weekend there hadn’t been a single resident of The Villages in the hospital for COVID-19 for about a week. At one point, the infection rate in The Villages was so low that state officials were worried that they were missing something. “So I got the University of Florida to do a study,” he says. “They did 1,200 asymptomatic seniors at The Villages, and not one of them came back positive, which was really incredible.”

So how did DeSantis go about responding to the epidemic? It began with the data, and trying to learn the lessons of other countries.

The “Red” states’ approaches (and to be fair, California’s) spared their states the carnage that befell New York’s nursing homes (and Minnesota’s, as well); a dispassionate, scientific approach to the data (as opposed to the governor’s desired conclusions, as in Minnesota) led them to protect their most vulnerable – in stark contrast to the policies of New York’s governor (and increasingly, Minnesota’s).

I’ve been calling this response “Blue Fragility” – the tendency of our society’s “gatekeepers” to lash out in anger and frustration at the realization that their version of “science” is as much about browbeating and logrolling people into submission as it is about systematic inquiry leading to knowledge. It helps deflect away from several fairly inescapable conclusions one might get from observing this pandemic:

  1. High density “blue city” urban lifestyles – like the Met Council is mandating in the Twin Cities – are not “resilient” against pandemics. High density living, transit-centered lifestyles, open plan offices, bars and restaurants are all hotbeds of contagion in a way that, at least anecdotally, lower-density areas – even as in Los Angeles as compared to New York – just don’t.
  2. When you mix science and politics, you don’t get scientific politics. You get politicized science – better known as “propaganda” and “logrolling”.

Blue Fragility is causing some shutdown proponents to “kill the messenger”; I had a prominent Saint Paul political operative tell me “small towns are going to get the s**t kicked out of them”, with an almost evangelical glee, like he was looking forward to watching all those MAGA-hatted bitter clingers’ suffereing.

And it prompts people to deflect away from the success story to, frankly, “dog bites dog” stories like this – where a “covid denier” who is quite visibly high risk of contracting the disease…contracts the disease. Surprise, surprise.

It’s easier to mock and taunt one’s opponent than engage them – when that’s all you’ve got.

Civil Disobedience

I’ll confess – I never thought I’d see the Catholic Church act up against big government.

The Missouri Synod Lutherans? Sure. But Twin Cities catholics? I’d given up hope.

Happy to admit I got that one wrong.

Minnesota’s collection of Bishops have joined with the conservative Missouri Synod Lutherans to defy the Governor’s absurd “10 people in church” order.

So we’re clear on this – to an administration full of people who roil with contempt for business, faith and science, fifty people on a restaurant patio is juuuust fine. Eleven people in a church, whether a tiny United Church of Christ congregation in Eveleth or the Cathedral of Saint Paul, or the Living Word megachurch for that matter? Not.

I’ve been personally pretty cautious and conservative about my own interactions with people – but the Walz Administration has “departed controlled flight”, reason-wise. I’m sure their goal isn’t to actively breed contempt and disrespect for government – but if they were, I’m at a loss for how they’d do it differently.

The Bishops’ letter is below the jump.

Continue reading

Heroes Walking Among Us

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Went for a walk, saw this sign, having trouble identifying the symbol for “government bureaucrats.”  


Hey, we’re essential, you know.  Those papers aren’t going to shuffle themselves.  
Joe Doakes

Sardonic as Joe is, he knows as well as anyone that government workers of all kinds are the most essential workers there are. They’re public employees union members – the backbone of the DFL.

They’re essential to his and the DFL’s power.

But we all knew this.

A Look Ahead To Government Healthcare…

…with a side helping of “Blue Minnesota always tries to emulate New York”.

City-run nursing homes in NYC became wretched hellscapes during the worst of the pandemic:

“It was just heartbreaking,” said one of the RNs, a mom of four from Wisconsin who spent about 17 days at the Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center.

“Patients were in deplorable conditions — very, very dirty, bed sores, terrible odors,’’ the FEMA-contracted nurse, 38, told The Post.

“During my shift, I was placing my initials on the adult diapers. When I would return the next day, the patients would have an additional adult diaper on over the one with my initials on it, saturated urine through both and through the sheets.’’

She and several other nurses, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they tended to coronavirus patients in the facility’s long-term-care section.

The virus-sickened patients were already living at the site when the nurses arrived and not among the COVID-19 sufferers who were ordered sent to the facility by Mayor Bill de Blasio because of a shortage of hospital beds amid the pandemic. The patients brought in from the outside were put in a separate wing of the site that had been closed.

The conditions were a direct result of Governor “Fredo” Cuomo and Mayor “Ratso” DiBlasio’s bureaucratic d**k-measuring contest back in March – further proof that politics is not just (as Kevin Williamson says) the worst possible way of allocating scarce resources, but in times of crisis, the deadliest as well.

The Good News: Americans Have Learned A Lot About Dealing With Crises

The bad news: they learned it by watching The Walking Dead.

I’ve noticed a serious uptick in incredibly dangerous, reckless driving since the onset of the epidemic.

Now, out on I94 between the Cities is one thing. But this includes a lot of episodes on Saint Paul’s narrow side streets.

Worst example? I was driving down Phalen Parkway, out toward the East Side a few weeks ago. Not long after I passed Olive street, moving about 40MPH, I saw a car way behind me, moving very fast, swerving between the oncoming and right lanes, doing at least 90mph (in a 40mph zone).

Worse yet, I saw a concrete median, and cars in the oncoming lane, Speed Racer was going to have to squeeze into the right lane, along with me, before we got to the median.

Part of me thought “just carry on, and let the moron either jam on the binders or smack into the median – before I remembered that “me and my new-ish used car” were also a viable option. I pulled over – and the moron (a twenty-something of Vibrant descent) swerved into the lane with probably ten feet to spare, jamming on the gas.

I followed him, hoping to get a license or at least be around to call in the crash report, but he swerved onto Frank Street, narrowly missing an oncoming car, and gunned it up the hill into the neighborhood. I lost him. I have to hope he didn’t kill anyone – yet.

So I’d been wondering when we’d start seeing stories like these all over the place.

Let’s Make Sure We’re Clear On This

“World’s Largest Candy Store”, (run by a buddy and contributor to the governor and his campaign): absolutely essential, and above question as to its impact to the community.

Chain of rural Minnesota bars that employs dozens, in areas with very, very case rates (because they are very, very low density), but who make a point of defying the regal power of the state executive branch?

Bring down the full weight and power of government!

Timing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Newest Covid statistics.

10% of the people tested got the virus.  1.5% of those who got the virus, needed hospitalization. One-half of one percent of those who got the virus, died from it.  80% of the deaths are in nursing homes.  No child has died from it.
 
The computer model estimates from the press conference in March, when the Governor imposed the lock down, were that 2.5 million Minnesotans would get it, of all ages, from 6 months to 91 years; that 15% of those who get it would require hospitalization; 5% of them would require ICU care; 1% would die. 
 
Testing proves the computer model was wrong.  Can we abandon the model, now?  Focus our efforts on those who need them, liberate the rest to go back to work so we can pay for it all?
 
Joe Doakes

I’m not going to say “nothing about Govenor Walz’s response has anything to do with public health.

But nearly every part of the response – especially last week’s luke-warm reopening announcement – is driven by political expedience.

In this case, most notably, as defiance of the state of emergency burgeons, the expedience of appearing to still be in charge.