If you can say one thing about “Minnesota United” – who, if all goes according to plan, will benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer largesse when they build their alleged stadium in the Midway one of these years – it’s that they’re a typical Minnesota team, through and through:

A Minnesota team?  Why yes – after leading the league in 2014 and coming in #2, MNU has dribbled down to #5 so far this season.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Suppose someone dropped off their real estate documents and I said “I’m very busy right now, I won’t be able to get to them for a couple of weeks.  Unless you wanted to paperclip $100 bill to the documents, then I’d be willing to stay late to get them done today.”  Would there be howls of protest over me abusing my government position to put money in my pocket?

 Suppose an off-duty cop gets pulled over for speeding, shows the on-duty officer his driver’s license and oh, just incidentally flashes his badge.  The obvious intention is that the on-duty cop will not write the off-duty cop a ticket, to save the driver embarrassment and also $100 fine.

 Putting $100 in my pocket or keeping $100 in his – they’re both corruption, using an official position for personal enrichment.

 Of course, not all cops are corrupt just as not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Blacks are criminals and not all . . . yes, yes, we know that.  But we also know for certain that some cops are corrupt except – and here’s the really important point – we can’t tell who they are.  A few known bad apples make us suspect the entire bunch may be rotten so the rational conclusion is to treat all of them as if they are rotten.

 Lawyers talk about avoiding even the appearance of impropriety, so as not to cast suspicion on the entire legal profession.  Cops don’t seem to understand the concept. The instinct is for cops to band together, to circle the wagon to protect the Thin Blue Line, to denounce their critics as ignorant, to absolve themselves of technical wrongdoing despite what appears on the video.  That does nothing to solve the problem that cops appear to be corrupt, appear to be using their positions to put themselves above the law.

 The Black community already hates cops.  Politicians no longer reflexively support cops.  Middle class mainstream America sees video of cops beating or shooting people and are beginning to lose confidence. What happens when the bulk of society no longer believes cops are trustworthy but instead begin to view them as armed gangs, not much different from the Crips, just different gang colors?

 A professional public police force is relatively recent, invented by Robert Peel in London in 1829.  What did society use to keep law-and-order before the Bobbies?  And if the public decides the police are now hopelessly corrupt, what will replace them after they’re disbanded? Vigilance Committees made up of ordinary citizens, armed as necessary to protect their families, homes and neighborhoods? 

 Behold the wisdom of Federalist 29.

 Joe Doakes

There’s a reason you can’t find a Federalist Paper in a public school anymore.

Cruz Control

A long-time friend of the blog writes:

In Trump, we have many things- a candidate who is a master at marketing, a candidate who thinks he is in a popularity contest, a candidate who believes that the country is his personal reality show.

Among the speeches during the last 3 days, most haven’t really had a clear message for what the Republican is, just that it isn’t Hillary’s party. My own cynicism rears when that is the main message, especially with a party that nominates a Presidential candidate who admits to donating to the Clintons.

All duly acknowledged.

So, with my own feelings of dislike for Trump, I really want to high five Ted Cruz for his speech. It took skill to do that. Bravery. A true leader who is more concerned about doing what is right rather than what is popular. 

Of course, I’m not gullible enough to believe that Trump had no idea that Cruz would do this. As I said earlier, this is his reality show. Now, the focus is off of Melania’s speech. The focus is off of Pence, who may not draw in the ratings that Trump is looking for. No, with the conflict that Cruz brought, ratings for tonight’s episode will possibly be even higher. 

To me, Trump’s convention is not offering anything serious, anything that demonstrates an understanding of the needs of the country. It is only giving me further proof of the narcissism of this man. Regardless of the outcome of the election this year, it is going to be a long 4 years.

All of that could be exactly right.  And I could be overthinking (or over-crediting the thinking of others).

But hear me out.

What was conservatives’ biggest beef in 2008 and 2012?  That their champions, such as they were, bowed out and faded away in a lavender cloud of conciliation.  They went on to stay home in droves in November.

Trump faces the same problem in spades; grass-roots movement conservative Republicans and conservatives staying home in November.

But what if Trump were to give those conservatives a figurehead who wasn’t going to shake hands and congratulate Trump on a job well done?  Who would spend the next four years – and especially the next three months – keeping the bloody shirt flying?

It won’t hurt Trump – nobody whom Ted Cruz could influence is going to vote for Hillary.

But it could – perhaps – help Trump down the ticket, in the conservative places where Trump needs every possible vote to turn out, to try to keep control of the Senate in friendlier hands this fall.

Crazy?  Or Crazy like a WWF marketer?

We’ll see.

Policies Matter

Not so long ago, a not overly bright person on a community forum called me a “racist” for asking “what does Black Life Matter” actually want?”

One might wonder if BLM is “racist” for finally answering my question.

Thing is, their ideas aren’t entirely wrong:

1. End “broken windows” policing, which aggressively polices minor crimes in an attempt to stop larger ones.

Broken windows policing has always been controversial.  But it’s worked; it was a key element in turning New York from a crime-sodden wasteland in 1975 to one of the safer cities in America in 2005.

It did lean hard on “communities of color” – because some of those communities have had all sorts of problems, both “broken windows” and crime.  We can debate the reasons for that – and a lot of African-Americans disagree with BLM on that; it’s usually they who are asking for more, and more integrated, police presence in their communities.

Is it possible to get good policing in a trouble community without impacting those, in the community, who are trouble?

2. Use community oversight for misconduct rather than having the police department decide what consequences officers should face.

I don’t disagree in principle:  groups investigating themselves never works.

But community review boards, especially in Democrat-run cities where most police problems are, inevitably turn into political footballs.

Better idea?  Make police carry individual liability insurance.  It’ll have the same effect it has on drivers; it’ll show us who the “bad” ones are, and fast.

3. Make standards for reporting police use of deadly force.

Excellent idea.

4. Independently investigate and prosecute police misconduct.

This would seem to make good common sense.

5. Have the racial makeup of police departments reflect the communities they serve.

A passable-sounding idea in principle; very hard to carry out in practice; if applicants for police service reflect the larger American community – 12% Latino, 11% black, 2% Asian, 75% white – what is “the community” supposed to do?  Assign cops to precincts on the basis of race?

Is it a good idea, though?  If our idea of “justice” is “bean-counting based on skin color”, then haven’t we really lost?

6. Require officers to wear body cameras.

Fine idea in practice, and I support it in principle.

The devil is in the details.  Can we allow officers to turn off their cameras?  Do you want officers stopping at Superamerica to take a dump preserved on the public record?

I’m not asking to be funny or gross.  If you allow officers to turn off the camera for purposes of bodily functions, then you create an opportunity – several, in fact.  Unethical officers will use that facility.   Bureaucrats will create more rules and procedures around cameras, which’ll take more time away from policing.

I’m in favor, but with questions.

7. Provide more training for police officers.

Not a bad idea, provided the “training” is useful.

8. End for-profit policing practices.

We’re talking about civil forfeiture, and even if the other nine proposals had been complete hogwash, this alone would be worth it.  Using funds from “crimes” that haven’t even gone to trial should be stopped, now.

9. End the police use of military equipment.

I’ll meet ’em halfway on this.   The hero gear gets way too much of a workout.  When you have armored cars and police in full battle rattle knocking down doors to serve warrants for non-violent crimes – pot dealers, people who owe the city money, that kind of thing – that does kinda send a message about what you think about “a community”.

10. Implement police union contracts that hold officers accountable for misconduct.

Now that is going to be interesting to see out in practice.

BLM’s got a few useful ideas.  Where they go wrong is in relying on politics and politicians to do the reforming for them.

Fuzzy Thought

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Suppose a guy walks down the interstate highway during rush hour, blocking traffic and stalling thousands of motorists for hours, and when arrested says: “I did it as an act of non-verbal communication to protest police violence because Black Lives Matter.”

We know the First Amendment protects citizens’ right to speak freely, including the right to protest government policy.  We know the courts have defined “speech” to include non-verbal communication such as nude dancing and therefore, presumably, walking.

 Should the walker’s First Amendment defense require that he be found Not Guilty of Obstructing Traffic?  Liberals would say “Yes” and many Moderates might agree.

 Change the facts a bit: instead of walking down the freeway, he rapes a co-ed.  Or burns a store.  Or shoots a cop.  If the same defense is raised, should the same result obtain?  For many Liberals, probably so.  But for Moderates, here’s a crucial question:  if the First Amendment should not excuse rape, arson or murder but it should excuse obstructing traffic, why?

 Joe Doakes

Because racism!

The Little Monetary Fund That Cried “Doom”

The International Monetary Fund, after predicting that Britons would be “praying for the sweet release of death” with the Brexit vote, scaled back the gloom and doom:

After saying that leaving the European Union could trigger a UK recession, the International Monetary Fund now expects the British economy to grow by 1.7 per cent this year and 1.3 per cent next year.

That is weaker than the 1.9 and 2.2 per cent growth forecasts before the referendum, but the UK is still set to be the second-fastest growing economy in the Group of Seven industrialised nations this year – behind the United States – and third-fastest next year, behind the US and Canada.

Not that that’s any barn-burner growth rate – but since the IMF and the rest of Europe’s “elites”  predicted a zombie apocalypse, I’d call this a signifcant development.

As predicted, so far.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I was glad to see the City talking about Third Degree Riot charges – unlawful assembly including violence.  About time.

 But the violence people were out-of-towners!  We’re not responsible for them.

 Yes, you are.  A group of people who voluntarily come together for the purpose of committing a crime is a criminal conspiracy.  Walking on the freeway is a crime. Every member of the conspiracy should be equally liable for whatever additional crimes are committed during their intended criminal act.

 Don’t want to be liable for the crimes of your fellow gang members, don’t accompany the gang to the rumble.

 Joe Doakes

When the unintended consequences are pretty much intended, they’re not…well…you know.



No trend here.

The exodus of restaurants from Minneapolis – with its onerous regulations, psychotic city offices, minimum wage laws and constant flirting with more mandatory benefits for part-time workers – is claiming high-end restaurants and, now,  long-time staples of the Minneapolis food scene:

After a 36-year run, Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is calling it quits.

“Thirty-six years is a long time to do anything,” said Keith Levit in a statement. Levit is son of founder Jack Levit. “We’ve been a staple in the community for much of that time and that’s something we’re very grateful for. It’s sad that it’s coming to an end here but we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

As the article notes, Nicollet Mall has seen three staple joints close in the past year or so.

No – no pattern here.

Diversity Now!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If a White male lawyer represents a landlord in an eviction case where tenant is represented by a Black Lesbian lawyer, who should win?  

 If you said “The race, sex and orientation of the lawyers doesn’t matter, what matters is the law and facts of the case,” then why does every law school give bonus points to women and Black applicants?  Why does the Bar Association have a Diversity Outreach Program?  Why does the Judicial Selection Commission have Affirmative Action requirements to appoint women and minorities as Minnesota judges?  Why was it necessary to confirm a Wise Latina to the Supreme Court?

 The very things that we insist are irrelevant to justice are the things the administrators of the justice system emphasize above all else.

 It’s as if the goal isn’t to enhance justice, it’s to enhance self-esteem.  Promoting a few of the downtrodden allows elites to assuage their guilt toward all the downtrodden without actually getting their own hands dirty lifting up any of the downtrodden.  It’s virtue-signaling, a balm for the conscience.

 And yet we wonder why the downtrodden believe the justice system doesn’t produce justice?

 Joe Doakes

Weird, huh?

It Was Thirty Years Ago Today

I was in the control room at KSTP-AM.  It was a hot, stiflingly muggy July day.

I was screening calls for the Don Vogel show.    With me in the control room were Dave Elvin, the other producer, and news director John MacDougall.

I got a call on the hotline from John Lundell.  Lundell – the manager of the Twin Cities’ Metro Traffic branch – was doing an experimental traffic broadcast from an airplane that day.

Lundell told me, with some urgency, that he and his pilot were watching a tornado as they flew over the newer, sparsely-populated suburb of Blaine.

We put him on the air immediately; Lundell did play by play as he watched the storm develop.

I flipped on KARE11 on the control room TV, and watched as the Bears put up their own coverage, live from one of their choppers:

We’d beat them by a solid minute or two – but the video footage was some of the best taken of a live tornado to date.

It was one of the more amazing afternoons I ever spent on the radio.

This Changes Everything!

Lest you were in doubt about the left’s motives re the 2nd Amendment:

Watch out – it’s Andrew Minck, “Educator, News Connoisseur, Marathoner, MinnPost News Quizmaster”, on Twitter.

Promptly chirping in to support Minck was MnPost “journalist” Beth Hawkins:

That’d be “education” reporter Beth Hawkins.

I think we can give ’em and education…

Rumor Mill

To: Betsy Hodges, mayor, Minneapolis.

From: Mitch Berg, ornery peasant

Re: Rumors

Mayor Hodges,

Over the weekend, the rumor mill announced that you had told a gathering somewhere in Minneapolis you were planning on holding a “gun buyback”.

Please, please please please please please, oh please, please please please please please, I beg of you; go ahead with it.

You simply have to. I beg of you, with all my heart.

That is all.

UPDATE:  Rumor mill says it’ll be held August 27 at thePillsbury United Communities, or somewhere in that vicinity.

An Invitation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’m too lazy to look up Mike Pence, the fellow Trump as picked for a running mate.

Hey, Dog Gone – give us a quick FACT CHECK on this guy, would you, so I know what not to believe? 

 Joe Doakes

It has become a pretty good barometer, hasn’t it?

Now My NARN Are Blazing

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

  • We’ll be talking with House candidates Monique Giordana (65A) and Margaret Stokely (65B)
  • We’ll have Paul Ridgeway, afternoon host at AM980, to talk about a national prayer vigil,
  • Brad Gerten and Pat Hammond (51A and 51B, respectively), candidates in the Eagan area.

Don’t forget – King Banaian is on from 9-11AM on AM1440, and Brad Carlson has “The Closer” edition of the NARN Sundays from 2-3PM.

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

Join us!

Falling Far Behind

Whenever the subject of Islamicist terror is brought up, the left and media (ptr) springs to action to remind us that domestic “right wing terror”, which is just around the corner (we are constantly assured.



And who knows?  It could happen!

But if “the right” – with about four incidents of lethal terror in the past 25 years – is going to be much much worse. it’s going to pass Islamicist terror, they’re going to have to get hoofing to make up the numbers from this year alone.

A Good Guy With A Gun

26 year old Antione Cooper walked into a Waffle House in DeSoto, Texas with an AK47, robbing several patrons:

And then…:

A handgun-licensed customer, whose wife was on her way to meet him at the restaurant, followed Cooper to the parking lot, fearing for his wife’s safety, according to DeSoto police.

Police said the customer called to Cooper once they were outside. Cooper pointed the AK-47 in the customer’s direction, prompting the customer to shoot Cooper several times, according to police in the southern Dallas suburb.

The citizen was not arrested – as befits someone who’d seem to any rational person to be a hero.

Breaking The Silence

Sometimes, you hold a secret that’s so inflammatory, so divisive, so certain to lead to sturm und drang, that you just hang onto it.  You keep it bottled up inside, and let it fester, for months, years, even decades.

Sometimes you take those secrets to the grave.

But sometimes – rarely, but it blessedly happens – something allows you to break the silence, and let the secret out, and let the truth be known.

This is one of those times.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When did protesting become an all-purpose Get Out Of Jail Free card?

 Black Lives Matter want to protest police brutality, so they walk down the middle of the freeway.  That costs the taxpayers money paying cops overtime to guard the protestors and paying highway crews overtime to clean up after them, money which is NOT going to repairing our failing infrastructure of roads and bridges.  The cost per protester might easily be thousands of dollars.  

 If I wanted to film the chase scene for a movie set on that same stretch of freeway, I’d have to get a permit, film at non-rush hour, pay the cops and pay for clean-up. Why should those services be free for protesters?

 Add in the societal cost of blocking I-35 during rush hour last year, or blocking I-94 on 4th of July Weekend, the thousands of hours lost by people who couldn’t get home, the tons of additional pollutants discharged by idling engines, the emotional damage to families caused by “Are we there yet” and “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about” making this the Worst Vacation Ever . . . the protesters have much to answer for.

 Arrest them, charge them with a crime, sentence them to time served and a one-dollar fine PLUS restitution.  Let’s see how serious they are when the real cost of their anti-social activities are laid at their feet.

 Joe Doakes

The whole point of “civil disobedience” is accepting the consequences of doing something illegal and confrontational, to highlight the injustice – especially if it’s really, really unjust.

Water cannon blasting black school children?  Highlighted injustice pretty starkly.

People blocking interstates, keeping other people from getting to/from work with no consequence to themselves?  Not so much.

Comprehensive Truck Control

As this is written, as many as sixty dead in Nice, France.  The weapon?  A truck.

Berg’s 17th Law is in full effect; the mainstream media will get every single fact of this story wrong for the next 24-48 hours.

So I won’t speculate yet.

CNN – which is part of the mass media we should not trust for the next day or two – says the occupants (pl) of the truck started shooting at the crowd after they rammed into the throng.

We’ll see.

UPDATE:  We don’t know if this is linked with Nice, but it sure doesn’t look good:

UPDATE 2:  Le Monde says sixty dead:  the Daily Mail and Le Figaro say 73.  Frankfurter Allgemeine is saying 73 dead, 120 injured.

UPDATE 3:  Some French media reports on Twitter say the fire at the Eiffel Tower was just a truck full of fireworks burning.

If true, that’d be a pretty amazing coincidence…

UPDATE 4:  Sky News quotes French authorities saying it’s a terrorist attack, saying 75 dead, in critical condition.  They are also quoting a witness who said they saw one of the occupants of the truck coming out shooting

Here’s the live Sky News feed:

As this is written – 7:30PM Central US time – they’re vamping. Berg’s 17th Law is in effect.


Putting On Squalid Airs

One of the aphorisms that I’ve always used to guide my life is an old Hungarian saying; “the best way to become wealthy is to appear as if you already are”.  It’s not just about money; Dennis Prager notes a similar principle when it comes to happiness.   Prager and others note that when all else fails, the best way to bring love back to a loveless relationship is to act as if you are still very much in love.  More mundane?  Innumerable business books advise young would-be up-and-comers to dress for the position they want, not the one they’re in.

Ameircan slang also renders the saying as “fake it ’til you make it”.

And it’s not bad advice; the best way out of poverty is to stop acting poor.

Unfortunately, government is spending a lot of (your) money to promote the idea that acting poor is good for you.

Along these lines, a friend of the blog writes:

Last week, before Philando Castile was shot, a friend of mine, who is black, and I were discussing racism in Minnesota. He was shaking his head, wondering why black people are told to act, dress, and talk a certain way when he sees Somalis “getting a pass.” “And they’re the ones trying to blow us up!” he says.

What would he change? Well, when he was born, his parents lived in Cabrini Green. So, he has a good perspective. He would stop building subsidized housing for black people. He would stop forcing everyone to take the bus. “I’d never let my kids on those things.” He’s told me before that he’d told his family to do whatever they need to in order to afford a car- even if it means giving up a lot of other things.

I have a feeling that many other black people feel the same way. And I think it is great that the protests are happening at the Governor’s mansion, because obviously Dayton is part of the problem in terms of what my friend would fix. But, it’s too bad that Black Lives Matter is just another activist group with no more intention of helping people than any other activist group- my friend’s message will never get heard over the special interests.

 It’s both symbolic and eminently practical; our government is trying to jam us into “high density” lifestyles, which is code (!) for “how poor people live”;  to live, work and travel crammed together like passive-aggressive sardines.

We could have literally bought 140,000 late-model used cars for $10,000 a pop for the money we spent on the Green Death Machine.  That’s more than enough to equip every impoverished family in Saint Paul with a reliable vehicle – a portal to better jobs, to school choice, to opportunity.

But no.  We spent $1.4 billion so they, and a lot of middle-class people, could be poor…on tracks.

We sent the poor people to failing schools so they can be poor…with administrators with really great pensions.

What’s wrong here?

My Challenge To The Reverend Bence

Lately, the left has been making the following fairly fantastic claim:


I’ve heard this a few times – and it gave me one of my customarily-brilliant ideas.

I challenge the Reverend Nancy Nord Bence, Joan Peterson, and any other leaders of “Everytown”, “Moms Want Action” and “Protect” MN to meet me in North Minneapolis or Dayton’s Bluff…

(you may have to Google them, since you don’t seem to have any of your gun violence protests in either place)

…and play what I call “The Meme Scavenger Hunt”.

The goal is this:  They’ll drop us in the neighborhood.  My mission:  find a book.  Your mission:  find a gun.  First one to find the book or gun wins; loser buys dinner for the winner.

Any action on that challenge?