More Of That “Blowing Sunshine Up Minnesota’s Skirt” Thing…

I read yesterday’s headlines about the new, Preferred-One-Free MNSure rates, and got ready to write.

Then, I got an email from a friend who works in the Healthcare industry, which explains it much better:

The headlines on MNSure saying premiums rose only 4.5%.  This reminds me of an old story.

A friend of mine was flying a helicopter in the fog in downtown St. Paul and his radio and navigation equipment failed suddenly.  He knew he was in the midst of the downtown and going any direction could mean an immediate crash.  He stayed put hovering for a few minutes, inching lower.  When the fog lifted he was right outside the MN Dept. of Commerce.  Not recognizing the building he grabbed a piece of paper and a big sharpie.  He wrote in big block letters “Where am I?” and put it put it on the outside of his windshield.  A commerce employee saw the helicopter’s predictament and wrote a note back and placed it in the building window.  “You’re in a helicopter.”

Technically correct and absolutely meaningless.

That’s my take of this headline.  The real problem is that the low cost insurer, Preferred One, dropped out.  Maybe the remaining plans only increased by 4.5% but to the 60% who were on Preferred One, the real story is that their premiums are rising about 20%.  Minnesotans will understand that if they take time to read the full story.

Which the DFL is counting on people not doing, naturally, as they relentlessly pound away with that “4.5%” number on ads around the state.

Recent history shows it’s not hard to fool Minnesotans.

Integrity

Democrats who ran four-square against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – including Al Franken – have suddenly turned into war-hawks.

Which sorta answers the question “where are all those peace creeps now that the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner is in office?”.

So it’s almost refreshing to see that the official Miss Bloodyshirt USA 2007, Cindy Sheehan, is not only still anti-war, but still batspittle crazy:

Sheehan said the left anti war movement is being ignored by the democrats because they are “reverse racists” who are supporting Obama only because he is an African-American.

 

She said, “I think that there are some people on the so called left, who might say we have to circle our wagons around the first African American president, and to me that is racism in reverse because his policies are actually still the racist policies of empire.”

I said she was crazy.  I didn’t say she was all wrong.

Mischaracterization

I try to find things in common with people with whom I disagree.  I really do.

Part of it was growing up a liberal, into my twenties.  I don’t see liberals as “the enemy” – not reflexively, at least.  They’re people, mostly.

Do both sides have crazies?  People who regard dissent and disagreement as signs of depravity and evil, things to be eradicated?  Sure. 

Unfortunately, on the left the crazies are pretty mainstream.  One of my enduring memories was after the death of Tony Snow, the former talk show host who’d become Dubya’s press secretary before being diagnosed with colon cancer.  The outpouring of hatred in the lefty alt-media after the death of Snow – one of the most genuinely good people in the media racket - was a telling moment; to a big part of the “intellectual” left, it’s not just about elections and bills; it’s a scorched-earth battle for control of the entire culture. 

So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the NYTimes expresses…shock?  Confusion?  Befuddlement at Republicans in Congress expressing their concerns for the President’s security; I’ll add emphasis:

WASHINGTON — President Obama must be touched by all the concern Republicans are showing him these days. As Congress examines security breaches at the White House, even opposition lawmakers who have spent the last six years fighting his every initiative have expressed deep worry for his security.

“The American people want to know: Is the president safe?” Representative Darrell Issa of California, the Republican committee chairman who has made it his mission to investigate all sorts of Obama administration missteps, solemnly intoned as he opened a hearing into the lapses on Tuesday.

Genuine desire not to see the President and his family killed?  It doesn’t seem a stretch – on the right.  Conservatives see Liberals as wrong; Liberals see Conservatives as Evil.  Evil people wish death upon their political opponents.  (Anyone but me seeing a Berg’s Seventh Law reference here?)

Put another way:  Today’s GOP, for all its maddening problems, is directly descended from the party that freed the slaves and brought about a shot at freedom for hundreds of millions in the Eastern Bloc.  Today’s Democrats are controlled by extremists who are intellectual descendents from sixties radicals who drank from the same well of Kool Aid that might not have openly endorsed herding kulaks and counterrevolutionaries into railroad cars to ship to Siberia – but they could see the reasoning behind it, too.

Gun Control And Racism, Part MCCXCIX

The goals of gun control, from the very beginning before the American Revolution, are rooted in racism. 

Every single gun control measure in this nation’s history has been passed against a backdrop of “making sure black people don’t kill white people” – from laws disarming slaves before independence, to the post-Civil-War era laws in Texas passed after black Union Army veterans kicked the Klan’s pointy-sheeted tushes, to the Gun Control Act of 1968, a knee-jerk response to the riots that wracked the nation’s inner cities after the assassination of Martin Luther King. 

Not long ago, we Real Americans celebrated the court case that pounded a spike through the head of Illinois’ civilian gun ban – the last in the country after the Heller and McDonald cases euthanized. 

But Illinois is still doing its best to t keep guns out of the hands of inconvenient minorities; over 90% of Illinois’ carry permits have been issued in counties that are mostly white:

Within Cook County, the top five concealed carry ZIP codes per capita are all predominately white, middle class and are in areas that have low crime rates. However, the most violent neighborhoods within the county — all of which are on the South Side of Chicago — are predominately black, where residents earn less than $48,000 annually and hold the fewest concealed carry licenses as a percentage of the population.

“But maybe it’s because fewer poor black people apply for permits”, a lefty might say.

And she’d be right – but not for the reasons they assume (with emphasis added):

Illinois residents say the disproportionate statistics all boil down to cost. Of right-to-carry states, Illinois has the highest registration and training fee, costing an applicant about $650 on average for fingerprinting, taxes and logistics — excluding the price of the gun.

“In these gangbang neighborhoods, people can’t afford the license. They’re making choices between food and medicine, and they can’t even guarantee they’ll get even that,” said Shawn Gowder, 49, who lives in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side, where two homicides have taken place in the last 30 days. “We need to arm ourselves and protect ourselves from these gangbangers, but we just can’t afford to do it.”

Tack on sixteen hours of training – the longest requirement in the US.  Go ahead – fit that in around work and family. 

Of course, “safety” legislation over the past 45 years have done a lot to price firearms, especially handguns, out of reach of poor people. Even a Soviet-surplus Makarov – just about the cheapest useful handgun on the market – will be close to $300, especially in a high-tax area like Chicago. 

If the same data trends occurred in banking and insurance, there might be outcries of “redlining,” denying a group of people access to goods or services because of the color of their skin or income levels. But there’s little public concern expressed so far about the possibility that poor blacks are being disenfranchised from the right to carry a concealed weapon.

“You really need to ask whether or not politicians are consciously trying to disarm certain groups of people,” said Dr. John Lott, a Second Amendment expert and president of the Crime Prevention Center. “Why do they want a law that primarily disarms blacks and gives guns to only well-to-do whites? Don’t they think it should be equal for everyone to protect their lives?”

Lott knows as well as you, me, and the poor people of Chicago that that’s a rhetorical question.

For Those Tired Of That “Smoke Up Their Skirt” Feeling.

Daytonomics - a noun, referring to economic conditions that look rosy on the surface, but worse and worse the more one examines them.  See also: “Potemkin”.  

The DFL is running the bulk of their state campaigns – the Legislature, the Constitutional Officers and Governor – on the notion that two years of Daytonomics have left Minnesota an economic powerhouse.

Like squatters who move into an “Architectural Digest” house, there’s still some zing in the state’s economic elevator pitch – leftovers from ten years of at least partial GOP stewardship.

But under the surface?

There are three signs that the various editorial boards are doing their level best to avoid, or at the most downplay:

  • State revenue keeps falling short of projections.  It’s lagging because personal income tax withholding is slowing down.  They’re slowing down because personal income in Minnesota is not keeping pace with expectations as of the last budget session.  The fact that it means we’re heading for another deficit is the least of the issues; the economy isn’t that damn good.
  • Along those same lines?  The Minnesota Zoo is laying people off. Costs are up – thanks, Barack Obama! – but attendance is also down.  4.5%.  The Zoo – especially the Minnesota Zoo, which is a pretty spendy day out for a family – is something people do when they’re feeling flush, and feel like showing the kids a good time.  You’ll note that attendance at the Como Zoo – which is free, unless you’re a Saint Paul taxpayer – isn’t hurting.
  • Oh, yeah – after a year or so of bragging about Minnesota in comparison to Scott Walker’s Wisconsin that Minnesota is dead last in new job creation in the Midwest.

Wanna see the interesting part of this last story?  Look in the graph comparing the states in the Midwest.  Check out the historical job numbers:

  • 10 years ago, when Tim Pawlenty and a GOP House ran the show?   Booming economic growth.
  • Five years ago, when Tim Pawlenty at least held the line on DFL spending?   At the depths of the Great Recession, no less?  We were among the region’s leaders!
  • Two years ago, at the end of the GOP’s control of the Legislature?   Still good.

Today?

Dead last.

Dead.  Last.

Last.  Dead.

This is Mark Dayton’s economy.

Because I’m Here To Solve Problems

Police departments – at least, some that Mother Jones talked with – are ostensibly trying to get rid of surplus military gear:

Even before police militarization made the news, hundreds of police departments were finding that grenade launchers, military firearms, and armored vehicles aren’t very useful to community policing. When Chelan County police officers requested one armored car in 2000—the request that landed them three tanks—they pictured a vehicle that could withstand bullets, not land mines. Law enforcement agencies across the country have quietly returned more than 6,000 unwanted or unusable items to the Pentagon in the last 10 years, according to Defense Department data provided to Mother Jones by a spokeswoman for Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who has spearheaded a Senate investigation of the Pentagon program that is arming local police. Thousands more unwanted items have been transferred to other police departments.

The catch?  The Pentagon doesn’t really want it all back.  It’s cheaper to let local cops maintain it than to keep it in Federal storage.

Which is vexing some cops:

In reality, however, police departments may find the returns process slow, mystifying, or nonfunctional. Online law enforcement message boards brim with complaints that the Pentagon refuses to take back unwanted guns and vehicles—like this one, about a pair of M14 rifles that have survived attempts by two sheriffs to get rid of them.

I’ve got an obvious answer – one that’ll make cops, the Pentagon and citizens (the right ones, anyway) happy: sell it to private citizens.  Or at least the private citizens that pass the same background check that qualifies them for a state carry permit.  It’ll save government money, and make the country safer by making Real Americans better-armed.

Facetious?   Halfway.  A fair chunk of this equipment could, and should by all rights, be going into the “Civilian Marksmanship Program”.  But Barack Obama has been sandbagging the CMP for the past six years – which is why the price of surplus M-1 Garand rifles (from WW2 and the Korean War) is so very high these days.

But I digress.

And I’m about to digress some more; it’d seem we have some real powderpuffs in uniform (empasis added):

[Hillsborough NC police lieutenant Davis] Trimmer has twice requested permission to return three M14 rifles that are too heavy for practical use.

“Too heavy for practical use?”  They weight eight pounds.  Our troops lugged them all over Vietnam, for crying out loud.

Maybe the lieutenant was referring to carrying all three of them together?

Turn them over to me, if that’d help…

Trulbert! Part XIV – Trick Or Death

-5PM, Octoer 31, 2015 – The Hendrickson Residence, Minneapolis, MN

Paul and Lynn Hendrickson sat on their front porch.  The first of the trick-or-treaters were out on the street; Lynn dipped into a bowl of fun-size TacoBars for the little kids, and handed out airplane bottles of vodka to the adults; they appreciated it.  There was a brisk nip in the air.  Winter would be here soon.

The door opened, and the kids came out.

Abby was first; she was dressed as a large sheet of paper; over her face, she wore a nylon stocking with a question mark on the forehead.

“Wow, Abby – I’m stumped.  So what are you?”, asked Paul.

“I’m the authors of the Federalist Papers”.

Continue reading

Kurd Is The New Pole

I can write off most of what the Obama Administration has done as stupidity born of extremist ideology, or incompetence. 

But his Administration’s betrayal of the Kurds?  That’s beyond stupid, beyond depraved.  I’ve added emphasis. 

While we spend tens of millions bombing “ISIS oil refineries” that are little than moonshining stills costing thousands of dollars

As these lines are being written, some 400,000 Kurds in and around the town of Kobane in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, are being besieged and assaulted by massed legions of Islamic State killers armed with scores of tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery. Against these, the Kurdish defenders have only AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The Kurds have called on the U.S. to send in air strikes to take out the jihadist forces. In response, the administration sent in two fighter jets Saturday, which destroyed two Islamic State tanks and then flew away.

For all the yapping that both sides are doing about “boots on the ground”, the Kurds are there, and are more than ready and capable of doing the job. 

But can our idiot administration get even that right?   While we pour arms and supplies and aid into the centralized Iraqi army – originally formed to help perpetuate the lunacy of unified Shi’ite/Sunni/Kurdish Iraq that has never existed except as an administrative boundary enforced at gunpoint by successive waves of Ottoman, British and Ba’athist rulers - we’re letting the Peshmerga, the motivated, experienced, capable Kurdish military, die on the vine:      

 The Kurds are begging for arms. The administration has not only refused to send arms, but is exerting pressure both on our NATO allies and on Israel not to send any either. Over 150,000 Kurds have fled their homes to try to escape to Turkey, but they are being blocked at the border by Turkish troops. Meanwhile, Turkey is allowing Islamist reinforcements to enter Syria to join the Islamic State, while Islamist elements of the Free Syrian Army, funded and armed by the United States, have joined forces with the group in the genocidal assault on the Kurdish enclave.

The author, Robert Zubrin, compares the situation with the Warsaw Uprising, where Stalin sat on the banks of the Wisla River across from Warsaw and let the Nazis kill off the Polish freedom fighters for him. 

Mr. “President”:  Get the Turks in line, or kick them out of NATO.  Let NATO and the Israelis arm and help the Kurds, if you’re not smart and brave enough to do it yourself. 

For most of Obama’s cosmic stupidity, I can nod my head and say “see you at election time”.  That’s American politics.

This?  This is depravity. 

And for this?  If you support this clown car of an Administration on this depraved policy, then my contempt for you is a seething, visceral, boiling-hot mass you are not ready to face. 

More on this on the air Saturday.  Much, much more.

There Will Be No SwissSure

What’s the difference between Switzerland and Minnesota?

  1. The Swiss don’t have a football team – but if they did, they’d be better than the Vikings
  2. The Swiss are too smart to socialize their healthcare system:

And it wasn’t even close:  62 percent, mostly German, voted to tube the proposal to socialize Switzerland’s healthcare system.

Hey, speaking of Minnesota – does any of this sound familiar?

“Our health system is among the top performers in the world. Competition between health insurers and freedom of choice for clients play a major role in this,” it added.

Going public would have been a major shift for a country whose health system is often hailed abroad as a paragon of efficiency, but is a growing source of frustration at home because of soaring costs…

And how are the costs soaring?

…”Over the past 20 years in Switzerland, health costs have grown 80 percent and insurance premiums 125 percent,” ophthalmologist Michel Matter told AFP.

That’s bad.  Nothing like the US healthcare system, between the past ten years and Obamacare, but it’s certainly a problem. 

Still – what do the Swiss know that we – and by “we” I mean “a plurality of our Democrat neighbors” – don’t?

Rule Of Man

Eric Holder’s greatest legacy – and perhaps Barack Obama’s, by the time we put this wretched era in the history books?

He was a staunch advocate of the rule of men, rather than laws. 

Throughout Holder’s six years in office, Holder trampled the rule of lawand ruled by fiat, essentially making it up as he went along.  Look at the record:

  1. His politicization of the DOJ’s hiring practices was unprecedented
  2. Nadia Comenici in her prime couldn’t have done gymastics like the logical flips and turns Holder went through to avoid calling Major Nidal Hasan’s massacre at Fort Hood terrorism. 
  3. If Richard Nixon had done the sort of dirty tricks against the media that Holder’s DOJ did, Woodward and Bernstein would have been really pissed.
  4. Even moreso for media openly critical of the ”most transparent administration in history”.  
  5. Get out of jail free cards for Democrat fugitives?  Of course!
  6. Even violent ones?  Don’t be silly.
  7. The First Amendent was just so passé.
  8. He used the DOJ as an Obama campaign tool
  9. He was an inveterate gun-grabber, first last and always.
  10. He worked tirelessly to give foreign terrorists captured in action the full protection of American criminal law. 
  11. He dinked about with the right of states to enforce the very laws that the Feds had passed. 
  12. Voter intimidation was bad – unless it intimidated Republicans
  13. Otherwise?  Holder did what he could to make voting easier and more convenient for the Democrats’ most important constituencies; Duplicate-Americans, Fictional-Americans and Deceased-Americans. 
  14. Islam has never been violent, Winston. 
  15. What’s arming a bunch of cartel thugs, if we can take a whack at law-abiding American gun owners

What does Holder’s future career hold?  Doesn’t matter; if it’s in the world of government “Justice”, Eric Holder will be working to strengthen government and weaken oversight, accountability and the lot of the individual.

Liberal Math

A kid spends ten years in public school.  Then, less than a year as a home-school kid.  Then enrolls in a public university. 

And then kills his mother and 26 other people.   Four years after ending a year of home schooling.

Obviously it’s Home Schooling’s fault!

Under a new law proposed this week by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, every homeschooling parent with a child who has been labeled with a behavioral or emotional problem would be forced to submit to a host of strict, burdensome regulations.

The scheme put forth in the commission’s draft recommendations on mental health would require homeschooling parents to submit individual education plans regularly to a local education bureaucrat.

School officials could then decree whether parents may continue to educate their own children, reports the Connecticut Post. Administrators could pull the plug on any parents’ homeschooling by declaring that the child failed to make “adequate progress.”

Bear in mind that Lanza was well on his way to loopdie-land when he was in the public school system.  What good did any of them do? 

Members of the Democratic Governor’s Sandy Hook commission have conceded that the additional burdens they have recommended for homeschooling families may be controversial.

Dear Connecticut; the entire United States would be better off if the Blue States seceded – and if you want to get the ball rolling, that’d solve  problems for everyone.

Nuisances

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If the Church shuffling around bad priests is a public nuisance for purposes of making it easier to sue, can the same theory be applied to schools who shuffle around bad teachers, or police departments who shuffle around bad cops, or courts who shuffle around incompetent judges, or even the federal government who shuffles around bad employees (whatever happened to Jamie Gorelick)

Or is this simply a claim against a despised religious minority in a state known for its Know Nothing heritage?

Joe Doakes

Not to mention a makework program for lawyers?

Just A NARN Boy; Born And Raised In South Detroit

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!

I’ll also be talking with:

  • Constitution Party candidate Tim Utz

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!

A Good Guy With A Gun

A horrific rampage in Oklahoma, involving a recent convert to Islam beheading one woman and stabbing another, was ended…

by a citizen with a carry permit

More on the show tomorrow, and on SITD on Monday.

UPDATE:  While some media are calling the shooter/hero an “off duty cop” – which implies he was a policeman, with police training, who just happens to also work as a Chief Operating Officer of a food plant, which is enterprising indeed, and maybe even happens in small rural towns in the west – the police report indicates he was in fact a reserve deputy.  Which in most departments means he helps with parades, and doesn’t have permission to carry weapons, or weapons training, any different than a regular citizen.  The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office may be different – but I’m gonna guess they’re not.

Time will tell.  But experience shows us that time will likely tell us that it was a law-abiding citizen with little special training, but a strong desire to keep himself and his co-workers alive. 

Someone tell Michael Bloomberg.  And Heather Martens.

UPDATE 2:  While the fella was a recent convert to Islam, I’m gonna blame “crazy”, rather than “Moslem”, if that’s OK with y’all.

UPDATE 3:  A check of the Oklahoma County, Oklahoma sheriff’s department website indicates that their reserve deputies do recieve “basic law enforcement training”, without going into detail.  Does this mean they carry firearms, just like regular patrol deputies?  I’ll find out.

Trulbert! Part XIII – The Shrieking Of Autumn Leaves

- 10:00 AM, October 29, 2015; Offices of Claimtech Enterprises, Minneapolis, MN

“There’s good news, and there’s bad news”, Shirley Bleagelle said, firing up a presentation on her laptop.

“Let’s get the good news first”, said Robert Roberts, sitting at the head of the table, playing with a Blackberry.

“OK”, said Jim Perforate (pronounced per-for-ah-TAY). “On the one hand, we’re still growing. More and more parts of the upper Midwest are using the Cud as their primary currency, and the converter apps are selling like botox at a Kardashian family reunion, and the currency exchange is making a metric poo-ton of money”.

“Excellent!”, said Roberts.

Continue reading

University Avenue: The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Businesses along University Avenue – the ones lucky enough to survive the light rail construction process – are getting tax notices for “streetscape improvements“.

[Insurance salesman and Uni avenue businessman Doug] Nguyen was surprised to discover Thursday that he’s being assessed $3,200 by the city of St. Paul for light-rail related street work — “above-standard lighting” and “streetscape improvements” — in front of 1539 W. University Ave…Nguyen said he already pays roughly $15,000 a year in property taxes for his business, and there are still two road work signs on his block, including one directly outside his window.

 And after four months, how are all those new-urbaneriffic benefits shaking out?

 ”I don’t see any benefit from the light rail as far as my business at all,” he said. “There will be exposure (to customers), but I don’t think it’s a $3,000 benefit.”

 

He’s been selling insurance out of his State Farm office for more than a decade, and he and his son Alex Nguyen plan to appeal the assessment…”Light rail has been good in some ways,” said [Alex], who works out of his father’s State Farm office. “The road looks nicer — I’ll say that — but they took away all the parking. We lost the front spaces.”

 Less parking, no real tangible business benefit…

…and a big bill.  And it’s a big bill for everyone:

Many businesses with 40 feet of street frontage will be charged $1,710, while properties with more linear frontage such as car dealerships and professional buildings can expect assessments of $10,000 or more.

 

The owners of Spruce Tree Centre at Snelling and University avenues will foot a bill for $15,600 as a result of having 364 feet of frontage. The block-length Marsden Building at 1717 W. University Ave. is being assessed $29,600 for 691 feet of street frontage.

 

Jack McCann discovered that his Midtown Commons office property on the 2300 block of West University Avenue will be assessed $17,900.

And how many of these businesses, like the Nguyen’s, will benefit not an iota from the light rail? 

Indeed, how many are more than a block or two from the train’s stations, and are tradiing less parking for…absolutely no foot traffic?  And that’s assuming “foot traffic” is part of their business, which for Marsden – a company that provides janitors and building security – it’s not?

Everyone having fun yet?

Just Stupid

The lefty media has been giggling like schoolgirls over this story – a Texas waitress, who got not one but two $2000 tips from Rush Limbaugh – and gave the money to a pro-infanticide group:

“That was like blood money to me,’ Tierce told The Dallas Morning News.

Tierce was the former executive director at the Texas Equal Access Fund, which provides money to women who can’t afford to get abortions.

She was the “executive director” of a nonprofit that provided infanticide to poor women, AND a waitress?

Anyway…;

Tierce said it felt right to her to give the money to the TEA Fund.

‘It felt like laundering the money in a good way,’ she told the newspaper.

‘He’s such an obvious target for any feminist or sane person.

Yeah, Ms. Tierce seems pretty sane to me.

The part that I get the chuckle over? Ms. Tierce, and the media bobbleheads who’ve been reporting the story, keep saying that Ms. Tierce “gave Limbaugh’s money” to the infanticide charity.

No!

When Limbaugh left the tip – of his own free will, mind you, not as part of some “living wage” wealth transfer – it became her money.

She gave her own money to her own group.

This story isn’t “Man bites dog”. It isn’t even “dog sniffs dog”. It’s “Deeply morally ugly woman gives her own money to a group she used to run, while taking a snotty, stupid swipe at someone who has the temerity to “share the wealth” of his own free will, rather than at government gunpoint”.

One HIt Wonder Day 2014

Today is “One Hit Wonder” day.

I thought I’d honor a few that don’t get nearly enough attention – and maybe, just maybe, should have been multi-hit wonders.

Did Donnie Iris ever have another hit after “Ah Leah?”

Not sure he needed to:

Canada’s Honeymoon Suite was one of a thousand five-piece pop-rock bands from the eighties – Loverboy, Glass Tiger, Survivor, Scandal, Limited Warranty, and on and on.

But “New Girl Now” from 1984 was freaking cool song:

(And yeah, I know – “Feel It Again” hit the top forty too. But barely. I mean, come on).

Speaking of Canadian bands – let’s not forget The Kings (and one of the most atrocious reconstructed videos, for one of the coolest one hit wonders ever…)

Some German wave-pop? 1982′s “Major Tom” by Peter Schilling counts:

Opposite extreme? One I didn’t expect to find – this live version of Little Steven (aka Miami Steve, aka Silvio Dante) and the Disciples of Soul’s “Forever”, which grazed the top forty for a week in 1982:

That should do for this year…

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

The Star/Tribune is covering what appears to be an escalating war between a number of Minneapolis street gangs.  Yesterday’s piece, bylined Libor Jany, breaks things down

…well, almost.  I’ll add emphasis:

The three people shot Tuesday were believed to have had some involvement in the Soundbar shooting, community leaders said.

But those were only the most recent.

Others include:

• Eulalio Gonzalez-Sanchez, 36, of Minneapolis, was gunned down about 6:25 a.m. Sunday at the corner of 22nd Avenue NE. and 7th Street as he walked home from the bus stop. No one has been arrested in the case.

Earl Lee Malone, 18, of Edina, was fatally shot and left in front of a house on the 2600 block of Knox Avenue about 11 p.m. Saturday. Police later arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the shooting, but it’s unclear when charges will be brought.

• Jemario Langston, 17, of Minneapolis, was shot and killed Sept. 16 by assailants who chased him to his aunt’s house. After hearing gunshots, the aunt opened her back door to find his sprawled body. No one has been arrested.

The Bogus Boys have been locked in a long-simmering struggle with several other South Side gangs, including the Bloods, “10s” and “20s,” said Ferome Brown, an activist who attended Tuesday’s meeting and works to steer young people away from gangs.

Many of the gang members he works with, Brown says, grew up in the same neighborhoods.

That’s a good run-down of a neighborhood in crisis…

…but wait.  See the empasized stuff?  Earl Malone?   We talked about him earlier today.   He was shot in self-defense.   The media knows this – as in this WCCO-TV piece filed a day earlier than the Strib’s piece.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the carjacking that Mr. Malone apparently attempted may have been gang-related.   

But lumping a self-defense shooting – one in which a community member defended themselves against an immediate threat to their life and health – is not the same as gang bangers carrying on an endless blood feud.  It’s just not.

Does the Strib know the difference?

Self-Defense

The rumors started flying over the weekend – and Tuesday, we got confirmation:  one of the rash of shootings in Minneapolis over the weekend involved a carry permittee, a 21 year old Minneapolis man:

Authorities believe he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot 18-year-old Earl Malone Saturday night at the intersection of Knox Avenue North and 26th Street.

Police took the 21-year-old man into custody at the scene. Sources tell WCCO the man has a conceal-and-carry [sic] permit, and told police he shot Malone because he had tried to rob him.

According to a Facebook post from the Twin Cities Gun Owners and Carry Forum and the irreplaceable Shelley Leeson – a reliable source on these sorts of stories – the permit holder apparently said Malone was armed, and tried to car-jack him. 

According to police files, the 21-year-old permittee fired three shots; Malone fled, and the permittee called 911, exactly as one is supposed to do.  Squads responding found Malone dead – his gun still in his hand. 

Since the permittee has been released without charges, you may be certain of three things:

  1. He didn’t pick a fight with Mr. Malone.  Indeed, he did everything feasible to get away from the fight (with “feasible” being the operative word).
  2. The permittee legitimately feared being killed or maimed – enough so that the notoriously anti-gun Henco attorney Mike Freeman was convinced the case didn’t need to go to trial.
  3. The use of lethal force was appropriate under the circumstances; if it weren’t, Mike Freeman would pounce like a vulture.

And while the identity of the shooter has not been released, and likely won’t be (for the shooter’s protection, no doubt), I’m going to hazard a guess – and it is only a guess – that the permittee is African-American. 

If it weren’t true, the local media and the cluster of anti-gun pressure groups, who would love to have a Trayvon Martin of their very own to wave like a bloody shirt, would be howling about it right now.