But Was It A Rapid Fire Assault Knife?

15 dead (so far) at a handicapped group home in Sagamihara, Japan:

Police arrested a man, age 26, after he turned himself at a police station in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, shortly after 3 a.m., broadcaster NHK reported.  Police said they received a call from an employee of the facility saying a man wielding a knife broke into the building, NHK said.
Police said the suspect told them he was a former employee of the center, according to the broadcaster.

I’m going to guess he was also a white Christian conservative NRA member.

In USSR, The NSA Listens To You. In USA, You Listen To The NSA

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Just completed my mandatory annual data security training.  From the module on passwords:

 A password will not include anything that is meaningful to the user, such as a name (either real or fictional), a date (such as family birthdays and anniversaries), telephone numbers, postal codes, car registration numbers and so on.  But DO NOT write down your password or use the “remember password” feature in any Web browser.

 So . . . a password can’t anything to me, but I must remember for 30 days until I change it to a new meaningless phrase that I also can remember, but which does not repeat any password I’ve used in the past.

 Holy crypto, Batman.  Did I get transferred to the NSA without realizing it?

 Joe Doakes

Who knows a government operation better than a government IT department?

It’s a rhetorical question.

Well, I’ll Be

So abusing emails can take a powerful Democrat down!

Fran Wasserman-Drescher, the DNC chair and one of a menagerie of villains in plot to fix the Committee’s process in favor of Hillary (who, as the Greatest Canddiate in History, should not have needed any fixing), is going to preside over the pep rally convention, and then shuffle adenoidally into the sunset:

The resignation becomes effective at the end of the convention, which wraps up Thursday.

Wasserman-Schultz cited her desire to focus on boosting Hillary Clinton in Florida, where she is running for re-election, in a statement announcing her decision to step down just one day before the Democratic convention begins in Philadelphia.

“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention,” she said. “As party chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.”

A hilarious and validating byproduct of the Wikileaks DNC scandal?   It’s a classic Berg’s Seventh Law issue; as much as the left claims that the RNC and Fox News are in bed with each other, it naturally follows that the DNC and MSNBC have, essentially, a client-vendor relationship.

Complete with golden parachute.

Shades Of Things To Come?

Why does the American political class spend so much time jabbering about “gun safety”, about gay marriage, about climate change?

To distract you from the economy, and the oncoming deflation of a huge entitlement debt bubble that is going to have drastic impact on…well, everything.

The California pension system – which is a bellwether for most blue-state-model pension systems around the country – is starting to groan under the strain of the contradictions it labors under (emphasis added):

As Steven Malanga has noted, both of these union-managed funds are notorious for pulling political stunts even as they face gaping shortfalls, going on a misguided “green” investing binge that flushed taxpayer money down the drain, and pulling out of tobacco companies on moral grounds just before those stocks began to rise.

But the underlying flaw with the funds is not their politicization. If anything, these kinds of moves are a distraction from more pressing crisis of public employee retirement systems: That state legislatures have epically over-promised the level of retirement benefits they can reasonably provide, and obscured this reality by presuming levels of investment returns that are impossible to sustain, especially in this era of historically low interest rates.

The choice is pretty stark – massive reforms, including a shift away from defined-benefit pensions for public employees, and other tough choices.

Politicians from both sides hate tough choices – but it’s the blue model that’s given us this debt, and it’s the blue states that are facing the most immediate fallout.

Minnesota’s public plans are – depending on your political point of view – either better-administered, or do a better job of laundering the money.  Maybe it’s a little bit of both, combined with a state that has a better income-to-debt ratio than California for now, but the pain might strike us later.

Emphasis is on “later”.

Gewalt Am Arbeitsplatz

The fourth case of deadly German workplace violence carried out by angry right-wing white redneck NRA members of Arabic or Farsi descent – a suicide bombing in Nürnberg claiming 12, which can not possibly be connected to Islamicist terror – occurred over the weekend.

In related news, doctors in Bavaria note that the Munich spree-shooter was raising red flags

…about being a suicide risk.  Fortunately, strict gun control laws that place a crippling burden on the law-abiding German citizen (who might have had a shot at stopping the slaughter in the time it took the Polizei to show up in densely-policed Munich) stopped the…

…oh, wait.  Never mind.

Pay Your Way

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Donald Trump said if he is elected President and NATO is attacked, the United States would defend the countries that are doing their share to defend themselves. 

 

Liberals and Neo-Cons are aghast.  What?  Expect European nations to pay their fair share of their own defense?  Outrageous.

 Except that was the original deal, as explained in this article from the London Telegraph, and shown in the helpful chart. 

Notice who’s NOT paying their way?  France.  Norway.  Germany.  Denmark.  Countries that could afford to pay, but choose not to pay so they have lots of money to spend on freebies for citizens.  Free riders can indulge in risky behavior knowing the United States is standing ready to bail them out of any fights they pick.

 It’s bad policy to let your “allies” stiff you and even worse to provide them with a moral hazard that all too easily ends up as: “Let’s you and him fight.”

 Trump is exactly right: a deal is a deal.  If you don’t hold up your end of the deal by paying your share, we have no obligation to hold up our end of the deal by running to your aid.  Does that mean we pull out of NATO entirely and hand the continent over to Putin?  Probably not, in the end.  But there’s no harm in reminding deadbeats they need to clean up their past due bill if they want to receive future credit.

 Joe Doakes

One notes that Trump in particular singled out the Baltic states – who have been increasing their defense spending at an emergency pace; they, along with the Poles (whose spending is near NATO’s guideline, and whose military shows it), remember Russian rule in particular.

NARN’s The Frequency, Kenneth

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!

  • AJ Kern, who’s running against Tom Emmer in the CD6 primary in a couple of weeks, will join me around 2ish.

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!

Berg’s Seventeenth Eighteenth Law Is In Full Effect

A mass shooting in München (Munich) is just breaking.

Motives are nowhere close to being known – some sources claim “terrorism”, others are invoking Anders Breivik the anti-immigrant Norwegian who killed 70+ a few years ago.

Berg’s Eighteenth Law is iron-clad.

UPDATE:  Hmmmm:

A witness who wanted to be identified only by her first name, Lauretta, told CNN her son was in the bathroom with a shooter at the restaurant.

“That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom … and he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.”

Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”

Again, Berg’s 18th Law is in full effect.  It’s entirely possible the killer is a Christian NRA member from Texas driven crazy by Trumpism and hatred of Obama and black people.    We are assured that a wave of such violence is around the corner – for like 20 years now.

The major media is never to be trusted for fast accurate reporting on these sorts of stories.

Never!

But if true…

10:15 Thursday Night

Mitch BERG is walking on the sidewalk past the “Safe Space” – a Saint Paul bar catering to “progressives”, featuring free-range beer, organic locally-sourced chips and pretzels, and gluten-free “everyone wins” dart boards.

Suddenly, Avery LIBRELLE gets off the bus, and removes a set of Apple earbuds connected to an iPhone.  LIBRELLE notices BERG.  

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!

BERG:   Ugh.  I mean, hi, Avery.

LIBRELLE:   So.  Donald Drumpf’s speech was dark and dystopian.

BERG:   Well, that was quick.  The speech ended literally a minute ago.   So you listened to it.

LIBRELLE:   Oh, hell no.  I listened to NPR’s wrapup after I heard on Snapchat that the actual speech was over.

BERG:   So – less than thirty seconds after the speech was over, NPR and the rest of the media, more or less at the same time, labelled the speech “dark and dystopian?”

LIBRELLE:  Yep!  Because it was!

BERG:  And you don’t think these are dark and dystopian times for a lot of the people who’ve come out of the woodwork to support Trump?

LIBRELLE:  Mark Shields and Gwen Ifill and David Brooks said it’s a great time to be optimistic!

BERG:  Sure.  It’s a great time to be part of the DC echo chamber, with an inflated, legacy-media salary.  But if you’re a WalMart assistant manager in Mississippi, or a machinist in Milwaukee, or a coal miner in West Virginia, it’s kinda scary out there.

LIBRELLE:  Bla bla bla.  After eight years of Barack Obama, America is a wonderous place!  Drumpf is a traitor for accentuating the negative!

BERG:  So you’re saying it’s wrong to accentuate the negative…

LIBRELLE:  Yes!

BERG:  …when things are either positive or kinda in between, overall?

LIBRELLE:  Absolutely!  It’s utterly and completely dishonest!

BERG:   Ah.  So in general, when someone talks about something that’s improved as if it’s been going the wrong way, it’s a lie?  Or even something that’s been net-neutral as if it’s been a complete negative?

LIBRELLE:  Lies, lies, lies!

BERG:    So when a candidate says “gun crime is out of control” when it’s dropped 50% in 20 years?   Or that “women get paid 76% of what men make” when it’s actually pretty close to even when you compare men and women with the same backgrounds in the same fields, and women under 30 are actually starting to out-earn men?  Or that “one in five women in college will be raped” or “black men are astronomically more likely to be shot by the police, and it’s because of racism”?

LIBRELLE:  Yeah!

BERG:  (Waits two beats)

LIBRELLE:  Heyyyyyy!

(And SCENE)

Tradition!

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.

Impropriety

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.

Bedfellows

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.

Nope

Nope.

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…