Dr. Blake

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been punched in the stomach. But I remember what it feels like with this news: Dr. Jim Blake, my college advisor, died a few months ago in Oil City, PA.  He was 68.  That I’m hearing about it a few seasons late shows how life’s sturm und drang will have its way.

Dr. Blake was one of the two best teachers I ever had, and one of the most influential people in my life in many ways.  It was he who passed on to me his love of analysis and of fairly relentless logic, yes – but also how to find joy, stimulation and meaning in how words were put together; the packing of meaning into every word of a great poem, the layers of symbols and meaning in a great book, the ruthless economy of a well-honed phrase.   And he showed a lot of us how four years of studying literature could be a good, powerful and important force in ones’ *real life* – which is, I’m afraid, a lost art in the modern college.

Beyond that? Incredible as it may seem in this age, it was Dr. Blake – an English professor who called himself a “monarchist” – who showed me that I really wasn’t the bobblehead I had been when I started college; “Mitch, you’re not a liberal”, he said in his Queens accent during out of our hours of talking about policis, philosophy, current events; he shook his head and made me read Solzhenitzyn, Paul Johnson, P.J. O’Rourke, Dostoevskii and Tolstoii.  And by golly, he was right; once my brain turned on, I was a conservative after all. When I pulled punched my ballot for Ronald Reagan in 1984 (albeit without telling my parents), and started my first conservative talk show in 1986, and every day I do the NARN or write my blog today, Dr. Blake was and is there.

I’ve thought a lot over the years; would the modern humanities academy know what to do about a Dr. Blake – an English prof with a fearsome BS detector and no patience for the PC fripperies of the modern humanities academy?

Oh, it would be an epic battle indeed.

The only tragedy in his death is that not every college kid had or will have the opportunity to learn from him.

Planning

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails in re tomorrow’s “Gun Buyback for Artists” in Minneapolis:

Minneapolis is having a gun buy-back [tomorrow].  I’m thinking of dumping some relics from my gun locker.  I need SITD readers to check my reasoning.

After Hillary is elected, the economy collapses and the Zombie Apocalypse hits, when there is no ammo left on the shelves, we’ll have to scrounge for ammo which means bartering with thieves who steal it. 

Where will they steal it?  From government storage, as the government will be the only ones with a supply line.   So we’re looking at standard government calibers; the government doesn’t stock weapons chambered for exotic ammo so that will be impossible to find.  Weapons chambered in exotic calibers will be useless, even for barter. 

What will be considered “exotic” at that time?

.45 ACP was popular after WW II and Special Forces use it now, but ordinary military does not.  They won’t be stocking it in quantity after The Crash.  That ammo will be highly desirable but hard to find.  Exotic.

.38 Special and .357 Magnum were popular cop revolvers until about 2000; nobody carries wheel guns as primary weapons.  They won’t be stocking that ammo in quantity after The Crash.  Backup guns and snub-nose hold-outs, maybe, but how much ammo will they store for them?  Not much.

.40 S&W was popular with cops for a short time because the FBI tried it; but as of June, the FBI is going to 9mm.  St. Paul PD switched from .40 Glocks to 9 mm Glocks five years ago.  I suspect law enforcement is going softer and smaller because women and minorities can’t handle the bigger pistols with the hotter loads but the reason doesn’t matter – what matters is what ammo they will have in stock.

Okay – so police, federal law enforcement and military are all going 9 mm.  That’s the pistol round I’ll have the easiest time scrounging.  Which means dump pistols chambered for .22 LR, .380, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, .45 ACP. 

Now for rifles, it’s a different story.  .22 LR in a rifle is a fine squirrel/rabbit gun.  And everybody shoots .223/5.56 in the AR15.  Those will be fine to keep around.  I might even consider a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine; the maximum effective range is only about 100 yards but since the ammo is compatible with my pistol ammo, I only need one caliber in the backpack.

But for pistols, I’m seeing a shift in the prevailing wind away from exotics.  I might as well take some items to the gun buy-back: liberate space in the gun locker and get paid by Liberals to do it.

What do you think?

Joe Doakes

I think there’s no better way to start a bunch of gunnies duking it out that to broach this topic.

Which is fun!

Remora

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is has just picked up a pound of coffee beans from the neighborhood coffee shop.  As he leaves, he notices Avery LIBRELLE sitting at a table.  BERG tries to look smaller, and starts to slink past to get to the door – but LIBRELLE notices him.

LIBRELLE:   Merg!

BERG:  Oh…hey, Avery.  What’s up?

LIBRELLE:   I’m leaving comments on your blog.

BERG:  Uh…OK.

LIBRELLE:   They call you out for being the amoral conservative scumbag you really are!

BERG:  Huh.  Just like my  mom always says.

LIBRELLE:   Hah!  I bet!  And I do it under a pseudonym, so nothing I say will ever get back to me!

BERG:  Huh.

LIBRELLE:  Because conservatives, being shriveled emotional husks of people, will track me down and attack me if they find out who is speaking truth to them!

BERG:  Hmmm.   Seems a little…hyper dramatic?

LIBRELLE:   And my comments are really, really long, because I have a lot to say!  Stuff that will enlighten the mouth-breathing morons that read your blog!

BERG:  And I’m sure we’ll all appreciate it.

LIBRELLE:   You should!  I’m brilliant!

BERG:   Huh.  And then you’ll discuss the response to your comments?  Because that is not only the purpose of my comment section, but really the entire benefit of having online comments; to have a conversation, something from which everyone learns.

LIBRELLE:   Discussion?  Are you kidding me?  What do I, someone with thirty years experience as a liberal activist, have to learn from the brain-dead impotent fat bald hate-filled pieces of shit that read your garbage blog?

BERG:  Huh.   Well, I mean, among my regular commenters we have an M.D, a couple of engineers, a couple of scientists, some accountants, a lawyer or two, some writers – people who actually have to work with fact, logic and argumentation for a living.  You might learn something.

LIBRELLE:  From who?

BERG:  Er…right.

Hey – just a suggestion, here.  Don’t you have  a blog of your own?  “The LIbrelle Point Of View?” One where you are perfectly free to write anything you want, and have the discussions…

LIBRELLE:   …no “discussions” on my blog.  Any fat, bald, white, brain-dead pieces of crap who comment on my blog get blocked.  Life’s too short for idiots and scumbags.

BERG:  Anyway, why don’t you write these earth-shaking nuggets of truth on your own blog, since you don’t really intend to actually discuss your comments?

LIBRELLE:    But I get like five readers a day on my blog.  I can get the truth out to hundreds of people in your comment section.

BERG:  Huh.

LIBRELLE:   Hey, grab me a large latte, skim, extra syrup, organic only, while you’re up.

(And SCENE)

Negotiation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Asylum seekers legally prohibited from working, decline voluntary work that generate favorable PR, demand minimum wage instead.

 Gee, maybe Mark Dayton can talk to Angela Merkel about getting some of those folks to move here.

 Joe Doakes

Soon they’ll be going door to door for MPIRG.

Our Loathsome Media – Here And Everywhere

This blog has always been dedicated to the idea that the mainstream media is a PR firm for the Democrat party nationally, and the DFL in Minnesota.

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

While there are capable, honest reporters in the Twin Cities and nationally who do make a level effort to cover the news rather than paint Democrat toenails and safeguard their dinner reservations at Brothers, it’s this blog’s considered opinion that the American media has long since ceased being a “check and balance” on anyone but conservatives and the GOP.

It’s been much in the news this past week.

Michael Goodwin at the NYPost notes the extent to which the mainstream media has become, without no hyperbole whatsoever, an arm of Hillary Clinton’s campaign:

A recent article by its media reporter, Jim Rutenberg, whom I know and like, began this way: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”

Whoa, Nellie. The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump that way, and it is note­worthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.” Rutenberg approvingly cites a leftist journalist who calls one candidate “normal” and the other ­“abnormal.”

Clinton is hardly “normal” to the 68 percent of Americans who find her dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times. Statistically, that makes the Times “abnormal.”

Also, you don’t need to be a ­detective to hear echoes in that first paragraph of Clinton speeches and ads, including those featured prominently on the Times’ Web site. In effect, the paper has seamlessly ­adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage.

But that’s a bit of bias that has long, deep roots; most of the American media seemed eager to finish for Bill Clinton the job Monica Lewinski started.

Meanwhile, locally, at a Donald Trump rally last week, “protesters” – pro-Democrat agitators – repeatedly attacked, hit and spat on people attending a Donald Trump meeting in Minneapolis.  You‘d never know if from most of the media, as John Gilmore reports:

But not even I was prepared for what followed: a sustained assault on citizens attempting to leave that venue while Minneapolis police stood by, for the most part. Some performed admirably and to them much credit should be given. Yet it wasn’t nearly enough.

There were first hand reports of people being spat upon, physically assaulted and some who had their property stolen. There were even reports of people themselves being spray painted. Many of those committing the assaults on white people were identified as black, but certainly not exclusively.

Minneapolis has become a lawless city, on the verge of becoming yet another Third World City, and last Friday night proved it beyond doubt. Those who have a different political view from the reigning majority were persecuted for simply exercising their constitutional right of assembly.

Twin Cities media reporting of the night’s events proved a mixed bag. There is no doubt that had the political polarities been reversed the coverage would have been far more extensive, breathless and condemnatory. But because the victims were republicans, much was glossed over. Which is to say, the violence.

Minnesota media should be ashamed of itself but it doesn’t really possess the capacity.

Read the whole thing.

For the sake of the city’s good, conscientious reporters, I do hope there’s some sort of future out there in writing actual news.

That future is not with the current legacy news media.

The Steady Drip Drip Drip

Alpha News continues to absolutely thrash the Twin Cities mainstream media at…doing journalism and holding government accountable.

This week? Further evidence that Ilham Omar did, indeed, “marry” her brother, and that she was, indeed, married (via a combination of “faith” and undissolved legal marriages) to two men at the same time.

Expect an avalanche of anger from the left over the racism and hatred of foreigners and people of color on the part of Alpha News writer…

…er…

…Preya Samsundar.

ExpIt!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

So – did British unemployment “really” fall following Brexit?  That was entirely contrary to expert predictions.  

 Or did the government massage the figures to hide the decline, as we do in the United States?

 Joe Doakes

Weird.

I’m sure there must be some mistake.

Better

Study shows carry carry permittees are, per capita, far and away the safest demographic in the United States as far as firearm crime is concerned:

The study refers to Texas and Florida, which it says mirror most other states, to compare permit holders with police and the overall population. It used data from 1987 through 2015.

“We find that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police officers,” the report says. “Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000.10. That is just one-seventh of the rate for police officers.”

Of course, if you read this blog, you knew this years ago.

In Minnesota, which has a higher rate of carry permitting and lower crime rates that both Texas and Florida- with precisely one unjustifiable homicide committed by carry permittees in 13 years – the comparison is even more lopsided.

“You Can Keep Your Doctor” Update

Next year, if all proceeds as expected,  one out of six Americans will have exactly one option in their Obamacare exchange:

According to an analysis done for The Upshot by the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, 17 percent of Americans eligible for an Affordable Care Act plan may have only one insurer to choose next year. The analysis shows that there are five entire states currently set to have one insurer, although our map also includes two more states because the plans for more carriers are not final. By comparison, only 2 percent of eligible customers last year had only one choice.

The conspiracy theory that Obamacare was intentionally designed to wreck the system to make single-payer inevitable looks less and less far-fetched every day.

Poof

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There was a cholera epidemic in Nepal.  UN Peacekeeping forces from Nepal were sent to Haiti.  They set up camp by a river.  Their latrines discharged raw sewage into the river.

 Haitians downstream drew water from the river.  They got cholera.  At least 10,000 people died and hundreds of thousands were made ill.

 The UN finally admitted yes, its troops caused the epidemic but no, they wouldn’t compensate any of the victims for it.  So far, pretty much what I expect from Liberals.

But here’s the interesting part: 

 “ . . . the United Nations’ cholera eradication program has failed. Infection rates have been rising every year in Haiti since 2014, as the organization struggles to raise the $2.27 billion it says is needed to eradicate the disease from member states. No major water or sanitation projects have been completed in Haiti; two pilot wastewater processing plants built there in the wake of the epidemic quickly closed because of a lack of donor funds.”

 Wait a minute – wasn’t there some big-name Foundation raising millions of dollars specifically intended to help Haiti?  Where’d that money go?

Was the money spent on executive salaries and luxury travel while thousands died a horrible death?

Joe Doakes

Someone who can count on the American people being badly educated, incurious, too hooked on reality TV (including a reality TV election) to pay much attention, and a media that will never, ever question them?

Just off the top of my head, I mean?

Am I the only one feeling deja vu, here?

From Thin Air

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is ordering a cup of coffee and a bagel.

Brian FURIOUS, liberal opionblogger for “”MinnesotaLIberalAlliance.blogspot.com”, walks into the coffee shop.

FURIOUS:  Merg!

BERG:  Oh, hey, Brian…

FURIOUS:  I am Brian Furious, defender of fact, crusader of truth!

BERG:  Right.  Or…hey, Brian.

FURIOUS:  Don’t you deny it!  You’ve been writing about Ilhan Omar!

BERG:  Well, mostly I’ve been doing a combination of writing about people writing about Ilhan Omar, and writing about people writing about people writing about Ilhan Omar.  There’s a bit of a difference.

FURIOUS:  What you did was engage in race-baiting, saying that if someone comes to the US they should learn our laws and abide by them,

BERG:  We’ll come back to the “race-baiting” red herring in a bit.  But as re the other bit – you mean, like “learn and abide by our laws” like everyone who comes to the US – or, for that matter, goes to other countries – is supposed to do?

FURIOUS:  That’s not news!

BERG:  Not sure what you mean.  It’s not news that immigrants, like citizens, are supposed to follow the law?

Or do you mean the Ilhan Omar story?   Because it seems like there just might be some news there.  Even the mainstream liberal media seems to think so.

FURIOUS:  But you admitted you probably wouldn’t adhere to laws requiring a marriage license!

BERG:  Well, yeah – like Ms. Omar, I believe that marriages in one’s faith tradition that ignore state licensing are perfectly legitimate.   And, by the way, it’s not “illegal” to eschew the state license.

Anyway, let me repeat the important part; I defended Ilhan Omar’s “marriage in her faith tradition“, while noting that her explanation still left some questions.

You seem to have trouble recognizing that fact.  Perhaps you’re racist?

FURIOUS:  You’re just saying it’s about being “foreign” is just taking a change to stoke anti-immigrant fears and is, yes, race-baiting!   You’re demeaning her, and with her other Somalis for whom she’s an emblem because of her ethnicity.  You’re claiming it’s her “foreign-ness” which is the problem. 

BERG:  Er, yeah – I’d heard you wrote that.  The thing is,  I’ve never mentioned Ilhan’s “foreign-ness”, never alluded to it in anything I’ve ever written or said, never even hinted about it.  It’s a fabrication.

FURIOUS:  No, it’s not!

BERG:  Well, given that I’m supporting Abimalik Askar – a Somali immigrant – in the race for the seat, let’s just say it’s kinda weird.   So – if Ms. Omar’s “foreign-ness” is a problem, wouldn’t that of Mr. Askar – who is from the exact same place – also be a problem?

FURIOUS:  Clearly, Askar is not Somali!

BERG:  He was born in Somalia, and immigrated to the US in 1993.

FURIOUS:  Then it stands to reason you hate him too!

BERG:  Er, no – I’ve interviewed him on my show, and I’ll do it again.  He’s a very sharp guy and is quite clearly the best candidate for the job of any ethnic origin.

FURIOUS:  But he’s a ReTHUGliican!  Clearly he must hate Somalis!

BERG:  Huh.  Hey – look!  A shiny object!

[BERG slips quietly away as FURIOUS furiously whips his head around]

[And SCENE]

A Rhetorical Question

MINNESOTA CONSERVATIVE:  If a conservative, libertarian or Republican gets hit, spit on and otherwise attacked, and no media reports on it, did it really happen?

MINNESOTA LIBERAL:  If what happened to who?  Huh?

MINNESOTA CONSERVATIVE:  I said, if a conservative, libertarian or Republican gets hit, spit on and otherwise attacked, and no media reports on it, did it really happen?

MINNESOTA LIBERAL:  If what happened to who?  Again, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

MINNESOTA CONSERVATIVE:  Well, you got that part right

Circus Without Bread

Venezuela, awash in the inevitable end results of socialism – Shortages, hyper inflation, out of control corruption in crime – is doing put failed leftist governments from Baltimore to Minneapolis to Caracas always do; playing at security theater. In this case, destroying guns:

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.

Venezuela has the world’s second highest murder rate and the street gangs that plague its poor neighborhoods have become increasingly heavily armed in recent years, at a time when a deep recession has reduced resources available to police.

“Reduced resources…”. “Recession”.
I don’t know Who Venezuela is trying to suck up to you, but it’s kind of funny…

Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.

Clearly, they’ve got that part solved…

Incurious

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Remember when the US sent a check to Switzerland to be cashed into a pallet of bills and flown to Iran, where hostages were held at the airport until the money arrived? 

 Remember when President Obama said that was not ransom, that the United States didn’t pay ransom?

 Now they’re saying it was a refund due for a never-completed arms deal from the 1970’s.  And of course we tied the payment to the release of hostages.  It wouldn’t have been prudent to just give them money and hope they released the hostages, since we weren’t paying ransom.

 And it wasn’t money laundering either, and wasn’t done to subvert the law against providing assistance to Iran.  The fact that it was done in secret, converted from fiat money to US cash to Foreign cash, in foreign banks without extradition or information sharing, was not relevant to their good intentions.

 Pathetic.  Who makes up these lies?

 Joe Doakes

Someone who can count on the American people being badly educated, incurious, too hooked on reality TV (including a reality TV election) to pay much attention, and a media that will never, ever question him?

Just off the top of my head, I mean?

When You Were NARN

Today, the Northern Alliance Radio Network – America’s first grass-roots talk radio show – is on the air!

I’l be on from 1-3PM today this afternoon.  Today on the show:

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

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

Join us!

File Under “Things Mitch Will Never Do”

Uber inks deal with Volvo for self-driving cars.

Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highway. Earlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing service. But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.

I’m never going to ride in, much less own, a self-driving car.

Partly, it’s because driving is just plain fun.  Not always, of course; navigating 494 when it turns into an Andean goat path after a major blizzard is no fun (and would be less so in a self-driving car).

Partly because I know programmers, and especially project management – and I drive better than they program.  All due respect.

So just…no.

Faith And Law

Ilhan Omar has released a statement about the questions about her, at first and second and third glance, unusual marital history.

Faith:  I’m going to add bits and pieces of emphasis to Omar’s statement:

In 2002, when I was 19 years old, Ahmed Hirsi (whose name before he received citizenship was Ahmed Aden), the father of my children and love of my life, and I, applied for a marriage license, but we never finalized the application and thus were never legally married. In 2008, we decided to end our relationship in our faith tradition after reaching an impasse in our life together.

I entered into a relationship with a British citizen, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, and married him legally in 2009. Our relationship ended in 2011 and we divorced in our faith tradition. After that, he moved home to England. I have yet to legally divorce Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but am in the process of doing so. Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive.

Since 2011, I am happy to say that I have reconciled with Ahmed Hirsi, we have married in our faith tradition and are raising our family together. Like all families, we have had our ups and downs but we are proud to have come through it together.

That’s multiple references to marriage and divorce in Islam’s “faith tradition”.

On the one hand, it could be just a way of saying “it’s a Muslim thing, all you khufar wouldn’t understand”.   Could be.

On the other hand?  As a militant Christian who, should he ever remarry, will not get a government marriage license, I can completely agree with the concept that one’s marriage is none of goverment’s damn business!

Of course, coming from a “progressive” DFLer – the party that believes government is your real mother – one might fairly wonder how genuine it is, but what the heck; on principle, that settles things, doesn’t it?

The Law:  Well no – no more than claiming religious strictures forbid you from paying taxes.

Scott Johnson, who dragged the mainstream media to this story last week, talked with an immigration attorney; the attorney has some questions:

1. Which faith leader presided over her faith tradition marriage in 2002?

2. Is there written documentation of this?

3. Which faith leader presided over her faith tradition divorce in 2008?

4. Is there written documentation of this?

5. How was custody handled for the children after her faith tradition divorce in 2008?

6. Was there documentation of this?

7. How did she meet her legal husband?

8. Did she sponsor her legal husband for a green card?

9. Did he use his green card status to receive financial assistance to attend university in the US?

10. Is her legal husband a US citizen now as he has now been married to a US citizen (Ms. Omar) for 6 years? (Query – Are there voter registration or other documents that could be checked to substantiate this? The UK does allow dual citizenship.)

11. If Ms. Omar did sponsor her legal husband for a green card, then she was required to complete an I-864 affidavit of support documenting financial sponsorship of the husband. At the time in 2009 I believe she was a student and had 3 children so she would not likely have had the financial means to meet the I-864 obligations at the time and would therefore need a joint financial sponsor. Who was that joint financial sponsor? It would need to be a US citizen or green card holder with appropriate income or assets.

12. It has been reported that her legal husband was living in government subsidized housing in Minneapolis. This is likely inconsistent with the requirements of I-864 financial sponsorship. Does Hennepin County do anything to verify financial sponsorship before providing government assistance and subsidies for housing? Does Hennepin County now have a claim for reimbursement against Ms. Omar and/or the joint financial sponsor?

13. She is now remarried to her cultural husband according to her statement. Who was the faith leader who presided over this remarriage? Is there written documentation of this?

14. What Islamic doctrine was used to allow Ms. Omar to divorce a man, then marry someone else, and then remarry the first man?

15. There is no dispute based on her statement that she is currently in a cultural/faith tradition marriage with one man while still being legally married to another man. What Islamic doctrine permits this? I am familiar with certain Muslim traditions that allow a man to have more than one wife but I have never heard of a doctrine that permits a wife to have more than one husband which is without dispute what she is saying her situation is now.

Muslims who immigrate to this country should follow the same laws the rest of us do (or lobby to change them, like some of the rest of us do).

Especially elected officials.

Even DFLers.

Conclusion: What, you think I have a conclusion?

Part of me wants to root for Omar on pure libertarian principle.

Part of me sees the DFL telling the citizenry “Let Me Explain:  Shut Up”.

I have a hunch we’re not completely done with this.

Concentration

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Wall Street Journal article headline says “Rich Get Richer as Billionaires Increase in Number” (hidden behind its pay-wall, must subscribe to read). 

 Headline implies world-wide economy is booming, but other possibilities include:

 The world-wide economy is failing and the remaining wealth is consolidating in fewer hands as the middle class loses upward mobility; or

 The world-wide money supply is increasing as governments print money to prop up welfare programs, and the resulting inflation makes “billionaires” out of people who previously would have been “millionaires;”  or,

 The statistics are lies.

 Hard to tell which factor – or combination of factors – is correct.

 Joe Doakes

As with most things economic, I say “both”.

“In Your Best Interest, Peasant!”

The Midway.

I’ve lived in this neighborhood off and on for 29 years, and continuously for almost 23 years, now.

The neighborhood gets a bad rap from people who don’t know Saint Paul – which is about 95% of the population of the Metro Area.   When most of them think of the Midway – if they think about the Midway – they think University Avenue; hot and treeless in the summer, cold and wind-swept in the winter, lined with tatty big-box stores at Snelling, check cashing shops and Popeyes at Lexington, and little H’Mong, Lao, Latino, Black and African shops down by Dale and Rice that probably strike visitors from Eagan and Circle Pines and Kenwood and Crocus Hill for that matter as “sketchy and dangerous”.

The part they miss is that people live, work, play and socialize here.

Even at the McDonalds and Perkins in the huge parking lot by the Midway Center strip mall.  The two franchises are much-loathed by hipsters and pseudo-sophisticates and the entire Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening, Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing Macalester/Carlton/Saint Olaf set that sees itself as soccer fans, most of whom would likely crap a kitten if dropped into the colorful diversity of University Avenue street life that uses the two places as its social center.

It’s up by Snelling that the Saint Paul City Council gave approval yesterday to start working on building a Major League Soccer stadium, paving the way for billionaire Bill McGuire to get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build a stadium for a sport that resonates with precisely three classes of people:

  • Immigrants – many of whom play soccer, and many of whom don’t have the money to go to a big-dollar Major League Soccer game, with the inevitably inflated ticket and concession prices.
  • entire Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening, Subaru-driving, free-range-alpaca-wearing Macalester/Carlton/Saint Olaf set, with their quadrennial “pretend to give a crap about the World Cup” ritual figuring prominently on their social “see and be seen” calendars.
  • Suburban soccer families – kids and their “soccer parents”.

Do the immigrants have the money to come out and see games?  Will the hipster class do soccer for more than a year, until the “been there, done that” sets in?  Will soccer families from Blaine and Apple Valley chance coming into the city, especially given that the stadium is going to have fairy minimal parking, deliberately forcing people onto the “A Line” bus from Rosedale and the “Green Line” train from other places suburbanites hate going to?

I doubt it in all three cases.

But that isn’t stopping those who seem themselves as members of the taste-setting class from trying to tell the Midway what it really needs; no more McDonalds or Perkins.

At the thought of “6,000 people” (dream big!) crossing McDonalds’ and Perkins’ property, one sniffed:

Yeah, soccer fans are a pretty tony lot:

Sign me up for the high freaking tea concession!

But no – let not the little people and their “businesses” and “social framework” get in the way of their betters’ plans:

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 9.30.05 AM

Can you imagine if a Walmart proponent had tweeted any such thing?