Told You So, Part MLVI

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“If you ban guns,” we said, “criminals will simply use another tool.  It’s a basic principle of economics of scarcity,” we said. “People find substitutes for items they can’t buy.”

“No,” we were told by all The Smart People.  “It’s guns.  Guns are the problem.  Ban guns, problem solved.”

A member of Parliament was just murdered but fortunately, he was not shot.  Britain has banned guns.  The MP was stabbed to death.  There’s already a movement in Britain to ban knives.

And now this.  Five dead qualifies as a “mass shooting.”  I’ll bet you a brand-new nickel The Smart People will call for bow bans and one-per-month purchase limits on arrows.  Really, how many arrows does one person need? [sarcasm tag off]

Oops, too late.  Australia’s already on it.

Joe Doakes


In 20 years, I predict a movement to ban cinder blocks and curbs.

All Things Must Pass

During the 2015 protests around the Fourth precinct in North Minneapolis, there was a shooting incident. A group of four young white men got into a verbal tilt with a group of the protesters, which led to a chase through the streets of North Minneapolis. Then one of the quite guys, Alan Scarsella, drew his legally permitted handgun and fired, wounding one of the men and ending the chase.

We wrote about this back when it happened. On the one hand, one could argue the fear of death or great bodily harm was reasonable; Scarsella used exactly the effort needed to end the attack, and I don’t know if I’ve ever heard of anyone making a more reasonable effort to retreat.

On the other hand, he handled the post shooting process, and the optics that are so important to jurors, about as badly as possible, going into hiding from the police until they came and found him. and there was one other thing, which we will come back to below.

In the weeks following the shooting, the press lionized the shooting victim, Cameron Clark.

Who is, by the way, back in the news this week:

Cameron Clark was shot during a 2015 protest by a man named Allen Scarsella, who was being chased by protesters who were demonstrating after Clark’s cousin, Jamar Clark, was killed by police. Although Scarsella claimed self-defense, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a trial that largely hinged on his history of making racially insensitive remarks.

And there’s a note in there for Potential self-defense shooters; while a good lawyer could’ve potentially gotten the completely unrelated remarks suppressed from evidence, it would’ve been much easier had they not existed. As I tell people on social media I’ll start stressing about how they intend to treat burglars, “the first rule of armed self-defense as you never talk about armed self-defense”.

But we digress:

Following the shooting, Clark was uplifted by Minnesota media as a voice for racial justice. Now, he’s received a lengthy sentence of his own after he tried to murder his unborn child.

While the lionization was far from the most ridiculous I’ve seen coming from Twin Cities media – Clark was not an unsympathetic victim, profiler you left the whole “chasing people through the streets“ thing out of the story, and implausible as it seems, perhaps they learned some thing from the ridicule they suffered over this – perhaps the media should learn the real lesson; taking sides in these sorts of episodes never works well

Shortage?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I’ve been following the debate on whether vaccine mandates will cause staffing shortages. Had a few tests done at the hospital this morning. Quietly asked the RN about the vaccine. She hasn’t gotten it, does not intend to. She’s with an “agency” which means she’s not part of the giant conglomerate health care provider and isn’t bound by their rules. She’s seen stuff, read stuff, she affirmed – strictly off the record and between her and me – that I’m not the only one with serious doubts. We’re not crazy no matter what they tell us.

I received excellent care from a non-corporate nurse, for which I am grateful and also amused. The regulation says any employer with more than 100 nurses must . . . oh, we’ve only got 90. Our sister (but completely independent) companies also have 90, each. And each nurse only works 29 hours for each company. They’re exempt. No vaccine. But excellent patient care. And the giant conglomerate can proudly announce their in-house staff is fully vaccinated with no staffing shortage.

Potemkin compliance all the way down. You watch, they’ll be ‘independent contractors’ next.

Joe Doakes

People underestimate the cost of widespread ignoring of laws because they are widely considered to be wrong, stupid, corrosive of freedom and the like.

It doesn’t end well. And it’s not the peoples fault.

Confirmed

35 years ago, during Minneapolis’s first ground of gang violence, a police sergeant, perhaps in a combination of hyperbole and fatigue, told me that the safest place to be in a gang shootout is the target. Gang-bangers don’t spend a lot of range time; they love that John Woo horizontal grip; they spray and pray – never moreso now that the streets are full of illegal Glock full-auto trigger conversions, which will empty an 18 round magazine in a second and a half with all the accuracy of trying to knit while riding an untamed bronco.

That Sergeant, God bless him, just keeps getting proven right:

Miles of full auto gunfire at car-to-car range – and no casualties. One dead and four injured – from the car crash.

Thanks, Sarge.

We Interrupt…

…the frat bros and sorority sisters of Big Left fist-bumping each other over Gavin Newsom winning the recall (after outspending the opposition 5-1) to point out that the ongoing Prog pipe dream of a “Blue Texas” seems to be slipping away as we speak.

Texas Monthly stated that much of the problem is the Democrat party’s assumption that Hispanic voters would default to voting Democrat as the left considers itself the party of the minority. This is increasingly proving to be a hubristic stance by the left, and Hispanic voters, Texans in particular, are teaching them not to take them for granted:

“Banking on an identity-based appeal, Democrats last year trotted out the sort of bilingual messaging in South Texas that has played well among Mexican Americans in Los Angeles and Puerto Ricans in New York, focused on a celebration of diversity and immigration. Republicans, by contrast, recognized that Hispanic South Texans share many of the same values as non-Hispanic white voters elsewhere in Texas and swept in with a pitch about defending gun rights, promoting the oil and gas industry, restricting abortion, and supporting law enforcement. Republicans proved more persuasive.”

Of course, this is the Great Sort in action.

But if there’s a state the GOP – and whatever future conservatism has at the national level, in whatever form – needs to hold, it’s Texas.

Masquerade

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

We are admonished to wear masks because we must follow the SCIENCE. But is there scientific evidence masks work to control viruses like Covid? A statistician reviewed the studies to find out.

Author’s conclusion: “In sum, of the 14 RCTs (Randomized Control Trials) that have tested the effectiveness of masks in preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses, three suggest, but do not provide any statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis, that masks might be useful. The other eleven suggest that masks are either useless—whether compared with no masks or because they appear not to add to good hand hygiene alone—or actually counterproductive.”

If there’s no solid scientific evidence that wearing masks works, then there must be some other reason for demanding it. What is that reason?

Joe Doakes

The World Is Discovering…

…what we in the Twin Cities have known for a while: that if you want something resembling detached reporting (there is no such thing as “objective” reporting) of Democrats, you need to go to the UK.

For the past several years, the only place in the mainstream, non-conservative media (with all due shouts out to Powerline, David Steinberg and Alphanews) has been the Daily Mail, and occasionally the Guardian. Literally no Twin Cities media outlet will report on Omar, barring being occasionally shamed into doing the bare minimum; the Mail is all the coverage there is.

An

The world appears to have woken up to an important truth this week: which is that Joe Biden is a truly terrible president. It is a shame that it took America gifting Afghanistan back to the Taliban for so many people to realise this.

To be charitable, there were perhaps two reasons why this had not become more obvious before. The first is that Joe Biden is not Donald Trump and for a lot of the planet that seems to be recommendation enough to occupy the Oval Office. A break from the Trump show appealed to an awful lot of people.

But the second reason why too few realised what the world was going to get from a Biden presidency is that the US media simply didn’t ask the questions it needed to ask. Before the election a near entirety of the American media gave up covering it and simply campaigned for the Democrat nominee.

d on the national level? Same:

Democracy needs institutions – like the media – to survive.

Which means, at present, that we’re screwed blue.

Success Is Not An Option

It would appear the only real option in Afghanistan at the moment is picking the type of failure we want to shoot for…

…while remembering that many Afghans who worked for us and are in mortal danger are hiding out (and nationwide), and many Americans – read “potential hostages” – are “sheltering in place” as well, in Kabul.

It would appear our options are:

  • Dunkirk, if we’re very lucky
  • Stalingrad – the German version – if we’re not
  • Mogadishu, to one degree or another – potentially leading to “Teheran, 1979” in the bargain.

Securing an urban corridor through a hostile semi-guerrilla army to try to evacuate not only thousands of civilians, but themselves, from a single-strip airport that can potentially be rocketed out of business at the drop of a hat?

Which would subject the US to a choice between:

  • A humiiliating extended hostage crisis that’d make Iran in 1980 look like an episode of The Waltons, at the very best.
  • Bringing in a whooooole lot of air power to blast the paratroopers out of the jam, and hope they can save anyone at all.

“Build Back Better” indeed.

Lie First, Lie Always: Career Epilogue

The “Reverend“ Nancy Nord Bence provided this blog years and years of fodder on the hoof.

The former lutheran minister, ELCU Hair model,and former head of “Protect Minnesota“, the little gun grabber group that never really could, was living proof of and inspiration for Berg‘s 19th Law: no Minnesota gun control group has ever made a claim that was simultaneously original, substantial and true.

Even the board at PM eventually had enough; they tossed her sometime ago, to the chagrin of material starved Second Amendment pundits. She left to go into whatever flavor of political consulting she could find that, one would guess, involves clients who don’t really think that hard or care about results.

I hesitate to say “she’s back“, but she popped up on the radar over the weekend in regards to a Star Tribune editorial:

“Even the Star Tribune…“

The Star Tribune “editorial board“ may as well have gotten its “editorials“ on gun policy written by Mike Bloomberg, for these past…

… well, literally as long as I can remember.

If you are an organization that employs “Reverend“ Nord Bence, please, I implore you; have your people call my people.

I have so many questions.

Crime in Minneapolis is running, at last look, ahead of “Murderapolis” levels.

And so an angry, fearful county looks to the true source of all of its crime problem.

Lake Minnetonka:

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol Unit has been hard at work this summer, because of a growing problem on Lake Minnetonka.

Law enforcement says people there are breaking the law by renting out boats without first having them inspected. Some of the boats were also being operated by people without the proper licensing.

To be fair, perhaps their intelligence group has found evidence that gangbangers are chartering boats to settle beeves with each other, pirate style.

This Is Not How Ephraim Zimbalist Junior Did It…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Typical Trump-supporting white supremacist confessed to setting cell phone store on fire in Minneapolis (oddly, he didn’t claim to have been inspired to commit his crimes by Umbrella Man). Case was broken by crack federal law enforcement officials surfing the web on company time who ran across this guy’s confession on social media. Heckuva job, fellas.

Joe Doakes

To the Minnesota Left, the fact that he is from out of state is all the evidence they need that he’s a Trump supporter.

Yeah, no. Look at the guy.

Storytellers

When I was a kid in the 1970s, I would tune in out-of-town baseball broadcasts on my trusty AM transistor radio. From our home in eastern Wisconsin, it was easy to catch Merle Harmon and Bob Uecker covering the hapless Brewers on WTMJ in Milwaukee, but when the Brewers fell behind the Orioles 7-2 in the 4th inning, my mind would wander.

I found the alternatives; I also listened to Vince Lloyd covering the Cubs on WGN in Chicago, but only if the Cubs were on the road, and on other nights I might catch the White Sox with Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall on WMAQ. If I were feeling more ambitious, I could catch the gentlemanly Ernie Harwell on WJR in Detroit, or feisty Jack Buck on KMOX out of St. Louis. Sometimes, but not always, I could catch Herb Carneal on WCCO.

It’s difficult to explain to younger people, but on weeknights you couldn’t watch a game unless you lived in a big city. Writing for the Athletic (paywall, unfortunately), Jon Greenberg and Stephen J. Nesbitt detail what’s been a pastime for 100 years now:

The beauty of baseball on the radio is in its simplicity. It’s theatre of the mind. Even younger broadcasters, who were raised in the TV age, say radio was the sound of their summers, conjuring images of car rides, sifting through static, and listening from a fishing boat in the middle of a lake.

It was the sound of discovery, in the same way that postwar Brits looking for the new sounds would tune in Radio Luxembourg. Those faraway voices suggested there was something more out there, beyond the city limits of wherever you happened to be. If you have an IP today, you can see the world and hear every voice imaginable. While I appreciate the choices arrayed before me, I do miss the thrill of listening to Ernie Harwell through the static on a still August evening. 

Gun Control Via The “Free Market“

The Minnesota State Fair board just toss the Minnesota Weapons Collectors Association show – the biggest gun show in Minnesota, and a fairgrounds summer tradition:

“Insurance“ problems.

For an event that has passed without incident for decades.

Anyone want to bet on the political affiliations of the insurance companies board?

So Let Me Get This Straight

So we’re told requiring an ID to vote is irredeemably racist; apparently, minorities can’t keep track of government issued photo ID is, and requiring voter ID would make us corrosively racist, Denmark and the UK.

But in New York City, now, one requires a proof of vaccination – a de facto ID card, one way or the other Dash to participate in much of indoor public and social life.

The logical inference: racism is OK when it is about health?

Or something?

Void

There was a time, from the late ’80s into the very early 2000s, when they did some genuinely good journalism. When Steve Perry ran it, before he went full-bore crazy partisan with the Minnesota Independent (which, true to its name, depended for its existence entirely on progressive plutocrats with deep pockets), the CP did some useful journalism – the kind of stuff you didn’t have to agree with, politically, to see the merit.

Those days were over 15 years ago. The likes of Mike Mosedale, Dan Haugen and Aaron Rupar pawned whatever legacy the CP’s earlier incarnations had earned, and pawned it very very cheap.

So last fall, when the City Pages oozed to its final, unlamented (outside navel-gazing journos) end, I tried to play it straight down the objective middle: they had had a good run, for a decreasingly talented group.

Some people just can’t take a karmic hint:

The much-loved Twin Cities alternative paper City Pages shut down abruptly last fall after its parent company the Star Tribune Media Company said it was no longer financially viable.

Now several former City Pages editors are launching a new digital news publication called Racket that officially launches August 18.

I “much loved” the final incarnation of the paper mainly because it was a boundless font of material.

Jay Boller:

We want to fill the void that City Pages left, which we feel is considerable… Bringing that legacy into the future is the mission statement.

The “void” the CP “left” was smaller than the void when it existed.

There’s a real reader demand for a type of news that doesn’t really fit the boilerplate definitions of what a newspaper sounds like. … It’s to check power balances. It’s to keep institutions on their toes, including other news organizations. And just kind of being that pesky force that is beholden to no one.

I get what they’re going for – that was this blog’s motivation, and still is.

But “check power balances?”

If The Racket is anything like the City Pages in its past decade and change, it will be yet another yappy little junior partner of the the media we currently have.

Like it needs any more.

Ruparing

I’d like to claim this as a late addition to the DFL Dictionary – but alas, it’s actually from the Urban Dictionary:

Rupar (Verb): To purposely (sic) mislead. To completely mischaracterize a statement or video by omitting context.

Yesterday, at a “press conference” on the Capitol steps, as embattled representative John “Burn Hugo Down” Thompson, the DFLer from either Saint Paul, Superior or someplace else, was promising not to resign, a woman – “Tammy Jo”, we’re told – drove “onto the Capitol Mall” (looks like the upper parking lot to me) and waved a Trump flag.

KARE11’s John Croman – who is distinguised by being “Not Quite Esme Murphy” – tweeted what would appear to be a troubling outburst:

Now, my first thought was that “Tammy Jo” was likely a DFL plant, a DFLer from Woodbury, sent to lend Thompson and his press conference a cleansing blast of the unambiguous victimhood that is his only line. That, I surmised, would explain why not a single member of our city’s press corps – the people who ran down “Umbrella Man” and his life story run down while the rubble was still burning last year – has come up with a complete identification of “Tammy Jo”.

I’m sure it’ll happen.

But even given the in-the-bagginess of the Twin Cities media, that seemed a bit of a stretch.

Still – it’s not merely the Twin Cities media; it’s KARE11, the station that led the local TV market to “Woke”-ness. There’s got to be a DFL-upsucking angle, I thought. I mean, this wasn’t a “hate crime” per se, but Berg’s 20th Law seems to be proximate: “All incidents of “hate speech” not captured on video (involving being delivered by someone proven not to be a ringer) shall be assumed to be hoaxes until proven otherwise.” There might need to be an Esme Murphy Corollary: “Hoaxes, and/or DFL PR operations”.

Because the DFL had a need, and Croman fulfilled it.

Leave it to David Steinberg, who on issue after issue – Keith Ellison, Ilhan Omar, the riots, the Minneapolis City Council – does the reporting the Minnesota Media can’t be bothered, or haven’t been told by Ken Martin they’re allowed, to do.

So – what really happened?

Aaron Rupar isn’t the disease. Coming from the Twin Cities media scene as he did, he’s just a symptom.

The Boon That Keeps On Doggling

The Southwest Light Rail Line appears likely to go years and “hundreds of millions of dollars” over schedule and budget.

…what’s happening between Park Siding and Depot Street today is construction of a half-mile tunnel that will carry the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT project through a pinch point in its 15-mile path from downtown to Eden Prairie. Complexities with water, underground debris, and construction methods seem poised to push the line’s opening deep into 2025 or 2026.

Ever since word started to leak out last fall that the Kenilworth tunnel construction was stuck in a sloppy mess of water and boulders, contractors and Met Council officials have known the line could not meet its opening estimates, and that tunnel costs could blow through the project’s contingency fund. But the agency insists even today that it cannot estimate the magnitude of delay nor additional cost.

But in midwinter, in a private call with government stakeholders, the Met Council did offer some specificity, [Twin Cities Business] has learned. At the time, the project was expected to be delayed by at least two years into late 2025, say individuals on that call, including state Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), who chairs the state House Transportation Committee. Hornstein is a supporter of the project who frames himself as disappointed in its current state.

“We raised questions about all these problem areas. They were waived away. Every dire prediction came true, the ones about cost overruns, the ones about the tunnel, the millions given away to railroads in negotiations,” he said in a spring interview.

Who could have possibly predicted this?

Heck – who reported on the ghastly overruns when the bill was half what they’re talking now?