Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

National Guard going to DC in anticipation of another mostly peaceful protest.

I wonder, which President holds the record for “Days Under Martial Law During Peacetime” in Washington, D.C.? What with the inauguration, January 6, and now the upcoming truck parade, I’ve gotta believe Lesko Brandon takes the cake. Any historians in the SITD readership?
Joe Doakes

I would imagine it would have to be FDR in the 30s. But that is a speculation.

Scratch A “Progressive”, Find A Totalitarian

“So, Mitch – why do you say that the democratic party in United States is the party of authoritarianism? “

Because they tell us they are. Strong majority of Democrats approve of Justin Trudeaucescu‘s treatment of civil disobedience:treatment of civil civil disobedience:

35 percent overall approved of Trudeau’s crackdown, while 10 percent said they were unaware of what’s happening to the US’ northern neighbor.

Looking at Democrat likely voters alone, 65 percent said they favored Trudeau’s crackdown on the protestors, and 17 percent said they disapproved.

I mean, even the rhetoric is becoming too obvious to avoid; Orwell’s villains declared that freedom was slavery; today, democrat thinkers closer and closer to the main stream say freedom is “white supremacist“.

Tomato, tomahto.

Let Them Eat Artisanal Wagyu

Last week, Minneapolis Mayor Frey Took to social media to declare his vaccine mandate – which he implemented as the Omicron wave had already peaked in Minnesota – a raging success, with his phone clogged, clogged, he told us, with photos of people at jam-packed restaurants.

We must only conclude, then, that “Seven”, The long time downtown tent pole restaurant with the best rooftop in the history of Minneapolis hospitality, closed because of overcrowding concerns.

Or not:

Worries about crime in downtown also contributed. “I can’t get staff to be excited to work downtown, because they don’t feel sale” he said.

You may find Karen responding “but restaurants close all the time, and it’s got nothing to do with draconian, misguided, on scientific emergency orders!”

And Karen would be wrong:

Finally, Patterson said city-ordered requirements on masks-wearing and vaccinations dealt the business a final blow. “We’ve seen a big decline even in the past few weeks,” following the revival of an indoor mask order by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. On an average Friday night, he said, Seven could generate at least $25,000 in sales; after the mask order, Friday receipts dropped to $5,000.

With absolutely Marie Antoinnette like timing, the mayor got perhaps the puffiest puff piece in the puffy history of a puffy magazine this week; This is the week that the mayor appeared in Vogue magazine, as one does:

The mayor’s first term, which culminated in a hard-won reelection in November, gave him endless reasons to pace. Beyond Frey’s brio, he is an exposed nerve. “From the global pandemic to the economic downturn, the murder of George Floyd in our city, the subsequent unrest,” Frey speaks solemnly, “it was a lot. I don’t think anybody, including the former me…fully comprehends what this has been like.” Frey gestures to photos from four years ago, when he took office as a “bright-eyed, bushy-tailed 36-year-old.” He drank Red Stripes and sampled hot sauce with the local press. Now, like presidents gone gray in the White House, “I’ve aged a decade, easily,” Frey tells me, citing crow’s-feet, stress pimples, and trauma he hopes will manifest as post-traumatic growth. “This is a time that changed me forever.”

Speaking of changing:

from Vogue: “Frey, photographed at home in a Rag & Bone sweater with his wife, attorney and advisor Sarah Clarke, in Tory Burch and Altuzarra, and their daughter, Frida. Photographed by Alec Soth, Vogue, March 2022.” Photographs in March 2022?

Glad to know the mayor and his family are doing all right. It must be a tough time for them.

“Welcome To Potemkin’s! I’m Chimera, I’ll Be Your Server”

I’ll meet Mayor Frey halfway.

He’s supposed to be Minneapolis’s top cheerleader. It’s part of his job to blow smoke up the world’s collective nethers about the city.

So when he went on social media after about a week of his bizarrely illogical and unscientific vaccine mandate to say everything was hunky dory:

…it wasn’t in and of itself a surprise. Cheerleading the city, and their own policies even moreso, is part of a mayor’s job description.

Of course, the stats aren’t nearly as sanguine. Minneapolis table reservation via “Open Table” are off by…


…two thirds:

Now, it’s entirely possible the Mayor’s phone is flooded with photos of full restaurants. The number of choices in Minneapolis has plummeted. Literally, every place in Minneapolis where I used to do social events has disappeared in the past 20 months.


In so many areas, the Twin Cites political class loves to affect an appreciation of Scandinavian governance.

They love the interventionist social democracy, the often successful tinkering with utopian ideas (dependent, of course, on a small, wealthy society with social cohesion that doesn’t exist in American cities over 5,000), the communitarian ethos (see previous parenthetical), while ignoring the less convenient parts, the ethnic homogeneity, the history of fighting against tyrants…

…and, I suspect, this bit here:

Yep. Critical thought, on the part of the news media:

The article charges that politicians and authorities have “lied” about various aspects of the pandemic, prompting these establishments to lose the public trust, noting that the efficacy of vaccines to end the pandemic was also vastly overstated by health authorities…Ekstra Bladet’s public apology is part of a growing trend in the European media that has begun to question the narrative and the governments’ responses to it. For example, one of Germany’s top newspapers, Bild, issued an apology last August for fearmongering over COVID, specifically about claims that children were “going to murder their grandma.” 

Who knows? Maybe if they see the Danes are OK with it, the Strib – “the newspaper of the Twin Cities of, by and for Big Karen” – will find the guts to think.a little.


A group of restauranteurs and bar owners are taking the Frey regime to court over the city’s bizarre, unscientific vaxx mandate:

Plaintiffs in the complaint filed in Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Court Thursday include Bright Red Group, LLC (owners of Smack Shack), 90’s Minneapolis, LLC (The Gay 90’s), PJ. Hafiz Club Management, Inc. (Sneaky Pete’s), Urban entertainment, LLC (Wild Greg’s Saloon), Urban Forage, LLC (Urban Forage), and MikLin Enterprises, Inc. (Jimmy John’s) and I & E Inc. (Bunkers Music Bar & Grill).

According to the complaint, the emergency resolution “is calculated and purposed to attempt to prod the general public toward vaccination… Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns to further Mayor Frey’s agenda of pushing for and convincing the public to get vaccinated. Whether the end being sought is noble, the scheme is forcing restaurants and bars to lose additional patrons and business that have already been reduced over the past two years and incur new costs and burdens to enforce the requirements.”

When I saw the original mandate, I wondered – so some 20-something 110 pound female hostess encounters someone without a vaxx card who wants to eat anyway. Then what?

Does the restaurant call the cops?

Even if there’s some response on their part, they’ll show up long after the customers have ordered, eaten and left.

What is it exactly that the Frey regime expects restaurants to do under color of his mandate?

Rational Basis

Joe Doakes from Como park emails:Joe Doakes from Como park emails:

Every government regulation restricts some individual’s freedom. It wouldn’t be a regulation if it didn’t.

A government regulation which affects similarly situated individuals must treat them similarly. That’s what the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment is all about.

To survive an Equal Protection challenge, the government regulation must be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose.

The U of M concedes the Covid vaccine doesn’t halt the spread of Covid but intends to impose a vaccine mandate anyway.

St. Paul and Minneapolis require vaccine or proof of negative test to enter bars and restaurants.

All three government entities insist the regulations are based on SCIENCE. But other government entities in the state have not enacted similar regulations. There is no scientific reason why restaurants in St. Paul would be deadlier than Maplewood, why Manny’s Steak House would be deadlier than Lord Fletcher’s, why a student with natural immunity is deadlier than a vaccinated student.

The regulations do not treat citizens similarly. There is no rational basis for the difference. The different regulations violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In the olden days, there were organizations which cared about such things, the American Civil Liberties Union, for example. They ought to be in court every day, suing on behalf of individual rights. They’re not. Nobody is.

Why doesn’t anybody care about Constitutional rights more?

What happened to us?

Joe Doakes

Urban Progressive Privilege: Only The Right Kind Of Compliance!

A friend of the blog emails:

Rise Bagel Company has decided to not have to make a choice of who they serve. They are now closed to indoor dining, open for take out. Their business, their choice. All customers treated equally. Shouldn’t be any controversy.

But, yet there is- people who like the vaccine mandate are somehow mad that Rise Bagel Company is closed to indoor dining. Read the comments on the Facebook-people are upset that this business isn’t doing the least bit to keep people safe. But, what? Isn’t closing down to indoor dining even safer? I’ve heard there are quite a few others doing the same thing, whether out of protest or lack of staffing.

They can only except people closing down for the right reasons.

No, that’s not hyperbole:

I suspect “Rise Bagels” couldn’t be happier to lose this person’s business.

But the point remains – this isn’t about infection control.

Just control.

Somewhere, Mussolini’s Ghost Is Smiling

The Salt Lake Tribune calls for martial law to enforce a mask mandate:

Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere.

Why is it that now, as the public health bureaucracy is finally starting to come around to what most of us have known about this pandemic for a year and a half, that Big Karen is getting crazier and crazier?

Game On

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals says — no mandate for you:

A federal appeals court has upheld its stay on President Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for companies with at least 100 employees.

In a 22-page ruling on Friday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the mandate was “fatally flawed,” and barred the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from enforcing the mandate “pending adequate judicial review” of a motion for permanent injunction.

OSHA shall “take no steps to implement or enforce the mandate until further court order,” the ruling stated.


The mandate, which was supposed to take effect Jan. 4, requires business with at least 100 employees to mandate their workers get vaccinated or undergo frequent testing.

Two predictions:

  • Biden and co. will ignore the court ruling; and
  • The chorus of MSM scolds will try to justify whatever Biden does. Constitutional crises are so 2020, doncha know.



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.

Checked And Balanced

A state district judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a group of parents Who were seeking an order requiring the governor to issue a state wide mask mandate and to reinstate the state of emergency.

Thankfully, the judge shot the request down:

“While this court is gravely concerned about the public health consequences of the failure of school districts to implement the guidance of the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health regarding the use of masks for children, teachers, and staff in K-12 public schools,” the judge wrote in his ruling, “the judiciary cannot order a co-equal branch of government to exercise its discretionary, political judgment to implement a specific educational policy.”

In other words…

… (Mitch takes a deep breath)…

…the parents wanted a member of the judicial branch to compel the head of the executive branch do seize all of the authority of the legislative branch.

Sure, we have a public health crisis. We have an even bigger crisis in civics education in this state.

Never Waste A Crisis

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats seized on a flu virus to panic the public into accepting restrictions on civil liberties including ‘fortifying’ the election to defeat Bad Orange Man. Now they want storm troopers to go door-to-door, forcing people to take a counter-measure that doesn’t prevent you from catching the virus and won’t prevent you from spreading it to other people. It’s solely intended to reduce the severity of symptoms in breakthrough cases (which we no longer count as “Covid” cases, since May). And why is it any of the government’s business how severe my flu symptoms are?

Because they saved your life and now they own you. No, literally, that’s the justification. ““The federal government has spent trillions of dollars to try and keep Americans alive during this pandemic,” Becerra said on CNN’s “New Day.” “So it is absolutely the government’s business . . . .”

The arrogance is breathtaking. An earlier generation of Americans would have risen up and exterminated such would-be tyrants for their insolence. Push hard enough and maybe this one will, too?

Joe Doakes

There are seriously times where I wonder how this nation doesn’t break into somewhere between two and six different independent countries.

This year isn’t changing anything.


Memory is a survival trait.

Squirrels remember where they buried the nut, so they can eat it later
to survive the winter.  Those that don’t, die.

Children remember burning their finger, so they treat fire
respectfully.  Those who don’t, burn to death.

Conservatives remember past public policy disasters, so we can avoid
repeating them.  We use monuments and books to help us remember.

Liberals remember . . . nothing.  Nothing ever happened before they were
born, except slavery, which was bad and therefore everything that
happened before they were born, is bad.  So it must all be torn down and
thrown out and replaced with something that sounds better.  And it must
be done right now, because Liberals have no patience for history lessons
or experience or hard-gained wisdom.  Why would they need any?  What
could possibly go wrong?

Half the population believes President Trump bungled the Covid response
by failing to impose a travel ban and nation-wide lock-down in January,
when Covid hit the news.  They literally cannot remember that we spent
January dealing with impeachment, or the World Health Organization
telling us Covid was nothing to worry about, or hand washing and
elbow-bumps as sensible precautions, or all the Democrat protests over
banned flights from China.  They believe 200 million Americans died of
Covid because they don’t remember differently.

Loss of memory is an anti-survival trait and half our society is eagerly
embracing it.  This does not bode well for the continued existence of
the nation.

Joe Doakes

I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say “Progressives” (I’m not gonna continue debasing the term “liberal” – the left did enough of that) have no memory.

Orwell showed us how important controlling history – our “collective” story about ourselves – was to a would-be tyrant. This has been borne out in countless socialist and totalitarian regimes – knowing the wrong history could be a lethal error.

Having the correct memory, the one one is told to have, correctly and punctually, is a survival trait, historically (ahem) on the left.

In Which The LA Times Goes Long On Freedom

I can not be the only one to have noted the jarring irony of the LA Times’ piece, almost two weeks ago, warning against gutting freedom over ugly, but rare, outrages – can I?

The gruesome terror attack that left eight people dead on a New York City bicycle path Tuesday afternoon spotlighted a troubling reality: Society cannot safeguard itself against every dangerous eventuality.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of people who will pretend that it can — and who will tell you they know how to do it. Already, those who oppose immigration are making hay out of the fact that the attack’s perpetrator entered the country seven years ago through what’s known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. And President Trump pushed the discussion further into dangerous ground Wednesday when he seemed to urge that safeguards in the legal system be undercut in the name of swift vengeance. “We need quick justice and we need strong justice — much quicker and much stronger than we have right now,” Trump said.

The president’s insistence that the justice system in this country is a “joke” and a “laughingstock” built on political correctness is worrisome, given his authoritarian tendencies. The idea that constitutional protections should be gutted because Trump is upset is both legally and morally absurd.

That’s when the weapon is a car.

I’m wondering if there isn’t something about leftism that makes it impossible for people to detect logical inconsistency or irony.

“The Government Is Not Coming For Your Guns”

Unless they want to.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp signed an emergency order allowing the seizure of private guns, ammunition, explosives and property the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma.
Do You Think This Emergency Order Is Unconstitutional?
Mapp signed the order Monday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The order allows the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to seize private property they believe necessary to protect the islands, subject to approval by the territory’s Justice Department.

I’m feeling pretty good about supporting the 2015 bill that bars the Minnesota state government from doing any such thing.

Want To Make A Nation Of Fundamentally Law-Abiding, Pro-Police People Trust Cops Less Than Journalists Or Used Car Dealers?

To:  Salt Lake City PD
From:  Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
Re:  Officer Himmler


If this piece of walking garbage with a badge…:

…is still working for the SLCPD, you are flirting with forfeiting any legitimacy as a “law enforcement” organization.

And don’t respond with “do you think you could do his job?”   I, the law-abiding citizen, hire him to do a job, and part of the job is not violating the civil rights of my fellow citizens!

This is not a feudal kingdom, and police aren’t knights to whom citizens must bow and scrape like peasants.  Some cops seem to have a hard time with that.   It’s gotta stop.

Fair For The Gander

Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama has just been granted authority by the Alabama legislature to form its own police department.

The church says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe.

Not sure how this differs from “hiring private security”, which plenty of churches do, or having church members train to provide security (as others do, sometimes with great and immediate effect).   Does a church feel it needs search and arrest powers?  I dunno.

Here’s the part that I think is interesting (emphasis added):

Critics of the bill argue that a police department that reports to church officials could be used to cover up crimes.

A church, with its own cop shop, could cover up crimes.


Could be.  It’s an astute observation.

Doesn’t that also mean that any other body that has a police force could do the same?  Cities?  Counties?  States?  Universities?  The Feds?

Nullified (Not!)

We don’t know what happened in the jury room in Oregon yesterday – but as we noted last night, a jury acquitted all of Ammon Bundy’s group of all charges.

The decision smells like jury nullification – the notion that a jury can invalidate bad law by not finding people guilty of it.

Say what you will about the Bundy clan and their methods, but the original charge that led to the fracas – the “setting a fire in federal property” rap that arose from a controlled blaze that became not-so-controlled and overlapped federal property in the trackless waste of eastern Oregon – was a crock and needed to be nullified.

And, as a lot of libertarian Westerners (or as the Southern Poverty Law Center would refer to them, “terrorists”) have been talking about for a long time, the jury would have none of it.

The feds don’t like being denied:

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer Marcus Mumford argued that his client, dressed in a gray suit and white dress shirt, should be allowed to walk out of the court, a free man.

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown told him that there was a U.S. Marshal’s hold on him from a pending federal indictment in Nevada.

“If there’s a detainer, show me,” Mumford stood, arguing before the judge.

Suddenly, a group of about six U.S. Marshals surrounded Mumford at his defense table. The judge directed them to move back but moments later, the marshals  grabbed on to him.

“What are you doing?” Mumford yelled, as he struggled and was taken down to the floor.

As deputy marshals yelled, “Stop resisting,” the judge demanded, “Everybody out of the courtroom now!”

Mumford was taken into custody, a member of his legal team confirmed.

Ammon Bundy’s lawyer J. Morgan Philpot, said afterwards on the courthouse steps that Mumford had been arrested and marshals had used a stun gun, or Taser, on his back.

Jurors (apparently) nullified the charges because, one suspects, they believe the feds have become an authoritarian bureaucracy.  The feds then give them evidence to support the thesis.

It’s going to be an interesting four years.

UPDATE:  Not nullification?  No problem.  Good guys win either way.

A Matter Of Trust

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This guy was sitting in the car reading a book, Tasered four times, then shot.

 Or he got out of the car with a gun and threatened the officers.

 Depends on who you believe.

 On the one hand, a certain group of people Whose Lives Matter have a history of making up facts to support their story.  The “Hands Up” thing comes to mind.

 On the other hand, a certain group of people Who Are Above The Law have a history of making up facts to support their story, too.  The cop who dropped the Taser next to his shooting victim comes to mind.

 I honestly can’t decide which group is less trustworthy and that terrifies me.  It means the main source of social cohesion is failing.  Every time that’s happened throughout history, it’s been a pre-cursor to societal upheaval, often leading to collapse, chaos, anarchy, dictatorship, riot, plague and death.

 It doesn’t matter who we elect as President, if there’s no nation to govern. 

 Joe Doakes

This is the elephant in the room; if we can’t trust our government and our fellow citizen, then freedom is really just a slogan.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Neither the Castile shooting nor the Miami shooting seem like racial incidents.  They seem like Keystone Kops incidents: running in circles, nobody in charge, contradictory commands, misinterpreted actions, improper over-reaction.  

When a mass of cops arrive at the scene, who’s in charge?  Who gives the orders?  Who decides when to shoot?  Doesn’t seem to be a consistent policy and as a result, people are getting shot.

 I can forgive an honest error in judgment.  I can’t overlook incompetence. 

 Joe Doakes

A few years (OK – a few decades) back, I read about the training involved in a hostage rescue team, including the danger involved with lots of men running around in a cramped space, high on adrenaline and guns.  The training to develop the teamwork necessary to make the team more dangerous to “the enemy” than to themselves alone was a long, drawn-out process.

Do local SWAT teams, much less patrol cops, get this?

I don’t think so, but I’m genuinely curious.

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.