Try Some, Buy Some

Every desktop should have a link to The Devil’s Dictionary, the masterwork of Ambrose Bierce, who had his primary success in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s. Bierce’s cynical lexicography still rings true, a full century after he wandered into Mexico to meet his Maker circa 1914. To use one example, Bierce defines “adherent” as follows:

ADHERENT, n. A follower who has not yet obtained all that he expects to get.

All politicians are on the lookout for adherents, especially a guy like Gavin Newsom, the upmarket Jacob Frey who is (a) governor of California and (b) facing a recall. Newsom is a man in a hurry, so he’s looking to get some adherents in bulk:

Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a second round of $600 state stimulus checks on Monday to hasten California’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, hoping to expand the payments from low-income residents to also include middle-class families, and noting that doing so would ensure benefits for 2 out of 3 state residents.

The proposal to deliver $8 billion in new cash payments to millions of Californians is part of a $100-billion economic stimulus plan made possible in part by a budget that has swelled with a significant windfall of tax revenues, a surplus the governor put at $75.7 billion.

You might wonder where the money came from, but never mind that, because ol’ Gavin’s not done — he’s also rent seeking, er, offering rent assistance: 

Newsom also proposed $5 billion to double rental assistance to get 100% of back rent paid for those who have fallen behind, along with as much as $2 billion in direct payments to pay down utility bills, proposals that were supported by legislative leaders on Monday.

This is hilariously corrupt but hey, who doesn’t love a stimmy? And since California is famously a one-party state, no one is gonna stop Newsom from buying his way out of a recall. Recall elections in Minnesota are essentially impossible, so Tim Walz doesn’t need to do this sort of thing, but there’s little doubt he’d pull the same stunt were it required. I think it’s safe to assume all Dem officeholders who find themselves in trouble will make it rain next year.  

Duty

I’ve got a lot of Catholic friends who are also conservatives.

I keep asking them – “when is your bureaucracy going to start enforcing the church’s supposed beliefs, like publicly supporting the right to life, or at least not being pro-infanticide, on “Catholic” politicians?

“We will. We will”.

But they don’t. Never.

But is the specter of Joe Biden, a publicly practicing Catholic, being called “the most faithful President in recent history” (by a chattering class that generally regards Christianity as a den of know-nothjing ignorance) and a representative face for Christianity and Catholicism in public, finally goading the Bishops into action?

Maybe, but don’t bet your mortgage payment on it:

But we now hear from a few murmuring bishops that the Church must address Biden’s unworthy reception of Communion. “US Catholic bishops may press Biden to stop taking Communion,” reads a recent AP headline. Nothing concrete, however, is likely to come from these complaints. The U.S. bishops, as a whole, lack the will to withhold Communion from Biden, even though canon law says that they not only have the right but the duty to do so. Canon 915 “obliges the minister of Holy Communion to refuse the Sacrament” to those in “manifest grave sin.” If Biden’s direct facilitation of the killing of unborn children doesn’t fall into that category, what does?

Not being Catholic, I’m not hip to the vagaries of intra-curial politics, but the American bishops strike this Orthodox Presbyterian as not a whole lot more concerned about such things than the ELCA.

Frantic Bailing

The one, single public official in either city that didn’t marinade themselves in shame in the face of the rioting last year was Saint Paul’s top cop Todd Axtell.

Don’t get me wrong – Axtell has been no less DFL-doctrinaire an anti-gunner than any other urban police chief. He knows where his next paycheck is coming from.

But as Jacob Frey went blank in front of the cameras (only to wake up to tear into a Trump tweet, as Lake Street burned west to Nicollet), as Lisa Bender mumbled about public safety being a sign of privilege, and Melvin Carter apparently went into hiding, Axtell had the great common sense to go on TV and send a message to the rioters that had scourged my neighborhood the previous day: “We’re not abandoning any part of Saint Paul” – which, tacitly, also said Yes, public safety is a privilege, one that every %$#@@ one of you taxpayers of every race and orientation pays for with your tax dollar. And the SPPD, which got behind on the count on Thursday the 28th, at least went on to prove it Friday the 29th, meeting the rioters on the Marshall-Lake Bridge and sending them scampering back to easier pickings west of the river.

It was one of precious few times I’ve been happy to live in Saint Paul in recent years.

It sounded a little like riot night in Saint Paul over the past weekend – three separate shootings, including one at a crowded house party, combined with apparently hundreds of street racers dicing up and down the freeways, gave the city that Black Hawk Down kind of vibe.

Axtell commented:

And I don’t doubt Axtell means it. If nothing else, he’s built up some confidence in some parts of the public, including this mere taxpayer.

But if the SPPD catches them, then what?

They get handed over to a Ramco prosecutors office that is about as tough on crime as Mitra Jalali?

All but the trigger men, maybe, will be back out on the street before the ink is dry on their arrest records. Which are digital.

At least, that’s the sense people get.

If there was ever a time Saint Paul needed to be something other than a one-party desert, this is it.

The DFLin the metro likes to chant “We OWN This Town” after they win lopsided and at least partly fraudulent elections.

Yep, DFL. You do. And like a trust fund baby with a car you didn’t really pay for, wrecking it has no consequences for you. The trust will just get you another. Roseville. Maybe Rochester.

Good luck, Chief.

Urban Progressive Privilege Means Never Needing A Moral Compass

Erin Maye Quade – who, you may recall, came within an epic suck up to the progressive movement of being Minnesota’s lieutenant governor – had this to say about Tim Scott’s rebuttal to the presidents… whatever that was Wednesday night:

This, on top of Ryan WInkler’s “Uncle Tom” jape at one of the most accomplished jurists of any race in US history, and of course the “Uncle Tim” slur earlier this week, is enough to make any moral creature ask…

…what is the Democratic Party going to do about its racism problem?

UPDATE: I’ve “cloned” this post from yesterday. You’ll see why in a moment.

Toxic AF Romper Room

This is an open thread for all the random dick-measuring y’all wanna do. Like arguing about the Holocaust.

An even on which this blog has been crystal clear throughout its history, if you happened to read any of it.

Or branch out and flame away over whether Van Halen is “Metal” or “Hard Rock”. Knock yourselves out.

The conversation — one of the most comical threadjacks this blog has had since “Dog Gone” was fumigated – will not metastasize into any other threads. I need say no more.

Well Groomed

There was a little bit of kerfuffle earlier this week over this tweet, by “a member of the U of M’s student government”:

Is this not the ultimate expression of “white privilege?”

It can almost go without saying that she’s got a job coming up in Tina Smith’s office. So you can forget about the whole “accountability” thing.

Togetherness?

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hoover, Kennedy and Trump donated their salaries to charity.  Biden is worth $10 million. During the pandemic when so many Americans are out of work and hurting, is Biden donating his salary? Are we truly “all in this together?”

Joe Doakes 

Wait – “all in this together” is still a thing?

I thought it was just something Democrat pols say to get elected. Like “One Minnesota”.

This Is What Screwed Looks Like

Governor Walz yesterday morning, as he got ready to head into the studio for his ritual toenail-painting with Esme Murphy:

Ever notice how the press never cares about civil rights being trashed until its their civil rights being trashed?

He’s wrong, of course. A press that holds power accountable is “foundational to democracy”. So we’re screwed.

By the way – not holding “emergency power” long after the emergency has passed is also “foundational to democracy”.

If Weasels Were The Size Of Elk

When it comes to “vaccine passports”, the Minnesota Department of Health is keeping its options open:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said just eight days ago that he does not want to implement a “vaccine passport” system that requires Minnesotans to carry documentation that they’ve received the coronavirus vaccine.

“I have no intention of doing vaccine passports,” he told reporters, per KSTP. “Our vaccine passport is get the shot. Get the shot, and we get beyond this. So we have no intention of doing it.”

“Does not want”.

“No Intention”.

If weasels were the size of moose, they could still slip through the wiggle room the Governor has left himself and his administration.

And here come the elk-sized weasels:

However, the governor’s own health department seemed to broadcast a different message via a statement posted to Facebook just six days later, on April 13.

“We don’t know yet know [sic] if you’ll need to show proof of vaccination for things like traveling, concerts or other activities,” the MDH wrote.

Remember – if you assume the typical MNDFL voter has the critical thinking skills of a tenth-grader, it all makes sense.

The (Unintentional) Comedy Scene In Minneapolis Is Recovering Nicely

Phillippe Cunningham, Minneapolis DFL City Councilman, writes:

Let’s get this straight: Cunningham, powerful elected member of a party that has had single-party control over one of America’s (formerly) great cities since it was a great city, a man who along with his family will be a part of the political class in power for the rest of his life, is complaining about “the Establishment”.

I mean, why not? “Eurasia” was taken.

Some Animals…

This was Keith Ellison, the other night in Brooklyn Center:

So we have:

  • Minnesota’s top “law enforcement officer”
  • Out after the curfew his political class imposed
  • Telling (the right) people to go ahead and flout the curfew

I’m going to need to find all these examples of Ellison’s perfidy and collect ’em all in one place for 2022. This stuff needs to get dragged out of the memory hole…

…for whatever good it’ll do.

So What Is Going On In The ICUs?

The justification for Dictator-for-Life Walz’ continued use of Emergency Powers, and his endless fondling of the dials to raise or lower limits on normal behavior, rests on the notion that if he failed to act, Covid patients would overwhelm the hospital system leaving sufferers to die on gurneys in hallways and parking lots, up to 70,000 of them in Minnesota alone.

This chart from Kevin Roche at Healthy Skeptic illustrates how stupid that lie was and continues to be.  Time to end the lockdowns. 

image.png

Joe Doakes 


It’s Good To Be King

In Minneapolis, the Democrat Party tells the peasants who to thank for their bread and circuses:

No, no no no no – this is totally not the act of a party that knows its voter base is a lumpen gray mass of people with no critical thinking skills.

And don’t you dare call the one-party governments of the Twin Cities mechanisms for transferring taxpayer money to the favored political classes:

Springboard for the Arts said its member artists will receive the first $500 payments in the pilot program in April. The payments will support 25 artists in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods for 18 months.

In a release, Mayor Melvin Carter called Springboard for the Arts a “vital partner” and said guaranteed income will “benefit our entire community.”

The $500 payments are deposited directly to individuals and have no strings attached or work requirements. The recipients will be chosen at random, but Springboard for the Arts says 75 percent of the individuals will be “Black, Native and/or people of color…The city of St. Paul used its CARES Act funding, philanthropy and the Mayors for Guaranteed Income national network to come up with the $1.5 million needed to fulfill the pilot.”

So – not wanting your catalytic converter stolen is “privilege”…

…but being an “artist” entitles you to tax money, not paying which will put me in jail.

That boot-like thing you feel on your neck? It’s a boot.

Ripple Effects

Democrats take action to signal their virtue, unconcerned by the
downstream ripple effects of those actions.  Here are a couple of recent
pleas for help from lawyers whose clients are caught in Governor Walz’
snare:

***
I represent an Homeowner’s Association that completed a foreclosure on
an owner in the Association who hasn’t paid association dues for years.
The owner remains in possession of the unit following the foreclosure
redemption period and refuses to leave. Her unit is a health hazard (she
is a hoarder who uses cups for human waste rather than the toilet.) We
have affidavits from the Fire Marshal  about the conditions of the unit
and the dangers to the neighboring units due to fire danger from her
unit. At a recent inspection of the alarms in the building, the marshal
was only able to open her door far enough to put his head in an hear the
alarm worked. There were stacks of items above head level all around
him.  The owner no longer can sleep in her unit, but sleeps in the
hallways or common areas.  Question – how can I get her out of the unit,
in light of Governor Walz’s Executive Order halting evictions?

***

Client is an elderly man who owns a duplex and lives in one unit. Tenant
vacated other duplex unit, but associates of former tenant moved in
thereafter. Different people come and go. Current occupants have not
paid rent for nearly a year. No clear exceptions to Governor Walz’
Executive Order 20-79 prohibiting evictions. At some point after current
occupants moved in, utilities were shut off because they were in name of
former tenant who had not paid separately metered utilities. Tenants
threatened to sue the landlord for interruption of utilities so Client
restored and began paying utilities for that unit, though I believe his
only income is Social Security and he can barely keep up with his own
living expenses.  I believe an argument could be made that there is
financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult under the MN Vulnerable
Adults Act whereby “tenants” are obtaining services (utilities) for
their advantage to the detriment of PC. However, the Act only provides
for monetary damages and a mechanism for the state to investigate. 
Question is whether exploitation of a vulnerable adult landlord could be
pled as basis for filing an eviction notwithstanding Governor Walz’
Executive Order?

***

The first-order effect of the Governor signaling his virtue was to allow
renters and squatters to live free for a year.  The second-order effect
is to put everyone in the Homeowner’s Association is at risk because the
Association can’t get one person out of the building; and a senior
citizen is forced to subsidize an endless parade of low-life leaches. 
How many other cases are out there, but we don’t know about them since
those cases contradict The Narrative?  How many other lives are
threatened or ruined because Democrats needed to exploit Covid?

Joe Doakes

Indeed.

The New Racial Purity Klan

They’re not even bothering to couch it in academic abstractions anymore:

If the people have any kind of memory or moral sense at all, 2022 is going to be a bloodbath.

But I’m worried about the whole memory and moral sense thing.

We’ve Seen This Before

Lauren Boebert, 34 year old business owner and freshman Congresswoman from Colorado, is to the 2020s what Michele Bachmann was to the 2000s – further proof of Berg’s Eighth Law.

Boebert actually is what Big Left has been trying to teach the world AOC is; a young woman who actually accomplished something.

Achievement Unlocked

Even at the peaks of their evil power, Mussolini was never able to get authors to drop off boxes of books at their bonfire parties. The Nazis weren’t able to get the Brownshirt leadership to beat themselves to death. Stalin never got the Kulaks and Wreckers and “KRs” to check themselves into the Lyubyanka.

Say what you will about modern “woke” culture – they’ve been able to develop the self-canceling apparatchik.

Consequences. Unintended And…

A friend of the blog emails:

Essentially this article blames the pandemic as the reason for higher Minneapolis property taxes next year.  The reason is because commercial real estate in the city has been jumping so much over the last 10 years before 2020, home owners have not seen as much increase in property taxes.  It’s all relative.  The city spend money like a drunken sailor and has been able to pass that on to the growing apartment buildings, restaurants, other commercial ventures that have popped up in the last 10 years.  That growth has halted and I predict commercial properties and values will decrease which will shift the burden to homeowners.  Get ready homeowners.

2020 has changed all that.  Part of the change is the pandemic as businesses realize they can keep workers working at home and reduce the amount of office space needed.  But it is also true that businesses will not move into a city that has no police force and allows blocks of businesses to be looted and burned.  Target is downsizing.  There wasn’t even a thought of the Canadian Pacific merger of having the headquarters in downtown Mpls where it is now.  Who thinks Minneapolis will see a Final Four or a Superbowl in the next 10 years?  The airheads running the city have created a bigger mess than just the pandemic.  I am glad to see my favorite establishment, Brit’s Pub, has re-opened but I am not tempted to go there even in daylight due to the dangerous downtown. 

Right now I am watching the discussion on the local Nextdoor.  People are noticing a big jump in their assessed home values yet their property taxes are stable and some even falling a bit.  The respite in tax increase this year is a big head fake.  The 2022 property taxes will increase mightily as these higher home values will shift a big piece of the real estate base from business to homeowners.  Maybe not if the city’s spending can be cut.  Unfortunately those cuts will likely come from the police force which is already being decimated by resignations and retirements.  The city can just recognize reality that they cannot retain and recruit enough badges.    My heart is sad for my beloved Minneapolis.  The local voters have been mislead by the local media and the chickens have come home to roost.  They will appeal to the state of MN for help.  God give backbones to the state legislature to say “NO.”  Just say “no” as Mpls voters caused this problem, they need to fix it.

Let this be a cautionary tale for other cities.  You don’t want this.

The same story can be said for all of Hennepin County. This will affect them as well.

Two observations.

First: when the MInnPost is too far to the middle for a Democrat machine…

Second: This is what a death spiral looks like.

See also: Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Newark…

…well, you get the idea.

Just A Quick Note

A few regular-ish Democratic commenters have taken umbrage at my occasional statments along the lines of “Democrat voters have no critical thinking skills”.

Let me explain.

I say it because…’

…well, it’s true. Universally. Without exception.

Case in point:

“Shots in arms” – thanks to Trump.

Billions for schools – that, with the DFL calling the shots, are still squabbling about reopening.

And every dollar in the pocket paid for by five dollars taken from someone else – including your own grandchildren.

But no – don’t you dare assume the party that would write tripe like this can’t safely assume their voters are a lumpen, bovine mass.

A Senate Democrat Tradition

Back in the early days of this blog – the early 2000s – I used to refer to then -Senator Wes Skoglund of MInneapolis as “A Lying Sack of Garbage”.    

It was deeply uncivil – but it was accurate.   If it came from his mouth, and it was about guns, gun owners, gun laws, gun crime, the Second Amendment, it’s legal and factual history, it was a lie.  Full stop.

Favorite pullquote from history – in 2003, he opposed Shall Issue carry permit reform because he said, in the Strib, that it’d allow gang members to get carry permits (a claim never fact-checked by any local media).  I’m fairly sure he knew better – but then as now, DFL pols could count on their voters being less than adept at critical thinking.  

It’s been almost pointless to note which Democrat pols have inherited the “Lying Sack of Garbage” mantel – it’s generally easier to point out the ones that tell the truth than the ones that don’t.   

But in this op-ed in the Strib, Senator John Marty strips down to his skivvies and rolls around in a slop pit if lies, slander and dishonor, putting himself on the short list to inherit the title.

It’s about his proposal to ban carry at the capitol – an attempt to roll back legislation from 2015 that allowed Minnesotans with valid carry permits to not be disarmed at the Capitol.   

It’s almost Nancy Nord Bence-level:

The sight of people flaunting assault rifles is becoming commonplace at political rallies of Trump supporters and right-wing causes. During the past year, Michigan, Oregon, Kentucky and Idaho all had incidents where people, armed to the teeth and dressed for combat, walked into their state Capitols to threaten public officials. These incidents made national news because the brazen intimidation was so shocking.

It’s so cute that the party that has no problem with “Anti”-Fa thugs patrolling the outskirts and aftermaths of their “peaceful protests”, that employs “woke” culture to intimidate dissent at schools, in the workplace and in the public square, and sicced the IRS on their opponents as suddenly developed scruples about “intimidation”.

Fifty years ago, it wasn’t this way. In 1967, when the Black Panthers walked into the California state Capitol heavily armed, there was strong bipartisan support for prohibiting the carrying of loaded firearms. Then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and even the NRA supported the Mulford Act, which sharply restricted the carrying of guns, not just in the California Capitol, but elsewhere. Reagan said there is “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

When people on the left start quoting Reagan, stand by for a gale of mangled context.

Reagan’s response to the Black Panthers was among the worst of his few mistakes. Marty deserves to be told as much.

Now however, when it is largely white conservatives who are taking guns to Capitols, the NRA and the Republican Party seem to consider it perfectly appropriate for their allies to use guns to intimidate political opponents.

I can’t speak to Senator Marty’s sense of proportion or stability. But given that the people with the gun are all people who are over 21, have all passed training courses and multiple background checks thereby proving that they are better bets, criminologically speaking, per capita, than the House DFL Caucus, one might suggest Marty is crying wolf.

And either doing it ignorantly, or (more likely) presuming his Democrat audience just doesn’t care that much about the facts:

We do not allow people to bring guns into county courthouses, into many big office buildings in the Twin Cities or at Vikings, Wild and Twins games. Thirty-two other states require people to walk through a metal detector before entering their Capitol buildings.

Where to start with that graf?

  • We don’t allow carry in any courthouse, federal, state, county or municipal. Anywhere. The 2003 Minnesota Personal Protection Act let the judicial branch make those decisions itself.
  • The office buildings and sports venues are private property. They have the ability – misguided though it is – to ban firearms. It’s one reason I rarely if ever patronize major league sports.
  • Re the metal detectors – so?

Now, we leave mere ignorance – personal or implied – and get into actual prevarication:

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus urged their members to show up, armed, to those committee meetings. There were about 150 notifications for one such hearing in 2013, almost triple the number in the entire previous year.

A hearing on gun legislation does not pose any greater safety risk than other hearings and there is no greater need for personal protection. Opponents of gun legislation carry guns to those hearings to intimidate.

There are other ways guns are used to intimidate as well. One lobbyist told some legislators whom she was lobbying that she carried a gun at the Capitol because she feared people lobbying on the other side of the issue, calling them dangerous — an insidious way of undermining her opponents. It is not surprising that the opponents reported difficulty getting appointments to make their case with legislators.

The 2005 law that allowed carrying of handguns in public allowed the same people to carry assault rifles and other long guns in public. That has led to the increasingly common sight of heavily armed people at rallies and protests. They are not armed for personal protection. They do so to intimidate and strike fear in others.

Minnesotans can consider and discuss gun legislation as rational adults; hearings should be conducted without armed intimidation. Consequently, I have introduced SF 2048, which would prohibit the carrying of guns at the Capitol and restore the law that blocked people from bringing assault rifles to rallies and protests.

We should take security at the Capitol and at political rallies seriously before there is a tragic attack that kills people. At some point, security experts might determine that metal detectors are needed at the Capitol. Unfortunately, metal detectors create an oppressive climate which makes a place feel more militarized and less safe. Whether or not they are necessary now, we should prepare and plan for the possibility in the future, including quick implementation if a credible threat appears. But for now, it’s time to treat the Capitol like county courthouses and other places that prohibit guns. Public discourse on contentious issues can be done in a rational manner without allowing some to intimidate others. Public safety will benefit as well.

Allowing guns at the Capitol in these divided times is a recipe for disaster.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus urged their members to show up, armed, to [the 2013 House] committee meetings. There were about 150 notifications for one such hearing in 2013, almost triple the number in the entire previous year.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus wasn’t founded until 2014. The MNGOC has never urged people to bring guns anywhere, and has always eschewed the idea of open carry at the Capitol.

Marty is either lying, or assuming his audience is too stupid to know better.

My vote is “both”.

Oh, yeah – and that 2015 legislation that allows citizens to carry firearms, legally, with a permit, on the Capitol grounds?

Marty voted for it.

Not Invented Here, But Pay No Mind

As predicted – Biden is claiming copious credit for things Tump actually did.

Pullquote:

When President Trump began promising a vaccine before the end of 2020, no one believed him. The Hill ran a piece headlined, “Trump’s new vaccine timeline met with deep skepticism.” NBC News published an article titled: “Fact check: Coronavirus vaccine could come this year, Trump says. Experts say he needs a ‘miracle’ to be right.” Similarly, ABC News ran a report titled, “Trump promises coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, but his own experts temper expectations.”

Back then, vaccine skepticism, which is now nearly universally condemned, was acceptable at the highest levels of our politics. Asked if she would take a vaccine approved prior to the election, then-vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said, “Well, I think that’s going to be an issue for all of us.”

Now, these same vaccines are a key part of the success story that Biden wants to tell about his response to the pandemic, and so the Trump effort has to be ignored or run down. Biden has referred to “the mess” he inherited, and Harris has said that “in many ways we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year.”

I was intensely skeptical that there’d be a vaccine in less than a couple years, this time last year. It wasn’t a bad bet, historically speaking.

That Biden and Big Left are taking credit for the miraculous performance of Big Pharma is…

…well, not unexpected.

It Might Explain A Lot

If your state budget is spending too much on old people and people with developmental disabilities, the easiest way to lighten the load is to kill them.

Joe Doakes

Far-fetched? Maybe.

But what are the downsides?

I bet a shiny new quarter Cuomo suffers no long-term fallout. As to the governors of states with policies no less apparently cynical and deadly – Massachusetts, New Jersey – who would know ?