Unexpectedly

I wasn’t living here in 1980. I’m not sure how Minneapolis’s Loony Left reacted to the “Solidarity“ protests in Poland – where the Polish “Solidarity“ trade union led a year of demonstrations against Poland’s communist government. The demonstrations – which newly elected President Ronald Reagan supported morally, symbolically and materially – were the beginning of the end of the communist bloc, and the Soviet Union with it.

I have vague memories, arriving in the Twin Cities years later, of sensing that an awful lot of Minnesota leftists had bet on the wrong side in that particular episode. I mean, two decades later some of them still did, in my comment section.

Now, 40 years later, as a similarly benighted country protests for similar reasons, a Democrat government is lending the Cuban demonstrators a bit of rhetorical support from a senile president, along with an executive branch that is, as we noted yesterday, laying down the law hard in favor of the regime.

And the Minnesota left?

They are showing themselves to be as morally depraved and intellectually bovine as ever:

Facing an economic crisis, food and medicine shortages and rising prices, the Cuban people are demanding that the communist regime give up power.

“We have to see the larger context of the pandemic, COVID-19. The economy has also collapsed, Cuba depends on tourism,” said Nimtz. The Minnesota Cuba Committee is also calling for an end to the U.S. trade embargo.

“What we are doing here is to demand, demand that the Biden administration end the embargo, lift the embargo, and do as he promised,” said Nimtz.

Minnesota Progressives; reliable communist useful idiots for 60 years.

Over The Target

The Center for the American Experiment has had to reschedule a “Critical Race Theory“ event in Duluth.

Due to threats.

Three times:

For the fourth time in a month, a Duluth venue was pressured into canceling the Raise Our Standards event put on by Center of the American Experiment. Within minutes of the announcement yesterday that the Cast Iron Bar and Grill would host the event, the owner received threatening phone calls pressuring them to cancel. American Experiment will now hold the event in the Lafayette Park Community Center in Duluth.

 

Hundreds of Minnesotans attended the first 16 stops on the Raise Our Standards tour focused on the state’s draft social studies standards and Critical Race Theory. The original Duluth appearance was postponed on June 17 after the Northland Country Club and Holiday Inn both backed out of hosting the event. The AAD Shrine Meeting & Event Center also canceled with American Experiment after signing a contract to host the event next Tuesday.

You see, that’s why Big Left is making such a huge deal about “January 6“; it allows them to deflect away from the way they behave every day, everywhere.

This Ain’t No Foolin’ Around

The sound of gunfire, off in the distance/I’m getting used to it now.

That wasn’t off in the distance. It was the scene at 38th and Chicago yesterday, also known as George Floyd Square. Sure, it was the middle of the day, but it’s always a good time to bust a few caps, right? This news report was, ahem, deadpan:

The Minneapolis intersection where George Floyd died was disrupted by gunfire Tuesday, just hours before it was to be the site of a family-friendly street festival marking the anniversary of his death at the hands of police.

Nothing quite says family-friendly street festival like random gunfire. But fortunately, a bona fide journalist was on the scene:

Journalist Philip Crowther, who was shooting live video from 38th and Chicago, reported hearing as many as 30 gunshots about a block east of the intersection. Crowther said a storefront window appeared to have been broken by a gunshot.

“Very quickly things got back to normal,” Crowther said. “People here who spend a significant amount of time, the organizers, were running around asking, ‘Does anyone need a medic?’ It seems like there are no injuries.”

Mr. Crowther? There’s nothing normal about any of this. But hey, we appreciate the narrative!

After Nearly A Year…

…of constant violence that he encouraged not only with as many words but with as many actions, Portland, Oregon mayor Ted Wheeler says people are “sick of” the constant sturm und drang that has made parts of the city unlivable:

Portland became a hotbed of civil unrest last summer during demonstrations protesting the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minneapolis. Similar demonstrations in cities across the country were largely peaceful. But in Portland, some of the demonstrations have deteriorated into widespread arson, looting and assaults. ADVERTISEMENT

Rioters in the city, who have called for the defunding of the local police department along with other measures, have on several occasions targeted a federal courthouse, spraying it with graffiti, setting fires and destroying nearby storefronts and other property.  

“The people who work here support the voices of racial and social justice and will not be intimidated from doing our jobs by the ugly graffiti or broken windows,” Scott Erik Asphaug, a U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, said during the press conference, the AP reported. “We do not confuse the voices of the many with the shouts of the few who hope to hold our city hostage by petty crime and violence.”

The first two things that jumped to my mind?

  1. After ten months of Wheeler all but setting Portland up as an “Anti”-Fa staging area, I wonder what powerful “progressive” constituency finally figured it was time to rein the party in?
  2. Reading Asphaug’s quote, am I the only one who thinks it sounds like they’re trying to pin the violence on…”the right”?

Indoctrination

Whatever you do, don’t you dare suggest public schools have become leftist indoctrination factories:


According to whistleblower documents and a source within the school, a fifth-grade teacher at the inner-city William D. Kelley School designed a social studies curriculum to celebrate Davis, praising the “black communist” for her fight against “injustice and inequality.” As part of the lesson, the teacher asked students to “describe Davis’ early life,” reflect on her vision of social change, and “define communist”—presumably in favorable terms.

At the conclusion of the unit, the teacher led the ten- and eleven-year-old students into the school auditorium to “simulate” a Black Power rally to “free Angela Davis” from prison, where she had once been held while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder. The students marched on the stage, holding signs that read “Black Power,” “Jail Trump,” “Free Angela,” and “Black Power Matters.” They chanted about Africa and ancestral power, then shouted “Free Angela! Free Angela!” as they stood at the front of the stage.

Apologists may respond “this is an anomaly! Not all public schools try to get away with this kind of thing!”

No. Just the ones in districts so blue that there will be no consequences – serving both to socialize (heh heh) the concept with other teachers, and to lower the bar of what’s “acceptable” elsewhere; “Oh, fer gosh sakes, Edina doesn’t have them chant “Free Angela” and talk about black “ancestral power”. No, perish the thought. We just study why Angela Davis is a hero (omitting all context about her crimes and communism itself, naturally), and why “whiteness” is a social cancer. Totally different things!”

Remember – Berg’s 21st Law is pretty clear on this: “When it comes to “progressive” policy, yesterday’s absurd joke is today’s serious proposal and tomorrow’s potential law”

Don’t be surprised.

Berg’s 20th Law Rules All It Surveys

It’s gotten to the point where hearing about any emotionally charged claim of abuse gets me thinking “deep breath, wait – the odds it’ll be a hoax are just about even, if not better”.

I mean, there’s a reason it’s not called “Berg’s 20th Suggestion“.

Keep it in mind, and you’re disappointed…well, pretty rarely, to be honest.

(Not gonna pullquote it – the whole thing is worth a read).

Not An Animal

“Protect” Minnesota has a new executive director.

We’ll come back to that.


Modern American “progressivism”, like all its many forebears in the past 200 years, has been all about rallying people against boogeymen. From “monarchists” in the French Revolution, to “Wreckers” in Stalin’s USSR to the Wobbly’s “Bosses”, up through “the patriarchy” and “the man” and “counterrevolutionaries” in Red China and San Francisco in the sixties and seventies, and if you have a hard time distinguishing between ’em, join the club.

Today, the boogeymen…er, boogiepeople on the left are pretty much all the things that people who are included are told to be “anti”. “Anti-Racism” “Anti-Misogyny” (not just sexism, anymore – it’s the more active, more malevolent noun these days), “Anti-Fascism”, “Anti-Transphobia”, and on and on – all of which sounds like good things to be “anti”…

…and, unsurprisingly, when you dig into the “Root Causes” of all those nouns, all things trace back to “Western Civilization” in all its particulars: the Judeo-Christian value on the individual and their worth, value, rights and responsibilities and potential of each and every person, as a person with a mind, a point of view, and at the end of the day an indivisible soul of personal, societal, political, intellectual and metaphysical worth.

Those aspects of humanity are anathema to progressivism in all its flavors. The focus is on the group – the Marxists “classes”, the Nazi’s irreducible focus on race, the modern academic Left’s obsession with a byzantine network of intersectional identity groups. The individual is nothing but a vote (for now), an appetite, a widget to be moved through the production line of life (like Obamacare’s awful caricature of Progressive humanity, “Julia”). Progressivism is “Materialist”. Souls, individual intellects and thoughts and reams, all are ephemeral; humans are widgets that consume and produce, and whose worth and value (to those in power) is expressed via their membership in the collective.

Those widgets have a term. “Bodies”. Not people. Not brains. Not souls.

Bodies.


Anyway – “P”M has a new director. And unlike the dotty, dizzy neverending font of comedy that was Heather Martens, or the serial fabulist The “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence, the new director presents us with a few surprises.

She’s “a gun owner herself” – which might be seen in several ways. Is “P”M moderating? Are they realizing that the culture war has slipped far enough away from them, especially over this past year, that they have to start speaking to people who need to be convinced?

And she’s apparently incredibly famous, since she apparently just goes by “Rashmi”. I’ve turned “Protect” Minnesota’s website, Facebook feed and other social media upside down, and not been able to find any reference to a last name, which is Seneviratne, by the way.

But even during the reign of the serial fabulist the Reverend Nord Bence, “Protect” MN wasn’t nearly extreme enough in its hatred of guns and (law-abiding) gun owners, enough for some people.

“P”M spawned a breakway group, “Survivors Lead” – basically a woman, Rachel Joseph, with a long history of progressive activism and a story; an aunt who was murdered, according to Ms. Joseph’s story, by a gun.

Quick aside: I don’t minimize anyone’s trauma over having a loved one murdered. But in the many times I’ve heard Ms. Joseph’s story, she’s never once mentioned a perpetrator, someone actually holding and using the gun that killed her aunt; that persons evil motivation, the legal fallout from the murder, whether that person was sentenced or not. It’d be wrong to crack wise – “what, did the gun animate itself?” – but omitting a perpetrator, his/her motives and the like from the conversation is incredibly intellectually dishonest.

Anyway – “Rashmi” and her apparent moderation are not going over well with “Survivors Lead”:

The extreme heckling the not-as-extreme about getting less extreme. That qualifies as “dog bites man”, at the very most.

Rather less so? There followed some more, er, ethnically pointed traffic on one social media feed (from which I’ve long been blocked) or another.

After which “P”M – operating through its usual social media persona, the omniscient third person that used to be Martens and Nord Bence – responded:

On the one hand, watching the agents of Big Left eating each other is one of my favorite spectator sports.

And if the biggest semi-organic anti-gun group in MInnesota (shaddap about Moms Want Action already) is pivoting from pushing Linda Slocum’s gun grab bill to highlighting the inequity of gun control (“Race, class and geography all play into who gets to have a gun and who doesn’t” – which is something every Second Amendment activist has known for 50 years) and speaking in the first “person” to the prudence of victims of violence to arm up, then in culture war terms that’s the sound of the first tank crossing the pontoon bridge at Remagen.

But…”white bodied privilege?”

What the flaming hootie hoo?

I thought for a moment – is this a shot back at the Rachel Dolezals and Elizabeth Warrens of the world, with their flip-flopping identities, by “actual” “people of color”, reinforcing the idea that while you might “identify” with one degree melanin or another, your apparent appearance still wins out in the great privilege lottery (which will, I suspect, get pilloried hard by the Trans crowd, for whom perceived identity is everything? I’ll let the fight that one out).

But no. It’s much less hilarious than that.

It’s “inclusion language” – slang or argot that one class of people use to track who is in, and who is “out” – to be sure. That’s part of it, and people are noticing:

Referring to people as bodies is a reminder, writer Elizabeth Barnes says in an interview, that “racism isn’t just about the ideas that you have in your head.” Barnes is the author of “The Minority Body: A Theory of Disability, The Girl Behind the Wall.” In intellectual discussions, theories about social oppression sound almost disembodied; “we talk about prejudice,” Barnes says, “like it’s just a matter of ideas.” The point is to emphasize the physical violence done to black people through slavery, lynching, and police brutality. In the case of women, the term “bodies” highlights “what happens to women’s bodies in health care contexts, in sexual contexts, in reproductive contexts.”

But behond that?

It’s a nod to the materialism of the left – that the mind, the thoughts, the indivisible soul of the indivisual human being is not merely irrelevant, but inconvenient to the obsession with identity.

Your melanin defines you.

In some ways its a cheap ad hominem – “of course you’d think that, you are (add a reference to your target’s melanin, or lack thereof)”. But pointing logical fallacies out to the foot soldiers of Big Left is a little like arguing salinity with sharks; it’s just part of the water they swim in.

So – gun groups eating each other? Good.

The debate contributing to the ongoing hijacking of the language? Bad.

The whole thing participating, in its own little way, in the further erosion of one of the ideals that’s made Western Civilization the most successful, and humane , civilization in human history?

Worse.

Student Senate Is Haaaaaard

Minneapolis police note that they were kept from the crime scene of a recent shooting near “George Floyd Square“ near 38th and Chicago in south Minneapolis, and that parts of the “citizens committee“ that have turned the area around the intersection into a de facto “autonomous zone“ contaminated the evidence that could be used to try to prosecute the perps, if they are ever found.

A couple of the inspectors involved have emailed a few members of the student Senate… um, City Council.

To give the minimum possible credit where it is due, and indicate how very low the actual bar is, Councilman Andrea Jenkins seems to have a veered close to something within rifle shot of common sense in her response:

Jenkins told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she supports the memorialization of George Floyd Square and wants it to become a permanent fixture as she and others on the City Council pursue racial justice and police reform. But she does not condone any action which inhibits police investigations.

‘We want justice for everybody and it concerns me and I am not happy with what I read in the email,’ said Jenkins. ‘To somehow disrupt or delay that kind of response is completely irresponsible and an obstruction of justice.’

My fearless prediction; Jenkins will be castigated as a conservative reactionary, and will have a primary opponent from the left. be castigated as a conservative reactionary, and will have a primary opponent from the left.

Priorities

A friend of the blog emails:

I don’t really like having police departments barricaded. But, I understand it. I look at [Saint Paul city councilwoman] Nelsie Yang’s post and I really don’t see a lot of support for her demand that the barricade be torn down, especially from non-White constituents, the very people she claims to be supporting in this action-

To social justice warriors like Yang and, let’s be honest, most of the Saint Paul and the entire Minneapolis City Councils, “social justice” with all its intellectual and political trappings is an abstract, academic concept that has little to do with the lives of their constituents – or at least the ones not employed in non-profits and academic humanities and soft science departments.

Rarely do people like Yang allow themselves to come into contact with the real life concerns of those they “represent”

When they do? It’s entertaining, at least.

Orwell Overestimated Minneapolis DFLers

From the never-ending “It depends on what the meaning of the term ‘is’, is” files – after seven months of demanding the defunding of the police, and a week of acting on it, members of the Minneapolis Student Senate…er, City Council claim they’re just misunderstood:

In June, Minneapolis city council members Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham appeared with seven colleagues on a stage bearing a huge sign reading ‘Defund Police’ during a protest in Powderhorn Park.

Now, the duo seem to be mincing words, with Fletcher telling KSTP-TV on Tuesday: ”Defund’ is not the framework the council has ever chosen,’ as Cunningham audibly agreed. 

‘If we’re going to look at how we fund different programs, it would be very hard to do that without taking that money from the Minneapolis Police Department,’ he continued.

Have you ever noticed that the only establishment media that ever actually reports on Minneapolis is in the UK?

National Slander

I’m particularly proud of the interview I had last weekend with Peter Wood, author of 1620 – A Criticial Review of the 1629 Project. Wood and his book take a hammer to the historical fraud that the NYTimes sicced on the nation…

…and, worse, the miseducation of an entire generation about the history of our country.

It starts at 33 minutes into the hour:

Prager U has a similar message:

Obligation

It’s that time of year.  I’m receiving exhortations to Give Back such as this one from TCF Bank.  They annoy me.

Why this time of year, particularly?  The message doesn’t explicitly link December to Christmas to Jesus Christ and thence to a duty of Christian Charity, because that would be overtly religious and might offend someone.  But if my obligation to Give Back isn’t a religious obligation, from whence does it arise?  And if it is a religious duty, what if my religion takes a different view and why are you imposing your religion on me? 

How much am I obligated to give back?  10%  More?  Is it a progressive obligation – the more I make, the greater percentage I must give?  Give to whom?  My church or mosque or synagogue, because it’s a religious obligation; or some do-gooder group so I can purchase a bit of vicarious virtue?  Does ‘shopping locally’ count as ‘giving back’ if I shop at a nearby big box retailer because the little stores were closed by decree of King Herod . . . I mean . . . Governor Walz?

I dislike the modern fetish of using Christmas to promote social causes rather than remember Christ.  I prefer the old method of soliciting donations for charitable causes:

‘At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,’ said the gentleman, taking up a pen, `it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir. . . A few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink,and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

That pitch appeals to me.  So do the bell ringers at the Salvation Army kettle.  That’s why I never pass one without dropping a buck in the bucket.  I made a special point of withdrawing $20 in ones, just to have them on hand.  Because they don’t engage in silly virtue signaling, they quietly help people in need.

Joe Doakes

1000% on board re the Salvation Army. I never pass one of them without dropping in a buck or five (or at least I never pass ’em twice – I grab cash and break the bill on the way out).

Prime Gaslighting

Berg’s Eighth Law of Diversity states: “American Progressivism’s reaction to one of “their”constituents – women, gays or people of color – running for office or otherwise identifying as a conservative is indistinguishable from sociopathic disorder.”

And given the news that Trump had the highest share of the African-American vote since Richard Nixon in 1960, I’m going to suspeect that an awful lot of progs are going to be working extra-hard at gaslighting people back into compliance. Heck, it happened during the campaign, from Biden himself (“You don’t vote for me, you ain’t black, maaaaaan”), and becoming incredibly vicious when directed at actual “out” black conservatives on the retail level.

Gaslighting, by the way, is pretty much all you get from this piece on the subject in Medium (Motto: “Like Tumblr for pretenious and often narcissistic fops”).

It was hard to find a single pullquote that simultaneously encapsulated both the piece’s awfulness and its barometric nature for Big Left’s assigned role for black progressives. They all pretty much suffice.

So I cut to the conclusion (since I don’t want you all to have to try to stomach it):

And yet, the Black Republican bridge in 2020 is a bridge too far. There is too much “I” in their statements, too much “mine.” Too many personal anecdotes, too much misrepresented history presented as evidence. If you only want to go for yours, just say so. Or better, don’t say anything; people can read between the lines. Just stop citing Black survival as a reason for siding with a party that is wiping Black people off the map.

And is there a better statement to sum up all progressivism – “there is no “I” in “Unity”?

Blinding Science

The worst part of this pandemic may be how “science” has been turned from a system for analyzing what we don’t know, into a weapon to logroll people into line behind a conclusion.

It’s not just Karens karen-ing, or @NPRNews claiming there’s a “Team Science”, a consistant, constant body of knowledge and its high priests standing united against the uninformed peasants attacking the metaphorical observatory with pitchforks and torches. That’s bad – but it’s been a problem for a while, now.

Scientists are now adopting social media tactics, and “influencing” “followers” to “cancel” scientists they disagree with.

People are turning science into Scientism – a pseudo-religious, faith-based mass of dogmas combining the worst aspects of revival religion and social media herd mentality.

Social Distance Update

Joe Doakes from Como Park tries his hand at one of my patented dramatizations (c):

Mitch Berg is walking through Menards, looking in vain for dust masks so he can sand the Sheetrock repairs where he was banging his head against the wall after reading Penigma’s email, when he sees Avery Liberelle wearing a giant hula hoop hung from strings over her shoulders.  He tries to slip into the nuts and bolts aisle, but she sees him.
Avery:  Merg!
Berg: Uh, hi Avery.  What’s with the hoop?
Avery: It’s my social distancing perimeter. Why aren’t you wearing yours? 
Berg: Uh . . .
Avery (darkly): Everyone should wear one. My aunt died of Covid-19: so they said.

Berg: (clicks his tongue sympathetically)!!!

Avery: (in the same tragic tone) But it’s my belief they done the old woman in.

Berg: (puzzled) Done her in?

Avery: Y-e-e-e-es, Lord love you! Why should she die of Covid-19? She come through diphtheria right enough the month before. I saw her with my own eyes. Fairly blue with it, she was. They all thought she was dead; but my father he kept ladling gin down her throat til she came to so sudden that she bit the bowl off the spoon.

Berg: (startled) Dear me!

Avery: (piling up the indictment) What call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of the bat flu? And what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it; and what I say is, them as pinched it done her in.

Berg: (to Avery, horrified) You surely don’t believe that your aunt was killed?

Avery: Do I not! Them in that nursing home would have killed her for a hat-pin, let alone a hat.

Berg: But it can’t have been right for your father to pour spirits down her throat like that. It might have killed her.

Avery: Not her. Gin was mother’s milk to her. Besides, he’d poured so much down his own throat that he knew the good of it. (To Berg, who is in convulsions of suppressed laughter) Here! what are you sniggering at?  Science denier!  (Avery stomps off, knocking things off the shelves with her hoop).
End Scene
Joe Doakes

It’s barely fiction, to be honest.

Urbocentric Problems

A reader emails:

Several months ago, when white, urbanist homeowners were busy advocating for rental housing for everyone else, I would ask why. Why would we advocate for renting over ownership? I never got a good answer- it was determined to be mostly racist to ask the question, which to me seems to be more of a racist answer than the question is.

Anyway, now with COVID-19 shutdowns, I started to see this hashtag pop up- #cancelrent

I searched the hashtag on Twitter. More than 80 within the last hour.

The biggest complaint seems to be that it is now suddenly wrong for someone else to earn money by “doing no more than allowing you to have a place to live.

Great, then it’s settled. Can we stop building luxury $2000 per month apartments and go back to building single family homes or at least make the apartments that are being built condos or both?

I’m a little concerned that the generation that thought milk came from cartons, now thinks housing, healthcare, and benefits descend from the skies in velveteen treasure chests on the backs of unicorns.  

Urine Minneapolis Now

So was there a pattern of passive-aggressive abuse in Mayor Frey’s manipulation of the Minneapolis Police Department, ensuring that they would in turn not inconvenience DFL politicians in the crowd and simultaneously not be around when mobs of droogs septuple-teamed, sucker-punched and spat on the elderly and female (but, curiously, rarely if ever young, fit male) Trump supporters?

I’m not saying “Hell yes, definitely, beyond a shadow of a doubt” – but I’m strongly hinting that you wouldn’t be wrong if you said it.

Also not saying that Mayor Frey is a soy-boi that strongly supports mobs of “toughs” roaming around picking off the elderly and female Trump supporters. I am, most directly, saying that if Jacob Frey pisses off the passive-aggressive soy-bois and social “justice” tyranny harpies, he’ll be looking for a new job come the next election time, since they control the DFL party to which Frey owes his career.

There is no chance of dealing with this through the City Council – that’s going to be a one-party fantasyland until some catastrophe makes conservatives of all the survivors.

Democrats so far have refused to answer any questions about the violent protest. This is especially important, given that one of their own—DFL state rep Aisha Gomez—was among the leftwing mob.
Specifically questions that have not been answered are: 
“Do you disavow the protestors who threw urine at cops, and hit and spit on Trump supporters?”
“Do you disavow the use of rhetoric like ‘kill a cop, save a life,’ and ‘blue lives don’t matter’?” 
“Do you disavow political violence?” 
“Do you disavow Mayor Frey for not allowing the Minneapolis Police to defend themselves?”
“Do you disavow state rep. Aisha Gomez for associating herself with the most violent group of protestors?”

Disavow? He owes them his livelihood.

But the courts offer some slim hope of justice:

Anyone hurt during the rally should seek legal counsel and file a suit against Frey on the basis of a civil rights violation (42 USC 1983).

Pass it along.

NIMBY = “Not In My Borough, Yo”

New York assemblywoman argues that housing is a right:

“Unexpectedly”, she also is a plaintiff suing against affordable housing…in her district:

In a Wednesday piece for the New York Daily News, [Assemblymember Yuh-Line] Niou and activist Feliz Guzman argue that the Saturday murder of four homeless people in New York City could have been prevented by more government spending on housing and social services.
“If they had been housed, four of our neighbors would very likely still be with us today,” they write. “We must choose to guarantee every New Yorker the right to a safe and affordable home to prevent a tragedy like this one from ever happening again.” Niou and Guzman call out both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for falling short of their own promises to build affordable housing:

Awkwardly, Niou is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against an affordable housing project being built by a coalition of developers, including Habitat for Humanity, in Little Italy. The project, named Haven Green, would add 123 units of affordable senior housing to Niou’s district, including 37 units for the formerly homeless…So why is she suing to stop it? It’s all about the open space.
The Haven Green project will replace the privately managed Elizabeth Street Garden that currently occupies the city-owned site. In March, the garden, and a separate non-profit that advocates for its preservation, filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing that it erred in approving the project without conducting an adequate environmental study.
“While Lower Manhattan is desperately in need of affordable housing, we cannot pit the need for housing against the need for green space, especially when so many good alternatives are available,” Niou said in a statement.

So her constituents’ desire for open space trumps the “right” to housing…

…in Niou’s district?

Minnesota Department Of Predictive Intersectional Hate Hoaxing

Gary Gross, proprietor of Saint Cloud’s Let Freedom Ring blog, noticed something fishy in the Saint Cloud Times‘ coverage of the postponement of a “Dismantling Hate Crimes” meeting being held in Saint Cloud.

The Times carried a statement from MInnesota Department of Human Rights commissioner Rebecca Lucero about the postponement. I’ll add some emphasis:

“Hate is not a value in St. Cloud or in any part of our state. Our community deserves better,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “I am heartbroken by the attempts to silence discussion on hate crimes. The goal of the forum was to discuss the community we want to create. One that is full of dignity and joy.”

The “attempt to silence” the discussion was a protest against the event, and ostensible threats.

But Gary did something that the Times apparently doesn’t, anymore; checked the facts.

Found in their own coverage:

If they had done that, they would have read the quote from Assistant Police Chief Jeff Oxton, who said that the SCPD hadn’t received any threats regarding the event.

And the timeline (again adding emphasis):

the event was cancelled at 1:16 p.m. That’s the timestamp on the Facebook post from the St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Commission announcing the cancellation of the event. That’s important because the “protesters” didn’t arrive until 2 p.m.
Isn’t it interesting that the event got cancelled before the protesters showed up? Why would the Minnesota Department of Human Resources and the St. Cloud Regional Human Rights Commission cancel an event that didn’t get threatened?

Because communicating with “progressive” audiences is never about facts. It’s about getting the desired emotional reaction.

Economic Pauline Kael Syndrome

News Report:   BMW dealers in Hollywood report that import car tariffs aren’t affecting sales to their multimillionaire clients at all.  

Not a big shock, right?  The more money people have, the less price points matter to them.  

It’s Economics 101.  

Which is why “journalists” and progressives (ptr) never, ever get it. 

Remember Obama’s 2014 State of the Union?  When he praised Saint Paul’s “Punch Pizza” for paying its employees well above the minimum wage?    Of course, as I pointed out at the time, Punch is a high-end pizzeria in a posh neighborhood that aims toward a high-value clientele on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul; I wouldn’t doubt that in a neighborhood full of “living wage” activists, starting people at $10 an hour at above the minimum wage is good marketing.  But Punch Pizza is no Taco Bell; its dozen or so outlets are located in upscale areas, where people think nothing for dropping $20 for lunch  and a lot more for dinner and drinks.  It’s a tony niche retailer that gives a robust markup for an uptown dining experience.   And I’m gonna guess they an pick and choose their hires, even now, unlike the McDonalds and White Castles they’re not actually in competition with. 

I thought about that in reading this piece, claiming NYC’s $15 minimum wage is a net gain…

in the Manhattan restaurant scene:

As New York raised the minimum wage to $15 this year from $7.25 in 2013, its restaurant industry outperformed the rest of the US in job growth and expansion, a new study found.

The study, by researchers from the New School and the New York think tank National Employment Law Project, found no negative employment effects of the city increasing its minimum wage to $15.

Restaurant workers in the city saw a pay increase of 20% to 28%, representing the largest hike “for a big group of low-wage workers since the 1960s,” James Parrott, a director of economic and fiscal policies at the New School and an author of the study, told Gothamist.

While the city’s restaurant growth is likely a result of the city’s overall strong economy, the report’s findings might suggest that paying workers more won’t immediately lead to job loss or other negative business consequences as previously thought.

And when the current boom in people with disposable income tails off, the artisanal chicken will come home to their $5K a month walkups to roost.