Let’s Stir Up Another Republic-Threatening Hornets Nest: Part I

I saw “The Fall of Minneapolis” again last week.

Now, when I first mentioned seeing it a few months back, a few smart people whose opinions I never discount asked “is there anything new that the courts didn’t settle?”

That brings up a couple of questions.

In our society, we usually think that if a court – an impartial jury of our peers, a couple of adversarial attorneys patiently digging out the facts, a fair and impartial judge facilitating it all via “due proces” – decides something, that’s that. The truth has been found.

There’s problems with that.

The was this guy, James Fleming, a Facebook friend, shooter and criminal defense attorney. He used to snap at people who referred to “due process” by itself as a reason to trust something. Paraphrasing: due process isn’t a guarantee of fairness, much less justice. It means the proceedings all check the same checkboxes and standards. The fairness and justice is all in the details.

So – how can that go wrong?

Years ago, I was *very* tangentially involved in the case of a man who’d been accused of a fairly grisly rape and murder in 1982. He had been kind of a lowlife, a petty criminal and drug addict, the kind of guy you’ve seen on a thousand episodes of “Cops” insisting to the officer “I have NO IDEA whose gun and cocaine that is!” He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

The courts settled the matter.

A decade and change later, a group of people did enough digging and agitating on his behalf to get the attention of “The Innocence Project”, a group of pro-bono lawyers that works on what they believe to be unjust convictions.

The lawyers found that the original conviction had been secured via:
– A jailhouse snitch with a history of perjury whose testimony nonetheless was allowed
– A District Attorney hiding exculpatory evidence.
– An incompetent public defender.

The exculpatory evidence included forensic evidence that, with modern DNA testing, could have shed some light on who the attacker was. But it vanished as completely as whispering “due process” in the wind.

After years of legal wrangling, the lawyers found the evidence – and with more modern DNA testing, determined that the man, who’d been convicted “beyond a reasonable doubt” after “due process”, couldn’t have possibly been the murderer. In 2003 he was released, after 21 years on Death Row.

And he’s not alone. In the past 50 years, *185* inmates have been released from Death Row. Not granted new trials. Not commuted to lesser sentences. *Released* from Death Row to the world – because their “convictions beyond a reasonble doubt” were in error, due to perjury, official misconduct, incompetence, and even some honest but terrible mistakes.

So – do I think the answer to “is it true?” is “the courts have spoken?”

Let’s just say I believe in (grudging, conditional) trust but verification. Throw in a heaping dollop of skepticism about the integrity of public officials and systems.

More later this wee4

I Read Deena Winter In The “Minnesota Reformer” So You Don’t Have To

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Reformer – a news outlet financed by “progressive” plutocrats iwth deep pockets – did its review of AlphaNews’s “Minneapolis Has Fallen”.

The claims – well, I’ll let the tweet do the talking for the piece, entitled “I Watched Minneapolis Has Fallen So You Don’t Have To”.

Let’s go briefly through Winter’s claims.


The biggest hit Winter has against Collin is that, according to her, the movie’s revelation that Chief Arredondo and his training officer lied about whether “Maximal Restraint Technique” was part of the MPD’s training and policy. Collin showed cops, and Chauvin’s mother, opening the manual to the exact section, and showed multiple current and former MPD officers saying they’d been trained in the technique. The movie also said the jurors were not allowed to see the body cam footage that showed that Chauvin did the technique correctly – with his knee on the shoulder blade, rather than on George Floyd’s neck.

Winter claims that yes, the jury saw both.

OK – so if that’s true, and the jurors saw the same training that the officers had, then could someone explain to me why Chief Arredondo still lied about it?

Neither reporter has clarified that for me, so someone else has to.

UPDATE: Danger Close

And as I wrote this in a hurry, I forgot this. But as “Bigman” noted in the comments – why the fact that Cahill failed to sequester the jury – who came to and from a courthouse that was being fortified like the Green Zone in Baghdad, and who were being told more or less directly that if they reached the “wrong verdict” that they were in huge trouble – not being discussed?

I’ll ask the question because Winter didn’t think she had to.

White Riot

Winter goes on to discuss the parts of the film dealing with the riot, most specifically the evacuation of the Third Precinct (on which. apropos nothing much, I scooped the entire Twin Cities media), I’m trying to figure out what Winter’s point is.

I’ll dispense with the fact that Winter…lacks a certain amount of empathy, or at least insight outside her own apparently narrow experience (emphasis added):

Collin also spends considerable time questioning why the MPD and local and state officials were slow to take action as protests devolved into riots and arson that destroyed hundreds of buildings across the metro.

Retired MPD officer Jason Reimer tells Collin what bothered him the most is “they let people throw rocks and bricks and firebombs and we’re supposed to just put on a helmet and take that.”

Well, helmets, but likely also bulletproof vests and eye-irritant spray, handcuffs, Tasers and semi-automatic pistols.

Bulletproof vests don’t keep you from burning to death. Spray and tasers are useful to get control one on one, not against a mob.

And I’ll let Deena Winter’s idea of shooting into a crowd of rioters hang out there, because I sure didn’t want to have to do it for her.

Winter cites some fairly wrenching scenes in the movie (that reflect what I reported in May of 2020), to which I’ll add some emphasis:

“We were in the middle of a war zone,” Herron said. “We were ordered not to do anything.”

She said the fire department wasn’t responding to calls, and officers were “wandering around aimlessly, waiting to be told what not to do next.”

They weren’t doing anything to control the riot,” she said. “They wouldn’t let us do our jobs.”

All true – but keep the emphasis in mind – the “they” that left them wandering around were the city and MPD leadership. We’ll come back to them.

Winter adds:

The city and state’s failed response and inability to quell the violence and arson are well documented, but it’s inaccurate to claim police were standing down. 

They went on joyrides, fired rubber bullets at protesters (see Jaleel Stallings); an officer, who went on to run an actual banana stand, was caught on video by a journalist macing protesters for no discernible reason; lots of cops in riot gear teargassed crowds

They shot protestors like Soren Stevenson with a rubber bullet and blinded him in one eye. They maced a journalist from Vice News in the face. They fired rubber bullets at journalists, including Reformer reporter Max Nesterak and Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix.

Side note: anyone but me notice how journalists only get really irate about injustice and official overreach when it’s other members of the Journo Club who are affected? Lake Street – and a fair chunk of the Midway, my neighborhood – got burned. The Minneapolis Police Department was, and remains, gutted. Crime soared, and is still double what it was as recently as 2018 – enh. But journalists got attacked ZOMG!

Not that Winter’s article tells you, but the main contention of the cops in the movie was that the city and the. MPD leadership – the “they” in the emphasized text in the first round of quotes, above:

  • Had no plan to deal with the riot
  • More specifically, abandoned the Third Precinct (apparently to “give the rioters ‘space to destroy'”), without having the foggiest idea about what the officers marooned there were supposed to do.

So when Winter snarks:

To the people on the other end of a rubber bullet or tear gas or mace, the police response sure didn’t feel like “standing down.” 

Stop me if I”m wrong, but everything she cites supports the cops contention. Some cops, operating in a complete vacuum, followed the normal human inclination to fucking hit back.

Either way, there was no plan. They were left danging in the breeze.

Winter doesn’t write about that, so I have to.

Who’s The Boss?

Winter goes on (and I’ll add emphasis):

[retired MPD cop Jason] Reimer says the weak response was all a deliberate attempt by politicians to use Floyd’s police killing to their advantage.

“The elections were coming up,” he said. “They were gonna use this incident for a political narrative, and they did.” 

Let’s hope Reimer was a better cop than he is a political analyst: The riots were a political disaster for the mayor, the governor and the entire DFL establishment. DFL political operatives blamed the riots and the defund/abolish police movement for key suburban losses that prevented a 2020 DFL trifecta. 

Although both Frey and Walz won reelection, they did so in part by hitching themselves to police during their reelection campaigns and would soon be accused by partisans on the left of being too cozy with cops.

I’m tempted to get cute and “hope that WInter is a better political analyst than Jason Reimer” – because it’d be more accurate to say the riots were a disaster for one city political establishment; the one where Jacob Frey and Andrea Jenkins and Lisa Bender were the “middle” and Alondra Cano was the loony left.

And for them, the riots were a disaster. For the new establishment, the one that gained huge ground in the ’22 elections and is poised to take the city over, the one led by the Democrat Socialists of America, against which Frey and Jenkins barely survived, and Bender and Cano retired lest they be seen as “too conservative” (literally the language the DSA droogs use to refer to Jacob F*cking Frey and Andrea Jenkins – the riots, and the aftermath (including the far far far left’s well-funded and well-organized response to whatever backlash there was in the ’20 elections) were a prime organizing opportunity.

But I won’t call Winter a myopic political analyst. Someone else will have to.

A Bonus I’ll Answer So You Don’t Need To

“Minneapolis Has Fallen” refers to quite a number of former MPD cops. Winter reminds us that a number of them are living on disability pensions and workmens comp settlements.

Someone needs to explain why that’s relevant (as opposed to, frankly, kinda pointlessly bitchy) since Winter will no doubt say she doesn’t have to.


Wonder why Big Left’s noise machine was so quick to try to gundeck The Fall of Minneapolis?

Because they’re smart enough to see that it coud change some minds.

In this case, the minds of academic Glenn Loury and the NYTimes’s John McWhorter – both of whom formerly bought Big Left’s story on the events of May 2020.

And both of whom re-evaluated things pretty radically:

Haven’t seen it yet? Make up your own mind.

Actual Journalism

Since the entire media will try to suppress it – here’s “The Fall of Minneapolis”, by Liz Collin and the Alphanews crew:

Watch it.

Pass it along.

I won’t give you any spoilers – you already know that Mayor Frey was a hapless stooge at best, a theatrical ninny at worst.

Chief Arradondo lied through his teeth. I always sensed this – the documentary shows us in black and white.

Walz? May he rot in hell.

Watch the whole thing. If you’re not outraged, you’re probably the enemy.

The Fix

A “high trust” society – the kind of society where you can leave your doors unlocked, or at least not keep all your property under constant surveillance at the very least – depends on trusting your neighbors, and the institutions by which we govern ourselves.

When that trust is broken, society becomes “low trust” – a society where people don’t trust their institutions, or each other, to do the right thing; reverting to the “Law of the Jungle” becomes expedient, initially – and, eventually prudent.

And when it’s the criminal justice system?

It never took a rocket scientist to believe the Chauvin trial was swayed by, not so much “public opinion” but by “potential mob rage”.

But it’s actually written down in black and white:

I’m not saying the DFL in this state is trying to create a low trust society.

I’m just at a loss for what they’d be doing different if they were.

Open Letter To MPR’s Jon Collins: Year 3

To: Jon Collins, Senior Reporter on Race, Class and Communities, MInnesota Public Radio
From: Mitch Berg, Obstreporous Peasant
Re: Anniversary + Findings

Mr. Collins,

As with last year and 2021, I hope this day finds you well.

It was three years ago today you sent this out on your listener mailing list::

“South Minneapolis: I know this sounds crazy. But it’s 2020. And I’m working on story now about white supremacists coming to Minneapolis to foment race war under cover of the protests. I need your help, and your friends help. Please refer anyone with real, credible info (not rumor or speculation) or sources to me at (I’m gonna redact that)

What the heck – let’s give this a shot:

Now, I know MPR reporters don’t generally deign to respond to the peasantry – in fact, I know MPR News management specifically tells staff not to engage with the unwashed masses.

But I’m genuinely curious – did you find anything?

It’s not of idle interest to me.  Mine was one of the neighborhoods that got burned, looted and vandalized in May of 2020 (noting at the time that I saw a lot of “AmeriKKKa” and “Destroy the 1%” graffiti, but not a single swastika or “14 words” reference, I’m thinking the Twin Cities either got the most inept “white supremacists” in the history of bigotry, or they were the most ingenious – fiendishly tricking a whole city full of leftists into doing the job for them – the sort of fieldcraft that’d make a Mossad agent envious).     

While I am a very overt conservative (I went from Bob Collins’ Christmas Card list to…well, very much off of it during his unfortunate unpleasantness a few years ago), I also spent time covering radical groups of all stripes back when I was in the mainstream media.  

I ask because a not-so-cursory look through the last three years of your reporting doesn’t seem to show anything.  

And as I do every year on the anniversary of this event, I’d like to invite you on my show (Saturday, 1-3PM) to talk about your findings.   Because it’s everyone’s city. 


Mitch Berg


Our Depraved Media

So, businesses are opening in a building that got re-opened after…uh, some unfortunate events, apparently:

“The 2020 fires”?

A bad streak of accidents?

Spontaneous combustion?

Flaming rocks from the sky?

In a city full of media that bellows “off what?” when the DFL says “jump”, KARE11 has lapped the field at going “woke”.

Signs “Crime” Is Polling Badly

Shot: Kamala Harris denies supporting the MN Freedom Fund, a group that opposes cash bail by bailing out “indigent” often-violent offenders, with occasional disastrous results

…after gleefully supporting it two years ago:

“He who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present, controls the past”.

Chaser: Ellison runs away from the “Defund” movement he and his son championed last year.


A friend of the blog emails:

Certain people in the media know who [Umbrella Man] is and won’t reveal it.

Do you think he’s connected or related to a well known DFL elected official or donor?

It’s starting to look that way.

If Big Leftymedia felt that the identity could impugn the GOP before an election, or reinforce the “the whole right is a bunch of wytespremecists” narrative, we’d hear about it at the top of every newscast for the next three weeks.

When people stop trusting the media to tell the stories impartially, democracy takes a hit. And anyone who trusts our media to tell the story impartially is an irredeemable pollyanna.

Never Forget

Since it’s state fair time Dash the time when at least some people in Minnesota start paying attention to the upcoming elections – let’s make sure we remember: when minutes counted, Governor Klink took days to respond to the collapse of law and order in Minneapolis.


The media is going to focus on cheery stories about food on sticks, and a blijf The Administration in deflecting to happy talk about abortion.

To protect a progressive administration, the rioting is going to get memoryholed.

Let’s not let it get memory holed.

Destructive Destruction

The CVS store that has served for the past few decades as one of the anchors of the MIdway’s “main street”, at Snelling and University (but for seven months after the George Floyd riots, of course, where it stood boarded up, a monument to the perfidy of the metro DFL) is closing in a couple of weeks.

A friend of the blog emails:

CVS is keeping the store in a residential neighborhood on Fairview open, but not the one on a busy urban corner next to transit and a “world class” soccer stadium? Why would they ever not want to do business there? We’ve been told over and over again how precious that real estate is, how the train and the stadium were going to be a boon.

Perhaps boon is in the eye of the beholder- it certainly has been a boon for vagrancy, crime, and vacant lots. I shouldn’t assume that that wasn’t the goal.

Expect apologists for the Carter, Walz and Biden administrations to claim “It’s not our fault! Look at this:”.

In mid-November, the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain announced a major realignment of its national retail footprint, with a heavy focus on consolidating retail locations operating in close proximity to each other. The closures amount to 300 stores per year for the next three years.

Of course, the fact that that location is in an increasingly crime-ridden area, and has a record of being looted from wall to wall, couldn’t have possibly.affected the decision to close this store, rather than the one in Mac-Groveland, Crocus Hill, the Target on Uni, or the two at the University of Minnesota, nosirreebob.

“Captain Obvious? Your Promotion To Admiral Came Through”

Study shows that “racial justice” protests that include “Anti”-Fa are at least 18 times more likely to end up in violence than protests where they didn’t show up.

And no, the same does not hold true for “right wing“ groups:

They continued on to question whether the right-wing groups were the real source of the violence given that Antifa tens to show up to counter their presence.

“That’s not what our research found. We sawno difference between events in which antifa was facing off with a group such as the Proud Boys or the Three Percenters and when they were protesting unopposed,” they wrote.

The use of violence as a tool of political “persuasion“ appears to be almost purely a leftist phenomenon.

Maybe He’ll Give Up Umbrella Man!

10 year sentence – a downward departure from sentencing guidelines by nearly half – in the burning of a Minneapolis pawn shop during the George Floyd riots:

Black Lives Matter rioter Montez Terriel Lee Jr., of Rochester, New York, was sentenced Friday to 120 months in federal prison for his role in burning down a Minneapolis pawn shop during the destructive George Floyd riots in May 2020.

Lee had previously pleaded guilty in July 2021 to a single count of arson in connection with a fire that destroyed the Max It Pawn Shop on Lake St. at 2726 E. Lake St. He admitted to starting the fire on May 28, 2020, which is now considered one of many arson incidentsthat happened during the summer riots.

Oddly, the article doesn’t list which white supremacist group he was part of

Gurgitation On Cue

SCENE: Mitch BERG is looking for a new heat gun at a hardware store when Kirk THUNT, used car salesman and chairman of The Arne Carlson Project, an anti-Trump organization based in Forest Lake, walks around the corner.

THUNT: Merg.

BERG: Er…hi ,Kirk…

THUNT: You routinely refuse to condemn Donald Trump for trying to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when he was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: I condemn, and condemned, the riot, the “storming” of the Capitol, and anyone who thought they could overtake the Constitutional process by force. All the talk about killing the Vice President is just baked wind; the Secret Service would have leveled anyone who tried. The electoral commission was alarmed – justifiably – but they finished their job. Democracy was never in danger, and everyone involved is in a world of legal hurt. The federal criminal justice system is doing what it does.

THUNT: The January 6 Commission just learned that Chief of Staff Meadows has text messages proving Trump was involved.

BERG: Maybe they do.

THUNT: Maybe? So you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: The commission is an investigation – of sorts. Findings are not a conclusion. I’m not going to pretend I know enough to draw a conclusion, even if my conclusion matters to anyone. Let the investigation run its course.

THUNT: Huh. Let it run its course? So you’re right there behind the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Again, no. I am saying I believe the left has glommed onto it as a way of deflecting, eternally, away from their many very deliberate attempts to undercut out democracy, and the riots that they supported from 2015 to 2021.

THUNT: Deflection? So – you are a big fan of the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: I’m pretty sure I said exactly the opposite, several times. My “crime” with you seems to be the fact that I haven’t wet myself with outrage over Trump, with regard to this episode or any other during his administration. I was a Trump non-fan back when you were watching The Apprentice. I’m intellectually honest about the things he did right and wrong, but if you’re looking for…

…on cue from me, you’ve got the wrong guy .

THUNT: So you dismiss concerns about the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: For the fourth time in 90 seconds – no. I do think Big Left uses January 6 the same way a certain European socialist leader used this episode. But we’ve got a whole new set of problems to deal with, as a nation and, frankly, as a Republican.

THUNT: So you don’t think the GOP is forever rendered toxic by its association with Trump, meaning you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when he was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Er, Kirk? I’ve just explained that every single point you make is bulls**t. And yet every time you take a breath, you tell me I support the…what is it you say?

THUNT: You are a hypocritical supporter of the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: And again, I am not.

THUNT: Denial means you are an enabler of the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: That’s false.

THUNT: Disagreement means you are a supporter the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Once you got on the green, you only had to use your putter twice, right?

THUNT: Nonsensical responses mean you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

BERG: Look. The heat gun I’m looking for.

THUNT: Using heat guns means you support the attempt to overthrow the government and erase the Constitution on January 6, when Trump was complicit in sending mobs looking for the Vice President, and the Electoral Commission, and members of Congress, to try to kill them.

(But BERG has already left the room)


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

You’re a cop. You’ve stopped a driver and have him standing on the side of the road because he’s got warrants for his arrest. He dives back into the car, presumably going for his gun. What do you do?

a. grab him from behind and wrestle with him. No, because he might still grab his gun and shoot you.
b. grab your expandable baton and smack him. No, because he’s diving into the car and there’s no room to swing the baton.
c. grab your pepper spray and Mace him. No, because inside the car, it’ll blind you, too.
d. grab your Taser and shock him. Maybe, depends on who else has hands on him that will also get shocked. What other options do you have?
e. grab your . . . .

. . . too late. He shot you. You’re dead and so’s your partner.

Intellectually, she intended to grab her Taser but instinctively, she grabbed her pistol. It’s a learned response. It’s what cops practice the most. Gun instructors say “train as you will fight” because that’s how your body will react in the half-second available. And cops train with guns because that’s ‘the gravest extreme,’ when the training matters most.

Officer Potter did not commit murder. This was a horrible accident but entirely foreseeable because the decision-action table is too long, too many variables to run through, and nobody can ‘train as you fight’ for all of them.

Joe Doakes

A roof on qualified immunity quite a bit – Justifiably so – but at its core, it is intended to protect people like police from excessive liability for exactly this sort of situation.

Unlike civilians, who are legally strongly discouraged from doing anything but running away from altercations, the police are expected to go toward the sound of trouble.

The pendulum likely need to swing back. I’m pretty sure this is a terrible case to enact that swing.

Rittenhouse: Not Guilty On All Counts

Live feed.

Count 1 (Rosenbaum): Not guilty

Count 2 (McGuinness) Not guilty

Count 3 (Jump Kick Guy) Not guilty

Count 4 (Huber) Not guilty

Count 5 (Grosskreutz) Not guilty

Strap in, Kenosha. It’s gonna be a bumpy night. :

And here’s hoping Rittenhouse follows Nick Sandman into civil court.

UPDATE: Judge Schroeder after the Jury left the room: “Motion of the defense is granted, the charges are dismissed with prejudice. Mr. Rittenhouse is released from the obligation of his bond”.

That was what you call “bouncing the rubble” .

Our Betters Have Spoken

Author Thomas Ricks on Twitter:

Three blocks from my house, August 26,2020.

Well, there is a dumbass dupe in the conversation.

I’m Old Enough…

…To remember when “insurrections against civil government” or a bad thing.

That’s “Anti”-Fa, projecting their emblem onto the wall of the Multnomah County courthouse in Portland.

It is literally no less objectionable than projecting a swastika, by the way. The emblem is directly descended from that of the German communist party’s version of the Brownshirts.

Somehow, the media never covers it that way…


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If taking a selfie in the Capitol is insurrection and attempted assassination of Congress, what is giving The Deadliest Virus Every Known to members of Congress, their staff members and people in the White House?

Why aren’t Texas Democrats held in solitary confinement until their treason trials?

Joe Doakes

Because the Texas Democrats don’t allow the Democrats, nationally, to deflect away from their support for the costliest riots in US history?

The Fix

I’ve observed, with tongue half-heartedly about a quarter of the way into my cheek, that you could tell there not a significant number of “white supremacists” in last year’s riots, because as the Midway burned, vandalized and/or caked with graffiti, Allianz Field, the playground of upper-middle-class white progressive Europhiles and, we were once told, immigrants, protected by not so much as a row of barberry bushes, had not so much as a squiggle of Sharpie on it.

So the notion that “white supremacists” were behind the riots seems…far-fetched.

But it’s interesting that the owners of Allianz Field and “Minnesota United” would seem to be the only people who stand to profit, maybe immensely, from the riots.

Hastily Made Portland Tourism Ad?

So is this a tourism ad, or a cry for help?

Odd tourism ad, doncha think? Usually you get a picture of nature, or a soaring skyline, or beatiful people enjoying dazzling nightlife. But not this time.

So what does a tourist do in Portland? Apparently you can cross a bunch of bridges. That might have some allure. I have it on good authority that Portland has a number of restaurants, but it’s difficult to tell what the bill of fare might be from this brown paper ad. It’s possible the restaurants in Portland feature word salad. “We’re a place of dualities that are never polarities.” What does that even mean? Does it mean this?

Portland crowd-control police unit resigns en masse after team member  criminally charged - East Idaho News

That might be the dazzling nightlife? After all, things are going well:

Every member of a police crowd-control unit in the US city of Portland has resigned after one of its officers was indicted on an assault charge.

The charge stemmed from violent anti-racism protests that rocked the city, in the state of Oregon, last year.

Prosecutors allege the officer used “excessive and unlawful use of force” against a protester in August 2020.

But Portland’s police union described the decision to prosecute the officer as “politically driven”.

The reporting here is from the BBC. Looks like they didn’t get the “mostly peaceful” memo. 

Desperately Seeking

Twin Cities media – in this case, the “Minnesota Reformer”, aka “MN Monitor 4.0” – is apparently still hoping for the FBI to charge “Umbrella Man” with destroying or damaging 700 buildings last year.

I’m sorry. That was snarky.

I’ll try again.

They are apparently still awaiting formal confirmation that Umbrella Man led a horde of “white supremacists” who managed to damage 700 buildings, while leaving not so much as a single swastika or “14 Words” refernce – being simultaneously a bunch of brain-damaged losers and operatives with Mossad-level fieldcraft skills. .

Updates as the situation warrants.


Have we reached a tipping point in the culture war as re guns?

It’s not a new point – if you’ve listened to my show, you’ve heard the story.

But this past year, 40% of gun sales were to people outside the “white male who’s already got a bunch of guns” stereotype:

Not only were people who already had guns buying more, but people who had never owned one were buying them too. New preliminary data from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center show that about a fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners. And the data, which has not been previously released, showed that new owners were less likely than usual to be male and white. Half were women, a fifth were Black and a fifth were Hispanic.

In all, the data found that 39 percent of American households own guns. That is up from 32 percent in 2016, according to the General Social Survey, a public opinion poll conducted by a research center at the University of Chicago. Researchers said it was too early to tell whether the uptick represents a reversal from the past 20 years, in which ownership was basically flat.

Further evidence (along with the fact that younger Americans overwhelmingly support the right to keep and bear arms) of this thesis.