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)

Travesty

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” .

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…

Equity

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.

Newbies

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.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/an-arms-race-in-america-gun-buying-spiked-during-the-pandemic-its-still-up/ar-AAKvZfB?fbclid=IwAR3XpPNFnN3AzvSBuOo0Lg1yYnPyr606bKqagbSsPdSkYuIWo5cFxPEFA90

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!

Well, That Turned Around Fast

Friday Morning: local media cover the bejeebers out of a press conference – the sort of coordinated coverage that screams “a PR flak is working this hard”:

While challenges remain, downtown Minneapolis’ progress toward a post-pandemic revival is picking up steam, according to the panelists who joined a Friday morning online forum hosted by the Minneapolis Downtown Council…“My take on all of this is that you haven’t seen anything yet. Downtown is going to come back stronger and bigger than ever,” said Fhima, who leads the kitchen at Fhima’s Minneapolis.

Still, the panelists said, downtown is currently battling the perception that it’s unsafe — a perception Fhima [1] said was fueled by the lack of foot traffic on downtown streets during the pandemic, when many office workers shifted to working from home and widespread closures of restaurants and venues kept visitors away. Just as an empty restaurant might make diners question the quality of the food, he said, an empty downtown can leave visitors unnerved

“Challenges remain”, indeed.

18 hours after that coordinated burst of manufactured sunshine blowing up the Twin Cities collective nethers:

Two people were killed and 8 wounded in a shooting in downtown Minneapolis, police said early Saturday.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that two people were standing in a crowded area and got into a verbal confrontation,” the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement.” Both individuals pulled out guns and began shooting at each other.”

Look – I enjoy downtown. I’ve worked there, and 2-3 years ago I used to go down there for concerts fairly regularly – move the Dakota than the First Avenue these days, but whatever. And as a taxpayer, I’ve had a lot of taxpayers money “invested” in it on my behalf, so it’d be nice if the current occupants at the City Council stopped screwing things up.

Not holding my breath, of course.

[1] Have any of Dave Fhima’s restaurants ever succeeded? . I haven’t paid much attention to the restaurant scene, but going back ten years or so, any of his places turned into their own vacant slices of downtown in a year or so.

The New Rules

Remember when there was an unstated rule, when following news coverage of a crime in the Metro – if they didn’t mention the offender’s ethnicity or show a photo, it actually answered the question?

New addition to the rule: if the story pertains to criminal justice’s response to last year’s riots, and the offender’s ideology – “Boogaloo”, “proud boy”, whatever – isn’t mentioned, you know by omission whose “side” they were on.

Case in point.

Prove me wrong.

Chum

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Andrew McCarthy writing at National Review says the Chauvin jury was correct to convict him, not based on anything reported in the media or introduced as evidence at trial or the pervasive atmosphere of intimidation, but because the conviction means Chauvin is a bad cop and that exonerates the rest of society from the charge of systemic racism. 

Sacrificing a victim to the mob is shameful.  Twisting your shameful act to pretend it’s all for the greater good is disgusting.  But I expect nothing less from a Never-Trumper. 

Joe Doakes

It’s the sort of rationalization I expect from someone who spent way too much time in the prosecution industry.

With Apologies To David Letterman (Back When He Was Funny)

The Top Ten Things you Never, Ever Hear in Real Life.

10. “Hey, hand me that piano”.

9. “Gosh, the Star Tribune does a great job of balanced coverage on divisive issues”

8. “You know what I could use right now? A plate of “Scrod” from Embers”

7. “The fact that the Vikings, T-Wolves, Wild and usually the Twins disappoint me terribly is a sign that my priorities in life are terribliy out of whack”.

6. “See how much clearer and more fluid writing is when you arbitrarily and mindlessly adhere to the ‘Oxford Comma?'”

5. “The ‘zipper merge’ has made my life better”

4. “I got a call back from Alice Hausman’s office!”s

3. “That Mike McNeil on AM950 is appointment listening for me!”

2. “I always feel healthy and safe riding the Green Line after 6PM!”

And the #1 thing you never, ever hear in real life:

Number 1: “Oh, good. Al Sharpton is in town. Our racial divide and social crisis is going to get better”.

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.

I’m No Lawyer

As such, I have no idea if the City of Minneapolis is trying to find ways to throw the Chauvin trial, or to create grounds for endless appeals, each of them a potential spark for more riots and, of course, more springboards for more political grandstanding.

But if it were…:

Cahill’s decision followed a defense request to delay or move the trial in the wake of last week’s $27 million wrongful death settlement announced between Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd.

Chauvin’s attorneys argued that the massive settlement and the notoriety around it might taint the jury pool.

Cahill, who’s expressed his unhappiness over Minneapolis publicizing the settlement during jury selection for Chauvin’s criminal trial, acknowledged Friday that the high-profile nature of this case would be inescapable no matter if it were postponed or moved.

“I don’t think there’s any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been subjected to extreme amounts of publicity on this case,“ Cahill told the court, explaining his decision to keep the trial in Minneapolis.

…I’d be at a loss for what they’d be doing differently.

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”?

Currying Favor

Here’s the team of lawyers volunteering their time to prosecute a Minneapolis police officer in the biggest racial lynching the city has ever seen. 

They must all be gunning for judge, hoping to impress Tim Walz with their sterling Liberal credentials so he appoints them to the bench.  Thank God I don’t live in Hennepin County.

Joe Doakes

Same. Although let’s not pretend for a moment that if this had happened in Saint Paul, the Ramco Attorney’s office wouldn’t be just as bad.

The Darkness Before The Darkness

A longtime friend of the blog emails:

With the impending Derek Chauvin trial, the fortification of the 4th Precinct has begun this morning.

A wall of cement traffic barricades are being set around the perimeter. Back last summer it was reinforced with razor wire.

I am so deeply saddened by what has happened to my city.

Sad. And disgusted.

Kevin Williamson was right. This isn’t decay. This is municipal suicide.

To Recap

We had a thorough discussion about Ryan Winkler’s tweet and established
that Democrats have a strong personal belief, perhaps even a moral
conviction, that public safety is a government responsibility.

We had a thorough discussion about a lawsuit against the City and
established that when citizens suffer because government abandoned its
responsibility, the citizens have no recourse against the government
under existing law.

So the obvious question is: Will Ryan Winkler introduce legislation
creating a right for citizens to sue the government for failing its
responsibility to protect them?  And will the new law be retroactive to
cover the riots?

Ryan Winkler talked the talk, but will he walk the walk?

Joe Doakes

There may be no more superficial person in Minnesota politics than Ryan Winkler.

Other than Erin Maye Quade. And Ilhan Omar.

OK, and probably a few others.

But you get the point.

The Walk

Our thorough discussion of Ryan Winkler’s tweet established that
Democrats have a strong personal belief, perhaps even a moral
conviction, that public safety is a government responsibility.

Our thorough discussion of the lawsuit against Minneapolis established
that when citizens suffer because government abandons its
responsibility, the citizens have no recourse under existing law.

You must rely on us; but you can’t rely on us. That’s Catch-22 and it’s
not a joke, it’s official policy.

So the obvious question is: When will Ryan Winkler introduce legislation
creating a right for citizens to sue the government for failing its
responsibility to protect them? And will the new law be retroactive to
cover the riots?

Ryan Winkler talked the talk, but will he walk the walk?

Joe Doakes

No point of Rep. Winkler’s career has been about “walking” any “walk”.

It’s been about pointing at others shortcomings, real or manufactured, and jumping up and down and pointing and flinging poo.

That should clarify things.

They’re Mad As Hell…

Owners of the iconic “Town Talk Diner” at Lake and MInnehaha in Minneapolis – which was turned into the “Town Talk Pile of Rubble” during the Floyd Riots – are sueing the City of Minneapolis for failing to protect…

…well, much of anyone or anything – notwithstanding it being one of the city’s only unambiguously legitimate jobs.

I’m not gonna do a pullquote – just read it.

And list for me in the comments:

  1. How the city will respond
  2. Why a “progressive” appointee will throw the case out. .

I was tempted to say “wrong answers only”, like all the kids are doing on social media these days.

But I figure even the right answers will test credulity these days.

Go to it.

I’m Not Saying…

….that Ron DeSantis is high up on my short list of candidates for 2024.

I am saying that if he keeps up with his competent, fact-driven crisis management combined with his Trump-like ability to cut through the narrative BS while maintaining an air of measured acerbity…

…he could get there pretty quick.