Off Message

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hundreds of shots fired. St. Paul experienced an increase in both violent crimes (up 25%) and property crimes (up 14.9%) last year, which Police Chief Axtell attributed to the “global pandemic, historic levels of rioting and very real economic pain.”

Not January 6th?  Get on message, dude.

Joe Doakes

I’d say “I’m surprised nobody’s blamed ‘white supremacy8′”, but then Councilmember Jalali hasn’t spoken yet.

Urban Progressive Privilge: Two Americas

It would seem there are two black Americas.

One whom upper middle class white progressives have appointed themselves leaders – the type that call Tim Scott “Uncle Tim” and jabber on about defunding and actively harassing the police “for racial justice“…

…and the actual people who live in the neighborhoods that are being gutted.

In Brooklyn Center, where the destruction was visible firsthand, respondents (nearly all black men of various ages) overwhelmingly opposed rioting. An African-American man in an “Army Veteran” hat commented: “We’re human, and we want to be treated with respect,” but we also need to show “respect.”

A man in construction gear remarked: “I guarantee you the people that were looting, nine times out of 10, weren’t from this area. . . . If you feel the need to lash out, then don’t get mad when people, you know, address you as a looter or a rioter.”

A woman in a Black Lives Matter mask agreed: “These are two different things: We have protesters, and then we have rioters.”

The people of Brooklyn Center seemed to hold a pretty nuanced view about the difference between protest and destruction.

On the streets of Washington, on the other hand, support for riots among the capital’s bourgeoisie was almost universal. One young woman said that “if change needs to be made, and it’s not getting done in the traditional avenues, then rioting is a good option.”

All the Democrats had to do to get the black working class that voted for Trump in two-generationi-high numbers back in the fold was not be crazy.

They just can’t do it.

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.

Frantic Bailing

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

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

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

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

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

Axtell commented:

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

But if the SPPD catches them, then what?

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

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

At least, that’s the sense people get.

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

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

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

Good luck, Chief.

Problem Solved

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Well shoot, if that’s all it takes to prevent violence…

Joe Doakes

There needs to be for something that comes between “magical thinking” and “things we say because our lawyers say we have to say it”.

Perspective

Writer for The College Fix and her story – she’s leaving MInneapolis – has gone fairly viral in recent days.

Minneapolis is my home. My happiest memories are here. It’s where I learned to ride a bike, had my first date, received my high school diploma.

But today, I’m too afraid to even walk in my neighborhood by myself.

The ACE Hardware down the street? The one that I used to bike to in the summer? Robbed twice in the past five days.

The Walgreens next to my elementary school? Molotov cocktail thrown into it.

The Lake Harriet Bandshell, where we spent countless Mother’s Days? Homeless encampment popped up next door.

These are the things you don’t read about in the news.

Ten minutes from my house, at 38th and Chicago, there is still an autonomous zone. Police are not allowed to enter. Residents have died because medical authorities couldn’t get through, and carjackers (of which there are MANY) will speed into the zone to escape officer pursuit.

Part of me says “chalk it up to perspective”. The writer – Gustavus student Grace Bureau – likely wasn’t born during MInnepolis’s last round of toxicity.

But it is different this time around. In the nineties, you not only got the impression from Norm Coleman, and even Sharon Sayles Belton, that this was not “the new normal” – that a tsunami of violent, gang crime was not the way it was supposed to be, something “good people” were supposed to suck it up and tolerate.

That’s entirely changed – as Bureau notes:

…I can’t help but look around and wonder, “What happened here? Where exactly did it all go wrong?”

Was it the liberal mob? Identity politics? The cries of “RACIST!” when someone disagreed with a particular reaction or policy?

Was it conservative silence as the loudest voices got more and more radical?

Was it our acceptance that “we live in a blue area, this is just the way things are?”

How did it all happen so fast?

Whatever it was, I’m leaving this dark, surreal, twisted version of Minneapolis on Friday. And I pray to God that I never have to come back.

If the story had a comment section – College Fix is smarter than that – it would no doubt te prog-clogged with chuckleheaded laughing boys saying “good riddance”.

I suspect Bureau, and the many like her, are saying the same.

A Little Concerning

One of the alternate jurors from the Chauvin trial admits the flamingly obvious (in an interview with KARE11’s Lou Raguse):

Raguse: Did you want to be a juror?

Christensen: I had mixed feelings. There was a question on the questionnaire about it and I put I did not know. The reason, at that time, was I did not know what the outcome was going to be, so I felt like either way you are going to disappoint one group or the other. I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict.

So there’s your evidence that, by accident or design or pure social fact, the jury’s attitude was affected by the, er, social disruption of the past year.

I’m not going to say “It’d have been utterly impossible for Chauvin to get a fair trial under those circumstances”.

I’m going to say we can see that state from here.

For All The Amateur Legal Scholars

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We’ve heard a lot of legal expertise tossed around lately.  Let’s see how easily our resident legal scholars handle a first-year law school exam question.:

Criminal Procedure quiz, essay portion:

A man is accused of committing a crime in Minneapolis.  The prosecuting attorney spends a year tainting the jury pool with pretrial publicity.  Defendant moves for a change of venue citing his Constitutional right to a fair trial but the judge concludes the State’s actions have been so widespread, so pervasive, so completely corrupting, that the Defendant cannot get a fair trial anywhere in the state.

The judge’s choices are:

A.  Hold the trial in Minneapolis since that’s where the alleged crime occurred, even as the mob outside the courthouse threatens to burn the city if the man isn’t convicted;

B.  Dismiss the charges on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct in violation of the Defendant’s Constitutional rights.

If the judge chooses A, he opens the door for the State to violate future defendants’ Constitutional rights in a similar manner.  If the judge chooses B, the mob burns down the city. What should the judge do?   Explain your answer in 100 words or less giving citations to relevant statutory, case-law, and rule authority.

You have one hour.  Begin.

Joe Doakes

Er..Racism and White Privilege and the Patriarchy?

Those seem to be the answers for everyone question one can’t answer these days.

Long Term Effects

We’ve talked about orders of effect.  The first order effect of a railroaded guilty verdict is X but what are the second-order and third-order and further order effects? 

Sarah Hoyt has an insightful column up: “Sparing the Rod.

Joe Doakes

I don’t think our society has any idea of the long-term effects of a massive loss of faith in law enforcement, the judiciary, the media and the rest of the institutuions.

Lies

I’m told sex trafficking is a huge problem, particularly during sporting events.  The Star Tribune says pipeline workers in Duluth engage in sex trafficking, which is grounds to shut down the pipeline that the Indians don’t like. And now we have a conviction for sex trafficking a minor during the NCAA Final Four, State v. Abdulazeez, see attached.

Except . . . there was no sex, no minor child, nobody trafficked, in either incident.  They’re both undercover police sting operations aimed at ordinary prostitution Johns.  The cops neither liberated a trafficked person nor jailed a trafficker. Which tells me that sex trafficking MAY be a problem, but the official statistics cannot be used to support that claim. They are as unreliable as Covid statistics and good only for one thing: demanding more funding.

It’s like the guy in the Target parking lot who wants to panhandle five bucks because he’s out of gas and his girlfriend is pregnant and they’re trying to get home to St. Louis to see his ailing mother before she dies of cancer and . . . lies, they’re all lies to get money out of me.  However many cops are involved in fighting imaginary crime in chat rooms – go ahead, defund them all.  Won’t stop a single crime in the real world and it will free up resources to man the barricades when People Whose Lives Matter show up with bricks and Molotov cocktails.

Worse, the media missed the most obvious conclusion of all.  If sports events create sex predators then sporting events are bad so why are we not only condoning them, but actively subsidizing them?  Subsidized stadia = subsidized sports events = trafficked children for sexual predators.    Why does the State of Minnesota and the City of Murderapolis promote trafficking children for sex?  Why do they hate children and want them to die?

Joe Doakes

If the people of Minnesota ever start thinking about what their media and government do, it’ll get ugly.

Impunity

I’ve been thinking about impunity.  It’s why:

-Black Lives Matter and Antifa can burn down cities;

-Keith Ellison can orchestrate a lynching;

-Tim Walz can imprison the whole state for an entire year;

-someone in the Biden Administration can send troops to kick down doors
in Syria;

-China can humiliate our diplomats in Alaska;

-sex fiends and pedophiles can prey on victims for years;

-illegal immigrants can swarm our border.

When people know they can get away with bad behavior, they engage in
more of it.  Swift punishment deters bad behavior.  How can we restore
the deterrent necessary to end bad behavior?

Joe Doakes

A city without any political opposition, and a political system without any major media scrutiny, all lead to people acting with impunity.

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.

More Victims Faster

Minneapolis pushing ahead to eliminate cops.  Look at the photo to see who’s pushing the issue. 

Do any of those people look like they live in Hawthorne or Phillips?  Any of them look like they’ll be affected when cops stop patrolling dangerous neighborhoods? 

Looks more like White people from affluent neighborhoods telling the city council what’s good for Black people living in desperate neighborhoods.  “Pull the cops out of those bad neighborhoods, leave the Black people to die.”

In the olden days, instead of wearing backpacks and carrying signs, they’d have been wearing sheets and carrying torches.

Joe Doakes

Big Left always sells class conflict as cultural conflict. Today’s cultural conflict is racial. But behind it, always, is affluent honkeys with (at best) white liberal guilt and, otherwise, the kind of cynicism that is dripping from every pore of the American ruling class.

Urban Progressive Privilege includes being reasonably certain that none of the policies you promote for other people will ever really affect you.

Digging In

A friend of the blog emails:

As you can see you today more fencing and wire went up around the 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis.

Many traffic barriers are also set internal inside the fence in the police parking lot.

So where will all the rioters go?

It’s a rhetorical question.

UPDATE: Compare and contrast with when this shot was first taken, a couple weeks ago:

The Darkness Before More, Darker Darkness

The news is full of stories about the preparations for Monday’s opening of the Derek Chauvin trial.

Signally, all those preparations seem to involve fortifying government buildings.

That includes Minneapolis City Hall, where taxpayers are paying a lot of money to fortify a building wherein most of the City Council members believe the expectation of public safety is a privilege.

As to protecting the small businesspeople? Residents?

Additionally, Sasha Cotton, the director for the city’s new Office of Violence Prevention, said her department is working with the city’s Neighborhood and Community Relations Department on a preparedness toolkit—which includes safety tips and best practices, among other information—to help neighborhoods and residents.

A “preparedness kit”.

In other words, smoke ’em if you got ’em. You’re on your own.

Again. Government has its priorities. Government is government’s priority.

But it’s OK – because city officials are pointing out the precedent they’re concerned about.

January 6.

Not May 25.

“Never Waste a Crisis!”

A city’s agony is just another excuse to feed into the blood libel that there is a massive wave of “white supremacist right wing violence that’ll dwarf 9/11” waiting out there, any day now.

Great Minds Think Alike

In the olden days, people and goods traveled by ship.  Nowadays, people and goods travel by car.

In the olden days, pirates took ships by force, leaving people and goods stranded.  Nowadays, carjackers take cars by force, leaving people and goods stranded.

In the olden days, law enforcement officials were spread too thin to prevent piracy so private persons were granted Letters of Marque allowing them to seize ships from pirates, deliver the pirates to the authorities, and keep the ships as a reward. 

Minnesota law enforcement officials are spread too thin to prevent carjacking.  Maybe we should . . . ?

Joe Doakes

Last week, I expressed – half tongue-in-cheek – an interest in running for Mayor of Saint Paul on the “Criminals Suck” ticket.

My platform:

  • Legalize “booby-trapping” (non-lethal, of course – gotta keep the plaintiff’s bar away) to catch criminals.
  • Offer rewards for the most creative trick, trap or subterfuge a citizen uses to catch a ne’er-do-well.
  • Pay for those rewards by cutting 23 of the roughly 24 deputy mayor’s offices, the Resiliency Office, and every city office that competes with more than three Saint Paul businesses
  • Direct the City Attorney to actively participate in the defense of any citizen deemed to have a legally sound claim of self-defense against.
  • Hold a tax holiday the week of the Fourth of Jully and the week before Christmas, to get people from outside Saint Paul to actually come to Saint Paul.

It’s not really a “letter of Marque”, but the spirit is there…

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.

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation, But It Does Equal Correlation

Stipulated: The Star Tribune is a de facto DFL PR firm. That its editorial slant is to the left is no surprise or problem.

Their “journalistic” slant, on the other hand? Democracy can not survive without institutions holding government accountable – and in Minnesota the ones ones you have are…

…(looks around)…

…PowerLine, AlphaNews, Tom Hauser on a good day, and the NARN.

Case in point: in a couple decades of reporting on sex trafficking cases, I do not recall the Star Tribune mentioning the occupations of the accused. Certainly not in the lede.

But now:

Talk about not so much burying the lede as inverting the story.

Is the Strib trying to tie Enbridge 3 – one of the DFL’s betes noire – to sex trafficking?

Given that the pipeline workers’ day jobs are paragraph 10 importance to the story, not headlines, waht do you think?

Poster Child

He had a lengthy series of convictions, many of them disqualifying him from holding, much less owning or buying firearms.

He was in violation of an order for protection – itself a crime.

He had a history of same:

Gregory Ulrich was already subject to every restriction, sanction and consequence a “Red Flag” law can provide, and then some.

And still he shot up the Allina Clinic in Buffalo yesterday – a “gun free zone”, by the way – killing one and injuring several. He was prohibited from having, buying or owning guns by state and federal law, he was subject to at least one restraining order, and he built bombs – itself a very, very serious federal felony.

In short – when people say “we already have laws in place that do literally everything a “Red Flag” law is supposed to do”. Gregory Ulrich was a case in point.

Which didn’t stop Metro Minnesota’s political class from plying their dismal trade – exploiting crises:

And we, the good guys, implored our political class “learn the facts before you start jabbering about policy”. What good did it do us?

The Carver County sheriff pointed out in various news conferences yesterday that a “Red Flag” law would have been about as useful as a “Miss Minnesota” tiara on tow truck driver. Which ensures that Carver County’s sheriff won’t be getting any more live feed time.