All Is Proceeding As Predicted

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“If you ban guns,” we said, “criminals will just use another tool, maybe a bow and arrow. It’s a basic principle of economics of scarcity,” we said. “People find substitutes for items they can’t buy.”

“No,” we were told by all The Smart People. “It’s guns. Guns are the problem. Ban guns, problem solved.”

And now this. I’ll bet you a brand-new nickel The Smart People will call for bow bans and one-per-month purchase limits on arrows. Really, how many arrows does one person need?

Joe Doakes

Just another thing to add to the list of things Democrats will blame for crime before they get around to themselves.

#Unexpectedly

Turns out the man charged with murder in last weekend’s west end Saint Paul shoot out had never, ever committed a crime of any sort.

No, that’s a lie. I couldn’t resist.He had a rap sheet longer than John Thompson’s list of social offenses, and at least as long a list of judges who kept letting him skate:

The man charged with murder and attempted murder in the St. Paul bar shooting last weekend has a long criminal history, and court records show 33-year-old Terry Brown should never have had a gun.

It appears that at every turn Brown was given breaks by the system, breaks that allowed him to be free to go into the Seventh Street Truck bar Saturday night.

In 2018, Brown was charged with a felony for violating a no-contact order in a domestic case. He had a long record, with felonies including a 2016 conviction for violating the same no-contact order. In the 2018 case, he twice missed court dates and warrants were issued

If the system had done what it was supposed to do with convicted felons, Brown would have been in jail last Saturday night.

Vibrant

Perhaps you’ve heard – it’s been in all the headlines; a shooting in a Saint Paul bar left one dead and 14 injured.

It took place in one of the many bars along West Seventh that suffered horribly with the shutdown of all events at the XCel Center, Ordway and the Science Museum, and the concertgoers and hockey fans and general tourists that used to crowd the area on a beautiful evening.

And the crowd that replaced them, when they could open at all, was a little…edgier? More likelly to cause problems? Bars in the area, and up on Cathedral Hill, had a much different atmosphere. Charged. Jumpy. Ready to blow.

And at the Truick Park – across from Cossetta, where the Seven Corners Hardware store used to be – things finally blew up.

Now, most of the politicians in Saint Paul – a city controlled by the DFL for over 60 years, and where county prosecutors have all but given up, well, prosecuting, had the good common sense to shut the hell up.

Not Carlos Marianil, the DFLer who “represents” the neighborhood.

But the three perps that where arrested all had lengthy felony records – so they wouldn’t have taken any background checks, whether “Universal”, or for that matter ‘intelligent and meaningful”, or not.

And who would have entered a “Red Flag” order on them?

Rep. Mariani’s next statement wasn’t especially intelligent – but it was meaningful, albeit in a sinister way:

So here’s the message; if you start a business in Saint Paul, after the state tried to kill you off with the hamfisted lockdown, and the Karens that make up the majority in your neighborhood decide to keep hiding in their basements and not go to bars and hockey games and shows at the Ordway, and you have to take whatever clientele you can to stay afloat, and problems erupt, your government will try to stuff you under the bus.

But! If you see that the clientele might have the potential to cause problems, and they’re not conveniently politically neutral (like people wearing motorcycle “club” paraphernalia)? Well, then the locals in and out of government will stuff you, on the other hand, under the bus: when the late, great “Bar Louie” chain tried to see to its own security, in exactly the way Mariani demands, the Karens from the Non-Profit/Industrial Complex were waiting to stomp on that as well. If it walks like a gang member and talks like a gang member, apparently you’re a racist.

So to take Mariani, and both city councils and both county prosecutors at their words:

  1. if you try to pre-empt trouble, you’re racist.
  2. If you make the the best of things and the crowd causes problems, they’ll throw you under the bus.
  3. The county attorneys won’t touch the petty criminals, and even the not so petty ones can’t seem to get put in jail no matter how they try.
  4. And if you say that that you expect the government to which you pay taxes to see to public safety? That’s your privilege talking.

Starting a business here sounds like. a great bet, doesn’t it?

Fearless Prediction: The media will start running even more “thjink” pieces on how it’s “Racist” to demand law and order.

A Rohrschach Blob

The recent school shooting in Arlington Texas was all things to all people.

To “progressive“, it was a sign that “gun violence“ was still a huge bogeyman.To some fairly reductionist people on what is sometimes called “the right“, the news that the shooter was a black teenager, especially after a video of a chillingly violent altercation in a classroom that was said to have led up to the episode, confirmed a raft of biases about black teens, public schools and the possibility of rehabilitating violent teenage boys. Which, it was assumed, the shooter was.

To others, it was yet another sign that the law enforcement system had failed to put a repeat offender in jail, allowing him to continue to predate on society. Although to be fair, coming from people in the Twin Cities,

Turns out the story may be a lot more complicated than that, and that nobody had “wealthy black kid from a loving home, who has been bullied and robbed for being fairly well to do, shooting in self-defense“ on their Urban juvenile crime bingo card.

Berg‘s 18th Law is called a Law for a reason.

Consent!

Chicago / Cook County prosecutors are declining to charge gang members for homicides – partly because witnesses are terrified to speak out…

….and partly because they, to quote a line that hardly ever works for rapists, “consented” (I’ve added emphasis):

While she wouldn’t specify what other evidence prosecutors needed to file charges, the police report acknowledged that victims of the shootout weren’t cooperating with investigators.

But the report also framed the state’s attorney’s office’s decision to decline charges in a different light: “Mutual combatants was cited as the reason for the rejection.” Mutual combat is a legal term used to define a fight or struggle that two parties willingly engage in.

This should revolutionize self-defense cases: “Your honor, the decedent voluntarily entered my client’s house. My client voluntarily shot him”.

Well, that’d be too simple, wouldn’t it?

Downfall: Ramco Edition

Hold this thought:

“When people don’t trust the institutions in authority to uphold order fairly and justly, they create their own institutions to do it, to a more self-centered standard of “Fair and Just”. That’s almost always a bad thing”.

This just in from Ramsey County. Read the whole Twitter thread (available here in one convenient page):

Mr. House would seem to be a regular guest of Ramco law enforcement – but not a long-term one. Even with his long record of not using his indoor behavior, he just can’t seem to get a charge to stick enough to matter.

Why, it’s almost like he’s above the law – in a city that fines homeowners whose grass gets too long.

“When people don’t trust the institutions in authority to uphold order fairly and justly, they create their own institutions to do it, to a more self-centered standard of “Fair and Just”. That’s almost always a bad thing”.

Now, it’s nothing new that Ramsey County, while bellowing on cue about “gun safety”, goes nerfy on actual criminals using guns. Three straight Ramco Attorneys, going back thirty years – Tom Foley, Susan Gaertner and John Choi – have had access to a significant set of sentence enhancements to use on gun criminals, tools that have had measurable effect on crime over the past three decades, where they are applied.

Which they are not, in Ramsey County (or Hennepin, either). Foley, Gaertner and Choi, at best pled it away, and at other times didn’t even bother applying it, sometimes for the very crimes for which the measures were designed.

But don’t you dare put a security shutter on the window of your small business.

“When people don’t trust the institutions in authority to uphold order fairly and justly, they create their own institutions to do it, to a more self-centered standard of “Fair and Just”. That’s almost always a bad thing”.

It’s almost like they want public order to collapse.

That’s absurd, of course.

But if it were true, what would they do differently?

Under The Table

Thesis: If people can’t trust the institutions they have relied on to enforce the laws and administer the justice system fairly, impartially, honestly and diligently, they will start their own institutions to do it for themselves.

Corolary: This is usually an extraordinarily ugly thing. See also: The Mafia, the Provos, the various Lebanese militias, Salvadoran and Argentinean and other nations’ “death squads” of the left and right.

Observation: we are having trouble trusting our institutions to administer justice fairly, impartially, honestly and diligently.

Exhibit 1: young woman notes the FBI slow-rolled the investigation of famous man who abused her horribly at age 15 – and then allegedly lied about her statements:

Bear in mind, Ms. Maroney is at least a C-list celebrity – the crowd who can usually count on some name recognition to deter the worst abuses. If FBI handles the case of someone with name recognition, a public profile and a photo with Barack Obama on her resume, what can the average schnook expect?

Exhibit 2: 49 people may have died because the FBI didn’t want to lose an informant:

Exhibit 3: As noted in the Tweet above, the FBI was alleged to have shaken and baked the “plot” to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer to fluff up their “oncoming wave of white nationalist terror” meme.

In this case, it seems there are some limits even the FBI won’t transgress

…that we know of.

If the people can’t trust their institutions to administer the justice system fairly, impartially, honestly and diligently…

…what, then?

I don’t want to keep seeing the same hands.

Vibrant

Sure is a good thing the State Fair banned the law abiding citizen from carrying on the Fairgrounds.

Otherwise, who knows what kind of mischief all those law-abiding citizens will get into.

Foreshadowing

Minneapolis’s city council, in its infinite, er, wisdom, voted to replace its police department with…

…well, they’ll get back to you on that.

But if you’re looking for a hint as to what law enforcement might look like in a new “Moved Forward” Minneapolis, this episode might offer a clue:

On the one hand, I suppose “dumping the problem on the general public, especially the ones you’ve been demonizing for a generation, like landlords” makes sense to a certain segment of the population.

On the other? Responsibility and accountability without the power and authority to do what’s needed to carry them out is the very definition of oppression.

I’m going to go out on a short, sturdy limb and guess that barbering about “oppression” is going to be considered a “privilege”.

As Predicted Here

Last year, when the FBI triiumphantly claimed that they’d busted a plot to kidnap MIchigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, I said, in as many words, “I bet a shiny new quarter this was a setup by the feds”.

My quarter is looking safer and safer:

The explosives expert was the undercover FBI agent. He was the one who figured out where to plant the explosive and offered to obtain as much as the group wanted. Would there even have been a plan to blow up the bridge without him? The Iraq War veteran is heard barking at the other members about not hanging around unless they were “down with the thought of kidnapping.” It almost sounds as if he had to talk some of them into it. A government informant from Wisconsin was the person who traveled around the country and introduced various militia members to each other, sometimes paying their travel costs. Many of the eventual members had never met each other before this. There were fully a dozen informants and undercover agents involved every step of the way.

When you put all of that together, you are forced to consider the question that Buzzfeed is asking. Without all of those agents and government informants holding people’s hands and guiding their steps, would there even have been a conspiracy without them? The defendants are saying no. They claim that the whole idea of kidnapping Whitmer never rose above the level of fantasy, though they freely admit going to paramilitary training sessions together and engaging in anti-government conversations and online chats.

My two cents: the establisment wants to deliver on that “wave of white supremacist terror” they’ve been promising since 2009, they’re willing to create it from scratch.

Hate

Disclaimers offered in advance: it’s The Blaze, so it’s just a smidgen suspect.

But if it’s true, I’m not sure I like this story all that much: The police charged a Utah woman with a “hate crime“ for destroying a “Back the Blue“ sign and quote smirking and “at a deputy in an “intimidating“ manner.

“As I concluded my traffic stop and released the individuals, I observed some of the individuals’ friends approach them and attempt to console them,” the deputy wrote in a probable cause affidavit, the News said.

“I observed one of the friends, later identified to be Lauren Gibson, stomping on a ‘Back the Blue’ sign next to where the traffic stop was conducted, crumble it up in a destructive manner, and throw it into a trash can all while smirking in an intimidating manner towards me,” the deputy added, according the paper.

On the one hand? I’m not going to say there’s not some smidgen of glorious schadenfreude involved in seeing one of these entitled little “progressive“ twerps getting a comeuppance.

On the other?

Think of all the legitimate hate crimes that “Progressive“, under the cover that urban progressive privilege grant them, have carried out over the past 10 or 15 years; James Hodgkinson and his shooting spree against Republicans, the assault on Senator Rand Paul, and for that matter this little list of politically motivated bias crimes that I used to maintain until it stopped being fun, for that matter, among many others.

Distraction of signs and “intimidating“ “smirking“? That’s every election season for every conservative in Saint Paul.

Is it a good thing that, of all of the non-Leftist victims of bias-based assaults in this country, only cops seem to be covered by hate crime laws?

Know Them By Their Actions

Never forget this:

And when your “progressive” friends and relatives bleat “what about January 6?”

There was never any chance that riot, stupid and despicable as it was, was going to damage, or even significantly interrupt, our democratic process. None.

On the other hand, dismantling trust in our institutions – the legal system, in this case?

That could very well do the treuck, over time.

What’s A Cubit?

Bill Cosby is out of jail:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the indecent assault conviction of Bill Cosby on Wednesday and ordered his release from prison after finding that he was denied protection against self-incrimination.

The court said that a prosecutor’s decision not to charge Cosby, 83, in an earlier case opened the door for him to speak freely in a lawsuit against him, thinking he would not incriminate himself criminally. A second prosecutor later used the lawsuit testimony in a criminal trial, and that testimony was key in his conviction years later.

Cosby was convicted on three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2018 of drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004, and was serving a three- to 10-year sentence. He has served nearly three years of the sentence.

The state Supreme Court said Cosby cannot be retried on the same charges.

Let’s be clear from the outset — I hold no brief for Bill Cosby. Based on the available evidence, he’s a flat-out monster and richly deserved punishment for his misdeeds. I do hold a brief for due process, however, and there’s no question his prosecution was a violation of his rights. The right against self-incrimination is of paramount importance. All things being equal, I would rather not see Bill Cosby’s face in the future, once we get past this round of media attention.

So yeah, Bill Cosby as he is now carries little value, but what about Bill Cosby as he once was? He was one of the best comedians of the previous century, arriving on the scene around 1960, the same time as Bob Newhart (beloved), Jonathan Winters (much missed), Don Rickles (“problematic”), and Woody Allen (reviled, mostly on merit). Cosby first became famous for his “Noah” bit, which is still hilarious nearly 60 years on:

God: (standing on a chair behind Noah, he rings a bell once) NOAH.

Noah: (Looks up) Is someone calling me? (Shrugs and goes back to his work)

God: (Ding) NOAH!!

Noah: Who is that?

God: It’s the Lord, Noah.

Noah: Right … Where are ya? What do ya want? I’ve been good.

God: I want you to build an ark.

Noah: Right … What’s an ark?

God: Get some wood and build it 300 cubits by 80 cubits by 40 cubits.

Noah: Right … What’s a cubit?

I wouldn’t want to see Noah’s Menard’s bill — that much is certain.

Between the Noah bit, his Fat Albert routines, and the decade-long kids show based on those routines that was a staple of my childhood, Cosby was ubiquitous even before his 1980s era sitcom ruled the airwaves. He was America’s Dad. It was all a lie, yes — he is also a sexual predator and a hypocrite of the first order, but he was a wonderful interpreter of the human condition. What do we do with useful monsters? It’s a conversation worth having.

Too Much To Hope For

Back in 1987, the Guardian Angels short-lived Twin Cities chapter “closed down” the Cecil Newman housing project in North Minneapolis – basically blockading it from criminals, keeping everyone out but the residents.

Legal? No less so than the CHAZ in south Minneapolis today is. Make of that what you will.

Needed. Pffft, yeah. Newman was a hotbed of drug dealing and crime, as the Twin Cities first wave of gang violence was just getting started, still years before “Murderapolis”. .

I was producing the “Geoff Charles Show” at the time. As we covered the story on day, Geoff said – one of the clear blue, live on the air, as he was wont to do, “Get me Curt Sliwa”, the fouorn2run

So I called the Guardian Angels in New York. “He’s in Minneapolis”.

I called the Guardian Angels at their Minneapolis number. “He’s at Cecil Newman”.

I called Cecil Newman. The phone rang a couple times. A New York accent said “Hello”.

“I’m looking for Curt Sliwa”.

“Tha’ts me”.

It was one of my favorite moments of that part of my career.

34 years later, he’s got the GOP endorsement for Mayor of New York. And he’s talking sense:

I mean, I’ll be realistic; a Republican has about as much chance of winning in New York as one does in Chicago, these days; I doubt Giuliani could make a dent these days.

But it’s sure fun to think about.

Ellison: “You Are All Victims!”

Keith Ellison’s Attorney General’s Office is soliciting “victim impact statements”…

from, literally, everybody.

Community impact statements are statements submitted by those who have been impacted by a crime. Those statements then may be read at the sentencing hearing.

On a form on Ellison’s website, people can submit their own community impact statement describing “how Mr. Chauvin’s offenses have had a social or economic impact” on their lives and community. When submitting, people must select whether they reside in Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota, the United States, or elsewhere.

“It is not common to facilitate the submission of community-impact statements in this way, but this is not a common case,” a spokesman for Ellison’s office told FOX 9.

Reading between the lines: the DFL has to keep the outrage stoked, since none of the other Democrat issues are polling well at all.

Expect Lots Of Headlines About Covid And Marijuana Legalization

As the state heads toward a mid-term election with the control of both the House and Senate, to say nothing of the Constitutional Offices, at stake, a poll shows MInnesotans are un-thrilled with government’s handling of events:

Considering opinions on Gov. Tim Walz’s approach to handling crime, the results have virtually flipped since last year in terms of approval. In June of 2020, 59% approved and 35% disapproved of the governor’s approach to crime, but in June of 2021, 55% disapproved and only 39% approved…Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they visited Minneapolis less than normal in the past year, compared to 4% who said they visited the city more frequently than in the past.

Despite this, a majority of Minnesotans do trust law enforcement to keep the city safe — far more than they trust elected leaders in the state to do the same.

Ample reasons for dissatisfaction are obvious. And some are not so much . More tomorrow in this space.

You Could See It Coming. . .

. . . right up 38th Street:

For the second time in less than a week, Minneapolis city crews worked to reopen the area around 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to traffic and activists have returned makeshift barriers to the area.

Minneapolis city crews, at around 4:50 a.m. Tuesday, were removing items from George Floyd Square in an attempt to reopen the intersection to traffic.

Once crews were done removing items, they left the area.

Later Tuesday, a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew reported activists had returned makeshift barriers to the streets near the intersection.

Our friends in Minneapolis have turned fecklessness into an art form.

Seriously, what’s the point? Either you clear the intersection and ensure it doesn’t get blocked again, or you admit you are too weak to run your city and let the local warlords run the show. This is a stupid game. 

 

Just Another Man Of Peace

Winston Smith, the man killed last week in Uptown, was apparently already “at war” with the police:

Smith’s violent resistance to arrest may have been motivated by his belief that he was engaged in a “war” on cops.

For years leading up to his death, Smith made statements across social media platforms vowing to shoot police officers if he were ever to be apprehended, encouraging his followers to bring guns and bombs to protests and outlining tactics he believed would be most effective to kill members of law enforcement. He also frequently suggested that he was meeting with like-minded people and taking tangible steps towards these aims.

“Get ready for war,” Smith told his followers via Instagram in mid-April.

“Motherfuckers are finna move on these ‘ops,” he continued, using a slang term that means people would attack police.

“All the shooters, suit up,” he ordered. “Lace your boots up, it’s war fucking time. Bring your gun to the protest, bring them fucking bombs and rocket launchers and all that shit.”

Even some of the local media – in this case, ,reliably left-of-center Fox9 – are taking their break from the Twin Cities media’s usual “write a hagiography first, ask questions later” procedure and noting that there just might be an elephant in this particular room.

UPDATE: It’s unclear from media or law enforcement reports whether Smith was involved in January 6, the only example of violence in American history.

The Story Behind The Story

The twitter thread behind this bit of video of a – shall we say – “impaired” man clobbering a rather diminuitive female cop in San Francisco…:

…have focused on the, er, less-than-decisive responses by the locals that came to her assistance.

The guys who wouldn’t put down their coffee before trying to disentangle the high guy.

The fellow who bapped away at him with the decisive authority of a Care Bear.

All the half-hearted tugging.

My angle?

In this day and age, and in that place, the part that amazes me is someone came to help the cop.

The Numbers, Unlike Keith Ellison, Don’t Lie

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There have been a spate of shootings in Minneapolis. Liberals reflexively trot out the same tired solutions: close the gun show loophole and tax ammunition to make it more expensive and therefore harder to obtain. No guns, no bullets, no shootings. Simple, right?

It occurs to me there’s a real-world way to obtain empirical data to test these theories. I’m all about the SCIENCE. Show me the numbers.

Dictator-for-Life Walz issued Executive Order 20-4 closing public accommodations during the pandemic. His order had the effect of cancelling all gun shows as nobody could rent a hall to hold a public gathering. No gun shows are scheduled until the end of June 2021. Okay – loophole closed 15 months. Any measurable effect on criminals’ ability to acquire firearms to commit shootings? Are there fewer guns on the streets? Fewer people being shot, car-jacked, robbed at gunpoint? What are the numbers?

Ammunition shelves have been bare since before the election. 9mm pistol ammunition which cost $0.20 per round last June peaked at $0.70 and is holding around $0.50 now, but only on the web. There is none on the shelf. If price and scarcity affected criminal shooting patterns, we should be seeing it. Are we? Criminals conserving ammo? Firing fewer shots? Switching to knives or bats because bullets aren’t available? What are the numbers?

Or do the numbers show that criminals can get guns and ammunition pretty much at will, meaning those same tired solutions don’t work in the real world any more than Prohibition or the War on Drugs worked in the real world? It’s important to know the numbers, because if we have empirical evidence showing those same tired solutions don’t work, shouldn’t Liberals stop nattering on about them? Aren’t Liberals interested in SCIENCE? Don’t they care about proof?

Joe Doakes

Why, it’s almost like Twin Cities gangs are actually as immune to the free market as the Minneapolis City Council thinks it is.

Unintended (?) Consequences

A friend of the blog emails:

So, if the cops think they got one of the shooters of those young kids in Mpls, they can’t pull him over if they have a taillight out?

Just asking.

Snark aside, I am trying to imagine the actual process of sorting calls between, at the most extreme case:

  1. The actual cops
  2. The unarmed traffic police
  3. The social workers that are supposed to respond to mental health calls

Mental health cases routinely escalate. As the FOTB notes above, traffic stops find felons all the time; two of Ted Bundy’s arrests, to pick a random example, started as traffic stops; not a few homicides started as mental health calls.

The gnashing and grinding at the 911 center alone will be epic – as will the hordes of cross-department staff that wind up getting laboriously dispatched to calls after the the first social worker or unarmed hall monitor,…er, traffic cop gets “unexpectedly” killed.

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!

Free Fire Zone

It’s rapidly becoming a Berg’s Law: if the media doesn’t give any demographic details about a violent criminal (say, a white Hell’s Angel with an umbrella), you can infer the rest.

When I saw the initial coverage of Saturday morning’s bloodbath in the Warehouse District, I treated it as a test.

Up until noonish yesterday (Sunday)? Even after the arrest was made? Not a word about the shooter.

So – was I right?

What do you think?

Carroll was arrested in 2016 for a variety of felonies egregious enough for Mike Freeman to put down his bottle for a moment at try to make an example of.

Carroll ended up getting all charges dismissed, in exchange for pleading guilty to “disorderly condcut”.

Remember – public safety is a privilege.