Monthly Archives: December 2014

Jots with dots 12/31

The good life in Minnesota: I’ll always credit James J. Hill first. But seriously, to jog back to the discussion of the Dayton tax hike: he’s due credit for managing the state budget, and using tax increases to do so. He’s not due all that much credit for the extent to which the Minnesota economy thrives. That’s moreso tied to the regional / national economy, and we have a long history here of outperforming the national economy. But yeah, the Dayton income tax hikes didn’t make the business environment uncompetitive. I see some chatter these days we benefit quite a bit from our proximity to NoDak.

Webb Services: No work jobs for the family are not a good thing. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/30/webb-pac-dished-10-of-its-intake-to-the-webb-family/ But I do think the reason he’s not going to win is rather “not a handsome devil.” No pic there. Anyway, very high forehead. Looks a bit like Colin Firth, who’s English. Webb prides himself as a Scots / Irish. Those people are not known for their looks, really. Bad teeth and all that. A resemblance to Beavis also.

No kidding, like this is a bad thing: http://reason.com/blog/2014/12/30/nypd-punishes-city-by-not-citing-arresti

In fairness to Gruber, I think the expectation was the death panels would be the cost controls. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/200378/ With the way things have gone, figure the death panels might be a non-starter, much as they wanted them.

The Mrs. and I can put away some booze, as much as two people who truly don’t have a drinking problem and are not in denial about it can. We’re working on whiskey now, but we do need to get back to beer so we can figure out when we’re tasting ‘hops’. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/drink/2013/05/hoppy_beer_is_awful_or_at_least_its_bitterness_is_ruining_craft_beer_s_reputation.html

Menards vs. Home Depot: HD doesn’t carry drill bits in wire gauge sizes. Menards does. Now you know.

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Jots with dots 12/30

Oh no, #Pointergate has been ‘politicized’. Mike Freeman won’t charge pointer guy Navell Gordon with robbery / felon in possession of a handgun.

http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2014/12/pointergate-is-back-with-a-new-participant-tv-station-says/

http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/27725784/pointergate-how-a-routine-investigation-got-political

Collins story suggests Freeman is now ‘embroiled’ in #Pointergate. Ya know, I suppose. And Freeman is the only one besides the Mayor who is held to ballot-box accountability, so you can assert that he’s pandering to the least electoral risk, whatever he discerns that to be. But thing is, the police referred a case to the county prosecutor’s office that is now tainted by Garcia, Delmonico, and Kohl’s Facebook stalking. It can be argued that the police and prosecution are still in pursuit of their weird vendetta, with the venue to argue at being Gordon’s trial. Yeah, airing that all out in testimony might be embarrassing to the police. But with a real defense argument there’s also a decent chance the case is lost, and Gordon is acquitted.

Lyden’s text is a bit more obtuse, with all kinds of rhetorical questions begging notions of what’s been politicized. Really, it’s not much political beyond Kohl’s original story. But with that alone, the Gordon case is a loser all the way around. So the county attorney is not being ‘political’ whatever that means, and the case is not ‘too hot’. Freeman is being practical. And he’s doing the cops a favor though they may not realize it. As for Gordon… he’s either a changed man or not, and he’ll find his destiny without the delivery of justice for this particular street robbery. I’d not worry about that.

Collins makes a remark in his comment thread about DNA on handguns constituting possession. I agree, I think this stuff is iffy. I’d bet it’s the kind of thing that’s used to cajole pleas to reduced charges more often than not. I don’t know how it stands up in court, to the extent it’s ever really asserted as evidence at trial.

The now reassigned Sgt. there, Garcia, earns $90k annually per the SPPPD public salaries database. I don’t know how they attract good candidates with pay like that.

Joe hearts tax hikes: http://www.wrywingpolitics.com/daytonomics-drags-mn-to-disastrous-3-7-unemployment-rate/ I acknowledged this before. Yes, Dayton raised taxes and things are OK. With that, a bit of a dragon is slayed. Still, he / DFL didn’t raise them much, and inasmuch as they’d like yet higher taxes on the rich just out of principle…. They’d be unable to go for that again, what with the state govt ostensibly now having ‘enough’ money. Labor market in my sector is very tight. I just applied for a straight gig and I asked for OUTRAGEOUS money. I had a number in mind, and I made myself state it, didn’t get milk toasty and water it down. They didn’t bat an eye, said that was within the hiring range. I dunno if it’s like that everywhere though. I used to know more people who were prospering in the realty / mortgage business, used to discern clearer pathways from underpaid, entry level young adult work to the kinds of jobs that could afford you a mortgage.

More examples of draft dodging by acting kooky at your draft board physical: James Fallows. Was moved to read this because he himself referenced it in a newer Atlantic piece. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2009/0911.fallows.html Previously, we discussed Bruce Springsteen and …. Ted Nugent…remember that discussion?… as those who dodged the draft by acting kooky at their draft board physical. Seems to have been a big thing at the time eh. Fallows harbors a guilty conscience, argues that with military obligation not being a collective experience, the military becomes a bit of a silo unto itself and is used malfeasantly.

Jots with dots 12/29

Reubens – had one at the Washington Square Bar and Grill in White Bear Lake last night. It was dry and tough.

Gritty St. Paul – I don’t recall the name of the parking ramp I park in. My stub says Cap City ramp. One of the intersections it’s on is on 4th and Minnesota. Right on the Skyway too, and this is great. It’s sort of ‘around the corner’ and ‘out of plain site’ as far as the Skyway maze goes though, and what I’ve been encountering is ‘grittier’ people, non-office workers say, smoking cigarettes off the 3rd floor Skyway entry to this ramp. Then last Friday, there was a dice game going on when I walked through at about 3. Replete with a bunch of money laying in a pile on the ground. Very ‘street’ eh, I remember seeing stuff like this on The Wire. Now, I’m real mindful how unappealing it is to be the embodiment of a caricature of a middle age white guy… but that’s too much urban ambience for me, and I think I have a reasonable basis to say so. Its only amusing till someone gets shot, and we want to stop before we get to that point eh.

Speaking of The Wire, conservative outrage dujour: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rush-limbaugh-idris-elba-cant-play-james-bond-because-hes-black/ Rush is wrong, with reboots and character driven story telling I’m pretty sure James Bond could be black. I think Elba is right though, he’s not handsome enough to be Bond http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/29/idris-elba-james-bond_n_6390316.html. Daniel Craig is a handsome devil, way more handsome than Elba. Now we may understand why say women say Elba is handsome, because he’s a great actor and credible leading man, but the objective truth is he’s merely a good looking fellow.

I think it was, for a lot of reasons http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/274247/speedreads-giuliani-nypd-cops-were-wrong-to-turn-their-backs-on-de-blasio We hear a lot from the police union guys these days. I’m thinking of Delmonico and the NY guy in particular. But I am struck by a thought here that, it sure seems the public faces of these unions are guys who are not all that well versed in the art of public relations. IE, being moderate in tone, saying what you have to say, and not elaborating in such a way that leaves ambiguous questions that confuse the public and stokes the fire. It’s just to say, they could use some mindful pros in these spots rather than beat cops who ascended to those positions. I think they could afford them, as far as it goes.

Jots with dots 12/26

Brooklyn Shooting gun http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/25/nyregion/tracing-the-gun-used-to-kill-2-new-york-city-police-officers.html?_r=1 It’s a Taurus P92, which is a licensed clone copy of the Beretta 92. Licensed copies are a thing in the gun world, you often don’t have to pay big money for the original. Berretta 92 became the US service pistol in 1985, having replaced the Colt 1911. It remains that, though there are murmurs it will be replaced. Beretta 92 is more famous as the sidearm of Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. As for Taurus’… You get into a lot of Chevy / Ford arguments in gun world, and some people argue hotly that Taurus’ are cheap knockoff crap. They aren’t really, and this one here is a formidable piece. Something like the P92 might not be slim and nimble enough for today’s tastes actually. Anywho… paragraph 3 of the times article. Times quotes cops as describing the second buyer as ‘Asian’. What is the purpose of this as an adjective here? Is this where we’re to implicitly understand the gun becomes skeezy and black market, ya know, cuz its in the hands of a crime-nority… I’m sure the cops wouldn’t acknowledge that as the context, but if not it seems to be a superfluous / extravagant / irrelevant detail. Not sure why an editor with their eye on the stylebook didn’t take that out.

I agree, single payer is not on the horizon http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-12-23/vermonts-lessons-for-fans-of-singlepayer-health-care For a few years, Rush has been playing a clip of then Sen. Obama saying to a union that single-payer is probably 15 years down the line after health care is first reformed. This is supposed to be a revealing clip, and maybe it is, for that was what they would have liked and expected after PPACA. But it won’t come to pass. And if PPACA achieves modest gains, as it has the appearance of doing, Democrats ought to be thankful it worked out as well as it did.

Brush with fame: Downtown is deserted, but I just passed Joe Soucheray in the skyway near the… Pioneer Press building….as one might expect. He had kids and grandkids with him, so I didn’t go ‘Hey, you’re…!” Looks a bit like Bruce Dern these days, maybe someone else.

There’s this thing where obnoxious atheists like to hone in on the creationist beliefs of the godbotters and go, boy those godbotters are stupid, gehuck, gehuck. Ya know, this is so punching below your weight that I think no one should be impressed. The faith / science divide is so wide, there just ain’t any meaningful argumentation that’s actually ‘won’. This speaks to that, obliquely. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2014/12/evolutionary_creationism_jeff_hardin_reconciles_evangelical_christianity.html I do believe in a benevolent supernatural, basically old, wise, and with white hair and robes. And I believe in evolution also. I encounter far fewer creationists among believers than these fight spoiling atheists do.

Jots with dots 12/24

97% http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/23/video-wh-science-advisor-says-man-made-global-warming-saving-us-from-another-ice-age/ John Holdren is a scientist, and “global warming is saving us from an ice age”, is highly theoretical at best. Really, if there’s not any academic underpinnings for that (and I doubt there is in all the research that makes up the 97%…) then what it is be stream of consciousness baloney. Yet all us non-scientists with our mediocre 90 – 120 IQs are to understand we’re just too deficient to critique guys like Holdren.

97% http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/23/vox-oops-no-this-winter-solstice-was-not-the-longest-day-ever/ Klein’s writer there initially gave in to kind of a junk science whimsy, where he thought he could base a statement of certitude on 1 isolated fact (tides…) Yeah, the left has a great understanding of science…

Hot Air is the TPM of the right eh.

Dunno http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/12/obama_economy_what_should_republicans_say_now_that_the_gdp_is_growing_the.html Insofar as its been a slow process, I do think it would be fair and also persuasive for the President to claim he wanted to build a ‘sustainable’ economy. But he’s never circled back to that idea to claim victory, I dare say it’s because the quality of the economy has never really been at the top of his mind. They were more worried about equity and redistribution, and they don’t really want people consuming more. They don’t approve of the proles going to Walmart to buy flat screens or building McMansions in the suburbs.

I believe we can properly understand that the budget reached equilibrium through gridlock and time. Harry Reid’s irregular order continuing resolutions didn’t provide spending increases over the baselines built into the stimulus. Economy was bound to grow and provide better tax revenues. And as there has been some stability, that happened. Also, very cheap gas. I can’t think of an economy goosing idea the Obama-ites implemented. Dodd-Frank is not something that juices the economy. Figure, the natural state of the American mercantile is ‘vigor’, and it returned to that mostly on its own. People want to sell stuff so they can buy stuff, and if they can, they will.

Jots with dots 12/23, the deuce

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/12/bloomington_to_file_charges_seek_repirations_from_organizers_of_mall_of_america_protest.php

Ya know what that DA is doing? She’s protecting Bloomington from… agitators. She didn’t say that, but that’s what it feels like she is saying. This has a very retrograde vibe. If there’s another protest, maybe they can break out some fire hoses and German shepherds.

Reporter quotes Gun Digest. They’d be better off calling me / writing me

No crime scene photo of the gun—a weapon that, according to Gun Digest, has not been manufactured in the United States since 1986—was ever released.”

http://www.vice.com/read/alleged-gun-planting-in-brooklyn-raises-new-questions-about-the-death-of-kimani-gray-1223

I have some doubts they ever made the Rohm 38 pattern revolver in the US. Which means actually, that this drop gun… er “crime scene gun” probably dates to 1968 or earlier.

The other backstory: This scenario screams “drop gun”. The Rohm is, with certitude, the worst handgun ever offered to the public. Classic Saturday Night Special from back in the day, not worth anything now. They trade hands as curiosities for less than $50. To the extent you can find one, there should be a real question whether those that remain actually function. They always broke in the course of firing one box of ammo. So this idea the kid had one should come with some dubiousness. The flip side is, the bad cop uses it as a drop gun because it’s cheap. IE, you’re not throwing away a $750 weapon. This is so transparent.

Quarterly growth of 5% http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/23/final-q3-gdp-growth-estimate-at-5-0-best-in-11-years/ No doubt because the sequester ended har har. Or maybe its all the cheap oil…. which means it’s not actually a triumph for the administration. I feel it though… the labor market I am in is kinda tight.

Jots with dots 12/23

That’s what I said. Conor uses the word petulant, page 2 of article.http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/the-importance-of-treating-nypd-officers-as-individuals/383976/ Conor’s link to Reason, which is also good. http://reason.com/blog/2014/12/21/in-the-rush-to-blame-everyone-for-the-sh Coates article yesterday is fantastic, I agree with it. I said a few weeks ago, the judicial system is host to the most malevolent vestiges of institutional racism. I think that’s Coates position.

We need a Godwin rule for “Blood on their hands” as an idiom, by the way. It’s being said so much that it’s losing its power. Which is to say, it’s being used profligately. People are saying people have blood on their hands without being able to cite any provocative quotes by said people. Bill DeBlasio does not figuratively have blood on his hands, he’s not been provocative in tone. Nor the President, nor Eric Holder, nor Al Sharpton. I am persuaded by the idea of Sharpton as buffoon by the way, but I’m also getting tired of conservatives citing him as boogie man. I just don’t see him having meaningful stature. He does have a tax problem that is worth conversation. It ought to be disqualifying, but, media bias.

Milwaukee cop won’t be charged for shooting homeless, mentally ill man he incited a fight with. Justifiable self defense when as police officer you roust a man who doesn’t know what’s going on and provoke his fight or flight instinct, end up having to shoot and kill him. http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/274109/speedreads-milwaukee-ex-cop-who-shot-black-man-14-times-wont-be-charged Cop did get fired. We’ll see if that sticks. I made this point obliquely re Brown. From a judicial / legal theory standpoint I’m not sure the cop should get the presumption that he’s making a legitimate arrest, is in proper use of arrest powers, when they provoke someone’s fight or flight instinct. It’s basically an assault, and the victim ought to have reasonable rights to defend themselves.

“The City Attorney is now building criminal cases against the protest organizers. She said she’ll try to get restitution for money lost by the mall, the city and police agencies that came from as far away as Hastings and Red Wing.”

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/12/22/bloomington-city-atty-expected-to-file-charges-against-moa-protest-organizers/

Like I said, you can’t cross the shopowners. Which is why you got to take it to the shopowners, this is where the rubber meets the road. Totally white privilege grandstanding by this DA. Knee jerk instinct is this idea of restitution is dubious. More from DA, same story. “This was a powder keg just waiting for a match,” said Johnson. Oh? I’d like that loaded assumption explained.