Protection For Me, But Not For Thee

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about a recent move by the Minneapolis City Council. The article reports that yesterday the council voted unanimously to pursue a still-ambiguous plan to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a more politically correct “Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention.” However, there are some problems with that vote.

The article reports:

The council voted unanimously to advance a proposal that would create a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention. Within that, the city could create a division that includes “licensed peace officers,” though it would not be required to do so.

It’s unclear how many, if any, officers would continue to be employed by the city if the proposal passes.

Council Member Cam Gordon said it’s consistent with the pledge from council members to fundamentally alter local policing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis officers.

“Those things that we called the police department are gone,” Gordon said. “Certainly, there is a provision in here that would allow this council or future councils to maintain a Division of Law Enforcement Services, but I think what we need to do is have that possibility there and talk to people about what the future should look like.”

The article explains the problem with that vote:

Maybe we should know what the “future” looks like before changing the present. The city council can’t actually change the present anyway, thanks to a city charter that requires them to maintain a police department with precise staffing levels. The best they can do under the charter is impose a cut of around 20%, but even that would fall afoul of the collective bargaining agreement with the police union. (Agreements negotiated and signed by a succession of progressive city councils, I might add here.) That makes yesterday’s vote an exercise in pusillanimity; there’s no cost to it at all.

It gets worse:

The City of Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day for private security for three council members who have received threats following the police killing of George Floyd, FOX 9 has learned.

A city spokesperson said the private security details have cost the city $63,000 over the past three weeks.

The three council members who have the security detail – Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), and Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4), and Alondra Cano (Ward 9)– have been outspoken proponents of defunding the Minneapolis Police Department.

So while the Council votes to get rid of the police department as it currently exists, the City is paying for private security for three council members. Protection for me, but not for thee. These are the people the voters of Minneapolis elected. I think it might be time to unelect them. We need to remember that the voters have the power to determine leadership. In 2018, the turnout of registered Minneapolis voters was 76%. That is a solid turnout. The voters need to learn to make better choices.

I Guess They Really Are Not Interested In Tracing The Virus

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the people tracing the spread of the Covid-19 virus in New York City.

The article reports:

New York City officials are busy tracing those infected with COVID-19 and everyone they’ve come in contact with, but they have been ordered not to ask residents if they attended Black Lives Matter protests.

Avery Cohen, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, told the website THE CITY that if people can volunteer such information, but “no person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest.”

De Blasio in in the process of hiring 1,000 people to map all the intersections in which a person testing positive for COVID-19 could have potentially infected others.

A slew of Democrats whined when Americans protested draconian lockdowns, but they are totally behind people rioting and looting in the days after George Floyd died on Memorial Day in the custody of the Minneapolis police.

De Blasio says the two instances are not the same, saying at a June 2 press conference that “400 years of American racism… is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services.”

Earlier this month, the city council’s health committee chairman, Mark Levine, tweeted, “Let’s be clear about something: if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protestors. Blame racism.”

This is about to get interesting. It has been three weeks since the protests began. The incubation period for the coronavirus is two weeks. Based on the theories that caused the country to lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, we should be at epidemic stages right now. Why isn’t that happening? Is it happening and the news is not reporting it? I suspect that we are about to find out that the coronavirus is not nearly as contagious or deadly as we have been lead to believe. Now that we have had three weeks of protest and no epidemic, it’s time to open up the country and get back to prosperity, which is what the Democrat mayors and governors have been attempting to avoid all along.

Over The Edge

Every now and again someone on CNN asks a really intelligent question. That doesn’t mean that they get an intelligent answer, but they do occasionally ask an intelligent question. Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article which provides an example of an intelligent question and a not-so-intelligent answer.

The article reports the exchange:

After nearly two weeks of violence, mayhem, and rioting in Minneapolis, the City Council on Sunday voted on their intent to disband the police department.

The wild proposal would invest in “community-led public safety” instead of police officers.

“We are here today because George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department. We are also here because, here in Minneapolis and in cities across the United States, it is clear that our existing system of policing and public safety isn’t working for so many of our neighbors,” Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said in a written statement Sunday, obtained by the Appeal. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed.”

I understand the frustration, but I doubt that the suggested cure of disbanding the police force will work.

The article continues:

On Monday Council President Lisa Bender joined Alisyn Camerota on CNN to discuss the plan.

When asked about who people will call if their home is broken into, who to call, Lisa Bender said this:

Lisa Bender: “Yes, I mean, and I hear that loud and clear from several of my neighbors, and I know, and myself too, and I know that comes from a place of privilege.”

So expecting law and order in your community is a ‘place of privilege.” Wow. I have an idea. If you live in a neighborhood where law and order is not the norm, why don’t the people of the neighborhood begin to take action to make it the norm. I realize that some people are corrupt, but I believe that the majority of people want to be law-abiding citizens who live in peace. That is not a ‘place of privilege,’ that is the normal situation in a well-governed city, state, or country. I am not sure what reality Ms. Bender is living in, but it is a place I would not choose to live.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses…

On Wednesday, The New York Post posted an article about a recent statement by New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones.

The article reports:

New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones argued that rioters destroying property is “not violence” — and referring to the crimes as such goes against what’s moral.

“Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence. To use the same language to describe those two things, I think is really not moral to do that,” Hannah-Jones, who is Pulitzer Prize winner, told CBSN.

Hannah-Jones, who writes for the Times Magazine, said the language should be reserved for crimes such as the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white cop, Derek Chauvin, held his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

“Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man’s neck until all of the life is leached out of his body,” Hannah-Jones told the outlet.

Her comments come as cities across the nation have been locked in days of heated protests over the death of Floyd — some of which have resulted in vandalism, looting and arson.

“Any reasonable person would say we shouldn’t be destroying other people’s property, but these are not reasonable times,” she said.

I wonder if she would make that same statement if her family had a business that was destroyed or if the looters came to her residence. What happened to George Floyd was a crime. Committing another crime does not make it right.

Who Is Rioting And Who Is Providing The Bricks?

The following video was placed on YouTube today:

Breitbart posted an article that included an interview with Bernie Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner, today.

The article reports:

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik called for the FBI to investigate the funding of “domestic terrorism” from operations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, offering his remarks on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin.

Riots and protests across multiple metropolitan cities are coordinated, said Kerik.

“I think the FBI has to investigate, especially this time, [when] you have enormous coordination between what’s going on in Minneapolis, then L.A., Houston, Atlanta,” Kerik determined. “There’s a bunch of coordination going on.”

Kerik added, “These pop-up riots, where they’re destroying businesses and cars and everything else, who’s paying? When these Antifa people get locked up, who pays their bail? Who gets them out of jail? How did they get there in the first place? Who pays for their communication networks?”

“I would say 10 to 15 percent of the people in Minneapolis that started protesting were from Minneapolis,” estimated Kerik. “Eighty to 85 percent of the people there were bused in. They came from somewhere else, and out of that group, you have a core group in a leadership role.”

This is an example of the need to follow the money. Who is buying and placing the bricks so conveniently? Bricks are not cheap. Who is paying for the buses to get people to these cities? People are not trashing their own neighborhoods–paid activists are doing it for them. It’s time we held the looters and their leaders accountable under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.

The Problem With Justice In Minneapolis

The death of George Floyd is a tragedy. There is no doubt that he would still be alive if he hadn’t been held down on the ground by the police for as long as he was. However, the autopsy does not give asphixiation as the primary cause of death. So where do we go from here?

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today that might provide some answers.

The article notes:

For one thing, contrary to most people’s assumption, Mr. Floyd appears not to have died from asphyxia or strangulation as Chauvin pinned him to the ground, knee to the neck. Rather, as alleged in the complaint, Floyd suffered from coronary-artery disease and hypertensive-heart disease. The complaint further intimates, but does not come out and allege, that Floyd may have had “intoxicants” in his system. The effects of these underlying health conditions and “any potential intoxicants” are said to have “combined” with the physical restraint by three police officers, most prominently Chauvin, to cause Floyd’s death.

As I’ve noted in a column on the homepage, Hennepin County prosecutors have charged Chauvin with third-degree depraved-indifference homicide. Now that the complaint has been released publicly, we see that a lesser offense was also charged: second-degree manslaughter. This homicide charge involves “culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk” of serious bodily harm, and carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

It is easy to see why prosecutors added this charge (and why they shied away from more serious grades of murder described in my column). The case is tougher for prosecutors if there is doubt about whether Chauvin’s unorthodox and unnecessary pressure on Floyd’s neck caused him to die. Had he been strangled, causative effect of the neck pressure would be patent. But if the neck pressure instead just contributed to the stress of the situation that triggered death because of unusual underlying medical problems (possibly in conjunction with intoxicants Floyd may have consumed), it becomes a harder murder prosecution.

Stay tuned. This is going to get complicated. I believe that the police force was correct to fire the officers involved. However, getting them to pay a more serious price for their abuse of power is going to be difficult. Even with video evidence, they are innocent until proven guilty and have to be convicted ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

 

What Is The Next Step?

On Monday night George Floyd was pronounced dead after he was taken into custody by police in Minneapolis. There is a video of Mr. Floyd being pressed to the ground by a policeman despite Mr. Floyd’s stating that he could not breathe. This is a horrible abuse of power by the policeman and by the other policemen and people standing around watching it happen. So where do we go from here?

The answer is not rioting, looting, and burning down the neighborhood businesses. There is never any excuse for that behavior. Part of the answer is arresting the policeman who had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the policemen who stood by as Mr. Floyd was murdered. There needs to be a trial. Probably a change of venue for the trial would be in order. The charge needs to be appropriate to the crime–the video is evidence. I don’t know if a murder charge would hold up, but I suspect an involuntary manslaughter charge would.

We can’t judge the motives of the policeman. We don’t know if he knew his actions would result in death. We don’t know why he simply did not place the man in the backseat of the police car. These are things that I hope would come out in a trial.

Most of our policemen are honest, hardworking men and women. It is a shame when a man charged with upholding the law does something this horrible. According to various sources, the policeman involved had other questionable incidents in his record. This should be a wake-up call to all supervisors of policemen to remove any policeman who cannot handle the responsibility of the job without acting in ways that bring disgrace on their profession and create situations where people feel they have the right to riot. People never have the right to riot, but unfortunately some people have been told that they do.

Americans Need To Understand Exactly What This Means

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported the following:

A Minneapolis neighborhood, which lies in controversial Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district, will begin broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer five times a day over outdoor loudspeakers throughout the month of Ramadan, reports say.

The move is “believed to be the first publicly-broadcast call to prayer in a major US city,” al Jazeera English said in a post on Twitter.

Americans need to wake up. This is not your friendly neighborhood church playing hymns on their church bells. The goal of Islam is domination over all other religions. The goal is to remove other religions from the earth. Islam is a religion of conversion by force and taking land by force. This is not only letting the camel’s nose into the tent, it is letting half of the camel into the tent.

America was founded as a Christian nation. Our laws are based on the Judeo-Christian principles found in the Bible. We do not discriminate against other religions, but we do not submit to them either. Unfortunately, the goal of Islam is the submission of the population to their rules and their way of life. It’s time for America to wake up. If American women in particular want to maintain the freedoms and independence that they have, they need to speak out strongly against giving ground to Muslim customs.

Blasting the Muslim call to prayer in an American city is not acceptable.

When You Really Don’t Want A Speaker To Speak

Many liberal college campuses have used the technique of requiring unusually large security deposits when conservative speakers are planning events. This is one subtle way of limiting the speech of conservatives. Well, it looks like the city of Minneapolis has taken a page from that playbook.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline, “DEMOCRAT EXTORTION: In 2009 Minneapolis Charged Obama $20K for Security at Rally – Today They Are Charging Trump $500K for Rally.”

The article reports:

Liberal Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is wanting to extort money from the Trump Campaign to pay for an outlandish security bill to hold a campaign rally in the Twin Cities this week.

This is a common tactic of the left to deny Trump supporters access to venues for their events and gatherings.
Of course, the violent left NEVER have to go through this same type of torment.  Liberal politicians use this tactic exclusively against conservatives.

Mayor Frey is quite bold though for pulling this on the Republican President of the United States.
The Justice Department should sue him for harassment.

The article notes:

In 2009 Minneapolis charged President Obama $20,000 for security.
This week the Democrat Mayor wants to extort $500,000 from the Trump campaign for security.

The Trump campaign should take this to court–this is definitely unequal treatment.

What The News Doesn’t Report

Scott Johnson posted an article on Power Line Blog today about an incident at the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota.

The article quotes Alpha News:

A mob of eight to 10 males wielding hammers descended upon bystanders at the East Bank Light Rail station on Friday night injuring several, according to recorded police dispatch audio.

The incident was apparently reported to 911 just before 10 p.m. on Friday according to the audio and other social media police scanner reports. A 9:48 p.m. Facebook post on 2nd Precinct Minneapolis Crime Watch page said that University of Minnesota (U of M) police were requesting assistance from Minneapolis police (MPD) and Metro Transit police for “a group of 8-10 males chasing people with hammers” and that some people were injured. A Facebook post a minute later on Minneapolis Scanner page said that the three police departments were responding to “multiple [911] calls” about “10-12 Somali teen males armed with hammers chasing people,” also with “several injuries reported.” Both Facebook pages regularly post summaries of police scanner audio.

A person who claimed on social media to have been at the station when the incident occurred said that the group of males had “hammers and bars,” and that they seemed to be “attacking anyone who looked like they had money or were white.” The witness, who said he isn’t white, said he didn’t want to “[take] on a bunch of dudes with blunt objects,” and that he “hurried an older white lady away” and they walked a few blocks to catch a bus.

On Wednesday there was an attempted robbery at the same location during which two U of M students were injured, according to a media report. It’s unknown whether these incidents are related.

The East Bank LRT station is part of the Green Line operated by Metro Transit and is located on the 500 block of Washington Avenue Southeast in the center of the University of Minnesota campus and across the street from the U of M police department. The stop is popular with students and people attending U of M sporting events.

We reached out to the U of M Police Department, the MPD and to Metro Transit police for comment on this incident and did not receive a response prior to publication.

Somehow the Minneapolis Star Tribune has failed to report this incident.

The article at Power Line Blog further comments:

According to the Pioneer Press, police stopped seven teenage boys: “Two males who were carrying metal pipes were identified through video surveillance and witness descriptions….Police issued them citations….Police cited two males for disorderly conduct and fleeing police on foot; one was also cited for giving police a fictitious name. A police report didn’t specify their exact ages, but indicated that one is 12 or 13 and the other is 14 or 15.”

The lack of descriptive information is troubling. The juvenile status of the perpetrators protects their identities from disclosure, but if the hammer-wielding teenagers remain at large, the rest of us would like to be on guard. I would advise avoidance of the University of Minnesota’s East Bank light rail station after dark.

I think I would like a better description of the teenagers.

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie…

Until recently it was understood that if you immigrated to a country, you learned the language and adopted the culture. You might keep the traditions of your culture alive in your own home, but for the most part, you tried to assimilate into the culture of your new home. Unfortunately, there are many immigrants who have recently arrived in America with the idea of transforming America into the country they left. If you are happy with the culture of the country you left, please stay there–do not attempt to bring that culture here.

BizPac Review posted an article today that illustrates one of the problems immigration without assimilation creates.

The article reports:

group of Muslims who work for Amazon would rather pray than work, and because the multinational tech giant refuses to grant them this entitlement, the Muslims are now fighting back. How? By protesting and airing their grievances to sympathetic ears in the left-wing media.

On Dec. 14 the group of Minneapolis-based East African Muslims held a protest outside the Amazon warehouse where they work to demand longer break times.

…At the moment the Muslim warehouse workers receive two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute break per shift. According to Somali immigrant Khadra Ibrahin, these breaks are too short. Why? Because they make it impossible for her and her peers to both use the restroom and pray.

“And so most of the time we choose prayer over bathroom, and have learned to balance our bodily needs,” she said to Vox, adding that to do otherwise would affect their production rate.

Each employee must pack at least 240 boxes per hour, or 4 per minute, which is possible so long as their breaks are short, i.e., under 15 or 30 minutes. But to use the restroom and pray, Ibrahin and her coworkers would need longer break times. And that’s exactly what they want.

“Workers and the community want respect,” Abdirahman Muse of the Awood Center, which reportedly organized the protest, said to Vox. “Responding to our demands for basic fairness and dignity are things we shouldn’t have had to even push Amazon on. We don’t want charity; we want respect and a fair return on the hard work that brings Amazon their profits.”

A spokesman for Amazon noted, “Associates are welcome to request an unpaid prayer break for over 20 minutes for which productivity expectations would be adjusted.” To me that seems like the perfect solution–you may have all the prayer breaks you want but you will only be paid for the breaks other employees are also paid for. Amazon has a responsibility to allow for religious practices–it does not have a responsibility to pay someone to practice their religion on company time.

I hope that Amazon stands strong on this–caving would set a very bad precedent.

They Are Already Here

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about two recently arrested brothers Abdullah and Majid Alrifahe. The men were arrested while sitting in a parked car in Minneapolis. They had thrown a food wrapper out the window. A passerby confronted them, and they became belligerent, indicating that they were armed. The passerby called the police, the police placed the men in a squad car and did a quick search of the car. They found a hand grenade, weapons, and bomb-making material.

The local news carried the story:

The article at Power Line concludes:

Abdullah Alrifahe is in custody subject to $200,000 bail; he is scheduled to appear in court next month. We can only hope in the meantime that he doesn’t make bail.

Where is brother Majid? What is the brothers’ immigration status? What were they up to?

To be continued.

This could have ended very differently.

 

Sometimes Protests Accomplish Very Little

Scott Johnson posted an article at Power Line today about the Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. The protest was handed very well.

The article includes John Hinderaker‘s view of the protest:

Thugs indeed, but the story at the Mall of America turned out to be heartwarming. The mall was well prepared for the demonstrators, who got nowhere. Mall police cleared the East rotunda, where the demonstration was to take place, of shoppers. Stores were temporarily closed. When the demonstrators arrived, the mall was briefly locked down. Police wasted no time in clearing the demonstrators. They ordered the demonstrators out; most complied, apparently, and those who didn’t were shepherded out with only a few arrests.

Protest is a First Amendment right, but disrupting commerce is not. Thankfully the Mall handled the protesters well and sent them on their way. Black lives do matter, but so do all lives. The majority of murders in the black community are done by other blacks–not by policemen. Policemen are simply trying to protect the innocent. There would be fewer blacks killed by police if the black community would discourage stealing and other criminal activity within its own community.

 

About That First Amendment Thing…

On June 25th, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Brian Johnson, an evangelical Christian, would be allowed to hand out Bibles on Sunday at the annual Twin Cities Pride Festival.

The article reported:

Festival organizers’ attempts to ban Johnson from the park had resulted in a Minneapolis Park Board plan to restrict his Bible distribution to a booth on the edge of the festival. Two weeks ago, his request for an injunction against that ban was denied by a U.S. District Court judge.

But Johnson’s attorneys immediately filed an emergency appeal, saying the Park Board’s plan violated his constitutional right to free speech in a public place. They asked for a quick decision, one in time for the upcoming Pride Festival.

This is clearly a free speech issue. The festival is held on public property and is open to the public. Regardless of whether or not you agree with what Mr. Johnson stands for, he does have the same First Amendment rights as the rest of us. I am grateful for the lawyers willing to defend the First Amendment rights of all Americans.

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Undermining The Family And The Work Ethic All At Once

A farm, Bethel, Vt. (LOC)

A farm, Bethel, Vt. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

You have to hand it to the federal government–they sure know how to ruin things. Today’s Daily Caller posted an article about the farm regulations about to be put in effect by the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor. The new laws would apply child labor laws to children working on family farms.

The article reports:

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

The new regulations, first proposed August 31 by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, would also revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA, replacing them instead with a 90-hour federal government training course.

This is ridiculous.

One person related his experience of working on a relative’s farm during the summer and how it impacted him:

John Weber, 19, understands this. The Minneapolis native grew up in suburbia and learned the livestock business working summers on his relatives’ farm.

He’s now a college Agriculture major.

“I started working on my grandparent’s and uncle’s farms for a couple of weeks in the summer when I was 12,” Weber told TheDC. “I started spending full summers there when I was 13.”

“The work ethic is a huge part of it. It gave me a lot of direction and opportunity in my life. If they do this it will prevent a lot of interest in agriculture. It’s harder to get a 16 year-old interested in farming than a 12 year old.”

Weber is also a small businessman. In high school, he said, he took out a loan and bought a few steers to raise for income. “Under these regulations,” he explained, “I wouldn’t be allowed to do that.”

The federal government is interfering with a farm family’s right to teach their children a work ethic and the basics of farming. The government is also interfering with organizations like 4-H and FFA, which build a sense of community among the children who grow up on farms or are interested in farming.

This is simply the government getting involved where it does not need to get involved. The new laws will not accomplish anything except disrupt a system that works. The federal government needs to learn to heed the words ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.‘ That would probably solve a major percentage of the America’s problems–financial and otherwise. 

 

 

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