A Geek With Guns

Discount security adviser to the proles.

Archive for the ‘Minnesota’ tag

Who’s a Good Politician

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Who’s a good politician? You are! Yes you are!

CORMORANT, Minn. —Nine-year-old Duke, a Great Pyrenees, handily won another one-year term as mayor of the small northwestern Minnesota town of Cormorant, Detroit Lakes Online reports.

“I don’t know who would run against him because he’s done such great things for the community,” Cormorant resident Karen Nelson told Detroit Lakes Online.

The locals say Duke has one of the highest approval ratings in the country.

The people of Cormorant have their heads screwed on right. They’ve corrected one of the biggest mistakes more people make, which is electing humans to political office. Not only are dogs generally loyal but they’re also unable to speak any human language so they can’t make decrees. Furthermore, their scheming consists almost entirely of getting treats, being pet, and playing fetch. If everybody political office was occupied by a dog instead of a human politician the world would be a much better place.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 25th, 2016 at 10:00 am

If You’re Going to the State Fair Prepare to Be Treated Like a Criminal

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Here’s a heads up, everybody. If you’re planning on attending the Minnesota State Fair, and I don’t know why anybody would, be prepared for longer than usual lines to get in because every attendee is going to be treated like a criminal:

Going to the Minnesota State Fair this year? Make sure you have your ticket in hand and your bag open.

The State Fair says bags, purses, coolers and packages will now be subject to search at each of the fair’s 11 entrances. Prohibited items include weapons and fireworks but also alcoholic beverages, drones, bikes, skateboards, skates and hoverboards. Other items may also be refused at the discretion of fair management or police.

Of course this is being done under the guise of security. Realistically it’s nothing but security theater though. Searching bags won’t, for example, find any weapons being concealed on a person’s body (although that’s something they cannot legally prohibit if a person has a carry permit but the law has never stopped the State from violating people’s rights). Also notice that alcoholic beverages are prohibited, which will greatly boost the profits of the State Fair alcohol vendors. Drones, bicycles, skateboards, and hoverboards aren’t a security risk to anybody so giving officers discretion to ban them in the name of security is nonsense.

There’s something else worth noting here. The Minnesota Agriculture Society, which runs the Minnesota State Fair, is a public corporation [PDF], which is a fancy way of saying a government created and owned corporation. The Stair Fair grounds are owned by the State of Minnesota. In other words the Minnesota State Fair is a government event run by a government corporation that happens on government property. If the Bill of Rights actually meant anything these bag searches would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment since warrants aren’t being issued against each fair attendee. But the Bill of Rights, like all government laws, doesn’t actually apply to the State so it can violate your rights with impunity and if you complain it might investigate itself and determine it did nothing wrong.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 17th, 2016 at 10:00 am

The Armed Robbery Epidemic in Minnesota

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Did you know there was a rash of armed robberies in Minnesota last month? You wouldn’t have known it from the headlines since the media seemed more interesting in covering the dumpster fires that are the presidential campaigns. But during the month of July over 13,000 Minnesotans were victimized of armed robbers:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – More than 13,000 motorists are a few bucks poorer after being ticketed during a recent statewide speed enforcement crackdown.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) says officers, deputies and state troopers wrote 13,214 citations for unsafe speeds during the crackdown, that was carried out by more than 300 law enforcement agencies between July 8 and July 22. That compares with 16,410 speeding tickets issued during last year’s campaign.

There were also 1,543 seat belt citations compared with 2,101 in 2015, which suggests a bit of progress in the campaign to improve driving and road safety in Minnesota.

Oh, I guess I was mistaken. Since the men with guns who were robbing people had magic suits and badges these incidents weren’t labeled armed robbery but “traffic citations.” We truly live in a world of Orwellian doublespeak.

I think an important question must be asked now, why were these officers sitting on the highways looking for prey instead of solving crimes? I’ve been told by many statists that there aren’t enough police officers to deal with all of the crime. If that’s the case why are they sitting in their cars instead of finding muggers, rapists, murderers, and thieves?

This is why I roll my eyes whenever some boot licker tells me that I’m only free to criticize cops because the cops are keeping me safe from criminals. The police don’t seem very interested in dealing with criminals. Most of their time seems to be invested in harassing motorists exceeding an arbitrarily chosen speed, kidnaping people using recreational chemicals, and shooting the neighbors of people selling those recreational chemicals (apparently the officers can afford to fuel a BearCat but can’t afford somebody to double-check addresses before a raid).

Written by Christopher Burg

August 5th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Rocket Surgery

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has released a report that nobody will find surprising:

It’s not just your brakelight-riddled imagination: Freeway congestion in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul was the worst on record last year, according to a new report from Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The agency’s annual report on freeway congestion said congestion was up from 21.1 percent in 2014 to 23.4 percent last year. That’s the highest number since the agency started collecting data in 1993.

Anybody who lives in the Twin Cities knows that traffic congestion is terrible. But it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to know why congestion is so bad. The blame is entirely on MnDOT. The brilliant men and women at MnDOT thought it would be a jolly good idea to tear up most of the major traffic arteries simultaneously. When you tear up a major traffic artery more traffic is forced onto the remaining arteries. If you tear up all but a few arteries the few remaining ones quickly exceed capacity and nobody can go anywhere quickly.

Not only did MnDOT decide to tear up all of the major arteries but it also seems entirely unconcerned with finishing any of the projects in a timely manner. Highway 100, for example, has been torn up all summer and still isn’t finished.

MnDOT’s report illustrates what everybody living in the Twin Cities already knows: whoever is in charge of planning road construction projects is a sadist who gets off on inflicting pain on motorists.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 4th, 2016 at 11:00 am

An Upcoming Source of Cheap Guns

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Are you a Minnesotan looking to buy a gun but don’t have a lot of money? I have good news for you! On August 27th Pillsbury United Communities and the City of Minneapolis will be operating a gun buyback. Here are the prices you’ll need to beat:

People turning in firearms can do so anonymously, and will receive $25 to $300 Visa gift cards, depending on the type of firearm. Authorities from Minneapolis Fire Department and the Minneapolis African American Professional Firefighter Association will be on hand to accept the surrendered weapons at two local fire stations.

If you’re looking for some cheap guns bring cash to either of the two fire stations and beat the government’s offer. You might not even have to beat the government’s offer since cash is more valuable than gift cards. Minnesota still allows private transfers so you won’t even have to drag the person you’re buying from to a federally licensed dealer.

Another thing you might consider doing is heading over to your local hardware store and buying up supplies to build cheap zip guns. For $7 you can build a little 12 gauge shotgun:

That’s a potential $18 of profit in your pocket. Since the buyback is anonymous you and your friends can keep coming back with more zip guns to trade up for gift cards. Then you can use your profits to buy yourself a decent gun.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 3rd, 2016 at 11:00 am

The Minneapolis Police Department is a Bit Red in the Face

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The Minneapolis Police Department is well known for its high speed, low drag attitude. Instead of deescalation and conflict avoidance the MPD prefers throwing down with anybody it can create an excuse to throw down with. In fact the department is so cocksure that it didn’t even try to hide its love of violence in its recent recruiting video. However, many people weren’t amused by the video so the MPD was a bit red in the fact and decided to abuse the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in an attempt to erase the video from the Internet:

Less than a week after an officer from a nearby force shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop, leaving him to die in front of his child and girlfriend (and the world on livestream) the Minneapolis Police Department has perjured itself in issuing a copyright takedown notice to Youtube in order to suppress a controversial recruiting video that depicted the jobs of MPD officers as being a firearms-heavy shoot-em-up.

The video had attracted alarm and criticism by officials and the public, who saw it as indicative of a deep culture of violent, shoot-first policing in the Minneapolis police.

When you start repeating a lie often enough you also start to believe it. The MPD believes that their job is to be domestic soldiers. Who are they at war with? The people. At least that’s the only enemy that exists in Minneapolis because the city isn’t really known for being in a state of civil war. That leads the department to choose violence before deescalation. At this point the attitude is so prevalent that the department’s recruiters can’t even make their recruitment videos looks like anything other than an Army recruitment video. When their videos are finally criticized by the public the MPD resorts to its default tactic, government violence, by threatening anybody hosting the video with a DMCA takedown notice.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 14th, 2016 at 10:00 am

You Can’t Own Property, Man

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Pop quiz time. Can you own property in Minneapolis? The answer is no. You can rent property in Minneapolis but that rental is subject to paying property taxes and utilizing the land in a manner that is expressly approved by the city council. If that last part sounds a bit strange it’s because you down own a surface parking lot. You see, the city council of Minneapolis has a dream. In that dream Minneapolis looked like Mega City I from Judge Dredd. Surface parking lots can’t pack in a million people so they’re on the list of properties to be axed.

So far the city council has been playing a cautious game but that looks like it may change:

It was a routine briefing of a Minneapolis City Council committee on a seemingly unrelated topic, but it offered the chance to rouse a long-simmering issue in Minneapolis:

What can the city do to rid itself of the acres of surface parking lots in and around downtown?

While development activity has seen many of those lots disappear, many remain — too many, according to Council Members Lisa Goodman and Jacob Frey, who used the May 11 briefing to press city assessor Patrick Todd to do something about it.

Like what? Goodman thinks the city should use state requirements that require property be assessed on its “highest and best use” — and not on its current use — to incentivize owners to either develop the land or sell to someone who will.

Because parking is scarce in Minneapolis a person can make pretty decent money with a surface parking lot. That really bothers certain council members such as Lisa Goodman. It bothers her so much that she wants to change the rules to make them unprofitable. That rule change is a simple one. Instead of assessing a parking lot as a parking lot for property tax purposes she wants to assess them as if they were being used for her vision of their best use. Since her vision is high density apartment complexes the assessment would jack up the property taxes to, she hopes, a level the owners can’t sustain. In fact she flat out says that they must not be paying enough taxes:

“If they’re making enough money by selling parking downtown,” she said, “then they’re not being taxed high enough, and they’re certainly not being taxed high enough for a potential Class A office use.”

Do you know what those surface parking lots were taxed enough for? Funding a study to decide on how best to destroy them:

In 2013, amid planning for the new Vikings Stadium, the group HR&A Advisors conducted a $40,000 study of ways to reduce the number of surface lots in Minneapolis. Several council ordinances have sought to force beautification of parking lots, something that could have also increased the costs associated with operating them. And a bill introduced by state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, would allow Minneapolis and St. Paul to impose a per-stall fee on parking, with revenue going to public plazas, transit lines, bike facilities and pedestrian improvements.

This is another reason you should avoid paying whatever taxes you can. When you pay taxes they are often used to fund your destruction.

What we have here are central planners run amuck. Consumers have already spoken and they want surface parking lots. How can I say this since there hasn’t been any kind of vote? Unlike voting, the market actually indicates what consumers want. Because there are enough consumers paying to use these surface parking lots to make them profitable we know for a fact that those lots are in demand with consumers. Goodman doesn’t like them and instead of offering to buy those lots herself she’s using tax dollars to fund studies to determine the best way to destroy them… in a manner that requires the denizens of Minneapolis pay for it.

In the end I predict that the city council will get its way because it will just keep cranking up the taxes until it bleeds surface lot owners dry. Then those lots will sit empty because if developers really wanted those lots they’d have already bought them.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 28th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Surviving Encounters with the Police

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Tony Cornish gains a lot of favor with Minnesota gun owners for being pro-gun rights. However, he’s also a ruthless statist and apologist for rampant abuses of power by police. Two days ago he submitted a letter to the editor to the Star Tribune that offers tips on how us lowly peasant can survive police encounters. Let’s take a look at his tips and translate them into laymen’s terms:

Lately, some advocacy groups have been asking what we can do to “reduce the use of force by police.” Well …

1) Don’t be a thug and lead a life of crime so that you come into frequent contact with police.

So… don’t be a cop?

2) Don’t rob people, don’t use or sell drugs, and don’t beat up your significant other.

Again, don’t be a cop?

3) Don’t hang out on the street after 2 a.m. Go home.

Don’t work night shifts.

4) Don’t make furtive movements or keep your hands in your pockets if told to take them out.

Shut up, slave, and do what the aggressive man who is showing intent to cause you harm demands you to do!

5) Don’t flap your jaws when the police arrive. Don’t disobey the requests of the police at the time. If you think you are wrongfully treated, make the complaint later.

Again, shut up, slave. If you think you’re being abused you should take it! You can file a complaint later, if you survive.

6) Don’t use the excuse of a lack of a job or education for why you assault, rob or kill.

Instead become a cop so you have the excuse of having a job to assault, rob, and kill!

Tips one and two seem to disagree with tip six. The first two advise you to not live a light of thuggery, theft, and violence, which means you should avoid becoming a law enforcer. But then tip six advises you to have a job that allows you to commit assault, robbery, and murder, which is what law enforcers do. Tip three is bizarre since it’s basically a variation of blaming a woman’s clothing choice for her being raped. The only difference is he’s blaming a person’s work shift for being harassed or assault by the police. I also find the other two tips alarming because they advise you to submit to and cooperate with your abuser.

It probably won’t surprise any of you that Tony Cornish is a former police officer. It also shouldn’t surprise anybody that a man who sought a career choice that gave him power over others sought another career choice that gave him power over others. As you can probably tell from his letter he really enjoys being in a position of power. I wonder how he would feel if he was on the receiving end of the State’s truncheon instead of the giving end.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 9th, 2016 at 10:30 am

You Have No Right To Privacy In Minnesota If You Live In A Multiple Unit Dwelling

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Are you a Minnesotan who lives in an apartment or condominium? If so, a local court of appeals has ruled that you have no expectation of privacy:

Stuart Luhm of Minnetonka had challenged his conviction on drug and weapons offenses because police did not have a warrant to enter his building in the August 2014 raid that was based on a tip from an informant.

The front door of the building is normally locked, but police used a key in a locked box to which police have access, and Brio the drug-sniffing dog confirmed that drugs were probably in the condo unit Luhm shared with a girlfriend.

That was the point when police got a search warrant and found large quantities of marijuana, 93 oxycodone tablets, 7 firearms, and two bullet-resistant vests.

Two members of the Court of Appeals ruled today that there is no expectation of privacy in the common areas of a condominium building. It also said the fact the building owners make access available to police negated the need for a warrant to enter the building.

What makes this case interesting is that the drug dog alerted in the common area and that gave the law enforcers the justification they needed to pull a warrant. Drug dogs are of questionable effectiveness, so the idea that a warrant can be issued because one alerted is a bit absurd in my book. But this ruling effectively opens the doors for law enforcers to enter multiple unit dwellings with drug dogs but without warrants, allow the dog to sniff around, and pull a warrant for any dwelling that the dog raises an alert on. That sounds like a wonderful revenue raising scam if I’ve ever seen one.

It also raises questions about medical cannabis users. What happens when a dog raises an alert on an apartment because it caught the sent of cannabis? The law enforcer can obtain a warrant, kick in the door, shoot the family pet, and basically force the medical cannabis user to divulge their medical history to somebody who isn’t a medical professional to avoid being kidnapped for the crime of not having purchased a single family house.

Since drug dogs are of questionable in their effectiveness, this ruling also opens the door for legal harassment of non-drug users. If a law enforcer wants to harass somebody living in an apartment all they have to do is bring a drug dog into the common area, claim the dog raised an alert on the apartment, pull a warrant, and legally enter and harass the person for however long they so choose (and maybe find evidence of another crime while they’re tossing the joint).

Of course, privacy has been dead for a long time in this country. This ruling doesn’t change much. But it’s worth noting because it’s a great example of how the courts and law enforcers often work together (as opposed to act as checks and balances against one another) to expand the State’s ability to expropriate wealth from the populace.

Road Pirates

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Yesterday was Memorial Day. Being a holiday at the end of the month the road pirates were out in force. You see, despite citation quotas being illegal, a lot of police departments have unofficial quotas that officers are encouraged to fulfill so at the end of the month enforcement tends to increase. Holidays provide a convenient excuse whether it’s enhanced drunk driving enforcement, texting while driving enforcement, or seatbelt enforcement. This Memorial Day was seatbelt enforcement.

Mandatory seatbelt laws are enforcement of the nanny state, which means they enjoy widespread support. The general population is gullible and tends to roll over and accept new laws that protect them from themselves. Seatbelt laws are one such case.

When an individual decides to not wear a seatbelt the put themselves at additional risk. The key word there is “themselves.” If I refused to wear a seatbelt that wouldn’t affect you in any way. Even if we were in the same vehicle, if we were in an accident I might go flying through the windshield to my certain death but you would remain in your seat. Yet a good number of people seem to believe it’s appropriate for the State to send men with guns and no accountability after anybody who decides not to wear a seatbelt. Somehow the act of a police officer zooming down the highway with their seizure inducing lights flashing so they can pull somebody over and cause a massive traffic clusterfuck as people desperately try to merge over a lane to avoid getting a ticket themselves is a perfectly reasonable way of dealing with an action that only puts the person performing the action at risk.