A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Minnesota’ tag

No Government Choo Choo for You

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While the Super Bowl itself won’t provide me any entertainment, the National Football League’s (NFL) decision to bring it to Minneapolis has provided me a significant amount of entertainment. Between turning the city into a prison and the possibility of mass transit being unavailable during the big game I’ve already been giving a great deal of entertainment. But the real icing on the cake is that even if the Amalgamated Transit Union doesn’t strike, the government choo choo will only be available to people who have purchased a Super Bowl ticket [PDF]:

Gameday Pass: $30
Only those holding one of these tickets and an official Super Bowl ticket will be able to ride the METRO Light-Rail on game day. This pass is also valid on all bus, Light-Rail and Northstar service on game day and Monday, February 5. Available only from the Metro Transit app.

There are a lot of people who mistakenly believe that “public” transport is owned by the people. “Public” transport is actually owned by the government. If the government decides that it wants to make its transportation system exclusively available to a certain segment of people, there’s not a damn thing “the public” can do about it.

If you rely on the government choo choo, don’t despair. More buses will be made available. They’ll just be slower so plan to leave much earlier than you otherwise would, you fucking pleb:

Buses: For non-ticket holders, buses will replace light-rail trains on the entirety of the Blue Line throughout the day on February 4, 2018. Replacement buses will operate between Target Field Station and Stadium Village Station on the Green Line. Buses run on similar schedules to trains but can take longer; please plan accordingly.

With all of the streets that will be shutdown in Minneapolis during the big game as well as all the additional traffic that will be flooding the remaining streets, the buses are going to end up taking a lot longer. But sacrifices must be made. Just because you paid tax dollars to build and maintain the choo choo doesn’t mean you have the highest priority. The highest priority goes to those who have enriched the NFL, which contributed absolutely nothing to the construction and maintenance of the choo choo. Isn’t it fun being a lowly pleb?

Written by Christopher Burg

November 15th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Let the Games Being

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I’m sure I’ve made my feelings about the Super Bowl coming to Minneapolis obvious. However, I do believe that people should get what they wants and they should get it good and hard. That being the case, I do take some pleasure in the fact that Minneapolis will be turned into a prison for the duration of the Super Bowl. But the icing on the cake could be the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), which has declared its intent to strike during the Super Bowl:

Unionized bus drivers, LRT operators and others at Metro Transit voted overwhelmingly to reject a final contract offer and authorize a strike during Super Bowl festivities next year.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005, which represents about 2,500 workers at Metro Transit, voted 93 percent in favor of rejecting the Metropolitan Council’s last contract offer and authorizing a strike during the period leading up to the Super Bowl.

The City of Minneapolis will be relying heavily on its public transportation system during the Super Bowl since traffic there is a clusterfuck at the best of times and will be worse with the combination of tourists and closed streets. Either the Metropolitan Council gives into the ATU’s demands or the ATU follows through with its threat to strike and the public transportation system is unavailable during the Super Bowl.

I’m expecting the Metropolitan Council to give the ATU whatever it wants but I’m really hoping it won’t and the strike will occur.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 14th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Turning Minneapolis into a Prison to Appease Our NFL Masters

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Back in 2008 the Republican National Convention was hosted in St. Paul. In response the city was basically turned into a prison. Surveillance equipment was setup everywhere, heavily armed and armored officers were out on patrol, streets were shutdown, etc.

If you missed out on that experience or want to relive the experience, I have some news for you. The city of Minneapolis, in order to appease our National Football League masters, is going to be turned into a prison:

The final plans, including which streets are closed and when, are expected to be announced in the next couple of days.

If the most recent Super Bowls in San Francisco and Houston are an indication, the security operation is like none other the Twin Cities has ever seen. Snipers will be on rooftops and in buildings in strategic places. Officers in head-to-toe commando gear will be on the streets gripping assault rifles against their chests.

Minneapolis Police Cmdr. Scott Gerlicher said the influx of federal agents to Minnesota will be the largest in the 52 years of Super Bowl history. “We are prepared for anything that might come our way,” he said last week.

The full extent of the security won’t be visible, but it will be everywhere: in the skies and on the ground. Whatever equipment is available will be used — from tactical vehicles to helicopters and boats.

[…]

In addition to uniformed officers, there will be other obvious visible protections, including 2.5 miles of concrete barriers topped with wire fencing. Some busy spaces will follow NFL bag restrictions (including no purses) and have metal detectors. The airspace will be restricted above the stadium during the game.

All of this for one fucking game.

In addition to turning the city into a prison, the security arrangements will likely impact local businesses. A yet undisclosed number of streets in Minneapolis will be shutdown, which will impact any businesses that rely on them. And I highly doubt the NFL will compensate those businesses for such losses. Likewise, I highly doubt the City of Minneapolis will give those businesses a tax credit as compensation for not being able to use the roads they pay taxes to use. After all, they’re nobodies compared to the might that is the NFL.

I hope that the worse winter storm in the history of the state hits on Super Bowl weekend. It would be fun to see how well these assholes handle security in several feet of snow.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 10th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Something to Look Forward To

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Here’s something to look forward to:

Nov 8 (Reuters) – The Minnesota Senate will furlough its workers and suspend operations as soon as Dec. 1 due to an ongoing funding dispute with Governor Mark Dayton, the chamber’s Republican leader announced on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said his chamber will run out of money by next month unless the state courts restore funding for the legislature that was vetoed by Dayton. He added that the Senate plans to seek certain funds from the Legislative Coordinating Committee which would keep the chamber operating through Jan. 12.

My only hope is that this suspension of operations ends up being permanent. But that’s a bit too optimistic.

I’m sure this news is being treated with a significant amount of gloom and doom by statists. They probably believe that Minnesotans will end up having to resort to cannibalism because all of the food will magically disappear along with the Senate. But we’ve all been through this before. The Minnesota government has a tradition of “shutting down” various parts of itself and so far the state hasn’t collapsed. In fact it’s usually hard to tell anything is amiss.

The Minnesota Senate suspending operations won’t cause anybody any harm. It will actually reduce harm since the senators won’t be passing new legislation. So kick back, relax, and enjoy a reprieve from the vultures.

Written by Christopher Burg

November 9th, 2017 at 11:00 am

When You’re Trying to Be Very Smart™ but End Up Looking Stupid

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The announcement of the iPhone X was one of the biggest product announcements of the year. Not only is it the latest iPhone, which always captures headlines, but it includes a new facial recognition feature dubbed Face ID. With the popularity of the iPhone it’s inevitable that politicians will try to latch onto it to capture some headlines of their own. Al Franken, one of Minnesota’s congress critters, decided to try to latch onto the iPhone X by expressing concern about the privacy implications of the Face ID feature. This may appear to have been a smart political maneuver but the senator only managed to make himself appear illiterate since Apple had already published all of the technical information about Face ID:

Apple has responded to Senator Al Franken’s concerns over the privacy implications of its Face ID feature, which is set to debut on the iPhone X next month. In his letter to Tim Cook, Franken asked about customer security, third-party access to data (including requests by law enforcement), and whether the tech could recognize a diverse set of faces.

In its response, Apple indicates that it’s already detailed the tech in a white paper and Knowledge Base article — which provides answers to “all of the questions you raise”. But, it also offers a recap of the feature regardless (a TL:DR, if you will). Apple reiterates that the chance of a random person unlocking your phone is one in a million (in comparison to one in 500,000 for Touch ID). And, it claims that after five unsuccessful scans, a passcode is required to access your iPhone.

Franken should feel fortunate that Apple even bothered entertaining his concerns. Were I Tim Cook I would have directed a member of my staff to send Franken links to the technical publications with a request to have a member of his staff read them to him and not bothered giving him a TL;DR. After all, Apple’s time is worth far more money than Franken’s since it’s actually producing products and services that people want instead of being a parasite feeding off of stolen money.

Still I admit that it was pretty funny seeing Franken make an ass of himself yet again.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 19th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Political Favors for Favored Businesses

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In celebration of the country’s favorite annual religious festival being held in Minneapolis this year, the Minneapolis City Council has announce that it will magnanimously allow bars to stay open until 4AM between February 2nd and 4th. But not every bar. Only those close enough to the Temple of Football:

Last week, Minneapolis City Council approved a resolution that will let bars near U.S. Bank Stadium stay open until 4 a.m. for the weekend of the Super Bowl, February 2–4.

The good news is, the chaos will probably be confined to downtown. As GoMN notes, only bars within the “designated area” can apply for the honor of serving the beer-pounding, pigskin-loving, out-of-town masses until the wee hours of the morning — meaning no, you won’t be able to meet up for super late drinks at the CC Club. Bars will also need to pony up a $250 fee for the special permit. (Gee, wonder if that will pay for itself.)

Excellent news for the bars who are fortunate enough to be situated next to The People’s Stadium but not so good news for every other bar.

Why shouldn’t bars elsewhere in the city also be allowed to stay up until 4AM during the Super Bowl? Better yet, why should any restrictions be placed on how late a bar can stay open? Why can’t bar owners decide for themselves how late they’ll keep their establishments open? And why are these special privileges only bestowed when the city will be packed with people from out of town (because, let’s face it, the Vikings aren’t going to be playing in the Super Bowl)? Are the people living in Minneapolis not good enough to deserve these special privileges?

Written by Christopher Burg

October 13th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Something You Don’t See Everyday

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Here’s something you don’t see everyday:

A jury on Monday found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty of a felony for kicking a man in the face during a domestic violence call.

Christopher Reiter was found guilty of third-degree assault for severely injuring a domestic assault suspect in May 2016 while the suspect was on his hands and knees, causing a brain injury.

A law enforcer was actually found guilty for using excessive force. Talk about an isolated incident!

I’m not sure if this decision is the beginning of a change in the culture where law enforcers are no longer seen are heroes but as the regular, fallible human being they are. It seems like there has been a slow shift in that direction, especially with all of the videos of cops behaving badly becoming available. Then again, this decision could also be a fluke. The cynic in me says that this decision was a fluke while the optimist in me hopes that this is the beginning of a shift in the culture.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 11th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Being the Designated Fall Person is Lucrative

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After Officer Noors gunned down Justine Ruszczyk the mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, sought out a sacrificial lamb that she could toss to the public to appease their anger. The sacrificial lamb she found was Janeé Harteau, the now former police chief for the City of Minneapolis. Initially it looked like a pretty raw deal but it turns out that being the sacrificial lamb can be quite profitable:

Former Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau would receive $182,876 in separation pay plus 12 months of health benefits under a severance deal with the city released Friday.

The deal must earn City Council approval. It includes a sweeping mutual non-disparagement clause: Harteau must say nothing negative about Mayor Betsy Hodges, the City Council or other high-ranking city officials, and they must say nothing negative about her.

Shielding the mayor and City Council for criticism doesn’t come cheap.

These deals always amuse me. On the one hand, a person in a management position is terminated because they supposedly did a bad job. On the other hand, their severance package is so good that they’re actually rewarded for doing a bad job. It’s like the people above the sacrificial lamb want to have their cake and eat it.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 5th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Retroactive Justice

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After Castile was murdered the State went through his and his girlfriend’s social media records with a find toothed comb. Ultimately, as we learned during the Yanez trial, the defense wanted information to use to assassinate the characters of Castile and his girlfriend during the trial. This was a form of retroactive justice. The crime, the shooting of Castile, was justified by going through the victim’s history to find dirt to use against him. Although the murderer had know way of knowing any of the discovered information at the time of the crime it still allowed his defense to poison the well so to speak.

History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was granted permission to search the home of Justine Ruszczyk, the woman murdered by Officer Noor:

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigators were granted permission to search Justine Damond’s home hours after she was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer, according to court records.

A criminal law expert can’t understand why.

“I don’t understand why they’re looking for bodily fluids inside her home,” said Joseph Daly, an emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, referring to one of two recently-released search warrant applications.

[…]

According to court documents, investigators applied for the warrant on the following grounds:

  • The property or things above-described was used as a means of committing a crime
  • The possession of the property or things above-described constitutes a crime.
  • The property or things above-described is in the possession of a person with intent to use such property as a means of committing a crime, or the property or things so intended to be used are in the possession of another to whom they have been delivered for the purpose of concealing them or preventing their being discovered.
  • The property or things above-described constitutes evidence which tends to show a crime has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a crime.

Professor Mitchell doesn’t understand what the BCA is looking for because he’s look at the warrant through the lens of justice, not he lens of retroactively justifying a murder. The search warrant was issued in the hopes of finding dirt on Justine. With dirt in hand Officer Noor’s actions can either be written off as justified outright or, if the case goes to trial, justified to a jury by assassinating the character of Justine and anybody connected to her.

Actions like this will continue to widen the rift that already exists between the public and law enforcers. Unfortunately, I see no signs that law enforcers or their employers care. If they cared about such things, they would have taken steps to reprimand the bad actors in their departments early on. Instead they’ve either stood aside or directly assisted in shielding those bad actors from consequences. With this being the situation I feel justified in saying that The United States is already beyond the point where law enforcement can be reformed.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 26th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Cops Helping Out the Suicidal

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Are you felling suicidal? Call 911 and officers will be dispatched immediately to help you shove off of your mortal coil:

WILLMAR, Minn. (KMSP) – Two police officers are on standard administrative leave after a shooting that injured one man in Willmar, Minnesota Sunday night.

Two Willmar Police officers responded to a 911 call of a suicidal man at a home on the 400 block of 11th Street Northwest around 5:30 p.m. Upon arrival, the officers found the man in the backyard holding a gun.

I’m sure somebody is going to claim that the fact the suicidal man was in possession of a firearm demonstrated that he meant to commit suicide by cop. However, I feel the need to point out the fact that suicide by a cop is a thing. If you stop and think about the phrase “suicide by cop,” you will probably come to the realization that such a mechanism could only be reliable if the police were sufficiently trigger happy. If police officers weren’t sufficiently trigger happy, calling them in the hopes that they will kill you would be unreliable and suicidal individuals would likely opt for another method.

If you are concerned that somebody may be suicidal do not call 911. The operator who picks up will likely send a couple of police officers who will end up trying to kill the suicidal individual. While it’s true that such action technically prevents the suicide it doesn’t solve the actual problem, which is saving the individual’s life.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 25th, 2017 at 11:00 am