7.7.20

TAIL TRACK.

Barring signal troubles, links to any posts of substance ought to work.

HOW LITTLE THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

Power Line's Scott Johnson suggests "President Trump has taken the side of the United States."  Pray that V. D. Hanson is correct when he speculates, "So each day, ill-defined groups of Americans silently drift into the 'I can’t take this insanity anymore' camp."

That appears to be implicit in Mr Johnson's thinking.  "We can infer several things: 1) Trump was effective. 2) 'Dark' means he spoke about things the Left would prefer that voters not focus on. 3) The Left thinks it will lose the culture war."

But, as Steven Hayward notes in a separate Power Line post,  "The elite intelligentsia of the country are turning against the country—in science, in politics, in the fundaments of patriotism. How can we not pay for this?"

Blunt is not incorrect.

COMING TO GRIPS WITH ADMINISTRATIVE USURPATIONS.

Tenure is dead, according to John Warner.
Tenure as policy is primarily a byproduct of the corporatized university, but in my view it is also the consequence of generations (literally) of tenured faculty failing to exercise their tenured muscles by resisting policies -- such as administration arbitrarily classifying some instructional jobs as ineligible for the supposedly necessary protections of tenure -- in a way that asserted their power and checked the growth of the corporatized university.

Given the strength and power of the forces aligned against faculty, I am sympathetic to the notion that it’s possible they couldn’t have done much to change the tide anyway, though it’d be awfully interesting to go back 30 or so years with the knowledge we have today and see if we could convince enough tenured folks to hold the line when there was still some hope.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a cohort less disposed toward collective action than college professors. The work is almost literally done sprinting side by side, not always in competition, but definitely not in cooperation. Those who sacrifice for the greater good are those least likely to earn the perk of tenure. The incentives just don’t align.
That's one possibility.  Tenured faculty had an opportunity to hold the line fifteen years ago, but virtue signalling at the expense of education was the more popular course, as well as apparently harmonizing with this greater good.

DON'T BE A USEFUL IDIOT.

Brad Polumbo reminds readers that a policy position is not necessarily evil because people who might have evil intentions are among those advocating it.
Many conservatives insist Black Lives Matter is a Marxist, anti-police, radical organization that wants to tear down America. Meanwhile, most liberals simply view Black Lives Matter as a heroic movement and powerful slogan signaling support for racial justice and opposition to police brutality.

Both are right. There is Black Lives Matter™️, and there is “black lives matter.”
Purity tests among true believers, or among people who spend lots of time in their social media silos, are probably not constructive.
It may well be true that in particular conservative circles, everyone is well aware of the obscure history of the Black Lives Matter founders’ Marxist roots. But the average person on the street and the average person who shares the hashtag are most certainly not. And the movement itself has become something much bigger, broader, and more benevolent than the original organization.

However, it’s by no means just conservatives who err in their approach to Black Lives Matter. For one, many on the Left fail to acknowledge at all the Marxist roots of the official Black Lives Matter organization, and thus, paint anyone who objects to the organization as racist, unthinkingly inveighing: “How could anyone not support black lives?” This kind of clever naming of a controversial movement, similar to “Antifa” supposedly standing for “anti-fascist,” makes it easy to baselessly paint critics as extreme and immoral. Yet this is a reductive oversimplification that serves only to divide.

So, too, much of the blame for the Black Lives Matter perception gap lies with liberals, Democrats, and others who support the movement for failing to adequately distance themselves from the radical organization.
Perhaps, though, the true believers, irrespective of faction, are behaving as if the disutility of policy differences from one's preferred policy portfolio is quadratic in distance.

YES, YOUR PERMANENT RECORD IS REAL.

The ledger in Sister Mary Hermann Göring's office served the temporal purpose of recording grades and demerits, and the Holy Purpose of reminding the possibly fractious students in her charge that Saint Peter was also compiling a list.

In real life, the Permanent Record is emergent, and anyone can read and interpret the entries, something that a foolish young lady called Claira Janover recently learned the hard way.  Not surprisingly, Twitchy is having a good wallow in "Make them play by their own rules."  Victory Girl Kim Hirsch discovers a teachable moment.
Janover will pay the price for the brainwashing she received at Harvard, if not during her previous schooling. She has learned to regard people with whom she doesn’t agree with contempt — in fact, she despises them. She thinks she’s better than they are, and that they shouldn’t be allowed to express their opinions.

Yes, Claira Janover is the one who will have to learn the repercussions of her actions — not the college professors who taught her to loathe America. Nor will the media who cheer on indoctrinated radicals like her. The question is — how long will it take for kids like her to learn that such actions often come with dire consequences?
There are limits to sheer entitled Harvardacity, and Ms Janover hasn't yet caught on, apparently preferring to blame conservative cancel culture for finding her post.  That's too much for Fox News columnist A. B. Stuckey, who is otherwise disposed to be forgiving.
The best outcome would be for Janover to learn a valuable lesson—don’t trivialize violence, and definitely don’t post about it online—and for her to move on with her life. We shouldn’t hope the worst for her. Everyone makes mistakes. Where leftist cancel culture refuses to offer grace, we should extend it.

Unfortunately, from what we can see, Janover isn’t interested in self-reflection. Her subsequent TikTok videos blaming Trump supporters for her woes demonstrate a stunning lack of self-awareness and an unwillingness to take responsibility for her words. In my view, she doesn’t owe the mob of faceless internet users an apology, but she would do well to show more respect to her former employer than to call them cowards. It’s hard to imagine that kind of attitude bodes well for future job prospects.

It seems Janover’s disposition is characteristic of many members of the elite left who believe even the most intensely aggressive speech is appropriate and without need of real-life accountability—as long as it’s for the “right” cause. Viral videos of predominantly female protesters screaming profanities in the faces of police officers show that many believe that the standards of decency and respectfulness don’t apply to people who take up the noble fight for wokeness.
Rod Dreher would also like to extend Christian charity.
Mostly, I don’t care. She is a typical bully: she can dish it out, and didn’t care if the lives of others — Wrongthinkers — were ruined, but when her methods are turned on her, she sobs her eyes out. She says that she feels sorry that Deloitte could not tolerate some like her, who “is going to make an indelible change in the world, who is going to have an impact.” What self-righteous hooey. You might be able to get away with that rot on Harvard Yard, but the real world is not college, for once.

I must say, though, how much I hate cancel culture. This horrible brat did not deserve the foul language and threats of violence she received. Nor did she deserve to lose her job over her idiotic, racist TikTok. I don’t believe that most other people on the other side do either, though. I think we’re better off learning to tolerate as much garbage social media as we can, because there will be no end to the trench warfare if we don’t. But as long as these Social Justice Warrior monsters use their power to ruin the lives of others, I support pressure to hold them to the same standards that they inflict on others. You can tell that it never, ever occurred to this privileged Ivy League snowflake that she might face accountability for her vicious, violent, racist rhetoric.
They're not going to like the new rules, indeed.  Mr Dreher concludes, "Can you imagine what the office would have been like with this toxic person in it?"

Sister Mary maintained that ledger to spare the fractious students in her charge a nastier comeuppance in adulthood.

THE MISEDUCATION OF TONY NORMAN.

He's a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist still grappling with the persistence of Dixie iconography.  He starts with a song most famously covered by Joan Baez and maunders into melancholy.  "How many times does the Confederacy have to fall before everyone agrees it was a lost cause? How many times must Lee go down to defeat before the bugle sounds?"  Virgil, look, come see, there goes the Robert E. Lee (the first of which was commissioned a year after they drove old Dixie down).

It's what he doesn't see that is particularly sad.  "Where are the statues of the abolitionists?"  There was one of Hans Christian Heg in Madison, Wisconsin, until recently, when some of the people who would probably agree with much of what Mr Norman is arguing, decided to toss it into Lake Monona.  Abraham Lincoln can no longer urge freedmen to kneel only to God, as that is the latest thing to be banned in Boston.


You won't see an Acela nosing into Boston and Providence's Park Square terminus behind, as the five platform tracks proved inadequate, within ten years, for the growing commuter traffic.

That's not all he missed.  "Where are the tributes to the Black Union soldiers who helped turn the tide of war?"  The 54th Massachusetts memorial in Boston was also a casualty of the wilding.

Perhaps he and I could make common cause on the proposition, Howard Zinn is crap.  "Why can’t we find honest accounts of slavery chiseled in stone instead of banished to unread chapters of high school history books?"  Or, perhaps on the proposition that controversial topics are controversial for a reason.  It's fifty years since the release of Time on the Cross, and researching pirates is probably safer than researching slavery.

HER POWER DERIVES FROM THE CONTINUED MISERY OF HER BASE.

So it always is with ward-heeler politicians.  "A ward-heeler cannot call out the constituents for engaging in self-destructive behavior, nor get re-elected in a district in which constituents discover, or re-discover bourgeois habits."  Stephen Miller notes the ward-heelers have willing accomplices.  "Renaming a plaza in Washington DC or painting giant yellow letters down 5th Avenue in New York outside Trump Tower is the perfect kind of shiny object for the media to focus on. Just keep ignoring the Democrat politicians who have failed these communities over and over again."

On the front lines, Second City Cop sees rookie Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, true to form.  "When you can't defend the behavior of your voting base, blame the inanimate object [a pistol] and not the morally-bereft person wielding it."

Can't have the lakefront liberals turning on her, can she?

2.7.20

MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE.

Proclaim Liberty unto the land, and all the Inhabitants thereof.


Badger Battery, Baron DeKalb Volunteer Light Artillery, salute the 245th Year of American Independence.

27.6.20

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE.

Because there can never be too many video visits to Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland.


The clip concludes with the viewer having a choice of four more specific areas of the exhibit to view. Enjoy.

AN APPEAL TO RELUCTANT CONSERVATIVES.

Daniel Pipes makes the case for keeping Donald Trump in office.  "His policies in the areas of education, taxes, deregulation, and the environment have been bolder than Ronald Reagan's."

There's more at the link.  Consider also this.  "Slowly but inexorably over the past three years, my approval of the policies has outbalanced my distaste for the person. Finally, knowing that Joe Biden will represent the radicalized Democrats in November, I conclude that I will do my small part to help Trump get re-elected by writing, giving, and voting."  Yes, a fair number of establishment Republicans and guardians of the Established Order are on record as supporting Mr Biden in the hopes that they can restore some semblance of those days of Process and Consensus where the Outline of Compromise emerges from a curated panel on the Sunday shows, and conference committees put together Comprehensive Reforms in The [c.q.] National Interest.  Unfortunately, Mr Biden's election will depend on a lot of votes from people who argue a lot with Democrats, before ultimately voting for them, and there's no guarantee the street democracy theater will end with the general election.

For my part, Illinois's electoral votes are probably predetermined, freeing me to cast a protest vote at the top of the ticket, and for the state's delegations to Washington City, we shall see.

BOW WOW, BOW WOW, BULLDOG, BULLDOG, #CANCEL YALE.

Roger "Tenured Radicals" Kimball thinks it's a good idea.
By all means, cancel Yale. Remove the horrid name from clothing and other merchandise. But replace it with a more honorable name: Dummer. Dummer University. The Dummer School of Law. The Dummer School of Art. A Dummer degree. The name, as Gwendolen Fairfax said in a different context, produces agreeable vibrations.
That's actually a reference to a long-ago rain-maker who pried loose the donations making Yale possible.  It might also be a reference to what Yale and the other Ivies make their matriculants.

But as long as the regional comprehensives, the mid-majors, the land-grants refuse to act as if they are in the same business as the Ivies, the Ivy premium, inflated though it likely is, will continue.

Unfortunately, the Wuhan coronavirus is not exactly concentrating minds among the people whose responsibilities include recognizing that they are in the same business as the Ivies.  "College leaders surveyed included presidents, provosts, student affairs professionals and others. They identified government funding, student mental health, diversity and inclusion, and affordability as the biggest challenges facing public higher education, in that order."

Government funding?  What's that Insta Pundit quote about blaming anti-intellectualism when the public tires of funding epistemic closure?

Student mental health?  Appeal to the social set with a party atmosphere, and provide safe spaces and comfort dogs at exam time, and then act troubled because nobody has any inner strength any more?

Diversity and inclusion?  Perhaps all that money being spent on Student Affairs indoctrination morale conditioning is being unproductively spent, given all the invocations of systemic racism lately?  If it's not working, does it really pay to put more resources into it, without rethinking the approaches first?

Affordability?  When nobody pays list price, in part because there's a lot of federal money at work?

Four self-inflicted problems that the salaries of university officials whether at the system, campus, or division head level depend on them not properly engaging.

A COP, A RELEASED FELON, AND TWO JUDGES DEAL CARDS.

Politico's Tim Alberta goes to a picnic in Grosse Pointe Woods.  He meets more than a few leading lights of Southeast Michigan's current political extablishment.
What I learned over the next six hours was as captivating, and surprising, as any reporting assignment I had ever been on. While some of my initial observations were correct—this was the upper crust of Black Detroit, these were elites in business and government who planned to vote no matter what—my expectations of what I would hear from them were very wrong. These were not Black citizens removed from the fury, dispiritedness and contempt for the establishment that [state representative Sherry] Gay-Dagnogo had described. If anything, they explained to me that afternoon, they felt this disillusionment all the more acutely; they knew institutional racism all the more intimately. They had given up on the system not for a lack of political power but because of their proximity to it.
Once upon a time, Grosse Pointe Woods was one of the cluster of sundown suburbs to the north of Detroit.  These days, though, the Michigan economy is not strong enough to support upscale segregation, and there are bargains to be had.  Up to a point, that is.
Grosse Pointe, they explained, had traditionally been an exclusive enclave of the wealthy white upper-class. Only after the Great Recession of 2008 was there an opportunity for Black families to move in. Taking advantage of the foreclosure market, they migrated from the rugged east side of Detroit to idyllic neighborhoods that were just miles away but might as well have existed on another planet.

The transition was difficult, Andre Moore explained. After he closed the purchase of his new house on Severn Road, he swung by to examine the building’s exterior before heading to the hardware store for supplies. A white neighbor called the cops. Because his license didn’t yet match the new address, Moore couldn’t convince the officers that this was, in fact, his home. It was a tense and humiliating standoff. Moore said most of his white neighbors have been welcoming—including, he noted with a smile, the ones he suspects called the police in the first place.
The surprise, though, is that Mr Alberta's interlocutors are in the difficult position of generally arguing with, then voting for, Democrats, despite Democrats, including Barack Obama Himself, making promises they have no intent of fulfilling.  "No matter whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat sitting in that White House, we stay chasing that so-called American dream."

Instructive reading.  Thanks to Power Line for adding the column among their rolling recommended links, earlier in the week.

IT'S WORSE THAN DENYING COHERENT BELIEFS.

That's long been my formulation.

George Will has a bigger platform than I, and he suggests I'm an optimist. "A significant portion of the intelligentsia that is churned out by higher education does not acknowledge exacting standards of inquiry that could tug them toward tentativeness and constructive dissatisfaction with themselves. Rather, they come from campuses, cloaked in complacency."

"Lumpen intelligentsia," though, is a felicitous turn of phrase.  Go, read, understand.

21.6.20

FIFTY YEARS OF FAILURE.

The culture studies types have poisoned the political environment for a long time.  Tear down the guardrails, then fret about incivility or what have you.  "Perhaps that adversarial culture might earn more respect if it produced any work of great insight, but you'll have to look elsewhere to find it.  There may be a reason scholars of a certain inclination assert the existence of multiple oppressions of Race, Class, and Gender, or revert to dog-whistle words about "issues of ...".  Dig deeper, and there's no there there."

Daniel Henninger of The Wall Street Journal wrote that "No Guardrails" essay, and he's back, noting that nobody was listening.
A primary claim made repeatedly this week is that the U.S., which means the American people, are guilty of perpetual “systemic racism.”

It is evident from the coverage that most of the demonstrators were born after 1990. By then, the Great Society programs had been in place for 25 years, and now it is 55 years. Annual budget appropriations totaling multiple trillions of dollars on Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, public housing, rent subsidies and federal aid to public schools have produced . . . what?

Since the 1960s, essentially little has changed in the neighborhoods at the center of those long-ago urban riots. By current telling, they are about as poor, as crime-ridden, as under-educated and in poor health as they were when LBJ said he would change them. That means five decades of stasis and stagnation in America’s most marginalized places, virtually all of it under Democratic—now “progressive”—political control.

The failure of the liberal model is by now so embarrassing that the current owners of that model have created an alternative universe of explanations, such as blaming it on American settlers in the early 17th century or the nonexistence of “justice.”

This is worse than 1968, because the political system is now engaged in a systemic act of forgetting. Let’s forget that this policy failure has happened or why.
Hat tip:  Steven Hayward at Power Line.

The extension to higher education is straightforward: is doubling down on the Student Affairs rhetoric about diversity, inclusion, and equity, which we have been hearing for the past thirty years, apparently to little effect, the best approach?  Maybe not.
[T]hose among us who see education as the one true lever for societal change are called upon now to incorporate a more holistic and fully representative narrative in the degree programs offered at our colleges and universities. That would begin with fully acknowledging that not everyone embraces the discourse on privilege and systemic discrimination. Many Americans do not wholeheartedly subscribe to the dominant narrative of racism as the key determinant of all matters related to equality and justice, as it is repeated verbatim in every article and conference paper or social media post. There are other voices, and not just those who are attracted by white supremacist thought or who continue to hold fast to the idea of American exceptionalism. In and out of academe, many Americans want to grasp what it means to live in a pluralistic and equal society, one that also remains firmly based in capitalism and ideas of individual freedom.
Put another way, there are controversies, and the role of people in higher education, whether on faculty, or within the administration (read that article in full, dear reader, it is another administrative power grab, e.g. "Higher education professionals want to take the lead now and engage more deliberately and jointly in revising our programs so that they are intellectually inclusive, skills focused and fully transferable, thereby moving significantly forward to achieving true equity not only in access but also in outcome for all students.")

AN ARMED SOCIETY IS A POLITE SOCIETY.

In Crown Point, Indiana, the local residents kept the protests peaceful.  There's a video at the link.
Indiana is a licensed open carry state, so everything you're seeing here is legal. Still, it's pretty menacing -- you see the protesters walking by with their signs out, but not chanting or even speaking. The group of older adults along the fence were also dead silent as they eyeballed the BLM group.
At the end of the video, you'll hear one of the marchers thanking the local police for keeping watch.

The concluding comment says more about the people who write for TMZ than it does about the residents of this neighborhood.  "Tough young'ns, no doubt ... and a stark reminder not everyone in the country's ready for change."  Translation: it's easier to deplorable-shame armed Normals in the abstract, than it is to persuade movement heavies in the concrete.  No looting, no vandalism, no call for a local show of force.

WHEN THE GLADIATORS STOP SIGNING UP FOR THE JOB?

In a Friday conversation, Rush Limbaugh thought he had an opportunity to demonstrate absurdity by being absurd.
RUSH: Dave in St. Louis. Great to have you, sir. Hello.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush. In St. Louis the powers that be had a Christopher Columbus statue removed from Tower Grove Park. They said that his visage reminded African-Americans present and former that they were slaves and always would be slaves. Well, I say we go the whole way and we remove the largest, the biggest, the meanest symbol of slavery in the entire world, and that is the National Football League.

RUSH: How’s that?

CALLER: Look at the stadiums they play in, Rush. They’re modeled after the Roman Colosseum. And what happened in the Roman Colosseum? Slaves were sent to battle to the death for the amusement of rich white Europeans. And then on TV, on ESPN, they have the NFL draft. I say no, that’s a slave auction. And then they sign the contracts and the owners can then trade or sell those contracts? Talk about sell you down the river. And even the college ranks that are often referred to as the farm teams of the professional ranks, how about saying it the right way — plantations.

I say Colin Kaepernick should never have to bow and scrape and accept a check from a racist organization ever again. Now, true, he might have to go to work at the local hardware store, but he never has to bow to slavers like the NFL again. You yourself even said the coaches were going to lead the kneeling for the national anthem. Coaches? They’re overseers. And every African-American player should walk away from the NFL and never again have to accept a check.
That might sound like an attempt to be funny, but with school districts going to seven man football with fewer kids going out for the sport, and upscale parents keeping their kids off the gridiron for fear of concussion, and with there being some reluctance among professional basketball players to resume the season in the midst of the protests of police brutality, it's just a matter of time before the penny drops for football players with African ancestry.
RUSH: In your organizational chart here, the coaches are the foremen of the plantation.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: Yeah. And that’s as racist as you can be. Let’s go the whole way. Let’s eliminate all those —

RUSH: Folks, I don’t know how you’re reacting here to Dave in St. Louis. By the way, Dave, I don’t know if you know this or not, but there’s a movement to remove the gigantic statue of Louis IX, the namesake of St. Louis, in Forest Park in St. Louis. It’s happening right now, a movement to try to rip down the statue — every French king was named Louis. They were just the fourteenth, the twelfth, the tenth, whatever. And this would be Louis IX, I believe.

But I have drawn a similar analogy to yours regarding the NFL, not using the same verbiage but using the same philosophy as to what it is. Basically 70% of the employees are African-American. The owners are all white. They are putting their lives on the line. They are putting their bodies at risk all for what? The entertainment of the white billionaire owners and the people they convince to buy tickets to watch this stuff. And I said wait ’til somebody figures this out. Wait ’til somebody sees this analogy on the players union side. Anyway, there’s more to say, obviously, but we’re out of time
That sentiment is already present, and the league's attempt to conceal the parallels to Rome's gladiators by rewarding teams that diversify the coaches' room are futile.  Sometimes even an open line Friday attempt at being funny swerves into something that's really happening.

THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN SMOKEYS IS NO SMOKEYS.

Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver To Cities with Defunded Police Departments.  It's a sampling of public comment from commercial drivers on an industry forum.

The railside produce terminals of years ago are long gone.

THE TRENCHANT OBSERVATION OF THE WEEK.

Richard Eskow, "Only an irrational hatred of Donald Trump could persuade anyone to turn to John Bolton."

20.6.20

HOW IS A VIRUS LIKE A GOVERNMENT?

The successful ones figure out how to be symbiotic with their hosts, rather than killing them.

Perhaps the Wuhan coronavirus is following that dynamic.  "Prof Matteo Bassetti, head of the infectious diseases clinic at the Policlinico San Martino hospital in Italy, told The [London] Telegraph that Covid-19 has been losing its virulence in the last month and patients who would have previously died are now recovering."  Evolutionary time scales are slow, though, and the masks, hand washing, and physical distance measures are still prudent.

A month ago, Power Line's John Hinderaker observed that British experimenters were having trouble finding enough volunteers and enough contagion to conduct controlled trials of vaccines.  I haven't been keeping up with that study; I note, though, that parts of Pekin are closed down again (and those are the cases the Chinese are copping to.)  Note, though, his concluding observation.
Why do viruses die out? Epidemics follow a bell curve; they disappear long before they infect everyone in a population. Why? Am I the only one who feels like epidemiologists know less than I had always assumed?
The honest ones will grant that. "Settled science" is what people of faith say when they should be saying "hoc est corpus."

CHICAGO'S TRIBAL CONFLICTS.

I have a dim view of life in Chicago.  "Chicago is still fifteen square miles of privilege surrounded by the Third World, and with the improving weather will come the wilding."  A new mayor who ticks several identity politics boxes wasn't going to change reality.

Yes, when the protests following the death of George Floyd came to Chicago, the wilding followed the peaceful assembly.  It wasn't limited to the liberation of shoes and mobile phones from the Magnificent Mile or flat-screen televisions from the big box stores.
While Chicago was roiled by another day of protests and looting in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, 18 people were killed Sunday, May 31, making it the single most violent day in Chicago in six decades, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The lab’s data doesn’t go back further than 1961.

From 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, through 11 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 25 people were killed in the city, with another 85 wounded by gunfire, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

In a city with an international reputation for crime — where 900 murders per year were common in the early 1990s — it was the most violent weekend in Chicago’s modern history, stretching police resources that were already thin because of protests and looting.
Behind the scenes, though, it's the old story. Politics divides, trade unites. Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton notes,
African Americans and Latinos always have had an uneasy alliance. Both groups often are too ashamed to talk about it in the open.

For years, we have fought over crumbs, arguing about who deserves the biggest share of leftovers from a table at which neither group has been invited to sit. We glare at each other with envious eyes, focusing on our differences rather than the things that make us the same.

We have been reluctant to air our grievances publicly because opportunistic politicians are eagerly awaiting an opening to further divide us and diminish any chance that we might someday form a powerful coalition.

That is the greatest fear of those in the majority who resent the inevitable browning of America. Imagine the radical impact a union between the two largest minority groups could have on our country’s political and social landscape.
The category error she commits is in treating unity as strictly a political phenomenon.  The division of spoils is a strictly constant-sum game, constrained to the value of the protection money extracted taxes collected: a dynamic that provides incentives to opt out, by evading taxes or moving to Wisconsin.  Unfortunately, when the protests turned to looting, it was the entrepreneurs hardest hit.
The division was on full display this week during confrontations between blacks and Latinos in Chicago’s predominantly Mexican American communities. A call for unity among Latinos to guard businesses from looters quickly turned into vigilantism that resulted in violent racial clashes.

According to reports, Latino gang members in Pilsen, Little Village and suburban Cicero, some armed with clubs and guns, profiled and targeted African Americans. They surrounded cars, chased innocent people down the street and provoked fights.

The divisive actions of a few overshadowed the voices of other Latinos who marched through those same streets condemning the injustices that George Floyd and other African Americans have suffered at the hands of the police.

The violent behavior of gang members, of course, doesn’t represent the prevailing sentiment of blacks or Latinos. But the clashes offer a glimpse at what our biases toward each other look like when taken to the extreme.
Live by your tribal identity, die by your tribal identity. That's not exactly buying into America, or giving mainstream America reason to buy into your aspirations.

Note that in the Cities, something similar happened, a spontaneous self-defense force called Security Latinos De La Lake emerged.  (The report is from Minnesota Public Radio, treat their references to white supremacists from Iowa or Wisconsin accordingly.)

In Chicago, tribal fault lines proliferate.
Arab American business owners have had stores — including convenience, electronic and grocery stores — in black neighborhoods for decades. Sometimes, their relationships with customers have been tense.

While Chicago Arab American business owners interviewed recently said they have a good relationship with their black community, some black neighborhood residents pointed to ways stores discourage their presence. In convenience stores on the South and West sides, there are often large security camera feeds displayed, signs to discourage loitering and glass partitions between customers and clerks.
Those are bullet-resistant glass partitions, preceding the era of physical distancing. In addition, there are people who still don't understand commerce.
Nadine Naber, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor, said these stores and their owners cannot be separated from the context in which they arrive in the U.S. That includes anti-blackness in Arab countries, often exacerbated by European ideas of white supremacy, the prevalence of U.S. media — criticized for depicting black people as prone to violence — in Arab countries, and the struggle to assimilate into a culture that rewards whiteness, Naber said.

“There is anti-Arab racism here and immigrants are responding to knowing that they are seen as other, or as potential terrorists, or as having a backwards culture," said Naber. “They can sometimes respond to that by trying to prove that, ‘We’re not so bad, we’re good Americans.’ And part of being a good American is anti-blackness.”

In Chicago, the Inner-City Muslim Action Network has a corner store campaign that encourages business owners in majority-black neighborhoods to invest in those neighborhoods by making sure their businesses are beneficial to the community. Senior organizer Sara Hamdan said owners are given suggestions to improve their stores, like providing more fresh food, improving facades, and getting out from behind glass partitions.“Historically there’s been some that understand the responsibility that they have but maybe need some direction,” Hamdan said. “But there are some that are like, ‘I feel fine the way it is, why do I have to make any changes?’”

She said younger relatives of owners, born here and with fewer cultural and language barriers, also have a role to play.

“What drew me to the campaign was the recognition that other Arabs were causing harm to black folks in black neighborhoods,” Hamdan said.

Kanan Ashkar, who has stores in West Lawn and Albany Park, has worked with the Inner-City Muslim Network for more than two years. It’s made good business sense to have a relationship with customers, he said.
It says more about our higher education establishment than it does about the country when the professor makes "anti-blackness" a component of "being a good American." Mr Ashkar gets it, on the other hand. It's good business to offer the customer something of value.

We're not done, though, with the spontaneous self-defense forces in Chicago.  This time, though, one arises in Bridgeport, the neighborhood that heaved up the Daley family.  "[Chicago mayor Lori] Lightfoot said the city will not tolerate vigilantism after groups of mostly white men patrolled the streets of Bridgeport on Wednesday night in response to a nearby city protest. The situation in Bridgeport frightened and angered many residents and activists who expressed concerns about racism and violence." Counter Punch's Joe Allen sees a resurgence of the Red Squads in Bridgeport, for what that's worth.

The mayor herself, though?  "Rookie mistakes" is charitable.  Imagine Barack Obama with a bad haircut, forever scolding her constituents and letting them know just how disappointed she is with them.  It isn't selling well.
If Chicago Police lost control of sections of the city during the protests, the responsibility for this ignominy starts with Mayor Lightfoot, for once police were forced to retreat from enforcing the law and arresting lawbreakers for even minor violations, the disintegration of law and order was certain to follow.  As protests roiled Chicago, though Lightfoot frantically labored to present an image of a mayor in control with a brilliant plan to preserve order, what occurred in the city did not go well by any objective standard.  A failure in central planning of monumental proportion, a full catastrophe ensued in which portions of Chicago were briefly in the hands of unruly mobs, graffiti was sprayed over the façades of downtown buildings and storefronts, cars were vandalized and torched, police vehicles were overturned, police officers were assaulted, and untold stores were looted and set ablaze.  A civil rights jihad, the protests enveloped most of the Loop and turned the high streets of Chicago’s Near North neighborhood and the city’s glittering showpiece, North Michigan Avenue, into what resembled windblown tundra, bereft of the tiniest waft of culture or beauty.

Though the circumstances on the streets compelled an immediate and determined response, Ms. Lightfoot allowed the situation to worsen under the misguided notion the protesters’ revolutionary ardor would eventually fade.  Delusional and amateurish leadership, as protests widened and the prospect of violence became palpable, instead of swiftly and aggressively executing a plan to deploy police to potential flashpoints, Lightfoot fell into a state of shock, belatedly imposed a curfew, and, according to police, personally intervened to deny police use of OC spray to disperse rioters.  Equally unsettling, Lightfoot withheld hundreds of officers in reserve over her fear a large presence of police confronting rioters would rouse the mood of protesters and incite aggressive behavior among rioters.  A genuflect to marauding bands roving Chicago’s streets, Lightfoot’s refusal to marshal police sufficiently and her refusal to consistently and sternly condemn rioters and demand protesters comply with lawful orders from police only abetted and stoked further tumult and criminal activity.
That's a measured description of what happened.  I mean, when a politician makes Barstool Sports?  Over a recording of a conference call.
Being Mayor or President or any sort of elected official seems like the worst job in the world. No matter what you do, you're going to have a large segment of the population who thinks you're f***ing up. Maybe you are, maybe you're not, maybe people are 100% full of shit. And if you think those people criticizing you are full of shit, it's nice to hear that the Mayor feels okay with saying so bluntly in a matter that can't be misinterpreted.
Washington Examiner columnist Emma Colton doesn't even have to comment. She quotes, you decide.  Greg Jarrett offers instant analysis.  "The call is an insight into the upheaval on the streets that was met with ineffective action from Chicago’s leaders."

THERE IS A SILVER BULLET TO DEAL WITH TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

I could file this post under "first world problems."  There is a subset of traffic engineers, or perhaps of highway departments more generally, for whom keeping the traffic moving freely is the categorical imperative, never mind the effects on pedestrian safety (multi-lane roundabouts) or bicycle safety (slip ramps, diverging diamond interchanges).

The following video illustrates an intramural squabble among defenders of the diverging diamond and its critics.  The clip begins toward the end of the clip, as Charles "Strong Towns" Marohn wanted his readers to catch the (erroneous?) disagreement the producer of the clip made.  Feel free to refresh to see the whole thing.


I don't have a dog in the traffic engineering fight, if eliminating four left-turn-arrow cycles by flopping the traffic lanes across the bridge is worth the risk to pedestrians and bicycles who must play two screens of Frogger to get from a sidewalk at the near end to a sidewalk at the far end is good policy, fine.

But when the producer says "there's no silver bullet for traffic congestion," there he lost me.

The roads are productive assetsPrice them accordingly.

THE MEDIAN VOTER WILL NOT DIE OF CORONAVIRUS.

That's from an Alex Tabarrok post about the initial protests, by Normals, against the lockdowns the Wise Experts initially told us were to slow the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. and, at the time the post came out, I really bookmarked too many posts dealing with the same thing, but in the course of cleaning out the dross, I noticed that its title was, "When Will The Riots Begin?"  His concern, at the time, was that it was the Spoiled Normals who were going to lose their patience.  It's only been two months, dear reader, but you remember when California's governor had to take beach privileges away from Orange County, don't you?  (The protesters persuaded the cops to stand down, no defunding talk back then.)

Mr Tabarrok noted, however, that the behavior of the Authorities came across as disrespectful toward the citizenry.  He linked to an essay by Reason's Jesse Walker, suggesting a historical path from cholera riots (which did happen) to coronavirus riots (which did take place, albeit account overlapping disrespects.)  "The more punitive the approach to public health, the fiercer the backlash."  The more punitive the approach to policing, per corollary?
The more high-handed the ruling classes were, the more likely they were to be targeted by rumors and revolt. The riots persisted longest, [historian Samuel K.] Cohn writes, "where elites continued to belittle the supposed 'superstitions' of villagers, minorities, and the poor, violated their burial customs and religious beliefs, and imposed stringent anti-cholera regulations even after most of them had been proven to be ineffectual. Moreover, ruling elites in these places addressed popular resistance with military force and brutal repression. By contrast, distrust and rumours of purposeful poisoning abated where elite attitudes and impositions changed."
History rhyming, again?

18.6.20

IF ONLY.

All higher education requires is a few faculty members with integrity, which is to say, it's asking for a lot.


DID BISMARCK FRET ABOUT THE PARIS COMMUNE?

It's pointless for Our President to offer even a Twitter threat about the associated encampments cluttering the downtowns of assorted cities, primarily along the coasts.  My relatively naïve view was that if the crazy coalition of the left wing of the Democrat party gets into some sort of sectarian spat with the more standard coalition of the left wing, any intervention at the urging of Donald Trump would simply create martyrs and meliorate the schism.

Kurt Schlichter, who has had some experience with pacification, in Los Angeles, and in Kosovo, offers an analysis using terminology that Moltke would grasp.
Many of us cons are furious that Trump is “doing nothing.” This is the wrong thing to think. Trump is only doing nothing if this is a kinetic operation; because this is an information operation, not going kinetic (sending in the troops) is doing something.
Paris's problem is Paris's problem.
Trump can and should let Seattle’s problem be Seattle’s problem. A small-scale riot in a peripheral city known for coffee, drizzle, and droning, garbage music is the very definition of a local problem. Why would Trump interject himself into it and relieve the mayor and governor of the consequences of their failure to keep order? Why would he stop them from showing the electorate exactly what the reeking cesspool they could expect after Gropey Joe defunds the police looks like?

Scumbagistan is a giant zit on the face of liberalism, and why should Trump pop it? He’s letting it fester for all of us to see – and winning the information war.

Understand that the leftist establishment would like nothing better than for Trump to go kinetic. That’s why it is baiting him, and hoping that those of us who are sick of these Lil’ Red Guards will pressure him into dropping in the paratroopers to bust some heads and – oh please, oh please, oh please – get caught on video Kent Stating up a batch of fresh new martyrs.
Likewise, Portland's problem is Portland's problem, and Portland's soy-boy mayor Tim Wheeler is in a bad place.


The mayor is in the familiar position of appeasing the crocodile in the hopes that it will eat him last.
In a incredibly ridiculous move, the Portland City Council tried to assuage the vocal leftists by taking a huge whack at the police department’s budget, cutting nearly $16 million from it.

Someone’s going to have to explain to me how removing millions from a police department does anything to make it a better department, assuming there are any issues to begin with?
Crocodile still hungry.
So did that make [the crazies] happy? No, it never does, they always want more. So they assembled last night outside of Wheeler’s apartment and declared it an “autonomous zone.” They demanded that $50 million be cut.

They blocked off the street and started setting up a zone like their compatriots in Seattle had done.

But their presumption was their undoing.

While the progressive mayor apparently doesn’t give a darn about the police or much of the.rest of the city, apparently annoying him at night and messing with his neighborhood is a no-no.
The crazies are going to be angry at Our President whether he sends in the Guard or not. Now they have to decide whether the mayor is a dubious ally or not.
Suddenly he realized that these folks weren’t doing good things and damaging the neighborhood, his neighborhood. He’s been letting them run wild all over the city for the last three years. But suddenly maybe a little bit of the terror that anarchists have spread in Portland finally, literally, came home to him. Karma came back to bite him in the butt.
So it often is with the ideologically pure.  "The present madness will wane like a virus, as it eats its own and terrifies its sympathizers that they may be next — unless, of course, a would-be Napoleon uses a 'whiff of grapeshot' and turns the mob into his personal cult."  That's V. D. Hanson, and, of course, you should read the whole thing, particularly for the sting in the tail.

WHEN THE SAECULAR ORDER LOSES ITS LEGITIMACY.

That's what a Fourth Turning is all about, even if the people noticing it don't use the expression.

Reason's Nick Gillespie sees the institutional failure.
For the last half century, we have been steadily losing faith that the people in charge of government, law enforcement, business, religion, and nonprofits have our best interests at heart. If America was already a dumpster fire when we rang in the new year, the last few months have been a jug of lighter fluid squirted on the flames. We are in the midst of an ongoing horror show of bad, stupid, incompetent, and downright evil behavior by the folks who are in charge.
Tom Engelhart, who will come to a different conclusion, sees the same thing.
Here, in fact, was the strange reality of that moment of ultimate triumph in 1991: the American political ruling class, the people who had seemingly won it all, would prove remarkably brain-dead in a way few grasped then or we wouldn’t be in Donald Trump’s America today. Back then, the one thing they couldn’t imagine in a world without the Soviet Union was an all-American world of flatness, peace, and democracy.

The only thing they could imagine was another version of the militarized style of dominance that had long characterized the American Century, to use the famous phrase Life and Time publisher Henry Luce first put into the language in 1941. Those managing the imperial system that had dotted the planet with military garrisons in a historically unprecedented fashion, while creating a global economy centered on the accumulation of staggering wealth and power, had no idea that the United States would prove to be the second superpower victim of the end of the Cold War.
The Atlantic's David Thompson comes closer to identifying what is happening: people of one saecular order failed to think carefully about the succession.
Why have America’s instruments of hard and soft power failed so spectacularly in 2020? In part because they are choking on the dust of a dead century. In too many quarters of American leadership, our risk sensor is fixed to the anxieties and illusions of the 1900s.
Sometimes, that's because the very people still running the existing institutions are the very same Victory Babies who had the Victory Dividend to squander.
The failures of our law-enforcement agencies and public-health systems are not one and the same. But our orientation toward militarized overpolicing and our slow-footed response to fast-moving pandemics both stem from an inability to adapt our safekeeping institutions to the realities of the 21st century. Lost in the anxieties and illusions of the past, United States institutions have forgotten the art of change in a changing world.
Ordinarily, that's not bad, change for change's sake gets you New Coke or the Edsel.  Until it doesn't though, such as when the Back Row Kids lose patience with the Front Row KidsChris Arnade had occasion to use those terms this week.  It's easy enough to understand what he saw.
The “I am tired of playing by your rules” energy that flipped enough back row whites to make Trump President, reached critical level with back row minorities. Without a candidate to channel their anger, they protested, then rioted, and then looted. How much of each became another source of disagreement and anger among everyone.
When a saecular order fractures, electoral politics might be irrelevant.
Certainly everyone is sick of those at the very top telling them what to do. The highly credentialed, whose smug certainty never ebbed during the pandemic, despite doling out one inconsistent proclamation and toothless platitude after another, have lost a level of trust that will be hard to win back. They got it so wrong so often, with such awful consequences, that it has been impossible to ignore. Perhaps globbing onto Black Lives Matter will save them.
If he's right about the globbing on, all that does is patch the Liberal Plantation together for a while longer.

As far as the fracturing of the saecular order is concerned, Mr Gillespie might be closest to anticipating what is yet to come, although that's not necessarily consolation for libertarians.  "[W]e can perhaps take some comfort, naive as it might be, that Americans eventually figure out the right way forward after trying all the others." That's a bet on emergence, but there's no guarantee that emergence is benign, or that the conventions of bourgeois order and the Scottish Enlightenment will be part of the procedural infrastructure.

THERE SHOULDN'T BE A SINGLE VOLUNTEER.

Back in the day, the War movie included the obligatory vignette of the Sergeant telling the troops he needed four volunteers for some task, you, you, you, and you!

These days, apparently, overtime in the Chicago Police Department, caught up in a different sort of war, is still voluntary, and not in the Soviet sense that those who don't show up go on a list of saboteurs, wreckers, and capitalist running dog.  But there aren't enough volunteers.  Second City Cop notes, "After Atlanta, there shouldn't be a single volunteer."

It could be worse, it could be Atlanta, where the mobs calling for the police to be abolished are getting their wish, but not exactly the way they intended.  "Atlanta PD is getting a huge reason to be fetal from here on out. Perhaps the citizens will vote some of these corrupt pandering fools out of office." As far as I can tell, last night's mark-offs are spontaneous, there's no job action. Yet.

17.6.20

HOW NOT TO WIN OVER THE FERROEQUINOLOGISTS.

One of the statues the rage mob decided to paint all over was one in Philadelphia, of Matthias Baldwin.  Those old white guys, they all look alike, right?
Born in 1795, Baldwin moved to Philadelphia from New Jersey at the age of 16 and rose from an apprenticeship at a local jeweler to establish a successful business manufacturing train locomotives. Baldwin argued for the right of African Americans to vote in Pennsylvania during the state’s 1837 Constitutional Convention, and helped establish a school for African American children where he paid teachers’ salaries for years.

“He hired blacks in his shops when that was not the norm,” [park advocate Joe] Walsh said. “He was BLM [Black Lives Matter] before there was a slogan.”
There's a legend that antebellum Southern railroads would not buy Baldwin's locomotives, as a protest against his abolitionist views. I suspect that the fragmented railroad network of the era, plus the idiosyncratic Southern wide gauges, made it more convenient for master mechanics to build their power in their own shops, or buy them locally.

The statue has been scrubbed back to a state of good repair.

Baldwin had an uneven reputation as a locomotive builder into the late Steam Era, and their transition to building diesels was mostly false starts.

That said, they built some of the steamers pretty.


Boston and Maine 4106, Little John.  Enough oomph to move a hundred cars of paper products and potatoes south from Maine, and enough speed to keep a holiday-length East Wind or Bar Harbor on time, in preference to calling two Pacifics, and making a longer stop at Dover for water.

HEALTH ADVICE CAN'T SHIFT WITH POLITICS.

At The American Conservative, Anthony DiMauro laments politicized public health advice.
One rightly wonders how, within a span of weeks, we went from shaming people for being out in the streets to shaming those who won’t join the crowd.

What’s more, contact with infected animals and surfaces is unlikely to cause COVID-19 to spread, and chlorine kills the virus upon contact, so clean pools are also safe. But of course, many schools, playgrounds, pools, and businesses were forced to close.

Livelihoods have been destroyed, children are paying a high price through a loss of time and key social-educational development, and mental health across the country is on the decline.

And now some journalists from prominent publications—the same ones that have been demanding oh-so-extreme caution—are performing breathtaking gymnastics in an effort to backtrack, explaining that there’s no evidence of outdoor coronavirus spread. Now, it’s “prolonged indoor close contact” that we have to worry about.
The virus still has a lot of potential hosts to find, and there is still a long way to go for effective treatments, let alone vaccinations.  The experts have made a hash of things.  Mr DiMauro advises a bet on emergence.  "If a second wave does appear, it will be cautious individuals and community innovation that provides the solutions—not those who have done nothing to earn our trust."

How badly have the experts fared?  Badly enough that economists are dunking on them.
Economists know something about the incredible failure of forecasting models. They have been deployed often in the postwar period. They came under heavy fire from economists of the Austrian and classical schools. They don’t grapple with certain facts of reality: second and third tier responses to policies, unpredictabilities of human choice, and the uncertainties of the future. There are too many variables operating in a complex system like a socio-economic order for any mechanistic model to capture them all, especially when dealing with an unknown and unknowable future.

The same forecasting failures afflicted the models that panicked politicians into locking down. They are too aggregated. They don’t consider population diversity and how novel viruses affect different groups in different ways. They presume that planners can know things that they cannot know, such as disease severity in the midst of an epidemic. Slogans like “flatten the curve” massively oversimplify social processes and human choices, and presume to know far too much about cause and effect.
It's like everything else in attempting to codify procedures: the rules are written in blood.  "Now the modelers in the epidemiological profession need to learn what the economists figured out long ago. Human life is too complex to be accurately modeled, much less predicted. This certainly pertains to a novel virus."  Indeed.

NO LONGER A PRESTIGE ASSIGNMENT?

Once upon a time, the position of president of the University of Wisconsin system (not the individual campuses, mind you, the super-organization) might have been a highly prized post.  Public Ivy League and two R-one campuses and all that.

More recently, not so much.  The applicant pool is thin.  "The only finalist for the UW System's top job is a white man, and critics say his credentials and vision for the future are lackluster."  The person the search committee offered up for public comment was Alaska's Jim Johnsen, who we last met doing what senior adminstrators do these days.  Close one campus completely?  Keep each campus, only limit its emphasis, e.g. the allied health campus, the engineering campus?  Or make the colleges of each campus operating divisions of some central system, e.g. liberal arts faculty on all campuses are part of the same governance structure.

What little opportunity faculty around Wisconsin had for comment didn't go well.
The interview started with a series of questions based on "themes" curated by the search firm hired by the UW System. A representative of campus administrators then got about 30 minutes to pose questions. Representatives of the colleges’ tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff had the remaining time. Questioners asked Johnsen how he’d handle funding challenges, foster diversity and inclusion, expand college access and respect employee and student input in decision-making.

Johnsen spoke in general terms during his public session. He said UW's strengths include its commitment to serving every corner of the state, the support of its taxpayers and the state's diverse economy — the last two of which are a stark difference from Alaska, where colleges are heavily reliant on the volatile oil market.

He also broadly outlined the challenges he thought Wisconsin faced: financial constraints, enrollment woes and the lack of a clear vision for the long-term future.
The allocation of time in the public forum says more about "employee and student input" than the candidate's sentiments.

The presidency is still open, should anyone be interested.
“It’s disappointing, a dark day for the UW System,” Andrew Petersen, UW system regent president, said in a statement. “Dr. Johnsen is a fine person who conducted himself with professionalism and honor throughout the process, during which he was unanimously identified by the search committee as the best candidate for our system.”

The UW system will not immediately begin a new search. Instead, it will “work to identify and get through our immediate financial and operational challenges with the pandemic, then deliberate on the next steps to conduct a new search when there is a better opportunity,” Petersen said.

State and campus unions saw Johnsen’s withdrawal as a victory for students and employees.

“We’re glad to see that Jim Johnsen has heeded the voices of union members around the state who have pushed back against this process, and this candidate. From the start, this search was fatally flawed by an unprecedented decision to exclude faculty, staff, and students from the committee,” Jon Shelton, AFT-Wisconsin vice president for higher education, said in a press release.

In his own statement, Johnsen also mentioned the flawed search process.

“After deep reflection as to where I am called to lead a university system through these challenging times, it is clear to me and my family that it is in Alaska,” Johnsen said in the statement. “I appreciate the strong support from the search committee at Wisconsin, and for all those who supported my candidacy, but it’s clear they have important process issues to work out.”
Don't you love that "where I am called?" As if it's the College of Cardinals in conclave assembled, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

THE IDENTITY POLITICS OF TODAY CANCELS THE IDENTITY POLITICS OF A CENTURY AGO.

Christopher Columbus, who immigrants of Italian extraction raised up as a role model, is currently out of fashion with more recent immigrants (and more than a few descendants of longtime inhabitants) and thus those Columbus statues must go.  That includes one on the Capitol grounds in St. Paul.  Apparently the state's current leaders are down with it.
Gov. Tim Walz released the following statement Wednesday night:

“As a former social studies teacher, I taught my students that many Minnesotans look at that statue and see a legacy of genocide. Now more than ever, we must take a hard look at the dated symbols and injustices around us. The Minnesota Historical Society and the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board have a formal process to remove statues from the Capitol grounds, and it’s important that process is followed in order to ensure the safety of bystanders and the preservation of surrounding property. While that process was too long for those who were pained by the statue’s presence, that is not an excuse for them to take matters into their own hands and remove it in that fashion. Even in pain, we must work together to make change, lawfully. I encourage Minnesotans to have productive, peaceful conversations about the changes that need to be made to create a more inclusive state.”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan also issued a statement Wednesday night:

“I can’t say I’m sad the statue of Christopher Columbus is gone. I’m not.

“All Minnesotans should feel welcome at the Minnesota State Capitol, and our state is long overdue for a hard look at the symbols, statues, and icons that were created without the input of many of our communities.

“The arrival of Christopher Columbus to what is now the Americas set in motion centuries of violence and genocide against the Indigenous people who already lived here. As the highest-ranking Native woman elected to executive office in the country, I have often reflected on the fact that I could see a statue honoring that legacy from my office window. It was a constant reminder that our systems were not built by or for Native people or people of color, but in many cases, to exclude, erase, and eliminate us. Tonight, I’m thinking of all the Native children who might now feel more welcome on the grounds and in the halls of their state government.”
I wonder what's going to happen to the artwork inside the Capitol.

Outside, what's next, pull down the Leif Erikson statue and put up Walter Payton?

Probably a good thing I checked out the new rapid transit in the Cities, and the State Fair, a few years ago.  Between the quarantines and the unrest, those don't strike me as appealing places to visit again any time soon.  And if I do make time for the Rollag threshing bee some future Labor Day weekend (already made Dalton's) my itinerary will be by way of Sioux City and the Red River, rather than along the Mississippi.