Not dark yet

Featured image Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns the ripe old age of 78. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there. We’re going to celebrate him as long we’re both still around to enjoy the occasion. He is a remarkable artist, self-invented, deep in the American grain. A few years back I visited Dylan’s old home at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing. The house »

Males at work (2)

Featured image As of 11:30 a.m. this morning the Star Tribune finally got around to reporting the story of males at work on the East Bank Light Rail Platform at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis this past Friday night. Beyond their identification as juvenile males, the perpetrators go without description. The story is about as bland as laziness or ingenuity can make it. KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse, however, is »

Males at work

Featured image If it weren’t for Alpha News, we might not have any news at all of what appears to be an attack by young Minnesota males on passengers waiting for light rail transportation in the heart of the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. Alpha News cautiously reports: A mob of eight to 10 males wielding hammers descended upon bystanders at the East Bank Light Rail station on Friday night »

Race in the Noor case, Times style

Featured image The New York Times went in pursuit of the racial angle in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor for the July 2017 killing of Justine Ruszczyk in John Eligon’s “A Black Officer, a White Woman, a Rare Murder Conviction. Is It ‘Hypocrisy,’ or Justice?” The premise of Eligon’s story is that Noor was somehow the victim of racial prejudice. Although the premise of the story is framed »

Walz’s iffy iftar

Featured image Stephen Montemayor reported in the Star Tribune Morning Hot Dish email newsletter earlier this week that Gov. Tim Walz and First Lady Gwen Walz hosted the first iftar dinner ever held in the governor’s residence on Tuesday: “Plans for the historic meal, which marks each day of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, have been in the works for at least a couple months: Walz first announced his »

Stimulus, Infrastructure, Or Boondoggle?

Featured image At PJ Media, Larry Elder asks a good question: “Trump’s ‘Infrastructure’ Plan Versus Obama’s ‘Stimulus’: What’s the Difference?” Larry, whom I admire greatly, thinks the answer is “not much.” I disagree: Obama’s faux stimulus consisted largely of support for state governments so they could keep union employees on the payroll. Very little of the “stimulus” involved construction projects. Trump, at least, is actually talking about building, repairing and maintaining infrastructure. »

Wave of the future

Featured image I was invited to write this piece about Ilhan Omar during the trial of Mohamed Noor for a publication that was looking for something more current and less backward-looking. Pulling it out and rereading it this afternoon, I think it explains where we are now even though it fails to explore recent events. I was hoping for the editor’s help in improving it. Even without his help, however, it occurred »

Minneapolis pays up: Bob Bennett comments

Featured image Both Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and plaintiff’s attorney Bob Bennett held press conferences on Friday following the announcement of the city’s record-breaking $20 million settlement of the civil lawsuit brought by Justine’s family. Bennett represents the family in the civil lawsuit. Having listened to both press conferences on YouTube, I wrote about the settlement yesterday morning in “Minneapolis pays up.” In that post, by the way, I linked to the »

Minneapolis pays up

Featured image Justine’s family filed a civil lawsuit against former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor, Minneapolis Police Officer Matthew Harrity, the Minneapolis Police Chief and the City of Minneapolis in federal court here this past July. On Thursday evening the city settled the case for $20 million, $2 million of which the family will donate to a Minneapolis Foundation fund to “fight gun violence in the city,” as the Star Tribune puts »

Notes on the Noor trial

Featured image Here are a few notes on the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor that ended in his conviction for murder and manslaughter on Tuesday: Judge Kathryn Quaintance Judge Quaintance is a former prosecutor; her rulings at trial tended to favor the prosecution. The defense sought to introduce evidence of the effects of “trauma” on the perception of Officers Harrity and Noor. She demanded that such testimony be based »

Inside the Noor jury

Featured image I have a few stray thoughts on the trial of former Minneapolis Police Mohamed Noor that I may collect in a subsequent post. For the moment, however, I would like to direct interested readers to KARE11 reporter Lou Raguse’s interview with one of the Noor jurors. Lou’s interview is posted here. If you followed the trial through my series, these comments from the juror may ring a bell: I think »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 122: Scott On the Noor Verdict

Featured image Scott was still out of breath when I caught up with him just after he arrived home from the courthouse after the verdict in the Noor trial, but I prevailed on him to sit down and record a quick 15-minute special edition of the Power Line podcast. I managed to get Scott to extend his thoughts a bit beyond his Joe Friday-style “just-the-fact-ma’am” news coverage of the trial here on »

At the Noor trial (20): Noor convicted

Featured image As of 3:36 this afternoon we received notice that the jury has reached a verdict in the case against Mohamed Noor. Having returned so soon — following ten hours of deliberation — in a case with three charges, I thought the jury was likely to have arrived at a verdict of acquittal. On the contrary, however, while Noor was acquitted of the second-degree murder charge, the jury convicted Noor of »

At the Noor trial (19)

Featured image The prosecution briefly called its two experts back to the stand on rebuttal. Prosecutor Amy Sweasy and defense counsel Tom Plunkett made their closing arguments. Judge Quaintance instructed the jury. Without a break for lunch, Judge Quaintance then told the jury at 2:00 p.m. that the case is in their hands. Sequestered for deliberations, the jury now considers the two murder and one manslaughter charge against Mohamed Noor. The Star »

At the Noor trial (18)

Featured image The prosecution concluded its cross-examination of Mohamed Noor. The defense called its expert witness on police practices, Emanuel Kapelsohn and called two fact witnesses — neighbors of Justine — to testify to the noise they heard in the alley (formerly a “slap,” now characterized as a “loud bang”) preceding the shot in the alley behind their houses on the evening of July 15, 2017. The defense rested its case with »

At the Noor trial (17): Noor testifies

Featured image I inferred that Mohamed Noor was going to testify on his own behalf from defense counsel Peter Wold’s opening statement, but his intentions remained unclear. This morning we learned that Noor was going to take the stand, as indeed he did when prosecution expert Timothy Longo concluded his testimony and the prosecution rested its case. I have to leave early for court tomorrow morning. I am filing this special edition »

At the Noor trial (16)

Featured image Since Justine Ruszczyk (Damond) was killed by Mohamed Noor on July 15, 2017, the Minneapolis mayor and chief of police have been sacked, the chief by the mayor and the mayor by the voters. Justine’s killing opened a window onto Minneapolis’s kakistocracy. The case hasn’t drawn much national attention, apparently because the victim was a white woman and the shooter is a black Somali immigrant. The usual polarities are reversed, »