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Sunday, May 02, 2010

One dead, one in custody after Maplewood officer is slain in cold-blooded ambush

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Tribune said...

By ABBY SIMONS, DAVID SHAFFER, PAUL WALSH and TIM HARLOW, Star Tribune

Last update: May 2, 2010 - 7:08 AM


The St. Paul police officer stood alone on a shady street near Lake Phalen on Saturday morning, one of hundreds on high alert during a tense hunt for two ex-cons who three hours before had gunned down a Maplewood officer in cold blood.

When a young man emerged from the woods behind him carrying a metal toolbox, the officer approached to question him.

Suddenly, the man attacked the officer and the two grappled on the ground. The attacker straddled the officer and hit him over and over again, breaking his nose and possibly the bones around both eyes. Finally able to reach his weapon, the officer pulled the trigger several times.

The man suspected of killing Maplewood Sgt. Joseph Bergeron -- an ex-con whose recent prison stint was for a double shooting -- collapsed onto E. Ivy Avenue.

Louis Feider, who lives on Ivy Avenue, was just driving up with a friend.

"The cop had blood on his mustache and on his nose," Feider said. "That's when he raised his gun and fired. There must have been three or four shots and [the suspect] fell to the ground. There were sudden jerks, and then he just kind of went dead.

"I yelled at [the officer], 'Are you OK?' and he just looked at me in utter shock. He didn't say anything."

The day's bloody events, involving hundreds of officers in a methodical manhunt that plunged residents east and south of Lake Phalen into fear and confusion, began at 6:45 a.m. At that time, Bergeron was fatally shot near English Street and Arlington Avenue, just south of St. Paul's border with Maplewood, said St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington.

A man had called from an address in the 1300 block of Ripley Avenue in Maplewood to report that two young men had carjacked him near Interstate 35E and Larpenteur Avenue, and dropped him off on Ripley. When officers arrived about 6:40 a.m., they found the victim's unoccupied vehicle.

Five minutes later, Bergeron was on Bruce Vento Trail near Arlington Avenue. There he spotted two men who matched the suspects' descriptions. As he opened his squad car door, one of them walked up to the car and shot him, police said.

A jogger who had just passed by heard the shots, looked back and saw the suspects running away. The jogger ran back, saw that Bergeron had been wounded and used the officer's car radio to call for help.

Bergeron was rushed to Regions Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The 49-year-old officer hadn't originally been scheduled to work Saturday morning. He leaves behind a wife and 13-year-old twin daughters.

Maplewood Police Chief Dave Thomalla characterized the killing as a cold-blooded ambush.

"He was a very proud officer ... and one of the finest people I know, and he was murdered today, senselessly," Thomalla said.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous story continued said...

A fight to the death

After being shot by the St. Paul officer just before 11 a.m., the first suspect, identified later as Jason John Jones, 21, lay dead on his back, one arm twisted beneath his body as police remained on guard for the second suspect, identified later as Joshua Michael Martin, 21.

Just seven weeks ago, Jones had walked out of St. Cloud prison after serving 27 months for first-degree aggravated robbery in which two people were shot, though an assault-with-a-dangerous-weapon charge was dropped in a plea bargain, according to police and public records. He was on supervised release, and the Corrections Department had him listed as a "Wanted Fugitive" on its website Saturday.

Police said he had an extensive criminal record as a juvenile, including robbery, stabbing a female, theft and alcohol and drug offenses.

A neighbor of Martin's said he lived with his mother in the 600 block of Selby Avenue. Martin's mother, Cindie Konobeck, declined to comment about her son other than to say, "He's a very good boy" who grew up in St. Paul. His Facebook page says he graduated from St. Paul Central High School in 2007.

Police say he robbed a pizza delivery driver in West St. Paul in November 2007. His 10-year sentence for aggravated robbery was reduced to 227 days in the Dakota County jail, resulting in his release in October 2008. He is still on probation.

An aunt of Martin's, Carrie Konobeck, echoed her sister's sentiments, saying Martin is "a good kid ... who was with the wrong people." She wrote on her Facebook page that "my prayers are with the family of the officer shot and killed in maplewood."
The injured police officer, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to Regions, where he was in satisfactory condition Saturday night.

After Jones was shot, an intensive house-to-house search continued in the area around Lake Phalen for the second suspect. SWAT teams and police dogs continued to roam the area while helicopters whirred overhead.

At 12:30 p.m., investigators received a tip that Martin was in St. Paul's Selby-Dale area, at a relative's home. As a search warrant was being drafted, a second tip surfaced that he was at Lawson Apartments at 1032 Duluth St., back near Lake Phalen.

After about an hour of telephone negotiations, Martin surrendered to police in the second-floor hall of the building.
When taken into custody, Martin had injuries consistent with suicidal intentions, but they were not life-threatening, Harrington said.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous story conclusion said...

The chief said a gun and other evidence were found near the scene, though investigators don't know if it was used to kill Bergeron, and investigators have not ruled out the possibility of a second firearm. Investigators will meet with prosecutors Sunday to discuss charges against Martin.
Residents of the Lawson Arms apartment building stood dazed after SWAT teams cleared out, trying to make sense of what they had seen and heard.

Resident Donnie Thomas said he knew Martin as an occasional visitor to the complex and an affable man who minded his own business.

"He didn't bother nobody," Thomas said. "He has friends here. When they brought him out the door, I couldn't believe it was him. He never bothered a soul. He'd come over, sit and drink beer. This is hard. This is not him."

For Maplewood, more sorrow
For Maplewood police, Saturday's killing was the second harrowing incident in less than a year. On Sept. 7, North St. Paul officer Richard Crittenden was fatally shot while responding to a domestic dispute. Moments later, Maplewood police officer Julie Olsen, who was assisting Crittenden, fatally shot suspect Devon Dockery. The Ramsey County attorney's office later ruled that Olsen had acted properly.

"Once again, it's a tragic day for the law enforcement community," said Thomalla. "Maplewood lost one of its finest officers. Our hearts go out to the officer's family."
Referring to the 2009 shootings, the chief said: "Many of those wounds haven't healed yet. We are a family. It's a tragic loss for everybody."
That sense of loss went well beyond the law enforcement community alone.
"People who can walk out and shoot an officer -- I don't have the words," said Melissa Szepezi. "It's not right. It's evil. It's cruel, and people in our neighborhoods don't want it. This is disgusting."

Staff writer Bob von Sternberg contributed to this report.
asimons@startribune.com • 612-673-4921

Click onto "Tribune" for video links to this story.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

This is a tragic story, but one has to ask why are we having so many police homicides over the last 15 years?

Compared to other city's is the police mortality rate higher here?

Young men commit crimes go to prison and come out with an attitude. Is serving time without rehabilitation beneficial to the safety of our communities?

Bottom line our prisons are crime schools, teaching hatred and better ways to commit crimes against society.

It is easy to jump on the ban wagon of get tough on criminals lock them up and throw away the key, but take away the resources for rehabilitation and when these guys get out the public gets exactly what they didn't asked for. Nasty hate filled criminals with an axe to grind and more educated in ways of committing criminal offenses against society.

I blame the system for the violence we are experiencing. It's not over folks. This shit is going to get a whole lot worse as time goes by.

I just can't help but think that politicians will blame landlords for renting housing to these criminals with the analogy that criminals wouldn't be here if landlords didn't rent to them. When will leaders lead?

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob, do you smoke weed before posting sometimes and then smoke crack other times?

Good rehab programs in prison, which I'm all for and support, cost money. People you support (Republicans) have made it taboo to raise taxes for any programs especially programs for prisoners.

Both GOP candidates for governor have advocated for even less dollars going to the prison system where, the DFL candidate has fought for more money understanding that these people will be out one day and its cheaper to invest in them once, than it is to house them for the rest of lives.

This is a tragedy and horrible but don't for one minute think you choices for political office have nothing to do with the poor system we have here.

A person under 25 going to prison for two or more years has a not only a high chance of going back, but there is a likely chance they'll be going back for something bigger and more violent.

If you are really interested in this stuff, send me an email offline. There are several nonprofits working to bring light to this problem. They could use some republican voices among them.


Eric

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with both of you. I do not believe that there is any treatment or program any where that will prevent cold blooded murderers from murdering. How can those of us who are not capable of murder teach someone who is capable of it not to murder? Now, if you want to talk about non-violent offenders and finding a way to reduce recidivism, I'm all for it. But, cold blooded murder is a completely different animal. There is no cure for it.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, I'd like to point out that prison did not do this to this punk. He did all of these things before he ever set foot in a prison.

"After being shot by the St. Paul officer just before 11 a.m., the first suspect, identified later as Jason John Jones, 21, lay dead on his back, one arm twisted beneath his body as police remained on guard for the second suspect, identified later as Joshua Michael Martin, 21.

Just seven weeks ago, Jones had walked out of St. Cloud prison after serving 27 months for first-degree aggravated robbery in which two people were shot, though an assault-with-a-dangerous-weapon charge was dropped in a plea bargain, according to police and public records. He was on supervised release, and the Corrections Department had him listed as a "Wanted Fugitive" on its website Saturday.

Police said he had an extensive criminal record as a juvenile, including robbery, stabbing a female, theft and alcohol and drug offenses."

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe in one case especially one that is still ongoing and emotions are fresh is the best one to make a decision off of.

You have to take the number of nonviolent offenders who become violent offenders. You also need to understand where the intervention with rehabilitation will work best. I believe the studies show either during their first offense or during the juvenile years.

To your point:
Police said he had an extensive criminal record as a juvenile, including robbery, stabbing a female, theft and alcohol and drug offenses."

It has been too late for this guy for years. During those juvenile years is where this could have been turned from him growing up to be a young cop killer dead.

People are so focused on the criminal, we rehab them for our own sake. This cop had a family with two little girls who are going to grow up knowing their father was murdered. That's going to be a lot for them to deal with over the years. But hey, some jackass got save $50 bucks a year on his taxes so we are left with a penal system that does nothing for rehabilitation and even less when it comes to keeping track of them when they are out and on probation.


Eric

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I question whether this may be an indirect result of St. Paul's leadership problem. The city is focused on using negatives to get positives.

In the vacuum of a ship without a rudder, this kind of tragic thing can happen.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I question whether this may be an indirect result of St. Paul's leadership problem. The city is focused on using negatives to get positives.
In the vacuum of a ship without a rudder, this kind of tragic thing can happen.
4:33 PM


WTF are you talking about?
1. Two guys get out of prison- state ran.
2. Someone is carjacked and all officers in the area are put on alert- normal good procedures.
3. Cop is ambushed and killed- criminals fault.
4. All out manhunt and suspects are found-multiple jurisdictions.

So, what are you talking about? You're blaming an arm of government and you don't understand what happened or what government arm was involved? This passes as contributing to the conversation here?


Eric

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

I stand by my earlier comment. When there is a leadership crisis, such as St. Paul's, a lot of irresponsible elements come in. They need the cover.

Trajedies such as this appear unrelated, but they result from the lack of positive attention by the city's 'leadership'.

This has been your premise all along that the city's chicken shit leadership is OK.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric said;
Bob, do you smoke weed before posting sometimes and then smoke crack other times?

My response;
I have no clue where this statement is coming from Eric. One I am not a Republican I am a Libertarian, and two we see eye to eye on this one. We must be sharing the same pipe Brother!

11:57 said;
I respectfully disagree with both of you.

My response;
Free country you have a right to your opinion, however I feel I am more qualified than most folks to speak out on this issue.

First of all when are people going to get it into their heads there is programs that may cost money up front but pay off on the back side by decreasing the recidivism rate of offenders. Also, these programs save lives, but how would anyone ever prove it.

Speaking from experience.
Once upon a time "years & years ago" I was a violent troubled young man. The product of a physically and emotionally abusive home. I ran away from home at age 15 and never went back. I lived the streets and believe me if you are a teen run away from home you better be tough or people will take advantage of you on the street.

I committed violent crimes, hurt a lot of people. I questioned my own sanity at times wondering why I did the things I did that hurt others.

I ended up in Stillwater prison. I made up my mind I needed to change. I graduated from "Rasmussen Business College" in Stillwater prison. There was other higher education programs including the University of Minnesota at Stillwater in those days. Ate lunch every day with Eugene Thompson. :)

I got emotional counseling from a state prison program "Willow River".

If I hadn't taken advantage of these programs when I was in prison many many years ago, I may of been one of these guys in this story. OR who knows who I may of hurt.

If you haven't lived the streets and experienced the people there, or been in prison you have NO clue!

For me it is embarrassing to speak of this dark chapter in my life, my prison number is forever burned in my mind #109412. However, the smallest of seeds can grow and my testimony may touch people who can make a difference in making our society a safer place to live.

The problem with throwing away the key, they always get out! What frame of mind do you want these guys in when they get out? Prison is a violent place.

When these guys get out of prison they may move next door to YOU! Do you want them to of had the opportunities for rehabilitation or not?

6:32 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Before I forget.

We need to bring the parole board back....

These guys in prison need to know they won't get out unless they take advantage of opportunities to change.

And Eric, we already have an excellent juvenile program at Totem Town. The problem is it is not big enough.

Politicians of both major parties have lost their way in the pandemonium of voter outrage over crime. Politicians aren't leading on issues of crime they are being lead by the desire to please the voters and secure votes.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Bob, I'm in agreement with you. The problem is, this story will go away and people will go back to being as they are.

Any politician that campaigns on improving the prison system beyond just building more and stiffer sentences will not get elected outside of the cities. Period.

Now to address this BS:
Eric,
I stand by my earlier comment. When there is a leadership crisis, such as St. Paul's, a lot of irresponsible elements come in. They need the cover.
Trajedies such as this appear unrelated, but they result from the lack of positive attention by the city's 'leadership'.
This has been your premise all along that the city's chicken shit leadership is OK.
5:57 PM

Still just talking in bumper stickers? A little fact for you, both of these guys are from St Paul, raised right here.

That's weak sauce to sit back and blame the problems on people from elsewhere. This is America and in Minnesota, people have been coming from other states since the President appointed our first territorial governor who was from Pennsylvania.

You sound like one of those ignorant asses from Arizona. So tell us, what could city leadership have done to stop this, since you blame them for it?

Try to be exact. I mean, I'm sure you didn't come to your conclusion by just making shit up. You do have some examples for us, don't you?


Eric

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric you said; "People you support (Republicans) have made it taboo to raise taxes for any programs especially programs for prisoners."

My response: You just can't pass on an opportunity to bash the Republicans. The Minnesota DOC under Governor Pawlenty has grown in size. Numerous programs are in place to help these offenders return to society and not to jail. I will give you an example: GED/High School Diploma programs, college degrees, vocational programs (welding drywall, carpentry, floor covering, masonry, small business, CAD drafting, computers (programming and repair). To help these guys with their special issues, there are parenting, conflict resolution, thinking for a change, along with drug treatment. Numerous other self-help classes or programs to help these offenders when they reach the outside again.

Eric, I invite you to talk to Joan Fabian the commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Also look at the state website and you will also learn more.

Eric the help is there for these offenders, but some on their own free will don't participate and they are become swampers (Use a mop).

So after that long response, I just don't get your hate for Republicans, as under this administration the budgets for the DOC in Minnesota and grown, facilities have expanded and the private facility at Appleton is closing and the State of Minnesota is taking over.

So your comment about Republicans is wrong, Jesse Ventura cut funding for the DOC, but Governor Pawlenty restored id and expanded the programs that were working. So in short you are WRONG.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Link here said...

Minnesota police officers killed in the line of duty.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thank you 9:12. I had no knowledge Pawlenty had done so much with the DOC.

Now if we can get the parole board back. This would give corrections some teeth.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:12
I've worked in politics (campaigns and lobbying) for years.

There is one party that runs on putting more money in your pocket therefore less to the government. The DOC is ran by the government on taxes. That's the republicans. Not all, but for the most part their the part of less taxes and smaller government and fewer government programs.

The Democrats are beaten to death over the nanny-state title because we support programs to help those who are poor, less educated and disenfranchised from the mainstream.

Now, in saying that, I recognize that the Republicans are also the party of law and order- lock up the criminals and throw away the key. Stiffer penalties and more prison beds. That's what they are more than willing to fund and have funded.

Democrats wrote legislation for many of these programs you list.

Break the budget down and look at the rehabilitative budgets. You'll see a spike in funding but- that funding from the Obama federal stimulus package. Many of the sentence to work programs are in cooperation with Hennepin and Ramsey County officials and budget. (both boards dominated by Democrats).

In conclusion, Obama's federal funds and the counties(our tax dollars at the local level) got together to pick up the slack on these programs that have been getting cut since Ventura.

You have to go beyond the first page of any budget. Although at the bottom of the first page it clearly states 'funded by federal stimulus dollars'.


Eric

11:02 AM  
Anonymous MBerg said...

9:12 gave us specifics.

Eric gives us chanting points:

There is one party that runs on putting more money in your pocket therefore less to the government. The DOC is ran by the government on taxes. That's the republicans.

Er, no - the government is currently run by the DFL, except for Pawlenty. And 9:12 is correct - Pawlenty restored *Ventura's* cuts.

The Democrats are beaten to death over the nanny-state title because we support programs to help those who are poor, less educated and disenfranchised from the mainstream.

Well, no. You get beaten to death because you wave the poor and the disadvantaged around like a bloody shirt, while you mainly work to enrich the public employees unions and special interests.

To try to get back on topic, here - one of the reasons "rehabilitation" took a hit was that it tended to have lousy results. There are exceptions of course - catching peole while they're still kids can help.

Of course, it's government intervention in the form of the DFL's system of welfare (warehousing the poor in the inner city, creating and *promoting* multi-generational dependence, and policies that promote out-of-wedlock birth and the removal of fathers from families) that create such a boundless supply of clients. When you subsidize bad behavior - you'll get bad behavior!

Now, in saying that, I recognize that the Republicans are also the party of law and order- lock up the criminals and throw away the key. Stiffer penalties and more prison beds. That's what they are more than willing to fund and have funded.

You're speaking excessively broadly - but then, that's really your gig, isn't it?

Republicans are for doing what works. And with violent criminals, really, only three things seem to work over the past forty years

1) Deterrence
2) Cathing them before age 18
3) Keeping them on ice until they're in their thirties and forties, when the adolescent hormones subside and they usually start to calm down.

The Democrat approach seems to be "find money to pay for programs in search of solutions". The Republicans' is "figure out your solution, and then do it". Some problems are much harder to solve than others, as luck would have it.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think Eric is just farting from the mouth.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

Bout time somebody stops Eric's Merry Go Round bullshit

6:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Once a Criminal, Always a Criminal? Rehabilitation Can Work, If Society Takes it Seriously

LINK HERE

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wondering? kathy lantry are landlords responsible for these guy's behavior?

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two perfectly good cops dead in the past year, while dozens of scumbag inspectors don't even get the shit justifiably beaten out of them.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

Why don't you talk this big on St. Paul Issues Forum?

You are really one sick individual.

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,
Why don't you talk this big on St. Paul Issues Forum?
You are really one sick individual.


Because on SPIF and other E-Democracy forums, the discussion is actually around policy with supportive information. Here its just a storm of emotion from all of you against anyone who presents a different view- especially when the burden of proven our statements is constant and the rest of you can say whatever as long as its against government. Look at the post above yours.

Besides, anonymous posters do not deserve respect.

Eric

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Mitch Berg said...

Here its just a storm of emotion from all of you against anyone who presents a different view

Now, Eric, if I flipped back through this forum and found that you'd used the term "teabagger" even once, you'd kinda undercut your point. You do realize that, don't you?

especially when the burden of proven our statements is constant and the rest of you can say whatever as long as its against government

Well, that does get frustrating, doesn't it?

Kinda like when people get to spout off against conservatives, present or historic, in any way they want on SPIF without consequences.

Or the way you did a few threads back.

No, Eric, I do understand frustration.

To get somewhat back on topic - there is a case to be made for rehabilitation. But Minnesota neither rehabilitates nor incarcerates. For any crime south of murder, Minnesota's penalties are famously light. That the alleged murder got out of jail as fast as he did for the crime for which he was convicted is ludicrous.

I'd be perfectly willing to decriminalize, say, recreational pot in exchange for freeing up space for people like these - who clearly needed more of either rehabilitation or jail time.

But that'd rattle conservative social mores and liberal revenue streams, so it'll never happen, will it?

(And of course, the "War on Drugs" is an indirect part of Saint Paul's property policies as well. Everybody loses).

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric gives us chanting points

Like what? Drill Baby Drill? Death Panels? Redistribution of Wealth? Government takeover? Any variation of socialism?

The whole GOP platform and messaging is designed to be a chanting points. They keep it simple for the lack of policy depth.

Er, no - the government is currently run by the DFL, except for Pawlenty. And 9:12 is correct - Pawlenty restored *Ventura's* cuts.

And Pawlenty appoints the Head of DOC and sets their agenda. Running everything means nothing if you have a governor with Veto power like we do with pawlenty. He is the head of the government in Minnesota.

Well, no. You get beaten to death because you wave the poor and the disadvantaged around like a bloody shirt, while you mainly work to enrich the public employees unions and special interests.

Yeah that's it. We fight for people who work for a living to maintain a decent lifestyle. Name me one- just one public employee that is paid more than 250 thousand dollars. However Republicans have set up a system where a wall street banker who makes nothing or provide no service can walk away with 30, 40 or 100 million dollars and pay almost nothing in taxes.

Republicans ave set up a system where oil companies can profit billions, continue to raise our gas prices and walk away paying ZERO in federal taxes.

What special interests are you talking about? The million dollar a day lobbying set up by Health Insurance Companies? It wasn't Democrats they were working over. Or do you mean the gun lobby that in their zeal to arm everyone (that they like)allow people who are on the terror watch list to purchase guns and explosives?


Of course, it's government intervention in the form of the DFL's system of welfare (warehousing the poor in the inner city, creating and *promoting* multi-generational dependence, and policies that promote out-of-wedlock birth and the removal of fathers from families) that create such a boundless supply of clients. When you subsidize bad behavior - you'll get bad behavior!

Nice twist. You blame the policy for creating this. Democrats believe that children don't ask to be born and basic nutrition, shelter, health care and education should be provided. You and the Republicans are dicks for advocating a pro-life agenda then vote against the programs that support that life once he/she here.

Republicans are for doing what works. And with violent criminals, really, only three things seem to work over the past forty years

Forty years? Sounds about the same amount of time Republicans started the whole mandatory sentence movement when legislatures decide what fits the crime and therefore tying the judges hands behind his back.

That's been part of the problem. You GOPers chant law and order and stiff penalties to the point that being busted for aggravated armed assault, is no different than shooting someone.

You don't like intrusive government or activist judges (another GOP chanting point- because they really do like activist judges. They just have to be right wingers), but your OK with over-reaching legislatures? Most of time those are decisions based in emotion and populism, not actual results, stats or studies.

The Democrat approach seems to be "find money to pay for programs in search of solutions". The Republicans' is "figure out your solution, and then do it". Some problems are much harder to solve than others, as luck would have it.

No. Democrats believe that government has a role and its one that does solve problems and provide protections. Republicans talk a big game of small government but use it for gain at every turn they can. As luck would have it.

Eric

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, Eric, if I flipped back through this forum and found that you'd used the term "teabagger" even once, you'd kinda undercut your point. You do realize that, don't you?

No. I use it because you all are so emotional and it would drive you crazy. However, you don't have to flip through to find the vitriol aimed at me. Just scroll up.

To get somewhat back on topic - there is a case to be made for rehabilitation. But Minnesota neither rehabilitates nor incarcerates. For any crime south of murder, Minnesota's penalties are famously light. That the alleged murder got out of jail as fast as he did for the crime for which he was convicted is ludicrous.

Minnesota penalties have not been famously light. You'll have to be specific if you want to be corrected. The rest of this lines up to what I wrote on the legislature mandating sentencing instead of leaving it to the courts.

I'd be perfectly willing to decriminalize, say, recreational pot in exchange for freeing up space for people like these - who clearly needed more of either rehabilitation or jail time.

Who goes to jail for recreational pot nowadays?

(And of course, the "War on Drugs" is an indirect part of Saint Paul's property policies as well. Everybody loses).

Brought to us by Ronald Wilson Reagan, your hero. The war on drugs has been very successful in eroding the 4th amendment to a joke. Just ask Sheriff Bob.



Eric

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, how dare you call those in the gay community "tea-baggers."

Tea bagging is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth of another.

Eric you are really an asshole!

10:03 PM  
Anonymous MBerg said...

Eric,

Like what? Drill Baby Drill?

Yep.

Death Panels?

Have you ever worked in the Health Insurance industry? I have. Know what "Case Management" is? I do. Know how it differs from a "Death Panel?" It doesn't. Can you name a national healthcare system that doesn't use "Case Management", either explicitly (the Netherlands) or implicitly? (Canada)? No, you don't, because they all do.

Is call them "Death Panels" inflammatory? Perhaps. But saying Obamacare has no such thing is an outright lie.

Redistribution of Wealth? Government takeover?

Both are factual.

Any variation of socialism?

Obama has pushed gov't takeovers of the auto, financial, healthcare and energy industries. That'd be a textbook definition of some "variation of socialism".

The whole GOP platform and messaging is designed to be a chanting points.

To some extent, all platforms are. The DFL chanting points I (and True North) are covering are the ones that are downright wrong and misleading.

They keep it simple for the lack of policy depth.

Go figure - writing simply and clearly. It's a scandal!

Yeah that's it. We fight for people who work for a living to maintain a decent lifestyle.

No, you fight so that people can be dependent on government for their "lifestyle". There's a big difference.

Name me one- just one public employee that is paid more than 250 thousand dollars.

The President? You did ask for just one.

And it's irrelevant. People in the private sector, in a *free* market, earn what their skills earn them. That gets out of whack when government distorts the market - Enron, Fannie/Freddie, GoldSack, UHC were all caused by governmnt market distortions.

However Republicans have set up a system where a wall street banker who makes nothing or provide no service

Of course they do. They manage a company. Is it worth 100million? I dunno - ask the shareholders. If the pay is out of whack with performance, check beneath the numbers; eventually, you WILL find some government regulation causing the distortion. And if it IS in line with performance, then what difference does it make to you if he/she makes a billion dollars a year? So what?

and pay almost nothing in taxes.

That'd be another of those chanting points. People who make six-nine figures usually pay very little income tax - but lots of capital gains and dividend taxes. Those are taxed differently.

Ask yourself - why has Obama increased *income* taxes on "rich" couples making $200K, but increased cap. gains taxes on the Wall Streeters who supported him by a 4-1 margin vastly less?

Your chanting points just might not give you the answwer.

More in a bit, maybe.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous MBerg said...

By the way, normally I don't drill through comments point by point like this. I usually find whatever passes for "the chase" and cut to it.

But there's just so much to slap down here.

Republicans ave set up a system where oil companies can profit billions, continue to raise our gas prices and walk away paying ZERO in federal taxes.

Er, that was pretty non-partisan, Eric. People were bitching about oil company profits during the Carter and Clinton Administrations, too.

Interesting, by the way, that British Petroleum was the biggest oil industry donor to Obama, though, wasn't it?

What special interests are you talking about? The million dollar a day lobbying set up by Health Insurance Companies? It wasn't Democrats they were working over.

Well, yeah, they were. Both parties. When governments exert influence on a market, the companies in the market have to suck up to government. Notice how Big Pharma had to suddenly come racing over to Pelosi's side? How hard UHC lobbied to keep Mike Hatch off their asses?

Sorry, Eric, but casting lobbying as a purely partisan issue is - I'll be charitable - overly simplistic.

Or do you mean the gun lobby that in their zeal to arm everyone (that they like)allow people who are on the terror watch list to purchase guns and explosives?

1) "That they like?" What's that supposed to mean? Do you even know?

2) Um, please substantiate. Because I'm part of "the gun lobby", and that line flunks the stink test worse than most of what you're writing.

Nice twist. You blame the policy for creating this.

With good reason. The policy has caused problems!

What, policies are immune to criticism?

Democrats believe that children don't ask to be born and basic nutrition, shelter, health care and education should be provided.

They also believe that dependence on government should be a lifestyle for generation upon generation.

You and the Republicans are dicks for advocating a pro-life agenda then vote against the programs that support that life once he/she here.

Not just a non-sequitur, but a laughable one that's too dim to be insulting.

Republicans believe in the safety net - NOT levelling out peaks to fill in valleys. We believe in responsibility (and just because not every Republican is responsible all the time doesn't invalidate the belief, by the way, since I know that'll be your first answer), which means that life deserves dignity, whether before birth or after, which means keep your pants zipped until you're ready to raise a kid for chrissake.

Let's see if this goes through...

10:05 AM  
Anonymous MBerg said...

This should be the last of it, maybe...:

Forty years? Sounds about the same amount of time Republicans started the whole mandatory sentence movement

For the record, I do oppose "mandatory sentencing" (as well as Capital Punishment). But Dems eager to look "tough on crime" signed on in droves, too.

That's been part of the problem. You GOPers chant law and order and stiff penalties to the point that being busted for aggravated armed assault, is no different than shooting someone.

Well, certainly there's a middle ground between "little time" and "draconian", isn't there?

You don't like intrusive government or activist judges (another GOP chanting point- because they really do like activist judges. They just have to be right wingers),

Well, no - not a chanting point. Principled conservatives point to examples of judges who DO overreach their authority. Left OR right. Except I'm flummoxed trying to think of a *signficant* conservative judge that could fairly (!) be called an "activist". I'm sure you'll provide some (incorrect) examples.

but your OK with over-reaching legislatures?

What is that supposed to mean? Legislatures do what they do. If they overreach (as Kelliher and Pelosi have), they get un-elected (as the DFL and the Dems will).

No. Democrats believe that government has a role and its one that does solve problems and provide protections.

Well, bully! Republicans believe that, too! It's just that we believe the set of problems and protections that government can and should provide is limited.

And to be fair (try it!) so do Democrats. It's just that principled Republcians believe that limit is the Tenth Amendment, while unprincipled Democrats believe it's whatever they can imagine the Commerce Clause to cover.

And that's not really a limit at all.

Republicans talk a big game of small government but use it for gain at every turn they can. As luck would have it.

Some of 'em do. Perhaps you'll note that the party's grass roots have pretty well turned on them in this past few cycles. To the chagrin of not a few good Republicans, unfortunately, but them's the electoral breaks.

My job is to keep the party from making those mistakes again. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

OK, it'll take another installment.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous MBerg said...

No. I use it because you all are so emotional and it would drive you crazy.

Well, no. It doesn't. It makes me discount and ridicule the opinion of those who say it, because good lord, it's childish.

However, you don't have to flip through to find the vitriol aimed at me. Just scroll up.

No, I know. You call all landlords who dissent from government "slumlords", they get pissed and call you names.

With all due respect, I've been raising kids a long time. I'm used to it.

Minnesota penalties have not been famously light.

Yeah, they have. Minnesota was famed as a "catch and release" state, and in some respects it still is.

You'll have to be specific if you want to be corrected.

There's a chance you'll "correct" me, someday, Eric. There's also a chance I'll be caught in flagrante delicto with Scarlett Johannson. The odds are about equal. :-)

Who goes to jail for recreational pot nowadays?

Their distributors, and anyone whose "recreational" amount happens to be more than the state's arbitrary threshold.

Brought to us by Ronald Wilson Reagan, your hero. The war on drugs has been very successful in eroding the 4th amendment to a joke.

Well, yeah. But the "War on Drugs" under various names goes back to LBJ. Every president has participated.

And while all of it has gutted the Fourth Amendment, it was Clinton's 1994 Crime Bill that did the real damage; it broadened no-knock searches, ok-ed very broad wiretapping, introduced property forfeiture for people who weren't even convicted, banned "assault weapons" (which, whatever you believe about guns and the Second Amendment, was so incredibly vague as to be definable by law enforcment in real-time; absolutely unconscionable in a "free" society). Basically everything that liberals kvetched about with the "patriot" act, only earlier, and in many ways worse (since it affected law-abiding citizens vastly more drastically).

Just ask Sheriff Bob.

Why do you thnk I support him? He's led the militarization of the RCSD, and he's got the worst record in the state at denying (without justification) carry permits (his win-loss record in court at defending the denials, at taxpayer expense, is drastically bad).

Long story short; liberalism has many defenders, but no defense.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the matter Mitch? Business running a little slow?

I'll be back in Minnesota tonight where I can sit back and correct you.

Hey 10:03, we've gone over this. Way to come late to the party. The gay community don't see this as an insult and teabagging is something hetro couples do too.

But, you sound like the kind of guy who wouldn't know what to do with woman or man. Bugger off.



Eric

12:31 PM  
Anonymous MBerg said...

I'll be back in Minnesota tonight where I can sit back and correct you.

Let me fix that for you: "I'll be back in Minnesota tonight where I can repeat my party's chanting points". You're welcome.

While you're "correcting" me, Scarlett and I will be otherwise disposed. Enjoy.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While you're "correcting" me, Scarlett and I will be otherwise disposed. Enjoy.

Actually, she was here on Super Tuesday stomping hard for Obama, almost two years ago and I go to hang out with her and Kal Penn all day. We went to Central, then they went to a couple of colleges and I met up with them later at a small back room gathering at Sweeneys. Then we went out the Chambers over in Mpls.

I've got to talk with her, shake her hand, have a drink with her, give her a hug and joke with her. Trust me when I say this, that very cute petite 20 something would not be the least interested in you Mitch.

Besides being too tall, you're a Republican. Its her belief that you support a party that has no record showing it cares about the poor. Plus, she's not into the whole gun thing.

Don't worry, you still got Bay Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly.


Eric

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric,

As a law enforcement officer, you are Not informed.

You try and follow the DFL talking points, but you are an idiot!

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you got something to say about something I wrote- point it out and say it. Your buddy Bob pretty much agrees with me on what's needed. So he doesn't know what he's talking about either?

Insulting me is nothing (especially when it appears to be written by a 'challenged' person). I don't know you, or care what you think. And, am not afraid of you.

Piss off.
(I hope you're using your government account)

Eric

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric, you really need some professional help!

Your responses here are way off the charts, as you are expressing a real need for help. Your posts are a major call out for help.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Swiftee said...

teabagging is something hetro couples do too.

I'm sure your wife appreciates your sharing that glimpse into your home life with us, Eric.

4:30 PM  

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