Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Still Hot Garbage: Scott Jensen Compared Mask Mandates to Kristallnacht
When those on the right aren’t getting their way, they sure love to compare what they’re going through to Nazi Germany. Last April, GOP governor candidate Scott Jensen decided to invoke Hitler while speaking at a MaskOffMN meeting, making the dumb argument that mask mandates are a slippery slope toward another Holocaust. TC Jewfolk dug up and shared the Jensen clip this morning: “If you look at the 1930s and you look at it carefully, we could see some things happening. Little things that people chose to push aside. Then there was a night called Kristallnacht.” (Kristallnacht was a multi-day coordinated wave of violence in which the Nazi party tore through Jewish homes, religious sites, and businesses.) “Then there was the book burning, and it kept growing and growing, and a guy named Hitler kept growing in power, and World War II came about,” Jensen continued.
Basically, Jensen is making the argument that mask mandates during a pandemic are akin the things that lead to actual atrocities against humanity. Gotcha. Jensen, who is also a practicing physician, has been known to say dumb shit in the past, including dismissing Covid as a “mild four-day respiratory illness,” saying he plans to gut the medical board if elected (because he is frequently under investigation), and claiming that most of the folks who’ve died of Covid only had a couple years left in them anyway.
Jensen is scheduled to appear at a Republican Jewish Coalition event tomorrow. We sure hope they school him on that “guy named Hitler.”
Restorative Justice Programs Work—When They’re Used
Diversion programs are an effective alternative to criminally prosecuting juveniles in Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports in the second installment of its focus on juvenile justice. “A child’s future can hinge on the path that is chosen,” according to the Strib. “Those who complete diversion are more likely to stay in school and less likely to commit more crimes than young people who are criminally charged.” The big drawback: These programs aren’t being implemented in every municipality. Though state law requires that such programs exist, it sets few standards or guidelines, so instead, many places continue to use the wasteful, ineffective probation systems, based on the ideological belief that the more punitive an option, the better. Anyway, this is bad news for the “where are the parents?”/”lock ’em all up” crowd: Not only don’t you have the solution, but in fact, you’re the problem.
Judge: Unhoused People Have (Some) Rights Too
A small but possibly important win for unhoused Minnesotans: A state district judge has ruled that cops can’t trash all your shit just because it’s outside in an encampment instead of inside a house. In an ongoing case brought by the ACLU of Minnesota, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, and Ballard Spahr on behalf of nine encamped homeless people against the MPRB, Hennepin County, and the city of Minneapolis, Judge Wilhelmina Wright ruled against the plaintiffs on some big issues. Unhoused people don’t have the right to stay in encampments, and the government has the right to remove them, she said. But police trashing an encamped person’s stuff is a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. That means the class action suit goes forward, and grants at least some protections to the property rights of the homeless generally.
We Must Claim the Mullet Champ Tot as a Local
The longstanding debate over whether to claim Bon Iver is tricky. Eau Claire, after all, is 66 miles from Minnesota. Menomonie sits just 44 miles across the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, and it’s home to Emmitt Bailey, the eight-year-old tot who won the kid division of the USA Mullet Championships on Sunday.
Take a look, courtesy of the USA Mullet Championships:
As a matter of state pride, we’re hereby certifying young Emmitt—whose sick golden flow beat out 687 contestants—as a Minnesotan, thus locally angling this national story. Emmitt collected almost 10,000 votes en route to his victory, which comes with a $2,500 cash prize. Our rival state to the East may collect taxes on that haul, but nothing will diminish the fact that, per Racket, Emmitt is unquestionably a Minnesotan. Media hoopla surrounding his local mullet has “gone beyond our wildest dreams,” Emmitt’s local father, Eric, said last week. (A more widely agreed upon Minnesotan, Callen Steinbrink of Austin, qualified for the final round.) Cayden Kershaw of Wausau, Wisconsin, won the teen division. Considering his hometown is 159 miles away, he simply doesn’t meet our editorial definition of local. Sorry, Cayden.