Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Book Burning in Minneapolis

 

As the line goes in Death of a Salesman, “Attention must be paid.” On Friday one of the great institutions in Minneapolis and one of the best independent bookstores in the country was burned to the ground by rioters. For decades Uncle Hugo’s and its co-located operation Uncle Edgar’s have been The independent bookstore for science fiction and mysteries, especially rare books and signed first editions. There are probably less than a handful of bookstores in the entire country promoting science fiction the way Uncle Hugo’s did.

It’s all gone. The owner, Don Blyly, got the alert from his alarm service at 3:30 a.m. He drove to his store to see storefronts on both sides of Chicago Avenue engulfed in flames, including his. The arsonists were dancing in the streets. Since his fire insurance is sure to have an exclusion for “civil disturbances” the chance of any insurance coverage on the loss is practically nil.

One can hope that crowdfunding will enable him to rebuild. Regardless, Minnesota’s state government has a moral obligation to cover his loss and those of other businesses burned out when the governor failed to deploy a significant portion of the Minnesota National Guard to protect the Twin Cities. On Friday night, I doubt there were even 100 troops present on the streets because Governor Walz called out only 500. That’s not even a battalion!

One can only hope that the case can be made against the conspirators who have been organizing the riots in Minneapolis and in so many major cities. I have no doubt that it’s the Antifa crowd. Some reporting on Antifa argues that it is operating as separate cells around the country, sort of a nodal network. I would suggest that Antifa is inspired by the history of 20th Century European Communists, especially in Germany prior to the rise of Nazism. The recent post on Ricochet by ToryWarWriter puts Antifa’s tactics in the context of Communist “doctrine” for revolutionary movements. Today it sufficient to label them, and the rioters that they have been inciting, as the book-burning vandals we fought World War II to eliminate.

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  1. Headedwest Coolidge

    Minnesota’s state government has a moral obligation to cover his loss and those of other businesses burned out when the governor failed to deploy a significant portion of the Minnesota National Guard to protect the Twin Cities.

    Yeah. Good luck on that. The government of the city, county, and state are all hard core leftists. That means they do not have any morals.

    • #1
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. KentForrester Moderator

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    • #2
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:36 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Headedwest Coolidge

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    They are anarchist and communist cell members who want to destroy the United States.

    • #3
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:43 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Senseless…

    • #4
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:46 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Henry Racette Contributor

    Man, that’s a tough post to click “like” on, but I want it to be promoted. I love books — and I don’t think I say that about any other inanimate thing. Very sorry to hear this.

    • #5
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:47 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  6. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Lensman: Minnesota’s state government has a moral obligation to cover his loss

    Minnesota is run by Leftists and Leftists don’t have morals or obligations. Power is all that matters.

    • #6
    • June 2, 2020, at 8:52 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    Public schools, Universities, and tech monopolies.

    • #7
    • June 2, 2020, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. James Lileks Contributor

    Eulogies for the store online were promptly tone-policed by tweets that informed us, primly, that books are just paper, not flesh, and bricks are just that, not bones. Also, insurance. As if a check miraculously reconstitutes the eclectic stock of those two stores.

    The ideological bookburners had vengeance in their hearts; the books represented many things, – wrongthink ideas, expressions of cultures they hated, and most of all the idea that someone may know something more than you. The rioters had no such animus. Books, I suspect, were as foreign to them as buggywhips and coal scuttles.

     

    • #8
    • June 2, 2020, at 10:04 PM PDT
    • 38 likes
  9. Mim526 Member

    If they felt up to it, I would like for the White House to schedule a press conference allowing Americans like the owners of this bookstore to briefly talk about the things they have built that were lost. It’s more than paper that was lost: it’s the blood, sweat, and tears of years of work; heart and soul invested into building something for yourself and your family, something you offered to others hoping they would appreciate it as well.

    The fact that our press corps — which is free to do so — does not have these law abiding ordinary Americans on wall to wall coverage reinforces to me the press is part of the insurgency. They wouldn’t have to go far to find these Americans; there are heartbreaking stories all over social media and the internet.

    Instead most of our press intone on racism and the president’s fascist dictatorship, choosing to focus on the rights/privileges of the anarchists looting and rioting in the streets.

    • #9
    • June 2, 2020, at 11:34 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. Arahant Member

    Lensman: For decades Uncle Hugo’s and its co-located operation Uncle Edgar’s have been The independent bookstore for science fiction and mysteries, especially rare books and signed first editions.

    First editions, signed first editions, out-of-print books, all gone up in smoke. We are all poorer this day than we were yesterday. Not just the Twin Cities. Not just the United States. The whole world. Some of our history has been destroyed, never to exist again.

    • #10
    • June 2, 2020, at 11:40 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  11. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    They’re not all men. Ideologically minded women are scarier and more destructive than men in my own humble opinion. 

    • #11
    • June 3, 2020, at 1:05 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Destruction of art is what barbarians do.

    The left has long destroyed art because it is ugly and art reminds it so.

    • #12
    • June 3, 2020, at 2:51 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  13. Lensman Thatcher
    Lensman Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Eulogies for the store online were promptly tone-policed by tweets that informed us, primly, that books are just paper, not flesh, and bricks are just that, not bones. Also, insurance. As if a check miraculously reconstitutes the eclectic stock of those two stores.

    The ideological bookburners had vengeance in their hearts; the books represented many things, – wrongthink ideas, expressions of cultures they hated, and most of all the idea that someone may know something more than you. The rioters had no such animus. Books, I suspect, were as foreign to them as buggywhips and coal scuttles.

    I’ll concede that I evoked the book burning in Nazi Germany in the 1930’s with my title but I think the rioters are trying to destroy artifacts (for lack of a better word) of our civilization. A bookstore is such a repository of our intellectual life that its loss is more poignant than burning down the dentist’s office next door. The fact that the perpetrators don’t give a damn about books puts them in the same category as the Vandals who sacked Rome: barbarians.

    • #13
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:21 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Front Seat Cat Member

    I like the idea of helping to restore these bookstores somehow. This is personal (along with attacking the good law enforcers – it has to stop)! I would be willing to ship some of my old books as a donation. I am sure there are plenty of people across the country who have classics collecting dust that could do the same. I looked at the history of Antifa on Wikipedia and its origins did begin in Germany. Like a sinister sci-fi story, was seeded, spawned and grew, continuing to this day, in spreading its poisonous tentacles into society. We need a giant spray can of Raid to put this group out of business. They cannot be allowed to succeed.

    • #14
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:30 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    They’re not all men. Ideologically minded women are scarier and more destructive than men in my own humble opinion.

    I’ve been shocked at the number of photos showing women engaged in violent acts. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been.

    • #15
    • June 3, 2020, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    In the sci fi series Carreras Legions by Tom Kratman, reporters caught in a warzone are shot as spies.

    • #16
    • June 3, 2020, at 9:02 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    The universities.

    • #17
    • June 3, 2020, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    The shut done doesnt help. Millions of people unemployed with no hope.

    • #18
    • June 3, 2020, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Next to loss of human life and limb, destruction of such irreplaceable things as signed-first-editions of any book or work of art is a crime against humanity. Truly, as said by several of you, the work of barbarians. They need to be put down. With extreme prejudice.

    Asking the City or State to rebuild the stores or provide restitution merely shifts the costs of the destruction to taxpayers–such as the very people harmed. Surely at least some of the deep pockets behind Antifa are known–Soros makes no attempt to hide his support for them. Those are the people who should be made to pay. Same for any of the miscreants arrested. If they don’t have mummy and daddy’s bank accounts to tap, let them work it off in a prison work gang. They owe restitution, not their victims!

    • #19
    • June 3, 2020, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Marjorie Reynolds (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    They’re not all men. Ideologically minded women are scarier and more destructive than men in my own humble opinion.

    I’ve been shocked at the number of photos showing women engaged in violent acts. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been.

    I think (and it’s only a theory) that to get to that point a woman has to invert herself in a way. We don’t have the physical strength of men or the testosterone. Maybe the sense of powerlessness in the face of the world’s injustice can be so tormenting and the wild passion of being involved in a movement makes it all bearable. But if most of us women have at least some nurturing and gentle instincts, getting deep into a culture that flies in the face of that must cause some split in the soul. The women in the Red Army Faction abandoned their children for the revolution. What wouldn’t they do for a noble ideal.

    • #20
    • June 3, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Arahant Member

    Caryn (View Comment):
    Surely at least some of the deep pockets behind Antifa are known–Soros makes no attempt to hide his support for them. Those are the people who should be made to pay. Same for any of the miscreants arrested. If they don’t have mummy and daddy’s bank accounts to tap, let them work it off in a prison work gang. They owe restitution, not their victims!

    Amen!

    • #21
    • June 3, 2020, at 11:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Lensman Thatcher
    Lensman Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    In the sci fi series Carreras Legions by Tom Kratman, reporters caught in a warzone are shot as spies.

    I have spoken with Colonel Kratman at the LibertyCon Science Fiction Convention (annually in Chattanooga – a great con) and he is a no-holds-barred writer with a grittiness based on having been there, done that, during his years in the Army. His military SF has some great insights into the uses and abuses of power by the “good guys” and by people who “need killing.”

    • #22
    • June 3, 2020, at 1:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Lensman Thatcher
    Lensman Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Next to loss of human life and limb, destruction of such irreplaceable things as signed-first-editions of any book or work of art is a crime against humanity. Truly, as said by several of you, the work of barbarians. They need to be put down. With extreme prejudice.

    Asking the City or State to rebuild the stores or provide restitution merely shifts the costs of the destruction to taxpayers–such as the very people harmed. Surely at least some of the deep pockets behind Antifa are known–Soros makes no attempt to hide his support for them. Those are the people who should be made to pay. Same for any of the miscreants arrested. If they don’t have mummy and daddy’s bank accounts to tap, let them work it off in a prison work gang. They owe restitution, not their victims!

    In theory I totally agree with you. However, imposing legal liability on the shadowy funders of Antifa and other conspiracies is going to be a stretched out process with only a slim chance of success. So for small business owners it would be too little, too late.

    I know about going after slippery characters. I spent about 25 years going to seven different courts (some appellate) in the process of collecting on judgment (originally for about $25K). It was not about liability. I was just trying to collect and still it was difficult. In the end it cost the culprit over $125,000 because of judgment interest.

    Criminals almost never pay restitution, even if they are “trust fund babies.” I suggested payment by the State of Minnesota because that is the only way to impose a political cost on Governor Walz who is a left wing screw-up. His decision to NOT enforce law and order was ideologically driven. If the taxpayers have to pick up the tab, maybe they will throw him out of office as a method of “payback.”

    • #23
    • June 3, 2020, at 1:27 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is terrible. 😢

    • #24
    • June 3, 2020, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Duke Powell Coolidge

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    This whole thing saddens me. Where are all these violent young men coming from?

    Mostly the Twin Cities metro area it appears.

    • #25
    • June 3, 2020, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Lensman (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    In the sci fi series Carreras Legions by Tom Kratman, reporters caught in a warzone are shot as spies.

    I have spoken with Colonel Kratman at the LibertyCon Science Fiction Convention (annually in Chattanooga – a great con) and he is a no-holds-barred writer with a grittiness based on having been there, done that, during his years in the Army. His military SF has some great insights into the uses and abuses of power by the “good guys” and by people who “need killing.”

    –he was very good answering some questions for me over the years online. We are connections on Linkedin :)

    • #26
    • June 3, 2020, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to hate the rioters.

    • #27
    • June 6, 2020, at 8:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Hartmann von Aue Member

    For those who are interested in helping rebuild what can be rebuilt, here is the link to the Save Uncle Hugo’s Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/let-us-help-save-uncle-hugo039s?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-159106110191-60120bbd3a4a430d&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B1137-update-supporters-v5b 

    • #28
    • June 7, 2020, at 4:01 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Hartmann von Aue Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Eulogies for the store online were promptly tone-policed by tweets that informed us, primly, that books are just paper, not flesh, and bricks are just that, not bones. Also, insurance. As if a check miraculously reconstitutes the eclectic stock of those two stores.

    The ideological bookburners had vengeance in their hearts; the books represented many things, – wrongthink ideas, expressions of cultures they hated, and most of all the idea that someone may know something more than you. The rioters had no such animus. Books, I suspect, were as foreign to them as buggywhips and coal scuttles.

     

    Gosh, what happened to “Those who burn books will burn people”? 

    • #29
    • June 7, 2020, at 4:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes