|Progressive Calendar 03.05.10||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 04:29:19 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.05.10 blockbuster events weekend 1. Ffunch 3.05 cancelled 2. Women's history 3.05 12noon 3. Palestine vigil 3.05 4:15pm 4. Nobel forum 3.05/3.06 time? 5. Intl Women's Day 3.06 8am 6. Water/health 3.06 9:30am 7. COA workshop 3.06 10am 8. Cuba/arts 3.06 10am 9. CUAPB/special 3.06 1:30pm 10. Northtown vigil 3.06 2pm 11. Memory/art 3.06 7pm 12. Cam Gordon/others - Performance review of chief Dolan/info,action 13. Danene Provencher - Nuke bill S.F. 355 defeated in Senate Committee 14. Jeanne Weigum - Buy a tree for yourself or a park in Ramsey County 15. PC Roberts - Is the recovery real? 16. Don Monkerud - Who runs America? The power of private monopolies 17. Stewart Lawrence - The coming conservative takeover --------1 of 17-------- From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: FFUNCH 3.05 cancelled Instead go hear regular Ffunch member Rhoda Gilman speak - see item 2. --------2 of 17-------- From: League of Women Voters of St. Paul [mailto:amy [at] minofamily.net] Subject: Women's history 3.05 12noon LWVSP Co-sponsors Women's History Month Preservation Talks with Historic Saint Paul Join Historic Saint Paul and the League of Women Voters of St. Paul to explore the history of women in local politics on Friday, March 5 and March 26, from 12:00 pm - 1:30pm at historic Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. Stories of Women in Saint Paul Politics Friday March 5 12:00-1:30 pm 317 Landmark Center | 75 West 5th Street | Saint Paul, MN Saint Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry facilitates presentations by: Ruby Hunt discussing Rosalie Butler former Saint Paul City Councilmember; Rhoda Gilman discussing Emily Gilman Noyes, a YWCA Co-Founder and Suffragist; and Jane McClure discussing Constance Currie, founder of Neighborhood House, Housewives Clubs and Teachers Union Leadership All members of the public are invited to attend. More information is available at www.historicsaintpaul.org or by calling 651-222-3049 (info [at] historicsaintpaul.org). --------3 of 17-------- From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> Subject: Palestine vigil 4.05 4:15pm The weekly vigil for the liberation of Palestine continues at the intersection of Snelling and Summit Aves in St. Paul. The Friday demo starts at 4:15 and ends around 5:30. There are usually extra signs available. --------4 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Nobel forum 3.05/3.06 time? 22nd Annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum: "Striving for Peace: A Question of Will" Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6 Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Avenue South, Minneapolis. Honoring: Martti Ahtisaari, 2008 Nobel Peace Laureate. The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to the former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari for "his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts. These efforts have contributed to a more peaceful world and to 'fraternity between nations' in Alfred Nobel's spirit. "For the past 20 years, Ahtisaari has played a prominent role in resolving several serious and long-lasting conflicts. The program is built on several themes from the laureate's acceptance speech: peace requires engaging all parties with broad and multilevel participation in the peace process; a peace agreement requires the support of a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding and support for civil society; poverty reduction is an essential partner in peacebuilding. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI and to register: Visit www.peaceprizeforum.org. --------5 of 17-------- From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Intl Women's Day 3.06 8am 15th Annual International Women's Day Celebration: "Inspire. Act. Change!" Saturday, March 6, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. University of Minnesota, Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis. The 15th Annual International Women's Day event will celebrate the diversity of Minnesota women, highlight advancements in women's rights and equality, encourage activism, and educate participants about human rights issues that affect girls and women locally, nationally, and internationally. Workshops on women's human rights issues, film screenings, music, visual arts, arts and crafts vendors, and information tables. Join in celebrating the many signs of hope and strength that women's voices bring to a world yearning for peace and justice. Keynote speaker: Leymah Gbowee, a remarkable woman who led the women of Liberia to demand peace and justice for themselves and for their country. Free and open to all. Sponsored by: the Advocates for Human Rights and the Human Rights Program at the U of M. Co- Sponsored by: WAMM and others. FFI and to register: visit www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org . --------6 of 17-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Water/health 3.06 9:30am March 6: The League of Women Voters Minneapolis and others present Protecting our Water - Protecting Our Health: Contaminants in Our Water Supply. 9:30 AM - Noon at Willey Hall, UofM, 225 19th Ave. S. Speakers: Kathy Lee, Hydrologist and Biologist, US Geological Survey; Dr. David Wallenga, Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy; and Paul Gardner, Minnesota State Representative. --------7 of 17-------- From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] usfamily.net> Subject: COA workshop 3.06 10am Workshop Community Owned Agriculture (COA)-- A Step Beyond the CSA Saturday, March 6, 10 am to noon Cahoots Coffee Bar, 1562 Selby Ave., St. Paul (1/2 block east of Snelling) How can city folks farm in the country? What would it take to become a food producer on actual farmland, without living in the country? And why would city folks want to do this, when they can grow food at a community garden close to home, or contract with a CSA farmer, or shop at a farmer's market? Some reasons: * To produce essential crops that need more acreage than the city usually provides, such as grains * To actually own production on a long-term lease or purchase of the land * To invest assets into real, productive property * To become part of a group that works together based on interest and investment, without necessarily doing farm work * To participate in a new type of land and farming reform * To opt further out of the industrial agriculture system * To slowly learn the essentials of farming, if desired, for future purposes This workshop presents a new concept in farming - how to become a co- producer, with others, of food on agricultural land leased or purchased by the group. It describes the first COA effort and how to participate in it. Presenters: Wilhelm and Leslie Reindl Wilhelm grew up on and ran a small dairy farm in southern Germany in the 1960s; Leslie was a board member of the Minnesota Food Assocation in the 1990s and has been active in agricultural issues ever since. They live in St. Paul but also own and garden on an ex-dairy farm in Wisconsin. Sponsored by Wilderness Connections, St. Paul FFI alteravista [at] usfamily.net, 651-633-4410 --------8 of 17-------- From: Anya Achtenberg <aachtenberg [at] gmail.com> Subject: Cuba/arts 3.06 10am Saturday Morning, March 6 ---- Report back from the Writers/Artists/Educators Delegation to Cuba in January 2010 (The request has already come from Cuba for the next trips of writers and artists...hear a bit of what you might be getting yourself into!) Coffee Hour at the Resource Center for the Americas: Report back from the Writers/Artists/Educators Delegation to Cuba in January 2010 Saturday, March 6th 10am - Noon At the Resource Center of the Americas 3019 Minnehaha Ave, downstairs from the Glacier Cafe ---- Minneapolis, MN 55406 Main (612) 276-0788 Fax (612) 605-3252 rcta-info (at) americas.org Presented in English, some translation from Spanish to English available for questions, comments from the audience. "Debe ser cultos para ser libres." Jose Marti We will discuss literary/art and solidarity work combined; the powerful work of novelist Alejo Carpentier; contemporary Cuban literature; joint projects and publishing with Cuban writers; arts-in-education; an overview of this trip and future trips; arts-in-education; dance and the visual arts; Cuban cinema; literacy; Haiti/Cuba relationship and history; regional significance in the Caribbean/Latin America/US/Europe/; and so much more. Who: Anya Achtenberg, novelist and poet; educator; Writing for Social Change: Re-Dream a Just World; MN Cuba Committee member; her 4th trip; travel ban challenger with Pastors for Peace; and organizer of the 2010 Writers and Artists Delegation to Cuba (aachtenberg [at] gmail.com, www.anyaachtenberg.com , 651.214.9248; Greg Klave, active in the Minnesota Cuba Committee and in Pastors for Peace, organizer of the Cuban Film Festival at St. Anthony Main Theater, who has traveled to Cuba 5 times in the last 4 years (gregklave [at] msn.com); Charlie Sugnet, Professor of African Literature and Cinema, co-host of KFAI-radio's African Rhythms show, and perennial demonstrator ( sugnet [at] umn.edu); and JoŽlle Vitiello, Associate Professor and Chair of French and Francophone Studies at Macalester College, who writes about Caribbean literature and culture, especially Haiti, and women writers, and is a member of Haiti Justice Committee (vitiello [at] macalester.edu , vitiellojoelle [at] gmail.com , 651.608.0168. A suggested donation but no one turned away. http://www.americas.org/events/2010/03/06/coffee-hour-report-back-from-writerartisteducation-delegation-to-cuba/ --------9 of 17-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net> Subject: CUAPB/special 3.06 1:30pm Communities United Against Police Brutality Weekly Meeting Saturday at 1:30 p.m. 3100 16th Avenue S, Minneapolis [This is THE CUAPB meeting to come to! -ed] It's been a very full week, with the public hearing on Police Chief Dolan followed by the little CRA meeting that could (CRA chair Bellfield canceled, we had the meeting anyway). Join CUAPB for a very special meeting this Saturday as we plan next steps for challenging the Dolan appointment and the lawbreaking antics of Bellfield and some of the other CRA board members. We'll also be making plans for an action on 4/24 in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal. --------10 of 17-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 3.06 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------11 of 17-------- From: Stevens Square Center for the Arts <ssca [at] stevensarts.org> Subject: Memory/art 3.06 7pm CONJURED MEMORIES NEW NARRATIVE DRAWINGS BY EMERGING ARTIST J. M. CULVER Opening Reception Saturday, March 6 from 7:00 to 11:00pm Featuring live music by Aby Wolf with Josh Granowski Free and open to the public SSCA Gallery hosts this special solo exhibition from March 6 - April 4 J. M. Culver's first solo exhibition *Conjured Memories *is a series of narrative work that depicts childhood memories integrating universal themes of the human condition; a celebration of life at its darkest and brightest points. J. M. Culver narrates her experience of growing up with a schizophrenic grandfather and the impact of this relationship. *Conjured Memories *is a series of life size drawings that provokes the senses with memorable imagery and inspires the mind inviting the viewer to an unforgettable emotional and thoughtful experience. Each drawing is a story in itself, assembled in expressive layers of charcoal and acrylic and rich details, capturing human expression and the moment of memory with sweetness and distress. Built into the narrative are familiar characters, such as Pinocchio, that represent the duality of the real and artificial self and the innocence of childhood. With *Conjured Memories*, J. M. Culver achieves with great skill the immediate and intimate experience of childhood and the tangible expression of memory, sharing an honest and dignified human experience that we all can relate to. Originally from North Carolina, J. M. Culver relocated to Minneapolis a decade ago to attend Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Since attaining her BFA in Painting, she works full time in her studio and plans attending graduate school and opening her own gallery to exclusively feature figurative artwork. SSCA Gallery (Stevens Square Center for the Arts) is privileged to host this important solo exhibition of life size drawings by emerging figurative artist J. M. Culver. A special live performance by ambient vocalist Aby Wolf (named 2009 Best Female Vocalist by City Pages) with upright bassist Josh Granowski compliments the opening reception March 6. J. M. Culver can be contacted directly at info [at] jmculver.com and 612-360-3644. A free opening night reception for Conjured Memories, featuring music by Aby Wolf and Josh Granowski, will be held on March 6, 2010, at SSCA Gallery, from 7-11 pm. Stevens Square Center for the Arts *is located: 1905 Third Avenue South Minneapolis, MN, 55404 This event is free, and open to the public. --------12 of 17-------- From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at] msn.com> Subject: Performance Review of the Police Chief on the Safe City Resolution I thought you might be interested in this. I used it to inform my vote yesterday opposing the reappointment of the Chief. Performance Review of the Police Chief on the "Safe City Resolution," 2006R-542, Endorsing a leadership and accountability framework for ensuring Minneapolis is a Safe Place to Call Home. By Cam Gordon, Council Member, Second Ward When the City Council approved Mayor Rybak's appointment of Timothy Dolan as Chief of Police in 2006, we unanimously passed a "Safe City Resolution," laying out an accountability framework for the new Chief. I committed myself to "evaluate the performance of the Chief of Police" based on the following ten key indicators. I took this commitment seriously, have tracked the performance of the Police Department on these indicators over the last three years, and will base my decision on whether or not to reappoint the Chief in large part on these indicators. Below are my own personal assessments of the Police Department's and Police Chief's performance on each indicator. 1) Incorporate the City's strategies of "Guns, Gangs, Graffiti Gone" and "Crime Reduction: Community Policing, Accountability & Partnership;" into the Department's five-year business plan. Assessment: Good. These strategies have been incorporated into the Department's business plans. 2) Commit to working collaboratively with the Civilian Review Authority (CRA) to reach a shared goal of 100% MPD discipline of sustained CRA complaints and report jointly to the Council on a quarterly basis the number of IA and CRA complaints received, sustained, and the level of discipline imposed. Assessment: Unacceptable. In February of 2006 the City Council created a work group that included 6 Council Members, a Policy Aide to the Mayor, the Interim Director of the Civil Rights Department, the CRA Manager, the Deputy City Attorney, the CRA Board Chair, the city's Chief Labor Negotiator, a representative from the Minneapolis Police Federation and the Assistant Police Chief. The Civilian Review Authority (CRA) Working Group was established to address the recommendations in the report, A Study of the Policy and Process of the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority. The Working Group met 15 times from mid-April through August 2006, and held two sessions for public comment. The group made significant and substantial improvements to the CRA practices, to its relationship to the Police Department and to the CRA ordinance itself. It clearly outlined a path for a more successful and effective Civilian Review Authority that was committed to and dependent on collaboration with the Police Chief and the Department. Regrettably, the most recent CRA report [see ** below] makes very clear that the shared goal of 100% MPD discipline of sustained CRA complaints has not been met, and that the responsibility lies with the Chief. In fact, the discipline rate has been unacceptably low. The case has been made by the Chief that this is due to a number of complaints having been "beyond the reckoning period," but this strikes me as a confusing and inadequate response. The MPD Complaint Process Manual defines the "reckoning period" as: "The period of time in which a previous infraction may be considered for increasing discipline in a current disciplinary action. Also, if a complaint if filed on an employee and the reckoning period for the complaint would already be expired even if the complaint was sustained, the Internal Affairs Unit will not open a formal case on the matter. The complaint will be closed as a preliminary case with the notation "reckoning period expired prior to complaint being filed". The reckoning period is set by the Minneapolis Police Department." There are major problems with using the reckoning period as a reason to not discipline CRA complaints: 1) the purpose of the reckoning period is not to be a "statute of limitations" on infractions, but a period for which a previous infraction may increase the penalty for a subsequent infraction 2) the CRA ordinance does not authorize the Chief to refuse to discipline based on the reckoning period and in fact makes no mention of it whatsoever 3) the fact that the reckoning period is used to guide the decision about whether or not IAU would open a formal case on a given complaint has no bearing on the Chief's responsibilities under the CRA ordinance for dealing with complaints that have been investigated and sustained by the CRA If the Police Chief had followed the recommendations of the CRA work group in a timely and effective manner, and more carefully followed the procedures outlined in the amended CRA ordinance, we could be celebrating a new level of trust and confidence in the department today. Instead, the City's network of Police oversight and the effectiveness of Civilian Review Authority appear to be as ineffective and disregarded by the department as it was prior to the enormous investment of resources put to reforming it in 2006. In the final analysis I have concluded that the Chief's performance on this measure has been unacceptably poor. 3) Review and report findings and recommendations to Public Safety & Regulatory Services regarding the MPD's early warning system to ensure it reflects best practices for identifying officers who may be having problems on the job, intervention systems for those officers, and post-intervention monitoring of identified officers. This early warning system should centralize data from a range of performance criteria that includes but is not limited to resident complaints. Assessment: Unsatisfactory. According to the Chief's own documentation, this system is still being developed, three years after the Safe City Resolution was adopted. The Chief's response refers to working on this system for the past two years, which begs the question: why did MPD wait for a year after the adoption of the Safe City Resolution to start work on this system? 4) Adhere to the Council-adopted plans to diversify the MPD workforce through hiring, promotion and appointment, and retention policies, including as described in the Federal Mediation Agreement. Assessment: Fair. The MPD is now more diverse than it has ever been, as a result of major recent increases in the diversity of recruits. However, there are still concerns in the Department about promotions and how the Chief has anticipated, handled and faced these issues head on. The actions, or lack of actions, that necessitated that the City pay out a $740,000 settlement to a group of Black officers who sued over discrimination in promotion is a case in point. It is clear that much work has been done here but more work must be done to ensure that officers of color, once they are recruited and hired, are given fair promotion opportunities. 5) Commit to end racial profiling as described by the Federal Mediation Agreement by continuing to collect data, adopt explicit policy and procedure to end racial profiling, provide anti-racism training for officers, and set goals for racial profiling tracking and reduction which shall be reported to Public Safety & Regulatory Services. Assessment: Fair. Explicit policy on ending racial profiling has been adopted. Goals for racial profiling tracking and reduction have not been communicated to a Council committee. 6) Implement a community policing plan and set long-term policy and practice changes to improve police-community relations with all communities, which includes working with the Council and Mayor to determine funding for the plan and presenting periodic reports on the plan to Public Safety & Regulatory Services. Assessment: Fair. We have made significant strides in this area. The designation of Sector Lieutenants and liaison officers to serve particular communities has helped. Neighborhood policing plans have been created, although the resident often don't know about, feel their input is valued or embrace these as fully as they could. In many cases, these plans are written not by or in coordination with neighborhood stakeholders, but by MPD employees. The plans do not yet have a significant impact on the allocation of MPD resources. Additionally work that MPD is doing to improve relations with some communities, including work with ex-offenders and specific outreach to East African youth is commendable. However, there have been some actions taken by the Chief have sent the wrong message and have worsened the relationships with some communities of color, This includes the decision to award the officer who shot a young person and the officers who opened fire in the home of an innocent Hmong family, without the appropriate level of sensitivity about how this could be interpreted. These missteps have contributed to a growing, not diminishing, gap between these communities and the MPD and City as a whole. 7) Adopt department performance measures and outcomes that aren't solely about crime rates and reflect these in the Department's business plan. Such performance measures should include: - Case clearance rate goals - Arrest rate goals - Goals for number of cases charged - Develop performance measures to improve city and neighborhood livability as it relates to crime Assessment: Good. These measures have been included in Results Minneapolis reporting. 8) Utilize, evaluate, and improve risk management practices to reduce city liability for police misconduct and other issues. Assessment: Unacceptable. According to Finance Department documents, the MPD has paid out $8,738,999.37 since 1/07. This averages out to $2,912,999.79, which is a substantial increase from the historical yearly average of $1,848,672.75 in the 2003-2006 period. The Chief's claim that "[t]he department has reduced payments in settlements and lawsuits during the last three years" is therefore demonstrably and clearly false. The Department may argue that not all of the incidents for which payouts occurred in the 2007-2009 period occurred since Chief Dolan became interim Chief. This is true. Only $889,163.12 has been paid out based on incidents since he became interim Chief. However, there are clearly incidents that have occurred on his watch that have not yet resulted in a settlement as well. From the data we have to base a judgment on, the Department has not made any significant progress on this indicator. The Chief notes that "[t]he Early Intervention System discussed earlier is also an effort to identify and reduce problematic actions by employees at an early stage," in an attempt to control liability. However, as noted above, this system is not yet operational, three years after the Council identified it as a performance measure for the Chief. 9) Complete all items in the Federal Mediation Agreement and continue to provide regularly scheduled progress reports to Public Safety & Regulatory Services Committee. Assessment: Unsatisfactory. Not all items in the Federal Mediation Agreement have been completed. Depending on whether one uses the Department's tally or the community's tally, either 16 or 55 of 119 items remain unresolved. Since the agreement was allowed to end there appears to be no effort to monitor or complete the remaining items. 10) Honor the Chief's commitment to ongoing communication with the Minneapolis City Council by attending the Public Safety and Regulatory Safety Committee as able and requested. Assessment: Unsatisfactory. The Chief has displayed a willingness to come before Council committees and engage in constructive dialogue. However, MPD has not complied with a number of staff directions and requests from the Council. On several occasions, MPD has responded late or not at all to a Council committee direction or request. Examples include: - On April 1, 2009, the PS&RS committee directed MPD to "report back to PS&RS no later than July 22nd with a report on the current procedure for changing the Police Policy and Procedure Manual; and propose a process for including input from the City Attorney's Office, Police Federation, MPD Staff, the Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Board, City Council and Mayor's Office." MPD reported back not on 7/22/09, but on 9/2/09, and the report was not responsive to the committee's direction, as it did not include a proposed process for including input from the listed stakeholders. - On September 11, 2008, Mayor Rybak and Council President Johnson requested by letter that the MPD "Conduct an After Action Review and produce a report on the RNC, to be completed by the end of October 2008 and provided to the Mayor and Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee. This report will focus on the major incidents that occurred in Minneapolis: the Critical Mass Ride, the Media Party, the Liberty Parade, and the Rage against the Machine Concert. It will also evaluate how downtown security worked overall. It will evaluate how well operations and training protocols were implemented, identify what worked and what did not, and recommend if necessary any policy changes." [Emphasis added]. MPD has not complied with this request. The After Action Review has never been presented to the PS&RS committee, and was made available to committee members only after repeated requests. - In January, 2009, the PS&RS committee directed MPD to "report back at the February 25th PS&RS Meeting with an update, and then on a quarterly basis, on progress made toward implementing the 28 Police Executive Research Forum recommendations and to track progress toward implementation through Results Minneapolis." This report was not presented on 2/25/09, but more than a month later on 4/1/09. Quarterly reports have not been made to committee on "progress made toward implementing the 28 Police Executive Research Forum recommendations." - On July 25, 2007, PS&RS directed MPD to "explore the creation of a 'Bait Bicycle' program to catch and deter bicycle thieves in the City of Minneapolis, with a report back to the PS&RS Committee in no less than two months with an analysis of the costs involved in such a program and recommendations for Council action." No report on a bait bicycle program has ever been presented to a Council committee featuring "an analysis of the costs involved in such a program and recommendations for Council action." --end Gordon-- ** The "CRA Participation in Performance Review of MPD Chief Dolan" is at: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cra/docs/CRA-Board_Chief-Dolan_review_2009.pdf -- Mpls citizens! 1. Call or email your council member - ASAP and before 3.12 - and urge them to vote AGAINST DOLAN for reappointment!: Kevin Reich, Ward 1 kevin.reich [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Cam Gordon, Ward 2 cam.gordon [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Diane Hofstede, Ward 3 diane.hofstede [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Barb Johnson, Ward 4 barbara.johnson [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Don Samuels, Ward 5 don.samuels [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Robert Lilligren, Ward 6 robert.lilligren [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Lisa Goodman, Ward 7 lisa.goodman [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Elizabeth Glidden, Ward 8 elizabeth.glidden [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Gary Schiff, Ward 9 gary.schiff [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Meg Tuthill, Ward 10 meg.tuthill [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us John Quincy, Ward 11 john.quincy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Sandra Colvin Roy, Ward 12 sandra.colvin.roy [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Betsy Hodges, Ward 13 betsy.hodges [at] ci.minneapolis.mn.us Phone number for all is 612-673-22xx where xx is the Ward number, examples: Keven Reich 612-673-2201, Betsy Hodges 612-673-2213 2. Come to the special CUAPB meeting this Saturday - see item 9. 3. See news sources: From: Tom Cleland <tomcleland [at] comcast.net> Subject: We made the news KSTP-TV: Public hearing includes criticism, praise for MPD chief http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1447727.shtml?cat=206 MPR: Dolan reappointment moves forward after public hearing http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/03/04/dolan-appointment-hearing/ --------13 of 17-------- From: Danene Provencher PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nuke bill S.F. 355 defeated in Senate Committee A key vote on the future of expanded nuclear power in Minnesota has been put on hold. A senate committee tabled discussion about a plan to lift the moratorium on new nuclear power in the state - WCCO Read more here: Bill To Lift Minn. Nuclear Plant Ban Put On Hold - wcco.com Here's the video on today's committee hearing: Minnesota Senate We Won This Round! Thank you for those who made the calls, Danene --------14 of 17-------- From: Jeanne Weigum <JW [at] ansrmn.org> Subject: Purchase a tree for yourself or a park in Ramsey County 2010 Tree Sale Underway The annual tree sale by Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County is underway. There are great prices on trees and shrubs for planting in private yards, or to donate to parks. Check our web site for communities which accept our trees for their parks. This year's sale includes: TREES: Autumn Blaze Maple; Bicolor White Oak; Black Hills Spruce; Pagoda Dogwood; Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn; Mount Royal Plum; Honeycrisp Apple. SHRUBS: Arrowwood Viburnum; Little Lamb Hydrangea; Blue Velvet Hypericum; Miss Canada Lilac; Hope for Humanity Rose. VINE: Wisteria Aunt Dee. Prices range from $15.00 to $45.00. Prepaid orders are taken until April 17. Trees are picked up on Saturday, May 1, at either the Highland Park Picnic pavilion. 1200 Montreal Ave., or the Ramsey County Parks office, 2015 No. Van Dyke, Maplewood. Park systems pick up and plant donated trees. Consult our website; www.friendsoftheparks.org for more information, or call 651-698-4543. --------15 of 17-------- Going Nowhere Is the Recovery Real? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS March 4, 2010 CounterPunch Happy news! The government has come up with a 5.9 percent GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. The recession is over. Or is it? Statistician John Williams has informed us that 69 percent of this growth, or 4.1 percentage points, is the result of inventory accumulation. That leaves a 1.8 percent growth rate, and the 1.8 percent is likely due to the underestimate of inflation and other statistical problems. The Federal Reserve's own monetary evidence contradicts the recovery assurances from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. The Federal Reserve continues to pour massive reserves into the banks. The monetary base, which consists of currency in circulation and bank reserves (the basis for new loans), has surged from $850 billion in 2009 to $2.2 trillion on February 24. Despite this potential for massive new money creation, the broadest measure of money growth is still contracting. The banks are too impaired and so are consumers for the banks to create new money by making loans. The economy, in other words, is going nowhere. As I have emphasized for years, an economy that moves its high productivity, high value-added jobs offshore is going nowhere but down. Except for the super-rich, there has been no growth in people's incomes for a decade. To substitute for the missing income growth, consumers took on more debt. The growth in consumer debt kept the economy going. However, most consumers have now reached their maximum debt load, and millions went beyond their limit, resulting in foreclosures and lost homes. There are no jobs to which people can be called back to work. The jobs have been given to the Chinese and Indians. The economy is set for a "double-dip," that is, renewed decline. This, of course, means larger federal, state, and local budget deficits. The U.S. federal deficit is now so large that it can no longer be financed by the trade surpluses of China, Japan, and OPEC. Currently the deficit is being financed by deterioration in the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. The Fed is creating new reserves for the banks (thus the surge in the monetary base) in exchange for the bank's toxic financial instruments. The banks are using the reserves to purchase Treasury debt instead of making new loans. This makes money for the banks, but does not grow the economy or create jobs for the millions of unemployed. According to reports, recent auctions of Treasury debt have not gone well. China, America's biggest creditor, has reduced its participation and is even selling some of its existing holdings. Whenever all of a new Treasury debt offering is not taken, the Federal Reserve buys the remainder. This results in debt monetization. The Fed pays for the bonds by creating new checking accounts for the Treasury, in other words, by printing money. On February 24, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the U.S. faced a serious debt crisis and that the Fed was not going to print money in order to pay the government's bills. In fact, Bernanke would have no choice but to print money. Bernanke's warning to Congress is his way of adding Federal Reserve pressure to that of Wall Street and former Treasury Secretary Paulson for Congress to balance the budget by gutting Social Security and Medicare. In case you haven't noticed, no one in Washington or New York talks about cutting trillion dollar wars or trillion dollar handouts to rich bankers. They only talk about taking things away from little people. It is not the Bush/Cheney, Obama, neocon wars that are in the cross hairs; it is Social Security and Medicare. Other Obama economic officials, such as White House economist Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary, have called for a middle class tax increase. The problem with this "solution" is that a good part of the middle class is now jobless and homeless. Money will have to be found somewhere if the Fed is to avoid printing it. During the Clinton administration a Treasury official proposed a 15 percent capital levy on all private pensions to make up for their tax deferral status. This idea didn't fly, but today a desperate government, which has wasted $3 trillion invading countries that pose no danger to the U.S. and wasted more trillions of dollars combatting a crisis brought on by the government's failure to regulate the financial sector, is likely to steal people's pensions as well as to gut Social Security and Medicare. The reason is that the dollar's role as reserve currency is at stake. If the Federal Reserve has to monetize the federal deficit, the world will turn its back on a rapidly depreciating dollar. The minute the dollar loses the reserve currency role, the U.S. can no longer pay its bills in its own currency, and its days as a superpower come to a sudden end. Wars can't be financed, and Washington's pursuit of world hegemony will hit a brick wall. The power-mad denizens of DC will do anything to further the expansion of their world empire. Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts [at] yahoo.com --------16 of 17--------- The Power of Private Monopolies Who Runs America? By DON MONKERUD March 4, 2010 CounterPunch Although some Americans worry about the growing power of the government, few understand the real power that controls their everyday lives. Private monopolies determine the brand of breakfast cereal we eat, the type of car we drive, where we bank, the medical treatment we receive, the fashion of our clothes, and the kind of toothbrush we use, in addition to the beer we drink, the health insurance we buy, and what we feed our pets. Under the guise of "the free market," conglomerates merged and bought up smaller companies, until, today, they dominate their respective markets in every commodity offered for sale in the U.S. In this race to consolidate, companies "rationalized" their offerings, in many cases dropping up to 40 percent of what they formerly produced. They buy from the same suppliers, use interchangeable parts and common ingredients, and re-name similar brands, essentially placing the same product in different packages. For example, one company produces all of the pet food under 150 different brands. "People say we have an uncontrolled free market but we have the opposite," says Barry C. Lynn, senior fellow at the New American Foundation. "What we have today is a laissez faire American version of feudalism; a private government in the form of private corporations run by private individuals who consolidated power to govern entire activities within our political economy." In a new book, "Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and The Economics of Destruction," Lynn describes the many past struggles in America between small elite oligarchies and democratic government. Throughout our history, Americans have beaten back the attempts of monopolies to control various industries. The Boston Tea Party fought to overturn monopolization of commerce by the private British East India Company. Alexander Hamilton's attempt to help his friends out with the whiskey tax, led to the Whiskey Rebellion. People acting through government prevented a small elite from controlling our railroads, steel mills, the oil industry and other concentrations of power. "In the case of railroads, people realized they could consolidate power discriminating against some companies by charging them higher rates and stripping them of cash," says Lynn. "The American people then decided that if you had a monopoly hauling goods, you have to charge everyone the same rate. We used our government to keep them from consolidating political and economic power." According to Lynn's research, early Americans made decisions to balance power between farmers, consumers and the market itself. This is why we created "open and public markets." Labor, managers, engineers, shareholders, and local communities ran our corporations, which are social institutions. The ultimate function of a well-regulated open-market system is not to ensure an 'efficient' distribution of resources, but "to reveal, harness, and direct power within a society in order to ensure the widest possible distribution of political freedom and the greatest possible degree of political and economic stability," says Lynn. With the election of Ronald Reagan, Conservatives redefined "free enterprise" to mean the unfettered power of an individual to amass as much wealth as possible, while liberals sought to use planning and efficiency to lower costs, even if it resulted in the loss of some economic freedom. Using theories developed by Chicago School of Economics leaders such as Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan, Reagan directed the Justice Department to base anti-trust decisions on a vision of efficiency as measured solely by lowered costs. "Before Ronald Reagan we accepted inefficiencies to protect a free political system," says Lynn. "In 1981, we changed laws to a consumer welfare test, measured by price and economies of scale; hence, any consolidation can appear to promote the welfare of the consumer. Unlimited growth was made acceptable. This was a revolutionary overthrow of our antimonopoly laws." Today libertarian think tanks such as the CATO Institute, serve as "the vanguard of a neofeudalist movement" to attack democratic government. They and other conservative propagandists have spent $30 billion in the past 30 years to promote their agenda and convince people that massive layoffs, foreign competition, and higher prices are the result of "natural free-market forces." Squeezed from all sides, some Americans react by becoming corporate shock troops attacking their own government. "Those who control our corporations managed an Orwellian achievement to redefine the use of brute corporate force as 'market forces,'" says Lynn. "We still believe in a consumer utopia, but we have an illusion of choice. Corporate powers manipulate our decision-making and direct us to buy certain goods at certain prices." Institutional power shifted to Wall Street and large financial institutions. Today a small elite runs corporations to serve themselves as they concentrate their power. Some Americans are waking up to the reality of their situation, but Congress lacks the will to regulate corporate power. "If we choose to protect our republican way of government, which depends on the separation of powers within our economy and our political system-then we have only one choice, says Lynn. "We must restore antitrust law to its central role in protecting our economic rights and breaking up dangerous concentrations of power." --------17 of 17-------- The Coming Conservative Takeover Is Obama Already a Lame Duck? By STEWART J. LAWRENCE March 2, 2010 CounterPunch Barack Obama's presidency is barely a year old, and the November mid-term elections are still nine months away. Yet despite the brave face worn by the White House in recent weeks, Democrats are facing a disaster of mounting proportions. If current trends hold, they may well lose control of the House of Representatives - a stunning collapse given their current 40 vote lead. Even worse, what seemed like a near-impossibility just a month ago - a GOP reconquest of the Senate - has become increasingly "thinkable" also. Political handicapper Charlie Cook, not one for wild-eyed predictions, has identified 11 Democratic Senate seats Republicans might win based on current polling. If they win at least 10, and also retain control of their current 41 Senate seats, which seems likely, the Senate is theirs. The White House, still obsessed with its manifestly unpopular health care reform bill, is in a state of political denial so deep that not even Senator Evan Bayh's (D-IN) shocking retirement two weeks ago - following similar announcements by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) in recent months - has managed to pierce its defensive wall. A growing number of critics are urging Obama to fire his top staff, including White House advisor Rahm Emmanuel, whom they blame for the health care debacle, and DNC chief Tim Kaine, who funded the Democrats' failed election campaigns in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Those failures have allowed Republicans to regain the political initiative, and have caused deep disenchantment among House Democrats who must now face the music with voters. All 435 House seats are in contention this fall, but at least 100 seats held by Democratic incumbents are considered "competitive," sources say. For all their recent posturing, Obama and his team know they're in trouble. But their reliance on legislative window-dressing - like the proposed $15 billion "jobs" bill, which is anything but one, in fact - suggests they continue to underestimate the depth and source of public discontent. The current conjuncture is reminiscent of two earlier pendulum "swing" periods in American presidential politics. Ronald Reagan in 1982 and Bill Clinton 1994 both faced angry voters during mid-term years and their respective parties lost control of one (Reagan) or both (Clinton) legislative chambers. Clinton was so chastened by his party's defeat that he quickly tacked right, embraced welfare reform and NAFTA, and drove a stake into the heart of American liberalism. Obama is approaching his own Clinton-like crisis, but his predicament is worse. Most of the base groups that helped him win in 2008 - labor, Latinos, peace activists, and most recently, environmentalists - feel demoralized and betrayed. Labor never got the "card check" legislation it wanted, but Obama went ahead and signed three new free-trade deals that lack the domestic worker protections he'd promised during the campaign. Latinos who were hoping for serious action on immigration reform are also bitterly disappointed. First they were first promised reform during Obama's first year in office; then, in 2010; now the issue appears to be dead. Obama has also caved into his generals on Afghanistan and backed the right-wing golpistas in Honduras. More recently, he broke a campaign pledge by publicly embracing nuclear power. Liberal base groups aren't ready to break with Obama - and Obama knows it. But without their enthusiastic support - and money, especially labor's - dozens of House Democratic candidates - and now, quite a few Senate candidates - will have to fend for themselves. Moreover, younger voters, 18-29 years of age, whose turnout made such a critical difference in 2008, are fast cooling toward Obama, and won't show up in large numbers to vote this fall, even if Obama asks them. Of course, Obama is not the first Democratic president to disappoint liberals. But there's usually a pay-off for abandoning your base - increased support from the center. But independents, especially white suburban voters, are abandoning Obama in droves. In November 2008, Obama enjoyed approval ratings of 70% or more, including 65% among independents. But a poll conducted by Marist earlier this month found that Obama's overall approval rating at the lowest of his presidency - 44% - with the figure just 29% among independents. Obama's personal popularity, or "favorability" rating, among independents, is also slipping - to just 39%, compared to 50% among the population at large. There are two reasons why a Clinton-like shift to the center-right probably won't help Obama. First, the country is not in a "normal" recession, or even a deep structural one of the kind that threatened Reagan's presidency in 1982. It's a borderline depression, and the unofficial jobless rate, currently at 18-20% and getting worse, may not improve substantially by 2012. Reagan also faced double-digit unemployment in 1982, but the official rate was back to 7% within a year. Without such a quick turnaround, Democrat Walter Mondale, who was leading Reagan in the polls throughout 1983, might have won the presidential election in 1984. Clinton, like Obama, also faced an economic slump early in his first term, on top of a health care reform debacle. But unlike Obama, he learned from his mistake. Clinton shelved health care reform and focused on priming the economy, which recovered. He then consolidated support from independents, and like Reagan, went on to a landslide re-election. The longer Obama holds onto health care - on the desperate assumption that passing anything is better than nothing - the more swing voters are likely to punish him at the polls. But it's not just the persistent recession - and health care reform - that's hurting Obama. The nation's politics are also in a deep funk - the deepest since Watergate. Confidence in the US Congress - and indeed in any federal political institution save the military - is at an all-time low. A new mood of populist angst and disenchantment is sweeping much of the country. Symbolized by the sudden rise of the Tea Party movement, the new mood is distinctly conservative, but still oddly non-partisan. Despite receiving early financial support from conservative interest groups, the Tea Party it's not (yet) beholden to the GOP but is following a political dynamic all its own. The closest analogy - in spirit and substance - might be the populist anti-establishment revolt led H. Ross Perot in 1992 that morphed into the most successful independent presidential campaign in US history. Perot shocked the American political establishment by running neck-and-neck in the polls with Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, eight months before the presidential election. Then Perot stumbled, briefly pulled out of the race, and urged his supporters to back Clinton, which they largely did. Though Perot rejoined the race, he never recovered his earlier level of support, but neither did Bush. Republicans, perhaps mindful of the Perot "precedent," are desperately trying to channel the grassroots energy of the Tea Party movement into their own efforts to revitalize the GOP. And so far, it's working. Sarah Palin just headlined the national Tea Party Convention in Denver where she extolled the movement's political independence but still urged its members to work with the GOP. Back in Washington, meanwhile, organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual conservative GOP convocation, handed their podia over to Tea Party Senate primary candidates in Arizona (J.D. Hayworth) and Florida (Marco Rubio). Their more well-known GOP opponents, John McCain and Charlie Crist, were snubbed. Some in the Tea Party are likely to resist a longer-term marriage with the GOP - or with any party, for that matter - but the foundation for a broad conservative "convergence" is now being laid. There are other, equally disturbing, signs that a conservative sea-change is underway that could threaten Democratic control not only of Congress, but of the White House. For example: For the first time in years, major corporate funding is shifting away from the Democrats and back to the GOP. This means that the "smart" money is no longer riding on Obama. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a national watchdog group, the wealthy securities and investment industry went from donating 2 to 1 to Democrats over Republicans at the start of 2009 to a 50-50 distribution by the end of last year. Commercial banks, meanwhile, have returned to their traditional tilt in favor of the GOP after a brief dalliance with Democrats, giving nearly twice as much to Republicans during the last three months of 2009. Most of these shifts pre-date Obama's rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, suggesting growing corporate doubts about Obama's "viability". A new "think tank" - the American Action Foundation (AAF) - has emerged to start churning out conservative policy dogma, much like the Heritage Foundation did in the early 1980s to support the incoming Reagan administration. Fred Malek, a super-rich Texas Republican who helped launch George W. Bush's presidential campaign, is providing most of AAF's start-up funding. Veteran GOP operatives Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie are spear-heading the group's political direction. AAF plans to downplay the right's social issues agenda while offering up "new" Republican approaches to the economy that can keep the GOP on a roll, eventually wooing independents to a "center-right" presidential candidate like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty. Dovetailing with these developments is the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on election financing that lifts the ban on massive corporate funding of U.S. political campaigns. Most of the new corporate-funded candidates are likely to be either Republicans or ultra-conservative Democrats, further marginalizing progressive ideas and voices. By 2012, the large money advantage that Obama and the Democrats enjoyed in 2008 - largely through Internet fund-raising - will vanish. In short, for all the talk of a shift in the nation's "zeitgeist" that occurred in 2008, it's not clear that Obama and the Democrats will inherit this shift. With the left largely demobilized, passively awaiting "friendly" executive action, the right has stepped into the political void to co-opt the "change" mantle, while casting Obama and the Democrats as agents of the status-quo. If the liberal-left were less wedded to Obama, and to "statist" politics generally, it might be possible to enjoin the Tea party in a broader debate about the current crisis in US politics - its sources, and possible solutions. Instead, the Tea Party's growing "convergence" with the GOP is eerily reminiscent of the way the 1980s New Right, libertarian Republicans and neo-conservative Democrats joined forces to sweep Ronald Reagan to power. The Right still lacks a compelling Reagan-like figure - and an over-arching political agenda - to compete with Obama in 2012. But if current trends hold, that may be only a matter of time. In a recent Gallup poll, 73% of respondents said the country was "moving in the wrong direction" - a sentiment that just two years ago helped catapult Obama to the presidency. In the same poll, a "generic" GOP candidate - in effect, any Republican - was viewed as a more attractive presidential candidate than Obama. In fact, 52% of the country - including a growing percentage of Democrats - now says Obama "doesn't deserve" to be re-elected. Stewart J. Lawrence is a Washington, DC-based immigration policy specialist. He can be reached at stewartlawrence81147 [at] gmail.com. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments vote third party for president for congress now and forever Socialism YES Capitalism NO To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 Research almost any topic raised here at: CounterPunch http://counterpunch.org Dissident Voice http://dissidentvoice.org Common Dreams http://commondreams.org Once you're there, do a search on your topic, eg obama drones
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