Progressive Calendar 03.10.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 03:27:34 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    03.10.10

1. Freedom of info     3.10 11am

3. Sen John Marty - Corporations are NOT people
4. Jeremy Hammond - Washington Post: "lunatic" 9/11 "conspiracy theorists"

--------1 of 4--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: Freedom of information 3.10 11am

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION DAY: Celebrating Access to Government
KFAI - 90.3FM-Minneapolis/106.7FM Saint Paul and STREAMING at

The annual Freedom of Information Day is upon us March 16, sponsored by
the Minnesota Council on Government information (MN-COGI). You'd think
this would not be a necessary day, but government at all levels, remains
hell-bent on classifying or labeling as private or secret or confidential
much of the information that should be made public.  Freedom of
Information Day is also the time when MN-COGI presents its annual John R.
Finnegan Freedom of Information Award, given to an individual whose work
is dedicated to opening up government and the public realm to all of us.

TTT' ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN talk with this year's awardee and
the man for whom that award is named plus a couple of otherFOI activists
with MN-COGI about just what we can all do to demand openness in
government business and ensuring the public receives the information it
deserves in a democracy.

 JOHN R. FINNEGAN - retired Editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press
 REED ANFINSON - Publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News, Benson, MN;
Winner of the 2010 Finnegan Award
 MARY TREACY - Executive Director of the Minnesota Council on Government
 ART HUGHES - Veteran Minnesota Journalist and MN-COGI Board Member

--------2 of 4--------

Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2010 21:10:19 -0600
From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: URGENT CUAPB ACTION 3.10 2pm+

Communities United Against Police Brutality
March 9, 2010

House Civil Justice Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 10
10 State Office Building
State Capitol Complex, St. Paul
Meeting lasts from 8:30 a.m., will reconvene at 6 p.m. to finish agenda
(this item is near the end of the agenda)

HF2609 would eliminate access to information about complaints against
staff at secure treatment facilities and state correctional facilities
(prisons), effectively wiping out access to the complaint histories of
prison guards.  This is one step away from wiping out access to complaints
against cops.

CUAPB is 100% against this law and any others like it.  In addition to
taking on complaints against cops, we take on complaints dealing with
mistreatment at the jails and prisons, which is even harder to deal with
because there is no agency to file a complaint about brutal jailers and
these cases are even harder to fight.  The community must have access to
the complaint history of jailers.

To put this in context, anyone can get the complaint history of a teacher,
worker at the state tax office, etc.  Why should jailers be any different.

Please try to attend this meeting and be prepared to speak out against
this terrible bill.  It's uncertain what time the bill will be heard but
given the length of the agenda
( and scroll
down on the right), it's pretty safe that

**you could get there about 2 p.m., maybe later, and not miss it**.

If you're not able to attend, please call the legislators listed on the
committee web page and tell them to vote NO to HF2609.

(Thissen) Disclosure of disciplinary records limited.


  Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 13.43, subdivision 5a,
is amended to read:
1.6    Subd. 5a. Limitation on disclosure of certain personnel data.
1.7any other provision of this section, the following data relating
to employees of a secure
1.8treatment facility defined in section 253B.02, subdivision 18a,
employees of a state
1.9correctional facility, or employees of the Department of
Corrections directly involved in
1.10supervision of offenders in the community, shall not be disclosed
to facility patients,
1.11corrections inmates, or other individuals who facility or
correction administrators
1.12reasonably believe will use the information to harass,
intimidate, or assault any of
1.13these employees: place where previous education or training
occurred; place of prior
1.14employment; existence and status of any complaints or charges
against the employee,
1.15regardless of whether the complaint or charge resulted in
disciplinary action; final
1.16disposition of any disciplinary action together with the specific
reasons for the action and
1.17data documenting the basis of the action; and payroll timesheets
or other comparable data,
1.18to the extent that disclosure of payroll timesheets or other
comparable data may disclose
1.19future work assignments, home address or telephone number, the
location of an employee
1.20during nonwork hours, or the location of an employee's immediate
family members.

Communities United Against Police Brutality 3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407 Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867) Meetings: Every Saturday
at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South

--------3 of 4--------

From: Senator John Marty <info [at]>
Subject: Corporations are NOT People

People tend to shrug off change in our political process. Money in
politics? Corporate lobbyists "fixing" legislation? Some people think it's
simply the way our system will always be.

It doesn't have to be. We can have a different kind of government, a
different kind of politics. For two decades, I've been working to take
money out of politics and restore people's faith in government. As
Governor, I will lead Minnesota in reclaiming democracy for the public
interest, not the special Interests.

When Ronald Reagan took office there was a shift in this country, from
"government can help us solve our problems," to "government is the
problem." Republicans endlessly repeat the rhetoric about the evils of Big

But the real problem today is big corporations. Their money dominates our
political process, our news media, and so many other parts of our lives.
And now the U.S. Supreme Court has found a problem none of us knew existed
-- they think there is not enough corporate money in politics! They ruled
corporations can pour unlimited amounts of corporate money directly into
our political process. Insurance companies and the pharmaceutical lobby
have been spending millions to block health care reform at the federal and
state level, and now they have been given the green light to contribute
even more.

That's why I've led the fight for government ethics and campaign finance
reform. In the early 1990s, I passed a major campaign finance reform bill
to restrict special interest money in politics. I authored and fought for
the law banning lobbyist gifts to politicians. Today, I continue that
fight with my legislation to stop the Revolving Door which allows public
officials to become lobbyists after leaving office. This critical piece of
legislation is on the Minnesota Senate floor now.

As governor, my Clean Money campaign finance reform plan will be front and
center on the state's agenda. We will pass, and I will sign, this
legislation, which will be a powerful response to the increasing flow of
corporate money to politics as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.

I am the only candidate for governor who has rejected all PAC and lobbyist
money. I have stood up to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical lobby
in creating the single-payer Minnesota Health Plan. I will enter the
governor's office without being beholden to any special interest group,
and will set Minnesota's agenda to serve the public's interest, not the
corporation's interests.

Corporations are not people.  Corporations were originally created to
serve the needs of people, not the other way around.

With your help, we can win this race and return our government to the
people of Minnesota. Please join me in restoring government of the people,
by the people, and for the people.

--------4 of 4--------

The Washington Post on "Lunatic" 9/11 "Conspiracy Theorists"
by Jeremy R. Hammond
March 9th, 2010
Dissident Voice

An editorial in the Washington Post yesterday slammed Japanese member of
parliament Yukihisa Fujita because he "seems to think that America's
rendering of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, is a gigantic hoax". His
"ideas" about the terrorist attacks "are too bizarre, half-baked and
intellectually bogus to merit serious discussion".

Fujita, the editorial added, is a member of "the lunatic fringe" who "have
spawned a thriving subculture of conspiracy theorists at home and abroad",
and "his views, rooted as they are in profound distrust of the United
States, seem to reflect a strain of anti-American thought". The piece
closes by suggesting that the "fact-averse" Fujita should be removed from

Among Fujita's "bizarre" views are "that shadowy forces with advance
knowledge of the plot played the stock market to profit from it", "the
fantastic idea that eight of the 19 hijackers are alive and well", and
"that controlled demolition rather than fire or debris may be a more
likely explanation for at least the collapse of the building at 7 World
Trade Center".

Yet while serving out a hit piece against the global "9/11 Truth"
movement, it is in fact the editors of the Washington Post who are
demonstrably "fact-averse".

It happens to be an uncontroversial fact that in the days just prior to
the attacks, there was a dramatic increase in trade on put options, and
what made this unusual spike even more mysterious was that it was observed
only in relation to companies directly affected by the attacks, including
United Airlines, American Airlines, and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.
(which occupied 22 floors of 2 World Trade Center).

That this occurred was, in fact, mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report,
which reported that the federal investigations into the suspicious trading
concluded that it was all "innocuous". Many of the trades on the airline
companies, for instance, were traced to a "single U.S.-based institutional
investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda".

In other words, the report acknowledges that the suspicious trades did, in
fact, occur, but dismisses this as evidence of foreknowledge because the
investigation didn't lead to the proper predetermined culprits. This is
illustrative of the kind of standard the 9/11 Commission employed
throughout its so-called "investigation".

The "fantastic" idea that the identity of the hijackers named by the FBI
is in question is an interesting case. At the time, the Washington Post
had also subscribed to this "half-baked" notion. On September 20, 2001,
under the headline "Some Hijackers' Identities Uncertain", the Post
reported, "FBI officials said yesterday that some of the 19 terrorists who
carried out last week's assault on New York and Washington may have stolen
the identities of other people, and their real names may remain unknown".

Among the evidence for this, the Post cited "Saudi government officials"
as having determined "that at least two of the terrorists used the names
of living, law-abiding Saudi citizens". The man in the picture of one of
the alleged hijackers, the Post reported, was Salem Al-Hazmi, who was
actually alive and well, according to Gaafar Allagany, the chief of the
Saudi Embassy's information office in Washington. The real Al-Hazmi's
"passport was stolen by a pickpocket on a trip to Cairo three years"
before. Another of the alleged hijackers was Abdulaziz Al-Omari, who,
Allagany said, was also alive and "an electrical engineer in Saudi

"The uncertainty", the Post continued, "highlights how difficult it may be
to ever identify some of the hijackers who participated in the deadliest
act of violence on American soil. Most of the hijackers' bodies were
obliterated in the fiery crashes".

The Washington Post was not the only mainstream media outlet to report on
the uncertainty over the hijacker's identities. It was widely reported
elsewhere, both in the U.S. and international media.

The U.K.'s Guardian, for instance, reported on September 21 under the
headline "False identities mislead FBI" that "The FBI acknowledged
yesterday that some of the terrorists involved in the attacks last week
were using false identities", with regard to Al-Hazmi and Al-Omari.

FBI acknowledgment of this was also reported by the BBC the same day under
the headline "FBI probes hijackers' identities". The BBC also reported on
September 22 under the headline "Hijack 'suspect' alive in Morocco" that
Waleed Al-Shehri, another alleged hijacker, the "same Mr Al-Shahri" whose
photo the FBI had released as being among the terrorists, "has turned up
in Morocco, proving clearly that he was not a member of the suicide

On September 23, under the headline "Hijack 'suspects' alive and well",
the BBC reported that yet "Another of the men named by the FBI as a
hijacker ... has turned up alive and well" and that "The identities of
four of the 19 suspects ... are now in doubt". FBI Director Robert Mueller
also "acknowledged ... that the identity of several of the suicide
hijackers is in doubt".

The London Telegraph similarly ran a story on September 23 entitled
"Revealed: the men with stolen identities".

The Washington Post itself ran a follow-up article on September 25
entitled "Some Light Shed On Saudi Suspects", reporting that "U.S.
investigators believe they have positively identified 15 of the 19
hijackers", but that the identify of the other four was still in question.

On September 27, even while releasing the official list of hijackers along
with their photos, the FBI confirmed that uncertainty remained over some
of the identities. Mueller acknowledged that the FBI was still
"determining whether when these individuals came to the United States
these were their real names, or they changed their names for use with
false identification in the United States; that false identification being
used up to and on the day of September 11th, and that false identification
used to purchase the tickets, and thereby being the name on the manifests
of the planes that went down".

Yet, despite these facts, neither the Washington Post nor any other
mainstream media outlet has ever offered any follow-up reports explaining
whether, and how, this uncertainty was finally resolved. The FBI has never
clarified this matter to the public. The 9/11 Commission didn't so much as
even address the question, even to attempt to clear up the matter.

And so it remains an uncontroversial fact, as far as the public is
concerned, that the identify of at least several of the hijackers remains
in question. Why the government has refused to clarify this issue, and why
the media now report anyone who doesn't have a short memory about 9/11 as
being part of a "lunatic fringe" are also open questions that warrant some
kind of explanation.

Finally, there is the matter of the collapse of the World Trade Center
buildings. Many people might be surprised to learn that not only two
towers fell on September 11. In fact, a third skyscraper also collapsed
that day neatly into its own footprint. It is also an uncontroversial fact
that proper investigative procedures for such disasters, particularly in
cases where a crime has been committed, were contemptuously ignored in the
case of the WTC.

For starters, the evidence from the crime scene in the form of the remains
of the three buildings was removed and immediately destroyed. Destruction
of evidence is, itself, a crime, and yet that is what happened. Other
standard procedures were also ignored, such as testing for any kinds of
accelerants that may have been responsible for the building failures.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released
what is supposed to be the conclusive report on the building collapses.
Yet, the explanation it provides, too, is inadequate, to say the least.
The computer models NIST offers for the collapse of WTC 7, for instance,
look just like one would expect them to, for the kind of collapse NIST
says occurred there. You first see one load-bearing column fail, leading
to the progressive failure of other columns until the entire structure has
eventually crumbled.

The problem is that these models look absolutely nothing like the actual
collapse, documented on video. A simple look at any available footage of
the collapse is enough to demonstrate that all major load-bearing columns
of the building failed nearly simultaneously. You see the penthouse of the
building sinking into the core just seconds before the entire structure,
all perimeter columns, fail at precisely the same instant, causing the
building to collapse straight down  at free-fall acceleration into what
should have been the path of greatest resistance according to NIST's own

The similarities to videos of building "implosions" under controlled
demolition are astonishing. Yet NIST dismisses the possibility that
charges could have been used largely on the basis that, if this had been
+the case, there would have been eyewitness reports of the explosions. The
problem with this is that there were, in fact, a great many eyewitness
reports of explosions, both prior to and during the collapse.

NIST also completely ignored the actual leading alternative hypothesis,
which was that a substance called thermite (or its U.S. Department of
Defense-patented variation, thermate) may have been used to cut the
building's columns, rather than, or in conjunction with, traditional
explosive demolitions. Evidence for this hypothesis comes not only in form
of empirical observation about the actual nature of the collapse from
video footage (including the presence of molten steel), but also in traces
of what appears to be thermite in the dust from the collapses.

Independent scientific inquiries into the collapse have led to the
discovery of "distinctive red/gray chips in all of the samples" that, when
studied, all showed "marked similarities" and were "found to be an
unreacted thermitic material". These findings were included in a report
entitled, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11
World Trade Center Catastrophe" that was published last year in The Open
Chemical Physics Journal.

Though this report was widely circulated on the internet and among
alternative media sources, the Washington Post never bothered to report
these findings published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Whatever theories about the events of September 11, 2001 one may subscribe
to, what everyone surely can agree upon is that the facts should matter.
The editors of the Washington Post might perhaps begin by acknowledging
just a few of the more non-controversial facts, including the fact that
suspicious trading did occur prior to 9/11, the fact that the identities
of at least some of the hijackers has been cast in doubt and that this has
never been clarified to the public, and the fact that the collapses of the
three WTC buildings has never been adequately investigated.

Surely, that proper credible investigations into the events of 9/11 should
occur  - indeed, should have occurred long ago - should also be
non-controversial, no matter which conspiracy theory one believes, whether
it belongs to "the lunatic fringe" or to the U.S. government.

Jeremy R. Hammond is the editor of Foreign Policy Journal, a website
providing news, analysis, and opinion from outside the standard framework
provided by government officials and the corporate media. He was among the
recipients of the 2010 Project Censored Awards for outstanding
investigative journalism and is the author of The Rejection of Palestinian
Self-Determination. You can contact him at:
jeremy [at]


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