Progressive Calendar 10.28.10
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 03:25:30 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    10.28.10

1. Colombia/lunch     10.28 12noon
2. Human rights       10.28 4pm
3. Eagan peace vigil  10.28 4:30pm
4. Northtown vigil    10.28 5pm
5. Erlinder/Rwanda    10.28 5pm
6. Antiwar potluck    10.28 6pm
7. River design       10.28 6:30pm
8. Jerusalem women    10.28 7pm Northfield MN
9. RNC8 benefit       10.28 7pm
10. Ellison v Cavlan? 10.28 7pm

11. Palestine vigil   10.29 4:15pm
12. Halloween/FBI     10.29 6pm

13. Peace walk        10.30 9am Cambridge MN
14. Subject: Colombia 10.30 10am
15. CUAPB             10.30 1:30pm
16. Northtown vigil   10.30 2pm
17. New Mumia film    10.30 4pm
18. Free Gaza benefit 10.30 6:30pm
19. Should we vote?   10.30 7pm
20. Hmong Village     10.30

21. Grace Kelly      - Sheriff Fletcher has horrible performance numbers
22. Michael Schwalbe - When drones come home to roost
23. Clancy Sigal     - The sissy left/ wimps can't win
24. Bill Quigley     - The rich getting richer/ the class war at home
25. ed               - bumpersticker

--------1 of 25--------

From: WAMM <wamm [at]>
Subject: Colombia/lunch 10.28 12noon

Thursday October 28, 12 noon - Dialogue Lunch
Father Alberto Franco from Colombia. He spoke last year at the SOA. He is
a human rights advocate who is the executive secretary of the Colombian
Interchurch Commission for Justice and Peace, founded 21 years ago.
Reservations encouraged, Holy Trinity 612-729-8358.

--------2 of 25--------

From: Vicky Nguyen <humanrts [at]>
Subject: Human rights 10.28 4pm

Hall Room: 40 (229 19th Ave. S. Minneapolis MN 55455) Time: 4:00 pm - 6:30
pm.  Cost: RSVP-requested at mroan [at]

You are invited to participate in a Forum for Places of Worship, From the
Very Beginning: Education, Religious Beliefs; Human Rights. The Forum is
for Leaders, Educators, Parents and others on how religious beliefs and
traditions are taught to children. Roundtable Discussion will include
obstacles and strategies to teaching children human rights principles on
freedom of religion or belief, without compromising their own faith-based

Since 1986 The Tandem Project has built support for Human Rights and
Freedom of Religion or Belief simultaneously from top down and ground up,
understanding one cannot succeed without the other. In 1986 top down was
the U.N. Human Rights Commission, now its successor the U.N. Human Rights
Council. The Tandem Project approach from the ground or local level up for
national Universal Periodic Reviews; Freedom of Religion or Belief
includes; Forums for Places of Worship, Academic Discourse, Schools, Women
and Civil Society.

Each Forum begins with a proposal from an expert on a diverse issue.
Discussion includes response to the proposal, the meaning of freedom of
religion or belief, the obligations and responsibilities for international
human rights law on freedom of religion or belief.

Our educational systems need to provide children with a broad orientation:
from the very beginning, children should be taught that their own religion
is one out of many and that it is a personal choice for everyone to adhere
to the religion or belief by which he or she feels most inspired, or to
adhere to no religion or belief at all.

- Piet de Klerk:  Ambassador-at-Large of the Netherlands for Human Rights,
Speaking to the 25 Year Commemoration in 2006 of the 1981 U.N. Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based
on Religion or Belief.

The Tandem Project
Representatives of Minnesota Places of Worship
Representatives of Minnesota Human Rights NGOs

Panel members will moderate a Roundtable Discussion by leaders, educators
and parents from Minnesota Places of Worship on the purpose and proposal
for the forum.

Leaders, Educators and Parents from Minnesota Places of Worship will
discuss From the Very Beginning, how religious beliefs from multicultural
religious traditions are taught to children. Interfaith dialogue includes
strategies and obstacles in Places of Worship to teaching children human
rights principles on freedom of religion or belief without compromising
their own faith-based traditions.

--------3 of 25--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 10.28 4:30pm

PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of
Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and
candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south
of the river speaking out against war.

--------4 of 25--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.28 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------5 of 25--------

From: Erlinder, Peter
Subject: Erlinder/Rwanda 10.28 5pm

On Thursday, Oct 28 at 5-6:30 pm in Rm 231, I will be discussing "The
Politics of Rwanda Genocide Denial and Victors' Justice at the UN
Tribunal: A View from a Rwanda Detention Cell."

You may have noted that the Rwandan Chief Prosecutor has stated he intends
to continue to seek to prosecute me.  Since there has not been an
opportunity to discuss these matters with the College Community provided
by the College, I thought it best to arrange some sort of venue to permit
some discussion and interchange on my own.

Prof. Peter Erlinder Wm. Mitchell College of Law St. Paul, MN. USA

--------6 of 25--------

From: Meredith Aby <riot369 [at]>
Subject: Antiwar potluck 10.28 6pm

Politics and Potluck with the Anti-War Committee
Thursday, October 28th @ 6pm @ Walker Church, 3104 16th Ave. S.,

Join us for a laid-back discussion of what's next for the anti-war
movement. Bringing a dish to share is appreciated but not required. Hope
you can join us!  Kids welcome.

--------7 of 25--------

From: Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation <sprc [at]
Subject: River design 10.28 6:30pm

In 2009, Saint Paul received funding from the Minnesota Legislature
to create a new vision for how we live, work, play, commute and
connect with the Mississippi River. A master plan for Saint Paul's
17-mile river valley will deliver a prioritized list of projects
that will restore natural habitat and ecology, create economic
vitality and provide better connections to the river.

Saint Paul Parks & Recreation is leading a Great River Park Master
Planning design team, made up of national and local partners and
consultants. Click here for a list of team members.

For more information:

City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and SAINT PAUL RIVERFRONT
Community Design Forum #2:
River Gorge and Valley
Thursday, October 28
Ohage Boulevard, Harriet Island, Saint Paul (directions)

With tremendous citizen input from the first Community Design Forum
held October 11-14, the Great River Park Design Team will now focus
on the Gorge and Valley stretch of the Mississippi River in Saint
Paul, which runs from the I-94 Bridge to the High Bridge.

Review how the Design Team brings your ideas to life at Thursday night's
Concept Review session.

--------8 of 25--------

From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at]>
Subject: Jerusalem women 10.28 7pm Northfield MN

Thursday, Oct. 28, 7-9pm, at First United Church of Christ, 300 Union St.,
Northfield: ≥Jerusalem Women Speak - Three Women, Three Faiths, One Shared

Participants: Ruth Hiller, Israeli peace activist and mother of three sons
who refused service in Israeli military, founder of New Profile, feminist
group working to de-militarize Israeli society; Reem Mustafa, Muslim
Palestinian from East Jerusalem who has worked for UNESCO, Terre des
Homess, Hands of Peace, and Seeds of Peace; Marianna Khoury, a Christian
Palestinian Israeli who has interned at American Association for
Palestinian Equal Rights. Co-sponsored by Northfielders for Justice In
Palestine/Israel and Partners for Peace. More info: Jenny Hartley,

--------9 of 25-------

From: info [at]
Subject: RNC8 benefit 10.28 7pm

As we were gearing up for trial, we made plans with lots of our friends to
put on super fun events to help raise the funds we needed for trial. Our
plans for court have changed, but our plans for fun have not!

All the fundraisers we had scheduled will still happen as planned, but now
all the funds will be going to other great causes around the nation (no
proceeds will be going to the RNC 8 Defense Committee). Mark your
calendars now!

Thursday, October 28, 7-9pm
Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
"We the People" Benefit Concert,

featuring Jerry Rau, Larry Long, Louis Alemayehu, Van Nixon, Barb Tilsen,
Tim Sparks, Papa John Kolstad, Patches & Gretchen, Tou Saiko Lee,
"Cadillac" Kolstad, Eskit, Joe Savage, Kathy & Leo Lara, McDonald Sisters,
Melvin James, Tom Lieberman, and Doug Lohman. With special guests: Marv
Davidov, Karen Clark, Ken Tilsen, Polly Mann, Laura Waterman Wittstock, Ed
Felien, Cheryl Fields, Shayna Berkowitz, David Tilsen, Peter Rachelff,
Mordecai Specktor and representatives from the RNC 8.

Suggested donation of $20. Proceeds will go to establish the RNC 8/In the
Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre Youth Social Justice

--------10 of 25--------

From: Michael Cavlan greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Ellison v Cavlan? 10.28 7pm

Our campaign has just received word that Congressman Keith Ellison will be
speaking at the Drinking Liberally group, located at the 331 Club, located
at 331 13th Ave NE. It is located on the corner of 13th Ave and University
Ave in north Minneapolis. It will be this Thursday, October 28th and is
scheduled to start at 7 p.m..

We intend to show up and yet again challenge the Congressman to a debate.

If you have wondered why their has been no real debate in this election or
indeed have any questions for any candidate for Congress, this is your

Since I am working till 7 p.m., I will be unable to get there till 7:30

This may afford the Congressman the ability to slip away. Or he may, yet
again renege on his commitments to speak to the people of the 5th CD. He
may also yet again refuse to engage in a debate. However, if he does then
this is your opportunity to hold him accountable.

However, he also may decide to debate. If so then get ready for real, good
old fashioned open, fiery democratic debate.

I think our democracy is worth that. How about you? See you all there

Michael Cavlan

--------11 of 25--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: Palestine vigil 10.29 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

--------12 of 25--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: Halloween/FBI 10.29 6pm

Halloween Festival for Peace and Justice

Friday, October 29, 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Midtown YWCA, Gymnasium, 2121 East
Lake Street, Minneapolis. Come enjoy snacks and beverages, games for kids,
music, costume contests for kids and adults, and dancing. Prizes awarded
for best overall costume, most creative, scariest, cutest, and best
political costumes. Suggested Donation: $5.00 to $10.00. Proceeds will
fund the legal defense of local anti-war activists targeted by the FBI.
Co-Sponsored by: WAMM and the Anti-War Committee. FI: Visit or
call 612-827-5364.

From: kim defranco <kimdefranco [at]>

Oct 29 Scare the Spooks! Halloween Festival Fundraiser
Friday, October 29
6-10 pm
Midtown YWCA - Lake Street & 21st Ave, Minneapolis

Help support peace activists suffering FBI intimidation!
Suggested donation: Child  $5, Adult $10, Family $20

† * Games & activies
† * Costume Contest
† * Fortune Telling
† * Finger foods
† * Dancing
† * Cavorting

Also practicing
† * Free speech
† * Free association
† * - and other Silly Liberties

More information:
Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression | |
612-379-3585 |

--------13 of 25--------

From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 10.30 9am Cambridge MN

every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM
Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street

--------14 of 25--------

From: Jason Stone <jason.stone [at]>
Subject: Colombia 10.30 10am

Coffee Hour: Human Rights in Colombia 10/30/10
At the Resource Center of the Americas
Presented in Spanish w/English interpretation

Padre Alberto has been a featured speaker for the World Council of
Churches in front of the UN in NYC 2009, as well as a featured speaker at
the 2009 School of the Americas Watch protest. In 207 and 2008, he lobbied
in Brussels in front of the European Parliament and the European
Commission. Also in 2008, he testified at the Alternative Network Against
Impunity and Market Globalization in Spain, the Public Hearing of the
National Movement of Victims of State Crimes and a session for the Ethics
Commission for Truth in France regarding exiled Colombians.

For his extensive human rights work, Padre Alberto has received multiple
death threats, which to him illustrates that repressive powers are
threatened by his work and symbolizes that he is doing something right.
Although he has been receiving threats for years, starting in 2008 they
began to intensify, popping up in pages all over the internet and in
graffiti all around the capital. Those responsible for most of the threats
are the people with business interests in the Curvarado and Jiguamiando
River Basins. Despite all the danger he faces to defend the rights of the
communities, death threats do not faze him. He stresses the importance of
recognizing it is not just his personal safety that is being jeopardized
through these threats, rather it is the Commission as a whole that is

The Inter-church Justice and Peace Commission, founded in 1988, is a
leading NGO for community organizing and human rights in Colombian. It
provides accompaniment to Afro-Colombian, Indigenous, and mixed race
communities who have been victimized and affirms their rights without the
use of violence in zones of armed conflict. It supports concrete processes
that seek truth, justice, and reparation, and favors political
negotiations that seek to end the internal armed conflict. It has an
inter-discipline approach focused on the psycho-social, judicial,
environmental, and theological preservation of memory and gender aspects
of the community processes, to help communities rebuild their social


Padre Jess Alberto Franco is a renowned leader in the Colombian human
rights movement. He is a Colombian missionary priest, as well as the
executive secretary of the Colombian human rights NGO Inter-church
Commission for Justice and Peace (Comision Intereclesial de Justicia y
Paz). He has spent the last 3 years in his current role accompanying the
resistance processes of Afro-Colombian, Indigenous and mixed race farmers,
overseeing the operations of the commission, and coordinating and
overseeing the work of the teams that accompany the processes of the
community. He has been part of the commission for over 21 years and helped
to support the NGOs founders in the creation of the commission. He was
born and raised in Aranzazu, Caldas in Colombia. His work as a missionary
brings him all over Colombia.

Contact Information:
Witness for Peace Upper Midwest

--------15 of 25--------

From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 10.30 1:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue

Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

--------16 of 25--------

From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 10.30 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday

--------17 of 25--------

From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at]>
Subject: New Mumia film 10.30 4pm

Mumia/new documentary being shown at Mayday Books, Saturday, October 30

Big Noise Documentary:  Justice on Trial:  The Case of Mumia Abu Jamal
MAYDAY BOOKSTORE 301 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis (Cedar Ave and S 3rd
Street), Next to 19th Avenue Parking Ramp, one block north of Riverside
Ave.  If need more direction, call Mayday Books at (612)  333-4719For bus
route information, Call Metro Transit at 612-373-3333

Directed by Kouross Esmaeli, produced by Johanna Fernandez and edited by
Aljernon Tunsil (see below for short bio of each)

Justice on Trial navigates the tempest of the Abu-Jamal trial by reviewing
the known facts of the case. It demonstrates that the major violations in
the Abu-Jamal case - judicial bias, prosecutorial misconduct, racial
discrimination in jury selection, police corruption and tampering with
evidence to obtain a conviction - are not special to this case. Instead,
they are commonly practiced within the criminal justice system and account
for the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans and Latinos in
the United States. The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal is a microcosm of greater
problems in the criminal justice system in the United States today. The
attention that its many violations have received make the Abu-Jamal case
one of the most important civil rights cases of our time.

On Tuesday, January 19, the US Supreme Court granted the Philadelphia DA's
petition for a writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court has vacated the lower
federal courts' 2001/2008 rulings which had overturned Mumia's death
penalty and granted a new sentencing-phase jury trial if the death penalty
was to be reinstated. The case has now been remanded to the Third Circuit
Court, which will now decide whether or not to re-impose the death
sentence without the sentencing trial

The hearing before the Third Circuit will be held November 9, 2010, in
Philadelphia.  The prosecution is fighting very hard to have the death
penalty reinstated on Mumia.  Though the death penalty was previously
removed, Mumia has never left death row because of on-going appeals.
Mumia has been on death row for 28 years, during which time he has not
been allowed physically to touch his children nor any other human being
and the rare time he is allowed outside is in a cage that separates him
from others.

Mumia was targeted by both the FBI and the Philadelphia police and falsely
accused of killing a policeman, Daniel Faulkner.  The Fraternal Order of
Police and the widow Faulkner have made it a lifetime mission to kill
Mumia.  They want all of the evidence that shows Mumia's innocence to die
with Mumia.


Media Justice On Trial In Philadelphia -- The duel of two films about
Mumia Abu-Jamal
by Jamal by Hans Bennett and Michael Schiffmann | 09.19.2010, editors of
Journalists for Mumia Abu Jamal

The 'Mumia Exception' - Explaining Injustice By Linn Washington Februrary
12, 2010

Go to Journalists for Mumia Abu Jamal for many
articles and videos related to Mumia's case, as well as to other political

About the Justice on Trial team

Director:  Iranian-born Kouross Esmaeli has been a member of the Big Noise
Films Collective since 2007.  His international and domestic news
dispatches and documentary work have appeared on MTV, Current TV, Al
Jazeera and Democracy Now, among others. A board member of the Arab and
Middle Eastern Journalists Association, his co-production of the
documentary on Iraq for MTV's True Life won the RTNDA's Edward L. Murrow
Prize for Best Television Documentary in 2005. Kouross' last production
with Big Noise, Yo Soy el Army: America's New Military Caste, details the
heightened recruitment of Latinos by the U.S. military. It debuts next
month. Kouross is currently finishing his doctorate in media studies at
New York University.

Producer:  Johanna Fernandez has a Ph.D. in history and teaches
20th-century America, the political economy of American cities and
African-American history at Baruch College of the City University of New
York. She has published in the Journal of Urban History, in Race and
Reason, and in field-defining anthologies on the Civil Rights movement.
Her book on the history of the radical Puerto Rican organization, the
Young Lords, will be published in 2011.  In Spring 2011, she will travel
to Jordan as a Fulbright scholar where she will teach graduate courses in
American history.

The broader message of this film was inspired, in part, by the intrepid
reporting of Northwestern journalism students, who in the 1990s
scrutinized the work of Chicago prosecutors and police, exposed the
practice of tortured and coerced confessions that sent countless innocent
and predominantly black men to death row unjustly, and led to a moratorium
on executions in Illinois.

She believes that the problem of mass and wrongful incarceration is one of
the gravest civil rights problems of our time.

Film Editor:  Aljernon Tunsil has been editing documentaries for the past
15 years. Recently he edited several films for Firelight Media, which were
presented on PBS as part of its American Experience series, they include:
Freedom Riders, Wounded Knee (Episode 5 of the We Shall Remain series) and
Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. In addition to his work
on long format historical documentaries, Aljernon has edited numerous
short format films and trailers. Aljernon was as the assistant editor on
several Academy Award-nominated documentaries including The Smartest Guys
In the Room: The Enron Story, Sound and Fury, and The Farm.

--------18 of 25--------

From: Charles & Hertha Lutz <chlutz1 [at]>
Subject: Free Gaza benefit 10.30 6:30pm

Saturday, Oct. 30, 6:30-8pm, at Fadia/Yusuf Abul-Hajj home, 1716 Dupont
Av. S., Mpls: An Evening with Huwaida Arraf, benefiting Free Gaza
Movement, which Arraf chairs. Enjoy wine, cheeses, desserts, and
exceptional conversation. RSVP by Oct. 29:
or 612-240-4397. ≥Keep the Flotillas Sailing!≤

--------19 of 25--------

From: jtmiller jtmiller <jtmiller [at]>
Subject: Should we vote? 10.30 7pm

Working Democracy Discussion Forum:

Can political elections change the economic system?
Should workers vote for Democrats to keep the Republicans out?
How will the Workplace Vote make America a true democracy?

Saturday, Oct. 30, 7:00 pm
MayDay Bookstore, 301 Cedar, Minneapolis

--------20 of 25--------

From: Kimberly Nightingale <editor [at]>
Subject: Hmong Village 10.30

Opening of Hmong Village on Saturday 30th

Chris Havens at the Star Tribune reports the grand opening of Hmong
Village: a labyrinth of indoor merchant stalls, fresh produce vendors,
bustling kitchens and offices geared toward the region's tens of thousands
of Hmong residents, many who live in St. Paul. A trip to Hmong Village
isn't like going to Southdale. It's similar to other ethnic marketplaces,
such as the multicultural Midtown Global Market or Somali Karmel Square in
Minneapolis, where many small family-run businesses rent smaller spaces to
sell goods and services. It's perhaps the most local of local economies.
There are 40 offices, 35 produce booths, 17 restaurants and 230 merchant

Visit Hmong Village at 1001 Johnson Pkwy, just south of Lake Phalen, 10
minutes drive from Downtown.

--------21 of 25--------

From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <thegracekelly [at]>
Subject: Sheriff Fletcher has Horrible Performance Numbers

In every election, our current Ramsey County Sheriff Fletcher touts his
great successes on crime. Well, actually his performance numbers on crime
are horrible. No wonder Sheriff Fletcher will not debate or answer
questions in public.

One of the performance measures of law enforcement is clearance rates.
Clearance is the successful resolution of a case which can mean arrest or
it can mean clearing everyone of wrong doing. A 100% clearance rate would
be a perfect score. Sheriff Fletcher's department had a clearance rate of
8%, when statewide clearance rate is 49%. White Bear Lake is similar to
the areas that Sheriff Fletcher serves. White Bear Lake had a clearance
rate of 43%. The Hennepin County Sheriff had a clearance rate of 53%.
These are valid comparisons because the very point of these reports is to
have comparable numbers because crime is required to be reported in
uniform way to the FBI and Minnesota BCA.

Sheriff Fletcher has 36 deputies to cover these areas in Ramsey county:

Arden Hills
Gem Lake
Little Canada
North Oaks
Vadnais Heights
White Bear Township

All the other areas like St Paul, Maplewood and White Bear Lake have their
own police forces that do patrolling, investigations and arrests. So
Sheriff Fletcher only provides the patrol service for about 80,000 out of
the 510,000 people who live in Ramsey County. The other areas of
responsibilities for the Sheriff's department include courts, waterways
and jails. A recent lit piece touted "23,024", the only way to reach that
number is by using all of Ramsey county, most of which Sheriff Fletcher is
not responsible for. He is taking complete credit for the work of the
police chiefs in Ramsey County!

In looking at the BCA 2009 crime reports, one has to notice that Sheriff
Fletcher's department has one of the lowest numbers of arrests in the
state - 24 arrests. White Bear Lake has similar qualities to the areas
that Sheriff Fletcher serves, with only about a third of the population.
White Bear Lake has 1110 arrests.

Sheriff Fletcher was in the news in 2009 during reports of mismanagement
and misdeeds by the Metro Gang Task Force. Sheriff Fletcher's office was
the fiscal agent for the task force and in prior elections, Sheriff
Fletcher claimed credit for the performance of Metro Gang Task Force. The
Metro Gang Task Force was cited for sloppy record keeping among other
things. So are these numbers real performance numbers or sloppy record
keeping? If only we could publicly ask Sheriff Fletcher that question.

In current literature, Sheriff Fletcher claims to reduce serious crime by

"Sheriff Fletcher implemented several programs to help reduce serious
crime in Ramsey County by 20%."

And this theme is repeated in a recent interview:

"Why are you the best candidate for Ramsey County Sheriff?

I have extensive experience and success in combating crime in Ramsey
County which includes implementing several new initiatives which have
helped reduce crime by 20 percent in the last 16 years."
(White Bear Press)

Here is the problem with that 20 percent. Crime rates have been falling
all across the United States due to factors beyond the management of any
particular law enforcement. So to claim success, one should do better than
the national averages. But Sheriff Fletcher's 20 percent is below every
measure of serious crime reduction by the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting done
in 2010:

Larceny-Theft 32% Burglary 35% Motor Vehicle Theft 57% Aggravated Assault
40% Robbery 48% Rape 29% Murder 47%

So these numbers are why I think Sheriff Fletcher will not debate or
answer questions in public. In the corporate world, performance numbers
like these would mean exit out of a job. Since Sheriff Fletcher is
elected, we - the public - have to provide Sheriff Fletcher an exit out of
a job by electing Matt Bostrom, the law enforcement leader with 28 years
of experience and the best performance numbers! [Bostrom is not as bad but
not very good - hardly worth the enthusiasm expressed. -ed]

Complete graphs and links are in the full article here:

--------22 of 25--------

Monsters, Human and Mechanical
When Drones Come Home to Roost
Octobe 27, 2010

The age when war was limited to a clearly defined battlefield is long
past. In modern wars, civilian populations are bombed, targeted for
genocide +and terrorism, and made to suffer by wreckage of infrastructure.
The dogs of war, once loosed, respect no fences.

We can expect things to get worse. New remote combat technologies -
drones and robots controlled by operators far from any delimited
battlefield - will bring violence home in ways that will destroy the
feelings of safety and security Americans once took for granted.

Militarists who tout these technologies claim that they will mean fewer
dead soldiers. This is likely to be true, at least for the side that holds
a technological edge. When neither side has better killing tools, the
death toll will even out and resume ratcheting upward.

Militarists see other advantages to remote combat: less popular opposition
to war if there are fewer body bags coming home; an easier job of teaching
recruits to kill if "combat" is as familiar and bloodless as a video game;
and more discord among the ranks of enemy leaders because drone strikes
often rely on tips from insiders who are trying to eliminate rivals.

The forces driving the development and use of remote combat technologies
are partly military and mainly economic. These are enormously profitable
technologies for which there will be unlimited demand as nations strive to
keep up with each other in a new high-tech arms race. This will be an arms
maker's fantasy come true.

As always, ordinary citizens will pay the bill, and not only with tax
dollars. We will pay with more fear, fatalism, and isolation. The feel of
daily life will change.

The eventual equalization of technological capability will mean the use of
drones and robots to strike at targets in the United States. There will be
no need to hijack planes or plant car bombs. Drones, some as small as a
suitcase, will be launchable from offshore or just outside U.S. borders.
These killing machines will be nearly impossible to stop, as is the case
with the drones the U.S. now uses in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

But the problem is not just technological equalization and blowback. The
problem is that remote combat technologies have changed the rules of
engagement. Stealth assassination anywhere at any time, collateral deaths,
and explicit targeting of militarily-employed civilians are the new norms.

When U.S. military and political leaders tell us that a Taliban or al
Qaeda leader has been taken out by a drone attack, they would have us
believe this will seriously weaken the opposing force - so much so that
the deaths of nearby friends and family members are an acceptable, if
officially regrettable, cost.

Whether this kind of remote killing truly weakens an opposing force is a
matter of dispute. What seems clear, however, is that such attacks
strengthen the resolve to pay us back in kind. It's not hard to understand

Drone attacks often strike people in their homes, away from active battle
zones. Which is why these attacks have killed thousands of innocent
bystanders, mainly women and children. What better fuel for revenge? As
others have noted, for every alleged Taliban or al Qaeda leader killed by
a drone attack, ten recruits are created. Americans too, we can imagine
survivors thinking, must learn what it feels like to see their loved ones
killed by assassination machines. They must experience this in times and
places where they thought they were safe.

This retaliation, when it comes, will be justified as necessary, given
that Americans have chosen to wage war with killing machines operated from
their homeland. The person who flies a drone from a base in the U.S. will
be seen as a combatant, hence a legitimate target - and not only while at
work but at any time, preferably when most vulnerable. Perhaps while
standing next to you at your daughter's soccer game.

University-based researchers who devote their talents to inventing new
remote combat technologies - like the shapeshifting ChemBot developed at
the University of Chicago - will also become targets. Technicians in a
laboratory, students in a classroom, and anyone else nearby will become
collateral damage. War will come to campus in a way it never has.

"Ironic" is too weak a word to describe the situation toward which the
inventors and deployers of remote combat technologies are taking us. We
will be told that we must use sophisticated machines to kill at a distance
to keep violence at bay, even as the inevitable diffusion of this
technology brings violence closer to home.

We will be told that we are fighting to preserve the rule of law against
the forces of lawless terrorism, even as presidents and their minions
assume the prerogative to carry out remote assassinations as they deem
fit, with no judicial oversight or public accountability.

We will be told to be grateful that remote combat technologies make it
possible to limit war, even as we exhaust our treasury to pay for it, even
as our society becomes more militarized, and even as we experience more
fear of dying in conflicts that seem to have no end.

Most Americans have not yet learned a lesson well known to partisans of
anti-imperialist struggles: from the standpoint of political and economic
elites striving for global dominance, no one who might someday oppose them
is innocent, and the deaths of the innocent are not important, except when
such deaths become ideological liabilities.

The inevitable use of drones and robots against us will perhaps force
Americans to learn this lesson. When violence arrives at our door, we
should ask, Who invited it? The answer is not simplemindedly "us". The
answer is, Those who have purported to lead and protect us, while
profiting from the invention and use of ever more powerful killing

When that day of awakening comes, Americans might begin to see that what
we needed is not just a new set of leaders but a new society, a society
that is radically democratic and in which human monsters cannot create
mechanical ones to keep the rest of us under control.

Michael Schwalbe is a professor of sociology at North Carolina State
University. He can be reached at MLSchwalbe [at]

--------23 of 25--------

The Sissy Left
Wimps Can't Win
October 27, 2010

When did the American left become such sissies?  We are shocked, shocked!
We throw up our hands in horror, cowering behind prissy words like
"divisive" and "sexist" and "uncivil" when frothing-mad homophobic
Republican smut-emailers like the New York governor's candidate Carl
Paladino hurls verbal excrement at gays, or serial philanderer Newt
Gingrich insults President Obama as a treasonous Kenyan mole for "the
ideology of Luo tribesmen", or someone in Jerry Brown's campaign calls Meg
Whitman a "whore" or a Colorado billboard accuses Obama of being an
Islamist suicide bomber as well as a gay Mexican bandit.

"Sickmaking" and "the worst I've ever seen," my friends call the current
wave of corporate-financed attack ads.

A little perspective, please.

We Americans have a wonderfully slimy history of "negative campaigns" that
goes back to George Washington in 1789 if not even earlier to Plymouth
Rock Puritans who probably accused each other of unChristian heresies if
not downright bestiality.

To refresh our memories: In 1800 John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once
warm friends, tore each other apart because President Adams found himself
running against candidate Jefferson.  Adams's hacks called Jefferson "a
mean-spirited, low-lived son of a half-breed Indian squaw sired by a
Virginia mulatto father".  (Race mattered even then.)  Jefferson's PR man,
a proto-Karl Rove, slammed Adams as a "repulsive pedant" and "hideous
hermaphroditical character".  That's before the mud slinging got really
ugly, Tom labeling John as a hypocrite, criminal and tyrant anxious to
drag us into war with France and John calling Tom a sex-mad atheist and

Mud stuck, and Tom stole - er, won - the election.  A few years later John
Quincy Adams was called a pimp, and Andrew Jackson's wife a slut and his
mother a Negro-loving prostitute.  Davy Crockett accused Martin van Buren
of wearing women's corsets.  Of course Abe Lincoln was for slave-loving
Democrats the "gorilla tyrant" - and he had stinky feet too. In the 1884
elections Republicans accused nominee Grover Cleveland of fathering and
abandoning an illegitimate child with the party slogan "Ma, ma, where's my
pa?".  (And when Cleveland won the presidency the Democrats paid back
with, "In the White House, ha ha ha!")

Closer to modern times, Teddy Roosevelt running against obese William
Howard Taft called him "a rat in a corner", and William McKinley's
supporters tagged candidate William Jennings Bryan a crazy degenerate.  In
my time, President Roosevelt was compared unfavorably to Hitler, had
committed "the crime of the century" by giving Federal money to the
jobless, was a demented paralytic cripple and probably Jewish ("Rosenfelt"
was a common slur) and had a lesbian wife.   It follows that Jack Kennedy
had to be the Pope's captive, Barry Goldwater a dangerously psychotic
warmonger, thrice-wounded Lt John Kerry "swiftboated" as a cowardly liar,
and in the 2000 presidential primaries John McCain effectively lost the
nomination when South Carolinians were leafleted that he had fathered an
illegitimate black baby.

This year, the Supreme Court's ridiculous Citizens United vs Federal
Election Commission ruling that corporations can unload any amount of
money on conservative candidates (the real meaning of the court's
decision) has unleashed a tsunami of ugly personal racist ads on the
hapless Democrats running for cover.

Dirt is not a GOP monopoly.  Lest it be forgotten, Obama's press
secretary, Robert Gibbs, who has led the charge against the Chamber of
Commerce's dirty-secret funding of Republican candidates, himself in 2004
ran a miserably low TV ad attack against the Democratic front runner
Howard Dean, merging images of Dean with Osama Bin Laden.

The fact is, "claims that 2010 is the most negative election to date may
be premature", reports the Wesleyan Media Project.  Compared to 2008
there's only a "slight" increase in personal attacks.

The point of the Republican ads I've seen is to bully voters - to reach
deep down into our guts to re-channel our (often justified) rage away from
the rich and powerful onto the most vulnerable citizens and their
champions.  There's always a barely disguised code, and the code is pure
impotent hatred.

What we know of bullies from schoolyard brawls is that they're never
satisfied until you knock them down and step on them, hard.  That seems to
be beyond the imagination and capabilities of sweet-tempered, passive,
over-educated, please-play-nice Obama's men and women whose
Democratic-controlled Congress has just stripped $12 billion from a long
term food-stamps program precisely at the time when more Americans than
ever literally hunger for such assistance.  By the end of next year 10
million homes will be lost to (often fraudulent) foreclosure - ten
million!  Yet Obama refuses to honor his campaign pledge to declare a
moratorium because he fears the bankers' fury.

The Democrats fold to appease their unappeasable Republican enemies.
Across the country, in tight races in Florida, Oregon, Ohio and Colorado,
they're even running away from their own at-risk Democratic candidates who
loyally voted for ObamaCare health insurance.  Moral: You turn tail from
bullies and they chase you into a dark alley and kick you to death.

When did we on the left forget how to fight back in dark alleys and call
our enemies what they are, degenerate psychopaths who wear women's
corsets, have smelly feet and hermaphroditic tendencies?

Clancy Sigal is a novelist and screenwriter in Los Angeles. He can be
reached at clancy [at]

--------24 of 25--------

The Rich Getting Richer
The Class War at Home
October 25, 2010

The rich and their paid false prophets are doing a bang up job deceiving
the poor and middle class.  They have convinced many that an evil
socialism is alive in the land and it is taking their fair share.  But the
deception cannot last - facts say otherwise.

Yes, there is a class war - the war of the rich on the poor and the middle
class - and the rich are winning.  That war has been going on for years.
Look at the facts - facts the rich and their false paid prophets do not
want people to know.

Let Glen Beck go on about socialists descending on Washington.  Allow Rush
Limbaugh to rail about "class warfare for a leftist agenda that will
destroy our society".  They are well compensated false prophets for the

The truth is that for the several decades the rich in the US have been
getting richer and the poor and middle class have been getting poorer.
Look at the facts then make up your own mind.

The official US poverty numbers show we now have the highest number of
poor people in 51 years.  The official US poverty rate is 14.3 percent or
43.6 million people in poverty. One in five children in the US is poor;
one in ten senior citizens is poor.  Source: US Census Bureau.

One of every six workers, 26.8 million people, is unemployed or
underemployed.  This "real" unemployment rate is over 17 per cent.   There
are 14.8 million people designated as "officially" unemployed by the
government, a rate of 9.6 per cent.  Unemployment is worse for African
American workers of whom 16.1 per cent are unemployed.  Another 9.5
million people who are working only part-time while they are seeking
full-time work but have had their hours cut back or are so far only able
to find work part-time are not counted in the official unemployment
numbers. Also, an additional 2.5 million are reported unemployed but not
counted because they are classified as discouraged workers in part because
they have been out of work for more than 12 months.  Source:  US
Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics October 2010 report.

The median household income for whites in the US is $51,861; for Asians it
is $65,469; for African Americans it is $32,584; for Latinos it is
$38,039.  Source: US Census Bureau.

Fifty million people in the US lack health insurance.  Source: US Census

Women in the US have a greater lifetime risk of dying from
pregnancy-related conditions than women in 40 other countries.  African
American US women are nearly 4 times more likely to die of
pregnancy-related complications than white women.  Source: Amnesty
International Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA.

About 3.5 million people, about one-third of which are children, are
homeless at some point in the year in the US.  Source: National Law Center
on Homelessness and Poverty.

Outside Atlanta, 33,000 people showed up to seek applications for low cost
subsidized housing in August 2010.  When Detroit offered emergency utility
and housing assistance to help people facing evictions, more than 50,000
people showed up for the 3,000 vouchers. Source: News reports.

There are 49 million people in the US who live in households which eat
only because they receive food stamps, visit food pantries or soup
kitchens for help.  Sixteen million are so poor they have skipped meals or
foregone food at some point in the last year.  This is the highest level
since statistics have been kept.  Source:  US Department of Agriculture,
Economic Research Service.

              Middle Class Going Backward: Facts

One or two generations ago it was possible for a middle class family to
live on one income.  Now it takes two incomes to try to enjoy the same
quality of life.  Wages have not kept up with inflation; adjusted for
inflation they have lost ground over the past ten years.  The cost of
housing, education and health care have all increased at a much higher
rate than wages and salaries.  In 1967, the middle 60 percent of
households received over 52 per cent of all income.  In 1998, it was down
to 47 per cent.  The share going to the poor has also fallen, with the top
20 per cent seeing their share rise.

A record 2.8 million homes received a foreclosure notice in 2009, higher
than both 2008 and 2007.  In 2010, the rate is expected to be rise to 3
million homes.  Sources: Reuters and RealtyTrac.

Eleven million homeowners (about one in four homeowners) in the US are
"under water" or owe more on their mortgages than their house is worth.
Source: "Home truths," The Economist, October 23, 2010.

For the first time since the 1940s, the real incomes of middle-class
families are lower at the end of the business cycle of the 2000s than they
were at the beginning.  Despite the fact that the American workforce is
working harder and smarter than ever, they are sharing less and less in
the benefits they are creating.  This is true for white families but even
truer for African American families whose gains in the 1990s have mostly
been eliminated since then.  Source: Jared Bernstein and Heidi Shierholz,
State of Working America.

                   Rich Getting Richer: Facts

The wealth of the richest 400 people in the US grew by 8 per cent in the
last year to $1.37 trillion.  Source: Forbes 400: The super-rich get
richer, September 22, 2010,

The top Hedge Fund Manager of 2009, David Tepper, "earned" $4 billion last
year.  The rest of the top ten earned: $3.3 billion, $2.5 billion, $2.3
billion, $1.4 billion, $1.3 billion (tie for 6th and 7th place), $900
million (tie for 8th and 9th place), and in last place out of the top ten,
$825 million.  Source: Business Insider.  "Meet the top 10 earning hedge
fund managers of 2009".

Income disparity in the US is now as bad as it was right before the Great
Depression at the end of the 1920s.  From 1979 to 2006, the richest 1 per
cent more than doubled their share of the total US income, from 10 per
cent to 23 per cent.  The richest 1 per cent have an average annual income
of more than $1.3 million.  For the last 25 years, over 90 per cent of the
total growth in income in the US went to the top 10 per cent earners -
leaving 9 per cent of all income to be shared by the bottom 90 per cent.
Source: Jared Bernstein and Heidi Shierholz, State of Working America.

In 1973, the average US CEO was paid $27 for every dollar paid to a
typical worker; by 2007 that ratio had grown to $275 to $1.  Source: Jared
Bernstein and Heidi Shierholz, State of Working America.

Since 1992, the average tax rate on the richest 400 taxpayers in the US
dropped from 26.8 per cent to 16.62 per cent.  Source: US Internal Revenue

The US has the greatest inequality between rich and poor among all Western
industrialized nations and it has been getting worse for 40 years.  The
World Factbook, published by the CIA, includes an international ranking of
the inequality among families inside of each country, called the Gini
Index.  The US ranking of 45 in 2007 is the same as Argentina, Cameroon,
and Cote d'Ivorie.   The highest inequality can be found in countries like
Namibia, South Africa, Haiti and Guatemala.  The US ranking of 45 compares
poorly to Japan (38), India (36), New Zealand, UK (34), Greece (33), Spain
(32), Canada (32), France (32), South Korea (31), Netherlands (30),
Ireland (30), Australia (30), Germany (27), Norway (25), and Sweden (23).
Source: CIA The World Factbook:

Rich people live an average of about five years longer than poor people in
the US.  Naturally, gross inequality has consequences in terms of health,
exposure to unhealthy working conditions, nutrition and lifestyle.  In
1980, the most well off in the US had a life expectancy of 2.8 years over
the least well-off.  As the inequality gap widens, so does the life
expectancy gap.  In 1990, the gap was a little less than 4 years.  In
2000, the least well-off could expect to live to age of 74.7 while the
most well off had a life expectancy of 79.2 years.  Source: Elise Gould,
"Growing disparities in life expectancy," Economic Policy Institute.

These are extremely troubling facts for anyone concerned about economic
fairness, equality of opportunity, and justice.

Thomas Jefferson once observed that the systematic restructuring of
society to benefit the rich over the poor and middle class is a natural
appetite of the rich. "Experience declares that man is the only animal
which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general
prey of the rich on the poor".  But Jefferson also knew that justice can
only be delayed so long when he said, "I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever".

The rich talk about the rise of socialism to divert attention from the
fact that they are devouring the basics of the poor and everyone else.
Many of those crying socialism the loudest are doing it to enrich or
empower themselves.  They are right about one thing - there is a class war
going on in the US.  The rich are winning their class war, and it is time
for everyone else to fight back for economic justice.

Bill Quigley is Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and
professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans. You can reach him at
quigley77 [at]

--------25 of 25--------

                              Despise the rich


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