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Monday January 6: Encore: Former MN Legistlator Kathleen Vellenga talks about new novel, "Strangers in Our Midst"

Join us this Monday as we present the reprise of this special conversation:

TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and special guest co-host Tom O’Connell with sit down with former Minnesota legislator Kathleen Vellenga (DFL- 64A, St. Paul) to talk about her new historical novel, Strangers in Our Midst.  The story is about two young girls in mid-seventeenth century North America who become unlikely friends. One is an Anglo who came over on the Mayflower, the other, a young girl in the east coast Wampanoag tribe. Forty Press describes the tale as, “a critical moment in our continent's history, remaining faithful to the historical record while avoiding both stereotypes and finger-pointing. It describes a time when love, trust, and understanding struggled to overcome cruelty, hardship, and deception in all societies-and it does so with great imagination.”

Join Andy and Tom as they speak with Vellenga about this new, critically acclaimed work. Tune in this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

KATHLEEN VELLENGA- Novelist, former Minnesota State Legislator in St. Paul’s District 64A

TruthToTell, Monday January 6: Encore: Former MN Legistlator Kathleen Vellenga talks about new novel, "Strangers in Our Midst"

On-air date: 
Mon, 01/06/2014

Join us this Monday as we present the reprise of this special conversation:

TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and special guest co-host Tom O’Connell with sit down with former Minnesota legislator Kathleen Vellenga (DFL- 64A, St. Paul) to talk about her new historical novel, Strangers in Our Midst.  The story is about two young girls in mid-seventeenth century North America who become unlikely friends. One is an Anglo who came over on the Mayflower, the other, a young girl in the east coast Wampanoag tribe. Forty Press describes the tale as, “a critical moment in our continent's history, remaining faithful to the historical record while avoiding both stereotypes and finger-pointing. It describes a time when love, trust, and understanding struggled to overcome cruelty, hardship, and deception in all societies-and it does so with great imagination.”

Join Andy and Tom as they speak with Vellenga about this new, critically acclaimed work. Tune in this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

KATHLEEN VELLENGA- Novelist, former Minnesota State Legislator in St. Paul’s District 64A

TruthToTell - Monday, Dec 2 − 9AM: AFTER BLACK FRIDAY: What’s Next for Low Wage Workers? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/Streaming at KFAI.org

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, December 2, 2013

AFTER BLACK FRIDAY: What’s Next for Low Wage Workers?

This past week brought a happy confluence of two very special holidays: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. But while happy (and sometimes stressed) consumers feasted and shopped, workers who make our holidays happen and their supporters, demanded an end to poverty level wages.

On Monday, November 25th 5th workers joined supporters from faith and community groups at theBrooklyn Center Walmart to demand an end to retaliation against Walmart workers who speak out for respect in the workplace and better pay.

On Tuesday, the Greater Minnesota Workers Center in St. Cloud protested exploitive labor contracting practices.

On Wednesday, about 100 airport workers and their allies rallied outside the arrivals area of Terminal 1 to show their support for unionization and state legislation to raise the minimum wage.

And on Black Friday itself, unions and social justice organizations came together for two major events: a protest at the downtown Minneapolis Target organized by Centro de Trabajadores Unido en Lucha  (CTUL) and The March Against Poverty Wages, a 1000 strong march and rally down University Avenue in St. Paul to Walmart that ended in 26 arrests.

TruthToTell host Andy Driscoll and special co-host, Tom O’Connell, retired professor of Political Studies will talk with participants about the significance of this past week’s events as well as what lies ahead in the struggle for fair wages and workplace justice.

Sources:

www.workdayminnesota.org

http://ctul.net

www.seiu26.org

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, November 25, 2013

This Monday, TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and special guest co-host Tom O’Connell with sit down with former Minnesota legislator Kathy Vellenga (DFL- 64A, St. Paul) to talk about her new historical novel, Strangers in Our Midst.  The story is about two young girls in mid-seventeenth century North America who become unlikely friends. One is an Anglo who came over on the Mayflower, the other, a young girl in the east coast Wampanoag tribe. Forty Press describes the tale as, “a critical moment in our continent's history, remaining faithful to the historical record while avoiding both stereotypes and finger-pointing. It describes a time when love, trust, and understanding struggled to overcome cruelty, hardship, and deception in all societies-and it does so with great imagination.”

Join Andy and Tom as they speak with Vellenga about this new, critically acclaimed work. Tune in this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

On-air guests:

KATHY VELLENGA- Novelist, former Minnesota State Legislator in St. Paul’s District 64A

 

Monday, Nov 25: Former MN Legistlator Kathy Vellenga talks about new novel, "Strangers in Our Midst"

This Monday, TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and special guest co-host Tom O’Connell with sit down with former Minnesota legislator Kathy Vellenga (DFL- 64A, St. Paul) to talk about her new historical novel, Strangers in Our Midst.  The story is about two young girls in mid-seventeenth century North America who become unlikely friends. One is an Anglo who came over on the Mayflower, the other, a young girl in the east coast Wampanoag tribe. Forty Press describes the tale as, “a critical moment in our continent's history, remaining faithful to the historical record while avoiding both stereotypes and finger-pointing. It describes a time when love, trust, and understanding struggled to overcome cruelty, hardship, and deception in all societies-and it does so with great imagination.”

Join Andy and Tom as they speak with Vellenga about this new, critically acclaimed work. Tune in this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

On-air guests:

KATHY VELLENGA- Novelist, former Minnesota State Legislator in St. Paul’s District 64A

TruthToTell, Monday November 25: Former MN Legistlator Kathy Vellenga talks about new novel, "Strangers in Our Midst"

On-air date: 
Mon, 11/25/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

This Monday, TruthToTell’s Andy Driscoll and special guest co-host Tom O’Connell with sit down with former Minnesota legislator Kathy Vellenga (DFL- 64A, St. Paul) to talk about her new historical novel, Strangers in Our Midst.  The story is about two young girls in mid-seventeenth century North America who become unlikely friends. One is an Anglo who came over on the Mayflower, the other, a young girl in the east coast Wampanoag tribe. Forty Press describes the tale as, “a critical moment in our continent's history, remaining faithful to the historical record while avoiding both stereotypes and finger-pointing. It describes a time when love, trust, and understanding struggled to overcome cruelty, hardship, and deception in all societies-and it does so with great imagination.”

Join Andy and Tom as they speak with Vellenga about this new, critically acclaimed work. Tune in this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

On-air guests:

KATHY VELLENGA- Novelist, former Minnesota State Legislator in St. Paul’s District 64A

TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 24–9AM: MEL DUNCAN; TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 17–9AM: ANDY DRISCOLL: A Charcoal Sketch

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s probably a good thing that we have the opportunity to catch up with Mel Duncan this Christmas Eve morn. The United States remains in mourning over the violent killings of 27 human beings just over a week ago, 20 of them very young children. Deadly human conflict never ceases. That said, few men – or women, for that matter – can match Mel Duncan’s charismatic quest for peace in this world and in this community.

Four years ago, Mel stepped down as founding director of what will surely be his last organizational leadership position – the Nonviolent Peaceforce. After years working almost exclusively on public policy and social justice issues in Minnesota, something moved him to spread his rather extraordinary mix of quiet affect with a drive and determination for moving issues from concept to reality that he adopted a notion that “various kinds of pressure and influence (could) change the behavior of armed actors” in the ever-present venues of conflict around the globe.

Mel Duncan started his group, spent some long time raising money and awareness of the need for nonviolent intervention between belligerents in many countries, more often than not civil conflicts in which the mere presence of unarmed civilians could defuse potential deadly clashes at particular checkpoints within those nations.

Mel will tell us how things have been going with the Nonviolent Peaceforce since he handed over the reins of management of the NP and what he’s been able to do in his role as the organization’s Advocacy and Outreach Director, a job that clearly frees him from administrative burdens and able to do the substantive work.

Mel tells us that NP currently has peacekeepers in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, South Sudan and the South Caucasus. They are developing a peacekeeping project for Myanmar. Those tuned to the news will recognize those hotspots on the world scene. NP is in the thick of it.

Mel helped organize Advocating Change Together, the Minnesota Jobs with Peace Campaign, the Wellstone for Senate campaign and the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action now merged into TakeAction Minnesota.

Mel Duncan is a graduate of Macalester College, St. Paul Minnesota. In 2006 he was honored with their Distinguished Citizen award.  He also holds a Masters degree from the New College of California.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship honored him with their 2010 Peace Seeker award. The Fellowship of Reconciliation USA awarded him their 2007 Pfeffer International Peace Prize on behalf of Nonviolent Peaceforce’s “courageous efforts in conflict regions around the world.”The Utne Reader named him as one of “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Our World” in November of 2008.

Mel and Georgia’s eight kids and twelve grandchildren probably account for learning negotiation.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL will talk for our Christmas Eve hour with Mel Duncan reporting back on what progress has been made and what is needed in the life of the Nonviolent Peaceforce as 2012 comes to an end.

Call and join the conversation with Mel Duncan – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page

GUEST:  MEL DUNCAN – Advocacy & Outreach Director, Nonviolent Peaceforce

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 17–9AM: ANDY DRISCOLL: A Charcoal Sketch - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

This week, Andy Driscoll steps across the table from hosting and producing TruthToTell to be interviewed on his life and motivations for the work he's done for six decades in mixed career of on-and-off-air broadcasting, public service and politics, and theatre performance. Dale Connelly will ask the questions, and recorded interviews with key figures in Driscoll's mixed-up world also will be heard to break up the monotony.

On-air guests: 

ANDY DRISCOLL, with a brother, a campaign manager and a playwrightInterviewer: DALE CONNELLY

TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 17–9AM: ANDY DRISCOLL: A Charcoal Sketch; TruthToTell Dec 10: TONY BOUZA: Stream of Thoughts on Cops, Media and Life

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

 This week, Andy Driscoll steps across the table from hosting and producing TruthToTell to be interviewed on his life and motivations for the work he's done for six decades in mixed career of on-and-off-air broadcasting, public service and politics, and theatre performance. Dale Connelly will ask the questions, and recorded interviews with key figures in Driscoll's mixed-up world also will be heard to break up the monotony.

 

Interviewer: DALE CONNELLY

MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For many of us TONY BOUZA’S forever been an enigma. This erudite retired cop and former Minneapolis Police Chief has blown most of us away with his extraordinary command of the language and the kind of candor that makes most Minnesotans squirm. This is not a state given easily to the sort of directness Tony Bouza’s pretty much always brought to the table.

But, for some us, too, a cop is a cop – and our observations of the police culture, especially as lived inside the Minneapolis Department over these many decades has led to some serious distrust of that culture’s propensity for violence, deception and self-preservation, often at the cost of innocent lives. An entire organization dedicated to stopping police brutality thrives in Minneapolis  with no shortage of cases to protest almost every week.

At first blush, Bouza’s appointment by Mayor Don Fraser in 1980, it was thought that, together, the guys would either watch the Minneapolis cops clean themselves up or be cleansed by these two brilliant politicians. Neither happened, for the most part, and certainly not for long. The Minneapolis Police Department remains one of the most notorious nests of thumpers and liars and those who protect them by either covering up their crimes and misdemeanors (and felonies) or failing to report the transgressions they know are illegal. Bouza’s only one of several former cops to come forward with the ugly truths about policing.

Now comes a little tome in which now 84-year-old Tony Bouza, already an author of some note, has compiled a captivating series of essays on what he says have been Lessons Learned (Southside Pride, June, 2012). His opening piece on one of his most admired adversaries, the late anti-war activist, Marv Davidov, is similar to the eulogy he delivered at Marv’s life celebration to a packed house at St. Thomas University over a year ago, and the picture of them facing down each other through Honeywell’s Defense fences is a well-staged classic. Bouza’s wife Erica was on the other side of that fence with Davidov.

Bouza winds up this booklet of memories with a scathing denunciation of what he calls the out-of-control police culture in America, tracing his credibility to make such a judgment across his career and retirement years – just shy of 60 of them as this is written. We’ll explore his views on this subject in depth.

In between those bookends of columns are a bit under 100 pages of newsprint containing his observations on the passing scenes of life as he’s encountered it from his days as a rookie in New York City where his native Spanish language came in handy during a tale of real intrigue he recounts as an indictment of dictators everywhere through his stints in other cities, even a treatise on Minnesotans and Media and Picking Police Chiefs and Racial Profiling.

Well, you get the idea. It’s hard to say if anyone else’s stream of consciousness writing on such a variety of topics would fascinate as much as Tony’s does, but it’s an unlikely match at best.

I hope we can do justice to it by spending an hour with Tony Bouza this week on TruthToTell. In any event, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will try and over as many of the better bases in Bouza’s book as possible.

FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF TONY BOUZA

 

 

 

 

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 17–9AM: ANDY DRISCOLL: A Charcoal Sketch - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/17/2012
Listen to or download this episode here: 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

This week, Andy Driscoll steps across the table from hosting and producing TruthToTell to be interviewed on his life and motivations for the work he's done for six decades in mixed career of on-and-off-air broadcasting, public service and politics, and theatre performance. Dale Connelly will ask the questions, and recorded interviews with key figures in Driscoll's mixed-up world also will be heard to break up the monotony.

GUESTS:

ANDY DRISCOLL, with a brother, a campaign manager and a playwright

Interviewer: DALE CONNELLY

TruthToTell, Monday July 30-9AM: REGULATING MINNESOTA POLLUTERS: Impossible?; TruthToTell, July 23: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Things have not improved since a year ago April when TTT presented a two-week series on the ravages of sulfide mining to come if PolyMet and other mining companies have their way with us – us being Minnesotans of all sorts.

While some delays have been invoked over the applications for DNR-issued mining permits, the political powers that be continue to pressure the relevant state and federal agencies regulating Minnesota industries of all sorts to look past the potential harms bubbling up into our environment – our water, air and food – by industries given too much deference and pitting economic benefits against human health and other natural resources and animals.

Here are some questions we posed last year for our guests – and you, the public – last year in the face of local area legislators and St. Paul regulatory authorities pushing through permits to further pollute those resources we rely on to give life to all living things:

What more are we willing to sacrifice in terms of what we’re able to eat, drink and breathe in order to provide some – perhaps a lot – of short-term construction work – along with far fewer full time, permanent jobs?

These are but a few questions that require some deep and introspective thinking and evaluating by millions of people who surely want clean air and water and unadulterated food, but who have, through no fault of their own, found themselves unemployed, limited in their training and education to the work they did before and eager to earn a living for themselves and their families.

That’s what makes projects like the PolyMet Copper-Nickel Mine project well north of the Twin Cities such a seductive venture. The mine would be dug smack in the middle of the Superior National Forest, in what is called the Duluth Complex – a relatively untapped lode of these metals – the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation.

All local and statewide politicians, several labor groups and the Chambers of Commerce are one in arguing this issue: create the jobs – and forget the environmental damage their work may cause in both the long and short term. They claim this all-new, non-ferrous mining operation will produce the important copper and nickel used in a variety of products we use every day – with an interesting emphasis on renewable, rechargeable and critical-use tools – like batteries, hybrid vehicles, and pollution-reducing catalytic converters. Clever marketing.

Some local state representatives, senators, mostly Democrats last year, and joining them this year – Republican majorities - and even Amy Klobuchar and Jim Oberstar, endorse the project and angrily dismiss worried environmental groups and the Fond du Lac tribe’s arguments and even the Environmental Protection Agency’s lowest environmental rating as just so much (as if job-killing were an active agenda for clean water and food). The company isn’t much talking, so we can only consult their website for what is little more than a marketing pitch.

It would be easy to keep our focus on mining and the sulfuric acid aftermath of mining copper and nickel in Minnesota’s copper-rich Duluth Complex.

But this time we want to spread our wings a bit and remind our listeners that regulation in Minnesota may be silo-ed – isolated, that is – by agencies like the DNR (whose job includes the promotion and enabling of mining in the state, not just the protection of fish and wildlife); like the MN Pollution Control Agency, whose job has evolved to actually permitting pollution in greater quantities, then turn around and issue warnings when that pollution becomes dangerous to human health – but never shut down a polluter, whether a dangerous coal-fired utility, an animal or dairy feedlot with dangerous wastes overflowing into ditches and waterways feeding the rivers, or a waste-burning plant in the middle of the city threatening the breathing of residents; and like the Minnesota Health Department, which talks a good game, but is powerless to step in and actually require revisions in business practices that would save lives and ensure safer operations for the public health. Years of agency staffing with corporate sympathizers has left us bereft of real regulation.

In other words, we want to talk about regulation and its effectiveness – or lack of it – in protecting the public welfare over the economic benefits of deferring to corporate interests with the excuse that jobs are somehow in jeopardy if regulation imposes restrictions on those corporations…or, perhaps, denies them the authority to open shop at all without proving first that an enterprise will be safe for human and animal exposure.

After all, wasn’t regulation instituted to PREVENT harm to living beings? Why can’t we require an industry claiming to be safe for the environment to PROVE IT FIRST??

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with those who are feeling slightly less powerful than the companies, politicians and state agencies turning the notion of regulation on its head and forcing victims to do the proving.

GUESTS:

 PAULA MACCABEE – Attorney, Water Legacy and Sierra Club North Star Chapter


 ROBERT DESJARLAIT (Ojibwe-Anishinabe) – Co-Founder, Protect Our Manoomin (Wide Rice); Of the Red Lake Anishinaabe Nation; Visual artist, historian, educator and traditional dancer.


BRUCE JOHNSON – Retired MPCA Regulation Staff and Northern Minnesota resident.

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MOST RECENT SHOW

Listen to our most recent show here, or browse our archives >

Monday, July 23, 2012

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIO has adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)


  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian


  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian

TruthToTell, Monday July 23-9AM: LABOR IN CRISIS: Fair Trade vs. Foreign Policy?; TruthToTell, July 16: NICK COLEMAN THE SENATOR: Right Up There with Fritz and Company

UPCOMING SHOW

Tune in this coming Monday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on KFAI, (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM in St. Paul) to catch our upcoming program:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Remember – call and join the conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post onTruthToTell’s Facebook page.

HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

During the election season of 1972 – when George McGovern was challenging the policies and programs – not to mention the leadership – of Richard Nixon in the latter’s first term and the continuing war in Vietnam (remember the Kent State student killings in 1970, Nixon’s 1969 bombing of Cambodia – less than year in office – and the 1972 “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam), millions of rural and blue collar voters – much as they have more recently as Tea Party members – piled into the polls to vote for Nixon in direct contravention of their unions’ leadership. At least that’s how it appeared.

The Committee to Re-Elect, the Nixon machine found guilty of the Watergate break-in and laundering of campaign funds plus a massive cover-up a couple of years later, leading to Nixon’s unprecedented resignation in disgrace – portrayed George McGovern as little more than a professorial flake of a progressive. The campaign against the man who would have ended the Vietnam bloodbath at least three or four years and thousands of American and Asian lives before it finally stopped may well have succeeded based in major part on the abandonment of rank-and-file union members that year. This carried on right through the election of Ronald Reagan where more damage, perhaps fatal blows, were inflicted on collective bargaining and worker protections, including health and pension benefits. And, still suburban working class men and women vote Republican in significant numbers.

We have written and discussed how the rank-and-file’s shift to the right has flown in the face of all that labor’s founding forefathers sought in the bloody battles for recognition and certification representing overworked and underpaid workers in almost every one of America’s industries – most of them gone now, thanks to so-called free trade policies of Republican administrations and buttressed by gutless Democrats – all of whom have lost sight of labor’s struggle and heritage in the fattening of the middle class through the post-WWII decades, including two more conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.

How does war and fair trade mix? How does the loss of many rank-and-file union members – especially the trades – to Republicans who have shipped their jobs overseas and given tax and regulatory breaks to those who have exploited labor while destroying the environment many unions believe impedes job creation sit with a public whose support organized labor has needed down through the ages?

Many authors have written well about the millions of Americans so willing to vote against their own best interests, but where was labor leadership when it came to standing up against the forces of evil here and overseas – against war when the crunch came? What’s the Matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank first raised this issue. But that included seniors and previously declared liberals in one bellwether state’s voting public.

Linking labor’s overseas strategy and tactics in times of war and third world development issues. The AFL-CIOhas adamantly avoiding opposing America’s involvement in war dating back years and several conflicts, cooperating and colluding with the CIA and other agencies. In a review of the book authored by one of this Monday’s guests, Dr. Kim Scipes’s AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010), social critic and writer Paul Street writes: 

Unbeknownst to most American union members and many U.S. labor officials, and without their support, the top foreign policy operatives of the AFL and the AFL-CIO have consistently collaborated with American government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in carrying out an imperialist foreign policy that has attacked working and living standards in “developing countries” (known as “Third World” nations during the Cold War).

Anytime you’re inclined to label labor as “imperialist” – stand back. But, as Scipes – a prolific professor of sociology at Purdue University and a long time labor union member and supporter – writes in his preface: “This is a book that has been very difficult for me to write. I am a strong believer in collective action, and especially collective action by working people, so as to improve their wages, working conditions, and the general conditions of their lives. Also, I am a strong believer in unions…” He goes on to list his union affiliations. But he also goes onto state flatly that the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program and leadership “…support and have worked to extend the U.S. empire. Besides attacking workers and unions around the world who challenge U.S. corporate investment…the AFL-CIO’s foreign policy program can exist in the United states only by attacking labor democracy within the U.S. labor movement itself.”

He also says this program started about 100 years ago.

What have been the ramifications of all of this “empire” support as we have engaged in wars and exploitation all around the planet? And what about its effect on the Fair Trade Movement. How can the AFL-CIO possibly justify its behavior elsewhere as it opposes NAFTA and colludes with U.S. government adventurism overseas?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query the author and his reviewers – plus state and local labor leaders – in search of answers to the many questions these issues raise.

GUESTS:

  KIM SCIPES, PhD – Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University (North Central); Author, AFL-CIO’s Secret War Against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage? (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010)

  PETER RACHLEFF, PhD – Professor of History, Macalester College, St. Paul; Labor Historian

  JOSH WISE – Director, Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition

 

 

 

 LINDA HAMILTON – President, Minnesota Nurses Association

  TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Social Science, Metropolitan State University; Chair, CivicMedia/Minnesota; Labor Historian

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Monday, July 16, 2012

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Nick Coleman.

Who? That writer from the Strib? The columnist who used to write for the Pioneer Press?

No. That Nick Coleman is the son of the Nicholas David Coleman who left a significant mark on Minnesota’s political landscape for well over 30 years and would likely have kept it up for another 20 or 30 had he survived the leukemia that killed him in January of 1981.

Like Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Don Fraser, Rudy Perpich, Wendy Anderson, Al Quie and Elmer Andersen and probably about two dozen other truly prominent political movers and shakers from the 1960s onward, Nick Coleman was, for his time in Minnesota’s recent history (that being the last 50-75 years) a rock-solid political animal and a flawed personality who charmed the hell out of friends and enemies alike.

Nick served as the Minnesota Senate’s Majority Leader for a major part of his political life – almost 20 years. He presided over Senate passage of the original Minnesota Miraclewhich  marked the shift in education financing from the very regressive property tax to the very progressive (and most say fairer) income tax.

It says something about the state of the state’s slide toward a much more conservative tenor and rancorous political climate that the Minnesota Miracle eroded before our very eyes to where we once again fork over more in property taxes to fund education than we do in fairer income taxes. People bitch a lot more over property taxes than the small slices they pay in income taxes, so conservatives (of both parties) have successfully shifted the burden to a tax that knows no downward income limits: it penalizes the poorest of us and forces school districts to run a-begging to residents who have watched their property taxes rise either by rate increases or based on rising property values.

Nick didn’t hang around long enough to see this erosion and the decided disappearance in political civility that has accompanied the emergence of a wholly radical right wing in Minnesota.

Still, Nick’s was a life of color, of ups and downs, of marriage, divorce, remarrying and the raising of yet another generation of five men and a woman, most of whom have made their marks in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on the Twin Cities’ and Minnesota’s political and cultural scene. Nick Coleman, the Younger, made his mark as a wry observer of the  passing scene in sports, culture and politics. Brother Patrick is a steward of the state’s historical collections, the younger Chris Coleman has risen to be a two-term mayor of St. Paul, the one to truly follow in his father’s footsteps.

It took another former state Senator, John Watson Milton, a former colleague of Nick’s, six years to research the nooks and crannies of Nick’s life and history. For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981 (Ramsey County Historical Press, 2012) is Milton’s lengthy tome in which junkies like yours truly can really become immersed, but it’s also a completely thorough historical treatise on Coleman’s Irish roots in an Irish town like St. Paul became while tracing Nick’s fascinating life as a human and political animal.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will talk with the author and a couple of those closest to Coleman throughout his life. (We'll also chat for a time with Brian Kaller, who's back in the Cities to talk about his new homeland - Ireland – and its survival in the face of austerity. Brian's writing for several blogs - his own and other publications about his observations of Irish culture and economies.)

GUESTS:

JOHN WATSON MILTON – former State Senator and Ramsey County Commissioner; Author, For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981 and several other books and novels.

PATRICK COLEMAN – Second Eldest of Nick Coleman’s sons and Manager of Collections for the Minnesota Historical Society.

JOHN KAUL – Former Chief of Staff to the Majority Leader under Nick Coleman, legislative affairs specialist for several organizations and a photographer and videographer/documentarian.