Michelle Alimoradi

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TruthToTell, June 24: ENCORE: COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS V: Deeper Issues of Sulfide Mining – Audio and Video BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 06/24/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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

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

VIDEO: YouTube or TTT VIDEO ARCHIVE

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

TruthToTell and CivicMedia/Minnesota traveled to the University of Minnesota at Duluth (UMD) to air/televise the 5th in our series of LIVE Community Connections forums the night of June 12 in the auditorium of the Labovitz School of Business & Economics (LSBE) –this one on the impacts of copper/nickel mining enterprises on Northeastern Minnesota lives and natural resources just as a supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement on a proposed PolyMet sulfide mine will be released prior permitting by the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Army Corps of Engineers.

Producer/Host Andy Driscoll and Associate Producer/Co-host Michelle Alimoradi, in concert with community and media partners, brought Community Connections to affected residents of neighborhoods/communities, conversations that strike at the heart of the state’s quality of life, as well as its integrity in protecting the longstanding treaties negotiated with Minnesota’s many Indian tribes over the ability to manage the resources of those lands for the benefit of all residents. At risk may well be the planet's entire supply of true wild rice–manoomin–as a sacred crop of Anishinaabe/Ojibwe Natives.

Community Partners signing on to help CMM and TTT produce this televised conversation among panelists and constituents immediately impacted if these new mines are permitted were the Master of Advocacy & Political Leadership (MAPL)Program at UMD; KUMD RadioWaterLegacyFriends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness; and Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest with cooperation of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and some labor unions serving the area.  

 GUESTS:

Nancy Schuldt, Water Resource Policy Director for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Paula Maccabee, Policy Director for WaterLegacy


 

 

 Aaron Klemz, Policy and Communications Director for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

 Tamara Jones, President of the Carlton County Central Labor Body and a Union Rep for the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1189

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

 

*TruthToTell: Community Connections is made possible by a generous grant from the Bush Foundation, which has enabled TruthToTell to partner with KFAI community radio, St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), and selected community partners to present these discussions and dialogues on important issues like education, the environment, health care, politics and elections, transportation, Native concerns, youth issues and more, into the key communities affected by these respective topics for radio, television and online distribution.

CivicMedia-Minnesota is a 501c3 non-profit production company based in St. Paul, Minnesota, created to bring civic and media literacy to the Twin Cities region and Minnesota, informing, educating and empowering residents and students in local, state and regional public affairs and to amplify the voices of concerned  communities on key issues facing them every day. CMM’s main goal is to engage citizens by helping them understand issues of governance and public policy, critique media coverage of critical policy matters, encourage public discourse and help people take collective action to resolve problems and influence public policy. More information and past show archives can be found at www.truthtotell.org.

Monday, April 29-9AM: FACING RACE: Getting the Conversation Started; April 15: COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS III: Re-entry Issues for Ex-Offenders

Many will tout these days, particularly since the election of President Obama, that racism is no longer an issue in the country. But as we've seen how the disparate rates of black male prisoners in this country have created slavery by another name, we must also see how certain daily privileges afforded to the majority groups in power in the United States, media portrayals, and the like, are, in fact, racism by another name.   

The fact is, even if we have succeeded in quashing the completely irrational fears that led to the formation of hate groups such as the Klu Klux Klan and other groups that sought to torture or kill people based on race, we are still dealing with the socio-economic aftermath of what that way of thinking has done to this country and its diverse body of citizens.

Right here in Minnesota, a recent study from the Wilder Foundation found that 37 percent of people in Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey counties still say they get nervous walking into a room of people from other races, if they are the only one of their own race present. One third of these same folks say they strongly or somewhat agree that they would like to get to know people of other races better, but often feel as if they might be ridiculed or shamed if they say the wrong thing. Combine that with the disheartening statistics on education and housing disparities by race in this state and it’s hard to deny that racism is still an issue that needs much attention.  

Who will step up to help bridge the cultural and institutional divide that racial tensions have spawned? How exactly do you confront racism in a way that is both implicating and welcoming? These are all goals of the Facing Race ‘We’re all in this together’ Initiative. Hosts, Michelle Alimoradi and Tom O'Connell will discuss these issues of racism that are subtly embedded in our societal structure today as we talk about their upcoming Facing Race Ambassador Awards ceremony, happening the evening after our broadcast, and what these folks are doing to shed light on the privileges and the fears that continue to perpetuate racism in this country.  

TTT’s MICHELLE ALIMORADI and TOM O’CONNELL talk with key figures in this year’s Awards event. 

On-air guests: 

JOSIE JOHNSON- former University of Minnesota Regent; retired University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Minority Student Affairs; Founder, UofM Office of Diversity & Equity, and Honoree - Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Principal, Josie Robinson Johnson & Associates Consulting, and recipient of a 2013 Facing Race Amabassador Award.

 


CORINTH MATERA- Teacher, South High School, Minneapolis. Corinth was nominated for a Facing Race Ambassador Award for her work in creating an education unit addressing the U.S. Dakota War of 1862.  Ms. Matera has been a leader in promoting this education unit, and it has reached over 600 students in the past three years.

 

DR MANUEL PASTOR- Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Southern California; His most recent book, published in 2010,  is Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future. Keynote speaker at this year’s Facing Race Awards Ceremony. 


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MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ed. NOTE: This week, TruthToTell looks at Earth Day as an entrepreneurial and responsible opportunity. Our colleague and engineer, Kel Heyl, himself a green contractor, offered to help assemble this program and offers, too, this reflection on the Day’s creation and this year’s TTT approach to celebrating this now iconic annual reminder of our human responsibility to protect the planet in all ways possible – and, ironically, as businesses new and adapted:

Making Cents of Earth Day

It’s the summer of 1969. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, already considered a champion of the protecting the natural world, had visited an oil spill site in Santa Barbara, California. On his return flight he was reading an article about various “teach-ins” on college campuses dealing with Vietnam, when…“It popped into my head. That’s it! Why not have an environmental teach-in and get everyone involved?”

Senator Nelson returned to Washington and quickly formed a non-profit – Environmental Teach-In, Inc. – recruiting a few Republicans and conservationists to help with the project. On September 20, 1969 he went public with his mission from Seattle:

“I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation’s priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment. Young people can take the leadership away from the indifferent, venal men who are concerned with progress and profit for the sake of progress and profit alone…”

After considering a number of names like Environment Day and Ecology Day, they settled on the appellation, “Earth Day.” Nelson chose the date to maximize participation on college campuses. The week of April 19–25 did not fall during exams or spring break and did not conflict with Easter or Passover. It was late enough to ensure good weather. During the middle of the week there would be more students in class and no competition from other events – so Wednesday, April 22, 1970 was anointed as the target day. When critics later pointed out it was Lenin’s birthday, Nelson replied that it was also the birthday of both St. Francis of Assisi, the nature saint, and his own Aunt Tillie.

The above was excerpted from this article. In September,1995, Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, much of the work flowing from those first Earth Days were seeking top-down large-scale Federal legislation and regulation.

What makes progressive change so difficult now is that a sizeable percentage of the American people are inserting their heads into deep holes they purchase from entities whose short-term bottom lines are enhanced by maintaining unsustainable patterns of consumption. Just regulating industry will not yield a viable future. Today, we look at small-scale day-to-day successes with special attention directed to increasingly sophisticated tools that allow us to make sustainable decisions and how an NGO is becoming a de facto global standard.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead our guests through their work on three different points along the sustainability continuum. Each runs a businesses which helps clients make better informed decisions – decisions which make their futures more sustainable without further disrupting the present.

GUESTS:

CINDY OJCZYK – Principal of Simply Green Design and A More Beautiful Home.

RAMY SALIM  –  OwnerSunny Day Earth SolutionsCompleted the first City issued permitted straw bale building in over a decade 

DALE FORSBERG – President of Watson-Forsberg Contracting; specialist in LEED*

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a point based rating system used to answer the questions: How green is this design or building. It was created by theUnited States Green Building Council.

 

TruthToTell, Monday, April 22-9AM: EARTH DAY 2013: A Wise Entrepreneurial Approach; TruthToTell, April 15: COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS III: Re-entry Issues for Ex-Offenders (AUDIO & VIDEO)

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, April 22, 2013

Call and join this 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!

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

Ed. NOTE: This week, TruthToTell looks at Earth Day as an entrepreneurial and responsible opportunity. Our colleague and engineer, Kel Heyl, himself a green contractor, offered to help assemble this program and offers, too, this reflection on the Day’s creation and this year’s TTT approach to celebrating this now iconic annual reminder of our human responsibility to protect the planet in all ways possible – and, ironically, as businesses new and adapted:

Making Cents of Earth Day

It’s the summer of 1969. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, already considered a champion of the protecting the natural world, had visited an oil spill site in Santa Barbara, California. On his return flight he was reading an article about various “teach-ins” on college campuses dealing with Vietnam, when…“It popped into my head. That’s it! Why not have an environmental teach-in and get everyone involved?”

Senator Nelson returned to Washington and quickly formed a non-profit – Environmental Teach-In, Inc. – recruiting a few Republicans and conservationists to help with the project. On September 20, 1969 he went public with his mission from Seattle:

“I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation’s priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment. Young people can take the leadership away from the indifferent, venal men who are concerned with progress and profit for the sake of progress and profit alone…”

After considering a number of names like Environment Day and Ecology Day, they settled on the appellation, “Earth Day.” Nelson chose the date to maximize participation on college campuses. The week of April 19–25 did not fall during exams or spring break and did not conflict with Easter or Passover. It was late enough to ensure good weather. During the middle of the week there would be more students in class and no competition from other events – so Wednesday, April 22, 1970 was anointed as the target day. When critics later pointed out it was Lenin’s birthday, Nelson replied that it was also the birthday of bothSt. Francis of Assisi, the nature saint, and his own Aunt Tillie.

The above was excerpted from this article. In September,1995, Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, much of the work flowing from those first Earth Days were seeking top-down large-scale Federal legislation and regulation.

What makes progressive change so difficult now is that a sizeable percentage of the American people are inserting their heads into deep holes they purchase from entities whose short-term bottom lines are enhanced by maintaining unsustainable patterns of consumption. Just regulating industry will not yield a viable future. Today, we look at small-scale day-to-day successes with special attention directed to increasingly sophisticated tools that allow us to make sustainable decisions and how an NGO is becoming a de facto global standard.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead our guests through their work on three different points along the sustainability continuum. Each runs a businesses which helps clients make better informed decisions – decisions which make their futures more sustainable without further disrupting the present.

GUESTS:

CINDY OJCZYK – Principal of Simply Green Design and A More Beautiful Home.

RAMY SALIM  –  OwnerSunny Day Earth SolutionsCompleted the first City issued permitted straw bale building in over a decade 

DALE FORSBERG – President of Watson-Forsberg Contracting; specialist in LEED*

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a point based rating system used to answer the questions: How green is this design or building. It was created by the United States Green Building Council.

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MOST RECENT SHOW


An explosion of books, televisions show, seminars and public policy proposals in the last two or three years has raised the curtain on some of this country’s most shameful corrections practices, 
most of them having been imposed in peaks and valleys since the official, if not the de facto demise of Jim Crow across the states that dared to thumb their noses at the Constitution and its 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments once again stating the obvious – that all men – and women – are created equal in nature and under the laws once again stating the obvious – that all men – and women – are created equal in nature and under the law.

But Jim Crow never really died. It just stuck itself into the criminal justice and correction systems of every state and the Federal government, thanks to paranoid and expedient political fears over some notion that law and order was out of control – a perception with no solid evidence. In addition to the amazingly disproportionate ratio of men of color serving time in our penitentiaries, their wildly disparate treatment in the streets and criminal justice system has been part of an even larger packing of the jails and prisons in the last few decades.

So. What happens in a country with such injustice as we’ve seen in the economy, job losses and permanent unemployment? What happens when poverty entrenches itself in our core cities and deep rural settings? What happens when it becomes obvious to young men and women who’ve been raised in abusive family settings, without adequate nutrition to feed their hungry stomachs and their hungry minds, without decent educational settings and successful learning? Anger, frustration, despair, desperation and, very often, severe mental illness sometimes driving all of it in the face of being blamed and sometimes beaten for their just being there. These are the seeds and the soil for growing discontent, drug and alcohol addiction, and crime, sometimes damned serious crime. What follows is capture, prosecution, conviction and hard time, sometimes lots of it. But sometimes, if conditions are right, a second chance might come along with a sentence of probation, even for felonies.

Still, in the heat of the lock-‘em-up-and-throw-away-the-key punishment fervor of the judgmental post-World War II lingering of the Great Depression, longer and longer sentences, more disparity in the treatment of offenders, especially by race and poverty levels, many politicians decided that no crime should ever stop going unpunished, and instituted all manner of laws insisting that, like Inspector Jauvert from Les Miserables: no matter the crime, once a crook, always a crook, and, like Jauvert’s lifetime pursuit of the offender Jean Valjean, we often see police and corrections systems pursuing ex-offenders all but forever. Landlords refuse to rent, banks refuse to finance, employers refuse to hire, and, worst of all, governments refuse to restore voting rights – all but guaranteeing a higher recidivism rate – or return to prison – of those freed from prison. What has never left us, is the racism.

All of this AFTER, mind you, the felons or offenders have actually completed their sentences.

In recent years, many advocates, especially those in the landmark Minnesota-based Second Chance Coalition, have stepped to the plate to change the climate of post-incarceration or imprisonment to one of restoration. Restoration of the right to a job,  to live somewhere affordable, and, finally, to vote again. In other words – a return to humanity and citizenship.

It’s been a long slog for these advocates, some working to transition offenders back into the outside world, some to find them jobs and housing, and still others who haunt those halls of the Capitol trying to change the ways laws deal with the restoration of what many consider to be human and/or civil rights.

Only education, involvement and the dropping of our prejudices about those who have paid their debts can we begin to see the fruits of our humanity.

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

 This program was recorded at Headquarters of Community Partner, Goodwill/Easter Seals. Community Partner St. Paul Neighborhood Network’s cameras are rolling and recording this show for airing tonight at 8:00 and beyond on both St. Paul’s cable Channel 19 and Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN) Channel 16. And we will distribute this program widely throughout the Metro and Minnesota wherever we can.

We thank the staff of Goodwill/Easter Seals, especially Deanna Gulliford and Lisa Ritter, for their hospitality and recruiting much of the audience. The program began with a short video - which you can watch here.

TTT'S ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI host Part Three of our Community Connections series, funded by a grant from the Bush Foundation. 

GUESTS/Panelists:

SARAH CATHERINE WALKER – former Chief Operating Officer of 180 Degrees; Co-founding Co-chair of the Second Chance Coalition

STATE SEN. DAVE THOMPSON (R-Lakeville) – Assistant Minority Leader; Ranking Minority Member of the Tax Reform Division of the Senate Taxes Committee

 


MARK HAASE – Vice President for Projects and Operations at Council on Crime & Justice; Co-chair, Second Chance Coalition

ROB STEWART – University of Minnesota Doctoral Student in Sociology; Former Felon

TruthToTell, Monday, April 22-9AM: EARTH DAY 2013: A Wise Entrepreneurial Approach - AUDIO HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 04/22/2013
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.

Ed. NOTE: This week, TruthToTell looks at Earth Day as an entrepreneurial and responsible opportunity. Our colleague and engineer, Kel Heyl, himself a green contractor, offered to help assemble this program and offers, too, this reflection on the Day’s creation and this year’s TTT approach to celebrating this now iconic annual reminder of our human responsibility to protect the planet in all ways possible – and, ironically, as businesses new and adapted:

Making Cents of Earth Day

It’s the summer of 1969. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, already considered a champion of the protecting the natural world, had visited an oil spill site in Santa Barbara, California. On his return flight he was reading an article about various “teach-ins” on college campuses dealing with Vietnam, when…“It popped into my head. That’s it! Why not have an environmental teach-in and get everyone involved?”

Senator Nelson returned to Washington and quickly formed a non-profit – Environmental Teach-In, Inc. – recruiting a few Republicans and conservationists to help with the project. On September 20, 1969 he went public with his mission from Seattle:

“I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation’s priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment. Young people can take the leadership away from the indifferent, venal men who are concerned with progress and profit for the sake of progress and profit alone…”

After considering a number of names like Environment Day and Ecology Day, they settled on the appellation, “Earth Day.” Nelson chose the date to maximize participation on college campuses. The week of April 19–25 did not fall during exams or spring break and did not conflict with Easter or Passover. It was late enough to ensure good weather. During the middle of the week there would be more students in class and no competition from other events – so Wednesday, April 22, 1970 was anointed as the target day. When critics later pointed out it was Lenin’s birthday, Nelson replied that it was also the birthday of both St. Francis of Assisi, the nature saint, and his own Aunt Tillie.

The above was excerpted from this article. In September,1995, Sen. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, much of the work flowing from those first Earth Days were seeking top-down large-scale Federal legislation and regulation.

What makes progressive change so difficult now is that a sizeable percentage of the American people are inserting their heads into deep holes they purchase from entities whose short-term bottom lines are enhanced by maintaining unsustainable patterns of consumption. Just regulating industry will not yield a viable future. Today, we look at small-scale day-to-day successes with special attention directed to increasingly sophisticated tools that allow us to make sustainable decisions and how an NGO is becoming a de facto global standard.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI lead our guests through their work on three different points along the sustainability continuum. Each runs a businesses which helps clients make better informed decisions – decisions which make their futures more sustainable without further disrupting the present.

GUESTS:

CINDY OJCZYK – Principal of Simply Green Design and A More Beautiful Home.

RAMY SALIM  –  Owner, Sunny Day Earth Solutions; Completed the first City issued permitted straw bale building in over a decade

DALE FORSBERG – President of Watson-Forsberg Contracting; specialist in LEED*

*Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a point based rating system used to answer the questions: How green is this design or building. It was created by the United States Green Building Council.

TruthToTell, Monday, March 4- 9AM: TESTING THE TEACHER: Failing the Grade; TruthToTell Feb. 25: WOMEN in the CONSTRUCTION TRADES: Still Struggling After All These Years

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, March 4, 2013

Call and join this 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!

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

Much has been made of the effectiveness of constantly testing students with standardized and  formula tests to measure teacher performance as well as student achievement. The general conclusion: testing does little to raise the quality of either teaching or learning because, inevitably, most educators observe, the testing becomes the tool and not the learning and exposure to real life experiences that many agree result in far more effective education.

Teaching to the test has become the feared mantra for most educators, whether we’re testing teachers or students.

And, yet, just last year, despite the frequent split between teacher supporters like DFL legislators, most often also endorsed by the teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, and Republican teachers union critics, both Republican-led houses mustered large bipartisan majorities to up the ante in teacher licensure requirements by enacting a law to require teachers to pass a series of basic skills tests in reading, writing and math – before receiving certification to teach in public schools. Before that change, teachers would have to take the tests, yes, but, if they failed, could be temporarily certified and allowed in the classroom while they kept trying for up to three years.

No more. Without passing the basic skills tests, certification is withheld; so…no job until they make it.

DFL Governor Mark Dayton signed the revision bill last session.

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations –the MTLE – are all part of the overall certification process teachers must undergo, overseen by the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT). Teacher licensure has been the subject of much debate over the years: are current standards adequate to measure teacher preparedness or ability to stand before 30 or more students and pass on knowledge some skeptics think the teachers themselves may lack?

And yet…when does testing become punishment rather than a measurement tool or incentive?

Taking those basic skills exams is expensive – each test costing teacher candidates well over $100 including annual testing fees. And those are charges aspiring teachers who fail them must pay over and over again. And, under that law passed last year – those fees are paid every time the test is taken – an expensive proposition.

Readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic. If you can’t do it all, you’re out. You can ace two of the three, but…fail one, and…it’s over. What about people who simply don’t test well. Thousands don’t. Who makes up these tests, anyway? The testing company wouldn’t cop to it. What about the test content? Is it completely nonbiased? Could it ever not be, given the multicultural nature of the populations likely taking them, in spite of a desperate need for finding teachers who look like the students under their charge?

And the biggest question of all: are these tests sufficient measures of teacher effectiveness. Stories abound about the many teachers considered whiz-bang conveyors of learning in the classroom, but when told to take a test containing problems or stories completely out of their ken, find themselves on the outside looking in.

Now, add in the elements of race and class and ethnic origin, and the scores become abysmal, given our US penchant for second-class education among our communities of poverty and color.

Now a bill to repeal the whole basic skills burden for graduate teachers just about ready to enter the classroom and support for that proposition is under consideration in both houses.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring several stakeholders into the studio or on the phone to talk about their studies and experiences with all this testing, including the author of the Senate bill to repeal the skills tests altogether.

GUESTS:

STATE SEN. KEVIN DAHLE (DFL, Northfield [Dist. 20]) – Vice Chair, Senate Education Committee; Member, E-12 Division of Senate Finance; Author Senate File 429 (companion House File 171 [Rep. John Ward]

DR. CHRISTOPHER SMITH – Assistant Professor & Assessment Coordinator, Augsburg College; Co-author (with Audrey Lensmire) of an Augsburg study on MTLE and Basic Skills Examinations.

KAYLA VANDENHEUVEL and KRISTIN FILDES – Teaching candidates/Junior year students,Minnesota State University at Moorhead; Co-Founders, MinnesotaVOICE (Voicing Our Important Concerns in Education) - Pre-service Teacher Advocates

SCOTT CROONQUIST – Executive Director, Association of Metropolitan School Districts

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MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, February 25, 2013

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

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

One entire section of Susan Eisenberg’s “Move the Decimal Point” blog poignantly remembers the names and stories of the many women who have died on the jobs they held in construction and related trades.

Eisenberg, a prominent Boston writer, poet, teacher and artist who was herself a tradeswoman, authored a breakthrough book of moving profiles relates the discouraging and dangerous encounters too many women have had struggling with threatened and threatening men for equality of position, pay and pride, and yes, power, in those traditionally male bastions of carpentry, electricity, plumbing, welding, labor, etc. – that is, all the many crafts that make up the construction trades.

The book, We’ll Call You If We Need You, published in 1999, is the natural outgrowth of Eisenberg’s own dilemmas as she grew from apprentice in 1978 to journeyman electrician and navigated the same rough waters as the women she writes about – and in some cases has had to mourn. A book of emotional poetry later reflected on the tales. Since then, she’s taken the stories on the road in a multimedia exhibit – “On Equal Terms” – a more visual assemblage representing those experiences.

As she and others joining us will tell you, all is still not tongue-in-groove joins of tradesmen and the women wanting to do the same work and, when given a chance, often more skilled and competent at their craft. In many cases, the men just cannot buy what they see as an intrusion into their realm.

What are the experiences of women in the trades today? Are the opportunities more prolific? Safer? More equal? Who’s working to overcome the barriers that still block many women from successfully entering the trades and working the wood and the wire, the beams and the pipes? Is this whole business a little like the deeply entrenched social issues that keep us divided, only plagued with even more gatekeeping of the union standard?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with author/artist Eisenberg as well as other tradeswomen past and present, one of whom is an independent contractor and a PhD candidate in Housing, no less.

GUESTS:

SUSAN EISENBERG – Tradeswoman Pioneer, Multidisciplinary Artist and Policy Consultant; Director, “On Equal Terms Project” – Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center; Poet & Author, We’ll Call You If We Need You; Blogger: Move the Decimal Point.

HEIDI WAGNER – Owner, Heidi Construction; PhD Candidate in Housing Studies-University of Minnesota

 

 


RASHEDA PETTIFORD – Apprentice, Laborers Local 132, St. Paul

MARY DESJARLAIS – MN Department of Labor & Industry Apprenticeship Program

 

 

TruthToTell, Monday, March 4- 9AM: TESTING TO THE TEACHER: Failing the Grade – AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 03/04/2013
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.

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

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

Much has been made of the effectiveness of constantly testing students with standardized and  formula tests to measure teacher performance as well as student achievement. The general conclusion: testing does little to raise the quality of either teaching or learning because, inevitably, most educators observe, the testing becomes the tool and not the learning and exposure to real life experiences that many agree result in far more effective education.

Teaching to the test has become the feared mantra for most educators, whether we’re testing teachers or students.

And, yet, just last year, despite the frequent split between teacher supporters like DFL legislators, most often also endorsed by the teachers’ union, Education Minnesota, and Republican teachers union critics, both Republican-led houses mustered large bipartisan majorities to up the ante in teacher licensure requirements by enacting a law to require teachers to pass a series of basic skills tests in reading, writing and math – before receiving certification to teach in public schools. Before that change, teachers would have to take the tests, yes, but, if they failed, could be temporarily certified and allowed in the classroom while they kept trying for up to three years.

No more. Without passing the basic skills tests, certification is withheld; so…no job until they make it.

DFL Governor Mark Dayton signed the revision bill last session.

Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations –the MTLE – are all part of the overall certification process teachers must undergo, overseen by the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT). Teacher licensure has been the subject of much debate over the years: are current standards adequate to measure teacher preparedness or ability to stand before 30 or more students and pass on knowledge some skeptics think the teachers themselves may lack?

And yet…when does testing become punishment rather than a measurement tool or incentive?

Taking those basic skills exams is expensive – each test costing teacher candidates well over $100 including annual testing fees. And those are charges aspiring teachers who fail them must pay over and over again. And, under that law passed last year – those fees are paid every time the test is taken – an expensive proposition.

Readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic. If you can’t do it all, you’re out. You can ace two of the three, but…fail one, and…it’s over. What about people who simply don’t test well. Thousands don’t. Who makes up these tests, anyway? The testing company wouldn’t cop to it. What about the test content? Is it completely nonbiased? Could it ever not be, given the multicultural nature of the populations likely taking them, in spite of a desperate need for finding teachers who look like the students under their charge?

And the biggest question of all: are these tests sufficient measures of teacher effectiveness. Stories abound about the many teachers considered whiz-bang conveyors of learning in the classroom, but when told to take a test containing problems or stories completely out of their ken, find themselves on the outside looking in.

Now, add in the elements of race and class and ethnic origin, and the scores become abysmal, given our US penchant for second-class education among our communities of poverty and color.

Now a bill to repeal the whole basic skills burden for graduate teachers just about ready to enter the classroom and support for that proposition is under consideration in both houses.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring several stakeholders into the studio or on the phone to talk about their studies and experiences with all this testing, including the author of the Senate bill to repeal the skills tests altogether.

GUESTS:

STATE SEN. KEVIN DAHLE (DFL, Northfield [Dist. 20]) – Vice Chair, Senate Education Committee; Member, E-12 Division of Senate Finance; Author Senate File 429 (companion House File 171 [Rep. John Ward]

DR. CHRISTOPHER SMITH – Assistant Professor & Assessment Coordinator, Augsburg College; Co-author (with Audrey Lensmire) of an Augsburg study on MTLE and Basic Skills Examinations.

KAYLA VANDENHEUVEL and KRISTEN FILDES – Teaching candidates/Junior year students,Minnesota State University at Moorhead; Co-Founders, MinnesotaVOICE (Voicing Our Important Concerns in Education) - Pre-service Teacher Advocates

SCOTT CROONQUIST – Executive Director, Association of Metropolitan School Districts

TruthToTell, Monday, Feb. 4 - 9AM: FORECLOSURE TRAUMA: Devastating Families & Communities; TruthToTell ENCORE, Jan 28: DOMESTIC DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second?

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, February 4, 2013

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

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

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

News reports these days are rife with stories about the “improving” economy, the slowly dropping unemployment rate but a surging and record Dow Jones average, bank profits, dipping gasoline pump prices – and, biggest of all, the bottoming out of real estate values and improving home sales – in volume and prices.

Why, then, are foreclosures still rising, especially among low-wealth and communities of color? Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and other home units? And why are those banks selectively balking at restructuring mortgages and the debt that comes from plunging underwater – owing more on one’s mortgage than the home is worth anymore.

Most of us can only imagine what it must be like to have one’s belief in your ability to own the American Dream torn apart and being told you can no longer live in the house you have called home for, perhaps, ten, fifteen, or even twenty years – because you were oversold the mortgage to begin with and now you’re possibly among the millions of unemployed and, on top of it, owe more on the house that it’s worth. Why the bank wants it is anyone’s guess, but they want your home and you’re out of there. What this is doing to people is what February 4th’s TruthToTell is all about.

Most of us know that from the early 1990s through the early 2000s, mortgage lenders – banks and brokerages – were manipulating and fudging all the known rules for mortgage financing, lowering down payments to near zero, dropping interest rates to encourage refinancing, and issuing tempting but dangerous ARMs – adjustable-rate mortgages – ticking time bombs for homeowners if and when interest rates jumped in a future year. And they most assuredly would have  - and did. But, in most cases, the banks remained only as collection agencies for the mortgage owners, now scattered all of the world after the bank bundled them up and sold them in pieces to investors everywhere.

Housing scholar Rachel Fang cites one study (Ross and Squires [2011]) in a proposal for her comprehensive look at the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging. Most participants received psycho-social benefits from their homes, regardless of tenure, and the vast majority of homeowners reported that their homes provided them feelings of safety, privacy, freedom and control…”

Studies of several kinds have zeroed in on the financial and physical environment that families and communities – especially in areas of high subprime properties and concentrations of poverty – suffer as foreclosures descend on them, but comprehensive studies are less available combining those so-called quantitative elements with clear qualitative – call it quality of life, if you will –  assessment of the psychological and physical impact on a family’s health and well-being, not to mention the collective trauma suffered by the community as a whole – like the North Minneapolis tornado did a couple of years ago – on predominantly African-American homeowners and renters that foreclosure rendered.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI will hear from a homeowner, her advocates and the University researcher examining the relationship between the financial and physical losses to the health problems foreclosure victims and their families and communities are facing.

GUESTS:

RACHEL FANG - PhD Candidate, Housing Studies Program – College of Design, University of Minnesota

GENET BEYENE – Homeowner undergoing foreclosure

CHRIS GRAY – Organizer, OccupyHomes Minnesota

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

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

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

REGARDING THIS WEEK'S ENCORE PLAYBACK, TWO ITEMS:

1. We had serious difficulty booking the proper guests in time to air our show on Women in Construction. That show will air with an excellent array of guests on February 25th.

2. A humorous event regarding my posting of a photo with no source links but, it appeared to me, clearly within the realm of believability after doing this show on Drones a couple of weeks ago, elicited an extraordinary reaction - starting with Art Hughes, my friend and colleague (editor of "Bring Me the News"), pointing out that the photo of three drones flying in formation over the Inaugural masses on the 21st of January was, in fact, a doctored photo published by the satirical newsreader, The Onion. I thought it funny, but believable because of what we learned in this week's show about domestic surveillance drones in rapid deployment across the US, but I conceded that photo's "inauthenticity." 

Subsequently, a rather ignorant City Pages blogger decided to make a big deal of my error and published a string of my comments under "Radio Host Duped by The Onion" and going on to name me and my show. In fact, it was wonderful publicity - and we are welcoming many new followers of our Facebook pages, but it also elicited a rash of absolutely vituperous hazing from rightwing namecallers, who continue even now heap their venomous commentary on this writer. Needless to say, they've also gone after those on my pages who challenged them, so they then deserve to be removed. Still, the ignorance that persists in the wider community about the subject of drones and their domestic deployment, primarily for surveillance at the moment, but possibly for deadly confrontation in our cities and other US venues, is as dangerous as any drone itself, and so tomorrow, we re-run our January 7th program as a reminder of the days to come.

And now, for the doubters, comes this:


Is this a mosquito? No. It’s a Dragonfly Spy.

It's an insect spy drone for urban areas, already in production, funded by the US Government. It can be controlled and is equipped with a camera and a microphone. It can land on you, and it can take a DNA sample of you or leave RFID tracking nanotechnology on your skin. It can be operated to fly through an open window or door and attach to your clothing

Few readers and listeners are unaware that the United States is and has been sending unmanned aircraft with the rather insidious moniker – drones – over a wide swath of countries and territories overseas and targeting specific individuals with their deadly missiles. Another of these occurred Thursday or Friday of this week (Jan 3rd or 4th) inside Pakistan – again. Others occur regularly inside Afghanistan and Yemen. With good reason, howls of anguish and protest have pierced the global cyberspace and diplomatic community over the “collateral damage” –deaths and maiming of civilian innocents caught within the area of the blasts designed to destroy some single US-designated combatant the government calls a terrorist.

Hundreds of women and children have died in the wake of these targeted assassinations. At least three of those targets have been American citizens, tracked down and killed without a shred of the due process American citizens are supposed to receive in the wake of charges that they have committed crimes. This, of course, is an egregious affront to Constitutional guarantees – in other words, illegal actions – administered by this newly re-elected President, who, despite other commendable domestic actions, has adopted a dictator-like cavalier attitude toward due process when it comes to political dissent and national security issues.

This leads us to the next step in drone development: one that could, any day now, start hovering over your house, your home right here in the good USofA. 

 Hover drone

It is now estimated that some 30,000 drones have been ordered or made available to local law enforcement agencies through grants by US justice officials, only we can’t know about these, either, because the Department of Justice – read Obama Administration – refuses to inform a still-unaware public that the government may now believe it can spy on your town, your city, you neighborhood or your home with secrecy and impunity.The Justice Department's own Inspector General's Year End Report (Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department) warns about the "challenges" such machines make for a department whose job it is to protect civil rights and privacy, not dispense with it. Where it could go from there few people want to even think about – and that would be their use as weapons, not just spy machines. (Naomi Wolf insists it’s simply a matter of time.) And drones need not be flyovers, but hovering little camera-bearing robots peeking into windows and backyards and playgrounds – as they did over the Humphrey Dome at the last Vikings-Packers game in Minneapolis Sunday, Dec. 31.

Why does anyone find this necessary? All the former police officers and executive we’ve talked with are as fearful of this tool in the hands of local police agencies and the FBI as any one of us might be.How should we respond to the secrecy surrounding the development of this surveillance machine for domestic use? How should we view the potential for the maximum intrusion into our long-revered privacy these robotics represent? Who’s looking into this extraordinary interruption of American life as we’ve known it? Who’s challenging it?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with various advocates at the national and regional levels as an alert to citizens to take action toward curbing the use of drones – domestic surveillance types, especially.

GUESTS:

COLEEN ROWLEY – Former Minneapolis office FBI agent and 9-11 whistleblower; Peace advocate, blogger, Huffington Post contributor

CATHERINE CRUMP – Attorney, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY

MATT EHLING – President, Lead Producer, Public Record Media, St. Paul; Plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice; CEO, ETS Productions

JT HAINES – Attorney in Private Practice representing plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Feb. 4 - 9AM: FORECLOSURE TRAUMA: Devastating Families & Communities - AUDIO/PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/04/2013
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.

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LATE-BREAKING NEWS: 

This warms the cockles of our hearts
Victory in sight for South Side Homeowner facing imminent eviction!

About an hour after her radio interview (Monday) morning, Gayle Lindsey received a call from the Senior Vice President of the Loss Mitigation department at M&T Bank, who announced his intention to work with Gayle, and delayed her eviction hearing. Looks like a great way to lead-up to the Foreclosure and Eviction Free Zone Launch event this Saturday, 2:00pm at Green Central School.

Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/462830700433236/

Our hearts, prayers and solidarity go out to Anthony Newby, whose unjust and trumped up trial wraps up this afternoon.

Onwards to victory Genet Beyene, Nafeesah, and Jayne, Gayles neighbors who also face foreclosure, and who also are not going anywhere until their whole community is foreclosure and eviction free.

News reports these days are rife with stories about the “improving” economy, the slowly dropping unemployment rate but a surging and record Dow Jones average, bank profits, dipping gasoline pump prices – and, biggest of all, the bottoming out of real estate values and improving home sales – in volume and prices.

Why, then, are foreclosures still rising, especially among low-wealth and communities of color? Why are banks still throwing so many people out of their houses and other home units? And why are those banks selectively balking at restructuring mortgages and the debt that comes from plunging underwater – owing more on one’s mortgage than the home is worth anymore.

Most of us can only imagine what it must be like to have one’s belief in your ability to own the American Dream torn apart and being told you can no longer live in the house you have called home for, perhaps, ten, fifteen, or even twenty years – because you were oversold the mortgage to begin with and now you’re possibly among the millions of unemployed and, on top of it, owe more on the house that it’s worth. Why the bank wants it is anyone’s guess, but they want your home and you’re out of there. What this is doing to people is what February 4th’s TruthToTell is all about.

Most of us know that from the early 1990s through the early 2000s, mortgage lenders – banks and brokerages – were manipulating and fudging all the known rules for mortgage financing, lowering down payments to near zero, dropping interest rates to encourage refinancing, and issuing tempting but dangerous ARMs – adjustable-rate mortgages – ticking time bombs for homeowners if and when interest rates jumped in a future year. And they most assuredly would have  - and did. But, in most cases, the banks remained only as collection agencies for the mortgage owners, now scattered all of the world after the bank bundled them up and sold them in pieces to investors everywhere.

Housing scholar Rachel Fang cites one study (Ross and Squires [2011]) in a proposal for her comprehensive look at the role housing plays in our lives and the toll foreclosure takes on us. Our home is “…a place of refuge, personal security, identity and freedom, offering individuals a sense of order, continuity and place of physical belonging. Most participants received psycho-social benefits from their homes, regardless of tenure, and the vast majority of homeowners reported that their homes provided them feelings of safety, privacy, freedom and control…”

Studies of several kinds have zeroed in on the financial and physical environment that families and communities – especially in areas of high subprime properties and concentrations of poverty – suffer as foreclosures descend on them, but comprehensive studies are less available combining those so-called quantitative elements with clear qualitative – call it quality of life, if you will –  assessment of the psychological and physical impact on a family’s health and well-being, not to mention the collective trauma suffered by the community as a whole – like the North Minneapolis tornado did a couple of years ago – on predominantly African-American homeowners and renters that foreclosure rendered.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI hear from a homeowner, her advocate and the University researcher examining the relationship between the financial and physical losses to the health problems foreclosure victims and their families and communities are facing.

NOTE: DOCTORAL CANDIDATE RACHEL FANG IS SEEKING INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES IN FORECLOSURE TO INTERVIEW FOR HER STUDY -  If Interested or willing to contribute to this important work, call (or text) her at  612-327-0006-or email her atfang0010@umn.edu

GUESTS:

RACHEL FANG - PhD Candidate, Housing Studies Program – College of Design, University of Minnesota

GAYLE LINDSEY – Homeowner in foreclosure

CHRIS GRAY – Organizer, OccupyHomes Minnesota

TruthToTell ENCORE, Monday, Jan 28–9AM: DOMESTIC DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second?; TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 21–9AM: OBAMA & MLK: Dream Fulfilled? Or Dashed?

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, January 28, 2013

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

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

REGARDING THIS WEEK'S ENCORE PLAYBACK, TWO ITEMS:

1. We had serious difficulty booking the proper guests in time to air our show on Women in Construction. That show will air with an excellent array of guests on February 25th.

2. A humorous event regarding my posting of a photo with no source links but, it appeared to me, clearly within the realm of believability after doing this show on Drones a couple of weeks ago, elicited an extraordinary reaction - starting with Art Hughes, my friend and colleague (editor of "Bring Me the News"), pointing out that the photo of three drones flying in formation over the Inaugural masses on the 21st of January was, in fact, a doctored photo published by the satirical newsreader, The Onion. I thought it funny, but believable because of what we learned in this week's show about domestic surveillance drones in rapid deployment across the US, but I conceded that photo's "inauthenticity." (For a NOVA Special on DRONES, see here: Watch now: Rise of the Drones | NOVA | PBS Video)

Subsequently, a rather ignorant City Pages blogger decided to make a big deal of my error and published a string of my comments under "Radio Host Duped by The Onion" and going on to name me and my show. In fact, it was wonderful publicity - and we are welcoming many new followers of our Facebook pages, but it also elicited a rash of absolutely vituperous hazing from rightwing namecallers, who continue even now heap their venomous commentary on this writer. Needless to say, they've also gone after those on my pages who challenged them, so they then deserve to be removed. Still, the ignorance that persists in the wider community about the subject of drones and their domestic deployment, primarily for surveillance at the moment, but possibly for deadly confrontation in our cities and other US venues, is as dangerous as any drone itself, and so tomorrow, we re-run our January 7th program as a reminder of the days to come.

Few readers and listeners are unaware that the United States is and has been sending unmanned aircraft with the rather insidious moniker – drones – over a wide swath of countries and territories overseas and targeting specific individuals with their deadly missiles. Another of these occurred Thursday or Friday of this week (Jan 3rd or 4th) inside Pakistan – again. Others occur regularly inside Afghanistan and Yemen. With good reason, howls of anguish and protest have pierced the global cyberspace and diplomatic community over the “collateral damage” –deaths and maiming of civilian innocents caught within the area of the blasts designed to destroy some single US-designated combatant the government calls a terrorist.

Hundreds of women and children have died in the wake of these targeted assassinations. At least three of those targets have been American citizens, tracked down and killed without a shred of the due process American citizens are supposed to receive in the wake of charges that they have committed crimes. This, of course, is an egregious affront to Constitutional guarantees – in other words, illegal actions – administered by this newly re-elected President, who, despite other commendable domestic actions, has adopted a dictator-like cavalier attitude toward due process when it comes to political dissent and national security issues.

This leads us to the next step in drone development: one that could, any day now, start hovering over your house, your home right here in the good USofA. 

 <<Hover drone

It is now estimated that some 30,000 drones have been ordered or made available to local law enforcement agencies through grants by US justice officials, only we can’t know about these, either, because the Department of Justice – read Obama Administration – refuses to inform a still-unaware public that the government may now believe it can spy on your town, your city, you neighborhood or your home with secrecy and impunity.The Justice Department's own Inspector General's Year End Report (Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department) warns about the "challenges" such machines make for a department whose job it is to protect civil rights and privacy, not dispense with it. Where it could go from there few people want to even think about – and that would be their use as weapons, not just spy machines. (Naomi Wolf insists it’s simply a matter of time.) And drones need not be flyovers, but hovering little camera-bearing robots peeking into windows and backyards and playgrounds – as they did over the Humphrey Dome at the last Vikings-Packers game in Minneapolis Sunday, Dec. 31.

Why does anyone find this necessary? All the former police officers and executive we’ve talked with are as fearful of this tool in the hands of local police agencies and the FBI as any one of us might be.How should we respond to the secrecy surrounding the development of this surveillance machine for domestic use? How should we view the potential for the maximum intrusion into our long-revered privacy these robotics represent? Who’s looking into this extraordinary interruption of American life as we’ve known it? Who’s challenging it?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with various advocates at the national and regional levels as an alert to citizens to take action toward curbing the use of drones – domestic surveillance types, especially.

GUESTS:

COLEEN ROWLEY – Former Minneapolis office FBI agent and 9-11 whistleblower; Peace advocate, blogger, Huffington Post contributor

CATHERINE CRUMP – Attorney, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY

MATT EHLING – President, Lead Producer, Public Record Media, St. Paul; Plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice; CEO, ETS Productions

JT HAINES – Attorney in Private Practice representing plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

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

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

We now have four years of the very first Black presidency behind us.

Despite the insane vilification of Barack Obama and the extraordinary overreach of the country’s rightwing politicians and media, the most extraordinary, lowdown, miserable NRA ad going after the President’s children, and the wild portrayals of Fox News mouthpieces whose hypocrisy fairly oozes from their on-camera personas and dependence on a forgetful viewership over time, a few million folks on the other end of the political spectrum did, in fact, reluctantly mark their ballots for his reelection.

Why? And how would Martin Luther King be assessing this first four years of the first African American to occupy that end of Pennsylvania Avenue? Does Mr. Obama embody the Dream Dr. King talked about. Or the Black pride he encouraged (“Walk with your head high! Be a man!”) in other settings outside of Washington, DC?

The enthusiasm with which many progressives (most of them white, of course) greeted the nation’s first nominee of color and helped send to the White House began to fade quickly as Mr. Obama, little by little, day by day, displayed a baffling willingness to maintain the policies of his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush. This was immediately true in the initial days of his inheriting the financial mess dumped on his administration in the waning days of the previous Congress and the fiscal disaster that proved to be the worst recession since the Great Depression. Mr. Obama’s Wall-Street-based donors, soon to be in charge of his Treasury Department, the Fed and the Council of Economic Adviser recommended – and he bought into – a multi-billion-dollar bailout, not of the ravaged and savaged homeowners entering history’s worst foreclosure crisis and underwater drag on housing values, but of already super-wealthy investment bankers who eventually were caught making more billions by betting against their own investors.

Then came Guantanamo, which Mr. Obama had promised n his campaign to close and which festers still as a sore on the nation’s conscience. Then Iraq and Afghanistan and, in direct contravention of his campaign promises, signed the first renewal and recently, the second  of National Defense Authorization Act which legalizes government wiretaps without a warrant and crushes dissent in the streets and sends drones over foreign and domestic territories to either spy on or kill so-called targets the President unilaterally deems a threat, including American citizens who die without a shred of due process – a charge, a trial and a conviction.

BUT…this is the President who muscled through the Affordable Health Care Act. And wound down the War in Iraq (eventually), and strengthened some of our environmental protections and brought the children of undocumented workers into a state of innocence – if not amnesty.

Mr. Obama and his youthful, attractive family, his winning smile and incredibly confident, articulate voice, along with his squeaky clean image, has maintained a certain level of comfort among a slim majority of Americans. Yet, the political machinery behind his reelection was deceptively competent and engineered such an awesome victory that the self-deceived right and its billionaire PACs were completely blindsided when the President completely swamped Mitt Romney in the Electoral College.

So. On this day when the inspiring ghost of Martin Luther King is heard once again in terms that echo still today and almost singing,

“…But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition…I have dream today…I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’…”

…how would Dr. King look upon this Presidency today? What changes in the plight of people of color might he have expected? Would he be justified? King hated the Vietnam Conflict and other wars that pitted Black Americans against other cultures of color. How would he feel about the Mideast, Afghanistan, Israel, the drone wars? How would he view Mr. Obama’s almost blank slate in addressing racial inequality and white privilege, the urban public education achievement gap, and the burgeoning prison populations everywhere, top heavy with Black, Latino and American Indian males?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI bring in two observers of the political scene as well as the racial inequality index of our communities.

GUESTS:

BRETT BUCKNER – former Executive Director, Color the Vote; Candidate, Minneapolis 5th Ward City Council; former President, Minneapolis NAACP.

DOUG ROSSINOW, PhD – Associate Professor of History, Metropolitan State University

TruthToTell ENCORE, Jan 28: DOMESTIC DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second? - Audio/Podcast HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 01/28/2013
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.

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

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

REGARDING THIS WEEK'S ENCORE PLAYBACK, TWO ITEMS:

1. We had serious difficulty booking the proper guests in time to air our show on Women in Construction. That show will air with an excellent array of guests on February 25th.

2. A humorous event regarding my posting of a photo with no source links but, it appeared to me, clearly within the realm of believability after doing this show on Drones a couple of weeks ago, elicited an extraordinary reaction - starting with Art Hughes, my friend and colleague (editor of "Bring Me the News"), pointing out that the photo of three drones flying in formation over the Inaugural masses on the 21st of January was, in fact, a doctored photo published by the satirical newsreader, The Onion. I thought it funny, but believable because of what we learned in this week's show about domestic surveillance drones in rapid deployment across the US, but I conceded that photo's "inauthenticity." 

Subsequently, a rather ignorant City Pages blogger decided to make a big deal of my error and published a string of my comments under "Radio Host Duped by The Onion" and going on to name me and my show. In fact, it was wonderful publicity - and we are welcoming many new followers of our Facebook pages, but it also elicited a rash of absolutely vituperous hazing from rightwing namecallers, who continue even now heap their venomous commentary on this writer. Needless to say, they've also gone after those on my pages who challenged them, so they then deserve to be removed. Still, the ignorance that persists in the wider community about the subject of drones and their domestic deployment, primarily for surveillance at the moment, but possibly for deadly confrontation in our cities and other US venues, is as dangerous as any drone itself, and so tomorrow, we re-run our January 7th program as a reminder of the days to come.

And now, for the doubters, comes this:


Is this a mosquito? No. It’s a Dragonfly Spy.

It's an insect spy drone for urban areas, already in production, funded by the US Government. It can be controlled and is equipped with a camera and a microphone. It can land on you, and it can take a DNA sample of you or leave RFID tracking nanotechnology on your skin. It can be operated to fly through an open window or door and attach to your clothing

Few readers and listeners are unaware that the United States is and has been sending unmanned aircraft with the rather insidious moniker – drones – over a wide swath of countries and territories overseas and targeting specific individuals with their deadly missiles. Another of these occurred Thursday or Friday of this week (Jan 3rd or 4th) inside Pakistan – again. Others occur regularly inside Afghanistan and Yemen. With good reason, howls of anguish and protest have pierced the global cyberspace and diplomatic community over the “collateral damage” –deaths and maiming of civilian innocents caught within the area of the blasts designed to destroy some single US-designated combatant the government calls a terrorist.

Hundreds of women and children have died in the wake of these targeted assassinations. At least three of those targets have been American citizens, tracked down and killed without a shred of the due process American citizens are supposed to receive in the wake of charges that they have committed crimes. This, of course, is an egregious affront to Constitutional guarantees – in other words, illegal actions – administered by this newly re-elected President, who, despite other commendable domestic actions, has adopted a dictator-like cavalier attitude toward due process when it comes to political dissent and national security issues.

This leads us to the next step in drone development: one that could, any day now, start hovering over your house, your home right here in the good USofA. 

 Hover drone

It is now estimated that some 30,000 drones have been ordered or made available to local law enforcement agencies through grants by US justice officials, only we can’t know about these, either, because the Department of Justice – read Obama Administration – refuses to inform a still-unaware public that the government may now believe it can spy on your town, your city, you neighborhood or your home with secrecy and impunity.The Justice Department's own Inspector General's Year End Report (Top Management and Performance Challenges in the Department) warns about the "challenges" such machines make for a department whose job it is to protect civil rights and privacy, not dispense with it. Where it could go from there few people want to even think about – and that would be their use as weapons, not just spy machines. (Naomi Wolf insists it’s simply a matter of time.) And drones need not be flyovers, but hovering little camera-bearing robots peeking into windows and backyards and playgrounds – as they did over the Humphrey Dome at the last Vikings-Packers game in Minneapolis Sunday, Dec. 31.

Why does anyone find this necessary? All the former police officers and executive we’ve talked with are as fearful of this tool in the hands of local police agencies and the FBI as any one of us might be.How should we respond to the secrecy surrounding the development of this surveillance machine for domestic use? How should we view the potential for the maximum intrusion into our long-revered privacy these robotics represent? Who’s looking into this extraordinary interruption of American life as we’ve known it? Who’s challenging it?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with various advocates at the national and regional levels as an alert to citizens to take action toward curbing the use of drones – domestic surveillance types, especially.

GUESTS:

COLEEN ROWLEY – Former Minneapolis office FBI agent and 9-11 whistleblower; Peace advocate, blogger, Huffington Post contributor

CATHERINE CRUMP – Attorney, Speech, Privacy and Technology Program, American Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY

MATT EHLING – President, Lead Producer, Public Record Media, St. Paul; Plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice; CEO, ETS Productions

JT HAINES – Attorney in Private Practice representing plaintiff, Public Record Media v. U.S. Department of Justice