Michelle Alimoradi

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TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 21–9AM: OBAMA & MLK: Dream Fulfilled? Or Dashed?; TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 14–9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable? – Audio HERE

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 21, 2013

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!

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

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. (We wish we could have added a female African American voice to this mix, but the women we contacted are all meeting with Children’s Defense Fund founder and CEO, Marian Wright Edelman. Perhaps another day.)

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

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, January 14, 2013

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

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

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titledDebating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL, assisted by MICHELLE ALIMORADI, will revisit his old American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 21–9AM: OBAMA & MLK: Dream Fulfilled? Or Dashed? - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 01/21/2013
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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

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

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, Monday, Jan 14–9AM: DAVID NOBLE SPEAKS: The End of History-Is It Debatable?; TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 7–9AM: 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, January 14, 2013

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!

Some questions posed by Historian and American Studies pioneer, David Noble, might have some of us scratching our heads – for a minute.

“Why do modern people believe that there will be perpetual economic growth?”

Let’s stop right there and give some thought to this question. By modern people, David Noble is not zeroing in on living Americans; he sees modernity as dating back to the Greeks when men the likes of Plato began an era, nay, millennia, of thinking that instead of caving into the reality of our limits, or of the cycles of life, or what he calls a timeful culture, there began the hubris of timelessness inherent in mankind’s perceived ability to control nature, interrupting its built-in cycles of life and death and disease, and extending life, perhaps forever someday, by conquering death.

Such beliefs formed the core, the nucleus of modern humans trying to throw off traditional cultures and insisting that nothing can – or should – stand in the way of human “progress” and ever-expanding capitalism that presumes that economic and natural Utopia lies just around that next corner only to see how the natural limits have created rising poverty, racism, economic turmoil and an instability in culture and nature we never thought possible.

It also, says David, presumes that the Earth is not the living organism it most certainly is, and that we may be the only species will to deny it in order to conquer it, to extract all of its natural resources and convert to cash all that we can of the clean air and water we once inherited as members of that most stable, self-correcting world in which, thanks to the cycles of life and death and other natural phenomena, we’ve seen evolution and revolution.

The latest in David’s long series of treatises on the Two World theory – the old, timeful world vs. the new, timeless one we keep trying to create again and again to no avail – is titledDebating the End of History: The Marketplace, Utopia, and the Fragmentation of Intellectual Life (Critical American Studies). Just about all of David’s titles sound apocryphal - Death of a Nation: American Culture and the End of Exceptionalism (Critical American Studies) and End Of American History: Democracy, Capitalism, and the Metaphor of Two Worlds in Anglo-American Historical Writing, 1880-1980Historians Against History and The End of History (University of Minnesota Press, 1965-2012), and some essays of similar bent. The reason, one can be assured, is that the man has never stopped exploring that theory since his conversion from it to a new view through his readings of how fiction and nonfiction writers view such worlds, and discovering that fiction-writers (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and others) allow the real world to have its way with us. A major discovery. That history as we perceive it is dead because it denies important realities.

This is how David taught his American History and American Studies classes – but with a wry smile and a jaundiced eye on the “American Way” even as he explored The Progressive Era from his Master’s Thesis on down to the present. David taught in costume. He taught lying on his back (simply because he couldn’t stand up from a bad back). He brought history and ideas to life and he force everyone to think – which is how the American Studies Department came into being in the first place. Now, at 87, with a household of family members resembling an agrarian settlement around him, the man still teaches, though retired officially, still studies others’ theories he maintains only reinforces his critiques of modern humanity.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL, assisted by MICHELLE ALIMORADI, will revisit his old American History instructor to talk about where western “civilization” may have gone off the rails and why we must the natural limits to growth we as the New World culture of capitalism absolutely believe is essential to its success.

GUEST:

DAVID W. NOBLE – Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of American Studies; Author, Debating the End of History and nearly a dozen other books calling out the Two Worlds Theory

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, January 7, 2013

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

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

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 deaprtment 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, Jan 7–9AM: DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second?; TruthToTell Dec 31: GUN VIOLENCE: Can Minnesota Stop Its Own?

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, January 5, 2013

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!

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

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. 

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 deaprtment 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

JAY STANLEY – Senior Policy Analyst/Speech, Privacy and Technology Program/Editor, ACLUFree Future blog, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington, DC

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

INVITED:  JT HAINES – President, J T HAINES & ASSOCIATES USA – Attorney 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, December 31, 2012

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

MAKE CIVICMEDIA YOUR END-OF-YEAR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION BENEFICIARY!!! HELP US BRING YOU THESE IMPORTANT DISCUSSIONS OF COMMUNITY INTEREST – PLEASE DONATE HERE!

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

Often, to construct our newsletters each week, we’re Googling like crazy to compile the background of a given topic or guest.

Not so this week, not for our topic on guns and gun violence in Minnesota.

Needless to say, after the still heart-rending assault on Sandy Hook elementary school inNewtown, CT, a few weeks ago (is it already weeks?), the writings – coverages, assertions, opinions, and, yes, faux pas by a wide variety of reporters, commentators, advocates and policymakers – we’re inundated with material.

Much of the reaction to yet another “massacre” of human life by the use of firearms emerges as shockingly insensitive to a sane, nominally democratic, society, all of it trying to make sense out of senseless acts, cynical Congressional inaction and the wide berth given by the US Supreme Court to a badly written Second Amendment, theoretically upheld in its literal ambiguity as to just which circumstances call for the right of citizens to bear arms.

This much we do know: something must bring to as close a halt as possible in this mass arsenal of weaponry we call the United States the increasing number and increasingly shocking carnage inflicted by multi-gun-toting, sadly disturbed and untreated societal outliers.

Let us not forget, however, that this sort of bloodletting is a common, everyday occurrence in scores of other countries and cultures ever in upheaval over deadly dictatorships or massive military crackdowns. Deaths of one’s own brothers and sisters of every age and gender occur by the thousands, even millions, in places where ancient sectarian and tribal hatreds rear their miserable heads. To those peoples, our outrage over incidents here may seem laughable.

But, to us, the very idea of one of us killing 20 children and seven adults in one armed rampage bespeaks a sickness of society as well as the young men (always men, or boys, and always white) who carry them out. These killings are not born of ancient sectarian rivalries. These are all our neighbors, our children, our peace of mind. They leave us stunned and numb and wailing for remedies.

Pro-gun advocates try to obscure the truth, but the very existence of guns in a household multiplies the chances someone in that household – not an intruder, but a family member – will be shot, and that the more guns are allowed to be carried in a state, the more gun deaths occur. The statistics defy refuting, including the dangers of allowing one-on-one gun sales with no background checks, even at official gun shows. And so on.

This week, we look at Minnesota’s remedies – or some possible solutions – to a culture so obsessed with its “right” to own, carry and fire guns that any notion that we should look at the Sandy Hooks of this country, this world, as one thing and one thing only: the lethal tirade of man gone mad and lay off the idea that the arsenal we have created by that obsession has anything to do with its deployment.

We have a governor – a DFL governor, and owner of several guns himself – who is afraid our hands are tied in light of the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment ruling a couple of years ago, that states cannot abridge such a ruling, even as the space cadets running theNational Rifle Association (NRA) and our own Rep Tony Cornish insist that we should arm teachers and principals and/or turn our schools into armed sanctuaries with cops at every door. Never, ever, ever blame the proliferation of weapons or the overweening influence of a gun-manufacturing lackey like the NRA, which, under threat of political demise, has cowed most politicians into the most insane series of  statutes ever written on behalf of one industry (except, perhaps oil, hardly the deadly substance).

But, for the next two years at least, we now have an all-DFL-controlled state government, and it remains now for those caucuses and this governor to show the compassion and courage needed to finally put some limits on the types of weapons and bullets and magazines Minnesotans may harbor as well as the conditions under which guns can be purchased and a registry of arms created – some of this now prohibited by federal law.

Is it possible the Supreme Court would give way to a few states’ rights now without the basic Second Amendment ruling being violated? Where can we come down on making our homes and schools and public places safer in the face of severe resistance by the NRA and panicky gunowners who know not that the NRA does not represent them as much as it represents gun-makers?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL talks with advocates for gun culture reform and changes in law to bring real protection to our children.

GUESTS:

STATE REP. MICHAEL PAYMAR (DFL-St. Paul), Incoming Chair, MN House Public Safety Committee



HEATHER MARTENS – President, Protect Minnesota (formerly Citizens for a Safer Minnesota)


 


TONY BOUZA – former Chief of the Minneapolis Police and former candidate for governor (on a gun-control platform)

 

 

 

INVITED:

STATE REP. TONY CORNISH, Lead Republican, MN House Public Safety Committee; Retired Chief of Police, Lake Crystal, MN

 

TruthToTell, Monday, Jan 7–9AM: DRONES: Watching First, Killing Second? - Audio/Podcast HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 01/07/2013
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!

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

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 deaprtment 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, Dec 10–9AM: TONY BOUZA: Stream of Thoughts on Cops, Media and Life; TruthToTell, Dec 3: METROPOLITAN STATE: That OTHER 4-year Public University

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 10, 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!

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

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

 


MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, December 3, 2012

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

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

The story of that other Twin Cities four-year higher education institution – Metropolitan State University – never really started out as a competitor for the University of Minnesota. It was designed to do much of what the UofM was not doing – appealing to older, especially older workers from underserved populations – surely more Latinos and African-Americans – to complete their degree programs based on the competence they had acquired in their lives and work.

It started in 1971 as Minnesota Metropolitan State College, thanks to a legislative mandate, and some 46 faculty members – more than half of them part time, what they now refer to as community faculty – started classes in 1972, and graduated their first 12 students in 1973. They did all this from unlikely venues for a higher education institution – from a storeroom in the Capital Center Skyway as the first administration office to rather ill-equipped “classrooms” in downtown buildings, church basements, synagogues and outlying commercial structures.

The whole thing was originally geared to cover only the upper division – the last two years – of a normal 4-year college, but highly keyed to individuals wanting to – finally – finish their undergraduate education. This non-traditional approach turned Metro State into something of an enclave of rebellious promoters of higher ed who believed in the inherent learning abilities of people for whom completing a degree had been difficult, if not impossible, in the normal course of life: poverty, the need to work instead of the formally schooled, racism, etc.

This became a school that recruited and welcomed those folks, teaching them what it means to be an educated person, preparing them for learning late in life and for lifelong learning – never stopping to see learning as valuable, ongoing asset in all we do. For those who had working and living experiences that could be converted to college credit, devices and evaluations were created to recognize them. This, too, shortened the time commitment that would be otherwise required to get that BA degree. (Eventually, Metro started adding several Master’s programs).

Presidents and faculty were picked to run the place who agreed with the philosophy that all people can learn – and should and be credited for it – and you didn’t need too formal an enrolment and teaching environment to do so. A cadre of counselors and advisers who doubled as instructors guided students from getting the word out to dragging them in the door to sign on and helping them design their degree programs – a mishmash of classes, tests, transfer credits and prior learning experiences. Dr. David Sweet was the inaugural president, followed by Dr. Reatha Clark King and several others leading up to today’s Dr. Sue K. Hammersmith. The campus is large and growing all the time, familiar for it’s 4-story glass edifice sitting on Dayton’s Bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul. Several hundred faculty teach several thousands of students, now.

Then, in 1994, the Legislature turn what had been a beloved rebel into a true 4-year university, so great was the need to provide not only a continuum from community and technical colleges to Metro, but a true freshman through senior alternative to the U, often in applied curriculums – that is, classes that prepared for jobs at less expensive rates than the larger school in town. Not everyone in this school thought that was progress.

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL (Class of 2002) and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with one of the truly successful graduate, now a community faculty member and a newly reelected state senator; an old guard professor near retirement; a graduate for whom Metro changed an otherwise troubled career and who now contributes mightily to its curriculum; and yet another who constantly reminds the administration of its duty to a now-huge faculty and student body:

GUESTS:

 STATE SEN. SANDRA PAPPAS (DFL-65, St. Paul) – President, Minnesota State Senate, Metro State Community Faculty member; Metro State graduate.

 TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Political Science and History, former Dean of Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University.

 


 

 JASON SOLE – Community Faculty, Criminal Justice Studies, Metropolitan State University

 MONTE BUTE – Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University

 

 

 


TruthToTell, Monday, Dec 10–9AM: TONY BOUZA: Stream of Thoughts on Cops, Media and Life - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 12/10/2012
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.

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 3–9AM: METROPOLITAN STATE: That OTHER 4-year Public University; TruthToTell, NOV 26: ENCORE: ALL ABOUT THE COURTS AND JUDGES: Dispensing Justice? Or Bias?

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 3, 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!

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

New Main Rising.

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

The story of that other Twin Cities four-year higher education institution – Metropolitan State University – never really started out as a competitor for the University of Minnesota. It was designed to do much of what the UofM was not doing – appealing to older, especially older workers from underserved populations – surely more Latinos and African-Americans – to complete their degree programs based on the competence they had acquired in their lives and work.

It started in 1971 as Minnesota Metropolitan State College, thanks to a legislative mandate, and some 46 faculty members – more than half of them part time, what they now refer to as community faculty – started classes in 1972, and graduated their first 12 students in 1973. They did all this from unlikely venues for a higher education institution – from a storeroom in the Capital Center Skyway as the first administration office to rather ill-equipped “classrooms” in downtown buildings, church basements, synagogues and outlying commercial structures.

The whole thing was originally geared to cover only the upper division – the last two years – of a normal 4-year college, but highly keyed to individuals wanting to – finally – finish their undergraduate education. This non-traditional approach turned Metro State into something of an enclave of rebellious promoters of higher ed who believed in the inherent learning abilities of people for whom completing a degree had been difficult, if not impossible, in the normal course of life: poverty, the need to work instead of the formally schooled, racism, etc.

This became a school that recruited and welcomed those folks, teaching them what it means to be an educated person, preparing them for learning late in life and for lifelong learning – never stopping to see learning as valuable, ongoing asset in all we do. For those who had working and living experiences that could be converted to college credit, devices and evaluations were created to recognize them. This, too, shortened the time commitment that would be otherwise required to get that BA degree. (Eventually, Metro started adding several Master’s programs).

Presidents and faculty were picked to run the place who agreed with the philosophy that all people can learn – and should and be credited for it – and you didn’t need too formal an enrolment and teaching environment to do so. A cadre of counselors and advisers who doubled as instructors guided students from getting the word out to dragging them in the door to sign on and helping them design their degree programs – a mishmash of classes, tests, transfer credits and prior learning experiences. Dr. David Sweet was the inaugural president, followed by Dr. Reatha Clark King and several others leading up to today’s Dr. Sue K. Hammersmith. The campus is large and growing all the time, familiar for it’s 4-story glass edifice sitting on Dayton’s Bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul. Several hundred faculty teach several thousands of students, now.

Then, in 1994, the Legislature turn what had been a beloved rebel into a true 4-year university, so great was the need to provide not only a continuum from community and technical colleges to Metro, but a true freshman through senior alternative to the U, often in applied curriculums – that is, classes that prepared for jobs at less expensive rates than the larger school in town. Not everyone in this school thought that was progress.

This week, TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL (Class of 2002) and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with one of the truly successful graduate, now a community faculty member and a newly reelected state senator; an old guard professor near retirement; a graduate for whom Metro changed an otherwise troubled career and who now contributes mightily to its curriculum; and yet another who constantly reminds the administration of its duty to a now-huge faculty and student body:

GUESTS:

 STATE SEN. SANDRA PAPPAS (DFL-65, St. Paul) – President, Minnesota State Senate, Metro State Community Faculty member; Metro State graduate.

 TOM O’CONNELL – Professor of Political Science and History, former Dean of Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University.

 


 

 JASON SOLE – Community Faculty, Criminal Justice Studies, Metropolitan State University

 MONTE BUTE – Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Metropolitan State University

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

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

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

Back in February of this year and a couple of years backTruthToTell aired a couple of editions exploring the possibility of instituting an entirely new way of selecting our judges in Minnesota. Wisconsin’s circus of judicial elections, especially for the state Supreme Court over there (think shoving the face of a colleague there last year), is a very bad one in the minds of many court-watchers. That electoral system only mimics those envisioned in the outgrowth of the US Supreme Court ruling negating one of Minnesota’s cherished Judicial Canons that had, till then, prohibited as a possible conflict any overt campaign discussion of issues that could one day come before the court for which a given candidate was running. The 5-4 SCOTUS ruling opened wide the political campaigns of judges and justices, and this politicization of judicial races portended for the legal community nothing but trouble.

Legislation promoting a state constitutional amendment ordering new system of appointing judges and justices, then putting their performance before public scrutiny later – when their terms came up for renewal – has fared poorly over several sessions, despite it promotion by some of Minnesota’s most prestigious political and legal celebrities.

I erred in last Winter’s announcement and script when I stated that this new system of appointing judges called “retention elections” – was supported by Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, whose credentials as a Chief Judge and an Assistant Chief Judge among the 62 judges of the Hennepin Court are significant, to say the least. Judge Burke wrote and simply stated he has never supported the proposed system.

So I wrote and called to discover that Judge Burke favors the election of judges in Minnesota. I then suggested that he come on, not just to defend the judicial electoral status quo, or some variation of it, but to discuss the plethora of reforms needed in the courts and criminal justice system.

So. From the horse’s mouth, as it were, we delve into court reforms and criminal justice disparities along with the ways judicial campaigns should be conducted if straight elections are to remain our primary selection method.

Of course, governors will continue to appoint when judges step down or retire before their terms are completed, and the field of candidates will be, as currently done, whittled to three by a nonpartisan merit selection commission, and from those top three contenders, the governor will usually – but not always – make his (or her) appointment. He or she may appoint whomever they wish as Gov. Pawlenty and others have done.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend the hour with:

HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE KEVIN BURKE.

 

 


TruthToTell, Monday, Nov. 26−9AM: ALL ABOUT THE COURTS AND JUDGES: Dispensing Justice? Or Bias?

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, November 26, 2012

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

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

Back in February of this year and a couple of years backTruthToTell aired a couple of editions exploring the possibility of instituting an entirely new way of selecting our judges in Minnesota. Wisconsin’s circus of judicial elections, especially for the state Supreme Court over there (think shoving the face of a colleague there last year), is a very bad one in the minds of many court-watchers. That electoral system only mimics those envisioned in the outgrowth of the US Supreme Court ruling negating one of Minnesota’s cherished Judicial Canons that had, till then, prohibited as a possible conflict any overt campaign discussion of issues that could one day come before the court for which a given candidate was running. The 5-4 SCOTUS ruling opened wide the political campaigns of judges and justices, and this politicization of judicial races portended for the legal community nothing but trouble.

Legislation promoting a state constitutional amendment ordering new system of appointing judges and justices, then putting their performance before public scrutiny later – when their terms came up for renewal – has fared poorly over several sessions, despite it promotion by some of Minnesota’s most prestigious political and legal celebrities.

I erred in last Winter’s announcement and script when I stated that this new system of appointing judges called “retention elections” – was supported by Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, whose credentials as a Chief Judge and an Assistant Chief Judge among the 62 judges of the Hennepin Court are significant, to say the least. Judge Burke wrote and simply stated he has never supported the proposed system.

So I wrote and called to discover that Judge Burke favors the election of judges in Minnesota. I then suggested that he come on, not just to defend the judicial electoral status quo, or some variation of it, but to discuss the plethora of reforms needed in the courts and criminal justice system.

So. From the horse’s mouth, as it were, we delve into court reforms and criminal justice disparities along with the ways judicial campaigns should be conducted if straight elections are to remain our primary selection method.

Of course, governors will continue to appoint when judges step down or retire before their terms are completed, and the field of candidates will be, as currently done, whittled to three by a nonpartisan merit selection commission, and from those top three contenders, the governor will usually – but not always – make his (or her) appointment. He or she may appoint whomever they wish as Gov. Pawlenty and others have done.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend the hour with:

HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE KEVIN BURKE.

 

 


No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

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

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

We had an outstanding conversation on this show. Listen in below:

As this is written, the this year’s sold-out 4th Annual Overcoming Racism Conference was under way Friday and Saturday at Metropolitan State University’s East Side St. Paul campus. Titled Decolonizing Minnesota & Beyond: Historical & Current Struggles, the lineup of keynoters & workshops for the conference include several from Greater Minnesota and take on more Native perspectives in this 150th year commemorating the Dakota War of 1862.

Last year, the author of The White Racial Frame, Joe Feagin, was our guest, among others, and this conference continues exploring that frame in the ongoing problems America’s near-pathological consumption with race and its stereotyping obsessions has persisted from the earliest days of settlement. Starting with the Doctrine of Discovery as originating in the Vatican wherein a dominant white power overcomes an indigenous people, ostensibly for the purpose of manifest destiny, it is wholly justified that such white power engage in necessary genocide to plant the seeds of God’s chosen people in a new land. The Doctrine of Discovery is described in detail by California-based Native lawyer and Judge Robert Miller.

The mindset of that doctrine has essentially controlled the racism and ongoing colonialism we’ve witnessed over several centuries in Africa, Asia and the Western Hemisphere and in the enslavement and genocide of peoples everywhere, especially in the United States, as something to serve the white power structure here.

Monday morning, both keynote speakers are with us live, as well as a founding co-chair of the Facilitating Racial Equity Forum (FREC), Dr. Herb Perkins, Co-founder and Co-director, Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circles, or ASDIC Metamorphosis. FREC has sponsored these annual conferences.

Those keynoters are two of this region’s, nay, the country’s most eloquent speakers on issues of lingering colonialism and racial inequity. From the conference program:

Waziyatawin is a Dakota writer, teacher, and activist committed to the development of liberation strategies that will support the recovery of Indigenous ways of being, the reclamation of Indigenous homelands, and the eradication of colonial institutions. She is the Indigenous Peoples Research Chair of the Indigenous Governance Program at University of Victoria. Waziyatawin is also author of What Does Justice Look Like?

Dr. Rose Brewer is professor of African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota and co-author of The Color of Wealth. 

This excellent conference may be sold out, but, perhaps our show is one way to visit the conference without the ability to be there in person. At least some important highlights can be revisited with our guests, and TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI welcome these three racial justice heavyweights to the program.

GUESTS:

  WAZIYATAWIN – Dakota writer, teacher, and activist; author of What Does Justice Look Like?


 DR. ROSE BREWER – professor of African American and African Studies,  University of Minnesota; co-author of The Color of Wealth




 DR. HERB PERKINS, Co-founder-Co-director, Antiracism Study-Dialogue Circles, or ASDIC Metamorphosis; founding Co-chair of the Facilitating Racial Equity Forum (FREC)


TruthToTell, NOV 26: ENCORE: ALL ABOUT THE COURTS AND JUDGES: Dispensing Justice? Or Bias? - Audio PODCAST Below

On-air date: 
Mon, 11/26/2012
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.

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

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

Back in February of this year and a couple of years back, TruthToTell aired a couple of editions exploring the possibility of instituting an entirely new way of selecting our judges in Minnesota. Wisconsin’s circus of judicial elections, especially for the state Supreme Court over there (think shoving the face of a colleague there last year), is a very bad one in the minds of many court-watchers. That electoral system only mimics those envisioned in the outgrowth of the US Supreme Court ruling negating one of Minnesota’s cherished Judicial Canons that had, till then, prohibited as a possible conflict any overt campaign discussion of issues that could one day come before the court for which a given candidate was running. The 5-4 SCOTUS ruling opened wide the political campaigns of judges and justices, and this politicization of judicial races portended for the legal community nothing but trouble.

Legislation promoting a state constitutional amendment ordering new system of appointing judges and justices, then putting their performance before public scrutiny later – when their terms came up for renewal – has fared poorly over several sessions, despite it promotion by some of Minnesota’s most prestigious political and legal celebrities.

I erred in last Winter’s announcement and script when I stated that this new system of appointing judges called “retention elections” – was supported by Hennepin County District Judge Kevin Burke, whose credentials as a Chief Judge and an Assistant Chief Judge among the 62 judges of the Hennepin Court are significant, to say the least. Judge Burke wrote and simply stated he has never supported the proposed system.

So I wrote and called to discover that Judge Burke favors the election of judges in Minnesota. I then suggested that he come on, not just to defend the judicial electoral status quo, or some variation of it, but to discuss the plethora of reforms needed in the courts and criminal justice system.

So. From the horse’s mouth, as it were, we delve into court reforms and criminal justice disparities along with the ways judicial campaigns should be conducted if straight elections are to remain our primary selection method.

Of course, governors will continue to appoint when judges step down or retire before their terms are completed, and the field of candidates will be, as currently done, whittled to three by a nonpartisan merit selection commission, and from those top three contenders, the governor will usually – but not always – make his (or her) appointment. He or she may appoint whomever they wish as Gov. Pawlenty and others have done.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI spend the hour with:

HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT JUDGE KEVIN BURKE.