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TruthToTell, Mar 24: ENCORE: PRIVACY BREACH: Domestic Spying-Can It Be Stopped? - AUDIO Podcast HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 03/24/2014
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.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

NSA Parody Logo by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) designer Hugh D'Andrade

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

With that week’s program, we said goodbye to our Associate Producer and Co-host, Michelle Alimoradi as she prepared to challenge the Big Apple for life’s next stage. Any attempt to calculate the worth of Michelle’s 5-year tenure with TruthToTell would fail in understatement. I feel a bit amputated at the right shoulder, while confident new growth will come with the addition of KFAI and broadcast veteran, Siobhan Kierans, whose Irish positivity is bound to infuse itself into our programs and operation. – Andy Driscoll.

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

With the uprisings in the Middle East, Egypt and the Balkans, to name but a few, one is left wondering what revolution in the USA would look like if similar conditions prevailed – that of top-down militarism and anti-constitutional pursuits in the name of national security here.

Wait. Isn’t that what drone strikes, military interventions and a national domestic spying network the envy of a Robert Ludlum novel (including the use of local police as paramilitary troops keeping constitutional dissent suppressed) are all about?

So, where’s the real revolution?

A divided nation, fed by its leaders, moneyed corporations and commercial media, continues to be split – and not by partisan agendas so much as strange bedfellows and both the majority and minority parties at odds with themselves over what constitutes liberty: ceaseless intrusions into the privacy and peace of mind of citizens residing in a true democracy? Or the belief that half or more of the world – including domestic dissenters – are out to dismantle this democracy, thus requiring constant vigilance and unreasonable searches and seizures that defy the 4th Amendment, not to mention longstanding assumptions that we are a free and transparent body politic.

Say what you will about Edward Snowden’s breach of that security and whistleblowing about the intricate apparatus – the National Security Agency (NSA) and its friends in law enforcement – at work to track the lives of every man-jack of us in all our movements and conversations; Mr. Snowden has opened wide the heretofore secret operations that tap phones and track people, labeling their targets with unproven assumptions about what constitutes loyalty to one’s country and one’s governments.

This has all led to a flurry of defenses and lawsuits and proposed legislation to rein in all of it as well as bills to actually expand such “authority” beyond the unfettered use of FISA courts and warrantless wiretaps. And the bills are not coming by partisan divides in the Congress. The two primary bills challenging senators and representatives to stand up and be counted on one side or the other of this notion that we’re either in a perpetual war – even among ourselves – or with unseen enemies abroad or a Constitutional democracy that screams out for compliance with those fundamental tenets as embraced in the Bill of Rights.

The two warring measures now in the Congress are: the USA Freedom Act what supporters are calling a bicameral and bi-partisan effort to curb the excesses of our spy agencies, and sponsored by no less that Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy; and the FISA Improvements Act, being pushed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which, although labeled as a reform measure, expanding the NSA’s secret operation and the FISA courts, allowing undefined "law enforcement agencies" to query its foreign intelligence databases, even for U.S. persons, without a warrant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query just three of the many local and national advocates and organizations in the thick of this legislation and of lawsuits challenging the NSA’s authority as well as the role of corporate media consolidation in buttressing its work.

GUESTS:

JOSH LEVY – Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

CHUCK SAMUELSON - Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-Minnesota

CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL - Director, Telecommunications-as-Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance;  Author, Broadband at the Speed of Light

 

Get the KFAI Community Radio App and listen to TTT ANYWHERE!!!  Hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

TruthToTell Monday, March 3- 9AM: COMMUNITY SOLAR GARDENS: New Kid on the Block; Feb 24: PRIVACY BREACH: Domestic Spying-Can It Be Stopped?

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 3, 2014

 

This week we welcome to TTT a new cohost and associate producer: Siobhan Kierans, a solid broadcast producer and co-host of her own show, Malarkey, on KFAI. We're proud and happy to have such a fine talent join the crew.

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

Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscollor post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

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

How long have many advocates in this nation, and, indeed, Minnesota to a large extent, touted the absolute necessity for switching from fossil fuels-powered energy to renewables – a broad term that may be too broadly defined for some, especially if means burning anything (as in garbage and other so-called “biofuels”)?

Not so much in dispute are two renewable resources: the sun and the wind. The only notions in dispute may well be the size of the generating arrays. That debate continues around such items as wind farms and large solar arrays as proposed by such powerhouse suppliers as Xcel Energy.

It’s become clear to many advocates that smaller, community-based arrays – what are being called community solar gardens – that end users may well find that energy can be both less expensive and an investment. Oh, yes, Xcel’s large solar arrays are also considered gardens, but they look like small farms rather than the neighborhood-sized rooftop panels owned by those who subscribe to them – the investment part – then collect reimbursements for the electricity generated at a per-watt rate.

The current conflicts center around the number of solar arrays that Xcel should be allowed to construct and the rates they pay to the smaller, independent community solar garden operations. The state’s regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), has so far signaled a desire to limit Xcel’s ability to build huge solar arrays while also suggesting that the rate Xcel has offered to pay back to solar garden subscribers (what that means we’ll talk about Monday morning) for the power they add to the larger grid is simply too low

This area’s first community solar garden has just announced a sold-out subscription base and the array will operate in South Minneapolis.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and SIOBHAN KIERANS talk with the entrepreneur developer of this garden along with a resource and ethical watchdog for the solar industry to enlighten us all about the meaning of these developments and what it means for energy policy and futures in Minnesota.

GUESTS:

KEN BRADLEY – President/CEO, Minnesota Community Solar


LYNN HINKLE - Director of Policy Development, Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association


 

 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices. Get The KFAI Radio App TODAY!! 

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

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

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

NSA Parody Logo by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) designer Hugh D'Andrade

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

With this week’s program, we say goodbye to our Associate Producer and Co-host, Michelle Alimoradi as she prepares to challenge the Big Apple for life’s next stage. Any attempt to calculate the worth of Michelle’s 5-year tenure with TruthToTell would fail in understatement. Both an invaluable associate and an interviewer curious beyond her years, Michelle has been this producer/host’s right arm – and my full-body substitute during crucial periods, especially over the last year. We wish her well in her new adventure– in the hope that adventure best describes her departure for New York City. Everyone around TruthToTell and KFAI, let alone the other media groups she’s been connected with here in the Cities, already miss her. I feel a bit amputated at the right shoulder, while confident new growth will come with the addition of KFAI and broadcast veteran, Siobhan Kierans, whose Irish positivity is bound to infuse itself into our programs and operation. And, so we welcome her as well. Bon Voyage, Michelle.

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

With the uprisings in the Middle East, Egypt and the Balkans, to name but a few, one is left wondering what revolution in the USA would look like if similar conditions prevailed – that of top-down militarism and anti-constitutional pursuits in the name of national security here.

Wait. Isn’t that what drone strikes, military interventions and a national domestic spying network the envy of a Robert Ludlum novel (including the use of local police as paramilitary troops keeping constitutional dissent suppressed) are all about?

So, where’s the real revolution?

A divided nation, fed by its leaders, moneyed corporations and commercial media, continues to be split – and not by partisan agendas so much as strange bedfellows and both the majority and minority parties at odds with themselves over what constitutes liberty: ceaseless intrusions into the privacy and peace of mind of citizens residing in a true democracy? Or the belief that half or more of the world – including domestic dissenters – are out to dismantle this democracy, thus requiring constant vigilance and unreasonable searches and seizures that defy the 4th Amendment, not to mention longstanding assumptions that we are a free and transparent body politic.

Say what you will about Edward Snowden’s breach of that security and whistleblowing about the intricate apparatus – the National Security Agency (NSA) and its friends in law enforcement – at work to track the lives of every man-jack of us in all our movements and conversations; Mr. Snowden has opened wide the heretofore secret operations that tap phones and track people, labeling their targets with unproven assumptions about what constitutes loyalty to one’s country and one’s governments.

This has all led to a flurry of defenses and lawsuits and proposed legislation to rein in all of it as well as bills to actually expand such “authority” beyond the unfettered use of FISA courts and warrantless wiretaps. And the bills are not coming by partisan divides in the Congress. The two primary bills challenging senators and representatives to stand up and be counted on one side or the other of this notion that we’re either in a perpetual war – even among ourselves – or with unseen enemies abroad or a Constitutional democracy that screams out for compliance with those fundamental tenets as embraced in the Bill of Rights.

The two warring measures now in the Congress are: the USA Freedom Act what supporters are calling a bicameral and bi-partisan effort to curb the excesses of our spy agencies, and sponsored by no less that Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy; and the FISA Improvements Act, being pushed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which, although labeled as a reform measure, expanding the NSA’s secret operation and the FISA courts, allowing undefined "law enforcement agencies" to query its foreign intelligence databases, even for U.S. persons, without a warrant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query just three of the many local and national advocates and organizations in the thick of this legislation and of lawsuits challenging the NSA’s authority as well as the role of corporate media consolidation in buttressing its work.

GUESTS:

JOSH LEVY – Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

CHUCK SAMUELSON - Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-Minnesota

CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL - Director, Telecommunications-as-Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance;  Author, Broadband at the Speed of Light

 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Remember: The KFAI Community Radio App is up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

 

TruthToTell Monday, Feb 24- 9AM: PRIVACY BREACH: Domestic Spying-Can It Be Stopped? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7; Streaming @ KFAI.org

UPCOMING SHOW

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

Monday, February 24, 2014

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

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

NSA Parody Logo by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) designer Hugh D'Andrade

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

With this week’s program, we say goodbye to our Associate Producer and Co-host, Michelle Alimoradi as she prepares to challenge the Big Apple for life’s next stage. Any attempt to calculate the worth of Michelle’s 5-year tenure with TruthToTell would fail in understatement. Both an invaluable associate and an interviewer curious beyond her years, Michelle has been this producer/host’s right arm – and my full-body substitute during crucial periods, especially over the last year. We wish her well in her new adventure– in the hope that adventure best describes her departure for New York City. Everyone around TruthToTell and KFAI, let alone the other media groups she’s been connected with here in the Cities, already miss her. I feel a bit amputated at the right shoulder, while confident new growth will come with the addition of KFAI and broadcast veteran, Siobhan Kierans, whose Irish positivity is bound to infuse itself into our programs and operation. And, so we welcome her as well. Bon Voyage, Michelle.

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

With the uprisings in the Middle East, Egypt and the Balkans, to name but a few, one is left wondering what revolution in the USA would look like if similar conditions prevailed – that of top-down militarism and anti-constitutional pursuits in the name of national security here.

Wait. Isn’t that what drone strikes, military interventions and a national domestic spying network the envy of a Robert Ludlum novel (including the use of local police as paramilitary troops keeping constitutional dissent suppressed) are all about?

So, where’s the real revolution?

A divided nation, fed by its leaders, moneyed corporations and commercial media, continues to be split – and not by partisan agendas so much as strange bedfellows and both the majority and minority parties at odds with themselves over what constitutes liberty: ceaseless intrusions into the privacy and peace of mind of citizens residing in a true democracy? Or the belief that half or more of the world – including domestic dissenters – are out to dismantle this democracy, thus requiring constant vigilance and unreasonable searches and seizures that defy the 4th Amendment, not to mention longstanding assumptions that we are a free and transparent body politic.

Say what you will about Edward Snowden’s breach of that security and whistleblowing about the intricate apparatus – the National Security Agency (NSA) and its friends in law enforcement – at work to track the lives of every man-jack of us in all our movements and conversations; Mr. Snowden has opened wide the heretofore secret operations that tap phones and track people, labeling their targets with unproven assumptions about what constitutes loyalty to one’s country and one’s governments.

This has all led to a flurry of defenses and lawsuits and proposed legislation to rein in all of it as well as bills to actually expand such “authority” beyond the unfettered use of FISA courts and warrantless wiretaps. And the bills are not coming by partisan divides in the Congress. The two primary bills challenging senators and representatives to stand up and be counted on one side or the other of this notion that we’re either in a perpetual war – even among ourselves – or with unseen enemies abroad or a Constitutional democracy that screams out for compliance with those fundamental tenets as embraced in the Bill of Rights.

The two warring measures now in the Congress are: the USA Freedom Act what supporters are calling a bicameral and bi-partisan effort to curb the excesses of our spy agencies, and sponsored by no less that Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy; and the FISA Improvements Act, being pushed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which, although labeled as a reform measure, expanding the NSA’s secret operation and the FISA courts, allowing undefined "law enforcement agencies" to query its foreign intelligence databases, even for U.S. persons, without a warrant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query just three of the many local and national advocates and organizations in the thick of this legislation and of lawsuits challenging the NSA’s authority as well as the role of corporate media consolidation in buttressing its work.

GUESTS:

JOSH LEVY – Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

CHUCK SAMUELSON - Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-Minnesota

CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL - Director, Telecommunications-as-Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance;  Author, Broadband at the Speed of Light

 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Remember: The KFAI Community Radio App is up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just how much is a human life worth on the black market? Where does Minesota rank in this terrible crime? The answer might astound you. January was Human Trafficking Awareness month. TruthToTell took a long look into the many forms of exploitation and enslavement happening at the hands of trafficking lords in Minnesota. This week we encore Part One. With these crimes often happening in plain sight right under our noses, we seek to find ways to be keen to these types of crimes as they are happening, and learn the best ways to offer help to victims. In this series, we’ll also speak to survivors of these heinous crimes about their experiences as a victim as well as their lives after breaking free.

Minnesota’s native women, particularly along the North Shore, are disproportionately affected by sex trafficking. Taken from their homes through coercion or desperation, they are often spread around the state and the country providing services to eager Johns (the majority of them are white males, according to research by PRE, Prostitution Research & Education). These practices affect an average of 100 girls under the age of 18 every month in Minnesota, according to FBI reports.

But Native women are not the only ones affected by these tragedies. Current victims are of all races and ages, as well as domestic and international origins. Sex trafficking is also not the only form; other trafficking victims are exploited for free labor, producing babies, supplying human organs, and more. The perpetrators can range from strangers dangling a carrot before desperate people, kidnappers, crooked doctors and lawyers, to one’s own family member.

New laws have been passed in recent years to protect victims who have the courage to try to break free from their servitude, so they are not punished for the crimes they were driven to commit against their will or deported for an illegal immigration status they have no control over. There have also been landmark decisions recently concerning the punishment of trafficking perpetrators. Just last week, Ramsey County issued an unprecedented 40 year prison sentence to Otis Washington, for his involvement in a family operated sex trafficking ring. And as you read this, more policies are being drafted.

TTT’s Andy Driscoll and Michelle Alimoradi talk with our guests about these points and more this Monday at 9am on TruthToTell. 

On-air guests: 

SUZANNE KOEPPLINGER: Executive Director,  Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center,  Consultant, Office for Victims of Crime Training, recipient of the Minneapolis FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award and Hennepin County  Attorney’s Community Leadership Award.


JEFF BAUER: Director of Public Policy and Civic Engagement, The Family Partnership, Master’s degree in Public Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, helped pass lead Safe Harbor law in Minnesota that protects children from trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

 


TERRY FORLITI: Alumni Programs and Volunteer Manager and former Board Member, Breaking Free, Current Board Member, Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Coalition , survivor of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. 

 

TruthToTell Monday, Feb 24- 9AM: PRIVACY BREACH: Domestic Spying-Can It Be Stopped? - AUDIO PODCAST HERE

On-air date: 
Mon, 02/24/2014
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.

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

PLEASE DONATE $10 to HELP TTT HERE!

NSA Parody Logo by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) designer Hugh D'Andrade

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

With this week’s program, we say goodbye to our Associate Producer and Co-host, Michelle Alimoradi as she prepares to challenge the Big Apple for life’s next stage. Any attempt to calculate the worth of Michelle’s 5-year tenure with TruthToTell would fail in understatement. Both an invaluable associate and an interviewer curious beyond her years, Michelle has been this producer/host’s right arm – and my full-body substitute during crucial periods, especially over the last year. We wish her well in her new adventure– in the hope that adventure best describes her departure for New York City. Everyone around TruthToTell and KFAI, let alone the other media groups she’s been connected with here in the Cities, already miss her. I feel a bit amputated at the right shoulder, while confident new growth will come with the addition of KFAI and broadcast veteran, Siobhan Kierans, whose Irish positivity is bound to infuse itself into our programs and operation. And, so we welcome her as well. Bon Voyage, Michelle.

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

With the uprisings in the Middle East, Egypt and the Balkans, to name but a few, one is left wondering what revolution in the USA would look like if similar conditions prevailed – that of top-down militarism and anti-constitutional pursuits in the name of national security here.

Wait. Isn’t that what drone strikes, military interventions and a national domestic spying network the envy of a Robert Ludlum novel (including the use of local police as paramilitary troops keeping constitutional dissent suppressed) are all about?

So, where’s the real revolution?

A divided nation, fed by its leaders, moneyed corporations and commercial media, continues to be split – and not by partisan agendas so much as strange bedfellows and both the majority and minority parties at odds with themselves over what constitutes liberty: ceaseless intrusions into the privacy and peace of mind of citizens residing in a true democracy? Or the belief that half or more of the world – including domestic dissenters – are out to dismantle this democracy, thus requiring constant vigilance and unreasonable searches and seizures that defy the 4th Amendment, not to mention longstanding assumptions that we are a free and transparent body politic.

Say what you will about Edward Snowden’s breach of that security and whistleblowing about the intricate apparatus – the National Security Agency (NSA) and its friends in law enforcement – at work to track the lives of every man-jack of us in all our movements and conversations; Mr. Snowden has opened wide the heretofore secret operations that tap phones and track people, labeling their targets with unproven assumptions about what constitutes loyalty to one’s country and one’s governments.

This has all led to a flurry of defenses and lawsuits and proposed legislation to rein in all of it as well as bills to actually expand such “authority” beyond the unfettered use of FISA courts and warrantless wiretaps. And the bills are not coming by partisan divides in the Congress. The two primary bills challenging senators and representatives to stand up and be counted on one side or the other of this notion that we’re either in a perpetual war – even among ourselves – or with unseen enemies abroad or a Constitutional democracy that screams out for compliance with those fundamental tenets as embraced in the Bill of Rights.

The two warring measures now in the Congress are: the USA Freedom Act what supporters are calling a bicameral and bi-partisan effort to curb the excesses of our spy agencies, and sponsored by no less that Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Vermont Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy; and the FISA Improvements Act, being pushed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, which, although labeled as a reform measure, expanding the NSA’s secret operation and the FISA courts, allowing undefined "law enforcement agencies" to query its foreign intelligence databases, even for U.S. persons, without a warrant.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI query just three of the many local and national advocates and organizations in the thick of this legislation and of lawsuits challenging the NSA’s authority as well as the role of corporate media consolidation in buttressing its work.

GUESTS:

JOSH LEVY – Internet Campaign Director, Free Press

CHUCK SAMUELSON - Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)-Minnesota

CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL - Director, Telecommunications-as-Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance;  Author, Broadband at the Speed of Light

 

AND YOU!! Call and join this conversation – 612-341-0980 – or Tweet us @TTTAndyDriscoll or post on TruthToTell’s Facebook page.

Remember: The KFAI Community Radio App is up and running!!
That means you can now hear TruthToTell – live – on your mobile - currently available for AndroidiPhone , and iPad devices.

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: 

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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, Sept 10-9AM: GAY MARRIAGE: Catholics in Conundrum; TruthToTell, Sept 3: GUNS: Rampant Killing Is Now a Pandemic - PODCAST BELOW

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, September 10, 2012

SAVE THE DATE: Sept. 20th. Become a Friend of TruthToTell and let us put you on RADIO! Come to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash and help keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issue that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! And we'll record your voice and ideas on mic! DETAILS HERE!

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

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

“…shifting the focus of our marriage laws away from the interests of children and society as a whole, and onto the desires of the adults involved in a same-sex relationship will result in the most profound long-term consequences. Such a paradigm shift says to children that mothers and fathers don’t matter (especially fathers) – any two “parents” will do. It proclaims the false notion that a man can be a mother and a woman can be a father – that men and women are exactly the same in rearing children.

“We will have an inevitable increase in children born out of wedlock, an increase in fatherlessness, a resulting increase if female and child poverty, and a higher incidence of all the documented social ills associated with children being raised in a home without their married biological parents.

“Ultimately, we as a society all suffer when we fail to nourish a true, thriving marriage culture founded on the truth experienced by virtually every civilization in every nation since the dawn of time – marriage is the union of one man and one woman.” — Archbishop John Nienstedt

Welcome to the early argument(s) issued by the St. Paul Chancery and the pen of the prelate of this archdiocese, Archbishop John Nienstedt, repeated in many Catholic pulpits around the state that all Catholics support the proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman. The ballot measure, passed and placed before the electorate by the Minnesota Legislature this past session will be voted on in November (the Governor has no say in the passage or placement of  constitutional amendments).

The formal Church hierarchy has been pushing for amendments out of fear that statutes already on the books that already define marriage as such could be overturned either by a court or a new Legislature friendlier to gay marriage, thus abhorrent. Yet another, longer letter, went out over Nienstedt’s hand August 30, pushing ever harder on parishioners and believers to vote YES.

But, as Beth Hawkins has reported in MinnPost.com, not every parish under that umbrella has followed suit, to the great consternation and admonition of John Nienstedt. Priests and/or pastors daring to buck the boss have been taken to the woodshed. But the critics continue to flourish within the flock. Well over 100 former priests, some once-powerful clerics, and their disenchanted brethren have formed a group of Resigned Priests for Marriage Equality. And a practicing monk from St. John’s Abbey (outside Nienstedt’s jurisdiction) in Collegeville, Father Bob Pierson, gave an impassioned speech supporting Catholics’ right to vote NO.

Catholic churches are not the only communities of faith backing the Marriage Amendment, but the vigor with which the Church has funded (to the tune of $650,000) and lobbied for the measure over the last several years is one of the most blatantly political incursions we’ve ever witnessed at this level.

This Church’s views are most important to many because its very existence is rooted in the core belief that Jesus Christ himself was its founder (“Thou art Peter, and, upon this rock, I will build my Church.”) Thus is it true that Catholics of every stripe accept that as doctrine. Where many part company with Church hierarchy is in the relationships the Church has defined as dogma: only single, celibate men may be ordained, making women subordinate; marriage is the only state in which sexual intercourse is allowed because procreation is only reason humans were endowed with the sexual function; nothing must interfere with the natural conception of life in the sex act; abortion is murder; and homosexuality is disordered.

That is not to say that gays and lesbians should be driven from the Church. No, they deserve our compassion and prayers, but they must not engage in sexual activity for all those reasons stated above. And they surely must never be allowed to marry. Marriage must never be defined as anything other than as between one man and one woman.

Courtesy Steve Sack and Star Tribune

Such dogma and its resistors within the Church, including former priests, existing priests and monks (some of them openly gay), and a significant number of current practitioners of the Catholic faith are pushing back on this archbishop and what appears to be an anti-gay crusade of puzzling dimensions – ask the parishioners at St. Joan of Arc and St. Stephens and others – who argue that none of this homophobia is parallel with Christ’s teachings or embedded in scripture.

This is why TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI are talking about this particular aspect of the Marriage Amendment argument this week and featuring spokespeople from a few walks of Catholic life to explain why they are voting NO on this ballot issue November 6th.

GUESTS:

ED FLAHAVAN – A Leader of Former Priests Against Marriage Amendment; Archdiocesan priest for 48 years; Head of the Archdiocese’s social-justice agency, the Urban Affairs Commission (UAC); and a member of former Gov. Rudy Perpich’s Task Force on Lesbian and Gay Minnesotans. Married for seven years.

ROSE MCMURRAY – Mother of a gay son and parishioner at Church of the Risen Savior, Burnsville

MICHAEL BAYLY – Executive Coordinator, an initiative of the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM); Editor of The Progressive Catholic Voice and co-chair of the Minnesota-based Catholic Coalition for Church Reform.

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

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Monday, September 3, 2012

The world's gone mad.

No, make that the United States of America. With nearly 14,000 people dying from gun-related killings every year in this country – and lately we've witnessed some blatantly public series of killings - too often than not by ex-military personnel - almost every week for months now, outspoken voices in almost every sector - but Washington - are calling for some - SOME – kind of control over the incredible arsenals being sold and acquired as in no other nation in the world.

Consider, as if you could forget:

There have been at least 60 mass killings in the last 30 years—and most of the killers got their guns legally.

In addition to the shootings occurring in cities across the US every day in pockets of urban poverty, where the law of desperate, resigned and survivalist reigns, demanding an eye for an eye in street terms, come these more visible realities that have thus far moved no one to action:

  • Five-year-old Nizzel George was shot and killed through the wall while he slept on a couch in his grandmother's north Minneapolis home. Two teenagers have been charged with murder in connection with the shooting. Even now, the victim’s and accused’s families have been at each other’s throats inside and outside the courtroom.
  • And recently, Malcolm Jackson, 16, was sent to prison for 25 years for the gun murder of Trequan Sykes, 16.
  • An 8-year-old rural Dassel boy (condition unknown at this moment) was taken by ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon after he was accidentally shot in the head at his home with a black powder .44-caliber handgun by a sibling. The bullet had ricocheted off the ground and then hit the boy in the head.
  • After work on Aug 14, Hamline University computer engineer student Aung Thu Bo and his girlfriend went to meet Steven Lewis, a convicted felon at a public location to buy a iPhone listed for sale on Craigslist, his mother said. Steven E. Lewis, 26, of Maplewood was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder and aggravated robbery in connection.
  • We still don't know precisely what led a radical right gunman to murder six people at a Sikh templein Milwaukee slightly over a week ago. The murders were an assault on peace, and on a religion that values complete equality and non-confrontation and which gives women equal status. 
  • A disgruntled former apparel designer, 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, was killed August 24 in a hail of police gunfire in front of the Empire State Building after he shot and killed a co-worker and engaged in a gun battle with two officers. At least nine others were wounded in the incident as the officers unloaded 14 rounds at the gunman, who apparently turned his weapon against them in one of Manhattan's busiest neighborhoods.  The violence erupted just as visitors began to queue up to ascend the famous New York skyscraper. 
  • Just this past Thursday or Friday, three more people died after an employee at the Old Bridge, NJ, Pathmark store, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and an automatic pistol opened fire inside the store early this morning, killing two young store workers before turning one of the weapons on himself.
  • James Holmes murders 12 moviegoers and wounds umpteen others in a Colorado movie theater showing a Batman film last month.
  • The January 8, 2011, wounding of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson (not to mention the several bystanders – some children – who were killed).
  • Then – all the school shootings and the McDonald’s massacre – over and over in many parts of the country. The mentally ill Army officer at Fort Hood, Texas. All over the last decade or so.

Deadly weapons – guns of every shape and character and capability – are amazingly simple to buy or acquire.

Public support for reform of gun laws seesaws back and forth – waxes and wanes – as one of the very public mass killings is first reported, then moves off the front page. Not so with those up for election this year – and that’s just about every office in the land, except some governors, including Minnesota’s. What might happen once the General Election is behind them – and us – is anyone’s guess. Will courage not present now suddenly surface after November 4th?

But the sheer frequency of such episodes now seems to be taking hold of reason among the masses – likely, even, among supporters of the Second Amendment’s so-called right to bear arms. The question may be whether the NRA’s hammerlock on the nation’s elected officials and other policymakers has been loosened by the rapidly increasing carnage by possibly deranged young and not-so-young men (all of them thus far are men), most of whom seem to have served on the killing fields of one war or another and have come home in a deadly state of mind.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with two of those active and immersed in the area of gun ownership and misuse:

GUESTS:

HEATHER MARTENS – President, ProtectMinnesota (or Citizens for a Safer Minnesota).

STATE SEN. JOHN HARRINGTON – newly appointed Chief of the Metropolitan Transit Police; former Chief of Police for St. Paul, MN; and Founder/Board Chair, Ujamaa Place (for retrieving young African American men from a downward spiral and breeding success).

TruthToTell, Sept 3: GUNS: Rampant Killing Is Now a Pandemic - PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 09/03/2012

SAVE THE DATE: Sept. 20th. Become a Friend of TruthToTell and let us put you on RADIO! Come to TTT’s 5thAnniversary Bash and help keep our weekly shows exploring and examining the issue that matter most – and expand our reach into other corners of the community and Greater Minnesota! And we'll record your voice and ideas on mic! DETAILS HERE!

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

The world's gone mad.

No, make that the United States of America. With nearly 14,000 people dying from gun-related killings every year in this country – and lately we've witnessed some blatantly public series of killings - too often than not by ex-military personnel - almost every week for months now, outspoken voices in almost every sector - but Washington - are calling for some - SOME – kind of control over the incredible arsenals being sold and acquired as in no other nation in the world.

Consider, as if you could forget:

There have been at least 60 mass killings in the last 30 years—and most of the killers got their guns legally.

In addition to the shootings occurring in cities across the US every day in pockets of urban poverty, where the law of desperate, resigned and survivalist reigns, demanding an eye for an eye in street terms, come these more visible realities that have thus far moved no one to action:

  • Five-year-old Nizzel George was shot and killed through the wall while he slept on a couch in his grandmother's north Minneapolis home. Two teenagers have been charged with murder in connection with the shooting. Even now, the victim’s and accused’s families have been at each other’s throats inside and outside the courtroom.
  • And recently, Malcolm Jackson, 16, was sent to prison for 25 years for the gun murder of Trequan Sykes, 16.
  • An 8-year-old rural Dassel boy (condition unknown at this moment) was taken by ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon after he was accidentally shot in the head at his home with a black powder .44-caliber handgun by a sibling. The bullet had ricocheted off the ground and then hit the boy in the head.
  • After work on Aug 14, Hamline University computer engineer student Aung Thu Bo and his girlfriend went to meet Steven Lewis, a convicted felon at a public location to buy a iPhone listed for sale on Craigslist, his mother said. Steven E. Lewis, 26, of Maplewood was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder and aggravated robbery in connection.
  • We still don't know precisely what led a radical right gunman to murder six people at a Sikh temple in Milwaukee slightly over a week ago. The murders were an assault on peace, and on a religion that values complete equality and non-confrontation and which gives women equal status.
  • A disgruntled former apparel designer, 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, was killed August 24 in a hail of police gunfire in front of the Empire State Building after he shot and killed a co-worker and engaged in a gun battle with two officers. At least nine others were wounded in the incident as the officers unloaded 14 rounds at the gunman, who apparently turned his weapon against them in one of Manhattan's busiest neighborhoods.  The violence erupted just as visitors began to queue up to ascend the famous New York skyscraper.
  • Just this past Thursday or Friday, three more people died after an employee at the Old Bridge, NJ, Pathmark store, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and an automatic pistol opened fire inside the store early this morning, killing two young store workers before turning one of the weapons on himself.
  • James Holmes murders 12 moviegoers and wounds umpteen others in a Colorado movie theater showing a Batman film last month.
  • The January 8, 2011, wounding of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson (not to mention the several bystanders – some children – who were killed).
  • Then – all the school shootings and the McDonald’s massacre – over and over in many parts of the country. The mentally ill Army officer at Fort Hood, Texas. All over the last decade or so.

Deadly weapons – guns of every shape and character and capability – are amazingly simple to buy or acquire.

As one commentator extolled, the hate and intolerance in a nation built on the precepts of equality and diversity are an equal threat, and, by extension, to our very democracy itself.

And not a whimper from this President or any of the 435 Congressman cowering from the NRA as if giving license to more of the truly sick men settling grudges with one of the - get this now - 8,500,000 guns being made here or imported EVERY YEAR in this country. Japan - who kicked off the Pacific Theater of World War II with its very successful attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 now BANS firearms for its millions of citizens and there are TWO gun-related killings there per year.

More than 129,817 federally licensed firearms dealers peddle these weapons, according to the latest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) numbers (Aug. 1) – almost as many dealers as there are grocery stores in the United States. Of those, 51,438 are retail gun stores, 7,356 are pawn shops and 61,562 are collectors (who buy and sell guns on a regular basis). This is not to mention the unlicensed and unregulated sales of weapons at gun shows, thousands sold without required background checks.

Needless to say, as so many observers have noted: gun murders – none of them in defense of hearth and home, as the conceal and carry bunch insist justifies the freedom to wield weapons of indiscriminate destruction – have become epidemic in the United States – the fourth highest rate of gun fatalities on the planet – and the highest among the top industrial nations by the thousands.

Public support for reform of gun laws seesaws back and forth – waxes and wanes – as one of the very public mass killings is first reported, then moves off the front page. Not so with those up for election this year – and that’s just about every office in the land, except some governors, including Minnesota’s. What might happen once the General Election is behind them – and us – is anyone’s guess. Will courage not present now suddenly surface after November 4th?

But the sheer frequency of such episodes now seems to be taking hold of reason among the masses – likely, even, among supporters of the Second Amendment’s so-called right to bear arms. The question may be whether the NRA’s hammerlock on the nation’s elected officials and other policymakers has been loosened by the rapidly increasing carnage by possibly deranged young and not-so-young men (all of them thus far are men), most of whom seem to have served on the killing fields of one war or another and have come home in a deadly state of mind.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with two of those active and immersed in the area of gun ownership and misuse:

GUESTS:

HEATHER MARTENS – President, ProtectMinnesota (or Citizens for a Safer Minnesota).

STATE SEN. JOHN HARRINGTON – newly appointed Chief of the Metropolitan Transit Police; former Chief of Police for St. Paul, MN; and Founder/Board Chair, Ujamaa Place (for retrieving young African American men from a downward spiral and breeding success).


54:56 minutes (50.29 MB)

TruthToTell, Mon., Feb 20@9AM: SELECTING OUR JUDGES: Retention? Or Election? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org ; TruthToTell Feb 13: CRIMINAL JUSTICE DISPARITIES: Blacks/Latinos/Natives Targeted for Prison

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

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TruthToTell, Mon., Feb 20@9AM: SELECTING OUR JUDGES: Retention? Or Election? - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

Minnesota’s system of electing judges once relied on an important caveat in the little known law known as the Canon of Judicial Ethics or Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct. That caveat, known as Canon #5, prevented judicial candidates from taking political stands on issues that might well come before them as judges or justices. It was an important rule for most of the lawyers and judges – of any political persuasion –  practicing before the bar (the term for the legal community) to keep the process relatively clear of politics. Politics, they insist(ed), have no place in seeking judgeships because of the neutrality that serves as the ideal for presiding over trials and considering appeals.

Of course, it’s something of a myth that politics – or at least one’s personal and political bent – doesn’t find its way into many of the court’s judgments, but, at least campaigns for judge could speak more to qualifications for the bench and less about the way a judge would likely rule in most cases.

However, a relative minority of the legal community, more often than not from the ideological right, but certainly not limited to that stripe, argued and still argue that the public has an inherent right in elections to hear about where a judicial candidate stands on key issues facing society, or, perhaps, even how they would rule in some cases.

One Minnesota lawyer, Gregory Wersal, himself a repeated candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, challenged what he considered the inappropriately restrictive Canon 5 and took that case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he won a landmark 5-4 decision (Republican Party of MN v. White) that has since opened the door to highly politicized judicial races across the country (since most states’ Canons contained similar prohibitions).

Actually, most judges, once in office, are almost never challenged unless they committed mayhem of some sort. Those who do go after a sitting judge are considered a bit dumb because the lack of voter engagement almost always reelects the judge and the former opponent is now likely to come before this judge in a courtroom. While theoretically committed to impartiality in such cases, judges may, indeed, hold a grudge for having been dragged through an expensive and, perhaps, embarrassing campaign for reelection. Result: most sitting judges run unopposed.

This is why Wersal was considered outside the mainstream and thus dismissed as a fly in the ointment – until his argument received the blessing of the Supremes.

For many respected present and former justices and judges, this was and abandonment of the fundamental principles of English Common Law, let alone a longstanding ethic that kept the courts and campaigns for them clear of open ideological battles. While Minnesota has not quite yet descended into the degrading contests the legal community feared in opposing Wersal, nasty campaigns in Wisconsin and several other states have shown them that Minnesota, at least, should establish a satisfactory (and more dignified, to be sure) alternative to wide open elections.

Wisconsin’s degeneration into one Supreme Court justice choking his female colleague represents to many the state of the judiciary in our neighboring state.

Since then, such legal luminaries as former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (who voted "aye" in the 5-4 decision and would later regret it); former Vice President Walter Mondale; former Governor Al Quie; current State Supreme Court Justice Alan Page; retired Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz (and former Republican House member); current Hennepin County Judge Kevin Burke; former Chief Judge and now president of the American Judges Association; and recently retired Chief Justice Eric Magnuson, now a regular legal representative of Republicans and Republican causes, are among many who have come forward with an entire new system of judicial selection for Minnesota – Merit Selection and Retention Elections.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL will talk with staff and officers of the Coalition for Impartial Justice about the proposed system and why it’s better than what some might call democracy.

GUESTS:

GOVERNOR AL QUIE

BRIAN RUSCHE – Executive Director, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition

SARAH WALKER – President, Coalition for Impartial Justice; Co-Chair, Second Chance Coalition

RYAN KELLY – Executive Director, Coalition for Impartial Justice

TruthToTell Mon Feb 13@9AM: CRIMINAL JUSTICE DISPARITIES: Blacks/Latinos/Natives Targeted for Prison - KFAI 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

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!

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

Do we have the slightest notion how deeply divided this country remains regarding race and, of course, class?

One wonders, when it costs so much to be racist and divisive and mean.

Do we at all understand what the criminal justice system has done to accommodate the bias, to feed the troll of the supremacy whites feel toward people of color – especially Blacks, Latinos and American Indians?

One wonders, when we watch those charged with serving and protecting all of us, the police in fact zero in on people of color for ticketing and arrests (think racial profiling, and “driving while Black” and the hundreds of captured Rodney King-style videos and documented stories of police abuses dating to the pre-Civil War days up to the present day), and those responsible for charging and prosecuting crime disproportionately seek greater punishment and fewer plea bargains for Black men, and judges responsible for the fair dispensation of punishment, send more men and women of color to prison than many whites who have committed similar crimes.

In this light, why would anyone wonder why so many young men of color, many without hope and the stability complete families and jobs and an equal education system should not eventually see how incarceration might well become a rite of passage, something to boast about, as so many do, and thus so willing to serve time when they belong in school or a job or certainly at home.

Then, when these inmates (mostly men) are finally freed, they’re stymied by stigma and a felony record from renting an apartment or home, from working a decent job that would keep them from returning.

Why would we question why they eventually go back in? Probably for a drug violation like the huge percentage of their brothers and sisters, usually using, and re-addicted.

As Michelle Alexander, an associate professor of law at Ohio State University, and the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness writes:

“Convictions for non-violent crimes and relatively minor drug offenses — mostly possession, not sale — have accounted for the bulk of the increase in the prison population since the mid-1980s.

African-Americans are far more likely to get prison sentences for drug offenses than white offenders, even though studies have consistently shown that they are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites.”

Let us hasten to add here that laws were clearly written to inordinately penalize Blacks for their likely use of crack cocaine while penalties for the powdered version of cocaine more often favored by whites were one-tenth of those for crack in the certain knowledge that there is no discernible difference between the forms and that Blacks engaged in more crack use.

Those disparities are but one of many in the criminal justice system.

Since 1980, this nation’s total state and federal prison population has risen from roughly a half-million prisoners to well over 2.3 million as of 2008. That is 1 of every 100 Americans now behind bars, more than any other first-tier country. By age 23, aboutone third of young people will have been arrested for a crime greater than a traffic violation.

At least 40 percent of these inmates were black, 35 percent were white, and 20 percent were Hispanic (Harrison & Beck 2006). Sixty percent are Black or Latino. Blacks, in other words, comprise about 12 percent of the U.S. population buttwo-fifths of the prison population.

The disparities are even more dramatic for males, and particularly for males in their twenties and thirties. In 2005, 8.1 percent of all black males age 25 to 29 were in prisoncompared to 2.6 percent of Hispanic males and 1.1 percent of white males. Although the absolute numbers are much smaller, the pattern for females is similar. (emphasis mine)*

Moreover, while in prison, inmates are expected to work for all but slave wages for corporations that contract with the prison system to manufacture various goods, among them furniture. This is another program entirely.

The numbers are there for all to see and it’s a shameful commentary on everything we’ve ever claimed to hold dear about our country’s stated commitment to both the common welfare and equality and justice under the law.

Hell, even Newt Gingrich and other conservatives are now decrying the rate of imprisonment and they, of course, see this as both a blot on the nation’s so-called commitment to a stable society, but also, of course, the inordinate costs that have grown out of a long-developed era of Republican “tough on crime” initiatives at the state and federal level. Their recommendations for change mirror those of progressive liberals.

Minnesota is no exception to this system, although some advancements have been made, thanks to the Second Chance Coalition, like removing check-offs from employment applications that force job seekers to admit that they’ve been convicted of a felony. This is often the insuperable barrier to that job.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with one-time law enforcement, incarceration and post-incarceration advocates and a psychologist about their take on these horrendous conditions, the toll they’re taking not just on the young men and the Black and other communities of color, but on society as a whole, and what we can possibly do about these disparities that often reflect the culture itself.

GUESTS:

STATE SEN. JOHN HARRINGTON (DFL-St. Paul) -Judiciary and Public Safety Committee; former St. Paul Police Chief

SARAH CATHERINE WALKER - COO, 180 Degrees; Cofounder/Chair, Second Chance Coalition

JESSE MASON, PhD - Psychologist; Psychology Professor and Director of the African American Male Education Empowerment (AME) Program and Coordinator of the Student African American Brotherhood Initiative at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC)

JONATHAN MAURER-JONES – Program Manager, Democracy & Justice 4 All, TakeAction/Minnesota

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Brett E. Garland, Cassia Spohn, and Eric J. Wodahl: “Racial Disproportionality in the American Prison Population: Using the Blumstein Method to Address the Critical Race and Justice Issue of the 21st Century”, (Justice Policy Journal, Volume 5 – No. 2 – Fall 2008)

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