TruthToTell

TruthToTell ENCORE, Monday, OCT 29-9AM: PT 1: VOTER PHOTO ID: Who Shouldn't Vote?; PART 2: GAY MARRIAGE: Catholics in Conundrum - KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/KFAI.org

UPCOMING SHOW – PART ONE

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:

We continue our election coverage with A CONDENSED ENCORE PRESENTATION of our shows on the Constitutional amendments facing Minnesota voters November 6 – the so-called Voter ID amendment and our show's take on the CATHOLIC RESPONSE to the so-called MARRIAGE AMENDMENT– which would memorialize in cement 1) a requirement that all voters present a government issued picture identification card in order to cast a ballot, and to prohibit gay marriage by defining that institution as occurring only between one man and one woman.

 

With respect to the VOTER ID Amendment:

Pro-amendment forces, primarily Republicans who pushed this onto this year’s November election ballot – and even many Democrats who see little harm in such a requirement – claim that such a mandate will prevent voter fraud in a state with no substantial record of it.

Anti-voter ID amendment forces are as adamant about defeating this measure as many have been about the marriage amendment, that it is a costly and disenfranchising move, not just for the usual suspects, but for the fully one-third of Minnesotans who must use Election-Day Registration when voting.

Ultimately, this is about who should get to decide who runs this country, this state, these cities and so on. This is about power – and how you secure it for the future - - like gerrymandering in redistricting – preventing the other party from gaining any kind of foothold or holding a majority or running the government. Voting is just another frontier, is it not, in the acquisition and retention of power and control. The more citizens you can keep from voting, especially those likely to vote for the other guy, you’ll do it, right? 

A recent poll (KSTP) indicates both constitutional amendments are likely to pass.  Another poll has it closer.

As information trickles into the mainstream media about the effects Voter ID would have on the entire election system in Minnesota – as well as every other state where its appeared – powerful political forces are stepping up and denouncing it as much as those who proposed it in the first.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to sort out the pros and cons of passing or rejecting this proposed amendment to the State Constitution.

GUESTS:

GOVERNOR ARNE CARLSON – former Minnesota Governor - OPPONENT of VoterID Amendment

REV. PAUL SLACK – President, ISAIAH - Twin Cities/Minnesota Faith-Based Community Coalition OPPOSED to VoterID; Pastor, New Creation Church, Minneapolis.



DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, Minnesota Majority – PRO-VoterID campaign leaders

DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, TakeAction-Minnesota - ANTI-VoterID campaign leaders

 

PART TWO

“…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 $1 million-plus) 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:

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


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.

MICHAEL BAYLY – Executive Coordinator, Catholics for Marriage Equalityan 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.

VIDEO VERSIONS: PART ONE and PART TWO

OTHER RESOURCES:

Archbishop Nienstedt's latest marriage-amendment letter adds to Catholic turmoil – MinnPost.com

The Thoughtful Voter’s Guide to Same-Sex Marriage by David Morris of the Institute on Local Self-Reliance

TruthToTell, Monday Sept 17-9AM: VOTER PHOTO ID: Who Shouldn't Vote?; TruthToTell, Monday, Sept 10-9AM: GAY MARRIAGE: Catholics in Conundrum (Links 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 17, 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! PLEASE JOIN US!

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

We continue our election coverage with the second of the Constitutional amendments facing Minnesota voters in November – the so-called Voter ID amendment – which would memorialize in cement a requirement that all voters present a government issued picture identification card in order to cast a ballot.

Pro-amendment forces, primarily Republicans who pushed this onto this year’s November election ballot – and even many Democrats who see little harm in such a requirement – claim that such a mandate will prevent voter fraud in a state with no substantial record of it.

Anti-voter ID amendment forces are as adamant about defeating this measure as many have been about the marriage amendment, that it is a costly and disenfranchising move, not just for the usual suspects, but for the fully one-third of Minnesotans who must use Election-Day Registration when voting.

Ultimately, this is about who should get to decide who runs this country, this state, these cities and so on. This is about power – and how you secure it for the future - - like gerrymandering in redistricting – preventing the other party from gaining any kind of foothold or holding a majority or running the government. Voting is just another frontier, is it not, in the acquisition and retention of power and control. The more citizens you can keep from voting, especially those likely to vote for the other guy, you’ll do it, right? 

A recent poll (KSTP) indicates both constitutional amendments are likely to pass.  Another poll has it closer.

As information trickles into the mainstream media about the effects Voter ID would have on the entire election system in Minnesota – as well as every other state where its appeared – powerful political forces are stepping up and denouncing it as much as those who proposed it in the first.

TTT's ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI try to sort out the pros and cons of passing or rejecting this proposed amendment to the State Constitution.

GUESTS:

GOVERNOR ARNE CARLSON – former Minnesota Governor - OPPONENT of VoterID Amendment

REV. PAUL SLACK – President, ISAIAH - Twin Cities/Minnesota Faith-Based Community Coalition OPPOSED to VoterID; Pastor, New Creation Church, Minneapolis.



DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, Minnesota Majority – PRO-VoterID campaign leaders

DAN McGRATH - Executive Director, TakeAction-Minnesota - ANTI-VoterID campaign leaders

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

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! PLEASE JOIN US!

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

“…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 $1 million-plus) 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:

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


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.

MICHAEL BAYLY – Executive Coordinator, Catholics for Marriage Equalityan 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.

VIDEO VERSIONS: PART ONE and PART TWO

OTHER RESOURCES:

Archbishop Nienstedt's latest marriage-amendment letter adds to Catholic turmoil – MinnPost.com

The Thoughtful Voter’s Guide to Same-Sex Marriage by David Morris of the Institute on Local Self-Reliance

TruthToTell, Monday, Sept 10-9AM: PART TWO: GAY MARRIAGE: Catholics in Conundrum - VIDEO HERE and Audio Link Below

“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

TruthToTell, Monday, Sept 10-9AM: PART ONE: GAY MARRIAGE: Catholics in Conundrum - VIDEO HERE and Audio Link Below

“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

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!

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

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, Monday, Sept 10-9AM: GAY MARRIAGE: Catholics in Conundrum - VIDEO link and AUDIO PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 09/10/2012

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! PLEASE JOIN US!

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

“…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 $1 million-plus) 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:

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


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.

MICHAEL BAYLY – Executive Coordinator, Catholics for Marriage Equalityan 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.

VIDEO VERSIONS: PART ONE and PART TWO

OTHER RESOURCES:

Archbishop Nienstedt's latest marriage-amendment letter adds to Catholic turmoil – MinnPost.com

The Thoughtful Voter’s Guide to Same-Sex Marriage by David Morris of the Institute on Local Self-Reliance


51:26 minutes (47.1 MB)

TruthToTell's 5th Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser - September 20, 2012 - SAVE THE DATE!!

CivicMedia/Minnesota is celebrating TruthToTell's 5th anniversary and you're invited to join us for light appetizers and beverages, great conversation, and a chance to BE ON THE RADIO! Participate in a recorded broadcast of the show! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012 – 7:00pm until 9:00pm – River of Goods946 W. Pierce Butler RouteSuite 100 St Paul, MN 55104

Suggested tax-deductible donations: $25-$50-$100-$250-$500 - RSVP here: <http://tinyurl.com/TruthToTell-Evite>
Tax-deductible donations are accepted with sincere appreciation and gratitude at our Razoo donation site for an easy way to give: http://www.razoo.com/story/Amplify-The-Voices or at <http://truthtotell.org/content/donate>
CivicMedia/MN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to creating public affairs programming that informs, educates and engages citizens in movements and connects communities for empowerment and social justice throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota, all in collaboration with policy groups and community organizing mentors.
Since the 4th of July, 2007, our flagship program, TruthToTell, has provided a platform for community activists and policy innovators. From environmental sustainability to racial justice; from election reform to labor rights; from the global diaspora to neighborhood organizing, TruthToTell amplifies voices all too often ignored in the mainstream media.
Listen to any one of our programs at www.TruthToTell.org

TruthToTell, Monday Aug 27 - 9AM: WHAT ARE WE DOING TO OUR SENIORS?: Costs of aging in Minnesota; TruthToTell August 20: COMMUNITY CABLE & ACCESS: Can We Keep a Grip on It? - 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, August 27, 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!

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

It’s the been the talk of demographers and advocates for many years: Boomers are aging, becoming part of the dominant demographic of our time while the economy continues to tank and conservative political pressures seem hell-bent on keeping it that way – as long as the 1% gets theirs.

Even as the economics of aging are playing against self-sufficiency, especially in a job market committed to younger, if less stable, workers, life expectancy expands for various reasons. It grows more difficult for aging Minnesotans to find work, retain jobs and contribute to the economy well beyond that very arbitrary retirement deadline set by science society a very long time ago – and long since rendered by nature as generally too young to wrap up one’s working life – with the exception of those rare birds who can both afford and wish to live another thirty to fifty years in the lap of luxury and/or leisure.

If 60 if the new 50 and 70 is the new 55, what the hell are all these people going to do for the rest of their much longer lives? While the gap separating men and women’s life expectancy has narrowed, women are still many years longer the men on average.

And what about women, in particular, who remain too far behind men in the wages and salaries earned, but who are and always have lived up to 20% longer than men, in general, and are thus needing even more opportunity for taking home enough money to stay alive, live independently in their own homes or apartments? Women are struggling mightily against economic pressures that multiply as they age.

We have a strange norm at work here. Because age 65 has been for the longest time a benchmark for retirement, Social Security and Medicare, we have developed a society that labels its citizens 65 and over as all but senile when well more than half of us are perfectly suited to productive work. And we vote. And we remember. Why, even 3M – the granddaddy of Minnesota’s largest corporations – still forces its chief executive out at age 65.

Judges must retire by age 70. Some do so earlier, but with the exponential rise in caseloads for every level of the courts, instead of raising the mandatory retirement age to more like 75 or 80 (with caveats for some of the exigencies of aging as a militating factor), they turn most retired judges into “senior judges.” Senior status keeps these men and women on the bench long after officially retiring.

These are just examples. And some of the other issues confronting seniors in direct relation to their aging are the costs of prescription drugs. Part D Medicare still requires that the so-called Medicare gap be filled with out-of-pocket burdens that can break the bank for the next few years - although the Affordable Healthcare Act appears to eliminate the gap and provide continuous drug coverage starting a couple of years from now.

Still, the cost of these drugs, especially some brand name pharmaceuticals not yet lapsing into generics and often suffered by the chronically ill. For example: there is NO generic substitute for the very effective AdVair asthma steroidal inhaler – so, without insurance coverage, the total cost per month can exceed $200 for each diskus. Its worse for the most effective inhalant for chronic pulmonary patients – those with emphysema and other breathing disorders – where, without insurance, the monthly cost is almost $300. There are worse examples, but if a doctor were to say to a patient with COPD that he or she should use both drugs, that’s a $500 bill for just two of the drugs that may be keeping some patients alive and independent.

That’s why US drug companies hate the Canadian connection where the same – and generic – version (tiotropium) – IS available for about $22 per month through RxRights.org. Even the brand, Spiriva, costs less than $68 a month..

Employment and economic security for seniors and, especially women, but for all of our aging population as well as the costs associated with maintaining good health under the United States medical system fairly scream for reform – reform resisted by those who work on behalf corporate interests of one kind or another – are this week’s topics of discussion with advocates from ElderNomics and Mature Voices/RxRights.org.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI carry on this conversation with ourguests:

Bonnie Watkins, Executive Director, Eldernomics Minnesota; former Executive Director, Minnesota Women’s Consortium

Lee Graczyk, Executive Director, Mature Voices Minnesota and RxRights.org

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

This program features a SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE by NIRVANA bassist,  KRIST NOVOSELIC, talking about his work in support of ranked choice voting and his Thursday appearance at aFairVote/Minnesota fundraiser at Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts. We even play a few bars of a Nirvana song made popular by the grunge rock trio - a career cut short by Novoselic's Nirvana partner, Kurt Cobain's untimely death.

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

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Do you watch your local access channels or community programming productions? Why not? These have always had tremendous potential for connecting people and neighborhoods in our cities or the cities and regions and they may be forever lost to the powerful cable companies that control their physical and financial resources – mostlyComcast Cable around here – never to be seen again, those connections will be lost.

A prominent StarTribune story a few weeks ago detailed the demise of one cable access group in Eden Prairie after the city council there agreed with the near monopoly cable TV service supplier around here, Comcast, that the entity should be shut down.

We know that long-standing promises Cable companies made to all the cities and clusters of suburbs to maintain both channels and equipment for community programming and access production are under siege and being broken all over the place. Unfortunately, unlike the days when City Councils and Joint Cable Commissions (most suburbs) extracted some serious commitments to a long life of funding and equipment supply for local cable access facilities with two or more channels set aside for local communities and organizations to produce public, educational and religious access programs, city councils and cable commissions are now buying into cable company arguments that not enough people are using those channels and equipment to justify continuing the set-asides.

This may be a chicken-egg issue. Is lack of adequate use spawning the movement to take back the channels? Or are cable access groups brining this on because they fail to produce and promote enough programming to justify continued existence?

Some cable access users and facilities are busier than others creating shows of wide-ranging quality and content. That was bound to be true, no matter the city or group of cities where cable access and community programming outfits operate. Many cities have far different arrangements from their sister cities in the Metro, and some cable franchises cover a multitude of communities, perhaps as many as seven cities in a cluster of cable subscribers and these operate under joint powers agreements struck in order to secure the best deal possible from the cable companies who bid on those franchises with extravagant promises, some promising the moon in terms of channel numbers, programs and varieties, carriage of local television stations originally watched free of charge with rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. And cable access cameras, studios, channels and other equipment and facilities to broadcast programs to every nook and cranny of each city.

Aside from periodic complaints about First Amendment abuses by some access producers, most cable access organizations have supplies community information and programming ranging from scrolling community calendars and event announcements to well-produced in-studio discussions or edited digital documentaries. But, as with all available services, such capability must be heavily promoted and facilitated – both in training users on complex equipment and production values and techniques and in the sort of content that might reach wide or narrow audiences with some ease.

With cable companies now lusting after underutilized and potentially profitable access channels in some franchise locations, any city or joint commission agreeing to turn channels back for company use, or curtailing the existence or use of company-supplied space or equipment is setting precedents for future court challenges of franchise promises long ago made by the original cable company owners. Most every original franchise applicant company has been bought out – by one or a series – of the ever-consolidating media industry, thanks to an eroding regulatory climate, something this program has explored in some, if not complete depth over the last couple of years.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL brings on a few advocates for local access, examine the different local franchises that promise such services and channel space and even ask a Comcast rep to come on and explain why out of the hundreds of channels available, they feel the need to scuttle such franchises just to tack on more commercial programming that is far less useful to us than programs created and cablecast by our own people.

GUESTS:

 JEFF STRATE – former Eden Prairie cable access producer and activist; former TPT producer of cultural affairs programming.

 MIKE WASSENAAR – Executive Director, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); longtime community programmer; former Chair of KFAI’s Board of Directors

 MICHAEL FALLON – Executive Director, Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

 ALAN MILLER - Cable Access Producer ("Access to Democracy"), Eagan; Film/Cinema Studies instructor, MCTC; Frequent guest and guest host, AM950. Author, You CanMake a Difference

TruthToTell Monday, August 20-9AM: COMMUNITY CABLE & ACCESS: Can We Keep a Grip on It?; TruthToTell, Aug 13: NONPROFIT CONUNDRUM: To Merge or Not Merge - 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, August 20, 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!

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

Do you watch your local access channels or community programming productions? Why not? These have always had tremendous potential for connecting people and neighborhoods in our cities or the cities and regions and they may be forever lost to the powerful cable companies that control their physical and financial resources – mostlyComcast Cable around here – never to be seen again, those connections will be lost.

A prominent StarTribune story a few weeks ago detailed the demise of one cable access group in Eden Prairie after the city council there agreed with the near monopoly cable TV service supplier around here, Comcast, that the entity should be shut down.

We know that long-standing promises Cable companies made to all the cities and clusters of suburbs to maintain both channels and equipment for community programming and access production are under siege and being broken all over the place. Unfortunately, unlike the days when City Councils and Joint Cable Commissions (most suburbs) extracted some serious commitments to a long life of funding and equipment supply for local cable access facilities with two or more channels set aside for local communities and organizations to produce public, educational and religious access programs, city councils and cable commissions are now buying into cable company arguments that not enough people are using those channels and equipment to justify continuing the set-asides.

This may be a chicken-egg issue. Is lack of adequate use spawning the movement to take back the channels? Or are cable access groups brining this on because they fail to produce and promote enough programming to justify continued existence?

Some cable access users and facilities are busier than others creating shows of wide-ranging quality and content. That was bound to be true, no matter the city or group of cities where cable access and community programming outfits operate. Many cities have far different arrangements from their sister cities in the Metro, and some cable franchises cover a multitude of communities, perhaps as many as seven cities in a cluster of cable subscribers and these operate under joint powers agreements struck in order to secure the best deal possible from the cable companies who bid on those franchises with extravagant promises, some promising the moon in terms of channel numbers, programs and varieties, carriage of local television stations originally watched free of charge with rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. And cable access cameras, studios, channels and other equipment and facilities to broadcast programs to every nook and cranny of each city.

Aside from periodic complaints about First Amendment abuses by some access producers, most cable access organizations have supplies community information and programming ranging from scrolling community calendars and event announcements to well-produced in-studio discussions or edited digital documentaries. But, as with all available services, such capability must be heavily promoted and facilitated – both in training users on complex equipment and production values and techniques and in the sort of content that might reach wide or narrow audiences with some ease.

With cable companies now lusting after underutilized and potentially profitable access channels in some franchise locations, any city or joint commission agreeing to turn channels back for company use, or curtailing the existence or use of company-supplied space or equipment is setting precedents for future court challenges of franchise promises long ago made by the original cable company owners. Most every original franchise applicant company has been bought out – by one or a series – of the ever-consolidating media industry, thanks to an eroding regulatory climate, something this program has explored in some, if not complete depth over the last couple of years.

Join the conversation with TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL next Monday here on TruthToTell. We’ll bring on a few advocates for local access, examine the different local franchises that promise such services and channel space and even ask a Comcast rep to come on and explain why out of the hundreds of channels available, they feel the need to scuttle such franchises just to tack on more commercial programming that is far less useful to us than programs created and cablecast by our own people.

GUESTS:

JEFF STRATE – Eden Prairie cable access producer and activist; former TPT producer of cultural affairs programming.

MIKE WASSENAAR – Executive Director, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); longtime community programmer; former Chair of KFAI’s Board of Directors

MICHAEL FALLON – Executive Director, Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

INVITED:  EMMETT COLEMAN, Comcast Government Affairs

AND for the younger set - a possible visit from a major celebrity talking about - oh, yes - ranked choice voting!

No comments yet - be the first!

 

MOST RECENT SHOW

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

Monday, August 13, 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!

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I reckon very few of you have not been involved with sort of nonprofit organization somewhere in your lifetime. Some of us are what many might call nonprofit junkies, although that might be stretching a point, because almost always, it isn’t the nonprofit itself, but what services it performs for the betterment of humankind – usually – that attracts us.

Some nonprofits offer direct services to people in need. Others work with other groups to organize communities or like-minded groups to accomplish a specific mission – often an education effort of some sort or one that delivers services to a specific constituency or funds others doing the same.

Recent years have found many of the thousands of nonprofits re-assessing how they’re funded and governed, perhaps partly because of diminishing pools of dollars available, especially if funders change their priorities in midstream or community and constituent needs change significantly (rare), or even the possibility that expansion is required to fulfill one’s mission (fill the need or abandon it).

Nonprofit boards and staff must often look internally, the most difficult perspective of all – to decide what gut-wrenching changes are needed (aren’t they all?) to either expand their reach or even to survive.

Some of the questions needing to be asked: Can the organization sustain itself as currently configured? Is the governance model working? Who’s in charge and is it an appropriate authority? Is the tail wagging the dog? And, most of all: is the mission being met? Is our constituency being adequately and properly served?

Strategic planning is a normal method for assessing all of these, but one of the most difficult decisions is yet to come for many groups:

To merge or not to merge? And, if yes, with whom? How will that look?

Resistance to change is well-known – classic as a human dynamic. Giving up independence and the authority it brings is another conundrum, especially if a founding mother or father is part of the mix. The questions are unending, which is why we can’t even ask all of them, let alone answer any of them.

But we can create a conversation about the challenges faced by nonprofits as they rush to make hard choices in hard times. Some advocates – especially large social services funders like Greater Twin Cities United Way – clearly believe that mergers portend more success than failure and they offer a study of 41 merged nonprofits conducted over the last several months by MAP for Nonprofits in concert with Wilder Foundation. Titled“Success Factors in Nonprofit Mergers” the study spawned a day-long session last week, held to thrash out the pros and cons of the merger movement. The entire enterprise was funded by Wells Fargo Bank, The Huss Foundation and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota.

Others in the business of consulting, advising and servicing nonprofits aren’t necessarily so sure. There may be many success factors among nonprofits who’ve merged, but did they really have to and have their individual missions been enhanced by the combined corporations?

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL and MICHELLE ALIMORADI talk with two of the leading organizers of the study and the ensuing conference, along with a couple of leaders of well known organizations that have merged, sometime several times over the years. We’ll also bring in an outside consultant in organizational effectiveness and community empowerment.

GUESTS:

 JUDY ALNES – Executive Director of MAP for Nonprofits


 DINAH SWAIN – Director of Community Forums,Greater Twin Cities United Way; member of the Systems Change and Innovation team

 ARMANDO CAMACHO – President,Neighborhood House, St. Paul



 STEVE CRAMER – President and Executive Director, Project for Pride in Living; former Minneapolis City Councilmember; former executive director of the Minneapolis Community Development Agency


BARBARA RAYE – Executive Director, Center for Policy, Planning, and Performance


TruthToTell August 20: COMMUNITY CABLE & ACCESS: Can We Keep a Grip on It? - PODCAST BELOW

On-air date: 
Mon, 08/20/2012

This program features a SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE by NIRVANA bassist,  KRIST NOVOSELIC, talking about his work in support of ranked choice voting and his Thursday appearance at a FairVote/Minnesota fundraiser at Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts. We even play a few bars of a Nirvana song made popular by the grunge rock trio - a career cut short by Novoselic's Nirvana partner, Kurt Cobain's untimely death.

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

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

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

Do you watch your local access channels or community programming productions? Why not? These have always had tremendous potential for connecting people and neighborhoods in our cities or the cities and regions and they may be forever lost to the powerful cable companies that control their physical and financial resources – mostly Comcast Cable around here – never to be seen again, those connections will be lost.

A prominent StarTribune story a few weeks ago detailed the demise of one cable access group in Eden Prairie after the city council there agreed with the near monopoly cable TV service supplier around here, Comcast, that the entity should be shut down.

We know that long-standing promises Cable companies made to all the cities and clusters of suburbs to maintain both channels and equipment for community programming and access production are under siege and being broken all over the place. Unfortunately, unlike the days when City Councils and Joint Cable Commissions (most suburbs) extracted some serious commitments to a long life of funding and equipment supply for local cable access facilities with two or more channels set aside for local communities and organizations to produce public, educational and religious access programs, city councils and cable commissions are now buying into cable company arguments that not enough people are using those channels and equipment to justify continuing the set-asides.

This may be a chicken-egg issue. Is lack of adequate use spawning the movement to take back the channels? Or are cable access groups brining this on because they fail to produce and promote enough programming to justify continued existence?

Some cable access users and facilities are busier than others creating shows of wide-ranging quality and content. That was bound to be true, no matter the city or group of cities where cable access and community programming outfits operate. Many cities have far different arrangements from their sister cities in the Metro, and some cable franchises cover a multitude of communities, perhaps as many as seven cities in a cluster of cable subscribers and these operate under joint powers agreements struck in order to secure the best deal possible from the cable companies who bid on those franchises with extravagant promises, some promising the moon in terms of channel numbers, programs and varieties, carriage of local television stations originally watched free of charge with rabbit ears or rooftop antennas. And cable access cameras, studios, channels and other equipment and facilities to broadcast programs to every nook and cranny of each city.

Aside from periodic complaints about First Amendment abuses by some access producers, most cable access organizations have supplies community information and programming ranging from scrolling community calendars and event announcements to well-produced in-studio discussions or edited digital documentaries. But, as with all available services, such capability must be heavily promoted and facilitated – both in training users on complex equipment and production values and techniques and in the sort of content that might reach wide or narrow audiences with some ease.

With cable companies now lusting after underutilized and potentially profitable access channels in some franchise locations, any city or joint commission agreeing to turn channels back for company use, or curtailing the existence or use of company-supplied space or equipment is setting precedents for future court challenges of franchise promises long ago made by the original cable company owners. Most every original franchise applicant company has been bought out – by one or a series – of the ever-consolidating media industry, thanks to an eroding regulatory climate, something this program has explored in some, if not complete depth over the last couple of years.

TTT’s ANDY DRISCOLL brings on a few advocates for local access, examine the different local franchises that promise such services and channel space and even ask a Comcast rep to come on and explain why out of the hundreds of channels available, they feel the need to scuttle such franchises just to tack on more commercial programming that is far less useful to us than programs created and cablecast by our own people.

GUESTS:

 JEFF STRATE – former Eden Prairie cable access producer and activist; former TPT producer of cultural affairs programming.

 MIKE WASSENAAR – Executive Director, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN); longtime community programmer; former Chair of KFAI’s Board of Directors

 MICHAEL FALLON – Executive Director, Minneapolis Telecommunications Network (MTN)

 

 ALAN MILLER - Cable Access Producer ("Access to Democracy"), Eagan; Film/Cinema Studies instructor, MCTC; Frequent guest and guest host, AM950. Author, You CanMake a Difference


53:50 minutes (49.28 MB)