November 25th, 2014
One of the functions of a prosecutor is to prioritize, to make a case that there is reasonable cause. McCulloch didn’t do that. He chose to present a mess with no attempt to persuade. That’s what prosecutors are supposed to do, and he didn’t do that. He emptied several bales of hay and told the jury to go sort through it. Relevance and focus is absolutely what you need to create a case. He didn’t try to create a case.
If you don’t understand why people are really pissed off, take a look in the mirror and at society and confront white privilege, privilege of race and privilege of class — think honestly and deeply. Then do something about it in your world — within your family, at work, at church, in your community, take steps toward justice and equality. If you do understand and are working toward change, keep at it with perseverance and patience. The struggle won’t be over soon.
Yeah, I’m an attorney, sworn to uphold the Constitution. What a concept! I spend my time helping regular people exercise their freedom of speech, association, and protecting their property in their efforts to participate in a legal and administrative system that’s stacked against them, daring them to stand up for themselves. The legal training I have, and the rudimentary experience and knowledge of criminal law and police procedure has me tied up in knots, sick at the Grand Jury decision… but I’d not expected Wilson to be charged. Everything leading up to the start of Grand Jury deliberations pointed up to last night’s release of their decision. But this is not about the law, it is not about justice, it is not about police procedure, it is not about appropriate or legal use of deadly force.
If we presume the facts are as stated by McCulloch, and note what facts were not stated…
McCulloch said that Wilson knew about the reported theft at the store, and yet in the transcripts it’s said that he repeatedly stated he did not know, he was not responding to that call. McCulloch said he had called for assistance, but the transcripts say he did not until after the shooting. In his statements, he said he got out of the car and chased Brown. In what world is it police procedure for an officer to, without backup, get out of his car and run after and shoot at someone who is running away after an altercation and where two shots were already fired from inside a police car? How far away was Wilson when Brown stopped and turned around? Reports and transcripts say about 20 feet… a couple of car lengths. Why didn’t Wilson carry a taser? How far away was Wilson when he fired the final shot? How many shots should be fired at an unarmed man? When shooting an unarmed man, what’s your target? When his immediate supervisor questioned him after the incident, why wasn’t that recorded, why were there no notes taken? When is use of deadly force acceptable? Justified?
Here are the GRAND JURY TESTIMONY & DOCUMENTS.
A chart from PBS (Click for LINK), click image for larger version:
A transcript that jumps out – other officers and Darren Wilson’s testimony.
The federal investigation is ongoing about civil rights violations, and there’s the civil suit, but neither will do much, if anything, to alter the systemic mindset in Ferguson, or in this country (look no further than the police killings in Minneapolis).
Will this provide an opportunity for whites to examine the meaning and impact of white privilege and racism? Will we look at class stratification in our society? Is this a teaching moment? Hardly. It’s necessary, but I’m not holding my breath. From what I’ve observed, so far it’s “circle the wagons” in the onslaught of virulent protests. What will it take to reach an understanding of why people are so pissed off and do something about it, do something different? We have made some progress in the last 50 years, what I’ve seen in my lifetime, but there is so much further to go. I so distinctly remember that day in 4th grade when saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school on a cold winter morning, red stretch pants and a multi-colored red based shirt, when I realized that we don’t have “liberty and justice for all.” Now it’s ~50 years later. We’re not even close. Change of the magnitude necessary is never easy, particularly where so many people believe that equality means less for those with privilege. Change of the magnitude necessary is never easy, particularly where spewing racial hatred has become recreational sport.
I feel very fortunate to have been a near-suburban white teenager who transferred into the Magnet program at Minneapolis Central H.S., when the public school system was trying to avoid a segregation lawsuit. This was a time where part of my education was exposure to race and racism first hand. After high school, I lived in Prestigious East Phillips for 20 years. It was impossible to ignore the impact of race-skewed education funding, racism and death threats in Harry Davis’s Mayoral campaign, the gutting of Minneapolis neighborhoods with a freeway, housing segregation and covenants, and awareness of white privilege. That awareness shifts my perspective, but it doesn’t wash me clean, nope, we all carry those biases. We are all racists, and we each need to look at that. Over the last 50 years, the balance has shifted some, but white privilege remains.
People tend to be innately afraid of “other,” which often manifests in anger and hate. How do we deal with this other than systemic changes from birth — little kids playing together, going to school together — so it’s “us” and not “other.” How do we move away from parental and societal lessons of racism when it’s so deeply instilled? When it’s everywhere we look? When it fills the airwaves and internet?
This is not the world as I want it to be…
November 4th, 2014
Released yesterday by National Institute for Science, Law, and Public Policy (NISLAPP) (never heard of it before, need to do some checking):
Why is this a question? We know it’s a problem. But this report focuses on things like “Smart Meters” and doesn’t dig into the the even worse toadying for coal gasification and other harebrained promotional schemes of these orgs.
Here in Minnesota, the money goes to Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Fresh Energy f/k/a ME3, Izaak Walton League and its former program now independent 501(c)(3) Wind on the Wires (conveniently separate since just after election, when Bill Grant was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Commerce in charge of all things energy)(oh, and Nancy Lange appointed to Public Utilities Commission). And then there’s RE-AMP. There’s so much money flying around for promotion of transmission and coal gasification.
AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH… back to work…
October 10th, 2014
And so says the STrib:
Time to hit the road and jump on the LRT!
September 28th, 2014
Lots of interesting filings last week — in this case, the Public Utilities Commission has deemed the Aurora Solar application complete and has referred it to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a “summary” proceeding, but more specific and detailed than that:
Short version: And they’ve not appointed a Task Force, although there is an opening if people interested in one want to request it. See p. 4 of the order above. Now how will this be affected by Xcel Energy’s filing looking for essentially reconsideration of their resource plans and acquisitions:
Here’s the Application:
The files with the maps are TOO LARGE to post, so here are links, I’ve got them in two pdfs, but there there are many broken down. Just go to the docket via PUC SEARCH DOCKET LINK, and then search for 14-515 (“14″ is the year, “515″ is the docket).
There was interest and concern here in Goodhue County originally when it was proposed for an industrial park that was developed, with infrastructure in, but not yet constructed with buildings. Zumbrota didn’t think that was the best use for that area, and I’d agree. It’s now been sited in a corn field to the north of the northwest quadrant of the Hwy. 52 and Hwy. 60 interchange. Much better!
It apparently used to be a gravel pit:
September 28th, 2014
I’ve been saying this for so many years, that electric demand is down, down, down, and instead, Xcel Energy (and all the others) have been saying it’s going UP, UP, UP (even though Mikey Bull said years ago that they wouldn’t need power for a while), and they’re applying for and getting Certificates of Need for all these permits for utility infrastructure that are obviously designed to market and sell the surplus, and the Public Utilities pretends to be oblivious (I say “pretends” because I cannot believe they’re that unaware and uninformed.).
This is a must read:
Here’s the short version from Xcel:
2024 is expected to be about what it was back in 2007, the industry peak year. DOH! But note this — there’s a “small capacity surplus in 2016.” DOH!
And given the surplus which we’ve known has been present and looming larger, that’s why they then ask for withdrawal of the Certificate of Need for the Prairie Island uprate because it isn’t needed (and really, that was just what, 80 MW or so? Or 80 MW x 2 reactors, 160 MW?). If they don’t need that small uprate, why on earth would they need so much more?
But what do I know…
Hollydale Transmission Line was clearly not needed, and they withdrew that application…
CapX 2020 transmission was based on a 2.49% annual increase in demand, and for Hampton-La Crosse in part supposedly based on Rochester and La Crosse demand numbers, yeah right, we know better, but that was their party line. Again, DOH, it didn’t add up to needing a big honkin’ 345 kV transmission line stretching from the coal plants in the Dakotas to Madison and further east, but who cares, let’s just build it…
ITC MN/IA 345 kV line — the state said the 161 kV should be sufficient to address transmission deficiencies in the area, but noooooo, DOH, that wouldn’t address the “need” for bulk power transfer (the real desire for the line).
Here’s a bigger picture of the bottom line (I’m accepting this as a more accurate depiction, not necessarily the TRUTH, but close enough for electricity), keeping in mind that these are PROJECTIONS, and that they’re adding a “Coincident Peak adjustment” which should be included in the “peak” calculations):
Notice the only slight reduction in coal capacity, just 19 MW, nuclear stays the same, a 320 MW decrease in gas, a 128 MW reduction in Wind, Hydro, Biomass, which I hope includes garbage burners and the Benson turkey shit plant , slight increase in solar of 18 MW, and Load Management also a slight increase of only 80 MW. This is Xcel Energy with its business as usual plan, which has to go. We can do it different, and now is the time.
Will someone explain why we paid so much to uprate Monticello, and paid to rebuild Sherco 3?
From the archives:
October 20th, 2009
May 7th, 2013