November 8th, 2014
Defamation laws and truth be damned — KSTP helps police union slam Minneapolis Mayor and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. Sounds like actual malice to me!
This is all about police harassment of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, police harassment of Navelle Gordon, and slapping up the Mayor of Minneapolis to divert attention. Very naughty…
Seems #pointergate is missing a big part of the story. It’s not just that the KSTP “story” just absurd, but it’s it’s worse… the public flap is focused on gang signals and the Mayor, but is avoiding the point that KSTP is complicit in their promotion of the police union party line. Does KSTP not know or care that the guy in question, Navell Gordon, is one of the Neighborhoods Organizing for Change workers that police harassed arrested for canvassing? Does KSTP know or care that police have been harassing Neighborhoods Organizing for Change? Why isn’t that the news? The STrib did link the KSTP story to Gordon’s arrest this morning in a buried paragraph, saying, “Activists also stood up for Gordon in September after cops allegedly tackled and handcuffed him while he was collecting signatures outside Cub Foods.” But folks, shouldn’t that arrest be the headline when discussing the backstory of why this is front page news?
The Mayor and Chief of Police were out with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change canvassers doing GOTV. And the police union and KSTP put this twist on it? The police chief has been under fire for police behavior, video cameras are now part of the uniform, and it’s good she’s getting into the neighborhood, out in public on the streets. There’s a systemic problem here with police harassment of Neighbors Organizing for Change.
In the #pointergate blather, I’ve yet to see FOCUS on the retaliation by police for the challenges to their roughing up and improper arrest of NOC organizer Navell Gordon when he was canvassing outside of CUB foods on September 14. Police also improperly arrested NOC’s Wintana Melekin when she was checking up on her organizer’s arrest. Pre-election, police were called on NOC by School Board candidate Don Samuels for handing out hotdogs!!! — and those cases winding through the court system are going to expose this harassment. NOC’s
Wintana Melekin of NOC is the one here leading the Pledge of Allegiance when Michelle Obama was in town:
Here’s the video of Melekin’s arrest when she was interviewing witnesses to her organizer’s arrest, an eyewitness who was told by police to leave or they’d shoot her. They told her she was trespassing and arrested her, the witnesss challenged police:
MPR’s Explaining #pointergate: The missing context misses the main point! SO bizarre, when MPR reports about the “missing context” they don’t even mention the bogus pre-election arrest of Gordon or the harassment of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change:
Article by: Libor Jany
September 15, 2014 – 11:28 PM
Community activists said Monday that a Minneapolis police officer used excessive force when arresting an outreach worker and then threatened to shoot witnesses to the incident.
Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) officials said that Navell Gordon, 22, of Minneapolis, was collecting signatures for a petition to restore felons’ voting rights outside Cub Foods at 701 W. Broadway on Thursday when an employee asked him to leave.
Officials claim that Gordon was approached by an officer, identified in a police report as Tyrone Barze Jr., who, after a brief exchange, tackled and handcuffed him.
When several witnesses protested, Barze reportedly threatened to shoot them if they persisted, said Wintana Melekin, NOC’s community engagement director.
Melekin said she rushed to the scene after learning of Gordon’s arrest and was arrested after confronting Barze.
A three-minute YouTube video, at tinyurl.com/o3za4wv, purportedly of the exchange showed an officer repeatedly asking Melekin to leave the store or face arrest. After escorting her outside, it appeared that Melekin tried to go back into the store, at which point the officer arrested her.
The incident happened about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Both Melekin and Gordon were charged with trespassing and released at the scene.
Police spokesman Lt. John Elder said he couldn’t comment, because the investigation is ongoing.
“Generally speaking, people have the right to do political canvassing, to talk to people, to hand out literature on what are known as public forums, which are public streets and public sidewalks,” said Teresa Nelson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota.
Melekin said Gordon was standing on Cub property at the time of his arrest, but said she believed that the officer’s use of force far exceeded what was needed.
Barze, a five-year veteran of the force, has been named in at least two recent lawsuits, including one in which he was accused of using a “neck restraint” to control a combative high school student, causing the teenager to lose consciousness. Barze could not be reached for comment.
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…
September 16th, 2014
I’m about to undergo a “Security Threat Assessment” and pay $129.75 for the privilege. Give me a break…
Doesn’t it mean anything that I’ve got my Attorney License, #254617, sworn on oath to uphold the Constitution? Apparently not. And then again, upholding the Constitution would probably be regarded as a security threat! Such a heightened level of absurdity! Personally, it’s so intrusive, and with a $129.75 price tag for the privilege. GRRRRRR… You’d think that they’d know by now that if I was going to blow up buildings or run through the courthouse with an Uzi, I’d have done it already. But nooooooo… and I recall the implied challenges, and claims of my violating CEII regs, when I’d tried to introduce the MAPP map of transmission lines in the CapX 2020 case. How can a decision on need for a large complex build-out of transmission be made without a map of the system? How can entering a transmission map as an exhibit in a transmission Certificate of Need proceeding be a threat to security? It’s not as if the transmission lines and substations weren’t there out in the open for all the world to see!
Here’s the supposed basis for TWIC — the rules:
Worse are the social implications, the general acceptance of these regulations, when this, like the TSA airport searches, in the name of “stopping terrorism,” have zero to do with it. There’s both a false sense of security and sheep-like acceptance as necessity of these infringements on our privacy and speech. Constitutional rights going down the crapper.
Alan tells me this was a big issue in Delaware where longshoremen at the Wilmington port were required to go through this background check, and I imagine it alsonhas to do with the truck driver shortage.
From my experience in trucking, I think many truck drivers had criminal histories that have nothing to do with “terrorism,” but which would prohibit issuance of this ID, and effectively take away that person’s ability to earn a living.
A reality check on TWIC:
Balance the number of avoided terrorists attacks (zero?) with the loss of livelihood for those disqualified workers, and employee shortage, I’d guess this has a destabilizing effect overall.
Then I learn that it’s not just that they’re checking up on us when deciding to issue the card or not, but they’re also collecting information on an ongoing basis!
And the GAO report also cited TSA officials as saying challenges like readers being incapable of recording needed data prevented TSA from collecting complete and consistent pilot data, leading to TSA not being able to collect complete or consistent pilot data and subsequently not be able to determine if operational problems at the pilot sites were due to TWIC cards, readers, or users.
How intrusive can this get? I don’t want to find out…
September 4th, 2014
Alan and I were invited to attend a climate change bicycle tour meeting, joined/hosted by Red Wing locals Mayor Dan Bender, and Evan Brown, cook extraordinaire (see his blog, Cooking for the Future) and member of the Sustainability Commission, so we went. What’s a climate change bicycle tour meeting? Well, they’re on tour, and there have been other meetings as a part of this tour, in Lakeville, Northfield, Winona, and here in Red Wing, other locations perhaps? I think there were five.
Participating organizations were:
When I first heard about this, what came to mind was Neil Ritchie & the solar bike tour back in 2004, they were in Northfield in September, 2004, and many other locations in SD, IA, and MN, raising awareness about renewable energy and urging people to contact their legislators!
This was similar but slightly different, focused on getting word out about climate change. Hopefully, it raised awareness and got Red Wing residents interested in the doings of Red Wing’s Sustainability Commission. The Sustainability Commission played a large role in getting the City’s solar project going. It’s a treat to go to City Hall, which we did yesterday to attend the West Avenue Construction meeting, and see the city vehicles parked under the solar array canopy. LOVE IT!! And there’s additional solar on the roof of the fire station and at the city’s Public Works vehicle parking lot. Yes, PUBLIC WORKS!
We had to do the “go around the circle” thing, and I noted “garbage” (the loud and stinky incinerator right behind me), “transmission” (directly overhead), and “nuclear” just up wind and upriver in the city limits, and that RES must be tied to shutting down coal.
Here’s that transmission line, and it seems to have been redone recently, look at that beautiful, decorative cortend steel:
Alan raised the incinerator issues he’s been working on, that the City of Red Wing burner has been shut down, and it was clear that they’d not really thought about incineration and the contribution of burning to CO2 generation/climate change. In discussing garbage and shutting down the incinerator, “zero waste” was not part of their vocabulary, and instead the binary response was “well, where will we put it?”
Here’s a photo as we were leaving of that former coal plant, now garbage plant, the one David Sparby and an IRP said would be shut down — ask Ramsey and Washington Counties about that:
Their handouts didn’t note shutdown of incinerators or coal plants:
Promote a just transition to clean energy to stop the progression of climate change.
Resist the aggressive expansion of extreme fossil fuel extraction, including tar sands, that threatens life itself.
Nothing about shutting down coal. ??? Nothing about decreasing burning. But again, there’s that insidious link that “clean energy = less CO2″ which we know isn’t true. Now that we have the electric market set up, and the transmission infrastructure in place to ship all that excess generation from the Dakotas through Minnesota eastward, they won’t be shutting it down anytime soon. Now that Sherco 3 is up and running after a year and a half off-line, we lost that opportunity to keep the biggest coal plant in Minnesota shuttered.
If you’re looking for reduction of CO2, and Renewable Energy Standards won’t do anything towards that goal unless it’s explicitly linked. RES MUST BE LINKED TO SHUTDOWN OF COAL. Otherwise, it’s just adding “renewable” generation on top of a surplus, and they can sell that surplus coal generation now that they’ve got the transmission to do it.