David Brauer put together a ten-year map of homicides in Minneapolis, finding a depressing murder moat. Yet when I compare that same map to a poverty map, I find a string of successes where Minneapolis neighborhoods are beating the odds. There are poor neighborhoods that are doing better than what poverty would predict. Northeast is certainly better than its reputation. Indeed two areas of high poverty had no homicides. Most of the southern part of Minneapolis beats the odds. The sad part of the story is North Minneapolis. Focusing on why some neighborhoods beat the odds is where we might find more success for all neighborhoods.
I superimposed maps of Minneapolis of crime and poverty. The red x-s show the high homicide areas. The stars show where I think homicides are less than poverty predicts.
Side by side images:
Archbishop John Nienstedt is classically saying one thing while actually acting to do the opposite. On the Catholic Archdiocese website, through the words of Jim Accurso, the Archbishop claims to want to protect children.
Sharing information about clergy who have substantiated claims of sexually abusing minors is a critical element of Archbishop Nienstedt’s commitment to strengthening archdiocesan procedures so that victims can begin to heal and to ensure the safety of minors in our care… As part of the previously stated plan to ensure a comprehensive approach to address the issue of clergy sexual misconduct, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis today announced that it is prepared to disclose its initial list of clergy who have substantiated claims of abuse of a minor against them.
Well, that would mean that all and any evidence of sexual misconduct is immediately turned over to police, right? No, even though everyone thought that the Archbishop had the ability, indeed even the moral obligation to turn over evidence, he didn’t do it. Archbishop Nienstedt waited until the courts forced him to turn over evidence.
Archbishop Nienstedt kept up the pretense that courts had to give him “permission” to turn over evidence. Well, the courts mandated turning over evidence today. And if Archbishop Nienstedt was telling the truth, then he would have released all the data as soon as the courts gave “permission”. Did that happen today? No, only a partial list was released.The court gave until Jan 6 for turning over all evidence.
This gives all the offending priests more time to move or to prepare a defense or to just continue their previous practices for another month.
Actions speak louder than words. Archbishop Nienstedt protects priests first, no children first.
What is that word when words and actions don’t match? Oh, yeah. And it is now really obvious that Archbishop Nienstedt lies very well!
Dai Thao won a special election to fill the rest of St Paul Councilperson Melvin W. Carter III’s term in office. The Ward 1 race had several candidates that competed in a ranked choice race. Because it was special election, Dai Thao was sworn in immediately. Thao’s first act was to ask one of his opponents, Noel Nix, to continue in his role as legislative aide in the Ward 1 office through the end of the year. The commentary of the community has been very positive.
I have to wonder if ranked choice voting with multiple candidates, which forced a positive campaign was a factor. No matter what, it is a very nice gesture.
Most of the commentary about this race has been published in the St Paul Issues Forum and local neighborhood Frogtown forum. There was a bit of rumbling about the black community not feeling represented. Dai Thao responded:
While I am not African American and I don’t have the same history as African Americans, I have lived similar experiences. I know what it’s like to be discriminated and marginalized. And so I have the greatest respect for my African American brothers and sisters for their courage, leadership, and sacrifices – that allowed me and millions like me, our freedom and civil rights. These are the gratitude, values, and experiences I will govern with across the entire Ward, and of course honoring the history while moving forward.
OK, this happens in movies, but this does not happen in real life.
Just like “Jesus” has become a label to pin on without bothering to help the poor, “progressive” has also become a label to pin on for popularity. These personal thoughts would be clues that you not a Progressive candidate.
1) When I run for office, I will have a focus group decide my stances on issues.
2) I am a nice person, why would I want to disagree with someone?
3) Education on issues is for lobbyists not elected officials.
4) Do I look good?
5) I won. Now my job is keeping my job.
6) In public I recycle, in private I won’t bother.
7) I think climate change will not significantly impact my personal life.
8) On issues, I will look for big media win possibilities and ignore incremental media-invisible win possibilities.
9) Smiling and smoozing are my important assets.
9) Hanging out with the 1% is proving one has made it in life.
10) What’s all the hype about people having to work on Thanksgiving?
11) Those long documents on issues that everyone sends are so boring.
12) I will let my assistant handle the correspondence on all the non-important people.
13) Republicans get to drive the more fun cars.
14) I wonder what office I could run for next?
15) I love that audience when I speak. It is good to be loved back.
16) I wonder if I can get one of those free nifty trips.
17) Isn’t great how neat and clean my desk is?
18) Enough on issues, can we talk about the Vikings now?
19) I have wait to the end of the vote, to see what is my best strategic move.
20) Someone at my door, another opportunity to get something.
Feel free to add in the comments, what you have heard from non-progressive candidates.
What does not kill a bee, does not make it stronger, it makes the bee weaker. Fungicides weaken bees. Pesticides weaken bees. Even bees feeding off of non-crop lands are still very impacted. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is so bad that major crops all over are threatened. The real question is will companies like Monsanto prevail until there are no bees. At what point, can we as a society act rationally?
The researchers behind that study in PLOS ONE — Jeffery S. Pettis, Elinor M. Lichtenberg, Michael Andree, Jennie Stitzinger, Robyn Rose, Dennis vanEngelsdorp — collected pollen from hives on the east coast, including cranberry and watermelon crops, and fed it to healthy bees. Those bees had a serious decline in their ability to resist a parasite that causes Colony Collapse Disorder. The pollen they were fed had an average of nine different pesticides and fungicides, though one sample of pollen contained a deadly brew of 21 different chemicals. Further, the researchers discovered that bees that ate pollen with fungicides were three times more likely to be infected by the parasite.
It is official now. Matt Freeman announces his candidacy for St Paul High District representative. This seat is currently held by Michael Paymar, who just announced yesterday that he is not running. The announcement is after the fold. The only issue that stands out from the announcement is higher minimum wage. And even this issue does not seem risky for a Democrat. Hopefully more coming!
The local buzz is that Matt Freeman will run for representative. I have now heard that he already lives in the district where before I heard that he was moving into the district. I connected up with Matt Freeman by phone, where he said that he had not firmed up plans. Matt Freeman is the son of Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, and former campaign manager for Chris Coleman. Normally an outsider would not have a great chance in an local election but so far there are not even rumors of many candidates. Now given that Chris Coleman’s opponents were more the subject of humor rather than opposition, the campaign manager experience is not the same as a contested race. Still Matt Freeman showed poise under questioning when filling in for the candidate. Plus Freeman is at least known to local DFL activists.
What everyone is wondering is whether Matt Freeman is a conservative/business Democrat or whether he is a progressive Democrat? Given who he hung around with, the bets are on conservative/business Democrat. Maybe he just went where work opportunities appeared and he is actually a progressive. I can’t wait to find out.
With Melanie McMahon also running, Freeman would make this youngest average age of candidates seen in a long while. In the DFL, young is not necessarily a disadvantage. The DFL does want a next generation of DFLers coming into office.
Finally, after six years the senate has finally done what it should have done a long time ago. Republicans have been able to basically stop all appointments and stop all votes with the arcane rules of the senate. Finally, we are back to majority rule. Finally, we stop obstructionism. Finally, we have majority rule not minority rule!
MN Representative Michael Paymar is not running for reelection in 2014. His district is considered a safe DFL district, where Paymar had been getting over 70% of the district votes. Some people are predicting that many people will run but I am not so sure about that. The salary for the House of Representatives is $31,140 plus per diem allowances. This district is the rich St Paul Highland area, where people do not live on $40,000 per a year. While serving on the House of Representatives does not preclude having another job, it is difficult to have a small business for only half a year. People who would like that salary probably don’t have the funds to even fund an endorsement campaign. There have been jokes about people moving into the district to run, which might turn out to be true. So far, no rush to announce.
The one candidate, who has announced, probably had Michael Paymar’s inside information. Melanie McMahon was Representative Paymar’s Public Safety administrator and his campaign manager. McMahon practiced law in the private sector. She also serves on the Long Range Capitol Improvement Budget Committee of St. Paul and on the Highland District Council. But she is not well recognized among activists.
Given that this is a safe district, people expect an outspoken activist. Representative Paymar had championed for reasonable gun use, better domestic violence law and better justice systems. What would Melanie McMahon champion? I had a 5 minute quick interview on issues. Here are my notes on questions and answers:
Single Payer Healthcare? Yes and other options as well that get to universal coverage
Transparency in government? Yes
Civil Rights? Yes
Sulfide Mining? Environmental concerns
Guns? Support Michael Paymar’s efforts
Wolf hunting? Need more info, generally need to protect the species
I expect that the slate of candidates will be decided before Christmas, since the precinct caucuses on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. The precinct caucuses will pick the delegates who go to the endorsing conventions. Therefore, I expect that all DFL previous precinct caucus attendees will be called by candidates in January.
Human nature is such that we need outside discipline like police. Historically we have grave misdeeds across all classes, all professions and all possible distinguishing characteristics. The only possible exception is the female/male characteristic. Males commit 90% of the crimes. But do note that females are only less likely.
Then why do we constantly elevate certain roles/jobs to beyond human saintlike behavior? In doing so, we create sanctuaries for bad behavior in these roles/jobs. When reality finally hits, then we tend to taint everyone in those roles/jobs. That is really unfair to the 90% who do act with integrity. Lets admit that there are bad actors in every situation. Lets build a way to bring checks and balances. Lets build a way to police everyone to remove bad actors.
Truly it is our own egos that we are protecting. We project universal goodness to sports teams, police, doctors, priests, ministers, soldiers, bankers, rich people, CEOs, or any charismatic figure, so we can feel the protection of goodness ourselves. Can we live in the reality that while most people strive to be good, 10% fail by anyone’s definition of goodness?