Pirate Party Australia sets sail - with transparent principles & runoff preferences

The Pirate Party in Minnesota is starting to cruise along with several candidates for Minneapolis mayor, city council and Board of Estimate & Taxation -- a part of a larger network which includes three national parliament seats in Iceland and one in the EU parliament from Sweden.

Here are some infos from the Pirate Party of Australia including I thought an interesting set of deals with other Australian political party and friendly member support for the new Wikileaks Party as well.

Australian politics is strange, and controlled partially by outside powers such as the US/British coup-de-etat in 1975 over resistance from a labor prime minister's opposition or at least some kind of scrutiny to the NSA SIGINT bases. The classic CIA Nugan Hand bank was involved and the mini-series Counter-Intelligence by Metanoia Films - metanoia-films.org does a fantastic job exposing this underappreciated intervention against a major English-speaking ally.

In this context perhaps the Pirate Party and Wikileaks Party movements might get a good response from the electorate - improved also by general paralysis and failsauce among more recent prime ministers.

Follow: https://twitter.com/piratepartyau. also check out asher_wolf on twitter who has been posting tons of stuff lately.

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Great article:: Pirate Party: Pirates in the modern age | Independent Australia by Mark Gibbons - Sept 4 2013:

.....The self-styled “anti-piracy” movement invariably seeks to impose cultural and informational hierarchies and undermine civil liberties and technology. Pirates, in the political sense, seek to take the exact opposite stance.

Pirates oppose abusive hierarchies in every form. They stand with ‒ and surpass ‒ narrower groups, which oppose only government or corporate over-reach (copyright law being the fusion of both). The Internet ‒ liberator of potential and destroyer of scarcity that it is ‒ needs strong defense against control, censorship, and monitoring.

Pirates are advocating patent laws that safeguard inventions under development rather than strangling them and entrenching market domination for large players. The time has surely come to stop recognising patents on human genes. Support for science and technology puts pirates in a strong position to advocate meaningful action against climate change and many of the other scientific challenges of our age.

Abusive hierarchies melt in the face of scrutiny, openness and accountability, and whistle-blowers should always find help and support among political pirates. Free speech and privacy always need defense against perpetual undermining conducted in the guise of “striking a balance”. Pirates often advocate the withdrawal of heavy-handed state interventions in marriage rights, euthanasia and the war on drugs.

The values of pirates apply across many different areas of law and policy, but copyright law needs particular scrutiny. Copyright needs reform to protect “fair use”, and the right of artists to re-use and sample earlier works. The moral rights of creators to be identified with their work should never change. Crown copyright should be abolished to ensure the public has access to the work it has paid for. Copyright duration should be reduced to a level more consistent with supporting creative output. Non-commercial use of copyrighted material cannot be stopped, and the futile campaign of abuse against the general public should end. And the state should shift to a supportive stance with regard to live venues and facilities that provide a path for emerging artists.

Ultimately, political pirates believe that business models which must violate civil liberties in order to make money should not exist. Criminalising normal behavior in the name of anti-piracy is self-defeating: it simply makes pirates of everyone.

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Preferencing Statement in open process provides pretty solid basis for forming alliances with other groups in a transparent fashion.

Example pirate party greens / WA deal poster: http://imgur.com/Nn1FJ2R

YOU ARE THE METADATA campaign poster: https://twitter.com/piratepartyau/status/366140384436449280/photo/1

Detailed evidence based policies - transparently & democratically: https://twitter.com/piratepartyau/status/366516627673587712/photo/1

http://pirateparty.org.au/2013/08/18/preferencing-statement-for-federal-election-2013/

Preferencing Statement for Federal Election 2013

Preferencing Process

Pirate Party Australia has completed its preferencing for its first federal election. All group voting tickets (GVT) have been published on the Australian Electoral Commission’s website.

In keeping with the Pirate Party’s commitment to transparency and participatory democracy, this election the Party pioneered a form of preferencing unprecedented in Australian politics.

All parties were invited to provide members of Pirate Party Australia with a statement explaining why they deserve preferences.These statements can be found on the wiki.

After publishing the statements publicly, the members of Pirate Party Australia ranked all 53 registered parties according to how they should be preferenced.

A rundown of the process is as follows:

  • Party members were given a ballot listing the parties to be preferenced in an order predetermined by the Party’s Election Committee to be a good general order of preferences based on the Committee’s research. They were given three days to respond to the ballot.
  • The Committee used the preferencing order prior to the closing of the ballot in order to determine how to best go about negotiating preferences with other parties in order to get them to reciprocate the preference order determined by our members.
  • As soon as the GVT ballot closed, the deals ballot was put to our members.
  • 24 hours later, the deal results were determined and the other parties were informed.
  • The Election Committee met as soon as possible after receiving the Group Voting Tickets for each state and democratically determined any changes necessary to the GVT that were not possible to determine in advance.
    • The minutes of that meeting can be found here.
  • These results are now being published in this statement.

An example of the digital ballot that the members of the Party used to determine their preference order can be found here!

Member-determined Preference Order

The member determined preference order can be found below:

(1) Pirate Party Australia
(2) Australian Greens
(3) The Wikileaks Party
(4) Australian Democrats
(5) Secular Party of Australia
(6) Senator Online (Internet Voting Bills/Issues)
(7) Australian Sex Party
(8) Future Party
(9) Australian Independents
(10) Drug Law Reform Party
(11) Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
(12) Voluntary Euthanasia Party
(13) Stop CSG Party
(14) Liberal Democratic Party
(15) Animal Justice Party
(16) Nick Xenophon Group
(17) Australian First Nations Political Party
(18) Australian Stable Population Party
(19) Carers Alliance
(20) Bullet Train For Australia
(21) Coke in the Bubblers Party
(22) Republican Party of Australia
(23) Bank Reform Party
(24) Building Australia Party
(25) Australian Sports Party
(26) Socialist Alliance
(27) Australian Voice Party
(28) Socialist Equality Party
(29) Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
(30) The 23 Million
(31) Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
(32) Non-Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting)
(33) Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
(34) Australian Labor Party (ALP)
(35) Uniting Australia Party
(36) Country Alliance
(37) National Party of Australia
(38) Shooters and Fishers Party
(39) Liberal Party of Australia
(40) Katter's Australian Party
(41) Australian Sovereignty Party
(42) Smokers Rights Party
(43) Palmer United Party
(44) Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens)
(45) Australian Protectionist Party
(46) No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics
(47) Australian Christians
(48) Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)
(49) Family First Party
(50) Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
(51) Rise Up Australia Party
(52) One Nation
(53) Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated

The raw ballot data and pair-wise comparison tables can be found here.

Member-determined Preference Deals

In line with the preference order determined by the membership, the Election Committee attempted to forge deals with other parties that would result in the reciprocation of preferences as closely as possible to the decision made by the members. These deals were then put to a majority vote of the membership before they would be put in place.

The deals as put to the members that were agreed to are as follows:

Greens

The Greens offer:

  • 3rd preference in Queensland
  • 2nd preference in NSW
  • 4th preference in Victoria
  • 2nd preference in Tasmania

We offer in exchange:

  • 3rd preference in Queensland
  • 2nd preference in NSW
  • 4th preference in Victoria
  • 2nd preference in Tasmania

Wikileaks Party

The Wikileaks Party offer:

  • 3rd preference in NSW
  • 3rd preference in Victoria

We offer in exchange:

  • 3rd preference in NSW
  • 3rd preference in Victoria

Australian Democrats

The Australian Democrats offer:

  • 2nd preference in Queensland
  • 4th preference in NSW
  • 2nd preference in Victoria
  • 4th preference in Tasmania

We offer in exchange:

  • 2nd preference in Queensland
  • 4th preference in NSW
  • 2nd preference in Victoria
  • 4th preference in Tasmania

Sex Party

The Sex Party offer:

  • 8th preference in Queensland
  • 7th preference in NSW
  • 8th preference in Victoria
  • 3rd preference in Tasmania

We offer in exchange:

  • 8th preference in Queensland
  • 7th preference in NSW
  • 8th preference in Victoria
  • 3rd preference in Tasmania

Australian Democrats deal considered null and void

Due to an apparent misrepresentation by a group claiming to be representatives of the Australian Democrats as registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, the reciprocation deal between the Pirate Party and the Australian Democrats is considered null and void.

We had sent an email to info@australiandemocrats.org.au requesting someone to speak to regarding preferencing. The respondent, Stuart Horrex, claiming to be the National Secretary of the Australian Democrats, put us in contact with their alleged National Campaign Director, Dan McMillan.

We received a phone call from Mr McMillan at 7:39pm on August 12 to discuss a reciprocation deal based on the preference decisions made by our members. The phone call lasted approximately 10 minutes. We roughly agreed to some terms and continued our discussions with other groups.

On August 13 at 7:03pm, we called Mr McMillan back to confirm the terms of the arrangement to be put to our members by majority vote. These terms were sent by email to Mr McMillan with a suggestion of a slightly better deal. He responded saying they could not make a better deal, and the deal was put to members as worded, and the deal was carried by our members.

Unfortunately, the preferencing deal was not held up by the Australian Democrats, as can be seen by the group voting tickets for each state. It has become apparent that Mr McMillan and Mr Horrex do not represent the registered political party Australian Democrats, and as such, this deal is considered null and void. They seem to have falsely claimed that they represented the Australian Democrats from day one, including having a strong Twitter presence and having the first result in Google for Australian Democrats. Nothing in our communications led us to believe that these individuals were acting fraudulently, as they even provided a response to our initial email asking for information on why our members should preference them in the upcoming elections. Not only did these individuals apparently misrepresent themselves to the Election Committee, they have misrepresented themselves to over 700 members of the Pirate Party.

It has come to our attention however that the AEC has dealt with these individuals before, apparently attempting to take over the Australian Democrats by submitting documentation unsupported by the current executive. We will be reporting this matter to the AEC as we believe these actions may have contravened certain provisions of the Electoral Act and we will keep you up-to-date on the results.

The real Australian Democrats can be found at http://australian-democrats.org.au. We took part in these negotiations in good faith and we were misled. The Election Committee apologises to the members of the Pirate Party for this entire situation.

At least one thing has been proven in this preferencing debacle: the Pirate Party can be trusted to follow through with the deals democratically and transparently determined by our members.

Update (22 Aug 2013): the original group we discussed preferences with has sent us an email. We are publishing it and our response to it here.

Update (22 Aug 2013): a follow up email has been received, confirming that the period of time we negotiated was between the time they knew the AEC had denied their request and before they had filed their new appeal.

How other parties have ordered their preferences

All parties have submitted their preferencing order to the Australian Electoral Commission and can be viewed here.

Voting below the line

The Pirate Party wholeheartedly recommends that if you wish to vote below the line in this election, to assist you in limiting your chance of accidentally voting informally:

  • Place a 1 above the line for the Pirate Party. In the case where your below the line is considered informal, the above the line will take precedence and your vote will still be counted.
  • Use a service such as belowtheline.org.au or senate.io to prepare your below the line ballot in advance. (These websites are not endorsed by the Party and you should consider your privacy before entering any information into these websites)

Raw Results and Datasets

The raw results and datasets can be found here.

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More Pirate Party Australia stuff including their full principles below...

Whistleblower ex-US Mil Intel agent Frank Ford flags VX WMD distribution in Iraq & Syria, smoking gun @ Carlyle Group chemical weapons network as new Obama target

VIA http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/articles/20130830_3? "Evidence of American War Crimes Likely Target in Syria". Somewhat speculative but a pretty likely scenario. I've been wondering when the Iraqi era chemical weapons angle will pop up. This whole damn thing is such a bad trip and I think most of America pretty much realizes that. See the other category tags on this post archives circa 2002-2010 eh? .... firing off quick posts here on the big impending quagmire.

See also: More note on impending Syria Fail! Dempsey vs R2P interventionist hawks; Al-Nusra rebels caught with 2kg Sarin in May 2013, possible links to Libya Chemical Weapons stash, the Britam leaks & McCain Playing Portable Poker

YELLOWCAKE WAS A RED HERRING. The real deal was the Carlyle type US-made stuff distributed by American companies - and some stocks that were almost certainly transferred to Syria. Speculating but: Any airstrike on the caches would of course pollute the area and also obliterate the chain of custody evidence that indeed this was yet another Bush-originated obscenity...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2013

Frank Gregory Ford

Evidence of American War Crimes Likely Target in Syria

By Frank Gregory Ford, former U.S. Military Intelligence Agent

While Obama's Department of Justice seeks to shield the Bush Administration by declaring their war crimes “business as usual,” his Department of Defense prepares to eliminate hard evidence of those crimes by destroying Syria's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Those WMDs came from us.

I saw canisters, “bombs,” of VX/GF in storage in Iraq. They were tagged showing they were shipped there from Ft. Rucker, Alabama by the Carlyle Group, the giant blue-ribbon finance-and-weapons conglomerate, home to former-President George H.W. Bush and other prominent war profiteers.

The nerve agent VX is the deadliest chemical weapon ever made. It is useful only for the indiscriminate destruction of human and animal life. It has been outlawed internationally, most recently by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, by the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention of 1972 and the Geneva Protocol of 1925.

We supplied VX to Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, before we named him an enemy. He used it in his war against Iran and against civilian Iraqi Kurds. I learned from an Iraqi official that just before our 2003 invasion Saddam shipped great quantities of gold and nerve gas to Syria. I reported this “actionable intelligence” to my superiors, but no action followed.

The stockpile I saw was never shipped out of Iraq. It was hidden from weapons inspectors until I and others saw it in 2003, just days after we invaded. It was soon removed from its concealment by British specialists and destroyed.

It is virtually certain that this weapons cache is targeted in our run-up to an attack on Syria—as before, with Iraq—for using U.S.-made weapons. The attack is also virtually certain to eliminate evidence of complicity by the Bush presidents, father and son, who, through their positions as American presidents and as associates of the Carlyle Group and myriad other military contractors, provided them to the warring nations of the Middle East.

As with Iraq, Afghanistan and so many of America's recent military engagements, this looming rebuke to Bashar al-Assad for allegedly using internationally outlawed American-made weapons, will fall on a vastly smaller opponent. Syria has a population of fewer than 23 million highly vulnerable men, women and children in a country that would fit in Texas almost four times. The capital, Damascus, the home of the government and location of the WMD stockpile, is the oldest continuously occupied city in the world.

Bezos "saves" Washington Post as Feinstein et al plan to obliterate indy journalism w new shield law; Plus: Linkdump on ancient site, HAARP, UFOs & lulz!

The root of the latest story: Sen. Feinstein During 'Shield' Law Debate: 'Real' Journalists Draw Salaries | Techdirt - Aug 8 2013

EFF: Why Sen. Feinstein Is Wrong About Who’s a “Real Reporter” | Electronic Frontier Foundation - Aug 9 2013

Great summary of the issue: Media Lens - All Journalism Is 'Advocacy Journalism'. Covers how being happy about Bezos is its own form of chummy advocacy journalism. Also Matt Taibbi: Hey, MSM: All Journalism is Advocacy Journalism | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone June 27 2013.

The Fear of moar Greenwalds and Snowdens runs deep with the Establishment this year. i.e. Hey, Washington Post: Print that forbidden NSA interview! - Salon.com

Feinstein is catching the heat on this, the GOP is right there too but for the moment its mostly snarky Republicans pouncing on the story. She already has been clear she hates journalists with her handling of Wikileaks etc - tons of summer 2012 stories on this. But the new round is just as bad. Check it:

The American Spectator : Sen. Feinstein Threatens Press Freedom - new

Feinstein wants to limit who can be a journalist « Watchdog.org - These guys kinda do rightwing hatchet jobs but they have points here. Aug 12 2013. There is a

Dianne Feinstein targets press freedom - Salon.com Jul 2 2012. Glenn Greenwald! (also)

Feinstein: Assange is not a journalist - Los Angeles Times July 9 2012

Sen. Feinstein Pushes Restrictive "Journalist" Definition Under Shield Law - Reason 24/7 : Reason.com - Aug 13 2013

Federal Media Shield Law Should Extend to Unpaid Bloggers and Citizen Journalists | Larry Atkins - Aug 13 2013. Schumer says Wikileaks gets targeted like it should:

SEN SCHUMER: "The world has changed. We're very careful in this bill to distinguish journalists from those who shouldn't be protected, WikiLeaks and all those, and we've ensured that. But there are people who write and do real journalism, in different ways than we're used to. They should not be excluded from this bill."

Senator Feinstein Is Misguided In Her Attempt To Narrowly Define A Journalist :: Fox&Hounds - Aug 16 2013

Dianne Feinstein backs Media Shield Law to protect only ‘real reporters’ - The Global Dispatch - Aug 11 2013

» Feinstein: You’re Not a Real Journalist Unless You Draw a Salary Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind! - Aug 9 2013 - BAN INFOWARS they don't count as journalists!

For fack's sake - these days usually I do journalism for free -- in part because believe it or not the big organizations in the Twin Cities HARDLY EVER POST THE DAMN PDF FILES & PRIMARY SOURCES OF THE STUFF THEY REPORT ON. DANG IT!!

So many of the best journalists I know are anything but salaried - the radical publishers like Wikileaks and Cryptome.org, the livestreamers out there getting teargassed etc. In other words people connected to the real narratives of our time - and publishing about it. And so our responsible political figures are getting ready to nuke the whole concept of journalism because the full-timers with salary - the what, quarter of them that still exist compared to 20 years ago - are the only "real journalists." Bug off - journalism is publishing. It's research and God forbid sometimes it's also advocacy.

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Honestly this is my favorite headline all week and really highlights the interesting verb "govern" : Kerry Says Internet "Makes it Much Harder to Govern" and "Organize" People - | Intellihub.com via:

John Kerry: 'This Little Thing Called the Internet ... Makes It Much Harder to Govern' | CNS News

"Well, folks," he said, "ever since the end of the Cold War, forces have been unleashed that were tamped down for centuries by dictators, and that was complicated further by this little thing called the internet and the ability of people everywhere to communicate instantaneously and to have more information coming at them in one day than most people can process in months or a year.

"It makes it much harder to govern, makes it much harder to organize people, much harder to find the common interest," said Kerry, "and that is complicated by a rise of sectarianism and religious extremism that is prepared to employ violent means to impose on other people a way of thinking and a way of living that is completely contrary to everything the United States of America has ever stood for. So we need to keep in mind what our goals are and how complicated this world is that we’re operating in."

- See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/john-kerry-little-thing-called-inter...

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For the Unofficial or OutLaw Journalists - those outside the Bezos Funded Bubble/Shield Law of Feinstein: I want to add Security in a Box - this is some stuff that can include necessary security for journalists as governments increasingly turn to surveillance to whack the civil service into compliance with the whims of political hacks... About Security in-a-box | Security In A Box and Quick Guide to Alternatives

Also neat: Hacktivists Want to Free the Net by Building a New One From Scratch | Motherboard

WTF: Sigurdur Thordarson: Icelandic WikiLeaks volunteer turned FBI informant. - Slate Magazine (aug 9)

These damn Lenco Bearcats are all over the counrty and always put on display in Minneapolis now: www.lencoarmor.com

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PERPETUAL EMERGENCY! One level of bureaucratic arcana I find interesting is the long running "perpetual national emergency" of the federal government that seemingly has been going since the "deeply weird" credit reorganization and specifically March 9th 1933. Just bumped into the 1973 Congressional report about finally terminating that national emergency, which of course never happens and nowadays Pres. Obama re-issues the emergency once a year with vague references to wars and things. 1973 doc here - rarely does the third paragraph of anything from Congress speak frankly about martial law! https://www.dropbox.com/s/jp0gow6krzhdvtb/Senate-Report-93-549.pdf

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FED GOV CONPLAN 3501 DSCA: Here is the latest from July 2013 public version of US Defense Support of Civil Authorities. Just posted by PublicIntelligence.net: Joint Publication 3-28 Defense Support of Civil Authorities July 2013 | Public Intelligence. You definitely need to know about this to understand CONPLAN 3502 Civil Disturbance Operations which is the off-the-shelf modern martial law-style concept of operations plan for domestic crackdowns. Follow PI on Fedbook.

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Just creepy: Defense Science Board Report: Unconventional Operational Concepts and the Homeland | Public Intelligence. Go away you people.

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I don't really buy the idea that the Obama administration blew up that Texas fertilizer plant but there is some odd new Executive Order involving fertilizers that I'm sure will work out in Monsanto' interest anyway... Obama Signs Executive Order Signifying Previous Texas Plant Fertilizer Explosion Might Have Been Orchestrated - | Intellihub.com. The real EO is here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/01/executive-order-improving-chemical-facility-safety-and-security

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Solar tariff mess in Spain: Spaniards rebel against solar panel levy | Reuters. Check this insanity out:

Spaniards who have generated power independently for their own homes under a system known as "autoconsumo" are among the hardest hit by policies which they say punish, rather than encourage, energy efficiency.

Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria accepts the measures are painful but says they are needed to plug the energy deficit.

"I support 'autoconsumo' ... but the power system has infrastructure, grids that the rest of us Spaniards who are in the system have to pay for. And we pay for it through our electricity bill," said Soria.

That is a pretty classic example of "why civilization is doomed, or at least feels that way" amirite??

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Misc items today:

best misc headline: NRL Scientists Produce Densest Artificial Ionospheric Plasma Clouds Using HAARP - U.S. Naval Research Laboratory - http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2013/nrl-scientists-produce-... NRL Scientists Produce Densest Artificial Ionospheric Plasma Clouds Using HAARP - yes weather is experimented upon as a surface for tactics in the HAARP array. Any questions you skeptics? :D

Coinbase now lets you send, buy or sell Bitcoin via SMS - The Next Web

CIA crushes UFO conspiracy theorists’ hopes and dreams with Area 51 documents | The Raw Story - Aug 16

Christie gives conditional OK to broader medicinal marijuana use - NBC Politics - Aug 16

World's oldest temple built to worship the dog star - space - 16 August 2013 - New Scientist - that headline not hedged enough of course - Aug 16. Awesome!

This solar flare thing was a joke!! Dammit Fetzer come on man: Edward Snowden: Solar-Flare ‘Killshot’ Cataclysm Imminent | Veterans Today

On the other hand this General James Mattis took a swipe at Israeli settlement as apartheid: Top American General Cites Israel as Unsustainable and Apartheid | Veterans Today

Israeli security contractor Magal lurking all over the place into who knows what: http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/israeli-firm-magal-helping-to-provide-security-at-us-prisons/49331#more-49331

Cool LA gallery opening: Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles | Totally Gonzo - The Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo Journalism Community

Lol this guy: Orson Scott Card Worries About Obama Turning "Urban Gangs" Into His Personal Police Force

Guillermo del Toro's sketches reveal his At the Mountains of Madness LOVECRAFT!

This internet ISP guy Nicholas Merrill another one who has had long nights after being forcibly turned by the NSA into a honeypot I think : http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/13/former_internet_provider_gagged_by_national

This is phenomenal and interactive: http://www.mindmeister.com/308518551/the-national-security-agency-operates-more-than-500-separate-signals-intelligence-platforms-employs-roughly-30-000-civilians-and-military-budget-10-billion - full story: What the NSA’s Massive Org Chart (Probably) Looks Like - Defense One

THE KLAN WOW: http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2013/08/13/anthony_s_karen_a_photojournalist_s_unrestricted_access_to_the_ku_klux_klan.html - see also links between KKK and Freemasonry - in these pics you see traces of similar thinking. The Scottish Rite and KKK - with all the ritualism both also reminds me a little of the Muslim Brotherhood as well - a complex subject not really well written about by anyone I've yet seen?

Hm: Socialists And Libertarians Have More In Common Than They'd Like To Think

The Bearcat thing in NH: Police State Too Much? Send in a Marine! - YouTube

Chinese Hacking Team Caught Taking Over Decoy Water Plant | MIT Technology Review !!

Good guy Einstein: Einstein's Circle of Compassion | Brainwash Update - YouTube - Congrats to Abby Martin for a totally decent show.

Urgent letter from San Quentin hunger striker in medical emergency - one protest demand met by authorities says striker

Hunger strikes are challenging the prison-industrial complex and this particular letter posted hours ago gave me chills.

Via a colleague: "Urgent. From a penpal at San Quentin. The main line is (415) 454-1460."

_____

I hope this letter finds you doing well. This is just a small note to let you know I’m still alive. But on Friday morning at around 12:30 a.m., they found me on the floor unresponsive & a little blue-ish purple. From what the guys here say, the guards opened the door, I fell out and they jumped on me with a shield, cuffed me and took me out. Then drop’d me at the first tier cause their hands slipped, from what they told me. What happened!? Well I remember waking up with a start, shivering, my heart racing and like someone was squeezing my back and that’s it.

The nurses said kidney failure. That I was so dehydrated that my kidneys shut down and I was blue-ish purple cause I almost froze to death. Hyperthermia? Is that how you spell it? Either way, the lack of food caught up to me and so did the water. They put me on IV and warmed up my body with blankets and sent me on my way back to my cell. By 4 a.m. I was back. Only at S.Q. That same day 4 more guys fell out. The nurses said more will follow and they’ll see me again soon too if I don’t start eating. Which I won’t. I’m still sore from the awkward position I was in for hours, still recovering and pissing out this IV shit. The nurses said I was half dead but looked better today. I’ve slept all day and just taking it easy.

There was a negotiation meetin Friday evening where they’re still talking S.T.G. shit and still making promises. But we’re not seeing anything on paper. Oh just one thing was put on paper. They changed the policy for searching us at yard now. When it’s raining they’ll bring us into the building and search us, instead of making us do that on the yard. That was one of our requests. But we said, if they can put that on paper, why not the rest? That’s where we’re at now though.

"Keep calling the Governor's office, for sure, with an extra call to SQ if you can.... Other contacts. Polite but firm, so forth. These folks need hospitalization and decent medical care, immediately."

Warden Kevin Chappell at San Quentin Prison:

phone: 415-455-5000

email: Kevin.Chappell@cdcr.ca.gov

Jean Weiss - Ombudsman

Jean.Weiss@cdcr.ca.gov

(916) 324-5458

CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard:

phone: 916-323-6001

fax: 916-442-2637

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More info on the California Hunger Strike: See CA Hunger Strike (CAHungerStrike) on Twitter && Solitary Watch ‏ @solitarywatch. General blog: Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity | amplifying the voices of CA prisoners on hunger strike

Tom Hayden on how to end California's prison hunger strike - latimes.com

California's Prison Hunger Strike: Where's the Truth? | Politics News | Rolling Stone - Aug 13

A Lesson of the Irish Hunger Strike | Tom Hayden - Aug 15

California prisoners continue hunger strikes - Features - Al Jazeera English - Aug 9

Amnesty International weighs in on California prisons hunger strike | Reuters - July 30

Prisons.org - California Prison Focus

UPDATE: August 16, 2013.

Today well over one hundred men have passed to the 40 day mark.

Over 175 visits to the emergency triage centers at the prisons or visits to nearby hospitals have been reported.

CDCR will not budge--will not negotiate with the prisoners.

Continue to demand humane treatment in California prisons. Call the Governor today!

SPECIAL REPORT: The California Prison Hunger Strike Demands Our Attention - Aug 11. I think based on the letter these are not all the demands at every location, however they seem broadly held as far as one can tell with the State mediating this particular communication situation - indeed one whole point of the State here is to prevent them from communicating, with all the psychological damage that entails.

The prisoners' demands are:

End group punishment and administrative abuse

Abolish the debriefing policy, and modify active/inactive gang status criteria

Comply with the U.S. Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons 2006 recommendations regarding an end to long-term solitary confinement

Provide adequate and nutritious food

Expand and provide constructive programming and privileges for indefinite SHU status inmates

What Is Actually Revealed in the California Prisoners Hunger Strike: Responding to Jeffrey Beard's Los Angeles Times Op-ed - by Revolutionary Communist Party (source)

Day 36 of California Hunger Strike: Hundreds Still Protesting Isolation Policies - Solitary Watch

San Francisco Bay View » Corcoran SHU hunger strike: The riot team was ready for full-scale war - July 27 2013 letter from inmate Jabari Scott at Corcoran State Prison

Hunger-striking California inmate on 27 years in solitary: ‘Every minute has been torturous to my mind and body’ | The Raw Story - August 9th (source Guardian)

No matter what one has done in life, it is never too late to make a statement about human decency & inhuman treatment. Good luck to them and may the walls come tumbling down.

Resistance to Illegal Minnesota Vikings Stadium Special Law: Writ of Mandamus in court August 20th

With a little luck the Vikings Stadium could be forced to a vote in Minneapolis this November. A petition for writ of mandamus with the District Court in Hennepin County initiated by Doug Mann and supported by several activists asks the court to consider if indeed the way the stadium was "legalized" by gleeful Democrats & Republicans at the Legislature in defiance of the Minneapolis City Charter as well as the Minnesota Constitution should trigger an immediate block on further stadium construction without a city-wide referendum. A writ of mandamus is a directive from a judge forcing a government unit to do a certain action in part because no other remedy in the law is available - in this case, forcing a vote onto the ballot.

Thus the voters would have a chance to reverse this deceitful scam sucking in taxes new and old from all directions.

The counter-argument from city attorneys is mumbo-jumbo about what counts as expenditures or taxes etc., basically they can slip out of having a vote by subverting the definition of the needed revenue from shifting taxes around to pay for it. The whole setup subsidizes structures that provide advertising surface for booze which only worsens chemical dependency and public safety problems in Minnesota.

On Tuesday August 20th join stadium opponents - INFO: Fill the courtroom to demand a stadium vote! - 8AM: Courtroom 1359, Hennepin County Government Center, 300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487 -- Doug Mann's petition for a writ of mandamus, demanding a referendum on the city's expenditures for the Viking stadium as per the charter, has a court date. We will gather outside 30 mins. before for a low-key press conference, then proceed to the public seating in courtroom 1359 to demonstrate the immense support for this action.

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Also of course it shockingly turns out Zygi Wilf is a dodgy New Jersey businessman and now state authorities are sort of backpedaling on the whole deal.

Minnesota Vikings stadium plan on hold while Wilfs are investigated | Audibles - SI.com - August 15 2013

What does latest delay on Vikings' stadium mean? - ESPN

Judge says Zygi Wilf cheated partners in N.J. apartment project | Star Tribune & Stadium authority to ask Vikings and Wilfs to pay for extra legal work | Vikings stadium: The build | StarTribune.com - ah yes paying attorneys to scrutinize oneself. Seems legit.

Vikings stadium: Dayton losing faith in Wilfs - TwinCities.com - August 14 2013

Brian Murphy & Bill Salisbury note the black hole of subsidies swirling around cigarettes and gambling:

Last year, Minnesota officials expected to pay the state's $348 million share of the project with tax collections from newly authorized electronic pull-tabs and bingo games. But those games rolled out more slowly than projected, and the state's original forecast that e-gambling would generate $35 million a year in tax revenue was shrunk to $1.7 million last spring.

To cover the gap, Dayton and the Legislature in May closed a corporate tax loophole and earmarked a one-time cigarette tax to back up stadium funding.

They raised the cigarette tax to $2.52 per pack beginning July 1 and assigned the estimated $24.5 million from a "stocking fee" on the existing cigarette inventory to a stadium reserve account.

Anyhow on top of this the Minneapolis voters long ago instructed local officials that they would have to be consulted through a referendum about any new vote. The writ of mandamus could in theory bring this whole project to a halt by ordering officials to put up a referendum.

SEE ALSO: US DOJ Second Amended Complaint in Garden Homes && Garden Homes Consent Decree on June 21 1999, not that long ago.

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THE WRIT! So here is the deal basically: "The petition is the main thing that the judges looks at first. But they don't want the petition to have any legal argument in it, so that's what the memorandum is for. All three have to be together, consistent with each other and dependent on each other." So I am

MEMORANDUM:

State of Minnesota District Court   

County of Hennepin Fourth Judicial District

Doug Mann,

petitioner,

v. Memorandum of points and authorities in

Minneapolis City Council, support of petition for a writ of mandamus

respondent. Ct. File No. 27-CV-13-13029

_________________________________________________________

ARGUMENTS BASED ON FACTS AND THE LAW

Chapter 299 of the 2012 Minnesota Session Laws, the Vikings Stadium Act is a special law authorizing the State of Minnesota to use revenues from City of Minneapolis sales taxes to pay the costs of building and maintaining a football stadium in Minneapolis, including the repayment of bonds in the amount of one hundred fifty million dollars and maintenance of the stadium at a minimal cost of seven million five hundred thousand dollars per year.

The Minnesota Constitution Article 12, sec. 1 states ". . . In all cases when a general law can be made applicable, a special law shall not be enacted except as provided in section 2. Whether a general law could have been made applicable in any case shall be judicially determined without regard to any legislative assertion on that subject. . ."

The Minnesota constitution invests local governments with the authority to approve special legislation. A local government unit affected by special legislation can refer the approval of the legislation to the voters in an election.

The Minnesota Constitution, Article 12, sec. 2, states: "Every law which upon its effective date applies to a single local government...is a special law... The legislature may enact special laws relating to local government units, but a special law, unless otherwise provided by general law, shall become effective only after its approval by the affected government unit expressed by the voters or the governing body. . ."

Minneapolis Charter, Chapter 15, sections 9 and 13 restrict the City's authority to incur indebtedness or use city resources for a professional sports facility . Under section 9, if the city shall incur a debt of more than fifteen million dollars for a stadium project, the city's board of estimate and taxation may not incur any indebtedness until the project has been approved by "a majority of the electors voting on the question in a regular or special election." Under section 13, the City may not use city resources in excess of ten million dollars to pay for a professional sports facility without the approval of a majority of the voters at the next general election.

If the people of Minneapolis, expressing their will in an election, reject the use of City of Minneapolis sales tax revenues for the stadium project, it may be the legislature's duty to provide the funds necessary for this project by other means, such as through an increase in the state-wide sales tax rate, in order to ensure that contracts already signed by the Stadium Authority, established by the Act, are not impaired. The legislature can appropriate revenues from sales taxes and other taxes affecting the entire state to pay for the stadium project, rather than heavily rely on "City of Minneapolis" sales tax revenues.

MINNEAPOLIS CHARTER LIMITATIONS, REQUIREMENTS DO APPLY

On May 25, 2012 the Minneapolis City Council, by a vote of 7 in favor, 6 against gave its approval of financial obligations on the City of Minneapolis imposed by the Vikings Stadium Act. This action effectively disenfranchised the voters of Minneapolis in violation of the City Charter and Minnesota Constitution, notwithstanding the following provision of the Viking Stadium Act:

Article 3 Sec. 4. CHARTER LIMITATIONS, REQUIREMENTS NOT TO APPLY.

Any amounts expended, indebtedness, or obligation incurred including, but not limited to, the issuance of bonds, or actions taken by the city under this act, are deemed not an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any law or charter provision. The city may exercise any of its powers under this act to spend, borrow, tax, or incur any form of indebtedness or other obligation for the improvement, including, but not limited to, acquisition, development, construction, or betterment of any public building, stadium, or other capital improvement project, without regard to any charter limitation, requirement, or provision, including any referendum requirement. Any tax exemption established under this act shall be deemed not an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any charter provision.

In an opinion dated May 21, 2012, the Minneapolis City Attorney supports the idea expressed in the above paragraph that "Any amounts expended...by the city under this act, are deemed not an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any law or charter provision...." The argument goes that the state collects and spends the money from special sales taxes that do not pass through the city treasury. However, an opposing view was expressed in a legal opinion provided to City Council member Cam Gordon, by attorney Karen Marty, dated May 23, 2012. Below, in the following 8 paragraphs is an extended quote from Karen Marty's opinion:

[The City Attorney's opinion dated May 21, 2012] "...argues that the stadium expenditures are beyond the reach of the City Charter. That opinion focuses on how local taxes are collected and administered, rather than on the bigger picture. By looking only at whose hands touch the tax revenue, rather than the source of the revenue and the language of the city charter, the City Attorney is able to conclude that this money is not a 'city resource.' That conclusion ignores the specific language in the new stadium law, which indicates that the sales tax is a "City of Minneapolis Sales Tax" (Article 3, section 1 title), and the sales taxes in question are "the sales taxes imposed by the city [of Minneapolis] under the special [1986 sales tax] law. (Article 3, section 1, subd 2(d).) The sales tax revenues must be remitted to the City, except that a portion is deducted to directly pay the City's share of the stadium costs.

"If the city did not impose these taxes, there would be no tax revenue for this funding. As specified in Section 4, subs.1, of the 1986 local sales tax law, "The tax authorized by this section must be imposed and may be adjusted periodically by the city council ..." The legislature mandated that the City impose the tax, and noted that it was a tax subject to adjustment by the City.

"The City Charter defines "city resources" very specifically in Chapter 15, section 13. It provides, "City resources are defined for these purposes as: . . . general fund expenditures, sales tax or other taxes. The use of city sales taxes is the use of a "city resource," triggering the referendum requirement.

"Although the legislature may preempt provisions of the Minneapolis Charter, both the legislature and the City remain bound by the bound by the Minnesota and U.S. Constitutions. The City Attorney's opinion correctly notes that a city charter can be preempted by the legislature. The legislature apparently intended the new stadium laws to preempt Charter Chapter 15, section 13. Whether it can succeed can only be answered by a Court. The attempted preemption occurs in the stadium law in Article 3, section 4, which is bolstered by the newspaper reports from the time this language was crafted, explains the legislative intent: that the Minneapolis City Charter requirements do not apply.

Under the Minnesota Constitution, "Any special law may be modified or superseded by a later home rule charter or amendment applicable to the same government unit, but this does not prevent the adoption of subsequent laws on the same subject." Such subsequent amendment has been attempted by citizens in the past. For example, Minneapolis voters tried to amend the Minneapolis Charter to prohibit taxation for a metropolitan sports facility, and to eliminate a hotel-motel liquor tax. In Davies v. City of Minneapolis, 316 N.W.2d 498 (Minn. 1982), the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed that the citizens had that power. The power to overturn a special law can be trumped by provisions of the U.S. constitution, and was in the Davies case. The issuance of bonds and signing of contracts triggered U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 10, which prohibits the impairment of contracts." The Court rejected the Charter amendment because the citizens failed to show that it was "reasonable and necessary to serve an important public purpose." If no bonds were sold, or a charter amendment served an important public purpose, a court might well reach a different result. One of the most important powers is the voters' right to vote, and the stadium attempts to remove this power from Minneapolis citizens. That, alone (or coupled with the confusing language of the new law) may cause a court to find that the Minneapolis Charter has not been preempted

[footnote] Although not a part of your question, another provision in the Minnesota Constitution places further restrictions on special legislation. Article 12, Section 1, prohibits the legislature from passing any special law "exempting property from taxation..." The new stadium law appears to do precisely that: Article 1, section 21, of the stadium law states "The stadium and stadium infrastructure are exempt from ad valorem taxation by the state or any political subdivision of the state. . . " That section further exempts from taxation "real and personal property which is subject to a lease or use agreement between the authority and another person for uses related to [sports facilities], including the operation of the stadium and related parking facilities.

Conclusion: The 2012 stadium bill is "special legislation" within the meaning of the Minnesota Constitution. As such, the City has the power to accept or reject the legislation. If accepted, any subsequent charter amendment to overturn it will face stiff challenges in court and will need to reflect a strong public purpose.

The stadium law also conflicts with the Minneapolis Charter. It appropriates City sales tax revenues and uses them to fund the stadium, which triggers the voter referendum provisions of Charter Chapter 15, Section 13. The legislature has the power to preempt the City Charter, but may not have authority to disenfranchise Minneapolis voters. [End of quote from Karen Marty's opinion]

JURISDICTION

Minnesota Statute 586.01 states that a writ of mandamus may be issued to any persons acting as a government body to compel the performance of an act that the law specially enjoins as a duty resulting from their office. Chapter 586.11 states that the District Court generally has jurisdiction in all cases of mandamus except where the writ is directed to a district court, or superior court.

The Minnesota Appeals Court has held in Demolition Landfill Servs., L. L. C. v. City of Duluth, 609 N. W. 2nd 278, 280 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Minn. July 25, 2000), “To be entitled to mandamus relief the petitioner must show three elements: (1) the failure of an official to perform a duty clearly imposed by law; (2) a public wrong specifically injurious to petitioners; and (3) no other adequate remedy.”

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, the Petition for Writ of Mandamus should be, in all respects, granted

Respectfully submitted

Dated: ____________________________________

By: Doug Mann

Petitioner acting pro se

3706 Logan Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55412

612 824-8800

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PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS:

State of Minnesota

District Court

County of Hennepin

Fourth Judicial District

Doug Mann, Petitioner,

v.                                                                                     Petition for Writ of Mandamus

Minneapolis City Council, Respondent. Case No. 27-CV-13-1302

      

   The above-named petitioner hereby petition this Court, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 586.01, et seq. , for a writ of mandamus, and in support thereof, states the following:

The petitioner is a registered voter who resides in the City of Minneapolis, MN and for a cause of action alleges the following:

1. The Minneapolis City Council, voted on May 25, 2012 to approve obligations imposed on the City of Minneapolis by the Vikings Stadium Act of 2012;

2. The Vikings Stadium Act, Chapter law 299 of the 2012 MN legislative session appropriates city sales tax revenues and uses them to fund the Vikings Stadium, including the contribution of $150 million (one hundred fifty million dollars) toward the construction of the new Vikings Stadium, and a minimal cost of $7.5 million (seven million five hundred thousand dollars) per year to pay for maintenance of the stadium;

3. The Minnesota legislature has the power to enact laws that appropriate revenues from taxes imposed on the entire state to pay for the stadium project rather than to rely heavily on City of Minneapolis sales taxes;

4. The Minnesota Constitution Article 12, sec. 1 states ". . . In all cases when a general law can be made applicable, a special law shall not be enacted except as provided in section 2. Whether a general law could have been made applicable in any case shall be judicially determined without regard to any legislative assertion on that subject;

5. The Vikings Stadium Act is 'special legislation' within the meaning of Article 12 of the Minnesota Constitution, sec. 2, which states: "Every law which upon its effective date applies to a single local government...is a special law... The legislature may enact special laws relating to local government units, but a special law, unless otherwise provided by general law, shall become effective only after its approval by the affected government unit expressed by the voters or the governing body….";

6.  Chapter 15, Secs. 9 and 13 of the Minneapolis City charter invest the voters of Minneapolis with final authority to decide whether to incur a debt of more than fifteen million dollars and to use more than ten million dollars in city resources for a sports stadium. The City Council has an affirmative duty to provide for a referendum in such an event;

6. If it is the will of the citizens of Minneapolis, expressed by a majority vote in an election, to reject the use of Minneapolis sales tax revenues and other city resources to pay for the Vikings Stadium project, it may be the legislature's duty to ensure that contracts already signed by the Stadium Authority, which the act established, are not impaired;

7. A specific provision of the Vikings Stadium Act, Article 3, section 4, under the heading "Charter limitations, restrictions do not apply": is intended to preempt the Minneapolis City Charter and disenfranchise voters in Minneapolis, with language that is contradicted by another provision in the same law, and that conflicts with the powers vested in local government units by the Minnesota Constitution.

8. The legislature has authority to preempt home rule charters, within the constraints of the Minnesota and U.S. Constitution, general laws, and equitable principles. However, in this case, the legislature over-reached its authority with an attempt to disenfranchise the voters in Minneapolis;

9. Irrevocable harm will result in the form of disenfranchisement of the Petitioner and citizens of Minneapolis should a writ commanding the City to abide by its legal obligation to provide for a referendum on the use of City sales taxes and other city resources for a stadium project is not issued;

10. There is no other adequate remedy at law;

Wherefore, we petition the Court to issue an alternative writ of mandamus commanding the Minneapolis City Council to place on the ballot in the next general election on November 5, 2013 the question of whether the City of Minneapolis shall accept obligations imposed upon it by the Vikings Stadium Act of 2012, or to appear before this Court and show cause why it should not.

Dated:

____________________________________                                                            

Doug Mann

Acting pro se

3706 Logan Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55412

612 824-8800   

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I am awaiting the City Attorney written response to the writ, which is an important part of the narrative.

Memorandum of petitioner in reply to opposition of respondent: Here is what they sent back to the City Attorney.

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STATE OF MINNESOTA DISTRICT COURT

COUNTY OF HENNEPIN FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

   Civil Division

____________________________________________________________________________

Doug Mann, Case Type: Other Civil

Court File No.: 27-CV-13-13029

   Petitioner, Judge: The Hon. Phillip D. Bush

vs.

Minneapolis City Council, Memorandum of petitioner

in reply to opposition of respondent

   Respondent, to petition for a writ of mandamus

__________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION

In memorandum of opposition to the petition for writ of mandamus, Respondent overlooks two constitutional issues raised by Petitioner which are germane to this case. Minn. Const. Art. 12, section 2 gives local government units the power to refer approval of special legislation to the voters, and Minn. Const. Art. 12, section 4 enables local government units to be governed by a home rule charter. The legislature made no attempt to repeal a provision of the Minneapolis City Charter that requires voter approval of use of City resources for a stadium in excess of ten million dollars. Therefore, the legislature exceeded its authority under the Minnesota Constitution by directing the Minneapolis City Council to approve the Vikings Stadium Act within a timeframe that did not allow for voter approval. Petitioner further alleges that the legislature incorrectly asserted that Minneapolis City Charter provisions requiring a referendum do not apply because local-option sales tax revenues are not local resources within the meaning of any law or charter provision. Petitioner's status as a voter and tax payer is sufficient to confer standing because the harm to his interests are reasonably connected to the failure of a public official to perform an action required by law and can be remedied by the performance of that action, and because Petitioner asserts that the cause of action is directly connected to an exercise of legislative power which exceeds Legislature's constitutional authority.

STANDING

Respondent challenges the standing of Petitioner to obtain mandamus relief, citing a generally applicable standard. However, in Minnesota Courts, a different standard applies when the plaintiff asserts that an action of public officials represents an unlawful exercise of the power to tax and spend.

   Petitioner alleges that his interests are harmed by an action of the Minneapolis City Council which denies him the right to vote on the imposition of taxes and appropriation of local tax revenues for a professional sports facility under circumstances where the Minneapolis City Council is required by law to put a referendum on the ballot, and that a writ of mandamus commanding the City to put a referendum on the ballot to approve the use of city resources for a professional sports facility in the general election of 2013 is the only adequate remedy.

   In the scheduling order, Doug Mann v. Minneapolis City Council, case no. 27-CV-13-13029 dated July 16, 2013, District Court Judge Phillip D. Bush ordered that "Plaintiff shall serve the Minnesota Attorney General within 7 days of this order since Plaintiff is asserting that the Legislature exceeded its constitutional authority."

Assertions by Petitioner which are germane to the issue of standing in this case:

1)  In the Vikings Stadium Act (Chapter 299 of the 2012 legislative session laws) the legislature exceeded its constitutional authority by forbidding the exercise of a power expressly granted to local governments under Article 12, section 2 of the Minnesota Constitution, which is the power to refer the approval of special legislation to the voters in a referendum.

2) The legislature erred in its assertion that City of Minneapolis, local option sales tax revenues are not "City resources" within the meaning of the charter or any other law. As a consequence, the legislature's directive to the city council to not refer approval of the Vikings Stadium Act to voters in a referendum exceeded its constitutional authority not only under Article 12, section 2 for the reason given in the preceding paragraph, but also Article 12, section 4 of the Minnesota Constitution, which invests local governments with the power to adopt home rule charters that may require a referendum under specific circumstances. The Minneapolis City charter has two provisions that restrict the City's ability to incur debt and to use city resources to pay for a stadium / professional sports facility without voter approval.

In Minnesota Courts, a plaintiff has standing to seek mandamus relief without showing greater harm to him than the public at large if the plaintiff alleges unlawful exercise of the power to tax and spend. The issue of taxpayer standing is addressed in the following four paragraphs from OLSON v. STATE, No.A06-2324., December 18, 2007 - MN Court of Appeals:

   [W]hile the activities of governmental agencies engaged in public service ought not to be hindered merely because a citizen does not agree with the policy or discretion of those charged with the responsibility of executing the law, the right of a taxpayer to maintain an action in the courts to restrain the unlawful use of public funds cannot be denied.

   In contrast with standing rules in federal courts, it is generally recognized that a Minnesota taxpayer has a broader basis for standing than a litigant in federal court. Id. at 570. As early as 1888, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that taxpayers may bring an action to compel county officers to perform their public duties. State ex rel. Currie v. Weld, 39 Minn. 426, 428, 40 N.W. 561, 562 (1888). In 1928, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated, “it is well settled that a taxpayer may, when the situation warrants, maintain an action to restrain unlawful disbursements of public moneys.” Oehler v. City of St. Paul, 174 Minn. 410, 417-18, 219 N.W. 760, 763 (1928).

The supreme court has also more recently reaffirmed the requirement that the party seeking to challenge legislative action on the basis of his status as a taxpayer must have more than just a disagreement with a discretionary decision. See In re Sandy Pappas Senate Comm., 488 N.W.2d 795, 798 (Minn.1992) (finding that a citizen did not have standing solely as a taxpayer to file a claim seeking judicial review of an election board's disposition of a campaign violation).

In Rukavina, we acknowledged that taxpayer status alone does not confer standing. 684 N.W.2d at 531. Simple “disagreement with policy or the exercise of discretion by those responsible for executing the law” does not supply the “unlawful disbursements” or “illegal action” of public funds required for standing to support a taxpayer challenge. Id. When the taxpayer's individual challenges to the state action “are based primarily on appellants' disagreement with policy or the exercise of discretion by those responsible for executing the law,” they are insufficient to confer standing. Id.

   http://caselaw.findlaw.com/mn-court-of-appeals/1176440.html

More restrictive criteria for determining taxpayer standing in the federal courts do not apply to actions that fall under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Courts inasmuch as: "A state may grant greater rights to its citizens than are granted by the US Constitution; however, a State Constitution may not limit or take away rights granted or protected by the US Constitution." Kent Law School: Sources of law (lecture notes) top of page 2: http://www.kentlaw.edu/faculty/rbrill/classes/BrillTortsF2009Eve/CoursePages/courseinfo/orient2hndout.pdf

   However, even using the more restrictive criteria used by federal courts for determining taxpayer standing, Petitioner has met the burden of showing he has standing to seek mandamus relief. In Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83 (1968), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a taxpayer has standing to sue the government to prevent an unconstitutional use of taxpayer funds, and set forth a two part test to determine whether a plaintiff has standing to sue. First, by virtue only of his liability to pay taxes, "a taxpayer will be a proper party to allege the unconstitutionality only of exercises of congressional power under the taxing and spending clause of Art. I, § 8, of the Constitution." *479 Id., at 102, 88 S.Ct., at 1954. Second, the Court required the taxpayer to "show that the challenged enactment exceeds specific constitutional limitations upon the exercise of the taxing and spending power and not simply that the enactment is generally beyond the powers delegated to Congress by Art. I, § 8." Id., at 102-103, 88 S.Ct., at 1954."

THE POWER OF THE LEGISLATURE TO REPEAL HOME RULE CHARTERS

   The question of whether the legislature has authority to repeal any provision of a home rule charter is purely academic because the Vikings Stadium Act involved no attempt to repeal any provisions of the Minneapolis City Charter. However, this issue will be examined here because it is raised in arguments advanced by Respondent.

   The Vikings Stadium Act and Chapter 15, sections 9 and 13 of the Minneapolis City Charter deal with the use of City of Minneapolis, local-option sales tax revenues, and the issue of whether voter approval is required when city tax revenues are used to fund a stadium project. The City Attorney's office advances two basic arguments:

1) Chapter 15, sections 9 and 13 of the Minneapolis Charter provisions don't apply / are not triggered by the Vikings Stadium Act, because under the Act, the City of Minneapolis shall not issue bonds, and therefore shall incur no debt; and because the Vikings Stadium Act assigns control of local-option sale tax revenues to the state as needed to repay the City's share of State-issued bonds and cover the City's share of other costs, City of Minneapolis, local-option sales tax revenues are deemed to not be city resources within the meaning of any law or charter provision.

   2) Even if, for the sake of argument, one grants that a Minneapolis Charter provision which requires a referendum is triggered by the Vikings Stadium Act, the legislature's intent was to over-ride / circumvent it. After all, the legislature has the power to repeal local laws. Although the Viking Stadium Act does not expressly forbid a referendum on the use of these tax revenues to fund the stadium project, it does direct the City Council to approve the legislation. Moreover, as the lawyers representing the City Attorney point out in their brief, on page 9: "...The stadium legislation did not allow for approval by submitting the question to the voters for a referendum (nor was this even possible given the 30 day timeframe allowed by the legislation for local approval.)"

WHAT THE MINNESOTA CONSTITUTION SAYS

   Minnesota Constitution Article 12, section 2

Every law which upon its effective date applies to a single local government unit or to a group of such units in a single county or a number of contiguous counties is a special law and shall name the unit or, in the latter case, the counties to which it applies. The legislature may enact special laws relating to local government units, but a special law, unless otherwise provided by general law, shall become effective only after its approval by the affected unit expressed through the voters or the governing body and by such majority as the legislature may direct. Any special law may be modified or superseded by a later home rule charter or amendment applicable to the same local government unit, but this does not prevent the adoption of subsequent laws on the same subject. The legislature may repeal any existing special or local law, but shall not amend, extend or modify any of the same except as provided in this section.

Please note that in the second sentence in the above paragraph, there is a coordinating conjunction - and - which separates two dependent clauses: A special law ". . . shall become effective only after its approval by the affected unit expressed through the voters or the governing body and by such a majority as the legislature may direct. . ." (emphasis added) If the "and" were deleted from that sentence, it would grant the legislature the right to determine both the method of approval and the majority required for approval. However, Article 12, section 2 as written does not invest the legislature with the right to determine whether approval of special legislation by the affected unit will be expressed through the voters or by the governing body. By directing the City Council to approve the Vikings Stadium Act and not giving it the option of referring approval to the voters in a referendum, the Legislature exceeded its authority under Minnesota Constitution Article 12, section 2.

The power of the Legislature to repeal provisions of local home rule charters is not without constitutional constraints, and one of those constraints is a grant of power by the Constitution to local government units to refer approval of special legislation to the voters in a referendum. Moreover, the legislature generally has the authority to preempt local laws without local approval by enactment of general legislation.

   "Under Const. 1857 Art. 4 section 36 providing that any municipality may frame its own charter subject to and in harmony with the state constitution and laws and within general limits prescribed by legislature, but that the legislature has power to provide general laws which relate to city affairs and which are paramount to any provisions in such charters dealing with like subject matter, power given to citizens by virtue of home rule charters is subject to the paramount power of the legislature and may be superceded or abrogated whenever legislature sees fit to exercise power reserved to it. Western States Utilities Co. v. City of Waseca 1954, 252 Minn. 302, 65 N.W.2d 255"

"Minn. Const. [1857] art 4, section 36 specifically preserves the right in the legislature to provide general laws paramount to home rule charters. See State ex del. Smith v. City of International Falls, 132 Minn. 298, 156 N.W. 249; State ex del. Erickson v. Gram, 169 Minn. 69, 210 N.W. 616." Cited in  Monaghan v. Armatage, 15 N.W.2d 241

   "Pursuant to Const. 1857, Art. 4 section 36, the legislature could, by enactment of general laws, modify or withdraw any powers entrusted to a city with a home rule charter. Minneapolis St. Ry. Co. v. City of Minneapolis 1950, 229 Minn. 502, 40 N.W. 2d 353 appeal dismissed 70 S.Ct. 574, 339 U.S. 907, 94 L.Ed 335"

"Legislature may repeal any special or local law, may amend any special or local law by general law, may repeal any part thereof by general law, but cannot repeal a special or local law in part by a special law. Op. Atty. Gen. [of MN], 375, Feb 24, 1933" Cited in Minnesota Statutes Annotated, Article 12, section 1, page 387, bottom of the first column.

CHARTER PROVISIONS REQUIRING A REFERENDUM DO APPLY

   Notwithstanding legislature's assertion to the contrary, Local-option sales tax revenues are "city resources" within the meaning of Minneapolis City Charter, Article 15, section 13

"[Chapter 299 of the 2012 session laws] Article 3, section 4. CHARTER LIMITATIONS, REQUIREMENTS NOT TO APPLY

   Any amounts expended, indebtedness, or obligations incurred including, but not limited to, the issuance of bonds, or actions taken by the City under this act, are deemed not an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any law or charter provision. The city may excursive any of its powers under this act to spend, borrow, tax, or incur any form of indebtedness or other obligation for the improvement, including, but not limited to, acquisition, development, construction, or betterment of any public building, stadium, or other capital improvement project, without and regard to any charter limitation, requirement, or provision, including any referendum requirement. Any tax exemption established under this act shall be deemed not an expenditure or other use of city resources within the meaning of any charter provision."

If the Minneapolis Charter doesn't apply, approval of Article 3, Vikings Stadium Act by the City Council without referring it to the voters for approval would not conflict with the City Charter, nor would the legislature's directive to the City Council to disregard any Charter provision. However, the primary source of funding for the City's obligations are local-option sales tax revenues, which are clearly "city resources" within the meaning of the Minneapolis City Charter, Chapter 15, section 13, which states:

   Minneapolis City Charter, Chapter 15, section 13

   The City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Community Development Agency, or any city department, agency, commission, or board, shall use no city resources over ten million dollars for the financing of professional sports facilities without the approval of a simple majority of the votes cast on the question, in ballot question put to the public at the next regularly scheduled election. City resources are defined for this purpose as: Tax increment financing, bonds, loans, land purchase or procurement, land or site preparation, including necessary infrastructure such as roads, parking development, sewer and water, or other infrastructure development, general fund expenditures, sales tax or other taxes, deferred payments, interest-free or below market interest rate loans, the donation or below market value sale of any city resources or holdings or any other free or below cost city services. The ballot question shall not be put before the public in a special election, in order to prevent the costs associated with special elections [emphasis added].

   The assignment of local-option sales tax revenues by the City to the State of Minnesota under the Vikings Stadium Act will indeed place local sales tax revenues required to fund the City's share of the costs outside of the control of the City government, however there can be no reassignment of sales tax revenues by the City to another entity unless the City is entitled to control said revenues in the first place. Although the State of Minnesota will issue bonds to cover the city's share of stadium construction costs, the city is responsible for the repayment of its share of those bonds. Local sales tax revenues necessary to cover the City's obligations to repay bonds issued by the State of Minnesota shall be credited to the City.   

   Below is an email message from Carol Becker, elected member of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation, regarding the character of local sales taxes, posted on the Minneapolis Issues Forum, a public online forum:

From: Carol Becker

Subject: Re: [Mpls] Cancer growing around the Wilf Sports Palace

Date: July 24, 2013 7:27:23 AM CDT

To: mpls@forums.e-democracy.org

Tony Scallon wrote:

"1.       The Stadium Debt is state debt not Minneapolis debt. This is extremely important. Also, the sales tax is collected by the state and then dedicated as per law. This may sound technical but in terms of debt and bonding very important."

Not to quibble with Tony but the third sentence is incorrect. Local-option sales taxes are exactly that, sales taxes enacted at the option of local government, per 297A.99. The state gives local units the ability [to impose them] but they are authorized at the option of local governments. It is clear that the tax is a local, not state tax. As far as collection goes, the state collects the tax on behalf of the local unit of government. It doesn't have to be that way - in many states, the local unit of government collects its own tax just like it collects its own property taxes. In Minnesota, it was set up to have the state collect the tax simply for the ease of administration. There is a contract between the City and the State that lays out the provisions of this relationship - how the State will collect the tax on behalf of the City. I know because when I was the manager of the sales taxes for the City of Minneapolis, I made changes to that contract to have the State send the money faster, thereby increasing the amount of interest we as the City could earn. Made the City about $100K a year by that change. But that contract clearly specifies that the state is providing a service to the City by collecting the City's sales taxes. Not that these are state revenues that the state is providing to the City.

   And it is correct, whoever issues debt owns the debt. Debt issuance and funds to repay debt are two different questions and repayment funds can come from anyplace and any level of government.

Carol Becker

Longfellow

In an information brief, "Local Sales Taxes in Minnesota," the Research Department, Minnesota House of Representatives, the following is written:

   Steps That a Local Government Must Follow to Impose a Local Sales Tax

   In order to impose a local sales tax, a political subdivision must obtain legislative enactment of a special law authorizing it to do so by taking the following steps (in the order listed):

   1. The governing body of political subdivision must pass a resolution proposing the tax stating (at least) the:

   a. Proposed tax rate,

b. Amount of revenue to be raised and its intended uses, and

c. Anticipated date that the tax will expire

   2. The proposed tax, then, must be submitted to and passed by of the voters at a general election held at least 90 days after the resolution was passed. The political subdivision may not expend money to advertise or promote the tax.

   3. The political subdivision must request and the legislature must enact a special law authorizing imposition of the tax.

   4. The political subdivision must pass an ordinance imposing the tax and notify the Commissioner of Revenue at least 90 days before the first day of the calendar quarter on which the tax is to be imposed.

Source: Page 2, House Research Department; Local Sales Taxes in Minnesota, updated January 2012

   As of January 2012, voter approval was required in 17 of 23 currently imposed local sales taxes, with exceptions to the rule being the sales tax authorized by Duluth in 1973, by Minneapolis in 1986, by St. Paul in 1993, by Brainerd in 2006, and by Hennepin County in 2006. Voter approval was required for all 4 local sales taxes that were imposed but have expired, for 10 of 11 authorized sales taxes that were never imposed, and 3 of 4 local sales taxes authorized but not yet imposed. See: Tables 1 through 4, on pages 7 through 11, House Research Department, Local Sales Taxes in Minnesota.

CONCLUSION

   For the foregoing reasons, the Petition for Writ of Mandamus should be, in all respected, granted.

   Respectfully submitted by

Dated: August 13, 2013 __________________

   Doug Mann

   Petitioner pro se

   3706 Logan Avenue North

   Minneapolis, MN 55412

   612 824-8800

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Here are some other comments from Doug on the venerable Mpls e-democracy listserv about what the city attorney sent out:

City Attorney: You all don't have the right to vote on stadium taxes: Minneapolis Issues Forum: E-Democracy.org

This morning I received the City Attorney's memorandum in opposition to a writ

of mandamus commanding the city to put on the ballot a referendum on Vikings

stadium taxes. It offers nothing new on the main issues.

In my petition and memorandum I did not address the City Attorney's earlier

assertions about the power of the legislature to over-ride the city charter. A

review of the cited case law shows some serious defects in their argument,

which I hinted at, but they didn't take the hint. The City Attorney, in last

year's memorandums cherry picked paragraphs supporting their assertions, and

omitted all pronouncements by the Court on the issue that is decisive in most

of the cited cases: The power of the legislature to pre-empt local laws by

"general" laws without local consent. The legislature may repeal local laws

that not in harmony with general laws and the Minnesota constitution. But the

Vikings stadium act did not attempt to repeal the stadium provisions in the

charter. The Vikings Stadium Act asserted that the charter does not apply

because the local-option sales tax revenues are not "city resources" because

the sales tax revenues required for bond payments and upkeep on the stadium

will not be remitted to the city. The funds won't be under the city's control.

Nothing new there.

The new, yet unsurprising part of the City Attorney's brief is the contention

that "Petitioner cannot show sufficient injury to entitle him to mandamus

relief"

"Petitioner is only entitled to mandamus [relief] if he can show a public wrong

especially injurious to him and that he will benefit from an order compelling

performance of the statutorily imposed duty. Friends of Animals & their Env't

(FATE) v. Nichols, 350 N.W.2d 489, 491 (Minn. Ct. App. 1984); see also

Hollingsworth v. Perry, S.Ct. 2652, 2662 (2013) (reaffirming that under federal

law a litigant lacks standing when claiming only harm to his and every citizens

interest in the proper application of the Constitution and laws, and seeking

relief that no more tangibly benefits him than it does the public at large. To

have standing to maintain a suit, an individual must show an "injury to some

interest, economic or otherwise, which differs from the [injury] to the

interests of other citizens generally." Vern Reynolds Constr., Inc, v. city of

Champlin, 539 N.W. 2d 614, 617

Two points in rebuttal:

Mandamus relief allowed under federal law is one thing. Mandamus relief allowed

under Minnesota law is another. As a rule, States may not be more restrictive

in granting rights than the federal government, however a state may be more

expansive in granting rights than the federal government. (I think I can find

support for this in the US constitution). Mandamus relief is being sought under

Minnesota law, not federal law.

It is likely I will find language in the federal voting rights act, something

to the effect that "each voter is uniquely harmed" by the application of laws

that disenfranchise them. I expect to find that language because the intent of

that legislation was to give any wanna-be voter standing to file a lawsuit to

secure rights for themselves as well as others similarly effected by

legislation that disenfranchises otherwise qualified voters. Moreover, what is

at issue is not disenfranchisement in general, but disenfranchisement in a

special case that assures benefits to a small minority of Minneapolis residents

at the expense of the large majority.

Mann for Mayor (website)

http://mann4mayor.blogspot.com/

Mann for Minneapolis Mayor

http://facebook.com/mann4mayor

-Doug Mann, Folwell neighborhood, northside of Minneapolis

Anyway I will leave it there for now, but I think it's good to get the full text of these filings out of the obscurity of Facebook. Please pass this on to interested parties, as relatively few people know that this petition is in the mix. If it were truly "frivolous" it would have been nixed by the judge already.

Disclosure: Some years back I did technical organizing work for the current Minneapolis City Attorney, Susan Segal, in a preliminary political campaign for Hennepin County Board.

Alcohol comes to Pine Ridge reservation after White Clay battle

It is disappointing to hear that Pine Ridge Reservation voted to resume selling alcohol after so many had fought against it - and this is no doubt pleasant news for the people that profit from the war on drugs, like alcohol companies. I also just saw ads about four new bars opening at Mystic Lake here in Minnesota.

It is too bad, unfortunately the American Indians are only one example of how chemical dependency is fostered by corporate America through billions of dollars in advertising.... Another massive subsidy, the stadiums hosting booze ads, will be touched on shortly.

In late June: Oglala Lakota Nation President VS Nebraska State Police June 17, 2013 - YouTube

Breaking News: Oglala Sioux Tribe President Arrested During Protest in White Clay | Earth First! Newswire

Oglala Sioux President Arrested at Whiteclay Protest - ICTMN.com

A Dry Reservation Clashes With Its Liquor Store Neighbors : NPR

Now: Pine Ridge Reservation Votes to End Alcohol Ban - NYTimes.com: "Chief Duke said that he expected the easier availability of alcohol to lead to a sharp rise in violence, which will challenge a department whose 37 officers are responsible for patrolling an area larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.... Chief Duke said he finally gave up alcohol when he turned 31. But alcohol’s ill fortune caught up to some members of his family. Two of his daughters, he said, were killed in drunken-driving accidents in the 1990s."

Also: Pine Ridge Reservation Lifts Century-Old Alcohol Ban : The Two-Way : NPR // It's official: Pine Ridge Reservation legalizes alcohol in historic referendum

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Sarcasm memes are emerging on Minneapolis internets from Minneapolis AIM:
pine-ridge.jpg

pine-ridge2.jpg pine-ridge3.jpg

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Via Tasunke Wakan:

"If the People Who voted yes on the Oglala Homelands to Legalize alcohol sales win the Ethnic cleansing by the Wasicu has succeeded. The Wasicu no longer needs to come and kill us with his Armies he now has the mni sica (bad water) to do his work for him. More people will now die from from alcohol related deaths and illnesses. Drunk drivers will kill innocent people on the highways and Sexual and physical abuse will increase, along with the crime rate. Also elderly abuse and child abuse along with suicides will increase. Read Black Elk's vision in the book Black Elk Speaks he fortells of this time and how the dark cloud covered the people. That time is now!!!!!! But in the end only the people who follow the original ways will survive according to his vision."

via AIM of Twin Cities & AIM Patrol of Minneapolis - Now What To Do With All The Millions In Alcohol... - AIM of Twin Cities & AIM Patrol of Minneapolis: "This was posted from AIM Grassroots."

Now What To Do With All The Millions In Alcohol Money On Pine Ridge

By Scott Barta
Just like most of america, the majority of users of alcohol on the oglala Lakota "Sioux" Pine Ridge reservation suffered tragic childhood trauma and only use alcohol to numb their pain, their denial, their fear of exposure - whether raped, beaten, or verbally abused by parents/grandparents/brothers/uncles/neighbors.
What to do now?
Each of the nine districts will now get liquor stores no doubt, regulated by a tribal department. This will create jobs temporary employment for construction workers who must build the facilitie and provide jobs for all the new employees that must be hired by the tribe to run the stores.
What is needed most on Pine Ridge?
Currently, a plague is destroying american Indian reservations, and Pine Ridge is no different then the rest. Young men between the ages of 18 and 36 are being ignored and cast away by the tribes - often thrown away into the court and jail systems.
These 18-36 year old males are being denied their right to manhood - providing for themselves and their families, usually by possessive mothers/grandmothers who continue to enable and cripple these young men. In effect, they refuse to cut the embilical cord or ween the child from the teet - under the excuse of "compassion" and "generousity".
The worst thing for a man is thinking and feeling that he is inadequate, useless, unable to provide - it tears at the heart. He will not admit it and not ask for help, buyt he will ache inside until his next drink, his next drug. Often they lash out in macho attempts (gang, fighting, etc.) to try to cover thier inadequacies which compounds the problems.
18-36 year old males are allowed to stay at mom's or grandma's house - often not even required to wash a single dish or take out a bag of trash. The boys have girlfriends, all hickey-ed-up, shacking up with them, getting them pregnant; then pretty soon they break-up and then you have single moms raising unwanted kids.
18-36ers use moms/grandma's car, go drinking/drugging, then wreck the car, get thrown in jail - then mom/grandma BAIL THEM OUT for $400 (so much for groceries and bill-paying that week), all so they can come back and flop at the house until their next dramatic cry for help goes unanswered.
WELL IT IS TIME TO QUIT ENABLING THE CRIPPLING OF THE YOUNG LAKOTA MEN.
This alcohol profits, instead of going to all the tribal council members for new pick-ups, must go to training camps in each district for all 18-36 year olds who are not working full time and not living on their own. Sales profits can be used to hire builders to construct small cabins or erect tents/Tipis in a "Manhood Training Circle" where the boys stay, eat and live communally - available for any work delegated to them. "Manhood Training Circle" Staff must be hired to coordinate who comes in requesting assistance from the boys for building garages, bailing hay, basic plumbing/electrical jobs, hauling jobs, etc.
Experts can come in and give job/employment trainings, spiritual insight, wisdom and encouragement throughout the day to the campers - all guiding them to becoming providers for their nation.
IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO FIX THE NATION, it is not too late to save our young men.

Anyway will leave it there for now, but also add info on the lawfulness of the subsidized hub of booze advertising, the quasi-illegal Minneapolis Vikings stadium...

University of Minnesota to test new Light Rail electromagnetic scenarios late at night

This is sort of cool. Went out to U students just recently. I am hoping the Green Line is activated ASAP!! Still moar cables to install in downtown St Paul dangit. On with the show!

From: Vice President Pam Wheelock <noreplywheelock@umn.edu>
Date: Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Good afternoon.

I have two important items regarding the Green Line Light Rail Transit line to share with the campus community.

Overnight Train Testing to Begin

Overnight train testing on the Green Line Light Rail Transit line (formerly known as the Central Corridor) will begin this week and is expected to continue until late September. During the testing, trains will operate through the overnight hours and will move through campus at operational speeds. The cooperation and assistance of the entire campus community is needed to maintain safety and to ensure the integrity of the testing.

This testing for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Vibration will occur between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. starting Thursday, August 8. During these late night hours, the University will need to limit building operations, and roads and sidewalks will be closed in order to ensure we have the quietest environment possible. This quiet environment is necessary in order to isolate the train vibrations and EMI from the existing background conditions. Please note that these closures and operational limits are ONLY during the late night hours.

More detailed information on the overnight train testing is available in the following .pdf documents:

Overnight Train Testing General Information Fact Sheet
EMI Certification Fact Sheet
Vibration Certification Fact Sheet

Washington Avenue Bridge Closure

In order to complete the final construction items on the Washington Avenue Bridge, the Met Council will close lanes on the vehicular level of the Bridge over the next two weeks. There will be no impacts to the pedestrian level of the Bridge.

The eastbound lane of the Washington Avenue Bridge will be closed from August 12 through August 16. The Metro Transit bus stop at Blegen Hall will be closed. Bus riders will instead use the Cedar/Washington Avenue bus stop.

The westbound lane will be closed from August 18 through August 23. The bus stop for Metro Transit and University of Minnesota Campus Connector at Willey Hall will be closed. Instead, bus riders will use the stop located at the 3rd Street Ramp, west of Cedar Avenue for Metro Transit Buses and the bus stop at the southeast intersection of 19th Avenue and 2nd Street for the University of Minnesota Campus Connector.

More detailed information on the bridge closure is available in the following .pdf documents: Met Council Central Corridor Construction Update

This message was approved by the Vice President for University Services of the University of Minnesota and sent to all Twin Cities students, faculty, and staff.

Massive Minnesota Tar Sands Enbridge Line 67 called out by Rep. Hornstein for invalid Certificate of Need at MN Public Utilities Commission; Utah make total win; Felix & Michigan Cats win vs Enbridge Line 6B today!

Set yr hashtags for #fearlessSummer #summerheat cause it's on! Enbridge is a Canadian corporation trying to nail down a disastrous and indeed genocidal tar sands pipeline from Alberta Canada. This would be bigger than the infamous Keystone XL.

Great starting article based on latest events: Climate activists to fossil fuel industry: ‘If you build it, we will come’ by Camila Ibanez.

On the Minnesota front first: It's a bit of a complicated regulatory story - for a rundown and action items start here: http://tc.indymedia.org/2013/jul/dont-keystone-take-action-stop-enbridge...

Posted just now on OccupyMN.org about this with more detailz, plz check it out - http://www.occupymn.org/as-the-enbridgeresistance-grows-a-minnesota-repr...

See earlier: http://www.ienearth.org/oil-in-your-backyard/ (July 18)

Related lines (but not Line 67) are blockaded outside Leonard MN and the camp is awesome. Follow on fedbook: https://www.facebook.com/EnbridgeBlockade - Background story: http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/red-lake-encampment-battl...

http://www.startribune.com/business/215881221.html

http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/state-oks-pipeline-change-over-protests

Fortunately just found out today, State Rep. Frank Hornstein has at least gone on record that the Certificate of Need is total BS. He's a pretty good guy.

enbridge-line-67-hornstein.jpg

Here is a backgrounder on the tar sands world market mechanisms from Al Monaco CEO of Enbridge: http://www.northerngateway.ca/news-and-media/northern-gateway-blogs/trad... indicating Hornstein is indeed correct and Enbridge is lying in the MN Certificate of Need.

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In related developments in Utah: Efforts to scatter investors from the potential first US tar sands mine have gotten tons of traction and lots of nifty direct action! http://canyoncountryactioncamp.org/ and on twitter @Peace_Up_ and https://twitter.com/CCRisingTide also https://twitter.com/tarsandsRESIST . Here is the full reportback from @uneditedcamera http://uneditedmedia.com/utah-canyon-country-action-camp/ - please read it!

Just a fantastic video from our dear colleagues! Please pass it on, best direct action in Utah video evar?!

Lol direct action zaps already almost worthless 'penny stock' - take that Capitalist herd navigating betwixt fears & greeds! http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/tar-sands-stock-tanks-after-direct-action-in-utah/ .

TICKER: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=USO.V and great headline: http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/23284210/article-US-Oil-Sands-stock-drops-13--day-nonviolent-direct-action-shuts-down-mine?instance=eeo_report1 "US Oil Sands stock drops 13% day nonviolent direct action shuts down mine".

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In Michigan today something's been going on all day with Michigan Cats! These Lolcats just got the goods with Non Violent Direct Action! On FedBook: https://www.facebook.com/michigancats

main post / live blog: http://www.michigancats.org/daring-aerial-blockade/. on tweeter: https://twitter.com/MichiganCat

This morning, MICATS is taking direct action in the Crane Pond State Game Area to halt expansion of Canadian corporation Enbridge Energy’s tar sands pipeline 6B with an aerial blockade.

LIKE and SHARE if you stand in solidarity with impacted communities, ‪#‎MICATS‬, and all those resisting tar sands infrastructure.

Check out our LIVE updates on our blog! http://www.michigancats.org/

michigancats2.jpg michigancats1.jpg

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California Wut? Also via @revfredsmall "Fantastic 7-min interview w/ my 90yr-old mom arrested at #SummerHeat Richmond Chevron @KALW #CrossCurrents (:59-8:00) http://bit.ly/174YUo9 " - San Fran Chronicle Ecuador communities speak out : http://t.co/99cyAfqdPS . via @carriem213: sit in to get arrested vs fossil fuels . DNow snippet about 200 arrested: http://m.democracynow.org/headlines/2013/8/5/35340

Well it is just great to see things firing on so many cylinders on this issue. Good luck everyone!!!

UPDATE: left out a few things. Oglala Lakota president Brewer arrested in human blockade at White Clay Nebraska - http://youtu.be/08qOoZNohSw .

IDAHO: About 100 in Nez Perce Tribe maintain 2.5 hour rolling roadblock despite 40-50 police officers. Moar here: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/08/photos-nez-perce-rolling-roadblock... . some more updates here: https://www.facebook.com/bigcountrynewsconnection?hc_location=stream

Money Warz: Emperor Pipeline, Darth Banker, Luke Whistleblower & Chomsky wan Kenobi & The Trans-Pacific Partnership Death Star need yr help!

Here is a fun art project against the evil Trans Pacific Partnership treaty of Doom! Please pass the word or a couple bucks for Money Warz, a street art performance getting the Occupy Wall Street band back together on the 2nd anniversary, Sept 17 2013 - the goal is $1000 or moar... If they can get up to say $4K things could really get epic.

See earlier: July 22nd: Trans Pacific Partnership discussion & community QA with Keith Ellison, IATP & MN Fair Trade Coalition. Malaysia Round starts July 15 | HongPong.com. [I have suggested including to Ellison to post a simple bill that would ban the US trade representative from having secret files - hopefully others can pick up on the idea!]

Fortunately, much of the gear for this project including the Nosferatu mask & around 100 money trooper masks have already been created, but can be creatively extended and remixed for great lulz. Some of the puppets have already been used for great success in Albany and elsewhere - the money troopers of the Didactic Empire were the honor guard for a marriage between a corporation and a politician, which defined corporatism in widely carried stories on corporatism and campaign finance in May 2013.

Here's a blurb:

Hello,

The one percent have a dream - a global corporate coup called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - a secret trade deal to be fast tracked into law in October, no debate or amendment. And neither the public nor the media have been permitted to see this NAFTA on steroids - just the 600 corporations that are quietly writing it behind closed doors! This is what plutocracy looks like.

Please support our kickstarter to fund a huge theatrical spectacle in Times Square on the 2nd anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, to force attention and build awareness - while we still can.

Money Warz, a Star Wars parody, presents:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tedword/money-warz-tpp-death-star-ca...

Thank you!

Elliot and Ted

elliotcrown@earthlink.net

http://moneywarz.org

moneywarz-site.png

Check out a few pics of these epic puppets designed and built earlier by Elliot, showing the general visual style of these amusing political icons. They remind me of Heart of the Beast & MayDay in Minneapolis.

fossil.jpg gmo.jpg

This Statue of Liberty is great - I'm near the original plaster cast for it right now!

liberty.jpg

The money troopers guarded Mitt Romney, Obama and the Monopoly Man in Times Square on Election Night 2012.

TS.jpg

I approve the Fossil Fool!

testing-the-gear.jpg

By the way, related predecessor project. Here is the video of the Pyramids at Another End of the World Part One:

And some other related material like the Tax Dodgers which made it into the Cooperstown NY National Baseball Hall of Fame...

tax post o good.jpg tax duo good.jpg bull on a stick uptown.jpg

And see earlier - the thumbnail AP, even Capt. Ray Lewis was there: Anti-fracking groups rally in Albany, urge ban. Anyhow I think the TPP project is definitely worth supporting and would be a good way to reach lots of people through humor.

VIDEO: Minneapolis Rally #Justice4Trayvon #Justice4Terrance

Here is live video from #justice4trayvon #justice4terrance rally Sat night ~12:30AM in Downtown Minneapolis >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RyjuazWlik&feature=youtu.be (creative commons - interview w Mel Reeves!) - several FB events for Monday >> https://www.facebook.com/events/205300609626208/

https://www.facebook.com/events/610769695620223/

https://www.facebook.com/events/300046336807336/

Minneapolis residents hit the streets after Zimmerman acquitted in Florida murder trial. On Friday there was another march for late Terrance Franklin, killed by Minneapolis Police Department May 10th with five bullets to back of head according to a family member.

Video has several interviews including with Mel Reeves @ 17:20who has called for a rally on Monday at Hennepin Co. Government Center (Peoples Plaza). NOTE I heard earlier it was on SUNDAY but there is NOT a rally at Plaza on Sunday according to Mel.
http://justiceforterrancefranklin.wor...

Upcoming events - several posted: :/
https://www.facebook.com/events/20530...
https://www.facebook.com/events/61076...
https://www.facebook.com/events/30004...

Filmed shortly after midnight Sunday July 14th
CREATIVE COMMONS WITH ATTRIBUTION

Original via here: http://bambuser.com/channel/Hongpong
http://bambuser.com/v/3739301 - please subscribe for more videos.

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