Minnesota

Eye Iz Teh Sikk!!

Yeh I have been up around with the sniffles all week. Finally today the ol' sinus passages cleared out and I feel good once more. This was an interesting week, as on Monday I met the one and only Dries Buytaert, the guy who invented Drupal back in college. (The Drupal team is at the U of M to do badass User Interface research). That was the same day as the Veto Override of the Transportation bill, which included a ban on privatizing the road systems of Minnesota.

I suspect that the ban may have been related to the work I did exposing the NAFTA Superhighway plan for MN back in December, which apparently got picked up by the DFL Capitol staff. have to follow up on that.

So yeah, today is the first in quite a few days where I don't feel totally gunked or garbled. Not bad for a Friday!!!

Minnesota Legislature defeats Pawlenty, here's the fine print: A bill for an act relating to transportation finance; appropriati

In an epic battle, Minnesota Democrats and a small tribe of brave, rebellious, Republicans defeated Governor Pawlenty's perpetually stupid transportation policies, and put forth a really good plan to save this whole metro area from a perpetually crappy future. Toll roads and privatization are banned (with some loopholes), the license tab caps enacted under Ventura have been removed, and a ton of money will get put into transit. MnDOT is also directed to make nice with the feds and develop a complete metro-wide transportation plan.

The metro area gets a huge block of new money, much of which will go right into transit, the first time in ages that anything has come that way.

Meanwhile local areas can vote to enact small sales taxes to cover various projects, which will be handed out by new joint boards. Or something along those lines. While it seems like a big slam of money, there is also a small gasoline tax refund for lower brackets.

Also they have to report the state of all the bridges every year. In all, it is a model bill for a troubled metro area such as ours, and should really catch notice within months. It also couldn't come soon enough: the municipal bond market is all screwed up now, so it is going to be hard to borrow money.

TPaw sheds some crocodile tears for the defeat of his hardline friends. Once again, he gets off the hook!

1.1A bill for an act


1.2 relating to transportation finance; appropriating money for transportation

1.3activities; providing funding for highway maintenance, debt service, and local

1.4roads; appropriating funds for emergency relief related to the I-35W bridge

1.5collapse; establishing a trunk highway bridge improvement program; requiring

1.6a study of value capture to reduce the public costs of large transportation

1.7infrastructure investment; authorizing sale and issuance of bonds; modifying

1.8motor vehicle registration and motor fuel taxes; establishing annual surcharge on

1.9motor fuel taxes; creating a motor fuels tax credit; allocating motor vehicle lease

1.10tax revenues; providing for local transportation sales taxes; modifying county

1.11state-aid highway fund revenue allocation; prohibiting tolling or privatization

1.12of existing transportation facilities; establishing bridge improvement program;

1.13modifying driver's license reinstatement fee provisions; regulating certain transit

1.14funding activities; modifying provisions related to various transportation-related

1.15funds and accounts; establishing a task force; requiring reports;amending

1.16Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 160.84, subdivision 1; 161.081, subdivision 3;

1.17162.06; 162.07, subdivision 1, by adding subdivisions; 168.013, subdivision 1a;

1.18171.29, subdivision 2; 290.06, by adding a subdivision; 296A.07, subdivision

1.193; 296A.08, subdivision 2; 297A.64, subdivision 2; 297A.815, by adding a

1.20subdivision; 297A.99, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota

1.21Statutes, chapters 160; 165; 296A; 297A; 398A.

1.22BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

.... huzzah (and there was much rejoicing) ..... TPaw blamed someone else, and all was well in the land.... BE IT ENACTED!

City of St. Paul opens RNC park permit lottery process - for a few days!

Hey everyone, I caught some important news late Friday afternoon (And I've got a cold right now and nothin' better to do!).

The big news is that the City of St. Paul would take all applications for demonstrations and space in parks on March 3rd. Naturally the City put out the news very late on Friday to keep it off the news radar. There are only a few days to offer some kinds of finalized plans for the permitted use of public space during the Republican National Convention. http://www.stpaul.gov/convention/rncpermits.html
Since the process apparently involves a drawing/lottery, it may be a good idea for many groups of people (bands?) to enter into the lottery system and win space/time in a park.
There was a brief story about it in the Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/stpaul/15883057.html

Protesting at the RNC? Forms due March 3

St. Paul outlines its process for getting permits for demonstrations or large-group park space during the Republican National Convention.

By CHRIS HAVENS, Star Tribune

Last update: February 22, 2008 - 11:06 PM

Protesters, parkgoers and parade organizers, put March 3 on your calendar.

That's the day permit applications will be accepted for demonstrating or getting park space for groups of 25 or more during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Applications are available now.

The permits would cover the time between Aug. 30 and Sept. 4. The convention will be held Sept. 1-4 at the Xcel Energy Center. More than 45,000 delegates, members of the news media and protesters are expected.

"We hope to accommodate as many people as logistically possible," said Erin Dady, the city's marketing director and convention planner.

Demonstration applications are available at the city website or at the Police Community Services Office, 1169 Rice St. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Some people want a protest area within sight and sound of the Xcel, and that space hasn't been determined yet, Dady said. "By no means will free speech be limited to one area," she said.

Applications will be reviewed by police and decisions made in a timely manner. More specific guidelines might be forthcoming, Dady said. Approvals could be delayed if more clarification or information is needed.

For more information on the city's rules regarding demonstration permits, go to www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/code/lc366a.html.

Applications to use space, pavilions and boat slips in the city's parks system for parties of 25 or more people are available at the city website and at the Parks and Recreation Permit Office, 1100 Hamline Av.

Parks permit applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. March 3, and a public lottery drawing will happen at 3 p.m. Applications received later will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A limited number of parks have been held for security reasons or convention activities.

Applications are online at www.stpaul.gov.

********

This was posted on the City of St. Paul website and I think matched the initial press release:

http://www.stpaul.gov/convention/rncpermits.html

Applications for City Parks, Demonstration Permits during Republican National Convention Now Available

Permit applications to use space, pavilions, and boat slips in Saint Paul 's parks system for parties and gatherings of 25 or more people during the Republican National Convention Aug. 30 to Sept. 4 are now available online and from the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Permit Office, 1100 Hamline Ave. North.

In addition, permit applications for demonstrations during the same period are also available online and through the Saint Paul Police Community Services Office, 1169 Rice Street .

A limited number of Parks have been held for security purposes and convention activities, but the vast majority of Saint Paul Parks are available for permits. The City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation manages over 160 parks and open spaces, the Como Park Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 41 recreation centers, a 9 hole and three 18 hole golf courses, over 100 miles of trails, indoor and outdoor pools, a public beach, sports and aquatics facilities, and wonderful rental facilities for public and private gatherings.

“Hosting the Republican National Convention gives us an incredible opportunity to showcase the city's world-class parks system to visitors from around the globe,” said Bob Bierscheid, director of Saint Paul Parks & Recreation. “Park space will be in high demand, and we want to make sure that everyone has equal opportunity to access our parks and enjoy themselves during this exciting event.”

Similar to the process in which the city awards permits for park use through a lottery at the beginning of the year, permits during the RNC convention period will be accepted up to 2 p.m. March 3 at the permit office.

A lottery drawing from permit applications will then follow at 3 p.m. The drawing is open to the public and will be broadcast through the city's cable channel soon after the drawing. The permit office will notify people of the status of their application by mail.

Based on park availability, permit applications received after March 3 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Demonstration permit applications will be accepted starting March 3, at which time applications received through the mail also will be opened. Community Services Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Applications will be reviewed and decisions made in a timely manner. However, if there are more questions or clarification is needed, the application approval can be delayed until the information is gathered.

More information on the city's rules regarding demonstration permits can be found in the City Charter and Codes section on the city's Web site at www.stpaul.gov/code . Reference Chapter 366A, which describes the procedures for applications as well as the rules, regulations, and fees.

“The City of Saint Paul is committed to accommodating as many people as logistically possible while ensuring a safe and enjoyable convention for residents and visitors,” said Erin Dady, Saint Paul marketing director. “Hosting a national event of this magnitude takes a lot of coordination from many city departments and outside groups. This permitting process facilitates the necessary planning for a successful event.”


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That's all. Thanks for reading through! (hopefully not spam to ya!)

--Dan Feidt - dan.feidt@gmail.com

Clinton Campaign Announces Minnesota Steering Committee

For some reason, it feels important to me to make sure this is on the site. It is also kind of a gratuitously large list anyway. But it's a lot of people. A good networking opportunity. etc.

Webmaster techie note: Actually, since this item is all one big name drop, it will get a ton of hits from Google, I'd wager. A good example of a 'long tail' post, in SEO-speak.

***********

Clinton Campaign Announces Minnesota Steering Committee

Clinton Campaign Announces Minnesota Steering Committee

The Clinton campaign today announced its Minnesota Steering Committee, made up of community leaders from across the state who will mobilize grassroots support for Hillary leading up to Minnesota’s February 5th primary.

"Hillary Clinton has the ability to deliver the change America needs, from providing universal health care to ending the war in Iraq to moving us toward energy independence," said former Vice President Walter Mondale.

"Minnesotans know Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to lead this nation from her first day in the White House," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

"For 35 years Hillary’s been fighting for children and families and working to expand opportunity for all Americans," said House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher. "She is uniquely qualified to be President in these challenging times."

"I have seen Hillary's ability and intellect up close, and she is the best prepared to be President," said former Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton.

HILLARY’S MINNESOTA STEERING COMMITTEE:

Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Brian Bergson, Veteran; Saint Paul
State Rep. Karla Bigham, Cottage Grove
Jay Benanov, St. Paul City Councilman
Donald Bungum, Veteran; Lindstrom
Susan Burns, Attorney; St. Paul
Margie Cady, Veteran; Winona
Paul Cassidy, Director of Government Relations, Leonard, Street and Deinard
Tarryl Clark, Assistant Senate Majority Leader; St. Cloud
Claudia Cody, Latino Community Activist; Becker
Chris Coleman, Mayor; St. Paul
Mark Dayton, Former U.S. Senator; Minneapolis
Tom Dooher, President; Education Minnesota
Captain Lou Ellingson; Veteran; Eden Prairie
Matt Entenza, Former House Minority Leader; St. Paul
Tom Foley, Former St. Paul County Attorney
Betty Folliard, Former State Representative, Golden Valley
Susan Gaertner, Ramsey County Attorney
Keesha Gaskins, Executive Director, Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus, Minneapolis
Alan Weinblatt, Weinblatt & Gaylord; St. Paul
Curtis Ghylin, Veteran; Sauk Rapids
Chris Gillette, Military Retiree, U.S. Army Chemical Corps; Roseville
Lisa Goodman, Minneapolis City Council Member; Minneapolis
Joan Anderson Growe, Former Minnesota Secretary of State; National Vice President, Strategic Business, Minneapolis
State Sen. Linda Higgins, Minneapolis
Richard Hoium, Veteran; Minneapolis
Jaimie Holmes, Veteran; Inver Grove Heights
Alan Hooker, Minneapolis Public Library Board Trustee; DFL Stonewall Dems, Minneapolis
Koryne Horbal, Former United Nations Ambassador, Columbia Heights
Hubert "Buck" Humphrey, IV, DNC Member, Plymouth
Mohamed Jibrell, Somali Community Leader, St. Paul
Larry Johnson, Veteran; Golden Valley
Ember Reichgott Junge, Former State Senate Assistant Majority Leader; Minneapolis
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, House Speaker; Minneapolis
Colleen Landkamer, President of NACo, Blue Earth County Commissioner, Mankato
Elsa Leven, Community Activist, Saint Paul
Mark F. Lindsay, Executive, UnitedHealth Group; Wayzata
Andrew Luger, Attorney, and Ellen Goldberg Luger, Edina
Paul Maccabee, President, The Maccabee Group, St. Paul
Paula Maccabee, Attorney, Former St. Paul City Council Member
Mary Jo McGuire, Former State Representative; Falcon Heights
Peter McLaughlin, Hennepin County Commissioner
Richard McNary, Veteran; Eagan
Walter Mondale, Former Vice President, Minneapolis
Tom Mullon, Veterans; Saint Paul
Kathleen Murphy, Women's Rights Activist, St. Paul
John C. Neese, Veteran; Fergus Falls
Vance Opperman, Business Leader; Minneapolis
State Senator Sandy Pappas, St. Paul
State Rep. Sandra Peterson, New Hope
Mari Pokornowski, Co-Chair DFL Platform Committee, Cokato
Cheryl Poling, Democratic Activist, Eden Prairie
Phillip Qualy, Legislative Director, United Transportation Union
Lois Quam, Business Leader; St. Paul
Amy K. Rotenberg, Communications Consultant; Minneapolis
Mark Rotenberg, University of Minnesota General Counsel; Minneapolis
Gary Schiff, Minneapolis City Council Member; Minneapolis
Elliot Seide, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 5
State Rep. Nora Slawik, Maplewood
Jill Sletten, Democratic Activist; St. Paul
Michelle Sommers, Political Director, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005
Rick Stafford, DNC Member, Chair of the DNC's LGBT Caucus, Minneapolis
Lisa Stager, Minnesota IAMAW; Minneapolis
David Stanton, Veteran; New Brighton
Jackie Stevenson, DNC Member; Minnetonka
Tammy Tesky, Community Activist; St. Paul
State Rep. Paul Thissen, Minneapolis
Megan Thomas, former Stonewall DFL, St. Paul
Dave Thune, St. Paul City Council Member; St. Paul
Susan Thune, Registered Nurse; St. Paul
Ruth Usem, Community Activist, Minneapolis
Russell Warren, Veteran; Mounds View
Lynn Wilson, Party Activist; Nurse; Rochester
Colonel Nat Wisser, Military Retiree; Saint Paul
John Wodele, MN Campaign Director for the 1992 Clinton Campaign; Vadnais Heights

Another linkdump for today; the I-35W collapse conspiracies! NAFTA Superhwy news spreads all over!

Whichever day that is. In these dark months, you get the drift of active time, as your circadian rhythms get farther and farther from the intervals of natural light.

At least, I sure do, since my job does not require me to show up anywhere at a certain time every day (besides at my computer to send out the Morning Report).

Start here: Lolcats ‘n’ Funny Pictures - I Can Has Cheezburger? Incredible.

WIRED: Phone and email data mining used on War on Drugs. Surprise! AT&T invents a new programming language to parse mass data mining streams, dubbed Hancock.

The always-excellent Cryptogon changed its banner to a NATO tank behind some opium poppies, which is about as apt a geopolitical symbol as you ever need these days.

Hard Times Cafe in Cedar-Riverside is BACK!

So here are a bunch of links to spice your day: Informed Comment: Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2007.

The Charlie Wilson Afghan adventure movie: pretty awesome.

I feel sorry for Pakistan, which was a mistake anyway. What Bhutto's Death Means and Al Qaeda is not taking credit for it. This is big.

Daily Kos: FISA, SCHMISA: DHS Eye in the Sky ready to spy on Americans Related!: TwinCities.com - Inherent powers, ignoble history make new idea anything but innocuous: The Thought Crime thing and also DHS Finalizing Spy Satellite Program To Watch Americans Without Congressional Oversight.

Go here and put in funny searches. You will be amused: CIA FOIA - Overview. Putting in "Barry Seal" is what got me in trouble!

NAFTA Superhighway skepticism dominates leftie interwebs: The existing left-wing blogosphere wisdom is very skeptical: ‘There’s no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway’ - The Carpetbagger Report

The whole idea was considered bullshit propped up by Jerome Corsi, at least along the left. Example: Crooks and Liars » The NAFTA Superhighway doesn’t exist and ‘There’s no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway’ - The Carpetbagger Report and Rumors of a Superhighway - New York Times Blog. Also Matthew Yglesias, same thing: Aug 13, 2007 - The Highway That Wasn't there supporting The Nation's skepticism. But there are also impressively ugly 'tinfoil' sites like this one: NAFTA FLAG.

Here are some other random threads about the subject: NAFTA Super HighWay - Canada links to Mexico! - Canada/US Relations - CKA and NAFTA Superhighway - Ready to shit your pants?, and Anomaly Television » Is the North American Union Conspiracy Theory Really Real? Also, Aftermath News had Campaign of mass-deception exposed over NAU-NAFTA Superhighway agenda.

Interestingly, Wikipedia Nafta Super Highway goes to Trans Texas Corridor! Trans-Texas Corridor - Wikipedia.

This seems to be from the same docs that I put out there: Sound Of Cannons: Money From The SuperCorridor: Already Falling Into The Elite's Hands

The latest popular item is: WorldNetDaily: North-of-border link finishes NAFTA superhighway grid

Fake Christians: NAFTA Highway is Holy. This is weirding people out.

So here are just some of the places that the MnDOT docs I got out there ended up:

Oddly it got into what appears to be a White Supremacist forum Vanguard News Network: there are a lot of angry signatures about the Jews... Yeck. New NAFTA NASCO Superhighway Docs released from MnDOT: The whole plan - Vanguard News Network Forum

The grand list of misc Corridor Watch North American Union activists (weirdos?) etc: For your reference!

The I-35W collapse conspiracies! I really have nothing new on this but wanted to put the links anyway. I-35W bridge theories collapse « Mysterious Universe

Don the Drug Smuggling Cowboy.

I received a total of fifteen years for my crimes. Under current law, it would have been much more, perhaps in the neighborhood of twenty years, and I would not be eligible for parole. My children grew up without a father and bear the scars even today.

I think it fair to say that none of us emerged from this business unscathed.

I think it is also fair to say that we all – the smugglers, the dealers and the whores – have been replaced, and that a similar or worse fate awaits the present day crowd involved in the business. And then they will be replaced.

Don Henry Ford is really cool. He wrote stories about his times as a drug smugglin Iran Contra cowboy. And tells everyone good stories @ the Agonist. All right: Cinco Puntos Press: Portrait of a dope-smuggling cowboy by NarcoNews

Speir Publishing runs the fictional account.

Cinco Puntos Press: CONTRABANDO: Confessions of a Drug-Smuggling Texas Cowboy

Reviewed: Austin Chronicle:

He spent seven years smuggling marijuana into the United States over the border from Mexico and somehow lived to write about it. From the dusty streets of dirt-poor mountain villages to the gleaming corruption of the American justice system, Don Henry Ford paints a picture of a business where no hands are clean – it’s that old song about the war nobody wins, only this time it’s being played out of a beat-up old truck as it heads north filled with dope. All but bankrupted after a failed attempt at cotton farming in the 1970s but in possession of an indomitable work ethic and a fierce desire for self-determination, Ford slips into the role of drug smuggler with a nonchalance (“This is too damned easy”) and an audacity you have to marvel at: He just dreams it up and does it, headfirst all the way. Temerity, Ford demonstrates time and again, is the one compulsory attribute of the drug smuggler, and the one he’s most blessed with. The really remarkable thing about Ford and his book isn’t so much the experiences he’s had – his stories probably aren’t all that dissimilar from those of 10,000 of his colleagues – but rather the humanity and philosophical distance he maintains while having them. His sympathy for the plight of the working poor and disenfranchised, regardless of class, color, or country; his distaste for the indifference of the rich and the laws that favor them; his ability to step back and view the larger universe of the war on drugs, and his role in it, through the lens of a class-conscious, homegrown philosophy: They all mark him as a decent man, regardless of his occupation or criminal record. And I’d be willing to guess this kind of sympathy and awareness is rare among those who traffic in illegal narcotics, rarer even than it is among those who don’t. Don Henry Ford’s no saint and no Robin Hood but at the same time, those expecting the self-indulgent confessions of an unrepentant outlaw will be disappointed: Ford’s harder on himself than the legal system and the drug lords ever were. And it’s to his credit that in a business built on dehumanization, he managed to retain his humanity and conscience and see beyond himself to something larger.

And the Austin American Statesman too.

Repossessin' Texas--a review by the author :)

***** MISC LINKS TIME! *****

RNC Protest news for St. Paul 2008: See UnconventionalAction.org . Shh!

Useful: a large set of embedded social bookmarking HTML codes. Slashdot badges. Digg HTML embeds.

SoCal anarchists inherently a fire hazard -> Shutdown!

Cool graphic novels of 2007 - Salon.

For paranoias check out the Main Page - TinWiki.org: the first full-feature Wiki dedicated exclusively to all the topics that inspires the authors to consider "Tin foil hats". Topics such as conspiracy theories, UFO cover ups,extraterrestrial programs, New World Order, Illuminati, secret government programs, top secret bases, and nearly any other "alternative topic" that would cause paranoid fear of the government reprisals, wire taps, and email monitoring are the focus of this collaborative Wiki.

Bear Sterns reaps what they sow.

The war on greed! We Need A War On Greed.

These so-called Al Qaedas in Iraq are by and large from Saudi Arabia according to West Point. What a surprise.

Wall Street like a cockroach - interesting ideas here.

Journalism today! In cartoon form.

Fimoculous.com - misc - Best Blogs of 2007 That You (Maybe) Aren't Reading by the guy that Started Mnspeak. Admittedly I have never heard of many of these blogs but they sounded good. MeFi was snarky on it: Best Blogs of 2007 That You (Maybe) Aren't Readin | MetaTalk

This seemed like a weird site, which had crossposted the SRI thing but also features news about Solar X-Rays in badge form: Scientists on Acid: The Story Behind “Changing Images of Man”

Anonymous email services have been bought out by the NSA. Someone on Digg said "Poor big brother is going to have to read a shitload of Viagra ads." Hah.

Air America Notebooks very complete.

This story has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING: 2,600 Pages of Clinton Records Withheld: These nothings: Barry Seal, Air Contra, and Mena Airport - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard [Free Republic]. Also: Political Friendster - Rose Law Firm - Connections and Political Friendster - Mena, Arkansas 1980's Narcotics Ring - Connections Awesome LOLS!

Best of The MadCowMorningNews:

Kroll makes Blackwater look like wimps

Onion's worst band names of 2007 included local Gay Witch Abortion!

This seemed nuts.

About the NIE - the day the spooks cancelled the Iran war: Cool review in the Guardian. Neo-cons attack. Annapolis Iran schemes noted by ex-CIA honcho Phil Giraldi. The quiet counter-coup.

St. Paul real estate blog.

Say no to GMOs: wow! Klebsiella Planticola almost killed the earth! Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms.

Inside the CIA's notorious black sites.

AFRICOM: the Pentagon's new African fishing expedition.

Link was dropped before: Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the Nation.

The Clusterfuck Nation: Jim Kunstler is the dude when it comes to vaguely apocalyptic visions of social collapse and such. He's The Long Emergency guy. Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler : A Christmas Eve Story

Making Sense of Ethanol and Related Fuels. | The Agonist

I was advised by someone to look at: John Taylor Gatto - Challenging the Myths of Modern Schooling

Sic Semper Tyrannis 2007: Habakkuk on the neocons' use of intelligence. Very old school.

Get Familiar with Zbigniew Brzezinski // Skilluminati Research

Interest Rate Freeze: Real Story Is Fraud

I just thought this was funny: Bill Clinton Joined Masons When He Was 15

Some stuff: The Dark Face of Populism: Why Paul and Huckabee have had a dramatic rise | The Agonist. I had some rambly response to this.

For the space cadet in all of us: Doug Yurchey's World of Tomorrow

I read this guy's book: DOD Plan: 21st Century Global Police Force

Psychotropic Drug Use Skyrockets 400%

Fun stuff: ROGUEGOVERNMENT.COM - Exposing Government Corruption and the New World Order including CIA Fights Terror With GI Joe Action Figures

The Indypendent » The RAND Corp: Here, There, Everywhere

The planned collapse of America. Why not?

I liked this guy's style: The Bwog: Blogging AIPAC: part one of two and part two of two.

HAARP: The Men who Control the Weather (and vibrated 35W to bits!):

All right, pretty weird stuff. Thanks for joining us!

Internet Radicalization Thought Crimes, Centers of Orwellian Excellence & Strategic Communication Laboratories: What Modules are

Internet Radicalization Thought Crimes, Centers of Orwellian Excellence & Strategic Communication Laboratories: What Modules are in an OpCentre?
Featuring Rep. Jane Harman's "Thought Police" Internet Radicalization and Crush These Meddling Kids Bill!
Norm Coleman co-sponsors Thought Crime Bill.

Here is what MnBlue said: Norm Coleman co-sponsors Thought Crime Bill | mnblue:

The bill has two distinct parts. The first establishes a Commission. The second establishes a think tank of sorts to study how better to hunt down Arabs, suppress internet democracy, perform datamining of raw data obtained via illegal wiretapping and such noble efforts.

Like NSPD51 which is so vaguely worded that President Bush could suspend the Congress, Courts and Constitution over anything he deems is a national emergency, this bill is so vaguely worded that an administration without any ethical principles (namely the Bush Administration) in cahoots with one or more ethically challenged Senator(s) or Representative(s) (and we certainly have plenty of them) might manipulate this bill to do things like I've described if it ever became law.

From my reading of this bill, they could drag anyone in front of The Though Crimes Commission. Imagine questions like this: "Have you ever aided and abetted the terrorists by saying anything opposing the war on terrorism?" Also, the word force is not defined. Couldn't a boycott be considered force? What about Ghandi, Martin Luther King ... they used force, didn't they? Might this allow for a Joseph McCarthy of the 21st century?

Furthermore the Thought Crimes Think Tank might need to analyze trends spotted by the Bush Administration's illegal wiretapping. Since the capability does not currently exist to do datamining of terrabytes of data, they might need to reinstitute the NSA's Total Information Awareness program under their aegis. After analyzing these trends they might find alarming results and need to begin analyzing in real-time. After all the bill states that our current law enforcement and intelligence aparratus are not capable of preventing homegrown terrorism (see Finding 6). Might they then spawn a Thought Police to stop the evil-doers before they strike?

Getting worried? Have no fear, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are here. This is the same leadership which caved on FISA. Oops, I guess not. This bill passed stealthily through the House resulting in a 404-6 vote for it. Oops. I guess Nancy Pelosi was part of some back room deal that allowed this blighted child of repression to slink through the House. The House voted to suspend the rules (2/3 majority required) and cut short any debate. Sadly, our entire Minnesota delegation in the House voted for it. We never heard about this when it happened on 10/23/07 because the debate was cut short.

What is this really about? That's what I ask myself every day.

Right now there is definitely some kind of insane Orwellian conspiracy involving setting up things called "Centers of Excellence" that would basically spy on all of American society in every possible way, then calculate which points on the system count as terrorists, thus employing hordes of Control Freak Cabal minions and creating the RFID SPP Total Control Grid along the NAFTA Superhighway (which is evidently 1.5 blocks from my house).

I first discovered the evidence of this from documents pried from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. See July's post @ my day job, SuperRondo? MnDOT, NASCO, and I-35 NAFTA Superhighway plans | Politics in Minnesota.

This is intense! What is it, in short:

Also released [from MnDOT] were NASCO public relations documents describing how to spin media coverage, and MnDOT emails about media incidents. Oddly, NASCO distributed PR material disambiguating themselves, the cross-border Security and Prosperity Partnership, and even the Council on Foreign Relations, among their materials sent to Minnesota.

Interestingly, NASCO discusses an advanced systems integration platform called NAFTRACS (North American Facilitation of Transportation, Trade, Reduced Congestion and Security Project), which would be developed by SAVI, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which already handles shipping container logistics for the Pentagon's Global Transportation Network. The NAFTRACS "integration pilot program will automatically gather, correlate, and interpret fragments of multi-source (Radar, AIS, & GPS tracks, Open Source, Intelligence, Watch list & Law Enforcement Report, CCTV, Bioterrorism sensors) data together into one collaborative portal-based environment, an [sic] ultimately a Total Transportation Domain Awareness Center of Excellence." The NASCO Center of Excellence and Total Domain Awareness Center would be the "centerpiece of the corridor coalition; will engage in studies, development and deployment activities; will seek funding & investment for a broad array of projects relevant to both the corridor and of current & national significance," including "the US-Mexico-Canada Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP); Hurricane Katrina/Rita impact; Cross-border trade facilitation and information sharing; inland ports network; counter-terrorism and security." In the last couple PDF files, the development of NAFTRACS through Lockheed Martin's advanced military-oriented research facility in Virginia is discussed at length.

This is what I am talking about. Basically cloning the military-industrial complex's tracking system and forcing it down our throat. Lockheed will always know where you are. They really love their "customers."

There was some speculation that big media events like 9/11 are manipulated in government psy-ops media centers, where video can get patched through and thus the stuff can be inserted or whatever. Evidently a UK company Strategic Communication Laboratories has OpCentres for just this purpose:

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An OpCentre can be made up of many different custom modules. Any of the following may be incorporated into an OpCentre: Strategic Communication Laboratories : What modules are in a OpCentre?

  • Media capture & analysis
  • Concept Development
  • Secure Communications
  • Target audience archive filtering
  • Cultural Alignment Unit
  • Recruitment & Training
  • Target audience issue analysis
  • Command Interface
  • Scenario Planning Team
  • Archive and recall systems
  • Radio Production
  • Redundancy Unit
  • Evaluation & MOE Unit
  • Radio Transmission
  • Media Management Unit
  • Strategic Campaign Planning
  • TV Production
  • Word-of Mouth Unit
  • Risk Analysis Unit
  • TV Transmission
  • Communication Planning Unit
  • Print Production
  • Message Development
  • Distribution & Logistics
  • Channel Management
  • Forward Command/Tactical
  • Environment Development
  • Administration/Management

Wow! Strategic Communication Laboratories : Company overview

Strategic Communication Laboratories is the leading supplier of strategic communications, information operations and public diplomacy to governments and military clients around the world.

The company is the exclusive licence holder of the BDi strategic communication methodology, which is the most advanced and effective persuasion methodology for social and group communication.

The company provides solutions mainly for defence, internal security and foreign affairs governmental departments, but also provides solutions for tourism, financial markets & investment and health programmes.

SCL operates throughout the world and is based in London, UK. The Head Office employs about 30 people and there maybe as many as 2000 specialists employed on projects worldwide.

The company was formed in 1993 and produced a number of projects for the Behavioural Dynamics Institute, which was undergoing development trials for its methodology. The successful outcome of the trials led to the permanent association of SCL and BDi.

Today SCL is not only the unique licence holder of the BDi methodology, but more importantly, after 12 years, it is the only team fully trained in its operation.

Strategic Communication Laboratories : What makes SCL stand out

Strategic communication differs from orthodox commercial communication (such as advertising, public relations, etc.) in that it concentrates on the behavioural outcome of the communication not just concepts such as brand awareness.

For example, commercial advertising might encourage an audience to hold very favourable attitudes about a Ferrari, but that does not necessarily lead to all those with a favourable attitude buying a Ferrari. Conversely, cigarette smokers may be fully aware of the dangers associated with smoking, but will carry on anyway.

Broadly speaking, commercial communication is measured by attitudinal results (considering one brand better than another) and strategic communication is measured by results (changes in actions).

SCL uses the BDI methodology, which is the most powerful communication methodology to influence group behaviour.

Even though much greater effort and resources must be applied at the front end (as compared to commercial advertising), the resultant outcomes are far more effective and predictable.

Consequently, the SCl solutions are used primarily where the communication outcomes are critical.

Strategic Communication Laboratories : What is an OpCentre?

An Opcentre is a command facility for strategic communications.

In this always-ready environment researchers can identify target audiences using highly advanced statistical models, strategists can orchestrate campaigns using the most effective scientific methods and media producers have access to innovative production techniques.

These units of expertise combine to create one of the most dynamic and influential ‘weapons' in the world.

An Opcentre puts influence, control and power back into the hands of the government and military, giving them greater power to influence the enemy in time of conflict and enhanced access to their citizens during a crisis. For instance, an Opcentre can be designed to override all national radio and TV broadcasts, allowing the government and military to communicate with the public as the need arises.

The Opcentre is a formidable tool for Homeland Security, Conflict Reduction, International Public Diplomacy and un-mediated Government communications.

What can the OpCentre do?

  • Launch a powerful psyop campaign against an engaged enemy
  • Engender support within the national community for proposed military action
  • Re-engineer foreign perceptions to potentially avert conflict altogether
  • Develop national resilience and behavioural compliance for homeland security issues
  • Produce powerful public diplomacy campaigns for political, economic, military issues
  • Maintain an ‘always ready' public communication command centre for critical incidents
  • Develop more effective public information campaigns for social and health issues

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Override ALL communications? So that's why everyone thought those holograms hit the WTC! Hah! Square the Quad Laser kids!

The idea is that they can keep building these things, and then make a lot of money declaring all the weird kids terrorists who need to be spied upon.

Frankly I don't know what the big picture is, but this is part of Rep. Jane Harman's "Thought Police" Internet Radicalization and Crush These Meddling Kids Bill, or whatever the fuck it is.

Everyone, I am planning a seriously large effort to expose this stuff and present in a way such that even the dumbest Baby Boomer can understand what this police state bullshit is all about.

A sad right-wing blogosphere of Minnesota

First: This is (also) why the Minnesota right-wing blogosphere is sad. I met Wedge at the 331 blogger thingy and he's a nice guy. Yeesh.

Over at work we have cancelled any links to the rightwing AntiStrib blog because they are really quite racist towards Native Americans on a regular basis. Another horrible anti-Indian rant ticked off the guy at Minnesota Democrats Exposed enough to cancel all links to the 'vile and racist' postings:

Doug whines that we tried to educate the Indians, but what choice did we have? Their acts of terrorism against the settlers and the military assured that they could no longer be allowed to roam at random over other people’s lands. Their poverty-based societies filled Indians with a deep desire to steal and kill at will. The only alternative to integration was extermination. Andrew Jackson reached this conclusion and rode this issue to the White House. He was veteran of the many wars with the Indians and had no illusions about the Indians.

So skip the noble savage crap. American Indians were domestic terrorists permanently stuck in the Stone Age. Even the God Damned French contributed more and managed to create a better society than the humanoid animals that once roamed our continent.

Wow, someone is angry with many spirits. The banner below is hosted from the more reeled-in freedomdogs blog. Hm. The vast network, etc.AntiStrib

not complete assholes, but hosted @ http://www.freedomdogs.com/images/AntiStribBanner.jpg.

Music: MN Nice song

Cool new slice of music: I heard "MN Nice" by Maria Isa on the Current the other night. Hear it on MySpace though of course it's a little bit fuzzy, making it harder to catch all the local references.

NAFTA Superhighway scheme exposed in Minnesota - not bad for a day's work!! Now I'm going on vacation!!!1!!!

All right everyone. I am about to leave for England & France with my brother and dad tomorrow and I don't plan to blog or stay in the loop at all. But before I go, here is a story I did about the secret NAFTA superhighway scheme uncovered here in Minnesota. We published this in Politics in Minnesota: The Weekly Report yesterday...

SuperRondo Superhighway? MnDOT, NASCO, and plans for the I-35 NAFTA Superhighway

St. Paul's Rondo Days festival is right around the corner on July 21st. Rondo, of course, was the primarily black neighborhood obliterated when I-94 was built and blasted through, a route selected because of the neighborhood's lack of political clout. Deploying the "Stops-4-Us" message, the University Avenue Community Coalition plans to raise awareness about the potential damage to their neighborhoods because of the proposed Central Corridor light rail project, which they fear will remove parking, disrupt commerce and fail to offer enough stops for their community. The federal government wants fewer stops on the Corridor to reduce trip time, or else federal funds will be jeopardized. As one UACC organizer said to PIM, this federal policy has effectively removed transit stops from other urban communities around the nation.

On a much larger scale, proposals are now being drawn up for large transportation networks across America piggybacking on the interstate highway system. PIM has obtained documents from the Minnesota Department of Transportation about proposals to create major international transportation corridors along I-35 and I-94. The documents were obtained from MnDOT via the Minnesota Data Practices Act by local lawyer Nathan Hansen and posted on his blog and law firm's website. We have packaged the PDFs into a 66 MB ZIP archive available here through PIM's website.

The major group coordinating this effort is North America's Supercorridor Coalition, or NASCO. The MnDOT files include many strategic public relations emails among NASCO, lobbyists, government employees across the country, in Canada and Mexico, as well as grant applications specifying the exact nature of NASCO projects. Many emails among MnDOT personnel are also included. These documents formed the basis for a report by Jerome Corsi at WorldNetDaily, which also discussed MnDOT's views of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's (R) position on the matter. (Officially, he doesn't have one). The documents confirm that MnDOT agreed to join NASCO for a specially discounted price of $15,000, money that perhaps could have been better spent patching I-35W's potholes.

NASCO's website declares that I-35 is already the NAFTA superhighway; the group is not trying to build some vast network. Oklahoma City's mayor recently agreed [GoogleVideo] that I-35 was "really a part of that NAFTA corridor," and the U.S., Canada and Mexico should really be one economy. Both publicly and privately, NASCO brushes off the supposedly sinister nature of their project, which they say is intended to benefit the economy and alleviate congestion. Also MnDOT provided NASCO an index of projects along I-35 and I-94 in an effort to get NASCO's Washington lobbyists to coordinate better funding.

Also released were NASCO public relations documents describing how to spin media coverage, and MnDOT emails about media incidents. Oddly, NASCO distributed PR material disambiguating themselves, the cross-border Security and Prosperity Partnership, and even the Council on Foreign Relations, among their materials sent to Minnesota.

Interestingly, NASCO discusses an advanced systems integration platform called NAFTRACS (North American Facilitation of Transportation, Trade, Reduced Congestion and Security Project), which would be developed by SAVI, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, which already handles shipping container logistics for the Pentagon's Global Transportation Network. The NAFTRACS "integration pilot program will automatically gather, correlate, and interpret fragments of multi-source (Radar, AIS, & GPS tracks, Open Source, Intelligence, Watch list & Law Enforcement Report, CCTV, Bioterrorism sensors) data together into one collaborative portal-based environment, an [sic] ultimately a Total Transportation Domain Awareness Center of Excellence." The NASCO Center of Excellence and Total Domain Awareness Center would be the "centerpiece of the corridor coalition; will engage in studies, development and deployment activities; will seek funding & investment for a broad array of projects relevant to both the corridor and of current & national significance," including "the US-Mexico-Canada Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP); Hurricane Katrina/Rita impact; Cross-border trade facilitation and information sharing; inland ports network; counter-terrorism and security." In the last couple PDF files, the development of NAFTRACS through Lockheed Martin's advanced military-oriented research facility in Virginia is discussed at length.

PIM hasn't heard anything about this project through the grapevine; only nativist and conservative media outlets (what some would dub "right wing whacko") have focused on plans for continental integration. It seems unlikely that massive superhighways will be built along I-35, but still, it's quite interesting to examine the flurry of communications, message management and cross-border integration exposed by this set of documents. Check out the raw material; it's really quite unusual and informative. While activists in Texas and Oklahoma are raising a ruckus about the potential Rondoization of their counties, Minnesotans would be wise to look south and keep an eye out.

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Well that's it everyone. Have a good time, I will see you in two weeks. Thanks for visiting! And check out PoliticsInMinnesota to see how they pull it off when I'm gone!

Schnedly: "a bright-eyed aspiring city planner"

CityPages blog: Ruff neighborhoods: Minneapolis to add three off-leash dog parks (May 18)

As a recent college graduate, Dan Schned has neither the time nor the money to care for a dog. That hasn't kept him from spending the last year crusading to make Minneapolis a safe space for hounds.

Schned has spearheaded the effort to build three small off-leash dog parks ringing downtown, one of which, in Loring Park, will break ground this Monday, May 21.

It all started early last year, when complaints began pouring in from North Loop residents about bad dog owners in their midst. "There is too much doggy doo on our sidewalks," and "an epidemic of peeing in the streets," the complainers told their elected leaders, more or less.

City Councilwoman Lisa Goodman listened to the concerns, pondered, then flipped the script. The owners aren't naughty by nature, she reasoned, it's the lack of doggable acreage near their homes that is making them so.

"It became this really obvious problem," she says.

Enter Schned, a bright-eyed aspiring city planner fresh out of Macalester. Goodman hired him to make it all better. And so he has. He set up a non-profit, Dog Grounds, to work with the parks department, the city, developers and dog-loving donors. In addition to the Loring Park run, set to open sometime in late June, there will eventually be one in Elliot Park and another in the North Loop.

For Schned, the additions mean Minneapolis might crack the "top ten dog friendly cities," as determined by the venerable www.dogfriendly.com.

"I think this project might be enough to get us on that list and get us some real national attention in terms of being dog friendly," Schned says.

Now if only he could do something for those hidden beachless nude bathers.

Schnedly: administrator of nude beaches. I hear a career in the offing.

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