Unaware of the History of Nipigon/Black Sands, we visited this beautiful area in the early 1980’s and observed from afar in orange haze-filled skies the burning of… Read more “Lake Nipigon at Black Sand Provincial Park”
We could speak of the beauty, the wild, the spirit of something greater than ourselves, the sustenance we all gain from these masterpieces. Such is the Arrowhead… Read more “Arrowhead Aquifers and the Hill of Three Waters”
On November 01, 2018, our DNR announced through Tom Landwehr, commissioner, approval of ten crucial permits that Polymet, a Swiss-based conglomerate, needs to start a copper mine… Read more “Polymet Gets Crucial Permitting for the NorthMet Project and Copper Mining in the Arrowhead”
Is our criminal and civil justice system standing true to the intent and meaning of the fifth amendment? Consider that it did not discriminate between citizen and… Read more “AMENDMENT V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
The city of Minneapolis has a current population of 416,000 which is predicted to grow to 465,000 by 2040 and so created a draft policy plan called… Read more “Comments due on Minneapolis 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan by July 22, 2018”
The Vietnam war was raging and boys were being drafted into a war that was, for the first time, coming into the living rooms of Americans via… Read more “With small steps we change”
The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791 and known… Read more “What was the full text of the original Bill of Rights?”
Black lives matter, of course, but we need action… and words can segregate us.
Language is a problem because when we claim one thing, then the opposite seems just as likely. Hard to fight the repercussions that come from these kind of statements. For instance, one might ask, if black lives matter then how about mine? I am a different color, not black. Does my life matter too? Why wasn’t my particular color, creed, gender … mentioned?
Of course, we know in retrospect what is meant and why it’s being said. Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered from prejudice and tyranny especially black lives in this country; that is, anyone with a heart feels the shame and the sadness.
Women have suffered, immigrants are suffering now in this country, children go to bed hungry at night, the poor, always, and this knows no boundaries, however defined. When will we learn as a community in mass that this kind of segregation happens not only in practice, but first in words.
(to be continued)
Natural systems favor those who are the most well-adapted to their environment; while money ensures a limited pool through the implementation of an educational hierarchy.
Why is it so often true that the worst of us run the rest of us, causing the suffering of so many? Many of these leaders, as Benjamin Franklin put it in his famous oration of 1787 on “Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy,” are “the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits.”
In the beginning it is said, there was the Word; and human civilization, since, has been built on propaganda that favors the rich and powerful … language, then, the tool of those in power, ultimately determines the appropriation of quality educational resources as a result.
For a society to flourish, it is essential that all children have access to an equal education. It is particularly harmful to communities when women are denied this opportunity; because they are ultimately the ones tasked to raise, protect and educate their children, children who are more likely to suffer a harder life if she fails.
One of the most important choices a woman can make, then, one that determines her quality of existence, is the choice of a mate … better made with a sound foundation and education at the heart. With knowledge, she is more likely to choose a partner rather than a ruler; and as a result, she will, then, be more likely to build self esteem in her children.
As a consequence, there can be no better way to improve the condition of society than improving educational opportunity for women and girls. For, when a woman benefits, the whole of society benefits. Seeing to it that there are no “best schools”… all schools offering the best tools possible for everyone who enters in, boy or girl, man or woman, creates better odds that our leaders will be fit and that society will thrive.
Manipulated by propaganda that tells us self-worth is in our wallet, we lose a natural propensity for good sense. As my father said to me once: “The rich put their pants on one leg at a time too.” We know the truth but too often are swayed by the flashing lights.
Money will not make America great again … it’s the character of our citizens that will do this. We had a courageous leader in George Washington who believed that we must: Vindicate our rights with firmness and cultivate peace with sincerity. It will take courage to stand up to the powerful interests that prevail today; and to understand that power, to be respected, must have a base in truth and respect for all life. When we develop a society with equity in education, and dare to get money out of the political arena, perhaps we will have leadership that speaks to these values as well.
Observing events of the past week, and in a quandary over the number of gunshots used in many of the police motivated killings, I wonder about over-the-top… Read more “Loss of Innocents: The Politics of Fear and the Use of Deadly Force”
Since the killing of Mike Brown, there has been an awakening across this country and the police force needs a revamping in our communities with accountability to a citizens’ board of review. No innocent should be handled in the way that Philando Castile was handled by police.
In spite of the odds, young people of color are making a difference with very real courage. In spite of the danger, they are willing to stand up to injustice. In spite of a system that works to deny them equal opportunity, many are managing to live a life as Philando Castile, doing great good.
We cannot accept the status quo because we all lose when we lose souls like these.
There are too many troubling aspects of the Jamar O Neal Clark killing and events leading up to the fatal early morning hours of that November night – an event that actually began with a series of episodes over many months involving police brutality. He had a case and that case ended with his death.
If we see with our hearts’ and not just with our minds’ eyes, there is no doubt that this young man was denied his rights and essentially murdered in cold blood; and that the account by law enforcement has been manipulated, not to serve the public good, but to serve its own interests. The irony, then, is that this kind of “justice” serves no one, least of all the police department.
- Why would the police pull Jamar out of view of the camera and out of the light? Wouldn’t lights and clear video footage have been helpful to assure a doubting public that the police acted within reason to serve and protect this community?
- The police officers and the EMS deputy, 5’11 and 220 lbs, are big men. Both officers had guns, while Jamar was unarmed, a slim man standing 5’8″, no more than 160 lbs, and only 24 years old. Were these men armed with reason instead of guns, perhaps this young man would still be alive.
- As the EMS deputy approached, Jamar stepped back from the ambulance. Two minutes later, he appeared lifeless with a bullet through his temple … after, it appears, having had his left wrist cuffed by Schwarze while Ringgenberg maneuvered the right hand over his head, without struggle, and slammed Jamar to the ground. NO time to ask questions or use reason with this young man, to get to the truth of any matter. Why was any violence necessary? Why did Officer Ringgenberg use this take-down tactic when he was, obviously, not adept at using it, claiming this slight young man, Jamar, was reaching for Ringgenberg’s holstered gun as that officer lay on top of him and the other officer held a gun to his head. It doesn’t take much in the way of smarts to know that this was a no-win situation for Jamar.
- By most all witness accounts and by video evidence, there were no signs of any struggle from Jamar; but the EMS MVR does show Officer Ringgenberg flailing his legs wildly while laying on his back on top Jamar after the take down at the time of the shooting. Does it seem reasonable that a trained officer would put himself in this position, placing his holstered weapon next to Jamar’s hands, when Jamar could have been easily cuffed standing. By all accounts except his assailants, Jamar Clark was peaceable as he stood waiting for police officers and the EMS deputy on the boulevard.
- Rayann Hayes’ says her last memory of Jamar alive was at the ambulance window looking in. According to Rayann, she was given pain medication and remembers nothing after this in the EMS vehicle.
- Why are relevant medical records closed to public scrutiny?
- Why was ambulance #443 not sent to the forensics garage?
- Why are the run reports for the two ambulances not available to public scrutiny?
- Did Attorney Freeman take into account conflicting reports on the sequence of events involving the security of EMS vehicle #419 the night of the shooting?
- May we have an accounting of all officers and attendants involved with ambulance #443 at rest two blocks away from the scene of the crime, before it was driven to HCMC with Mr Clark?
- What of the red bag placed in Jamar’s transport after he entered, and then another identical (or the same) red bag quickly taken out, before ambulance #443 left? EMS deputy Trullinger then placed this red bag next to an officer at the crime scene. There is no red bag documented at the crime scene.
- Shouldn’t the crime scene have been secured immediately? As it was, video evidence and key witness accounts indicate that there were many unidentified officers walking in and out of said area. Yet very few officers give testimony to this.
- The views of Jamar’s wrists, taken for forensics, are obstructed by bandages, tape and tubes. Only what appears to be the underside of Jamars’ right wrist is shown with the bandage lifted, and this photo is blurry. The left wrist on the underside is not shown. No fluid of any kind was moving through those tubes.
- Had Jamar died at the scene? He suffered cardiac arrest with a bullet through the temple that lodged in his brain.
- Upon exit from ambulance #443, there is no IV on Jamar’s left wrist as it limply falls off the side. The IV was in his right wrist; and it too fell off the side of his transport.
- Crucial details are obscured in the videos from both ambulances and at very low resolution (360). Shouldn’t an EMS MVR be of better quality?
- If life preserving techniques were being used to save Jamar at HCMC, then, why wasn’t the bullet removed?
- Any statement that there were no handcuffs because there were no contusions on Jamar’s wrists, presumes that he struggled. An absence of bruising would have been just as likely if, as witnesses claim, Jamar was cuffed without a struggle.
- Officers Schwarze and Ringgenberg were delivered to the 4th Precinct together in Officer Sworski’s squad car, who self-assigned. Supervision of a sergeant is standard procedure. Therefore, there was quite a bit of time for the officers to talk between themselves after the MVR automatically shut off in the 4th precinct parking lot.
- The gun in question was handled by Sworski before being returned to Schwarze. This Smith and Wesson brushed Officer Connor’s hat on the dashboard, as well. NO way to handle crucial evidence from the scene of a killing. Why was it not bagged at the scene of the crime with both Schwarze’s and Ringgenberg’s gear? Another failure to secure a crime scene.
- The officers did not provide their clothing for forensics until December 2015. Is this standard procedure in an investigation?
- Officers Schwarze and Ringgenberg arrived at 4th precinct prior to the incident for break; and so their videos for the day downloaded and the MVR shut off automatically. It was at 00:40 am that they were called to the scene on a code 3 reportedly arriving at 00:48:14. Since the officers did not activate their emergency lights on the way to the crime scene, the MVR remained off. They chose not to activate it manually.
- With over 60 responders at the scene of this crime, emergency lights flashing, it begs the question, where are relevant MPD MVR’s from 00:40 to 01:20am on that fateful night? Surely there must have been something of substance on at least one of these videos.
Freeman’s one-man jury, using the perpetrators’ testimony above all, was flawed by prejudice. It will not, nor should it be, the last word. Words and/or manipulations of facts to create preferred outcomes will not make any of this right. As it is in art and with any act that uses illusion to portray a particular vision, seeing is believing only to a point. There is no amount of manipulation that will make truth out of a lie.
We should all be concerned about the killing of an unarmed man, Mike Brown, by the officer, Darren Wilson, sworn to “protect and defend”. We should also… Read more “on the subject of Mike Brown …”
In the news again, the killing of another black man, a man without a gun, deprived of his life for what? Are there any words that can make this right? As we ponder the details in facts that are now being disputed, we should not lose sight of key elements in this latest shooting that are not. The killing of Michael Brown by a police officer, sworn to protect and defend, took the life of an unarmed man.
Concerning the grieving community and loss of this young man, have the Ferguson police acted in the interest of justice for all? Were family members given information needed at the occasion of their loss? Why was the police officer allowed to go free without booking? Were photos taken immediately of all parties, and key witness accounts documented at the scene of the crime? If this armed police officer felt threatened after he drove his car in front of the two young men, then why didn’t he call for back-up? What would have justified shooting Michael Brown over six times, killing him with a bullet through the top of his head, execution style? What is the history of this police officer prior to being sworn in? We are hearing information about the deceased man who cannot defend himself … why not more than hearsay about the officer who can defend himself?
An unarmed man is dead … shot to death by a police officer that stopped him because he was walking in the middle of the street. Other questions come to mind:
What prompted the use of deadly force on a young man who had surrendered with his arms in the air according to all witness accounts?
Why were photos not taken of all parties at the scene, at the time of the crime in order to protect the officer in a court of law, since Officer Wilson says he was attacked? Evidence produced untimely, cannot be taken without some pause as secondary to evidence at the scene and time of the crime.
Why were paramedics not allowed to attempt a resuscitation as this young man lay on the street for hours and with no examination for vital signs?
Many of the comments given in support of Darren Wilson seem to be prompted by fear, fear that has the effect of dehumanizing his victim, and associating Michael with the ”crime” of being black. Have we progressed so little that simply by having a different color of skin, de facto, a young man shall still have no right to justice in a country that has suffered this shame too long? Perhaps our history of treatment toward black men and women has finally come to a standstill and racist comments will finally be shown the door with all the shame due them.
Darren Wilson has a right to a fair trial … more than he gave Michael Brown; but he must go to trial for justice to be had; and there can be no justice for Michael Brown without it. One thing is for certain, justice can never be had at the point of a gun; and no words will make it right.