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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

KSTP Rants On Homeless Vets

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 11/08/07 12:54

by Dave Mindeman

I don't normally listen much to AM 1500 KSTP TalkRadio, but they are the station that carries the Vikings, so last Sunday I had the car radio tuned in. And, when I was running errands this week, 1500 was still on the dial.

Last night, the Dave Thompson show starting talking about general topics and they picked up a news story that indicated that nearly 1 in 4 people in homeless shelters on any given day are veterans. A rather sad commentary on how well our veterans are taking care of by the system. And Dave Thompson indicated his displeasure with this report; however, he also decided to give his opinion on why this might be. He proceeded, without anything to back it up of course, to say that the large numbers of veterans who are homeless got that way because of the "non-support" from "certain" elements of this country. According to Thompson, anti-war sentiment was one of the reasons these men or women were on the street. He even had a World War II vet call in and agree with his hypothesis.

I grumbled in the car a lot but a few minutes later I was home and went about my usual routine. The next morning I was out on a couple of other errands and another KSTP host, Bob Davis, had picked up on the same story about homeless veterans. His first reaction was, "Well, we have to do whatever it takes to fix this." And I thought, finally, a rational thought. But, he couldn't leave it at that...no, sir. He went to on to expound how, although that was his first reaction, furthur thought brought him to the conclusion that it "simply wasn't true". He wasn't buying it....it wasn't possible. He ranted about how "homeless" people would lie about being veterans, that the VA would have records that could be verified, and that this report was simply just another lie to discredit our fighting men and women.

Same topic...two different right wing nutjobs....two different idiotic conclusions. And they completely missed the real point.

Veterans Day is approaching and we have a problem here. Veterans should never be homeless....they should never lack healthcare... they should never have to fight to get back their jobs. We have a government who gives a lot of lip service to supporting our troops, yet in every tangilble way, they fail them. Billions of dollars are spent every month to keep a war going that has no end game we know of. Our troops protect an Iraqi government that has shown little incentive to find any solutions. Why stop the flow of US dollars by standing on their own?

But in the meantime, our soldiers perform their duties in heroic fashion. I don't know of a single anti-war activist who blames the military personnel for any of this. Our beef is with the chief!

And if it would take an income tax surcharge to get these homeless veterans off the streets -- I'd pay it with pleasure. We really have to do whatever it takes to fix this.... we owe it to these brave souls.

Maybe KSTP could lead the way?????

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Message From A Veteran

Category: Iraq War
Posted: 11/07/07 21:52, Edited: 11/07/07 21:54

Patrick Dooley served with Co. D 1/8 1st Air Cavalry Division and received a Bronze Star and Air Medal. He can be reached at: patdooley@hotmail.com

My name is Patrick Dooley and 40 years ago this October I started my tour of duty in Vietnam. One valuable lesson I learned was to question authority. In fact after many years of trying to figure out what I actually did over there; I comforted myself with the notion that I was defending our freedoms. Some of them are:

Freedom of speech meaning the right to question, to disagree.
Freedom to peaceably assemble. The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is a serious disconnect between the people; and those that are supposed to represent us. Americans went to the polls and voted for change, but outside of a little feeble rhetoric, nothing has changed. The people who represent us spend between 2 and 6 times what they will make to get elected. This should be a light bulb moment.

Impeachment is off the table. The congress has a lower approval rating than the President and this isn?t a topic the Media is interested in.

Whistle-blowers are put in jail. Peace people get their legs broken and those that try to help are arrested. A student asked John Kerry a question and was shot with a taser, while a room full of people including John Kerry stood by. Many people are subjected to intimidation and incompetence at their jobs. The people in charge have become emboldened, they make examples of those who resist, which in turn scares more people into silence.

There is hope. Start using the freedoms you still have; use your freedom of speech to speak out and encourage others to speak out; use your freedom to peaceably assemble; and it is time to petition the government to put some issues on the ballot. You can go to Philadelphia II to sign up for direct democracy. Support groups that are fighting for America:

Iraq Veterans Against the War
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
Veterans for Peace
Gold Star Families for Peace
Code Pink.....and others.

The power should come from the people in a democracy. The government should work for US, it is time to turn the table. Put the power in the hands of the People.

Most Americans are good people, they want us out of Iraq. There are no Weapons of Mass Destruction, no ties to Al Queda, and the notion that we have to fight them over there so we don?t have to fight them over here is easily dismissed, when you realize you didn?t have to fight them at all.

Think how you would feel if a foreign power occupied our country? How did our ancestors respond to not being represented? How would they feel seeing what a nation of sheep we have become? Our good name has been ruined by a few unconscionable zealots.

My voice cries out like the ceaseless pounding of one?s fist on the chest of reality! ?We are the people.? ?We are the people.? ?Who are we??

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Minnesota Senate: The Case For Mike Ciresi

Posted: 11/06/07 12:58, Edited: 07/03/13 13:46

by Dave Mindeman

I have been assuming for some time that Al Franken would be the DFL Senate nominee. Most of the attention from both Republicans and Democrats have focused on Franken...and probably justifiably so. However, the latest polling data should make Democrats take a second look at Ciresi.

Ciresi has had a realitively low profile of late. He hasn't made any statewide advertising efforts..... no full page newspaper ads..... very little direct mail. Yet the polling data still trends upward in match-ups with Coleman.

Things to consider:

A. Coleman's numbers vs. Ciresi are farther below the 50% threshold. In the Survey USA poll, Coleman gets 46% vs Franken and 44% vs. Ciresi.... In the Rasmussen polls, Coleman gets 49% vs. Franken and 46% vs. Ciresi. Two or three points might not seem like much but Ciresi polls about even with Franken while creating more undecideds. That makes the race against Coleman more even with Ciresi; while Franken is slightly behind.

B. Everybody brings up Franken's negatives, and they are significant. One has to decide whether negatives are more of a detriment than lack of name recognition. Ciresi, being lesser known, has the opportunity to define himself during the campaign. It is easier to define yourself to the person who hasn't formed an opinion than to overcome an established negative opinion. Franken can still overcome that.....but Ciresi has a lower bar to hurdle in that regard.

C. Ciresi has done a better job in the debates. Franken has not shown any message discipline and I would be concerned that Coleman will be able to frustrate Franken so much that there will be a number of verbal gaffes on Al's part. Ciresi's trial lawyer experience is evident in the debating process. That type of experience may be valuable in a high profile race...as this one will be. Al has time to do better... I had assumed Al's experience with radio would help his debating style; but maybe having control of the mike and the topics could be causing a lack of discipline in a more adversarial format.

Now, Ciresi still has some issues that he has to fix if he is going to win the nomination -- and they are formidable.

First, the fundraising has to take a dramatic turn. We have one more reporting period before caucuses and either Ciresi has to show remarkable improvement in his current fundraising apparatus or he should indicate a willingness to add his own money. His ability to overcome a lack of name recognition and to define himself for the campaign, depends on a huge cash infusion. He cannot defeat Coleman if he can't match him on money. The Republicans can't afford to lose this race and Norm will get heavy support from outstate sources... as well as his own hefty fundraising. Ciresi has shown little ability to come close to that, and it is crucial for that to change if Ciresi is to win.

Secondly, Ciresi needs to differentiate himself from Franken on something else besides the war. His argument about being against the war from the beginning is a weak one. He has no public record to that effect that I know of and he has been absent from the debate prior to his entry into the campaign. Franken's position may have evolved but at least he has moved in the right direction as far as progressive Democrats are concerned. Ciresi needs to highlight other differences and soon. He has coasted on Norm's negatives up to this point, now he must define himself as an individual candidate.... not just an anti-Norm one.

It looks like we have two viable Democratic candidates here. When the caucuses come in February, we will get a bigger picture of how strong the campaign organizations are.

Franken is still the strong front runner right now, but Ciresi can still make a solid case. It is important to get this right -- another 6 years of Norm Coleman would be hard to swallow.

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