SF498 Reaction to Testifying


[Notes] Testifying Today: SF 498 BodyCameras On Cops

If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about.

Part 1: What are you hiding?

While the cops have lots to hide. Bob Kroll's affiliation with(/affinity for) white supremacist organizations being the tip of an iceberg. But it's not so much that you're hiding, rather, what remains invisible to you.

This bill will further disproportionately affect communities of color who are terrorized daily by your "Peace Officers." You just don't see any of it, because we are, and have historically been, invisible to you.

This is an economic problem. Immigration is increasing; cultural aptitude is not. I asked a Minneapolis Police officer a few days ago, if they went through any cultural training --- he said he didn't know, then he asked, "Hey LT, do we go through cultural training." It's not having an affect.

That's is the defensiveness. White People feel attacked --- I won't get into the psychological specifics; there is an issue with police, and white people in general, being able to operate off of assumptions, instead of engagement. "MinnesotaNice", is a part of how this is can further be enabled by the cultural norms. Why is this an economic problem?!

Part 2: It IS an Economic Problem!

Both the University of Minnesota, as well as prominent members of the local technology sector are opening up about their hunger to attract a more diverse workforce. They are having difficulty attracting qualified, diverse, workers. Because for all of our pomp and punditry about Minnesota being a "Best Place To Live" - this is only for white people; and people of color know this.

Paid Less To Get Treated Worse
2015’s States with the Highest and Lowest Financial Gaps by Race/Ethnicity


Part 3: Instant Act-rite Pill

Open Data = Instant Act-rite pill. When everyone knows they're on camera, they will behave better.

Maturity is the ability , the foresight to make the sacrifice necessary to achieve, to earn, the progress we want.

You are running.

This is how the foundations for dictatorships are built. Alliances with the capacity and access to violence are able to congregate in secret, while having their actions condoned, and even praised, by their soon to be subjects.

Do you have the maturity to make the decisions an adult needs to make, or will protecting the children who wish to keep their toys and activities hidden - like a dog burying their bones in a hole -- while people die, while people are being killed, be your guiding light?


FOUND IT: So This Is Farming

Some weeks ago I ventured over to the Minnesota Senate Building to observe the State & Local Government Committee. After the meeting, I attempted to engage in a conversation with Senator Dave Thompson. I was told that I obviously knew absolutely nothing about farming, and that it was obvious that I had never been outside of Minneapolis or St Paul.

I recently found my copy of a book that my second-cousin wrote.

Here's a copy of the letter I wrote Senator Thompson about the ordeal.


MPDComments [dot] com

All of the entries are in the database!! Eight-hundred names, badge numbers and assignments. Now to start cataloguing vehicles. The reason for it all primarily is as a challenge, and exercise through which to learn other social and technical skills. Both the creation of the database structure - which items to add where - as well as the technical details of how to dynamically connect otherwise separate database structures, are key features key another project.

As well, this is information communities should be tracking. It is information communities to which communities also have a right. The macro-level visual of >90% of Minneapolis' police force living, raising children, and barbecuing with friends outside of the city is horrifying. One community is policing another. My question being, regarding suburban police forces - do they have residency ordinances? Oooo, wasn't expecting to find that question! Welp, this seems to be the start of another adventure.



Data For Funsies: %ΔHP by MN Congressional District

I've been munging a bunch of data for a while. Learning to processes, etc. Here's a little something I put together after deciding I wanted to have something to show. Using Quandl as a data source I was able to grab monthly average housing prices by zip code. By comparing this to data from the Minnesota Legislature's website - I was able to plot the Average Percent Change of Housing Prices per Congressional District.

This was an excellent project to get into pandas, a requisite for deep analytics. Also, matplotlib, being another prominent tool; it also uses ggplot, just like R. Python ever expanding libraries are the impetus behind moving on from R with regards to statistical analysis. Before endeavoring to complete this small side-quest, I dug into NLTK as well. This is where the optimization, and extensibility of Python really come into play.


Phyllis' Revenge

Apparently Minnesota House of Representatives District 60B Phyllis Kahn is a retired biophysics professor. Oh wow, all Ivy League too. Ahh, and her husband passed just last year; 58 years is a long time to be married to someone. That's pretty cool.

What isn't cool are some of the things Representative Kahn has said since facing competition from Illhan Omar. She was recently quoted to say the following:

"Ilhan is younger than me. She is prettier than me. She appears nicer than me. She agrees with anything that anyone says to her. So, it was tough competition."

While another local activist did some digging and created the image used above. This seems to say that while Representative Kahn is touting herself as a corollary to Senator Sanders; she has in fact maxed out her donations giving to the Clinton campaign. While the donation was made all the way back in July 2015; as pointed out elsewhere, the scenario causes one to question Representatives Kahn integrity and dedication to passing on the torch.

It is sad to say that such duplicitous behavior is all too typical for Minnesota. But what frustrates me is just how self-destructive it all is. The City Pages recently published an article that speaks to the discrimination Ms Omar already experiences within the Somali community. For this to be compounded by someone who could be otherwise be an exceptional mentor is astonishing!

The opportunity lost is immeasurable. And for someone who others would consider an elder to act with such ugly disdain towards the sincere accomplishments of a powerful and rising voice is considerably more than regrettable. It is offensive. It throws into question the motives behind everything she has done; it makes one question the sincerity behind each action. It makes one wonder: could more have been done, and thusly, was she ever the right person for the job?

Update: the previous title of this post was "Phyllistine's Revenge". I remembered the word, and looked it up to affirm the colloquial definition. Upon further inspection of the word - I affirmed where from I had remembered it. I've since changed the title of the post.


A few quick thoughts in reflection

I attended an meeting of young progressives this evening; a community I've been ostracized from for as long as I can remember. They still fear me; and still espouse aspirations beyond their realization. Zeal is good; we are all in transit. We would never grow if we weren't. The fear is eroding.

There is the line between talking too much, knowing both that you are not wanted to be heard, and are simultaneously needed to be heard. There was talk about what do we want? or were we a politician, what would we want to see/do? We still struggle to see a world outside of bureaucratic and administrative paradigms. We still struggle to see freedom unbound from Capitalism.

While I don't want to assail capitalism, it is not a perfect system by any means. Nor would I like to dwell in the delusional world of ideals. Rather, instead, bound by humanity on one-side, morality on the other, the hope of happiness ahead, and fear of folly behind me; I am seeking to keep my eye on the road ahead. Where that is leading I don't know.

In a Circle We Shelter Each Other:

I wonder if we are yet capable of this? Both of the American political parties are in turmoil. Whether it is Rosario Dawson declaring open dialogue with her elders; or Ted Cruz caught between shouts of cowardice only to be haunted by his own reflection. We are experiencing moments of great fluctuation. There is a exception comment made to the following effect:

Are we making gains, or shifting power?

Gains can be taken away, shifted power is not to easily regained; is the allusion to be inferred. But shifting power is no simple task. Minnesota has it's own awkward relationship with these complexities. Minnesota is considered to have excellent welfare benefits and system, comparatively. We could consider these to perhaps be gains. Though because very little power is ever in fact shifted, Minnesota is able to also be in possession of the nation's worst racial disparities by fiscal calculations.

Though before power can be shifted, we must in fact let go of our own desire for power. This is all very easy for me to say, as a misanthrope, power was taken from me whenever mistakenly given. I became bitter, and this perpetuated by powerlessness. Having no power, I fear not it's loss.


Return to the Trenches

Mpls Activist scene hates me, and I hate it. But, here we are again. I have feels about this. People are still hoping to get reach-arounds from NOC; and NOC, is still fraternizing with acclaimed predator Nick Espinosa. I do think I will spend sometime in the near future recounting that fiasco from beginning to end, though this post is neither the time, nor the place.

It is going to be an uphill battle to be sure. Mayor Hodges is a reactionary public official; moreover, I'm curious as to just how heavy-handedly the police might threaten their leverage. I do not put it past the Union to ever be seeking control of the Mayor's office. The threat of allowing crime, is not something I put past elements of any police department. While the threat of increasing police brutality is also something that cannot be put past any police department these days.

While I also consider the Chamber of Commerce's position in all of this as well. They are the power-brokers, along with the criminal/judicial system. There is money to be made in activism.

We've got two years of Mayor Hodges left, with an alright City Council (needs more investigation here), and an certifiably vile Police Union Rep. The empty threats will not suffice, while both sides seek for their stubborn to be renown. This is a recipe for violence if ever there was one; and we have already seen violence.

We have reason to be scared; this country is on the brink of another civil war.

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