PC or not PC: That is the Question at the MPD

JERRY LARSON, THE vice-president of the Minneapolis Police Federation, is an angry man just now; he believes his union's monthly newspaper, Show-Up, has fallen victim to self-appointed censors in an MPD mailroom.


The problem started last fall when a woman police officer clipped a magazine article about "Why sex is better than golf" and mailed it to Show-Up's editors. Larson, then-editor of the Show-Up, reprinted the article, which was sprinkled with innuendo and phrases such as "hard-on."

The issue was distributed via internal mail to every MPD employee and left on racks in several public buildings. It showed up on the desks of female civilian employees in the Internal Services Bureau, some of whom complained to their supervisor, who concluded that the distribution of such offensive materials in the workplace was tantamount to condoning sexual harassment.
The supervisor called MPD administrators, who concurred, and the papers
were returned to the Federation.

The following issue of the Show-Up contained two more articles that the same manager deemed "in bad taste." In one, a picture of a man talking to a woman at a police function was reprinted with a bubble superimposed above the man's head bearing the words, "I can see right through your clothes."

At that point two civilian MPD managers told police union representatives they found the paper offensive and asked them to stop delivering Show-Up to their offices. Union leaders responded by assuring them that the material wasn't offensive and last week proceeded to drop the latest issue at the offices in question. The managers removed the papers and complained to Deputy Chief Greg Hestness, who is supposed to meet with the aggrieved parties this week.


NUCLEAR ENGINEERS AT Northern States Power Co. may know how to split an atom, but they could use some help with a yardstick. According to Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad officials, workers at NSP's Monticello nuclear power plant failed to provide train engineers with the correct measurements of a shipping box containing the plant's used radioactive turbine rotor, causing the box to hit part of the Washington Avenue Bridge in downtown Minneapolis last Thursday. The rail engineer didn't notice damage to the shipment's outer covering until the train reached a Minneapolis switching yard a mile away. NSP officials said no radioactive material escaped. The rotor, surrounded by three layers of radiation protection, was headed for an unidentified salvage company in the eastern United States.


CURIOUS TO LEARN why no one else had reported the bail-skipping escapades of "Suburban Seven" drug defendant Michael Jones in the week-plus that he's been missing (story, p. 6), we phoned reporter Curt Brown, who wrote the first stories about the bust, at the Star Tribune on Tuesday. Before we got to the question, Brown asked casually, "So did that guy turn up yet?" Which led us to ask, if you knew about his skipping out, why didn't your paper report it? He said reporter Jim Adams was covering the case now; when we called Adams, he said he didn't know anything about Jones's disappearance until Brown--whose memory was apparently jogged by our call--phoned him to say so. Odd how the lines of communication at the Strib work so much better on crime stories featuring black defendants.


AL CHECCHI MAY have put up only $20 million of his own money to buy a $3.5 billion airline in '89, but he's apparently not planning to leverage himself into political office: He'll just pay cash. Last week the NWA co-owner and takeover artist officially launched an exploratory campaign for governor of California, and kicked in $3 million as his first contribution. Nor, Checchi told the Sacramento Bee, does he plan to abide by the $6 million spending limit set by California's new campaign-finance law: It doesn't restrict candidates who reach into their own pockets. CP

How to interpret the behavior of our public officials? We've found an important diagnostic tool: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Something between a Tarot deck and an astrological chart, the DSM-IV provides insight into the behavior of our local leaders. Remember, always consult a physician before administering treatment; symptoms will undoubtedly persist....

Norm Coleman aka the "Party Pooper":

301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder

The essential feature of Borderline Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of instability....There may be an identity disturbance characterized by markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values and types of friends.... Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with this disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all.... (page 650)

John Derus aka "That One Charity Fraud Guy."

297.1 Delusional Disorder

The essential feature of Delusional Disorder is the presence of one or more nonbizarre delusions that persist for at least 1 month....Persecutory Type. This subtype applies when the central theme of the delusion involves the person's belief that he or she is being conspired against, cheated, spied on, followed, poisoned or drugged, maliciously maligned, harassed, or obstructed by long-term goals....The focus of the delusion is often on some injustice that must be remedied by legal action ("querulous paranoia"), and the affected person may engage in repeated attempts to obtain satisfaction by appeal to the courts and other government agencies. (page 296)

Sharon Sayles Belton aka "Whatsername"

300.23 Social Phobia

The essential feature of Social Phobia is a marked and persistent fear of social or performance situations.... Most often the social or performance situation is avoided, although it is sometimes endured with dread. The diagnosis is appropriate only if the avoidance, fear, or anxious anticipation of encountering the social performance situation interferes significantly with the person's daily routine, occupational functioning, or social life.... (page 411)

Arne Carlson aka "Let 'em eat Baseballs"

301.7 Antisocial Personality Disorder

The essential feature of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.... Persons with this disorder disregard the wishes, rights, or feelings of others. They are frequently deceitful and manipulative in order to gain personal profit or pleasure. Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder tend to be irritable and aggressive....(page 645)

Joe Blow aka "Your Average Citizen"

312.39 Trichotillomania

The essential feature of Trichotillomania is the recurrent pulling out of one's own hair that results in noticeable hair loss.... (page 618)

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