Readers respond to RNC protest coverage
Where was Keith Ellison?
Where the F was Keith Ellison? When the mostly peaceful people I know in Keith Ellison's congressional district turned out to protest the RNC and were beaten, Maced, and arrested, where the fuck was he? I don't expect much from tools like Rybak, Klobuchar, et al., but I expected better from the first elected Muslim congressperson. I will never again be able to listen to him talk about social justice without wanting to vomit.
Birth of a police nation
After watching the actions of John Harrington's officers during the Republican convention, I was reminded of a prior event that served as a dress rehearsal for the violence and overreaction St. Paul showed to the world. In 1983, the Street Rod Nationals were held at the state fairgrounds. This was one of the first large-scale hot rod events to be held locally, and apparently a few officials felt this was a threat to public order. The fact that most street rodders were grandparents enjoying a family hobby was lost on the SPD. I personally witnessed a group of about two dozen of St. Paul's finest in full riot gear (Plexiglas shields, helmets, riot batons, etc.) standing on the corner of Snelling and University at about 8 p.m. looking for action and finding nothing but normal traffic for a summer weekend. Of course, there were a lot of interesting cars in that traffic, but no excessive noise, burnouts, or anything that could be remotely considered trouble. Finding no outlet for their energies, these public servants then went into the Trend Bar and proceeded to beat up a few of the regulars who had no connection to the events outside. The supervisor on duty that evening? That's right—good ol' John Harrington. Apparently the passage of time has not made him any less of a jerk, nor less interested in busting heads.
Idiots on parade
So, there are 284 dickheads in a nation of 305 million people? Stop the fuckin' presses.
Chairman Mao would be proud
It didn't look like America in the streets of St. Paul during the RNC. I guess our elected officials felt envious of Beijing's Olympic event. I must congratulate them. They sure did a good job making the RNC a spectacle not unlike the one we saw in Red China. Fascism lives in America, and it lives in St. Paul, folks. How about next time, instead of putting "Country First," Mayor Coleman, Governor Pawlenty, you put the citizens of your city and state first, the ones whose civil rights you and your Red Army violated.
William F. Schar
St. Louis Park
Nader can't crash this private party
If only it were as easy to write off Nader as a narcissistic extreme liberal as this author suggests ("Ralph Nader Super Rally," A-List, 9/3/08). He, as Nader appears to be, is ignorant of the fact that this country is not a proportionately representative democracy but is a single-member district plurality voting system. This is even more apparent in presidential elections due to the Electoral College; which is why even the most successful third-party candidates have never had an impact on a more than regional level except as a spoiler. Quite simply, our system of government is a winner-takes-all system. Therefore, Nader's statement-campaigns are nothing more than self-aggrandizing exercises that actually work against the very ideas he professes to believe. While Nader's consumer activism and other endeavors have given him a legacy to be proud of, this is more than offset by his being responsible for eight years of Bush and Karl Rove.
Who cares if Wisconsin gets nuked?
You write: "After City Pages exposes a local nuclear power plant operator with a fake diploma, his bosses reluctantly give him the ax" (Blotter, 9/24/08).
We then learn that this occurred at the Kewaunee Power Station, just outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Green Bay isn't local by any stretch of the imagination; it's hundreds of miles northeast of here.
And while you did write that he had at one time been a Minnesota nuclear plant employee, you failed to say in what capacity. It would stand to reason that your failure to indicate what position he held at the Minnesota plant means it wasn't as the power plant's operator.
For all we know he could have been a lowly janitor who saw what power plant operators do, fancied being one, and then bought a fake diploma in order to fraudulently secure the position of power plant operator in eastern Wisconsin, which, again, isn't local. But to refer to him as "a local power plant operator" is a bald-face lie.
Of course, I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time. So, if you can prove he was a nuclear plant operator at Monticello or Prairie Island, I'll eat a 20-pound bag of Purina One.
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