Friday, October 30, 2009

Free Speech Friday is Back!

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Image is the first image to come up under a Google image search for "free speech."

It's been a while, but I thought it would be good to bring back a JNS staple: Free Speech Friday.

JNS readers are free to post whatever they wish (with the following exceptions - spam, racist/sexist items, and posts specifically related to ongoing or threatened "formal complaints.")

And in case you're having trouble thinking of anything to talk amongst yourselves, I'll give you a topic...

An anonymous commenter sent in this previously unpublished comment:

"I have a question for you Jeff. I am not sure if this post is the most appropriate place for the question so, feel free to copy it and post it where you feel it is most relevant.

"I understand that you are considered an expert on the subject of Mortgages. I have read several times where you went door to door in your efforts to help the foreclosure problems in Minneapolis. My question:

"Given your understanding of Mortgage and the guidelines/rules the lenders must adhere to, I am wanting to know if your expertise would be better utilized by addressing the lenders? In other words, I believe that the lenders are to blame for the current crisis. They are the ones who approved these mortgage's (sic) that re being foreclosed in record numbers. Door to door effort seems to be addressing the result as opposed to addressing the lenders who made the mistakes. That way I would think that you could help on a large scale by addressing the problem and its origin (lenders).

"Could you respond with your opinion please?

"(btw, I am posting as anonymous at this point but, I will give my full name if you decide to use my question in a new or different post.)"

I will respond, but I'd like to open the floor, so to speak, for others to chime in first.

Also, I want to point out to JNS readers that this week there have been several touching comments regarding Haywood Eaton and Annshalike Hamilton. Those of you to whom such posts are important, I encourage you to go back and read them.

With that, I yield the floor. Let the wild rumpus start!


Low End Leroy said...

LRT on PENN Avenue? Will it happen?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Right now it seems like the leading proposal for LRT will take it down Theo Wirth to 55 and then into downtown. But there is a lot of movement against that idea due to the fact that it will essentially pick up nobody in NoMi.

While I haven't seen the numbers, someone did tell me that when they crunched numbers, ridership was actually LESS when it went down Broadway to Penn, then downtown via 55. That just doesn't seem right, and I think those folks are using whatever numbers they want to reach their pre-determined goal regardless of community input.

Let's be clear about this: Light rail that bypasses NoMi entirely just to make suburbanites' trips downtown several minutes faster does NOT serve our community and we should NOT stand for it.

Anonymous said...

First the Lowery Bridge has been shut down for yaers, Robinsdale is in the Gueniss book for pulling people over and now no LRT. The MAN is tryin to keep us down, or just over North.

just kidding kind of..
T. Jaramillo

Anonymous said...

Does WHO exist?

Pond-dragon said...

In reference to the Mortgage post:
It takes 2 to tango, i.e the person taking the mortgage didn't have to sign the bad deal. Looks to good to be true it probably is. The moral of the story, your house is not a piggy bank, don't sign things you don't understand, and the world is full of people trying to pick your pocket.

World Is Flat said...


Did you see this on the issues list?? Oh man, do we EVER know those kinds of landlords in the 55411 area!! Gez, let me be the first to WTF!

From: "Jordan S. Kushner"

To: "Mpls Issues"

Subject: [Mpls] sex offender housing

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 16:10:23 -0500

Does anyone know of any landlord in town (or in any town) who will rent to a registered sex offender?

I have a client who cannot get out of prison because he cannot find a place to live. This has apparently become a common problem.

Jordan S. Kushner
Downtown Attorney

Anonymous said...

@worldisflat - I saw that same post on the issues list!

the best part about it is Mr. Jordan Kushner lives in Golden Valley. (ironically so does Jill Clark and another dude named Tom Cleeland) - these folks are always poking their nose into what they thing is best for our community and then they go back to Golden Valley.

How about Mr Kushner finds his client a house to rent or a room to rent right up the street in Golden Valley - better yet - rent the client a room in his own house.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 2:56:

WHO is currently an ad hoc committee run by Al McFarlane and Randy Staten. It convenes whenever the two of them feel the need to concoct some astroturf support for some boondoggle or another.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Pond-dragon: I agree with you and I don't. I remember one person who took out a cash-out refinance and got $30,000+ to pay off other bills and have some fun. The deal was rotten all the way through. It was bad enough that the broker should have lost his license, but I also thought: "Yeah, but the borrower had NO PROBLEM cashing that $30,000 check. It was only AFTER that he started to wonder what was happening."

But fraud and deceit were rampant during the mortgage boom and a lot of people were blatantly lied to. Folks should and do bear responsibility for what they sign, but blame has to be placed at the lenders' feet as well.

To the overall question though, going after the lenders without trying to save someone from foreclosure right now is sort of like this: Let's say that a river is flooding and you're asked to join the efforts laying down sandbags to save the town. But you say, "Well the REAL CAUSE of this flooding is global warming, so instead of helping out here, I'm going to go to DC and work on climate change legislation."

That said, it's a "both/and" not "either/or" proposition. We're working on the lender angle through NCRC but we're just not quite ready to widely publicize things yet.

@ World is Flat,

I did see that on the issues list. I wasn't too happy about it, but I will say that ex-felons, even sex offenders, do need a place to live. I'm not opposed to them being in my neighborhood, but I don't want to be the only place they come and live. And I want to be sure that sex offenders who are here have the terms of their release fully monitored and enforced.

Johnny Northside said...

I seriously believe that once released from prison--if not permanently incarcerated for being dangerously deviant--sex offenders should be dumped at old, abandoned farmhouses in isolated rural states and given periodic supply drops of government-issue cheese plus hammers, nails, shingles, etc. They should be given books about growing their own food, etc. Bright warning signs should be posted all around the property in question and they should NOT BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE or, well, their exploding ankle bracelet will activate.

I once got into an extended discussion about this idea on a North Dakota blog. There was a poster named "Whatever" suggesting that North Dakota ghost towns could be used for this purpose. I was heatedly opposed to the idea because of "clustering" and "strength in numbers."

Also, Whatever's idea was rooted in basic dislike of North Dakota, not good public policy. Well, I make no secret of the fact I did not like my time in North Dakota AT ALL (five years felt like 25...IN PRISON) but I certainly don't hate the state or wish evil on the state, unlike the guy airing his "sex offender city" idea on that blog.

Being a humanitarian, I seemed to recall pointing out in that heated discussion that North Dakota winters were too cruel. I thought it would be acceptable to use, for example, isolated parts of warm states or have a "snow bird" system that would involve some shuttling back and forth between north and south.

Anyway, I am rather fascinated with this idea and I thought the "free speech friday" thread was a good place to air it.

Pond-dragon said...

Ref: Sex offenders

We have more than our fair share of SO in our neighborhood. According to 1 report there are 66 registered SO in MPLS and 37 of them are in 55411.
Lets see. Estimated 55411 Population for 2007 is ~31,695/37= 1 SO for every 857 residents,
Minneapolis City population 368,383/66= 1 SO for every 5,582 residents.
That means we have ~ 5582/857=6.5X more SO per person than the city.
Find another location:

veg*nation said...

"ghost towns could be used for this purpose."

er, they've already been doing this, only it's called "north minneapolis."
another reason to get the word out to landlords that it's no longer business as usual here in NoMi.

Anonymous said...

haha! here's some free speech for ya:

word is at the harrison neighborhood debate the other night, one audience member was so appalled at the nastiness and so frightened by the possibility that any of the 'challengers' would actually win - that he broke out his checkbook in the middle of the debate, wrote a check and handed it to Don Samuels when the debate was over.

That's what I call puttin' your money where your mouth is!!!

Anonymous said...

re: sex offenders - yikes!!!

Low End Leroy said...

@ Anon 5:23 wrote:
"word is at the harrison neighborhood debate the other night, one audience member was so appalled at the nastiness and so frightened by the possibility that any of the 'challengers' would actually win - that he broke out his checkbook in the middle of the debate, wrote a check and handed it to Don Samuels when the debate was over"

I LOVE this story. It describes exactly how I feel as a homeowner and committed resident of NOMI. The thougth of Miss Mini Al McFarlane winning the 5th Ward is very scary. Don Samuels is a total stand up guy who deserves to win.

Another story I heard is that only a dozen people, including the organizers and the candidates (minus D.Samuels), showed up when McFarlane attempted to stage his own "WHO 5th Ward candidate debate." Can anyone confirm?

Anonymous said...

@Low End Leroy - I heard similar - there was hardly anyone at UROC for Al McF's candidate forum. Including Don Samuels who was not there because McFarlane planned this so late in the game that Don was already booked with an event where 90 constituents would be - and Don had already committed to 6 candidate debates. So when you hear the rhetoric about Don not being able to face the voters - tell them Don participated in 6 debates total.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame what McFarlane has done to WHO. What an egocentric clown!

Anonymous said...

Isn't WHO a non-profit? How are they hosting political events as a non-profit? Doesn't someone what to file a complaint?

Anonymous said...

While WHO has a perpetual filing as a non profit corp with the secretary of state (MN), I am not certain that the 501(c)3 filing with the IRS was ever finalized/approved. If the 501(c)3 filing is not in effect, there are no requirements with repect to political advocacy. Does anyone know if Mr. McMegalomaniac ever finalized the 501(c)3?

Anonymous said...

The WHO name appears to be filed with the MnSecofState, but who knows if the co-opters ever finalized the organizational docuemnts (??).

WHO does not, however, appear to have a valid 501c(3) filing with the IRS, based on my recent search. My guess is that things stand essentially where they stood 2+ years ago when Al McF. bullied his way in and took over (ostensibly to ensure fair representation and complete the necessary organizational formalities in a 'fair-er' way.)

It seems his record for execution and follow through may be similar to that of Mr. Chism.

Glad he's not my leader.
Too bad he lives in my neighborhood.
Good thing there is such a thing as Karma, colon cancer, and heart disease.
oops. was that out loud?

Free speech for fools too said...

Hey Dumbass Anon at 2:51:

If there is Karma, let's hope those that wish colon cancer and heart disease on others are the ones who actually receive it.