FREE SPEECH ZONE | An open letter to Congressman Ellison about torture

Dear Congressman Ellison:Our nation has tortured people in our custody. That hardly makes us unique; torture is all too common a practice. Our failure has been in resisting the “arc of history…[that] bends toward justice,” as Martin Luther King, Jr., described it.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. The opinions expressed in the Free Speech Zone and Neighborhood Notes, as well as the opinions of bloggers, are their own and not necessarily the opinion of the TC Daily Planet.As University of Minnesota Professor Kathryn Sikkink has noted by the title of her latest book, there has been a Justice Cascade in recent years. Continue Reading

Artie and Barbara: A Short Story

Once upon a time, in a small Midwestern town, a young couple, new to the area, were expecting their first child. So they decided to visit the town hospital to make arrangements for the baby’s delivery. “Viking Hospital” seemed a strange name to them for a hospital, but it was the only one in town.


Their conversation with the hospital administrator, Mr. Continue Reading

Caucus resolution on war budget

It’s caucus time. Progressives and libertarians will likely once again propose resolutions about the U.S. war budget. They’ll argue, “Let’s spend that money on our true collective needs,” or “Let’s return that money to our pockets.” And these resolutions will likely once again have no effect. Continue Reading

Memories of Marv

When he heard that Marv Davidov had passed away, one of my co-defendants suggested I write a letter to the editor for our group. But I couldn’t. I’m terrible at expressing myself in such circumstances. Besides, the football games were on. Marv would have understood that — well, maybe more so if it were the Twins or the Final Four. 

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Statement to Hennepin County Board on torture

[On November 15, during the “Open Forum” portion of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners’ committee meetings, I addressed the Board about the issue of torture. I talked a bit about the lack of accountability for U.S.-committed torture and about the concept of Universal Jurisdiction. Continue Reading

‘Son of Sam’ to appear at Beth El Synagogue

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minnesota. June 11, 2012 — In a letter to its members, Beth El Synagogue announced today that it is excited about the appearance of David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) at an August 8, 2012, “important fundraiser for…[the] synagogue.” The letter continues, “His appearance coincides with the 35th anniversary of Mr. Berkowitz’s arrest for the murder of six people and wounding of several others, a time when New Yorkers came together with a singular purpose.” Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Today is a sad day

Today is a sad day. It is the ninth anniversary of the John Yoo-Jay Bybee “torture memos,” which were eventually withdrawn after unsuccessfully attempting to define torture out of existence. But it’s our actions since that time that truly sadden me. Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Continue Reading