FREE SPEECH ZONE | The War at Home: A Meditation on Mass Murder

A drone attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 26 people. Twenty of the victims were children aged six and seven, and six adults, all women.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.The public is searching for motive and answers. The perpetrator, who committed suicide, was a young, white man who grew up in the affluent suburban town where the attack occurred. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Coldwater Springs—White History Only

The National Park Service and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District have determined that the wetland immediately surrounding Coldwater Springs is “solely,” 100-percent, manmade. The limestone Spring House and reservoir was constructed as a military-industrial waterworks complex to pump water to Fort Snelling from 1880 to1920.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.Coldwater Springs has been flowing at least 10,000-years. The NPS theory is that Coldwater has been “disturbed” so it is no longer natural. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Dred Scott in Minnesota

In the Dred Scott decision, Minnesota played a part in the cultural battle against slavery in the United States. Like the war on terrorism and “just war” debates, the great slave debate divided the nation, divided families, and was as much about finances as ethics.  In 1857, on March 6, Dred Scott was found to be “not a person.” This finding by the Supreme Court of the United States was boo-ed and ridiculed inside the country and abroad. Like the “illegal aliens” of today, the “enemy combatants” and the extradited and disappeared, slaves had no legal standing.  Dred Scott, a slave, sued for his freedom in 1846. After an eleven year court battle Scott, Harriet, his wife and the mother of their daughters, Eliza and Lizzie, lost their freedom case. The high court found that Scott was ineligible to bring his case for freedom from slavery into the federal court system. Continue Reading

It’s the Wars Sweetie

What issues are important to you this election year?–a recent MPR talk show host asked. “Jobs” and “the economy” repeated a flurry of inquirants. So I was moved to call-in.

What’s your question, asked the screener? What about the wars, I said. That’s where the economy and the jobs are.

That’s not really–

Thirty-three-billion–

Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | Adopt/Release a Hawk

(Hawk Ridge, Duluth, Minnesota) She is three months old, with golden irises in her unblinking eyes. This female sharp-shinned hawk-“my” sharpshin, but I know better-is on her way to wintering in Central America. She was born in northern Minnesota or southern Canada, was just netted and banded and will be released in minutes. It’s Tuesday and Equinox eve, I just drove 165-miles through early fall color. Lake Superior is three shades of blue and I can feel a heart beat in my right hand holding the warm, three-month-old, female, golden-eyed, sharp-shinned hawk. Continue Reading

FREE SPEECH ZONE | The Wrong People Were On Trial

When Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill found four peace activists guilty (4/23/10) but assigned $1 fines, he was hailed as a nice guy who went as far as he could within the system. We need a judicial Daniel Ellsberg. As Kathy Kelly, of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, says: “Where’s the outrage?” The four nonviolent, senior citizen, criminal trespass defendants were arrested during a peace commemoration of Gandhi’s birthday, on October 2 of 2009, in front of the corporate headquarters of Minnesota’s largest war profiteer, Alliant Techsystems. The four claimed the right to enter the corporation’s Eden Prairie property in order to warn employees that they were breaking international laws. They brought copies of treaties and agreements with them. Continue Reading

To Nuke or Not to Nuke

Minnesota and seven other states currently outlaw new nuclear energy production: Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Hawaii, and three coal states, West Virginia, Kentucky and Montana (which also lacks sufficient water for nuclear cooling).


The Minnesota legislature passed a moratorium on new nuclear power plants in 1994. Continue Reading