Inside the Daily Planet, 9/13/08


Cataloguing the RNC’s journalist detainees by Anna Pratt, Minnesota Independent • Of the 800-plus people who were arrested or detained in conjunction with RNC protests, a good chunk of them — 42, by our count — were members of the news media. Media representatives in town to cover the events, from both big and small presses, were slapped with citations and pending charges ranging in severity, including unlawful assembly, obstructing the legal process, misdemeanor interference with a peace officer and felony to riot plus other riot pretenses. (Notably Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was jailed along with two of the show’s producers.) Many others who weren’t arrested or detained endured pepper-spray and other arms used for crowd-control.

VOICES | Question assumptions about school funding by Kerry Ashmore, Northeaster • As Northeast and Columbia Heights voters prepare to elect school board members this fall, voters and candidates need to question even the most basic assumptions about public education, including the funding mechanism. Admittedly oversimplified: Under the current system, we give educators the amount of money people are willing to spend on education, and we tell them to do the best they can with it; knowing full well that we didn’t give them enough to do everything we expect. This virtually ensures that we will be dissatisfied.

Ben Quie goes to war by Judy Woodward, The Park Bugle • Halvor Quie was the kind of immigrant who made Minnesota. Born in Norway, he carved out a farm near Dennison in the mid-19th century. When the Civil War began, he answered his adopted nation’s call and joined the Union Army. He served in Berdan’s Sharpshooters with the 1st Minnesota Regiment, fought in 11 battles and was wounded at Antietam.


FROM THE SOAPBOX | John McCain and Computers by Thomas Heuerman • John McCain doesn’t use a computer; he doesn’t know how to log on to the internet.

THINK FORWARD | The key to “alternative foreign cha dui” by Shi Yan • “Cha dui” is a historical term meaning, more or less, “being sent to the countryside to do manual labor and be reeducated by the peasants.” For the vast majority of Chinese young people, the concept of cha dui [“being sent to the countryside”] is a strange one, especially for kids like me who’ve grown up in a city from the time they were small.

BY THE PEOPLE | A vehicle for learning in St. Paul by Ellen Tveit • Wouldn’t it be great if a city could utilize its resources to close the achievement gap between white and minority students AND develop a saner transportation system?