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'Glitter terrorism' has Minnesota roots


Technically, Nick Espinoza is not a member of the glitterati, but after pranking Tom Emmer repeatedly he seems to have invented a new form of protest. Salon’s Natasha Lennard goes where few locals go. “Espinosa, a 24-year-old activist from Minnesota, sparked the latest tactic among LGBT activists when he invited Newt Gingrich to ‘Feel the rainbow!’ at a Minnesota family values event and showered the presidential candidate in multi-colored sparkles. This was followed by a glitter attack orchestrated by women's peace group, Code Pink, on Tim Pawlenty. Then, on Saturday Michelle Bachmann was struck by the Glitterati (#glitterati is the hashtag for these actions now). ‘It's safe, it's fun and it brings attention to big issues,’ Espinosa told Salon, explaining that he finds influences in direct action groups like The Yes Men, who target big corporations and political leaders with elaborate, politically driven pranks. … A number of people aren't laughing along, however. Right-wing commentators have gone so far as to describe glitter-bombing as assault and have called for arrests and, at times, violent retribution. Ever measured, Glenn Beck used his The Blaze website to call the glitterati ‘terrorists’:

It doesn't matter if it's glitter or anything else because it could just as easily be something deadly that they attack with and if they get to believing that the cops will not do anything at all to them, that will empower them to use deadly force soon and then the cops should also be held accountable for the terroristic acts! Put them ALL in Guantanemo (sic) with the other terrorists!”

Meanwhile … in Iowa City, the Press-Citizen reports, “Police were dispatched to the corner of Washington and Dubuque streets at 11:33 a.m. for a subject yelling at protestors. Officers said they saw 24-year-old Dominique J. Conway in a ‘heated argument’ with another man. While officers were walking toward Conway and the other man, they saw him throw confetti in the man’s face. The other man said he was offended by the contact. Conway allegedly told officers he threw the confetti because he didn’t agree with the man’s anti-gay statements. Conway was cited with assault, which is defined as an act that is or intended to be ‘painful, injurious, insulting or offensive.’ Conway was arrested last July when he allegedly punched a man in the face for refusing to hug him.”

In TIME, Justin Horwath attempts to explain our budget meltdown to a national audience. “Since 2002, there have been six state government shutdowns, the shortest lasting only hours, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Two shutdowns, the longest since 2002, lasted just over a week: one in Pennsylvania in 2007 and another in Minnesota in 2005. But the North Star State's political landscape has changed considerably since 2005. Republicans took both chambers of the Legislature for the first time in nearly 40 years in a surprising 2010 electoral sweep — following a national trend that found the party picking up its largest majority in statehouses across the nation since 1928. But Minnesotans also elected their first democratic governor in two decades. Both parties, of course, have claimed that their rides into office represented a mandate — proof that Minnesotans wanted them to institute their political agendas. But in a microcosm of the political gridlock and debt debates that have paralyzed Washington, Minnesota now finds itself at an impasse more severe than any in recent memory.”

The Strib’s essentially nonexistent reporting from the (very) liberal (and now quite large) Netroots Nation Convention in Minneapolis last week did not go unnoticed, nationally. At the popular and (very) liberal “Crooks & Liars” website, David Neiwert blogs, “I sat down to have a nice departing breakfast at my hotel in Minneapolis yesterday morning after a satisfying Netroots Nation, and as is my custom on such occasions, I bought the local Sunday paper. In this case, that meant buying a copy of the Star-Tribune. Now, I will admit I am impressed that the paper has thus far refused to succumb to the Shrinkage phenomenon that is reducing modern papers to the size of postage stamps. The Star Tribune is still printed on standard old broadsheet paper, and it is graphically quite appealing as well. But what I went there to read was to see what coverage they had of Netroots — easily the largest gathering of political bloggers in the country, and one of the most powerful gatherings of progressive activists in the country as well. Now, I expect that local readers will tell me that the Minneapolis paper is a long-established right-wing Republican rag, and gauging from their Sunday editorial-page lineup, that certainly is the impression I came away with. And no doubt it is despised by the PowerLines of the world for not being right-wing enough, which then becomes their excuse — ‘See? Both sides hate us! Therefore, we must be exactly right in the middle!’ So to be honest, I wasn't really surprised to see that the Star-Tribune, as I perused it over my coffee and hashbrowns this morning, had actually completely ignored the presence of Netroots Nation in their city and carried not a single word about events there. And indeed, if you check their archives, they couldn't even be bothered to send a single reporter over to the convention center this week to write about the many luminaries there. Instead, their coverage consisted entirely [of] pieces filed by Associated Press reporters.” But you see, David, those progressives are such “fringy” characters.

Speaking of … Scott Johnson of Power Line rips into the Strib, and Rachel Stassen-Berger, accusing it and her of carrying big buckets of liberal Dayton water. “The dirty little secret of the budget battle is that Dayton wants a government shutdown, and that he wants the shutdown to be as painful as possible. So long as the public blames the Republican legislature, a shutdown works to Dayton's advantage. Blogger Mitch Berg has been on to the real story here for a while. Just start at the top and keep scroling down. Here Mitch tumbles to the heart of the dirty little secret. Here Mitch describes the choral support the Star Tribune is lending Dayton in the budget battle. Yesterday the Star Tribune published an important op-ed column by Jonathan Blake on "Dayton's cynical shutdown." Blake essentially explains how Dayton is calculating to use the shutdown to inflict maximum pain for political advantage. It's a story that somehow hasn't made its way to the news section, let alone the front page. Instead we have gotten the likes of Rachel Stassen-Berger reporting that legislators who work during the shutdown are to be paid while laid off government workers will go without. What a bombshell. Stassen-Berger even filed a second story reporting that Dayton will not accept his salary during the shutdown. Stassen-Berger somehow omits to mention that Dayton is a trust fund baby who has never in his life lived on a salary. Rachel reporting that Dayton will not accept his trust distributions during the shutdown might be a scoop. Over at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, columnist Joe Soucheray goes where Stassen-Berger fears to tread. Besides the sight of Mitch and Sooch together at last, I’m struck that Johnson seems to have forgotten a cardinal dictum of effective lawyering, namely, “Never let ‘em see you sweat.”

“Guilty, your honor. the mink coat was in my underwear … for three days." WCCO-TV reports on a Minnesota gal court pleading. “Stephanie Moreland was arrested New Year’s Eve by Bloomington Police after the Alaskan Fur Company reported a short mink coat was stolen by a woman who had been in the store and acting suspiciously. Moreland pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft of property. Police say she hid the mink coat in her underwear for three days while being questioned by police in jail. … When [an] investigator informed Moreland he would be sending her to the Hennepin County Jail downtown, he was shocked when she lifted up her dress and pulled out the mink coat from her underwear. ‘She had modified her underwear. She actually cut the rear of the underwear out so that from the back it appeared she was not wearing underwear and then stuffed it down the front’, said Bloomington Police Commander Mark Stehlik, at the time of the incident.”

Embattled developer Jerry Trooien got thrown under the proverbial bus. Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib writes, “Tearing up during testimony in a St. Paul courtroom, Sheri Lynn Delich pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to money laundering, and described how she took kickbacks in an alleged $4.2 million mortgage fraud conspiracy involving more than 40 units at the Cloud 9 Sky Flats, an office tower in Minnetonka that Trooien converted into condos. She said she did what Trooien told her to do, said her lawyer Mark Larsen, a partner at Lindquist & Vennum. When Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lewis asked her whether there were other people involved, she said yes but didn't name them. Delich is the third real estate professional to plead guilty in a kickback scheme at Trooien's Cloud 9 Sky Flats. My Dinh Lam, a Minneapolis appraiser, and Ashley Elizabeth Prasil, an inactive Eden Prairie real estate agent and mortgage broker, pleaded guilty last month of conspiring to commit wire fraud. The swindle, which ran from 2006 through 2007, involved lying to mortgage lenders about sales prices and pocketing 30 percent of the purchase price outside of the formal closing. Most of the buyers defaulted.”

You did read state GOP chair Tony Sutton’s commentary in the Strib this morning, right? Did you enjoy the part where he said, “While the governor and the DFL obsessed on what the aggregate budget number ought to be, without specifying where resources would be spent and where cuts would be made, Republicans constructed reforms in education and health care that changed the way government does business. Following economic principles, Republicans crafted reforms that offer low-income individuals more alternatives to participate in the free-market economy, more opportunities to live better. The governor vetoed them over his obsession with increasing taxes to make the books balance at some arbitrary increase.” Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. Just a few examples of those new "free market alternatives," if you wouldn't mind?

Sport stadium, “Field of Schemes” blogger Neil de Mause has been watching the dance moves of interested parties in both Minnesota and L.A. He reports on the latest twists within the L.A. City Council. “ … The city of Los Angeles yesterday released 13 pages of responses to questions raised by city councilmember Bill Rosendahl about the AEG NFL stadium plan, and the big takeaway, at least according to the Associated Press, is that city revenues could only be used to pay for half the $350 million cost of rebuilding the L.A. Convention Center to make way for the stadium, with the rest coming from private sources. Of course, AEG has previously said that it would pay off the new convention center bonds (bond payments are expected to run about $25 million a year), but also said that it would want to use "new" city tax revenues generated by convention center visitors for part of this. So what the city of L.A. has effectively done is to cap that portion (which is basically a TIF) at $175 million … .”

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Comments (3)

When one presents an observation is a clear reflection of the reality one is describing, it is often a helpful way to sum up the situation for one's self and those to whom that observation is made.

When one makes a collection of dismissive accusations by which one hopes to obscure or push away reality, observations which actually fly in the face of reality as normal, healthy people see and understand it,...

accusations with absolutely ZERO evidence to back them up (except "pants on fire" political sloganeering of campaigns long past), it's the moral equivalent of name calling on the playground of your average elementary school.

Perhaps some of us got away with it in the 4th grade, but for most, the time eventually comes for us to move into adulthood or discover why it is that we are not able to do so, but persist in viewing the world and reacting to it in such simplistic, childish, mistaken and misguided ways.

The article is fine, but who started calling it "glitter terrorism." When I think of torture, that is terrorism. Abu Ghraib, that is terrorism.

So lighten up, hmmm. Well, no. Come up with a better name. I am nonviolent and there seems to be some controversy about this, but I think it is a brilliant tactic. But terrorism it is not. Do not trivialize terrorism by calling the glitterati actions a form of terrorism.

Re: "Glitter terrorism". John Hinkley shot REPUBLICAN President Reagan, he is now out of locked mental confinement. Manson Girl and Symbionese Liberation Army "supporters "Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore attempted to shoot REPUBLICAN President Ford. They both have been
released from prison.

There seems to be a pattern of a double standard when it is a REPUBLICAN versus a Democrat.

At the time of the glitter attack REPUBLICAN Michelle Bachman was a declared presidential candidate. I believe that Palenty also was. When Tom Emmer had the coins dumped on him he was a declared REPUBLICAN candidate for governor.

One incident mentioned here that I didn't notice in the news was Dominique J. Conway "Conway was arrested last July when he allegedly punched a man in the face for refusing to hug him.” is now into glitter attacks. (let's try the hetro equivalent of a guy punching a woman in the face because she won't hug him.)

Representative Gifford is often cited but I have heard no conservatives approve that assault. Also, this guy was rejected from the military for smoking pot and his blogs have a long history of "Bush bashing".

The mentally unstable often get more extreme when they turn to political protests. One example is Samuel Byke who seemed a harmless protester but tried to high-jack an airplane to kill REPUBLICAN President Nixon shortly after the Patricia Hearst kidnapping.

If a candidate (of either party) get hurt by on of the gay activists there will be a public backlash.

Congress shut down over anthrax and there are suicide bombers in other countries (though we seem to raise them here in Minneapolis).

I admit I don't support gay marriage but these "glitter attacks" can easily backfire. There should be a law that any physical attack on a declared political candidate while campaigning is a crime which should be prosecuted by the police without requiring a complaint by a candidate. The idea of even the "symbolic" attacks is to get it "on camera" so there is ample evidence.

There are sincere gay activists but this is also a magnet for assorted malcontents.