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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We need to educate not anger.

Bob>I was asked to post this for someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

First time to your blog and I am really excited that there is finally a place to talk about unpopular subjects, and there is some amount of truth to the conversations. The present topics on code enforcement are long overdue I think. One thing I am not so happy about are the remarks concerning Andrew Hine and reporting him to the city for his code violations. I think it is wrong, and I would like to tell you why. I was part of the 14 Jessamine discussion at eDemocracy last winter. I finally left that blog because of all the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) attempts to "quiet" the voices of anyone they did not agree with. I left at the point where they were trying to make certain people give their identities out to the forum managers. There were 4 other women in my office who would read it almost every day and we would discuss issues on it at lunch quite often. They finally gave up and would not even read it any longer because of the pettiness of some of the regulars there. the last straw for me was a week ago when they were talking about making rules about words because some member was upset over a word that was not even directed at her. What they should call it is the "Feel Good Politically Correct Club". They have nothing to do with honest conversations or facts. When someone there does not agree with you, they threaten you, humiliate and embarrass you, ignore you, and all the other childish things we saw as school children. I really believe they are all Government workers who are trying to kiss their bosses ass through the forum. While it had the perception of being honest and open to all it was good, but that was then and this is now. Of the dozen or so people I know of who read it regularly, none are reading it now.

That brings me to Andrew Hine. One of the posters here threatened to report Andrew to the city because he has code violations. For us as a group to act that way just makes us the same type of people we ran away from at eDemocracy. We as a group are much better than they are. When you started this blog you made reference that anyone could participate and say anything without the fears of the eDemocracy style Regime. The people here are concerned with corruption with regard to housing inspections and how the city deals with crime problems. Andrew is just a lost soulwith mud for brains, to retaliate against him just distracts the real focus on the change all would like to bring about. Furthermore, by creating the perception that we will do things like that is going to have the effect of no one on the "other side" saying anything. That is contrary to what we want. It is in our interest to have them keep talking and making fools out of themselves. It is in our interest for people Like "mad hatter" to come here and spew out his prejudices and racism. It is their own twisted logic and value system that will help win over the "fence sitters" to our side. We have 1 year to influence voters enough to throw out the current City Council, and we will not do it by serving up our own brand of retaliation on people.

Thank you for taking my email.

Bob> I understand the emotions from our side of the issue. People have lost their homes, livelihoods and for some these problems have disrupted the unity of families.
I hope we can educate people, not chase them away for fear some retribution may come their way for getting involved in the dialog.

20 Comments:

Blogger Rick Mons said...

Anonymous wrote:

When someone there does not agree with you, they threaten you, humiliate and embarrass you, ignore you, and all the other childish things we saw as school children.

Although I haven't seen or read what you refer to as humiliating and embarrassing, I'm puzzled how this next quote isn't also "childish"

Andrew is just a lost soul with mud for brains

This seems to be the real crux of the difference between SPIF and aDemocracy: here folks can make ad hominem and unfounded attacks behind the shield of anonymity. That's not possible at SPIF.

I'd really be curious if you could cite examples of posts where you were threatened, humiliated and/or embarrassed. Since the posts are archived, it should be fairly easy to go back and provide exact quotes.

OTOH, if it was a case of people disagreeing with your post and laying out the reasons that they disagreed, I'd acknowledge that could be humiliating and embarrassing ... but that's the price one pays when we put forth an opinion.

It's different than an ad hominem attack -- such as " Andrew is just a lost soul with mud for brains"

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way Rick Mons tries to hold himself out as the know it all of everything, he can also go back through the archives and find the examples.

How about the one where Hine likened someone to a murderer?

How bout when someone left a threatening note on Bob Johnsons door?

How about the constant inuendos from all at eDemocracy about how landlords don't give a darn about anyone?

How about the statements about landlords don't care if their tenants burn to death in a fire?

That's just what I can remember off the top of ny head, and I suppose you are going to say you do not remember any of it right?

You are right about one though Rick. The remark about Andrew having mud for brains was childish, and that is the difference between this forum and eDem. Everyone is welcome here. Even you Rick. This forum is not going to try and silence ANYONES view. Not even your Rick. this forumis not going to try and manage the content of anyones post. Not even yours Rick. We are happy to ave your type come here and show yourselves for what you are. The difference is, unlike eDem, here when people talk like an idiot, we are going to call them what they are. If you are looking for a way to keep your head stuck in the sand and live in denial, then this is not the place for you. We are not into political correctness here. I think that most of us believe that political correctness is one of the causes of most of the problems we have today. Unlike eDem, we are interested in the facts more than who it is that is stating them. Unlike eDem, we are willing to let EVERYONE say what they feel, even if we do not agree, but when you try to fill our mouth with crap, don't expect us to be nice about it. That is not who we are or who we want ot be.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember the mousetrap story? Here is a prime example of it. "I haven't seen or read....." If it doesn't effect you once you are on the "stepford-type" site that you are comfy cozy with, you will be blinded to reality.

What the poster said about being a "lost soul with mud for brains" sounds rather endearing to me. I can tell she is thoughtful, unintrusive and insightful. It has motherly wisdom. Now you wouldn't want to bash mom would you?

what it gets back to again is a rigorous battle on the part of a few people to undermine this site and defend with all their lost soul, the Edemocracy site.

It doesn't even matter anymore! What about the NIMBY report? The question remains open to those who post on behalf of ED?

It's also my understanding that besides censorship, there were also posts telling of being stricken after complaints about their posts not being in line with the rules or if complaints were made of it's contents. So, if they feel like digging into the site, feel free. If they can't read the NIMBY report......well enough said.

Okay, now enough of their rules and insulted feelings. Let's get back to business. I've seen many condemned homes over by Minneahaha and Burr. There are homes being condemned right next to each other. On one block there is one smaller house in between them and I'm wondering what is going to happen to it.

Another thing, you can drive down the streets any time and see code violations on homes that look much worse than what inspectors have nit-wit-picked about on buildings of victimized rental owners.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the Ric I forogt to mention this. You took a lot of time to write and run someone down for making a remark about Andrews brain, but only acknowledge the bad things.

How about being man enough to acknowledge that this person came out of no where in defense of Andrew and asked not to have this Ciani guy or whoever it was call up and report code violations on Andrews house. Or maybe that just does not count for anything with you huh?

1:32 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Bob has asked, several times, for my reaction to the NIMBY Report. I've read through most of it and have to admit that I'm confused as to the apparent "vindication" that some folks here seem to make of it.

I think there's a fair amount of ambiguity in the overall report and, in the end, not sure what the take-aways are.

For example, Goetz ends with this:
Concentrated poverty is certainly destructive to
neighborhoods and families in a number of ways.

Affordable housing advocates should include
desegregation as one among their many objectives. But, whether or not to adopt the vocabulary of
deconcentration that carries with it the risk of unleashing a race to the bottom, and whether or not to adopt the range of strategies associated with deconcentration, including demolition of low-cost units and the forced relocation of low-income families, are two questions that should be regarded very carefully.
(emphasis added)

Hardly an unequivocal statement of policy. On the one hand, Goetz acknowledges the problems of concentration but then questions the strategy of deconcentrating. Kind of like eating your cake and having it, what?

Allen, in the next article, writes:
At some basic level, it is unfair to
expect a handful of communities to provide all the
affordable housing in a city or region.


Frankly I think that's the approach to take: diversification of those housing assets. That's the approach that the Met Council has generally followed and one which both Minneapolis and St Paul (as well as Brooklyn Park) were looking for.

A third article tiptoes pretty gingerly through this thicket:

Saraf writes:
But additional research is needed to explain the connection between the variations and exceptions to the overarching deconcentration trend and the nuances of economic conditions in the 1990s. As the boom went bust at the beginning of this decade, it is an open question whether the trend toward deconcentration will continue or will
reverse course. Given the deleterious effects of
concentrated poverty, further analysis of the causes and continued tracking of the trends will be welcome.


So, I'm not sure if that's what you wanted to hear but it's my reaction to the report. Are there some specific things that you pulled from it that you think I'm missing?

3:14 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

The way Rick Mons tries to hold himself out as the know it all of everything, he can also go back through the archives and find the examples.

LOL -- I appreciate the back-handed compliment but have never thought I know everything.

How about the one where Hine likened someone to a murderer?

Sorry, I don't recall this one. Can you provide a quote in context?

How bout when someone left a threatening note on Bob Johnsons door?

Well, you can ask Bob but I agreed with him at the time it was wrong. The problem was that there was no proof it was from anyone with SPIF. And it certainly didn't reflect the majority of folks who participate on SPIF.

How about the constant inuendos from all at eDemocracy about how landlords don't give a darn about anyone?

If they're truly "constant" then I'd assume you'd be able to provide numerous examples.

How about the statements about landlords don't care if their tenants burn to death in a fire?

I don't recall that statement ... nor the context. Care to provide a citation?

That's just what I can remember off the top of ny head, and I suppose you are going to say you do not remember any of it right?

That's right.

The difference is, unlike eDem, here when people talk like an idiot, we are going to call them what they are.

But wait -- I thought the whole idea was not to humiliate or embarrass? You'll call someone an idiot without doing so?

Unlike eDem, we are interested in the facts more than who it is that is stating them. Unlike eDem, we are willing to let EVERYONE say what they feel, even if we do not agree, but when you try to fill our mouth with crap, don't expect us to be nice about it. That is not who we are or who we want ot be.

And here's the fatal flaw ... anyone can come on here and post any kind of claptrap and call it "factual." There's no accountability. Anyone can launch an ad hominem attack. There's no accountability.

Now you can do so in the name of freedom of expression and wrap yourself up in a distorted view of the US Constitution and/or religion ... but I question the validity of the opinion(s) when the author is unwilling to put his/her name to those same opinions.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Anonymous wrote:

By the Ric I forogt to mention this. You took a lot of time to write and run someone down for making a remark about Andrews brain, but only acknowledge the bad things.

I don't think I ran anyone down in pointing out the inconsistency. As I said, I was puzzled by how the two statements squared.

How about being man enough to acknowledge that this person came out of no where in defense of Andrew and asked not to have this Ciani guy or whoever it was call up and report code violations on Andrews house. Or maybe that just does not count for anything with you huh?

It seemed so elemental that I didn't think I had to compliment him or her. I'd certainly compliment him or her if they publicly disagreed with the prevailing sentiments here and used their name(s).

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Mons you are pointless! There is no meaning in anything you say! Do you have beliefs other than those that possess you? You want to chastise all and want to appear to be reputible and trustworthy. Well, I don't trust the city, government and those that appease them and give praise to them. Your postings are baseless, prudish, boorish and reaks of self-righteousness.

Other wise I enjoy posting here and am having a great time.

I also enjoy reading the Watchdog and would like to hear more stories of unfair property rights stories. Soon many more will be coming to this site, and we need to have lots of information and truth and facts that they can look at. When most people do find out the truth about the city of st.paul and it's inspectors, etc. they cannot believe it. But they soon do and it sends a shiver of fear down their backs because they are intelligent enough to know that no one is out of reach for this kind of illegal behavior that runs amuck in the city!!! Rick Mons! you want to prove me wrong! Huh, you think everything is so damn perfect with the city?

Maybe some of your neighbors are reading this right now. Maybe some of these people have loved ones who have gone through the code enforcement crap that robbed them of their homes and livelihoods. Keep shooting off the gapping hole and maybe we can showcase some of your more mindless postings. We'll call it our wall of shame.


Princess

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One statement for Rick:

Why have cake if you can't eat it?

7:11 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Princess writes:

Rick Mons you are pointless! There is no meaning in anything you say!

have a hard day today? such anger!

Apparently if you don't hew to the party line, you're the enemy. I'll just continue to point out errors when and as they're made. Feel free to do likewise -- but try to use a little logic, not just ire and bile.

Do you have beliefs other than those that possess you? ... Well, I don't trust the city, government and those that appease them and give praise to them.

well, I'd sure like to have you pull posts where I've appeased the city and praised it. My offense on SPIF was that I didn't accept the "party line" of the "anti-city-inspector" group and challenged the conclusions that they tried to make with the "inspection report." If you recall, the inspector himself then came to SPIF and said much the same thing -- and repudiated the conclusions drawn by the "anti-city-inspector" group.

That was followed by dark grumblings of somebody having "gotten" to the poor inspector ... pure poppycock and never supported by any facts, just half-baked conspiracy theories.

Your postings are baseless, prudish, boorish and reaks of self-righteousness.

But so far you haven't disproven one of them. Tsk, tsk. So much anger and bile.

Rick Mons! you want to prove me wrong! Huh, you think everything is so damn perfect with the city?

Now, when have I ever written that? Try containing the disagreement to what I do write rather than putting words in my mouth.

Maybe some of your neighbors are reading this right now. Maybe some of these people have loved ones who have gone through the code enforcement crap that robbed them of their homes and livelihoods.

More likely they're shaking their heads and wondering why I bother responding to such attacks.

Keep shooting off the gapping hole and maybe we can showcase some of your more mindless postings. We'll call it our wall of shame.

have at it, Princess. Just use facts to show that they're mindless ... not opinions and fuzzy conspiracy theories.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, Rick you can quit pulling my braids and enough of the spit balls, I know how you 8th grade boys operate. Especially the really mean ones.

Calm down, boy, easy now. Take a chill pill or something.

You made a big deal and there's nary a thing you said that changed anything that I said.

T'was but a fairy tale.

Rapunzel

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity; did e-democracy get a virus or something? No action over their lately!

9:05 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi Rick,

I never have been one to beat around the bush.

I think we can all agree that there is an effort to deconcentrate poverty. The concentration of poverty in an urban area taxes the working class.

There is an indisputable effort to move these concentrations of poverty to suburbs and beyond.

If you drive through the Red Zone of the East side or Frog Town you will see house after house of vacant registered homes.Most of these homes were once rental properties.

Most of these homes also have a story of hardship of the people who once rented there, and the Rental Property Investor who housed them.

There is documented story after story about the malicious behavior by code enforcement in putting families out on the street and depriving the Investor of his or her property.

Remember the excerpts of the Federal Racketeering cases I was posting at SPIF?

Yes Rick one story after another of innocent people being put out on the street by the City. You know what, a Rental Property Investor can't even do that if the tenant doesn't pay their rent.

I hope that clears things up for you Rick.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick,Tim Ciani here.Would you like to see some private e-mails I recieved when I was a memeber at Edem., or don't those count-Thats one thing that all you members don't see and the rest sick imtimidating souls can hide behind.Just let me know if you want to see them I'll post them.Thanks.With all do respect.

TIM CIANI
JUMGGCS

10:11 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Hi, Bob

Yes I remember the excerpts from the RICO case. Do you remember what i said at the time?

They're allegations that have yet to be tried in federal court. I've long advocated letting the trial court sift through the allegations and making judgments based upon hearing all the parties, not just the plaintiffs.

That's not "defending" the city but simply saying that there's' usually two sides to the story.

As to city inspectors putting people out in the streets -- has there been an instance where that's happened and where the inspector did not find the home in violation of the housing code?

Are you saying that all housing code violations are without foundation? If you acknowledge that some of the violations are legitimate, would you then recommend that the tenants remain in such housing?

I don't think the city has much option in those situations ... my understanding is that case law pretty much dictates that the tenants must leave if there are health/safety violations. Is that not your understanding?

What seems to be the crux of the debate is whether abuses occur and, if so, how extensive the abuses are. I've always maintained an open mind about that and wait for the court case to proceed.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Rick Mons said...

Tim,

It's up to Bob to decide whether they should be published. Generally private e-mails between individuals aren't deemed to be appropriate for publication on a blog without consent of both parties but I'm not aware of any legal prohibition.

I recall that emotions ran pretty high on SPIF when that happened ... frankly I thought Dave Thune handled it pretty well.

When folks are elected to public office, they end up losing some element of privacy so I wasn't particularly upset about your decision to publish the photos. The courts have found that public officials have a lower standard of privacy afforded them legally ... whether that's morally right is a matter of opinion.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here you are again arguing what's moral when it comes to taking a side with the city, but when person sfter person has come here and told stories of inspectors that lie about repairs that do not exist, and when others who are regulars on SPIF made posts acknowleging that the city violates peoples rights because it is cheaper and more efficient and the results are more immediate, yu still fall back on calling it just allegations as a way to minimize what is going on in the city. Your bias is very transparent Rick.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi Rick,

I guess I see the allegations as fact. I have read story after story. I have heard witness testimony.

There is just to many people who don't even know each other with the same story. The only common factor is code enforcement.

Then I add the deception of circumstances concerning Jessamine and it doesn't look good.

I am also hearing storys from St. Paul citizen who claim the City Counsel isn't being respectful of citizens bringing their concerns before the counsel.

Certainly you remember Tim Erickson, Chuck, & Jim Keilkopf stating the city more or less found away to do business cheaper.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally like the anger. Could we have a little more please?

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So then you must not like or be educated?

5:58 PM  

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