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“The Truth Beneath” From the 36th Annual Minneapolis-St. Paul Film Festival

“The Truth Beneath”

(2016)

*****

A scandal may be on the way during an extremely close race that Eui-sung Kim (Noh Jae-soon) wins narrowly over Jong-chan (Ju- hyuk Kim).

Just as the elections will go national, Noh Jae- soon and his wife’s daughter Kim Min-jin (Ji-Hoon Shin) goes missing. Noh Jae-soon tells Yeon-hong (Yeon-jin Son) to wait a day which Yeon-jin Son is appalled by his suggestion. She goes on her own search for her daughter when she runs into lies, secrets and conspiracy theories.

Country: South Korea. Running time: 102 minutes. Languages: Korean with English subtitles.Director:  Kyoung mi- Lee.  Cast. Ye-jin Son (Yeon-hong), Ju-hyuk Kim (Jong-chan), Eui-sung Kim (Noh-Jae-soon).

“Everything Else”

(2016)

*** out of 5 stars

Dona Flor (Adriana Barraza) has worked at a government office for 35 years.  Dona’s just doing her job in a perfunctory way finding little enthusiasm on or off the job. She shows weariness in her face day in and day out. Why?  Well, in large part, because her daughter has drowned, but there’s no indication whether her daughter’s death was a month ago or twenty years ago.

Dona is a very lonely person: no friends or boyfriend to lean on. She’s no young person and when her cat mysteriously dies she seems even more depressed. Her clients at work seem like mechanical noise boxes and I was bored right her. Smothered by masses of people, largely women and children, getting on and off the crowded rail this lonely woman is oblivious to the distractions

Languages: Spanish in English subtitles. Running time: 90 minutes. Director:

Natalia Almada. Countries: Mexico/USA/France.

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Dave’s Dumpster – June 2017

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Birthing the Seed

Largest Black Bean ever? Sacred to some Native American Tribes & regarded as “poor man’s meat” beans are rich in protein, supplying 1/3 of the essential amino acids to the corn, bean and squash trinity.

By Peter Molenaar

Two seasons ago, amidst the typically mottled ones, the harvest of Scarlet Runner Beans revealed two completely black seeds.  In their turn, these seeds would germinate and prove to be a new mutant strain.  Will the largest black bean ever grown bear my name?

However, in this New World, horticultural advance must largely be credited to the practice of Native American women.  This is true, because the processors of the food were also the seed savers.  Her gift to us was not merely that of the various beans, but also the tomatoes, peppers, squashes, melons, potatoes, pumpkins…and she gave us corn!

We should pity the school child who has not been introduced to teosinte, the grass from which, by her hand, corn was born.  In the course of thousands of years, the once separate seed strands fused to become the precursor to the cob.  Then, some 2,500 years ago, the modern cob emerged from Mexico.  Cast north by the awesome birch bark canoe, the seeds stabilized families and cities grew.

And then…

For a very long time things were mostly good, until an invasion of “well regulated militias” destroyed the fields.  This was done just before the harvest, for maximum effect…along with unspeakable atrocities.

And now…

In his speech before the National Rifle Association, the President of the United States referred to Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahantas.” Yes, Elizabeth acknowledges her Native ancestry.  She will run against Donald Trump in 2020 and she will have my vote.

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Frank Reflections – June 2017

BY FRANK ERICKSON

I asked Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal about these rising rent costs in the Twin Cities.  Her response was, “the rising costs of rent are based on what the market will bear.”

How absurd and cruel to believe that the payment of an ever increasing rental amount is an affordable and “bearable” amount—simply because it was paid. Many of us renters will cut back on food, medical care, and turning on the heat because the money is needed for a higher rent.

Even if they can’t afford it, renters will find a way to pay rent; the roof over your head always comes first.  But even if you go hungry, the paying of your rent is seen as what “the market will bear.”  Capitalism is beyond sick, it allows humans to not be human… “I’m not greedy or wicked it is what the market will bear.”

Landlords hold renters hostage.  Hey all raise their rents simultaneously to a “market value” rent. Where are renters to go?  There is no place to go.  They practice collusion, they band together, and you pay the “market value” extortion rate or live under a bridge.

If you don’t pay, the sheriff will help you move out.  If you pay, you have participated in establishing the new “market value” rate.   What are you to do?  They’ve got you! You’re screwed either way!

We renters have no rights. We are just seen as cash machines for the landlords; seen as less than human.

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It Is Summer and We Are GROWING THE BACKYARD! Check out the activities of this Community Health Action Team (CHAT) in the following images !!!!

BUILDING COMPOST BINS

Building compost bins in Paradise Gardens, East 34th Street and Chicago Avenue South

BUILDING COMMUNITY AND PLANTER BOXES

COMING SOON…

Produce stand at the Midtown Global Market

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Amos Yancy: A Slave, A Soldier, A Free Man.

Amos Yancy learned of the formation of colored regiments in Missouri (perhaps from an advertisement like the one above) and must have realized that this would be his opportunity to escape the bonds of slavery. On May 30, 1864, at the age of 18 years, Amos enlisted in the 18th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops as noted on the Enlisted card, right; thus guaranteeing his freedom at the end of his service.

By Timothy McCall, Guest columnist

From its inception, the Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery has been a non-denominational, racially integrated cemetery. A racially integrated cemetery in the early 1860’s, was not a common occurrence. While we don’t have a precise count on the number of African-Americans buried here (an ongoing project), undoubtedly, there are more than a few that were ex-slaves. One such person recently re-discovered is Amos Yancy.

Amos was born into slavery, escaped to fight in the Civil War, came to Minnesota in search of a better life for his small family and died here, a free man.

From the moment of Amos’ birth in Monroe County, Missouri in 1846, he was considered someone’s property. We may never know the names of his parents, but we do know the names of the two families who once owned him, the Scobys and the Heizers.

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census-Slave Schedule, lists seven slaves belonging to John Scoby living in Monroe County, Missouri. Three were female, four were male and their ages ranged from one to twenty-two years. The Slave Schedules generally didn’t list the individual slave’s name, but grouped them under the name of the owner. The census did, however, list other important details, including: the slave’s age, sex and color (Black or Mulatto).

The person we’re interested in is a three-year old, mulatto boy. John Scoby died in 1851 and his wife Elizabeth followed him two years later. After Elizabeth’s death, an auction was held on August 1, 1853 by Sheriff Marion Biggs to liquidate the Scobys estate. It was at this auction that Amos, now seven years old, was purchased by Joseph Heizer.

Joseph Heizer was born in Virginia and had taken up farming in Kentucky before moving to Missouri. By 1860, Joseph and his son John, were farming 540 acres in Monroe County, where they owned 5 slaves, including Amos, now 14 years old. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paradise

“Paradise” (2016)

*****

A riveting story about a young Russian aristocrat, Olga (Yuliya Vysotskaya), is sent away to a concentration camp where she faces unspeakable circumstances. She has joined the French Resistance to save as many Jews as she can from extermination only to be captured and interrogated for the “crime” of hiding Jewish children.

Olga meets a handsome man, Khelmut (Christian Clauss), at an outing in the 1930s.They would meet again only this time the man is an upcoming German SS officer who is even invited to Heinrich Himmer’s (Viktor Sukhorukov) suite. Khelmut and Olga rekindle their love from the earlier time. To her surprise, he offers her an escape route at the time the Nazis are beginning to realize defeat may be near. However, what seems to be a window of escape becomes more communicated. (Lushly filmed in black and white.)

Cast: Yuliya Vysotskaya (Olga), Plilippe Duquesne (Zhyul), Christian Clauss (Khelmut), Jean Deni Romer (Shulman), Jakob Diehl (Fogel), George Lenz, Irinda Demidkina (Okhrannitsa Tyurmy), Caroline Pietta Zhyustina), Anna- Mariya Danilenko (Babish), Vera Voronkova (Roza),Yaroslav Khimchenko, Anastasiya Serova. Running time:130minutes.Languages: German, Hungarian, French, Yiddish with English subtitles. Cinematographer: Aleksandr Simonov.

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Beyond Word Magic

In The Alley Newspaper April 2017 issue, nestled between front page columns authored by good neighbors, a letter from the President of the United States was found! If overwhelming disdain did not prevent the reading, the ensuing wall of cognitive dissonance was likely to cut it short. Yet, I read on and on…to discover, deep on page 8, the credit to a former president, Dwight Eisenhower.

“Hey, that was his ‘beware of the military industrial complex speech,’” replied the editor. Okay, I sort of get that. Bush-type presidents have big investments in arms production, so we fought Osama in Iraq, or something like that, making jobless generals to build an Isis with enough poison gas to create false flags in Syria (see what Daddy can do!).

However, check out Ike, line 1: “Throughout America’s adventure in free government…” Oh, gosh, golly. In the beginning , white property holders convened to establish the rule of law (in preference to the practice of gun duels). Such was the origin of “bourgeois-democracy.” Then later, in stages, more or less the rest of us won the right to vote, even as the money power ruled on, more or less. So, to make my point, a modern capitalist state unfettered by democratic constraint, would be a fascist state…yes then, we would have a “free government!”

Philosophical note: A “workers’ state,” bound to the consent of elected workers’ councils, would constitute a higher form of democracy.

Then, after throwing down “liberty,” “dignity,” and “integrity,” Ike continues: “Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world [1961] …we face a hostile ideology…atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method.” He was referring to advocates of socialism, such as myself.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Frank Reflections – May 2017

BY FRANK ERICKSON

How can the forced removal of a doctor from an airplane get more press coverage and national outrage than a U.S. missile attack on Mosul, Iraq that killed 140 civilians? It appears the world revolves around America.

And then the U.S. government drops a 22,000 pound bomb on Afghanistan. They can’t be stupid enough to believe that such a bomb is going to pave a path to peace.

The government wants “war,” the confusion, the madness, and the broken-hearted desperate acts of those seeking revenge. The U.S. government wants to provoke and incite more enemies. What else is a 22,000 pound bomb about? They provoke to get a violent response as justification to use their military violence to control and dominate the world.

The U.S. government’s behavior is proof they want enemies. They want to stir it up, but with only those that are defenseless.

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SPRING RENEWAL with Latino Environmental Health Begins At Home A Community Health Action Team (CHAT) of the Backyard Initiative

Bertha Medina, Latino Environmental Health Begins At Home (LEHBAH) CHAT leader talks with families about safe cleaning products outside of her beauty shop on Lake Street.

The Latino Environmental Health Begins At Home (LEHBAH) CHAT works with Latino families to learn how they can contribute to creating a healthy environment for their families and community. The first stage of the effort is to teach Latinos how to make healthy products to clean the home and to support each other to maintain a healthy environment.

LEHBAH’s vision is to improve the health of the Latino adults and children by creating a healthier indoor environment for Latino families while building connections and community between families. We have trained over 100 people during the last several years. Through the efforts of our BYI Community Health Action Team, we have developed curriculum for the Latino community on safe household cleaners. We have also trained a team of people to become trainers who conduct a healthy home audit and clean kitchens with natural products.

Work sessions are held in people’s home who have signed up to have their kitchen cleaned. Participants learn: 1) to create cleaning products from natural, environmentally safe ingredients; 2) where they can buy the ingredients and how to use them; 3) what the benefits (inexpensive and healthier) are for using these products instead of their usual products 4) to draw on their cultural traditions and backgrounds as healthy resources; and, 5) to reframe or redefine what “clean” means. For example, a product that attacks germs in a kitchen might mean the product is also doing harm to one’s body, especially children. Many simple products like soap, water, vinegar, etc., can destroy germs. Read the rest of this entry »

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