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Well, I’m coming up on my last stop before a trip to The Big House. I’ll be tied-up in court most of this week, culminating in an appearance before a jury of my “peers” (meaning a jury comprised entirely of accordion players, I presume). Last fall, I pleaded “not guilty” to charges of trespassing on State Capitol grounds during Des Moines’ inaugural Occupy Wall Street protest. I feel my case – and the case of others who pleaded similarly – is quite strong.
Americans have a right to assemble to redress their grievances. Nowhere on State Capitol grounds is it posted that the public is not allowed after 11:00 pm. The State’s arrest of protesters who were non-violent and raising legitimate concerns about corporate and government corruption was out of line. Furthermore, since Governor Branstad has stated his clear objections to the Occupy Wall Street movement, his Administration’s response to the protest reeks of political motivation.
Yet despite what many of us consider a strong case, and despite solid legal representation from Joseph Glazebrook and Sally Frank, it’s impossible to predict the outcome, though I seriously doubt I’ll end up doing any jail time. I hope to keep interested parties updated on the proceedings through social media. And if you’d like to come to the Polk County Courthouse at any point over the next few days, I’d be thrilled to have supporters on hand.
Monday, presuming I’m still a free man, we kick-off the week with our small-business development forum: “Speaking Of Business,” with Sylvia DeWitt. Joining Sylvia is Mark Rogers, who owns Legends and Fire Creek Grill. Also Monday, Mark Rudd joins us in advance of his visit to Des Moines and Grinnell. Mark cut his activist teeth in the 1960s with Students for a Democratic Society and The Weathermen.
Tuesday, Charles Goldman and I discuss religion and politics. Is Obama’s so-called “War on Religion” really “Religion’s War on Women”? And is it time for Rush Limbaugh to end his long tenure of shameful misogyny, bigotry and hatred? If not, perhaps it’s at least time for the thinking public to boycott businesses that sponsor his drivel. And where are the Republican presidential wannabees in this controversy? They continue to attack President Obama over his policy on coverage for contraception, but are they willing to take on Limbaugh and the other voices of hate and intolerance?
Wednesday, speaking of “The Big House,” we talk about Iowa’s criminal justice system and Governor Branstad’s refusal to adequately staff two new prisons. Without proper staffing, these institutions will become warehouses with huge security concerns that offer no programs for education, rehabilitation and re-entry of prisoners. Of course, the new prisons are far bigger than what is truly needed, but we’re now stuck with them and they at least should be fully staffed. I want to thank Bill and Jean Basinger on behalf of Justice Reform Consortium for helping to sponsor this show.
Thursday, Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan joins us to discuss the recent Attorneys General Bank Settlement and the foreclosure crisis. Many feel the bank settlement is woefully inadequate, and that it will benefit precious few homeowners or former homeowners who lost their homes due to wrongful actions on the part of banks. We’ll get Patrick’s take from the inside as someone who worked diligently on the settlement for the better part of four years.
So, join the conversation Monday – Thursday from 7:00-8:00 pm at 98.3 FM and online. Call-in at (515) 312-0983 or toll-free at (866) 908-TALK. You can download the Fallon Forum as a podcast, too. And don’t forget to visit The Fallon Forum website at fallonforum.com. Thanks!