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Worker-owner at Agaric web development collective, co-author of the Definitive Guide to Drupal 7, and person who gives a damn about justice, liberty, and gaining the most power possible for all people over our own lives.

benjamin melançon

Preventable deaths of women giving birth—especially black women—is a tragic shame of US health care

benjamin melançon

There's a whole movement to get tech companies to stop selling services to government agencies doing particularly terrible things, like tearing parents from their children, and it's actually working. Weigh in:

Support of tech workers has been crucial in the effectiveness of these campaigns:

benjamin melançon

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approves Enbridge's "need" for an oil pipeline sure to bring environmental destruction near and far, if it isn't stopped.

benjamin melançon

Minneapolis police murdered another young Black man last night.

Reportedly he was briefly tortured first with powerful electrical shocks delivered through sharp, barbed electrodes. The use of these electroshock weapons, Tasers, are common in police departments across the United States.

There is not yet evidence the murder was premeditated, but whether or not it was, the unnecessary shooting is another indication that the whole damn system is guilty as hell.

The community, minus some equivocation from its newly elevated elected representatives, is remarkably collected and cohesive in its response.

That this is not justifiable. That it was an act of cowardice by the police.

Being imperfect, having a gun (or having one placed next to you after you are dead), are not reasons for being murdered. The community stands ready to defend the victim from the smear campaign that police departments and

A man identified as Mel, a community organizer [ must be ], laid out to Unicorn Riot the unspoken subtext of events like these, that the lethal violence is one small part of a smothering repression:

Happens again and again. Common sense tells you this is on purpose. The reason the kid is laying in the street is because their real role is to show us whose boss. They shoot us every once in a while to let us know if we get out of hand this is what happens to you too.

benjamin melançon

Election theft doesn't get much more blatant than directly taking away people's access to cast a vote

benjamin melançon

Tax the goddamned rich. No one should lose their only home over unpaid taxes, unless that home's a mansion.

The reasons for reparations keep piling up.

benjamin melançon

Seems like it would be possible to sponsor an ad-free version of and get its necessary reporting to prisoners in Florida while the fight is taken to the Supreme Court @prisonlegalnews ?

benjamin melançon

Dear Canada: What the ever-loving-hell? Buying the most evil, climate-destroying project from one of the worst US companies in order to *complete* the project is *not* how to do socialism, environmentalism, hard-headed conservatism, or bloody anything.

benjamin melançon

Any Minneapolis / St. Paul people, including and especially the youth who are our future, interested in breaking into web tech? I've got an extra ticket to Twin Cities Drupal Camp June 7-10,

benjamin melançon

Minneapolis is too dependent on fees and fines, with the result that people with the least money bear a disproportionately high share of city costs. I suspect that unfair enforcement makes fines even more of a burden on the poor. (Fines, in general, are meant to be a deterrent and so should be proportional to income or wealth.)

The worst, as far as unfairness built right into the structure, is the "base fee" included in services. This fee should be paid through property taxes, which are proportional with local property wealth at least. To make matters worse, the base fee for trash (solid waste services) for instance includes all sorts of unrelated things that are blatantly unrelated services that should be paid for through general revenue:

* Graffiti response coordination
* Dirty collection point cleanups
* Illegal dumping cleanups
* Neighborhood CleanSweeps
* Litter container collection, maintenance, placement, and removal
* Requests for litter clean-up supplies
* Coordination of Adopt-a-Block, Adopt-a-Litter Container, Adopt-a-Recycling Container, Adopt-a-Street, Adopt-a Highway, Adopt-an-Ash Receptacle, and other community involvement programs.
* Customer service staff, fielding 1500-2000 calls per week for information, and complaints.
* Coordination of special events such as Hennepin County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collections, University move-out enforcement (Marcy Holmes, Southeast Como, Prospect Park), etc.
* Education program with direct mail pieces, maintenance of website, involvement with neighborhood and community meetings, and presentations to schools and civic organizations, etc.

Then there's the things built into the base fee that will mostly be used by wealthier people, like six vouchers per year for disposal of 2,000 pounds of excess garbage or debris, and two vouchers per year for disposal of 8 tires each time.

And finally, to add insult to injury, the cost of enforcement, which is really intrusive and yes i have personal complaints, is included in the base fee.

All detailed at