Supreme Irony

Dear Friends,

{Reminder: FILE A PETITION TO INTERVENE ON THE PIPELINE!! You have until July 27 to get the full volume of your voice heard in Iowa Utilities Board deliberations on the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline. Click here for a copy of the petition.}

Ah, political irony! You know it’s been a wacky week when the so-called conservative U.S. Supreme Court is your friend and so-called liberal President Obama isn’t. Consider the Court’s rulings on:

– The Affordable Care Act. In Iowa, 40,000 of us earning less than $47,000 a year will still be able to afford health insurance.

– Marriage equality. Eighty percent of Iowans say gays and lesbians marrying has either a positive impact or no impact at all on their lives. With SCOTUS’ ruling for marriage equality in all 50 states, maybe the rest of the country will come to the same conclusion, and, like interracial marriage, we can put this issue behind us.

Housing discrimination. SCOTUS determined that housing discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal.

All three rulings benefit Americans who largely voted for President Obama. While the Supreme Court was hard at work delivering hope and change to the President’s base, what was the President himself up to?

Why, he was busy cramming the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress, despite strong opposition from Tea Party Republicans, House and Senate Democrats and the vast majority of Americans. Referred to by some as NAFTA on steroids, “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its cross-hairs,” wrote Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

And as Bill Curry writes in Salon, “Few in or out of politics grasp the TPP’s epic scope. This is partly due to the secrecy in which it is shrouded but also to how both sides have framed the debate. At stake are rules governing a quarter of all world trade. These rules may well supplant those in other trade agreements and so affect nearly all global trade. But that’s not the all of it, not by a long shot.”

Yup. So much irony, so little time. During one rapid-fire hour today, Dr. Charles Goldman and I will discuss the Supremes – not Diana Ross, but the rulings on Obamacare, marriage equality, and nondiscrimination in housing. Writes Charles, “Justice Scalia appears to be apoplectic over his high deductible policy.” Maybe we should all be apoplectic over TPP.

Join us live from 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Bullies

Dear Friends,

Business and political leaders in Iowa have been outspoken against bullying – a problem in our classrooms, on our playgrounds and in our streets. But these same leaders ignore – and actually enable – the corporate bullying tactics of Dakota Access in its aggressive push to build the Bakken Oil Pipeline.

This was on my mind this morning when, through bleary eyes, the above-the-fold Des Moines Register headline screamed at me:

“Firm: Most pipeline land secured”

Really? Sixty percent is “most?” If my kid leaves 40% of his dinner on his plate, he doesn’t get dessert. If I buy you a beer and you leave 40% in your glass, I’m unlikely to buy you another. “Most” involves a lot of grey area, but rarely does it mean a mere 60%.

Furthermore, as one reads the article, the 60% figure is highly disputed.

And as to the word “firm” – very clever double-entendre on the part of the Register’s editors, using a synonym for “company” that is never used in the article itself, while implying that the pipeline is a done deal.

There are two types of corporate bullying, and Dakota Access is good at both of them. First, there’s the direct approach:

– Tell farmers they should sign an easement or risk condemnation.

– Trespass on private property and wax defiant when confronted by landowners.

– Stockpile pipe on a central Iowa farm even before a permit has been granted.

Then there’s indirect bullying, getting others to do the bullying for you. Dakota Access’ billionaire owner, Kelcy Warren, has deep, deep pockets. He knows how to throw around his financial weight, to buy influence, to get others to either do his bidding or to meekly step aside and abdicate their responsibility to protect the public good. Consider that:

– Warren has bought off labor unions – and along with them, the state’s Democratic leadership – with the promise of a handful of temporary jobs.

– He’s bought off the state’s Republican leadership with campaign contributions.

– Though we can’t see the smoking gun, he’s silenced the leadership of Farm Bureau, who historically would be front-and-center in any battle to protect private property from eminent domain.

– And it’s likely that Warren has bought off some of the corporate media through advertising revenue, although again, there is no discernible smoking gun . . . at least not yet.

Part of the problem is that the corporate bully is harder to identify than the playground bully. When the latter comes at you, the meanness in his eyes tell you you’re about to get your butt kicked. The corporate bully on the other hand smiles, wears a suit, drives a nice car, looks respectable.

And his victim doesn’t sport a black eye when the bully moves on to his next target. Yet a black eye will heal far more quickly than the wounds Dakota Access threatens to inflict on our farms, our water, and our planet.

My life this year has been committed to stopping the Bakken Oil Pipeline. The work I feel called to do springs from my passion for our Earth, land and water. Yet as I walked 400-miles along the route of the proposed pipeline in March and April, my passion grew to embrace the hundreds of people I met along the way – farmers and landowners adamantly opposed to having their land condemned for a pipeline, even as some felt they had no option but to sign an easement.

I heard story after story of the bullying tactics of Dakota Access, its representatives and its surrogates. Headlines such as the one in today’s Des Moines Register are designed to cause despair, to make us abandon hope.

Don’t! This fight is far from over. As the battle shifts from legislative chambers to the Iowa Utilities Board office and Iowa’s courtrooms, never forget that on our side we have truth in a just cause. I leave you with this quote from Gandhi:

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”

Join us live today on The Fallon Forum, Monday, June 22, 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts are available at www.fallonforum.com.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Call Branstad on eminent domain bill

For over a decade, my farmer friends in Clarke County have been battling to stop the abuse of eminent domain for a recreational lake along Coyote Canyon. This year, a bill that would provide some protection to landowners – SF 449 – passed and is now on Governor Branstad’s desk. SF 449 would hold developers responsible for the amount of acres actually needed for a water supply, and would also require them to investigate alternatives so eminent domain would not have to be used.

The Governor has not yet indicated if he will sign or veto the bill, but he’s receiving huge pressure from local lake developers to veto it. On top of that, this is a pet project of Lt. Gov. Reynolds, so perhaps she also is encouraging a veto.

Please call (yes, call, because the Governor does not have an email address) Governor Branstad and ask him to sign SF 449 to help farmers in Clarke County who do not want their land condemned for a lake. Call his office at (515) 281-5211, and remind him that last year he ran an attack ad implying his SUPPORT for private property rights. Let’s hold him accountable to what amounted to a campaign promise! Thanks – Ed

Action worth more than talk

Dear Friends,

Sanders at Drake

Bernie Sanders speaks at Drake University this past weekend.

Whether it’s a seat at City Hall or residency in the White House, the lure of public office is powerful. In the desire to win, politicians utter all manner of things they don’t believe, won’t do or simply can’t accomplish. One of my all-time favorites is Terry Branstad promising population growth in all 99 counties. I never knew quite how Branstad planned to accomplish that. Apparently, neither did he.

It’s not hard to imagine why candidates for President would spend tens of millions of dollars redesigning their image and message if they and their handlers thought it would improve marketability to voters. Indeed, the country is now infested with political consultants getting rich providing such a service.

O'Malley at Pride Parade

Martin O’Malley was the lone presidential candidate with a presence in Des Moines’ Pride Parade.

So, how does the responsible voter sort fact from fiction, sincerity from pandering, deliverable promises from marketing ploys? How do we select the presidential candidate most likely to do what he or she says they’ll do? Easy answer, really: pay more attention to what they’ve done than what they say.

Easy answer, sure, but easier said than done. You’ll find occasional tidbits of substantive discussion about issues in the corporate media, particularly in print, but not enough. Being a responsible early-state voter requires digging, analysis and relying on advocacy organizations that care more about issues than personalities, organizations that have the time and resources to dig into this stuff.

Perhaps this is obvious advice, but it’s a matter of being a good shopper. You buy a used car, you not only kick the tires and check under the hood, you find out how it performed over the course of its life. Voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada have a unique opportunity to test drive the next President. Along with that opportunity comes great responsibility. America is counting on us to invest the time and energy needed to choose wisely.

On today’s Fallon Forum:

(1) What do Pope Francis, Walmart and dead chickens have in common?

(2) In Caucus Buzz, we look at recent happenings for the four declared (or virtually declared) Democratic candidates for President: Webb, Sanders, O’Malley, and Clinton.

(3) Reverend Hugh Stone joins us to talk about the struggle within the United Methodist Church over GLBT equality.

(4) Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska and I compare notes on pipeline activism, and discuss how ethanol is entering into the conversation.

(5) We’ll look at the EPA’s recently-released study on fracking, which some are calling an industry sell-out.

Join us live on Monday, June 15, 11:00-12:00 noon CDT on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts are available at www.fallonforum.com.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Wearing my thistle proudly

Dear Friends,

Last month, when I asked Governor Branstad to meet with me to discuss the Bakken Oil Pipeline and the eminent domain bill, I believed that – historically at least – we had two things in common: (1) Criticism of Big Oil, and (2) Support for property rights and limiting the power of eminent domain.

Well, on Sunday, the Governor and I achieved a new milestone in common ground: We both received a thistle from The Des Moines Register. I’ll let the Governor fight his own thistle-battle. Regarding mine, the Register accuses me of wanting to “punish all politicians who don’t agree with {my} crusade against an oil pipeline.”Thistle

Not true. I’m smarter than that, as the Register concedes (“Fallon is a smart fellow”). I don’t want to punish all politicians who disagree with me on the pipeline. I just want to send enough packing to change the political dynamic at the Statehouse, to let elected leaders know that people are tired of being taken for granted.

And it’s not just me that feels this way. Two days after the announcement of the campaign to target a few key lawmakers, $4,500 in unsolicited donations was pledged to the effort!

The goal is very strategic: defeat one or two majority party members in both the House and Senate. That would send a strong message to leaders in both parties that if they refuse to do what’s right for Iowa’s people, our land and our planet there will be political consequences. (Read the full statement and tell me if you agree.)

If this strategy works and forces politicians to take more seriously the will of the people on eminent domain, it sets a precedent that they’d better take us seriously on other key issues as well.

The Register also says that the eminent domain bill in question would “make it next to impossible for pipeline companies to secure needed right of way.” It’s hard to see how they came to that conclusion. Sure, a lot of us want a bill that does just that.  But this bill is a compromise. It sets a higher bar and creates a more level playing field, giving landowners some protections and a fighting chance against the power of a corporation owned by one of America’s richest tycoons.

The Register also says I should “{know} better than to judge politicians on a single issue.” Constituency and advocacy groups target resources in political campaigns based on a single issue all the time. And if an issue is important enough, there’s no reason it should not be the litmus test for whether or not a politician deserves reelection.

What truly boggles the mind is that in the very same section of Sunday’s paper, the Register talks about the importance of America “reducing its reliance on coal and oil that contribute to climate change.” What a disconnect! Now, The Register is a smart fellow. It seems to understand the urgency of the climate crisis. Yet it supports building an oil pipeline? Go figure.

We’ll discuss this further on today’s Fallon Forum. Also on the docket . . . ethanol, the new EPA rules on renewable fuels, and the latest buzz on the Iowa Caucuses. Join us live on Monday, June 8, 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts are available at www.fallonforum.com.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Register Gives Me A Thistle

{As it appeared in the Sunday, June 7 2015 Des Moines Register}

Branstad should know: Diet soda won’t make us healthiest state

By the Register’s editorial staff

A thistle to Gov. Terry Branstad for signing on to a soft-drink industry campaign to dodge responsibility for America’s obesity problem. To be sure, the governor deserves heaps of praise for his Healthiest State Initiative (even if he set an unrealistic goal of being No. 1 in the nation). But part of that strategy should be an honest acknowledgement that sweetened soft drinks are a major factor in weight gain. The industry obviously wants to be seen as getting out in front of this issue, which is fine. But a governor who wants to lead Iowa to being the healthiest state in the nation should be more skeptical of claims that we can get there by simply cutting back on sodas or switching to diet drinks. Nor is advocating bottled water a better option: Tap water is far cheaper and just as pure, if not more so. Besides, the last thing Iowa ditches and landfills need is more empty plastic bottles.

A thistle to former state Rep. Ed Fallon of Des Moines, who wants to punish all politicians who don’t agree with his crusade against an oil pipeline. Fallon and other opponents of the proposed pipeline wanted the Legislature to pass a bill raising the bar on eminent domain powers, which would make it next to impossible for pipeline companies to secure needed right of way. The bill looked to be dead last week, so Fallon announced he will raise money and campaign to unseat legislators who opposed the bill. Fallon is a smart fellow, and we have praised him in the past for his principled dedication to a cleaner environment, but he knows better than to judge politicians on a single issue. Meanwhile, the legislation as proposed would make an unwise change in state law that could bar all utility projects, regardless of their merits.

A rose to fans of the old Riverview Park who are dedicated to preserving memories of the amusement park. Established 100 years ago, Riverview Park was tucked in between a lagoon and a sharp bend in the Des Moines River on the city’s north side. It was a popular destination for families, youngsters seeking thrills on the roller coaster and couples who danced away summer evenings at the Riviera Ballroom. Although it has been closed since 1978, Highland Park and Oak Park neighborhood groups and others have doggedly worked to redevelop the site. The latest concept is a park with a stage for weekly summertime concerts, shelter and playground. The Parks Area Foundation is hoping to raise $4 million for the project. “We’re shovel-ready,” foundation secretary Pam Thompson told the Register’s Timothy Meinch. “We’ve got all the drawings completed, our website [www.riverviewparkdsm.com] and everything. We just need the money.”

Political Action to Stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline

Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 10:30 a.m., Iowa State Capitol
Statement from Ed Fallon re:
Political Action to Stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline

The vast majority of Iowans overwhelmingly oppose letting a private corporation condemn farmland for an oil pipeline. Yet the Legislature’s leadership – both Republican and Democrat – refuses to bring up the eminent domain bill for a vote.

Thousands of Iowans have spoken out against the pipeline and in support of SF 506 and HSB 249. We have written our lawmakers, the Governor, the Iowa Utilities Board and our local newspapers. We have spoken out at public forums. Landowners have gone so far as to record conversations with pipeline representatives, called their county sheriff to prevent pipeline workers from trespassing on their property, hired attorneys, and many more actions that are courageous and commendable.

For my part, I walked 400 miles across Iowa along the path of the proposed pipeline and was arrested for refusing to leave Governor Branstad’s office. I am passionately committed to stopping this pipeline. As I considered what else could be done, I realized that our trump card is to hit the political leadership at the Iowa Statehouse on the two things they pay most attention to: money and votes.

So, today, I firmly commit myself to an action that will be more challenging and more time-consuming than walking across Iowa or getting arrested. Today, I commit myself to organizing landowners and other pipeline opponents to help defeat one or two Democratic Senators and one or two Republican Representatives who are opposed to the eminent domain bill.

The goal is to raise $25,000 for the opponent of each targeted incumbent and to train and organize 100 volunteers to knock on doors, make phone calls, and speak to small groups. We’ll put together a grassroots army of pipeline fighters. Iowa’s political establishment should take this effort very seriously, as defeating one or two incumbents could well change the balance of power at the Statehouse.

I am in a credible position to help lead this effort. When I ran for Governor and Congress, I raised half-a-million dollars in each campaign. Over the past three decades, I have helped organize literally thousands of volunteers on political and issue campaigns. And I don’t back down from a fight.

There is one caveat: If the House passes the bill, we won’t work to defeat one or two majority Republicans. Similarly, if the Senate passes the bill, we won’t work to defeat one or two majority Democrats. My sincere hope is that both chambers pass the bill and send it to the Governor. If the Governor signs it, great! If he vetoes it, then let this be the second time in the past decade that the Legislature overrode a governor’s veto on an eminent domain bill.

The proposed pipeline is wrong for so many reasons. It further exacerbates the climate crisis. It will cause great harm to Iowa’s waterways when it breaks – not if, but when. It further consolidates the unholy alliance of Big Oil and Big Government. And it sows despair among the many rural landowners and their urban allies who feel that the average person’s freedom and liberty doesn’t matter anymore and that big corporations with political connections and deep pockets can simply waltz-in and confiscate someone’s land.

One thing is more powerful than Big Oil and Big Government, and that is passionate people who are organized, unafraid, armed with truth, and willing to fight for freedom, liberty and justice.

Time for “trump card” on eminent domain bill

Dear Friends,

With the legislative session likely to end this week and the eminent domain bill languishing, it’s time to pull out all the stops. I ask you to do three things:

(1) Call or write your state senator to ask Senate leadership to bring up SF 506 for debate NOW! Similarly, call or write your state representative to ask House leadership to bring up HSB 249 for debate NOW! If you’re not certain who represents you at the statehouse, go to find your legislator.

(2) Tomorrow, I announce the “trump card” in this fight, one that I believe has the potential to finally convince Iowa’s political leadership to do the right thing and pass the eminent domain bill. Help me get the word out TODAY by cutting and pasting this press release and sharing it online and with your local media:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9:30 a.m. Monday,  June 1, 2015
Des Moines, Iowa
For more information, contact Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404

Fallon to announce 11th hour “trump card” strategy on eminent domain bill
“It’s time to hit elected officials where they are most vulnerable.”

Tuesday, June 2 at 10:30 a.m. outside Governor Branstad’s office (Room GO9), former Iowa lawmaker Ed Fallon will announce what he calls the “trump card” strategy to move the eminent domain bill (SF 506 and HSB 249) forward. The bill would establish a fairer, more level playing field and provide some protections to landowners along the path of the proposed Bakken oil pipeline. In April, the bill easily passed a subcommittee of the Iowa House and a full committee of the Iowa Senate. But it since has stalled out, and leaders in both chambers are preventing it from coming up for debate.

“The vast majority of Iowans are opposed to government allowing a private corporation to confiscate farmland for an oil pipeline that serves no public purpose,” said Fallon. “Thousands of Iowans have pleaded with lawmakers at the Statehouse and at meetings in their home districts. They have written letter after letter to legislators, Governor Branstad, the Iowa Utilities Board and local newspapers. For my part, I have walked 400 miles across Iowa and been arrested at the Governor’s office. Yet it all seems to fall on deaf ears.”

“Now it’s do or die,” concluded Fallon. “The bill has to pass this week or landowners along the path of the pipeline will not be given the consideration and help they deserve. It’s time to pull out all the stops and embrace a different strategy. It’s time to hit elected officials obstructing the bill where they are most vulnerable.”

At the press conference on Tuesday, Fallon will announce the details of that strategy and share a written statement.

# # # # #

(3) This coming Saturday, June 6, St. Paul, Minnesota hosts a regional anti-pipeline and tar-sands resistance mobilization that promises to be big and influential. That morning, I have been asked by Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska to co-facilitate a discussion with landowners throughout the Upper Midwest from 9:00-11:00 a.m. (location TBD). Click here to register to attend the meeting, and click here for more detail about the mobilization.

This week’s Fallon Forum can be heard live on Monday, June 1, 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. Call (515) 528-8122 to add your voice to the conversation. The program re-broadcasts Wednesday on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., and Wednesday on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m. Podcasts are available at www.fallonforum.com.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

Fallon to Hold Press Conference Prior to Court Appearance


On Wednesday, May 27 at 12:45 p.m. CDT on the south side of the Polk County Courthouse at 500 Mulberry Street in Des Moines, former Iowa lawmaker Ed Fallon and his attorney Joseph Glazebrook will announce how they intend to respond to the charge of trespass against Fallon for his refusal to leave Governor Branstad’s office last Monday while protesting the Bakken pipeline. Following the press conference, Fallon will appear with Glazebrook before a judge at 1:00 p.m. in Room 201 of the Courthouse.

On Monday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m., Fallon entered Governor Branstad’s office and informed staff that he would refuse to leave until the Governor met with him, heard the stories of the landowners in the path of the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline, and agreed to support the eminent domain bill (SF 506 and HSB 249). The Governor was in his office that day, but declined to meet with Fallon.

This will be Fallon’s second appearance at the Polk County Courthouse in response to a principled act of conscience. The first was in March of 2012, following his arrest as part of the Occupy movement, when on October 9, 2011, Fallon and 35 others refused to leave the public space on the west side of the State Capitol to demand that all levels of government respond to corruption on Wall Street and the growing crisis of income inequality. In response to that arrest, Fallon pled “not-guilty.” He was defended by Joseph Glazebrook. After a trial that lasted one week, Fallon was found “not guilty” by a jury of his peers on March 9, 2012.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the best course of action to take in response to my arrest last week at the Governor’s office,” said Fallon. “I take the matter very seriously, and have consulted not just with my attorney, Joseph Glazebrook, but with coworkers and others opposed to the Bakken Oil Pipeline as well.”

“Regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s hearing, I reiterate my commitment to doing everything I can to continue the fight against this pipeline, which is not only an assault on the land and livelihood of farmers and landowners across Iowa, but an assault on our environment and planet as well,” concluded Fallon.

Fallon served 14 years in the Iowa House, from 1993-2006. He ran for Governor in 2006 and U.S. Congress in 2008. Since 2009, he has hosted the Fallon Forum, a public affairs talk show available on three Iowa radio stations and online at www.fallonforum.com.

# # # # #

Next stop: Polk County Courthouse

Dear Friends,

My arrest at Governor Branstad’s office last Monday (Fallon sits-in at Governor’s office to stop pipeline) has landed me an appearance at the Polk County Courthouse this coming Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. Prior to that, attorney Joseph Glazebrook and I will hold a brief press conference on the south side of the Courthouse at 12:45 to announce how we plan to proceed. I’d love to have friends and fellow pipeline fighters join me for that. Please come if you are able.

I also want to tell you about my jail experience, which was both instructive and disturbing. There was a bit of humor, too, in that one of this pipeline fighter’s cell mates was . . . a pipe fitter! He and I actually hit it off quite well. I’ll save that conversation for today’s program (see below).

Here’s the lowdown on the Memorial Day edition of the Fallon Forum, which you can hear live 11:00-12:00 noon on KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines) and online. The program re-broadcasts Wednesdays on KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames) at 4:00 p.m., on KPVL 89.1 FM (Postville) at 7:00 p.m., and will be available as a podcast.

Dr. Charles Goldman co-hosts our Memorial Day special, and Charles’ brother (and Civil War expert) Stephen Goldman joins us by phone.

(1) We’ll reflect on Memorial Day and thank our veterans by taking a look at the highly-political origins of a day that is now, gratefully, above the political fray.

(2) But we wouldn’t want to let you down, so into the political fray we plunge with a look at the two presidential candidates vying for their respective families to achieve dynasty status: Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

(3) On a lighter (literally) note, we pronounce the final word on the “deflate-gate” non-scandal and the merciless skewering of Tom Brady, a.k.a, the best quarterback in the history of football.

(4) Ireland’s historic, resounding vote in support of gay marriage saw only one county vote in opposition: Roscommon. That’s where the Fallon clan hails from, and I hope to have one of my kinfolk join us on the phone to explain why out of 26 counties, Roscommon stood alone.

(5) Ever feel like you’ve had enough and just want your own country? Well, there’s precedent – most recently, the proposed country of Liberland.

(6) Avian flu is big news lately, diverting attention from the ongoing tragedy of rural schools closing as farm consolidation continues. Not surprisingly, the mainstream media missed the sad irony that one soon-to-be shuttered Iowa high school was offered $1 by, get this . . . a huge egg-factory producer that wants to turn the school into a bio-security facility.

(7) We’ll have an update on efforts to stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Those efforts are now front and center before Iowa lawmakers and Governor Branstad, as the legislative session shows signs of moving toward adjournment and SF 506 and HSB 249 continue to struggle for passage.

(8) And I’ll talk about my stay at the Polk County Jail.

And please do your part this week to help stop the Bakken Oil Pipeline. Take a moment to call or write your state senator and ask him or her to support SF 506, the eminent domain bill now eligible for debate by the full Senate. Please call or write your state representative as well and ask him or her to support the companion bill, HSB 249. And if you are not certain who represents you at the statehouse, go to find your legislator.

Thanks! – Ed Fallon