Today’s UpTake: Bachmann and Clark Finally Face Off

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Just seven days separate us from the midterm elections, and at long last, we’ll get to watch Democratic-Farm-Labor (DFL) challenger Tarryl Clark (and Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson) take the fight to Tea Party-backed incumbent Michele Bachmann. The Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District hopefuls will debate today at 12:30 p.m. in St. Cloud, and you can watch the action live on The UpTake. Tonight, you can also watch gubernatorial candidates Mark Dayton, Tom Emmer and Tom Horner face off at 7 p.m. at Mankato State University.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Public Radio will air a debate at 11:30 this morning between Minnesota 3rd Congressional District candidates, Jim Meffert (DFL) and Erik Paulsen (Republican), but we’re unable to offer a live feed. Meffert and Paulsen will also debate tomorrow at the Edina Chamber of Commerce, but we won’t be able to broadcast this because the 21st-century media will be handcuffed on site. Chamber President Arrie Larsen Manti says no cameras (video or still) or audio recording devices by news media or anyone else will be allowed at the event.

Yesterday we posted another video from last week’s 2010 Food Security Coalition conference in New Orleans — this one featuring members of the global farmers’ rights organization Via Campesina and participants in this summer’s U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, who gathered to discuss food sovereignty and how food access relates to social justice.

And as we continue to follow the saga of the Minneapolis peace activists who were raided by the FBI last month and issued subpoenas to appear before a grand jury (contrary to mainstream media reports, those haven’t been revoked), it’s worth reading this alarming story in Sunday’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In it, John Radsan, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law and former federal prosecutor for the CIA, explains how those who provide minor assistance to a group defined as a terrorist organization by Washington are vulnerable. The assistance they provide, according to Radsan, could free other resources (for Hamas, for example) to make bombs or train fighters. Organized advocacy for such groups can free up their resources. “It is a continuum, and the material support statutes sit on that continuum,” Radsan said. “The law doesn’t criminalize thoughts, but it doesn’t wait for the explosion.”

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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