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Eric Paul Jacobsen

West Saint Paul, MN
Commenter for
5 years 23 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 04/12/14 at 08:31 am in response to Language use and misuse: 'Evolving' is one thing ...

"[L]anguage, in addition to being a means of communication, is an object of culture, a garden in which flowers coexist with weeds."

Prof. Anatoly Liberman teaches courses in linguistics, etymology, and folklore and has written extensively on the curiosities of English. He has also spoken on MPR, and I recall that he uttered something like the statement...

Posted on 04/11/14 at 01:40 pm in response to Minnesotans should know who's trying to influence our votes

I'm so glad to see that Common Cause and the League of Women Voters are still doing what they do best – agitating for improved democracy.

Corruption equals dollars divided by donors. The Supreme Court may have stopped us temporarily from limiting the number of dollars per donor. But it hasn't stopped us from demanding for all citizens the right to know who is spending millions to try to influence them anonymously with deceptively truthy, misleading, and manipulative ads that distort...

Posted on 03/25/14 at 09:24 pm in response to Conservatives push for campus guns

...unless we first make it illegal to conceal them.

Next to the "Stand Your Ground" law, the worst law recently proposed by the NRA and its minions is without a doubt the "Conceal Carry" law. In fact, without the Conceal Carry law, we would probably never have become paranoid enough to imagine that the Stand Your Ground law is a good idea.

Concealed firearms ought by reason to be banned everywhere, at all times and in all places, with exceptions made only for law-enforcement...

Posted on 03/17/14 at 02:31 pm in response to National Popular Vote plan is hardly a threat to democracy

When the Founders said "mob rule," they meant government that would directly represent people whom they pointedly denied the right to vote: women, Blacks, and in some cases white men without property.

When the Founders said "small states," they meant states whose voting populations were shrunk by unabashedly discriminatory state charters that withheld the right to vote from the majority of adult residents.

The Electoral College did indeed protect "small states" against "mob...

Posted on 02/28/14 at 09:34 am in response to Minnesotans at Obama's speech speak of hope and dreams

The article really cheered me up! Yes, even in spite of Frank J. Brown's testimony that racism still bites in Saint Paul. That testimony belongs in the portrait, but does no harm to the overall message hope. And may peace and good luck go with you, Mr. Brown.

I have to admire Evangelynn Dew and smile with her. In an article filled with dreams, I think her personal statement wins first prize. She came not only to express her appreciation for Obamacare, but to craft a message of...

Posted on 02/13/14 at 11:29 am in response to Ranked-choice voting shows split between races, economic status

A fair assessment of RCV would require, at a minimum, a comparison between the class and race-related discrepancies in voter participation in RCV elections and similar discrepancies in traditional elections. I don't see such a comparison yet in Jacobs and Miller's study. At the same time, I am very, very skeptical of the notion that class and race-related discrepancies in voter participation somehow never existed before there was RCV, or were somehow never a significant problem before....

Posted on 02/09/14 at 09:29 pm in response to Rep. Ellison's big idea for cleaning up campaign finance


There are two ways to solve the problem. One is to increase the number of campaign donors by giving them tax breaks, which seems to be part of the "Government by the People Act." I think that's fine, but a fairer and more effective solution would be to limit the number of dollars per donor, across the board. I made the following proposals over two years ago and still think they're pretty good.

1. I would allow...

Posted on 12/23/13 at 03:11 pm in response to Why DFL is (somewhat secretly) divided over ranked-choice voting

We can only hope that RCV establishes itself well enough that we shall be able to make the case for RCV with multi-member districts, or MIRV, as you call it. RCV is great for the election of a mayor or governor, but it doesn't change very much about elections to city councils, county boards, and legislatures, unless it is combined with multi-member districts.

In other words, like you, I support RCV particularly as a step toward proportional representation. I also think your...

The author's purpose was not merely, or even primarily, to express an opinion about radical conservatives. His purpose was to provide evidence in support of that opinion. There's a difference.

Posted on 11/18/13 at 12:50 pm in response to As health-insurance problems keep arising, Vermont offers a ray of hope

Thank you, Debra Axness, for your plain-spoken presentation of the facts that everybody should know. I am confident that within a few years, or a few decades at most, everybody WILL know what you know. The success of Vermont will become common knowledge. Someday, we will all wonder why we couldn't have created a single-payer system much sooner.

But of course, the reason is the reason Steve Titterud has given. The for-profit health insurance industry has a big advertising budget....