Catholic PAC has poured $1.2 million into pro-marriage amendment fight

Good piece by the Strib’s Baird Helgeson on the money stream flowing into the pro-marriage amendment campaign: “A report by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday said that the Catholic Church has contributed more than half of the funding into efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Minnesota Catholic Conference Marriage Defense Fund, a political committee created solely to raise money for the effort, has contributed half of the $1.2 million raised to support the measure, the report said. That group has collected $180,000 from dioceses around [the state] and the nation, along with more than $130,000 from the Knights of Columbus, the nation’s largest Catholic fraternal organization. The group’s fundraising includes $150,000 combined from dioceses in Crookston, St. Cloud and Winona.”

They missed peak color season, but Jay Cooke Park is opening again. Steve Kuchera of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Park visitors, however, will be restricted to driving into the park from the west, and only as far as park headquarters and the campground. It will be next year — or even 2014 — before Minnesota Highway 210 reopens to the public for its entire length through the park. While getting into the park will be more difficult for the foreseeable future, on Monday the park will reopen its office, interpretive center, campground and camper cabins to the public. Campsites and cabins will be available first-come, first-served through the end of the month. On Nov. 1, the state will begin accepting lodging reservations. The park will offer its first post-flooding naturalist program on Nov. 3. Perhaps most surprisingly, the park will reopen the bulk of its hiking trail system Monday.”

Co-ed bathrooms … in Moorhead. Ryan Johnson of the Forum papers writes: “The gender divide found in most bathrooms will soon be a thing of the past in one of Minnesota State University Moorhead’s residence halls. … Phillips said the idea for coed bathrooms goes back to 2009, when the housing department completed a housing master plan that set a goal of catching up to deferred maintenance on its aging buildings while offering students more options. She’s met with students since spring to discuss the different proposals from architects and said many liked the idea of upgrading to coed bathrooms that offer more privacy, including fully-enclosed toilet rooms and shower areas instead of the traditional stall walls. ‘The idea here was to increase privacy, making it much more private than you have in a community bath with stalls,’ she said.” Never mind privacy — have these people ever seen a college-age guy clean up after himself?

There are 23 … or 32 … Minnesota men mentioned in the Boy Scouts release of “perversion files.” The AP story says: “Thousands of pages from the Boy Scouts’ so-called ‘perversion files’ have been made public, and the files identify 23 Minnesota men from 13 communities. The files stretch from 1960 to 1984. They detail allegations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Eagan, Mounds View, St. Louis Park, Apple Valley, Maplewood, International Falls, Chisholm, Faribault, Rochester and Moorhead.”

WCCO-TV’s story says: “The list includes hundreds of names, including 32 Minnesotans. Of those 32 men, 17 were convicted or pled guilty of child sex abuse or child pornography charges. Officials said 15 of the men were investigated, but no charges were filed. In all, the documents name more than 1,200 scout leaders and volunteers.”

The GleanThis guy has already had a long run through the legal system. Now the Minnesota Supreme Court will hear his case. The AP says: “The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a former nurse convicted of searching out suicidal people in online chat rooms and encouraging them to commit suicide. William Melchert-Dinkel of Faribault was convicted in 2011 on two counts of aiding suicide. The Minnesota Court of Appeals in July rejected his argument that he was merely practicing free speech. In an order Tuesday, the state Supreme Court agreed to review the case. A date for oral arguments has not been set.”

St. Paul attorney Eric Nilsson offers his thoughts on our local classical music labor issues. In an MPR commentary, he writes: “There are three realities that all sides — musicians, managers and audiences — need to address. All three are fastballs with a nasty curve:

The first reality is this: However much it takes to become a top-flight classical musician, the performer can expect to earn only what the market is able and willing to pay. …

The first reality points to a second: to increase significantly society’s value perception of live, world-class classical music, greater exposure and appreciation (in that order) would need to occur in our schools, starting at kindergarten and continuing through college. The exposure would have to be via the core curriculum, not simply by casual, extracurricular band, choral, orchestra and individual instruction. …

The timeframe associated with the second reality — the links between exposure and appreciation; appreciation and support — leads to a third reality. To keep live, top-flight performances of classical music afloat today, we need to devise new approaches to how music-making by the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO is presented, marketed and financed.” Fine, but I’m not interested in listening to the SPCO play “The Music of ‘Glee.’ “

According to Frederick Melo of the PiPress, St. Paul’s city  parking ramps will lose $800,000 in revenue if the NHL lockout lasts all season: “St. Paul’s nine municipal parking ramps are generating cash at a stable clip. But they haven’t generated money for additional city projects other than the upscale Penfield housing development, as some city council members would like them to. As a result of the ongoing NHL labor strife, the city’s municipal parking ramp system is expected to lose $400,000 in projected revenue by the end of the year. If it lasts the entire season, the lockout could cost the city’s parking ramp and surface lot system as much as 10 percent, or $800,000, of its annual revenue.”

Aaron Klemz at notes the obvious irony in Minnesota cracking down on free online college courses: “[T]he Chronicle of Higher Education reported that the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) has banned Coursera, an online platform for free massive open online courses (MOOC’s) from operating in Minnesota. Coursera was sent a cease and desist letter from the OHE for failing to register as a higher education provider. Other MOOC platforms like edX and Udacity have yet to say if they’ve been sent similar letters. Keep in mind, Coursera’s courses do not lead to a degree or a credential (although it’s fair to say that several MOOC platforms are exploring the possibilities of doing that). This action has come in for some much deserved mockery around the nation. … But to my mind, the real reason that the OHE’s action is suspect is that they’ve done little to regulate the bricks-and-mortar (and online) for-profit colleges that operate in the state. … Rather than going after MOOC’s that provide free access to information, perhaps the OHE could direct its attention to the folks who are charging way too much for it.” Call Congressman John Kline. I’m sure he’s prepared to help.

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Comments (22)

  1. Submitted by Tim Walker on 10/19/2012 - 02:06 pm.

    Sure, pick on the easy targets …

    “Never mind privacy — have these people ever seen a college-age guy clean up after himself?”

    I got a chuckle out of that, but it also reminded me that surveys of hotel housekeepers almost invariably report that women are messier than men.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/19/2012 - 02:38 pm.

    re: The Perversion files

    …and yet, there are those banging on the walls and withholding funding to force BSA to accept homosexuals.


    • Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/19/2012 - 02:56 pm.

      Homosexuality and pedophilia

      are not synonymous, as you should well know, Mr. Swift.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/19/2012 - 03:02 pm.

        You’re right, James.

        But these are cases of pederasty, which is synonymous.

        • Submitted by Susan McNerney on 10/19/2012 - 03:33 pm.

          If you want to educate yourself on this topic,

          UC Davis, one of the nation’s leading research universities, has a useful summary of the research. Here’s the money quote:

          “many child molesters don’t really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes.”

          Gays and child molesters are oranges and very bad apples. There is no evidence that they have anything to do with each other.

          Another quote from that article answers the question straight on (pardon the pun):

          “Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).”

          The article also dismantles the Family Research Council’s reports piece by piece, pointing out that they tend to throw out a lot of footnotes to look scholarly but don’t provide real evidence.

          • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/19/2012 - 04:39 pm.

            Thank you, Susan

            for this clear and helpful explanation with a link to a reputable source.

          • Submitted by John Hottinger on 10/20/2012 - 02:36 pm.


            It’s nice to have reasoned, documented accurate social research information instead of the Bad Science stuff from the uninformed. Thank you for this sound addition to the discussion. It upgrades the discussion away from the biased.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/19/2012 - 03:47 pm.

          And so?

          So how does that justify the position of the organization to resist permitting participation by homosexuals? They’re not specifically excluding pederasts (and even typing that makes my head explode a little). Their policy excludes homosexuals.

          You agree the two are not synonymous. So what does the finding of pederasty within their ranks have to do with the overly-broad brush policy of excluding all homosexuals?

          (Asked somewhat tongue-in-cheek since I already know you consider homosexuality to be a moral aberration.)

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/19/2012 - 03:19 pm.

        You are correct

        But these are cases of pederasty which is synonymous, as you should well know, Mr. Hamilton.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/19/2012 - 03:34 pm.

          Synonymous with what?

          Most pederasts are heterosexuals.
          There is no correlation between sexual orientation and sexual predation.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 10/19/2012 - 03:58 pm.

          Just re-read what you wrote

          Did you just say that pederasty is synonymous with homosexuality? In that “All homosexuals are pederasts?”

          Is that what you said? Really?

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/19/2012 - 03:00 pm.

    I was going to enroll in a Coursera course

    but I guess I’ll have to spend my spare time suing the OHE first.

  4. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/19/2012 - 04:22 pm.

    The Boy Scouts of America

    I am sorry to have to write this, since I am a great believer in the scouts and benefited from membership.

    I hope that Mr. Swift now has a little better understanding of the relationship between pederasty, homosexuality, and pedophilia.

    As one of the commenter noted “gays and child molesters are oranges and very bad apples.”

    The BSA has been allowed, according to a Supreme Court decision in 2000, to choose it’s own membership.

    Unfortunately, the BSA has ALSO covered up the child molestation to preserve their public image.

    “At first blush, it sounds much like the sex-abuse scandals that rocked the Roman Catholic Church. The individuals entrusted with the care and nurturing of children allowed deliberately or through neglect the very opposite to occur. In fairness to the Boy Scouts, the files and allegations of sexual abuse do not represent the vast number of leaders in the organization.”

    Boy Scouts – Not morally straight or mentally awake

    Trying to obfuscate this situation by trying to blame it on “the gays” is simply pathetic.

  5. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/19/2012 - 04:39 pm.

    The key here is “…If…”

    I’m afraid Susan McNerney’s response, while admirably factual and to-the-point, is largely wasted effort, since Mr. Swift has demonstrated repeatedly over my years of reading MinnPost that facts are mere wisps of the wind to be brushed aside in favor of his own, apparently infallible, worldview. I see no evidence that he might wish to educate himself about the topic in question, since doing so might require him to change at least a couple of opinions that appear to be set in concrete.

    Another “…If…” concerns the orchestra(s) and St. Paul attorney Eric Nilsson’s take on music labor issues. Though I’m inclined to agree with the 3 points that he makes, I’d also add a 4th point, which I’ll be unable to state with any degree of elegance.

    The 4th point is that “classical” music is frozen in time. It’s a particular style – which many enjoy, though a sizable portion of that audience continues to age and die – played with particular instruments, some of which are inordinately expensive to both purchase and maintain, and limited to a particular interpretation of Western music and its scales. While it can be beautiful and stirring to those who appreciate it, there are also many intelligent, musically-literate people who are not particularly fans of “classical” music, and instead prefer to listen to – or to play – other styles, played on other instruments.

    Mr. Nilsson’s mention of “…society’s value perception…” of the music in question is a crucial issue not typically addressed in these kinds of discussions. That style of music makes up a portion – but only a portion – of my music collection, and I do not listen to it on a daily basis. Many others, some of whom are cultural barbarians (a term I like to reserve for myself, for the most part), others of whom are as educated and musically sophisticated as any audience, think of it as music of past centuries, by which I mean it’s interesting, and they appreciate the skill and knowledge required to play it well, but it doesn’t “speak” to them in ways that more contemporary music does.

    Personally, I really like string quartets and chamber music if I’m going to listen to “classical” music. I’m not a fan of orchestral “classical” music, and am not a potential customer or patron of any “classical” orchestra. What I listen to on a daily basis are electric blues, country/pop, and a smattering of rock from my own salad days of past decades. In addition to the fastball with a nasty curve, I think there might be a knuckleball in there somewhere.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/19/2012 - 07:06 pm.

      Classical, and all that jazz

      By ‘classical’ music, do you mean European orchestral music written between the Baroque and Romantic periods (e.g., Hayden, Mozart, early Beethoven), or more generally the music being performed by groups such as the Minnesota Orchestra and the SPCO?
      If the latter, there’s a great range these days.
      Does your chamber music listening include Schoenberg? Philip Glass?
      While I agree that classical music in the broader sense has an (unfortunately) limited audience, I’d say that it is less ‘frozen in time’ then most popular music.
      And then there’s jazz.
      On the broader issue, I agree that ANY music is entertainment to be valued for its own sake, not for any perceived social value (although classical music has been used to keep kids from hanging out in airports).
      I don’t think that any entertainment (and that includes athletics) deserves government support.
      I do find it personally regrettable that world class classical musicians are paid less than mediocre rock musicians and athletes, but that is ultimately society’s choice.

    • Submitted by Susan McNerney on 10/19/2012 - 07:08 pm.

      That’s all right

      I mainly put it up there for others to see…

      • Submitted by jody rooney on 10/21/2012 - 04:12 pm.

        My problem with the Orchestra is where they play

        Hassling Downtown Minneapolis to hear a live concert is just too much. Now if they played at the quarry in Sandstone or some other outdoor venue that would be great.

  6. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 10/20/2012 - 09:36 pm.


    I cannot speak to Minneapolis but my children had very nice exposures to the SPCO via school and personal visits. I wonder if there is not a slightly better way for them to settle. The local arts have suffered from the drop in funding from all sources. Don’t know which box they might be able to think outside of, but he they can.
    Maybe they will just have to repost the jobs at new salary levels and allow new competition. It is always hard to cut an expected salary.

  7. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/21/2012 - 01:01 pm.

    There is a difference

    between musicians.
    If the SPCO does repost jobs at new (i.e. lower) salary levels, they will attract less skilled/experienced musicians, and the quality of performance will suffer. One of the things that I savor after SPCO concerts (yes, I make a contribution as well as buying season tickets) is the precision of their performance, and the fact that they are good enough to be beyond simply playing the right notes, so that a good conductor can bring out nuances in a familiar piece that I hadn’t noticed before. This is worth something to me, and I am willing to pay for it.

    And yes, if ALL American orchestras cut their pay, then there won’t be price competition among them. However, classical music is international. On ranking violinist in the Minnesota Orchestra who I happen to know has just relocated to Zurich, where he got a better offer with more job security. So, it is possible that all American orchestras will become provincial, second tier groups, which could lead to a death spiral since people will be even less willing to pay for their performances.

  8. Submitted by john herbert on 10/24/2012 - 09:47 am.

    Catholic PAC

    But not one cent of my money! We actually resigned from our Parish last week over this and donated our “envelope’ to the food shelf. WWJD?

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/26/2012 - 08:55 am.

    We need to give thanks

    We’re actually quite fortunate to have commentators, columnists, and other contributors here that provide such wonderful examples of the deliberate ignorance and arrogance behind the Marriage amendment. The more they try to defend it the more obvious it is that stuff like this does not belong in our constitution. Thank Minnpost for providing a space for this diverse presentation of views.

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