Northfield pub owner feels backlash over free speech

Good column from Jon Tevlin in the Strib on a Northfield pub owner’s clash with freedom of speech. “Norman Butler, owner of a small Northfield pub that holds regular community forums on compelling issues, said there is no truth to the rumor he’s now changing his name to the Discontented Cow. … when word got out that Butler invited conspiracy theorist Jim Fetzer to do a series of talks on historical events on which he holds controversial opinions, some customers revolted. They say that Fetzer is an anti-Semite because he also denies aspects of the Holocaust. Several residents sent notes to Butler saying they would stop frequenting his pub unless he canceled the talks.”

The Gov wants to boost the U of M medical school up into the top tierAbby Simons of the Strib says, “Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing that the state invest $30 million in the University of Minnesota Medical School in hopes of re-establishing its national prominence by restoring lost tenured faculty members. Dayton, flanked by students at the U Medical School, announced the plan as part of his full budget, expected to be revealed next week. The money, which would pay for 50 research faculty members over the course of eight years, improving research and attracting be best and brightest students. Dayton said the proposed $30 million — $5 million next year and $25 million in 2017 — would only be a start.”  

Can’t remember the last time I used one. The AP reports, “The annual arrival of a fat phone book on Minnesota doorsteps may soon be a thing of the past. The state Public Utilities Commission has proposed letting companies deliver residential phone directories electronically, sending customers a phone book only if they ask for one. The commission has already granted a few phone companies the ability to do that in recent years, and other states have done the same.” 

Exactly how often does this happen? Don Davis of the Forum News Service says, “Minnesotans lost their ability to protect livestock and pets when a federal court ordered wolves to return to the endangered species list, a Minnesota House committee heard Tuesday. ‘This is one of the top issues for our members,’ Thom Peterson of the Minnesota Farmers’ Union said. The state pays farmers when wolves kill livestock, but state Agriculture Department officials said that fund has been depleted.” To believe my Wisconsin neighbors there’s practically never a night that goes by without a cow or somebody’s kid getting dragged off.

An oak forest would be nice. For the Forum News Service, John Myers reports, “Minnesota’s northern forests will look much different in coming decades as a warming climate encourages tree species like oaks and maples and pushes others, including spruce and fir, out of the region. That was the finding of a University of Minnesota study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change that used growing plots near Cloquet and Ely and added the amount of warmth expected later this century.”

Also in the realm of peer-reviewed scientists: Sam Gomberg at the Union of Concerned Scientists says, “A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows how strengthening Minnesota’s renewable energy standard (RES) can drive billions of dollars in new private capital investment and create a cleaner, more diverse, self-reliant electricity system in the state. Minnesota can achieve this future at virtually no additional cost because of the state’s robust and cost-effective renewable energy resources.” 

Way to go, dad. For KMSP-TV Lindsay LeBelle writes, “A Prior Lake, Minn. father is calling out his daughter’s bullies on YouTube, Snapchat evidence and racist voicemails included. In a nearly 6-minute YouTube video, father Brad Knudson opens by saying his words aren’t scripted, but they’re emotional. ‘We have a very beautiful African American daughter that we were very fortunate enough to adopt 11 years ago. We’ve dealt with a little bit of racism, you know, stares, things like that when she calls us mom or dad, but she didn’t notice so we just blew it off because it was directed towards us,’ he says in the video.

They didn’t ask me. C.J. Sinner at the Strib says, “Minneapolis diners are apparently no longer excited by ‘bacon anything,’ according to a new trends survey by Zagat, a restaurant guide and ratings company. Their 2015 survey gathered responses from more than 10,000 people in 17 major metro areas across the country, touching on types of cuisine, biggest annoyances and food trends. Minneapolis led the nation’s metro areas with 50 percent of respondents saying they were ‘over’ bacon as a food trend. We’re still into beets, however, (tied with San Francisco for first place) and are among the top three metro areas to still love Brussels sprouts (behind Boston and Austin, Texas), the survey reveals.” Not to mention grape salad.

Both sad and sweet. Janae Hackensmith of the Austin Daily Herald writes, “Myron and Betty Young spent more than 67 years together and they weren’t going to spend many days apart. Myron died Jan. 11, and Betty passed away two days later on Jan. 13. ‘We have a theory that somehow someway in their own way, my dad must have said, ‘You know what, Betty, I’m going to go. You come a few days later,’ daughter Mary Beth Norris said.”

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Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 01/21/2015 - 02:16 pm.

    So, this isn’t about the quality of the med school.

    It’s about research money and prestige.

    “The Medical School, which ranked in the top 15 in National Institute of Health funding in the 1970s and 80s, has since dropped to 30th nationally, and 12th among public medical schools—resulting in a drop in NIH funding. Officials blame the drop in 90 tenured and tenure track faculty from 1995-2001. U of M Medical School Dean Dr. Brooks Jackson said restoring the faculty could boost Minnesota’s ranking from 30th to 20th in as little as five years.”

    Let’s take a look at this. The U ranked in the top 15 IN NIH FUNDING and has since dropped to 30th IN NIH FUNDING “resulting in a drop in NIH funding”? I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m pretty sure you can’t blame a drop in funding for a drop in funding.

    Are they telling us that the drop in funding was because the people who left were the ones getting NIH funding and the people we have now can’t get as much?

    Is the U med school supposed to be a research school or a teaching school?

    How good is good enough? 12th among public med schools strikes me as pretty good.

    How much NIH funding have we lost and will any increase be more than we invest?

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/21/2015 - 02:18 pm.

    Bacon

    I try to limit my bacon to a once-a-week treat, if that often. Beets, however, are meh, at best, and only genuine starvation would find me voluntarily eating a Brussels sprout.

    • Submitted by Larry Moran on 01/21/2015 - 02:40 pm.

      I agree–the only way to eat Brussels sprouts is with bacon!

    • Submitted by Lora Jones on 01/21/2015 - 03:16 pm.

      I used to feel the same about brussels sprouts

      until I discovered them this way: slice them horizontally, sauté them in butter (preferably) or olive oil, squeeze on a bit of lime juice and some salt and they’re absolutely delicious. If you come across them on sale (this week at Cub), buy just a handful and try it. It made me change my mind.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 01/21/2015 - 09:34 pm.

      Food!

      I’ve loved beets ever since I was a little kid, gobbling them up by the plateful at family gatherings. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, are second only to cocktails as my favorite food. A little olive oil, salt, & pepper and roast them in the oven for a while to bring the sugars out and there’s nothing finer! My wife and I call them adult candy.

      I’m not sure about buying them at Cub though–their produce isn’t that good. Whole Foods is my place to go for high quality and fresh veggies.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 01/21/2015 - 02:44 pm.

    So, this isn’t about the quality of the med school.

    It’s about research money and prestige.

    “The Medical School, which ranked in the top 15 in National Institute of Health funding in the 1970s and 80s, has since dropped to 30th nationally, and 12th among public medical schools—resulting in a drop in NIH funding. Officials blame the drop in 90 tenured and tenure track faculty from 1995-2001. U of M Medical School Dean Dr. Brooks Jackson said restoring the faculty could boost Minnesota’s ranking from 30th to 20th in as little as five years.”

    Let’s take a look at this. The U ranked in the top 15 IN NIH FUNDING and has since dropped to 30th IN NIH FUNDING “resulting in a drop in NIH funding”? I’m no rocket scientist, but I’m pretty sure you can’t blame a drop in funding for a drop in funding.

    Are they telling us that the drop in funding was because the people who left were the ones getting NIH funding and the people we have now can’t get as much?

    Is the U med school supposed to be a research school or a teaching school?

    How good is good enough? 12th among public med schools strikes me as pretty good.

    How much NIH funding have we lost and will any increase be more than we invest?

    • Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 01/21/2015 - 08:22 pm.

      It isn’t that simple

      Teaching and research go hand in hand in medicine. Many researchers go on to create a tail of students, fellows and future researchers that add to the abilities and prestige of the school.

      The medical school does not receive as much public funding as many in the country, the research dollars add to reduce the infrastructure costs of the medical and research complex, money that is now coming out of the clinical practice income.

      This is an R&D investment, nothing more. And it is needed. Let me ask you one question, however. If you are sick or have an unusual condition, are you satisfied with a doctor who is 12th best? Or w old you rather have the best. That is what the University wants, to be one of the best again.

      What the school was and what it is now are starkly different. 20 years ago the U Medical School was a national and world leader. Today it has settled back into
      mediocrity. This is an attempt to reverse this.

      This is long overdue. And it pales next to a multibillion dollar to create a hospital vacation spa in Rochester. And what does that do for a medical school? Better latte spots?

  4. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/21/2015 - 04:48 pm.

    Freedom of Speech

    “…Several residents sent notes to Butler saying they would stop frequenting his pub unless he canceled the talks”.

    This has nothing to do with freedom of speech, which is at most a matter of custom, not law.
    The First Amendment to the Constitution says:
    “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”

    There’s nothing here saying that anyone is immune from the social or economic consequences of their speech.
    In fact, constraining an individual’s right to patronize a particular business (for whatever reason) could be construed as a violation of their freedom of assembly!

    • Submitted by Matt Becker on 01/21/2015 - 08:46 pm.

      That’s what I came here to say

      Every time you misuse the phrase “freedom of speech” it weakens our actual freedom of speech.

      • Submitted by Tim Walker on 01/22/2015 - 07:17 am.

        But the article and its headline did not refer to *First Amendment* freedom of speech, which of course does spell out the prohibition of government suppression, so both of you are jumping to conclusions.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/22/2015 - 09:15 am.

          What other kind

          of ‘freedom of speech’ is there?
          You’re repeating my point.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/22/2015 - 04:37 pm.

          Freedom of speech

          I don’t understand your objection. It doesn’t take away anyone’s “freedom of speech,” whether that right is guaranteed by the First Amendment or not, to refuse to listen to what someone says, or to refuse to patronize a business that sponsors speech one finds offensive. A person can say what he likes, but no one is forced to listen.

  5. Submitted by Joe Musich on 01/21/2015 - 10:11 pm.

    Question is will…

    the oak forest in N Mn. be established before mining and oil pipline destruction to the neighborhood ?

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