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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 6/7

The NSA phone-records controversy, Target and Tom Emmer, Jewish culture on the Iron Range and more.

Congress, take back the wheel: NSA collection of phone numbers isn’t new

from Brick City Blog by Sean Olsen

The sad reality, though, is that these programs that collect huge amounts of data aren’t new. They’ve just been largely ignored by the media — in both the Bush and Obama Administrations.


from Mr. Dilettante’s Neighborhood by Mark Heuring

The broad point of this morning’s revelations is pretty simple — we all stand naked in the public square, but our government does not. It’s not a Republican/Democrat issue, either, since the programs began under the Bush administration and have continued apace under Obama. If there’s a political point to be scored here, it’s that there really aren’t too many consistent civil libertarians on the field these days, and that the Fourth Amendment is pretty close to a dead letter, for this and other reasons. We’re overdue for a national conversation about that sort of thing.

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Will Target put Emmer back in its shopping cart?

from Wry Wing Politics by Joe Loveland

Target’s bankrolling of Emmer resulted in a long string of negative news stories, a national boycott, social media mocking, in-store protests and stockholder questioning.  It was not the Target brand’s finest hour.

The case against Majority Leader Tom Bakk – Part 2

from mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog by Dave Mindeman

Although Republican obstruction is the main problem with moving a Minnesota agenda forward, it is not the only problem.

Compromise is a good and necessary thing within a legislative issue, but taking a broader “let’s make a deal” approach with unrelated pieces of the puzzle can be a set back.

An open letter to Minnesota Orchestra fans who purchased tickets for 2012-2013

from Thoughts Towards a Better World by Dick Bernard

To those of you who feel helpless in this situation, I understand. I feel helpless too.

But if each one of us in some directly affirmative way get into action, there is no way that the Board can continue its current posture, which is to stonewall, and blame the Orchestra Union for the stalemate which the Board, itself, created.

If we don’t act, we are complicit in the destruction of this World-Class Orchestra.

B’nai Abraham shares Range Jewish history with stories, music

from Minnesota Brown by Aaron J. Brown

When the Iron Range received a surge of immigrants in the early 20th Century it become one of the most diverse places in the country, a fact that often seems foreign on the Iron Range of today. Among its many groups was a vibrant Jewish community, and though that community mostly dispersed after the natural ore mines wound down in the 1950s and ’60s, elements remain. Key among them, the B’nai Abraham Cultural Center in Virginia, Minnesota, still located at the corner of 4th Avenue and 5th Street.

Why every Christian leader needs to have a good answer about homosexuality

from Theoblogy by Tony Jones

If you’re a Christian leader, you might be asked about immigration or whether you believe in human-made climate change. You will get asked about homosexuality. At a pastors’ conference, on a radio show, on your blog, on Twitter, or just about anywhere.

Alzheimer’s disease and baby doll therapy

from Dating Dementia by Nancy Wurtzel

In return, the doll brings comfort. Comfort to a woman who is nearing the end of her life.  Comfort to an Alzheimer’s person who is almost totally dependent on others to provide for her.  Comfort to a person who deep down is still a mother.

Minnesota Daily humor issue, 1979

from MN70s by Dave Kenney

On June 4, 1979, the University of Minnesota’s student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily, published its annual finals-week humor issue and, in the process, set in motion one of the state’s most contentious First Amendment showdowns. Styled in the tabloid format of the National Enquirer, the publication satirized all sorts of individuals and groups. Most controversial was a mock, profanity-laced interview with Jesus of Nazareth.