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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 9/6

Syria, privacy on the web, more evidence against SNAP cuts, how the electrical grid is like the road network and the joy of farmers markets.

Hold off: Waiting on Syria

from The PoliticOle by Will Lutterman

Currently, we are waiting. Waiting for more information, waiting for action, waiting for someone to do something. Why haven’t we done anything yet, and what are we planning to do?

Anybody debating about the refugees? Does anyone care?

from mnpACT! Progressive Political Blog by Dave Mindeman

I care little about the politics of this situation. What tears me up are the bodies of little children lined up in a morgue. What angers me are the 100,000 plus Syrian casualties. 

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Not for sale: Is Acxiom’s new privacy site all that it seems?

from Girl Meets Geek by Kate-Madonna Hindes

Acxiom is a well-known data mining company that collects information about online activities and offline purchases and spending trends. They’re kind of a big deal. Today, they announced that they were unveiling a new website,, that allows consumers to see what information they collect about an individual, once the individual has verified their identify and logged into the portal. 

More evidence that SNAP cuts are misguided

from Minnesota Budget Bites by Leah Gardner and Caitlin Biegler

The data show that too many of Minnesota’s families are unable to make ends meet, and why food assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) remains an important way to make sure people have enough to eat.

How the electrical grid is like the road network

from by Brendon Slotterback

Both roads and grids face something of an existential crisis, although perhaps to varying degrees.  Total electric power sales in the U.S. peaked in 2007, about the same time as vehicle miles traveled peaked in many parts of the developed world.  Declining VMT plus a reluctance to raise gas taxes means many jurisdictions face funding dilemmas even for maintenance of roads we’ve already built.  Fixed costs for maintenance and sunk costs looking for a return on investment create threats if past trends of continued growth were used to justify new investments.

Why I love farmers’ markets

from My Northern Garden by Mary Schier

Here’s the great thing about farmers’ markets: Each one is unique to its neighborhood and customers, and at the same time, they all have the same comfortable, welcoming feeling.  

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