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MN Blog Cabin Roundup 2/26

Bernie Sanders and black voters; the right way to explain democratic socialism; transit-oriented sprawl; and a tribute to strong TV women.

Bernie Sanders lands in North Minneapolis: Can he connect with black voters?

from Thoughtful Bastards by Paul Udstrand

Those who were lucky enough to get one of the 1,500 free tickets for a Black Forum at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis on February 12th witnessed a unique political event. The grassroots organization Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) had planned to hold a forum discussion about black lives and the black community that evening. Upon hearing that both democratic presidential candidates were going to be in town for fundraiser they decided to invite Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to their forum. Clinton was unable to clear her schedule but Sanders found time to attend.

Sanders drawing wrong parallels to explain democratic socialism

from Wry Wing Politics by Joe Loveland

When presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explains why Americans shouldn’t fear his “democratic socialism,” he usually points to Scandinavia. …

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His opponent, Senator Hillary Clinton, who clearly understands American exceptionalist attitudes, quickly shuts down Sanders’ arguments with a smug shrug: “We are not Denmark.”

By continually citing countries other than America to explain democratic socialism to Americans, Senator Sanders is hurting his case. Instead of pointing to Norway, he should cite more consistently cite the New Deal.

Transit oriented sprawl in Sherburne County

from by Alex Rowland

Sherburne County lies between the two metropolitan areas of St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. Highway 10 will take you directly from St. Paul to St. Cloud, passing through Elk River, Big Lake, Becker and Clear Lake. US Census data indicates that the county’s population more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, from roughly 42,000 inhabitants to 88,000. In 2009, the Northstar commuter rail line began service between Minneapolis and Big Lake, with feeder bus service to downtown St. Cloud with a stop in Becker.

While cities like Big Lake and Elk River claim to focus on developing transit oriented communities, time has shown us how much of the growth has instead spilled into the rural townships that foster a lifestyle heavily dependent on private vehicle ownership.

Mary, C.J., Alicia: Here’s to strong TV women

from The Middle Stages by Amy Gage

I’ve been thinking of CBS Saturdays during this cold, icy Minnesota winter when finances, the frigid weather and the press of graduate school have conspired to keep me home most weekend nights. I find myself knitting again and curling up with my dogs to watch Downton Abbey, Madam Secretary, The Good Wife and, more recently, Mercy Street — a sometimes shockingly accurate Civil War–era drama set in a makeshift hospital on the border of North and South.

What these shows all have in common is what too many Hollywood films still lack: strong, vulnerable, believable female characters whose stories help me write and weave my own.

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