Your thoughts here


  • Felons and voting.

    Listening to an NPR story about Florida has gotten me to wonder about the value of taking away the franchise from felons.

    I understand the “breach of social contract” thing, but given the lack of social engagement by a large amount of the populace anyway, reducing the pool of potential voters seems very wrong headed to me.

    I have a friend who is British who just shook her head, virtually, when I tried to explain this today.

    It makes no good sense to me.

  • Pete


    Good topic. Studies have shown that restoring voting rights to felons who have served their time makes them feel more like a part of the community and less likely to reoffend. Think of Haley Barbour’s recent pardons. Most of them were felons who wanted their voting rights restored. Plus, if we restored voting rights to non-incarcerated felons, we could have avoided the dozens of cases of ineligible voting and wasting the taxpayers’ money invesitigating the thousands of false claims by groups like Minnesota Majority. But of course, without felons who already have photo IDS voting, where would they find a case of actual voter fraud?

  • Heather

    The replacement of the “neutrality policy”. I’m wondering how the new language is less vague than the old language. I’ve also been thinking about whether or not gay teachers are out in that school district (I have no idea), and about the fact that while each individual has inherent worth, it’s still possible to be wrong. How are teachers supposed to provide an affirming environment for GLBT/Questioning kids AND kids who think gay people are going to hell? What message gets sent to the kids in the middle?

  • Jim G

    This Valentines Day I’m thankful for good news. The lump in my wife’s breast bears watching but isn’t cancerous. This is very good news. We are middle class, but one hole below the waterline in our economic dingy will send us floundering onto the shoals of this so-called recovery. What is it with the conservatives that they can’t see that they are also at risk of unseen reefs that can and will rip the bottom out of their own yachts?

  • Thinking about the NPR article on Braille usage receding. Made me consider how the definition of literacy may be changing, not just for those who are blind but for everyone. Can someone who doesn’t know how to use a computer be considered literate in this day and age?

    Also the idea of language and sustaining languages just to sustain them, and not because they are used. I feel humanity loses something when we lose a language, but does it really benefit us to force others to learn it just because?

    The idea that someone who is blind would rather listen to a book other than read it in braille. I know I would rather read a book, and think everyone should choose reading over listening. But I have never had a conversation with someone who is blind on what it’s like to read in Braille vs. listen to the words.

  • kennedy

    A researcher at the University of Tennessee has found that electric vehicles in China cause more pollution than those powered by petrol. This is because the vast majority of electricity in China comes from burning coal. Electric power in the US is generally cleaner due to emission controls and the use of cleaner burning natural gas, so the comparison is different. But electric power is currently not pollution free.

  • BenCh

    I wish I had something insightful to put here, but I don’t. My power cord on my laptop went out last night and after much frustration I gave up. This morning it was tested and still didnt charge, but after using someone else power cord and AC adapter it now works! I have a lot of work to be done on my Master’s thesis so having a usuable computer without any power is frustrating. I just bought a new power cord/AC adapter just in case off of Amazon for about 90% off of what HP wanted on their website.

    Don’t forget to back up your data!

  • BenCh

    One thing that is on my mind that might be news-worthy is the proposed Grad student union with the University of Minnesota (would include campuses like Duluth). There is suppose to be a vote soon, even though there has been enough signatures from Grad students. I think the Twin Cities campus just had an event with Rep Keith Ellison.

  • So refreshing to get the slight snow today. Took kids to the park, and we followed tracks of various critters, including dogs, squirrels and maybe a rabbit! We also wrote Valentine messages and hearts in the clean snow on the asphalt.

  • Alison

    Just listening to the recorded marraige amendment debate on Midday. Two thoughts:

    1. I heard the woman speaking in favor of the amendment make an argument that gay marriage would do grave harm to efforts to procreate and carry on the human species. Should gay people marry straight people just so they can procreate? If you are straight, would consider marrying someone who isn’t attracted to you just so they can carry out their God given decree to procreate?

    Have you ever met a straight person who married a gay person living in denial of the essence of themselves, only come to terms with or find the courage to declare their sexual orientation later in life? There are plenty of these failed marriages out there.

    2. Civil marriage is a civil right. I would like to see civil marriage contracts be witnessed by a judge only. Ministers should not have this power. They can have their religious powers to perform marriage as defined by their religion. Their covenant or sacrament should be separate from the state issued legal contract. A number of people have forgotten that there is a difference between legal and religious marriage. They do not have to go together. Many couples already do one or the other but not both.

  • Jamie

    Republicans wanting to pay for the elimination of businesses’ property taxes by reducing or eliminating renters’ property tax credits

    Is this for real? What is wrong with Republicans that they think this is a fair thing to do? Oh, that’s right — they don’t care about fairness. They only care about their corporate election-buyers. They claim that this will create jobs. What a joke! This is more “trickle-down” theory, which we all know doesn’t work. They just don’t use that term any more.

    But to pay for this proposal by cutting the renters’ property tax credit is just reprehensible! It’s infuriating that they would even consider this. I am thoroughly disgusted!

  • Tyler

    Just wanted to chip and say that this was great! New Cut readers are nearly as interesting to read as Bob is – maybe this can turn into a monthly feature?