The Boundary Waters way, shrugging at corruption, two 'shades of grey' in library conundrum, the most famous knee in Minnesota, and return of a Fargo TV personality.
The Elixery, an artisan cosmetic house in the Twin Cities, announced today that it's unveiling an official Dessa lipstick. What's in a lipstick? Maybe an education for a girl in another country.
Dessa, the smarter-than-anyone-you-ever-met hip-hop artist, selected the color and is donating the money she makes on the project to an organization helping women in developing countries.
"In college, I wrote my final thesis on the philosophy of Martha Nussbaum," she said in an Elixery news release. "Studying her theories I learned about the surprising consequences of educating girls, consequences which compound and refract through entire societies. Educating women often changes marital age and birthrates, and employed women demonstrate different spending patterns than employed men. Ten years after having studied the philosophy of this stuff, I couldn't be more excited to actually make a real-world contribution."
(Photo: Bo Hakala)
If you've ever watched an episode of Cops, you know that the first thing a suspect says when something illegal has been found nearby is, "that's not mine," and "I don't know how it got there."
Sometimes it's a good defense.
Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court tossed out the conviction of a man for possessing a handgun in public, because the state didn't prove that attorney Christian Chi Ndikum knew there was a pistol in the briefcase he was carrying into a courtroom.
Ndikum bought the gun in 2009 because of several incidents in his neighborhood and regularly carried it between his home and his Minneapolis office. But when he went through an X-ray scanner at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center for a court hearing, the gun was discovered. He admitted owning the gun, but said he didn't know it was in his briefcase.
Ndikum's wife testified she placed the gun in the briefcase., but he was convicted on a misdemeanor charge while found not guilty of a felony. The Court of Appeals overturned the conviction and today the Supreme Court affirmed that ruling.
The court's opinion, written by Justice Helen Meyer, said the trial court should have instructed the jury that Ndikum needed to know the gun was in the briefcase.
In making the ruling, the Supreme Court clarified the state's so-called "concealed carry" gun law:
Although section 624.714 prohibits persons without permits from carrying a pistol in public, the inverse is also true: a person granted a permit to carry a pistol may carry it in public freely. Furthermore, it is not difficult to obtain a permit to carry a pistol. There is a statutory presumption in favor of granting a permit as long as the applicant meets the minimal requirements for eligibility. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2. And even without a permit, gun owners may legally keep guns in their homes, transport guns to work, possess guns at work, hunt with guns, and keep guns in their vehicles. Our examination of section 624.714 leads us to conclude that the statute does not treat guns as highly dangerous devices and does not put gun owners on notice of stringent regulation. Section 624.714, subdivision 1a, is not a public welfare statute designed to strictly regulate a highly-dangerous device and, therefore, we conclude that mens rea (ed. note: "guilty mind," basically, knowledge of a restriction or regulation) was not dispensed with by the Legislature.
Full opinion here.
Though it plays a little loose with a description of Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District, The Atlantic is giving some recognition to an effort in Twin Cities suburbs to organize opposition to the same-sex marriage ban on November's ballot.
The article, written by a New York Times community moderator, profiles the movement to distribute rainbow flags to the "sleepy suburbs" of Eden Prairie and Minnetonka.
So off Henderson went to her home in Eden Prairie, a suburb of 60,000 filled with white-collar professionals, 94 percent of whom are Caucasian. That afternoon, she started going door to door with flags in hand. She was quickly joined by her neighbor Wendy Ivins. They took the picture-perfect neighborhood by storm, engaging their neighbors in respectful conversations. Soon, more and more rainbow flags began to appear in the sleepy cul de sacs, planted on large lots and hanging from wood porches.
On city blocks it would be easy to spot a growing movement, but in Eden Prairie, you have to drive past one spacious home after another to witness the trend. So Ivins sent an email to a few dozen of her neighbors: "As you may have noticed, there are many rainbow flags flying in front of houses in our neighborhood," she wrote. "We are doing this to show support for our gay neighbors, friends and family members and our pledge to VOTE NO on the constitutional amendment that would ban marriage for same-sex couples." She added, "Flying the rainbow flag is not meant to start a confrontation, but rather to start a conversation. I think we can all learn from each other."
The article strays when it makes the connection between the 3rd Congressional District and the 6th.
Thirty minutes away is Anoka, where Michele Bachmann made a name for herself. As the Republican representative of Minnesota's 6th district, she proposed a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage back in 2003. In a 2004 lecture, she called homosexuality a "sexual identity disorder" and an "issue of sexual dysfunction." Her district made national headlines after an upsurge of teenage suicides led to a Rolling Stone piece called "One Town's War on Gay Teens."
The 3rd District, however, is a moderate Republican district and has been for awhile. Rep. Jim Ramstad represented it for years until his retirement. It's much more purple than the 6th, which is one of the most conservative districts, perhaps, in the country. His successor, Erik Paulsen, beat a DFL newcomer by only 7 percentage points in 2008, though the incumbent slaughtered a virtual unknown two years later.
The National Journal's Almanac of American Politics points out that even though the 3rd is home to the Republican establishment, "it voted just 51% for George W. Bush in 2004, and in 2008, it flipped to the Democratic column, voting for Barack Obama 52%-46%." Bill Clinton won the 3rd. Twice.
It is a district in which financial conservatism more than social issues is typically the big part of local campaigns. That the district would include a large number of people who would be opposed to the same-sex marriage ban, is not the "you'll never believe it" story that the out-of-towner might want to believe.(5 Comments)
The pressure was on Mitt Romney's speechwriter today when the Republican presidential candidate appeared before the NAACP. It was, it's fair to say, an organization that the incumbent can count on for votes in November. It's not unlike when a Democrat goes before the American Legion or VFW convention.
Romney got booed a few times during the speech, which required him to go off script, usually a good thing for people who tire of stump speeches and bumper sticker slogans.
The news will probably concentrate on those parts of the speech.
But here's the entire speech (You can go right to 11:30, however, if you'd like to get to the key part):
President Obama isn't addressing the convention this year; he's sending the vice president instead.(3 Comments)
Minnesota has a lot of problems, but at least our citizens can get a driver's license, right, South Dakota?
It's a comparison of crises between the two states today. In Minnesota, political leaders are trying to come up with a framework for a special session to deal with disaster relief.
The neighbors to the west, however, have bigger fish to fry: There are lines for driver's licenses.
Two years ago, the state started requiring everyone getting their licenses renewed to show either a birth certificate, passport or immigration documents, a Social Security card and two documents displaying a current address, the Argus Leader
How long can it take? Hours.
"This is our third time here," Dianne May of Sioux Falls said Tuesday. "The first time we came at 11 o'clock and waited for three hours. We came back thinking if we came at 8 o'clock that would give us an hour to spare."
She laughed briefly. "We're back for the third time."
Josh Winter of Sioux Falls was making his second appearance in the line Tuesday.
"I came yesterday and saw I could not afford to wait. So I came back today and factored into my schedule another couple of hours," he said. "Thank God my work is flexible enough for me to take a few hours."
It didn't help that the state closed 15 offices.
But people are plenty upset, the newspaper editorial yesterday called for action and today the governor ordered the driver's license stations to stay open until 7 pm and hire whatever's needed to get rid of the lines.
Minnehaha County is threatening to evict the driver's license station in its government building because of the noise from people waiting in line, many of whom had to bring their young kids with them.(15 Comments)