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President Trump Formally Cancel NAFTA With a ‘New Trade Deal’

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President Trump dumps NAFTA

President Donald Trump has actually officially ended the North American Open Market Arrangement (NAFTA) as well as has actually provided Congress 6 months to accept the substitute he just recently authorized.

Talking to press reporters aboard Flying force One on Saturday, Trump stated: “I will certainly be officially ending NAFTA soon.”

Trump alerted that Congress will certainly currently have a selection as it thinks about the contract he authorized with leaders of Canada as well as Mexico on Friday throughout the G 20 top.

He stated legislators can select in between the United States-Mexico-Canada Arrangement or ” pre-NAFTA, which functions extremely well.”

Details Freedom records: Seems terrific.


He requires to really follow up as well as ensure congress does not spoil it.

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Sunday Bulletin Board: ‘Are you out of your mind? You can get perfectly good chicken at the grocery store.’

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High school football: Ninth-ranked Woodbury rolls past Eagan 48-15

Our poultry, our ‘friends,’ ourselves

DEBK of Rosemount writes: “Chicken-butchering of 2021 has just concluded with Taxman’s stuffing the last of this year’s roosters into the freezer. Thus ends an effort that each August or September consumes a full week of our lives and moves me precipitously — though temporarily — toward vegetarianism. And friendlessness, too, as it happens.

“My women friends are a talented, hard-working, generous bunch, but every year when I mention that Taxman’s hatchet has been sharpened, they abandon me unceremoniously. Those who have experience in chicken-butchery are especially apt to be occupied with unspecified ‘other things’ during my hour of need. Euterpe, however, who is professionally trained in the wielding of knives (for culinary purposes) and whose Christianity ought to impel her to come to my aid, avoids all polite pretense. Her blunt refusal cuts to the quick, an injury aggravated by her calling into question my sanity and reminding me that ‘you can get perfectly good chicken in the grocery store.’

“She’s right on both counts. And every year as I’m elbow-deep in feathers and guts, I swear off raising our own ‘broilers,’ as we chicken people call the roosters we raise for eating. Alas, chicken-butchering is like child-bearing: A woman forgets how awful it is. No matter how ghastly the butchering season, by the time Stromberg’s spring chicken catalog arrives in the mail, I’m eager to place my order for Red Rangers.

“Maybe not in 2022, though. Oh, I’ll order broilers — but perhaps not my long-favored Red Rangers. This year, as we began the grisly harvest, I reported to Taxman that our birds seemed to be taking on traits of the Cornish Cross, the wildly popular breed chosen by real (as opposed to pretend) farmers and commercial chicken producers. Taxman concurred, noting that this year’s crop of Red Rangers had quickly attained the size and contours of young turkeys, eating us into the financial abyss as they did so. Moreover, the remarkable development of their foreparts (‘breasts,’ to us chicken folks) had rendered the young roosters almost immobile, the very trait that causes us to eschew the aforementioned Cornish Cross. Taxman and I like our free-range flock to be capable of ranging freely — or as far as Hamish, the resident border collie, will allow. Anyway, according to Taxman, only one of this year’s entire batch of broilers managed to hop over the fence into the laying hens’ pen, there to inaugurate a new breed, the Red Ranger/Speckled Sussex hybrid.”

Then & Now

And: In memoriam

CHRIS, “formerly of Falcon Heights, now from Beautiful White Bear Lake,” reported, on September 10: “Being a golfer, I love commemorative golf pins. I ordered this one early in September 2001. It arrived a week after the Twin Towers went down on September 11th.

“When I opened the package, I just stared at it in disbelief. It so upset me that from that day, it was in a box in the bottom of my dresser drawer — until today. I have an 8:30 tee time, and for the first time in 20 years, I am wearing it and remembering all the brave souls lost that day.”

And now KATHY S. of St. Paul: “Subject: A phone booth in New York where people talked to those lost on 9/11.

“NPR has a video online called ‘They Lost Loved Ones In 9/11. We Invited Them To Leave A Voicemail In Their Memory.’ It shows people who walked up to a phone booth where they talked to people they lost on 9/11.

“I saw how vivid their life-long pain is. But what I noticed most is guys who were willing to cry and express emotions on camera. I remember when Ed Muskie’s 1972 campaign to be the U.S. President was destroyed when (it was said) he cried while replying to a political dirty trick. A (guy) President was not allowed to show weakness, let alone tears, back then.

“As a fan of counseling and facing problems, I figure we have come a long way since 1972. And since 9/11.”

Live and learn

Or: One for the books

RED’S OFFSPRING, north of St. Paul, writes: “Subject: Lessons learned.

“In talking with my grandson Sam, I learned that biology is one of his sophomore classes. Hearing ‘biology,’ I was reminded of my high-school biology course at Cretin (many years prior to Cretin-Derham Hall).

“The teacher was Christian Brother Anthony. My memory flashed back to two classroom incidents that have stayed with me all these years.

“Incident one: On the first day of class, Brother told us to write our names on a sheet of paper, put ‘JMJ’ (‘Jesus, Mary, Joseph’) beneath our names, and write ‘Biology’ on the top line, in the center of the paper.

“I don’t recall what else we wrote before he collected the papers.

“He stood at the front of the room with our papers in his hand. He proceeded to fold each paper in half from top to bottom. He deposited most of the papers in the basket, while we wondered what he was doing.

“As he stood in front of us, holding just a few papers, he said: ‘I told you to write “Biology” in the “center” of the paper.’

“He didn’t give us a lecture about following directions. He didn’t need to. We got the message.

“Incident two: On the day of our first test, Brother passed out a blue book and a sheet with numerous paragraphs on it. The assignment was to find false information in the paragraphs and write corrections in the blue books. I have no recollection of how much I wrote.

“Lunch followed biology, and as we left, Brother announced: ‘I hope you wrote a lot, because all the information in the paragraphs was incorrect.’

“We could hardly wait to get to the lunchroom to tell our classmates what we’d found out about the test!

“As the next class was leaving Biology, Brother Anthony informed them they should have left the blue books blank, because everything in the paragraphs was true.

“There are some educational experiences you don’t forget.”

Live and learn

BIG EEK of Southeast Minneapolis: “When I was a prospective high-school teacher, the college arranged for each of us to spend two weeks in a nearby small town at the end of spring term, to get some practical experience. Another fellow and I went to W., 80 miles east of the city. As a math major, I shadowed Mr. B., who taught all the math in the school on the outskirts of town. I watched him at his job, and he assigned me lessons to prepare and teach.

“On Thursday, he rushed up to me before his first-period Algebra class. He had given the students all the odd-numbered problems in the new textbook they were using, to do for homework. Number 17 was a monster. It was full of parentheses within square brackets within curlicues. I advised him to start in the middle and work his way out from there.

“Sure enough, the captain of the football team asked him how to do Number 17. Mr. B. put the problem on the blackboard and started in on it. Halfway through, he glanced at me at the back of the room, and I gave him a slight nod. His final answer was 32. Answers to the odd numbers were given in the back of the book.

“Mr. B. pointed to the football player and asked him what the answer was in the back of the book. ‘Thirty-two,’ said the football player. ‘See,’ Mr. B said confidently to the class, ‘you just start in the middle and work your way to the outside.’

“At noon, Mr. B thanked me and treated me to lunch at the school cafeteria. After school, I was walking to my room in the middle of town. Three of the 12th-grade girls walked along with me. The only three options for lunch were to bring a bag, or eat at the Chinese restaurant in town (every town had a Chinese restaurant) or the cafeteria.

“One of the girls asked me where I had eaten. ‘At the cafeteria,’ I said. ‘Ugh,’ she said, making a face. ‘You must have a death wish.’ Lunch had been something I had never eaten before, or since. I think it was called Shepherd’s Pie. It was . . . interesting.”

Now & Then

MARY LOUISE OLSON of Hudson, Wis.: “Subject: A classmate reunion.

“The idea of classmates’ from kindergarten through high-school graduation being together once again seemed like just a ‘pipe dream.’ But it could happen, and it did! On July 9, 2021, six of us were at the steps of OUR school (1941-1953). Some family members were there as well, and smiles with greetings were everywhere. A current Spring Valley, Wisconsin, school staff member met and escorted us to the room where it all began. Absent was the fireplace that we as kindergartners thought was very special. Now the building is coming down, and evidence of destruction was the present-day condition of the classroom.

“One classmate brought the report card that was used by our teacher, Miss Henrietta Wessels. It didn’t seem particularly outdated, because our ‘mental habits,’ ‘physical characteristics,’ and ‘social attitudes’ were evaluated by the teacher. We had projects like ‘our pets,’ ‘good manners,’ ‘home and family,’ ‘birds,’ ‘health,’ ‘seeds on plants and trees,’ and ‘gardening.’ Obviously, the school year was filled with real learning. Considering that a war was being fought, with local folks in harm’s way, and a major Spring Valley flood occurred in September of 1941, reality did inflict learning in our class.

“As the remaining six class members, we mentioned the names and recalled memories of classmates no longer with us. A poem that had been taught was recited. We had all learned to play a tonette, and soon we heard one played; a song was sung from memory. We remembered to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, albeit as we learned it in 1941, minus the added line known today.

“What a blessing! The six of us could look back and smile at one another with an appreciation of long lives and positive learning from the start, thanks to our community of Spring Valley. Wisconsin.”

Everyone’s a (restaurant) critic!

THE DORYMAN of Prescott, Wis.: “Subject: Restau-rant review (channeling Andy Rooney).

“I like a good sandwich. I have several favorites. A Reuben with grated horseradish is probably number one, and egg salad is not too far behind. I get Patty Melts when I can, and Philly Cheesesteaks are always welcome. While a delicious sandwich is a first choice ‘lunch-out’ menu choice for me, I am always wary of the physical demands that usually follow that selection. Apparently if it is composed (and shaped) smaller than a properly inflated, regulation, bisected, NFL football, most restaurants think I will be disappointed. The bread, on the other hand (pun intended), is glowingly described in the menu but rather inconsequential when delivered. Any exotic taste, texture or artisan preparation is usually lost on the bottom slice because of the ‘fall-apart’ sauce for my added enjoyment. If you even attempt to pick it up (which I always think is the whole point of the thing), it takes both hands, and if it holds together during elevation, the first bite usually distributes the fillings everywhere but in your mouth. Am I the only one (ahem, BB) who would willingly pay $14 for a sandwich that has the good old-fashioned, sensible, fit-in-your-mouth ingredients ‘sandwiched’ (get it, Chef?) between two slices of good old-fashioned unsoaked bread . . . and not leave $4 worth of groceries on the table and my shirt? Plus, I don’t want to take the other half home; I had it for lunch! A first-world problem, I know, but hey, I loved my mother’s sandwiches, where less was always more.”

This ’n’ that ’n’ the other ’n’ the other ’n’ the other

All from AL B of Hartland: (1) “As a tour leader, I took many group photos. There are the magic words, words with weight, used to make one smile: I’d say ‘Prunes,’ ‘Say cheese,’ ‘Smile,’ ‘Smile, you’re on “Candid Camera,”‘ ‘Whiskey,’ ‘Lottery winners,’ ‘Cabbageheads’ and ‘Duck snort.’ A duck snort is a softly hit ball that goes over the infield and lands in the outfield for a hit. Chicago White Sox announcer Ken ‘Hawk’ Harrelson popularized the term.”

(2) “A bug zapper participates in an indiscriminate slaughter of insects, many of them beneficial. A University of Delaware study found that 0.22 percent of the kills were biting insects. Research showed that your chances of being bitten by a mosquito increase when you are near a bug zapper. The light is attractive, and so are you.”

(3) “My wife and I walked the county fair. We strolled by the onion-rings stand. We knew from experience those rings were tasty. Their aroma was inviting. ‘Those onion rings smell great,’ said my wife. I love my wife, so we walked past the stand again.”

(4) “This is the time of the year when I think of family reunions. I remember when I had a full roster of aunts. We had a pie table at reunions in those years. Woe be to anyone who brought a store-bought pie. Those good women believed in being fruitful and multi-pied.”

(5) “I’ve learned . . . the inventor of the doorbell didn’t own a Chihuahua.”

Band Name of the Day: The Chicken People — or: The Duck Snorts

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Trevor Story on what’s likely his final homestand with Rockies: “I want to relish it”

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Trevor Story on what’s likely his final homestand with Rockies: “I want to relish it”

Trevor Story is a trust-the-process, stay-in-the-moment kind of guy. But, he admits, he’s peeking ahead just a bit.

That’s perfectly understandable.

The Rockies’ two-time all-star shortstop is fast approaching a huge decision that will define the rest of his career. Plus, the Rockies open their final homestand of the season beginning Tuesday when they host the Dodgers at Coors Field. Those nine games — three each against the Dodgers, Giants and Nationals — will likely be Story’s final home games in LoDo.

“I just recently thought about that,” Story said. “It’s certainly a reality that those could be my last home games playing there. It’s something where I will just try and relish it and be in the moment. I really want to enjoy the time, enjoy the fans, enjoy the ballpark, all of that. Because you just don’t know what’s to come.”

Story, 28, will become a free agent at the end of the season. While the Rockies will extend him a qualifying offer, they have not approached him about a new contract. All indications are that Story will explore free agency. He’ll be looking for the biggest contract of his career, one that could be worth more than $100 million.

As for the possibility of staying in Colorado, Story doesn’t have much to say. “No teams are off the table,” Story said. “That’s kind of the way we’ve looked at it.”

Rockies interim general manager Bill Schmidt gave a predictable response regarding Story’s future.

“We think the world of Trevor as a player, and more importantly, as a person,” Schmidt said. “We’ll see how things play out this offseason.”

For Story, his decision is not just about money. He also wants to be part of a team that projects as a consistent postseason contender, if not in 2022, then very soon after that. Story remains close with former Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, who forced his way out of Colorado and landed in St. Louis via a trade this past February.

Although Story’s Colorado career appears to be coming to a close after six seasons, he’s proud of the way the Rockies’ have transformed what once looked like a disastrous, 100-loss season. The Rockies, 68-78 entering the weekend series at Washington, had gone 28-27 since the all-star break prior to Friday night.

“The way we played lately is encouraging for sure,” Story said. “We are playing freer and a lot looser than we were in the beginning of the year. It’s good to see.”

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Twin Cities law professors on the US Constitution: about this series

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Twin Cities law professors on the US Constitution: about this series

Government of the people? That takes will. And a way.

We the people are responsible for the will. The U.S. Constitution helps show the way.

As Mitchell Hamline law professor Afsheen John Radsan writes here, “The Constitution is special to me as the son of two Iranian immigrants who came to the United States in 1962 to pursue their American dreams. For both citizens and newcomers, the Constitution, as much as the Statue of Liberty, stands as a monument to their faith in this country’s potential for greatness.”

But when it comes to self-governance, we are not redeemed by faith alone. Government of the people requires good work — “eternal vigilance,” even — that persists from generation to generation. Understanding our Constitution, its ideas, mechanisms and applications, strengthens the people for the work.

Hence, this series of explanatory — but not pedantic! — columns, begun today by Professor Radsan. Over the next several Sundays and in the months to come, Twin Cities law professors from diverse backgrounds and perspectives will write about timely constitutional ideas and issues. The views they express are the views of the individual authors.

The series is a result of collaboration among Mitchell Hamline School of Law professors Natalie Netzel and Marie Failinger, students from St. Paul Public Schools and the Pioneer Press. Its aim is to offer foundational knowledge of the U.S. Constitution with hope of fostering civic engagement and respectful discourse on challenging topics.

Because it’s crucial that our young adults, too, engage in the work to uphold the Constitution and advance the ideals it represents, we asked Cayden Mayer, a junior at St. Paul Central High, to assist in the editing of today’s column. Thank you, Cayden.

And thank you, dear reader, for your interest in government by the people.

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Mitchell Hamline Professor Afsheen John Radsan: The Constitution is a monument to faith in our country’s potential for greatness

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Mitchell Hamline Professor Afsheen John Radsan: The Constitution is a monument to faith in our country’s potential for greatness

Editor’s note: Over the next several Sundays and in the months to come, Twin Cities law professors from diverse backgrounds and perspectives will write about timely constitutional ideas and issues. Here’s more about this series.


In 1787, 55 founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to write a new charter for an independent nation. They expected other citizens, eventually, to read what they were writing. James Madison, more important to the drafting process than General George Washington, had read many philosophers but he still had the good sense to write more clearly than they did. For his proposals to be ratified by a necessary nine out of 13 states, the Constitution could not be too long or too technical. If citizens were confused by any provisions, they would assume the worst.

Madison knew that if the states did not ratify a new constitution, they would be left with the disorder from their Articles of Confederation. These articles had governed since the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. A basic flaw was that they barely allowed any central power to resolve disputes between and among states.

Madison succeeded. Our Constitution, with fewer than 30 amendments, has endured more than two centuries. Modern citizens, however, have lost their impulse to read it. Why should this be? My pocket version covers just 35 pages. The Constitution is special to me as the son of two Iranian immigrants who came to the United States in 1962 to pursue their American dreams. For both citizens and newcomers, the Constitution, as much as the Statue of Liberty, stands as a monument to their faith in this country’s potential for greatness.

If you have not read it or if you who have would like to return to what you read years before, what are the highlights? We might all ask whether the Constitution has lived up to what historian Joseph Ellis describes as a “blueprint for political and economic success for the nation-state in the modern world.” Does it deserve credit for turning a “wholly peripheral outpost of Western Civilization” into a superpower?

 

Start with the preamble. It explains that the Constitution was established to form “a more perfect Union.” Note the phrase “We the people.” The states, of course, through their people, were transferring power from the Articles of Confederation. By 1819, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, in a famous case about a national bank, would claim that the bedrock of constitutional power rests with the people, not with the states — one of many steps toward more federal control of our lives. The Constitution’s secondary goals are stated: justice, tranquility, the common defense, the general welfare, and liberty. Back then, citizens expected far less from their government. They viewed government as much as a threat to their liberty as a means for enhancing their freedom. The founders’ Constitution did not promise healthcare or education or subsidized meals.

 

After the preamble, look at the first five articles. They are an outline for how our government is supposed to work. While the Constitution fails to answer all questions, it provides a reasonable framework for answering these questions. A basic aspect of our “rule of law” is settling disputes through dialogue rather than violence.

 

The first three articles lay out the branches of federal government in descending order of importance. They are based on ideas from Montesquieu and Locke about checks and balances on political power.

First, and most important, comes the legislature, Congress. Next is the executive branch or the presidency. Third is the judiciary or the Supreme Court.

By a great compromise in Philadelphia, Congress is divided into two parts: The House of Representatives, based on population, favors the big states; and the Senate, ensuring two senators per state regardless of their populations, favors small states. Accordingly, today California has the largest representation in the House while California and Wyoming still have an equal number of senators. Today, as a result of gridlock and dysfunction, Congress has become relatively weaker. So citizens look elsewhere for assistance in handling their problems.

Article Two describes the presidency. Given the country’s need for decisive and unified action against various threats — pirates, terrorists, or pandemics — presidential power has surged. Critics warn of an “imperial presidency,” a reminder that the founders rebelled against a king. Defenders of a strong presidency reply with the concept of a “unitary executive.” They see a parallel to the overall goal of a more perfect union.

The Supreme Court, covered in Article Three, has also surged in importance. The founders would be shocked at how Americans today look to nine unelected justices to decide some of the most important issues in our lives. Fewer moral choices are thus left to state legislatures and ordinary citizens. More choices are framed as matters of “rights.” Rights, of course, cannot be voted upon and are protected by the courts from majority excesses. Take unsegregated education, a right guaranteed in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education. Or the right to end a pregnancy at some point before the birth of a fetus (Roe v. Wade in 1974). Or the right to same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015).

Article Three does not state how many justices need to be on the Supreme Court. It is up to Congress. Although the number of justices can be changed without an amendment to the Constitution, there is a longstanding tradition of nine justices; the last time there was a different number on the Court was in the nineteenth century.

 

Glance at Article Four. It breaks down barriers between states. The “full faith and credit” clause helps explain why a Minnesota driver’s license is accepted when we cross into Wisconsin. Or why a couple who is married in California is not required to get remarried when they move to Minnesota. And the “privileges and immunities” clause helps explain why Wisconsin cannot exclude Minnesota residents from employment in Wisconsin.

 

Look at Article Five. This is where you can step outside of the Constitution, where we can go back on everything that has been decided. This article covers the process for amending the Constitution.

By design, it is more difficult to amend the Constitution than it is for Congress to pass a law or statute. Just so, laws that come out of Congress are “ordinary” statutes. The Constitution, by contrast, is a higher or more fundamental law. The Supreme Court, through its judicial review, decides whether a challenged statute or another challenged action is consistent with the Constitution, something established in the famous case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

Now that the Supreme Court has decided that the Constitution provides a right to same-sex marriage, for example, those who say marriage should be available only to couples of different sexes have limited options for change. They can hope a new group on the Supreme Court will “undiscover” or “overrule” this right. Or they can attempt to amend the Constitution concerning marriage. As a comparison, think how the “right” to drink alcoholic beverages was once prohibited by amendment and then renewed by another amendment.

 

After the articles, skim the first 10 amendments. These amendments, also called the Bill of Rights, were necessary to get the Constitution ratified. Madison originally said that individual rights were already protected by the checks and balances embedded in the first three articles. He considered a bill of rights redundant. Yet Madison, ever practical, relented when he saw that he did not have the votes for a simpler document in the state-by-state votes on ratification.

The Ninth Amendment takes care of a concern that Madison, in listing some rights, may have overlooked others: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Constitution, in other words, includes these rights but is not limited to them.

The Tenth Amendment is almost as short as the Ninth: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.” The founders, through their paradoxical innovation of “federalism,” believed they could provide more freedom for the people by providing two layers of government; the state governments would check the federal government at the same time the federal government checked the states. Further, this amendment makes clear that the federal government does not have all power. Some things must be left to the states. Citizens and politicians, to this day, have argued about the appropriate balance between federal and state power. Think of mask mandates during the pandemic. Did we need a national standard? Or was it better to let the states serve as “individual laboratories?”

 

Of all the compromises at the founding, nothing was more important than the dirty deal on slavery. Slavery is not mentioned by name in the original constitution. Still, everybody in Philadelphia knew it was the price of getting slave-holding states to join the union. The Southern states drove a hard bargain. They protected their power through the anti-democratic features of the Senate as well as an “electoral college” for selecting the president. Slaves, treated as property, still counted concerning the size of a state’s delegation in the House of Representatives. The Southern states also made clear that slavery could not be abolished by law or by amendment before 1808.

Some of the founders believed time was on their side. They hoped that slavery would soon disappear as an economical institution and would no longer create disputes between citizens and states. That belief proved insanely optimistic. It took four years of Civil War as well as 600,000 lives to end slavery in the United States.

The constitutional victory was enshrined in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, the most significant overhaul of the Constitution since the founding. These amendments are so significant that somebody, like me, who pushes for an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution, should be asked why the appropriate reference is 1787 rather than 1870. The “Civil War” amendments took the nation from a place where some human beings could be abused and tortured as property to an expectation that “we the people” includes everyone, no matter color or creed.

Afsheen John Radsan is a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He is a former federal prosecutor as well as a former assistant general counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Letters: Four young parents killed. Should the suspects have been in jail?

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2nd suspect linked to quadruple homicide investigation turns himself in

Last Saturday night it appears that two men who should have been in jail or prison were cruising around in borrowed cars and now parents of young children are dead. It is pure folly to arrest and arrest and arrest dangerous, violent males and keep turning them loose over and over and over. What are the judges thinking? Or, are the judges thinking?

Tom Sexton, St. Paul

 

What Gen. Milley did

What General Milley did, calling his counterpart contact in the Chinese government, in the face of a presidential rant, was exactly right. And it was just what one would expect of a loyal, patriotic and competent military officer; serving and protecting the people of the United States of America from a powerful adversary.

Carl Brookins, Roseville

 

Is he permitted to serve?

A Sep. 15 Pioneer Press headline proclaims, “Rep. John Thompson says he’ll serve as an independent after House DFLers expel him.” To many of us, the question isn’t Thompson’s political affiliation, but rather is he even legally-permitted to serve?

Thompson’s domestic abuse accusations and infamous traffic stop notwithstanding, why hasn’t anyone — the Legislature, the press, anyone — demanded that Thompson show proof of residency to establish whether he did, or did not, live in his district (the state, for that matter) when he ran for office?

On its face, this negative coverage of Thompson seems to be a rare instance of a politician’s feet being held to the fire. However, more and more it seems like a smokescreen, drawing attention away from what could be the representative’s most egregious transgression. If John Thompson lied to obtain office in Minnesota, it needs to be exposed immediately so that this profane, volatile man can disappear from the public eye.

Thomas L. Bonnett, Mendota Heights

 

Who the decision makers are

Many of those opposing abortions are no more pro-life than anyone else. Do they really care about the lives of poor disadvantaged kids and support laws that enrich their lives? Do they consider being foster parents or adopting special-needs kids. Do they consider the fate of foster kids “who are aged out of the system” often to a non-existent family system?

Equally difficult to understand are the “pro-life” positions of governors who want to ban all abortions but yet allow countless kids to become infected and die by opposing mandatory masks and vaccines. “Death by abortion” or Covid-19 is still death. Tell me how they can justify their support of opposing masks and vaccines (people have a right to decide their own health care) and then insist on making health care decisions for all women by opposing abortions. Think of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas making decisions for you.

Jane Greeman, Woodbury

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Literary pick of the week: ‘Lost Songs of the Suomi Synod’

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Literary pick of the week: ‘Lost Songs of the Suomi Synod’

If you are of Finnish descent — or interested in music — Minneapolis-based folk/rock singer/songwriter Jonathan Rundman has a treat for you in his self-published new book, “Lost Songs of the Suomi Synod,” which includes many “firsts.”

The Suomi Synod is a Lutheran denomination that Rundman says faded away in 1962 and the only people who still remember it in person are in their 80s and older. His book, 10 years in the making, is a musical and theological memoir of his Lutheran ancestors who immigrated to America from Finland in the early 1900s. It comprises arrangements and translations of 28 songs from the Nordic immigrant community who settled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Rundman includes songs appearing in English for the first time (“O God, We Love to Praise Your Name”), songs appearing with Finnish translations for the first time (“For Such a Time As This”), songs published in North America for the first time (“Psalm 100”) and new music composed for traditional texts (“Paavo the Peasant”). There are also pictures of people and places important to the synod’s traditions.

Rundman was born in Hancock, Mich., the historic headquarters of the Suomi Synod, which later merged into the Lutheran Church in America. As he traveled coast-to-coast as a touring musician, he searched for music in antique stores, church basements, Lutheran seminaries, and historical archives at Finlandia University.

“When word got out on Facebook that I was doing this research, Finnish-Americans around the country began to mail me old sheet music, school yearbooks, newspapers, and hymnals,” he recalls.

“Lost Songs” is praised by scholars of ethnomusicology, church history, and Scandinavian studies in Finland and the U.S.

Mark Sedio, cantor at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, writes: “Growing up in another Minnesota immigrant community with a strong tradition of hymnody, I longed for a resource like this. Jonathan has provided current and future generations of Finns, Finnish-Americans, and everyone else, a direct bridge to songs of a heritage that not only served worshipping communities but nurtured faith. Not, by any means, a collection of historical musical artifacts, he has crafted a book of usable texts and tunes for now.”

Rundman will launch his book with a free concert/lecture and book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul. For information go to: jonathanrundman.com/suomisynod.

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Ask Amy: Dating apps beget “situationship”

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Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: I was in an exclusive monogamous relationship with a man for eight months and, unfortunately, I kept catching him using dating apps, even after I had drawn a hard boundary about it.

He also lied to me about substance abuse (he was in AA for years but kept falling off the wagon).

He told me he was a social drinker and was just taking a break from alcohol for health and fitness reasons.

He would go dark and fall out of communication and then deflect onto me when I would ask him why.

So finally, after a week of him being particularly inconsiderate and insensitive, I broke off our relationship.

I did so with honor and said goodbye to his friends and family and spoke not one unkind word about him to anybody.

Now he wants to go in for couples counseling, even though when I was with him, he refused to listen to me about even the simplest thing, like deleting his dating apps.

I don’t know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me.

I don’t even know how I feel about this anymore.

A part of me really loves him still, but a part of me doesn’t trust the relationship (or our “situationship”), since he kept a whole separate list of rules for himself than he did for me.

I’d really like your take on this.

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Angela Davis talks about her life, her shift from television to public radio, living in Highland Park and being known for being nice

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Angela Davis talks about her life, her shift from television to public radio, living in Highland Park and being known for being nice

As I often do when I’m about to interview a public figure, I asked some friends for their impressions of that person. In this case, it was longtime local television anchor and current Minnesota Public Radio News host Angela Davis.

Each person I talked to said something along the lines of “she seems nice.” And despite the fact several were gay men, no one was being shady in the slightest. After decades in the Twin Cities media, Davis has a stellar reputation for being nice.

“I hear that a lot,” Davis said with a laugh. She proceeded to tell me a story from her time at the University of Maryland. Her then-boyfriend was in a fraternity that was sponsoring a Miss Black Unity pageant and he urged her to enter.

“In rehearsing and preparing, I wasn’t sure about the talent section,” she said. “I don’t sing, I’m not good at any arts. I ended up devoting a lot time to coaching other contestants. But when it came time for the pageant, I wanted to win. If I’m going to devote time to something, I want to win.

“I won Miss Congeniality. The prize that goes to the person who is nice. Who wants to be known for being nice? But that’s always been the impression I make on a lot of people. And I appreciate that and value that. It comes from the way I was raised.”

Davis, 53, grew up on a tobacco farm in Virginia. Her mother got pregnant while in college, moved back home and lived with her parents. Davis’ mother moved away when she was 9 and Davis stayed with her grandparents.

She went on to attend the University of Maryland on a full four-year scholarship and graduated with a journalism degree. After spending a few years at CNN and stations in Lexington, Ky., and Washington, D.C., Davis took a job at KSTP in 1994 and, beyond a brief stint living in Dallas, the Twin Cities has been her home ever since.

After decades at KSTP and WCCO, Davis made the decision to move to public radio and landed a hosting gig at the 11 a.m. hour in 2018. Davis lives in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood with her husband of 25 years, Duchesne Drew, who took the job as MPR president last summer after spending decades at the Star Tribune and nonprofits. They have two children currently attending historically Black colleges: Charlotte, a marketing major who just started her freshman year at North Carolina A&T State University; and Kevin, a software engineering major at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Earlier this month, Davis’ talk show moved to 9 a.m. at MPR. I spoke to Davis on the final day of her first week in the new time slot.

Angela Davis and Duchesne Drew at Lake Bde Maka Ska (then named Lake Calhoun) during the summer of 1995 when they were dating. Davis, a veteran local television anchor, joined Minnesota Public Radio News in 2018. Duchesne Drew was named president of Minnesota Public Radio in April 2020. (Courtesy of Angela Davis)

On growing up on a farm:

“There wasn’t a lot to do outside of work, church and school. I read a lot. I was the kid who had a subscription to Highlights. My grandparents were interested in history and politics and I watched the network news with them. And the Black church is a place of a lot of discussions about politics and business and life and survival.

“I developed an interest in how do people live outside the world I know. I watched ‘The Today Show’ and was fascinated by Bryant Gumbel. I loved being able to read the newspaper or watch network news and see other parts of the U.S. and the world.

“Early on in school, I was identified as someone with strong writing skills who was very chatty. Mr. Terry used to call me out in class. He called me by my last name. ‘Davis, I hope one day you’re able to get a job that pays for talking because you’re always running your mouth.’ Well, I’m getting paid for talking. I hope you’re proud of me.”

On choosing to pursue journalism:

“When I was growing up, I was deep into Home Ec and the Future Homemakers of America and that brought me into public speaking. I never had a fear of speaking in front of people, it always felt very natural. When I was deciding on a major, journalism seemed to fit. At the time, the Baltimore Sun was trying to diversify its staff, which was overwhelmingly white. They offered full four-year scholarships and four summer internships to train high school graduates. At the end, they had someone ready to hit the ground running.”

On her shift to television news:

“Having worked as an intern, I realized I didn’t want to work in newspapers. I love the power of strong writing and video. I turned down an offer to become a nightside police reporter and instead went to Atlanta to work at CNN, which paid half what the Sun would have paid me.

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Stillwater: Couple’s $1 million donation will jump-start Lumberjack Landing construction

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Stillwater: Couple’s $1 million donation will jump-start Lumberjack Landing construction

The loves of Frank Freels’ life were his wife, Geri, their children and the St. Croix River — not necessarily in that order.

The Freelses spent decades boating on the St. Croix, docking their cruisers, which ranged from 36 feet to 53 feet, at Sunnyside Marina south of downtown Stillwater. Frank Freels, who died in 2012 at the age of 95, was a commodore of the St. Croix Yacht Club and two-time past president of Sunnyside Marina; Geri Freels served as president of the yacht club’s auxiliary.

Frank Freels fell in love with the St. Croix on the day he moved to Minnesota from Peoria, Ill., she said. “He always said he crossed the (Interstate 94) bridge and thought the river was so beautiful. It was the love of my husband’s life — I hope, second to me.”

The couple, who owned and operated a number of different businesses, including Distinction in Design in Plymouth, retired in 1994 and moved to Stillwater’s Oak Glen neighborhood.

“We feel we were very fortunate in life,” she said. “We came from nothing and worked for everything we have. It can be done in this country; it just can be. There were many times when our business could have gone belly up, but they didn’t. God blessed us so that we may bless others.”

The couple held fundraisers and donated to many causes, including the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Mayo Clinic and St. Vincent de Paul.

But it was an article in the Pioneer Press in November 2020 that led Geri Freels to think about a lasting legacy: a $1 million donation to the city of Stillwater to restore and rehabilitate the former Aiple house at Lumberjack Landing, the city’s newest park.

The former Aiple residence in Stillwater, seen Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, which overlooks the St. Croix River, will be remade into a canoe and kayak rental and storage building for the new Lumberjack Landing park. Stillwater’s newest park is located on 15 acres of land on nearly three-quarters of a mile of St. Croix River shoreline. Geri Freels is donating $1 million to the city to rehabilitate the buildings at Lumberjack Landing. Freel’s and her late husband, Frank Freels, the longtime commodore of the St. Croix Yacht Club, loved to be on the river. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

Plans call for the 4,000-square-foot house, which belonged to the late Elayne Aiple, to be remodeled to include public restrooms, a community room, a scull-storage area, canoe/kayak rental vendor space and a picnic patio/pavilion.

“Not everybody can afford a boat,” Freels said. “When I found out there were going to be kayaks and picnic shelters and all of that, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s perfect for people who want to come to Stillwater, but can’t afford to live here.’ ”

Freels, 84, toured the future park for the first time on Tuesday afternoon with Mayor Ted Kozlowski and City Planner Abbi Wittman. “It’s absolutely beautiful,” she said, walking around the perimeter of the split-level house. “I had seen it from the river, but not from land. … I love the fact that you are planning a fishing pier.”

HAPPY MEMORIES ON THE RIVER

Some of her happiest memories include spending time on the river with Frank and friends, she said. The St. Croix Yacht Club owns two beaches on the Wisconsin side of the river, and the couple would pull their cruiser up on the sand and dock overnight.

“We would spend all weekend gunwale-to-gunwale,” she said. “Sometimes we’d be only a foot apart from the next boat on the beach. We all got to know each other very well. It was my way of camping.”

The couple started out with a 36-foot cruiser, then bought a 42-foot houseboat. From there, they graduated to a 53-foot cruiser and ended up with a 51-foot Coastal Cruiser. All were christened the Geri-Anne, she said.

“Our business was in the city, so we were weekends on the river,” she said.

Almost every Friday night during boating season, the couple would walk with friends from Sunnyside Marina through the Aiple barge property and eat in a downtown Stillwater restaurant. “Eventually, we felt so much like part-time Stillwater residents that when Frank finally retired, we built a home at Oak Glen,” she said.

A LASTING MEMORY

Freels will present an $800,000 check to the Stillwater City Council on Tuesday night; the other $200,000 has been placed in a trust account that will be given to the city after she dies.

Under the terms of the donation, the money can be used only to improve the building. Prior to moving to Stillwater, the couple lived in Plymouth and Frank Freels served on the Plymouth City Council, she said. “We saw that many times, funds were used for other things other than what they were given for,” she said.

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Mike Lynch’s Skywatch: The King and his orbiting court

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Mike Lynch’s Skywatch: The King and his orbiting court
Diagram courtesy of Mike Lynch

While you’re enjoying the full harvest moon this week, check out the King and Queen of the planets in our September skies. As darkness sets in, look for them side by side in the low southeast skies. They’re the brightest star-like objects in that part of the heavens. Jupiter, the king of the observable planets from Earth, is to the left of Saturn and is brighter than the queen. Both reached their closest approaches to Earth last month, but they’re still pretty close, at least relatively. This weekend Jupiter is 386 million miles away, while the tape measure to Saturn would be 861 million miles and change.

Jupiter is by far the largest planet in our solar system, and is mainly a big ball of hydrogen and helium gas. Its polar diameter is around 83,000 miles, and the diameter at the equator is a little over 88,000 miles. Jupiter is fatter in the middle because of its rapid rotation. It only takes 10 hours to make one complete rotation. The resulting centrifugal force works against gravity to cause Jupiter to bulge along its equator. Through a small telescope, it’s possible to see at least some of Jupiter’s darker cloud bands made up of methane, ammonia, and sulfur compounds. You can especially pick up on at least two darker cloud bands on either side of Jupiter’s equator. You may even see some subtle color to them.

You’ll see more bands and detail with larger scopes, and you might even see the Great Red Spot, a giant storm raging on Jupiter. It’s called the red spot, but in reality it will show up in a larger scope with a pale pink hue. The red spot isn’t always available, however, because of Jupiter’s speedy 10-hour rotation. Half of the time, the red spot is turned away from Earth. As I’ve told you before, the longer you gaze at Jupiter through the eyepiece of your scope, the more detail you’ll see. Try to look at it for at least 10-minute shots.

No matter how big or small your telescope is, you’ll get a kick out of watching Jupiter’s four brightest moons; Io, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede. They orbit around the Jovian giant in periods of two to 16 days. Because of their continual movement, they change positions relative to the disk of Jupiter. You may see two on one side and two on the other, or three on one side and one on the other, or all four on one side. On some nights, one or more moons may be either behind Jupiter or camouflaged in front of it. If your telescope is powerful enough, you may see the shadow of a moon crossing in front of Jupiter. It’ll appear as a tiny dot against the backdrop of Jupiter’s clouds. With Jupiter so close to Earth right now, there’s a chance of seeing a moon shadow on Jupiter even with a smaller scope. It’s worth a try.

You can keep up on the position of Jupiter’s four brightest moons by checking out monthly magazines like “Astronomy” or “Sky and Telescope.” There are also websites to help you keep up with the moons. My favorite site is from Sky and Telescope magazine at https://skyandtelescope.org/wp-content/plugins/observing-tools/jupiter_moons/jupiter.html.

A great app from Sky and Telescope Magazine is simply called Jupiter Moons. I have it on my phone. In the diagram, you can see the positions of Jupiter’s moons during the coming week.

Jupiter has more than 80 known moons circling it, and there are probably many more that haven’t been confirmed yet. The four moons available through backyard telescopes are certainly the largest. They’re also referred to as the Galilean moons because the great astronomer and scientist Galileo used these moons to help prove that the sun, and not the Earth, was the center of what was then seen as the universe.

Io is the closest moon to Jupiter, and is a little over 2,200 miles in diameter. A little larger than our moon, it’s the most geologically active body in our solar system. Since it’s only about a quarter of a million miles from the very massive Jupiter, there’s a colossal gravitational wallop on Io from the mothership. The tidal forces are tremendous, and because of the constant stretching, heat builds up in Io’s interior to the point of melting. This, in turn, produces numerous and frequent volcanic eruptions.

The next moon out from Jupiter, Europa, is maybe the best candidate for life in our solar system. A sheet of ice covers Europa, and there may be an ocean of liquid water beneath it, or at least a slushy ocean. Once again, because it’s so close to Jupiter the tidal forces are strong enough to heat Europa’s interior, possibly allowing for liquid water below the ice. Where there is liquid water, there’s a chance of life as we know it.

Callisto and Ganymede are the largest and farthest away from Jupiter, and are both larger than our moon. In fact, Ganymede is even a little larger than Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. Both Ganymede and Callisto are heavily cratered bodies, not nearly as dynamic as Io and Europa.

Enjoy the never-ending dance of Jupiter’s moons!

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