Super Bowl Halftime Show 2016: It’s Time to Get Countrified

superbowl country halftime

It’s time to bring country music back to the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The stage has most recently filled by some of pop music’s biggest stars such Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and Katy Perry most recently. It’s also been filled by legends like Madonna and Bruce Springsteen. But it’s time to bring the twang back.

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The Commercialized Christmas Season and Christian Faith

christmas tree

With Christmas around the corner, it is painstakingly obvious how commercialized our values have become. Certainly our nation is a country of many nationalities and religious backgrounds with a seemingly never-ending controversy over the labeling of holidays like Christmas or Easter, as it forcibly imposes one religion upon another.

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Erosion of Courage (Reflections on ‘The Interview’ Cancellation)

Staying Behind the Legal Picture Line at the DMZ

A view from behind the yellow line (for photography) in South Korea’s Demilitarized Zone across to North Korea

As I looked across the Demilitarized Zone (a layered valley of autumn-tinged fields and soldiered fences) my heart sank with a heavy realization: Korea had more than governments, economics, armies, allies and living conditions dividing it; the landscape glowered at me as the greatest separation. North Korea was (and is) treeless.

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Is this Really the End for Nye’s Polonaise Room?

nyes polonaise room - minneapolis

The announcement regarding the pending closing and demolition of Nye’s Polonaise Room didn’t surprise me. Its prime location in one of Minneapolis’ budding river-side districts is a coveted location for developers to build yet another cluster of expensive and unsightly condos (though it would take quite the addled architect to unseat the ugliest new building in the Twin Cities); and the current plan is to do just that.

The real surprise, for me at least, came in the form of a community that refused to let its cultured (yet over-priced) dive bar (and restaurant) go silently into the tacky, glassy abyss of young professional abodes; though this will be, in some form or another, the eventual result.

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Reflections on “Pointergate”


The Twin Cities have been rocked by more than an arctic blast this November, the now infamous “#Pointergate” scandal has drawn national attention.

Questions have risen to the surface: How did KSTP (one of our local news stations) think it would be sensible to run a story indirectly accusing Mayor Betsy Hodges of standing in solidarity with North Minneapolis gangs? How is it acceptable for police officers to directly accuse the Mayor of standing in solidarity by pointing with her hand? As the momentum of outrage wilts away, I think the public is going to be forced to make a choice on the matter. Will the push be to get KSTP to apologize or will, as Hodges’ response itself has indicated, the lion’s share of the pressure go towards pushing for change in the policing of Minneapolis?

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What Are We Going to Do About College Costs?

student-debtMany of us know the story. College was supposed to be an opportunity for folks to better their situations. Instead, rising levels of student loan debt and a shortage of good jobs make a four year education more of a financial burden than the fulfillment of “The American Dream.” Many parents cannot save up the astronomical sums colleges charge in tuition, and the FAFSA “expected family contributions” often add insult to injury.

Enter, high interest government student loans. Enter, $60,000+ worth of debt for an underemployed new graduate to pay. It’s a tough problem, and everyone, from politicians to the colleges themselves, is trying to make changes for the better.

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Notes From 2014’s Election Night

Voting in South Minneapolis

Minnesota’s DFL stood strong against a storm of GOP victories that swept the country Tuesday. There will be no change in the levels of blue and red that our state will send to Washington D.C., with only a personnel shift: Tom Emmer rather than Michelle Bachmann; but as the proverb goes, the devil is in the details: and this election had plenty of details.

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What’s So Great About the Great Minnesota Get-Together?

Minnesota State Fair (2)

Though I’ve kept you updated on the State Fair improvements and price changes, I have a confession to make: I am not a fan of the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. I’ve been a few times before and I manage to find some enjoyment. I like the rides and I love Sweet Martha’s cookies (the best part of my trip is buying a bucket). But other than that, I guess I just don’t get it. I don’t understand why it’s a statewide attraction, why everyone seems to count down the days until it’s here and why people go two or five or all twelve days.

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College is Too Expensive… Here Are Some Simple Ways to Combat Rising Costs

college tuition

When it comes to higher education, it seems like all we hear about is the rising cost of tuition — in today’s economy paying for college can be extremely difficult and expensive. Most students are forced to take out thousands of dollars in loans to help offset the cost of college while others skip secondary school all together.

Although some students take on part-time and full-time jobs while in school, there are others who aren’t able to work. Not having a steady income in school can be hard, hence the term “starving students.” As a college student, I know the struggle of being broke all too well — but my struggle in college has also taught me creative ways to make money. Just because you don’t have a traditional job doesn’t mean you have to be broke. It’s a good idea to figure out what you’re good at and what people will pay for your talents. Making a little extra money on the side can also help you pay for tuition.

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Amazon Launches eBook Program, AKA Your Nearest Public Library


As someone who spends most of her free time reading, I was initially excited to see that Amazon was launching a Netflix for eBooks: Kindle Unlimited. Sure, I have a library card, but a suburban county library can hardly compare with the 600,000 eBooks Amazon will have available. Plus, you’d never have to wait on hold for popular books. And all for just $9.99 a month.

It all sounds like a great idea, and a great deal, right? But after a bit of  research, I’ve found it’s not quite as great as it sounds.

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