Can we stop Congress’ paychecks?

By Cindy Moy: The continuing fiscal emergencies of the federal government led many voters to declare that Congress should not be paid until they came up with a solution. The suggestion was waived away as violating the U.S. Constitution. Does it?

In 1789, twelve Constitutional amendments were submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified immediately and became the Bill of Rights in 1791. Two amendments were not ratified. The first regarded how members of the House of Representatives would be apportioned to the states.

The second, the Compensation Amendment, stated that any pay raise for Congress would only take effect after the next election. Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for the Week

This week let us focus on our race through life for the prize. Let’s take a step closer to perfection.

Patriots Day
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last,
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
(1 Corinthians 9 vs. 24& 25) Continue reading

MN Masala: Eat Your Chocolate Cake and Beets Too!

Jane and Chux

By Jane and Chux: A few years ago, I started to make vegan baked goods.  I was especially intrigued with recipes for brownies and chocolate cake made with beets.

Combining these ideas, I came up with a recipe for vegan chocolate beet muffins.  They really should be called cupcakes because they taste like rich, moist, dense chocolate cake.  However, I call them muffins.

There is no butter, oil, or eggs in this recipe.  The trick is to make a very smooth puree of beets, which makes these muffins moist.  The sweet beets also compliment the cocoa power.  Cider vinegar and baking soda are added to provide the rise to these addictive bombs of chocolate! Continue reading

How do we raise teenagers?

You'll never look at these the same way!

By Cindy Moy: This news headline caught my eye: Girls Drug Parents to Use Internet. That’s right, two teenage friends in California kindly bought milkshakes from a fast food restaurant for the parents of one of the girls, then laced the milkshakes with prescription sleeping medication.

Why? Because the parents had a house rule that their daughter could not use the Internet after 10 p.m. (The daughter’s friend provided the sleeping pills.)

The parents woke up the next morning feeling hungover. They drove to the local police station and bought $5 drug-testing kits, usually used by parents to test their kids. They then brought both girls to the police station, where the girls were arrested for conspiracy and mingling a pharmaceutical with food.

This raises so many questions for me: Continue reading

How can we make a difference?

Dr. Anton Treuer

By Dr. Anton Treuer:  Sometimes the brambled racial borderland of my youth seems as impenetrable as it ever was.

Indians remain imagined more than they are understood. Public and political backlash against Indian casinos and treaty rights is still obvious.

Indians are still often used as mascots for sports teams, with broad resistance to change or a lack of understanding of the impact of that resistance on native people.

Problems persist in Indian country, and with the types of drugs and ease of access found in the modern world, things like substance abuse seem even worse.

But looks can be deceiving. Last spring I brought my van to Kenny’s Clark Station in Bemidji, Minnesota, to get new tires. I have known the owners, the Merschmans, most of my life, and I like to support family businesses in our area. They have always been kind and respectful to me, and they know how to fix cars. Continue reading

What is femininity?

If this was me, I would be covered in dirt.

By Cindy Moy: I am not a girly-girl type of woman. Girly-girl women wear nail polish and color-coordinate their wardrobe and accessories.

Girly-girl women don’t wear their husband’s cast off parka because it’s warm. Girly-girl women wear dress coats with matching scarves and gloves.

Girly-girl women wear perfume. I am responsible for child-rearing and all things house and yard. My ‘scent’ is a mixture of peanut butter, dish soap and mulch.

Go to the house of a girly-girl to watch a football game, and there are no potato chips in big bowls on the coffee table. There are three little pieces of fruit stuck on toothpicks and whipped cream cheese drizzled with horseradish sauce surrounded by specialty crackers and wine “with a little too much oak, but what can you do.” Continue reading

What is the common good?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: When it comes to politics, it seems difficult to find common ground. Each party and every pundit claims to know the proper route for Americans to take into the future. But what are we marching toward? Before we can decide the best way to get from Point A to Point B, we have to figure out what Point B is.

Author Nate Garvis argues in his book, Naked Civics, that once we define the common good, we will be able to agree on a route to get there.

Garvis calls the attributes of attributes of a common-good society the Naked Eight. According to Garvis, “we thrive in communities where: Continue reading

If you were a conjoined twin, would you want to be separated?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Abigail and Brittany Hensel, of TLC’s Abby and Brittany, are conjoined twins in their early twenties. Their bodies are joined but each young woman has her own heart, stomach, and spinal cord. One twin operates the left side of her body, the other twin operates the right.

These young women appear to be bright, adventurous, and well-adjusted, no doubt due to the care and nurturing of their family, friends, and community. Their parents reportedly ruled out surgery to separate Abigail and Brittany after learning that it was unlikely both would survive. Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts with Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for the Week: This is the day (week) that the Lord has made, let us rejoice! We will experience ups and downs but with the hope of God in our hearts, the downs can be short, the ups can be high it can be a week of joy. It is our choice.

Aristotle said it this way: “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

Romans 15 verse 13, NIV
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.