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American Experiment Seeks Full-Time Communications Director

The new year offers a new opportunity for a full-time communications director to join our team at Center of the American Experiment. 2019 promises to be a banner year as the Center gears up to help inform more Minnesotans than ever on the issues that matter most to our state. Communications Director--Center of the American Experiment--Golden Valley, MN Center of the American Experiment is Minnesota’s think tank. Its mission is to change Minnesota’s civic culture by promoting free-market, limited government policies. In addition to writing and commissioning papers, holding public meetings, and informing legislators, the Center engages in an aggressive outreach program...

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New ‘Miracle Foods’ Arrive; But What About The Old Ones?

People love their food fads. I remember Snackwell cookies, which were touted as being better for people because they were low fat. Turns out, they were still packed with calories and did next to nothing to reduce weight gain. In fact, because these cookies were considered healthier than the alternative, high-fat cookies, people ate more of them because they felt less guilty about eating them. In the end, people ate more cookies and gained more weight. This phenomenon is actually called the Snackwell Effect. Although Snackwell has seen its 15 minutes of fame come and go, there always seems to be a scientifically...

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St. Paul Library Goes Fine Free But It Could Cost You

The St. Paul Public Library let tens of thousands of delinquent card holders who owed fines for overdue books off the hook just in time for Christmas. The freebie fulfills one of Mayor Melvin Carter's campaign promises at the cost of more than $200,000 in uncollected fines. But critics say the feel-good gesture sends the wrong message to those who use the city service, according to the Pioneer Press account. The fine forgiveness has irked some traditionalists, who consider paying library fines a rite of passage and a mark of responsibility for young people. It also required the city to find $215,000 to offset...

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ASCH: The Scientifically Ignorant Drive GMO Debate

The following article was originally at the American Council on Science and Health. How can you identify a scientifically ignorant person? Ask him if he's concerned about the health effects of GMOs. If the answer is yes, you've identified somebody who probably couldn't pass an 8th grade science test. Too harsh? Not according to Pew, which just released the results of a survey that showed that 49% of Americans said GMOs are bad for your health. Here's the truly jaw-dropping finding (emphasis added): The survey finds a 10-percentage-point increase in the share of adults who say foods with GM ingredients are worse for one's health from...

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Is Minnesota introducing taxation without representation?

Under the proposed Minnesota Health Plan, eight people would be appointed to the new Minnesota Health Board by regional health boards. These eight would then appoint another seven people. Together, these fifteen people would have the power to tax you to pay for this plan. And you wouldn't able to vote them out of office. Isn't that taxation without representation? ...

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Orr “Mines” the Theater of Public Policy for Laughs

Last night, Policy Fellow Isaac Orr appeared at the Theater of Public Policy held at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. The Theater, run by Tane Danger, has a policy purpose and fun format; it take on issues of public policy, invites opposing experts to discuss the topic and then "improv" actors have some fun with what they learned about the issue. Think Dudley Riggs doing public policy. The issue last night was mining in northern Minnesota, specifically the PolyMet copper nickel mine now under consideration. Isaac Orr, who co-authored the Center's report "Unearthing Prosperity: How Environmentally Responsible Mining Will Boost Minnesota's Economy"...

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More Birds Are Getting Drunk This Year, MN Town Advises Residents

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The northeastern Minnesota town of Gilbert is alerting residents that birds may be a bit more “tipsy” than normal this time of year. According to Gilbert police, its received numerous reports of what look to be drunk birds “flying into windows, cars and acting confused.” Police say the reason behind this is the fact that certain berries in the area have fermented earlier than usual due to an early frost. That, plus the fact that many birds have yet to migrate south, means more birds are feeling the effects than in past years. Also, younger birds’ livers cannot handle the fermented...

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Minnesota Keeps Shutting Down Inexpensive Power Plants: Why Not Expensive Renewable Energy Centers? 

In recent years, Minnesota has retired some of the most efficient power plants in the state, including Black Dog, High Bridge, Riverside, Taconite Harbor, Syl Laskin, and Hoot Lake – all of which provided electricity for under $35 per MWh, according to data collected from the United States Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC).  By closing these plants, Minnesota is shutting down power plants that can produce a lot of affordable electricity and replacing them with incredibly inefficient power plants that are far more expensive. ...

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