What Scott Jensen and Matt Birk’s win in November would mean for the people of Minnesota

Editor’s Note: The Plaid Line publishes editorials that contain opinions that are those of the student authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the the Plaid Line, HPSH, or its staff.

By: Irene Cohen

For those who weren’t aware, Scott Jensen and Matt Birk are running for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. As a brief overview of both candidates, Scott Jensen is an unvaccinated family physician whose license to practice has been under investigation multiple times, which we will get into later. Matt Birk is an ex-NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings. A charming pair to become administrative leaders in Minnesota.

To delve a bit deeper into Scott Jensen’s policies and ideas, let’s look at his 5th medical board investigation. Already showing a propensity towards abuse of power before he even becomes governor, Jensen says in a social media post that the medical board “will be dealt with” if he becomes governor. He is already showing he can’t take criticism and will exert political power over those who publicly go against him.

Jensen and Birk both have a nasty habit of drawing false equivalences on serious and tragic matters. Jensen compared public COVID-19 health measures to Nazi Germany in a video from an April Mask Off MN event, a sentiment that minimizes the genocide of millions of Jews.

Birk continued this theme of almost trivializing the biggest genocides in history by comparing abortion to slavery when he spoke at a National Right to Life conference. He also said the following at that very same conference “Women used to not be able to vote, now we let them drive”. I encourage you to read a transcript, or watch this video of him speaking, because it is full of similar sentiments and it would take too long to go through them all.

Scott and Matt have no issue taking issues that they don’t care about and using them to their own advantage to try and make the causes they believe in seem more tragic than they are.

Matt Birk truly has a way with words, saying at the same Right to Life event, that women play the “rape card” in order to excuse their abortion. He compares the act of having an abortion to rape. He also insinuated that American culture encourages and brainwashes women into having abortions, and careers. He thinks that motherhood isn’t celebrated enough and that instead women are being told to get careers. I find this disturbing because he is a father, but he has a career. Does he not believe that fathers should care for their children just as much as a mother would?

Jensen proves that he will continue his self serving policies should he become governor. Jensen says he plans to pull funds from public schools in an interview with MPR, while his running-mate Matt Birk is a co-owner/founder of a private school in Burnsville. These two claim they understand the education system, but both have enough money to send all of their children to private schools.

The United States is already a pay to win society, and by pulling even more money from the public education system, they want to exacerbate that. By taking away resources from those of us who can’t afford to send our children to private institutions, they ensure that the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich.

Overall, the views that Jensen and Birk share are extremely reactionary and conservative. Their primary platforms are posed as moral issues, often rooted in their religious beliefs. They are self interested and only care about the “issues” of the rich, white, conservative, people of Minnesota. The don’t seem to understand, or care, about the struggles of the average Minnesotan citizen, whose quality of life will surely be affected negatively should Jensen and Birk win the ballot in November.

If you are 18 years or older, register to vote and protect your rights.

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A review of ‘Cinder’ by Marissa Meyer

By: Julia Sikorski Roehsner

*Warning – minor spoilers

Readers of ‘Renegades’ or ‘Heartless’ by Marissa Meyer may be familiar with ‘The Lunar Chronicles,’ written by the same author. ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ is a series of sci-fi fantasy young adult books based on Grimms’ fairy tales.

There are four main books in the series—‘Cinder,’ ‘Scarlet,’ ‘Cress,’ ‘Winter’—along with an accompanying book of short stories (‘Stars Above’), a villain backstory novella (‘Fairest’), and two graphic novels (volumes one and two of ‘Wires and Nerve’).

The first book, ‘Cinder,’ is a loose retelling of the classic story ‘Cinderella’ set in a futuristic version of planet Earth, focusing on New Beijing. Technology has advanced, and hover cars and androids are parts of daily life.

The future is not without its strife. On the faraway moon dwells a more developed race of humans, the Lunars. Earthens live in constant terror of the Lunars, as the Lunars are capable of manipulating human bioelectricity.

As well, in an eerie reflection of today’s COVID-19 virus, a plague known as letumosis has swept across the world, and a cure has not yet been developed.

Within this tangled web is a single girl by the name of Linh Cinder. Cinder knows nothing of her past and is forced to live with her abusive stepmother, who despises the fact that Cinder is cyborg—parts of her body replaced by metal and wires. One of the few bright spots in Cinder’s otherwise dismal life is her talent in mechanics.

Cinder’s world changes when the soon-to-be-emperor of the Commonwealth stops by her repair booth asking for help. Kai doesn’t know that Cinder is a cyborg, and has no reason to believe that she’s any less than a “normal” human. Impossibly, the prince and the outcast begin to fall in love.

Unfortunately, nothing is that simple. After Cinder’s kind and gentle stepsister, Peony, contracts letumosis, her stepmother volunteers Cinder for antidote testing, a certain death sentence for Cinder. Yet Cinder discovers that she is inexplicably immune.

Meanwhile, Prince Kai is struggling to balance his nation’s needs and the demands of the ruthless Lunar queen. The last thing he wants to do is marry the power-hungry Levana, but with her tantalizing offer of a letumosis cure, for the good of the Commonwealth Kai can’t justify saying no. Even if it means risking his life. If only he could find the mysterious Princess Selene, the rightful heir to the Lunar throne who supposedly died years ago, but is thought by some to be alive and in hiding.

I quite enjoyed ‘Cinder.’ I was a little overwhelmed at first by the plunge into Cinder’s world, but as the reader is introduced to characters and their motivations, the story breaks itself into bite-sized, understandable pieces. The protagonists are likable, and it was easy for me to sympathize with them from the beginning.

I also liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s not overly complex, but it also isn’t simplified to the point of being boring. It was interesting to have the story mainly focused on one character, but to hear from multiple points of view. I found the writing to be appropriate for a fantasy novel with a teenage cast and a young adult target audience.

The plot line of ‘Cinder’ definitely drew me in, but as a reader who generally doesn’t see what’s coming next, I found many of the major plot twists far too predictable. Guessing them before they were revealed certainly didn’t ruin the story for me, but the surprise was obviously lacking. I would mainly attribute the predictability of ‘Cinder’ to it being Meyer’s debut novel.

In the first book of ‘The Lunar Chronicles,’ Marissa Meyer weaves a story of love and war, tension and heartbreak, and leaves the reader desperate to find out what happens next. I give it a four out of five star rating.

Premier League match week 9 review

By: Dylan Moore

The greatest league in the world has done it again. After an unusually long break due to both the untimely death of Queen Elizabeth II and an international break right after, the English Premier League is back in action for the first time since September 18th. To say the weekend’s results made up for time lost would be a drastic understatement. 

Arsenal vs Tottenham: This year’s edition of the North London Derby comes with extra high stakes early in the season. Arsenal comes into the week on top of the league, with Tottenham 1 game back. For the game itself, it was chippy as usual, with Tottenham’s Emerson Royale receiving a red card in minute 62 as the London-based sides combined for 20 total fouls.

For the scoring, Arsenal’s Thomas Partey opened the game up with a 20th minute strike, only for the prolific Harry Kane of Tottenham to even it at 1-1 before halftime. Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka of Arsenal scored (in the 49th and 67th minute respectively), as Arsenal won the game by a final of 3-1.

As exciting as the game was, Arsenal seemed to have a firm grasp on the pace of the game, finishing with a dominant 65% possession. 

Liverpool vs Brighton: Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side are off to a very rocky start. Their title challenge seems to already be looking like more and more of a fight for 4th or even 5th as they continue to drop points. With this being said, you can’t take this entertaining 3-3 draw away from Brighton, who some would argue deserved to win.

The Leandro Trossard hat trick showed that even under new management, the Seagulls will still be a very frustrating fixture for any and all Premier League sides. To Liverpool’s credit, Bobby Firmino’s brace and their 54% possession kept them in the game. But we would be talking about a completely different situation if Brighton’s Adam Webster didn’t score an own goal to give Liverpool their 3rd goal of the day. Liverpool fans, be concerned. 

Fulham vs Newcastle: Fulham looked to be in deep waters early on, with a red card on Nathaniel Chalobah and conceding a goal to Newcastle striker Callum Wilson before minute 15. By the halftime whistle, Miguel Almiron picked up his first of 2 goals on the day followed by a Sean Longstaff goal. Almiron picked up his second in minute 57, and Fulham’s Bobby Reid scored a completely irrelevant goal in the 88th to bring the final score to 4-1 Newcastle.

As you would expect, Newcastle dominated the match with 69% possession and well over double of Fulham’s total passes (605 to 281).

Southampton vs Everton: Although this may not have been the most exciting game of the weekend, Everton vs Southampton surprisingly packed a solid punch in the form of a flurry of goals. It remained a bland 0-0 game through the 1st half, although Southampton’s Joe Aribo made sure to change that quickly with a goal in the 49th minute. Frank Lampard’s Everton responded well, with a Connor Coady and Dwight McNeil goal in the 52nd and 54th respectively. Given Everton’s quick response, Southampton couldn’t push back, even though they did hold 55% possession throughout the match. 

Crystal Palace vs Chelsea: The clash between the 2 London sides was quite exciting. Crystal Palace looked to play spoiler to Chelsea’s top 4 push with a quick goal from Odsonne Edouard in the 7th minute. There would be no more goals until Chelsea’s new number 9, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, scored in the 30th minute.

For the remaining 59 minutes, Chelsea’s 64% possession seemed to not be enough to leave Selhurst Park with 3 points. This is until Connor Gallagher, who spent last season on loan at Palace, heroically scored a 90th-minute winner to give Chelsea, and new manager Graham Potter, the 3 points they so desperately were after. 

Bournemouth vs Brentford: I’ll be honest, there isn’t much to report on in this game. A 0-0 draw between Bournemouth and Brentford saw its chances, but nothing went through. Brentford was able to display their superiority over the troubled Bournemouth side with 58% possession throughout the match. Both sides will be looking for a win in the coming weeks as they hope to maintain their mid-table places. 

West Ham vs Wolves: Although the Wolverhampton side did suffer a 2-0 loss in the final game of Saturday, they dominated the ball with 61% possession. With that being said, West Ham was lethal when they had the ball, putting up 5 shots on Wolves’ Jose Sa.

New signing Gianlucca Scamacca scored a brilliant goal in the 29th minute, followed up by a Jared Bowen strike in the 54th to bring us to our 2-0 conclusion. Wolves sacked Bruno Lage following the loss, and a slightly underwhelming 10th place position, given their hot start to their last campaign. 

Manchester City Vs Manchester United: If you know much about soccer, or the current state of it, this is the match you have been waiting for me to cover. The Manchester Derby had all the fireworks in a 9 goal thriller. Man City’s 6-3 victory makes it seem like a much closer match than it actually was.

It was 4-0 City at halftime, with a 2- goal masterclass from both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden. United players came out of the dressing room with their dignity on the line and managed to play a bit better in the second half. They opened the scoring with a wonder goal from $100 million signing Antony in the 56th.

After maintaining most of the possession, United conceded twice, giving both Haaland and Foden hat tricks in the 64th and 73rd minutes respectively.

Given that the score was 6-1, City slightly went on the breaks, although United’s Anthony Martial didn’t relent, scoring 2 late goals in the 84th and the 90th to bring us to our electric 6-3 final score.

Easily the game of the week, and Haaland’s 5 goal contributions easily made him player of the week, as the Norwegian giant continues to show his dominance over world soccer. 

Leeds United vs Aston Villa: To finish out the weekend, we had a rather bland 0-0 draw between 2 middling sides in Leeds and Aston Villa. Aside from Villa’s control in possession (57%) and their absurd 7 shots on target to Leeds’ measly 1, the only thing to report on was a red card. This was picked up in minute 48 by electric new Leeds signing Lewis Sinisterra.

Shoutout to Leeds goalie Islan Meslier, who stopped all 7 shots (as previously mentioned) and saved 2.5 more goals than expected. 

Leicester vs Nottingham Forest: The only game to be played on Monday between Forest and Lecisester was not much of an exciting one, although not for lack of goals. Leicsters 4-0 thrashing of Forest gave them a much-needed first win over the season, especially against a relegation rival like Nottingham.

Although the possession was rather even (at 52% for Leicester and 48% for Nottingham), Leicester’s James Maddison put in a shift, scoring 2 and adding an assist to easily achieve man of the match honors. Well played Leicester. 

Week 9 was yet another amazing week for the Premier League. The exciting Derby matches and absurd hat trick performances made it very entertaining. Look for Man United to bounce back following their terrible performance against City, and Erling Haaland of Manchester City to continue his form. 

Fall foods: Reviewing different varieties of apples

By: Ann McMullen

Apples. A refreshing snack, a flavorful baking ingredient, and one of the staple foods of the fall season.

I’ll start with a popular one: Honeycrisp. As the name suggests, these apples are sweet as honey but also have more of a crisp texture than most other sweet varieties. Honeycrisp apples originated in the 1960s through a cross-breeding program at the University of Minnesota, and have been a favorite among consumers ever since. Because of how sweet they are, Honeycrisps are often eaten alone, but their crispness makes them a great option for baking as well. Personally, I think a plain Honeycrisp apple makes a great snack!

Granny Smith’s are easily the most well known green apple. They’re also known for being more tart than other varieties, making them a great option for baking. Taking a bite straight out of a Granny Smith apple may not be for everyone, but combining them with sugar and spices in a recipe is bound to create something with great flavor.

A personal favorite of mine is the Pink Lady. These bright red apples are one of the sweetest varieties I’ve tasted. However, what sets them apart from other sweet apples is how soft they are. When combined with the massive amount of juice contained in a Pink Lady, the soft texture makes them nearly melt in your mouth. If I’m going to buy some apples for snacking, these are my go to.

Finally, another locally sourced apple: the Zestar. These red apples are quite unique. They manage to be sweet and tart at the same time, as well as very crisp and juicy. Because of this unusual combination of flavors, a Zestar is a great apple to try on its own. Since they were introduced in Minnesota, they’re a great kind to keep your eye out for at local orchards.

Happy apple picking!