This report draws on five intellectually rich roundtable discussions involving nineteen Minnesotans, both lay and clergy, held at Center of the American Experiment in the late summer and early fall of 2015.
One of my favorite sports commentators, Tony Kornheiser, often screams out to his co-host, Mike Wilbon, on their TV show “Pardon the Interruption”: “Stop it, just stop it.” He says this when someone says something that is over the top or unbelievable.
Creating stable middle class neighborhoods should be the top priority of our political and civic leaders — a goal requiring quality public schools, reasonable taxes and low crime rates. The simple fact is that Minneapolis and St. Paul will not be healthy without a large and growing middle class.
Everyone agrees that Trayvon Martin’s death was a senseless loss of life. While we’ll never know all the facts, it seems likely that George Zimmerman did “profile” Martin when he first saw him. What happened after that will forever be unknown, and, in my mind, the facts were insufficient to convict Zimmerman.
How and where and when is it appropriate to reintegrate folks into civil society? Are the strategies we’re currently using appropriate and effective? What is the best approach? Over the past 40 years in this country, we have tried “Three Strikes and You’re Out.” We’ve tried longer prison sentences. We’ve tried determinant sentencing. We’ve tried numerous prison rehabilitation and education programs, including prison ministries. We’ve tried restorative justice, drug testing, work release programs, mentoring programs, and more. All of these approaches have a wide range of supporters and detractors. The results have been, at best, a mixed bag.
Reading Bonnie Blodgett's recent column about global capitalism ("What global capitalists didn't foresee," Sept. 2), I am reminded that there truly are no settled political, cultural or economic questions. If there were one, it surely would be that free markets are the most powerful force in raising individuals and countries out of poverty and increasing living standards worldwide.
Conservatives are inclined to be tough on crime and incarceration. Not incidentally, they’re also big fans of marriage, especially when children are involved. Yet doesn’t having a record make getting a good job extra hard – which in turn makes many men even less marriageable in the eyes of many women?
Starting from the reality-grounded premise that compromise is a necessary and honorable fact of political life – especially when different parties control different branches of government – what deals ought Minnesota conservatives seek in future legislative sessions?