Publications Archive for All
Nov 10, 2011
Fall has come to Afghanistan. Back home in Minnesota, it’s my favorite season; ushering in falling leaves, weekend football, warm sweatshirts, and the forthcoming crisp winter air. The weather is changing here as well, with chilly nights, frequent rain, and snow on distant mountaintops. It feels foreign to experience “fall” in a warzone—it just doesn’t compute. My previous two deployments were perpetual summers, with yearlong weather patterns cycling between hot, hotter, and hottest. Fall feels like home, yet it has arrived in Afghanistan—with winter close behind. I’m certainly glad to be rid of the heat; it just takes a while to associate the cold with camouflage.
Oct 29, 2011
This month, Minnesota’s State Executive Council — which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor—voted to delay 77 leases to explore for copper and nickel on private lands in northern Minnesota.
Oct 23, 2011
A block thrown through a home window. Cars vandalized. Hate-filled anonymous phone calls at home and work. Swastikas scrawled on houses of worship. Physical assaults. Dismissal from employment because of political views. Are these examples of retaliation against civil-rights activists in the South in 1954? Attempts by an authoritarian government to quash dissent? No, this is the sort of intimidation that Americans who support marriage as the union of a man and woman can face today. Persecution of opponents is becoming a tool of the trade for some gay-marriage activists, who -- ironically -- seem to view themselves as beacons of tolerance. Now, the groundwork for such intimidation is being laid in Minnesota.
Oct 10, 2011
An Oct. 6 editorial praised the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board's recent opinion requiring the disclosure of the source of certain donations to support or defeat ballot questions ("Voters should know amendment donors"). The editorial, unfortunately, failed to acknowledge the difficult and important issue at stake, focusing entirely on the virtue of transparency without ever mentioning how transparency can conflict with First Amendment speech, association and privacy-of-belief rights.
Oct 9, 2011
In America today, we rush to fumigate our public schools at the slightest hint of religion. Yet until recently, a Minnesota public charter school—Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy (TiZA)—operated in our midst as an Islamic school at taxpayer expense.
Oct 3, 2011
People on the right tend to be enthusiastic about yoking men and women in marriage and about locking bad guys up in prison. To what extent, however, does the latter practice undermine the former? Research verifies common sense by showing that married men are less likely than single men to break the law. Getting married is thus a good way for a man to help himself avoid getting locked up. But what about single men who have already been charged with committing crimes? They are less attractive marriage partners, not just because they may be incarcerated, but because rap sheets are not conducive to good-paying, family-supporting jobs. By not marrying, they lose a major source of support in straightening out their lives. How can they escape this trap?
At this school, usual excuses don't apply: The student population is black and poor—and highly proficient.
Sep 25, 2011
A north Minneapolis school at Olson Memorial Hwy. and Humboldt Avenue has demographics that seem a sure predictor of our state's most intractable education problem. The student population there is 99 percent black and 91 percent poor, and about 70 percent of the children come from single-parent families.
Sep 12, 2011
As dawn broke on Sept. 11, 2001, America was asleep—believing itself to be prosperous, safe and secure. Hours later, we gazed in horror and disbelief as the Twin Towers collapsed in a maelstrom of flame, smoke and debris. What did we learn? First and foremost, that there is evil—real evil—in the world.
Sep 11, 2011
We all remember where we were when the towers fell.
Sep 11, 2011
Our children are living in perilous times. To prepare them to preserve their heritage of freedomin this dangerous world, we must place education aimed at cultivating democratic citizenship at theheart of the school curriculum.