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Commentaries

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?
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
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.
Sep 7, 2011
Very high rates of family breakdown in the United States are subtracting from what very large numbers of students are learning in school—besides holding them back in many other ways. This in turn is damaging the country economically, by making us less hospitable to innovation while also leaving millions of Americans less competitive in an increasingly demanding worldwide marketplace. All of which is leading—and can only lead—to deepening class divisions.
Sep 6, 2011
In counterinsurgency warfare, the population is the prize. The strategic sympathies of people in cities, villages, and the countryside are what both insurgents and counterinsurgents seek. Population support—whether active or passive—determines physical freedom of movement, either stifling insurgent operations (see my 2008 articles from Baghdad and Samarra) or providing safe haven and support (Marjah, 2009). The same goes for counterinsurgents.
Sep 6, 2011
Consider this a Labor Day vote for loyalty. Remember Aaron Feuerstein? He was the 70-year-old owner of Malden Mills Industries, the inventor and manufacturer of sophisticated textile products like Polartec fleece, whose factory mostly burned down in the biggest industrial fire ever in Massachusetts in December 1995.