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Arvonne Fraser: American Experiment Contributor

Arvonne Fraser, who died recently at 92, contributed several essays over the years to American Experiment symposia that I compiled on a variety of subjects.  She also was one of my 40 interviewees in a 2014 book, Broken Bonds: What Family Fragmentation Means for America’s Future.  One might ask how a liberal “trailblazer” wound up in Center publications.  Easy, I invited her. I don’t know when we first met other than to say it was a long time ago.  The same is true of her husband, Don, the former congressman and mayor of Minneapolis, who survives her.  Obviously, Arvonne and I...

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Teachers’ Unions Scramble to Remain Relevant

School may be out but the recent Supreme Court ruling that public employees cannot be forced to pay union fees has cut the teachers unions' summer vacation short. Kate Walsh of the National Council on Teacher Quality explains why in a pointed column on the opinion pages of the Star Tribune. After the high court sided with Janus in Janus vs. AFSCME, public-sector workers will no longer be required to contribute to their unions, something nearly half of all states — including Minnesota — require regardless of whether teachers choose to belong to the union. The nation’s largest union, the National...

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Lawsuit Charges U of M Bias Against Conservative Ben Shapiro

Conservative speaker Ben Shapiro just might get the last word in against the University of Minnesota after all--in a federal courtroom. The U of M refused to let the popular young speaker appear on the main campus in February, citing public safety concerns in off-loading the event to a venue with half the capacity on the St. Paul campus. American Experiment was among those warning that university administrators were teeing up a potentially lucrative First Amendment lawsuit at the expense of Minnesota taxpayers and free speech. The University of Minnesota continues to go out of its way to marginalize conservatives on campus. Perhaps the...

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National Education Association Meeting: A Social Justice Summit?

Marxist philosophy, abortion, gun control, open borders and transgender advancement were among the political ideas marketed to educators and their classrooms last weekend at the National Education Association (NEA) annual union meeting, hosted at the Minneapolis Convention Center. As teachers perused booths retailing titles such as “Marxist Education,” “A World to Win, the Life and Works of Karl Marx,” and “How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America,” some attendees questioned the legitimacy of the union as a representative body. As one vendor put it, “do you really think that the average joe, like a normal guy just off the street would come in...

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Will NFL Ban on Kneeling Matter in MN Congressional Race?

The NFL's self-defeating experiment with enabling players to kneel during the national anthem ended just in time for  Memorial Day. Ultimately the league's open-minded tolerance of players' patriotic petulance came at too high of a cost in ratings, ticket sales and fan loyalty. Tin-eared  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rediscovered his patriot zeal, seizing the opportunity to repair and rebrand the league's tattered image as America's game.  Could the timing of the announcement that players on the field will be required to do what everyone else does during the national anthem or remain in the locker room be more obvious? So where does...

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Bad behavior all around: 2015 Teacher of the Year using profanity, Fox News Commentator assaulted at restaurant

What do these incidents have in common? Trump Derangement Syndrome, or people on the left who feel entitled to act in an uncivilized, unhinged manner because they hate Donald Trump. It feels like it is going to be a long, hot summer in the Twin Cities. Just wait until the National Education Association (NEA) holds it convention in Minneapolis June 30-July 5....

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Change of Guard? Peter McLaughlin does not get endorsed for Hennepin County

The article, written with no sense of apology for its blunt focus on race, age and sexual preference, with little reference to policy positions, went on the describe other changes or potential changes in the guard in Minneapolis city and county positions. Nothing on addressing street crime, congestion or fixing pot holes, for example. Let’s just say it helps to get elected in Minneapolis if you are not an old, white, straight male. Sorry, Peter. ...

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Protesters Shut Down Blue Line After Dayton Veto of Tougher Law

That didn't take long. Governor Dayton's weekend veto of legislation to put more teeth into the law to punish protesters who shut down highways and transit lines already appears to have emboldened left-wing activists. Protesters have reportedly blocked the Blue Line light rail line this morning, prompting Metro Transit to close off service. KARE-11 issued this update. Light rail riders had a wrench thrown in their morning commute Tuesday as protesters shut down a busy line in southeast Minneapolis. Metro Transit confirmed that Blue Line Service was stopped between 46th Street and the Terminal 2 Station shortly before 9 a.m. after demonstrators sat...

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Candace Owens’ American Experiment Speech Continues to Create Buzz

Candace Owens visited Minnesota for only a day, but the ripple effect of her dynamic speech at American Experiment's May 8 forum continues to reverberate over a week later. Minnesota Public Radio broadcast Owens' talk twice across the statewide network this week under the headline of "Candace Owens' Journey to Conservatism." (Audio here) Candace Owens, 28 years old, believes culture and politics mix in interesting ways, and the left has had a "stranglehold on culture." She added, "whoever controls culture controls politics." Once considering herself a Democrat, she "had the feeling something had gone amiss in the black community. We've been voting for...

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