Commentary

Beware co-opting contempt for government in abortion rights battle

BY: - October 6, 2022

Commentary following the defeat of the Kansas abortion initiative tended to celebrate the way abortion rights messaging cleverly tapped into anti-government sentiment in the Jayhawk State. The praise focused on one particular TV ad, in which a male narrator proclaims, “Kansans don’t want another government mandate.’’ The ad flashed quick shots of a storefront sign with a […]

Still think everything is awful? Here are three reasons for hope

BY: - October 5, 2022

Step away from Twitter. Stop doom-scrolling. Yes, I know, American democracy is under assault. Russian President Vladimir Putin is muttering dark warnings about nuclear weapons in the face of heroic and historic resistance by Ukraine. Dozens of people are dead and large swaths of Florida have been devastated by Hurricane Ian. And Kanye West did […]

To reform Minneapolis Police Department, look to Northern Ireland and the Patten Report

BY: - October 4, 2022

Recent commentaries on Minneapolis policing suggest adding more police or forging a court order requiring multiple governmental and community entities to enter a compact to “achieve racial justice and equity, reduce crime, increase safety for all and foster trust throughout our community.” The first approach is too narrow; the second is too vague and unrealistic. […]

Minnesota’s anti-BDS law prevents discrimination against Israeli citizens and businesses  

BY: and - October 3, 2022

This guest commentary is a response to a recent Reformer article that argued the state should repeal a law that forbids state contractors from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.  Next April, hundreds of Minnesotans will travel to Israel to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and the success […]

Minnesota should repeal anti-BDS legislation

BY: - September 30, 2022

In May, Shireen Abu Aqleh was assassinated in occupied East Jerusalem. She was a famous Arab journalist and also an American citizen, and her death was mourned throughout the Arab world. Reporting by CNN, the New York Times, and the Associated Press confirm what many Palestinians already suspected — Aqleh was killed in a targeted […]

Child care pros on squaring the circle of low wages and high costs: We need public funding

BY: , and - September 29, 2022

Early childhood education is in the news every single day, largely because of the huge challenges in child care due to the pandemic. The headlines from across the country and Minnesota often center around how challenging it is for parents to find care for their children because spaces simply don’t exist and care they can […]

The Republican advantage: It’s easier to be against things than for them

BY: - September 28, 2022

I don’t know what they have to say It makes no difference anyway Whatever it is, I’m against it Your proposition may be good But let’s have one thing understood: Whatever it is, I’m against it And even when you’ve changed it or condensed it I’m against it — Groucho Marx, from the film “Horse […]

Fascism from Italy to Hibbing and back again

BY: - September 27, 2022

In 2018, I traveled 4,000 miles to interview a man named Victor Befera about our shared hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. Vic was 92 then. He’s still kicking at 96. Though he spent most of his life as a successful newspaper and marketing man in northern California, Vic grew up on the Mesabi Iron Range in […]

We need a transformative Farm Bill

BY: and - September 26, 2022

On a beautiful summer evening in mid-August, 141 Land Stewardship Project members and supporters gathered on Legvold Farms in Northfield to call for transformational change in the federal Farm Bill. This law is set to be reauthorized in the fall of 2023, and Congress is already considering what will be included. Now is the time […]

United Properties must respect workers’ rights on their senior housing projects

BY: - September 23, 2022

United Properties president and Chief Investment Officer Bill Katter received the President’s Award Thursday — that’s the highest honor from the Minnesota chapter of real estate development association NAIOP. The President’s Award “recognizes outstanding service to the commercial real estate industry… and to the community.”  Our community, however, sees routine abuse, wage theft and safety violations […]

Big money scores big with St. Paul council’s plan to gut rent stabilization

BY: - September 20, 2022

The St. Paul City Council plans to approve a package of amendments this week that will exempt at least 20,000 of the city’s rental units from the rent control protections approved by voters last year, according to an analysis by the Housing Justice Center. For what purpose?  So that landlords’ profits continue to remain higher […]

Fulton DA builds 2020 election conspiracy story from bottom to top

BY: - September 19, 2022

I don’t think Georgia is prepared for what’s coming its way. I don’t know how it could be, not with the most important and controversial trial in American history looming in its not-too-distant future. Now, maybe that trial will never happen. After months of investigative work into an alleged criminal conspiracy to interfere with and […]