Commentary

Walz and the Legislature are tackling hunger — a few tweaks could mean even more progress

BY: - February 6, 2023

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone talked about public policy, electoral politics, and grassroots organizing as the ingredients for change that are “linked like the three legs of a stool.” Referring to that stool, Wellstone taught us that community organizing and electoral politics without a clear public policy agenda leads to a politics devoid of direction. […]

The SCOTUS leak investigation: Did they hire Inspector Clouseau?

BY: - February 3, 2023

So, it ends “not with a bang but a whimper.”          The memorable phrase of poet T. S. Eliot in “The Hollow Men” aptly describes the denouement of the much-ballyhooed investigation of the leak of the draft of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. The leak proved prescient because the final version, authored by Justice Samuel Alito […]

As a Muslim from Yemen, I am not offended by an instructor showing a piece of art.

BY: - February 2, 2023

I was initiated in a very ‎religious family who adopt a literal ‎understanding of Islam. For example, when I entered the house, I had to recite certain ‎sentences in Arabic. As a child, if I did not recite those prayers, I would have to exit ‎the house and re-enter. It is that serious. And ‎when […]

State agencies could have protected Minnesota’s waters. They still can.

BY: - February 2, 2023

The failure of Minnesota’s state agencies to protect Minnesota’s drinking water is documented once again in “Agriculture pollutes underground drinking water in Minnesota. Well owners pay the price” by Madi McVan of Investigate Midwest, published by the Reformer on Jan. 17. The story raises questions that deserve answers: Why do well owners, whose groundwater has […]

A high school student argues for the urgency of the Legislature’s 2040 climate bill

BY: - February 1, 2023

Last summer, I became a monk in Thailand. As a monk, I was taught about the importance of our responses. I was shown how our responses define us and reflect our intentions. In Minnesota, we’re facing the effects of the climate crisis, with average annual temperatures projected to be 10 degrees higher by the end […]

Minnesota college students: It’s time for the Legislature’s 2040 climate plan

BY: - February 1, 2023

In November, young people across Minnesota and all over the United States turned out to vote in robust numbers. We went to the polls to protect our freedoms and our future.  We now have the first Democratic-Farmer-Labor trifecta since 2014 and just the second in 40 years.  Our state Legislature can now move past gridlock […]

What ChatGPT can teach us about election misinformation

BY: - January 31, 2023

I don’t want to suggest you’ve been living under a rock, but it’s my responsibility to start this article with some basic facts. There’s software on the loose called ChatGPT that can carry on remarkably lifelike dialogues including issuing authoritative-sounding pronouncements on just about any topic. Some of those pronouncements are even correct. A new […]

FDA needs to take a labeling stand on products chock full of added sugars

BY: - January 30, 2023

OK. A quick show of hands. How many of you would be fine with an energy bar manufacturer labeling its wares targeting kids claiming: “Nourishing Kids in Motion” “[A] blend of nutrients for energy to help your kid Zipping and Zooming along” “In raising our family, finding nutritious on-the-go snacks for our kids wasn’t easy. […]

So far away, so close to home: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

BY: - January 27, 2023

On Jan. 27, 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz camp complex in occupied Poland. What the Soviet liberators found was grim enough, but most Auschwitz prisoners still alive in 1945 had already been forced by the Nazis on death marches weeks earlier. An estimated 60,000 of them were brutally driven westward to other camps. Whoever […]

Gun control is how you stop the bloodshed

BY: - January 26, 2023

A longer version of this commentary was originally published by Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Read the original version here.  My Nhan, 65, immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in the 1980s, and made her home in California’s San Gabriel Valley, in a community called Rosemead. Her niece, Fonda Quan, said she was ready “to start the year […]

Let’s not elect the next George Santos

BY: - January 25, 2023

When it comes to professional resumes, there are exaggerations and then there are flat-out lies. An exaggeration: I’m proficient in PowerPoint. A lie: I invented PowerPoint. For U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-NY, the lies seem to come easy. From a fake COVID-19 diagnosis to his mother’s fabricated death to the source of his campaign finances […]

Don’t trivialize the crime of stalking

BY: - January 24, 2023

Are you ever listening to The Current and start thinking about the DJs who were stalked? Have you seen “The Watcher” or “I am a Stalker” or “You” and thought about how terrifying it could be to be stalked? Those shows portray stalking as serious and terrifying. But you can also find plenty of examples […]