Commentary and opinion on current civic, political, and religious events and issues.
Past issues for the year 2000 are listed below.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
18 December 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 49)
Was the Supreme Court Decision a Bad One?
Some are outraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's December 12 decision on the Florida recount, but the seven principles laid out in the court's decision seem pretty clear.
11 December 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 48)
If My Car Ran Like a Personal Computer
If my car ran like a personal computer, the dashboard would sometimes rearrange itself, I'd get error messages about the car's "illegal" operations, and I'd often have to pull over to shut off the engine and restart the car.
4 December 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 47)
Statewide Florida Recount Wouldn't Change the Outcome
Statistical projection of already-completed manual recounts would increase Bush's statewide margin of victory by 176 votes. Counties selected for recounts by Gore had fewer so-called "anomalies" than many other counties.
27 November 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 46)
Why Didn't Gore Demand a Statewide Recount in Florida?
The central enduring question of the 2000 presidential election is why Al Gore did not seek a statewide recount in Florida, but instead requested recounts in just four selected counties.
20 November 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 45)
States Could Easily Reform the Electoral College
If all states used the electoral college reform procedures already used in Maine and Nebraska, there would already be a clear, justifiable presidential winner and the Palm Beach County controversy wouldn't make any difference.
13 November 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 44)
Those the Campaign Left Behind
Most of this year's presidential campaign was targeted at the American middle class and ignored those left behind by the general prosperity of the 1990s. The problems of the underclass are largely out of sight and there are no easy answers.
6 November 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 43)
37 Murder Witnesses Remain Silent
When 37 people witness the murder of an 11-year-old boy and refuse to say who did it, we are faced with a societal breakdown so severe that it can only be fixed with uncommon solutions from both liberals and conservatives.
30 October 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 42)
Unrebutted Trillion Dollar Lie Defines This Campaign
Faced with one candidate whose ideas could bankrupt the country and lead to generational strife that would leave little time for our significant problems with racism, our best choice is that a timid George Bush will somehow learn to lead the nation while in office.
23 October 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 41)
Buchanan Campaign Demonstrates the Results of Public Campaign Financing
Pat Buchanan, who says, "We have our $12 million," uses that public money to advertise views like evicting the UN from its headquarters, militarizing our border with Mexico, and extolling Robert E. Lee and George Armstrong Custer as respected leaders.
16 October 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 40)
Culture Can Teach or Destroy Moral Values
While some forms of popular culture are neutral and others address fundamental moral values, more than a few openly flout basic moral values. Recent examples include the TV series "Titans" and "The Geena Davis Show," and LL Cool J's music video, "Imagine That."
9 October 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 39)
Privatize All the Federal Trust Funds Now
The $1.9 trillion in federal trust funds is a paper balance that has already been spent on other programs. If the funds were privatized, $148 billion in incoming trust fund revenues would have to be put into real investments each year.
2 October 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 38)
Taco Shell Recall Is Frivolous Rich Country Luxury
Some African leaders regard Western biotech hysteria -- like the recent U.S. taco shell recall -- as "eco-terrorism" that has nothing to do with food safety and is based on an anti-biotechnology lobby that actively promotes misinformation and fear.
25 September 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 37)
The Top Ten Reasons to Vote This November
The important issues in the presidential election are not debate formats and subliminal advertising, but rather criminal justice, social security, the IMF/World Bank, Medicare/health care, the underclass, education, world trade, civil litigation, racial justice, and taxation.
18 September 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 36)
Why Not a Joint Israeli-Palestinian Democratic State?
A joint Israeli-Palestinian democratic state would be more equitable and provide a better basis for a long-lasting peace than any proposal currently being negotiated.
11 September 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 35)
What Presidential Debates?
The current spat between Gore and Bush about debate formats obscures the fact that, unlike the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, the ones proposed this year are really glorified press conferences.
4 September 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 34)
Lying About Social Security: The 1990s Big Legacy
The legacy of the Clinton-Gore era--with support from both parties--is a massive set of lies about social security. The biggest lie is about the non-existent Social Security Trust Fund.
28 August 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 33)
Just Who Won This Lawsuit, Besides the Attorneys?
Class action lawsuit on alleged stock price manipulation nets some stockholders eight cents or less per share, but attorneys walk away with $6.35 million.
21 August 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 32)
Senior Citizen Discounts and Generational Conflict
When preferences by age extend down to age 50, we begin to approach a time when half the population will receive preferences based solely on age, regardless of need.
14 August 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 31)
Exposing FDR's Role in the Pearl Harbor Attacks
A new book indicates Roosevelt not only knew about the Pearl Harbor attack in advance, but--astoundingly--set about to provoke it and deliberately positioned American ships in Hawaii so they could be attacked.
7 August 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 30)
Democrats Should Run Bob Kerrey for Vice President
With a reputation for fiscal responsibility coupled with a compassionate approach to government, Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska would add the greatest depth to the Democrats' presidential ticket.
31 July 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 29)
Gore's Proposals to Federalize the Nation Are Disappointing
Instead of providing ideas on how to extend prosperity to all Americans, Al Gore has offered a dispal series of proposals that seem intended to federalize the nation. We need better.
24 July 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 28)
Debt Relief Bill Is Really a Bailout of Big Lenders
The $970 million in the so-called "debt relief" bill passed by the U.S. House will not benefit poor countries but instead will reward big lenders for making bad loans to corrupt leaders and will encourage them to do it again.
17 July 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 27)
Meaningful Campaign Finance Reform: Full and Immediate Disclosure on the Web
Last month's campaign finance reform bill doesn't disclose enough. Requiring full and immediate disclosure of all political expenditures would do more than any other campaign finance reform measure.
10 July 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 26)
Why Bush Should Choose J.C. Watts as His VP
Choosing J.C. Watts, Jr. for Vice-President would challenge a powerful racist stereotype, provide the Republican Party with an articulate spokesperson, and balance the ticket immeasurably.
3 July 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 25)
Death Taxes Clobber the Middle Class, Not the Wealthy
Estate taxes helped disinherit the heirs of the Chicago Daily Defender, penalize the frugal and the self-employed, and keep the middle class from seriously threatening the power of the extremely wealthy.
26 June 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 24)
The Great Crayon Scare: An Orchestrated Panic Attack
Last month's crayon scare was not an objective news story but a case of biased, sensation-seeking advocacy journalism supported by quotes from selected sources.
19 June 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 23)
An Absence of Personal Moral Leadership
Moral leadership is lacking when a principal pulls a fire alarm instead of confronting rampaging students.
12 June 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 22)
On the Limits of Government
Recent efforts seek to ban wearing deodorant in public, outlaw smoking on county property, and increase penalties for medical researchers. But there are limits to what government can and should do.
5 June 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 21)
The Korean War, Fifty Years Later
Fifty years ago this month--on a rainy Sunday morning on June 25, 1950--North Korea launched a full-scale invasion of South Korea. Today, the aftermath of that war is worth thinking about.
29 May 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 20)
Personal Responsibility for the Public Good: From Boulevard Trees to Schools
Residents neglect their boulevard trees and blame the city. Citizens and school officials neglect their schools and blame the state. But responsibility for the public good starts with each one of us.
22 May 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 19)
The News Media Are Key Proponents of State-Run Lotteries
Newspapers and television news programs have become shameless promoters of state-run lotteries, abandoning all pretense at objectivity as they use lotteries to attract readers and viewers.
15 May 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 18)
Labeling Bio-Engineered Foods Would Be a Disaster
Proposals to label food as genetically modified would require incredibly expensive duplication at all levels of the food chain, ultimately threatening agricultural improvements desperately needed to feed the world.
8 May 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 17)
Unseemly Fuss over Lutheran-Episcopal Accord Hurts the Gospel
Last year, the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) passed a new Lutheran-Episcopal accord by a margin of almost 70 percent. The fuss raised since then by those opposed to the accord is not good for the church.
1 May 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 16)
It's Time to Lift Our Economic and Trade Sanctions
Since economic and trade sanctions are ineffective and hurt the wrong people, the United States should lift embargoes against North Korea, Cuba, Libya, Iran, Myanmar, Iraq, and 64 other nations.
24 April 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 15)
Wealthy Mercenaries Plunder the American People
A new elite is grabbing for power in America, funded by massive legal settlements against governments and companies. All of us pay for this in the form of higher prices and extra taxes.
17 April 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 14)
Facing the True Causes of Homelessness
We ignore the key causes of homelessness: subsidies that favor homeowners, high personal taxes, discharging mentally ill people to the street, and a culture that devalues education.
10 April 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 13)
Inadvertently Stirring Our Conscience on Abortion
Accusations in the debate about whether to honor the author of the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion remind us this issue involves serious ethical concerns.
3 April 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 12)
Failing to Parent
Child care workers, youth leaders, and teachers see the human consequences of parents who fail to parent. It is a serious social problem we need to address.
27 March 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 11)
Get the IMF and World Bank off the Back of the World's Poor
A strong body of evidence indicates that the policies of the IMF and World Bank benefit large banks while harming people in developing nations.
20 March 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 10)
Gas Is Cheap, Government Is Not
Media hype about gasoline prices ignores the fact that, in constant dollars, today's gas prices are lower than they were in the 1950s. Taxes, on the other hand, are far higher.
13 March 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 9)
Addressing the Graffiti Explosion Before It's Too Late
Graffiti vandals are sometimes glamorized or excused. But the truth is that their dismal and depressing handiwork has serious consequences for our neighborhoods and communities.
6 March 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 8)
Using State Surplus for Tax Cuts Would Benefit the Most People
Minnesota's eighth consecutive tax surplus could reduce individual income taxes by 10%, sales taxes by 15%, or corporate income taxes by 100%. All would benefit Minnesotans, especially the last.
28 February 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 7)
Treating Taiwan Fairly
China is threatening the 22 million people of Taiwan with war to reunify on its terms. But Taiwan is the largest Chinese democracy in the world and deserves to be treated fairly.
21 February 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 6)
Kubi, Nigeria and Free Trade with Africa
Free trade is an issue of justice and fairness. It would provide African nations, including members of our sister congregation in Kubi, Nigeria, with the ability to compete and succeed in the world market.
14 February 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 5)
Monthly Phone Bill Reveals Regulation Run Amuck
Phone bills across America contain a convoluted patchwork quilt of government-mandated fees and charges designed to benefit a complicated web of private and corporate interests.
7 February 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 4)
Riding the Chicago Avenue Bus
The Minneapolis Route 5 bus that runs along Chicago Avenue reveals an amazing cross-section of the city's neighborhoods, and its passengers are a contrast in economics.
31 January 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 3)
Dr. King Was a Christian Preacher
As a nation, we seem to be forgetting that Martin Luther King was a Christian preacher and prophet. How many young people today would understand his last speech, when he said he had been to the mountain and had seen the promised land?
24 January 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 2)
Waiting for a Social Security Disaster in 2013
The impending Social Security crisis of 2013 is as predictable as Y2K was, but nothing is being done, and the consequences of inaction are far greater than they were for Y2K.
17 January 2000 (Vol. 1, No. 1)
Doing Right by Elian, His Family, and Cuba
There are some basic principles that should be followed in the Elian Gonzalez case. One is having his father and other interested family members appear in family court. Another is dropping the U.S. embargo against Cuba.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
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