Commentary and opinion on current civic, political, and religious events and issues.
Past issues for the year 2001 are listed below.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
31 Dec. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 52)
After Two Years
After two years of this column, our most serious problems still need a different approach than offered by either liberals or conservatives.
24 Dec. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 51)
Christmas Choir in the Colonnade
The sounds of a high school girls choir singing a West Indies spiritual spanned the centuries and renewed the spirit of Christmas.
17 Dec. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 50)
Paranoia about Our Northern Border
The concern about guarding the U.S border with Canada is based on unproven assumptions and does not provide improved security.
10 Dec. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 49)
On the Proper Role of Government
When government is defined too expansively, the public good falls victim to private gain and democracy itself is corrupted.
3 Dec. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 48)
Advent in Afghanistan and Israel
During this time of terrorism and war, what does the preparation time of Advent have to say to us and how does it affect the people of Afghanistan and Israel?
26 Nov. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 47)
Democracy Is a Necessity, Not a Nicety
Full-fledged democracies, with all of their strengths and weaknesses, are the most powerful deterrents to the malevolent aims of tyrants and terrorists.
19 Nov. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 46)
Islam Did Not Attack Us
Sadly, the Rev. Franklin Graham says Islam attacked Christianity on September 11. But that's what Osama bin Laden wants us to think, and that belief leads to unholy war.
15 Nov. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 45)
Why Do We Ignore North Korea?
Kang Chol-Hwan's new book exposes the atrocities of North Korea and challenges us to take notice of the people who are fleeing the country.
5 Nov. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 44)
Why Should We Subsidize Baseball?
Subsidizing baseball isn't about having fun. It's serious business that leads to the hijacking of public funds for private purposes, and it has no end.
22 Oct. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 43)
Needed: A Declaration on Terrorism
We need a declaration of terrorism that's as convincing as it would need to be if we were bombing American targets to ferret out terrorists hiding in the hills and mountains.
15 Oct. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 42)
State Workers' Strike Addressed Wrong Problem
In the just-settled strike, the state of Minnesota and its employee unions fought each other instead of joining forces for a simple change in federal law to revolutionize health care costs.
8 Oct. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 41)
The Global Security Act of 2001
A lot of measures are proposed today in the name of security. What we really need, however, is enlightened self-interest that helps both America and the rest of the world.
1 Oct. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 40)
Pandering to Fear
FDR said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Perhaps he should have added a warning about those who encourage fear and make it worse.
24 Sept. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 39)
What Are We Fighting For?
As we respond to terrorism, we need to define what we are fighting for because that affects whether people in the rest of the world will be fighting against us.
17 Sept. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 38)
A Just Response
A big military response will not prevent another terrorist attack. A hasty attack against the wrong enemy will make things much worse.
10 Sept. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 37)
Social Security "Cookie Jar" Myth Invites Intergenerational Strife
Those who claim the Social Security "cookie jar" is real are leading us down a path toward violence in the streets as generations fight over trillions of dollars in unfunded retirement debt.
3 Sept. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 36)
Ignoring Ordinary Palestinians
The news media in Israel's strongest ally tend to ignore the lives of ordinary Palestinians, who live in circumstances Americans would consider outrageous and oppressive.
27 Aug. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 35)
"Survivor" TV Is an Ignorant Insult to Kenya
The filming of a fake "survivor" series in a part of the world where survival is often a daily challenge is offensive to Africans and ignorantly flaunts America's wealth.
20 Aug. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 34)
Mayoral Issues That Make or Break a City
The candidates running for mayor of Minneapolis need to rethink the city's current approach to basic services, public safety, housing, corporate subsidies, graffiti, and neighborhood democracy.
13 Aug. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 33)
When Government Makes Housing Less Affordable
Something is drastically wrong when a city government refuses to let someone purchase and restore a run-down house, and continues the court fight even after the home has been remodeled.
6 Aug. 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 32)
Making New Technologies Work for Human Development
The mainline news media give much attention to professional anti-globalization and anti-biotechnology demonstrations but virtually ignored this year's report of the United Nations Development Program; perhaps they think it's too politically incorrect.
30 July 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 31)
U.S. Becomes a World Community, Diverges from Europe Again
Just as it did 225 years ago, so today the United States is taking a different direction than Europe, with immigration remaking the country into a democratic world community.
23 July 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 30)
12 Attitudes That Make Traffic Congestion Even Worse
Freeway congestion would not be as bad as it is if it were not for a dozen driver attitudes that slow traffic and make our daily commutes more difficult.
16 July 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 29)
Bundled Cable Packages Trap Us into Paying for Trash TV
If cable channels were unbundled and customers were free to select only those channels they wanted, trash TV would be forced to compete in the marketplace.
9 July 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 28)
Urban Drag Racing: Glamorizing the Unthinkable
One week after the release of "The Fast and the Furious," two accidents illustrate the selfish insanity that characterize those who drag race on city streets.
2 July 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 27)
Patients' Right to Sue One Other
The Patient's Bill of Rights will increase health care costs and enrich class-action lawyers. A far better (and simpler) solution would make all health care premiums tax deductible.
25 June 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 26)
Using Religion for a Political Cause
When religious leaders claim their factually-incorrect viewpoint is morally correct, they are misusing religion for a political cause and doing great harm.
18 June 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 25)
When Zealotry Compromises Safety
The zealotry of air bag advocates led them to oppose mandatory seat-belt laws, ignoring clear evidence that seat belts were far more beneficial. As a results, many thousands of Americans died.
11 June 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 24)
Ignoring the End of Social Security for Yet Another Year
We are once again ignoring social security's impending collapse in 2015, forfeiting the opportunity to invest this year's surplus in market funds to provide real wealth for future retirees.
4 June 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 23)
Bipartisan Compromise Produces a Lousy Tax Law
The new tax law -- the product of bipartisan compromise -- makes our tax code worse. For example, it waits nine years to phase out the estate tax, then restores it one year later.
28 May 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 22)
Suburban Influences on Urban Crime and Other Observations
The police precinct advisory council meeting shared several insights, including how suburbanites contribute to urban crime and how some crimes can easily be deterred.
21 May 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 21)
Angel Island and Ellis Island
Historian Ronald Takaki describes Angel Island and other omissions in the saga of how Asian Americans arrived in this country and made their homes here in spite of racial prejudice.
14 May 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 20)
The Coalition to Keep Poor People Poor
Free trade, which helps the poor, can only be restricted by government coercion in response to pressure from special interest groups that stand to gain from limits on trade.
7 May 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 19)
Settlement Gives Law Firm $3.1 Million, Consumer 38 Cents
Law firm wins millions for itself and small amounts for its class action "clients," then sues columnist who dares to criticizes its conduct.
30 April 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 18)
Springtime and Conservation
Conclusions while hanging awnings and cleaning fans this spring: we need to change our throw-away attitudes and apply free-market principles to energy consumption.
23 April 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 17)
Talking Sense about Arsenic in Drinking Water
The personal vendetta against President Bush because of his suspension of new EPA rules on arsenic makes reasonable discussion impossible and excludes other possible solutions.
16 April 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 16)
We cannot put the anguish in Cincinnati behind us until we reflect on the causes of the riots and make difficult personal, societal, and governmental changes.
9 April 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 15)
Chinese Spy Plane Collides with U.S. Fighter Near Pensacola
As we try to get China to return our spy plane's crew, imagine our reaction if a Chinese spy plane were to crash-land on a military base inside the U.S.
2 April 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 14)
When Taxes Take 64 Percent of a Family's Pay Hike
Marginal total tax rates on some middle income families are as high as 64 percent. Such rates are unfair and unreasonable, and constitute bad fiscal policy as well.
26 March 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 13)
A Tale of Two (More) Sports Stadiums
The proposals to spend $800 million to build two more sports stadiums in the Minneapolis area are based on economics that favor team owners over taxpayers and citizens.
19 March 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 12)
Humanity Needs to Be in Space
Even though Mir will crash to earth later this week, humanity needs to build a permanent human presence in space, return to the moon, and reach for the solar system.
12 March 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 11)
California Governor's Energy Irresponsibility Threatens the Nation
The disturbing actions of California Governor Gray Davis are worsening California's energy crisis in ways that bring to mind how the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 deepened the Great Depression.
5 March 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 10)
Estate Taxes Solidify Elite's Economic Power
Contrary to popular belief, estate taxes actually prevent the middle class from becoming wealthy enough to challenge the economic power of the super-rich.
26 February 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 9)
Biggest Peacetime Tax Increase Is Coming
The federal government, which already spends over 20 percent of GDP, is looking at a surplus as high as $7 trillion and -- absent a tax cut -- the biggest peacetime tax increase in American history.
19 February 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 8)
Do Embargoes Prop Up Dictators?
Last week's bombing raids on Iraq should remind us that our embargoes of Iraq and other countries are ineffective; they prop up dictators and hurt the very people they are supposed to help.
12 February 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 7)
When Evil Is Celebrated and Encouraged
The lyrics of some musicians are unremittingly crass and astonishingly evil, yet they are nominated for awards and recognized as leaders. The consequences of such topsy-turvy standards are horrific.
5 February 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 6)
Goodbye, Father Tim Kernan
In conventional terms, Father Tim Kernan's life was complicated by problems and suffering. But many of us are richer people because of this extraordinary man.
29 January 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 5)
Letting Sports Figures Get Away with Murder
The murder cases of NFL players Ray Lewis and Rae Carruth, and the advent of the XFL, indicate that the sports industry is getting away with murder, literally and figuratively.
22 January 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 4)
California's Manmade Energy Crisis Is Stupid
California's manmade electrical energy crisis was avoidable and can be corrected before it wrecks California's economy, but only if the state's politicians are humble enough to change their ways.
15 January 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 3)
Racial Politics on MLK's Birthday
The idea that only one political party's policies can benefit persons of color is a hazardous notion does not benefit any Americans.
8 January 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 2)
Taxing Services Is a Confused, Back-Door Income Tax
The confusing set of tax changes proposed by Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has the same flaws inherent in all complex tax schemes: unintended consequences and unforeseen inequities.
1 January 2001 (Vol. 2, No. 1)
On the Seventh Day of Christmas
In many ways, secularism has co-opted the season of Christmas. We forget the arrival of the Savior and throw our Christmas trees away midway through the twelve days of Christmas.
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
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