First Amendment knowledge grows

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Here’s some good news. The First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum Institute announced the results of its annual State of the First Amendment survey, which discovered the public has generally become more knowledgeable about rights under the First Amendment during the past year. You can read the entire report here.  Seventy-one percent of respondents were able to correctly name

Whose voices should shape the image of Central Minnesota?

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A front-page story in the June 21 New York Times reported on St. Cloud’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigration advocates. It’s not the first time Central Minnesota’s racist and xenophobic attitudes have received statewide and even national attention. In the print edition, the headline read “Resettled refugees unsettle a mostly white city.” The online story carried a more detailed headline: “These People Aren’t

Just a piece of paper holds Americans together

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It’s just a piece of paper….and some ink. On July Fourth, we celebrate that piece of paper – the Declaration of Independence. Written 243 years ago, the 1,323 words declare American values and ideals. These words bind Americans together. You can read it here.  A nation created by ideas, instead of around a common language, religion, ethnicity, race, geography or

‘Successful’ legislators still left key issues unresolved

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When this year’s legislative session ended, the governor and leaders of both political parties touted the new laws passed and their successes producing results for the people of Minnesota. Unlike 2018 and several years before, there were no deadlocks that lead to public frustration, lack of action on key issues, contentious special sessions or a government shutdown. Even with divided government

What has always and never been?

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Graduation. For parents it’s a time of pride. For students, it’s a time to celebrate achievements past and the adult challenges ahead. As we mark this annual passage for our community’s young people, it’s time for the rest of us…friends, family and coworkers…to examine the mindset of this year’s high school seniors. For the last 20 years, Beloit College has

As session deadline nears, budget deal pushes aside policy goals

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The end is near. Legislators are heading toward a deadline of midnight Monday, May 20, to finish their work. Despite the best intentions at the start of the session to look for early compromises and stick to a deadline to wrap up committee work, the big decisions will happen at the last minute. Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature and DFL

Minnesotans last to agree on election security

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Minnesota usually shows up near the top, if not No. 1, in rankings of the states. But on the urgent issue of election security, Minnesota is dead last. Despite pledges of bipartisanship for this legislative session, Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked over how to spend a potential $6 million to improve election security. Minnesota is the only state that has