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Editorials

Appeasement is back in style

British and French leaders in 1938 have been condemned rightly for caving in to German dictator Adolf Hitler's demands. It was appeasement that strengthened Hitler's hold over his own country and emboldened him to launch World WarII.But at least the Munich agreement - "peace in our time," ...

Nepal needs help now

Nearly a million children in and near Nepal are in "urgent need" of humanitarian aid because of the massive earthquake on Saturday, UNICEF said Sunday.By the time you read this, an army of rescue and humanitarian workers from throughout the world will be laboring to help victims of the ...

Going backward on budget

Minnesota House Republicans seem intent on taking Minnesota back to the Pawlenty era and the days of budget deficits and austerity.During the Pawlenty administration, when "no new taxes" was the mantra, the state budget ran billions of dollars short, resulting in the need to cut state spending ...

Keep Hinckley inside

John Hinckley Jr. shot then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The attack nearly killed Reagan. His press secretary, James Brady, was left with permanent brain injury.Hinckley pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and has spent most of the ensuing years under compulsory treatment at a mental ...

Thumbs Up/Down

State testers get an FTHUMBS DOWN: How long has Minnesota been giving students their Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) tests? It's an annual rite conducted by the Minnesota Department of Education, making kids sit through exams to see how they are doing in a variety of subjects.You'd ...

Transportation bill shorts Hwy. 14

Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) is very pleased with the Republican plan for transportation funding that passed the House this week. The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 will not only "improve our highways but it will begin to repair roads and streets throughout small towns in rural Minnesota," ...

Bipartisan win is hard to come by

Congratulations are in order for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who helped overcome and impasse in the U.S. Senate to finally pass a bill to help victims of human trafficking.The bill was set to sail through the Senate several weeks ago when it was discovered that Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas had ...

Let Iran know what to expect

When then-President John F. Kennedy used Navy vessels to blockade Cuba in 1963, he made it clear they were to prevent Soviet ships from delivering missiles to the island nation. U.S. officials were in contact with Moscow, explaining how such interceptions would work.Are similar lines of ...

Mistrust of the law

Fairness and impartiality are at the foundation of the American concept of justice. It has been eroded to an alarming extent.Officials admitted last week that for more than 20 years before 2000, most FBI laboratory hair analysts slanted court testimony in trials to help prosecutors. Of the 28 ...

Whistles still blowing over VA problems

True public servants are frowned upon by some in the federal bureaucracy. Anyone daring to rock the boat by going public with evidence of malfeasance risks retaliation.Regardless of laws intended to protect whistleblowers, it takes a good deal of courage to be one. Government employees are all ...

Worry about Iran proposal is bipartisan

President Barack Obama takes virtually every opportunity to insist it is Republicans in Congress who are trying to torpedo what he insists is a reasonable plan to keep Iran from building nuclear weapons.It just isn't true.Many lawmakers of both parties are worried about the deal - and they are ...

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Umlauts for allMinnesota Gov. Mark Dayton struck a blow for ethnic and cultural diversity by ordering the Minnesota Department of Transportation to put an umlaut back on the Lindstrm, Minnesota highway sign. The sign had been spelled "Lindstrom" due to a federal highway regulation calling for ...

Dayton right to push ambitious Pre-K plan

Governor Mark Dayton is a believer in focusing attention on educating young children. Last year, through his efforts, the Legislature passed a law funding all day, every day kindergarten for every school district that wants it.This year, he has turned his attention to pre-kindergarten programs. ...

Just a ‘slight’ increase

Federal deficit spending is up only "slightly" from last year's levels, according to a report this week.During the first six months of the fiscal year, deficit spending was $26.2 billion higher than for the same period last year, the government reported. No one seemed alarmed. In the context of ...

Driving’s tough enough without distractions

Every now and then law enforcement agencies crack down on one particular driving infraction, such as drunk driving, or not buckling your seat belt, or speeding.This week they are focusing on the problem of distracted driving. This is a real problem, one that leads to a lot of crashes, and a lot ...

Setting limits by law

Apparently it has come to this: Some members of Congress believe they must stipulate by law that President Barack Obama must obey the law.Obama has taken the law into his own hands, in direct violation of the Separation of Powers Doctrine, on matters ranging from Obamacare to international ...

Clinton a lock for Democratic nod

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former first lady, former senator, former secretary of state, made official on Sunday what everyone knew she was going to do, announcing in a video that she will seek the office of President of the United States.At this point there doesn't seem to be a single viable ...

Farm groups, governor should work together on water quality plan

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has a plan to create 50-foot buffer strips along waterways in the state. The idea is to pay farmers through long-term contracts to give up some land (the buffer zones) to protect waterways from runoff. This runoff allows farm chemicals and pesticides into lakes, ...

Thumbs Up/Down

Cuts good for jobs?THUMBS DOWN: Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature have a long history of arguing to give this state a better business climate and create more jobs. We wonder, then, at some of the proposals for cuts House Republicans announced this week.Among the spending the Republicans ...

Little Brother is watching, too

"Big Brother Is Watching You" was the threatening, cautionary motto in "1984", George Orwell's cautionary novel of big government controlling the lives and liberties of the individual citizens, who lived every minute under the gaze of government video cameras.1984 came and went without the ...