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Editorials

The first digital Census

The once-a-decade collection of information about Americans may well go down in history as the first digital Census. Let us hope it also is not recorded as an electronic fiasco. Officials at the U.S. Census Bureau will be utilizing tons of state-of-the-art technology in gathering information ...

Be wary of the Taliban’s intentions

Prospects for an agreement that could lead to withdrawl of all American troops from Afghanistan are “very promising,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Saturday. U.S. emissaries have been talking with leaders of the Taliban organization, which once ruled Afghanistan, for months. ...

Legislature: Solve bonding, insulin, gun violence issues

Insulin affordability. Gun violence. Small-town water treatment plants. Voter privacy. These are just a few of the critical issues the Minnesota Legislature should get serious about tackling when it gavels open its session this week. While election years can create incentives for elected ...

Short Takes

Not proud of this ranking THUMBS DOWN: The home security systems company SafeHome.org emailed the Independent its study titled “The Drunkest States in America which analyzed the most recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Centers for Disease ...

An act of cyber-warfare

Some other governments spare no effort to gain advantage over U.S. businesses and consumers. Trade barriers such as tariffs and unreasonable restrictions in the name of product safety are examples. But some — including China — are involved in all-out assaults on Americans. Theft of U.S. ...

App novelty vs. reliability

These days, it seems as if there is an “app” for everything. But the fiasco last week with the Iowa Democratic Party’s presidential nominating caucuses is a reminder that the appeal of new technology needs to be tempered by concern over reliability. Iowa’s caucus process is the first ...

Compromise before stubbornness during session

The Associated Press preview of the Minnesota Legislature that appears on today’s front page focuses on a divided government. Minnesota is presently the only state where Democrats control the House and the Republicans control the Senate. Does that sound kind of familiar? That same scenario ...

Primary: Give voters privacy in voting booth

The secret ballot has long been the pillar of representative democracy, but that pillar is eroding in Minnesota with the upcoming presidential primary election. Minnesota’s primary election law strikes a blow to voter privacy and must be challenged. In the two years since Minnesota’s ...

Listening to each other at refugee public hearing

One by one they walked up to the podium in the Lyon County Law Enforcement Center basement. One was a farmer. Several were educators, including a Marshall Public Schools District administrator. A couple ministers spoke as well. Others were just residents who wanted to share their ...

Insulin bill remains an unnecessary battle

Gov. Tim Walz renewed his party’s push to pass Alec’s Bill, a bill introduced in the past legislative session, passed by the Democratic House but not the Republican Senate, to provide assistance to diabetics who can’t afford the high cost of the insulin they need to stay alive. The bill ...

Working the bugs out of self-driving vehicles

The nanny crowd ­— folks who insist only government is capable of protecting us against anhy hazard — wasted no time in criticizing proposed new federal guidelines for autonomous vehicle makers. “This is a science experiment playing out in real time on our roadways without any safeguards ...

Bonding bill must fund critical infrastructure ahead of fun stuff

With the 2020 Minnesota legislative session set to convene Feb. 11, it’s good that Gov. Tim Walz is putting forth a detailed bonding proposal. After all, legislative tradition in even-numbered years (also known as election years ... ahem) dictates the Legislature and governor draft and pass a ...

World must remember horrors of Holocaust

Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland by troops of the Soviet Army. Auschwitz has come to be the biggest symbol of the Holocaust, the program Nazi Germany undertook during World War II as the ...

Dealing with the risk of ‘emerging diseases’

We are told frequently that we ought to be worried about the seas rising, because of climate change. But another type of sea — of viruses and bacteria — also is rising. Ought we to be as complacent as we clearly are about it? At this writing, Chinese officials had said the death toll in a ...

Keep history of Holocaust alive

Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland by troops of the Soviet Army. Auschwitz has come to be the biggest symbol of the Holocaust, the program Nazi Germany undertook during World War II as the ...

Countries don’t want our trash

Clearly, the developed world needs to do more about how we dispose of our trash. Just as obviously, the United States, often cited as the chief villain in that regard, is far from alone. For years, much of the plastic waste disposed of by prosperous countries — even much of that officials ...

Prosecute those who resort to violence

On occasion, politics in our nation becomes an exercise in confrontation. Harsh words are exchanged. Voices are raised. But most of the time, people who disagree keep their distance, recognizing that the First Amendment is no excuse for violence. Last week, a judge in Cincinnati, Ohio, ...

Stamping out corruption in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vasquez is fighting back against the corruption and inefficiency that has hindered efforts to help hurricane victims on her island. Good for her. U.S. officials should provide all the support at their disposal. On Sunday, Vasquez fired the heads of two government ...

Doris Miller deserves Medal of Honor

Many Americans became heroes on Dec. 7, 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. One of them, a Navy mess attendant, had been told he wasn’t even supposed to fire guns — because he was black. He was Doris “Dorie” Miller, a young Texan serving aboard the battleship USS West ...

Not-so-secret voting

We’re not sure who thought this was a good idea, but Minnesota law now allows political parties to pull back the voting booth curtain and peek over your shoulder in the new Minnesota presidential primary. The presidential primary will allow Minnesotans to have a say in who is nominated to ...