Editorials

Plunder: An American way of life

Frederic Bastiat, a French economist and member of the French National Assembly, lived from 1801 to 1850. He had great admiration for our country, except for our two faults — slavery and tariffs. He said: “Look at the United States. There is no country in the world where the law is kept ...

Time for this law to be gone

Last week the Minnesota House of Representatives voted unanimously — how often does that happen? — to repeal a state law that is so egregious one wonders how it ever got on the books. The law, called the “voluntary relationship” statute, protects people from prosecution for the crime of ...

Is socialism a threat to America?

In his State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump previewed a theme we are likely to hear a lot about between now and Election 2020. “Here, in the United States,” he declared, “we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and ...

Grief, revisited and revised

One autumn evening in 1999, I was driving with my 12-year-old daughter in the front passenger seat, when she asked me something about my childhood. I don’t remember her question, but I doubt I’ll ever forget my answer. “I don’t know, honey,” I told her. “We’ll have to ask ...

Low taxes are the best sweetheart deal

Ever since Amazon’s breakup with New York on Valentine’s Day, dejected Mayor Bill De Blasio is complaining that corporations shouldn’t be able to play off one local government against others for tax breaks. “I don’t think it’s really fair to pit city against city and state against ...

Requiem for American vision

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” — John F. Kennedy, 1962 This is a requiem for American vision. That that quality has been lost is the unavoidable takeaway from three weeks of debate over the Green ...

Short Takes

Helping out when needed THUMBS UP: To all the Good Samaritans out there who have helped their fellow humans during this spate of snowstorms whether the person is stuck on the street or helping snow blow driveways. A special shout-out goes to Alissa and Josh Moat who helped a Southwest ...

Trump’s national emergency

The president’s decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border was an act of weakness, not strength. I understand that’s not the party line, but it’s an obvious political fact. When Barack Obama used his pen to give “Dreamers” a reprieve from prosecution, it was an ...

Our political identity needs to be American first

There’s identity — and then there’s identity politics. The difference between them may well be the crux of our next presidential election. Identity is, obviously, who we are — the sum of our sex, race, religion (or lack thereof), experiences and heritage. Identity is essential to our ...

Just $2 billion more?

Gov. Tim Walz issued his budget proposal for the upcoming biennium. He calls for another $2 billion in spending, on top of the $47 billion in the current budget, an increase of 8.5 percent. He plans to spend it on a lot of worthwhile things, to be sure. He wants to invest more in education, ...

Good news for higher education

There have been a lot of recent positive developments in Southwest Minnesota when it comes to higher education. It was just a week ago that it was reported both Southwest Minnesota State University and Minnesota West Community and Technical College ranked among the top schools when it comes ...

Hunting contests are not ‘cruel stain’ on state

Here in Wisconsin there is a tradition of hunting. From the Saturday before Thanksgiving until the Sunday after Thanksgiving, it’s gun deer hunting season. Many schools in northern Wisconsin actually have the entire week of school off because if they didn't, they wouldn’t have enough ...

Walz: Enbridge now needs a ‘social permit’

Enbridge Energy has operated a crude oil pipeline — called Line 3 — across northern Minnesota since the 1960s. It begins in Canada and ends at a terminal in Superior, Wis. The oil is processed by refineries in the Midwest that turn it into many products, including gasoline. Line 3 is ...

Tobacco 21 deserves support in Legislature

Minnesota’s success at reducing the percentage of people in the state who smoke has stalled recently. About 13.8 percent of Minnesotans smoke, compared with 14.4 percent four years ago. It could be that those who want to quit have managed to do so, and the rest are hard-core ...

Short takes

Military veterans deserve extra help THUMBS UP: Southwest Minnesota State University and Minnesota West Community and Technical College are doing their part to provide educational opportunities to military veterans. A national survey ranked SMSU third among all institutions in its small ...

Clear out the snow before tragedy strikes

Clearing snow this winter has become a big pain for Marshall residents. One resident interviewed while in the middle of snowplowing his sidewalk told the Independent that this winter has been “as bad as it was seven years ago.” “I have 142 feet of sidewalk to take care of, and every ...

Sex harassment should be obvious

Legislators are looking at a bill that would redefine what constitutes sexual harassment in Minnesota. Advocates of the bill say it is needed to lower the legal bar that makes it too hard for victims of harassment to seek protection. It’s sad that we have to do this. Sexual harassment is ...

Klobuchar faces her biggest political fight

On Sunday, Minnesota’s senior senator, Amy Klobuchar, announced her intent to run for president. She joins a growing crowd of Democrats who want to regain the White House in 2020. We know Minnesotans like Klobuchar, and have elected her three times to the Senate with increasingly strong ...

LGA: Walz city aid plan makes up losses

With the federal government increasingly dysfunctional and state political parties often taking the lead from their federal counterparts, the government that works best in the future may be the city. So Gov. Tim Walz’s plan to increase local government aid by $30 million, bringing it back ...

Short Takes

Polar blast puts heat on school districts THUMBS SIDEWAYS: Not only did the dangerous driving conditions caused by snowy weather surprise motorists, but it also put some heat on superintendents in southwest Minnesota. With students in the schools, decisions were made to not send them home ...