A Failed Bishopric: The Servants Strike Back?

Dec 16

A Failed Bishopric: The Servants Strike Back?

Update: With comic good timing, the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has now been accused of playing patty fingers with the Holy Water…only it’s nothing that amusing. Instead, the Saint Paul police have opened an investigation into an allegation that John Nienstedt fingered a boy inappropriately (there are not really many ways to finger a kid...

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11Years After: Paul Wellstone, Gone But Not Forgotten

Oct 25

11Years After: Paul Wellstone, Gone But Not Forgotten

Paul Wellstone died 11 years ago today, along with his wife, Sheila, and 6 others when their plane went down in northern Minnesota during the final days of an angry, contentious and politically charged election fight against Norm Coleman. Wellstone died, Coleman became a one-term U.S. senator, and Minnesota lost its beating heart. I wrote this for the St. Paul...

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“Redskins” No More? Most Offensive Name In Sports On The Ropes

Sep 25

“Redskins” No More? Most Offensive Name In Sports On The Ropes

Underscoring both the lack of experience and the absence of character in much of today’s media, the recent return of the effort to eliminate the disgustingly racist name of the Washington D.C. NFL team has been treated by many “reporters/writers” as some kind of weird issue that came out of nowhere. Lotsa heads up lotsa butts in the media these...

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St. Thomas Wins The Fight For Its Soul: Gays, Straights, Christians

Sep 16

St. Thomas Wins The Fight For Its Soul:  Gays, Straights, Christians

Virtually no notice has been given to the amazing fact that — after several years of ugly battles, controversial decisions, apologies and hostility — the University of St Thomas in St Paul has stopped brawling. In a remarkable address, new UST president Julie Sullivan, the first woman and first non-clergyman to head the school in its 128 years, signaled...

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When Minnesota Groveled for Gorbachev and Lost Its Soul

Jun 03

When Minnesota Groveled for Gorbachev and Lost Its Soul

I wrote this critique of Mikhail Gorbachev’s June 3, 1990 visit to Minnesota two weeks in advance of the actual event. Although I am a well-known Commie (mouth-breathing righties think so), this piece still stands up well: Minnesota’s leaders will go to bed with anyone if it inflates their prestige, and pads their bottom lines. GORBY-GROVELING A BIT...

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Ruby Red Letters: Re-Starting the Beating Heart of St. Paul’s West End?

May 19

Ruby Red Letters: Re-Starting the Beating Heart of St. Paul’s West End?

    The developers of the old Schmidt Brewery site in St. Paul — being turned into lofts and apartments after years of disastrous and misguided attempts to make the brewery into a headache-inducing ethanol plant — are thinking about restoring the old S-C-H-M-I-D-T sign. I’m all for it — IF the sign truly looks like the iconic sign...

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Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of History

May 05

Ernest Wabasha: The Burden of History

I was 30 years old, a journalist with a passing knowledge of Indian history. Yet it had never occurred to me, until I came across the name of Ernest Wabasha one day, that people still lived among us who were connected to the terrible events of 1862-63, the time of the so-called “Sioux Uprising” and the exile and banishment of the Dakota Sioux from their homeland....

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150 Years After America’s Largest Mass Execution, the Quest for Healing Continues

Dec 27

150 Years After America’s Largest Mass Execution, the Quest for Healing Continues

      HONORING THE 38 I took this video as about 100 Dakota Indian riders arrived in Mankato, MN on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, to honor the 38 Dakota warriors hanged in Mankato 150 years earlier — Dec. 26, 1862 — in America’s largest mass execution. The riders began their arduous 340-mile journey on Dec. 10 at Lower Brule, South Dakota...

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