Minnesota is facing its largest influx of immigrants in nearly a quarter of a century at the same time immigration is becoming a political issue. More than 11,700 people immigrated to Minnesota in 2004, according to Homeland Security Data released this week. The leading group -- totaling 1,445 -- of new wave immigrants was from Somalia, according to The Associated Press. There are many reasons why immigrants come to Minnesota. Some are the same reasons as in the past when many Norwegians, Swedes, Irish, Germans and others immigrated to the state. The state economy drew new immigrants.
The Willmar School Board made the right decision for the moment Tuesday night when it declined a purchase offer for Washington Learning Center, but left the door open for future discussions. Affiliated Community Medical Centers had made an offer to purchase Washington, which is located on Willmar Avenue west of the ACMC Willmar location. Currently, the Washington building houses the district programs for Community Education, Adult Basic Education, Head Start and other preschool programs. The school district is facing difficult challenges and significant decisions in the coming months. Dist
If life were a football game, we'd be commending Muslims for an artful fake. While half the Muslim world was rioting in reaction to a few unremarkable cartoons -- thanks to the fancy footwork of the anti-West Muslim Brotherhood -- nuclear-minded Iran was making new kissy sounds with head cheerleader Fidel Castro. In a little-noticed news item the same week as the riots, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accepted an invitation to visit Cuba in September to show gratitude for Castro's support of Iran's nuclear program.
WASHINGTON -- Last week the Bush administration was finally forced out of its own pre-9/11 worldview -- and yes you read that right. It happened because some brave Republicans stared the president down and said: Stop. Of course, it is the administration that is always accusing its opponents of pre-9/11 thinking. But for the last five years, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove have been willing to put the national unity required to fight terrorism in second place behind their goals of aggrandizing presidential power and winning elections. Can you get more pre-9/11 than that?
After reading the Jan. 24 letter to the editor, "The dangers of intolerance," I cannot help but wonder at what this man's definition of "Christian" is; perhaps he could tell us in this forum. He states that another "brand" of Christianity may not find the picture of Lindsay Lohan pornographic. However, pictures like Lohan's back 40-50 years ago were only found in porn magazines. Porn magazines are designed to incite lust.
SAN DIEGO -- No sooner had I written recently that I was frustrated with President Bush's hardheadedness, muddled messages, and refusal to learn from mistakes than I got a letter from a reader who asked whether -- with the benefit of hindsight -- I would change my support for Bush. No, absolutely not. Not until Democrats stop sending forth as their presidential nominees mediocre professional politicians who are so craven for power and so unencumbered by core beliefs that they'll say and do anything to win.
DETROIT -- Michigan has a problem: Its prosperity is withering as America's automobile industry withers. So Gov. Jennifer Granholm has a problem: She is seeking re-election in this cold economic climate. Her likely Republican opponent, Dick DeVos, has a problem: People are appalled by the state's condition, but they like Granholm. As does DeVos: "She's a really nice person." The result may be a rarity -- an outbreak of gentility in politics. Debates about economic policies involve splittable differences, so civility might actually be served by the seriousness of Michigan's crisis.
The time has come for a return to bipartisan partnership in this state, rather than the us-vs.-enemy attitude that has invaded Minnesota's Legislature and politics in recent years. The "our way or the wrong way" approach to politics in recent years has only resulted in a government shutdown in Minnesota and a polarization of the state's political process. It has not been a good development for Minnesota or its citizens. All too often citizens following the lead of politicians are taking the politics to a personal and uncivil level.
Kandiyohi County's Board of Commissioners is once again considering broadcasting its meetings on the local cable access channel, WRAC 8. The board has declined all previous attempts to televise their meetings. We commend County Board Chairman Dean Shuck for bringing the question up for consideration. The county has lagged far behind the city of Willmar and Willmar Public Schools, as both have broadcast their meetings for years. It is time the county catch up with the city and school district.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of political cartoonists. Not this time for the ones losing newspaper jobs, but those whose lives are literally on the line thanks to outraged Islamists offering a bounty for their heads. The cartoonists in question are a dozen Danish artists who drew Muhammad-themed cartoons last September for the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten during an exercise to test the limits of free speech. The cartoon-a-thon was conceived in response to complaints from a Danish author who couldn't find anyone to illustrate her Muhammad children's book.