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Nate Fiene

Nate Fiene has 9 articles published.

Special Elections: Definitely Need to Pay Attention

in Opinion by

Two weeks ago, in the Kansas 4th Congressional District, a Democrat came within seven points of winning. This week, Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly avoided winning outright in the jungle primary for the 6th Congressional District in Georgia, getting 48.1% of the vote. I’m sure you’re wondering what the point is. That’s an excellent question, and with President Trump in office, one that deserves our attention. The president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterm elections. That’s one of the closest things to an iron law we have in American politics. In the last 95 years, there have only been two midterm elections where the president’s party has gained seats: 2002 and 1926. Not even FDR or Reagan were immune to this. The reason why I singled out those two elections, outside from the fact that they are the first ones this year, is the degree of competitiveness in ruby-red…

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Free speech is under assault in Minnesota

in Opinion/Politics by

In civics and history classes in our Republic, we hear the same stories so much that some of us just tune out completely, we end up forgetting things. As for myself, I lapped it all up. Civics, history, political theory, the question of citizenship, all of those are like drugs to me. I recently purchased a copy of the Federalist Papers, which I know will relegate me to “nerdy political junkie” status for the rest of my life, and I am more than happy to own up to it. In those same stories we hear, the buildup to the Revolution goes something like this: King George taxes the colonists. Colonists say “no taxation without representation.” King George and Prime Minister North said, “eat my shorts” and enacted the Intolerable Acts. Boston Massacre. Lexington and Concord. Bunker Hill. War. Declaration of Independence. America wins, the end. What’s lost but so very…

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DFL Leader Takes A Stand For Justice

in Opinion by

Rep. Melissa Hortman has been garnering quite a few kudos from left-leaning publications, citizens of color groups, and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party over her comments a few weeks ago when she said (ironically) that she was, “sorry to break up the white male poker game.” The comment was made during a debate about the criminalization of free speech bill that Rep. Nick Zweras authored, which would permit police agencies to sue protesters to recover the costs of having officers stationed at a site. After a speech made by Rep. Ilhan Omar, Hortman noticed that several members of the Minnesota House were not in attendance. Rep. Bob Dettmer demanded that Hortman apologize, but she refused. Rather, she pointed out each and every woman of color that made a speech on the issue and stated that she was tired of seeing them ignored when the white men went to…

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Time for SCSU to transition to a Self-Op

in Opinion by

Good food, high quality for cost, and great management. These are things that would never be applied to Garvey Commons under Sudexo or Chartwells except on “Opposite Day.” I have an unlimited meal pass for Garvey, strictly because of convenience, and I can guarantee that I will not get it next year. I want to make this abundantly clear: I am not blaming the student workers at Garvey Commons. They have to put up with demanding student-customers, oppressive management, and doing the best they can under a lot of pressure. Failure begins at the top with on-site management and more often than not, it is the front-line workers who suffer. Secondly, I am not expecting a five-star, twelve-course meal. I am, however, expecting a reasonable quality of food. Part of the reason why I chose to purchase my meal plan at Garvey Commons was because of the big hype around…

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Education should be a guaranteed right. Period.

in Opinion by

The time has come for education to be treated as a right. Period. The idea that higher education is simply for those who can afford it is decidedly not just, fair, or good for our democracy. You see, friends and fellow citizens, we all agree that K-12 education is good. We all agree that preschool is good. Many, many of us agree that trade schools, community colleges, and universities are good. The question becomes, then, why is it that those who choose to go onto trade schools, community colleges, and universities must place themselves in debt in excess of a year’s salary at a minimum? It’s illogical. Minnesota and my home state of Wisconsin aren’t that different. We value hard work, personal responsibility, neighborliness, self-reliance and education, among other things. Lately, however, both of our great states have dropped the ball. According to the Institute of College Access, in 2014,…

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Students, Rise Up! Your Country Needs You!

in Opinion by

My fellow college students, we have more power than we can dream of. We only lack the will and knowledge to use it. In the 1950s, 1960s, and even the 1970s, college students drove issues like divestment from South Africa, environmental protection, gay rights, disability rights, ending Vietnam, and dozens of others. Today, outside of a relative few, we aren’t that engaged and don’t know how to be. This is not by accident. This has been through decades of deliberate action by the economic and political elite. The weakening of our civics curriculum, decreased funding for education, breaking the power of unions, crushing mom-and-pop businesses in favor of corporatism, and the rise of corporate personhood have all contributed to our lack of solidarity and reduction of intellectual freedom. Socrates, the father of philosophy, said that even if one was a slave, one was still free if they were intellectually free.…

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50 Shades of What Are You Thinking?

in News by

The Fifty Shades of Grey series has its premise on a billionaire businessman, Damien Grey, and his “special friend,” Anastasia Steele having a BDSM relationship with each other, which some back story about Grey’s past to make it more than just a sex novel. Make no mistake: the only “romance” in this novel is the fact that Grey is a billionaire. If it was based in a trailer park, it would be a Criminal Minds episode. Come to think about it, there probably are a couple episodes with a similar premise. The real effect of the Fifty Shades series is bringing rape culture out of the shadows, not to be discussed and condemned, but glorified. It is disgusting and morally reprehensible. Relevant Magazine wrote an excellent article when the first Fifty Shades of Grey movie was released detailing all the stalking, abuse, coercion, and flat-out dehumanizing episodes in it. None…

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What’s going on with the Boy Scouts?

in News by

To many, the Boy Scouts is quaint organization that puts a premium of values like personal responsibility, citizenship, integrity, leadership, cooperation, and teamwork. What you may not know is that I am an Eagle Scout, something less than 5 percent of all Boy Scouts since 1912 have earned. Added to that, I have one bronze, one gold, and one silver Eagle Palm for having earned merit badges beyond what was required for Eagle. Over the last several years, the Boy Scouts have had some fairly negative reactions due to their exclusion of gay and atheist Scouts and Scoutmasters, which has been changed for gay Scouts and adult Scouters since 2015. There have been several challenges to the Boy Scouts of America’s membership rules, but what it boils down to is this: the BSA is a private institution and can define membership requirements as it sees fit. The most recent policy…

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