Infrastructure or Social Engineering?

During the unpleasantness of the recent presidential election and its aftermath, I was engaged with several of my relatives in an effort to steer them away from what I considered to be the “Dark Side.” It was a fruitless effort. As one nephew put it, he had his ideology and I mine. Perhaps that was true, but I wasn’t really sure what my ideology was.

I’ve played with many different schools of thought over my lifetime and considered myself an active Republican and Democrat at various times. …


War and the threat of war affect everyone. No exceptions. Even in peace, we cannot escape its impact. One that goes far beyond taxes.

Perniciously it requires a paradigm of “We vs. Them,” that gets in the way of human progress.

War is our universal inheritance as humans whether we like it or not.

However, since war is human-produced it must also be within human means to control, perhaps even irradicate.

This issue of war affects everyone, worldwide. Including all of those on the other side of … we.

I postulate that there are two types of wars.


Antoine or Ilhan?

If you are a Democrat in Minnesota’s Fifth District the question is front and center. Primary day is upon us.

I’ll be upfront, I have had a lawn sign for Antoine in my back seat since precinct caucuses. It would have been in my yard, but my wife would not allow it.

You see she, like many in my family, like Ilhan. And why not?

Anyone Trump hates so much can’t be all bad.

Many also like the fact that she is 100% Single Payer and a champion of it as well.

There I part company. Too…

In November of 1969, I was a Signalman Striker onboard the USS Point Defiance as we prepared to enter the Vietnamese port of Qua Viet to offload equipment bound for the Army of the Republic of Vietnam.

Scuttlebutt aboard indicated that we would not be getting sandbags to line the rails of the flying bridge, which was my duty station as there were not enough for all three of the ships in our task group, and so none would get any. The sandbags would have protected us from potential sniper fire from the Viet Cong.

For the first time, I…

The Bald Eagle is the national bird, many states have state rocks, flowers, minerals and more. But I wonder what would be the National Sandwich if there were such a thing.

Some may suggest the hot dog, others would argue for the brat especially during football and grilling season in the upper midwest, Philly fans may suggest the cheesesteak, and fortune 500 empires have been built on the hamburger. But in my mind, the lowly peanut butter sandwich is the true American sandwich.

Most of us grew up on peanut butter sandwiches. We may not remember our first, but might…

Race walking around the running track — at more than four miles an hour for ninety minutes is a meditative as well as an aerobic sport. Recently a recurring meditation during my three times a week effort took me back to last November two Sundays before Thanksgiving.

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

I discovered online, reached out, and joined a handful of race walkers during their weekly Sunday morning jaunt. I was welcomed and one of their leaders stayed with me as I almost kept up with the main group.

It was a crisp morning as we race-walked around the Lake of the Isles, aptly…

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I have a love-hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions, a trait I suspect I share with many.

As a child, my annual resolution to brush my teeth every morning and night seldom made it past noon on the 7th day. These resolutions, of course, were made to fill in the blank. To answer parent’s or teachers’ inquiries and not self-motivated. And that was their fatal flaw.

As an adult I have made a number of similar resolutions, most notably to…

Today December 19th is one of the darkest days in the year, and after yesterday’s impeachment vote, one of the darkest days in American history. The good news is that things will be getting brighter soon — at least in terms of the length of the day, although a question remains about the political future.

The best takeaway I can offer for the impeachment is that it is quite clear that we as Americans need to take a bit more care in who we elect to lead us.

I do not expect Trump to be removed from office, although I…

I admit it. I was committed but also afraid.

Gays and lesbians have won the right to marry and are widely accepted in America today, but this most certainly was not always the case.

I played a role in that transformation many years ago. The following is my account of how Minneapolis became one of the first major cities in the US to adopt a Gay Rights Ordinance.

I will discuss the political circumstances of the time, a bit about me, and then the process as best I recall.

The Times Were A-Changing

In the fall of 1973, Richard Nixon was still president, having…

The city of Minneapolis has passed a 2040 plan that includes making triplexes permitted housing in every residential area in the city which were previously mostly single-family homes with a mix of duplexes in some areas. This change has many arguments for it and a few against it.

I recently wrote a reflection on my past efforts many years ago dealing with an effort to reduce - not increase zoning density in an effort to preserve the strength and vitality of single-family neighborhoods. It was published in the South Side Pride.

Before being elected to the city council in…

Earl Netwal

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