Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

All content by Jasper Johnson

What it means to be an op-ed columnist

Published September 14, 2016

Last week, C.J., a columnist at the Star Tribune, made national news for her criticism of KARE 11 reporter Jana Shortal’s attire while she was reporting on the Jacob Wetterling case. Like many people,...

Passive voice gets a bad rap

Published September 7, 2016

As I’m looking over career paths and taking more courses, I’m more and more exposed to government and professional documents. Though frequently used, passive voice never gets enough respect among writers.For...

Militarizing police is inevitable

Published July 27, 2016

Between recent high-profile terrorist cases and unjustified murder at the hands of police, many are asking the question, “How should we arm law enforcement officers?” The White House is currently...

Exposure to harsh realities: worth the cost?

Published July 13, 2016

It seems as though this summer has been filled with tragedy. The past couple months have seen the deadliest mass shooting in the United States, an airport attack in Istanbul, a massive suicide bombing...

Call it reactionary, not radical

Published June 29, 2016

In the wake of Orlando, or really any massacre for that matter, I often see the qualifier “radical” used synonymously with “extreme.”  Ironically, the most frequent uses describe...

Police insurance doesn’t solve the problem

Published June 15, 2016

Advocates of police reform are pushing for a ballot measure that would require Minneapolis police officers to carry liability insurance.  Similar to how car accidents raise your insurance premiums,...

System isn’t ‘rigged,’ just hectic

Published June 1, 2016

This past week, Minnesota lawmakers agreed to change Minnesota electoral procedures from caucuses to primaries. During this election season, criticisms have abounded over “rigged” electoral...

Now, it’s time to rethink the draft

Published May 5, 2016

Last week, a House committee passed an amendment that would revise the National Defense Authorization Act, requiring women to register for the draft.      This seems like a natural progression...

Rein in greek life’s political influence now

Published May 4, 2016

Last week, the University of Minnesota announced that it will soon allow a suspended fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, to return to campus. The group was suspended last year after episodes of hazing and...

Promote health in student dorms

Published April 28, 2016

What do dorms and prisons have in common? Some critics might argue mediocre food and bothersome residents — but due to the fact that both places feature many people living in close quarters, I’d...

Put the ‘science’ back in social science

Published April 27, 2016

During my time as an undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts, I’ve taken a wide variety of social sciences courses. This semester, I’ve had the opportunity to explore some quantitative...

Keep prayer out of government

Published April 21, 2016

Earlier this month, Gov. Mark Dayton declared that May 5 will once again be the official state “Day of Prayer” in Minnesota. That date coincides with the national Day of Prayer. As...

Reject essentialism while debating politics

Published April 20, 2016

In its recently released hit list, ISIS declared that several Muslim political figures — including Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison — are “politically active apostates.”      Far...

Quirky college essays must go

Published April 14, 2016

While looking into graduate programs over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed many differences between graduate and undergraduate application processes. Most noticeably, essay prompts for graduate programs...

Panama Papers are nothing to dramatize

Published April 13, 2016

In recent days, news sources have extensively covered the Panama Papers — an enormous financial leak which revealed information about the shell corporations of scores of global elites. However, I...

With Tesla, dream of electric cars

Published April 7, 2016

Last week, Tesla Motors introduced the Model 3, the most affordable of their cars to date. In a matter of days, 276,000 people placed their $1,000 reservations.     I believe that Tesla Motors...

Think of college like a designer handbag

Published April 6, 2016

The University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents recently endorsed a proposed tuition increase for out-of-state students. The plan is to increase the University’s cost to match the midpoint among...

Bosnia’s wartime legacy still haunts us

Published March 30, 2016

This past week, a United Nations court found Radovan Karadzic, a man who served as a politician during the Bosnian War, guilty of committing war crimes in Srebrenica.     In a similar story,...

What’s a worthy target for divestment?

Published March 22, 2016

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a contentious issue among certain circles here at the University of Minnesota. Students for Justice in Palestine have been pushing for the University...

Scientific fact isn’t up for debate

Published March 21, 2016

Earlier this month, the Canadian government pressed charges against David and Collett Stephan for failing to treat their infant son’s meningitis and empyema with medicine. Instead, the couple favored...

There’s no shame in free trade

Published March 10, 2016

While gearing up for the Michigan primary on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders took to Twitter to criticize former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support of NAFTA, which he claims harmed Detroit.      Though...

Police oversight promotes social justice

Published March 9, 2016

The United States Department of Justice has announced it will investigate the Minneapolis Police Department’s response to the Black Lives Matter protests which took place outside the 4th Precinct...

Who needs Al Jazeera America?

Published March 3, 2016

Al Jazeera has announced it will cancel Al Jazeera America before April. Although I’m very fond of international news sources, I was glad to hear the announcement.     After BBC Arabic...

Free speech should promote discussion

Published March 2, 2016

Melissa Click, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri, lost her job last week. Several months ago, an infamous video captured her calling for “some...

Liberals should beware of Pope Francis

Published February 24, 2016

Pope Francis made headlines last week, first when he criticized Donald Trump and then when he decided to express his belief that it’s acceptable to use birth control to prevent transmission of the...

Online, politics is something to joke about

Published February 17, 2016

Although biologist Richard Dawkins originally coined the term in 1976, the rise of the “meme” as we know it today is a relatively recent phenomenon. Initially referencing the spread of cultural...

Wartime courts could try terrorism cases

Published February 10, 2016

Currently, the United States prosecutes terrorism through a mix of federal and military courts. I believe the strangeness of this procedure demands we either create a new system for trying accused terrorists...

Consider graduate school abroad

Published February 9, 2016

As the semesters trudge on and students approach their senior year, many consider graduate school when evaluating their academic future. For American graduate students, school abroad can offer affordable...

Celebrations don’t hurt anyone

Published February 4, 2016

Bruce Vento Elementary, a St. Paul public school, has made headlines for its decision to stop celebrating Valentine’s Day, among other holidays. In a letter, the school’s principal, Scott Masini,...

Abortion debates require complex thought

Published February 3, 2016

After the fallout surrounding the release of trumped-up videos appearing to depict a Planned Parenthood representative discussing the sale of fetal tissue, many states decided to conduct investigations...

Course grading policies get an F

Published January 28, 2016

Here at the University of Minnesota, different courses exhibit a wide spectrum in the amount of feedback students get about their grades. But one thing remains the same no matter what school you attend:...

Satirists, stop settling for obvious targets

Published January 26, 2016

Many people get their introduction to satire and liberal pop politics through TV programs like “the Daily Show” or “the Colbert Report.” While it’s nice to see people get...

Contagion theory could explain violence

Published December 15, 2015

A man with a gun walks into a school. A young woman detonates an explosive belt in a bazaar. These are stories we’re all too familiar with, and they seem to have emerged out of nowhere.    I...

Armed medics are a new reality

Published December 9, 2015

As strings of mass shootings continue both in the United States and globally, an interesting development among first responders has proven useful in treating shooting victims: Communities are introducing...

Christian terrorists still pose a threat

Published December 2, 2015

This week, a man stormed into a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic armed with a gun and propane tanks, carrying out an attack that left three people dead and nine wounded. Officials have kept quiet and...

After Paris, the unread contrarians rise

Published November 23, 2015

On Nov. 13, the world stood in shock as it received the news that terrorist attacks were underway in Paris. Information kept coming in, and the death toll kept rising — up to 130 — as many...

“People of color” means what?

Published November 19, 2015

Here on campus, the student group Asian and Pacific Islanders for Equity and Diversity has been protesting the restructuring of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence. The group is upset because...

Sanders’ college plan is too simplistic

Published October 29, 2015

Bernie Sanders and his cult-like followers often like to fetishize various European countries and their policies. His free public college plan is an example of such misguided policy. Obviously, there are...

Confirmation bias fuels conflict

Published October 22, 2015

The situation between Israel and Palestine is once again quickly decaying. My Facebook feed is littered with biased tirades and posts. Over the past few weeks, videos have captured various horrors that...

Kurds deserve our recognition

Published October 20, 2015

In an unprecedented attack, terrorists killed almost 100 people last week in Ankara, Turkey, after two bombs went off during a peaceful protest. It was the deadliest attack of its kind on Turkish soil,...

Vilified drugs can be beneficial

Published October 13, 2015

Anti-drug propaganda has led many people to believe that any illegal drug, or even nicotine, is an absolute evil and a poison for the body. However, many vilified drugs, when used properly, have neurochemical...

Campus rape tribunals are an affront to justice

Published October 12, 2015

Discussing sexual assault and rape on campus is an upsetting thing to do, but it’s also necessary. This issue has deeply affected people I care about, and therefore, I don’t embark on this...

We need to talk about sting operations

Published October 6, 2015

Six men in Minnesota were arrested this September as part of a child sex trafficking sting operation. Minnesota has close ties to sting operations as a policing technique — in fact, the Minneapolis...

Saudi Arabia deserves our scorn

Published September 29, 2015

Much to the dismay of human rights experts, Saudi Arabia was recently named head of a United Nations Human Rights Council panel. I can’t stress the absurdity of Saudi Arabia holding this position...

Nun teaches a lesson about Iran

Published September 23, 2015

Did you hear about the nun who broke into the nuclear storage facility? This sounds like the setup to a joke, but in reality, a nun and two accomplices, including one from Minnesota, broke into a nuclear...

Religious dialogue must gain new ground

Published September 21, 2015

Religious tolerance — or rather, the lack thereof — has been a common theme in the news over the past few weeks. A dozen instances come to mind of recent mainstream news stories that highlight...

Beware of classroom presenters

Published September 14, 2015

We’ve all been sitting in a classroom waiting for a lecture to commence when some huckster grabs the proverbial mic and begins to pitch a shady “internship” or “management opportunity.”...

‘Chicago principles’ needed at University of Minnesota

Published September 8, 2015

Free speech on American campuses has popped up frequently in the news this past year. We’ve seen growing support for trigger warnings, absurd cries against micro-aggressions and even the cancellation...

Minn. must try deradicalization efforts

Published July 29, 2015

Earlier this year, National Public Radio said that Minneapolis and St. Paul are “fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.” This statement is not without...

Gov’t repudiation of Confederacy needed

Published July 15, 2015

Discussions of race are once again at the forefront of American discourse, and the focus has been on the implications of Confederate symbols. The outcome seems to be the general rejection of Confederate...

Terrorist label misused in wake of shooting

Published July 1, 2015

Following the Charleston church shooting on June 17, many of my peers turned to social media. I saw a variety of posts and tweets, and a common misconception made glaringly obvious was our perception of...

Ruling overplays religious exceptionalism

Published June 17, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court found clothing chain Abercrombie and Fitch to be in the wrong when the company refused to hire a hijab-clad woman for assumptions about a conflict with dress code policies. The store...

Love is still in the air despite criticism

Published June 3, 2015

Our generation, despite arguments made by petulant and vague articles, still retains one of the most fundamental human emotions: love. It is quite common for older generations to doubt the younger generation,...

It’s time to take renewable energy seriously

Published May 4, 2015

About a decade ago, it seemed like talks on renewable energy were only focused on investment in research. However, in the last couple of years, many new and innovative products have come to market. Electric...

Freedom of speech doesn’t grant immunity from criticism

Published April 29, 2015

Freedom of speech has been in the news recently, with many people misusing it to further their agendas. Silencing critics or suppressing opposing views under the auspice of free speech is glaringly ironic...

MN needs to offer more support to reservations

Published April 20, 2015

American Indian Reservations in Minnesota have been in the news recently with several state agencies promising various aspects of reform.    First, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President...

Archdiocese needs restructuring

Published April 14, 2015

A United States bankruptcy court recently granted the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis an extension for its bankruptcy restructuring, postponing the deadline until Nov. 30. Most of the discourse...

Blood transfusion alerts could improve hospitals

Published April 13, 2015

New studies suggest that blood transfusions are one of medicine’s most overused treatments. This may come as a surprise, as many people, myself included, had been convinced that there is a seemingly...

Catch-and-release fees are necessary to support Minnesota’s habitats

Published April 7, 2015

Minnesota lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow anglers to fish without a license provided that âÄúany fish caught are immediately returned to the water,âÄù a practice also known...

Palcohol should be welcomed

Published April 6, 2015

Two bills proposed in the Minnesota House focus on misunderstood topics of public safety. One would ban powdered alcohol and the other would repeal an existing ban on firearms suppressors. These bills...

A case for getting rid of tipping for good

Published April 1, 2015

The foolish and misunderstood custom of tipping has reared its ugly head, an event underscored a Minnesota House bill that reduces minimum wage for some types of tipped workers. The cultural norm of tipping...

Reconsider Minneapolis public schools

Published March 30, 2015

Minneapolis public schools lose more than $200 million in state and federal funding each year because one-third of the district’s eligible residents choose to attend charter schools or schools in...

Modernize MN dispatch service

Published March 25, 2015

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety division of Emergency Communications Networks has issued an advisory warning about the lack of locational information for 911 calls made on cellphones. Unlike...

Minnesota needs more nuclear energy

Published March 12, 2015

Minneapolis lawmakers have proposed bills that would lift the moratorium on constructing nuclear plants in Minnesota, which has existed since 1994. Lifting the ban could help Minnesota transition to using...

Drug busts won’t help in the long run

Published March 9, 2015

Seven Minneapolis gang members were recently indicted on charges relating to trafficking crack cocaine. Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau told KARE 11 that the charges showed “results...

Therapy act offers youth support

Published March 4, 2015

A bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Senate that would prevent minors and vulnerable adults from subjection to conversion therapy, which consists of treatments aimed at changing a person’s...

Fees could hurt efficient vehicles

Published February 25, 2015

Rep. Ron Erhardt, DFL-Edina, has proposed a bill that would increase the tab fees for the most fuel-efficient vehicles. The idea of the plan is to make up for the loss in gas tax revenue as vehicles continue...

Minneapolis should dispose the archaic religious requirement

Published February 23, 2015

Minneapolis is considering a legislative change that would no longer require homeless shelters to be located in places of worship. The push is supported by City Councilmembers Cam Gordon and Lisa Bender,...

Restore voting rights to felons

Published February 18, 2015

This session, Minnesota lawmakers will be debating whether convicted felons should regain voting rights upon their release from prison. Currently, Minnesota is one of the 20 states that allow felons to...

Target Canada fiasco expands into Minnesota

Published February 17, 2015

Following its fiasco in Canada, Target has decided to lay off 550 employees from its Minneapolis offices. The firings did not come as a surprise. Target’s operations in Canada were a total failure...

U bioethicists speak out for transparency

Published February 11, 2015

In an attempt to spur reform, University of Minnesota bioethicists Carl Elliott and Leigh Turner have reached out to legislators with an open letter requesting, among other things, “annual committee...

Ventura takes aim at sniper film

Published February 3, 2015

In an interview this past week, former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura was quoted making disparaging remarks about Chris Kyle, the inspiration for the box office hit “American Sniper.” “Killing...

Shariah accommodated in Minnesota

Published January 26, 2015

This past week, Tony Perkins, president of conservative lobbyist group, the Family Research Council, made assertions that Minneapolis, among other cities in the United States, enforces Shariah as the law...

Spotlight for education reform

Published January 20, 2015

Though still in its infancy, President Barack Obama’s proposal for two free years of community college for qualified students seems to show serious promise for educational reform. Hopefully, it will...

The lottery is not a fool’s game

Published January 20, 2015

Earlier this month, the Powerball jackpot reached a record high just shy of $1.6 billion. Despite its popularity, I often see people bemoan this form of gambling as silly and irrational. However, I argue...