The Minnesota Daily

All content by Uma Venkata
Morgan La Casse

Venkata: Foot on the pedal – don’t let up

June 10, 2020

It looks like things might actually start to change: Minneapolis Police Department has been slated for dismantling by a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council; Mayor Frey does not intend to...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: America needs to start actively listening to the Black community

June 2, 2020

Until recently, I had presumed that the plights of people of color were all somehow parallel. That they were not a direct equivalency, but that the varied natures and numbers of disadvantages specific...

Morgan La Casse

Ventaka: After Iran, attention turns to the draft

January 20, 2020

The Iranian nuclear deal has never been stable, and Trump threw it for a special loop when he entered office in 2016. The proxy war continues and hasn’t stopped yet. Then we kick off 2020 with a Trump-issued...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: In cold weather, in cold blood

December 12, 2019

On Dec. 1, 2019, in South Minneapolis, David Schladetzky went to his ex-wife’s house to pick up his two sons. The boys, 8 and 11, were expecting him. When they ran to the front porch to meet him, he...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: The knight became the pawn

December 5, 2019

In the latest distraction campaign, wherein the president creates problems to distract the public from processing existing ones, President Trump has cleared three servicemen of war crimes with which military...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: Years in review

December 5, 2019

As I’m approaching the hiatus from my fourth year at the University, like all other seniors, I’ve learned more about things I hadn’t even considered even three years ago. I’ve cooled down and stopped...

Hailee Schievelbein

Venkata: Part 2: Good allies don’t abandon allies

November 21, 2019

Read part one here. We must not forget that Trump is the president of the United States, and in that office, he is directly supplied with the most thorough and up-to-date intelligence that our country...

Hailee Schievelbein

Venkata: Part 1: Good allies don’t abandon allies

November 14, 2019

American forces abandoned Kurdish allies in Syria in October, breaching their trust after years of Kurdish sacrifice and leaving them exposed. This erratic American behavior overseas is not atypical since...

Sarah Mai

Venkata: Driver, roll up the isolationism, please

November 7, 2019

This Monday, President Trump announced that the U.S. is formally withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement’s goal is to keep the rise in global temperature below the catastrophic 2°C,...

Morgan La Casse

Ventaka: Califumigation

October 31, 2019

To a grid-oriented, common-sense-buyer Midwesterner like me, California is a topsy-turvy place. The state’s GDP has overtaken that of Great Britain as the fifth-largest economy worldwide, and Silicon...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: My two… cents

October 24, 2019

Recently I went on a shopping date with a girlfriend, and one of our items was a supportive bra. My girl got fitted for a bra for her first time and it had an immediate effect. The smile on her face when...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: Running on empty

October 17, 2019

The elderly, like all of us, never wanted to be a burden. In the United States, one out of 11 Americans age 60 or over goes hungry. This is a lot of people. One of the most startling points is that many...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: American dash cam

October 10, 2019

The A&E network launched a television show called Live PD in 2016, which can be considered a modernized version of the show Cops. By 2018, Live PD was the most-watched show, excluding sports, by adult...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: California reminded Uber that they have drivers

October 3, 2019

The California State Senate approved Senate Bill AB5 that would require gig workers in the state to be classified as employees, not independent contractors earlier this September. A week later, Gov. Gavin...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: Duty, honor, company

September 26, 2019

The U.S. Constitution forbids emoluments clause in Article 1, section 9. These are personal profits or gains a public official may receive, from foreign countries and officials, due to their office. Before...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: While we weren’t watching

September 19, 2019

I had some time to kill last week and had forgotten the Minnesota Daily crossword, so I picked up a copy of the Minneapolis City Pages. On the inside front cover was an ad bought by an organization called...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: The tension after the storm

September 12, 2019

The Category 5 Hurricane Dorian decimated the Bahamas in its hardest-hitting storm to date. As of Sept. 9, the Bahamian death toll had risen to 50. Thousands are left homeless and without any security...

Morgan La Casse

Venkata: The Laffer curve never gets old

September 9, 2019

This year, President Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Art Laffer, a former economic adviser to Ronald Reagan, for what is widely known as the Laffer curve. The Laffer curve posits that...

Venkata: A smart ALEC

May 6, 2019

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of senators and lobbyists in Washington, D.C. dedicated to the “principles of limited government, free markets...

Venkata: The past is another university

May 2, 2019

The University of Minnesota Women’s Club is full of accomplished, lively and fascinating women. A few weeks ago, I had lunch with the UMWC and talked with its president, Maggie Hoover, whose dynamic...

Venkata: En l’an 2019

April 22, 2019

In France, around the years 1890-1910, a group of artists produced a series of cartoons called "En l'an 2000" depicting French life as imagined in the year 2000. The artists went beyond the typical futuristic...

Venkata: You’re cute, but …

April 15, 2019

Imagine you were born in 1998. Unlike our 1998, in this imaginary one, Facebook and all the other internet connectivity norms existed. Your parents adored their healthy, happy baby and so did their friends...

Venkata: Amazon basics

April 8, 2019

It’s possible that I never learned about the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory fire in school, but I certainly heard about it at home as a fixture of Manhattan’s abuse of the working class, in the...

Venkata: Medical hubris

April 1, 2019

Anyone who has happily wasted time in front of the television show Scrubs is aware of hospital rounds: the educational method where a doctor and her residents focus on patients, one at a time, to diagnose,...

Venkata: Indictment (Remix)

March 25, 2019

On March 6, Gayle King interviewed R&B singer R. Kelly for his first public interview after his arrest two weeks prior for 10 charges of criminal sexual abuse. Kelly has been under scrutiny for sexual...

Venkata: On socially responsible investing

March 11, 2019

The bare-minimum financial move any time we receive a paycheck is to put a certain amount of it away for retirement and emergencies. As you may have heard, rough common knowledge is to have six months’...

Venkata: Refugees are still waiting

March 4, 2019

Greece is across the Aegean Sea from Turkey, and five Greek islands bear about 20,000 refugees and migrants who have escaped conflict zones through Turkey. One island is Lesbos, which has a few refugee...

Venkata: The politics of women’s health

February 25, 2019

On Feb. 22, NPR reported the Department of Health and Human Services issued the rule that “any organization that provides or refers patients for abortions is ineligible for Title X funding to cover STD...

Venkata: The internet of kings

February 18, 2019

People have decided to use the internet in adverse ways.  Election meddling is everywhere, and it's found easy footing here in the U.S. I believe U.S. intelligence agencies found this in their investigations....

Venkata: The next step in invasive advertising is here

February 11, 2019

A company called Cooler Screens installs screens on freezer doors, like in Walgreens, which monitors customers for their age, gender and “emotional response" in order to present an advertisement that...

Venkata: On the employment contract, Pt. II

February 4, 2019

If a homeowner renovates or builds a house, the very name of the career expert who is key to that job is “contractor.” Certain people specialize in carpentry, masonry, plumbing, roofing and painting,...

Venkata: On the employment contract, part I

January 28, 2019

When students like us enter the job market, we’ll either be hired directly or contractually. It depends on which is better. For a steady, 9-to-5, part-of-the-workplace job, the preferred option is almost...

Venkata: The bottom line of government shutdowns

January 21, 2019

The federal government has been shut down since December 22, 2018. There’s a fairly cut-and-dry way to think about how we got here.  During the 2018 midterms, we elected a Democratic-majority House...

Venkata: Diversity in Dinkytown

December 13, 2018

Dinkytown has been brimming with new businesses in the last year or so. College staples like Annie’s Parlor for burgers and malts, a chain cookie store, pizza joints and a couple of bars have been doing...

Venkata: The lame duck that swam

December 6, 2018

The Gophers took the Badgers’ axe away, but the state of Wisconsin is managing to chop their own house down just fine without it. Republicans in Wisconsin’s post-midterm, outgoing legislature are deliberately...

Venkata: The extent of evangelism

November 29, 2018

Between the afternoon of November 16 and the morning of November 17, a 26-year-old American citizen named John Chau was murdered and allegedly buried in the sand on North Sentinel Island in India. The...

Venkata: This land was made for you and me

November 21, 2018

I recently read a guest column in the Guardian from April 2017 called, “Confessions of a reluctant gentrifier," about Rogers Park — the neighborhood in Chicago where I grew up. The article was a cool...

Venkata: What Michelle Obama means

November 15, 2018

If you haven’t noticed already, take the time to look and you will see that Michelle Obama’s new memoir “Becoming” has renewed a quiet wave of emotion for the former first lady. I would say there’s...

Venkata: One small piece of the kids-and-phones puzzle

November 7, 2018

Not every kid is umbilically and emotionally attached to their cell phone, and not every parent makes a habit out of scrolling mindlessly through an iPhone through a toddler’s tantrum. But there is enough...

Venkata: Technological affects on human development should be a huge concern

November 1, 2018

Since Apple rolled out the first one-button cellphone, screens have been an especially touchy subject. And the more commonplace they’ve become, the more influential they are, because we’re head-over-heels...

Venkata: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA debacle

October 25, 2018

When the going gets tough — and it sure is, for every single contender in the upcoming midterms — we can sometimes make snap judgments, or even heavily meditated ones, that in retrospect were wrong....

Venkata: Spend our time wisely

October 18, 2018

If anything will break my heart, it isn’t Darnell Epps’s moving New York Time's opinion piece about his life during and after an approximately 17-year stint in prison. It’s the comments.  In...

Venkata: Humans caused climate change, but we can also mitigate it

October 11, 2018

Climate scientists’ prognosis for the future is so daunting and demoralizing that it takes uncommon strength to confront the problem head-on. Another saddening outcome is that most people, especially...

Venkata: Incorporating a Marriage 101 should be a no-brainer

October 4, 2018

I have said things to the people I love most in this world that I would give anything to go back and stop myself from saying. By hurting those I love, inadvertently or not, I’ve always done more or unintended...

Venkata: Don’t nix it: vote like your whole world depends on it

September 27, 2018

The 2018 Midterm Elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 6. See bottom of column for voter information. 1968 was a turbulent year. As a U.S. citizen at the time, overseas, the Vietnam War took and mangled Vietnamese...

Venkata: When you can’t just rise above it; storm surge and coastal real estate

September 20, 2018

Hurricane Florence would have happened, regardless of climate change. But the fact of the matter is that change in climate means a change in storms, too.  Like many of their peers, researchers at...

Venkata: Hide your kids, hide your Wi-Fi

September 13, 2018

Most students in their young, fun-oriented lives are not focused on having children. But bringing kids into the picture might help put a security issue into perspective. Most people don’t pay much attention...

Venkata: Recording accurate mass shooting and disaster statistics is an absolute necessity, in order to effectively deal a solution

September 6, 2018

On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School shooting became the deadliest in U.S. history thus far when two shooters claimed the lives of 13 people and then their own, injuring 23 more. Since then, shootings...

Venkata: With Bird taking flight and Lime trickling into the Twin Cities, regulation of services is left to catch up

August 1, 2018

My friend walked into the room the other day and said: “You know those adult scooters? There have been two of them on my front yard. They’ve been just laying there, for days. Going nowhere.” At the...

Venkata: Revisiting the National Rifle Association’s 5-year-old solution to school shootings

July 25, 2018

The fourth-deadliest mass shooting to date in the United States was at Sandy Hook, on December 14, 2012. After that shooting, the National Rifle Association got to work to put together a response to prevent...

Venkata: Shifting food mentality because imperfect produce is perfectly alright

July 18, 2018

The hoops grocery stores have to jump through are pretty high. A manager has to anticipate how much they will sell in a given order period, taking care to not undershoot and end up with bare shelves, or...

Venkata: MAVNI program must continue.

July 11, 2018

In July 2002, after 9/11, U.S. President George W. Bush issued an executive order to expedite the naturalization of immigrants serving in the American armed forces in order to increase military power for...

Venkata: Adequate investment should be put into high-speed rail

July 3, 2018

I love being around my family, but, perhaps like the other out-of-state students, I really don’t love the transit options for getting back home. On the off-chance that someone’s going where I am, at...

Venkata: Pride celebration in Minneapolis and beyond is evolving

June 27, 2018

I’ve always lived in a big city and always been pro-human rights, but this Sunday was the first pride parade I managed to get to. High school and college are when most of us begin to grasp the gravity...

Venkata: One man’s trash might in fact be compost

June 20, 2018

I estimate that what actually happens to our recycling is a mystery to most people — it certainly was to me. But last week, I got the chance to visit the University of Minnesota’s recycling facility...

Venkata: Mindset around plastic use needs dramatic alteration

June 13, 2018

We know that plastic is everywhere and has taken a place in modern life that’s only natural. Plastics are boons to medicine, delivering sterility, preservation and aid in transplants and prosthetics....

Venkata: College is not the only place to be

May 3, 2018

Last week, the Minnesota Daily published a profile on low-income students who make ends meet while footing everything, including UMN tuition. Their fortitude is, to say the least, impressive. One day I’ll...

Venkata: Study drugs are not the answer

April 26, 2018

As many of us know, plenty of students on campus find themselves reliant on study drugs. There’s such a market that two weeks ago, the Minnesota Daily reported on a pair of entrepreneurial students who...

Venkata: What we lose when we lose the humanities

April 19, 2018

University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point is likely eliminating 13 humanities majors in order to expand 16 ‘more-marketable’ programs. The endangered majors include English, history, philosophy and political...

Venkata: The NFL and cheerleaders have a problem

April 12, 2018

A New Orleans Saints cheerleader, Bailey Davis, was fired for uploading to Instagram what the organization considered too revealing of a photo. If you care to look up the photo and compare the immodest...

Venkata: Bail bonds and what they mean

April 5, 2018

One of the things that surprised me most when I moved to Minneapolis was the sheer number of bail-bond storefronts downtown. And now that bail bonds have quietly ballooned into a $2 billion industry, that’s...

Venkata: Take the circular economy on your shopping spree

March 29, 2018

One of these days we’ll wake up to some 65 degree wonderland of cloudless skies — which means a wardrobe change. To suit the occasion, whatever was lost over the winter usually means a new purchase. Clothes...

Venkata: What UMBC’s victory can mean to all NCAA athletes

March 22, 2018

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County may be an athletic underdog, but since 1966, it has discreetly soared to the top level of academic standards for every student — including athletes. Is it...

Venkata: The case for flip phones

March 8, 2018

Sometime last week, I was sitting around a conference table shooting the breeze with some office-mates when one of them pulled out this sleek, blue, camera-included flip phone. I was floored. I had been...

Venkata: Janus v. AFSCME just started, and will matter for a long time

March 1, 2018

On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments for Janus v. AFSCME. Mark Janus is an Illinois public employee, and, since he is not a union member, he protests his legal requirement to pay...

Venkata: The Boundary Waters are threatened by nearby mining

February 22, 2018

In January of 2017, the Obama administration proposed to ban mining in 230,000 acres of the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. This would require that the U.S. Forest Service submit to the...

Venkata: Please move the Lind Hall piano

February 15, 2018

Music is a noble passion, and playing piano in particular is a wonderful pursuit. Music is said to heal as many people as medicine does, and the piano is one of the most versatile and expressive instruments...

Venkata: One more entry to Harvey Weinstein’s list

February 8, 2018

Months ago, when Harvey Weinstein’s repugnant abuses were brought to light and catalyzed the #MeToo movement, Uma Thurman contributed that she was one of Weinstein’s many victims in the film industry....

Venkata: There are no banned words

February 1, 2018

There are researchers on the University of Minnesota campus grappling with allowing their research to be compromised — or considering abandoning it altogether — because of several operative words being...

Venkata: The media’s vital art of privacy

January 25, 2018

On Jan. 18 in Perris, California, David and Louise Turpin pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of torture incited by the captivity and torture of their thirteen children. The subsequent week or so witnessed...

Venkata: Put the fun in mutual funds

January 18, 2018

January is famous — or infamous — for being a month of implicit regret. We’re all coming back to campus after no schoolwork, no deadlines, no rules and weeks of eating good food, staying up all night...