Author Archives: Mary Turck

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.

Just Saying No: To Mail Delivery, DACA, COVID-19 Tracking

every disaster movie startsLatest orders from the Trump administration: Slow down mail delivery. Reject DACA applications. Stop reporting COVID-19 numbers publicly. Here are the details:  Continue reading

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Good News, Bad News


Joe Friday – Just the facts, ma’am

UPDATED 9:40 p.m.: Good news! The administration has reversed its order to deport international students if their U.S. universities go all-online for fall semester. That’s good news for the students, good news for the universities, and good news for all of us. I wrote last week about the utter stupidity of the order, which would have deprived universities and communities where they are located of more than $50 billion in spending by international students. The Trump administration agreed to rescind this idiotic orderafter hundreds of universities and many states (including Minnesota) sued to have it overturned.

Bad news: The Trump administration, in another move in its continuing war on science, ordered hospitals to stop sending information on coronavirus infections to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading

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Decarcerate Minnesota—It’s Time

Moose Lake razor wire“Supporters of the Decarcerate Minnesota Coalition will gather Thursday, July 2, 2:00-5:00pm in the parking lot of the Department of Corrections at 1450 Energy Park Drive in St. Paul, MN to ask DOC Commissioner Paul Schnell to meet their demands for releasing a large number of Minnesota prisoners impacted by COVID-19. The timing of the rally before Independence Day is targeted to condemn the criminal justice system’s violation of U.S. ideals of liberty and justice.” [Press release of protest on Google docs

I won’t be there—can’t go to any pubic gatherings at this time. But I hope that many people go, and I hope that more people think hard about what is happening in and what is wrong with our prisons, here in Minnesota and across the country. Continue reading

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Friday Night Massacre

Screen Shot 2020-06-20 at 9.15.53 PMAfter a Friday night fiasco, it now looks like Trump has succeeded in firing U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the prosecutor who put Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, in jail and who is investigating his current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and a number of other cases involving Trump administration misconduct. While Berman resisted when Attorney General Barr tried to finesse the firing on Friday night, he acquiesced when Trump himself (maybe) issued the order on Saturday. The whole episode looks unnervingly like Nixon’s Saturday night massacre, when he fired prosecutors conducting the Watergate investigation. Continue reading

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What does ending the Minneapolis Police Department mean?

MGN_1280x960_00608P00-BMKXPOn June 7, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council said they will “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.” What that means, and when it will happen remain open questions.

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) is not going to disappear overnight, or even after the next city council meeting. The process will take time and community involvement and will be strenuously resisted by the police. The council members suggested a vague but ambitious timetable of “over the next year,” and pledged, “We’ll be taking intermediate steps towards ending the MPD through the budget process and other policy and budget decisions over the coming weeks and months.” Continue reading

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Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 9.25.26 AMIf you’re on Twitter, you have probably seen the hashtag,  and the outpouring of anger from suburban moms. If not—keep reading!

Paul Gazelka, the Republican majority leader in the Minnesota State Senate, started it all, when he asked: “Where’s the apology to the moms out in the suburbs scared to death about what’s happening all around them, and seeing the glowing fire in Minneapolis-St. Paul?”

State Representative Jamie Becker-Finn tweeted her answer:

I am a suburban mom.  I don’t need an apology. I need the GOP Senate to support meaningful legislation to address systemic racism and police brutality. I need the GOP Senate to be more than just sad and sorry that #GeorgeFloyd was killed by police. #IAmASuburbanMom

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Taking an Eye, Taking a Knee

Screen Shot 2020-06-05 at 4.22.55 PM

Linda Tirado was shot by police on Friday, May 29. “I was aiming my next shot, put my camera down for a second, and then my face exploded,” she told the New York Times. She is a photojournalist, who had press credentials and a camera, and was covering the protests in Minneapolis. She lost her eye.

Soren Stevenson was shot by police on Sunday on University Avenue. “I’ll never be able to see out of this eye and I believe they’ll be removing this eye at a certain point,” he told CBS News. He was at a peaceful protest, well before the 8 p.m. curfew, friends said.

Both were shot with what the police call “less-than-lethal” weapons, what most people call rubber bullets. Though technically non-lethal, these weapons can maim and kill. Continue reading

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Goodbye, Mailbox


Last week, my neighborhood had a mailbox here. 

All across St. Paul, corner mailboxes disappeared on Monday.

“A big flatbed truck loaded with mailboxes,” one neighbor told me. They had a mailbox on the corner in front of their house. I had walked over yesterday to mail a letter, not long after the mailbox disappeared.

Strange, I thought, but despite my news addiction, I had not heard anything about mailboxes being removed. Maybe this one was just going to be replaced. I was out for a walk anyway, so I headed over the Lake Street bridge, expecting to encounter a mailbox on some corner in Minneapolis.

Nope. Continue reading


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Is This the Morning After?

Black Lives Matter

I hope this is the morning after. I hope that tonight will bring no more fires, that familiar streetscapes will emerge from behind their plywood masks, that the work of rebuilding can begin in earnest on Lake Street and wherever fires and vandals destroyed parts of our cities. I hope that today and tomorrow and next week and next month and next year, Minnesota’s elected leaders will stick to the promises they made to address both the brutal history and culture of the Minneapolis Police Department and the deep racial disparities arising from structural racism in Minnesota. Continue reading

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Protest and Response

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If your windows were broken, your family business destroyed, in the protests and violence following the killing of George Floyd, how would you respond? With compassion and understanding, if you were any of business owners whose responses were compiled by Andrea Fjeldberg on her Facebook page. They focused on what is most important: the life and tragic death of George Floyd, murdered by Minneapolis police on Monday, May 25, 2020. They understand that this murder is part of structural racism in Minnesota, and they demand change and justice. Continue reading

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