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Ray Schoch

Ray Schoch_2's picture
Minneapolis, MN
Commenter for
3 years 31 weeks

Recent Comments

Posted on 10/08/14 at 04:41 pm in response to One intriguing argument why potential voters aren’t going to the polls

I've been to party caucuses, where the other attendees are generally the most zealous, most committed party members (i.e., not the normal electorate), and I've worn out some shoe leather going door-to-door, mostly being greeted with either hostility or apathy. I do agree that we have a system that seems more than a little bit perverse in terms of citizen participation, since in an awful lot of states, laws have been written, on purpose, to make participation in the electoral process...

I don't hold a chair in political science at Harvard, so it's quite possible I'm way off base (again), but it seems to me entirely possible that "democracy," as we generally think of it, only works reasonably well within a set of not-very-flexible parameters. I'm thinking here especially of economics and population size.

The essence of democracy is citizen participation in their own government, which makes much of this discussion more than a little ironic. A nation that prides itself...

Posted on 10/06/14 at 09:04 am in response to Poll has Dayton up by 10 points over Johnson

Unfortunately, the "serving up" of Minnesota, particularly Minneapolis, to Mr. Wilf was a genuinely bipartisan affair. Too bad the parties don't cooperate as readily on projects with genuinely public benefits.

“…Let’s hope that our politicians and policymakers are listening.”

Sadly, "listening" and "acting" are not at all the same thing, and resistance to the sort of information this column presents will continue to be a factor with mostly (but not entirely) right-wing voters and others who like to call themselves "conservative."

That the emotional, financial and social costs to both society and individuals of providing contraception would be far, far less than our current faux-...

Posted on 10/01/14 at 02:23 pm in response to A slow and sarcastic first McFadden-Franken debate

This is as bizarre a pairing of candidates as I can remember coming across in quite a few previous elections. The comedy writer turned boring policy wonk vs. the investment banker who purports to be a "man of the people" who will build consensus.

To my knowledge, "consensus" is not even a tiny part of any national Republican's game plan. "Fixing things in Washington" might require McFadden to cooperate with people whose ideology he dislikes – or that he become dictator for life, a la...

Posted on 09/29/14 at 11:05 am in response to Why do so few citizens participate in our democracy?

I don’t have the tools to do the necessary research to support this, but I’ve read in several places over the years that, to be “successful,” democracy pretty much requires a middle class. Societies with concentrated wealth, or no wealth to speak of, have generally not been able to get democracy to work as a system. In both instances – concentrated wealth and/or very little wealth society-wide – the bulk of the population doesn’t have much of a vested interest in governmental participation...

Posted on 09/25/14 at 12:56 pm in response to DFL endorsement dust-up, part 2: a hint of hypocrisy?

I can see why educational philosophy and/or practice would be issues important to a school board campaign. As the doting grandparent of an MPS kindergartener, I'm a lot less interested in a board candidate's party affiliation than I am in what s/he thinks about a laundry list of educational issues.

Thus, the question: When and how did party endorsement (*any* party) become part – apparently an important part – of the process?

Posted on 09/24/14 at 01:54 pm in response to Florida trustee sues BMO Harris bank for $24 billion in Petters case

I've never been a Garth Brooks fan, but long before I moved to Minnesota, I had Yearwood's "On a Bus to St. Cloud" on my playlist.

Posted on 09/22/14 at 11:29 am in response to What's next for the Pioneer Press?

I have no professional (or unprofessional) journalism credentials, so I speak merely as a long-time reader of newspapers.

Yes, newspapers are in decline, and have been for quite a while. Whether that decline is a genuine death spiral might be open to a debate in which I’m not qualified to take part, but my experience in St. Louis, where the Globe-Democrat died decades ago, and in Denver, where the Rocky Mountain News met the same fate, hasn’t left a good impression about the resulting...

Posted on 09/16/14 at 01:11 pm in response to DFL school-board endorsee dispute: guilt by association?

…the comments of James Hamilton and Ian Bicking. None of what I'm reading in Beth's column passes any reasonable "smell test," and that doesn't reflect well on the DFL, the endorsement process (regardless of party), or the candidates.