Vietnam Veterans Day, Moms for Liberty, Subcommittee Formed for MGH Property, and Facts From the World Around Us


This Week in Rural Insights 

On Wednesday we’ll be publishing a new research paper by NMU professor and Rural Insights contributor Michael Broadway and NMU student and research assistant Joslin Brown. The paper looks at the population changes in the Upper Peninsula amidst the Covid pandemic, using data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS.

Also, don’t forget to check out Rural Insights on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook!

Vietnam Veterans Day

Tuesday, March 29th is Vietnam Veterans Day. America lost over 58,000 men and women in the years of that war.

Many of them were from the Upper Peninsula. They made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Remember them tomorrow and everyday and think about their sacrifice and their families who will never see them again.

Also remember those men and women who came home from service in the Vietnam War and the services they may need now from their nation. Ask your lawmakers what the state and/or federal government are doing for them. 

Moms for Liberty–Nationally and in the Upper Peninsula

You might have seen the national media coverage of a national organization called Moms for Liberty. They organize locally to get moms and others involved in the curriculum in the local schools and in what books are in the school library.

They are also concerned about what books children are being read to in the classroom. Many of these parents were initially concerned with the Critical Race Theory issue that got lots of national coverage.

We have heard from some Upper Peninsula moms about what they’re doing in their local school districts across the peninsula. Some are very concerned about CRT being taught or about classroom materials being used that they don’t want their children learning from.

We did not get any concrete examples or any specific examples of books they want removed. My quick review around the peninsula did not identify one school where the CRT is being used in a school district. In fact, many of the educators said they could not even clearly define it, much less use it in their classroom. So we are interested in what you know.

What is going on in your local school district? Are the Moms for Liberty group or other similar organization organized in your UP school district? Are books being removed from school libraries and are parents demanding involvement in curriculum design for their schools where you live? 

What is Your Definition of Liberty?

Speaking of liberty, we would be interested in hearing from our readers about their definition of liberty in the American context. Send us your thoughts and we will use some of them. 

President Roosevelt and theologian Rheinhold Niebhur often included freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from need and freedom from fear in their definitions of liberty and democracy.

Others have written liberty means a government based on law and that without law one cannot have liberty.

So what words or concepts would you include in your definition of liberty? 

Marquette City Commission Forms Subcommittee on Affordable Housing on the MGH Land

The Marquette City Commission continues their efforts to work with the issues related to the future development of the former site of Marquette General Hospital.

Many local governments in the Upper Peninsula are attempting to deal with the availability of affordable housing in their communities. It is a difficult task and takes a lot of time and thought by many dedicated and smart elected local officials and those appointed to run our communities.

Rural Insights and others have called for the city to appoint a committee to focus on these issues in Marquette. They have appointed a committee to work with Northern Michigan University and Lifepoint to get this project done in a way that is good for the citizens of the city of Marquette and includes affordable and accessible housing.

Another good thing about this committee is that it assures that people elected by the citizens of Marquette will be monitoring and supervising the future of this project. 

The World Around Us And Some Facts to Think About

  • Regular gas averaged about $4.26 a gallon last week, per AAA. That is down about 7 cents per gallon, but still roughly $1.40 higher than a year ago. What is the price in your UP community? 
  • 10,000 people in America turn 65 every single day and the number of adults 65 and older will double in a few decades. (US Census Bureau)
  • The Ukraine war has caused more than 10 million people to abandon homes in just three weeks. 
  • The United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has set rules of conduct, ethics rules, in place for all federal judges–EXCEPT THEM. They have exempted themselves from these rules on conduct and the nine members of SCOTUS decides what is ethical when it comes to them. One observer has said they seem to think ethics rules and rules of conduct are important for other federal judges but not them. One observer recently asked whether SCOTUS is America’s monarchy. Your thoughts?


“I’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty.” William F. Buckley.

“You can mediate, but cannot mediate between good and evil.” Volodymyr Zelensky. March 20, 2022.

Book Recommendations From Our Readers

“War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America’s First Frontier”. John F. Ross. (Hat tip to Carl Nurmi who sent this book and comment: “…Rogers was made commandant of Fort Michilimackinac for 2 years after the French and Indian Wars.” A UP connection in this book.) Thanks to Carl for this recommendation.

Send us your recommendations and thoughts on books you would like to suggest to our readers. 

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at We love to read them. 

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Michael Loukinen on March 28, 2022 at 7:52 am

    I thought that it was 76,000 that we lost in our Vietnam War over ten years.

    • David Haynes on March 28, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      Checked four sources and all day 58,220.

      Let me know what source you have and if we are wrong we will correct.

      Thanks for communicating with us. Appreciated.

    • Jim Katakowski on March 29, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Check Vietnam memorial in Washington DC .

  2. Mike Radke on March 28, 2022 at 7:57 am

    This publication demonstrates that news can carry important and relevant information which informs without polarization.

  3. John on March 28, 2022 at 9:42 am

    I find it interesting that the sub committee created by the City Commission in response to an offer by the NMU Foundation has the stipulation that the sub committee has been created “as observers in their (the Foundation’s) review of the proposals that will identify a master developer for the project.” (City Commission agenda and supporting documents, 14 March 2022).

    As observers? No opportunity to chime in? No opportunity to ask questions of those applying to be the developer?

    The subcommittee, appointed by the Mayor to include herself, Commissioner Davis, and Mayor Pro Tem Mayer, may act in a “consulting capacity to both the NMU Foundation and the City Commission throughout the development process” but one has to wonder exactly how much influence they will have?

  4. Jared Hautamaki on March 28, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    Moms for Liberty is a front for far right racists. Let’s be accurate about this. This isn’t about neutral curriculum. It’s about a white Christian nationalism and it’s funded by Republicans.

    Teaching history accurately isn’t critical race theory. People aren’t entitled to their own facts. Racism and colonialism happened. The only way to prevent it from happening again is teaching it accurately.

    • Jim Katakowski on March 29, 2022 at 3:39 pm

      100% correct. Does anyone want Florida in the UP (No gay stuff) with DeSantis a known liar leading the evangelical way….

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