A year's worth of guest posts, plus tips for guest authors

One of my blogging new year’s resolutions for 2016 was to publish more work by other authors, and I’m grateful to the many talented writers who helped me meet that goal. After the jump I’ve linked to all 140 guest posts published here last year.

I encourage readers to consider writing for this site in 2017. Guest authors can write about any political issue of local, state, or national importance. As you can see from the stories enclosed below, a wide range of topics and perspectives are welcome here.

Pieces can be short or long, funny or sad. You can write in a detached voice or let your emotions show.

Posts can analyze what happened or advocate for what should happen, either in terms of public policy or a political strategy for Democrats. Authors can share first-person accounts of campaign events or more personal reflections about public figures.

Guest authors do not need to e-mail a draft to me or ask permission to pursue a story idea. Just register for an account (using the “sign up” link near the upper right), log in, write a post, edit as needed, and hit “submit for review” when you are ready to publish. The piece will be “pending” until I approve it for publication, to prevent spammers from using the site to sell their wares. You can write under your own name or choose any pseudonym not already claimed by another Bleeding Heartland user. I do not reveal authors’ identity without their permission.

I also want to thank everyone who comments on posts here. If you’ve never participated that way, feel free to register for a user account and share your views. If you used to comment occasionally but have not done so lately, you may need to reset your password. Let me know if you have any problems registering for an account, logging in, or changing a password. My address is near the lower right-hand corner of this page.

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Are you tired of these motherfrackers? A first-person account from Standing Rock

Chris Laursen, an activist for many progressive causes and a Bernie Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention, shares his story from Standing Rock. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Are you tired of these motherfrackers? I am!

I have just recently returned home from my second trip to Standing Rock. And now, after some decompression and much needed sleep I feel as though I need to pen some of my thoughts and experiences. Here it goes.

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Weekend open thread: Alarming ties between Trump and Russia edition

President-elect Donald Trump continues to assemble a cabinet full of people “who have key philosophical differences with the missions of the agencies they have been tapped to run.”

But arguably, the scariest news of the week was the political reaction to the Central Intelligence Agency assessment that it is “quite clear” Russia intervened in the U.S. elections with the goal of electing Trump.

Despite what one retired CIA officer described as a “blazing 10-alarm fire,” only four Republican senators have taken up the call for a bipartisan investigation of Russian interference in U.S. elections. For his part, Trump dismissed the CIA’s findings as “ridiculous,” while members of his transition team discredited the agency and leaked news that Trump will appoint a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin as secretary of state.

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Branstad urged Army Corps to give last green light for Bakken pipeline

Governor Terry Branstad denied in September that he’s a friend to Big Oil interests seeking to build the Dakota Access (Bakken) pipeline across four states, including Iowa.

But in a move his office did not announce last week, Branstad joined North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not to delay approval of the final federal easement needed to complete the pipeline.

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Weekend open thread: 9/11 memories

Fifteen years later, images of the burning and collapsing World Trade Center towers are fresh in the minds of just about everyone old enough to remember 9/11. All topics are welcome in this thread, including any reflections on that horrific day.

Many people casually refer to “3,000 Americans” killed on 9/11, but hundreds of the victims were from other countries. Last year, the Brilliant Maps website posted a map created by reddit user thepenaltytick, showing all countries that lost at least one citizen. Most of the globe is covered.

The United Kingdom lost 67 citizens (some tourists, others working in the U.S.), making 9/11 the deadliest terror attack in that country’s history.

I was living in London fifteen years ago. Having watched the BBC’s uneventful news over lunch, I turned off the tv to get back to work on my dissertation. Around 2:00 pm, which would have been 9:00 am in New York, someone called and told me to turn the tv back on. I was glued to the BBC for the rest of the day and night. Watching the people trapped on the roof of the World Trade Center, I couldn’t understand why none of the helicopters could get close enough to rescue them before the towers collapsed. I could not believe a plane was able to crash into the Pentagon.

In Britain, as in the U.S., there was a tremendous public outpouring of grief after the attacks. British people are normally reserved with strangers, but many approached me after hearing my American accent in a shop or a train station, just to say how very sorry they were about what had happened in my country. UPDATE: Added below photos a reader sent, showing piles of flowers and gifts and notes left outside the U.S. embassy in London in September 2001.

I didn’t lose any friends on 9/11, and only one of my acquaintances lost a loved one that day; his father was on one of the planes that hit the towers. Even without experiencing a personal bereavement, I felt enraged, especially when reading newspaper profiles of the victims. During the Jewish high holidays in late September 2001, the last thing I felt like doing was reflecting on the past and forgiving wrongs from the past year. At that time, I heard a BBC radio segment featuring the UK’s Chief Rabbi, David Sacks. He reminded listeners that the Bible (he meant the Hebrew Scriptures or “Old Testament”) tells us once to love our neighbors, but tells us approximately 30 times to love the stranger. That’s because it is easier to love our neighbor, who is probably a lot like ourselves, than it is to love a stranger. It’s the only quote I remember from what must have been dozens of radio commentaries by Sacks I heard during my years abroad.

This week, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein called for a new investigation of the 9/11 events. Stein is headlining a rally at the state capitol in Des Moines today from 3 pm to 5:30. To any readers who attend: feel free to write about the speakers or crowd atmosphere in a comment or a guest post for Bleeding Heartland later. MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald analyzed Stein’s campaign strategy a few weeks ago, arguing she “seems unsure how to speak to anyone this side of Noam Chomsky” and has “misread” the Bernie Sanders playbook while attempting to appeal to Sanders supporters.

Big news on Friday: in a move without precedent, the Obama administration ordered that construction of the Dakota Access (Bakken) pipeline “will not go forward at this time” on Army Corps land bordering or under a North Dakota lake on Standing Rock Sioux tribal land. Gavin Aronsen wrote up the story for Iowa Informer. The federal action will not affect Bakken pipeline construction in Iowa. Though the project will probably be completed in all four states eventually, James MacPherson reported for the Associated Press that the government’s intervention “may forever change the way all energy infrastructure projects [affecting tribal land] are reviewed in the future.”

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