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MN Blog Cabin Roundup, 11/30

Mandatory voting, what’s different in this recession, work-life balance, winter in the city, baseball hall of fame and considering gluten free as a fad.

Want money out of campaigns? Implement mandatory voting

from Cows and Graveyards by Steven Maloney

If we combined mandatory voting and fair districts, money ability to buy influence in politics on the whole, be greatly reduced. Interest groups would have less to offer candidates in terms of resources that fund great “ground games” because the “ground game” would be removed from elections altogether.

This recession is clearly different

from Barataria by Erik Hare

It’s always hard to tell when you are in the middle of some major event exactly what that event is.  Professionals in the field will tell you how it compares to what they know, which when we are lucky reaches back to the end of WWII.  When the event is outside of their experience, however, we are left with responses that don’t necessarily make sense.  And that is why the steadily improving jobs picture has gone largely unreported.  It shouldn’t be happening – so to many “experts” it isn’t.

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On the clock: A confession about the work/life balance

from Girl Meets Geek by Kate-Madonna Hindes

This can’t be normal, but sadly it is; especially in the world of start-up cultures and social media. When is the last time I felt alright simply shutting down my Facebook before re-opening it and wondering what I’ve missed? Last night I angered a friend who had come into town from Kansas, when I pulled out my phone and answered a coworker about whether or not I could come in for a few hours this upcoming weekend. If you choose one, you let down another. It’s a difficult balance for a self-appointed perfectionist.

Winter in the city – we can do better

from by Max Musicant

As November draws to a close, winter has descended on the Twin Cities with force. This means it’s time to hunker down, withdraw from the public realm and resign ourselves to scurrying between our home, car, parking garage and office – punctuated only by strolls through climate controlled malls and skyways.

It doesn’t have to be like this! It is high time that we revisit the way that we experience (and enjoy) winter in the City.

Handicapping the Hall of Fame ballot

from Mr. Dilettante’s Neighborhood by Mark Heuring

There are 37 names on the ballot this year, including some fairly prominent and controversial figures. Some of the most prominent of the Steroid Era figures are appearing for the first time, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.  Some of the guys on the ballot clearly aren’t all-time greats, but others are. Let’s take a spin through the names.

Gluten free: Fad or here to stay?

from The Savvy Celiac by Amy Leger

A new article from looks at two potential food fads:  gluten free diet foods and stevia (sweetener).  It questions whether either of them here to stay or are they something that will be the “next health food fads to find their way to the discount aisles?”