MN Blog Cabin Roundup 12/18

In solidarity with Muslim Americans

from TC Jewfolk by Rabbi Michael Adam Latz

Yesterday, I was honored to hear Secretary Hillary Clinton speak about terrorism, security, and our responsibilities to our neighbors, especially Muslims.

The even bigger and more significant honor was listening to her speak while sitting next to my friend and colleague, Imam Hamdy El-Sawaf. When Secretary Clinton spoke of Muslim children being targeted for violence, being afraid to go to school for fear of what might happen to them for being Muslim, Hamdy put his face in his hands and wept.

“Those are my children,” he cried. “Those are my children.”

In Faribault: How connecting & listening can Trump ignorance & fear

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

I NEVER EXPECTED the conversation to turn away from college as I chatted with a young man Saturday afternoon on a downtown Faribault street corner. But it did. One minute we were talking about his future and life in southeastern Minnesota. And then he was asking me what I thought of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Gone off the rails with the Second Amendment: It’s time to ban assault weapons

from Thoughtful Bastards by Paul Udstrand

It’s important to understand these critical findings because they provide the foundation for effective gun control. The fact is that we’ve long since passed the point where we should have placed an effective ban of some kind on assault weapons in the United State. We did have an assault rifle ban of sorts on the books from 1994-2004 but it was riddled with loopholes and consequently did little to slow down ownership or prevent mass killings. Although one should note that since the US Congress let that limited ban “sunset” in 2004 we have seen a marked increase in mass shootings and casualties.

Add ‘self reliant’ to the list of Minnesota’s endearing economic qualities

from Fiscal Fitness, the blog of the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence by Mark Haveman

With all the quality of life and economic bouquets thrown Minnesota’s way, we can now add another:  we accomplish all our wonderfulness while being a major net contributor to the federal government’s coffers.  A recent report from the State Controller of New York looks at how federal spending in each state compares to the revenues the federal government raises there.  According to the report, Minnesota is one of only 11 states that contribute more in taxes to the federal government than the federal government spends in the state.

News flash: The next generation doesn’t suck

from #unitecloud by Natalie Ringsmuth

Yesterday I met with a handful of 7th -9th graders from North and Apollo from the District 742 middle CmPS (Community Problem Solving) team. Haji and I are meeting with them again in January and will be doing an in depth article on their team and the project they are tackling so, I won’t go into a bunch of detail on that right now. Look for that article next month, though!

So many things that these young folks talked to me about yesterday hit me hard as we sat a “talked shop” (shop=resolving cultural tension in this area) for a couple hours. Because I used to be a middle school teacher, I understood that we could go deep in our discussions. These students did not disappoint. They had strong feelings about everything from Donald Trump to the Muslim foot washing station debate at local high schools.

Three places to put away the smartphone

from Break the Twitch by Anthony Ongaro

I know that it can be difficult to create boundaries with our technology, but it’s doable and so incredibly beneficial. There are three key places where putting down the smartphone makes a ton of sense. Science even backs me up on this one, at least for most of it. With that in mind, the three places smartphones should be put away are…

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