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MPS Board Backed Into a Corner by Protesters


The Minneapolis Public Schools board had quite the gathering Tuesday evening. What was supposed to be a pretty cut-and-dried meeting turned into the board voting on an item that wasn’t on the original agenda. According to the Star Tribune, protesters packed themselves into the boardroom to demand the board rehire seven “educators of color” who were “pushed out” for “advocating for students.” The tirade from protesters forced the board to vote on a resolution reversing the resignation status of the seven employees. So, the protesters accomplished what they came for. But it’s the unsavory tactics used — the chanting, hissing,...

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Female Genital Mutilation Comes to Minnesota

Dr. Jumana Nagarwala

From today's Pioneer Press, an appalling story that should be a wake-up call: A Detroit-area emergency room doctor has been charged for allegedly performing genital mutilation on two 7-year-old girls from Minneapolis. [caption id="attachment_6238" align="alignright" width="214"] Dr. Jumana Nagarwala[/caption]Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is charged with performing the procedure out of a clinic in Livonia, Mich., in February, according to a charges filed in U.S. District Court Thursday. *** The criminal complaint states that Nagarwala is a member of a religious or cultural “community” known to practice FGM on young girls. The FBI said it pursued the case after the agency and the U.S. Immigration and Customs...

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Where have all the Liberals Gone? I found one!


Here is Doug Berdie, a Minneapolis semi-retired marketing executive and researcher, in a common-sense plea to liberals in the Strib to liberals: “Think about the pre-election push for transgender bathroom rights. It’s as if someone had said: ‘I know, let’s find a demand that some will perceive as allowing invasions of privacy or even sexual advances against their young daughters and really push it right before an election.’”...

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Refugee data: That’s not Minnesota Nice


We cannot tell you with any certainty what the refugee resettlement program costs but what we can tell you is that the benefit side of that cost-benefit analysis is in doubt. And we can say with certainty with regard to work, and how welfare dependency affects long-term prospects for integration and work, culture matters. Culture is everything. ...

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Why Should Artists Want Government Support?


The Star Tribune headlines: "Trump anxiety hits Minnesota arts groups, leaders." This is another round in the perennial controversy over funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Never mind that President Trump doesn't decide whether these programs are funded, or for how much. Congress does. The Star Tribune leads with the Minneapolis Institute of Art, my personal favorite among Minnesota's arts institutions: “It’s absolutely terrifying all of us,” said Kaywin Feldman, director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She views the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities as critical to museums’...

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With Thanks to Michael Novak


Michael Novak, who died this week of cancer, was most frequently described as a Catholic theologian, a brilliant and influential one, needless to say.  But his scholarly interests, intellectual devotions, and contributions to public service were miles wider and deeper than that.  As wide and deep as his friendships. My colleagues and I were long honored that he was a terrific friend of Center of the American Experiment.  More personally, he was a very good friend of mine and Kathy Kersten. I just learned of his death by watching a short video of Fr. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute announcing it. ...

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Is Boycott a Factor in Slumping Target Sales?


Lots of factors figure into the continuing decline of shoppers and sales at Twin Cities-based Target Corporation's stores nationwide. Target share prices dipped nearly six percent on expectations the retailer will record a third straight quarter of declining sales totals over the previous year. The demise of big box retailers, the popularity of online shopping and related trends were cited as explanations in reports on today's announcement of disappointing holiday season sales and a lowered outlook for the fourth quarter. Even a 30 percent increase in online sales failed to make up for a big loss in customer visits that was highlighted by...

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Sushi? Hey, It Might Be Carp!


My wife and I are big sushi fans, and I think I can tell one fish from another. But I might be wrong. A recent study by UCLA suggests that I--and you--could be fooled: Los Angeles diners chowing down on sushi may be surprised to learn that their yellowtail roll might not really have any yellowtail in it at all. A new study from the University California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Loyola Marymount University (LMU) found that 47 percent of sushi in L.A. eateries is mislabeled as the wrong fish. 47%? Seriously? That's like random. The study, which examined 26 area restaurants from...

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Proudly Detailing Sexual Assaults


Silly antediluvian me.  Until my early teens, when daydreaming about what college was like, I’d envision guys wearing elbow-patched tweed jackets and smoking pipes.  I imagined them dressed up at fraternity parties along with coifed-up coeds.  And my mind’s eye saw the young men – who seemed quite old – playing football. While I couldn’t replay conversations they might be having, I did have a sense college men enjoyed talking about Great Books and Big Ideas, at least when they weren’t talking about Big Games and Big Dances.  What can I say?  For a lazy and incompetent junior high school student,...

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DFL: Expanding Government Unions and Our Dependency on the State


The Governor’s office and DFL leaders have made it clear that one of their top priorities remains the institution of “Universal Pre-K” in Minnesota. They want to send all four year-olds off to school, thus adding a new “grade” to our public schools (requiring thousands of new employees, as well as transportation, classrooms, etc.). I do not know what Pre-K would add to the state budget but I do know that it would cost our culture, electoral process and our economy a lot more. Dayton’s retirement, whether that happens in two years or sooner, will not end this push to change...

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