The Minnesota Mike Rowe

  Meet Chris Hensiak, welding instructor at Hennepin Technical College. I met him while researching a story about work being done to help lives in inner-city Minneapolis. His school is partnered with a north Minneapolis nonprofit to provide welding and machining education to local young adults. The demand, on both ends, is high. “They’ll take…
Read More

Bike Hype

  The announcement is making the rounds. “Minneapolis is only U.S. city on worldwide bike-friendly list“ A Minnesota city making a heralded list of 20 Most Bike-friendly Cities on the Planet has now made news on Wired.com, Minnesota newspapers, and on my Facebook feed. As I saw Facebook friends sharing the article, I thought about why they did…
Read More

My Experience With The Black Lives Matter Protest At The Mall Of America

I had heard that the Black Lives Matter movement was going to hold a protest at the Mall of the America on Saturday, the last big shopping day of the year. Several of the Black Lives Matter chapters in various cities were staging similar protests. Having not done my Christmas shopping, I had actually planned…
Read More

The Real Tragedy Of #pointergate

Last week, KSTP Minneapolis ran a story on their website about Mayor Betsy Hodges and her get out the vote involvement in North Minneapolis. They weren’t congratulating her. Rather, they received a tip about a photograph taken at the scene of the canvasing. In it, Hodges and a community member (who also happened to be a convicted…
Read More

I Bought A Pork Sandwich With Bitcoin

“Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right up and try one of our world-famous BBQ Pork Sandwiches! It has onion. It has pickles. It has pork. It has BBQ. All on a soft, chewy bun. “It will only cost you 6.2 millibits of Bitcoin!” Milli-what? Bitcoins? *** Chances are, you’ve heard of Bitcoin; chances are, you don’t…
Read More

Book Release Party Photos

Over the weekend, I hosted two book release events in Bemidji and Minneapolis. My book, Life Learned Abroad: Lessons on Humanity from China, is about the experiences I had and insights gained when living in China for eleven months from 2010-2011. From teaching little Chinese children to visiting the embalmed corpse of Mao Zedong, it…
Read More

Come Celebrate With Me: China Book Release Parties

On January 4th and 5th, I am throwing events in Bemidji and the Twin Cities to announce (and demonstrate) my book about my year in China. Perhaps you’d like an event in your town? If you’ve read  this blog, you may have noticed the fourth item down on the right hand sidebar. It joyously announces…
Read More

This Ended Up In The Garbage After A Rough Day Teaching At An Inner City School In Minneapolis.

I was told walking in they were tough, but I’ve been told that before. This class, it turned out, was better described as draining, and by the end of the day, depressing. Typical of other classes this age, I knew as a sub I wasn’t going to get them to completely stay quiet. But throughout the…
Read More

What Is Justice? Interviews On WCCO And KFGO

Following the publication of my article about Michael Karcoc, the 94 year old NE Minneapolis resident alleged in Nazi war crimes, two radio stations contacted me for further discussion. My points about restitution over revenge turned a few heads. In both instances, the hosts questioned my view that we shouldn’t put this man in jail…
Read More

A Nazi In Minnesota: A Re-examination Of Justice

The allegation that a man in Northeast Minneapolis was a murdering Nazi has received national attention. It has also polarized the public’s response. The case is “perfect” for doing so. Michael Karkoc is 94 and obviously no longer a threat. Thus, many are saying, “Leave him alone”. But those demanding that he stand trial feel secure…
Read More