What I believe

I strongly believe: Diversity enriches a society. Immigrants enrich a society. Minnesota is a better state because of the refugees who have made it their home. The Somali community’s presence in Minnesota is worth celebrating. The ideologies that pose the greatest danger to America are white nationalism and toxic masculinity. Anyone who seeks political power by demonizing immigrants and minorities is not fit to hold office.

Winter is here

Right after sunset on the solstice, I snapped this picture of Main Channel Bridge, which connects Winona with Wisconsin to the north. As its name suggests, it crosses the main channel of the Mississippi River, which is currently frozen. Today, I captured this video of a BNSF train passing through Trempealeau, Wisconsin:

Yay for Minnesota!

Earlier today, Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law a bill to recognize same-sex marriages! The law will take effect in August. Minnesota will become the 12th state to recognize same-sex marriage. Yay for Minnesota! I am very proud of my new state!

A moving speech on marriage equality

I’m a newcomer to Minnesota, having lived here only 9 months. But one thing that has made me proud to be a new Minnesotan is how this state has handled the issue of marriage equality. In the November 2012 election, Minnesotans defeated at the polls a proposed state constitutional amendment banning on same-sex marriage. And yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Today, on Minnesota Public Radio, they were replaying speeches made in debate the Minnesota house yesterday during the floor debate before the historic vote.

Record snow!

We had some nice spring weather this week in Southeastern Minnesota. On Tuesday, the temperature got up to 27°C (80°F) and we had our apartment windows open in the evening. Then on Wednesday, the temperature dropped precipitously, and we awoke on Thursday to this: That picture was taken in the morning. The snow came down most of the day, piling up to 3.5 inches (89 mm). But we didn’t get it as bad as Rochester, which is about an hour west of here.

Still some ice in the river

Taken at the Verchota Landing, just outside Winona in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge: Yikes! Zebra mussels are pretty terrible: