1) Concealed carry. There’s a phrase we don’t hear about much anymore. When the Legislature passed the law that required sheriffs to issue carry permits for handguns in 2003, opponents feared shootouts in the streets. Road rage would lead to gun fights. Proponents suggested would-be perps would be scared away by would-be victims with guns. There haven’t been shootouts and the crime rate is down, although there’s no data showing concealed carry is the reason. Make of that what you will (and I know you will!) But now the debate is going national.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune has filed an amendment to the defense authorization bill that “would allow armed citizens with state-approved concealed-carry permits to cross into another state that also allows the carrying of concealed weapons,” U.S. News reports.
As usual, the issue of the amendment will overshadow the Washington way of doing business– i.e. attaching amendments that have nothing to do with the intent of the legislation to which it’s attached.
2) Is there a double standard when men are the victim of domestic violence? . Ned Holstein, a public health specialist with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the founder of Fathers & Families, wonders why Steve McNair getting shot by his girlfriend didn’t get more coverage.
Law enforcement, the judicial system, the media and the domestic violence establishment are still stuck in the outdated “man as perpetrator/woman as victim” conception of such violence. Yet more than 200 studies have found that women initiate at least as much violence against their male partners as vice-versa. Men make up about a third of domestic violence injuries and deaths in heterosexual relationships. Research shows that women often compensate for a disadvantage in physical strength by employing weapons and the element of surprise – just as Ms. Kazemi did.
3) You know how people tend to be more, umm, aggressive online than they are face-to-face? Apparently it’s that way, too, with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has posted Sonia Sotomayor’s answers to written questions from several senators. Read them here.
John Cornyn tried — again– to pursue the “activist judges” allegaton, asking Sotomayor if she’s aware of any federal case that “mae law.”
It is the role of Congress, not the federal courts, to make law. I believe that it isthe role of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, to “interpret” law, which is to say that those courts endeavor to determine the effect of the governing law, whether constitutional or statutory, in the context of the factual situation a case presents. In the history of the United States, there have been federal court cases–including Supreme Court cases–that have since been recognized as wrongly decided. I do not think of these cases as courts “making” law, however, as that role belongs to the legislature.
Which, when you see it in writing, makes it more obvious that she didn’t really answer the question. But it leads to an interesting question — one that Cornyn asked : Did Brown vs. the Board of Education “make law” or merely “interpret it?”
4) “Who’s better informed: Newspaper readers or Web surfers? Michael Kinsley of Slate asks.” What? No “radio listeners” option? Slate is conducting an experiment by having two journalists disconnect from online and get all their news from the newspaper. Here’s a story you won’t find in the morning paper: Twins blow a 10-run lead; lose to terrible team.
5) Classical music is hard work. You have to learn the etiquette of it. Like when to clap and when to provide a dignified silence. And you have to perfect getting all snooty like the person quoted in the BBC Magazine article:
“Everybody seems to be texting and tweeting and nobody seems to spend any time in contemplation. It’s not pop music. It’s not about waving your lighter around. There is no physical participation for the audience. It is a quiet involvement. One or two people clapping can spoil it for everyone.”
Bonus: People who listen to me with Mary Lucia on The Current will, no doubt, want the update on the ball-slasher caper in Duluth. A man has been arrested for breaking into gyms and slashing the exercise balls. “It’s just a weird thing that I do,” Christopher Bjerkness tells the Duluth News Tribune. “They say that I’m a threat to society, but I don’t feel so.” It’s a story that’s more sad than funny.
Who knew? Jockeys aren’t just along for the ride.
The recent deaths of six servicemen with strong Minnesota ties are a reminder of the human cost of the wars Americans are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of Minnesota deaths in connection with the two wars now stands at 79; the national death toll as of Monday was 5,044. Do such numbers have any effect on your support for the war effort ? How do you define a war worth fighting?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Has Obama let down progressive Democrats? Or were progressive Democrats expecting too much?
Second hour: A new novel by Mayo Clinic doctor and obesity researcher James Levine tells the story of a young Indian girl forced into a life of prostitution. Dr. Levine says the novel sprang from a visit to the slums of Mumbai and encounter there that haunts him to this day.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – University of Minnesota’s top water expert, Deborah Swackhamer, will be in the studio to answer questions about the quality of Minnesota’s water. Second hour: The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and the Syrian Ambassador the U.S. speaking recently at the Aspen Ideas Festival about the prospects for Mideast peace.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The health care debate. Second hour: Writer Chris Hedges targets pop culture and what he calls the “cultural embrace of fantasy.”
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Somali groups are holding a news conference today “to voice their response to the ongoing investigation of the missing Somali men.” From the sound of the press release, it may get into the “who speaks for Somalis?” angle. MPR’s Laura Yuen is covering the story. The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing
24 7 offices in Minnesota. That’s got some people upset in Duluth and Rochester Minneapolis. Tim Nelson reports that story. Say, when’s the last time you waited by the mailbox for an important letter?
From Washington, Laura Sydell reports on the difficulty classical musicians have making a living. If only we could pay them with applause.