Five at 8 – 9/18/09: What kind of person?

1) If farms had giant smokestacks and ugly buildings, instead of bucolic barns and a long-standing romanticism, would we be more likely to acknowledge — and do something about — the toxic wastes they dump into our water on a daily basis? The New York Times today looks at some farms in Wisconsin and elsewhere, where farm run-off is contaminating water wells. Yet the government doesn’t do much to regulate the toxic waste and, in fact, gives farmers a free pass we’d never give a factory owner.

Some farmers are more interested in preventing the problem than others. Last month, MPR’s Mark Steil profiled Tracy farmer Brian Hicks, who has installed a system on his farm to prevent pollution.

2) Thirty-three men to go in Mankato before a bottle of bourbon gets uncorked. The Last Man’s Club is down to 34. In the early days, the members partied ’til the early hours. At last night’s banquet, some of the guys were calling it quits by 8.

3) Fathers, it says a lot about our national image that a dad who didn’t get mad at his daughter after she threw a foul ball back on the field in Philadelphia is getting so much attention. But Steve Monforto and his family are getting the attention they deserve. And everyone who’s ever been called “Dad” is looking in the mirror.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Let’s see, now. When was the last time a baseball theme brought America to tears?

Major League Baseball’s actions to remove the legitimate “Internet senation” video from YouTube speaks volumes about the people who run that sport. As one sports blog noted:


Look, Major League Baseball owns the footage. They can do with it as they please. But who is this helping? Not only is Selig raining on our internet parade, he is doing himself a disservice. How does it hurt Major League Baseball to have the internet masses viewing family fun at the ball park? Selig could use some folks in the stands.

4) Next to the story above, this is the best story of the week. A local man needed a kidney. He found it on Facebook.

5) A day in the life of a nursing home. Here’s the Minnesota Department of Health’s investigation into the Glenwood Minnesota nursing home, where an aide abused the patients. What the probe doesn’t address: How on earth do you grow up to be this person?

Discussion Point: Have you noticed something peculiar around the debate that has sprouted with President Barack Obama’s scrapping of a missile defense shield in Europe. The stories don’t indicate how much it would cost. How is it we can debate health care in the U.S. — mostly on the basis of its cost rather than its benefit and then debate a missile defense system for Europe on the basis of its benefit rather than its cost? I’ll hang up and listen.

TODAY’S QUESTION

Now that Minnesota is classified as a state where flu is “widespread,” officials are recommending that children age 5 and younger be kept home from school or daycare for seven days after symptoms first appear. Guidelines urge that students stay home for 24 hours after a fever subsides, and that adults stay home from work if they are sick. Can you afford to take five to seven days off work because of the flu?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Is solar power ever going to catch on?

Second hour: A local scientist talks about his summit of Mount Everest after several high-altitude excursions around the world.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Former 3rd District Republican congressman Jim Ramstad will be in the studio to discuss bipartisanship in Congress, civility in politics, health care reform and the future of the Republican Party. (CALL-IN)

Second hour: Coverage of Dennis Cortese’s speech to the National Press Club. He’s president and CEO of the Mayo Clinic. Maybe we’ll get a better indication after conflicting reports of whether he supports the current health care reform plans.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - Science Friday. First hour: Showerhead germs and a tiny T-Rex.

Second hour: What is the smell of death?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – As the decade nears an end, the state is falling far short of a projected need for 33,000 units of affordable or workforce housing. Instead, barely a third of that total will have been produced due in no small part to the effects of the recession. MPR’s Dan Olson will have the story.

NPR will cover the Value Voters Summit in Washington today. Would-be presidential candidates and those trying to rise to big-shot status are speaking, including Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann.

Ted Robbins will report from Arizona, a state which has a health care public option.

  • Daveg

    “how much it would cost.”

    Also interesting would be how much it has already cost.

    Are we two-thirds of the way there and throwing away that investment, or is this really a sound financial (assuming that was the reason for scrapping it, which frankly is doubtful considering current the administration’s profligacy) decision?

  • JohnnyZoom

    >> Fathers, it says a lot about our national image

    Bob, that may have been an offhand remark, but I think there is more truth to that than might appear at first glance.

    If one looks at paternal archetypes nowadays, two of the most prominent, if not the two most prominent, are the beer guzzling, football watching couch potato, and the drunk violent misogynist. And note that whenever these archetypes (esp. the second) allow for some sort of redemption, that usually entails an acknowledgement that his father was a jerk too.

    I remember those occasional days when I used to pick up my son from preschool. While certainly not every mom> parent acted this way, a good many would look at me like “what are you doing here?” As if was some kind of threat. Some of the school staff too.

    That video was so touching precisely because it is so fresh, presenting a father in a light that is actually sadly all too uncommon. Thinak about it, there just are not a lot of good father role models in popular culture anymore.

  • Bob Collins

    It wasn’t an offhand remark at al'; I’m continually embarrassed by fathers, especially those who walk out on their kids.

    It’s only a matter of time before some reporter asks him about Obama’s health care plan. And then, no matter what his answer, the Internet will rip the guy to shreds.

    So we shall enjoy it while we can.

  • JohnnyZoom

    Oops, my apologies then. Yes, how oxymoronic is that (walking out on kids)?

  • GregS

    “It wasn’t an offhand remark at al'; I’m continually embarrassed by fathers, especially those who walk out on their kids.

    Why not be continually embarrassed by mothers?

    80% of divorces are filed by women and we know from the four states that mandate the reason for dissolution be stated, the reason is not dad.

    The most cited reason is for mom disolving the marriage is “personal growth”.

    Face it, the bad rap against fathers is nothing more than media PC gone amok. It hurts families, it hurts kids, it hurts men. It is time for it to end.

  • GregS

    [repost]

    “It wasn’t an offhand remark at al'; I’m continually embarrassed by fathers, especially those who walk out on their kids.”

    Why not be continually embarrassed by mothers instead of fathers?

    Isn’t the bad rap against fathers caused more by media political correctness run amok than by the actions of men?

    Look at the causes of fatherlessness..

    80% of divorces are filed by women. We also know from the four states that mandate a reason be given for dissolution, the problem is not dad.

    The most cited reason is for mom disolving the marriage is “personal growth”.

    Sure there are some bad dads, but nothing that warrants the media perception

  • sandy bates

    which opens an even larger can of worms: does wanting a divorce mean the mother/father are bad parents? also, what about nonmarried mothers/fathers who walk out on their children? what would be the percentage distribution there?

    although both sexes can possess “embarassing” traits, i think fathers tend to (emphasis on tend to) explicitly display theirs in more public settings (go to any youth sporting event). this, more than “media PC gone amok”, is likely why fathers get a worse rap than mothers.

  • Lee

    “Missile Shield” thoughts.

    * I thought it was amazing that NOBODY talked about its costs.

    * I annoyed that same republicans would rather pay for a pretty ineffective missile system in europe while complaining about the national debt.

    I’m very surprised that more journalist aren’t asking tough questions of those folks. Questions like “You support this program, do you know how much it costs?”

    I’m surprised that Democrats don’t use this as a classic ‘guns vs. butter’ trade off discussion.

    Also, can someone tell me how “Our governor” can afford to travel and speak all over the country? Where is the money coming from?

  • Bob Collins

    Because I’m embarrassed as a father. I can’t be embarrassed as a mother.

    Don’t make me have the talk with you, Greg.

  • daveg

    “I annoyed that same republicans would rather pay for a pretty ineffective missile system in europe while complaining about the national debt.”

    Pretty ineffective (looking for evidence of that – you failed to provide it) vs. non-existent? I wonder if “something is better than nothing” comes into play when you’re talking about nuclear warheads.

    Located in Europe, yes. Protecting only Europe, no. It was called the ‘third site’ because it was the third corner of a triangle that protects (arguably, if you would have it so) our east coast from long range missiles.

    National debt? There are various ways of looking at that.

    One could argue that money spent now on an insurance policy (preventative care, to use the current over-hyped term) is less than money spent attempting to bury the radioactive ruins of New York City. As with any insurance or preventative care argument, though, it always comes down to arguing what is unknown and unknowable. It all depends on what you’re willing to risk. If you guess right, you save money. If you guess wrong, you lose a lot of lives. We’ve guessed wrong before. We never get to know for sure when we’ve guessed right.

    One could also argue that gov’t spending on national defense is far more clearly spelled out in the constitution as being required/permitted by our federal gov’t than wealth redistribution and recently discovered “rights,” private industry bailouts, and “stimulus” money that seems more about pandering to various political groups than it does in improving the economy. That doesn’t address cost per se, though.

    That said, one could easily argue that if it comes down to saving the UAW or an east coast city, well, that might be a valid point.

    I can’t argue any of these, of course, because there are far too many unknowns. In the end it’s moot – Republicans haven’t got much of a say in anything these days. This was a Democratic President’s decision. Ask him why costs aren’t being discussed. It is, after all, the most transparent administration ever. It is also an administration not known for its reticence in crowing about cost savings in even the most disingenuous and/or mythical of situations.

  • GregS

    “Because I’m embarrassed as a father. I can’t be embarrassed as a mother.

    I can see that, but as one who spent a decade as a single parent, I’ve only been embarrassed as a parent by parents.

    “although both sexes can possess “embarassing” traits, i think fathers tend to (emphasis on tend to) explicitly display theirs in more public settings (go to any youth sporting event). this, more than “media PC gone amok”, is likely why fathers get a worse rap than mothers.

    Not sure I see it that way.

    While I’ve witnessed some obnoxious behavior at sporting events (which tend to have more males in the stands), I’ve seen mostly the better side of people at kids sporting events where dads shoulder the majority of couching.

  • Bob Collins

    //I can see that, but as one who spent a decade as a single parent, I’ve only been embarrassed as a parent by parents.

    Got it. But you asked about me so I gave you my perspective. Mothers? You’re on your own.

    I can’t share your view of men in coaching. I’ve seen some of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen umping kids games. That’s not to say there aren’t good fathers and coaches but, geez, that scene brings the jerks out, too.