1) In Georgia, school officials barred the cheerleaders from hanging any banners that had Biblical verses on them. Since 9/11, cheerleaders painted the verses on giant paper banners that the football team ran through during pre-game introductions. The town responded. They bring God’s Warriors signs to the games. In a battle between those wanting to keep church and state separate, and those who prefer it to be merged, the latter is winning this particular battle, the New York Times reports.
Why does football and religion seem to be linked more than say, the band and religion in schools? You don’t usually see the band kids gather in prayer before the first song. Why not? Why doesn’t the glee club put up posters that say, “Make a joyful noise.”?
2) It’s not easy being green glass. In Mankato, residents dutifully put green-colored glass in with the other recyclables. They might as well just toss them in the trash. Green glass can only be recycled into more green glass and there’s no market for it. Still, the state requires that it be collected. Some people want to change that.
3) Bear expert Lynn Rogers of Minnesota is the focus of a BBC documentary that airs tomorrow night: He’s getting some UK love today.
In the years Rogers has tramped through the Northwoods he has abandoned just about everything he knew, or thought he knew, about bears. They do not like honey. They are not even that crazy about berries or nuts – provided, of course, there is a nice rich stash of ant larvae in the vicinity.
And they are not ferocious. Rogers is adamant about that. He said he has never heard a bear roar or even growl, and that in all of his years of close proximity to the animals he has never been seriously hurt even though in his early years he displayed what he calls “bad bear manners”.
Rogers was a guest on MPR’s Midmorning last December.
4) The Washington Post has the story today of Matthew Hoh, who has resigned from the Foreign Service because, he says, he doesn’t know why the U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan. He only joined the Foreign Service earlier this year:
“I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan,” he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department’s head of personnel. “I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end.”
The White House will be getting back to you on that, Matthew.
Meanwhile, WNYC’s The Takeaway today looks at competing narratives of this week’s helicopter “crash” in Afghanistan.
5) A nice catch by the New York Times today on the Northwest Airlines Flight 188 fiasco. The airline warned pilots at the start of the merger between Delta and Northwest that these sorts of things were possible. “While we cannot minimize distractions from our personal or professional lives, we can mitigate their effects so they do not affect the safety of our airline,” the memo said. “Leave distractions about personal, corporate or other external issues outside of the flight deck.”
Greg Feith, a former NTSB investigator, went on The CBS Early Show this morning and said not all pilots may have known about Delta’s prohibition on laptops in the cockpit and said Northwest Airlines did not have such a policy. Perhaps the distraction was a conversation among the pilots about whether they could be surfing on their laptops.
Meanwhile, The Atlantic’s James Fallows, a pilot, gets it right when he describes just how unbelievable the pilots’ current story is:
The difficulty for the pilots is that the version of the story they’re resisting — that they simply fell asleep — is less damning for them than any alternative version. If they fell asleep, that’s bad, but they could argue some kind of force majeure. But if their “heated conversation” (previous story) or intense laptop use (current story) kept them from remembering their most elemental responsibility as pilots, that really is beyond the pale. The closest comparison would be, say, to an operating-room team that got so interested in watching a football game on TV that they sliced open a patient but forgot to take out his appendix. Forgetting where you are going is incredible enough on its own. And not having any back-of-mind nag saying, “Wait a minute, we haven’t heard anything on the air-traffic control frequency for a while” also is outside any known experience of the professional flight-crew world.
In other words: Somebody’s lying about what happened.
Citing the “rapid increase in illness,” President Obama has declared a national emergency to help officials deal with H1N1 flu. How has the spread of H1N1 affected your workplace?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Midmorning (9 – 11 a.m.) – First hour: Historians Ed Ayers and Brian Balogh both say they entered the profession to have a better understanding of how the world we live in came to be. That’s the driving force behind their scholarship, and the basis for their radio show.
Second hour: You probably have plants in your garden, weeds that annoy you. Author Amy Stewart investigates the plants that kill, if you get too close.
Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – Garrison Keillor, speaking at the Barnes and Noble in Edina about his writing, and reading from his new book, “Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance.”
Talk of the Nation (1 – 3 p.m.) – First hour: It’s been three years since Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” made “green” good — and put climate change on diverse agendas. Now a new Pew survey finds that concern about global warming is waning. What’s causing this change in attitudes?
Second hour: Afghan politician Malalai Joya on her new book, “A Woman among Warlords.”
All Things Considered (3 – 6:30 p.m.) – Where do Minnesota’s legislators stand on the public option for health insurance. The U.S. Senate bill will give state’s the option of opting out. MPR’s Tom Scheck is on the story.
MPR’s Tom Weber has a comprehensive look at what school districts are asking voters to approve this fall.
David Schaper has the story of what happened when some black students were kept out of a bar in Washington state because they were wearing baggy clothes.
NPR’s Martin Kaste has the second part of his series on the end of privacy.