The 800-pound war in the room (5×8 – 11/8/10)

It’s OK to talk war again, why your relationship may end over the next six weeks, the cycle of single mothers, is the future more important than the present, and secrets of pig spleens revealed.


The Rouser and your work week awaits:

1) TALKING WAR AGAIN

There was a nice moment at Friday’s Timberwolves game against Atlanta. Three recently-returned soldiers from Afghanistan and/or Iraq got a prolonged standing ovation. It might’ve been the loudest cheers of the night. It was also a warming moment, given that several thousand people agreed on something after a political campaign season in which it seemed impossible several thousand people could.

On his weekly commentary this week, Ben Stein seemed dumbstruck that no candidate on Tuesday mentioned a war — two wars, actually. But that’s hardly surprising given that this was the first campaign waged in the middle of a war — two wars — in which the wars were not an issue.

With Veteran’s Day coming on Thursday, there are other indications that those responsible for waging them are also trying to keep them low key, by denying Medals of Honor..

But now that the campaign is over, war is becoming a topic again. A now more-powerful U.S. senator is thinking about having a third one.

Perspective: When your kid is in a war, is a football game really that important?

2) SEASON’S GOOBYES

If you’re in a rocky relationship, there’s a pretty good chance it’s going to end in the next six or seven weeks.

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3) CONSIDERING THE CYCLE

Children of unmarried mothers are more likely to perform poorly in school, go to prison, use drugs, be poor, and give birth while unmarried. Seventy-two percent of African American babies are born to single mothers. The Associated Press considers what that mean long term:

Research has increased into links between behavior and poverty, scholars say. Historically black Hampton University recently launched a National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting. There is a Marry Your Baby Daddy Day, founded by a black woman who was left at the altar, and a Black Marriage Day, which aims “to make healthy marriages the norm rather than the exception.”

In September, Princeton University and the liberal Brookings Institution released a collection of “Fragile Families” reports on unwed parents. And an online movement called “No Wedding No Womb” ignited a fierce debate that included strong opposition from many black women.

4) WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT: THE PRESENT OR THE FUTURE?

Aaron J. Brown considers whether people should be expected to move to an urban center somewhere during hard times. His weekly article from the Iron Range leads to the question: Are we building for the present, or are we building for the future?


My wife and I moved into a new home on family land in 2005 and here we stay. We will not be forced to leave and we hope at least one of our sons chooses to stay here someday. This is possible only because of the changing world, the technology that allows someone to do big city work while looking at the steam cloud of a taconite plant. We are just a few decades separated from relatives who lived in company homes at the edge of a mine where the men worked. Today, women and men tap into an economy connected by wires, where the edge of the mine is just one front.

Times have changed, but not all has changed with them. For instance, all the great peoples of this earth build for the future, not the moment. We know this because the great people left something behind that mattered. The pedestrian people, the ones who milled around between empires, are known only to the highly educated scholars who write their mild tales of excess and sloth into mostly unread books tucked away in the deepest corners of well-built houses.

5) AND NOW THE WEATHER

Norbert Schulz of Jamestown, ND has a fool-proof predictor of winter: pig spleens. “It’s going to be real nice here for a while; then she’s going to turn real mean,” Schulz told the Fargo Forum, sizing up the spleen in his rural butcher shop.

Nailed it.

Bonus: The faces of 99 finishers at the New York Marathon. (link fixed)

How did you spend the weekend? This guy strapped some wings and rocket engines on his back and jumped out of a balloon.

TODAY’S QUESTION

For the first time in modern history, Republicans soon will control both houses of the Minnesota Legislature. What do you want to see happen in the Legislature next year?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: A look at the Republican agenda in Congress.

Second hour: A neurologist shares his encounters with the most fascinating medical mysteries of the mind. Dr. Oliver Sacks also recounts his recent struggle with eye cancer.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The House speaker-elect Kurt Zellers and new Senate majority leader-elect Amy Koch.

Second hour: Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, speaking recently at the U of M with MPR’s Cathy Wurzer.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: TBA

Second hour: TBA

  • Jeff

    Hey Bob — the link for the marathon pictures goes to the spleen article instead. Oops.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Bob- regarding”There was a nice moment at Friday’s Timberwolves game against Atlanta. Three recently-returned soldiers from Afghanistan and/or Iraq got a prolonged standing ovation. It might’ve been the loudest cheers of the night. It was also a warming moment, given that several thousand people agreed on something after a political campaign season in which it seemed impossible several thousand people could.”

    The war in Afghanistan is one of folly. The war in Iraq was based on fraud. The reality of war is such that someone in the military is directly or indirectly involved in killing or wounding more innocent people than bad guys. The nature of terrorism is that both of these wars create more enemies for the United States than they destroy.

    If the applause was out of compassion for the

    very likely damaged returned vets who were tools of flawed policy, I would wholeheartedly participate.

    If it was to thank them for their choice to be a soldier, how about some nice moments and prolonged standing ovations for preschool, elementary and high school teachers. Healthcare workers. Pro bono lawyers. Organic farmers.Courageous, truth-seeking journalists………

  • Bob Collins

    Organic farmer bobblehead night? I’m surprised the Wolves haven’t gone that route.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Touche’. And thanks for the laughs. Who did the courageous, truth-seeking journalist bobble head look like?