Plans for Sunday? (5×8 – 5/18/11)

Waiting for the end of days, dumping glitter on Gingrich, thin is in at a younger age than you imagined, the dancing Jeffersonians, and Aberdeen’s secret.


1) WAITING FOR THE END

The end is coming this weekend, if you believe the radio preachers. “It will begin with a worldwide earthquake and go on from there,” Rick Juszkiewicz tells the Duluth News Tribune. He’s the leader of a Midwest caravan warning people the end is near. It stopped yesterday in Duluth’s Canal Park. “It’s no one’s opinion. It’s straight out of the Bible.”

“My daughter is running the business now,” Juszkiewicz, 56, told the paper.

If the end is coming on Saturday, why would you need anyone to worry about running a business? He might be wrong, he acknowledges, if the man who’s calculated the date misinterpreted the Bible.

It’s false teaching, argues Albert Mohler Jr., the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky.


First, Christ specifically admonished his disciples not to claim such knowledge. In Acts 1:7, Jesus said, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” In Matthew 24:36, Christ taught similarly: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

To state the case plainly, these two verses explicitly forbid Christians to claim the knowledge of such dates and times. Jesus clearly taught that the Father has not revealed such dates and timing, but has reserved that knowledge for himself. It is an act of incredible presumptuousness to claim that a human knows such a date, or has determined God’s timing by any means.

On Facebook, a couple of organizers are putting together a “Post Rapture Looting Party.

“It is abusive for them to foist their anxious predictions of apoplectic apocalypse upon the rest of us,” a Buffalo, Minn., pastor writes in the Star Tribune today, quoting Britney Spears and Martin Luther. “I’ll offer one more quote, this time from the weighty mind of the reformer Martin Luther, who said, when asked what he would do if he knew the world was to end tomorrow, ‘I’d plant a tree today,’” Josh Nelson wrote.

2) GLITTERING GINGRICH

He struck again last night. Robert Erickson — you may remember him from the penny dumping stunt during a Tom Emmer news conference last year — “glittered” Newt Gingrich in Minneapolis last evening.

Erickson’s real name is Nick Espinosa. Here’s his Web site.

3) THIN IS IN AT A YOUNG AGE

At what age do kids learn that thin is beautiful? At least four, a new study says. In the research from Australia , 160 children and young adults were asked to to rank the attractiveness of female bodies. The participants were shown six images of the same black-clad woman of normal body weight according to Body Mass Index (BMI), a weight-height ratio used to indicate a person’s fatness. In five of the images, the image had been altered the make the woman look thinner or fatter (her face was blotted out with a dark square), LiveScience.com says.


Even the youngest 4-year-olds in the study ranked the “most beautiful” body as significantly thinner than the normal-weight original. On average, participants thought the prettiest body was the one that shaved about 5 percent off the width of the original. Meanwhile, the body ranked “most normal” was the original normal-BMI image.

A fixation on thinness accompanies an increase in eating disorder among kids.

4) THE DANCING JEFFERSONIANS

Should people be allowed to dance quietly to celebrate a president’s birthday? Not if it’s at the Jefferson Memorial , a U.S. Court of Appeals judge has ruled. Mary Brooke Oberwetter was among a small group of people so enraptured by Thomas Jefferson’s birthday that they danced at his memorial and refused to stop when ordered to do so by park police.

Is dancing free speech? No, the Wall St. Journal says…


Ms. Oberwetter sued on free speech grounds, arguing that Americans are free to creatively celebrate political figures in locations of national significance. She also alleged the arresting officer had no probable cause and used excessive force.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia spent 17 pages explaining why she was wrong. The court, in an opinion by Judge Thomas Griffith, said memorials are places for tranquil contemplation, not spectacle.

Ms. Oberwetter’s expressive dancing “stands out as a type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from the atmosphere of solemn commemoration” that Park Service regulations are designed to preserve, the court said.

The Jefferson admirers clearly have a right to dance in honor of the author of the Declaration of Independence, just not inside the memorial dedicated to him, the court said.

Finally, the court used a footnote to offer the dancers a history lesson: Jefferson discouraged celebrations of his birthday.

When in the course of human events has a president’s birthday made you want to dance?

5) NEED WORK? TRY ABERDEEN.

Need a job? The mayor Aberdeen, South Dakota says you can find one in his city, unless you’re from South Dakota and you’re out of work, apparently. “A lot of the people who are unemployed are unemployable,” he tells NPR. “Because if they were employable, they’d have a job.” Unemployment is about 4 percent in Aberdeen.

It’s a success story. Or is it? According to the census, 10 percent of the population of Aberdeen lives below the poverty line.

TODAY’S QUESTION

The United States has reached its debt limit and may default on its loan obligations. Some Republicans say they’ll refuse to raise the limit unless they get deep cuts in government spending. Today’s Question: Is threatening a default a good way to exert political leverage?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: What’s happened to the middle class?

Second hour: Paul Theroux meditates on his own travel experiences and excerpts the insights of writers like Mark Twain and Susan Sontag.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: MPR political analysts Todd Rapp and Maureen Shaver on the Legislature and governor in the final week of the session, and the Minnesotans running for president.

Second hour: An “Intelligence Squared” series debate on the statement: ….Don’t give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Political talk with NPR’s political editor Ken Rudin.

Second hour: Adventures of the self described world’s greatest stunt man.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty holds a big fundraiser for his exploratory presidential campaign tonight in Minneapolis. Pawlenty’s fundraising over the next few weeks will be a major indicator of whether he benefits from the absence of people like Mike Huckabee and Haley Barbour in the race. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik is on the rail.

MPR’s Lorna Benson reports a Mayo Clinic doctor has successfully lobbied three medical organizations to change the name of a vascular condition called Wegener’s granulomatosis. The disease is named after German physician Dr. Friedrich Wegener. Mayo rheumatologist, Dr. Eric Matteson was writing an article about Wegener’s contributions to vascular medicine when he discovered that Wegener was a member of the Nazi party, was a ‘brown shirt’ and worked with other Nazi doctors who may have conducted experiments on humans. Matteson’s effort to strip Wegener’s name has taken more than a decade.

The Mississippi River is flooding farms and towns. But what happens when it reaches Louisiana swamps? NPR will have the answer.