Five at 8 – 11/2/09: Cutting in

The Monday Morning Rouser. United Airlines retired its last 737 jet last week. So, let’s rouse!

1)Cutting in line? Guantanamo Bay detainees are in line to get the H1N1 vaccine before many in the U.S. population. Says the Associated Press:

“(Army Maj. James Crabtree, a spokesman for the U.S. jail facility in southeast Cuba) acknowledged there may be an “emotional response” from critics who argue that terror suspects should not be allocated swine-flu medications while members of the U.S. public are still waiting due to a vaccine shortage.”

As of Friday, 26.5 million doses of vaccine were available, 10 million more than a week ago. But not everyone can stand in a line a half mile long.

2) A Little Falls Lutheran pastor has resigned because the church voted earlier this year to allow non-celibate gays in the clergy, the Brainerd Dispatch reports (reg. required). Another Lutheran church in Little Falls has lost parishioners because of the decision, its pastor says. In Pennsylvania over the weekend, a group of Lutheran pastors and lay people tried to discuss the split but found it’s difficult to find common ground when most people think they’re on the side of God and the others are not.

3) New research out today links depression and processed food, the BBC is reporting:

They split the participants into two types of diet – those who ate a diet largely based on whole foods, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables and fish, and those who ate a mainly processed food diet, such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.

After accounting for factors such as gender, age, education, physical activity, smoking habits and chronic diseases, they found a significant difference in future depression risk with the different diets.

Those who ate the most whole foods had a 26% lower risk of future depression than those who at the least whole foods.

By contrast people with a diet high in processed food had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate very few processed foods.

4) What happens to the dogs from some of Minnesota’s notorious “puppy mills?” If they’re lucky, someone like Twin Citian Pete Howell steps into rescue them, one of many Pilots N Paws volunteers:

Buttercup and Wanda 051.jpg

Meanwhile, here’s a question: Could you raise a puppy and then give it away after a year?

But back to the aviation aspect for a moment. Look, if you’re going to go for a ride in a jet, don’t push the ejection switch by mistake.

5) Ford announced this morning that’s it’s made a surprise billion-dollar profit. It is the only car maker the government didn’t bail out, but the most interesting angle here is a few paragraphs into the story. Ford is asking its unions to take cuts in pay and benefits. Why? Because Chrysler and GM’s workers took cuts and Ford’s proposal would have its workers match the competition’s. But Ford made a billion-dollar profit. So what’s the right thing here?

Writing on Seeking Alpha, Michael Golde says the bailout of the competition is what’s emboldened Ford workers:

If GM or Chrysler had been allowed to fail or to fend for themselves in Chapter 11, is it highly doubtful that Ford workers would reject cost concessions if their livelihoods were truly at stake? But, they needn’t worry about that now. Bailout Nation mentality has now permeated large segments of our economy. And one bailout beget another bailout of the perception of a further bailout if necessary.


Many cities in Minnesota will hold local elections tomorrow. Do you plan to vote? Why or why not?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Flu vaccines against H1N1 are hard to come by unless you’re in one of the priority groups. It may be until end of November until there’s enough for wide distribution. The top infectious disease official at the National Institutes of Health talks about the strategy for fighting H1N1, and how vaccines might be produced faster in the future.

Second hour: Guthrie Theater artistic director Joe Dowling.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: A primer and call-in about instant runoff voting with guests Rachel Smith of the Humphrey Institute and MPR reporter Curtis Gilbert.

Second hour: Twin Cities mayoral debates. St. Paul in the first half hour and Minneapolis in the second half hour (metro-area only). I’ll live-blog the debates here.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Drug czars and cops

Second hour: Underground comic legend R. Crumb, who illustrated the entire text of the book of Genesis.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Some consumers are canceling credit cards as companies raise rates. the rate increases precede expected caps on credit card rates. MPR’s Michael Caputo has their reaction.

MPR’s Laura Yuen previews tomorrow’s St. Paul mayoral election.

MPR News begins a series “stress-testing the recovery.” First up: Hibbing, at the center of Minnesota’s taconite mining industry, has seen some of the state’s highest unemployment rates of late. The entire taconite industry shut down during the course of the year, and now some mines are coming back online. But why is the rebound is completely bypassing Hibbing?

  • Joanna

    Terror suspects or torture victims?

  • Alison

    Churches splitting over gay clergy? I think you have to question when a preacher tells you that Jesus, the ‘Prince of Peace’ and ‘Lord of Love’, hates gays. I guess it is easy to believe when some people paint a picture of gays being freak-show, sex-crazed heathens. But then you should meet some of the gay people I know. Or better yet, some of the gay people that you already know but are too afraid to come out to you. Thankfully, more GLBT people are gathering the courage to come out, allowing straight people to realize that some of their trusted friends, family members, and pillars of the community are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The reason the tide is turning on GLBT equality, and churches splitting over it, is that straight people are getting to know us and find out we aren’t as scary or evil as their pastor said.

  • Jim!!!

    I just goes to show that the church has no claim to any kind of moral superiority. Gay people have been with us since before the sun went around the earth.

  • JohnnyZoom

    That type of talk is a shame. An inventory of their pastoral and doctrinal competence needs to be done; unfortunately there exists no unified mechanism to do such for the vast majority of such cases. (You shouldn’t use scare quotes BTW, those titles are actually used)

    Of course, that is quite irrelevant to the real issue dividing such churches. At the end of the day, it comes down to simply, is sodomy sacramental, or not? As Bob said with slightly different wording, there is quite little room for a gray area here.

    >>significant difference in future depression risk with the different diets

    Here is a textbook case why a prospective study is better than an observational one. Those results could mean so many things, many of which would not imply you are doing your mental health a favor by reducing your processed food intake.

    >>So what’s the right thing here?

    The comparison is really not the relevant one though, as the profit is quite transient, while the structural issues of union benefits and the problems therein are one of the major contributors to the difficulties the auto industry (and perhaps others) face. That isn’t to say such a juxtaposition won’t be used (fat chance), but such long-term structural problems trump any short-term issues.

    Golde is expressing the moral hazard argument. Remarkable as that is the same issue some of the aforementioned churches would complain about. Not often religion and finance share such a commonality. Or is it…?

  • Jim!!!

    “An inventory of their pastoral and doctrinal competence needs to be done”

    What in the heck is that, and by what standard do you judge?

  • Alison

    //That type of talk is a shame. An inventory of their pastoral and doctrinal competence needs to be done; unfortunately there exists no unified mechanism to do such for the vast majority of such cases. (You shouldn’t use scare quotes BTW, those titles are actually used)

    I am very confused by this section. I just can’t figure out what you are trying to say. The one thing I do understand is the ‘scare quotes’ I know those terms are used. I have used them. The quotes weren’t meant to scare, but to highlight the irony of it.

  • JohnnyZoom

    >>What in the heck is that

    An audit, essentially. See below too.

    >> by what standard do you judge?

    That’s my point — I bet there really is no set way to audit most of those cases. But in principle, it can be done. Just ask (say) someone in the Society of St. Pius X. (Google them if you have to)

    >>I just can’t figure out what you are trying to say.

    If you or I don’t do our jobs, there are procedures in place for investigating what is wrong and taking corrective action, including taking steps to improve our job performance, or removing us. (OK I cannot strictly speak for you but I am making a general point) Now, if a preacher says those things, frankly he is not doing his job, or perhaps more precisely, he’s being a lousy preacher. It would be a Good Thing if a similar thing happened to whichever preachers you referred to. Make him better. Or make him take his bile somewhere else. That’s what I meant. But as I added, I suspect it won’t happen, because in most cases, I bet it can’t.