The new Austin (Five by 8: 8/9/10)

The Monday Morning Rouser…

1) Twenty-five years? How could this be? It’s been 25 years since Austin, Minnesota was ground zero in one of the nastiest labor disputes in this country’s history. This evening on All Things Considered, Minnesota Public Radio begins a short series revisiting the city and documenting how it’s changed over that time. But you don’t have to wait. It’s available on the Web site now.

You can compare how things have changed incrementally, too. Here’s our story on how things have changed after (almost) 20 years

On Facebook, reader Sharon Bollig added some criticism:

Hey MPR, how about doing stories about successful Latinos, and professional Latinos? I understand the significance of this story, but please, add some balance. Not all of us Latinos are poor, immigrants. Quite a few are professionals leading successful lives, trying to give back to our communities. Talk to the people at the Latino Roundtable, the Hispanic MBA, etc.

2) It’s hot. Ridiculously hot. Dangerously hot. At some point this winter, it will be cold and a climate change denier will point to the cold temperatures as proof there is no such thing as climate change. Then, those who acknowledge the phenomenon will — condescendingly — point out that climate and weather are not the same thing. I bring this up because over the weekend on Twitter I notice that some people were — condescendingly — using the weekend record temperatures to taunt those who do not acknowledge climate change.

But, whatever. It’s hot. ridiculously hot. Dangerously hot and if the earth explodes today, at least we won’t have to bear the heat anymore.

While we wait for the sweet release of , well, you know… a couple of guys in Whitefish provided some measure of vicarious relief…

3) Mosque wars (continued): Germany has closed a mosque that the 9/11 attackers used because authorities said it was again being used by radicals.

In the States, of course, debate continues to simmer over the plans for a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Writing on the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, Robert Levine and David Ellenson said Jews, in particular, should support the mosque idea:

Every year Jews emerge from the Passover Seder table with one indelible message — remember that you were strangers in the land of Egypt, that you were degraded and humiliated for no reason save that you were Jews. As Jews, we therefore must raise our voices and do all in our power to prevent such bigotry from being directed at any other people or faith. The empathy taught by our tradition demands that Jews neither be silent nor forbearing in the face of such injustice.

Since 9/11, many Muslims have felt similar broad brush rejection just because they practice the faith of Islam. No distinctions among Muslims are made by their critics. Blame and derision are unconscionably hurled upon an entire faith. History has well taught us how indecent and immoral it is when an entire faith group is held culpable for the acts of a few.

4) Summer camp shouldn’t be a “free fire zone” for bullies. But it often is. The Boston Globe has a compelling installment in an occasional series on bullying, “The Agony of the Bullied Camper.”

“Cole was following everyone and poking people,” said a tall boy with braces from Roxbury who was friends with Cole last summer. “I forgot that I was friends with Cole.”

“He was annoying,” said another boy, from Mattapan.

The boys made a pact.

“We decided we would all just laugh at Cole,” one of them said.

When the laughing began, Cole sobbed, so hard at times that he could not explain to counselors what had happened.

The crying, counselors say, cemented Cole’s trajectory.

The other kids “realized he was an easy target,” Nunes said.

Ah, summer! Check out the video accompanying the story.

5) This is the video of a tornado taking out a farm in Wilkin County over the weekend:

Nobody was hurt because the family sought shelter at a neighbor’s house. WCCO reported the couple was thinking about giving up the farm anyway, and they apparently will move and not rebuild.

One of these days, one of these “storm chasers” is going to be killed. For this I blame Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.

Bonus: Strib columnist on Brett Favre: “He’s lying.” You’d think someone was holding a gun to sportswriters’ heads forcing them to be part and parcel of the annual Brett Favre nonsense.


After Koua Fong Lee was released from prison last week, people close to his case said they had doubts all along about aspects of his original trial. How much confidence do you have in our system of justice?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: When overmedicalization goes too far. Author Katy Butler recently wrote about the despair her family endured in the final months of her father’s life because of an unnecessary medical procedure.

Second hour: Recent research suggests that how much a child learns in kindergarten will translate to higher earnings in adulthood than students who had low quality early education. President Obama has also called for a merit-pay system for teachers, but should we tie their salaries to student performance?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Independence Party gubernatorial candidates Tom Horner and Rob Hahn in studio for a final debate.

Second hour: Rebroadcast of last night’s DFL gubernatorial candidate debate.

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

Second hour: Elements of disasters. One do they all have in common? Managers who think it can’t happen to them and technology that’s far from foolproof.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – On the eve of the DFL primary, MPR’s Tom Scheck takes a look at where the candidates differ, specifically on their plans to erase the pending $6 billion budget deficit.