Scary Glitter (5×8 – 2/3/12)

Is it time for ‘glittering’ to go, Jane’s heavy lifting; a woman, two kids, and the people who cared; comeback of the noose, and wonder dogs.


Few Republican candidates come calling on Minnesota anymore without getting “glittered” by the gay rights activist. It happened to Mitt Romney on Wednesday.

Its effect is debatable because it’s losing its shock value, but it’s still a more tidy protest than throwing eggs or pies.

But the Star Tribune goes so far in an editorial today as suggesting it might get someone killed.

There’s a tendency by some to dismiss the glitterings as a high-spirited twist on civil disobedience. But it is unacceptable to put others in harm’s way to make a political point. There’s also a bullying side to the glitterings that undermines the gay-rights cause.

Glitterings are intended to intimidate and publicly humiliate people — a reason why activists post unflattering videos of politicians cringing as they’re glittered. This may feel like a small measure of justice for those who’ve battled a lifetime of prejudice because of their sexual orientation, but that’s not cause for more intimidating behavior.

Writing in the New York Times last fall, author Thomas Vinciguerra noted glitter has staying power — candidates will be picking glitter out of their clothing for days.

Conceivably, a Tea Party member might pelt a liberal opponent with mounds of dried orange pekoe, with little or no lasting effect. Clumps of wet leaves, however, would be likelier to cling, stain or worse.

Don’t laugh. Provocateurs who hit Willie Brown, then the mayor of San Francisco, with three pies in 1998 to protest his policies toward the homeless were convicted on misdemeanor battery charges and sentenced to six months in prison. And the conservative activist Tim Eyman, who sought to reduce funds for public transit, claimed that he suffered corneal abrasion and chemical burns after he was hit with a pie. “We have been really careful to make sure that we wouldn’t do anything that could hurt anyone,” Ms. Lang said. “That includes the size of the glitter, which is so big that it can’t get into anyone’s eyes.” Indeed, she said that when a security guard removed her from the Bachmann forum, all he told her was, “Thank you for using the large glitter.”


Jane Loftus turns 79 this month and she’s still delivering the goods in Redwood Falls, the Redwood Falls Gazette reports today. She delivers medications from the local pharmacy to individual and nursing homes. “I like to keep active. I was born on a farm near Perry, Iowa. There were four girls, no boys, so we had to do all the farm work,” she said.

“At a very young age I was doing a lot of heavy work, which I didn’t mind. I loved it!” She doesn’t plan to retire. “I could be like some of the people I deliver to, and sit around all day watching TV,” she said.

Sometimes there’s a big price to be paid for helping.

The Pioneer Press has the story today of barber Keith Barnes of St. Louis Park. He was carrying a woman he saved from a rollover accident in December when he was struck by a drunk driver and lost his leg.


Every night before she went to bed, Matilda Dahn talked to the pictures of her two children, the Fargo Forum reports today. She has not seen them since she left Liberia 8 years ago. Her American-born daughter had never met them. The children were supposed to follow her and her husband to the U.S., but she ended up in an abusive relationship here. Now a single mother making little money, she thought she’d never see her children again. Then her coworkers “gathered $600 in donations to help pay for the children’s airline tickets. Last week, her church, Metropolitan Baptist Church in Fargo, held a potluck that raised $4,300 for the children’s airline tickets and legal fees,” the paper says. The children were reunited with their mother yesterday.


There’s a theme running between a politician from Minnesota and Canada when it comes to penal policy. It’s a noose.

In Canada, the CBC reports, Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu is at the center of some controversy for responding to a question about the death penalty. He said he is not for the death penalty but is not opposed to ropes being left in the cells of serial killers who have no chance of rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, up at the state Capitol, Republican Rep. Tony Cornish sent an email to DFL colleagues on Wednesday under the subject of his crime bill.

According to City Pages:

The “bill,” revealed in an email to “All DFL representatives,” features a photo of two nooses and a gallows — and that’s all. Cornish’s Facebook reveals more information.

The gallows is apparently from Arizona, and the photo was apparently taken and uploaded to Facebook earlier this year. Under the photo, Cornish writes: “Only Sure Cure for Repeat Offenders.”


If the world were perfect, dogs wouldn’t die so soon.

The New York Times Magazine has the must-read story of today, how dogs can work wonders with people who cannot be reached by humans.

Dogs evolved over at least 15,000 years to know and like humankind as well as, or better than, we know and like ourselves. Like many German shepherds, Ben was a one-person dog. He seemed to watch Shirk closely when she returned to her apartment following open-heart surgery. “I had a daytime nurse but was alone at night,” she says. “I was on a morphine pump and — though I didn’t realize it — a deadly combination of drugs. I slipped into unconsciousness.” When the phone rang, Ben waited — as he’d been trained to do — for Shirk’s command to answer it rather than to let it ring into the answering machine. But that night, with his owner failing, Ben picked up the receiver without her command, dropped it on the bed and barked and barked. It was Shirk’s father. Realizing something was wrong, her father hung up and called 911. The rescue team told Shirk she wouldn’t have lived through the night.

If you don’t feel like reading a lengthy article, just watch the video instead.

Bonus: Scenes from Brighton Beach in Duluth on a winter day.


As Syria’s violent crackdown on rebels and dissidents continues, the U.N. Security Council is unable to agree on a course of action. Today’s Question: How do you think the United States and other countries should respond to the situation in Syria?


I’ll be working on another You Should Meet post today so posting may be light. Have you submitted your nominee yet?

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: Friday roundtable with guests: David Brauer. wjp writes about media for MinnPost; Bob Collins; and Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former speaker of the House in the Minnesota Legislature.

Second hour: As a Jesuit priest in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Los Angeles, Father Gregory Boyle has seen the connection between dim employment prospects and the lure of gang life. The jobs program he created offers youth a different path.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The black modern theater. Co-host is T. Mychael Rambo. Guests: Lou Bellamy & Paul Carter Harrison.

Second hour: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The psychology of disgust.

Second hour: The latest in drone technology.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – When David Finch was thirty, his wife gave him a quiz to screen for Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. The results were striking. He had the condition, and that helped explain much of the trouble in their marriage. NPR looks at how the couple used the diagnosis to repair their relationship