The power of silence, 26 moments that restored faith in humanity, the Sunday school Christmas, where did the farmers go, and Rubio or Peterson?
The Monday Morning Rouser…
I write words about the news for a living, but I haven’t written any about Friday’s shooting, even though I know I’m supposed to. I’ve read some of the words that columnists and editorialists have written and they fall short; each is searching for the profound observation about an illogical act. As for the news stories, I’ve read some of those, too, even though for the most part I’ve turned the TV and radio off and tried not to read the newspaper. Do I really need to know how many times some children were shot or at what range?
No, I don’t. Not that.
We are humans and because we are, we have our thoughts. You don’t need help from anyone telling you how you should feel. You feel it. I feel it.
Which is why I think a comedy show — Saturday Night Live — got it right this weekend.
More: Mass murder is horrible enough without the hype. (Boston Globe)
Related: The incredible healing power of a hug:
Bless you, Internet. BuzzFeed provides the needed perspective on things. The dying man who received more mail than he’d hoped for, the kind stranger who prevented someone’s day from being ruined, the doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy, and the parents who tattooed insulin pumps on their bellies so their diabetic son wouldn’t feel “different”, and more.
And…. one! Hayden Carlo,25, of Wylie, Texas was pulled over by police for driving a car with an expired registration. He told the officer he had to buy food for his family and couldn’t afford the renewal fee. When Carlo received his citation, it was attached to a $100 bill.
And…. two! The outdoor skating rink at Phalen Recreation Center in Saint Paul was left a mess when thieves ripped off copper piping in November. So two companies made things right. (Star Tribune)
(Photo: Audrey Kletscher Helbling)
“Now I am at that place in my life when I sit side-by-side with my husband in a pew, our children grown and gone, not yet married, awaiting those Christmases when the tradition of the Sunday School Christmas Program will pass along to the next generation,” Audrey Kletscher Helbling writes on her blog, Minnesota Prairie Roots. Sweet pictures are included in her remembrance of pageants passed.
The DFL — as in Democrat, Farmer, Labor –has regained control of the Minnesota Legislature. but you’ll have a hard time finding any farmers at the Capitol. The Mankato Free Press says only nine lawmakers are farmers, calling it an “extraordinary collapse.”
In the ’70s, there were almost 50 farmers, which allowed for legislation such as the mandate requiring that gasoline be blended with ethanol.
The occupations of the new Legislature allow lawmakers to spend a lot of time getting nothing done, the Free Press suggests. A Legislature of farmers didn’t have that luxury:
There’s probably one other repercussion of the plummeting number of farmers at the Capitol — an effect that most Minnesotans have noticed in recent years as legislative sessions have tended to drag on and on. Several times, the dallying has stretched into summertime special sessions and government shutdowns as lawmakers refused to compromise on budgets and policy disputes long after the mid-May adjournment target.
That trend has mainly been blamed on growing partisanship and inflexibility, but it also has to do with the dearth of farmers, according to Kalis and Torkelson. Lawmakers can dig in and refuse to yield at the Capitol, even when spring arrives because so few of them need to worry that an extended session is going to reduce their yields if they don’t get home and dig into their planting.
Back when farmers dominated the Legislature, it might have been acceptable in January and February and March to debate endlessly and spurn proposed compromises. But when the frost left the ground and the soil dried and the weather turned sunny and warm, farmer/legislators were eager to reach a deal.
Ricky Rubio has returned.
Even the reigning superstar of Minnesota — Adrian Peterson — got in on the celebration.
And Peterson had a good weekend, too, pulling within the NFL’s single-season rushing record.
Which brings up the question: Who is the more beloved Minnesota sports star?
More sports: The principles of game theory and baseball (Hardball Times)
Bonus I: Holiday Party Bingo! Go here for more bingo cards.
Bonus II: The 30 freakiest ads of 2012 (Ad Freak)
In an editorial posted within hours of Friday’s shootings, the Hartford Courant concluded: “… this much is certain, attested to by the Newtown school shooting: It is far too easy in America for a sick mind to find a gun and use it.” Today’s Question: Is it time for a change in America’s gun-control laws?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: How to talk to kids about the school shooting.
Second hour: Regulators are putting the final touches on the Dodd-Frank Act, and the new financial regulation rules are set to go into effect soon. What will these rules accomplish in terms of monitoring the banking industry, and what items does finance reporter Gretchen Morgenson think the Act will miss? How can we make regulation simpler and more effective?
Third hour: In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newton, Connecticut, what can school officials learn? Can school safety and security policies be improved upon?
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Rabbi Harold Kushner. The best-selling author’s speech was given this fall at the Basilica in Minneapolis about overcoming loss and disappointment, dealing with hard times, and his newest book, “The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person.”
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The shootings.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – TBA