1) By now, of course,you've probably read or heard all about President Obama's intention to send more soldiers to Afghanistan. Here's a multimedia look at the speech from the New York Times that's worth a visit. The Los Angeles Times finds it odd that the word victory was missing from Obama's speech. Here's the transcript. The word win doesn't appear in the speech either. In President Bush's speech at the start of the war, the word "win" was mentioned only once. The word victory also was not mentioned.
The parallels with Vietnam are certainly out there. Aljazeera, however, says it's not another Vietnam. Richard Nixon's secretary of defense says it is.
Wayback Machine time. It was less than two months after 9/11, and the NY Times' R.W. Apple was already asking if a then-young war was another Vietnam? Here's an interview with former president Nixon explaining why President Lyndon Johnson escalated the war in Vietnam. About one minute in, it gets eerily similar:
On Daily Show last night, columnist Thomas Friedman reveals he and other columnists had lunch yesterday with Obama and he disagrees with the troop build-up:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
2) MPR's Sasha Aslanian is continuing her work on what the immigration issue looks like in the locked hallways of the justice system, and the scenes that play out therein.
The world of immigrant detainees is almost impossible to penetrate from the outside. It's tricky to find out where people are being held. Detainees do not have the right to an attorney and they can be shuffled from one facility to another and whisked out of state without a goodbye to their families.
ICE granted MPR permission to interview a detainee held in Ramsey in person named David Soto. His own mother wouldn't be able to do this. She'd have to talk with him via videoconference. That's the only way families can visit here.
3) The Internet is at Defcon 1 this morning. Google is going to limit access to free news content.
4) By the time you read this, perhaps, the state official Gov. Pawlenty once dismissed as being "pessmistic" will have released the latest revenue report for the state, and it will show we're still an economic basket case, according to reports. Bring Me The News ponders whether Pawlenty will be moved to make more cuts on his own (unallotment).
But what do these moves look like once they take effect? MPR's Rupa Shenoy reports on one scenario: People getting out of prison without the medications they need. The police are even raising the possibility of more use of Tasers in the new era.
Meanwhile, Ottertail County last night experienced the year-end ritual known as the state's Truth in Taxation hearings. Do these things do any good? Homeowners were angry about rising property taxes but were told the time to appeal the valuation of their property was last spring.
Things were much quieter, apparently, in Lyon County where only about 15 people showed up, and learned that property taxes are shifting from residential and commercial property toward farmers.
5) From the Just Because It's Cool Dept: The Boston Globe's Big Picture blog is presenting its annual Hubble Telescope Advent Calendar. One picture a day. Or you can just go to the Hubble Telescope Web site and help yourself. You can also print holiday Hubble cards.
Here's a recent image from the Hubble:
Even after all of these years, I still don't know what these astronomical Rorschach Tests mean or what we've learned from Hubble or how many generations it'll take before what we've learned will make a difference in anything. But it's a good way to kill a few minutes at work and make the rest of the world's problems seem insignificant. And it makes me wonder whether somewhere out there in PrettySpace, someone's got a fancy telescope pointed in our direction and is thinking our slice of the galaxy looks pretty and peaceful.
Oh, heck, since we're on the subject of science, let's consider the Bohr-Einstein Debates, re-enacted with puppets:
If you understand any of this, you obviously don't make your living stringing a bunch of words together.
One more science story: Loneliness may be contagious.
Last night, the president laid out his strategy for the Afghan war. Do you agree with President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan? That was also yesterday's question here on 5@8. Only 28 percent of the relatively few who bothered to have an opinion supported the idea.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The public has developed a dubious relationship with science as skeptics increasingly attack research on vaccines, HIV/AIDS , and climate change. Midmorning asks if Americans are actually becoming "anti-science" or if other ideological factors are involved.
Second hour: A group of VocalEssence singers give their annual Midmorning preview of the best Christmas carols, along with a few little-known, rarely performed seasonal songs.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Former Minnesota finance commissioners Jay Kiedrowski and John Gunyou discuss today's announcement of the state revenue forecast.
Second hour: (Tentative) Asia reporter Mary Kay Magistad, who spoke last night at the Broadcast Journalist Series
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Political Junkie Ken Rudin.
Second hour: Terry Teachout, author of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - MPR's Tim Pugmire will recap the revenue forecast story.
NPR provides more day-after analysis of the war escalation and considers what Pakistan's role is going to be.
Nina Totenberg will listen to Supreme Court arguments on the big issue in Florida where presumably well-off beach-front property owners object to the state's policy of creating public beaches in front of their homes, even as it guarantees that it will replace the homeowners' property if it washes away in a storm. American Public Media's Marketplace covered this story last evening.
Tiger Woods has issued another public statement about the domestic incident in Florida. Read between the lines and you can probably determine that he's acknowledging the rumors about his marital and family woes:
I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.
Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.
But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions.
Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it's difficult.
I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.
It's an odd thing, though, for a guy who's demanding (rightly so) his privacy, to open the comments section of his Web site on which his "apology" was posted.
So, that leaves us back to the greater reflection on society. If so many people think it's wrong to have marital affairs, why do so many people have them? As recently as the 1990s, that number was pegged at one of every 4 husbands.(17 Comments)