1) Can we ignore Pat Robertson, yet still look at Haiti from a spiritual and religious view? Let's try. On his blog, The Livesay [Haiti] Blog, Troy and Tara Livesay write, "Sometimes life in Haiti leaves you wondering 'Where are you God?' and other times we witness miracles with our own eyes." Writing on BeliefNet, Ben Witherington takes on Pat Robertson:
It is easier in some ways to explain what is not the case than to say what is the case when it comes to God and natural disasters like this earthquake, despite fundamentalist preachers who are apt to glibbly say things like--- "Haiti is the center of voodoo in the Western hemisphere therefore God judged them." This hardly explains why all the Christian relief agencies, and various orthodox Christians in Haiti are also reeling from the blow just now. Were they just in the wrong line of fire, or is God's aim that bad???
"If God loves people, why does he wipe them out?" this blogger asks.
Some other before-and-after pictures can be found here. CBS has obtained video of the earthquake:
2) If you watched the PBS special on Sam Cooke last night, you might have found yourself thinking of other singers who were signature voices of their generation. Otis Redding, perhaps. Teddy Pendergrass, too. Pendergrass has died at 59. He spent his last 28 years in a wheelchair.
4) It's odd that they weren't saying mean things about the Minnesota Vikings' player strategy when Tavaris Jackson was running the team. The Wall St. Journal analyzes how the Vikings go to the edge of a Super Bowl. The Journal alleges the Vikes "plundered" other teams, hinting at unfairness.
5) Five emotions you never knew you had: Elevation, interest, gratitude, pride, and confusion. These go along with the six in-your-face emotions: joy, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust. New Scientist says these old-time emotions are so yesterday, and these newer ones deserve a place alongside.
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: The Bush Foundation recently announced a $40 million grant to significantly overhaul how K-12 teachers are recruited and trained in Minnesota. The goal of the project, which will be watched closely be educators around the nation, is to create and retain effective teachers and increase student achievement.
Second hour: As a young child in 1963, Nancy Rappaport lost her mother to suicide during a bitter custody battle. Years later she became a child psychiatrist and uses the lens of this expertise to understand the mystery of her mother's depression and suicide.
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: An update on the Haiti earthquake.
Second hour: Remebering Miep Gies, who helped shelter Anne Frank's family from the Nazis. She died this week at age 100.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Before the earthquake, Haiti suffered from extreme poverty -- and now, things are worse. The tiny island nation with a rich culture was has been hit hard. Haiti and the earthquake: before and after.
Second hour: TBD
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - We'll have updates on rescue and recovery operations -- on the arrival of humanitarian aid -- and on mounting casualties.
Fallout from the debate over gay marriage may be about to hit the U.S. Supreme Court in a unique way: Do groups favoring gay marriage (or its near equivalent) have the right to know the identities of people who want voters to reverse the issue?
The case comes from Washington state, which enacted a law last year known as the "everything but marriage law." It granted same-sex couples most of the rights of spouses.
In Washington state, an issue can be put before voters if enough of them sign a petition. Enough of them did and the question went before voters last November. They approved of the law, which went into effect last month.
Two Web sites, however, were created to "out" those who signed the petition to try to overturn the law -- KnowTheyNeighbor.org and WhoSigned.org. And a district court restrained the state from releasing the identities before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling. Now it's before the U.S. Supreme Court.
What's the issue? If you sign a political petition, is that protected speech under the Constitution, and if so, would making your name publicly available lead to harassment because of your political views? Would releasing your name violate your right to free speech?
The Appeals Court said the petitions were signed in public and there was no effort to protect their confidentiality.
It's been a particularly tricky question since Proposition 8, overturning gay marriage in California, passed last November. Supporters of gay marriage used campaign contribution records to identify people who bankrolled the repeal effort. Even then Minnesota Timberwolves player Mark Madsen was targeted.
Does the possibility of being harassed for your political views intimidate you from expressing them?
In a tangential way, the Supreme Court acknowledged the danger of that when it ruled yesterday against televising the Proposition 8 trial underway in California. As I wrote on News Cut yesterday afternoon, the court said the publicity could lead to harassment of those testifying.
The Supreme Court justices will consider the case at a private conference tomorrow.
The Red Cross, citing a network of volunteers, today said the death toll from the earthquake in Haiti is about 50,000. That number -- and our relative inability to comprehend it -- is putting news editors in a difficult position -- whether and how to show images of the dead.
The morning network TV shows appear to have decided not to stray from the shots of its network anchors.
The Boston Globe's Big Picture has compelling images here, and provides a warning for those that are the most graphic.
The humanitarian effort took another bad turn within the last hour. At the request of the government of Haiti, all flights from the U.S. have been grounded. There's no room at the destroyed airport for them to land, and there's no fuel to get them back home.
Two teenagers have now been charged with murder in the murders of three people at the Seward Market and Halal Meat in Minneapolis. The two will be charged as adults Prosecutors say Ahmed Ali told them he and Mahdi Ali went to the store the evening of Jan. 6 with the intent of robbing it and that Mahdi Ali shot the three men inside.
The shooting started when Anwar Mohamed walked into the store during the robbery and was shot. It says Mahdi Ali then ran out of the store, chased by Mohamed Warfa, who was shot and killed in the doorway. Mahdi is then charged with running into the store, chasing down, and killing Osman Elmi as he tried to make a call on his cellphone.
Warfa and Elmi were cousins. Elmi worked at Seward Market and Halal Meats at E. Franklin and 25th Aves. Warfa visited him with a hot cup of Somali tea.
Air-traffic-wise, this time-lapse of air traffic under control of U.S. controllers paints a bleak picture.
The Department of Defense reports the 82nd Airborne has landed on Haiti, but with few vehicles at this point.
The Red Cross is stockpiling supplies in Panama, but so far none are getting to Haiti until the airport opens for relief supplies, according to the Red Cross.
"It's going to be extraordinarily difficult," Brian Atwood, the dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, said. "I suspect that they'll have to be using a lot of helicopters and other things to get into some of these remote areas. This has affected probably three million out of the nine million people of Haiti. I can't tell you how devastating this is to a very, very poor country, whose infrastructure was very bad in the first place, which is why the devastation is always worse in a country like that."
Meanwhile, the Associated Press has just released this unedited video:
There's been another case of a person with a gun getting by airport security undetected, only now we have a better idea why this is happening -- not enough travelers with guns.
Screeners in Bozeman, Montana "inadvertently" allowed a passenger with a firearm in his carry-on luggage through security last month, it was revealed today.
"If those guys can't detect a handgun, which is pretty basic, not some exotic explosive sewn to your underpants, then we get upset," the head of the airport said, suggesting his airport might get rid of the TSA screeners and hire a private force.
That wouldn't help much, according to researchers. A study out today says people who search for weapons are more prone to letting them get through when there aren't many to be found. Their research shows that when guns in luggage are fairly common, screeners were more likely to find them.
Perhaps, then, the solution is to require everyone to pack a gun in their suitcases, so the screeners can find all of them.