How to follow the earthquake in Japan and the Pacific tsunami.
Colleague Eric Ringham snapped this picture today of the window of an area book chain, reminding us that we can pick our friends, but we can't pick our neighbors.
That's Gov. Pawlenty and Keith Richards, side by side, which is likely as close as they'll ever actually get.
Last night, Stephen Colbert worked Pawlenty's book and his movie-like trailer over a bit, saying the governor may be running for president of the next Transformers movie.
(Video below the fold)
The trial of a Minneapolis blogger, accused of defaming a man and causing him to lose his job at the University of Minnesota, is over.
Hoff had written on his blog that Moore, a former executive director of the Jordan Area Community Council, had been involved in a fraudulent mortgage scheme and questioned why he'd subsequently been hired by the university.
The jury said that while what Hoff had written was true, it caused him to lose his job, and awarded him $35,000 damages and $25,000 for emotional distress.
Is this a message to bloggers everywhere? The TCDP noted the closing statements of Moore's attorney:
Moore's attorney Jill Clark said in her closing statement that much of the discussion of the First Amendment and freedom of the press as it relates to blogs "is really not relevant." She also said, "There need to be some limits on blogs." Clark pointed to Hoff's lack of objective reporting. "The reporter loses objectivity when he enters the story," she said.
Don Allen, named in the original suit, settled with Moore and testified against Hoff. He told the Star Tribune the verdict sends an appropriate message:
"It's unfortunate for all bloggers, but you have to have some sense of responsibility," he said. "You have to attack the issues, not the individuals."
There was a small win for bloggers in the trial. The judge ruled early on that Hoff wasn't responsible for the comments left on his blog by readers.
I'm interested in hearing from independent bloggers on whether this case changes how you'll approach what you write,
(h/t: Laura Yuen)(10 Comments)
Kay Crothers, a News Cut reader and an ex-pat Minnesotan, dropped me an e-mail from her home in Crescent City, California a little after lunch today to report that the tsunami had reached her community, and at least one of the waves came in around 9 feet. Her community is just south of the border of Oregon, and appears to be one of the hardest-hit U.S. areas from the tsunami..
"Surges continue, and now high tide is coming," she wrote in an e-mail a little after 4 (CT) today. "The port is closed and it sounds like the harbor is essentially destroyed. There is a storm inbound, so now those small craft that put to sea in advance of the tsunami are looking for safe harbor to put in so they don't have to ride out 20 foot storm waves."
Happily, she notes, the radio station in town has been working hard to dispel rumors and keep people informed.
Here's a pretty impressive video from there...
Just south of there -- near the mouth of the Klamath River -- a man walking on the beach to see what the fuss was about and take some pictures, was swept out to sea.
Officials had warned people to stay away.
About 7 hours south of there, officials urged gawkers not to hang around on the beach waiting for the tsunami to arrive. Then the gawkers showed up...
5:03 p.m. - Colleague Than Tibbetts has passed along this video of a fool in Hawaii this morning doing what people who know better told him not to do:
In Iowa, the legislature is considering an "Alaska carry" gun bill "that would allow Iowans to carry weapons in public without permission from a sheriff, without background checks and without training requirements," the Des Moines Register reports.
Two Republican lawmakers were caught on tape talking about the bill during a break, the paper says:
Kaufmann: Sounds like you're getting out of the Alaska bill.
Helland: Oh yeah, I'm getting out of it after I end up on a blog.
Lukan: The Alaska bill - what's the Alaska bill?
Helland. I'm the dirty hatchet man for the caucus. Something nobody wants to do. Some dirty, nasty job. I'm the one who gets dropped in you know why, 'cause I'm expendable.
Kaufmann: The crazy, give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic bill.
Off camera: His microphone is on.
Here's the exchange:
There is a federal law, instituted after the Virginia Tech massacre, that requires states to submit the names of mentally ill people to the national background check program. But the Associated Press reported last month many states have ignored the law and not submitted any names.
Minnesota is one of those states.
(h/t: David Wilford)(4 Comments)