1) THE MAN WITH THE SMOKING GUN
There aren't a lot of people in the world who have been war heroes, created a high-flying business, and uttered the words that would bring down a presidency. Ken Dahlberg was one of them.
His obituary is tucked quietly in the Star Tribune today.
As a World War II fighter pilot (Barry Goldwater was one of his flight instructors) , Dahlberg was one of the war's "aces," with 14 1/2 "victories." He won the Distinguished Service Cross for leading a flight of 16 P-47 Thunderbolts against 70 German Messerschmitts, shooting down four of them. He was shot down three times and spent the last months of the war as a POW, returning to Minnesota to eventually start the Miracle Ear corporation.
The remnants of the P-47 from Dahlberg's last flight were recently unearthed by engineers inspecting a tract of farmland that was about to be developed.
Dahlberg was the Midwest finance chairman for the Committee to Re-elect the President during President Richard M. Nixon's 1972 campaign. A mysterious check, which later would be determined to be from the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, was given to Dahlberg, who converted it to a cashier's check. It was money from the campaign, destined for the Watergate burglars.
When "Deep Throat" told reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein* to "follow the money," that was the money And when Woodward called Dahlberg to confirm he handled the check, Dahlberg didn't lie. It was the turning point in the Watergate investigation, the first proof that the Watergate burglars were financed by a money laundering scheme that was tied to the Oval Office.
It ended up a critical part of the movie All The President's Men.
Back then, it was all legal. People could make secret campaign donations and expenditures. You can't do that anymore and this is why.
It's still amazing his life didn't end up as a movie. Here's an interview I did with him a few years ago, when he released a book about his life, the proceeds of which went to the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund.
(*There is some question about whether this phrase was actually uttered to Woodward and Bernstein by Mark Felt, who claimed to be "Deep Throat." Another reporter says, however, an assistant attorney general uttered the words to him.)
2) CUDDYER'S WORKPLACE
Michael Cuddyer, as I pointed out months ago, spent this season documenting the ballparks he visited. Cuddyer is quite a photographer. But Target Field was missing from his collection... until last evening, when he finally uploaded the behind-the-lens look at his workplace. He only has a few of places where fans can't go, however.
Cuddyer says he's like to know what you think about his work. Find him on Twitter.
3) SEARCHING FOR NORMAL
Sara Shourd took this picture of her fiance and his mother feeding horses up in Pine City. Shourd was one of the three hikers who spent time in an Iranian prison, Shane Bauer spent two years in prison before his release along with Josh Fattal.
Never having been in an Iranian prison, I don't know what I'd do once I'm back in a freer society again. But I think having a horse nibble out of my hand might be fairly high on the agenda, along with anything else that has the aroma of normalcy.
"His biggest task is not to get too overwhelmed with things to do, and trying to enjoy the simple fact that he's free," his mother told the Associated Press yesterday.
Maybe there'll be a time when he'll do the talk-show circuit, but in a way, it's refreshing to find a newsmaker who just wants to stay out of the spotlight and feed a horse in Minnesota.
Maybe this is the best place to be left alone.
4) WALK TO SCHOOL DAY
It's International Walk to School Day. We live two blocks from an elementary and junior high school where my kids went to school and, for the most part, they didn't walk to school that much. Why? Because it's not International Stop For People in the Crosswalk Day.
Sure, they've got kids with orange flags who stop cars at some intersections, but for the most part, anecdotal evidence suggests, Minnesota drivers consider crosswalks mere suggestions.
If you actually know state law and stop for a kid in a crosswalk, the odds are somebody in a car behind you will veer into another lane to go around you, and not see the kid in the crosswalk. This happened to me on Robert Street on St. Paul's west side the other day. I stopped for a kid walking his bike, and the car that veered around me almost killed him. By following the law, I almost got a boy killed.
No doubt today, there'll be some tsk-tsk'ing because people load their kids in the SUV and drop them off at school -- or put them on a bus - but that's the safest way to keep your kids alive and that's the primary responsibility of parents.
On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with a good walk and we are in the initial days of Walk Through The Leaves season.
5) UNDERSTANDING THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
"Fishing is hard. Investment banking is easy," author Michael Lewis said on Daily Show last night, one of the best explanations ever of the complicated events that have led to the worldwide financial crisis. If we're going down, we should at least understand why. These segments are well worth watching.
Pay particular attention to his description of the situation in Iceland in which he asserts that women have taken over because "men with money is a dangerous combination."
It's a far more informative segment than any economic lesson you'll hear in a campaign stump speech, or in any of the shallow coverage of the Occupy Wall St protests.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Michael Lewis Extended Interview Pt. 1|
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive - Michael Lewis Extended Interview Pt. 2|
Bonus: I don't have a clue what this is, other than the fact it was uploaded yesterday and it features 'bridge bowling" in Minneapolis. I want to know more about this "activity. If you have knowledge, contact me:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie insisted again on Tuesday that he will not run for president in this election cycle. So the eventual major party nominees are probably already on stage. Today's Question: Does your party have a presidential candidate you can get behind?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Many students work to achieve high GPAs, but what about CPAs, or character point averages? Certain educators and psychologists say that character development in the classroom is the key to student success.
Second hour: Michelle Norris' Minneapolis Reads event .
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: TBA
Second hour: A new documentary from American RadioWorks: "Who Needs an English Major? The Future of Liberal Arts Education."
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: Political chatter with the Political Junkie.
Second hour: It's 25 years since Art Spiegelman published his epic, Maus. The comic-book chronicle of his parents' experience during the Holocaust. And, he says he still gets the same questions: "Why comics? Why Mice? Why the Holocaust?" Now, he attempts to answer them. Art Spiegelman joins host Neal Conan to talk about, Metamaus,
Re: Bridge Bowling...
I don't know who the participants are, but I do know the bridge. That's in NE, Sheridan neighborhood, right off Marshall Street. Such a great neighborhood filled with amazing people who are active in making it a better place.
Hi Bob, international walk to school day link is actually the link to Mr. Dahlberg's obituary.
Thanks, Bri. Fixed.
//We live two blocks from an elementary and junior high school where my kids went to school and, for the most part, they didn't walk to school that much. Why? Because it's not International Stop For People in the Crosswalk Day.
Excellent observation. Now I know I'm not the only nervous about crossing streets. Holy Bejeesus
Bob, love your work, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your take on International Walk To School Day. I certainly understand where you are coming from, but I disagree for the following reasons:
* You weren't the one who almost got a boy killed by stopping for him in a crosswalk. The driver behind you is the one who almost killed him. If he/she is driving like that, he/she is almost certainly practicing other dangerous driving behaviors that could have fatal results elsewhere.
* Driving your kids to school may be safer in the moment, but the long-term benefits of walking to school everyday may also mitigate future health problems for your children. Obviously the thought of your child being stuck by a car is more alarming than he/she developing diabetes far in the future, but either way there's a potentially lethal threat.
* When there are less kids walking to school, there's less awareness among drivers about the existence of pedestrians. More people walking and more awareness events like International Walk To School Day is a good thing.
In America, and in the Twin Cities in particular, the odds are stacked pretty heavily against people who want to walk/bike as a means of transportation rather than for enjoyment. Unfortunately, the only way to change that is for us to show a willingness to do it even in less-than-ideal conditions so policymakers take note that there's demand for change. It's sad that parents have to think twice, but I think by properly educating your children about potential dangerours situations, or even walking with them to school if you can possibly fit it into your day, you're doing more good than harm for them.
I saw Michael Lewis for a whole hour with Charlie Rose the other night. It was really good. He talked about some of the same things and more. And Charlie Rose didn't even interrupt as often as he usually does! It's probably available for watching on his website.
re: Walking to school
It's not only the crosswalks that are dangerous. There is a bus stop right in front of my house. On any given day there is about a 50/50 chance that some commuter will gun it to get past a bus with the stop sign out and red lights flashing. Please, people, a few minutes of time is not worth the risk of running over a six year old.
Recently a police cruiser has been lurking. It may be wrong, but I will be more than a little glad to see someone get caught.
Here's the Michael Lewis appearance on Charlie Rose that Jamie mentioned.
I love Cuddyer's photography (no surprise)
Also, stopping for people in the crosswalks can lead to you getting rear ended. A couple years ago I was trying to cross Cedar Street in Downtown St. Paul when someone stopped for me in the crosswalk. The person behind them slammed into them. I got across the street safe, but I wonder if the poor guy who stopped for me would ever stop again for a pedestrian in the crosswalk?
Anything Michael Lewis has written is worth reading, so I look forward to his newest book. His articles in Slate.com and Vanity Fair are also wonderful.
I've also seen a car swerve around the one stopped at a pedestrian crosswalk, on 50th and France. Except this car almost hit another head-on *and* the pedestrian crossing. Sheesh!
Bob, some of us tweeters would like to tweet jump-links to items within a given blog page. Like your pedestrian safety item above.
In the olden days, websites would enable this using HTML anchors (http://www.quackit.com/html/codes/html_link_code.cfm), perhaps your publishing tool has a similar feature?