Dumping the tree, the pride of Longville, the brawl at the mall, the death of representative government, and everything you've heard about Ricky Rubio is true.
The Tuesday Morning Rouser...
1) DUMPING THE TREE
I suppose you can learn a lot about people by their discards on trash day...
But this is something I've never been able to figure out: the Christmas-is-over-now-get-that-tree-out-of-here mentality that, in this case, sent the tree to the landfill (another thing I've never figured out) hours after the clock struck midnight on Sunday. What's the rush? In order to have this tree by the side of the road at 7 yesterday morning, the family must have been taking it down and storing the ornaments and lights on Christmas afternoon or Christmas evening. That must have been some fun.
We rush to start the holiday season now; many of the chain stores starting putting up Christmas displays after Labor Day. We rush to get it out of the house now, too.
I'll take our tree down sometime next week, maybe on New Year's Day. The wreaths hanging outside on the garage? If they're down by April, I'll be ahead of my usual pace.
2) THE BRAWL AT THE MALL
The Mall of America is poised to become the new Block E.
It started in the food court when a group of kids started fighting, then it spread through the rest of the mall.
"There were drinks thrown on the floor and chairs being thrown everywhere," shopper Tess Dessalgne told KARE. "Everyone started running towards the fight."
Here's what it looked like. Warning: language advisory.
Mall officials say they will "review security." What would you suggest?
3) DEATH OF THE REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
It's not hard to figure out why Congress doesn't get your life. There's never been a bigger economic gap between representatives and the people they represent, the New York Times and Washington Post say. Somehow, people in Congress have gotten richer while the rest of the country has gotten poorer, it says.
While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially flat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on inflation-adjusted data from Moody's Analytics.
Going back further, the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times between 1984 and 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while the wealth of the average American family has actually declined slightly in that same time period.
Al Franken is the richest Washingtonian from Minnesota at $8.7 million. Amy Klobuchar is next at $724,000. The top 7 spots for net worth are all Democrats, but there are more rich Republicans. Either way, nobody's waking up on Capitol Hill today not knowing how to make ends meet.
The Post figures one of the reasons things are so polarized in Congress is because the members can afford it. See the graphic.
4) LEVI'S JUMP
How will the people of Longville, Minn., be spending New Year's Eve? Probably watching native son Levi LaVallee, who plans to drive a snowmobile up a ramp in the San Diego harbor for an attempt a a world record for snowmobiles, the Pioneer Press says.
The 29-year-old Minnesotan was supposed to make the jump last New Year's Eve but the snowmobile, minus the snow, pitched down and crashed, cracking his pelvis, collapsing his lungs, fracturing a vertebrae and breaking some ribs.
Everything you've heard about Ricky Rubio is true!
After last night's game, he tweeted:
I don't know what that says but if it's "I get a headache watching my teammates miss easy three-pointers that I made possible with my terrific passing," then he's right.
The race for the Republican presidential nomination has focused for months on Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation caucuses are still a week away. Campaigns have flourished and foundered before anyone has had a chance to cast a formal vote. Today's Question: Is our current system of caucuses and primaries a good way to pick a nominee?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) - First hour: Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, discusses the growing concern regarding the use of biological agents as catastrophic weapons targeting civilian populations.
Second hour: Fairy Tales are often used as the basis for modern day story lines. But recently we've seen a real upsurge in the number of television and movie projects based on these favorite storylines. Why are these historic tales making such a comeback now?
Midday (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.) - First hour: Nick Hayes of St. John's University on the protests in Russia.
Second hour: Susan Orlean, speaking about her book, "Rin Tin Tin." She spoke at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center.
Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) - First hour: The future of nuclear power.
Second hour: John Brown and the raid that started the Civil War.
//Mall officials say they will "review security." What would you suggest?
Same thing they did at Block E: opera music on the loudspeakers.
(Regarding "Dumping the Tree") - My parents used to be Florida snowbirds. They left town on the day after Christmas, because they wanted to spend the holiday with the family before heading south. So yes, they took the tree down on Christmas evening after everyone else had gone home. But they put it up the day after Thanksgiving, and got full enjoyment out of their artificial tree.
Nobody wants to return home in April and put away the Christmas tree!
How many times has this type of thing happened at the mall? It's been open for over a decade. I suspect that mall security could change not one bit and we'd all be fine.
I saw some discussion about this (MoA "melee") somewhere (I think on the Star Tribune Facebook page). Someone pointed out that this has been happening around the country, especially in Pennsylvania. They have some times dubbed them "flash robs" since many times dozens of kids will flood stores and steal items. I don't know how much stealing is going on, but there isnt much police can do about it now. I would suggest some sort of plan be put in place to notify stores (the lockdown is a bit harsh) so that they can protect their customers.
It is too bad there isn't a way to corral the kids and give them all tickets or send them to juvey. I can see lawsuits coming from cops trying to use pepper spray or tazers to calm the crowd
BenCh, this wasn't a "flash rob." It was a fight or fights.
It's Boxing Day.
RE item #1: On his way to Easter Dinner at Grandma’s, a friend of mine played a game with his kids. The game was called “count the (old, brown) Christmas wreaths. Traveling on 2-lane highways through rural Minnesota for about 45 minutes, they nearly always hit double figures.
RE item #2 "What would you suggest?": Adopt a personal “don’t go to the MOA” policy, it’s a policy I’ve only violated a handful of times.
Tree killers - state law prohibits placing "yard waste" (which includes trees) in your garbage specifically to keep it out of landfills. Some areas have special yard waste collection programs, or lots of brush collection/compost sites are open during the winter too.
Missing Representation - there's something about the idea of a politician representing a geographical district that just seems quaint and outdated. Maybe they should just be elected to represent industries or economic sectors and stop the pretense.