When politics wakes us up to a problem, a same-sex divorce, a letter from the Oil Patch, the telegram that defines us, and the things that matter.
Smart people are mustering up what outrage they've got left in the wake of a trending topic on Twitter, according to Buzz Feed. Young people took to Twitter during last night's Grammys to wonder who this Paul McCartney guy is.
Reserve some bile for the parents who raised them.
"Congratulations, Yoko Ono," another tweeter wrote. "Youve won."
If you don't know what that means, go ask your
Randy Moss is ready to make a football comeback.
He says he retired last year to resolve some personal issues unrelated to football, but "announced" in a live stream that he's ready to come back.'
"I wanna play football," Moss said this morning. "Your boy is going to come back here and play some football, so I'm really excited. I had some things I had to adjust in my life."
"It's doubtful he'll come back to Minnesota," Daily Norseman's Ted Glover writes today. "I mean, he's what, 36 now? His best days are behind him, but oh, were they some of the most electrifying times for the Vikings offense in franchise history, both on and off the field."
Coverage of President Obama's dead-on-arrival budget will, no doubt, focus on the issue of taxes on the wealthy, but it also defines other aspects of a vision for the nation.
Mars isn't in it.
According to CBS News:
The president proposed cutting $309 million for studying planets this year, with more cuts in future years. After an already mostly built Mars mission in 2013, future journeys to the red planet are eliminated, put on hold or restructured. While the study of planets would be sliced 21 percent, spending for the overall budget and long delayed James Webb Space Telescope would increase 21 percent. The telescope which may cost $8 billion is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and would peer further into the universe and back in time than ever.
Which brings up the obvious question: What's the point of looking into space -- time, if you will -- if we're no longer interested in exploring what's out there?
Obama wants to double the amount of money for private firms to develop "space taxis" to take people to the International Space Station, but at some point, doesn't a space program have to involve more than going around and around in a circle?
The budget tends to prove Minnesota native Paul Dye's comments to me the last time we talked about his role at NASA. Humans will mostly certainly go out into space to see what's there. They probably won't wear an American flag on their spacesuits, however.
This is not to say the United States of America is going to be the one to lead that charge. Just as British Empire tapered off and the Roman Empire tapered off, sooner or later almost all human institutions end, but that does not end what humankind does.
I'm a student of history and... a lot of folks have said recently, "why are we still messing around in lower earth orbit? We just keep going exactly where we've been for a long time." It took the early exploration cultures -- let's go with the Portuguese -- it took them quite awhile sailing around near coastal areas before they developed the technology to just leave land behind and head out into the deep blue. And to a certain extent that's what we've been doing in lower Earth orbit.
There is still money for developing the Orion crew capsule, which could be used is the U.S. decides to re-engage in space exploration when it is ready in the next decade.
It was originally scheduled to fly in 2014. That won't happen.(6 Comments)
Is there anything better than a picture of first-grade kids?
Dana Coleman, the first grade teacher in Andover whose students are championing a bill to make the black bear the official state mammal, sent the picture along today with word the stalled bill might get a hearing in Saint Paul after all in this legislative session.
"We have to WOW them in committee!" she said.
It appears she knows just the people to do that.(7 Comments)
Maybe someday, a police department will logically explain why it has such a problem with people lawfully filming them.
It's become an increasing problem as smartphones become more prevalent.
In Baltimore, the Baltimore Sun reported yesterday, a department-wide directive issued Friday instructed officers not to arrest people who are lawfully videotaping them.
Boing Boing reports today, however, that when someone tried to film police overnight, he got hit with a loitering charge.
"We feel that anything that's going to have a chilling effect on an officer moving -- an apprehension that he's being videotaped and may be made to look bad -- could cost him or some citizen their life," Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police., told NPR when it inquired last year.
A man in Boston made a federal case out of the issue last year, and won when the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled his arrested for filming was a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments:
"[I]s there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative."
"Glik filmed the defendant police officers in the Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States and the apotheosis of a public forum. In such traditional public spaces, the rights of the state to limit the exercise of First Amendment activity are 'sharply circumscribed.'"
"[A] citizen's right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment."
"Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting 'the free discussion of governmental affairs.'"
The trend isn't just ensnaring regular folks with cellphones; it's netting professional journalists, too. In Miami, for example, Carlos Miller, a member of the National Press Photographers Association, was arrested two weeks ago when he filmed police breaking up Occupy Miami protests. The police also deleted the video he took -- or thought they had.
In Illinois, a House committee last week approved a bill that allows people to film police.
Why is this important?
We're still collecting your suggestions for NewsCut's "You Should Meet" series, the winter-long focus on people who do interesting things. That is to say: Everyone. Everyone, as the man said, has some sort of story, even in the course of getting through the day.
Today, we stumbled on this new video of Johnny Barnes, an 88-year-old man in Bermuda, who provides a good example. He spends six hours a day waving at people.
Mr. Barnes reminds me of a guy in St. Cloud many years ago who dressed up as Superman, stood on a corner, and brightened a few days:
"I'm not in it for the money, I'm not in it for the attention, I'm not in it for the glamour, although I do like the attention, I won't lie to you," he said. "But I am on a mission, and my mission is to unite people, and give people a good feeling about being an American. And even make them slightly believe that there is a Superman."
Maybe you don't know someone who spends six hours a day being Mr. Happy Man, but you know someone who is doing something for others, and someone who is worth telling others about. Why not do it?(2 Comments)