There's something to be said for normal.
The National Weather Service is reporting today that 2012 -- if you can recall that far back -- was the second-warmest year on record.
That's generally considered a bad thing, so take heart in the frigid temperatures of the last few days.
And take heart in this image from the Mille Lacs Lake Webcam website.
That there is a whole lot of normal.
It wasn't always thus.
The satellite from this date in the second-warmest year on record looked like this:
Some resorts on the giant lake had to close their area to fishing because there was so much open water.
The latest satellite photo was Sunday.
Situation: Normal.(2 Comments)
A hobby store chain, owned by a conservative Christian family, is going to take on the Obama administration's new rules requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for emergency contraceptives.
Hobby Lobby, which has stores in Mankato and Rochester, is refusing to provide the coverage, even though a Supreme Court appeal failed. Its owner considers the so-called morning-after pill to be abortion inducing.
It could be fined $1.3 million a day starting today.
In an editorial published in Oklahoma's largest newspaper today, authors said the provision never would've passed Congress.
Sotomayor, however, argued -- correctly, in our view -- that it was not the court's business to decide how a religion prioritizes its tenets. "To confine the protection of the First Amendment to only those religious practices that are mandatory would necessarily lead us down the unnavigable road of attempting to resolve intra-faith disputes over religious law and doctrine," she wrote.
Indeed, it is not the place of any court, nor of the Obama administration, to decide which tenets actually count. In the case of the related lawsuits by Catholic institutions against Obamacare's mandatory contraception coverage, Obama's defenders argue that a large majority of married Catholics (the most accurate estimate is around 70 percent) fail to observe this teaching. But this point is irrelevant to the law and the Constitution. Christianity is afforded the status of a religion under our laws, despite the routine failure of about 100 percent of its adherents to observe its strict commandment to love God and neighbor.
Sotomayor's ruling may have temporarily imposed unjust fines on Hobby Lobby, but there is cause to hope that she and perhaps even other liberals on the court will show consistency when this or one of the many related cases is reviewed by all nine justices.
Faithful NewsCut readers have probably discerned that nothing interests me more than individuals who set out to see the world on their own terms, leaving jobs, or cubicles, or the security of the known behind.
Today, word comes of a new group of people to add to the list.
Fueled by Rice consists of six friends bicycling for "peace, simplicity, and the environment."
But not around these parts.
Having biked from China to France five years ago, they're now biking from Germany to Thailand.
Minnesota native Peter Ehresmann (far right, above) is one of the six. He writes on the group's blog:
First, excessive Income is not needed and does not lead to greater happiness, therefore maximizing income should not be a goal. A common human weakness is that one often wants more money, stuff, comfort, and security and it is too easy to never be satisfied while constantly postponing one's happiness until one gets or does x, y, and z. Van Halen sings in "Right Here Right Now," "the more you get, the more you want, just trade in one for another, working so hard to make it easy, gotta turn this thing around, right now!" Happiness is available to us right now; it is an attitude and state of mind, and the Buddhist way is to stop wanting. Enough money is needed, yes, and where one is living is a large factor as to how much is enough, but Nick read that generally a person's happiness doesn't improve much with increasing income over US$30,000/year for one person, which can usually go far enough for a simple lifestyle in a developed country and would be a luxurious amount in a developing country. Families naturally would add accordingly.
If you're stuck in a cubicle today, you'll want to spend some time with the group's photos.
(h/t: Kari Koshiol )(0 Comments)
First Chris Christie hugs Barack Obama a couple of weeks before last November's election, now the New Jersey governor has nothing good to say about House Republicans after they torched a vote on a bill for federal aid for his hurricane-stricken state.
Hurricane Sandy got some of the blame/credit for the results of November's election. It could influence 2016 too.
Christie noted -- accurately -- that New Jersey is one of the few states that gives the federal government more money than it gets back. Most states that don't are Republican states, by the way.(2 Comments)