The same-sex marriage debate, one person at a time (5×8 – 12/23/11)

The reasons behind the vote, youth sports and the parents who ruin them, when soldiers come home, is America’s religious freedom under threat, and the Eichten countdown.


MPR’s Public Insight Network’s fine offerings sometimes get a little too hidden from view on a big website like this one, which is unfortunate because it’s a team that does some inspiring work. Even I didn’t know about an outstanding array of videos the Network has been assembling from Minnesotans on the question of the same-sex marriage constitutional amendment, which Minnesota voters will decide next November.

Members of the network have been allowing the PIN team — Jeff Jones and Anna Weggel — to videotape the reasons for their vote. They’re good. Here’s an example from one side:

And the other…

I’m going to spend a great deal of today on the group’s YouTube channel.


Apparently, this is going to be a day for us assembled here to share our stories of the weird things we’ve seen at youth sporting events. There’s something in the water in Minnesota at the moment, based on the frequency of reports of fathers attacking sons over a basketball game and parents attacking officials at hockey games.

The Star Tribune says the latest incident occurred in Inver Grove Heights after a hockey coach disciplined a kid who swung his stick at another player because “he wasn’t skating enough.”

The coach said he pulled Tonda’s son aside and told him his behavior was not acceptable and that it could eventually lead to him breaking someone’s legs or hurting them. The coach said he told Tonda’s son to get back to practice but instead the boy skated off the ice and went into the locker room.

Tonda followed his son, then returned to the penalty box and “started screaming at the victim to ‘Get over here,'” the complaint said. When the coach approached, Tonda started yelling and screaming, then when the coach told him “to stop and go home,” Tonda put him in a stranglehold, the complaint said.

YouTube is full of stuff like this:

Just one question: What?


Returning soldiers are coming up with new ways to surprise their kids when they return from overseas. There are three in the news today.

In Fargo, 4-year-old Owen Henry went to visit Santa Claus at the shopping mall, and he came home with a new hockey stick, and an old father. Good video from the Fargo Forum here.

In Bismarck, two young girls were invited to shoot at the goalie during an intermission promotion at a hockey game. The goalie was dad.

A soldier in Omaha did it the old-fashioned way — at school:

<a href=";vid=c6104938-fe85-435f-a679-9cb23046590f&#038;from=&#038;src=v5:embed::" target="_new" title="Metro Soldier Surprises Children At School">Video: Metro Soldier Surprises Children At School</a>


An outstanding discussion underway at the New York Times:

Companies have pulled their ads from a TV show that portrays Muslims as benign. Religious groups may be required to offer insurance that covers drugs that can induce abortions. A federal judge rejected a ballot initiative on same-sex marriage partly because of its religious arguments. Are these just bubbles in the American melting pot, or signs that religious freedom is under threat?


Gary Eichten reflects on his career as it winds down at MPR in a new video:

Other than my father in law, an outstanding broadcast pioneer, there isn’t anybody I’ll miss in this business more than Mr. Eichten.

If you haven’t checked out the farewell page yet, here you go.

Bonus: Can you imagine any company in the U.S. doing this? Concerned that its employees are spending too much time working during off-hours, Volkswagen turns off e-mail at night.

Bonus II: The New York Times enlists Ira Glass to mark the lives of the icons who died in 2011.


Charities make a big push to raise money during the holiday season. Today’s Question: How do you decide which charities to give to and which to pass on?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The face of American culture used to change radically every decade or two, writes Kurt Andersen, but 1992 and 2012 look disturbingly alike.

Second hour: The Bad Plus is a band that’s not easily categorized. They’re a combination of jazz, pop, rock and a little but of Rush thrown in for good measure. They join Marianne Combs in the Maud Moon studio for a live performance and a look back at a decade of confounding musical expectations.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: Roy Grow discusses the situation in North Korea.

Second hour: “Of Mirth and Mischief,” a holiday show by MPR artist-in-residence Kevin Kling.

Science Friday (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Forty years ago, the “War on Cancer” began. Join Ira Flatow talks with Nobel-prize-winning cancer researcher Harold Varmus about how far we’ve come.

Second hour: The Christmas bird count.