While few may pay attention to what goes on in Nebraska's legislature, fairly big news was announced just the other week in the Omaha World-Herald. State senator Scott Lautenbaugh of Omaha was picked up for a DUI. His blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit, and he accepted full responsibility for what he had done.
A year ago, this story wouldn't have bothered me a whole lot. I mean, politicians behaving badly is a nightly reality show we call the news. However, this incident reminded me of that little saying: "What goes around, comes around."
Let me tell you the story.
In hindsight of the horrific events that transpired in Aurora, Colo. and other acts of gun violence, there should be greater federal restriction on the types of firearms citizens are allowed to purchase.
In 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, the world celebrated the birth of a new order. For nearly 70 years, the Soviet Union dominated half of Europe and spread the ideology of totalitarian communism throughout the world. Its empire extended across the world, influencing governments through its military and diplomatic power in Africa, Asia and Central America.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced he would abdicate, it created month-long skepticism about the reasons why. Immediately the media created a storyline focused on scandal.
What was broadcast and written hypothesized about further allegations of child molestation and cover ups, or some sort of financial wrongdoings. Those angles were once again presented when the pope finally left office on Feb. 28.
Regardless of the angle the media took on the story, it was almost always negative and focused on the probability something had gone wrong and imagined Benedict was being forced out of office.
However, the real reason Benedict left his post is much simpler, and not nearly as dramatic.
A couple of weeks ago someone asked me why I think studying science is so important. I began to answer their question with my usual answer, "It teaches people to think critically and to solve problems." However, as I thought about it, I realized that was not a good reason to learn anything. It is a beneficial outcome of learning science, but not the reason why people should want to begin studying it.