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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

There Is Common Ground On Guns If "Noise" Is Removed

Category: Guns
Posted: 10/09/15 15:52

by Dave Mindeman

When the discussion is about guns, it is frustrating to watch the distortions develop. Gun rights activists seem to have convinced their supporters that any, and I mean any, kind of gun restriction legislation is somehow a violation of basic rights.

The NRA and gun manufacturers tell us that they want guns out of the hands of the mentally ill....yet, they thwart attempts to enhance or shore up background checks. They sympathize with the victims of these mass shooting tragedies but offer no solutions. They criticize the enforcement of the gun laws we have, yet continue to work to weaken them and open up loopholes which make them meaningless.

We used to have an assault weapons ban. That expired and was never renewed. Waiting periods are slapped down. Mandatory gun safety classes are deemed too restrictive. The ability to hold gun manufacturers accountable via lawsuits was eliminated by Congress.

Gun ownership will always be a part of American rights. That is the simple fact. But Americans have a right to safety as well and the proliferation of weapons of deadly force is a danger to everyone. Common sense ideas should not be cast aside simply because they have guns in the title. Let's have an honest debate about what we can do. And let's also try to quit arguing in the extremes.

This is not about jack booted thugs kicking down your door and demanding your weapons. This is about stopping mentally ill people from using guns for attention or taking others with you in a suicide. This is about making it harder for gangs and criminals to use weapons indiscriminately. This is about making gun ownership more responsible and avoiding accidental shootings in the home.

It is common sense...not a violation of rights. Outdoor sports are not in danger....but at the same time, I would hope that gun sports persons would agree that purchases of military grade weapons does not meet any common sense standard.

The arguments against gun safety legislation move immediately to 2nd Amendment violations. The 2nd Amendment is safe. It is not being challenged. But a safe society is not being maintained. Gun owners and gun safety activists should be agreeing on this.

Common ground is there, but we need to get rid of the noise.
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US House Chaos Proves They Cannot Govern

Category: 2016
Posted: 10/08/15 14:04

by Dave Mindeman

The chaos in the US House is unprecedented. Twenty to twenty five members in the GOP caucus are holding leadership hostage over ideas which will shut the government down and destroy our economic credibility.

They proudly state that they are promoting Constitutional principles, but they refuse to accept the principle of separation of powers. Just like kids on the school yard, they refuse to cooperate unless they get their way.

What is discouraging about this is that there seems to be no consequence for these actions. They come from safe districts that approve of their tactics and even though they are a decided minority, they give ultimatums that disrupt their party and the country.

Do the American people really want this? Is this going to be an acceptable means of governing? We have a lot of issues that need to be addressed and in a time of divided government, we need to find a way to find solutions.

If John Boehner really believes in the institution and in governing, then he should take the opportunity to fund the government through the next election, raise the debt ceiling, and pass a compromise budget. Take the cudgel out of the hands of the "freedom" caucus and let the next election decide how we move from here.

We keep hearing about doing the "honorable" thing...well, the honorable thing would be to end this chaos and let the government operate in the best interests of all the American people.
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MLB Partners Fantasy BB-Yet Pete Rose Is Still Banned For Life

Category: Sports
Posted: 10/07/15 16:11

by Dave Mindeman

The baseball season is over. The playoffs begin. The Twins improved but will have to wait till next year. However, Major League Baseball has some other serious issues to address....and because big money is involved, I'm guessing they won't.

I'm talking about Fantasy Sports. But before I get to the heart of the matter, I want to digress and point out something very hypocritical in the corporate structure that is our national pastime.

And that involves Pete Rose. Pete Rose is the all time hit king. His record continues and nobody has gotten close. But he is not in the Hall of Fame and that is because he committed a big transgression. He gambled on baseball. Never mind that he only bet on his own team and only to win. It still broke the rules that supposedly are meant to protect the "integrity" of the game.

We won't go into steroids and performance enhancing drugs. We won't go into alcohol abuse. Domestic violence. Cheating. Or exploitation of young foreign nationals. We don't have to deal with that right now. Yes, Pete Rose was the culprit worthy of a lifetime ban from baseball, because he was the player that put baseball's integrity in jeopardy.

Given the latest reports on Fantasy Games, the Rose situation almost seems comical. After all, it has been a dirty little secret that no matter how you want to define it, fantasy sports is gambling. People lose enormous sums of money and in the latest scandal, winners used insider trading to cheat.

And lest you think that Major League Baseball will surely crack down on this "integrity" killing scenario, consider this:

Just in time for the 2015 season, MLB expanded an exclusive partnership with DraftKings that includes a co-branded daily fantasy game. DraftKings is also teaming up with individual MLB clubs for promotions at the ballpark.

And after the scandal, this....

Major League Baseball, which owns a stake in DraftKings and has a sponsorship deal with it, said in a statement that it had a policy that "prohibits its own players and employees from participating in fantasy baseball games where money or something of value is at stake, and did not know that the situation was different at DraftKings."

Major League Baseball not only condones this "gambling" venue, they profit from it with an investment stake.

It is getting increasingly difficult for anyone to take that lifetime ban of Pete Rose by Major League Baseball very seriously. Frankly, fantasy sports seems much more dangerous to the integrity of the game than any bets with a bookie. It fools young people into thinking that putting money in an online fantasy league is as harmless as trading baseball cards. And we know that is not true.

Baseball probably won't change its fantasy games policy. There is too much money and TV revenue to generate. But at least they could get rid of the total hypocrisy of punishing Pete Rose for the rest of his life.

Baseball has lost any claim to the "integrity of the game". At least give Pete Rose the recognition he still deserves.
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