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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Top 10 Reasons To Not Do Your Job For Religious Reasons

Category: Society
Posted: 09/05/15 23:23

by Dave Mindeman

Here we go.....

#10. I'm sorry sir, I cannot allow you to eat a burger. I am Hindu and cows are sacred. Would you like a fish sandwich?

#9. Oh, yeah. Your pictures? Uh, the owner is Muslim and we can't print pictures of women that are not covered....completely covered. Those were nice bikini shots of your wife, but, sorry, we had to burn them. No charge.

#8. Yeah, about that. We got a call from John Oliver and you didn't give a big enough check to the MegaReverend....and so he directed us to cancel your HBO subscription. Hey, there's always Netflix.

#7. Hello. Glad you could come in...but our investment firm has had a change in ownership. The new owner is a believer in the Apocolyptic Movement and decided that we should just dump all the stocks in everybody's portfolio and advise you to head for the woods and find a cave.

#6. Oh, I guess you noticed the empty shelves? Yeah, the owner of this book store is deep Orthodox Evangelical and won't allow books that contradict the Bible. So, we no longer have a science section....and a scarcity of books in humor. Sorry.

#5. I know you didn't expect this change but our new zoo director is a fundamentalist Christian and he shipped all of the monkeys and gorillas out to other zoos. Didn't want any evolutionary conflict.

#4. Yeah, I know you are a heterosexual couple, but I can't bake you a cake because we found out Mary's cousin is gay....and she might eat some of it.

#3. Yes, we now do communion differently. Our priest seems to have had a revelation from above, and from now on, he drinks the wine for everybody.

#2. No sir. I'm afraid that just because you now belong to the Church of Star Trek, doesn't mean that money no longer exists and you don't have to pay your bills. You are making that up.

#1. No, no, no. You cannot declare your real estate properties as churches and eliminate your property tax bill. Yes, I'm sure, President Trump.

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Jimmy Carter: A Great President

Category: Society
Posted: 08/17/15 12:44

by Dave Mindeman

I know this isn't a common thing to say in Republican or Democratic circles, but I thought Jimmy Carter was a great President.

Now that he reveals he has cancer and will be undergoing treatment at 90 years of age makes it all the more important that we give him his due, now when he is here to take it in.

When he made his announcement, it was disappointing that right wingers took that opportunity to take some extra potshots at his tenure in the oval office and some less than complimentary personal shots as well.

The essence of Jimmy Carter is that he is a good man. We get all of these GOP politicians who have these insincere professions of faith and religion. But Jimmy Carter was the embodiment of living faith. And he didn't just talk about is faith, he lived it. I can't imagine a better example of the true nature of Christianity than the life of Jimmy Carter.

But even beyond that, his Presidency was a test of his character. Coming out of the Watergate era, Jimmy Carter felt an extra obligation to be honest to the American people....and he was to a fault.

He didn't rap things up in political doublespeak. When he saw a problem, he explained it. When he saw a mistake, he acknowledged it. When he thought we needed to improve something, he spoke up about it.

And you have to admire his dedication to the concept of world peace. His relentless and dogged pursuit of the Israeli-Egyption accords was nothing short of remarkable. Can you imagine how much more turmoil would be happening in that part of the world if Israel and Egypt had not laid a groundwork for communication and cooperation when they did?

Unfortunately, Jimmy Carter's Presidency will be forever linked to the Iranian hostage crisis. Carter could have used force and risked American lives to free them. It would have been controversial but it probably would have ended the crisis - with some casualties. But Carter was determined that none of these Americans would lose their life over this. And he kept his promise.

Yes, Ronald Reagan gets all the credit for their release in the public domain. But it is hard to imagine that Israel would send weapons to Iran without some kind of larger deal being arranged. Can you imagine the outcry from today's GOP when considering even the notion of arming a nation that was holding over 400 American hostages? Although it is not in the historical record that this was accomplished via back channel negotiations from Reagan officials, there is too much evidence that reveals this to be true.

There is another point to consider. It is hard to imagine that the Carter administration did not know this was going on. They could have exposed it and embarrassed the President-elect, but I think Carter looked upon this as a method of getting those hostages home unharmed. He was willing to take the personal embarrassment that came his way because of that deal in order to accomplish the goal of freeing those hostages.

Imagine that kind of self sacrifice today. It doesn't exist.

But Carter's greatest gift to America came after his Presidency. No one has done more for America's poor. No one has done more to promote free and fair elections world wide. No ex-President has ever become so personally involved in his projects and to lead by his own example. Yes, the Clintons and the Bushes have raised enormous sums of money for their ongoing work. But can there be a more shining example than President Carter wielding a hammer on the framework of a home being built for a poor family in need.

I can't imagine that history won't be kinder to President Carter. Looking back on years of war and turmoil to the relative peace and humanitarian push of the Carter years will be a contrast worth looking at.

It is easy for the political pundits to dismiss the Carter years as their version of failure. But President Carter kept the country together through some hard economic times and gave proper measured responses to international crisis.

There is no better image of achievement than the picture of Menachem Begin, Anwar Sadat, and Jimmy Carter locked arm in arm at Camp David. That was a message of hope in a battered world. It was a picture of strength and trust in American ideals.

And that is the picture of the President Carter I admire so much.
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More Legislative Hypocrisy Affecting Resort Owners

Category: Society
Posted: 08/13/15 01:31, Edited: 08/13/15 06:45

by Dave Mindeman

The pushback continues. Some legislators and other critics are spouting off about having no need of a special session just for resort owners affected by the ending of walleye season.

The Strib has an article about this that features a comment from Sen. Tomassoni and then concentrates on the ideas of Art Rolnick, a senior fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He wrote a paper...

Back in 1998, Rolnick, then the director of research for the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, wrote a paper in which he argued "too much government protection encourages banks, often the largest in a country, to shift funds into high-risk projects.

Now if the regulators had listened to him in regards to banking, maybe we could have avoided some of that mess.

But to extrapolate the recklessness of the banking industry and saying that is a reason NOT to help these resorts???...well that is a BIG stretch.

Here is his basic argument...

With state government promising to help the walleye resorts, those companies are being offered a cushion from business risk, which could cause them to take on more risk or fail to adapt to the changing market.

Sorry. That's crap. The resort owners are not taking on more risk. They are simply trying to adapt to conditions that they have little control over...and which the government screwed up.

Yes, the DNR is not perfect. They do make mistakes. But Mr. Rolnick seems to think that these resort owners did something that added more risk to their operations.

Again, sorry, that's crap.

The legislature was telling us how they were going to concentrate on the needs of greater Minnesota. Isn't that correct? Well, as soon as they get an opportunity to prove it, they fail. They completely fail.

But let me get back to Sen. Tomassoni - the guy who was involved in killing the MN Pollution Control Agency Board. The guy who was the overseer when sulfide mining exceptions slipped into one of the final bills.

Yes, let's talk about Tomassoni....

"I think the issue is, if we have a special session for this group of businesses, will we for others?" said Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, a co-chairman of the walleye working group and whose district recently suffered hundreds of mining layoffs.

Hmmm... well we helped Northwest Airlines back in the early 1990's.. approving a state subsidized loan to build maintenance facilities...where?.. in the Iron Range.

And we could talk about all the stadium subsidies we have given to billionaire owners - who were never in any kind of need - but made and got their request anyway.

Here we are talking about some small businesses. Businesses that have had tough times dealing with the normal day to day operations....and can't take another problem which they have no control over and did not contribute to.

Minnesota resort ownership has been on the decline for decades. Minnesota's tourism in regards to lake resorts is now dependent on fewer and fewer family owned operations. How many more go out of business during this crisis and reach a level that may put fishing tourism into a state of permanent decline....and with it a significant portion of Minnesota's economy?

Sure, you can sit in St. Paul and say you don't want to set any "precedents" about helping certain businesses. But I'm afraid that ship has sailed long ago as your donors get more and more advantages based upon how much they are willing to spend on legislative influence.

These resort owners are a piece of greater Minnesota. You promised to help. Its time the legislature put some skin in the game.
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