Category Archives: Thoughts from a Common Man

Should The NFL Washington Team Change Their Name?

I know this has been discussed to the nth degree…but I feel that I need to add yet another perspective.

While I am aware that there are other teams in professional sports that refer to Native American heritage, none of them are as disparaging as derogatory as “Redskin.”

For example, in baseball, the teams that refer to Native American heritage are:

Atlanta Braves – While the “Tomahawk chop” is fairly offensive, calling someone a brave isn’t.   The term brave, as used in Indian nomenclature, is an American Indian warrior.  However, the Braves did have their own issues in regards to disparaging Native Americans.  Chief Noc-A-Homa (a play on words of Knock A Homer) was the mascot of the Braves (both in Milwaukee and Atlanta) from the 1950’s until 1986.  While a mascot for the team, he lived in a teepee and came out when the Braves hit a home run.  They also had another mascot name Princess “Win-A-Lotta.”  In 1986, the Braves changed mascots to “Homer” and “Rally.”  The change was an economic one as Levi Walker, Jr., the best known Chief, complained that the Braves didn’t consider him a full-time employee so they didn’t provide any benefits.  The Braves paid him $5,000 and went in a different direction.

Cleveland Indians – Nothing offensive here until you look at the Indians logo, “Chief Wahoo.”  Thankfully, the Indians have announced that the logo will no longer be part of the Cleveland MLB team starting in 2019.  The grinning red-faced Indian is just as offensive as the term “redskin.”  There is little mention of the Indians being offensive to Native Americans…and now Chief Wahoo is on the way out, I’m fairly certain the Indians will be under the radar.

In the NHL:

Chicago Blackhawks – The Blackhawks have long been a target of controversy.  Not based on racial issues but rather concerns of Native Americans being viewed as mascots.  The team, founded in 1926, was actually named in honor of the U.S. 86th Infantry division, nicknamed the “Blackhawk Division,” after “Black Hawk,” an Native American chief.  The controversy hasn’t generated much on a national level since it doesn’t have the allure of an NFL team.

The NBA does not have a team that references any Native American heritage.

The Washington Redskins are perhaps THE most offensive name to all Native Americans.  The term “redskin” is a slang term referring to Native Americans in the United States and Canada.  The use of skin color as a racial identifier to Indians can be traced back to the 17th century.

The use of the word redskin, outside of reference to the Washington Redskins, has pretty much disappeared from common use.   But the use of the term by Washington and many high school and college teams have been a point of controversy.  As such, many high school and collage teams have changed their name to avoid controversy.

Daniel Snyder has opposed any name change to his team.  Back in 2013, in a letter to fans, Snyder stated that while he respects those who are offended by the term, he pointed out that the 81-year team history cannot be ignored.

There have been various polls of Native Americans, some that are vehement in their opinions to have the name changed, and some that show that the name of the team does not offend them.

In 2017, the Supreme Court struck down parts of a law that bans trademarks on offensive remarks that pretty much protected the team from any legal challenges.  In that same year, the Washington Post conducted a thorough survey of Native Americans if the team name was offensive.  Overwhelmingly, the survey showed that Native Americans were not offended by the team name.

As with any issue, there are many sides…and as we all know, we can’t please everyone.  I have read nothing about people of Norwegian descent in an uproar about the Minnesota Vikings nor have I heard of any marches by folks of Irish descent to the Boston Garden over the use of a leprechaun that the Boston Celtics use.

So back to the question:  Should the Washington Redskins change their name?  While it may be offensive to some (including me), surveys done by the National Annenberg Election Survey in 2004 and then again by the Washington Post in 2016 show that Native Americans were “not bothered” by the name.

It is my opinion (for whatever it’s worth) that there are many more important issues to resolve than the team name of an NFL football team.  Let the team have their name…Native Americans aren’t nearly as troubled about it as thought.  I don’t like the name and was never a fan since the Redskins consistently have stood in the way of my Detroit Lions getting a Super Bowl.  Three times (1982, 1991 & 1999) they have thwarted them from advancing in the playoffs.

Forget this issue and lets concentrate on more important things like perhaps treating each other better?  Eliminate bigotry and accept each other for what each of us are: people.

Let’s vote in politicians who actually want to make our lives better and invoke what their constituents want rather than what special interest groups with deep pockets want.

My name is Jim Dunn (aka The Beer Thinker) and I approve this message.

 

 

Gun Control – Apparently, There Is No Middle Ground

I posted an article on March 15th, asking the question if there could be middle ground on gun control.  Gun Control – Can There Be A Middle Ground?

I got the response that I pretty much expected, mostly from those that believe the 2nd Amendment is about protecting one’s home.  One person commented that he has the right to protect his family in the way he deems most effective and responsible and there is no debate about it.  He went on to say that the founding fathers understood the right of self-preservation.

The 2nd Amendment reads:  “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

It’s purpose was to prevent the New Federal government established in 1789 from disarming the state militias and replacing them with a federal army, a concern that was relevant for a few years during the birth of our country but is irrelevant in current times.

It’s more of a firewall to prevent anyone to take total control of the country in absolute power.

If there is one thing that I want to make clear here, it’s that I, in no way shape of form, want to repeal the 2nd Amendment.  In fact, keep your guns if you want to since most likely, the only way guns could be taken away are from your “cold, dead hands.”

A question I ask of every citizen of these United States, NRA members and anti-gun proponents, black, white, Latino and any other people I fail to mention is this:  Do you want to make schools and universities a safer place for this country’s upcoming generations?

I would expect that many of us would agree that all want to make schools safer.  Ok, we have a starting point.  However, the diverse directions that each side want to take to reach that goal is so far apart that it has caused a freeze in reaction…and kids in the schools are caught in the middle.

David Hogg, a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in Parkland, FL, has become a gun control advocate and activist against gun violence since the shooting.  He has been targeted by several right-wingers such as Laura Ingraham (mocking Hogg for being rejected by several colleges for his GPA), Frank Stallone (saying Hogg is getting a little to big for his britches and that someone in his (Hogg’s) age group is dying to sucker punch him and perhaps most insulting was Ted Nugent’s rant in where he stated that Parkland survivors have no soul and are liars.

What I can glean from this is these people don’t want to try and find a solution to keep schools safer.  They are deflecting from the subject by making outlandish and insulting statements to muddy the waters.

This is not going to be an easy solution to come to.  Both sides have very strong arguments as to what needs to be done.  Some want to allow teachers to carry guns and others feel a ban on assault style weapons is in order.  Also, there are the lunatic fringes on both sides, those who want to have everyone carry a gun and those who think the 2nd Amendment should be repealed.

The NRA (National Rifle Association) calls itself the country’s longest-standing civil rights organization and are the proud defenders of history’s patriots and diligent protectors of the 2nd Amendment.  It’s a non-profit organization that is tax exempt, not a status that I feel for an outfit so closely tied to the firearms and ammunition industry.  And since they only specialize in 2nd Amendment issues, I find it hard pressed to consider them a civil rights organization.

I end this by saying I won’t see a solution to this in my lifetime.  Just like I doubt I will see racism in this country come to end or powerful lobbyists no longer controlling elections and political issues.

Gun Control – Can There Be A Middle Ground?

This isn’t going to be a rant about gun control nor is it going to be a rant about 2nd amendment rights.  It’s a fruitless argument since neither side is willing to compromise to come up with an equitable solution.

I am neither a proponent or opponent about one’s right to own guns.  But to be fair, I must point out that I do not own a gun and have no desire to.  I have lived a pretty good life without them and have never been in a situation that would be considered life threatening.

I have hunted…in fact there are many good memories going deer hunting with my father as well as pheasant hunting with my dog Snoopy.  Still, toward the end of my hunting phase, I began to feel that I had too much of an advantage over the animals that I hunted and decided that it just wasn’t fun anymore.  And that was my choice

Choice.  That word when it comes  to guns is a huge  obstruction when it comes to the issue of guns.

What brings me to voice an opinion about this was the mass shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida last month as well as the nation-wide walk out that elementary and high school students participated in.  As a sign of respect to the victims of the shootings, many of the protests lasted 17 minutes in deference to the 17 children that were killed.

What do the children want?  They want to be safe in their schools.  They want to know that there is little chance they could be killed.

Since 2013, there have been over 300 school shootings, about an average of one per week.  And while proponents of the 2nd Amendment and the NRA will try to point to mental health issues are the root cause of these shootings, the proponents of gun control will point to the availability of assault rifles to be the root cause.

As for arming teachers, my biggest fear in that came to fruition when a teacher discharged a weapon in a California classroom.  No one was killed but three students sustained minor injuries.  However, no call to a student nurse or paramedics took place and the teacher continued with his class.

The teacher was instructing the students about gun-safety and was about to show students how to disarm someone.  While I applaud the class, there are several questions that come to mind:  If a real gun was to be used, why would live ammunition be allowed?  In fact, why would the gun need to be loaded at all if this was a demonstration?

What I don’t understand is the attitude of gun owners about any of this.  They say it is within their right to own any type of gun they wish.  I don’t begrudge their desire to own guns.  But I think the interpretation being used is a little far-fetched.

The exact wording of the 2nd Amendment is:  A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Lets look at the phrase “well regulated militia” for a moment.  In the context of the 2nd Amendment, proponents of gun ownership use this loophole to own guns for the security of a free state.  It does not talk about security of one’s home nor does it talk about self-defense.  And in 1791, when the Bill of Rights were ratified, the founding fathers were taking into consideration the weapons current for that time.

Can there be middle ground when it comes to gun control?  I think the chasm between the two camps is too far of a gap.  The NRA, as the student demonstrations were taking place, posted on Twitter of a black rifle emblazoned with the American flag with the caption of “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”  A pretty heartless indication of how the NRA feels about students getting killed.

The NRA, many of the Republican Party and owners of guns will try to tell you that many of the school shootings are a mental health issue.  Anti-gun groups and many Democrats will say that it is the availability of assault-type guns that are the culprit.

Why can’t both sides be right?  I think first and foremost, both sides can at least agree they don’t want to see students being killed.  The loss of a child is perhaps the greatest fear of any parent.

Not too long ago, there was a posting that came across my Facebook with a picture of an assault style rifle with the question “Why do you feel the need to own this type of gun?”  While I didn’t respond to the question, I did read some of the responses and many of them had the same sentiment.  It wasn’t a question of need as more of a question of want.  Others posted saying they wanted them for home protection.  Still others pointed to the 2nd Amendment said they could have them.  I really doubt the founding fathers took into consideration a weapon that has the capability of 12 to 15 rounds per minute.

All that is necessary to begin a discussion on this is for both sides to see there is a need for it.  Start with the fact neither side wants to see children killed in schools and go from there.  Both sides need to stop being blinded by what both sides perceive to be show stoppers in finding a resolution.

But most of all, no solution can be reached until both sides can agree to talk with each other.

Without a civil discussion, both sides are going to be at risk of losing what they hold dear.

Trump Administration Forbids CDC Use of Words

The Trump administration has given the Centers of Disease Control a list of seven words or phrases they are forbidden to use.

Fascinating the list contains seven words.  I guess we can think about replacing the seven words you can’t say on television  to “Vulnerable, Entitlement, Diversity, Transgender, Fetus, Evidence-Based and Science-Based.”

Spokesperson Alison Kelly for the CDC did not give a reason why the Trump administration has banned these words in any CDC official documentation in relation to the national budget.

I am no constitutional expert, but this smacks of Freedom of Speech.  Granted, we are not talking about silencing an individual or a certain group.  However, we are being shown that this administration wants to tamp down all of the definitions that are related to civil rights; first and foremost, the freedom of speech.

It also smacks of fascism.  For those that aren’t sure of the definition of fascism, simply put, it is a way of ruling that advocates the total control of the people.  In this form of government, the people are looked at as a bundle or one body that must be controlled by the government with absolute force.

This action is dangerous and reckless.  To forbid the CDC from using the word “fetus” if addressing fetal health causes messages to be unclear.  Which is exactly what the Trump-Pence administration wants.  They want the capability to tell us Americans what we need.  Tell me how that makes us free?

If this doesn’t cause an outrage to any American citizen, then you deserve to be led by your nose to the cliff.  The Republican party, for the most part, have great sounding core beliefs:

(From http://Republican Views Website)

  • The best government for the people is one that is closest to the people and therefore, the government should not interfere unless they are needed.
  • The strength of the nation lies within the individuals who live in the country and therefore feel that the individual’s freedom, dignity and responsibility must come first and foremost in our government.
  • Free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative are what has brought the country economic prosperity in the past and what will continue to bring it to prosperity today.
  • The government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow its people to keep the money they work for.
  • America should work to protect national freedom first while working to spread peace, freedom and human rights in the world.

Tell me, under which of these core beliefs would banning certain terminology fit?

How does this ban of seven terms not interfere needlessly?

How does this ban of seven terms place our freedom, dignity and responsibility first and foremost?

How does this ban of seven terms help bring America prosperity?

How does this ban of seven terms help the government practice fiscal responsibility and allow its people to keep the money they work for?

How does this ban of seven terms protect national freedom and help spread peace, freedom and human rights in the world?

One answer for all six of these questions:  It doesn’t.

If I was able to have a conversation with President Trump, I would want to know why these words are being banned.  But knowing how President Trump would react to a direct question, he would most likely obfuscate and just start yelling “Fake News!”

President Trump, just what makes us vulnerable in discussing diversity?  What makes you feel entitled to dictate to this diverse country, including transgenders, with no evidence-based or science based facts, on the health of a fetus?

Did you notice there Mr. President, that I used all seven of those terms in questioning your unmitigated gall to control an inalienable right to speech?

I suspect I’ll be hearing from the Secret Service sometime soon.

 

Donald J. Trump: President or Dictator?

We are eight months in to Donald Trump’s presidency.

Can anyone dispute the fact that it has been, at best, a tumultuous eight months? Or do people really feel that his actions as a president is leading our nation in the right direction?

I don’t feel that President Trump is a president for all people…I firmly believe that he is a president for a select few: White, corporate businessmen that viewed the last eight years of President Barak Obama as a threat to their bottom line. Those that support the right blame, unjustly, that President Obama is to blame for the position they are currently in.

Fact of the matter is, you lost your job because those white, corporate businessmen aren’t in the business of your well-being, they are in the business of keeping Wall Street happy. And if that means that a few million people will lose their jobs to foreign countries, so be it. The investors get richer and the rest of the country be damned.

Now before the left and right start throwing the usual rhetoric, shut the hell up. Both sides are so angry and scared that neither can see the forest for the trees.

Leonard J. Pitts, Jr., one of my favorite opinion writers, had a great column that was posted in the Seattle Times on August 16, 2017. That column, “Sadly, clearly we are not ‘better than this’” points out just how meaningless that President Trump’s “Make America Great Again!” really is.

In this article, he talks about people’s reaction to acts of violence and hatred and racism which is a collective of “This is not America.”

How many of us have heard that as well a “we are better than this,” only to find out that we really aren’t. And let’s not delude ourselves into thinking this is just a current phenomenon. I’m not exactly sure any of us really knows what America is.

Republican Washington State Governor Dan Edwards, who served from 1965 to 1977, would be labeled today as a liberal Republican because of his liberal policies on environmental protection, strong supporter of higher education and supported a state income tax for the state of Washington.

In 1965, Governor Edwards told the Republican State Convention that “the Republican Party did not achieve greatness nor will it regain greatness by being the party of radicalism or of the lunatic fringe. Extremist of neither the right or left contribute to the strength of America or her political institutions. Both feed on fear, frustration, hate and hopelessness. Both have lost faith in themselves and in the American dream.”

If you look at the current situation today, can anyone deny that these words more than apply? I sure don’t. And damn us all for continually feeding into either side.

Evans had developed a criteria for any group that the Republican Party would embrace. I think it’s time the Republican Party asks these questions of the Trump administration and look inward to see if they meet the criteria:

  1. Does it operate publicly or secretly? So far, the Trump administration is operated in secret with President Trump being as vague as possible on anything you ask him or his administration. He rarely gives any speeches to outline his plan and those serving in his administration have to be frustrated when they release a crafted message and then he tweets the opposite. He thrives on conflict and relishes pitting people that work for him against each other.
  2. Is it motivated by faith and hope or by fear? No question that the Trump administration is motivated by fear. His attacks on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and most recently, John McCain puts him in the light of being a bully. I don’t know about you, but him messing around with North Korea and basically daring Kim Jong-un to fire nuclear weapons at us borders on lunacy. And what does that make the rest of the country feel? Afraid, very afraid.
  3. Does it use the tools of truth or lies? Well now, that is a pretty loaded question for the Trump administration, isn’t it? How many times has President Trump been caught not quite telling the truth about things? Take for example his response to the Barcelona attacks. His latest referral to how General John J. Pershing and the tactics he used in the Philippines executing Muslim insurgents by dipping bullets in pig’s blood before killing them is just a small example of how he gleams to only certain parts of statements to suit his needs. The fact of the matter is, that never happened. And Mr. Trump, might I point out that just because you say something is true or is fake, doesn’t make it so. You have told so many lies in your lifetime, you couldn’t recognize any truth if it hit you in the face!
  4. Does it teach trust in our established political institutions or does it teach distrust? Without a doubt, Donald Trump trusts no one but himself. His chief-of-staff, General John F. Kelly, is frustrated and dismayed at attempting to contain Trump who is a bull in a China shop. Kelly’s attempts to keep President Trump on a crafted message regarding Charlottesville went out the window as Trump showed in an impromptu and combative news conference. He compared the actions of white supremacists with the counter-protesters who opposed them. Kelly’s frustration underscores the challenges in instilling a sense of order around Trump, whose first instinct is to lash out at those who disagree with him. Many of his own aids and confidants were appalled at what he said and much of it led to the dissolution of his business advisory councils as those chief executives are distancing themselves from Trump.
  5. Within its own organization, does it follow democratic procedures or militant authorization? Is this a trick question? Trump, in his many years as a business executive, was militant and dictatorial. And he is attempting to run this country the same way. He believes that he has total and absolute power but thankfully, the Constitution prevents him from being able to act as he truly wants to. The founding fathers knew they needed three branches of government so that neither one party nor one person could rule. The checks and balances they put in place 230 years ago is the only thing that is currently holding this country together…by a thread.
  6. Do its people understand the art of political compromise or do they deal in unrelenting absolutism? This goes straight to the Republican Party as well as the Trump administration. They are hell-bent to erase the eight-year presidency of Barack Obama, starting with the Affordable Care Act. Twice they have attempted to repeal the ACA and replace it with a plan that will give tax cuts to the upper class and leave nearly 20 million people without health-care. Instead of looking to the Democrats, who have admitted the ACA isn’t perfect, they chose to start over…and after failing two times, they are only now reaching across the aisle to take another look at the ACA and fix what’s wrong with it…which they should have done in the first place.

We the people need to stop being afraid. Diversity is what will make this country great again, not any one race or culture. White supremacists (and any race that calls themselves superior is certainly inferior) are afraid of being displaced by minorities.

I say, so what?! Go anywhere in the world, and there are four facts that cannot be disputed:

  1. Every person in the world, regardless of race, has one heart, two lungs and red blood. Put any person in the world in an x-ray machine and I dare you to tell me what the color of their skin is.
  2. Every person in the world, regardless of race, is taught how to hate. It’s learned behavior. There are people that I don’t like but it’s not based on the color of their skin. It’s based on their stupidity of how they treat people. And I am trying, desperately trying not to hate these people because for the most part, they were taught how to treat people. And a lot of those teachings are handed down from one generation to the next.
  3. Every single person in the world, regardless of race, falls under one species: Homo sapiens. All of us have roots extending 200,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa and back more than 6 million years to the earliest human species in Africa.
  4. Every single person in the world, regardless of race, need food, water and shelter to survive. Which is why America has been considered so great because anyone who chose to live here could have the opportunity to have just that. Unfortunately, when those cannot make it, most of America turns their back on them. I can only hope that one day, we start getting better at lending a helping hand to those that need it instead of treating them like failures. I can’t imagine anyone being in that position actually wants to be there.

America, not just the Republicans or just the Democrats, needs to start the healing process. President Trump isn’t the man to lead us in that direction and I don’t know who would be able to…and perhaps it isn’t a man, perhaps it’s a woman who leads us there.

But whomever that person is, he or she cannot be in the pockets of any interest group. He or she cannot be controlled by Wall Street, the NRA or Big Pharma. He or she must have the strength to lead all of America and not just a portion of it.

And sad to say, if that person is out there, I don’t think he or she is electable because unless he or she has the support of business, not the general population as everyone is led to believe, there is no way he or she could win a presidential election.

So what’s the answer? First thing, we the people need to start treating each other better. And it doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple hello to another person goes a long way.

Secondly, we the people need to hold our elected officials accountable to make sure they truly represent us. We need to make sure they know they work for us, not that we work for them nor do they work for any special interest groups that manipulate messages to get them elected.

Thirdly, we need to become way more tolerant and accepting of each other. I’m not saying that we need have a Kumbaya movement since that isn’t ideal either. However, to be able to live and work together without profiling each other is a huge first step. And let’s not kid ourselves, we all profile each other and it’s got to stop.

Small steps can lead to great things…I’m willing to take that first step with everyone in this country, are you?

Are We Headed For A Civil War?

political-party

Donald Trump is the president-elect of the United States of America.

Because of the result of the 2016 Election, there have been many protests  across the country.  I’m not sure what they expect to happen.  The country has spoken and Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States.

However, we cannot ignore the fear of a Trump presidency.  He made several campaign promises that will be difficult, at best, to follow thru on.

One that resonates the loudest is the promise of bringing back manufacturing jobs back to America.  Trump made promises to states that were once strong in manufacturing such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania that those lost jobs will come back.  He made these statements but never really outlined on just how he was actually going to accomplish this.

And if, by some miracle he actually does this, the jobs won’t be as plentiful as they once were.  If the expectation is anything different, a lot of people are going to be out in the cold.

Technology will be a big factor.  Many of the jobs that were lost overseas weren’t necessarily replaced by other people, they were replaced by robots.  And if manufacturing does come back, most likely companies will continue to use robots for those jobs as well.  Robots cost less to operate than the salaries they replace and are only getting better and cheaper to run.  There are studies that show by 2025, less than 10 years from now, the cost of a welding robot will be roughly $2.00 per hour which is considerably less than the $25.00 per hour than a human welder earns today.

So, for instance, if a new auto manufacturing plant was built in Michigan, it won’t bring back the 28,000 jobs to the area that GM employed during the 1980’s.  At best, because of technology, a new plant would bring perhaps a third of jobs to the area, roughly 9,400 jobs.  And GM would continue to look at technology to use people even less.  It is conceivable that a plant that required 28,000 people to build trucks could only need 10% of that amount.

Just how is Donald Trump going to fulfil his promise?  And in 3 years, how will his supporters feel when the realization occurs that he didn’t put them back to work?

This is just one example of a promise made by Trump that he may not be able to fulfill.  No president can dictate to any company as to where they make their products.  He can only suggest legislation to make it attractive for companies to come back.

One of the big reasons Trump did win the election was due to working-class white people, mostly those without a college degree, deserted the Democratic party in drove.  Rural voters turned out in exceptionally high numbers wanted change in a big way as they felt overlooked by the establishment and left behind by the coastal elite.

None of the issues that popped up during his campaign such has insulting Vietnam veteran  Senator John McCain, mocking the weight of a Hispanic beauty pageant winner and boasting about making unwanted sexual advances toward women.  None of that mattered as Trump supporters felt these actions were more acceptable than the trust issues that arose with Hillary Clinton’s involvement with classified emails and Benghazi.

For the most part, supporters of Trump wanted to blow up the current system that seemed to be against white middle-class, non-degreed rural Americans.  And in some ways, these supporters aren’t off the mark.

This classification of people, for the most part, have been the majority of this country since it was founded in 1776.  And since the 1970’s, their place in this country has been chipped away little by little.

Donald Trump tapped into the fear and many bought into what he was saying.

And for those who didn’t vote for Trump?  The ones that are protesting in the streets, shouting “Not My President!”  Why is there such a vehement reaction to him winning the election?

Fear.

Fear of discrimination returning.  Fear of reprisal for being a minority.  Fear of setback in women’s rights.  Fear of going to war and not knowing why.  Fear of being deported.

Fear of not having medical insurance.  Fear of the rich getting richer and that the middle class, the one’s that voted Trump into office, will disappear.

Both Democrats and Republicans are afraid.  And people will continue to be prejudice against things they don’t understand.    This is fear on both sides is ripe for a civil war.

The real danger of this civil war is what Trump stands for.  He undermines the norms that sustain our liberal democracies.   His campaign raised racial and ethnic tensions and inflamed passions against imagined enemies:  Mexican immigrants, Chinese exporters and Muslim refugees.

Even more of a danger is his economic failure.  He will come into office as the leader of middle and lower class that feel they have been left behind.  Raising their expectations in ways he can’t possibly meet, there isn’t much of a chance their income will receive a large boost under his policies.

When his economic policies fail, and they will, it will cause a greater divide in this country even more than his election has.

Let us remember that acting against one another isn’t the answer.  We cannot allow whatever failures that may occur to cause this country to be ripped apart.  We must endure the next four years under Trump and ride through it the best that we can.

Athletes and Politics – Is This A Way to Make America Aware?

 

Kaepernick Kneeling

By now, everyone has seen the image of Colin Kaepernick sitting or kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem.  It has caused some outrage with most people saying that he is not showing the proper respect to the Armed Forces or to his country.

Funny thing, Kaepernick is expressing one of the most valued treasures the  United States Constitution states:  The Freedom of Speech.  It is so valued and so important, that the founding fathers deemed it necessary to make it the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Other athletes of the United States have followed Kaepernick’s lead:  US soccer star Megan Rapione, Kaepernick’s teammate Eric Reid and Seattle Seahawk’s Jeremy Lane;  whose actions have caused Seahawk fans to want him kicked off the team regardless of how talented he is.

This isn’t the first time athletes have used their popularity to make a statement.  Muhammad Ali, one of the most beloved boxers of our time, was blasted by many when, as Cassius Clay, refused to be conscripted into the Armed Forces to fight in the Vietnam War.  He cited his religious beliefs, changed his name and was found guilty of draft evasion and stripped of his boxing titles.  He eventually got his conviction overturned in 1971 by the US Supreme Court and returned to boxing after nearly four years.

In the 1968 Summer Olympics, track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the playing of the US National Anthem to show solidarity with people fighting internationally for human rights.

While I don’t condone the actions of these athletes because it does show a sign of disrespect toward the flag, country and Armed Services, I have to respect their reasons as to why they did what they did.

Kaepernick has said he would not show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses people of color, citing police brutality.  He is just the latest athlete of color to use his popularity as a national platform against racial injustice.

What I believe is really an issue here  – is the issue of racial inequality has been an issue for as long as I can remember.  I grew up in Detroit and vaguely recall the riots of 1967.  I was only 9 years old and didn’t understand why, for a short period of time, I couldn’t play with my friend down the block or had to stay indoors on summer days.  I found out later in life that it was because my friend was black and I was white and our parents were just protecting their families by not taking any chances.

Mind you, our neighborhood was far away from where the actual riots were…I don’t remember anything bad happening but we were still affected.  In fact, a few times there were National Guard vehicles that came down our streets.

Things were different after that.  The family of my friend moved away after a few years and gone were the neighborhood gatherings that we used to have.  But it did get back to the point where we at least said hello to each other.

I am going to end this article quoting NBA great and activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in an essay he wrote for the Washington Post regarding Kaepernick’s actions.  It is the last paragraph:

What should horrify Americans is not Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the national anthem, but that nearly 50 years after Ali was banned from boxing for his stance and Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised fists caused public ostracization and numerous death threats, we still need to call attention to the same racial inequities. Failure to fix this problem is what’s really un-American here.

I don’t think that Kaepernick did this to draw attention to himself.  In fact, he did it to draw attention to “racial inequities” that have been plaguing this country for decades.  All the people that have been outraged by Kapernick and other athletes kneeling or sitting during the National Anthem need to look past that action and understand what the real reason is behind the action.  They are not doing it to disrespect the flag or country…in fact, they do it because they want this country to do better.

I may not approve of their actions but I do respect their reasons and support them in them expressing themselves by utilizing their First Amendment rights.

America Isn’t The Greatest Country In The World – But It Can Be

American Flag

My wife and I started to watch the fine HBO, Aaron Sorkin series, The Newsroom. We had seen it before but with the television season in a downtime and nothing really good on TV, we decided to watch it again from the beginning.

And how poignant that we did so. The opening scene where the main character, Will McAvoy (played by Michigan’s own Jeff Daniels) rants during a college panel, even though this first aired in June of 2012, rings even more true today.

The question a college student asks of all three guests is “What do you think makes America the greatest country in the world?” One guest, far left liberal Democrat, states “Diversity and Opportunity.” The other guest, a far right conservative Republican says that “Freedom and Freedom” is what makes America great.

McAvoy, who really didn’t want to delve into it, agreed with both guests. However, the moderator wouldn’t let him off the hook.

Finally, he lets loose with perhaps one of the best rants that couldn’t ring more true then and now.

Some of the highlights:

  • We’re (America)seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household incomes, number four in labor force and number four in exports.
  • America leads the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries, 25 of whom are allies.
  • Not that this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you are, without a doubt, a member of the WORST.GENERATION.EVER.

After he calms down and gets everyone’s attention, he continues. More highlights:

  • We sure used to be.
  • We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons; we passed and struck down laws for moral reasons.
  • We waged war on poverty, not poor people.
  • We sacrificed. We cared about our neighbors, we put money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest.
  • We built great things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy.
  • We reached for the stars and we acted like men.
  • We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it; it didn’t make us feel inferior.
  • We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election, and we didn’t scare so easy.
  • We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered.

The final line that he gives should be a message to everyone under the sun: “The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one – America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.”

I don’t even suggest that we take direction to make right in the world from a television show. However, media does have a responsibility to inform the American people of what the problem is.

I can remember when the Fourth Estate, did inform the people of issues without bombastic tirades and blame. They reported the facts so that voters could make informed decisions on candidates and issues that affect their lives.

No more. We have stations to the far right and left that seem to think they need to have Jerry Springer like shows to keep audiences enthralled as to what could be said next…and wait, fricking wait to have these shows tell them what to do. How is that allowing any of us to come to our own decisions?

The Fourth Estate is a shell of what it used to be. There are still some sane voices out there, like Leonard Pitts that attempt to be voices of reason. But they are vastly out-numbered, sad to say.

One journalist that I truly miss is Jon Stewart. Yes, the same Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He pointed out so many pit falls of both the Democratic and Republican parties that it almost wasn’t funny anymore….almost.

At one point, The Daily Show was one of the most watched shows in a demographic that all news shows want: Ages 18-34. In 2006, Indiana University attempted to compare the amount of information of the Daily Show against network news broadcasts. It concluded there was little difference between the Daily Show and other news outlets. Imagine that, a comedy show that informs people just as well as news outlets.

Even more astounding is that in 2009, Jon Stewart won Time Magazine’s Most Trusted Newscaster poll with 44%, 15 points ahead of Brian Williams. Just think about that for a second: A comedy show host was America’s Most Trusted Newscaster.

America is in shambles right now. We don’t trust each other. We are suspicious of people of color. We are suspicious of people who look like us because we feel we are always a target. We have no direction and no one in this country that can get us headed into one.

We turn our noses at our Veterans who sacrificed so much for a country they love.

We have little respect for police because across the country, the police have made terrible, terrible mistakes…and so have the people that reacted badly to those mistakes.

We cheat our children by making teachers one of the lowest paid professions yet requires years and years of school and a Master’s degree. And the teachers at the most critical developmental stages, 6-12 and 13-18 often have to take second jobs and work thru the summer to make ends meet as well as purchase items for their classrooms. We over-burden them with huge classrooms and quite often, can’t give the shy, unassuming kid in the back that doesn’t seem to have any friends and struggles to learn.

So these candidates that want to hold the highest office in the land, being President of the United States, whom ever gets elected has a long, hard hill to climb.

And even if that person was the smartest and most common sense person in the world, the people that we elect to represent us, our congresspersons and senators, have their own agendas on how they want to shape America…forgetting to listen to us.

And therein lays the rub: Congresspersons and senators should not have their own agendas…or more specifically, they shouldn’t have the agendas of deep-pocket special interests groups such as the NRA, Tobacco, Big Oil, Auto Companies and Big Pharma dictate how they govern and allow the interests of these special interest groups come before their constituents.

These special interest groups hold a unique position in politics. They don’t vote congresspersons or senators into office, we do. However, they do contribute to politicians who need funding provided they follow directions on certain bills that are up for voting to be passed as law.

The power of government is no longer for the people or by the people…and anyone out there who thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves. The power of government is greed and information. Media experts who craft a message those candidates repeat ad-nauseam regardless of what question is put to them.

Political debates? The Republican debates that took place were a sideshow and bad ones at that. The Democratic debates, slightly more interesting but still, candidates really never answered questions. Each time, they went back to the crafted message that was beat into them like a drum and stayed on message regardless of the question.

While Donald Trump may not be presidential material, one has to agree that he more than likely told his advisors to stick where the sun don’t shine, I’m gonna say what I want! I may be fearful of him being elected president but I have to give him his props, misguided as they may be.

America isn’t the greatest country in the world…hasn’t been for a while. There are so many issues put there and no campaign slogan is going to make them go away. It is going to take a fearless leader, one who is compassionate, non-judgmental and intelligent to lead us back to greatness…check that, lead us into a different type of greatness, one that has America leading the fights in racism, poverty and illness.

We also need a leader that recognizes that we need to take care of our own first before we can start helping others. Because right now, we are weak because we have all of this bickering, finger-pointing waste of time and energy draining petty crap that just isn’t that important.

Most importantly, that leader, whomever that may be, needs to trust us as much we need to trust him or her.

We cannot expect our hope to have all America’s problems solved in one fell swoop. It is a continuous process that needs to have consistency from president to president, from Senate house to Senate house, from Congress to Congress. We can’t have problems worked and then re-worked and then re-worked again just because a Democratic congress started it and a newly elected Republican congress gets elected.

We must also set expectations for our leaders, make them accountable for what they promise us as we elect them. Special interest groups may have the greed and money to sway elections but they do not hold the most powerful tool that we the people have…and that’s the right to vote.

Realistically, I don’t see America building great things, making ungodly technological advances and exploring the universe in the near future. We cannot reach for the stars just yet. We need to build a solid foundation to allow future generations to make America the greatest country in the world…my vision that would make America great?

It would be a country that revers in its diversity, making it our strength instead of being afraid of it. It would be a country that shares and is cooperative with other countries in science and medicine. It would be a country that is tolerant of all races, all genders and all religions and allow all of these different people to come together to just talk with each other.

I swear that if America had the biggest block party in the world, where everyone pitches in and brings their favorite food and drink, people would begin to trust each other again.

Is it so hard to say hello to someone? Is it so hard to hold a door open for anyone? Is it so hard to offer a helping hand to someone who is down? Is it so hard to show an iota of respect to others regardless of their race, creed, sexual orientation or religious beliefs?

And this is for us men: Being abusive toward women does not make us superior to them…in fact, each time an offense is done to a woman, it demeans the male side of the population. It doesn’t make you strong, it makes you weak. You want to be a “real” man? Then show some damn respect to women, they deserve it…for if not for them, we wouldn’t last very long as a species. Get it? Good, be a man and protect and respect these women for they are the most precious gift we can ever get. They are not property and they are certainly way the heck smarter than we are. SO GET WITH THE DAMN PROGRAM!

America isn’t the greatest country in the world – But it can be.

 

2016 Presidential Election – This Is Just Freaking Me Out

P2016Election

The race for the next President of the United States has been going on ad-nauseam for over a year now…and there really is no true candidate that shines through.

At the point I am in my life, at age 58,  I am looking at retirement.  Like many others, I am worried about the constant rising costs of just about everything and wonder if, by the time I do retire in 4 years, will what I have worked so hard for over 25 years be enough to live on and still get enjoyment out of life?

I really don’t proclaim a party affiliation but if I was pressed, I would lean more toward Democratic views than Republican.  It just seems to me, historically, the Republicans get the country into trouble and the Democrats gets the country out of trouble.

I know there have been some great Republican Presidents.  Where would this country have been if not for the vision of Abraham Lincoln?  Or Theodore Roosevelt and the Square Deal which his domestic program of conservation of natural resources, control of corporations and consumer protection?  Or Dwight D. Eisenhower who was responsible for starting NASA when the Soviets launched it’s first satellite into space?  And it was he who first warned America of the dangers of massive military spending, specifically deficit spending and giving military contracts to private military manufacturers?

But as of late, say from the Nixon administration on, there really hasn’t been a Republican President who has not buried the country into debt and cut spending from programs that are designed to help people who need it.  Granted, I would love to have all government subsidy programs be abolished provided that everyone can have a good paying job and stand on their own two feet.  Republicans have been saying that for decades but offer no solution on just how to get those good paying jobs.

Democratic Presidents have had there share of mistakes.  Franklin Pierce’s fervor for expanding the United States was responsible for the start of the Civil War, the darkest days of the United States where brother fought against brother.  Andrew Johnson survived impeachment after opposing the 14th Amendment which defined national citizenship and forbid states to restrict the basic rights of citizens or other persons.

However, I have to point out that for the most part, Democratic Presidents have led this nation out of dark times.  Franklin Roosevelt guided the nation out of the Great Depression.  Harry S. Truman pretty much ended the United States involvement in WWII and told the world that the US is indeed a world power.  John Kennedy gave this country a vision and a desire to do great things.  Bill Clinton, before he left office, gave George W. Bush an $8 billion dollar surplus which was gone by the end of Bush’s first year in office.  And Barrack Obama gave every person a chance to have affordable health care, something the citizens of this country have needed for decades.

And now, we come to the election of the 45th President of The  United States.  And I ask, regardless of which political party gets elected, just where will you take us?

A look at who I feel will be the nominees for each party and three topics to compare their respective platforms:

PTrump

Donald Trump, campaign slogan:  Make America Great Again!

Ah yes, the Donald.  This is the one person that just scares me to death if he gets elected into office.  I was shocked to see that he won the South Carolina primary, I just don’t understand what his appeal is.

Trump has flaunted the fact that he is a successful businessman and knows what the country needs.  Just ask him and he’ll tell you.

Economy

He wants to reform the US-China trade agreement that was established 2000 during the Bill Clinton administration which was supposed to allow better access to China’s markets but doesn’t allow China any new market access.

According to Donald Trump’s website, he wants to reform the trade agreement by declaring China a currency manipulator, forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws, end China’s export subsidies and bolster US Military presence in the China seas.

I’m not sure that I want to piss off China.  I agree that their actions are one-sided in their favor.  But China has always had a long view of things and are very, very patient.  They don’t go for the big chunks, they take a little bit at a time over decades.  But there is no way a quick resolution can be had without some serious repercussions.

Gun Control

He is for enforcing the Right to Bear Arms.  I don’t oppose that myself but I do believe there needs to be restrictions on the types of weapons that can be owned and a much deeper background check for those who wish to purchase them.

I get that the Founding Fathers wanted to give those the right to protect themselves and their families.  But his position on just how to do that is a bit skewed in my opinion.  He wants to focus on the criminals and not the types of weapons.  He admits to having a concealed weapons permit but going after the criminals who break the law is not solving the real issue.

What is the main reason a gun such as the AK-47 sub-machine gun was created for?  To kill a lot of people in a short amount of time.  Why not use a gun that can pump 600 rounds per minute into a body instead of a Glock 19 that can hold 15 rounds.  I mean how dead is dead?

I don’t own a gun and I don’t live in an area that has a high crime rate.  In my 58 years, 30 of them in Detroit and 28 in Seattle and travelling to many other places, I have never been shot at.  Nor have I ever had any reason to feel that I needed to attack someone out of fear of my own life.  I have walked away or found another way than violent tactics.

Immigration

Trump’s views on immigration, which pretty much states that if we get rid of all the illegal immigrants, America will have all those jobs and be great again.  And he is very focused on immigrants coming from Mexico…so much, in fact, he wants a wall built on the Southern border of the United States and he wants Mexico to pay for it.  It galls me to hear his three cores of immigration reform: (My thoughts in italics)

 1.  A nation without borders is not a nation.  There must be a wall across the southern border.  Newsflash Donald:  The real “immigration problem” does not stem from Mexico.  In fact, immigration from Mexico is actually declining with Mexicans returning to their home country.  Since 2008, more immigrants have come from Asia than Latin America.  And they educate themselves in our system and work in our companies with qualifications that exceed our own homegrown citizens.

2.  A nation without laws is not a nation.  Laws must be passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.  We do have laws Mr. Trump.  While many view them to be lax regarding immigration, it’s not like it’s a free-flowing migration.  But, I do agree that the United States faces a difficult task because we don’t have the resources to enforce the laws.  You may want to pass new laws but just how are you going to support the enforcement of them?

3.  A nation that does  not serve its own citizens is not a nation.  Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all AmericansAll well and good.  But those jobs these immigrants have “taken” from Americans aren’t ones that we can really count on to be high-paying gigs.  How many Americans aspire to clean homes for a living?  How many Americans aspire to pick fruit for a living?  And the companies that have these immigrants perform these jobs, do you think they will last long by paying 3 to 4 times the amount in labor costs?

PClinton

Hillary Clinton, campaign slogan:  Hillary for America!

Is the United States ready for a female President?  I think so.  Is Hillary the right woman for the job?  I don’t know and I’m not sure who is.  Heck, at this point, I don’t know if there is one person right for the job right now.

But she is the current front runner for the Democratic party and I think she gets the nod for her foreign policies experience she gained as Secretary of State during Obama’s first term.  Bernie Sanders, while strong in domestic policies, doesn’t have the foreign policy chops needed.

Economy

Her economic platform is based on three growths:  Strong, Fair and Long Term.

Strong Growth has our infrastructure growing, focusing on clean energy, scientific and medical research to create jobs and strengthen the economy.  It will also provide tax relief to working families and small business.  She wants to move forward to a full employment economy that creates jobs, pushes business to compete over workers and raise incomes.

Fair Growth states that inequality is a drag on the economy.  To get incomes rising again, the country’s basic bargain needs to be renewed.  Corporations have near-record profits but the wages are stagnant with the deck stacked against working Americans.  She wants corporations to share with the workers their near-record profits.  Her plan includes a 15% tax credit for companies that have a profit sharing program with workers on top of wages and pay increases.

Long-Term Growth is a push back on the boom and bust cycles of Wall Street.  It calls to an end of quarterly capitalism where companies can plan for the long run and invest in their workers with increased wages and better training which can lead to higher productivity, better service and larger profits.  It also calls for accountability on Wall Street where she will appoint and empower independent regulators and prosecute those individuals when they commit fraud or other criminal acts.

Gun Control

The National Rifle Association has got to be very concerned if Hillary Clinton gets elected as President.  She believes the gun industry should be held accountable for their part of gun violence.  She wants the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” to be repealed.  This law prevents victims of gun violence to hold manufacturers and dealers accountable for acts perpetrated with their guns.

She also wants to revoke licenses of bad-actor dealers who flood communities with illegal guns.  She will provide funding to increase inspections and enforce current law by revoking licenses of dealers that knowingly supply illegal guns.

Hillary Clinton will also initiate more comprehensive background checks to reduce gun trafficking, the lethality of domestic violence and unlawful gun transfers to dangerous individuals.  She will push Congress to close the “Charleston Loophole” that allows a gun sale to proceed without a completed background check if that check has not been completed in three days.  This loophole allowed the Charleston Church shooter, Dylann Roof to purchase a gun despite having a criminal record.

Ms. Clinton also wants to tighten gun show and Internet gun sales so that any person attempting to sell a significant number of guns abide by the same commonsense rules that apply to gun stores, including requiring background checks on gun sales.

Immigration

Hillary Clinton states that the immigration system needs to be fixed.  But rather than just deport all of the illegal immigrants out of the country and erect walls to keep them out, she indicates that a reform that will give these people a path to full and equal citizenship will only strengthen America.

Fight for Immigration Reform With a Path to Citizenship.  She wants to give undocumented students who grew up in the US a chance to contribute to America’s growth.  In doing so, she sees it as bringing millions of people into the formal economy.

Defend the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans)  executive actions.  These actions, initiated by President Obama, provide relief from deportation for DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) participants.  She will defend partisan attacks and politically motivated lawsuits that would put these people at risk of deportation.

Conduct humane, targeted immigration enforcement.  Focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting individuals who pose a violent threat and work to ensure those who seek asylum in the United States have a fair chance to tell their stories.

This is not a column on who I think should lead this country.  That is a right of every individual who happens to read this.  This was only a comparison between two individuals and their platforms.

What I think who is the most qualified to be President of the United States doesn’t matter.  I can only hope that people will truly vote the right way, on the issues and not on the rhetoric that fan the flames of confusion.

Pete Rose – Time To Let Him Into The Hall of Fame

Pete Rose

It has been far too long since baseball has punished Pete Rose.  It has come to a point where punishment no longer fits the crime.

Pete Rose is recognized as the all-time hit leader in the Major Leagues.  Yet despite his accomplishments as a player, he is being punished for stupid mistakes that he made mostly as a manager.  Everyone who knows baseball knows that Rose was never going into the Hall as a manger, not with his accomplishments as a player:

  • 24 year career
  • .303 lifetime career batting average
  • 4,256 hits – most in major league history
  • Three batting titles
  • Three World Series rings
  • One MVP award
  • 17 All-Star appearances for five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B & 1B)

Rose has admitted to betting while playing and managing the Reds.  He also states that he never bet against the Reds so there was no reason to throw games.  If anything, he had more incentive to win.

Outside of the integrity of the game, who did Pete Rose hurt outside of himself and his family?

Is his gambling more harmful than players using performance enhancing drugs?  You would think that would be more harmful to the integrity of the game.  Yet Alex Rodriguez was suspended for a year and is now back playing with the Yankees.

Many players have done more harm to the image of the game with drug and alcohol use as opposed to gambling.  Yet baseball allows those players back into the game but not those who have been caught placing bets.

Here are some interesting tidbits on players/managers/owners suspended for gambling and being reinstated as opposed to players/managers/owners being suspended for drug and alcohol use:

  • Since 1865, 41 people have been banned (not suspended) for some amount of time, either for gambling or drug related use.  This includes one umpire, Richard Higham in 1882 for conspiring to help throw a Detroit Wolverines game.
  • Of those 41, 27 were related to gambling.  13 of the 41 were reinstated and only three persons  banned or gambling related issues were allowed to come back.
  • To this day, 24 people associated to the game of baseball have been permanently banned for gambling related issues.
  • In contrast, only 2 players have  been banned:  Ferguson Jenkins in 1980 when drugs were found on his person on Toronto and Steve Howe in 1992 after receiving seven suspension related to drug use.

Both players were later reinstated.  Jenkins was reinstated by an independent arbitrator and elected into the Hall of Fame in 1991.  Steve Howe was also reinstated by an independent arbitrator in 1992 and he retired from the game in 1996 and passed away in 2006.

As a result, no player has been permanently banned from baseball due to drug related issues.

I am not attempting to minimize the effect of gambling has on the game of baseball or any major league sport.  But what bothers me is the disparity between the rulings regarding drug related issues and those related to gambling.  Baseball basically bends over backwards in their disciplinary actions when players are tested positive for drugs:

Failure to comply with drug or alcohol treatment program:

  • First failure – 15 to 25 day suspension and/or a fine up to $10,000
  • Second failure – 25 to 50 day suspension and/or fine up to $25,000
  • Third failure  –  50 to 75 day suspension and/or fine of up to $50,000
  • Fourth failure – Minimum of one year suspension and/or fine of up to $100,000 fine
  • Anything after the fifth failure, the level of discipline will be determined my the Commissioner of baseball

As for steroids or PED’s, a player gets 2 chances before receiving a lifetime ban.  First time tested, 80 game suspension, second time, 162 game suspension.

There aren’t any such tiered suspensions in regards to gambling violations.  Major League Ruling 21, paragraph D addresses gambling penalties as such:

Betting on ball games:  Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game with the bettor has no duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year.

Any player, umpire, or club official or employee, who shall be any  sum whatsoever with which the bettor as a duty to perform shall be permanently ineligible.

In other words, betting on a game where you don’t affect the outcome, you are out for a year; in games where you have any influence, you are gone for good.

Rose was never given the chance of tiered disciplinary actions such as players tested for drugs or steroids.  And doesn’t drug or steroid use do more to the determent of the game than gambling does?

Besides, Rose gambled more intensely has a  manager than he ever did as a player.  Fair thing to do is to allow him into the Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a player but don’t ever allow him to have any type of employment in baseball because of his actions as a player.  And of the man wants to buy a ticket and watch a game, for crying out loud, let him.

Rose knows he disrespected baseball.  But there is no one on this planet that loves the game more than he does.  His style of play and constant hustle endeared him to fans and still does to this day.

Hasn’t Rose paid his dues?  Isn’t it enough that because of his discretions, his life after baseball was full of turmoil and grief?  Has he not shown enough remorse for his actions?

Baseball hierarchy needs to re-evaluate its stance on Rose.  I believe Rose has paid his dues and it’s time to welcome the Hit King to his place in baseball.