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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Holding Police Officers Accountable

Category: Guns
Posted: 03/31/18 18:50

by Dave Mindeman

In Sacramento, a black man was shot 8 times by police while unarmed in his grandmother's back yard. He died. With a family. Father of 2.

And, as it is inevitably the case in these things, the officers claimed he had a gun. He did not. He had a cellphone.

Two officers shot 20 rounds (10 apiece) killing this young man. 20 rounds. 20 fricking rounds.

His name is Stephon Clark and he will soon be buried in Sacramento. Did he really have to die?

Another black man in Baton Rouge, Alton Sterling, was shot multiple times while lying on the ground with an officer on top of him. They may have found a gun in his pocket - but it was not in his hand. Why shoot him? And why multiple times?

Conservatives denigrate the Black Lives Matter protests as overreactions. They are just making trouble. But these incidents are disturbing on so many levels. It is hard to understand how a trained police officer can do these things.

It is blatantly obvious that African Americans are treated differently than whites in police encounters. When an officer confronts a black man, he/she is immediately on a hair trigger. The actions are nervous. The voice tense.

Clearly, something is wrong here and the BLM protests are justified. We need to figure this out. Too many are dying. Too many of these encounters end in fatalities.

Truly, lethal force actions need to be reevaluated. Do the police need multiple shots? Do they need to aim for vital organs?

Cops obviously need to assess situations quickly, but do they need to draw their weapons immediately? I wonder if there has ever been a study about how quickly weapons are drawn when confronting a black suspect vs. a white suspect?

In Britain, cops, for the most part, do not carry weapons. Which is great - but could never work here because we just have too many guns in the general public. And people, knowing this, buy more guns for their own protection. And cops, also knowing this, have to be on high alert at all times. Guns beget guns. And on it goes.

African Americans should not have to fear for their safety when they have a police encounter. The slogan is To Protect and To Serve. The African American community is not being protected or served. They live in fear.

There must be a reckoning here. This is happening much too often and the police must be held accountable. Yes, cops will fear for their lives. But citizens should also not be shot just for being in the wrong place. Police best practices need a serious evaluation and change.

Accountability means that police officers must be accountable for their mistakes or their rush to judgment. The standard defense in officer involved shootings is fearing for their lives - which has also become too broad a standard.

When a weapon is fired - we need a better explanation as to why.
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Trash The Party If You Must - But Remember the Goal

Category: 2018
Posted: 03/27/18 12:03, Edited: 03/27/18 12:07

by Dave Mindeman

I am seriously trying to figure out what some people in this party process actually want. It is difficult to interpret. Some want to trash everything about the Democratic Party. Trash the DCCC. Trash the caucus process. Trash the endorsement process. Trash leadership. Trash the State Party. Trash the conventions. Trash how we even discuss things on the internet. What exactly do you want? Do you want to change the party? Well, then you have a funny way of going about it. Because blowing things up doesn't make anything change. It just blows things up.

I personally have been with the Democratic Party for decades. I have seen a lot of stupid things and I have seen some inspiring things. Those of you who trash the endorsement process would never have heard of Paul Wellstone. Those of you who think the endorsement process is sacrosanct would not have Mark Dayton as governor. Trashing the party gave us Donald Trump. Trashing the party will continue giving us Jason Lewis, Erik Paulsen, and Tom Emmer.

Where were all these complainers when Steve Sarvi was running for Congress? Where were you for Teresa Daly, Coleen Rowley, Shelley Madore, and Mike Obermueller? Where were you? If you don't have a history with this party and only want to trash it, what are you accomplishing?

I have had many disagreements with the party. My wife and I have constantly come up against obstacles for needed change. But we don't just give up. We don't just take our toys and go home when those disagreements happen. We need to ultimately just win elections to fix any of this. Internal arguments are fine, but keep your eyes on the goal. To oust Republicans. You are entitled to complain about what you do not like - but if you are a member of an organization, you still have basic principles to uphold and continue.

We had a rough cycle in 2018. But the Republicans had help. Help from foreign money. Foreign media. NRA money dumps. And a whole lot of manipulation of our core values. The Russians wanted us to turn on each other and they succeeded.

And that continues today. The Republican model of divide and conquer is alive and well. Yet, we still have an opportunity to come back. The GOP has once again overplayed their hand. We have a motivated youth movement. And we have President who is incompetent. Let's get back to basics. We are the party of the working class. We are the party of the poor and impoverished. We are the party of minority rights. The party of reproductive rights. The party of sensible gun laws. Act like it. Unite behind those ideals.

Complaining about the Democratic Party is a time tested right. But my test for your sincerity is this - will you still be working for the party if your candidate does not win?
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We Need To Win CD2 - We Need Angie Craig

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 03/27/18 11:15

by Dave Mindeman

In CD2 in Minnesota, these are the numbers that I cannot ignore....
......................................... Raised........... On Hand
Jason Lewis (incumbent)....$1,048,000.......$717,591
Angie Craig ....................... $550,968.........$432,509
Jeff Erdmann ......................$104,792.........$11,431

I think all Democrats agree that we need to get big money and corporations out of politics. But in order to do that we must elect people who will follow that through. Jeff Erdmann cannot compete here. He simply cannot. Even if he believes that his message is a winner, he has no means to get that out to the public on a large enough scale. Maybe, just maybe, he could make it work in a legislative campaign - but a Congressional one? Not possible.

We have had good Democratic candidates in the past. They just had no means to compete because they did not have the resources. Even Angie Craig will have a tougher time keeping up with the GOP protections that will work to keep Jason Lewis in office.

This 2018 election is important and winnable. We have to have our best in the competition. We can't have pie in the sky naievete. There is just too much at stake.

We need Angie Craig. We need her experience. We need her abilities. And yes, we need the money she can raise.

Angie Craig MUST be the endorsed candidate in CD2.

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