The case of the inspiring athlete, prison and poverty, what can people agree on when it comes to guns, the people pay for the people’s stadium, and do children make you happy?
You see, the problem with Joel Bauman is that he appears to be an honest young man and that doesn’t fly with the NCAA, whose rules about college athletics have caused more than a few bald spots over the years.
Joel Bauman is a wrestler at the University of Minnesota who has posted several rap songs on YouTube, the Star Tribune says..
“I just want to inspire people,” Bauman tells the newspaper.
But, citing NCAA rules, the University of Minnesota has bounced him from the team because student athletes “are not allowed to use their name, image or status as a collegiate student-athlete to promote the sale of a commercial product, including songs affiliated with a music career,” J.T. Bruett, the athletic department’s director of compliance, says.
But Bruett says if Bauman hadn’t used his real name, then things would be OK and he could continue to wrestle at the U of M.
The Kerkoven, Minnesota man was one of the most sought-after wrestling recruits in the country when he was n high school. He had offers from big-time programs but chose Minnesota so his “grandma can come and watch me wrestle,” he said at the time.
He could’ve been a football star but chose wrestling because “wrestling builds character a little more than football,” he said.
He could have given up his music career and wrestle for the U under the NCAA’s rules. But he refused. “I have a calling,” Bauman told Fox 9 said. “I feel like I have a calling. I feel like I was put here to make the world a better place.”
Can reducing the length of prison sentences be one of the answers to chronic poverty?
The New York Times reports that social scientists theorize that the effect of people left behind when a relative goes to prison is to create a generation of poverty.
The U.S. already incarcerates more of its citizens than any other civilized nation and those sentences are generally longer than ever. In the African American community, it says, women have a harder time finding a mate — and economic stability — because so many African American men are locked up.
The story paints a picture of consequences we never imagined…
Epidemiologists have found that when the incarceration rate rises in a county, there tends to be a subsequent increase in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy, possibly because women have less power to require their partners to practice protected sex or remain monogamous.
When researchers try to explain why AIDS is much more prevalent among blacks than whites, they point to the consequences of incarceration, which disrupts steady relationships and can lead to high-risk sexual behavior. When sociologists look for causes of child poverty and juvenile delinquency, they link these problems to the incarceration of parents and the resulting economic and emotional strains on families.
Some families, of course, benefit after an abusive parent or spouse is locked up. But Christopher Wildeman, a Yale sociologist, has found that children are generally more likely to suffer academically and socially after the incarceration of a parent. Boys left fatherless become more physically aggressive. Spouses of prisoners become more prone to depression and other mental and physical problems.
Last evening, PBS NewsHour kicked off a week of PBS programming examining guns in America. Is it possible to consider gun violence in a meaningful way without descending into an unmoving debate on gun control?
New York Times reviewer Mike Hale gives PBS some props, but doesn’t sound convinced that it can:
Any such doubts are not assuaged by the documentary “Guns in America” on Tuesday night. A polished exercise in tasteful neutrality, it pings back and forth like a metronome between gun-control and gun-rights advocates, leaving their arguments unexamined while laying out a history of the role of firearms in American life, beginning with colonial times.
Watch Gun Control Debate Spurs Political Action Across the Nation on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
In many ways, the beginning of the series, “After Newtown” seems more a repackaging of previously stated positions and facts, than a groundbreaking examination.
Is there common ground on this issue somewhere?
In Minnesota, a DFL leader has dropped the idea of gun and ammo bans from a plethora of anti-gun measures filed at the start of the session.
Sen. Ron Latz says the issue is too divisive and he’ll push for tighter background checks and closing of loopholes instead.
During last spring’s debate on the need for Minnesota taxpayers to pony up millions for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, team officials noted with pride the considerable contribution the Vikings were making toward the $1 billion edifice.
“The proposal for the $975 million project includes a $427 million team/ private contribution, the third-largest private contribution in NFL history and 44% of the up-front capital costs,” the Vikings’ stadium page still says.
And by “team contribution,” the team often means “the fans who buy the tickets.”
In today’s Pioneer Press, Bob Sansevere talks with stadium point man Lester Bagley, who affirms the team will charge personal seat licenses, basically charging ticketholders to buy tickets. The team’s contribution also includes the naming rights for the stadium, a perk the Legislature also gave the Wilf family. That money is included in what’s listed as the “team’s contribution.”
Bonus: “Does having children make you happier?” NPR asks this morning. It says a new study rejects the science that previously said it doesn’t. Happy now?
In hydraulic fracturing, a sand made from quartz rock plentiful in our region is blasted into shale rock to extract oil and natural gas. Skyrocketing demand for frac sand, a key ingredient in North Dakota’s energy boom, is creating a gold rush in the hills of southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin.
Local communities have regulated the practice for years, but now state lawmakers are questioning the ability of local governments to manage the process effectively. Today’s Question: Should lawmakers create a statewide standard for frac sand mining?
WHAT WE’RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: The underemployed college student.
Second hour: Why Michelle Obama presents an opportunity for a real, discussion on the role of first ladies.
Third hour: The importance of building community through mentoring.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Gary Eichten moderates an event with Gov. Mark Dayton at St. John’s University.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – An examination of Chicago’s homicide rate.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – TBA