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Jim Shaw: Ventura, 'click it' and more

Jim Shaw

I’m baaaaack, so fasten your seat belts. Speaking of which …

  • North Dakota’s “Click it or Ticket” campaign is well done. Too bad it’s not true. The fact is, you can drive your car without wearing your seat belt and not get a ticket. That’s because it’s a secondary offense, meaning you have to commit another offense to be cited for driving without a seat belt on.

Meantime, most of the fatal traffic accidents in North Dakota involve drivers or passengers not wearing seat belts. The vast majority of those deaths are preventable. In Minnesota, fatalities dropped dramatically after Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a primary seat-belt law.

If North Dakota is serious about saving lives, wearing seat belts would become a primary law.

  • Congratulations to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura for winning $1.8 million in his defamation lawsuit. The case centered around former Navy Seal-turned author Chris Kyle’s claim that he punched out Ventura in a California bar. Kyle was shot to death last year, allegedly by a Marine veteran he was trying to help cope with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Ventura said the suit was necessary to restore his reputation. If Ventura really wants to restore his reputation, he should donate the money to charities and Kyle’s widow.

  • The two-game suspension by the NFL against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is lame and pathetic. The suspension came after an incident of domestic violence against his current wife.

    Heck, the NFL suspends players for four games for smoking marijuana. Clearly, domestic violence is a more serious offense. The NFL had a chance to make a strong statement on this issue, and blew it. Moreover, with the way Rice played last season, I suspect the Ravens wouldn’t be upset with a longer suspension.

  • If you get a chance, tune in CNN’s series on the 1960s. They cover such topics as President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, civil rights, television and rock music. These documentaries are extremely well done, and serve as great history lessons.
  • Permanent flood protection is needed in Fargo-Moorhead. The diversion seems to be the only viable plan. With Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources opposing the project, the diversion could be on thin ice. It might be hard to get a fiscally conservative Congress to approve $800 million for the project if it becomes too controversial and divisive.
  • When I was in the hospital, the nurses constantly asked me when my birthday is, but not one of them sent me a present, or even a card.

    So much to say, so little space to say it in. See you next week.

  • Shaw was a reporter at WDAY-TV for 21 years, and news director at KVRR-TV (FOX News) for 14 years. He taught mass communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead for 17 years, and has hosted radio programs on KFGO. He received his Bachelor and Master degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. Email