Madison School Board Member Ali Muldrow Used Trump Tactics

UPDATE–ACTION ALERT–Sign Petition and remove Ali Muldrow from Madison School Board.

To say I am very disheartened with Ali Muldrow would be a severe understatement.

Since 2015 I have lamented the tone, style, and tactics of Donald Trump with his use of bombastic language, lack of facts, and wild exaggerations.  I have wondered how deep his impact would be on the body politic.  While our political discourse has always been frothy in the history of our nation there is no doubt the wheels appear to be coming off the bus since Trump arrived on the scene as a presidential candidate.

But with the words and statements used by Madison School Board member Muldrow regarding local police, Nazis, and concentration camps I am truly saddened, given this is a very liberal and seemingly educated area.   If we can not rise higher in our discourse and ability to argue a point what hope is there for the hinterlands?

On Saturday, Muldrow said on Facebook, “I think that (it’s) important to talk about what it is like for the students who are arrested at school and end up in the Dane County Jail. We would not talk about the role of the Nazis and act as if the experiences people had in concentration camps is a separate issue.”

I was stunned at her words, and equally so at the lack of her awareness of what occurred during one of the most inhumane chapters of the 20th century.  I am sure she has a number of degrees and diplomas, but this weekend she acted as if she had never opened a history book in her lifetime.

There is no excuse for making such an outlandish and hurtful statement.  It was not as if Muldrow misspoke, as what she offered was in writing which takes more time and awareness to prepare.  The harm she did with local efforts to unite people who have varying perspectives on local police and oversight issues will take time to sort out.  That she consciously linked our police with Nazis and the efforts to stem violence in schools with concentration camps is stupefying. 

I have never been to the sites where concentration camps were set up by Hitler’s men.  But I have studied history, read a great deal, and saw enough documentary coverage to know that what happens to teenagers who run afoul of society’s expectations in high school are not being subjected to anything comparable to a concentration camp.

The bar in our country for political discourse is pathetically low.  I do not have a great deal of hope from conservatives in lifting it, as they seem only willing to support Trump’s tone and style.  But I need to have faith that liberals and progressives can elevate our conversations that are much needed if we are to govern and learn from one another.

What Muldrow did was of such lack of principle and common sense that she will not find any soft words of apology will carry away the harm and hurt she purposefully placed into the community.

And so it goes.

My Letter To Editor Published In Wisconsin State Journal Thanking Barry Adams

From today’s Wisconsin State Journal.

Thanks to State Journal reporter Barry Adams for Sunday’s article “Hotel preserves state history.”

Newspapers provide the news we need to know, keeping us abreast of an ever-changing world, be it down the block or around the globe. Adams proved the rich past is as much a story to be told, and known, as the latest actions from a legislative body.

With deft writing, Adams pulled readers back to a time when grand homes in Madison were constructed and lived in by notables. If the walls could talk in these homes, we would want Adams to be the one to chronicle the tales.

Newspapers face tough economic times, but no other medium would have allowed Adams to bring such a fascinating story, with such details, to the public. He allowed insight into the past, along with another reason why newspapers are relevant.

Gregory Humphrey, Madison

115th Flight Wing In Madison Praised As F-35 Jets Are Discussed

This week the Wisconsin State Journal had a guest column which was most timely given the local discussion in advance of F-35 jets being placed at Truax field.  The day-to-day work of the flight wing is not as well known in the area as one might think, given the close proximity they are as neighbors and friends.

Pat Richter, who needs no background biography to be given in our area, wrote a column which sums up a more-or-less typical day for this group dedicated to the community where they live and work.

Later that evening, dangerous storms produced tornadoes. Damaging winds tore through northern Wisconsin. The damage was so severe that Gov. Tony Evers declared a statewide emergency and activated the Wisconsin National Guard. Members of the 115th Fighter Wing volunteered for active duty and were sent to northern Wisconsin. With little notice, they left their homes and families and have spent nearly a month stationed in Polk, Barron and Langlade counties. They have cleared trees that blocked over 50 miles of roads and hauled away more than 1,500 truckloads of debris.

What I find amusing, in light of the facts, are the number of people who have something negative to say about the F-35 jets, or even in isolated conversations about the pilots who have dedicated their skills to flying these aircraft, but have no idea how the fighter wing contributes to our daily lives.

I argue these jets are needed and it is our duty to support them at Truax.


Donald Trump Is A Grifter


Even partisan Republicans must admit the most unseemly side of Donald Trump in the White House is the use of the office for his personal financial gain.  Even the most gung-ho supporters of Trump must be taken aback by the guardrails of ethics, common-sense, and decency coming undone as the news of his most brazen lack of respect for the nation is playing out this week.

Trump wants to have the Doral golf resort as the setting for the next G-7 Summit. The fact he owns the Miami-area resort, and there is no way to attend and not spend money at his property, should send alarm bells pealing all over the nation.

News of this resort is not new as reports for some time have alerted us to the financial downturn in their profits due to well, Trump himself.  His behavior in office, and on the world stage, has cost him.  A financial disclosure report filed with the federal government this year showed revenue at the club has barely been growing — up just $1 million to $76 million.  Trump’s financial disclosure also shows he owes a lot of money to Deutsche Bank for the property, which helped him buy it in 2012. As of the end of last year, Trump had two mortgages on the resort, one for more than $50 million, the other for as much as $25 million.

So Trump needs to get cracking on making this business venture more profitable as his months in office comes ticking to a close due to the upcoming election. So what better way to fleece the system than to have the G-7 meeting at the resort and make an extraordinary amount of money.  Money making, after all, is what this whole political enterprise has been about for Donald Trump and his entire brood.

The fact is, over and over, one can find news articles that show the lack of income growth for the place where Trump wants to have international attention to be focused.  A Trump Organization consultant told the Miami-Dade Value Adjustment Board last year that the property was “severely underperforming,” according to The Washington Post. The local government cut the resort’s assessed value for 2018 from $110.3 million to $105.6 million, according to county records.

And news articles point out there is a long list of former Doral members who quit the club years ago but are still waiting for their initial deposits back. New members have to join first for old ones to get refunds.  But the slow pace on new members wishing to join means that some former members have been waiting for 10 years or longer.

The grifting nature of Trump and his entire clan runs counter to the way another businessman, President Jimmy Carter operated upon being elected.  Carter had been managing the family-owned peanut farm, warehouse, and store in Plains, Georgia since his dad died in 1953, but when he became president, he put it into a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest.

In so doing Carter demonstrated respect for the laws of the nation, self-respect, and respect to the people who elected him to serve in the highest office in the land.  Carter did not aim to make money off of the presidency.  Today Trump and his family show what happens when there is no respect for anything but money and all-out-greed.

Most of the nation lives at the center of sensibilities where Carter has resided his whole life.  The home he and Roslyn live in is a two-bedroom valued at $167,000.  Carter has been known to buy his clothes at the Dollar General and he often flies commercial.

The rank-and-file Republican Trump supporter lives like Carter but caters and fawns over the biggest scammer and con artist who has ever stepped into the White House.  Trump supporters hoot and holler about their love of the nation along with the need to be respected around the world.

But look who they support.  And what Donald Trump is, and what he does for self-enrichment every day in office.

And so it goes.