Wisconsin Legislature Must Act In Special Session On Police Shootings; Provide Younger Voters With Hope

Throughout Wisconsin, since Sunday afternoon when Jacob Blake was shot in Kenosha, there has been a high degree of emotion among state residents.  We have witnessed sadness, anger, simmering resentments, misunderstandings, along with an overall sense of utter frustration concerning another police shooting of a Black man.  We know how the coming days will play out.  More newspapers will editorialize about police reform, and talk radio will fill hours of on-air programming about this shooting.  But who we really need to hear from are the ones who make the laws under the statehouse dome. 

Governor Tony Evers has called lawmakers into a special session to take action on a package of bills aimed at reducing police brutality.   Not only are the pieces of legislation worthy of bi-partisan support, but I contend there is an added value to the session by underscoring a truth that too many young people fail to grasp. 

Some people have no faith in the political process and consider the releasing of rage in unacceptable ways as a means to some higher goal.  We have all watched news footage of fires, looting, and death and understand this will lead to no positive end.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of protestors over the past months have been peaceful.  It is for that younger generation that I argue showcasing the special session on police reforms as an avenue on how to create real progress within our political and legislative frameworks.  In so doing our state can take an important step forward by proving the merits of the governing process, and allow younger people to understand the role they play in a democracy.

The session’s aim is to ban police chokeholds and no-knock search warrants.  In addition, it would be more difficult for overly aggressive officers to move from one job to another.  These legislative bills have long been promoted by those advocating for needed police reforms.

A bold and dramatic legislative agenda on the front burner in the Madison Capitol would send a strong message to the peaceful protesters that their words and efforts were not in vain.  In addition, the message from the legislators in a true across-the-aisle fashion would be welcomed by a growing majority of state residents–both rural and urban.  After all, police reform is not only an urban issue.  The Marquette Law School Poll in June found strong support for more accountability for police misconduct.

Views of what to do about the police depend heavily on how the question is worded. “Calls to defund the police” are supported by 23 percent and opposed by 70 percent. In sharp contrast, when asked about “calls to restructure the role of the police and require greater accountability for police misconduct,” 81 percent support such changes, while 16 percent oppose this.

If Republicans and Democrats alike were willing to join in an effort in the special session it would send a clear message that the best way for change is not to start a fire or throw a brick.  It would demonstrate to a new generation of voters and engaged citizens that the legislative process is the best avenue to address wrongs and create changes.  We have an opportunity to prove that the legislative process can be what our civics lessons taught us in our youth.

This moment in time should not be wasted.

Kyle Howard Rittenhouse, The Kenosha Shooter, Was In Front Row Of Trump Rally In January

Color me not shocked!

Read more the white vigilante.

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The law enforcement–obsessed 17-year-old who was charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake appeared in the front row at a Donald Trump rally in January.

Kyle Howard Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting “Blue Lives Matter,” and supporting Trump for president. Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium. He posted a TikTok video from the event.

Kyle Rittenhouse Is White, Would Have Been Shot If Black

Kyle Rittenhouse, the dim-witted terrorist, Trump-supporting, and troubled 17-year-old was finally arrested earlier today in connection with shooting three protesters in Kenosha last night.  Two of the victims have died.

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And this white thug did not, of course, legally own the AK-47, a weapon this blog has long advocated to be removed from further sales.  ⁣What type of piss-poor parenting allowed this gun to ever be handled by such a slice of trouble?

Since he was a caucasian and brandishing a military-type weapon he was allowed to wander about for hours in Kenosha in a very tense and troubling atmosphere.  The local police knew he was there but just gave this emotional rollercoaster a pass.

Then Rittenhouse murdered two men and maimed others. ⁣  The most bizarre part is that he then walked right past the police and drove himself to Illinois. ⁣

The events of last night are appalling for many reasons.  The carnage, the use of a military assault rifle,  and the ease of a white man to kill and walk away as police were there on the scene.

The shootings were captured in several videos posted on social media. Two of the victims – one of whom was shot in the head – have since died. Another was hospitalized.

In one video, Rittenhouse is seen running through a crowd of people in a street. One person appears to yell “That guy shot someone.” He trips and falls, and, as several people move close to him, he’s seen opening fire.

Directly following the second shooting, a group of police vehicles advances on the crowd. Rittenhouse walks toward them and can be seen alternately putting his hands up and touching his gun. As he approaches, the vehicles drive away and Rittenhouse gives them a slight wave.

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A relative placed on her Facebook page a posting hours before the shooting from the white vigilante.  Her words reach out from the screen and speak for so many in our state, and the nation tonight.

I am so MAD!

I pray everyday, I volunteer, I attend rallys, I vote, I reach out to those in need and it feels like it’s not enough. I do not think violence or destruction are the answers, but I understand the frustration and anger.

I really cried today and I know that it’s ok. This stuff is so sad….. and it ain’t even about me. It’s about our country… the America Not So Beautiful!

And so it goes.

Night Three Of Republican National Convention 2020: Featuring Dwight Eisenhower

This week during the Republican National Convention I will feature a Republican each day from the pages of history who acted in exactly the reverse of Donald Trump.  There is no way I can sit and listen to the creative lies being broadcast at the convention this year.  It is the first convention from either party I will have missed watching since starting in 1976.

Monday I  focused on the need for character and shone a light on Gerald Ford.  On Tuesday Abraham Lincoln was featured with an eye on leadership and empathy.    Today the need for strong international alliances is the topic highlighted by Dwight Eisenhower.

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In the 1950s President Dwight Eisenhower worked to strengthen our allies and at the same time encourage nonaligned governments to step closer to the democratic models of leadership.  And we know that there were times when Ike used tough language when he viewed actions of NATO not to be aligned with his own world-view.   But the president also made it known that he was not pulling the rug from under the alliance.

He stated about Europe in 1954, “the obligations which the United States has assumed under the [North Atlantic] Treaty will be honored.”

Over succeeding administrations, there have been periods of dust-ups and questions about financing the defense pact.  But they were dealt with by diplomatic means, with an understanding of the history that underpins the international partnership.

There have been many troubling and deeply concerning statements from Donald Trump about NATO during his term in office.  His bombastic and headline-grabbing trip to Europe sent huge ripples across the governments of our allies.  There was no upside to Trump calling our defense allies freeloaders.  Or scorn them as in some way having taken advantage of American taxpayers. While there have always been discussions about the monies and roles of the alliance there has also been, from each prior administration of both parties, a deep foundation of understanding that our common values, shared interests, and mutual security guarantees were more vital than petty matters.

Trump likes petty matters, however, and therefore sought to undermine the historical niceties that have bound our nations together.  Meanwhile, what Eisenhower knew and practiced, and also what the others who sat in the Oval Office well understood, is that being president often means issues need to be managed.  The grand fix or perfect design for reshaping the topic at hand is not always plausible or desirable, given what the outcome might be.  Therefore maturity, reason, historical understanding, and a softer-touch are often called for when leading.

Ike had those qualifications in abundance.  But in 2020 we see what happens when they are totally absent.

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