Urban Milwaukee Published My Post On Covid-19 Deaths

Urban Milwaukee published my article about the numbing nature of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19.

WISC-TV Uses Ferguson Footage For Milwaukee Police Story

Saturday night WISC-TV in Madison reported a story on claims Milwaukee police are ‘policing for profit.’  Reporters have a duty to follow the stories that arise and allow the facts to lead the way.  I have always championed that about journalists.

What I found truly troubling with the story during the late news was video footage of the City of Ferguson Police Department Municipal Building, which was clearly labeled as such, being shown while a Milwaukee resident, Tawandra Bridges, described her personal situation of being ticketed by Milwaukee police.

I have no way to explain how anyone at WISC thought this news segment was ready for air given such a most obvious blunder.  It reminded me of FOX News showing footage of  political discord, claiming it was happening in Madison during the ACT 10 protests.  The problem was how did the palm trees shown in that footage get in our city during winter?

What I suspect happened was some very bad editing at WISC was attempted on a national news story from CBS.   Because of that problem the images of Ferguson were placed into the story about Milwaukee police.

That is troubling because it is a stain on all the hard working and professional law enforcement officers to be likened to those troubled ones in Ferguson.  It would be akin to a news story on the important broadcast journalists in our nation and then drop in stock footage of Ted Baxter.

I understand mistakes happen in broadcasting, and as a former on air-broadcaster myself, I have my list of ‘Good God’ moments, too.  I am not trying to be unduly harsh on WISC or those responsible for the news Saturday night.  But when police and related issues are so much in the news there is a need for even more attention to detail from those reporting the stories.

 

 

Burning Cars, Three Businesses In Flames, Following Police Shooting In Milwaukee

Milwaukee is tense and needless violence from rioting is taking place tonight following a police shooting that killed a suspect with a stolen gun and hundreds of rounds of ammo.  Tonight a gas station was set on fire and then conditions from those with weapons made it too dangerous for the fire department to respond in a timely fashion. Reports have two other places of business up in flames–that seems the smart response…..take out places where people work and make money. Bus shelters have been thrown into the street. This is simply insanity.   Open some tear gas and clear out the area and bring order to the chaos.
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Society Should Demand Badger Guns Be Closed After Losing Lawsuit Over Shot Officers

As we all know the gun culture is very much alive and deadly in Wisconsin.  Part of the reason for that are those who make blood money by selling weapons.  To blunt that tide of events and at the same time apply the law to most a dangerous gun seller a jury on Tuesday sent a very strong message.

Too often when we hear about guns it is for tragic reasons.  Thanks to a jury decision gun control advocates can see some ray of common sense shining through the other awful headlines that often plague the Milwaukee area when this matter is in the news.

After a most compelling court case a jury found for two wounded police officers in their nationally watched lawsuit against Badger Guns and awarded the officers $5 million.   This type of justice was long in coming.

What was allowed to happen at Badger Guns impacted us all.  Let me put it plainly as I do not want anyone to miss the point.

If there were raw sewage being thrown into the streets by Badger Guns steps would have been taken to remedy the matter.  If an outbreak of a deadly communicable disease occurred within their doors the city would have stepped in and acted immediately.  Instead a total of 1,880 crime guns recovered in Milwaukee were linked to Badger between January 2006 and Sept. 1, 2009– or more than one a day, according to a Journal Sentinel analysis done at the time.  Over the years the public endured the blood and pain that was caused by this business through their gun sales.

Badger Guns, and its predecessor, Badger Outdoors, have accounted for roughly one-third of all crime guns traced by Milwaukee police in the past and that fact can not in any be rationalized.   The court case this fall dealt with the lack of responsibility Badger Guns took to protect the public from ‘straw-man’ tactics when it sold a gun used to shoot two Milwaukee police officers in the head six years ago.  The eight women and four men came to the correct decision about the need for a business of this type to undertake the highest standards so not to allow for negligent gun sales.  Time and and again Badger Guns made headlines that only left the rank-and-file citizens who ultimately pay the price for gun violence to shake their heads in dismay.

Tuesday brought some justice for those who have watched over the years as this disreputable business seemed to never understand they needed to abide by the laws when it came to selling deadly weapons.

I have called before on this blog for this business to be shut down.  There is no way to condone what caused the wounding of police officers, and numerous other killings and crimes as they are linked to Badger Guns.  After what we have heard from testimony over the past two weeks in this trial there is only one question that remains to be answered.

How many more wounded police officers will be needed before society says to Badger Guns ‘enough is enough’?   It is time for us to shutter the doors and close this place down once and for all.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn Says What Needs To Be Heard About Police, Guns, And Crime

Tough words and solid logic from someone fighting on the front lines for public safety.  That sums up the interview of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn Sunday morning on Up Front as his city fights the dregs who are working to undermine the citizenry.

I was not prepared for the blunt words that came from Flynn, but was agreeing with everything that he said.  At a time when too many are painting all police and law enforcement officers with a large brush Flynn reminds us by his reasoned approach and deep concern about the issues that there is plenty of reason to have faith in those who wear a uniform.

If everyone who had a beef with the police would consider the root causes of the social forces that help to create the mess officers have to wade into every day they might have a less harsh tone for the ones who serve us.    From the economic plight of blighted communities to the special interests of the soulless gun lobby and the spineless politicians who do their bidding it is the police who are asked to keep the peace as poverty and too many guns combine.

If you sense anger in the words of Flynn you are right.  We all should be exercised about this social breakdown.  Instead of bashing the ones who are working to bring order to chaos we instead need to demand relief from the elected ones who have the power to make the needed changes.

What is happening in Milwaukee with gun violence is gut-wrenching.  The fact there were four shootings in Madison within a 12-hour period this weekend is outlandish.  But we must do more than hear the news.  We need to be as loud as Flynn about the needs for change and that starts by calling our elected leaders and expressing our feelings.  We must demand changes that will impact the lives of those seeking better schools, more jobs, and fewer guns.

(The transcript for the Flynn interview was all in caps. There is not a way for me to place the video directly on this blog so the best is the link above that I strongly encourage you to watch.)

THERE ARE PLACES IN THE CITY WERE AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE LIVING LIKE THEY LIVE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, ALL RIGHT? ALTHOUGH THE VAST MAJORITY OF VIOLENCE IN THE CITY IS OVERWHELMINGLY CONCENTRATED AMONG PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS, THOSE PEOPLE HAVE FIREARMS AND USE THEM WANTONLY. IF YOU LIVE IN THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS, THERE’S A CHANCE THAT THE CHARACTERS WILL SHOOT UP THE WRONG HOUSE AND YOUR BABY WILL GET SHOT. THERE IS A CHANCE THESE CHARACTERS WILL SHOOT UP THE WRONG HOUSE AND YOUR CHILD WILL GET KILLED. THERE IS A CHANCE THAT YOU WILL GET HIT IN A CROSSFIRE. JUST THE OTHER NIGHT — WE HAVE RECORD PEOPLE OUT THERE WAS SIGNIFICANT SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT, SO WE ARE UNDETERRED BY THAT INVOLVEMENT IN EASY ACCESS TO FIREARMS.

THE RIGHT-WING COULD NOT CARE LESS HOW MANY YOUNG, DEAD BLACK MEN I HAVE AS LONG AS THEY HAVE UNFETTERED ACCESS TO HIGH-QUALITY FIREARMS. AND THE LEFT WING FROM WHAT I COULD TELL CANNOT CARE LESS ABOUT HOW MANY DEAD BLACK MEN I HAVE AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT UNDULY INCONVENIENCED BY THE POLICE AS THEY GO ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS.

Glad Milwaukee Being Considered Of Help For Children From Central America

This is news we should welcome.

This news underscores the humanitarian approach that needs to be provided for the children who have fled violence and poverty of Central America.   While there is no way to pretend that every child from some place else can or should be allowed to come to this country in the way that we have witnessed with these children over the past weeks it also goes without saying that we first offer a helping hand.  We can work out the policy in time.  But for now there needs to be warm beds, food, and security for the children.  And some love and attention.

These are kids.  Like those who sit around our dinner tables or gather at the local park or beach.  Lets move past the spite and rancor and consider how we might feel at their age in a different country and unsure of everything going on around us, including the language.  The meanness needs to end and some simple common sense needs to see us through this episode that we find ourselves dealing with this summer.

Milwaukee could potentially become a destination for some of the thousands of children now flooding the U. S. border from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. 

Father David Bergner, the director of Catholic Charities here, said that its parent organization, Catholic Charities USA, has been asked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to look for sites that might be able to handle the influx of unaccompanied children immigrants. 

“We were asked to find potential sites that could accommodate from 100 to 300 children,” he said. “Three hundred won’t happen, but we can consider 100.”

Three potential sites have been identified as possibilities, he said, although he would not give specifics.

The centers would need to be staffed and the children’s day-to-day needs cared for.  Assistance would probably come from the office of refugee resettlement.

Bergner said his staff has bilingual workers, including two from Central America.

“Right now we’re pre-positioning to assist if we’re called,” he said.

Bergner said he believes Milwaukee is under consideration because of its proximity to Chicago, which has an immigration court. Catholic Charities here also has a legal services program for  immigrants.  

A Good Gun Story To Read

This is what we need more of in this state, and nation.

Among the slate of events is a gun buyback at Tabernacle Community Baptist Church that received the backing of Milwaukee police, clergy leaders and business owners, including Marty Forman, owner of Midwest Forman Recycling on the city’s north side.

“I always thought it was a good idea. It so fits what we do,” Forman said of the gun buyback. “The world of recycling is taking the things that society no longer needs and remelting them into a form that you do need. It saves resources, and in this particular case, it will save lives.”

About $76,000 already has been pledged in private donations to assist with the cost of the gun buyback, with support from many other scrap metal companies, he said. No city taxpayer money is involved.

The guns will be melted and forged into garden tools “to bring life to the city,” Forman said.

Scott Walker Emails Will Allow Wisconsinites To Take Measure Of The Man

Regardless of our political affiliation, or our desire to talk about policy and not get mired into the muck of politics, there is no escaping the fact that we all get excited about the intrigue of the backroom deals and the conversations from our leaders that the public is never intended to know about.

For the most part those private dealings and dialogues either verbally or written are never the stuff that creates headlines.  The vast majority of what takes place when campaigns are underway, or policy is being crafted goes unknown by the public.

But every now and then something occurs which leads someone in the field of justice to pause and take notice.  That is what happened to Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive.  Following the investigation the public is now aware that not only was there smoke, but also a fire.  As a result people have a strong desire to better understand that situation.   That is why the 27,000 pages of emails released today are of such importance, and why they will be the topic for reporters for some time to come in this state.

My liberal friends are wondering what the emails might hold that can tarnish Walker, perhaps undermine his electoral chances for re-election in November, and even thwart his 2016 presidential ambition.   My conservative friends are trying to spin the emails as a diversion from pressing issues that are not getting headline inches and labeling all the drama today as just partisan politics at its most base level.    But all these friends from both sides of the aisle are very political.

But for the average voter in this state I think what happened today goes deeper than just partisanship.

Wisconsinites  clearly have a certain definition in their mind about Walker.  I also strongly suspect that be it favorable or otherwise the average voter wants to be fair and allow for the better half of anyone, and that includes a politician like Walker, to be given the benefit of the doubt.  Until proven otherwise.

And that is the potential danger for Scott Walker when it comes to these emails and documents.

Over the entire period of time that Walker has been investigated there has been a strong push from his team to portray him as not being involved with those who were clearly enmeshed in activities that ran counter to ethics and the law.  He has stated, as much as one can when under such probes, how he was not aware of who might be the subject of the investigation, but that he was willing to co-operate.  He worked hard to put a veneer of “I was not involved’ all over himself for the public to see.

But if the emails show something different, that the preacher’s son is not so far removed from the gritty world of politics as he would have us believe, and in fact that his actions rubbed ever so close to the edge of legality and honesty than that is something the public will take note of.    That is when the average Wisconsin voter starts to reevaluate the measure of the man.

And that is when Scott Walker might have reason for concern.

Voters have a gut reaction to those they elect.  They may have policy difference with a politician but give them a pass if they feel that the one seeking their vote is trustworthy and not working over-time on political games to make a personal score.

It will be interesting to see if the voters think the emails show Walker to be a classy man who only wanted what was best for Milwaukee residents, or if he was the calculating and highly driven political partisan that many claim him to be.