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Madison Shooters, Unemployment, And Jobs

August 13, 2017

Madison has had a terrible amount of shootings this year, and deaths from gun violence.  I know there is a concerted effort to understand why the shootings occur, what can be done to change the culture, and also create opportunities for lost and wayward young black men.

One of the arguments I hear in personal conversations, as well as with media accounts, revolves around the lack of jobs in our city.  We are blessed with low unemployment, and that can, understandably, create fewer places for a young, unskilled person to have as a first job to add on a resume.

But again today, while reading the dining section in the Wisconsin State Journal, I came across a story about the 46-year-old Colonial Bakery needing to close due to “a shortage of help”.  Just a few weeks ago I was talking with a man who was working truly long days–and doing so day after day–in a coffee shop as there were no takers for the job openings.

I grant you that after the 100th cup of coffee poured for customers that gig can get tiring very quickly.  It probably takes longer to tire of the smell of bakery.  But in either case both places of employment are highly credible, straight-forward work to paycheck occupations.

But it takes employees who want to work.  And therein is too often the problem with some of our youth.

The jobs I listed and many others like them in our city may not be (and thankfully so) as adventuresome as running from the cops or trying to pick up hot spent cartridges so they can not be used as evidence.  But they are jobs that build skills, and even if not to ones liking, does build a resolve and incentive to study more, and work harder to get the type of job one desires.

While there are clearly job creation needs for the young black men in our community let us not forget that there are many jobs–though perhaps un-glamorous–that are waiting to be filled today. But complaining about life takes no skill.   It also is a crutch.

Sampling Of Front Pages Of Sunday Newspapers Following Deadly White Nationalist Rally In Virginia

August 13, 2017

Angry White Men In Charlottesville Against The Rest Of America

August 12, 2017

The news today from Charlottesville showcases what is wrong with angry white men. They need to let everyone know they are really upset about their slave-holding heroes, in the form of statues, being removed from public property.  And yes, you uneducated hicks, slavery was America’s original sin.

White men just seem incensed about everything these days.  They can no longer beat women without the law stepping in, they need to respect gay legal rights in the country, and can not demand that brown-skinned people just ‘go home’.    Times are rough for Bubba and his big-bellied buddies.

So they decided to gather in Virginia and put on a display about how upset they are with grave injustices they have had to endure.  In the process they killed three people, injured others, and demonstrated why they must be stopped.

The angry white men gathered in Charlottesville were goons on steroids.  The bigoted white nationalists, many of which I need to point out were mimicking soldiers in the way they were dressed, were working over-time to incite violence.  I might add if they had ever worked over-time at their education they would not have such a sorry place in their family genealogy.  Looking at the coverage on the news today you just know many of those family trees would be more like a wreath.  How many of them did find dates at their family reunions?

The vile words and antics of the white angry men were confronted by patriotic ones who showed up to proclaim what America looks like in the face of putrid and rancid bigotry.

But it was just not the angry white men who made for a profile in national embarrassment today.   An equally humiliating experience for this nation was the limp-dicked response of President Trump to this mess.

Let us recall that once news broke of a terrorist attack in Paris in November 2015, Trump immediately tweeted that he was praying for “the victims and hostages.”    It was only minutes following a a shooting at a gay Orlando nightclub in June 2016, when Trump tweeted he was “right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

So where was the Muslim hater today today when a protest led by white nationalists who arrived with torches and chants in Charlottesville already on Friday night turned violent?  Why did it take so long for the modern-day Mussolini to tweet a response?

What was galling on top of galling was Trump, who can not stop tweeting on the toilet any other morning, kept quiet even as hate-monger David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, dumped his sewage out.  Duke declared Charlottesville is a “turning point” for a movement that aims to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”

It was only hours later that Trump was able to feebly give a tepid and mealy-mouthed statement without using words such as “white supremacy” or “white nationalism.  He plays so cozy with the vile angry white men who are his political pawns.  They were so easily played in the election for the saps they prove themselves to be.

But others across the national political landscape today did speak out.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee tweeted: “ ‘White supremacy’ crap is worst kind of racism-it’s EVIL and perversion of God’s truth to ever think our Creator values some above others.”

Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Cory Gardner both urged the president to use the words “white supremacists” and to label this as a terrorist attack.

Senator John McCain released a strongly worded statement that said, in part: “White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special.”

Senator Hatch tweeted: “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

What we witnessed today was simply wretched.  It was so bad it forced the hand of the governor to declare a state of emergency.  I was thinking as events unfolded that some of the game plan for North Korea might have been used as a training exercise against the white goons in Charlottesville today.

As I kept being updated on the news I thought back to a statement made by Abraham Lincoln.   I knew the gist of it and needed to locate it so the wording would be accurate and here it is. This is how I feel today.

“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” 

Will Democratic Senator Manchin Help Secure Trump A Senate Majority

August 12, 2017

This could be most disturbing if what Bloomberg reports has validity.

Some White House and Republican officials are exploring the idea of putting West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in charge of the Energy Department, according to four people familiar with the discussions, a move that could boost President Donald Trump’s stalled legislative agenda.

If Manchin were offered and accepted the position, that would allow West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice — a newly minted Republican — to appoint a GOP successor and bring the party a vote closer in the Senate to being able to repeal Obamacare. The idea is in the early stages of consideration, and it’s unclear whether it has support within the administration … A spokesman for Manchin declined to say whether the senator would take the Energy secretary job — currently held by former Texas Governor Rick Perry — if offered.


This Week Was Bad For World Order–And Trump Is The Reason

August 12, 2017

Associated Press.

Faced with perhaps his gravest international crisis yet, President Donald Trump this week responded precisely as his some of supporters hoped and his critics long feared. The mix of plain-spoken bluster, spontaneity and norm-breaking risk that defined his political rise defined his approach to a round of fresh threats from nuclear North Korea. When Pyongyang punched, Trump counter-punched harder – much as he did on a debate stage flanked by political opponents.

But this was not a Florida debate stage or a low-stakes celebrity Twitter war of the sort Trump perfected before entering politics. It was a standoff over North Korea’s rapidly developing nuclear program, complete with trading threats of war and the safety of millions in the balance. Over the course of the week, Trump unleashed provocative rhetoric and dismissed the careful or precise diplomatic language favored by his predecessors.

Still, Trump’s strategy was familiar. He tweeted regularly. He took it personally. He spoke off the cuff. He talked – a lot – holding a two-day blitz of press conferences, each yielding moments that immediately sparked chatter, confusion, criticism and attention.

In Memory Of Mom, Geneva Schwarz

August 11, 2017

In memory of my Mom and a good cup of coffee along with the great conversations we shared. In 2007, on this date, she died. It rained a bit here this morning as I post this and still recall how she taught me to love these types of days as so much indoor stuff can be completed, or books read. There was never a bad weather day, just another way to enjoy it. Love you, Mom.


Senator Ron Johnson Should Have Met My Third Grade Teacher

August 10, 2017

One of my classmates in third grade had some type of physical disability which required him to wear a brace on one leg.  A metal piece wrapped around his boot at the place where the heel started, and connected to whatever was placed on his leg which was always covered with jeans.  He was able to walk but with just a slower gait.

I recall everyone was ushered into one classroom after lunch recess where a stern lecture was given by my teacher.  Someone had yelled that a game had been lost because the boy with a bad leg had not been able to run fast enough.  With no mincing of words our teacher spoke about what good sportsmanship meant, and underlined that such remarks which belittled someone due to a disability was just mean.

After reading what Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said recently about another person who has a physical and medical situation made me think back to my third grade teacher.

In a Chicago radio interview Johnson suggested that Arizona Senator John McCain’s brain tumor, and the early morning hours, may have affected his vote on the Senate bill to repeal Obamacare.

“Again, I’m not going to speak for John McCain — he has a brain tumor right now — that vote occurred at 1:30 in the morning, some of that might have factored in.”

I know in the last number of years the level of political rhetoric and sharp attacks has increased in such a way no one–especially those of us who closely follow the daily news –should ever again be surprised by anything.  And yet I admit to being taken aback by Johnson’s remarks.

After catching flack for the awful remarks Johnson tried to make amends.

“I have nothing but respect for him (McCain), and the vote came at the end of a long day for everyone.

The vote did come at the end of a long day in the Senate but the interview Johnson gave was days after the congress adjourned for the August recess.  So what is the excuse to be given for his truly mean-spirited comment?

Most of us recall that in 2010 this state had two candidates seeking office who were suffering from cancer.  Republican lieutenant governor candidate Rebecca Kleefisch had colon cancer, and Ed Thompson running for the state senate was fighting pancreatic cancer.

I just know everyone from both sides of the aisle only wished the best for those two individuals during the hardest fight anyone will go through.  I know some stated at the time that if Thompson were as scrappy with cancer as he had been in politics the disease was in for a real fight.  In the end Thompson died, but thankfully we can say Kleefisch is a strong survivor.

Many at that time knew when it came to those two candidates the latest Wisconsin polls or the spin from that ad or endorsement did not seem so important.  All of a sudden the importance of just being alive and healthy was top of the list, and far more important than how to score on the political opponent.

So that is why when I heard the words from Johnson I felt it bite deep down.  After all, this is not how one should operate when it comes to someone fighting a health problem, such as cancer.

The kid from my childhood moved with his family after being in our school district a short time.   But because of him my class learned a valuable lesson in how to act towards others who may not have all that we do.  My third grade teacher made sure about that.

I suspect that if she were alive Mrs. Doherty would say to the Senator this might be a time to think about all the little things we take for granted everyday.  And be thankful for what we have.  And then not say mean things to others.

It really is that simple, Senator.

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