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Hoy Wisconsin Today Hola amigos que tal soy mariella Godinez-Munoz…

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21016-religious-pix-1God Isn’t Far Away

My Friend

God isn’t far away

But surrounds you with his love.

It was him who opened your eyes this morning,

It is his strength

That will carry you through this day,

And it is in his peace

That your heart will find rest tonight.

God isn’t far away.

He is the light of this day,

He is the sky above you,

And the earth beneath you,

And the life of every living thing.

God isn’t far away.

He is in every smile,

In every thought that gives you hope,

In every tear that waters your soul,

In every moment you can’t face alone.

God isn’t far away.

He is the love on a loved one’s face,

He is in the friends along the way,

In strangers you’ve yet to meet

And blessings you’ve yet to receive.

My Friend,

God isn’t far away.

He is in every good thing that touches you.

He is in every step you make

And every breath you take.

God isn’t far away

For He is with you always………

21016roberto-ruizDaniel Bryan: The Ultimate Underdog

For months the wrestling community has fantasy booked the surprise return of Daniel Bryan to WWE. On Monday night Raw the fantasy booking was finally put to an end, not with the return of the leader of the YES! Movement but with the announcement of his retirement. Daniel Bryan was the underdog that the WWE universe could rally behind, the anti-authority wrestler’s wrestler. He was never destined for greatness in the WWE, but with the help of his rabid fans, he reached out and grabbed the proverbial brass ring.

Daniel Bryan, whose real name is Bryan Danielson, was the darling of the indie wrestling community before he came to WWE in 2009. He was nicknamed “The American Dragon” while wrestling for indie promotions such as Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerilla because of his hard-hitting style and wrestling ability. The fact is that there was no better wrestler in the world than Daniel Bryan. Sure, his promos could use a little help but his in-ring storytelling was unparalleled.  At 5’8” and 190 pounds he was hardly the prototypical, tall, muscle bound, human being that usually graces the cover of WWE media (see: John Cena, The Rock, Hulk Hogan). Because of his physical limitations, when the WWE signed Bryan in 2009 it was widely feared that he would be buried in the WWE’s undercard and we would never again see a 20 minute match from the American Dragon.

For years Bryan languished in the mid-card, stealing the show while wrestling against Dolph Ziggler, and providing plenty of laughs in the tag team of Team Hell No with Kane. Though he was being given a spotlight, he was never given a chance to shine under The Spotlight. At one point Bryan was fired for choking announcer Justin Roberts when he and a group of other wrestlers were told to go out and cause chaos. Choking, for the record, is strictly not PG and we live in a PG WWE era. In a sport where the audience is prodded to cheer for the underdog, Bryan was the ultimate underdog; it just took WWE a few years to figure that out.

In the scripted world of wrestling it is often difficult to determine what is fake and what is real, so the following is what is the generally agreed upon opinion of the wrestling community (and is corroborated by leaked information from WWE officials).

After losing in two Wrestlemania’s in a row against Sheamus, one on the pre-show card and another in an opening match that last eight (8) seconds, Daniel Bryan fans were clamoring for a push for the bearded superstar. Bryan was given a championship title match against John Cena at Summerslam and he proceeded to get a clean win over the face of the franchise, a rare distinction that is made even rarer by the fact that Cena never got a win in return. After the championship match, with the crowd going crazy, Triple H (the face of the Authority and real life COO of WWE) hit Bryan from behind and allowed Randy Orton to win the championship. A championship reign that lasted all of a few minutes was the gift to the WWE Universe. It was probably a work but it was expected that the fans would die down in their support for Bryan, but they only got louder. On one segment promoting an upcoming title match between Cena and Orton, the crowds chant for Bryan grew so loud that it hijacked the segment. When Bryan was not included in the annual Royal Rumble event the following February, the crowd booed perennial babyface (good guy) Rey Mysterio when he was announced as the final entrant. The booing continued until the show concluded.

Finally, WWE was forced to create a storyline that included Bryan winning the championship or risk having their biggest event (Wrestlemania) being drown out with boos. A storyline was born, and Bryan was forced to defeat Triple H in a one-on-one match to open the show, and then beat Randy Orton and Batista (Dave Bautista) in the main-event of the show. It was then that the ultimate underdog raised the unified WWE World Heavyweight Championship high above his head to the deafening chants of YES! YES! YES!

But the story did not end there, a month later Bryan was forced to undergo neck and elbow surgery and relinquish his championship. When he returned almost a year later, he went on to win the secondary championship, the Intercontinental Championship, at Wrestlemania. His fans were satisfied, but he again had to relinquish the belt when he suffered a concussion and would be unable to wrestle for an extended period of time a few weeks later.

Daniel Bryan is the story of a man whose lifelong dream to become the best wrestler in the world was realized before he was on the world’s grandest stage. His years on the indie scene deteriorated his body to the point that his life on the top of the mountain was short lived. Still, we will always have that image of Bryan at Wrestlemania 30 with confetti falling and the entire stadium chanting with him.

Thank you, Bryan.

takingsidesRecent act of vigilantism took place in our community

The violent beating of a teenager accused of attempting a carjacking who then tried to flee the scene — only to be caught by a group of men, is the talk on social media this week.

The teenager was dealt some street Justice according to witnesses in the south side after he was caught.

A photo of the boy left lying on the snow after being beaten by a group of men has gone viral.

The photo has many people in the south side community wondering if he deserved it.

Milwaukee police are investigating the incident and released this statement to FOX6 News on this incident:

“Milwaukee police are investigating an attempted auto theft that happened on Monday, February 8th, around 1:50 p.m. in the 3200 block of W. Madison Street.  The victim observed two suspects in his vehicle attempting to steal it.  He confronted the suspects who fled.  The suspects attempted to enter a get-away vehicle and one of the suspects was successful.  The second suspect was confronted and punched by the victim.  The second suspect continued to flee on foot.   A witness attempted to detain the second suspect, grabbed him by the pants, pulling them off, as the second suspect climbed a fence and continued to flee.  Shortly after, an unknown person battered the second suspect, took a picture and posted it to Facebook.  MPD is working to determine who battered the second suspect.

“The second suspect, who is a 15-year-old Milwaukee male, has since been arrested and suffered a minor injury during this incident.  Once the investigation is complete, the case will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office for charges against the 15-year-old for attempted motor vehicle theft, and the person responsible for battering the suspect,” Police said.

Witnesses say that a young man was slammed to the floor and then surrounded by a group of men who started kicking and punching him for his attempted carjacking.

“They started tugging on his jacket, shoes and pants,” a witness told police. “As he was laying there practically naked, they still kept beating him and laughing at him.”

When the group of men left the teen, who was disoriented and laying on the snow, confused, the injured teenager tried standing up, but fell right back down in a pile of snow.

The photo of the boy lying in the snow was posted on Facebook.

This incident is a travesty. When people take the law into their own hands, they’re no different than the thugs that commit crimes against our community.

The Law and Justice

Dishing out punishment is not Justice. People can’t be taking justice into their own hands. When a criminal is caught, beatings and summary executions are not the manner in which criminals should be addressed.

In the 1930s, crime was out of control. Mobs did drive-byes with Thompson machine guns killing innocent people on the streets. Law enforcement eventually got a handle on things. This is nothing new. Crime is nothing new. The law is what matters. We must work with it to be effective.

Teenagers engaging in criminal activity do so because of failed parenting, schools and the economy. Truly, it’s up to parents to teach the children. When parents act like parents to their children instead of trying to be their friend, things change for the better.

As for the vigilantes who took Justice into their own hands, they must be punished for unjustly being prosecutor, judge and executioner.

Street Justice is not the way Justice is served.

El terror generado por el agua contaminada de Flint

Menos de un mes después de los atentados del 11 de septiembre, un alto funcionario del FBI, Ronald Dick, le dijo al Comité de Transporte e Infraestructura de la Cámara de Representantes: “Debido a la importancia crucial del agua para todas las formas de vida…el FBIconsidera un peligro grave amenazar con atacar el suministro de agua”. En 2003, un artículo de United Press International informaba que un agente de al-Qaeda “(no descarta) utilizar gas sarín y envenenar el agua potable de Estados Unidos y ciudades de Occidente”. El ataque contra el suministro de agua que los terroristas no lograron realizar, lo realizó con éxito el estado de Michigan. Los hogares y oficinas de la ciudad de Flint han estado abastecidos con agua contaminada con plomo desde 2014, lo que ha provocado enfermedades generalizadas y posible daño cerebral permanente a los habitantes más jóvenes.

Michigan cuenta con una de las leyes de “manejo de emergencias” más extremas del país, que permite al gobernador nombrar a funcionarios no elegidos para hacerse cargo del gobierno local cuando se considera que esos lugares o instituciones atraviesan una “emergencia económica”. El gobernador republicano de Michigan, Rick Snyder, promovió y logró que se aprobaran dos proyectos de ley que fortalecieron esa legislación, que ha utilizado agresivamente para imponer su versión de austeridad fiscal en ciudades como Detroit, Benton Harbor, varios grandes distritos escolares y ahora en el sonado caso de Flint. En todos los casos, excepto en uno, el director de manejo de emergencias asumió el control de ciudades con población mayoritariamente afroestadounidense. El cargo le da amplias facultades por encima de los gobiernos locales electos democráticamente para recortar el presupuesto, vender bienes públicos, anular o renegociar contratos laborales y básicamente gobernar como en una dictadura.

En abril de 2014, Darnell Earley, el cuarto de cinco directores de manejo de emergencias de Flint nombrados por Snyder, decidió unilateralmente cambiar la fuente de agua de Flint del sistema de suministro de Detroit, que utilizaba como fuente el lago Huron desde hacía 50 años, al extremadamente contaminado y corrosivo río Flint. Los habitantes de Flint notaron de inmediato descoloración y mal olor en el agua, además de experimentar una serie de efectos en la salud, como sarpullidos y pérdida del cabello. En octubre de 2014, General Motors decidió que ya no utilizaría el agua de la ciudad de Flint en sus plantas porque estaba corroyendo las piezas de automóviles. Más tarde, se hallaron trihalometanos en el agua, derivados tóxicos del tratamiento de agua. A pesar de ello, funcionarios declararon que el agua era segura para el consumo. Al mismo tiempo, como se reveló en un correo electrónico obtenido más tarde por Progress Michigan, el estado comenzó a enviar refrigeradores con agua potable limpia al edificio de la oficina del estado en Flint, más de un año antes de que el gobernador Snyder admitiera que el agua estaba contaminada.

El persistente activismo de los habitantes de Flint, cuyos hijos se enfermaron, atrajo la participación de investigadores de Virginia Tech especializados en la calidad del agua, que concluyeron que 10.000 habitantes habían sido expuestos a altos niveles de plomo. Fue necesario que investigadores de otro estado, Virginia, viajaran a Michigan para realizar los exámenes exhaustivos necesarios. Más adelante, la Dra. Mona Hanna-Attisha intervino en el proceso. Es directora del programa de residencia en pediatría de la Universidad de Michigan. Descubrió una alarmante vinculación entre el aumento de los niveles de plomo en la sangre de los niños de Flint y la utilización del río Flint como fuente de agua.

“El porcentaje de niños con altos niveles de plomo se duplicó en toda la ciudad y en algunos barrios se triplicó, y estaba directamente correlacionado con los lugares donde los niveles de plomo eran más elevados”, nos dijo en el programa Democracy Now!

En lugar de ir tras el problema que identificó la doctora, el estado fue tras ella. “Nos atacaron. Me llamaron ‘investigadora deplorable’, dijeron que prácticamente estaba provocando histeria colectiva, que estaba inventando números y que las cifras estatales no se correspondían con mis datos. Y como científica, como investigadora, como profesional, verificas una y otra vez. Los números no mentían y lo sabíamos, pero cuando el estado, con un equipo de 50 epidemiólogos, te dice que te equivocas, te cuestionas”. En algunas semanas, las autoridades se vieron obligadas a reconocer que la Dra. Mona Hanna-Attisha tenía razón. Poco después comenzó a aparecer junto al gobernador y la acaban de nombrar encargada de una nueva iniciativa de salud pública para ayudar a las personas que fueron expuestas a la contaminación.

Un grupo de habitantes de Flint y sus aliados están exigiendo que se adopten medidas de inmediato para garantizar el suministro de agua limpia y segura a la población de Flint. Muchos están pidiendo que el gobernador Snyder renuncie o incluso que sea arrestado. El FBI y el Departamento de Justicia están investigando si se violó la ley. Esta semana, la Cámara de Representantes realizó una audiencia sobre la crisis, durante la cual la congresista de Houston Sheila Jackson Lee comparó el envenenamiento de los habitantes de Flint con el suicidio y homicidio múltiple de 1978 en Jonestown, Guyana. “Mientras estoy aquí hoy, me viene a la memoria Jim Jones dando un brebaje con veneno a niños. Me hace pensar que hay un Jim Jones en Michigan, envenenando a los niños y sus familias”. En Guyana, el líder de un culto, Jim Jones, ordenó a sus 900 seguidores, 300 de ellos niños, que tomaran Kool-Aid con cianuro. Las víctimas murieron al instante. En Flint, la tragedia continuará durante décadas.

020316-Religious-pix-1Does God Cry?

A little girl once asked, “Mommy does

God cry?”

“Don’t be silly, God can’t cry baby,” her mother replied.

“But what about when He looks down from Heaven above

And sees all the people who needs His love?

And what about when He looks down and sees

The playground kids fall and scrape their knees?

Or how about Aunt Jane who can’t have baby girls or boys?

Or what about the poor kids who gets no Christmas toys?

Maybe God would cry if He lived with my friend Tommy.

Whose daddy beats and bruises him and his mommy.

Or maybe if He looked down and saw people being killed,

I think He’d surely have eyes that are tear filled.

But I think most of all, mommy, what would have made God cry,

Is when He looked down at the cross and watched His

baby die.”

The mother stood in silence as her eyes filled with tears,

For she knew her little girl was wise beyond her years.

Staring into deep blue eyes, the mother found courage to say,

“Yes baby girl, I think God looks down and cries every day.”

God Bless you and keep you safe in Jesus’ arms!

020316-roberto-ruiz-pix-2Super Bowl Preview: Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers can win with a dominating defensive performance, or an equally dominating offensive performance. The Panthers can win with Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly patrolling the field from sideline to sideline, or they can win with Cam Newton slinging the football to any spot on the field. What is scary is when they are winning with all of the above.

In the first half of the season Carolina was an undefeated 8-0, but they weren’t being viewed as the best team in their conference. They hadn’t yet lost, but it was only a matter of time. When they were 11-0, Neil Payne of fivethirtyeight.com (the brainchild of the famed Nate Silver) called them the worst team to ever be undefeated through eleven games, and it was hard to argue with him. Something changed entering their twelfth game though, and Cam Newton came to life. The defense had been winning games all year despite the streakiness of the offense. Yes, the Panthers finally lost a game, but they haven’t lost one since and nearly every performance has been as dominating as can be expected.

Newton is likely going to win the MVP award this year, and deservedly so. Despite all his naysayers (of which I am one), Newton has compiled a list of dominating performances, spectacular throws, and exciting runs. Does he celebrate every first down like he just won the Super Bowl? Yes and there has been a lot of celebrating this year. Does he make every touchdown seem like it was scored in the final, decisive second? Yes and there have also been a lot of those this year. Though grating, he has always had his comeuppance, especially when the scoreboard has shown zeroes, but not this year. 35 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing touchdowns, and 4,473 total yards against just 10 interceptions and 5 fumbles are stats that are fit for the Most Valuable Player of the NFL.

While Newton has been great since the calendar flipped to December, the defense has been great all year. Led by its devastating unit of linebackers, the defense swarms, pressures, and forces the opposing offense into making mistakes. Thomas Davis did break his arm in the NFC championship game, but the surgery was a success and he promises to play in the Super Bowl. How effective a linebacker can be with a cast on his arm is yet to be seen, but if he can play anywhere close to the all-pro level he usually does, Peyton Manning might want to consider retiring a game earlier than planned.

Like all Super Bowls, this game could go either way. It will come down to which defense can be more dominating. The Broncos defense definitely has a taller task in front of it, but they could easily be up to the challenge. Then again, Cam Newton could slice through this defense like he has so many others this season. When it really comes down to it though, who doesn’t like an underdog?

Broncos win 24-21.

takingsidesWisconsin Working Families Party Could Face Legal Challenge for Late Filing

The political season brings with it many opportunities and many challenges.  So when groups show up in the African-American and Latino communities in Milwaukee to announce they’re going to be organizing to run candidates under a “fusion voting” model and seeking political alliances with communities to get candidates they endorse elected, these groups should be vetted, and they should be familiar with state laws regulating their political activities—especially laws that relate to finances being obtained or spent.

Wisconsin State Legislature Chapter 11 Campaign Financing

11.05 Registration of political committees, groups and individuals

Committees and groups. Except as provided in s. 9.10 (2) (d), every committee other than a personal campaign committee which makes or accepts contributions, incurs obligations, or makes disbursements in a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, and every political group subject to registration under s. 11.23 shall file a statement with the appropriate filing officer giving the information required by sub. (3). In the case of any committee other than a personal campaign committee, the statement shall be filed by the treasurer. A personal campaign committee shall register under sub. (2g) or (2r).

On July 15, 2015, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel announced that the Working Families Party was going to start a chapter here in Wisconsin. On July 31st, the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WWFP) announced that Sup. Marina Dimitrijevic was stepping down as Chairwoman of the Milwaukee County Board to become State Director of WiWFP. On October 20, 2015, the WWFP officially opened their headquarters in Milwaukee by throwing a “big party,” which asked party goers to purchase tickets at $50 and $25 or to become a “sustainer” by making donations on a monthly basis to Wisconsin Working Families Party and then they would receive a ticket for “free.”  Donations have been available on the WWFP website in denominations ranging from $3 to unlimited since the website was active.

With all of the WWFP activity that we know of, it is impossible to believe that during the period from which it was announced that the WWFP, which launched on July 15, 2015, and stayed active through December 31, 2015, did not accept contributions, incur obligations, or make disbursements in an aggregate amount in excess of $300, which requires the WWFP to submit their Campaign Registration Statement in 2015 and file a campaign finance report by January 15, 2016.

The law allows for WWFP to not have to report who their contributors and donors are as an independent expenditure committee, which they did not file until January 20, 2016; however, the law is very clear that WWFP should have reported their expenditures once they received, spent, or incurred obligations of $300 or more.

By not filing their Campaign Registration Statement in 2015 and subsequently their campaign finance report, in particular the 2016 January Continuing Report, they appear to have violated Wisconsin State Election Law, unless they did not “receive, spend, or obligate” $300 or more.

Even if everything the WWFP had received or given away was donated, those donations would be considered as “In-kind” donations and would require WWFP to file their Campaign Registration Statement after the $300 threshold in 2015, thus triggering submissions for a campaign finance report.

WWFP is not being transparent

WWFP made transparency one of their main objectives, especially as they contrasted themselves to Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. However, to date, WWFP has proven to be less transparent than Walker and Abele. At least the Governor and the Milwaukee County Executive filed their campaign finance reports.

At the very least, WWFP appears to be intentionally delaying reporting where their funds have been spent until after this upcoming election cycle, as reports do allow for amendments to correct “mistakes.”

Once again, does this not warrant some kind of investigation?

Atrapadas: sin acceso a abortos legales y seguros

Esta semana, un gran jurado de Houston presentó una acusación que provocó sorpresa. Se le había encomendado la investigación de videos que aparentemente dejaban al descubierto que la organización especializada en planificación familiar y derechos reproductivos Planned Parenthood vendía partes del cuerpo de fetos abortados. El gran jurado no halló actos ilícitos por parte de Planned Parenthood. En cambio, acusó a los productores David Daleiden y Sandra Merritt, de la organización contraria al aborto The Center for Medical Progress, de alterar registros gubernamentales, un delito grave.

Por otra parte, esta semana tuvo su presentación pública otro video; en este caso es uno que muestra de manera precisa la amenaza que se cierne sobre los derechos reproductivos de la mujer en todo el país. “TRAPPED” (“Atrapadas”, en español) es un conmovedor documental que se estrenó el domingo por la noche en el Festival de Cine de Sundance aquí, en Park City, Utah. El documental evidencia de qué manera la aprobación en varios estados del país de las llamadas “leyes TRAP”, que imponen reglamentaciones selectivas sobre los centros de salud que practican abortos, implica un ataque al acceso al aborto legal y seguro para las mujeres estadounidenses. Las “leyes TRAP”, sigla que en inglés significa “trampa” o “atrapar”, han proliferado desde que el Tea Party arrasara en las legislaturas estatales en 2010 y dicen proteger la salud de las mujeres; sin embargo, provocan en realidad la clausura de clínicas de atención de la salud de la mujer. El estreno de la película a nivel nacional coincidirá con el momento en que el derecho de una mujer a elegir si practicarse o no un aborto se enfrente a un desafío crucial ante la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos, el 2 de marzo.

Dawn Porter es la galardonada realizadora que escribió, dirigió y produjo “TRAPPED”. Mientras se encontraba en Mississippi filmando otra película, Porter se enteró de que en ese estado quedaba una sola clínica donde se practicaban abortos. Decidió entonces acercarse a la clínica, donde encontró al Dr. Willie Parker, obstetra y ginecólogo.

Tras la presentación de “TRAPPED” en el Festival de Cine de Sundance, el Dr. Parker expresó en el noticiero de Democracy Now!: “Hace 21 años que soy obstetra y ginecólogo y 25 años que soy médico. Cuando tomé conciencia de que una de cada tres mujeres necesitará asistencia médica para realizarse un aborto a lo largo de su vida reproductiva y que, de forma desproporcionada, las mujeres de bajos recursos y las mujeres de color tendrán dificultades para acceder a dicha atención, se tornó prioritario para mi garantizar el acceso a esos servicios de salud tan importantes, por lo que regresé a mi pueblo natal de Birmingham para brindar asistencia médica en el sur”.

La película “TRAPPED” sigue al Dr. Parker y a varios otros proveedores de aborto de Alabama, donde se aprobaron leyes TRAP que imponen onerosas modificaciones a las clínicas en que se practican abortos. La mayoría de esas leyes se basan en una legislación modelo redactada por una organización contraria al aborto llamada Americans United for Life. Las mismas obligan a clínicas que proveen el servicio de interrupción del embarazo que funcionan de manera segura y legal a efectuar reformas costosas e innecesarias en sus instalaciones. En muchos casos, las clínicas no pueden financiar la realización de las reformas y se ven obligadas a cerrar sus puertas.

En una escena de la película “TRAPPED”, se muestra al Dr. Parker con una paciente. Parker le está transmitiendo la información que la ley TRAP de Alabama exige que se les haga saber a las pacientes antes de practicarse un aborto:

“La ley me exige que le diga que al practicarse un aborto, puede incrementarse el riesgo de padecer cáncer de mama. No existe evidencia científica que lo compruebe. El estado me exige que le informe que al practicarse este procedimiento existen riesgos de complicaciones. Considero que es bueno conocerlo, al riesgo. El estado me exige que le diga que usted puede presentar hemorragias que podrían poner en riesgo su vida y que puede ser necesario trasladarla a un hospital y recibir una transfusión de sangre. Si usted presentara una hemorragia que solamente pudiera ser contenida mediante la extirpación de su útero, se le practicaría una histerectomía y no podría tener hijos en el futuro. Esos son los riesgos asociados, pero adivine qué. Son exactamente los mismos riesgos asociados a tener un bebé. Lo que quiere decir que no se está enfrentado a ningún riesgo extra en lo que refiere a su salud. Es decir que el aborto es un procedimiento extremadamente seguro”.

En Texas, la ley TRAP —conocida allí como HB2— fue aprobada en 2013. Antes de la entrada en vigor de dicha ley había 40 clínicas de abortos en funcionamiento en Texas. Quedan diecinueve. Una clínica de San Antonio entabló una demanda judicial en oposición a las restricciones impuestas por la ley HB2. Ese juicio, llamado Whole Woman’s Health contra Hellerstedt (anteriormente contra Cole), se presentará el 2 de marzo ante la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos, cuyo fallo sobre el caso se prevé para el próximo mes de junio.

Los videos editados y manipulados con el objetivo de abatir a Planned Parenthood no lograron su cometido y sus creadores se enfrentan a años de prisión. Si bien “TRAPPED” se emitirá en junio en el ciclo de documentales “Independent Lens” de PBS, se pasará también en cines, con proyecciones comunitarias en simultáneo. Dawn Porter espera que su más reciente película logre involucrar, sensibilizar y movilizar a personas de todo el país mientras la Corte Suprema se encuentre examinando este tema crucial en materia de salud.

12716-religious--pix-1You Are Blessed

I woke up this morning and knew that today,

the sun would not be shining and the clouds would be gray,

As I stepped outside, rain fell upon my head.

My car wouldn’t start so I walked to work instead.

I forgot all of my work I took home from the office,

The coffee machine didn’t work and the boss was screaming, I dropped my head in disgust and asked the Lord for one request. “Lord, why is it that things won’t go my way?”

He gently replied, “Dear child, it is because you didn’t thank me yesterday. I woke you up and enabled you to see the sun again. I gave you shelter, protected your family, and even let you make a new friend.

I blessed you far greater than I ever had before.

But you were too busy to thank me once more.

You didn’t feel sick because I maintained your health.

You had money in your pocket because I maintained your wealth.

You had shoes on you feet and clothes to wear, too.

You had plenty of food to eat, and what did you do?

You ignored me and went about your tasks.

But when you wanted something you never hesitated to ask.

I was there when you needed me and that wasn’t too long ago. But when things started going your way, it was me you did not know. As if that weren’t enough, I provided your favorite luxuries. This was something I didn’t have to do-they weren’t even necessities.

And when it was time to get on your knees and show your gratitude, You decided that after such a fulfilling day, you weren’t in the mood. So I decided to give you just a little test. To show you how it would feel to stop being blessed.”

I began to realize what the Lord was saying.

And when I got home, I fell to my knees and started praying. He said, “My child, you have learned and you know I do forgive. But remember to remember this day as long as you shall live.

I love filling your life with joy, and your pain I’ll alleviate it

But, just a simple thank you would show how much you appreciate it.”

12716-roberto-ruiz-pix-1Super Bowl Preview: Denver Broncos

For the first time in his storied career, Peyton Manning had little to do with his team earning a shot at the Super Bowl. That honor goes entirely to its defense, where Demarcus Ware and Von Miller have combined for 18.5 sacks this past season. While 18.5 is nothing spectacular, the Broncos’ ability to get to the quarterback without blitzing is, and historically has been, the key to winning football games.

Everybody knows the key to beating Tom Brady is to get in his face while only rushing four players. Dropping eight into coverage will usually end with the quarterback having more than enough time to pick apart any defense, but the defenses that can win the four-on-five matchup at the line and get into the quarterbacks face make their coordinators job much easier. The teams that have matched up well with Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers for that matter, have been teams that can employ that defensive tactic. The New York Giants have given great quarterbacks fits in the playoffs by employing the same strategy. Here’s the thing: Denver was historically amazing at getting to Tom Brady in the AFC championship game. They hit Brady 20 times on Sunday, the most times a quarterback has been hit in one game in the last ten years. You can bet that Brady is still feeling the hits he took today.

When you have cornerbacks playing at the level that Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib are, you really don’t need a great pass rush to make them look even better, but the Broncos have just that. Harris and Talib are two of the best cornerbacks in the league and are willing to back up their talk off of the field with their play on it.

The Broncos have opened as huge underdogs for this Super Bowl, some sportsbooks have them as much as a touchdown underdog to the Carolina Panthers, but remember that many viewed the New York Giants in the same way heading into their showdown with the (then) undefeated New England Patriots. The Giants weren’t expected to be much of a roadblock for the Patriots but a stout defense and some timely helmet-catches and the Giants were on their way to shocking the world. This defense has the same ability to disrupt its opponent, and Cam Newton will have to be at his best to beat this unit.

The Broncos can win this game. Peyton Manning may be a shadow of his former self, often being outplayed this year by Brock Osweiler, but running back CJ Anderson is more than capable of carrying the load (pun intended) for the offense. This team would be significantly more dangerous if they could use Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in a more prominent role, but Manning lacks the arm strength to get them the ball down the field and Osweiler lacks the quarterbacking ability.

Will the Broncos win? Check in next week to see my preview for the Carolina Panthers and my prediction for Super Bowl 50.

takingsidesIs Wisconsin Working Families Party Gaming Milwaukee Elections?

Recently revealed documents have shed light on the lack of transparency practiced by the Wisconsin Working Families Party (WiWFP).

In particular, the recent Campaign Registration Statement filed with the Milwaukee County Election Commission exposed that the WiWFP is not a political party as the public believed, but are in fact an Independent Expenditure Committee, similar to that of a Political Action Committee (PAC).

This form also reveals that this initial filing was submitted on January 20, 2016; several months after the announcement of the “party” being formed in Wisconsin and the hiring of its state director, Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrejevic. It was further revealed that the required Campaign Finance Report filing deadline for expenditures from July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 was not met by WiWFP either.

Though it is understood that registering as an “Independent Expenditure Committee” means WiWFP does not have to disclose their donors and contributors, similar to right wing Political Action Committees like Americans for Prosperity or Club for Growth when they receive money from the Koch Brothers or other right wing funders; those groups and WiWFP are still responsible for reporting their expenditures or costs.

The fact that the Campaign Registration Form was filed late and no Campaign Finance Report was filed by WiWFP, an eyebrow of concern has been raised and questions about why WiWFP registered so latemust be asked.

State Director of WiWFP and Milwaukee County Supervisor, Marina Dimitrejevic is an experienced politician who has submitted dozens of financial reports in the past. Surely she didn’t forget to register the “party” or file financial reports. In fact, she filed her own campaign finance report on time and in accordance with election law this month.

Benefits of registering late

Campaign finance reporting deadline was January 15, 2016. WiWFP submitting their registration late (January 20, 2016) and not submitting financial reports appears to have been done intentionally to avoid reporting all expenditures incurred between July 1 and December 31, 2015.

The next campaign finance reporting deadline is not until July of 2016, well after the up-coming April 16th City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County spring election. WiWFP has endorsed candidates for Milwaukee County Executive and Supervisors along with Milwaukee Common Council.

So in essence, the voting public will not know who is funding or partnering with the WiWFP because of how they filed the organization as an “Independent Expenditure Committee” and we will not know who WiWFP spent funds with or entered into contracts with until after the next election because their failure to submit financial reports.

Lack of transparency illustrates hypocrisy

The bottom line is that WiWFP lacks transparency no matter which way you cut it. Their failure to be transparent flies in the face of accusations charging Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele for not being transparent.

WiWFP has not been transparent with voters about them being a “party”, they are an independent expenditure committee; they have not been transparent with donors and contributors about who their financial backers are and how they have spent those funds, they have submitted no campaign finance reports; they have not been transparent with election governing bodies about filing registration and campaign finance reports in a timely fashion or submitting forms at all.

The next question that must be asked is whether or not WiWFP has violated some election law? Does this not warrant some kind of investigation?

Further, has the WiWFP been transparent with their own endorsed candidates as to who their funding and strategic partners are? Those candidates include Rep. Chris Larson for Milwaukee County Executive; Sequanna Taylor, Marcelia Nicholson, and Martha De La Rosa for Milwaukee County Supervisor; and Chevy Johnson and County Sup. Khalif Rainey for Milwaukee Common Council.

Most surprisingly, WiWFP has not been transparent with their own supporters and members, not mentioning once that the Working Families Party endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. WiWFP opted instead to announce on social media the endorsement of candidates WiWFP selected for Milwaukee County Executive, Milwaukee County Supervisor and Milwaukee Common Council.

Brenda Bell-White, co-chair of the Milwaukee Coalition for Justice stated, “This matters because we deserve transparency and truth about organizations…I for one appreciate having this information, this helps to explain why we haven’t heard an endorsement for Bernie Sanders from the Wisconsin Working Families Party

Historia de dos abuelas

En una nevada noche de enero hace algunos días atrás, en el norte del estado de Nueva York, una abuela se entregó a las autoridades del centro penitenciario de Jamesville para cumplir una condena de seis meses de prisión. ¿Su delito? Tomar fotografías. Mary Anne Grady Flores estaba tomando fotografías de otras ocho personas que se estaban manifestando en la entrada de la Base Aérea de la Guardia Nacional Hancock Field, en las afueras de Syracuse, Nueva York. El grupo, denominado Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars (Coalición del norte de Nueva York para enterrar a los drones y terminar la guerra) se congregó allí el Miércoles de Ceniza de 2013, un 13 de febrero, para manifestarse contra los drones armados utilizados en el programa de asesinatos dirigidos del Gobierno de Obama. Fue una de las tantas protestas pacíficas del grupo.

Horas antes de entregarse a las autoridades, Mary Anne Grady Flores dijo en el programa Democracy Now!: “Era Miércoles de Ceniza, un día de expiación de acuerdo con nuestra tradición de trabajadores católicos. Y para nosotros era realmente importante difundir lo que estaba sucediendo en la base, que son crímenes de guerra”. Hancock Field alberga la 174ª división de ataque de la Guardia Nacional Aérea que opera una flota de aviones no tripulados MQ-9 Reaper, “un persistente cazador-asesino de blancos emergentes”, en las propias palabras de la Fuerza Aérea.

Grady Flores se mantuvo alejada de la protesta, tomando fotos, en parte porque un juez había emitido “una orden de restricción” contra ella y otros manifestantes por una manifestación de 2012, en la que el grupo logró bloquear tres entradas de la base durante una hora. La orden fue emitida a pedido del comandante del Grupo de Apoyo a la Misión de la 174ª división de ataque, el Coronel Earl A. Evans. Infringir la orden de mantenerse alejada de la casa, escuela o “lugar de trabajo” de Evans constituye un delito punible con hasta siete años de prisión. Mary Anne Grady Flores se enteró al ser arrestada de que la propiedad de la base abarcaba más que los confines de la entrada, e incluía el otro lado de la calle, donde ella se encontraba.

“Tomar fotografías es, por supuesto, una actividad que está protegida por la Primera Enmienda. Manifestarse es una actividad protegida por la Primera Enmienda”. Esto dijo el abogado Jonathan Wallace, en su aparición en Democracy Now! junto a Grady Flores. Wallace es un abogado que ha trabajado mucho con el movimiento de resistencia a los drones: “Estas órdenes de restricción son un formulario pre-impreso con espacios en blanco que la policía y los fiscales completan todos los días para proteger a los cónyuges víctimas de maltrato”.

Otro coronel dio su opinión sobre el caso. Ann Wright sirvió durante 29 años en las fuerzas armadas. Posteriormente, se desempeñó como funcionaria de alto nivel del Departamento de Estado. En 1997 recibió la medalla de heroísmo del Departamento de Estado por ayudar a evacuar a miles de personas en la guerra civil de Sierra Leona. Era subjefa de misión cuando la embajada de Estados Unidos reabrió en Afganistán en 2001. En 2003, renunció a su cargo en protesta contra la guerra en Irak. Wright escribió en apoyo a Grady Flores: “Me resulta bastante vergonzoso y absurdo que un comandante del ejército de Estados Unidos establezca que su seguridad personal se ve amenazada por manifestantes pacíficos, no violentos, que protestan contra las políticas de aviones no tripulados de Estados Unidos. Hubiera esperado que un comandante de Estados Unidos tuviera el valor de reunirse con el grupo de ciudadanos preocupados en lugar de obtener cobardemente una orden de restricción”.

Dos meses después de la protesta del Miércoles de Ceniza en la que Grady Flores fue acusada de violar la orden, el 23 de mayo de 2013, el Presidente Obama pronunció un discurso en la Universidad de Defensa Nacional en apoyo del programa: “Antes de lanzar un ataque, debe haber certeza casi absoluta de que ningún civil morirá ni resultará herido. Es el máximo estándar que podemos establecer”. A pesar de las promesas de Obama, el número de muertes civiles en los ataques de Estados Unidos con aviones no tripulados continúa aumentando.

Rara vez se dan a conocer los nombres de las víctimas. El 24 de octubre de 2012, la CIA lanzó un ataque con avión no tripulado en Waziristán del Norte, Pakistán. Mamana Bibi, una abuela de 67 años de edad que estaba recolectando ocra, fue asesinada. Su nieto, Zubair Rehman, de 12 años de edad, y su hermana de 8, Nabila, fueron algunos de los heridos. Tras varias cirugías, Zubair y Nabila viajaron a Estados Unidos con su padre, Rafiq, un maestro de escuela, para declarar ante una audiencia del Congreso. Después de dar su testimonio en el Congreso vinieron a nuestros estudios en Nueva York, donde los entrevistamos. En su declaración ante el Congreso, el pequeño Zubair dijo: “Ya no me gusta el cielo azul, de hecho prefiero el cielo gris. Los drones no vuelan cuando el cielo está gris…pero cuando el cielo está despejado, los drones regresan y con ellos el miedo”.

Mary Anne Grady Flores llevaba una bufanda el día que fue a prisión, pero no para protegerse de la nieve: “Llevo una bufanda azul hoy. Los niños de Afganistán enviaron este trozo de tela para que algún día podamos vivir con la visión de un futuro de cielo azul, de paz”.

012015religious-pix-1

Break my will to match yours

Lord, when You come in the form of a trial,

no matter howsmall, like

the disappointment of having someone

disagree with me and

facing rejection from those I love;

when I know that I am in the right

and am blamed for what is wrong,

when I have worked hard

to make things pleasant,

yet meet with criticisms of

what might have been;

when the expectancy of waiting

seems to have no end,

and I see others

enjoy blessings

I pray to have a share in, Oh, Lord,

make it easy for my will to conform

to Yours.

For doing Your

will involves

a wrenching and a tearing apart

of self-love.

My will cracks, and in the

cracking

becomes whole again

while it yields

to Yours.

Oh, God, the process is painful

while it lasts.

But no sooner do I yield to

Your pleasure

than you unlock the torrent of joy!

What surging wave of peace You bring!

What overwhelming power of being free

while it lasts.

If this be a way of union with You, Lord,

Let my will conform to Yours,

no matter what the pain and the price,

that I may be one with You

in everything I do.

Lord, this is

my wish,

Write it in Your heart

as I write it in mine.

Wizards v/s Warriors 03/02/11Golden State Won’t Reach 73 Wins

It was not so long ago that the Milwaukee Bucks were celebrating being the first team to defeat the Golden State Warriors this season. At the time, Golden State had won 24 straight and talk about having the best record in league history was firmly in their sights. Heading into late January, the Warriors are 39-4 and are still within reach of the 72-10 milestone, but the odds of them overtaking Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ 1995-96 season is slowly slipping out of their grasp.

Stephen Curry has been the lifeblood of this Warriors team for a few seasons now and when he is going there is nobody that can stop in. When Curry is on the court you don’t have to defend 23 feet out to the three-point line, you have to defend up to 30 feet out. Curry has no problem throwing bombs from 30 plus feet and he hits those at a higher percentage than the rest of the league hits 23 foot three’s. The issue with relying on Curry is that he is 6’3” and 185 pounds when soaking wet. Every team is gunning for the Warriors, and specifically Curry. Curry’s body simply cannot take the beating that it is going to receive over the course of an 82 game season. This has already been demonstrated by him injuring his shin and sitting out a few games in early January (one of which the Warriors lost). Last season Golden State won the NBA Finals in large part because they were able to remain ridiculously healthy over the course of the entire season.

The reason that they can beat the Bulls and their record is much more exciting than the idea that they can’t, though. Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Harrison Barnes remain the most exciting core of players in the NBA and there is no way to defend their small-ball lineup. If they can remain healthy, their talent level transcends even the LeBron James led Cavaliers. Their style matches up well with the Cavaliers and their speed leaves the Cavs in the dust, as shown by the 132-98 embarrassment on Monday, in Cleveland, when Curry didn’t even need to get off of the bench in the fourth quarter.

The biggest threat to the Warriors has always been the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors were able to avoid the Spurs in last season’s playoff run, but they are unlikely to be so fortunate this season. The Spurs feature rising star Kawhi Leonard, who is the type of on-ball defender that Curry should fear. The two Western powerhouses haven’t met yet this season, but are scheduled to play Monday. Though the Spurs will likely play a watered down version of their schemes to better save their theatrics for the playoffs, the matchup will be an exciting one. They will meet four times before the regular season ends, and each one should be more exciting than the one preceding it.

Better than Jordan’s Bulls? We will never know. Let’s first see if they can beat the Spurs and stay on track to be the first team ever to not have double-digit losses in a season.

takingsidesWisconsin’s Economy Damaged Because of Governor Scott Walker

This past year Governor Scott Walker used the power of the governor’s office to enact policies negatively impacting Wisconsin’s working families. His actions not only have caused hardship on families, they have hurt Wisconsin’s ability to produce a competitive workforce and lead the nation in innovation.

Walker’s massive $250 million budget cut from the University of Wisconsin and the decimation of K-12 public schools funding is another factor, in part, contributing to the exodus of corporations from Wisconsin.

Walker’s actions seem to show a blatant disregard for Wisconsin’s economic future. Walker dismissed State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers’ public call to Walker to veto more than 20 education measures he supported that would undermine the state’s public schools.

Going along with his own plans he laid out for Wisconsin, Walker saw to it that the majority of public school districts in Wisconsin received less funding, and he left school districts at the mercy of inflation by not providing state cost of living support to school districts.

After signing off on his destructive budget for Wisconsin, Walker then proceeded to run for President of the United States, only to fail and return to Wisconsin in debt to administer over a crumbling Wisconsin economy and infrastructure.

Walker’s actions against public education have hurt Wisconsin’s future ability to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being.

His actions have further hurt the notion of promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization that would significantly raise Wisconsin’s employment and economic standing.

Because Walker took money out of the University of Wisconsin, small-scale industrial and other enterprises will look at Wisconsin and come to the conclusion that our state’s ability to produce innovation has been hampered. Because of this, our state’s infrastructure and our ability to retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes will lag behind other states.

Walker’s actions impact negatively our state’s efforts to enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of Wisconsin industries that encourage innovation and substantially increase research and development in public and private sectors.

Indeed, Walker’s lack of support for domestic technology development, research and innovation is greatly impacting whether companies move out, stay or move into Wisconsin.

Walker has failed to advance equal opportunity and economic empowerment for Wisconsin’s communities. His policies have hurt our economy and restricted growth. Divesting the public education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research that create innovation and more good jobs and new wealth for us all has derailed Wisconsin’s economic growth for years to come.

Indocumentados: los ausentes del discurso del Estado de la Unión

El presidente Barack Obama pronunció su último discurso sobre el Estado de la Unión el martes por la noche ante una sesión casi a pleno del Congreso. Casi a pleno porque hubo un asiento vacío al lado de la primera dama, Michelle Obama. Según informó la Casa Blanca: “Se dejó un asiento vacío en el palco de invitados de la Primera Dama en representación de las víctimas de la violencia con armas de fuego que ya no tienen voz. Porque necesitan del resto de nosotros para que hablemos por ellos. Para que contemos su historia. Para que honremos su memoria”.

Ese símbolo, el de la silla vacía, invita a reflexionar acerca de quiénes más no estaban presentes en esa prestigiosa galería del Capitolio. Por ejemplo, los inmigrantes indocumentados detenidos en las redadas llevadas a cabo en Año Nuevo por el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés). Cientos, o tal vez miles de personas (no se ha dado a conocer la cifra), la mayoría de ellas provenientes de países centroamericanos como Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador, han sido arrestadas en redadas desarrolladas en todo el país. Familias enteras, madres solteras con niños y personas solas, que en muchos casos huyeron de sus países de origen para salvar sus vidas, están siendo detenidas por agentes federales armados y luego puestas a disposición para ser deportadas.

Le pregunté a la congresista de Maryland Donna Edwards, actualmente candidata al Senado, acerca de las redadas del ICE. Me dijo: “Considero que es irresponsable esta forma extrema de hacer cumplir la ley en las comunidades, la cual, en el distrito electoral al que represento, está generando tanto miedo en las comunidades que los niños no van a la escuela y la gente no va a trabajar por miedo a ser vistos y ser identificados en sus comunidades”. Las campañas del senador Bernie Sanders y de la ex secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton se han hecho eco del sentir de la congresista Edwards.

Las redadas han suscitado manifestaciones de protesta en todo el país. El pasado viernes, siete personas fueron arrestadas en la ciudad de Nueva York frente a la oficina local del ICE, tras haberse atado unas a otras y cortado el tránsito. Entre los arrestados se encontraba Claudia Palacios. Su historia es digna de ser mencionada. Palacios nació en Texas y se desempeñó durante cinco años en el cuerpo de infantes de Marina de Estados Unidos. Pasó dos años en Okinawa y varios años alrededor del mundo desplegada con la Brigada Expedicionaria de Infantería de Marina. Aunque sirvió honorablemente a su país, esta veterana del Ejército nacida en Estados Unidos tiene sus propios problemas de documentación.

Su madre era indocumentada. Como muchas mujeres embarazadas en su situación, tenía miedo de ir a un hospital. Claudia nació con ayuda de una partera en un estacionamiento para casas rodantes. Su certificado de nacimiento fue firmado por la partera. Claudia Palacios contó en Democracy Now!: “El Ejército consideró válido mi certificado de nacimiento y pude ingresar al servicio. Una vez que entré en actividad, solicité el pasaporte ante el Departamento de Estado, pero ellos no aceptaron mi certificado de nacimiento”. Ahora, fuera de la Marina, sin su documento de identidad del Ejército de Estados Unidos y sin pasaporte, Palacios nos dijo: “Básicamente, soy una apátrida. No puedo salir de mi país”.

El asiento vacío estaba a la derecha de la Primera Dama. A su izquierda, se sentó el veterano de guerra condecorado Oscar Vazquez. El mismo comunicado de prensa de la Casa Blanca que describía el significado de la silla vacía, explicaba que Vasquez “llegó a Estados Unidos de niño en busca de una vida mejor. Desde los doce años de edad, cuando se mudó desde México a Phoenix, Arizona, Oscar fue un estudiante destacado. Pero sin estatuto legal, no pudo obtener un empleo que le permitiera mantener a su esposa y su hijo recién nacido”. Una vez que se le otorgó la tarjeta de residencia permanente, según continuaba su biografía: “Oscar ingresó al Ejército para servir al país que ama y al que considera su hogar. Oscar cumplió un período de servicio en Afganistán y es actualmente un orgulloso ciudadano estadounidense”.

Claudia Palacios considera insuficiente la presencia de Vasquez en el palco: “Creo que es una farsa llevarlo como invitado, como invitado de honor, al discurso sobre el Estado de la Unión y luego ni siquiera hacer mención sobre la inmigración y sobre la forma en que vamos a abordar este asunto o la forma en que vamos a dar refugio a las personas que se encuentran amenazadas”.

Las víctimas de la violencia con armas de fuego merecen tener un lugar, merecen que se cuenten sus historias y el Presidente ha de ser elogiado por la postura que ha adoptado al respecto. Pero las personas que llegan a este país huyendo de la violencia con armas de fuego, ya sean de América Central, de Siria, Afganistán o Irak, también merecen ser reconocidas y acogidas. Eso le dará solidez a la Unión.

Cross in my pocket

I carry a cross in my pocket

A simple reminder to me

Of the fact that I am a Christian

No matter where I may be.

This little cross is not magic

Nor is it a good luck charm.

It isn’t meant to protect me.

From every physical harm.

It’s not for identification

For all the world to see.

It’s simply an understanding

Between my Savior and me.

When I put my hand in my pocket

To bring out a coin or key.

The cross is there to remind me

Of the price He paid for me.

It reminds me, too, to be thankful

For my blessings day by day

And strive to serve

Him better In all that I do and say.

It’s also a daily reminder

Of the peace and comfort I share

With all who know my master

And give themselves to His care.

So, I carry a cross in my pocket

Reminding no one but me

That Jesus Christ is Lord of my life

If only I’ll let Him be.

11316-roberto-ruiz-pix-2Packers Return To Arizona

Do you hear that? Do you hear the murmurs beginning to grow? Do you sense the excitement?

One game, one 17 point victory, yet it seems to mean much more. Beating a division leader should be considered an accomplishment, surely, yet when it comes against the Washington Redskins one can’t help but tone down the celebration. Washington was easily the worst football team in the playoffs, despite being “winners” of their division. In reality, they had the best record in a horrible division and benefited from having a fairly easy schedule. Consider this: Washington went winless against teams that finished the season with a winning record. They couldn’t defeat one team that won more than they lost. The Packers may not be great, but they were good enough to defeat Washington. Though they now find themselves in Washington’s shoes.

Clearly the worst remaining team in the NFC, there is an argument to be made that the Packers are the worst remaining team in the playoffs. Sure, Ben Roethlisberger’s injury makes the Steelers seem like prime pickings for the Denver Broncos, but if he is able to play anywhere near his usual level then the Broncos may well be in for a fight. Can you say the same for the Cardinals? Arizona demolished Green Bay but a few weeks ago. Though the Cardinals were assisted by two fumbles that were returned for touchdowns, which is something you just don’t see every week, they simply dominated all aspects of the game. Can the Packers make the game closer than they did a few weeks ago? Of course. Will they? I sure hope so. The Packers played their worst game of the season in Arizona, it just seems unlikely that it will happen again.

Arizona is the better football team. If the Packers are to have a prayer of beating them they will need to force a few turnovers and protect the ball better than they did against Washington. Even one fumble is too many. James Starks and Eddie Lacy will need to run well and open holes for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. Speaking of Rodgers, he needs to trust his receivers to make plays, and for that reason the Adams injury may be a blessing in disguise. Davonte Adams has yet to develop a knack for actually catching the football, and he may find himself with a pink slip in his locker come next season. Rodgers has been visibly frustrated with Adams when he fails to make plays that are commonplace in the NFL. Dropping passes not only make him look back but it also makes Rodgers look bad, throw in the fact that it hurts the team and Rodgers eyes may actually have been glowing red. Sure, Jared Abbrederis doesn’t have a great relationship with Rodgers either but there’s at least a chance that Rodgers isn’t thinking “just catch the damn ball” every time he looks in his direction. All of this will be for naught if the offensive line is unable to keep Rodgers off of his backside, though.

Arizona will likely win this game, and thus conclude the disappointing season for the Packers. Hey, there is always next year.

Arizona 27 Green Bay 17