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takingsidesThe outrage that many Americans feel over the unpunished police killing of Eric Garner is understandable and genuinely felt.

Like the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and 12-year-old Tamir Rice, gunned down by police while playing with a pellet gun in a park in Cleveland, the death of Dontre Hamilton, the mentally ill unarmed black man at the hands of a white police officer at Red Arrow park in Milwaukee are tragedies and a sign that something in our law enforcement culture is profoundly broken.

This is why demonstrations have gone on since Thanksgiving from New York to California. It’s also why, in general, protesters have had no trouble peacefully getting their point across.

Peacefully getting the message to the general public: “PEACEFULLY” is the operative word here.

Which brings me to question what were demonstrators thinking in Berkley, California when a Bay Area protest degenerated into a round of vandalism and looting?

Read more here:http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article4375206.html#storylink=cpy

Watching news reports from the area, where downtown merchants swept broken glass from the college town’s sidewalk, at least two officers and one protester were nursing minor injuries from the ruckus, and five people had been arrested, leads to question what what end result do they think they’re going to achieve mixing violence and destruction in their quest to have the criminal justice system reformed?

Martin Luther King Jr. held peaceful protests that bolstered civil rights

from 1955 until his death in 1968.

Martin Luther King Jr. was the dominant leader of the US civil rights movement. Following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. King believed that nonviolent protest is the most effective weapon against a racist and unjust society. Here are some of the most revolutionary peaceful protests King led, hopefully, future tactics of peaceful demonstration in the call for justice against police brutality can be employed.

The Albany movement, 1961

The Albany movement was a coalition formed in November 1961 in Albany, Ga., to protest city segregation policies. Dr. King joined in December, planning only to counsel the protesters for one day. Instead, he was jailed during a mass arrest of peaceful demonstrators, and he declined bail until the city changed its segregation policies.

The city made several concessions, and King left jail and then Albany. But he returned the next year to find that little had actually changed. Upon his return, he was convicted of leading the prior year’s protest and sentenced to 45 days in jail or a $178 fine. He chose jail. Three days into King’s sentence, an Albany police chief arranged for his release. The movement eventually dissolved, with few substantial results after nearly a year of continued peaceful protests, but the campaign tested tactics that would shape future protests in the national civil rights movement.

The Birmingham campaign, 1963

Lasting about two months in 1963, theBirmingham campaign was a strategic effort started by Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference to end discriminatory economic policies in theAlabama city. Some of the protests included boycotting certain businesses that hired only white people or that had segregated restrooms.

When businesses refused to change their policies, protesters held sit-ins and marches, with the aim of getting arrested. King encouraged these nonviolent tactics so that the city’s jails would overflow. Police used high-pressure water hoses and dogs to control protesters, some of whom were children. By the end of the campaign, many segregation signs at Birmingham businesses came down, and public places became more open to all races.

Of the tactic used in the Birmingham campaign, King said, “The purpose of … direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”

Bloody Sunday, 1965

Dr. King and several other civil rights leaders organized three marches fromSelma, Ala., to the state capital of Montgomery, in a bid for voting rights for all.

The first, on Sunday, March 7, 1965, involved nearly 600 protesters who marched east from Selma on US Highway 80, led by Jon Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Rev. Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King was not present because he had church duties. But days before, King had met with government officials to try to ensure the marchers would not be impeded. Even so, mob and police violence caused the march to be aborted on that “bloody Sunday.” When film footage of the police brutality was broadcast around the country, it sparked widespread public outrage and helped to boost support for the civil rights movement.

Of the event, King later wrote, “If I had any idea that the state troopers would use the kind of brutality they did, I would have felt compelled to give up my church duties altogether to lead the line.”

King tried to organize another march, but protesters did not succeed in getting to Montgomery until March 25. The speech he delivered that day, on the steps of the state capitol, has since become known as “How Long, Not Long.”

Bloody Sunday was a turning point for the civil rights movement, building public support and clearly demonstrating King’s strategy of nonviolence.

Chicago, 1966

After successful demonstrations in the South, Dr. King and other civil rights leaders sought to spread the movement north. They chose Chicago as their next destination to take on black urban problems, especially segregation.

To show his commitment to the northern campaign, King rented an apartment in the slums of North Lawndale on the city’s West Side. One Friday afternoon in August, King led about 700 people on a march in Marquette Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side, a white enclave, to protest housing segregation. Thousands of white people gathered, taunting King and the other protesters. At one point, a brick hit King in the head, but he continued the march as onlookers hurled rocks, bottles, and firecrackers at the marchers. Thirty people, including King, were injured.

Of the Chicago protest, King later said, “I have seen many demonstrations in the South, but I have never seen anything so hostile and hateful as I’ve seen here today.” He continued, “I have to do this – to expose myself – to bring this hate into the open.”

The path of peaceful demonstration is not sexy or dramatic, but it is effective. It works. Violence only weakens the value of the message.

takingsides12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio is dead after police officers mistook a toy pellet gun for a real one, an incident that has sparked an investigation into why officers chose to fire their service weapons rather than a Taser.

Officers arrived at a Cleveland playground after a man called 911 to report a boy waving a gun he thought was “probably fake” — but the officers weren’t informed that witnesses thought the weapon wasn’t real. NBC reports:

Police said officers responded to a report of a person waving a gun around at a playground and that Tamir was shot after he allegedly refused to put his hands up and reached in his waistband for what appeared to be a handgun. The handgun turned out to be an “airsoft” replica toy gun, which shoots pellets in a similar way that a BB gun does. Cleveland police said in a statement that an orange marking designed to make the toys distinguishable from real firearms had been removed.

Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba defended the actions of the two officers, but both have been placed on a standard administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

“We are going to conduct our own investigation,” Rice family attorney Tim Kucharski told WKYC. “We are going to talk to witnesses. We will get all the 911 tapes, the radio dispatch records as to what was said to the police, what the officers knew and then after we have conducted a thorough investigation we will make a determination after talking with the family with what we will proceed with legally at that point.”

Tamir’s death under questionable circumstances isn’t the only controversy surrounding the Cleveland police department, which is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice for allegedly loose use-of-deadly-force policies and systemic disregard for civil rights. Six officers were recently indicted for their role in a November 2012 high-speed chase that ended in 137 shots fired and the deaths of two unarmed men.

Nationally, police kill black suspects at many times the rate as white ones. ProPublica estimates that black suspects are approximately 21 times as likely as white ones to end up dead at the hands of cops.

Local police reported killing around 400 people a year to the FBI over a seven year period ending in 2012.USA Today reported an average of 96 a year could be confirmed to involve white officers and a black suspect. University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert commented in the article that thanks to the lack of a national database on police violence, it’s difficult to tell just how often questionable shootings occur.

“I’ve looked at records in hundreds of departments and it is very rare that you find someone saying, ‘Oh, gosh, we used excessive force,’” he said. “In 98.9% of the cases, they are stamped as justified and sent along.”

Why you should care: Another day, another tragic death of a black child at the hands of police. The fate that befell Tamir is part of a larger national pattern in which cops are quicker to shoot and kill minority suspects than white ones. And last week, an officer in Brooklyn, New York, shot and killed an unarmed man in a housing-project stairwell who was not a suspect.

A recent Huffington Post/YouGovpoll found that 38% of black respondents thought calling the police to intervene in a dispute would “make the situation more volatile,” compared with just 23% of whites. Nearly 60% of black people claimed there was police brutality in their area; just 25% of whites did. Another poll in August found that 42% of black respondents thought that blacks’ relationship with police has gotten worse in the past two decades.

“Unfortunately, the patterns that we’ve been seeing recently are consistent: The police don’t show as much care when they are handling incidents that involve young black men and women, and so they do shoot and kill,” John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Delores Jones-Brown told Mother Jones. “And then for whatever reason, juries and prosecutor’s offices are much less likely to indict or convict.”

Meanwhile, there’s an easy way to help prevent at least some future mistakes involving fake guns: making sure they can’t be mistaken for real ones. The Independent reports that Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece from Cincinnati has already introduced legislation requiring “all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns sold in Ohio to be brightly colored or have prominent fluorescent strips.”

takingsidesThe face-off between Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander and Georgia Pabst of the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ignited a couple of weeks ago, when Supervisor Deanna Alexander accused reporter Georgia Pabst of publishing an article with a “misleading title and context”.

Supervisor Alexander stated in a prepared statement that was released to the public that Pabst called Supervisor Alexander twice to ask about a newsletter sent to her constituents in October.

The newsletter alerted voters for the fall elections that they would need to show a photo ID to vote. Supervisor Alexander contends that the newsletter was accurate at the time she sent the information to her constituents, but that after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Voter ID requirement for the November election, Supervisor Alexander used “email, social media, and a second mailing—a bold post card—to update voters with the new information that electors would not need to provide an ID in order to vote”.

Supervisor Alexander wrote in her statement:

“Ms. Pabst knew all of this, yet continued to publish an article falsely proclaiming that the notice was a mistake,” Supervisor Alexander said.  “This irresponsible report has increased confusion by leading voters to believe that I either didn’t notice the error or purposely sent untrue information.”

“Ms. Pabst knew on Friday that I had provided voters with two rounds of information and that each were accurate at the time I published them; there was no mistake.  Her article is disappointing and sloppy journalism.” Supervisor Alexander concluded.

Supervisor Alexander’s statement that “Ms. Pabst knew all of this, yet continued to publish an article falsely proclaiming…,” is analogous to an incident involving community advocate and former State Assembly candidate Laura Manriquez.

In 2010, candidate Laura Manriquez challenged then candidate JoCasta Zamarripa for the open 8th Assembly seat vacated by former State Representative Pedro Colon. It was Manriquez’s second attempt at a seat that was then without an incumbent.

The Manriquez campaign was going smoothly until it was derailed by an article written by Georgia Pabst of the just received Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In her article Georgia Pabst defamed Manriquez when Pabst wrote that Manriquez had State of Wisconsin warrants issued against her for not paying over $70,000 in state taxes. Pabst also added that Manriquez was married and that Manriquez and her husband were under severe financial troubles.

Pabst sent Manriquez an email requesting verification of the information before publishing the story. Manriquez replied to Pabst by stating she did not know what Pabst was talking about. I recently reviewed those email exchanges and I can confirm these communications between Pabst and Manriquez did happen.

The Manriquez response probably did not sit well with Georgia Pabst. After the email exchanges, Pabst published the story exploding the Manriquez campaign and ultimately helping to give Zamarripa the victory.

Later it was verified that there were never any tax warrants issued by the state against Laura Manriquez. In addition, Laura Manriquez was never married, so she did not have a husband.

The Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Milwaukee Journal Sentinel issued several corrections to what Pabst wrote, but these corrections are small and most often over looked by readers.

Nevertheless, the damage was done.

“When that article was released, all the work I did during the campaign went for nothing. Many voters contacted me and told me they were not supporting me. Even after I explained that it was not me, many voters asked why would MJS publish information about me like that without checking it out first”, Manriquez said.

“To this day, four years later, I still have people asking me about that article and who have been wondering if I paid my taxes yet”, continued Manriquez.

The scar the article left to the name of Laura Manriquez carries to this day.

This is the kind of sloppy journalism Supervisor Alexander is referring to. The kind of payback reporting that can scar the reputation and charter of a good name.

When asked if Georgia Pabst apologized for what she wrote, Manriquez replied, “No, and this is pretty messed up that she not only damaged the campaign and my good name, but more importantly to me she tarnished my father’s name who I have always shared with individuals that I use as my first name in order to honor him since he never had any sons.  Apologize?  Yea right, like she really cares.”

takingsidesOver the past couple of weeks I’ve been pointing out that Georgia Pabst of the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a habit of not giving the whole story writing articles for Wisconsin’s largest daily.

Pabst’s history of leaving out pertinent information in her articles are documented in several columns I’ve written about her reporting on matters from Esperanza Unida to Palermo’s Pizza.

But I’m not the only one raising issue about this reporter for this Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting newspaper, it turns out that there are others who feel that Pabst has taken liberties by reporting half-truths for Wisconsin’s largest newspaper.

In recent weeks Pabst finds herself face to face with Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander. It seems that Pabst decided to write a piece calling to question Alexander’s solicitation of Facebook funds to help pay for the funeral expenses of her father, who passed away last month.  The solicitation sought $10,080.

At the time Pabst wrote her article Supervisor Alexander had collected $2,345, including a $1,000 anonymous donation.

The article Pabst wrote gave two distinct impressions to the reader. One, that there seems to be some kind of an ethical issue surrounding this request for donation to help bury Alexander’s father and two, the irony that a supervisor who earns $50,679 a year (you’ll note that Pabst does not mention that the salary for supervisors goes down under $26,000 a year next year) voted to prevent the county paying for indigent funerals.

Well, to counter the articles the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Journal Sentinel reporter Georgia Pabst has published against Alexander are several articles written by conservative bloggers, one of whom has labeled the article published by Pabst as “vile”, witch hunt” and  “disturbing”.

In fact, Ashley Schultz, who writes for Purple Wisconsin, a blog page that publishes articles for a collection of community bloggers hosted by the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Journal Sentinel, and whom describes herself as a freelance political writer and senior consultant at St. Anthony School of Milwaukee, wrote that in publishing the article regarding Supervisor Alexander, “Pabst is using her position to play some twisted game of political payback’.

Schultz wrote in an article that:

“Just a few weeks ago Pabst published a piece on Alexander, pointing out an error in her newsletter. Alexander responded, saying Pabst’s article lead readers to think she had purposely misinformed them. It looks like Pabst didn’t take too kindly to the criticism.”

Serious accusation indeed, especially when you consider that the person being accused writes for a Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting newspaper.

Another conservative calling to question the articles attacking Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander is Aaron Rodriquez, who also writes for Purple Wisconsin and whom describes himself as a volunteer board member of Hispanics for School Choice. He runs The Hispanic Conservative, a blog he created in 2008 to advocate for conservative Latino values.

Now, Rodriquez writes that “contrary to Pabst’s story, Alexander didn’t use her Facebook page to solicit funds. She posted a link to her father’s obituary, thanking people for their condolences.  Even the obituary page didn’t directly solicit money”.

Interesting point. Pabst omitting pertinent information that is. A point that I can relate to, after witnessing Georgia Pabst write articles about Esperanza Unida.

Pabst seems to have a habit of omitting key elements of a story. Case in point. In every article Georgia Pabst has written about Esperanza Unida, Pabst has always reminded the readers about taxes the agency owed, the facility problems at the agency and the fiscal chaos the agency was in.

Not once did Pabst mention in her articles that the agency was in fiscal hardship long before I got there because of over $700,000 in loans solely signed out for by the founder and former executive director, Richard Oulahan.

Loans I’ve pointed out to her that were questionably given to the agency and that even the current executive director of Esperanza Unida and former Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development for the State of Wisconsin, Manny Perez is rumored to be seeking the involvement of the FBI into these loans which he also agrees were inappropriately released to Richard Oulahan. Loans that Manny Perez mentioned to her himself.

Whatever the final outcome regarding Pabst’s latest hack job, two things are certain.

One, do these conservatives have an issue with the way Pabst is reporting facts? If you ask me, from what I have experienced from this reporter, you damn right they do. And two, does anyone take the articles that Pabst writes seriously, well, Alexander sought $10,080 to pay for her father’s funeral. At the the time Pabst wrote her initial article about the matter, $2,345 was already collected. After the Pabst article was published, over $14,500 was donated with a $6000 anonymous donation. Hmmm…I guess readers don’t take Pabst seriously.

A couple of weeks ago I arrived at the Milwaukee County Courthouse to receive my sentence for a misdemeanor obstruction charge. Upon my arrival I noticed a rackety looking crooked broom stick double parked near the east entrance of the building. I didn’t think anything about it so I continued on my way into the courtroom.

Once I arrived at the courtroom I realized to whom that broom belonged to. Waiting in the courtroom for me was Georgia Pabst of the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting newspaper, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Ok. I don’t have any evidence that the broom that was double parked outside was hers, but I have a gut feeling that it was.

Anyway, Pabst didn’t bother to turn her head to look my way, but it was clear she was waiting for my case to be called in the courtroom.

Unfortunately for the Journal Sentinel hack reporter the court hearing had to be rescheduled. So I will have to wait another month to put this misdemeanor charge of obstruction behind me once and for all.

On the other-hand, seeing Georgia Pabst got me to think, wow! I have my very own paparazzi reporter from a Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting newspaper. In fact, the largest newspaper in the state finds it important enough to send one of it’s most experienced reporters to cover my misdemeanor obstruction hearing.

But then I 

thought again! 

“Wait a minute”, I said. “Is it that important for the city? Wait! The state! No! The nation….yea! The nation has to know I was sentenced for a misdemeanor charge”, I thought.

Then it came to my mind. Why would this huge multi-Million dollar corporation want to report on something as insignificant as my case?

Then I realized. Could it be that the executive editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel are sending their reporter to trash me in their newspaper as retaliation for taking $5,000.00 from them a few years ago?

I sued Journal Communications and received $5,000.00 for a slander article their employee Charlie Sykes wrote about me. This has to be a sore issue with the paper, the case I had against them is also a case study for law students taking law classes in digital law courses.http://www.dmlp.org/threats/miranda-v-sykes.

Surely, this reporter, representing Wisconsin’s largest newspaper didn’t come stalking me to write about me and my court experience because I’m that important of a news story in this city? I mean, if that’s the case why doesn’t she come over and cover other things I do, like the sleep out for the homeless at Clarke Square park I participated in last week.

If that doesn’t trip her trigger, then why isn’t she writing about the $700,000 in improper loans her friend and Esperanza Unida founder/former executive director Richard Oulahan left the dying agency to deal with. Surely there’s some juicy nuggets to be nibbled on regarding that topic. I mean, that would be a more interesting story than covering me. Besides, Georgia already has the documents she needs to get started covering that story. She’s had them now for some time.

Thinking that she would need something to write about me since the hearing was rescheduled, I waited for Georgia Pabst to give her an opportunity to speak to her star story topic, me.

She came out of the courtroom and walked right pass me without so much as a question. Boy, talk about getting ready to write a slanted one sided story. I can honestly say I have my very own papa paparazzi. At least I was able to snap a picture of her as she hurried away to her next assignment.

Look for Georgia Pabst’s latest smear piece about me coming soon in the Pulitzer Prize winning for local reporting Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sometime in December.

In the meantime, as Lady Gaga would say: “Baby, there’s no other superstar

You know that I’ll be your

Papa-paparazzi”.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Georgia Pabst is being charged with unethical journalistic practices by Milwaukee County Supervisor, Deanna Alexander.

Supervisor Alexander points out that Pabst published an article with a misleading headline and distorted facts after Pabst called Supervisor Deanna Alexander twice to ask about a newsletter sent in October.

Alexander states in a news release that the “newsletter, accurate at publication, alerted fall general election voters that they would need to show a photo ID to vote.”

However the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the voter ID requirement for the November election, that decision forced Supervisor Alexander to correct her newsletter release by sending an update via “email, social media, and a second mailing—a bold post card—to update voters with the new information that electors would not need to provide an ID in order to vote”.

“Ms. Pabst knew all of this, yet continued to publish an article falsely proclaiming that the notice was a mistake,” Supervisor Alexander said.  “This irresponsible report has increased confusion by leading voters to believe that I either didn’t notice the error or purposely sent untrue information.”

“Ms. Pabst knew on Friday that I had provided voters with two rounds of information and that each were accurate at the time I published them; there was no mistake.  Her article is disappointing and sloppy journalism.”  Supervisor Alexander concluded.

Supervisor Alexander is not the only one pointing out the recklessness and total disregard for truth in articles published by Georgia Pabst.

I have pointed out on many occasions that Pabst has written half-truth articles about Esperanza Unida. Her consistent omission in her articles regarding loans totaling over $700,000.00 being a vital factor in the agency’s collapse is one of the most glaring unethical reporting practices Georgia Pabst has perpetrated.

These loans were inappropriate and questionably released to founder and past executive director, Richard Oulahan. Even the current executive director of Esperanza Unida and former Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development for the State of Wisconsin, Manny Perez is rumored to be seeking the involvement of the FBI into these loans which he also agrees were inappropriately released to Richard Oulahan.

An initial $600,000.00 in loans was signed for only by Richard Oulahan, without a second signature by past board of director chairperson of Esperanza Unida, or even a witness is highly unusual, reporter Pabst never bothered to reveal this in her articles because it would raise an eyebrow of suspicion on her friend Richard Oulahan’s reputation and work in our community.

Esperanza Unida is not the only victim of Pabst’s half truth reporting style.

If one is not part of a network of people Pabst favors, one does not get fair reporting by Pabst.

Case in point. In 2010, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had to issue three separate corrections of an article Georgia Pabst published about Laura Manriquez, a former chairperson of Esperanza Unida.

Manriquez ran against JoCasta Zamarripa for the 8th Assembly District seat. Zamarripa is networked with leftest radicals Pabst favors in the southside, such as Voces de la Frontera.

Pabst contacted Manriquez via email to ask her about tax warrants of over $70,000.00 and asked Manriquez about being in serious financial trouble along with her husband. Manriquez is not part of leftist radical networks. Manriquez is more of an independent minded spiritual political leader.

Manriquez responded to the question by sending Pabst an email informing Pabst that she “did not know what she was talking about”.

However Pabst proceeded to published the article knowing full well that Manriquez told Pabst that she did not know what she was talking about.

MJS had Pabst rewrite the article and issued several corrections after the Manriquez campaign complained to MJS editors. It was proven that Manriquez was not married and that the tax warrant was for another Laura Manriquez living on the Southside. But the damage to Manriquez’ reputation had been done.

“When that article was released, all the work I did during the campaign went for not. Many voters contacted me told me they were not supporting me. Even after I explained that was not me, many voters asked why would MJS publish information about me like that without checking it out first”, Manriquez said.

Another example of Pabst half truth reporting is the reporting about the Palermo’s Pizza campaign her favorite group Voces De La Frontera unjustly attacked for several years.

Not that I need to rehash the entire campaign that Voces orchestrated against the locally owned national frozen pizza chain, but just look at the aftermath of this intensely reported on effort by Pabst.

The whole matter centered around the injustice taking place against over 75 undocumented workers trying to unionize.

After the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) dismissed the Voces complaint that over 75 undocumented workers rights to unionize was violated by Palermo’s Pizza, the articles Pabst wrote in the matter trickled down to eventually nothing, despite the fact that a national boycott of Palermo’s Pizza was still being actively engaged in by the AFL-CIO and Voces.

In July of this year, the unions pulled out of Palermo’s pizza before the worker’s could even vote on the matter to unionize in August. Pabst made no mention of this development. The news broke in October because the Business Journal and Business Times wrote about the unions leaving before the August vote.

Pabst failed to simply ask the question: what happened to the 75 undocumented Palermo’s workers? The workers Palermo’s Villa says it asked Voces de la Frontera to come help out.

Pabst has written no articles giving information regarding the plight of those 75 undocumented workers. Where are these workers now? The fate of those 75 workers is still unknown and Voces will not comment on the outcome of those workers.

A recent article published by Bruce Murphy in the Urban Magazine pointed out that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would probably be letting go some of its reporters. The article listed Georgia Pabst as one of those who was on the list to be let go, for the sake of some fair reporting by this giant newspaper, they’d be doing our community outside of Georgia’s favorite community networks a service replacing her.

takingsidesIf the Democrats lose this governors race next week, the party will have ceased to be relevant.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker is in a tight race with Democratic contender Mary Burke, and there is less than a week before voters hit the polls.

Walker has a long list of vulnerabilities the Democrats can’t seem to capitalize on. From high level staff members going to prison for theft, among other things, to leading the effort to repeal equal pay rights for women. Walker is a poster child for candidates with skeletons in their closets. Yet the Dems are unable to take advantage of Walker’s weakness.

Walker’s ability to survive may stem from a patten that was illustrated in a New York Times/CBS poll that spelled it out for Democrats nationwide.

The poll showed that 45 percent of “all likely voters” throughout the country would put a Republican into the United States House of Representatives. Only 39 percent would vote Democratic. The poll indicated that even 10 percent of Democrats planned to vote for Republican congressional candidates, compared with 2 percent of Republicans willing to vote for Democrats.

Among all-important independents,

41 percent would vote Republican and

31 percent would vote for Democratic congressional candidates. Democrats have lost any significant lead among women, with 42 percent saying they’d vote Republican and 43 percent leaning Democratic. The poll showed Republicans trouncing Democrats in nearly all categories, even among young voters 18-44.

I asked a longtime Democrat why did the numbers show Democrats being slapped around by a party clearly lacking leaders with integrity. His response was interesting. He blamed President Barack Obama, saying “the American public’s frustration with Mr. Obama has hurt our Party and there seems to be nothing we can do to reverse that tend”.

If this is true this could probably mean trouble for Mary Burke. She recently made when Obama came to Milwaukee campaigning for her.

Walker has no momentum. The closeness of this race is a result of public frustration with the other party, which has lost the confidence of its base constituents to make the real economic changes needed that its party leader Obama promised in 2008.

The vast American middle has no strong loyalty to either party and has bad vibes about each. They want good governance, in which the controlling party listens to all and acts in the interests of liberty, prosperity and national security. Americans deserve a government of, by and for the people — not of, by and for one party.

takingsidesIt’s been over two months since the unions pulled their petition to unionize workers at Palermo’s Pizza. Indeed, two months since Voces de la Frontera quietly walked away without even a whimper regarding the unions decision to do so.

Over two months without a news release or some kind of a statement explaining why they decided to drop the matter in July, weeks before Palermo’s workers were to vote on whether to unionize or not on August 14.

Speculation is that they realized they did not have the votes, due to new workers being hired by Palermo’s to replace the over 75 undocumented workers the company was forced to fire due to an audit of its work force by the federal government.

All the hoopla and marching and national boycotting of the company, designed to continue putting Palermo’s Pizza on the pages of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS), was all peachy keen before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided that Palermo’s Pizza did nothing wrong regarding the rights of the 75 undocumented workers Voces de la Frontera (VDLF) was so concerned about.

After the NLRB decision, media hounding by VDLF started to slowly wind down.

In July of this year, the petition calling for the workers to vote was pulled without a press conference or news release. Heck, even MJS reporter, Georgia Pabst was out scooped by the sneaky effort of VDLF to let this whole matter just fade away.

The Business Journal and Business Times newspapers broke the story that the unions seeking to unionize Palermo’s workers pulled out.

Frankly, Pabst has always been on top of this story. So for her to miss this development was nothing more than her practice of protecting a friend who passes on information she relies on for her so-called articles covering the Hispanic community. Why risk losing a reliable news source who tips you off with information, if you’re going to write things that don’t make them look good.

Clearly, on this matter, VDLF does not look good.

Especially, after supporting the calling off of the vote, but not calling off the national boycott of Palermo’s Pizza.

Aside from the fact that nothing has been reported on the status of the 75 undocumented workers VDLF has been “protecting”, nothing has been said about the status of the national boycott of this Milwaukee company.

In an article recently published by a local blog, Hispanic News Network U.S.A., Primitivo Torres, the spokesperson for VDLF, affirmed that the boycott was still in effect.

Is the boycott still on? 

Don’t ask Georgia Pabst, she has things to do like keep reminding people that Esperanza Unida owes taxes. And don’t ask VDLF, apparently, no one knows anything about any boycott or the whereabouts and status of 75 undocumented workers this whole affair began with.

So. Is the national boycott against Palermo’s Pizza still in effect, or is it not?

Boycott for what?

takingsidesThe unions seeking to unionize the workers at Palermo Villa Inc. have withdrawn their petition for union representation with the National Labor Relations Board, according to Ben Mandelman, Milwaukee officer-in-charge.

Spokespeople for Voces de la Frontera, which was representing the workers trying to form the Palermo Workers Union, have yet to release a statement. The Palermo Workers Union’s website has been taken down.

Over 75 undocumented workers and their families were manipulated by Voces de la Frontera to form a union.

Now that the effort has failed, it seems Voces de la Frontera is trying desperately have this issue fade away into obscurity. Even Georgia Pabst of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel failed to cover this story after devoting many articles about the matter during the height of the campaign. The matter to withdraw unionization was done in July. Pabst had part of July, August and September to report the latest news, she didn’t.

The news was scooped by the business newspapers in Milwaukee. Why did Pabst refuse to cover this new development in a story she’s been covering closely for more than a year?

What about the 75 undocumented workers and their families? Did Voces de la Frontera help those workers find work or were they deported.

Pabst is taking great care to not report the failure of Voces de la Frontera’s Palermo’s Pizza campaign. In addition, Pabst is engaging in an injustice by failing to report what did Voces de la Frontera do to help those 75 undocumented workers and their families find peace and stability now that their efforts have failed.

Our community needs another Latino reporter. One that is willing to dig into news stories at all levels, just not selectively choose who will get good press and who will get bad press.

It’s been since July that the unions involved at Palermo’s Pizza pulled the plug on their efforts there, and nothing has since been reported on the where about of 75 undocumented workers and their families.

During the height of the Palermo’s campaign, Pabst would give coverage to the workers and their struggle for fairness, now that the campaign has failed, these same workers that everyone kept crying about, are left without a job and after two months since the unions pulled their petition, not one statement or news article has been done to report in their status.

takingsidesMilwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) reporter, Georgia Pabst continues to selectively report  the facts about Esperanza Unida (EU) in an MJS article on October 3, 2014. Her attempt to protect her long time friend, founder and former EU executive director Richard Oulahan is clear.

In this article, once again, Pabst refuses to bring forward the facts about mortgage loans Oulahan signed, totaling $700,000.00. If you read Pabst’s latest piece on EU you’ll notice she avoided to mention the $700,000.00 in loans Oulahan signed for before having to leave the agency  2003.

In fact, BMO Harris Bank, the bank that bought out M&I Bank, and who now owns the mortgage loans, recently verified that up until 2002 Oulahan was the sole signer of these mortgage loans.

Manny Perez, current executive director of EU, said that during the interview with Pabst he explained to her that the loans were toxic, improper and unaccounted for and that these loans were made before he got there. Pabst knows this to be true. However, she did not even mention these loans as part of the EU debt in her article above. Why?

Because questions asking why were these loans made will arise, that’s why. Questions like:

1. With these loans why weren’t the HVAC systems replaced and repaired at building 611 and 1329 West National Ave.?

2. Why weren’t the fire sprinklers replaced and fire alarm system modified at 611 building and EU building 1329 West National Ave.?

3. Why wasn’t the roof replaced at 611 and1329 West National Ave. buildings?

4. Where did the money go?

As former EU executive director, I presented these points to Pabst on many occasions. She always failed to even mention these loans in past articles about EU. She never reported the fact that I had to work to pay over $12,000.00 a month to get these loans under control. Spending this kind of money on these loans prevented EU from doing the infrastructure repairs the agency’s buildings desperately needed in order to stop the penalties and fines the City of Milwaukee levied on EU because these issues were not being addressed.

The inability to pay for these repairs was the main reason tenants moved out of the building starting in 2012 and prevented EU from asking for higher rent for this prime real estate.

In addition, when I first arrived in 2006 the City of Milwaukee was foreclosing on EU because of property taxes Oulahan did not pay. We managed to broker a deal with the city with the help of Alderman Jim Witkowiak to pay the city the taxes owed. We were successful in making that happen. It’s to bad we have a subversive, deceptive, underhanded, unprincipled, crafty, hoodwinking, perfidious Alderman in office today, otherwise, I believe Manny Perez would have been able to broker an agreement with city officials had the current thug Alderman sitting in office would have cooperated with him.

But lets not forget about the plan to turn Esperanza Unida around before former State Representative Pedro Colon, labor lawyer and Voces de la Frontera Action board member, Peter Earle and Voces de la Frontera Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz teamed up to block EU’s plan at a MATC meeting in March 2007 to bring a $1 million welding jobs trying program into our community.

Pabst never did tell the story about how these obstructionists; Colon, Earle, and Neumann-Ortiz; interfered with Esperanza Unida plans to bring MATC, Bucyrus International, the City of Milwaukee and the country of Turkey together and into our community in order to develop a welding program that would not only train workers in our community to be welders, but too further provide them with jobs once they are trained at Esperanza Unida with MATC support.

Pabst never wrote about the fact that after getting all these players together and establishing a sister city economic prosperity plan with the City of Manisa, Turkey and the City of Milwaukee, with the help of Aldermen Joe Davis and Jim Witkowiak, that this effort needed MATC board approval to move forward.

And what do you think former State Rep. and now irrelevant Judge Pedro Colon, labor hustler Peter Earle and Palermo’s Pizza extortionist Christine Neumann – Ortiz did?

Well, Colon and Earle who sat on the MATC board at the time led three other progressive board members to vote against the Esperanza Unida effort while Neumann – Ortiz sat at the table professing herself to be representing the community standing in solidarity with Colon and Earle in their opposition to this job training project being placed at Esperanza Unida in our community.

In closing, Georgia Pabst can only hide the truth for so long. A truth that I will now bring forward. My silence in this matter ends today! The truth will come out about Pabst’s friend Richard Oulahan, and many will be heartbroken to know that EU was not the efficiently run agency it’s predecessors want many to believe.

The war against Islamic extremism continues now with Barack Obama’s bombing of the “Islamic State” in Syria. The bombing of Syria guarantees Americas commitment to waging an unending war against terror organizations.

Obama’s Syria war is not against a particular enemy in a particular place, it’s against global thugs who use religion as cover for their barbarism. Bombs will not stop it.

Rather than bombing these barbarians back to the stone age, the US could have moved its allies to move a policy of containment.

Acting to find the funding sources of these thugs to cut it off must be cut off would have been a more cost effective way of degrading ISIS, instead of using million dollar cruise missiles and war planes. Influencing the major powers in the region (Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey) too take primary responsibility for the war that has to be waged against the extremists could have saved our country some money. Targeting students and other young people who are being recruited or bribed into joining the extremist thugs from joining these thugs could be an option.

Which brings me to another point I wish to make. This war against ISIS that we’re now engaged is yet another distraction from domestic problems Republicans don’t want to deal with and Democrats are afraid to address.

The percent of working-age Americans in jobs is the lowest in over three decades. More of the nation’s income is going to corporate profits and less to wages. Almost all the gains from economic growth are flowing to the top. Congress is so gridlocked and won’t raise taxes on the rich to pay for better schools for our kids.

Yet all we’re hearing about is ISIS (or ISIL), and bombing them.

Then again, bombing people to make the Military Industrial Complex CEOs richer is the best political thing to do for more reelection campaign money.

Mainstream Media Ignores Climate Change Protestors

Not much was said in mainstream media about the protesters around the United States converging on Manhattan in the largest mobilization against climate change to demand global leaders take action to stop the pollution of the world causing the world’s climate to change.

But what can be done?

Northern Europe is already making wind power nearly as cheap as carbon-based power, and China is doing the same with solar, but the United States is wedded to oil and natural gas, and without American leadership there’s little hope. And who is lobbying most intensely in the U.S. against any shift to non-carbon energy sources? You got it! Koch Industries. The Political corporation buying up politicians in Washington DC.

Bilingual Poll Workers Needed

The City of Milwaukee is looking for bilingual, professional, and dependable Election Inspectors (Poll Workers) for the November 4, 2014. If individuals meet the requirements, they will undergo a screening process followed by paid training. The candidate will receive $15 for training and $130 for the full election day or $65 for a half day.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in applying for the position please get in contact with Jesus Hernandez through email or phone.

The candidate must be:

* Bilingual in English and Spanish (preferred)

* Qualified to vote in the City of Milwaukee

* At least 18 years of age

* Must be a resident of the City of Milwaukee

* A U.S. citizen

* Never have been convicted of a felony

* Not be a candidate for office in the election

Believe In Yourself

Got a call from a friend the other day. He needed to talk to someone. He privileged me with his conversation. He’s going through some hard times right now, and I could tell he was feeling low. I’ll skip the details of his despair but what I said to him was that he should never give up on himself. Indeed, to all my dear brothers and sisters and those who are my friends. When times are hard you have to believe in you.

You must trust in the man or woman that you are. When you run into a bad string of luck the one person who can change the way things are is you. Believe in your courage to face adversity. Believe in your heart that you are good and that you matter. Believe that when you feel that everything is against you, it is you who must stand above the negative around you.

Seek from within you that strength that has lifted you from despair in the past and moved you forward to the positive side of life. Change your environment and rid it of the pollution that is causing your despair.

Trust in your family and loving friends to help lift your spirits. Motivate yourself to move away from the poison that is weakening your soul. Trust in your ability to make the changes in your life that will bring back happiness. And never abandon the power of prayer to help you move forward with confidence.

Keep your faith in God and in yourself. You may feel all is lost, but in reality you have all the power in you to bring yourself back from the abyss. And if there is just one person, just one person, in your life who you feel can help you rise up again, by all means reach out to that person. The love he or she has for you will help you energize to defeat the darkness encircling you.

You have it in you to light the path towards success and happiness once again. Enjoy your life.

takingsidesGovernor Walker says that he will push to require drug testing at an undisclosed cost for able-bodied people receiving benefits under FoodShare, the successor to the food stamps program.

Jon Peacock, research director for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, said “drug testing carried with it costs but had turned up only a modest number of substance abusers in other states that have adopted it”.

In other words: it don’t work

If Walker wants to appear as a compassionate conservative, he’s not doing so with this action. The proper way a compassionate conservative would deal with this matter is to implement the drug testing policy, but instead of kicking those on food stamp off for drug use, have them choose between treatment or losing their food stamps.

But compassionate conservatism in Wisconsin is not part of the political fabric of this state.

Qatar is a member of the coalition to fight ISIS–with what?

Cake and Foreign Workers?

President Obama tours that Qatar is part of his Collation to fight ISIS. Interesting since the tiny and über-rich Gulf emirate has increasingly come under scrutiny for its failure to protect the human rights of its huge foreign workforce as reported by the Nation magazine.

The Nation reports that Qatar’s 1.8 million foreign workers—vastly outnumbering the country’s 300,000 native citizens—”are frequently deprived of wages, trapped into permanent debt, exposed to hazardous working conditions and denied the right to unionize”.

Qatar’s traditional royal elites, businesses and private individuals have accrued high levels of wealth despite having a small domestic workforce. Qatar has the highest gross domestic product per capita of any country in the world. Meaning these are some pretty soft handed kind of people.

So who are they going to send to fight ISIS? Foreign workers?

Walker, Burke in neck & neck race

Latest poll shows that the candidates running for Wisconsin governor damn near tied among registered voters, with Walker leading 49%-46% among people likely to vote.

Marquette released its survey poll, two weeks after the last poll. In the last poll Marquette’s result gave Walker a slight edge with registered voters, while Burke had a slight lead among people who say they’re likely to vote.

The latest poll was conducted between Sept. 11 and Sept. 14 and included 800 registered voters.

Five percent of them say they are undecided in the governor’s race.

According to pollster Charles Franklin, there continues to be no evidence of a front runner, seven weeks before the election. Walker and Burke have remained in a virtual tie, since May.

This is going to get interesting real soon.

Boots on the ground or no boots on the ground? That is the question

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of Congress yesterday that he hasn’t ruled out recommending U.S. ground forces attack ISIS if the current air campaign in Iraq fails. “If we reach the point where I believe our advisers should accompany Iraqi troops on attacks against specific ISIL targets, I will recommend that to the President,” Dempsey said. Sources say the White House okayed Dempsey’s remark beforehand.

Translated: The President has promised for weeks that no combat troops would be sent to fight ISIS, but public opinion is shifting in light of the recent ghastly beheadings, and the military wants to move in. So Dempsey’s remark is a trial balloon. The war with ISIS is about to escalate, one way or another. History will show that George W. Bush’s toppling of Saddam Hussein unleashed the barbarians, and Obama couldn’t contain them. The job will ultimately fall to the next president, but how many more American lives will be lost?

More NFL Issues

As if the NFL didn’t already have enough trouble with women, it turns out the most powerful sports league in the U.S., with $9.7 billion in annual revenue, pays its cheerleaders less than McDonald’s workers. The Dallas Cowboys, who pioneered the modern day NFL cheer squad — including choreographed dances and skimpy outfits — pay their cheerleaders $150 per game, which, figuring in rehearsal time, comes to under $7 an hour.

The Buffalo Bills don’t even pay that. The Raiders just announced their cheerleaders will be getting $9 an hour, the California minimum wage. The minimum salary for a single player in the NFL is $420,000. League Commissioner Roger Goodell was paid $44 million in 2012. Do you think the NFL could possibly afford, say, $15 an hour for its cheerleaders?

These some really greedy ass mofos.  Bill Clinton Agrees Netanyahu “Not the Guy” to Reach Peace with Palestinians.

Former President Bill Clinton has been caught on tape agreeing that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “not the guy” to reach a long-term peace deal with the Palestinians. At a Democratic fundraiser in Iowa, C-SPAN recorded Clinton defending his own record in past negotiations as he chatted with a member of the public, who criticized Netanyahu.

Man: “If we don’t force him to make peace, we will not have peace.”

Bill Clinton: “First of all, I agree with that. But in 2000, Ehud Barak, I got him to agree to something that I’m not sure I could have gotten Rabin to agree to, and Rabin was murdered for giving land to the Palestinians.”

Man: “I agree. So, but Netanyahu is not the guy.”  Bill Clinton: “I agree with that.”

Bill Clinton’s comments differ sharply from the public stances of his wife, potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has defended Netanyahu, including over this summer’s Israeli assault on Gaza.

Well, we know why she’s saying something different. I wonder if it has to do with $$$$$$$$$$.

takingsidesThis past week Jonathan Safran, the attorney for the family of Dontre Hamilton, expected to be informed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office (DA) of a charging decision in the death of 31-year-old Dontre Hamilton was shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer inside Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee in April. The District Attorney’s Office said late Tuesday afternoon no decision has been made in the case, and now, Safran says the DA is seeking an independent investigation. This is political shenanigan.  DA wants independent investigation but did not ask for it in April. Now that the movement is hot and fueled with the solidarity of Ferguson, MO, DA is put back in the hot seat unable to move this quietly along. Lets not be fooled here. The DA is unable to charge this officer because the Milwaukee Police Union is also politically involved here. The MPA is a contributor and supporter of the DA. The DA will not act on his own to do the right thing opting instead to pass the buck to an independent investigator. Seems for the DA, campaign contributions and political support from MPA is more important than justice. The reluctance by the police to release the name of the taxpayer paid officer who shot a man to death at Red Arrow park is nothing more than a message of power. Police Chief Flynn is demonstrating to the taxpayers who pay his salary and fund the police department that his power is absolute. By his action he is implying to the taxpayers that they are nothing more than serfs who must never challenge him while he holds the power of policing in Milwaukee. In his world taxpayers have no rights. Another first for African Americans On Monday, Sept. 15th, 2014 at the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) Conference Supervisor Willie Johnson Jr. became the first African American President of the WCA. This is a HUGE honor, well deserved and hard earned. Congratulations. Protracted military campaign costly in war against terror “All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there and cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses…” — Osama bin Laden The strategy used by ISIS and Al Queda is a strategy designed to weaken and destroy the American economy. These guys are in this for the long haul. They’re strategy to force the economy of the USA to spend Billions of dollars to combat a force of 1000 – 5000 fighters is designed to destroy our economy thus deteriorating our ability to engage militarily against them or any world nation stepping up to challenge US interests abroad. USA falling for the bait by sending heavy weapons, high tech expensive weapons and military power normally used to fight nations. The quote below correctly states America’s challenges: “The shift from Old to New World occurs precisely when American power, still obviously considerable, is being displaced with the rise of multiple power-sectors themselves on the ascendance while America is facing a steady decline through over-commitment to militarism (in the form of military appropriations, interventions, weaponry-and-nuclear modernization, waste and corruption in defense contracts, global system of bases, etc.), the market-fundamentalism orientation which has led to deregulation, capitalism run amuck, a tattered if not shattered social safety net, urban decay, rotting infrastructure, and much more, including wage stagnation and unemployment pointing to widespread class-differentiation that is oiled over through the institutional fostering of false consciousness. Quite a mouthful, yet indicative of what has been driving USG and political-economic-military elites: global showdown to restore American supremacy where in fact this is no longer possible.” – stclair: “NATO, Spearhead of Western Fascism” 2014 ISIS threat to be dealt a hard blow President Obama explained to the nation his plan to destroy ISIS. His plan will include air strikes in Syria, where a conundrum for Obama presents itself. On one hand, Obama must destroy ISIS. On the other hand, destroying ISIS would then empower Syria’s president Assad who USA is trying to remove from power. Funny how these leaders in the Middle East who were once on talking terms with our leaders, are now on the list of regime dictators USA must remove. ISIS, a USA creation, is just a tool for creating instability in the region and justification for creating USA puppet Middle East governments. Ebola flourishing in Liberia Shocking news coming from Liberia, a nation that in the 1800s many former Black slaves were shipped to from the United States In 1824, the capitol city Christopolis was renamed Monrovia after James Monroe, then President of the United States, who was a prominent supporter of sending freed Black slaves to Liberia who saw it as preferable to emancipation in America. For your health Being that I am over 50 years of age, I decided to have a colonoscopy done. A colonoscopy is a test that allows your doctor to look at the inner lining of your large intestine. The procedure is recommended for all men and women 50 years old and above. I decided to have this done because anyone with a colon can get colorectal cancer – a collective term that includes both colon cancer and rectal cancer. In the United States, it’s the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women. In 2012, 144,000 new cases were diagnosed and more than 51,000 people died of this form of cancer. The lifetime chance of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 20, with women facing a slightly lower risk than men. Source: CDC I’m happy to say that I’m good to go. If you’re 50 years old and above please consider having one done. It’s your health. Don’t worry about what others say When a member of Milwaukee’s nobility attacks an activist for standing against an injustice, the proper thing for elite leaders of the community to do is condemn such an attack. But in this community many leaders from top to bottom have no sense of themselves. Community nobles share allegiance with their oppressors, grassroots groups separate from each other to protect their funding interest. Few activists make enemies on both sides, they understand that in doing so you are blackballed, isolated and shunned. It’s alright to be blackballed, isolated and shunned. It’s just a question of why. When will president Obama give his support speech? Governor Martin O’Malley of the great State of Maryland was in town to give his support to Mary Burke to become Wisconsin’s Next Governor. That’s just peachy. So when will president Obama give his support speech for Mary Burke? Wouldn’t a speech from the leader of the free world be something the Burke for Governor campaign want to have in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin #1 Worst State for Black Families 

takingsidesA study, conducted by family advocacy organization the Annie E. Casey Foundation,  evaluated states on 12 indicators that measured a child’s success in each stage of life, from birth to adulthood, including family income and education.

The report makes policy recommendations to help ensure families, especially their children, can reach their full potential no matter where they live.

Now, no place is 100% safe or full of unrestricted opportunities, but according to the study, the Midwest is the worst place for Black families when it comes to racial disparities for children.

In the Midwest, report indicates that for Black families Wisconsin is the worst state to raise a child.

“Research has shown that growing up in chronic poverty contributes directly to stress at a level that can affect children’s health, brain development and social and emotional well-being — a response known as ‘toxic stress,” notes the KIDS COUNT policy report  “Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children”.

Consider that Madison and Milwaukee are thought to be liberal sanctuaries and are the two biggest cities in Wisconsin where at least 3/4 of Black Americans live; ought to tell you something about the liberal/progressive movement in this state.

To be rated #1 worst state for African Americans in the nation is very telling.

Combating Police Brutality

The most powerful tool to fight the war against police brutality, police misconduct, unprofessional police officers and police abuse is the video camera.

As long as you are not obstructing police from their duties, interfering in anyway or breaking the law, you have the right to video tape police at anytime while on public land.

Police have no authority to tell you to stop video taping their activities as long as you are not committing a crime. This is the citizens fail safe tool to ensure cops are doing their sworn duty to “serve and protect”.

If police will not police their ranks of rogue cops, it is the right of the citizenry to then act to protect the community from those cops who dishonor the badge and the honor of the police entrusted by the citizens to enforce our laws and protect the people. Nuff said.

Obama Indicating Attack on Syria

A year ago Obama tried to use the pretext that Syrian government was using chemical weapons against its own people to justify military invasion of Syria. But when it was proven that Syrian rebels (known today as ISIS), supported by the USA government and fighting the Syrian government, were in fact responsible for using the chemical weapons, and when Russia sent three warships off of the Syrian coast, US government pulled back from an invasion.

Now Obama is once again looking to attack and invade Syria under the pretext of degrading and destroying ISIS. USA government wants Syria badly. ISIS, a USA creation, is opening the way for USA to put boots on the ground in Syria. Military industrial complex about to make billions of dollars on another trumped up for profit war.

Israel Steals More Palestinian Land

The United Nations expressed dismay at Israel’s decision to confiscate land in the West Bank while Italy considered such a move an obstacle in the way of peace.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said settlements “are not only illegal on the basis of international law but also represent an obstacle to peace and to the two states’ prospects.”

“Italy has always, together with the other EU partners urged the two sides to abstain from unilateral and counter-productive initiatives such as the one announced today, which can prejudice dialogue,” she said.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday expressed dismay over the Israeli authorities’ announcement to confiscate Palestinian land in the West Bank.

According to a statement issued by his spokesman Stephane Dujarric today: “The Secretary-General is alarmed by yesterday’s announcement by Israeli authorities to declare as so-called ‘state land’ nearly 1,000 acres of land in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank.”

President Obama said he loves Milwaukee brats while attending laborfest. I’m glad he had a nice feast. The children in GAZA however go hungry because he failed to stop the Zionists leaders of Israel from attacking GAZA in order to steal 1000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land.

This theft of Palestinian land is another example why Palestinians support for HAMAS is strong. 50 years of theft would cause anyone to engage in anyway to stop the theft of their property. I’m sure if Native Americans in the United States had the technology when their lands were being stolen, they would have been lobbing rockets into Plymouth Rock back then as well.

Behold The Matrix

The Matrix we currently live under rewards the people who avoid politics, stay focused on themselves and who are plugged into the Matrix by their ignorance and denials. Many of these people are not ready or refuse to be unplugged because they are so inured, cowardly and so hopelessly dependent on the Matrix, to the point that they will fight to the death to stay ignorant and bliss about it.

Just saying.

Progressive United States Senator?

Independent journalist, Miles Kristan appears to have caught US Senator Tammy Baldwin telling a lie.

A Utube video shows Senator Tammy Baldwin denying that she voted for two of the most notorious laws in our Nation’s history.

She voted for NDAA, a law that allows government to spy on a US citizen who expresses outrage against the US government.

She also voted for the “Monsanto Act”, which strips judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for Monsanto corporation to plant new untested GMO crops.

The voting record in Washington clearly shows that she did vote in favor of these two laws.

Either she is inept or complicit.

An Inspirational Message From The Late Great Bruce Lee

“Look to this day, for it is life. The very life of life. Within its brief span, lies all the verities and realities of your existence. The bliss of growth. The glory of action. The splendor of beauty. For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is but a vision. But, today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this day.”

takingsidesWhen one is able to contrast law enforcement’s reaction to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri versus law enforcement’s reaction to the protestors at the Bundy Ranch, it is clear race plays a key role in how law enforcement addresses the white race over the black race.

Let us take a look:

1) The Bundy Ranch: a large group of armed white men protest against federal government and threatened to shoot police, even posting one civilian rifleman in a sniper’s perch pointing his weapon at Bureau of Land Management officials. In reaction, law enforcement didn’t fire a single round or canister of tear gas, and eventually retreated, conceding the disputed ground to the Bundy protestors. It’s important to note that the protesters turned out in support of a man who refused to pay his taxes and grazed his cattle without paying the accompanying fees. This man, Cliven Bundy, and his supporters threatened secession and armed revolt against the United States government. Bundy also said some racist comments against black people.

2) Ferguson, Missouri: On the other hand, unarmed African American protesters in Ferguson, enraged and grieving from the death of an unarmed black man named Michael Brown who was shot by a police officer, have been confronted by police in full military regalia. This time, the rifleman in the sniper’s perch is a police officer — his scope pointed at the protesters. Now you tell me what do think would have happened if any of those black protestors were armed like the white protestors at the Bundy Ranch.

Clearly the Ferguson law enforcement department overreacted in the face of peaceful protesters, while at the Bundy Ranch, law enforcement tucked tail and ran in the face of armed secessionists protestors and scofflaws.

There is discrimination against Black and Latino people in the United States. There are those who will argue that the discrimination is not as overt as it was 60 years ago. This is not true. One needs only look at the segregation of Blacks in American cities all across the nation. Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Detroit, Michigan are some of the best documented examples of American apartheid.

The American government has not done anything to destroy white supremacy in the country. In addition, the American government has no intention of reforming institutions that have for decades established hyper-economic and social apartheid practices and policies designed to maintain poverty in mostly black communities in America.

The unrest in Ferguson, MO is a microcosm to the direct result of slavery and racial segregation laws that were in force until 1965. The covert apartheid social and economic policies of corporate America and the political unwillingness of the United States government to end segregation and Wall Street support of apartheid against the Black community, will never allow Black Americans to finally live the “American Dream” in peace.

Tired of talking and hearing about race

Often we hear some people ask wacko things like: why don’t Black leaders protest black on black crimes? These same people say stupid things like: I’m  tired about hearing and talking of race based issues.

Well, to those of you who complain that Black leaders don’t do nothing or say nothing about black on black crime, well, they are doing and saying something. Because you being ignorant about them doing so doesn’t mean these events aren’t taking place.

So that you know, life in this country is inherently different for black people than it is for white people. Speaking about it is not playing the race card. It’s about how people of color, no matter their Socio-economic status, face obstacles in this country day in and day out with grace and courage. Imagine on a pretty consistent bases you can’t even get a taxi cab because you’re Black. Or being followed in a store because you’re black.

The reaction to the killing of Michael Brown is a “last straw” reaction that sparked into mass demonstrations due to years of mistrust and frustration of being verbally and physically abused by various police officers of the Ferguson, MO police department.

Police departments in America are infiltrated by some of the most despicable racist pigs humanity has to offer. It is up to those good police officers to remove these bigots from their ranks so that trust can be completely bestowed upon the police by all of the people.

Further, unless local, state and federal government of the United States acts to cleanse the militaristic culture of the police, cities across America will erupt to force change.

Racism is here and it is a constant. So you’re tired of hearing about it and talking about, imagine how exhausting it is living it.

ISIS and the beheading of the American Journalist

Truly, the actions of ISIS are the actions of individuals who have twisted notions drenched in blood about Islam. ISIS has killed more Muslims and negatively affected the lives of millions of Muslims to date, than any group presently. Their recent beheading of an American journalist is beyond evil, it is madness. What this action accomplished is to fuel more hatred against Muslims in the west, and add to western views about Islam as being a religion that embraces war and carnage. Why converts would join ISIS I can only attribute to their lack of deep understanding of Islam. This is not to say that these radicals do not love Islam, what I mean is that radicals have not become Islamic by accepting and embracing peace within themselves. The ISIS campaign reflects the kind of destruction and murder only associated with western ways and reflects nothing about the true path of Islam. Clearly, the western training received by this groups leaders mirrors the notions and ideas of western culture and not of Islam.

takingsidesIncumbent state representative JoCasta Zamarripa received 678-61% of the vote, while challenger Laura Manriquez received 438-39% of the vote.

According to Zamarripa’s financial statement, she spent $13,396.09 of the total $21,407.70 she collected for this primary campaign from special interest groups and individuals that live outside of the 8th Assembly District. That amounts to Zamarripa spending about $20.00 per vote.

Laura Manriquez who received 39% of the vote had no special interest endorsements, but had the support of real grass roots 8th Assembly residents. Manriquez spent a total of $118.52. That amounts to .27 cents per vote.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Ferguson, Missouri is hot bed of activities 

This past week Ferguson, Missouri had the nation and the world closely following the demonstrations and the reaction to the protestors by law enforcement.

After a police officer shot and killed an unarmed black male teen, Ferguson police chief decided to hold a press to release the name of the police officer who shot the young man six times–two bullets striking the head of the victim.

The police chief revealed that officer Darren Wilson was put on administrative sanctions until a review of the shooting was investigated by federal and other government agencies. At the same time the chief revealed the name of the officer, he released a video tape that showed the victim allegedly robbery a local store.

Clearly the chief wanted to sway the public into thinking the cop was in the process of dealing with a strong arm robbery suspect when he shot him. But then, hours after the release of the video showing the victim, Michael Brown leaving the store with cigars in hand, the chief had to come back and hold another impromptu press conference to explain to the public that the cop who shot Brown confronted the victim on an unrelated matter.

Not a good idea on the part of the chief to attempt to sway public opinion into thinking his officer was justified in killing Brown.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, told The New York Times that one of the bullets entered the top of Brown’s skull, suggesting that his head was bent forward when he suffered a fatal injury.

The report also states that all six bullets entered Brown from the front. Disturbing to say the least.

Ku Klux Klan to

the Rescue

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Watch blog reported that the South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan boasted that its Missouri chapter is raising money as a “reward” for the officer who killed Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who’s death has made Ferguson, MO top news this week. I wonder if the police officer will accept the money.

Officer not so friendly 

An officer assigned to assist in crowd control in Ferguson, MO was video taped not being a fine example of police – community relations in Ferguson, MO. Officer “gofuckyourself”, that’s actually how he responded when he was asked for his name, pointed his weapon (an M-4 assault weapon it appears to look like) at unarmed protestors.

Officer not so friendly was suspended indefinitely for his Rambo impersonation. When asked by one of the journalist for his name, officer not so friendly blurted out: “gofuckyourself”. Needless to say, the name stuck…Officer gofuckyourself needs a lesson on when its time to be a jackass and when it’s time to just shut the f*** up during his suspension period.

This is the kind of psycho is released into our communities everyday. Is it any wonder why police community relations are bad.

GAZA ceasefire

talks break down

Once again carnage is alive and well in GAZA. Talks broke down because of one fundamental issue. Basically, how are Palestinians and Israel  going to come to any agreement when the most basic fundamental issue of ending social and economic apartheid in the world’s largest open air prison against the Palestinians can’t even be resolved?

Venezuela stepped up to help the babies of GAZA. The people of Venezuela will be accepting the children orphaned by the conflict by providing a home, health care and a future. In addition, isn’t it interesting that all of the children held in detention on our southern border, there are practically none that come from Venezuela. Go figure.

Recently a blogger reported about  Reynaldo

Hernandez

A local blogger reported recently that muralist Reynaldo Hernandez had been given $2,500.00 in April of 2013 to begin work on the Esperanza Unida

Mural. Shortly thereafter Hernandez joined in with a group of individuals who began spreading lies that money for the mural project given by the city arts board was stolen.

An investigation by the District Attorney office revealed no money for the mural project was misappropriated or stolen. They found that an administrative scam was done by the coordinator of the project, but as ED of the agency, I accept my failure to stop that process from moving forward.

However Reynaldo Hernandez after receiving the money never got started on the work he was partially paid to do. It is now the middle of August 2014, he got the money in April 2013. The City of Milwaukee Arts Board received it’s money back in June this year however Reynaldo Hernandez kept $2,500.00.

Reynaldo Hernandez should return that money to Esperanza Unida. For Hernandez to keep that money, knowing he did not do the work he was paid to do for it, clearly shows this man’s character as being unethical and dubious.

takingsidesIncumbent representative JoCasta Zamarripa, with all the major endorsements, union backing, special interest cash and support of networks like Voces de la Frontera only received 61% of the vote to move on to the general election to face off against a Republican challenger. 61%.  Zamarippa received 678 votes while Manriquez received 438 votes.

According to Zamarripa’s financial statement she spent $13,396.09 for this primary campaign. Zamarripa reports that she collected a total of $21,407.70 for this campaign.  Not a very good showing for an incumbent who was challenged by Laura Manriquez who received 39%. Manriquez had no cash, no endorsements, is recovering from serious ankle and head injury, but was still able to get the support of real grass roots community people. Manriquez spent a total of $118.52.  Laura Manriquez has had to deal with obstacles in the last three attempts against Zamarripa.

Laura Manriquez 2014

Obstacles and Tragedy

In 2010, Manriquez challenged Zamarripa only to have her campaign derailed by a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article. The published report clearly hurt Manriquez’ chance when it reported that Manriquez had state tax warrants issued against her.  In the article, Georgia Pabst,  journalist  for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS), the newspaper received a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting that year, defamed Manriquez when Pabst wrote that Manriquez had state warrants issued against her for not paying over $70,000.00 in state taxes.

The article also stated that Manriquez was married and that she and her husband were in grave financial trouble.   Pabst reported about another Laura Manriquez living in the South side at the time.  Pabst published the article despite the fact that Manriquez wrote an email response to Pabst’s question about the tax issue. Manriquez wrote in her email response to Pabst that she did not know what she was talking about.  MJS had Pabst rewrite the article and issue a correction after the Manriquez campaign complained to MJS editors. But the damage to Manriquez’ reputation had been done.

“When that article was released, all the work I did during the campaign went for not. Many voters contacted me told me they were not supporting me. Even after I explained that was not me, many voters asked why would MJS publish information about me like that without checking it out first”, Manriquez said.

In 2012, Manriquez challenged Zamarripa again. However, tragedy befell Manriquez when her son was tragically killed by a hit and run driver.  “The loss of my son was more than I could bear that year”, said Manriquez.  After the death of her son, the campaign fizzled.  This primary election Manriquez decided to challenge Zamarripa once again.

Despite having broken her ankle in three places, while working in the city forestry division, and having metal plate and screws affixed in her ankle after surgery, Manriquez filed her nomination papers after collecting the required signatures to be placed on the ballot.  But once again tragedy struck. Shortly thereafter she was walking down a flight of stairs, Manriquez fell down 15 steps and hit her head causing a major concussion.   Her children cared for her until the ambulance arrived and whisked her to the hospital.

There, Manriquez was diagnosed having major brain trauma.  The impact of the fall caused her brain to swell, hemorrhage and develop a blood clot; however doctors did not decide to do surgery, opting instead to see if the swelling in the brain would stop. After four days it did.  After several weeks in the hospital recovering, Manriquez was released however the injury prevented her from walking and being on her feet for long periods.

“I really wanted to be out there. Knock on doors. Meet with the voters. Surround myself with my community like I usually do. But these past two elections I’ve just had the most rotten luck”, said Manriquez.

Manriquez is still recovering. In recent weeks she has been able to get around but in limited fashion.

“I thank my Lord Jesus and Father God for giving me life. Life is wonderful. I will continue to do the work I have been doing to see the world God intended us to have come to fruition”, said Manriquez.

The election season is upon us and voters are left to choose between two candidates running next week for the 8th Assembly District.

The incumbent, JoCasta Zamarripa is surrounded by union and other special interest support, while her primary challenger, Laura Manriquez, was unable to mount a substantial campaign due in large part to her medical health issues that have temporarily enabled her.

Zamarripa should have no problem being reelected for another term in office, which raises a curious eyebrow when you look closely at her campaign literature, which list her work on voter rights, but it fails to even mention her #1top-priority issue that she vowed to put a lot of energy into in January 2014, and that is same-sex marriage.

In January, 2014, looking confident and determined, State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa appeared on WITI television to say that she has made the legalization of same-sex marriage her priority issue for 2014. Zamarripa said, “We’re ready for marriage equality. The Legislature has to catch up at this point”. Zamarripa vowed to focus her energy to make Wisconsin a same-sex marriage state.

But this priority issue does not appear in recent reelection campaign mailings put out to 8th Assembly voters by the Zamarripa supporters.  Why?

Why is it that Zamarripa continues to hoodwink Southside voters with literature that does not accurately detail what her “top-priority” issue is?

The 8th Assembly District deserves to know that their representative has made same-sex marriage her #1 legislative issue, but rather than highlight this fact on her campaign literature, Zamarripa highlights work on voter rights, which is NOT her “top priority” issue.

If you’re a lawmaker who has been on television news stations and interviewed in newspapers proclaiming that same-sex marriage is your “top priority” issue, why omit that fact from your campaign literature?

Unless Zamarripa trying to pull a fast one on your constituents. Looks like Zamarripa really is not fully out of the closet.

Siding With Hamas?

Several Emails were sent to me by individuals who want to remain anonymous. Their messages were an attempt to appeal to me to stop supporting Hamas, which they believe my articles published in several newspapers are all about.

I will respect their request to remain anonymous, but I want to stress to my readers that my call for action to stop the murder of unarmed children and women in GAZA is a call to hold Israel’s leaders accountable for the war crimes they are committing.

Anyone who believes that Israel’s defense forces have the legitimate right to bomb schools, hospitals and other none military targets indiscriminately are not only wrong–you have also lost your humanity.

To argue facts presented to you by the likes of people such as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Bigot Belling, the same voices over the radio that also tell you that the detention of children at our southern border is a just cause, leads me to believe that you have no human feeling in you at all.

To be sure, the same people who attack immigrants, advocate for the continued assaults against immigrant families and the detention of desperate and hopeless children, are the same people you’re going to listen to regarding the Israeli campaign in Gaza? Really!

The United Nations stands in opposition to the military activities of Israel, meaning the world is condemning Israel for its war crimes, and yet, the United States stands alone in support of Israel’s assaults of none military targets and those of us who believe this is appalling are in support of Hamas?

This is elementary thinking and speaks volumes to the limited ability of some people to think deeper about this issue.

There are those who support Israel because they choose to simply listen to the mantra of pro-Israeli advocates, and there are those hard line/hard core wackos who ignore the evidence and practical arguments for proving Israel’s leaders are war criminals because they simply are blinded by fear and hatred.

You can scream I’m anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas all you like. The facts still remains: unarmed children and women are being murdered by Israel, who is perfectly at ease with itself to bomb schools, hospitals and other none military targets. That is a war crime.

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