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takingsidesThe unions seeking to unionize the workers at Palermo Villa Inc. have withdrawn their petition for union representation with the National Labor Relations Board, according to Ben Mandelman, Milwaukee officer-in-charge.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

2014-04-22T140119Z_1_CBREA3L0Y6900_RTROPTP_3_MCDONALDS_original

takingsidesHamburger chef Jamie Oliver won a battle against McDonald’s, one of the largest fast food chains in the world. After Oliver showed how McDonald’s hamburgers are made, the franchise announced it will change its recipe.

According to Oliver, the fatty parts of beef are “washed” in ammonium hydroxide and used in the filling of the burger. Before this process, according to the presenter, the food is deemed unfit for human consumption.

According to the chef and presenter, Jamie Oliver, who has undertaken a war against the fast food industry: “Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest way for dogs, and after this process, is being given to human beings.”

Besides the low quality of the meat, the ammonium hydroxide is harmful to health. Oliver calls it “the pink slime process.”

“Why would any sensible human being put meat filled with ammonia in the mouths of their children?” asked the chef, who wages a war against the fast food industry.

In one of his initiatives, Oliver demonstrates to children how nuggets are made. After selecting the best parts of the chicken, the remains (fat, skin and internal organs) are processed for these fried foods.

The company, Arcos Dorados, the franchise manager in Latin America, said such a procedure is not practiced in the region. The same applies to the product in Ireland and the UK, where they use meat from local suppliers.

In the United States, Burger King and Taco Bell had already abandoned the use of ammonia in their products. The food industry uses ammonium hydroxide as an anti-microbial agent in meats, which has allowed McDonald’s to use otherwise “inedible meat.”

Even more disturbing is that because ammonium hydroxide is considered part of the “component in a production procedure” by the USDA, consumers may not know when the chemical is in their food.

On the official website of McDonald’s, the company claims that their meat is cheap because, while serving many people every day, they are able to buy from their suppliers at a lower price, and offer the best quality products.

In addition, the franchise denied that the decision to change the recipe is related to Jamie Oliver’s campaign. On the site, McDonald’s has admitted that they have abandoned the beef filler from its burger patties.

Wages on the rise at McDonald’s

Important victory this week for fast-food workers: The National Labor Relations Board has just ruled that the McDonalds Corporation is a “joint employer” with its franchisees – potentially making the fast-food giant responsible for working conditions (including pay) at its 14,000 restaurants. McDonald’s and other chains have repeatedly claimed their franchisees are responsible, not them. But the NLRB says McDonald’s controls the terms of the operations of its restaurants.

The implications of the ruling are significant. Not only will the McDonalds Corporation and other national chains become even more central in the movement to raise fast-food workers’ wages to $15 an hour; they won’t be able to circumvent state and local laws by arguing (as does the International Franchise Association in a lawsuit filed in Seattle) that fast-food and other franchisees are small businesses, not subject to such laws on the same terms as big businesses.

takingsidesOn Milwaukee’s Silence Regarding Palestine

I’ve been asked by activists organizing in other cities around the country in support of the Palestinian people, why is there nothing going on in Milwaukee protesting the indiscriminate actions of Israel against the people of Palestine? Well, in a word: MONEY.

Milwaukee is full of professional activists/organizers interested in careers in activism that lead to a pay check. For these people, activism that leads to real confrontation that can lead to possible marginalization from funders or a job with a nonprofit, is activism they stay away from.

These cowards hide their faces from being seen and labeled as radicals, trouble makers or loose cannons. For them, this is a social sentence for being black balled. Once black balled, they fear not being invited to feel good socials, offered organizing jobs and self-promoting dinner banquets that highlight fake-ass activists looking for not just an adventure, but a job and some funding for their group.

I will also add that when real activists/organizers do get involved and start organizing a pro-Palestine rally, they will have their efforts sabataged. They are not part of the professional/career track activists/organizers networks operating in Milwaukee. The same networks that work with organizations and institutions that maintain Mikwaukee’s hypersegrageted social/economic apartheid society.

Regarding The 

Children

There was a time in our world history when the human race not only valued life, but treasured and cherished the life of a child to the point nations would send armies to destroy tyrants murdering, abusing and discarding children as waste indiscriminately. Children – 100 killed in Gaza over the last two weeks; over 50, 000 children at our southern border held in camps – many of them refugees from drug wars in Central America. Children suffering and our leaders turn a blind eye. Shame on humanity.

Courageous Former President Jimmy Carter

One of the few American presidents who have balls big enough to challenge the lies being parroted by Zionist sympathizers that control the American government and tells the naked truth….we should support former president Carter in every way we can..he is already under attack from the Zionist and their cruel partners in Israel.

Former President Jimmy Carter, author of a new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI… was interviewed from his home in Plains, Georgia. He responds to a caller who asks questions concerning pressure put on the US political system and the resulting support of Israel. The caller refers to author James Bamford’s book “A Pretext For War”http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI… and he asks President Carter about the Zionist and other pressure groups within the US.

President Carter gives a raw truth response. Simply stated, the killings in GAZA is nothing more than a land grab by the Israeli government. The theft of land owned by the Palestinians is the primary reason Israel is marching on Palestine.

Shame on the United States government for supporting the murder of civilians by the Israeli defense forces who are doing nothing more than what the union army in America did in the 1800s against the Native Americans here in the United States.

Detroit Continues to Fall, But Hey! They’re Building a New Hockey Arena The Detroit Red Wings unveiled plans for their brand new publicly subsidized $450 million arena development. The arena, which promises to include $200 million additional investments in mixed-used development, will break ground in September. The Ilitch family, which owns the Red Wings and Tigers, is calling the new arena district a “bold vision” that will “generate at least $1.8 billion in total economic impact.” Renderings were released and neighborhood names coined, because everyone wants sports franchises handling their urban planning.

You might remember the uproar over the arena deal—which includes $284.5 million in public investment—when it was originally announced last summer. Isn’t this a terrible idea for a city wading through bankruptcy proceedings, people asked? (Yes, it is.) Couldn’t those tax dollars be better spent on other infrastructure improvements in the area instead of lining the pockets of a wealthy pizza magnate? (Yes, they could have.)

So rather than invest in infrastructure jobs that rebuild neighborhoods in the city, Detroit leaders decide to spend tens of millions of public dollars building new arenas for their gladiators. And you wonder why Detroit is in ruins.

Presidential Elections Coming

The media’s attention has turned to the 2016 presidential election, and stories abound about Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Christie, Paul, Jeb Bush, and others jockeying for contender position. Meanwhile, President Obama’s approval ratings are in the basement, not only with Republicans but with many Democrats and independents. He’s not a just a lame duck; he’s a severely disabled duck.

But we’re still more than two-and-a-half years before a new president occupies the White House. That’s a long time, and it’s a dangerous time. Crises are breaking out all over the globe. Here at home, Tea Party radicals are pushing Republicans to the extreme right, and the Senate may be under the control of the GOP after the midterms.

Lord help us.

The Failed War on Drugs

The nation’s war on drugs has been a total failure. It hasn’t reduced the flow or use of drugs in America. Our prisons are bursting with drug users and low level drug dealers, mostly Black and Latinos. There is a thriving black market that has helped fuel the growth of violent gangs and drug cartels throughout Mexico and Central America; causing a child refugee crisis along America’s southern border.

There is light on the horizon however. The nation appears to be finally waking up: Washington state and Colorado have legalized marijuana sales, the District of Columbia has decriminalized possession of small amounts, and others states are considering similar measures.

In addition, the US Sentencing Commission, which sets punishments for federal crimes, voted unanimously to reduce sentences for people convicted of possessing and selling illegal drugs – including those already serving time. Unless Congress rejects the guidelines (unlikely, given the need to save money by shaving 80,000 “bed years” off the federal budget, and a growing bi-partisan consensus that jailing non-violent drug offenders makes no sense) that means nearly half of the federal prisoners incarcerated for drug crimes in federal prisons will be eligible for sentencing reduction (averaging around 25 months). At least 46,000 could be eligible for release when the guidelines take effect November 1, 2015.

Far more needs to be done. Sepan todos Latinos y Afro-Americanos este hombre…El Rey de los racistas en el estado de Wisconsin. Mark (bigot) Belling. Neta!

takingsidesIn the midst of Israel’s latest exercise in savagery, Palestinians are reporting the death of innocent children by Israel’s Defense Force in large numbers. All over Gaza infant children are wailing, amidst the sounds of explosions and jet planes, targeting any civilian who moves.

Reports from Gaza speak to massive destruction in once quiet neighborhoods with no military targets – except Palestinians who are fair game for Israel’s high tech US-supplied military machine. Reports also indicate that ambulances trying to evacuate wounded civilians have been targeted and destroyed, and over 70 had been killed, and of the 300 or so wounded, about 2/3 women and children.

Palestinians say that few Hamas activists have been wounded and that Hamas rocket launching sites have not been destroyed.

The United Nations reports that 80% of Gaza Casualties are Civilian in addition to thousands of them being displaced from their homes.

Thousands of Gazans have fled their homes amidst a relentless Israeli bombing campaign.

The United Nations estimates more than 20percent of the dead are children. At least 1,200 Palestinians have been wounded, nearly two-thirds women and children. More than 940 homes have reportedly been severely damaged or destroyed, some 400,000 people are without electricity, and 17,000 people are displaced

In a report to UNRWA by Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician who has worked extensively in Gaza.  In every respect, the situation is disastrous. Gilbert reports:

“Palestinian children in Gaza are suffering immensely. A large proportion are affected by the man-made malnourishment regime caused by the Israeli imposed blockage. Prevalence of anaemia in children < 2yrs in Gaza is at 72.8%, while prevalence of wasting, stunting, underweight have been documented at 34.3%, 31.4%, 31.45% respectively.”

As the bombings continue by Israel’s Army, mourners weeping cling to each other in front of International news networks, a mother screams in disbelief as she mourns the death of her young son, who was killed while he was playing on a beach in the Gaza Strip with his three cousins.

The four boys, two aged ten, and two other boys both named Mohammad, aged 11 and nine, died in shelling from a nearby Israeli gunboat. Their bodies were draped in Fatah flags during their funerals.

They were killed as 100,000 Palestinians were urged to evacuate their homes ahead of an Israeli ground offensive.

Israel’s military has warned tens of thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes as the conflict escalates, raising fears that a full ground invasion of Gaza is imminent. However, many do not heed the warnings because Hamas dismisses them as psychological propaganda – and because it is not immediately clear where Palestinians are supposed to go while the entire Gaza Strip is under threat of Israeli airstrikes.

Israel has acknowledged that at least one attack which caused civilian casualties earlier in this conflict was a tragedy – and while it will argue that such incidents take time to investigate, it may do so again.

Israel blames Hamas for civilian fatalities and injuries at two levels. First, it says Hamas bears overall responsibility for the flare-up of hostilities and second, it argues that the Israeli armed forces go to great length to avoid civilian casualties.

It says Palestinian militants use their own people as human shields. Palestinians don’t accept any of that. They point angrily to the civilian death toll and feel they are being subjected to brutal collective punishment.

Both sides now appear to want to achieve a ceasefire. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zukhri confirmed that his group would stop rocket attacks for a period of time.

Officials in Gaza say Israeli raids have left 220 Palestinians dead. Hamas rocket attacks have killed one Israeli.

Israeli army officer Brig Gen Yoav Mordechai told BBC Arabic that the ceasefire had been requested by the UN and other international organisations

The ceasefire comes at a time when dead children in Gaza now have to be buried and thousands of Gaza families must find new homes.

takingsidesLong-time Hispanic political gadfly, Dagoberto Ibarra was initially giving an impassioned speech about his life’s struggles when he arrived illegally in country in 1969. But his speech during a news conference held this week in Waukesha City Hall, organized by Wisconsin business leaders as part of a national call for immigration reform, took a turn for the worst when he said:

“I’m not seeing anybody doing anything,” said Dagoberto Ibarra, who ran for alderman in Milwaukee’s 8th District in 2004. “This is the most useless Congress in the last eight years … because a (N-word) is in charge.”

Yep! Everything in this country is a mess because, as Dagberto tried to explain after he uttered the racial, the N-word president is causing problems on Capital Hill.

The reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel later interviewed Ibarra by telephone, reporting that “Ibarra at first denied describing the president with a racial slur”.

“I was making reference to what Republicans say,” Ibarra said.

So in Ibarra’s mind, because the Republicans use the N-word to describe the president of the United States, Dagoberto Ibbara felt comfortable enough to describe the president of the United States as nothing more than a N-word.

In the report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Orville Seymer, of the conservative group Citizens for Responsible Government asked Dagoberto Ibarra to help assist his group by joining them at the press conference to be nothing more than a  “backdrop” for the news cameras.

What Seymer is basically saying is that when he holds news conferences like this he just seeks bodies to be nothing more than props standing in front of the cameras for visual effect to make it look like they have support.

In this case, because the issue was immigration reform, Seymer sought out a few brown faces to stand as backdrops to make it look like he’s really reaching out into the Latino community. Well, for just going out there and grabbing anybody to be in front of the camera, Seymer’s news conference instead of being focused on immigration reform, is now a news conference in which a racial slur was used to describe the president of the United States of America.

I wonder if they’re proud of themselves.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel went on to report that at the news conference the group  “…denounced Ibarra’s remark about the president, saying they were unaware of the businessman’s views and hadn’t expected him to speak in the first place”.

Really. The video shows Ibarra was at the podium for over 4 minutes before he slurred president Obama. So this notion they’re trying to put out there that they “were unaware of the businessman’s views” is a bunch of malarkey.

Seymer has known and has worked with Ibarra for some years. It’s the reason he invited him to the press conference. So this idea that he was caught by surprised by Ibarra’s comments, well, that’s nothing more than an attempt to cover his back side.

Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter noticed that Seymer, who spoke at the news conference, appeared nervous when Ibarra approached the microphone. Which only indicates to me that Seymer could have stopped Ibarra from speaking if he was not scheduled to speak. And if Seymer was nervous seeing Ibarra approach the microphone, clearly it’s because Seymer knew Ibarra has a reputation of inserting foot in mouth when he speaks.

Nevertheless, you have to give it to Dagoberto Ibarra. I mean, his rant was not only offensive to the Black community, he even managed to insult white people as well.

“If you’re white you’re OK,” he said. “If you’re not white, you’re selling drugs, you’re smuggling, you’re no good.”

So you white people are all OK. You only buy the drugs us dark people sell and smuggle into this country.

If I’m inferring correctly from Dagoberto Ibarra’s speech, I got the impression that Ibarra was implying that if only a white guy were in the White House today, everything in this country would be OK.

Ibarra’s N-word comment against the president should not really come as a shock. His description of Obama pretty much reflects the mantra of many people who oppose president Obama.

The N-word describing the president has become somewhat fashionable in many political circles around the country.

Not long ago, national debate hit many of theSunday morning talk-shows after a monthly newspaper in New York printed in its headline, “The N—-r in the White House.” The article was pro-Obama, but clearly many people did not read the article, all the ignorant people cared about was the headline of that newspaper calling the president the N-word.

While I commend the efforts to move right wing political networks towards finding a solution to the immigration question, the lessons here from this news conference should be pretty obvious.

takingsidesFormer Vice President Dick Cheney has been on a tirade criticizing President Obama for getting out of Iraq. “When we left it was in pretty good shape, especially after the surge,” he told the Washington Post in an interview published last week.

Speaking about the collapse of the puppet Iraqi government left in charge by Washington to control the country after United States military forces deported Iraq, Cheney said: “The situation has developed in part because there was no stay-behind force.”

In case anyone forgot, it was Dick Cheney who was the architect of the Iraqi invasion and it was Cheney who perfected the lies used to justify it the invasion of Iraq.

Cheney’s desire for mayhem in Iraq led to a total absence of any strategy for exiting the mess he created.

He had been pushing for invasion of Iraq since the late 1990s, perhaps due to his own financial interests in the region’s oil fields.

In a recent article written by Cheney he made no mention of the financial burden his 12-year war has put upon the United States taxpayers.

Estimates go as high as $6 trillion, even though the Bush administration had predicted the whole thing would cost between $100 and $200 billion.

That comes to about $75,000 for every U.S. household in which we paid to send troops into a conflict that was not needed.

But Cheney saw benefit for having the war, the former CEO of Halliburton, subsidiary, KBR, reaped $39.5 billion from the war, according to the Financial Times.

A case can be made that he’s a war criminal for perpetrating torture. In all these respects he has fueled terrorism, rendering America less safe than it was.

Richard Clarke, the nation’s top counterterrorism official under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, accused former Vice President Dick Cheney of committing war crimes in their 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have,” said Clarke, who resigned in 2003 after the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq. “But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried.”

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, also accused Cheney of war crimes in 2011, citing the former vice president’s affinity for enhanced interrogation techniques.

“Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance … all of which are crimes,” Wilkerson said in 2011. “I don’t care whether the president authorized him to do it or not, they are crimes.”

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who has known Cheney for decades, told ABC News that Cheney fears being one day tried as a war criminal.

“He’s developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as ‘exploding heads all over Washington’ because that’s the way someone who’s decided he’s not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let’s get out in front of everybody, let’s act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him,” Wilkerson said.

For America, the chickens coming back home to roost on Cheney could not happen any sooner.

takingsidesFormer Vice President Dick Cheney has been on a tirade criticizing President Obama for getting out of Iraq. “When we left it was in pretty good shape, especially after the surge,” he told the Washington Post in an interview published last week.

Speaking about the collapse of the puppet Iraqi government left in charge by Washington to control the country after United States military forces deported Iraq, Cheney said: “The situation has developed in part because there was no stay-behind force.”

In case anyone forgot, it was Dick Cheney who was the architect of the Iraqi invasion and it was Cheney who perfected the lies used to justify it the invasion of Iraq.

Cheney’s desire for mayhem in Iraq led to a total absence of any strategy for exiting the mess he created.

He had been pushing for invasion of Iraq since the late 1990s, perhaps due to his own financial interests in the region’s oil fields.

In a recent article written by Cheney he made no mention of the financial burden his 12-year war has put upon the United States taxpayers.

Estimates go as high as $6 trillion, even though the Bush administration had predicted the whole thing would cost between $100 and $200 billion.

That comes to about $75,000 for every U.S. household in which we paid to send troops into a conflict that was not needed.

But Cheney saw benefit for having the war, the former CEO of Halliburton, subsidiary, KBR, reaped $39.5 billion from the war, according to the Financial Times.

A case can be made that he’s a war criminal for perpetrating torture. In all these respects he has fueled terrorism, rendering America less safe than it was.

Richard Clarke, the nation’s top counterterrorism official under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, accused former Vice President Dick Cheney of committing war crimes in their 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have,” said Clarke, who resigned in 2003 after the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq. “But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried.”

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff, also accused Cheney of war crimes in 2011, citing the former vice president’s affinity for enhanced interrogation techniques.

“Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance … all of which are crimes,” Wilkerson said in 2011. “I don’t care whether the president authorized him to do it or not, they are crimes.”

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who has known Cheney for decades, told ABC News that Cheney fears being one day tried as a war criminal.

“He’s developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as ‘exploding heads all over Washington’ because that’s the way someone who’s decided he’s not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let’s get out in front of everybody, let’s act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him,” Wilkerson said.

For America, the chickens coming back home to roost on Cheney could not happen any sooner.

The growing inequalities of income and wealth are creating massive gaps in political power enabling the most wealthy among us to sway the political and economic game in their favor.

Not long ago CNBC announced the results of a poll they conducted of 514 people with investable assets of $1 million or more (the richest 8 percent of American households). 51% of these people believe inequality is a “major problem” for the U.S. and nearly two-thirds (63%) support higher taxes on the wealthy. Surprisingly, 64% supported a higher minimum wage as a way to narrow the wealth.

According to CNBC the survey included a balanced number of Democrats and Republicans. Not surprisingly 86% of Democratic millionaires say inequality is a major problem while only 20% of Republican millionaires agree. The survey pointed out that 78% of Democratic millionaires support higher taxes on the wealthy but only 31% of Republican millionaires do. It also states that 77% percent of Democratic millionaires back a higher minimum wage but only 38 percent or Republican millionaires agree.

A month ago America celebrated the 100th Mother’s Day, but in 35 of those years mothers have been in the paid workforce. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that large numbers of middle-class mothers were able to gain access into the paid workforce. This happened because in the late 1970s the start of the long slide of hourly wages for male workers began – and moms had to take up paid work in order to maintain family standard of living they grew accustomed to. The reason Male hourly wages began sliding are attributed to the combined impacts of shrinking unions, corporate outsourcing of jobs over seas, labor-replacing technologies, and deregulation.

Most mothers went into paid work in addition to their other jobs at home — and most are still doing house work even after coming home from work.

I bring this up because if you believe people are paid what they’re worth, then compare the incomes of those who tend to America’s human capital with those who tend to our financial capital. Financial capital has almost nothing to do with American competitiveness; it moves around the world at the speed of light. Yet, America’s human capital is the resource on which our future standard of living, and that of our children, uniquely depends.

That being said, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that America’s top four hedge-fund managers got $10.4 billion last year. That’s more than the salaries of all of Wisconsin’s public schools teachers combined.

According to annual rankings published by Institutional Investor’s Alpha Magazine, hedge-fund manager David Tepper took home $3.5 billion last year.

Now, if he worked 40 hours a week and went on a two-week vacation, that came to $1,750,000 an hour. $1,750,000 an hour is enough money to hire 241,380 workers at the nation’s current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. It’s enough to lift the wages of 538,461 minimum-wage workers to $10.40. It’s enough to hire 103,734 workers at the nation’s median hourly wage of $16.87.

I can’t help wondering how Tepper possibly can spend $1,750,000 an hour. I also wonder what kind of society is it that won’t raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

With these numbers you would think Mitt Romney would be supportive of this income inequality. However, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” television show he came out in support of an increase in the minimum wage. “I part company with many of the conservatives in my party on the issue of the minimum wage. I think we ought to raise it,” he said. “Our party is all about more jobs and better pay,” Romney said, adding that income inequality has worsened under Democratic control.

What Romney does not say is that he stood against a minimum-wage increase in 2012. Why the change of heart in Romney? He’s not running for president that’s why.

takingsidesWhen former president George W. Bush invaded Iraq, he told the world that not only Saddam Hussien threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction, Iraq was also a haven for Al Queda.

The Bush administration went on to further state that in the post-9/11 America there should be a belated reckoning with Saddam Hussein, referring to America’s failure to remove Saddam in the first Iraq war in 1991. Bush accused Saddam of continuing to sponsor terrorism and had killed tens of thousands of his own people.

Well, after removing Saddam Hussien from power, then killing him and having over 5000 American service men die to liberate Iraq, it seems that today, Iraq is no closer to stability and freedom than it was when Saddam was in power.

Iraq is under a new Islamist militant campaign that has overrun the cities of Mosul and Tikrit. Cities Americans fought in and died in to remove Saddam fighters from.

The UN also said the humanitarian situation around Mosul, where up to 500,000 people have fled, was “dire and is worsening by the moment”.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki vowed to fight back against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) insurgents.

ISIS, which is also known as ISIL, is an offshoot of al-Qaeda. It controls a large swathe of territory in eastern Syria and western and central Iraq.

Who is ISIS you ask? Well, they are:

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has 3,000 to 5,000 fighters, and grew out of an al-Qaeda-linked organisation in Iraq

ISIS has exploited the standoff between the Iraqi government and the minority Sunni Arab community.

ISIS has already taken over Ramadi and Falluja, but taking over Mosul is a far greater feat than anything the movement has achieved so far, and will send shockwaves throughout the region

The organisation is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – an obscure figure regarded as a battlefield commander and tactician. He was once the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, one of the groups that later became ISIS.

Mr Maliki has asked Iraq’s parliament to declare a state of emergency.

The Bush administration launched the Iraq war on false premises. Since leaving office Bush has asserted that he acted in good faith, and that interrogation of leading Iraqis showed that the regime planned to revive its weapons program as soon as sanctions disappeared.

I question the good faith argument I condemn the poor judgment in bringing war and death to Iraq on flimsy grounds. Iraq was not a threat to any other country.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq resulted in the arrest of Saddam Hussein and the removal of his regime.

George W. Bush, who had been given leeway by the Congress to make decisions regardingIraq, led the U.S. The President, together with his Departments, intelligence service, and advisors, represented the U.S.

The official U.S. policy was to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime from power.

Now that this policy has been accomplished, we are left with a county that is now in chaos. We are left with a country that has truly become a haven for terrorists. We are left with a country that is contributing to the instability of the Middle East.

More than a decade has passed since Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, and to this day, nothing beneficial for peace, for the United States and for the world has been produced from this campaign.

What is taking place is the rise of those forces the United States did not want in power in Iraq.

So, why did the United States invade Iraq?