Friday, November 13, 2015

Kilbourn Reservoir Park

I live on Milwaukee's far northwest side and when I travel to the fashionable post hippie East Side I often use North Ave.  There comes a spot on North Avenue where the street inexplicably stops going straight and swerves around an elevated park.  I've always thought that was weird and wondered about the park.

North Avenue is no slouch of a street mind you. Main drag in Wauwatosa, a hub in the Bronzeville area and a hot spot on the east side.

I've never taken the time to investigate the park, until this week.  I found out it is Kilbourn Park and it's has a great view of the city, especially the east side, Lake Michigan and downtown Milwaukee. At one time a reservoir for the city.


Looking East on North Ave.

I took a stroll around the park looking at my city and thinking, you know what we can make positive changes and bring back the glory of a once thriving metro hub.  A cool thing at the park was this learning tool.

The part on the right is a tic-tac-toe game. 

Though overall a fairly plain park I loved the small baseball diamond, the walking paths and the view. 

Milwaukee's Martin Luther King Statue

Spent some time at Milwaukee's Martin Luther King statue this week and what I found interesting is that he's standing on a foundation of books.

In the middle of the front of the statue is the Bible, flanked by Plato's Republic, St. Augustine's Confessions and Aristotle's Ethics.

On one side is Carl Jong, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Journals, The US Constitution, Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.

The back has Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery, Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha, Henry David Thoreau's On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, Reinhold Niebuhr's Moral Man and Immoral Society, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations.

The other side has titles that include, Martin Luther's Bible, Nat Turner's The Original Confessions, Ida B. Wells Autobiography, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Ways of White Folks, Immanuel Kant, John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.

I wondered as I looked at the statue if these books would have been the one's Dr. King would have chosen for the memorial and how many people who've traveled MLK Drive have taken the time to look at the

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Milwaukee Community After the Doe Master

There's a four pronged attack aimed at Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm by the Milwaukee Community.  The question is which if any will individually or combined will be the one to move him from his current job.

The first was the push back from the John Doe investigation and the possible court battle on the horizon. On the second front, in the upcoming 2016 election, Mr. Chisholm already has a primary opponent, Verona Swanigan, on the Democrat side and we've yet to hear any Republicans making a run.

Today prongs three and four were announced at a rally in Milwaukee.  A combination attack of a petition to remove him from office along with a request for Governor Walker to apply Wis. Statute 17.09 to do the same.

Sherwin Hughes, the host of The Forum on WNOV, was master of ceremonies today and explained some of the complaints against Chisholm and also his disbelief that the Governor will take action.

That would not surprise me as they have put Gov. Walker in a no win situation. No action he doesn't care, action he is acting on retribution for the John Doe investigation.

Also speaking were Nate Hamilton, brother of Dontre Hamilton, and Craig Stingley, father of Corey Stingley who as chocked to death in a West Allis convenience store.

Both gentlemen were passionate and talked about change in Milwaukee leadership, including DA Chisholm.  The problem with both men's speeches was the vagueness of the "they" whom each man blamed concerning Milwaukee leadership.

Until the restlessness in the city get specific in who's to blame for their whoa's there will be no change.  Failed progressive / liberal policies have us in the position we are in and the answer is not more feel good failure policies from the political left.

True change will not happen until a move to the political right is embraced because the "they" currently in office will not make the changes needed.

Friday, November 6, 2015

MPS School Board Email Fail

I've been known to contact my elected officials from time to time to let them know how I think they should vote on an issue.  Last week was the first time I tried to contact my School Board member, Wendell Harris concerning the Carman HS / Pulaski HS issue of sharing a school building.  I was in favor of the resolution and thankfully so was a majority of the school board and Mr. Harris, who was quite dynamic in his passion.  His position surprised and pleased quite a few people I talked to.

Here's my email:
Mr. Harris,

I would like to encourage you to support the partnership between Carmen
High School of Science & Technology and Pulaski.  Please put the
students of Milwaukee first in your decision.

I'd also like to know why individual emails for the board members are
not on the MPS website. That should be addressed immediately.

Thank you in advance for your wise decision.
 Here's the response (highlights mine):
The members of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors take their obligations to the people whom they represent very seriously. The members of the Board have employment outside their duties on the Board and therefore may not be able to access their emails, which can be quite voluminous, on a regular basis. Many feel that, in order to ensure that their constituents receive as rapid responses as possible to any questions or concerns that they may have, it is best that the Office of Board Governance receive them directly.

Please rest assured that Board members are made aware of any email or other communications that they may receive through the Office of Board Governance, as well as any responses that the Office may make on their behalf.

Annette Fayne
Office of Board Governance
 I'm not sure how to change this policy, but if I can ever get a hold of Wendell Harris I'm going to encourage him to push for a change.  This is an absolutely unacceptable procedure.  I'm thinking that if they can't handle the "voluminous" amount of emails they get from constituents, they should resign the position and allow someone who can handle citizen feedback.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Feel Good Failure - part 2 - Office of African American Affairs

Another Feel Good Failure resolution by County Supervisor Khalif Rainey.  He's really pushing for that Alderman gig by proposing to spend County / City / State money on more bureaucracy.

Now he wants Milwaukee to develop an Office of African American Affairs (OAAA) that will do the job he was elected to do.  The sad part is that the County Board will OK this, County Exec Abele can't say no if he wants to keep the black vote in a contested race against Sen. Chris Larsen.  What's even sadder is that this office will offer the same results that Rainey's produced - NONE.

An editorial in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel by Rainey explains why this office will do nothing other than add another layer of confusion to an already whacked County Government.

Does Milwaukee County really need an Office of African American Affairs with no powers to tell us what we already know and to butt in on proposed legislation?

This is nothing more than an extension of a Rainey proposed resolution for a Minority Impact Statement Ordinance that passed the Board in 2014 and as far as I can tell has never been utilized. That resolution was suppose to produce a Minority Impact Statement on all resolutions, grants and contracts with a fiscal impact greater than $300,000.

It was suppose to produce "qualitative and quantitative positive or negative impact on the following groups - Women, African-American & Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian & Pacific Islanders, Native Americans & Alaskan Natives, Elderly over 65 and Disabled."  Basically everyone but white males under 65.

The Minority Impact Statement Ordinance was also a Feel Good Failure piece of legislation that did nothing other let the Supervisor Rainy parade in front of the black community and tell them how hard he is working for them.

It seems that Supervisor Rainey want's this new governmental layer of fat to do the job he was elected to do. To help in this exercise of futility, he's drafted the aid of Alderman Willie Wade and Assemblyman Leon Young. One wonders why with Wade in office since 2003 and Young occupying a seat in Madison since 1992 neither of them have proactively addressed the issues that have given rise to this unneeded resolution.

I hope that some sanity suddenly hits the County Board and they vote down this resolution.  Willie Wade will have a tougher road to hoe with the Common Council and Leon Young will never get this passed in the Assembly and that is good news.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Feel Good Failure - part I

We're starting a new section is called Feel Good Failures. It will generally be democrat/liberal/progressive ideas, resolutions, and laws that sound good or feel good but will do nothing to improve life.

Feel Good Failures will also include the bizarre practice of sending out a press release and trying to take credit for actually doing something.  Information on stances that politicians take are good and we encourage the practice, but proclaiming a position on a topic is not action.

We'll start with two winners in the press release category. This week County Supervisor Khalif Rainey issued a press release calling for the state to make changes to the expungement law. If he would maybe talk to a Democrat Assemblyman representing his area he would realize that that is actually something which is being worked on in the assembly.  Secondly, his press release included no action points, just a point of view many of take.

This seems to be the modus operandi of many progressive politicians - whine about a perceived problem but offer no practicable solutions.

On Columbus Day, as the Milwaukee Common Council Finance and Personnel Committee was hosting Police Chief Ed Flynn in a very honest discussion on the uptick in fatal gun violence, State Assemblyman David Bowen was on social media trying to persuade people that his press release and call to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day was important.  Considering the other discussions going on, I think not.

Feel Good Failure legislation - yup.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What Did Christine Sinicki Hear?

Milwaukee Democrat Christine Sinicki says she is tired of hearing a word during the Wisconsin Assembly session.

Here's the problem, either she wasn't paying attention to the voices in her head or what was being said on the Assembly floor.  The word was hyperbole.

It's /haɪˈpɜrbəliː/  or for us phonetic spellers: hy-PUR-bə-lee.

Gad zooks batman.

Today's Democrat Talking Point

Staying up late watching the Assembly and Senate sessions on the soon to be defunct John Doe law.  Surfing the internet while appreciating the whining from the left side of the aisle.

Want to know what the talking points are?

grabbed from

Friday, October 9, 2015

Congratulations to Rebecca Bradley

picture from
Gov. Scott Walker has named Rebecca Bradley to the open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  That is good news.

I've had the opportunity to hear Bradley speak and each time she showed herself as a caring jurist, not only for the law, but in particular about those who came before her court.  As a Children's Court Judge she shared some of the heartbreaking situations the young people who appeared before her came from and her desire to change lives for the better.

I'm confident she will continue this fine balance as a Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Martha Laning and Democrat's Black Problem

A video surfaced this week that featured Democratic Party Chairwoman Martha Laning describing her experience of sitting with Rep. David Bowen at a President Barack Obama event.  Here's the video:

The controversy sounding this is interesting.  Those on the right are claiming it's racist mostly because they want her to be held to the same standard that we are judged by.  I would venture that they really don't think her story is of a racist nature.

Those on left are ignoring it like it never happened.  If they did choose to confront it with the vitriolic vigor they would have if a conservative or Republican did this, they would demand her resignation, a public flogging  or at least a mouth washed out in soap punishment.

Some in the black community are calling her out on it.  They've offered no recourse from what I've seen, they seem to be satisfied with an acknowledgement that it's racist, if not of personal intent but then of the institutional type.

I've got a different take on this.  First off, Laning had to tell these grass root Democratic members who David Bowen was. She had to describe him and did as a "wonderful black young man."  Wouldn't you think that these Democratic activists who voted for the leadership tandem of Laning / Bowen should know Rep. Bowen?

Secondly, Laning admits in a round about way that she's never been in an event where the crowd is majority black when she says that she would like to go to an event with filled with African-Americans.

I don't think Martha Laning had any mean or racist intent in telling the story.  I do think that it shows that out of urban area Democrats are no different than out of urban area Republicans. 

And that should make urban voters take a second look at who they vote for.