Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oh, c'mon now...

When you go to the grocery store, there's a reason apples are in one place and oranges are in another.

It's the same reason we place obvious social misfits, such as the family in Oshkosh that seems to have problems with with the Country USA festival* in a different category than dozens, if not hundreds, of random festival attendees who seem to feel the best way to cap off a block party is by random street rioting.

But so far as Eugene Kane is concerned, as well as Mike Plaisted (who I personally think gave up his right to meaningful discourse the day he made "wing-nut" an oft-used term in the points he attempts to make), comparing the annual shenanigans performed by a sub-set of party-goers to one crazed family of five is somehow apt.


They claim the lack of response regarding the 74-year-old's knuckle headed antics by the conservative, white, right-leaning, hood-wearing, Sykes-following masses is telling.


They're different. And if they can't, or are unwilling, to tell the difference, then so be it. But, quite frankly, if they're so lacking in the ability to tell the difference between the two incidents, it's no problem but their own.

I'm sick and tired of the comparisons and analogies columnists, bloggers and commenters alike try to make in defense of their positions. Most recently I watched as an Ask Me Later reader attempted to compare the plight of an illegal immigrant, someone who voluntarily snuck into this country, to that of Rosa Parks, who was obviously a legal citizen denied the rights granted to her by the Constitution. Challenged with this, the reader spun further into obscurity by comparing the illegal immigrant to a slave who attempted to escape from his master pre-bellum. Nevermind that the slave was dragged to this nation in shackles for a life of forced-servitude, for some reason the reader believed comparing the him or her to a Mexican citizen who willingly entered this nation, broke its immigration laws and brazenly volunteered his illegal status to a federal agent was somehow appropriate.

They aren't the same.

Folks, there's a sale on apples.

There's a coupon for oranges in the Sunday paper.

One special cannot be applied to the other.

*As an aside, I joked to a country music fan friend of mine that this seems exactly like the type of family who would enjoy a country music festival

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Few Questions for Kane

So, this is what "knuckleheads" do to other people?

On Wednesday, Gene's position on the Juneteenth Day riot was that a few "knuckleheads" and "bad apples" spoiled the fun, and that mostly white people who never go to the festival over reacted about the level of danger present there.

Sounds like Gene got an interview with some of these "knuckleheads" and it appears to have left him speechless.

Q. What is it going to take to reach out to you guys in order to be hopeful about the future?

A. "Why do you want to reach us? Like you said, we're the dropouts, the ones without good parents, the ones who don't really think much about the future beyond the next day. Plus, we can get all the guns we want. What good do you think reaching out to us is going to do?"

Q. So, it's hopeless?

A. "Not as long as we're the few. When we become the many, that's when you will really have problems."

Wow, huh? Gene fails to comment on this interview. My question for Gene: Still think these guys are knuckleheads?

Sounds to me like they've got it all figured out. They have no pride, no education and basically no care for anything in the world. They live in a city that enables their lack of education, the lawlessness, the crime, the teenage pregnancy and the joblessness. What makes these kids knuckleheads?

Why get smart and work for a living when the city can foot the bill and you can rule your little corner of the universe like a king?

Sounds like these guys aren't such knuckleheads at all.

I think Gene is the knucklehead for ever defending these lazy, violent thugs and for ever calling them less than what they really are: criminals.

And if we're supposed to feel badly for them because, as Gene writes, "Usually, they are high-school dropouts with a background in the criminal justice system as juvenile or adult offenders. Many have anger management problems along with a drastic lack of self-esteem that makes them prone to be followers as opposed to leaders." well I just won't. It's because of people like Gene who write about h0w we should feel sorry for these thugs, and how we should understand how tough they have it and the lawmakers who agree that we are in the situation we are in.

The soft bigotry of low expectations has really played the inner city residents right into a corner. And they only way out is to stop making excuses for what they are or are not capable of. And that just might have to start with Eugene Kane.

But don't take it from me, take it from the kid he interviewed: "Jobs? Seriously, why would you think folks like us want jobs? Like you said, we're high school dropouts, drug addicts, gangsters. We're the troublemakers. We aren't really looking for any jobs."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Why James T. Harris is a True Leader

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm one of James T. Harris' biggest fans. And, I'm probably a little biased. I guess that's why I never miss an opportunity to point out the things that justify why I have so much faith in this guy.

James most recent post, in my opinion, exemplifies the kind attitude and resolve that is going to effect true change in the inner city. He writes:

I guess I could move, but if I did I would constantly be thinking of the friends I left behind. Most don’t understand what it means to truly be part of a community.

Am I my neighbors' keeper? Yes. What is my responsibility when it comes to lawlessness in the land? This is what I’m struggling with.

God bless the police, but there is only so much they can do.

No. It is time for the men of the nation’s neighborhoods to man up. It’s time to take a page from the heroes of United Flight 93. We need to pray, organize, pray, and then confront the present evil, violent youth culture in our communities.

Read the rest here.

Good luck, James.

Kane Watch: Still Waiting

Kane recently wrote in a blog post that he would comment on the Juneteenth Day debacle in his column. I'm still waiting for that to appear.

If the title of his post, "Response to Juneteenth Day violence predictable," is any indication, then I'm sure it will be a wishy-washy column about how the acts themselves were bad, but the media "predictably" hyped it beyond what was necessary. After all, according to Gene, these violent criminals were nothing more than, "knuckleheads," right?

Which leads me to my next point: If anything at all was predictable about Juneteenth Day, it was the violence itself. The media response is just a condition of the first act. And, if anything is more predictable than that, I'm pretty certain that it will be Gene's column.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Fathers Day

Some pictures are worth a thousand words...
Others can't be quantified.
Happy Father's Day. Wish you were here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Short on Sympathy

I quite honestly had every intention of walking away from blogging for quite some time, but in doing so knew full well that something was bound to pop up that would drag me back in. I just didn't think it would happen so soon.

Dave Somerscales, guest posting at Watchdog Milwaukee, tries to put a human face on illegal immigration by sharing the story of "Chuy," a cleaning person in a downtown office building recently busted as a result of his illegal status. While filling in for a co-worker on a set of floors he didn't normally work, Chuy was questioned by an ATF employee and is now facing deportation having been discovered by a federal bureau to be an illegal alien.

I have to admit that Chuy's story does earn a bit of sympathy from me. He has a wife and small child, not to mention a mortgage on a home in which they all live. I feel sorry for the hardships this family is about to face. But that's really about as much as I have to offer.

Chuy entered this country illegally. He falsified documentation in order to get a job and/or his employer most likely knowingly gave him a job in spite of his immigration status. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) made him a member. A creditor approved a home loan with full knowledge that he was in this country illegally. For nearly eight years, Chuy has lived under the radar. He rolled the dice in hopes of continuing to live that way, and on one fateful day the dice came up wrong for him. Now Chuy faces deportation and seperation from his family. His employer will need to explain to a building management company client (in which a federal agency is housed) how it employed an illegal alien. A labor union will need to justify having an illegal alien as one of its members. A lending institution will need to deal with the costs of a foreclosed loan.

Is it Chuy's fault? The employer's? The union's? The bank's?


Somerscales hopes to change minds and shape opinion by sharing this story of one man's trials and tribulations. The title of his post alone points to how he wishes to put a human face on illegal immigration. But what Somerscales fails to realize is that nearly everyone sees that human face and that some of us are willing to acknowledge that those humans are capable of making very human errors in judgement. As a result, we're prepared for them to pay the consequences for the actions they've taken.

That means Chuy, the employer, the union and the bank.

Regardless of how good a person Chuy may be, how noble his efforts to create a life for himself in this nation are, there are rules people must live by. Chuy didn't. And now he pays the price.

It's sad, but by no means is it unfair.

I feel bad for his plight, but my sympathy ends there.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Citizen Blogger Summit

Hey guys, be sure to come out next Friday and support Sean's Blogging Summit effort! Don't forget to register. The doors open at 12:45 and the first panel starts at 1:30. Radio City is located at 720 E. Capitol Dr. Milwaukee, WI 53207.

Although Journal is hosting the event, the panels are full of citizen bloggers, and there'll be free food.

Panelists include:

James T. Harris
Jo Englehoff
Daniel Suhr,
Michael Mathias
Owen Robinson

And more...

Hope to see you all there!