Labor Shortage Solved By Capt Obvious at JSOnline

In a business column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSOnline) interviewing ‘futurist’ and Milwaukee businessman Bob Chernow…MJS writer Steve Jagler quotes Mr. Chernow’s solution to an anticipated labor shortage in the Milwaukee market area:

Chernow says one possible solution would be to provide transportation for workers living in the inner city to jobs in the suburbs.

You think? Helping get labor to available jobs would help?

But isn’t that exactly what the suburbs have been trying to prevent since for EVER? Keeping ‘those people’ in the city?

Trump NY State Co-chair Almost Apologizes

Taking after his idol, Trump’s New York State Co-chair, Carl Paladino issued an almost apology for his earlier racist remarks about President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

So what got him into hot water in the first place? Well he answered a questionnaire about what he hoped to see in 2017 provided by Artvoice, a weekly publication from western New York. His responses included:

Paladino said his main desire for the New Year was that President Obama would die after contracting “mad cow disease after being caught having relations” with a “Herford” [sic]. He also wrote that he wanted Michelle Obama to go away and “return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

Now we’ll get back to the apology in a moment but he also stated:

In a previous interview with the Buffalo News, Paladino did not claim his answers were a mistake. He stood by the comments and said they had “nothing to do with race.” Paladino also told the News that he made the remarks “just for” Rod Watson, one of the paper’s black editors.

“Tough luck if you don’t like my answer,” Paladino said to the paper.

Yeah well, that’s very nice. But now on to the apology:

In a press release, Paladino apologized to the “minority community” for his remarks, which appeared in a feature that was published in the Western New York weekly Artvoice on Dec. 23. Paladino blamed the comments on an “emotional” reaction to President Obama’s handling of the situation in Syria and accidentally hitting the wrong button in his email.

“I never intended to hurt the minority community who I spent years trying to help out of the cycle of poverty in our inner cities. To them I apologize,” began Paladino, who has been a member of the school board in Buffalo, N.Y., since 2013.

“Those survey questions provided me with the spark to vent and write deprecating humor about a bad president for whom the mainstream media continues to seek an undeserved legacy,” Paladino said. “I wanted to say something as sarcastic and hurtful as possible about the people who are totally responsible for the hurt and suffering of so many others. I was wired up, primed to be human and I made a mistake. I could not have made a worse choice in the words I used to express my feelings.”

So let’s get back to that apology. Did you notice anything unusual about the target audience? He aimed it at the “minority community”. Why not all of us? Do you think I wasn’t a little bit pissed off? Don’t you owe an apology to the “majority community” who were also offended? Or don’t you think that we were offended? Just about how President-elect Donald Trump would handle the situation, aina?

You may have also noticed that his is on the Buffalo School Board. By a 6-2 vote he has been asked to resign or risk being kicked off of the board.

Paladino didn’t attend the meeting. He says he won’t resign.

This guy should never be elected or appointed to another public office…ever.

Impeach Governor Scott Walker!

No, not over Act 10 which gutted the rights of public employees and their unions, not over Act 14 that gutted the authority of the Milwaukee County Board, not the meddling in the Milwaukee Public School System, not Right to Work Legislation, not budget cuts to public schools, not budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin system, not the ineffective DNR, etc., etc., etc.

But Wisconsin Governor Walker should be impeached…now…for his total failure to protect the young people incarcerated at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls and the total ineptitude and arrogance of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Since the closing of the Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales just west of Milwaukee in Waukesha county, all minor males sent to the state for incarceration have been sent to Lincoln Hills near Merrill WI over 200 miles from Milwaukee.

There is a laundry list of mistreatment of inmates, lack of trained medical personnel and a chronic shortage of trained staff…resulting in overtime and overworked state employees. There is in fact little or no reason that this should exist and it can no longer be tolerated…and the blame goes right to the top…the office of Governor Scott Walker.

I suggest that you read this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. But here are some excerpts:

For years, officials knew or should have known about the thicket of problems at Lincoln Hills and its sister facility on the same campus, Copper Lake School for Girls.

“It all went on in plain view of the Department of Corrections, but nobody at the Department of Corrections knew how juvenile corrections worked or how Lincoln Hills operated or what was going on,” said Troy Bauch, who until recently was the union representative for workers there.

The sweeping criminal probe, now nearly 2 years old, is examining allegations of prisoner abuse, child neglect, sexual assault, intimidation of witnesses and victims, strangulation and tampering with public records. A separate internal investigation uncovered four incidents where inmates’ bones were broken.

The crisis at Lincoln Hills is rooted in systematic breakdowns, lax management, confusion over policies, a lack of communication and chronic staff shortages, a review of more than 1,000 pages of records and dozens of interviews by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found.

Officials trained staff improperly, failed to preserve video evidence, didn’t document serious incidents, and often shirked their duty to report matters to parents, police and social service agencies.

The shortcomings intensified in 2011 when the Walker administration shut down two youth prisons in southeastern Wisconsin to save $25 million a year. The move put all of the state’s serious teen offenders in one facility — hundreds of miles from most of their families.

“The entire climate went from mildly hellish to the ninth ring of hell,” said Timothy Johnson, a former guard.

While a developing crisis quickly became apparent, no one moved to address it.

After nearly six years in office, Walker has yet to visit Lincoln Hills.

(emphasis mine).

There is absolutely no reason that young people should be treated like this while under the care and control of the State of Wisconsin…no matter what reason sent them to Lincoln Hills.

What is the governor’s most recent response to the issues al Lincoln Hills and the Milwaukee County Boards reluctance to continue to send juveniles there? Build a new prison in Milwaukee County as long as the county pays to run it.

Gov. Scott Walker is considering having the state help fund building a Milwaukee County juvenile corrections center, but the county would have to pay for running it.

Milwaukee County officials have sought a way to keep more teen inmates closer to home instead of sending them more than 200 miles away to Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.

The two secure facilities share a campus north of Wausau and have been under criminal investigation for nearly two years for prisoner abuse and child neglect.

But nary a word about fixing the issues as Lincoln Hills…so why wait until the criminal investigations bring back the records of wrongdoing and indictments…IMPEACH GOVERNOR WALKER NOW!

Bolton Disqualified For State Department Gig

On Sunday, John Bolton, former Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W Bush, totally disqualified himself for a state department gig. While President-elect Donald Trump is personally in denial over the reported Russian responsibility for the DNC hacks, Mr. Bolton decided he had to be the fringiest of the fringe in his view on the matter.

Mr. Bolton thinks Obama did it. No, I am not kidding:

The man reported to be Donald Trump’s pick for the number two job in the State Department says the election hacks could have been a false flag operation.

John Bolton told Fox News on Sunday that the hacks may not have been carried out by Russia, as the intelligence community believes, but implied the Obama administration itself could’ve been secretly responsible.

“It is not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation,” Bolton told reporter Eric Shawn.

“False flag” is a term that refers to covert activities undertaken by a government or other entity to advance its own political agenda by making it look as if someone else did it.

Mr. Bolton is a hack. There is no way in hell that the Senate should confirm this guy. Just no way.

Where Is The New American Diaspora?

During the campaign, one of the continuing narratives (and continuing today) was the lack of jobs for blue collar workers.

Some of the election coverage around Wisconsin talked about lack of blue collar workers in the smaller cites, places like Wausau, where the population no longer supports the needs of local manufacturers. But we know of large areas in the state with high unemployment…one of them particularly urban. So why isn’t there a concerted effort to recruit, relocate and retrain the necessary talent to the factories? Well, we can guess why. But since capital investments are hard to relocate it only makes sense to draw labor from other areas to your jobs.

And during interviews in the Kentucky coal mining region, a welder was complaining that he was laid off because his employer, a mining equipment repair firm, didn’t have work since the mines were closed. For the past year we’ve read on any number of occasions in the local press that Wisconsin manufacturers are having issues finding experienced welders. Why aren’t they recruiting the skilled work force they need from the areas in decline?

This wouldn’t be an unprecedented event. Companies hire and relocate individuals all of the time. And the first 60 years of the 20th Century saw mass migrations of labor from the rural south to the industrial cities of the mid-west or east coast. And dust belt migrants from Oklahoma and Texas to California. Aren’t companies willing to do that anymore? The frackers in the Dakotas seem to get it. Or are people unwilling to move for a job in the 21st Century? That doesn’t seem correct either as we watch millenials move to exciting urban or tech areas after finishing their educations.

So how do we get the blue collar workers to the blue collar jobs that do exist?

Strange Dichotomy Around Public Protests

Today’s news reports discuss the removal of protestors of the Dakota Access pipeline by local police and National Guardsmen who used pepper spray and bean bags. At least 117 people were arrested. People who for the most part have been peaceably blocking efforts to construct the pipeline.

And yesterday the Bundy clan who protested federal land management by seizing and holding federally owned properties and buildings by armed force were exonerated.

What do you suppose the difference might be?

They aren’t migrants!

For those of you who haven’t seen the news lately…or haven’t visited news sites that carry such news…the French government is tearing down a refugee camp in Calais and moving its residents to other facilities in France. Many of the residents are upset because they would like to reach Great Britain and feel that being moved from Calais will make that move more difficult. This despite the fact that the camp is described as a squalid jungle. So there has been some rioting and violence.

I don’t know what we can do about it directly but there is something about they way it is being reported in much of the America press the really bothers me. As we’ve seen in this campaign, words matter. And NPR and other outlets have repeatedly called the residents of these camps: migrants.

They aren’t migrants. Migrants follow the crops and harvest them. Migrants move from their home to a new home to find work. Migrants came to America to find a better life. Migrants settled the west and the plains by moving from the east. Migrants moved from the rural south to the north and Midwest to find factory jobs. Migrants abandoned the dust bowl and moved to California in the depression. Those are migrants.

The people in France are refugees. They have been violently driven from their homes by war. I think it is important that we don’t lose sight of that. They have left behind everything they knew for the unknown to literally keep from being killed.

This is an important distinction and I don’t know why the media is trying to soft pedal this by using the term migrant. As I said NPR has used the term migrant the past two days. Good Morning America got it right in a title: “France Begins Removing Thousands From Squalid ‘Jungle’ Refugee Camp“, but used migrant in the story a time or two. And the Associated Press uses migrants: “France moving more than 6,000 migrants, destroying huge camp” (an article reprinted in the October 26, 2016 print edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where the subheading read: “Thousands of migrants still await relocation”).

I won’t go on with other examples…but it is really important that we use refugees…it denotes their existence and their presence resulting from violence, an involuntary movement from their former homes. The label migrant makes it sound voluntary and implies less urgency for their situation.

Let’s call refugees…refugees.

Report: Donald Trump Jr. stole the photo in that infamous “Skittles tweet”

By now you’ve no doubt seen the infamous “Skittles tweet” sent out by Donald Trump Jr., who used the tweet to compare refugees of the violence in Syria to Skittles.

As reprehensible as Trump Jr.’s tweet was, it appears the image used in the tweet to make his point was used by Trump without the permission of the man who created the image, according to a report by NPR.

When Donald Trump Jr. compared Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles, the condemnation was swift — critics called the tweet glib, dehumanizing, inaccurate, cruel.

Turns out they could have called it something else: copyright infringement.

The photo featured in the tweet was taken, without permission or credit, from a man named David Kittos.

And Kittos tells the BBC he was once a refugee himself.

The photo in question — a striking shot of a white bowl of Skittles against a white background — was posted on Flickr more than six years ago. Kittos said he was experimenting with a DIY macro photography setup when he took the shot. It’s marked with a copyright note: “All rights reserved.”

Kittos says in his Flickr profile that he’s a database developer in Guildford, U.K., who’s interested in high-speed, macro and underwater photography, among other things. He also says, in bold: “Please do not use my images for any purpose, commercial or otherwise (this includes linking from your blog or website), unless you have my written permission. Sending me a flickrmail to ask me first, isn’t exactly painful, is it now?”

Apparently, Donald Trump’s son missed the message.

“This image says it all,” Trump Jr. tweeted on Monday. “Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.” Below was Kittos’ photo — and the Trump/Pence campaign logo — with the caption, “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. [sic] Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Kittos tells the BBC he didn’t give permission for his photo to be used in that way — or at all.

“I have never put this image up for sale,” he told the broadcaster. “I don’t support Trump’s politics and I would never take his money to use it.”

The BBC reports that Kittos is “particularly dismayed” that the image was used to suggest refugees are dangerous — because as a child, he was a refugee himself.

In response to Donald Trump Jr.’s reprehensible tweet, Skittles responded with an absolutely pitch-perfect tweet of their own: