Hopefully after the events of this past weekend, these bills will never get passed, anywhere. But it seems there are better ways to respond to protests than providing cover for potentially fatal criminal activity. Arrests, fines, jail time are all fine. Those performing acts of civil disobedience should expect to pay when they break the law. If the cause is worth the action…

But these bills are totally unwarranted and on their face are criminally actionable for the legislators as far as I am concerned…condoning violence…essentially legalizing road rage. Read here:

Republican lawmakers in six states have pushed this year for legal protections for motorists who hit protesters blocking traffic.

The lawmakers say their goal has never been to incite violence, but to shield drivers from costly lawsuits for accidents they blame on illegal street protests. Bills in Texas and North Carolina to protect drivers from civil liability if they unintentionally injure or kill protesters remain pending, but their chances of passage appear dim after Saturday’s attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, which killed a woman and injured at least 19 people. The four other bills were voted down or failed without advancing.

The bills are part of a backlash to large, disruptive protests over the last year against police shootings of black men, the Dakota Access pipeline and policies of the Trump administration. Some shut down major freeways, angering motorists and drawing concern from public safety officials.

Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, labeled them “hit and kill” bills that undermine free assembly and embolden extremists by suggesting they have a free pass to drive through protesters.

Isn’t there a lick of sense left anywhere amongst the Republican electeds?

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Today in 1947, the British formally ended their 200-year colonial rule of India.  The opinion of the rest of the civilized world forced them to bow to the inevitable due in large part to the work of one man, Mahatma Gandhi.  Beginning in 1893, Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa working against racial discrimination in a peaceful, yet revolutionary, way.  He perfected a method of non-violent civil disobedience that could be practiced by everyone.  Upon his return to India in 1915, he joined the Indian National Congress and by 1920, he assumed leadership of it.  On January 26, 1930, the Congress declared Indian Independence.  While the British Raj refused to recognize it, they did begin negotiations.  That effort ended when the Raj declared war on Germany in 1939.  By 1942, Gandhi and his supporters were jailed for demanding Indian independence.  Their non-violent resistance continued in earnest throughout WW2.  Finally, in 1947, the British quit India and partitioned the area, unfortunately along religious lines.  Gandhi’s non-violent methods likely helped keep the peace during that time as well.

 

Why the simplified history lesson?  After the horrendous events of the weekend and the President’s ridiculous press conferences, it is important to remember that even small actions can lead to important change. The violence perpetrated by neo-Nazis and their ilk cannot be accepted or normalized.   We can resist in small, yet powerful ways, and we can change the world.

 

From the Associated Press:

House Speaker Paul Ryan is the first Republican leader to comment on President Donald Trump’s remarks Tuesday, declaring in a tweet that “white supremacy is repulsive.”

The Wisconsin Republican has sought to keep the GOP caucus on Capitol Hill focused on legislative priorities. His Twitter account is full of messages about the need to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

But Trump has shifted the public’s attention away from the Republican agenda with his renewed declaration that “there is blame on both sides” for the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“We must be clear,” Ryan tweeted. “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

“There can be no moral ambiguity.” Is he ready to finally impeach the president?

In my post from this morning, What We Are Reading 08/15/2017, I tagged the Op Ed piece by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker extoling the virtues of the Foxconn deal. And of course the touted the ‘progress’ that Wisconsin has made under his administration and that Wisconsin is ready to do business. And he brought the Wisconsin unemployment number front and center in his editorial.

Foxconn is coming to our state is because we are ready. Once a bottom 10 state for business, Wisconsin is now in the top 10 states for business. Our 3.1% unemployment rate is better than the national average and the lowest since October 1999. We also have one of the best percentages of people working in the nation.

I don’t think a low unemployment rate is a selling point for any manufacturer much less one known for low wages. The last thing they want to do is compete with other industries in the area for qualified employees. That drives the cost of doing business up. I am sure that Foxconn would prefer to come into an environment where unemployment is higher…where they can hire the cream of the crop and get them for lower wages than they are entitled to. Once again our governor has no idea what he’s talking about.

These are all from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel August 13th edition…including an op ed piece by Governor Scott Walker.

Let’s renegotiate the Foxconn deal : Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican leadership in our state are rushing into a deal with Foxconn that will cost Wisconsin taxpayers up to $3 billion, with no guarantees of performance. The deal is overwhelmingly opposed by the business press, including Bloomberg, which described it as “irrational public policy,” and an “awful way to lure jobs.”

Foxconn is a transformational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wisconsin : Transformational. The addition of 13,000 high-tech jobs and an investment of $10 billion will indeed be a transformational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wisconsin. Foxconn, the global electronics manufacturing giant, will make an initial investment of $10 billion to build a 20 million square-foot high-tech manufacturing campus in Wisconsin. To put the massive size of this operation into perspective, you could fit 11 Lambeau Fields inside Foxconn’s planned campus. Now that’s big.

Foxconn could juice the Wisconsin economy, but at what cost? : Imagine for a moment that it’s all true — that Foxconn invests in a massive new factory complex in southeastern Wisconsin and hires 13,000 people. Imagine that Wisconsin becomes a hub for a new American industry — the production of flat-panel screens — and that gives rise to other new ventures. Imagine that the study Foxconn paid for is spot on — that a $3 billion investment by taxpayers leverages $10 billion to build the complex and billions of dollars more in payroll.

All of us are aware of President Donald Trump’s war of words with North Korea last week. Not only was this an awful bit of diplomacy, but President Trump totally ignored the fact that before he picked up his cell phone…that he won bigly at the United Nations. He got the economic sanctions that he wanted against North Korea and even got the support of China and Russia in the deal. So he couldn’t wait a little while and see what the effects of the sanctions would be? I mean China is already implementing them and they are North Korea’s biggest economic partner. Instead of maybe having a more compliant adversary in Pyongyang, he instead pushed them to the wall and maybe made it impossible for them to back down.

Ok, take a deep breath and calm down. I am not suggesting for a moment that the Trump administration round up and deport dreamers. Actually I am proposing exactly the opposite.

What we should be doing is granting green cards to all of the dreamers. They were brought to the United States as children. They had no say in their movement…they dutifully followed the lead of their parents. Many of them have no memory of Mexico or their Latin American heritage and are as American as many of the rest of us. They have contributed to the US, have jobs, families and educations that make them Americans. They should be granted permanent resident status and paths to citizenship…for they are for all intents and purposes Americans.

And then we should use the immigration laws already at hand to issue green cards to their parents and siblings as immediate family members. They are all key elements in our economy. There would serious issues in many many sectors if they were forced to leave.

So I am suggesting that we won’t need the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals anymore if we do the right thing and provide permanent immigrant status to those already here…already contributing to the United States.

Btw, tomorrow is the DACA day of action:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 15, allies across the progressive movement are
coming together for a day of action to defend DACA and the 800,000 immigrants it protects. We’ve put together shareable Facebook and Twitter content to show our support of DACA. We need your help in spreading the word on social media. You can view the DACA call script here, and you can learn more about the DACA Day of Action here.

Yours,

Jason Rae
Secretary
Democratic National Committee

MILWAUKEE – Several members of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors released the following statement regarding the recent terrorist incident in Charlottesville, Virginia:

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Heather Heyer and the other victims of hate-fueled violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.

“Hate has no place in America, and we condemn the individuals and groups that came to Charlottesville seeking violent confrontation as a platform to spread their racist ideology.

“We grieve with the community of Charlottesville, and with the victims and their families, as they cope with the terror of Saturday’s events and the loss of innocent life.

“While we must call out racism and name white supremacy for what it is, we cannot allow the terrorist attack in Charlottesville to sow further division in our nation.

“The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors adopted an anti-discrimination resolution in February and we will continue to take action to ensure Milwaukee County is a place where all people are valued equally.

“Condemning the hateful ideology of white supremacy and neo-Nazism is important, but it is not enough: we urge our neighbors, especially white people, to work intentionally to dismantle racism in all its forms.”

Supervisor Jason Haas, 14th District
Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic, 4th, District
Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde, 10th District
Supervisor John F. Weishan, 16th District
Supervisor Marcelia Nicholson, 5th District
Supervisor Sequanna Taylor, 2nd District

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2017
Contact: Brian Rothgery, Public Information Manager
414-278-4230 or brian.rothgery@milwaukeecountywi.gov

I am not entirely sure where to start addressing this. Violence never solves anything. I understand that free speech and free assembly belongs to everyone…but my father was a disabled veteran as a result of his service in Europe during the Second World War…not sure why Nazis should even be tolerated. But if you have thoughts on the events of the past several days, I would appreciate your input and comments:

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I really hate it when Friday the 13th falls on Sunday…so cheer me up…what’s on your mind?

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