Thursday, March 29, 2012

A 48 Hour Victory, I'm 2 and 0 dear readers.

Greetings again brave and bold badgers from Wisconsin, and to all of you as well across the United States and the world, thank you for your patience while I prepared this post.  I have spent much of my time, on and off again, the last couple of days having a back and forth Facebook conversation with a opinion/editorial writer for a large mainstream media print publication here in Madison.  Well that and working on uncovering the truth behind all the lies that are piling up in Florida regarding the murder of young Trayvon Martin, a case that is eerily and tragically similar to one here in Wisconsin.  In Slinger, WI the 'Castle Doctrine' was used to murder 20 year old Bo Morrison a young recent college graduate about to serve his nation in the United States Marine Corps.  I will be bringing you more on this tragedy soon, if you would like to learn more now please go to

This posting is one about a prolonged verbal battle that lasted for over two days between myself and an op/ed writer for a major publication.  To me this is interesting because I see op/ed writers as basically doing the exact same thing that I do as a blogger.  They report on current events and write down what thoughts they have on current events from a point of view, from a point of personal bias.  Journalism is (well supposed to be) neutral and objective.  What I do here and what a op/ed writer does is not journalism.  It is personal opinion conveyed through media.  The only real difference?  I do what I do, I research stories and put together the information that makes up this blog for free.  I am not influenced by a paycheck like an op/ed writer may possibly be.

But back to the subject at hand which is the latest battle here in Wisconsin revolving around the recall election of fraudulently elected Governor Scott Walker.  Earlier this week a publishing firm called Gannett Publishing, a privately owned entity revealed that dozens of its employee's had signed the recall petition against Walker.  Gannett apologised for this and stated that they would punish those who had taken part in the democratic process, other publishers soon followed.

The paper here in Madison to which I am referring to, like Gannett's papers up in northern Wisconsin, have a decidedly right wing slant.  The papers stated that they were ashamed that employee's had violated the public trust, that they lost they're neutrality, by taking part in recalls and elections.  Excuse me???  What the fudge???

Gannett publishing has a long history of running pro-Walker and anti-recall stories.  Gannett Publishing endorsed Scott Walkers run for governor.  They sent some pretty serious campaign money Walkers way as well.  Neutrality?.........I'm calling shenanigans!  And I am not the only one.

Two days ago a local celebrity and friend of mine, internationally celebrated D.J. Nick Nice criticized the persecution of employees by their employer, Gannett Publishing.  Quick to jump to the aid of the publisher was a local op/ed writer, and he was not happy about the subject matter.  I found this very curious that a writer would defend those who were attacking other writers (though the majority of these employees were not journalists but support staff) for taking part in the democratic process.  And so I initiated a conversation with this individual. First I sent him a link to a story that was published by Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  The story is titled "Signing a Recall Petition Does Not Require Judicial Recusal" and you can find it online.

Marquette is a conservative, private University and friend of Scott Walker, and even they could not defend the stance of the publishers.  And this is the University that recently concluded a poll showing that Scott Walker could win a recall election and sought to deflate the Wisconsin Movement.  That was until they were called out for using very questionable techniques in the poll, and they were forced to conduct a second round of more scientific research.  Suddenly the numbers flipped and Walker had some very poor odds indeed.

I assume that the op/ed writer, who I will refer to simply as 'Bob' read the article because soon afterwards he replied to me "whats your point?"

I replied that my point, now backed up by Marquette University, was that there is no legal nor moral basis for his opinion.  I stated that from my point of view, that he was compromising journalistic integrity for the almighty dollar.  I told him that Julius Stryker, editor and publisher of 'Der Sturmer' had done the same thing years ago and that, that had ended very poorly indeed for him.

'Rufus' replied like he had no idea what I was speaking of and so I reiterated 'Are you not compensated by (this paper) for the writing that you do, are you not protecting your paycheck even though it runs contrary (from what I know) to journalistic ethics?'

Rufus was amused by my reference to monetary influence from his employer, apparently he felt overdue for a raise.  So I asked Rufus, 'Are journalists not supposed to be part of the vanguard of honesty and integrity, of the dissension of truthful information, are you not compromising your own rights in exchange for a paycheck?  Are you not setting a horrible standard here?'

Even our brave sailors and soldiers serving in our Armed Forces have the right to vote, and they sign away almost all of the rights that they have under the constitution when they join the service.  Is being an opinion writer really more important than that?  To the point where you throw your rights straight out the window?  Yes being a media writer is a position of public trust but so is being a doctor, a nurse or a judge.  Should all these people give up their right to vote as well?  What about teachers and professors?  What about pilots and fire fighters and police officers, state troopers and emergency medical technicians; should all these people give up the right that they have to take part in the democratic process?

Rufus replied that the "appearance of non-bias" is what counts.  Really?  Do you think Rufus that folks don't expect writers to have a personal opinion?  That after all the years they have lived on this planet that they never formed an opinion about a candidate, a party or a piece of legislation?

I told him that yes the appearance of neutrality must be there in what they write, but that should not be the all controlling factor in their personal lives.  In other words yes you write like that, but you don't live that way, how is it possible to even expect people to believe that?

"Journalistic neutrality/integrity should be based (in part) on the law of the land"  All Americans (with some exceptions based on age or felony record) have the right to vote.  That is ultimate and inalienable.  Journalism should absolutely NOT be leading the way, by example, into people giving up that all important right!  Especially if the motivation is the political and/or monetary gain of others.

Rufus replied "Recall elections will be by secret ballot, but that is different than signing your name to a document that calls for putting an elected official on the ballot, speeding up the calendar, before their term of office is up"  Just like with nomination papers perhaps.

To which I added "speeding up the calendar is one way of looking at it. A legal electoral tool for dealing with fraud (such as the case with the multitude of lies told by Walker while he was on the campaign trail) is another way it can be construed."

"Its definitely a legal electoral tool and I wouldn't change anything about the states recall requirements."  Rufus wrote back to me.  "Obviously, though, its an extreme and rarely used measure, unlike regular voting."  Yes Rufus, I thought to myself, but it is still a part of the electoral process.

At this point I was multi-tasking, well actually I am always multi-tasking, and I uncovered the news of George Zimmerman in Florida, the alleged (and truthfully so it seems) murderer of Trayvon Martin having a record for domestic assaults as well as felony assault of an officer, and also that his father was a state supreme court magistrate.  I informed Rufus about this, somehow I was hours ahead of the mainstream media source he works for, and I took a break from our discussion to post that information on this blog immediately.

 Hours later Rufus came back online and summarized that he called the recall an important election tool.  And that elections are of tantamount importance I added.  And that is why even in the military, where upon entry you sign away almost all of your constitutional rights (necessary to a structure that sends people into combat) you still maintain three important rights no matter what, those being:  1. You have the right not to be intentionally tortured by your own government.  2.  You have the right to a trial by jury, well military tribunal at least, and 3. You have the RIGHT TO VOTE.

And what about day care workers?, I added, and cops, teachers?  The problem is not, or should not, be whether folks vote.  The real underlying problem here is the GOTea before the recall elections, refused to properly fund the Government Accountability Board, which oversees the elections and recalls in Wisconsin.  This made public posting of personal voter information necessary to at least provide some reasonable degree of oversight so as to keep the GOTea from being able to yell fraud and challenge the recalls in court indefinately.  It was also a direct and malicious attempt to intimidate and harass the voters of this state who wanted to legally sign the recall petitions.  To make them fear for their safety and perhaps even their lives due to the well documented violent history of the Tea Party tools & fools that rabidly worship Walker.

I then added to Rufus that the very paper that he works for is going after its employee's as well for taking part in the democratic process.  Rufus denied this to me quite strongly and let me know what he thought of some of my opinions and ideas.

I did receive an apology from Rufus though (thank you sir) regarding the 'dumbness' of my opinions.  "I don't have a problem" he wrote me" with journalists saying they wont sign petitions because choose to do that work."  Interesting point but I wonder myself, isn't NOT signing the petition making an equally solid stand on the subject of whether or not we should retain this elected official?"  The way it is going right now, anybody over the age of eighteen can have theyre name lookedp, and if you didnt sign the petition, then what, you SUPPORT Walker?  Neutrality? Seems to me that would be making a statement in favor of Scott Walker and against the recall election.

Rufus then stated that he 'didnt see how journalists voluntarily removing themselves from the process affects democracy.'  "Wow" is all I could think to myself when I saw his typed words appear on my computer monitor.  It was at this point (some two hours after I told Rufus his employer was punishing staff that signed the petitions which he refuted) that the very publication Rufus worked for released a statement that multiple employees of that publisher had signed recall petitions and that they would be reprimanded/punished for having done so.  I decided to be nice and not rub this in, that victory was clearly mine.

I further argued to Rufus, that if journalists, the very people who are supposed to "in the know" the folks with more knowledge than the average citizen like you or me, are these not the same folks who SHOULD be voting, who should be signing recall petitions if they chose?  Should they not as defenders of the truth be the first to jump up and cast a vote, fill out a ballot, sign the darn recall petition?!?!

I received no reply, and it has been more than twenty four hours now since I last heard from Rufus.  I am running with the assumption that he could no longer defend his position, the position he may have felt compelled to defend whether or not he agreed with it at all.  I will take that as a sure sign of his defeat and/or of my victory in this debate.

I know that Rufus is protecting his job, his source of income, and in doing so was protecting the very people that were the threat to his job.  The economy is still terrible and nobody cherishes the thought of seeking employment in these economic conditions.  But the people he was protecting, the ones who represented the threat to himself, are the 1% that destroyed the economy in the first place.  The ones who put their own financial interests ahead of everything else in this world.  People like Scott Walker, and that is how this whole conversation began in the first place.

So in the end it seems to me the final score was;

Blogger = 1   Op/Ed Writer = 0

Sadly though Wisconsin, the badger state, is the real lose here.  But only temporarily and only in regards to one tiny battle in a long and drawn out war.  As long as we keep up the good fight, we will win.  And speaking of winning I have now taken on a big time national blogger, Ann Althouse, and kicked her butt.  Now I took down a major media market writer and scored again.  I think I will try to arrange a political debate against a GOTea representative or senator, I'm on a roll here.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

George Zimmerman son of judge with sealed closed arrest record in FL.

Not a regular blog post, please help spread the word.  So far I have no hard verification of this, feel free to help me credit or discredit this information.  I was told this originated with a east coast, left wing radio show but that also is not verified.

In regards to Trayvon Martin:  THIS JUST IN: " Now we know why George Zimmerman didn't get arrested....No Words.......According to court records George Zimmerman is the son of retired Supreme Court Magistrate Judge Robert J Zimmerman, his mother Gladys Zimmerman is a court clerk....He has three closed arrests 7/18/05 for resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer div 10........8/9/05 for domestic violence div 44..... And again on 8/10/05 domestic violence div 46 *** Throws hands up and drops the mic*** RE-POST!!!!!!!"

Bo Morrison we will bring justice in your name as well fallen brother.  Solidarity forever.

Adding this to my post, partial confirmation.  I am adding this several hours after posting the above:

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Addendum by popular request

Some folks have asked me for links to the Robin Vos, Van Wanngard pay to play investigation.  I receive information from lots of sources, many of whom I cant name for reasons most folks should be able to easily understand.  Here is what I can give you folks who would like to look into this matter without compromising anything or anybody.

Representative Mark Pocan D - 78th Assembly District initiated this investigation (maybe alone and maybe not) after he became aware that the two GOTea members of the legislature named above (and maybe or maybe not others) had received free air fare, accommodations, VIP seating with all the extra's, at sporting events in exchange for ALEC written legislative blanks, to be modified later to fit existing Wisconsin laws.

This is PAY TO PLAY, money, gifts, hookers ( piegate still exists Robin Vos, the tape's are still around) it is all the same to the laws of the state of Wisconsin.  It is a very serious felony and it will be investigated and pursued pursuant to statutes.

Google it folks, it is out there.  Don't get me wrong please I am not trying to sound like some secretive figure connected to big dogs in the political arena.  I am a small player with a few connections to some mid-level political types.  I do have sources of current and future information to protect, that is the only reason why I cant give you all the full story just quite yet.

Stay tuned till tomorrow folks and I will most likely tell you the story of a blogger who took on a large scale mass media figure and stomped them into the tundra.  Solidarity forever.  And for those of you who noticed the profile picture change solidarity with Bo Morrison and Trayvon Martin.  RIP little brothers.

On Wisconsin!   FORWARD!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Another bomb goes off in Wisconsin.

Hello readers from across Wisconsin and around the world, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and experiences on these pages.  Trying to do a little unwinding this Sunday after a very long and exciting week here in Madison, WI.  All day on Friday I had been frantically racing around and preparing for my campaign event kick-off, all the while I was dreading the weekly 'Friday News Bomb'

The Friday News Bomb has been a regular event in Wisconsin for the last thirteen months.  Typically mainstream media reports here in Madison, like everywhere else, cover 'news' Monday through Wednesday from 8 am until 6 pm.  That is the news cycle that almost all networks and affiliates adhere to.  Anything that happens from Wednesday evening until Monday morning will usually not be covered, unless sometimes it is a fairly pertinent story that links to others, in which case that story will be merged with another story the next week during the regular cycle.

There are generally two exceptions to this basic rule.  Exception one is a huge breaking news event outside of the three day cycle.  The second exception is the 'human interest' story that occurs outside of the cycle.  The human interest story for instance the 'firefighters rescuing a kitten from a tree story' will always be covered.  The light and fluffy weekend news casts are full of such stories here as most Americans are aware.

The huge breaking news story, the "bomb" in other words is a little different.  If a 'bomb' of a story breaks on a Friday in Wisconsin there  are a couple of ways it will be treated.  If it is of major national interest the story will get bumped up to national affiliates for the next weeks news cycle.  If it is a 'bomb' of a story that has significance to the citizens of the state it may or may not be reported.  Basically if it is simple and easy to explain and perhaps even a little 'sexy' then it would most likely be reported.  A example of this would be the recent incident when someone poured a beer on a legislator.

Sexy and/or appealing, simple and easy to report, and involving a strong emotional reaction, that gets reported on definitely and often throughout the entire weekend news cycle.  If the story is complex and thus would involve lengthy explanation to viewers, and the material requires thought to digest, as opposed to just requiring an emotional response, likely you wont hear of it.

At least not on television and radio regular broadcast news.  A television news online website may contain a brief detailing of a 'bomb' story of that nature, but it will not be broadcast to most of the viewing audience.  Television news on the weekend cycle is controlled more than the three day cycle by advertisers.  Advertisers have a strong affect on weekend news programming and content.  They much prefer the kitten in a tree rescued by firefighters type of story.

In the last year we have seen the GOTea controlled Wisconsin government drastically alter how business is conducted at the Capitol.  Usually legislation would be discussed and voted on during the three day regular press cycle for maximum coverage.  Representatives and senators would come off of the assembly or senate floor after a vote and immediately conduct news interviews on the session that just ended.  That way a pertinent story could be reported, followed by a brief interview with a democrat and a republican giving the t.v. news audience a fairly complete picture of things.

In the last year we have seen the GOTea increasingly holding late night sessions, calling special meetings on short notice and behind closed doors.  They fear the light of day and prefer to work under cover of darkness to keep the actions they are taken secret for fear of backlash against them from the citizenry.  Of course they know it is impossible to do this completely.  But they can stack the deck in their own favor.

Hence now we have the weekly Friday News Bomb, once again the GOTea is manipulating things so that when news of what they have done is reported, it comes at a time when the news agencies themselves are far less likely to cover it.  This is one of the reasons so many of us here have completely quit watching our local news stations and tuned out the radio channels.

The news the mainstream cant/wont report on, which is often the most important news, we get through Internet sources.  Lately the Friday News Bomb has been items such as right wing female legislators abruptly quitting and leaving the government after having been coerced or threatened into voting for legislation they know is morally indefensible and dangerous to all women.

Getting rid of health and sex education and replacing it with prayer and abstinence rhetoric is one such story.  Stories of the federal investigation into Scott Walkers campaign's are a usual topic of the Friday News Bombs.  The stuff the GOTea does not want the public to know.

So all the while I'm micro-managing my event this last Friday, I was waiting for the FNB.  And it finally did come and even later in the evening than usual.  I was dreading what was to come when the story broke.  What could it be?  Would the republicans make rape legal?  Would they shut down public schools and replace them with Scott Walkers daddy's brand of Southern Baptist Churches?

You cant believe how happy I was when the story broke and it was detailing the beginning investigation into GOTea Legislators Robin Vos and VanWaangard being investigated for a ALEC sponsored 'pay to play' scandal.  You have to just love this, we are recalling senators and winning that battle, and the right wing senators we couldn't go after are now under investigation...In all honesty there was talk about recalling Vos but logistically it was problematic, still though WOO HOO!!!!

The GOTea has themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.  Between the people of Wisconsin outraged and what they have done to our glorious state, and the criminal probe of they re own illegal and immoral activities.

The right wing is stumped as well and does not even know how to put a spin on this.  They obviously are now getting caught red handed, with they're pants down so to speak.  They were actually so arrogant, so pompous that they thought they could commit felonies in the open and would never see prosecution for it.  They thought they would have total and supreme power and hold sway over all by now.  So very, very wrong once again GOT!

The power in Wisconsin, the power in American and any democratic nation will always lie in its people.  They thought they could destroy democracy and take our freedom away without us knowing until it was too late.  They believed they would be lords of the Earth by now, once again they are so very wrong.

So keep up the good fight you brave and bold badgers, you defenders of democracy.  The problems here in Wisconsin will mostly be taken care of by us, we , the people.  A few others will be taken care of by the FBI for us.  Every day the Wisconsin Spring, the peoples movement grows stronger and stronger, and it is the peoples movement.  I respect the Democrats in Wisconsin, but it is us that have organized and recalled Walker.  We are the ones who nearly flipped the senate last year and will do so this year.  We are the ones who maintain the fight and are the spearhead behind the movement to take back Wisconsin.

Well that is enough about Wisconsin and bombs for one day, I will return tomorrow with sad news of bullets being fired here and in Florida.  Solidarity forever.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thank you Wisconsin

A quick post readers it is late at night and I am tired, stressed, exhausted after a long week.  But there is no way I can go to sleep for the night without some very sincere thank-you's.  You see folks I had my kick-off event last night for my state assembly campaign.

First of all I would like to thank all of you who came out too see me last night.  I truly enjoyed meeting you all and speaking with you about the issue's we are facing in Wisconsin.  I respect and deeply admire your devotion to freedom and democracy, taking time out of your busy lives to educate yourselves on what is happening and taking action and being involved in the process.

To Rick and Will, to Cori and Mike and Danyell and Eric for all of your efforts in volunteering to pull off such a  positive event.  There is no way it could have happened without your efforts.

Huge SHOUT OUT to DJ Nick Nice who also volunteered his valuable time and resources for the event.  The music was great and it flowed like sweet wine all night long.  He also helped to MC the event when the speakers took the floor.

To my staff and supporters who came out to speak on my behalf a big thank you.  Your kind and inspiring words meant a lot to me.  And thank you for inspiring all those folks who came out an a rainy night to show support for my campaign.

To Randy and the staff down at Scooter Therapy  I really appreciate the use of your showroom. I appreciate you letting me get in your way setting up stages and tables and getting in your way in general during your busy work day.

And to all you folks out there who couldn't make it to the event, but sent your encouragement and helped to spread the word of the kick off event and my campaign, it is appreciated.  Your devotion and efforts to defeating the Walker/Koch regime and saving Wisconsin is truly touching.

Until tomorrow then brave and bold badgers everywhere, thank you very much and solidarity forever.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Monday

Unbelievably high temperatures, large rally after rally.  A tumultuous 33 hour session for the State Assembly, horrendous legislation being stamped out at record pace.  Horrid for its hastily prepared status as well as the content of the legislation.

A war on the women of Wisconsin unleashed.  Birth control/health laws destroyed, abortion legislation.  Abstinence and prayer replacing science in schools.  Glen Grothman shaming Wisconsin and embarrassing the nation over and again on national television.

Wolf trapping, rape laws, school voucher systems, transportation taxation structure, tens of thousands losing health care coverage, it seemed to never end.

A bi-partisan trial swing at the recall laws themselves in the State Constitution.  Inflammatory speeches, arrests and hysterics and histrionics.  It would take a year for me to describe it all.

We started out on a high from the weekend then slunk down with all the legislation being rammed through.  And then the sudden and immediate resignation of a GOTea Senator.  The Senate deadlocked leaving Walker nearly powerless until after the recall elections.

And dont forget the 'John Doe' investigation, that is getting more interesting with every passing week.

Also this coming Friday my kick off fundraiser, lots of great food and music.  Special guest speakers and of course yours truly, hope to see you all there.  Solidarity forever.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Rotunda 13 case, the trial of the Magnificent 6

Hey there folks I just got back from the Dane County Courthouse and here to fill you in on how things progressed throughout the trial.  For those of you who don't remember last year on August 25th Wisconsinites across the state felt the first (but not necessarily the last) bite taken out of they re paychecks.

Two rallies were held that day in Madison, the first at noon that began on the library mall at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and marched up State St. to the Capitol.  The second rally of the day was larger and began at 5p.m. at the Capitol.  Speakers spoke and the chants echoed around the capitol square.  Then folks decided to march through the Capitol building and/or peacefully assemble in there and continue the political discourse.

And that is what happened, the capitol which normally closes at 6 p.m. when the legislature is not in session, remained open beyond normal hours.  At around 6:30 or so announcement attempts began for people to disperse as the capitol was closing for the day.  Most of the people began to make they're way out of the building.  Some folks felt that they had more to discuss, here in the one place where a citizen should be able to finally discuss matters with one's elected official.

They also felt that they had constitutional rights to assemble and of free speech, and that these inalienable rights supersedes any state or municipal ordinance.  They remained at the capitol, in the center of the rotunda to continue with protest and discussion on political matters that began with the rally that had brought them here.  Head of Capitol Police & Security, Chief Charles Tubbs began to request of these people to please leave the capitol per his concept of 'voluntary compliance.'

Protesters stated that they 'politely and respectfully' feel that there is no existing legal compulsion for them to leave the building and that any attempt to force them would be an infringement of they're constitutional rights of speech and assembly.

The police under the leadership of Chief Tubbs disagreed and informed the protesters, now down to thirteen in number, of such and that if they didn't leave they would be taken into custody.  Which is what then began to take place.  Those taken into custody, well six of them anyway, were having their day in court today and I was with them in solidarity.

I arrived at courtroom 7D at 8:25 with trial proceedings set to begin five minutes later.  Defense attorney Nichols and her assistant counsel, along with Mr. Freedman from the District Attorneys office were already in discussion with the judge.  They were defining the limit and scope of the questioning of witness's and the judge offered the opinion to the defense that there was no defense.  He stated that in his opinion a violation of code or law had occurred and that was the final word, no reasonable defense was possible.  Good thing this was a jury trial or things would have been starting off very badly indeed.

Defense atty Nichols had stated into the record that the video that both sides agreed to view in court, had discrepancies between the original audio recording and what was transcribed and would be given to the jury.  The judge agreed to cover this and explain it to the jury when it was time to introduce and view that piece of evidence.  There was some discussion on limiting the amount of time that would be allowed discussing the issue of 'necessary force' and then after a final statement from the judge alluding to 'closing time of a public building is indisputable' the jury was brought into the courtroom.

After opening statements and instructions to the jury from the judge, opening statements were made.  Freedman from the DA's office began, he spoke of:  'our nation and our state are in a time of conflict and disruption' and that 'Walker our governor created this divide'  He then said that 'the rule of law unites' and he relearned this while he was at a capitol rally at 'our house-the capitol, all of our house, not just a few who feel they are above the law'

He went on stating that 'Chief Tubbs and his policy of "voluntary compliance" have worked as hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the Capitol'  He stated that Chief Tubbs had "begged and pleaded" with the protesters asking them "please, please, pretty please" to leave the building.  He seemed honestly enraptured by Chief Tubbs and I was starting to wonder if a spring wedding may be planned.

Nichols for the defense spoke next, she said that this trial was not about "how nice a person Charles Tubbs is" it was about doing what was right.  It was about how the defendants perceived themselves at that place and time. She mentioned that the very design of the Capitol was for the purpose of public speaking and addressing the government.  She described a time of "great sadness and great enthusiasm."

Opening statements concluded the exploration phase of the trial began.  Freedman began by calling his one and only witness Chief Charles Tubbs.  He began by questioning the chief about his background and history, his decision to become a peace officer.  We heard about the chief growing up poor in Beloit, WI.  How as a child he wanted to be either a "cop, a clergyman or a pro-athlete"  Cute story and I have heard Chief Tubbs tell it before.

He went on to state that as a young black man living in Beloit in 1972, he remembers a white officer being shot and killed by a black man.  He remembered the way the investigating officers treated the African-American community in looking for the shooter.  That he remembers being pulled over in college, the white folks in the car treated well by police while he and a friend received much different treatment.  He spoke of how he wanted to create a positive change in police culture from within.  He spoke of his policy of "voluntary compliance" rather than immediately resorting to putting hands on people.

It painted a pretty impressive picture of the head of Capitol Police & Security.  And it was a standard tactic in a trial such as this one.  And then the line of questioning changed as the chief was asked direct questions about the events of August 25th of 2011.  He recounted that he had bent over backwards to pacify the protesters during a time of divisive political climate.  He stated that he had begged and cajoled the protesters to leave and was treated with harsh words and disrespect for his efforts and finally had to do his job and clear the building for the sake of the cleaning crews.

On cross examination Nichols asked Chief Tubbs about the six defendants in the courtroom.  Chief acknowledged that he knows them now and indeed knew five of the six before the date in question.  There were questions about the permitting of the rally and as to whether or not the chief was aware of who was protected by that permit and who was not.  She began to ask about tactics used by officers and tactics used by the protesters who had been trained by the ACLU and Veterans for Peace workshops.

 I believe it was at this point that the DA objected as Nichols began to mention the training in peaceful non-resistance training the defendants had taken.  The objection was to whether or not that training was relevant to the case.  The attorneys approached the bench and after a brief discussion, with the court room flooded with the sound of white noise, they began again.

And Nichols first question was on the subject of non-violent methods employed by the defendants.  Score one victory for the good folks.  A audio recording of the standard closing time statement broadcast at the Capitol followed.  And that wrapped up the first segment of the trial and we were given a twenty minute break.

We arrived back in the courtroom with the jury not yet returned.  The judge was addressing the courtroom about the rules for media coverage of the trial.  There had been people covering the trial from the beginning in the media room without issue.  The matter had come up after a representative from the extreme right wing political group that operates as a charity, the McIver Institute, arrived to cover things.

We stood as the jury was brought back into the courtroom and after some instructions for them from the judge, then the video of the arrests of August 25th was played.  Fifty four minutes long and covering the entirety of the Rotunda 13 being asked by Chief Tubbs to disperse, the polite replies on constitutional grounds and the subsequent removal of them by a combination of Capitol Police & Security officers as well as Wisconsin State Troopers.

I had seen this footage before as had most people in the filled up courtroom.  Many of us who were able to be there today in solidarity with the defendants had been at the rally that day.  I remember that day, I had left the building with the bulk of folks and did not know that the 13 were inside until after the Capitol doors had been locked.

At this time the 13 were inside, along with all the officers, the cleaning staff and the media, who had been allowed to remain to cover the protesters.  That was the statement of Chief Tubbs.  The state rested its case after the footage was shown to the jury and we broke for lunch.  I had just enough time to grab a sandwich on my way to the Capitol for the Solidarity Singalong.  On the State St. corner of the square though I had to stand and witness 1,000+ women who were rallying against the right wing attack on women's rights.  Then inside to the Singalong going on as strong as ever, and once again led by Chris Reeder who had taken some time off for the birth of his first child.

And then back to courtroom 7D for testimony from the six defendants.  Thi was first on the stand and she told of her non-violence training and devotion to non-violent resolution.  The DA then again objected to the use of inclusion of peaceful tactics training and an approach followed.  More white noise and then Thi continued to speak of passivity and non-violence.

She was cross examined and was the recipient of some slightly demeaning language from Freedman.  She was strong though and his questions turned to the small talk that was shared between the protesters just before they were taken into custody one by one.  He tried to get her to claim that nobody had any relevant message for they're government officials but it never happened.

Damon spoke next and delivered some well spoken and timely quotes including "Our system is broken" and in reference to a request, not a demand, to leave the building that he "did not take it to be a lawful demand"  The lack of reply to this under cross spoke well for the six on trial.

Jenna was next on the stand and I loved how she relayed that Chief Tubbs had held the door open for her at 5:55 and welcomed her and others into the Capitol. Jenna explained why the protesters were singing the theme to the old television show 'batman' as she was carried off.  The jury seemed to find it cute that her nickname was 'batman' and that she even wore the costume to the rallies sometimes.  She was not cross examined.

Jeremy was next on the stand and the guy from McIver was practically foaming at the mouth.  He was obviously very excited and that this was the one person he really came to cover today.  Jeremy explained that he was the first to be removed he believed, because he was the one protester to have a video camera and was recording the events.  On cross examination a video that Jeremy had shot of that night covering the 1,000 or so protesters in the building at 6:30 to his ultimate arrest was shown.  Jeremy was then questioned about such things the banter between the protesters just before they were taken into custody.

Jeremy did a great job of explaining that the people had come to the Capitol with a message and a need for civil discourse on political matters that was not finished.  That the will of the people as protected by the constitution trumped any building and facilities code.  That the small talk prior to arrest was comrades in arm speaking and encouraging each other prior to arrest and in no way negated the message of the people to they're legislator's or the need for further discourse.

CJ was next on the witness stand and spoke very well of matters of 'unlawful demand' and of his experiences at the capitol and his devotion to peaceful and passive resistance.  All six were asked if they in any way 'fought, twisted, kicked, hit, bit, or swore at officers?'  They all replied without hesitation, no!

Last on the stand was Alex, who told of being simultaneously choked and having his wrist bent to force him into movement after he had gone limp and was not resisting the State Troopers.  He was briefly cross examined and stood his ground well.

And that wrapped up that part of the trial.  After a break we returned to the courtroom for closing statements.  The prosecution used levity to describe his experiences going to the Capitol to witness protests and that it was the only time he went to the Capitol without stopping at Genna's tavern.  He mentioned Mayor Paul Soglin and the great Madison tradition of civil disobedience which seemed counter productive to me.  He also brought up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.

He mentioned his own anger at the 'burecrats' he saw inside the windows of the Capitol building the night that Act 10 was passed, smoking "cigars lit with $100 bills"  Wow isn't this going to work against him I thought to myself?  The jury was pretty friendly seeming and I had been observing them closely all day.  Only one person seemed kind of angry or bored and possibly had already formed an early opinion on the trial.  I was happily surprised when this jurists name was drawn at random and became the "13" or alternate juror and was no longer needed.

Nichols then closed up her case by questioning Freedmans story of 'rock throwing' to a peaceful and civil discourse by good citizens within a publicly owned building exercising they're rights.  She stated that "the constitution does not close at six o clock!"  She spoke of bent rules and sliding time lines, of arbitrary enforcement by officers who may have a personal interest in individuals.  She said that 'Democracy is difficult!" and that the defendants were being difficult, not criminals.

The jury was then sent to deliberations and I am awaiting word.  The judge seems the type to me who will not easily accept a deadlocked jury which I think is likely.  There is also a fairly good chance that they will be found 'not guilty' of the one charge apiece.

I will update this as soon as I hear what has happened. Solidarity forever.

Please see below

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Just got the call, all six were found guilty on technical grounds.  I am told that they will appeal.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The second best day ever

Wonderful but windy weather in Madison on Saturday and we arrived early to watch people arrive for the rally at the capitol square.  I would have been okay it ten thousand people made it to the rally, double that and I would have been pretty pleased.  By the end of the day I estimate that perhaps sixty thousand people had been part of the event.

It was the largest so far this year and it was great to listen to so many great speakers including Lori Compas and Mahlon Mitchell amongst others.  So many creative signs and so many spirited Wisconsinites all gathered in solidarity and in opposition to Scott Walker and his radical agenda.

For many of us it was almost like a huge family reunion.  It was great to touch base again with so many fine people.  They had come from all area's of Wisconsin and I admire the dedication they are showing to the cause. Earlier in the day was the Tibetan Solidarity Rally, this being the 53rd year for that noble cause.  Later they left the rally point at the city/county building and marched around the outer ring of the capitol square.  We showed great support for them and hopefully they also raised some new awareness of the terrible conditions in Tibet.

The spirit in the air was one of celebration as the movement gets stronger and stronger every day.  And now on Monday we are looking at the voter ID law, also known as the voter suppression law, being struck down by the courts and we are expecting the same with redistricting.  And that coming on the heels of the striking down of the environmental protection laws under the guise of creating mining jobs.

Plus it was announced that Scott Walker has created and is soliciting money for a legal defense fund he has created.  Under Wisconsin law as stated by the GAB, only those who are under active investigation can create a legal defense fund.  Our day is coming folks, you can just feel it in the air.

The only thing that can be greater than the spirit in the air at the huge rally on Saturday will be the day we remove Scotty from office.  I am looking forward to it.  And folks you should also be looking forward to Republican Senator Dale Schultz challenging Scott Walker in a primary contest.

2012 is going to be a very interesting year indeed in Wisconsin.  Keep up the fight good people, you brave and bold badgers, we are almost there.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Apocalypse Now.........Wisconsin style.

Greetings readers from somebody who has just returned from the brink of madness.  With the competition gearing up in the Wisconsin Assembly 48th district race today became a day of action.  In a campaign it does not matter whether it is a war campaign or a political one there are times that call for tender mercy.  There are also times that call for swift and ruthless action.  Today I was called to action.

My senior campaign adviser informed me this morning that that time had come.  It was time for action!  It was time to be swift and decisive and to do what had to be done without regret or sorrow.  So this afternoon after having prepared ourselves we jumped into the SUV and hit the road.....

    into the heart of darkness

There would be no messing around this time and no taking prisoners.  We were about to do something that has needed to be done for awhile now, and we did it.  It wasn't pleasant and it was nothing that previous experiences in my life could had prepared me for.  It was time......

    to lead the mission up the river, what lay at the end of that river......nobody could guess

The river was actually the Great River Road along Wisconsin's western border following the Mississippi river.  And finally we arrived at the destination, I gathered all my strength and courage and went inside.....a custom hair salon.  With a assembly seat in the balance and a fundraiser and press coverage looming this was no time for a ten dollar quickie haircut.  It was time for me to be coiffed and styled.

    I saw a snail.....crawling along the edge of a straight razor ....and survive

I entered the lobby and announced my presence and intentions, there would be no backing out now.  With steely resolve I handed my jacket to the polite and friendly attendant and awaited what was to come.  I was seated in the chair, my own face and old hair cut looming in the mirror.  Almost seeming to taunt me, to make me question myself and my decision.  I was physically scalp massaged and then suddenly, faster than I could respond, was handed my drink order.........

    bottled water!   water?.....he can drink paddy water

Soon after being subjected to a large color book of full color men's hairstyles I made my decision.  After a brief shoulder massage and subsequent shampooing the instruments of torture came into view.  Black as as the grave.  And razor sharp, stainless steel scissors.  I soon lost track of what was happening, the polite small talk, the piped in music, the repeated offers of salon staff to bring me another drink.  This was so alien to me, so unusual and surreal, my mind was racing with a thousand thoughts at the same time.  I gathered my resolve and fought the urge to run in panic....

    you can kiss my ass in the town square cause I'm bugging out man!  I never signed up for this man !

Like I said nothing in my experience up to now could have possibly prepared me in the slightest for this experience. Back in my small home town we had one barber, no salon, no studio, we had a barber.  He only gave three haircuts, if you were a farmer you got a crew cut.  If you worked in town you got a basic and simple old fashion cut with a part.  If you were military or police you got the flattop.  You would sit down and he would grab your head like a much hated and maligned football.  You would then be attacked by a electric clipper, the barber using brute force and sheer strength of will to force your hair into compliance.  You knew when it was over when he would stick his hand out and bark at you "Five Dollars!"

There was none of this fancy treatment, no snacks and no beverages.  And we learned to accept and like things that way.  There was none of this unheard of politeness and cameraderie.  Somehow I survived that afternoon in the salon.  Somehow I walked into and came back from the edge and I know I was forever changed by the experience.

    the horror..........the horror

The price you think you are prepared to engage in these campaigns, these conflicts, it is never what you think. Somehow I survived this test, this passage up the unknown river and returned.  Different yes but also stronger and faster, more resolved.  More in touch with my urban warrior senses.  More in tune with the concrete jungle........more media friendly.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Funny stuff

In my last post I described the happenings at Solidarity Singalong #300 in the Capitol rotunda here in Madison.  Well most of the events, in the last couple days some new information has come to light regarding some events that I didn't report on that day.

We had some Amish folks who had come down to the Solidarity Singalong and joined us.  I couldn't see them from where I was and they were kind of shying away from the camera's and all.

It seems one of the people with a movie camera that day was there as part of a documentary film crew composed of the cameraman and another guy.  The other guy wore a L.A. Dodgers baseball hat and spoke briefly between songs once, something I really couldn't hear very clearly, he did say something about Europe though.

After the Singalong was over and after some discussion with friends I went outside and was crossing the capitol square as a light snow was falling.  I noticed a man wearing only a blue and white speedo with a microphone in his hand and being followed by a man with a camera coming towards me.  The man asked me if I would comment on some things for an interview for him, and I cautiously agreed to.  This is Madison after all and I figured I was dealing with a couple of college guys, maybe from the drama department.

The first question I was asked was whether or not I agree with the policies of Scott Walker.  I smiled and said that I couldn't say that I was completely in line with the governors policies.  Nice politic answer.  Then I was asked if I agreed with his statement that most of the anti-Walker protesters thought that America should be more like 'socialist Europe'?

Now that was a curious question and since I had no idea who I was dealing with and what they're agenda may be I maneuvered around answering by asking the interviewer if the speedo he was wearing was a comment on European culture?  He replied that yes the speedo was a European cultural reference and something else about the logic of wearing a speedo outside in winter in Wisconsin.

I then looked at him curiously for a moment and told him "eurowax" and he laughed and I walked away.  Nothing really too far outside the normal for this town, not an everyday occurrence but par for the course.

Well yesterday I saw on facebook that The Daily Kos was trying to identify the guy in the Dodgers hat and one of the cameramen from the Singalong the day before.  I saw the pictures they had posted of the two and it was the same as those that interviewed me I realized.

Well today the two were identified as none other than right wing producer Ami Horowitz himself.  Surprised I did not recognize him..  He has done some previous work for Glen Beck and Fox News amongst others.  What a interesting period in time it is to live in Wisconsin.  Something is going on constantly and you never know who you will meet.  Tumultuous times indeed but at least they are not boring times.

I wonder if Ami will use the footage they shot in Madison in some new project?  I wonder if palm trees will be involved? They came back for a second day of filming but Ami would only sit in the car while the cameraman shot some film.  Folks repeatedly asked them to join in the Singalong and ask them who they were but they declined and quickly left.  Guess they really didn't want to be identified.  Oh well just another day in Madtown.

And only nine days until the first anniversary of the Solidarity Singalong on Monday the 11th.  Going to be a big event and there should be tons of folks there.  Also on Saturday the 7th there is going to be a very large rally at the Capitol building in Madison.  The AFL_CIO and local unions amongst others are putting this on and I expect the turn out to be really big.  Hope to see you all there.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

300 Days Longer, 300 Days Stronger !

Was fortunate enough to witness a little bit of history in the making again at the capitol yesterday.  The event was Solidarity Singalong #300 and it was very inspiring.  Due to some confusion concerning event scheduling inside the Capitol the singing started outside at noon.  After a couple of songs the official tally of days was rolled over from 299 to 300.  The cheering was very loud indeed and the singing was extremely spirited, the singers joined by drums and guitars.

We then were informed that the event that was supposed to be going on inside the rotunda had been cancelled and so we made our way into the rotunda singing all the way.  Camera crews and individuals shot constant footage of #300 and the number of participants continued to grow.  A wedding had just taken place and the bride and groom and others from they're party joined us in song.  The bride holding a red heart shaped balloon, a symbol of the Wisconsin Uprising and the whole thing was rather touching.

On and off through the event different state senators including Hansen and others stopped by in solidarity with the singers.  A theatre troupe that had performed an anti-Walker anti-ALEC  skit outside earlier, dressed in rat costumes, joined the group in the rotunda.  Soon after that a group of young school children piled against the rotunda railing the watch the singers with they're teachers.  We sang the preamble of the constitution for them and quite a few of the kids and one of the teachers sang along, pretty sweet.

We wrapped up as always, by sing "Solidarity Forever" and the cheering as we finished rang throughout the halls of the Capitol building, Our House.  Folks departed slowly it seemed, not wanting the event to end too soon.  History in the making, and the one year anniversary of the first ever Solidarity Singalong at the Capitol is in two weeks.  Folks are really excited about it.

And to top it all off, no involvement from Capitol Police & Security.  On Tuesday, Chief Tubbs informed the Singalong of the possible enforcement of the new administrative policy set out by Scott Walker.  The policy attempts to illegally and unconstitutionally remove the rights of citizens of the state of Wisconsin to peacefully assemble, have free speech and to petition they're elected representatives.  Some rather rabid individuals on the right have been really pushing the Chief hard on this lately, making a big show of a last effort to show their loyalty to Scott Walker.  Even though Walkers own aids are now leaving him regularly as others reach plea deals with prosecutors.

I don't see much potential for a attempted shut down of the Solidarity Singalong as some have said.  I just don't see twenty officers of the Capitol Police arresting two or three hundred + singers every day.  Were in the world would they put all of us?  The cops don't have room for that many folks, maybe they could just pile us all into Walkers east wing office as he is never there.  I'm not sure if he has spent more than a couple days in Wisconsin in the last two months as he is jetting all over raising tens of millions of dollars to try and defend against the recall.........hilarious.

Meanwhile upstairs at the Capitol after the Singalong, Glen Grothman a morally questionable republican senator was preparing to speak on new legislation to dismantle child abuse laws and other insane anti-family agenda items from the GOTea extremists.  But more about all that later.

My best wishes go out to Solidarity Singalong leader Chris Reeder and his young family.  Chris and his wife Lisa had they're first child two weeks ago.  Welcome to Wisconsin and the world August Reeder, you little union thug.

On Wisconsin!    FORWARD!!!!