Two dictators met
An unstable maniac
And Kim Jong-un too.
OK, I never have research woes, I love doing research. My woe is that when I wrote the first draft of my 1869 weird western, I didn’t research the history of train travel as I should have.
Therefore, in my current manuscript I have the man in charge of the train as the Engineer. Unfortunately, as I’m doing research, I’m finding that the Engineer is only responsible for operation of the locomotive engine itself. The actual man in charge, the captain of the entire train so to speak, is the Conductor.
Therefore, as I’m transcribing, I’ll have to change most of the references to the Engineer to the Conductor. No biggie.
On my lunch today, I’ll run to the library to see if they have anything on the history of coal-powered steam locomotives and how trains themselves operate.
Milwaukee tenth worst?
USA Today recently published a study that ranked the 50 worst cities to live in. Milwaukee came in at number ten.
My response? Fuck you.
Milwaukee has it’s problems, yes, but I take umbrage to impersonal number crunching. By their numbers, high crime rate, high poverty, depressed home values, Milwaukee came out tenth worst city to live in.
Again, fuck you.
Numbers don’t tell any of the story.
Does Milwaukee have a high crime rate? Yes. There are 15.53 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. But those crimes are restricted to a relatively small area.
There are many safe, and beautiful, neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Simply crossing into the city limits won’t make you a crime victim. I’ve lived here all my life and have never been a victim of crime (unless you count having my lunch money stolen in seventh grade).
Poverty? Yes, we have that, no denying it. Milwaukee was once a great industrial city and like all major cities in the Rust Belt it has struggled with poverty since the loss of those manufacturing industries.
And Milwaukee is slowly rising from the ashes, repurposing, refurbishing, and replacing old abandoned factories and warehouses. The Menomonee River Valley, once booming with industry, became a blighted eyesore for decades. Now, much of it has been returned to nature as part of the Henry Aaron State Trail that extends from Lake Michigan nearly uninterrupted out to Wisconsin State Fair Park.
Abandoned warehouses and factories along the Milwaukee River have been converted to high-end residential, commercial and recreational venues. All accessible by the over 3 mile long Riverwalk.
Starting this fall, the newly installed light rail (trolly) system will begin operation.
The city isn’t sitting still and this study’s numbers don’t show that.
Numbers also don’t tell you how urbane Milwaukee is. We’ve always had a world-class zoo, a top notch natural history museum, and an art museum now housed within the beautiful Quadracci Pavilion designed by Santiago Calatrava.
The Calatrava designed Milwaukee Art Museum at night
Milwaukee is home to the world-renowned Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (with the incomparable Megumi Kanda as the principal trombone), as well as the Milwaukee Ballet.
The MSO will be, in fact, spending $89 million dollars to renovate the abandoned Warner Grand Theater building (a once beautiful marble and bronze Art Deco style 12-story building built by Warner Brothers; it was one of the finest theaters in the nation in 1931) on 2nd and Wisconsin Avenue for their new home as part of an continuing effort to revitalize Milwaukee’s downtown.
The study’s numbers also don’t show that Milwaukee has a thriving festival season. The highlight is Summerfest, a monstrous ten day music festival featuring some of the top music acts in the country. We are also home to many ethnic festivals, some the largest such in the nation, for example, Polish Fest, Germanfest, Festa Italiana, Mexican Fiesta, Bastille Days, Greek Fest (which once was held at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Greek Annunciation Church until it grew too large for those grounds), Pride Fest, Irishfest, African Cultural Fest, and Indian Summer, to name a few.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our two professional sports teams, the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks (who will be moving into a newly built arena this fall as part of a major redevelopment of the downtown sporting district).
And the depressed housing market? We like to call it affordable, thank you very much.
So this study can take it’s number crunching and it’s bullshit “worst” rankings and shove them up their collective ass.
Milwaukee is a great place to call home.
One of the most bizarre statements I’ve heard comes from Trumpanzees. Basically, the reason some of them love Trumpy the Clown so much is because he “gets under the skin of liberals.”
That’s it. They support him because he irritates progressives.
It doesn’t matter to them if he colluded with Russia to help influence an American election.
Doesn’t matter to them that he’s destroying the environment. That his policies with the EPA are poisoning the air, water, and the land we live on, and now he’s relaxing asbestos regulations so we can all enjoy lung cancer.
Doesn’t matter to them that he’s passed a tax plan that not only doesn’t help the lower and middle class, it literally benefits only the rich, while it balloons the deficit to obscene, never before seen levels.
Doesn’t matter to them that he has alienated all of our nation’s allies while snuggling up with every two-bit dictator and totalitarian government, thereby destroying decades worth of friendships.
Doesn’t matter to them that he has excused Kim Jung-un’s repressive totalitarian dictatorship where 120,000 political prisoners languish in North Korean prisons, has executed over 300 people including one of his uncles (not to mention personally killing his Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol with an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in Pyongyang, in front of an audience), by saying “a lot of people have done bad things.”
Doesn’t matter to them that he is normalizing bigotry and hatred or that he’s has, and has had, white nationalists in his cabinet, or criminals, or that everything he does is designed to profit him ornhis family, personally.
Doesn’t matter to them that he’s an ignorant buffoon who has no clue how to behave as President and is embarrassing all of us on the world’s stage.
Doesn’t matter to them if Trumpy the Clown is trampling on the Constitution or that we’re losing our rights to free speech, freedom of the press, fair elections and the rule of law.
Doesn’t matter to them how much Trumpy the Clown destroys our democracy, or our standing in the world, or anything.
No. None of that matters to them. All that matters to these assholes is that he’s getting under our skin. As long as we’re annoyed or uncomfortable with everything he says or does, they’re happy. They are consumed by their hatred of us and it blinds them to every evil thing trump does.
If you think about it, it’s flattering, really, because it means we’re the ones getting under their skin.
Well, I think I’ve ranted enough for today. I’m exhausted, how about you?
I guess it’s time to send you off to the weekend with some upbeat music.
Enjoy and keep resisting.