Friday, June 29, 2007

Missing the Point

This week has been pretty interesting, blog-wise. My last post was noticed, discussed and linked-to by Eugene Kane and Patrick McIlheran at the Journal Sentinel, which lead to Charlie Sykes linking to both of those. Even defrocked radio priestess Jessica McBride decided to get into the "act", putting her (barely) two cents in. Most interesting was that the exposure there led mostly anonymous people to post comments here – 93 and counting.

I engaged with the various name-calling, hostile Anonys, trying in vain to coax them into some sort of discussion about what the issues in Milwaukee might be and how they would suggest dealing with them. But, since they appear incapable of serious discussion, they were easily led into wing-nut foolishness. I was honored that they thought enough of me that they would attack me personally. I was called closed-minded, pathetic, an idiot, a socialist, a moron and a couple noticed I was – gasp! – a defense attorney (and you know what that means). They had great fun (they thought) putting words and ideas in my mouth and in my head, such as: support for income redistribution (no); I was " a marionette for the likes of Kane/McNally/McGee" (nice grouping, that – didn’t know McGee had a column); I deny there are any problems in the inner city (hardly); and, my favorite, a controlling liberal who wants the poor and minorities in "liberal prison camps". No kidding.

There were various riffs and sidetracks all week on the comments. An apparently African-American fellow named Trevin got into it with some blockhead named Seve who said he moved to Tennessee after living in Riverwest and had a few stupid things to say about black men and white women. Some ignorant souls chose use my comment section to heap more unearned abuse on Eugene Kane, threatened as they are by any unintimidated black perspective. The comments (and McIlheran and McBride) also fulfilled my prediction that, if they talked about Oshkosh at all, they would minimize and excuse the type of violence that would have them dancing all over their keyboards for weeks if it happened in Milwaukee.

In the end, the amateur wing-nuts were cornered into a declaration of Social Darwinism – only the fittest deserve to survive and we should leave the rest to their own misery. We worked so hard to get where we are (how that is or where that is necessarily unstated), how dare the poor try to use their food stamps? Whatever. My advice to them was to give it a try – pull what’s left of the safety net and see how safe your community is then. No takers on that one, so maybe they really do have a modicum of sense after all.

This all started in my last post, when I challenged the radio and blog wing-nuts for not making a big deal out of the shootings in Oshkosh as they do anytime someone jaywalks in the inner city (yeah, I know it’s worse than jaywalking, but if that’s all they had, they’d use that too). They all missed the sarcastic point – the fact is I think any sensationalist exploitation of near-tragedy is ridiculous. But, if they are going to play that game – and, boy, are they ever – violence in violence, police calls to Mayfair are the same as police calls to Bayshore and Brookfield Square (pretty much equal) and high school dust-ups go on all over the place. But, everyday, wing-nuts like Sykes, Belling, etc. scour the police blotter to find something that went wrong in the inner city the night before, so that they can continue their campaign of convincing all of us how hopeless any problems there might be.

That’s their game, and it’s easy to see through if you realize that they have really no interest in whether the inner city is safe or not. They just want to create racial tension by the self-righteous and, ultimately, racist notion that "we" have no responsibility for those who, they say (over and over and over), are too stupid and/or lame to help themselves. It is not a serious political position – it’s a ratings ploy. Listen to their (always friendly) seminar callers, saying things like "You know, I’ve had it with these people." We’ll be right back with more hate after a word from our sponsors...


EddyPo said...

It was an amazing blog event. I thought for sure you would the break 100 comments barrier. 93 then dead stop. The haters have moved on to the next blog for their brave anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Mike. If you can't pat yourself on the back, who will.

Anyways - let's look at this logically rather than emotionally. We can talk about our feelings later, k?

A better comparison of the Oshkosh nut would be a property owner in Milwaukee shooting his shotgun to scare off thugs in his yard.

I have a feeling that the right-wing talkers would be praising this guy (whether he is black or white) for standing up to the bastards who are preying on the innocent in Milwaukee.

Believe it or not, the wing-nuts in this city actually care about the city and want it to be a nice place to live.


Mike Plaisted said...

I agree that the wing-nuts would applaud vigilante "justice" from black or white guns, wherever it occurs. That's nothing new. Hey, did you know that much of the gun-play in Milwaukee's inner city is because of similar perceived injustices -- retaliation for past offenses or trying to prevent future attacks on friends or family? Sure is, or so the shooters consistently say.

So the question is: who gets to decide who gets to shoot? That's the problem with vigilante "justice". I believe it's called the cycle of violence.

The wing-nuts don't care what happens in the city. They know making it a "nice place to live" -- from their warped, sheltered perspective -- is impossible. The problems there are just something to talk about so they and their listeners can feel superior.

Anonymous said...

Hey jackass, NO ONE has to "scour the police blotter to find something that went wrong in the inner city the night before."

Unless you're blind or stupid it doesn't take much "scouring" at all.

What kind of crack are you smoking to think that finding something bad in the inner city is some kind of challenge?

Scour. LOL. Good one. I'm actually crying I'm laughing so hard. Scour. Too funny. The only bad thing is, it's really not very funny at all.

Hey! Mike! Look what I just SCOURED from the Sentinel:

Two shot in argument over parking spot

Two men, ages 24 and 27, were shot on the far northwest side early Saturday in an argument over a parking space, Milwaukee police said.

It took me HOURS to find that someone had been shot in the inner city!!

That was so much scouring, actually, my eyes hurt! God, I'm so exhausted from that. Good thing you're here, Mike, to tell us that the inner city is all clear!

Now, let's go see how many mob attacks and/or shootings there were at Summerfest tonight...actually that probably will take some scouring. I'll get back to you if I find anything.

Scour. LoL. Too funny.

Keep fooling yourself, Mike.

Here's a clue: Pretending the violence isn't there, isn't going to make it go away. Just ask Mayor Barrett.

Mpeterson said...

Hi guy,

I loved your comment about Social Darwinism. Some years ago one of my older/wiser friends noted that the wingnuts on the extreme right generally oppose Darwinism in school, but demand its implementation socially.


Other Side said...

Perhaps anonymous number two should look in his own gut check mirror. His comments contained enough violence for an entire inner city.

Mike Plaisted said...

Anony 4:10 a.m.:

Sleep problems last night? Or were you so fired up to post a lame comment you had to race to the computer before dawn? Either way...

Again, I never pretended that violence doesn't exist in the inner city (although since when is the far-northwest side the inner city? 'Samatter, did you buy a condo at Northridge Lakes or something?). Violence and desperation always follow poverty.

If Sykes and Belling were legitimate commentators, I wouldn't mind them commenting about inner city issues. The problem is the way they do it. They exaggerate everything that happens ("out of control", according to Belling), blame the victims and try to create the sense of a hopeless problem with a population of bad people who somehow got themselves in this situation and refuse to help themselves.

Unlike the serious people that are actually trying to do something positive, they show no interest in looking to see how the situation was created, including the legacy of racism and poverty. Their attitude is like that of Bush and international terrorism -- if we try to understand them and how they got there, we are somehow doing the wrong thing. Again, the wing-nuts are not serious. They are just, well, wing-nutting.

As for Summerfest, I cought a local news channel running it down last night: 52 arrests in all last night, for underage drinking, drug possession and disorderly conduct. 52 arrests? If this were the old Afro-Fest or Juneteenth, there'd be wing-nut squawking for weeks.

The difference is they want Summerfest to succeed. And they want anything connected with the African-American community to fail.

Anonymous said...


Not all of us have bleeding heart jobs with regular hours. But then, you're so open minded, I'm sure you considered that before assuming the position of personally attacking me rather than my arguments.

You're right about the NW, let me go SCOUR some more...

Two shot and killed near 50th and Clarke

Milwaukee police are investigating a double homicide in the 2500 block of N. 50th St. that occurred around 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

That one's from this morning. How's that for you?

You say that, "Violence and desperation always follow poverty." You say that like it's a necessary condition when in reality it's a condition that is created by thugs and liberals.

There are many hardworking, good families in the inner city that are left to deal with the violence of the gang bangers because people like you make excuses for them.

Not everyone in the inner city is poor, either.

You also said, "They exaggerate everything that happens ("out of control", according to Belling), blame the victims and try to create the sense of a hopeless problem with a population of bad people who somehow got themselves in this situation and refuse to help themselves."

You honestly think the inner city is not out of control? Now that's just another insult to the hardworking families that are trying to survive there.

You know that admitting things are out of control is going to be a problem for your position, so although you say you don't pretend the violence doesn't exist in one paragraph, just a few short sentences later you're blasting the people who shine a spotlight on it.

Make up your mind.

How many people were murdered at Summerfest last night? How many people were almost beat to death??

None. And, there were probably ten times more people there than at Juneteenth Day.

Open your eyes, Mike. Anytime someone points out the facts your immediate reaction is to scream that they're racists.

You are the biggest racist I know. You think the inner city residents are prone to violence because of poverty. Expect a little more from them, sweet cheeks, and you just might get it.

Anonymous said...

Man shot in carjacking

A 20-year-old man was shot twice in the arm early today during a robbery of his vehicle at 3393 N. 23rd St, police said.

Two young men, one with a gun, took the keys from the victim after he was shot and drove away in his 1998 GMC Yukon, with a license plate 679 LYD.

Police said the suspects were around 19 or 20.

The victim was treated at a hospital and released.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: Killings occurred during fight

Two Milwaukee men, ages 19 and 22, were shot to death Saturday night on the 2400 block of N. 50th, police said today.

Milwaukee police said the two men were fighting in the street with another man when a fourth man came up with a handgun.

The fourth man shot the 19-year-old and 22-year-old multiple times as they attempted to run away.

Police have no suspects.

Mike Plaisted said...

How sick is it that this person who chooses to hide behind his wimpy Anony-ness is cheering violence on the streets of Milwaukee?

He thinks it makes a point to counter something I'm not even saying (never said there wasn't violence; never said it wasn't a problem). But he celebrates the discovery of an overnight shooting because it proves...what? Waves it in our face on three separate posts...why?

He's happy about the violence, obviously. It "proves" his "point". See how sick "those" people are? See how hopeless? He couldn't care less about the injury to the community. "They" have helped him by making his "point" for him. Hurrah for Anony the Brave.

Anytime you get yourself in a situation where you are cheeering violence, there is something wrong with you.

Anonymous said...

Yes Mike,

Better to say that these people are victims of a condition created by racism and poverty. As victims, they are powerless. But, that's just the way you like it isn't it?

You talk about people talking down about the inner city residents so they can feel better about themselves.

Look at yourself. You say that they're powerless so big Mikey and friends can swoop in and rescue them.

Who, exactly, is trying to feel better about themselves? Meanwhile, more die in the inner city.

And to quote from you in an earlier post: Can't people understand sarcasm?

If you honestly think I am cheering violence on, then you are as stupid as I originally thought.

What a good try though: First you chastise anyone who points out that there's violence in the inner city. Then you say that you don't deny there's violence in the inner city. Then you accuse me of enjoying the violence because it proves a point.

If you weren't such an emotional headcase and could actually reason things out, you'd see that THERE IS A CRISIS IN THE INNER CITY.


Not that the facts matter to you though.

Besides, I can't prove anything. I can only point things out. It's the residents themselves that can make us right or wrong.

If this weekend is any indication, then the residents proved me right.

I could care less about being right though. I'd rather have a city that is safe.

What's sickening to me is people like you who want to see these people in need of your help. What's going to happen the day they don't need Big Mikey anymore? We'll probably never know because people like you won't give them the chance to succeed. Those poor victims who need your help.

Narcissist, anyone?

And Mike, if you don't want anonymous comments on your blog, then NEWSFLASH! disable them.

If you do want them on your blog, then come up with a better defense for yourself than: That guy posted anonymously!

Not that you need the help, but it really makes your whining boarder on intolerable.

Really kind of ironic though: Create a condition you don't like and then bitch about the outcome.

Here you go: Mike is a victim of anonymous comments. The only way he can be saved is if all of us decide to help him and post with id's.

Nevermind the fact that Mike can simply do something HIMSELF and turn anonymous comments off.

Hmmmm....remind of you anything else? Even a little bit?

Mike Plaisted said...

Yes, I can turn off annoymous comments and, yes, there is nothing stopping you from identifying yourself. I'd just as soon everyone get in the commenting game and if they want to stay anonymous, fine. But, when someone like you gets out there with personal shit on me -- "emontional headcase" "narcissist", etc. -- then you abuse the anonymous option. But, you chose the anonymous option because you want to hide in the bushes and take shots. In terms of standing up for what you say you believe in, you are a wimp and a coward. That's your problem, not mine.

I love this "I want them in crisis so I can save them" crap. Why would I do that unless I had some magic answer, which I don't? I want to understand how it got this way...that doesn't make anyone dependent on me. I want to provide a basic, temporary safety net so that families are not living in the streets...well, no savior status there. I want people to be given the tools to get by in an increasingly harsh economic world, like education and such...not making too much of myself there. I want diversity to be appreciated and celebrated...I mean, I'm a white guy, what do I get out of that, except for a more diverse and interesting world?

Oh, go ahead and celebrate the violence. Give the shooters the power to destroy more than their victims by exagerating their power to affect the community. Pretend that it's random, when most of the people shooting each other know each other. Say it's "out of control" when a fairly effective police force makes arrests, gets convictions, and sends people to prison literally every day.

Then, when your "let 'em hang" and "let 'em fail" ideas don't work and things get even worse, just make sure get out from behind your wimpy Anony facade, so we know who to blame.

Anonymous said...

"Pretend that it's random, when most of the people shooting each other know each other."

Do you have any idea how disgusting that comment is? So, basically, you're saying the violence is somehow less violent because the shooter knows his victim?

I suppose we should not pretend that it's random when more children seem to be getting hit by the bullets lately than "intended" victims.

Or, do you think the 12 year olds have it coming, Mike? Or, better yet, do you think it's normal for bullets to come flying through your windows so long as the guy shooting the gun knows the guy he was shooting at?

Do you even know what you're saying?

But then, we really don't know if it's random Mike, because half the time the "victims" won't cooperate with police.

But, I suppose I'm making that up, too.

I don't celebrate violence, I dodge it. And it makes me sick that people like you don't have the balls to call it what it is: Violence.

You think it's alright that our children are out there in the streets killing each other over he-said, she-said because at least it's not random.

Tell the commenter from Tennessee that it's not random, or Scott Huggins, or Jasmine Owens, or...

You think I am celebrating the lives lost because that's your only defense. That you could say that just shows how low you're willing to go.

Mike Plaisted said...

Jeez, lay off the Red Bull, will ya? You're getting a little jumpy.

Non-random violence isn't any better than non-random violence, and I never said it was. But "random" is a word thrown around by wing-nuts to claim some "out of control" inner city. As always, most violence in not bad-guy on stranger but bad-guy on someone he knows. Not better -- different.

I'm not the one going so low as to brag about more shootings on the street this morning. That was you. I just pointed it out.

Really, I think I'm done with this particular Anony. There is no point going back-and-forth with someone who so outrageously un-serious about these very serious issues.

Anonymous said...

You say, "I'm not the one going so low as to brag about more shootings on the street this morning. That was you. I just pointed it out."

God, it sure would be a sad day if I ever drew you for a lawyer.

This is your best defense? To say that I'm bragging about violence?

Let me get this straight: You're saying there's no crisis because the people who shoot each other know each other. Then, when I post examples of random crimes (showing that they do not, in fact, know each other) your response is to say that I'm bragging?

I ain't got no degree in law suh, but that sho' 'nuff don' look like no winner to me.

Admit it. You're full of it. You don't want a solution any more than Michael McGee.

If you can't see that people killing each other in scores is a crisis, then you just can't see.

Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, for the record, I'm serious as a heart attack.

Because you refuse to admit that there is a crisis does not mean that I am not being serious.

It just means that rather than confront the evidence, you classify the person delivering it as "not serious."

Well if I'm serious or not, the facts are the facts. In all the shootings this weekend, none of the victims appears to have known his shooter.

Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Anon...You're CLOSE to a heart attack. Take a deep breath!