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May 17, 2007

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Andy

"An ideological weapon of mass destruction."

Thank you for putting my gut feeling into words.
The pathetic part is, they proudly agree.

Uncle Ed

James,

I know that this is personal for you, the problem for those of us that live in "safe neighborhoods" or have grown children is that it isn't. Nothing is more personal than our kids. As a community, we are only as good as our city. The point is that it is our city and I am not stepping up. I wait for someone else to step up and take control of this stupidity, certianly someone will. Well, just like the urban Maybeery, it takes one person at a time, there is no fix without each one of us stepping up. The question is how; I believe that it starts with our faith in Jesus, and with our church communities. This is a call for all people of faith to pray, then step up. Rap, drugs, hopelessness, are all isnstuments of the evil one, we need Jesus in charge!

Peter

The rap hip-hop gangsta thug culture isn't just a black or Central City thing. White kids from the suburbs are buying, listening to and embracing this trash as well.

Why? I have no idea, but they are.

Pete Fanning

I echo Peter's sentiments. I had to point out to a mother I know that a CD was labeled with "Parental-Advisory", and when I explained some of the lyrics that the artist was well known for, (after pre-apologizing in advance, of course), she was SHOCKED and couldn't believe her daughter listened to that crap.

I think I got that daughter in trouble that night...but I'm glad I pointed someone in the right direction. Parents need to be more informed.

Diana

Tired. I'm dog-tired of hearing about the violence in my city. I don't know what to do James. I don't know what to do. Should I turn on my television tonight and listen to the heart-wrenching wails from the mother of little Jasmine Owens? The prettiest little girl I ever laid eyes on. Pray. Oh sure, I'll pray. But for what and whom? Tired. I'm just plain tired.

Bruce

James, as usual you've brought some sense to a senseless event. Too bad your fellow north side residents don't embrace your brand of level-headed leadership; choosing instead the alternatives, disingenuous and self-serving leaders... or those who collect a salary for having a familiar last name, yet offer nothing in return.

The only sobbing I have heard more sobering than the mother of this child has been my own. Having a four year old, I recognized the same idealistic grin and faith in humanity in Jasmine's smile when I saw her photo in the paper as I see in my own little girl's face each morning. I can't imagine that the city I grew up in has lost its soul so badly that men gun down little girls jumping rope on the street, and are heartless enough to look the other way when given a chance to bring justice to these demons who bring so much misery to so many who have no escape.

This evening, I thought of your comment of hugging your own little girl more tightly- I learned that my mom is coming out to visit us tomorrow night, and in my post-work haste to get some lawn mowed, some flowers watered, my daughter looked at me from her swing set, and uttered the age-old question: "Daddy, will you push me?”

I stopped myself from saying "I am busy", put down my watering can, and spent 15 minutes at the swing set. Tomorrow is promised to no one, 4 or 35. That mother's cries of grief reminded me of that.

Say a prayer that Jasmine's mom can recover one sliver of trust in her fellow human beings some day. I don't know that I could do the same.

Karla

Hey, after the Ludarus concert, which is sure to bring out some of Milwaukee's finest (NOT), should we be surprised if the police have a busy night? What ever happened to wholesome family oriented entertainment we enjoyed as kids at Summerfest? Now I have to doublecheck the schedule to make sure I don't go down to the lake on the "thug" night.

Bruce

As the concert goers depart the Marcus Amphitheater on their way out of the big Ludacris show, they'll be emptying into the crowd sitting at the Harley Roadhouse, waiting (probably after drinking since around noon) to see country act "Big & Rich".

It will be an eclectic mix.

Not sure the Smiley behind the smiley has thought this one through... but I plan on NOT being anywhere near downtown Milwaukee that night.

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