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September 18, 2007


Josh Strupp

I don't think Soglin listens to any of these guys. He has no idea what he's talking about. He says,

"None of them understand that law enforcement alone does not work. To bring about real change law enforcement must be combined with strategies that strengthen neighborhoods and address issues of job training, education, childcare, transportation, and health."

Belling has said many, many times over the years that the irrosion of the inner city has been caused primarily by the disappearance of the traditional family, the lack of quality leadership and the continued support of this horrendous leadership. I think most people would agree with that opinion. I believe he has also said that the inner city can only be fixed if the people who live there want it to be.

So far I don't see anyone in the inner city giving a damn so why should the rest of the Milwaukee area?

Most of these talk show hosts are arrogant, like to hear themselves talk and think they are always right. Unfortunately for Soglin, they usually are. Maybe he should start his own radio station with a contrasting opinion.

John Michlig

You can disagree with Soglin, but he has done much, much more in his lifetime than "start his own radio station with a contrasting opinion," or rant dogmatically at a microphone. Wield the almighty Google wand and see (or take a Wikipedia shortcut:

Greg Kowalski

I tend to see where Strupp and Soglin are coming from.

To Mr. Strupp: While the talk-radio hosts might have some explanation as to why the inner city is failing, there's a lot more than just simply "Well...they don't have families over there!" or "lack of leadership." I don't know what kind of "leadership" they need.

All I see is a constant erosion of their means to get to work (mass transit) and educational opportunities (conservatives HATE school tax levies).

How do you get people out of poverty if they can't get to decent jobs?

How do you form leaders to help solve the various problems in the inner city without decent educational standards?

Heck, how do these people get decent jobs if they can't get a decent education?

Now, I'll be the first to say this isn't solely conservatives' fault, but they can't simply walk-away and point the finger(s) someplace else. Another point to note is you can't have somebody be implemented in the position that has no background/life experience of being in the inner city - politicians in Madison don't have a clue how the inner city of Milwaukee truly is, and where they need the most help.

Finally, the inner city is a place where we need my new word: PROACTIVE responses. Milwaukeeians are so keen to REACT to things, that nothing can get done. This is where I see where Mr. Soglin's point.

Josh Strupp

So the problems with the exploding murder rate, drop out rate and horrendous leadership in the inner city have been caused by poor transportation and underfunded schools? Come on Greg. These kids in the inner city will not "stay in school" if we throw another 100 million dollars at them. They won't study harder because you want to throw money at the problem. They are lost before they even get there. What good is "quality transportation" when the person using that transportation can only read at a 5 year old level when he or she is in their mid 30's. Liberals cannot spend their way out of this problem Greg. The leadership in the inner city is only a reflection of the community they represent. We've been throwing money at MPS for decades and look what we have today. The problem will only get better when the community takes a stand and WANTS to put a stop to these problems.

I'm very familiar with Paul Soglin. No one is "putting a hit out" on his achievements John. I'm simply stating that if he doesn't like the influence of conservative talk radio then he should think about having his own program, or radio station for that matter, with a contrasting viewpoint. This is a free country with the freedom to speak your opinions, even it it's not your own correct? Rather than Mr. Soglin complaining about the power of conservative talk radio or supporting the "fairness doctrine", he should think about providing an alternative.

Greg  Kowalski

Josh, perhaps the lack of education is the key factor behind all of this in the first place.

The parents living there are most likely hardly educated, and are stuck working 3 different part-time jobs to keep things floating. This, in turn, spreads to the child(ren), who don't have any parental guidance (due to the working 24/7), thus create havoc and then THEY don't get educated.

It's a huge negative ripple effect that must be stemmed. Am I saying to toss more money into MPS? Not in the least. Money can only be a good tool if it's put aside for reasonable, achievable items. Throwing money every which way won't solve much of anything, other than perhaps the answer of why our pocketbooks seem a tad more slim than usual.

There has to be something to fix the problems over there. Unfortunately, what's over there to inspire them to do anything?

With that question in mind, I have to say we, living out here, can NOT let that area of town fall down any further. It's simply unacceptable. But we definitely need some more suggestions.

Josh Strupp

We DO need more suggestions, dialog and action in the inner city. But who are you going to deal with? The same corrupt city leadership that has directly influenced the downfall of the community? When the inner city cleans up it's own house FIRST, then serious dialog can be considered.

Greg  Kowalski

OK, and how exactly is the inner city supposed to clean up house when you openly say the City leadership in Milwaukee (at least for the inner city) is corrupt?

Then, to top it off, the corrupt leaders know how to manipulate the UNEDUCATED population...

See the problem here?


"I'm very familiar with Paul Soglin. No one is "putting a hit out" on his achievements John. I'm simply stating that if he doesn't like the influence of conservative talk radio then he should think about having his own program, or radio station for that matter, with a contrasting viewpoint. This is a free country with the freedom to speak your opinions, even it it's not your own correct? Rather than Mr. Soglin complaining about the power of conservative talk radio or supporting the "fairness doctrine", he should think about providing an alternative."

Ah - and there is the issue! CARTOON CHARACTERS get ratings; substantive discussion is not interesting to the masses.

I'm pasting this from something I wrote on another blog:

Forget Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. Pick up two of Christopher Lasch’s books, THE CULTURE OF NARCISSISM and REVOLT OF THE ELITES and see if he wasn’t prescient. He’s as hard on the right as he is on the left, but he saw what was coming.

Never heard of (now-deceased) Christopher Lasch? Perhaps because he wasn’t a purdy bomb-thrower like Malkin and Coulter. He wasn’t a cartoon character. He wouldn’t get the ratings he needed to “stay on the air.”

Belling, Sykes, et. al. are cartoon characters. (And I agree with Soglin’s extra “Yikes!” for Jay Weber, a veritable Woody Woodpecker of Glenn Beck proportions.) People like to listen to characters; familiarity breeds a blurring of the lines, however, and a certain (embarrassingly) broad section of the Milwaukee audience swallows the dogma whole. “Gosh, Belling’s right - - THIS is why I’m not rich! Damn liberals!”

We are to blame. We are told what’s best for us and our families by a bachelor who likes to play the horses and has a bookie(!) on his show once a week. We are preached to about “conservative family values” by a local pundit who is twice divorced under interesting circumstances.

JS’s “Best of Blogs” is provoking, in my opinion, some further dumbing down as bloggers look for paper exposure with nifty one-liners, playing to the cheap seats.

We are to blame. Milwaukee’s “public conversation” is poisoned by ratings-obsessed cartoon characters.

The highest rated scripted show on TV most weeks is TWO AND A HALF MEN and Dane Cook is famous. Having an audience has nothing to do with being right or correct or even worthwhile.

Greg  Kowalski

You're talking about the NOW's "best of blogs" every week, right?

I see that as a BIG problem on a daily basis over on FranklinNOW.

Thanks to the unrestrictive nature of the Community Voices column, bloggers can insinuate and do whatever they want. There's no "checks and balances."

When I point it out - sometimes a bit harsh - somehow I get to become part of the problem.

I hear residents constantly asking for a calmer, more factual blogosphere. Unfortunately, nobody will get that as long as, like John noted, everything is for "ratings."

I believe I openly said on my blog that it feels like it's "Sweeps" week every week on FranklinNOW. If I didn't, then you're hearing it from me now.

Example - look at how my simple request for a better designed Target store went completely out of whack. Why was I targeted, no pun intended, for asking for something better? I'm sure most in Franklin scratched their heads at the mounting bloggers' opposition to it - it just didn't make sense....or did it?

Pointing fingers at me and spewing negative junk around gets them more hits, and thus more readers. People prefer negative "juicy" material over the reality of the situation.

Sad, but true.

Bryan Maersch

Greg, isn’t this like the pot calling the kettle black. How many times have you apologized for comments you have made out of naivety or anger.

After all you did say in your blog: The differing opinions between the FranklinNOW bloggers provide our community members an opportunity to find who and what subjects they relate to. If you are a regular reader, you may find yourself siding with one of us more often then the other. Yet I believe you would be hard pressed to find yourself in 100% agreement 100% of the time with any one of us. That would be similar to loving your spouse and always agreeing with them. At that point, you tend to lose your own identity.

Greg  Kowalski

BIG difference Bryan - if I do go "over the edge," and make incorrect statements, I acknowledge this and make a full apology.

I can't say anything like that has been done on the other side of things.

Also, I throw out all possibilities and alternatives, for the betterment of the community.

Once again, on the other end of things, people seem to be more focused on spewing out propaganda - which is what we were discussing before your comment.

Greg  Kowalski

Also I have to note...and I hope John is understanding enough to keep this comment posted - but why did Bryan go to my "naivety" and "anger," when the comment I posted simply pointed out that the NOW sites need to be more controlled, and I asked a question of why fellow bloggers got so extremely concerned about Target (or the developer) spending more money on the outer facade of the store.

More examples of public conversation going horribly in the other direction.


Greg - I meant the Sunday Journal-Sentinel "Best of the Blogs," but I guess Community Newspapers as well.

Bryan Maersch


I think as John best put it in one of his previous blogs "While I occasionally wince at his sensitivity to the slings and arrows of his fellow Franklinnow.com bloggers, and I disagree with his laser-like focus on the cosmetics of Target's exterior versus what I feel is the far greater problem of "Shoppes" terrible site plan"

Yes he did say you were persistent in the case of Target! Other bloggers have had valid points as to your sensitivity and how you blow up at people on your blogs that have opposing views.

As you know the FranklinNOW sites will have the same feature as John has on his blog to allow comments to our blogs.

I hope you will not be too sensitive when not every one who reads your FranklinNOW blog disagrees with you.

John Michlig


In fairness, whether I agreed with him or not, Greg's persistence got a degree of results that otherwise would not have happened. His skin will get thicker.

I'm looking forward to seeing the changes wrought at Franklinnow.com when the comments feature is activated!

Greg  Kowalski

Let's put it this way - if people would simply be polite and considerate, instead of what's currently going on, the FranklinNOW blogosphere would be a better place.

People say the nastiest things towards me, unprovoked, but yet no one comments on that. When I defend myself, I get "winced" at and told off as being "naive."

It goes both ways, gentlemen. I pray Franklin residents see that.

Remember what you told me, Bryan:

"If we did not have the confrontation we have on FranklinNOW blogs, it would be just as boring as CudahyNow or West AllisNOW is."

Which, of course, sums up what I mean by "It's sweeps week every week on FranklinNOW"

Bryan Maersch

FranklinNOW is the #3 most read site on the CommunityNOW websites. That is up from #7. Only BrookfieldNOW and WaukeshaNOW have more readers. Could it be because of the every week, sweeps week you elude to.

Greg Kowalski

Most likely - but is it truly necessary?

BrookfieldNOW doesn't have that nonsense bickering back and forth. I don't see Mrs. Kilkenny being trampled over by fellow bloggers because she openly questions City government.

I don't know about the WaukeshaNOW.

Just by that last comment, I'm pretty concerned. It's almost like others, before joining FranklinNOW, thought, "Well hey, if Kevin can do it - why can't I?!"

Doing those things just to get more hits isn't what being a blogger is all about. Being factual will win over insinuating things you don't even know are true or not.

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