Archive for the ‘Local News and Politics’ Category


This is an excerpt that is from the Stephen’s Spot Facebook Page. Yesterday, the Milwaukee Police Department lost an Officer that was on duty during a high pursuit of a suspect driver. The department is shocked by this incident as well as the family.

SSP_MemorialTribute_MPD

No matter how you feel about the Police in general, we know that the supporters are in full force in all. BUT the officer, Charles Irvine, Jr. whom has passed on, had a family and also was in pursuit of a fast paced driver, at age 23.

We in the community mourn the loss of this officer. And also, we also have mixed feelings about the police in terms of brutality, racism, crimes, etc. But not today. Be in prayer for the family of this officer.

The last time an active officer was killed in the line of duty in Milwaukee: 1996 and it was Wendolyn O. Tanner.

Sidenote: The Funeral of the late officer is being planned at this time. This has definitely rocked the core of the Milwaukee Police Department, and the driver that the cops were chasing has been caught. It was a reckless driver that is one of many that the police is still on the hunt to arrest and investigate in all areas. Like many in the community I choose not to celebrate harshly about this officer’s life. No I do not! Again, we all have mixed feelings about the police, especially if you are Black! We know what it is. We say: Black Lives Matter, but the supporters spun it and came out with “Blue Lives Matter.” That moniker is not flying today. Yes, his life mattered. Not because he was a cop, but he had a family to support. Officer Irvine came in at age 19 as a Police Aide for the City of Milwaukee and 2 1/2 years later, he was a cop for the city. Think about the times when we were 23. For him: his life was just getting started, but cut short.

Again: whether you like the police or not. Or if you back the badge or not back it up, but know this: the family is in shock. They lost someone close to them.

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Call it another exclusive.

Since 2016, the Milwaukee Public Schools has been doing an intuitive of a thing called Rethinking High Schools. Part of this is engaging a group of folks that know the feeling of that previous work, the Alumni.

Us Alumni in the MPS world have been long forgotten in terms of the Students, Staff and Parents whom seem to be the bulk of Milwaukee’s largest school district. In 2015, there was a meeting at my old high school about this intuitive, and it was good to see the various ideas then to flow. But until 2016, as we knew, that changed a step further. It changed with the first MPS Alumni Reunion in which many of the MPS High School attended the Bradley Center and greeted by the dignitaries, and even Mayor Tom Barrett.

From there, we even had a Alumni Summit in discussing about our Alumni Associations and various ways to reach out. Plus even we discussed about the name changes of the schools, such as why John Marshall High School became “Morse*Marshall” and the reasons behind it. Not a very good one by the way. Even we discussed about those wanting to start an Alumni Association or Foundation that involves commitment from those that want to keep them open and active. We also had networking series events, Alumni luncheons/picnics as well as Panel Questions/Answers at the MPS Headquarters.

That was in the first two years since the idea was launched. And it worked.

Callout: Now the question is: why does this matter? Why now this idea? And also why didn’t we didn’t get this treatment when we were coming up in MPS?

This should matter to a point that the MPS Alumni Forever Family is part of the community. We are in our careers, families, activities and yes we do hold our titles to a prompt thought. We have been long forgotten in other means, but I think it’s time to celebrate us no matter where we are.

Why now this idea, you asked? Again it’s about us. If we can celebrate our kids and parents of the Milwaukee Public Schools, as well as teachers, principals, staff workers, recreation in all, even other schools; this also SHOULD include the Alumni. Many of us whom are alums probably have connections to MPS in some point based on experience, lessons and also support. As former students.

And why didn’t we get this treatment when we were coming up? Easy answer. It was never thought about. It was never indicated to the times that we had those great times in High School and frankly it was never invented the thought that MPS should create an Alumni Group for every alum that has graduated from Milwaukee’s largest school district.

I mean if the Colleges and Universities can do this, and they do this a lot as we know based on the mailings, emails, Social Media Posts in all, why not Milwaukee Public Schools? I mean we got successful alums in medicine, politics, journalism, science, architecture, business ownership, ministry, and many more areas of work we are currently in. We know this very well.

And I have to say that yes, MPS has problems. MPS has issues. And MPS has concerns with the Teachers, Staff Workers and most of all: our Kids! As an alum of the district, yes I recalled that MPS had concerns about Me. But however as I looked back, even though I had to highs and lows from grades to activities. And a one time suspension from fighting of being provoked and bullied in High School. Overall, I survived being a Milwaukee Public School Student. And I’m sure that many had survived that as well. The thing is many forget that yes, there are good things that MPS provides. And there are bad things. Just like the real world. Do I think about the bad things about the District? All the time. But I also remember the good as well.

So what can I expect at this new year of the Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni thing? What can I expect this year overall even more?

First I think that the idea must flow and continue into every single Milwaukee Public High School Alumni Association and Foundation. Period. They are the foundation for the MPS Alumni and hopefully they are the way to get those whom are engaged, stay engaged.

Second, the younger alumni must work! Like every group from Churches to Organized companies, even Alumni groups must need to have young folks. This is an Achilles Heel in all groups. If we want groups to survive, it’s the need for the younger alums to continue. Now I heard they don’t do Alumni Council Meetings, or be at a Reunion full of older folks. But what do they really want to see? They are MPS Alumni folks too and they need to be at the table voicing their ideas to support. For you younger MPS Alums between 18-35, we need to hear you. We know this is not your thing, but still we need to hear what you have to say. Seriously. Fill us in! There was talks about an idea of having their own Reunion Get Together. Have them! Organize it. But the seasoned vets would like to stop by and give you some tips to keep the Alumni ship going. Hear them out of respect.

And also: this needs to be said, if you say you would to come out and do this and that, and don’t put in the work, that is a problem! Regarding reunions, events and planning. Take notes, young Alumni!

Back in 2011 when my old high school was about to turn the golden age of 50, I was selected to be a new board member at 34 years old. And the date: May 2nd, 2011. 7 years to the date. I’ve worked my way up the ladder and I’m still learning. Plus I serve as a treasurer. I take pics and go to my 90’s reunions and share those whom are not familiar with that decade to give them some insight of who we are and what we did. And here is the kicker, for a while, my Alma Mater’s Alumni group never had anyone from the 1990’s to represent as a board member. But that changed in 2011 when I joined. Again, at 34 years old. And I’m from the Class of 1995. Go figure.

Now for all those that escaped from Wisconsin to go to Texas, Georgia, Illinois, California, New York, Tennessee, or even overseas. If you’re just now looking at this, and still asking what this is, and you are living in your new digs, and still are just wondering what this is: yes you’re missing out! But you can still support your alumni groups.

If I were one of you, I would go to this site right now: www.mpsalumnihub.com

This is the website for the MPS Alumni that has all the information in regarding the reunions, profiles, Alumni Directory, and other events.

Another is social media. If you haven’t killed your Facebook Page or Twitter handles you should be following them via MPS. Including Instagram.

Plus since many in the Alumni has a JOB, and likes to DONATE, this is an idea from one of my uncles who is an MPS Alum: “If I don’t come, I will donate!” I urge you the transplants of the MPS Alumni (as well as living in the state) to donate to the MPS Foundation or even donate to your Alumni Associations/Foundations to whatever area of the school you want. For example, if I lived let’s say…..Utah, and I’m just now reading about the MPS Alumni stuff and I can’t make it to a Networking event, or the Alumni Reunion due to distance in all, I would EXTREMELY donate to the cause of music of my Alma Mater or MPS! And I remember being in Band Classes back in the day. I’ll either send in a check or pay online. Why is that so hard? It’s not! You pay your bills online in all, right? You tithe online to your church, right? Why not this?

Folks, newsflash: It’s not rocket science.

One of the things about the ongoing suggestions that if you are going to be apart of this, it needs to be pushed and examined.

Pushed as to a point to let those know of what is going on in their Alma Maters. I’ll bet many others are asking, “How is the school now after 30 years since I’ve been gone?” Or “Does the school do drill squads, or music?” “Does it still have a football team?” Or, how can we the Alumni support this cause of Education of the school? We know this. We hear it all the time!

Examined as an example to preview and attempt to take part in some sort or many capacity. Now a days, when folks hear about certain events, or groups, they need to see it. Show the receipts, as the young folks would say. If a person that is interested in their Alma Mater Alumni Committee, and/or the MPS Alumni Hub to support or partake, I think he or she needs to see what’s going on. I think they need to ask questions, get information about the status of the Alumni Groups, even if they never heard of one. I think all Alumni Groups needs to have meetings, specifically interest meetings with the Alums to get a clarity of who they are dealing with. From the Chairperson, President on down. They need to see faces, and shake hands. And yes, Skyping.

They also need to go out into the community, particularly the school’s community to the events or meetings and support ideas of fundraising or services. If it’s for a Football Team, or a Jazz Ensemble it does not matter. Even if it’s a bake sale or a Open House, go and do it. Let them know that you (the Alumni) are here to donate your time and money to support this cause. The faces will lit up! Trust me. Many schools do have websites, and again Social Media Pages. Feel free to explore them! If they have an alumni page online, check that out also! If they have an Alumni Badge Lapel or shirt, wear that everywhere you go! Also let the future Alums know at their graduation ceremonies, and grad parties!

Even if you hear about a class reunion or another some sort of get together announcement, see if you can attend and get a table for the Alumni Association.

*Sidenote: Alumni Associations/Foundations, you might want to update your online pages to keep current of the news and contacts. JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!!!!

This is an also an idea: If you are an MPS Alum that is out of state, and the MPS Alumni Reunion is going on, take a pic of yourself with the school colors/MPS Alumni Lapel Pin. Let them know you represent the school district that gave you your first break! And it doesn’t matter where you are working. Even send a video message!

If you are in the working world and a MPS Alumni Member, guess what? You can network! You might want to do that to keep potential and future alums engaged in the company you are working in. Colleges do it all the dang time! Even network with clubs and organizations like Fraternities and Sororities. Veterans Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Elk Clubs, American Legion Family, Toastmasters, and more. How many of the MPS Alumni are in these organizations? And still active?

*Second Sidenote: If you are asking about a milestone reunion or a ideal reunion, and heard nothing back about it, you need to organize and also get assistance from the Alumni Association/Foundation. That goes for everyone!

Finally as I close, with the 3rd Annual MPS Alumni Reunion is coming up on Mother’s Day Weekend, I hope that the ideas would continue to flow beyond the event. I know that there will be pics taken and memories added. And contacts made. However, after the event is over, I also hope that the event would encourage others who have not yet came out once to actually try. This is still a young event, but eventually it will grow and be successful. And it has to start with the foundation of us Alumni to begin the engagement!

Plus I’ll save a piece for the Class of 2018 after they graduate!


So we had the Easter meal, the Worship Service, April Fool’s Day, and still making the run to Pentecost Sunday wearing red. And yes like many others, I’m still scratching my head. Oh, yes it’s time to ask the questions that lingered the brain on my head like crazy.

So ALL of you church haters at it again with those memes, huh? If you hate Church so much with those trying to do good in all, why do you talk about it? And it shouldn’t pertain to you because you’re not there!

Should the Black United Methodist Men form their own super groups in their communities? Milwaukee might have one soon. Wait for it.

It’s funny though, when all the keyboard gangsters talk smack, why aren’t they are defending themselves in person?

The Wisconsin Badgers Football team have a moniker of last year: “Nobody Cares. Work Harder!” Should that be an everyday moniker?

Have you voted in the primary and spring elections so far?

Can Christians be woke too? Especially Black Christians whom are woke with the truth of black Jesus?!

How many of us really heard about our children and teens cry out about the school shootings and actually doing something about it?

Why aren’t the black students in Parkland not getting enough commentary about to the shootings? It’s always with Emma Gonzales and David Hogg. And plus black students talk about this scenario everyday!

Hey Milwaukee, how you like that thing called “The Hop?” Let’s be honest, it’s new. And hated. But it will be a while to get used to it. Trust me! Streetcars are not Trolleys.

Are the teachers who work for the pay getting played out for those like to deduct?

Who liked WrestleMania?

Many are asking, why do the WWE fans get so vocal the day after WrestleMania?

Can Ronda Rousey be more legit with the WWE? WrestleMania 31 was just the sample! 34 was the full meal.

Black women: it seems some of you (via twitter) got offended with the language of BET’s Mancave. Now why are you watching the show, again?

Not a fan of Roseanne, but why are folks having their feelings about it? Let me help out: if you don’t like a program that is “piss poor comedy” and it disagrees with your level of consciousness, CHANGE THE CHANNEL!

And by the way, so many folks questioning on Blackish, because of an episode got pulled? Oh, it relates to the anthem.

How do you like Black Lightning being renewed for it’s second season?

Why is The Quad on BET cancelled?!

The 30 year old BMO Harris Bradley Center is going to be dust soon. Paving the way for the New Arena. What do you remember when the Bradley Center was hyped?

Is it necessary to get a Master’s degree, like right now?

For the jobs right now, where’s the info about the Bachelors Degree required jobs? I’m asking that again and again.

Milwaukee: when will African World Festival actually return? Like seriously? We know Garfield Days, and other African-related stuff happening around the city, but what about this though?!

It seems that Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on movies recently. So after 35 years, why Black Panther?

Wisconsin – FINALLY Paul Ryan of the so-called “Cheesehead Revolution” will step down as Speaker of the House as of January 2019. But……what about Scott Walker? His job needs to be removed THIS YEAR! And Reince Preibus: he’s long gone!

MLK has been dead for 50 years: what are we doing wrong, Americans?!

Yes, this year the Packers will turn 100. So haters, you won how many titles again? And how many of your so-called teams benefited from the Green Bay in the last century?! #PackerNationKeepsIt100

Why can’t many kids today write cursive?

Who will replace MPS Superintendent Dr. Driver by the time July comes in Milwaukee?

Where are the introverted jobs? Only for those of us who don’t want to talk as much!

And the last question of the story is this: Is the Blue Wave really gonna hit Trump like a bad habit in the fall? And will Mark Zuckerberg get on the case for real about the data for us Facebook users? And by the way, that is coming in a future blog planned later on. Stay tuned!


Yesterday in Milwaukee, our long waited talk about the Milwaukee Streetcar is over. The vehicle came in from Pennsylvania via a truck and it was parked downtown near the Post Office at around 11:30am . And yes, the interest “per se” was building due to a fight that lasted for over 2 decades in an idea to connect means of transportation in the city. It really started with former Mayor John Norquist.

Just to think, as of the newslinks, it’s been 60 years this month of March since a Streetcar last appeared in Milwaukee, and it’s here. Many of us under 60 years old only saw Milwaukee Streetcars in museums, books, displays of the past when Milwaukee was coming up. And yes after that, the buses came in for MCTS.

Now after all the debate, after all the madness, after all the protesting, after all the ideas that Potawatomi Hotel & Casino would pay for the first year and nicknamed the vehicle “The Hop” if you will, and many others: even my “letter” to the City of Milwaukee Common Council of making that big decision on this blog of the need of jobs in the city, NOW IT’S HERE! Lock it up with an iron clad and let it operate. And speaking of that, The Streetcar needs folks to work!

Now since it’s here, word is that the testing will continue for the rest of the year to make sure that it’s in place starting in April. We just can’t ride the thing out of the gate. And yes of course the naysayers will have their continued say. But like many things: it will all come around in time. In my view.

The Streetcar or The Hop may seem controversial, but like the book by Eric Bischoff which it titled promptly to a point: “Controversy Creates Cash.”

So let’s give this thing a chance. After all, is this a country of opportunity? Plus this should be some sort of small victory in Wisconsin after the blown coverage of the High Speed Rail being faulted by Scott Walker.

Follow the continued momentum via the streetcar website: https://www.themilwaukeestreetcar.com/

There will be more commentary to come.


Well it’s about that time to go to the dance floor of the first three way of 2018. And you know what time it is. For those who are just reading this for the first time I do a “three way dance” on this blog in which I summarize three different stories into one. That’s a three way. For this, I’m commenting about the retirement of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, the recent crap out of H&M, and a local radio comments about “being church hurt.”

First on the dance card: The retirement of Chief Ed Flynn.

If those in Milwaukee haven’t heard: the first announcement of a retirement of 2018 has been declared that Ed Flynn is stepping down as police chief of the city. Just to think that 10 years ago this month of January,  he came in as an outsider to Milwaukee in which Mayor Barrett wanted a police chief to make a difference. And yes, it wasn’t an easy search. But it paid off. Ed Flynn was sent to Milwaukee from Massachusetts at a time that the community and citizens were deeply concerned. They were concerned about out of control crime, tension, happenstance, and the ability of one word: trust.  There were other concerns but to me that was a concern that many feared in Milwaukee. The crackdown on fear in the city was heavy issue to tackle. But it was faced in a new way. Ed Flynn had brought in new ideas since his first day on the job. Again, this was 10 years ago.

In the past decade, under Chief Ed Flynn in the Milwaukee Police Department:

Technology – the birth of CompStat and the Greater Milwaukee Committee with new ideas of data driven.

Crime Analyst Program

Early Intervention Program

Opioid Task Force

OMAP – Office Management Analyst and Planning

Neighborhood Task Force

Crisis intervention team

ShotSpotter

Homeless Outreach team

Implement of the  Digital Radio System

Creation of the Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program

Body Camera Programs

Social Media

Town Hall Meetings with President Barack Obama and Steve Harvey

Awarded over 1600 medals of heroism

He is the 5th Police Chief since the Harold Brier Days serving longer than any of the previous predecessors behind the badge. And with the announcement of his retirement, Chief Flynn along with the 10 years of policing in Milwaukee, he has accomplished 40 years overall with Law Enforcement.

This is just a few examples of what the Milwaukee Police Department had experienced under the “Ed Flynn Era of Change”. However, there are those in Milwaukee felt that the Chief didn’t do enough to curb the violence of Milwaukee’s concern. There are those whom are going to say that oh, Chief Flynn didn’t do crap because of the corruption of certain cops harassing black people in Milwaukee. It’s a common thing, ask the activist whom are out in the funk everyday. Yes, there were hits and misses. The Chief knows this as do we. Chief Ed Flynn will remain on the desk until February 16th in which he’ll return to the east coast with his family.

Second Dance:  The Mess of H&M.

Oh, let me go in on the first mess of 2018.

This story though, was so crazy. A black child on the UK version of the H&M Website is posed with a green hoodie stating the words: “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle.” We looked at that site and it was lit with hate and unfavorable examples of why racism is not just an American problem, but more of a INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT! As the story also went on, the mother of the boy (whom is black) went on the social media and act is if that it’s nothing. And oh, the words “get over it” was used. When I hear the words “Get Over It” it usually comes from White Folks on Black Folks regarding slavery. Now you have a black woman in a different country telling us black folks who see her son in a hoodie with a coded message telling us to get over it. I mean what year is this again? This maybe 2018 and we just got here on the 18 train, but the fact of the matter is that, the more things change the more things remain the same.  Sorry Millennials: that is everyday life! This is like the house negro and field negro comments that Malcolm X often said. Yeah, we know what he said. The mother said also she wanted the money. Those dollar signs. When that picture again went viral, so did those whom were celebrities like Diddy whom wanted to sign the boy a modeling contract based on this matter. Remember Rachel Dolezal? Me neither. She made a picture that had a different message on it. Other folks redesigned the picture adding two crowns to signify the pride of the young boy being a future king.  Now why I’m talking about this: Why is H&M is distracting us from the real issues of the world and merely our country? When we wake up in the morning, reading the news, social media, and all we talk about the news with distractions! We’ve been distracting by the news for weeks, months, years, era, generations, conflicts, etc. That’s been a problem since day one! Are we surprised by this? Yes and no.  And this mother whom ever she is must realize that one day when another child comes up and puts on a shirt, pants or what ever that has some coded message per say that many will disagree with, they will talk! And again the deep discussions will reignite the reasons why. No matter if you’re in America, the UK, Africa, or ANY COUNTRY that deals with racism every day!

Final Dance on the Card: Being Church Hurt

Last week on the first Friday of the year, I listened to WNOV’s The Forum Program. And the full 3 hours of the program was about those who have been “church hurt”, or being hurt by the church. It was based on the article that some folks read (mainly younger black folks)  about the reasons why they don’t attend church. And I’ll bet it came from those who haven’t been there. It also featured those whom have had history in the church ranging from bishops, ministers, and members whom have those vivid memories but mostly it was NEGATIVE!  As I was listening to the program, it was coming from those who say it was a scam, the black church don’t allow the LGBT no love,  and other negative factors. Oh the issue of money was conversed.

I want those being effect by this “church hurt” thing to hear me out on this. Yes, there are pastors, bishops, deacons, and many other church leaders that did things negatively on the value of money. Yes, it’s true. BUT: don’t assume that it’s all of the Churches! Not all the churches are about MONEY. Not all of the church are about kicking out the LGBT. Not all the Church are about the erasing the thought of supporting young folks. Not all churches are about hating on someone who is in need of coming in to keep warm from the freezing cold! Not all CHURCHES are the same! WAKE UP! If that were the case, I wouldn’t be in church now! I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. Church hurt. But many of you members who haven’t been to any the services in a minute, and you’re complaining, why haven’t you come forward? Ok, maybe you have been working. Raising families. Taking care of a senior person. Or sat out and did nothing. And you complain. If you complain and not attended the service, you need to go! If you are on the membership roll that haven’t been at the services, meetings, events, activities or there special outings to support or donate, then you need to retool and revise your membership! Hate to say that.

Don’t always assume that the church is ALL evil. What is evil is being put or driven by those who spoil the bunch. That is EVIL! Hell, I wouldn’t stepped into a 4th Generation family tradition that I wouldn’t be able to work, earn scholarships, utilized groups (both men and women), photograph archives, record sermons and still raised almost 28 years later! That’s right, this June will be my Church Anniversary of coming in as a full member through conformation class.  That’s a joy.  And that’s positive. And the Church NEEDS MORE POSITIVE OUTLOOKS! Not just hearing the music or the sermons. And also the biggest issue that many have against the church besides the money and pastor, is when we get done hearing the sermons, we go out to eat to Red Lobster or a local restaurant. Church folks got to eat too! There are 168 hours in week. The Average hours on a Sunday morning Worship Service is like what, 2 hours? So in those two hours of Church, we go to the restaurant and chow down for about 1 hour or so. And we go home. BUT THE WORSHIP WORK in the week goes on. It goes on at your job. Your community centers. Your Activities of recreation, homes, the elderly, Your Sorority, Fraternity, Veterans Groups, Peace Groups, Activism, Alumni Associations, etc. Even when you help folks to Vote! That is your Worship Work in the continuation of the Church! Think about that. If many more folks in Milwaukee who were listening to that broadcast would actually get it, they would actually get it. I know some understand.

I say this mainly to Milwaukee. After all, it was a Milwaukee Black Radio broadcast of WNOV that commented on this. We know what the host said. We know what the guests said. And we know that. But look here: it’s not perfect. Many of you go to clubs on Saturday Night, partying in all. Being catered. Which is nothing wrong at all. But also, like the church at times, there are members of the clubs whom can be hypocritical of the DJ, the clothes, the set up, the bar, the drinks, the food, the parking, and the security. Just like your jobs, groups and etc.

You don’t hear me!

We’re trying. We know it’s hard. After all, being a Christian or a every Sunday church person is not just happenstance. It’s a hard job. Period. But with God’s grace, we’re up for the challenge.

Amen.

 

 

 


Before us Americans get the cooking stuff out, it’s time think. Get your thinking caps on. With all the media mess going on from the flag to racism, we know food is source of healing. So is the mind preparing the food. But as always, I’m scratching my head again.

You realize that “Movember” really started with voting right? Way before the health awareness male mustache thing. Research!

Why is #45 wasting his time with LaVar Ball?!

Trump supporters: some of you realize that LeVar Burton is not LaVar Ball. How dumb is that?

Milwaukee, stop playing with the Streetcar questions. You know it’s giving folks jobs right? Quit playing!

I want to know: WHY are callers calling Churches for money?!!

Why are the Packers not playing good football right now you ask? – 5 words here – Anthony Barr injured Aaron Rodgers. Say it again and again.

What about those Wisconsin Badgers Football players?

So, Atlanta tore down the Georgia Dome. But why many are upset?

In a recent report, the Greater Milwaukee Area is not good when it comes to African-Americans. Do we know this like, already?

According to Forbes, it once stated that many HR’s look at resumes that get tossed after looking almost scary. What is the real reason why many aren’t getting the jobs?! Race, Credit Checks, Education?

So the Facebook group, “The Whole Milwaukee #1” is now getting noticed. So my questions are, why are those using it for swapping drugs, beat downs and not enough for networking with our people?

Speaking of networking, does the Milwaukee MPS Alumni actually know about it’s networking events and actually go besides the Alumni Reunions?

Is Mahlon Mitchell ready for real to run for Governor in Wisconsin? And you realize that Wisconsin never had a black Governor since it’s founding?

Did the black Veterans received much love on Veterans Day? Minority Vets don’t get that much love though.

International Men’s Day came and went on November 19th. Why is this day not honored enough in the United States? Close your mouths, feminists! It’s not about you.

Hey Sagittarius folks, our season is here. Ready to sling the Arrows?

So GOP, is Trump really that guy? Seriously?!

Again, why are we body shaming?! This ain’t High School.

For all you fans of #45, does the term embarrassing comes to mind?

Why is it always that there are more married couples retreats and not enough singles only retreats that don’t see marriage?

Who is responsible for these young girls and young boys acting a fool based on stolen cars, etc?

The recent victory for the Democrats in Virginia and some parts of America really sparked new heights. Is this the breakthrough for the midterms regarding the blue team in 2018?

For you crazy drivers in Milwaukee, why are you still cutting in-front of vehicles and causing accidents?

On December 5th, are you Georgia residents are actually going to vote?

Who really hates the Hallmark Christmas Movies? Asking for a friend!

For the Wisconsin jobs that have the 60,000 jobs unfilled, what are real skills and experience to have besides just having a High School Diploma?

Who is really shopping on Black Friday to get that ideal T.V.? That ain’t happening!

Why do many non-Native Americans had to jump on the bandwagon of not doing the Thanksgiving thing? You know which ones!

I need to know who is putting out this crap about Churches “supposed to have money” for those whom don’t know? Do they know protocol?

Every church men’s group should know about the safe sanctuary rules from sexual harassment to violent outcomes. Does your Church men’s group do this?

For those of us who have to spend Thanksgiving without a special loved one for the first time this year, how will we get through this? And the same for Christmas, etc? It’s hard for us. Even my family.

Why is David Clarke still running his mouth?

Are the black protest groups really that troublesome being on the FBI watch?

Why would those who go after Rep. Maxine Waters with death threats?

Is Donna Brazille being targeted unfairly after her book was published? Or just happenstance?

Why are the “so-called patriots” coming for Congresswoman Frederica Wilson?

Will the real truth about the late Sgt. La David Johnson please stand up? Don’t act like we don’t know.

I see alot of military hats and division hats, why not have hats for descendants of Veterans or Veteran Families? (sons, daughters, etc.)

What is the percentage of African-Americans in the American Legion Family? Not asking for a friend!

Is the cord cutting thing still going on well? Asking for a friend!

Should the month of November be also the month to spur the support of Veterans everyday?

Why is it always that Black Men, (good ones mind you) get all mistakenly for something that they didn’t do for years and years? Black women, you must explain your part also. As well as everyone else. From molesting, to harassment, to abuse.

For all those whom are so-conscious and running your mouth on social media: what is your motive for ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING?! Don’t talk about it, be about it!

Will Aaron Rodgers be stronger than ever? Just wait, Packer fans. Revenge is coming.

Why is it always a problem for men to talk about Sexual Harassment? Even if you have men in your life that went through it since childhood? This is not a joke!

Is Brett Hundley learning well? What about Joe Callahan?

Tired of reading the same ol’ stuff? Why not read something different? Hello!

If many complain about other people’s blogs, journalism, radio, TV, Online Podcastings, and others, why not start their own stuff to inform of what they want to talk about?

One of these days, I want to learn Skeet Shooting and Archery. Who is a great teacher? Where? Must be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lot of folks might do the Black Friday thing. If you pack Walmart or Best Buy, why not the local small stores?

I gotta ask why did those in Wisconsin think that it’s a good idea to have a gun laws signed for toddlers or those under 10 to have guns in their hands for hunting? No!

Is Foxconn the real way for jobs in Wisconsin regarding black folks who CAN’T get to the jobs? Still asking that for a friend.

Twitter: I like you. Why is your app causing problems of logging in?!

And the final question before you start cooking: has the Black Friday feeling sunk in yet, or are you staying put?

Now you may resume continue cooking your Thanksgiving Meal.


It’s time for a Three Way Dance. Finally I’ll get to talk about that black dude that showed up at 45’s rally in Arizona. Remember that recall in Milwaukee against Tom Barrett? And for my non-churched folks who think churches aren’t doing jack for the hurricane victims, think again.

First Dance: Ok, who is this Michael The Blackman?

I’ll bet many of us were asking that recently. If many were brave enough to catch a clip about this dude showing up at a 45land Rally in Arizona holding a sign says “Blacks for Trump” I’m asking who let this dude in the building? Did ol Donnie paid him to show up? I’m looking at this footage with the surrounding of all those white folks mostly and the thing is why is that black dude in the crowd?!

Speaking of that, I peeped this dude’s website recently. He’s got a website that is so controversial like it’s crazy. Anyone seen this? It’s called Gods2.com. On his site, he’s got all of this “self-proclaimed” bible theories about religion and other mess that it’s flat out ridiculous. He believes (according to his website) that the Cherokee Indians were like the KKK and tie them with the Democrats. Another in the head line that he believes that Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican which he was NOT! He also believes that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had some controversial angles, and many other pro Republican type scenarios for support. Even posing with the likes of Sean Hannity and the Tea Party. Many others were just flat out ridiculous! Oh he’s been backing the Red Party since 1994. He’s got other names like Maurice Symonette and had been in a cult previously. Let me save my vision here.This guy is nuts. I’m sorry. After looking at his “website” for who he is I’ll bet the words “messed up in the head” comes to mind. And it does! And you wonder why that is. And I hate to say that his Bible Game is totally messed up!

Second Dance: Milwaukee, I told you so!

That so-called recall against Mayor Tom Barrett by the “Save Our City Milwaukee Can’t Wait” group. The same group that had the Allen Jansen dude that lead the campaign and had also Darryl Farmer (aka King Rick) from the Black Panthers to be a Treasurer in all. Yeah that group. They according to this blog update had about 10,000 signatures to capture to get the recall, but however according the rules of the Election Commission, they were supposed to get at least 50,000 signatures within the 60 day deadline. Well guess what: THEY FAILED!!!!!

There was no substance in this recall. NONE. I didn’t see them around the city when the festivals were happening. I didn’t see them at the parks, the neighborhood block parties, churches, Summerfest. NONE AT ALL. Where were they? Now rumors has it that they were based in the Bay View Area. But if that’s the case, that was a mistake. If they were just based from that or their intent to get it out in all, they fumbled the ball. I mean seriously, where were the base? And that’s why local recalls just flop. If they were mad serious, that recall thing were to be out in full force, but NOPE! Not a chance. One of the major keys of this so-called recall was the Milwaukee Streetcar. By the way, the streetcar idea is still rolling. And recently, our “GOP Friends” in Madison had kind of goofed up with the Transporation Infanstrcutre Financial Area. One of our freeways near the Northside of Milwaukee is still under constrction and is behind! NOT COOL, Wisconsin GOP! And also they wouldn’t offer any pull per se with the Milwaukee Streetcar with additional funds. So why the hate about the Milwaukee Streetcar you ask? POLITICS. You know what, google the Kenosha Streetcar. Really do that. And the thing is there is no hate about the Kenosha Streetcar, but hate on the Milwaukee Streetcar. Can anyone say hypocrites in politics? Most definitely, it is! And I must add, a democrat here in Milwaukee has a hate on this as well. Find him. Hint: he’s an Alderman.

And part of that is, the hate of them is on Milwaukee. The city is the leading engine for the whole state depending on the economics. Mostly that. So we got some lawmakers and Political GOP Hypocrites in our state that favor one thing and spread hypocritcal issues on many which includes minorities. This includes Scott Walker! Yep, I said it! Can anyone say “continued ideals for white supremacy?”

Even us as African Americans whom are at the 6-8 percent living in Wisconsin. Heard that before!

Third and last card: Stop sleeping on UMCOR!

For many of us who are still think that the American Red Cross is the only thing that is helpful, (not to disrespect them) don’t assume that. If you have not heard of UMCOR before I assume that:

A) You’re not United Methodist and don’t know jack about it.

B)You are United Methodist that just heard about it by googling

C) You think that ALL Churches don’t always donate to the cause based on lopsided opinions or experience. or;

D)All of the Above or

E)Any of the choices.

For those who are wondering, what is this UMCOR? What is it? UMCOR stands for United Methodist Committee on Relief. This organization is a church organization that has been in the game of support since 1940. It started out as a refugee support during the Second World War. The United Methodist Church has this reputation that when disaster strikes in any part of the world, The UMC is on point with UMCOR. If you don’t know what it is, click on the link to learn about it.

Now why I am talking about UMCOR? Why not the others? Well let me say this: UMCOR is part of my denomination, the United Methodist Church. And every United Methodist Church should know about UMCOR in a connectional sense of support. This is not just local support, but this is world wide support. There are United Methodist Churches in the globe that has this direct connection with UMCOR. And many are asking, well why haven’t I heard this before? Ummmmm…..many of you need to read the answers above! Now the next question is, what kinds of support or supplies does UMCOR do? What about the donations?

As far as support: from the website it states:

UMCOR helps annual conferences…

  • Prepare for disasters. UMCOR works cooperatively with annual conferences in the event of an emergency and to prepare for emergencies. We work through the disaster response coordinator to provide training in all aspects of disaster response. Call your conference office to find out who is your disaster response coordinator.
  • Respond to disasters. UMCOR always responds to emergencies at the invitation of and through the affected Annual Conference. In addition to providing training, UMCOR offers technical assistance and support through a highly trained network of staff, consultants, and experienced volunteers to help annual conferences respond to all phases of a disaster.
  • Recover from disasters. UMCOR can send emergency grants immediately to fund start-up relief activities. UMCOR also supports long-term recovery ministries through the provision of grants, planning, technical assistance, and training, and helps coordinate volunteers. All requests for assistance are received through the conference disaster coordinator.

For training: According to the website, UMCOR offers a wide range of disaster readiness and response training. See our list of training programs and calendar for more information.

*As an example, UMCOR hosted a Disaster Training session in the Caribbean last year in 2016. Read about this of what they went through.

For the financial donation: UMCOR uses 100% of the proceeds given to the needs mostly.

Types of Supplies: UMCOR assembles Relief Supply Kids for the most needed – Cleaning, Hygiene and School Kits. Check it out here.

So guess what? UMCOR is the real deal. Like I said, you probably have donated to the American Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army or many other organizations that many know. Nothing wrong with that. But the fact of matter is UMCOR is being slept on. And it’s a church organization that is on the move since 1940. I highly suggest that every UNITED METHODIST CHURCH need to have the info on UMCOR in your church bulletins, announcements, Social Media Pages, and others about this. And for you non-members or former church goers that got mad and expressing your liberties like crazy online like Facebook, look: you have had your message clear. But don’t EVER overshadow the thought that you got churches that are doing this through connections with overall objectives. And I should remind you: that not all are about the money, or being “highly christian” and lowly on you. We are not perfect. And neither are you. So let that sink in. And this is not Joel Osteen stuff here! Just to pass along.

Hate to say it, but it is the truth!

Give back!


Oh yes. I have to talk this. Really I have too.

I’m sure that many in America already knows about the deal that was signed when Foxconn, a Taiwan company that landed a deal that would boost Wisconsin’s job numbers concerning employment. We all know that when Scott Walker boasted a plan to have the 250,000 jobs to happen, actually DID NOT WORK. I told you so, Wisconsin. The same words, I told you so rang out so many times I can’t event count. And this was about 6 years ago. Now with the jobs for Foxconn according the sources that it would attract about 13,000 jobs. And it’s going to come to the area of Racine or Kenosha Counties. And just like Amazon, they will NOT come to the Milwaukee Metro Area. And the fact is that yes, when Foxconn inked the deal there had some concerns about also about the taxation part. This deal per se might cost us taxpayers to be on the hook for the next 15 years. How is this deal is going to be beneficial for taxpayers like me for the next couple of years?! Like really, Madison. Plus, Foxconn has been in bad blood in the last couple of years. To the residents of Pennsylvania, we have read about your dilemma about the plant that hasn’t been built. And many of us in Wisconsin are fully aware about it the promises that you were to be given, but didn’t work. And the result was bad broken politics. We get it.

I’ll bet many probably thought, really Wisconsin?! Have you been screwed up already? Oh and other thing, many think that this would seal up Scott Walker’s deal as a way to get reelected for 2018.

Now since the Foxconn company is coming to the state, what will become of us whom don’t have transportation to get to the jobs? We know that Amazon can’t do it alone, but many of us don’t have a jeep, a truck, a car, or a Go-Kart to get to Foxconn every day? Think about it. And what will the state black residents have a say in this?

Oh wait! We had an idea that was seemed very VERY interesting. It was a High Speed Rail Train that would have linked Milwaukee and Madison. You do remember that we HAD over 800 million dollars stacked up for the Talgo Trains and the jobs? Is all that memory coming back? And what did our glorious Governor Numb Nuts did with that money and the jobs and the trains? He gave it all away! The state got sued due to a breach of contact and it was THE biggest blunder ever! Wisconsin, you should have kept the trains. But you failed to follow the advice of Scott Walker. And those like Robin Vos and Alberta Darling. And did I mention that part of which of that dumb decision was geared towards racism? Let that sink in! After 6 years. That was also to help integrate the region. And many were worried that black folks would go to Jefferson County for coffee and donuts. Really?! And to do the math, Wisconsin’s black population is around 8%.

Oh, now that there is talk about using a Canadian Railway track to combine the Twin Cities, Milwaukee and Chicago for a Intercity Rail Route with Amtrak. That seems like an idea, but how is THIS is going to get paid? And the thing is, you got this Foxconn plant coming up, and they need some kind of transportation for Freight and also what about those who don’t drive, that live in far places, how are they are going to get to work? You see what I’m saying? Yeah let that REALLY sink in! And now Walker wants a train! So hypocritical.

Our Republican state hood “friends” really messed up. They realized it. Talgo at the time could have benefited ALOT of jobs. I visited the Talgo plant 5 years ago in the black community in the 2700 block at Townsend Street area, and wanted to see the HSR trains up close. They were good. With all the digital stuff and everything. Plus they worked hard on them! Our people. And the State shamefully gave it all up. All because they thought the tax payers would be on the hook for the vehicles. Or the personal favorite: boondoggles! “No one will ever ride it.” Um………you really think that Badger State? Better change your tune and repent. I hear mostly about the value of the trains on Black Radio like WNOV than 620 WTMJ or 1130 WISN. And let remind our Republican fans, not many in the state doesn’t have their own transportation! And Foxconn wants in. We’re unprepared. Matter of fact were unprepared in getting some of the highways and roads done. Which was LOOOONG talked about for years! Let that also sink in! Why you asked? Too many dang politics messing up. And dang is not a bad word.

At least the Milwaukee Streetcar is still on point.

All of this in my view needs the reexamination of what we really want to have in the state. And of course there will be questions. Like already as I speak, Foxconn is already being talked about but it should be talked about more in the areas of Milwaukee’s north side that can get more insight about what is going on. Especially when the state’s transportation system is on one leg losing to political standpoints so many times over!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh the irony. There is a group out now that wants to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. There is an organization called “Save Our City: Milwaukeeans Can’t Wait” that has filed a petition to get about 50,000+ signatures in order to have an recall election to run against the 4 time mayor of the Milwaukee.  As many DO RECALL: Mayor Barrett won his election bid to continue against then opponent Alderman Bob Donovan for another 4 years. Yes, Milwaukee he won.

What was some of the reasons for this so-called request?

  1. Streetcar Project
  2. Lead Pipes
  3. Not enough to fight Crime

 

After reading about this petition idea, I have only ONE Question to ask: Why didn’t this came out last year in 2016 when the Mayor was re-elected? I mean they had the chance to out him on the ballots, BUT Tom still won. 

For this bogus recall group, they are just mad. They are mad at what many think that Tom here is this nice guy mayor that many feel that he’s projecting the work downtown than in the other sectors of the city. For the record there are some projects in the City that are under construction, developing and others that are happening right now. It’s not just downtown! I’ve seen them with my own Nikon.

Plus according to Urban Milwaukee, Mayor Barrett had noticed this idea for several weeks. And of course if or when these signatures and others made themselves known, expect the DEFENSE of Mayor Barrett will come out and defend his record in the last previous term. Expect that Milwaukee!

Also, I heard that one of the Milwaukee Black Panthers Darryl Farmer is acting as the treasurer for the Organization. Not familiar with Darryl Farmer? He is also known as King Rick by the way. And I’ll bet some of the Panthers might question why he is in this instead of the black fist rising. I’m just saying!

And by the way, ASK ME THIS: why hasn’t no company or organization has NOT gone into the Century City Park I Building that A.O. Smith used to be? And it’s still vacant?

We know that Mayor Barrett isn’t perfect. We know this. But in all of this request to get 50,000 signatures in 60 days in my opinion, will not happen. I’m sorry, Allen L. Jansen! Many don’t realize that the petitions will again cost taxpayers extra money to get this done. And who is going to challenge Mayor Barrett? Who?!  Keep in mind that the election was LAST YEAR!

For all of those whom are the “Save our City: Milwaukeeans can’t wait” flagship whatever group, if you challenge this per se, with this idea of a recall, and Barrett defends his record in a truthful manner, guess what?  you will make him a 5 time mayor. I’m calling it right now! And no I will NOT sign your petition.

Let me just say this on the real though: How is the Milwaukee Streetcar a potential problem of Police and Schools when the federal tax dollars (you heard that right) were used, plus also the ongoing construction is putting in jobs?

Second about the Lead Pipes: we all know that the lead in the water is a problem. There is no denying that. Matter of fact it’s been a problem BEFORE Tom Barrett was in office. Why wasn’t the issue discussed when Norquist was in office? Remember cryptosporidium? Explain that, Save our City folks.

As far as the crime statistics, we know it’s a major problem.

As a native and still living in the Brew City, yes Milwaukee is not perfect. It wasn’t perfect when John Norquist was mayor, and neither now. So what’s the haps?

It’s going to take all of the near 600,000 plus Milwaukeeans that live in the City Limits to get this city going. Not all the former residents who still got love for Milwaukee whom work and go back to the boonies. Nope, you don’t count. In all of this, it’s all about some dude who thinks that when someone is in office, there is always whom feel that someone that is not doing all things, or not focusing on all of the Milwaukee sector except DOWNTOWN! Oh, we talk about the Milwaukee Bucks. We know that the Arena is coming up, but did you know that the Milwaukee Bucks will turn one of the former battered playgrounds into a multi-field for track, soccer, basketball, tennis and other sports?

This is what I’m talking about for those whom are late to the bar:

The title says: “Milwaukee Bucks, Johnson Controls to build $150,000 ‘multi-sport complex’ in the city’s Westlawn neighborhood”

This was reported in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2 months ago! HELLO! Anyone of the Save our City folks read this? Where have you been?! Ok, I get it. Everybody got different schedules. BUT STAY ON SCHEDULE!

And I’ll bet whom probably already forgotten after reading this will be like, oh yes that right, but what else is being built? First of all, I see construction stuff alot. No matter if it’s in Wauwatosa, Downtown, The East Side,  or the South Side. But mostly, on the North Side besides the Multi-sports complex, there are some construction projects that are happening, and I’m not talking about the roads nor new stores that might sell liquor. Some are popping up. You need to get out and look that yes there are construction jobs coming and doing, but there might other jobs too.

Let’s be real. We know better than this.  All I’m saying!

 


Happy 4th again, y’all.

We already know that the country has turned another age in all, but we already know that the struggle indeed continues. And yes if you’re Black, you might had been called out being a sellout all because you wore the Red/White/Blue instead of the Red/Black/Green. Or you might have sang the National Anthem without any concern except the fact the third verse had a racial thing attached. But as we put away the fireworks in all, I’m scratching my head again.

Did anyone actually read the Declaration? I mean really?

Black folks, we know about the slavery side of 1776, but what about those whom served in both armies that guranteed freedom? Yes blacks did served under the flag back then.

I was reading Sophia A. Nelson’s book, E Plurbis One, and two of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were against slavery. Did you know this?

With all the parades in America, why not enough black folks?

Frederick Douglass’ speech “What to the slave mean to the Fourth of July?” is like a call out to the hypocritical attitude of being free for most, not many. Any questions on that?

I hear folks saying, “that flag wasn’t meant for us!” What flag is?

Why do certain folks scream out “Fourth of You Lie?!”

And also to add, what are you celebrating? Like really.

How come we didn’t point out the verse “No heirling for a slave” before like last year?

Was Whitney Houston’s version of the Star Spangled Banner from 1991 the best ever?

Was Marvin Gaye’s Star Spangled Banner from 1983 good?

What about Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Anthem?

Which Team USA Basketball team was better: 1992 or 2008? 92 all the way!

Which team is America’s team deserving? I say the Green Bay Packers!

Chris Rock once said, Happy White People’s Independence Day. More recently, Damon Wayans Jr said Happy racist white people’s day. Both got slandered and attacked after telling the truth. Well white folks, had their punchlines told the truth?

Is “every way” the American way?

How many Americans did not know what Juneteenth Day was about?

How many Americans did not know that the 4th of July is not always about fireworks?

This is interesting, can this be done? Singing Lift Every Voice And Sing on Independence Day?

Check out @Tiffanydloftin’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/Tiffanydloftin/status/882409041141673985?s=09

Can the hashtag #MelalinPatriot be a thing to follow? Melalin relates to black by the way.

We know that Philly throws 4th of July Celebrations alot. But can Milwaukee have a 4th of July party concerts with the locals musicians?

And now for the final question: Don’t be offended by the picture.

Relax and breathe.

Black folks: we know already that many of us don’t really celebrate the 4th Of July by an example of the memes below. And yes our ancestors were in shackles, branded, whipped, had no freedom, no liberty, no justice, no peace to be us. We were stripped from our former names to get the names like Toby. We were forced to be bought and paid in auctions, but like Cicely Tyson said in one of Tyler Perry’s movie Madeas Family Reunion: “Now it’s time to take your place!” We also have this tendency to tell folks not to celebrate the 4th all because our ancestors were slaves. We weren’t beaten. But the legality of those beatings linger into police brutality, racism, sexism, discrimination among minorities, and others. We get sensitive when we see our brothers and sisters wearing red white and blue and shake our heads. Why?!!!!

If a black man or a black woman wants to celebrate the 4th in a way different, LET THEM CELEBRATE! I was listening to one of my local black radio hosts on WNOV. There was a black female caller who expressed about the celebrations of Juneteenth Day. However she also expressed about celebrating the Fourth of July. As we all know from her comment that this country was built on the backs of us Black folks either as slaves and freed people. We definitely know this and should know. And the thing is we always hear about us going back to Africa. Well many people forget, not too many in Africa like us African-Americans maybe because many of us haven’t been there! Many forget that part of the slavetrade, came out of Africa which was a forgotten comment! And of course, America ate up the idea of slavery and served it until 1865, when the slaves were declared free. According to Vibe.com, Roland Martin was on the Wendy Williams Show last year (after she talked smack about the HBCU’S), cited that black people were “technically free”:

If you had to place a marker on when black folks were technically fully free Americans, it’s 1970.

So as I look at this meme with the word Independence spelled wrong, (don’t blame the Public Schools) a Tupac pic, and all the talk about Juneteenth Day being celebrated and something forgotten, and with the ongoing crimes, racism, sexism, discrimination, police brutality, war against blacks lives, undocumented murders against black folks and many other concerns, I must ASK this:

Have we fully gained our Independence? And after celebrating Juneteenth, did we fully gained OUR freedom? Let that sink in.

Callout: Freedom is still not free. Even after 241 years. And even after 152 years. Let’s be real, the struggle to get to that freedom thing is going to take a four letter word of WORK!

And by the way if a black man or woman or kid wants to celebrate BOTH the Fourth and Juneteenth, even if you fly the flags, let them. Just let them. Some folks celebrate their birthdays on the days. Or a anniversary. Or whatever. Let’s be clear. For those of us whom are so conscious and woke, look: your opinions are just that. With all due respect. Let the folks whom are “Melanin Powered” have their day. Leave them alone! No one is not forcing you to celebrate the holiday. Where as you should not force anyone to say “Remember and celebrate Juneteenth Day!” Trust me you will not win that argument. You say that forcefully and folks will still sleep. I mean correct me if I’m wrong that isn’t one of the Bill of Rights has the words, “Freedom of Expression” in it? Hey, let that sink in! And this applies to us like everyday.

Can I get a Hotep peace mixed in with a thanks of God Bless America?

Thank You.