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Sheriff David Clarke spoke to Donald Trump on the radio about the First and Second Amendment Thursday.
Sheriff David Clarke spoke to Donald Trump on the radio about the First and Second Amendment Thursday. (Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Clarke's political pandering continues in Trump radio interview

Milwaukee is a proud city, but we are not without our warts – and our biggest wart, the one that we should all be ashamed of, hobnobbed with a presidential candidate Thursday.

I’m talking about Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, the darling of the ultra-right wingers on Fox News and the guy who continues, on an almost daily basis, to be an embarrassment to those people who voted for him.

Clarke was the guest host Thursday for Mark Belling on WISN radio. Listening to this guy prattle on without an original thought in his head made me wonder how he can sleep at night.

Let’s face it: Fox loves a right wing black guy, and if you can put a cowboy hat on his head, a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, you have the perfect storm. Put him on his horse, it gets even better. No matter what the topic, Fox puts Clarke on the mic for law enforcement or black people or the armed forces or just about anything. Clarke will say anything at anytime to anybody.

He is the ultimate windup doll. Turn him on and sit back and watch him sing the tune of the racial bias of his white friends. He is building a career by being an unreasonably harsh critic of black people and the black experience. 

Thursday's broadcast was a fascinating example of Clarke in action.

As you may or may not know, Clarke spoke at the Republican National Convention last week. He has met Donald Trump. And Thursday, Trump called in to the show.

You can hear the entire segment here, and it’s really worth spending several minutes to listen to it.

Clarke is a master ranter. Give him a chance to take a shot at the black community, and he can’t resist the temptation. Off he goes, a wild horse without a bridle.

Thursday, he took off on a First Amendment rant.

"I know the Second Amendment is threatened," he said. "But they’re also after the First Amendment. It’s under attack for what we can say in the public square."

When you stop and ask yourself what in the world he’s talking about, you…

Tank took a Uber ride back to his truck at Miller Park, one of 30 carrying the Kenny Chesney show.
Tank took a Uber ride back to his truck at Miller Park, one of 30 carrying the Kenny Chesney show.

Meet "Tank," a Kenny Chesney roadie

Being an Uber driver in Milwaukee is a one-of-a-kind experience that lets Dave Begel meet some of the most interesting people, residents as well as visitors to the city. Everybody has a story and Tales of the Road will highlight some of those stories. The stories have been edited into quotes from riders. Some names have been omitted or changed to preserve the privacy of his passengers.

The Uber ping called to pick up a guy Downtown. The name was "Tank."

Once I set eyes on him, it was readily apparent why he had the nickname: tall, big and with tats all over the place. A wide smile and a little bitty wave of his hand, and I stopped.

He climbed into the backseat and told me that we were headed to the parking lot at Miller Park. We launched into our little version of Milwaukee Talks.

There’s no game at Miller Park tonight. Why are you going to the parking lot?

I drive a truck for Kenny Chesney’s show.

Cool. So you park in the lot?

We all do. There’s going to be a line of trucks there.

Cool. How many?

I think there’s 30.

Cool. Thirty? Thirty trucks?

Yep. When we do a stadium show, it’s about 30 trucks. Big trucks. All semis. When we do an amphitheater, it’s only about 20 or 25. He’s in some place called Cadott (Country Fest in Chippewa County, northwest Wisconsin) Friday and then we’ll all be here for the show Saturday night.

What are you carrying around?

Well, I drive a semi, and this one has sound gear. I’m not the only one with sound. Our trucks are packed with sound and video and everything else it takes to put on a show like this.

How long have you been doing this?

About four years. I’ve driven for Metallica and U2, all over the country. I work for a company that moves all these shows around. I put on maybe 300,000 miles a year. For example, after the show Saturday we’ll load up and head out. I’ll be on the road about 3 or 4 a.m. and on my way to Virginia Beach. We play there Thursday and then to Philly on Saturday night.…

We need a better reason than the ones currently floated to get rid of our 60-year-old city flag.
We need a better reason than the ones currently floated to get rid of our 60-year-old city flag. (Photo: Bobby Tanzilo)

Does Milwaukee really need a new flag?

Somebody somewhere needs to sit me down in a corner and explain why the City of Milwaukee needs a new flag to replace the one we’ve had for over 60 years.

I have lots of friends in the design world – both friends and colleagues and I don't want this to seem like I'm slamming any of them. But a new flag? Why?

The flags that have made it through to the "finals" of this latest competition are all real professional. They all have lots of blue, indicating our place next to a great lake. Of course, they could also all work for Racine or Sheboygan or Ashwaubenon, for that matter.

After the blue, all these designers came up with was stars and geometric shapes that are supposed to be ... something? Meanwhile, there is nothing in these new flags about our history, about the things that made Milwaukee the city it is.

The flag we have now seems to be just fine, for a flag. It bows to our history, which is kind of what a flag ought to do. I have the feeling that the new flag forces are trying to push this thing down our throats in order to match up with all the development taking place Downtown.

First of all, Milwaukee is much more than Downtown. Secondly, does changing this flag mean we are going to go through this every 20 years or so when things change in the city? That’s ridiculous. A flag takes on meaning the longer it remains The Flag.

That first stars and stripes sewn by Betsy Ross has only become more of a symbol of our country as the decades have passed. Yes, the design altered a bit with the additions of new states, but nobody ever said, "Well we have cars now, so let’s get a new flag to honor that."

One final thing is important to this whole argument.

I’m an Uber driver. And while I drive all over the city, I almost never see a Milwaukee flag on display. I drove around the city this week for two hours; I saw three flags. And City Hall was not one of those places.

My hope is that once all these design geeks get done with their precious process, ea…

Silk Exotic won an appeal Wednesday in its battle to open a strip club Downtown.
Silk Exotic won an appeal Wednesday in its battle to open a strip club Downtown.

Silk Exotic wins federal court appeal in battle for Downtown strip club

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago Wednesday ruled, 3-0, in favor of Silk Exotic in its lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee over denial of a license to operate a strip club Downtown.

The city lost at trial in federal court last year, but appealed the decision to the 7th circuit. The verdict granted almost half a million dollars in damages and the same amount in attorney fees, putting the city on the hook for over a million dollars.

"This case requires us to visit the world of strip clubs – establishments that no one seems to want, officially, but that are somehow quite lucrative," wrote Justice Diane Wood.

The decision went on to rule against every argument made by the city.

"The City is fighting a losing battle over a regime whose time has passed," Woods wrote. She said the judicial panel found "no merit" in the arguments or actions of the city.

Silk has an identical lawsuit pending in the court of Judge Lynn Adelman which is waiting for trial. If, as expected, the city lost that case as well, the amount owed by the city would be well over $2 million.

Silk has offered to give up on damages if the city approved a license to operate. Silk has applied several times for a license in various parts of the city, but each time the Utilities and Licensing Committee has voted against the club.

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more developments.