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Today was long, diverse and good. It will take some time to digest and connect the day. This morning was a workshop by Community Justice Council on Violence and Crime in Milwaukee. The specific presentation was on the Trauma Response Team for children in one of the police districts. It was good presentation and team will do some good helping people respond to trauma in the City. But a response is doing little to prevent trauma.

I am a firm believer that to change a system, like reduce violence and crime we must make the living environment for persons easier to be good by providing good education, providing unemployment, getting the people basics like stoves and refrigerators and decent housing. I was surprised how many in the room resonated with this thought. I need to follow up.

I got home and almost forgot about a meeting with a friend who needs help moving out of poverty in Milwaukee to a city up north where she has family and a job waiting. I will miss my friend who has been a strong leader for civil rights for persons in need.

When I got home today there was barely time for to check email and make some phone calls before Pat and I were off to see our monthly Film at the Milwaukee Film Festival. Todayís film was dramatic documentary on Janis Joplin, the great blues singer of the 60ís. It was well done using audio of letters Janis wrote her family, mixed with footage of her life and music and interviews with family and friends. One overwhelming impression was how present Janis was to her life and how true to herself she was. She felt deeply and it came out in her music. Feeling the pain of life drove her music but also drove her use of alcohol and drugs. People in her life pointed out how she needed something to cover the pain and suffering that is living for sensitive person. I need to reflect more about this and my own life.

Tonight I mostly sat in front of TV watching my favorite basketball team, Wisconsin, take on my brotherís, who lives in Iowa City, true team the Iowa Hawkeyes. The game was in Iowa City and Iowa is a top ranked team in basketball but, at the end, Wisconsin won.

Putting the day together will be hard but there are some hints in each of these experiences: creating an environment where it is easier to be good; finding an environment where one can start anew; staying at peace in a life full of pain and suffering; struggling for victory. Any hints on putting it all together?


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