Category Archives: Culture

Charging to State

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Something positive this week. Here it is:

Spoiled professional football players disrespecting their country’s flag; Olympic athletes getting caught doping; extensive corruption in FIFA; FBI arrests in college basketball … sports are supposed to be fun, right? It has been easy to forget that fact, but there is something special going on with the boys’ basketball team at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School to remind you.

After a run as impressive as it was improbable, the KML boys basketball team came back from a 13-point halftime deficit Saturday to defeat their East Central Conference rival Waupun Warriors and win the sectional championship. Now they are off to Madison to compete in the Division 3 WIAA Boys Basketball Tournament.

The road to the sectional championship was not easy for the Chargers. On March 3, the Chargers faced off against the Brown Deer Falcons who were the No. 1 seed and ranked No. 2 in the state. The Falcons were heavily favored, but the Chargers fought to a strong 10-point victory.

Next up was the perennial powerhouse, the Dominican Knights, with Alex Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee Bucks player Giannis Antetokounmpo attended the game to cheer on his brother in what was supposed to be an easy victory on the way to the championship. Instead, the KML Chargers played tough and clinched the win on a clutch basket at the buzzer by Solomon Zarling.

Embracing the motto, “embrace the grind,” the Chargers got right back to practice to face their powerful conference rivals, the Waupun Warriors, two days later. The game between the Warriors and the Chargers was everything that sports is supposed to be. The stands were packed with fans from both schools who mightily cheered for their respective teams.

The Warriors were unbeatable in the first half. With a staunch defense leaving the Chargers little room to maneuver, the Warriors gutted it out on the inside while sinking seven 3-pointers. With the final 3-pointer of the half swishing into the basket at the halftime buzzer, both teams entered the locker room at halftime with the Warriors ahead 3421. It seems like the Chargers’ journey was ending.

In the second half, the Warriors’ shooting went cold as the Chargers defense stepped up. The Chargers went on an 18-4 run to take a 39-38 lead before the Warriors could stop the bleeding. After going back and forth for several minutes, the Chargers pulled away to win the game, 53-48.

More impressive than the game was the sportsmanship displayed on both sides. Throughout the hard fought game, the fans, with rare exception, cheered for their team without booing the other side.

The boys on the court played hard and could be heard encouraging each other and forgiving mistakes easily. When it was all over, the Warriors players remained on the court to congratulate the Chargers despite their understandable disappointment. It was everything one could want from a game.

I have had the pleasure of watching several of the Charger boys play together since they were in grade school. They come from West Bend, Germantown, Jackson and all over Washington County and beyond. You will not find a better group of humble, competitive, cheerful, tough, thoughtful, Christian young men and it shows in how they play the game.

These young men remind us that faith, joy and character matter more than winning. They remind us of what sports is supposed to be. Coach Todd Jahns and his assistants expect nothing less from the young men in their charge.

This week will see teenagers being inspirational. It will happen on Thursday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. in Madison as the KML Chargers take on the No. 1-seeded Valders, who defeated Appleton Xavier.

Go Chargers!

Madison Schools Enable Anti-Gun Protests

The West Bend School District can be proud that it is in solidarity with the Madison districts.

On March 14, high school students around the country plan to walk out of their classrooms to demand more restrictive gun laws.

In Madison, after walking out of school, many students plan to keep walking to the state Capitol for a rally. While the walkout is not sponsored or endorsed by any school districts, several officials are announcing their respect for the students’ right to protest and are allowing parents and guardians to excuse absences.

“We are incredibly proud of the young people, both nationally and here in Madison, who have raised their voices about gun control and their right to be safe at school. Our district stands with our students as they demand action,” said Jennifer Cheatham, superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District.

Clearly, using kids as props to advance a leftist agenda takes priority over education.

Most “Wisconsiny” Rule Ever


Warren Defends Her “Truth”


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., argued that her family’s claim to Native American ancestry is an indelible part of who she is — something that can never be taken away.

Warren defended herself on NBC’s “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” Sunday morning when asked what she thought about taking an easily accessible DNA test, such as those offered by 23andMe or Ancestry, to settle the ongoing controversy over her heritage.

Rather than address that question specifically, Warren told a story about how her mother and father, born and raised in Oklahoma, met as teenagers and fell head-over-heels in love. Her father’s family was bitterly opposed to their relationship, she said, because her mother was part Native American, but the couple eloped and persevered.

“That’s the story that my brothers and I all learned from our Mom and our Dad, from our grandparents and all of our aunts and uncles. It’s a part of me, and nobody is going to take that part of me away — not ever,” Warren said.

After hearing this story, Todd returned to his initial concern: Why not do genealogical research or take a DNA test to find out her actual heritage? What’s wrong with knowing whether her family’s story was the truth?

“I do know. I know who I am. And never used it for anything, never got any benefit out of it anywhere,” she said.

This is pure liberal. She would rather defend her fictional family lore as “truth” instead of getting to the real truth. The story is more important to her than truth. Meanwhile, she is appropriating someone else’s heritage without shame or apology.

West Bend School District Facilitates Protest

This is stupid.

West Bend School District has released the following statement:

“Administrators and teachers at West Bend Joint School District #1, West Bend East High School, West Bend West High School, and Badger Middle School are aware of the potential peaceful school walkout on March 14 at 10:00 a.m. by students to show their concerns about school safety.

“The West Bend School District will not penalize students who choose to assemble peacefully for 17 minutes on March 14. After talking with students and staff, the school principals have developed plans to maintain the safety of the participating and non-participating students and to minimize interference with educational programming.

“Those students who wish to participate in the walkout will be monitored and supervised by school staff to ensure that any walkout is safe and orderly. The West Bend Police Department will also help to ensure the safety of students to assemble in predesignated areas.

“Students who choose to participate will be expected to return to class in a timely manner and resume the school day. Students who fail to return to class will be considered truant in violation of school rules. For students who choose not to participate, school administrators and teachers are planning for classroom instruction to continue.”

School is for school. The kids are there to get an education. Of the 168 hours in a week, the kids spend less than 40 in the classroom. They can protest on their own time.

The real problem is that now the school district has inserted itself into being an arbiter of political issues. Would they do this for a Black Lives Matter protest? Anti-abortion protest? Pro-2nd Amendment protest? Pro-illegal immigration protest? $15 minimum wage protest? Which ones does the school staff supervise and which ones do they prohibit?

What they should have done is reiterate to the kids the importance of education and enforced their normal policies for tardiness or unexcused absences. If the kids want to protest, then so be it. Who ever said that protesting is free of consequences?

Paul Allen’s Crew Finds the USS Lexington


The Lexington was critically damaged. Despite the best effort of its crew, it was reduced to a burning wreck. It had to be scuttled.

Now, 76 years after it settled to the bottom, it’s been found.

It’s the latest find by billionaire Paul Allen.

And it’s in a remarkably well preserved condition.

Soon-to-be US ambassador to Australia, US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris says he is elated at the find.

“As the son of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I offer my congratulations to Paul Allen and the expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel for locating the ‘Lady Lex’,” he said in a tweet.

Dodge County Sheriff Opines on Root Cause of Mass Violence


I think perhaps we are not evaluating the true root cause which is obviously very complex. We must make efforts to change our society as a whole. It’s my belief that the root cause starts with our youth lacking basic skills including respect for authority figures like parents and teachers, the ability to cope with conflict and the ability to handle rejection. Further issues like mental health and alcohol/drug use also play a role, but column length restrictions limit my ability to cover all aspects of the root cause today.

I believe it is imperative that we raise our children in a manner that instills respect for authority. While we all love our children, we need to get back to a society of parents who expect a level of respect toward both them and others in authority, including teachers.  Discipline needs to be reintegrated into our society.  Parents, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t reasonably discipline your child in a non-abusive manner. Teachers need to have the support of parents when they make disciplinary decisions and parents need to resist the urge of running to the defense of their children when a teacher feels the need to discipline.  It undermines their authority and will likely be treated as an example for actions toward others in authority in the future.

What about inability to cope or handle rejection?  For years we have watched as competition has been replaced by participation awards that are given to make children feel good.  While no one wants their child to ever be disappointed or upset, when they are young, they need to face conflict and disappointment and learn to resolve it appropriately under the guidance of adults.  It is part of developing their personality and dealing with conflict in the future.  When youth are not taught how to handle difficult situations, they must find their own way to cope, which without guidance may be result in unhealthy or even dangerous future behavior.  I am no expert and am merely giving an opinion of what I have seen in my own experience, but I feel that my opinions have merit as I have witnessed people dealing with difficult situations at the worst times of their lives.

The Lonely Life of Girls

We have created a real and digital proxy universe in which it is nearly impossible to meet everyone’s expectations.

And social media — where, according to Pew Research, girls tend to dominate, using visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat in far greater numbers than boys — isn’t helping the matter. The pressure to get at least one like per minute on Instagram and keep up scores of daily Snapchat “streaks” is unending.
“I can’t go to sleep at night until I answer all my notifications,” one high school student told me last week. Adolescent girls get the least sleep of any group of youth.
But social media and the internet are only part of the issue. I have been asking adolescent girls to describe what it means to them to be successful. They tell me they are under pressure to be superhuman: ambitious, smart and hardworking, athletic, pretty and sexy, socially active, nice and popular — both online and off.
Psychologists call this “role overload” — too many roles for a single person to play — and “role conflict”– when the roles you play are at odds with one another. The effort required to get a bikini body will cut away at the hours you need to spend in the lab to get into medical school.
The sheer impossibility of measuring up has left a generation of girls with the enduring belief that, no matter how many achievements they rack up, they are not enough as they are. The path their mothers and grandmothers cleared so their girls could enjoy every opportunity is marked by self criticism, overthinking and fear of failure.
I would suggest that a return to faith and human relationships is needed. Badly.

Yes Virginia, There Are Cowards

There’s no other word for it.

(CNN)When Nikolas Cruz started shooting last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, an armed deputy stationed at the Florida school rushed to the building.

But instead of going inside, the officer waited outside for four minutes as the gunman killed students and faculty inside, authorities said.
School resource officer Scot Peterson never went in, despite taking a position on the west side of Building 12, where most of the carnage happened, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday.

RIP Billy Graham

RIP Billy Graham.

The world’s best-known evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, has died. He was 99.

From the gangly 16-year-old baseball-loving teen who found Christ at a tent revival, Graham went on to become an international media darling, a preacher to a dozen presidents and the voice of solace in times of national heartbreak. He was America’s pastor.

Graham retired to his mountain home at Montreat, N.C., in 2005 after nearly six decades on the road calling people to Christ at 417 all-out preaching and musical events from Miami to Moscow. His final New York City crusade in 2005 was sponsored by 1,400 regional churches from 82 denominations.

He was arguably the most influential Christian of the 20th Century outside of the Pope.

Red Flag Laws?

If written correctly, I could support a law like this.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The warnings around Nikolas Cruz seemed to flash like neon signs: expelled from school, fighting with classmates, a fascination with weapons and hurting animals, disturbing images and comments posted to social media, previous mental health treatment.

In Florida, that wasn’t enough for relatives, authorities or his schools to request a judicial order barring him from possessing guns.

Only five states have laws enabling family members, guardians or police to ask judges to temporarily strip gun rights from people who show warning signs of violence. Supporters of these measures, deemed “red flag laws” or gun-violence restraining orders, say they can save lives by stopping some shootings and suicides.


Without red flag laws, the main recourse available to family members is to have a troubled loved one committed to a psychiatric institution. Federal law permanently bans anyone who has been involuntary committed from owning guns, but such actions are more difficult to carry out than red flag laws, which are intended to be quick and temporary and have a lower standard of proof.


The red flag laws act as a sort of timeout, so someone in psychological distress can get counseling while their fitness to possess a gun is evaluated, said Laura Cutilletta, legal director of the Giffords Law Center.

We have rightfully made it very difficult to strip someone of their freedom and commit them to an institution. But there are clearly people out there who are mentally ill, chemically imbalanced, or truly struggling, and there are very few ways to protect society from them until they are stable again. Some middle road – like red flag laws – might be a way to help that. The key is that there needs to be rigorous due process and that process should default to the free access of civil rights.

It’s worth a look.

Purdue Will Stop Marketing Oxycontin

Wow. Excellent.

NEW YORK (AP) — The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin said it will stop marketing opioid drugs to doctors, bowing to a key demand of lawsuits that blame the company for helping trigger the current drug abuse epidemic.

OxyContin has long been the world’s top-selling opioid painkiller, bringing in billions in sales for privately-held Purdue, which also sells a newer and longer-lasting opioid drug called Hysingla.

The company announced its surprise reversal on Saturday. Purdue’s statement said it eliminated more than half its sales staff this week and will no longer send sales representatives to doctors’ offices to discuss opioid drugs. Its remaining sales staff of about 200 will focus on other medications.

Remember that Washington County joined the lawsuit against Purdue and other manufacturers last year.

LL Bean Ends Unlimited Returns

Some folks just ruin it for everyone.

L.L. Bean’s generous return policy is going to be a little less forgiving, after people have abused the policy and are returning items they bought at thrift stores and found in the trash.

The company, which has touted its 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for more than a century, is imposing a one-year limit on most returns to reduce growing abuse and fraud.

The outdoor specialty retailer said returns of items that have been destroyed or rendered useless, including some purchased at thrift stores or retrieved from trash bins, have doubled in the past five years, surpassing the annual revenue from the company’s famous boot.

‘The numbers are staggering,’ CEO Steve Smith said. ‘It’s not sustainable from a business perspective. It’s not reasonable. And it’s not fair to our customers.’

Bader Out

That’s a shame.

GREEN BAY – Conservative radio talk show host Jerry Bader was let go by Midwest Communications on Thursday. Bader said in a email it was because of his coverage of President Donald Trump.

Bader’s show was broadcast on WTAQ-AM from 8:40-11 a.m. daily in Green Bay. The station also carries conservative hosts Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, none of whom are as critical of Trump as Bader sometimes was.

Bader recently changed the tagline of his program from “Close captioned for the reality impared” to “Truth over tribe.”

“Following my show today, management at Midwest Communications informed me that I was being let go. It was made clear to me that the reason was the manner in which I covered President Trump,” Bader said in his email.

“I have always tried to tell what I believed is the truth and more recently to comport my behavior, on and off the air, with my Christ-following faith, after I was saved in 2016. I’ve always known it was MWC’s microphone that I used each day. I have no regrets on how I’ve handled the show the past two and a half years.”

I never listened to Bader’s show, so I can’t comment on the content. Media is notoriously ratings driven, so I would assume that his listenership has dropped off recently. Perhaps that’s because of the content. Perhaps people just moved on. In any case, I’m glad that Bader will continue to contribute to the conservative thought landscape in his role at MediaTrackers.

Wisconsin has had a remarkable run with in local talk radio that is almost unique in the nation. With the decline of 620 and now this, that run is slowing down. 1130 has a fantastic local lineup now, but they are the last one in the state.

Olympian in Debt

This just seems extraordinarily stupid. I hope that the media doesn’t glorify her reckless financial decisions.

A U.S. bobsleigh athlete has revealed she is already on skid row before she bids for glory in the Big Freeze Winter Olympics set to take place on Friday.

Katie Uhlaender, the Colorado-born double World Cup winner told she is deeply in debt, has no job and nowhere to live.

And a gold medal victory here will not ease her financial woes without Uncle Sam getting his share of her award.

The 33-year-old daughter of MLB star and former Cleveland Indians coach Ted Uhlaender, has been told the US public purse will gobble up a large chunk of the $37,500 the American Olympic Committee is set to pay out if she strikes gold.

Many athletes are solely keen to achieve Olympic gold and reap the lifelong adulation and glory which inevitably follows individual triumph on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

West Bend Senior Petitions for Volunteer Cords at Graduation

This seems like kind of a neat idea. It does open a door for having a cord for everything, but that’s a bridge to cross another day.

Feb. 4, 2018 – West Bend, WI – A West Bend West High School senior is trying her best to make a difference.  Serenity Krueger is collecting signatures on an idea to allow students with more than 100 hours of volunteering to receive a cord at graduation.

Krueger’s petition to West Bend High School administration is on  it’s titled, ‘Allow volunteer cords at graduation.

When you walk into a High School, you are welcomed by a wide assortment of students. Athletes, Honor/AP students, Humanitarians and so many more different groups of students. So why at the biggest event of our school careers, are only the athletes or scholarly kids given awards or shown any kind of respect at graduation. We are here to change graduation to encompass the whole of the West Bend High School. Our goal is to introduce volunteerism cords to graduation to showcase the huge amount of volunteerism that is within our school.  To achieve this cord, a student must meet the requirement of having at least 100 documented hours of volunteering in the community. Overall, this will achieve a more willingness to volunteer around the community for students as well as a sense of involvement and belonging in the school.

Krueger approached Lois Pellegrini, head of the College and Career Center at the West Bend High Schools. “She sent an email to administration, I think Mr. Schlass, and they told me ‘no because graduation is about academics,’” said Krueger.


Here it is.

It is basically what we thought, but seeing it laid out is still shocking… and scary.

The FISA process is set up to allow our government to secretly spy on American citizens if they are suspected of foreign espionage. The process is set up so that the government agency must get a FISA court’s permission based on probable cause and renew that permission every 90 days. It is supposed to protect the 4th Amendment rights of Americans.

In this case, the FBI presented the Steele Dossier as probable cause to spy on American citizens working on a political campaign. The FBI did so without disclosing to the court that the dossier was paid for by an opposing political campaign or that Steele had repeatedly voiced his passionate opposition to Trump.

Is that how easy it is for our government to spy on us? The FBI can just use a trumped up report from a political campaign to spy on Americans? That’s scary.

After the abuses we saw with the John Doe and now the FBI, it is past time for citizens to yank back the chain on our rogue government agencies.

Fight for $15 Movement Calls for Strike

I’ll go ahead and predict now that their strike will be an utter failure. A few dozen stores across the nation will have a few employees walk out and the media will cover it like it’s a big deal.

The Fight for $15, the movement that has galvanized city campaigns to raise the pay of low-wage workers, is teaming up with the civil rights leader William Barber for a day of action in support of racial justice and voting rights.

The organization is calling on fast-food workers in two dozen southern cities to go on strike on 12 February, to mark the 50th anniversary of the famed Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, which began shortly before the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

And then there’s this:

The collaboration also shows that Fight for $15’s goals have expanded beyond higher wages at fast-food franchises toward fighting for racial justice and voting rights. Two ministers, Barber and Liz Theoharis, are heading the new effort, officially called “the Poor People’s Campaign: a National Call for Moral Revival”. They are seizing on the 50th anniversary of King’s campaign to relaunch the effort, and trying to make poverty the center of the national conversation.

 I think a lot of charity and non-profit groups make the mistake of diluting their mission. Agree with it or not, “Fight for $15” is a very clear mission with a tangible goal. It’s something that people can get behind. There are hundreds of organizations that are “fighting for racial justice and voting rights” – however they define those. What does Fight for $15 bring to the table that all of those other groups don’t?

Senate Fails to Protect Babies


Washington (AFP) – US Senate Democrats blocked a controversial measure Monday that would ban and criminalize abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, scuttling a longtime priority of conservatives in Congress.

President Donald Trump described the failure of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as “disappointing,” and urged senators to reconsider.

The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the bill in the 100-member Senate, although it earned a narrow majority in the chamber, 51 to 46.

Cultures Then and Now

I love reading old history books. For example, I have a history of WW1 that was published in 1919 – right after the war ended – by an American writer. It is full of one-sided versions of battles, missing information that has since been learned (like the internal political battles in Germany), and is still full of anger for the hated “Krauts” and “Huns.” It’s like reading two histories in one – one about the subject matter and one about the culture and mindset of the writer in the era the book was written.

In any case, I’m currently reading “History of the Conquest of Mexico, with a preliminary view of the ancient Mexican Civilization, and the life of the conqueror, Hernando Cortes.” Quite a title, eh? It was published in 1843 by an American historian William H. Prescott

It is a fascinating read for the subject, but also for the 19th century American perspective of ancient and current cultures. For example, read this excerpt from pages 72-73. After extolling the virtues and advanced nature of the Aztec and Tezcucan civilizations, Prescott writes:

“Those familiar with the modern Mexicans will find it difficult to conceive that the nation should ever have been capable of devising the enlightened polity which we have been considering, But they should remember that in the Mexicans of our day they see only a conquered race; as different from their ancestors as are the modern Egyptians from those who built, – I will not say, the tasteless pyramids,- but the temples and palaces, whose magnificent wrecks strew the borders of the Nile, at Luxor and Karnac. The difference is not so great as between the ancient Greek, and his degenerate descendant, lounging among the masterpieces of art which he has scarcely taste enough to admire,- speaking the language of those still more imperishable monuments of literature which he has hardly capacity to comprehend. Yet he breathes the same atmosphere, is warmed by the same sun, nourished by the same scenes, as those who fell at Marathon, and won the trophies of Olympic Pisa. The same blood flows in his veins that flowed in theirs. But ages of tyranny have passed over him; he belongs to a conquered race.

The American Indian has something peculiarly sensitive in his nature. He shrinks instinctively from the rude touch of a foreign hand. Even when this foreign influence comes in the form of civilization, he seems to sink and pine away beneath it. It has been so with the Mexicans. Under the Spanish domination, their numbers have silently melted away. Their energies are broken. They no longer tread their mountain plains with the conscious independence of their ancestors. In their faltering step, and meek and melancholy aspect, we read the sad characters of the conquered race. The cause of humanity, indeed, has gained. They live under a better system of laws, a more assured tranquility, a purer faith. But all does not avail. Their civilization was of a hardy character which belongs to the wilderness. The fierce virtues of the Aztec were all his own. They refused to submit to European culture, – to be engrafted on a foreign stock. His outward form, his complexion, his lineaments, are substantially the same. But the moral characteristics of the nation, all that constituted its individuality as a race, are effaced for ever.”

Wow. Good ol’ Mr. Prescott really hated Greeks. In any case, reading old histories is a good way to remind oneself that every human is full of biases and emotions that they are incapable of completely subjugating to an idealized standard. This is especially true when reading modern news stories.