Category Archives: Culture

Dead Babies Found Stuffed in Ceilings and Freezers

Horrible… just, horrible.

Detroit (AFP) – Police in the US city of Detroit have found 63 fetuses at a funeral home during a widening investigation of alleged malpractice at such facilities, US media reported.

“This is larger than we might know,” The Detroit News quoted Police Chief James Craig as saying. “It’s unbelievable.”

He spoke to reporters after officers on Friday raided Perry Funeral Home, where they found the remains of 36 fetuses in boxes and an additional 27 in freezers.

Michigan state regulators suspended the home’s license, a week after investigators found the remains of 10 fetuses in a false ceiling at another funeral home in the city.

[…]

One parent has sued Perry Funeral Home, and other agencies, alleging that the home stored the remains of stillborn and live birth babies at a university morgue for up to three years without notifying parents, the News said.

Recruitment Issues

Here’s a stunning, if not surprising, bit of data in the Washington County Daily News:

According to a news release, 71 percent of the nation’s youth are ineligible for military service. The most common reasons for exclusion are obesity, drug use, low aptitude and physical and/or mental health issues. Muth said obesity is the “largest disqualifier” at about 31 percent.

On the other hand, I would question the need for physical fitness for many jobs. In an era where many military jobs – even combat roles -involve sitting at a computer, who cares how many sit-ups the person can do? Cyberwarfare is probably fought best by the Cheetos-eating basement-dwellers.

Woke School Cancels Education

Sigh

When Shorewood High School chose “To Kill a Mockingbird” as this year’s annual fall play, it seemed a relevant commentary on the times.

Based on the Harper Lee classic about a white southern lawyer defending an innocent black man in the 1930s, it is a story about segregation and racism, a broken criminal justice system and the sacrifices of those who would stand up for what is right.

But Lee’s book, which has been banned by many schools across the country, remains as controversial today as it did when she wrote it. On Thursday, just hours before the curtain was to go up, Shorewood canceled the production in response to a planned protest over the use of the ‘N’ word in some scenes.

News of a protest had circulated on social media early in the day.  And by mid-afternoon, Superintendent Bryan Davis pulled the plug, saying the district should have done a better job engaging the community “about the sensitivity of this performance.”

“We’ve concluded that the safest option is to cancel the play,” Davis said in a statement.

Taylor Woke

Why? WHY!?!? am I finding myself agreeing with Piers Morgan TWICE in a month?

Oh Taylor.

Why, why, WHY?

Just when I thought you were the only sane celebrity left in this increasingly mad world of frenzied partisan bullsh*t, you suddenly decide to go all ‘woke’ on me.

As you once sang: ‘Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?’

Of course, we all know the answer.

Taylor Swift, who is hugely popular in middle America, hasn’t chosen this moment to abandon her very sensible apolitical stance and come out as a Democrat because she genuinely thought: ‘Oh, I must alienate half my audience today.’

No, she’s done it because the howling Twitter mob hammered her into submission.

‘I’m not going to sit here and go into my political views,’ she said a few years ago, ‘because that’s not what I choose to do. I choose to do music.’

Exactly.

She was right then, and she would be right now.

But such a refreshing attitude from an entertainer is now deemed unacceptable.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, Taylor has been roundly abused by vicious trolls on social media for NOT attacking him in public.

She was branded a coward and a traitor, and a dog whistler for white supremacists.

Even mainstream media piled on her, condemning her for her silence.

Astronaut Kelly Apologizes for Quoting 20th Century Hero

What a disgrace that (1) people thought he should apologize and (2) that he did.

One of the unwritten rules of social media is avoid inspirational quotes.

American astronaut Scott Kelly put that to the test on Sunday when his use of Winston Churchill quotes landed him in hot water with people who oppose the wartime British prime minister’s views on empire and race.

But when Kelly tried to apologise for the tweet and offered to educate himself, Churchill fans attacked him for discrediting the politician’s record.

Kelly, whose sister-in-law is former Democrat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, used a famous remark by Churchill to comment on deep divisions in American politics.

One Judge

From Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn.

ONE JUDGE. Our country is bitterly divided over the nomination of one judge to fill one seat on one court. Think about that. This began long before the recent allegations came to light. Our political leaders have, since Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court this summer, described this as a fight for the future of our country. But should the appointment of one judge really cause such significant social division?

In our constitutional order, judges were meant to have a modest role, applying the law to the facts of individual cases. Alexander Hamilton assured his readers in Federalist 78 that the judiciary was designed to be the “least dangerous branch.” But over time, increasingly political judges have assumed an increasingly significant role over American life. As judges began to act more like legislators, is it any wonder that the American people and their representatives treat them so?

Indeed. The anger that is rending the country is a symptom of the fact that we have invested far too much power in the Supreme Court.

Deer Transport Regulation Repealed

Excellent.

NORTHWOODS – This hunting season, the Department of Natural Resources put some extra effort into stopping the spread of chronic wasting disease. They tried to pass a regulation on Monday that will make it so hunters cannot remove deer carcasses from CWD affected counties. The Legislative Joint Committee on Rules and Regulations revoked that regulation this week.

The regulation prohibiting hunters from moving deer carcasses out of CWD-affected counties was supposed to take effect on Monday.

Those who voted to repeal the regulation say they did so because they felt there wasn’t enough time and notice to the deer hunters of Wisconsin. Four committee members voted to keep the regulation, six voted to repeal it.

“I was very glad to hear that the court system vetoed it,” said Jay Schaefer who owns a small butcher shop in Crandon.

Jay Schaefer owns a small butcher shop in Crandon. He and his team process around 500 deer every hunting season. This regulation might have meant some lost customers for him.

“People buy tracts of land in different counties and set up their deer camps and cabins there so there is much travel involved,” Schaefer said.

This would also mean less choice for hunters. According to Dan Grunst, who owns an archery store in Rhinelander, this idea wasn’t popular with the people who came into his shop either.

“If they harvest a deer they want to be able to take it to their processor back home,” Grunst said.

I question how much of a positive impact this regulation would have had on stemming the tide of CWD, but I am certain that it would have butchered the income of SE Wisconsin processors. A lot of folks from the urban areas go up north to hunt, but bring their deer home for processing. This saves another trip way up north to collect the butchered deer later in the winter.

Belief Is Not a Substitute for Evidence

Brilliant.

That’s especially because Blasey is a compelling, even emblematic, figure, and the fight against sexual assault a good and necessary cause. The history of civil-rights abuses is often connected to such causes. The McCarthyism of the 1950s sprang from well-grounded fears of communist espionage and Soviet intentions. The well-documented miscarriages of justice in campus sexual assault investigations are the outgrowth of an effort to stamp out a real problem.

The enduring challenge of liberal societies is to react to such challenges, not overreact. The guardrails against overreaction are based in the presumption of innocence and the legal, institutional and personal norms that bolster that presumption. To deny Kavanaugh’s confirmation based on Blasey’s allegation alone — never mind those of Deborah Ramirez or Julie Swetnick — is to remove one of the guardrails for all future nominees of whatever party.

Is that a good idea? More particularly, is it an idea for liberals to embrace, given that we live in an era in which a right-wing demagogue can mobilize millions of Americans to believe just about anything? When politics becomes solely a matter of “I believe” versus “I believe,” it descends into a raw contest for power. Historically, it’s been fascists, not liberals, who tend to win such contests.

Money = Happiness?

Given the wild swing in results in one year, I’m going to suggest that their survey methodology is flawed.

At $118,000 a year, the price tag for men’s happiness amounts to about twice as much as the $58,500 annually, on average, that Millennial woman say they need, according to a recent survey of 1,519 people age 21-37 by TD Ameritrade.

It’s also more than twice as much as the $55,000 that Millennial men said they needed to be happy just two years ago. Women reported only needing $48,500 to be happy in 2016.

Of course, we all know that money doesn’t always translate to happiness, so the premise of the question is flawed.

Trump Asserts America at U.N.

Don’t read the news reports of Trump’s speech at the U.N. today. It was a long speech that covered a lot of topics. The media will only cover small parts and will focus on the parts they didn’t like. Instead, go read the whole thing. It was an impressive speech for its clarity of vision and robust assertion of American values.

For example, here’s one part:

Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.

That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination.

I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.

Amen. And this:

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

This:

I spoke before this body last year and warned that the U.N. Human Rights Council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution, shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.

Our Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course: We withdrew from the Human Rights Council, and we will not return until real reform is enacted.

For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support in recognition to the International Criminal Court. As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy, and no authority. The ICC claims near-universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness, and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.

And:

In America, we believe in the majesty of freedom and the dignity of the individual. We believe in self-government and the rule of law. And we prize the culture that sustains our liberty -– a culture built on strong families, deep faith, and fierce independence. We celebrate our heroes, we treasure our traditions, and above all, we love our country.

One might not agree with all of it (I disagree with him regarding trade policies), but he has articulated a clear vision for his administration. Go read it.

Claim: Facebook Fails to Protect Moderators from Mental Trauma

Who’s watching over the watchers?

A former Facebook contract employee has lodged a suit against the company, alleging that content moderators who face mental trauma after reviewing distressing images on the platform are not being properly protected by the social networking giant.

Facebook moderators under contract are “bombarded” with “thousands of videos, images and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder”, the lawsuit said.

“Facebook is ignoring its duty to provide a safe workplace and instead creating a revolving door of contractors who are irreparably traumatized by what they witnessed on the job,” Korey Nelson, a lawyer for former Facebook contract employee Selena Scola, said in a statement Monday.

Facebook in the past has said all of its content reviewers have access to mental health resources, including trained professionals onsite for both individual and group counseling, and they receive full health care benefits.

Male Rapist Identifies as Woman Goes on to Rape Women in Prison

Ummmnnnn

We have reached peak absurdity in the transgender movement denying biological reality. The Daily Mail reported last week that a male rapist, pedophile, and convicted sex offender “whose previous offences had been committed when [he] was a man” began identifying as a woman. Therefore, he was sent to a women-only prison, where he went on to sexually assault four female inmates.

Betty White is OK

Whew.

how unfortunate for an award show celebrating TV to fail to produce any moment of perceptible value outside of letting us know that Betty White is doing OK. And there’s no more potent catalyst for the need to know that Betty White is alive and well than watching three hours of comedy’s new regime produce that Emmy Awards telecast.

Acne Positivity Is a Thing

Huh.

After years of oppressive aesthetic perfection, acne positivity is a drive for people to be more open about their skin problems, from the occasional spot to full-blown cystic acne. It joins recent moves to celebrate the many and varied appearances of our skin – from vitiligo to freckles and stretch marks – but also seeks to educate those who still believe that acne is a problem for the unwashed and unhealthy.

Many trace the movement back to the British blogger Em Ford, who in 2015 posted a YouTube video called You Look Disgusting. It showed her both in full makeup and bare-faced with her acne visible, as a succession of comments people had posted about her skin sprung up around her: “WTF is wrong with her face?”, “I can’t even look at her”, “Ewww, gross, horrible, ugly …”. In the first week alone, it amassed 10 million views. Ford, whose YouTube channel My Pale Skin now has more than one million subscribers, will shortly launch You Look Disgusting 2.0.

Baseless Accusation Against Kavanaugh Shouldn’t Delay Vote

This is nuts. Even the BBC reporter has some very valid questions:

There are plenty of reasonable, sensitive questions arising from the Kavanaugh/Ford story.

First and most important, is the alleged incident true? Do the therapists’ notes, which have some flaws, count as corroboration?

If the incident is true, to what extent does it have a relevant bearing on the judge’s character today, 36 years later?

If no other women come forward with similar accusations, should it be dismissed as the egregious but one-off failing of a teenager?

If it’s not true, why was it raised it now and what impact should it have on both the judge and his accuser?

All of these questions are open for debate in a sensible, thoughtful way. I for one don’t have clear answers on any of them.

In the end, this is just going to be a he said/she said about something that happened over 30 years ago. People who don’t want Kavanaugh confirmed are going to insist that the accusation is true. Reasonable people will wonder why this is only coming up now. None of it has anything to do with the character of the man in 2018 or his lengthy tenure as a lawyer and judge.

Take the vote.

Union Thug Cyber-Stalks Wigderson’s Kid

That’s just creepy and unstable behavior. What kind of “teacher” goes after someone’s kid just because she doesn’t like his opinions?

Just when you thought the Left couldn’t get any lower, they can. A self-described “union thug” reached out to RightWisconsin Editor James Wigderson’s minor daughter to criticize him and her school on social media.

Angela Schissler Goodwin, a Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) school teacher who also describes herself as a “MKE liberal,” tracked down Wigderson’s daughter on Facebook and sent her a unsolicited message about her father.

“We are offended by what was said about MPS. We are an MPS family and those insults are reckless generalizations,” Goodwin wrote to James Wigderson’s daughter. “I can’t imagine why he has such mean ideas about a group of people.”

The pronoun “he” makes it clear that Goodwin knew she was contacting James Wigderson’s daughter, not James Wigderson himself. Goodwin is not a Facebook friend of James Wigderson’s daughter and would have had to specifically search her out online.

James Wigderson’s contact information is also available online.

In Goodwin’s Facebook intro, she describes herself: “Wifey, mom, daughter, sister, union thug public school teacher, recovering Catholic, MKE 414 Liberal.”

UW-Whitewater’s Chancellor’s Husband Banned From Campus #metoo

This is the most Clinton excuse ever.

Most recently, a female employee told an investigator last spring that Hill squeezed her knee under a table “not less than three times.” The employee sat between Hill and Kopper at the April 2018 event.

Hill told the investigator it was one time, not three, and that he had to move her leg so he could reach his own to massage a cramp in his calf.

Oh, here’s the context:

The University of Wisconsin System banned the husband of UW-Whitewater’s chancellor from campus and ended his unpaid appointment after a sexual harassment investigation found “merit” to the allegations made against him.

Chancellor Beverly Kopper announced the news in a statement Friday, saying that she “fully supported and cooperated with” the System’s investigation against her husband, Alan “Pete” Hill.

Eminem Regrets Use of Gay Slur

This is hilarious. Have you ever listened to Eminem? He uses just about every slur in the book. But this is the bridge too far?

Eminem says he was uncomfortable with homophobic lyrics he wrote and released on his recent album, Kamikaze.

He faced criticism for his language on album track Fall while speaking about Tyler, The Creator.

Eminem says he “felt like this might be too far”, in a new interview to promote the record on his own YouTube channel.

“In my quest to hurt him, I realize that I was hurting a lot of other people by saying it,” says Eminem.

“It was one of the things that I kept going back to and going ‘I don’t feel right with this’.”

[…]

Eminem has been criticised for his use of homophobic lyrics throughout his 20-year career in the mainstream.

His early albums are littered with gay slurs.

The rapper has previously defended his offensive language, saying that he believes the F-word is the same as calling someone a ‘punk’.

But he also formed a friendship with Elton John, who said in 2017 that Eminem was not homophobic and claimed he was “writing about the way things are, not how he thinks.”

“It’s OK… I have a lot of gay friends…”

Nine Eleven

This summer I spent a little time in Manhattan with a couple of my teenage daughters. We took in the sights, toured the museums, enjoyed the food, and explored the city. We made a special point of visiting the 9/11 Museum and memorial prior to seeing Come From Away on Broadway. It was not my first time to Ground Zero, but it was their first time. Being there always gets to me. The searing memories of that day still burn. Standing there… seeing the remnants… hearing the 911 calls and cockpit recordings… it still hurts.

My daughters were babies when 9/11 happened and have grown up in the post-9/11 world. I imagine that me talking about 9/11 to them is akin to my parents talking to me about the Kennedy assassination. Whatever, dad… The world in which we live – the September 12th world – is the only world they have ever known. But being in the ruins of the Twin Towers, I think they began to understand. In particular, hearing the phone calls and flight recorder from Flight 93 and those last moments of fear, courage, and resolve, hit all of us hard. Heroes.

If you have the opportunity to visit Ground Zero, don’t miss it. Amid the ruins, artifacts, and memorial are the signs of rebirth and renewal.

But most of all… Never Forget.

20180721_151850


20180721_150533

Opioid Crisis Linked to Decreased Labor Force Participation

Speaking of West Virginia

The opioid crisis appears to be contributing to decreased labor force participation, especially in certain U.S. states, according to a chart by Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok.

Opioid use has been one of many driving forces behind higher disability rates, Yahoo Finance previously reported, which leads to more people being out of the labor force (even when the overall economy is humming).

West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas are seeing a particularly high correlation between opioid prescriptions and lack of labor market participation, as indicated by this chart:

Torsten Slok / Deutsche Bank Research