Boots & Sabers

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USC Cancels All Graduation Speakers

Liberals ruin everything.

Amid the decision to cancel this year’s valedictorian speech, the University of Southern California announced it would be eliminating all outside speakers and honorees from its main-stage commencement taking place next month.

In a memo released on Friday, the university said, “To keep the focus on our graduates, we are redesigning the commencement program. Given the highly publicized circumstances surrounding our main-stage commencement program, university leadership has decided it is best to release our outside speakers and honorees from attending this year’s ceremony.”

Teen Arrested to Thwart School Massacre

It’s good that the police were able to intervene before the teen did something. Clearly this is another isolated, mentally ill teen who needs help.

transgender 18-year-old planned a school shooting because he ‘wanted to be famous’, according to cops who arrested him after finding his 129-page ‘manifesto’.

 

Andrea Ye, whose preferred name is Alex, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with making threats of mass violence after allegedly planning to shoot up Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland.

 

Police swooped on Ye after finding a ‘manifesto’ written by the teen which they said ‘writes about committing a school shooting, and strategizes how to carry out the act’.

 

In the pages, Ye allegedly wrote that he ‘wants to be famous’ and contemplated targeting an elementary school as ‘little kids make easier targets’.

 

[…]

 

Montgomery County Public Schools told Fox that Ye is an active student at Wootton High School in Rockville but has been attending through a virtual program and hadn’t been on campus physically since 2022.

 

Police reportedly said in court records that Ye’s sex is female but he uses male pronouns.

UTD Eliminates DEI Positions

Of course, we all need to be vigilant about DEI being infused in other ways, but this is manifestly positively. When I see these stories about universities and companies eliminating DEI positions, it does make me marvel at how much cost has been ladled onto students and taxpayers by these universities for things that had zero – or, perhaps, negative – value for the students’ education.

More than three months after a law banning diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education went into effect, the University of Texas at Dallas has announced it will officially be eliminating around 20 positions. 

 

According to a recent announcement from the university, they will be closing the Office of Campus Resources and Support to comply with state law. 

 

“As a result, effective April 30, 2024, the Office of Campus Resources and Support (OCRS) and approximately 20 associated jobs will be eliminated,” UTD President Dr. Richard C. Benson announced in a letter.

 

Benson added that all employees being affected will be able to apply for other open positions on campus and directed hiring managers to give “these experienced and talented individuals careful review when making their hiring decisions.”

 

The elimination of these positions at UTD follows the University of Texas laying off dozens of employees working in DEI positions. 

Black Chicagoans Upset With Illegal Alien Policies

Chicago is run completely by Democrats. Illinois is run completely by Democrats. Biden is intentionally flooding the country with illegal aliens as a policy imperative. As long as Black folks vote 90% for Democrats irrespective of performance, their votes and values will continue to be ignored in favor of others. In this case, it’s Democrats caring more about illegal aliens than about Black Americans. Democrats don’t have to woo Black votes and they know it. If Black Americans want change, they will need to put their votes in play by actually voting differently.

CHICAGO (AP) — The closure of Wadsworth Elementary School in 2013 was a blow to residents of the majority-Black neighborhood it served, symbolizing a city indifferent to their interests.

 

So when the city reopened Wadsworth last year to shelter hundreds of migrants, without seeking community input, it added insult to injury. Across Chicago, Black residents are frustrated that long-standing needs are not being met while the city’s newly arrived are cared for with a sense of urgency, and with their tax dollars.

 

“Our voices are not valued nor heard,” says Genesis Young, a lifelong Chicagoan who lives near Wadsworth.

 

[…]

 

To manage the influx, Chicago has already spent more than $300 million of city, state and federal funds to provide housing, health care, education and more to over 38,000 mostly South American migrants desperate for help. The speed with which these funds were marshaled has stirred widespread resentment among Black Chicagoans. But community leaders are trying to ease racial tensions and channel the public’s frustrations into agitating for the greater good.

 

Israel Strikes Back at Iran

We are spinning into a real war. Expect terrorism all over the Western world being perpetrated by Iranian-backed terror groups.

Israel, early Friday morning local time, launched missiles in a retaliatory strike against Iran, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.

 

The missile launches follow Iran’s attack last Saturday, where the country sent a volley of more than 300 uncrewed drones and missiles toward targets throughout the country, Israeli military officials previously said. All but a few were intercepted by Israel and its allies, including the United States, officials said.

 

Iran’s attack came more than six months after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel on Oct. 7, after which the Israeli military began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Google Fires Protestors

Google is as lefty an organization as exists, but never mess with their money.

Google terminated 28 employees Wednesday, according to an internal memo viewed by CNBC, after a series of protests against labor conditions and the company’s contract to provide the Israeli government and military with cloud computing and artificial intelligence services.

 

The news comes one day after nine Google workers were arrested on trespassing charges Tuesday night after staging a sit-in at the company’s offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, including a protest in Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s office.

 

[…]

 

The New York sit-in started at noon ET and ended around 9:30 p.m. ET. Security asked workers to remove their banner, which spanned two floors, about an hour into the protest, according to Hasan Ibraheem, a Google software engineer based in New York City and one of the arrested workers.

 

“I realized, ‘Oh, the place that I work at is very complicit and aiding in this genocide — I have a responsibility to act against it,’” Ibraheem told CNBC earlier Wednesday. Ibraheem added, “The fact that I am receiving money from Google and Israel is paying Google — I am receiving part of that money, and that weighed very heavily on me.”

Young Black Voters Dissatisfied with Biden

Young black folks don’t have the same personal relationship with the civil rights era. Like the rest of us, they are concerned about the economy, border, and crime.

“It is a generational divide. They don’t know the people who fought and died for their rights,” said Terrance Woodbury, a Democratic pollster, whose polling has found a nearly 30-point gap in support for Democrats among Black voters 18 to 49 years old relative to Black voters over 50. The latter group, he said, “does know those people. They saw that fight. Some of them were in that fight.”

 

Young Black voters point to higher costs of living, crises abroad and the old ages of both major candidates — Biden, 81, is the oldest U.S. president, and former President Donald Trump is 77 — as reasons for their discontent. They also say that they feel their lives have not improved under Biden’s presidency and that they have seen little of his campaign promises to lower housing costs, relieve student loan debt and promote racial equity.

 

These gripes are not unique to young Black voters. In polls, focus groups and interviews, record numbers of Black Americans across ages and genders have expressed disenchantment with Democratic leaders. And the generation gap in support for Democrats is not unique to one race. While most young voters support Democrats and turned out en masse during the 2020 presidential and 2022 midterm elections, many have also said they are deeply dissatisfied with the party and see less reason to turn back out for them.

Police Break Up Terror Cell in New York

It’s good to finally see a bit of pushback on the hate. Again, we all have a right to protest. It’s protected by the 1st Amendment in the U.S. What you do not have a right to do is squat on private property, destroy property, or disrupt the lives of others. The fact that you are all worked up over something doesn’t mean that I have to be.

Dozens of students have been arrested after police cleared an encampment set-up by pro-Palestine protesters at Columbia University in New York.

The university’s president said that the “extraordinary step” came after multiple warnings and was necessary to provide a safe environment.

Among the participants in the protest was Minnesota politician Ilhan Omar’s daughter, who has been suspended.

[…]

Protestors had constructed an encampment of about 50 tents on campus on Wednesday – and overnight hundreds of students and others had rallied with them.

 

China is the Green Energy Giant

The “green” energy push from the Biden Administration is a lifeline to China’s economy at the expense of the American consumer.

But now the old industrial pillars of furniture, clothing and electrical goods are struggling, Beijing is looking to its “new productive forces”: solar panels, lithium batteries and electric cars.

“We are exporting to the UK, Belgium, Germany, mostly European countries, but also to Africa, Australia, South America, North America and also South East Asia,” salesperson Yan Mu says as he shows off the company’s storage batteries.

His is one of the stalls at an exhibition held by hundreds of green energy storage companies in a refurbished and repurposed steel plant on the edge of Beijing.

Another Outlandish Biden Lie

Wha?

Joe Biden suggested his war hero uncle may have met a grisly end among flesh-eating savages after his plane went down over Papua New Guinea in World War II.

 

The president said there were ‘a lot of cannibals at the time’ in the area where his uncle Ambrose J. Finnegan’s plane crashed in the 1940s – and his remains were never located.

 

However, Biden’s account was inconsistent with Pentagon records which showed the plane was not ‘shot down’ as he said.

 

Promising Poll in Wisconsin

The election is a long way away, but this is promising.

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll survey of Wisconsin finds Republican former President Donald Trump supported by 51% of registered voters and Democratic President Joe Biden by 49%. Among likely voters also, Trump is the choice of 51% and Biden of 49%.

 

In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is supported by 52% and Republican challenger Eric Hovde by 47% among registered voters. Among likely voters, the race is a tie, with 50% for both Baldwin and Hovde.

USC Won’t Allow Muslim Valedictorian to Give Speech

Interesting

What was supposed to be a time of celebration for Asna Tabassum – the University of Southern California’s 2024 valedictorian – has turned to disappointment after the university denied her the chance to give a speech at commencement over security concerns.

 

“Over the past several days, discussion relating to the selection of our valedictorian has taken on an alarming tenor,” USC Provost Andrew Guzman said in an online campus-wide letter. “The intensity of feelings, fueled by both social media and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, has grown to include many voices outside of USC and has escalated to the point of creating substantial risks relating to security and disruption at commencement.”

 

Tabassum, a first-generation South Asian-American Muslim, would have delivered her speech at the graduation ceremony on May 10.

 

[…]

 

USC student advocacy group Trojans for Israel accused Tabassum of sharing a link in the bio of her Instagram page that calls Zionism “a racist settler-colonial ideology” and advocates for the “complete abolishment” of Israel, it wrote in a social media post.

Although nobody is really talking, it seems clear that Tabassum is an antisemitic bigot and USC is worried about protests at graduation. I can understand that USC wants to preserve the graduation as an event to be enjoyed by all of the graduates. It’s not about this one person. Graduation is about hundreds of graduates and their families celebrating their achievement. They don’t deserve to have their day ruined by a circus.

On the other hand, Tabaddum earned the privilege to speak. One would hope that she has the class to keep her speech to traditional topics and not delve into world politics. One would hope.

Were it me, I would let her speak and beef up security with a wide security perimeter to keep any protests at a distance. I would also insist that her speech be approved in advance. Sure, she could go off script, but hopefully they can instill in her the responsibility to make the day about her classmates and not about her.

Evers Stamps Feet and Sputters Nonsense

Good for the Republicans. They put forth a reasonable bill to deal with this and Evers vetoed it. Evers has proven to be untrustworthy in negotiations and is just grandstanding now. His legacy of refusing to come to the table and negotiate in good faith is biting him in the butt. Good.

The moves are the latest twist in the ongoing stalemate between Evers and the Legislature over the best way to combat PFAS chemicals that have polluted groundwater in communities across the state. Evers and Republicans have both said that fighting the chemicals is a priority, but they haven’t been able to come together on what to do about it.

 

Evers invoked a rarely used power and called a meeting of the Republican-led Legislature’s budget committee, urging it to release the funding that was previously approved in the state budget. But Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee did not show up, with the GOP co-chairs calling Evers’ move “blatant political game-playing.

 

”Although no Republicans came, Evers made a previously unannounced appearance in the Capitol hearing room and joined three Democratic lawmakers in blasting the GOP inaction.

 

“The Republicans are missing in action on this,” Evers said. “This is one they whiffed on, big time.”

 

[…]

 

Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Mark Born, the Republican committee co-chairs, said in a letter delivered to Evers on Friday that although the governor can call a meeting of the budget committee, he can’t actually require it to meet or take action. The committee will not meet, they said.

 

“We are disappointed in your disregard for a co-equal branch of government, as well as the legislative process,” Born and Marklein wrote to Evers.

 

[…]

 

Evers said in his veto message that he objected to the bill because it would limit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ authority to hold polluters liable. But Wimberger, the bill’s sponsor, said Evers wants to create a “slush fund” for the DNR and not protect landowners not responsible for pollution from possible costly enforcement actions.

West Bend School District eyes November referendum

My column in the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

According to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, 60.2% of the 103 proposed school referendums in Wisconsin passed this April. That is down from the 80.1% that passed in 2022 and 85.6% that passed in 2020. That last time that support for school referendums had this little support was in the wake of the Great Recession.

 

[…]

 

The core issue facing the West Bend School District is a decline in enrollment. After peaking about 10 years ago, enrollment has been steadily declining and is projected to continue to decline for the foreseeable future. It is a pervasive demographic trend throughout Wisconsin. According to the district’s figures, enrollment declined 18.6% over the past 10 years and will be down almost 40% off peak in another 10 years. The result is that the district has far too much physical space for far too few students. The district needs to right-size its physical footprint to match reality.

 

First, we must dispel the notion that any school district needs more money to shrink. When a business sees a downturn, they close stores and reduce staff. Nobody gives a business more money to get smaller. School districts do not need more money to get smaller either.

 

They can close and sell facilities, move and reduce staff, and change bus routes at no additional cost to taxpayers.

 

Voters must not allow “declining enrollment” to be conflated with “need more money.”

 

[…]

 

According to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction data, in 2011-2012, the West Bend School District spent $82.5 million to educate 7,010 children (DPI uses a three-year rolling average for student count, so actual student count is a bit lower), or $11,763 per child. In 20212022, they spent $121.9 million to educate 6,491 students, or $18,779 per child. That is a 59.6% increase in per-student spending in just ten years. Yes, inflation has been part of that story in the past four years, but not even that accounts for such an increase in spending.

 

Where did all of that money go? Clearly it did not go to updating facilities or they would not be about to ask for more money in a referendum. According to ACT and other test scores tracked by the DPI, educational performance has been flat or declining. The district spent a fair amount paying off old debt from previous referendums. The district also abandoned a proposed merit pay system for staff in 2020. It is difficult to justify that much additional spending in a district with declining enrollment while failing to properly manage the district’s facilities.

Domestic Terrorists Attack Transportation System

People have lives and don’t need to tolerate narcissists disrupting their lives.

CHICAGO — Pro-Palestinian protestors took to the streets of Downtown Chicago on Monday afternoon, shutting down a road in the area as they called for an end to the war in Gaza.

 

Protestors blocked and flooded a portion of West Adams Street before the group encountered a large number of police officers who prevented them from crossing South Clark Street.

 

[…]

 

The demonstration comes only hours after 40 protesters were taken into custody after another group shut down all lanes of outbound Interstate I-190, causing significant delays for drivers headed toward O’Hare International Airport.

WMC Asks Supreme Court to Overturn Governor’s 400 Year Tax Increase

This court won’t strike it down, but they should. No governor should have the power to raise taxes – especially not for centuries.

Attorneys with Wisconsin’s largest business lobbying group asked the state Supreme Court on Monday to strike down Democratic Gov. Tony Evers‘ use of a partial veto to lock in a school funding increase for the next 400 years.

 

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Litigation Center filed the petition on behalf of two taxpayers. It will be up to the liberal-controlled Supreme Court to decide whether to hear the case before it goes through lower courts, which is where cases typically start.

At issue is a partial veto Evers made of the state budget in July that increased how much revenue K-12 public schools can raise per student by $325 a year until 2425. Evers took language that originally applied the $325 increase for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years and instead vetoed the “20” and the hyphen to make the end date 2425, more than four centuries from now.

 

[…]

 

“The law is clear,” said WMC Litigation Center Deputy Director Nathan Kane in a statement. “Voters and their elected legislators are the ones empowered to increases taxes, no one else.”

Who Pays Student Debt?

In Biden’s America, we all do.

Biden didn’t mention cost, nor did his economists, but outsiders Thursday pegged the price of this gift to 30 million borrowers at about $85 billion for the new parts of the scheme, or about $560 billion if you include previously announced plans. For scale, that’s about what the government spent on Medicaid this year.

 

This money isn’t imaginary. Repayment is expected by the federal government, the sum budgeted as incoming money to offset planned spending. To the extent it doesn’t show up, it can’t offset anything. The government, where spending already outran income by more than $1,064 billion in just the past six months, will add it to the $34,581 billion it already owes — that’s about $103,000 for every woman, man and babe in arms.

 

That will be paid, somehow and someday, much of it by the other 300 million Americans who aren’t blessed by Biden’s magnanimity. Most of them didn’t go to college, and of those who did, many didn’t borrow or didn’t borrow much. More than a third of students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2019-20, according to the latest figures from The College Board, had no student debt. Only a quarter had more than $30,000. This thrift and prudence will be rewarded by having to pick up the burdens incurred by others.

 

Many of those who benefit, in the meantime, are relatively old and affluent. Biden would cancel debts for borrowers who’ve been repaying for 20 years or more — so, people at least in their 40s. According to federal numbers, it’s borrowers 35 to 49 years old who owe the most — in Wisconsin, about 39% of the $23 billion in student debt outstanding here. This fits with how much of student debt comes from professional degrees, such as those in law, medicine or dentistry: 72% of those getting such a degree owe $50,000 or more. But it means that relief is going to people who’ve had years to ramp up their careers or who are in high-earning professions.

Colorado Seeks to Ban Semiautomatic Weapons

Blatantly unconstitutional. 

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Democratic-controlled House on Sunday passed a bill that would ban the sale and transfer of semiautomatic firearms, a major step for the legislation after roughly the same bill was swiftly killed by Democrats last year.

 

The bill, which passed on a 35-27 vote, is now on its way to the Democratic-led state Senate. If it passes there, it could bring Colorado in line with 10 other states — including California, New York and Illinois — that have prohibitions on semiautomatic guns.

 

Iran Escalates War

This is going to get worse before it gets better. It’s telling that Saudi, Iraq, and Egypt are on the sidelines.

For the first time ever, Iran has carried out strikes against Israeli territory.

In the middle of Saturday night, air raid alerts went off in Israel, residents were urged to seek shelter while explosions were heard as air defences were activated.

 

Interceptions lit up the night sky in several places across the country, while many drones and missiles were shot down by Israel’s allies before they reached Israeli territory.

At least nine countries were involved in the military escalation – with projectiles fired from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and downed by Israel, the US, the UK and France as well as Jordan.

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