Boots & Sabers

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Parents and Citizens Resist Government Overreach

It is good to see a fair amount of pushback on governments moving to impose mandates and restrictions in response to a resurge of COVID.

We have watched the last week unfold in abject horror – observing our government institutions and leaders failing our children at every turn, again. Your renewed calls for lockdowns, enforced mask mandates, and masking in schools is not rooted in science and is objectively cruel to the most vulnerable
in our society, our children. We believe that you are in fact aware of this and continue to play political games with our children, despite our efforts to work with you over the last twelve months.

We are here to inform you that this ends today.

Effective immediately we will not:

1. Mask our children in schools

2. Allow you to use your private sector counterparts to enforce invasive mask mandates on our children in various stores or at community activities

3. Subject our children to any further local, regional, or national lockdowns or movement restriction

Simply put, these are not your children. They are ours and they too, are Americans with rights. They are
our responsibility and our most beloved. They are not yours.

Given the miniscule chance that children will be significantly harmed by COVID and the proven detrimental effects that masks and lockdowns cause on their mental health and education, it is bordering on child abuse to impose those things on kids.

Federal Eviction Moratorium Finally Nearing End

If you aren’t paying rent, can you really be called a “renter?”

While many landlords say they can only go so long without being paid, some tenants are left worried about what their next move will be.


“The moratorium ending, it basically means that at any moment I could end up on the street,” said Heather Waller, a renter who has benefited from the eviction moratorium for months.


“I don’t know what tomorrow looks like. So, my anxiety has been really severely bad just thinking about how I might not have a roof over my head.”

Vaccinated Face 0.004% Chance of Serious Breakthrough Case

Once again… if you are vaccinated, then why would you be concerned over the vaccination status of others? You made your choice. They made theirs. Let’s get on with living.

(CNN)More than 99.99% of people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have not had a breakthrough case resulting in hospitalization or death, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The data highlights what leading health experts across the country have highlighted for months: Covid-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing serious illness and death from Covid-19 and are the country’s best shot at slowing the pandemic down and avoiding further suffering.


The CDC reported 6,587 Covid-19 breakthrough cases as of July 26, including 6,239 hospitalizations and 1,263 deaths. At that time, more than 163 million people in the United States were fully vaccinated against Covid-19.


Divide those severe breakthrough cases by the total fully vaccinated population for the result: less than 0.004% of fully vaccinated people had a breakthrough case that led to hospitalization and less than 0.001% of fully vaccinated people died from a breakthrough Covid-19 case.

Scarce Ammunition

This is most certainly true.

SEATTLE — The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with record sales of firearms, has fueled a shortage of ammunition in the United States that’s impacting law enforcement agencies, people seeking personal protection, recreational shooters and hunters — and could deny new gun owners the practice they need to handle their weapons safely.


Manufacturers say they’re producing as much ammunition as they can, but many gun store shelves are empty and prices keep rising. Ammunition imports are way up, but at least one U.S. manufacturer is exporting ammo. All while the pandemic, social unrest and a rise in violent crime have prompted millions to buy guns for protection or to take up shooting for sport.

Although, I was in Cabela’s in Richfield this morning and they have lots of 7.62, 5.56, 40mm, and others. No 9mm though…

Government and Media Stoke Animosity Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated

If you are vaccinated, or not, and you are getting angry at those who made the other choice, you are being played by your government and the media. They are doing it for a reason.

But with Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations now surging again and officials across the US suddenly reimposing restrictions after a summer of semi normalcy, McCullough and many other vaccinated Americans are becoming increasingly angry at those who are refusing the shot.
“I did what I had to do,” McCullough told CNN. “Now, these people who are making this selfish decision are going to make me suffer the consequences.”
The average number of new cases daily is up more than 400% since last month. Hospitals are again filling with Covid-19 patients — many younger than ever before, and most unvaccinated. Mask mandates are back in parts of the country. And this week, the CDC updated guidance it issued in May and said fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas with “substantial” or “high” Covid-19 transmission to prevent further spread of the dangerous Delta variant. More than 80% of the US population lives in a county impacted by that guidance.
First, notice how they have all switched to using percentages instead of actual numbers. Why? Because percentages are scarier. If 2 people died yesterday and 4 died today, that’s a 100% increase. But looking at the actual numbers, we aren’t seeing anything close to what we saw at the peak of the pandemic. Here are Wisconsin’s numbers:
That doesn’t look as scary, does it? But our government overlords have fallen in love with their power fueled by the pandemic. If the pandemic isn’t scary anymore, then we don’t need them to take extraordinary measures like multi-trillion dollar spending sprees, do we?
But back to the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated… follow the logic. If you are vaccinated and the vaccines are effective, then why do you care if your neighbor chose to not get vaccinated? Because they might spread it to you? But you are vaccinated, right? And if you are vaccinated, you might (although it appears to be extraordinarily difficult) spread the virus to someone who is not vaccinated. So? Why is that your concern? They weighed the risks and made their own choice. If they get the virus and have a bad case or die, then it sucks for them. Stuff happens. We’re all going to die sometime.
The politicians and media are stoking division because it gives them power. Don’t fall for it. Love your neighbor whether they are vaccinated or not.

City of West Bend considers huge pay increases

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week:

This column has been warning for some time that the city of West Bend’s government has skewed more liberal in recent years. After almost a decade of thoughtful conservative leadership, local conservatives got lazy, and the Common Council was taken over by liberals and big government enthusiasts. After choosing to increase taxes as much as legally possible last year, the council is considering a hefty pay increase for city employees.


At the Common Council’s July 19th meeting, City Administrator Jay Shambeau shared the results of a compensation study. That study compared the city of West Bend’s employee compensation to several other cities including Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, New Berlin, and Brookfield and found that West Bend’s compensation lags other cities. Citing employee turnover in some departments and perceived below market pay, the city administrator advocated for a pay increase for almost every nonunion city employee in addition to an annual cost of living increase of about 2%. The overall proposed cost would be $451,940 with an average pay increase of $4,519 per employee.


While evaluating and adjusting compensation is a normal part of any organization, there are some concerning aspects of this proposal that require further inquiry. Several years ago, the city of West Bend implemented a compensation system that more closely resembled one from the private sector that rewarded employees based on merit. The proposed compensation plan abandons compensation based on merit in favor of a model that provides blanket pay ranges based on job function. The proposed compensation plan is a return to an old-school government plan where everyone is paid the same irrespective of how good they are at their job. Furthermore, it is difficult to see how the pay increases will result in more talented employees. The purpose of any compensation plan is to attract and retain the level of talent that the organization requires to be successful. The justification for the pay increases is that West Bend is having difficulty attracting and retaining talented people in a competitive labor market.


At the same time, however, the plan would give almost every current employee a pay increase because they are all good at their jobs. According to the plan, only employees in good standing would receive a pay increase, but there are also no employees who are not currently in good standing. If the city is having difficulty finding good employees, would it not stand to reason that some of the existing employees would be sub-par performers?


If all of the employees are performing to standards, then why would the taxpayers need to pay more to attract better employees? If the taxpayers agree to pay city employees more, will the city management leverage the better pay to replace some of the employees with more talented ones? What are the taxpayers going to get for their increased spending on employee compensation?


As proposed, the spending increase would not result in a tax increase this year. This is because the city is proposing to use some financial gimmickry to hide the spending increase until it is baked into the spending pie. The total proposal would spend $451,940. $283,553 of that total would come out of the general fund that is supported by the property tax. But the city administrator is touting it as tax neutral because that amount would be covered by debt payments being paid into the general fund by Tax Incremental Districts 5 and 9.


TIDs are property tax set asides where the property taxes from those properties are segregated for improvements only in those districts. They are used to encourage development. TIDs 5 and 9 ran debts in previous years and the taxpayers filled the gap from the general fund. Now those districts are in the black and paying those debts back into the general fund. The proposal would fund most of the pay increases from those debt payments and then, when the TIDs expire, with the funds that those properties contribute to the general fund. The balance of the pay increase would be funded by surpluses from the water and sewer utilities.


Does it sound like gimmickry? It is. The fact remains that all of that money is taxpayer and utility-payer money. The city could reduce taxes and utility bills or spend the money on other priorities, but is proposing to increase employee compensation instead.


While there is not a tax impact for the proposed pay increase in the first year, it does set a new baseline for all future budgets. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The taxpayers will keep paying these bills forevermore.


The West Bend Common Council meets again to consider this proposal on Aug. 2. At the previous meeting, only two members, Randy Koehler and Meghann Kennedy, expressed any skepticism. The majority — including the mayor — expressed support for the proposed new compensation plan. It is clear that the taxpayers are not a top priority for a majority of West Bend’s Common Council.

Congress Moving to Increase Inflation

In light of the inflation pressures the economy is experiencing, the Congress is making a bipartisan effort to make it worse.

(CNN)The Senate took the next step on Friday to bring up a roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal that will fulfill key priorities in President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Senators voted 66-28 on a motion to proceed, a vote that will open up the legislative package to potential changes through the amendment process.

China Reaches Out to Taliban in Afghanistan

Somehow, I don’t think the U.S. SOS is reading this right.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said China’s possible involvement in Afghanistan could be “a positive thing”.


He said this was if China was looking towards a “peaceful resolution of the conflict” and a “truly representative and inclusive” government.


His comments came after Taliban representatives visited China.


China said it saw the Taliban playing an important role in the peace process and rebuilding of Afghanistan.


“No one has an interest in a military takeover of the country by the Taliban, the restoration of an Islamic emirate,” said Mr Blinken, who was asked about the talks while on a visit to India.


He urged the Taliban to come to the “negotiating table… peacefully”.

CDC Changes Recommendations Under Withering Political Pressure

How about “no?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.


Citing new information about the variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.

The science is clear that the vaccines work and that people who have already had COVID are largely immune from getting it again. Vaccines are widely available. It is also clear that even if you get COVID, it is not life threatening for the vast, VAST, majority of people. At this point, everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated and whether someone chose to get vaccinated or chose to not get vaccinated, the consequences are on them. I made my choice. Other people made their choices. Now we get on with life.

So Much for the GOAT

While I have some sympathy for this young lady, it isn’t much.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles said “I have to focus on my mental health” after pulling out of the women’s gymnastics team final.


The American left the arena after the vault, but later returned to support her team-mates as they claimed silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee.


Biles, 24, scored 13.766 – her lowest Olympic vault score – before withdrawing from the event.


“After the performance I did, I just didn’t want to go on,” she said.


“I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now.




She has reached all five individual finals and is undecided on whether she will compete in her next event on Thursday, when she will attempt to become the first woman to retain the Olympic all-around title since 1968.

“We’re going to see about Thursday,” she said. “We’re going to take it a day at a time and see what happens.”

She is exceptionally talented and rightfully reveled in the accolades for years. She wore GOAT leotards and took on the role of the leader of the American team.

But when she had a bad day on the vault, the abandoned her team. Character is revealed not when you succeed, but when you fail. She cost her teammates a gold medal not because of her failure to perform, but for her refusal to try. And the fact that she is even considering competing for individual medals when she left her team behind is selfish.

City of West Bend considers huge pay increases

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

Furthermore, it is difficult to see how the pay increases will result in more talented employees. The purpose of any compensation plan is to attract and retain the level of talent that the organization requires to be successful. The justification for the pay increases is that West Bend is having difficulty attracting and retaining talented people in a competitive labor market.


At the same time, however, the plan would give almost every current employee a pay increase because they are all good at their jobs. According to the plan, only employees in good standing would receive a pay increase, but there are also no employees who are not currently in good standing. If the city is having difficulty finding good employees, would it not stand to reason that some of the existing employees would be sub-par performers?


If all of the employees are performing to standards, then why would the taxpayers need to pay more to attract better employees? If the taxpayers agree to pay city employees more, will the city management leverage the better pay to replace some of the employees with more talented ones? What are the taxpayers going to get for their increased spending on employee compensation?

Housing Market Levels Off

The market always works... demand went up; supply can’t keep up, so prices went up until the high prices leveled demand. National stats are misleading as certain geographies will continue to see crushing demand as others level off. Some areas never saw it in the first place. But it does look like the housing market has peaked for now.

Sales of newly built homes dropped in June to the lowest level since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday.


Sales of new single-family homes fell to an annualized rate of 676,000, 6.6% below May’s rate of 724,000 and 19.4% below the June 2020 level of 839,000. Analysts were expecting new home sales to increase by 3.4% in June to 795,000.

After a year of frenzied buying and price gains in the double digits, newly built homes are now out of reach for much of the demand that remains in the market.


The median price of a newly built home in June rose just 6% from June 2020, and while that is a large gain historically, it is nothing compared with the 15-20% annual gains seen in previous months.


Most of the homebuying is on the higher end of the market, and builders cannot afford to put up affordable homes due to skyrocketing construction costs.

Homeschooling Surges

Perhaps a long-term positive effect of the pandemic will be more parents taking a more active role in their kids’ education whether they homeschool or not.

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They’re now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.


The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial to their children.


“That’s one of the silver linings of the pandemic — I don’t think we would have chosen to homeschool otherwise,” said Danielle King of Randolph, Vermont, whose 7-year-old daughter Zoë thrived with the flexible, one-on-one instruction. Her curriculum has included literature, anatomy, even archaeology, enlivened by outdoor excursions to search for fossils.


The surge has been confirmed by the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported in March that the rate of households homeschooling their children rose to 11% by September 2020, more than doubling from 5.4% just six months earlier.


Evers puts politics over people with workforce development spending

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News last week.

A few weeks ago, Governor Tony Evers held back Wisconsin’s economic recovery by vetoing a bill that would have ended the federal enhancement for unemployment benefits early. Last week, Governor Evers compounded his putrid decision by launching another wasteful donothing economic development government program with the taxpayers’ money.


The data coming out of other states continues to show the foolishness of Evers’ veto of the bill to end enhanced unemployment benefits early. The principle is very simple. If you want people to do more of something, then pay them more to do it. In this case, the federal government, in a moment of misguided altruism, is sending money to states to pay people more money to stay out of the workforce.


The economy is groaning out of the government-enforced recession in fits and spurts with some sectors roaring and others continuing to struggle. One of the most pressing problems in many sectors is that employers throughout the country are struggling to find workers to fill their open jobs. With an unemployment rate of 3.9% and a labor participation rate of 66.3%, most of Wisconsin’s employers are having the same problem.


For the states that ended enhanced unemployment payments in early June, they saw a 33% decline in new jobless claims compared with 4% in states that are still paying people more to not work, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Those states that withdrew in late June saw a decline of 12%. Those that withdrew in July saw a decline of 10%. Every week counts when it comes to economic recovery. Even better, the labor participation rate in those states that withdrew in June increased by 0.25%. People are getting back to work faster in those states and more people are reentering the workforce. Evers’ decision to keep the enhanced federal unemployment payments through September will keep Wisconsin’s economy dragging behind other states.


As a tacit acknowledgment of his damaging veto, Evers announced last week that he would spend $130 million in federal COVID relief funds for workforce development to help with the worker shortage.


Of those funds, $100 million will be spent on a “workforce innovation grant program to encourage regions and communities to develop leading-edge, long-term solutions to the workforce challenges the state faces.” In other words, a bunch of unelected government bureaucrats are going to hand out your money to groups and businesses that can meet whatever version of “solutions” meets the liberal definition of “leading-edge.” Expect that money to go to things like green energy and education initiatives that are run by people who give money to Democrats.


$20 million of your money will go to subsidize “employment and skills training opportunities with local employers.” The remaining $10 million will for to “provide workforce career coaches.” This money will be used to pay people to teach unemployed people how to work as if it is the responsibility of the taxpayers to pay to train people to work.


There are already dozens of programs like this in every community in Wisconsin, but Evers seems to think that one more will do the trick. The fact that he is spending tens of millions of dollars that will be doled out at his administration’s discretion is a convenient political advantage the year before he seeks reelection.


With all of this spending, however, Evers admitted that the impact will not be felt any time soon – if ever. Speaking to reporters in Green Bay last week, he said that the initiatives “will be a fall enterprise.” While Wisconsin’s employers are struggling right now, Evers jumps to the rescue with a plan that will not even begin until the trees take on their autumnal hues.


In these two decisions we see the liberal mind of Tony Evers at work. Faced with a worker shortage that is retarding Wisconsin’s economic recovery and causing irreparable damage to many Wisconsin businesses, he vetoes the partial solution that would have had immediate effect and saved taxpayer money in favor of dumping $130 million of taxpayer money into the pockets of political allies for a solution that might begin to help sometime next year. In Evers’ calculation, spending taxpayer money to purchase political favor is more important than solving the state’s problems.

Wind Farms Threaten Fishing Industry

I suspect that the fears may be overstated, but it is worth remembering that every action has consequences.

While there isn’t a single wind turbine spinning off the coast of the Garden state yet, plans are under way for new offshore wind developments that hope to power more than a million homes with carbon-free energy over the next several years.


The wind farms are expected to create thousands of new jobs, but the price tag looks steep to Dameron, who fears those jobs and climate benefits will come at the expense of his industry. If wind lease areas are fully developed across the mid-Atlantic, Dameron said clam fishermen will lose access to highly productive areas of the ocean, which could send the multimillion-dollar industry into a “downward spiral”.


“I could see the clam industry in Atlantic City disappearing,” Dameron said.

California Needs to Listen to its Elder

A long shot, but it would be a sea change if Elder won in California.

A new poll has revealed conservative radio host Larry Elder is gaining popularity with California voters as Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a recall election in September.


The Emerson College/ Nexstar Media poll, published on Friday, found 48 percent of voters still want Newsom to remain in office, even as momentum for a recall grows. 43 percent of people polled now say they will vote to recall Newsom – up from 38 percent in March.


If Newsom is removed from office, there are 40 candidates currently vying to replace him – and the new poll shows Elder leading the pack.


The 69-year-old Republican gets 16 percent of the vote share among those candidates, ahead of businessman John Cox and former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, who are tied in second place with 6 percent respectively.


Meanwhile, the poll shows Caitlyn Jenner struggling to gain traction among voters despite widespread name recognition. The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star is polling at just 4 percent.

Texas Democrats “Pissed off” that Biden Hasn’t Met with Them

Perhaps Biden does still have his wits about him… or Mrs. Biden does.

But they still await the biggest get of all: President Joe Biden. And on Thursday, they expressed frustration over the White House’s apparent disinterest in scheduling a meeting with members of the Texas group.


During a Zoom conversation with U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett of Austin, state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond of Laredo vented about the holdup.


“He won’t meet with us on Zoom like this, and I’m trying to be tactful, but I don’t know how else to say it, man. I’m just pissed off at this point. He doesn’t give us the respect the way you have,” Raymond told Doggett.


And in a subsequent Zoom meeting with Beto O’Rourke, in which the former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate announced a $600,000 donation to help pay for the Washington sojourn, O’Rourke encouraged them to ramp up pressure on the White House.


“I feel very strongly about this. I think you need to center and focus all of your effort on the president,” O’Rourke said.

Narcostate Economics


This man has sent maybe 30 women to Rafaela Martinez for surgery. At around $6,500 (£4,700) for lipo-sculpture, procedures are not cheap. Often the payment is made in cash.


“Obviously, in these cases the money comes from drug-trafficking,” Martinez says. “I used to say, ‘This definitely isn’t good.’ Now, it’s not that I’ve changed my mind, but I no longer think about it so much before operating. That’s because the economy here in Sinaloa – restaurants, bars, hospitals – depends on drug-trafficking.”


Martinez tries to counsel women whose operations are paid for by a lover.


“I ask the patient if she’s OK about the surgery he wants her to have. Sometimes they say, ‘It’s fine, whatever he wants.’ And I explain to them that after a while, he won’t be their boyfriend any more, but their body will be theirs for the rest of their lives. So they must choose what they want – not what he wants.”

Biden Spreads False Information About COVID

Facebook and Twitter should ban him immediately for spreading lies about the efficacy of vaccines.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden offered an absolute guarantee Wednesday that people who get their COVID-19 vaccines are completely protected from infection, sickness and death from the coronavirus. The reality is not that cut and dried.


The vaccines are extremely effective but “breakthrough” infections do occur and the delta variant driving cases among the unvaccinated in the U.S. is not fully understood.


Also Biden inflated the impact of his policies on U.S. jobs created in his first half-year in office, misleadingly stating his administration had done more than any other president. He neglects to mention he had population growth on his side in his comparison.

Major Outage Hits America

Another attack?

A major internet outage has affected the websites of major retail, financial, logistics  and travel websites, and appears to be affecting 911 services in several areas.


Down Detector, a service that detects whether websites are working properly or not, began reporting a series of outages shortly before 12 pm EST on Thursday.


Among the affected websites were US Bank, UPS, Fox News, American Airlines, AT&T, and Expedia.

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