Boots & Sabers

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0730, 03 Apr 18

Wisconsin Democrats propose socialist paradise

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Get out and vote today, but then we need to start thinking about November. Here you go:

With the spate of bipartisan legislation making it to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk at the sunset of this legislative session, one might have been lulled into thinking that Wisconsin’s Democrats had finally moderated and moved toward the center of the ideological spectrum. As if to disabuse the electorate of any such notion, some Assembly Democrats have introduced a sweeping amendment to the Wisconsin state constitution that reads like a Madison socialist manifesto.

The amendment does not stand any chance of actually passing. In order to amend the Wisconsin Constitution, both houses in two successive legislatures must pass the same amendment and then it must pass a statewide vote. It is very difficult to amend the state constitution, but it is particularly hard for the minority party in the legislature to do it. But that isn’t the point of what the Democrats are doing.

Released at the end of the legislative session on the eve of an election season where Democrats are hoping to ride a blue wave to electoral majorities, the amendment is meant to lay down an ideological marker of where the Democrats would like to take Wisconsin if the voters are foolish enough to hand them power.

The lengthy amendment contains 18 provisions that address everything from abortion to voting rights. Let us look at a few of the more wacky ideas that Democrats would like to foist on the state:

 Democrats would attempt to undermine the Second Amendment by allowing local ordinances to supersede federal and state law when it comes to how citizens own, use and carry firearms.

 Democrats would strike the word “resident” from the definition of an eligible voter and only require a person to live in a ward for 10 days before being permitted to vote. This would open the door to allow Democrats to flood key districts with temporary voters in order to win elections.

 Democrats would allow felons who are on probation or parole to vote.

 Democrats would reinstate the notoriously corrupt Government Accountability Board that was complicit in persecuting conservative people and groups. Not only that, but they would give the GAB even more power by putting it in control of drawing district lines. The GAB was so successful in helping Democrats before it was disbanded that they assume that it will tilt legislative maps in their favor too.

 Democrats would prohibit religious schools from receiving public funds. This would effectively kill school choice in Wisconsin since the majority of choice schools are highly-successful Catholic, Lutheran and other religious school systems.

 Democrats would turn back the clock in favor of unions by declaring a right to collective bargaining. This would negate Act 10, right to work legislation and reinstate the expensive prevailing wage laws.

 Democrats would enable the DNR to be an independent leftist attack dog by insulating it from the voters. They would do this by putting the superintendent of public instruction — historically a Democratic stronghold — representation in the DNR and by allowing a Natural Resources Board to choose the DNR secretary. Democrats believe in insulating their favorite government institutions from electoral scrutiny.

 Democrats would also have the superintendent of public instruction set the budget for public school funding. It is difficult to even understand how this would work since the Legislature holds the power of the purse, but Wisconsin’s Democrats are unbothered by such things.

The proposals go on, but the message is clear: Democrats really do think that Wisconsin would be better off if it adopted San Francisco’s values. They really would mount a full scale assault on our civil rights if they manage to regain control of the government again.

This constitutional amendment is not going to pass, but it is a clear statement of the kind of Wisconsin that Wisconsin’s Democrats would create if given the chance. Many of these ideas do not need a constitutional amendment in order to become reality. Most of them could be done with simple changes in the law. If Wisconsinites are enjoying record employment, a booming economy, budget surpluses, tax cuts and the expansion of civil rights, they are going to have to get to the polls in November and make their voices heard.



0730, 03 April 2018


  1. billphoto

    Owen – I’m so confused.  Tammy Baldwin is running a MAGA ad to buy American and another touting a vet and how wonderful she is for veterans (inferring the great job she did with the VA) but then I read this and I do not understand how both can be telling the truth.

  2. Le Roi du Nord

    “notoriously corrupt Government Accountability Board”   Hilarious, but a couple days late for April Fools Day.

    “allowing a Natural Resources Board to choose the DNR secretary”.  Just recall, the R’s were all for this while Doyle was in office.  So soon we forget, or is it selective memory?

  3. Paul

    Nobody cares, you fat Nazi fuck.

  4. Le Roi du Nord

    Well, obviously you do since you commented.

    I’m on the ballot today, can I count on your vote?

    And you are still 0 for 2018.

  5. jjf

    The residency requirement is 28 days now.  You actually think Democrats will move people into areas temporarily, just so they can vote and shift elections? How would they inspire that? Is George Soros or Hillary paying for that?

    If they had those magical powers, why wouldn’t they find a way to make people live there 18 more days to accomplish their vote rigging?

    As for religious schools, were they successful before they started receiving public subsidy?

  6. Paul

    Nobody cares about the 715 trailer park klavern.

  7. billphoto

    I seem to remember a big stink about vans with Illinois plates loaded full of folks at Milwaukee polling places some reported at multiple places.  Something about a great organizer living in a hotel, registering to vote and then moving back to wherever.  I do know in the Village I used to live, quite a few dead people voted absentee.  10 days, 28 days, does not seem to matter.

    BTW-I only vote for people on the ballot that use their real name instead of hiding behind a nom de plume.  Of course, Tammy does not even bother with that, claiming to support Trump’s MAGA programs like buy American steel.  Can you say ‘dishonest’?

  8. jjf

    Those are amazing anecdotes, Bill.  They don’t resemble proof, though.

    What are you trying to say about dishonesty? You don’t like it when people hide behind nicknames? You think “Tammy” isn’t her real name, and that’s what’s stopping you?

  9. Paul

    The above poster created a creepy stalker site to a child actress.

  10. dad29

    The parochial schools were extremely successful before and after Choice legislation, John Foust.

    Why?  Have a problem with excellence, like WEA does?

  11. billphoto

    Sorry. It appears I triggered one of our snowflakes, again but it does make me laugh.

  12. jjf

    No one has a problem with excellence, Dad29. If Catholic schools had a secret sauce that made kids learn faster, you’d think Jesus would want them to share it with the public schools.

    I have a problem with public tax dollars being used to promote religion just because it’s been shrouded under education. You don’t like paying for the public schools? Change the state Constitution.

    Owen’s statement is a tautology. It’s meant to scare. You still have the choice to send your kids to a private religious school, of course. It’s not killing “choice” if we stop a practice of subsidy that was only started a few years ago.

  13. dad29

    So how, exactly, do public tax dollars “promote” religion, John?  Be specific, with two or more examples.

    Be sure to reconcile your conclusions with those of the courts or your answer will be–as usual–invalid.

  14. jjf

    Surely you aren’t suggesting that if a court makes a decision, it invalidates our opinions.  I’m sure we’ve both had moments where we disagreed with the logic of court decisions. For that matter, for issues to reach the Supreme Courts, there have already been disagreements between courts.

    I believe that handing money to pay for religious education is an outright subsidy to religion, and that our state Constitution has rather clear language prohibiting that. I’ve read Jackson v. Benson and other related cases. I see where they’re coming from. I do take a hard line on church / state separation.

    I disagree where they suggest that the religious component can somehow be separated or overlooked, or that because the primary purpose was supposedly education, the religious component doesn’t matter.

    I think the whole point of religious education, as openly presented in the marketing of such schools, is that their curriculum is peppered with religion. The term is usually “Christ-centered,” no? As an example, I also don’t think teaching intelligent design is equivalent to teaching evolution when it comes to science.

    Today, aren’t 80% or more of the voucher students attending religious schools? And that many of them were already attending those schools? It’s not about providing an education for the disadvantaged, as this Milwaukee experiment was when it started.  It’s about propping up the Christian schools whose enrollments have been steadily dropping for fifty years. It’s a hand-out. The Catholics and the Protestants found something to agree on:  They like the pork.

    You’d never support vouchers if 80% of the money was being handed to schools promoting Marxism or Democrat-ism or Islam. You don’t take the same view about the corrupting nature of food stamps as you do about school vouchers.

    I bet Wisconsin’s program will be challenged again on religious grounds. It’s mutated and expanded considerably since it started.

  15. dad29

    You’d never support vouchers if 80% of the money was being handed to schools promoting Marxism or Democrat-ism or Islam.

    As a matter of fact, the religion of secular humanism (you can look that up) IS the religion I am forced to support in the Publick Screwels, John Foust.   So don’t give us the victim-hurt garbage.

    And the more one looks, the more one finds that Publick Screwels are also pushing socialism and maligning or ignoring the Constitution’s provisions such as the 9th/10th Amendments–for starters.

    It’s about time that the State of Wisconsin opens Choice to every single student in the entire State.  You may disagree, of course.

  16. jjf

    Like I said, you don’t like public schools, then change the state Constitution. That’s why we have ’em. But why do we have ’em? I could give an answer, or we could claim to understand the intent of our Founders.

    For a long time I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop:  It wouldn’t surprise me someday if the anti-public-school crowd found a way to let everyone opt-out or somehow redirect their tax contribution to the cause.

    It’s the old “I don’t have kids, why should I pay for schools?” combined with the anti-Publick-Screwels crowd who, again, would rather see everyone pushed into a religious school.

    I don’t think anyone has a special sauce to educate children. It’s been explored for centuries. If they do, it’s been shared. I think modern scientific methods of measurement could at least help evaluate techniques. “If the nuns and the rulers and the smells-and-bells were good enough for me, and look how I turned out, and I didn’t get buggered, then it’s good enough for everyone” isn’t science. The choice schools aren’t trumpeting their techniques, are they? They’re not putting their methods up for public scrutiny. They don’t really want to help everyone, do they? Because 80% of them are religious, it’s all about religion.

    Religions without Gods? Who taught you that? Why can’t we use the Jackson v. Benson argument against that, too? If the primary purpose is education, why are you fretting about religion sprinkled on top?

  17. Le Roi du Nord

    “the religion of secular humanism (you can look that up) IS the religion”

    I did, and what I found doesn’t support your claim (above).

    “Secular humanism is a philosophy or life stance that embraces human reason, ethics, social justice and philosophical naturalism while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making.”   Edwords, et al, 1989.

  18. dad29

    Let me be more clear, Nordski:  the Federal judiciary recognizes ‘secular humanism’ as a religion no matter your Edwords.

    Don’t have the 2 hours necessary to fisk that ‘definition,’ but it’s deficient in lotsa lotsa ways.

    As to Foust’s now-getting-incoherent response:  the public screwels in Wisconsin show 40% of their students as proficient in English and math.  Their ‘secret sauce’ is–apparently–rat poison.

  19. jjf

    In the case of American Humanist Association v. United States, the judge decided that states must treat atheism as favorably as theistic religion. A prisoner wanted a secular humanism study group similar to the study groups allowed to religious groups.  The judge called it a “non-theistic religion” for “Establishment Clause purposes.”  I don’t think the decision affects the definitions in the Oxford.

    Come on, Dad29. If you despise secular humanism and think it’s pervasive in the public schools, why shouldn’t you simply roll over and accept the Jackson v. Benson logic and overlook the fact that this “religion” is present but secondary?  Why am I supposed to overlook the religious component of the private religious schools chowing down on my tax dollars?

    You’re cherry-picking stats, right?

    On the third different statewide achievement test in three years, just over 42% of Wisconsin students scored proficient in English and math and about half scored the same in science and social studies, according to results from the new Forward Exam released Tuesday.

    The tests were administered to about 383,000 pupils in spring 2016, including more than 13,000 private school students in the Milwaukee, Racine and Wisconsin voucher programs.

    Among voucher students, about 19% were proficient in English, 14% were proficient in math and 22% were proficient in science.

    A 2-year-old statewide ACT exam administered to all juniors offered a look at performance at high schools funded by taxpayers. Juniors in public schools posted an average composite score of 20.1, close to the same as last year. Juniors using taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private high schools posted a lower overall ACT score — 18.2 — than public schools but made comparatively more improvement from last year.

  20. Le Roi du Nord


    I provided something to prove a point.  You haven’t.  Do yopu have a decision or case law that says that secular humanism is a religion?  Show your work.

    And “screwels”  proves your point that religious school students can’t spell.

  21. Le Roi du Nord

    Sorry, that “yopu” should be “you”.

  22. jjf

    Nord, it was your liberal fascist secular religion that inserted that extra ‘p’.

  23. Paul

    Dennis Rader clearly cannot understand Dad29’s screwels remark. Perhaps if he developed a sense of humor over strangling people…

  24. Le Roi du Nord


    Could be, but I went to a religious grade school, so I’ll blame it on that.

  25. Le Roi du Nord

    liddle p:

    I have a pretty good sense of humor.  You, on the other hand, are just sick…..

  26. Paul

    That made no sense, Nazi.

  27. Le Roi du Nord

    Still 0 for 2018, paulie.

  28. Paul

    In your dreams, Nazi. We’ve caught you in lies on multiple occasions.

    When Jeremy Boorda was caught lying, he did the honorable thing.

  29. Pat

    Well Paul you’ve been lying. When are you going to do the honorable thing?

  30. jjf

    OK, if Dad29 won’t respond, can anyone else tell me why voucher students seem to be underperforming on this measure?

  31. dad29

    Because, as everyone knows but few admit, those voucher students were fleeing the Publick Screwels–which is where they were completely under-educated.  Had they begun in Choice schools, they would be doing much better.

    There is an alternative theory, of course, which you are close to admitting:  some children simply can NOT achieve in school.  If that’s what you’d like to say, John, then just SAY it.

    But thanks for showing Nordski the cite about secular humanism as a religion.

  32. jjf

    I don’t have the stat at my fingertips, but wasn’t it also true that a good share of the students accepting vouchers were already at these schools?

    I’m trying to understand why this gap is as big as it seems to be, especially for a statistic you mentioned as being evidence that the public schools weren’t doing their job.

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