Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Author: Owen

Administrator Violated Ethics Code When She Gave Vaccine to Husband

From the Washington County Daily News. Glad to see that there is some accountability. The public deserves to know what was done… did the administrator receive a slap on the wrist or something more impactful? I don’t think she deserves to be fired, but something more significant than a letter of reprimand is warranted.

WEST BEND — On Thursday morning, the Washington County Ethics Board discussed a report on the Samaritan Health Center administrator after her husband, who was not an employee of the facility, received the COVID-19 vaccine. Chairman John Zorbini explained the matter was dealt with as a personnel issue within the county. The Human Resources Department determined a violation of the Samaritan Health Center policy occurred as members of the general public were not allowed in the facility due to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as a breach in the county’s code of ethics.

[…]

While Borek’s husband fell into the eligible age group and co-morbidity category to receive the vaccine, he was not eligible to receive one from Samaritan.

 

Zorbini had been brought into the investigation to determine if it was an ethics issue and the county took quick action.

 

“We felt at this point in time, this was more of a personnel matter,” he said.

 

Disciplinary actions the county can take toward its officials and employees can be oral or written reprimands, suspensions or dismissals. The county would not describe the specific disciplinary action in this case. Borek, however, remains the Samaritan Health Center’s administrator.

Non-Partisan School Board Races

The race for School Board is on in West Bend and, once again, we have some conservatives trying to unseat the lefty-leaning incumbents. I was amused by this letter to the editor in the Washington County Daily News. 

Here we go again. A partisan request to vote for a “conservative” for a School Board position. There are two problems with this request: (1.) School boards are nonpartisan for good reason. Members must be able to work with everyone for the good of the students, community and taxpayers — not represent a particular viewpoint or push an agenda. And (2.) there is no universally accepted definition of what being a “conservative” is.

 

As the last few years have shown, working to divide the population based on political party has had no lasting benefit to the country as a whole or West Bend in particular. Rather than pushing propaganda and a political point of view, we need to hear why the candidates are able to work with everyone in the community to educate each child to their full potential.

 

I, for one, don’t care what political party you belong to. I want to know you understand how schools work, teachers teach and students learn. And I want a fair hearing of all points of view. You get no points for wearing your political party or religious beliefs on your sleeve.

 

— Joan Thompson, West Bend

“Conservative” is not “partisan.” Conservatism is not a political party. It is a philosophy. And while the definition covers a range of variance, it is a useful shorthand to describe a political candidate. It is very telling that no school board candidate in West Bend ever runs as a “liberal,” despite many of them being just that. And “liberal” also covers a range of variance in philosophy, but nobody wants to use it.

In any case, do you know who constantly gripes about school board races being nonpartisan? Liberals. Because they can’t use their label and they want to take the ability of opponents to label themselves. Liberals running for nonpartisan races in conservative areas like to create a great beige slate of candidates so that they don’t have to explain their own philosophy.

Bias On Display

From the front page of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Two stories with the exact same context. One group of legislators proposing legislation for one thing. Another group of legislators proposing legislation for another thing. Yet the newspaper felt the need to call out that “Republicans lawmakers” are proposing something they disagree with but “Wisconsin lawmakers” are proposing the thing they like.

It is almost a meaningless exercise to point this out anymore. It’s blatant. They don’t care.

The Victims of False Accusations of Racism

And the related shame that people are less likely to believe stories of actual racism.

An elite Massachusetts liberal arts college has quietly conceded that there was no truth to allegations of racism made by one of their students that ‘ruined the lives’ of numerous campus workers.

 

Oumou Kanoute was in the canteen at Smith College on July 31, 2018 when she claimed she was profiled for ‘eating while black’ after a security guard asked her what she was doing.

 

Kanoute, a psychology undergraduate student, posted video of the incident on social media and claimed that she was the victim of racism.

 

Kanoute had named staff online, causing one to be hospitalized with stress and another, a janitor who was not present, forced from his job.

 

Kanoute said the security guard may have been carrying a ‘lethal weapon’ when, in fact, he was unarmed.

 

As a result, Smith forced employees to attend seminars about unconscious bias.

Racine’s Sheep

This made me roll my eyes.

“I would equate it to the Wild Wild West of Wisconsin,” said Angelina Cruz, Racine Educators United president. “There’s no clear rollout plan anywhere that I know of.”

[…]

Cruz said the Racine Unified School District has not shared a formal plan to get teachers vaccinated, so she’s advising teachers to call their doctors.

Are Racine’s teachers so inept that they need their employer or their union boss to tell them to call their doctors to get a vaccine? Were they really sitting around doing nothing waiting for the school district administration to make a “rollout plan?” Why would anyone even think that’s the district’s responsibility? If an adult can’t manage to figure out how to get in line for a vaccine somewhere without their employer or union boss telling them too, then they are too stupid to be teaching.

Government Policy Impedes Recovery

This is how government elongates and worsens economic downturns. Instead of letting this naturally correct by allowing landlords to continue to evict deadbeats and replace them with paying tenants, government tries to freeze everyone in place. We are back to full employment in Wisconsin. People need to pay their rent to move to a place they can afford. By trying to protect tenants, the government is going to put landlords out of business, force a wave of foreclosures, force a consolidation of property ownership, and depress property prices. Any potential bailout money for either landlords or tenants is just money taken from someone else and spreads the pain to people who aren’t directly involved.

There is no free lunch. We have to let our economy react or it will not recover.

That money, however, has yet to be disbursed. While people wait, tenants are falling further behind in rent payments, and some property managers haven’t seen a rent check in nearly a year.

 

“Our owners aren’t getting paid and that means we’re not getting paid,” said Joe Hoffman, who owns Porchlight Property Management. “In some cases, tenants are as much as six months behind.”

 

Hoffman oversees 650 different units and about 100 landlords in Milwaukee, Washington, Waukesha, and Ozaukee counties. He runs the business with his wife and four daughters. He’s also a small-scale landlord and adds most of the property owners he manages are just like him.

 

“These are small, mom-and-pop businesses,” he said. “We have retired farmers, school teachers, city workers, people who are retired and this is their retirement plan.”

 

Hoffman says his delinquency rate when it comes to rent payments has jumped to 15%, compared to just 3% before the pandemic. His revenue dropped as much as 30% in some instances last year, from quarter to quarter.

[…]

The CDC eviction moratorium has been extended twice since its inception this past September. There is also discussion of extending it into the fall of 2021. Pettit and Hoffman worry if this happens, and rental assistance lags, the problem will be too great to solve.

[…]

Eviction filings in Milwaukee County dropped significantly in 2020. Data from Wisconsin Circuit Court records shows last year, the county had 7,918 pending cases. In 2019, that number held at 12,164. In 2018, it was 12,244.

 

Pettit said this in part due to judges looking at every eviction case more closely due to the pandemic. This includes filings for behavioral issues and other problems not covered under the moratorium.

 

“Nobody wants to evict anyone right now,” he said. “So, they’re scrutinizing even those evictions more carefully to make sure it’s not being used as a pretext for failure to pay rent.”

#nevertrump = #joebiden?

It is remarkable how much the Never Trumpers continue to pound on Trump and Republicans and give tacit or vocal support for Dem policies. It’s almost as if they lack an ideological core. Almost…

Forget Trump for a moment, go back to the Tea Party. The argument from grassroots conservatives is that Washington, D.C. was too powerful, too insular, too self-interested. The powers that be taxed too much, spent too much, dictated too much, and gave-up on middle class families in the middle of the country.

 

President Trump’s pledge to Make America Great Again simply expanded upon that.

 

We saw jobs grow, wages rise, American pride restored, tax cut, real people helped. President Trump secured the border, recognized that China is not our benevolent friend, and he pushed back on the cancel culture that is running everything from The Muppet Show to public schools.

 

Joe Biden is the opposite of all of that.

Here is the simple answer as to why Republicans, especially conservatives, should not turn to Joe.

 

He stands for the opposite of what Republicans and conservatives believe. We believe in small government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility. We believe in God, country, and family. We believe that the United States of America, flawed as it has been, is the best country on earth and the best country in the history of this earth. Nowhere else can people come to a country and succeed like they can here. Nowhere else are people lining-up to come live the American Dream.

 

Joe Biden, and his modern Democratic supporters, don’t believe or support any of that. And apparently neither does Bill Crystal or the other #NeverTrumpers.

Legislature Passes Unemployment System Overhaul and Liability Protections

Good.

The state Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would begin to overhaul Wisconsin’s aging unemployment insurance system, which officials have blamed for the backlog of claims spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The bill, which passed the Senate 27-3 last week, passed the Assembly 89-0 and now heads to Gov. Tony Evers, who has said he plans to sign it. The legislation also includes a temporary extension of the state’s one-week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits and adds liability protections against COVID-19-related lawsuits for businesses, schools and governmental entities — measures that were included in coronavirus relief legislation Evers vetoed earlier this month.

Wolf Harvest Already Over

Wow. That was fast. I suspect that there are a lot more wolves than they thought.

This means all six zones will be closed for the season by 3 pm on Wednesday.

 

The DNR updated harvest numbers at 3 pm, and 82 wolves have been harvested since the season began Monday morning. This is an increase of 30 since the initial update at 8 am.

 

Zone 2 and 6 exceeded their quota’s for wolves. Zone 2 by 3, Zone 6 by 1.

 

Zone four is the only one that hasn’t had a wolf harvest.

 

The 82 harvests is 69% of the statewide allocation of 119 wolves. The other 81 are allocated to the Ojibwe Tribes.

Evers Continues Spending Spree After Reneging on Promise to Close Juvenile Prison

Remember when Evers ran on closing Lincoln Hills immediately? That was three years ago and now he wants to build a new facility at $1.4 million per inmate to do it. The ACLU was outraged at a Supermax prison costing $122,000 per bed to construct. How are we spending $1.4 million per bed for a medium security facility? It is almost like he is holding kids hostage as he pays off political supporters in Milwaukee and Madison with our money. Almost…

The spending plan also revives a stalled plan to close the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, a youth prison north of Wausau that lawmakers voted in 2018 to close after years of assaults on staff and teen inmates.

 

Evers wants to spend $45 million on a new juvenile facility in Milwaukee County for 32 teen offenders and another $70 million on a juvenile treatment center at Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison.

Legislature Considers Election Reform

Good.

The effort, being led by Sen. Duey Stroebel of Saukville, would require absentee voters to provide an ID for every election, limit who can automatically receive absentee ballots for every election and create more paperwork for those who vote early in clerk’s offices.

 

The proposals would also put new limits on when voters are considered indefinitely confined because of age or disability. Under a long-standing law, confined voters do not have to show ID to receive absentee ballots and do not have to regularly reapply for ballots.

Most of these measures are merely affirming existing law or plugging loopholes that Democrats exploited last year. Either way, the effort seeks to support an electoral process that we all say we want – one that balances election integrity with ballot access.

On the ideal kind of government

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. I’m dwelling again in rudimentary Enlightenment thought. Here’s a part. Enjoy!

We see a form of pure democracy today in Wisconsin’s towns, where adult citizens can attend town meetings and vote on all matters. Democracy works in small environments where people can easily access the seat of government. In the case of Wisconsin’s towns, they also operate with very limited authority within the guardrails set by the state government. When the span of a particular government increases to millions of citizens, a pure democracy becomes impossible and we must find another form of proxy government.

 

Or do we? When our national and state constitutions were written, pure democracy was impractical because the citizens could not easily travel to the capital to cast their votes on important issues. That need for travel is not needed today. In a world where we could leverage blockchain technology to securely authenticate each unique citizen, would it not be possible to shutter the legislature and just have the citizens vote on bills? Why do we need representatives?

 

Yes, it is possible today to have a pure democracy, but while technology evolves quickly, human nature moves much more slowly. As Rousseau quipped, “If there were a nation of Gods, it would govern itself democratically. A government so perfect is not suited to men.” The problem with pure democracy is not a logistical one. Democracy is like a gang of burglars deciding which house to rob. The problem with democracy is that it permits the tyranny of a majority and rights are crushed at the whims of the mob. Our nation has seen all too recently how little mobs care for individual liberties.

 

 

West Bend School District Advances Activist Environmentalism in Curriculum

I have been receiving a National Geographic every month for my entire life. It is a wonderful publication with magnificent pictures and some very educational content. They have also been hard core wacky environmentalists for more than a decade. I can tell you exactly what is in this curriculum and it is far from a balanced presentation of facts.

February 22, 2021 – West Bend, WI – Proposed curriculum for 6th graders in the West Bend School District will be available for review this week, starting February 22 – February 26.

The proposed curriculum is published by National Geographic. There are 12 books in the series including, (listed in alphabetical order):

 

“Climate Change”; “Energy Resources”; “Food Supply”; “Globalism”; “Habitat Preservation”; “Health”; “Human Rights”; “Migration”; “Pollution”; “Population Growth”; “Standard of Living”; and “Water Resources.”

Click HERE to review what is presented in a brief format on the social studies segment from National Geographic.

UW-Stevens Point Returns to Class

Well done!

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is planning for a return to a more familiar, engaging campus experience in the Fall 2021 semester.

“We are excited to welcome you in fall to the campus experience you expect: One that is engaging in and out of the classroom. One that helps you learn and grow in many ways. One we all crave,” Chancellor Thomas Gibson told students and employees.

This includes:

  • A vast majority of courses in-person
  • A restored sense of community in residence halls
  • In-person student support services
  • A return to live entertainment, including music and theater
  • In-person recreation and intramural sports schedule
  • In-person student organizations, activities and hanging out with friends
  • Athletic competition with fans

Faculty and academic support areas are planning for a full return to in-person teaching. They are working on fall schedules, which will be available in early March for students to register. UW-Stevens Point is committed to student success, which including in the course format that meets students’ comfort

Evers Spends Projected Surplus, and Then Some

Jinkees

Gov. Tony Evers’ biennial budget proposal fulfills many Democratic priorities with big spending increases, but Republicans have raised concern that the $91 billion proposal would almost entirely drain the state’s coffers — by close to $2 billion — and leave Wisconsin in a more precarious financial position down the road.

 

The state is projected to have a nearly $2 billion surplus in its general fund by the end of the year, but Evers’ projected budget, which includes $1.6 billion in new tax revenue from marijuana, big manufacturers and the wealthy, still reduces that to around $143 million by mid-2023.

Remember that the surplus is just projected. It may be more. It may be less. But either way, Evers wants to spend it all and raise taxes to boot.

And this is possibly the dumbest statement I’ve read today:

“It’s not necessarily inappropriate to draw down a big chunk of your reserves when you’re facing a once-in-100-years pandemic,” Wisconsin Policy Forum research director Jason Stein said. “You don’t have the reserves just to put them on a wall and admire them, but at the same time … you have to think about what’s going to be sustainable for the state budget because some of these challenges are not just going to evaporate either.”

A projected surplus is not “reserves.” Stein suggests that the surplus is some sort of rainy day fund. It is not. It is projected surplus revenue because tax collections were higher than expected and/or spending was less than expected. That money could be rolled into the next budget, used to pay off debt early, or it could also be given back to the people because we didn’t need to spend it. Evers just wants to spend it.
Then Stein goes on to suggest that it might make sense to spend it because of the pandemic. But the mere fact that we have a project surplus tells us that the government has sufficient money for expenses without drawing from any rainy day fund. While the pandemic impacted thousands of people and businesses, the government did just fine. The fact that we had a pandemic should not be used as a lazy excuse for more government spending.

Snowy Flakes

Yikes

(CNN)US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) seized a shipment of cereal from South America that was covered in cocaine instead of sugar.

CBP officers in Cincinnati, Ohio, intercepted the package on February 13 containing about 44 pounds of cocaine-coated corn flakes, according to a news release.

While working on incoming freight from Peru, a CPD narcotic detector dog named Bico flagged the cereal shipment going to a private residence in Hong Kong. Upon further inspection, officers found and tested white powder on the cereal that was positive for cocaine.
“The men and women at the Port of Cincinnati are committed to stopping the flow of dangerous drugs, and they continue to use their training, intuition, and strategic skills to prevent these kinds of illegitimate shipments from reaching the public,” Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie said.

Shootout At the Range

This seems like a predictable result.

‘We had one initial shooter here at the scene who hit two victims inside the location, both of them have been identified as deceased at this location,’ said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto during a brief press conference.

 

‘It appears that several individuals ended up engaging that suspect, whether inside or out here in the parking lot.’

[…]

The outlet reported that the suspect got into an argument with a clerk who told him he should not have a loaded gun until he got inside the range.

 

Shots were fired when two customers on the indoor range engaged the man, sources told the outlet. Sources told WESH-TV that the man was shot and fired back at the two customers.

 

Police sources told the outlet that people on the range engaged the shooter to try and keep others safe.

Legislatures Move to Protect Drivers Caught in Violent Protests

Good.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — When massive demonstrations against racial injustice erupted across the nation last summer, protesters used an increasingly common tactic to draw attention to their cause: swarming out onto major roads to temporarily paralyze traffic.

 

This method sometimes resulted in searing images of drivers plowing through crowds, causing serious injuries and in some cases, deaths.

 

Now, Republican politicians across the country are moving to stop the road-blocking maneuver, proposing increased penalties for demonstrators who run onto highways and legal immunity for drivers who hit them. The bills are among dozens introduced in Legislatures aimed at cracking down on demonstrations.

I’m always struck by the selfishness of this style of protest. Take this comment:

Mark Faulk, a longtime Oklahoma activist who was arrested last year for blocking a roadway, said dramatic tactics are necessary to get people’s attention.

Is it? Why is your issue, Mr. Faulk, more important than whatever everyone else was doing that day when you decided to block the road? Is your issue more important than their jobs? Their kids’ education? Their doctor appointment? Their trip to the grocery store? Their court case? Their visit to care for their elderly relative? Or perhaps they are going to a different protest; or to lobby their government to correct some injustice; or just out for a drive to escape some family drama. Who knows? None of that matters to Mr. Faulk because HIS issue is so much more important than everyone else’s. Look at him and his righteous cause.
What a selfish man.

School Board Resigns After Mocking Parents

Disgusting.

Every member of a school board in Northern California resigned on Friday after a video revealed they mocked parents during a virtual public meeting about reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Lisa Brizendine, president of the Oakley Union Elementary School District, resigned with members Kim Beede, Erica Ippolito and Richie Masadas, Fox News reported.

 

Schools Superintendent Greg Hetrick described the comments as ‘truly inappropriate’ and issued an apology on Thursday.

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