Author Archives: Owen

How Media Manipulates to Create False Outrage Narrative

Yup. It’s not as cool of a story to say, “Gillette’s vapid virtue signaling causes minor annoyance.

Outrage? Uproar? Backlash? I’d say it’s more like a hacklash. It’s journalists dealing out pretend outrage.

Lazy media reporters who are too lazy to even actually speak to people anymore are instead constructing Potemkin Villages of fake hate, fake disgust and fake outrage. They’re Contemptkin Villages. No one really lives there. The laziest hacks can build them using tweets, even tweets from anonymous Twitter accounts. Somehow these hacks are employed at places like the BBC and the Times.

The instantly infamous Gillette ad calling out “toxic masculinity” that painted males as bullies and sexual harassers certainly spurred a lot of conversation. But were dudes outraged or did they just think the ad was misguided and wrong? Men aren’t going James-McAvoy-in-“Glass” Beastmode on Gillette. They’re just saying, “I’d rather not be lectured about what a bully and a creep I am, especially by my toiletries.” The New York Times quoted an obscure Irish deejay calling the ad “condescending” on Twitter as an example of “outrage,” alongside the British chat-show host Piers Morgan saying the ad was “pathetic.” “You’re pathetic” is an expression of outrage?

The BBC claimed breathlessly, “There have been calls for Gillette to post an apology video.” There have? Click through on the source for this tidbit, and it turns out to be a Twitter user with 18 followers who also demanded that everyone at Gillette be forced to read a men’s-rights book. Sure. Later in the piece the BBC cites another supposedly angry party to the controversy. That turned out to be an anonymous Twitter user with six followers.

(Most observers readily grasped that Gillette is desperately using cynical marketing ploys to make us remember they exist. “Gillette, Bleeding Market Share, Cuts Price of Razors” ran a Wall Street Journal headline in 2017.)

“Whip up a little outrage” is an old tabloid directive — the city editor of The Post used to scream it at me across the newsroom circa 1994 — but it did depend on finding someone who matters, or at least someone who represents a lot of people who really are angry. Shameless online editors today figure that readers will click through to anything that is supposedly making anyone mad. And if the underlying story doesn’t actually contain any evidence that anyone has blown his lid, too late! Made ya click.

Man Arrested for Home Invasion and Sexual Assault

Now those are some deep sleepers.

Police said the woman woke up in the bedroom of her Vine Street home in the middle of the night to find a man sucking on her chest. When she realized it was not her husband who was asleep in the bed next to her, police said she screamed, and the naked man jumped off the bed.

The woman then realized her genital area was coated in baby shampoo, police said.

“I woke and there was baby soap all over me,” they said she complained.

Police said the woman shook her husband awake and yelled at him that a man had just tried to rape her. The husband got up and ended up chasing the naked Heredia out of the house and down the street before losing him, police said.

When officers arrived at the home, they spotted a pile of clothing the assailant had left by the bed. Inside a pants pocket police said they found a wallet containing Heredia’s Connecticut identification card and his Social Security card.

Romney Backs Trump

He sure got a lot of attention for his letter criticizing Trump a few weeks ago. Where is that attention now?

He said: ‘You (Pelosi) and your fellow Democrats have voted for over 600 miles of border fence in the past, why won’t you vote for another few miles now?

‘I don’t understand their position, I really don’t.’

Romney said he plans to keep working with other senators to find interim solutions, such as legislation that would make sure essential government employees still working get paid now.

Romney was speaking in the northern Utah city of Ogden after visiting with county commissioners about the shutdown’s impact on the community.

He implored the two sides to ‘make a deal’ and end the suffering of federal workers who aren’t getting paid, suggesting Pelosi should offer a certain amount of money for the border wall and make a proposal to the president about border security. He said Trump is willing to allow participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to stay in the country.

‘On policy, it strikes me like there’s not a big gap but the politics have drawn people into different corners,’ Romney said.

Romney said the country deserves border security, which includes more barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. He said there is ‘humanitarian pain’ being suffered by people entering the country illegally and being stopped at the border.

Man Defends Castle Like a Boss

Good for the homeowner. I hope he and his family are safe.

Three men are dead after they broke into a home and were met with gun, according to Houston police.

The men reportedly broke into a home in Houston, Texas, around 1 a.m. only to find the homeowner was ready with a firearm and started shooting, Houston police said.

After the homeowner opened fire on the burglars, two of the men escaped in an SUV, another was left dead at the front of the house and the last man, who was wounded, took off on foot.

Houston police said they were able to find the suspect who fled on foot. He was shot in the leg.

The vehicle that left the scene was found crashed into a pole and, police said, a man was found dead inside. Another person that was inside the vehicle appeared to have gotten out and ran but was found down the street and later died.

Trump Offers Compromise

One thing is clear: Trump in in Washington and is offering concessions. He’s willing to make a deal and is offering the Democrats several things that they claim they want. Meanwhile, the Democrats have left town and aren’t even offering a counteroffer. Tell me again which side is prolonging the shutdown? Aren’t we told that a divided government necessitates compromise? Frankly, I think Trump is offering too much, but at least he’s showing flexibility and a willingness to compromise. Pelosi and Schumer? Not so much.

President Donald Trump outlined a plan to end the government shutdown on Saturday, offering congressional Democrats three years of legislative relief for 700,000 DACA recipients — including protection from deportation — and an extension of legal residence for people living in the country under ‘Temporary Protective Status’ designations.

He also offered $800 million in urgent humanitarian assistance and 75 new immigration teams to reduce the court backlog of 900,000 cases, which he called an ‘impossible nightmare’ in his late-afternoon remarks.

Speaking in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Trump said he wants $5.7 billion for the ‘strategic deployment of physical barriers, or a wall,’ that he will use to put ‘steel barriers in high-priority locations’ along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Racial Integration by State

As someone who came of age in Texas and moved to Wisconsin as an adult, this is something that stuck out to me right away. For all of the moral preening about racial tolerance and diversity by yankees, Southerners are far better at actually being tolerant and diverse in their daily lives (yes, that’s a generalization).

States with the Most Racial Integration

1. New Mexico

2. West Virginia

3. Hawaii

4. Kentucky

5. Texas

States with the Least Racial Integration

45. Illinois

46. Michigan

47. Minnesota

48. Iowa

49. Maine

50. Wisconsin

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

$74 million referendum total for West Bend School District  

The West Bend School Board set the initial resolution for the April 2, 2019 referendum question at $47 million. The true cost with interest at about 4.25 percent, according to Robert W. Baird & Co., will bring the total to $74 million which includes $27 million in interest.

Following a presentation by Baird’s John Mehan and the district’s Tim Stellmacher the board discussed how the referendum sat with them.

Board member Ken Schmidt felt $74 million was a lot to ask for.

“I’m one who knows about history and there are cycles in our economy and those cycles are impacted by elections,” said Schmidt. “If we get other administrations who decide they are going to create a negative business climate that’s going to impact our economy and what happens to jobs, it’s also going to impact what happens to the valuation of property. We saw that in 2007 and property values went down. One of the reasons we’ve got phenomenal property values is we have a super-great economy on steroids. Wages are going up we can’t find enough workers for all the jobs. That can turn around and that’s what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned about a cycle like that and the West Bend taxpayer ends up with not such a rosy picture. I also have a problem with the present proposal and it’s really being overbuilt, considering the projections of declining enrollment. I really wonder if we’re doing the wisest thing in the world. I have some grave concerns.”

Board member Joel Ongert spoke about not including interest on the referendum question. “The first step in the referendum process is to pass the initial resolution. Parameters on what is to be included in the initial resolution are set forth in section 67.05 of the Wisconsin state statue to include the purpose and the maximum principal amount of the bond issued,” he said. “I’ve reached out to Quarles and Brady and the attorney I spoke with they said they’ve never included interest in the referendum questions.”

Taking a look at the current referendums the West Bend School District is paying off….

In April 2009, voters in West Bend approved a $29.3 million plan to renovate, as well as build an addition to Badger Middle School.

In November 2012 the West Bend School District passed a $22.8 million referendum to close Barton Elementary School, expand Silverbrook School and add classrooms and a gym at Green Tree Elementary School. The actual total cost of the referendum with taxes and interest was $31.975 million with a 15-year payback on borrowing.

After the Nov. 2012 referendum passed the $31.9 million total was added on top of the $29.3 million payment for the 2009 Badger referendum.

According to Mehan “as of January 14, 2019 the District has principal debt outstanding” including $29,420,000 from Fund 39 referendum and Fund 38 non-referendum approved debt of $5,011,000.

The target date to completely pay off the current debt on referendums is 2028.

Cobbling together the outstanding debt of $34,431,000 plus the proposed referendum and interest of $74 million the total, if approved it would bring, the West Bend School District debt on referendums to $108,431,000. Mehan said the $74 million debt would run 19 years.

Prior to the board discussion on referendum total of $74 million a woman from West Bend spoke during the public presentation portion of the meeting about the referendum topic.

“What is the total cost with interest and secondly I have friends and family in real estate and they admit there is a declining interest in living in Jackson, which is part of this referendum cost. One of the things is there is a decline in the birth rate but also families with young children who have concerns about the 55,000 gallon gasoline spill in 2012. People with young children don’t have much interest when they can buy homes in surrounding areas because they have concerns about that gas spill.

“Also what is the plan. A plan for that money, where is it going? A plan for the school in Jackson a plan for the remodel of the schools. Will that remodel include transgender bathrooms, transgender locker rooms. What is the plan for those things,” said the woman.

Following the public speaking portion of the meeting board member Nancy Justman instructed the superintendent to get the woman who spoke a copy of the plan. On Thursday, Jan. 17  Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said there is no plan available yet. Kirkegaard said it is expected to be completed in the “next week or two.”

WBSD plans to eliminate Pathways in West Bend

Parents and students lined up at Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting to express their displeasure about the district’s plan to possibly eliminate Pathways Charter School.

According to documentation posted on the School District site a recommendation will be made for Pathways to be eliminated.

Diana Swillinger, a parent of four children in the district, sits on the Pathways Governance Council. She was direct and disappointed questioning a lack of transparency in numbers and “misplaced priorities, a lack of vision, disinterest in the needs of the students, and a knee-jerk reaction to a struggling budget.”

Diana Swillinger comments to school board, January 14, 2019

Good evening. I am Diana Swillinger. A parent of 4 children in this district and a Pathways Governance Council member.

I have a small amount of time to say a lot, so I will not mince words, I will read right from my statement and speak as fast as I can. Please know I say all of this with the utmost respect for the board. I appreciate your service.

I had intended today to share my opinion about the future of Pathways, and I will, however, I would like to address a concern first.

Late Friday afternoon, the district presented the school board with a report of Pathways, created by a lone critic from Black and Associates. The Governance Council was told when the evaluation happened that it was to inform Pathways’ accountability plan and were not told it would be shared outside of that purpose. The evaluation period was in the 2017-2018 school year, yet the results were not shared with Pathways staff or Governance Council in any written form. Ever. We were introduced to the document only when it was shared with you, just one business day before the Superintendent–who to the best of my knowledge and in my opinion, has not completed his own observation and evaluation of Pathways–is likely to recommend a discontinuation of the contract.

In the kindest terms we could call this move strategic and clever. But when we consider the impact it will have on the educational, vocational, and developmental journey of real children, real students… our children… this move could be seen as manipulative and self-serving. At best, this is not something I would use as an example to share with my own children to demonstrate good business, good politics, or good will. I find the lack of disclosure with Pathways staff and governance council and last-minute exposure to the board disappointing and discouraging.

Now to my original comments:

Pathways has produced a plethora of positive results as you heard testimony to in December. To discontinue the partnership with Pathways would be to displace dozens of students from the rigorous and unique education they credit for their success and it would be a mistake–a mistake based on an incompatible, formulaic report card that is skewed on many levels as has been previously addressed. 

I am a fiscally responsible person, I have seen the budget for Pathways, and in the grand scheme of the district spending, it really is a drop in the bucket. To eliminate the partnership based on money, would be a disproportionate reaction to the value it provides to the many students who’ve attended there and are yet to attend.

As the world starts to embrace the reality that students in neat rows of desks with one-size-fits-all education under serves our children and their future, Pathways is leading the way. This school started with an innovative and courageous dream… please tell me you aren’t ready to quit that dream. We are just getting started.  

Please tell me you won’t quit because we hit a couple obstacles. What will we tell the kids if the contract to the only school that has awakened their desire to learn isn’t renewed? “Sorry kids, we hit a snag in the budget and the state report card doesn’t accurately display the amazing things happening here and in your life, so we quit.“

For much of Pathways existence, the district administration has taken little interest. And now their interest seems to only lie in the obstacles while paying little attention to the successes and not embracing the incredible character development and educational journey of the students…. the things that don’t fit into standardized reports and spreadsheets. 

If the contract isn’t renewed it will be viewed by many as misplaced priorities, a lack of vision, disinterest in the needs of the students, and a knee-jerk reaction to a struggling budget.

If the contract is renewed it will be viewed by many as an investment in the future of an amazing and creative population of students, the ingenuity of education, rigor of studies, and evolving path of education.  Thank you.

Chelsea Doman Davis, a parent of four, from Jackson also spoke to the board and wondered what prompted the decision to close if money and preparing students for college isn’t the issue.

Good evening Board members and fellow parents. My name is Chelsea Doman Davis. I live in Jackson …. Last month I talked as a parent of four children in the district and shared my very personal reasons for needing the charter at Pathways to be renewed. Tonight, I again have skipped my own PTO meeting to address you but as a concerned citizen and outside of the emotion of how my family would directly be adversely affected by the dissolution of Pathways Charter School.

I have several points I hope the Board will consider in this matter.

First, the Charter School provides options, which is a choice we value in Wisconsin.

Other school districts in the area have launched or are launching similar efforts, such as the Riveredge Outdoor Learning School in neighboring Northern Ozaukee School District. By removing options here, you are encouraging families to go elsewhere. The Revenue Limit here has been negatively impacted in the past due to students attending other districts.

At Pathways, the students have to engage in the learning process. They drive it. My eighth grader recently protested when his father told him to think creatively about a problem at home because he gets too much practice. He said, “At my school it’s all about working creatively.”

This student-led learning and innovation should be SPREADING to other classrooms, not fighting to stay alive. As you know, the vision of the West Bend School District is to prepare all students for college readiness AND career success. Pathways supports this vision more fully than the other options in the upper grades.

Second, Charter schools are a really great thing.

Stanford University recently conducted a survey of charter schools in 41 urban areas around the nation. Their findings showed that the typical charter school student accumulated 40 additional days’ worth of learning in math and 28 days of reading than their peers in traditional classrooms. Over the four-year study, positive results increased.

This school hasn’t been given enough of a chance. It opened for grades 7-10 in 2013 and added a class per year until the start of the 2015 school year. In other words, it is only in its fourth school year serving all of the intermediate and secondary grades. By dissolving this school while it’s gaining momentum, you’re cutting off the experiment much too soon.

Additionally, why hasn’t the school district promoted Pathways?

At this point, there shouldn’t be any parent who doesn’t know about the school and yet I repeatedly explain the vision of Pathways to parents I meet at the library and the baseball diamond and school drop off and museums and community events. When I talk about the career readiness, the community involvement, and project-based approach, everyone is interested in the affordable alternative to traditional classrooms.

I question what the issue really is here.

It can’t be a money issue because the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of the District has increased 4 years in a row, and the tax rates for education have decreased. The S&P rating for the district is commendable AA. Last year’s budget promised no reduction in programming and courses, so what has changed. As Superintendent Kirkegaard explained in a November meeting, the District has the lowest debt ratio when compared to the surroundings areas.

So if money is not the problem and you want families to have choices within the District, it seems renewing the charter is an obvious decision. Thank you.

Jennie Duller from Germantown and her son Austin, who graduated from Pathways, also spoke Monday night.

Austin said, “I would still be in high school now if it wasn’t for the change of pace, change in thinking and most importantly, because of the coaches.  Because of Pathways I was able to complete my freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year and graduate on time, over the next 3 years. I was able to acquire skills that have helped me in the workplace, as well as create a plan for after high school now.”

Duller echoed those thoughts. “I guarantee there are many students out there that would benefit from this program, parents that want the best education possible for their students. Pathways was the best thing that could have come along for us.”

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard responded to parents by apologizing for not making public the independent audit on Pathways. “I made some assumptions I should not of,” he said.

Kirkegaard then said the decision on whether to go forward was to review the purpose of Pathways and whether it is meeting the goal.

Kirkegaard then reviewed five elements including cost, enrollment, student performance, anticipated change in location, and the independent audit.

Kirkegaard mentioned the successful Charter programs at Kettle Moraine High School.

Kirkegaard mentioned how there were three Charter programs all located in the high school. “They have a phenomenal program,” he said. “Their program is more spelled out in each particular area.”

“Immediately we need to make sure to address all of the concerns of people in Pathways,” he said.

As far as location at Badger School or the high school. “We can make that happen at either school,” said Kirkegaard. “It will require some time and effort but the space is available especially as we look at some declining enrollments going forward.”

Board member Nancy Justman asked for a work session to have a conversation. Board member Joel Ongert said he wanted the board work session to direct it to the teachers.

Scheduling of that work session is underway and the board hopes to have a final decision on the future of Pathways Charter School at its meeting Jan. 28.

After the meeting parent Jennie Duller said, “I feel like it is true that the school district has failed Pathways. They really need to take a step back and gather all of the facts before making a final decision and not operate based off of assumptions that had been preconceived. I am very happy to hear that they will be doing just that next week and meeting with school officials and teachers. I believe from what I heard this evening that here is hope for Pathways to continue on after this year.”

Doman Davis said she felt disappointed. “I was proud of the way the students from Pathways advocated for themselves, and I thought the testimonials from the other parents were inspiring. I am deeply discouraged that the Board appears to not be moved by the very real and long-lasting impact this will have on so many families. I moved to the West Bend area specifically for my oldest child to attend Pathways. If Pathways is closed, I will have to transfer him to a high school outside the district or resume homeschooling. My three other children will transfer to a different district after they complete sixth grade.”

GameStop in Hartford closing                                     By Samantha Sali

GameStop in Hartford, 35 Liberty Avenue, is closing this Sunday, January 20, 2019. The news was confirmed by GameStop store manager, Zack Cull. “It is what it is,” he said. “We appreciate the community and our customers. A lot of people reached out to us and shared how upsetting the news was to hear.

The GameStop in Hartford is located in a strip center owned by Galway Companies. The Hartford location will be merging with the GameStop in West Bend, 1325 W. Paradise Drive.

The store manager in West Bend said they have already received some product from Hartford. Store officials said all gift cards will be valid at any GameStop location and if a Hartford customer has pre-ordered an item that will be available at the West Bend location on Paradise Drive.

The Hartford store is offering discounts until its closes, along with giveaways on the last day, Sunday, Jan. 20. GameStop has been in business since 1999.

Shopko Optical to remain open in West Bend, Grafton, Sussex

In the wake of Wednesday’s announcement regarding the bankruptcy filing and closure of neighborhood Shopko stores there is word a portion of the chain will remain open.

West Bend is on the list of store closings. Its last date is April 15, 2019.

According to Shopko, “All Optical locations below will remain open to serve you during store closing. Your Optical center will be relocated very soon to a new location with the same patient care you have come to expect from your Shopko Optical center.”

More details were posted in a press release from Shopko.

In order to position the Company for future success, Shopko has announced that it will be closing an additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an auction process for its pharmacy business. Throughout this process, all Shopko Optical centers and pharmacies remain open and continue to deliver the high-quality products and services to which its customers are accustomed. All other stores remain open as the Company continues to optimize its store footprint.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical locations during 2019.

On the list of the Shopko Optical centers that will remain open include West Bend, Sussex and Grafton are on the list. As far as the new location is concerned it appears that information has yet to be released to the public. Clerks at the store indicated all information would have to come from Shopko Corporate.

In Mequon the Shopko Optical, 10996 N Port Washington Road, is on an end cap in a strip center across from the Chancery.  Aside from Shopko Optical the other store, Payless Shoes, may need to relocate. Staff at the shoe outlet located inside the Shopko in West Bend had no idea the future of Payless. The Payless website reads, “Entire Site Is 40% OFF Or More! Price Reflects Discount – Includes Clearance!

Updates & Tidbits

-The sale price for Egbert & Guido’s Express, Inc. in West Bend to Kwik Trip has been posted at $966,000. The store was owned by George and Kathy Muth. The parcel, 1300 E. Paradise Drive, sold on Jan. 4, 2019. That land was originally owned by Marie Muth and sold in March 19, 1997 as vacant land. It was turned over in a trust for $75,000. The current assessed value (2018) of the former Citgo property is $1,022,200.

– Meet outstanding teachers and staff during the Sunday, Jan. 27 St. Frances Cabrini Open House and Pancake Breakfast. Come join us 8:30 a.m. – noon.

– Hartford Union High School will name its next Superintendent on Jan. 28. Two candidates for the position include Cassandra Schug and Conrad Farner.

– Wednesday, Jan. 23 is Hamburger Night at the VFW Post 1393. Order your burgers to eat in the hall and enjoy a cocktail, or order your food to go for a small take-out charge.

-A new menu has been rolled out at ‘Eddie’s Moonlighting,’ 326 Commerce Street, in Barton. Eddie Daniel is leasing the popular Barton eatery. He opened Dec. 28, 2018. The new menu is a work in progress. Daniel said he will kick things off with a limited menu including pizza and burgers. He said all items from the heyday of Moonlighting will return including Joe’s fish fry.

– 19th annual Bridal Fair at Washington County Fair Park is Jan. 27. Over 70 vendors with everything from dresses to cakes, wedding venues to entertainment. Tickets $5 Pre-Sale $6 Day-Of

-Cedar Community Annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend. Visit the train room. Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living apartments will also be available by appointment. Enjoy our famous chili, hot ham and cheese croissant, fruit, fresh baked cookie, coffee or hot apple cider – all for only $8.50! Quarts of chili to go for $7.75.

-St Lawrence and Resurrection K.C.’s are sponsoring a 14th annual card party Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Resurrection Parish Hall in Allenton. Entry fee is $5 includes play and lunch.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

Moose Envy

Heh.

For three decades, the Canadian city of Moose Jaw took pride in its status as the home of the world’s largest moose statue.

Standing at a majestic 10 meters tall, Mac the Moose has weathered brutal winters, graffiti and even the inglorious loss of his jaw. His recognition was so great that in 2013, he was named the city’s most popular celebrity.

But status and renown can be fleeting.

In 2015, Norway responded with its own moose sculpture – Storelgen, or “Big Elk” – a glitzy stainless steel bull, erected with the explicit aim of surpassing Mac’s height and stealing his place in the record books.

Now, however, the Canadians are fighting back, after a pair of comedians called Norway’s statue “an egregious offence” and pleaded with Moose Jaw residents to restore the city’s stolen glory.

“You are a city famous around the world for the glorious name of Moose Jaw,” Justin Reves told residents in a video posted to Facebook. “And everyone that comes by, knows that this should be the world’s tallest moose.”

Standing in front of a forlorn Mac, Reves and colleague Greg Moore implored the residents to act quickly by adding 31cm to Mac, to “stick it to Oslo”.

Mueller Says Buzzfeed Report is False

Once again, we see the same pattern. Some “bombshell” report, backed by anonymous sources, is hyped as the nail that will finally seal Trump’s political coffin. Lefties and anti-Trump righties trumpet the news. After 24-48 hours, it is shown to be false. Haven’t y’all learned yet? Aren’t you a little embarrassed that your chain can be yanked so easily?

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has called the bombshell BuzzFeed report claiming President Donald Trump told his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress is false.

The special counsel’s office issued a rare public statement disputing the accuracy of a news report saying that Trump told his personal attorney Cohen to lie to Congress.

Dueling Women’s Marches in NYC

These kerfuffles on the Left are hilarious.

NEW YORK (AP) — Conflicts over control, inclusivity and alleged anti-Semitism will mean that women protesting on the second anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington are faced with competing demonstrations this weekend in New York City.

One procession, around the edge of Central Park and down Sixth Avenue, is being organized by the Women’s March Alliance, a nonprofit group whose leaders are putting on their version of the demonstration for the third straight year.

Another event, a downtown rally held at roughly the same time Saturday, is being organized by the New York City chapter of Women’s March Inc., the group formed to help organize the 2017 demonstration in Washington, D.C., the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Talks between organizers aimed at linking the groups in New York City didn’t go anywhere, the reasons varying between overstepping and indifference depending on who’s asked. And hanging overhead that has been a controversy playing out nationwide, of concerns related to race and religion.

[…]

The Women’s March Inc. leaders have “apologized for the harm that they have caused and we are taking those apologies and the actions they have taken to include Jews … seriously,” she said.

Republicans Propose Using Surplus for Tax Cut

I agree. By definition, a surplus is money they didn’t budget and don’t need. Give it back.

Assembly Republicans are proposing a 10 percent income tax cut for middle-class Wisconsinites in what they say is an effort to help Democratic Gov. Tony Evers deliver on one of his campaign promises — but Evers isn’t jumping on board.

The Republican proposal would use a budget surplus to expand the sliding scale standard deduction for the individual income tax to give “targeted relief to the middle class,” said state Rep. Terry Katsma, R-Oostburg, in a news conference announcing the plan.

Assembly Republicans held six press conferences throughout the state to highlight the proposal, which would cost $490 million in its first year and an estimated $338 million per year after that. As of June 30, the state’s general fund had a positive balance of $588.5 million based on cash accounting.

Evers campaigned on cutting middle-class income taxes by 10 percent, but his proposal was tied to scaling back the state’s manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, which reduces the state income tax for manufacturers and agricultural producers.

You’ll notice that Evers isn’t as interested in a tax cut for the middle class as he is in hitting manufacturers and farmers with a tax increase.

I do think that the Republicans are being too cute by half by glibly claiming that they are trying to help Evers fulfill a campaign promise. Just propose it, own it, and pass it. Let Evers decide for himself if he wants to take credit for it or veto it.

 

Wisconsin Adds More Jobs

Excellent!

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary employment estimates for the month of December. The data showed Wisconsin added 48,300 total non-farm jobs and 44,900 private-sector jobs from December 2017 to December 2018. Construction jobs increased by 8,500 and manufacturing jobs increased 17,800 over the year. The December unemployment rate remained at 3.0%.

Trump Denies Pelosi Use of Military Aircraft

This is awesome. Childish? Yes. Was Pelosi being childish? Yes. Should Pelosi and other politicians be flying around the world on our dime to talk to people when we live in an age of secure, instant communication? No. Does Trump make an excellent point? Yep.

US President Donald Trump has postponed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming trip to Brussels and Afghanistan, asking her to stay to negotiate an end to the partial US government shutdown.

The president was able to halt the trip by denying the use of military aircraft to Mrs Pelosi and a delegation.

On Wednesday Mrs Pelosi had urged Mr Trump to postpone his State of the Union address, amid political deadlock.

Mr Trump’s move came on the 27th day of the US’s longest-ever federal shutdown.

“school board member is the most underutilized position in Wisconsin.”

Bill Savage’s letter to the editor in the Washington County Daily News is spot on. In West Bend, we will have a referendum on the same ballot as the school board candidates. Voters deserve to know exactly where they stand.

To the editor: After serving on Hartford’s school boards for 12 years, I can tell you with the utmost certainty that being a school board member is the most underutilized position in Wisconsin.

Since Act 10, school boards have an enormous amount of influence over several issues. School boards can offer merit-based bonus programs, provide direction for curriculum and set the tone for the educational experience children receive. School boards have the ability to make personnel changes. No longer do board members have to sit back and watch the union veto every decision made. Since Act 10, being a school board member is an important position.

I’ve asked the question before, but I’ll ask it again: Where does the buck stop at the Hartford Union High School? The principal? The administrator? The School Board? The proverbial buck stops with you, the voter.

In the last election for the HUHS Board of Education, there were three candidates vying for two seats — three candidates with no campaign. Not one flier was distributed, not one issue was discussed and not one article on their positions was written.

The absence of an issue-based campaign serves no one. Right now we run the risk of having an entire school board that really doesn’t know why they were elected or what is expected of them. Running for office on issues and winning gives you a moral compass on what direction the people who elected you expect you to pursue. Without that moral compass, those board members do not have the confidence to stand up for us, or shall I say, “we the people.”

In April, there are four candidates for two seats. I’d like to know why they are running, what their concerns are, and of course, more importantly, what they intend to do to improve HUHS.

Bill Savage

Hartford

Jihadists Attack Hotel in Nairobi

It’s a never-ending fight.

At least 21 people were killed when Somali militants stormed a luxury hotel compound in Nairobi, Kenya’s government has confirmed.

Hundreds were forced to flee the bloodshed at the DusitD2 hotel and business complex on Tuesday.

Some 28 injured people have been admitted to hospital, and Kenya’s Red Cross said 19 are still missing.

Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab said it was behind the attack, which triggered a 19-hour security operation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the siege ended with five jihadist attackers “eliminated”.

Kenya has been a target for al-Shabab since October 2011, when it sent its army into Somalia to fight the jihadist group.

The Planetary Health Diet

Eh, no thanks.

If you eat meat every day then this is the first biggie. For red meat you’re looking at a burger a week or a large steak a month and that’s your lot.

You can still have a couple of portions of fish and the same of chicken a week, but plants are where the rest of your protein will need to come from.

The researchers are recommending nuts and a good helping of legumes (that’s beans, chickpeas and lentils) every day instead.

There’s also a major push on all fruit and veg, which should be make up half of every plate of food we eat.

Although there’s a cull on “starchy vegetables” such as the humble potato or cassava which is widely eaten in Africa.

Karen Pence to Teach at Christian School

The anti-Christian bigotry of the Left is on full display with this story.

Second Lady Karen Pence, the wife of the US vice-president, will return to teaching art at a school that requires employees to oppose LGBT lifestyles.

The school in Springfield, Virginia, bars teachers from engaging in or condoning “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” and “transgender identity”.

Mrs Pence previously taught art at the school for more than a decade while her husband was a member of Congress.

A spokeswoman for Mrs Pence has hit back at criticism of her employer.

“Mrs Pence has returned to the school where she previously taught for 12 years,” the second lady’s spokeswoman Kara Brooks said in a statement.

“It’s absurd that her decision to teach art to children at a Christian school, and the school’s religious beliefs, are under attack.”

Senators Agree to Bloviate More in Exchange for Opening Government

This is a promise to do nothing in exchange for full capitulation. Meanwhile, Pelosi’s House won’t even go that far. No.

Senators in both parties are racing to deliver a letter to President Donald Trump indicating that if the government reopens, they are willing to work on a border security package with the president, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

[…]

The letter says the group is “committed to resolving our current budget stalemate by strengthening border security and ending the government shutdown,” according to a draft obtained by POLITICO. It includes an assurance that the administration‘s $5.7 billion budget request would be taken up in the relevant congressional committees.

Evers Throws Shade at GOP Bill Without Reading It

That’s how it’s going to be, eh?

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday signaled skepticism of a bill lawmakers are advancing that requires health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions on some — but not all — health plans.

“My point is it’s important that whatever passes the Legislature has to be equal to or better than what exists at the federal level,” Evers told reporters Tuesday, but noted he had not yet read the bill.

“I hate to break it to you… I’m black.’

BWHAHAHAHA

Areva Martin, who describes herself as an ‘advocate, commentator, author, TV host and producer’ was speaking on David Webb’s Sirius XM radio program about experience being more important than race when it comes to landing a job role.

However the co-host of Face the Truth on CBS and CNN Legal Analyst seemingly made the mistake of assuming the presenter’s race when he claimed he had never regarded his race as a barrier when obtaining work.

Areva Martin told David Webb on his Sirius XM radio program Tuesday that he has ‘white privilege’. Martin said she was given the wrong information and apologized to Webb

‘I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one. I never considered my color the issue, I considered my qualifications the issue,’ Webb said on his Patriot show.

It led Martin to respond with a statement that suggested she believed Webb was Caucasian.

‘That’s a whole, another long conversation about white privilege, the things that you have the privilege of doing, that people of color don’t have the privilege of,’ she replied.

It emerged she had the wrong idea when Webb probed further into her thinking.

‘How do I have the privilege of white privilege?’ he questioned her. To which she hit back. ‘David, by virtue of being a white male you have white privilege.’

However Martin was soon corrected when the host – whose radio show also appears on TV via Fox Nation – realized she had no idea he was African American.

‘You see, you went to white privilege; this is the falsehood in this,’ Webb hit back. ‘You went immediately with an assumption. Your people, obviously, or you didn’t look.

‘Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black.’

[…]

Posting images of himself alongside white men, he wrote: ‘Just two guys showing their #WhitePrivelege.’