Author Archives: Owen

Some Details on Shooting at Mayfair Mall

The only reason that there weren’t multiple fatalities is because this guy was a bad shot. Pray this predator never sees the light of day again.

According to the petition, the teen and a friend were in the mall Friday when the friend confronted a group of people descending an escalator, yelling then punching one person in the group. Witnesses told police the teen was farther back and “took a shooter’s stance.” He began firing with a handgun drawn from his waistband, the petition says.

The teen fled and was arrested Sunday in a car with Illinois plates, with a packed bag and the handgun police said was used in the shooting, the petition says. Police have said two others were also arrested but have not described their roles in the shooting.

Biden Advocates for Open Border

Between Ireland and the U.K.

(REUTERS) -U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday he did not want to see a guarded border between Ireland and the United Kingdom, adding that he had previously discussed the matter with the British and Irish prime ministers and other European leaders.

Biden had stressed the importance of protecting Northern Ireland’s peace deal in the Brexit process in a call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the month, after Biden won the Nov. 3 U.S. election against President Donald Trump.

Johnson’s government is seeking a trade deal with the European Union but says it is willing to leave without one. That could complicate the situation at the sensitive Northern Irish border with Ireland – the UK’s only land border with the EU.

Biden told journalists in Wilmington, Delaware, that the border must be open.

“We do not want a guarded border,” he said, answering a question from a reporter on what he would say to Brexit negotiators.

I seem to remember the Left getting all in a tizzy about the Trump team talking to foreign leaders in 2016… but here we are.

Bribing for Concealed Carry Permits

There’s a broader point here.

Apple’s head of global security has been charged with bribery after allegedly promising 200 iPads worth $70,000 to police in exchange for four concealed-weapon permits for the company’s security officers.

[…]

Carrying concealed firearms in California is illegal without a permit, and county sheriffs have broad discretion over their issuance, which can cost between $200 and $400.

Integrity isn’t convenient

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

America’s voting laws have been continuously changed throughout our history and every state conducts its elections a little differently. The twin objectives of our electoral process are to make it as easy as possible for as many citizens as possible to vote while also ensuring the integrity of the process. The former objective is to encourage a large enough turnout of voters to capture the will of the majority. The latter objective is to ensure that that will is accurately recorded.

As we have leaned our electoral system in favor of convenience to encourage turnout, we have opened it to fraud and the appearance of fraud. When election results are overwhelming, a little fraud does not threaten the result. When elections are decided on the knife’s edge, a little fraud undermines our system of government. In a system of government that relies on the losers willingly accepting the rule of the winners, legitimacy is based on the people’s faith in the outcome.

While still encouraging as many citizens who want to vote to vote, Wisconsin should once again lead the nation in electoral reform by creating a system that is the pride of democracy.

 

Mayor Says Mall Shooter Should Have Complied With Mall’s Gun Prohibition

You can’t fake being this stupid.

Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride says the Mayfair Mall mass shooting wouldn’t have happened if the shooter had “complied” with the mall’s “strict no-gun policy.”

McBride made the comment in a press release. “Guns have no place in shopping malls or other places in which crowds of people gather. Mayfair has a strict no-gun policy. If the shooter had complied with that policy, no one would have been hurt yesterday,” he wrote.

He added, “On behalf of the community, I thank the officers of the WPD and nearby police departments for their protection of shoppers, employees, and other members of the greater Milwaukee community. ”

The mayor returned to the issue of guns in a Sunday news conference where the chief revealed a 15 year old Milwaukee teenager was in custody in connection with the mass shooting, which injured eight. McBride reiterated that Mayfair has a no-gun policy. “Mayfair has that rule and people should follow that rule. Unfortunately, there are people who break rules and laws,” he said.

“I see a deeper problem in society. Children shouldn’t have guns. Mayfair has a strict no gun policy. People should not bring guns to malls,” said the mayor.

Unfortunately, Mayfair Mall has begun its slide into desertion. After a wave of crime there several years ago, the city and mall authorities responded with aggressive measures to quell the violence. The result has been several years of the mall flourishing.

Now the City of Wauwatosa has decided to neuter its police force. They just publicly forced an officer to resign after that officer, coincidentally, shot a kid who was brandishing a gun at Mayfair.

The crooks got the message and they are back roving Mayfair Mall. Why? Because it’s a convenient place to gather where nobody will bother them too much. With the crooks back, violence will become more common and the suburban families who might spend a few hundred dollars at the mall on a nice evening will choose other destinations.

And Mayfair Mall will go the way of Northridge. It’s coming. There are a few short months for Wauwatosa to stop the slide before it gathers too much momentum. Once a reputation is gained, it is quite difficult to reverse it.

Feinstein Purged From Judiciary Committee

She is paying the price for being nice to ACB. She was allowed to save face, but the message was clear to Senate Democrats. Straying from rigid orthodoxy will not be tolerated.

The California senator Dianne Feinstein will not seek to retain her position as the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee.

“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress,” Feinstein said in a statement on Monday.

“California is a huge state confronting two existential threats – wildfire and drought – that are only getting worse with climate change. In the next Congress, I plan to increase my attention on those two crucial issues,” she added.

Dick Durbin, the senator of Illinois and the Democratic whip, said he would seek the job.

Big Auto Stitches with Big Government

And screws consumers in the rest of America in the process. Aren’t you glad that you are still paying the bill to bail them out from 2008/9?

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is switching sides in the legal fight against California’s right to set its own clean-air standards, abandoning the Trump administration as the president’s term nears its close.

CEO Mary Barra said in a letter Monday to environmental groups that GM will no longer support the Trump administration in its defense against a lawsuit over its efforts against California’s standards. And GM is urging other automakers to do the same.

The move is a sign that GM and other automakers are anticipating big changes when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. Already at least one other large automaker, Toyota, said it may join GM in switching to California’s team.

Evers Administration Sues

The liberals won the Supreme Court election and the election is over. Time for them to launch a barrage of lawsuits in the hope that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has shifted Left.

MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul sued state lawmakers Monday, bringing a new challenge to a set of lame-duck laws Republicans passed two years ago to curb their powers.

The latest case focuses on a requirement that the Legislature’s budget committee sign off on some court settlements negotiated by Kaul.

Evers and Kaul argue that the policy violates the state constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine, which spells out what authorities belong to the executive and legislative branches of government.

With the lawsuit, the state’s top two Democrats are trying to resolve an issue that has remained elusive during the first half of their terms in office.

In a ruling this summer, the state Supreme Court found the settlement provision does not violate the state constitution in all situations but left open the possibility that it might some of the time. The new, narrower lawsuit asks the high court to rule that two classes of cases should be exempt from the requirement to get approval from lawmakers.

On the merits, the law does not appear to violate the separation of powers. In fact, the law is a long-overdue legislative oversight that I hope remains in place for future Republican Attorneys General too. Some state AGs have used their power to shake down companies for settlements that can then be doled out to political favorites by the administration in power. A little oversight and discussion with the legislature is not an undue burden. It is, however, a prudent exercise of the legislative branch to oversee the collection and disbursement of settlement that often total millions of dollars.

Biden Cabinet Developing

It looks like mostly retreads and lackeys. On the bright side, there don’t appear to be any overt communists yet. Perhaps the Bernie wing of the Democratic Party is to be frustrated yet again.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped Obama-era officials for top national security and economic roles, signaling a stark shift from the Trump administration’s “America First” policies that disparaged international alliances and favored deregulation and tax cuts.

The picks include former Secretary of State John Kerry to take the lead on combating climate change. Biden is also expected to choose Janet Yellen, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, as the first woman to become treasury secretary.

Biden’s emerging Cabinet marks a return to a more traditional approach to governing, relying on veteran policymakers with deep expertise and strong relationships in Washington and global capitals. And with a roster that includes multiple women and people of color — some of whom are breaking historic barriers in their posts — Biden is fulfilling his campaign promise to lead a team that reflects the diversity of America.

The incoming president will nominate longtime adviser Antony Blinken to be secretary of state, lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary and Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations. Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, will be nominated as director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that post.

RIP West Bend Alderman Hoogester

Sad news from the Washington County Insider:

Hoogester graduated Germantown High School in 1973. He started with the West Bend Police Department in the early 1980s and retired after 34 years from the WBPD as a Lieutenant.

He was first elected to the Common Council in April 2013 replacing Mike Schlotfeldt.

With the City of West Bend, Hoogester was part of the Deer Management Committee and Finance Committee.

“It is devistating news,” said Dist. 5 alderman Jed Dolnick.  “I knew Steve when we first started in law enforcement; I knew Steve through our work at the sheriff’s department and police department. He was a good friend and this is unbelieveable.”

Former Dist. 7 alderman Adam Williquette worked with Hoogester on the common council for several terms.  “I sat next to Steve on council for five years and got to know him well during our tenure. He put a lot of time in for the betterment of our community and will be truly missed,” said Williquette.

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said, “Simply put, Steve was a good man.  He was a good father and husband and he was proud of his City.   Steve did not run for office to be a politician.   He decided to be an alderman for the same reason he chose law enforcement for his career, to help people.”

Jews Celebrate in Defiance of Government Prohibition

Mega props to the Orthodox Jewish community for exercising their God-given freedom to assemble and worship.

A Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn slipped under the radar of city officials as it crammed 7,000 maskless people into a synagogue in defiance of Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s coronavirus restrictions.

On November 8, crowds gathered shoulder to shoulder in the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg to celebrate the nuptials of Yoel Teitelbaum, grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelman.

To keep the celebration under wraps, the community shared information on the wedding only by word of mouth as organizers schemed to avoid it being broken up by ‘the ravenous press and government officials’.

[…]

‘Due to the ongoing situation with government restrictions, preparations were made secretly and discreetly, so as not to draw attention from strangers,’ reported Yiddish newspaper Der Blatt, the publication of the Satmar sect. on November 13, according to the New York Post.

‘In recent weeks, organizers worked tirelessly to arrange everything in the best way possible.

‘All notices about upcoming celebrations were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.’

Will You Take the COVID Vaccine?

Well?

Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month and eventually an end to the pandemic — but not until after a long, hard winter.

The action comes days after Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech announced that its vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.

The companies said that protection plus a good safety record means the vaccine should qualify for emergency use authorization, something the Food and Drug Administration can grant before the final testing is fully complete. In addition to Friday’s FDA submission, they have already started “rolling” applications in Europe and the U.K. and intend to submit similar information soon.

I am not one who rejects vaccines. I have taken all of the normal ones throughout my life and believe them to be a prudent way to prevent severe illnesses with minor risk. There’s no way I’m taking the first round of a vaccine that was rushed to market to prevent a disease that my immune system will almost certainly be able to fight of when I get it. For people who are in a higher risk category for COVID, y’all’s risk/benefit assessment may be different. But I would count on wide swaths of Americans taking a pass for a while until we see how the first few waves of vaccinations go.

The question will be… what will the government and businesses do to force it? We have already see several businesses jumping to find ways to force their customers to get a vaccine. We are in a dangerous transition point in our nation’s history. I’m not sure that we will ever get back.

Illinois is Still Corrupt

Yup

One of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s oldest and most trusted confidants was among four people charged Wednesday with orchestrating an elaborate bribery scheme with utility giant Commonwealth Edison that allegedly funneled money and do-nothing jobs to Madigan loyalists in exchange for the speaker’s help with state legislation.

Michael McClain, 73, of downstate Quincy, was charged in a 50-page indictment returned by a federal grand jury with bribery conspiracy and bribery.

Also charged were former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, 62, of Barrington; lobbyist and former ComEd executive John Hooker, 71, of Chicago; and Jay Doherty, 67, a consultant and former head of the City Club of Chicago.

The indictment alleged that beginning in 2011, the defendants “arranged for various associates” of Madigan — including his political allies and campaign workers — to “obtain jobs, contracts, and monetary payments” from ComEd even in instances where they did little or no actual work. Madigan is referred to in the charges only as Public Official A.

In Praise of Messy

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

There is a dangerous ethos slipping into our national psyche that has the power to upend our cherished republic. That ethos decrees that objectionable speech should be forbidden. Not challenged with more speech. Not ridiculed. Not debunked. Forbidden. Our nation’s downfall finds root in such concepts.

Our nation is not unaccustomed to robust public debate. Much of our history is the story of vigorous, heated, sometimes violent debates that burned hot in the friction created by the wheels of progress. Some of our national heroes are those who were able to introduce new, sometimes radical, concepts that lubricated the body politic in preparation for action. Such heroes of thought, pen, and voice would struggle in today’s enforced culture of leftist thought hegemony.

Liberty begins with the freedom of thought and the first public manifestation of liberty is the expression of thought. The measure of a free society is how many of those expressions are permitted. How restrictive can a society be before it toggles from a society that is considered free and one that is not?

In a perfectly free society, all expressions would be permitted without government sanction. Almost all nations, even those considered to be ardent adherents to the principle of free speech, criminalize some speech. Direct threats and defamation are almost never allowed, for example, but the bar for restricting speech is very high.

At the other end of the spectrum are those nations that maniacally regulate every utterance and have severe penalties for anyone who dares speak something deemed forbidden by the regime in power. The United States has moved along this scale throughout its history, but we are slipping toward the totalitarian end of that spectrum at an alarming pace.

In the American culture, people like to claim that they support free speech, but are increasingly willing to silence people who express views with which they disagree. Since it goes against the traditional American self-image to silence opposing views, the oppressors among us have taken the convenient moral shortcut of labeling thoughts with which they disagree as X-ist or hateful. Since everyone agrees that it is immoral to be X-ist or hateful, the oppressors can claim that silencing such thoughts, and the expression of them, as not only justified, but a moral imperative.

This is the faux moral high ground that movements like antifa and the leftists who lend them support seek to claim. They stand in righteous judgment of everyone who they deem “fascist” or “hateful” or “bigoted.” Their definitions are fluid, but their fury is constant. And when the silencing of evil foes is a moral imperative, any means of doing so can be justified because it promotes a higher good.

Those means have manifested themselves across America in a hundred different ways. News organizations have spawned “fact checking” squads to seek out opposing thoughts and label them as untrue. These self-anointed arbiters of truth stride forth with the confidence and wisdom of 19-year-olds who are home from their first year of college. In an earlier column, I rang a warning bell about the tech giants who are using their market dominance to regulate which speech is allowed to be heard and which must be quashed into the digital abyss. Some Democrat politicians and leftists are espousing the virtues of blacklists to prevent any Trump supporter from being able to work or hold a position of public influence. In both Wisconsin and in Washington D.C., we saw how elected leaders and bureaucrats weaponized government agencies to silence speech and punish the speakers.

The crushing of American public debate under the pretext of purging it of hate, X-ism, and bigotry is an attack on the freedom of thought and an affront to the ideals upon which our nation was founded. That does not mean that all thoughts are good, helpful, or positive, but the way to eradicate them is not to mute them. The way to eradicate them is to allow the light of truth in the public space to show them for what they are and allow them to retreat to the fringe. Freedom means permitting the expression of all thoughts — not just the ones that are accepted by the current orthodoxy.

Freedom relies on people being able to think, speak, introduce new ideas, resurface old ideas, subject them to the gristmill of public debate, and allow the people a robust discussion of diverse viewpoints from which to formulate a consensus public policy. Many of the ideas espoused by our Founders were considered radical, subversive, and treasonous at the time. That is precisely why our founding documents include a full-throated defense of free speech. They understood that the world would change, and new ideas would emerge. Our nation should not fear those ideas. We should welcome them, debate them, and encourage more. It is messy, but freedom always is.

In Madison, You Can Get High… Just Not in Groups

Heh

Under the new ordinances passed Tuesday night, people 18 and older will be allowed to use or possess up to 28 grams, or about an ounce, of marijuana on public and private property, as long as they have the permission of the property owner, landlord or tenant. Possessing paraphernalia also will not be punished.

Citation fines are being reduced from $50 plus court costs to $1 plus court costs. Heavier penalties still apply for those charged with intent to deliver cannabis.

“It’s been decriminalized even further,” Assistant City Attorney Marci Paulsen said. “You’re permitted to possess and consume marijuana in public places, which before you were not allowed to do that. You have to comply with the smoking ordinance, so it’s not like you can smoke marijuana in a restaurant or a bar, but you could walking down the street now.”

In practice, Paulsen said that could lead to some pretty significant changes.

“Before, the Madison Police Department would write citations for individuals possessing marijuana if they arrested individuals with marijuana on them or if they came across a vehicle with people smoking marijuana,” she said. “Now, they won’t be unless it rises to the level of a state statute violation where it’s a significant possession amount or significant crimes are involved in it.”

Tyrant Tony Extends Illegal Order

It’s not about whether it is a good idea or not. It’s about the fact that we do not permit a single man to have this much power over us.

The Democratic governor announced during one of his bi-weekly COVID-19 media briefings that his statewide mask mandate has been extended until January of next year, and that he is issuing a new public health emergency this week.

The current public health emergency was set to expire this Saturday.

“It’s clear based on where we’re at that that we cannot afford to stop or have a gap in some of the only mitigation efforts we still have in place,” Evers said.

Emergency Order No. 1 will also be re-issued, Evers said, which requires face covering in public places.

Court Orders Evers to Surrender Emails

Governor Evers has been flagrantly violating the Open Records Laws. This is not the first example. It won’t be the last. He shuns oversight by the people.

After a year-long battle over Governor Tony Evers’ emails, a Dane County Circuit Court judge ruled this week in FOX6’s favor.

In September 2019, FOX6 requested just over four weeks of emails to and from Governor Tony Evers and his chief of staff, Maggie Gau. FOX6 regularly conducts open records spot checks on public employees’ emails. A recent spot check on two weeks of state lawmakers’ emails uncovered the practice of using personal email addresses to communicate about sensitive government information.

The governor’s assistant legal counsel Erin Deeley denied the request and FOX6’s subsequent attempt to narrow the request to emails from one week.

Finally, FOX6 asked for just Governor Evers’ emails from just one day – June 14, 2019. The request was denied. Governor Evers’ attorney said all email requests will be denied if they do not contain search terms or wording she can turn into search terms. That is, requests for emails about the budget or containing the word “agriculture,” for example, may be processed; requests for all emails over a specific time frame, no matter how short, will be denied. In other words, the requesters need to know what’s in the public records before they can see the public records.

Why are citizens losing faith in integrity of elections?

Don Kriefall, the Washington County Board chairman, weighs in.

President Trump is criticized for causing mistrust of our election system by calling out numerous circumstantial instances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a fair election did not occur. He is doing nothing of the sort, but the mainstream media and the Democratic Party are actually breeding mistrust with their hyperbolic accusations and insistence that there is nothing to see here. Reports of voting irregularities in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas and Milwaukee have harmed the expectations of a legitimate election by many. A fair and balanced audit of all ballots cast at the polling sites in these cities is essential to determine that the vote was legitimate and accurate to satisfy the nation’s uncertainty and to also add credibility to the winner.

In 2000, the nation waited for Florida to count “dimpled” and “pregnant” chads on ballots before the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to the count and determined that the winner of the election was George W. Bush. We fail to remember that the Democrat-appointed head of the General Services Administration, David Barram, refused to release transition funding until after the Supreme Court finally ruled on the Florida election, over four weeks after the election. “Until the results are clear, and as long as both sides are going to court, the results are not clear yet,” GSA spokeswoman Beth Newberger had insisted. No one questioned the motives at that time. No media outlet cried that a partisan coup was conspiring to obstruct an incoming administration. No one accused either candidate’s litigation as unfounded conspiracy theories.

Our Constitution provides a way to remedy contested elections. It’s time to let cooler heads prevail and let the courts shine the light of truth and determine how this should end. In 2000, we waited until December 12 to decide the election; we can wait again. This great nation need not fall. Evil revels in darkness, let the truth come out into the light. All citizens of the United States deserve no less.

It is clear that the expansion of mail in voting, early voting, and machine-driven voting has made the process more complicated, less secure, and more susceptible to fraud. The convenience of those rules and processes are outweighed by the people’s need to know that their elections are an accurate reflection of the will of the people.

Dane County Bans Indoor Gatherings of Any Kind

Nuts to that.

Public Health Madison and Dane County issued on Tuesday, Nov. 17 an emergency order which prohibits indoor gatherings of any size. Outdoor gatherings are permitted with 10 people or less, with physical distancing.

Officials say this order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

[…]

In-person games, sports, competitions, group exercise classes, meetings, trainings, movies, events, and conferences are all considered mass gatherings. Indoor mass gatherings of any people who do not live together are prohibited. Outdoor mass gatherings are limited to 10 people who do not live together, with physical distancing. The previous limit for gatherings was 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, with physical distancing.

This emergency order is in effect until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 16 — \and continues to require face coverings and limit the capacity for most businesses to 50%, along with many other provisions.

Will the Leftist “fight the MAN!” radicals in Madison sheepishly obey this order?

Yup.

When did we get to the point that we just accept that it is the role of some jackass health department bureaucrat to tell us if we can gather with friends and family in our own homes? About three months ago. Push back.

BTW,

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly…

School Closings are Not About the Rona

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty has done a study which shows what we all anecdotally knew. Unions and politics are driving school closures. COVID is just the excuse. If you want to see systemic classism/racism, look to the public school system.

Diving Deeper: As the new school year approached in 2020, individual school districts in Wisconsin had to make important decisions about in-person learning or using virtual options. But how much did the local presence of the COVID-19 virus factor into these decisions? Research Director Will Flanders, author of Politics in the Pandemic: The Role of Unions in School Reopening Decisions, finds that factors other than the local presence of the virus appear to have played a much larger role.

  • Union presence predicts a school going virtual. Districts with a teachers union were more likely to go virtual than districts without a teachers union.

  • Political ideology predicts a school going virtual. Districts with a higher percentage of votes for President Trump in 2016 and 2020 were more likely to open, while those with a higher percentage for Hillary Clinton were more likely to remain shuttered.

  • COVID-19 cases in an area were not predictive. The per-capita rate of COVID-19 cases in an area was not significantly predictive of whether a school district would reopen or not.

  • Districts with more low-income children are more likely to go virtual. As the percentage of students in a district who are low-income increases, so does the likelihood that the district will have chosen virtual education for the fall.