Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Author: Owen

Phase 1B Preliminarily Approved

Hmmm

The next phase of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout just got a whole lot bigger.

 

A state vaccine advisory subcommittee voted on Wednesday morning, Jan. 20 to approve a Phase 1b plan that covers more than 1.6 million Wisconsin residents (33% of the adult population).

 

The plan, which still needs final approval from the full committee, includes all adults 65 and older, grocery workers, meat processors, transit bus drivers, teachers, daycare workers, college professors, 911 dispatchers, and state prisoners, among others.

Despite Governor Evers’ statements last week, 65+ citizens are NOT able to get the vaccine yet. It still needs final committee approval and then distribution.

At this pace, Evers’ promise of general availability by June seems optimistic.

What Didn’t Happen

As I predicted, there wasn’t a riot.

There weren’t hordes of Trump supporters trying to storm government building around the country.

Nobody tried to interrupt the inauguration.

No violence.

Nothing.

Nada.

So I ask again… why the overwhelming armed occupation around the nation?

Wisconsin DHS Continues to Move at the Pace of Bureaucracy

Note that all they are saying is that old folks are on the list. They aren’t committing to when they might actually receive the vaccine. Their blame of the federal government is a lie since they haven’t even administered half of the doses they already have. But the main point is that they are still deciding the priority list a full six weeks AFTER the vaccine was approved. As I said in my column yesterday, these are decisions that could have been made in a thoughtful afternoon. For all of their insistence that citizens upend their lives because of the emergency, Evers’ bureaucracy moves at its own pace.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Everyone over age 65 in Wisconsin will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting on Monday, a group of 700,000 people that is more expansive than originally envisioned to be next in line for the shot, the state Department of Health Services said Tuesday.

 

The department also cautioned that the speed of vaccinations depends on how much vaccine the state receives from the federal government. Wisconsin receives about 70,000 doses of first-dose vaccine each week; at that pace, it could take months to vaccinate the new group.

 

“Wisconsin systems and operations are ready to vaccinate more people,” said Andrea Palm, the secretary of the state Department of Health Services, who is leaving her post on Wednesday. ”The amount of vaccine we get from the federal government will determine how quickly we can get these groups vaccinated.”

Evers Installs Lobbyist As New Health Secretary

The oxygenating churn of the swamp.

MADISON – Wisconsin’s incoming top health official isn’t saying whether she will step away from decisions affecting the health care clients she represented as a lobbyist.

 

Karen Timberlake next week will become interim health services secretary. She will replace Andrea Palm, who is stepping down to take the No. 2 post in President-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Timberlake served as Wisconsin’s health secretary from 2008 to 2011 under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and in recent years has focused on health care issues as a lobbyist with Michael Best Strategies. She shed those clients Tuesday, but in her new job will be able to make decisions that have profound effects on how they operate and their bottom lines.

Where are the vaccines?

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. It’s not often that I find myself on the same side as the editorial board for the Madison paper. Here’s s snippet:

After Governor Tony Evers failed the unemployed of Wisconsin with his inept management of unemployment claims, he is compounding Wisconsin’s misery with his failure to administer the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. What is more infuriating is that when questioned about it, Evers blusters and obfuscates with all the indignation of a career bureaucrat unacquainted with accountability.

 

[…]

 

Last week, Governor Evers admitted that his administration would be unable to begin inoculating the general public until June – over five months from now. It is a disgraceful admission of failure given with the banality of an indifferent government bureaucrat.

 

[…]

 

This subcommittee still needs to finalize Phase 1B before moving on to Phase 1C, Phase 2, etc. These are decisions that could be made in an afternoon. While Wisconsinites are suffering and being told that there is a medical crisis, Evers’ bureaucracy moves at its own pace – oblivious to the travails of the citizens it serves.

 

[…]

 

When confronted for his administration’s failures, Evers blames the federal government for not giving the state enough doses (despite having administered less than half of the doses available); blames Republicans; makes vigorous, if unsubstantiated, proclamations about the competence of his government; and refuses to accept any responsibility for his administration’s failures. However, despite his accusations and deflections, the simple truth is that Evers has failed to administer the doses Wisconsin has already been given.

 

Evers’ administration of the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been too slow, too bureaucratic, and too lazy. While Wisconsinites are being asked to forgo their livelihoods, upend their lives, and accept a retardation of civil rights in response to a pandemic, Governor Evers and his administration are behaving like it is just a another day at the office.

 

I have a dream

Still amazing.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

 

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

 

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

 

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

 

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

 

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

 

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

 

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

 

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

 

We cannot walk alone.

 

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

 

We cannot turn back.

 

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. **We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.”** We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”1

 

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

 

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

 

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

 

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

 

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

 

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

 

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

 

I have a dream today!

 

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

 

I have a dream today!

 

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”2

 

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

 

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

 

And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

 

My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,    From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

 

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

 

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

 

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

 

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

 

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

 

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

 

But not only that:

 

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

 

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

 

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

 

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

 

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

 

Free at last! Free at last!

 

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

China’s Economy Expands in 2020

It’s almost as if they bounced back while their global agitators pushed to keep Western economies closed.

BEIJING (AP) — China eked out 2.3% economic growth in 2020, likely becoming the only major economy to expand as shops and factories reopened relatively early from a shutdown to fight the coronavirus while the United States, Japan and Europe struggled with rising infections.

 

Growth in the three months ending in December rose to 6.5% over a year earlier as consumers returned to shopping malls, restaurants and cinemas, official data showed Monday. That was up from the previous quarter’s 4.9% and stronger than many forecasters expected.

 

In early 2020, activity contracted by 6.8% in the first quarter as the ruling Communist Party took the then-unprecedented step of shutting down most of its economy to fight the virus. The following quarter, China became the first major country to grow again with a 3.2% expansion after the party declared victory over the virus in March and allowed factories, shops and offices to reopen.

Andrea Palm Goes to Washington

Goodness…. if this is the kind of “talent” that will fill the ranks of the Biden Administration, we’re in for a rocky road.

Wisconsin’s top health official is leaving for a job with the federal government under incoming President Joe Biden.

 

Andrea Palm, secretary-designee of the state Department of Health Services, has been nominated deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Her last day at DHS is scheduled for Wednesday.

Peaceful Weekend

Heh.

More than a dozen states activated National Guard troops to help secure their capitol buildings following an FBI warning of armed demonstrations, with right-wing extremists emboldened by the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

 

Security officials had eyed Sunday as the first major flashpoint, as the anti-government “boogaloo” movement made plans weeks ago to hold rallies in all 50 states.

 

But by Sunday evening, only small gatherings of demonstrators had taken to the streets alongside much larger crowds of law-enforcement officers and media personnel.

 

“It was a non-event today and we are glad it was,” said Troy Thompson, spokesman for the Department of General Services, the agency that protects the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg.

I believe I said that:

Is this real or is it just another effort to rile up people to support Democrats? I give three-to-one odds that we don’t see anything more than a couple of nutters.

Remember that liberals outright rioted when Trump was sworn in.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club volunteers to reroute trail at Sandy Knoll

 

Volunteers stepped up over the weekend to work with the West Bend Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club clearing a new path for the trail to go around, rather than through the dog park at Sandy Knoll.

 

Last week a story was posted at WashingtonCountyInsider.com about some confusion at Sandy Knoll County Park on Wallace Lake Road in West Bend as fans of the dog park were mixing with snowmobile enthusiasts on the same turf.

 

Some miscommunication was to blame, but rather than dwell on it the Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club stepped up to make it right.

 

“We had 20 guys show up with less than 24 hours’ notice,” said Pat Groth of West Bend Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club.  “We worked hard to make the trail go where it needs to and that should help make dog owners happy and safe.”

 

Groth put out a call-to-action early Saturday morning and was more than pleased with the response. “I couldn’t be more proud of our snowmobile club because I put out a mass text on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.   It read, ‘We’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to take care of at Sandy Knoll to make this problem go away for Washington County and we’re just helping out another landowner.'”

 

Groth said on Sunday morning a crew showed up with wheelbarrows and trucks and saws and within four hours they cleared a path outside of the dog park fence. “The trail now goes to the west outside of the fence for the dog park. Problem solved,” said Groth.

 

The team of volunteers moved the path, cleared a large amount of brush to get the groomer through, and cleaned up. The snowmobile season in Washington County runs about 20 days at most during the winter season.

 

On a history note: The snowmobile trail has been running through Sandy Knoll Park for 45 years and the trail itself has been in place even before Sandy Knoll became a park. Sandy Paws Dog Park opened in 2020.

read more…

U.S. Census to Count Illegal Aliens

In other words, states like California will have more representation in Congress at the expense of states like Wisconsin.

President Donald Trump’s effort to exclude people in the U.S. illegally from being counted in the process for divvying up congressional seats was dealt another blow Wednesday when the Census Bureau’s director indefinitely halted an effort to gather data on the citizenship status of every U.S. resident.

Bureau workers laboring to comply with the Trump order were instructed to “’stand down’ and discontinue their data reviews,” Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said in a memo.

A review indicated problems with the data that would require additional work, Dillingham said.

Asking for Consistency. Finding None.

Ouch

So answer me this, all you lofty liberals. I have always despised Donald Trump and the empty-headed movement he created, and I am here quite happy to say that the invasion of the halls of the US Congress by Trump supporters was a grotesque, evil and criminal enterprise, which I utterly condemn without the tiniest reservation.

 

But will you, even now, say that the violent putsch in Kiev, six years ago, was just as wrong?

 

No, you won’t. Because – as your failure to defend liberty shows – you have no real principles. You put them on as fancy dress when you need to pose. But in reality you will do what you have to, to get the power you want. Your outrage is phoney and selective, and I do not trust it.

Biden Plans Mask Mandate for Interstate Travel

FYI:

Biden also plans on asking the Education Department to extend the federal hiatus on student loan payments and interest on federal student loans, rejoining the Paris Climate Accords and undoing the Trump administration’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries.

Biden also will issue a mask mandate on federal property and interstate travel and extend a pause on evictions and foreclosures.

I’m curious how they will implement and enforce an interstate mask mandate. The airlines are already enforcing mask wearing, so this really only applies to people driving between states. Will federal agents staff the border to enforce compliance? How long is the mandate in effect? For example, if I drive from Appleton to Des Moines, do I have to wear a mask the whole way because I cross a boarder? Or do I just have to wear it when actually crossing the border?

Oh, and Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

Federal Land to be Mined

The bias in this story is almost laughable.

As one of its last acts, the Trump administration has set in motion the transfer of sacred Native American lands to a pair of Anglo-Australian mining conglomerates.

 

The 2,422-acre Arizona parcel called Oak Flat is of enormous significance to the Western Apache and is now on track for destruction by what is slated to be one of the largest copper mining operations in the United States.

Steps for the controversial land transfer from the US government, which owns the land, to the miners were completed on Friday morning, when a final environmental assessment was published. The government must soon transfer title to the land.

Oh, that horrible Trump and his hate for the environment and Native Americans, amiright!?!? Oh, except:

Unbeknown to tribes and environmental groups who had long opposed mining Oak Flat, the land transfer was passed by Congress and signed by Barack Obama in December 2014 as a last-minute rider to a Department of Defense spending bill.

President Obama and a Democratic Senate helps bring this about.

What should outrage everyone is why it takes over six years for a transfer like this to take place. Glaciers and snails look with disgust at the slowness of the federal bureaucracy.

“opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making”

In thinking about the Great Tech Oligarchy’s crackdown of speech in collusion with liberal politicians, I thought of Milton’s Areopagitica and went back to reread it. There are no new arguments under the sun because the human condition remains as constant as the stars.

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making. Under these fantastic terrors of sect and schism, we wrong the earnest and zealous thirst after knowledge and understanding which God hath stirr’d up in this city. What some lament of, we rather should rejoyce at, should rather praise this pious forwardnes among men, to reassume the ill deputed care of their Religion into their own hands again. A little generous prudence, a little forbearance of one another, and som grain of charity might win all these diligences to joyn, and unite into one generall and brotherly search after Truth; could we but forgoe this Prelaticall tradition of crowding free consciences and Christian liberties into canons and precepts of men.

Armed Occupation

The onset of the new administration has all of the hallmarks of an armed occupation.

D.C. has called in 25,000 National Guard troops to guard the streets in and around the Capitol in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. They are being joined by patrols by the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police and law enforcement from cities around the country.

 

There are at least 7,000 troops from dozens of states already on the ground in the nation’s capital with more to arrive in the coming days.

 

Officials have installed a massive security apparatus around the complex where the inauguration is to take place.

 

The FBI has also warned police agencies of possible armed protests at all 50 state capitols starting January 16 through January 20, fuelled by supporters of Trump who believe his false claims of electoral fraud.

 

Michigan, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Washington are among the states that have activated their National Guards to strengthen security.

Lockdowns Don’t Work

Except to weaken the economy and make hungry people look to government for relief.

A study evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.

 

The peer reviewed study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation on January 5, and analyzed coronavirus case growth in 10 countries in early 2020.

 

The study compared cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. – all countries that implemented mandatory lockdown orders and business closures – to South Korea and Sweden, which instituted less severe, voluntary responses. It aimed to analyze the effect that less restrictive or more restrictive measures had on changing individual behavior and curbing the transmission of the virus.

 

The researchers used a mathematical model to compare countries that did and did not enact more restrictive lockdown orders, and determined that there was “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”

Wisconsin DHS Retards Vaccine Distribution with Red Tape

Government at work. From the MacIver Institute.

 

Another problem facing providers is they can’t give the vaccine to anyone. Only first responders and nursing home residents and staff are currently eligible.

 

Some providers say they have more doses than people who are on the eligibility list and want the vaccine, according to Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, Assembly Health Committee Chairman. Those providers cannot simply start giving the extra vaccine doses to people lower on the priority list, because DHS is still trying to figure out who should be on that list.

 

DHS gave the job of creating an eligibility list to its 12-member State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC), which in turn handed it over to its 17-member vaccine subcommittee.

 

DHS started talking about creating the subcommittee in early October when it first faced up to the possibility that “DHS will have responsibility for developing an effective and equitable strategy for distributing vaccine to Wisconsin residents.”

 

The first several weeks were spent selecting members, developing a framework for equitable distribution, and taking public comment. On December 10th, it settled on what groups of people should get the vaccine first, during “Phase 1A.” That list includes first responders and nursing home staff and residents. That was just in the nick of time. The FDA approved emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 11th. The first vaccines were administered in Wisconsin on Dec. 14th. Moderna’s vaccine was approved on Dec. 18th.

 

The vaccine subcommittee then got to work on the eligibility list for “Phase 1B.” It completed a preliminary list ready for public comment on Jan. 12th. It includes everyone over the age of 70, state prison inmates, and workers in the mink fur industry. That same day, the federal government told states to open up vaccinations to everyone over the age of 65.

State Elections Commission Allows Pridemore to Remain on Ballot

This is the correct decision. From the Washington County Insider:

January 15, 2021 – Washington Co., WI – On a vote of 6 – 0 the Wisconsin Election Commission (WEC) cast a decision Friday afternoon, January 15, 2021 that Don Pridemore of Hartford would remain on the February 16, 2021 primary election ballot for State Senate District 13.

There had been a challenge made by Steven Hepp, received Monday, January 11, 2021, questioning Pridemore’s residence listed on his nomination paperwork.

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