Boots & Sabers

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Category: Culture

Regents Bring California Values to Wisconsin’s Flagship Campus

Disgraceful.

(Reuters) – Jennifer Mnookin, the longtime dean of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, has been named the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Officials announced her appointment Monday, saying she will take over the top administrative post at the state’s flagship public university on Aug. 4. Mnookin has led UCLA’s law school since 2015, during which time the school has expanded student financial aid, increased fundraising and student diversity, and added several academic centers.

Abort Democrat policies, not babies

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

The issue of abortion had been simmering on the back burner of the midterm election as the nation awaited the Supreme Court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. After the egregious breach of trust and decorum when someone leaked the draft ruling, the issue may still be on the back burner, but it is boiling over.

 

While the leaked ruling is a draft and not the final version, it does indicate that the Supreme Court has decided to reverse and strongly reverse the terrible Roe v. Wade ruling in the same virtuous spirit as Brown v. Board of Education. Justice Samuel Alito’s draft is a masterpiece of legal reasoning written in a strident prose designed to firmly correct the court’s 50-year injustice.

 

When the Supreme Court issues its ruling, and assuming that it will be to reverse Roe, it will not make abortion illegal or legal in the United States. Such a ruling will simply divorce the federal courts from making that decision for anyone and restore the issue to the elected branches of state government to decide. Roe was a massive usurpation of rights and responsibilities left to states in our federal Constitution and hopefully Dobbs will return the issue to the appropriate public policy forum.

 

Several liberal states have already passed laws legalizing abortion up to the point of infanticide. Other states have been increasingly restricting abortions. In both cases, states have been acting to ensure that their state laws will reflect the will of the people should Roe ever be overturned.

 

In Wisconsin, attempts to change abortion laws for the better or the worse have failed to make it into law. Consequently, should the Dobbs decision reverse Roe, Wisconsin’s current abortion law passed in 1849 will be in effect. That law makes it a felony to conduct or assist in an abortion in all circumstances except in the case that the mother’s life is at risk. For those of us who ardently oppose killing babies, the Wisconsin law is ideal. In a politically divided state like Wisconsin, we are in the minority. Public opinion polls for years have shown that a majority of people support abortion very early in a pregnancy with steadily declining support for abortion as the pregnancy progresses with late-term abortions being opposed by a strong majority of people. Should Roe be overturned, abortion policy will no longer be a theoretical policy plank in a party platform and Wisconsin’s elected officials will be responsible for their positions. Earlier this year, the Republicans failed to advance a bill that would have revise Wisconsin’s abortion statute to make abortion legal up until the point that the baby’s heartbeat is detectable. The abortion abolitionists and the secretly pro-abortion wings of the Republican caucus united to bottle up the bill without a vote. It may be an untenable position for Republicans to hold in the long term in a politically divided state. For the sake of the babies, let us hope that they can hold it.

 

While abortion policy is critically important to the thousands of babies who are murdered in Wisconsin every year, it is not as powerful a political issue as those on either side of the issue would like to think it is. There is a sliver of the electorate for whom abortion is the most important, and sometimes only, issue that decides their vote. Polls and electoral results in Virginia and Ohio seem to indicate that the anti-abortion single-issue voters outnumber the pro-abortion single-issue voters by a smidge. But either way, these voters tend to be extremely reliable voters and abortion stances are already strongly divided along party lines. There are a few pro-abortion Republicans left, but there are almost no anti-abortion Democrats to be found anymore. In other words, these voters were already very likely to vote, and their votes were already baked into the political projections.

 

If anything, Democrats are desperately hoping that a vigorous debate about abortion will distract some voters from the fact that Democratic policies are ruining our country. Runaway inflation not seen since the early 1980s is destroying our quality of life and erasing the economic gains of the middle and lower classes. Gas prices are through the roof. There are shortages of necessities like baby formula. Rising housing prices and interest rates are robbing young families of the dream of home ownership at the same time as rent is rising. Criminals are gutting neighborhoods.

 

If Democrats are hoping that a reinvigorated debate about abortion will save them from an electoral correction for their disastrous policies, they are mistaken. At the end of the day, most people care far more about themselves than they do about tiny innocent unwanted babies, but that is why abortion exists in the first place.

 

PETA Protests for Cheaper Nut Juice

Could you be more out of touch with real people? Protesting expensive nut juice for your $8 coffee? Really?

Cromwell and another man, however, appeared to have stayed inside longer than other protesters, their hands stuck to the counter near the cash registers.

They eventually freed their hands from the glue, as police officers watched.

Cromwell, who plays Ewan Roy in “Succession,” has appeared in several TV shows and films since the 1970s, including roles on “Six Feet Under,” “ER” and “Dallas.”

“My friends at PETA and I are calling on Starbucks to stop punishing kind and environmentally conscious customers for choosing plant milks,” Cromwell said in a statement. “We all have a stake in the life-and-death matter of the climate catastrophe, and Starbucks should do its part by ending its vegan upcharge.”

Returning to the Office is Racist

FYI

A group of Apple employees have accused the big-tech giant of racism over its push for corporate workers to return to the office, saying that the shift back to an in-person model will make the company ‘younger, whiter, [and] more male-dominated.’

 

The employees, organized under the newly-formed group Apple Together, petitioned the company on Friday in an open letter after CEO Tim Cook told staffers that they would need to work from the office one day a week starting on April 11, two days per week after three weeks, and three days per week after May 23.

 

They wrote that the decision to bring employees back to the office was not motivated by a ‘need to commune in person,’ as Cook wrote in his letter to staff, but rather was driven by the company’s ‘fear of the future of work, fear of worker autonomy [and] fear of losing control.’

 

BLM Siphoned off Reserves to Board Member’s Firm

It appears that almost the entire BLM national movement was just a giant grifting operation.

Black Lives Matter PAC burned through nearly all of its $116,000 cash reserves in just the first three months of 2022 – paying the most significant chunk to a firm owned by a BLM board member.

 

Bowers Consulting Firm, a company run by BLM board member Shalomyah Bowers, was the highest-paid BLM PAC vendor during the first quarter of 2022, having received $45,000 from the PAC for ‘strategic consulting services,’ the Washington Examiner reported.

 

Two additional law firms also received a large portion of the funds. Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, received $8,000 for legal services and the Perkins Coie law firm received $8,350 for compliance services.

RIP CNN+

I would really like to see the business plan that said this would work.

Warner Bros Discovery will shut down CNN+ after less than a month because the $300million flop failed to take off.

 

CNN CEO Chris Licht said it would be pulled at the end of April due to consumers wanting ‘simplicity and an all-in service’ rather than ‘standalone offerings’.

 

He admitted the decision was ‘incredibly difficult’ but claimed it was ‘the right one for the long term success’ of the company.

 

CNN+ Andrew Morse will leave the firm but it was not clear what will happen to at least 200 reporters and hosts such as Chris Wallace and Eva Longoria.

 

Licht said those who worked for CNN ‘will get opportunities to apply for jobs elsewhere inside Warner Bros Discovery’.

Florida Moves Forward with Termination of Special Districts

Hopefully more corporations will stick to business instead of using their platforms to wage culture war on over half of the population.

“I am announcing today that we are expanding the call of what they are going to be considering this week. And so yes, they will be considering the congressional map but they also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” DeSantis said Tuesday, referring to Disney’s district.

 

The Florida Senate passed the bill in a 23-16 vote, and it’s expected to go to the House swiftly for a vote by Thursday.

 

If passed by the House and signed into law, it would terminate the special district that Walt Disney World uses to operate as its own municipality and could set up a court battle over the theme parks’ future.

Dozens Being Voted Out of the Tribe

I’m confused as to when self-identifying as something is respected and when it is not.

Rabang was still a teenager when she and 300 other members of the Rabang family were disenrolled from Nooksack in 2016. The move to disenroll had started years earlier when a former tribal chair questioned the Rabang’s ancestral lineage to the tribe.

 

The “Nooksack 306”, referring to the members and families being disenrolled, were “incorrectly” enrolled in the 1980s, according to former chairman Ross Cline Sr. The tribe claims the people being disenrolled have no lineage to Nooksack.

 

“We’re going to fight as long as we can,” Santana said. “If it gets to the point where they’re going to come here and physically remove us, then that’s the point that we’ll get to. But we’re not going to go anywhere.

 

As part of the disenrollment process, over 60 people who self-identify as Nooksack, but who have been disenrolled, are facing eviction from their homes.

Russian Atrocities

No matter how civilized we think we have become, humans always return to barbarism. It is one of the many reasons that I vehemently defend the 2nd Amendment.

The BBC’s Yogita Limaye is on the ground reporting on new evidence of atrocities emerging in areas around Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, after Russian forces pulled out.

She took the photo below of a shallow grave in the village of Motyzhyn, where four people allegedly shot dead by Russian forces were left. We have blurred parts of the picture.

Three of the bodies have been identified as members of one family, including the head of the village, Olha Sohnenko. The fourth body has not been identified.

Yogita is on her way to Bucha – a town where the discovery of many dead civilians has shocked the world, and seen Russia accused of war crimes.

 

Violence Ignored at Oscars

Remember that these are the people who insist that they are our moral guides.

As was widely predicted, Smith won the best actor Oscar for his performance in King Richard. And so, just a few minutes after he had been on stage assaulting someone on live television, he was back on the same stage, receiving a standing ovation, and tearfully declaring: “I want to be a vessel for love”. Seriously. Who knows what he’d be like if he wanted to be a vessel for hate.

 

[…]

 

The women made some ill-judged gags about wanting to grope the best-looking actors in the room…

 

[…]

 

And then we had Samuel L Jackson, John Travolta and Uma Thurman presenting an award together to celebrate the 28th anniversary of Pulp Fiction. Are we really celebrating 28th anniversaries now?

Academy “Awards”

It has been true for some time, but just recognize that the Academy no longer celebrates film excellence. Some of the greatest works of cinematic art were created by some of the most vile people. Hollywood is full of monstrous people who make great art. So the Academy may recognize a dog of a movie that was created by a pedophile but was staffed with the “correct” quotas.

The Academy of Motion Picture will disqualify films from Best Picture contention that do not have enough black, gay and disabled actors in the cast and crew – a move many industry insiders fear will be the final nail in the coffin for the already flagging award show.

 

The Academy passed its Aperture 2025 initiative in 2020, five years after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in order to promote more diversity in the industry, but the move has been under fire ever since.

 

The initiative was spearheaded by black filmmaker Ava DuVernay and developed by the academy to set criteria – which included diversifying nearly every aspect of a movie, from cast and crew to production, marketing, financing, distribution and even internships by 30 percent.

I enjoy good movies. When I was younger, I’d look to the Oscar lists as movies that I should check out to experience our culture. Perhaps it was naive at the time. Now I view the Oscar lists as movies that are more likely to be a waste of time.

Most People Are Pretty Nice

I noticed this too.

Most people you meet in everyday life — at work, in the neighborhood — are decent and normal. Even nice. But hit Twitter or watch the news, and you’d think we were all nuts and nasty.

[…]

Reality check: It turns out, you’re right. We dug into the data and found that, in fact, most Americans are friendly, donate time or money, and would help you shovel your snow. They are busy, normal and mostly silent.

  • These aren’t the people with big Twitter followings or cable-news contracts — and they don’t try to pick fights at school board meetings.
  • So the people who get the clicks and the coverage distort our true reality.

Three stats we find reassuring:

  1. 75% of people in the U.S. never tweet.

Shackleton’s Ship Found

The pictures are amazing.

(CNN) — More than a century after it sank off the coast of Antarctica, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship HMS Endurance has been located, apparently intact and in good condition.
The ship, which sank in 1915, is 3,008 meters (1.9 miles or 9,842 feet) deep in the Weddell Sea, a pocket in the Southern Ocean along the northern coast of Antarctica, south of the Falkland Islands.
[…]
However, due to the extreme conditions, the ship got stuck amid thick, impenetrable ice in the Weddell Sea. The 28 men on board, including Shackleton himself, abandoned the Endurance and set up rudimentary camp facilities on board ice floes that were floating northward.
Eventually, the team made it to the uninhabited Elephant Island, then some — including Shackleton — volunteered to get in a lifeboat and head toward South Georgia Island, finally crossing it on foot to reach Stromness whaling station, which was then manned by the Norwegians, and organize a rescue of the men left behind on Elephant Island.
Although the expedition was a failure, the team’s survival and eventual rescue months later, without any loss of life, was seen as a triumph of their tenacity and the incredible leadership skills of Shackleton.

Metaverse is Cesspool of Human Degeneracy

In other words, it’s just like the real world only people get to hide behind their avatars.

Some apps in the virtual-reality metaverse are “dangerous by design”, the NSPCC has warned in response to a BBC News investigation.

A researcher posing as a 13-year-old girl witnessed grooming, sexual material, racist insults and a rape threat in the virtual-reality world.

 

The children’s charity said it was “shocked and angry” at the findings.

 

Head of online child safety policy Andy Burrows added the investigation had found “a toxic combination of risks”.

 

The BBC News researcher – using an app with a minimum age rating of 13 – visited virtual-reality rooms where avatars were simulating sex. She was shown sex toys and condoms, and approached by numerous adult men.

 

The metaverse is the name given to games and experiences accessed by people wearing virtual reality headsets. The technology, previously confined to gaming, could be adapted for use in many other areas – from work to play, concerts to cinema trips.

Mark Zuckerberg thinks it could be the future of the internet – so much so, he recently rebranded Facebook as Meta, with the company investing billions developing its Oculus Quest headset.

How pro-life are Wisconsin’s Republicans?

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

Disturbingly, with the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled to rule on two cases that could improve legal protections for babies by reversing or refining the appalling Roe v. Wade ruling, the Republican Legislature is bottling up a bill in committee that would prohibit abortions after the baby’s heartbeat is detectable. While Evers would certainly veto the bill, it would tell voters what Republicans would do to reshape the state’s abortion laws should the Supreme Court return that responsibility to the states.

 

[…]

 

We know what the Democrats would do. Given the power, they would lift as many restrictions on abortions as possible. We have seen in other states where Democrats are passing laws allowing abortions up to the point that it becomes infanticide. Pro-life Democrats have long since been purged from the party and there are few members left to moderate the leftist dogma when it comes to abortion.

 

What would Republicans do? Would they fight to keep abortions completely illegal in Wisconsin? That seems unlikely. Where would they draw the line?

 

The fetal heartbeat bill is one such line. The bill is modeled after the Texas law that went into effect last year. The law is being considered by the Supreme Court, but was allowed to go into effect, signaling that the court may sanction it permanently. The law prohibits an abortion provider from providing an abortion once a heartbeat is detected. This is usually around six weeks after conception.

 

[…]

 

Every person has a line at which they think an abortion is appropriate and permissible. They also have a line at which an abortion is abhorrent.

 

Given the very high likelihood that the Supreme Court will force the hand of state politicians to rewrite their state abortion laws for a new legal reality, what would the Republicans do in Wisconsin? If they would not draw the line at a baby’s heartbeat, where would they draw the line?

 

This is a question of life and death that the Republicans must answer before the next election. Their answer must be more than more empty pap at a rubber-chicken dinner. Their answer must have the force and detail of a bill that is passed by their legislative caucuses. How pro-life is the Republican Party of Wisconsin when they can’t hide behind a federal court ruling? Hopefully we will find out soon and babies will be able to live with the answer.

 

Virginian Schools Punish Kids Over Mark Choice

It is absolutely horrible what we have done to these kids.

“I see these people just not wearing a mask, or wearing one pulled down, like, under their chin,” said Swan, “and my brain just immediately goes, ‘That person does not share the same ideals as me. We won’t get along.’ ” She added: “They may not be a bad person. They may just be thinking the same things as their parents.”

 

Youngkin issued his mask-optional order, which aims to give Virginia parents choice over masking in both public and private schools, on his first day in office. A fierce fight ensued: Seventy of 131 Virginia school districts refused to comply and kept their mask requirements, according to a Washington Post analysis, and parents and school officials filed a flurry of lawsuits for and against the order. This week, the Virginia General Assembly narrowly passed – along largely partisan lines – a law that requires all schools to go mask-optional on March 1, ensuring every one of Virginia’s more than 1.8 million public and private schoolchildren will face masking decisions and tensions at school in days to come.

 

As the adults battle over the merits of masking, Virginia students have been forced to navigate the real-life fallout.

 

[…]

 

Some Virginia students were thrilled to remove their masks – but their elation quickly soured when administrators in districts that still required masking sent unmasked children into isolated rooms or back to their homes. Other students, especially those with health conditions, were horrified to find themselves seated next to maskless peers, unable to do anything except ask to change seats. All too often, students said, their teachers deny that request, citing instructions from higher-ups not to segregate students by mask status.

There’s a lot to unpack in this short excerpt. First, notice how the student is using mask wearing as a proxy for judging someone’s values. We have done that. Instead of teaching kids that everyone is different and can make choices that re right for them regarding their own health, we have taught them that compliance are the highest values. Mask compliance has long since ceased to be about healthcare and has become a symbol of subservience to the state.

Second, notice how willingly the teachers and administrators are willing to punish children for disagreeing with the staff member’s ideology or personal health choices. They have no qualms about torturing kids with isolation and shunning if they can use it to feed to the media for a story like this. Kids are very impressionable and we are using powerful social motivators to teach them that they must surrender independent judgment and personal healthcare decisions to the authorities. Our schools are not teaching them how to think and make rational choices. Our schools are teaching them how to be subjects for the state.

Third, we have put so much fear into our kids that we have turned many of them into frightened flowers. They are so afraid of a virus that poses less threat to them than the flu that they are making irrational and unhealthy choices. We have poisoned our children with fear and done real damage to their mental and physical health.

The pandemic has ended, but the damage to our children will last for their whole lives.

 

Bike Helmets are Racist in Seattle

Personally, I don’t agree with legally requiring people to wear bike helmets. I do strongly recommend that people wear one. I certainly do and was very thankful to have been wearing one when I went over my handlebars and broke my clavicle. My helmet sure had a nasty scuff that could have been on my head. But to pass or repeal a law based of this “logic” instead of the merits is nuts.

In a county that has made racial justice reform a priority — the King County health board declared racism a public health crisis in 2020 — the regulation pitted the need to address racial equity against the obvious safety benefits of helmets.

 

“We have to have a broad view of public health: Yes, we have to think about brain injury, and we also have to think about the impact on our criminal legal system,” Zahilay said.

 

The health board, made up of elected officials and appointed medical experts from across the county, began to scrutinize the helmet rule in 2020 after an analysis of court records from Crosscut, a local news site, showed that it was rarely enforced, and enforced disproportionately when it was. Since 2017, Seattle police had given 117 helmet citations, more than 40% of which went to people who were homeless. Since 2019, 60% of citations went to people who were homeless.

 

A separate analysis from Central Seattle Greenways, a safe streets advocacy group, found that Black cyclists were almost four times as likely to receive a citation for violating the helmet requirement as white cyclists. Native American cyclists were just more than twice as likely to receive one as white cyclists.

 

Neither study looked at whether homeless people or people of color wore helmets less frequently than other groups — or whether, out of economic necessity, they were more likely to ride a bike. Critics nonetheless said enforcement appeared to be discriminatory.

Emphasis mine. They can’t even prove that it’s discriminatory. It just appears to be discriminatory to their addled minds. And for that, people will die.

Words Matter

Good news is that this is really easy to fix. Just do it quickly.

A priest resigned this month after his diocese announced that thousands of baptisms he had performed were invalid because he had changed a single word. He said, “We baptize you … ,” instead of “I baptize you … .”

 

“It is with sincere pastoral concern that I inform the faithful that baptisms performed by Reverend Andres Arango, a priest of the Diocese of Phoenix, are invalid,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix said in a letter last month.

 

“This determination was made after careful study by diocesan officials and through consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome,” he wrote.

 

Arango said, “We baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” instead of “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

 

“The issue with using ‘We’ is that it is not the community that baptizes a person, rather, it is Christ, and Him alone, who presides at all of the sacraments, and so it is Christ Jesus who baptizes,” Olmsted said.

Social Media is Depressing

I would argue that this consequence is not limited to teenagers. It seems there are a lot more lonely adults too.

Today’s teenagers are lonelier at school than those 20 years ago because smartphones stop them talking with friends, a study says.

 

Researchers found the proportion of 15 and 16-year-olds in the UK feeling alienated among peers has tripled since 2000 to 33 per cent – one in three.

 

They said the rise coincides with widespread use of smartphones and social media by this age group.

 

[…]

 

The authors, who studied children worldwide, added that social media in particular is having a negative effect as it may heighten feelings of missing out or lead to cyber bullying.

 

Increases were higher among girls than boys.

 

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescence, said there was a strong correlation between smartphones and loneliness, although definite blame cannot be proven.

 

Researchers said adolescent wellbeing ‘began to decline after 2012, in conjunction with the rise of smartphone access’.

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