Category Archives: Culture

City Officials Are Upset that Not Enough Black Folks Want to Sell Weed in Chicago

Heh

As it all unfolded, Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, stood at the front of the room, surveying the process and silently taking it all in. Not all of the people crowded in the room, taking copious notes and whispering to their team members, were actual dispensary owners.

But with the exception of a few women and two African Americans in the room, most of the representatives for marijuana businesses were white and male, Ervin pointed out.

“I wanted to see for myself how many applicants and where they were deciding to cite their locations. And it proved what I thought: Our communities are going to get left behind,” he said. “This will probably generate a billion dollars’ worth of sales in the city. With no African American participation, I just think that’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

Lightfoot issued a statement acknowledging the lack of diversity and said she was not satisfied with the current equity in the city’s cannabis industry. She vowed to improve minority representation by next May.

“Transforming the cannabis industry won’t be easy, but I want to make clear that we are working with advocates fighting for equity in this emerging industry to ensure we help diverse businesses thrive and fix the unjust policies of the past,” Lightfoot said in the statement. “That’s my pledge.”

“Holiday” Tree

How stupid

“It’s a holiday season for a whole bunch of people in the state of Wisconsin, even those that aren’t part of the Christian faith. I think it’s a more inclusive thing,” said Evers. “I know a lot of people love to have that debate, and I think it’s a good debate to have.”

[…]

Our Charles Benson asked Evers if his family called the tree in their home a “Christmas Tree” growing up, and Evers acknowledged that this was true but reiterated that the tree was in their home, not on the grounds of City Hall in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

There is only one holiday that uses a large, decorated, evergreen tree as part of its celebration… Christmas. It is a Christmas Tree even though other holidays are also happening in the same time period. Calling it a Holiday Tree is not inclusive. It is wrong and stupid.

Away Fans

This is also a sign of a great economy. People have more disposable income to travel to away games.

With the proliferation of apps like SeatGeek and StubHub, through which customers can easily buy and resell tickets, the away fan takeover has become ubiquitous – and not just in Los Angeles. Fans of the Minnesota Vikings flooded Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday for the team’s away game against the Kansas City Chiefs, generating as much noise as the home supporters and performing their signature “skol” chant with impunity. New England Patriots fans turned out in droves for the team’s road game last month against Washington; they did the same two weeks later when the Patriots played at the New York Jets. When iconic teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Packers or Dallas Cowboys come to town, whether in Los Angeles or elsewhere, the home fans are always at risk of being outnumbered. Resale ticket prices are an average of 53% higher than a typical game when the Packers are visiting, according to figures provided by SeatGeek. They are 55% higher for Cowboys road games. That can be enticing for a season-ticket holder, looking to resell a ticket.

Act 10 Causing Fewer People to Become Teachers?

I love how the reporter just throws that in there:

The teaching industry has faced multiple obstacles with less applicants entering the field to fill open positions at school districts. Statewide the number of applicants completing a teacher prep institution has fallen 35% since 2010 and the nation has similar numbers, said Director of Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing David DeGuire, who works with the Department of Public Instruction. The University of Wisconsin System assigned a task force to examine the issue more closely, he said.

There are many reasons for the decrease, including a tight labor market, the passing of Act 10, the amount of workload pushed onto teachers and a change in how people respect and see the profession.

Try to reconcile the two phrases in bold. So if the entire nation is seeing a similar decline in people wanting to be teachers, how is Act 10 – which is only applicable in Wisconsin – a factor in that? Did the reporter read her own story?

The truth is rooted in the other causes. The booming labor market makes teaching less attractive. When unemployment is 10% or more, teaching is a great job with a very low risk of being fired. When unemployment is 4% or less, other career choices look more attractive.

Also, the push to use schools as social justice laboratories instead of centers of education is likely pushing teachers out. True educators want to do that – educate. They don’t want to be used to try to fix all of the social ills in society.

Obama Calls Out Woke Culture

I agree

Mr Obama said that calling people out on social media did not bring about change, and that change was complex.

“Woke” is described as being alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice, along with being aware of what’s going on in the community.

Mr Obama told the audience: “I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people.

“If I tweet or hashtag about how you didn’t do something right or used the wrong verb, then I can sit back and feel pretty good about myself because ‘Man did you see how woke I was? I called you out!'”

“That’s enough,” he said. “If all you’re doing is casting stones, you are probably not going to get that far.”

Mr Obama added that “people who do really good stuff have flaws”.

Next Week is Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin

Goodness… why does out government treat us like children?

MADISON, Wis. — The winter of 2018-19 was one for the record books in Wisconsin, with the state experiencing heavy snowfalls and dangerously cold temperatures brought on by the polar vortex. To help prepare everyone for what to expect in the months ahead, Gov. Tony Evers has declared Nov. 4-8, 2019 Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

“The extreme cold felt across Wisconsin earlier this year is a reminder of just how dangerous winter can be,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general and homeland security advisor. “Take time during Winter Awareness Week to make sure your emergency kits are fully supplied, have your furnace serviced and get your vehicle checked out to make sure its ready for winter road conditions.”

“The time to get ready for winter weather is before temperatures drop and snow is on the ground,” said Dr. Darrell Williams, Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator. “Getting prepared now could help save your life or the life of a neighbor during a winter storm.”

Winter is something that happens every year and has happened every year in the history of humankind. We don’t need a bunch of bureaucrats in state government to remind us that we have winter.

Beer Burps and Farts Will Kill Us All

Or something.

For the millions of people who descend on Munich for the annual bash, Oktoberfest is a celebration of beer, bands and bratwurst.

But as the dust settles for another year on the world’s largest folk festival, and die Bierleichen (“beer corpses”) return to the land of the living, environmental scientists have released the first analysis of methane emissions from the 16-day party.

Researchers at Technical University in Munich walked and cycled around the perimeter of the festival last year with mobile sensors aloft. The instruments found the event emitted nearly 1,500kg of methane – 10 times the amount that wafted off Boston, Massachusetts, in the same period.

The scientists attributed most of Oktoberfest’s emissions to leaks and incomplete combustion in cooking and heating appliances. Though an appreciable part of the rise in the gas, about 10%, was attributed to the flatulence and burps of attendees.

flygskam

Heh.

The Swedes call it “flygskam,” or “flying shame,” the movement that encourages people to stop taking flights to lower their carbon footprints.

But should most Americans really be ashamed of getting on a plane to see grandma this holiday season?

Answer: No. Not at all.

Enrollment Drops Across UW System

As expected.

MADISON — Enrollment at the University of Wisconsin System dropped 2.6% percent compared to last year.

Preliminary enrollment for the 2019 academic year announced by the university Thursday was just over 167,000 students. That is down from nearly 4,500 students from last year.

Enrollment on the flagship Madison campus was up 2% or 879 students. UW-Green Bay, La Crosse, Parkside and Superior were the only other campuses where enrollment was up.

UW-Stevens Point and Platteville saw the largest declines at 9.7% each.

The university described the systemwide 2.6% drop was “modest” and are part of a trend of fewer high school graduates and low unemployment rates amid a strong economy.

Menomonee Falls School Board Pretends to Listen to Public

Heh.

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) — 31 public school districts use Native American mascots, including the Menomonee Falls Indians.

The school board got an earful Wednesday night from people on both sides of the debate.

Many times at meetings like this, one side of the debate shows up in force. But on Wednesday, public comments were split almost right down the middle.

Parents, alumni and students turned out to have their voices heard Wednesday.

“It would be a ridiculous and useless amount of money to change an F with a couple of feathers sticking out of it.”

As Mark Belling exclusively uncovered, this is part of a faux process by the superintendent and school board to change the mascot. They want to do it. They are going to do it. And the meeting last night was just for show.

Racism in Football

And we thought we were having a “national dialogue.”

European football’s governing body Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria, charging them with the racist behaviour, including Nazi salutes and monkey chants, of their fans.

The disruption of both teams’ national anthems by opposing fans will also be investigated.

UW Regents Moving Ahead with Free Speech Rules

I’m skeptical.

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has approved the scope of proposed new rules aimed at punishing students who disrupt free speech on campus. But just after the vote was taken, a spokeswoman for Gov. Tony Evers said he continues to oppose the rules.

The governor’s opinion matters because any rule change proposed by the UW System cannot go into effect without his support.

The Friday vote was largely procedural in nature. It allows the UW System to work on what is called a “scope statement” that sets punishments for students caught repeatedly disrupting the free speech or freedom of expression of campus speakers or fellow students. Under the proposed language, a student disrupting free speech on two occasions would have to be suspended. If there was another disruption from the student, they would face mandatory expulsion.

The board and UW System have been working on the policy since 2017. The regent’s policy on “Commitment to Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression” was introduced shortly after state Republican lawmakers introduced legislation with similar provisions. Before the matter was put to a vote, Regents President Drew Petersen announced support for moving the process forward.

The issue is important. Too many college campuses have become outright hostile to speech that deviates from modern liberal orthodoxy. Anyone who offers contrary opinions are shouted down and denied access. But regulating free speech with set punishments is a tricky business. At the heart of any regulation is, “who decides?” Who decides what constitutes a disruption vs. expressing a different opinion? Some cases are obvious – shouting down a speaker, for example – but what about a noticeable harrumph? What about being quiet but holding up a sign? Does it depend on what the sign says? Do the lefty administrators who are allowing conservatives to be shouted off campus now get to decide these things? Would this new policy just be used as a bludgeon against certain kinds of speakers? We have a cultural drift to intolerance and this rule might just weaponize one side.

I don’t envy the Regents. This is a tricky business. These issues are pregnant with nuances and context. It is very difficult to write a rule that encompasses the grey areas.

America to Trade Communists for Hong Kong Freedom Fighters

I’d be down for this

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American state department has come up with an ingenious plan to solve China’s democratic protest problems and make our nation great again in one fell swoop.

Through some great negotiating on the part of Donald Trump, we’ve struck a deal to trade all of our country’s Communists for Hong Kong’s democratic protesters.

After the deal was made, the military began rounding up the Communists—who didn’t complain, as they’re all for an authoritarian state—and putting them in cargo planes. They were then flown across the Pacific Ocean and dropped off in Hong Kong before the democratic protesters in China were loaded up into the now-empty planes and flown back to America.

“This is the best deal, maybe ever,” said Trump. “We’ll get rid of some wackos on the left, my buddy Xi will be happy with his new commie followers, and we’ll gain some great new citizens who will be really appreciative to me and never complain about anything. Greatest deal in the history of deals.”

(yes, I know it’s a parody)

Thoughts from California

I spent a few days in Sacramento this week. I’ve been to California many times, but always on the coast – LA, San Fran, San Diego, etc. This was my first time in the interior. A few things struck me…

At the moment, the area is under a severe fire risk because it is dry and windy. As you may have heard, the power utility, PG&E, is cutting off power to large swaths of people to avoid setting any fires. Well, not really. In reality, they were just blamed for a previous fire and forced to pay a huge penalty. In order to avoid legal liability, PG&E is just shutting off the power. Can you blame them? The idiocy of California’s judicial system strikes again.

Meanwhile, people are inconvenienced and the risk of fires is actually increasing. I had to move a meeting a couple times to find a place with power. The locals who were attending had lost power at their houses, so they showed up with drained batteries. Generators are flying off the shelves. Instead of a stable, reliable power grid, the good people of northern California are sloshing gasoline around in small generators trying to keep their modern amenities functioning. It’s like a third world country in the heart of one of the most modern civilizations on the planet.

Speaking of stupid California rulings… the so-called Uber Law came up unprompted in conversations with two different companies. This was the California Supreme Court ruling, later codified into law, that said that subcontractors were essentially employees. This means that they are entitled to the benefits, workman’s comp, protections, etc. that regular employees have. One business owner I spoke with had used subcontractors in the tech industry in the past and had to pay some big payouts. Another small business owner in the insurance industry said that they can’t grow without using subcontractors, so they were looking to expand in Nevada instead of California. In trying to correct a perceived injustice with Gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft, California is killing off a common way that companies expand and fill spikes in demand.

At about 8 PM one evening, I got a call in my hotel room from the manager. She asked if they could send a contractor to my room in the morning. I was staying in a room for disabled folks and they had an urgent need to saw off the legs of the vanity in my bathroom to make it ADA compliant. Fine, I said, and they gave me 10,000 hotel points for my trouble. I spoke with the manager in the morning, and the urgency was created by the fact that they failed an inspection and had to fix the compliance issues immediately or face huge fines. The regulatory state strikes again. Instead of being reasonable and just waiting for a time when the rooms were empty, the hotel is paying a contractor for emergency services and handing out compensation to inconvenienced customers.

In order to get out of the way of the contractor, I took a drive. I had some conference calls to attend and had intended to take them in my room. Instead, I took the calls from the car and drove out into the farm country. It was a sight to see. The difference between Wisconsin farms and California farms is stark. California farms are massive. They have an industrial feel and the little villages of mobile homes for the migrant workers are everywhere. Long gone are the days of family-owned small farms. Wisconsin is heading this way. It must, in order to compete.

California is a strange place. You could pay me enough to live there, but it would take an enormous sum.

City Commissioner Berates Award-Winning Cop

Wow. Way to ruin a public event and abuse his official position to air his personal grievance.

A Florida city commissioner shocked his colleagues during an awards ceremony for outstanding officers last week when he claimed one of the honorees was a “bad police officer” who had falsely arrested him years earlier.

The surprise moment came after other city officials in Tamarac, Florida, honored Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Gallardo with the deputy of the month award for his role in arresting an alleged gang member who had been wanted for murder.

Gallardo accepted his award, took pictures with the city’s mayor and was heading back to his seat in when Tamarac City Commissioner Mike Gelin took the microphone and asked him to come back to the front, as seen on a video recording of the meeting.

“Joshua Gallardo, will you come down for a second? It’s good to see you again,” said Gelin, before erupting into a tirade over what he believed to have been a false arrest in 2015. “You probably don’t remember me, but you’re the police officer who falsely arrested me four years ago.”

“You lied on the police report. I believe you’re a rogue police officer. You’re a bad police officer, and you don’t deserve to be here,” he added.

Madison Cop Haters Drive Out Police Chief

What a shame.

After serving more than five years as the head of the Madison Police Department, Police Chief Mike Koval announced his retirement Sunday morning in his daily blog.

Starting Monday, Koval will no longer be chief.

“I did my best to be a guardian to the community and a guardian to the ‘guardians’ (cops),” Koval said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community.”

Koval’s sudden announcement came as a shock even to those who knew it was coming. Ald. Paul Skidmore, 9th District, said “probably around a year ago” Koval told him he was thinking of retiring this fall.

“I know it was coming, but it was still a shock when he called me this morning,” Skidmore said.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said Koval told her Sunday morning that Sunday would be his last day.

[…]

Skidmore said over the last couple of years, Koval has been “beaten bloody” by “cop haters.”

In his blog post, Koval said he was “eternally grateful” to constituents who have encouraged and supported of the police department. He said those supporters will “never know how important” their efforts were “to the morale of our Department.”

Koval also had a message for those who have spoke in opposition to local police.

“To the ‘haters,’ thanks to you as well — for through your unrelenting, unforgiving, desire to make the police the brunt of all of your scorn — I drew strength from your pervasive and persistent bullying,” Koval said.

I give massive credit to those willing to wear the badge in a place like Madison. It’s a dangerous business in any community, but imagine going to work every day, putting your life, health, and livelihood on the line, for people who generally hate your guts.

Who is going to patrol Madison’s streets when nobody wants to do the job anymore?

Surge in Older Binge Drinkers

Something to think about.

While teenagers used to be considered Britain’s biggest drinkers, experts today are more worried about middle-aged, middle-class people – particularly women – who order wine from supermarkets and drink at home.

Katherine Severi, of the Institute of Alcohol Studies, said: ‘It is clear from the figures that the negative effects of drinking are a growing problem for middle-aged and older people across the country.

‘In addition to increases in cancers and strokes, mental disorders related to alcohol are another area where the impact of older people’s drinking on their health is getting too strong to ignore.’

She pointed to figures published in Scotland last week which showed the adoption of minimum unit pricing – a move shunned in England – has successfully reduced drinking and called on Westminster to consider the policy.

OK, You’re Racist

And the ADL beclowns themselves again.

Los Angeles (CNN)The “OK” hand gesture is now a hate symbol, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL added that symbol along with several others on Thursday to its long-standing database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.
The two-finger OK sign is universally known for meaning everything is all right or approval of something. But the ADL says while not everyone means it to be hateful, the sign has been co-opted by the alt-right.
The OK hand gesture and its link to white nationalism began as a hoax cooked up by users of the website 4chan, who falsely linked it to white supremacy, according to the ADL.

Governor Evers is considering tyranny

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday. Enjoy!

Not willing to concern himself with Constitutional constrictions or with concocting actual solutions to America’s crime problem, Governor Tony Evers announced two pieces of anti-civil rights legislation. The first bill is for Wisconsin to implement red-flag laws. The second bill is for universal background checks. Neither bill stands much chance in a legislature where civil rights are valued and protected, but it was what Evers said during the announcement that revealed his more tyrannical inclinations.

As for the bills that Evers proposed, this column detailed how red-flag laws are unworkable if we are still insistent on maintaining our 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendment rights, and I hope that we still are insistent. So-called universal background checks are not necessarily constitutionally odious, but they impose a heavy regulatory burden on law-abiding citizens without actually doing anything about crime. The worst part about the imposition of universal background checks is that it allows politicians to claim that they are doing something when, in fact, they have done nothing except inconvenience a bunch of innocent people.

During the press conference announcing his proposals, Governor Evers was asked by a reporter if he would be willing to support a mandatory gun buyback program. Evers answered by saying that he would “consider it.” Only someone completely devoid of any respect for history and our civil rights would even consider such an oppressive idea.

The key word in mandatory gun buybacks is “mandatory.” We have had gun buybacks for years where misguided do-gooders and cynical politicians give people money for their old guns so that they can pretend to take guns out of the hands of criminals. Voluntary gun buybacks are useless in terms of crime prevention, but harmless.

“Mandatory” gun buybacks are exactly that. It is the government forcing citizens to surrender their firearms to the government, and if the citizens refuse, the government will use the full violent force of government to compel the citizens to comply. This force includes depriving citizens of property, liberty, and in the case of an armed confrontation, possibly life.

If you think that mandatory gun buybacks would stop at the “scary-looking gun du jour,” like the AR-15 or the AK-47, you have not paid attention to history or human nature. Once all of those are wrested from the hands of unwilling citizens, the despots will simply move onto the next target in the gun safe.

This is what Governor Evers casually said that he would consider. He would consider a full assault on our civil rights by having our government use its police power to confiscate firearms from law-abiding people. It is a disgraceful and tyrannical attitude from our governor.

Unfortunately, Governor Evers’ willingness to violate our civil rights is part of a growing trend in the radicalized Democratic Party. In the past, even liberal Democrats who supported more gun control laws would insist that they would never advocate taking away our guns. Now liberals like Governor Evers are quite willing to admit that they want to take away our guns.

With the liberals’ resurgent interest in trammeling our civil rights, it is important that all of us make a firm statement in the voting booth that we will not tolerate such an assault on our rights. In April, Wisconsinites will have the chance to affirm that we insist that our government remain restrained by our state and federal constitutions by electing Justice Dan Kelly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

After spending a career in private practice, Justice Kelly was appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Walker after Justice David Prosser resigned from the court in 2016. In his almost three years on the court, Justice Kelly has honored his promises and honored his commitment to be a humble defender of the rule of law and our individual rights.

Governor Evers may consider assailing our rights and seizing our guns, but he and his fellow liberal travelers will never be able to do it as long as judicial conservatives sit on the Supreme Court. Electing Justice Kelly to a full term on the bench is our next chance to make our will known at the ballot box.

WILL Sues On Behalf of Parents

Indeed. It’s stunning how arrogant the schools are to think that they, and not the parents, should guide kids through something as serious and life-altering as a gender transition. Perhaps if a kid isn’t mature enough to discuss something like this with their parents, then they shouldn’t be doing it.

A conservative legal group is challenging a Madison School District policy that the organization says could leave parents in the dark about whether their children are transitioning genders at school.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, or WILL, wants the district to repeal a “guidance document” for teachers and staff to follow when dealing with questions of students’ gender identity. The guide prohibits staff from revealing to parents if their child is transitioning genders unless the student gives permission.

“Our problem is with the systematic exclusion of families, even to the point of instructing district employees to actively deceive families,” said Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel for the Milwaukee-based organization.