Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Category: Culture

WWE Merges with UFC

This merger seems somehow appropriate with the Trump indictment.

World Wrestling Entertainment is merging with Endeavor Group, the parent company of competitor UFC, to form a new publicly traded company.


The deal values the newly combined company at over $21 billion: UFC is worth $12.1 billion and WWE is valued at $9.3 billion. Endeavor shareholders will own 51% of the newly combined company, while WWE shareholders are getting 49%.


“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” said Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, in a statement. Emanuel, a Hollywood powerhouse agent, will be the CEO of the new company and retain his chief executive title at the agency.


Town Rejects Development to Preserve Heritage

And we wonder why the housing stock struggles to keep up with demand. By all means… let’s reject an investment in the community, more homes, more business, and more growth to keep some dilapidated old buildings. There is a way to honor our past while still investing in our future.

EATONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A developer on Friday ended plans to purchase a 100-acre (39-hectare) property from the local school system in a historically Black town in Florida following a public outcry that the deal threatened the cultural heritage of the community made famous by Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston.


Derek Bruce said in a letter to Orange County Public Schools in Orlando that he had terminated the deal to purchase the land where a former school for Black students stood in the town of Eatonville. The school system said in a statement that it wouldn’t consider any further bids for the land.




An association dedicated to preserving Eatonville’s cultural history last week sued to stop the $14.6 million deal, claiming it threatened the cultural heritage of the town. The developer had plans to build 350 homes, as well as business spaces, raising fears the project would increase traffic and price out longtime residents of the town.

Child Thrown Out of Tournament by Trans Activist Judge


A teenage player was disqualified from a Pokémon Trading Card Game tournament in Charlotte, North Carolina, after an exchange with a judge regarding his preferred pronouns.


Makani Tran, who took time off school and spent $800 to participate in the tournament, was brought to tears when the head judge told him he was disqualified from the event due to allegedly violating their inclusion policy by making someone feel unsafe and uncomfortable.


He gave his side of the incident in a lengthy post shared from his Twitter account.


On our way over to the stream area, the judge asked us for our preferred pronouns. I said “Um he or him or uh” and I paused trying to think of the third pronoun (the third pronoun being his). As I just stood there looking stupid trying to think of the third pronoun, I felt embarrassed because I was failing to think of a simple word. Due to the nerves and me being embarrassed, I let out a little laugh just a normal nervous laugh. My response together ended up being “Um he or him or uhhhh haha his.” That’s it.


It appeared that the judge became uncomfortable after Tran had an awkward laugh upon being asked his pronouns.


“OK, I just wanted to check to be safe. I go by they/them so don’t be a jerk about it,” the judge apparently responded.

Godwin’s Law Has Been Invoked

I’m not sure which is worse… that our educational system so bad that he actually thinks this is true or that he knows it isn’t true and is using the clumsy fake analogy anyway.

Adrien, who was born and raised in South Florida, is now an Orlando-based drag queen and said recent anti-LGBTQ political shifts make the state feel like it’s no longer home.


Specifically, Adrien said ongoing narratives about drag shows and minors, like the complaint against the Hyatt Regency Miami on Tuesday, are “trying to paint a picture that just isn’t real … It’s a fake narrative.”


They also cited recent and proposed legislation — including an education bill dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay” that limits how topics like gender are discussed in classrooms — as examples of what they called dangerous power grabs.


“It’s exactly what we were taught about in schools about how the Nazis rose to power,” Adrien said. “Textbook, bullet point for bullet point.”

Marxists and Radicals Drive Out Traditional Democrats

It’s a shame, really. The common ground has become difficult to find.

Thompson—who represents a largely rural area outside the north Louisiana city of Monroe—took pains to emphasize that record in his decision to switch.

“Let me clear—Nothing has changed,” Thompson said in a statement following the switch. “There are values and principles that I firmly hold onto that guide my decisions. My conservative voting record over my years in the Legislature speaks for itself.

“The push the past several years by Democratic leadership on both the national and state level to support certain issues does not align with those values and principles that are a part of my Christian life,” he added.

Homeowners blockaded in Vilas County

We have a hostage situation going on in Vilas County. I wrote a little about it for the Washington County Daily News. Here’s a part:

After years of wrangling through a convoluted mess of contracts, bad record keeping, broken promises, state, local, federal, and tribal laws, the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has decided to blockade dozens of non-tribal families in the dead of winter. In a dramatic escalation, tribal officials are demanding $20 million in order to lift the blockade.


The root of the issue rests in the 19th-century Dawes Act when the federal government broke communal tribal lands into parcels to be allotted to tribal families as private property in exchange for U.S. citizenship. Some of those private parcels wound up in the hands of non-tribal people through sale, foreclosure, and other means by which private property changes hands. Now, more than a century later, those private parcels are owned by non-tribal families who are being blockaded.




On January 31, in a grotesque escalation, the tribe blockaded the four artery roads with concrete blocks and wire. About 60 homes are sealed off from the outside world except for emergencies. Even then, tribal authorities must be called to open to roadblocks ahead of time. Some residents have been forced to abandon their homes entirely while others are having to use snowmobiles and sleds to cross the frozen lakes to get supplies, medical care, work, and attend school. With the spring thaw looming, they are weeks away from losing that frozen lifeline.


To lift the blockade, the tribe is demanding $20 million for a 15-year easement. This is an exorbitant sum for a simple easement, but the tribe seems content to hold non-tribal homeowners hostage in order to extort the sum. For comparison, the most recent offer that the tribe rejected was for about $1.1 million plus all future state gas tax revenues from the town for perpetual access.


The most innocent party in this whole dispute is the one suffering the most — the homeowners. They bought their properties in good faith and have been dutifully paying their taxes to maintain the schools, emergency services, and, yes, roads. Yet their property values have been obliterated, their lives are being disrupted, and their safety is being endangered.


The situation has reached a crisis point and real leadership will be needed to resolve it. It is unacceptable that one group of Americans should be blockading another group of Americans as a negotiating tactic in a legal dispute. This is not about sovereignty or some noble cause. It is about cold, hard, cash. If the tribe will not immediately lift the blockade and return to the negotiating table, the governor must step in to protect the homeowners from being used as hostages.

Government Stewardship Programs Are Choking Wisconsin Communities

Again we find that, too often, environmental causes are used as the excuse to obliterate private property and individual rights – the underpinnings of a free society. This is a very good piece by Richard Moore about how government stewardship programs are choking the North Woods to death. Here’s a part:

The reason is pretty simple and straightforward: These purchases of land and easements have reached the point where they pose an existential threat to life in the Northwoods. This purchase alone would place more than 80 percent of the land in the town of Monico under government ownership and/or control, obliterating any chance the town would have to develop economically in the future. Just over 30 percent of all of Oneida County is owned by government—state, county, federal—and as the number of privately-held or controlled acres dwindles, so does any realistic chance to diversify and grow vibrant economies and robust, cohesive communities.


Speaking to the Oneida County board of supervisors this past week, Felzkowski put it this way:


The purchase of land north of Hwy. 64 has got to stop if we are ever going to see economic vitality up here. The towns can’t afford EMS services. Our schools have declining enrollment.


The senator offered up some shocking statistics to underscore how extensive and far-reaching these land control schemes have become. All totaled, Felzkowski said, about 5.9 million acres of land in Wisconsin are publicly held:


Those 5.9 million acres of land are larger than the state of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and is equal to the state of Vermont.


The counties of Forest, Florence, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas—some of the poorest counties in the state—have 1.3 million acres of public land, Felzkowski said:


Florence County is 45.7 percent publicly owned, or 32 acres per resident. Forest County is 59.7 percent publicly owned, or 42 acres per resident. Langlade County is 32.6 percent publicly owned, or 9 acres per resident. Oneida County is 30 percent publicly owned, which equates out to 6 acres per resident.


By contrast, Dane County is 3.8 percent public land, which is less than one half of 1 percent per resident, Felzkowski said.




When 80 percent of a town is owned by government, it’s effectively a government town. The private sector withers and dies, and the town withers and dies with it. The Northwoods would become a pristine but empty wilderness devoted entirely to wildlife and elite humans—the affluent bureaucrats and progressives who will, and have, used this as their private playgrounds.


For average families, there would be housing, no jobs, no schools, no room for them..


The Reverse Black Migration Continues

Huh… it’s almost as if black people like safe communities, good jobs, lower taxes, and a government that minds its own business. Who knew?

In a great reverse Black migration, Brookings data says four of the top five states for Black population gains since 2010 are Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. Black people are driving U-Hauls to Texas, Georgia and Florida despite voter restrictions. A new Republican majority on North Carolina’s supreme court is reconsidering redistricting and voting restrictions ruled illegal by the court’s prior Democratic majority. Florida banned an Advanced Placement African American studies course. Texas and Florida are ending diversity, equity and inclusion in state agencies, and limiting the teaching of race in schools.




While Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida have gained 1.3 million Black residents since 1995, according to Brookings, New York, Illinois, California, and New Jersey are the top four states for losing Black people, to the tune of at least 1.5 million Black people. Recent stories in the New York Times and Washington Post, feature the massive declines in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.


In those cities, the cost of living on top of the grinding structural racism in housing, schools, jobs and entrepreneurship, chews at Black people more than red meat Southern politics. The Democrats can talk all the Black Lives Matter they want, but the nitty gritty of a roof over the head and bread on the table is more important than a ranting Ron DeSantis in Florida, a curmudgeonly Greg Abbott in Texas, or a combative Brian Kemp in Georgia.


What matters is that Black unemployment is higher in California, Illinois, and New York than in Florida, Georgia, or Texas. What matters is that of the 12 most segregated cities for Black people, as measured by Brookings, 11 of them are north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Cheesy Ruling

First the Dairy industry takes a hit when the government rules that nut juice can be called “milk,” but then a court gives them this. As a consumer, I’m confused

The name “gruyere” can now be used to label cheeses from outside of the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France, a US appeals court has ruled.

The Virginia court upheld a ruling stating that the US does not have the same strict rules as Europe on the designation of origin for foods.


It agreed that “gruyere” can legally be used to describe cheese regardless of where it was made.

The decision is seen as a victory for US dairy groups.

DEI Layoffs Abound

You’ll notice that in this very long story, there is no mention as to whether or not the hiring of DEI officers actually improves diversity. It’s almost as if the whole point is to create jobs for the DEI industry. I would argue that a company can, and should, create a culture of inclusion, transparency, and excellence by focusing on merit and individualism. Such a culture encourages diversity. In a struggling economy, DEI officers are a luxury that only companies with weak cultures lean on.

Diversity, equity and inclusion leaders, who were hired in waves to help companies achieve an ethnically balanced workforce after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, are being phased out, surveys indicate, leaving experts in the field concerned that corporations’ talk of affecting change was just empty words.

DEI roles increased by 55% following demands for broader racial equity and justice after Floyd’s murder, the Society for Human Resource Management reported in 2020. But instead of creating fair opportunities and a comfortable work culture for Black employees, a pair of recent reports indicate, DEI professionals are losing their jobs, as layoffs across the economy have gained momentum.


Reyhan Ayas, a senior economist at Revelio Labs, which surveyed DEI layoffs, said the data shows the pledge to impact change was not followed by genuine effort.

“I always say that it is so easy to make public statements and commitments because no one will eventually check if you’re committed to the things that you committed to,” she said. “I can say: ‘I will be fully vegan by 2025’ because no one will ever call me in 2025 and ask me if I’m actually fully vegan. And that’s really what is going on here. In 2020, a lot of companies made big commitments, big statements around the DEI roles and goals. And as we are observing a turning of that tide, I think it’s very timely that we actually look into companies to see if they have kept up with those big statements they made.”

Extra Food Stamp Money Coming to an End

It’s about dang time.

Nearly 30 million Americans who got extra government help with grocery bills during the pandemic will soon see that aid shrink — and there’s a big push to make sure they’re not surprised.


Officials in 32 states and other jurisdictions have been using texts, voicemails, snail mail, flyers and social media posts — all in multiple languages — to let recipients know that their extra food stamps end after February’s payments.


“One of the scenarios you don’t want to see is the first time they’re aware of it is in the checkout line at the grocery store,” said Ellen Vollinger, an official with the Food Research & Action Center, a nonprofit organization.


For the average recipient, the change will mean about $90 less per month, though for many, it could be much more, an analysis shows. Benefits will return to usual levels, which are based largely on a household’s income, size and certain expenses, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

After a rough few months in 2020, most of the country returned to work and the nation has enjoyed a record low unemployment rate for the past two years. There is absolutely no reason that this money should have been wasted for this long.

I was watching the local news last night and they had a story about this. A young, healthy looking, single, overweight woman with beautifully manicured nails was bemoaning the change in benefits. Am I judging? Yes. When I am buying your food, I get to judge your life choices.

Disney Still Doesn’t Get It

He doesn’t get it.

Pixar’s chief creative officer admitted this week that the producers of the 2022 flop Lightyear ‘asked too much of the audience.’


‘We’ve done a lot of soul-searching about that because we all love the movie. We love the characters and the premise. I think probably what we’ve ended on in terms of what went wrong is that we asked too much of the audience,’ Pixar’s Peter Docter told The Wrap.




‘Even if they’ve read the material in press, it was just a little too distant, both in concept, and I think in the way that characters were drawn, that they were portrayed. It was much more of a science fiction,’ Docter said this week.

Yeah, because American audiences have proven to be averse to science fiction because it’s too complicated /sarcasm

Citizens Step Up to Protect Their Communities

Hats off to them. It’s a shame that their work is necessary.

On the eve of Black History Month this year, a community group based in Detroit went viral after sharing clips on social media of its members, many dressed in all-black and armed with long rifles, assisting women around the city by pumping gas into their vehicles and loading groceries into their cars.


The group’s open display of guns — broadly legal in Michigan — was greeted by many people not for being threatening but for protecting Black women in dangerous neighborhoods at night.


The group, New Era Detroit, has been carrying out this kind of public safety work in the city’s most crime-ridden streets for almost a decade.


“We do this out of love,” Nilajah Alonzo, one of the leaders of New Era Detroit, told Yahoo News.


The group’s Instagram page includes videos of members escorting child care workers home late at night from a daycare only a block from where a murder had recently taken place. Another social media post shows members hosting a workshop with children on conflict resolution.


“We’re not trying to be crime heroes or anything like that,” Alonzo said. “We’re just trying to educate and uplift our community.”

Meta Follows Twitter

There is something unsettling about these companies monetizing identity. Where will it lead?

For $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 a month on iOS, users on Meta’s Instagram and Facebook platforms will be able to submit their government ID and get a blue verification badge. The service will be introduced in Australia and New Zealand this week, and more countries will follow, Zuckerberg said.

“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services,” Zuckerberg wrote in the post.


Meta has historically granted verification to notable users like politicians, executives, members of the press and organizations to signal their legitimacy. The company’s new subscription service is similar to Twitter’s revamped service called Twitter Blue, which also grants users a verification badge if they pay a monthly fee.

Gen Z is Stressed

I think we have failed this generation by not teaching them mental toughness and endurance.

The global strain of what some call a ‘permacrisis’ impacts workers of all ages, yet many researchers and experts posit that Gen Z are the most stressed cohort in the workplace overall. Jumping into their careers in the past few years – with some only just entering the workforce during the pandemic – has put them in particularly difficult situations. According to Cigna International Health’s 2023 survey of almost 12,000 workers around the world, 91% of 18-to-24-year-olds report being stressed – compared to 84% on average.


Research indicates Gen Z are emerging as the most stressed demographic in the workplace, and struggling mightily to cope. The same data shows un-manageable stress affects almost a quarter of the Gen Z respondents (23%), and almost all (98%) are dealing with symptoms of burnout.

Open Borders Fuel Unending Crime Wave

Sound familiar?

Yet even those on the liberal Left now grudgingly agree that they are rooted in the country’s disastrously failed immigration policy — which in recent years opened Sweden’s borders. Some 2 million immigrants (20 per cent of the entire population), now live in Sweden, often from the most troubled parts of Asia and Africa — and the country failed to plan for the immense difficulties of integrating them into society.


Many of the offspring of these migrants have morphed dangerously into a lost generation who are effectively stateless.


Though they were born here, many don’t feel remotely Swedish, yet have no allegiance to their parents’ homelands, either. Their alienation and discontentment smouldered for several years.


But in recent weeks it has erupted with a terrifying upsurge in ultra-violent gang crime and, with its hand-wringing justice system, which many feel prioritises young offender’s rights over those of their victims, Sweden evidently has no fix.


Twenty years ago, gun crime was almost non-existent here. Today, the grisly murders we see in Scandi-Noir TV series are no longer fictional. Sweden is awash with real-life crime podcasts, documentaries and books.

First World countries are importing Third World populations out of some guilt or savior complex. The results are obvious.

Government mandates another vaccine

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

The Wisconsin Department of Human Resources has released new vaccine requirements for children who attend child care centers and schools next year. In a previous era, perhaps a more innocent era, such an announcement would pass unnoticed and unscrutinized as a sensible precaution being enacted by government officials motivated by goodwill and informed by science. However, we live in a post-pandemic world where such trust in our government is no longer warranted — if it ever was.




Part of what is driving the new mandate is that state health bureaucrats are concerned about the drop in overall vaccinations. According to state date, the number of students who were compliant with required immunizations dropped by 3.2% last year as compared to the prior year. 88.7% of students complied with immunization mandates, but state officials are concerned about the increasing resistance to compliance.


A more reflective government health bureaucracy might recognize the underlying cause of the drop.


They have nobody to blame but themselves. We remember their behavior during the COVID pandemic. We remember the lockdowns that devastated lives.


We remember the public shaming. We remember the idiotic mask mandates. We remember forcing children to get unproven vaccines despite the infinitesimal risks of COVID for healthy kids. We remember being forced to stand in the snow to see loved ones in nursing homes through a window. We remember being forbidden to attend funerals to comfort the bereaved.


We remember it all. And we remember that it was all for naught. All of the physical, emotional, mental health, economic, and educational pain and suffering inflicted by these same government health bureaucrats far outweighed the negligible, if any, impact on mitigating the spread and effects of COVID. Yet their failures have not dampened their hubris.


The COVID pandemic unmasked the government health bureaucracies as often incompetent, sometimes corrupt, occasionally untruthful, unjustifiably arrogant, and heavily influenced by monied special interests like the pharmaceutical companies. In other words, they are subject to all of the same human failings as any other human institution.


The realization that our government health officials are human and may not be acting in our best interests has engendered a healthy skepticism of their recommendations and mandates. If you have a child entering the seventh grade, should you comply with the government mandate to get the meningococcal vaccine? Don’t trust your government. They have not earned your trust. Do your own homework and take responsibility for your child’s health care.

Rural Housing Reeling From Remote Worker Boom/Bust

Again, the government response to the pandemic will reverberate for decades.

Small and midsize rural communities saw home prices surge during the first two years of the pandemic as workers with the newfound ability to do their jobs from anywhere relocated outside of city centers for more space and easy access to outdoor activities.


But that city-to-country migration has shown signs of reversing over the past year. Home buyers have been shopping for places closer to large metro areas, with cities like Washington and Los Angeles seeing population gains again in 2022. The shift comes as a growing number of employers are requiring workers to come back into the office — for the first time since the start of the pandemic, more than half of workers in major metro areas went into the office at least once from Jan. 18 to 25, according to data from the building security firm Kastle Systems.




All that should mean some relief for the housing markets in popular rural communities where home prices ballooned over the past two years from a burst of out-of-town buyers, pricing local workers out of the market. But residents and officials in the affected communities say that while the ranks of remote workers have ebbed, they have seen no relief from the massive housing shortages they spurred.

Mummies Are Racist

Oh, for cripes’ sake.

But some museums in Britain are now using words other than “mummy” to describe their displays of ancient Egyptian human remains.
Instead, they are starting to adopt terms such as “mummified person” or to use the individual’s name to emphasize that they were once living people.
“Like many museums, important aspects of our collections and the way that we display them have been shaped by imperial and colonial thinking and actions that were based on racial and racist understandings of the world,” the spokesperson added.
“In response, we are reflecting on how we represent imperial and colonial pasts to our audiences. In our galleries, we are making changes to displays and labels to address historical bias.”
For example, the spokesperson said, the museum is altering the panel accompanying a mummified man to focus on “how ancient Egypt was co-opted into the idea of ‘Western civilization,’ disconnecting Egypt’s ancient heritage from modern Egypt.”



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