Category Archives: Politics

Scabby Gets a Pink Slip

I’m as anti-union as the next guy, but this seems like a reach. Let the 1st Amendment breathe.

For nearly 30 years, Scabby the Rat, a giant inflatable balloon with sharp claws, a perpetual snarl and a menacing demeanor, has loomed over construction sites across Chicago and beyond to protest the hiring of nonunion labor.

Like deep dish pizza, skyscrapers and the Ferris Wheel, the giant inflatable rat is a Chicago creation that has found its way into the broader culture. Scabby had a memorable star turn on a “Sopranos” TV episode centered around a construction work stoppage.

But soon, Scabby the Rat — who comes in a variety of sizes and designs — may be out of work.

The National Labor Relations Board previously gave the giant rats a wide berth but it’s shifted its stance under the Trump administration. The board is weighing whether to crack down on their use, on the grounds that the rats may be scaring away customers from “neutral” businesses not involved in the labor dispute.

“Their use is unlawful under the (National Labor Relations) Act and not protected under the First Amendment because they are being used specifically to menace, intimidate and coerce in aid of an unlawful purpose,” Peter Robb, the NLRB’s general counsel, said in a brief filed last month in a case in Philadelphia.

Wisconsin needs a CLEAR alert system

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here you go:

October 29th, 2017, was a beautiful sunny day in San Antonio, Texas. Nineteenyear- old Cayley Mandadi took advantage of the weekend day to take a break from her studies at Trinity University to attend the Mala Luna music festival with her boyfriend, Mark Howerton.

The two young adults had a good time enjoying the music and partying with their friends. Then things took a turn. The couple ran into Cayley’s ex-boyfriend. Howerton grew visibly angry and the couple argued. Soon Howerton was seen aggressively leading Cayley to his car by her arm.

Cayley’s friends were concerned. They knew that Howerton had a violent history. In another angry altercation the previous month, he had trashed Cayley’s dorm room and threatened to throw her off a balcony, according to her sorority sisters. Howerton also allegedly slammed Cayley’s head into a car window and once brandished a gun.

Knowing Howerton’s history, one of Cayley’s friends tried to check on her that evening. She FaceTimed Cayley, but Howerton picked up, said Cayley couldn’t talk, and hung up. Cayley’s friends were at a loss to help.

Later that night, an unidentified woman was brought into a hospital in Luling, Texas, 60 miles northeast of San Antonio. She was unresponsive, nude from the waist down, had severe bruises around her neck, face, and thighs, and was bleeding. It was Cayley. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Cayley was gone. She had suffered so much blunt force trauma that her brain no longer functioned. She was removed from life support two days later. Four months later, Mark Howerton was charged with Cayley’s murder and is awaiting trial.

Cayley’s father has been my friend for 27 years. The grief that he and his wife suffered over the death of their only child is the kind of grief that no person should ever have to endure. About a year after Cayley’s murder, they began a process to fix a hole in our emergency alert system that they believe might have saved their daughter’s life.

When Cayley’s friends observed her being led away by her violent boyfriend, there was little that they could do. Cayley was 19. She was too old to issue an AMBER Alert for her possible abduction and too young for a Silver Alert. There isn’t an alert system for regular

adults even if there is a strong indication that a person is missing and might be in danger. Adults in full control of their faculties are presumed to be competent and able to call for help if they need it.

To fill this gap in the alert system, Cayley’s parents set about navigating the Texas legislature to create an adult alert to cover people between the ages of 18 and 65. The end result was signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot on June 6 of this year and will go into effect on Sept. 1. It is called the CLEAR Alert system. CLEAR stand for Coordinated Law Enforcement Adult Rescue, but the letters also honor some victims who might have been saved by it. The “C” is for Cayley.

As a general rule, laws should not be based on an emotional reaction to a traumatic event. And in a free country, adults should be able to move about without undue interference from law enforcement. That is why Texas’ CLEAR law sets forth strict criteria to be used. The missing adult must be in imminent danger of bodily injury or death or the disappearance was not voluntary. The person’s location must be unknown and the person must have been missing for fewer than 72 hours.

When the CLEAR Alert is activated, it will go to traffic signs, cellphones, the National Weather Service’s alert system, news outlets, the lottery commission’s signs in stores, banks, and all law enforcement agencies. It uses the same alert infrastructure as the AMBER Alert System.

Texas led the way in creating the AMBER Alert system that is now used in all 50 states and has saved nearly a thousand children. Wisconsin’s Legislature should pick up the ball and enact the CLEAR Alert System in our state. Let us not wait for a tragedy like Cayley’s murder to spur action. Let us act now.

What to do?

The Wall Street Journal opinion piece regarding the most recent spate of mass shootings is the best one I’ve seen so far. Here’re a few parts, but read the whole thing:

The mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend are horrifying assaults on peaceful communities by disturbed young men. American politics will try to simplify these events into a debate about guns or political rhetoric, but the common theme of these killings is the social alienation of young men that will be harder to address.

This is political cynicism. Mass shootings also occurred under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. They occur around the world, if much less frequently, such as in Christchurch, New Zealand (2019), Australia (2019), and Norway (2011). The twisted motivations are varied and often too convoluted to sort into any clear ideology.

[…]

This is the rant of someone angry about a society he doesn’t feel a part of and doesn’t comprehend. It is all-too-typical of most of these young male killers who tend to be loners and marinate in notions they absorb in the hours they spend online. They are usually disconnected to family, neighborhood, church, colleagues at work, or anything apart from their online universe.

These men may draw inspiration from one another online, and any communication or common connection needs to be investigated. The FBI says it has made 100 arrests related to domestic terrorism in the last nine months. But blaming all this on one politician or ideology, left or right, without evidence of such a connection is disingenuous and counterproductive.

[…]

The problem is identifying those with mental illness who are a threat, and then allowing society to intervene to prevent violence. Overwhelming evidence suggests that the de-institutionalization of the seriously mentally ill has had tragic results. Libertarians and mental-health advocates who resist such intervention need to do some soul-searching.

The same goes for those in the gun lobby who claim that denying access to guns from those with a history of mental illness violates individual rights. So-called red-flag laws that let police or family members petition a court to remove firearms from someone who may be a threat might not have stopped the El Paso killer. But the evidence in the states is that the laws have prevented suicides and may prevent other mass shootings. Gun rights need to be protected, but the Second Amendment is not a suicide pact.

***

Which brings us back to the angry young men. This is the one common element in nearly all mass shootings: 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Fla.; Chris Harper-Mercer in Oregon’s Umpqua Community College; Adam Lanza at Newtown, Conn.; Devin Patrick Kelley in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the rest. All were deeply troubled and alienated from society in our increasingly atomistic culture.

This is one price we are paying for the decline in what the late sociologist Peter Berger called the “mediating institutions” that help individuals form cultural and social attachments. These are churches, business and social clubs like the Rotary, charitable groups, even bowling leagues, and especially the family. Government programs can never replace these as protectors of troubled young people.

The problems we face are complex and multi-faceted. They cannot be solved by just passing another bill or hectoring the American people to be nicer to one another. The problems are rooted in an American, but also a global, cultural upheaval that is facilitated by the global proliferation of technology. The problems are also rooted in some profound cultural things that we don’t want to face like the breakdown of the family, marginalization of faith, stigmatization of mental illness, and discounting the role of fathers and manhood.

Let’s take the two items that the editorial references – institutionalizing the mentally ill and red flag laws. I support both of those ideas, but the devil is in the details. And it’s hard. How do you determine when someone is no longer mentally fit to own a weapon? Who decides? When do they need to be separated from society and institutionalized? Who decides? How do we balance the rights of the individual with the safety of society? This balance is at the core of the American Experiment, and we have some strong difference of opinion as to where that balance should be.

The answers are not found in the glib or heated rhetoric emanating from the latest politician looking for votes. They are to be found in an honest discussion with each other in our homes, churches, clubs, and, yes, online. Until we are willing to have hard discussions about hard issues, we will not find any solutions. Instead, we will just go through another cycle of action, reaction, and retreat into our respective corners.

The Great Divide

Here’s an insight into the growing divide in this country. This story is about a self-describes middle-of-the-road Democrat who is now radicalized. Here’s an exchange with her daughter while watching the most recent debate:

Her 13-year-old daughter Reese briefly showed interest in the debate and asked her mother to explain the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

“I believe more in socialist values and protecting the environment,” Mahoney said. “They want to …”

“Destroy everything?” interrupted Reese, prompting laughs.

Get it? It is no longer that Democrats and Republicans have some shared American values and just have some differences in philosophies. No. Now Republicans want to “destroy everything.” She is teaching her daughter that Republicans aren’t people with whom they should debate and come to common ground. She is teaching her daughter that Republicans are pure evil. She is teaching her daughter that Republicans are the “other” and want to destroy all that is good. When painted in such a light, is it any wonder that this lady and her daughter would consider it their moral duty to oppose Republicans at any cost? Is it any wonder that they could make the easy step to violating laws, social norms, and the political precepts of our nation in order to make sure that Republicans don’t “destroy everything?” Is it any wonder that they don’t have any compunction about using the violent police force of government to enforce their views?

If you think today’s Democrats are radicalized, just wait until young Reese grows up.

It’s not about the $11

Here’s my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News on Tuesday.

Last week this column covered a proposal by the Washington County Planning and Parks Department to impost a new annual fee on the 20,312 private onsite wastewater treatment systems in the county. The passionate opposition to the proposed $11 fee reminds us that the fires that heated the tea party movement and continue to burn for President Trump are still very hot in Washington County.

For what was supposed to be just another sleepy public meeting at 7:35 on a Thursday morning, well over on hundred agitated citizens showed up to have their say. The main room overflowed into two other rooms. At one point, the meeting was paused for 15 minutes while they removed the chairs to be in compliance with the fire code.

By the time the meeting was over, hours later, over sixty people had spoken. Many more people had signed up to speak, but had to leave for reason or another as the hours dragged on. When the speakers had finished, 146 pages of letters and emails that were sent to public officials regarding the proposed POWTS fee were read. The people were almost universally in opposition to the proposed fee, but the commentary exposed the many fissures in the public’s trust of government.

Several of the speakers pointed out that the meeting was being held at an incredibly inconvenient time for anyone who works. One speaker pointed out that everyone in the room was of retirement age — to the jovial objection of a younger woman swimming in the sea of grey. The speakers and letters continued to emphasize that a government that really cares about what the people think makes an effort to schedule public hearings for a time when people can actually attend.

Some of the opposition centered on the fact that the proposed fee is simply a tax by another name and that government fees inevitably and unrelentingly go up. The wise citizens of Washington County are not to be bamboozled by arbitrary word games. They know that money being taken out of their pockets by their government is still money they no longer have, whether referred to as a tax or a fee by government officials.

Much of the outrage had to do with how the money from the proposed fee was to be spent. One woman pointed out that the first nine items in the list of expenses were for salaries, benefits, overtime, retirement, etc. for county employees. These items comprise more than 75% of the entire costs associated with the POWTS program. It is an enormous cost for such a rudimentary government function. Further larded into the cost are expenses for membership dues, advertising, travel, lodging, vehicles, and all of the other expenses that seem so unnecessary and wasteful.

One speaker highlighted the fact that Washington County still insists on having 26 county supervisors – each of which is paid a salary, per diem, and expenses. Meanwhile, the county continues to run Washington County Fair Park and a golf course.

Another speaker pointed out that POWTS owners already pay a county sales tax on all of the construction and maintenance of their POWTS that far exceeds the money allocated to the POWTS program. County citizens have not forgotten that the county sales tax was originally imposed as a temporary necessity to pay for a handful of critical infrastructure projects, but now it is a permanent county fixture.

While the written and spoken opposition to the proposed POWTS fee was wide-ranging and fierce, there was a common theme: The people are sick and tired of government that doesn’t listen to them, doesn’t care about them, and doesn’t respect them. Politicians and government bureaucrats too often operate in a world detached from the realities of the people they are supposed to serve. In this case, a proposal for a silly $11 fee/tax revealed just how large that detachment is.

Vos Grapples with Paralyzed Representative

Interesting points.

The Republican leader of the state Assembly said he won’t let a Democratic lawmaker who’s paralyzed from the chest down call into meetings and slammed him for “political grandstanding” on the issue.

But Speaker Robin Vos wrote in a letter to Rep. Jimmy Anderson Thursday he would seek to make a videographer available for public committee hearings and consider letting members vote via paper ballot rather than in-person.

Anderson, of Fitchburg, has sought to be able to phone into committee gatherings, though chamber rules prohibit the practice, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week. Vos, R-Rochester, told the publication he didn’t want to change Assembly policy in that arena.

In his letter, Vos wrote he has “always been opposed to a call-in option” for committee hearings because they tend to result in “disruptive, ineffective meetings,” and it is disrespectful for other attendees who come to give in-person testimony.

Vos’ letter also called out Anderson for “political grandstanding” on the issue by going to the media rather than taking his request for phone accommodations to his office, committee leadership and others.

Let’s be clear… Anderson is grandstanding. He voted for the Assembly rules to disallow people from phoning into hearings. That being clear, the issue itself poses some interesting questions.

In our modern age, private businesses have been using audio and video collaboration technology for years. The Assembly could certainly do the same thing. The question is, should they? A legislative body is not the same as a private business. Are the people denied access to their elected officials if the elected official is not physically there? Can an elected official properly hear from the citizens who attend a meeting when they aren’t there? Can the elected official see the body language of the audience, clearly hear what the people are saying? Is there a duty for the elected official to be there to be available in the hall before and after the meeting, look a constituent in the eye, etc.?

Other elected bodies in Wisconsin already allow elected officials to attend meetings remotely. In West Bend, one of the school board members regularly attends meetings remotely. Is it right? Maybe. For the people who try to grab a minute with their elected official after the meeting, it doesn’t work.

I lean on the side of Vos on this one. While remote attendance is acceptable in a business setting, the people have a right to have access to their elected officials. And if people are permitted to attend remotely for health reasons, that opens the door to people abusing the process and hiding from heated meetings.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Indeed.

Now USSF President Carlos Cordeiro is pushing back. He wrote an open letter explaining that he directed U.S. Soccer staff to conduct “an extensive analysis of the pa st 10 years of U.S. Soccer’s financials.” He said the analysis was “reviewed by an independent accounting firm.” The analysis showed that the women’s team was paid more than the men’s team.

The fact sheet includes bulleted information about the different pay structures for the men’s and women’s teams. USSF claimed that it paid “women $34.1 million in salaries and game bonuses and we paid our men $26.4 million — not counting the significant additional value of various benefits that our women’s players receive but which our men do not.”

For example, the women’s team has a guaranteed salary thanks to their collective bargaining agreement with USSF. They receive a base salary of $100,000 each year and an additional salary of $67,500 to $72,500 for playing in the National Women’s Soccer League. Male soccer players do not have such an agreement.

That agreement means women soccer players earn a guaranteed salary of $167,500 to $172,500 each year. On top of that, they are paid bonuses. The men’s team only earns bonuses. Yes, those bonuses can be larger, but that’s because they don’t have the guaranteed base salary. The women’s team, according to USSF, also receives benefits including a 401(k) plan and health insurance, as well as maternity leave and injury protection. The men’s team does not receive any benefits.

Finally, USSF points out that the “hypothetical per game comparison” making the media rounds isn’t even plausible. Neither the men’s nor the women’s teams have ever played 20 friendly matches in a year, yet this is what the hypothetical scenario is based on.

“That said, if the men and women ever did play in and win 20 friendlies in a year and were paid the average bonus amount, a women’s player would earn more­ from U.S. Soccer than the men’s player — the women’s player would earn at least $307,500 (WNT and NWSL salaries, plus game bonuses) and the men’s player would earn $263,333 (game bonuses only),” USSF claimed.

Choice Works

The studies keep stacking up.

This study is a follow-on to the School Choice Demonstration Project that was commissioned by the state of Wisconsin in the mid 2000s. Researchers from the University of Arkansas tracked the progress of students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) along with a matched sample of students in traditional public schools. The matching method used here allows for the best measure of the true effect of an intervention outside of lotteries, which didn’t occur in Milwaukee.

There are two sets of results in the study, one for students that were in 9thgrade at baseline and one for students who were in 3rd through 8thgrade. Among 9th graders, effects were found on enrollment but not on graduation. Among 3rd through 8th graders, the study also found an effect on enrollment. They find that 50 percent of MPCP students in this group enrolled in college compared to 45 percent of Milwaukee Public Schools students. This difference was statistically significant.

The most compelling finding, however, is when the researchers examined college graduation. By April of 2019 when the data was collected, 11 percent of MPCP students in their sample had graduated from a four-year college, compared with 8 percent of students in the public school control group. In other words, MPCP students were 38 percent more likely to graduate from four-year colleges than their public school peers.

Last year’s version of this study found that students in the MPCP were more likely to enroll in college, but not to graduate. It appears that an additional year of data has had a dramatic effect on the findings.

There are a lot of factors that go into something like this – not least of which is that, by and large, the parents who use choice care about their kids’ education and are likely more involved. Parental involvement and support for education in the home are critical factors for student success.

But the other huge factor is the quality and nature of the education being provided. Not all schools provide a good education and not all education styles work for every student. Giving parents the ability to choose a god school that delivers education in a way that works for their kids is another critical factor for student success.

No More Sales Tax Holiday in Wisconsin

Thanks, Governor Evers.

Since back to school shopping can get pretty expensive, Wisconsin held its first tax free holiday for shoppers in early August last year. During that time, shoppers could buy select clothing, technology, and other supplies without paying the 5% sales tax.

“I think they should have the tax free weekend because it helps a lot of parents. Especially when they only have one income and grandparents have to help,” said Callahan.

[…]

But Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has confirmed that the state will no longer participate in the event this year. He said it was a one-time deal enacted under the former Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

“I think parents are going to be purchasing school supplies whether they have an incentive or not. I just don’t think the incentive actually worked,” said Evers.

I agree that the sales tax holiday doesn’t work as an economic stimulant, but it sure was nice for parents and teachers who are spending hundreds of dollars on school supplies.

Madison School Board Votes to Erase Native Americans from Wisconsin’s Heritage

How about the Madison School Board can mind it’s own business?

The Madison School Board called on Monday for Wisconsin schools to stop using Native American mascots, nicknames, symbols, logos and images.

The board unanimously passed a resolution that asks for the state association which represents school boards to lobby for legislation that would end the use of the nicknames and logos. The resolution originated from the Wausau School Board, which has also unanimously approved it, Tricia Zunker, the president of the northern Wisconsin city’s school board, said at the meeting.

It’s not about the $11

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. I was marveling at a truly fascinating public meeting regarding the proposed POWTS fee. I’m hearing whispers that the County Board is just going to ram it through. They do so at their own peril. Here’s a sample:

Last week this column covered a proposal by the Washington County Planning and Parks Department to impost a new annual fee on the 20,312 private onsite wastewater treatment systems in the county. The passionate opposition to the proposed $11 fee reminds us that the fires that heated the tea party movement and continue to burn for President Trump are still very hot in Washington County.

For what was supposed to be just another sleepy public meeting at 7:35 on a Thursday morning, well over on hundred agitated citizens showed up to have their say. The main room overflowed into two other rooms. At one point, the meeting was paused for 15 minutes while they removed the chairs to be in compliance with the fire code.

By the time the meeting was over, hours later, over sixty people had spoken. Many more people had signed up to speak, but had to leave for reason or another as the hours dragged on. When the speakers had finished, 146 pages of letters and emails that were sent to public officials regarding the proposed POWTS fee were read. The people were almost universally in opposition to the proposed fee, but the commentary exposed the many fissures in the public’s trust of government.

[…]

While the written and spoken opposition to the proposed POWTS fee was wide-ranging and fierce, there was a common theme: The people are sick and tired of government that doesn’t listen to them, doesn’t care about them, and doesn’t respect them. Politicians and government bureaucrats too often operate in a world detached from the realities of the people they are supposed to serve. In this case, a proposal for a silly $11 fee/tax revealed just how large that detachment is.

 

Cross-State Loophole

One must always watch out for the Left’s next move in trying to control the language. Get this one...

California has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, including a ban on the type of rifle that a shooter used to kill three and wound 15 at the garlic food festival in Gilroy on Sunday.

But the gunman had legally purchased the “assault-type rifle”, in the style of an AK-47, from the neighboring state Nevada on 9 July before carrying it illegally over state lines into California, highlighting what some gun control advocates say is a loophole in the way laws operate, state by state.

[…]

Several lawmakers have pointed at Sunday’s shooting to once again call for a federal law that would close this cross-state loophole.

So now the fact that states pass different laws according to the will of their own citizens is a “cross-state loophole.” No, it’s not a loophole. It’s federalism, and it’s a fundamental part of our system of government. It’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

One-Sided Task Force

Evers sure doesn’t take diversity into account when picking people.

MacIver News Service | July 25, 2019

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON, Wis. — “Titanic” didn’t need a spoiler alert. 

And it doesn’t take a genius to see where Gov. Tony Evers’ Joint Task Force on Payroll Fraud and Worker Misclassification — loaded down with Big Labor representatives — appears to be heading. 

The vast majority of  public members on the task force — five of six — are union leaders or have deep ties to organized labor, according to a membership list obtained by MacIver News Service. 

Even some of the state bureaucrats who round out the investigative panel are closely connected to Big Labor. 

Business advocates expressed concern about the outsized role labor looks to play on the task force. 

“If that’s the way the makeup of the task force remains, then I think that’s really unfortunate and a missed opportunity,” said Scott Manley, senior vice president of Government Relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. 

There is also concern from construction industry officials that contractors are being unfairly targeted. Misclassification of independent contractors occurs among janitorial services, Internet providers, and throughout the exploding gig economy, too. But the task force, at least based on the initial rhetoric, seems fixed on the construction trade. 

Newburg Eliminates Ethics Code and Abolishes Ethics Commission

Some day, I would love to spend some time to understand all of the backstory in Newburg. Essentially, it looks like a couple of families with deep grudges who are warring against each other in local government. The result is that it makes Newburg look like a backward hillbilly hamlet where they have failed the experiment of self-governance.

NEWBURG — Elected village officials here late Thursday agreed to abolish Newburg’s Ethics Commission and eliminate its own ethics code.

The unanimous vote — two Village Board members were absent — would put most future ethics disputes in the hands of the local district attorney or the state’s attorney general.

The move came roughly a month after the commission’s own chairman, Mike Heili, had sought to accuse village President Rena Chesak of perjury. That accusation came after Heili raised issues with statements he said Chesak had made at an ethics hearing he oversaw earlier this year.

But the attempted complaint — Deanna Alexander, Newburg’s interim administrator and clerk, has said the filing by Heili wasn’t notarized and that she planned to return it to him — had raised ethics issues of its own.

Besides filing an ethics dispute that his own commission would have ostensibly overseen — making for a potential conflict of interest, Alexander has said — Heili had also apparently raised questions about his impartiality this year when Alexander reported he’d suggested plans to continue filing more complaints against Chesak.

“There was concern expressed by multiple trustees regarding the ethics commission and the fact that it has more or less — it’s become overused,” village Attorney Ian Prust said moments after board members exited closed-session talks on the matter, and just before they voted to abolish the commission.

“It’s become a tool for different people to seek political retribution against other individuals,” Prust continued, “and they’re incredibly concerned about the cost of the ethics proceedings happening on a regular basis.”

Muslim Group Invited to Proselytize in Public School

Where are those folks from the Freedom From Religion Foundation?

“After a petition was sent around by activists, asking the school district to reduce ‘racism,’” William Krumholz reports in Alphanews, “the district brought in a group run by Dr. Muhammad Khalifa to conduct an ‘equity survey.’”  This took place in the Eastern Carver County School District in the city of Chaska, Minnesota, with a population of approximately 25,000.

Dr. Muhammad Khalifa is Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. He earned his Ph.D. in “educational administration” at Michigan State University. Khalifa’s group, Adjusted Equity Solutions, and the affiliated Culturally Responsive School Leadership Institute, Krumholz wrote, “sells its services, which focus on bias recognition education and training, to schools.” The Eastern Carver district and superintendent Clint Christopher, “awarded Khalifa’s AES $52,250 over a two-year period to conduct the equity survey and provide certain follow-up services.”

Dr. Khalifa’s “Islamophobia and Christian Privilege,” materials urge the district to “recognize that Islamophobia is one of the most widespread, rapidly growing, and tolerated types of oppression in school and society today.” This requires the school to “identify discourses and practices of Christian privilege and White privilege” and Christian privilege “is not only having major Christian holidays and Sundays off, and Christian trappings in school.”

The materials urge the district to “discuss with your staff how you have been implicit – directly or indirectly – in Islamophobic practices,” and “complete annual equity audits.” Dr. Khalifa  wants “speak outs” for Muslim students, and the protection of “Muslim female dress.” The district is also to “celebrate contemporary Muslim accomplishments and personalities, Kunta Kinte, Muhammad Ali, Keith Ellison, Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane, Malcolm X, Mahershali Ali, etc.”

As Dr. Khalifa’s materials explain, “Islam is not a religion in the sense that Western Europeans separated faith from other aspects of life.” Dr. Muhamad wants the district to “support causes connected to the Muslim community,” and “use staff, school space, student activities, and even financial resources – to advocate for causes important to student inclusion and belongingness.”

Actually, this looks more like yet another shakedown group.

Bill Introduced to Have Taxpayers Provide Feminine Hygiene Products

Don’t get too worked up. This bill isn’t going anywhere in a sane Assembly. But it is worth noting that this is the priority of Melissa Sargent and the Democratic Party in Wisconsin.

MADISON, Wis. – Menstrual products would be more easily accessible in state and local buildings, as well as schools under a new bill a Democratic state lawmaker is introducing.

Rep. Melissa Sargent said menstrual products are “not a luxury good, nor a government handout” in a news release.

“Menstrual products are necessities, not luxuries, and the over 50% of the population who menstruate here in Wisconsin should not have to continue to face the undue and unjust burdens of inaccessibility to essential hygiene products,” Sargent said in the release.

The bill requires that restrooms in buildings owned, leased or occupied by the state and local governments have tampons or pads available at no charge.

School districts, charter schools and private schools in a parental choice program would also be required to have tampons and pads available for free in bathrooms under the bill.

I would note that less than 50% of people menstruate… kids and post-menopausal women and whatnot. But that’s neither here nor there.

This is part of the continuing thrust of socialists to make people dependent on government for everything. No, menstrual products are not a luxury good. The same argument could be made for toothpaste, deodorant, hair products, razors, or any other hygiene product. And that’s the point. If Sargent has her say, we’d probably get to the point where government provides everything – after extracting money from the people to pay for it. Of course, it is not the responsibility of taxpayers to provide any of that for people.

Frankly, I get sick and tired of socialist politicians infantilizing people. Fer cripes’ sake, we aren’t children and we can buy our own $#(@*&! hygiene products. But socialists don’t see people that way. People can’t be mature and take care of themselves. They are sheep who are too stupid, lazy, or immature to take care of themselves. They need their betters to use the violent coercive force of government to provide for their needs.

I hope Sargent gets an earful from women who say, “I’m a grown a$$ woman and can buy my own hygiene products.”

Peggy Noonan Nails It

Yup. And the frustration of normal people is part of the populist thrust fueling Trump’s support.

There is the latest speech guide from the academy, the Inclusive Communications Task Force at Colorado State University. Don’t call people “American,” it directs: “This erases other cultures.” Don’t say a person is mad or a lunatic, call him “surprising/wild” or “sad.” “Eskimo,” “freshman” and “illegal alien” are out. “You guys” should be replaced by “all/folks.” Don’t say “male” or “female”; say “man,” “woman” or “gender non-binary.”

In one way it’s the nonsense we’ve all grown used to, but it should be said that there’s an aspect of self-infatuation, of arrogance, in telling people they must reorder the common language to suit your ideological preferences. There is something mad in thinking you should control the names of things. Or perhaps I mean surprising/wild.

I see in it a spirit similar to that of the Terror. There is a tone of, “I am your moral teacher. Because you are incapable of sensitivity, I will help you, dumb farmer. I will start with the language you speak.”

An odd thing is they always insist they’re doing this in the name of kindness and large-spiritedness. And yet, have you ever met them? They’re not individually kind or large-spirited. They’re more like messianic schoolmasters.

[…]

It’s all insane. All of it.

But we’re moving forward, renaming the months and the sexes, reordering the language.

You wonder how the people who push all this got so much power.

Taxpayers on Hook for $110,000 to Jailed Felon

Sigh… government screws up and it’s always the taxpayer left to pay the bill.

WAUSHARA COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Wisconsin prison inmate is receiving tens of thousands of dollars from the state as the result of a federal lawsuit settlement over what’s been dubbed “The Rat Emoji Incident.”

Taxpayers are footing the bill for that $110,000 settlement. There may be more to come.The lawsuit stems from an incident at Redgranite Correctional Institution. Target 2 Investigates uncovered the story in January.A now-former corrections sergeant at the prison exposed the identity of five inmates who were acting as confidential informants in a high-profile undercover gang investigation by placing pictures or rats next to their names.

“To be honest with you, it was rage. Rage,” former prison gang investigator Jason Wilke says was his first reaction after learning criminal charges were never filed against the sergeant.

One of the inmates filed a federal civil rights lawsuit and the state decided to settle. He’s serving time for armed robbery, and getting a big payout from taxpayers.

AG Kaul Praises Budget

I guess today is going to be all about finding those rare nuggets of praise from liberals.

RHINELANDER – Wisconsin will add more than 60 assistant district attorneys and nearly double the hourly pay of public defenders from $40 an hour to $70.Attorney General Josh Kaul told Newswatch 12 during a stop in Rhinelander on Thursday he considers those changes some of the best ones made in a state budget in decades, if not ever.

Forest and Langlade Counties will directly benefit.  Each will add an assistant prosecutor.  It’s the largest increase in such jobs in Wisconsin since 2007.

Kaul thinks those steps will help lead to more of a focus on prosecuting sex crimes after he and former Attorney General Brad Schimel pushed to clear a backlog of untested rape kits.

RBG Praises Trump Appointees

Remember how much the liberals tried to smear and trash these good, decent, smart men? It was all a farce. Tip o’ the ol’ hat to RBG for being decent to decent people.

Washington (CNN)Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg came to the defense of her more conservative colleagues on the bench, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

“I can say that my two newest colleagues are very decent and very smart individuals,” she said Wednesday at an event in Washington, D.C., hosted by Duke Law as she answered questions from Neil Siegel, a law professor and one of her former law clerks.
Now that the Supreme Court term has ended, Ginsburg, 86, has been pushing back against criticism of the court, saying in a recent interview with NPR that the nine justices work well together and rebutted the idea that the Supreme Court is a partisan institution, according to the news outlet.