Boots & Sabers

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Media Begins Push to Normalize Higher Crime Level

Here we go. This is a good example of how the media works to shape the narrative for the express purpose of swaying elections to Democrats.

A clear majority of Americans believe there is more violent crime in the U.S. today than in the 1990s, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll — even though today’s violent crime rate is much lower than it was 30 years ago.

 

This common misperception doesn’t come out of nowhere: U.S. homicides rose by about 25 percent between 2019 and 2020 — the largest single-year increase since reliable tracking began in 1960 — and 2021 has seen a similar year-over-year jump, due in large part to gun violence.

 

Yet as disturbing as it is, America’s pandemic-era murder spike has not yet lifted the overall violent crime rate to anything approaching its early-1990s peak, or even the level to which it fell by the end of that decade. The fact that 56 percent of Americans now believe otherwise, according to the poll, underscores how challenging it has become to keep crime rates in perspective at a time when viral media and political polarization are making valid concerns feel like unprecedented emergencies — and how quickly and easily the politics of crime could become untethered from reality in the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections.

 

[…]

 

The question now is whether such misperceptions are getting worse — and how that widening gap might distort the politics and policy of crime going forward.

 

[…]

 

The Yahoo News/YouGov poll supports the notion that concerns about violent crime are outpacing its actual prevalence. A majority of Americans (52 percent) now describe “violent crime” as a “very big problem” in the United States — far more than the share who said the same last month about the coronavirus pandemic (36 percent), race relations (39 percent) or the economy (41 percent).

 

Make no mistake: After decreasing for decades, violent crime is up substantially and has become a major issue in a number of places in the U.S., particularly in communities of color. But we’re still far off from the level of violence seen 30 years ago.

There is nothing factually incorrect in the information presented. But ask yourself, “why is this in the news?”

Crime – particularly violent crime – has risen dramatically in the last year or so. This is a problem for Democrats who are up for election this year and next. Not only are they on record supporting idiotic mantras like “defund the police,” they have a decades-long history of supporting soft-on-crime policies, open borders, and the decriminalization of various things. The polls are showing that crime is becoming a serious issue for voters and they largely see Republicans as better on crime issues than Democrats.

In jumps the media to the rescue… the entire point of this poll and the story is to try to tell us that crime isn’t really that bad. After all, it was much worse 30 years ago. We just don’t remember it right and are blowing the issue all our of proportion. Right? You are overreacting if you think crime is a real problem. You should really be more worried about things like global warming, race issues, or any other issue that Democrats like.

No, you are not nuts if you are worried about crime. Yes, crime has risen dramatically. Yes, it was worse 30 years ago, but that doesn’t make it OK. The fact that crime is so much worse than it was 3 years ago is a huge problem. We are going in the wrong direction and we do not need to wait for it to reach the proportions of 1990 before being concerned about it.

Alcohol Delivery on the Docket

What do you think?

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — People can order just about anything with the touch of a screen — except for alcohol. Some business leaders want to change that. Others argue it’s a safety hazard.

 

Online grocery shopping was popular before the pandemic, and it’s only grown since then. Now customers want alcohol included in this perk. But is it safe? It depends on whom you ask.

 

Instant gratification drives the retail and foodservice market with delivery apps thriving in a technology-driven world.

 

“One of the things customers want is to have a six-pack of beer, a bottle of wine, or booze delivered to their home,” said Brandon Scholz, CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

In the abstract, I support this. Whether it is the family making their weekly grocery order and wants to include alcohol or the replacement of the very dangerous late night beer run, alcohol delivery does not seem like something that government has a pressing interest to prohibit.

Also, here again, Wisconsin is hardly in the vanguard on this issue. Several other states already allow this and I can’t find any data to show that it has had a negative impact. If there isn’t a provable negative impact, then government should not restrict the free exercise of commerce. Even if there is a negative impact, that must be weighed against the restriction of freedom and commerce to decide if those consequences are severe enough to justify government regulation.

I did find this concern comical:

Lawmakers will have to consider several issues. One is how delivery drivers plan to check the photo IDs of those who are ordering.

So we can vote by mail with a photo copy of an ID, but we can’t make this work? I think we can handle this concern.

City of West Bend Abandons Merit Pay and Proposes Massive Blanket Pay Increases

Geez… you can’t stop paying attention for a minute…

Last night the City of West Bend Common Council heard from the City Administrator about why the city should abandon merit pay and approve big pay increases for all city employees (police and fire not included since they are covered under union contracts. Here is the full presentation:

Compensation Presentation 7-19-21 – (002)

Here is the main thrust:

  • Salary increase for 92% of positions
  • Average salary adjustment of $4,519
  • Salary general fund impact $283,553
  • Overall salary impact $451,940
  • New ranges established and range placements effective January 1, 2022
  • Salary adjustments only provided for employees in good standing
  • There are currently no employees on a performance improvement plan
  • Salary adjustments implemented on January 1, 2022
  • Performance reviews required for annual cost of living
    merit increase

In the City of West Bend, there are apparently NO employees who are underperforming. They ALL deserve a fat raise. This is despite the fact that the same presentation laments that there has been extensive employee turnover (no detail provided) and that the current compensation is not competitive to attract talent. How can all of the employees be performing well if the compensation only allows the city to attract mediocre talent? If the taxpayers pay more for employees, shouldn’t they expect the city to upgrade the level of talent? If not, then what are the taxpayers paying for?

The proposal is to pay for the pay increases without raising taxes by raiding two TIDs. Remember that TIDs are set up as a mechanism to fund infrastructure improvements for economic development. This proposal would raid a couple of those TIDs that have “leftover” money to pay for salary increases. Of course, those TIDs will eventually come to an end and the pay increases will remain. The funding will have to come from the regular tax sources after that.

I warned last year that the City of West Bend has drifted strongly to the left. This is another step in that direction.

 

Evers puts politics over people with workforce development spending

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

As a tacit acknowledgment of his damaging veto, Evers announced last week that he would spend $130 million in federal COVID relief funds for workforce development to help with the worker shortage.

 

Of those funds, $100 million will be spent on a “workforce innovation grant program to encourage regions and communities to develop leading-edge, long-term solutions to the workforce challenges the state faces.” In other words, a bunch of unelected government bureaucrats are going to hand out your money to groups and businesses that can meet whatever version of “solutions” meets the liberal definition of “leading-edge.” Expect that money to go to things like green energy and education initiatives that are run by people who give money to Democrats.

$20 million of your money will go to subsidize “employment and skills training opportunities with local employers.” The remaining $10 million will for to “provide workforce career coaches.” This money will be used to pay people to teach unemployed people how to work as if it is the responsibility of the taxpayers to pay to train people to work.

 

There are already dozens of programs like this in every community in Wisconsin, but Evers seems to think that one more will do the trick. The fact that he is spending tens of millions of dollars that will be doled out at his administration’s discretion is a convenient political advantage the year before he seeks reelection.

 

With all of this spending, however, Evers admitted that the impact will not be felt any time soon – if ever. Speaking to reporters in Green Bay last week, he said that the initiatives “will be a fall enterprise.” While Wisconsin’s employers are struggling right now, Evers jumps to the rescue with a plan that will not even begin until the trees take on their autumnal hues.

Johnson Opposed Lockdowns

While the British press is portraying this as a scandal, Johnson’s alleged comments make perfect sense. It is a rational approach to managing a pandemic by balancing divergent interests and consequences. I wish he had stuck to his guns.

Boris Johnson was reluctant to tighten Covid restrictions as cases rose last autumn because he thought people dying from it were “essentially all over 80”, Dominic Cummings has claimed.

He also said the prime minister had messaged him to say: “I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff.”

 

Mr Johnson had wanted to let Covid “wash through the country” rather than destroy the economy, Mr Cummings said.

 

The claims came in an interview with BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg.

 

It is the first time Mr Cummings – Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser – has given a one-on-one TV interview during his career in politics.

 

In response, Downing Street said the prime minister had taken the “necessary action to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice” throughout the pandemic.

And the government had prevented the NHS “from being overwhelmed through three national lockdowns”, a spokesperson added.

Conservative Group Floats Granular Funding Formula for Education

This is interesting.

Republican groups are calling for the restructuring of Wisconsin’s convoluted K-12 education funding system — including additional funding for students living in poverty — as education becomes a focal point heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

The idea that low-income students need more resources to succeed has long been championed by academics, public school advocates and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who in 2010 proposed an overhaul of the state’s now 30-year-old school funding system. Republicans have dismissed Evers’ so-called “Fair Funding” proposal as too expensive. Instead, they have focused on distributing an equal amount of new state aid to each student regardless of background while expanding the state’s private school voucher programs.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty provided the Wisconsin State Journal with a new report calling for a more granular funding model for funding K-12 schools that focuses on the individual financial needs of each student, rather than each district — a concept similar to a proposal put forth by a statewide bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding in 2019.

I don’t think this is necessarily a conservative vs. liberal issue. If we accept that it is the role of government to fund education, then we’re talking about the how and who. Tailoring funding to the actual need of the student makes sense. In the past this would have been unachievable, but in the technical era, this is not difficult at all.

The next step is the who. Who will receive the money? If we are tailoring funding for government schools base on the students’ actual need, wouldn’t that apply to voucher funding too? But that gets the liberal nervous because if we treat students as individuals, then that moves us closer to making the money follow the kids instead of the institution. Personally, I think that’s where the focus needs to be.

WILL’s report also says it’s necessary for private voucher and public charter schools to be included in the proposed weighted funding formula.

Currently each student who receives a private school voucher gets between $8,300 and nearly $9,000. Public school districts are limited by the state to having between $10,000 and $24,000 to spend per student, depending on the district and not counting federal funds and certain other state aid programs.

Julie Underwood, a member of the blue ribbon commission and president of the liberal Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, pushed back against WILL’s effort, calling it a Trojan horse to get more money for vouchers.

Don’t be ‘That guy’

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

I hate group projects. How many times have you heard that statement or uttered it yourself ? When a group project involves a group of people voluntarily coming together to achieve a common goal, they can be terrific. But more often, group projects like those in school entail a hodgepodge of people with different motivations, varying work ethics, and suspect integrity who are thrown together to accomplish an assigned task.

 

Every group project seems to have “that guy.” You know the one. He’s the lazy slacker with a bad attitude. He shows up to the first couple of meetings for the group project. He offers a thought or two, but they are terrible. He then proceeds to bash everyone else’s ideas before retreating to sulk for the rest of the project. He doesn’t contribute anything meaningful and disappears for days or weeks at a time. The rest of the group gives up on him and finishes the project without him.

 

When the project is presented and is well received, that guy is suddenly everywhere. He is taking credit for the work and acting as if every great idea were his. With shameless audacity, that guy shoves his colleagues out of the way to bask in unearned adulation for work that was not only someone else’s, but that he actively maligned. In the great state budget group project, “that guy” is Governor Tony Evers, and his budget project teammates in the Legislature are justifiably piqued at his behavior. When Governor Evers first proposed his budget in February, it included a massive 12% spending increase that needed a tax increase of $1 billion to support it. Evers argued that Wisconsin needed to tax and spend more than ever in order to fund, “the future we dream.” Several weeks ago, the state announced that unprecedented tax collections would potentially result in a massive surplus in tax revenue in the state’s coffers. Governor Evers was quick to trumpet that every dollar of that surplus should be plowed into even more government spending. For his entire tenure in office, Evers has advocated for more taxing and more spending at every turn.

 

As the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee finished its work on the budget a month ago, the Republicans included a $3.3 billion tax cut. Not a single Democrat on the committee voted for the tax cuts. Instead, the Democrats lambasted the tax cuts as a missed opportunity and a sop to the rich.

 

When the final budget that included those tax cuts was passed by the Assembly, only four Democrats voted for it. In the Senate, only three Democrats voted for the final budget. Democrats slammed Republicans for passing tax cuts with Democrat Senator Chris Larson going so far as to accuse Republicans of, “kicking the dust in the faces of our kids.”

 

Yet after all of the scorn and derision that Evers and the Democrats threw at Republicans for cutting taxes, Evers was first to step to the front of the class and claim credit for them. When he signed the tax-cutting budget (after reducing the tax cuts with his veto pen), Evers took credit while declaring, “I’m providing more than $2 billion in tax relief and cutting taxes for middle-class families at a time when our economy and families need it most.”

Gone were the lamentations about not spending money. Absent was any acknowledgment that Evers had actually proposed a tax increase in his budget. Missing was a hint of credit for the Republicans who actually wrote and passed the budget that included the tax cut. Even though Evers vociferously opposed cutting taxes every step of the way, he was quick to take credit for them when they proved popular.

 

In every possible way, Governor Evers is “that guy.” After his initial budget proposal that included a tax increase, he sulked in the corner and threw insults at Republicans as they crafted a real budget. When the work was done and included really popular things like a huge tax cut, Evers took credit for the good work. He did not even have the common decency to admit that he opposed the tax cuts or give credit to the people who did the hard work to include them.

 

Just like when Evers was caught multiple times plagiarizing the work of others during his tenure as the state school superintendent, Evers has demonstrated again that he has no scruples about taking credit for the work of others when he thinks it will serve his personal ambitions. His inability to give even a little credit to others or admit when he was wrong reveals an insecure man of poor character. He is the guy that nobody ever wants on their group project.

Havana Syndrome Continues to Spread

The fact that this is happening globally and has been going on for so long is a great cause for concern.

There are more than 20 new cases of the ‘Havana Syndrome’ among US diplomats in Vienna, Austria that are being looked at by medical teams at the State Department, Pentagon and CIA.

 

It’s part of a recent rash of mysterious health incidents that have similar symptoms to those first reported by US diplomats and spies in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 and 2017 for which no definitive cause has yet been determined.

Symptoms include headaches, dizziness and symptoms consistent with concussions and some have required months of medical treatment. Some have reported hearing a loud noise before the sudden onset of symptoms.

Low Flow Shower Regulation Is Back

Ugh. The federal government insists on regulating the smallest things in our lives.

Now, with a new president in office, the Energy Department is going back to a standard adopted in 2013, saying it provides plenty of water for a good soak and a thorough clean.

 

The rule change will have little practical effect, since nearly all commercially made showerheads comply with the 2013 rule — the pet peeve of the former president notwithstanding.

 

The Energy Department said the action clarifies what’s been happening in the marketplace. Showers that provide the extra supply of water desired by Trump are not easily found, officials said.

 

Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads should not pour more than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) of water per minute. As newer shower fixtures came out with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration defined the showerhead restrictions to apply to what comes out in total. So if there are four nozzles, no more than 2.5 gallons total should come out among all four.

Detroit Woman Takes Action Against Crime

This lady is my new hero.

Detroit boutique owner Bianca Chambers took action herself this week after her Mercedes-Benz vehicle was allegedly stolen.

 

Two days after the car went missing, Chambers spotted the suspect inside a local barbershop – so she went in and dragged the man along the shop’s floor by his dreadlocks, FOX 2 of Detroit reported.

 

“At that point, I was like, ‘I’m not letting this man walk again,’” Chambers told the station.

Customers at the barbershop helped Chambers make a citizens’ arrest until authorities could take over, the station reported.

 

Prior to confronting the suspect, Chambers slashed the tires on her own vehicle, parked outside the barbershop, to prevent the suspect from driving away, FOX 2 reported.

 

Before tracking down the suspect, she had called police several times about the allegedly stolen vehicle’s whereabouts – only for it to be gone by the time police arrived, the station reported.

American Communists Unite In Solidarity Supporting Cuban Regime

Is anyone really surprised?

Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Cori Bush of Missouri have yet to weigh in on Black Lives Matter declaring its support for Cuba’s communist regime, even though the congresswomen have been vocal BLM supporters in the past.

 

Black Lives Matter sparked a backlash late Wednesday after posting a statement that blasted the U.S. embargo and praised Cuba’s government.

Border Invasion Continues Unabated

Biden’s open border policy may not be in the news as much, but it hasn’t changed.

From January to May, 711,784 migrants were encountered by Customs and Border Protection at the southern border – five times the amount during the same period in 2020 – and the Biden administration is on track to encounter 1 million by the end of July.

 

CBP’s latest data, released in June, show that there were 180,034 encounters with illegal crossers in May, the highest of any month in the last 20 years. The spike in migration under President Joe Biden‘s administration continues to grow with no signs of it coming to a stop any time soon.

 

The numbers for June have not yet been updated on CBP’s webpage, but pictures emerge at least weekly of groups of hundreds of migrants turning themselves over to U.S. immigration authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Evers Throws Your Money Into Money Pit

This is a good insight into the liberal mindset.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday announced that $130 million in federal coronavirus relief funds will be used to help address the state’s worker shortage problem and assist unemployed people searching for a job.

The bulk of the money, $100 million, will go toward a workforce innovation program for the development of solutions to workforce challenges the state faced after the COVID-19 pandemic, Evers said.

Another $20 million will go to a worker advancement initiative that will offer about 2,000 unemployed people subsidized employment and skills training opportunities with local employers. And $10 million would go to a program that provides workforce career coaches to help people find jobs.

So Evers won’t do something that would save money and actually help the problem, like end federal unemployment enhancements early, but he will spend a ton of your money on another government program. While not actually solving anything, he will send your money to his political cronies who run programs like this.

General Refused to Act Even When He Allegedly Thought Trump Would Launch a Coup

Yawn.

The country’s top military officer was so convinced that then-President Donald Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss to Joe Biden that he and other senior generals made plans to stop him, according to a new book.

 

General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his deputies reportedly pledged to resign en masse if they were given an order by Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional.

If it’s true, then Milley is truly a coward for not making his knowledge public when it could have made a difference. In any case, if Milley really did believe that, he was wrong. This is just another political general looking to cash in on Trump hate.

Inflation Surging

Ouch

Wholesale prices for June rose more than expected in another sign that inflation is moving at a faster pace than markets had anticipated.

 

The producer price index, which measures what companies get for the goods they produce, increased 1% from May and jumped 7.3% on a year over year basis. That marked the second month in a row that the PPI set a record for a data series that goes back to 2010.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a 0.6% monthly increase.

 

Stripping out volatile food, energy and trade prices, the core PPI increased 0.5%, in line with estimates.

 

The PPI headline surge comes a day after the Labor Department reported a 5.4% year over year jump in the consumer price index, the biggest move for that measure since 2008.

 

The producer price index differs from the CPI in that it measures final demand prices that companies get for their goods. The CPI tracks what consumers actually pay at the register.

Who Shot Ashli Babbitt?

The veil of secrecy is thick for reasons that nobody is willing to explain.

Bartiromo asked Trump who he thought shot her.

 

“I will tell you they know who shot Ashli Babbitt. They’re protecting that person,” he replied. “I’ve heard also that it was the head of security for a certain high official — a Democrat — and we’ll see, because it’s going to come out. It’s going to come out.”

 

[…]

 

That is false, according to a senior law enforcement official briefed on the matter.

 

The official said the officer who shot Babbitt, 35, was not a member of a security detail provided to a specific member of Congress, adding that the officer has not yet returned to duty.

I reordered the linked story to make it make more sense. Here’s what happened… Trump, when asked about Babbitt, made the allegedly false claim about who did it (without naming a name). An anonymous law enforcement officer (again no name) claims that Trump is wrong, but still does not say who did it (still no name).

How insane is it that we are five months removed from the killing and we still do not know who did it? In what other circumstance would we allow this to be concealed? When an officer shoots anyone in the country – justified or not – we know the officer’s name within hours. Why are we allowing them to keep the name secret in this case? Why are we allowing them to cover up this killing? Why isn’t there an inquiry or a trial to get to the bottom of whether or not the killing was justified?

Don’t be ‘That guy’

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

I hate group projects. How many times have you heard that statement or uttered it yourself ? When a group project involves a group of people voluntarily coming together to achieve a common goal, they can be terrific. But more often, group projects like those in school entail a hodgepodge of people with different motivations, varying work ethics, and suspect integrity who are thrown together to accomplish an assigned task.

 

Every group project seems to have “that guy.” You know the one. He’s the lazy slacker with a bad attitude. He shows up to the first couple of meetings for the group project. He offers a thought or two, but they are terrible. He then proceeds to bash everyone else’s ideas before retreating to sulk for the rest of the project. He doesn’t contribute anything meaningful and disappears for days or weeks at a time. The rest of the group gives up on him and finishes the project without him.

 

When the project is presented and is well received, that guy is suddenly everywhere. He is taking credit for the work and acting as if every great idea were his. With shameless audacity, that guy shoves his colleagues out of the way to bask in unearned adulation for work that was not only someone else’s, but that he actively maligned.

 

In the great state budget group project, “that guy” is Governor Tony Evers, and his budget project teammates in the Legislature are justifiably piqued at his behavior. 

Suing for Unemployment Benefits

Soooo... these folks are out of work, can't find a job, and insist on forcing their working neighbors to give them more unemployment benefits, but they can afford lawyers to sue the state?

(CNN)States that have terminated pandemic unemployment benefits early can restart the programs, but there may be a break in payments for some laid-off Americans, the Biden administration said Monday.

The guidance comes as jobless residents in more states file lawsuits to reinstate the benefits. Unemployed workers in Ohio and Oklahoma this month joined those in Indiana, Maryland and Texas in turning to state courts to force their governors to resume the payments.

Biden Voices Support for Cuban Protestors

Finally. This is the correct response from an American president when people rise up against Communism and other forms of totalitarianism.

In a statement earlier Monday, Biden said, "We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime."

 

"The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves," he said.

 

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