Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Owen

Everything but tech support

Jed

Tech support

Biden Policies Spread COVID

Forget the social and economic devastation this causes for a moment… none of these people are getting tested, vaccinated, or quarantined. I thought we were trying to stop the spread of COVID?

The Biden administration on Friday announced plans for tens of thousands of people who are seeking asylum and have been forced to wait in Mexico under a Trump-era policy to be allowed into the U.S. while their cases wind through immigration courts.

 

The first wave of an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers with active cases in the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program will be allowed into the United States on February 19, authorities said.

 

On average, roughly 85 per cent of Central American asylum claims are rejected by U.S. courts.

Madison Government Teachers Hold Kids’ Education Hostage Over Politics

SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

In the letter, MTI asked the district and the School Board to provide assurances that the decision to reopen was not influenced by the Republican-controlled Senate Joint Finance Committee’s decision to reward school districts holding in-person classes with additional funding. The committee’s decision affected funding for 172 school districts, which did not include Madison. A district spokesman told the Wisconsin State Journal the decision was not related to the Republican move.

MTI also sought assurances the district would work with health authorities to expedite the delivery of vaccine to educators who have been working in person or who will be returning to classrooms in March and an explanation of the metrics used by the district to determine when it is safe to reopen among other questions.

Ranking Presidents

Do you know what this poll tells us? That we have utterly failed at education and far too many people are just woefully ignorant of our history.

poll from YouGov and The Economist has found that former President Obama was named the best U.S. president while former President Trump was named the worst.

 

Obama barely beat Abraham Lincoln as best U.S. president with 18 percent. Trump was at 13 percent with people naming him the best president.

 

Among the worst, Trump got the highest percentage at 46 percent while Obama got the second highest at 24 percent.

Judge Denies New Warrant for Rittenhouse

Testy

Schroeder refused both of Binger’s requests. During a testy hearing the judge said people out on bail often fail to update their addresses and aren’t arrested. He ordered Rittenhouse attorney Mark Richards to turn over Rittenhouse’s current physical address but said it would be sealed to the public and only he and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department would have access to it.

 

The judge refused to give Binger the address, saying he didn’t want more violence in Kenosha. The move — and the comment — left Binger flabbergasted.

 

“I hope you’re not suggesting sharing this with our office would lead to further violence,” Binger said. “We are not the public. We are the prosecuting agency. I have never heard of a situation where the information has been withheld from my office.”

There’s a back story here…

Cuomo Lied. People Died.

But he wrote a book.

Andrew Cuomo‘s top aide has admitted that their administration ‘froze’ in August when asked for data detailing COVID-19 deaths among nursing home patients, and failed to provide the requested information.

 

In a remarkable confession made during a conference call with New York state Democrats, obtained by The New York Post, DeRosa asked for understanding from their critics.

 

Her mea culpa came shortly before the Associated Press published new detail into how many patients recovering from COVID were sent back into nursing homes. They found more than 9,000 readmittances –  a figure 40 per cent higher than official data.

 

In January, the AP reported that the death toll from COVID among nursing home patients was 15,000 – an increase almost 50 per cent higher than the official statistics.

Washington is Swimming in Red

Red ink, that is.

 

Stronger economic growth has helped to reduce the anticipated shortfall for this year. Still, the deficit could soon be revised upward if President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package becomes law. The additional aid — coming after roughly $4 trillion was approved last year — would add more red ink once enacted, but isn’t included in Thursday’s CBO projections.

Biden Seeks to Punish Florida for Voting Republican

There a states in worse shape than Florida. So why Florida?

The White House is reportedly considering domestic travel restrictions including in Florida, as variant cases of the coronavirus surge in the Sunshine State, while Gov. Ron DeSantis is pushing back against any possible restrictions, calling them “absurd.”

 

Officials with the Biden Administration said they are having conversations about anything that could help mitigate spread, including Florida travel restrictions, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

And why is Biden opening up our borders to thousands of illegal aliens flooding our country while trying to wall off Florida? How many of those illegal border crossers are getting tested and quarantining?

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, Mr Biden wrote that the order was “unwarranted” and said that no further tax dollars will be spent on the wall.

UW Encourages More Student Debt

Follow the money.

“There really is a crisis and a need for action and a need for change,” said Venable. He noted that state support has fallen from 42 percent of the UW’s budget a few decades ago to only 14 percent today. That decline has been exacerbated by the pandemic economy. “We would be having this conversation without COVID,” he said, “though it’s a catalyst.”

Lyall noted that the state legislature’s decision to freeze tuition over the last 10 years has made it impossible for UW System universities to set a market rate for the price of their services. “I don’t know of any of any other university that has had its tuition frozen for the past decade,” she said. “I don’t know of any business that could survive having its prices frozen for a decade.”

Let’s break down the two major complaints. First, state funding of UW has dropped from 42% to 14% over a “few decades.” TRUE! Why?

I’ll save myself the homework again and just post the same thing I posted a few months ago:

The balance between funding sources is a policy decision. What has happened here is that the UW System has driven up spending despite declining enrollment. State and local lawmakers resisted maintaining the taxpayers’ commitment to the spending and the percentage share declined. For some numbers:

 

In the 2010-11 operating budget, the UW System spent $5.591 billion to educate 178,909 students. That’s $31,251 per student.

 

In the 2018-19 operating budget, the UW System spent $6.349 billion to educate 164,494 students. That’s $38,597 per student.

 

If you want to claim inflation… nope. $31,251 in 2010 inflation-adjusts to $35,988 in 2018. UW is still spending $2,609 more per student for no rational reason at all.

 

The problem here is just that the UW System spends far too much. They can increase the percentage of public support by just lowering their overall spending. But they won’t… because it’s not about the share of public support. It’s simply about the fact that they want even more money to waste.

Meanwhile, they want to lift the tuition cap. What does that do? The kids will still come because borrowed money is still easy to come by. As long as kids can use debt to fund their college ambitions because they are brainwashed into believing that a college education is the only path to financial security, they will. What the UW big wigs are really advocating here is for more kids to shoulder even more student debt in order to fund their irresponsible spending. And where does that spending go? It goes into the pockets of themselves and staff to pay for their lifestyles.

Sure, some of the kids will get a valuable education in return. Some will not. But all will pay.

On the need for government

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

As power continues to drift toward centralization in both Madison and Washington, the reader will forgive the writer for briefly waxing philosophic before wading back into the mire of contemporary politics. What is, after all, the purpose of our civic arrangement? Why do we even have government? While the strictures of this column are too constraining for a full examination, we can, at least, begin to sketch an outline.

 

Born into what John Locke called a “state of nature,” all people are endowed with intrinsic rights that are part of our human condition. Among those rights, as our Declaration of Independence points out are the rights of, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” While a complete catalog of our natural rights is innumerable, they are best encapsulated within the happy bubble of “liberty,” assuming that we are alive to exercise it.

 

Liberty in one’s person is the freedom to think and act according to one’s own will and direction without being constrained by any other person. Liberty is spontaneous thoughts and actions without having to ask anyone’s permission. It is the inherent ability to direct one’s body and mind without any restriction whatsoever that is not imposed by the natural world or one’s own conscience. In this state of pure liberty, a person gains all the benefits and all the consequences of their thoughts and actions.

 

Of course, that perfect state of liberty can only exist when one is perfectly alone for ever since two humans have existed together, conflict was inevitable. As humans gather in families, then bands, then communities, then nations, our perfect liberty unavoidably conflicts with the perfect liberty of others. Where conflict exists, there must be a means to resolve that conflict.

 

In a perfect world where all people are wise, just, fair, and equally endowed with physical gifts, these clashes of liberties would be resolved through mutual agreement. Two people would meet and resolve their differences according to their own self-interest without further encroaching on the other. In the real world, however, people are subject to avarice, cruelty, selfishness, rage, stupidity, and all the other failings that are integral to the human condition. In such a real world, the strong and violent prey on the meek and docile and individual liberties are drowned in oceans of blood and tears.

 

We take it as a matter of principle that all people are created equal. Whether one considers that equality to spring from God, nature, or some other ethereal font is immaterial. We take our equality as fact. That is not to say that we are all equal in physical condition or material circumstance, but that we are equal in terms of our individual liberties and right to exercise thereof. As we are all equal, then all our individual liberties are equal and must be equally defended irrespective of our physical, mental, moral, or pecuniary strengths.

 

Without equality and individual liberty, we would not need government. We would be merely pigs in need of a good swineherd. If we had no inherent rights to self-determination of our bodies and our minds, then there is no need for any collective power to protect those rights. When conflict arises between two pigs, the swineherd does not dwell on the just cause of the afflicted or on the encroachment of rights. He simply slaughters the fatter pig to maintain order.

 

If we are to accept that we are not swine and, in fact, are human beings with inherent individual liberties, then we must accept that we must have civic order to coexist. That civic order must be enforced by someone or something. Without civic order, each human is left to defend his or her liberties from the onslaught of those who would take them by force. It is from the friction of grinding conflict that we generate the heat to forge government as a collective shield to protect our individual liberties.

 

The primary function of government is to define and enforce a civic order for the purpose of protecting our individual liberties from within and without. While our society has stretched the purpose of government into a means of concentrating power and wealth for use in advancing the collective will of the people, that is not the fundamental reason for government’s existence. When any government — whatever its composition — ceases to defend and protect our individual liberties, then it is no longer a legitimate government. It is an instrument of tyranny.

 

Our Evolving Mask Culture

Rumor has it that if you hold your breath, it reduces virus spread by 96%. Further tests are needed.

The research suggests that when a person “double masks” — wearing a polypropylene surgical mask with a cloth mask on top — and the people around them did the same, the risk of transmitting the virus falls more than 95%.

 

Researchers, who used two mannequin-like forms to test exposure, found a similar benefit with tightening a single surgical mask around the ears to improve its fit. Using a hack known as a “knot and tuck,” the researchers ensured the surgical mask fits closely around the face without gaps.

 

The benefit, though, fell to 80% if only one person wore the double mask and 60% if only one person knotted their surgical mask for a tighter fit.

Hacking Our Infrastructure

It’s always troubling to see how easy it is to hack our primary infrastructure.

An outdated version of Windows and a weak cybersecurity network allowed hackers to access a Florida wastewater treatment plant’s computer system and momentarily tamper with the water supply, federal investigators revealed in a memo obtained by ABC News.

 

The FBI’s Cyber Division on Tuesday notified law enforcement agencies and businesses to warn them about the computer vulnerabilities, which led to the Bruce T. Haddock Water Treatment Plant in Oldsmar being hacked on Feb. 5.

Madison Schools Think About Maybe Returning to School… Maybe… If…

I’ll bet you a warm bowl of mayonnaise that there is no regular in-person instruction this school year.

In Dane County, the 14-day average to meet and maintain to open Madison schools for grades 4K-2 is 78 new cases per day or fewer for four consecutive weeks. For grades 3-5 the 14-day average must be 63 new cases or fewer for four consecutive weeks, and for grades 6-12 the 14-day average must be 43 new cases or fewer for four consecutive weeks.

 

As of Feb. 9, the 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases per day was 102 according to the city-county health department.

Act 10 Has Saved Taxpayers $13.9 Billion

Wow.

The Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds tracks pension fund contributions. Before 2011, the vast majority of government employees in Wisconsin did not contribute towards their pension. Since Act 10 was implemented, state, local, university, tech college, and school district government employees have contributed $9 billion to their own pensions.

 

That’s $9 billion in taxpayer savings over ten years –  just for the pension piece alone.

 

Tracking health insurance savings throughout the state is more complicated. There are thousands of local units of government and some Act 10 savings at the local level go unnoticed and unpublicized. Act 10 permanently changed the trajectory of those local healthcare costs. Local governments like the City and County of Milwaukee include that information in their annual budgets – and the savings continue to grow exponentially.

 

Using the same methodology that has always been used and the same public data sources, our new analysis shows that local governments have saved $2.4 billion, the state and university system have saved $1.2 billion, and school districts have saved $1.3 billion over the past nine years on health insurance.

 

That puts the total Act 10 taxpayer savings at $13.9 billion over nine years. $13.9 billion. Let that sink in for a second.

“ineffectual and uninspiring”

That’s about right.

Gov. Tony Evers and his administration passed a milestone at the start of the year — the halfway point in his four-year term as governor. Two words come to mind in assessing his term thus far — ineffectual and uninspiring.

 

[…]

 

If Evers is to make a better grade for the second half of his term as governor, he will need to continue to work to find ways to forge compromise with the Legislature, which will require shelving some of his goals and ideals. He also needs to work at projecting confidence. Those are pillars of effective leadership.

 

— Kenosha News

DPI Candidates Weigh In

Mark Belling has posted his written Q&A with the two more conservative-leading candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction – Deb Kerr and Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams. Belling asks both candidates specifically about their stance on School Choice and whether kids should be back in school.

I thought both candidates’ answers were… disappointing. Part of this may be because I am hypersensitive to weasel words from politicians. Both questions could have been answered with a simple “yes” but both candidates went to great lengths to elaborate on their answers. Then we get qualifiers like they support choice for “high quality” schools and they support kids returning to school “safely.” Then there’s talk about a “recovery plan” and “equitable funding.” In other words, both candidates would not give a simple “yes” and instead throw up a blizzard of qualifiers, conditions, and road blocks to give them plenty of room to back off of any support of School Choice or a full return to in-person instruction.

My Lawyer is a Cat

Hilarious.

Texas lawyer Rod Ponton was left flummoxed when he discovered his face was appearing as a cat during a court session on Zoom.

 

As his assistant tried to rectify the issue, he can be heard saying, “I’m here live, I’m not a cat.”

 

Tweeting about the incident, Judge Roy Ferguson, who presided over the session, said it showed “the legal community’s effort to continue representing their clients in these challenging times”.

On the need for government

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. When I get really frustrated with government, my habit is to retreat into first principles to center myself. Go pick up a copy. Here’s a part:

We take it as a matter of principle that all people are created equal. Whether one considers that equality to spring from God, nature, or some other ethereal font is immaterial. We take our equality as fact. That is not to say that we are all equal in physical condition or material circumstance, but that we are equal in terms of our individual liberties and right to exercise thereof. As we are all equal, then all our individual liberties are equal and must be equally defended irrespective of our physical, mental, moral, or pecuniary strengths.

 

Without equality and individual liberty, we would not need government. We would be merely pigs in need of a good swineherd. If we had no inherent rights to self-determination of our bodies and our minds, then there is no need for any collective power to protect those rights. When conflict arises between two pigs, the swineherd does not dwell on the just cause of the afflicted or on the encroachment of rights. He simply slaughters the fatter pig to maintain order.

 

If we are to accept that we are not swine and, in fact, are human beings with inherent individual liberties, then we must accept that we must have civic order to coexist. That civic order must be enforced by someone or something. Without civic order, each human is left to defend his or her liberties from the onslaught of those who would take them by force. It is from the friction of grinding conflict that we generate the heat to forge government as a collective shield to protect our individual liberties.

 

The primary function of government is to define and enforce a civic order for the purpose of protecting our individual liberties from within and without.

Italy Bans Masks for School Kids

Good for them

3) that, in the case brought to the attention of this judge, the minor represented by his parents, documented on several occasions by medical certificates , problems of lack of oxygenation due to the prolonged use of masks during all class hours;
4) that, in the class attended by the minor,not even an oxygenation control device – oximeter , an instrument of minimal cost and very simple usability allowing every teacher to intervene at the very first sign of difficulty in breathing in very young pupils;
Therefore, the judge considered that:

 

“The minor cannot be forced to use a mask during the course, because of the risk of respiratory fatigue.”
“Due to the serious and immediate nature, the provisional execution of this decision was requested in order to protect the young student and allow him to follow the courses. “

Evers Wants to be Able to Legally Smoke Dope

Clearly a high priority for him. Although, politically stupid. The Democrats have been using this to juice pothead turnout for Democrats for years. They lose that if they actually pass it.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wants the state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

 

On Sunday morning, the governor’s office announced he would include the initiative in his upcoming 2021-23 biennial budget. In a statement, he compared the coming proposal to the regulations in neighboring Illinois and Michigan.

 

“Frankly, red and blue states across the country have moved forward with legalization and there is no reason Wisconsin should be left behind when we know it’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites,” Evers said.

 

The Evers Administration pointed to a study by Marquette University that found six in ten Wisconsinites would back legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, while a full 83 percent support medicinal marijuana.

While the governor is really, really bad at it, this is supposed to be a collaborative negotiation. If he really wants this, which one of the Republican ideas is he willing to support in exchange? Universal School Choice? Spending cuts? Tax cuts? Approve their redistricting maps? Election reform? Anything? Or is this the normal “my way or the highway” style that we have come to expect from Evers?

Recent Comments

  • Mar on Non-Partisan School Board Races: ““Members of the school board are some of the most powerful people you will ever see.” Absolutely true. Look at…26 Feb 21 at 2339
  • MjM on Government Policy Impedes Recovery: “Federal Judge declares the CDC moratorium unconstitutional: https://justthenews.com/government/courts-law/texas-public-policy-foundation-says-challenged-eviction-moratorium-declared#article26 Feb 21 at 2318
  • MjM on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “@Wizard: you nailed it. In the span of three short paragraphs Mz Thompson exposed herself as a complete hypocrite, not…26 Feb 21 at 2302
  • Mar on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “That’s too bad Pat. While I disagree with a lot of what you say, there are times when you come…26 Feb 21 at 1956
  • Pat on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “Nord, The best thing you could do for yourself is to do what I’ve chosen. And that is to remain…26 Feb 21 at 1939
  • Mar on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “What did I get wrong, pervert boy? You usual unoriginal comment after you have been proven wrong. But hey, since…26 Feb 21 at 1647
  • Le Roi du Nord on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “Wrong all the way around, mar. Does saying those things make you feel more manly? Or are you projecting again?26 Feb 21 at 1633
  • Mar on The Victims of False Accusations of Racism: “An excellent article/letter that shows how evil liberals have become. It’s all about race and how evil white people are,…26 Feb 21 at 1622
  • Mar on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “And the boy loving pervert sociopath has nothing but crap and lies. When are you going to show us how…26 Feb 21 at 1559
  • Le Roi du Nord on Non-Partisan School Board Races: “Geez mar, wrong again. If you had not noticed, this thread was about public school boards, which are non-partisan elected…26 Feb 21 at 1555

Archives

Categories

Contact B&S

Pin It on Pinterest