Republicans need to quit preaching to the choir

It’s gonna be a hot one this week! Temps approaching 90° F.
Pray for rain!

Campaigning for Tim Michels last autumn, Blaska was entrusted with maybe a dozen yard signs and a list of willing recipients. To his distress, the addresses stretched from Hilldale Mall 20 miles west to the village of Black Earth WI. 

A lot of fossil fuel to find loyal Republican voters! (Well, it IS Dane County.) As we know, our nominee lost to Mr. Peepers in what was supposed to be a Republican wave election. Insult to injury, our favored state supreme court candidate got buried under an 11-percentage point landslide to the pro-abortion Democrat(ic) favorite this past April. We’re still smarting over those two.

At Politico today the reliable David Siders asks: “Did abortion make Wisconsin a blue state again?” Spoiler alert: Probably!

“We got our butts kicked,” Rohn Bishop, former chair of the Fond du Lac County GOP and now mayor of Waupun, told Siders. “What the Republican base demands and what independent voters will accept are growing further apart.”

RINOs vote, too

The Werkes tried to get Republican legislators to defuse the issue by proposing a reasonable compromise: say, a ban only after several weeks of gestation. (“Will abortion defeat Dan Kelly?“) Would they listen? NO! But what intrigued us about today’s Politico autopsy was this insight from Ben Wikler, chairman of Wisconsin’s Democrat(ic) party and a rising star. Siders reports:

Up until just weeks before the April election, the state [Democrat(ic)] party had been operating on a traditional, lower turnout model — focusing its outreach on the most reliable voters likely to cast ballots in an off-year election. But volunteers kept running into something unexpected when they knocked on doors: Many times, when they encountered someone who wasn’t on their list, they learned those people were planning to vote, too. As a result, the party shifted its strategy, broadening its targets to contact more than a million potential voters as opposed to hundreds of thousands of them.

— “How the GOP lost Wisconsin

That conforms to Blaska’s own, pathetically small universe of experience. In his first campaign of seven campaigns for Dane County Board of Supervisors, the novice candidate was given a list of likely conservative voters in Spring elections. Found himself walking 10 blocks to reach two households. Enough of that frivolity! Thereafter, the candidate hit every door. If the door opened, give a 15-second spiel, shove a handbill at the surprised occupant, and sprint to the next house. If the householder didn’t sic his Doberman on the campaigner, offer a yard sign. On doors unopened, nail my turgid screed to the door like the Rev. Luther. 

No litmus tests!

Campaigns need to win hearts and minds, which is why the Werkes still cannot understand for the Life of Brian why our candidates refused to answer newspaper and League of Women Voter questionnaires! “No response” to the question “Why are you running for election?” is suicidal! (Read & weep!)

Candidates are missionaries trying to convert souls. Go where the heathens live and talk to them in their language!

(Another) which is why: Blaska happily participated in candidate forums such as those hosted by the East Side Madison Progressives. Several Progs sidled up to this school board candidate to confess, in hushed tones, that they would be voting Blaska but don’t tell anyone I have to live in this town.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Got to get voters where they live before they will go your way. Purists lose elections.

Can YOU make a majority?

Posted in Abortion, Republicans | 3 Comments

A Memorial Day message

from State Sen. Melissa Agard, D-Madison WI

𝘋𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘍𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘕𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘴,

Sen. Agard

𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘔𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘋𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘶𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘺 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 — 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺. 𝘔𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘋𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦. 𝘙𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘧 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺. 𝘏𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳, 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘰𝘯, 𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘴𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴.

𝘞𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴’ 𝘶𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘢𝘳 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴. 𝘞𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴, 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘶𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘯, 𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘮𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘥, 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘴𝘦, 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘦𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘷𝘦r𝘺 𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥.

𝘉𝘶𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘵, 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺. 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴.

𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘢 𝘈𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥
𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘚𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳
16𝘵𝘩 𝘚𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘵

From State Rep. James Edming, R-Glen Flora:

Blaska’s Bottom Line: UPDATE: We should point out that Melissa Agard is no run-of-the mill Democrat but leads her party in the Wisconsin State Senate, as Jessica McBride points out here.

Imperfect though they were, they fought for our freedoms and those include that of dissent. Doesn’t mean we can’t disagree with that speech!

How are YOU remembering?

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Was it the eye patch?

Aaarggh! A tale of two cities!

Election Deniers have their Nelson Mandela, now that the founder of the Oath Keepers is sentenced to 18 years in the Big House for leading his seditionists in the assault on Congress 01-06-21.

If Donald Tr•mp does win a second, Grover Cleveland-like term in office, we can expect a newly pardoned Stewart Rhodes to sit in the gallery during the State of the Union address, the Medal of Freedom draped around his neck, as he is nominated for Homeland Security secretary. Interesting guy, this Stewart Rhodes. Yale law degree, eye patch, former paratrooper and aide to Ron Paul. Now THERE is diversity for you!

Republican What About-ers decry the double standard they see surrounding the treatment of the Capitol insurrections vis a vis the George Floyd/Jacob Blake rioters. They have a point, small but still visible without recourse to an electron microscope.

Social justice warrior gets his

Here in The Peoples’ Republic of Madison WI, a goofball named Kelsey D. Nelson, age 33, was given 6 months in jail for pulling down a statue of an anti-slavery Civil War hero during the Woke intifada three years ago this month. For good measure, he looted Goodman’s Jewelry store on State Street. Six months in the hoosegow and ordered to pay modest monetary restitution. Pulling down statues occurred in the second of two separate spates of BLM mob violence that included fire-bombing city hall, roughing up a state legislator, and Althea Bernstein pretending to be set ablaze by “typical Wisconsin frat boys.” Lying Althea has never been charged.

Let’s start with the judges in each case. Nelson got his slap on the wrist from Dane County Circuit Judge Chris Taylor who (you may remember) was a Democrat state legislator from downtown Madison WI before she was appointed judge by Democrat(ic) Gov. Tony Evers. Private sector experience: flacking for abortion provider Planned Parenthood. This was not Nelson’s first rodeo. The mope has 61 entries on the state’s on-line criminal blotter, including possession of a stolen, loaded firearm.

The one-eyed Oath Keeper (because he accidentally shot out his own eye) took his medicine from a District of Columbia judge appointed by Barack Obama. We’ll leave it at that.

So much for the similarities, now for the differences. The joint session of Congress was meeting, as required by the Constitution, to verify the electoral college decision in favor of Joe Biden as President. Donald Tr•mp wanted to stop them —he says “peacefully and patriotically.” In which case, why promise to pardon the glass breakers and cop beaters?

In Madison, by contrast, the Wisconsin legislature was not in session, period. Nor exists any evidence that dumb-ass Nelson was an organizer. But the case can be made that the BLM rioters were attempting to subvert government; they also broke windows in the State Capitol. Beating a state senator would appear to be an assault on governance. Ripping down statues — Miss Forward on the other side of Capitol Square also got the hook — and looting businesses (the jewelry store was but one) and smashing store window adds up to violent Intimidation!

The ultimate ‘what about’?

Another similarity: both sides believed in what they were doing. Another difference: the Madison goof apologized, the Oath Keeper defends his violence. At sentencing, the head Oath Keeper delivered a defiant address railing against the “systemic violence from the left” and efforts to “shut down the free speech” of violent Tr•mp Humpers.

“I’d like to start by saying that I’m a political prisoner, and like President Trump, my only crime is opposing those who are destroying our country.”

Wall Street Journal report

Meaning people like Kelsey D. Nelson. At HIS sentencing the WI State Journal recounts a statement made by the president of a club devoted to the Civil War colonel (who knew?) asking for a maximum sentence and decrying city leaders’ almost blasé attitude toward the BLM violence. Indeed, Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway told the police to stand down (we don’t know about “stand by”) during the riots. Afterward, city government paid for anti-cop murals painted on the plywood covering the shattered store windows. The mayor was re-elected this April.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: The ignorant goof who toppled the state of Col. Hans Christian Heg whined that “there was no instruction manual for how to protest.” Um, yeah there is. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Ghandi wrote it. 

Our verdict: the Oath Keeper got what he deserved. Although his sins were lesser, Madison’s BLM agitator still caught a break.

How would YOU have sentenced each?

Posted in Donald Trump, Election 2020, January 6 insurrection, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Let the games begin!

A battle for the party’s soul!

With Elon Musk providing the halo effect, another Florida man will announce today via Twitter (not Truth Social, not Fox!) that he is, indeed, a candidate for President of the United States (of America). “Ron DeSanctimonious,” his chief rival calls him. No one does bile like #45! Those of us who miss Jerry Springer’s trailer trash cage-fight of a TV show can hardly wait!

Like horse racing (apparently), politics is a blood sport. No love lost between these two. Question is will Ron D. stand there and take it like poor Jeb Bush or rope-a-dope the Big Dope like Muhammed Ali did to George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle? 

The Republican presidential primary will really get interesting if Chris Christie gets in. Can he bring down Donald Tr•mp like he did Marco Rubio at the 2016 debates? None of the announced candidates so far is inclined to go low on the opinion poll leader; either through fear (we’re thinking Mike Pence) or inherently kind disposition. (Is Tim Scott too nice?)

Chris Christie has no such qualms. This is the federal prosecutor who put Jared Kushner’s old man in prison. As governor of New Jersey, he ate hecklers for breakfast with a side order of deep dish pizza and a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Even though the man insists “I’m not a paid assassin,” Politico counters that:

“Christie … loves nothing more than throwing a political punch.”

Taking down the most dominant Republican political figure in a generation, the 60-year-old former two-term New Jersey governor has calculated, requires taking direct aim at Trump’s weaknesses — his questionable character, his lack of discipline and, most of all, his losing record.


Let’s everyone go on strike! — Their workers are striking CUNA Mutual Group here in Madison WI “for all the right reasons,” John Nichols declares in The Capital Times. Main issue seems to be the employer is out-sourcing work to other locales. Seems to be if you want to assure out-sourcing, go on strike. We’ve noticed that every work stoppage is conducted for all the right reasons, according to John’s playbook.

The bat plays — Is the Brewers’ Owen Miller — of Mequon WI! —  the next Ryan Braun? Well, he is 26, a little old for a second-year player. But he was batting .347 after 101 at bats. Or is he a Hurricane Hazle, who will flame out the second time around the league? Christian Yelich was hitting only .223 on April 27. Since then, he’s batting .313 to lift his season average to .259. Go, Yellie!

Make it rain — The unlettered field hands are watering our sparse asparagus fields with their salty tears. Last significant rain was 16 days ago: 0.53 of an inch on 05-08-23. Another 0.11 of an inch six days later. A measly 0.7 on 05-19-23 when a quarter to a half-inch had been predicted. No rain in the seven-day forecast with temps predicted to hit 87° F next week!

Blaska’s Bottom Line: #45 would have been no match for Ronald Reagan, who could deflect the worst of them with humor and self-deprecation. Remember how RR demolished Walter Mondale with a single line? Then again, give him this: Tr•mp is no Walter Mondale! More like a Евгений Викторович Пригожин.

Is Christie kryptonite or carbohydrate?

Posted in Donald Trump, Republicans, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Anarchists strike back!

They’re trying to organize our UW-Madison grad students!

Remember how revolutionaries took over capitol hill in Seattle during the George Floyd/Jacob Blake hot summer of 2020? Declared a police-free zone of six blocks? Demanded that the police budget be cut in half? Actually set the police precinct station on fire and drove the cops out? !!!

With predictable results. Before the month-long occupation ended in the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), crime increased 525% over the same period in 2019. Drug overdoses, rape, robbery, arson, and shootings — one of them fatal.

At the center of it was an elected city council member named Kshama Sawant. She’s in Madison WI now. Or, at least, her organization is. It’s called “Workers Strike Back.” It is trying to organize UW-Madison teaching assistants. They already have  perhaps the most militant labor union in these parts, the Teaching Assistants Assn — Local 3220 in Randi Weingarten’s American Federation of Teachers.  

Photo by Gordie

Playing the victim card

The UW-Madison branch of Workers Strike Back met here late last month and plastered the campus with their signage. Their pitch is a “demand” for a yearly salary of $50,000.

These are graduate degree students who help their professors grade papers, lead classes, and work at the lab. UW-Madison’s 5,400 graduate research and teaching assistants already make between $21,115 and $28,388 a year. That doesn’t count the $12,000 we pay toward their graduate school tuition, and $7,500 worth of health insurance. Plus a free bus pass, on-campus parking, access to the university health clinic, child care, no heavy lifting, yadda yadda.

You wanna make a college degree even more unaffordable, go for it! The Werkes thinks graduate students should suffer for their art. A teaching assistantship is not a career, it’s a rung on a ladder!

Workers Strike Back is Kshama Sawant

Ms. Sawant announced that “Workers Strike Back will be launched in early March in cities around the country.” Sawant offers the usual grab bag of grievances: “Fight racism, sexism & all oppression! Quality affordable housing & free healthcare for all! No more sellouts! We need a new party.” Oh, and “Free abortions!

A rapacious and parasitic capitalist class has amassed untold fortunes off the labor of billions of workers. But their system is in deep crisis, and it cannot sustain itself. Capitalism needs to be overthrown. We need a socialist world.

Kshama Sawant

Madison’s own John Nichols approves! He was a featured speaker at the Kshama Solidarity Telethon in 2021. Three years ago, Nichols’ hero led the mob to occupy Seattle city hall and led a march to the mayor’s  house in support of the lawless CHOP. (More here.)

‘Deliberate indifference’ — The father of a 19-year-old man shot and killed after Seattle police abandoned the East Precinct on Capitol Hill during racial protests in June 2020 has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit alleging Mayor Jenny Durkan, Council member Kshama Sawant and others acted with “deliberate indifference” to the lawlessness and contributed to his death. 11-04-2021. (More here.)

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Any more “social and economic justice” from the raised-fist people and we’ll be done for.

Will they make any headway in Madison?

Posted in George Floyd riots, Progressives, Uncategorized, War on Police | 13 Comments

Coneflowers and pizza boxes this spring

Soon to be the next big thing!

Hope you don’t think less of the Head Groundskeeper (if that were possible) when we tell you that the indentured servants at Stately Blaska Manor save their pizza delivery boxes. Can’t waste good cardboard like that! Turns out they were just the right size of the latest project on the Experimental Work Farm (and Penal Colony). 

We’re enamored of stands of naturalized, native perennials. We swing more along the lines of Capability Brown than Louis Quattorze’s formalized gardens at Versailles. The monarda (aka bee balm), for instance, has established itself nicely here and there. It goes where it wants outside the vegetable garden and where there is no lawn — which keeps shrinking every year.

Last August, decided to establish a stand of echinacea purpurea (aka coneflower). We love the drooping nature of the petals and the earth hues — predominantly a dusky purple but also burnt orange, rusty red, yellow, and white. Hold their petals longer than many perennials and their burly seed heads remain throughout the winter. And rabbits don’t like them!

Chose an expanse in the front lawn for several varieties of echinacea: Fine Feather Parrot, Green Twister, Cheyenne Spirit, Puff Vanilla, and Price Is White. Also some Party Girl prairie mallow that resembles gladiolas, some Red Fox veronica, and Honorine Jobert Japanese anemone

Low-mowed the patch, roto-tilled, and socked in the plants. Buried bare soil under a generous layer of marsh hay. Lo! (and Behold!) this spring, couldn’t find any but the prairie mallow, with its distinctive leaves. Problem was this: my tilling had not dislodged the rhizome network of the dominant [CORRECTION] creeping bellflower. Could not distinguish the coneflower leaves from the established bellflowers. Sure we kept the identifying plant tabs — tiny enough to get lost amidst the foliage and the thick marsh hay — which did NOT restrain the undergrowth of bellflowers.

Cheyenne Spirit echinacea (left) and Sunseeker Salmon coneflower are already blooming through the cardboard. O.K., may look a mess now but flower growth will conceal everything. Is the plan, anyway.

Maybe the Head Groundskeeper panicked but he went wild at his first visit to Kopke Greenhouse outside Oregon WI. They have everything! Stocked up on $150 worth of Prairie Splendor Deep Rose echinacea, Sunseeker Salmon coneflowers, some native (unimproved) coneflowers, some penstemon, and two hardy Crane Dance wild geraniums

It’s cardboard mulch

To make room for each, pulled out the creeping bellflowers. Sure, their roots remained. This is where the cardboard pizza boxes come in. Separated lid from bottom and punched the posthole digger down on each to fashion a hole for the plant. Dropped the plant down the hole, filled remaining void with soil and poured rest of dirt atop the pizza box to keep it flush with the ground. Brown side up = less noticeable. Stapled the plant I.D. tabs to wooden stakes.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: The pizza boxes demarcate each plant. Their cardboard will transmit moisture while giving the flower a chance to flourish by holding back the undergrowth. Eventually, that cardboard will disintegrate and the flowers will spread. While rooting around on hands and knees, did locate many of the August plantings. (But none of the anemones.) No doubt, some were uprooted in my haste or covered by cardboard.

UPDATE: Will keep a few bellflowersjust because they volunteered doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty, too. Upon doing more research, bellflowers spread by rhizomes and will knock out my echinacea and other flowers. Must eradicate! Downloaded a plant identifier for my smartphone from iNaturalist. Won’t make that mistake again!

What do YOU do when the country is going to hell?

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