Pro-life kids in MAGA caps? Spray your righteous spittle!

Damn near Madison WI

The judgmental Left, licking the air for a whiff of racism no matter how remote, is getting a taste of its own bile. Jumping to conclusions and falling on their face. Displaying their terribly “woke” prejudices in a reverse image of apartheid.

When all you look for is race, race is all you will see. Surely, the Rev. M.L. King Jr. — on this day of all — would have hoped, all these 50+ years later, that America would have found a better place. But haters gotta hate.

Their latest victims are Catholic high school students from Kentucky who traveled to our nation’s capital to March for Life over the weekend. That description alone checks off a clipboard full of stereotypes. 

The photograph had gone viral: a white boy in a MAGA cap face to face with an indigenous (or native) American — seeming to leer. From the on-line magazine Slate: 

The MAGA Teenager Who Harassed a Native American Veteran Is Still Unnamed, but We’ve Seen His Face Before.

According to Slate, the young man is the face of hate. Slate continues:

maga sneer

A video clip of a white teenager harassing a Native American elder instantly became one of the most viscerally enraging images of an era that has offered no shortage of them.

In the clip, captured during the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington on Friday, an elderly Native American man beats a drum and quietly sings, and a small group of activists and allies can be seen in the crowd behind him. Perhaps 18 inches in front of him, a white teenager in a “Make America Great Again” hat makes eye contact and smirks. A much larger crowd of teenagers—mostly male, mostly white, many wearing MAGA hats—hoots with delight at the wordless confrontation. 

Except this time, the real faces of hate were black. Inconvenient, to say the least. And now, the rest of the story:

So much for ‘Inclusion’

This just in. A new video shows a third group taunting the students of Covington Catholic High School “with disparaging and vulgar language.”

The taunters were members of a group of black men improbably calling themselves Hebrew Israelites. They had already been shouting racist slurs at participants of the Indigenous Peoples Rally and other passersby.

“The new video adds context to an encounter viewed by many as the latest sign of bigotry infecting the country,” CNN sheepishly apologizes.

Indeed, the kids in Make America Great Again caps were trying to drown out the Hebrew Israelites’ inflammatory comments, which included being called “future school shooters” and “young Klansmen.”

The so-called adults accuse the high school kids of profiting from slave labor. Except that some of the high school kids are black. No matter; the men spray them with the N-word. Haters gotta hate.

According to CNN:

The teens listen for a few minutes longer, accusing the men of being racist and booing when the main speaker uses the word “faggots” when talking about equal rights.

Then, the students get a signal from off camera to leave. They cheer and wave, chanting “let’s go home” as they run off.

But the national news media would still have their fun with them. Kids, get a good lawyer and sue the bastards.

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Once and maybe again

Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-content

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No one is immune from the economy; everyone should be invested

John Bogle and Vanguard democratized capitalism

Top line in this morning’s WI State Journal is news that the indentured servants at Blaska Stately Manor may have to take in laundry, shovel snow, and hold cookie sales.

Pensions for those invested in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) may decline 0.5%. The horror! Actually, that’s more of a trim than a shave — a $103 nick for the average Wisconsin government retiree. Per year. 

Even so, government exchequers should take notice. It is a nick that hits 203,000 annuitants. Do you know how many of those live in Madison and Dane County? I don’t either. But we’re guessing a lot of voters.

Which is why I told the Madison teachers union they should not complain about their 4.1% total compensation increase in their current contract. Retirees took a shave and a haircut, not a trim, after the 2000-09 Great Recession.

The WRS is taking this trim in response to Wall Street. Dow Jones Industrials are down 5.6% for the year. Which should tell you that the state retirement system lives on pure, unadulterated Capitalism. That the trim is small is due to the retirement system’s five-year smoothing process. The market could soar next year but the WRS payouts will not. Prudence and Patience.

Bogle heads buy and hold

Which leads us to Jack Bogle, who died this past week at the age of 89. He founded Vanguard mutual funds and helped America take stock in America.

His great insight in 1976 was the broad, stock market index fund. It simply followed the 500 largest stock companies as measured by Standard & Poor. (Always thought that an unfortunate name for a financial firm.) No high-priced gurus studying entrails and arcane computer models — just follow the market, up or down but mostly up because of the American economy and that capitalist thing. Buy and hold was Bogle’s philosophy.

He also set up Vanguard as a true mutual fund — not just funds held mutually but fund-holders who owned the company. Like a cooperative. Helped keep costs low, which was another of his trademarks. Like Henry Ford put an automobile within reach of the common man. Like Sam Walton of Walmart and Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, more recently. 

That allowed individual investors to get into the market on their own, not dependent on their employers, for as little as $3,000.

economyDemocratized the markets

Which is what your Squire did when he left The Capital Times with his rollover in 1991 and he is glad he did. We chose Vanguard among all the providers after intensive study and a dart board.

Even state government encourages its employees to contribute more of their salary — beyond their required WRS retirement contribution — for additional exposure to stocks and bonds. Which we did, big time. We are glad we did.

So revered was Mr. Bogle that a cult of “Bogleheads” snapped up his books like hungry piranha, traveled to conferences at which he spoke like Greatful Deadheads. 

“Unlike anybody else in the financial industry, Bogle said what he was thinking, on the record, The way most investment firms threatened their clients was “shameful.” Most mutual funds’ annual expenses were “larcenous,.” The attempt to beat the market was “a fool’s game.”

We’ll close with Jason Zweig’s assessment in the Wall Street Journal of a man every free marketer should know and love:

American investors have lost the fiercest advocate they may have ever had.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Forget free college, subsidized housing, or cheap bus passes. If we were forced to give away One Free Stuff: it would be ten grand in a Vanguard S&P 500 fund, unredeemable for 10 years, follow the fund’s reports, learn some economics and the discipline of delayed gratification.

Call it the Cure for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

Vanguard remembers Jack Bogle

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Bad behavior increases while school suspensions are down? Ya’ think?! Part #3 of 3

Is Blaska aware of the school district’s Behavior Education Plan?

“Aware of it?” He has nightmares over it. Indigestion.
The heebie jeebies!

Third part of the Madison Teachers Inc. questionnaire
for the Tuesday, February 19 school board primary election

I face the MTI firing squad at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, January 16. Tell my story to the world if I don’t come down from Nob Hill.

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Previously on Blaska’s Policy Werkes and even more previously: First batch of answers here.

22. Are you aware of the MMSD’s Behavior Education Plan? 

  • If so, what are your thoughts about the goals of the plan? 

The goal of the BEP, unfortunately, is to jigger the numbers so as to avoid the race card. “There is overwhelming evidence that Obama-era policies culminating in this ‘Dear Colleague’ letter pushed schools to avoid disciplining students who needed to be disciplined. It made avoiding politically incorrect numbers more important than maintaining school safety.” https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/dear-colleague-letter-obama-administration-withdraw/

The WI State Journal article says so, too. The Behavior Education Plan “… emphasized the need to avoid suspending or expelling misbehaving students — largely as a way to reduce the disproportionate number of students of color who were missing school due to behavior problems.”

After four years of the inscrutable BEP and dollar cost of $15 million, Madison’s public school classrooms are more unruly than ever. 

  • out-of-school suspensions dropped from 2,905 in 2013-14 to 2,521 last school year. 
  • “Behavior incidents” nearly doubled from 35,460 in the 2013-14 school year — the year before the BEP went into effect — to 69,279 in 2017-18. 

Federal policies requiring school districts to make the numbers work by disciplining fewer minority students are being rolled back. A federal Commission on School Safety blamed the 2014 directive for an increase in school violence. “The commission’s focus was part of a broader effort to reject the previous administration’s race-conscious education efforts,” the New York Times reports. The safety commission found that the focus on race over safety  has made schools more dangerous. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/politics/trump-school-discipline.html

    1. What are your thoughts about the implementation of the plan?

Un-implementable. Undesirable. Counter-productive. The symptom, not the cure.

23. What do you see as the proper relationship between the Board of Education and the MMSD Superintendent and Administration?

Board of Directors / Chief Executive

24. Who do you plan to seek advice from should you be elected to the Board of Education?

Parents, teachers, police, alders and community leaders, reform-minded thinkers.

25. Are you seeking MTI’s endorsement of your campaign?

I am here at MTI’s invitation because I sincerely believe that teachers ought to be given back their classrooms, in part, by removing the impediments places in their way by backward, excuse-driven policies of the District. Teachers ought to be supported and rewarded who strive for excellence. I am happy to engage with all voters and groups on the merits. 

26. Are you seeking MTI political action contributions for your campaign?

Write checks to Blaska for Safer Schools, P.O. Box 44663, Madison WI 53744-4663

27. Is there anything else you would like MTI members to know about your candidacy and why you are seeking election to the Board of Education?

My principal opponent is Ali Muldrow. She is Progressive Dane. She is against cops in school. She and Ananda Mirilli are running as a team. Both support Freedom Inc. Ali Muldrow wrote Progressive Dane’s cops-out-of-school manifesto.

According to Progressive Dane’s own website, Seat #4 school board candidate Ali “Muldrow was endorsed by Progressive Dane during her 2017 Madison School Board campaign and continues to serve on the Steering Committee where she is helping draft the first local Education Platform in our county’s history.”

That platform reads: 

  • Stop contracting with Madison Police Department for educational resource officer presence in schools.
  • End the practice of expelling students. 
  • Oppose zero-tolerance policies, including, but not limited to those for the use of cell phones and other personal devices. 
  • Fund legal services/right to counsel for students facing formal discipline, including suspension and expulsion.
  • Educate students and staff on issues of systemic racism and compel teachers and administrators to document their efforts to end racial inequalities in scales large and small. 
  • Uphold the right of students and families to opt-out of standardized tests and the right of staff to freely inform families of their right to opt-out.
  • Oppose the ranking and grading of schools based on standardized test scores and participation rates.

On January 15, 2018 Ali Muldrow said: “I struggled to understand how Madison could be so liberal, and racist enough to discriminate against children at school. Because, you see, it is no coincidence that children who were once enslaved in this country are now filling our Juvenile Detention Center … I am here tonight because we are determined to end the incarceration of children, and I am just getting started.” — https://prodane.org/education/

Each of these candidates ought to be rejected by MTI. They stand for so many things that are harmful to our teachers and our schools. MTI could make a bold statement by refusing to endorse. If MTI chooses to endorse one of those candidates, it may properly be perceived as a cynical statement about the future of schools and rejection of the facts on the ground.

28. Who has endorsed your campaign?

You would be surprised!

29. Who serves on your campaign committee?

A cabal of very intelligent and public-spirited citizens

30. Are you aware of any conflicts of interest which may prohibit you from voting on certain items before the Board of Education?  If so, what are they?

Blissfully unaware.

Now I put it to the 5,000+ faculty and staff of the Madison Metropolitan School District:

Are you running a school-to-prison pipeline? Do you discriminate against students of color, orientation? David Blaska says no. What say you?


Blaska’s Bottom Line: Hey kids! Did you know I’m running for Madison school board? Go to my website.

Help spread my message!

Posted in Cops in schools, identity politics, Madison schools, School Board Election 2019, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Anti-cop restorative justice killed 17 in Parkland, Florida

No criminal record, kid? Good, you can buy a gun!

His 18-year-old daughter was among the 17 killed in the February 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland Florida. The father blames race-based disciplinary policies and restorative justice for their deaths. A federal commission and the governor of Florida agree.

Excerpted from today’s Wall Street Journal,A Parkland Father’s Quest for Accountability.”

flshootingvictims

Their lives cannot be restored

‘Making the numbers work’ before safety

Andrew Pollack believes that political correctness killed [his daughter] Meadow.

A prominent villain in his narrative is Robert Runcie, who came to Broward from Chicago in 2011 as the superintendent of the county’s public schools. Mr. Runcie introduced a program called “Promise” … under which students who commit crimes in public schools would no longer be reported to the police by administrators. Under Promise, students would be evaluated and dealt with exclusively within the schools and their associated reform programs. Even felonies as severe as drug dealing, sexual assault and bringing weapons to school could lawfully be kept from the police.

Mr. Runcie “saw that minority students were being referred to the police at higher rates than whites,” as Mr. Pollack tells it.

“Rather than recognize that misbehavior can be the result of many complex problems outside school, or at home,” the superintendent concluded the disparity was because “teachers and schools were racist.” With no reporting, “now there’s no crime. The school’s data looks great. Problem solved.”

But a much worse problem was created: “No student has a criminal background as a result, so once you graduate from school and want to buy a gun, background checks are useless.”

Mr. Runcie and his supporters called their policy “discipline reform.” Violent students had to attend “healing circles,” among other sorts of in-house, nonjudicial remedies. The result, says Mr. Pollack … is that “mentally disturbed students, violent psychopaths like [Nikolas Cruz], are right there in the classroom with normal students like my daughter, and with teachers who don’t know how to deal with them, since they can’t bring in the cops.”

Feds imposed race-based discipline in 2014

The feds’ 2014 race-shaming edict decreed that adults have to change their behavior, not students, or the Justice Department would initiative discrimination lawsuits. Thankfully,  that nonsense was repealed in December 2018 upon the recommendation of the U.S. School Safety Commission. The Wall Street Journal article continues:

Mr. Pollack describes the Broward County School District as “Ground Zero for a horrible approach to school safety that spread across America.” In January 2014, the Obama administration issued guidelines to the nation’s school boards, directing them to adopt “Promise”-like policies or risk a federal investigation and loss of funding.


… In high school, Nikolas Cruz vandalized a bathroom, causing more than $1,000 of damage. He racially abused black students and had fistfights with them. He carved swastikas on his desk. He hurled furniture across classrooms. He threw hard objects at other students, sometimes injuring them. He brought dead animals to school and often waved them before other students. He threatened to kill teachers and other students, and to shoot up the school. He wrote “KILL” in his notebooks and spoke frequently about guns. He brought knives to school and, on one occasion, a backpack full of bullets.

Sheriff Scott Israel was on a drive to reduce juvenile arrests, and the department allowed Cruz to keep a clean record even though deputies were called to his home 45 times in his middle- and high-school years.

On one of these occasions, “he’d punched his mother so hard in the mouth that she’d needed a new set of teeth,” Mr. Pollack says. “Sheriff Israel judged his success by how many kids he kept out of jail. When officers never arrested [Cruz] despite 45 calls, they were following Israel’s policy.”

Blaska’s Bottom LineOn Friday, Florida’s new Republican] governor, Ron DeSantis, suspended Sheriff Israel from office. The question is whether Madison WI will get school discipline figured out by April 2, Election Day.

Don’t worry, Part #3 of Blaska answers the teachers union is coming.

Posted in Cops in schools, identity politics, School Board Election 2019, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 51 Comments

Blaska supports district charter schools; part #2 of 3

‘One thousand points of light’

Second part of the Madison Teachers Inc. questionnaire
for the Tuesday, February 19 school board primary election

10. What ideas do you have to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color so that our work force is more representative of our student population?

The Chicago charter school seniors came to Madison to support the Urban League’s Madison Preparatory Academy

10. What ideas do you have to support the recruitment and retention of teachers of color so that our work force is more representative of our student population?

While it is important to have teachers of color as mentors and examples, having “great teachers” is not dependent on one’s race or ethnicity. This question implies yet another ‘excuse’ for the failure to close the achievement gap. 

11. What do you view as the underlying issues involving the achievement gap? How would you address those?

Parents who don’t read to their children. Absent, neglectful, or abusive parents. Contact with substance abuse, crime, and physical abuse. Chaos in the classroom. Lowered expectations. The cult of victimhood, which robs the individual of agency over their own lives. NOT RACISM!

12. What are your thoughts about public charter schools governed by the Board of Education?

The more the better. Set up a drive-through window at the Doyle Administration Bldg. to approve more. It is a scandal that the Urban League’s proposed Madison Preparatory Academy was never approved. Paved the way for the Office of Educational Opportunity to bypass MMSD’s closed shop mindset. Now, even former school district spokesman Mike McCabe has filed with the OEO instead of applying at MMSD. For shame! Continue reading

Posted in Cops in schools, School Board Election 2019 | Tagged , , | 18 Comments