Are you offended?

Better yet, have you offended?

Remember Piss Christ, the object d’ art of a crucifix dipped in a jar of urine 35 years ago? How the rubes and Babbits howled! The chattering classes scolded: Isn’t art supposed to discomfit the comfortable? Except that “artist” used taxpayer money to finance his offensive speech. By contrast, the Stockholm firebug burned his own Koran with his own matches, something Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will never appreciate.

Werkes Rule #218: You want to challenge The Establishment? Don’t take their money!

One-third of students in the University of Wisconsin system “feel strongly” that offensive speakers should not be allowed to speak on campus. That metric moves to an alarming 43% when confined to UW-Madison. (Survey result here.) Which is why conservatives avoid UW-Madison. We remember when Tommy Thompson was shouted down on that campus. Tommy Thompson!

That’s the problem with free speech today. Everyone is an  Erdogan. No soup for you! No NATO for the Swedes! America has reached the stage where it’s not enough to disagree. One must claim moral offense!

Students at Oxford University in the UK claim “a right not to be offended. (More here.) By contrast, Massachusetts Institute of Technology resolved to defend even speech some find “offensive or injurious.”(More here.)

Conservatives need not apply

“States need to use the power of the purse to reform higher education,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley advises.

Despite years of complaints over a rising orthodoxy at schools, most universities have reduced conservative and libertarian faculty to rare oddities. Some schools have virtually no Republican faculty. Faculty have created political echo-chambers that advance their own views while excluding alternative voices. As a result, polls show a high number of students are fearful about sharing their views in classes.

Jonathan Turley

Free speech on campus

According to Foundation for Individual Rights and Freedom:

Speech is freest in these universities:

1. University of Chicago
2. Kansas State
3. Purdue (run by a former GOP governor)
4. Mississippi State
5. Oklahoma State

Somewhere in the middle:

98. University of Wisconsin
184. Marquette University

Speech is most repressed:

199. Skidmore
200. Georgetown
201. Rensselaer Polytechnic
202. Penn
203. Columbia

The Left is certain that the governor of Florida is stifling black history, never mind that the State of Florida, by law, requires teaching slavery. But using tax dollars to advocate FOR reparations and FOR “Black Queer Studies” to captive high school students — these are not college students — is to use the Turkish strongman’s methods to enforce a particular ideology.

The College Board has released a serious rewrite of its framework for a new high school advanced placement course in African-American Studies. Critical race theory is out and Condoleeza Rice is in.

— “Ron DeSantis schools the college board.”

You want offensive?

We give you the late, great Norm MacDonald!

No tax dollars were used in this offensive joke

Blaska’s Bottom Line: How did that song by Sam Cooke go? “You …of-FEND me!”

What offends YOU?

Posted in cancel culture, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Madison is not Memphis

But we have a police monitor anyway!

Memphis TN, we have a problem. The police killing of Tyre Nichols looks to be even more egregious than the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. But Memphis is more confounding, given that the five accused police officers are black, as was their victim. As is their police chief, as is our chief in Madison WI. Therein lies today’s tale.

The usual Defund the Police suspects blame the police culture. “We have to talk about this institutionalized police culture that has this unwritten law, you can engage in excessive use of force against black and brown people,” said the apparently go-to lawyer in these cases, Ben Crump. (He also showed up at the “mostly peaceful” Kenosha-is-burning riots in 2020.)

"The race of a cop is 'cop'" — Elie Mystal in The Nation.

Or racism! 

“There’s nothing white supremacy can’t do,” Rich Lowry marvels at National Review: “It is supposedly so pervasive and powerful that it can cause black men to sign up to serve as police officers in a majority-black city and severely beat a black arrestee.”

Odd thing is that Memphis lacks what our fair Madison WI possesses: a 13-member, taxpayer-paid police civilian oversight board! Now helmed by inveterate cop basher Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, she is one of the two who brought charges against former police chief Mike Koval for calling one of them crazy. (Was he wrong?)

After two years of fits and starts, the Oversight Board finally found someone willing to take a $122,000 annual salary to be its “independent police monitor” — one Robert Copley out of Milwaukee — to start work 12-02-22. Nearly two months later, the Werkes wants to know what is his Werk-load? How many complaints filed? Innocent citizens tased, beaten, shot, cuffed, detained, questioned or otherwise inconvenienced?


Back to Memphis:

January 7 — Tyre Nichols beaten
January 8 — Five police officers relieved of duty pending investigation
January 10 — Tyre Nichols died
January 20 — Police name and fire the five officers
January 23 — Family views police body cam video
January 26 — Prosecutors criminally charge 5 officers
January 27 — Police video released to public

All within three weeks!

What does Memphis have that Madison does not? Police body cameras!

Try to contact Madison’s Independent Police Monitor! There is a website: https://www.cityofmadison.com/independent-police-monitor. But no office e-mail or phone. No on-line form to complain about (or praise) Madison police. Search the city’s website for Copley or “monitor.” Zip, nyet, and nada. The City’s human resources offices could find no telephone number for Mr. Copley but did provide an e-mail address. (As a service to our Platinum+ subscribers, it is rcopley@cityofmadison.com

But credit to where it is due! Mr. Copley responded to my query within the hour:  

I haven’t received any complaints since I began but that is likely because a formal complaint process has not been started yet. The Office is really being built from the ground up at the moment and I am the only full time employee of it. My current priorities are staffing the Office and the creation of various procedures for overseeing the police department. Those staff positions [one program assistant and one data analyst] and foundational procedures will ensure that the Office survives when my time as Independent Monitor ends. They also ensure that a complaint process, once begun, will operate efficiently, equitably, and transparently.

— Robert Copley (he/him), Independent Police Monitor

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Really? Does anyone expect an avalanche of complaints awaits some kind of formal process? Maybe because, after two months, no one knows how to get ahold of the Independent Police Monitor? As the President might say, C’mon man! Not even a drop box?

The Werkes is on record that a Police Civilian Oversight Board and its appurtenances are more useless than a job applicant reference from George Santos. Madison already has a Police & Fire Commission to oversee hiring and disciplinary matters, well as a district attorney with an itchy finger. Last we heard from the Civilian Oversight Board, they appear to be ordering business cards.

Will the police monitor have more business than the Maytag repairman?

Posted in Mike Koval, Uncategorized, War on Police | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Tempers fugit

Fouls most personal as 49ers lose to Philadelphia
but win boxing and big-time wrestling match

The old joke is that you go to a fight and a hockey game breaks out. San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC championship Sunday 01-30-23 should have been narrated by Don Dunphy and sponsored by Gillette Safety Razors.

If it could go wrong for the 49ers, it did go wrong. Starting with the sensational, one-hand reaching backwards catch by Philadelphia’s DeVonta Smith for 29 yards. The play — on fourth down and 3 yards go! — led to the Eagles’ first score. Except that it wasn’t a catch. Saw that on our b&w Philco on the second replay, before the otherwise excellent Fox announcers. (“He missed the tag! He missed the tag!) Ball hit the ground under the receiver before he recovered. Philly wisely hurried its next play to preclude a SF challenge.

Will the Eagles’ victory be overturned? Sorry, patriots, life doesn’t work that way.

Only six plays into their first offensive series, the 49ers quarterback gets knocked out of the game. Rookie Brock Purdy was the last player chosen in the draft, traditionally nicknamed Mr. Irrelevant. Improbably, the third-string rookie was working on a seven-game winning streak. Insult to his injury, Purdy’s incomplete pass was ruled a lost fumble.

Two and one-half minutes into the second half, HIS back-up — having already fumbled away the hike — is waylaid by a concussion (courtesy of veteran thug Ndamukong Suh). Injured starter Purdy was pushed back onto the field except that he couldn’t throw the ball and the Eagles, the TV audience, and the hot dog vendor knew it. Down 31 to 7 in the fourth quarter, every play but two was an increasingly desperate and unsuccessful run.

Referee should have called the game

On Philadelphia’s second touchdown drive, San Francisco commits three penalties — negating a third-down stop and a QB sack. Now it’s the third quarter, they’re down 21 to 7. If the 49ers were going to win, their defense would have to make a stop and, hopefully, a takeaway. Forced Philly to punt but, would you not know it! — the Niners roughed the kicker, giving the ball right back to the Eagles. 

The 49ers weren’t done shooting themselves in the foot. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts runs for 14 yards to the 7 yard line before going out of bounds, where he is foolishly shoved by the SF safety. Penalty: half the distance to the goal leading to another Philly TD.

Back to the neutral corner!

We get trying to punch the ball out of the opponents’s grasp, but 49er Dre Greenlaw looked like like Ali finishing off Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. The oft-penalized Greenlaw (already guilty of grabbing a face mask) kept pummeling Philly running back Kenneth Gainwell well after the play had been whistled dead. Another penalty for unnecessary roughness. Automatic first down and 15 yards to the Niners’ 14. Eagles’ field goal makes the final score 31-7.

With no real passing game and 4:13 left to play, the 49ers are frustrated. The play over, the SF tackle Trent Williams picks up Philadelphia’s safety and slams him to the ground. Another 15 yards for unnecessary roughness and an automatic first down. A full-scale scrum ensues, both players are ejected.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Three times the stadium public address announcer beseeched players to return to their sidelines. Like a boxing referee.

Didn’t Jack Dempsey lose by not returning to the neutral corner?

Posted in Sports, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

It is snowing ‘here’

and it is beautiful!

The grounds of the Stately Manor this Saturday afternoon are a snow globe, lightly shaken. A Grandma Moses painting come to life. The falling snow blankets the blue spruce and dwarf white pine while, inside, the fireplace is a-glow with warmth. Expecting 4 to 7 inches here.

Where is “here?” we ask of every Facebook weather posting that presumes you know because the poster knows. “Here” is the SW side of Madison WI, dammit!

On the Werkes blotter

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is honoring its immediate past chancellor with “Rebecca M. Blank Center for Campus History.” Campus History? Platinum+ subscriber Padraig O’Loughlin says it should be named “either the Fredric March Center for Accurate Research, or the Rebecca Blank Center for Rewriting Campus History.” How long before HER name is scrubbed? Perhaps over some doggerel written as an undergraduate. (Despite all that, we wish her better health.)

If Mark Twain did not say it he should have: It is easier to fool someone than convince them they have been fooled. Police body cam video has been released of David DePape conking Paul Pelosi over the head with a hammer. The fools who posited the gay lovers quarrel are undeterred. “The video shows Paul Pelosi in his skivvies,” cries one, unmindful that the attack occurred at 2:30 in the morning. “What’s with the snoring?” another ignoramus asks. It’s the poor man gurgling in his own blood.

Jonathan Turley is no liberal apologist for the Pelosis. Law professor Turley writes:

Your bias or dislike for some figures can make you prone to assuming the worst or most sensational interpretation of limited facts. We can all be susceptible to such bias in today’s heated political environment. That is why we often discuss how we need to wait for the evidence and the Pelosi case is an example of why.

— “The Pelosi tapes .. refute sensational theories

A second video from a Secret Service camera shows DePape busting the back door with a hammer. Yet another fool claims: “Video edited to the max! Fake!” The same mouth breathers blame January 6 on Nancy Pelosi. Held the Capitol doors open herself but forgot to tell Ashli Babbitt. Friday, DePape telephoned a TV station to apologize that:

“I didn’t get more of them. It’s my own fault. No one else is to blame. I should have come better prepared.”

So reports National Review.

Tucker Carlson, denied!

Milwaukee-area blogger Paris Procopis blames Dane County Republicans for Tim Michels’ defeat for governor. Today Mr. P. is “beyond disappointed” that Ronna Romney McDaniel was re-elected chairman of the Republican National Committee Saturday 01-27-23 with 111 votes against 51 for Harmeet Dhillon and 4 for the My Pillow nut. 

McDaniel got all three Wisconsin national committee votes; those of party chairman Brian Schimming, national committeeman Tom Schreibel and committeewoman Maripat Krueger. Dhillon, whose law firm represents Tr•mp, enjoyed backing from the likes of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA. Election deniers like Kari Lake, and Wisconsin’s Adam Steen, Janel Brandtjen, and Timothy Ramthun are not happy.

None dare call it CRT!

Progressives are in a dither that Gov. DeSantis is banning an “advanced placement” course that promotes critical race theory. The Wall Street Journal asks, “Does an AP class that’s exploring “the case for reparations” also discuss the case against? … [The course] has a topic on exploring the “diverse experiences and identifies of black communities in the U.S.” Somehow, we doubt that involves readings from Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas.

Blaska’s Bottom Line asks a bunch of questions: The Wisconsin State Journal refuses to publish Blaska’s letter asking Madison school officials whether, after eight years, is Restorative Justice working? Especially considering we have another school board election on the April 4 ballot. Editorial page editor Scott Milfred complained: “It was long …” [It was 245 words — exact number as a letter fit to publish Sunday 01-29-23: “Our public schools deserve support.”] “and asked a bunch of questions, which was awkward for a letter to the editor.” Blaska responded that those are questions the newspaper should be asking and the school district won’t. Here is that letter.

What do YOU make of the fact that
the five Memphis police officers who beat Tyre Nichols
to death are all black? 

Posted in Experimental Work Farm, Republicans, Tales from the front lines, Uncategorized | 15 Comments

The answer: ‘We don’t know’

The question: how will City of Madison spend $1.5 million in Zuckerbucks?

At least the Werkes got an answer to a question we asked the City of Madison a week ago. They don’t know the answer, which is an answer of some kind. We asked the Madison public school district if restorative justice was working. Still no answer these 11 months later. (What does that tell you?)

Madison alders voted unanimously 01-18-23 to accept, over the next two years, $1.5 million in what is commonly known as “Zuckerbucks.” Technically, the entity doling out the big grant is called the Center for Technology and Civic Life. In time for the next Presidential election! But the money comes, largely, from the deep pockets of Facebook maven Mark Zuckerberg. In the last Presidential election, Zuckerberg poured $350 million in 47 states to subsidize what in the previous 250 years of American experience has been exclusively a government function: conducting elections!

Especially targeted were Democrat-voting big cities. The Capital Research Center claims that “Despite its claims that the grants were strictly for COVID-19 relief, not partisan advantage, the data show otherwise. Is it only co-inky dink that 85% of Madison voters marked their 2020 presidential ballots for Democrats Joe Biden/Kamala Harris over Donald Tr•mp/Mike Pence?

None of the alders who voted to accept the money claimed to know or (for that matter) care how it would be used. So we asked the City Clerk’s office: for what would this $1.5 million be spent? This answer arrived over the transom Thursday:

Good evening,

The Clerk’s Office has no records responsive to this request. The office has not yet received any monies. We have made no commitments to spending any grant money.

The Clerk’s Office considers this request closed.

Thank you,

Jennifer S. Haar, WCMC
Records Custodian & Office Equity Co-Lead
Pronouns: she/hers

So there! The Clerk’s Office considers this request closed! Pronouns she/hers! End of story! Finito! Next window, please! Check must still be in the mail. When it hits, expect punch, layer cake, noise makers, and party hats at the clerk’s office. Zuckerberg is buying!

“Get out there and vote, Dammit!”

Blaska Policy Werkes calls on all our loyal Platinum+ Subscribers to propose how THEY would spend Mr. Zuckerberg’s $1.5 million. Make no small plans! Sound trucks? Air, water, and light shows? Free juicers for every ten-thousandth voter?

What would YOU spend it on?

Posted in Election 2023, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Nothing to see here, folks

Pay no attention to that man in a clown suit!

Platinum+ subscriber status is hereby awarded to anyone who plowed through the three-part series on Republican in-fighting. (In lieu of refunds.) Turns out Dane County conservatives are not the only county waging internecine war. Sitting GOP chairman in four other counties are also being challenged (those being Waukesha, St. Croix, Ozaukee, and Brown). All four of those counties voted Republican, however, although perhaps not to the same degree as previous elections.

‘Please disperse. Nothing to see here, folks.’

We said in “Stop the Bloodbath #2” that Dane county’s bloodletting mirrors that for national chairman, which will be decided tomorrow, Friday 01-27-23. One of the two challenging incumbent Ronna McDaniel was thought to be a fringe candidate, he being the My Pillow goof, Mike Lindell. Now it transpires that the more mainstream challenger, Harmeet Dhillon, is teaming up with Mr. Pillow in a fusion campaign. Georgia-based conservative Erick Erickson:

“If you think Mike Lindell deserves a seat at the RNC table, you are not a serious person. Lest you forget, Lindell most recently claimed that Ron DeSantis and the Democrats had stolen Miami-Dade County for Ron DeSantis. Previously, Lindell pushed the most bizarre claims about the 2020 election that not even people who thought the election was stolen were willing to believe.

“I told you so.’

He fights!

Was how Abe Lincoln answered critics who wanted the President to cashier General U.S. Grant for alcoholism. We like a fighter. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy showed one need not disparage a woman’s appearance to fight back against the liberal (but we repeat ourselves) news media. The dishonest reporter was trying to score political points with a false equivalency: that George Santos getting a lesser committee assignment was somehow unfair when McCarthy would not reappoint Adam Schiff to the Intelligence Committee.

A reporter at a press conference interrupted the Speaker’s answer to her question. McCarthy, as even as a straight-edge ruler, responded:

“Let me be very clear and respectful to you. You asked me a question. When I answer it is the answer to your question. You don’t get to determine whether I answered your question or not. [Other reporters shout out their questions.] No, no, let’s answer her question.

“Because Adam Schiff used his position as chairman knowing he has information the rest of American does not and lied to the American public.” McCarthy explained how only Intelligence gets to hear the nation’s security secrets (but not drive Joe Biden’s Corvette). Schiff will get his assignment, just not on Intelligence.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: That’s called “setting boundaries.”

What are YOUR boundaries?

Posted in Election 2023, Republicans, Uncategorized | 5 Comments