This date will live in infamy …

What do we remember and why?

Today is the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Not a rounded-off number, so it won’t get the attention of, say, the 50th anniversary this summer of the Moon Landing on July 20, 1969.


It helps that a fair number of us were alive that day to remember watching it on grainy b&w T.V. Whereas, far fewer people alive today remember the utter shock of Pearl Harbor. Is it becoming a footnote?

Memories indelibly seared by JFK’s assassination are now collecting social security.

Who remembers Armistice Day, celebrating the end of World War One?  Today the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” has been re-purposed into Veterans Day. Was that war to end all wars too ancient? There is no official observance of, for instance, the end of WW2 with the defeat of Japan on August 14-15, 1945.

Does America commemorate the firing on Fort Sumter that began the Civil War? (* Guess the date.) Isn’t that date even more portentous, given the casualties and the stakes (the end of slavery and preservation of the Union)? In any event, the attack on Pearl Harbor is not a national holiday as contrasted with Independence Day. What about Appomattox Courthouse?

⇒ The USA observes 10 federal holidays: New Year’s, Martin Luther King Jr., Washingtons birthday, Memorial Day, Independence, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. (Nepal observes 36 but has a 6-day work week, followed by 21 in India.)

Lest we forget

Here is a thought exercise: What other events should we commemorate as more than trivia of the day? Perhaps officially but as a notch below a federal holiday, with no time off work. We’re looking at events so compelling that one remembers where one was at the time, that resonate still and are likely to in the future.

Comment, respond, what do you think•   Wall Street crash of Black Monday-Tuesday October 28-29, 1929.

•   Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Will the date, indeed, “live in infamy”?

•   D-Day on June 6, 1943. (Why does that anniversary get more attention than the defeat of Japan that ended World War 2 on August 15, 1945?)

•   JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963. (Is it the passage of time and memory that makes it more noted than Abraham Lincoln’s on April 14, 1865? Surely, a more consequential president.)

•   Men on the moon July 20, 1969.

•   9/11 attacks in 2001 on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the downing of Flight 93. (But not the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915 that killed 1,198 and led to America’s entry into WW1.)

Other affecting occurrences seem less likely to survive living memory. The death of Princess Diana August 31, 1997. (A foreign potentate.) The space shuttle Challenger explosion of January 28, 1986. Nixon resigning on August 9, 1974. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech August 28, 1963. Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. (There’s been so much weather since.) Woodstock? The Beatles on Ed Sullivan?

(* Fort Sumter was fired upon on April 12-13, 1861).

Blaska’s Bottom LineIs there just too much history? Is Christmas Day in danger like Columbus Day? What days should be added?

What do YOU think?


Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Don’t mess with me!

It’s not personal, Sonny.  I don’t hate anyone.
It’s strictly business.

No Malarky! Just a wet noodle for a backbone. We like candidates with a little sand in their craw. That’s why we will cut Joe Biden some slack for calling that Iowa voter “a damned liar.” Or Nancy Pelosi telling a reporter, “Don’t mess with me.” (There’s bound to be a tee shirt in that.) But heaven help us if Trump did that (which he pretty much has).

But it doesn’t help that the Iowa voter challenging Biden is an 83-year-old retired farmer and former U.S. Marine. (We would NOT challenge the guy to a push-up contest.) Or that more voters surely will be asking the same questions about Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Democrat(ic) quid pro quo.

Now we shift to Adam Schiff. We reprint a portion of this Friday’s (12-06-19) Wall Street Journal editorial:

Schiff Impeaches Biden

Adam schiffLet’s assume, for the sake of argument, that Mr. Schiff’s bribery definition is correct and should be the impeachment standard. Why then wouldn’t Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine in 2015 also be an impeachable bribe?

Mr. Biden has admitted that he threatened Ukrainian officials with the denial of U.S. aid if they didn’t fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, which was paying Hunter Biden some $50,000 a month. That sure looks like an official act that had “some personal or political reason,” under the Schiff definition. It was certainly something “of value personally” under the Blumenthal definition.

Comment, respond, what do you thinkMr. Biden might object that he was representing the Obama Administration “in the nation’s interest.” But defining national interest is in the eye of the beholder. Is it in the U.S. interest for Ukraine officials to see that a company can escape scrutiny for corruption if it hires the son of the U.S. Vice President? Is it in the nation’s interest if other countries and companies observe this behavior and hire relatives of other American politicians?

At the very least, this is a question the U.S. Senate should be eager to explore in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. Mr. Biden would be essential to call as a leading witness, perhaps for the Trump defense team.

Adventures in identity politics

I’m a woman and I’ve got paper to prove it. In today’s New York Times (12-06-19):

I Won a World Championship. Some People Aren’t Happy

This is not the beginning of the end of women’s sports

Trans women are women


Many want me to race against men. I have news for them: I’m not allowed. I’m legally female. My birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, U.S. permanent resident card, medical records and my racing license all have an “F” on them. … I transitioned in 2012.

F for female! It’s on paper!

2. Is the Pope pro-life?

Pelosi chewSpeaker Pelosi twice asserted at her press conference Thursday (12-05-19) that her Catholic upbringing and faith  (despite her ardent support of abortion) precluded her from hating anyone, even the President.

Every Thanksgiving it is the custom of Maureen Dowd to turn over her New York Times column to her Trump-loving brother Kevin Dowd. It is a hoot! He writes:

How I can still support Donald Trump? My short answer is always the same: Have you looked at the alternative?

The liberals still sneer at religious conservatives. I wouldn’t let them come with me to the Knights of Columbus bar. In August, the D.N.C. passed a resolution saying “religiously unaffiliated Americans” are the largest “religious group” in the party and “overwhelmingly” share Democrats’ values. And certain House chairmen are waiving the words “So help me God” from swearing-ins.

God help me.

3. Losers cry racism

Cory Booker and Julian Castro are accusing the Democrat(ic) party of racism after Kamala Harris exits stage left. Dunno what they’re barking about. No minorities? The party still has Elizabeth Warren, right?

4. The Hallmark channel is too white.

Also, too saccharin.

What do YOU think?



Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Leftist law profs helped Trump

 American law schools are notoriously Leftist

The Never-Trump Resistance is fretting that the Jerry Nadler Show on Wednesday (12-04-19) didn’t sell any laundry detergent. That’s because the three law profs called by the Democrats were entirely partisan and unsympathetic.

The three law profs had their snoots so high in the stratosphere they fairly whistled. You’ve got to wonder what the three dozen or so Democrats elected from Trump districts are hearing from the Deplorables back home.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, eviscerated the three partisan law profs, particularly Pamela S. Karlan of Stanford University.

Prof Karlan

Prof Karlan, center

Karlan is the one who dragged the President’s 13-year-old son into the mire.

“Contrary to what President Trump has said, Article 2 [of the Constitution] does not give him the power to do anything he wants. The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron.”

Doesn’t get much more arrogant

Gaetz revealed that Karlan donated $2,000 to Elizabeth Warren, $1,200 to Barack Obama, and $2,000 to Hillary Clinton. The prof also appeared on a Resistance podcast called “Versus Trump.” Karlan once wrote this:

“Liberals tend to cluster more, conservatives tend to spread out more — perhaps because they don’t even want to be around themselves.”

Ann of Althouse is a retired constitutional law prof at UW-Madison. Ms. Althouse blogs:

What I like about that Instapundit commenter quote — “It’s always a constitutional crisis when liberals don’t get what they want” — is that it seems to me that the real impeachable offense has always been that Donald Trump got himself elected.

Schools of liberal law

Liberal Law schools“It’s extremely hard to persuade Republicans if the people trying to do the persuading are Democrats,” David Leonhardt worries in this morning’s New York Times. “And yet House Democrats didn’t call a single conservative legal scholar as a witness yesterday to make the case for impeachment.”
Problem is, America’s schools of law — like academia in general — is a monoculture of the Left. The Grievance Studies and Sociology departments are not outliers. Journalism, the liberal arts, schools of education and — especially, the law schools — are hotbeds of “Woke” thinking.
A 2017 study (reported here) by four academics from prestigious universities found that the majority of faculty at 47 of the top 50 law schools are liberal, progressive, or socialist. The study measured campaign contributions to partisan political candidates.
Wisconsin appears to be the most one-sided.
Leonhardt quotes Russell Berman of The Atlantic:


This hearing was never going to change minds … [It] seemed a microcosm of that political debate and of the impeachment process that, to the chagrin of Trump’s critics, has failed to transcend it.

What do YOU think?

Posted in Donald Trump, Election 2020, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

Two Madison boys, 13, arrested after school bus shooting

Are we going to cede the school board
to the Crazies again this Spring?

Get on the ballot now for the April election

What did Blaska say during his doomed campaign for Madison school board this past Spring? Keep school resource officers in the four main high schools and add them to our middle schools!

Sure enough, this morning (12-04-19) two 13-year-old boys were arrested morning after a BB gun used by one boy to shoot a girl was brought inside Jefferson middle school on South Gammon Road by the other boy. School security staff and a police officer intercepted the bus as it arrived at the school and the other boy was apprehended inside the school with the weapon. (More here.)

Police EROs 2019

Madison school resource officers Justin Creech, West; Rod Johnson, La Follette; Zulma Franco, East; Tray Turner, Memorial H.S.

That makes three weapons in three Wisconsin schools in three days. On Monday 12-02-19, students at Waukesha South high school alerted the school resource officer that a 17-year-old had a handgun. The youth was shot after he pointed it at the police officer.

The school resource officer at Oshkosh West shot a 16-year-old only after he stabbed the policeman the next day. All are expected to survive. 

Blaska Policy Werkes gives credit where it is due, which is what the WI State Journal is owed for their editorial today, “School cops show they are needed.” Hells bells, even pricey Waunakee has school cops. So it is fair to ask the three Madison school board members whose terms expire next Spring whether they support keeping SROs in Madison’s four main high schools. And their challengers, should there be any. And whether we should add them to our middle schools (at least, on a rotating basis).

Anyone out there with the courage to run?

Vote iconBlaska did what he could in the April 2019 campaign. Who knew that supporting police in the schools and insisting on classroom discipline would brand him a white supremacist by his opponent? But that is what happened.

Because the schools do not teach discipline — too many are not learning life’s first lesson in the home — is it any wonder kids as young as 12 and 13 years of age are stealing cars and wrecking them? Blaska Policy Werkes hopes that someone will take up the mantle this time around. 

Three of the seven Madison Board of Education seats are up for the April 7, 2020, non-partisan Spring election. They are: Seats #2 Savion Castro, #6 Kate Toews, and #7 Nikki Vander Meulen. 

Madison School Board candidates must submit 100 valid signatures (those residing in the school district).

School board is not the only game in town. Nominating petitions are being circulated now for local town boards (that have five or more members), village and city offices, many suburban school boards, and the Dane County Board of Supervisors. 

All nominating signatures and other forms are due 5 p.m. Tuesday, January 7. for Madison school board here and for Dane County supervisor here 

Dane County Board

shelia-stubbs-state-assemblyAll 37 Dane County supervisor seats are up next April 2020 (Madison alders and mayor were elected last April 2019). Candidates for the Dane County Board of Supervisors need only 50 signatures. Oddly, it appears Shelia Stubbs, elected to the State Assembly in November 2018, is seeking re-election to her county board seat. As reported, county board chair Sharon Corrigan of Middleton (Seat #26) is not running but has likely fielded her hand-picked successor.

Here’s what it looks like now (check here for updates).

* Has an opponent Check the county district map to find yours.

Incumbents announcing they will seek re-election:

#1 Elizabeth Doyle (incumbent), 420 W Dayton St., Madison 53703
#2 Heidi M. Wegleitner (incumbent), 1941 E Dayton St., Madison 53704
#3 Analiese Eicher (incumbent), 226 North St. Sun Prairie 53590
#6 Yogesh Chawla (incumbent), 324 Russell St., Madison 53704
#8 Carousel Andrea Bayrd (incumbent), 4901 Sherwood Road Madison
#12 Paul Rusk, 1422 Wyldewood Drive, Madison 53704
#17 Kristen Audet, 4045 Rockwell Drive, Madison 53714
#21 Andrew Schauer, 5312 Congress Avenue, Madison 53718
#22 Maureen McCarville, 513 Flambeau Parkway, DeForest 53532
#23 Shelia Stubbs, 4 Waunona Woods Court, Madison 53713
#25 Tim Kiefer, 205 Kearney Way, Waunakee 53597
#27 Dorothy Krause, 2105 Apache Drive, Fitchburg 53711
#29 Dave Ripp, 7220 Hwy 19, Waunakee 53597
#30 Patrick Downing, 256 Tyvand Road, Blanchardville 53516
#31 * Jerry Bolling (incumbent) 570 Scott St., Oregon 53575
#33 Ann DeGarmo, 2611 Gallagher Drive, Fitchburg 53711
#34 Patrick Miles, 5410 North Pass, McFarland 53558

Non-incumbents announcing their candidacies

#5 * Elena Haasl, 515 University Avenue, Madison 53703
#5 * José Rea, 625 N Frances Street, Madison 53703
#11 Richelle Andrae, 304 N Segoe Road, Madison 53705
#14 Anthony J. Gray, 7129 Countrywood Lane, Madison 53719
#26 Holly Hatcher, 3548 Valley Ridge Road, Middleton 53562
#31 * Todd Kluever, 5606 W Netherwood Road, Oregon 53575
#32 Mike Bare, 543 Harvest Lane, Verona 53593

Not Seeking re-election

#5 Haley Young, 661 Mendota Court, Madison, WI 53703
#9 Paul Nelson, 1720 Mayflower Dr., Madison, WI 53562
#11 Kelly Danner, 3553 Heather Crest, Madison, WI 53705
#19 Bill Clausius, 1831 Harwood Ct., Sun Prairie, WI 53590
#26 Sharon Corrigan, 6991 Friendship Ln, Middleton 53562
#28 Nikole Jones, 4190 Observatory Road, Cross Plains 53528
#32 Jason Knoll, 638 Poplar Way, Verona 53593 

Elsewhere: Verona elects a mayor, currently Lukas Diaz, Progressive Dane, and 3 alders. Sun Prairie elects 4 alders.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Teachers are abused by low expectations

It’s not Act 10; its kids, their over-protective parents,
and virtue-signaling administrators

Julie Marburger was a school teacher at Cedar Creek, Texas, a suburb of Austin. She posted this on social media (H/T Greg L.) shortly before the end of the 2018-2019 [corrected] school year:

I left work early today after an incident with a parent left me unable emotionally to continue for the day. I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don’t know if I will make it even that long. Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do…teach kids.

I am including photos that I took in my classroom over the past two days. This is how my classroom regularly looks after my students spend all day there. Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students are my personal possessions or I purchased myself, because I have NO classroom budget.

Julie Marburger classroom

Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8 to 10) missing assignments. Most of these students and their parents haven’t seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted.

But now I’m probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid. My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I’ve done practically everything short of doing the work for them. And behavior in my class will deteriorate even more. …

Stop enabling failure

Comment, respond, what do you think… This is almost all I hear from other teachers as well, and they are leaving the profession in droves. There is going to be a teacher crisis in this country before too many more years has passed unless the abuse of teachers stops.

People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children. It’s a problem that’s going to spread through our society like wildfire. It’s not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life.

UPDATE: Thank you, everyone for your words of support! I’m feeling a little shell-shocked over the attention I have gotten, to say the least. This is something I had no way of anticipating and have taken a few days to come to terms with.

First, the education system as we know it needs reform. It is broken and inadequate for our children.

Second, we absolutely have to hold our children to a higher standard of accountability in all areas. Inflating their success doesn’t raise self-esteem. If it did, we wouldn’t have the highest teen suicide rates in history right now.

Third, we as a society have to get back to treating one another with manners and respect. We are only going downhill with hatred and name-calling. No one wins when kindness dies.

More here.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Please tell me how Ms. Marburger’s experience is any different from that in the Madison WI public schools.

What do YOU think?

Posted in Madison schools, Uncategorized | 18 Comments

No child left behind except U.S. school students

Maybe education ‘experts’ don’t know squat

Here’s a shocker to all you Blaska Policy Werkes platinum subscribers: Common Core ain’t workin’. 

One decade into this grand experiment, high school students in the U.S. are just as stupid as ever. No progress to speak of in the last 20 years, according to test results just in exams given in school systems across the globe by the Program for International Student Assessment. 

“About a fifth of American 15-year-olds scored so low on the test that it appeared they had not mastered reading skills expected of a 10-year-old,” the New York Times reports today.

“Those students … face pretty grim prospects on the job market,” an educator told the Times. No S♣♦♠ Sherlock.

Another measurement showed that two-thirds of children were not proficient readers.


American schools got issued this report card of futility despite billions of dollars thrown at a detention hall full of virtue-signaling national programs — No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, the Common Core State Standards, Every Student Succeeds. 

Does it surprise you, dear subscriber, that “experts” (snotty quotation marks) of the kind the New York Times babysits, don’t know why.  Could it be racism? Family poverty? Should we pay teachers more? Maybe if we poured more billions and choked off school choice, right Elizabeth Warren?

Life’s first lesson

Comment, respond, what do you thinkThe one missing ingredient not listed by the NY Times’ stable of education experts is school classroom discipline. Kids cannot learn if they are roaming the hallways and assaulting teachers.

Who were the top four performers in the International Student Assessment? Four provinces in China. Sigh.

Which tells the white lab coats at the Werkes that the futility of Madison WI public schools are written on whiteboards across America. Blaska’s Theorem #62 says that no matter the town, village or city, wherever there are 5 progressives, 4 of them will find their way on the local school board.

Blaska’s Homework AssignmentNon-partisan local government seats  are up throughout Wisconsin. Filing deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday, January 7. You can circulate nominating petitions now. For Madison Board of Education, you need 100 valid signatures. Seats occupied by Nikki Vander Meulen, Kate Toews, Savion Castro are at stake. Or run for Dane County Board.

Next: A public school teacher’s lament.

What do YOU think?

Posted in Madison schools, Uncategorized | 3 Comments