FPS never ceases to disappoint: Bus chaos on first days of school

The school district sent out an e-mail late this afternoon:

This is a message from Franklin Public Schools to let you know that your child’s afternoon bus route has been canceled for this Thursday and Friday due to a bus driver shortage. 

Late last evening, we were made aware by First Student, our transportation provider, that 18 Bus routes need a driver due to a shortage. We worked to fulfill 14 of the routes and appreciate the grace and teamwork of families as we ask for your assistance for the remaining 4 routes, one of which impacts your child. We have been working throughout the day to find alternate solutions including utilizing existing route drivers, finding new drivers, and renting other bus services. Unfortunately, First Student and Franklin Public Schools have exhausted all alternatives and we need to cancel your child’s afternoon route FP 79P for both Thursday 9/1 and Friday 9/2.  

We are working over the next few days to find a solution for next week.  If it is expected that the route(s) will be canceled longer, we will reach out to you. 

Of course it’s not the school district’s fault. They don’t make mistakes.

Let’s hear from FPS’ communications guru, Chad (I’m the greatest, just ask me) Kafka:

There was an error in the body of the email where the word “afternoon” was accidentally left in the copy of the email you received. There were various versions of bus communication that went out to different audiences. Sorry for the confusion. If your route has an A, it is an AM. If your route has a P it is a PM.

What a doink.

Needless to say parents are pissed. They’re now frustrated and scrambling wondering what the hell to do. A clueless school district doesn’t give a damn.

Let them hear it, parents!

Why don’t they just do the sensible thing and postpone this cockamamie staggered schedule and go back to school next Tuesday??!!

Because the key word is ‘sensible.’ That ain’t this school district.



Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.

This is also the time of the year when we are lectured to bow in gratitude for our day off.

Last August the US Dept. of Labor wrote:

“So if you have Labor Day off, thank your local union leaders for bringing it to you.”

I am not sorry for my annual intentional refusal to offer thanks to any union leader.

Instead I concur with the following perspective that I shared with readers in 2009. Jerry Agar of the Illinois Policy Institute compared Labor Day to Christmas for atheists.

Today’s highly interesting read (08/31/22): Leftmedia Dictionary Definitions Decoded


When I worked at WTMJ, I had the privilege of interviewing William Lutz, the author of “Doublespeak.”

Harpercollins.com writes:

In an increasingly Orwellian world, everyone should be armed with this hilarious, slyly subversive deconstruction of the slippery locutions of spinmeisters from all walks of public life. Doublespeak guru William Lutz (Doublespeak, The New Doublespeak) is uniquely qualified to bring you this supremely funny expos‚ of the juiciest ways THEY are trying to bamboozle you!

A sampling of Doublespeak Defined:

Bald n./ :hair disadvantaged
Men in Japan aren’t bald; they’re “hair disadvantaged,” according to The Japan Economic Journal.

Diet n./ :1.nutrional avoidance therapy 2. caloric reduction program

Waste paper basket n./ :user-friendly, space-effective, flexible desk side sortation unit

Lutz himself writes:

Doublespeak is language that only pretends to say something; it’s language that hides, evades or misleads.

With doublespeak, no truck driver is the worst driver, just the “least-best” driver, and bribes and kickbacks are called “rebates” or “fees for product testing.” Even robbery can be magically transformed with doublespeak, as a bank in Texas did when it declared a robbery of an ATM to be an “authorized transaction.” Willie Sutton would have loved to have heard that.

Today’s read is from Mark Alexander. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Recently, I came across some Leftspeak redefinitions debunked by our friends at the Media Research Center, a reliable watchdog exposing Leftmedia propagandists and their distortion of facts.

MRC notes satirically: “As everyone knows, the news media knows what’s best for us and they always tell the truth. The only problem is that they use really big and complicated words that we simple folk just don’t understand. How will you ever keep up? Well, don’t worry! We prepared this special translation guide just for you, so the next time you’re watching the news you’ll be able to follow along!”

For your clarification:

Read the entire column here.

The liberal Milwaukee Journal Sentinel openly campaigns for Tony Evers

Having strongly supported Rebecca Kleefisch in the WI GOP gubernatorial primary I have conceded I’m not totally enamored with the primary winner Tim Michels. And I’ve taken heat for it from some Republican friends.

I will say this about Michels. Anyone who has drawn the hatred of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (a la Senator Ron Johnson) must be OK.

The paper is out today with, no surprise, a hit piece on Michels.

Republican candidate for governor Tim Michels and his wife donated $250,000 to anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion groups, representing about 15% of his total donations in 2020. 

The Timothy and Barbara Michels Family Foundation  funded organizations that oppose all forms of contraception and abortions in all cases. The foundation also spent thousands on churches with anti-LGBTQ beliefs. 

The donations provide a window into how Michels may approach policymaking on such issues if elected governor if he unseats incumbent Tony Evers, who does not have a foundation.

Citing the latest MU poll the Journal Sentinel reports disagreement about the recent US Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade to bolster their attack on Michels.

How important the abortion will be for midterm voters has been the subject of conflicting news stories. Recent articles suggest voters are increasingly more focused on abortion. Others state with items like inflation and rampant crime hanging over America abortion is further down the list on the minds of voters.

Here’s what Michels has to say about the Journal Sentinel in an e-mail to supporters today:

Dear friend,

Did you see this? The media has reached a new low in Wisconsin.

This morning, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and their affiliated USA Today Wisconsin papers attacked me and my wife Barbara for our charitable giving.

Of course, they did not examine if Tony Evers donated to charity at all. Instead they attacked my family for giving to Christian causes.

The dishonest media are so in the tank for Tony Evers, they have now stooped so low as to attack mainstream churches and religious organizations. Help fight back here.

For four years, they turned a blind eye to the consequences of Evers’ many failures and are now all-in as accomplices in his desperate campaign to demonize me, my company, my family, and now even our personal charitable giving.

Assaulting the reputations of Catholic nuns, some of the largest churches in Wisconsin, and even cancer research is shameful, and the people of Wisconsin should not tolerate this disgusting, anti-religious bigotry.

The organizations we give to depend on generosity. I depend on your generosity to fight back against these unfair assaults by the media. Please donate now.


I think Franklin Public Schools can stop crying the blues about government funding

Today, WI Gov. Tony Evers announced he’s directing $90 million more in federal pandemic funding for Wisconsin schools. He claims the funds will help school officials recruit and retain teachers.

Clearly the guy is up for re-election in a very tight race.

His opponent Tim Michels sees through it.

“The fact that self-proclaimed ‘education governor’ Evers needs to make news on education with 70 days until Election Day shows that his anti-parents, pro-special interest education agenda isn’t resonating with Wisconsin voters,” Michels said. “Evers wants his big checks to make people forget his big failures, but his disastrous record speaks for itself.”

MPS is raking in more than $6.5 million in this obvious pre-election ploy. Special, isn’t it.

Franklin will get $396,411. The district gets sizable funding from the school property tax, the state, and the Feds, but to them, it’s never enough.

Today’s highly interesting read (08/30/22): Women Are Disproportionately Hurting Our Country

Today’s read is from Dennis Prager, one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts. Here’s an excerpt:

American schools teach less and indoctrinate more than ever before. Young children are prematurely sexualized — they are, for example, exposed to “Drag Queen Story Hour” in class and in local libraries from the age of 5. These feature a man dressed as a woman reading and dancing for them.

And who is facilitating all of this? In virtually every case, a woman. Ninety-two percent of kindergarten teachers are women, 75% of all teachers are women and 85% of librarians are women.

There are many women doing great, even heroic, things for our society, and many men are working to wreck it. But for those who associate women with instinctively protecting children or with being supportive of a traditionally religious life, this era in American history has provided something of a shock.

There’s more.

Read the entire column here.

When they declare woke it’s phony

“Woke” is a term we hear and read often these days.

Merriam-Webster added the word to its dictionary in 2017, defining it as, “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” The Oxford dictionary adopted it the same year, defining it as “originally: well-informed, up-to-date. Now chiefly: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice.”

However, in addition to meaning aware and progressive, many people now interpret woke to be a way to describe people who would rather silence their critics than listen to them.

I was reading a column about “woke” by Mark Bauerlein, an emeritus professor of English at Emory University.  Here’s how it opened:

If you go to the website of the school system of my city, the first statement you’ll see is “[School system] places racial equity at the center of everything that we do as a school division.”

It’s not an unusual banner. Such “woke” professions appear all the time at the head of educational organizations—and many noneducational organizations, too. 

As Bauerlein suggested I went to the website of my local school district in Franklin (WI). I clicked on “Core Values” under “District Coherence Plan” and lo and behold, look what I found. Right there, numero uno, straight out of the box.

When Annalee Bennin was selected a few months ago as the new superintendent of Franklin Public Schools in her initial statement she said:

“The core values of equity, personal growth, stewardship, well-being, and innovation align with my purpose as an educational leader.”

The ‘e’ word, first and foremost.

Back to Bauerlein’s column:

But the declaration is commonly misconstrued, taken too much at face value, and not sufficiently understood. Liberals applaud the goal as necessary, good, and timely. Conservatives deplore it as an ideological pressure that has no place in education (or in business, hiring, and so forth). There’s another value to the statement, however, apart from its ideological thrust. It has more to do with the speakers of it than with its actual substance. Let me explain, taking this racial equity promise as an example.

First, nobody thinks that the public education system harbors a pack of individuals who oppose equal opportunity and wouldn’t like to see academic achievement by race even up. The forthright pledge here needn’t be said. It’s gratuitous—which is why it includes the urgent insistence on racial equity as No. 1 on the list of priorities. To care about racial equity isn’t enough. We need nonstop dedication to it!

In other words, the pledge is really just a specimen of virtue signaling, yet another case of an institution telling activists and various grumblers on the left, “We got the message—we’re on board—here you go.” We know the routine; we’ve observed it many times. Any leader who expects to survive has to show his good faith and cooperation or the woke brigades will pounce. Say the right things and hit the right keys and things go smoothly. We shouldn’t take the equity pledge too seriously one way or the other, therefore. It’s not a meaningful policy, just a gesture, a calling card, and a sign of membership in the ranks of the just and anointed.

Certainly, such gestures happen all the time. They’re part of the general dishonesty and insincerity that has become habitual in a time of political correctness and web-based surveillance and cancellation. To make one’s way through the pipeline, to climb the ladder of success, one needs certain professional competencies related to specific jobs and fields. Also, however, and increasingly so, you must know how to talk the woke talk, to let diversity/equity/tolerance trip off your tongue in earnest and casual cadences, and combine relaxed familiarity with those loaded terms with honest conviction every time you voice them, proving that you’re a trustworthy steward of the institution. When woke pressure is put upon you, you shall respond accordingly.

All that may be true. But when we see institutions and their leaders rush so avidly to display their woke credentials, when they adopt a pose of such reliable assurance, we have to wonder if something more is going on. Along with the grave affirmation of diversity, equity, and inclusion, one senses some defensiveness in the assertion. This is especially the case when the declaration addresses a problem within the very institution that makes the pledge. After all, school systems wouldn’t have to promise racial equity if racial inequity weren’t widespread and longstanding.

The black–white achievement gap is large and stable, with no improvement for 20 years. “Racial uplift,” as it used to be called, is profoundly important to teachers and administrators, but all their labors and the purity of their intentions haven’t managed to fix the problem. This is the unstated and unpleasant fact behind the pledge.

But they’re still trying—oh, they’re trying. And they have to say so, too, loudly and upfront, for this very reason: because they’ve failed. For all their sober values and ideal visions, they haven’t performed very well. The leaders of the school system care very, very much about disadvantaged kids.

After all, they know them through and through. They’ve had the kids under their management for seven hours per day, 180 days per year from kindergarten onward. They’ve watched the youngsters proceed from grade to grade and grow older and bigger. They’ve met the parents. And yet, those kids have left their care not ready for college and not ready for work. The black kids they’ve educated can’t compete with white and Asian kids in spite of decades of focus on them. Every year, the scores come in and disappoint educators who would love to be able to boast that “the gap is closing—our efforts are working!”

But they can’t do that. The efforts aren’t working. That puts the woke slogan in a different light. Instead of appearing as a positive dedication, it looks more like a defensive posture, a deflection of guilt. We don’t have equity, it seems to say, the injustice goes on, but don’t blame us. Educators are just as dedicated as ever; they work just as hard and care as much; they’re not responsible. They’re indignant about injustice, they despise inequity, and they lead the way on reform. Forget the fact that low-income black students leave their classrooms with little knowledge and weak skills. The stewards are more sensitive to the resulting inequities than anybody.

You see the diversion taking place. The obvious answer to lingering inequity in education is to replace the ones steering the ship and see if others can do a better job. They’ve performed poorly, so let’s find better captains. The equity pledge is a tactic that changes the subject. The more the leaders profess their commitment to equity, the less we’re inclined to recognize their inability to produce it.

People so committed to racial justice deserve to be admired, not judged. Skip over their ineffectual record and accept their high intentions. For all the accountability that No Child Left Behind and other reforms (supposedly) brought to education in the United States, these voices of woke commitment prefer no accountability at all. Signaling one’s moral alignment is a way to obscure one’s professional incompetence. It’s not a statement—it’s a scheme.

Conservatives who take woke slogans uttered by high-placed individuals at face value misconstrue them. Critics and intellectuals who set out to dispute the slogan itself waste their time, for the substance of the words is secondary. There’s no debate to be had. This is a different game, a rhetorical one in the ancient sense of rhetoric as a verbal sport that positions and characterizes the players in tactical ways (good guys and bad guys, social standing, and so forth). In the quotation above (“[School system] places racial equity at the center of everything that we do as a school division.”), we see the rhetoric at work most powerfully not in the major words of meaning in the sentence, “racial equity.”

Instead, the word “everything” does the most work. It shows the full ethical investment of the announcers, their whole being set for the cause. How can we possibly criticize such faithful souls?

Discerning critics don’t buy it. Woke sentiments in the mouths of the elite who run elite institutions don’t fly. They profess equity from the highest perches of hierarchical systems, and those systems maintain inequities from year to year in spite of the song-and-dance. Ivy League schools broadcast their inclusivity proudly, and they devote stratagems to making their “selectivity” rating even more exclusive every year. Drive through upscale suburbs of blue cities and “Black Lives Matter” signs pop up in every third yard—but no black residents anywhere. Educators who amplify the equity message never stop to consider that their progressivist pedagogies have aggravated inequity, not reduced it. They can’t step back and question whether critical race theory and The 1619 Project help their kids graduate and go to college prepared to do freshman math and write papers.

It’s a phony routine, a tedious script, witless and predictable. How decadent and self-serving must a leader be to mouth it as if he were a wind-up toy? Does he go home at night, look in the mirror, sit down, and dream of breaking out of the box, crossing his handlers, and uttering, for once, such as Willie Stark in “All the King’s Men,” an unfiltered expression from the heart? Probably not. If he were that kind of person, he wouldn’t have been able to climb so high. People in charge of the pipeline have sensitive discernment. They can spot the signs of a wayward personality, pick up a telling remark or facial tic, one that indicates a soul not fully owned, insufficiently down with the project. They sniff and reject potential dissidents.

These declarations of woke have been a long time coming. The people who speak them have practiced the code for many years as they moved from promotion to promotion. They talk the talk like pros, and they don’t worry about walking the walk, only going through symbolic motions. When you hear it happen, when an eminence steps forward with solemn countenance and measured tones to moralize and solemnize, he should be greeted with laughter and a snort. Disdain is the response, and mockery, not dispute. He wants confirmation and respect. What he deserves is a jeer.

A wonderful collaborative effort in Franklin

On August 3, 2022, Franklin resident Stanley M. Kirsten posted about U.S. Navy veteran Steve Johnson wanting to make his dream come true. To sing the national anthem before a large crowd.

Milwaukee Milkmen owner Michael Zimmerman and ROC Foundation executive director Steve Taylor saw it and scheduled Johnson to sing at the Milkmen game at Franklin Field on August 16th.

CBS 58 was there to capture the moment.

Congratulations to one and all for pulling this off.

The latest pro-life news (08/29/22)


Don’t miss our heartwarming closing story every week!

Here is the latest Monday Update from Pro-Life Wisconsin.

From WRTL.


Will Republicans Let Abortion Endanger Their Election Chances?

At Democrats’ Bidding, Google And Yelp Censor Searches For Life-Saving Pregnancy Centers.

Media-Hyped Abortion Horror Stories.

Operators are standing by.


Thanks for reading!

2021 Pro-Life Wisconsin Prayer Card Art Contest Twelfth Grade and Grand Prize Winner: Love Life, Maria G. (Slinger High School, Slinger)

Today’s highly interesting read (08/29/22): The worst Catholic bishop in America just died

Former archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rembert Weakland kneels and prays as he is given a standing ovation of support after he apologized publicly for sexual indiscretions during a prayer service May 31, 2002 in St. Francis, Wisconsin. Weakland admitted to having a relationship with and paying $450,000 to former seminary student Paul Marcoux. Photo: Tannen Maury/AFP via Getty Images

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced today (Monday) the details of the funeral for Milwaukee Archbishop Emeritus Rembert Weakland, who died last week.

A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial for Weakland is scheduled at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist located at 812 N. Jackson St. in Milwaukee on Aug. 30, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. Priests are invited to concelebrate, the archdiocese said.

Visitation will be held at the cathedral on Aug. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. Burial will be at St. Vincent Archabbey Cemetery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Usually when a key figure of note passes away the obituaries weigh more heavily to the good than the bad. Not so in this scathing piece by Raymond Wolfe, a Catholic journalist and editor at LifeSiteNews. Here’s an excerpt:

A theological dissident, practicing homosexual, radical liturgical revolutionary, and indefensible enabler of predatory priests, Weakland embodied the kind of failed episcopal leadership that has morally and financially bankrupted the Church in much of the Western world since the Second Vatican Council.

As archbishop of Milwaukee, the closeted homosexual prelate undermined Church teaching to a degree unsurpassed even by other heterodox bishops. He refuted Catholic doctrine on the all-male priesthood, demanded that women “must be given places” at top levels of the Vatican curia, helped launch a group that provided condoms to homosexuals during the AIDS crisis, and downplayed the grave, unique evil of abortion with his so-called “consistent life ethic.”

Read the entire article here.