NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Monday, March 6, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


Want a look inside of state Supreme Court candidate Dan Kelly’s head?

These days, the former justice spends his time repeatedly criticizing his opponent, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz, for talking openly about her “values” on hot-button political issues while he remains mute on the subjects. The two square off in next month’s general election.

But that wasn’t always the case.

Between 2012 and 2015, Kelly regularly contributed to a blog called “Hang Together” in which he laid out in detail — indeed, long and windy detail — his conservative views on a number of topics.

Abortion rights? Kelly said everyone knows this procedure “takes the life of an unborn child.” But he said pro-choice groups still favor making abortion legal. “Why? To preserve sexual libertinism” — or, more bluntly, to let people have sex whenever they want.

He said the push to allow same-sex couples to marry was about “using the power of the state to compel others to legitimize the same-sex couples’ personal arrangements. But that forced legitimization is itself an illegitimate exercise of state power.”

But he saved his strongest words for the social programs that help the poor and elderly. Kelly, 59, was in his late 40s and early 50s at the time that he wrote these posts, which have since been deleted from the internet.

First, Kelly suggested that America’s welfare system is “about as advanced as you can get without actually sliding into socialism.”

The country is “stealing” from working Americans and transferring the money to people who are “allergic to the idea that there is a necessary connection between work and what it produces.” Those being taxed to provide for the safety net are victims of “involuntary servitude,” meaning they are not allowed to keep the fruits of their labor.

And who benefits, according to Kelly? Social Security and Medicare are for those who “have chosen to retire without sufficient assets to support themselves,” and welfare lends a helping hand to those who “don’t create enough to sustain themselves during their working years.”

What are voters to take from this? It seems there are two key questions:

Would Kelly set aside these strongly held policy positions to rule fairly on the cases before him if elected to the Supreme Court? Or would he find legal arguments to justify legislating this right-wing agenda from the bench if he wins in April?

The Protasiewicz camp clearly believes it’s the latter.

“Wisconsinites believe in fairness and common sense, not Dan Kelly’s extreme views opposing reproductive freedom, marriage equality, and even Social Security,” Protasiewicz spokesman Sam Roecker said. “Dan Kelly is out-of-touch with this state and clearly lacks the judgment and impartiality we need on the Supreme Court.”

But Ben Voelkel, spokesman for Kelly, said the former justice knows what he must do to rule fairly.

“Justice Kelly’s views on these matters are his own, and the role of a jurist is to set aside personal political views and decide cases based solely on the law,” Voelkel said. “His service on the Supreme Court clearly demonstrates that his decisions are the product of the law alone.”

—Dan Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Muskego-Norway Schools apologized and said the district is investigating racist messages found by the opposing team, Beloit Memorial High School, during a boys’ playoff basketball game at Muskego High School on Friday, March 3.

A statement on the district’s Facebook page said Muskego High School learned of the allegations after the game. The athletic director at Beloit Memorial High School shared concerns about the theme of Muskego’s student section and racist images traced in the dust on top of gym lockers.

Video shared with CBS 58 shows racial slurs and swastikas that were drawn on top of the lockers.

“We were deeply disappointed and saddened by the information shared. Student safety is our number one priority, and we work to ensure students have a positive and rewarding experience while competing in a safe environment,” the statement from Muskego High School said.

The district said its investigation includes working with Beloit administrators, interviewing students, reviewing the recorded event and assessing the school environment.

Muskego High School said, “consequences for inappropriate actions will be prompt.”

“We sincerely apologize for all behaviors that occurred that evening which do not represent the values of Muskego High School or the Muskego-Norway community. Furthermore, we are wholeheartedly dedicated to improving processes that will ensure our commitment of providing an environment that meets the expectations of our community and demonstrates respect for others,” the statement from Muskego High School said.

Ashley Hereford, the mother of a Beloit Memorial varsity basketball player, called the actions she witnessed appalling and offensive.

“It was tough to watch because our kids are just there to play basketball,” Hereford said.

Hereford said it was an unfair way for the team to end their season and hopes anyone involved faces consequences.

—CBS 58 Milwaukee

Former President Trump is making a comeback in the polls, overwhelmingly winning the top spot in Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) straw poll for the 2024 Republican nomination.

According to the poll, 62 percent support Trump as the next president, while Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) trailed far behind with 20 percent support.

Businessman Perry Johnson, who announced his candidacy earlier this week, came in at a low five percent.

The poll also found that Republican Arizona gubernatorial nominee in 2022, Kari Lake has the most support as a vice presidential candidate with 20 percent, while DeSantis received just 14 percent.

Trump has topped first place in the poll in each of the previous five CPAC straw polls, which suggests the former president is still relevant despite DeSantis’s growing population.

Last year, Trump gained 59 percent of the support as the Florida governor came in at 28 percent.

Despite never mentioning his name, Trump fired shots at DeSantis during his speech at the event.

“We’re not going back to people that want to destroy our great Social Security system. Even some in our own party,” Trump said, adding, “I wonder who that might be.”

DeSantis recently made headlines for favoring raising the retirement age and privatizing Social Security and Medicare.


President Joe Biden’s age remains a concern for Americans, should he serve a second term, a Rasmussen Reports survey found.

The survey showed likely voters demonstrating waning confidence in Biden’s physical and mental ability to serve as president. While 51 percent said they are at least “somewhat confident” that he is physically and mentally up to the job as commander-in-chief, only 30 percent of those are “very confident.” Further, 47 percent expressed little confidence, and of those, 37 percent said they are “not confident at all.”

Notably, 51 percent of Democrats said they are “very” confident in Biden’s abilities, compared to 12 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of independents who said the same.

The survey also found a plurality, 48 percent, expressing the belief that others are making decisions for Biden behind the scenes, rather than the president actually doing the job of president himself. Just 44 percent believe he is “really doing the job as president.”

Nearly one-quarter of Democrats, 23 percent, believe others are making decisions for Biden behind the scenes — a sentiment shared by 74 percent of Republicans and a plurality — 49 percent — of independents.

Finally, the survey asked respondents how they would feel about Biden’s age at the end of a second term if he runs, becomes the nominee, and wins the general election. In that scenario, Biden would be 86 years old when his second term ended. Fifty-nine percent said that is “too old” to be president. There is bipartisan consensus on that as well, as 52 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of Republicans, and 54 percent of independents agree that 86 is too old to be president.

—Breitbart News

First Lady Jill Biden criticized Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s call for politicians over the age of 75 to take mental capacity tests.

During an interview with CNN, Arlette Saenz asked Biden what she thought about Haley’s request, calling it “ridiculous.”

“We would never even discuss something like that,” Biden declared, despite her 80-year-old husband hardly remembering where he is half the time, fumbling over words and falling up the stairs.

“How many 30-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train, go nine more hours, go to Ukraine, meet with President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy?” Biden asked. “So, look at the man. Look at what he’s doing. Look at what he continues to do each and every day.”

Haley first announced the idea during her February 15 speech launching her presidential bid, saying “in the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire. We’ll have term limits for Congress. And mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”

Her idea came as she called for fresh blood in the White House, insisting that current politicians in DC are past their prime. Her comments suggest that she is talking about President Joe Biden and former President Trump, both of whom are past the age of 75.

A Fox News poll found that 77 percent of Americans, including most Democrats, favor politicians over a certain age needing to take a mental health test.


Residents in parts of California, especially the San Bernardino Mountains, are battling heavy storms, with roads blocked following large amounts of snow and people finding it difficult to secure food and medical supplies.

“A life and death situation is unfolding in San Bernardino Mountains after this week’s powerful storm,” ABC reporter David Gonzalez said in a March 5 Twitter post that was accompanied by a video of him exploring Crestline.

“Made it to Crestline, California. No Joke. I didn’t realize how bad it was up here. It’s like a warzone. I just interviewed a guy carrying MREs up a mountain because he has no food,” Gonzalez said in the video. MRE refers to individual rations used by the U.S. armed forces.

“There’s people writing ‘stop’ on the snow, saying ‘plough us’, ‘help us’ because the roads look like this,” he said while pointing to massive amounts of snow covering the region. “People, sadly, are probably dying up here, which is crazy to think about.”

In a video uploaded to Twitter on March 2, Michelle Calkins, a resident of Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains, said that communities in Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, and Running Springs are “screaming and begging for help from our state.”

According to Calkins, many mothers in the region are low on formula and have been calling the emergency hotline. “But no one is taking us serious [sic],” she said, adding that several people are also running low on medical supplies like insulin.

“Our county declared a state of emergency but doesn’t seem to be taking it serious [sic]. People are trapped in their homes and have been for now more than five days because the streets are not ploughed. The snow has now accumulated up to about nine feet. On those streets, people cannot walk anymore.”

—The Epoch Times

Authorities in Ohio say there is no indication of any risk to public health from the derailment of a Norfolk Southern cargo train between Dayton and Columbus, the second derailment of a company train in the state in a month.

Norfolk Southern and Clark County officials say 28 of the southbound train’s 212 cars, including four empty tankers, derailed in Springfield Township near a business park and the county fairgrounds. Springfield is about 46 miles (74 km) west of the state capital of Columbus.

As a precaution, residents living within 1,000 feet were asked to shelter in place and responding firefighters deployed the county hazmat team as a precaution, but officials early Sunday said there was “no indication of any injuries or risk to public health at this time.”

A crew from Norfolk Southern, the hazmat team and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency “each independently examined the crash site and verified there was no evidence of spillage at the site,” officials said.

Officials confirmed Sunday afternoon that no hazardous materials were involved in the derailment.

—Associated Press

The data is in: More teachers than usual exited the classroom after last school year, confirming longstanding fears that pandemic-era stresses would prompt an outflow of educators. That’s according to a Chalkbeat analysis of data from eight states – the most comprehensive accounting of recent teacher turnover to date.

In Washington state, more teachers left the classroom after last school year than at any point in the last three decades. Maryland and Louisiana saw more teachers depart than any time in the last decade. And North Carolina saw a particularly alarming trend of more teachers leaving mid-school year.

The turnover increases were not massive. But they were meaningful, and the churn could affect schools’ ability to help students make up for learning loss in the wake of the pandemic. This data also suggests that spiking stress levels, student behavior challenges, and a harsh political spotlight have all taken their toll on many American teachers.

“Education had changed so dramatically since COVID. The issues were getting bigger and bigger,” said Rebecca Rojano, who last year left a job teaching high school Spanish in Connecticut. “I just found myself struggling to keep up.”

Since the pandemic threw U.S. schools into disarray, many educators and experts warned that more teachers would flee the profession. But in 2020, turnover dipped in many places as the economy stalled, then in 2021 it ticked back up to normal or slightly above-average levels.

As this school year began, widespread reports of teacher shortages suggested that turnover had jumped more significantly.


As curriculum awareness grows across the United States, parents are now sounding the alarm over the Satanic Temple (TST)’s efforts to create after-school clubs for students.

Parents say they are worried about the impact it may have on young children’s view of faith.

In December of last year, a TST “After-School Satan Club” was approved at a Virginia elementary school, resulting in backlash from parents distributed by the push to indoctrinate young children into Satanism.

Since then, TST has announced plans to create new clubs in New York, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, with religious advocates taking note of the trend.

Speaking to the Daily Caller over this issue, Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, said that a satanic club is the “antithesis of religion.”

“Groups like this have free speech rights, but Satanism is not a religion. The fact that there are more of these clubs popping up means kids are searching for something to believe in.”

According to experts like Delano Squires, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family, the move to promote Satanic Temple in schools is a “concerning development in districts across the country,” she said to the Daily Caller.

“This group has no more ‘right’ to students and schools as a Neo-Nazi club demanding representation. Schools should use wisdom and discernment about decisions related to extracurricular activities,” Squires told Daily Caller.”

—Just the News

A German ice cream parlor has expanded its menu with a skin-crawling offering: cricket-flavored scoops with dried brown crickets on top.

The unusual confection is available at Thomas Micolino’s store in southern Germany’s town of Rottenburg am Neckar, German news agency dpa reported.

Micolino has a habit of creating flavors that are far outside Germans’ typical preferences for strawberry, chocolate, banana and vanilla ice cream.

In the past, he’s offered liver sausage and Gorgonzola cheese ice cream as well gold-plated ice cream for 4 euros ($4.25) per scoop.

“I am a very curious person and want to try everything,” Micolino told dpa. “I’ve eaten a lot of things, including a lot of strange things, and crickets were something I still wanted to try, also in the form of ice cream.”

That he can now produce the cricket flavor is due to a European Union regulation that allows the use of the insects in food.

Under the regulation, crickets may be frozen, dried or used as a powder. The EU already allowed migratory locusts and flour beetle larvae as a food additive, dpa reported.

Micolino’s ice cream is made of cricket flour, heavy cream, vanilla extract and, honey, and he tops it with dried whole crickets. It has a “surprising yummy taste” — or at least that’s what he wrote on Instagram.

—Associated Press


A message to the culture at large, don’t mess with moms. They are already prepared for whatever war you think you can wage with them. They know this because they spend every day dashing the dreams of tiny dictators—their own child’s selfishness.

Last week I wrote of the general premise of today’s left and their widespread and general distaste of children. I also advanced the parallel argument that when the left does speak of children’s “rights” it is actually attempting to advance their own issues. From viewpoints on race to the all out obsession with sex, gender, and abortion. They seek to undermine parental knowledge, permission, authority and ultimately custody of the child that God uniquely gave to that parent. Nothing could be more damaging to that very child than to continually undermine all that these parents—especially moms—give to these kids. Yet the left cares not.

Hence mothers are awake and forcefully pushing back against these forces. And they will defeat them.

Speaking of families, the impact of many of these policies have bothered columnists Karol Markowicz (New York Post) and Bethan Mandel (The Deseret) for more than two years as they saw their children’s schools close, go virtual and go woke to the extent that they’ve produced the book: Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence And Indoctrinating A Generation. The work is 304 pages of facts and conversations with a lot of mothers as to how the left is invading every aspect of your child’s life and what you can and should do about it. They take on the racial, social, and cultural components, as well as the academic and fiscal elements involved…they are waging this response to the pagan leftist onslaught while simultaneously raising kids, and spending time with their husbands.

At one point each of them said, “no more.”

In doing so they provide a roadmap for the rest of us. And there are many, many more of us, than the handful of those with evil intent on the other side.

Take courage and read the book!

Arm yourself for the battle.

And never surrender!

—Kevin McCullough is a nationally syndicated talk show host

Mayor Eric Adams’ recent remarks at an interfaith breakfast garnered a lot of bad-faith criticism.

“We need to find a way to introduce some form of spirituality in our children, because they’re not fighting against the seen, they’re fighting against the unseen,” the mayor pleaded in follow-up remarks. “These poor children are growing up in an environment that is — it is just so painful to them.”

Critics had focused on his breakfast complaint that “when we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools,” with tweets griping of an “insane rant” and saying, “People of New York, you must do better.”

New York Civil Liberties Union honcho Donna Lieberman sniffed, “It is odd that Mayor Adams would need a refresher on the First Amendment.”

Actually, Lieberman needs that refresher. As Adams noted, “There are clear rules about prayers in school,” and, “I don’t have the power to change that. I just gave you my belief.”

Adams’ full remarks show she utterly missed the point. “If we are bringing our best fight in the ring,” he said, “we would not have homeless in this city. We would not have a crisis of domestic violence.” Teaching children to be better (so we have better adults!) “means instilling in them some level of faith and belief.”

That’s no call to turn public schools into religious ones, only a reminder that spirituality provides the strength and serenity to fight the worthiest battles, even and especially to the young.

You might disagree, but plenty of evidence supports the idea.

Religious people are, data suggests, much more generous with time and money for charity than the irreligious. They’re less likely to have kids out of wedlock — and children raised by both their parents face far better odds of succeeding in life.

Other evidence suggests that the actively religious are less involved in crime, too.

Too many young people today are hurting and lonely. Those who insist it’s somehow bad to argue that they could benefit from the solace and guidance of faith are merely exposing their own bigotry.

—NY Post Editorial Board

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar echoed many NBA fan’s sentiments on Friday that today’s game is downright frustrating.

The 75-year-old Hall of Famer told reporters that he has had enough with the “load management” excuse that allows star players to rest whenever they please.

“I didn’t even get to ride in (charter) airplanes, you know, we had to get up at six and five o’clock and go take a commercial flight.”

According to ClutchPoints, Jabaar said that “these guys don’t know how well they’re treated,” while insinuating that he could have played “a couple more years,” if he was as pampered as they are today.

Load management,” has become an increasing concern – and frustration from NBA fans across the league. I’ve argued that the NBA has to do something about it when their next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is up next season. Be it less games, or no “back-to-backs” there has to be a way that these stars that make a ridiculous amount of money actually show up and perform.

It’s not fair for hard working families to spend a ton of money to attend a game just to see the star player not even play because he needs rest. It’s not occurring once in a while, it’s happening a lot.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t the only NBA Hall of Famer to call out today’s players. Just last week Charles Barkley said he’s fed up with the joke that the league has become.

“You can’t make $30, $40, $50 million and then sit out games. I think it’s disrespectful to the game, I think it’s disrespectful to the fans.”

So what’s one way that would make the players actually do their jobs?

How about this: fans should be allowed refunds if star players aren’t playing unless it’s for injury-related reasons.

It would never happen because the players union would freak the hell out, but could you imagine if it did? Suddenly owners would put a lot more pressure on their star players who are paid tens of millions of dollars to actually get out on the court and play.

It’s one thing when a player is legitimately hurt or slowly when returning from an injury. But that is not what’s happening.

The NBA has pandered so much to star players like LeBron James and others that there is no accountability in the league whatsoever anymore. They’ve been given the keys to the castle and are doing as they please, regardless of how much it’s hurting the sport.

They need to figure this out sooner than later because not only are fans being priced out from going to games because of high ticket prices, but soon many might not even want to go to the games if they can’t see their favorite players in action.

—Mike Gunzelman, Outkick

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1836 the Alamo in Texas fell to Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna after a 13-day siege.

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