My Most Popular Blogs – January 2023

Here are my most popular blogs for the month of January 2023:

1) Today’s highly interesting read (01/19/23): Facemasks Are Not a Mere “Inconvenience”

2) TO: Pasadena. Happy New Year from Wisconsin!

3) She’s running for Franklin School Board, but what is she talking about?

4) My Milwaukee County supervisor has a bad idea

5) Who’s running for mayor of Franklin?

6) It didn’t take long for FPS to make a dopey decision for the new year

7) Mayor Olson detractors fail in ‘gotcha’ strategy on police

8) New year, same old Ballpark Commons-hating Patti Logsdon

9) Franklin taxpayers, would you spend $350,000 for park land on the NW side of Milwaukee?

10) What if I had died in the hospital last September?

Great questions about Franklin’s mayoral race


I have lots of readers and followers and many are quite astute. One of them sent me the following recently and asked to remain anonymous:

“Why would a business (the Rock) who wants all to support them be backing a controversial candidate like (John) Nelson, going as far as hosting a fundraiser?  Was it not under Mayor (Steve) Olson that the Rock has grown immensely?”

No one has been more supportive of the Rock and Ballpark Commons than yours truly. That’s well-documented. I have always backed them and will continue to do so.

Even so I must admit the above are great questions.

Whatever happened to that choir boy from Franklin?

Dropped my daughter and her neighborhood friend off at Forest Park Middle School this morning. Weaved my way through an engineer’s nightmare of the student drop-off maze. But that’s a different topic.

I thought of last October.

What has happened since?

Has there been a resolution?

We know the whole thing was a big hoax.

We also know laws were broken.

Was the student of the year ever hung up by his Buster Browns?

I honestly don’t know, but some folks do, and aren’t talking.

If the fumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ FPS had a motto it sure as hell wouldn’t be “Transparency Lives Here.”

BTW: I understand we’re talking a juvenile or juveniles. Some stuff could be released without divulging personal information like the kid’s name, etc.

TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS –Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Briefs are posted weekday mornings, M-F

President Joe Biden informed Congress on Monday that he will end the twin national emergencies for addressing COVID-19 on May 11, as most of the world has returned closer to normalcy nearly three years after they were first declared.

The move to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations would formally restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through agencies’ normal authorities.

Biden’s announcement comes in a statement opposing resolutions being brought to the floor this week by House Republicans to bring the emergency to an immediate end. House Republicans are also gearing up to launch investigations on the federal government’s response to COVID-19.

The costs of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to skyrocket once the government stops buying them, with Pfizer saying it will charge as much as $130 per dose. Only 15% of Americans have received the recommended, updated booster that has been offered since last fall.

People with private insurance could have some out-of-pocket costs for vaccines, especially if they go to an out-of-network provider. Free at-home COVID tests will also come to an end. And hospitals will not get extra payments for treating COVID patients.

—Associated Press

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence.

“I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter.

Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice.

Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position.

She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad.

“Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now.

Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.”

“I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

—The Epoch Times

Like spoiled children, liberals never give up when they want something, and they can never get enough. Whether it’s more redistribution of taxpayer money, more acceptance of unacceptable behavior, or another cookie, left-wingers always want more. Perfect example: Rather than “only” coming after our evil, planet-destroying passenger cars, the left is targeting our pickup trucks as well, my fellow Americans.

Moreover, the idiocy is neither new nor driven only by the left’s hatred of internal combustion engines.

As I first reported in January 2021 — and this is laugh-out-loud hysterical — pickup trucks not only brazenly project “petromasculinity”; they’re also the personification (or would that be “truckification”?) of “glorification of violence and domination.” Incidentally, one of the many benefits enjoyed by conservative political pundits is never having to make crap up; the left’s got you covered on a regular basis.

Fast-forward to today. Nothing has changed.

Make that, the left has grown even nuttier about the evils of pickup trucks and their owners.

The latest push against large pickup trucks takes two basic forms: They’re large and scary and hurt people, and they’re bad for the environment, especially with people not really needing them for anything practical.

To make their point even “clearer,” Transportation Alternatives tweeted:

SUVs + pickup trucks are up to 3x more likely to kill or seriously injure people during a crash than smaller cars.

NYC must shift to a weight-based tax to discourage people from driving cars that are too big and too dangerous for our streets.

I don’t own a large pickup truck — yet — but if these pearl-clutching busybodies don’t mind their business, I’m sorely tempted to go out and buy one.

—Former editor and senior writer at Independent Journal Review Mike Miller

The death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, a black man, after his altercation with police during a traffic stop has thrust a discussion of police reform back into the news cycle. The five officers involved, who were also black, were fired and each charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, official misconduct and official oppression. Another narrative, though, ought to be examining how it was that these officers were allowed on the force in the first place. As a report from the New York Post highlighted, that may have to do with relaxed standards.

According to the report, two of the officers, Tadarrius Bean and Demetrius Haley, both joined in August 2020, which was over two years after the department loosened education qualifications to become an officer. Among such loosened requirements included no longer needing an associate’s degree or 54 college credit hours to join the force. Officers could also get hired with five years of work experience.

Predictably, experts believe that this led to “less desirable” candidates. “They’re desperate. They want police officers,” Mike Alcazar, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired NYPD detective, told The Post.

“They’re going through it, they check off some boxes, saying, ‘Ok, they’re good enough, get them on.'”

—Townhall

Don’t look now, but gas prices are heading back up, and GasBuddy predicts the national average could hit $4 again in a couple of months. The price for a gallon of regular is up more than 13% nationally over the past month.

Some states have seen prices increase by nearly $1 per gallon this month alone.

Just six weeks ago, the national average was hovering around $3 per gallon.

Since bottoming out at that price, gas prices have steadily climbed. The current average is just shy of $3.50 per gallon, and no states are immune from the price hike.

Fifteen states now have averages above $3.50 per gallon, up from only six states last month. And now, not a single state is averaging under $3.10 per gallon.

Industry analysts say it is not demand fueling the increase, but rather the winter weather.

“It all started in late December thanks to an arctic blast that hit much of the country, all the way down into Texas,” GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan told NewsNation affiliate WNCT. “The extremely cold weather caused equipment failures at refineries, so as a result, gasoline production was disrupted.”

Warmer weather won’t necessarily mean lower gas prices, though. Prices typically rise in spring as refineries switch to summer-grade gasoline.

GasBuddy said that could mean a return to $4-per-gallon gas as soon as March.

—The Hill

The share of Americans who say they live paycheck-to-paycheck climbed last year, and most of the new arrivals in that category were among the country’s higher earners, a new study shows.

Some 64% of US consumers — equivalent to 166 million people — were living paycheck-to-paycheck at the end of 2022, according to the survey by industry publication Pymnts.com and LendingClub Corp.

That’s an increase of 3 percentage points from a year earlier, or 9.3 million Americans. And out of that group, some 8 million were people earning more than $100,000 a year. More than half of that income cohort said they lived paycheck-to-paycheck in December, up 9 percentage points from a year earlier.

The numbers likely reflect growing strain on household budgets after the cost of living surged, wages often failed to keep up, and pandemic savings got drawn down.

—Bloomberg

In the wake of COVID-19, people now overwhelmingly believe that the education system’s broader purpose needs to be rethought. This begins with a shift away from standardized testing, college prep and a one-size-fits-all model and toward personalized curricula, practical skills and subject mastery.

A new Purpose of Education Index survey released by the Massachusetts-based national think tank Populace found a radical shift in the way most of us view education and what our children should be getting out of it.

“The findings show the K-12 educational system is wildly unresponsive to what parents and children actually want,” said Todd Rose, co-founder and CEO of Populace.

Rose added that people are not looking for something “better” — they are looking for something fundamentally different. “They want a way out of the one-size-fits-all approach driven by standardized testing models and elite institutions making us compete in a zero-sum game and instead an educational framework geared towards individualized learning, practical skills, and preparation for a meaningful life.”

The study was conducted with over 1,000 participants conducted with cooperation from YouGov and data analytics firm Gradient. Respondents were given 57 priorities for K-12 education and ranked them.

The fissure between the public education system and parents began in 2020, when school districts across the country closed at the beginning of the pandemic.

Test scores shared with the Associated Press showed that the average student lost over half a year of learning in math and a quarter of a school year in reading. But students in some public-school districts lost twice that in learning.

This has all prompted many parents to move their children out of public schools and into private or parochial schools, most of which are not controlled by teachers unions and stayed open during the pandemic. The overall rate of parents choosing to home-school grew from 5.4% to 11.1%, according to data from the Census Bureau.

Respondents said they wanted to see students develop practical skills such as managing personal finances, preparing meals or making appointments as their top priority — functions that students a generation ago learned in home economics classes.

—Political journalist Salena Zito

New York’s infamous “Amityville Horror” house sold recently for almost $1.5 million, a sign the real estate market is rebounding even as prices have begun to cool overall.

The home, at 108 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, N.Y., has been known for decades as the site of Ronald DeFeo’s horrific six-person homicide in 1974, when he killed his parents and all four of his siblings while they slept.

The house subsequently became associated with claims of demonic and supernatural activity after husband-and-wife George and Kathy Lutz purchased it in 1975 and fled it after less than a month, claiming the house was severely haunted.

The Ocean Avenue home sold this month for $1.46 million, the New York Post reported, about $200,000 below its listed asking price yet still more than double what it fetched in 2017, when it sold for just over $600,000.

—Just the News

“Top Gun: Maverick” took home the top prize of best picture at AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards on Saturday.

“I’ve produced over 50 movies and more than 2,000 hours of television but there was one question that everybody kept asking, ‘Will there ever be another “Top Gun?”‘ “Maverick” producer Jerry Bruckheimer said. “After almost four decades, all the pieces fell into place and we finally released the much anticipated sequel just when everybody seemed to need it the most.”

“Elvis” director Baz Luhrmann was presented with the best director award by the film’s star Austin Butler, and the biopic was also recognized in the best time capsule category.

—Variety

Priscilla Presley has filed legal documents disputing who oversees the estate of her late daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court last week disputes the validity of a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie Presley’s living trust that removed Priscilla Presley and a former business manager as trustees and replaced them with Lisa Marie Presley’s two oldest children, Riley Keough and Benjamin Keough, if she died or became incapacitated. Benjamin Keough died in 2020.

A living trust is a form of estate planning that allows a person to control their assets while alive, but have them distributed if they die. It serves the function of a will if a separate will is not filed, as appears to be the case with Lisa Marie Presley.

Lisa Marie Presley, a singer and the only child of Elvis Presley, died at a California hospital at age 54 on Jan. 12 after paramedics answered a 911 call reporting a woman in cardiac arrest. The Los Angeles County coroner is investigating, and has not yet given a cause of death. She was laid to rest at her family home, Graceland, on Jan. 22.

—USA TODAY

The world is still reeling from the death of Lisa Marie Presley, who died earlier this month at the age of 54 after suffering a heart attack. Now, the disturbing truth about her passing has been revealed.

Daily Mail reported that Presley underwent plastic surgery two months before her death in a procedure that partly led to her losing 50 pounds. She was also on opioids in the weeks before her passing as she desperately tried to lose weight for the promotional tour for the movie Elvis, the biopic about her father.

Just two days before she died, Presley was seen slurring her words and looking unsteady on her feet as she walked the red carpet at the Golden Globe Awards.

“I’m gonna grab your arm,” she told her old friend Jerry Schilling, 80, as she was interviewed by the television host Billy Bush.

.

Presley had long been open about her issues with opioids, admitting that she developed an addiction after she was prescribed short-term medication during her recovery from the birth of her twin daughters, Harper Vivienne and Finley back in 2008. She was heavily abusing cocaine by 2013, and she checked into rehab at least five times.

—The Mix Net

Cindy Williams, who played Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the popular sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died, her family said Monday.

Williams died in Los Angeles at age 75 on Wednesday after a brief illness, her children, Zak and Emily Hudson, said in a statement released through family spokeswoman Liza Cranis.

Williams worked with some of Hollywood’s most elite directors in a film career that preceded her full-time move to television, appearing in George Cukor’s 1972 “Travels With My Aunt,” George Lucas’ 1973 “American Graffiti” and Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation” from 1974.

But she was by far best known for “Laverne & Shirley,” the “Happy Days” spinoff that ran on ABC from 1976 to 1983 that in its prime was among the most popular shows on TV.

Williams played the straitlaced Shirley Feeney to Marshall’s more libertine Laverne DeFazio on the show about a pair of blue-collar roommates who toiled on the assembly line of a Milwaukee brewery in the 1950s and 60s.

“They were beloved characters,” Williams told The Associated Press in 2002.

DeFazio was quick-tempered and defensive; Feeney was naive and trusting. The actors drew upon their own lives for plot inspiration. The series was the rare network hit about working-class characters, with its self-empowering opening song: “Give us any chance, we’ll take it, read us any rule, we’ll break it.”

—USA TODAY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – 83 years ago today in 1940, the first Social Security check was distributed in the United States.

The retirement payment was issued to 65-year-old Ida May Fuller in Ludlow, Vermont. The newly retired legal secretary started collecting benefits of $22.54 per month (a total of $22,888)—until she died at 100 years old. The new Social Security insurance program promised to provide monthly income to seniors during retirement, disability, or upon the death of spouse, and has been doing that for 80 years now.

The latest pro-life news (01/30/23)

THIS WEEKLY BLOG POSTED EVERY MONDAY PROMOTES A CULTURE OF LIFE

Don’t miss our heartwarming closing story every week!

From Pro-Life Wisconsin:

ANNUAL PRO-LIFE WISCONSIN ART CONTEST

The 6th annual Pro-Life Wisconsin Prayer Card Art Contest is underway for students in grades 1-12! Do you love painting, drawing, photography, or graphic design? Submit your artwork and have a chance to win the 2023 contest for your grade. If chosen as a winner, we will reach out to your pastor for a pro-life prayer which will be printed on the back of your artwork in prayer card form. Prayer cards will be printed and distributed through your church and PLW. All entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2023.   Grade winners will receive:

Their design featured on a prayer card
– 500 prayer cards for their church
– 3 tickets to the 2023 PLW Love for Life Gala

ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive all of the above plus $100 cash

For more details and to submit artwork, visit our website here.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FOR THE PLW SPRING SOCIAL

Join us for an evening with fellow pro-life Wisconsinites on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Great Dane Pub–Hilldale (357 Price Pl, Madison, WI 53705). Enjoy drinks, appetizers, and fantastic company from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Your first drink is on us!

We will also hear briefly from our Pro-Life Wisconsin Legislator of the Year, State Senator Julian Bradley, who has worked tirelessly in our State Capitol to uphold the dignity of the preborn child.

Bring a friend and come prepared to meet other pro-life Wisconsinites from the Madison area and beyond. Let’s continue to work together for a Wisconsin in which all lives are respected and cherished. Early bird registration is now open! Register now at a discounted ticket price.

PRO-LIFE NEWS

ABORTION RIGHTS, ELECTABILITY EMERGE AS DOMINANT THEMES IN WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT PRIMARY: (Wisconsin State Journal) – “For being such a consequential race, the campaign for Wisconsin Supreme Court is off to a slow start. Outside groups, which in recent years have raised enormous sums to fund campaigns, are largely waiting until after the Feb. 21 primary before backing a candidate. Only one candidate – liberal Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Janet Protasiewicz – has aired television ads so far. […] The conservative candidates, former state Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly and Waukesha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Dorow, have been endorsed by anti-abortion groups. One of the groups, Pro-Life Wisconsin, which endorsed only Kelly, says on its website that they support candidates ‘who recognize the personhood of the preborn baby and hold the principled and compassionate no-exceptions pro-life position.’” Read the full story here.  

NEW LAWSUITS TARGET STATE RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION PILLS: (Associated Press) – “Supporters of abortion rights filed separate lawsuits Wednesday challenging two states’ abortion pill restrictions, the opening salvo in what’s expected to be a protracted legal battle over access to the medications. The lawsuits argue that limits on the drugs in North Carolina and West Virginia run afoul of the federal authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has approved the abortion pill as a safe and effective method for ending pregnancy. The cases were brought by a North Carolina physician who prescribes the pill, mifepristone, and GenBioPro, which makes a generic version of the drug and sued in West Virginia.” Read the full story here.  

THE FDA HAS NO AUTHORITY TO FORCE PRO-LIFE STATES TO ALLOW ABORTION PILLS: (LifeSiteNews) – “The Biden administration has pledged to use federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to make abortion drugs available in all 50 states, even though the Supreme Court said that abortion is a state issue. The House of Representatives took a step in that direction last year with House Resolution 1434 purporting to ‘reaffirm’ the FDA’s authority to force pro-life states to allow chemical abortions. This is a very big issue when more than half of all abortions in America are done with abortion pills. But can the FDA legally do this?” Read the full story here.


—Pro-Life WI

FROM WISCONSIN RIGHT TO LIFE

ALSO:

Pro-Life Activist Arrested by FBI Acquitted on Federal Charges

Congressional Resolution Would Make Jan. 22 ‘Day of Tears’ in Memory of 60 Million Aborted Babies

Resurgence of Right to Life Still Far Off

Don’t Put Support for Life on Life Support

AND FINALLY, LOVIN’ LIFE


Thanks for reading!

Today’s highly interesting read (01/30/23): Why Kids (And Parents) Still Need Sleepovers


The above photo was taken in August of 2020.

From left to right, that’s Mallory, Kyla, and Erinn and Mallory’s brother photo-bombing in the back. In addition to being good friends the girls have also spent sleepovers together at our house, even during the pandemic.

Today’s read is from Richard Cromwell, a writer and senior contributor at The Federalist who lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife and three daughters. Here’s an excerpt:

Our children are fragile. They are mortal. They deserve our fierce protection. They also deserve to be raised to become adults, capable of navigating society and, yes, risks. Maybe they’ll see a movie you wouldn’t have approved of in your home. Maybe you’re the parents who let them watch that movie.

The solution to many of our problems starts at home and in our community. And we’re never going to revive our communities if we’re constantly afraid of one another.

Read the entire column here.

TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Monday, January 30, 2023


Briefs are posted weekday mornings, M-F

After being canceled in one of the reddest counties in Texas, Kyle Rittenhouse finally got his chance to speak against what he described as a concerted censorship effort against him and conservatives.

In a rare public appearance (last Thursday), Rittenhouse, who has become an icon for Second Amendment advocates, walked onto the stage with AC/DC’s “Back in Black” blaring over loudspeakers to loud applause.

He answered questions during an interview with Cassandra Spencer, the former Facebook whistleblower for Project Veritas, who also spoke at the event held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds (Texas).

“So, censorship has played a major role in my case, my life—being censored from my supporters, being taken off Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,” he said. “That’s how censorship has played a huge role.”

Rittenhouse said the cancellations were just the latest attempts to silence him since he was criminally charged with killing two rioters with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle and wounding a third during the protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the summer of 2020.

A jury found him not guilty of all charges after he testified that he acted in self-defense. Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha to help protect property and provide first aid.

“I knew God was on my side. I knew he was watching over me,” Rittenhouse said when asked about how the censorship and falsehoods affected his trial.

Rittenhouse said mainstream media, business, and the government had leveled an ongoing, concerted effort to silence and defame him.

The mainstream media called him a murderer and said he shot black people at the riot—which was verifiably false, he said. But people still think that’s what happened, he said, also complaining about comments from Hollywood actors shaped by initial media reports.

While trying to raise money for his defense, Rittenhouse said that Go Fund Me took down his donation page. He noted that Facebook removed comments supporting him, and people who helped him were removed from Instagram and Twitter for supporting him.

“I was blacklisted on social media platforms,” he said.

He recalled that a police lieutenant who contributed to his defense fund was fired for exercising his free speech right to support him. Yet, there was a case of a police chief marching with Black Lives Matter who was not penalized for his free speech, he said.

Rittenhouse said the government was not being truthful during the trial. The prosecution said he was chasing protesters but had a video showing just the opposite, he said.

“I don’t think I was given a fair trial,” he said.

People react to the verdict in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, outside the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis., on Nov. 19, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Rittenhouse, 20, said he’s just an average young adult who was thrust into the limelight.

“You’re a hero,” someone yelled from the audience, which responded with a burst of applause.

Rittenhouse said that only those who oppose left-wing ideas are silenced. He noted that people involved in conservative organizations, such as Turning Point USA, are targeted and censored on social media.

“It’s disturbing, sickening. I don’t know how that can continue to happen,” he said.

Rittenhouse said that the climate is so polarized today that negative press had put him in danger.

“They put my safety at risk, they put my life at risk,” he said. “There are people who want to kill me because of what the media has said.”

—The Epoch Times

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) in Wisconsin will dedicate a week in their upcoming year to teach elementary school kids, from Kindergarten up to grade five, about gender identity and sexual orientation with lessons created by LGBT activists from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRCF).

According to an email obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, “The goal is for students to understand the difference between gender, sexual orientation and sex assigned at birth. Students are NOT being asked to share their specific identities for each of these components, rather just acknowledging that they exist and are different and how to show respect for all identities.”

The program is part of HRCF’s “Health and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Lessons,” a portion of their “Welcoming Schools” project to create more “gender inclusive schools.”

The week-long campaign will include “read-alouds” and “classroom discussions” surrounding gender identity, sex assigned at birth and sexual orientation, before concluding with a “rainbow day.”

The email encourages families to watch an introductory video that explains what the school district is teaching and why.

The video features a “gender snowperson” who explains that gender identity comes from the brain and is “who you know you are,” whereas sexual orientation comes from the heart and is “who you know you love.”

The video describes sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as part of a “continuum,” or a spectrum.

Students from kindergarten through the third grade will learn about sexual orientation based on “who they love,” emphasizing that “anyone can love anyone,” while grades four and five will learn the definitions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and asexual, the video explains.

—The Post Millennial

Former President Donald Trump visited the first two primary states, New Hampshire and South Carolina, on Saturday as his 2024 presidential campaign officially hit the trail.

Trump delivered the keynote address at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s annual meeting in Salem, New Hampshire, on Saturday morning.

“So we’re here, and we start, we begin,” said Trump at the top of his address, adding he was “thrilled to be back in this beautiful state.”‘

CNN reported that he also bashed media, as many mainstream and legacy outlets and networks like CNN have attempted to brand his campaign as being off to a “sluggish start,” as he has not held one of his trademark rallies.

“They said, ‘He’s not doing rallies, maybe he’s lost that step.’ I’m more angry now and I’m more committed now than I ever was,” Trump said, according to CNN’s Katie Sullivan, Gabby Orr, and Kristin Holmes.

However, Chris LaCivita noted earlier this month when speaking with Politico that it is very early in the campaign and added that “it would be kind of crazy to be spending huge amounts of money this far out.” For reference, the Iowa caucus remains twelve months away, and Trump did not even announce his first campaign for the presidency until June 2015 – seven months ahead of the Iowa caucus.

Additionally, Trump has put forth a number of videos laying out strong policy platforms on many issues, including a comprehensive plan to protect free speech, a vision to take on drug cartels in a fashion similar to the Islamic State, and a plan to protect America’s economic “Crown Jewels” from communist China. These videos have coincided with a substantial 15-point surge in his favorability since December, which was documented in a recent Economist/YouGov poll.

—Breitbart News

Former President Trump condemned the brutal murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols after five Memphis Police officers pepper sprayed and beat him.

“I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have happened,” Trump said during an interview with the Associated Press. ‘

In the video footage that was released on Friday, Nichols can be heard repeatedly crying out to for his mother and pleading with the men to let him go saying “I didn’t do anything.” Trump said that this part of the footage was particularly hard for him to hear.

“That was really the point that got me the most, to be honest with you,” Trump continued.

The former president suggested that a simple traffic violation was not the motive for the five cops to attack Nichols, adding that the video footage is “pretty conclusive.”

—Townhall

The United States Customs and Border Protection agency is asking Americans to stop trying to smuggle in raw eggs from Mexico.

As avian flu is causing the price of eggs and poultry to rise, along with the current inflation rate, people are purchasing the products in Mexico instead of shelling out the extra cash at the grocery store.

“There has been a large increase in the volume of prohibited food items, such as raw eggs and raw poultry meat, brought by travelers from Mexico. We would like to remind the traveling public that federal agricultural regulations remain in effect,” Jennifer De La O, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, said in a news release.

In a separate tweet, De La O said that people could face up to a $10,000 fine if they take a crack at illegally smuggling the items.

—Just the News

(Leftists) are the nail in the tire of your homecoming float, the rock you twist your ankle on while taking the field for the Super Bowl, the open-mouth belch during a moment of silence. Only miserable human beings could be such a destructive force every single time there is something that could actually unite Americans, because unity is kryptonite to the progressive movement.

Honestly, if 9/11 happened today it would take about 5 minutes before some rabid Squad member took to the floor of the House of Representatives to blame an old Trump tweet or something from the Reagan administration as justification for the attack.

Democrats can’t let people simply be people, they need us to be groups; groups that can be manipulated to do whatever best suits their needs at any given moment, and any people hurt in the process are expendable.

After the death of George Floyd there really wasn’t anyone saying the video was really nothing. People saw that long video and were horrified that someone would just sit there for that long on top of a handcuffed man. That didn’t help Democrats, so the division soon started.

The country could have united behind many needed reforms to policing and how people taken into custody should be treated. Instead, we got “defund the police” and “all cops are bastards,” followed by months of “mostly peaceful riots” and the destruction of black neighborhoods and business while “Black Lives Matter” grifters became rich real estate tycoons. Literally the only lives made better through that summer were Democrat politicians and progressive activists who were good at fundraising from idiotic “woke” corporations.

Wealthy, wine drinking, Pilates-doing suburban white women, who wouldn’t even consider driving through the destroyed black neighborhoods in daylight before the riots, opened another bottle of Piot and celebrated their absentee ballot-casting for the very party responsible for the destruction.

Democrats rail about the “school to prison pipeline” and propose to “fix” it by closing the prisons rather than looking at why the schools fail so many of their students. Apparently “Big Warden” doesn’t shovel the kind of money to Democrat candidates the way the teachers’ unions do. Then again, no one does. If the UAW did, Democrats would spend their time justifying new cars breaking down after a year, but since the biggest victims of progressive policy failures are black kids who’ll still vote 80 percent or more for Democrats in elections, these politicians literally ignore the slaughter of innocent people daily because they can’t be monetized or used to mobilize.

The left has changed the definition of words to help their division. But few words have been bastardized more than “community.” It used to mean your neighborhood and the people in it; from the kids you grew up with to the old guy in the corner house everyone was slightly afraid of but who was secretly always nice. Now it means people who share your skin tone or sexual proclivities. Democrats would rather you care more deeply about something horrible happening to a person you’ve never met who lives thousands of miles away from you.

The horrible death of Tyre Nichols is the latest example of how the left works. Al Sharpton shows up, MSNBC sends half their on-air staff. Biden makes a phone call, then a visit is planned – he talks about the family like he spent years vacationing with them when the reality is he can barely remember their names or why he’s there. Then the “think pieces” about how society is really to blame, or something else, and how we all need some kind of reckoning because of it.

It may not work in this case, since all the police are black and they have been charged with very serious crimes.

The country watched the video of a man beaten and no medical aid rendered for far too long. That could unify most, if not all, of the country. But that unity wouldn’t be “behind Democrats,” so it’s not useful and must be destroyed. That’s what Democrats do, they destroy.

—Columnist Derek Hunter, Townhall

With Republicans having control of the House of Representatives, several Republicans want greater oversight of the money being sent to Ukraine. It is unfortunate that it took a change in House leadership to make sure American taxpayer money is being spent properly overseas.

The state of U.S. military production was another news story that broke this month — and this story should be more concerning to the American public than Ukraine’s problems.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank released a report on the U.S. defense industry and military aid to Ukraine.

The report found that the United States’ “defense industrial base is not adequately prepared for the competitive security environment that now exists.” The United States is ranked third in casting production, which is necessary for creating weapon systems, and the lag time for the production of most weapons is more than a year.

CSIS believes the United States would run out of precision missiles and other advanced technology in less than a week in a Taiwan Strait conflict. If that were to happen, the United States would have to resort to more crude weapon types, just as Russia has resorted to in Ukraine. The 20 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that the United States sent to Ukraine could be replaced in about three years depending on the production surge rate. HIMARS have been very effective in Ukraine, but this highlights the continued danger of the United States’ ability to produce weapon systems. If America needs many of these weapon systems in short order, it appears the capability is not there to produce them.

This is not a debate about aid to Ukraine but rather a debate on U.S. military production capabilities. The war in Ukraine should be viewed as a sideshow for the United States by capability alone. More than $100 billion in aid has been sent to Ukraine. This is not a small amount, but with a defense budget of more than $700 billion annually, the Ukraine war should not be straining our military. If a conflict did arise that threatened the United States, it would certainly expend more munitions and weapon systems than the Ukraine-Russian war has spent.

—Tyler Stone studied history at Le Moyne College. He currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and is a member of the WWII Ranger Research and Education Group.

A resolution introduced in the House and Senate by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R.-Ga.) and Sen. Mike Braun (R.-Indiana) would make January 22—the day that the Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision—the “Day of Tears.”

“Since Roe v. Wade, the evils of abortion have unlawfully terminated more than 60 million innocent lives—all precious, worth saving, and made in the perfect image of God,” Clyde said in a press release. “I’m proud to introduce this resolution to recognize the anniversary of this dreadful decision as the Day of Tears to honor and mourn the loss of these unborn children.”

“I am proud to introduce the Senate resolution recognizing the over 60 million lost to abortion since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision and calling for flags to be flown at half-staff in their memory,” said Braun.

—CNS News

In New Brunswick New Jersey, officials admitted that a grown woman who posed as a teen girl was able to attend classes at the city’s high school for several days after enrolling with fake documents.

Superintendent Aubrey Johnson told the Board of Education that, during the week of January 16, the woman attempted to enroll in classes and attended the school for four days before she was ousted from the institution.

“By filing false documents, an adult female posing as a student was able to be enrolled in our high school,” admitted Johnson during his report at the BOE’s January 24 meeting.

“She was here for four days before being found out, and barred from entering the district property,” said Johnson. “All appropriate authorities were immediately notified, and the individual in question has now been arrested for providing false documentation.”

Now, community members are concerned about the woman’s motivations, the district is telling students who met with her not to communicate further, and students fear that she may have been attempting to lure young people into sex work.

But at their January 24 meeting, the Board of Education glossed over the shocking news, and effectively prevented students and parents from addressing them about it, voicing their concerns, or asking questions about how such a thing could happen.

—New Brunswick Today

Marriage is something you might look forward to as a milestone—especially when you know you’ve found the person you want to share your life with. But aside from the big celebration, the honeymoon, and the ensuing “wedded bliss,” did you know that marriage comes with some significant health benefits? A new study published in Nov. 2022 in the Journal of Aging and Health concluded that being married actually lowers dementia risk.

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“There’s a correlation between being married in midlife and a lower risk of dementia as an elderly person,” lead study author Vegard Skirbekk, senior researcher for the Department of Physical Health and Ageing and the Centre for Fertility and Health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), said in a statement. Researchers evaluated data from 8,706 middle-aged participants, with 11.6 percent developing dementia and 35.3 percent developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) after age 70. Interestingly, within this sample, married participants’ odds of being diagnosed with either condition were lower than those who were unmarried or divorced.

There are many potential reasons for this correlation, researchers say, including the social aspect. “In several studies, it has been shown that social isolation is related to an increased risk of dementia,” Skirbekk said, adding that previous studies have identified marriage as a protective factor for men, but it was “equally important for both men and women” in the current study. Other possible reasons included childlessness in unmarried people—as children “seem to be important” when it comes to dementia risk—or the increased stress associated with divorce.

—Best Life

The matchup for Super Bowl 57 is set and it’s one that offers no shortage of storylines.

The Kansas City Chiefs will face the Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb.12 in a game that will showcase a pair of brothers on opposite teams, a head coach going against the team that fired him a little more than a decade ago and two of the best young quarterbacks in the sport.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid led Philadelphia to a berth in Super Bowl 39 in 2004 but came up short in a loss against the New England Patriots. Now, Reid will have the chance to avenge his dismissal from the Eagles with a Lombardi Trophy. To do so, he’ll need another big game out of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who will face off against Jalen Hurts of the Eagles. And Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Eagles center Jason Kelce will become the first set of brothers to play against each other in Super Bowl history.

—USATODAY

The Empire State Building was seen green on Sunday night and Twitter lost its collective mind as a result.

Moments after the Philadelphia Eagles demolished the San Francisco 49ers in the 2023 NFC Championship game, 31-7, to advance to Super Bowl 2023, the official Twitter account for the New York City landmark announced it would illuminate in green and white to celebrate.

“Fly @Eagles Fly! We’re going Green and White in honor of the Eagles NFC Championship Victory,” the message read.

The fallout from the post was unsurprisingly swift, with some deeming the lighting choice as an insult to the Empire State’s own New York Giants, who were ousted from the playoffs last week by their loathed division rivals.

“New Yorker here. Wtf are you doing Empire State Building?!! Is this a joke?” one user tweeted while another remarked, “I need the Empire State Building to not be supporting the eagles this is insane.”

“I can’t believe the Empire State Building would betray the Giants like this,” a user remarked.

“Absolute disgrace Empire State Building. When would Philadelphia EVER do something like this for NY. Did you lose a bet or something?!?” one user exclaimed.

The Empire State Building then changed its lights to Chiefs colors after Kansas City knocked off the Bengals in the AFC Championship game.

“This hurt us more than it hurt you,” the Twitter account for the Empire State Building wrote along with a photo of the building in Chiefs colors.

The Eagles and Chiefs will face each other in Super Bowl 2023 on Feb. 12

—NY Post

The recent injury to Damar Hamlin on NFL Monday Night Football has once again raised questions about the safety of the game. Liberal thinkers have wondered why the country is addicted to such a violent and brutal game, while others believe the NFL should be banned.

There is no denying that injuries are a common part of the game.

Why is the league so popular and are there any redeeming social benefits?

Since 1965, NFL football has been most-watched spectator sport and has become an American tradition. Football is a two-dimensional game that televises well. Many fans prefer to watch games on TV rather than attend live. What specifically attracts people? The athleticism combined with the violence makes games both thrilling and riveting to watch, especially for those of us who have grown up with the NFL, which brings up another point. Not only do young boys watch the game, but players become role models to be emulated. And the ultimate success of the NFL is directly tied to the quantity and quality of the prospects available, who often start playing in grade school.

Over the past decade or so fears have risen about the potential for brain injuries in children. Much of this was spawned by the problems experienced by NFL players, and fewer young kids are playing. The big drop-off has been between the ages of 6 and 12, where participation is down about 20 percent. However, the number of high school-age players has not declined significantly. In 2019, 1, 006,013 played football — a drop-off of only 3265 since 2009.

During the pandemic, the number did slip below a million, but will probably rebound to some extent, although there will be fewer high school-aged youth in the general population. That said, it seems safe to say that fear of head injuries, at least to this point, has not hurt the NFL, and player standards will remain high. Consider that only .00075 percent of high school and 1 percent of college players will make it to the NFL. For the vast majority who don’t make it, football can instill values like courage, discipline, hard work, and teamwork as well as providing an outlet for aggression so common in young males.

The starting minimum salary for a rookie is now $705,000, which puts a player in the top .07 percent of income earners. And if a player has the average career of three or four years, the money can provide a solid financial footing for the rest of their lives. Of course, the downside is the risk of serious injury, but to this point, the NFL has had no trouble attracting individuals more than willing to take that risk.

In 2021, 75 of the 100 most-watched shows were NFL games, and these types of numbers have been fairly consistent for years. As a result, the league will receive an incredible $113 billion over the next decade in TV and Amazon streaming revenue. The money is divided equally between the teams, which amounts to $321 million per team each year, which almost insures profitability.

In short, the NFL is the most successful sports organization in history and will continue to be America’s game. It’s the country’s best entertainment value since other than streaming and basic cable, there are no fees involved. In addition, easy access to various gambling outlets will only increase the league’s popularity.

Violence and aggression will always be a part of the game because that’s what appeals to those of us who watch. To make the game less so would hurt TV ratings and profitability. Unfortunately, head injuries will also remain a part of the game, although improved helmet technology will provide more protection. There is also little doubt that calls to ban the game or to make it less violent will continue, but they will mostly be in vain.

—William Beaver writing in The American Thinker

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY –Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi—considered the father of his country and internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest (satyagraha) to achieve political and social progress—was assassinated on this day in 1948.

May be an image of skyscraper

My Most Popular Blogs (01/30/23)

Here are my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday-Saturday:

1) Guy who wants to lead the city running a high quality campaign…NOT!

2) Today’s highly interesting read (01/27/23): The Weight of the Badge

3) TODAY’S NEWS BRIEFS – Monday, January 23, 2023

4) Red flag laws – where do you stand?

5) Culinary no-no #762

6) Pardon me, sir, do you mind if I pinch your ass?

7) Today’s highly interesting (01/26/23): Do you trust elections? If not, here are the steps we must take

8) UPDATE: Today’s highly interesting read (01/12/23): Op-ed argues self-defense shootings shouldn’t be celebrated

9) Week-ends (01/28/23)

10) The latest pro-life news (01/23/23)

Culinary no-no #763

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

Our family is pondering taking a Walt Disney World vacation later this year. Yes we know all about ‘woke’ Disney. We read the papers. But we’ve never been exposed to any crap and have always had a great time down there. So Mouse House here we come.

A definite stop on our itinerary will be Disney Springs, a massive dining, shopping and entertainment destination on Disney property that boasts an array of amazing restaurants. One of them is Wine Bar George that features more than 140 wines from around the world, all of which are available by the ounce, glass, or bottle.

On the menu: The Big Board, a chef’s selection of six artisanal cheeses and five crafter meats with accompaniments. Serves two or more, $61.

No culinary no-no there per se.

However, may I suggest that I don’t see any mortadella on that board.

Morta-what?

Mortadella is an emulsified Italian sausage with origins in Bologna, Italy. It’s composed of cured pork with least 15% pork fat cubes, whole or chopped pistachios, and spiced with black pepper and myrtle berries. The extra fat content gives mortadella its signature white “polka dot” look.

Mortadella could very well be the Rodney Dangerfield of cold cuts, but that might be changing.

According to the LA Times:

Slices of mortadella “are popping up on sandwiches, on charcuterie plates in Los Angeles, but it’s hard to view any food item depicted in ancient Roman carvings as a flash in the pan. The Italian deli meat that traces its roots to Bologna and as far back as the Etruscans isn’t new, but of late it’s been gaining the kind of star power that salami and prosciutto have hogged for too long.”

More from the newspaper:

In 1998, it received its own Protected Geographical Indication — meaning its ingredients and methods must adhere to a strict set of criteria to be considered authentically regional. L.A. chefs and diners have taken note of the appeal of mortadella.

To Felix and Mother Wolf chef Evan Funke, mortadella’s time was long overdue. “I f—ing love mortadella,” he says. “I think it’s great that L.A. is having a moment, but Mortadella is the moment, always has been. I think it’s one of the most underrated salumi to come out of anywhere in the world; it’s underutilized, underappreciated, super versatile, and I think it’s the best, so I love that it’s getting a little bit of traction.”

I just polished off some mortadella from our nearby Sendik’s. Very tasty, but Funke would not have approved.

Once, while training with Alessandra Spisni at the School of Sfoglia Bolognese Traditional Cuisine, Funke saw her vendor send mortadella studded with pistachios; the chef-instructor immediately called upon all the saints in heaven and cursed her vendor. She was so mad, Funke says, she immediately sent it back and said, “This is not mortadella, it has pistachios in it. That’s Sicilian.”

I’m not fussy. I put mortadella on a Kaiser roll with some American Cheese and mustard knowing full well an Italian might spit in my face.

So where’s the no-no this week? Let’s return to the LA Times:

Cocktail bar Thunderbolt even recently experimented with crafting a cocktail employing the deli meat, creating an old-fashioned that featured mortadella-washed bourbon (4th from the bottom).

According to Thunderbolt’s website the cocktail is no longer on the menu. Probably wise.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

How Al McGuire made one of food blogs

ICYMI: Culinary no-no #762, Costco