Today’s highly interesting read (05/2/20) Homeschooling Thrives in the Face of Coronavirus

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Today’s read is from veteran journalist and commentator  John Stossel. Here’s the obligatory tease to be followed by the link to the column.

If the pandemic steers more parents away from state schools, that’s probably a good thing. A silver lining to this pandemic is that now more parents are learning about their options outside the government system.

Read Stossel’s entire column here.

About this new facility for inmates in Franklin…

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This week the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

Milwaukee County officials will soon open a newly refurbished facility in Franklin that will house county inmates and state prisoners who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Work on the new facility, which will house up to 120 patients, is expected to be completed this week. It is expected to begin accepting inmates and prisoners from around the state as early as Sunday. 

So far, the project has cost $6 million — a bill that is being footed entirely by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Federal officials had budgeted $12 million for the construction project. 

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley made it clear that the inmates will not just come from the county. He labeled it a “regional” facility but then said it will also take patients statewide.

“This facility isn’t necessarily just for House of Correction folks,” Crowley said. 

“This is the ability to allow those in our neighboring counties to take particular inmates, to separate them from the general population,” he added. “So we can take care of COVID-19 patients all from across the state of Wisconsin.”

The House of Corrections is right down the road from what I would call a ritzy neighborhood. In some parts of Franklin if folks have their lights on too long the police get a call. So can you imagine how come neighbors reacted when they read that article in the paper?

Today Franklin Mayor Steve Olson sent an e-mail to Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley:

Mr. Exec:

I’m following up on our phone call from yesterday.

As we discussed, my aldermen and I are getting contacted by constituents who are concerned about the new Alternative Care Facility about to go on-line at the House of Correction.  As community leaders we haven’t done a good job communicating with our constituents about the purpose and operations and that’s raising most of the concerns.  I think using both the Covid briefing and perhaps a mailing for the nearby neighborhoods as well as social media (county to provide the city the graphics) we could calm the fears. Here are the issues that I believe need to be answered:

–          When will the facility begin to be available to be used?

–          Number of beds?

–          Types of patients (types and severity of cases)?

–          Where would the patients come from?

–          What levels of crimes would they be convicted of?

–          How would they be transported, both to and from the facility given that the city and county had specially prepared COVID ambulances and paramedic teams?

–          How long will they be treated at the facility?

–          How long will the facility be in existence?

–          Who will medically staff the facility?

–          How will the facility be secured?

–          Who’s paying for the build-out?

–          Who’s paying for the operations?

–          What responsibility does Franklin have for escapes?

–          What risk is there for Franklin residents?

It seems like a lot of questions but NO ONE from Franklin has had the opportunity (other than my brief conversations) has had opportunities to get answers to their questions.

We’re going into the holiday weekend.  Answers to these questions should have been answered and available when the word of the facility first got out.  Let’s do what can be done to get this information to our constituents as quickly as possible.

Thanks.

Mayor Olson

City of Milwaukee has no definitive plan to reopen, blames suburbs

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On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Common Council’s most important committee, the Finance and Personnel Committee held a meeting and discussed COV-19.

In attendance, virtually, was Commissioner of Health Jeanette Kowalik. Having listened to that particular portion of the meeting online I wouldn’t say Kowalik was grilled. But she was on the end of numerous questions about the fact that while the suburbs are set to reopen at midnight tonight, the city of Milwaukee per Mayor Tom Barrett remains shut down. I’ve known Barrett since his days in the Wisconsin Legislature and he’s never once suggested that he’s a tyrant, until now.

Some aldermen on Wednesday’s committee, especially chairman Michael Murphy repeatedly questioned Kowalik about when Milwaukee was going to re-open. What are the metrics being used to determine a reopening date? Can we get a specific plan either today or Thursday?

Kowalik offered nary a specific answer, bobbing and weaving like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Clearly the city led by the mayor and his health department have no plan, no clue.

The opening Friday in the suburbs was mentioned. Kowalik’s response was to pivot and divert attention away from Milwaukee having no idea what in the hell to do to the suburbs acting irresponsibly

“So are the public health officials in those other communities being overruled and they agree with you?” asked Alderman Murphy. “For the most part, yes,” she responded.

Franklin Mayor Steve Olson, speaking not for all suburban leaders, said later most of them had pledged full support to their health officers. Where Kowalik was getting her information was mystery. Sounds like she made it up to try to look somewhat engaged and in the know.

Back to the committee hearing. Alderman Nik Kovac, upon hearing Kowalwik submit the suburban health officials were overruled by their mayors from agreeing with Milwaukee to wait reacted in knee-jerk fashion.

“Just because the suburbs are being reckless we shouldn’t be reckless,” said Kovac.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs jumped in saying economy should never trump human life, and that you can always start another business, but you can’t get a life back. Clearly Coggs hasn’t the slightest notion of running a business and never has.

Coggs also came dangerously close to playing the race card, accusing the suburbs of not caring about the fortunes of city residents.

While this was going on another Milwaukee alderman was injecting common sense into the debate when he held a news conference saying the time for the city’s own order to end has come.

Hear more in this Channel 4 report.

The city’s attack on the suburbs is a smokescreen to hide their ill handling of reopening their economy that dies more and more each day.

UPDATE

Today’s highly interesting read (05/21/20): The Politics of Fear

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Quite possibly the most ridiculous example of the politics of fear this year. But this blog is about the virus.

Today’s read is from John Tierney,  a contributing editor of City Journal, a contributing science columnist for the New York Times, and coauthor of The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It. Here’s the obligatory tease and a link to the entire column.

In the political response to the Covid-19 pandemic, everything is proceeding just as economist Robert Higgs has foreseen. Higgs sees government, as usual, vastly expanding during the crisis, and he’s sure that it will not shrink back to its former scale once the crisis is over…the greatest problem in politics is what we call the Crisis Crisis—the never-ending series of crises, real or imagined, that are hyped by the media and lead to cures too often worse than the disease.

Read the entire column here.

 

Today’s highly interesting read (05/20/20): It’s OK to Say It: The Lockdown Was a Catastrophic Error

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Today’s read is from Dr. Michael Hurd who’s been in Private Practice of Psychotherapy and Solution-Focused Consultation since 1988. Here’s a brief excerpt:

I don’t mean to be negative. But the facts are all negative. Everything the government is doing is WRONG. Virtually all of the gullible assumptions most of us hold right now are WRONG. And the premise that nothing can change until we have a vaccine that there’s no way every single person will inject is fatally WRONG.

The only way out of this mess? To concede that everything we did in the last few months was incredibly, stupidly and savagely WRONG.

Read the entire column here.

 

For reopening, Franklin mayor insults some (actually many) residents

During the final two years of Franklin Mayor Steve Olson’s previous term I criticized him on numerous occasions on my blog. Even so, I enthusiastically supported him during his recent re-election campaign.

Still, I wondered how long my own honeymoon period with Olson would last, given that despite what some might believe, the two of us are not linked at the hip.

At tonight’s meeting of the Franklin Common Council a city health department official reported positive news to the council. As of today, 90 cases of the virus out of 894 have tested. That’s a measly 10%.

In Franklin, the rate of positivity which used to be 12-13% is now, as mentioned, 10%.

Despite that, Franklin Alderman Daniel Mayer, who was not at present at the meeting,  said the virus is still here and residents need to be vigilant. Mayor Olson made similar  comments later.

Olson complimented his health staff but…

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His honor couldn’t smartly just stop there. He had to hit the send button with his mouth before thinking and stopping.

“Those who say open now, in my view, would have been very irresponsible.”

In mere seconds the mayor proceeded to insult hundreds, maybe thousands of his constituents. I know for a fact he insulted me.

This is a highly sensitive issue on two sides. And in an instant, he took a side.

One of the major flaws of Mayor Olson’s administration is his erroneous perception that the city can do no wrong. They are impervious to criticism. And thus, my bringing this up will get no traction with Olson. That’s OK. I’ll get over it.

Olson at tonight’s meeting contradicted himself.

Last Wednesday Franklin joined with other Milwaukee County suburbs to issue a collaborative order in reaction to the state Supreme Court ruling on the stay-at-home order. Here’s that information. Basically the suburbs were still shut down for about a week.

On his program last Thursday WISN’s Mark Belling said the order that was agreed to by the health directors of all the Milwaukee County suburbs was illegal. There was no public meeting. There was no public notice of any meeting. There was no public input. There was no action taken by elected officials. Belling has a point. He submitted the various unelected health officials acted essentially the way Andrea Palm did.

I’ve been around enough government stuff to know Belling was right. Olson knew it.

During his program Belling said he called Franklin Mayor Steve Olson and bawled him out. Olson responded saying Franklin was not going to enforce the suburbs’ order.

So Olson told a talk show host on a 500,000 watt radio station he would no longer enforce a stay at home order, period. But suddenly tonight at the council meeting, if anyone else supported the end of the order and the immediate reopening of the city,  they were “irresponsible.”

No apologies to the mayor. He insulted my family and many others. And once again, in an effort to suck up to a staff he considers perfect, he spoke before thinking.

In about six weeks since being re-elected, Olson has already disappointed.

Your public broadcasting tax dollars at work: What if Hillary told Bill to take a hike?

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. It is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

The stimulus package recently approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump includes $75 million for the CPB. Make no mistake. Washington unleashed unending biased, one-sided liberal news coverage.

On Sunday NPR ran an interview with author Curtis Sittenfeld whose new book Rodham follows Hillary as she goes on to become a law professor, and then a politician.

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Sittenfeld was interviewed, in softball fashion, about the fictional account.

“So in real life, Bill Clinton proposed to Hillary Rodham twice and she said no. Both times. And then he proposed a third time and she said yes,” said Sittenfeld. “And in my version, she says no. The third time, too. And she goes her own way. I think that in real life, if she had not married Bill Clinton, I’m not sure she would have led the life that I create for her in the novel. And I think with a novel like this, you know that the reader is bringing some opinions or expectations. And I as the writer, I’m kind of toying with those expectations, and sometimes fulfilling them and sometimes defying them. And I felt like it was the most interesting version, to have her enter politics but, you know, have no public association with Bill Clinton.”

Who gives a damn about rampant speculation about Hillary and Bill’s marital status?

Apparently, you the taxpayer, especially if you’re a liberal.

IF I had the radio on at that point Sunday, and I did for moments, the dial was switched immediately.

Today’s highly interesting read (05/18/20): Why the Lockdown Lost

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Today’s read is one of the best of the year, from nationally syndicated radio host Kevin McCullough. We’ll get you the link to the entire column, but first, the obligatory tease:

Where in the history of medicine have we ever quarantined the healthy? 

Lab coats in ivory towers. They have disrupted personal relationships. They have thrown accelerant onto damaged marriages. They have freaked out millions of kids who all wonder if this solitary confinement is the norm and if we will have to live like this again sometime. Graduations and weddings and the memories that get made with them were thrown into the trash heaps. 

Please read the whole column here.