Presty the DJ for March 23

The number one British single today in 1961:

The number one single today in 1963:

Today in 1973, the Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered John Lennon to leave the U.S. within 60 days.

More than three years later, Lennon won his appeal and stayed in the U.S. the rest of his life.

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for March 23”

The college of real life

Kerry McDonald:

While reading about the student-led climate protests last week, a statement jumped out at me from the 16-year-old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, who is credited with launching the walkouts that occurred in over 100 countries. In an interview with The New York Times, Thunberg, who says she was a shy but good student who was overcome for years with adolescent depression, claims that her climate work has added fulfillment to her life. She says: “I’m happier now…I have meaning. I have something I have to do.”

Regardless of how you may feel about climate activism, the key message to parents is that school can be stifling and anxiety-inducing for many teenagers who crave and need meaningful work. Adolescents are meant to come of age within the adult world, surrounded by a diverse group of mentors and engaged in authentic, real-life pursuits. This gives them both experience and personal reward.

Instead, teenagers today are spending more of their time confined in school and school-like settings than ever before. Teenage employment has plummeted, with part-time jobs abandoned in the all-out quest for academics and college admissions. Summer jobs, once a signature activity for teens, are no longer valued. Schooling has become the priority—even in summer. In July 1985, only ten percent of US teens were enrolled in school; in July 2016, over 42 percent were.

Thunberg also isn’t alone in her teen depression. Mounting data show skyrocketing rates of adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicide over the last decade. Some researchers point to technology and social media as the culprit, but they ignore other, recent cultural trends—like more time in forced schooling and less time engaged in jobs and meaningful work—that could be contributing to adolescent strife.

In a recent Harvard EdCast podcast interview, Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University and author of the book, How to Raise an Adult, said that she has heard from several admissions officers that they, regrettably, rarely see work experience described in student essays or otherwise touted on college applications. Young people and their parents now believe that academics and extracurriculars are more important than good, old-fashioned teenage jobs.

Not only is this increased emphasis on school over work likely contributing to teenage angst and disenfranchisement, but it is also not serving them well for the adult world they will ultimately enter. A report by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation revealed that employers are disappointed that today’s highly-schooled graduates lack basic proficiency in simple tasks like drafting a quality email, prioritizing work, and collaborating with others. Other studies have found similar results, with employers frustrated by their new hires’ lack of communication skills, poor problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities, and low attention to detail.

While parents and teachers may think that piling on academics is the key to adult success, the lack of genuine work experience can be more hindrance than help for today’s young people. If parents really want their children to have a meaningful and successful adolescence and adulthood, they should consider trading a well-schooled life for a well-lived one. They can encourage their teens to get jobs and gain beneficial work experience—and make sure that their kids handle it all independently, learning through trial and error. As Lythcott-Haims warns in her book:

Helping by providing suggestions, advice, and feedback is useful, but we can only go so far. When parents do what a young employee must do for themselves, it can backfire.

In addition to encouraging part-time work, parents can also help their teenagers to develop an entrepreneurial mindset that focuses on customer satisfaction and value creation. By looking at her job (even if it’s in retail or food service) from an entrepreneurial perspective, a teen can learn a lot about business and value-creation and may be inspired to become an entrepreneur in adulthood. Unfortunately, entrepreneurship is woefully neglected in schools and standard extracurriculars.

As parents look ahead to summer vacation, they may want to pause and take a closer peek at their teenager’s plans. Will she spend those warm months getting ahead on her AP classes? Will he do a foreign language immersion program that will look good on the college transcripts? Maybe getting a job or learning how to think like an entrepreneur would be a more beneficial and rewarding way to enjoy a summer—and a life.


Presty the DJ for March 22

Today in 1956, a car in which Carl Perkins was a passenger on the way to New York for appearances on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows was involved in a crash. Perkins was in a hospital for several months, and his brother, Jay, was killed.

Today in 1971, members of the Allman Brothers Band were arrested on charges of possessing marijuana and heroin.

The number one single today in 1975:

The number one album today in 1975 was Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti”:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for March 22”

No Ma(dnes)s

The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament starts today.

Unlike previous years, I am participating in no pools and making no picks, other than this: Wisconsin and Marquette will lose in the first round. UW has unfortunately devolved into a team that isn’t particularly fun to watch and can’t score, so if they don’t play the best defense on the planet they lose. (Shades of Dick Bennett.)

Marquette’s basketball team is as overrated as its university, and on principle I want Marquette to lose every game the Warriors — I mean Golden Eagles — play. (I feel the same about the Big 10, unless a particular result benefits UW.)

Other than that, I really have no interest in the tournament. Part of it is that I haven’t been following college basketball this year because I had more and more important things to do. (That is, announcing games instead of merely watching them.) Part of it also is that I resist doing popular things because they’re popular.

Part of it is the fact that very little of the tournament is on free TV anymore. Generally UW (of course) gets the shaft and is placed on truTV, which no one gets as part of their cable or satellite package. CBS/Turner somehow screwed up by placing Friday’s game on TBS, but it won’t matter since as I previously pointed out UW is a one-and-done. The tournament is streamed online, but Wisconsin’s rotten Internet service makes that a bad option as well.

Part of it is that I am getting tired of the corruption of the NCAA and college generally, as seen by people getting into college who don’t deserve to get into college. (Does that mean athletes who can’t cut it academically, or “students” whose parents pay others to inflate their applications? Yes, and more.) All human institutions are corrupt, of course, because all humans are flawed and cannot be redeemed.

If I watch any of the tournament besides UW’s first-round loss Friday, it will be an accident. Wake me up when it’s time for the Brewers to not go to the World Series again.


Would-be Justice Neubauer (D–Madison)

Dan O’Donnell:

Lisa Neubauer is a Democrat. About that there can be no question. It’s not a stretch to say that Democratic politics is her life and has been for, well, pretty much her entire life.

One of her very first jobs was as a legislative aide to Democratic State Senator Fred Risser. She married Democratic State Assembly member Jeffrey Neubauer, who later served as chairman of both the Wisconsin Democratic Party and Democratic President Bill Clinton’s campaign in Wisconsin.

Democratic politics is such a part of the Neubauers’ lives that their daughter Greta followed them into the family business and now holds her father’s seat in the Assembly’s 62nd district.

The Neubauers, like many active Democratic families, have given generously to Democratic politicians, groups, and, of course the Democratic Party itself. “Generously” might actually be a gross understatement: Since 1992, they have given more than $92,000 to Democratic politicians, $7,300 to various Democratic Party committees, and $6,900 to former Senator Russ Feingold’s Progressives United political action committee for a staggering total of $105,660 in Democratic donations.

According to Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System (CFIS) records, $27,490 of that was in the name of Lisa Neubauer–including eight separate donations totaling $8,100 to former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle.

A little over a year after the last of those donations, Doyle appointed her to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals even though she had no prior judicial experience. Four months after the appointment, her husband Jeffrey donated an additional $250 to Doyle and then gave him a further $500 in 2009.

As an appellate court judge, Lisa Neubauer is expected to adhere to Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct, which explicitly provides that “no judge or candidate for judicial office or judge-elect may…make or solicit financial or other contributions in support of a political party’s causes or candidates.”

Naturally, she claims that her massive Democratic donations stopped the second she was appointed to the bench, but that isn’t entirely true. She and her husband kept right on donating to Democrats. She just made sure her husband signed the checks.

Jeffrey Neubauer is of course unbound by any obligation to be politically neutral and may donate to any candidate he wishes, but the $29,245 he has given to state candidates and $31,775 he has given to federal candidates since Lisa became a judge rather obviously came from her, too.

Think about it logically: The Neubauers are both lifelong Democrats who have given to the same candidates and committees right up until the moment that Lisa became a judge. At that point, all of the donations from the Neubauers were in Jeffrey’s name only.

Did lifelong Democrat Lisa suddenly stop supporting Democrats? Of course not.  She just couldn’t donate to them anymore without violating the Code of Judicial Conduct so she made sure her husband signed all of the checks.
Through this loophole, Judge Neubauer has continued to be one of the larger Democratic donors in Wisconsin without ever raising questions about judicial misconduct.

Is it possible that Jeffrey Neubauer made dozens of donations totaling more than $50,000 without his wife’s knowledge or prior consent? Sure, but as anyone who has ever been married will attest, it isn’t particularly likely.

These are her donations just as much as they are his, and they present a significant conflict of interest in both her current role as Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the position on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court that she is currently seeking.

On September 19th, Jeffrey Neubauer made a $5,000 donation to then-gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers. On November 5th, he donated another $5,000.

How likely is it that he donated $10,000 in two months without telling his wife or without his wife agreeing to an expenditure that large in such a short period of time? It’s about as likely as either a Governor Tony Evers policy or Governor Tony Evers himself never ending up in a case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

It is a virtual certainty that if elected to the Court, Lisa Neubauer will be tasked with deciding the constitutionality of an Evers policy and will hear cases to which Evers in his official capacity will be a party. How likely will it be that she will able to decide those cases impartially given her and her husband’s substantial financial support of a party before her?

The Code of Judicial Conduct provides that “a judge shall recuse himself or herself in a proceeding when the facts and circumstances the judge knows or reasonably should know establish [that]…the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party’s lawyer.”

If the party is the State of Wisconsin, its lawyer very well may be Attorney General Josh Kaul. On June 4th, Jeffrey Neubauer donated $500 to his campaign. On October 21st, he donated another $1,000.

These donations plainly demonstrate the extent of Judge Neubauer’s biases and indicate in the clearest possible terms how she will rule in any case involving Evers, Kaul, her daughter Greta (to whom her husband understandably donated $1,100) or the laws and policies they enact and support.

Lisa Neubauer is a Democrat. About that there can be no question. There can be and should be, however, significant questions about her impartiality in any cases involving her fellow Democrats, especially those to whom she and her husband have donated more than $100,000.

And there can and should be significant questions about the manner in which the Neubauers have been for a decade skirting Wisconsin’s Code of Judicial Conduct regarding political activity and potential conflicts of interest.

This is especially pertinent given Judge Neubauer’s decade-long refusal to list on her mandatory ethics reporting form customers of her husband’s former business, Kranz, Inc. As a result, it is nearly impossible to determine whether she would have had a conflict of interest in literally hundreds of cases that have come before her; cases in which her and her husband’s financial interest could have been directly impacted.

Her excuse? Listing her husband’s clients might help his competitors to poach them. In other words, her personal and financial interests trumped the interests of open, transparent government and ethical judicial behavior.

Even though she is bound by the Code of Judicial conduct to list potential conflicts and recuse herself from cases involving those conflicts, Judge Neubauer refused because of its potential impact on her family’s income–income that she and her husband used to donate to Democrats in direct contravention of yet another ethical guideline.

Lisa Neubauer is a Democrat, after all, and a rather brazen one at that.


James Freeman:

As. Sen. Bernie Sanders runs for President again, he keeps trying to persuade voters that his governing socialism would be the soft Scandinavian kind, not the hard Soviet kind. There’s immediately a problem with his Scandinavian analogy, since the countries of that region have been running away from Sanders-style economics and in recent years have become champions of corporate tax rate-cutting. The larger problem is his ongoing commitment to an abusive regime.

The candidate understands that he needs to find a way to spin Marxist central planning as voter-friendly. Mr. Sanders tells National Public Radio in an interview broadcast this week:

I think what we have to do, and I will be doing it, is to do a better job maybe in explaining what we mean by socialism — democratic socialism. Obviously, my right-wing colleagues here want to paint that as authoritarianism and communism and Venezuela, and that’s nonsense.

What’s far worse than nonsense is for Mr. Sanders to pretend that he hasn’t been a long-time backer of Venezuela’s socialist rulers. Mr. Sanders recently attracted criticism from Democrats for refusing to call Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro the dictator that he is. It’s just the latest episode in an appalling history.In January of 2003 Mr. Sanders signed a letter of support for Maduro predecessor Hugo Chavez. That month a Reuters report described what was happening in the country:

Venezuelan troops fired tear gas on Sunday to drive back tens of thousands of anti-government protesters as President Hugo Chavez ordered a crackdown against a six-week-old opposition strike that is bleeding the economy…

He condemned his opponents as “fascists and coup mongers” and described them as desperate. “They don’t know what to do next,” said Chavez, who survived a brief coup in April. He himself attempted a botched coup bid in 1992.

Chavez, who has already sacked 2,000 striking state oil employees, repeated threats to send troops to take over private factories and warehouses if they hoarded food supplies.

He also threatened to revoke the broadcasting licenses of private TV stations that criticize his rule, describing their hostile programming as “worse than an atomic bomb.”

That same month the Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady noted “property confiscation at gunpoint, politically motivated arrests and state-sponsored gang violence” in Venezuela. She wrote prophetically:

Economic neanderthals are forever breaking eggs in search of the elusive egalitarian omelet, but if Mr. Chavez’s aggression against his people continues unrestrained the poor will get poorer, Venezuela’s natural environment will be trashed and even minimal human-rights protection will become a dim memory.

Mr. Chavez’s brigades appear to be caught up in the adrenaline rush that confiscatory power produces. The military general who chugged the Coca-Cola in front of the bottling plant his troops had raided and then burped for the cameras is a case in point. So is the National Guardsman who, in the same locale, viciously threw an unarmed woman to the pavement, rendering her unconscious…

Among the more disturbing cases is that of 24-year-old university student Jesus Soriano. Mr. Soriano was illegally detained by Venezuela’s secret police, known by its Spanish initials Disip, and badly beaten. He appeared on Venezuelan television late last week, his face disfigured, barely able to speak.

Whether Mr. Sanders wants to call the humanitarian disaster he encouraged in Venezuela socialism or “democratic” socialism, the press should not allow him to escape accountability.

Democrats flunk the Constitution

The Washington Times:

Sen. Lindsey Graham slammed progressives Tuesday for pushing to end the Electoral College system, suggesting they want to do away with middle America.

“The desire to abolish the Electoral College is driven by the idea Democrats want rural America to go away politically,” the South Carolina Republican tweeted.

His comment comes in response to 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who said in a town hall hosted by CNN Monday the system by which Americans have elected presidents for the past 230 years must come to an end.

“That means getting rid of the Electoral College,” the Massachusetts Democrat said.

“Everybody ought to come here and ask for your vote,” she told the Mississippi crowd.

President George W. Bush won the 2000 election against former Vice President Al Gore via the Electoral College, as did President Trump against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. Both men lost the popular vote.

Progressive voters, still sour over the 2016 upset, are pushing Democrats to eliminate the system laid out in the Constitution for electing the president and vice president.

The next time you see a Democrat, ask him, her or it (I can’t keep up with the nonbinary pronouns) why Wisconsinites should have their elections decided by New Yorkers, Californians and Bears fans, none of whom have anything in common with us.

Presty the DJ for March 20

The number one single today in 1961 was based on the Italian song “Return to Sorrento”:

Today in 1964, the Beatles appeared on the BBC’s “Ready Steady Go!”

During the show, Billboard magazine presented an award for the Beatles’ having the top three singles of that week.

Today in 1968, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Messina were all arrested by Los Angeles police not for possession of …

… but for being at a place where marijuana use was suspected.

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for March 20”