Happy anniversary, Lancers

Which anniversary? This anniversary.

 

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Ejecting the Axis of Evil

Two years ago, the Washington Times reported on New York and New York:

State secessionist movements are long shots at best, but New Yorkers pushing for a breakup between the Big Apple and upstate are counting on the very real possibility of a constitutional convention to boost their odds.

Voters will decide in November whether to hold a statewide constitutional convention in 2019, thanks to the New York State Constitution, which allows for such an event every 20 years.

It’s a rare opportunity that the Divide NYS Caucus hopes to seize.

“It’s time to cease fantasizing that NYS legislators have the best interests of the people in mind,” the caucus said in a statement. “If we vote YES on the NYS convention, the first step in our plan to form autonomous regions is complete.”

The caucus wants to lift upstate New York’s struggling economy by reorganizing the state into two or even three independent regions. Such a division could be accomplished at the convention without the approval of the governor or the state Legislature.

“It’s the only thing they can’t control,” said Divide NYS Caucus chairman …

A Siena College poll released May 24 found 62 percent of those polled favor the convention, while 22 percent oppose it, although two-thirds have heard “nothing at all” about it.

Even so, convention supporter Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor at State University of New York at New Paltz, described “con con” advocates as “underdogs.”

“The issue right now is whether the advocates can finance a serious campaign,” Mr. Benjamin said. “They’re getting their resources together. Right now I think we’re the underdogs on this. I think we have a chance, but we’re underdogs.”

That’s because the opposition is formidable. Organized labor and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans already have launched campaigns urging voters to nix the convention, warning that delegates would have the power to gut public pension benefits and collective bargaining rights.

“Delegates to a possible convention can essentially blow up the way of life New Yorkers enjoy and the expectations and priorities each of us have,” said Paul Pecorale, vice president of New York State United Teachers. “Whether it’s public education, collective bargaining, our retirement security, environmental protections, spending caps in the budget or any other issue one cares about, it’s all at risk.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he supports a constitutional convention while also expressing reservations about how it might look in practice.

“I think the governor has calculated the political consequences of his ability to influence the Legislature, his ability to stay in a positive relationship with the organized labor movement and also his presidential ambitions, and he’s decided to back away,” said Mr. Benjamin. “He hasn’t denounced the idea, but he hasn’t given it the emphasis that, in the past, he has done.”

If voters approve the convention in November, a year later they would select three delegates from each of the state’s 63 senatorial districts and 15 at-large delegates. Any amendments passed at the convention would go before the voters for final approval in November 2019.

Even though the constitution allows for a regular convention, New York has not held one since 1967, when the state Legislature called it. The last one called by voters was in 1938.

For upstate advocates of a split state, the convention may come as their best chance to pull off a Brexit-style departure from New York City.

The Divide NYS Caucus several years ago hit on the idea of forming autonomous regions within the state that would be led by their own governors and legislators instead of seeking approval from the Legislature and Congress to form a new state.

“It could be a model for other states, too, to go to the regional-districts method,” said Mr. Bergener, the Divide NYS Caucus chairman. “This way you only need an amendment to your state constitution.”

The goal is to improve the economic prospects of upstaters, who complain that the state’s high taxes and onerous regulations have scared away jobs as companies flee to states with more business-friendly climates.

In December 2014, Mr. Cuomo declared a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, effectively halting any natural gas development stemming from the rich Marcellus Shale in the state’s southern tier and fueling secession talk, including calls for the region to split off and join Pennsylvania.

“What it amounts to now is more taxes are gained in New York City and that money is sent upstate, but they put so many strings attached to it that it hasn’t been helping,” said Mr. Bergener. “So it’s a ‘Catch-22.’ If we were run more like Pennsylvania or Vermont, we’d be a lot better off.”

Wisconsin has a constitutional convention provision that requires approval of the Legislature and then a statewide referendum. So it seems possible for Wisconsin to do what New York may do and, say, eject Milwaukee and Madison from this state.

As with New York, neither Madison or Milwaukee represents this state. Milwaukee and Madison are the reason the unqualified Tony Evers is governor and not Scott Walker. Without the Axis of Evil, Walker would have been reelected with 56 percent of the vote, which is a larger margin than Walker ever got in getting elected once and reelected twice.

Does this mean that everyone who lives in Milwaukee or the People’s Republic of Madison is an idiot liberal? No. But those people who aren’t have zero say in government in Dane County or the city of Milwaukee. They are victims of taxation without representation because their representatives don’t agree with them. And I must say that those from Madison and Milwaukee who will oppose being seceded are perfectly happy being represented by Democrats and liberals, and have zero interests in the contrary views of their few non-liberal neighbors.

The priorities of those elected by voters in Madison and Milwaukee have rarely matched the views of voters in the rest of the state, but with time those differences have done nothing but expand. Evers and his attorney general are about to embark on an unconstitutional crusade to take guns away from people without due process or the least consideration of their constitutional rights, and that’s just the start. The rest of the state may be fine with Democrats’ ruining Madison and Milwaukee as they have in Milwaukee’s case and they are doing in Madison’s case. They should not be allowed to ruin the part of the state where real Wisconsinites live.

 

The old neighborhoods

I have written here about the Far East Side of Madison, where I grew up. (Including what could have been, but wasn’t, the neighborhood high school.)

The Facebook Historic Madison group discovered two newspaper ads. First, chronolotgically speaking, from 1961:

1961 New Acewood

Quoting from myself (actually another blog):

The first subdivision in the area south of Cottage Grove Road east of U. S. 51 was Harry Vogts’ Acewood from 1959. By 1962 many small, medium, and large builders and developers were active in the area; two of the larger were Towne Realty of Milwaukee that used Findorff, a Madison company, to build its houses, and the Lucey Realty Service owned by Patrick J. Lucey who was governor of Wisconsin from 1971 to 1977.

Many streets are named for local residents: Steinhauer Trail, Starker Avenue, Vinje Court, and Droster Road. Several are for builders; Montgomery Drive is for William C. Montgomery. First names are common as in Bonnie Lane, Ellen Avenue, Wendy Lane,and Melinda Drive. Female names greatly outnumber male names. Painted Post Road is from Lucey’s Painted Post Subdivision. Bird streets are Meadowlark Drive, Sandpiper Lane, Pelican Circle, and Tern Court. …

One major street, Acewood Boulevard, began about 1959 in Harry Vogts’ Acewood subdivision. Vogts (1908-1994) owned Ace Builders, Inc., and had already named one subdivision in Glendale Aceview.

New Acewood (which one assumes was phase 2 of Acewood) was the neighborhood to which we moved in 1966, five years after this ad. All the houses I rememberhad one-car garages, which worked fine for my parents at the time since they had only one car.

But while my parents were situating in their new-to-them house, to the east was …

1964 Heritage Heights

By 1958 when large scale suburban development began in the area east of U. S. 51, south of Milwaukee Street, and north of Cottage Grove Road, developers such as Aaron Elkind, Donald Sanford, and Albert McGinnis knew a lot about selling houses to middle income clients.

They made certain that subdivisions named Kingston-Onyx, Rolling Meadows, and Heritage Heights promised pleasant surroundings. Streets with names such as Diamond, Turquoise, and Crystal sparkled with the promise of a high-quality product in a landscape filled with singing birds on streets named Chickadee Court, Bob-o-link Lane, and Meadowlark Drive.

Heritage Heights suggested merry England with Kingsbridge Road, Queensbridge Road, and Knightsbridge Road.

As I’ve written before, this was the neighborhood that was probably as suburban as you could get while still beingwithin the Madison city .limits. Thanks to the lakes and surface streets not really designed for the traffic they ended up getting, getting downtown or to the UW campus took more time than the crow needed to fly. Other than three hellish years at Schenk Middle School (which may have been the fault of the students more than anything else), life seemed pretty safe to the point of dullness in Heritage Heights, which makes you think of …

… the unofficial theme song of our ’80s neighborhood.

As long as we’re running the wayback machine, we should bring up this Facebook gem:

kelly's

Before McDonald’s became ubiquitous, and well before anyone in the Culver family thought of dumping A&W and going off on their own, there was Kelly’s, which as you’ll note from the menu was kind of McDonald’s without golden arches but with the dancing Pickle Pete.

The slightly odd thing here is that the listed menu does not include hot dogs. I know that Kelly’s had hot dogs, because for some reason I wouldn’t eat hamburgers until sometime in grade school.

WISC-TV remembered Kelly’s and another burger place:

P-P-Pickle P-P-Pete!!!

Once upon a time, Kelly’s Hamburgers was a national chain that competed with the likes of McDonald’s. Madison had several Kelly’s locations around town, but locally, the restaurants are best remembered for their iconic mascot—a smiling dill pickle slice with a stutter, called Pickle Pete. He appeared in newspaper ads and radio jingles in the ’60s and ’70s and, as best as we know, Pickle Pete was unique to the Madison market. …

A Night at the Drive-In

For east-siders, few places from the mid-20th century are more fondly remembered than the Monona Root Beer Drive-In across from Olbrich Park. Famed for its curly fries made by hand, the drive-in was best known by the nickname the “Hungry Hungry” because of the large neon sign that flashed the word “hungry.” Some Madisonians even recall seeing the sign across Lake Monona from downtown. This photo belongs to former drive-in owner Tim Femrite, who worked there in the ’50s as a teenager. “I started there humping cars—that means waiting on them,” Femrite says. “I cut buns, peeled onions, pattied hamburgers. It was hot in the summertime, but it was fun.”

Evidence that Madison has lost its mind

David Blaska:

The same crew that disrupted the June meeting of the [Madison] school board’s ad hoc committee on educational resource officers (EROs) escalated their well rehearsed disruptive tactics Wednesday. This time they surrounded those who disagreed with five or six bodies. They stood menacing close, subtly pushing and shoving, to prevent us from recording the chaos with our smart phones. First Blaska, then others.

“I didn’t really figure out what was happening for a bit when the big guy stood up in front of us,” Larry reported. “Eventually I moved since I couldn’t see.  I was concerned about the woman in the back that looked like they were getting physical. Hoping she did not get hurt. I took one picture and they started to block me. I just took one pic.”

Faye Wollaeger was the lady in back; she attended this public meeting with her son, a recent graduate of West High School. She is pictured on this morning’s front page of the Wisconsin State Journal.

Faye reported to this roadside stand, just hours after the event: 

I’m sure you witnessed what happened to me at the school board meeting today. I was assaulted by a woman there who tore my phone from my hand and threw it to the floor. Funny thing was, I was actually filming YOU so that you would have documentary evidence of the harassment that you received at the meeting! Just so you know, I did file a police report. My son was also followed from the meeting to his ultimate frisbee game afterward by one of those creeps. The police have been informed of that, too, and my son got the guy’s license plate number. 

I wonder if I will ever be able to attend another school board meeting! Wow. Unbelievable. If the rest of Madison only knew. — Faye

This mother of a MMSD student wonders if she can ever attend another school board meeting. Which is the idea! This is how the social justice warriors discourage citizen participation.

Unable to mount a credible case, they employ intimidation. The woman from the Derail the Jail coalition who followed me to the podium unintentionally summarized the idiocy of their cause: 

“No matter how or whatever stipulations you put on a police officer going into a school they are going to do what they want to do, what they are trained to do, which is kill black kids.”

When all 4 EROs this past school year were minorities? !!!

The irony is that those supposedly murderous EROs are defending children of color. They are involved, unfortunately, in the majority of the brawls in the schools. At the previous ad hoc committee meeting, I made the point that boys form the majority of suspensions and arrests. That does not mean that boys are being profiled or discriminated against; it just means boys cause more trouble. (Although girl fights seem to be increasing!)

I am irritated that the Wisconsin State Journal fell for the hooligan’s ruse about “recording juvenile speakers.” The “juvenile” in question was no younger than 17. In any event, the anti-cop agitators trotted her out to a public meeting in front of TV cameras and newspaper photographers. They kept blocking my attempts to record the proceedings well afterwards regardless of the age of the speakers, all of whom were well over 21. And too many petty acts of harassment to list here but one of them was trying to prevent me from taking a seat by throwing their legs over the chair. 

I do give credit to ad hoc committee chairman Dean Loumos for advising the audience of the same. Not that his warning made the slightest difference. A special thank you NBC TV-15 reporter Piper Shaw made the point at the end of her report that citizens have a first amendment right to record a public meeting — as, indeed, her cameras did. (Her segment showed children.) It was a right that was consistently violated.

It is clear that Wednesday was another in an organized effort to restrain speech — “viewpoint discrimination” in the words of my attorney, Rick Esenberg. 

An outfit called Freedom Inc. is the organizing and training agency for these disruptions. Its adherents are drawn from the same anti-cop coalition that formed Derail the Jail gang that shouted down the Dane County Board last fall to the point where that elective body (on which I once served) had to reconvene the next day to finish business.

This is the same claque that put Mike Koval before the PFC on the spurious charge that he called a raging lunatic “a raging lunatic.” One of whom was Shadyra Kilfoy-Flores, who spoke Wednesday. (I was prevented from recording her, as well.) These guys disrupted the Madison Common Council  when it was considering adding 8 more police.

It saddens me that my old editor Dave Zweifel of The Capital Times encourages this kind of harassment. Two days after Independence Day, Mr. Zweifel went up with a columnthat approved of harassing people of opposing viewpoints. “Change-makers know civility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

Of course, in its account, The Capital Times calls Blaska a “rightwing gadfly” while the agitators are simply “activists”?

Blaska’s Bottom Line: The thuggery displayed Wednesday night makes what case? It makes the case that more police are needed, not fewer. If school board meetings are this chaotic, just think what’s going on in our schools!

Why would anyone live in Madison?

Why I don’t live in Madison, chapter 150

Facebook Friend David Blaska:

I spoke before the Madison School Board’s ad hoc committee on police in the schools late Monday afternoon. Or tried to.

Room 103 of the Doyle administration bldg was packed with the usual suspects, a term I used in my remarks. There were about 50 of the Derail the Jail crowd, assorted socialists and others. They sprayed the F-bomb liberally and insulted the committee members at will. They brandished the usual posters, including “Expel Cops, Not Kids.” They’ve been bird-dogging this committee for the past year and a half, virtually uncontradicted. Their message is pure identity blame gaming: the white power structure is keeping them down.

When at last Blaska’s turn came (and it came toward the last) he asked whether police in the four Madison high schools are really the problem.

  • When a veteran and honored teacher like Karen Vieth quits in disgust and describes a school out of control.
  • When she describes something called the positive behavior support coach hospitalized after breaking up a fight. At her middle school! Scores of teachers and parents have verified her account.
  • When 18 police responded to La Follette H.S. to a brawl in February, where two students and one teacher were injured.
  • When the cop assigned to La Follette disarmed a student bringing a loaded handgun into school. Just a few days after Parkland, Florida.
  • When later that month, 150 La Follette parents convened to demand order be restored.

None of them asked for cops out of school.

Who, exactly, is demanding cops out of schools? I noted that the crowd seated in Room 103 were pretty much the same mob who shouted down the Dane County Board of Supervisors when that ultra-liberal body discussed building a smaller and more humane county jail, one that would treat mental illness and address substance abuse.

Apologizing to the disrupters
It was at this point that the hullaballoo reached a deafening crescendo. One board member, T.J. Mertz, bugged out entirely. Committee chairman Dean Loumos (whom I was seated behind) shouted into my ear (to be heard above the cacophony) if I would be willing to stop right there. Given the pandemonium, I did so. Still had 17 seconds left of the allotted three minutes, but Blaska is public spirited.

Then Dean Loumos did the unforgivable. He apologized to the disrupters! Dean Loumos said he did not know Blaska would use “coded language.”

What coded language? The protestors were black, white, hispanic, and east Asian. Very few are parents. All but a handful are very young, very loud, and very obnoxious. I intend for Dean Loumos to explain or apologize. (We hope to post video soon.)

What else is new? Madison school board leadership race-shamed Karen Vieth for complaining about the dysfunction in her school. So why shouldn’t school board member Loumos do the same when a citizen and parent speaks in favor of keeping the police?!

In any event, there seem to be the votes on the 12-member committee to expel the police from Madison’s four high schools. Not for next fall’s school year, but phased out.

Except, except, except. The school district’s legal counsel informed the committee that the State of Wisconsin on March 26 enacted Wisconsin Act 143, which mandates that school personnel are required to immediately report their belief that a “serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a student, school employee, or the public.”

What’s more, the statute prohibits the school district from interfering by imposing its own policy over this mandate. The school district cannot require the teacher or staff to first touch base with an administrator “or any other person before calling … 911.”

That clearly troubled school board member Loumos. He fretted that, with 4,200 district employees:

“One of them could be having a bad day and say, ‘I’m going to cause some grief.’”

(Good to know the school board has your back, Madison public school teachers.)

After the attorney’s presentation on the statute, one of the committee members, Tyrone Bell, made a motion with his hands that indicated evicting police is a dead letter. Bell conjectured that East High alone would generate 10 such calls every day but that, with a cop in the school, the problem could be reported to that officer, which the law allows. And the officer could use his/her discretion. (I have high hopes for Mr. Bell.)

Another member (didn’t catch who) actually wondered if the 911 call had to be made to Madison police! (No, silly, call the Poynette cop shop!)

This is a school district that has its hand out for state money to improve school security while simultaneously giving the boot to the police (aka educational resource officers, or EROs).

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Why should the school board’s ERO committee meeting be any less disruptive than the average Madison middle and high school?

On the freak show that is my hometown

James Wigderson promises something that everyone should endorse:

I want to promise my readers something, and I swear it’s a promise that I’ll never break. It’s a promise that I make to my immediate family, my friends, and my mother. I will never ride a bicycle through Madison completely naked.

Apparently this is an annual protest against something, and a bunch of people rode their bicycles on Saturday past the farmers market in their birthday suits. I’m not sure if Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was with them and, despite my dedication to you readers, I am not going to look through the photos online to check.

Have you noticed that the people you would never want to see naked are often the ones at naked protests? And who will disinfect the rental bicycles that were used by the protesters? Yes, I’ll bet you’ll think twice now before hopping on one of those blue bicycles in Madison.

I’m sure the naked bicyclists were hoping for some sort of reaction other than, “eewww.” That upon seeing the unmentionables we would all suddenly go, “Oh, I get it. From now on, I’m going to believe like a Hollywood lefty that these naked people are right about everything.”

Instead, the reaction I saw from most people was, “Madison.” As in, I’m in Madison, and therefore the inmates of the asylum are running the place.

As they bicycled through Madison’s farmer’s market on Saturday (“Harold, do you think the melons are fresh?”) I’m guessing that never have been so many people been bored by nudity since Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman starred in Eyes Wide Shut.

Somebody forgot to tell the organizers that nudity as a protest model has not only been done, it’s now cliché. So the Madison Left will have to find some other way to shock us to seek attention for whatever it is they’re seeking attention other than themselves. And in doing so, they’ll just be a reminder of how puerile the Left has become.

It’s all about them, you know. “How do I attract attention to me so everyone can see how noble I am? What can I do so that everyone knows I care because I’m special?” And it’s usually followed by, “Can’t everyone see I’m much more enlightened than THEM?”

THEM being whatever rubes voted for Governor Scott Walker, President Donald Trump, or even Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders and whomever is the best friend of John Nichols at The Nation this week.

So we get Robert De Niro dropping the F-bomb at awards shows, John Legend dropping F-bombs on House Speaker Paul Ryan on Twitter while Legend’s wife pulls a Kelda Roys to get attention, and even Kathy Griffin has returned to drop F-bombs on First Lady Melania Trump.

Locally, One Wisconsin Now’s Scot Ross has the mouth of a sewer and yet he manages to get quoted in everyone’s publications. The protesters carry signs trying to shock people being “woke” and now we have bicyclists tempting skin cancer.

Too often people on the Right like to hyperventilate over some of these things, and some on the Right even try to emulate the Left’s tactics of using shock over substance. When that happens, we’re just giving these spoiled babies what they want: attention.

But just as we don’t take seriously a three-year-old running through the house naked after a bath, we should stop taking the Left’s antics seriously, too. When they actually have something intelligent to say and want to be taken seriously, perhaps they’ll follow the sage advice of Frau Blücher, “I suggest you put on a tie!”

This prompted a reader of Wigderson’s to post:

Note to self: Never buy a used bike seat from Madison.

Given that motorcycle riders are counseled to dress for the fall, not the ride, one wonders how many injuries Madison Fire Department paramedics had to handle from bike riders whose birthday suits met pavement.

 

Reflections on when a bank robber is the victim

David Blaska reports the latest incident of Madison stupidity:

The aborted bank robbery on Madison’s far east side is what separates our liberal-progressive-socialists acquaintances from the rest of us.

Thursday’s was the fourth robbery in 14 months at the Chase branch bank on Milwaukee Street, located in a residential neighborhood. Following the one in early December. All of them armed or thought to be armed.

An armed bank security guard shot the suspected robber dead with a single bullet. Would that his security guard been on duty at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School! We’ve said this before: we protect our money with force of arms but not our school children.

About this time, the AnonyBobbers will cavil that an armed policeman patrols each of the four Madison public high schools. Not if the social justice warriors get their way. Consider, also, the difference between the lobby of a branch bank and the sprawling campus of a Madison high school enrolled with over 1,500 students plus a couple hundred staff.

Alder Amanda Hall represents the neighborhood surrounding the Chase branch bank. If you did not know Ald. Hall was a Madison liberal-progressive-socialist, the lady gives it away with her response to the crime, as reported by the WI State Journal:

Hall said the city and the community should reflect on the crime and assess what action can be taken and services provided that could prevent people from turning to crime or violence.

“What this looks like to me is we have a young man, who didn’t have the community support and the community opportunity to make a different choice with what he was going to do with his Thursday,” Hall said. “And now he’s dead.”

Notice the lack of human agency? The resort to victimology? The disinterest in the threat the armed robber posed to innocent civilians? The appeal to More Free Stuff? Yes, now the poor bastard is dead. His death is on your conscience, you heartless conservatives.

  • Walker, Trump, and Koch Brothers! You denied the dead bank robber the services that could have prevented him from meeting his needs at the bank till, at the expense of honest working people.
  • CPAC, Legislative Exchange Council, Federalist Society! Guilty of immigration reform, school choice, and constitutional textualism when what was needed was a nationwide Madison Schools’ Behavior Education Plan!
  • Fox News, NRA, WMC, and Right to Life! You prevented the dead robber from making a different choice with what he was going to do with his Thursday. Not enough neighborhood centers, apparently. All those “Help Wanted” and “Now Hiring” signs mocked the poor fellow’s need for instant cash.

One could say that the bank security sharpshooter prevented crime, at least on the part of that one perp.

The State Journal reported Friday:

A man shot and killed by a security guard Thursday afternoon was unarmed when he allegedly tried to rob a Far East Side bank, Madison police Chief Mike Koval said.

The man, who is believed to be a Latino man in his 20s, entered the Chase Bank at 4513 Milwaukee St. at about 4:50 p.m. with his face covered, Koval said.

The man kept his hands covered or obscured while forcefully demanding money, Koval said, which he said could imply the man had a gun.

The armed security guard, employed through Off Duty Services of Katy, Texas, shot the man, who died from a single gunshot wound, Koval said.

The Dane County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether the shooting warrants charges, Koval said, and the guard’s name would not be released unless charges are filed.

This fact doesn’t change my opinion of this in the least. The security guard should get a medal for saving the other people in the bank from what they all had to believe was a threat to their lives, irrespective of whether the bandit thought he could scare them by saying he was armed when he wasn’t.

The deceased is Luis Martz Narvaez, 35, South Milwaukee, who was most recently convicted of speeding 30 to 34 mph over the speed limit in Milwaukee County. By the time Narvaez reached his 18th birthday he had been convicted of felony car theft, felony escape from criminal arrest twice, retail theft twice, misdemeanor bail jumping, and resisting or obstructing an officer.

The felony escape charge sentences (five years on probation and one year in jail, respectively) were assessed while Narvaez’s official address was listed as the federal penitentiary in Jonesville, Va. Narvaez was there because he was convicted of bank robbery in 2003. His sentence of 170 months in prison was reduced in 2011 following a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, knocking five years off his sentence. Draw your own conclusions.

The State Journal tries to generate sympathy for the deceased felon:

On Nov. 26, 2003, U.S. District Judge John Shabaz sentenced Narvaez, who was 21 at the time, to just over 14 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to robbing Wisconsin Community Bank in Middleton in 2002.

According to a transcript of his sentencing hearing, a prosecutor said the gun Narvaez used in the robbery was a BB gun, although tellers believed it was an actual gun.

His lawyer, Anthony Delyea, told Shabaz, according to the transcript, that Narvaez’s father spent a lot of time in prison, while his mother moved around a lot. He said Narvaez’s life deteriorated after his father got out of prison. He had struggled with drugs and with family problems, Delyea told Shabaz, and struggled to find work.

“But this young man is just that, a young man with lots of potential,” Delyea told Shabaz. “He made a mistake, he accepts his mistake and he is prepared to pay the price, pay restitution, turn his life around and move on.”Narvaez told Shabaz that he wanted to get help for his drug problem and get an education.“Since I’ve done this I’ve had some time to think about it and I realize I’ve thrown a big part of my life away,” Narvaez said. “I don’t know if it was the drugs or the stress but I made a really bad decision and I want to change.”

In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ordered Narvaez to be re-sentenced without a sentencing enhancement as a career criminal, due to a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the appeals court said applied to Narvaez’s case. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb re-sentenced him to just over eight years in prison, essentially commuting his sentence to the time he had served.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, Narvaez was released from prison on May 23, 2012.

In November 2013, Narvaez transferred his federal supervision to Minnesota. His supervision ended in 2015.

Narvaez has already become a martyr given his listing on GunMemorial.org and GunViolenceArchive.org. Neither site acknowledges why Narvaez is no longer among the living.

An incident like this came up when I was on Wisconsin Public Radio some time ago, and my opponent claimed that the dead guy in that case didn’t do anything to deserve being killed by, I believe in this case, police, and that his due process rights were violated, blah blah blah. Due process is something government (that is, the court system) is required to do. Due process is not something someone threatening to harm others should get.

While capital punishment is not a deterrent, the bank robber won’t be robbing banks or engaging in any more criminal activity. If we had more instances like this, where the bad guy ends up dead, our crime rate would drop.

My last reflection on this crime is that Hall and her ilk are on the wrong side and shouldn’t be in office. Given that I grew up in that part of Madison, which was comparatively, well, less liberal than the rest of my hometown, I have to wonder who moved into my neighborhood and voted for this criminal sympathizer.

 

Underdogs

I announced a basketball game in Oregon Thursday night. It was the first time I have covered basketball at Oregon (where we once purchased a station wagon, but that’s not important right now) in 31 years.

The two games I covered in consecutive seasons were classics, and show how things have changed in high school basketball. Game number one in 1986 featured Big Eight Conference boys basketball champion Madison La Follette, one season removed from state, and Badger Conference champion Oregon, featuring future UW football player Dan Kissling. La Follette had two losses, one more than Oregon.

That was, by the way, a Class A regional semifinal — the first game of the postseason featuring two conference champions, playing at the home of one of them and not a neutral site. One positive change, even if performed imperfectly at times (it turns out that conference coaches often vote for their fellow schools in seeding meetings), is seeding to prevent games like that so early in the postseason. Today that game (assuming both teams got that far and didn’t stumble on the way) would have been a sectional-semifinal game played at a neutral site, like last night’s game.

The 1986 game was a great game as expected, except that the wrong team won — Oregon by two points. It was such a great game that the Panthers had nothing left in the tank the next night and lost at home to Sun Prairie, which had had a losing regular season.

The next day, La Follette’s girls team lost its sectional final in Reedsburg to Portage. That ended the career of one of La Follette’s best girls players to that point, Anne Cooley, though their four junior starters would be back the next year from that conference champion team.

One year later, that girls team, having somewhat underperformed expectations (they ended the regular season 9–11), headed into the regional final at Oregon against Madison East. The irony was that, though East finished higher in the conference, thanks to their foreign-exchange player Anke Buchauer, La Follette had beaten them twice, in overtime, including one week earlier in their regular-season finale.

Of course, if two teams played to overtime twice already, they’re practically guaranteed to play free basketball the third time, right? And so off to overtime meeting number three went. La Follette got a steal with 56 seconds left in the three-minute overtime, ran the clock down, then had a shot blocked out of bounds (of course, by Buchauer) with two seconds left. That gave La Follette coach Terry Shermeister enough time to diagram three plays, including a wing jumper. That turned to be the play that was available, and so the pass went to guard Julie Gundlach, whose 15-foot right-wing jumper sailed through the nets as time expired. Despite Buchauer’s 31 points, La Follette won 47–45 to head to week number two of the postseason.

The Lancers’ next opponent was conference champion Madison Memorial, who had beaten La Follette twice in the regular season. But you know the cliché about beating a team three times in a season. And so La Follette ended Memorial’s season before state, sending the Lancers again to Reedsburg again to face Portage for a state berth.

That was a full day. I had to cover state boys gymnastics at Madison West in the morning, then drive up to Reedsburg on an 80-degree early March Saturday for the girls game, followed by heading back to La Follette for that night’s boys regional final.

In the first half of that game on a La Follette inbounds play, a Portage player slapped the ball as the Lancer was holding it before throwing it inbounds. One of the referees gave her a warning. Three quarters later, with the score tied, she did it again, and this time she was assessed a technical foul. La Follette’s best free throw shooter hit two free throws, La Follette got the ball back, she was fouled and hit two more free throws, giving La Follette a two-possession lead in the season before the three-point shot. Portage scored baskets and fouled, but La Follette hit all of its free throws. Final score 48–46, good for a most unexpected trip to state.

A year later I got to cover Monona Grove’s boys team in a sectional semifinal at UW–Platteville against undefeated Lancaster, trying for its first state trip since 1917. MG in those days was one of the smallest schools in the Badger Conference, but the theory was that maybe MG would take its lumps in the regular season but do better in the postseason facing schools its own size. In fact, MG’s sectional trip was its second in three seasons despite having not won its conference in any of those seasons.

Lancaster was undefeated, but the Flying Arrows weren’t exactly flying; their roster was full of the walking wounded, with one player wearing football thigh pads. Either for that reason or the fact that MG was indeed better than its record, Lancaster entered with no losses and exited with a loss, sending MG to extending its season one more game.

A year after that, having moved to Lancaster, I got to cover the Flying Arrows baseball team. (At the time they played in the vastly-preferable summer season, which feels like real baseball instead of the arctic Wisconsin spring.) Like the aforementioned La Follette girls, they ended their regular season 9–11. They also had to deal with Mother Nature, which messed up their pitching rotation by two days of rainouts that pushed the regional game to the day before the sectional. (In those days pitchers could pitch seven innings every third day. Thanks to the rainouts, the starting pitcher for Thursday’s game therefore could go only two innings the next day.)

Lancaster won the regional game 11–6, getting two innings from a collection of pitchers who would not have been on the mound were it not for the rainout. That moved Lancaster to Onalaska and the semifinal the following afternoon. After a moon-shot two-run home run in the top of the first inning, it appeared Lancaster’s postseason end was six innings away. except that the Hilltoppers didn’t score after that, and Lancaster manufactured three runs to take a 3–2 lead into the top of the sixth inning.

Lancaster’s pitcher, Jason Schildgen, created a mess by loading the bases with one out and going to three balls and one strike on the batter, with the tying run at third base. Said batter then swung and missed at what would have been ball four, and then committed the blunder of unsuccessfully bunting on a 3–2 count, resulting in strike three. Four groundouts later, the Arrows headed to the sectional final against conference champion Platteville, which had unexpectedly won the earlier semifinal by defeating Holmen 4–2 in eight innings. The two teams with the best records in the sectional watched, instead of played, the sectional final. (And yes, Lancaster and Platteville traveled two hours each to play each other.)

Platteville got a 4–0 lead against a freshman pitcher who due to the two days of rainouts was making his first varsity appearance in a game that would send the winner to state. Lancaster started the game-tying rally in the bottom of the fifth inning with a ground ball off the third baseman’s mouth. One inning later, the Arrows got a 5–4 lead, erased in the top of the seventh inning on back-to-back ground-rule doubles.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Arrows loaded the bases with one out. On a ground ball to second, instead of trying for a double play in the infield (perhaps because it was hit too slowly or because the winning run was at third), the second baseman threw home. Big cloud at the plate, the umpire yelled “SAFE!”, and my insurance agent’s game-winning run sent Lancaster to state, to the surprise of everyone except their coach. I’ll never forget the 30 seconds of wild cheering, followed by stunned silence from half the crowd — we’re going to state? That team? — and stunned disappointed silence from the other half.

Lancaster apparently figured that since they had to go all the way to Stevens Point for state, they might as well make the trip worthwhile. And so the Arrows beat Minocqua Lakeland 8–5 Wednesday night, bombed Kewaskum 20–8 the next afternoon (said insurance agent’s son hit a grand slam, his only home run in any level of baseball according to his father), but ran out of magic and lost to Sheboygan North 5–0 in the championship game. Ironically the Arrows needed to win their first state game to guarantee a winning season, and they took home a silver trophy.

It may be that in a competition David was the first underdog, Notice who won between David and Goliath. Gen. George Patton (as portrayed by George C. Scott) might have been right when he said that Americans love a winner, but Americans also love to root for the little guy in sports, whether it’s the 1960 or 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, a double-digit seed in the NCAA basketball tournament, or the fictional Hickory Huskers in the movie “Hoosiers.”

Underdogs are generally either teams that underperformed in the regular season and finally got it together when the games really count, or physically inferior teams that nevertheless figure out how to take out the favorite. Consider the 2000 UW men’s basketball team, which beat three higher seeds to get to a Final Four no one saw coming, or Villanova, which executed its offensive game plan to perfection to beat Georgetown in the NCAA title game. In the Badgers’ case it was defense, which explained why the halftime score of their Final Four semifinal was 19–17.

Americans probably love to root for the underdog because people think they’re underdogs compared to big bad employer/other team/more handsome and rich guy, etc. As a country we’re certainly not an underdog anymore, but if Las Vegas existed in the late 1800s Vegas would have predicted a low probability of the revolution against the British succeeding.

La Follette’s first state champion team finished the 1977 regular season 10–8. It had a future college football player, UW’s Ross Anderson, but otherwise no indication the Lancers would win four consecutive playoff games to go to state, then sweep state, setting a record for field goal shooting in the process.

Even better was the 1978 Elkhorn boys team, which went 5–12 in the regular season, and needed to win state to get a winning season … and did.

Technically speaking the 1982 La Follette boys basketball team wasn’t really an underdog, but the Lancers were against an undefeated number-one-ranked team in the state championship. How did that turn out? Read here.