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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 37.0° F  Fair
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Blaska's Blog salutes veterans at the 11th hour
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The Eleventh Hour sometimes means, "at the last minute" or "in the nick of time." But it also has connotations of war and peace.

Today is 11/11/11. That is 63 in binary numbering. This morning it was 11:11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11. In binary, that is 4,091. (Hat tip to the TrogloPundit.)

The only thing better was 11:11:11 a.m. (or p.m.) on 11/11/1111 when Henry I, the third of the Norman line, was king of England. By 1582, Pope Gregory decreed that the Julian calendar then in effect was off and so he skipped a few days, causing great consternation to the public. (I did the same thing in college.)

The number 11 has special resonance today, Veterans Day. It was in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that the Armistice was declared, the end of the wanton slaughter of World War I, although the year was 1918. Indeed, Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day until President Eisenhower amended the term in 1954 to encompass veterans of all wars.

To those veterans we owe our freedom.

It's working!

Keeping with our numbers theme. Gov. Walker's teacher contract reforms, that is. Kids are not pouring bleach on their cornflakes, as Christian Schneider quipped. About that DPI school district survey, what you didn't read is that:

  • 3 -- the number of districts with the most teacher layoffs: Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Janesville. None of them adopted the reforms put in place by Governor Walker.
  • 68% -- Or two-thirds, the percentage of teacher layoffs for the entire state accounted for by just those three school districts.
  • 12.8% -- the percentage of Wisconsin K-12 students in those three districts.

That's according to the governor's office, which has a lot more here. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that the Milwaukee school district appealed to its teachers union to contribute 5.8% of pay toward their pensions. The union refused, and two days later the district announced the layoffs of 519 employees, including 334 teachers.

No pretending there isn't some pain but Wisconsin is implementing austerity measures in this Great Recession that other states and much of Europe are only getting around to. The ratio of students to teachers, librarians and counselors in Wisconsin's K-12 public schools increased by what amounts to a rounding error -- to 3.5 from 3.27, while school property taxes are being held to an average increase of half a percent (0.6%) compared to a 4.8% average annual increase in the previous decade.

Does that justify the Cassandra wailing from the teachers union and its clients in the Democratic caucus?

How liberals think #111

The research continues. Eugene Kane, the race columnist for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, is among the liberals disappointed that law-abiding Wisconsin residents may now legally carry a concealed weapon. The criminals have been doing so all along, albeit illegally. The columnist counts himself among the blessed now that ...

Thankfully, the "No Weapons Allowed in the Building" sign has been posted at my job, which was a great relief for some of us who write the kind of stories that occasionally get the public agitated.

Imagine the frustration of the nut case who decides to off the pesky scribbler. Carrying his loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic and a headful of steam, he enters the newspaper's doors only to confront a sign depicting a pistol crossed out by the universal "No" symbol.

Damn! The would-be assassin curses as he retreats to his survivalist compound somewhere in Waukesha County. Denied!

How about thinking? Is that allowed in your building, Eugene?

Announcing the Blaska basket case

After years of development, scientists here at the Policy Research Factory have come up with an amazing new discovery that should make the lives of housewives everywhere, from Willy Street to Waziristan, so much better.

Without a penny of stimulus funding, TIF money, or genius grants -- the slide rule guys at the Stately Manor have emerged from their dank basement workshop with an amazing new invention that we are calling (drum roll, please): 'The Blaska Basket."

Now, harried housewives or indentured servants (as we have here at the manor) can simply drop their dirty laundry into the "Blaska Basket" and carry it effortlessly to the washing machine or the nearest creek. We've engineered the Blaska Basket so that the same basket can return the laundered clothing to the manor. What's more, it's reusable!

The Blaska Basket is LEED, EnergyStar, GREEN, Fair Trade, and ISO compliant. One (1) penny from each sale is donated to the Fund to Prosecute the Jeremies, Inc.

Who says America's best days are behind it?! Just in time for "Christmas" (as Gov. Walker likes to call it)! Order yours now!

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