April 8, 2006

24 vs 4

Makes quick decisions.

Can not make a decision.

The Cheddarsphere Reacts.

There has been much reaction to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story on RealDebateWisconsin today.

I thought a clearing house of links might be in order.

I'll post more as I see more.

Answering today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Story

There is a front page story in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about RealDebateWisconsin and the story we broke on Kurt Vlach.

For the most part they got it right, but I would like to respond to a couple of issues.

Photoshop. "A guy like this obviously doesn't have libel insurance, and a company with deep pockets isn't going to protect him if it turned out that the photos were Photoshopped and he got sued," Outing said, referring to computer software used for manipulating photographs. "That's pretty dangerous territory for an independent blogger."

I have heard this before and in fact the question was raised by my attorney. If the photos in my possession were photoshopped, it was done by Vlach or someone he knows, then he emailed then himself. I can prove that. Therefore, I have zero reason to assume these photos were manipulated.

Unnamed Sources. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel changed its policy on unnamed sources after the Jason Blair fiasco. In fact they have not used unnamed sources in over three years. However, unnamed sources are still a mainstay of traditional journalism, The so-called newspaper of record, The New York Times, does it all the time. The Journal Sentinel made a policy choice to not use them anymore, to paint a broad brush across traditional media sources is not fair without considering the many media-sources who still use unnamed sources. The icons of the traditional media, Woodward and Bernstein, made their career on unnamed sources.

My sources did not want me to name them for their own reasons, I respect and understand them.

12 Pictures. Actually it is was much closer to 2 dozen than 1. On that note, I took great care to only post the mildest pictures that I had. Additionally, I hosted them off-site so they were not in your face. I really tried to do this story as civilly as I could.

Michael from Tosa. I had a post from Michael from Tosa who said, "Interesting. I read an article about how this blog is for open debate, and how the owner of the blog does not have a political persuasion. And yet I come here and every post is from the right wing of the spectrum. So this is basically like every other blog--written from a perspective and then saying "come and challenge us."Sorry, people do not want news analysis that is centered or unbiased, that is why they visit blogs. The best blogs are the ones that are honest about their agenda, honest about being right and wrong, and encourage debate instead of being a one way faucet of right wing analysis.If you want REAL DEBATE, hire some honest, intelligent left wing bloggers. You might be surprised how successful you are (instead of becoming another right wing rant site for SE Wisconsin).

I hear this a lot from first time visitors. First Michael, while I am not a member of any party, I am a conservative. I embrace my philosophy I will not shy away from it. I do have a contributor from the left, Belle from Leaning Blue. Belle can post whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and we do this for free, so I will not be hiring anyone! In fact I would welcome you to or anyone else to point out a Wisconsin-based blog that has different posting voices like this one.

If you are a first time visitor dig around in the archives, you will find that I do not shy away from critical thought against conservatives.

Althouse. Madison blogger Ann Althouse was interviewed for this story, her comments were apparently edited out. I will ask her to comment.

Feedback. I got far more positive response from Democrats on this story than I would of thought. These were grass-roots Democrats who knew Kurt Vlach and did not approve of his tactics, that should say something.

For those who may be hearing this for the first time Kurt Vlach conspired behind the scenes to take control of the Racine County Democratic Party with a local union. He showed up on election night with already filled out ballots and had people join the party and vote for him and his "unity slate" throwing out of office good hard-working Democrats who had been doing all the work for years. There is much more just type Vlach into the search box at the top of this page and hit search this blog.

Our debate topic; are blogs breaking news a good thing or a dangerous thing?

April 7, 2006

3rd Party Investigation Will be Called on Partnership for Progress.

On Monday Racine School Board Member Brian Dey will be calling for a 3rd party investigation into Partnership for Progress and their activities in the elections held on Tuesday.

There are serious issues here regarding the legality of Partnership for Progress and their relationship with other Wisconsin organizations. Dey reported here on election day that Partnership for Progress had not even filed with the state elections board and filed with the Racine County Clerk two months past the due date for participating in this election.

Despite that, Partnership for Progress (a 527 pac) put about $40,000 into the Racine School Board elections. All of that money went to the benefit of Tony Baumgardt, Don Nielsen and Gretchen Warner the winners of Tuesdays election.

I am currently investigating Partnership for Progress, where they came from, who runs them, and who are they really associated with.

This investigation is currently fluid and I have gotten a great deal of assistance in research today. (thanks, you all know who you are!)

Stay tuned folks this is going to be an interesting story.

No wonder nobody trusts the media.

The story.

Limbaugh's Immigration Laws: Read to the end.

I took the following direct from Rush Limbaugh's website. (H/T Mrs Real Debate)

All right, immigration proposals under discussion. Let me add mine to the mix. I want to call this proposal the Limbaugh Laws. Here they are. First, if you immigrate to the United States of America, you must speak the native language. You have to be a professional or an investor. We are not going to take unskilled workers. You will not be allowed. There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools, no special ballots for elections, no government business will be conducted in your native language. Foreigners will not have the right to vote, I don't care how long they are here, nor will they ever be allowed to hold political office. According to the Limbaugh Laws, if you're in our country, you cannot be a burden to taxpayers. You are not entitled, ever, to welfare, to food stamps, or other government goodies. You can come if you invest here, but it must be an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage. If you don't know have that amount of money, you can't come and invest. You have to stay home. If you do come and you want to buy land, okay, but we're going to restrict your options. You will not be allowed to buy waterfront property in the United States. That will be reserved for citizens naturally born in this country.

In fact, as a foreigner, you must relinquish individual rights to property. These are the Limbaugh Laws. Another thing. You don't have the right to protest when you come here. You're allowed no demonstrations, you cannot wave a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies, or you get sent home. You're a foreigner. You shut your mouth or you get out, and if you come here illegally, you go straight to jail and we're going to hunt you down 'til we find you.

I can imagine many of you think that the Limbaugh Laws are pretty harsh. I imagine today some of you probably are going, "Yeah! Yeah!" Well, let me tell you this, folks. Every one of the laws I just mentioned are actual laws of Mexico, today. I just read you Mexican immigration law. That's how the Mexican government handles immigrants to their country. Yet Mexicans and others come here illegally, they protest in our streets, they get on our welfare program, and we have members of the United States Senate, both parties, doing handstands and back flips, going through every contortion possible to allow it to continue so that it doesn't make these people mad, resulting in votes against these linguini-spined populations. This is more than a double standard. It is an indication of just how gutless people in charge in this country are to protect the identity of this country. They don't care about border security, I know the ports deal notwithstanding, they're not doing a thing to shore up the border, because that might make somebody mad. It's a good thing there are a whole lot of Arab voters in this country or the port deal would have gone through, too.


April 6, 2006

McKinney's new bodyguard threatens broadcaster

The video.

There seems to be a certain culture in the McKinney office.

A note from school board candidate Eric Marcus.

I want to thank all who supported my candidacy for school board. We waged an honest campaign and stood up for replacing the current superintendent and requiring financial accountability before supporting any referendum. The voters chose the status quo and I must respect their choice. I am disappointed that I will not be able to work for the changes on the board that I believe would have improved our childrens' education and I am disappointed that I did not win for the many people who worked so hard for me. I met many great people and am deeply touched and moved by their support.

I believe we now need to focus on opposing the coming referendum as it is good money after bad. I am considering the best way to do this. Some supporters have suggested we ask the voters who supported me to organize opposition to the referendum. I would appreciate any thoughts.

We also need to rally support around Brian Dey. He has consistently demanded accountability on the school board but without 5 votes, he has been a voice in the wilderness. Note that he was the only board member to oppose the Hicks salary increase last year and was one of the 2 who voted against setting the June 6th referendum date last Monday night. He is also opposing the Partnership for Progress and he needs all our support as he is standing against powerful people.

Thanks for sharing Eric! Sign me up for doing everything in my power here to oppose this referendum.

April 5, 2006

United 93

Peter has a post going on about the controversy on the United 93 trailer. (including a link to the actual trailer in question)

This has been a story all week as people are complaining about the trailer from the left. The last thing they want is people to remember the horror of Semptember 11, 2001 just before election time.

These same people who were giddy about Michael Moore's lie-fest before the 2004 Presidential election.

Message Boards for this film are an interesting read.
  • Our country has been attacked NOT by Arab Muslim extremists, it was an inside job by secret US government that has an agenda to start a Word War. Do you trust your government? They openly lie to you how can you possibly trust them? They laugh at you and mock you with their corruption and scandalous behavior.Know who the real terrorists are before you fall for their propaganda, you flt 93 scaredy cats. Boo! the bogeyman cometh to take you away Ha Ha. If you beleive Bush is telling you the truth you will believe anything, even this fake movie on flt 93.
  • United 93 must be shown. The current state of our First Amendment rights is already more than this nation should tolerate. Censoring films, especially those that comment on matters of public concern, will ultimately destroy what's left of this illusion we call a Free America.
  • It is as real a piece of history as it gets.. We get bombarded each night with Iraq.. maybe we should see how this all started.. and no I don't think saddam was behind 911 for all you idiots!
  • check out loose change 2nd edition and trust me you will learn what really happened
  • anyone who has accepted the governments official story about that tragic day needs to do some homework
  • The problem I have with this whole story is that passengers supposedly made cell phone calls from the plane. Who has ever successfully made a cell phone call in flight...at high altitude and speed with 2001 technology? Check "Resources" @ www.st911.org Theres alot of real information there.
  • I think that we should all take a long hard look at this and realize these people, as tragic of a lose it was, are HEROS and without them doind what they did many more lives could have been lost. SOOOO many people have forgotten that. What hollywood should do is take ALL the profits and donate it to the real families of this tragedy. We as people have to be reminded that this can happen again at anytime and need to be prepared.
  • How dare Steven Speilberg do this! What was Hollywood thinking? Tom Hanks should have never taken this role, and what is up with those fighter jets shooting down one of our own planes? Don't they know IFF, Identification Friend or Foe? Very disturbing....please, I hope they quit airing this. I almost had seizure at movie theater, so shocking.
  • I think this is outrageous. Some people have no dignity.
  • Christ being crucified on the silver screen is okay, but the story of Flight 93 is too upsetting and distasteful for New Yorkers....go figure. Theater is meant to bring out ones emotions, besides it is helping the victims families monetarily. New Yorkers are not the exclusive victims of 911, they would like to think they are, but the fact of the matter is they are not. America was the victim, and we should have the choice to view or not view this movie, that is what we are all about, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of press. Get over it New York!
  • this movie is based on pure speculation just to make Americans feel good. Just when attention fades, another report or sighting or special comes out to raise the fear and anger. I hope in my lifetime the truths will come out about 9/11.

I'm sure this will get stranger by the minute. Read them all here.

tell me how you really feel

There's a new poll @ Leaning Blue inspired by the comments on these posts.

The poll is pretty self-explanatory. Please pick a "yes" or "no" and then whatever county you live in.

I also wanted to say that I find it very interesting that Ann Nischke is getting flack for not doing enough to reach out to voters...saying that's why she lost.

hmmm...what was one of my reasons for not voting? oh yeah, I didn't get reached out to...

Political Double Standard. Vlach, McGee Jr & McKinney

Ok, obvioulsy Kurt Vlach has been the story around here the last couple of weeks. I was away at a seminar from 7 this morning until about 10 tonight, when I started looking through the headlines of the day something struck me.

If Kurt Vlach had been African-American, he would still be in office.

Consider Michael McGee Jr. We wrote in plain logic about the Blockbuster story. No charges were filed, and even though he embarrassed himself, he held onto his office.

Now we hear he impregnated a 23 year old woman, and allegedly punched her in the face. (nothing will happen here either)

Consider Cynthia McKinney (D-Verizon), she assaulted a guard with her cell phone. Bad enough, but she wants to blame everyone else for her bad behavior. She even brought out Chief America Hater, Harry Belafonte' to help her in playing the race card.

Cynthia McKinney is blaming everyone other than herself for her bad behavior.

I have heard from several insiders that the blame for the Vlach story is being placed on Sandy Tingle. I'll say this once, the blame belongs to Kurt Vlach and the info I had did NOT come from Sandy Tingle. She did make statements critical of his behavior, can you blame her?

While Kurt did not have the race card to play, apparently the whole blame someone else thing is running rampant in the Racine Democratic party.

What ever happened to people taking responsibility for their own behavior?

Meet the new boss.

Same as the Old Boss

April 4, 2006

Breaking News: School Board Member Brian Dey Seeks Charges Aginst Partnership for Progress.

This is from Racine Unified School District Board Member Brian Dey.

On election day, candidates for the Racine Unified School Board were mystified that a letter they received on February 23, 2006, informing them of the ballot order, was significantly different than the ballot order at the polls. As you know, ballot order is usually determined by some sort of lottery pick. The order, according to the letter sent by and signed by the RUSD clerk, was as follows:

1. Tony Baumgardt
2. Eric Marcus
3. Elizabeth Petrakis
4. Don Neilsen
5. Joyce Gregg
6. Gretchen Warner

The order on the ballot, as certified by the RUSD clerk was as follows:

1. Tony Baumgardt
2. Gretchen Warner
3. Don Neilsen
4. Joyce Gregg
5. Eric Marcus
6. Elizabeth Petrakis

What makes this scenario so interesting is that a 527 PAC, Partnership for Progress, sent out 5 district-wide two color mailings supporting Tony Baumgardt, Gretchen Warner and Don Neilsen. Coincidentally, the winners of the election were the same three endorsed by Partnership for Progress. When the RUSD clerk was asked by one of the candidates why there was a discrepancy, she said that the mix up occurred when she cut and paste the letter in Microsoft Word. No one I know writes a simple letter by cutting and pasting in Word and the order was completely different than the ballot order.

A little background about Partnership for Progress reveals that this 527 PAC is the same people that ran Citizens for Better Education two years ago that was basically shut down because of improper reporting under the states campaign finance laws. Similarly, Partnership for Progress as of 12:15 p.m. today, was not registered with the Wisconsin State Elections Board, and had filed their disclosure with the Racine County Clerk one day before the election and two months after the due date, both violations under state campaign finance laws.

Today, at approximately 3:00 p.m., I asked Racine County District Attorney Mike Nieske to launch an investigation into the activities of Partnership for Progress and I will file the complaint tomorrow. It is my belief that this organization pumped approximately $40,000 into this school board race and have successfully bought this election.

Also, hang on to your wallets Racine. Monday night, the Board voted 4 to 3 with two members absent not to go to referendum. But in the Board's usual style, they didn't like the first vote so a motion to reconsider the vote passed 4 to 3 with two members absent. Just like the election last year, we'll just vote as many times as it takes to pass what we want. So, once again, RUSD will bring forth an operational referendum on June 6th.

Brian Dey
Racine Unified School District
Board of Education

Thoughts on the next Racine School Referendum

Last night an Ad-Hoc committee at Racine Unified decided to come forward with yet another school spending referendum.

Oddly enough the first vote of the committee was turned down by a 4-3 vote.

Just like previous years they pushed and pushed and got two people to change their votes passing through a referendum on June 6th. Details of that referendum have not even been decided on, just that they will have one.

Yep, it was turned down then voted in. Boy that sounds familiar.

In another cowardly move they are pushed this the day before an election on a day there will not be any other item on the ballot. Why? That is the same time frame they got last years second attempt through.

A year has gone by and NOTHING has changed. I'm voting no again.

I hope Eric Marcus wins a seat on the board today. We need real movers and shakers on this board, not the same old same old.


On my way to the polls now!

Thanks to Jenna for the graphic!

Get out and shop day.

The illegal alien lobby is calling for nation-wide protests again.

The date of the protest will be this Monday, May the 1st. The target this time, retail businesses. The goal is to boycott and disrupt business.

Mrs RealDebate had a sterling suggestion. GET OUT AND SHOP ON MONDAY!!!!

Let us support our businesses and show the Spirit of America.

So buy your Mother's Day gifts on May!st. Need new shoes? Wait until May 1st. You get the idea.

If you are at a big mall, avoid Chi Chi's El Pronto & splurge with 2 Cinnabons. Make sure to leave a little frosting on the side of your mouth to show solidarity toward American Business!

For those of you that have to work Monday to pay for the average $31,000 of social services sucked up by each illegal alien in this country, make sure you stop for a quick dinner at a good old fashioned American fast food joint (not Taco Bell), and then go out and shop!


Update: The protest date was initially posted incorrectly; the true date is May 1st. Mrs. RDW claims responsibility for this error & apologizes.

What happened to the Vlach photos?

I got about 6 emails today asking if I had take down the Vlach photos.

The short answer, yes.


Kurt Vlach did the right thing and resigned. He is no longer a public figure, It seemed mean of me to keep them up.

MJS Vlach Story.

Here it is.

Scruitiny beats the heck out of attack.

April 3, 2006

Don't hate me because I'm not voting...

Don't hate me because I'm not voting...

  1. Technically, I'm a registered voter in West Allis. I currently live on the eastside of Milwaukee, have 2 classes tomorrow at UWM and then I leave straight after school for work. If I were to vote, I'd have to get my ass up early, drive to an undisclosed elementary school in West Allis, and vote in some races that I don't give a rat's behind about. (Too much effort).
  2. I don't even know what the races are that I would be voting for. (Lack of interest/research).
  3. Did I mention I'm lazy?
  4. As far as I know, there aren't any major races in the April election (that affect me) - so, I don't give a rat's behind.
  5. If I lived out in Waukesha County, I'd probably vote, but, I don't so I won't.

So there...my reasons for not voting tomorrow. I know none of them are real great reasons, but they work for me.

Come back in September and then maybe I'll care.

PS- Election nights are hell in a newsroom. Grrrr...

[CP @ LB]


I just looked at a sample ballot for West Allis. There are only TWO contested races. One is for Circuit Judge Branch 39 - the other is for West Allis School Board (pick 3 of the 4). Woop-de-doo....

I'm definitely not voting tomorrow.

Moving on to Something Serious.

On Wednesday this week at 2 minutes and 3 seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

Vlach Attack?

The Journal Times coverage of this story is finally out. You can read it here.

I take issue with a few of the items there:

Vlach was attacked in recent weeks by an Internet blogger who posted photos of him in sexual poses and claimed he was having an affair.

I did not attack anyone. I reported a story involving a public figure.

Why would the Journal Times say I was on the attack? In fact I offered them all of my source material so they could run their own story and verify my claims. "No thanks" was the response I got. Until of course I published a few pictures, then they wanted to talk to me.

I hope they do not really want me to put the same level of scrutiny on them. I will ask Dustin Block to comment on this.

Here is another:

Sandra Tingle, the wife of former Democratic Party Chairman Frank Tingle, who Vlach unseated, called Dooley's posts about Vlach an embarrassment.

I think what Sandy was probably trying to say was that Vlach was an embarrassment, not the post.

Lastly, the Journal Times said I claimed Kurt Vlach was having an affair. I never said that. I indicated he had carried on inappropriate relationships with women online. In addition I claimed he did this on company time using company resources. I also claimed he carried on political activity at work, all against company policies. Finally I claimed this came to light by a complaint being filed by several female coworkers.

Additionally, I never released the name of the company he worked for or any of the women involved.

These may seem like small corrections, but I want the record straight on this.

Citizen Vlach

Racine County Democratic Chair Kurt Vlach resigned yesterday in a closed meeting with the Unity Slate.

Vlach cited personal reasons claiming his family needed him more than the party did.

Vlach claims to have never read any of the comments posted here.


I commend Kurt Vlach for doing the right thing and resigning his position.

1st Vice-Chair Rosa Salinas-Hultman will be taking the helm in his place.

I still have serious ethical issues with the entire "Unity" slate. They were complicit with Vlach in the shady way in which they came to power. Are you Racine Democrats sure this is the group you want leading you? There will be a special meeting next Monday, perhaps you should call for a new(fairly held) election.

To the brave Democrats who have spoken about this issue, thank you for your courage.

I started seriously reporting on this story on March 19th, the Journal Times will finally be covering the story tomorrow. (no comment)

Update. The Journal Times story.

All Mention Of Our Kurt Vlach story gone from Racine Democrats Website.

A poster pointed out to me today that the two threads that were up at the Racine Democrats website on our Kurt Vlach coverage have vanished.

I have no idea why, what this tells me is either there is political pressure coming from somewhere against the Administrators of that site, or the Administrators have had a change a heart and are now supporting Kurt Vlach. (I suppose they could of been hacked too)

I believe it is the former and not the latter. I have no idea if that pressure is from a State or a Local level.

It is a sad day when people lose the ability to be critical of those in their own party.

The number of anonymous posters on this story have really surprised me. Most of those are likely Democrats who wish not to be seen as critical.

The administrators of the Racine Democrats website had the courage to come forward and let their names be associated with their opinions. If they have been threatened I'll find out about it and name names of those who did.

Silence: No one speaks on Vlach.

If silence is acceptance I have to ask the following questions.

Where is Mayor Gary Becker on this issue?

Where is Senate Candidate John Lehman on this issue?

Where is State Chair Joe Wineke on this issue?

Where is my Alderman Ray DeHann on this issue?

I could go on and on. The only public figure who has shown the guts to come forward and say anything was Brian Dey. Kudos to him for having the courage to take a stance.

I'll clue these and the rest in on something; this is not going away. I call on our elected leaders to stand up for decency in the individuals involved in the political process. Kurt Vlach and his entire unity slate stand for sleazy unethical government.

Racine deserves honest leaders. We do not deserve leaders who are too scared to take a stance on a controversial issue.

There is plenty of whispering going on, we need people to start speaking out loud.

Jill Carroll Recants

Jill Carroll recanted her statements over the weekend that she made telling how wonderful her kidnappers were.

I'm pleased she came out with something closer to the truth.

I found it odd though that some thought my smell test post was an attack.

Funny, I think I was right, her statement and her demeanor did not pass the smell test, hence the retraction.

This still does not add up to me. Do some research into her. You will find she was fired from a small market TV station, but she had big dreams. She wanted to go off and be Dan Rather gaining a reputation covering a war. So she went as a free-lance reporter to Iraq, and when she got there she wrote decidedly pro terrorist pieces (she calls them insurgents).

Even in her recant this weekend she still proclaims we were wrong to go to Iraq and wants a full withdrawl.

I stand by my watch for the book deal and follow the money comments.

One blogger is asking where the apologies are. Not here. I stand by my stance on this while openly admitting that I hope I am 100% wrong on this.

However, I still think my analysis is accurate.

How 'bout them Brewers?

What do you think folks? Is there a storn brewing at Miller Park this year?

Make with the Brewer predictions.

I say 93 wins, and one game short of the wild-card.

Thought of the week.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine or the Racine County Democratic Party.

April 2, 2006

School Board Member Brian Dey on the Vlach Committee Assignment.

I heard from Brian Dey tonight in reference to my post about Kurt Vlach being a member of the Equity and Access Committee.

These are his words of course so they do not represent the School Board's official opinion (though this is exactly the position they should endorse)

If he does not get removed from the committee, by the committee, than I don't know how I can trust the committee on any recommendations they have with regards to Equity and Access (desegregation) of our schools.

Powerful words, I agree with him completely.

I also asked Brian what he thought of my school board endorsements. He agreed that Eric Marcus was far and away the best candidate. Brian asked me to announce his official endorsement of Marcus here.

Glad to do it Brian, glad to do it.

Vlach on Unified Committee

One of our posters makes a point I had not considered previously.

Kurt Vlach is apparently a member of Racine Unified's Equity and Access Committee.

Is it appropriate for someone with the kinds of ethical and moral proclivities we have highlighted here to be serving on any school committee?

I call on Dr Hicks and the school board to go on the record on this issue.

PCP: Spring Break

Like the president, PCP is on Spring Break this week.

It's PCP gone wild this week...

Check back next week here at RDW for the next installment.

How long will it take? (new photos included)

I have been releasing information very slowly in regards to Racine County Democratic Chairman Kurt Vlach.

I had hoped the newspapers and perhaps a brave TV reporter might pick up the story by now, no such luck. I did have a conversation with an Editor at the Journal Times this week, and a second conversation with a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter on Friday.

In my opinion stories will run, it is just a matter of when.

I have heard this is a subject of much whispering at the halls of the Capital in Madison, quite frankly if I wanted to I could turn those whispers into roars.

I will keep running information now and again on this story to keep interest up, quite frankly though information and pictures are likely to become more graphic.

People have begged to see the black thong picture from the photo advice email, I am granting that request plus another in the Village People series. Beyond these photos what I have is really embarrassing. Yes folks, this is as mild as it gets.