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Blaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

April 2013

04/30/13

My letter of freedom to Sen. Mike Ellis

The Madison School Board recently voted 7-0 to encourage the state Legislature to say no to school choice. The surprise would have been had they voted otherwise. I suspect Madison’s school board is like yours in Neenah and others throughout the state. Given their druthers, they’d just as soon have no competition. Makes management ever so much simpler.

Posted at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Comments: 6

04/29/13

Welcome to Madison, urban immigrants; now get to work!

I promised a reaction to the city’s bid for a $1 million U.S. Department of Justice grant to combat crime and quality of life issues in certain parts of Madison’s southwest side. I detailed the proposal here last week. In a nutshell, violent crime there is worse than ever even as, apparently, the city as a whole showed a small (3%) drop in crime. Let’s hope the city gets the grant. But it does seem like déjà vu all over again.

Posted at 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments: 3

To the anti-gun nut, everything is cause for confiscation

04/24/13

To the anti-gun nut, everything is cause for confiscation

The Boston Marathon bombers “were law-abiding until they weren’t,” blogs the anti-gun nut who calls himself “Citizen Dave.” “In Newtown, where mass murderer Adam Lanza was law-abiding until the moment ...” preaches former mayor Dave Cieslewicz. Do you see where he’s going with this? Because someone might break the law, everyone should be denied their Second Amendment rights! Pre-emption! This is more than a slippery slope – it is an avalanche of unreason!

Posted at 08:54 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2

Meadowood faces a long, hot summer; can $1 million cool things off?

04/23/13

Meadowood faces a long, hot summer; can $1 million cool things off?

It will warm up in Madison, I have to believe – the temperatures and, in parts of the city, the tension. The bad news is that crime and quality of life issues are worse than ever on the southwest side of Madison. The good news is that Madison police and the city-county public health departments applied earlier this month for a $1 million federal grant to combat the social rot. The question: Will any of it do any good?

Posted at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments: 3

Invoking the spirit of Maggie Thatcher at the Madison School Board

04/22/13

Invoking the spirit of Maggie Thatcher at the Madison School Board

Yes, the Madison School Board needs a good haunting. Any company that hiked prices by 7.4% would meet massive customer resistance unless it faced a shortage caused by some natural disaster. What is the disaster facing the Madison School District – unless it is of its own making?

Posted at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Meadowood crime is right back where it started – only worse; now it’s the ‘Young Fellaz’

04/18/13

Meadowood crime is right back where it started – only worse; now it’s the ‘Young Fellaz’

Here we go again on the southwest side of Madison. Same as it ever was. It was the long hot summer of 2007 when concerned neighbors – over 700 of them – convened at St. Maria Goretti School to persuade Mayor Dave Cieslewicz to abandon his fixation on trollies and focus on the rampant crime and quality of life issues plaguing the city. Those concerns were outlined in bright yellow crime tape on the evening of June 9, 2009, when a 17-year-old boy was gunned down by three other boys from a rival gang in the Meadowood neighborhood.

Posted at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments: 5

Madison’s public schools go to lockdown mode; no new ideas wanted

04/16/13

Madison’s public schools go to lockdown mode; no new ideas wanted

Graphical user interface? I think not, Mr. Jobs. Mainframe is where it’s at. Big and honking, run by guys in white lab coats. Smart phones? iPads? You’re dreaming. Take your new ideas somewhere else. That is the Madison School Board. It has decided to batten the hatches against change. It is securing the perimeter against new thinking. It is the North Korea of education: insular, blighted, and paranoid.

Posted at 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments: 15

Housing is a human right; paying for it is your responsibility – not mine

04/12/13

Housing is a human right; paying for it is your responsibility – not mine

David Clarenbach, the downtown Madison legislator two decades ago, once posited that cable television was a constitutional right. Your humble squire parried that if we were going to expand the Constitution in such profligate fashion, we might put the sacred document on a Rolodex. Dates me, doesn’t it?

Posted at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Comments: 7

Don’t duck and cover! Throw a garbage can!

04/10/13

Don’t duck and cover! Throw a garbage can!

The New York Times can’t tell a rifle from a shotgun, prompting an embarrassing correction of its description of the weapon held by a farmer in New York Mayor Bloomberg’s gun control television campaign. Then again, the Times’ Vatican reporter described Easter as “the celebration of the resurrection into heaven of Jesus,” according to The Weekly Standard. The Vatican reporter!

Posted at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

Mayor Dave: One small crack in Madison’s ‘progressive’ wall?

04/05/13

Mayor Dave: One small crack in Madison’s ‘progressive’ wall?

That former mayor, once Progressive Dane, is doing what Mark Twain’s father did – getting smarter the older he gets. Is he the first real crack in Madison’s white-Progressive ruling establishment?

Posted at 06:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

Madison progressive political machine hands Scott Walker another school victory

04/03/13

Madison progressive political machine hands Scott Walker another school victory

Congratulations to Madison’s white power elite, especially to Democrats, organized labor, John Matthews and his teachers union. You very well may have elected a teachers union-first (“Collectively we decide ...”), children second school board. You also just handed Scott Walker a powerful case for expanding private school vouchers.

Posted at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Comments: 15

A Seat at the Table: Small biz no longer an afterthought when considering regulations

04/02/13

A Seat at the Table: Small biz no longer an afterthought when considering regulations

Last summer, Madison’s Common Council performed another feel-good deed at the private sector’s expense. It required landlords – and not the city clerk – to provide voter registration materials to their tenants, under penalty of law. At the other end of the rainbow, Barack Obama’s Washington has added more than 82,000 pages to the Federal Register. Obama health care and the war on carbon are the gifts that keep on taking.

Posted at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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