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Feb 12, 201312:27 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Major firearms legislation is unlikely

Major firearms legislation is unlikely

Will Congress enact stricter firearms regulations? Not if a poll by The Daily Beast is on target. In the House, 238 oppose the proposed gun laws, 151 support, 15 are swing votes – and 28 are either confused or especially stealthy. Even if one adds the free swingers and the confused to the support column, further gun control loses 194 to 238. In the Senate, 49 outright oppose while 37 support, five swing, and eight are muddy.

Wisconsin’s delegation is six-to-three opposed to more gun laws with Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, afraid to show his shadow. Those opposed are Sen. Ron Johnson and Reps Reid Ribble, Sean Duffy, Tom Petri, Jim Sensenbrenner, and Paul Ryan – all GOPs. In favor are Sen. Tammy Baldwin, and Reps. Marc Pocan and Gwen Moore – all Dems.

Of all the spitballs directed at iron mining in Iron County, the weakest has to be that the mining jobs – projected to last 35 years – are “temporary.” Sheesh! LIFE is temporary. The second weakest: the environment will never recover. What? The environment always recovers! They built my Miata sports car in Hiroshima, Japan. (The little two-seater does glow, a little, at night.)

Has it really been two years since Walker “dropped the bomb” on public sector collective bargaining? I was present that day, Feb. 11, 2011, in his ornate Capitol conference room as he rolled out his changes, having already obtained most of the details and blogged them at my old stand. Was standing next to Sen. Fred Risser and (then) Rep. Mark Pocan, who were flabbergasted. My guess is they still are.


Not all corporations created equal. The Capital Times, a corporate entity, supports gelding the First Amendment to deny political speech to other voluntary organizations of individuals engaged in commerce.  But its editor sees no irony in cheerleading Dennis Kucinich’s “Shut [up or down?] the Chamber,” meaning WMC, for supporting Scott Walker. Yeah, they’re going to picket WMC’s annual gathering today at Monona Terrace. It’s what progs do.

Silver Linings Playbook wins Oscar for best writing. A great look at mental illness.

Good on Pope Benedict XVI for stepping aside for someone more vigorous. My money is on Tim Dolan, New York by way of Milwaukee, but waiting for the inside tip from Father Guido Sarducci, gossip columnist for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Feb 12, 2013 01:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yes, Fr. Sarducci is "papabile." And his taste in music is already infallible: he loves ZZ Topp.

Feb 12, 2013 02:41 pm
 Posted by  JNT

Best adapted screenplay goes to Tony Kushner for Lincoln, as it should.

Feb 13, 2013 01:20 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


You should really stay away from making comments on the potential environmental impacts of the proposed mine unless you have some basis for those statements. Can you provide undeniable proof that "the environment always recovers" with an apples to apples comparison? Or maybe some peer reviewed articles? Otherwise don't make yourself look foolish in print.

I base this challenge on experiences gained in a 35+ year career on both sides of the regulatory realm and a couple advanced degrees in the earth and environmental sciences. Your C.V. related to mining?

Quando porci volent !

Feb 13, 2013 04:10 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

Hiroshima was blasted with an atomic bomb and within a decade people were living and working there. So, deservedly anonymous, name me a place that has never recovered. They're growing wheat in the Dust Bowl, harvesting sea food in the Gulf, vacationing in the cutover of the North Woods, farming in the lead region of SW Wisconsin/NW Illinois ... need I go on. You threw down this gauntlet, now pick it up and run with it yourself. Name me a place that has not and will not recover.

Feb 14, 2013 10:10 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


You are talking apples and oranges with your examples. Sure they are doing "something" in those locations, but the biota and conditions have changed. Take for example northern WI where I live, logged first for the pines, then for hardwoods. Rivers and streams were dammed, dredged and defiled. Soil loss of massive scale took place. Intentional and unintentional fires burned off topsoil. The flora and fauna changed, most likely forever. That my friend is an example that has been studied for decades. Want a source, try starting with Aldo Leopold.

Elsewhere, prairies are now, wetlands are cabelas, there are golf courses in Lake Michigan, paper mills in the Fox River. And we, the tax payers are still paying for cleaning up the waste from the lead mining operations in SW WI. All of these things are easy to look up. Try it before you talk so "smart". Apology accepted upon receipt.

Quando porci volent !

Feb 14, 2013 10:45 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Sorry, Deservedly Anonymous, I don't pray at your altar. You damn golf courses, I play on them. You curse cornfields, I eat cornfed beef. You hate hardwood, our houses are made of the stuff. Yet, even so, deer abound; eagles soar, walleyes swim, and people live longer (and better) than ever. In your hatred of mankind, I do think you are a few degrees separated from the UniBomber, but not by much.

BTW: I have read my Aldo Leopold. The man worked for the U.S. Forest Products Lab here in Madison. Put that in your pot pipe and smoke it.

Feb 14, 2013 03:26 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Sorry davey, but you are dodging the challenge. If you can't support a statement, you shouldn't make it to begin with unless you are prepared to get called on it. Go back and re-read the original challenge to you, then respond in an adult manner if you can.

To set the record straight: I golf, albeit poorly,. I eat corn, and have raised steers and the best hogs in my part of the state, on corn. I have no objection to hardwood, American beech is my favorite tree. But the majority of wood in a home is considered softwood (spruce, pine, fir) by the way. I shoot deer, love to watch eagles, catch and eat walleyes, and am really glad that folks live longer nowadays, me included. I don't hate mankind, don't know where you got that idea. I am far from liberal, having voted for Nixon, Ronnie R, and Bush I, and volunteered for the draft when Uncle Sugar came calling. I have never, ever smoked pot or used any other recreational drug. But I do enjoy a Potosi Pilsner on occasion. And sure I know Leopold worked for the Forest Service. But later he became an internationally famous writer on wildlife management, land ethic, etc.

Your snarky and immature responses to any reader that challenges your world view is emblematic of the level of todays discourse. Sure it's you blog and you don't want to be upbraided in your own yard. But be an adult about it, little guy. If you screwed up, admit it.

Quando porci volent!

Feb 15, 2013 05:52 am
 Posted by  wiemgee

Hey anonymouse

two words for you,LAKE WAZEE!!

Feb 15, 2013 06:58 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


Let us go back to your original statement, "the environment always recovers". Now can you explain how the deepest man made lake in WI equates to the environment found at the Lake Wazee (former Jackson County Iron Mine) location in Jackson County prior to the mine operation? You can't, because the mixed mesic hardwood at the site pre-mine has been replaced with a sterile, deep and clear body of water. The "environment" didn't recover, but was replaced with something different, and not found in the natural landscape. To be fair, I worked on the abandonment plan for Lake Wazee, so I had an unfair advantage. Try again.

Or better yet, admit you made a statement that had no basis in fact, apologize to your informed readers, and move on.

Keep smiling.

Feb 15, 2013 11:20 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Deservedly Anonymous:

Thank you for illustrating the failure to obey the First Law of Holes; that is, when in one, stop digging.

Is Lake Wazee different from what is used to be? Sure. So is Wisconsin. It is a much different place since the last glacier receded about 15,000 years ago. But so is Wisconsin much different from 1900, when many species were extirpated, or nearly so. When farming the cutover proved untenable. My old farm neighborhood was a mixture of tall grass prairie and oak openings. Now it is 90% farmland -- and damned good farmland. People are part of the environment, Deservedly Anonymous. That automobile you drive is made of iron and other minerals. Yet, elk are being reintroduced and black bears are roaming south. Saw a white tail deer in eating my neighbor's petunias two years ago -- and we live in the City of Madison! If that small portion of the Penokee Range was the only high spot in the state, if those few acres were the only wild area left in Wisconsin, I'd be on your side.

But not when you play Chicken Little. (BTW: you're so sure of yourself you won't use your name. Speaks volumes.)

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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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