Aug 18, 201501:59 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
The solution to downtown vagrancy: send out the paddy wagon
(page 1 of 2)
It is a common and most dangerous mistake to assume that everyone thinks as you do — that everyone thinks rationally. Would you have believed it if, 15 years ago, you had been told people would fly a passenger jet airliner into a Manhattan skyscraper?
Neville Chamberlain was certain he could negotiate with Adolph Hitler. Right.
That is the mistake the Madison City Council is making with the vagrants who are befouling the front entrance to Madison’s City-County Building. Otherwise intelligent people like Ald. Mark Clear (contact him) and Supv. Paul Nelson (contact him) vote to keep the vagrants nested at the local seat of government to the detriment of both.
Clear and Nelson suffer from liberal angst: that the “homeless,” as they call the vagrants, are the victims of an unjust society. Which is ironic, given that the liberal-progressive-socialist hegemony here in Madison is now in its fifth decade.
Therefore, the perfect being the enemy of the good, city hall cannot be made safe for employees or citizens doing business there until the social policy equivalent of Dr. Jonas Salk devises a serum to cure homelessness.
The result of such dithering is that “predatory types” are now attracted to the filth and degradation, like flies to a dung heap, the State Journal reports. A late-night knifing, open sexual activity, excrement, drunken cat calls, and illegal drug use — right on the front steps of city hall. It’s the “Broken Windows” theory come home to roost, and a fitting metaphor for the social welfare society.
Now local government is stepping up efforts to “connect” the vagrants to its rich trove of services. Call it the Madison “surge.” I wish success — for the vagrants’ sake as well as an intimidated citizenry. But let’s not kid ourselves. These services — a safe place to sleep, alcohol and abuse treatment, and job services — were always available. Dane County has the richest social services network in the state.
I worked with county Human Services Director Lynn Green. “Street outreach has been happening consistently for years,” she told the State Journal. Yet, here we are. Time for a new approach.
Understand, the vagrants have made different choices, irrational though those choices may seem. They ignore the many “Help Wanted” signs posted on almost every restaurant, grocery, and retail store window. They refuse to abide by the simple rules social services demands. Hyman Roth said it: This is the life they have chosen.
It’s a free country: folks can choose how to live their lives, but on their own grounds — not at the expense of public order.