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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.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Aug 18, 2015 04:04 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Wow, you have no idea what "homeless" really is - nor do you understand the challenges faced. I hope you never do, completely understand - your ignorance and arrogance won't allow you to survive it. -- Patti Heller

Aug 18, 2015 05:40 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anon 4:04PM - We all do understand the host of Dane County and City of Madison social services, services offered jointly by churches for housing/food/etc. and the refusal of these slobs to accept any kind of responsibility for one's own life choices or improvements thereto. The services available to the homeless will help those that want to take advantage of them receive the equivalent of higher incomes than those working for minimum wage (but who are CHOOSING to work, even for minimum wage). Go bleed somewhere else.

Aug 18, 2015 08:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I see an unitimidated Red Candidate reacting poorly to a peaceful protester. The polls have Walker in "turd" place among the Red Candidates. It goes from bad to worse for Mr. Walker in Iowa...and elsewhere.

Aug 18, 2015 08:27 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

As much as it pains me to agree with Dave, he is on the right track. Lynn Green's outreach is not working. The homeless problem compounds itself when we tolerate behavior resulting from individuals with mental illness and addiction. Dane County/Madison should consider a specialized court that deals with the criminal behavior of dually diagnosed mentally ill/addicted individuals. Let's not accept or ignore the problem any longer. Let's find treatment alternatives to jail. Fix the problem and quit playcating it.

Aug 18, 2015 08:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

4:04 PM

What exactly are the "challenges faced" by the tramps living outside the CC building? They don't have to worry about getting up in the morning and reporting for work. They don't have to think about doing a great job for their boss and customers. They don't have to worry about paying taxes or financial planning. Their primary focus seems to be scoring enough money for weed or hooch. What value do they bring to society?

A lot of us have had many challenges in our lives but most of us haven't resorted to the shiftless wandering and drunkenness exhibited by these ne'er-do-wells. Blaska is right. Round 'em up and give them the tough love they need.

Aug 18, 2015 09:33 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Why don't all the alders and county supervisor take a couple of the homeless to their house to sleep every night?

Aug 18, 2015 10:19 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

...and what is your solution to the problem, Patti? I'd love to be educated by someone like you who is all-knowing and enlightened!

Aug 19, 2015 08:24 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

walker is an ass, period!

Aug 19, 2015 08:41 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

We should just tell the homeless that if they would just hop on a city provided bus, they could be taken to San Francisco, where it is warmer. If they like Madistan, they'll love SF.

The blue-in-the-face-fisters just don't realize just how good they still have it. Our state is doing much better now than with Doyle. We don't know how many jobs our Governor has saved. I'll bet it is over 250,000. 0bama counted all the jobs he saved by spending our money (rather than allowing us to spend it) and he reminded us of it on the news everyday. I really hope Scott Walker DOES get the chance to do for America what he did for Wisconsin. We will all be better off. Even the blue smurfs.

Dave, not B

Aug 19, 2015 09:56 am
 Posted by  AnonyBob

Walker just looked inauthentic, canned and silly confronting that protester. If ya gotta say, "I'm not intimidated...!" well, you are. His flip-flop panderings and obfuscating word salads are not being swallowed by the national press (especially the conservatives). His embrace of Trump's goofy immigration non-plan is earning him well-deserved scorn, for what little anyone is paying attention to him. It's amazing how rapidly our sleepy-eyed Boy Governor is disappearing in a field of stronger personalities with more consistent positions. And how well-deserved it is.

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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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