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Jun 11, 201511:18 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Pardon me, drunk vagrant, may I use that park bench?

(page 2 of 2)

Another such blessed soul addressed the issue on Facebook. “To be #1 best place to live, that must mean we take care of ALL our residents. Especially those who are drinking, fighting, cursing and harassing folks. David, what you just described is also a City Council meeting or a Badger game and we support those, right?”

Wrong, Erika. The Facebook lady went on to accuse Your Humble Squire of “criminalizing poverty.”

What a trite cliché. No one is “criminalizing poverty.” There are many people of limited means who lead honorable lives, who don't spend their time getting stinking drunk by noon. Allowing the mentally ill and chronic alcoholics to stew in their own juices and harass passersby helps no one.

Even the profoundly developmentally disabled find meaning doing useful things in sheltered workshops. Homeless (often by choice), chronically intoxicated, disorderly, vagrant, and (in the case of the CCB) trespassing? That describes Ald. Marsha Rummel?

I served on the County Board health and social services committee a few years ago. I am familiar with the plethora of services available. The problem is getting these folks to help themselves. Just over half — some $272.5 million — of the Dane County budget is spent on human services.

Maybe the state legislature should consider making it easier to take protective custody over chronic vagrants. 

Here’s another thought: a detachment of concerned citizens reclaim Philosopher’s Grove and the front porch of the CCB. Erect tents. Calling all Tea Party cadres. Report to your stations.

Which is, essentially, what Downtown Madison is trying to do with a series of markets, music, arts and crafts, and children’s activities — to reclaim the space. (See Top of State.) Which, of course, gets criticized as “one of the most ignorant strategies to address behavior. Poor Madison is still blinded by surface issues, unable to address the root causes — perhaps because they’re too painful.”

You want root causes? Chronic drunkenness cannot be cured without the cooperation of the drunk. No magic potion. The person has to want to change. And yes, doing so is painful.

Look to Baltimore

The liberal-progressive-socialist project is almost complete in Baltimore.

The police are surrendering, they tell CNN.

Forty-two people were killed in Baltimore in May, making it the deadliest month there since 1972.

When asked what's behind that number, a Baltimore police officer gave an alarming answer. Basically, he said, the good guys are letting the bad guys win.

“The criminal element feels as though that we’re not going to run the risk of chasing them if they are armed with a gun, and they’re using this opportunity to settle old beefs, or scores, with people that they have conflict with,” the officer said. “I think the public really, really sees that they asked for a softer, less aggressive police department, and we have given them that, and now they are realizing that their way of thinking does not work.”

For the record, intensive broken windows policing does work, say residents of poor black neighborhoods.

Did U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan really liken Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio to Ricky Ricardo at last week’s Dem state convo? Roll the videotape. Hey, conservatives can take a joke, Mark. Can you?

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Jun 11, 2015 11:46 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

I remember when the Marielistas took over Philosophers Park after Jimmy Carter imported these Cuban criminals. Coupla fatal stabbings and they were sent back to Castro.
Maybe that spot on the planet just attracts bad people.

On another note, San Franciso spends over $60,000 per homeless person per year on services. Guess whether there are more or less homeless people there year over year.

Jun 11, 2015 12:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

mark Rubio is an ass.

as for you blaska,

how about inviting all the drunks to your compound.

you all have the same intellect.

maybe you could come to some compromise.

Jun 11, 2015 12:19 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

This liberal hired a homeless guy 16 months ago. He still works for me and now has a studio apartment. I don't know who the mayor tangled with the other day, but you paint with a broad brush when you suggest none of the homeless are interested in working or finding an apartment they would pay in full for. We all know you're just trying to tweak the libs, but my guess is many readers of this site are aware of honest people trying to find a job who are homeless due to plain bad luck. Some are military veterans.

Jun 11, 2015 12:35 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

FYI: Liberals are behind the space reclamation projects. Some are probably donors to Bernie Sanders' campaign. Are you supporting them with your presence and dollars? Or is this just a dispatch from your remote bunker?

Jun 11, 2015 01:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, you've got it all wrong.

What we need is a charter city-county building that we can move the black homeless (like the one interviewed) to so we can discipline them differently than the white homeless (who would presumably stay at the regular city-county building although they could legally go to the charter city-county building if they wanted to freely associate there). Just make sure that hand sanitizer is removed from both the regular city-county building and the charter city-county building, as it could be seen as discriminatory if one group gets to catch a buzz and the other doesn't. "Disparate impact," and what not...

That is the only way we are going to get to the bottom of this. You're putting too much credence on abiding by community standards of conduct (fighting, littering, public intoxication... did i see a photo of a condom wrapper?) while not recognizing the structural issues, historical harms, and privilege at play here.

Soggy doing his Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino "Get off my lawn" routine? Man . . . you could charge admission to that, and I would have paid.

- "Citizen Dave's Remington 700"

Jun 11, 2015 05:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

hey remington dave 700,

do you even know what end of the gun to point?

I'd be surprised if you did.

Jun 11, 2015 06:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Used to enjoy shopping and going down State Street and downtown to grab a meal. Not any more, who needs the harassment, abuse and anti-social behavior? (Yes, drinking yourself stupid, piling up garbage bags of treasures, shouting vulgarities and acting like a jerk are signs of anti-social behavior) One of the 'protected class' was too full of his beverage of choice (by mid-morning) in front of the downtown post office a couple days ago and fell flat on the sidewalk trying to get off a bicycle. Citizen complaints, worker complaints, news articles and local tv coverage have done absolutely nothing to spur the ruling class to change the way things are. It's going to come down to cause and effect; when shoppers stop visiting the stores, and families stop going to farmers markets because of the situation, and shops and businesses close, and the taxes go away and there's nothing left but a blighted downtown with stumbling drunken vagrants maybe then the smartest political party of all will figure out some answers...but I wouldn't bet on it.

Jun 11, 2015 09:37 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, liberals will never understand human behavior. They can't even understand Act 10.

Dave, not B

Jun 12, 2015 09:19 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

How many Blaskas does it take to fire up an oven?

Jun 12, 2015 11:41 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

It is time for the city counsel to pass a law that gives people a choice to take a special tax cut, if they house, pay for re-education, medical care, transportation for a homeless person in their main residence until they can get that person back on their feet again.

I wonder how many bleeding hearts would actually use the tax cut or would the elite that make the laws still claim to work for the greater good while turning their backs on the neediest of the populations.

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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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