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May 19, 201502:15 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Texas’ outlaw motorcycle gangs

(page 1 of 2)

I tell my acquaintances that I’m an antisocial outlaw biker. Gadzooks! What was that in Waco, Texas? Nine dead and 18 injured — some of them from police gunfire; 130 arrested?

Darrell Connors, now at WISC TV-3, asks, via Facebook: “Where were the parents? Where are all the white-on-white crime statistics? Why is the use of the word ‘thug’ absent from every major news outlet covering this story? Where’s the “white” leadership to address the issue of white-on-white crime?”

Well, they do all appear to be either white/and or Hispanic. Let me take a crack at that:

  1. They didn’t trash their own neighborhoods.
  2. No “white” leader is alleging police overreaction or selective enforcement.
  3. No one is claiming victim status for the Cossacks and the Bandidos.
  4. Who makes a big deal of the race of Baltimore, Ferguson, Staten Island, and Madison shootings? It’s the Al Sharptons, and Young and Foolish cadres.
  5. Crime is about behavior, not race.
  6. Officials may not have characterized gang members as thugs but they have used plenty of pejoratives, all richly warranted.

Last year’s Sauk Prairie H.O.G. group attracted thousands of riders for a ride from Sauk City to Loganville (pictured here) to benefit muscular dystrophy treatment.

Motorcycling is my favorite pastime these days, supplanting shooting. I belong to three motorcycle groups. One is a meet-up led by a retired Dane County judge. (A Democrat, at that!) Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney is the safety officer for the Four Lakes H.O.G. group. His ride to benefit Safe Harbor (for abused children) runs July 11. 

I’ll grant you one thing: my favorite Milwaukee motorcycle maker incorporates a little bit of the outlaw biker ethos into its marketing. Are we aging boomers no different than the kids emulating prison culture? I know one thing: I am so removing the word “Texas” from my “bottom rocker” (CNN explains that term).

When in trouble, form a committee

In the wake of the Tony Robinson shooting, the City of Madison is about to create a committee to review the police department’s guidelines in the use of deadly force. Leave aside that Madison already has a police and fire commission. Ald. Maurice Cheeks said the new committee will be composed of civilians reflecting “an array of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds,” according to WKOW TV-27.

What do you want to bet those backgrounds don’t include conservative, traditional values? What do you want to bet that the diversity of the committee will only be skin-deep? Indeed, the resolution specifies representation from Madison’s black, Asian, Latino, and LGBTQ communities.

Who, if anyone, will be the token Republican?

TV-27 reports that Police Chief Mike Koval said MPD would not be forced into making any changes to its policies.

“Let’s be clear, we’re not starting from ground zero here. We didn’t start opening up a police department last week,” Koval said. “We’ve been at it for some time. We have a well-rounded, well-educated, thoughtful, and compassionate workforce. We typically resolve most of our encounters with the community with little more than presence and dialogue. … So let’s not try to go on some sort of a Salem witch hunt to assume the Madison people aren’t getting a quality, premium product, because they are getting one.”


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
May 19, 2015 03:58 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


who cares about bikers in texas. who cares about texas period.

how about writing something about the successes of wedc in Wisconsin.

tough to do, I know.

May 19, 2015 05:03 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

1. They certainly trashed the restaurant- and have you ever seen a outlaw biker club headquarters?

2. Yes, a Bandidos spokesman is.

3. See above.

4. Differences in enforcement by race has been well documented, stop pretending.

5. Perception of crime and police behavior is often racial, well documented, stop pretending.

May 19, 2015 05:09 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

You haven't really been paying attention. The United Way formed that committee many, many months ago. It's co-chaired by Everett Mitchell and UW chief Sue Riseling. Is your motorcycle helmet too tight? Or aren't you wearing one?

May 20, 2015 07:05 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anon MAY 19, 2015 03:58 PM

Who cares about Madistan? It is just a cesspool of malcontents always looking for a free handout. Each new generation of malcontents gets worse. How about you tell us about the successes of your president? You can't. He is sinking the whole country, including your cesspool. The deficit is going up again. Sure glad you are going to pay for that mess.

May 20, 2015 09:03 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anon may 20 2015 7:05

Guess what you a--, I don't reside in Madison.

I would love to start a list of what our president has done for this country then what the loser of a governor has done for our state.

The country is way better off than our state and that is a proven fact.

not a walker lie.

crawl back in to your hole and try to meet with reality.

or better yet, watch fox news, lies, some more.

May 20, 2015 10:34 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

subtract economy of texas and the country isn't so well off - and that is a proven fact!
wisconsin unemployment rate for March was 4.6% - national 5.5% - a proven fact as well. I'm assuming unless I'm using Clinton math that the higher number means worse off.
how is wisconsin less well off because of walker other than he took away the bennies?

May 20, 2015 10:36 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

also, another truth - Julie Lassa and Peter Barca are on the board of WEDC. I'm pretty sure they are Dems. They have 2 votes, Gov Walker has one. math is hard, I know.

May 20, 2015 02:43 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


I can turn on tv and watch fox news anytime.

hard to think for yourself.

oh well, typical

May 20, 2015 03:17 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Outlaw is an interesting word which glorifies anti-social tendencies. Think Waylon Jennings. The term that best applies to the criminals you reference above is gang bangers.

Now, imagine that because you drive a motorcycle, the cops regularly targeted you, pulling you over a couple times a year, making you sit on the curb with your hands behind your back as people drove by staring, while they ran your name through various criminal background checking programs. Hey, if you haven't done anything wrong, what would be the harm? Do riders of Harleys get pulled over more than riders of Hondas? Sure. But Harley riders use meth at a higher rate than Honda riders and everybody knows it. And did you hear about what happened in Texas?

Don't want trouble from the cops? Then pull your act together and drive a car like a normal person.

May 20, 2015 06:23 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anony 10:39 - (snork!) you guys are hilarious! "Quality of the trolling." Ha ha! What about the quality of the SUPPORTERS? But, thanks for the shout-out!

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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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