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Nov 1, 201308:19 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Mad science: DNR tiff is latest example of educrats trying to seize more power

(page 1 of 2)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Early this year, a Republican state legislator wrote a law that virtually guaranteed that a single organization would qualify for a $500,000 grant to promote hunting and fishing. The grant was rescinded after the Walker administration learned that the group did not have proper tax-exempt status. More proof to Spencer Black, that most partisan of Democrats, that the Department of Natural Resources must be “insulated from politics,” as he wrote last month.

In his days in the Assembly, the former Madison rep (and current Sierra Club officer) sponsored several bills to remove the DNR from the governor’s appointive cabinet so that it could make decisions “based on science, not politics.” The environment, argue the professional environmentalists, is too important to be left to politicians. 

What about highway safety? Is that also important? Is the well-being of children and families important? How about health, veterans’ affairs, work rules — shouldn’t they be free of the presumed taint of “politics”? Who elects politicians? The people, of course. But what do they know? They’re not scientific experts. Not if they voted for Scott Walker!

It’s the dream of every bureaucrat who ever inhabited a cubicle, every apparatchik who ever set a quota, every kommissar of kulture: Strip the people of the right to make their own choices in the holy name of science. It’s for their own good.

Did I just overreach by implying communism? Not according to Anne Applebaum. In her clear-eyed appraisal Iron Curtain, the Crushing of Eastern Europe, she writes, “Bolsheviks read the works of Lenin and Marx not as ... one of many theories of history but as scientific fact.” 

In The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek warned — even as World War II raged — that, under the cover of progressivism, the democracies were traveling the same road as socialism and fascism. All three philosophies promised progress — at the expense of individual freedom.

Think of the Wisconsin State Journal demanding “merit selection” of judges by unelected elites; Government Accountability Board bureaucrats reviewing candidates’ campaign literature to determine permissible political speech; the Federal Elections Commission banning Hillary: the Movie. Take Obamacare, run by 17 appointed “experts.” Please.

This profound distrust of the people explains the fierce opposition of the education establishment to school choice. The educrats, not Mom and Dad, will determine the proper school for little Jeremy. 

Recall that classic government overreach: Prohibition. Big-city, immigrant Democrats differed with Jim Crow Democrats on that issue. Protestant rural Republicans parted with the Wall Street variety. But the progressive movement was all in. 

“Progressives exalted the methodology of science under the meticulous supervision of a self-selected elite,” writes Daniel Okrent in Last Call, the Rise and Fall of Prohibition. “If the saloon could be abolished through the sort of aggressive government intervention the progressives favored ... the ‘polyglot class’ could be lifted up from ‘his dirt and beer.’”

(Continued)

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Comments, page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next »
Nov 1, 2013 09:30 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Global warming is global baloney. This column gets a D+ grade.

Nov 1, 2013 01:28 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

@Anonymous who posted at 9:30am: Yes, you and Blaska agree that global warming is baloney (me too). So why a D+? I thought it was one of his better recent efforts (e.g.,no motorcycle filler) since the hilarious Solidarity Singers episodes. Just curious as to your reasoning.
Scott

Nov 1, 2013 07:10 pm
 Posted by  JNT

Back in July of 2012 you wrote that CO2 emissions are decreasing. Now at least you’ve got it right, CO2 emissions are going up. Nice going Blaska! But your friends aren’t going to be very happy with you. You say there is no doubt that human activity is warming the earth. I’m curious then ---- what human activity is contributing to warming the earth? Back in 2012 you said it can’t be CO2 because that is part of the “Global Climate Change faith”. Have you had a change of faith? Do you think greenhouse gases have any role in the climate system? Do you know what the temperature on the Earth would be if there weren’t any greenhouse gases? Also, you say human activity has increased the temperature on Earth by 2 degrees C. Most scientists consider human activity to have added about 0.8 degrees C, so you’re pretty far out there in your faith. Now, you are absolutely correct that the Earth has been much colder and much warmer than it is now. And yes, there were glaciers in Wisconsin. What caused the glaciers Blaska? How about the Milankovitch cycles? It turns out that right now we are in the cooling phase of the cycle, so that doesn’t explain the current warming, does it? And you say that 2 degrees C is a very small temperature rise. You brought up the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age --- what was the global surface temperature difference between these two periods? Was it less than or greater than 2 degrees C? How about the temperature change between the time of the glaciers and now? And finally, you say that global temperatures have been flat for the last 15 years -- which is true, more or less. But yet scientists at the UW and other locations have determined by satellite measurements at the top of the atmosphere that there is more incoming radiation than outgoing. Where is that extra energy going, if not warming the planet somewhere? Here’s a clue: the surface temperature only accounts for 2% of the planet’s energy inventory. Now think in three dimensions.

Nov 2, 2013 04:33 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Probably because he was being sarcastic.

And yes you ands blaska are at least a F in my books.

Article is worth nothing.

As are most blaska articles.

Nov 2, 2013 08:34 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The liberal/communist mantra has always been "Do as I say, not as I do." It is OK for them to be rich, to burn fossil fuels, to not pay taxes. A pox on us that think we know better than them! And the easily manipulated sheep listen to them. Unbelievable.

Dave, not B

Nov 3, 2013 10:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

We don't need no damn pointy-head scientists to tell us what...the science shows. Nope. Not when there's reactionary ideology at stake.

Nov 4, 2013 07:17 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

jnt:

Don't expect blaska to respond with anything rational. He will call you names, make fun of your education and probably besmirch your ancestry.

Nov 5, 2013 05:38 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

blather:

Making a comparison between the science of managing natural resources and the ideology of Lenin and Marx is a great example of your lack of knowledge or experience in any scientific field and your complete lack ability to conduct a serious discussion. You once again resort to name calling and ridicule to make an undefended argument.

So I ask you to follow your own lead. The next time you go to the doctor to have the scar tissue removed from your lobotomy make sure the good doc has never had a science class. See how that turns out.

Your Buddy,

Earl

Nov 5, 2013 07:52 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

And I'm the name-caller!

Will the iron mine in Iron County harm the environment? Of course it will! It will create a big, gaping hole in the ground that, only eventually, will be landscaped. The challenge is to minimize the damage. Today's technology gives us the tools to do so. So why inflict this wound upon the environment. Because of an inconvenience called "people." People need iron to make things (such as irons for mommies to iron their kids clothes). People need jobs getting at the iron. A pure, environment-only dictator would say to hell with the people. It's the environment that matters. Do you think that unelected DNR-czar Spencer Black would have granted a permit to Judge Doty (that rapacious, buffalo-robe bribing scoundrel) to erect a WHAT!??? A CITY!! on a narrow peninsula between two pristine lakes?

As for the lobotomy scar, it's barely noticeable. More worrisome, Blaska remains the only living heart donor.

Nov 5, 2013 01:55 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave:

As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.

And at least now you admit the proposed mine will cause environmental damage. Several months ago you were of the opposite opinion. And now you also see the light in minimizing the damage. Good for you, maybe you are getting some environmental conscience. But good science and engineering is need to determine the potential harm and develop a plan for minimization and mitigation. If you think otherwise you are woefully wrong.

And I am sure Spencer Black is happy to be the Blaska-appointed DNR czar. He will do a great job. Unfortunately, we are stuck with an under qualified and politically motivated DNR secretary who pays lip service to science in the press but does an about face when talking to staff.

Please enlighten all your readers with the tall tales regarding your inter-species heart donation...

Your Buddy,

Earl

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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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