Hello, I must be going
Didn’t Groucho say that once? That’s where your Humble Bloggeur is at. He is pulling up stakes and heading for the high country. Going indie. Setting up his stand at davidblaska.com. Can you remember that? Bookmark it now.
What this means is: No Mr. Nice Guy. No pulling punches. And more frequency. (What, indeed, is the frequency, Kenneth? For that matter, what is the clearance, Clarence?) Madison needs more fearless, not more fearful.
We started this electronic soapbox almost five years ago — February 2012 to be exact. Free speech has been a special concern, especially as the coercive powers of the state have been arrayed against conservative speakers — those who espouse free markets, entrepreneurship, risk and reward. We’ve experienced pre-dawn raids, although our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances will quibble that a sliver of sunshine may have breached the horizon before the speech police readied their battering rams.
Post-election, menacing gangs of militants are disrupting speeches on campus. Innocuous Post-it notes are treated as actionable hate speech. Wear the wrong costume at your peril.
Safe streets and neighborhoods are also priorities here at the Blaska Policy Werkes (and Tanning Salon). Sections of Madison have resembled shooting galleries. Chicago is not that far away, geographically or socially. When did police become the enemy? Law enforcement is subjected to race-based tests — release 500 persons of color from jail now! Disagree and get dealt the race card.
Vulnerable populations are not served by dumbing down deviancy.
This small voice has fought for schools that don’t make excuses, that demand excellence, that serve the student and not the teachers union. Schools that teach that most important ingredient of success — discipline. Businesses need workers willing to learn, and communities need citizens able to contribute. How the Establishment fights competition to its government monopoly!
Lead or get led
On that note, at 3 p.m. Jan. 5, Downtown Madison Inc. will send up an SOS to in the Common Council chambers for relief from the disorder caused by vagrants (sometimes euphemistically called “the homeless”). Junkies passed out in restaurant restrooms, chronic drunks menacing customers, filth and profanity driving away business. The problem is especially acute on upper State Street but is not confined there.
“This came out of our quality of life downtown committee,” DMI head Susan Schmitz tells me. Her members met with nine alders on Nov. 2 to hear their issues. Susan hopes the Jan. 5 session — this one on the Council’s grounds — will discuss solutions. It’s not a regular meeting of the Common Council; more like a committee of the whole.
We’ll see how many alders choose to attend.
Mayor Soglin appears to be on board. He’s been trying to limit squatters from commandeering street benches. Soglin understands that most of the panhandlers on street median strips could hold jobs.
I implore businesspeople, especially, to run for local office. Madison voters will elect all 20 alders next April. But now is the time that really counts. To get on the ballot, prospective candidates have until Tuesday, Jan. 3 at 5 p.m. to submit nominating petitions. You need only 20 signatures of eligible voters (and no more than 40) residing in your aldermanic district. Check the city clerk’s website for instructions and this map to find your district.
Believe old Dave, there are no Trumans or Eisenhowers on the Madison Common Council. Madison is hungry for your common sense. It does take a time commitment.
Finally — and it really is final — come see me at Stately Blaska Manor. Thank you Bill Haight, president of Magna Publications, for providing me with this forum for the past almost-five years.
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