Progressive priorities are killing Madison

How much progressivism before more die?

The Capital Times is declaring progressive victory after the April 6 Madison Common Council election. 

The real shift on the council is in the direction of diversity and progressive policy making. The majority of council members are now people of color. And the overwhelming majority of members ran and won as progressives.

Which is true but, as we said a few days ago, nothing really changed. The rank and file police officers rated Ald. Paul Skidmore as public safety’s greatest ally and Ald. Rebecca Kemble as its most dangerous foe. Both incumbents lost — but to their opposite numbers. We also noted that Progressive Dane now claims 7 members — down from 9 in the previous council. But yes, Madison city government remains a progressive experiment.

For the progressive majority, as The Capital Times spins it, “One issue, in particular, stood out: housing affordability.” Not crime, housing affordability. 

At Gilbert Road and S. Whitney Way

In the real world

Here in Orchard Ridge, two cars were racing at high speeds west on Hammersley Road shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday 04-13-21 before turning north on Gilbert Road — home to Maria Goretti elementary school, Orchard Ridge elementary, and Toki middle school.  

I live very close and heard the shots — 6-7 of them, pretty fast,” one neighbor reports.

An eye witness in the 1200 block of Gilbert Road says, “I looked out the window when I heard the shots and saw a small new white SUV quickly accelerate as it passed my driveway. It was either the shooter or the person who was shot.”

One of the vehicle’s back window was shot out but made it to a Mexican bodega at the foot of Vitense golf course. Female victim taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

For the record: police did none of the shooting. (If you have any information regarding this incident, contact MPD at 255-2345, or you can remain anonymous and contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 266-6014, or, on the web at

  • On the north side of Madison, someone awoke Tuesday morning to find a bullet lodged in a bedside table after it traveled through an outside wall.  A second bullet hole was also found. 
  • Another stolen car, this one late Tuesday morning in Mid-town.
  • On the south side last night, officers responded to McDivitt Road for a report of multiple reports of shots fired. 
  • On the isthmus at E. Washington Ave and Baldwin Street at 4 this morning, a car ran into a tree and caught on fire. Occupant hospitalized. 

No crime goes unnoticed

But crime isn’t the issue — at least, not for progressives. It’s “housing affordability.”

Despite its earnest professions of home affordability, we will guess that The Capital Times will support the school district’s anticipated $115 increase in property taxes on the average valued home. 

The progressive proselytizer quotes Nikki Conklin, who beat Ald. Skidmore: “People wanted change, and change they will get.” 

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Just don’t expect the Council to quit its cop-bashing.

Posted in Crime, Madison aldermanic elections 2021, Progressives, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Our Question of the Day

You have the right to remain silent

We remember when The Capital Times would do its man on the street questions. Five unwitting citizens proffer their answers off the top of their heads. Each answer was accompanied by their “mug shot,” as we journalists called those face-only photos. Might be a good time to resume that hoary old feature, now that some brave souls are venturing into God’s Great Outdoors, blinking in the unfamiliar sunlight, albeit more masked up than a train robber in a Tom Mix silent western. 

Our first Man on the Street question (with a Platinum Subscriber bonus sixth respondent):

“Resisting arrest: good idea or bad?”

Tomorrow’s question: “What brand of plywood do you recommend?”

How would YOU answer today’s question?

Posted in George Floyd riots | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Visit the Experimental Work Farm

At this address and via the menu at the header above.

Bloodroot in the Blaska woodland corner
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News media scolds police chief for calling it a ‘Riot’

How does one confuse Taser with Glock?

According to KARE TV-11, Daunte Wright had an outstanding warrant for gross misdemeanor carrying a pistol without a permit and misdemeanor fleeing police.

The shooting may have been accidental, even if stupid. In the videotape, the officer is heard yelling “taser, taser, taser” before she exclaims “Holy S**t, I just shot him.” There remain serious questions about the stop and execution of the arrest. Didn’t stop Progressive hero Rashida Tlaib from declaring Monday night04-12-21 that the death of Daunte Wright “wasn’t an accident” and was “inherently [and] intentionally racist.”

That was no riot!

Even with rioting and looting in full view in the last couple nights, the networks continued to refer to protests or at most “protests turn violent.” It appears that Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon never got the memo.

The essential Jonathan Turley continues: the police chief was scolded for calling the widespread rioting a “riot” by reporters.

He was asked by a reporter “What was your decision to issue a dispersal order while they were peacefully protesting in front of the police station?”

Gannon responded by saying, “Just so that everybody’s clear, I was front and center at the protest, at the riot.”

That led to one person to object “Don’t do that” and another exclaiming “There was no riot.”  … Gannon was not inclined to yield to the word police:

“It was. The officers that were putting themselves in harm’s way were being pelted with frozen cans of pop, they were being pelted with concrete blocks. And yes, we had our helmets on and we had other protection and gear but an officer was injured, hit in the head with a brick … so we had to make decisions. We had to disperse the crowd because we cannot allow our officers to be harmed.”

Hooray for Minnesota Gov. Tim Waltz

Gov. Tim Walz:  “For those who choose to go out and … to exploit these tragedies for destruction or personal gain, you can rest assured that the largest police presence in Minnesota history and coordination will be prepared. You will be arrested. You will be charged. …It’s not debatable, you’re not making the case. You’re hurting the case. You’re undermining the grief, and you hear it from families time and time again.”

Posted in Crime, George Floyd riots, Race | 19 Comments

Our lawn just got interesting

We’re looking over a lawn with clover 

If you see an old guy stumbling around the grounds of Stately Blaska Manor, head down, just walk on by (as Dionne Warwick advises). It is only the head groundskeeper inspecting the greenswards surrounding the manse. Last summer he rented a seeder and sowed white clover into the bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Just in swaths here and there. It will spread. After a long and lonely winter (happy to report), the clover is doing great. (So is the old guy.)

Not just any clover — micro-clover. The stuff (trifolium repens) is maybe a third the size of tradition dutch white clover. It grows much lower to the ground; plays nice with grass and the existing patches of regular dutch white clover. Same shade of green. 

Back in the day, every bag of lawn seed contained white clover and for good reason: biodiversity. Then along came herbicides. Blaska grew up with herbicides. Sprayed plenty of atrazine on corn ground, growing up. Filling the large tank with a high-pressure hose, the clueless farm boy would peer into the seemingly bottomless tank to be met with a geyser of milk-white liquid. Tank’s full, we would spit!

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So we’re not opposed to herbicides. But one day last summer the lawn across the street was thick with the dainty pink & white blossoms of white clover and it looked so lovely, as if painted by the random hand of the big Bob Ross in the sky. More Capability Brown than Palace of Versailles.

Clover fixes its own nitrogen. Its deep roots aerate our clay-packed soils. (We do aerate with a machine every fall.) For the same reason, the stuff resists drought. Virtually disease-free. Takes foot traffic. Likes more sun but tolerates some shade. Bees love it. Figure it will crowd out Mr. Creeping Charlie, which tends to smother grass. And little Miss dandelion.

Siberian squill

We were enchanted with banks of blue squill in our neighborhood so last fall we buried the tiny bulbs into the front, north-facing and shady lawn — only the white variety. Several websites — including Minnesota University Extension — say Don’t Grow It! It’s Invasive! Well, so is grass! It is what they call “naturalizing.” Duh!

Siberian squill takes shade because they bloom before the trees leaf out. They are March and April visitors and will come through the snow. Hardy up to the Arctic Circle! Their spiky leaves are also the same green as grass. Counting on the squill and clover to fill in the bare spots on the front lawn.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Nature abhors a monoculture.


Eartheasy is good on micro-clover.  So is Outside Pride. The Spruce has the scoop on squill. 


Posted in Experimental Work Farm, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Recrimination is not a winning message

Can we get back to the future sometime soon?

A certain former President ripped into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell before a Republican National Committee donor event Saturday evening 04-10-21, deriding him as a “dumb son of a bitch.”

Mitch McConnell may be many things. A ‘dumb son of a bitch’ he is not. This is the Senate majority leader who saved #45 from being convicted after impeachment. Twice. This is the Republican leader who shepherded through the torturous confirmation process three supreme court justices and scores of lower federal court judges, reshaping the judiciary for years to come. This is the dumb son of a bitch who secured tax cuts and paved the way for energy independence. Mitch McConnell was also … re-elected.

What is frightening is that people paid good money to hear a former President imitate Mt. Soufriere, belching smoke and fire but very little light. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said Sunday on CNN that divisive comments like those heard at Mar-a-lago weren’t helpful. (More here.) Just another RINO?

Politico reports: “Much of Trump’s Saturday night speech was aimed at re-litigating the election results.” That, my Republican friends, is not a winning message.

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Mind if we start winning?

Nancy, Chuck, Kamala, and Uncle Joe are doing their best to elect Republicans. The border is overwhelmed, our hard-fought energy independence vanished at the pumps, trillions of dollars thrown at everything but infrastructure, cozying up to Iran and China, threatening gun rights, sowing racial division. To which, add packing the Supreme Court and the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell is not the problem, people.

Meanwhile, the former President resembles Napoleon on St. Helena island, adrift in the South Atlantic. He also dissed former Vice President Mike Pence. Loyalty is a two-way street, Mr. ex-President. 

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Big tents house winners, small tents shelter whiners.

Who are YOU trying to purge?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments