Sun Prairie, we’re hoping for the best

One firefighter killed; several more people injured
Downtown a disaster area 

Sun Prairie fire

WKOW-TV contributed photo; looking west directly at the Barr House

Huge fire and explosion just after dinner / supper hour at 7 Tuesday evening (07-10-18) in Sun Prairie, the Squire’s old stomping grounds. Main and Bristol Streets are the heart of my old home town. That’s the old city hall pictured at right. The new city hall is a couple blocks to the east and the city council was meeting. Fortunately, the gas leak was reported a half-hour earlier so that people could be evacuated. First responders are dong an excellent job. Many of our family members were and are SP volunteer firefighters.

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The Iron Stache has made some mistakes

But he takes responsibility, as if he had any other choice

Smokey & Bandit

Child non-support, drunk driving, driving without a license (three times!), and failure to appear in court. That is the rap sheet on the Iron Stache, ol’ Randy Bryce, unmasked by CNN (of all news sources). Not a Wisconsin news source? 

Time for some political triage. John Nichols offers cover: “Randy Bryce takes responsibility for his past mistakes.”

What a mensch! Guessing his brushes with the law will only add to his appeal as a Merle Haggard kind of outlaw. Continue reading

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Bernie Sanders, clouds, and the lost dogs of Madison

The Squire feels like going feral

The Squire used to believe that when one died, God (or one of his representatives) would whisper a short sentence into your ear that would explain the mysteries of the universe and the meaning of life. It would be so head-smackingly simple that you would wonder why it had not occurred to you. (We also once believed that one could be dropped from an airplane and bounce around on top of cumulous clouds. The reason no one did was the danger of falling off down to earth below. Einstein, we were not.)

CloudHumankind is learning that time can stand completely still, that the universe is still expanding, that it began with the Big Bang. (At first there was nothing, then it exploded. WHAT exploded?!!!) Continue reading

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The gloves are off; let’s rumble!

Civility is not only wrong; it’s WHITE!

The drink’s on me, Dave. Literally

The verdict is in and it’s not just Maxine Waters who encourages harassing political adversaries. Antifa enablers like Capital Times emeritus editor Dave Zweifel have officially sworn off civility. You want to throw that drink in that kid’s face for wearing a Make America Great Again cap at a burger joint? Have at it!

 

After years of tut-tutting over micro-aggressions like the occasional disparaging political label, Mr. Zweifel has given his blessing for in-your-face drink throwing. Humiliating, hounding, heckling and harassing. As long as you target the right victims, those being those with whom he disagrees, which is to say, Republicans.

Talk about situational ethics! For years, my old boss wrote an annual sermon on civility. In an August 2017 column, he claimed that “the political low road runs through Wisconsin.” Given that the only two examples he cited came from the state Republican party, one could be forgiven for concluding that the low road took only the right lane. The party called one Democratic gubernatorial candidate “an out-of-touch con artist” and another a “phony.” Continue reading

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Good neighbors in a great country celebrate America’s birthday

Some others can’t get past their own hate

A bleat from the Madison fire truck’s siren announced the beginning of the annual Independence Day parade in the Orchard Ridge neighborhood shortly after 11:30 Wednesday morning. There followed a squadron of children pedaling their tiny bikes, mom and dad pushing infants in strollers. All decorated in red, white and blue. Bringing up the rear was the year’s surprise parade marshal, riding in an open-top convertible.

Tom McKenna and Uncle Sam

Parade marshal Tom McKenna

Decidedly low key.

One year, when he served on County Board, yours truly had a place of honor, paired with Ald. Cindy Thomas. Two years ago, Chief Mike Koval accepted the applause of our neighbors. Last year, one of the great men of Madison, Bob Keller, now approaching age 91 and still developing fine housing in Madison, waved to the crowd. Who would it be this year? Turns out, another good friend, Tom McKenna — one of the great housing providers. His father, John C. McKenna, developed Orchard Ridge beginning in 1950 after buying the Hammersley farm in 1946. The Stately Manor was built in 1954.

A good neighbor who lives on the other side of the park, Diane Harrington,  recalled moving into Orchard Ridge on the day before the holiday, several years ago.

“We were quite perplexed when we woke up late in the morning July 4 to find hundreds of people in the park on the other side of our backyard hedge. What a welcoming! A neighbor from across the park saw we’d moved in and brought us a plate of food from the picnic and explained the amazing neighborhood tradition that was going on in the park. We learned she was coaching her daughter’s soccer team — and our older son was the same age. At the first soccer practice, we met other families from the neighborhood, one of whom had son the age of my younger son. We felt so welcomed right away.”

The Squire and his family can say the same when we moved to Orchard Ridge, Madison, WI, 28 years ago. Many of the first home owners here were still around and we met them at our neighbor’s house, the late Buddy Baxtrum, who happened to be the FBI agent (retired) who pursued the Army Math bombers. (He’s featured in the wonderful account of that crime, a book titled Rads by Tom Bates.) 

After every July 4 parade, neighbors assemble in the park for burgers, brats, and hot dogs; games for the kids and catching up with our neighbors. Many of us backing up to the park also host impromptu backyard parties where an adult beverage can be enjoyed.

Is the vile bile justifiable?

Many of my neighbors are committed liberals and that’s O.K. This is Madison, after all. This bloggeur does not allow politics to sour a personal relationship. We also understand the enmity that many have for our current president. What we cannot understand is the kind of self-defeating stunt that closed down the Statue of Liberty on its busiest, most-visited day of the year for most of the day. Even the Trump-hating New York Times headlined the story: “Statue of Liberty climber upends holiday for thousands.”

Speaking of self-defeating is the blog operated by Jeff Simpson, Monona Grove school board member who sees racists under every bed like Joe McCarthy saw Communists, and Chris Liebenthal, a Milwaukee county government union heavy who was once disciplined for “wasting the public’s time.” (Yeah, he was blogging on government time.)

This is their contribution to America’s birthday:

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Conservative Trump critics, allies go to the mattresses

Republican family feud — or is it war?
And why is this blog too long?

The Squire of Stately Blaska Manor enjoys nothing so much as a no-holds-barred blood feud. On this Independence Day, we’ve got a good one going. Conservatives find themselves in an all-out war between the families.

That capo regime of philosophers, Peter Clemenza, put it best: “That’s alright — this thing’s gotta happen every five years or so — 10 years — helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been 10 years since the last one.” (Or, perhaps, since Reagan.)

As the Godfather said, it was Trump all along. The great disrupter. As the mid-term elections approach, the Don’s family is settling all accounts. They are sending the Never-Trumpers to the mattresses. Nothing personal. It’s strictly business, Sonny.

michael-shoots

American Spectator sent a message wrapping the fishes with its June 29 hit piece, “The Collapse of the Never-Trump Conservatives.” Written by one Emerald Robinson, it drew first blood. Her enemies list targets these high-ranking Never Trumpers:  Continue reading

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