Like a Studebaker Lark on low-ethyl gas!
So, how is this going to work? Mayor Dave announces that the police (I almost wrote: his police) should go door-to-door and ask for the kids' guns. It is apparently based on the Firearms Suppression Project in St. Louis.
Utilizing parental consent to a search instead of a search warrant approved by a judge is a way to move quickly -- before the guns can do damage -- when police are tipped off to the location of a weapon in the hands of a juvenile. [Steven Verberg in the Wisconsin State Journal]
Does this require a knock-knock joke?
Yes, get the guns out of the gang-bangers' hands. But I have written before that pulling guns out of these hardened cases is like pulling needles one by one, out of every cactus in the desert.
The program pre-supposes that parents know what their kids are up to. Our problems don't know what their kids are up to and don't care enough to find out. They are mired in a victim mentality encouraged by the likes of Madame Brenda and her fellow travelers.
Bottom line: it's worth trying. Blaska's Blog does not fall into the trap of demanding the perfect mousetrap.
The libs will cry racial profiling. Chris Ahmuty of the ACLU is already on the job. If the number of black households hit by the mayor's gun confiscators exceeds per a percentage point their total share of the city's population, watch out.
Cue Dave Edmunds:
You went away and left long time ago
Now you're knocking on my door
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you been
The mayor's idea to require absentee landlords to designate a local go-to guy might maybe could help. One niggling question: what authority do these designees really have? They can't be held liable for anything, really.
I am more heartened by the push to involve community leaders and -- I would interpose -- rank and file citizens, to do their part. I agree with Mayor Cieslewicz when he says:
A City Hall led effort to fight crime can only go so far. What's needed is an even stronger partnership between the community and its government.
So I suggest the following:
- Encourage and promote the actions of community leaders, like Allied-Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood Association President Florenzo Cribbs and his community mentoring program and Reverend David Smith from Faith Community Christian Church and his work to engage his fellow clergy.
- Continue to establish, communicate and enforce high standards of personal and group behavior throughout our community.
That mirrors Points #5 and #6 on my action list:
#5. Train citizens on proper safety precautions and physical interventions.
#6. Promote positive values. Abandon the victimology message. Get the education and faith communities to pro-actively preach empowerment, self-respect, consideration of and responsibility to others -- to balance off the over-emphasis on "rights."
The mayor (and Blaska's Blog) hopes the likes of Cribbs and Smith can "address the no snitch" culture. There is promise that they will carry Bill Cosby's "no excuses" message, which constitutes another plank in my action platform:
#10. Require or induce all teachers and city policy makers to read the book, Come on People: on the Path from Victims to Victors, by Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D.
As the Mayor said: "City government can sometimes provide resources, but the most effective responses will not be designed or led solely by the city, but by the residents themselves."
Bottom Line on the Mayor's program: Heavy on rehabilitation, weak on preventing Chicago from dumping its refuse in Madison. That is the real story: Mayor Daley II is driving the rats out of his city. Some of them are making their way here.
A resident of troubled Park Ridge neighborhood on the southwest side tells me:
"Unfortunately, most of the things … won't happen until whoever is mayor of this city
- Reduces the number of section 8 vouchers coming into and being used Madison (which means not actively soliciting more from wherever they come from),
- Stops concentrating housing in clumps connected to neighborhoods that are already problems and wreaking havoc, puts low income housing in neighborhoods that have never housed it before,
- Gets/has the balls to do what is right no matter how hard it is and to also weaken the likes of Progressive Dane …"
Blaska's Blog disagrees with the writer's penultimate point. It is apparent that scattering problems throughout the city only scatters problems throughout the city. Balsam/Russett, Hammersley/Betty's Lane, Park Ridge, Allied Drive, Badger Road, Darbo-Worthington, and on and on.
Talk to the police -- they would just as soon it was concentrated in one area. Build a blue fence of police around it and control it.
I am not certain which of the Mayor's points the establishment of the Meadowood farmers market fulfills. Perhaps it is "Reducing anonymity in neighborhoods," and "engaging neighbors in discussions about the issues causing concern."
This little piggy went to market
Saw Patricia Schneider at the opening of the Meadowood Farmers' Market on Wednesday afternoon. She covers the Blaska: "I don't know."
Capital Times: "I mean, a farmers' market. Can't hurt, right?"
Blaska: "I don't know."
I was not quoted.
The provisioner of Stately Blaska Manor pressed a few farthings into the grubby hand of the yeoman tiller in exchange for a clutch of edible snap peas. He found the peas to be of high quality. Quite edible. Snappy, too!
Still, the Meadowood Farmers' Market is not actually in Meadowood at all. It is located at Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, the non-judgmental establishment of choice for guilty liberals, at the corner of Gilbert Road and Tolman Terrace squarely in the Orchard Ridge neighborhood, which is several blocks from "the troubles" but maybe that is good. Some of my neighbors might feel like going there -- on safe ground, so to speak -- while some of the (ahem) less established people can still walk there. Who knows, might be good.
Perhaps the Blaska Policy Research Center and Experimental Work Farm will open its own stand, purveying sun-ripened blogs and farm-fresh conservative opinion, right next to the grass-fed lamb.
Mayor Dave marks this market as part of his crime-fighting approach. It was started thanks to a $10,835 grant from the Community Development Block Grant Commission. It is open Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and yes, food stamps and WIC vouchers will be accepted.
A former resident of troubled Park Ridge neighborhood on the southwest side tells me:
I live on Tolman Terrace which is a few doors down from the UCC church parking lot which is now hosting the Wednesday farmer's market.
Can you tell me if our neighborhood is zoned for this type of activity? Were the residents given a chance to provide input regarding having a farmer's market on the street in their neighborhood?
Do you know the reason for playing music over a loudspeaker during the market? What does it take to get the farmer's market moved to a more logical place, i.e., at the parking lot on the corner of Raymond and Whitney Way? A petition?
Welcome to the struggle, neighbor!