8. Generous to a fault
Previously in this series:
She has lived on Mayhill Drive, a few blocks from Balsam Road, for 33 years. Like many in these reports, she seeks confidentiality. Like many in these reports, she just wants a peaceful neighborhood.
"I can look out my front window and see drug deals. Mayhill Drive, where I can come home from work and find an empty bottle of Cialis ... Mayhill Drive, where I walk my dog down the street and people I do not know call me a BITCH. Life on Mayhill, when I wake up in the middle of the night to find grown men drinking beer in my front yard and leaving their Corona beer bottles on the grass. Such is life on Mayhill, when I can hear the slaps and punches of people fighting over I don't know what. Such is life on Mayhill. It is not good."
Taxpayers are subsidizing their rent as well as the police and social services required to service them.
The liberal news media likes to talk about people coming to Madison "for a better life."
And in most cases, they are walking into the welcoming arms of open-minded, liberal Madison.
Karen Sielaff has volunteered her time for positive reinforcement: neighborhood picnics, holiday parties, neighborhood clean-up days, a garage sale, neighborhood bonfire, and safety walks.
"Given the problems we're having today, I can't say these efforts have been fruitful."
"Having lived in my neighborhood for 13 years … I no longer feel safe walking on our streets alone at night," the Park Ridge resident reports.
But they don't seem to pass by the benefits office and they bring their pathologies with them - imposing costs on the police, social services and on neighbors like the ones on Mayhill Drive.
"We do have a strong migrating population from Chicago that really does impact this city from a crime standpoint," Police Chief Noble Wray tells Blaska's Blog.
Meadowood community police officer John Amos reports that "People are being funneled up here from Illinois with heavy weapons violations ... Gangster Disciples and other groups are coming up here and they are used to 'taking care of business' in a different way. The level of violence and the threat of violence is greater than normal."
And do not take the term "from Chicago" to be a code word for "black." Let's get this out of the way here and now. Most of the problem people are indeed African-American - but what of it? Is anyone afraid the Huxtables will move next door? This nation just elected Barack Obama.
They're here for all the goodies Madison throws at them.
Blaska's Blog asks Wray a question that seems rhetorical: "Are people getting more resources when they migrate from Chicago to Madison?" The chief doesn't say, but leaves the impression that he suspects the answer is yes. "I'm surprised some reporter has not tracked that down."
New arrivals can sup from a smorgasbord of subsidized goodies - the state's Badgercare health care, the federal Food Stamp program, Social Security disability payments - even, in Madison, "bus passes for the working poor" - except that there is no eligibility criteria! No, you don't have to be "working." But no benefit is more generous than the Section 8 program.
A 2008 Princeton University study shows that upper-income workers are leaving Wisconsin while low-income workers are flocking in - the third-worst migration pattern in the nation. "Wisconsin is more attractive to low-income individuals than to high-wage earners," the study concludes.
"That means the state is losing its highly educated and well-off citizens and attracting low-income people seeking our above-average government services," comments the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.
Don't you have to get up for work?
Notice how so much of the nonsense is occurring in the small hours of what would be working nights for most of us? That is because Madison is generous to a fault. Through the city, county, state and federal government are multifarious programs designed to take the sting out of not working.
In such ways, Madison is an enabler of sociopathic conduct
"Many of these neighborhood problems could have been prevented with better city policies. It is much easier to prevent a problem than trying to solve it," says West District Police Captain Jay Lengfeld last fall in a message to Ald. Pham-Remmele.
Dennis Lochner, who owns a hardware store in the Meadowood Shopping Center on Raymond Road, where I often shop, was quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal to say, "As a community, we facilitate freeloaders and bad lifestyles."
Literally! Ald. Marsha Rummell, one of the remaining Progressive Dane members on the Common Council, is re-introducing Brenda Konkel's proposal to require police to store and return "possessions" left by vagrants in hobo jungles, Ald. Thuy reports. Such are the priorities of some of our elected leaders.
The county executive used property taxes to bail out jail inmates (the so-called "revolving bail fund") until the district attorney intervened with an adverse opinion from the attorney general.
Madison has a hyper-active Equal Opportunities Commission. In fact, it voted 7-0 against the curfew, lest it disproportionately affect black children. Want to muddle the issue? Reduce the issue to race and you don't have to talk about conduct.
It is a community that is hyper-sensitive about race, to the point of reverse racism.
Ald. Thuy Pham-Remmele explained her proposal to strengthen the juvenile curfew (to 10 p.m. from 11 p.m. on week nights) this way:
"I co-sponsored this ordinance with Alder Jed Sanborn to keep youth from staying out late, especially on school nights, to protect vulnerable juveniles from the dark side as well as to curb negative activities that affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods."
Former Progressive Dane alder Brenda Konkel, now an influential blogger, seized on the "dark side" phrase to brandish the racist paint brush against, ironically, the only minority member of the Common Council.
It comes down to reverse racism - making allowances for depraved behavior is the soft racism of low expectations.
Both Dane County and state government are so concerned about race that each has launched its own study to determine why jail and prison inmates are sentenced disproportionate to the population.
When the federal government threatened to draw back its support of Section 8 housing vouchers two alders, Prog Dane's Satya Rhodes-Conway and moderate Michael Schumacher, proposed tapping into one-time money from it Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The proposal is currently pending.
Ald. Thuy Pham-Remmele opposes the measure.
"We must NOT continue to welcome into Madison more at-risk populations from elsewhere because we will never have sufficient resources to provide for them.This city shouldn't offer more subsidized housing at the expense of compromising the safety and quality of life of Madison tax-paying, law-abiding residents. We must send a strong message to those who come to Madison, not for a better life but to repeat their chronic criminal activities, that this community will not tolerate such behaviors!"
Next on Blaska's Blog: Section 8 = trouble?