As a certain ancient vaudevillian used to say, there is good news tonight. This just in from Madison's Hard Left: crime is not, repeat, NOT, a problem in Madison's neighborhoods.
For this we have the first hand testimony of Esty Dinur, WORT radio host and Isthmus contributor.
For three years, Esty has lived on the north side of Madison and she has yet to be victimized, she writes in the 11-01-2007 Isthmus. So there's your proof. No foul no crime.
Yes, 200 people turned out at a north side neighborhood meeting to claim otherwise. (That's a lowball estimate from other published sources.) Normally, the Prog Dane types like to cloak their opinions as those of The People but what, Esty asks, do these "self-selected" knuckle draggers know? They are duped -- duped, she says -- by:
- A "fear-mongering media," which apparently includes the neighborhood's "Northside News," as well as the hated talk radio "to create a false consensus that people on the north side desire and need more police."
- Racism. Esty pulls the racism card from the bottom of the deck, the surest sign of a scoundrel. "The audience of about 200 people was almost all white." Well, that tears it, doesn't it? It's not about crime, it's about race. It's not the anti-social behavior they hate, they just don't want to share turf with Dr. Huxtable and his family.
- Don't forget poverty, the other liberal whipping boy. Esty writes: "People don't sell drugs on a street corner because it's fun or because that's what they always wanted to do. They do it out of need and desperation."
That's right, Esty. Buy my crack (it's wicked bad stuff) so I can put my baby through law school. Want a taste of this smack? Pays for the kid's daycare. C'mon 7-11, baby needs new diapers. The street corner so much beats reporting to a cubicle in service to the Wisconsin Retirement System.
Here's the part where Dinur laid on thickly: the real problem is that our jails are full. Wisconsin prisons houses 22,400 inmates, etc., etc. So, Esty, how many of those inmates do you want released to the north side of Madison? How many repeat drunk drivers, wife beaters, crack dealers, old folk swindlers, window smashers, kid-diddlers, and ex-legislators do you want haunting the hood?
At least Esty is willing to trot out the liberal shibboleth for all to see. More police means -- yes, she actually says it -- less midnight basketball! Well, no wonder we got trouble and it doesn't rhyme with the Goodman pool.
News flash: Dane County is already the absolute gold standard for social services.
Since it is Dane County government that provides the lion's share of social services, it is appropriate to explore its budget. Consider that the current operating 2007 budget provides $56 million for the state's fourth largest law enforcement agency, the Dane County Sheriff, keeper of the jail, metro narcotics (with the city), lake patrol, highway patrol, bomb squad, court bailiffs, process service, among other services.
Now consider that Dane County Human Services spend $96 million for children, youth and families services such as prevention, counseling & therapy, protective day care and Joining Forces for Families. I'm not done; alcohol and other drug abuse treatment, alternate care, Children Come First, juvenile delinquency supervision, the Youth Commission, adult community services, jail diversion, economic assistance, housing and homeless support and employment and training.
I am not counting money spent on the aging, developmentally disabled, mental health, physical disabilities or Badger Prairie nursing home. That would bring the total to $222 million.
As Esty would say, "This has not corrected social ills."
But just think of all the basketball it could buy!