Just to see how it's done, of course.
I'm sorry, I don't read Blaska's Blog. -- (now former) Mayor Dave Cieslewicz 7-13-2010 to WIBA radio.
And you see what happened to him. Now "former" mayor. Reduced to writing a blog for Isthmus. Is there any more debasing, humiliating, dead end ... oh, um, never mind.
Now that the former mayor has moved in next door here on TheDailyPage, he might want to see how a master combines startling insights with clairvoyant predictions, leavened by oblique humor and a soupcon of literary pretension. Plus a shaker full of that patented Blaska Bile! That be Blaska's Blog, boys and girls!
Belated thoughts about Dave Cieslewicz (may he blog in peace). I continue to like the guy. Appreciate his self-deprecating sense of humor. He accomplished the merger of the county and city health departments that I had been pushing from the county's side. Paul Soglin in the first match-up in 2003 promised only another "study."
But Miss Vicki and your Squire promoted the mayoral write-in of Ald. Thuy Pham-Remmele last month. Thuy did, indeed, siphon away what might have been Mayor Dave's margin of re-election victory.
I thought the sure touch that Mayor Dave displayed in the wake of the armed intruder at the child daycare center downtown early in his first term deserted him. I thought he could have done the same here on the southwest side of Madison. March arm-in-arm with Dave Glomp and James Monroe, black and white, conservative and liberal. With good landlords like the Horineks and industrious residents. Instead, he played the "them vs. us" game. The resentments linger.
Plus, Mayor Dave never convinced me that he understood a free market economy, having never practiced it. Taking one's cues from Progressive Dane is disastrous. Inclusionary Zoning -- a government mandate that new residential construction be "affordable" -- crashed and burned. Dave threw too much capital -- political and monetary -- at the Edgewater Hotel.
Dave's belated recognition that Prog Dane was Disneyland pushed Madame Brenda and her followers over to Paul Soglin. Ironically, Soglin also claimed the developers.
Yes, Ald. Thuy can be a porcupine but a little hand-feeding would have made her a friend, not an enemy. Ex-Mayor Dave never forgave Thuy for single-handedly scuttling his trolley cars in favor of 30 more police officers.
Finally, throwing the taxpayers overboard in a brazen bid to buy off the city employee unions with hurried-up sweetheart contracts in the weeks before a close election this Spring was an act of political malfeasance. Unwittingly, Mayor Dave made Gov. Scott Walker's point about public employee unions sitting on both sides of the bargaining table while the taxpayer is locked out of the room. (B-Blog refuses to bend over for Mayor Dave and the city unions.)
So, Dave, try my introductory offer for former mayors - two weeks of Blaska's Blog at half price! Order today and get the Platinum version at no additional charge! It just might be your ticket back to the fourth floor of the City-County Building!
Skip school; get gift card
I like Madison School Board member Ed Hughes' self-deprecating humor. (Seems to be a theme today.) In Gift card anyone? The anatomy of a fiasco, he writes, "... what's the big deal - I have lots of bad ideas. This one just got a lot more attention."
I am not in favor of the elimination of teachers unions or collective bargaining. As I have written, I think both serve a useful function.
I am in favor of a less adversarial and more collaborative and forward-looking relationship between the school district and MTI. I think it is unfortunate that the union seems to perceive that it is in its best interests to portray the school district administration as hostile to teachers. I would like to see a world where the union views itself less in an adversarial role as a bulwark against the administration's exploitation of teachers and more collaboratively as partners with the district in figuring out better ways to improve student learning.
Here is the Blaska Policy Research Center take: It is true that John Matthews is an extra special head case but he is not aberrant. Organized labor produces people like him. Employee unions are structured to be adversarial just like our two-party political system or our criminal justice system. But there's a reason the University of Wisconsin-Madison promotes a different model, the shared governance system. Or why high-tech, information-age companies are not unionized.
Unionized workers are alienated workers. They meet in isolation where the hottest heads dominate the podium. They talk themselves into an indignant lather and come loaded for bear when their reps, again serving as a filter, highlight their "inhumane" treatment and conjure an imagined solidarity with immigrant coal miners of a century ago.
Here is the new president of the Milwaukee teachers union, Bob Peterson, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
"We'll continue to do what we've been doing: organizing teachers and focusing on themes of justice," said Peterson, an elementary schoolteacher and well-known community activist in Milwaukee.
The Middleton-Cross Plains school district spends over $300,000 a year in arbitration and STILL can't fire a teacher who downloaded and spread pornography on his school computer? The union all but acknowledges that it is digging in its heels because the perp is a union leader. Arbitration must be abolished. The school district is the employer and teachers are the employees. Case closed.
Five insolent questions
1) Will Freedom of Info Council president Bill Lueders prod the Madison School District into releasing the names of the two-thirds of Madison unionized teachers who broke their contract, lied about being sick, and abandoned their students? The MacIver Institute fights for the people's right to know.
2) So the recount is over. Joanne Kloppenburg remains over 7,000 votes short of victory. The Supreme Court challenger has yet to concede. Anyone from the liberal news media willing to give her a little nudge toward reality? Or did they know what the rest of us suspected: the recount was a prelude to a protracted court battle (ahem, "judicial review")? This is what narcissistic obstructionism looks like.
3) Will we recognize that open records requests are themselves punitive in nature? Maybe now that conservatives have begun turning the tables?
4) How dishonest is Noam Chomsky? Huzzah! That is the very question The Nation's Eric Alterman asks concerning Osama bin Laden's favorite philosopher. How Dishonest Is Noam Chomsky? It is no longer whether the old scoundrel is dishonest but to what degree.
5) When was the last Democrat(ic) good idea? One that actually worked, I mean. (See IZ above.)
Medicare death watch
It's than worse than we thought: The bad economy will cause the trust funds that supply Social Security and Medicare to run out early, the government reported Friday. The Medicare hospital insurance fund will be exhausted in 2024, five years earlier than was reported last year. -- The Daily Beast.
Is Paul Ryan the only adult in the room willing to get serious?
Bonus platinum subscriber content
Pictured with today's blogge are some of the trilliums - one of three varieties - now flowering on the grounds of the Stately Manor. Surprisingly long blooming. Shown against a backdrop of Virginia bluebells, the naturalized woodland area of the Experimental Work Farm also contains jack in the pulpit.
Now federal employees are looking at reductions to their pension plans, CNN reports. Last December, the president's fiscal commission described federal and military pensions as "out of line" with private sector benefit packages, and recommended changes that would save $70 billion over 10 years.
But I'm not there -- I did not attend the GOP convention this year either. Hard to get me indoors for that amount of time on a day in late May after a long, cold Wisconsin winter and pseudo-spring.
For the Left it is always "time to get tough with Israel." Where did I see this advertisement? In the Nation on-line, of course. If it's Israel's fault does that mean bin Laden was right?
My friend Cholly sends along a link to FANTASTIC Kodachrome photos of a bygone era when the Greatest Generation was taking the stage. My parents' were young adults when these pictures of America were taken 1939 to 1943. Color photography at that time was in its infancy. Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943 Plog Photo Blog
Encomium of the day:
"Blaska may be an ass, but he's certainly entertaining." -- Green Union Terrace Chair 4-6-11.