May I be excused? A county board member's head can become overloaded with numbers -- the tax rate, total budget, amount represented by sales tax, percentage of total consumed by human services, number of jail inmates vs. capacity of jail, etc. But if a good county board member could internalize just one statistic, it is this:
Dane County has grown by 50,259 residents (a growth rate of 11.8%) since 2000 -- the most in the state -- for a total 2008 population of 476,785, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Fifty thousand more people! That is the population of Sheboygan!
The Wisconsin Department of Administration projects that Dane County will add 125,000 people in the next 25 years. The Public Safety Building was completed in 1994 with only four floors, not the projected seven that would have seen it through this population growth.
Recycling the late Roy Scheider's priceless line from the movie Jaws when he first sees the shark: "We're going to need more ankle bracelets."
Fred Mohs has been taking some fire for his stand against the depredations of "the homeless" on the north and west sides of Madisos Square, areas to which he has devoted much of his life. It is the place where he lives and works.
In the coming days I am going to have a lot to say about that issue because Madison's approach, by and large, is blissfully wrong-headed and ultimately very destructive. In fact, I am so audacious (why does that word keep occurring to me?) that I will submit a legislative agenda for the city's consideration. No charge.
Goddamn America Part #2
The Hate America crowd is well represented by Michael Mathias in his Pundit Nation blog. Wednesday marked the fifth year of the Iraq War (only 95 more to go!). The prog-libs threw the expected hissy fit accompanied by the usual vandalism. Mathias writes: "The (Milwaukee) Army recruiting post was vandalized again and I still don't care."
He justifies this willful damage by the accidental death of a child in Iraq. That's the totality of Iraq for our friends on the Left.
Abraham Lincoln's Union soldiers never killed a civilian? General Sherman "made Georgia howl" when he torched his way from Atlanta to Savannah, then north through the Carolinas. Although targeting primarily property, civilians did die. American non-combatants.
But what about Tibet?
Goddamn America Part #3
I don't actively dislike Barack Obama, which makes him leagues different from every Democrat(ic) candidate that I can remember since (but not including) Gene McCarthy in 1968. But I do not buy into Obama's habit of splitting the difference, that everyone is right and everyone is wrong.
Either seething resentment over past indignities is a strategy for success or, as I hold, it is self-destructive. If inner city schools are bad -- and they are -- at least half the reason is, as Obama himself writes, because the children's parent(s) don't read to them. Throw professors' kids at Milwaukee Lincoln and watch the atmosphere change.
Nor is it productive to blame unemployment on someone not "giving" you a job. Then make something. Sell something. Open a shop. Provide a service. Or go where there are jobs. Your grandparents did.
Obama himself writes, in the Audacity of Hope:
Few African American entrepreneurs have either the inherited wealth or the angel investors to help launch their businesses. Few doubt that if they were white they would be further along in reaching their goals. Yet, you won't hear these men and women use race as a crutch or point of discrimination as an excuse for failure.
Waiting for the federal government to lower a lifeboat ain't gonna make it happen. If he would only say that on the stump. But then, the victim lobby would desert him and he would lose the nomination.
So glad you could join me
Welcome to the game room of Stately Blaska Manor. Freshen up your drink? [Sound of fingers snapping.] Ruben? Ruben! Well, we have some diverting entertainments for you tonight. Why don't you try them while I step out to look for young Mamoulian:
- Is it legal for a man in California to marry his widow's sister? There are 10 more puzzlers like that one. I got six out of 11 correct on this reading comprehension test -- so you know it's fiendishly difficult. See how you do in this intelligence test.
- Hillary, the stage show. It's Hillary-ous: a good-natured poke at Hillary and everyone else, with a surprise guest appearance at the very end. (But where is Barack?)
- Call it a script reading. Text to voice: you can make Moira from Ireland or Karen from Australia or Tom from the U.S. speak what you type. And that's just in English. Chinese, Catalan, Czech -- 19 languages in all -- have their own characters. Try to write something that isn't dirty just to say you did.
- Apparently, there is a thing called "exploding head syndrome." I cite only the most reputable sources.
But what about Tibet?!