Blaska's Blog thanks his many readers for placing the Squire of the Stately Manor among the award winners again this year in the Isthmus Annual Manual.
The people of Greater Madison, in their infinite wisdom, have named yours truly as one of Madison's favorite "Vociferous Speakers."
Echoing the Flying Nun at the Academy Awards (but at full volume), "You read me! You really do!"
If the proprietor of the Blaska Policy Research Center and Experimental Work Farm (BPRCEWF -- pronounced "beeper soof") had to come in second, he is happy to accept the silver to The Divine Miss Vicky's gold. For she is truly the gold standard of Vociferous Speakers.
Your gracious blogger takes particular satisfaction in trumping Madame Brenda who speaks loudly but carries a small stick and is now thinking of running for mayor. She is so humble.
"If you look into the eyes of the people of this city, it is hard to say no."
Somehow, I picture a sad-eyed beagle dog with an ice pack on its woozy head and an empty kibbles dish in its mouth. Madame Brenda will get the vote of the vagrant, the illegal immigrants, and the home squatters. That could put her over the top.
My aide de camp, Ruben Mamoulian, says Blaska's latest honorific is well deserved. He says the people of Greater Madison recognize that Blaska's Blog does not preach to the choir.
Blaska blogs to disrupt the smug self-reinforcement of the typical Madison prog-lib, accustomed to leading an unexamined life. His purpose is to cause a moment's doubt, a nano-second of introspection, and the occasional contemplative interlude to the herd-following, cud-chewing ruminant of the progressive plantation. The iron man of the right challenges the empty sloganeering of the State Street marcher. Blaska is your mental fitness trainer. Every blog gives a thorough First Amendment workout to build better brains five or six different ways. I forget.
Again, thanks for the love!
The corpse is remarkably vigorous
Remember the obituaries for conservatism written in the wake of the 2008 presidential election? Nothing like two years of the most liberal and dysfunctional national government in history to revivify the inherent conservatism of the American people. (Thanks also to the Doyle-Pocan-Miller misrule in Madison.)
Saturday's Wall Street Journal carries a column by Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution that proves the academy can still produce serious thinking. (My dream is that Scott Walker will appoint a Board of Regents that insists on a counterweight to the radical Left Havens Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.)
Berkowitz illuminates the true heart and soul of conservatism. Let me excerpt judiciously:
Conservatives insist money does not grow on trees, that government programs must be paid for and that promising unaffordable benefits is reckless, unjust and a long-term threat to free institutions. But conservatives also combat government expansion and centralization because it can undermine the virtues upon which a free society depends. Big government tends to crowd out self-government -- producing sluggish, selfish and small-minded citizens, depriving individuals of opportunities to manage their private lives and discouraging them for cooperating with fellow citizens to govern their neighborhoods, towns, cities and states.
"Sluggish, selfish, and small-minded citizens?"
Hey, Midthun, that's your cue.
Midthun is an example of the prog-libs' over-reliance on government as the first and last port of call.
Last summer I cited the case of teenaged boys who turned the air blue with loud and vulgar profanity at one of our neighborhood parks, rendering the park unusable for families and impairing the quality of life for nearby residents.
Police were called but did not respond. They have bigger fish to fry, thanks to the legacy of prog-lib policies for the last 45 years. Stymied? Hardly.
The Blaska Policy Research Center suggested that one or more neighbors act in concert to restore social comity by confiscating the lads' basketball and returning it to the Westside precinct police station.
This shocked our Midthun, who labeled such a proposal -- co-authored by a local PTO mother -- as vigilantism! In Midthun's world, only government can solve our problem. No place for volunteerism. No place for individual self-reliance or neighborly cooperation. No appreciation for the role of adults in raising children.
Multiple choice quiz
Dave, help me. I think I might be a prog-liberal? How can I know for certain.
You came to the Right place. Here's an in-home test to determine your political sanity:
You are viewing a showing at the Chazen Museum of a priceless collection of jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs created for the czars of Russia. A boy with a hammer begins smashing the eggs one by one. Do you:
1)Ain't your eggs; none of your business. You move on to the next gallery.
2) Call for the guard and hope he comes in time while there are still some eggs left undestroyed.
3) Grab the hammer out of the little bastard's hand and hold the offender for the authorities.
SCORE: If you answered 1) or 2) you are a Midthun. Get help immediately! Check yourself in to the BPRCEWF Rehabilitative Center and Gun Club today! If you answered 3) you are a true American patriot.
Why prog-libs love the race card
Charles Krauthammer autopsies Leftist thought:
Now we know why the country has become "ungovernable," last year's excuse for the Democrats' failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?
Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities -- often lopsided majorities -- oppose President Obama's social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.
What's a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate ... [Washington Post: Last Refuge of a Liberal]
We're now up to 18 municipalities that will do the courtesy of asking their citizens whether they want to be taxed for the RTA commuter rail. More communities are considering doing the same: the cities of Monona and Middleton; the villages of DeForest, Oregon, and McFarland; and the towns of Medina, Plessant Springs, Cottage Grove, Rutland and Montrose.
Why won't the elites in the Democrat(ic) party and Progressive Dane do the same in Fitchburg and Madison?
Why did prog-lib Matt Veldran hold up a countywide referendum at the County Board? ("Jim Doyle made me do it.")
(Thanks to the Berg-meister)
The Internal Revenue Service sent an investigator out to a family farm near Sun Prairie. The IRS suspected he was not paying proper wages to his workers.
"I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them!" demanded the investigator.
"Well," replied the farmer, "there's my hired man who's been with me for three years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board.
"The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $150 per week plus free room and board."
"Then there's the halfwit. He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 a week. He pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of whiskey every Saturday night. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally."
"That's the guy I want to talk to -- the halfwit!" said the agent.
"That would be me," replied the farmer.