Dear Charlie,

 ¡Hola! from the Peoples’ Republic of Madison. If you have received this message, the courier has made it past the defense perimeter. Give him fair trade whiskey and locally sourced, organic oats for his horses.

Thank you so much for the Care packages and gratias for RightWisconsin, our much-needed version of Radio Free Europe. I’m in the secret annex, shades drawn, warming up my old Kaypro to receive your message of hope. 

BTW, I prefer if you would not use my real name. Call me Winston Smith. We Madison conservatives can’t be too careful. Just a few houses down, a Recall Walker yard sign remains frozen into the winter soil. The blue fist of anger looms from the typical Madison Prius. The Troubles still simmer. [Editor’s note: Regarding DAVID BLASKA: Please do not put DAVID BLASKA’s name in the byline of this column. DAVID BLASKA is concerned about agitating his neighbors.]

The water cooler buzz here in Obamaland is all about the young man shot dead by a police officer who was responding to a burglary in progress. The young man, almost fatally intoxicated, made a play for the police officer’s service weapon. The police chief’s internal investigation cleared the cop. The district attorney isn’t bringing charges. Their leisurely second-guessing of an incident measured in seconds isn’t good enough for the natives here. The once and future mayor, “Havana” Paul Soglin, wants the city attorney to justify still more inquisition.

You know those cops, they just want to shoot people with their guns. Several bien pensants speak of disarming the gendarmerie.

The Sandy Hook elementary school massacre has reawakened the Progressives’ moral superiority and its paranoia toward firearms. The immediate past mayor is calling for government confiscation of all semi-automatic guns, even hunting rifles, and all handguns, including revolvers. Dave (“The Citizen”) Cieslewicz says he’d “happily” relinquish his semi-auto hunting rifle but has not done so to date. Apparently, someone else has to go first — preferably, someone with criminal tendencies.

Speaking of schools, the teachers union has once again put up a full slate of candidates for the Spring school board election, including  an opponent for the board’s one minority-race member. James Howard was one of only two votes (out of seven) in favor of the Madison Urban League’s proposed non-union charter school, which was aimed at closing the yawning achievement gap among the city’s black and latino kids.

The new county board chairman, John Hendrick, is a member of the Progressive Dane party, a group to the left of the Dane County Democrats. You would not think it possible to outflank Mark Pocan. You would not know Madison.

There are no conservatives on the 20-member Madison Common Council and won’t be after April 2 election.

The Occupy Wall Street pandemic that visited Madison last summer has now metastasized into a crusade to house the chronically drunk, unmedicated, and/or idle. Their squalid presence is meant to be a rebuke to the capitalist economy, somehow. After harassing the county’s human services department, a group led by former alderman Brenda Konkel is trying to start what amounts to a wet drunk tank apartment building. Neighbors, big-hearted when the salutary cause is sufficiently distant, are not enthused.

Over on the UW campus, the sociology department’s Havens Center is gearing up for this year’s RadFest, “a weekend of conversations among activists and academics on a wide range of topics concerning social justice, social transformation and social research.” Got socialism?

New Capitol Police Chief David Erwin is being cast as the reincarnation of Bull Connors for requiring the Solidarity Singers to get an event permit. This is the group that has requisitioned the Capitol Rotunda every noon to sing old Woody Guthrie songs, driving out even the occasional Red Cross blood drive.

Speaking of Gov. Walker’s reform of public sector collective bargaining, our Dane County judiciary has struck out again. Circuit Judge William Conley’s overturning of Act 10 was negated by the U.S. Appellate Court sitting in Chicago. You may recall that after Dane County Judge Marianne Sumi infamously scolded the Legislature she was herself over-ruled by the state supreme court. Seems that if you’re going to declare an act of the legislature unconstitutional, one really ought to cite something in the constitution.

The editor of The Capital Times penned a column entitled “A prescription to defeat Scott Walker in 2014.” This in-kind contribution to the Democrat(ic) party comes courtesy of the media corporation that wants to abridge the First Amendment to prevent other corporations from exercising their own political free speech.

Then that rascal Walker proposes a tax cut for the middle class. Fearful that it might prove popular enough to get him re-elected, “Dane County’s progressive voice” fretted that “It will put a dent in the state budget.” Because, y'know, government knows better how to spend our money.

If Scott Walker manages to get re-elected (for a second time), my neighbor’s Recall Walker sign will come in handy in 2016. I know it will still be standing.

Got to go, this is the third time that Prius has driven past my shuttered manor.


Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years working for daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times  if you can believe it. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors.