David Blaska is secure in his cynicism on behalf of those in power ' the corporations and the wealthy elite ('A Contrarian Within The Gates,' 9/15/06). He clearly takes pleasure in sticking it to the progs! Ahh, it must feel great to bask in the reflected glory of power!
What Mr. Blaska seems not to care about is that many of the important social and political freedoms that Americans today enjoy (and which Mr. Blaska probably points to as evidence of America's moral greatness) ' women's right to vote, the right of workers to organize, the civil and voting rights of African Americans ' were all advanced by powerless minorities. They were won through long and what at times seemed hopeless struggles to overcome the concerted and often violent reactions of the majority.
Mr. Blaska is dead right about one thing: 'Anger, paranoia and resentment are not governing philosophies.' About this he is surely correct. Our current state legislature and the administration in Washington are ample proof of that.
La lucha continua!
Mr. Blaska may lambaste me as another Madison 'moonbat,' but it seems to me that the only public service his piece advances is to confirm a set of assumptions he held before arriving at the event. That is not journalism; it is sycophancy.
The irony is that I agree with many of his criticisms. A button that reads 'Bush People Suck' is stupid and coarse, and many people who attend the event do 'fancy that they are flipping the finger to authority.' That said, the notion of associating the fascism of the Castro regime with American progressives is fatuous and fallacious. Find me a progressive who advocates curbing free expression, and I shall eat my hat!
It appears that Mr. Blaska lackadaisically conflates all progressives with the foolish beliefs of a few and rests his case with self-congratulatory cynicism. I would argue that Isthmus does a disservice to the public in continuing a formulaic Punch and Judy routine of tapping the shoulder of a right-wing loudmouth.
Perhaps Isthmus also finds the paradigm of a divided America too hard to resist. Meanwhile, the public is subjected yet again to one more false dichotomy of a polluted polemic.
Thanks to David Blaska. The progressive crowd that dominates Madison needs to hear this perspective every once in awhile.
Blaska goes to Bob Fest to see freaky left wing. All I have to do is turn on the news and listen to Bush or Cheney to experience the freaky right wing.
David Blaska writes: '...I fell into the slipstream of an aged Nissan held together with bumper stickers. One of them read: 'Who would Jesus Bomb?' I pondered its corollary ' Why were we bombed in Allah's name?'
TouchÃ, my friend, touchÃ. I would call your witticism more of a 'parallelism,' than a 'corollary,' but never mind that, let's go with 'corollary.' As I'm sure you know, one good corollary deserves another. The broader, unintended corollary of your own statement is that: On some level we are, indeed, acting 'like' the 'terrorists!' No? If not, then for your own sake, you should be cleaner in your language, as witty as it is.
Watching Michael Blaska chair county board meetings on cable access was often like watching old Leni Riefenstahl films ' Sieg Heil and shut up you pesky dems!. And now we have Isthmus to thank for keeping the astounding intellect of his brother David in the public eye.
Rarely is one treated to hearing a low-level regional political hack draw comparisons between himself and Winston Churchill ('Beaten But Unbowed,' 7/28/06), only to top himself a few weeks later by engaging in the same tired insubstantial name calling and political demagoguery usually reserved for right-wing whack jobs such as Vicki McKenna.
It's sadder still that Bob Fest was populated by the sort of liberals who only want more of the big pie for themselves or funding to fuel dubious social programs (the kind that keep such ineffectual bottom-feeders as social workers and psychiatrists in business). If there had been a more radical element present to honor Bob's memory, Blaska would have been ' in the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson ' 'stomped like a nark at a biker rally' and the Isthmus cover photo from a few weeks back would have been a little more authentic.
Questions for Green
Your article on Mark Green did nothing to clarify his position on rights of gay and lesbian couples ('Seeing Double,' 9/15/06).
His spokesperson was quoted as saying that Green 'supports allowing individuals to form domestic partnerships, but not marry.' What does that even mean? He's for unmarried couples living together? Who or what will recognize these domestic partnerships?
Some relevant questions your reporter should have asked: What are the specific rights lesbian and gay couples should have? Would you allow public employers, including the University of Wisconsin, to provide partner benefits? Why is it necessary to ban civil unions when banning equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay couples?
Green's congressional record shows him voting to deny health insurance for domestic partners of District of Columbia employees ' a plan that required employees to pay the premiums, so claims of stewardship of taxpayer money are empty.
A final question might be: Have any of his gay friends (or better yet, his gay employees) suffered watching their partner go without health insurance?
Dan L. Ross
I am another unhappy reader of Emily Flake's so-called carton (Letters, 9/22/06). Your paper said the reason for dropping Matt Groening's 'Life In Hell' was his many repeat cartoons. I'll take his repeats any day to Flake's offerings. In fact, I don't even look at her cartoons anymore.
Patricia J. Seybold
I take issue with the readers who have complained about you dropping 'Life in Hell' for 'Lulu Eightball'. I found 'Life In Hell' consistently unfunny but never fail to guffaw out loud at one of Ms. Flake's observations each week. 'Lulu Eightball' and the 'Jonesin'' crossword have given Isthmus' back pages a real boost. If Ms. Flake IS indeed Vince O'Hern's niece, my congratulations on your very talented relative!