Althouse | category: Madison



a blog by Ann Althouse

"Even a holiday which celebrates debauchery, irreverence, and immature or dark humor should have no place for words or actions of hate."

"This deranged individual was looking to create fear and anxiety. We don't believe that he is a student, rather an outside provocateur."

Said Rabbi Mendel Matusof said, quoted in "UW-Madison releases statement after Adolf Hitler costume seen on State Street" (WKOW).

Here's a Reddit discussion — replete with a photograph of the person wearing a Hilter costume on State Street. I found that via this other Reddit discussion, where somebody says, "If it's any consolation, I was told by a bartender on State Street that the dude got his ass kicked."

UPDATE: Channel 3000 quotes the police report, which makes 3 important points:

1. Wearing a Hitler costume is protected speech, so no crime has been reported. 

2. Even though "no reports received by MPD rise to the level of a prosecutable crime," it nevertheless identified the person and interviewed him. 

3. It turns out that this person "has a cognitive impairment due to a past traumatic brain injury."

ALSO: Who called the police on a guy in a bad costume? Did anyone call the police on the person who beat up this mentally impaired person?

About that "working class bona fides" politicians get from posing in diners.

I had to laugh, reading this NYT article, "Democrats Worry as G.O.P. Attack Ads Take a Toll in Wisconsin/Mandela Barnes, the party’s Senate candidate, is now wobbling in his race against Ron Johnson, the Republican incumbent. Democratic nominees in other states face similar challenges":
MADISON, Wis. — Politicians who visit diners know the deal: In exchange for photos establishing their working-class bona fides, they must cheerfully accept heaping portions of unsolicited advice. 
But on Tuesday at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner here in Madison, one of the first people to approach Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Wisconsin, took the tradition to a new level, presenting him with a typed-up list of concerns about his campaign....

Monty’s Blue Plate Diner! That's not the working-class diner an innocent reader will picture. It's a restaurant styled like a 1950s diner for the amusement of upscale, highly educated Madison people. You can get a breakfast sandwich at 3 times the price of an Egg McMuffin. You can get something called the "Heathen Vegan Shoplifter's Delight" (portobellos, fried tempeh, avocado, and grilled red onion with lemon-tahini dressing on a baguette).

The Democratic Party candidate is on super-safe territory here. The NYT reader should not be visualizing a folksy small town place like you might see in a movie.

Now, I'm thinking I have 2 kinds of readers: the ones who are saying why should I know or care about the Madison Public Market and...

... the ones who are saying yes, that's the thing that Althouse questioned that one time and Paul Soglin, the Mayor of Madison, instead of engaging respectfully, decided to attack her big time, so she was forced to resort to reason and mockery?

I'm reading "Madison Public Market all but scrapped, as officials make one last plea to alders for funding" (WKOW).

Here's the post I wrote on January 10, 2017:

"On his blog, Mayor Paul Soglin takes on the UW's conservative blogger Ann Althouse for disparaging the city's proposed public market, mocking it as a liberal creation."

"Soglin extols the benefits the public market will begin to deliver and admonishes Althouse to stop portraying everything in Madison as crafted by liberals and reeking of socialism when, in fact, the plans are crafted by liberals reeking in capitalism."

I'm seeing that this morning in the local paper, The Capital Times, with no reporter's name attached to it. It's an embarrassing misreading of my post, but I don't know whether the misreading is by the Cap Times or the Mayor.

Here's the post of mine from a few days ago. It quotes a fundraising consultant who says she discovered that "people got more and more interested in the project" when she told them it was "about inclusiveness, and having a place for a variety of cultures and ethnicities to come together." My mockery was limited to expressing skepticism about whether people really were interested or merely "conscious of the need to look interested... when someone comes at you with talk of 'inclusiveness' and the 'com[ing] together' of 'cultures and ethnicities.'"

Beyond that, I confessed that "I've never been able to understand" the idea of the public market. That's not mocking the market, just admitting I don't get it. And I really don't get the idea that it's a tool for achieving "racial equity and social justice." I didn't say a word about capitalism and socialism. I'm just doing racial critique and suspicious that people are using racial propaganda to grease some project they want.

So let's take a look at Mayor Soglin's blog:
This weekend Ann Althouse mocked — she is good at that — the Madison Public Market....
What did she do? She used mockery...

Soglin says:
There is good reason why the analysis of the Public Market includes a focus on diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.
The bullet-point list that follows gives a visual impression of an argument, but I can't find it. The recent recession "was bad, and is still challenging, for low income families and individuals," these people need "entry-level jobs," entrepreneurship in food business can provide entry level jobs, and "low-income people of all colors and races" can engage in entrepreneurship. What is the argument? We're going to move toward racial equity with some new food service jobs and new potential to start a food-service business?

Speaking of entrepreneurship, you're not doing very well as an idea entrepreneur, Mayor Soglin. I said I didn't understand the idea. I'm open to listening to an argument, but you are not making it. You're just dropping a disjointed list out there as if the points add up. It's a tad underpants-gnomish.

Soglin proceeds to offer information about markets in other cities. The one in Seattle, he tells us, "is expensive and losing its charm as it is now a major tourist destination." Was it sold as helping the poor and minorities?

The one in Philadelphia is said to be good but related to the railway. Here, Soglin reminds us that — because of Scott Walker — we didn't get a train. So no train-related market for us. What that had to do with helping the poor and minorities, I don't know.

Next, Soglin refers to 3 markets in Minneapolis and York, Pennsylvania. The one in York supports vendors who are "almost all white, reflecting the population of the community." Wouldn't that support the prediction that a public market in 78.9% -white Madison would serve the interests of white people? What is the argument for the market as a racial-progress tool?

I don't think Soglin addresses my questions seriously at all. He dings me for mockery, but my mockery is much more serious than his haphazard dumping of factoids with no substance linking them up into a reasonable argument.

Really, he fails to see that I went easy on him by keeping things light with questions, confessions of inability to understand, and invitations to engage. He did not engage.

And check out his last paragraph:
If Althouse can look beyond her own exclusive world, one reeking in privilege, perhaps she will escape the shackles of her rigid assumption that everything in Madison is crafted by liberals, reeking in socialism. At times these plans are crafted by liberals reeking in capitalism.
He said "reeking" three times. I guess he thinks smelliness is funny. Maybe he's into the metaphor that ideology is odor.

Let's take a closer sniff.

The first "reeking" is my exclusive, privileged world. What world is that? Madison, Wisconsin? The University of Wisconsin? The law school?

Next, I'm accused of having a "rigid assumption that everything in Madison is crafted by liberals, reeking in socialism." That doesn't connect to anything in my post. The rigidity must be in his head. He who smelt it dealt it.

He's afraid, I suspect, that he'll be accused of socialism. But I was expressing skepticism about race-based propaganda for things that don't seem to have anything to do with race.

I didn't hit you over the head with this, Mayor Soglin, but your project seems to be offering something white middle-class people like. And one of the things these people like is the feeling that they are not greedily grasping at something they want, but helping the poor and minorities.

And speaking of liberal self-love, why do you think you smell so good when you're trying to do capitalism? Do you think socialism stinks or do you think you stink of socialism and need to douse yourself with capitalism to get something done? I never talked about capitalism and socialism. I talked about race propaganda, who really benefits, and will this thing really work?

Take a metaphorical shower and come back when you're ready to talk substance, sound argument, and reality.

ADDED: Meade points out that Soglin put a link on "reeking in privilege" in that last paragraph, where he's saying I'm in an "exclusive, privileged world." It goes to a post of mine from yesterday, "Did you watch the Golden Globes last night and hear what the entertainment industry people had to say about Trump?" That's a post making fun of the Hollywood elite that partied with Obama on Saturday and celebrated themselves with awards on Sunday. I was saying we weren't watching the Globes but the Packers game. Well, it is a privilege to live in Wisconsin and root for the Packers, but I don't think that's what he could have meant. I do see that my post used the phrase "reeking privilege." I said:
But I find celebrity talk about presidential politics so compulsively avoidable these days. The celebrities all backed Hillary Clinton. They — in their reeking privilege — seemed to have had their hearts set on 8 more years of glamming it up in the White House.
Does that show me in an "exclusive world"? It's a world anyone can enter. All you've got to do is feel sick of celebrities talking about presidential politics. Come on in! Everyone's welcome. Want to watch the Packers game?

"Khari Sanford, convicted in May of the execution-style killings of a UW Health doctor and her husband in the UW-Madison Arboretum, will never be eligible for release from prison..."

"... a judge said Wednesday, telling Sanford there was no way to know whether he would ever 'evolve into a person who cares about other human beings, will not harm or kill them.' 'I can’t know that,'  Dane County Circuit Judge Ellen Berz told Sanford, 21, of Madison, who was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of Dr. Beth Potter and Robin Carre on March 30, 2020, after abducting them at gunpoint from their West Side home. 'What I do know is that, currently, you have utter disregard for human life, and the public, anyone in the public, no matter how kind they are to you, no matter how generous they are to you, no matter how much they try to help you, they are at risk of being killed by you.'"

Potter and Carre had allowed Sanford — at the time the boyfriend of their daughter, Miriam — to live in their home during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, until tensions in the home prompted Potter and Carre to rent the young couple an Airbnb on Madison’s South Side until they could find a permanent apartment in which to live... 
... Berz said she has seen no sign of remorse from Sanford, “not a scintilla,” even in a statement he made in court Wednesday in which he called Potter and Carre “two beautiful people” introduced to him by Miriam Carre. He said Miriam had shown him for the first time in his life a world of “unconditional love.”  
“(Potter and Carre) saw my potential, accepted my adversities, and took me in,” Sanford said. “So that was me, in the home of Beth and Robin, with mental health issues, not communicating very well, smoking weed, disobeying rules, and procrastinating way too much about my future because I was too fanatically in love to care.” 
The negative things, he said, were “typical teenager stuff,” and beyond that, “there was love and (unrepayable) appreciation for them because they tried to be that adult for me.” 
He added: “If taking my life is what it takes to repay them, to resolve the grievances of this beautiful family and define justice, I will be honored, your honor. Take it.”

Offer accepted!

(Here's my post about the murders from April 2020.)

"A Dane County cyclist is warning others to be alert after finding booby traps set on a popular commuter path on Madison’s Southwest Side."

"Gregg Goldstein of Verona was crossing the bridge shortly before 5 a.m. Friday when he was clotheslined. He remembers seeing his headlight reflect off something a split second before he hit the ground at about 15 mph. 'It’s pitch black,' he said. 'You see something and a millisecond later you’re picking yourself up off the pavement... I feel lucky that’s all it was. My head is still attached.'"

"A cis-gendered man wouldn’t think twice about what I’m doing... But I have been raised to believe that my body is banned; my body is sexual; my body needs to be covered."

"We never question why. To me, this protest is about the bigger picture of what bodily autonomy actually means. The rules we impose upon ourselves.... Now that I’ve done this for more than a week, I can feel a difference in my brain and how I think about myself. It’s been so positive... At first I thought, ‘Is this going too far?’ But now I wonder why I didn’t do this years ago. I want to be part of the movement that normalizes this freedom for everyone, deprograms how we think about some people’s bodies and not others.... I think the police have acquiesced. Yes, I can do this and I’m really not bothering anyone.... I'm not actually pro-nudity. I get why we need coverings, otherwise it would be chaos and it’s not very sanitary. I’m also not just showing up topless at any restaurants or businesses.... This all gets back to everything that’s happening with abortion and this crisis we are in over laws that tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. This is about equality."

"I don’t want to get into how we know he was in Wisconsin, but we know he traveled into the Madison area before turning around and coming back."

Said Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, quoted in "Alleged Illinois parade shooter came to Madison area before arrest, authorities say" (Wisconsin State Journal).

UPDATE: From the Washington Examiner, noting that Crimo has confessed:
Police also revealed that after the shooting, Crimo had considered carrying out another attack at a celebration in Madison, Wisconsin. Crimo arrived at the event in Wisconsin but indications are that he had not put in enough thought and research to conduct the attack, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said. Crimo ditched his phone while in the Madison area....
"MPD: Witnesses report motorcyclists going 140+ mph in downtown Madison."Now, I'm thinking I have 2 kinds of readers: the ones who are saying why should I know or care about the Madison Public Market and...

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