Can Anyone Bring Concealed Bowie Knife To Dane County’s Vilas Zoo?

Can my ludicrous question that headlines this post be any more ridiculous than the actual news that took place in the State Capitol on Wednesday?

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved  a concealed carry bill on a 3-2 Republican-majority vote.  The full Senate will consider the measure in the future. 

The most perplexing part of this truly outrageous proposal is that no training or permit would be required under the terms outlined today.  In addition, and for good measure, the bill allows anyone to possess a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. 

Walk down any street in Wisconsin and tell me how many of the people you meet should be carrying a concealed gun.  Rattle their cages a little, get them angry in rush-hour traffic, and let them have a beer or five.  (This is Wisconsin, after all.)  Lets see the concealed gun owners in action.

What is alarming to ponder are the numerous places that one might encounter someone who could be packing heat.  Think about it for any length of time and it soon becomes clear that this is most unsettling.

Consider Dane County’s Vilas Zoo where you might want to spend a sunny summer afternoon.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is rightly concerned about this matter, and is hoping that some serious minds might inject some rationality into the concealed carry measure before it winds up in front of Governor Walker.   The governor has indicated he will sign any concealed carry measure that reaches his desk.   

Once again Walker has failed the leadership test.  By not taking a position on how a bill should look, or the requirements that he wishes to see included, Walker has instead just allowed the extreme far-right wing elements of the GOP to sail the ship into the rocks.

For now all that those like Parisi can try to do is convince elected officials that  banning guns at the zoo, outside the airport, and any large event such as Brat Fest is the family friendly way for society to operate.

All of Wisconsin should hope that the likes of Parisi win this battle.

Wisconsin Concealed Carry A Dangerous Special Interest Political Game

One can almost see the drooling enthusiasm from those in the Wisconsin Legislature who carry water for the National Rifle Association.  Nothing gets a politician, be it Republican or Democrat, so excited as knowing they are about to reap campaign dollars for doing the bidding of a political master.  That is, at the end of the day, what the concealed carry issue is all about.

The NRA has run this issue up the flagpole, and too many legislators are only too glad to comply with the wishes of  the powerful lobbyists.  After all, elected officials in the statehouse are always interested in being rewarded with campaign donations.  And the NRA always has plenty of cash to spread around.

I am not sure where all those who harbor a strong need to carry a concealed gun live, but I can assure my readers I have never once encountered anyone who told me they wished to do so.  I have, however, spoken with many in both urban and rural settings who have confirmed what logic tells us about this issue. 

More handguns being carried can only result in headlines no one wants to read.  My readers only need to talk to law enforcement to better understand the pitfalls of concealed carry.   As we know law enforcement is not a den of liberals so their views are important to consider.

Concerns have been registered across this state about many aspects to concealed carry.  From whether there should be training required for those in dire need of carrying a concealed gun, to whether a permit and license should be required and that list made known to the public. 

This whole  issue of concealed carry has drawn much attention, and rightly so.  After all, we get to walk among the armed ones and have no way to know what will prompt one of them to fire their weapon.

It was reported today in the newspaper that a legislative  amendment is being proposed by State Senator Galloway that would allow for an optional permit so a concealed gun could be carried close to a school.  What in heavens name can be gained from such a proposal?!  After reading that I had to again ask myself what is happening to this state. 

Why do I think the need for this legislation matches that of the voter ID bill to limit voter fraud.  Constructing  a need for a bill is a strange way to shape public policy.  Yet, that is what is happening in this state.

I just do not see the clamor for this concealed carry bill from the electorate.  Instead I see a drive by a powerful interest group that wants to score a victory.  I also see cash-hungry politicians who will dance for whatever dollars they can rake in for the next election.  Sadly, I also see too few principled politicians who will stand up and denounce this shameful idea of allowing folks to carry a concealed gun.

Wisconsin citizens need to contact their elected officials and demand sanity again prevail when it comes to shaping public policy.   The best interests of the state are not those of the NRA. It is time elected officials recognize who they really work for!

Rod Blagojevich To Take Stand In Corruption Trial

Yes, we have been down this road before.  But you have to grant me that this news, if indeed true, will produce one of the cheapest theatre tickets anywhere, anytime.  This will be pure political drama.  Oh, heck scratch the political if you wish.  This will be DRAMA!

I have no regard whatsoever for Rod Blagojevich.  He tarnished more than his name.  He smeared the political process,and the institutions of power with his money-grubbing ways.

So I want to see Rod Blagojevich take the stand and get grilled by the prosecution!  In the end I dare Blagojevich to take the stand. 

The problem with the strategy outlined by the defense is that there is no way Blagojevich can testify without incriminating himself, or worse.

Blagojevich is planning to take the witness stand as well, according to several sources familiar with the decision. He has been preparing to testify for several days and worked in depth on his possible testimony over the weekend, the sources said.

Tensions Building Between Mayor Soglin And Madison City Council

I have been trying to read the tea leaves when it comes to the relationship that is building, or the tensions that are being created, between newly elected Mayor Paul Soglin and members of the Madison City Council.

Some of the unease seems to be making its way to the top of the pile, and now making news. 

The reports that Soglin wants to revamp or perhaps redo the Overture agreement is sending some members of the council who actually worked on the matter last year  into defense mode.  Rightfully so.   There were many leaders of this city who painstakingly worked to fashion an Overture agreement that most think is viable and smart.  To come in at this time and want to tear apart a finalized agreement is not good news for Overture.  In addition, the strains that are put on the working relationship between Soglin and the council are needless.

First, Mayor Soglin told the press that he is powerless to change an agreement ironed out over Overture, one that he predicts will fail, without council backing.

Soglin, in comments published online Monday, predicted a deal between the council and Overture officials late last year for private operations and ownership of the $205 million arts center will fail and said he’s powerless to change that fate without council support.

Second, members of the council weighed into the storm that Soglin seems intent on starting.

Council members on Tuesday criticized Soglin for raising uncertainties that could undermine Overture’s transition to private, nonprofit operations.

“I respect the mayor’s doing his due diligence to look at some of the big issues he’s inherited,” council President Lauren Cnare said. “(But) the council has made a decision. We’ve got to give it a chance.”

Ald. Mark Clear, 19th District, who led a special work group that forged the deal, said, “His statements are extremely disrespectful to the council and the very, very difficult decision the council came to last year. It really causes damage to fundraising efforts at a critical stage. This is not the kind of leadership the city elected.”

Overture officials also disagreed with the mayor.

Seventeen Lost Pyramids Found In Egypt

Wow!

Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt.

More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings.

Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings, including two suspected pyramids.

The work has been pioneered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham by US Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak.