A Liberal Government in Action
Madison, Wisconsin is well for many things, but among college students, it may be best known for its Halloween parties. Sports Illustrated even listed as one of the "100 Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate". Every year, students, townies and visitors from other colleges converge on State Street to check out the creative costumes, drink and, unfortunately, riot. The last few years, bar time was like a green light for idiots to start smashing things and setting stuff on fire.
Naturally, Madison's Mayor Dave and the Police Dept. aren't too happy with this development. Mayor Dave even toyed with instituting martial law on Halloween weekend (not that I think he could even legally do that), The latest solution is to require downtown bars to close early for Halloween. This is a terrible idea and shows an absolute lack of creative policy-making ability on the part of Madison's so-called "progressive" government.
All closing bars early will do is make a riot, if it happens, happen earlier in the evening. Riots happen when large numbers of people spill onto the streets at the same time. By making bars close early, the city simply increases the size of the crowd and gives them longer to do damage before they pass out. If the city did the opposite, and allowed bars to stay open later, then they might actually have something. People would trickle out, rather than pour out. Some people would leave at 1. Some would leave at 2. Some hard core folks would stay in and drink until 4.
Why not try some creative solutions? College kids are going to drink on Halloween. It's a fact. You can't solve that "problem". But you can be creative in trying to minimize it.
I'm surprised at the way Madison liberals are handling this problem. It makes no sense considering how they tackle other issues. For example, Madison liberals take it as a fact that illegal immigrants will come into America. Instead of trying to stop that, they want to help them integrate themselves into the community by giving them low interest home loans. Liberals are among the most vocal proponents of the legalization of recreational drugs. You can't stop people from doing drugs, so you might as well clear up the court system, right?
So, why not take that same approach with Halloween? You can't really stop students from partying on Halloween, so why not just take a more laissez-faire apprach rather than taking an approach that bar owners, downtown businesses and students will all find antagonist (and, may even be seen as egging them on to riot)?
The only answer I can come up with is that Madison liberals have a very specific vision of the city. They don't want to be known as a beer-guzzling college town. They want to be a sophisticated, coastal oasis in the vast wasteland of flyover country. Students have no place in this vision. I really feel sorry for them. They are what make Madison special and too often the city treats them like an inconvenience. Then, they wonder why we have a brain drain. In the end, Madison is hardly a shining example of progressive politics, is it?
Posted by at September 15, 2005 01:01 PM
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|# September 15th, 2005 2:12 PM KVBigSis|
|Oh, I hate to stop a good rant, but your suggestion of keeping the bars open later (which is a good one) would require a change in STATE law, something the mayor and city council are unable to control. |
|# September 15th, 2005 2:31 PM james|
|bars in madison close at 2am by city law.
the state law is 2:30 on weekends. so the city could at least extend it by a half hour ;-)
(a) No premises for which a Class "B" license or permit is issued may remain open between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., except as provided in this paragraph and par. (c). On Saturday and Sunday, the closing hours shall be between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. On January 1 premises operating under a Class "B" license or permit are not required to close."
|# September 16th, 2005 8:41 AM mbrlr|
|I agree it's a good idea, if doable under state law, to extend the hours rather than shorten them.
Two queries relating to other material mentioned:
What exactly is the point of the immigration material tucked in here? Enquiring liberals want to know...
What exactly is the cost-benefit analysis of trying and jailing folks who've committed drug offenses , especially those on the lower-end classifications and those who are users rather than providers?
|# September 16th, 2005 8:47 AM kris|
|I'm not equating immigration. I'm equating illegal immigration. The point is the my city's government, when faced with troublemakers, usually tries to appease the troublemakers. Except when those troublemakers are students. |
|# September 16th, 2005 9:58 AM mbrlr|
|As far as our current immigration policies and realities, it's an area in which I know we differ, but I just wasn't sure how that tied in with the material. We still differ and I don't see a problem with the home ownership plan, but I see how that ties in with your argument.
As far as the prosecution/jailing part, we often overstep ourselves because we simply don't have the jail space, regardless of policy questions. That's often been the case on drug prosecutions. Is the city working with the university to come up with some means to address the problem on that end?
|# September 16th, 2005 10:03 AM kris|
|The writers on our site have vastly different views on immigration. My problem with this home ownership plan is that it rewards illegal behavior. That's what I object to, the idea that people who break the law to come here are getting preferential treatment. |
|# December 5th, 2005 11:48 PM mbrlr|
|It's dealing with reality and it's a reality driven, at least until recently, by the fact that industries wanted these folks here, paid them and actively or inactively hid all this from the feds, and didn't pay enough to manage to get our own folks into the jobs. |