July 23, 2007

"We also have people who are supporting Bush and undermining our efforts too."

I was just walking along Library Mall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, minding my own business, when I encountered a little street theater and got out my tiny Sony Cybershot to record what was clearly a public performance, intended to be seen. A man with a clipboard came up to me and -- despite the fact that I was wearing earphones -- asked me a question, which I am now able to hear was "Would you like to sign our petition to impeach Bush and Cheney?" My answer -- which was an answer to whatever he had on that clipboard -- was "No thanks." Then, demonstrating his commitment to individual rights, he commenced to interrogate me about why I was taking a picture, what my opinions were, whether I am the sort of person who might "undermine" their efforts, and whether I was working for some "organization." Oh, yeah, with this camera the size of a deck of cards, I'm backed by an elaborate organization. Perhaps you've heard of it. It's called Althouse.

60 comments:

Anthony said...

BusHitlerHalliburtAlthouse!

Roger said...

just because you're paranoid doesnt mean they are not out to get you

Jonathan said...

just because you're paranoid doesnt mean they are not out to get you

Corollary: Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're out to get them.

jane said...

A bigger, professional media cam would have been OK with this minder had it had CNN, NBC or BBC on it.

If the letters O, F, and X appeared on it in any order, however, they’d know that the Cheney Intelligence Agency was on to them.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm mainly out to get him for using high-pressure interrogation techniques against me.

Doyle said...

I'm just glad you escaped alive.

MadisonMan said...

In such cases, I'm always trying to escape with as few words as possible. I think a blank stare, as if he's speaking finnish at you, would have been effective.

Zeb Quinn said...

Well what did you say to him?

Jeremy said...

I remember seeing Tom Wolfe quoted as saying that McLuhan was right--tribal drum-beating has replaced rational discourse. I think that's accurate, considering the behavior of left and right wingnuts you run into on- or off-line every day.

This is also evidence that Gore is wrong. Far from enhancing and drawing people into the "national dialogue," the internet is actually polluting and alienating people from it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Well what did you say to him?"

You can click on those videos, you know!

AlphaLiberal said...

More deafening silence from Althouse on the morality, let alone practicality, of torture.

AJD said...

Clueless Annie: The size of the camera is not the issue.

While your radar is set to detect micro-violations on the question of cleavage, you are obviously oblivious that it is often impolite to whip out your camera, whatever the size, and start filming people on the street.

Of course you feel entitled! You're Ann Althouse! You can be impolite whenever you want. And that terrible man who dared to ask you a question had better apologize--NOW!

Roger said...

What? what? you mean go to the source? what kind of ideologues do you think we are? We don't let facts interfere with our preconceptions.

Jennifer said...

He didn't think to ask you if you hosted a Vortex?

Eli Blake said...

While I would condemn these kinds of tactics, I'd remind you that today in America, majorities want us out of Iraq, do not support President Bush and believe that he made a mistake going in.

I'm not a leftist who would equate George Bush with Hitler.

But I would equate him with Mussolini-- lots of bluster, was supremely confident sending the troops to war, and turned out to be astonishingly incompetent in running the war as Commander in Chief.

Eli Blake said...

And I'm proud to be a Leftist.

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Around here they can barely manage to get some guy on the sidewalk dressed like the grim reaper. That and bumper stickers in the faculty parking lot.

There are a bunch of UAVs flying around and I am sure they are for border security,,,

Zeb Quinn said...

You can click on those videos, you know!

Sorry, I was in ultra-skim mode.

Palladian said...

"But I would equate him with Mussolini--"

Well you're an idiot then. Are we living in an actual fascist state? My train does not run on time!

Hoosier Daddy said...

But I would equate him with Mussolini-- lots of bluster, was supremely confident sending the troops to war, and turned out to be astonishingly incompetent in running the war as Commander in Chief.

Rather than pick an avowed fascist which I think is your goal, if it was simply based upon the qualities you listed as opposed to a political ideology, I think Lyndon Johnson would have been a far better choice. After all, Bush also expanded Medicare beyond what Johnson even envisioned.

Ann Althouse said...

"you are obviously oblivious that it is often impolite to whip out your camera, whatever the size, and start filming people on the street."

You are obviously oblivious to the fact that this was a street theater performance by people who were trying to get attention. I regularly film demonstrations. I don't film private citizens who aren't putting on a show.

Tim said...

Oh, you should have signed!

I would have.

Nothing would be better than the dimmer-than-you-think Dems taking up impeachment.

lee david said...

Another whacky leftist exercising his free speech rights while expressing his consternation and disapproval of the fact that those rights extend to anyone with a view that might be contrary to his. His fear of liberty is palpable in the form of his questions.

Synova said...

"My train does not run on time!"

LOL.

(Waiting for the street theatre where the Mullah's send all the young men out to be suicide bombers so that the old men get all the young, pretty girls.)

Meade said...

Clipboard Guy: Mmhmm... are you working for some organization?

AA: Why yes, yes I am. Perhaps you've heard of it. It's called Althouse.

Clipboard Guy (friendly open smile changing to stern frown): Not the vortex Althouse Organization.

AA: Well... actually... yes, our organization does include a modest vortex which I'm, uh, rather...

Clipboard Guy: That's it -- "Okay, [performance over!!] If [we're] being used to sell tickets to [that] intellectual trainwreck of a blog, [we're] outta here for good."
In the van, guys! NOW!!

jane said...

I would’ve told Mr. Clipboard Minder I was with SAG and wanted to know whether the prison-garbed street performers were due-paying members or intent on undermining the labor union.

Funny how he invoked “organization” as a spooky specter, as if the DNC, Center for American Progress, College Democrats, Democratic Leadership Council, Emily's List, Moveon, Progressive Democrats of America, most environmental groups, most media outlets, unions, NEA, NOW, UN, and NGOs, etc. were agendaless, powerless grassroots clubs of amateurs.

Palladian said...

The best approach to dealing with these types of people is to just memorize and repeat the Robert Blake part of this scene to the person with the clipboard.

Works wonders!

Revenant said...

But I would equate him with Mussolini-- lots of bluster, was supremely confident sending the troops to war, and turned out to be astonishingly incompetent in running the war as Commander in Chief.

Oh for pity's sake...

Here's a clue for you lefty assholes: if you are desperate for a historical parallel, try Lyndon Johnson -- he, like Bush, was elected, sent American troops into a war which was initially popular but soon lost support, did an incompetent job both as commander in chief and as leader of the nation in wartime, and left office with atrocious approval ratings.

Mussolini? That's just for lefties who haven't got the balls to actually compare Bush to Hitler, but can't shake their urge to make a spurious and half-assed comparison to SOME fascist dictator.

Anthony said...

I'm mainly out to get him for using high-pressure interrogation techniques against me.

Hmmmmm, sounds like torture to me.

Obviously, Madison is indeed the gulag of our times.

knoxwhirled said...

This guy displays a bizarrely overgrown sense of self-importance... does he really think any "Bush supporter" would feel threatened by their (juvenile and cliched) performance?

Pogo said...

1. Palladian, that's fabulous. Gotta commit that to memory somehow.

2. ajd, these guys are screaming for attention; they cannot then complain about getting attention they dissaprove of. Whatta buncha boneheads.

Greybeard said...

Clueless AlphaLiberal:
Watch from 4:20 to the completion of this video.
When you've finished, come back and let's talk more about torture.

Michelle Shocked said...

I am glad you taped that encounter so that we could all observe the interrogation you endured. I hope that you are ok.

I must confess to being one of those who wondered whether your many enemies really were as ruthless as you suggest from time to time. But now I have seen it for myself. The horror, the horror.

To think that he asked you a question while you were wearing headphones. Have you recovered?!

What a terrible shock it must have been to be interrogated in such a manner. My heart is still pounding just watching that tape!

Palladian said...

Michelle, when was your last album, anyway?

The Drill SGT said...

LOL,

Ann,

If you are going t try and pass as an "organization" person you first need to:

- wear reflective shades
- get check out with an H&K
- get your license to fly "black Helicopters"
- get a bit of predator video and put it on your ipod so you ca pretend it's a downlink.

AimHighHitLow said...

I lived in Berkeley for 13 years and was constantly asked to sign petitions. My untruthful but face-saving-for-all response: "I'm Canadian." This may not work for you, Prof Althouse, with your blogginghead celebrity and all, but it worked pretty well for a civilian such as myself.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

that it is often impolite to whip out your camera, whatever the size, and start filming people on the street.

That may be true of people who are just randomly walking or standing on the street, but when people are purposely making a public spectacle of themselves and holding political demonstrations....they are more than fair game.

jane said...

Or, just wear these to never be hassled as a potential dissenter to a Madison free speech and dissent demonstration, again.

lurker2209 said...

Maybe it's just me, but it does seem really strange that someone would watch and record a street protest/theater event while listening to an ipod or whatever with headphones. To be watching, and recording without actually listening, that looks odd. Now I think we here on the blog kinda understand what you were up to, but the clipboard guy must have thought you were weird. I'm not sure that justifies the interrogation, but it does make it look like you have some sort of preconcieved idea about what they're doing.

Maxine Weiss said...

Althouse used bad judgment, does a dumb thing, then things she's smart enough to talk her way out of it.

This time.

You don't know who he is. What if he decided to rape you? Don't think it couldn't happen, in broad daylight, no matter who's standing around.

Althouse wants to play with fire, but might just get burned.

Life isn't fair. You can't just go up to anyone and film them, and expect absolutely no conflict whatsoever. Life doesn't work like that, no matter what your rights are.

Keep pushing limits to see how far you can go.

Don't come cryin' to me when things get out of hand because you were excersizin' your free rights!

Love, Maxine

Cedarford said...

I'm thinking that Far-Lefties buying their regulation Gitmo/Islamoid hostage execution attire is a good thing.

If the jack-booted fascists come to power and arrest these guys with Habeas suspended, America can save on jail clothing costs.

If the Islamoids take them hostage, some poor low-ranking Jihadi will not be running around from Sears to Acme Uniform Supply with a fistful of 20s looking for medium-large jumpsuits and agonizing if he should pay extra for the "There is No God Greater Than Allah" monogrammed logo to be put on the suits. That just leaves the Jihadi the easy task of picking up a large serrated kitchen knife.

It's also nice if you are kidnapped by head-choppers. "Hey guys, I don't have an orange jumpsuit, but I know two guys in Madison that are "ready to go for your special video, tailored jumsuits and all".
"Madison...you say..accursed infidel???"
"Habib, we have many, many friends in Madison..maybe we should listen to the guy.."

Joe said...

Wow, if that's the extent of the interrogations the US is doing, they really are a waste of time. (I think your average shop lifter gets harsher treatment.)

lee david said...

Jane,

LOL, The only shoe that could telegraph your membership in the lefty sphere more recognizeably is the Birkinstock, But I must admit that the Earth Shoe has the added advantages of being dumb and ugly to boot.

Harsh Pencil said...

This may be old, but when I lived in Madison, we referred to Birkenstock wearers as "Sandalistas".

Simon said...

I'd have told him that it wasn't necessary to undermine their efforts, since they're undermining them perfectly well on their own without my help.

Paul said...

"try Lyndon Johnson -- he, like Bush, was elected,"

No.

chickenlittle said...

lee david said: "The only shoe that could telegraph your membership in the lefty sphere more recognizeably is the Birkinstock [sic]..."

I'm wearing some right now (with socks) and I'm no lefty. I got in the habit while living in Germany. I believe a surer sign of lefty sensitivity is the Clark's Wallabee oxford.

Palladian said...

"I believe a surer sign of lefty sensitivity is the Clark's Wallabee oxford."

I wear those, though not for serious walking. Or to protests.

I also wear wooden clogs, New Balance sneakers. In my high school days, I wore Doc Martens on some days and Birkenstocks (often with socks!) on others.

What does this all mean?

Nothing of course, but it's a chance to compare shoes.

chickenlittle said...

Completely off-topic but I think Prof. Althouse should consider a post inviting readers to share their social/political associations with certain fashion items.
What looks republican? what looks lefty?

Pogo said...

"what looks lefty?"

Clearly, orange jumpsuits, clipboards, and a megaphone.

Simon said...

Paul - You people really have to learn to let that go. It would have been at best arguably true (if hardly a slam-dunk) prior to 2004, but the passage of a subsequent and clear-cut election just makes y'all look childish.

jane said...

We shouldn’t stereotype. For all we know the Bush-Gitmo dissenters are sporting Edward$ haircut$ under their hoods.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liam said...

I think that all they were missing were the naked tattoed scrotum inflators from the San Fran protests.

Always increases the freak turnout...

The Drill SGT said...

"what looks lefty?"

Clearly, orange jumpsuits, clipboards, and a megaphone.


1. Che T shirts
2. Serapes
3. keffiyeh
4. Puppet masks
5. topless political demonstrations
6. black ski masks
7. waving any flag except Ol Glory
8. Burning Ol Glory
9. wearing anything while chanting, Hehe, hoho, ....... has got to go!
10. wearing camo you were not issued

Fen said...

Maxine: Life isn't fair. You can't just go up to anyone and film them, and expect absolutely no conflict whatsoever. Life doesn't work like that, no matter what your rights are. Keep pushing limits to see how far you can go. Don't come cryin' to me when things get out of hand because you were excersizin' your free rights!

Doesn't that work both ways? If protestors got their butts kicked for demanding impeachment, would you argue "they were asking for it"?

Love, Maxine

Sloanasaurus said...

Hilarious video. The paranoia of the guy asking for the petition was classic.

All you needed was for him to start yelling... TURN THE CAMERA OFF NOW...

Methadras said...

Moronic leftists once again proving why they are moronic leftists. Do these people not understand that their mental instabilities have no place in political discourse?

Sigivald said...

I suspect people like that assume anyone else is involved with an "organization" because they always are, and they're not aware that other people aren't all part of "organizations" with a directed goal.

Wonder if International ANSWER was paying the bills?