March 4, 2011

Who started the restriction of access to the Wisconsin Capitol, which the state court judge has ruled unconstitutional?

If you were critical of Meade and me for refusing to wait in line and insisting on walking right into the Capitol building, then you need to read the judge's order, which says that the restriction of access "violates the State Constitution."

Instead of meekly following instructions — which, oddly enough, the anti-Walker protesters did — we felt immediate outrage and expressed it. If you are one of the many people who criticized me and Meade for selfishly jumping ahead of a line, it's time for an apology.

Let me remind you what happened. I started it. On Saturday, February 26th, the day with the largest crowd, there were "'about 70,000 people' at the Capitol, but they were mainly outside":
I walked right up to the nearest door, and a "volunteer" in an orange vest told me to go wait in a line to go in some other door. This door was for... I didn't quite catch who the special people were who got to go right in the door I'd walked up to, but I said, "This is a public building. You're saying there are 2 kinds of people — ones that get right in and ones that go wait in line? Who are you?" He was obviously not a uniformed city official. I was all "Who are you?" and "How dare you!" and, after a few seconds, I (and Meade) got right through that door.

Once in, I said "How dare they!" about 10 times. Sorry, Meade didn't video that. You've never seen video [of me] as emotional as I was right then. I got outraged for myself and for all the people that were out there waiting in that line. I was outraged about them for 2 reasons: 1. Because they were treated as second-class citizens who had to enter through the subordinate door, and 2. Because they meekly accepted their subordination.
I couldn't tell if the protesters had set up the blockage themselves or if they had somehow colluded with the police, but I was truly outraged that private citizens were assuming the authority to restrict access to the public building.

The Washington Post reports on the ousting of the overnight-sleeping protesters:
The protesters demanded to see a written copy of the order before they would go. University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Chief Susan Riseling read the order to the crowd, eliciting cheers when she read the judge's determination that the state had unconstitutionally restricted access to the building.

"We won this battle," said former Attorney General Peggy Lautenschlager, who represented unions that had challenged the state's decision to limit building access. But she also told the demonstrators they needed to leave.
From my observations, it seems that THE PROTESTERS THEMSELVES were doing the initial blocking of the door, without the police, so I'm irked by this righteous exulting. On February 26, a guy wearing an orange vest with the word "Marshall" sharpied on duct tape tried to keep me and Meade out. There were no police there at all. I call bullshit on Lautenschlager's "we won." Read the facts I observed directly and rebut the inference that the protesters initiated the access restriction.

Now the police WERE there the next day, when Meade arrived at the same door (the King Street door). Inspired by my resistance the previous day, Meade insisted on walking right in. When he got home, he said to me "I almost got myself arrested." He caught it on video, which is embedded in the post "Meade is New Media." He confronted the police, demanding to know by what authority they were telling him that he could not walk right into the Capitol.

When Meade moved to push through the door, one of them accused him of pushing a police officer. I believe that was an attempt to intimidate him into going over and waiting in the access-restricting line. The implication was that they could arrest him if they want, so he'd better get super-compliant right now. A protester who assumes Meade is a typical protester tells Meade that the police are "on our side." That is, the protesters seem to be colluding with the police in the access restriction, which seems to be why they are waiting in line. But Meade isn't with them, and he's not interested in facilitating the collusion. He's on his own.

Here's the video Meade took on February 28, 2011. Listen at 1:03 for Meade's mocking: "Ah, here are the sheep, obeying orders from the police." At 2:55, he's confronting the police about their system. At 3:34, he encounters a legal observer and questions him about whether the exclusion from the building violates constitutional rights.

In short, Meade and I recognized the access restriction as, initially, a private wrong, committed by the private-citizen protesters, and, the next day, a violation of rights by the police. When the police took over the access-restriction policy, the protesters continued to support it, because — I assume — it served their interests. One of the protesters urgently attempted to clue Meade in that the police were on the protesters' side and that he should meekly submit to the line ritual for the good of the collective.

This is what it looks like to me, having experienced it directly and through Meade. If you don't accept my characterization, PROVE ME WRONG.

ADDED: UW polisci prof Howard Schweber emails a response to this post (and gives me permission to publish it here):
Anne,

I have to object. First, the requirements of using only certain doors and standing in line were not created by the protesters, and your "reporting" gives absolutely no evidence to suggest that they were. Second, your "calling bullshit" is about something else entirely.



1) Last Saturday protest leaders explained to me that the restrictions on entrances (only two open at opposite ends of the rotunda) had been set up by the police, and that the protest marshal's were voluntarily helping to enforce them to preserve good relations with the cooperation of the protesters themselves. This is what smart organizers do -- your claim that the restrictions "originated" with the protesters, as far as I know, is incorrect. You may have a good argument to the effect that private citizens should not assist the police in enforcing lawful orders--although that's a pretty longstanding tradition. And of course, if there were evidence that pro-Walker protesters were being treated differently than pro-union protesters that would be a different story, but I haven't heard anything to that effect.

2) All of which it has nothing to do with the story you are reporting, as I understand it.The restrictions to which the judge's order referred were not about closing doors and making people stand in line. As I understand it, starting this past weekend Capitol police would only allow individuals into the building if the were invited by a member of a legislative staff who came to the door to escort them, and each legislator's office was limited to 8 visitors. In addition, the police would let in precisely the number of persons that equally the number of chairs in a scheduled committee meeting. In addition, police told reporters that they would allow one person in for every protester inside who left. Those actions were what prompted the motion for an injunction -- not the selective blocking of entrances and requirement that people stand in line. I got this information from a reporter, Dustin Pedroia, who put his press pass in his pocket and walked up to a cop with a copy of the injunction, and was *still* denied entrance to the Capitol -- that's what gave rise to the contempt hearing..
3) Consequently, with all due respect, your "crying bullshit" is bullshit. The protesters cooperated with police to ensure that public access to -- and egress from -- the Capitol would be peaceful and orderly in accordance with content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions. The fact that those restrictions might incidentally affect other members of the general public does not make them invalid, nor does the fact that private citizens voluntarily assisted in enforcing their terms. The purpose of those restrictions, finally, was to control the flow of traffic, not to limit access. By contrast, the administration's subsequent efforts were to prevent access to any significant number of people. That was the subject and purpose of the injunction, and that was the claim of "victory." I don't care whether one agrees with the protests or not, it is no more truthful to describe the organizers as authoritarians limiting their own supporters free speech rights than it is to characterize them as union thugs.

In other words, this ain't the 60's. No one is throwing bombs or even rocks. These are middle class protesters assembling to make a political staement, not agitators looking for a confrontation. And they are Wisconsinites: they stand in line, they cooperate, they like to keep things peaceful and benign. They're just like that. It is quite true that the protesters are not free speech absolutists or insisting on exercising their rights to the fullest possible extent -- but that's because that's not what they are protesting about (this is also not the Berkeley Free Speech movement.) Antagonizing the police in the name of First Amendment absolutism would be childish self-indulgence for these protesters, both those who support Walker and those who support the unions. Cooperating with the police to ensure that large-scale protests can go forward over a period of weeks without any untoward incidents? That's for grown-ups. And if the police go too far? Go get a court order -- that, too, is the grown-up response.

hs
I'll respond to this later.

ADDED: My response is here.

256 comments:

1 – 200 of 256   Newer›   Newest»
The Crack Emcee said...

Let me remind you what happened. I started it.

Oh, now it's all about you, blah, blah, blah.

traditionalguy said...

You are right. But police will be backed up by Judges, so defying the police who are in the wrong seldom works out well. Meade always talks nice, but Meade can be quite a fearless fellow.

kent said...

O/T: Madison Mayor Colluded With Unions.

I brought this story up yesterday; Instapundit is now featuring it today.

shoutingthomas said...

Frankly, I don't give a damn.

This has gone on long enough.

Evict the loonies from the building, arrest the Dems, force the vote.

The voters of the state of Wisconsin matter too. The spoiled brats of Madison can take it to court and have their Pyrrhic victory after the dust settles.

The spoiled brats have made it clear they don't give a fuck about the rule of law. Fuck them and their complaints about the rule of law.

Lincolntf said...

Libs never change.
"We had to restrict access to preserve access!"

jr565 said...

Who are the special people versus the non special people? For example, do the special people in fact work there? Should they, working there have to stand in line with people who are protesting to gain access to their own jobs?
I don't think setting up lines is somehow restricting access to the capitol, as opposed to setting up an orderly means of gaining access so you don't have Walmart type stampedes that end up with people getting trampled. But should a congressperson conducting business have to wait in line with a protester? I think not.
And access to the capitol is not absolute. You can't for example just walk into any office you please after hours. You still have to follow the rules.

roesch-voltaire said...

The language is "policy regarding access", I do not see the word "restricted" because within the crowd limits everyone as able to enter the capitol. To consider those of us who waited in line because we did not want to cause a safety hazard as sheep, ignores our rational decision to ensure public safety and put our ego on hold for a few minutes.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse said "it's time for an apology".

Bull, this is America. We have laws but we don't obey them. Border laws, tax laws, immigration laws, recycling laws! Who needs them - the govt does not enforce except for the recycling law [don't mess with that one]. So you ain't getting an apology from me! Heh.

jr565 said...

There's 70,000 people outside. If they all rushed the capitol building their would be bedlam. Setting up lines is simply the means to get people of that size into the building. It's pretty arrogant to think that lines aren't there for you. It's a public building yes, but even public buildings need security, and a need to maintain order. Having 70,000 people going through any door or window because it's a public building is not what the govt meant buy restriction of access to the constitution being unconstitutional. You're not restricted. You just have to wait in line.
Could Althouse climb through any window because the building is unrestricted? THey're telling you this door is not one you can go through. Respect that.
If you work there and are authorized to go through that door, then you can do so, if not then respect the line.
Althouse is a line cutting boor.

Anga2010 said...

Here, I'm wondering what the fire code for the Wisconsin Capitol building determines is the maximum occupancy?
Anyone exceeding maximum occupancy will put all of the folks in grave danger (is there any other kind?) were a fire (God forbid) break out.
Common sense, it seems, is not nearly quite so common as one would have hoped.

Lincolntf said...

When the man with the orange vest speaks, Libs listen. When the voters speak, they haul ass to Illinois.

MayBee said...

I'm surprised there weren't fire issues.

I'm also still shocked people have been sleeping there, keeping there things there, hanging posters there. Sorry, but none of that seems right.

Alex said...

Look if some pathetic dickwad of a judge says access is unrestricted then that's what it means. No exceptions.

Alcuria said...

jr65 @ 8:43 Am:
You're not restricted. You just have to wait in line.

In a word - bullshit. Althouse wrote:

"...but I was truly outraged that private citizens were assuming the authority to restrict access to the public building."

That was wrong what some protesters were doing - assuming the role of gatekeepers to a public building.

ricpic said...

Assuming there are at least some leftist leaders who can take a step away from themselves can't they see that from the standpoint of the non-ideological (always the vast majority of the population) the opposition, as embodied in Governor Walker, is showing great forbearance and they are seen more and more as the party throwing a hissyfit? Clearly a rhetorical question, as it becomes more obvious the longer this goes on that leftists can't take a step away from themselves.

Paddy O said...

"ignores our rational decision to ensure public safety and put our ego on hold for a few minutes."

Roesch, I think this is exactly what sheep do. They make a decision (rational to them) to stay as a group and avoid perceived danger to ensure their own safety. This is what shepherds depend on to manage where the sheep go, often using dogs to help direct the sheep's safety instinct.

Whether you think that's a bad thing or not doesn't have anything to do with the fact it's a sheep like response.

Fritz said...

I thank both you and Meade for your continued reports and interesting, and personal observations on the whole affair. Far better than anything the major media have to offer.

Paddy O said...

"You're not restricted. You just have to wait in line."

Obamacare in a nutshell.

Paddy O said...

The difference is that the lines were for people who wanted to maintain control over the protest.

But, they assume that everyone wants to submit to their attempt to define the protests in a certain way. Then get out of sorts if you disagree with their attempts to manage how they are trying to organize this supposedly counter-cultural event.

They can't handle protesting the protesting by not following their demands. Which, again, shows in a small way how very, very quickly the oppressed become the oppressors.

They don't hate the idea of oppression, they just want to be the ones in charge.

jr565 said...

Alcuria,
Bullshit yourself.
Here's Althouse's characterization:
"I walked right up to the nearest door, and a "volunteer" in an orange vest told me to go wait in a line to go in some other door. This door was for... I didn't quite catch who the special people were who got to go right in the door I'd walked up to,
She doesn't even know who the door is meant for, but then how does she know that the door shouldn't be restricted to those people? And even if he's a "volunteer" he may still be speaking on behalf of the capitol buildings need to restrict said door to the people that need to access it. Althouse doens't know his capacity, nor who the special people are so she can't say that she should or shoulnd't be allowed through that door. Is her, and your assertion, that if there's a door there she should be able to go through it whatever her capacity, and whether she's authorized to be there or not?

"but I said, "This is a public building. You're saying there are 2 kinds of people — ones that get right in and ones that go wait in line? Who are you?" He was obviously not a uniformed city official. I was all "Who are you?" and "How dare you!" and, after a few seconds, I (and Meade) got right through that door." How about finding out who those special people are before barging into a door when everyone else is on a line going through a different door. Suppose, as but one example that the door is reserved for congressmen, who can't wait in line with 70,000 other protesters because they need to vote on a budget. It's ridiculous to suggest that Althouse should be able to go in with congressmen simply because it's a public building. Suppose the door is being reserved for asbestos removal workers because they found asbestos and this door is off limits. THere are countless reasons why someone should or should not be allowed through a specific door even in a public building and even though it's public there are "special people" with more access to the building than others.
I agree with Crack. Althouse is blustering in there trying to make it all about her, and she doesn't even have the first clue about who should be allowed through a door since she didn't even bother listening to the guy before barging through in her faux outrage. Unless it's Althouse's and your assertion that public buildings can't setup lines or must have all doors open at all times for anyone anywhere.

Fred4Pres said...

Civil disobediance!

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:
The difference is that the lines were for people who wanted to maintain control over the protest.

If I ever see you in a line, I'll be sure to cut in front of you on this principle. THough I guess you don't wait in lines, that's too sheeplike.
So in other words, you're one of those jerks that always cuts in front of people because you think you're special.

Fred4Pres said...

It's the People's Court!

I mean Legislature.

Nevermind.

Fred4Pres said...

No Sheeples at Meadehouse!

Lem said...

Professor maybe somebody thought that Safety should come first.

Ok.. maybe they were wrong and not that many people showed up.. but if somebody would have been injured or killed the question would have been asked (perhaps beginning here) why weren't precautions taken?

kent said...

They don't hate the idea of oppression, they just want to be the ones in charge.

Bingo.

pbAndj said...

So, Althouse has expressed concern regarding the mental health some of the folks who've been sleeping in this building.


Has she considered that some of the folks who go to the building almost everyday are also suffering.

This post could have been written by a madwoman.


Just sayin

Quayle said...

"We won"

Sounds a lot like the hippy professor that my daughter encountered at the University of Washington, extolling the great accomplishment of them having stopped the Viet Nam War.

He wasn't so willing to take credit for what followed.

Ann Althouse said...

"There's 70,000 people outside. If they all rushed the capitol building their would be bedlam. Setting up lines is simply the means to get people of that size into the building. It's pretty arrogant to think that lines aren't there for you. It's a public building yes, but even public buildings need security, and a need to maintain order. Having 70,000 people going through any door or window because it's a public building is not what the govt meant buy restriction of access to the constitution being unconstitutional. You're not restricted. You just have to wait in line."

You need to read the facts more carefully. 1. PRIVATE CITIZENS were blocking my entrance to a public building, and 2. PRIVATE CITIZENS were dividing people into 2 classes, ones who could go right in that door and others who had to go wait in a long line.

This was not a matter of the public authorities adopting a neutral and orderly policy. It was private people assuming the authority of law and discriminating between 2 classes of persons.

jr565 said...

Instead of meekly following instructions. In other words Althouse didn't follow instructions. Unlike the Anti Walker protests. Though I don't side with them and their union stance at least they are conducting their protest civilly. By following instructions. Unlike Althouse who is apparently an anarchist. Screw these lines. I can walk through any door! Because I'm Althouse!

Ann Althouse said...

"How about finding out who those special people are before barging into a door when everyone else is on a line going through a different door."

I did ask. I also said "Who are you?" I asked and asked, and you know what response I got? THEY LET ME THROUGH THE DOOR. Frankly, I'd have preferred to get them on video explaining what they were doing. They let me through the door to avoid having to answer questions THEY DID NOT WANT TO ANSWER.

Thanks for helping me crystalize that point!

Tibore said...

"I walked right up to the nearest door, and a "volunteer" in an orange vest told me to go wait in a line to go in some other door. This door was for... I didn't quite catch who the special people were who got to go right in the door I'd walked up to, but I said, "This is a public building. You're saying there are 2 kinds of people — ones that get right in and ones that go wait in line? Who are you?" He was obviously not a uniformed city official. I was all "Who are you?" and "How dare you!" and, after a few seconds, I (and Meade) got right through that door."

I don't ask this to challenge the authenticity of your story, or to pass judgement. Rather, I'm merely curious, Professor. But: What made it clear that this volunteer was not a city official? Yes, you said he was not "uniformed", but is that the only way to tell?

I'm simply trying to clarify elements of the story. Clearly, you assert that the "volunteer" was a private individual amongst the group of private individuals who "assumed the authority to restrict access to the public building", but at the same time, I see no evidence supporting this contention.

Again, I'm not trying to shoot down your observations and conclusions. I'm merely asking you how you came to conclude that those individuals were truly not authorized by the city. That's all.

pbAndj said...

So, Althouse has expressed concern regarding the mental health some of the folks who've been sleeping in this building.


Has she considered that some of the folks who go to the building almost everyday are also suffering?

At least Althouse realizes (and states) that her emotions are running much, much hotter than normal. And, she can see how this event has left others mentally unbalanced. It's surprising that she hasn't connected the dots regarding her own lack of balance.


Just sayin

Alex said...

At least Althouse realizes (and states) that her emotions are running much, much hotter than normal. And, she can see how this event has left others mentally unbalanced. It's surprising that she hasn't connected the dots regarding her own lack of balance.

Whopper of the day. I never considered it good form to question the mental health of a host.

PaulV said...

Right to Free Speech does not include shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater when there is no fire. The same reasoning means the right to assembly does not include the right to unsafely overcrowd a building.
AA admonished the protesters not to clean up like the tea party people did. At that time she did not realize the damage that tape would do to marble. If she had perhaps the damage to Capitol would not have happened.

jr565 said...

Ann wrote:
You need to read the facts more carefully. 1. PRIVATE CITIZENS were blocking my entrance to a public building, and 2. PRIVATE CITIZENS were dividing people into 2 classes, ones who could go right in that door and others who had to go wait in a long line.

But how do you know that the guy in the red vest wasn't working, in coordination with the capitol building on their authority and instruction. In other words the capitol building says "you can come into the capitol building, but you have to get in the line and go through door x,y an z. This door is reserved for "special people" who are here to conduct business.
I don't know that simply because he's a volunteer that he isn't speaking for the capitol building, or even that he's a simply a volunteer. He is wearing the official red vest, which denotes some sort of coordinating uniform. But the point is, you don't know either. You don't know his capacity, nor whether that door was restricted for a reason and you are deliberately not following instructions because you don't want to meekly follow instructions.
Imagine if all 70,000 protesters decided to screw the line and simply charge into whatever door they wanted. That would be a reason to call in cops and start cracking down on protesters. The line is there for a reason. If you want to commit "civil" disobedience, then use the line like all the other protesters

pbAndj said...

"I never considered it good form to question the mental health of a host."

Is it better to sit back as the host deteriorates?

PaulV said...

jr565.
Are you saying vigilantes should control access to a government building? I am shocked that you would openly support lawlessness.

Alcuria said...

Tibore @ 9:14 Am:

"I'm merely asking you how you came to conclude that those individuals were truly not authorized by the city. That's all."

Well:

"On February 26, a guy wearing an orange vest with the word "Marshall" sharpied on duct tape tried to keep me and Meade out."

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Sounds to me like th eprotesters, in collusion with some police officer union members, colluded in order to make it look like "TEH POOR PROTESTERS IZ TEH BEIN OPPRESSDED!!!" - hence why they went to court to stop "SCOTT HITLER WALKER DICKTATOR" from doing what they, in fact, were doing.

I guess when you're losing on every other front, you gotta try and win cheap political points against your opponent, even if it means a "set up".

Alex said...

pbj - you're treading on thin ice buddy.

rhhardin said...

Kafka "Before the Law" has a door and a doorkeeper refusing admittance.

Moral: Don't believe doorkeepers.

jr565 said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
I did ask. I also said "Who are you?" I asked and asked, and you know what response I got? THEY LET ME THROUGH THE DOOR. Frankly, I'd have preferred to get them on video explaining what they were doing. They let me through the door to avoid having to answer questions THEY DID NOT WANT TO ANSWER.

You can bully people into letting you in places or doing things for you simply by being loud and obnoxious. Just because you were able to bully your way into a door past someone who didn't want to deal with the screaming lady doens't mean you're right. It simply means that you bully people into breaking the rules for you.
And why do they have to answer to you simply because you hold a camera. If someone in the capitol building says, we want you to restrict this door to only certain people he may not even know why, he's just told let certain people in. But he doesn't necessarily have to answer to you. Maybe you should have to answer why you think you're so special that the line that all other protesters are on is one you think you're too good for.And again, why not find out who the "special people" or "authorized" people are before barging in. If it's friends of the guy who is blocking the door, then I can see your point, but if it's "civil servants who need to do their jobs" then unless you're a civil servant there to do a job, you simply shouldn't be going through that door. And you don't know, because when he told you it didn't register, or you didn't care.

rhhardin said...

The outgoing form of access would be excess.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

And why do they have to answer to you...?

Well, if they were a legitimate "civil servant", they DO answer to taxpayers. You can't just slap an orange vest on, create a duct tape/sharpie title on it, and expect people to take you at your word that you have some authority.

Pogo said...

Althouse looked at the guy in the orange vest and was "suspicious about that beard and the lack of convincing attachment around the mouth".

Drew said...

One of the protesters urgently attempted to clue Meade in that the police were on the protesters' side and that he should meekly submit to the line ritual for the good of the collective.

These demonstrators, they're doing it wrong.

Leland said...

I'm with MayBee. The issue shouldn't be access/restricted access to a public building. However, at some point, the fire marshall should limit the number of people inside the building for purposes of evacuation (such as a fire). If the fire marshall said, "only 2,000 people in the building" (hypothetical), and 70,000 people wanted in the building, then capitol police should enforce the fire marshall's authority.

That said, it does seem the first encounter was controlled access by professional protestors doing their own crowd control.

Alex said...

Shorter leftist - WE control access to protest area and YOU righties will bow down and scrape for access.

Lincolntf said...

I've got a foolproof plan.

Step 1. Go to Madison

Step 2. Use a crayon to draw a Sheriff's star on my baseball cap.

3. Fire the Marshal who was playing doorman.

Alex said...

pbj - if teapartiers were doing this, you'd be screaming bloody murder and questioning Althouse's sanity if she didn't as well. You are nothing but a crazy leftist and that's all.

PETER V. BELLA said...

The issue here is authorization. Who authorized non-government "volunteers" to restrict or prohibit access to a public building?

Who authorized the police do do the same.

There must be some collusion with between government leadership, the unions, and the protesters.

Tibore said...

"Alcuria said...
Well:

"On February 26, a guy wearing an orange vest with the word "Marshall" sharpied on duct tape tried to keep me and Meade out."


Thank you, but let's hear the answer directly from the Professor. I'd like to hear more substantive substantiation than a single individual with a painfully amateurish label on his vest. That's one data point, yes, but only one, and isn't in and of itself proof.

"jr565 said...

But how do you know that the guy in the red vest wasn't working, in coordination with the capitol building on their authority and instruction. In other words the capitol building says "you can come into the capitol building, but you have to get in the line and go through door x,y an z. This door is reserved for "special people" who are here to conduct business.
I don't know that simply because he's a volunteer that he isn't speaking for the capitol building, or even that he's a simply a volunteer. He is wearing the official red vest, which denotes some sort of coordinating uniform. But the point is, you don't know either. You don't know his capacity, nor whether that door was restricted for a reason and you are deliberately not following instructions because you don't want to meekly follow instructions.


You have a point, but Professor Althouse is not devoid of one herself. If these are indeed private individuals presuming to take the burden of restricting access upon themselves, then they are indeed acting as illegally as a person impersonating a police officer would be. And in a some ways it would be worse, because this is a large group of people attempting to use that wrongly assumed authority to dictate to other people en mass. If the Professor is correct in her assertions, then this is indeed a serious situation that requires illlumination.

That's why I'm asking for more substantiation for the statement that those were private individuals unsanctioned by the lawful authority. If they were, her case gets that much stronger. And if they were not, then it all stops here with nothing more than words on the internet before it gets legitimately ugly.

pbAndj said...

"pbj - you're treading on thin ice buddy."



Right, because Althouse doesn't have a bunch of posts about the mental state and emotional motivations of other folks. Nor, has she clearly stated that her own emotions are completely atypical.



So, obviously it's wrong to note the crushingly obvious projection.

Much better to sit back while Althouse continues to lob stones from her glass house.

Alex said...

Much better to sit back while Althouse continues to lob stones from her glass house.

Insane, just insane.

jr565 said...

PaulIV wrote:
jr565.
Are you saying vigilantes should control access to a government building? I am shocked that you would openly support lawlessness.

No, but I don't know that he is in fact a vigilante or that he is restricting access to a building not according to the buildings rules. And Althouse doesn't really know either. The protesters could have worked with the building coordinators who told them "look we don't want 70,000 people to rush the capitol building so if you want access, and to avoid a stampede we want you to get in line to get in. Oh, and this door is off limits because it needs to be used for people conducting official business". Also, there's another type of vigilante, one that decides that they aren't going to meekly follow instructions and barge through doors.
If the protesters were merely blocking that door to only let the top tiered protesters in, then I could see the point. But I don't know that. And althouse didn't hear what the guy said. SHe was simply operating under the principle that all people should be allowed to walk through any doors. When has that ever been the case, even in public buildings?

Alex said...

jr - Althouse & Meade are THERE on the front lines, you are not. So who are you to second guess?

kent said...

There must be some collusion with between government leadership, the unions [...]

[::waves arms frantically::] Hello! Yes! Thank you! See Posting #3, in this very thread.

Tibore said...

"I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Well, if they were a legitimate "civil servant", they DO answer to taxpayers. You can't just slap an orange vest on, create a duct tape/sharpie title on it, and expect people to take you at your word that you have some authority."


Yes, this. Substantiation of the assertion makes the case that much stronger. If that were indeed unsanctioned/unauthorized behavior, then the Professor's point is made that much more solid. But if that were indeed a legitimately authorized government staff member, then he screwed up in multiple ways - not the least of which was failing to identify himself as an authorized individual - and that still needs illumination.

What a contentious situation like this requires is light, not heat. So far, Meade and Althouse have been doing quite well at providing light, but a bit more is still needed. That's the reason I'm asking those questions above.

bagoh20 said...

Controlling access to the building is the least of the overreaching that took place. This is probably the mildest of the unfair and inappropriate actions taken for the cause of taxpayer draining. The host is dying, and I have little interest any more in how the parasites behave. They need cutoff. Eye on the ball please.

Roux said...

The righteous indignation of the left. ... blah, blah, blah... my rights are being trampled on... It's getting stale with these people.

They'd take all of our rights away if they were in power.

traditionalguy said...

The heart of The Professor's consternation was not the line out front for fire code reasons. The heart of her plaint was the free access door only for the Pigs More Equal than Others. And that IS today's Obama Fascism system at its core. The fascist system is when Government FAVORS to one business in a field in exchange for that business doing whatever it is told. Ask GE how that works. Fascism is appearing everywhere today wherever a business becomes the only one left standing because all the others recieved no favors by way of Government Guarantees. The new Community that Obama is organizing will make all businesses into Member Businesses paying dues to the System in order keep our income.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Browndog said...

According to the Department of Administration, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning, the following procedures will be in place.
• Visitors to the Capitol must enter and exit at the North and South Hamilton doors. Employees who
display their ID's may enter at the MLK entrance
• Members of the public can enter the Capitol for meetings, committee hearings, tours or other
purposes.
• Members of the public participating in a rally or protest must remain in the ground floor rotunda area.
• Carry-ins including sleeping bags, mattresses, musical instruments or noisemakers, cooking
appliances and other items prohibited by the administrative code will not be allowed in the building.
• Visitors are prohibited from affixing or removing signs taped inside the Capitol. The Capitol is a
National Historic Landmark and removal of tape and the restoration of the building must be handled
professionally.

Lem said...

I wouldn't want to walk trough a door were they let somebody like me in ;)

Alex said...

Leftists don't abide the rule of law. Watch them flaunt the rules, they revel in it!

jr565 said...

Peter V. Bella wrote:
There must be some collusion with between government leadership, the unions, and the protesters.

There probably was, but I don't know that that's necesarily bad. And I would use the word coordination as opposed to collusion.
In NYC if you want to stage a protest or a rally you actually have to get a permit.And you have to obey rules set up for said protests. As such there will be coordination between protesters and officials as to where protesters are going to restrict their protest to
. So there probaby was some coordnation as to where the protest would be allowed on the capitol buliding and where it wouldn't. And it was probably determined, based on practical considerations that certain doors would be off limits, not because there was something nefarious happening behind that door, but simply that the Capitol building still needs to conduct business, and if people can't get into the building because of so many protesters then business wont get done in a timely fashion. Therefore, this door over here is not to be used for protests. If you want to protest, either for or against the governer, please be orderly (hence the need for the sheepish line) and please use these other doors.
Why are 70,000 people able to follow said instructions and why must Althouse barge in without knowing the facts or who is ultimately saying she shouldnt enter that door. If the capitol building comes forward and says, we actually told protesters not to use that door, and this protester was merely there to tell other protesters not to use that door, then woudn't Althouse be ultimately be wrong for barging in? there weren't enough facts on the ground for Althouse to actually determine that.

Pogo said...

Oh geez, it's that Mary.
The stalking one.
Yipe.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex said...

crazy Mary is on the loose again.

Pogo said...

Or when you get all creepy n stuff.

Like now.

rdkraus said...

Who gets to stand inside the building is now THE issue in Wisconsin?

Crack got it at #1.

Pogo said...

But do carry on, but I've seen the end of this movie several times already.

jr565 said...

Traditional Guy wrote:
The heart of The Professor's consternation was not the line out front for fire code reasons. The heart of her plaint was the free access door only for the Pigs More Equal than Others.

But there are Pigs more equal than others. If you are authorized to be somewhere (ie you work there) you are more equal than the person who doesn't. In your workplace isn't that pretty much how it works too? Certain people get salaries and clock in and out every day. Some guy off the street is not authorized to have as much access as the salaried employee who is supposed to be there. And a building might have different rules for the salaried guy and the guy on the street simply because one should be there and one shouldn't.
In the case of the pigs who should be there who have more rights, I'd include the republicans who are acting against Obama's agenda. They, being congressmen and women, have more right to go through that door (if that door is designated for official business) than any protester. Or should those who are against Obama's directives and who are govt officials similarly have to wait in line with the protesters even though they're supposed to vote on a bill by a certain time? How about the cleaning crew. Before they come in to do their jobs they should have to wait in a line of 70,000 people? Are they getting paid while waiting on line? The cleaning crew are more Equal than others if they get to walk through that door designated for the cleaning crew.

kent said...

@Pogo, Alex: Not up on the history for this one, I'm afraid. Are we talking full-bore, foaming Deb Frisch territory, here...?

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reagan said...

I think the good professor may have a narcissistic personality disorder.

I'm sure the protesters wanted to waive their right to protest in the capitol by standing in line at the request of police. They should have immediately stormed the place and acted like total assholes, that would have been helpful. Good call.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pogo said...

@kent.

yes!

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

She lived on the curve in the road in an old tar paper shack.
On the south side of the town on the wrong side of the tracks.
Sometimes on the way into town we'd say, "Mama can we stop and give her a ride?"
But then she'd hold up a "Scott Walker is Hitler" sign.

Wild eyed crazy Mary.


wv: doushie. Indeed.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

New rules for Capitol access:


•Most people must enter and exit the building at the North and South Hamilton doors. (Employees who show identification can enter at the MLK entrance.)

•Anyone participating in a rally or protest must remain in the ground floor rotunda area.

•Carry-ins including sleeping bags, mattresses, musical instruments or noisemakers, cooking appliances and other items prohibited by the administrative code will not be allowed inside the Capitol

•Visitors are barred from putting up or removing signs taped inside the Capitol. Authorities say they’re concerned about the removal of tape that’s holding the signs.


Sounds like common sense has finally took hold.

Reagan said...

I'm pretty sure trying to set up lines so people can be admitted to a public place in an orderly fashion equals fascism. wow.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

I'm pretty sure trying to set up lines so people can be admitted to a public place in an orderly fashion equals fascism. wow.

So, ummmm why did the unions/protesters go to court claiming their little "rights" had been violated then?

caplight said...

What is the difference between the police and mayor colluding (wink, wink) with unionistas to break the law and to intimidate legislators and the collusion of the police and mayors in the South who colluded to allow various white citizens and their groups to intimidate Blacks during the civil rights era. Either case is a dereliction of duty and a failure to enforce the law. Again, this is why people who enforce the law or work for the government should never be allowed to unionize.

Paddy O said...

Waiting in lines is the confession of some kind of authority. This is based either on official authority, like the government, or on implicit authority we give based on shared goals.

If we wait in line at a supermarket, we have the goal of buying our food. If we wait in line at a movie theater, we have the goal of seeing a movie.

The supermarket can't demand we stand in a line to get out of the supermarket, but they can say we can't buy food if we disrupt the order they provide. The movie theater can't demand we stand in line, but if we want to see the movie they are providing we do so.

So we give them authority based on our goals.

If you have no interest in seeing a movie, buying food, or getting some salad from the buffet, you're not expected to stand in line to not participate in those goals.

If you wait in line with the protesters then you are assumed to have the goal of protesting as they see fit.

Althouse and Meade did not give the protesters authority over them, so did not agree to share the rules as agreed by the organizers of the protest so as to frame the protest in a certain way.

Just because the protest organizers assumed authority does not mean they have explicit authority over everyone.

Confusing these, thinking that because they assume authority over their cause they have authority over the whole public is precisely the argument against public unions. They think their goals trump the wider public's goals, and they think their power is official, even when their just posturing.

Protesting such abuses of power by actual bureaucrats is the real counter-cultural protest.

Just because a guy has a lab coat on doesn't mean you have to shock the lady in the next room.

txrxqa said...

Good catch and call Ann.

I've been following this event through several sources for a few weeks now ... my hat is off to you and Meade for your excellent work ...

.

Paddy O said...

they're

Reagan said...

I'm a Shark, "So, ummmm why did the unions/protesters go to court claiming their little "rights" had been violated then?"

There is a difference between waiting in line and extremely limited or no access at all.

MayBee said...

What has happened to liberals?

It used to mean being liberal!
Now "liberals" are actually mad at Althouse, and questioning her sanity, because she refused to stand in a line at the behest of someone who apparently had no authority to make her do so.

Althouse asked questions. And the "liberals" on this board don't like it one bit.

kent said...

Just because a guy has a lab coat on doesn't mean you have to shock the lady in the next room.

What if I'm the one wearing the white coat, and even supplied my own alligator clips and everything? That's still okay, though, right...?

SGT Ted said...

it'd be nice if the unions thugs and their neocommie supporters could put their ego's on hold long enough to allow the people who won the election to vote on their policy ideas.

jr565 said...

Bushman wrote:
•Most people must enter and exit the building at the North and South Hamilton doors. (Employees who show identification can enter at the MLK entrance.)

•Anyone participating in a rally or protest must remain in the ground floor rotunda area.

There you go. Unless Althouse could produce that she worked there she can enter the MLK entrance. if not she should wait in line with the protesters. Althouse was simply wrong.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

There is a difference between waiting in line and extremely limited or no access at all.

So people were waiting in line just to stand in line, or were they waiting in line to get into the building?

Lem said...

I see your point Paddy O.. well put as usual.

jr565 said...

Maybee wrote:
t used to mean being liberal!
Now "liberals" are actually mad at Althouse, and questioning her sanity, because she refused to stand in a line at the behest of someone who apparently had no authority to make her do so.

Bushmen laid out the rules twice. One door was reserved for employees as laid out by the govt, not by the protesters. She should have stood in line, simply because that was the door she was authorized to go through, just like all the other protesters.

edutcher said...

For those who say Ann never thinks she's wrong, here's the rebuttal.

In such a situation, it's pretty easy to get a mistaken idea. The authorities, and particularly the cops, seemed to have handled it poorly and given far too many people the impression of who was on who's side.

Ann Althouse said..

You've never seen video [of me] as emotional as I was right then. I got outraged for myself and for all the people that were out there waiting in that line.

Some day I'm going to have to tell the story of the biker who tried to cut in front of The Blonde during the Friday Special at the biker bar.

Sounds like Ann and The Blonde have something else in common.

Reagan said...

I'm not even saying she is wrong. I'm just saying b.f.d. Plus I think she's just looking for clicks and attention. To say that she was somehow extremely emotional over the outrage of being asked to wait in line is kind of weird. I'd award her 30 cents in damages.

Henry said...

@MayBee -- Excellent point.

Ignorance is strength
Conformity is freedom

@jr565 -- I think you may be making some assumptions about chronology.

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:
If you wait in line with the protesters then you are assumed to have the goal of protesting as they see fit.

Althouse and Meade did not give the protesters authority over them, so did not agree to share the rules as agreed by the organizers of the protest so as to frame the protest in a certain way.

No, the lines were for the protesters or the counter protesters. Whatever side you were protested, there were doors designated for you. I'm sure protesters would have preferred not to stand in any lines whatsoever. THey were told by the capitol building, who has authority that certain doors were off limits. ANd they abided by that trying to be orderly. Does Althouse allow the capitol building rules authority over her? If so, she should have similarly abided by them.
See again Bushman's stating the rules as outlined, I"m assuming, by the Capitol Building. Only people with id that show they work in the building are allowed through a door. If you don't have said id you shouldn't be going through that door.

Lem said...

I guess the fact that the protesters are/were wrong about obstructing Althouse access does not impress me as much as Walker is Hitler and the entitlement demands of the unions.

This was like a little white lie.

MayBee said...

jr565-

Bushman also wrote those are new rules as of 8 am today.

Bushmen laid out the rules twice. One door was reserved for employees as laid out by the govt, not by the protesters.

If the person at the door had the authority to check for employee badges at that time, he did not tell that to Althouse. He did not explain that was the employee entrance, nor did he require her to produce a badge.
She asked him, and he had the opportunity to tell her all those things, if that were the case.
Why do you think he did not?

Paddy O said...

"just like all the other protesters."

But she wasn't a protester!

That's the key bit. They did not submit to being organized so why should they wait in line for people whose goal is to manage the protest?

If Althouse and Meade did have to submit to such a rule, then why wouldn't the protesters have to submit to any rule laid down by, say, the governor? The protesters had the goal of resisting restrictions that prohibited their intent, legally if necessary, but then insisted on everyone else submitting the order the protesters insisted on.

Again, it's not the power itself being contested by the protesters, it's who has the power.

And if rules of society were so, so important to you and the protesters, where are the state senators, who are required by law to be in attendance? There is official power that can compel them to attend, but they flout that official authority. Then you and they demand others submit to the assumed authority of the protesters? That's absolutely absurd. You cannot pick and choose the rules everyone has to follow.

You cannot say rules that work against your goals should be ignored but rules that work for your goals have to be followed. That is the very definition of oppression.

And that's precisely what you are arguing.

Lem, thanks.

Paddy O said...

"Bushman's stating the rules as outlined, I"m assuming, by the Capitol Building."

How many rules did the protesters violate the last week or so?

As Althouse and Meade demonstrated, there was actually no official authority which demanded the line.

If all the rules were followed by everyone over the last weeks there would have not been any need for any line because the protesters would not have been in there.

You're choosing assumed rules over official rules and saying that because Althouse and Meade violated the assumed rules (but not the official rules) they are out of bounds.

In other words, you are assuming the power of the protesters to be the ultimate controlling authority. You are assuming they have the power to ignore what they want and then insist on being followed when they create their own order.

Again, that is the very definition of authoritarianism and fascism.

If they want the rules to be followed, they should follow the rules from the start. If people ignore them, they should see how their own ignoring of the law (both in the use of the capitol for their protests and the present location of the senators) has already initiated a breakdown of societal rules.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse is blustering in there trying to make it all about her, and she doesn't even have the first clue about who should be allowed through a door since she didn't even bother listening to the guy before barging through in her faux outrage."

False. I wanted to hear. He directed me through the door rather than put up with my questions.

Triangle Man said...

This is what it looks like to me, having experienced it directly and through Meade. If you don't accept my characterization, PROVE ME WRONG.

Meade says in the next thread up that Republicans would show ID, comply with a police order, etc.

Michael said...

Crack: You do have to admit that it is pretty satisfying when people croak in their sweat lodge cleansing rituals. There is that about cults.

kent said...

@Paddy O, 10:23 & 10:31 --

Winner by an uncontested knockout, after a full 10 count.

Paddy O said...

"comply with a police order"

Do you not see the key distinction here?

Reagan said...

Okay, a bunch of people (70,000) agreed to stand in line rather storm into the Wisconsin Capitol like a pack of wildebeests. Somebody even tried to get folks to wait in line to keep it orderly. When he was told he cannot force people to do that, he let her in. B.F.D. I'm sure law enforcement didn't mind folks trying to help keep it orderly. B.F.D. That is not fascism, that is just trying to be nice and reasonable.

On a side note, I think most folks think Hitler signs and such are over the top and actually unhelpful, see, e.g., Jon Stewart. I agree.

Reagan said...

Althouse: "False. I wanted to hear. He directed me through the door rather than put up with my questions."

That sounds like it would be very emotional.

Ann Althouse said...

"Unlike Althouse who is apparently an anarchist. Screw these lines. I can walk through any door! Because I'm Althouse!"

No. I am not an anarchist because I strongly support the rule of law. The rule of law includes my rights, however, and I will not go quietly as my rights are violated or as private citizens commit torts against me. And that isn't saying the rules don't apply to me. That is saying that I am willing to serve as an example for others, showing them what freedom looks like. I am proud of myself for that, not because I have special rights, but because I was bold enough to assert my rights.

Ann Althouse said...

"What made it clear that this volunteer was not a city official? Yes, you said he was not "uniformed", but is that the only way to tell? "

He wasn't wearing a uniform. He was wearing an orange vest with a duct-tape label on it. And he would not respond when I asked, repeatedly, "Who are you?"

Ann Althouse said...

"Again, I'm not trying to shoot down your observations and conclusions. I'm merely asking you how you came to conclude that those individuals were truly not authorized by the city. That's all."

Private citizens deputized? What is the legal authority. I asked, and he let me in rather than answer. He was intimidated by my willingness to challenge his authority.

Reagan said...

Thank you Prof. Althouse for showing the dolts in Madison "what freedom looks like." It looks like you walking through a door after a private citizen asks you to wait in line to keep things orderly and then when you tell him you don't have to wait in line he lets you go in. That is apparently also what a tort looks like. The small claims lawsuit should be exhilarating for the court commissioner.

Paddy O said...

"Okay, a bunch of people (70,000) agreed to stand in line rather storm into the Wisconsin Capitol"

A bigger bunch of people voted for the governor and for state senators. The protesters and the democratic senators are flouting the order of a democratically elected government.

Not following this rule of law seems a much, much bigger deal than not following the rule of lines.

Paddy O said...

thanks, Kent.

Paddy O said...

The civil disobedient should not expect obedience.

AJ Lynch said...

Taxpayers should organize protests at the offices of the public employee unions.

Reagan said...

Paddy O. "A bigger bunch of people voted for the governor and for state senators. The protesters and the democratic senators are flouting the order of a democratically elected government."

I guess if an election is won nobody should protest and/or use rules of parliamentary procedure to try to negotiate a change to a proposed law. I don't disagree that we are getting to the point where the fleeing Senators have made their point and done all they could to negotiate. The protesters should continue as long as they wish though.

deborah said...

"You can't just slap an orange vest on, create a duct tape/sharpie title on it, and expect people to take you at your word that you have some authority."

You can, because most people will grant it to you.

roesch-voltaire said...

Yes Alhouse is right we all should have rushed the door in the name of individual freedom while crushing anyone who was in our way rather than wait the few minutes it took to pass through the door.
What is lost here is that NO ONE, not Althouse, not myself or the hundreds of folks around us at the time, were "restricted' from entering the capitol. Of course now Walker has uped the ante and encouraged the use of force against the 14 so their access will be restricted.

o said...

In all the bullshit ever thrown up on this blog, in all the outrageous self-aggrandizement, this post has to take the cake.

Prove you wrong? My lord, you're not even wrong. You have no case.

"I couldn't tell if the protesters had set up the blockage themselves or if they had somehow colluded with the police, but I was truly outraged that private citizens were assuming the authority to restrict access to the public building."

"it seems that THE PROTESTERS THEMSELVES were doing the initial blocking of the door, without the police"

This is your big "get"? You're a law professor?

"I couldn't tell"? It "seems"? Yes, because you lack any coherent clue what goes on beyond your five foot ego radius.

In relation to the policy struck down yesterday, what you experienced was 1) contextually different; 2) operationally different; and 3) not provable to have been implemented by the protesters themselves or to any extent beyond your five second, immediate purview.

At most, the marshals might have been colluding, which is to say cooperating. A "journalist" would perhaps want to inquire why. Given the unprecedented throng of some 70 to 100K people outside the capitol doors that freezing cold day, one might surmise: Safety issues? Max occupancy issues? Occam's razor says yes. Althouse's ego says, "LIEbrals LIE and OPPRESS!" Any reader of this blog knows gottdam well that had the protesters overrun the occupancy limits of the capitol, they'd have been attacked for their utter lack of concern for public safety, etc. etc. which would have also proven that their concern for the collectivity trumps all, heads you win, tails they lose.

What is more, you got in! With ease! (other than having to endure the harsh words imploring you to wait in line). You weren't touched or otherwise physically impeded, but encouraged through wise organization and leadership to wait your turn, in the interest of not overloading the capitol. This too is qualitatively different than the restrictions that began Monday, restrictions that a) had nothing whatsoever to do with concerns about safety issues related to max occupancy and b) utilized physical force.

The access policies that were ruled unconstitutional were those which began on the morning of Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. Said policies are entirely different, in both intent and implementation, from whatever it was that you and Meade experienced on Sat, Feb 26.

And you are egomaniacal idiot.

Ann Althouse said...

"But how do you know that the guy in the red vest wasn't working, in coordination with the capitol building on their authority and instruction. In other words the capitol building says "you can come into the capitol building, but you have to get in the line and go through door x,y an z. This door is reserved for "special people" who are here to conduct business."

If there are special people that get through the door you'd better give me an explanation about why some people are special and some aren't. I challenged him and he gave up. From that I assume, the explanation was worse that letting me though.


"I don't know that simply because he's a volunteer that he isn't speaking for the capitol building, or even that he's a simply a volunteer. He is wearing the official red vest, which denotes some sort of coordinating uniform."

Official?? With duct tape and Sharpie writing? You realize you can buy orange safety vests anywhere.


"But the point is, you don't know either. You don't know his capacity, nor whether that door was restricted for a reason and you are deliberately not following instructions because you don't want to meekly follow instructions."

I stood my ground and asked questions. Instead of answers, I was given access. QED.

Methadras said...

traditionalguy said...

You are right. But police will be backed up by Judges, so defying the police who are in the wrong seldom works out well.


That is a tradition that needs to end.

Paddy O said...

"I guess if an election is won nobody should protest"

I guess if someone puts on a vest they have to be obeyed.

You're missing the key point again.

It's not the protesting that's wrong. It's the assumption of authority by the protesters that everyone must obey them.

It's all well and good to protest. But don't expect to protest power and then have everyone submit to your power.

Fleeing, by the way, is not a parliamentary procedure. It's an actual prohibited act. That's why they have to be in Illinois, away from state police.

If Althouse and Meade had to flee to Canada to avoid the consequences of their not joining the line, then I'd suggest they would have been wrong too.

But, unlike the senators, there's absolutely no consequence to Althouse and Meade not standing in line. Which absolutely confirms the fact the lines were about assumed, rather than actual, authority. The lines were about respect for the protest organizers. If you have no respect for their authority, they have no authority.

That's a pretty big constitutional distinction.

Roesch, the protesters shouldn't have been trying to get in at all. You're assuming your cause has moral authority and thus civil authority. So you submitted to that.

But people disagree. Most people wouldn't want you to rush the doors, because they don't want the protesters there at all. Don't give false ethical options based on your choices in pursuing civil disobedience from the beginning.

There shouldn't have been any line to get into the capitol because has there ever been a line before? The protesters, in an act of civil disobedience, create the disorder then want to organize the disorder upon their own terms.

Not submitting to that is not disobedience. It's citizenship.

Methadras said...

Isn't it fun watching leftards do their thing? Hey folks, this is what you get when you let leftards take control of anything; chaos, mayhem, belligerence, defiance, stupidity. Welcome to Wisconsin.

chickelit said...

Under the old rules it would have been women and children first!

Fen said...

Bushmen laid out the rules twice. One door was reserved for employees as laid out by the govt, not by the protesters.

No. One door was reserved for "media"

traditionalguy said...

European Socialism requires lines for everything. That is because they must ration the small resources produced by a permanently hired workforce. The result must be a special line for the Bosses...and that is why Progressives want their Socialism. Equality of all citizens can only happen in a free market where money talks but Progressive Noodles workers walk.

jr565 said...

Ann, here is the policy as laid out by the Department of Administration NOT BY THE protesters.

According to the Department of Administration, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning, the following procedures will be in place.
• Visitors to the Capitol must enter and exit at the North and South Hamilton doors. Employees who
display their ID's may enter at the MLK entrance
• Members of the public can enter the Capitol for meetings, committee hearings, tours or other
purposes.
• Members of the public participating in a rally or protest must remain in the ground floor rotunda

The fact that 70,000 people went through the right door and you didn't suggests that they knew that "Visitors to the Capitol must enter and exit at the North and South Hamilton doors. Employees who
display their ID's may enter at the MLK entrance". This is most likely what they were told by the administration. "If you want to protest in the capitol building, you have to go through these doors and not these doors". This was probably not what protesters wanted to do as its proably inconveninet to not be able to go through the MLK door, but rather what they were told by administrators. If they THE ADMINISTRATORS had said, "You can't go through the MLK Doors, that is for employees" would you heed that? Because I can tell you, that is what they told protesters. Because in fact 70,000 of them did just that. The guy with the red vest was simply there to tell protesters, unclear about what door to go through. So he's acting in an indirect capacity to steer protesters through the right doors. If a protester goes to the wrong door he says "sorry, this is actually the door for so and so (which you conveniently ignored)". He's not an official member of the Capitol police but he telling people trying to go through the doors the official policy (as laid out by the capitol building and not by the protesters). That fact that you called him on it doesn't make him wrong, it simply means he didn't particuluarly care if you violated the policy and that you were on your own to face the consequences if you walked through the door. You apparently didn't know the official policy and refused listen to him enumerate for you becuase he wasn't an official and don't even know what he said as to why you couldn't walk through the door.
So now, they had to clarify the policy, which again, most likely was already in place since almost everyone else was following (since they were waiting on long lines to go through the right doors), to make it crystal clear that in fact the MLK door was for employees only.Are you an employee of the building? Then you shouldn't be going through the door.

MayBee said...

jr565, Why do you think the person in the orange vest did not answer Althouse's questions?

Do you have a guess?

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jr565 said...

Traditional Guy wrote:
European Socialism requires lines for everything. That is because they must ration the small resources produced by a permanently hired workforce. The result must be a special line for the Bosses...and that is why Progressives want their Socialism. Equality of all citizens can only happen in a free market where money talks but Progressive Noodles workers walk.

We have lines too in this country. I've stood on plenty of them to know.

Paddy O said...

jr565,

I'm curious about your selection process in deciding which policies are real policies and which policies are ignorable policies.

Can you set out some guidelines so we know which are which?

This handout by the protesters suggests key information about resisting the legal authorities.

So, I'm a little confused on how to know when to listen to legal authorities, when to disobey them, when to listen to non-legal authoritarians, and when to disobey them.

Though, it might be easier for me to just go put on a vest. Then you'd have to do what I say you must do.

Mary said...

And getting in on some "NewMedia" passes, while others were not legally permitted, by the police no less?

That's not what freedom looks like. That's playing the system so you get special entrance (and video footage), and all the regular folk are kept out.

(Doesn't your back begin to hurt from all that self patting? You honestly don't see how you used a special way in that was not permitted to regular folk, do you? In fact, you seemed to support the "Gradual Reduction" peaceful cordoning off, instead of pushing to have the whole place cleaned out Sunday night, which would have kept ALL visitors -- even those w/o "press passes" or special emotional indignation out, as the police indeed did on Monday.)

Keep spinning though. Your regular fans seem to enjoy it, though the rest of us see how you and the NewMedia man played the system this week.

Paddy O said...

Is civil disobedience against the civil disobedient being obedient to the civilly obedient?

Ann Althouse said...

Mary knows that her commenting here is harassment under Wisconsin statutory law. I've been lax lately about deleting her, but will go back to my practice of deleting everything. Please don't talk to her or about her ever.

Mary said...

"I stood my ground and asked questions. Instead of answers, I was given access."

Which you freely took on behalf of yourself, and NewMedia, ceasing your outrage on behalf of the people left out, once safely in with the video cameras this week yourselves.

"Hey, we got in. Let others play the same cards we did if they too care so much about Rule of Law." ??? Did I get that right?

jr565 said...

Maybee wrote:
jr565, Why do you think the person in the orange vest did not answer Althouse's questions?

Do you have a guess?

Sure, because Althouse was ranting and raving. And the guy was simply told "tell people to go through these doors" If he tells her and she doesn't heed him, he has no capacity to arrest her. He's essentially saying "ok fine. Do whatever you want, the consequences are on you.".
I see this behavior all the time in IT. An attorney browbeats an IT guy and the IT guy tells him the policy and the attorney is loud enough whereby the IT guy simply capitulates and says "whatever". Then he puts in his ticket that he told the atty the policy and the atty ignored the policy. So whatever happens is on him. People who start screaming at you can often get you to back off, even if you are in the right. and this guy is in the right.
I would be willing to bet 500 bucks that the door that Ann was going through is the same door that the official policy says she shouldnt be going through becauset that was the door reserved for employees or what have you. Since he is not earning any money telling people the right door to go through and is being confronted about it, he's simply letting them do what they will. What does he care?

Mary said...

No actually Ann, I don't know that.

You sometimes let my comments in, to keep your performance art going. Sometimes you delete, when I perhaps opinionate on things you don't like...

Be consistent. And under statutory law... don't you have to legally notify me if I am "an alleged stalker" to be legally kept away?

Lol. Playing the special privileges card again...

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paddy O said...

I deleted my comment, not because I have to.

But because I have chosen to adhere to the authority that Althouse requests. I respect her authority here and so I voluntarily submit to her rules.

Plus, I think she's wearing a vest.

kent said...

Plus, I think she's wearing a vest.

Vest, schmest. Everyone knows it's actually the duct tape that automatically denotes utter and unassailable authority in all things, forever and ever, world without end, amen.

MayBee said...

Sure, because Althouse was ranting and raving. And the guy was simply told "tell people to go through these doors"

So that's what he was told? He wasn't told to check for employee id badges and only allow employees in?

People who start screaming at you can often get you to back off, even if you are in the right.

Scott Walker says, "tell me about it."

o said...

In all the silliness ever thrown up on this blog, in all the outrageous self-aggrandizement, this post has to take the cake.

Prove you wrong? My lord, you're not even wrong. You have no case.

"I couldn't tell if the protesters had set up the blockage themselves or if they had somehow colluded with the police. . .."

"it seems that THE PROTESTERS THEMSELVES were doing the initial blocking of the door, without the police"

This is your big "get"? You're a law professor?

First of all, read harder. The judges order doesn't just say, "the restriction of access" it says, "that the current Department of Administration policy regarding access to the State Capitol violates the State Constitution."

At most, the marshals might have been colluding, which in this could be seen to be cooperating, given the context. What context? Given the 70 to 100K people around the square in the freezing snow, one would surmise: Safety issues? Max occupancy issues? Occam's razor says yes. Althouse's ego says, "Liberal sheep oppress!" Even worse, any reader of this blog knows gottdam well that had the protesters overrun the occupancy limits of the capitol, they'd have been attacked for their utter lack of concern for public safety, etc. etc. which would have also proven that their concern for the collectivity trumps all, heads you win, tails they lose.

What is more, you got in! You weren't touched or otherwise physically impeded, save the earnest imperatives to wait your tun, in the interest of not overloading the capitol. This too is qualitatively different than the restrictions that began Monday, restrictions that a) had nothing whatsoever to do with concerns about safety issues related to max occupancy and b) utilized physical force.

As clearly stated in the judge's decision, the access policies that were ruled unconstitutional were those which began on the morning of Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. Said policies are entirely different, in both intent and implementation, from whatever it was that you and Meade experienced on Sat, Feb 26.

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:
So, I'm a little confused on how to know when to listen to legal authorities, when to disobey them, when to listen to non-legal authoritarians, and when to disobey them.

Though, it might be easier for me to just go put on a vest. Then you'd have to do what I say you must do.

The fact that 70,000 people are on line suggest that that is the right policy. especially since members of the Capitol building are not coming out and saying "No you idiots. We told you to go into this other door". The fact that the sated policy laid out by the Capitol says that the MLK door should not be entered by protesters because it's reserved for employees also suggests that those on the line are in fact following procedure. We should probably ask Althouse, was the door she was trying to go into the MLK door? If it was, then ins't it awfully inonvenient, that 70,000people seemed to know not to use that door and that it is in fact also laid out on paper as an official policy?
And now that it's laid out for you,not by the protesters but by the Capitol building itself, then aren't you in the wrong if you still decide to go through those doors? There may be a protester rep standing there in a red vest telling you as your're about to walk through those doors "hey man, those doors are reserved for so and so (you don't know what he says since you're not listening)" and you say "screw you red vested man. You don't tell me what to do" it doesn't change the fact that whether he has the power to compel you to go through the right door or not, that he was giving you good advice as to which door to go through.

Tully said...

Sounds like the protesters weren't being oppressed enough to suit them so they appointed their own oppressors. And Althouse refused to follow the narrative.

Triangle Man said...

@kent

Duct tape by itself carries no special authority, but when infused by the magical Sharpie ink...watch out.

JohnJ said...

Regardless of whether there was collusion with local and state authorities, it certainly appears that a group of citizens took it upon themselves to evaluate potential entrants to the Capitol and then limit access to like-minded persons. Unless I'm missing something, why aren't the MSM all over this? …digging out names & affiliations, detailing the vetting process, and so on. One would think that some enterprising young reporter might want to make a name for herself by sketching out the command structure that developed at the Capitol in the first few days.

Or am I being naïve?

(BTW, thank goodness for Althouse & Meade.)

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"I asked, and he let me in rather than answer. He was intimidated by my willingness to challenge his authority."

A rather different reason springs readily to mind.

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:

But, unlike the senators, there's absolutely no consequence to Althouse and Meade not standing in line. Which absolutely confirms the fact the lines were about assumed, rather than actual, authority. The lines were about respect for the protest organizers. If you have no respect for their authority, they have no authority.

That's a pretty big constitutional distinction.

Roesch, the protesters shouldn't have been trying to get in at all. You're assuming your cause has moral authority and thus civil authority. So you submitted to that.

But people disagree. Most people wouldn't want you to rush the doors, because they don't want the protesters there at all. Don't give false ethical options based on your choices in pursuing civil disobedience from the beginning.

There shouldn't have been any line to get into the capitol because has there ever been a line before? The protesters, in an act of civil disobedience, create the disorder then want to organize the disorder upon their own terms.

Not submitting to that is not disobedience. It's citizenship.


I'm not saying I agree with the protesters. Im simply saying that the decision to form a line outside of the doors and restrict access was most likely not determined by the protesters but by the capitol building themselves. So if you refuse to stand on the line, you are not in fact standing athwart the protesters and their illegitimate protest but rathr the capitol buildings need to conduct business. They are trying to accomodate protesters (even though they are full of crap) and not violate the law so are letting them into the capitol building, but they are trying to maintain safety so that people are not trampled in their need to ge inside and they are not impeding official business by stampeding the doors reserved for the people actually conducting that business (though of course half the people who are supposed to be there are in fact hiding in another state, but that's neither here nor there).
And I'm willing to bet that protesters had a meeting with the capitol building admins and the admins basically told them if you want in the building you're can't go through this door. And you have to be orderly when going in the building. If you violate those rules we will call the cops and disrupt your protest. And THAT'S why they were all in a line waiting to get into hte Capitol building. Not because protesters want to tell people they need to get in lines. Why would a protester want to wait in a long line?

Tibore said...

Ann Althouse said...
He wasn't wearing a uniform. He was wearing an orange vest with a duct-tape label on it. And he would not respond when I asked, repeatedly, "Who are you?" ...

Private citizens deputized? What is the legal authority. I asked, and he let me in rather than answer. He was intimidated by my willingness to challenge his authority."


That's what I'm asking. I don't know what classes of government staffer have the authority to enforce building policy, and I did not want to presume it was only uniformed law enforcement. Where I work, I not only have the authority to tell who is and is not supposed to be in our building, I'm expected to assist in controlling access by either escorting unauthorized people to where they need to go (for example, a family member, the pizza delivery driver, etc.) or denying them by not opening the cardkey locked doors if I have reason to.

Granted, that's not the exact same situation. But I'm not trying to compare every aspect; rather, I'm just showing an example where building access - state owned, BTW, since I work for a university - can be controlled by a non-uniformed, non-law enforcement individual.

Now, I do understand that your point is:
1. The protesters' agitation at restrictions
2. The court order saying that the building is open to "all members of the public", and that access policies implemented in the wake of the protests should be rescinded

... end up making protestors and those sympathetic to them look hypocritical given that they then turned around and tried to restrict access on their own initiative. I see that. I get it. All I was doing was asking for more details regarding your statement that the person who challenged you was indeed not an authorized state employee enforcing what might have been reasonable policies to ensure public safety. I don't know if they have to be "deputized", or uniformed. All I was asking for was more substantiation for your observation.

(To be continued...)

Tibore said...

(... continuation):

And yes, I do see that he dodged your direct questions to him. I do see that you have the beginnings of a defensible argument. Given the context of what you were describing up to that point, I actually agree that it was much more likely that he was just some private person taking it upon himself to do the job. But because I wasn't there, and didn't see it myself, I'm lacking the ability to draw that conclusion definitively. All I got was your description of a vest and no uniform. That could - and likely does - mean a private citizen playing an official. Problem is, I cannot eliminate the possibility that it was also a genuine building employee instructed to help keep things orderly who simply didn't do his job well or properly. Nothing about your description to date helps me rule that out.

You see what I'm getting at? This is Regan's "trust, but verify" in action. I trust that you're reporting your observations to the best of your knowledge, and further trust that you understand and can recognize the difference between some random Joe assuming official functions and a real government staff member doing his job. I also trust that you're not exaggerating or otherwise distorting the account; I've been reading you too long to believe you'd do that. Furthermore, I do have trust in your judgement that you're drawing this conclusion for a reason, that the individual's behavior gave you all the clues you needed to realize he was not there officially.

But that said, there's the the "verify" portion of the axiom. And that's what I was doing. I'm trying to help you illuminate your identification further. I'm trying to draw out the aspects other than behind his vest, scotch (or duct) taped ID, and refusal to ask questions led you to your conclusion. While I believe you, I'm also telling you that it's not bulletproof, not airtight. And if I, someone who basically accepts your observations as accurate, cannot do that, what hay could detractors and agenda-driven individuals make of your statements? That's why I'm asking all this.

orbicularioculi said...

Professor, you and Meade did a fine job and I enjoyed and continue to enjoy your righteous indignation at the obvious attempts by the MOB and the clueless local police to restrict access to the building (for a select group only?).

Also, you make me smile when you tell us how you got "pissed" (my word not yours).

I still want to see these Senators brought in handcuffs to the Senate Floor. That would be pure justice.

jr565 said...

ann wrote:
I asked, and he let me in rather than answer. He was intimidated by my willingness to challenge his authority.


Right, he was intimidated and then capitulated. He was probably told, just tell people (the correct policy) that they are not supposed to go through these doors becuase they're reserved for official business and not for protesters. And along comes crazy lady who gets in his face and starts questioning him and demanding by what right he has to block the doors. As stated, he is simply a guide, given a vest and told tell people to use these doors and not these doors. If he gets intimidated by a bully he could easily cave. He doesn't make the policies. he doens't get paid to enforce the policies. If your're forceful enough you can get past a lot of things. Does'nt make you right, it just means that you can overpower weaker people who'd rather capitulate then fight on principle.
But the policy is laid out. MLK doors are for employees. THe doors that had the lines are for protesters. Unless you can prove that those rules are illegitimate or that you are an employee then you can't argue anything other than that you didn't know that was the policy or didn't care that that was the policy. In both cases, you're wrong. You may still get thorugh the doors, and you may browbeat the guy who was directed to send protesters to the right door, but you're still wrong on the policy

PaulV said...

jr, since marshall is not a legally recognized position in WI he is a vigilante by definition. Police has no legal authority to appoint a marshall.
Facts sucks for an apologist for illegal activities.

kent said...

Shorter Jr: "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat -- ?!?"

Chip S. said...

Here's a hypothetical: There's been a crash that's blocking traffic in one direction on a two-way street. With no coordination, traffic is hopelessly snarled. Some guy hops out of his car and starts directing traffic, directing traffic in one or the other direction to stop at regular intervals to let vehicles pass by in the other direction. He is not a cop, nor has been deputized in any way.

Q: Are his actions oppressive or otherwise objectionable? Should his traffic directions be obeyed? Are drivers who obey his directions behaving like sheep, or are they recognizing that this is an unanticipated event in which insisting on the letter of the law (i.e., insisting that only cops can police traffic) is counterproductive?

Seems pretty clear to me that, as long as the people regulating inflow to the Capitol weren't discriminating on the basis of whether people were pro- or anti-Walker, a good Kantian would get in line and wait his turn.

For the libertarians in the crowd, this is an example of what Hayek called "spontaneous order."

MayBee said...

Here's a hypothetical: There's been a crash that's blocking traffic in one direction on a two-way street. With no coordination, traffic is hopelessly snarled.

Let's change the hypothetical.
There is no crash blocking traffic, but a guy jumps out and starts directing traffic in a way that suits his needs. People start following him just because everyone else is. Soon there is a long line of traffic. When someone asks why he is doing it, he lets them through rather than explain.

Is it smart then to get in line and wait your turn?

Chip S. said...

I don't see what your hypothetical has to do with anything being discussed.

It's pretty obvious that 70,000 people cannot all enter the building simultaneously. It's not as if some random guy just dressed up like Napoleon and demanded that people follow him to Russia.

MayBee said...

It's pretty obvious that 70,000 people cannot all enter the building simultaneously.

But your hypothetical involves a crash that's already happened, and snarled traffic.
There was no "crash" in the Capitol. Perhaps the man was trying to avoid such a disaster. And in my hypothetical, maybe the guy is trying to avoid a crash. Maybe he had other reasons.

But we don't know. Maybe he wanted to let special people through. Union bosses, or people with drums. Maybe he wanted there to be a line outside so it looked like something was really going on. Maybe he was trying to keep counter protesters out.

You know why we don't know? Because he wouldn't say.

Maguro said...

Shorter Jr: "If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat -- ?!?"

Haha, that same reference popped into my mind as I read jr's comments. Reminds me of the time he spammed the "Don't touch my junk" threads with thousands upon thousands of words in support of the TSA's molestation policies.

Our jr has quite a fetish for orderly lines.

jr565 said...

Paul V wrote:
jr, since marshall is not a legally recognized position in WI he is a vigilante by definition. Police has no legal authority to appoint a marshall.
Facts sucks for an apologist for illegal activities.

I don't know who this marshall is. I don't know that he was deputized so much as told to tell prtesters the doors they should be going through as a guide. Like if you came to the protest and wanted to start protesting and were going to the wrong door he would say "no that door is reserved for employees". See that line over there, that's for the protesters. I do notice though that the OFFICIAL policy that the capitol house wants protesters to adhere to also says that protesters should go to the other doors and not the MLK door. Coincidence? So lets look at who is the controlling authority ,the Capitol building or the protesters. Are you saying we should listen to one or not the other? Fine, but they both seem to suggest that going through the one set of doors should not be done. So then if they're both saying not to go through the MLK doors then isn't that the policy?
I'm saying it's not protesters making the policy that you can't go through the MLK doors.They are simply following procedure so they can have an orderly demonstration. And the guy in the red vest is simply telling people who are about to go through the wrong door, that instead they should go through the right door. You don't have to be deputized to do that.

RightWingNutter said...

If the police (local? state?) are restricting access in violation of the judges order then Gov. Walker should ask his AG to get the judge to hold them in contempt. I.e. put the cops in the slammer if they don't back off.

George said...

You need to read the facts more carefully. 1. PRIVATE CITIZENS were blocking my entrance to a public building, and 2. PRIVATE CITIZENS were dividing people into 2 classes, ones who could go right in that door and others who had to go wait in a long line.-----

So, in other words, we have mob rule. Is this news? The moment the 14 revolutionaries stepped onto the bus, that is the system we reverted to. For the moment, I don't live in a democratic Republic, I live in a mob dictatorship.

My memory is very fuzzy, but I hear echos of Solzhenitzen's description of the last days of the Duma as the Bolsheveks took over. There were idealistic democrats working to make a representative democracy, but the more ruthless Bolsheviks won out.

jr565 said...

Maguro wrote:
Haha, that same reference popped into my mind as I read jr's comments. Reminds me of the time he spammed the "Don't touch my junk" threads with thousands upon thousands of words in support of the TSA's molestation policies.

Our jr has quite a fetish for orderly lines.

Better orderly lines then disorderly stampedes. Part of engaging in civil disobedience is that you behave in an orderly fashion and don't act like the anarchists who riot through the streets. If you think lines are too good for you then you are an anarchist. If you go to the supermarket and/or the DMV are you against orderly lines there too? Your libertarianism is such that even making you stand in a line is an inpingement on your absolute freedom? How about dont go out in public and you'll hever have to stand on a line.
And the fact that you think being supportive of standing in a line as opposed to going into doors that are not marked for you makes you a hater of liberty makes it understandable why you would call TSA agents molesters. Because you have an irrational fear of authority and/or an irrational expectation of your rights or think that capitol buildings can't allow certain doors to be reserved for certain people. Whethter a democrat or a repub is in office you're going to have security protocols in capitol buildings.
And weren't you the guy saying that a father was right to castrate an older gentelmen even though his daughter was in fact of age at the time and was dating him?

Charlie said...

Bully for Ann! This is fun.

Reminds me of a different kind of incident from way back when that I'll pass on to all you flouters of petty authority.

Headed crosstown late to a meeting with some guy I barely know from the office. Suddenly, we're confronted with a blocked intersection and a long line of cars--sure to be late.

He takes off down the shoulder of the road, kicking up dust. I say, "You do know the intersection is controlled by cops..."

He says, "Reach in the glove compartment and hand me a piece of paper."

Get to the intersection and the cop points at him and delivers a stare that would wither an oak. He brandishes the paper and hollers, "It's okay. It's okay." Cop nods and points him right through the intersection.

That, just like Ann's "What's your name?" should come in hand for the more brazen among you.

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Maybee wrote:
But we don't know. Maybe he wanted to let special people through. Union bosses, or people with drums. Maybe he wanted there to be a line outside so it looked like something was really going on. Maybe he was trying to keep counter protesters out.

Maybe, maybe,maybe. Or maybe he was saying that the door was reserved for employees. It would be nice if in fact Althouse had bothered to listen to who he was saying the doors were reserved for before barging in. If it was in fact for employees and if the policy put out by the capitol bulding also states that the door is reserved for employees then are you going to argue that the capitol building is wrong to reserve the door for employees?

Chip S. said...

@MayBee, You're being absurdly literal-minded, so I'll discuss the issue in the most general possible terms. And that will be all I have to say on it.

The issue is whether it is ever appropriate for people to obey the directions of a private citizen who has not been duly deputized to give such directions. As a general rule, the answer is obviously "no," because that would be inconsistent with the rule of law. I don't see why you think that's even interesting to talk about.

The question is whether there might arise either (a) unusual or (b) unanticipated events in which there is insufficient time to codify a new set of formal rules governing the situation. (My hypothetical, for simplicity, involved (b), because that's a situation I thought most people could relate to. The Madison situation is clearly of type (a), but I don't think that distinction is particularly important.)

If you accept that situations like that can arise, then you are faced with a choice between two imperfect options: (1) insist on the fact that the absence of formal rules means that no attempt at order is ethical, or (2) understand that private individuals can recognize when coordination is desirable even in the absence of formal rules, and so agree to follow the directions of a private individual when that individual's directions are seen to mimic the rule that we would want to have in place.

There are now formal, legally determined rules governing access to the Capitol. While they were not in effect during the demonstrations, it is nevertheless instructive that they codify the informal rules that arose when they were needed.

Of course people can always insist on exercising the full extent of their rights at all times, particularly the right not to obey the directions of a private citizen. But that doesn't mean that they are morally correct in doing so.

MayBee said...

The issue is whether it is ever appropriate for people to obey the directions of a private citizen who has not been duly deputized to give such directions.

Is that really "the" issue?
What's wrong with addressing, specifically, what happened in this situation?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

PaulV said...

jr, since marshall is not a legally recognized position in WI he is a vigilante by definition.

No, no, no. Not marshall as in law enforcement... He's a parade marshall, telling all the clowns where to line up for the parade!

And what confused him is he saw someone he thought looked a little like one of the clowns (sorry, Professor, but that hippy aura lingers for decades), but she didn't act like one. Faced with the cognitive dissonance -- a hippy clown with a rational argument! -- he couldn't function, so he gave ground.

Sigivald said...

Because they meekly accepted their subordination.

Well, uh.

They are union supporters and "progressives", aren't they?

Their entire worldview is predicated on Big Daddy telling them what to do and how to do it, essentially - and thus it's hardly surprising that when Big Daddy tells them they have to wait in line, they just wait in line.

At least, that's certainly my impression of both groups from long exposure and discussion...

jr565 said...

It would only be a violation of Althouse's rights if she in fact knew that she should be allowed to enter the door she was barred from entering. But what did she know that the 70,000 people standing on the line (the sheep as she called them)didn't know.
I can see why she doesn't want to recognize the guy in the red vests authority to tell her not to go into the door, but on what authority did she have to go into the door despite the fact that everyone else was in fact going into a different door? If the Capitol building itself puts out rules that say no protester should enter the door that she's trying to enter, then how can she possibly say she had a right to enter it. She can argue ignorance of the policy, but then the guy in the red vest in fact told her what hte policy was she simply ignored it because she didn't think he was official enough. Now that the official policy has in fact been laid out, is there any reason where she would argue it's still within her rights to barge into that door?
Considering the policy the guy in the red vest was arguing and the policy the capitol building is enumerating is the same policy (namely certain doors are to be used to onduct official businesss) then there is no way that ALthouse was right on this, unless she wants to argue that in fact that the Capitol building had no right to reserve a door for official business only. She dind't herself know the policy when she barged into the door, so couldnt say in fact that the guy in the red vest was right or wrong, only that she dind't have to listen to him. Only he was telling her what everyone else already knew.

M. Simon said...

Ann,

Your Constitutional instincts are wonderful. You voting instincts may need some adjustment.

jr565 said...

Maybee wrote:

Is that really "the" issue?
What's wrong with addressing, specifically, what happened in this situation?

well we do know the offical policy laid out by the Capitol bars the MLK doors to protesters because they are to be used to conduct official business. what does that say?

Alex said...

jr - nobody wants to read your massive blocks of text every time. Pithiness!

Alex said...

BTW, who's being healthy today like me? I'm munching on Swiss chard salad. Nom nom nom.

Paddy O said...

jr565,

so you're arguing that because 70,000 were standing for a position, causing disorder that had to be managed, that all citizens have to submit to them?

How about the majority who elected Walker and the Republican senators. They are seeking policies but you see fit to argue their policies should be ignored and violated.

You argue that men and women have the right to protest, that senators have the right to flee the state, because they believe in their position strongly so can, on this reason alone, ignore every rule and policy. In ignoring the rules and policies they create such disorder that other rules and policies are created.

But if they did not create the disorder, if they had not ignored the policies of the Capitol prior to this, there would be no issue at all.

So, you're arguing that people who are or represent employees of the state can ignore any law or policy they want, while insisting that other citizens must toe the line?

That's the very definition of totalitarianism. You give the state the ability to make up its own rules while insisting the people follow the rules created ad hoc.

I'm not arguing against the policy about the doors or the line. I'm saying that you can't have it both ways. You can't argue for the rights of the protesters to use the capitol for their protesting while at the same time arguing against Meade and Althouse for breaking ad hoc policies about door usage.

Either policies matter or they don't. You can't pick and choose.

Which is precisely what you are doing. And doing so in a way that is clearly about which political side you personally agree with. You, nor any of the protesters, have the right to say someone else must follow policies when you, and the protesters, break every inconvenient policy there is.

Starting with the policy that senators need to be in attendance. If those 14 had followed official policy, there would be none of the later policies that you're now so suddenly worried about.

Either policies matter or they don't. And in supporting the protests--an act of good ol' civil disobedience--you have argued that policies do not in fact matter, but can be followed or ignored upon convenience. Which is precisely what Althouse and Meade have done, following their own goals and convenience.

Paddy O said...

"on what authority did she have to go into the door despite the fact that everyone else was in fact going into a different door?"

On what authority did the protesters have for spending the night? Or putting all those posters up?

On what authority did the senators have for fleeing the state? The sergeant at arms is now charged with making them return, but they flout his authority.

Why do some people have more rights than others in your philosophy? I'm really curious.

MayBee said...

well we do know the offical policy laid out by the Capitol bars the MLK doors to protesters because they are to be used to conduct official business. what does that say

It says to me there is now an easier way for people with official business to get around those who are looking to shut down official business.

I don't understand what this has to do with Althouse. Was she at that door? Did the man ask her for id? Could she have gone to another door and gotten right in? Could someone else with an id have gotten in past that man in the orange vest? Do you know who he was letting in, and by what authority?

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:
so you're arguing that because 70,000 were standing for a position, causing disorder that had to be managed, that all citizens have to submit to them?

How about the majority who elected Walker and the Republican senators. They are seeking policies but you see fit to argue their policies should be ignored and violated.

we're arguing different things. I'm not for the unions, and think that Walker should break them. I'm simply saying that Ann shouldnt't have walked through the door if to Capitol buliding determined that they wanted to keep that door open to be used for buisness only. And that is the policy laid out by the capitol building. in this case I'm agreeing with the protesters, not becuase I think they are right to protest, but because they followed simple directions (as laid out by the capitol building and not by the protesters themselves) and went through the right door.
And Ann, who I think I agree with more than disagree with, in this case, was in the wrong. Simply because that door was, most likely reserved for employees.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

jr565 said...

I'm simply saying that Ann shouldnt't have walked through the door if to Capitol buliding determined that they wanted to keep that door open to be used for buisness only. And that is the policy laid out by the capitol building.

That is the policy today. The doorward claimed that was the policy then. And you choose to believe him, because you perceive a temporal consistency.

But he produced no evidence of that policy. He produced no evidence of his authority to enforce such a policy. When questioned by Professor Althouse on either the policy or his authority, he refused to answer. In fact, he let her pass rather than answer. Assuming the policy existed and he had the authority to enforce it, then he abrogated his authority and the policy rather than answer a simple question.

To Professor Althouse, that refusal is evidence against the existence of the policy and the authority. You choose instead to believe the man due to temporal consistency. But can you not see that the Professor has grounds for seeing it her way as well?

jr565 said...

Maybee wrote:
It says to me there is now an easier way for people with official business to get around those who are looking to shut down official business.

I don't understand what this has to do with Althouse. Was she at that door? Did the man ask her for id? Could she have gone to another door and gotten right in? Could someone else with an id have gotten in past that man in the orange vest? Do you know who he was letting in, and by what authority?

Based on my reading of the rules as stipulated, it sounds like there are 3 doors, to of which the protesters could use and one of which was reserved for business. And I don't know that this guy in the red vest was checking badges so much as saying (recognizing that Althouse looked like a protester) "Hey, if you want to get in, you have to get on the line". He was simply telling her, as a guide where to go to protest.
If you want to argue that the policy wasn't properly understood prior to Althouse walking through the doors, it's kind of hard to accept, considering the other 70,000 people didn't walk through the door. or maybe they did but then the guy in the vest said to go to the other door.
The point is, the official policy put out by Capitol building is the same policy that would make the protesters line up by one door and not go through another door.

Michael Mirer said...

There's a difference between government agents and private citizens "dictating" access to the capitol, no? To wit, Professor Althouse blustered past the Marshall with no consequences, but Meade encountered an actual police officer was "almost arrested."

If you bring 70K to an smallish area, I think it behooves you to try and direct traffic. And since basically all of the 70K wanted the protest to go smoothly, I don't see a problem with us as protesters designating people to direct traffic. Obviously, people are free to ignore private citizens. My experience on other days, when the crowds were smaller, is that all doors were open, and access to the building was pretty wide open.

I attend school in a much less nice building at UW than the law school, but I was under the impression that Constitutions defined the powers of the state. Can private citizens actually violate the constitutional rights of other private citizens?

jr565 said...

Paddy O wrote:
On what authority did the protesters have for spending the night? Or putting all those posters up?

On what authority did the senators have for fleeing the state? The sergeant at arms is now charged with making them return, but they flout his authority.

So if we're not going to hold Althouse accountable for barging into the door why are we holding them accountable for putting up posters? Sounds to me like both sides are just doing whatever they want.
I'm talking about the authority of the Capitol building to say they don't want protesters to use a certain door. If they say that and the protesters don't use that door, then they are following procedure. If they don't then they are behaving lawlessly. It sounds, like, in this one case, the protesters were in fact behaving lawfully (irrespective of whether they were spending the night) and Althouse was ating lawlessly.
It may be true that the guy in the red vest, by law, wasn't allowed to arrest her if she dared go in the other door, but that doesn't mean that he was expressing the true sentiment to her, namely that the door she wanted to go through was in fact barred for everyone but employees.

MadisonMan said...

If you were critical of Meade and me for refusing to wait in line

Were there any who were critical of it?

(Not keeping up, maybe)

Sofa King said...

or (2) understand that private individuals can recognize when coordination is desirable even in the absence of formal rules, and so agree to follow the directions of a private individual when that individual's directions are seen to mimic the rule that we would want to have in place.

But that's the rub here, isn't it? Althouse was not a protester, so she really had no interest at all in whether or not 70,000 people could do whatever. What you are demanding is that she cooperatively accede to the wishes of others, for no benefit to herself.

To extend the traffic analogy, suppose the exact same scenario, but you are a pedestrian and the impromptu traffic director is not halting traffic to let you cross. You have no interest at all in improving the flow of traffic, so why ought you be obliged to cooperate as though you do? Spontaneous order arises from people working cooperatively to advance their *own* interests. Cooperation based on people working to advance *somebody else's* interests are not sustainable.

jr565 said...

Sofa King wrote:
But that's the rub here, isn't it? Althouse was not a protester, so she really had no interest at all in whether or not 70,000 people could do whatever. What you are demanding is that she cooperatively accede to the wishes of others, for no benefit to herself.


But neither was she an employee.

Sofa King said...

But neither was she an employee.

So what? Don't assume facts not in evidence.

jr565 said...

Sofa King wrote:
So what? Don't assume facts not in evidence.


This is getting silly. There is a door for employees. If you have id, you get through. If you don't you have to use another door. If it's determined that you can only use a door that has a line in it, then you wait on the line like everybody else. There isn't a non protester but also non employee exception that gets you in bypassing the line. Because then people would say they weren't protesters either and try to get in that way. THen a line would form.
The current policy would preclude her from entering the door, but considering everyone went to the other door and waited in line, it's pretty self evident that that was the policy at the time as well .They just felt that, due to people trying to get into the door, that they had to write it down so it was crystal clear. But it was clear enough back then too, because almost all the protesters wen through the right door.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

jr565 said...

Sofa King wrote:
So what? Don't assume facts not in evidence.


This is getting silly. There is a door for employees. ...

The current policy would preclude her from entering the door, but considering everyone went to the other door and waited in line, it's pretty self evident that that was the policy at the time as well .They just felt that, due to people trying to get into the door, that they had to write it down so it was crystal clear. But it was clear enough back then too, because almost all the protesters wen through the right door.


I've helpfully highlighted the facts not in evidence. They are your assumptions, not facts.

jr565 said...

We now know the official policy. It bars protesters from entering a certain door. To Althouse, though, she should be allowed to walk into any door, the nearest one because to deny her access violates the state constition.
She simpy walked up to the nearest door, heedless of whether it was a door she should enter. When he mentioned that it was reserved for "special people" which she ignored, she said "it's a public building. You're saying that there are two kinds of people - ones that get right in and ones that go wait in line".
Well now we know the policy as put out by the Capitol and in fact her argument suggests that there shouldn't be an exception for the "special people" like empployees, when clearly there is, so she disagrees not just with the guy in the red vest but the idea that some should wait in line and ones that go right in (even though she established that she felt she was one of the people who should get right in). THat's where I disagree with her.
according to her logic, even if the Capitol building sets up rules whereby a certain door has been restricted, she should still be able to enter that door. Why?

Finchy said...

"Much better to sit back while Althouse continues to lob stones from her glass house. -PBandJ"

But you don't just "sit back". You make snide comments devoid of substance and cleverness. You make ad hominem attacks poorly disgused as a critique of Althouse's description of the events. Most importantly, you illustrate quite plainly what we already know: The majority of leftists detest difference of perspective and are far less intellectually capable than they believe themselves to be.

Or perhaps the great unwashed simply can't grasp your complex interpretation of "sit back."

jr565 said...

Ok Martin, will you stipulate that a capitol building could have a door with restricted access for "special people" aka employees, congressmen etc.
If that's true, then should Althouse simply be able to walk into any door, if that door is in fact the one she needs an id to enter.
Two, if when they put out an official policy on paper the door that the guy in the red vest said not to go into is the same door that they say should be reserved for employees, then doesn't it suggest that that was the policy at the time? Especially considering there was a line, not at that door, but at another door? The very door that the policy says the protesters could use?
And regardless, it didn't matter to Ann. She simply went up to the nearest door and demanded entrance. Which is probably why they had to write out the proper procedure going forward. Because, despite the fact that it was evident to most, some people still dind't follow the instructions. So therefore, they had to write it out so that it was clear to EVERYONE.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

jr565 said...

Ok Martin, will you stipulate that a capitol building could have a door with restricted access for "special people" aka employees, congressmen etc.

I'll go farther than "could have". I would expect exactly that. But neither your assumption nor my expectation constitutes evidence.

By the way, here in the 21st century, I would expect that policy to be enforced by an electronic key access. Perhaps the capitol doesn't have those yet, but they should.

If that's true, then should Althouse simply be able to walk into any door, if that door is in fact the one she needs an id to enter.

"If that's true..." Now you're asking about the logical consequences of your unproven supposition. If your unproven supposition is correct, then she should expect not to be able to enter a door that has restricted access.

Two, if when they put out an official policy on paper the door that the guy in the red vest said not to go into is the same door that they say should be reserved for employees, then doesn't it suggest that that was the policy at the time?

Suggestion is not proof.

Because, despite the fact that it was evident to most, some people still dind't follow the instructions.

It was not "evident to" most, it was assumed by them. To be evident, they would need evidence.

You know, evidence: that's what the Professor asked the doorward to produce. And rather than produce it, he let her through. If we accept your assumption, he violated his duty and broke the policy rather than simply answer a question. Or another hypothesis is that he really had no authority, was caught out, and gave way rather than admit it. Or another hypothesis is that he had a sudden stroke and couldn't perform his duties. There's really no grounds for deciding why he gave way; but in giving way, he missed his chance to provide evidence that he was in the right.

You have suppositions and assumptions. They may be reasonable, but they're not evidence.

Chip S. said...

@SofaKing, Neither Althouse nor Meade were in situations analogous to pedestrians in a traffic snarl. They were analogous to people in cars in a traffic snarl demanding to be allowed through because they were en route to the emergency room to treat an internal disorder. They knew whether or not their story was true, but if they were granted an exception then lots of non-sick people could claim the same status and order would break down. Cooperative equilibria are very fragile, and hinge critically on demonstrated evenhandedness in the application of the informal rules.

If everyone in the crowd with a smart phone demanded to be let in because they were reporters for a blog, then there'd be no rule at all.

I get it that everyone is glad to have had the photo documentation of the events in Madison. Meadehouse is to be congratulated for that. But that doesn't mean everyone has to agree that they had a moral claim to differential treatment in a situation where everyone appeared to be trying very hard to maintain order.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Let me add: if there was an employees-only door, it was not a verbal policy. Bureaucracies just don't work that way. Somewhere it's in a memo, and probably an employee handbook. Somewhere there's a record. Those records would take us out of supposition and into evidence.

MayBee said...

But that doesn't mean everyone has to agree that they had a moral claim to differential treatment in a situation where everyone appeared to be trying very hard to maintain order.

Of course not.
But your example (a crash) presupposed a reason to maintain order that would be fairly universally beneficial.
But in reality, we know the people who stood in line and argued for "collective good" believed the system was beneficial to them.
But what if they were trying to maintain order so that they didn't get thrown out at night?
What if they were trying to create an informal order they could control so that a neutral force wouldn't come in and maintain order?
What if they were trying to maintain order so they could later stage a dramatic "storming" of the Capitol?

Those things were not beneficial to Althouse, as they would be to the group seeking to maintain the order.

jr565 said...

Martin said:
You know, evidence: that's what the Professor asked the doorward to produce. And rather than produce it, he let her through. If we accept your assumption, he violated his duty and broke the policy rather than simply answer a question. Or another hypothesis is that he really had no authority, was caught out, and gave way rather than admit it. Or another hypothesis is that he had a sudden stroke and couldn't perform his duties. There's really no grounds for deciding why he gave way; but in giving way, he missed his chance to provide evidence that he was in the right.

Since he wasn't acting in a capacity of a security guard he dind't have to hold her or deny her access. He was simply relaying hte stated policy that most likely he was told to relay by his leaders, since he was asked to tell people where to go if they should ask, or tell people where not to go if it looked like they were going there. And that directive was most likely given to the protesters so that they woulnd't impede business at the capitol building now. It certainly is the rule in play now. But if the very door that he said you shouldn't enter is hte very same wone that you now can't enter, and the very same door that the protesters stood in line at before entering is the same one they can say protesters can use to enter, then I don't see how it's much of stretch to suggest that they simply wrote down, so as to avoid any further confusion, what was already told to protesters. Namely don't use this door, use that one.
For Althouse thoug, it could have been ANY door. She didn't care. She simply went up to the closest one, and when told she couldn't enter felt that was a violation of her rights. Now if a guide who is told to direct other protesters where to go in fact tells them, and people don't listen, it doesn't mean that he is compelling her to do something. He is simply relaying info to other protesters. She can not heed the advice and even question his authority, and he can respond "Lady, I'm just telling you what I was told. If yo uwant to go in the door, despite the fact that everyone is going through this other door, who am I to stop you". It doesn't mean that he was wrong to say not to go into the door in the first place.

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