July 25, 2011

Balloons and blood in the Wisconsin State Capitol.

"The incident allegedly involved a citizen, a state worker and a balloon..."
Protesters have been releasing red heart balloons throughout the months of demonstrations... More than a dozen balloons were released in the rotunda Friday, but all of those had been removed by Monday morning.

The protester involved in Monday's incident told a Capitol police officer that the worker came at her with a knife. She did not appear to be injured, but was holding a blood-smeared paper bag and what looked like popped red heart balloon.

Other protesters who had been attending the daily singalong in the rotunda told the State Journal that the worker said he was sick of removing balloons from the dome and attempted to pop it. They said he apparently stabbed or cut himself in the process....

More balloons were released in the rotunda Monday afternoon after the incident.
The words that jump off the page are "came at her with a knife," but if you settle down and read that carefully, it seems more likely that you have an exasperated state worker clumsily attacking a balloon. Obviously, an actual knife attack would be terrible, but it doesn't sound as though that's what happened. On the other hand, deliberately releasing balloons inside the rotunda is vandalism. It's not cute and fun-loving. Dealing with this new "protests" is wasting state money and, apparently, upsetting at least one state worker.

UPDATE: Here's the story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"The citizen allegedly brought a balloon into the Capitol and the state employee allegedly broke the balloon. The state employee indicated that before the incident he slipped on the stairs and cut his hand," a statement released by the Department of Administration said. The statement made no mention of how the employee cut his hand or broke the balloon.

The citizen...  said... an assistant facilities director in the Capitol, approached her with a knife and slashed her balloon. She said that when the incident occurred [he] had a handkerchief over his hand, which was bleeding.
So the approach with the knife, it seems, was about popping balloons to prevent the troublesome release into the dome. No one was attacked or threatened, and the state worker carrying out the balloon-release prevention technique somehow managed to cut himself.

ADDED:  I have heard from an extremely trustworthy eyewitness that the police were talking to a weeping woman who claimed to have been assaulted.

AND: Blue Cheddar has some more detail:
Jenna says that she was standing with Leslie when Ron [Blair, the assistant facilities director,] approached “out of nowhere”. Leslie was holding a heart-shaped balloon that according to a @joevittie tweet, she had brought to give to a legislator. Jenna says Ron rushed at the balloon and popped it and then darted down a back stairway. In the course of the action Jenna says he did not say anything she could clearly hear, though he may have been mumbling.

Jenna says they were on the 2nd floor of the Capitol and he ran down to the 1st floor. She and Leslie followed close behind yelling at him and asking him why he popped the balloon. Jenna said he stopped at the 1st floor and turned. At this point they were very close, only “a couple of feet away” from Ron. Jenna says Ron lunged at Leslie grabbing her wrists and throwing her into a bathroom door. The force of the lunge was enough to push Leslie into the bathroom and he also came in the room with her. Jenna says that at this point Leslie started to scream and call “Help!”.
Interestingly, Ron Blair pushed Meade last March, as recorded in this video.

66 comments:

Carol_Herman said...

Maybe, they can just go to Oslo and hire their police force? Those coppers just seem to hang around all day, doing nothing.

Tell me, though, if you're not working for a a florist's store ... how, exactly do you get inside the Rotunda with your balloon at all?

Of course, if the balloon was filled with blood, it wouldn't fly. You'd have to hold it, somehow, by carrying it in like a baby?

These people are crazier than fruit flies.

Glad no one is actually paying any attention to them.

Anybody here going to be listening to obama's next speech?

Will it be the usual "I, I, I?" Will we have our Constitution when it's over?

mesquito said...

I'm sick to death of self-dramatic, emoting Wisconsin liberals.

dbp said...

If they give the custodial staff an air rifle, they will welcome balloons.

traditionalguy said...

I say the guards give them all DWI citations for Demonstrating While Deluded.

The conviction will require 40 hours of community service doing geese killing.

They are so dumb that they will never figure out that they have been enslaved, first by Unions and then by the City of Madison's Wildlife Control.

chickenlittle said...

99 red blood balloons.
floating in rotunda air.
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from on the Square.

Walker goons they spring to life,
Close on down the whole damn Square.
Focusing it on the sky.
Where 99 red balloons go by.


-Nena Mahal

mariner said...

Althouse,

Did you get my email?

edutcher said...

Where, O, where is franglo?

And Alpha?

Carol_Herman said...

Anybody here going to be listening to obama's next speech?

Will it be the usual "I, I, I?" Will we have our Constitution when it's over?


People have heard Little Zero's act and nobody is impressed anymore.

As for the Constitution, he's already racked up 8 or 10 impeachable offenses. If he unilaterally tries to raise the debt limit, it's time to go all high crimes and misdemeanors on him.

Mogget said...

I'm sick to death of self-dramatic, emoting Wisconsin liberals.

It's the culture. When I first took my position as a professor in Madison I was surprised, as well.

Many of the folks I work with are so far gone that any reasonable discussion of the issues rapidly reduces them to screaming, spitting anger and yet they think stunts like this balloon thing are the cat's meow.

mesquito said...

It's the culture. When I first took my position as a professor in Madison I was surprised, as well.

I once sat quietly while an earnest white coed gave an emotional defense of affirmative action. When she was done I asked her why she didn't give up her place at the University to a black person.

I might as well have waved my dick at her, the way she reacted.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Sounds to me like he cut himself as part of balloon cleaning, and that made him a bit irrational about the balloons.

I call it justifiable balloonicide.

traditionalguy said...

Do they sell stun guns for balloons... same thing but no voltage.

Wisconsin will become the testing grounds for anti-balloon warfare.

Wahrheit said...

Obviously, we need balloon control. A license with a $100 annual fee, mandatory training and no more than one balloon purchase per week. Police can raid homes and announce they've taken another 50 balloons off the street.

Big Mike said...

@dbp, a couple boy scouts with BB guns should be enough.

Or do they allow boy scout troops in Madison?

rhhardin said...

They can solve the balloon problem by filling the rotunda with hydrogen.

Balloons won't rise in hydrogen.

Ann Althouse said...

@mariner no

chickenlittle said...

They can solve the balloon problem by filling the rotunda with hydrogen.

Icks-nay. As a practical problem, everyone inside would sound as if they inhaled helium--right before they passed out from lack of oxygen. The ensuing gridlock could be dubbed "hindered-burg" by the media which is even more embarassing than the sobriquet Walker-ville.

garage mahal said...

It's like Breivik. We need to understand why someone would come after another with a knife. Nuance!

Meade said...

Here's Alphal, first in rumor-mongering!

Phil 3:14 said...

Can't those large puppets just reach up and grab the balloons?

Old Dad said...

For God's sakes. Just fine the balloonists for the cost of the removal. They'll stop. They're cheap, and they're chicken.

Shanna said...

So someone keeps coming to your place of business and bringing a bunch of shit that you later have to clean up. I totally understand why that worker popped the ballon. He should have gotten all of them.

Meade said...

Sorry that link of mine doesn't work. Here's AlphaLiberal's comment:

AlphaLiberal said...
News: Report of a stabbing in the Wisconsin Capitol. Not confirmed. Report says someone tried to stab a sing-along protestor and got himself. Blood all over.


Disgusting wishful thinking.

BJM said...

@Carol_Herman

Anybody here going to be listening to obama's next campaign speech?

FIFY.

grackle said...

I’m opposed to the demonstrators but wielding a knife among them for whatever reason is begging for an incident.

Robert said...

This is so ridiculous. Releasing balloons. How infantile. Whats next? Thumb sucking. People from Madison think they are so smart and above the rest of the country. These people are the elites who want to run the country and decide what we should eat and drink?

Wow!!

Trooper York said...

You know how you can tell that Alphaliberial is lying.

His lips are moving.

garage mahal said...

So the approach with the knife, it seems, was about popping balloons to prevent the troublesome release into the dome

I'm sure you wouldn't mind if a state employee "approached" you or Meade with a knife to enforce some reg, like say, butting in line.

How much are you being paid to write this embarassing claptrap?

Curious George said...

You want to see idiocy thats almost painful Baloon Idiots

My favorite is balloon idiot Amy Hoffman. "The Taliban took away Afghan kids' kites; now I guess some Capitol functionary stabbed a heart balloon. This is NOT MY WISCONSIN!! God help us before it's too late."

mariner said...

Given the propensity to incomplete candor of leftist "protestors" (and of course leftist media), I wonder if any witnesses saw a worker actually pop the balloon while it was in another person's hand.

I'd certainly be alarmed if I were in a public place and someone holding a knife approached me, especially if that person seemed distraught.

SunnyJ said...

@CarolHerman..going with the I'm not here to blame anyone and 35 minutes of Bush/Repub ranting.

Does anyone even buy the debt crisis meme anymore, Geitner pretty much blew that out of the water?

@Mesquito...always wanted to ask Colin Powell that same question. He tells about being the last person chosen for WP and it was an AA placement. Did he ever try to find out who he bumped out and what happened to him?

sorepaw said...

It's like Breivik. We need to understand why someone would come after another with a knife.

Well, we know what Garage is getting paid to write this embarrassing claptrap.

The going rate is $0.

Trooper York said...

Garage said....
I'm sure you wouldn't mind if a state employee "approached" you or Meade with a knife to enforce some reg, like say, butting in line.

You are absolutely right! But that guy is in a government employee union?

Nevermind.

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
"How much are you being paid to write this embarassing claptrap?"

Looks like Alphaliberal is not the only liberal who is disappointed that it wasn't an attack by a right-wing extremist christian winger wingnut nut.

wv: "suponsm" I don't wisppose you all would like to come up here for a summer vacation in suponsm, would you?

Trooper York said...

Maybe they should hire some of those babes from boringheads to burst the balloons with their faces.

Old Dad said...

Trooper,

Have you ever met an alpha lib? A beta lib? They haven't existed for at least 30 years. What we have here is a pathetic--fill in the blank.

Trooper York said...

Old Dad said...
Trooper,
Have you ever met an alpha lib?"


Well I am pretty sure I have scraped one off of my shoe if that counts?

Trooper York said...

Garage said....
I'm sure you wouldn't mind if a state employee "approached" you or Meade with a knife to enforce some reg, like say, butting in line. "

Hey that guy that approached Meade was just mad because he was filming his girlfriend and that was in an elevator so that don't count.

Michael K said...

Is this really the way Wisconsin has been for long ? I used to spend summers there when I was a kid and don't remember crazy people walking around all the time. I guess I didn't go to Madison.

My best friend form high school was a professor at the medical school for many years, biomedical engineering, and he is normal.

Are they all from "Studies" programs ?

Old Dad said...

@Trooper:

"Old Dad said...
Trooper,
Have you ever met an alpha lib?"


Well I am pretty sure I have scraped one off of my shoe if that counts?"

Thanks for the clarification. I thought that was dog shit the other day when I was mowing the lawn, but our dog died.

Lem said...

wv: "suponsm"

Meade a suponsm is a made up symposium where men go to try to get laid ;)

garage mahal said...

What public safety employee wouldn't "approach" citizens with a knife if they had a concern?

Like say, who doesn't remember having a knife flashed at them in the cafeteria by food service personnel for putting a milk container in the wrong wastebasket?

mariner said...

Althouse,

Message sent to gmail.

Unless I was too crosseyed to get the address right. ;)

Jay said...

Ahem:

Emily Koczela had been anxiously waiting for months for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill to take effect. Koczela, the finance director for the Brown Deer school district, had been negotiating with the local union, trying to get it to accept concessions in order to make up for a $1 million budget shortfall. But the union wouldn’t budge.


“We laid off 27 [teachers] as a precautionary measure,” Koczela told me. “They were crying. Some of these people are my friends.”

On June 29 at 12:01 a.m., Koczela could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The budget repair bill​—​delayed for months by protests, runaway state senators, and a legal challenge that made its way to the state’s supreme court​—​was law. The 27 teachers on the chopping block were spared.


Garbage and ignorant liberals hardest hit...

PS, remember the silly meme about how all the unions were making concessions and this legislation wasn't needed?

Just another "fact" that the reality based community can't seem to substantiate.

A. Shmendrik said...

Oh no, it's starting all over again!

Jose_K said...

So they never heard 99 ballons?

MarkG said...

Have you ever met an alpha lib?

I think he meant it to be "Alfalfa Liberal" but made a spelling error. Now he can't figure out how to fix it.

garage mahal said...

Garbage and ignorant liberals hardest hit...

I'm not hit whatsoever, remember, mush-head? At least not financially. Our school district was though, and if you think the spin from the Weekly Standard is going to cut it with the locals around the state you're sorely mistaken. The state senate is going to flip to the Dem-14 in just a few weeks. Chew on that champ. Duh!

chickenlittle said...

garage mahal said: The state senate is going to flip to the Dem-14 in just a few weeks. Chew on that champ. Duh!

Hmmm, just a couple days ago your crystal ball wasn't predicting any recall upsets. What changed your mind? Employment figures? New polling data?

rhhardin said...

I've carried a knife every day since the 3rd grade.

It's even more vital than today than it was then, when it was useful chiefly for sharpening sticks during recess.

Today there's plastic wrap to deal with.

Chuck66 said...

To give you an idea of what the state senate recall election is really about.....Shelley "WE BREATHE UNION" Moore and he union money is now running TV commercials saying CEOs are cutting employment to get big bonuses (which isn't neccesarily untrue) and it is Sheila Harsdorf's fault. Didn't realize a state senator had that much power.

But Harsdorf has a commerical mentioning her husband and kids. Something Moore can't due with her short failed marriage.

garage mahal said...

@chicklet
Polling data, and talking to friends up north. Walker's strong disapproval w/ women is 60+ percent. I'm predicting the number needed to flip the senate. 3, out of 6. Discuss!

Calypso Facto said...

Chuck, I hope Shelly Moore's “We’re not supposed to use school email, but since all of our rights are being taken away, I don’t frankly care” (concerning illegal campaigning via school email) is being played over and over to show district voters where the WEAC party candidate's true loyalties lie.

Curious George said...

"PS, remember the silly meme about how all the unions were making concessions and this legislation wasn't needed?"

Here's another example of what fucking bullshit that is..Kenosha union said go ahead and lay off, NO CONCESSIONS! 338 teachers BYE BYE.

BTW, Kenosha was another district, like Madison, that rushed through a contract.


Sing it with me!

Newbie teachers cya later
Newbie teachers cya later
Newbie teachers cya later
The union has done you wrong!

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
" The state senate is going to flip to the Dem-14 in just a few weeks. Chew on that champ. Duh!"

Thanks, garage! Your predictions are my most reliable barometers in all things sports and politics

of what won't come to pass.

Please wear your away jersey down in your mancave as you await election returns on Aug 9. Just to put the double wham slam jam a switcheroo joo joo on the bad guys.

Thank you.

m stone said...

Just to put the double wham slam jam a switcheroo joo joo on the bad guys.

Meade is a rapper?

MadisonMan said...

The mosaics -- I think they are mosaics, maybe just paintings -- on the rotunda ceiling argue against BB guns.

I was up on the Square for the Madison Mile on Sunday -- those pieces of paper on the windows are really unsightly. I'm talking to you, Terese Berceau.

garage mahal said...

Thanks, garage! Your predictions are my most reliable barometers in all things sports and politics

Actually, they are! Care to make this interesting? [second request].

We could bet on lunch. A sixer. An hour of community time? What do you think? Even friendly, no wager.

Carol_Herman said...

The only way a woman should be able to get balloons into the rotunda ... is that if she stuffed two of them down the front of her blouse.

A guy? He'd have to put one on each cheek ... where he practiced walking with a big behind.

In both cases people would have to buy their outfits by trying them on at a store, first.

The other good thing?

You wouldn't get crushed in a crowd.

But boy, if one of them popped? The person standing next to you would faint.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, Meade. I hate to ask what "joo joo" means? Was this once a candy?

I hope one that wasn't supposed to come with horns.

Nobody has a crystal ball for August 9th.

I discovered it's impossible to see much into the future from my front porch. Just glad I don't have to look at russia!

Meade said...

Garage, let's keep it friendly. If I do anymore community time, I'm afraid my wife might leave me for an elevator guy. I'll bet Reps lose net 2 and keep the senate. If I'm wrong, I won't have you to kick around anymore...

At least not until you make another one of your doofus predictions.

Meade said...

Carol, I think jujubes were a candy. I was just making stuff up, trying to yank garage's collective bargaining chain.

Now balloons down the blouse... Let's take a closer look at that rotunda!

Karl said...

Here's another example of what fucking bullshit that is..Kenosha union said go ahead and lay off, NO CONCESSIONS! 338 teachers BYE BYE.

And, by the way, a big fuck-you from the KEA to the Bradford football program.
That's right, the best coach we have had in years is on the lay-off list.
Can't get rid of any old toads who just go through the motions year after year. Seniority system and all. Can't mess with that.
Meanwhile, the Kenosha Unified School District is taking another major hit. I don't know how the KUSD will survive without Kathy Barca's administrative leadership. Happy retirement wishes Kathy. Pls give Petey a big kiss from the taxpayers.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

The state senate is going to flip to the Dem-14 in just a few weeks. Chew on that champ. Duh!


But of course I wasn't talking about any election. I was talking about facts.

Of course now we see where you stand on facts.

gerry said...

if you think the spin from the Weekly Standard is going to cut it with the locals around the state you're sorely mistaken

You spoke with friends "up north".

Like minds do not statistics make.

The rest of the state is not Madison or Milwaukee.

purplepenquin said...

Walker is expected to issue a press release stating it will cost the state over $690,000 to clean up the mess caused by the blood and the popped balloon.

E.M. Davis said...

Walker is expected to issue a press release stating it will cost the state over $690,000 to clean up the mess caused by the blood and the popped balloon.

Now this is funny.