July 29, 2011

Isthmus picks up Meade's confrontation with the state worker arrested in the balloon-popping incident.

Hmmm. It will be interesting to see how the comments play out over there (where Meade has been a long-time gadfly and I am pretty much hated).

46 comments:

Pastafarian said...

The first comment will probably be typical: "Twit meets jerk, a close encounter of the worst kind."

And only comment, hours after the article was posted. This Isthmus site must be read by dozens of people.

They'll probably set traffic records just from this one Althouse link.

Ann Althouse said...

If people actually watch the clip, they will see how tough it really was to get the stickers off the protest.

I have some sympathy with Ron Blair. I'm sure his job became very stressful, and it must have bothered him to see the building he was in charge of messed up so much.

The balloon problem is one more thing that made his job difficult.

Not to say that justifies the reaction.

traditionalguy said...

Ron Blair likes to intimidate people. He is teretorial.

Meade stood up to him. Bravo Sir Meade.

The Mobocracy is ambivalent. Blair is supposed to be one of the Walker forces crushing the innocent...but he was equally bullying to that enemy Meade.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Any sticker with a rubber-based adhesive (peel-and-stick) can be removed cleanly with gasoline or a cleaning product called Goof-off. Water-based glues (lick-and-stick) should be soaked for a while. I speak as a professional.

While I'm at it, I take care of rogue balloons in the hotel where I work using a blowgun firing tiny darts. These are civilian, non partisan balloons, but I slay 'em just the same. Silent and deadly.

wv: noing-- the sound of a tiny dart puncturing the skin of a rogue balloon.

traditionalguy said...

Territorial. I am having a bad morning.

Curious George said...

Ron Blair is the poster boy of a public employee. The irony is lost on the protesters who got a taste of what the rest of us deal with all the time. Rude bullies.

edutcher said...

On the main page, the link doesn't
work.

Just curious, but what was Ron Blair's legal authority to order Meade away from anything?

Other than being a union stooge.

Chuck66 said...

I looked at the comments on a couple of Isthmus stories.....I take it you two aren't very popular there.

Ann Althouse said...

"Any sticker with a rubber-based adhesive (peel-and-stick) can be removed cleanly with gasoline or a cleaning product called Goof-off. Water-based glues (lick-and-stick) should be soaked for a while. I speak as a professional."

As the profession in the video opines, that would damage the finish on the marble.

It's not enough to get it off.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

My job is a lot like Blair's. I take care of a hotel, not a capitol building, but the work is the same. The big difference is, if I were as rude to a guest as Blair is to Meade, I would be fired without recourse. What is it about public "service" that absolves public employees of accountability?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

As the profession (sic) in the video opines, that would damage the finish on the marble.

Not really. If the marble is properly sealed (like the marble he's working on) neither gasoline nor water will have much effect on it. Alternatively, marble is very soft, and going at it with a razor blade will unavoidably leave permanent damage.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey, my new rule is simple:

Even if they invite you, don't go where you're not wanted.

Or, at least, not unarmed,...

Ann Althouse said...

"Not really. If the marble is properly sealed (like the marble he's working on) neither gasoline nor water will have much effect on it. Alternatively, marble is very soft, and going at it with a razor blade will unavoidably leave permanent damage."

It's 100-year-old marble, recently restored with some expensive glossy finish. There was much discussion in the press of the difficulty of cleaning it, especially after the GOP estimated a very high number in the millions.

Obviously, the scraping with a razor blade was also bad. You hear Blair tell the worker not to use a razor blade, once it is on camera. But it's obvious that the worker was equipped with a razor blade.

Later, he switches to *fingernails*! What professional cleaning job ever relies on fingernails like that?!

Ann Althouse said...

"I looked at the comments on a couple of Isthmus stories.....I take it you two aren't very popular there."

The liberals of Madison are into disciplining the community into the most insipid group-think. Meade and I are setting an example, and it's so upsetting to the poor dears. Watch the video for the couple of women who appear in the middle. They exemplify the political disciplinarians of Madison.

Meade said...

I'm flattered but not sure I deserve the lofty title of "gadfly."

I annoy people. Simple as that. It's what I do.

traditionalguy said...

Fingernails work fine. But be careful not to get a piece shoved up under the nail. It really hurts.

Women's nails cost too much, but men's nails are cheap tools.

Boss Blair really hurts right about now...damn those videos.

I can hear Blair's basic speech which is a riff on "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Issob Morocco said...

Yes Meade you can annoy folks but damn it, you do it so amiably.

BTW You slayed my brother Malesch Morocco with your Allium Vid. He is still talking to me about it!

Now what about Blue Poppies?

Chuck66 said...

Ann A. Occasionally I go to the Wisc State Journal and read the comments. You will see nasty comments on any such forum, but I think the lack of intellectual diversity in Madison really comes out there. Extremely angry and nasty comments against anyone who doesn't tow the leftist line.

The two words that come to mind are intolerance and ignorance. Oh, and paranoia. It makes Senator McCarthy look like Charlie McCarthy.

Chuck66 said...

So thanks Ann and Meade. You do a service, and you do it so calmly. Some of us don't have the temperment to deal with these people.

Example....when you were filming on the captial grounds, and the lefty kept following you around and blowing a whistle in your ears. Some of us would have had a hard time not grabbing that whistle and tossing it over everones heads.

Curious George said...

"Tyrone Slothrop said...
What is it about public "service" that absolves public employees of accountability?"

Unions and civil service protection. Duh.

purplepenquin said...

The liberals of Madison are into disciplining the community into the most insipid group-think

Their forum and the commentators here are often given as examples of GroupThinkMentality on both side of the political aisle.

Meade said...

Thanks, Chuck66. Prudent editing is the key. My editor is very careful to hide all evidence of my crimes and cantankerousness.

Well, crimes.

The Crack Emcee said...

Meade,

I'm flattered but not sure I deserve the lofty title of "gadfly."

I annoy people. Simple as that. It's what I do.


Why, Mr. Meade, I do think you're trying to seduce me,...

c71ff said...

@Kid Tyrone: bravo with the blowgun and darts!

Carol_Herman said...

The Isthmu handles it by giving you an error message when you go to the link!

Carol_Herman said...

Meade, take heart. We're all gadfly's here.

phx said...

Hating political opponents is so primitive.

Meade said...

Crack, shhh... let's keep our macho bromance to ourselves, shall we?

Meade said...

Okay, Carol H, but I think of you as more of a lovely floating butterfly.

Who stings like a bee.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

It's a too bad Meade doesn't sound like Morgan Freeman. If he did, I can only imagine the huge state-wide media coverage his video would have received.

Mary Beth said...

I got a 404 error the first time I clicked the link but it worked the second time.

In the video it seemed that Blair was more upset by being recorded than he was by the defacing of the marble. Perhaps he felt that in spite of the problems they were causing him, he and the protesters were on the same side. Having them turn on him must be upsetting.

How do they get the balloons down? Does someone have to climb a ladder?

purplepenquin said...

How do they get the balloons down?

Ain't sure what the exact procedure is, but someone on the radio said that the WiGOP is estimating it will cost at least $69,000 per balloon.

Apfelkuchen said...

Commenters here and on other posts regarding the Ron Blair incident say he is a union thug or in the union,. I doubt this as he is a supervisor, not traditionally in unions.

KenK said...

You know the legislature could put an end to all this stuff by banning stickies, balloons and et cetera inside the public parts of capitol bldg quite easily couldn't it? And Chief Tubbs and the Kapitol Kops could enforce the measures with tickets and arrests too, could they not? Yet nothing changes after all this time? Cui bono?

Joanna said...

what was Ron Blair's legal authority to order Meade away from anything?

Was he wearing an orange vest? I recall that orange vests worn at the Capitol endow the wearer with extraordinary authority.

Calypso Facto said...

WiGOP is estimating it will cost at least $69,000 per balloon

Obviously union/prevailing wage labor then.

Irene said...

They've now put up a net to prevent balloons from floating to the top of the dome. It's supposed to be a clear net.

Chuck66, in Madison, "intellectual diversity" is code for "wingnut."

garage mahal said...

Ain't sure what the exact procedure is, but someone on the radio said that the WiGOP is estimating it will cost at least $69,000 per balloon.

Written on a napkin, of course.

AlphaLiberal said...

The sticker in the video was not at all typical of the materials affixed to the walls. Those were mostly done with blue tape. I think Ann knows this but prefers to push an opposite impression.

The sticker in question looks to be from "anatchists", a.k.a. "hormonal spoiled brats."

gadfly said...

Ann:

You can take my word for it -- being a long-time gadfly is a good thing.

gadfly said...

Meade;

It is time to bestow upon you the right to use the official gadfly motto. From the Harvard Student liberal Club, circa 1922:

"Among the collegiate herd of sacred cows and their worshippers now buzzes the gad-fly."

You will be happy to know that J. Robert Oppenheimer, "the father of the Atomic Bomb" was a member of the HSLC.

Meade said...

Thank you. I am not worthy.

Ann Althouse said...

"The sticker in the video was not at all typical of the materials affixed to the walls. Those were mostly done with blue tape. I think Ann knows this but prefers to push an opposite impression."

Oh, bullshit. I posted many, many photos and videos through the entire period. Go back and look. I showed what was going on nearly every day throughout the events. On the particular day when Meade took that video, that was what was happening. The vast majority of what had been up was down, and the most difficult stuff was being removed. It is what it is: what was happening that morning.

And when you talk about what is "typical," it matters how much total stuff there was. Let's say there were 100,000 things stuck to the marble walls on the Capitol and 1,000 were stickers like that. Then the stickers were not typical, but there would still be a hell of a lot of stickers!

There was in the end a lot of blue tape, but 1. there was also a lot of duct and other bad tape, 2. a lot of the blue tape *replaced* other tape as the protesters knew they'd done it the wrong way and remedied the bad PR after the damage was done, and 3. even the blue tape left a residue.

I know those things because in the case of #1: I saw it and photographed it, #2: protesters told me/Meade that and we have it on video, and #3: the man cleaning off the stickers in the video at the Isthmus says exactly that.

Trooper York said...

The thing that ironrailsironweights and I both appreciated is the focus Meade put on video of the hairy underarms of the hippie chicks.

Well done sir.

Arthur said...

I would argue that using your hypothetical numbers of 100,000 and 1,000 are unintentionally misleading. If I were to make an estimate of stickers on sensitive rock I would probably place it in the early double digits but I probably shouldn't do that because I wouldn't want to lead people to a conclusion based on numbers out of thin air.

As to the blue tape. That is not what happened or the spirit in which the events took place. One night rather early on at around 3 in the morning state troopers starting walking around taking down and throwing away the signs(expression of speech) while people were asleep(assembling and petitioning their government) under them. Want to throw in there that that is very much not their job and if there was any real concern than professionals should have been doing it, anyways. Needless to say people woke up or noticed very quickly and were more then displeased. Through rather urgent communication it was relayed that there were concerns about the types of tapes being used on the walls. For most people there at that point that was the first they had heard about such an issue. The agreement was then made by a group of people who just happened to be awake or awoken during this ordeal that they would take down all the signs and affix them using safe blue painters tape. It was in no way or at least not a priority to save face or curb bad publicity. That just wasn't part of the conversation, the people there that night really valued and wanted to maintain the expression and messages and the voice of the signs.

And finally and probably least important but still significant is that for the most part the damage was not already done. With some exceptions probably such as duct tape and sticker type adhesives the damage comes as the bond ages and hardens, this probably was a illegitimate concern at the time but the timeline had not gotten to that point.

I think it was the journal Sentinel or the State Journal which mentioned that the restoration expert involved in the assessment along with the renovations done back in the 90's said that there was almost no significant damage from the tape and that any real issues on the wall only came from some of the oils on the insides of pizza boxes.

I looked for the article and couldn't find it but will try again if you would like.

I have a lot more to say but I think I will have already stumbled into ramble territory, and I don't want to get lost there.

Ann Althouse said...

I wrote: "a lot of the blue tape *replaced* other tape as the protesters knew they'd done it the wrong way and remedied the bad PR after the damage was done."

Thanks to Arthur for confirming that there was a lot of blue tape that was retaping signs previously stuck up with much worse tape:

He writes: "One night rather early on at around 3 in the morning state troopers starting walking around taking down and throwing away the signs... it was relayed that there were concerns about the types of tapes being used on the walls. For most people there at that point that was the first they had heard about such an issue. The agreement was then made by a group of people who just happened to be awake or awoken during this ordeal that they would take down all the signs and affix them using safe blue painters tape."

This is the key point. Much of the blue tape we saw was in places where previously the bad tape was used. The replacement was done when they found out they'd used especially bad tape. I didn't know they found out about the badness of the tape via the police, who were taking some responsibility for clearing out some of the massive amount of litter the protesters had stuck to the walls.

My quote doesn't say that they took the tape down *because* they didn't like the bad PR, only that they avoided additional bad PR by taking this step, which Arthur says they took because that the was the deal they made with the police. Arthur seems to think they look better replacing the tape because they police required it than if they did it because they knew it would hurt their reputation. To my mind, it hurts their reputation that they did it because of the police. What would look better would be if they changed it because they really didn't want to damage the building!

"It was in no way or at least not a priority to save face or curb bad publicity. That just wasn't part of the conversation, the people there that night really valued and wanted to maintain the expression and messages and the voice of the signs."

Well, I can believe that. The protesters had the things they wanted to do, and they gave way because the police required it. Noted. Interesting that they weren't motivated by any (or much) concern about bad publicity. They cared about their "expression," but not about the effect of the expression on people who saw it. That's kind of contradictory. Usually when people speak, they're taking account of their audience.

But I was constantly amazed at how little the protesters thought about how people who did not already agree with them would receive their various expressions.