August 29, 2012

If a man dares to horse around with children he doesn't know... he could get into trouble.

Look what happened to Madison's Brett Hulsey, who just pled "no contest" to a disorderly conduct charge for —as the police put it — "the totality of the events that happened," mostly "engaging in horseplay with a child who is a stranger to him -- in the water, no less."

According to Hulsey, he chided a boy about splashing some girls and then, as he walked past him, shouted "boo" — causing the boy to roll off his inner tube into shallow water.

Supposedly, this creeped out the parents and grandparents. The mother, according to the police reports "worried if this individual may have done this before or may do more in the future."

Why not fight the charge? Hulsey says he wants to "move on." Does that work in a political career?

There are many old posts on this blog about Brett Hulsey, who represents my district in the state legislature and was a prominent figure in the 2011 Wisconsin protests. Here he is saying "boo" to Meade:

DSC_0073

ADDED: Part of "the totality of the events" was photographing the children. Is that wrong? Here's some discussion of that topic:

1. "A pair of photographers began taking pictures of a large group of kids swimming in the Frog Pond at Boston Common when they were told they were not allowed." ("If I am on assignment covering a parade or some type of event, I photograph kids if I see a cool picture, but then I try to talk to the parents and hand them my card and even show them the photo, not that I have to, but I really don’t want to be labeled a pedophile.")

2. "Parents Forbidden From Photographing Own Kids At Public Pool."

3. "Is it ok to post pictures of other people's kids on the internet?" ("Yesterday I ended up in a conversation with a stranger on Facebook in which she said that she took pictures of her kids and their friends at events like her kids' birthday parties and posted them on Facebook for her friends to see. I was gobsmacked...")

4. "Posting Photos of Other People’s Children." ("We all take photos at school plays, sporting events, graduations, whatever our children are involved with.... But do we have the right to impose our decisions about what is public and private on other people’s children?")

75 comments:

alan markus said...

"the totality of the events that happened" that day, which also included his taking photographs of the boy and other children in the water

Taking photographs of children in a public swimming area also creeps out parents & grandparents. Just saying...

chickelit said...

Shouldn't you remind us whether he's a D or an R before we judge him?

Amartel said...

The presumption against a man being in the vicinity of children is simply wrong. 21st century witch hunting.

Palladian said...

He might be part of a SATANIC CHILD MOLESTING CULT!

Brand him! Scourge him! Send him to the outer darkness!

Rusty said...

Depends on how old the kid is, but yeah a lot overeaction.

edutcher said...

Thank you, Maatha Coakley.

chickelit said...

Brand him! Scourge him! Send him to the outer darkness!

Old-fashioned waterboarding might work too: Utterly safe Wiki link

Curious George said...

Taking photos? I would check that freaks hard drive.

EDH said...

"Oh, my God. That's him. He's in the pool."

Michael K said...

Photographing strange children at play, especially in water, which suggests partial clothing, is something I would notice. If it is a common practice, it would set up a warning sign. Many years ago, when my daughter who is now 30 was 2, she and her cousin were the objects of considerable attention, including home movies, by a famous author while they were playing on a beach near Chicago. Nothing came of it but I have wondered about him all these years.

I would never accuse someone of anything; just heightened attention.

Sofa King said...

Ho-hum. It's a pretty well-established principle that men are second-class citizens.

Meade said...

Admittedly, I took quite a few photos of Brett Hulsey during the protests. And I'm afraid I might have creeped him out at one point after I witnessed him giving special privileges to protesters - storing their protest signs in his office overnight - and asked him point-blank if he really thought that was a good idea.

Of course, we were both consenting adults, in public spaces, and neither one of us was in the water, wearing swim trunks.

Ann Althouse said...

"Shouldn't you remind us whether he's a D or an R before we judge him?"

I said he represented my district. More would be redundant.

Ken said...

Of course the man is guilty, right? After all, this country is awfully sexist towards women. The presumption of guilt when the actions of concern are men and children is totally reasonable.

Please ignore child abuse statistics as they will just cloud your proper judgement of assumption of guilt towards men.

traditionalguy said...

Hulsey is just too masculine for the local metrosexuals and femi-nazis.

Maybe he can learn not to seem like an aggressive man by taking ballet classes. It's all body language from a distance.

bgates said...

You show that picture of Meade, like Hulsey might go on about how nonsexual nonthreatening verbal communication in no way hurts people. That's not the point. Of course, that's true. That's rational. But he's thinking about the jurors who would imagine suffering children and feel the importance of love as they arrived at an emotion-based decision.

Meade said...

"I said he represented my district. More would be redundant."

True, but you could let them know that he was the candidate who wasn't a full-on communist.

alan markus said...

From videos that were posted here (i.e, Meade asking him about protest signs being stored in his office), my impression of him was that he projected a sort of childlike innocence. So, I could totally understand if his actions were not meant to be harmful in anyway. Maybe he has a touch of Asperger's or something? Not able to pick up on certain social cues?

rhhardin said...

Guggenbuhl-Craig wondered about the hysteria in an essay.

His (Jungian) conclusion was that it was partial archetypes.

A story of absolute innocence must be offset by a story of absolute evil in order for things to make sense to people.

My addition is that the media found that that hysteria paid advertiser dollars, starting in the 70s, so it then had legs.

There was no child sexual abuse story before the 70s (or child abuse in general before the 60s). We kids left in the morning and came home at dinner time, unworred about, a blessing for being out of the house.

Ian Hacking has a 1991 essay on it somethere... pdf.

chickelit said...

I said he represented my district. More would be redundant

To riff off Instapundit, we'll know Madison is normal when that isn't a given.

chickelit said...

Hulsey's face and smile reminds me of Arnold S's...maybe that's what creeps out some people.

Pogo said...

Sentence first - verdict afterwards.

Thanks Oprah!

This is why I quit coaching Jr High basketball.

CWJ said...

This touches on one of the constants I've observed throughout my life. No matter how they are behaving, no matter how innocent you think your actions might be, you never ever ever win messing with other people's children.

I was going to say unless you were saving them from a burning building, but based upon my experience, I'm not even sure that would qualify.

Hulsey has my sympathy.

The Farmer said...

chickelit said...
Shouldn't you remind us whether he's a D or an R before we judge him?


LOL and high five, chickelit!

raf said...

Shouldn't you remind us whether he's a D or an R before we judge him?

If the story doesn't indicate, that means it is a D, right?

CWJ said...

Right.

mgarbowski said...

Here is a great blog post showing several classic photographs with all the hildren removed.
http://blakeandrews.blogspot.com/2010/10/future-now-cleansed.html

Jay Retread said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

Why not fight the charge?

Because - as a man - you simply can't win, that's why.

It took over two years, and two more dead bodies, before these racist, sexist, tunnelvisioned assholes believed me that my wife was killing people - because "you're a man" - and "she'd NEVER do anything like that."

I'll never forget it, the stupid fucks,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

Sentence first - verdict afterwards.

Thanks Oprah!


Stop it - that bitch is "the moral arbiter of the nation."

I almost vomited when I read that,...

harrogate said...

"Full-on communist"

That reminds me. Congratulations to cons everywhere for robbing that particular term of all of its meaning. I'm sure that's what you mean to do.

Palladian said...

Progressives did not support Hulsey. They supported Ben Manski.

That's a point in Hulsey's favor, then.

Palladian said...

I think all children should be required to wear burqas in public from infancy to age 18. I mean, who knows why someone is looking at them!

In fact, it might be best to not allow them to leave home at all. Better safe than sorry!

Meade said...

Ben Manski calls himself socialist. Brett Hulsey calls himself a progressive. Everyone knows that if you adjust for the political bubble that is Madison, Wisconsin, they are, respectively, a communist and a socialist. With one or two exceptions, it's nearly impossible to get elected in this city if one is not at least perceived to be socialist.

harrogate said...

"Everyone knows that if you adjust for the political bubble that is Madison, Wisconsin, they are, respectively, a communist and a socialist."

When blog comment boards and google itself blow up with hits for things like "Harry Reid Communist," "Barack Obama communist," "Russ Feingold communist," "Nancy pelosi communist," etc. Well then, you know the discourse has officially nullified the term.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

According to Hulsey, he chided a boy about splashing some girls and then, as he walked past him, shouted "boo" — causing the boy to roll off his inner tube into shallow water.

Obviously the bastard son of Douglas C. Neidermeyer.

harrogate said...

But Meade, of course, such rhetorical sloppery is not par the course on these boards that you mediate and to which you contribute. Natch.

CWJ said...

Oh lord, Harrogate. Do you even know the person to whom Meade was referring? Do you know their politics? If so, then debate Meade's characterization. If not, then STFU before saying that it rob(s) that particular term of all its meaning.

harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harrogate said...

CWJ,

First of all, you are right inasmuch as my main focus was general: that is, a general comment about how cavalierly people throw the term around, very like the way they use "Nazi." So that if an actual communist came along and someone on these boards yelled "Hey, there's a communist," who outside the madding choir would even bother to look at this point. If the discourse opens itself to Harry Reid being called a communist (hell, or even a "leftist") then there is something fundamentally wrong with the discourse. because--and pay attention now--at some point such rhetoric loses the ability to identify things and/or persuade people, infinitely regressing instead into code for fellow choir members, instead.

But to your little quibble over the Madison candidate and whether the term this time (this time! really! this time!) the term applies. So, yeah, I do remember reading about Manski calling for mass nationalization of most every industry and for the establishment of gulags for political opponents and for cementing career paths for people at childhood and banishing religion and for.

Oh. Wait. Never mind. He believes in single payer health care. That's the same, I know.

Meade said...

I didn't say he's a Stalinist, I said he's a communist.

What's wrong with communism?

CWJ said...

Harrogate, classic deflection.

Hardly a quibble, much less silly. I hold you to your original comment. What exactly about Meade's characterization reminded you that communist had been robbed of all its meaning. Surely, something specific had to have been in play. Otherwise, why comment?

Meade said...

Have you ever had a conversation with Ben Manski? I have. He doesn't just dream of socialized medicine. He dreams of a dictatorship of the proletariat.

MadisonMan said...

I think the law he was charged with is ridiculously broad.

I would never chastise someone else's kids in public.

The boy's parents have seen one too many after school specials.

harrogate said...

Meade didn't say Stalinist, he said Communist. "What's wrong with Communism?" Did you bat your digital identity eyes all innocently when you typed that?

Dude, stop arguing like a third grader. It's like these people that were calling Scott Walker a Nazi. Ridiculous.

Meanwhile the quibbler adds on:

"What exactly about Meade's characterization reminded you that communist had been robbed of all its meaning."

The answer is in large part built into your question. We really have arrived at a point in America where when someone describes a politician as a "full on communist", you can be dead level sure that person is full of shit.

You look at the positions he has taken and Ben Manski is only a communist if your measuring stick for European-style socialism is George W. Bush. This is not difficult, but you do have to unplug a little.

harrogate said...

"Have you ever had a conversation with Ben Manski? I have."

Oh, well that settles it then. We will just take your word for it. He revealed his dreams of a fully nationalized economy to you, as well, I would imagine. Damn. if only he had known you had access to such a megaphone as this blog, before he blabbed his true Commie ideology. Or, how do the usual suspects around here put it? Ah yes: "The mask comes off!" The mask comes off and the corporate Obama is a socialist or a communist. the mask comes off a the New York Times is a socialist organ.

Meade is one of the sharpiest of the sharp. The game is up!

ricpic said...

Imprison all men other than dads who play rough with kids now!!! God knows what could happen if roughhouse play is not stopped. Skinned knees! Sprained wrists! A bloody nose!!! Stop the madness!

Meade said...

harrogate, what you don't seem to understand is Ben Manski doesn't wear a mask. There is nothing to slip.

You don't have to take my word for anything. This isn't an argument - it's a blog comment section. Relax. make a comment. Tell us what you know. Or what you think. Or how you feel.

Just don't be a bore. Thanks.

harrogate said...

You don't think the habit of reflexively calling politicians "full on communists" is boring? Or trite? Or ridiculous? Because verily it is all of these things.

I told you what I know. You look at his positions and he is to communism as W.'s positions are to Euro-socialism. But then, you'd have to know that it's silly to call Obama a socialist, to understand such things as well.

Meade said...

"Skinned knees! Sprained wrists! A bloody nose!!! Stop the madness!"

ricpic, I sympathize but, like it or not, we are living in a post-Jerry Sandusky world. Form your judgements accordingly. Be smart. Be careful. Be judicious.

harrogate said...

And if you care to lift your game a little, Meade, you will perhaps see that your affixed label participates in and reflects a huge tendency, especially in online political conversations. It reminds me of the kids who pick up "bad words" around other kids. He's a communist, she's a communist, everyone's a communist. I wonder just how drunk one would get if one took a drink every time someone at the GOP convention (not on the podium, mind you, but just milling about the conferences and such) said the word "communist" in reference to an elected Democrat. Actually, that's not something I wonder. It's another thing, Meade, that I know. You'd be falling-down drunk.

Meade said...

"You don't think the habit of reflexively calling politicians "full on communists" is boring?"

I suppose it would be. But who is in that reflexive habit?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

With one or two exceptions, it's nearly impossible to get elected in this city if one is not at least perceived to be socialist.

So what's the proper way to refer to someone who embraces knee-jerk opposition to socialism? An "anti-socialist"?

That would probably be too revealing.

harrogate said...

"But who is in that reflexive habit?"

Playing dumb is not evidence of intellect, in case you were confused on that point.

CWJ said...

OK Harrogate, I got it. So when someone (Anyone?) describes some other one as a full on communist, that the first one is full of shit, and you are immediately reminded that the term has lost all meaning are then compelled to comment as such. Got it.

So does that mean there are no full on communists anywhere? Because how could we identify them without being full of shit?

harrogate said...

"So does that mean there are no full on communists anywhere? Because how could we identify them without being full of shit?"

Ahhh, but see that's the whole problem! When you've got a discourse filled with the term, when you have it being applied to just about every known elected Democrat, then you definitely do risk rendering the term impotent.

For you see, in the US, an elected politician who would fit a reasonable definition (that is, a definition bred not of talk radio or con blogs) of "full on communist," is a rare, rare bird indeed.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So does that mean there are no full on communists anywhere?

A few in Latin America, China, and Vietnam.

Which in some minds translates to: "Watch out! They're lurking around every corner! Yowza!!!!"

What good is it to make an imminent enemy out of something if you can't imagine it popping out of your closet at night?

CWJ said...

So does the same apply to republican and extremist?

harrogate said...

"So does the same apply to republican and extremist?"

Yes and no. Yes to Republicans, who have been subjected to the charge of fascism or Nazism, etc. No to the extremism charge and here is why:

Extremist is a relative term in a way that Communist--which refers to a specific set of ideological positions AND ALSO connotes a brutal enforcement of those ideological commitments is not. When you say "extremist," are you referencing your own sensibilities or the general sensibilities of the nation as, say, "moderate"? Those are often very different from one another.

Manski's position on single payer health care, which I share, could be persuasively described as "extremist" if the barometer is public opinion in the US. But f the baromoter is my own conscience, then it seems that the US population is "extremist" on things like health care and the prison fetish, etc.

You can be an extremist, in other words, without being a Nazi or a Communist or some such label that refers to objective criteria. Indeed, in this society I think it would be fair to call Vegans extemists in their way.

So to come back to Republicans and extremists, and to reference a current topic in the news. If you are an elected politician and you believe that rape victims should be forced to bring their pregnancy to term, then by the standards of the American people, you and those who agree with you are extremist.

Etc.

Meade said...

"Etc."

And YOU are trying to school me on what is and isn't evidence of intellect?

harrogate said...

Meade,

Yeah. "Etc.," as in there are plenty of examples of "extremism" we could point to in the US. Communist elected politicians--Not So Much.

Sorry I had to explain that to you.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh, pardon Monsieur!

Perhaps you'd prefer he used the full Latin form, i.e. (or "id est") et cetera.

Gene said...

"There was no child sexual abuse story before the 70s (or child abuse in general before the 60s). We kids left in the morning and came home at dinner time, unworred about, a blessing for being out of the house."

Radical feminists did their best to criminalize ordinary human relationships (and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams). Nowadays cellphones make it possible for anyone with a twist in their panties (or shorts) to report virtually anything and the cops will arrest the alleged perpetrator with the excuse "we had a complaint."

Howard said...

Harrogate: nice Fisting of Meade. A real moonbat asshat smackdown. You really beclowned him, methinks. Ouch, that'll leave a mark. Indeed.
Bwahahahaha

harrogate said...

Meanwhile on this thread emerged a subtheme where a couple of people try to say that child abuse used to didn't happen back in the day when they were living on the set of the Andy Griffith Show.

For God's sake. It almost makes Akin look scientifically literate.

David said...

The charge is ridiculous. Never should have been made. I understand why he did not want to argue it, but that seems a mistake. This will haunt him. He did what a lot of people might have done, before the days of hysterical suspicion of men at least. The parents, the cops, the prosecutor and the judge all had a chance to stop this nonsense. None did.

Might even make think twice about his politics. Of course now the even further lefties have something to slime him with. Pay attention. They will.

prairie wind said...

ricpic, I sympathize but, like it or not, we are living in a post-Jerry Sandusky world. Form your judgements accordingly. Be smart. Be careful. Be judicious.

Hold on there, Meade. Sandusky did what Sandusky did. Assuming that --now that we've seen and heard about Sandusky--we need to be more careful about all men is stupid. Sandusky didn't change the level of danger to our kids. He was a danger to some specific children but not to anyone else. Sandusky being a danger to some children has nothing to do with the possibility that another man is a danger to other specific children.

Sex offender hysteria is irrational. Responding to a man who said "boo" to a boy as if he could be a danger...that is also irrational. The court taking a serious interest in the case is even more irrational.

Comments like yours saying that, well, of course we need to be more suspicious of men now that we know about Sandusky are also irrational. Why excuse the hysteria? Why feed the hysteria?

Meade said...

There is no hysteria except your and others' hysteria over a phantom hysteria.

Lone adult male, you find yourself in a situation where you are alone with children you are not related to who are in showers, pools, playgrounds? Maybe they are undressed, half-dressed, in their underwear or swimwear. Good judgement says you have nothing to lose by minding your own business and moving on. Prudence says do not linger and take photos of those children. Rationality says do not engage those children with a boo or even an innocent splash. They are children, you are an adult, there is no emergency. Move along and mind your own business. Otherwise, the charge - albeit ridiculous - might easily lead to your ridicule.

And rightly so.

Meade said...

Brett Hulsey is a known liar. People who know him and work with him have reported that he is aware of his problem and that it might even be pathological. He has a public record which displays a pattern of actions outside normal social boundaries.

Ben Manski may be a communist and an extreme leftist but he is at least an honorable communist and extreme leftist.

harrogate said...

Learning is hard, Meade, I know. And even harder to admit when you're being ridiculous--something...hard to say what it is... in us makes us want to dig that much more when revealed to be trading in foolishness. So, I sympathize. And, I have faith you will get there in time.

prairie wind said...

Otherwise, the charge - albeit ridiculous - might easily lead to your ridicule.


No, Meade. The charge might easily lead to you losing your job, your family, your friends, and could quite easily lead you to prison.

If it were a fake hysteria, it would lead only to ridicule.

prairie wind said...

Rationality says do not engage those children with a boo or even an innocent splash.

This made me chuckle. Women engage with, splash, tickle, play with, wink at, tease, horse around with children not our own and we, for the most part, think nothing of it. But you think it is "prudent" for a man to avoid all of this. Because...tell me why again?

prairie wind said...

Meade, I accept your characterization of this guy. You know him. I do not.

Meade said...

"Because...tell me why again?"

Because we live, as I said, in a post-Jerry Sandusky world, prairie wind. I'm not saying it's fair or desirable. It's just the way things are. If you have any good ideas for how to change that world, I might support them.

Meanwhile, as an adult male, weigh the costs and benefits of engaging with children to whom you are a stranger. If there is an emergency, of course - take immediate action to protect the child regardless of the risk to yourself. Otherwise, I recommend minding your own business and moving along.

Meade said...

And if you don't mind your own business and move along, male or female, I don't care - as the father and uncle of adults who once were young children - yes, I'm going to intervene to find out what your deal is. Call me hysterical if you want but I will err on the side of protecting my children. What kind of parent, and that includes Brett Hulsey (who is a parent himself), would do otherwise?