March 6, 2011

What the hell is "It's Time to Take Out the Trash Day"?

Okay, this is a Facebook group setting up an event today at the Capitol, to go from 1 to 4 p.m.

Gateway Pundit reports it as:
Wisconsin tea party members are planning a “It’s Time to Take out the Trash Day” at the Wisconsin State Capitol to clean up after the smelly slobs who defaced the capitol building during their two weeks of protesting and sleepovers. Wisconsin officials say the cleanup after the protests will cost the state tens of thousands of dollars.
Do we know that "Wisconsin tea party members" set up that Facebook group? There's no official Tea Party organization here, with leaders who adopt policies and stage events. Any individual — for whatever reason — can take it upon himself to announce an event like this and promote it via websites like Gateway Pundit and Breitbart and Instapundit.

And here's "Fox and Friends" referring to the person who put up the Facebook group. They don't name him. He's "the guest that we had on earlier" who is "affiliated with the Tea Party." The female Fox Friend frantically explains that, according to this guy, it doesn't have to cost what was estimated at $7.5 million to clean the Capitol because "we're going to bring a bucket and pail" and clean the building.

This is idiocy! The reason the estimate is so high is that this is extremely valuable old marble that needs to be cleaned according to the protocols of historical restoration. Don't come in here with buckets of water and scrub brushes or whatever you think will make you look good on camera. Don't you realize you could cause more damage? You can't have every well-meaning do-gooder slopping around in there with water! Even aside from the damage to the 100-year-old building, somebody could slip and fall on the water you get on the floor or the junk you put down where someone might walk. (Go to 2:00 in this video of mine to see how the protesters caused a big Democratic legislator to fall by leaving stuff on the ground. (Ironically, it was a pile of peace signs.))

Meaning well isn't enough. Remember the old Reagan quote: "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

I'm from the Tea Party and I'm here to help isn't exactly terrifying. But it doesn't make me feel great. The general rule is: Don't help unless you know what you are doing! The default position should be: Do nothing. First, do no harm. This is an essential conservative principle. It's especially obnoxious to help for the purpose of looking good — and making other people look bad.

I assume "take out the trash" is intended as a double entendre, and the person who named this group intended to call the protesters "trash." They are not trash. They are people you disagree with, who have chosen a means of expression that you disagree with.

Now, it's a great idea for Tea Party folk to come down to the Capitol to express themselves and to pick up any litter that they find around the place, inside and out. That doesn't take any special expertise. But if you believe the place is strewn with litter, you are just plain wrong. Meade and/or I have been down there every day for the 2+ weeks, and we're not seeing trash. I have been blogging about this for many days, after a picture of mine showing litter on one of the first days went viral on the internet. The protesters got the message and were extremely diligent picking up trash after that point. Not knowing that makes you look ignorant.

Preening about being better than they are, when you are that ignorant, is really embarrassing.

UPDATE: Meade was at the Capitol from about 1 to 3:30, and he says he didn't notice any Tea Party activity. Maybe they did good deeds in such an un-show-offy fashion that he couldn't see them. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing...

AND: Instapundit says: "It’s funny that cleaning is now transgressive."

140 comments:

Jim Howard said...

In the Fox News interview linked to on Instapundit the fellow says that they understand that it will take experts to repair the damage caused by the protesters to the interior, so they are going to concentrate on cleaning the capital grounds.

Why would this be a bad thing?

I'm Full of Soup said...

Why no? If you can tape posters on the walls, sleep there overnight and bang a bongo drum nonstop, why can't you mop the floors and scrub the toilets? Seems to me there are no rules.

kent said...

they are going to concentrate on cleaning the capital grounds.

Oh dear God. No. The horror.

Lincolntf said...

Sticking crap all over the walls? That's freedom of expression. Cleaning up the crap stuck on the walls? Well that's just crazy!
Cheeseheads indeed.

AllenS said...

Maybe they aren't going to fuck with the extremely valuable old marble, but scrub the dirty hippies clean.

Chris B said...

If the intention is to simply clean up the capital then that's all well and good. I'm guessing, (as the blog post noted) due to the name of the group and all that, that it's simply to make the protesters look bad. In that case, although I certainly understand the temptation, that's one of those things that's risky and may have some harmful and unintended consequences.

ricpic said...

Between union thugs and slobs and the Tea Party Althouse comes down...in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are right that "take out the trash" is a double endtendre. The protesters are the litter.

What do you do with trash? You dispose of it! Throw it out 'cuz it's worthless!

In other words: These folks are saying that the human lives of the protesters are worth nothing. They can be disposed of.

It's a call to violence, nothing less.

Issob Morocco said...

Preening seems to be in full force in Mad Town of late. More of it is left than right. So I would not act surprised that now others are getting in on the act from the Conservative side of the ledger as you have.

Not sure if the Fever is driving your comments or your fervor.

Consider this group to be yet another good intentions brick on the hot, long road to hell.

I hope someday the good people of Wisco can get back their capitol from whomever outsider deems it their protest central.

Fred said...

Ann, the know all this. They aren't going to touch the marble.

You are misinformed.

Anonymous said...

"The reason the estimate is so high is that this is extremely valuable old marble that needs to be cleaned according to the protocols of historical restoration."

What a bunch of cockamamie bullshit.

If this rock is so valuable that it must be treated in the same way as a historical restoration, then why were union thugs allowed to trash it in the first place?

Why is the teacher's union not being sued for the money required for the restoration?

No, the reason it will cost $7.5 million to clean up after the Democrat Party is that government officials making way too much goddamned of our money will be manning mops.

This is the dumbest post I've read in a long, long time.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why no? If you can tape posters on the walls, sleep there overnight and bang a bongo drum nonstop, why can't you mop the floors and scrub the toilets? Seems to me there are no rules."

The floors are old and worn marble, the most vulnerable part of the building, I would imagine. They are so worn down that they have a slight bas relief to them as different colors of marble have worn down at different rates. Don't come in here with your damned mops.

TMink said...

Wonderful theater. The creativity is on the right now, the left is stuck in anachronistic repetition.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

"If this rock is so valuable that it must be treated in the same way as a historical restoration, then why were union thugs allowed to trash it in the first place?"

It should NOT have been allowed. But compounding the damage is no solution.

And I want it to be done professionally and paid for so that the bill can be sent to the unions and whoever else was part of the conspiracy to tape papers to the wall.

Unknown said...

The phrase, "affiliated with the Tea Party", is meaningless since many of the Tea Party organizations are very loose associations of smaller, independent groups. It almost makes you think false flag of some sort.

I think the individual wants to make a point about the difference between Tea Partiers and the union slugs, many of whom are Lefties who've spent their lives with their hands out. In other words, this guy has an ax to grind other than cleaning up the Capitol, but expressing it this way may not be the best way to put forth his cause.

I think Ann jumped the gun on him, however, if Jim Howard is correct. Certainly, this blog has made the point about why it might cost into the seven figures to fix up the building and Jim's point about the Fox video would indicate that there would be limits to what the group intended to do.

AllenS said...

Maybe they aren't going to fuck with the extremely valuable old marble, but scrub the dirty hippies clean.

Hah!! You made my day.

PS Julie needs to take a long, hard look at who's been advocating, as well as implementing, violence through all this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Don't come in here with buckets of water and scrub brushes or whatever you think will make you look good on camera. Don't you realize you could cause more damage? You can't have every well-meaning do-gooder slopping around in there with water!

NO KIDDING. They should leave the cleaning of the marble to the experts. They could make the problem much worse.


However, removing all the signs, which ARE grafitti and trash is a good thing. Also remove the piles of personal belongings and food. None of these things belong inside a public and historic building.

The outside of the building and the grounds should be left alone. Even though unsighly the protestors have the right to display as long as it isn't trash or interfere with the public.

Just IMO

BJM said...

Sounds like a bunch of folks who want to participate...assuming their intent is peaceful and TEA party events usually are...so why not?

btw- The point of the TEA party is that it is NOT organized or centralized. I belong to a TEA party group and no one has ever tried to organize or handle us...we connect via email with other groups...but it's our organization and choice of venue, method etc... we also bear the costs 100%.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, the know all this. They aren't going to touch the marble. You are misinformed."

I'm looking at the press that went out, and quoting "Fox and Friends." If they got it wrong, then this is a criticism of them for their stupid promotion of a dumb Facebook group.

If they are going to pick up litter -- it's not there, and they are virally spreading lies about how messy and disrespectful the protesters are.

They are not here looking at it, as Meade and I are. I was critical of the things I saw when they were bad and I reported when things improved.

It doesn't help the Tea Party cause to look contemptuous and ignorant and holier-than-thou.

Mogget said...

Don't come in here with your damned mops.


Some wear and tear is more equal than others...

If the TEA Party wants to add their contribution to the creation of wear patterns in the marble, so be it.

Bob_R said...

I thought the reason the estimate was so high is that they were planning to use union labor.

orbicularioculi said...

Bullshit! If these MORON teachers with their unions caused 7.5 million dollars of damage to the marble - sue the bastards.

As far as any so-called Tea Party clean-up that is also just so much bullshit showboating.

Get those Senators in irons, and vote to passy the bill. Screw all this other nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"Not knowing that makes you look..."

...like you don't read Ann Althouse religiously.

FTFY.

Ann Althouse said...

"However, removing all the signs, which ARE grafitti and trash is a good thing. Also remove the piles of personal belongings and food. None of these things belong inside a public and historic building."

1. Don't just yank tape off. There might be a better way to remove it that you don't understand.

2. Don't take people's personally belongings! You could be accused of theft. The protesters have been allowed to leave there things around. I think that was a mistake, but that means it's not abandoned stuff. It's somebody else's property. Respect it.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Marble is very soft and porous and
should be cleaned with care. Harsh chemicals could etch it. I would hope the capital keeps it sealed. Anyway - the tea party folks have the right idea, but they better be very careful.

Anonymous said...

I thought Ms. Althouse has been pretty good over the last few months. She has been level-headed; she has used common sense; she has generally stuck with conservative or liberterian principles.

This post was nonsense.

It takes experts to clean marble like it takes experts to clean cars. The notion that only experts can clean marble is the kind of thinking that got Wisconsin into the economic trouble it faces today. If one group of people can stick tape and other things on the marble, another group can clean it off. Especially if the cleaning crew costs the taxpayers nothing.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

Anonymous said...

it's also a West Wing Episode

BJM said...

@edutcher

About a third of our TEA party group are old school Liberals who are not happy with the Dem party's spending...just as are those who are conservatives...most of us are Indies who left their parties over the last twenty years for varying reasons.

There is no TEA partier template...which IMO is feature, not a bug.

Fred said...

Brown gave gov.workers in Cal. the right to uninize and strike and "collective bargain".

Even Brown admits it turned out to be a disaster -- although he will not fix the mess he made.

"Baked" = California's cake is already baked - and Brown baked it in the 1970s.

You can't unbake a cake.

Barbara said...

Your posts have been reasonable and balanced throughout, Ann, but this one is a huge disappointment. For two weeks thousands of unionists have entered your beautiful and historic building and have done whatever they pleased. Now we are supposed to be incensed because a small group is talking about a clean up? That's utter nonsense.

Aridog said...

I have to give credit to Wisconsin for providing the best entertainment recently, even besting Charlie Sheen!

I credit Althouse for the best coverage of the fandango, people actually on scene and part of the town ... whoa! What will New York pundits do to be better? Nothing, they'll just continue to sound silly. Bravo Althouse, and the "crew."

Finally, high fives to the public employee protesters for proving beyond a shadow of doubt that public employee unions are in the extortion business. Extortion of their employers, the citizens/taxpayers of Wisconsin in this case, is near comical. Amazing how the liberals grow frustrated with electoral democracy and when they can't overwhelm the majority elected by the citizens, they throw a hissy fit and "Protest!" Waaaagh. Sob. Sniffle.

I am a retired "Fed" and I can tell you I have zero sympathy for this sniveling protest group. Guess you can tell, eh.

bgates said...

It doesn't help the Tea Party cause to look contemptuous and ignorant and holier-than-thou.

Doesn't do much good for law professors, either.

Anonymous said...

WOA!

Somebody quick-make Ann a drink and put on some Kenny G.

God knows this is how gray hair starts....

I think I'll do the same before I "attack" her "rage"

(No one is going to touch the precious marble...except the degenerates, who already have).

Peano said...

Barbara said...For two weeks thousands of unionists have entered your beautiful and historic building and have done whatever they pleased. Now we are supposed to be incensed because a small group is talking about a clean up? That's utter nonsense.

+1

jeff said...

Don't come in here with buckets of water and scrub brushes or whatever you think will make you look good on camera."

"I assume "take out the trash" is intended as a double entendre, and the person who named this group intended to call the protesters "trash.""

And I thought only Garage could read minds. Maybe its a Wisconsin thing.

richard mcenroe said...

Okay, Ann, I'll only use the "fine" setting on the belt sander, will that help?

As for them being the 'enemy', anyone who cannot be trusted to use indoor plumbing or pick up food scraps yet feels entitled to tell us how we should be governed qualifies in my book. Bad enough that Noodle Boy gets to vote.

Julius, what can I say, you're on to us. Better flee to Canada. That grandmother on the bus might have a grenade.

Jeff said...

Why spend $7.5M? Make the 14 D senators clean it up. Had they done their jobs and stayed in town, the protests would've lasted hours, not weeks.

kent said...

Marble: strong and durable enough to withstand two solid weeks of aggressive, non-stop stamping and stomping by drum-addicted dimwits, banging and braying incessantly like so many hyper-caffeinated Bonobos... but (simultaneously) softer than Camembert cheese, in the presence of ordinary soap and water.

I mean: who knew...?

Unknown said...

Chill Ann.
In one of your links an (the?) organizer said they won't be cleaning the floors, so you apparently missed that.

As far as taking out the trash...that's what they are doing. Taking out the literal, actual trash.

Seriously, Ann, terrible post. It belongs on Andrew Sullivan's site. You should trade it to him for one of his saner posts.

Anonymous said...

"What the hell is "It's Time to Take Out the Trash Day"?"

It's the epilogue of the political play that just unfolded before us.

After this the play goes on the road and stops at every major population center in the country.

Until the problem of "no more money" is resolved one way or the other.

paul a'barge said...

Water is not a problem.

Anything acidic on marble is a big problem.

Instead of shrieking in horror, why not get involved, find out what cleaning chemicals are appropriate, grab your microphone and educate these folks ... and join them in the clean up.

It's so much easier to shriek.

ambisinistral said...

In the piece I saw yesterday they were just talking about bringing garbage bags to pick up trash off the lawn. The person being interviewed said he doubted they would even get inside.

However, if they did and peeled the tape off to tear the posters down and it turns out there is damage where is the PR harm in that? That damage is there and is going to need to be fixed. Maybe showing it will get those knotheads to stop pasting posters hither and yon.

Really, i can't imagine Americans are going to be shocked by the audacity of Wisconsinites picking up trash. My guess is the Union folk will join in the effort when they see all the cameras recording the scene.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Mark said...

Seriously, Ann, terrible post. It belongs on Andrew Sullivan's site. You should trade it to him for one of his saner posts.

Whwy would she want a post from 2002?

Unknown said...

It looks like Walker is finished in Wisconsin.

Rasmussen has him down to 43% approval, a loss of about 10% i 2 weeks.

Not a good first impression for a new governor to make.

Patrick said...

"You can't have every well-meaning do-gooder slopping around...

That applies to so much in life.

David53 said...

OK, let's have some civility here. Tea Party guys back off on the cleaning. Madison school teachers organize a field trip for all your little kiddos to come and remove any and all unclaimed litter. Then watch the professional tape removers restore the buildings to their formerly pristine condition. Return to your classrooms and write essays about freedom of speech, and the interaction between public unions and the state of Wisconsin.

Unknown said...

BJM said...

@edutcher

About a third of our TEA party group are old school Liberals who are not happy with the Dem party's spending...just as are those who are conservatives...most of us are Indies who left their parties over the last twenty years for varying reasons.

There is no TEA partier template...which IMO is feature, not a bug


Aware of that, sir. If I didn't make the point in my comment strongly enough, that I meant this particular organizer's views, I should have.

I also know that there are a lot of people in the mold of Hubert Humphrey Humphrey, Scoop Jackson, and/or Robert Casey, Sr. who have participated in Tea Parties largely out of a sense of frustration at being gradually silenced and blocked out of the Democrat Party.

kathleen said...

"It doesn't help the Tea Party cause to look contemptuous and ignorant and holier-than-thou."

It doesn't really help your cause either...whatever that cause might be.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

1. Don't just yank tape off. There might be a better way to remove it that you don't understand.

Maybe so. However, the damage, if any, has already been done. So... leave the tape and cut down the signs.

Don't take people's personally belongings! You could be accused of theft. The protesters have been allowed to leave there things around. I think that was a mistake, but that means it's not abandoned stuff. It's somebody else's property. Respect it.

I didn't say take the belongs. Remove them. Put them in piles off the premises and let the people sort the stuff down and retrieve their personal belongings. Lost and found somewhere else. Just like items in an airport. Move the stuff.

Isn't the Capitol building some one else's property? Where is the respect?

Trashhauler said...

Aren't these Tea Pary folks planning to do something that public union workers usually perform? The latter were presumably gearing up for some overtime.

Speaking of which, what was the capitol cleaning staff doing during all the protests?

Trashhauler said...

Aren't these Tea Party folks planning to do something that public union workers usually perform? Presumably the latter have been gearing up for some overtime.

Speaking of which, what has the capitol cleaning staff been doing during the protests?

Automatic_Wing said...

"OK, wingnut, put down the mop and slowly back away..."

garage mahal said...


This is idiocy! The reason the estimate is so high is that this is extremely valuable old marble that needs to be cleaned according to the protocols of historical restoration.


Both a judge and a historical preservationist said there wasn't any damage at all. A loval painters union has offered to clean the Capitol for free, as have others. So we went from 7.5 million to.......$0. If you follow Gateway Pundit that would be well within the range of accuracy however.

Porkov said...

O/K - so you send the bill to the people who caused the damage, who in this case are members of public service unions. Do you really think that there's going to be any personal sacrifice made by anyone in any of the unions who participated in the desecration of this wonderful old historical building - members or leadership? Here's a thought - why not let them work it off on their own time vs. pay it off on the taxpayers' dime?

David53 said...

It looks like Walker is finished in Wisconsin.

Funny.

Unless he's impeached or recalled he's going to be there until 2015. Good luck with that. With Michael Moore and Jessie Jackson on stage now this is very entertaining.

G Joubert said...

I say Althouse is just trying to show she's even-handed. But beware the fallacy of the golden mean.

Christopher said...

Malachy,

So what you're saying is that his approval rating is roughly equal to Obama's?

Issob Morocco said...

Malachy preened,

"It looks like Walker is finished in Wisconsin.

Rasmussen has him down to 43% approval, a loss of about 10% i 2 weeks.

Not a good first impression for a new governor to make."

Can we come back in 3 years and test your hypothesis? Will you still be eager to defend such an inane assessment if proven wrong then?

Walker, whether you agree or not with his actions, is showing leadership. Time will tell whether his path is correct or not, but sane and rational people can agree you cannot keep unfunded liabilities unfunded.

Unknown said...

Garage,

A "loval painters union" and "historical preservationists" aren't the same.

The relative cost estimates reflect market values.

James said...

This is idiocy! The reason the estimate is so high is that this is extremely valuable old marble that needs to be cleaned according to the protocols of historical restoration.

Uhhh...no. The revised estimate for repairs to the Capitol is $350,000.

This post is so over the top that its laughable.

Tom Spaulding said...

Walker is finished in Wisconsin? Ha! Just like Engel was finished in Michigan with 20% approval ratings, right?

Here's Scott "William Wallace" Walker's Tweet from last night:

"A good reminder why long-term leadership matters more than temporary poll watching:

http://ow.ly/48HR9 "

Mary Beth said...

It is no more difficult to remove tape than it is to answer a phone. Maybe someone could make a poster with directions.

ambisinistral said...

I wonder what the approval rating of the 14 Democrats is?

dperry said...

"It looks like Walker is finished in Wisconsin.

Rasmussen has him down to 43% approval, a loss of about 10% i 2 weeks."

Of course, if he wasn't doing what he is doing, he'd have probably lost support from the other side of the divide, so that's six to one.

We'll ignore, of course, the fact that doing only what is popular is what is going to drive this country bankrupt in the next twenty years if we don't cut it out.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone could simply open the janitor's closet and let the Tea Party people use the stuff that is normally used to clean the walls?

Will Cate said...

(with apologies to Lady Macbeth)

"Out, out, damned mop!"

Seriously, I doubt Capitol security are gonna let just anyone hose down the marble.

Mr. Tea-Party-whoever on FoxNews was probably just mouthing off cluelessly.

Chennaul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TWM said...

"And I want it to be done professionally and paid for so that the bill can be sent to the unions and whoever else was part of the conspiracy to tape papers to the wall."

I'm not a professional cleaner by any means but I'm betting some mild soap and water are not going to do one iota of damage to those marble floors. In fact, I imagine the custodial staff use something just like that to clean them regularly. And even if there IS some extra-special marble cleaner that needs to be used, I'm certain that the Tea Party could buy it and use it much more cheaply than whoever they are hiring to clean it.

MayBee said...

uh oh

On the other thread, Dylan says of the protesters:

I must have missed all the hatred when we were cleaning the floors at night with rags,

Issob Morocco said...

Will Cate posited,

"Seriously, I doubt Capitol security are gonna let just anyone hose down the marble."

Great point, especially if they are Tea Party members or any other non-union backing group.

Chennaul said...

Who are the biggest recipients of campaign funds?

The media and pollsters. Perhaps they might be motivated in a certain way.

Think of all the campaign funds that go to pollsters and the media for commercials. The media has a horse in this race and so do pollsters. And it's worth close to a billion dollars.

How much money does Obama have in his campaign chest-could be near record levels and almost all of it will go to our lovely media.

Given all that Walker right now is at 43% with a MOE of 4% so in actuality he could be at 47% that really isn't a hard hill to climb-after time cools things down.

Marcus said...

I'll be up with a crew from Texas to do it for two million. They'll be non-union. I'll even bring an expert to make sure it's done to "museum" standards.

You clean the marble with plain freaking water. Anything stuck to it, scrape off with a soft wooden scraper.

Any remaining stains can be left as a visible reminder to subsequent generations of the year Wisconsin voters went sane and the unions went insane.

The building can wear them proudly, like a veteran's scars.

It'll give the (non-union) teachers fifty years from now something to show the kids on field trips to the capital.

Ann, I've read you for years, but this the first time I've ever felt compelled to post.

This might be the wackiest take you've ever had. I say "might" because I've not read them all.

PacoThe Ridiculous said...

The Tea Party guy was smart. He was adamant about not touching the marble. They'll leave that to the "experts" who really know how to use soap and water.

Sorry, Ann...silly post

Moonfeather.rift said...

"In the Fox News interview linked to on Instapundit the fellow says that they understand that it will take experts to repair the damage caused by the protesters to the interior, so they are going to concentrate on cleaning the capital grounds."

This is one of the first things the guy said. I normally expect Althouse to do her homework. Wasn't she chiding Rush about that kotex comment earlier?

David53 said...

Both a judge and a historical preservationist said there wasn't any damage at all.

How did the judge arrive at his conclusion? Was there any testimony given or did he just eyeball it? A link would be appreciated.

Unknown said...

As I said in a thread a couple of days ago, there was some commentary on Hot Air (IIRC) that Walker had a similar polling issue when he was in Milwaukee.

It's also important to note that pollsters and pundits alike agree that the way the questions surrounding this issue are phrased generate responses almost diametrically opposite.

If the question is about denying collective bargaining "rights", someone like Walker takes a beating; if it's about curtailing the abuse of state funds through overly lavish public union pensions and benefits, people like Walker do much better.

And, as Tom Spaulding notes, what we're seeing is real leadership, not the let-me-know-what-the-polls-say-before-I-make-a-decision business we usually get from politicians.

Sanddog said...

The protesters aren't just "people who disagree with me". They are people who believe they have a RIGHT to take money I've earned for their own use. That makes them lower than trash.

Conserve Liberty said...

To all the posters who don't understand the need to use experts to clean the marble:

1). Like it or not, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. I am a volunteer trustee of such a place in downtown St. Louis. There are actually rules about the care of such places (not that those rules weren't ignored when the signs were posted).
2). If you think the rules should be ignored this time, I don't want to hear a peep when whatever site you care about is desecrated.

Spend the money to do it correctly and follow the rule of law to assess which group(s) should pay for the repairs (i.e. where it can be proven in a court of law, any organization that sent out a call for volunteer protesters, made signs in bulk, bought tape, chartered buses, paid for lodging or any other form of protest management, starting with teaschers' unions).

PatHMV said...

Interesting all the same people who were praising Althouse for the past several weeks, while she was reporting facts that, on the whole, made the union protesters look bad, but now that she has a post critical of a "tea party" activity, are now ready to jump all over her, accusing her (directly or indirectly) of shilling for the other side all of a sudden. In other words: "for the past 2 weeks, when you've agreed with my predisposition, you've been right on, but now that you don't agree with my predisposition, you're just flat out wrong!"

The professor has repeatedly told us that the protesters, after the first few days, have been very careful about picking up trash and so forth. She's called the protesters repeatedly on defacing the war memorial and other locations with their signs and tape. Now a group, who may or may not know what they're doing, is announcing plans to come in and tear down those signs and tapes, which is all well and good, until you actually examine whether those people have any training or knowledge about removing things from valuable, delicate historical materials.

Any of them bringing metal scrapers? Wire brushes? Will they just rip off the signs and tape, or will some of them be compulsive cleaners who decide they know how to get tape residue off of marble, and proceed to use some chemicals or abrasive materials to scrape the residue off? What if they trip and knock something over?

Those who are saying "if you can tape posters on the wall, ... why can't you mop the floors and scrub the toilets?" are missing one fundamental principle: TWO WRONGS DON'T MAKE A RIGHT.

Got it? Two wrongs don't make a right. That the protesters were wrong to tape crap everywhere doesn't mean make it right for somebody else, even with good motives, to go in and risk causing additional damage.

It was correct to criticize the Wisconsin officials for allowing the relative chaos to take place, and to allow the taping of the signs and such. But that doesn't make it right to do the same sort of things, without permission or coordination of the officials in charge of the building.

Now, if they are there only to pick up litter, they need to make that clear, and more importantly they need to make that clear to all the volunteers who are coming to do that work, so they know what's expected of them. But, as Althouse has reported for some time, they're likely to find very little litter.

The one critique, professor, that I would make of your post is that you should use the "tea party" plans as an example of exactly what you warned about early on, that by setting the precedent of allowing all this kind of demonstration may constitutionally require Wisconsin officials to allow any other group to do the exact same things that the union protesters did. It is, as can be seen from these comments, very difficult for the same officials which allowed all this damage to occur in the first place, in the name of allowing folks to protest, to now tell a different group, with different political ends to "stop! The capitol marble is sacrosanct! Nobody must touch it without permission, skill, and training!"

Stop shouting... said...

Why weren't the Capitol police ticketing people who were doing the damage, if this building is so venerable and must be "restored" ?

When we applied for a permit for an activity on the National Mall, we had to make provisions for clean-up and if the event had been a bit larger, required to post a bond with the NPS. "The Mall" is also public space, but there are RULES to use it, including applying for a permit (with a non-refundable fee), and being responsible for the clean-up.

This wasn't just a "group of people" who randomly showed up to protest; this was a well-orchestrated campaign by well funded union thugs.

Disgusting.

RichardS said...

If it's that expensive to clean, perhaps it's not worth it. Part of what the tea party is protesting is the rise of technochracy, which takes common jobs away from the common citizen, and gives the jobs to experts. That is both bad for self-government, and expensive.
This kind of civil disobedience might be a good idea.
We have way too any landmarks and such.
Why is it so important to preserve buildings in their pristine, original condition into eternity.
The constituiton, as the law the people ratified, ought to be preserved until amended. Mere things, however, are less important.
If we must choose between saving a little more more money to care for the poor, the sick, and the aged, and spending millions to clean marble properly, the choice is fairly clear.

MayBee said...

Why weren't the Capitol police ticketing people who were doing the damage, if this building is so venerable and must be "restored" ?
Because, as Dylan the protester said on the other thread, the Capitol police are "good people".

retire05 said...

Let me see if I have this straight: Ann has not been upset about the thousands of shoes shuffling over that vintage marble for weeks, or the food and liquids that have probably been spilled on top of that marble, not one word about the unions push to intimidate Wisconsin businesses by demanding they put the blue [Socialist Party of America] Wisconsin AFL-CIO logo in their windows so that union members know where to shop, the threats made against a t-shirt printing company by a Two Rivers teacher but....

she is upset that Wisconsin TEA Party members are calling for a clean up day at the historic Wisconsin State Capitol. Nor does Ann mention that the clean up involves ONLY the Capitol grounds, not inside the Capitol.

Ann, your entry borders dishonesty and shows that you are taking the side of the protesters, something I pointed out yesterday, only to be called names by some of your readers.

Now, marble, including vintage marble can be cleaned with simple warm water and a non-acid cleaner. And one of your readers posted yesterday that the tape that was originally used (that tan masking tape) was removed and replaced with the 3M blue painters tape.

I have to ask, Ann, did you make sure the protesters who did that had a marble restoration expert on hand to tell them how to remove the original tan tape? Or do you think there was no adhesive residue left when they removed the original tape?

The restoration costs have been falsely reported as $7.5 million. The true cost is around $350,000.00 which should be billed to Michael Moron and Jesse Jackson, along with the Cowardly 14.

So while Ann slamms Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft has been doing the yoeman's work of reporting on the crap that is going on in Wisconsin, something that Ann seemingly has chosen to ignore.

Just to satisfy my interest, Ann, are you are union member and if so, which union?

Jeanne Patterson said...

"Someone needs to go around to everyone who is still there and check them for mental stability."
"..you need to know that there are some truly sad people there who need to be told that they've done enough and must leave now." "..there is at least one person there who has lost his mind from (apparently) sleep deprivation."

victoria said...

Don't let them touch anything Ann...They will screw things up just like they have for the rest of the country. Pick up litter is fine, but their regard for anything of any consequence is suspect.

Vicki

The Crack Emcee said...

It means to set the world right again. You know, Winning!

Lincolntf said...

I don't know if I asked this on this site, but did anyone ever believe that 7.5 million dollar figure? I'm not sure who had it first, so I'm not directly blaming anyone, but I assume I read the same story as everyone else. I just laughed to myself when I read it. So dumb when people put out those crazy numbers to make a point. Ruins the message. $350,000 is nothing to sneeze at, there was no need to grotesquely embellish.

retire05 said...

Just to let you know how much Ann is reacting to a group she seems to dislike:

From the TEA Party webpage linked by Jim Hoft:

"It is time to take out the trash...literally. In ture Flash Mob fashion, on Sunday at exactly 1300 hours (1:00 pm for you non military types) we will do an extensive police call (pick up the trash) AROUND THE CAPITOL SQUARE."

No mention of entering the building, cleaning vintage mable or distrubing the hippies inside.

Trooper York said...

It's Stockholm syndrome I tells ya.

The blogger lady is siding with the criminals holding the Capitol hostage.

Next thing you know she is going to make Meade wear a sweater with reindeers on it and eat a big jar of pickled herring.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Jesus, Professor, after I stuck up for you against retire05's boneheaded diatribes, and you go making a federal case out of somebody's Sunday PR stunt. Most likely they'll pick up some litter, stand still for a sound bite, and go home. After the social crimes perpetrated by the socialist mob, your complaint is very weak tea.

Revenant said...

You can do a lot of damage to polished stone if you clean it incorrectly.

I agree with Althouse; it should be left to the professionals. If people want to help, they should pool their money and hire a professional cleaning crew.

Trooper York said...

Well as I was trying to tell shiloh the other day, the evil blogger lady is really a liberal with only a few conservative attitudes. She wants the "experts" and the "government approved solution" instead of the all american people rolling up their sleeves and using their ALl-American elbow grease.

I bet she would have told the Minutemen not to clean up the horseshit that Paul Revere's horse left on the road to Lexington and Concord and would have waited for General Gage to have his Hessian's clean it up!

Issob Morocco said...

Pat HMV, while trying to out do me on verbosity, remember cruel neutrality fuels this site. That means we can and do say what we want, just like you can.

Welcome!

Trooper York said...

I bet she would have told Betsy Ross not to pick up her own Kotex and then she never would have come up with the colors for our flag.

It's Un-American I tells ya.

garage mahal said...

The Koch AFP "I Stand With Scott" bus tour by all accounts are running almost empty. The Tea Party could have gotten free rides to Madison.

PatHMV said...

issob, I don't comment often, but I've been commenting around these parts for a very long time now; I know what fuels this site.

And I never said that the people criticizing our hostess should shut up or had no right to say what they've said. I merely noted the interesting (if quite common) phenomenon by which people think that posts that agree with their predilections are brilliant and proof of utter neutrality on the part of the poster, while posts that disagree with their predilections are examples of rank hypocrisy, pandering, or some similar sort of bad thing.

James said...

Interesting all the same people who were praising Althouse for the past several weeks, while she was reporting facts that, on the whole, made the union protesters look bad, but now that she has a post critical of a "tea party" activity, are now ready to jump all over her, accusing her (directly or indirectly) of shilling for the other side all of a sudden,

Except that she's criticizing actions that hadn't even taken place when she made her original comments. There's no way she can tell what the people involved in the cleanup will actually do.

Boxty said...

The estimated $7.5 million cleanup reminds me of this story from Ace of Spades:

What is the cost to repair flood damage to a State Park?

If you're the State of Hawaii, $4 million dollars and two years.

If you're a rational human being, on the other hand, it takes eight days, the labor of only forty people, and a dollar figure low enough to not be worth mentioning.

Private individuals donated their time and money to get the job done.

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/285826.php

TWM said...

There may be some standards for cleaning the marble at historical sites, but basically all you need is some clean water and a non-acidic soap.

http://www.mrscleanusa.com/en/cleaning-tips/floors/clean-marble-floors.html

Big Mike said...

I saw a clip yesterday -- I think it was on PJTV. The man who organized this effort was very firm that they were merely going to pick up outside the capitol building -- what we used to call "policing the grounds" back when I was in the army.

The people involved with setting this up and executing it are intelligent enough to understand the risks to old marble, even if the protesters didn't and don't.

Chennaul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ann, you have done an outstanding job of covering this affair since it began, providing very fair and even-handed coverage, yet consistently maintaing a conservative big picture perspective regarding the basic issues at play.

This post, however diverges from prior coverage, in that it comes across as very reactionary and not very even-handed. In addition, your writing tone in this post had become ((to borrow from your phrase) "contemptuous" "and holier than thou") (omitting "and ignorant" because it does not apply)).

Your photos illustrating the beauty of your Capitol building make clear why you and most Wisconsinites treasure it, and why you wish to see it respected and preserved.

Nevertheless, in this post, you adopt a holier-than-thou stance in opposing the well-meaning efforts of the tea party organization to attempt to clean up after the union demonstraters and restore, to the best of their abilities, things to their status quo ante. Presumptively condemning their efforts is probably not the most effective means of achieving your goal, which almost all would agree with, which is to make sure that their well-meaning efforts do not compound the damage already done. Perhaps instead, you would be better served by putting your credibility as a conservative blogger and your teaching skills into service with those tea party organizations. Thow people would certainly listen to a ( or more likely, THE ONLY) conservative law professor at the University of Wisconsin providing guidance about how they can make sure their efforts produce positive results for the Capitol building.

Chennaul said...

In 1982 Reagan's approval ratings hit 35%.

Did Reagan get re-elected?

Yes. They call it the Reagan Landslide of 1984.

Trooper York said...

Sure you pretend to care about war memorials and statues dedicated to Civil War heroes yet you spit on the efforts of real Americans to clean up their own messes like the patriots of youre.

What about John Paul Jones who said "I have not yet begun to wipe" when he was swabbing the decks of the Continental Navy!

Almost Ali said...

Meade and/or I have been down there every day for the 2+ weeks, and we're not seeing trash.

Maybe so, but you can be sure the liberals are trashing the place in spirit!

So I don't blame the Tea Party for at least attempting a mass exorcism.

SGT Ted said...

I love Ann when she is cruelly neutral.

Lincolntf said...

Dear Heloise,
Do you have any tips for removing the odor of hippie farts from large open spaces?

Regards,
Ethel in Madison

Trooper York said...

Did Oliver Hazard Perry say when viewing the debries after the Battle of Lake Erie "Don't clean up the Shit!"

No I tells ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Issob Morocco said...

Pat HMV said,

"issob, I don't comment often, but I've been commenting around these parts for a very long time now; I know what fuels this site.

And I never said that the people criticizing our hostess should shut up or had no right to say what they've said. I merely noted the interesting (if quite common) phenomenon by which people think that posts that agree with their predilections are brilliant and proof of utter neutrality on the part of the poster, while posts that disagree with their predilections are examples of rank hypocrisy, pandering, or some similar sort of bad thing."

Wow, with such a response I would hate to be your client and see my bill.

You are taking it too far. People will side with opinions that fit their belief system and have some basis of fact.

Those that don't get hammered.

Cheers!

Trooper York said...

And remember what my personal hero Ronald Reagan said when he shouted
"Mr. Gorbachev clean off this wall!!!"

Trooper York said...

Ronald Reagan would not be afraid to ask Americans to clean up after themselves.

He even made Bonzo pick up his poo when he started throwing it at Nancy. Just sayn'

Lincolntf said...

We need a simple, green way to wisk away the goof-offs' debris. It would also be fantastic if we could do less toil and not shout all the time.

James said...

We need a simple, green way to wisk away the goof-offs' debris. It would also be fantastic if we could do less toil and not shout all the time.

Awesome.

PatHMV said...

issob, I'm much more concise when I'm being paid to write for a client. When I write on my own, I get to be as verbose as I want, using all the flowery language I choose.

Ben Masel said...

Anne: Thanks for calling the plays straight,

tim maguire said...

[the cleanup cost] was estimated at $7.5 million...[the protesters] were extremely diligent picking up trash after that point. Not knowing that makes you look ignorant.

errr...uhh...hello! Professor! Hello?

Either the protesters left a mess or they didn't, I'm pretty sure you have to pick one or the other. They can't possibly spend 7.5 million every time they mop the floor so there is something special going on here.

Paco Wové said...

"There's no official Tea Party organization here, with leaders who adopt policies and stage events."

Ahh, yes. The Tea Party that is organized is not the true Tea Party.

PatHMV said...

tim maguire... Althouse is distinguishing between litter (not expensive to pick up, really) and the signs and stickers and tape stuck to the marble walls and elsewhere. It is the former (litter) to which she referred when she said the protesters started picking up after themselves very soon after the protests started. It is the latter which is responsible for the steep clean-up costs.

Nancy Reyes said...

there's a special way to clean marble? I didn't know. We have marble floors and kitchen counters here in the Philippines (because it's cheap) and they scrub them every day with soap and a pressure sprayer.

Alex said...

In other words: These folks are saying that the human lives of the protesters are worth nothing. They can be disposed of.

It's a call to violence, nothing less.


Julius - you're insane. Turn off your PC and go walk your dog or something.

Anonymous said...

AAyee...

Internet went down 3/4 of the way to easing Alhouse off the edge..(At&T)

Now that we're calmer, and oh, so much older, I'm certain her readers have returned her to norm.

Emotions aside, her line about the hippy destructionists simply expressing themselves differently than the "tea party" cleaner-upers have violated some sort of protocol is beyond the pale.

"How dare you!" clean up after me-

"We opened the door to the tea party, and they walked right thru without answering important questions!"

Joan of Argghh! said...

Having been tasked with the scrubbing and cleaning of the amazing hindquarters of a valuable museum piece--a Carrerra Marble full-scale reproduction of The David-- I found rather sensible, almost boring advice from The Marble Institute that was corroborated by a famous scuptor as well:

"Floor Surfaces: Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness.

"Other Surfaces: Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer) or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a clean rag mop on floors and a soft cloth for other surfaces for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface."

So, a soft brush, some mild soap and a forklift ride later, David's fine buttocks were spankin' clean.

I believe this qualifies me for one of those well-paid supervisory tasks outlined in the damage assessment.

Big Mike said...

UPDATE: Meade was at the Capitol from about 1 to 3:30, and he says he didn't notice any Tea Party activity. Maybe they did good deeds in such an un-show-offy fashion that he couldn't see them. Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing...

Or perhaps there wasn't much to pick up, as you yourself said, and they quietly picked up whatever little bit that was there and left.

Not everybody believes in pounding on drums and chanting.

Alex said...

TPers are little Eichmanns...

/garage mahal

Lincolntf said...

I'll admit to being a little Entenmann, but that's as far as I'll go.

Alex said...

Entemann's is filled with all kinds of horrible chemicals. Go for fresh baked if you can.

Lincolntf said...

Buzzkill.

When it comes to baking/desserts I'm no expert, but I love these things colloquially (I think) called "Italian donuts" from a bakery across town. In fact I should head over there tomorrow morning. Probably terrible for me, but not as bad as those slabs of Entenmann's danish that used to be a Sunday staple in my family.

Moonfeather.rift said...

Don't let them touch anything Ann...They will screw things up just like they have for the rest of the country. Pick up litter is fine, but their regard for anything of any consequence is suspect.


Typical liberal thinking. The leftist protesters who did $350,000 worth of damage to the capital while demanding money the gov't doesn't have get a free pass, but the tea partiers who MIGHT do some damage, MAYBE are suspect.

I mean, I really have to ask, are you consciously aware of what a hypocrite you are, or does this make sense to you? I don't mean to be nasty I really want to know.

autothreads said...

The Marble Institute says that mineral spirits and acetone are both safe to use with marble. Almost every adhesive used in tape is soluble in mineral spirits and those that aren't soluble in mineral spirits are most likely soluble in acetone.

This isn't rocket science. If people want to volunteer to clean stuff, give them proper guidance and let them clean - or will only public employees be allowed to clean?

PaulV said...

The estimate was up to $7.5million.
This is a cost plus project. Work has to be done to see the exact damage from the tape is. With acetone the work has to be done with proper venilation. (May in WI?)

Moneyrunner said...

Jim,

I understand why you may think that Ann Althouse is conservative. She is not. She voted for Barack Obama. She is on the faculty of a famous Liberal university – but I repeat myself. Her Liberal social credentials are impeccable. What sets her apart from most Liberals is that she sounds sane on most occasions. This is not one of them. You can read all about the gentle way that the pros clean delicate, ancient marble with razor blades and “foamy water.” See, water that foams and razor blades are safe when handled by experts in marble restoration – otherwise known as the cleaning crew – but destructive dynamite in the hands of a Tea Party volunteer. Trust Ann on this, she’s a law professor and she knows.

Whew, thanks to her warning catastrophe has been averted.

Known Unknown said...

And I want it to be done professionally and paid for so that the bill can be sent to the unions and whoever else was part of the conspiracy to tape papers to the wall.

Yeah, that'll happen.

You know who pays? The same people that always do. The taxpayers.

I cannot believe you are this naive to think these costs would be passed on to the union leadership.

jr565 said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
The floors are old and worn marble, the most vulnerable part of the building, I would imagine. They are so worn down that they have a slight bas relief to them as different colors of marble have worn down at different rates. Don't come in here with your damned mops.


Might that (the floors becoming disfigured) not be the cost of allowing 70,000 people to tread into the capitol buildng at one time? If you're going to argue that it's a public building and that the cops can't deny anyone access nor even make them wait on line, how are they expected to control the damage that all that traffic will do on the floor. Maybe restricting access and making people stand in line so they don't rush the doors and cause even further damage isn't such a difficult tradeoff to make.

MadisonMan said...

The floors are old and worn marble, the most vulnerable part of the building, I would imagine. They are so worn down that they have a slight bas relief to them as different colors of marble have worn down at different rates. Don't come in here with your damned mops.

How do you think the place is normally cleaned? After a big snow storm when every tracks in salt and grit and slush? Do you think that maybe they use a mop?

The problem with marble is it makes a very good echo chamber and I find the walls of althouse very much covered in marble lately.

Unknown said...

"You can't have every well-meaning do-gooder slopping around in there with water!"

Heavens no!, Marble is well known to disintegrate in the presence of water and a little elbow grease. This is why we need to spend $7 million so that some contractor can use glass plus, er, the protocol.

"somebody could slip and fall"

This is why we need to round up all the lawyers and drop them into a very deep pit. It's nothing personal, but you caught a terrible disease back when you were a 2L. I was there, but I got cured when I realized that people shouldn't sue for being a dumbass.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
Yes, and notice that these people are volunteers, are not part of the union, and are NOT from the government. Totally non-sensical.

"Do nothing. First, do no harm."
The mating call of the bureacrat, the lawyer, and the union member in need of a better belt to hold his pants up.

Mark81150 said...

I've never commented here before, though I've often stopped by to read posts that were pointed out by Instapundit.

I think the tone, insulting and mean spirited, coupled with the fact that several sources here have pointed out... The folks asking to clean aren't going to touch the marble.

Why do you persist in demanding they not do what they have said up front they wouldn't?

I've often liked the why you've skewered the left and it's enablers here, but this post is confusing. The tone is so harsh, even Istapundit enferred as much, when you usually don't put that much emotion into a post critical of the protesters.

You launch into a spirited defense of the protesters telling us they cleaned up their act and picked up all their trash and mess.

But never address why the state feels a massive cleanup is in oder. Or why there are pictures posted online of the piles of litter left behind. You called it lies that the protesters were trashy folks, put a very emotional defense of them up..

You also gave a stern lecture about respecting that we just disagree, that they are simply expressing opinions that we should respect. In that same spirit, should you have not addressed the protesters using the vile tone they did? The Koch-thisorthat signs, the nazi comparisons, the name calling explicitly used by the protesters?

I think there is something here under the radar.

Do you have close friends or family among the protesters Miss Althouse?

I could understand if that was coloring your heated defense of them, even after all they've done, all the venom spewed at our side.

Mark81150 said...

My apologies about the typos, I don't see as well as I used to, and spellcheck is something I'll need my wife to teach me about.

Plus... college?

I drove past one or two on occasion... they have books there?

what do they taste like?

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Charles Brey said...

I went to the square that day with some friends to take out the trash. Some other friends joined us. We were mocked by some, and thanked by others. This was not a political statement, but an exercise in civics. I had been to the square several times before my event and was appalled by the mess. Once the event was announced, something happened... the mess started to evaporate. All we ever wanted was for the People's house to be respected. That respect has been in short supply in recent days, even now over one month later.