Tuesday, May 08, 2018

First Amendment Open Carry: The Basics

The Basic Paradox of First Amendment Signposting: Despite the fact that use of public property for the purposes of free speech is absolutely protected by the courts, the facts on the ground seldom bear that out. States, municipalities and Departments of Transportation have all sorts of rules and regulations regarding the posting or display of any material that First Amendment protected speech is entirely immune to, but good luck explaining that to Officer Mc Skeptical. Unless you’re holding or posting American flags or signs that say “Support the Police” you can expect to get hassled if you’re caught doing it. Even though it’s absolutely wrong and a shame it shouldn't be unexpected in a country whose most shining privilege goes so neglected it counts as Suspicious Behavior.

What is Protected Under the First Amendment? Any speech that is entirely non-commercial and is not by nature illegal, i.e: threatens, advocates lawlessness or violence, blackmails etc. For the most part rules regarding slander and/or libel are reserved for non-public figures.

Where and How Can Signs be Posted? Anywhere on public property so long as it’s done safely and securely, but in a way that’s entirely temporary and easily removable without a trace (no locks or adhesives,) and that doesn’t interfere with the function or use of the facilities as intended.

How To Make Signs: These signs are made using whitewashed cardboard - not bedsheets - and lettered using a projector, tracing and painting (As shown here.  Example uses an older overhead projector, newer digital models eliminate need for printing/transparencies.) Using cardboard dramatically improves the overall look and legibility, speed of posting and places to post. Larger boxes can be found at bike shops, furniture and appliance stores and canvases of any size and/or shape can be made using nothing more than white duct tape and a boxcutter. 

Signs Placed on Overpasses or peripheral fencing must be placed on the inside of the fencing with no possibility of blowing into traffic, using bungee cords and duct tape as shown above. This method is both faster and more secure than zipties. Larger signs should be further supported with wire coat hangers duct-taped to the top as shown. 

The ideal overpasses are those with railings next to the fencing, an unobstructed opening on top and no gap below where the sign can fall into traffic. Signs can be placed quickly and safely by simply dropping them in, like toast in a toaster.
 Small Signs can be attached securely to almost anything at all by duct-taping wire coat hangers to the top as shown.

 Anything you can see from the road is a place you can put a sign that will be read - fence, bush, tree or post - the easier it is to see and the harder it is to reach the more often it’ll be read. 
Sign on tree next to Hollywood Fwy. Seen by close to 100,000 people
 a day for nearly a month before coming down.

The challenge of determining the best spots in terms of line-of-sight, geography, available exits, etc. involves a sort of gamesmanship and real-world strategizing that rarely occurs outside the realms of war, law-enforcement or espionage, and when viewed as such is practically its own reward.

Sign placed on hillside next to elevated freeway: 
100 feet away, miles of driving to physically reach.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Donald Trump is a Traitor

Nothing in the First Amendment says you can only have protest signs at protests. 

 How to Make Signs

 Signs Posted 7,381
Arrests - 0

Monday, March 26, 2018

Who's Putting These Signs Up? @ProbablyElves

Signs and sign ideas from a mysterious force in Indiana... 

Repeal trump 
Do over 
illegitimate pres 
illegal laws
No more hate

This is not normal 

Pence is bad, really bad 
Love thy neighbor 
Jesus would be ashamed 
I call BS
Everybody Votes 
Election Weekend

Impeach Gorsuch
No more electoral college 

 Health cuts
Impeach ‘em all
Repeal trumps bs

Republican policies = very bad ideas 
Restore normalcy,
Impeach crooks
Repeal) Stop) Fire Trump's judge picks
Boycott fox
Vote dem
Empower each other 

 Treason is 
really bad

Jesus is

Jesus Is

Guilty AF
Drip, drip, drip… Treason. 

Trump is a spy

Trump is a fucking spy

They’re all fucking spies.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hey Everybody! Have You Heard the GOOD NEWS about the First Amendment?

My discovery of cardboard as a signposting medium, along with the early unravelling of the lies that led us into the Iraq war, dramatically upped my daily signposting from one or two to a dozen or more. Once my overall count reached two hundred or so, with no sign of stopping, I figured it’d probably be a good idea to discuss things with a lawyer. I called the ACLU and they hooked me up with Nathan Benjamin, First Amendment specialist, rock and roll guitarist and all-around cool guy.
He explained that even though I was breaking several minor laws, I was protected by a larger one, and that my rights under the First Amendment should supersede whatever smaller municipal or highway code transgressions I was guilty of: “should,” of course, being the key word. He said going into court is always a crapshoot, but that so long as I stayed on the right side of potential safety and vandalism charges (that the signs were secure and on the inside of the fencing, with no possibility of falling into traffic, and could be removed easily without a trace,) I should be okay. 
Safely posted sign using bungee cords and duct tape on inside of fencing.
Safety First: Duct tape and Bungees on the INSIDE of the fencing.
The blooming of American flags on overpasses after September 11th, and more recently “Support the Troops” signs had done a pretty thorough job of establishing a precedent and we both figured that even if I was charged and found guilty, the temptation to punish me with roadside trash pick-up would probably save me from anything worse. Since what I was doing was such a textbook example of what the First Amendment was designed to protect, he assured me we’d demand and be granted appeals all the way to the Supreme Court before I had to bend over to pick up a single piece of trash. Provided they stayed on the right side of safety and vandalism laws, a challenge to my signs would be a challenge to the First Amendment rights of everyone, and because of that he’d be happy to represent me essentially free of charge. Like I said, cool guy.
Since then my relationship with the First Amendment has been pretty much the same as Born Again Christians have with Jesus Christ: 
1) I have absolute faith that in its protection, despite all my evidence being hearsay.
2) Even though I don’t really understand how it works, I don’t let that stop me from preaching it to others. 
3) Even though the “protection” it’s given me so far has been entirely theoretical, the comfort I get from it is absolutely real, as is my faith that the First Amendment will absolve me of all other sins should my Day of Judgement ever come. 
4) It fulfills an inner need to believe that behind everything there’s a basic framework of justice divorced from the material and entirely dedicated to ideals. It’s obvious to me that such a court would see my life as worthy and my cause noble, thus creating supernatural justification for my behavior pretty much entirely out of thin air, and
5) The only actual evidence I have for any of this are just a few words that’ve been passed down through the generations as a sacred trust, but frankly they could mean anything:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
And just like any other religious text I can barely comprehend it, and when my lawyer explains its magical powers I nod and accept what he tells me with the same depth of understanding as a six year old accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior. Since then I’ve developed my own interpretations, but the power of the words above to protect me still seems to be primarily magical and my reliance on it is almost entirely a matter of faith. But for fifteen years and over 7,000 signs my faith in the protection of the First Amendment has given me the strength to live up to my duties as a citizen as hoped for by the men who wrote it. 
So just like the smiling, over-friendly evangelist who comes to your door to share the “Good News” in the Bible, I’m here to tell you of extraordinary powers that are available to you if you’ll only accept that they exist. I want you know that the forces behind them are righteous and just, but that they need your help because right now they’re very much under attack. I won’t bother with the part about explaining things as a fight of good versus evil or just who is who because by now all of that should be obvious.
The pamphlet I’m handing you is only the gospel as I understand it, and I urge those of you who want to help to do further research for yourselves.
The First Amendment gives us the right to say what we want, how we want, as often as we want and to as many of our fellow citizens as we can. The exceptions are commercial speech or anything that threatens or incites violence, lawlessness, or the overthrow of the government. The rules regarding signposting on public property are that it can’t be dangerous, damaging or interfere with the normal function or use of the facilities. Signs must be temporary and easily removable without a trace. Signs should be secure, but you can’t padlocks or adhesives to secure them. I’ve been using bungee cords and duct tape and so far I’ve been okay.
Unlike any other addition or encroachment on state or public property, political speech is the one thing you’re supposed to do specifically without asking permission, because if you do it’s no longer free speech but literally state-sanctioned. It’s your job as a citizen to take the initiative and assume the benefit of all doubts. If someone doesn’t like what your signs say it’s their right to take them down. But if they want to stop you from putting them up, then they have to take you to court. It doesn’t matter if they’re other citizens or the police or the President, if your signs are in keeping with the rules above, the law that says you can put them up is greater than any they can point to that says that you can’t.
The rights and privileges we were given as citizens have to be exercised and defended against the people and institutions whose interests are served by taking them away. I know it’s a hassle but that’s the deal. Just because rights are called “unassailable” doesn’t automatically make it true, and as Benjamin Franklin pointed out, everything we’ve been given is ours, but only if we can keep it.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

I Am Visited By The Ghost Of Abbie Hoffman...

I’d just finished putting this up when I heard a vaguely familiar voice say: 
“Whoa whoa Whoa Man! What Gives? 
I turned and saw him - the hair, the flag shirt, he was unmistakeable: “Abbie? Abbie Hoffman?
“Man! I knew things were getting bad, and the counterculture was selling out and all, but ‘God Bless the FBI?’ Really? It’s come to this?
“Oh man - Abbie - listen: Things… things’ve gotten really weird lately.
“I’ll say.”
“See, somehow Donald Trump got elected President - you remember him at all?”
“Real estate guy? Kind of an asshole?”
“Yeah, except it turned out he was all kinds of assholes: he was a racist asshole, a sexist asshole, an idiot asshole… sort of a compendium of assholery.”
“Like Reagan…”
“Oh no. Worse than Reagan, way worse. Trump’s such a soulless rightwing lunatic Nazi he makes Reagan look like… well, like you!”
“Wow… That is bad.”
“But on top of it all he’s a treasonous asshole - he’s selling the whole country out to a bunch of Russian oil gangsters with dirt on him.”
“Yeah? How much dirt?”
“Plenty. After a decade or two providing dirty money and teenage girls, they’ve got enough dirt on that little cash-starved Casanova to fill an open-pit coal mine. But that’s not even the worst of it…”
“I’ve got time. I’m a ghost.”
“Okay. You gotta understand, it wasn’t like the ignorant racist stuff was a surprise. The guy literally kicks off his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, and then spends a year spouting enough stupid, jingoistic and hateful racist bullshit to make the Nixon tapes sound like the Sermon on the Mount. The establishment Republicans hate him, but when he wins the primary they figure they’ve gotta play along. But when he gets rolled into the RNC, they find out he’s just a big, fat Trojan Horse straight outta Moscow - stuffed with Rubles and a tape loop of Vladimir Putin laughing his ass off...
So the Republicans just about shit themselves: ‘Holy Fuck!’ they say, ‘lookit the bastard! He’s stuffed full of Rubles! What the fuck are we gonna do…?’ Now the obvious thing would’ve been to wheel the fucker straight back out the door and say ‘Sorry America, but this fat orange bastard’s stuffed with Rubles and we can’t make him President’ But instead… and this is where it starts getting weird… instead they just help themselves to the rubles and pretend there’s nothing wrong.”
“Really?  You thought that was the weird part?”
“Well, I guess I was hoping patriotism might be the one goddam thing they weren’t lying about, but it’s pretty clear the Russians have dirt on them too. Everything’s done on computers now, so spying’s gotten a lot easier. And the Republicans have become a lot more religious, so they’re even hornier and more fetishistic than ever. Hell Trump just busted for getting spanked with a magazine by a pornstar while watching  a shark documentary on TV… 
“Let it all hang out man!”
“Anyway the Republican leadership probably figured the guy was gonna lose so they’d get away with Operation Rublesnatch and nobody’s the wiser. Instead, with the help of the Russians, the big fat traitor wins and the Trojan Horse gets wheeled into the White House, only now instead of being stuffed with Rubles he’s stuffed with idiots and racists and Nazis and the like that become his cabinet members and advisors. But the guy’s such a ham-handed clown the Russia stuff comes out within days, the RNC’s dirty as hell and the Republican voters have gotten so inbred, propagandized and bizarre they’d rather have the Russians running things than the Democrats - mostly due to this one TV news network run by this nonagenarian Australian billionaire bastard who’s banging one of Mick Jagger’s exes.”
“No, Jerry Hall. Things have gotten weird, but they haven’t gotten that weird… Anyway, long story short, the FBI ends up being the only thing left keeping us from being a large English-speaking Russian colony with diabetes.”
“So now all the freaks are putting up signs saying ‘God Bless the FBI?’”
“Nah, just me. And just this one so far. Y’know, I’ve put up over 7,000 signs that didn’t say ‘God Bless the FBI’, how come you didn’t show up for any of those?”
“Probably because you didn’t hang them thinking ‘Damn I’m glad Abbie Hoffman isn’t here to see this…’”
“Yeah. I guess that makes sense.”
“Anything good happen while I’ve been gone?”
“Weed’s legal now. And it kicks ass!”
“Lay some on me brother…”

Signs Posted - 7,368
Arrests - 0

Thursday, February 22, 2018

San Francisco

 "There is always a strong case for doing nothing,
 especially for doing nothing yourself." 
                            - Winston Churchill
 Signs placed on US 101 and Interstate 280 in San Francisco

 "At this point we find ourselves confronted by a very disquieting question:
 Do we really wish to act upon our knowledge?" - Aldous Huxley
"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."
 - Sir John Harington

"I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them." - Noam Chomsky
Signs Posted - 7,367
Arrests - 0

Friday, January 19, 2018

Why The President Getting Spanked With A Magazine Watching Sharkweek Matters

You watching football? Your guys winning? Good. ‘Cuz I know how y’all love winning… Hate to complain, but last time you “won” turned out to be a bit of a disaster — pretty much a year-long nightmare of chaos and Nazis and treason and stuff. Turns out the loudmouth racist asshole you elected didn’t make such a great president. He didn’t just set the country back - he aged us all something like five or ten goddam years. But hey, at least you got to drink up those sweet sweet liberal tears, right? Now I know it’s supposed to be some kind of “new normal” but there’s still some basic rules, y’know? We still have a social contract and if we don’t stick to it things fall apart. Like when you say something stupid and I make a snide remark and then you get back at me by electing the worst person in the whole wide world to be President.

And then you go back to watching football so you can be “winning” again while us loser snowflakes who actually give a damn about what happens between elections have to deal with the guy you made President just to annoy us. So we’re the ones listening to him lying his ass off and ranting crazy shit about fake news and deep states. Or tweets out weird and paranoid lies about being a victim or pompous blowhard asshole lies about being a hero. Oh yeah - He called Africa a “shithole” the other day. Insulted the whole continent… We’re thinking that’s some kind of record.   I know you don’t care about international relations - unless it’s a war, so you can “kick ass” and do more of that winning - but in just one year he’s managed to alienate something like half our allies, practically gut the State Department and severely damage NATO…  These things are essential to the survival of our country and it’s vitally important you take them seriously, like when my guy wore a tan suit or had dijon mustard.
For us, social progress is both a moral and creative imperative driven by our need to fulfill both our social obligations as well as our creative potential. In other words, it’s our magical snowflake powers that make us social justice warriors. Even though you may not appreciate our efforts, or even see the need for change, you depend on us to keep doing it: if people like me didn’t make things, people like you would have nothing to attack, and without any threat of change your identity as a “conservative” would be meaningless. This identity through opposition is the very soul of our contract, and through it certain cultural expectations have evolved, some being crucial to the function of our society, specifically that people like you go apeshit about sex stuff!
It doesn’t matter who it is, when a politician is caught dead to rights paying hush money to a porn star followed by another porn star saying he was trying to cop a threesome… it’s your goddam duty as Conservative Americans to lose your shit over it. We spent three goddam years listening to you assholes drone on about Clinton getting a blowjob, and if you think we’re gonna just let you ignore your moth-eaten lothario getting spanked with a Forbes by a pornstar watching shark week you’re even more batshit crazy than we thought. Which believe me is saying something.
Now I just finished telling you how far down this guy’s flushed our country into the toilet. If you’re gonna let him slide on all that and then sit on your hands for the porno stuff too, then you’re moving into brand new territory, and it ain’t covered in the terms of our contract. Having a leader who can do no wrong is just fascist shit, pure and simple. If you want to exchange our limp-wrested little Democracy for the tiny-handed grip of fascism under Donald J. Trump, go right on ahead. Under the benevolence, wisdom, quiet strength and Christlike humility of Ol Bonespurs McPussygrabber, how could you possibly fail? But you’ll do your marching under his banner because you can all go fuck yourselves if you think you’re taking our flag.