Blog Posts

In the Future, Will Farting Get You 5 to 10?

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Filed under: Creative Activism, First Amendment Issues, Hoax Etiquette, Legal Issues, Political Challenges

Update from HuffPost, September 1, 2017: Jeff Sessions' DOJ To Put Woman Who Laughed At Jeff Sessions On Trial Yet Again


A new article by Joey Skaggs published in Huffington Post, May 4, 2017:


Jurors on the case against Desiree Fairooz—a protestor who laughed out loud during a Senate hearing on Jeff Sessions' Attorney General appointment, when Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said Sessions had an "extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law," and then demanded to know why she was being physically removed and arrested—apparently felt forced to find her guilty. Some of them said it was not the laughter, although Justice Department attorneys believed that the laughter was enough to justify a criminal charge, but the disruption after the laughter that forced their hands.

protestor arrested for laughing

It's a slippery slope away from our civil rights when jurors are forced to deliberate on laws that should be challenged rather than enforced. What's next? If you fart out loud, you get 5 to 10?

And, it looks like laws about public conduct are being used in a discriminatory way. Not everyone is being held to the same standard. Remember South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, Sr. who yelled, "You lie!" at President Obama in a joint session of Congress? His outburst was considered "disrespectful" and he got off with an apology.

In fact, these days, everyone should be laughing and challenging the obvious hypocrisy and alternative facts presented to us daily by the Trump Administration and members of Congress. Laughter is a great way to help people realize how absurd the situation is when officials lie with impunity. We have short memories. We should think back to the Chicago 7 and how satire and mockery were powerful tools used to sway public opinion in 1968.

We the people should not tolerate this kind of abuse of power. So, let's, at every opportunity, scoff, mock, satirize and laugh, so that unthinking people might start thinking. The First Amendment does not give you the right to slander someone, and sometimes it’s not effective to disregard civility, but challenges must be made and people have to find ways to speak out. Let's do it in a more creative way so as not to be sucked up into the legal loop and drained of time and resources.

I've been using satire as a weapon of choice since the 60s. And I marvel with wonder at how lucky I've been to not be locked up for some of the things I've done. There have certainly been enough people rooting for my incarceration.

I suspect this protestor was unaware of the potential legal ramifications of her actions. Not that being aware would (or should) have stopped her. I think she was brave to do what she did. However, had she been aware, or perhaps more thoughtful about her plans, she might have come up with a more creative way to protest given the circumstances. It's always necessary to ask, "Do my actions have a chance of being effective or will they be alienating and dismissed?" Had she stopped at the laughter, she might have made a greater case in the court of public opinion.

We can’t let false truths become the official record. Lies should be revealed and challenged at every opportunity. It's the system allowing them to continue unfettered that must be changed.

And… Capitol security should not be run by the airline industry.


CIA Torture Whistleblower Gets Royal Prison Send-off

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

CIA whistleblower Kiriakou gets posh send-off to prison
by David Montgomery
Washington Post
February 21, 2013

kiriakou-200 John Kiriakou stood in the ninth-floor banquet hall of the Hay-Adams hotel Thursday night and took in the spectacular view of the White House and the Washington Monument. He recalled briefing two presidents during his career with the CIA. “It”™s ironic,” he said, spreading his arms as if to embrace the tableau. “This really is the reason I came to Washington 30 years ago in the first place.”

But next Thursday he will check into the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa., to begin a 30-month sentence for divulging information that prosecutors said could harm his country.

Kiriakou, 48, seemed unbowed and almost content at the prospect of prison as he basked in the well wishes of about 100 supporters, who gathered for a posh send-off at the luxury hotel. The guests wore orange jumpsuits and other mock prison garb and serenaded Kiriakou with a reworked version of the protest anthem “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?”

“I”™m proud of my career,” said Kiriakou, who lives in Arlington County. “I still love the CIA “” crazy as that may sound. .”‰.”‰. I wear my conviction as a badge of honor.” (more…)

Code Pink Threatens to Arrest Condoleezza Rice for War Crimes

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Political Pranks

Convention protesters try to arrest Condoleezza Rice
by Mike Schneider
Detroit Free Press
August 28, 2012

Tampa “” Police in Tampa stopped a dozen anti-war protesters from entering an event attended by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after the group said it intended to arrest her for war crimes.

The protesters from Code Pink carried handcuffs today and tried to enter a performing arts center. Rice was attending an event in conjunction with the Republican National Convention. They said they wanted to make a citizen”™s arrest of Rice. She was George W. Bush”™s National Security Adviser when the Iraq war started in 2003.

Officers told protesters to leave because they were on private property. They went back to the sidewalk and several lay down under sheets made to look like they were blood-splattered.

The group says it will try to arrest other members of the George W. Bush administration.