Patterico's Pontifications

12/23/2012

Occupy Dresses Up Activist in Santa Suit

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:38 pm

But Santa couldn’t follow the rules everyone else has to follow, so Santa got arrested.

Vinger said a Texas State Preservation Board employee asked Peterson to stop defacing Capitol grounds, and he refused. Another suspect was arrested for criminal mischief as well, Vinger said.

Members of Occupy Austin, which “believes that the use of washable sidewalk chalk is constitutionally protected free speech,” gathered at the Travis County Courthouse on Friday night to protest the arrests, according to a statement.

Another man was arrested, who was “named by Occupy Austin as Corey Elf.”

Watch as this douchebag cries while a crowd, including at least one small child, watches.

Sheesh.

Not every idiot in a Santa suit is Santa, little guy. Best you learned now.

78 Responses to “Occupy Dresses Up Activist in Santa Suit”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (a25fb3)

  2. Should’ve pepper sprayed Santa’s whiny butt.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. Love the cowboy hats!

    Manlydad (55cb65)

  4. I was extremely disappointed that the cops didn’t tase his dumb ass.

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  5. Good thing Rudolph didn’t take a dump on a Patrol Car – he’d be venison now.

    Don’t mess with Texas!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  6. OMG!!!

    That was the best Christmas movie of ALL TIME!!!!

    Except, nobody got shot and Santa didn’t die in the end. But other than that…it was the best Christmas movie of ALL TIME.

    Bets (e7223d)

  7. Man, Santa is the whiniest lil’ bitch I’ve ever seen.

    The long-haired kid took his bust like a man.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  8. When the cops show up and tell you to stop, you stop. The First Amendment won’t keep you from getting busted.

    If you want to make a federal case about it, don’t snivel. Going to jail is the first step of your journey to your awesome precident-setting court case.

    Pious Agnostic (20c167)

  9. I don’t know. There might be a colourable first amendment case there (pun intended). It would be a stronger case in a place where it rains more often (though Austin does get quite a bit of rain, which strengthens their case). Or if they intended to clean up after themselves, the way a TEA Party group would; fat chance of that with this lot. Still, the police are charged with knowing and obeying the constitution, and on hearing a first amendment argument that isn’t completely ridiculous it behooves them to retreat and take legal advice before taking any potentially illegal action. It’s not as if this were an emergency.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  10. When the cops show up and tell you to stop, you stop. The First Amendment won’t keep you from getting busted.

    Then you’ve turned them into dictators.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  11. Then you’ve turned them into dictators.

    I respect the challenges that face LEOs, but I’m not under any illusions. When they are facing me and giving me directions, they are dictators.

    If it’s important enough for me to fight that, I’ll need to be willing to face the consequences.

    Pious Agnostic (20c167)

  12. Greetings:

    One of the things that I’ve noticed during my many days on this blessed Earth is how getting arrested improves the philosophical acuity of some people. Too late, of course, but certainly improved.

    11B40 (b7985a)

  13. “Then you’ve turned them into dictators.”

    Milhouse – Fatuous nonsense. They are still law enforcement officers performing their jobs, in this case on public property against an offender who was warned to cease his activity but refused.

    The proper venue to Santa to make his First Amendment Case is in court, not on the sidewalk.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. #9. It is better to pick and choose a verbal altercation. Mouthing off and screaming at LEO’s while being arrested is a time to assert your 5th Amendment rights.

    Hahahahahaha@ the whiny lil shit……

    Kevin P. (a6d18e)

  15. Milhouse,

    Government is allowed to limit speech in public places like the Texas Capitol, although it must use narrowly tailored time, place and manner restrictions. In a similar case, the DC federal appeals court held that the First Amendment doesn’t give protesters the right to deface public property by chalking a message on the sidewalk. That case involved an abortion protester who chalked a message on the White House sidewalk.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  16. In addition, Milhouse, there are many protests at the Texas Capitol and it has its own police department, so I’m sure these officers are well-versed in the rules regarding free speech.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. They are still law enforcement officers performing their jobs

    Their job is to uphold the law, which includes the first amendment, which they have a duty to be familiar with. That’s why they don’t get qualified immunity when they break a well-established constitutional principle. And unless they have a policy of always arresting pavement artists, kids drawing hopscotch courses, people advertising their stoop sales, concerts, etc., then it’s well-established that they can’t arrest someone because they don’t like what he’s writing. As the guy says, everyone writes in chalk on the sidewalk. It’s socially accepted behaviour.

    Unless the point is that these things are never allowed on Capitol grounds; but then the question becomes whether that’s a reasonable policy, and once the issue was raised they had a duty to seek legal advice, and there was no emergency that made them act before doing so.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  18. Here are corrected links to a discussion of time,, place and manner restrictions and the Texas Capitol police department.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. It’s vandalism, pure and simple,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  20. It’s vandalism, pure and simple,

    Chalking on the sidewalk is vandalism?! In what country? Everywhere I’ve ever lived it’s perfectly normal.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  21. “Their job is to uphold the law, which includes the first amendment, which they have a duty to be familiar with.”

    Milhouse – Why would you presume that they don’t know the law? See DRJ’s comments. Most people are aware of such laws except you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. Yes, DRJ, I’m certainly familiar with the permissibility of restrictions on the time, place, and manner of expression, but these must be not only content-neutral, but also reasonable. If the ban applies only to the Capitol, then since chalking is accepted everywhere else, what makes it reasonable to restrict it there? And if it applies, in theory, everywhere, then the selective enforcement in this case is not content-neutral.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  23. “Chalking on the sidewalk is vandalism?! In what country? Everywhere I’ve ever lived it’s perfectly normal.”

    Milhouse – How many State Capitol sidewalks have you chalked?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. “If the ban applies only to the Capitol, then since chalking is accepted everywhere else, what makes it reasonable to restrict it there?”

    Milhouse – DRJ already explained this. Do you have a problem reading?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. Indeed one could make a case that a ban on chalking in public forums like the Capitol grounds, where the chalked message is likely to be political, but not on ordinary streets, where it’s likely to be non-political, is inherently repressive of political speech.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  26. “If the ban applies only to the Capitol, then since chalking is accepted everywhere else, what makes it reasonable to restrict it there?”

    Milhouse – Have you provided evidence that chalking is permitted everywhere else? If so, I must have missed it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. “If the ban applies only to the Capitol, then since chalking is accepted everywhere else, what makes it reasonable to restrict it there?”

    Milhouse – DRJ already explained this. Do you have a problem reading?

    Really? Please quote the explanation. I can’t see it.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  28. “Indeed one could make a case that a ban on chalking in public forums like the Capitol grounds, where the chalked message is likely to be political, but not on ordinary streets, where it’s likely to be non-political, is inherently repressive of political speech.”

    Milhouse – Indeed, rather than asking LEOs to make an informed decision about the content of such chalking speech on the Capitol grounds, the more prudent and reasonable course of action would be to ban it altogether in order to avoid misjudgements.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  29. Milhouse,

    I figure the Capitol police think this is a reasonable restriction because the Texas Capitol and Governor’s Mansion follow the same rules that the DC Appeals Court used for Congress and the White House.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  30. “Really? Please quote the explanation. I can’t see it.”

    Milhouse – Really? See her comment 17. I await your citation that sidewalk chalking is permitted everywhere in Texas except the Texas Capitol.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  31. In other words, Milhouse, the DC Appeals Court held in the Mahoney case that chalking the sidewalk violates laws that prohibit defacing public property –laws that are permissible restrictions on speech. Texas also has laws that prohibit defacing public property.

    I understand if you don’t see chalking as defacement but it seems to me your argument should be with the appeals judges, not these officers.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  32. DRJ, explanations to Milhouse are words in the wind, as he knows stuff, and is not to be challenged – surely it is written.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  33. Milhouse – Indeed, rather than asking LEOs to make an informed decision about the content of such chalking speech on the Capitol grounds, the more prudent and reasonable course of action would be to ban it altogether in order to avoid misjudgements.

    Huh? That makes no sense. The whole point of the first amendment is that the content doesn’t matter. So how does their lack of ability to judge the content make it reasonable to ban chalking there, when it is permitted pretty much everywhere else in the world?

    Milhouse – Really? See her comment 17.

    Why don’t you quote the explanation? You can’t, because it isn’t there. I asked a question; you claimed that DRJ had already explained it, and impugned my literacy or my intelligence for not having understood this alleged explanation. So I’m asking you to quote the explanation, or admit that your personal attack was uncalled-for.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  34. Milhouse – Have you provided evidence that chalking is permitted everywhere else? If so, I must have missed it.

    What evidence is required for this obvious fact that we all know from our everyday experience? You know it just as well as I do. Only a dishonest person would deny it. Unless Texas is different, which I very much doubt. Note that the existence of a regulation on the books, which is not usually enforced, is not enough to get you out of this. On the contrary, such selective enforcement is precisely what makes it not content-neutral, and thus unconstitutional.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  35. DRJ, explanations to Milhouse are words in the wind, as he knows stuff, and is not to be challenged – surely it is written.

    askeptic, why don’t you quote this nonexistent explanation then?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  36. Milhouse,

    I linked the Mahoney case earlier but see my comment #30 for why I think it’s related to this incident.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  37. Also my comment #28.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  38. In other words, Milhouse, the DC Appeals Court held in the Mahoney case that chalking the sidewalk violates laws that prohibit defacing public property –laws that are permissible restrictions on speech. Texas also has laws that prohibit defacing public property.

    I understand if you don’t see chalking as defacement but it seems to me your argument should be with the appeals judges, not these officers.

    First, the DC Circuit is irrelevant in Texas. Second, you’re arguing from authority instead of providing an actual explanation. Third, at least according to the news article linked, that decision is peculiar to the aesthetics of that stretch of sidewalk, which is a big tourist attraction, and the desire to keep it always clean. It’s not easily extensible to other locations, at least not without a good deal of thought.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  39. I linked the Mahoney case earlier but see my comment #30 for why I think it’s related to this incident.

    Linking the Mahoney clas is not an explanation. It doesn’t address my question at all.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  40. I figure the Capitol police think this is a reasonable restriction because the Texas Capitol and Governor’s Mansion follow the same rules that the DC Appeals Court used for Congress and the White House.

    How does that make it reasonable?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  41. I admit that it’s a stretch to call chalking defacement since most chalk can be washed off with a little effort — not unlike the effort required to clean up signs left after protests, but they aren’t treated as defacing public property. But signs have to be held to be seen and noticed so they only work as long as there are people (or Santas) willing to hold them. Messages chalked or sprayed on public property are like graffiti that will be noticed until they are removed, and probably take more effort to remove so the public cost is greater.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. Milhouse,

    Can you clarify your objection? My point is that Texas should be able to limit speech at its legislature and chief executive residence grounds in the same manner that federal law enforcement limits it at Congress’s and the White House. It’s an apples-to-apples comparison.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  43. I just read through the Mahoney decision, and it’s a piece of crap. It doesn’t even address the fact that DC not only allows but actively encourages chalking on public property elsewhere. But the whole case is strange because the challenge seems focused on the Defacement Statute, rather than the MPD’s and NPS’s refusal to grant permission for this chalking. The statute itself doesn’t even mention chalk. And it’s certainly reasonable for a private property owner not to allow you to chalk on his property. What’s not reasonable is for a public authority to ban chalking in a place where it’s likely to be political, while allowing it in places where it’s likely to be non-political. The District should have had to address why this specific restriction was reasonable.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  44. Can you clarify your objection? My point is that Texas should be able to limit speech at its legislature and chief executive residence grounds in the same manner that federal law enforcement limits it at Congress’s and the White House. It’s an apples-to-apples comparison.

    My objection is that they have to obey the first amendment, and it’s not good enough to say “but Johnny got away with it”. Either the DC case was different, in which case you have to show how your case is different in the same way and to the same extent, or it isn’t different and the decision in that case was wrong.

    Let’s get back to basics: chalking on public streets is commonly accepted behaviour everywhere I’ve ever lived, and everywhere I’ve ever heard of. It’s done for all sorts of purposes, and nobody is ever arrested for it. Now you want to make a regulation that it’s forbidden in a specific place. You want to say that since that restriction bans all chalking at that place, it’s a content-neutral “time, place and manner” restriction which is permitted. But you’re focusing too narrowly: First, imposing the restriction in that specific place is itself not content-neutral; it seems targeted at the kind of content that is more likely to be chalked there than elsewhere. Second, you must also show how it’s reasonable to impose such a restriction there, i.e. why chalking in that location creates a harm that chalking elsewhere does not.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  45. I admit that it’s a stretch to call chalking defacement since most chalk can be washed off with a little effort —

    And if not it will disappear with the next rain. Which is why I suggested in my first comment that such a restriction may be more reasonable the less rain a place gets.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  46. I guess the court felt it’s hard to enforce a rule against defacing public property if you decide some kinds of defacement are minimal and allowed, and others aren’t. The Mahoney Court drew the line at drawing on public property, even if the protesters used washable materials like chalk. (It’s a fine line between chalk and washable markers, and do we really want law enforcement having to check what kind of paint the protracted are using?)

    In other words, the speech restrictions draw the line at defacing public property. Thus, isn’t it better to interpret a statute that prohibits defacement of public property by actually prohibiting defacement, as opposed to picking and choosing which kinds of defacement are allowed?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  47. Protracted, not protracted, and I have to quit until I can use a device that doesn’t have auto-correct. Plus, Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  48. I guess the court felt it’s hard to enforce a rule against defacing public property if you decide some kinds of defacement are minimal and allowed, and others aren’t.

    Not responsive. Chalking is already permitted, de jure or de facto, in most places; and as the plaintiff pointed out, DC actually encourages it in places. So you have to justify not allowing it here, and the court really doesn’t do so.

    The Mahoney Court drew the line at drawing on public property, even if the protesters used washable materials like chalk.

    The Mahoney court evaded the whole issue.

    (It’s a fine line between chalk and washable markers, and do we really want law enforcement having to check what kind of paint the protracted are using?)

    Actually yes; just as, e.g., they check whether the banner you’re holding has a wooden stick or a foam one. But that’s not relevant, since painting on streets is generally not (as far as I know) allowed, whereas chalking is. (I assume “protracted” was meant to be “protesters”.)

    In other words, the speech restrictions draw the line at defacing public property. Thus, isn’t it better to interpret a statute that prohibits defacement of public property by actually prohibiting defacement, as opposed to picking and choosing which kinds of defacement are allowed?

    Again, that might work if it were proposed to impose and ruthlessly enforce a ban on all street chalking. But that’s not the case, so you have to justify a site-specific ban, showing both how it’s reasonable and how it’s content-neutral. (As I pointed out earlier, a site-specific ban on all chalking is not inherently content-neutral; you have to show how this particular one is.)

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  49. In the legal sense, it’s not whether Johnny got away with it so we should, too. It’s precedent. It may not be binding because it’s out-of-district, but it’s still precedent.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  50. Protracted, not protracted

    Wow. Auto-correct is evil. Surely you can turn it off?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  51. In the legal sense, it’s not whether Johnny got away with it so we should, too. It’s precedent. It may not be binding because it’s out-of-district, but it’s still precedent.

    No, that’s still Johnny got away with it. That’s pretty much what precedent is. But these policemen’s duty to uphold the first amendment is independent of whatever some court in some other case decided.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  52. Milhouse,

    The existence of laws that prohibit defacement of public property are the basis for allowing chalk in some places but not others. Its a recognition of the public interest in preserving public places and limiting the public cost to clean it up.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  53. Heh. Auto-correct and I don’t get along, especially today.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  54. I think that perhaps we’ve lost the point of this post: to mock crying Occupy Santas.

    Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

    Pious Agnostic (20c167)

  55. Pious,

    Apparently if you’re with Occupy Austin, Christmas is about Santa’s constitutionally-protected washable chalk free speech.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  56. I never thought it was such a bad little Amendment.

    think it just needs a little love.

    Pious Agnostic (20c167)

  57. Grrrr…

    “I think…” etc.

    Pious Agnostic (20c167)

  58. This is just annoying.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  59. The existence of laws that prohibit defacement of public property are the basis for allowing chalk in some places but not others. Its a recognition of the public interest in preserving public places and limiting the public cost to clean it up.

    And, once again, you fail to address the fact that chalking on public property is almost universally accepted. You need to justify a ban on this particular spot, by showing both that it’s reasonable and that it’s content-neutral. Neither of these are givens.

    Mind you, there could be grounds for justifying such a rule. Perhaps it applies to all historic landmarks — I’m sure you would not be allowed to chalk anything at the Alamo! This would have to contend with the fact that the Capitol is a public forum, which the Alamo is not; but it’s not an insurmountable barrier. The state could show that this place is a major tourist attraction, and having various chalk daubings scattered around it would detract from that value, even in the short time until it rained or the place was washed in the normal course of events. It would have helped, in that case, if they had told this clown that he could move his act to the sidewalk outside the Capitol. They could also have a policy of allowing chalking but requiring you to clean up afterward; and they’d have to justify why that wasn’t sufficient to protect the state’s interest in having a clean Capitol.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  60. I think I would point-blank refuse to use any device that auto-corrected me. Especially if it didn’t allow me to “stet” the “mistakes” it caught.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  61. Michael Dukakis to take the place of Lurch in the Senate?
    Strap on your tank commander’s helmet and get ready for a wild ride!

    Icy (tehGr8) (7e57e8)

  62. Santa got run over by a Ranger!

    Icy (tehGr8) (7e57e8)

  63. “What evidence is required for this obvious fact that we all know from our everyday experience? You know it just as well as I do. Only a dishonest person would deny it.”

    Milhouse – You have no support for your claim that chalking the sidewalks outside State Capitols is legal everywhere you have ever lived. It is just more of your typical unsupported bloviation. You have now backed off that and now only claim that chalking the streets is either legal or illegal but rarely enforced in places you have lived.

    The slippery slope to the dark night of tyranny when protestors can no longer safely chalk the sidewalks outside our public buildings is only beginning with this dramatic arrest in Austin according to Milhouse.

    Let’s go with your argument. Is using water based paint acceptable to deface public property since that too can be washed off with water? Is there any reason to draw the line at chalk under your moronic argument?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  64. “What evidence is required for this obvious fact that we all know from our everyday experience? You know it just as well as I do. Only a dishonest person would deny it.”

    Milhouse – I personally have not witnessed the sidewalks of state capitols being chalked everywhere I have lived. Unless you have personally witnessed such activity, it is you who are the liar in this thread, thank you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  65. “And, once again, you fail to address the fact that chalking on public property is almost universally accepted”

    Milhouse – So you keep asserting, but never proving.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  66. I’ll have to take your word for it that chalking public sidewalks is common, Milhouse. The only place I see people do that is little kids on their home sidewalks but, if it is happening on public property, I wonder what might happen if someone called the police and filed a complaint.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  67. Chalking is the newest protest tactic. Shopkeepers don’t wants occupy rats intimidating their shoppers, and they often use markers and feces to accent their protest “art.”

    So yeah, it’s vandalism.

    Patricia (be0117)

  68. In many (most?) places, sidewalks are public property so even kids’ chalk art would be defacing public property. I guess it depends on whether someone complains.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  69. “I’ll have to take your word for it that chalking public sidewalks is common, Milhouse.”

    DRJ – I have visited quite a few of our state capitols and do not recall seeing a single incident of sidewalk chalking.

    I let my kids chalk our own driveway and sidewalk while they were growing up, but nobody else’s. I would not allow them to play in the street to chalk the street, which is where Milhouse’s claim has now shifted.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. Santa’s going to get a bad reputation:

    Charge: ‘Santa’ attacked Seattle homeless couple.

    But Seattle police won’t mind if Santa (or anyone) smokes dope:

    On Wednesday, the eve of legalized marijuana in the state, the Seattle Police Department said it has ordered its 1,300 officers to take no enforcement action against violators of Initiative 502, the law passed by Washington voters in November.

    Instead, officers – who could have issued citations for public use – will just give verbal warnings.

    “(In) keeping with the spirit of I-502, the department’s going to give you a generous grace period to help you adjust to this brave, new, and maybe kinda stoned world we live in,” wrote department spokesman Jonah Spangethal-Lee on the SPD blotter.

    Someone has a sense of humor.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  71. “And, once again, you fail to address the fact that chalking on public property is almost universally accepted”

    Could it possibly be that Milhouse is referring to another universe?… perhaps a universe that he proffered was a central tenet of a certain religious faith?

    Colonel Haiku (63240d)

  72. It’s acceptable in Hopscotchistan.

    Icy (tehGr8) (7e57e8)

  73. Putting any kind of graffiti on public sidewalks in my little burg gets you a ticket if you’re an adult, picked up and transported to await a parent if a minor.
    The city is tired of all the washing, sandblasting, and painting it takes to remove/cover-up the bloviations of these “artistes”.

    Now, kids chalking a game of hop-scotch/etc is not the end of the world, and is tolerated – but neighbors do make comments to the parents involved if it isn’t cleaned up in a timely manner.
    But, considering the antics of the “Occupy” crowd, they’ve exceeded their tolerance quota by a number that approaches the National Debt.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  74. “Could it possibly be that Milhouse is referring to another universe?”

    Colonel – Since the point was the acceptability of chalking the sidewalk of a state capitol, it doesn’t mean crap what the kids do in the streets where Milhouse has lived. The tap dancing just continues.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  75. It’s acceptable in Hopscotchistan.

    Comment by Icy (tehGr8) (7e57e8)

    Very funny, from beginning to end the first hashtag.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  76. … especially the first hashtag.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  77. That doesn’t look or sound like Santa Claus to me. Probably some pinko imposter group phony just pretending to be him.

    Dirty Old Man (c53f09)

  78. “I’m Santa! I’m an American!”

    Didn’t Santa lose his US citizenship when he relocated the to North Pole? Does he even have a valid work visa? And is this childish display supposed to make me change my mind about the issues?

    CrustyB (69f730)


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