This time they are pro-Israel thugs as opposed to extremist Muslim thugs (and various other thugs), but thugs are thugs. Here’s what happened; I quote Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County (W.D. Wash, decided last Friday): The county Department of Transportation in Seattle sells advertising on buses; the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign bought space for an anti-Israel ads: “The proposed ad read ‘Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work,’ and featured a picture of children next to a bomb-damaged building.” When this hit the news, the Department got lots of objections, including “four [messages that] suggest[ed] an intention to disrupt or vandalize buses, four [that] communicate[d] violent intentions, [and] approximately twenty [that] express[ed] concern for rider safety.” The first two categories consisted of these messages:
If you want to see how tough Jews can be, then go ahead and run those despicable ads and we’ll see who has the last word on this. If you run these ads, we will work together with our Jewish friends and others to shut Metro down.
I am a law-abiding citizen that would have no qualms defacing the message if given the opportunity. I will also be glad to form a peaceful, human blockade of buses that I help pay for that are promoting racist messages.
I think I will organize a group to “riot” at your bus stops.
I will personally throw paint at any such sign, and stand and wait for prosecution –- I want a forum in court!
AN ATTY WHO SAYS THE SIGNS ARE PERMITTED UNDER THE FIRST AMENDMENT IS FORCING ME TO CONDUCT VIOLENCE JUST TO PROVE THAT I AM REALLY UPSET AT THESE HORRIBLE WORLD WAR2 KINDS OF HATRED SIGNS.
Maybe you should take note that you just “incited” ME to anger all the way from Austin, Texas! You want WAR against the Jewish people??? YOU GOT IT!
YOU ARE TRULLY (sic) DISGUSTING AND DESPICABLE……..AND JUST REMEMBER ‘KARMA’ what comes around goes around!!! Oh, and by the way, if you dumb asses at the King County Metro pull more shit!! We will be on you like stink on a monkey!!! CAUSE GUESS WHAT, WE JEWS ARE NOT THE SAME AS THE JEWS OF EUROPE DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR!! WE GET PISSED OFF, WE TAKE ACTION!!!
SO HELP ME GOD I BETTER NOT SEE ONE OF THOSE ADS ON A BUS. I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL MYSELF. IM NOT SURE. SEATTLE = NAZI’S.
Now not all these messages clearly threaten violence or vandalism, but at least some do. And while that’s not the level of thuggery involved in actually acting violently, it’s bad enough. (The court also mentioned that “a security guard found photographs of
severely injured people and buses destroyed by explosives, with ‘No to bus ads for Muslim terrorists’ written across the top, shoved under the door at the Metro Customer Service Center,” but it’s not clear to me whether this was a threat to attack Department buses, or a photo of an Israeli bus destroyed by Palestinian terrorists, used as an argument that the Israelis are sinned against rather than sinning.)
The Department then canceled the ad contract, partly based on these messages. And the federal District Court held that the action was likely constitutional, because the ad violated city policy that excluded ads that are “so objectionable under contemporary community standards as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system” or that are “directed at a person or group” and are “so insulting, degrading or offensive as to be reasonably foreseeable that [they] will incite or produce imminent lawless action in the form of retaliation, vandalism or other breach of public safety, peace and order.” This policy, the court said, was viewpoint-neutral and reasonable, when applied to this ad, because “The threats of violence and disruption from members of the public … led bus drivers and law-enforcement officials to express safety concerns.”
Now on the one hand I sympathize with the Department’s safety concerns, and its desire to protect passengers. But on the other hand, behavior that gets rewarded — here, the making of threats — gets repeated.
The message is clear: If you want to stop speech that you dislike, just send a few threatening messages and you’ll win. You don’t actually need to act violently, and risk punishment for that. You could send the threats anonymously, in a way that makes it quite unlikely that you’ll be punished. In fact, it might well be that — as in this case — the agency will not even try to get you punished. (“[N]one of the threatening communications were referred to law enforcement.”) The very fact that the speech suppressors here weren’t that awful just makes the speech suppression itself even more dangerous.
Indeed, might the thugs in this case have learned this very lesson from past incidents where threats have led to the suppression of speech? And what will future thugs learn? What speech, whether pro-Israel, anti-Israel, pro-atheism, anti-Islam, pro-Christianity, pro-animal-research, or whatever else will be immune?
Now perhaps the Department’s and the court’s reasoning might be limited to speech that is in a “limited public forum,” and might exclude speech ina traditional public forum, such as a park or sidewalk, or speech on private property where the property owner is willing to allow the speech. In such cases, the government may not suppress speech (or even impose mild extra costs on the speech) because of the threat of violent retaliation. See Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement (1992). But this still means that thuggish threats would suffice to suppress speech not just on buses, but in libraries or city buildings that are open to civic group meetings, in university buildings that are open to student groups, and so on.
Nor can the Department’s and the court’s rationale be limited to speech on buses or other transportation systems, on the theory that those places are especially vulnerable to an attack that could kill many people, and that can’t be constantly protected by the police. After all, nothing says that thugs need to threaten to attack the offending speech; the next time, for instance, there’s a controversial speech in some city building — however well-protected the building might be — the thugs could threaten to attack city buses in retaliation for the speech. Exactly the same argument for suppressing the speech, for fear of violent retaliation, could then be made.
Note also that this is not the same as the question whether government agencies should be free to refuse to run political ads that they think are wrongheaded, or likely to offend paying customers. The current precedents generally do not allow such restrictions on ads, even when the ad is on government property, but one could make plausible arguments against those precedents.
Here, though, the problem is not just that the government may refuse to run offensive ads; it’s that it is creating an incentive to threaten violence — and even to commit violence, though as I mentioned it seems like a few threats might well be enough. It’s contributing to a society where thuggery gets results, and that’s a society where there will be more and more thuggery.
For a likely less thug-friendly approach, see Sonnier v. Crain (5th Cir. 2010)/
Known for his outspoken nature, New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart is blaming “union thugs” for ensuring the victory of Democrat Theresa Gerratana in the state Senate race.
Many insiders had believed that Stewart would win because he has a long history of winning as a Republican mayor in traditionally Democratic New Britain.
The Senate seat, through the years, has traditionally been held by Democrats like Joseph Harper and Donald DeFronzo.
Tom Swan, the executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and a longtime union supporter, said that Gerratana had surprised many by defeating Stewart.
“It is shocking and appalling that an elected official, as mayor of a city built by labor and who has at least one union pension from being a firefighter, would lash out in such a bitter way to working people,” Swan said after a union rally supporting the Wisconsin workers outside the state Capitol.
UNION THUGS CRASH TEA PARTY RALLY – ASSAULT CONSERVATIVE PROTESTERS-
Far left thugs get out and get a little bloody…
DaTech Guy has more on this rally and latest assault by a leftist thug. He says the union members were signing in (so they could get paid?).
So what are the odds that our corrupt far left media will ignore this latest violent assault on a tea party protester?
A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”
“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members. …
This is not Capuano’s first brush with violent rhetoric. Last month Capuano said, “Politicians, I think are too bland today. I don’t know what they believe in. Nothing wrong with throwing a coffee cup at someone if you’re doing it for human rights.”
Firstly, oh, the irony in saying that throwing a coffee cup – at a human – is okay if it’s for human rights. Secondly, I suppose if throwing a coffee cup and “getting a little bloody” are just fine and dandy, it’s no surprise that union thugs decided that throwing phones and hitting a woman are just as proper. Oh, the new civility at work!
The woman he hit was Tabitha Hale, of Freedomworks. I know Tabitha personally and while I’m infuriated by her assault, most of all I’m so glad she is okay. Tabitha did not “ask for” this, as some on the left are saying. She did not “manufacture” this, as others are claiming. Tabitha, while a tough broad, is a tiny thing and a sweet thing who doesn’t go out looking for fights. She won’t back down from a confrontation, natch, but she doesn’t go looking for one. She’s thoughtful, insanely helpful, friendly, and kind.
That matters not to the union thugs, however, for you see, she’s the wrong “kind” of woman. A vicious tea bagger, to boot! Tea Partiers and activists are always accused of being violent by the Left; it’s again a case of methinks they doth project too much. We aren’t the violent ones; we are the recipients of violence. It’s totally cool to assault people and hit women, you see, if you think they are stupid and icky. You get a “civility” pass then. Tabitha is the wrong kind of woman to the CWA goon and her co-worker is the wrong kind of Jew, apparently.
A “Bad Jew.” For believing in freedom, liberty and free markets. For not agreeing with union thuggery. And for not hating Israel. The Left believes that they are the arbiters of what you should believe, especially if you are in a boxed up little group that they strive to keep in lockstep by creating a permanent victim class. This was exemplified earlier today by another union, SEIU, at a rally in Denver:
In this clip an SEIU supporter asks the black Tea Partier, “Do you have any children that you claim?”
This man is one in a long line of people vilified by the Left for daring to have a mind of his own and not walking in lockstep with the false reality the Left has created. Tea Partiers are not only falsely accused of being violent, when in actuality they are the recipients of violence, but they are endlessly accused of being racist. But do you know what really is racist (the real kind, not the ™ kind )?
Attacking anyone of color for the simple act of thinking independently and assuming that all black people should think the same way. Constantly implying – or in this instance outright saying – that he or she is a “race traitor” or stupid for actually looking at facts in a given situation and making their own judgment (people CAN do that, you know, lefties) based on those facts. That does not suit! We can’t have pesky free thinkers fouling up our identity politics boxes!
This is the Left. This is what they do. I wonder if Nancy Pelosi will work up any faux-tears over these assaults and this violence like she did when she was wringing hands at the unfounded mere thought of Tea Party violence. Which never happened, by the way. We have endured years of being called every vile name in the book, of being accused of heinous acts, of being compared to Nazis, of being demonized as violent, irrational racists and of being called accessories to mass murder.
While only peaceably assembling and attempting to redress our grievances. Victims of violence, not the aggressors.
And the MSM is crickets.
Is this what President Obama meant by “I want you to argue with them and get in their faces?” Is this the new tone, same as the old tone? Civility, my arse.
cross-posted from Newsreal
-By Warner Todd Huston
This one is hilarious. Union chief James P. Hoffa of the Teamsters has an op ed in the Detroit News where he’s crying that everyone is turning against unions these days. Yes, ole Jimmy is yelling, “leave unions alone!”
Hoffa’s headline whines out, “American ills not caused by unions.” We call that a straw man argument. No one said, “Americas ills are caused by unions.” Some of America’s ills are caused by unions, but certainly not all of them. After all some of America’s problems find unions being but a symptom thereof!
Straw man isn’t all Hoffa’s up for in this uproarious op ed, though. Get a load of this fearmongering hyperbole…
Some vastly powerful corporations and billionaires want to cripple all unions and turn America into a low-wage banana republic.
Nice try. The REAL people that are mad at unions is all of us regular, poor and middle class folks that are forced to foot the bill for all the union fatcats in government making double what we are making, retiring at 30, and living the high life for forty years afterward on our tax money! With all their free healthcare and whatnot. That’s who’s a bit peeved, there, Jimmy.
The wailing goes on…
They’re succeeding. Across the country, new governors and new legislatures are demanding cuts to jobs, pensions and concessions from public employee unions. Their demands are nothing more than payback for the billions of dollars that the ultra-rich have poured into political campaigns.
Let’s hope he’s right here. Let’s hope that governments everywhere begin to scale back the absurdly high pay scales of public employees and their benefits that are impossible to sustain. Further let’s hope that public employee unions are eliminated because public employee unions are antithetical to democracy and good government.
Of course, Hoffa is pretty much a liar here, too. He is actually trying to convince his readers that the “ultra-rich” that have poured cash into political campaigns are some shadowy “other” people…. as if HE isn’t the very people he’s talking about!
The REASON we’ve gotten into this mess is because of the billions of dollars that public employee unions have poured into the campaign coffers of Democrats that have, in return, bent over backwards for the very unions that have so worn out their welcome with the good people of this country. They have made this mess that we are being forced to pay for and the voters are finally about fed up.
To paraphrase an Obama campaign slogan: “He is the one he is looking for.”
So, pardon me if I don’t get too choked up over the whining done by Jimmy Hoffa. His crocodile tears don’t affect anyone that really knows the score.
Now, where is a “target map,” when I need one? You know, to help with the campaign to eliminate unions? Yeah. That one.
Part One of our new Watch Wisconsin series is here.
And via Brian Fraley at the The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy: llegally striking teachers from Madison East High School students dragged hundreds of students to their union protests at the Wisconsin Capitol yesterday. “But they knew they were just happy to be out of class. See this raw video from today’s government union rally in opposition to Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill:”
I repeat: Those teachers should be fired. With near double-digit unemployment, there are PLENTY of qualified workers who would be happy to do the jobs Big Labor doesn’t want to do.
For many years I believed that Israel’s leaders have no equals in the business of saying one thing and doing another. But Mubarak has proved me wrong. He went on television to tell Egyptians that he would be staying on for some months because only he could restore stability and set the stage for it to continue after he stepped down. Hours later his thugs were leading a violent attack on the peaceful, pro-democracy protesters in Cairo’s Tahir square
To his credit Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron was the first Western leader prepared to indicate that he was not fooled. With UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at his side, he stepped out of Number 10 Downing Street to say that if the “regime” in Cairo was “sponsoring or tolerating” the violence, it was “despicable” and that such action was completely unacceptable.
To their credit the BBC’s World Service rolling television news presenters and reporters were asking the right questions about who was behind the violence from almost the moment it started. With a little time for reflection, Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen delivered an excellent report in which he said the following. “The pro-Mubarak demonstrations were well organised, not spontaneous. Numbered buses unloaded supporters. Many placards looked as if they had been made by professional sign writers.” This report also had a pro-democracy campaigner saying, “Mubarak will destroy the whole nation before he goes.” The report concluded with Jeremy, close up to camera, commenting, “He won’t go quietly.”
Eventually U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on the same page as Britain’s Cameron. She telephoned Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s new vice-president (the Egyptian police state’s intelligence chief for two decades and who was/is regarded by Israel’s Mossad as a colleague in common cause). Clinton condemned the violence and said people had to be called to account for what was “a clear attempt to intimidate the protesters.” She also told Suleiman the transition to a more democratic society had to start “now”. (When reporters subsequently asked what “now” meant, a spokesman replied, “Yesterday”).
Off-the-record, Western diplomats seemed to be in no doubt that the violence was led by some of Mubarak’s state security agents including policemen with their uniforms off. Unfortunately for the regime, some forgot to discard their ID cards and they were found on the thugs when they were grabbed and searched by pro-democracy campaigners.
The Mubarak regime’s strategy was (and at the time of writing still is) to discredit the pro-democracy campaigners by causing Egyptians to have an overwhelming fear of insecurity, and thus an inclination to side with the regime on the grounds that ending the anti-Mubarak protests is essential if stability is to return and be maintained.
What of Mubarak himself? I imagine he believes that if he can see off the protestors, he can use the time he thinks he has left in power to create a new order that will carry on when he is gone from where his old one left off. That is most certainly the outcome Netanyahu & Co want. So they must have been delighted when Mubarak or somebody in his inner circle (government or party) gave the system’s thugs the greenlight for what Mohamed ElBaradie rightly called a “criminal act”.
In theory it’s now Egypt’s generals who will decide when Mubarak goes. The problem is that many of them are deeply corrupt, and few if any will relish the idea of being the one who tells him that his time is up.
It might take a telephone call from Obama to one of them to make it happen.
If it doesn’t happen, Egypt might be heading on what remains of Mubarak’s long watch for economic collapse and complete chaos, even something approaching civil war. (I don’t think the lady who told the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen that Mubarak will destroy everything before he goes would necessarily be proved right by events. But she could be).
A short while ago an anti-Zionist Jewish friend called to ask what I think the Mossad is up to at the moment. I said I thought it was not impossible that some of its best are in Cairo advising the Mubarak regime on what has to be done if its life is to be extended. I also said I thought it was highly probable that Mossad agents and assets deep inside the intelligence, military and political institutions of other key Arab states were assisting their rulers to formulate counter-democracy strategies.
Alan Hart is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent who covered wars and conflicts wherever they were taking place in the world and specialized in the Middle East.
His Latest book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, is a three-volume epic in its American edition. He blogs on www.alanhart.net and tweets on www.twitter.com/alanauthor.
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I just listened to a live interview on Al Jazeera English with a 23-year-old woman in Tahrir Square. The pro-Mubarak forces are apparently pounding the anti-Mubarak demonstators in the Square with gunfire this night.
The Al-Jazeera host asked why she and other demonstrators refused to accept Mubarak’s promise to hold elections.
Salma Al-tasi replied: “We do not trust a government that sends thugs to kill us.”
She has more sense than the vast majority of modern political philosophers. And she has more gumption than the vast majority of American political commentators.
(I am guessing at the spelling of her name. If anyone knows the correct spelling [the interview concluded at 4:32 a.m. Egyptian time], please advise and I’ll correct it.]
Speaking by phone from Cairo, Human Rights Watch’s Joe Stork told me that he is alarmed by the U.S. media coverage portraying the clashes on the streets as spats between "rival protesters" — citizens who have two different visions of the future of Egypt:
"These are not rival factions. This is brown-shirt tactics. This is the government sending in people — whether they are paid or not is a very subsidiary question — sending in thugs armed with knives, stones, sticks, to attack the pro-democracy protesters, who were there in an entirely peaceful manner."
Asked how we can be sure that the pro-government crowds had been sent by the government, Stork cited several bits of evidence, having been in Tahrir Square when the fighting erupted this morning: People he spoke to there mentioned young men being paid as much as $ 500 to fight for the regime; others who were caught looting were later found to have IDs indicating that they were members of the Ministry of the Interior-controlled security service.
Were this a rival protest, they could easily have gone to one of the many other public squares in Egypt. Instead, the Army began "letting people in [to the square] today who had mayhem on their minds." "Any one of these things is circumstantial," he explained, "but altogether" the conclusion is clear.
Written by Amira Al Hussaini
This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.
Government-paid thugs have been unleashed on protesters across Egypt, in a bid to scare them and let them break their protests, which have been on going for eight days.
Millions marched across different towns and cities to demand the end president Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. The biggest gathering was in Tahrir (Liberation) Square in Cairo, where up to 3 million people gathered.
Just before midnight, Mubarak addressed Egyptians, telling them that he would not run for the Presidential elections in November. Too little, too late, said protesters as they vowed to continue their protests until their demands are met.
And just after his speech, the small groups of thugs sprung into action, terrorising the peaceful protesters. On Twitter, netizens from around the world, shook their heads in horror:
This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.
Written by Amira Al Hussaini
This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.
The world continues to watch the fast paced developments in Egypt, now on its fifth day of demonstrations against the 30-year rule of president Hosni Mubarak.
Despite the Internet block imposed by the government, some Egyptians are back on Twitter today, telling the world what is happening around them in their own words. Others, from around the world, continue to monitor the news, updating their followers on what is happening on the ground.
News of widespread looting and lawlessness is also being reported, allegedly the work of government-backed ‘thugs.'
CNN's Ben Wedeman, who is in Cairo, tweets:
Almost all police stations ransacked, arsenals looted. Suddenly weapons in the streets wielded by thugs. Where is the army?
Brent tells us:
Looting and damage to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo shown on Egyptian television work of “the police & Mubarak thugs” per #Egypt journalist
Habib Haddad tweets what he heard on Al Jazeera:
AlJazeera: Thugs looting are part of the regime. Security Service IDs found on them when held by local residents #Jan25 http://mar.gy/9bzm
Khaled Agrama reports:
Citizens in Egypt have arrested more than 31 thugs that have turned out to be Egyptian police, according to their ID's
Mathhew Cassel, also in Egypt, shares his story:
mubarak's thugs tried to kidnap me and take my equipment and images documenting the revolution, but the people refused to let them!
Meanwhile, here's the latest buzz from the conversation on Twitter:
This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.
The National Post (Canada) reports:
After receiving threats and two suspicious letters Tuesday, the National Archives of Canada cancelled the screening of a controversial documentary that critiques Iran’s nuclear weapons program, a move that has organizers questioning the national library’s autonomy.
The Free Thinking Film Society’s showing of Iranium prompted so many complaints — some of them from the Iranian Embassy — that staff thought it necessary to close the entire building at 396 Wellington St. in Ottawa, just steps from the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill at 4:45 p.m., said archives spokeswoman Pauline Portelance.
“Once we started to receive threats from the public and threats of public protest, we deemed the risk associated with the event was a little too high,” she said….
By 7 p.m., the letters were cleared and considered “not suspicious at all.”
Even still, organizers were furious to see their event barred from the National Archives, a regular venue for the “libertarian, conservative” society that regularly screens films about democracy and current affairs….
Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated. Thanks to Yair Rosenberg for the pointer.
Last May, a frightened teenager was trapped inside his home when a mob of SEIU astro-turfing thugs (estimated at 500 strong) trespassed on his front lawn to protest to intimidate his father, the deputy general counsel of the Bank of America. While the protesters caught the family by surprise (allegedly aided and abetted by the police), unbeknownst to them, Fortune’s Nina Easton was a neighbor to the victim and exposed the injustice for what it was.
Now, though, another gang of astro-turfing thugs has targeted (yes, targeted) the private home of a real estate developer for the audacity of building a WalMart that will employ up to 1200 DC-area residents.
With unemployment in Washington, DC at 10.2%, it is hard to imagine anyone not wanting to see jobs added. That is, unless that someone is a union that doesn’t like the fact that WalMart operates its U.S. stores union-free.
The Power of Persuasion or the Persuasion of Power?
A group of of so-called “activists” has launched an anti-WalMart site called WalMart-Free DC in an attempt to keep WalMart out of Washington, DC. While the group claims no affiliation, its tactics are reminiscent of the thug-like tactics of the SEIU and UFCW. In fact, while the links on the site link to SEIU and UFCW funded groups like WalMartWatch, the WalMart-Free DC has decided they are entirely opposed to all-things WalMart:
Wal-Mart Free DC is a group of DC Residents who have come together to say NO to Wal-Mart.
We are not interested in negotiating the terms of Wal-Mart’s arrival. We know the harmful impact that Wal-Mart always has, from thousands of case studies around the country, and around the world. We believe in our hearts, and in our minds, that DC must continue to be Wal-Mart Free.
Apparently happy with a closed-down Chevrolet dealership standing on the site where the proposed WalMart would be built, the vehemence of their hatred has led the astroturf group to believe it has the right to target and tread on another person’s property.
As the Leftist group clearly has its sight set on targeting Mr. Knapp’s home on Saturday, it will be curious to see whether or not the police will be doing their jobs by protecting his property, or being the paid escorts for the protesters.
We’ll also see if the Left becomes as outraged about the target on the anti-WalMart group’s poster as they are about other targets.
Photo credit: Nina Easton
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776