Monday, December 27, 2010

Left Coast Longer Than You Thought

Most of you who live east of the Pacific states tend to think of the "left coast" as being San Francisco. But in fact, the left coast extends from just south of Los Angeles north to the Canadian border. And in that vast coastline, San Francisco does have a rival for Lefty Loonyville. That city is Seattle, Washington.

Don't let that McDonald's ad on the side of the King County (largely Seattle) transit authority bus fool you. For a short time, the ads running on the side of a number of the buses during the Christmas-Hanukkah season were pro-Palestinian, anti-western, anti-Israel "holiday" messages. With pictures showing wounded and dead Palestinians, the ads were nearly identical to other Hamas propaganda, and included the words: "Palestinian War Crimes--Your Tax Dollars At Work." Nice, hun?

The ads were paid for by The Seattle Mideast Awareness Group, and were updated versions of anti-Israeli propaganda put out by Hamas and its sister organization, the Islamic Resistance Movement to celebrate the Intifada. The SMAG was in high dudgeon this year over the second anniversary of Israel's retaliation against Hamas during the 2008 Gaza War. The ads didn't stay up long, and were banned by the transit authorities shortly after the public first became aware of them. If you're thinking that Seattle decided that this was pure hateful propaganda and decided to pull the ads, you would be completely wrong.

The King County Codes include a section that works as a catchall for banning free speech on public transit if the commercial ad might cause pubic disruption or endanger transit riders. Now work with me on this. The authorities had no trouble accepting the blatant lies of Hamas via the SMAG. But they ran into a problem. The Freedom Center, run by my old schoolmate David Horowitz, took the very sensible and peaceable step of purchasing counter-ads exposing the lies. The ads were designed to have titles like "Hamas Terror" and pictures of Israeli homes and lives destroyed by missiles sent into Jewish areas in the Gaza by the murderous Palestinians. The King County transit authorities knew that they were in for one helluva lawsuit if they refused to run the Freedom Center ads after accepting the SMAG ads.

OK, now let's follow that thought a little farther. The Big Lie, propagandized on buses would produce no violence or disruption, since Jews and Christians tend to shrug their shoulders over such distortions of reality as SMAG produced. That the counter-ads could result in lawsuits if not accepted was bad enough. But the disruption and violence that resulted in the ads from both sides being accepted would come from one side only--the religion of peace, aka Islam. Run an anti-Israel ad, get a few nasty letters. Run an anti-Palestinian ad, get a few nasty bombs.

What this all really comes down to is that the transit authorities should have rejected the Hamas propaganda in the first place. Free speech is not an issue when the speech is commercial and in the form of an advertisement paid for, even though on a public conveyance. I would be tempted to argue that this would be a very fine legal distinction that might not survive a First Amendment test, but so what? If you want to accept payment for advertising lies, be prepared to accept money for equal time for rebuttal of the lies. It's sad when a public authority invokes "public order" to clear up its own mistake, and at the same time imputes the same violent tendencies to Jews and Christians as it does to radical Muslim groups.

It should also be noted that Hamas (an Arabic acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement) is listed by the US State Department as being largely funded by Iran, a nation on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. A quick check connects the Seattle Mideast Awareness Group to Hamas and several other terrorist organizations, not to mention unindicted co-conspirator CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations). I wonder if the Seattle/King County transit lawyers checked to see if the same could be said of Horowitz's Freedom Center.

Lest you think Seattle leftist anti-American, antisemitic organizations stick to the Seattle-Tacoma area, I thought I'd bring you one more "it isn't only in San Francisco" tidbit. Another Seattle group, Seattle Atheists, put up a non-Christmas tree at the Washington state capitol plaza at Olympia. It was pure coincidence that the tree was of the same kind traditionally thought of as a Christmas tree, and that it was put up at that awful pagan festival of Christmas. And that instead of angels, Santas, miniature toys and lights, it was decorated with pictures of famous scientists.

The Seattle Atheists insist that it was just a message to the general citizenry during winter with no offense intended. In fact, the sign on the non-Christmas tree read: "At this winter Solstice, as people embrace light and hope (they forgot 'change'), Seattle Atheists celebrate human knowledge." The tree celebrates no religious event (which is hard to explain when you capitalize "Solstice"). The groups that wished to erect an actual Christmas tree nearby are still waiting for an answer from the gummint.

16 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

Thanks for yet another insightful post, Hawk.I would have definitely been unaware of this. Looks like the war on terror is neither alive nor well in the great Pacific Northwest. Weren't the city council members of Portland recently guilty of monumental stupidity as well? Of course, farther to the east, let's not forget the left coast of Manhatten, as well. ;-)

BevfromNYC said...

Except TJ, NYC has a large population of Zionist Jews, so the Pro-Hamas groups are outnumbered. Even though the NY Jewry always votes overwhelmingly Democrat, they are mostly Pro-Israel.

NYC has resolved their Christmas Tree issues and just puts everything together - Christmas Tree, Menorah, and, I think, a Kwanzaa candelabra too. You see, we're more multi-culti than the Left Coast...riiiiiiggght.

Patti said...

law: it's general human knowledge that whatever appears on the side of a bus is true.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: It seems sometimes that any city west of Denver with a population of more than 100,000 is automatically declared a "liberal zone." Portland is no exception.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Every year, San Francisco has its Christmas tree lighting in Union Square, across the street from Macy's. At the same time, it features a beautiful blue menorah. Both are appropriate for the holidays. So far, the Kwanzaa crap is reserved for the schools and the libraries. I was there when the black communist manifesto that is called Kwanzaa was created solely to drag young blacks away from Christianity and into cadres led by the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army. It's a phony holiday, put together by black revolutionary felons from the 60s, and I don't give it the attention I would give to a cockroach.

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: I've never seen it put quite that elegantly. LOL

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
What would Thomas Jefferson think of our current allowances under the First Amendment?

I'd rather see gang graffiti on buses than that crap, at least the graffiti is American.

USArtguy said...

Ironically, once atheism becomes active by its true believers, it is no longer a passive opinion but a missionary project to convert people to its view point... making it's no different in that regard than religion.

The Seattle ordinance regarding bus signs is particularly amusing because, as a Graphic Designer, causing a public disruption is my goal, like this bus wrap I helped design (shameless plug as, just before Thanksgiving, I and 2/3 of my department was "downsized" after 25 years of service-- this is part of my new, continually updated portfolio). No doubt some local lawmaker with good intentions wanted to be sure no one would be offended. What's that saying going around? Your sense of what's offensive offends me.

T_Rav said...

I think there's a lesson in this: distrust any city that's the setting of a melodramatic hospital-based TV series. See "Grey's Anatomy," see also Chicago and "ER." (Actually, you don't need "ER" to know you shouldn't trust anything that comes out of Chicago, but you see my point.)

Tennessee Jed said...

Artguy- loved seeing your photostream. With your obvious talents, hopefully you'll be back in action sooner rather than later!

Tennessee Jed said...

Bev - have always hoped the whole Hamas vs, Zionism would bring some of our Jewish friends back from the darkside. Alas, it doesn't seem to be happening.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: He'd think that the answer to speech is more speech. The marketplace of ideas. But when the idea is packaged commercially, he would have no doubt that it is not protected. The various pro-Palestinian organizations have managed to turn war victims into marketable commodities.

LawHawkRFD said...

USArtguy: Astute observation. Atheism has become a religion of its own. And it is very evangelical. They must convert everyone or the world will perish. I'm not looking forward to the Atheist Inquisition.

BevfromNYC said...

You know, TJ, I tried my best to warn my other Jewish friends that Obama would throw Israel under the bus the first chance he got and they didn't believe me. Until it happened, of course, and now they are shocked and dismayed. Well, too freakin' bad now!

LawHawkRFD said...

T_Rav: I resent that. I came out of Chicago. LOL There were a couple of short-lived hospital-based "dramas" set in San Francisco, but they faded fast. I'm waiting for one set in a medical marijuana clinic. Now that's San Francisco. They could call it Hemp Hill Hospital.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev and Tennessee: There are none so blind as those who will not see. It is such a shame that the gospel of liberalism and pacifism has led so many good people down the primrose path and into destructive mistrust of their own people. None of my liberal Jewish friends want any harm to come to Israel, but they've been so imbued with leftist nonsense that they actually think peace can be made with the barbarian hordes and that Israel will survive the blow.

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