Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

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At least as interesting as a pro-Bush pizza-maker being slapped around by the Beantown Demo machine is the way the Net can turn the story into national issue with a few keystrokes.

Mark Pasquale clearly has a First Amendment claim to his "Go Bush" sign, but you watch, the potential for the sign to cause a "disturbance" will carry the day. Time was the entire point of a political convention was disturbance.

If Dubya was running a nimble operation he'd show up at Pasquale's for a piece of pie, but that would invite reciprocal opposition action during the GOP's lockdown of NYC, and Lord knows we can't have that.

NEXT: SimCandidate

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  1. Um, what “slapping around” are we talking about?

    $20 says no official action at all is taken against the sign, JAT. Money where your mouth is?

  2. The slapping around appears to be a combination of security measures making it difficult to access his businees and the convention being catered instead of leaving delegates to find their own food. Basically, the guy’s upset that he won’t get any business becuase of the convention.

  3. “I heard reported today on WRKO in Boston that the city had ordered the sign removed, and the owner is going to leave it up and pay a fine.”

    This would be the (potential) slapping around, although the above quote was an anonymous post on the blog Jeff linked, so it’s not exactly the revealed truth of God. Stay tuned….

  4. I’ll be the first to complain about excessive security measures. But when I started reading this post I thought he was being singled out for having a pro-Bush sign. After reading the article it appears that he’s upset about the fact that (1) security measures are making his restaurant inaccessible to customers and (2) the convention is being catered so he won’t be getting extra customers anyway. So he’s closing his business during the convention and leaving behind a pro-Bush sign.

    I don’t see how he’s being singled out. I’ll be the first to condemn idiotic security measures that hurt local businesses, but his grievance is no more or less worthy than the grievance of the adjacent businesses. I don’t see any issue of being singled out for the content of his sign.

    So, in conclusion:
    -Idiotic security measures that keep customers away from local businesses: bad
    -Misleading reports that make it look like this was the result of a vendetta: also bad

  5. Read this article:

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/3569631/detail.html

    He has been ordered by the city to remove the sign on the grounds that he doesn’t have a permit for it.

  6. I was going to post here, but I have to wait for my permit…

  7. Hey! They found Shrub’s lost payroll records. Still nothing on Alabama, though.

    Oh, well.

  8. They found Shrub’s lost payroll records. Still nothing on Alabama, though

    They should try looking down Sandy Berger’s pants. There’s all sorts of stuff in there these days. 🙂

  9. Was this guy a Bush supporter before the DNC threatened his business, or because it did so?

  10. Since the first four of the sign’s six words (counting “D.N.C.” as one word) were anti-DNC rather than pro-Bush, I would count it as an anti-DNC sign rather than a pro-Bush sign. Pasquale was quoted by the Globe as saing, “I just want them to leave me alone and let me run my business.”

    I think that’s why the cops issued a citation; not because Pasquale has expressed a preference for a candidate, but because he’s given the lie to the notion which Mayor Menino is trying to create — that the people of Boston are fawning all over the Democratic invaders. Other business owners in the North End have said they’re going to sleep in their stores because it will be impossible to get home through the security checkpoints and closed roads. That’s also illegal, and I wonder if the police will be rounding them up.

    It isn’t just one business owner; the Boston police are generally cracking down on political signs around the Fleet Center which aren’t in the cattle pen called the “free speech zone.” Is that better or worse than a vendetta against one person?

    My suggestion to joe: Send the $20 to Halftime Pizza, 115 Causeway St., Boston, MA 02114. I plan on dropping by there at the earliest opportunity to order some food and say thanks.

  11. $20 says no official action at all is taken against the sign, JAT. Money where your mouth is?

    He has been ordered by the city to remove the sign on the grounds that he doesn’t have a permit for it.

    Maybe Joe can put those $20 into a Reason subscription.

  12. Speaking of free speech at the DNC site, everybody must look at the conditions at the DNC’s free-speech cage. It is not hyperbole to call it a cage, even the conservative judge who ruled against the ACLU’s injunction request said that to compare it to a concentration camp was “an understatement.”

    Two layers of fences with jersey barriers, overhead meshing, and worst of all, razor wire. The box the protestors are able to use can only contain 1000-1300 people; it is an enclosed area with too few exits, many hard metal beams and concrete walls. I heard seasoned protesters and press say they would not set foot inside of it out of fear for being trampled.

    This is a complete deterrent to protest. I am covering this issue (I live in Boston, I took a week off to cover the DNC from outside). See the pictures of the draconian measures being undertaken to protect the delegates. It is clear that there are going to be two types of people outside the fleet center this week: people, and protesters.

    here for the pictures

  13. It’s difficult to grasp the cumulative impact of all the DNC measures unless you’ve been around Boston and paying attention to the news. The skies over Boston will be cleared of all aircraft, even traffic helicopters (which will be desperately missed); major highways are being closed; trash cans and newspaper vending boxes have been removed from a large part of Boston, not just the immediate area of the Fleet Center; people are being searched and questioned by MP’s on subways (see the last 3 paragraphs at http://news.bostonherald.com/dnc2004/view.bg?articleid=37087); one of the city’s two commuter rail stations has closed, and on one subway line you can’t carry anything “bigger than a loaf of bread.”

    It’s a truly frightening feeling.

  14. I know I’ll get jumped all over for this, but I wonder if the security cage for the “free speech zone” isn’t just the prelude to something much worse. Let us spend a few years adjusting to the notions that:

    1) Even peaceful, non-disruptive people with signs must be kept in cages.
    2) Any time that The Important People come to town all life and business must come to a standstill.
    3) Even if they don’t actually cancel the elections this year, with all the scary things that could happen the option should never be ruled out.

    Once we’re accustomed to living that way, it won’t be any great shock if dissidents start disappearing in the night, or elections are canceled, or businesses owned by dissidents are burnt to the ground by brown-shirts.

    And before you start accusing me of being a leftist, for all we know this country might find itself under a left-wing dictatorship rather than a right-wing dictatorship. “First President Kerry died under suspicious circumstances when addressing a gathering of lawyers, but I said nothing because I can’t stand that Masschussettes liberal. Then President Edwards arrested the right-to-life people, but I said nothing because I’m a libertarian who’s too cool to support those Bible-beaters…”

    Paranoid? I really, really hope so.

    Final thoughts:
    1) If protestors who respect the rule of law are confined to cages, the only people protesting in the streets will be the lunatics who want a fight with the cops. Not so different from the argument for gun ownership…
    2) If it was OK for a few famous Boston residents to dress like Village People and dump pollutants into Boston Harbor 200+ years ago, why are we now herding even non-violent protestors into cages?

  15. Though his win is clearly a technicality – the unpermitted sign would have been cited regardless of its content, I owe JAT $20. Where should I send it, Jeff?

  16. I’m just saving and collecting these stories. When it comes time for the GOP convention, just imagine the screaming and hollering when the protesters get their “zone”, and any business suffers any amount of disruption. These stories will be plastered over the front page.

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