Thanks for nothing, DNC

It might not be, as long as you were a member of the propertied class (and I’m certainly not convinced of that, even). But let’s not go there - we’ve had more than enough threads that have dissolved into battles over the libertarian philosophy. On the other hand, that’s actually what this thread is about!

This is terrible. I thought the whole streets-blocked-off thing was for everybody EXCEPT the delegates. The DNC should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the police to engage in these petty little tyrannies. And I’m a Dem. The Repubs, AFAIK, are not going to these extremes; stores can open in the frozen zone as long as the employees have the security badges, and the conventioneers can walk around freely when they’re not scheduled.

What a shame it’s come to this. I also will be interested to see ONE celebrity or liberal politician speak up about this story. Not holding my breath. The working people are fine to support in the abstract, but it’s not like you should have to, you know, see where they work or buy their stuff in a pizza shop under the El.

Closing his business (or at least blocking customers’ access to it) may be inevitable, but citing him for the banner is disgusting. I’d easily believe that’s apolitical, though; just some petty local bureaucrat with a regulation book and an attitude. It WOULD be nice if prominent Democrats spoke out about right to protest peacefully, and all that. Perhaps they will yet.

That what gets me. It’s getting to the point where these events are akin to the stadium blackmail of pro sports teams. Events like these are sold as boons to local business, but then crap like this is slipped in later. I think the attendees should have the choice to duck out and grab a slice if they don’t feel like attending a planned event and going off someone elses schedule.

I think the banner BS is just local government trying not to look bad in front of the eyes of the nation. Frankly, I think it stinks.

Unless, of course, the DNC learned about this through the same report that you read.

Any indication that this story has been in the news for more than a day or two, in Boston, so that the Democrats could actually have a heads up? Or is this one more case of a private beef between a merchant and a bureaucrat and, when things don’t go the merchant’s way, he suddenly goes to the media with his story of oppression?

This could be every bit as bad as it has been portrayed. Or, it could be one more setup where a guy who was never going to be enriched suddenly sees an opportunity for some publicity by telling his one-sided story to the press at a point where the people he attacks have no chance to respond.

(I’m reminded of the story of the “farmer” in Macomb County, North of Detroit, who got several days of wonderful press over the fact that his “new” neighbors were complaining about the odor from his cattle and forcing him out of business–all duly reported by the credulous minions of the media. Of course, it finally came out that his cattle had been getting fat grazing on his other property, 30 miles to the north, until he did not get a ruling he liked from the city council, after which he trucked his herd down to the field that had been unused for the three years prior to the building of the six year old subdivision.)

Can’t say for sure, Tom, but I’ve usually found C-Span to be just about as fair and even handed as anybody on air. I’ll be voting for Kerry this year, so it would please me greatly if he or some other prominent Democrat comes forward to say something, or better yet, do something.

I don’t quite know why you think this is some major thing that Kerry would even be aware of. Some cranky business man has a minor run-in with a minor functionary. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he made half of it up, that he’s doing some recreational grandstanding and that no such altercation took place, except perhaps some fireman dropped in to tell him that he was blocking the damned fire exit and to move the sign up a notch.

If the guy is indeed violating an ordinance regarding licensed banners, then he is subject to a fine. Should there be an exception in the ordinace regarding oolitical speech? I don’t think the content of the banner has anything to do with the fine, does it?

And why should the DNC encourage violating city ordinances?

I think you would have to show that this guy is somehow being treated differently than anyone else would be for hanging an unlicensed banner before we have any case for outrage here.

Of course, the guy has every right to voice his opinion and has not been prevented from doing so in the press or in any other forum. No one has even tried to take his sign down. If you can show me that the city would not take the same action for an unlicensed Budweiser sign then I might be swayed to your side of the story.

On a related story, someone was throwing fire crackers outside my window last night. I’m really disappointed in Bush for not making a stand. Here I am, the homeowner and taxpayer that is supposedly the main demographic of the Republican constituency, being victimized by a street thug. I actually hate Bush, but still – I’m disappointed that not he, or any other Republican, has rushed in to make a pet issue of this. I thought they were against terrorism! I thought they were against crime! Apparently, I was wrong. Very disappointed am I.

I’ve read the OP several times and nowhere is it asserted that Pasquale was forced to close his business, or even that his normal business would be interrupted. I used to work in the restaurant business, and I have to say that if he made contingency plans based on an assumption that business would increase then he screwed up by not confirming that first. Is it possible that small businesses were somehow led to believe that delegates would be swarming the streets, only to have the rug pulled out from under them? Is there no small business association in Boston to keep an eye out for things like that? The DNC is big news in whatever city it is held. How could it be that the security precautions, as well as lodging/catering plans for the delegates, was such a secret?

Unlike a cranky business man in Vegas who has a minor run-in with a minor entertainer, I reckon, upon which is summoned the whole might of Democrat indignity, complete with Michael Moore threatening to sing America the Beautiful. At any rate, according to the Boston Globe, before his citation yesterday, his banner had hung there all week, and had “drawn plenty of attention amid preparations for the Democratic National Convention”.

Only if you add your own words to the OP.

I LIVE in Boston and I didn’t even know about the banner until I read this thread - just because it drew attention doesn’t mean it drew attention from the right people (not that I’m the right people, but there is A LOT of stuff going on in the city right now). I work down

On a side note, and because this doesn’t really desereve a thread of it’s own, I too will be losing money during the DNC. I work hourly right now (I have a temp to perm position, won’t be salaried for about another 2 months), and my business, much like many of the 9-5 businesses in Boston, it will be open from 8-2 all week. This is mostly for commuters to be able to get out of the city due to the closing of highways and such. I"m not a commuter, but I still have to lost 10 hours worth of pay, which I need but will not be getting. Arrg, annoying…at least I’ll have time to do some other stuff…

Ooops, this should have been deleted

Okay, well now that you know, whaddaya think?

Liberal, do you think that delegates will be the only participants at this convention? If so, I’m sure my boss, who’s getting on a plane on Sunday morning for a full week of conventioneering, will be quite surprised to hear that, given that he’s not an official delegate and all. And although he’ll be attending several planned breakfasts and dinners, lunches aren’t scheduled and he’s free to eat where he pleases, whenever he pleases.

The partisan whining about the stupidest fucking bullshit is getting beyond absurd.

It certainly is. What I had intended to do was open a nonpartisan thread bashing Bush for letting Scot Peterson murder Laci and Connor.

My point was that it is very likely that John Kerry doesn’t know about this yet. I don’t think that closing businesses is necessarily the way to go, but security is VERY tight near the Fleet Center, where most of the action will be. As you may or may not know (I don’t know how familiar you are with the layout of Boston), the Fleet Center is in extremely close proximity to the North End (five minute walk), and the T stations near that area are closed also, as part of security, because there are trains that run under the Fleet. So, while I think that there could still be plenty of security without closing the businesses, I can understand why it might be done.

I also think he has the right to protest his business being closed, if it indeed will be, but if he is in violation of a banner law by hanging up his sign, then he should be treated like anybody else who did the same thing, regardless of the political messages.

Can I just make clear a few things at this point?

  1. The claim that “he wouldn’t have any customers after all” is bollocks. Some food is being laid on inside. At a conference! Horror! That’s those elitist Massachusetts liberals for you, is it? And I s’pose there’ll be men with guns to take out anyone venturing out for some freedom fries?

  2. The heavy implication that he’s being shut down is also bollocks. He is closing of his own volition. Some local businesses are being asked to close, and this is very carefully noted so as to give the impression that poor Mr. Pasquale is being ordered shut, but this is Not True.

  3. The heavy implication that the Democrats are somehow complicit in the sign citation (and yes, this implication was made) is utterly unproven.

  4. It’s not even plain at all that anyone involved in the DNC was made aware of this guy before he put up his sign and went on the news.

Given all the assumptions made in the OP, Lib, is it not at least equally plausible that this guy knows full well that conferences aren’t the moneyspinners for food businesses that they’re made out to be, has taken a 2 day holiday at an opportune moment and got himself some publicity in to the bargain?

Oh, I forgot:

  1. The bureaucrat who issued the citation is a twat. Now, both of these things rhyme with Democrat, but that’s about the limit of the evidence for a connection. Presumably we can expect allegations of WMD within days.

So, Lib, i’m still not clear about what your beef with the DNC is. Is it the fact that they are exercising their free market prerogative to bring in outside catering for their convention? Do you believe that we should pass legislation requiring political conventioneers to patronize local pizzerias?

More seriously, i can’t find a single story that says that Pasquale is being forced to close his shop for the week of the convention. He’s closing it voluntarily, as far as i can tell. From here:

Well, i thought conservatives were always telling us there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Presumably, those meals that the DNC conventioneers are going to eat will be paid for by someone, and will probably also be provided by a Boston-area business. It seems to me that Pasquale’s only beef is that it’s not his business that was chosen to cater for the convention.

Sure, the whole convention thing is probably inconvenient for him, and for a bunch of other businesses in the area. I really feel for him, if he is in fact going to lose money because of it. But the same story suggests that he’s not doing too badly:

If that’s accurate, it seems like he doesn’t even need the DNC people, as he’s flat out already. He tells us that his “regular customers are gone for the week,” but surely that’s of their own volition? Has anyone told those people to leave?

I certainly agree that these conventions are not the economic cash-cow for the host city that some people seem to think. From this article:

It’s generally a case of a few businesses (large hotels, catering companies, etc.) benefitting, while the rest of the city picks up the security costs and the increased hassle of congestion and restricted movement.

As for Pasquale’s whole schitck about being victimized because of his sign, it’s worth noting that he’s wasn’t the only one cited.

He’s starting to sound a little paranoid. Now, you can argue about whether or not the ordinance prohibiting banners without a permit is a good one, but he’s implying it’s only his support for Bush that drew the citation. I’ve yet to see any evidence of that.

Also, it’s not even clear yet whether he will actually be fined. From the same article:

Perhaps the most disingenuous part of the whole story is the crocodile tears being cried for the guy by the Republicans:

The story states very specifically that he closed when he found out that the delgates would be fed at private parties. This is hardly being “run out, forced to close down for a week.” I’ll be interested to see if the GOP expresses similar empathy for businesses who suffer a loss in trade during the NYC convention.

As for where these things should be held? I’m going with this guy: