Saturday, April 08, 2017

City Hall's pseudo-tolerance and violent jihad

Photo: Mike Koozmin, Examiner

City Hall and the local media
are being dumb---again---about this issue, promoting a bogus version of tolerance instead of, well, tolerating speech that makes many liberals uncomfortable.


Ads on the sides of Muni buses supporting Israel and calling unnamed enemies “savage” while also claiming hatred of Jews is “in the Quran” drew rebuke citywide for years. Now San Francisco may ban such political speech on Muni bus advertisements and other transit property when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors votes on a policy revision Tuesday.

Anyone without a reading disorder can see that Israel's enemies aren't "unnamed" in the above ad, since "jihad" is fingered. And of course the text of the Koran and other Muslim holy books have a number of references to hating Jews and violence against "unbelievers." 

This reporter's reading disorder is the same one suffered by City Hall and the local media during the earlier rounds of this silly controversy.

From the MTA's resolution:

The proposed amendment would change the existing Advertising Policy’s advertising standards to prohibit advertisements that, among other things, concern a political or public issue, contain profanity or violent descriptions or images, are intended to be insulting, degrading, disparaging, demeaning or offensive, are reasonably likely to be harmful or disruptive to the SFMTA’s transit system, encourage or depict unsafe transit behavior, or are adverse to the interests of the SFMTA.

The only party possibly demeaned or offended by that ad would be the jihadists themselves, like those who carried out the recent attacks in London and Sweden, attacks that are becoming routine in Europe, and, to a lesser extent, here in the US. But the jihadists would likely not feel demeaned, since they are proud to be religious crackpots who often target Jews and would like to destroy Israel.

More from the Examiner:

The controversial ads are a project of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Its president, Pamela Geller, reportedly told Breitbart News in 2016 that San Francisco is among the last major cities to not ban political speech. That sort of Ban, Geller told Breitbart, is “a ban on the truth, in accordance with Sharia. They say it’s hate speech but that’s the euphemistic narrative. It’s like putting a pretty white bow on a steaming pile of dung.”

Yes, Pamela Geller is a right-wing provocateur, and Breitbart is a right-wing website. So what? Free speech is only for liberals here in Progressive Land?

A web search doesn't clearly show that this ban is legal, but it just makes the city look dumb, though there's nothing new about that. See for example the lame "peace" ad campaign created in response to Geller by those Big Thinkers at the MTA.

This raises an important question: Why are mainly liberals in such a muddle on this issue?

See also Terrorism, Islam, and dhimmitude in City Hall.

SF Bay also has a dumb account of the controversy.

For more on the issue, click on "Muni Jihad Ads" below.

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Trains in the US carry freight, not passengers

Calculated Risk

From Calculated Risk:

Total carloads on U.S. railroads in March 2017 were up 7.3% (87,183 carloads) over March 2016; excluding coal, carloads in March were up 2.7% (23,337 carloads). Intermodal containers and trailers were up 3.8% (47,180 units) for the month. Year-to-date total carloads through March were up 5.7% (180,665 carloads), while year-to-date intermodal volume was up 1.4% (47,977 units) over last year.

That's about "carloads" of freight, not passengers. After the advent of the automobile and air travel, passenger rail was no longer profitable 50 years ago. That's why we now have a federally subsidized Amtrak system. 

It's also why Warren Buffett invested in freight rail, not passenger rail.

I don't share his libertarian philosophy, but Randal O'Toole is good on the train delusion. See O'Toole on Trump and infrastructure.

Some history on rail in the US here and here. See also Why don't Americans ride trains?

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