Sign our petition and join the rising national opposition to the “Ground Zero Mosque”
We don’t normally send you emails on Saturday, but this late Friday afternoon news couldn’t wait until Monday.
We do not have the words to respond to this outrageous act of politically correct government censorship.
Friday, August 06, 2010
SIOA Lawsuit against NYC: Bloomberg's MTA Refuses to Allow 911 Images: Bans Ground Zero Bus Campaign
Today we filed a lawsuit against the city of New York. Here is the complaint: Download Complaint--FDIvMTA--Filed_Stamped
The city has refused to run my SIOA "Preservation of Ground Zero" bus campaign.
It seems that Mayor Bloomberg invokes certain freedoms when it serves his 2012 agenda. Doing away with term limits wasn't enough (which is why we are still suffering under his no-salt, no-transfat regime). He is now widening his ayatollah-like power grab to imposing blasphemy laws (Islamic sharia laws) on the secular marketplace. Bloomberg's frenzied push may have inspired Al-Azhar clerics to oppose the Ground Zero Mosque, calling it a "a zionist plot."
Last month, I signed a contract with CBS Outdoor to run a "Preservation of Ground Zero" bus ad campaign. The campaign was paid for in full.
Here is the ad I submitted:
The ad was refused. I asked on what grounds. CBS Outdoor told me that the city said that "images of 911 were not allowed." I was floored. I said, "It is American history. How can it be banned? What about Pearl Harbor? Is that censored too?" I said, "On what grounds is 911 images banned?" It is unconscionable. Will of CBS said, "You can't run the plane."
I asked CBS/MTA to provide me with the guidelines for these seventh-century censorship restrictions. They never did. And so, with the help of talented and singular Big Fur Hat, I removed the plane and submitted this ad with this note:
Will, Still waiting for the MTA guidelines. Please respond to my previous queries. Here is the new art ...... please know that I strenuously object to you changing my artwork and my message in the process. It's American history. I am floored. However, since you and/or the MTA are unwilling to change your position, I have no choice but to run the advertisement with your edits.
CBS refused this ad as well. They said I had to remove the smoke. "The smoke?"
When I spoke to CBS's representative concerning the second rejection of my Ground Zero bus ad, he said that the MTA "doesn't want to associate the new building with Ground Zero." The showing of the burning buildings "hurts people." "Hurts people?" I find bus ads proselytizing for Islam hurts apostates, are you going to take those bus ads down?
I said, "Are you saying images of the largest attack on American soil are censored?" Are Pearl Harbor images censored? Gettysburg,too?
He said, "The people behind the new building say it has nothing to do with Ground Zero." I said, "So what? That's what they say. Others think differently. You are telling me they have said it has nothing to do with Ground Zero. But they are on record repeatedly as saying they want it there for Ground Zero 'healing' and 'outreach.'"
I said, "Who cares what they say, what do they (Imam Rauf and Daisy Khan) have to do with running my ad? They dictate what can and cannot run?"
He said, "It's controversial." I said, "How? Where are the guidelines that point to this, where are the guidelines that I have been asking for over a month? Give me the guidelines and I will adhere to them."
He said "I have been having a hard time getting the guidelines out of the MTA." I said, "A hard time? Aren't they written somewhere or posted somewhere? What are they?"
I said, "What's controversial? The ad merely says, 'Why there?'" He said, "You are implying..........." I said, "Implying what? You are now going to tell me what I am thinking? Who is making these decisions? Who at the MTA or CBS is making these decisions? The MTA is a government agency -- and you can't provide me with guidelines but I am being held hostage to the capricious whim of some flak at the MTA? I am an advertiser. I bought and paid for an ad a month ago and you cannot point me to any substance or set of rules for the basis of ad rejection."
I said, "I took out the plane as requested -- now what's the problem?" He said the flames. I said, "What would be ok? Just the towers alone?" He said yes. I said "OK, I will create another ad with just the towers." He said, "Before you do that, let me run down the hall and ask if that's OK." I said, "With who?" He said, with his VP.
And so I took out the smoke and submitted this ad:
CBS, on behalf of the MTA, said, "Remove the plane."
Will of CBS said he was "meeting obstacles" but he was "trying to help me." He said, "Get me an ad a/s/a/p without smoke, without any flames -- just the towers."
And so, I submitted another planeless ad, stating emphatically,
"I object to this censorship, which is effectively editing the viewpoint I am attempting to express in my message, but if this is the only choice you are giving me, then run the ad without the plane. It's a plane in the sky, far removed. Planes do fly in the sky."
Needless to say, I am still awaiting approval from the MTA.
Today my legal team of David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise filed suit against NYC.
The complaint against the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has now been filed. It alleges violation of FDI’s (and Pamela Geller’s and Robert Spencer’s) Free Speech rights under the First & Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
In essence, and it is laid out clearly in the complaint with clear illustrations in the exhibits, the MTA decided that it was going to accept the “viewpoint” of Imam Rauf and his Islamist co-conspirators – to wit, that their plan to develop the Ground Zero Mosque has nothing to do with marking the “victory” marked by the destruction of human life and property on 9-11. Literally, the MTA made it its business to decide which of many viewpoints it would deem politically correct speech for advertisements on its buses.
What makes this jihad against free speech so egregious is that the MTA has run any number of controversial religious and political ads without batting an eyelid. But as soon as the Shariah-faithful cowed Mayor Bloomberg and the MTA into dhimmi-like submission, the First Amendment to the Constitution gave way to Shariah’s blasphemy laws. How long before the Mayor’s office begins issuing fatwas against those who dare counter the “noble and peaceful outreach” narrative?
Mr. Mayor and your colleagues at the MTA and the Landmark Commission: New Yorkers will not forget 9-11 and we will not be cowed into submission or silence. You might not want to hear our voices, but the federal courts will require you to listen. You claim the mantle of the Constitution as a basis for supporting a Shariah-Islamist mosque at Ground Zero, yet the MTA—a government agency of the City—cavalierly denies “infidels” freedom of speech. Enough is enough. (David Yerushalmi)
ACT for America
P.O. Box 12765
Pensacola, FL 32591
Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.
"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."
Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.
In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.
Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.
"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."
The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.
Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.
Roosevelt's role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century's second-most influential figure.
"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"
NIRA's role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.
"Historians have assumed that the policies didn't have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding," Ohanian said. "We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices."
Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt's anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.
The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.
NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.
Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.
"The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes," Cole said. "Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened."