Tuesday, December 18, 2007

America's Melting Pot, With...

While grudgingly defending Geno's Steaks owner Joey Vento's First Amendment right to have a sign asking customers to order in English, Inky editorialists proclaim it "boorish" and worse.

"Say what you will about the sign. We see it as a boorish attempt to intimidate the influx of immigrants while reassuring English-speaking Americans that we still dominate around these parts. At least for now."

Say what you will about liberal editorial writers, they sure sound boorish, snobby and arrogant when lecturing their perceived inferiors about how to run their businesses.

Encouraging all immigrant Americans to learn and speak English is hardly boorish, it's a near essential step in increasing any immigrant's likelihood for success in this country.

Joey Vento seems to know that even if the Inky editorial board doesn't.

That the state Human Relations Commission would attempt to force Vento to take down his "Please Order in English" sign under threat of a large fine and demonize him as anti-immigrant is the real crime here.

Vento stood up to their panty-waisted attempts to bully him. In so doing he won the hearts and support of the vast majority of Philadelphians. (Some 93 percent according to a recent TV news poll.)

The Inky must believe that all these people support boorish intimidation of foreigners.

More likely what they don't support is the bureaucratic intimidation and prosecution of an Italian-American businessman who rightly believes in the value of assimilation and the grand idea of America's melting pot.

UPDATE: CORRECTION - The above referred to editorial appeared in Philadelphia Daily News, not its sister paper The Inquirer. Though both papers are owned by Philadelphia Media Holdings Inc. and published out of the same building, they are distinct and separate entities. Spencerblog regrets the error.

26 Comments:

Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Well said Gil. This mentality to use the forces of government to get people to think and act in "acceptable" ways or else is at the core of liberalism. Who cares if Joey Vento asks customers to order in English, or if Michael Marcavage wants to say that homosexuality is sin, or if Mary Welsch wants to own as many guns as she wants. The problem is that liberalism and the overabundance of libs in government who want to stomp the guts out of anything or anyone that opposes their worldview.

You must get lonely on your Editorial Board.

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

December 18, 2007 at 1:59 PM 
Anonymous e said...

Marcavage is in a league of his own. The difference between him and the other examples is, that he finds trouble and trouble found the others. While technically there may be no difference, there is a difference in my book, between hanging a sign in your own business and standing outside someone else's business exercising your rights while infringing upon others.

December 18, 2007 at 3:03 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

TO "E":

What are you talking about? If Marcavage wants to go to a gay event to say that their behavior is sin, how does that infringe rights? To the contrary, Marcavage is routinely arrested for protesting gay events, and most recently he was arrested on a public sidewalk outside the Liberty Bell for holding a Bible and for saying that sin is what separates man from God.

Michael is allowed to stand outside of a business holding a sign just like it is legal for the Nazi's to march in Skokie or to march in Valley Forge. The fact that some or all of the people don't like his message is not a lawful reason to suppress it. If it was, then there would be a standardization of ideas that would infringe on everyone.

Lastly, you should read some of the cases which protect free speech, or read the Commonwealth Constitution which provides greater free speech rights than the First Amendment.

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

December 19, 2007 at 11:14 AM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

"E", I forgot about the more recent picketing of the strip club in Ridley. I think it was called Smiley's. Was it unlawful for the neighbors to picket that business? Is it unlawful for war protestors to picket the Media Armory? Is it illegal for pro lifers to picket Planned Parenthood? I could go on and on. Protest lies at the core of your right to free speech and freedom of conscience.

December 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM 
Anonymous e said...

Easy there. You missed my point. I didn't say that he wasn't allowed to protest for what he believes in. What I said was there is a difference between hanging a sign in your own business or owning guns in your own house and what Marcavage does. While his actions may be constitutionally protected, you have to admit that his actions are confrontational. The people who are offended by the sign at Geno's have to go to Geno's to see it. Marcavage brings his message to people who don't want to hear it. There is a difference.

December 19, 2007 at 9:15 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

"E": Although what you refer to is a different method of expressing yourself, they are both equally protected speech. As you see now, the gov't will arrest you for protesting in public, and it will now go after you at a commercial establishment. Yippee! Wait until we get hate crimes laws that censor speech, and then universal speech codes, and perhaps a list of approved topics that can be discussed in the public square.

December 19, 2007 at 9:49 PM 
Anonymous e said...

You are still missing my point. I'm glad that you are so passionate and uncompromising when it comes to protecting individual rights. That is your job.

I, as Joe Blow citizen, am a firm believer in the Constitution. I mind my own business and go about my daily life with little fan fare. I would not want the government to "come a knockin'" like they are doing to the owner of Geno's.

Micheal Marcavage is different than me. He wants to get in trouble so he can sue. He pushes the envelope knowing that lawyers like yourself will get him off the hook. I have better things to do than that. And while I recognize and respect his rights to do what he is doing, I do not respect or condone the way that he carries it out. If I go to visit the Liberty Bell, I want to hear about what was going on in Philadelphia in the 1700's not what Micheal Marcavage has to say about gay people or God or anything else. If I wanted to hear what Michael Marcavage had to say, I would go looking for him.

We get so caught up worrying about the rights of one crazy guy trying to force feed his message at the Liberty Bell, that we disregard the rights of all the other visitors who don't want to talk to, didn't come to listen to, or might be offended by Michael Marcavage? That's what I don't like. I'm not saying that it's against the law, I'm saying that I don't like it. If I didn't like the sign in the Geno's window, I could simply not patronize the business.

December 19, 2007 at 10:13 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

"E":

I hear what you are saying however I want to clear up some misconcenptions about Michael. First of all, Micheal does what he does out of love of Jesus, not money. In fact, most of the suits filed on his behalf lead to no money and lots of pro bono hours for me and my firm (which are not recognized pro bono hours for the bar assn). As for the Liberty Bell, there were breast cancer marchers there where Michael was holding his bible and they were screaming for more breast cancer research funding, and none of them were arrested or told to leave.

The real problem with what Michael does is the public perception that it is ok to censor a viewpoint because it makes some people feel uncomfortable. That is what happens to Michael and he gets arrested for his Christian viewpoint and because it upsets certain groups of people, and for no other reason.

December 19, 2007 at 10:22 PM 
Anonymous e said...

I don't think Breast Cancer people should be interfering with tourists who came to see the Liberty Bell either. He should not be persecuted for his religious beliefs or exercising any other constitutional right. If he is standing outside a political conference or the Capitol building, I can understand it. What if I was there with my kids at the Liberty Bell? Do I want them hearing his message? No. Don't I have a right to bring my kids, or just myself, to the Liberty Bell without being harassed by Micheal Marcavage? I don't believe that what gay people are doing is right, but in the United States, don't they have the freedom to assemble peaceably without being harassed by Michael Marcavage? With rights come responsibilities. Sometimes you can't be arrested for being irresponsible while exercising your rights. That doesn't make it okay to be irresponsible.

Again, I'm glad you do what you do. It goes back to the "you give them an inch and they take a yard" theory.

December 19, 2007 at 10:35 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott,

"Michael does what he does out of love of Jesus"?

How dare you be so blasphemous, especially during Christmas season!

Your client may do what he does out of love of HIS "Jesus", but certainly not out of love of the Jesus of the thousands upon thousands of people whom he persecutes simply due to their God-given sexual orientation.

Love thy neighbor as thyself, Michael.

December 19, 2007 at 11:05 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Hi Anonymous:

Blasphemous? Are you sure that is the term that describes what I do, especially at Christmas? I think not. Look up the term and then tell me if it applies? Also, would it still be blasphemous if Michael was (with my legal support) going to a group of adulterers, thieves, pedohiles, murderers, liars, and spreading the life saving grace of Christ?

Homosexuality is one of the most unnatural acts that a person can engage in. We were all created in God's image and God made man and woman, and he gave them each a way to unite together as one flesh. God did not intend to have men lying with men, or women lying with women, etc... The Bible makes reference many times to the sin of homosexuality, and that through a relationship with Christ, you can be saved. That is the message that Michael delivers - "Homosexuality is Sin, Christ can set you free".

You may not like that message (obviously), but you are not at a point in your life where you "get it". Do your homework and if you get stuck I can help you.

Keep the faith and remember that homosexuality is not God given.

December 20, 2007 at 5:53 AM 
Anonymous J said...

Mr. Shields, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I respect it. But why do you assume that other people are interested in hearing about it? Your beliefs, opinions, etc. are exactly that - yours (shared by others, of course). It is not your place to inform me (or others) that our beliefs are "incorrect". I'm a grown up, thank you very much, and am capable of thinking for myself.

December 21, 2007 at 12:10 AM 
Blogger Franny Ward said...

I wonder what Mr.Shields and Mr.Spencer think of the looney people over at God Hates Fags.. a.k.a. The Westboro Baptist Church. Do they also have a so called right to protest at dead soldiers funeral services?

P.S. Merry Christmas

December 21, 2007 at 2:04 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

"J": If you don't like my opinion and you think that I am trying to inform you of something you don't already know, I am sure that you are smart enough to look away from anything that I write. However, if you ever have the urge to inform me of your opinions, please do so. I welcome any and all opinions.

December 21, 2007 at 2:17 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Fran:

Gil wrote a column about Fred Phelps, and I belive he asked me about it too.

Fred Phelps is entitled to his opinion and he certainly has a right to voice it in the public square. Regardless of how offensive he is you should be careful about trying to suppress unpopular speech or expressive activities. Someday you may believe in something that is unpopular and there will be people that will shut you down. To allow some view points in public and not others is a clear constitutional violation.

Meryy Christmas!

C. Scott Shields
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

December 21, 2007 at 2:21 PM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

Fran:

I meant to say Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2007 at 2:22 PM 
Anonymous J said...

Mr Shields, yes, I do generally look away from what you write, that's the beauty of free speech. I'm also free to ignore you (or anyone who I happen to disagree with). I only mention it now because we're talking not so much about the speech itself, but the issues surrounding presenting it.

And Merry Christmas to you too!

(Incidentally, I'm not particularly religious, but I was raised Catholic. I do love religious Christmas music though. Its so peaceful.)

December 21, 2007 at 5:05 PM 
Anonymous dannytheman said...

Fred Phelps has his right to protest. I abhore that he does so, but I fought for his right to do it.

Joey Vento has a right to do what he wants within the confines of his owned business. He is free to share his opinion all he wants.



I carry a small pistol with me always, and legally. My issue is these locations that are "Gun Free Zones". Legally I can not drop my child off for school, unless I am unarmed. I can not carry a weapon into my work place or even have it in my car in their lot. So I break an occasional law out of convenience. Remember the Shotgun weilding guy Joe from Texas? What jury is going to convict him? I figure I will take my chances and keep some funds for a good lawyer.

December 22, 2007 at 11:12 AM 
Blogger Pro Christ Pro Gun said...

To Dannytheman:

Whatever you do, never ever give the police any statements if you are involved in a shooting. Find a lawyer that knows and respects firearms if you ever discharge or brandish a firearm and you are arrested.

So you know, the Delawre County District Attorney's Office does not advocate the private use of firearms, so be very careful.

God Bless and Merry Christmas.

C. Scott Shields, Esquire
www.shieldsandhoppe.com

December 22, 2007 at 11:55 AM 
Anonymous e said...

Dannytheman,

I don't know where you work, but if you are in PA (and not on Federal Property or where Federal law prohibits i.e. the airport), I don't know of any PA law that prohibits you from lawfully carrying a firearm anywhere. Some places, like the County Government center or Chester High School, have metal detectors and it is their right to say they don't want you on their property with a gun, but I don't think you could be arrested if you are lawfully carrying one when you are denied entry. Maybe Mr Shields knows of a law, but here is what my research found:

PA Title 18:

6109. Licenses.
(a) Purpose of license.--A license to carry a firearm shall
be for the purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about
one's person or in a vehicle throughout this Commonwealth.


6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and
ammunition.
(a) General rule.--No county, municipality or township may
in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession,
transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition
components when carried or transported for purposes not
prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

December 25, 2007 at 7:04 AM 
Blogger Franny Ward said...

Hey E, try to explain to Mike Chitwood the laws you"ve shown us. He would laugh at you.

December 27, 2007 at 10:30 AM 
Anonymous e said...

I know Fran. These guys get in there and forget that they took an oath. It's like they weren't even listening to the words coming out of their own mouth when they swore to God that they would protect the constitution and execute the duties of their office with fidelity. They should look up the definitions of "protect" and "fidelity" and review their oath to see that the words "change the constitution" were not in there.

December 28, 2007 at 8:14 PM 
Anonymous Mike said...

e

To carry a firearm in PA concealed, one needs a special license. The license you get when you buy a gun is to have the gun. So basically that's good for storing it (unloaded) in your house on in your car on the way to the shooting range. To carry it on you under a jacket or on a holster that can't be seen by looking at you, you need a purpose (ex. lawyer who does house calls in West Philly at night, etc).

December 29, 2007 at 7:20 PM 
Anonymous e said...

Mike,

I know. I have a License to Carry a Firearm, which is more commonly known as a Permit to Carry or a Concealed Weapons permit. You have to apply through your County Sheriff and it is good for 5 years before you have to re-apply. Also, a common misconception is that you need to have "a reason" to get a permit. Anyone who is eligible may get a permit. There are criteria for being eligible, but as long as you are not a criminal or a crazy person and you are over 21, you should be eligible. There is a "reason" portion of the application, but most people I know just check off "Self Defense" as their reason for applying.

When you are approved, you are issued a photo ID, from the Sheriff, with all your info on it and that is your License to Carry a Firearm.

It's a very easy process (as it should be) for law abiding citizens to apply and get their permit.

December 29, 2007 at 11:35 PM 
Anonymous Mike said...

e,

Thanks for the information. I was told wrong by about 5 people I spoke to about the issue. Never really needed a gun so I never did much research about it. Thanks again for informing me since it is an interesting topic.

December 30, 2007 at 1:56 PM 
Anonymous dannytheman said...

Thanks for your advise guys and ladies. My company policy manual does not allow employees to carry or have guns on their property. So I park in public lot away and walk over.

December 31, 2007 at 7:41 PM 

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