Sorry for the extended absence — been taking care of a lot of stuff since Dad died. Lots happening in the news, as per. Here are some links that may be of interest:
The story about the proposed mosque at Ground Zero has finally made the mainstream media (comment #23 by Catherine Fitzpatrick is, by far, my favorite). Here’s an exceprt:
“So please. Stop implying that the only people who are debating this project are right-wing conservatives. Many people are privately expressing concerns, but now feel sufficiently politically-incorrect that they will not speak. Is that what putting up a mosque achieves, the supression of people’s ability to speak their minds freely without fear? The same First Amendment rights that give this religious organization the right to build their mosque is the exact same one that gives the publice the right to criticize it and to ask probing questions about its leaders’ and supporters’ motivations and intentions. Or did you think to install a “defamation of religion” concept in defiance of the First Amendment by smearing anyone who disagrees with this project as a right-wing nutcase? Any religious group that is not proven to actually use violence or directly support terrorism, which follows the basic building code and building permit rules in this city gets a religious building. Understood. And now they enter the fray of New York City — and international politics — and First Amendment rules apply here, too. Accordingly, I have some questions:
After all, what is at the root of reservations about this project? Merely ignorant fear? No, legitimate fear that it represents encroachment of the separation of church and state in this country, and a public commons free of coercive religious expression.
Want everybody to distinguish between what we are told is the minority of violent Islamist cults and the moderate group that seeks peaceful change? Then be willing to be debated to the hilt. Then be willing to stop hiding beyond invocations of “hatred” and “tea party” and “Sarah Palin” and answer questions of the type I am asking.
The chief notion that the group seems to promote is this: that the U.S. is to blame itself when it is attacked by terrorists, due to its support of Israel, or its cooperation with governments like that of Saudi Arabia in the interests of security or energy.
But sorry, you don’t get to claim moderation, morality, and peace when you can accept excuses for terrorism. There aren’t any excuses for terrorism. If you don’t like U.S policies, you have to document their effects and work peacefully to convince other people, not imply that they need to be changed coercively, under the force of terrorists, as if they are a positive force for change. They aren’t. They are deadly murderers who are the products of oppressive societies whose leaders seek to distract from their problems by obsessing about Israel and America.
Among the activities of this group’s leader is supporting the Gaza flotilla. But that is not peaceful — it was a provocative direct action that deliberately provoked force as a tactic.
So, hand out the permit, and let the debate begin: do you or do you not condemn violence as a means to an end?”
Sorry, couldn’t resist the long excerpt, Fitzpatrick is that good. The NYT should have asked HER to write the original opinion piece.
Big Pink has her own delicious take.
I also enjoyed this long piece from Uppity on Prop Hate and the economy.
Hillary Clinton says responsible adults should be telling teens it’s “okay to be gay.” What a crying freaking shame that such a courageous, pull-no-punches leader and stateswoman was hobbled by the DONC and that mealy-mouthed jackass was installed.
What’s on your minds this hot hot Sunday?