Sunday, 8/15/10, Public Square

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. —  Marie Curie


Filed under The Public Square

21 responses to “Sunday, 8/15/10, Public Square

  1. The author of this op-ed piece also understands that knowledge eliminates fear. Republicans have used scare tactics as campaign tools — today they want us to be afraid, very afraid, of all those illegals streaming across our southern border even tho all facts tell us fewer are coming across, fewer ‘anchor’ babies are being born, it isn’t the problem it once was; and the latest tactic is to encourage greater and enduring fear of Islam. As we all know too well extremists exist in every box you want to put them into. But using the extremists from any group to score political points is dishonest at best. I’m not sure where we’re supposed to work in the fear of all things ‘gay,’ but do be afraid, very afraid of that too!

    Will Americans put aside those who pander to keeping them afraid by learning facts?


    Why the Mosque Scares the Right

    “There’s a cynical reason that people like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin don’t want a mosque built at ground zero, writes M.J. Akbar—it will prove that there’s nothing scary about Islam.”

  2. Remember how Patraeus used to be the darling of the right? Ever since he has made it clear that bush the lesser really did take his eye off the ball, really did ignore the only battle that was justified in any manner, have you noticed how less effusive the right is with their praise? Those bush apologists just can’t or won’t accept the failures of that whole eight-year-long fiasco we barely endured.

    Petraeus cites Bush-era shortcomings in Afghanistan

    • wicked

      They aren’t even apologists. They’re ignorers (aka ignorami). Mention Bush to anyone who talked like the man walked on water during his two terms, and they almost act like they never heard the name. They’ll say they didn’t agree with him on this thing or that thing, but unfortunately for them, there’s such a thing as proof. It’s time for the former Bush camp to grow up and admit they were wrong, then they can move on. Too bad they never learn from their mistakes.

  3. tosmarttobegop

    It all about partisan Politics, a stance is only as solid as the moment it is expressed.
    With a new moment then the stance is based on that moment not on anything more solid then that.
    In many respects bring up Bush is as valid and fruitful as the repeated bring up Clinton and/or Carter.

    Bush is a thorn in my side and will always be no matter how many years or decades pass.
    But I am seeing the writing on the wall, it has been decided to left him and his administrate slip into only foggy memory. It is just too tragic to focus on and to deal with, the national physic just can not deal with it.

    The decision has been made and accepted that it just can not be dealt with.

    • Well, it can’t be accepted by the Republican Party because then they wouldn’t be able to blame all our nation’s challenges on President Obama, time would have needed to begin before January 20, 2009, and that’s not something they’re able to acknowledge. Plus, they would have to admit their party has nothing. Nothing different than what bush gave us.

    • prairie pond

      When Pelosi said investigation and impeachment were “off the table” and obama said the Justice Department would not pursue any war crimes investigations, that sealed the deal for bushco to escape scott free with all their crimes and secrets.

      Hell, Nixon would be a saint and not even investigated if he had done what he did today. We and the world have been served notice that it’s true. If the president did it, it’s not illegal.

      If the repukes gain back one or both houses of congress and/or the white house in ’12, we’ll see how far this “professional courtesy” of not pursuing previous administrations goes.

      Wanna bet if they get the house, and impeachment proceedings begin in the house, the next two years will be spent trying to impeach Obama, or at least tie up the body with investigations and hearings?

      It’ll be Clinton, Part II. And Rome will burn while they fiddle.

      • paulasayles

        And the Democratic Party should be charged with aiding and abetting. They get whatever they deserve. What can be the motive for not bringing justice to lawbreakers except that you are planning to be a lawbreaker and go unpunished yourself?

    • I’ve long suspected a change to Republican majorities would mean endless investigations. They have no ideas, they have no solutions, all they have is enmity.

      They’ll bring America to her knees and she may not get up this time.

    • How does a constituency get to the point that they’re satisfied with elected officials accomplishing no legislation, contributing nothing, spending all their time and efforts in trying to find someone to punish — whether that be a country they invade or a political opponent they disagree with?

      I’ve asked dozens of times — what legislative accomplishments have we seen under Republican majorities in say the last twenty years? What would they point to and say, “We did that and it makes us proud to have contributed this accomplishment to American’s lives”?

  4. tosmarttobegop

    Another example of the stance changing with the moment, Obama is being slammed for saying he supports freedom of worship and freedom of Religion. Just what damn country does he think he is the President of?
    It is amazing that many who were calling out about how their Christian faith was being stifled and denied are the same ones who now are putting the entire blame on the body as a whole on the Islamic faith.

    Yet not once was there ever a move to deny them building a new Christian church anywhere based on that some have used the claim that their God had commanded them to kill innocent people.
    To blow up clinics without regard for the lives of anyone close to them.
    To Kill Doctors in the misguided thought they were saving innocent lives.
    That they want to force others who do not believe as they do to live by their religious laws and commandments.

    But they turn around and now want to stand in the way of the building of a faiths building?
    I worked for Wal-Mart for eight years and not once were we told to say Happy Holidays or anything other then Merry Christmas.

    We had Christian based displayed along with others for sale, the music played on Wal-Mart radio was a mixture of all kinds of Christmas music including Christian based music.

    But was being said and believed that there was a open discrimination against Christians.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    There is nothing honorable, honest or decent about Politics and it s self feeding system.
    It is true as with this example, one child molester turning to another and accusing them of being worse than they are. Then turning around and molesting the same child after the first is finished.
    Defending it with well he molested them first!

    • prairie pond


      I was watching a Sopranos rerun this morning, and someone was telling a joke that at a wake, the priest asked someone to stand up and say something nice about the deceased. There was dead, uncomfortable silence for two minutes before someone in the back said “well, his brother was worse.”

  6. wicked

    I was just thinking of how politically partisan this country has become. I’m not immune from it either, but at least I hope I am sometimes brave enough to at least see the truth if not speak it.

    There is no perfect anything, and especially not a perfect President. There can’t be. The President’s job is not to be popular with everyone and make everyone happy. His/Her job is to do what is best to keep this country running as smoothly as possible. To be sure that everyone is treated equally, no matter how much or how little money is in a person’s pocket, what the color of their skin is or even what political party they do or don’t belong to.

    But when our Congressmen and women can’t do this, how are we to expect our President to?

    I give up.

    • prairie pond

      When voters are allowed to circumvent the COTUS and deny an entire class of people equal protection under the law, and the congress does the same, and the president defends it, no one is safe.

      But try telling that to a con or a wingnut or a fundy christian. Or any religion for that matter.

      “When they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.”

  7. Perhaps all of you were aware of exactly what is planned by the people in charge of what is often referred to as the, “Ground Zero mosque.” I wasn’t, but here’s a snip from a well-written and informative comment from THE New Yorker:

    “Ah, the “Ground Zero mosque.” Well, for a start, it won’t be at Ground Zero. It’ll be on Park Place, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site (from which it will not be visible), in a neighborhood ajumble with restaurants, shops (electronics, porn, you name it), churches, office cubes, and the rest of the New York mishmash. Park51, as it is to be called, will have a large Islamic “prayer room,” which presumably qualifies as a mosque. But the rest of the building will be devoted to classrooms, an auditorium, galleries, a restaurant, a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, and a swimming pool and gym. Its sponsors envision something like the 92nd Street Y—a Y.M.I.A., you might say, open to all, including persons of the C. and H. persuasions.

    Like many New Yorkers, the people in charge of Park51, a married couple, are from somewhere else—he from Kuwait, she from Kashmir. Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Columbia grad. He has been the imam of a mosque in Tribeca for close to thirty years. He is the author of a book called “What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.” He is a vice-chair of the Interfaith Center of New York. “My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists,” he wrote recently—in the Daily News, no less. He denounces terrorism in general and the 9/11 attacks in particular, often and at length. The F.B.I. tapped him to conduct “sensitivity training” for agents and cops. His wife, Daisy Khan, runs the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which she co-founded with him. It promotes “cultural and religious harmony through interfaith collaboration, youth and women’s empowerment, and arts and cultural exchange.”

    Pretty scary. Leading the pack of scaredy-cats, along with Palin, was her fellow Presidential mentionee Newt Gingrich, a leading intellectual light of the Republican Party.”

    Read more

    More scare tactics! I refer you once again to the quote in this thread header:

    “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie

    • wicked

      If you haven’t seen this 3D rendition of the 9-11 Memorial, do so. It’s fascinating. Possibly more fascinating because I was there in 2003 and can imagine it as it might actually be.

      I wish my Ground Zero photos were better. I wasn’t aware at the time that my new camera couldn’t take decent outdoor photos. All are quite over-exposed. 😦

      What was even more fun with this Google Earth page is that I traveled Manhattan from my computer and revisited everywhere we went. I’m hoping to go back next year, but as always, it’s iffy if I will.

  8. tosmarttobegop

    Oh but he did not condemn Hamas it being pointed out. He is also credited with saying that in part the United States was at fault for 9-11.

  9. WSClark

    Unbelievable sadness.

    Ickey Woods’ 16-year-old son dies

    (Ickey Woods was a running back for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.)

    The teenage son, Jovante Woods, of former Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods has died, days after he collapsed from an asthma attack.


    RIP, young man and may God be with you and your family.

  10. Zippy

    I was subject to, more or less, the best arguments to be had in refusing the permit for the muslim cultural center where the Burlington Coat Factory used to be.

    Some thoughts:
    1) There is a pervasive belief that Islam attacked us, and the targets were non-Muslims, thus supporting the “Holy War” propaganda that conservatives have been feeding us since 9/11. Some people have bought into this–as if 1.4 billion people in numerous countries declared war on the United States.

    2) This overlooks the choice of the building, i.e. the World Trade Center, which OF COURSE was persons from all different countries, including muslims. And the killing of muslims was no inadvertent error; let’s not forget that one of bin Laden’s stated grievances–the US military presence in muslim countries–is indulged the country’s leaders, muslims all, and those who collaborate with Western power are regarded by them as just as much infidels than anyone else.

    3) Of course this doesn’t fit the cartoonishly stupid narrative we’ve be sold, where Islamic extremists attack a Christian nation because they “hate our freedom” (to be Christian). The WTC represented both the best and worst of American power: the diversity, cooperation, and freedom to do business for all– and the march of mindless
    profiteering and overreaching power, regardless of the consequences.

    4) The reason the counter-narrative is constantly is pushed is that an abstract fear of terrorist attack (which has a real enough basis, but is uncertain to happen), needs real scapegoats, and relying on racist stereotypes makes generating constant fear an easier task.

    Hence, we are supposed to believe that a building that has the word “muslim” on the side–in New Friggin’ York, of all places–will somehow cause great pain to those who have to look at the gaping hole that was once the WTC every friggin’ day.

    If they’ve bought into that senseless narrative, then maybe it will. But sense when do zoning regulations get “bent” to appease someone else’s misperceptions? And if it’s “too soon,” then one must ask: too soon for what? Too soon to able to abandon visceral prejudices toward people you’ve never met.

    I do sympathize with such folks, in the same way I symphathized with the survivor of the Battaan Death March in World War II who was bothered by Japanese people–and Vietnamese people, even though he was not tortured by the Vietnamese.

    But at what point do we suspect religious freedom and common sense, in the name of sensitivity? Is really even the best way to help them heal?

    Nearly 9 years after the fact, I think maybe some professional help would be in order. I’m not be snarky. I mean it. There is no disgrace in seeking help for such a terrible trauma.

  11. indypendent

    We have bigger things to worry about than some proposed mosque being built a few blocks from Ground Zero.

    I would like to know more about all these military arms deals the US seems to be making with all the key players in the Muslim and Jewish corner of the world.

    If I remember correctly, all but one of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. So why are we selling military weapons/planes to them?

    Talk about being insensitive to the 9/11 victims and their families.