Ground Zero: Church vs Mosque

September 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm (Political Ponderings)

This is one of those controversies that I keep hearing about off and on, probably having much to do with the fairly recent decision to allow a large mosque to be built near the site of the 9/11/01 World Trade Center attack site.

Broken down to the basic phrase most use to explain the situation, all you hear is “New York denied the request from a church that was destroyed on 9/11 to rebuild, but they approved a mosque to be build near the site!!”

That’d be enough to piss off just about any American recalling that the deaths of nearly 3,000 people people on that day were the result of Islamic terrorists.

Here are my thoughts on the subject, and they’ll likely annoy a couple  of friends of mine, but hey.

As far as the mosque goes, I can see why people don’t like it. There are people who may be reminded every time they see this building of the losses of that day and who caused it.
But this sort of falls into a category similar to those dickheads who keep protesting at military funerals, who have been shown to be protected under the First Amendment: they have the right. There is no legal basis on which to keep the building from being built. And, as conservatives frequently like to express to liberals, the fact that someone’s feelings may be hurt does not mean it can be banned.
This is, essentially, the same conclusion the court came to as described in the earlier linked article.

So what about the church then?
Well, according to the New York Port Authority (as quoted in this Fox article), they didn’t deny the church’s request to rebuild. Apparently they initially approved a deal including a pretty sizable amount of funding, but the church leaders decided to be a pain in the ass and keep pushing for more, until the Port Authority basically got to the point where they told the church to just go F off then. The church can still build, just not on the city’s dime.

It can be easy to get caught up on all the rhetoric regarding this type of controversy – it is, after all, a pretty emotional subject.
But perhaps it needs to be remembered that banning something like a mosque would essentially go directly against one of the primary freedoms our country is based on.

It’s also good to keep in mind that it wasn’t the entire religion of Islam that attacked our country.
This reminds me a bit of some paragraphs I wrote a little while back on a different web site in an area discussing religious tolerance, which I had titled “Blame the people, not the religion.”
Remember that Islam isn’t the only religion that has a history of violent members. Anybody remember The Crusades? I’m betting most Muslims do.
Yes, I know that something that happened 800 years ago may not feel as important as something that happened ten years ago. My point is that these major world religious are not inherently evil. But they do sometimes find themselves with evil people who somehow make it into a leadership role, who are then able to recruit the easily duped towards violent work because “God said so.”

Banning a religion, and the symbols thereof, because a tiny minority of their followers are a bunch of violent dumbasses is not the way our country works.

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Martin Luther King Jr Memorial: Made in China

August 29, 2011 at 6:41 am (Political Ponderings)

Yeah, I guess I can see how that could be seen as controversial these days – in the middle of a recession where at least part of the blame has been placed on outsourcing a large portion of our manufacturing industry to China.

It is perhaps a fitting tribute to racial co-operation. However, the decision to outsource to China the carving of a new national memorial to Martin Luther King has raised eyebrows in the United States.

The 30ft-tall statue, which forms the centrepiece of a $120 million,  four-acre memorial to Dr King, opened to the public on Monday on the National Mall in Washington. It is the only memorial on the Mall that does not honour a president or fallen soldiers.

Standing in the shadow of the Washington Monument, the statue shows Dr King emerging from a mountain of Chinese granite with his arms crossed and is called The Stone of Hope.

However, there has been controversy over the choice of Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor from Changsha in Hunan province, to carry out the work. Critics have openly asked why a black, or at least an American, artist was not chosen and even remarked that Dr King appears slightly Asian in Mr Lei’s rendering.

OK, I know most people won’t know and even less will care that it was sculpted by a Chinese artist out of Chinese stone and assembled by a team of largely Chinese workers.
And 20 years from now I doubt anybody is going to care any more – but right now, that is just another in the hugely long list of things our government has done under the new (hopefully soon to be old) administration since taking office.

Ed Dwight, a sculptor in Denver, said Dr King would be “turning over in his grave” if he knew his likeness had been conceived by someone living under a Communist regime.

“He would rise up from his grave and walk into their offices and go, ‘How dare you?'”

Yeah. Full article here.

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90% of guns in Mexico coming from US? Sorry, but once again the facts get in the way of political speeches

April 4, 2009 at 8:53 am (Political Ponderings)

I’ve you’ve been watching the news or listening to talk radio over the last couple of weeks you’ve probably heard about government figures, most notably Hillary, going on about how 90% of the guns being used in the drug violence down there are coming over the border from the US, probably in another move to try to push emotions against the 2nd amendment.

Well, I know this will be a shocker, but it turns out that’s a load of crap that they spun so far out of proportion it doesn’t even come close to the actual numbers.

Actually only about 17% of guns confiscated during raids down there came from the US – most are so obviously not of US origin that they don’t even bother tracing their origin.
The 90% figure the talking heads are using is that 90% of those sent for tracing are found to be from the US. NOT all the guns found.

Yet another bullshit move by the Obama Administration – gun owners may want to keep an eye out for more of this type of crap coming down the line.

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The new “nationalized” CitiBank ad

March 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm (Political Ponderings)

Hmmm… could banking turn into a royal p-i-t-a just like every other government-run organisation? (Boy, I can’t wait to see how great it works with health care! 😛 )

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Goodbye O’Reilly – hello… Fred Thompson?

March 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm (Political Ponderings)

So this past Thursday Bill O’Reilly broadcast the last episode of his radio show.

So now I gotta find somebody else to listen to who is able to keep my interest when talking about social & political issues, preferably without focusing on being a Democrat-basher or Republican-basher (these last being the main reasons I don’t listen to shows like Hannity or Limbaugh, or pretty much anybody on Air America).

Interestingly jumping into the hole left by O’Reilly, at least on a large percentage of the stations that ran O’Reilly’s show, is going to be a new show landed by ex-senator and ex-presidential nominee Fred Thompson

Now, I like Fred in general. He had a few issues that kept me from giving him my vote in the primaries, but I do think he has a good grasp on what’s going on in the country and is pretty good at talking about them (except, apparently, when he’s running for president). So I’m looking forward to checking out his show so I can see what it’s like.

Unfortunately, our local affiliate has decided to replace O’Reilly with Mark Levin – who, from the little bit I’ve listened to from the audio on his web site, falls into that “hardcore right” category that I’m trying to avoid.
I don’t want blind ideology, I just want somebody who actually seems to make sense when they talk.

Hopefully the Fred Thompson Show (whose website is only a filler title page right now) will have podcasts available soon so I can download and see which category his show falls into.

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Illinois again tries to dance around the 2nd amendment

February 22, 2009 at 9:55 pm (Political Ponderings)

Illinois already has the FOID card, which requires citizens to register with the state to own a firearm – which many, many critics claim is likely little more than a way to track down the owners once they finally figure out how to outlaw them all together.
Now, there’s a big making the rounds to amend this with the following:

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that any person who owns a firearm in this State shall maintain a policy of liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000 specifically covering any damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person. Provides that a person shall be deemed the owner of a firearm after the firearm is lost or stolen until such loss or theft is reported to the police department or sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the owner resides. Provides that the Department of State Police shall revoke and seize a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card previously issued under this Act if the Department finds that the person to whom such card was issued possesses or acquires a firearm and does not submit evidence to the Department of State Police that he or she has been issued in his or her name a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $1,000,000 specifically covering any damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person. Effective January 1, 2010.

Ephasis mine, link to the summary here.

So in a nutshell, since they haven’t figured out how to legally ban handguns all together, they’re trying to make it so expensive and legally risky to own one that many people who would otherwise own one will be scared away by the cost and/or legal risk, and they also want it to be retroactive so that even people who have owned firearms for years will be required to fall under these new legal guidelines.

Is it likely to pass? Probably not, but still, I find it amazing how blatantly they try to dance around the Bill of Rights.

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Yet Another T-Shirt I Want

February 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm (Political Ponderings)

There are so many I want, but yet I already have so many that I have two dresser drawers filled with just t-shirts. I wonder if there’s a 12-step program for that.

Anyway, this one is from Glenn Beck’s web site – a ring-winger commentator who I know very little about but from the little I’ve read and heard of him he seems pretty entertaining (and who’s radio podcast I may start checking out once O’Reilly’s radio show goes off the air in a few weeks):

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Obama takes on CEO of GE as economic advisor

February 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm (Political Ponderings)

Obama said the members of the board are private citizens outside the government who are qualified on the basis of achievement, experience, independence and integrity.

(full story)

Because, you know, how GE has been losing money for ages while still (until very recently) doing business with countries like Iran is the perfect example of economic achievement and integrity.

So I wonder just how far in bed with the Obama administration GE will end up being? Could this be one of the reasons that CNBC (owned by GE) has been the official Obama Cheerleader Network for the last couple of years? I wonder how many of the planned government funds for “green energy technologies” are going to go straight to GE projects?
Does nobody else see this as a huge conflict of interest?

Again, I must take a moment to bitch about Obama’s “No special interests in Washington” promises from the campaign.


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Change! It’s Change! Or, uh, not.

January 22, 2009 at 8:00 am (Political Ponderings)

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A New President. Yay. Or Something.

January 21, 2009 at 12:45 am (Political Ponderings)

(cartoon source)

So today the Presidential reigns have been handed over to Barack Obama, with an inauguration beginning his shift by blowing an estimated $170 million on the party, while today the stock market plummeted, the worst drop during a Presidential inauguration since the Dow was created in 1896.

I’m hoping that this isn’t a sign of things to come, but I have an eerie sense of foreboding about what is to come in the months and years ahead.

I think part of what’s bothering me is just the amount of hype around his election that has gone far and beyond the level of belief. Other than being being a good speaker, what exactly has he done to deserve it all? I really don’t get it.

I mean think about it – whenever the media over-hypes something, be it a new product, or movie, or idea – how often have they lived up to the hype? How often do they instead turn out to be a huge disappointment, with you considering this new product/movie/idea/etc and the thought of “Wait… what, this is it?” going through your head?
I mean, could Obama end up becoming the US Political equivalent of Microsoft Bob?

Like many others, although I didn’t vote for him, and I disagree with a lot of his policy ideas, and I find his cabinet choices, lack of accomplishments, and probable ties to corrupt state governments to be disturbing, and overall think there’s a possibility he could be extremely damaging for the country regardless of how much the masses mindlessly bow before him – the more responsible (or maybe just patriotic) part of me really hopes I’m wrong. The country is in a rocky place right now especially when it comes to the economy, and I’ve love to find out that my opinion that Obama’s policies will bankrupt the country actually turn out to be wrong and they somehow bring prosperity to the country instead.

To say the least, I’m not going to hold my breath.

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