Ground Zero Mosque
“All y’all dumb motherf****** don’t even know my opinion on sh**.”
If there was ever a defining moment in the 2010 midterm elections, I would have to argue that it occurred when the statement above was made by a black construction worker who had just passed through a gauntlet of “protesters”. The crowd had assembled in lower Manhattan to express their absolute hatred for Muslims, fueled by years of neoconservative propaganda (though it only seems like a few weeks). The unidentified man, wearing a skin cap, immediately assumed to be a Muslim artifact, made the completely appropriate statement, under the circumstances, when the crowd started directing their vitriol toward him.
Clearly, none of the protesters were interested in knowing his opinion but rather projecting it upon him. Yet, he probably made the most sensible and astute comment they had heard since tuning off Fox News before traveling to New York.
I was not going to post about this anymore because I’m tired of hearing about it. But last night, Jon Stewart gave a great monologue on the uproar over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque and it needs to be shared.
Like Stewart, I get the reason people are upset about the mosque. But the push back against the mosque has reached a point where it’s not about placing a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, the rhetoric has reached a point where most of the opposition are condemning an entire religion. They are placing the blame for what happened on 9/11 on an entire religion instead of 19 radical Islamists.
Around three minutes in, Stewarts shows video of Eric Bolling, who was appearing on Fox and Friends, laying out the alleged ties that Feisal Abdul Rauf has to various groups, including Hamas and Perdana. Bolling also speculates on whether or not Iran may be funding Park51, formerly the Cordoba House.
For perspective, Stewart shows a clip of Charlton Heston speaking at the NRA convention in 1999, just after the Columbine tragedy. In case you don’t remember, there was an uproar that wanted the NRA to hold their convention somewhere else.
During his speech to the convention, Heston said:
Tragedy always has been and always will be with us. Somewhere right now evil people are evil things. All of us will do everything meaningful, everything thing we can do to prevent it, but each horrible act can’t become an axe for opportunists to cleave the very Bill of Rights that binds us.
Stewart admits he was part of the uproar, but he also admits that he was wrong:
While his numbers have been rising after a straw poll win in Florida, Herman Cain may have overplayed his hand in his criticism of Rick Perry, who was the subject of a recent Washington Post story dealing with hunting ground with a racially insensitive name. Matt Lewis gives us a rundown of what happened:
After Sunday’s Washington Post reported that Texas Governor Rick Perry had utilized a Texas hunting camp named “N*****head,” GOP candidate Herman Cain (a former pizza exec. and the only black candidate running for the GOP presidential nomination) wasted little time in accusing Perry of being insensitive to racial issues.
“Since Gov. Perry has been going there for years to hunt,” Cain told ABC’s “This Week,” think that it shows a lack of sensitivity for a long time of not taking that word off of that rock and renaming the place.”
When anchor Christiane Amanpour pushed back — noting that the rock had actually been painted over — Cain doubled-down, saying: “But how long ago was it painted over? So I’m still saying that it is a sign of insensitivity.’’
(Cain made similar comments on Fox News Sunday — demonstrating that this was not a gaffe made in response to a question that simply caught him off guard.)
Lewis explains that Cain’s comments, essentially allowing himself to be used to by the media to further a misleading piece on Perry, may show that he isn’t ready for this latest round of press:
Herman Cain doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of the First Amendment. While I recognize that not everyone shares my expansive view of what freedom of religion entails, I tend to believe we all generally accept a few things as fact. One is that banning religion and religious centers is wrong, even if we disagree with everything that religion teachers. Presidential Candidate Herman Cain? Not so much.
After once saying that he disagreed with the opening of a mosque in Tennessee, describing it as “It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he now says that communities should be able to ban mosques.
In an exchange on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican presidential contender said that he sided with some in a town near Nashville who were trying to prevent Muslims from worshiping in their community.
“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” he said. “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”
Asked by host Chris Wallace if any community could ban a mosque if it wanted to, Cain said: “They have a right to do that.”
First, the existence of Islam in this nation doesn’t violate the separation of church and state. Sharia law, if enforced by the courts, would but that’s not happening. Instead, a group of people in Tennessee (and of course Herman Cain) are using the force of the state to ban a religion. That is a violation of the separation of church and state.
As Republicans look to take back the House, independent voters are letting the GOP know that they don’t care about mosques, gay marriage or other social issues. They are focused only on the economy and jobs:
Mr. Cornyn, who has been on the receiving end of anti-establishment anger, argued that the Tea Party had helped Republicans in one important respect, by moving the debate away from social issues. While Tea Party supporters tend to be socially conservative on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, most say they don’t want to talk about them; they believe that by spending so much time on those issues, the Republican Party failed to focus on fiscal conservatism.
While social issues tend to be polarizing, Republicans can win on economic issues, Mr. Cornyn said, because the Democrats have been in charge as the economy has gone south.
“As I’ve traveled,” he said, “I’ve talked to a lot of folks who are basically independents who say: I’m fine with the Republicans as long as we’re talking about fiscal responsibility. Where I go off the reservation is when you talk about social issues.”
If the GOP can credibly embrace the idea that endless bailouts (many of which were instituted by a Republican president) of GSEs, big banks, car companies, homeowners (but never renters!), etc. are a bad idea; that increasing total government outlays by 104 percent in an eight-year period is really awful; and that doubling down on the less-winnable of two dumb wars is not smart, maybe they deserve another shot at running the House.
We’ve noted here recently that Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, has become increasingly skeptical of the Obama Administration and Democrats. Back in June, Stewart slammed the administration on civil liberties and abuse of executive power and the rhetoric surrounding energy independence. In July, he took the administration to task on transparency and Afghanistan. Last month, he had some fun with both parties on the rhetoric from both sides on the Ground Zero Mosque. And just a couple of days ago, he called Democrats out on ObamaCare in a conversation with DNC Chair Tim Kaine.
Stewart’s latest rant is directed at the administration and Democrats’ claims of a “Summer of Recovery,” saying, “‘Summer of Recovery’ is quickly sliding into the ‘Autumn of Nothing but Ramen Noodles for Dinner.” Here is the video:
I’m not going to keep score, that will be decided by history, but am I right in assuming that Islam is opposed to Free Speech? We are seeing again and again how Muslims around the world threaten violence and take violent action when Westerners exercise Free Speech. I’d even go so far to say that it’s American to be offensive and get offended.
I wanted to share several quotes from a well written article on newsjunkiepost.com, where Liam Fox analyzes the offensive actions of Free Speech and their affects.
When demonstrations started in Indonesia, the President of that country, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, called President Obama and requested that he intervene and stop the planned burning of the Korans in Gainesville, Florida. American and NATO embassies were threatened by angry mobs. Rather than hold the protesters in his own country accountable for their violent and destructive actions, the chosen strategy was to ask the President of the United States to require one of his citizens to adhere to Islamic law. No one asked what President Yudhoyono did, or said, to have his citizens take responsibility for their own reaction.
The principle that offence trumps the right of expression is the foundation of the censorship that allows blasphemy laws. The fact that the restriction is imposed by society on itself, because of a sense of fear, creates an even greater chance that such an injustice may take hold and become institutionalized.
The NRSC has taken the gloves off in a hard-hitting video labeling Obama and his agenda as “Extreme”. The most gratifying part for me, personally? Seeing Rand Paul’s race featured. I imagine crow has become a regular part of the Senate leaders’ diet.
From yesterday’s CNN American Morning:
Despite passage of ObamaCare and the many promises by the President Barack Obama and Democrats, voters are still confused about the new health care law:
A Thomson Reuters poll of consumer confidence released on Monday shows Americans’ confidence in their ability to pay for and access healthcare has fallen by 5 percent since December 2009.
The Thomson Reuters Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index, based on a monthly survey of 3,000 consumers, asks if they have had trouble paying for or had to postpone care in the three months prior. And it asks if they expect to in the coming three months.
On every survey question, responses were more pessimistic in July than they were in December.
“That’s a cause for concern to healthcare providers and policymakers,” Gary Pickens, chief research officer at Thomson Reuters, parent company of Reuters, said in a statement.
Pickens has seen a gradual eroding of confidence since December, despite a few notable peaks, such as in April, the month after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act.
“I doubt the average person really knows what has been implemented,” he said. “They just know there is a lot of talk and there has been a lot of negative publicity.”
As we get closer to November, one of the key issues that has been and will be on voters’ minds is ObamaCare. The latest poll from Rasmussen shows that 56% of voters want the law repealed, with another 54% believing that ObamaCare will have a negative impact on the economy.