Re: Regarding Equivalency

1

How would that work? Who is this imam who has the authority to make such an agreement? Imam Rauf is the only one who could, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:05 PM
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I have heard too many radio stories with commenters saying, "The pastor needs to stop this burning bc those Muslims are so sensitive and cant understand that the pastor is a radical nut who doesnt speak for the entire USA. Silly Muslims cant tell the difference!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:08 PM
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The only way the two are remotely equivalent are that both parties are within their rights to do as they have planned, ie burn a Koran and build a mosque. That doesn't mean that either should be done.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:08 PM
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1: I think it has to do with the Muslim hive-mind.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:10 PM
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Also, Terry Jones is not really the kind of guy who is worth negotiating with.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:14 PM
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Sean Paul Kelley just recently returned from visiting Turkey.

If I am to sit here and say that Americans are free to build an Islamic Community Center in the general vicinity of Ground Zero then Americans are free to burn any book they want, or the flag, or George W. Bush or even Obama in effigy. It's that simple. To pretend otherwise, or to act otherwise is hypocrisy.

Digby on the Petraeus warning

They can always find a way to justify suppressing free speech in the name of "keeping people safe." I'm obviously horrified by the idea that American soldiers are in danger from this kind of demonstration, but one of the values they are allegedly fighting for is the American value of free speech, which means that idiots have a right to burn Korans. Obviously, that also means that we have an equal right to condemn it, which I do.

No, I don't know of any blogs that are focused on these issues, but I don't frequent religious blogs of any persuasion. I don't think there are any Consitutional issues directly threatened. It's just the spectacle.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:16 PM
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Or we just let both go ahead and point out that we're a pluralistic, tolerant society, and that kind of thing is our jam.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:17 PM
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In petty, self-absorbed moments, what I hate most about this whole idiotic affair is that it cheapens my own, perfectly valid loathing for religion. Can't a guy nurture a fairly rational terror of institutional monotheism without associating with a bunch of mouth-breathing book burners and, uh, mosque-movers?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:20 PM
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American soldiers are in danger from this kind of demonstration

American soldiers are in danger as a result of invading and occupying Middle Eastern countries, not as a result of Terry Jones' publicity stunt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:23 PM
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No love for the Korean Peninsula, Apo? No danger there?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:24 PM
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Fuck a bunch of Talk of the Nation. Its relentless promotion of Broderite false equivalency finally got me to turn off the radio for most of the day. Scott Simon also had some commentary on the thing in which referred to the mosque, which it's not, going into the site of a former coat factory, which it wasn't. NPR suck factor: way up.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:27 PM
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In petty, self-absorbed moments, what I hate most about this whole idiotic affair is that it cheapens my own, perfectly valid loathing for religion.

Damn straight.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:28 PM
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8:what I hate most about this whole idiotic affair is that it cheapens my own, perfectly valid loathing for religion.

An opening!

The Spectacle

We live in a spectacular society, that is, our whole life is surrounded by an immense accumulation of spectacles. Things that were once directly lived are now lived by proxy. Once an experience is taken out of the real world it becomes a commodity. As a commodity the spectacular is developed to the detriment of the real. It becomes a substitute for experience. (Larry Law, Images And Everyday Life)

You know, we could fight about our own religions or ideologies right here & now on this blog instead of watching other people fight about theirs on TV.

Just sayin'.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:29 PM
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How would that work? Who is this imam who has the authority to make such an agreement? Imam Rauf is the only one who could, I think.

You forget all Muslims are responsible for each other's actions, and concomitantly all have the ability to negotiate on each other's behalf.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:29 PM
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What's wrong with this blog right here? Are we not reasonable people? Are our insights not girthy?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:44 PM
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No more masturbating to the Florida Koran-burning.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:45 PM
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Why is it that whenever someone says something stupid and offensive everyone has to pipe up with "Well, he has the right to say that" as if that somehow elucidated the situation. I mean, yeah, he has the right to do that, but that wasn't the question. The question was why the fuck does anyone want to do something so stupid.

Normally, in the course of conversation, do you interject "You have the right to say that"?

"That Arcade Fire album really breaks new ground. There's been nothing like it in pop music history"

"You have the right to say that."

"The pyramids were built by kitty cats from outer space!"

"You have the right to say that."

"The CIA is sending radio messages through my fillings!"

"You have the right to say that."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:46 PM
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11: That's especially weird, because IIRC NPR's offices are down near City Hall (i.e., on hallowed ground). They should know what a Burlington Coat Factory is. (Or is Talk of the Nation produced out of DC and I'm thinking of WNYC?)


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:48 PM
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No love for the Korean Peninsula, Apo? No danger there?

Not in the wake of a Koran burning, no.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:49 PM
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The question was why the fuck does anyone want to do something so stupid.

But sometimes that isn't the question. The question is how can such and such be stopped, prevented, banned or what have you. Stupidity will be impossible to overcome.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:50 PM
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Not in the wake of a Koran burning, no.

True, but you never know about the Kims.

The troops already know they are in harm's way. Degrees of difficulty don't enter into it, much.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:52 PM
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17: I do actually enjoy responding to things I consider particularly wrongheaded with "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:56 PM
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True, but you never know about the Kims.

That Kardashian one is Iranian, I think.

The troops already know they are in harm's way.

Yeah, that was my point. Were they not plopped down in the middle of Islamistan, some inbred freak burning Korans in Florida would be a non-event.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:57 PM
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18 WNYC is (was?) down here, yeah. A friend of mine who used to DJ there has pointed it out to me twice and said "I used to play the Turangalila Symphony in the middle of the night," so it stuck in my head.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 2:57 PM
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"The CIA is sending radio messages through my fillings!"

Whenever that happens, I send them to my dentist for the new clear fillings that don't conduct radio waves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:00 PM
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I was driving by hallowed ground* in downtown Pittsburgh the other day and couldn't resist snapping a pic.

*Although some patrioticians don't consider the site of a Burlington Coat Factory to be consecrated until it is abandoned.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:01 PM
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20: But have people suggested banning Koran burning? Has the other side even come up?

I could actually see an effort to ban this particular demonstration on the grounds of directly inciting violence. "Fighting words" are a traditional exception for free speech rules. Even John Stuart Mill says that a sign saying "the bread sellers are starvers of the poor" ceases to be protected speech when placed in front of an angry mob about to kill a bread seller.

The problem is that even in the digital age, I don't think a book burning in Florida sparking a riot in Indonesia counts as direct incitement. And in any case, I don't know anyone who has even tried to make this argument.

Also, people shouldn't focus so much on the danger to our soldiers. What about small christian communities in majority Muslim nations? I can imagine a Christian shopkeeper in Jakarta feeling nervous right now.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:02 PM
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22: I do actually enjoy responding to things I consider particularly wrongheaded with "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it on the blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:03 PM
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18, 24: Have they moved? I was there (NPR in NYC) like 5 years ago and it was on 2d Ave in the 20s, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:04 PM
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I can imagine a Christian shopkeeper in Jakarta feeling nervous right now.

Because he wasn't burned out last week, or the week before, or After the invasion of Iraq, or Afghanistan, or 9/11? Religious tolerance is not a strong suit anywhere.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:12 PM
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But sometimes that isn't the question. The question is how can such and such be stopped, prevented, banned or what have you. Stupidity will be impossible to overcome.

People don't consider bribery enough. I know it rewards bad behavior and squeaky wheel and all that. But I am certain that there are things that dude wants to do on Saturday more than he wants to burn that Koran. Be a special guest at the Beck/Palin fiesta? He'd hardly have time to burn books if he were on a plane two ways.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:13 PM
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From TPM:

Several news outlets are now reporting that the Park51 folks say there is no deal with Florida pastor Terry Jones to move the "Ground Zero Mosque" farther away from the World Trade Center site.

I mean, how could this have even come up? Bizarre. Sadly, I think Minivet is right.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:14 PM
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That Kardashian one is Iranian, I think.

Armenian.

Have they moved? I was there (NPR in NYC) like 5 years ago and it was on 2d Ave in the 20s, I think.

Yes, to Varick St. And "Talk of the Nation" is not a WNYC program.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:15 PM
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That Kardashian one is Iranian, I think.

Armenian.

Have they moved? I was there (NPR in NYC) like 5 years ago and it was on 2d Ave in the 20s, I think.

Yes, to Varick St. And "Talk of the Nation" is not a WNYC program.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:15 PM
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Poop.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:15 PM
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Megan: blackmail is exactly what is being discussed, but as you point out, with the wrong party. Bribery is the front end of blackmail. It is the way many things get done, all over the world.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:16 PM
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Jackmormon is BANNED!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:17 PM
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Just like old times.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:20 PM
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Arcade Fire is band!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:23 PM
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39: You have a right to say that!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:24 PM
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What would be wrong if they built an actual Ground Zero Mosque? I mean, the whole theo-freak line is that it's Hallowed Ground. What could be more appropriate than a house of worship?

I know, I know, this is America, and we worship money. So we'll honor the dead by erecting sacred office buildings over their ashes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:27 PM
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What about small christian communities in majority Muslim nations?

And what about Muslims in the United States? That's where this bit of incitement is actually aimed.

No doubt when people start getting shot, Rev. Jones will sadly shake his head and say that things have gone too far - just as Sarah Palin is doing with Rev. Jones, even though it's pretty easy to see how her behavior incites his kind.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:31 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:32 PM
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43:You have a right to say that!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:34 PM
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What would be wrong if they built an actual Ground Zero Mosque?

Depends on the "they", doesn't it. IIRC, this particular group is not interested in harmony. It's a beachhead.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:34 PM
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IIRC, this particular group is not interested in harmony. It's a beachhead.

What the...

OKAY IT'S NOT CRAZY TROLL DAY, TLL. NONE OF THAT.

No, really, are you serious? Where on earth would you have gotten that?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:35 PM
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IIRC, this particular group is not interested in harmony.

Bullshit.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:36 PM
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Where on earth would you have gotten that?

A fair and balanced source, assuredly.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:38 PM
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Sweet fucking Christ in Heaven, this place has gone insane. Off to swim walk the dogs pick up the girls.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:40 PM
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Imam Rauf is pretty much bin Laden, really.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:41 PM
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Cordoba! Cordoba!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:41 PM
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They hate us for our rich Corinthian leather.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:44 PM
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It's all about antisemitism. First they conquer us, then the Lur Mexicans stage a reconquista and kick both the Muslims and the Jews out. Muslims are sneaky that way.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:45 PM
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50. Thanks for the link. I was under the impression that this was another Wahhabist group, using Saudi money. And maybe I'm paranoid, but it does seem odd that this is the only place in Manhattan that works for them.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:50 PM
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54: They're Sufi. Which is like being Unitarian.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:54 PM
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See, it matters who the "they" is. And yes, my information came from half heard crap on hate radio driving home. Not being a fan of the Wahhabists, I made the assumption. I stand corrected.

It's still a beachhead, but maybe a good one.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 3:58 PM
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There [was going to be/is going to be] a culinary institute at the Cordoba Center!! How fucking awesome is that!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:00 PM
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Good lord, TLL. Look at them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:00 PM
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Mere trickery, Megan. Pastor Jones looks peacefull enough when he prays, I'm sure.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:03 PM
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NM over at EotAW pointed out a site that seemed to be essentially the Muslim Yelp, where one could read "reviews" of Imam Rauf's current mosque. One (hijab-wearing) woman complained that she didn't feel like she fit in because she covered her hair and because they were not keen to accommodate her request *not* to pray in a mixed-gender group.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:04 PM
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Imam Rauf has well-known ties to a violent extremist.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:05 PM
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They are inscrutable.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:08 PM
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They are inscrutable

Wait, I thought that was the Yellow Peril? The things you learn.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:14 PM
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And yes, my information came from half heard crap on hate radio driving home.

Hmm. There might be a lesson in this. ...

And maybe I'm paranoid, but it does seem odd that this is the only place in Manhattan that works for them.

Not just them, of course. Somehow, the relevant city authorities approved construction of this community center. And Mayor Bloomberg himself is okay with it. There was no controversy whatsoever, in fact, during the planning stages.

And, um, why should there be? Hell, I'd let Newt Gingrich build a church near the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City if he wanted to, even though Newt really does hate us for our freedom.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:14 PM
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54: And maybe I'm paranoid, but it does seem odd that this is the only place in Manhattan that works for them.

Jeez, TLL--his current mosque, Masjid al-Farah, is 12 blocks from the WTC site on West Broadway just below Canal St. (not sure that the new community center/prayer space is intended to supplant that). The building at the new site is already being used as a prayer space due to overcrowding at the other small mosque in the neighborhood. Here is a 1997 article about Masjid al-Farah from the NYTimes.

Mrs. Friedrich said there was no particular reason why TriBeCa was chosen for the site [in 1985 - JPS], except that a previous mosque was in SoHo, so the area was familiar, and real estate was affordable. She said the mosque has good relations with neighbors, including officers in the First Precinct, who provided protection after the 1993 Trade Center bombing, when anti-Muslim sentiment rose.
And although it is in the "neighborhood" of the WTC, by Lower Manhattan geographical standards it is not really all that close. Going bargain-shopping at Century 21 is actually "close".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:18 PM
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I'm with Ben Franklin on this one:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:21 PM
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They're Sufi. Which is like being Unitarian

Sufis can claim Rumi. What poets do the Unitarians have? Can you pick up hippie chicks by reciting Lowell?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:24 PM
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There is a very big mosque across the street from me. Somehow I have survived.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:26 PM
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There is a very big mosque across the street from me. Somehow I have survived.

So far.

Look, Being of the Muslim faith is neither here not there, and all are free to practice their religion as they see fit. There are no preconditions.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:33 PM
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This post title keeps making me think of horrible early-90s Harrison Ford vehicle Regarding Henry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:34 PM
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Wait, Béla Bartók was Unitarian? Huh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:39 PM
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67: Good ol' e.e., although I'm not sure he makes the girls squeal in a Rumi-like manner (despite the pun possibilities).


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 4:56 PM
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What poets do the Unitarians have?

My uncle is a Unitarian poet.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:02 PM
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To bring the conversation to genuine fundies, Christ are the Lubavitcher out in numbers today. I got stopped/hailed by a half dozen of them in a half mile stretch walking towards Eastern Parkway on Underhill, then another four times walking back on Vanderbilt.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:10 PM
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73: Rumi:

There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into
me. Close the language- door and

open the love window. The moon
won't use the door, only the window.

What's your uncle got?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:18 PM
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Any New Yorkers who want to put their bodies where their rhetoric is, here's your chance:

Vigil on Sept. 10 for Equality, Diversity & Religious Freedom
On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, we will join together in support of the American constitutional values of religious freedom, diversity, and equality, and the rights of Muslim Americans to build a community center at 51 Park Place. Join us at sundown on Friday, September 10th for a candlelight vigil. Please register.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:19 PM
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Christ are the Lubavitcher

I think ur confused

And I see Lubavitch and think Lubitsch so what do I know


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:24 PM
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I'm not registering since I get enough spam, but I will try to make it.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:25 PM
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75: I rode by a very large gathering of Hasadim praying on the shore of the East River near Kent Ave. Anybody know what ritual that might be?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:25 PM
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Listening to the news, I have to concede that Terry Jones is an evil genius. He wanted attention, he got it. He wanted anger, he got it. He wanted the media to make community center-building equivalent to Koran-burning, he got it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:26 PM
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What's your uncle got?

Unlike Rumi himself, he probably did get the hippie chicks.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:27 PM
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79: Tashlikh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:31 PM
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I like this thread much better. It's cozy over here with Rumi and the Chabad.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:35 PM
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78: Yay tkm!

(And you or anyone can click on the "Please Register" link for a little more background info; it's not the actual registration link.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:38 PM
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76: We had such a laugh the other day at an anarchist meeting when one fellow suggested that we have a list for people to "register" when they arrived at a public event we are planning. I said "I'm okay with that, as long as there's a sign next to the sheet that reads 'Register Communists, Not Guns'"

Oh, how we laughed!

And then we found five dollars realized that we are actually going to have plenty of money for all of the expenses, and will probably be able to save half the overage for next year and still give a tidy sum to an important anarchist community project.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:42 PM
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I'm a Unitarian from Gainesville. This thread is all about me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:46 PM
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an important anarchist community project.

Oxymoron?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 5:54 PM
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I prefer the Guest House. Somehow, it seems appropriate for today's comments:

Rumi - Guest House
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 6:00 PM
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87: Well, it's important to us. Although I grant you, talking about "community" in the context of a capitalist society is somewhat fraught, despite our best intentions.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 6:01 PM
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What's your uncle got?

WIND

The wind ruffles the little girl's
hair,
Tugs at her skirt, sends
her little red ball flying.

- - - - until she runs weeping
into her mother's arms.

The wind mopes about
in the grass at the edge
of the playground, ashamed.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 6:01 PM
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Teraz, it's one thing I don't miss about the Slope. My nabe is Modern Orthodox and I have not once been excuse-me-are-you-Jewished. Which is too bad in a way because I finally came up with an answer that isn't a lie but contains a sufficient degree of "fuck off," which is "not in any way that's of use to you."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 6:03 PM
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Wait, Béla Bartók was Unitarian?

Given his connection to Romania, I'm guessing he was of the Transylvanian strain of Unitarianism.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 6:15 PM
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I'm guessing he was of the Transylvanian strain of Unitarianism.

UniTAAAAAARianisssssm.

Also, there is only one good Terry Jones and this asshat in Florida is not him.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 6:23 PM
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Ahahah. Moron preacher man is taking back the cancellation now, maybe.
Heebie, I blame you.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:02 PM
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Ah. This thread feels better.


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:11 PM
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Moron preacher man is taking back the cancellation now, maybe

Ugh. This means another two dozen content-free updates from CNN "breaking news" on Twitter, doesn't it?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:11 PM
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Moron preacher man is taking back the cancellation now, maybe

Ugh. This means another two dozen content-free updates from CNN "breaking news" on Twitter, doesn't it?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:11 PM
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Yeah, like that.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:12 PM
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I just tell them 'wrong half'. It works like a charm (or curse for their purposes).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:16 PM
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Kobe!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:18 PM
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Stanle!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:22 PM
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Stella! Stella!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:25 PM
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76, 78: I will be there tomorrow night. Email me at the linked address should you want to meet. (It's not only mere blocks from the WTC site, by the way, it's mere blocks from Fresh Salt.)


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:38 PM
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e-mailed, btw what time is 'sundown' for this purpose 6? 7? 8?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:46 PM
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What would be wrong if they built an actual Ground Zero Mosque?

Well, it'd get in the way of the tickets the GOP likes to sell to the site and it'd make it harder to fuck the rotting corpses of the WTC dead, but personally, I think it'd be fucking sweet.

This means another two dozen content-free updates from CNN "breaking news" on Twitter, doesn't it?

If you're getting CNN updates on Twitter, you have no one to blame but yourself.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:48 PM
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If you're getting CNN updates on Twitter, you have no one to blame but yourself.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 7:57 PM
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Mr. Blandings: Thanks for the thought, but I am not in NY. I should say that I always envision your comments coming from Cary Grant, so it's very tantalizing.

The event is at 7:15, according to the actual signup page (which is linked from the page I linked above).

We had such a laugh the other day at an anarchist meeting when one fellow suggested that we have a list for people to "register"

Laugh, yes, but I'm pretty hardcore on the related issue of using Facebook to coordinate activist events. You can't trust them and they are going to give your data to the government whenever they ask. I think people miss how much they can endanger others just by revealing their social circles so fully.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 8:25 PM
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For example, Facebook tells me that Witt is friends with George Tenet, Brock Lesnar, and Carlos the Jackal, and joined the "International Superspy Librarians with Internet Addiction Support Group."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 8:30 PM
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That's a scurrilous lie. The French don't let Carlos have Facebook in prison, unless those cushy American prisons.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 8:34 PM
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Unlike!

I should clearly get back to writing my memo and stop attempting to speak English in blog comments.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 8:34 PM
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IOW the cover story for her ninjutsu is intact.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 8:34 PM
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Ah, Rumi. Such a beautiful writer. I think I shall read him before I go to bed tonight. Thanks, Unfogged!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 11:33 PM
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That Terry Jones is such a nazi dumbfuck, even Geert "let's put a tax on hijabs that'll teach him" Wilders thought he went a bit too far. Isn't there a local sherrif that can arrest him for being too dumb to live?

Confirms everything Top Gear ever said about Florida though.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09- 9-10 11:50 PM
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103, 104, 107: Come to think of it, I suppose this is worth skipping biking home for; this is close enough to work that I really should go. I'll email the two of you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 4:57 AM
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New York Neighbors for American Values (the folks hosting the vigil) are saying 7:15pm.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 7:22 AM
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being too dumb to live

Smart enough to get himself Paris Hilton levels of media attention, personal calls from the top levels of the American government, and world-wide publicity for his podunk church.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 7:33 AM
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116: I would fault his stupidity for apparently believing that he had actually struck a deal to get Park51 moved. NPR, CNN, etc. believed it, too, though. Not sure if that makes it worse or better.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 7:39 AM
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believing that he had actually struck a deal

If he did. I don't think he had publicly linked his event with the Park51 center at all until the press conference. And now the international media waits with bated breath for the Sunshine State Hamlet to announce whether he's having his dumbassed bonfire, or the outcome of his personal negotiations with Imam Rauf (as the personal representative of Christians the world over, apparently).

Stupid like a fox, I'd say.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 7:51 AM
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I agree with apo. Stupid like a fox.

I am disappointed that it was this easy for someone to get so much attention simply by being a jerk.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 7:57 AM
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Aahahahha. And so it begins.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 8:17 AM
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I've decided I'm in favor of Koran burning.

The argument against it seems to me to be too close to the argument against the Mosque in New York. "Well, you have the right to do it, but you shouldn't because you need to be more sensitive to people who would be offended by it due to their ridiculous beliefs."

Whether the ridiculous belief is that Muslims=Al Quaeda, or that burning a book has cosmic effect of pissing off God and somehow justifies Anti-American violence, I think both those views are being given undue deference. I think its more important to stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, whether its the freedom to build a house of worship where ever you please, or freedom for a fundie lunatic church to express whatever it wants without getting heavy-handed calls from the State department.

I think supporting these rights means more than saying, "yeah, you have a right to do it, but maybe you shouldn't..." Instead, its better to say "yeah, you have a right to do it, and you should push back if anyone tells you different."

Looks like I've bought into the equivalence. Damn you, media!


Posted by: Harry Truman | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:34 AM
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"Well, you have the right to do it, but you shouldn't because you need to be more sensitive to people who would be offended by it due to their ridiculous beliefs."

The difference is that I don't want to be lumped in with the Koran burning asshole, to the rest of the world. I'm not in danger of being lumped in with the people promoting the community center, and even if I were, it wouldn't bother me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:41 AM
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Try thinking through why you're not comfortable saying that under your normal pseudonym, and see if that affects your thinking on the topic.

It's normally a good thing to avoid hurting people's feelings, even if those feelings are, in your opinion, silly. And it's an actively bad thing to do to do something for no reason other than to hurt people, even if they shouldn't be hurt by it. There's nothing wrong with having a interesting and varied sex life, and people who disapprove of other people for having sex are wrong. On the other hand, if you walk up to a personally conservative person and say "Your mother sucks cock in biker bars", you're the asshole, even if there's not a thing wrong with sucking cock in biker bars. Burning the Koran (Qura'an? Is there a political valence to the spelling?) is right up there as an asshole thing to do, regardless of the fact that I share your belief that there's no God to be pissed off about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:43 AM
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122. And the simple matter of intention: burning the book is designed to poke someone (not "God") in the eye. Building a community center is designed to improve the lives of the people who are going to use it. Which is why the people opposing the community center have to lie so much about how it's supposed to be a poke in the eye.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:44 AM
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Not trying to be a jerk, but I'm wondering why that is presidential?
I mean, burn away, I say -- the Koran, a Torah, the Christian Testament with words-of-Christ-in-red, the American flag, or a picture of Christopher Hitchens. I don't care. I will likely decide that you're an stunted and/or bigoted twat, but this is a democracy and ultimately I shrug at you. I still don't see how any of that precludes thinking something is a bad idea though.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:45 AM
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Yeah, well, you were in favour of nuking Japan too.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:48 AM
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As with burning flags or records or anything else that you have purchased, it's clearly and obviously protected speech and moreover, your right to dispose of your property as you see fit (within local fire code and waste disposal regulations, etc). Honestly, I don't give a rat's ass who gets heated up about such things, and anybody who would riot over that is desperately in need of a hobby. The flipside of that is that when our homegrown religious freaks go out of their way to deliberately provoke other religious freaks, I don't really care who plants a bomb under their church either.

[shrug]


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:49 AM
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OT: My daughter's teacher had tell a young man in my daughter's class that he could no longer be my daughter's bf bc he set up a facebook page for my daughter and had posted that he was going to marry my daughter on his fb page.

I am mostly amused, but also a little sad for him.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:51 AM
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Was 121 intended to be taken seriously? Really?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:52 AM
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shrug-pwned.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:52 AM
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128: The boy who proposed to me in nursery school is now an Opus Dei loonytunes priest. Behold the power of oudemia!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:54 AM
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Yeah, see, I wish I could go all 127 too. Thing is, we are spending buckets of dough, and putting tens of thousands of kids in harms way, in an effort to convince a large group of people that we're not in a clash of civilizations, and that we don't hate them all because of their religion (only a few of their countrymen and fellow religionists, and only then based on conduct). Yes, I think the effort is doomed to fail. But just like the idiot prison guards who tossed Qurans in latrines (was it really 8 years ago!), there's no call for making it more difficult. Or the failure more spectacular.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:55 AM
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Clearly you broke his heart, oudemia. At least he didn't join the Legion.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:56 AM
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What everybody else said. Think of it as the difference between supporting the right of genuine radical Islamists to build a mosque and the Cordoba House people. The fact that I think the radicals should have the same freedom of speech and freedom of religion rights as everyone else doesn't preclude me from judging their beliefs and deciding they're scum.

The reason I'm going to this vigil/demo isn't because I 'support' the building of a mosque in an abstract sense, since I don't actually have an opinion. (Build a mosque, build a department store, build an office building, build a church, build a nice restaurant... who the fuck cares?) I'm going because I find the anti-Muslim discourse in this country surrounding this planned mosque/community center to be absolute evil and I think it is important to demonstrate to American Muslims that at least some of us strongly oppose the hate campaign.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:59 AM
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132 is right. Koran-burning is wrong because it makes people unhappy and there's no good reason to do it, it's stupid and harmful because there are real world consequences to making people unhappy.

The idiots who are going to do have a perfect right to, but it's not a good idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 9:59 AM
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Speaking of Opus Dei, did anyone else read the "Opus Dei has pretty girls too!" article?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:00 AM
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we are spending

But many Americans do believe that there is a clash of civilizations, and this cheap theater is political speech to make that point. I don't, I deplore tribalism, but my views are pretty deeply unpopular.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:02 AM
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we are spending buckets of dough, and putting tens of thousands of kids in harms way

But *that's* the real provocation, not some two-bit Florida peckerwood with a congregation smaller than my office's Statistical Programming department.

in an effort to convince a large group of people that we're not in a clash of civilizations

That's... not really the effort for which we are expending the blood and treasure. We're trying to convince them of that because our brilliant leaders made a bipartisan decision to rain bombs all over the region *precisely* in an effort to remake the region in our own image.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:03 AM
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138: This is also right -- half the offense is in the media morons who are feeding this guy publicity. It wouldn't have any important ill-effects if people would just ignore him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:05 AM
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On a related note, my institution is hosting a "9-11 remembrance with Zumba-thon."

Is it just me, or is that a little tacky?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:06 AM
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So, on a related note, am I the last person on this blog who doesn't support withdrawing from Afghanistan, and should I have gone presidential for this?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:09 AM
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140: I did not know what Zumba was until just now.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:11 AM
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No need to go presidential, I disagree but not in a morally outraged way. I'm only in favor of withdrawing because I can't see how our presence will make things better, not because I think things will be good, or even tolerable, if we leave. If you have a theory as to how our presence is improving things, we can always use guest posts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:12 AM
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141: Maybe, and no, I don't think so.

So, do you support what Obama is doing in Afghanistan or do you wish he was pursuing it in another way?

And, what do you think we can accomplish by staying in Afghanistan? Or are you mainly just scared of what will happen if we leave?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:16 AM
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am I the last person on this blog

Maybe, but we could maybe scare up one or two more if we really beat the bushes. I think we should leave because the entire exercise is doomed to failure, and best to cut our losses now as we approach our third consecutive year of a trillion-plus dollar deficit.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:16 AM
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143: We can always use guest posts whether he has a theory or not, in all fairness.

</nosflow>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:16 AM
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I don't think that things will be good or even tolerable in Afghanistan regardless of whether we stay or leave. I do think that if we leave the Taliban will return to power and that it is very likely that they will have the same policy of supporting large scale Al Qaeda/Al Qaeda type training, planning and other activity that they did up through 2001, and that that poses a genuine security threat to the US. That said, I'm very skeptical that the huge build up we're doing is going to help. I'd prefer a much smaller but indefinite presence coupled with an intelligent massive bribery program to keep a stalemate in place.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:18 AM
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am I the last person on this blog who doesn't support withdrawing from Afghanistan

Depends on what the meaning of "withdrawal" is. I don't favour a complete and instantaneous pull-out, but I'd definitely be behind a major reduction in troop strength this winter and a real rethink of the strategy (such as it is).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:19 AM
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I do think that if we leave the Taliban will return to power

Unlikely for reasons too complex to explain briefly. Try here.
http://www.afghanistanstudygroup.org/NewWayForward_report.pdf

and that it is very likely that they will have the same policy of supporting large scale Al Qaeda/Al Qaeda type training, planning and other activity that they did up through 2001, and that that poses a genuine security threat to the US.

Again see the link. Anyway, AQ doesn't exist now in the way it did in 2001. Afghanistan's irrelevant to the kind of decentralised ops that have been happening in London, Madrid, etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:22 AM
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In petty, self-absorbed moments, what I hate most about this whole idiotic affair is that it cheapens my own, perfectly valid loathing for religion. Can't a guy nurture a fairly rational terror of institutional monotheism without associating with a bunch of mouth-breathing book burners and, uh, mosque-movers?

Exactly.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:23 AM
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Eh. I don't think the Taliban would have posed much of a security threat in 2001 were it not for the fact that they were flying under the radar. We've got the ability to keep an eye on al Qaeda in Afghanistan at least as much as we do in Pakistan, I suspect.

I'm open-minded that there might be a case to be made for maintaining a substantial presence in Afghanistan, but I haven't heard that case made.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:23 AM
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147: If that's your theory, I don't think there's much to be said for it; the kind of terrorism that's a genuine worry doesn't require the support of a national government (that is, I'm not clear on what's ever happened for which large-scale AQ training was a prerequisite.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:23 AM
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I don't think the Afghanistan war is the moral horror that the Iraq adventure was. But I don't see how the goals of the Afghanistan operation (as redefined after Bush got bored of looking for the AQ leadership) can be achieved from here without a full scale colonial enterprise. I doubt whether anybody could sell that to the American electorate and I'm perfectly confident that nobody else on earth would be willing to help.

I don't know what lesser objectives you could consider. Withdrawal seems to be the option that would minimise harm in the region. In passing, the US's natural ally in Afghanistan would be Iran. But that option is closed too.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:28 AM
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152: And even if it did, there isn't anything special about Afghanistan. They could just as easily relocate to Yemen or Somalia or [insert your failed state of choice].


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:28 AM
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a full scale colonial enterprise.

I keep on having vague daydreams about soft, harmless, benevolent colonialism -- funding giant networks of primary and secondary schools, and police/civil service training academies, with salary support for police and civil servants in developing countries worldwide, particularly places like Afghanistan and other failed states. Sort of providing a nurturing environment for healthy civic institutions.

And then I start trying to figure out how that would actually work, and realize that I'm smoking crack and not enjoying it as much as I should be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:33 AM
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The kind of presence that Al Qaeda had in Afghanistan up through 2001 made the odds of successful major attacks much higher. You had friendly safe ground for large numbers of violently inclined like minded religious fanatics to get together, talk, and plan for actions.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:37 AM
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155. The British Colonial Office was stuffed with well meaning administrators who wanted to do so much to better the lives of the less fortunate subjects of empire, who devoted their lives to that goal, and who were genuinely hurt and mystified to discover that those same subjects couldn't wait to see the back of them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:38 AM
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I just skimmed ajay's link that he offered as a point against what I said, yet at first glance it seems pretty close to my views.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:39 AM
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People can get together and talk and plan anywhere, including in my neighborhood. The only thing I can see that you really need an allied or non-interfering government for is large scale military training, because it occupies enough space to be conspicuous. And that sort of thing just isn't a real world threat.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:39 AM
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159 to 156.

And 157 is, of course, right. It's still an error I find seductive: it seems as if there'd have to be some way to do it right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:40 AM
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We've made a colossal fuck up of Somalia and yes, it could end up that way. Our policy towards the initial Islamist victory should have been: do whatever you want, but if you start hosting large scale activity by people planning attacks on the US or our allies, we'll take military action. Yemen could end up that way, but for the moment there is a government that won't tolerate pre-9/11 Afghan style conditions because it likes being in power.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:44 AM
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You don't think if somebody in Upper Manhattan started hosting groups of thousands of people openly discussing terrorist attacks with a 'hey come on over' policy to all such types from around the world, somebody might notice?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:47 AM
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In Upper Manhattan, sure. It takes a lot to stand out in Lower Manhattan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:50 AM
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Mahmoud weighs in on the Terry Jones thing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:50 AM
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162: I'd say it wouldn't be all that difficult to serve the same ends inconspicuously. "Hosting groups of thousands" is conspicuous, but really isn't necessary to discuss or plan terrorism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:51 AM
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It doesn't seem to have stopped any of the groups that have planned or executed attacks in Western Europe since 9/11.*

* which is not to dismiss, either, the far higher death toll in Pakistan and other places.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:53 AM
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It is easier to teach people specific skills if you can get large groups of people together, and recent terrorists have seemed fairly incompetent.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:55 AM
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164. I'd feel so much better if I though that was genuine.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:56 AM
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168: It seems not to be, alas.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:57 AM
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Lizardbreath as Kipling. Whocouldaknowed.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:59 AM
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The problem for would be terrorists in the US is that finding and communicating with each other is a very risky business. Sure, the guy you chatted with at the Tea Party rally might be ranting along about putting the Second Amendment into action, but if you start explaining how you're looking for a few brave patriots to stage another Oklahoma City, there's a chance he'll call the FBI. If Wyoming adopts a policy of 'we love wannabe truck bombers, come on over, organize, train, and network to your hearts content', things get a lot easier.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:00 AM
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Actually, I've never kippled.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:00 AM
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I'm with Ajay -- and thus, I think, with Teraz -- on Afghan issues. A scaled withdrawal and reexamination of mission goals, but not a wholesale or immediate departure. In general, I'm of the "Al Quaeda is a law enforcement/covert operations target, not a basis for large scale colonial rule or nation building" but having invaded the damn place we should leave in a harm-minimizing way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:18 AM
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Personally, I can't get behind any withdrawal from Afghanistan that doesn't include the return of Florida to Spain, Texas and Arizona to Mexico, and Alaska to Russia.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:29 AM
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This is a good PSA along the "Muslims are just like you and me"* lines.

Also, the New York Times offers a reminder that Muslims died at the WTC, too.

*Except for the hating religion part.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:32 AM
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I don't think the Taliban would have posed much of a security threat in 2001 were it not for the fact that they were flying under the radar.

True enough. At radar visible altitude, the planes wouldn't have hit anything.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:34 AM
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I haven't read the 9/11 report, and so I don't know for certain, but I would be quite surprised if the hijackers (or the Cole bombers) received the relevant training in groups of any size at all. When you think about the AQ training missions and camps in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001, you really need to separate training for lowest rank participation in the Afghan civil war and training for actual terrorist activity abroad.

I very seriously doubt that the latter, if it occurred in Afghanistan (and not Germany or Florida), needed much in the way of support of a friendly government.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:45 AM
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Personally, I can't get behind any withdrawal from Afghanistan that doesn't include the return of Florida to Spain, Texas and Arizona to Mexico, and Alaska to Russia.

Hey, Alaska was fully paid for, bub.


Posted by: William Seward | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:47 AM
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I'd like to see a deal in Afghanistan. I wish we were capable, as a polity, of even contemplating one. We aren't, and so, with Nearer My God to Thee echoing across the waters, we'll continue moving chairs around. Until cold sea is at least waist high.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 11:51 AM
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I'd like to see a deal in Afghanistan

A deal with whom? Karza?, Mullah Omar? The ISI?

Our Anglo-Puritan roots makes outright bribery distasteful, although every Afghan knows that funds are available from the Americans. When in Rome, etc.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:11 PM
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177 -- I've read the 9/11 report. Both the 9/11 hijackers and the USS Cole bombers were trained in 1999at a military compound in Afghanistan run by Al Quaeda, with classes of about 20 people in more-or-less formal military style training.

But the broader significance of Afghanistan, though, wasn't that it allowed space for a training camp -- it was that it was a place which the Al Quaeda folks could get into and out of without a need for a passport or anything else, and where they could run their recruitment and financial operations more or less openly. I think it's quite clear, if you read the report, that the kind of operation that led up to USS Cole and 9/11 would have been massively more difficult if AQ had needed to operate covertly. That's partially because of the loose nature of the organization -- a lot of the 9/11 attackers, including KSM, basically found their way to Afghanistan looking to cause trouble, because they knew that Afghanistan was a congenial place for all of them, and the open environment helped them hook up, with horrible results. I don't think that means that we need to nation-build everywhere AQ might show up, but it's not at all crazy to think that a state-supported AQ able to operate in the open in a country really is a different, and much more severe, kind of threat than an organization forced to act clandestinely around the world.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:13 PM
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180.1 -- Everyone.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:14 PM
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182. That's what the Brits did, back in the day. The Russians, not so much.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:18 PM
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181.1 -- Sure, but I don't care where they had small arms training, or ran through an array of tires, or any of that stupid shit. What matters is where they learned the more advanced mission-specific stuff. I know that as a people we are afraid of guys who had 3 weeks of basic training 8 years ago, but making decisions like what to do about Afghanistan ought to be driven a little more rationally.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:19 PM
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Well, but see 180.2. The point about ability to operate in the open isn't really about having a big field to conduct basic training.

Anyhow, I suspect we broadly agree -- the truth is that 9/11 could have been averted by a marginally competent FBI or slightly stronger metal detectors. But there's a big difference between being able to have an open, state sponsored home base for your terrorist group and not having one.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:21 PM
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the truth is that 9/11 could have been averted by a marginally competent FBI

Jack Bauer was busy. Isn't your premise the fundamental flaw with the law enforcement approach to terrorism? It is hard to know just when the conspiracy will switch into action and not just talk, and it is hard to prosecute a bunch of guys for just talking.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:26 PM
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Right. That's why you need to kill everybody in advance just in case.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:30 PM
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I told you Jack Bauer was busy. Better just to deport everyone whose skin is darker than a grocery bag.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:32 PM
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and it is hard to prosecute a bunch of guys for just talking.

I was under the impression that conspiracy to commit murder qualifies as a prosecutable act, am I wrong?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:34 PM
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IANAL, but I didn't say couldn't be done, I said it was hard to do.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:36 PM
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Plus, it's not just prosecution. I'm generally fairly strongly for civil liberties, but I do think that if the police receive a report that somebody is planning to set off a bomb they should investigate. And if they find that that somebody has been going around buying large amounts of fertilizer and diesel fuel with no plausible reason for having them, search warrants and wiretaps might well be a good idea.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:43 PM
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Jack Bauer was busy.

You know, people really should read he 9/11 report, which is not only incredibly informative but is, in parts, beautifully written. Anyhow, if you'd read the report, you'd know that the period leading up to 9/11 was chock full of incredible chances blown by the FBI, the CIA, and the government as a whole. The agencies had tracked the movement of some of the terrorists -- notably Mhdhar and Hamzi -- into the US as early as 1999 and 2000, but lost the leads and failed to follow up on them. In July, 2001, FBI agents warned about the number of potential islamic terrorists in flight schools, but there was no follow up. Moussaoui was actually detained before the attacks, but, again, no follow up. And there's a lot of evidence that the CIA had some pretty specific intelligence about what KSM was doing, but it never got coordinated with anything else.

And that's not to mention what could have been prevented in the airport security line.

No need for a Jack Bauer or massive invasions of Islamic countries.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:47 PM
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search warrants and wiretaps might well be a good idea

"Your honor, this known dusky foreigner has purchased some box cutters and has taken flight lessons. We need a wiretap to determine his ultimate plan"


Posted by: Jack Bauer | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:48 PM
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And there's a lot of evidence that the CIA had some pretty specific intelligence about what KSM was doing, but it never got coordinated with anything else.

Thank you, Church Committee.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:50 PM
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This person who we have reliable information of having attended an al Qaeda training camp is attending flight schools. We also have evidence that al Qaeda has discussed using hijacked planes as a weapon. Here's our evidence, could we have a wiretap warrant? The threshold for wiretap or search warrants isn't and shouldn't be 'guilty beyond a reasonable doubt'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:53 PM
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Stay classy NY Post and Fox--mapping the location of human remains from 9/11 versus the Park51 project.

And it turns out 9/11 just so happened to be a convenient day for Beck and Palin to appear together at a rally with tickets going for $75-$225--nothing otherwise special about that day, no exploitation whatsoever.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:54 PM
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196.1 is revolting.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 12:55 PM
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Here's our evidence, could we have a wiretap warrant?

You know, its not like the Bush administration ever gave a crap about warrants for wiretaps, even before 9/11.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 1:43 PM
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You know, its not like the Bush administration ever gave a crap about warrants for wiretaps, even before 9/11.

Where there a lot more wiretaps in the nine months since they took office?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 1:48 PM
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The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 2:00 PM
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200. An order of magnitude more. Was there no length that wouldn't go for your protection? Condom jokes excluded.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 2:13 PM
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Can't a guy nurture a fairly rational terror of institutional monotheism

No, actually. Painting all institutional monotheism with the same broad brush is still bigotry.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 4:27 PM
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Rally live blogging: violence appears unlikely. I regret having dragged out one of my only two white garments (Penn State sweatshirt) as no one else seems to have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 5:01 PM
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It's after Labor Day LB.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 5:13 PM
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I'm confused. Was that to highlight the blood in case of violence?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 5:21 PM
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Thank you, Church Committee.

You're bemoaning the impact (negligible, because of Dick Cheney, though it might be) of the Church Committee? Or am I reading you wrong?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 5:39 PM
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There were plenty of people wearing white as the organizers asked, though most weren't. That is not to be confused with the make of the quite respectable crowd, which contrary to the speakers' statements, was a hell of a lot more white than NYC as a whole. LB, Blandings and I have two requests to organizers of things like this: first of all, can we skip the custom written worse than parody folk songs, and two, when you're making shout-outs to those of 'various faith traitions: Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Bahai... would it hurt to mention us non-believers?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:08 PM
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There was an idiot waving a sign by the side of the road in front of the state capitol today as I was driving home. It read "Stop the Victory Mosque at Ground Zero!"

I could not keep myself from catching his eye and flipping him off long and hard as I drove by.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09-10-10 10:18 PM
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would it hurt to mention us non-believers?

Even fucking Obama has been known to get that occasionally. This is the sort of thing that reminds me that America is really alien.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-11-10 3:24 AM
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On the other hand...


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-12-10 9:29 AM
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Report from a week in the UK:

Top UK news stories:

1. That guy in Florida burning the Koran
2. UK budget cuts
3. Pakistani cricket match-fixing scandal
4. David Cameron's father dying and baby being born
5. Trapped Chilean miners

The coverage on the budget cuts is interesting. There are lots of stories giving what I presume is supposed to be the surprising news that "Cuts Will Hit Poor More Than Rich". Now, this isn't good news, but at least the UK seems to be a country where people think there's some chance that budget cuts will NOT hit poor more than rich.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-13-10 9:05 AM
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