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August 11, 2010

Ground Zero mosque
Posted by Teresa at 07:15 AM * 649 comments

I note with disapprobation the continuing flap about building a mosque next to the site of the World Trade Center attacks.

You know, if we’re trying to prevent future attacks on that site, putting a mosque there doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

I don’t think the protesters have thought this through. But then, so many of the “WE MUST NEVER FORGET 9/11” hardliners seem to live in midcontinent cities where the only terrorist threat is homegrown American crazies. I always want to tell them “Dude, I don’t know about you, but here in NYC we’re not likely to forget 9/11, so please stop yelling at us about it, thank you very much and have a nice day.”

More to the point: where do these hicks get off thinking that no Muslims died in the WTC towers?

The appropriate comment in the local dialect is unsuitable for publication, so I’ll just have to fill in again with “thank you very much and have a nice day,” and hope they can translate.

Comments on Ground Zero mosque:
#1 ::: jnh ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 08:40 AM:

I don't suppose it would help to tell the idiots that their behavior makes them Osama bin Laden's obedient pawns?

#2 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 08:44 AM:

Teresa, your Google link doesn’t work over here in UK.  Whatever it is that redirects www.google.com to www.google.co.uk loses all the subsequent parameters, so all I get is Google UK’s front page.

#3 ::: Malaclypse ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 08:45 AM:

You know, if we’re trying to prevent future attacks on that site, putting a mosque there doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

I'm going to disagree. I think the right is pretty much guaranteed to, at some point, do something against the mosque that will qualify as terrorism.

I hope I'm wrong.

#4 ::: scyllacat ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 08:55 AM:

Thank you.

The social ramifications as to whether this Islamic center is appropriate are for people who live there to iron out.

The legality is clear.

The politics, on the other hand, have been ridiculously stupid.

#5 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 08:56 AM:

jnh – no, I don’t suppose it would help either.  I don’t think there’s any point in trying to engage in debate with those people, any more than with the Tea Party (probably the same).  Don’t bother them with facts – they’ve already made up their minds.

#6 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:04 AM:

Try the link now and see if it works.

#7 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:10 AM:

Link is good now (reports London).

#8 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:14 AM:

Right after the attacks occurred, I was pretty sure we'd see a demonizing of Muslims ranking close to the demonizing of people of Japanese and German ancestry during WWII. I remain surprised (but still just as disgusted) by this issue.

One NY Politician is campaigning on the issue, and claiming he'll use 'he'd use eminent domain to take over the site and make it a war memorial "instead of a momument to those who attacked our country."'

This isn't a local NYC Ground Zero issue either. Groups all across the USA are trying to block new mosques from being built. One group of idiots (tea party nitwits BTW) tried to bring dogs to protest an Islamic center being built because they think Muslims hate dogs. Another group on Staten Island (far enough for Newt Gingrich, one would presume) blocked the sale of a former convent because they didn't want Muslims around. Groups in Tennessee, California, and other states are all trying to stop Muslims from having places to worship.

It clears up the lie that Gingrich, Palin and company are in favor of the first amendment in that they're not defending any of these places from attack.

scyllacat @ #4 -

The social ramifications as to whether this Islamic center is appropriate are for people who live there to iron out.

Ramifications, sure. But the mosque goes up even if local residents (who're OK with it, at least counting Manhattanites) disagree.

#9 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:19 AM:

TNH #6 : yes, it’s good now, thanks.

Rather than copying what comes up in the address bar of the search results page, one can construct a search link like this:  http://www.google.com/search?q=ground+zero+mosque
– and that works in the decadent East too.

#10 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:21 AM:

The new thing is to "joke" about offending the Muslims by opening a gay bar next to the mosque. Ha ha, very funny, and totally not both homophobic and xenophobic all in one go!

Trouble is, there are already three gay bars there. (link to Pandagon) Which, presumably, the Cordoba House people already knew.

#11 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:24 AM:

#9 : sorry, I forgot, NYC is the decadent East.  I meant even-more-decadent Europe, of course.

#12 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:28 AM:

Well, there's also already a mosque near there (which, as John Stewart pointed out last night on the Daily Show, has been there since before the World Trade Center was built). The facts haven't seemed to have much relevance to the debate.

#13 ::: Keffy R. M. Kehrli ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:34 AM:

I have been told (though I cannot find independent data on this through Google right now, because all that comes up is the current controversy) that there was a mosque IN the World Trade Center. Yes, a small one, but still.

America: "Oh, I'm sorry, did we say freedom of _religion_? We meant freedom of different kinds of protestant-variety Christianity. Don't look so sad! You can even be a Lutheran!"

Between this and the Qur'an burners in Florida, I just don't even know. I don't understand how people can be so stupid as to not realize that the problem with the countries they're afraid of America becoming is not Islam, it's that they're totalitarian theocracies.

Also, not to be a jerk or anything, but do the people protesting the mosque understand what cities are? I just have to ask. Because the way cities work is that you cram as much stuff into as small a space as you can, due to population density. IF IT IS IN A CITY, it will be REALLY CLOSE TO A LOT OF STUFF.

For example! Forbes ran an editorial a few weeks ago about the number of strip clubs near the WTC site.

#14 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:35 AM:

You know, if we’re trying to prevent future attacks on that site, putting a mosque there doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

Not a bad idea, but I'm not sure it would help much. The people claiming Islamic reasons for perpetrating terror attacks have not shown a lot of aversion to attacking mosques in Islamic countries.

(I see no good argument for blocking the construction of the Islamic center that's planned somewhat near the memorial site, but would happily let it be a NYC local issue if the rest of the country would.)

#15 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:39 AM:

Facts and logic in an election season when there's hay to be made? I'm sorry, I don't think that's happened for many a turn.

Although, personally, it is very disheartening now 9 years into this conflict and because of miseducation and misdirection there's still a lot of people who just don't understand what we're up against, who we're fighting, and why.

#16 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:41 AM:

It makes me crazy to see how politicized this has become. What the hell is going on in these people's minds?

I keep trying to take the long view. In 100 years, won't people think it was nuts to oppose this community center/mosque so vigorously?

I also imagine how I'd feel if it were a JCC or synagogue.

#17 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:42 AM:

Between this and the flap in my own smaller world over the Medieval Academy meeting in Tempe, I really just feel like slapping some sense into people. Or curling up in a ball with cats. Or drinking heavily...

#18 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:53 AM:

The very name "Cordoba" evokes the kinds of things all right-thinking Americans should take up arms against: religious tolerance, pluralism, a commitment to education...oh yeah, and people somewhat browner than I am who don't speak English.

You know you're in trouble when Medieval Spain makes your country look like a vicious, ignorant backwater. Geez.

#19 ::: Holly Hunt ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:00 AM:

Teresa, I can understand that you're mad at the people who are protesting this, but how is calling them names going to help make the issue or the surrounding dialog less divisive? I can't remember any time that someone calling me a hick did anything but give me an excuse to disregard their argument.

#20 ::: Mike Leung ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:07 AM:

Remembering 9-11 didn't seem to stop them from embedding a mosque in the Pentagon: http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/05/muslims_infiltrate_pentagon

#21 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:12 AM:

It's just so transparently stupid. The Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor, therefore we shouldn't allow a Buddhist temple on Oahu? Timothy McVeigh was politically conservative, therefore it's inappropriate to have a regional Republican HQ within fifty miles of Oklahoma City? Nor has anyone noisily advocating this lunacy suggested what the theoretical Minimum Comfort Zone should be, in four dimensions. (Should we ban all Catholic and Protestant churches near the Tower of London, out of consideration for the feelings of the families of everyone killed during the bloodier religious feuds?)

My own mother, who is much too smart for this, has bought into the crazy. She thinks it's a beachhead for the Sinister Muslim Conspiracy.

#22 ::: scyllacat ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:13 AM:

#8 @Josh, yes, which is why I pointed out the differences between the legal and the social. If the (ack! what do you call a Muslim community?) group building this are "making mischief" (as an Muslim commentator suggested) or actually reaching out for religious unity, that's something that will be worked out in practice, with the community. If they start trouble, I'll be the first one (Ok, no, I'd have to be in line behind a lot of New Yorkers) to repudiate their treating the freedoms of this country so shabbily.

There is no legal standing, as many have said, to disallow them to build what they wish on their own property.

#23 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:14 AM:

Hello, Holly, welcome to Making Light. I found it very useful, when I was new here, to read the archives. I think that when you're familiar with Teresa's background, you'll understand why she calls people names sometimes.

For what it's worth, "hick" is a much gentler term than I generally employ for the self-righteously ignorant.

#24 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:19 AM:

There's very little about the controversy that has to do with reason or logic. This is about deeply felt emotions, on both sides.

#25 ::: CJ ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:23 AM:

Those of us in some mid-continent cities with large Muslim populations would like to note that we think it is a fabulous idea that might suggest we have learned the value of inter-faith cooperation and understanding.

Of course, the biggest controversy in my local community about a new mosque was that a local theater lost its lease because the property owners want to raze the building for mosque parking. Thankfully, the theater will be able to find new digs, and the mosque will have plentiful parking, so all should be just fine.

#26 ::: Nightsky ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:27 AM:

CJ@25: Those of us in some mid-continent cities with large Muslim populations would like to note that we think it is a fabulous idea that might suggest we have learned the value of inter-faith cooperation and understanding.

Yes, absolutely. What a shining, gloriously American middle finger towards Al-Quaeda it would be.

#27 ::: paul ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:53 AM:

Teresa:

That's just what the islamospanifascists want you to think. The construction is actually planned to be of a double super secret fake mosque full of targeting equipment. I have discovered this by reading the carefully hidden documents in which Cordoba House is identified not as a mosque but as a cultural center.

They're going to invite infidels to that planned 500-seat auditorium to listen to lectures on the history of algebra, and then they're going to kill them all.

Um.

#29 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:16 AM:

Another D.M. #17:

Is the Tempe flap some sort of fallout from the Arizona illegals thing, or is it something else? (I presented at ACMRS a couple of times about a decade ago, so have a vague associational interest, but no longer have ties to that whole field.)

#30 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:19 AM:

paul @ 27... lectures on the history of algebra, and then they're going to kill them all

Weapons of Math Destruction?

#31 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:23 AM:

Keffy R. M. Kehrli @13: America: "Oh, I'm sorry, did we say freedom of _religion_? We meant freedom of different kinds of protestant-variety Christianity. Don't look so sad! You can even be a Lutheran!"

Nothing to add. Just wanted to admire this some more.

IF IT IS IN A CITY, it will be REALLY CLOSE TO A LOT OF STUFF.

Keffy, just so's you know, I think you've just earned yourself a new fan!

David Harmon @28: Indeed. Ouch.

#32 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:24 AM:

And, Serge, you keep getting me in trouble with my coworkers.

#33 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:45 AM:

Steve C @ 24 — This is about deeply felt emotions, on both sides.

At least part of this is about whether someone with deeply felt emotions should be able to prevent someone else from building a mosque. There have always been people with emotional attachment to their beliefs who try to suppress the expression of other beliefs, and the first amendment is there to prevent such suppression.

I feel some pretty deep emotions about the first amendment.

#34 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:20 PM:

Since at least one poll has shown Manhattanites in favor of this proposal at a higher percentage than that of California voters who voted for Prop 8, I'm sure the "activist judge Walker denies the voice of the people" types will be all for it. Right?

#35 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:20 PM:

Nightsky @21:

A Buddhist temple on Oahu:

Valley of the Temples

And there's a marvelous temple to Kwan Yin in Chinatown in Honolulu...

#36 ::: jnh ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:23 PM:

John Stanning @5:
Don’t bother them with facts – they’ve already made up their minds.
Some snippet I read somewhere recently stated that research showed that ideologues harden their stance when confronted with conflicting facts.

Unfortunately, I need to be doing other things and not getting stuck in GoogleSand.

#37 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:27 PM:

I actually had a (much angrier, but also, I think, wittier) post on this topic almost finished last Tuesday, but decided not to post it, because I figured it could cause several days of argument, and there was something I had planned for the weekend that I didn't want to go into with a big angry argument living in my head.

As it turned out, that was the right decision, because my cable outage on Wednesday and Thursday would have kept me from being able to participate and moderate.

#38 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:29 PM:

And this is located in the cornfields near Toledo, Ohio:

Oh the things that you'll see

#39 ::: Another Damned Medievalist ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:30 PM:

@ joann @#29,

yep -- many of the members objected to holding a meeting because of SB1070, and also the HBs that insist on teachers having "correct accents" and banning ethnic studies.

You can find links to the many posts about it and the article at Inside Higher Ed at this recent post at In The Middle. The comments are also interesting, as they make it clear that the people who run the Medieval Academy are torn, and that three members of the local organizing committee are boycotting.

#40 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 12:41 PM:

As an ex-New Yorker -- I was born at Beth Israel Hospital, thank you very much -- I gotta say, the idea that people outside New York get to tell people who live in New York how to think, feel, and act about real estate in their own city strikes me as clueless.

You got a problem with that?

Yeah, have a nice day.

#41 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 01:11 PM:

Malaclypse, #3: Sadly, I don't think you're wrong. But it won't be called terrorism because the perp(s) will be white and Christian.

David, #12: Well, you know that the facts have a liberal bias, so of course they're irrelevant. This is all about fantasy worlds and racism and hate.

Keffy, #13: And so in the effort to keep "Their America" from becoming like those countries, they're trying to implement a Christian totalitarian theocracy. Because y'know, that would be TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

Holly, #19: If they don't want to be called hicks, then they should stop acting like hicks. Personally, I don't care what someone like that thinks about me, and I doubt that Teresa does either.

Christopher, #34: *snerk*
That's a "Weeble argument" -- when the vote goes against them, they start yelling for a judge to overturn it just as fast.

#42 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 01:23 PM:

Hi, Holly. I had one of my relatives in mind when I typed that word.

For years now I've been watching the noncrazy nonright tone down its language in an attempt to be nicer, less divisive, more bipartisan, et cetera and so forth. It hasn't done a lot of good, and all too often the crazy right has taken it to mean "Hi! Come walk all over me!"

For the record, what I meant by "hicks" was the class of citizens who are invincibly ignorant and proud of it. Their most basic and cherished belief is that whatever they already know is sufficient, even if it's wrong, and their opinions are as good as anyone else's. I wanted to suggest that their understanding of the matter is neither laudable nor sufficient.

Avram @37, I'm sure it would have been wittier.

John Stanning @9, thanks for the tip on Google link formation. I've saved it to Evernote, which is my favorite new application in years.

#43 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 01:45 PM:

I don't ordinarily "me too!", but since the points most important to me have already been made, I'll emphasize them.

Lila @18
Like many of the people here, I'm Jewish. We remember Cordoba. I can't imagine that the people who chose the name "Cordoba House" don't know what they're referring to. When I found that out, any last chance of my not being on their side was gone.

I keep waiting for more people to point out that Timothy McVeigh was a white Christian American veteran, so we need to watch out for that sort of people.

#44 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 01:55 PM:

Lizzy L @ 40... It's probably because my brain has been rotten by too many comic-books, but your post immediately made me think of the first SpiderMan movie's scene where New Yorkers show the Green Goblin that they do not take kindly to his attempts at lording it over their neighborhoods.

#45 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 01:58 PM:

jnh #36: Some snippet I read somewhere recently stated that research showed that ideologues harden their stance when confronted with conflicting facts.

I think what you read is here.

#46 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 02:18 PM:

Melissa Singer @16 -- What the hell is going on in these people's minds?

What is going on in their minds is something that we're all trained to do -- mistaking a symbol for reality. One of the first places this is trained into Americans is the Pledge of Allegiance, which places the flag as at least as important as the Republic.

Part of the question here is who gets to control the symbols and the symbology. Some people think the symbol "Freedom of religion" is more important than the symbol "Honor these particular dead," where others think the opposite. And people tend to be relatively easily manipulated by the symbol that they've first grabbed onto in a discussion. Many people really don't like changing their minds (a quote from a Reagan-era official to the head of the Office of Energy Information Validation: "Mr. Smith, we don't need information. We have policy."). In fact, it's very useful to have a certain amount of sticking-to-one's-guns; there are just times when it's counterproductive. And ah, for the wisdom to know the difference!

This is similar to the arguments that some people (called "ideologues" in a few posts above) harden their thinking when presented with contrary thoughts, but not quite identical.

#47 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 02:31 PM:

I see no one's pointed out how the objectors to the mosque (and to mosque construction around the US) square their desire to restrict Islam with the First Amendment.

From the article linked above (you won't believe me if I paraphrase. I won't believe me if I paraphrase, it's so whacked):

“I do believe everybody has a right to freedom of religion,” [Tea Party activist Diana Serafin] said. “But Islam is not about a religion. It’s a political government, and it’s 100 percent against our Constitution.”

I've also seen people quoted as calling it an "ideology" rather than a religion.

(This was to have been the jumping-off point of the post I was mentally drafting, about how freedom is only real when it's difficult. But it kept dissolving into truisms and clichés.)

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 02:40 PM:

abi @ 47... Same crap they've been pulling since 9/11. Redefine a word and you redefine Reality.

#49 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 02:56 PM:

If Newt's followers want to have a voice in zoning decisions and building permits in New York neighborhoods, then I think New Yorkers should return the favor.

#50 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 03:09 PM:

Since everyone else has pretty much said what I wanted to say, a couple pertinent links:

Fred Clark gets annoyed with the American "heartland".

Xopher's apposite comment.

#51 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 04:05 PM:

When I said I was seeing rhetoric simila to what we had about Japanese Americans during WWII I wasn't farting around

[Senior AFA staffer] Fischer, who is scheduled to speak at the Value Voters Summit in September alongside Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, and a host of other Republican politicians, writes that every mosque "is a potential jihadist recruitment and training center, and determined to implement the 'Grand Jihad.'"

He adds that "because of this subversive ideology, Muslims cannot claim religious freedom protections under the First Amendment. They are currently using First Amendment freedoms to make plans to destroy the First Amendment altogether."

These are, no messing around, pogroms waiting to happen. It happened to my family in Europe before WWII, if these jokers get power, it will happen to Muslims.

#52 ::: Mattathias ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 04:06 PM:

@47, 48: The most effective and insidious way to win arguments is by being in a position to define the terms. Contrariwise, if you can define the rules of a debate and the definitions of the words used in that debate, and still can't win the debate, you're irredeemably unqualified to take part in the debate.

Overton Window and related techniques hinge on being in a position to define the boundaries of the debate.

#53 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 04:30 PM:

TNH @42, but you doubt it would've been angrier? Should I take this as a challenge?

Abi @47, well, from a certain point of view, religion, ideology, and government can start to look the same, or at least like overlapping phenomena, I'll admit.

Still, looking at things with my traditional Enlightenment goggles, if we're going to be talking about religions and governments as if they were different things (and we are going to), Islam is pretty clearly the former and not the latter.

#54 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 04:43 PM:

#47 abi

I see no one's pointed out how the objectors to the mosque (and to mosque construction around the US) square their desire to restrict Islam with the First Amendment.

From the article linked above (you won't believe me if I paraphrase. I won't believe me if I paraphrase, it's so whacked):

“I do believe everybody has a right to freedom of religion,” [Tea Party activist Diana Serafin] said. “But Islam is not about a religion. It’s a political government, and it’s 100 percent against our Constitution.”

I've also seen people quoted as calling it an "ideology" rather than a religion.

And don't forget that Obama isn't a U.S. citizen!

Another, different medieval grad student lays out the Cordoba taifa kingdom's glory days here for those who may not be familiar with this.

I take this knowledge so much for granted -- it's been a part of my general knowledge since about age 11, when I fell in love with the Moorish civilization (at least, as it worked for men ...) -- it's often difficult for me to realize that most people don't even know where Spain and Cordoba are now, much less back in the 8 and 9 hundreds.

Indeed, the further away you are located from Ground Zero the higher your outrage. Myself, I'm about 15 minutes by foot from it, and I lived through it all, so you probably know how I feel about the Cordoba Study Center being built there.

Love, C.

#55 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 04:47 PM:

But, unless I'm mistaken, this proposed Islamic center/mosque isn't at the WTC site.

It's two blocks away which is, in NYC terms, a Long Friggin' Way.

#56 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 04:58 PM:

Jim @#55 - Er, in this NYer's opinion, it's pretty close. Not that I'd care if it was right facing the site of the towers, or if someone wanted a mosque floor in the goddamn replacement building.

#57 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 05:01 PM:

Jim: indeed, the "Ground Zero Mosque" is not at Ground Zero, nor is it a mosque (I believe it will incorporate a prayer room. If this makes a mosque, my university's main campus is a mosque). When even the name of the controversy is 100% false, we're in some kind of Twilight Zone of evil demagoguery.

#58 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 05:53 PM:

Well, I was going to say that I've already written my thoughts about this, and link to my earlier comment, but KeithS already did that (thanks, KeithS!).

I didn't know there was already a mosque in the neighborhood, or that there was one in the WTC, or that there IS one in the Pentagon. All that is useful.

When we discussed this on Boing Boing, some idiot was there saying it's not bigoted to oppose this, that there's nothing anti-Muslim about opposing the building of a mosque there. He insisted even after we pointed out that every one of his objections was something that wouldn't bother him if it wasn't being built by Muslims.

This is the same kind of person (often the same actual individuals) who claims that there's nothing homophobic about being against same-sex marriage. That's bullshit, and so is this.

#59 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 06:35 PM:

Heh. Back in the late 70s, I once amused the hell out of myself by drawing a happy little smile face on the nail of one of my middle fingers and saying, "Hey, have a NICE DAY!!" to people. Um, only people who would get the joke, of course.

Hm. I don't know what makes me look worse. That, or the fact that "Cordoba" makes me think of rich Corinthian leather. (And yeah, the phrase is off, but it's probably how comedians rephrased it on late-night TV at the time. Or something.)

Oh yeah, and it's not even really a mosque. It's a building with a prayer room in it, among other things. It's like calling an airport with a chapel in it a cathedral. (I see now that Sean H. has made this point, so: me too.)

#60 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 06:37 PM:

It would have been more correct for me to say "SeanH." 'Scuse.

#61 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 06:39 PM:

I keep wondering where was all the outrage when a mosque was set up in the Pentagon right after the bombing took place? It's still there too.

As others have pointed out, there's a mosque closer to the WTC area than this community center is located, and there was one on this very site previously.

I grew up near Murfreesboro, TN, where there's a huge uproar over the proposal to build a Muslim community center; the protests aren't founded in reality from what I've read, other than "Muslims are evil" and "they are different from us".

It certainly seems to me that a significant amount of this country is acting a lot like post-Weimar Germany, looking for scapegoats, following politicians saying that it's 'those people's fault' that the economy is so bad, and promising to do something about it.

#62 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 07:23 PM:

We had a Muslim group rent a building for a community center. I don't see many cars there (but I'm usually out between 2-4pm), but there hasn't been any resistance to them renting the place.

#63 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 07:27 PM:

And now the American Family Association has said that no mosques should be built in the USA, ever. What a charming bunch, the AFA.

#64 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 07:39 PM:

Keith, yeah. I hate those stupid fuckers.

#65 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 08:10 PM:

"I have been told (though I cannot find independent data on this through Google right now, because all that comes up is the current controversy) that there was a mosque IN the World Trade Center. Yes, a small one, but still."

Yeah, that was my recollection as well. Makes sense that there would be one. Having to go up/down 50 stories several times a day, and leave the WTC complex, would be a pain.

#66 ::: John David Galt ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:17 PM:

Actually, the right is preparing to do something about it that I think is quite inspired, and not mean at all.

We'll show *you* tolerance!

#67 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:18 PM:

Re 66: DNFTT.

#68 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 09:19 PM:

Regarding mosques in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon:

Are we talking about an actual mosque, or a prayer room? I know that at work we have prayer rooms set up on Middle-Eastern projects.

Keith Kisser @ 63:

The American Family Association is none of those things. Well, possibly an association.

#69 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 10:40 PM:

I'm not sure what makes me angrier:

That shameless fear-mongers and resentment-stokers pull this crap . . . or that it works.

#70 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:12 PM:

KeithS, #68: Every major airport in America has a prayer room. Do they want to start tearing down the airports now because they're all mosques?

Not to mention, why do they think liberals would be upset by the idea of a gay bar in the Plaza? That's just plain dumb.

#71 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2010, 11:23 PM:

The only problem I would have with it is if the funding for it comes from Wahhabi sources. Then the project would be suspect.

#72 ::: San Jacinto ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:08 AM:

Srry bt thnk t's sck tht msq s gng t b blt whr mrcns wr klld fr dng nthng bt gng t thr jbs nd wrkng.

Th crtns n th plns, nd th wrshprs wh wld bw dwn n tht msq ll blv n llh.

Whch mns thy'r ll rdng frm th sm bk.

Whch mns thy ll blv n th sm thng.

t's nt th rght tm, t wll nvr b th rght plc.

#73 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:15 AM:

Re 72: DNFTT.

#74 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:17 AM:

Speaking of hypocrisy...

But of course the opposition to the community center* isn't about racism.

* Language matters. If we call it a "mosque", we're being suckered into their game.

#75 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:20 AM:

San Jacinto @72 Which means they're all reading from the same book. Which means they all believe in the same thing.

You've... not actually studied a great deal of history, have you?

(PS to TexAnne: mea culpa. It's just that there's so much candy in this one.)

#76 ::: San Jacinto ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:22 AM:

Nt trllng, Tx. Jst wntd t hv my sy. thnk tht t's rdcls.

Wld y llw Jpn t rct mnmnt rght nxt t th SS rzn n Prl Hrbr?

#77 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:27 AM:

I'm wondering how many (&/or what percentage) of the people killed in the WTC destruction were Muslims. Almost certainly it was a larger percentage than in the U.S. population at large, because of the number of offices connected with predominantly-Islamic countries.

I suppose it's perilous to disagree with New Yorkers, but I don't see this as an NYC local matter. If a religion-oriented cultural center is banned (for any but solidly-established & impartially-applied) zoning reasons) in any part of the country, it's a matter of concern for all Americans.

#78 ::: San Jacinto ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:35 AM:

Prct - ll Mslms rd th Qr'n nd fllw ts tchngs. Lk Chrstns nd th Bbl.

Dn't ssm 'm n dt bcs hv dffrnt vw thn y. t mks y cm ff s cmplt fckfc.

#79 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:43 AM:

TexAnne, my apologies, but I'm just adoring my mental image of you as "Tex". You've even got Dale Evans beat! Someone more skilled than I should be able to get a poem out of that.

#80 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:46 AM:

Don 77: Antinous, writing here, says it was about four times the average per religion.

[Comment to "San Jacinto" omitted after some thought. TexAnne is right, as usual.]

#81 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:47 AM:

Looks like a few vowels won't be here much longer.

#82 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:53 AM:

Jon, hopefully the whole ignorant troll will follow them out the door.

#83 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 01:11 AM:

janetl: Thanks, li'l lady! You c'n borry mah pearl-handled six-shooters any tahm ya want!

...okay, I think I just sprained something.

#84 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 01:18 AM:

San Jacinto, if you comment here again, on this topic, you will be wasting your own time and ours.

#85 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 01:21 AM:

I'm sorry, I know, but, but, but the *sporfl* of this is irresistable:

all Muslims read the Qur'an and follow its teachings. Like Christians and the Bible.

Why, yes. Exactly like. Every follower of the religion follows the same holy book, from which it follows that the religion is global monolith, unschismable, indivisible, a single homogenous denomination agreeing unanimously among its serried ranks on the interpretation of every verse, each adherent a spiritual clone of the next. Exactly.

*snrk* *snort* *guffaw*

#86 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 01:22 AM:

Sorry, Avram. Cross-posted. Had I seen yours, I would not have given in to temptation.

#87 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 02:27 AM:

Nicole, #86: But that's not hard to explain at all. Every single tiny little splinter group simply defines "Christianity" to mean what they think, and defines every other group as "heretics" or "not REAL Christians". Some of the larger, more established groups are less doctrinaire about this, but others are very strict (cf. Southern Baptists re Catholics).

(May I mention how mortified I am to share a state, and probably a city, with our late unlamented troll?)

#88 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 02:57 AM:

Robert Glaub@71, in fact the Cordoba Initiative folks are Sufis. Some of those right-wingers need to go read Rumi talking about getting lost in the love of God before going back to complaining about what right-wingers all the Muslims are.

#89 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 03:49 AM:

Don Fitch @ 77, I agree with you that if some place in America is trying to ban religious buildings because they don't like the religion, it's everybody's business, not just the locals. And Mayor Bloomberg's speech about it is one of the reasons I love New York City.

There's a Zen meetinghouse down the street from my that was built a few years ago, and some nimbys tried to stop it that probably wouldn't have done so had it been Christian. It got delayed a couple of years, and they had to use a bit more of their land for parking than they'd originally planned, but they finally got it built. Nice peaceful place.

#90 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 07:09 AM:

#14 ::: ddb:

I agree with you. I have no problem with the community center being built, but I think it's going to be a security nightmare-- non-Muslim American xenophobes and Islamists are likely to be gunning for it.

*****

I've tried arguing that Sufism is pacifist, and therefore the Koran doesn't inevitably lead to violence, but I haven't gotten traction with that.

#91 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 08:11 AM:

Lee #87: Leading back to SF/F... well, I've read a fair number of fantasy novels set in Hell, including at least one (Only Begotten Daughter, James Morrow) which posited that everyone went to Hell.

I've been tempted by the idea of a short story that would take that and explain it: Just like the Bible says, God gave a human lineage the power to decide who would go to Hell (that is, the Keys of St. Peter). But then they quarreled among themselves... each side damned the other and all followers thereof. Then they denied each other the power of salvation....

#92 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 08:58 AM:

You know, if we’re trying to prevent future attacks on that site, putting a mosque there doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

Not really. Al Qaeda isn't actually worried about blowing up mosques.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Mosque_of_Samarra

Don't forget these guys are Wahhabis: they bulldozed the tomb of Mohammed's mother a few years ago, and want to blow up the tomb of the man himself.

#93 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 09:16 AM:

David Harmon @ 91... Please do write that story.

By the wy, in the late 1980s, the revived Twilight Zone adapted Greg Bear's "Dead Run". It turns out that John de Lancie is now in charge of deciding who goes to Heaven or to Hell. Yeah, I too shudder to think.

#94 ::: mds ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 09:48 AM:
It turns out that John de Lancie is now in charge of deciding who goes to Heaven or to Hell.

Wait, he wasn't already?

#95 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 10:40 AM:

Teresa @47
For the record, what I meant by "hicks" was the class of citizens who are invincibly ignorant and proud of it.

I'm glad you defined your term. I parsed "hick" as meaning something very different -- especially when you also threw in "mid-continent cities."

This mid-continental non-hick thinks that if the World Trade Center site is now holy ground, (as so many people claim) that a mosque should be built on that site as well as churches, chapels, shrines and altars representing the faiths of all the people who died there. Freedom of religion and equality are core American values.

#96 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:29 PM:

Building the community center in it's proposed spot be like building a Christian community center 2 blocks from Hyde Park and Regents Park

Don't you know that Christians bombed those parks, and all Christians read from the bible, so allowing Christians to build anything Christian near the site of a terrorist an attack by Christians would mean that Christian terrorists would use that place to celebrate and recruit more Christian terrorists!?!

The opposition to the Cordoba Center makes just about as much sense.

#97 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:32 PM:

Lee: But that's not hard to explain at all. Every single tiny little splinter group simply defines "Christianity" to mean what they think, and defines every other group as "heretics" or "not REAL Christians". Some of the larger, more established groups are less doctrinaire about this, but others are very strict (cf. Southern Baptists re Catholics).

But that's a different cognitive distortion you're talking about than the one our troll was wallowing in. I mean, what you're talking about is an insider declaring their religion monolith by virtue of the presumed non-legitimacy of other denominations. Our troll was as outsider declaring a religion a monolith by virtue of its single holy book. Totally different logical path here. Baptists may declare Catholics non-Christian, as you say, but it doesn't change that the existence of these denominations make the troll's assertions about Islam and Christianity so ridiculous as to be *sporfl*-worthy from the get-go.

#98 ::: SeanH ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:42 PM:

So, two blocks from Ground Zero is no-go for anything Muslim. Four blocks, however, is apparently fine - Masjid Manhattan has been there since 1970. I wonder if three's okay?

#99 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 12:44 PM:

Nicole @86, just because he's guaranteed disemvowelling doesn't mean you can't make fun of him.

#100 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 01:38 PM:

Zen teacher Cheri Huber once said (paraphrased from memory), "People often ask me what I think about something the Dalai Lama has said. I try to explain that asking me about the Dalai Lama is like asking a Southern Baptist about the Pope."

#101 ::: KeithS ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 02:46 PM:

What I like is that our troll couldn't seem to distinguish between religions and nationalities.

#102 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 03:03 PM:

TexAnne @83: I think I'm becoming a devout fan.

#103 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 03:33 PM:

KeithS #101: What I like is that our troll couldn't seem to distinguish between religions and nationalities.

I do not think that is a coincidence at all.

#104 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 03:59 PM:

#91 ::: David Harmon @91: fantasy novels set in Hell, including at least one (Only Begotten Daughter, James Morrow) which posited that everyone went to Hell.

In fact, I think a case could be made that going to Hell is a prerequisite to going to Heaven. It is the Ultimate Opportunity to grow compassion, which is where Heaven lives.*

*IMHO, YMMV, &c.

#105 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 04:10 PM:

Jacque @104:

I like CS Lewis' view in The Great Divorce: Hell is where you are until you choose to truly love, and Purgatory is where you get strong enough to cope with being truly loved back. If you've made a start at that in life, you have less to do afterward.

I'm content to be disagreed with, of course.

#106 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 06:22 PM:

abi: Can you cope with emphatic agreement? :)

#107 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 06:28 PM:

L'esprit d'post: I find the idea of reincarnation to be very compelling: how the hell else could you get to everything that interests you?

My friend Susan Crites contends that Purgatory is where you go to finish all the projects you've started during this lifetime.

I'm going to be there a long, looooonnnnng time....

#108 ::: Hob ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 10:55 PM:

abi @105: I love that book. Especially because he doesn't put it in terms of someone sitting in the pit and saying "Now I choose to love" or "Nay, fie upon love"; he has the residents of hell getting frequent field trips upward, and generally rejecting what they see because it's weird and scary, or because they don't approve of the other people there, or various other reasons which accurately reflect how people deny themselves happiness while alive.

#109 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 11:16 PM:

107
My stash agrees with you. In hearts as well as spades.

#110 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2010, 11:25 PM:

pericat @#75:

You may be happy to know that when your disemvoweled name (see #78) is run through a re-emvoweller, the result is "apricot."

(mine becomes, of course, "mary dull.")

#111 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 12:48 AM:

Jacque @ 107:

Then there must be a lot of yarn in Purgatory. Or in my case, a lot of yarns (so many unfinished stories, so little time!).

#112 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 01:07 AM:

Thank you, Mary Dell! That does make me oddly cheery. I feel all sweetened!

#113 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 01:11 AM:

I come out as Time Whitmore, which perhaps makes Patrick's comment about me and the Doctor even more amusing.

#114 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 02:19 AM:

I come out as Be Sutherland. To which all I can say is, "Already doing it."

(PNH & TNH are Patrick & Trees Nelson Haydn)

#115 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 02:46 AM:

I'm rather disappointed that my re-emvoweled self is... Surge.

#116 ::: Susan Kitchens ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 03:09 AM:

I remember all those sentences spoken in later September and October of 2001. The sentences ended like so: "...otherwise the terrorists will win."

8 years later, I wonder if we should do a thought-experiment of what it would look like if those terrorists did, in fact, actually win. What would this country look like?

Persecuting all muslims in the name of America (freedom of religion, FTW!). Check.

All that stuff that happens whenever anyone gets near an airplane. Check.

The rising occurrence of tasering of the citizenry by the police. Check.

The blanket obedience to and acceptance of all things done "in the name of national security." Check.

Bankrupting the country by fighting a war in one two foreign locations. Check.

sigh.

Okay, then. Too much? Let's go back to the first one, about persecuting all muslims. A holy war, if you will. Check, check, check.

I guess these people WANT the terrorists to win?

. . . . . .

@Jacque 107:
My friend Susan Crites contends that Purgatory is where you go to finish all the projects you've started during this lifetime.

This is SO not good news for perfectionists.

#117 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 03:13 AM:

Don Fitch @ 77 -- People of several dozen nationalities were killed in the WTC. The oddest conversation I've had about it was a couple of years ago in the Middle Eastern grocery where I've bought my fresh pita for decades when I discovered I was talking with a citizen of the UAE who know someone who had been killed . . .

#118 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 03:43 AM:

Serge @93 - As long as he does it while dressed like this I'll be happy.

#119 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:17 AM:

Bruce Cohen @111: See also: books.

~oOo~

I wanna see Whoopi Goldberg as The Doctor.

#120 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:42 AM:

#116 Susan Kitchens:

I don't think the terrorists have won (except for US bases out of Saudi Arabia). I just think we've lost quite a bit.

#121 ::: old ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:57 AM:

You know, if we’re trying to prevent future attacks on that site, putting a mosque there doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

I disagree. I think bin Laden, if still alive, would love to blow up any Muslim center like the one proposed.

#122 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 06:07 AM:

Mary Dell @110, how do you do that? The only dis/re/emvowelling tool I can find is this one, but the disemvoweller and how it works haven't been written yet. Is there a better one? I have much to do and my cat is unvacuumed.

#123 ::: presaged brbns ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 07:35 AM:

That re-emvoweller only seems to do half the job on my usual ML handle.

#124 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 07:45 AM:

Huh...I would have expected it to find "bourbons" for the other word.

#125 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 08:33 AM:

Hmm, good catch, although I wondered at first whether it might think that Bourbons requires a capital.

But now I've tried again it looks as though it was just an artefact of having Firefox's Noscript turned on. (To my non-techy brain, that seems strange: I can't see how it managed to get 'presaged' with less Javascript than 'Bourbons')

Or is someone updating the dictionary as I type?

#127 ::: Cdbry Ms ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 10:27 AM:

Help! I've been re-sexed....

#128 ::: Cdbry Ms ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 10:28 AM:

Help! I've been re-sexed....

#129 ::: Cdbry Ms ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 10:30 AM:

Nt t mntn dbl-pstd. Rts!

Cdbry (Mr)

#130 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 10:44 AM:

Jules @ 118... No you won't be. Not only does he dress like a 700Club member, but the 700Club is now in charge of the selection committee.

#131 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 11:28 AM:

Bruce Cohen @111

There is no yarn in purgatory.

If there is yarn, it must be heaven.

#132 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 11:31 AM:

131
There is yarn; it's just not the good stuff. (Neither are the needles.)

#133 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 11:32 AM:

Hmmm; surely there's some yarn-craft equivalent of "on a cloth untrue / with a twisted cue / and elliptical billiard balls".

(But what are "finger-stalls"? I do seem to have remembered the line right, but I get just references to it, not an explanation, in some quick googling.)

#134 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 11:54 AM:

The Scarborough Gilbert & Sullivan Society define 'fitless finger-stalls' as 'protective covering for injured fingers that doesn't fit well'.
This may, however, be merely corroborative detail, intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.

#135 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 11:56 AM:

defines. bggr.

#136 ::: Madeline Ashby ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 12:20 PM:

I almost expect Improv Everywhere to stamp a "fixed it for you" piece on the site, if Cordoba isn't allowed to establish itself there. It also seems like this whole situation is ripe for alternative geo-tagging and map hacking.

None of that solves the problem, of course, which is that a bunch of people who are completely deserving of name-calling and other calumny commensurate with that which they have been heaping upon an entire sector of humanity are setting the tone for local and national discourse on a highly sensitive issue.

#137 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 12:31 PM:

ddb @133 - try putting quotes around it in the search to make a phrase. A finger stall is a protective covering for a finger; I've mostly encountered the word in a medical context. I particularly liked these ancient Egyptian gold finger and toe stalls, though.

#138 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 12:56 PM:

My username comes back itself.

I think that part of finishing projects is knowing when to move the goalposts. The embroidery thing I finished yesterday (which is made of AWESOME even though parts of it are not perfect-- there's a reason the words on the banner say "SCREW PERFECT") had some parts that were printed on, and thus had to be covered, and some that I improvised, like the words, the cowboy boots, most of the flowers, and a peacock tail. I did the tail last because I wanted to be done with everything when I was done with the tail, and I didn't know how involved I was going to make it.

"This shawl is good as it is; I declare it done," is as useful as hours of work on a border you don't like.

#139 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 01:11 PM:

Ah, quotes would have worked. Turns out dropping "fitless" worked; that's probably rare enough that it biased the whole search into the G&S usage.

I find one reference to them in fishing, no other references to where they're used currently. The dictionary citations are mostly old.

I think the rubber thumb or finger coverings sometimes used while collating (in SF fandom at least) are technically finger-stalls (though they're actually used for grip, rather than as protection; the alternative is "tacky finger" and competitors, which I think is a soft wax you get on your fingers, again for grip).

#140 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 03:21 PM:

I've also heard them called "finger cots" for massage work when one has a hangnail (avoiding getting stuff near the bloodstream), ddb. I have no idea on the etymology of that phrase, though.

#141 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 03:47 PM:

Tom @ 140 — "Cot" is a variant of "cottage", a place for your finger to dwell. If you are less anthropomorphic, your finger may have to stay in a stall.

Oddly enough, the OED doesn't recognize "fitless", though it seems a reasonable coinage for "ill-fitting".

#142 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:02 PM:

Dan@141: Is that in the same lineage that's ended up giving us "coat" today as well?

#143 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:03 PM:

tykewriter @#122:

That's the site I'm using - I'm only using the re-emvowel part. Pericat's name was already disemvoweled in the troll's comment, and I manually disemvoweled my own name for the experiment, keeping the Y as I believe that's Teresa's method.

#144 ::: Susan Kitchens ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:04 PM:

@Nancy Lebovitz, #120

I don't think the terrorists have won (except for US bases out of Saudi Arabia). I just think we've lost quite a bit.

I think I agree with you, mostly. It's hard to speak in a past-tense way where the finish line that determines winning or losing lies somewhere back thataway. Time would have to stand still for that.

But in light of the quite a bit that we *have* lost, and for some harkening back to sanity, and to use the catch phrase that many used in those days, I think that it's instructive to ask the question of what "they won/we lost" looks like. Or would look like.

This whole sorry situation reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend about how someone close to her (Person A) is feeling and acting in a paranoid way. I list out to the friend how how this follows from that, as a way to enumerate how senseless Person A is being. My friend says, "Yes, you're right. You're also thinking RATIONALLY about the situation. Person A is being irrational."

The divide between being rational and irrational is deep and wide. I find myself assuming that everyone is being rational. That's a false assumption.

#145 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:39 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ 140 -- I've also seen boxes of finger cots in chemistry labs, though at the moment I can't recall when/why they were used. Usually if one is handling materials hazardous enough to require protection, one uses gloves to protect the whole hands.

#146 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:42 PM:

My nom-de-post reemvowels correctly. So does the name it's based on. 'Httn' yields 'Hutton', however, and I suppose it's a more common name.

WRT my posting name, I guess there just aren't that many things 'xphr' could be. I can't think of anything other than posting names, in fact.

#147 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:53 PM:

Xopher — The OED says "xiph" is an (obscure rare) word for the swordfish, Xiphias gladius. So a xipher could be a swordfish fisher (not to be confused with a spearfisher).

#148 ::: Zelda ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 04:59 PM:

Joel Polowin @145:

Finger cots are most useful when you are protecting the thing from your hand, rather than your hand from the thing. E.g., if you are folding weighing paper to go on a balance sensitive enough to pick up finger oils.

They do sometimes get presented as a compromise position to people who can't be bothered to wear proper protection (and bring on plenty of jokes about their looking like miniature condoms), but you're right that they're really not effective for that. Mostly, people who can't be bothered to wear gloves get quoted reams of policy and told to deal with it.

#149 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 05:03 PM:

Back on topic for a moment, and on the general subject of Muslim "insensitivity," I heard on the radio this morning that the Imams of New York are concerned that Eid al Fitr (the celebration that ends Ramadan) falls on or near September 11 this year. They're worried that the usual feasting and celebrating could be misconstrued, and they're encouraging people to tone it down because of this.

Those Muslims, so insensitive to the feelings of others.

#150 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 05:45 PM:

Zelda @ 148: Also useful for keeping stitches clean and dry in situations where a full glove wouldn't be practical.

#151 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 06:05 PM:

I remember finger cots from doing electronics assembly - it was (IIRC) to protect the work from our fingers, and it wasn't necessary for all the fingers.

#152 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 06:21 PM:

Zelda @ 148 -- Ah, thanks. I've had to handle things which were that sensitive to contact with skin, but as far as I can recall, I used tongs or gloves. I don't think I've ever used filter paper for anything so weight/mass-critical.

#153 ::: Keith Kisser ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 06:27 PM:

Susan Kitchens @116: I guess these people WANT the terrorists to win?

Only so long as they're our terrorists.

#154 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 06:30 PM:

ddb@142 — No, "cot" derives from a lot of words about housing, and the OED doesn't show any pre-English words in the sense of "A case or protecting covering". The etymology of "coat" is all about wool and clothing.

#155 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 06:46 PM:

P J Evans @ 151:

I could have used those to protect my fingers from the work back when I did electronic assembly & repair. They'd have been especially handy (ha!) when "brailling" the backsides of PC boards to check for bad solder joints, etc. when I was trying to keep the boards we used for practical tests in the repair course working after they'd been through a few months of cutting and hacking to induce test problems. The standard technique when you couldn't get one to work no matter how hard you tried was to slam the board down on a hard surface so as to pop about 50 bad connections, then take it down to the shop for a decent burial (these were crypto circuits, so they couldn't just be thrown out in the trash).

#156 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 07:34 PM:

They're worried that the usual feasting and celebrating could be misconstrued, and they're encouraging people to tone it down because of this.

I'm intensely sad that they should feel the need to make room for others' ignorance and xenophobia. How frickin' long are U.S. Muslims supposed to live in a state of apology toward the rest their own damn country?

#157 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 09:55 PM:

I'll be posting rather irregularly for a little while, for reasons to be explained in another place, but I wish to note that the very first PC I owned, a Sanyo (with all of 256K of RAM and 2 floppies) was purchased from an Arab at the WTC. On that computer I wrote my MA project. On that computer I first went on line in the palaeolithic days of BBSing. Many an essay I wrote in TurdStar.

Still, I bought it from an Arab merchant in the World Trade Center. Perhaps some of the idiots denouncing the imaginary "mosque" would like to get into a time machine and go back into the past to erase such inconvenient facts.

#158 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 10:15 PM:

My re-emvowelment is... Moral Layman. Well, half right.

ddb, #139, I call them "rubber fingertips" and I use them to get needles through beads.

Tom Whitmore, #140, finger cots are like the fingers of medical gloves -- I use them to put on a cream to keep pressure sores away.

#159 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2010, 11:07 PM:

Nicole, #156: Sadly, this is little different from the early Christians needing to disguise their celebrations from the Roman pagans. You'd think they'd learn.

#160 ::: Naomi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:24 AM:

The manufactured controversy regarding the mosque in NYC infuriates me for so damn many reasons. One that hasn't been mentioned yet: the U.S. has provided a safe space for vast numbers of religious reformist movements over the centuries -- some Christian, some not. Reform Judaism was not invented in the U.S. but it took off here. Reformist movements within Islam -- groups that challenge Wahhabism or, really, any state-sponsored orthodoxy -- often have to deal with intense persecution in Muslim countries. In other words, if there's going to be a reform movement within Islam to really stand up against the violent fundamentalists, it's quite likely to come from the Muslim American community. Such a reform movement would be a REALLY GOOD THING. It's something we should be encouraging, not obstructing.

I live in Minneapolis, the city mentioned above that's losing a small theater to a mosque parking lot. We have a huge Muslim population in this city, and here is something I wish more Americans knew: the vast majority of Somali Muslims who have come to America LOVE being here. They are incredibly excited to be part of a democracy. They are incredibly excited by the access to a free education for their children. They put bumper stickers on their cars that say "GOD BLESS AMERICA" and then give a cite from the Koran. They are, in short, NOT SCARY PEOPLE.

Which makes me even angrier that Gov. Tim Pawlenty came out against the mosque in Manhattan. He lives here. He KNOWS better. But he's OK with pandering to hate to drum up support for his Presidential ambitions.

#161 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:49 AM:

"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable," Obama said.

#162 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:34 AM:

Dear God. From that CNN article Earl just posted:

Pamela Geller, a leading foe of the Islamic center, wrote on her blog Friday night. "He has, in effect, sided with the Islamic jihadists."

Since CNN has actually hired that right-wing lunatic Erick Erickson of Red State.com I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that they'd quote Pam Geller, one of the most virulent Muslim and Islam-haters in the entire blogosphere, but whatever happened to checking credentials?

#163 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:41 AM:

I'm a little disappointed that our President, at the recent White House Iftar dinner, while affirming that "ground zero" is "hallowed ground," in recognition of the anguish that people are feeling on this topic, didn't take the opportunity to remind the ignorant tools out there making problems for American Muslims that there have been Muslims in America since before there was a U.S.A., and that all those Muslims who lost family members at the WTC on 2001-09-11 have just as much cause to regard "ground zero" as hallowed ground as anyone else.

If it were me giving that speech, I would have ended it by telling all the people making fools of themselves by agitating against the construction of mosques in NYC and around the country that "you're all bigoted reptilian pigfuckers, and the country will be better off as soon as you all go Cheney yourselves."

Or words to that effect. No, I'm not planning ever to run for office. Why do you ask?

#164 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:47 AM:

j h woodyatt @ #163, the NYT article has a little more from Obama than the CNN one did.

In his remarks, Mr. Obama distinguished between the terrorists who plotted the 9/11 attacks and Islam. “Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam — it is a gross distortion of Islam,” the president said, adding, “In fact, Al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion, and that list includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.”

Noting that “Muslim Americans serve with honor in our military,” Mr. Obama said that at next week’s iftar at the Pentagon, “tribute will be paid to three soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and now rest among the heroes of Arlington National Cemetery.”
#165 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 05:06 AM:

I commend Obama for the speech he gave, even if perhaps it was overly polite. I'm just disappointed he didn't unpack the rhetorical flamethrower that he's known to keep for those occasions when he's really pissed off, as this occasion surely merits, but that shouldn't be interpreted as my disapproval of what he actually said.

#166 ::: excalibur ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 08:35 AM:

I think it's unfortunate that this ever became an issue. As politically and religiously charged as it is, why not find an alternate place for the mosque? It almost seems as if it's being done for the sake of controversy and nothing else.

#167 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 09:21 AM:

excalibur @166:

I agree with your first sentence, but then we part company.

Saying that one can't build a community center in one place because the yahoos might object is just a way to let the yahoos control things without even having to stand up and display what yahoos they are. (Reminds me of the filibuster, actually.)

This is a basic question of whether, we, as Americans, actually value the Constitution. Are we hypocrites or not? Do we respect the rights we've guaranteed people, or can any loudmouth back us off of our principles by threatening, lying, and generally throwing a tantrum?

The people who should reconsider their behavior are the ones denying the Constitutional rights of their fellow Americans. Otherwise we're back to the "the bitch provoked me; if she weren't so uppity I wouldn't have had to beat her up." argument. And there's always some provocation, always some reason the victim is at fault for what happens next.

The Right is prone to this; there were numerous examples of them blaming Democrats for citing real-life people's stories in the health care debate. Why? Because then when Republican pundits unleashed no-holds-barred savage attacks on them, Democrats "should have known better" than to expose people to this kind of thing. As though it's an external force, uncontrollable, not the chosen acts of the very same people who then turn around and blame the target for "provoking" it.

Besides, it turns out that building a mosque in Temecula, CA or Sheboygan, WI is also too controversial.

So I call shenanigans and concern trolling.

#168 ::: jnh ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 09:54 AM:

Excalibur @166:
What abi said (better than my draft, needless to say). Let me rephrase what you said into a controversy from an earlier time:
"Why don't those black people move into a different neighborhood? They are only moving here for the sake of controversy."

#169 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 10:28 AM:

Shorter me @167:

If you want to blame someone for the "controversy", blame the people who are making it controversial.

#170 ::: excalibur ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 10:59 AM:

What I'm saying is this:

It's obviously not a great place to put a "community center." No matter if you're a muslim, jew, catholic, baptist, druid, whatever.

Does that suck? Sure does. But there are some things in life that you just deal with.

#171 ::: excalibur ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:03 AM:

Abi, does a difference of opinion equal trolling on this board?

Sometimes you solve the Gordian knot with one easy cut.

#172 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:03 AM:

It's obviously not a great place to put a "community center." No matter if you're a muslim, jew, catholic, baptist, druid, whatever.

Because you never need a community center in an area where people live and work? (That's what you seem to be arguing. What do you think a community center is for, anyway?)

#173 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:05 AM:

Why is it obviously not a great place for a community center? Or, as you put it, a "community center"? And why the scare quotes?

#174 ::: excalibur ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:11 AM:

earlier posts commented on not using the word mosque because it was giving in to the people who opposed, so I used community center in quotes.

you all sure are skittish around new people on this board, aren't ya?

#175 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:17 AM:

174
When people show up and post like everyone here is ignorant or a fool, they'll get treated as potential trolls until they demonstrate that they can read and understand the post and the comments on it.

You have a way to go.

#176 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:21 AM:

Why isn't it a great place to put a community center?

#177 ::: Renatus ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:21 AM:

excalibur @ 170: It's obviously not a great place to put a "community center."

It's things like this that are going to mark you as, if not directly trollish, arguing in bad faith: starting your argument from a point that directly contradicts the common viewpoint in the discussion up to that point, ignoring (intentionally or not) that your basic premise is entirely different.

Good argumentation techniques and good faith discussions start by covering differences in basic premises first. What you did comes across as plunking down a different goalpost that's conveniently close to your position, and acting as if it were there all along. If you continue along these lines, don't be shocked that your attempts at discussion become unpopular.

#178 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:23 AM:

excalibur @ 174 -- So, the scare quotes are because you assert that the building is not actually a community centre. Which, I suppose, also answers why you think it is "obviously" not a good location for it.

#179 ::: Naomi Kritzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:25 AM:

Just for the sake of argument, I pulled up the Google map of the WTC site and the area immediately around it. Among the things that were listed on the map within approximately a two-block radius:

* Three churches
* A Hilton and a Marriott
* A Staples
* The University of Phoenix (a for-profit university)
* Anthony Bourdain's restaurant
* A boxing gym

...but heaven forfend anyone put a community center in this area.

#180 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:26 AM:

Excalibur: We don't use the word mosque because it is going to a 13 or 15 story office-type multi-use building, one of which will be a prayer room or space designed for Muslim worship. It isn't going to be a traditional mosque with a dome, etc.

#181 ::: Naomi Kritzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:28 AM:

Also, it is my strong suspicion that the right wing lunatics are as terrified by the prospect of a strong movement of liberal Islam as the Wahhabists, for roughly the same reason that they were appalled by the fall of the Soviet Union. How do you keep your followers sending in the checks if you don't have an enemy for them to fear?

From that standpoint, it makes perfect sense that they would want to make it as difficult as possible for Muslims to build houses of worship (let alone community centers!) in the U.S.

#182 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:29 AM:

"Abi, does a difference of opinion equal trolling on this board?"
"No, it doesn't."
"Yes it does."
"Doesn't."
"Does too!"

#183 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:31 AM:

Plain and simple bullshit, "excalibur". (You get scare quotes until you earn the dignity of that name.)

Apparently you don't come from New York City. Otherwise you'd know a little something about that neighborhood - that busy, thriving place where people live, work and go about their daily affairs. It is a perfectly reasonable place for a community center. Or a "community center". Or even a single-purpose house of worship.

New Yorkers are getting a bit sick of outsiders trying to bigfoot this issue. When we want an outside opinion on how the city should be zoned, we'll read it in your entrails.

#184 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:32 AM:

Naomi: It's been noted elsewhere that there are two, or possibly three, Muslim Masjids (think storefront prayer rooms) in the area already. One is a lot closer to the WTC site and has been there since the early 1970s. They don't show up on the maps I've seen.

#185 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:38 AM:

All this brings to mind a situation we in Belgium often encounter, the 'racist!' defence: a person of foreign origin behaves badly (say, cutting in line) and if you dare address him on this, their immediate reflex is to call you a racist. It doesn't happen often, but sadly it does happen.

(I promise I'll try and be a more sensible first-timer)

#186 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:43 AM:

So, to clarify: we don't often encounter that. I kind of contradicted myself there.

#187 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:46 AM:

Bombie, please unpack your metaphor.

Are you saying that the Cordoba House people are complaining about anti-Muslim sentiment when it's really just that the community center is inappropriate for other reasons? I'd think Naomi @179 has addressed that with her list of other things in the area. A community center would fit right in.

#188 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:51 AM:

Bruce Cohen STM #155:

I used them during a summer job doing chip QA and assembly for a very large Dallas-based electronics firm. The subjects were power transistors for somewhere in the depths of a car--probably early catalytics.

#189 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:52 AM:

Bombie, #185: Could you unpack that a little more, please? I don't quite see the parallel; the Muslims are not behaving badly, and the (non-New Yorker) people who are making the fuss are racists and deserve to be called on it.

#190 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:57 AM:

"excalibur", #170: Does that suck? Sure does. But there are some things in life that you just deal with.

Like the fact that we HAVE religious freedom in this country, and that it applies to EVERYONE, not just Christians. Don't like that? Suck it up and deal; it's just the way things are.

#191 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:58 AM:

excalibur @171:

Concern trolling is a rhetorical technique that is not quite the same as trolling itself. It's the classic approach of, "I agree with you in principle, really I do, but there are just a few tiny things that bother me about this particular situation."

Said "tiny things" are always just enough to mean that a real-life application of the principle in question will never be possible, though of course the speaker really believes in it.*

But the "does a difference of opinion equal trolling on this board" thing? That is a square on our local Troll Bingo card.

Sometimes you solve the Gordian knot with one easy cut.

And sometimes you stand up for what's right.

-----
* A good example doing the rounds on the Net right now is the argument that, "it's not that I oppose gay marriage, it's just that I think that judicial fiat is not the way to go about it/I'm concerned about the backlash/public opinion is moving anyway, so why not bide your time?" Never seen so many people formerly opposed to marriage equality who now support it but dislike judicial fiat.

#192 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:01 PM:

No, curses, sorry for being unclear and not referencing to the right post, I was commenting on the possible troll situation!

That is: creating a climate where people try and create a accepting environment getting their efforts abused or thrown back at them. Something like that. It feels like I should give it more thought, express it more clearly, but I want to rectify my previous un-clarity asap.

#193 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:10 PM:

191
Or they are sure that the Popular Vote makes that position Correct Forever. (The whole 'Will of the People' thing.)
It's been pointed out, in several places, that segregation and the banning of interracial marriage were both supported by popular votes, right up until the courts said they were wrong.

#194 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:18 PM:

Bombie @192:

OK, dat klopt. Ik ben 't met je eens.

#195 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:24 PM:

#187, 189: The analogy I saw was the perpetrator using and redefining terminology to throw empty accusations at the one justly accusing.(as in #171) More specifically terminology that, when properly used, comes up in the context of trying to create a more accepting, tolerant environment.

I hope this is better worded, and my intent more clear. And, obviously, from this moment on I'll give my comments more thought, and express them more clearly from the beginning, thus avoiding the need to clarify them in a hurry (thus avoiding badly expressed and only partly formed ideas as in my own 192).

#196 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:27 PM:

Bombie @192 -- that's the way I read what you posted before, so don't try too hard to be more precise (to the point of not posting).

excalibur, I am interested in why you think that wouldn't be a good place for a community center. It's hard for me to think of any place in Manhattan (with the possible exception of the middle of Central Park) which wouldn't have a large relatively local population that could use some sort of community gathering place. And most of the proposals I saw for Ground Zero include such gathering places.

#197 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:54 PM:

Maybe it's the lack of sleep last night, but I'm beginning to read the thread's title as "I ground Zero Mostel"

#198 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 12:54 PM:

The silliness, of course, is that certain people-- oh what the hell, hicks-- are saying that Muslims shouldn't be near the World Trade Center site.

I mean, it's there in the name. World Trade Center. Which includes, presumably, the marketplace of ideas. So this is just another form of protectionism for people who think they can't compete in the open market.

You'll note:

1. The rhetorical trick of calling it Ground Zero, therefore removing the World Trade part of it.

2. The people most likely to be against the inclusion of Muslims as part of the world to trade with are the same people who get upset when it is suggested that other countries should be represented in the World Series.

#199 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:02 PM:

Maybe the objection to a community centre open to the public is that non-muslims might use it, meet actual muslims and discover that they are not scimitar-waving crazies who run around screaming "Aieee! Death to the infidel!"
The argument re the demise of the Soviet Union also applies.

#200 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:12 PM:

Bombie #192: "excalibur" is certainly a concern troll, and IMHO an early-stage❀ "provoker" troll. When dealing with those, subtlety is useless -- they need to be called out, bluntly. (E.g., J Evans #175). A few people (including a moderator) are actually engaging with him, but that's just because we're charitable folk, with great hope in human nature. (Occasionally trolls can be redeemed, but it's a a long shot, and not everyone has the patience to try.)

❀ That is, he's just beginning his "script".

#201 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:19 PM:

Naomi 181:

I think that's giving the people involved too much credit. The ground zero mosque looks to me like low-hanging-fruit for people of the Limbaugh/Beck/Palin persuasion. I suspect it works because (rather like flag burning laws) most people see this as a question about whether they like the idea of a mosque close to ground zero. And most people, not being Muslims and not much liking Islam given what little they know about it, don't much like the idea of a mosque *anywhere*. They see it, perhaps, rather like most of us would see a branch of the Westboro Baptist Church opening up.

And others of us see this as a different issue, involving the constitution and the law. I'm glad to hear that the Muslims opening this community center or mosque or whatever are apparently pretty decent people, but that doesn't matter in the least. If they were hair-on-fire fanatics demanding that every woman in New York wear a burqua, or if they were Westboro Baptists opening a community we-hate-you-all center, or if they were opening a temple to worship the devil himself, the first amendment would still apply. Similarly, it doesn't matter if any number of people are upset by their building a mosque, community center, or snake-handling center. Not a bit.

The law doesn't get to decide which religions are welcome and which aren't. We decided that a long time ago, after centuries of bitter experience finding out what happened when we didn't have that rule in place, and people got shafted in large numbers for being Catholics or Jews or Baptists or whatever.

Now, as a matter of policy, crapping all over moderate Muslims is a good way of increasing the sway of more radical Muslims (who can point to the crapping-on of moderates as proof that only their own approach makes sense). And this is being done right now, not because of any deep principle, but because a bunch of politicians and pundits see it as a quick way to score some points.

Obama deserves a lot of credit for calling bullshit on this. I wish more people in public would. Because it's pure bullshit. The various Republicans trying to dodge around freedom of religion (by saying Islam isn't really a religion) should get no attention beyond some well-deserved comtempt. The other guy who deserves some credit in this area, God help me, is George W Bush. He was an abysmal president, but he actually did try to keep the war on terror from becoming a war on Islam. His neocon boosters didn't, of course, and his administration's policies often fell short of his rhetoric. But it's telling, at least to me, that I'm finding myself nostalgic for W, who was at least decent enough not to engage in this particular brand of poisonous rhetoric.

If the Republicans come to power in 2012 (and this is all too possible, given state of the the economy and the wars), we may all find ourselves missing someone as decent and capable as George W Bush, as we watch the Palin/Bachman administration do its best to turn us into a bankrupt brutal empire and religious police state. And that's a statement I didn't expect to be making, back a couple years ago.

#202 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:20 PM:

David Harmon @200:

Sometimes if you call out at tactic clearly enough, particularly a passive-aggressive tactic, you label yourself as poor prey and the practitioners go elsewhere.

I agree that it's vanishingly unlikely that excalibur is here to have a real exchange of views, is open to persuasion in anything s/he discusses, wants to join the community, or actually thinks Muslims should have all of the Constitutional rights that Christians (and, being charitable, other religions, and reeeaching, atheists) have.

But I'd be happy to be proven wrong. I'd be delighted. The only thing that could make me happier would be to find out that s/he was all of those things, and wrote poetry to boot.

#203 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:42 PM:

Abi: Sometimes if you call out at tactic clearly enough, particularly a passive-aggressive tactic, you label yourself as poor prey and the practitioners go elsewhere.

That too!

#204 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:46 PM:

abi writes: "...and the practitioners go elsewhere."

Alas they never seem to go anyplace where I'm welcome to really mix it up with them.

p1. When I go to their comments forums to scrap over topics like this, I get banned before I can even really get started.

p2. They only very rarely come to the forums at my friend's blogs— where the tussle between right-wingers and people like me is explicitly on the menu— and, when they do, they never stay long enough to put up a good contest.

This is why I tend not to be too scared of these nitwits. They don't seem to have enough backbone even to stand up in an old-fashioned flame-war. I really doubt they've got enough box canyons in the aggregate to come at us in person when there's actually something real and tangible at stake.

(To be fair, there are some players who truly frighten me, but they don't ever show up here.)

#205 ::: xclbr ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:53 PM:

Jl, myb y nd t gt ff ths brd nd ff th wb ttll. Jdgng by yr wbst, y hvn't bn ld n lng tm.

[IP: 69.137.62.5]

#206 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 01:57 PM:

Wow.

#208 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:04 PM:

Alas, 205's not very poetical.

(and alas, 204 wasn't a very constructive invitation, either)

#209 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:08 PM:

Josh Jasper @ 207... Snort!

#210 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:09 PM:

Once again, my optimism proves unfounded. And not even an interesting departure! Where are the swirling capes and elegant yet chilling speeches of a worthy opponent?

That's the real insult to us. We don't even get interesting nemeses. Excalibur's* insipidity makes me miss Mrk Yrk.

----
* ill-chosen name, that; the original was sharp.

#211 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:14 PM:

I feel that if I were going to turn a conversation into a knife fight, I'd want to open with something more fearsome than a clumsily-thrown spork.

#212 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:26 PM:

<*snort*>

heresiarch @ 211: Definitely.

#213 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:29 PM:

I observe that that alleged sense of "sacredness" of the WTC site increases in direct proportion to the distance of the speaker from Manhattan.

Most of them wouldn't be caught dead living there.

#214 ::: Durandal ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:29 PM:

It didn't much to pummel that pommel. Pffttt!

#215 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:37 PM:

You know what else occurred to me about this? It once again shows that people can hold opposing views at the same time. All the opponents of this building would, I'm pretty sure, tell you that property rights in America trump everything. Witness their dismay at the Kelo eminent domain case a few years ago. But now a group wants to put up a building on its own private property, and suddenly the property rights don't matter, because of the greater good and yada yada.

#216 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 02:50 PM:

Here's a mashed-up picture which depicts the controversy very well: http://i.imgur.com/TacgJ.jpg

#217 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 05:20 PM:

Ground Zero is my back yard.

I was just there earlier today, as so often happens.

Who else was there? Keep in mind that New York City has received over 47 MILLION out of town visitors since January 1, 2010. Keep in mind that Ground Zero has been a primary tourist destination since, well, 9/11, 2001.

Thousands of tourists were there from all over the world. Hordes of vendors supplying these tourists with what they need right this minute from bottled water to photos, faux paintings, etc. of everything from the fallen Towers to the Statue of Liberty -- and t-shirts, o the t-shirts! Who are these vendors? Why they too are from all over the world, though the majority appear to Spanish speakers or -- Muslims speaking French or English from various parts of Africa. Not all the African vendors I talked to were Muslims (we did an informal poll due this preposterous up-in-arms against the Cordoba Center by so many who don't even live in NYC), but most of them were. I did not, btw, inquire as to the documented or not status of any of the vendors we talked with.

There are also strip clubs in those blocks around Ground Zero, lingerie shops that sell, well the sorts of lingerie worn by a professional exotic dancer when she's on the job, all kinds of gimcrack shoppies -- you name it. Above all that live loads and loads of people in those multi-story buildings.

Many of my midwest relatives can't even concepualize imaginatively what this area is like -- multi-story, multi-use buildings that include housing and homes for real life people like quite a few of our professional photographer, film and video friends -- utterly outside their ken. It doesn't matter how often I describe it, show them photos -- they think I'm making all this up.

Needless to say, they are all outraged by the 'mosque.' They don't where or what Cordoba is, much less Spain, much less history, much less even New York City, which as someone said above, they'd never be caught dead coming to.

Love, C.

#218 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 05:40 PM:

Wow. xclbr sure flamed out in a hurry. Predictable really. Wasn't too hard to read him (and I'm almost certain it was a him) as a total loser from his first post.

Linkmeister 215: I think you may be overgeneralizing here. I think the simpler formulation is "the far right has no integrity of any kind."

#219 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 06:42 PM:

"...I were going to turn a conversation into a knife fight, I'd want to open with something more fearsome than a clumsily-thrown spork."

Pfffbt. I think you get The Raven's "croak" award.

#220 ::: sara ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 06:46 PM:

If we followed their logic to the letter, along these lines "There Shalt Be No Monument to the Faith/Culture of Our Historical Enemies in the Glorious USA, Ever!" we would have no Buddhist temples, Asian-American museums, memorials to the Japanese victims of the WWII internment, Native American shrines or museums, the National Museum of the American Indian, Goethe Institutes, etc. It would be forbidden for concert halls to play the music of German composers, and we'd still be calling sauerkraut "Liberty Cabbage" and kicking dachshunds. We also couldn't have the music of the Beatles or Monty Python films.

The anti-mosque crowd are the "freedom fries" people: as ML regulars all know, sufficiently advanced fanaticism is indistinguishable from stupidity.

The "There Shall Be No Monument..." rule would also rule out Confederate heritage sites, which should blow their little minds.

#221 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 07:46 PM:

sara @ 220:

Even-handed application of that rule would also forbid the sale of fish and chips (after the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812), and Mexican food too (the Mexican War). And we'd have to send all our gardeners home. Oh, wait, the Republicans want to do that anyway.

And I just recently discovered a really nice fish and chips place in North Portland. And they have good beer, too.

#222 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 08:13 PM:

Let me offer a much more interesting Excalibur by Sanders Anne Laubenthal. The sword comes to modern time and is stashed in Mobile, Alabama. A very different Arthurian story.

#223 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 09:28 PM:

Well, that was quick. "Recalibrate" is a pretty despicable euphemism.

#224 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:12 PM:

Earl:

I loved the Gingrich quote. Apparently, if you take an enormously unpopular position in order to defend the rights of a despised minority, that's known as "pandering." Specifically, when you defend the rights of moderate Muslims to do stuff the constitution absolutely, without question allows them to do, that's "pandering to radical Islam." By contrast, when you whip up the howling mob to deny some unpopular group the rights they're guaranteed under the constitution, that's something else. Patriotism, perhaps, or maybe leadership.

When the day comes for burning witches, never fear that there will be any shortage of friendless old women to accuse, or of fuel for the fire. The Gingriches and Boehners of the world will supply all of both that are needed, and will call themselves courageous heroes for the willingness to stand bravely with the angry mob against its friendless victims. And that's what passes for leadership among one of the two main political parties running the country. This suggests some real joy in our future.

#225 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2010, 11:43 PM:

By contrast, when you whip up the howling mob to deny some unpopular group the rights they're guaranteed under the constitution, that's something else. Patriotism, perhaps, or maybe leadership.

It's being a maverick, natch. A team of mavericks, even. What's the collective noun for mavericks, anyway?

#226 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 12:20 AM:

An oxymoron of mavericks?

#227 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 12:24 AM:

Nicole @ 225... What's the collective noun for mavericks, anyway?

Second time this week that someone reminds me of "Life of Brian"...

The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!

#228 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 01:09 AM:

An oxymoron. I love it. Another that jumps to mind: a persecuted hegemon of mavericks.

BTW - thanks, Teresa @99, for the reassurance. I'm not always sure whether it's a "don't poke at what can no longer poke back" situation, or a "go ahead, thwack'm if you still see candy in'm" situation, and I'd hate to treat it like the latter when it's the former.

It was a genuine and forceful *sporfl*, FWIW. It came out loud enough to startle the cats.

#229 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 01:15 AM:

I grew up in a small town in the Midwest populated by the kind of people who are no doubt up in arms now about the building of a mosque so near the "hallowed ground" of the WTC site. (Hallowed, of course, only to their god, because no one else's deities exist.)

When I was in high school there, maybe 2002 or 2003, the band and choir took a trip to NYC and Washington DC. While we were in DC, we visited Arlington National Cemetery and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was a solemn occasion. In NYC, in contrast, we visited the WTC site, and they insisted on taking a group picture there. Why, I can't say -- to prove we were there? It was one of the most disgusting things I've ever been a part of, and I was ashamed I couldn't get away. (They understandably frowned on us wandering off alone.)

If they want to call it hallowed ground, they need to treat it with the respect hallowed ground deserves.

#230 ::: Rainflame ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 01:49 AM:

I've never quite understood the "hallowed ground" thing. Obviously it was a tragedy that so many people died there, but death alone doesn't make a place holy or not. If it did hospitals would be regarded as holy because a lot of people die in hospitals. And I've never heard anyone refer to the Pentagon as holy ground.

#231 ::: Luthe ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 01:51 AM:

The bigots can yell and scream and stamp their feet all they want, but they have no say in NYC's land use decisions. Or the decisions of any other municipality's zoning board, unless they are on said board.

If they *did* have a say, they'd be in for a nasty surprise. There's a federal law (signed by Clinton) preventing zoning boards from discriminating against houses of worship. Denying a permit without a *VERY* good reason would result in a lawsuit so fast the bigots' tiny little heads would spin. And the bigots would lose.

Land use land: more complex than you think.

#232 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 04:01 AM:

Rainflame @230: The site is in some sense a cemetery, and cemeteries are often considered hallowed ground.

That said, it's also prime real estate in the middle of New York City. Everything in cities is built on the bones of everything that came before, including very literal bones. That's just how cities work.

(Further signs that the complainers are Not From Around Here: they say "It's a shame to tear down a 130-year old building to build a monument to terrorism". Aside from the gobsmacking wrongness of the second half of that sentence, boy, a 130-year old building, that sure is old! Can't be many of them around! Don't know where we'd find another building that old in New York City! </sarcasm>

(I mean, geez, 130 years old is only a decade or so older than my house (in Boston) and all the houses around mine. Buildings that old are a dime a dozen out here in the decadent East.)

#233 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 04:09 AM:

Linkmeister (#164)

I had someone pull the crap about how "all muslims are an evil race" on me the other day.

Aside from the mischaracterization of Muslim as "race" (what, are they from Mars, or one of the moons of Jupiter?), was the blanket condemnation.

I pointed him to this post fom my blog, which quoted Colin Powell's appearence on Meet the Press.

Two &&^* years ago.

I don't know what percentage of difference Powel's endorsement of Obama had on the election, but I'm sure it had some. And what still makes me spitting mad is that he, Powell, saw his own party acting as such willfully ignorant bigots that he felt he was beholden to the country to break ranks with his own party.

But I do know this -- if the bigots get their way and push out all the Muslims, that will be just the start. After a while, next will be the BaHa'i, then all the various East Asia sects, then the Jews, and the Jehova's Witnesses, then the Catholics, Epicopalians (but only the naughty ones, the ones that admit women as priests and bishops and refuse to be properly condemning of gays) and Lutherans, and the smaller christian sects that aren't "christian enough."

Nehemiah Scudder would be so proud of them.

#234 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 04:25 AM:

It's not the main issue, but I think given the polls, this thread (and the post at the start of it) might be a bit better with a bit less NYC self-congratulation. Yes, the frequent 9/11 rhetoric from people who hate New York and most big cities is fairly obnoxious, but on this particular issue, apparently they aren't that much worse than many New Yorkers.

#235 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 06:42 AM:

The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
A Voice: I'm not.

#236 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 07:35 AM:

I actually tossed off a note to whitehouse.gov last night. Probably not my best exposition, but I started off by reminding him to stand up for religious freedom, and that the "Ground Zero Mosque" was nothing of the sort. Alas, then I segued into telling him that the Republicans aren't going to let up on him no matter what, so quit trying to make nice to them. I didn't quite tell him to "grow some balls", but it was definitely a ranty digression.

#237 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 03:33 PM:

Glenn@198, that is *such* a nice point - you win teh internets for the day.

#238 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 03:42 PM:

abi@210, Serge does the swirling capes and elegant speeches fine, but he's just on the wrong side to be the opponent...

#239 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 04:04 PM:

And there's a leader of a congregation in Florida who is asking for an International Burn the Koran day. (Link is to a "news" website, not direct to theirs.) The video there is -- well, let's just say that I wouldn't call this fellow a Christian, by his own stated definition of "someone who tries to be like Christ."

#240 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 04:05 PM:

Bill Stewart @ 238... I have a gladius, but no cape. I've been thinking of having someone make me the coat version of Doctor Strange's cape though.

#241 ::: hamletta ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 06:06 PM:

Uh, David, have you been avoiding the news media lately?

#242 ::: PurpleGirl ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 08:14 PM:

Former congresscritter Rick Lazio, who is running for NYS Governor, tried claiming that if the current building was landmarked that would stop the project. I bet someone told him that it wouldn't; he apparently doesn't know about adaptive preservation in which an old building is reused in whole or in part. For example, the Hearst Corp. had a building at 57th St & 8the Ave which was landmarked. They always planned to use that site for a tower consolidating all their NYC offices. Solution: hollow out the landmarked shell and put the new tower inside it. This has been done at a number of other sites.

#243 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2010, 08:55 PM:

hamletta #241: If that was pointed at me (lots of Davids here), Obama was more recently trying to distance himself from the "controversy" with a "well they have the right BUT..." riff, which I (like a lot of folks) found rather irritating.

#244 ::: Kei Tei ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 12:24 AM:

Seems like just another front for the war on "non-christians," by which certain christian fundamentalists seem to mean "anyone who doesn't live and believe exactly like us."

As a frustrated aside, I wish to note that it is not oppression to oppose people whose apparent goal is to ensure that the laws designed to protect everyone instead only protect people with their exact religious beliefs!

#245 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 01:09 AM:

Kei Tei, #244: As a frustrated aside, I wish to note that it is not oppression to oppose people whose apparent goal is to ensure that the laws designed to protect everyone instead only protect people with their exact religious beliefs!

Just so. As I have mentioned before, I am under no legal or moral obligation to "tolerate" anyone who refuses to extend me the same courtesy. To say otherwise leaves all the power in the hands of those who would strip away my rights, and me with no recourse. Tolerance is a 2-way street.

#246 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 10:15 AM:

Lee #245 : I am under no legal or moral obligation to “tolerate” anyone who refuses to extend me the same courtesy.  To say otherwise leaves all the power in the hands of those who would strip away my rights, and me with no recourse.  Tolerance is a 2-way street.

Just so.  But that argument, turned upside-down-and-backwards, is the argument of the mosque-hater:  those people, who are different from me, aren’t going to tolerate me – on the contrary, they’re part of a global conspiracy, supported by every un-American pinko foreign liberal from Barack Hussein Obama downwards, to destroy everything that the good ol’ USA stands for.  Therefore I needn’t tolerate them already – I’m free to hate them as I want – even though I haven’t waited to see whether they’re going to tolerate me.

By the way, if you adhere to a certain religion that’s not irrelevant to this discusion, tolerance is not a 2-way street.  That religion’s founder ordered, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you...”

#247 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 10:18 AM:

David Harmon@243: Which is one reason I changed to "ddb" here, yes.

Tom Whitmore@239: And as I understand it we're not supposed to counter with an "International Burn the Bigots" day, either. Sometimes trying to HOLD the moral high ground is harder than taking it initially!

An acceptable response might be "International Read the Koran" day, except I'm not willing to associate with promoting any religion (or being seen to do so).

#248 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 12:11 PM:

PurpleGirl@242: The landmarking effort failed, regardless.

Mayor Bloomberg, with whom I often disagree, gave a rather wonderful speech in favor of the project, a day or two before Obama's first comments and soon after the landmark committee made its decision.

Remarks as delivered:

“We have come here to Governors Island to stand where the earliest settlers first set foot in New Amsterdam, and where the seeds of religious tolerance were first planted. We’ve come here to see the inspiring symbol of liberty that, more than 250 years later, would greet millions of immigrants in the harbor, and we come here to state as strongly as ever – this is the freest City in the world. That’s what makes New York special and different and strong.

“Our doors are open to everyone – everyone with a dream and a willingness to work hard and play by the rules. New York City was built by immigrants, and it is sustained by immigrants – by people from more than a hundred different countries speaking more than two hundred different languages and professing every faith. And whether your parents were born here, or you came yesterday, you are a New Yorker.

“We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That’s life and it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11.

“On that day, 3,000 people were killed because some murderous fanatics didn’t want us to enjoy the freedom to profess our own faiths, to speak our own minds, to follow our own dreams and to live our own lives.

“Of all our precious freedoms, the most important may be the freedom to worship as we wish. And it is a freedom that, even here in a City that is rooted in Dutch tolerance, was hard-won over many years. In the mid-1650s, the small Jewish community living in Lower Manhattan petitioned Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant for the right to build a synagogue – and they were turned down.

“In 1657, when Stuyvesant also prohibited Quakers from holding meetings, a group of non-Quakers in Queens signed the Flushing Remonstrance, a petition in defense of the right of Quakers and others to freely practice their religion. It was perhaps the first formal, political petition for religious freedom in the American colonies – and the organizer was thrown in jail and then banished from New Amsterdam.

“In the 1700s, even as religious freedom took hold in America, Catholics in New York were effectively prohibited from practicing their religion – and priests could be arrested. Largely as a result, the first Catholic parish in New York City was not established until the 1780’s – St. Peter’s on Barclay Street, which still stands just one block north of the World Trade Center site and one block south of the proposed mosque and community center.

“This morning, the City’s Landmark Preservation Commission unanimously voted not to extend landmark status to the building on Park Place where the mosque and community center are planned. The decision was based solely on the fact that there was little architectural significance to the building. But with or without landmark designation, there is nothing in the law that would prevent the owners from opening a mosque within the existing building. The simple fact is this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship.

“The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right – and if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another.

“The World Trade Center Site will forever hold a special place in our City, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves – and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans – if we said ‘no’ to a mosque in Lower Manhattan.

“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11 and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values – and play into our enemies’ hands – if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists – and we should not stand for that.

“For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime – as important a test – and it is critically important that we get it right.

“On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked ‘What God do you pray to?’ ‘What beliefs do you hold?’

“The attack was an act of war – and our first responders defended not only our City but also our country and our Constitution. We do not honor their lives by denying the very Constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights – and the freedoms that the terrorists attacked.

“Of course, it is fair to ask the organizers of the mosque to show some special sensitivity to the situation – and in fact, their plan envisions reaching beyond their walls and building an interfaith community. By doing so, it is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our City even closer together and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any way consistent with Islam. Muslims are as much a part of our City and our country as the people of any faith and they are as welcome to worship in Lower Manhattan as any other group. In fact, they have been worshipping at the site for the better part of a year, as is their right.

“The local community board in Lower Manhattan voted overwhelming to support the proposal and if it moves forward, I expect the community center and mosque will add to the life and vitality of the neighborhood and the entire City.

“Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure – and there is no neighborhood in this City that is off limits to God’s love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us today can attest.”

#249 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 02:44 PM:

ddb @247:
An acceptable response might be "International Read the Koran" day, except I'm not willing to associate with promoting any religion (or being seen to do so).

Yeah, it's a shame the yahoos would deliberately misinterpret it. No amount of carefully explaining that reading something does not entail believing it would work. (There is irony there, if your explanation is in writing.)

#250 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 02:47 PM:

Xopher @149: Imams of New York are concerned that Eid al Fitr (the celebration that ends Ramadan) falls on or near September 11 this year.

In the spirit of King Christian X, I think we ought to declare September 11 to be American Constitution Day, and, in the spirit of the Monday Holidays, celebrate on the 2nd Friday in September with huge feasts and parties. (Why Friday and not Monday? Who the hell wants to party on Monday. I mean, seriously!)

That it Just Happens to land on Eid al Fitr--pure coincidence! Really!

Spread the word!

(In fact, wanna plan an International Gathering of Light with Online party channels?)

#251 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 06:27 PM:

Serge @ 240:

Is that a sword or are you just gladius to see me?

#252 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 06:29 PM:

Jacque, Ramadan (and therefore Eid al Fitr) is on a lunar calendar, and walks around the year. This is the first year (since the attacks) that Eid has fallen near September 11, and it will be quite a while before it happens again.

#253 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 06:54 PM:

Xopher. I was just looking up Eid on Wikipedia and they say that in 2011 it starts on Sept 11 exactly (this year it starts 9/10, but it's a three day festival.)

#254 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 07:00 PM:

heresiarch, actually it's not certain when Eid begins. Someone has to sight the new moon from the roof of a certain mosque. No one knows in advance when that will be. It's not so much a three-day festival as a three-day window when it could occur.

That said, I had thought it would move more than that in one year.

#255 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 07:01 PM:

Bombie @192: FWIW, I interpreted your 185 as follows: "Where I come from, we occassionally see behavior like this: a troll comes in and behaves badly, and then blames the locals for objecting. I'll try to behave better than that."

But, yes, wording things carefully is always to the good. Especially in this crowd! :)

beth meacham @213: Most of them wouldn't be caught dead living there.

Praise be?

#256 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 07:05 PM:

255, 213: Imagine what an influx of zombie residents does to property values.

#257 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 08:23 PM:

hieresiarch, Xopher:

I don't see Sept 11, 2011 for Eid on Wikipedia.

In any case, my software for calendar conversion gives the first day of the tenth month as Sept 10, 2010; August 21, 2011; August 19, 2012, etc. This agrees with what Wikipedia says about the [predicted] dates of Ramadan.

As Xopher says, the date formally requires the sighting of the moon, but the day this happens is pretty predictable (apart from edge cases where your location is close to the date line for that year).

#258 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2010, 08:24 PM:

Aaargh. August 31, 2011, not August 21.

#259 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 12:25 AM:

Photos of other things at about the same distance from "ground zero".

#260 ::: Kay Tei ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 02:08 AM:

Still, the notion of American Constitution Day (The Celebration of which conveniently abbreviates to ACDC, not that I was paying particular attention to silly things like appropriate acronymity) -- that does sound like a lot of fun.

And, it could celebrate the ENTIRE constitution, not just the preamble and politically-convenient-amendment-of-the-week!

Personally, I am all about the Representative Age-Requirement Punch, and delicious Ex Post Facto Crumble. Article I.ce cream for everyone!

#261 ::: Russ ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:52 AM:

Was anyone else impressed by how quickly the troll at #166 got through his script?

He barely got his coat open before he was spent*.

I was also reminded of so-called "Pick up artists" who turn agressive at the first rejection - real ugliness under the mask.


*I'm assuming "he", since this particular problem is generally male specific.

#262 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:44 AM:

Russ @261, not so much impressed as disappointed; a much higher quality rant is needed for this audience. The Fluorosphere is way too self-aware for anything less to have an impact.

#263 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 09:23 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 251... I tried to retort with something tranchant, but all I could think up were lame puns.

#264 ::: Kay Tei ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 10:43 AM:

Russ@261.

Oh, I don't know. I think I'm inclined to agree with him, to an extent. This entire issue was all about creating a controversy where none should have existed.

Of course, since the generally proposed restricted area against building a Mosque is apparently "in America," it makes it rather difficult for his proposed solution to be realistically implemented.

#265 ::: HalJordan ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 10:44 AM:

I consider myself a moderate and say live and let live.

This story has me divided for two reasons:

One side of me knows that most Muslims are peaceful Allah loving people who are no different from me.

The other side says, "Can't there be another place in New York where this mosque can be placed?" Not because it's a mosque, but because Muslims should be able to worship in peace and not be harassed by Palindrones and the like

I took a long time to make this post, after seeing certain posters (Excalibur) and the reaction to them. (Everyone)

Not a troll, a some time lurker

#266 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:05 AM:

excalibur: Skittish of new people? No. Tolerant of people being intentionally obtuse, not so much. As abi said, the issue isn't the placement of the community center (and we don't call it a mosque, because it's not; words have meaning), it's the reactions of the bigots and fools who say, "Whanh... the scary bad-men are being lauded because someone wants to remind me there are people who aren't like me."

Yes, I paint with broad strokes (and a couple of days late; it's because I care about this). The fact of the matter is no one would be pitching a fit if this were a christian church. No one would be saying, "Hey, what about the sensitivities of all the muslims who might see this as a celebration of the "Crusade" Bush Fils called for (and so many americans seem to support)?

No. This is about attempting to paint a billion people with the tarred brush a few hundred. That's despicable. To support it, even with the weasilng words of, "hey, this pisses people off, perhaps we ought to take that into account", is wrong. The thing being done is morally wrong, and cowardly. The people behind it have a track record of being hateful, spiteful, small-mined, dishonest and generally brutish. They deserve no benefit of doubt.

Having looked at what the plans are, what the "questions" and "sensitivities",and what the upshot is, there is no reason to give them any credence.

So yes, in that regard; from me, on this topic, you get short shrift.

(I see from subsequent behavior that my intent to ask if you write poetry was wasted)

#267 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:08 AM:

Kevin Riggle: And the oldest residential building in the US is in Los Angeles (sometime in the 1570s). We dont' have as many more than 150 buildings in the West (mostly because of density issues) but 100 isn't so hard to come by.

#268 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:24 AM:

HalJordan@265: I don't think it's my job to decide whether the community center will attract enough ongoing negative attention (once it's open) to bother the users; they get to decide that for themselves. They have all the information I have -- more, in fact. They are not my wards to be guided and protected.

#269 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:25 AM:

HalJordan: What make the WTC site so special? What is so grand and glorious about it that folks in the rest of the country get to own it?

That their sense of (misplaced) outrage, should rule the day?

Here's an amusing thing. I was in New York last month. I spent a lot of my time wandering Manhattan. I went so far one day as to walk from Penn Station to the Brooklyn and back. I never had the least interest to visit the WTC.

Why? Because it appalls me. It offends my very soul that it's been so "sanctified". Treating it as some sort of shrine irks me. I have to set that aside when I try to deal with people who go on about it being hallowed ground, as it if were Gettysburg; where people strove, and fought and, willingly, died, in the furtherance of an ideal.

Yes, it's tragic that so many people died there. I grieve, but they didn't choose it. There is no particular merit to their deaths, nor to keeping them in our memory in that, to me, ghoulish way.

I say ghoulish because the two things I see being done with the, "sacred" memory of the dead are a dark focus on the death, and a twisted rationale for hate, and war.

I was for a simple rebuilding, one story taller, of the old WTC. A giant two-fingered salute to those who would stoop to the tactics of bin Laden.

So yeah, I have a very different take on it than most seem to. Then again, I have a very different experience of what was done with it, as a political tool than most do. It (as being in New York on, That Tuesday would have) colors my thinking.

#270 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:44 AM:

btw, my name seems to re-emvowel oddly.

Truro Karen

I think I like Terra Ukraine better.

I left the Ys out. If I put them in I get Terry Kearney, which, oddly, hurts to look at.

#271 ::: HalJordan ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 12:07 PM:

Terry, the site is special to many people for many different reasons, chief among them the tragic event that you discuss.

When emotions come into play, mixed with a healthy does of jingoism, the result is hallowed ground.

Also, Americans aren't used to being attacked on their own land, and the pols and the like definitely used this event to stir up Americans.

Build it one level higher, I couldn't agree more. Why they went the other way baffles me.

#272 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 12:36 PM:

HalJordan @ 271: While you are correct in that the US has not suffered many invasions, which could be part of the reason for the intense reaction to Pearl Harbor and to September 11th, I would like to remind you of the War of 1812. In this series of battles, not only was Baltimore besieged ("The Star-Spangled Banner" was written to commemorate this successful defense), but Washington DC was invaded, and the White House as well as the Capitol were burned. There's no hallowed ground in either of these locations now.

I've been to Pearl Harbor, I live in the DC Metro area, and I was born in NYC. The only "hallowed ground" in Pearl Harbor is the site of the USS Arizona, which makes sense as the sailors were entombed in the sunken ship. The Pentagon isn't "hallowed", and no one complains about any Muslim worship room in this building.

There is no earthly reason to require a Muslim community center to move away from the building they purchased, nor to make them adjust their plans based upon the history of the WTC or 9/11. New York City is very densely populated; it's not very wide and cannot accommodate spatial requirements that could work in other cities. Everything in NYC is close to something else, something conflicting or otherwise special. History doesn't get a pass for being more emotionally important than business, religion, or community needs. If history were really that important, just think of all the First Nations who would have control of NYC..or, for that matter, most of the US.

#273 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 01:36 PM:

I've read that John Stewart's Daily Show commentary on the mosque kerfuffle -- repeated tonight on Comedy Central and probably all over the web -- is wonderfully pointed.

It asks . . . Should Catholic Churches be built next to playgrounds? Wouldn't that be a bit insensitive to the thousands of children abused by priests? Isn't it just too soon? Can't they just find someplace else to build?

Which is both incredibly offensive and dead on target.

#274 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 01:44 PM:

My wife sent me this link about what can be found near the Hallowed Ground. I like the shoe display.

#275 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 01:44 PM:

HalJordan: I know it's special... My questions remain... and boil down to: what makes it so special one small group gets to claim their feelings trump other people's rights?

#276 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 01:46 PM:
When emotions come into play, mixed with a healthy does of jingoism, the result is hallowed ground

No, the result is a media conflagration, but not hallowed ground.

#277 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 02:45 PM:

ddb, #268: Yes, exactly. I can't imagine that they're unaware of the probability of religious harassment, and it's their choice to make. Not mine, and not anyone else's.

Ginger, #272: Also, it's interesting to note that none of this "hallowed ground" rhetoric has been used about the site of the OKC terrorist attack. But of course, that guy was white.

Reposting part of a comment I made elseNet:

From comments in various online communities, I've observed that the positions on this issue tend to boil down to:

1) We have freedom of religion. Period. Just like it says in the Constitution.

2) Of course we have freedom of religion, BUT this isn't the right time to insist on it. (So when WILL the time be right? Next month? Next year? Next century?)

3) We have freedom of religion, but only for religions that don't engage in political/violent/terrorist activities. (NOTE: If you argue this about Islam, I'm going to argue it just as vigorously about Christianity.)

4) America is a CHRISTIAN country, and freedom of religion ONLY applies to Christians and whoever we want to give special dispensation to, like the Jews. (Oy gevelt.)

5) Of course we have freedom of religion, but I get to decide which religions are REAL religions and which are just cults, and cults are not entitled to First Amendment protection. (NOTE: This is what our last president said about MY faith. I am under no illusions about who will be next if we start a pogrom against Muslims.)

#278 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:21 PM:

abi @194 Het is zo enorm vreemd wanneer Engelstaligen Nederlands gebruiken! Helemaal onverwacht, een enorm aangename verrassing! It's a notoriously difficult language to learn (Just saying that's the word on the street. In my opinion difficulty of a natural language is not a quantifiable thing, let alone comparable). I'm curious as to how Hollands your accent would be (to my Flemish ears).

Jacque @255 Well, yes, that's what I meant. Glad you got that even without my panicked rectification. I just wanted to make the connection to the troll clear as soon as I could. I wanted to avoid that people started looking for possible analogies in my story with the ground zero mosque situation, that could only lead sad speculations..

That the building of the community centre even became an issue is appalling, made worse by the size the issue's grown into.. The lies and slander being told are (once more) despicable, and utterly morally wrong.

ddb @268 Absolutely. Furthermore, if they would get harassed, the fault would not lie with them (for using their property in a legal manner), but with the harassers (for being such bugfuckering hicks).

Terry @269 The fact that people died willingly in Gettysburg is not a difference on which to place historical value. The 9/11 attack was a tragic event, one that strongly influenced (at least) the next decade. Places have historical value. I would never go as far as calling it hallowed or sanctified, but I'm perfectly willing to acknowledge its significance. Do not dismiss the event by how its legacy was shaped and abused politically.

Ground Zero has become a symbol. A symbol that, alas, has become a twisted rationale for hate, and war. Simply saying 'I was all for rebuilding and ignoring' (paraphrasing liberally to try and drive home a point) is just playing into their hands. It has become a symbol. We should accept that fact, and try change the tenor of that symbol.

Which isn't saying that I don't agree with you, or that I would force anyone to go visit.

#279 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:27 PM:

Bombie@278: Yes indeed; I was talking strictly practically / pragmatically, any decision about dealing with the bad situation is theirs not mine. I agree entirely that the fact that there's any danger of harassment is unfortunate; it's distressing to me (though not surprising; I have not the highest opinion of Americans as a group).

#280 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:28 PM:

Amigo, Citizen K, postulates a conference call re Whorehouses or Cultural Centers between Mayor Mike, Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, here, on the entry titled "Viva Las Vegas".

Caution #1 -- It is very witty.

Caution #2 -- Amigo K has lots of widgets on his blog so it will load for some a bit slowly.

Caution #3 -- There are also videos.

Love, C.

#281 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:32 PM:

One must wonder if the entire nation is so outraged at potential outrage committed upon honored dead by a building, why are they not equally outraged by the very real outrages committed upon the honored dead in Arlington Cemetery?

Love, C.

#282 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:38 PM:

Constance@281: Well, partly because nobody is supporting the actions at Arlington as in any way correct or proper. There's no controversy there, just a screwup / malfeasance.

#283 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:41 PM:

@269 Terry Kearny

"It It offends my very soul that it's been so "sanctified". Treating it as some sort of shrine irks me."

It's not a shrine. It's a tacky tourist destination with nothing shrine like about it, unless tacky trinkets and tourist t-shirts and faux NYPD and NYFD bill caps are objects imbued with the sacred and numinous.

Love, C.

#284 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:44 PM:

Which isn't getting fixed at Arlington either, despite those who decided to step up for the ritual mea culpas.

The families of authentic fallen on the field of battle actually are very upset about this, but we're not seeing media jumping all over it.

Probably because -- even in our fallen times these tacky persons can see the difference between invading authentic grief and this politically motivated media hyped faux crisis of a cultural center built a decent distance in NYC terms from Ground Zero -- which itselfi is a tacky tourist center?

Love, c.

#285 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 03:57 PM:

Terry @270:
I left the Ys out.

As someone who actually disemvowels people, I can tell you that your first y would go and your second remain: Trr Krny. (The first one is the only vowel-like object in its syllable; not so the second one.)

#286 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:04 PM:

David Harmon @243: (lots of Davids here)

ddb @247: Which is one reason I changed to "ddb" here, yes.

"The right to freedom of speach does not include the right to shout 'David' in a crowded party."

Xopher @254: Eid al Fitr is on a lunar calendar ... This is the first year (since the attacks) that Eid has fallen near September 11, and it will be quite a while before it happens again.

All the better to disguise our Plot.

Thomas @258: August 31, 2011

Oh noes!! My birthday!! They're trying to convert me and subsume me into their Evil Plots! SAVE ME!!1!

Russ @261: He barely got his coat open before he was spent*.

Here I was looking forward to a bucket of popcorn, and all I got was one measly, burnt, unpopped kernel. Feh.

Bombie 278: I just wanted to make the connection to the troll clear as soon as I could.

I think it would have been obvious if your contribution hadn't come in such close proximity of our late lamented xclbr. The reaction hir presence and conduct provoked contrived to magically flip the sign on your intent.

All of which is to say: Hi! Welcome! Do you write poetry?

abi @285: your first y would go and your second remain

Do you have a filter that does this for you, or do you have to edit by hand? Inquiring minds want to know!


#287 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:12 PM:

Bombie @278:

Ik woon in Nederland. Dus (volgens mij) móét ik Nederlands leren. Bij Amsterdam zijn mensen verbaasd dat ik dat wil doen, maar in mijn dorpje vinden zij het helemaal natuurlijk.

De vrouw in de winkel (in mijn dorpje) waar ik een paar oogbellen voor mijn dochter heb gekocht zei dat mijn accent "charmant" is. Maar ze is altijd heel gezellig; meestal denken mensen dat ik een beetje dom ben omdat mijn Nederlands nog zo slecht is.

Ik weet niet als ik een Hollands accent ook heb. Mijn eerste lerares kwam uit Leiden, en ons lokal accent is niet Hollands maar Zaans (zodat z klinkt als s en v als f). Maar meestal heb ik een Engelstalig accent.

- o0o -

(I think I just said:

I live in the Netherlands. Thus, I reckon, I have to learn Dutch. In Amsterdam, people are surprised that I want to do so, but in my village they find it completely natural.

The woman in the village shop where I bought some earrings for my daughter said that my accent is "charming." But she's always kind; mostly people think I'm a bit thick because my Dutch is so poor.

I don't know if I have a Hollands accent. My first Dutch teacher was from Leiden, and our local accent isn't Hollands but Zaans (so that z sounds like s and v like f). But mostly I've got an English-speaker's accent.)

#288 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:16 PM:

Jacque @286:
Do you have a filter that does this for you, or do you have to edit by hand? Inquiring minds want to know!

First I strip the vowelesque y's, then run five capitalization-neutral search and replaces in a text editor. It's never been worth my while to program a macro to do it for me, considering how infrequently I actually have to do it.

#289 ::: Mark_W ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:26 PM:

Jacque @286

"The right to freedom of speach does not include the right to shout 'David' in a crowded party."

Of course, as devotees of the world's best ever radio show will know, if you shout "Stephen!" in a crowded party, someone will (hopefully!) bellow, "Just coming!" in return...

#290 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:27 PM:

abi @ 288... First I strip the vowelesque

(insert wolf whistles)

#291 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 04:50 PM:

Terry Karney @ 269: "I was for a simple rebuilding, one story taller, of the old WTC. A giant two-fingered salute to those who would stoop to the tactics of bin Laden."

Yes, that's what I thought would make a good response. And over here, people were outraged (or so the local paper said) because there wasn't a huge memorial service on the 5th anniversary of 7/7. Oh well.

#292 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 05:11 PM:

Jacque @286
I enjoy poetry. And stories. And words. And language(s). But.. I'm usually just a consumer.
Thanks for the welcome!

abi @287

That's pretty much exactly what you said. It's wonderful that you're learning (and, it seems, you're learning wonderfully) I'm not sure whether to resist the urge to point out the few small mistakes.. though I must point to the lovely typo that is 'oogbellen' (which roughly translates as eye-bells)(and should be 'oorbellen'/earrings). Also, calling a person 'gezellig' to me sounds odd, like calling a person 'cozy' or 'snug' (or can you do that in English?) and gives me a happy feeling. I like the expression! (It might be more common in the Netherlands, just not something I would say.) This fondly reminds me of a Chinese friend earnestly wishing 'happy everyday to you!'.

In Flanders we often say 'Hollands' for the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands (as opposed to our Flemish), as 'Dutch' ('Nederlands') is pretty ambiguous. It might be used in a pejorative, derogatory way, but doesn't need to be. Just to say I wasn't referring to the Hollands dialect (I'm not familiar with the different dialect groups in the Netherlands)
⟨/derail⟩

#293 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 05:24 PM:

Jacque #286: Or to shout "Mommy" in a crowded mall? :-)

#294 ::: That Guy ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 06:24 PM:

This is a public service announcement: China Mieville has weighed in and set before you a challenge.

#295 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 07:18 PM:

Abi @288: then run five capitalization-neutral search and replaces in a text editor

Great google-y moogly, Abi. I can understand making disemvowelling deliberately inconvenient, in order to keep it from being too easy a temptation, but jeez. My text editor has tr -d [aeiouAEIOU] handy just few key combos away.

#296 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 08:34 PM:

That Guy @294, there's always the Coexist bumper sticker...

#297 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 08:39 PM:

That Guy @294 -- the coexist t-shirt (button, magnet, bumper sticker or similar) strikes me as just about as evocative as one could want for China's purposes.

#298 ::: That Guy ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 10:30 PM:

@296, 297

Right. Totally forgot about the Coexist thing. (I was thinking of something a bit more...specific, myself, but, yes, that's probably what he had in mind.)

#299 ::: David Stever ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:09 PM:

I think that the protesters must have been bothered by how the community center would unbalance the neighborhood. Being next to the strip club would be too much, I think.

#300 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:17 PM:

David Stever, I think the protestors are unbalanced, full stop. And if you're attributing their vitriol to anything as sensible as aesthetics, you plainly haven't been listening.

#301 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2010, 11:40 PM:

Mark, I think you missed the sarcasm marks in David's comment. They're often hard to see on teh interwebs.

#302 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 02:18 AM:

Bombie: I think in terms of "hallowed" that intent matters. People hallow things by actively doing something to make it so.

Churches, graveyards, etc. don't, "just happen," people choose to make them.

Battlefields, like Gettysburg, can be hallowed, by the purpose of the fighting, and a seminal factor of some sort. To look at that same war, Ft. Pillow isn't sacred, neither is Bull Run, nor Antetiem, nor Vicksburg. Those were all, in their way, important, even, perhaps, crucial, but they lacked the sense of lynchpin, on what had become a holy cause (or two, if one prefers, the sustainment of the Union, and the overthrow of slavery in the US). Those three things combined to make it hallowed.

I don't think any of the needed things (volition, critical moment, existential struggle) come into play at the World Trade Center.

It's a tragedy, but it's not so much greater than Oklahoma City (and actually, I think OKC, as a home-grown horror a more important even that That Tuesday, in the grand scheme of things), nor any other singular act.

Which seems to be put me at odds with the zeitgeist, oh well.

#303 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 02:26 AM:

Bombie @292:

I have a consistent flip between "oor" and "oog". Silly, but true. And I should have said "aardig" rather than "gezellig".

I'm fairly sure my word order was screwed up in a number of places, too—word order is curiously rigid in Dutch, in ways no one can ever really explain to me as followable rules—but it's OK if you don't tell me where.

Avram @295:

I have not yet reached the number of disemvowelments that would repay the cognitive load of finding that and figuring out how to use it on my own. Might adopt it now; might not. (Right now, quite a lot is too damn much energy expenditure; the new job is running me into the ground in a way that does not bode well for the future.)

#304 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 03:20 AM:

Speaking of terrorism...

But of course no one is going to call it that, because this wasn't a Scary Muslim Dude.

#305 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 03:30 AM:

Abi @ 303: Sympathies for the work load.

Bill Stewart, Tom Whitmore: I like the "Coexist" sticker/T-shirt etc.

#306 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 06:22 AM:

Abi @ 303... the new job is running me into the ground in a way that does not bode well

Hopefully it's the beginner's steep learning curve.
My best wishes.

#307 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 06:47 AM:

I'm uncomfortable with claiming the WTC as hallowed ground, because the "martyrdom" of all those innocents has been used to justify such disproportionate harm.

I keep thinking how I'd feel about it, if I knew that when I die, people will use my death to justify spreading more pain and suffering and misery in the world.

That's not the kind of legacy I think anyone wants to leave. I don't understand, if the WTC is so "hallowed," why people are focused on creating a legacy of divisiveness for those victims, rather than a legacy of love and life and growth.

It makes me really sad for everyone involved.

#308 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 07:31 AM:

@296, 297 Thanks for reminding me of the Coexist stickers. I have a slightly different version that I bought but never got around to putting on the car (Procrastinators of the world, unite tomorrow). Also one that says "I believe in the separation of church and hate" Need to put those on.

#309 ::: Hilary Hertzoff ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 08:41 AM:

There's also a Practice Tolerance shirt and bumper sticker in the same vein as the Coexist one.

#310 ::: David Wald ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 08:57 AM:

Noticing that these "coexist" images managed to leave out the Hindus (which makes some sense in a purely American context but very little worldwide— 0.4% of population in U.S. vs. >13% worldwide), I wondered what other versions had been devised. The interwebs being what they are, someone had already done the search for me.

#311 ::: Mike Lake ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 09:31 AM:

Melissa Singer @248:

The Statue of Liberty is my favorite tool when discussing the question with someone incapable of seeing beyond the symbols of America to the values they represent. She trumps any damned hole in the ground.

"Before you declare that someone doesn't belong in the shadow of Lady Liberty, take it up with her."

#312 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 11:04 AM:

Rick Lazio's mosque-bashing is getting him nowhere.

What's that quote about not approving of what you say, but defending to the death your right to say it? New Yorkers do seem to grok that in fullness.

#313 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 12:57 PM:

David Wald @310, some of the versions of the Coexist bumper sticker have the squiggly Om character as the e. And actually Hinduism has been very important in an American context since Vedanta got here in the 1800s, though it's been filtered through lots of different things, ranging from Theosophy and Christian Science to yoga to the various New Agey stuff. The gods themselves mostly got ignored here, but reincarnation and karma are fairly popular ideas, and meditation was probably more popularized in Hindu versions than Buddhist, though they're both around.

#314 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 02:25 PM:

We have a religious tolerance sticker too.

(That image needs to be updated. The current version also includes an Om and the UU symbol.)

#315 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 18, 2010, 08:57 PM:

296, 297, et al: I have this one; in part, because it includes so many faith symbols, including my own beloved UU flaming chalice.

My other car carries this one.

#316 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:34 AM:

At a community meeting in Staten Island,

[As]Bill Finnegan stood at the microphone, came the meeting’s single moment of hushed silence. Mr. Finnegan said he was a Marine lance corporal, home from Afghanistan, where he had worked as a mediator with warring tribes.

After the sustained standing ovation that followed his introduction, he turned to the Muslims on the panel: “My question to you is, will you work to form a cohesive bond with the people of this community?” The men said yes.

Then he turned to the crowd. “And will you work to form a cohesive bond with these people — your new neighbors?”

The crowd erupted in boos. “No!” someone shouted.


Who's the problem, now? Who's the danger?
#317 ::: Christian Severin ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 03:34 AM:

Re: abi@167:
I find that I'm still, after having slept on it, having problems identifying concern trolling and telling it apart from a true attempt at detente.

There is no question that a community centre or a mosque would fit in just fine in that neighbourhood in NYC, and that saying "weeeell, but couldn't you, just for once, refrain from using your rights? It might be construed as a provocation, after all" is totally inappropriate. But what about the annual Orange Marches? While it's undoubtedly the right of all these orange-clad gentlemen to take a stroll, it always seemed a very "in your face" kind of thing.

So: is there, ever, some simple arsehole detector for this kind of situation? When is insisting on your rights the natural, sensible, right thing to do, and when is it just chicanery? All I've come up with is something like "if it's merely done to annoy the other, it's wrong -- if it's done to achieve something else, it's perfectly OK". Unfortunately, trying to read intent is rather error prone...


#318 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 09:40 AM:

Teresa
Are you serious? No one has a problem with a mosque being built. Just not at ground zero. Your theory about that keeping it from being attacked in the future is by far one of the stupidist ideas I have ever heard. Why in the hell would they want to attack it now? As a hick, I am deeply sadden that so called Americans like you are so cavalier about the fact that so many people lost their lives that day. Did you forget or do you just not care? I undertand that muslims also died that day. Are you aware that muslims were also responsible for the attacks that killed nearly three thousand people that day? I guess you also voted for our Muslim president?

#319 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 09:52 AM:

Teresa
Are you serious? No one has a problem with a mosque being built. Just not at ground zero. Your theory about that keeping it from being attacked in the future is by far one of the stupidist ideas I have ever heard. Why in the hell would they want to attack it now? As a hick, I am deeply sadden that so called Americans like you are so cavalier about the fact that so many people lost their lives that day. Did you forget or do you just not care? I undertand that muslims also died that day. Are you aware that muslims were also responsible for the attacks that killed nearly three thousand people that day? I guess you also voted for our Muslim president?

#320 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 09:58 AM:

Oh look, a troll. With poor reading comprehension.

Regena, are you aware that Teresa lives in New York City?

#321 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:00 AM:

Teresa
I have a suggestion, how about we build a whites only college on the exact spot that Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on? Maybe this will keep other black leaders from being killed there. Good idea right?

[Some kinds of stupidity are just to jewel-like and perfect to disemvowel. This is one of them -- AS]

#322 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:09 AM:

Crr
dn't gv crp whr Trs lvs. 'll mtch my bchlr dgr gnst yr thrd grd dctn n dy. Trll, ww tht ws gd n. Dd y spll tht ll by yrslf r dd smn hlp y?

#323 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:11 AM:

What's that about our Muslin President?

#324 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:12 AM:

Regena Ducote

Are you aware that many of the slain tenants of the WTC WERE MUSLIMS???

If it's wrong to build a Islamic community center with a prayer room near the WTC, then it would be wrong to build a Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh or Hindu community center there as well.

Freedom of religion means freedom to build a place to worship anywhere you like (as long as you own the ground where said building will stand).

#325 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:30 AM:

Folks... Do Not Feed The Troll!

#326 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:32 AM:

DNFTT.

Moderators, could we have a check of the ISP? Could this be anyone we've seen recently, back to have more candy knocked loose?

#327 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:33 AM:

Regena, are you aware that there was a mosque in the WTC, and that there is one in the Pentagon?

And do you understand that the NY city planners don't have any problem with a community center there, with or without a mosque inside, don't you? And that they're the ones who get to decide, not people in Florida or Kansas or California?

Also, we expect people to not insult our hosts. You are, so far, not doing well at that.

#328 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:36 AM:

Regena Ducote: I'll see your bachelor degree and raise you a PhD. In case you hadn't grasped some basic facts: it's not at "ground zero", but a couple of blocks away - same distance as a variety of buildings with a variety of uses; (b) it's not a mosque, it's a community centre incorporating a prayer room - not that it would matter if it was a mosque; (c) President Obama is not a Muslim - not that it should matter if he was, in a country which claims to keep religion and government separate; (d) blaiming all Muslims for 11/11 is like blaiming all Christians for the Oklahoma City bombing.

Apologies Teresa, I know I shouldn't feed the trolls.

#329 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:47 AM:

Makes me wanna found a bordello across the street from the WTC ruins.

I am all out of productive responses and must away to work. I offer my remaining virtual popcorn to anyone sticking around for the play by play...

#330 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 10:57 AM:

Regena:

Bachelor's, actually, but I'll be applying for a Master's program as soon as I have the money; I'm not going for a PhD. because having a PhD. is not ever going to be The Most Important Thing In My Life. And as long as we're dicksizing, where's your degree from? Mine is from Carnegie Mellon.

I'm kind of impressed, though: usually trolls don't go for the insult direct quite so rapidly. It makes it gratifyingly easy to disregard everything else you say.

#331 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:19 AM:

Serge
Yes, I said Muslim President. I didn't mention the fact that he was not even born here and wouldn't know an intelligent decision if it hit him in the face. All true statements.

[I'm leaving this one intact because it's not insulting and it's just so stupid. -- AS]

#332 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:24 AM:

Not to name names, but I fear it is time to repeat here what I said in another venue in an attempt to clarify things to them what's apparently too thick to grasp it without being spoon-fed:

1) The proposed "Mosque at Ground Zero" is neither a mosque, nor at Ground Zero. It's a community center, two blocks away from the WTC site in lower Manhattan, in a neighborhood filled with stores, restaurants, bars, strip clubs and other businesses, as well as apartments. Ever heard of a Jewish Community Center (JCC) or a YMCA? Yeah, it's going to be like that. It will include a prayer room, but a prayer room does not a mosque make, any more than the inclusion of a prayer chapel makes a hospital a church. Incidentally, the WTC had a Muslim prayer room on site. The Pentagon, also attacked on 9/11, has one to this day.

If Christians or Jews can set up a YMCA or other community center, then I fail to see how it is any different for Muslims to set up a community center. (In fact, if you can show me any concrete and meaningful difference, I will give you $1,000.) And, like the Y or a JCC, this center will be open to people of all faiths to use.

2) Islam is no more monolithic (look it up) than Christianity or Judaism. Christianity has its Timothy McVeighs, its Christian Identity movement, its radicals, its violent fringe groups. It also has mainstream, moderate folks in a variety of denominations, ecumenical movements aimed at reconciliation and inclusion among people of all faiths, and mystic pacifist sects such as the Quakers. Likewise, Islam has, certainly, its share of radical groups like the Taliban and Hamas, as well its fundamental Wahabbists, but it also has mainstream moderates among both Sunni and Shi'a as well as mystic ecumenical pacifists like the Sufis. The group behind the controversial lower Manhattan community center are Sufis. So protesting that center is akin to protesting the proposed building of a Quaker meeting house. In other words: really pretty stupid, when you think about it.

3) Among the thousands of Americans killed at the WTC were a sizeable number of Muslim Americans.That's right: Muslim Americans. Why should Americans who happen to be Muslim be any less deserving of respect and remembrance than Americans of other faiths?

4) Saying that because the perpetrators of the WTC attack were Muslim, there ought to be nothing of Islam permitted near the WTC site is like saying that because Timothy McVeigh was a Republican (he registered as one when he lived in Buffalo, NY), the Republican Party - a far more monolithic institution than Islam - should never be permitted to operate a party office or campaign headquarters anywhere near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. In short: ridiculous.

5) The United States of America is a nation built upon religious pluralism and religious liberty. No religion is to be given any greater or lesser status under our laws; neither federal, state or local laws may discriminate among religions according to our Constitution. I'd like to think that our Founders knew what they were doing when they set things up this way.

Anybody need anything else addressed?

#333 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:25 AM:

Also, does anyone else think there appears to be a surfeit of vowels around here, suddenly?

#334 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:25 AM:

Lr
r y bl t rd nglsh? M pst sd tht Mslm ppl wr ls klld tht dy.

#335 ::: tkwrtr ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:26 AM:

Hw mny psts bfr dsmvwllng? Plc yr bts nw.

#336 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:34 AM:

334
Well, since you think that our Hawaiian-born Christian president is neither, I think you don't know what you're talking about.

#337 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:39 AM:

PJ Evans @ 336... C'mon, you know he was born on Krypton. He said so himself.

#338 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:44 AM:

#335: I presume our moderators will take care of the matter once they return from late morning prayers.

#339 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:48 AM:

The idiots are winning the propaganda war, judging by the way the UK media are talking about a mosque.

#340 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:48 AM:

Dvd
Dd y cm p wth tht dn't fd th trll thng n yr wn? 'm blndd b yr gns.

#341 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:55 AM:

#340: Of course he didn't. It's in the Koran, Sura 42:666 - In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful: Don't feed the troll!

#342 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:15 PM:

David Harmon & fidelio: Folks... Do Not Feed The Troll!

Can we at least poke it with a stick?

KayTei @329: Makes me wanna found a bordello across the street from the WTC ruins.

Sadly, I do believe that those are illegal.

I offer my remaining virtual popcorn to anyone sticking around

Why, thank you! I was just going to cook up a batch.

331: Yes, I said Muslim President. I didn't mention the fact that he was not even born here

Oh my, it's one of those. Whee! We haven't had a really good troll around for a while!

#343 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:21 PM:

Jacque @ 332... Considering that the 'Muslin President' joke went over his/her head, it'd be easy to pull the wool over his/her eyes.

#344 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:25 PM:

Jacque @ 342: Throw some of the popcorn this way please.

Serge @ 343: Not if you're using muslin - that would be pulling the cotton over his/her eyes.

But then this appears to be someone without an understanding of the word "fact", so the difference between wool and cotton probably wouldn't impinge. Baaaa!

#345 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:27 PM:

Crr
grdtd frm Lsn Stt nvrsty n 2008 wth dgr n Bsnss nd ccntng. Y grdtd frm whr? Wht s tht n f ths lttl nln schls? t shws. Y r bvsl Dmcrt (jblss nd cllctng wlfr) r y wld b bl t ffrd rl cllg. N n crs f y gt PhD r nt. Y strtd th nslts by cllng m trll bcs ddn't shr yr pnn. Mst b th nbrdng. wn't b cknwldgng ny frthr rspns frm y bcs yr stpd nd wst f my tm.

#346 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:30 PM:

@344: Demon sheep?

#347 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:31 PM:

That's funny; I was never aware that Louisiana State operated an online school in trolling.

#348 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:35 PM:

Our mods are taking a long lunch.

#349 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:38 PM:

OK, we have bog-standard unsupported anti-Obama talking points, feeble efforts at concern-trolling, brags about superior education and intelligence, lame snark, and more-high-minded-than-thou posturing, all delivered with noimagination or creativity whatsoever. This is such a disappointment. It's hardly even worth pulling this thread up to get the latest, and certainly not worth the effort of reply. Really, we used to get a much better grade of pest than this in times past. If you all did succeed in knocking out any candy after repeated poundings, it probably wouldn't even be any of the good stuff--just the sort cheapskates pass out on Halloween: chocolates with a subcritical mass of actual cacao, hard candies with dubious "fruit" flavorings, so-called licorice, made principally of paraffin, corn starch and chemical flavorings, and toffee-like substances made of molasses and sawdust.


Où sont les trolls d'antan?

#350 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:42 PM:

dcb
cn s why y nly pt yr ntl's n yr pst. Whr vr y rcvd yr dgr y shld sk fr yr mny bck. By th wy, ts nt 11/11 ts 9/11, n wndr yr cnfsd. Cn y nm n thng yr Mslm Prsdnt hs dn (xpnsv dnnrs nd vctns wth hs gl wf dn't cnt) snc bcmng yr Prsdnt? knw ts tw blcks wy frm grnd zr bt thnk y fr sttng th bvs. Gd wrk.

#351 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:46 PM:

dcb @ 344... Now you're just knitpicking. By the way, I thought that showing off the Degrees & Diplomas of one's EDUCATION was something that only Elitist Libruls did.

#352 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:51 PM:

Fidelio @ 349: And it's not even very creative, nor the least bit perceptive. Really, when a troll can't even tailor its invective to fit its particular audience target, it is clearly not ready to leave the confines of 4chan, kick off the training wheels and attempt to run with the adults.

#353 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:52 PM:

Fidelio @#349

I checked and the only alleged candies left are those "Peanut Butter" things wrapped in either orange or black waxed paper. I think they were invented by dentists in collusion with Weight Watchers - they'll rip out your dental work and make you never want to eat candy again.

Crappy pinata is crappy.

#354 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:59 PM:

tykewriter @335 I hope at least long enough for us to finish KayTei's offered virtual popcorn.

Let's give Regena the benefit of the doubt. Let's assume (s)he's not lying about his/her experiences. Thus, if Teresa's idea really is one of the stupidist (sic)* Regena ever heard, his/her body of encountered ideas must be really small (and, arguably, of a pretty high standard). There just isn't another sensible way for such a statement to be true.

Regena, I'm concerned you don't think too highly of yourself. You shouldn't ignore you! That's not a healthy way to go about life. You should start paying attention to yourself, start listening to what you say! That way, you would hear stupid ideas on a daily basis. It would have kept you from losing face in this esteemed crowd.**

(I wonder what my supposed degree will be.)

If we'd start stating the obvious, we'd ruin all the puns.

*very sic (couldn't resist)
** which, I realise, is no compelling argument for you at all. It does, however, sound pretty compelling to me. You not losing face, that is.

#355 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:59 PM:

Regena Ducote @ 350: My Bachelor of Arts and my Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine were from the University of Cambridge (the original one, that is, of course). The PhD was from the University of London. Go on: pretend you've never heard of those. I dare you.

I do apologise for the date typo - mental blip associated with our 7/7. But then, we didn't think much of that, having been bombed previously by professionals. We just got on and continued using our public transport systems as usual - the best memorial of all - showing the terrorists that they had failed in their attempt to terrorise us.

My President? Your mistake again. I do think he's a good one, much better than our present Prime Minister.

Do you want a spade to help you dig? Not that you need any assistance - you're doing fine.

#356 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 12:59 PM:

I blame the Allies for 11/11.

#357 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:05 PM:

Bombie @ 354:

I have ruined
the puns
that were in
the aether

and which
you were probably
saving
for the next open thread

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so bold

Jon Meltzer @ 356: Snort!

#358 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:06 PM:

dcb, she's apparently never heard of Carnegie Mellon, so I wouldn't bet on her having heard of Cambridge.

#359 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:07 PM:

Jon M #338:

Really low-level crud we're expected to deal with ourselves.

#360 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:09 PM:

Oooh, this is fun. I'll grant you, the candy is somewhat substandard, but it's the reliability that's entertaining.

In fact, Carnegie Mellon is a private university in Pittsburgh, PA, which boasts one of the most prestigious computer science programs in the country, along with a Fine Arts department that's internationally famous.

They gave me money to go there, in case you were wondering.

I've been a registered Democrat since I could vote, true, but I am in fact employed and have never been on welfare in my life.

One does wonder why you feel it necessary to make these odd, baseless insults to someone you have never met. I find that that's usually evidence of projection, but of course I don't like to assume.

#361 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:14 PM:

dcb 344: Throw some of the popcorn this way please.

8888888888888888888888888888888888888888

(Shouldn't say things like that to Callahan's alums.) (Oh, wait. Those were peanuts, sorry.)

345: Wow. Straight to ad hominem. At least it knows what it wants to accomplish.

But what about us Democrats who are working and paying taxes? Don't we count?

#362 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:15 PM:

Trolla Dutrolle @331:

Yes, I said Muslim President. I didn't mention the fact that he was not even born here and wouldn't know an intelligent decision if it hit him in the face. All true statements.

Because saying it makes it so.

#363 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:16 PM:

*waves to Jacque*

We may have bumped into each other at the Place a time or two, perhaps?

#364 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:19 PM:

Regena Ducote #345: your* stupid and a waste of my time

*"you're"

#365 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:20 PM:

Summer Storms *waves back*

One never knows. I was there way back in the Olden Days; haven't checked in for (yeep!) a decade? Wow.

Tangentially related, anybody have any news on how Spider is doing?

#366 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:21 PM:

Aw, c'mon, Regena Ducote, post some more. I've gotten to the bottom of the thread and I still have popcorn left.

#367 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:23 PM:

All of these puns threaded through the discussion, and not one mention of worshipping Satin?

#368 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:27 PM:

KayTei: There's already a 'Gentleman's Club' nearby, from the friendly particle.

So, sorry, you're too late.

#369 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:30 PM:

The flamage is making me a little verklempt. I'm a little verklempt right now. Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic: The Mosque at Ground Zero is neither a mosque nor is it at Ground Zero. Discuss.

There, I'm better.

#370 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:32 PM:

Oops, that a sidelight, not a particle. I guess the errorists really have won.

#371 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:36 PM:

Sadly, Regena Ducote (how much does it suck that your own mother can't spell your name right, btw?) is typical of the ignorance that is rampant here in Lousy-ana. And while LSU might not have a degree program in online trolling, judging by the facebook comments of many of my high school classmates, it may be a result of all the pollution in the river causing brain damage.
Funny story. The reason my parents moved to Illinois when I was in 2nd grade is because the valedictorian of one of the public schools in New Orleans had to take both remedial math AND remedial English to get into LSU. Educational standards are not particularly high.

#372 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:40 PM:

Jacque @ 361: I rate peanuts? I'm honoured. *blush* Alas, no, just popcorn substitutes.

#373 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:49 PM:

Srr Crr, Crng Mlln s n whr nr s fms s LS. WHTVR. Thy py y-ww. Thn why wn't thy py fr tht Mstrs Dgr? dcb-Wht ds tht stnd fr? DMD CNFSD B****. Nt N sngl prsn cld nm n pstv thng tht yr Mslm Prsdnt hs dn. Nt n. ll y'll cn sy s trll, trll. Tht s prfnd. hv nvr sn s mny stpd, cls mndd, fllwrs n n plc. Scrw ll f y.

#374 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:50 PM:

If I'm going to get screwed, I want flowers and dinner first.

#375 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 01:58 PM:

"Carnegie Mellon is no where near as famous as LSU."

*Boggle*
Wow.
o_0

*Hohohohahahahahagigglesnorksporfl*

#376 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:00 PM:

The funniest thing is that, after coating all of our screens in a thick layer of stupidity, ill will, racism, profoundly unAmerican contempt for the Constitution, and bad apostrophe use, Regena can't bring herself to spell out the word bitch.

Vale, Regena.

(BA in Latin from the University of California at Berkekley, which makes me tragically under-educated for this community. I scramble to keep up.)

#377 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:01 PM:

EClaire, while it's fun to play whack-a-troll, insulting the spelling of someone's name strikes me as below the belt. There are so many more quite excellent reasons to criticize, beyond name and state of residence. Why take the cheap shots?

#378 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:02 PM:

I figured it out!

Regena Ducote is actually an anagram for Cue To Derange!

That, or Acute Nerd Ego

#379 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:03 PM:

Serge: You don't want to get scrod for dinner?

#380 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:03 PM:

They pay you-wow. Then why won't they pay for that Masters Degree?

Um, because a Master's in linguistics isn't relevant to my job, so I'll be getting it for the joy of learning a subject I'm fascinated by?

#381 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:13 PM:

Because given my experience with the people I live among, no appeal to reason will ever penetrate, so I do it only to amuse myself.

Clearly, I have got to get out of here. It's turning me as hard and brittle and ungenerous as my neighbors are.

#382 ::: Regena Ducote ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:15 PM:

Clr
sn't tht dghnt? Tht s hw y spll Rgn. Clr. I hv th blls t pt m fll nm. Y dn't. Yr prnts mvd bcs f tht. s whr y gt tht hgh Q frm. Thy snd lk thy r brthr nd sstr nd y r prdct f quck **** n th bck f pckp trck.

#383 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:17 PM:

Abi @ 376: Well, she couldn't spell "dumb", so maybe she wasn't sure which letters to place after the "B"?

And you have no reason to feel under-educated. I gave up Latin after three years (I can still just about remember "Caecilius est pater. Metella est mater. Quintus est filius. Grumio est coquus. Clemens est servus. Cerberus est Canis").

#384 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:18 PM:

IP address time?

#385 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:21 PM:

173.217.213.248 has now been banned.

I reiterate my complaint about the quality of the trolls we're getting these days. I blame talk radio; these poor people think they're presenting good arguments.

#386 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:22 PM:

dcb @372: Of course you rate peanuts, dear. Here, have some more:

88888888888888888888888888888
8888888888888888888888888888888888888
88888888888888888888888888888

#387 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:24 PM:

A quick talk in the back of a pick-up truck.
A quick jest in the back of a pick-up truck.
A quick mile in the back of a pick-up truck.
A quick gibe in the back of a pick-up truck.
A quick jibe in the back of a pick-up truck.
A quick find in the back of a pick-up truck.

#388 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:26 PM:

No, Bombie, you're forgetting Making Light culture:

A quick plum in the back of a pick-up truck.

#389 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:26 PM:

Abi @ 385: "I blame talk radio" Ghod yes. The drivel we're forced to listen to while waiting for the travel and weather update on our local radio station in a morning are nearly enough to drive one to drink. When a radio presenter uses the argument "well, my aunt says...", they really are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

#390 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:30 PM:

If you're an American, he's your President too -- just as GWB was ours, Regena. Thank you for representing the 18% of Americans who think Obama is Muslim (that's almost as high as the percentage of Muslims in the world in 2000 -- coincidence?). Since there are far more people who believe that than there are Muslims in the US, perhaps you've just never met a Muslim?

#391 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:32 PM:

I thought that 'dcb' stood for 'data control block' - which probably betrays the antediluvian state of technology when I graduated from college. (No university degree, I am embarassed to say.)

#392 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:33 PM:

@390: I doubt she's met a New Yorker either, much less been there.

#393 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:34 PM:

It's clear as can be now, what is the function of this 'controversy' manufactured by the rethugz and the nutters. It is to bolster and expand the perception of underinformed voter that the POTUS is a muslim, and not a citizen, and that he's part and parcel of the enemy that highjacked the jets and flew them into the Towers. Just in time for midterm elections.

It's another of their perfect storms of irrational hysteria. They always seem to work too.

I wonder where this polling figure comes from, the one that says 68% of New Yorkers are against the building of Park51 Cultural Center. I'm surrounded by New Yorkers, particularly New Yorkers who live and work within some kind of range of Ground Zero -- most of us long prior to the 9/11 attack. I'm not encountering anyone who is against it, or even thinks it should be moved to a different location. But then I don't live on the upper east side of the obscenely wealthy and powerful, and I don't know many of those people to talk to either.

But Mayor Mike is one of those extremely wealthy powerful folks, and he's in favor of the cultural center. This is his Good Mike the Mayor, which hasn't been in evidence for a while now.

Patterson though, the governor of New York by the bad behavior decisions of the elected governor, Spitzer, should just. butt. out. He makes more of a fool of himself and his ignorance of all this every time he opens his mouth. Today he's been blithering about how the people of downtown need to feel safe. I feel safe, except from the idiots who are hysterial about the cultural center.

Love, C.

#394 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:34 PM:

I'm another lamer who went to this unknown Carnegie Mellon place. Full scholarship. MS, Information Networking Institute, 1997. Still, I couldn't help myself and not only voted for the Muslin Kenyan but gave his campaign $500.

* * *

How the hell do the Regenas of the world find us? Is there some kind of Troll Clearing House where eager Correctors of Error wait for an assignment?

#395 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:34 PM:

eric @ 379... Is that an haddock requirement?

#396 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:35 PM:

Aw, I wonder if my mom or dad liked plums. I'm pretty sure there was no pick-up truck involved though.

#397 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:39 PM:

Christian Severin: plenty of people here know more about this than me. But I don't really think its that difficult to tell the difference between the two cases. It's not as though anyone really thinks that the point of the community centre is to celebrate the slaugher of WTC occupants on September 11th; nor as if anyone thinks the point of the 0range order marches is to do anything but commemorate a slaughter. (though there's apparently some question as to which slaughter.)

is there, ever, some simple arsehole detector for this kind of situation?

Verbum sat: It's traditional in my part of the world to regard anyone who requires anything more sophisticated than a bimanual arsehole detector as a proverbial paradigm of an idiot.

#398 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:40 PM:

abi @376: (BA in Latin from the University of California at Berkekley, which makes me tragically under-educated for this community. I scramble to keep up.)

How do you think I feel, who doesn't even have a degree?

'Sides, education isn't something that you have. It's something that you do.

dcb @383: Cerebus est terra sus? Kilroi hic erat?

abi @385: 173.217.213.248 has now been banned.

WAAAAAHHHHHH! I wanted to abuse it some moooooorrrrreeee.

#399 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:43 PM:

This weirdo doesn't sound at all like the people I know from LSU -- who, I am delighted to announce, are all great people, fun to be with, and very good at their work. Again, this person doesn't sound like a person you'd even want to see walking toward you on Bourbon Street (where gather the tourists who get drunk and vomit by noon), and surely doesn't sound as if he's got work, much less is any good at it.

Love, C.

#400 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:46 PM:

abi @ 376 - I recall a mention of scarlet gowns at some point. So some time at the University of St. Andrews as well, I'm guessing.

#401 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 02:57 PM:

I spent my junior year of university at St Andrews, but my BA is from UC Berkeley. I've also done some postgraduate study; I have a postgraduate diploma from Napier University in Edinburgh.

(You realize, of course, that this leaves only one university from the four I mentioned an Open Thread or three ago. A reasonable person could probably do the maths and figure out which one it was. I did some adult education classes there.)

#402 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 03:30 PM:

Dang, I was enjoying the LSU-age. I did my residency at LSU SVM, so I met a fair number of LSU undergrads. The shining example, which dcb will enjoy, was the night two young men frantically brought their lizard in to our exotic clinic, as an emergency.

It seemed the lizard had gone behind the couch, gotten scared, and emerged sans tail. They had retrieved the tail and brought it with their lizard to me.

I very carefully explained that the lizard would be fine, that the tail would regrow, and that I would not be charging them $50 for the non-emergency. I did not tell them that this was a normal lizard response. I figured they didn't need the humiliation.

Yes, Elllesssuuuu is known far and wide for its fine undergraduate life, focused primarily upon its stellar football team, which had a practice facility larger than the veterinary school's total square footage, and right across from us. I see from Google Maps that they've expanded the football facility. How nice!

Kind of appropriate that the Hebert Law School (LSU) has as its motto this saying: "“Appreciation through understanding”.

#403 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 03:35 PM:

What? No joke about Chico State University?

#404 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 03:42 PM:

Why, my BSE is in Latin as well ... Praeses et Curatores Universitatis Princetoniensis ... or something like that - it's somewhere in my parents' house, I think. Oh, you meant like a classics major. Never mind.

My mother had a friend from one of the Seven Sisters. Her AB was written in Latin. She was living in the South, and brought it as proof of HS graduation to the poll, to vote. The polling official said, "I can't read that," and made her sit for the literacy test.

This was in the late 1950s, I think.

#405 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 03:49 PM:

Ginger @ 402 Aw, I think it's sweet they cared enough for their lizard to take it to a vet. A lot of guys would have used duct tape and called it a night, or just stepped out on the porch and gathered in a handful of geckos as replacement pets. These guys were willing to fork out a small fortune for *their* lizard.

(Maybe LSU admin think of the practice facility as an extension of the vet school?)

#406 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:01 PM:

Re the late unlamented troll, my friends and I have a useful observation taken from the Death Race 2000 video game: "You don't get any points when they're THAT dumb."

#407 ::: Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:12 PM:

Constanc@393: I wonder as well. I'd like to know the size of the sample, whether it included anyone in the lower Manhattan area, and exactly how the question was worded.

#408 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:19 PM:

Carrie S. @ 380: Masters in linguistics sounds interesting - and doing it just because it interests you sounds even better.

Jacque @ 386: Hey, thanks! To be treasured. (That was my first ever "plums" pastiche up-thread, btw).

Jacque @ 398: Yes, but they won't let one practice as a veterinarian without an appropriate veterinary degree. I did the PhD for other reasons, including that I got to play with wallabies - which sounds bad; and mostly ones which were anaesthetised or dead, which sounds worse (the dead ones smelled worst).

One of the things I like about ML is that it's a community of people who are educated (whether formally or otherwise) and do care about the distinction between fact and opinion, and appreciate proper use of language, etc.

abi @ 401: I'm envious of your wider experience of different universities. Not that I'm complaining about spending six years in Cambridge, you understand.

Ginger @ 402: Yes appreciated; ignorant but, as pericat said, at least they cared.

#409 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:27 PM:

Constance (393): I think that figure may be from New York State, not New York City. (But I'm working from memory of local news articles, and a quick Google doesn't turn up anything definitive.)

#410 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:41 PM:

Abi @ 401

600 plus 428 plus 142 plus 46 gives me 1216. So I reckon that you're taking St. Andrews to have been founded by a Papal Bull rather than a Charter of Incorporation, and that you did your adult education classes at the University of Edinburgh

#411 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:54 PM:

abi@401 I make no claim to be a reasonable person, however.

#412 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:54 PM:

abi@401 I make no claim to be a reasonable person, however.

#413 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 04:57 PM:

The foreshadowed scion of French royalty has it right. Edinburgh's Lifelong Learning programme offers evening Dutch classes (quite good ones, too).

#414 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:00 PM:

presaged bourbons:

I rarely twit people about stumbling over the double-posting problem, but it's proving hard to resist at least waving in the direction of pointing out your unintentional but telling double negative*.

-----
* Which is a weird and layered pun if you know any Dutch, since tellen means to count, and double is counted and...I'll get my coat.

#415 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:01 PM:

Question for the flurosphere:

In 2008, for various reasons, my license plates were suspended. I straightened things out, and new plates were issued in 2009. Just this afternoon, my car was towed, for the plates being suspended in 2008. I called the town, and they said the plates were suspended 2008, but the plates were the new ones from 2009. The town was aware that these were new 2009 plates, issued after the suspension - which would obviously mean that the suspension was addressed.

They said it was a DMV problem, I'm very confused as to why the DMV would have issued new plates last year if things were still suspended.

Does anyone have any idea what could be going on?

#416 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:03 PM:

Oops. The above was meant for the open thread.

#417 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:16 PM:

Constance #393

I wonder where this polling figure comes from, the one that says 68% of New Yorkers are against the building of Park51 Cultural Center.

My guess is that it is a misreporting of a CNN poll conducted August 6–10 which found 68% opposed, 29% in favour, for the country as a whole.

There are polls of New Yorkers. One is by Quinnipiac University, who do competent and honest polls. Their press release, including exactly which questions they asked, is here. They find a narrow majority of Manhattan residents are in favor and a narrow majority of New Yorkers over all are against.

Note that this was not the First Amendment question of whether the owners of the land have the right to build a mosque there, but whether the respondent personally thought it was a good idea.

#418 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:17 PM:

Terry @302
I derived the 'hallowed' quality from the legacy, not from the intent. I think I see now what you mean. I wouldn't start comparing OKC and WTC. I was en train de typing out a reaction when my internet flunked. Not to worry, it was right around the time I realised I was going down the good old spiral of carrying relativism waaay too far. I started pointing out that, even though OKC and WTC were equally tragic (given their scope, you cannot begin comparing), but that people are in no way obligated to attach equal importance to both.* the fact that quite a few people attach this importance to 9/11 and had some kind of moral right to go down the 'hallowed' road**, just as you have en equal right to oppose that course.
Dammit.

Moral relativism, sometimes it hurts my head a little.

In my initial draft I also tried to reassure you that, even if at odds with the Zeitgeist, you're probably not alone. Not in this crowd.

Will think more about this.

abi @303

Your sentence structure was actually pretty good. You got everything communicated without me having to think about what you tried to say and without me making ugly faces (you did not rape the language). I realise that the similarities with the English structure probably only make it that much harder too know when not to use a familiar structure. I'm pretty new here, and this has no doubt been addressed before, but: for how long now have you been living/learning Dutch?


* but maybe a government does have such an obligation? I really don't know.
** ambiguous: I mean a road of calling it 'hallowed' ground, not a road that is hallowed.

#419 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:17 PM:

The Gnomes got my reply to Constance #393 on polling data. Probably some Words of Power -- there was only one link

#420 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:18 PM:

We keep complaining, maybe it's time for verse.

Ballades des trolles des temps jadis

Dictes moy où, n'en quel pays,
Est Jessica, Jeune Républicaine;
La souillure qui s’appelle Ace,
Qui fut sa cousine germaine;
Mrk Yrk, parlant quand bruyt on Maine
Dessus rivière ou sus estan,
Qui bêtise ot trop plus qu'humaine?


Où est Shan l’apôtre de Rand
Qui fut disemvoyellé et puis s’interdi
Et le sot—qu’est-ce que jonathan?
Une chaussette de maison d’édition fictif.
Semblablement, où est zipity
Qui louait le guerre de Bush sans fin
Et ses confreres jbelkin et sekimori?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

Le vieux soldat USA_Dave comme lion
Qui chantoit à voix de âne;
Jason au grant bouche, Karol, Yaron;
Michael E. McNeil, qui nous atterrions,
Et Raul de la Garza le troisième,
Qui révérait tous les saints;
Où sont elles, Vierge souvraine?
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

Prince, n'enquerez de sepmaine
Où elles sont, ne de cest an,
Qu'à ce reffrain ne vous remaine:
Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!


One F. Villon (MA, Paris) has probably just put down his wine, and dumped the girl off his lap as he stood to protest my theft and debasement of his lines, to say nothing of my lame not-quite rhymes and bad grammar, but I couldn't resist.

#421 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:20 PM:

abi @414
Very layered indeed. Please, stay.

#422 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:25 PM:

Bombie @418:

"Pretty good" sentence structure is happy dance territory for me; I've struggled with this a lot.

I started studying Dutch (at Edinburgh University, see, it all ties in!) in 2005. We moved to the Netherlands in 2007, but I have generally worked in Engelstalig offices*. So five years, but not immersion-level practice.

My husband, though Scottish, grew up in Limburg and is fluent in Dutch†. I have two children, who were three and six when we moved here. They're both fluent and going to ordinary Dutch schools. Our household language is English, since one of the goals of this move was to make the kids truly bilingual.

-----
* Well, apart from how in my last job we started using Dutch as a way of excluding people from the US sister company that done us wrong. It was...interesting to be part of that.
† For which I am repeatedly grateful, given the forms and bureaucracy we had to deal with even as EU citizens‡. Some of the single words in those forms were three centimeters long. In 10-point type.
‡ I'm dual US (by birth) and UK (by residency after marriage)

#423 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:29 PM:

Thomas @419:

Munged link, irretrievably so. Check at preview, say the gnomes.

#424 ::: Thomas ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:32 PM:

Constance #393, Me #419,

Another try at the Quinnipiac poll link

#425 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:33 PM:

fidelio @420:

I am innocent of French, but it looks all shiny and such. Lotta, um, accents. (I kid. I can parse a lot of it.)

I was going to rewrite Salve Regina to Vale Regena, but it seemed like a better idea to actually block the IP address and clean up the mess.

#426 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:33 PM:

Waaahhh, I missed the entire piñata party! And Regena was a particularly moronic specimen, too. Darn.

#427 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:38 PM:

Bombie @ 417 Terry Karney is indeed not alone in how he feels; what he said @ 209 is very nearly a dead-on match for my own feelings about the WTC site.

#428 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:39 PM:

I'll share my candy with you, Xopher. It was mostly coffee cremes and Werther's Originals*, but there's some taffy and a few peppermints.

-----
* the quintessential Grandpa's Funny-Tasting Sweets in the UK

#429 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:48 PM:

abi @420--After 35 years or so since I studied it, I wish I could say I was innocent of French, because that would at least suggest I am not doing anything to harm the language, but I must settle for saying I am very nearly ignorant of it again, and had to spend a lot of time looking up verb conjugations and undoubtedly getting them wrong in spite of that, and abusing helpless little mots into meanings the Académie doubtless never intended for them to signify.

I always feel that accents make a language look so elegant when it's written out, and the study of ancient Greek* only confirmed that.

*Also atrophied back to practical ignorance.

#430 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:50 PM:

Xopher, you're probably better off having missed that one - hse said that Teresa's and Patrick's opinions on the not-a-mosque don't count, even though they live in NYC. But someone from LSU (who doesn't think CMU is famous) is entitled to have hir views given full consideration.

#431 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:54 PM:

dcb @408: they won't let one practice as a veterinarian without an appropriate veterinary degree.

Well, yes, and probably just as well. (Though I get to burnish my fingernails for thinking up a successful treatment for an ailment that has been universally fatal to my guinea pigs in the past. But I had the vet do the actual implementation.)

In addition to the noun/verb distinction with education, it is also important to note the distinction between education and credentials. (Credentials: somebody else thinks you know what you're doing.)

#432 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:54 PM:

I enjoyed Regena's leap into the deep end of the troll pool. Usually we don't get that kind of behavior for at least a few posts. I managed to catch the first few with their vowels. It meant I really didn't need to disentangle the rest.

#433 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 05:59 PM:

Thank you, abi. I like Werther's Originals...and the sugar-free ones are just as good as the sugar ones, the only candy I've ever found of which this is true.

But it's the pole-whacking I'm sorry to have missed, not the candy. Regena was just sooooo stupid. In fact, stooopid. We don't usually get that level of dyed-in-the-wool brain-damaged willful moron here.

#434 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:05 PM:

abi @421

I spontaneously typed 'surprisingly good' at first, but then went with 'pretty good' as I realised I knew too little of your history to be able to fairly claim to be surprised.* Now I do. Happy dancing seems pretty appropriate to me. I realise fully well how important the immersion-level practice is. I'm doing my master's in Chinese studies right now. I keep saying (to myself most of all) that once I've got my degree, I'll go to China to finally learn Chinese.**

It's wonderful that you're raising your children bilingual. I'm not too familiar with the Dutch school system. Will they at any point be getting mandatory foreign language courses (English, French, ..) or will that (just) be optional?

fidelio @420
My French has been gathering dust (lack of immersion-level practice, it all ties in!), but I think I get enough of it to appreciate the clever. And that's probably missing half of it for lack of knowledge of the fluorosphere trolls of yore. (That would make a nice ML companion book)


--
* Although I don't think my standards or expectations are that low, otherwise I wouldn't feel confident admitting it now
** I know this for fact. Two years ago I lived there and studied there (in Chinese) for 3 months, which did insane amounts of good to my level of Chinese. Progress which I've lost again by now. Ah, one day.

#435 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:08 PM:

I realized why Regena's argument was so... odd. It felt very much like hse meant that for a different discussion and mistakenly typed it here.* It felt like the end of an argument, not the beginning.

*It was personalized for here, but...still.

#436 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:09 PM:

abi @ 425... I am innocent of French

I myself have been guilty of Frenching...
("Serge!")
What?
Oh.
I am impressed that Fidelio actually used Ye Old French. Took me a bit to go thru.

#437 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:11 PM:

Awwww, man...I missed the piñatification again? I dusted off my Louisville Slugger as soon as I got home from work.

If you need me, I'll be sitting in the corner pouting with Xopher.

#438 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:18 PM:

Jacque @ 431: Oh yes, there's a distinct difference between education and credentials.

Well done re. the treatment for your guinea pigs. What was it (ailment and treatment)?

Stefan Jones @ 394: my husband and I are still boggling over that unknown Carnagie Mellon place! I note she didn't take me up on my dare to claim not to have heard of the University of Cambridge. Just called me names instead.

#439 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:19 PM:

Segre @436--Had the original not already been all medievally and like that, I couldn't have fixed it that way. Credit for the oldification goes to the author of the original, and I suspect he couldn't help it, what with living in the fifteenth century and everything.

Xopher--the old trolls had much better candy in them, I think. It's hardly worth anyone's while to lift a baseball bat these days.

#440 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:34 PM:

Pericat @405: I don't think they even knew what the charge could have been. They were very sweet, and so worried. There was no way I would have charged them a single penny.

#441 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:38 PM:

Lin D, #435: That's probably because it was just the undigested regurgitation of right-wing scripts with names adjusted to fit the location. It had the feel of trying to tell a first-level help-desk tech what is actually wrong with your computer, and all they know how to do is read down the list of pre-scripted questions having nothing to do with the symptoms you're reporting.

#442 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 06:54 PM:

Jon 404: Why, my BSE is in Latin as well

What is the Latin for 'Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy' (aka maladie de la vache folle)?

#443 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 07:25 PM:

Xopher @ 442... I thought it stood for 'BullShitting Employer', but yours is much classier.

#444 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 07:40 PM:

And there's protests about putting a community center and prayer room in Tennessee as well == one quote I heard on the radio was "We're Christians, and they're opposed to us." Is anyone else hearing a lot of echoes of classic anti-Semitism in this debate?

#445 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 07:48 PM:

274 (Serge)

From the particle with the pictures, the one I found offensive was the selling of NYPD and FDNY helmets as souveniers

#446 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 08:01 PM:

The egregious stupidity and bigotry displayed over this incident makes me want scam these people. Every dollar we extract from them is one less that might get sent to the Palin in 2012 campaign.

Overpriced gold coins and survivalist seed banks are taken . . . can we sell them mosque construction Insurance, or pills that ward off muslin bed bugs spread by islamist taxi drivers? All profits to the ACLU.

#447 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 08:06 PM:

Craig R. @445: Look at what a market there is in souvenirs of the crucifixion of Jesus -- probably millions sold every year!

#448 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 08:09 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 446 -- How about a fund to ensure that the site will be occupied by a real American community center, not a mosque?

#449 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 08:43 PM:

Thanks for the attempts to clarify the polls. But the news critters, whether on radio (television? I don't have one) and the newspapers don't say that this poll is New York staters. Or New York City residents, or even if it is Manhattan vs. Brooklyn. Or the country as a whole.

It just gets repeated all day like a drumbeat (at least on the radio -- and I'm talking the NYC public radio stations affiliated with NPR) 68% of New Yorkers don't want the mosque built there.

See? Just like they keep calling the Cultural Center a mosque, when IT IS NOT A MOSQUE. Yes. I shouted. Sheesh.

So I blame the media and the political groups who are trying desperately to keep this alive and thus convince the country that the POTUS is a Muslim. Today I ran into some people who I wouldn't have expected this of, who suggested that they think it more likely he's a Muslim than not. Then it turns out they kinda would like to USians bomb Iran sooner rather than later. Double sheesh.

Love, c.

#450 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 08:55 PM:

Jacque @ 342 - Oh, sure it is! But I had it all worked out! See, either I distract everyone with my wickedness and "stupidity" in being so open about it, or I expose them all as hypocrites! Win-win, because either way, they get distracted from worrying about the so-called Mosque to run a bordello-themed PR war!

It was a lot more brilliant before I'd had my coffee, mind you.

-----------------

Aside, and after the fact, I'm so sad I had to break off to go to work today. I would blame not getting name-checked by the troll on my subtle and clever avoidance tactic of not addressing her explicitly by name, but I'm pretty sure it's discrimination against my meagre UCDavis bachelor's degree, the existence of which she must clearly have intuited. I think she only really cared about insulting the really super-qualified intellectuals. I feel sadly and melodramatically excluded.

... I am vaguely disturbed by the extent to which that second-to-last sentence sounded implausible in my head, until it suddenly became horrifyingly plausible upon having been typed.

#451 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 09:03 PM:

Tom Whitmore (#447)

But, but, but, the multiplicity of the sheer mass of the splinters from The One True Cross shows that there must be some Divine agency in play!

(when I was active in the SCA I was an Occasional Merchant and did a brisk business in slivers of wood, teeny-tiny bottles with pale red liquid and fragments of chicken bone ensconced in little wooden boxes, each of which came with a smartly scibed piece of paper declaiming provenance...)

#452 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:13 PM:

I wish I'd seen this earlier.

#453 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:19 PM:

And doesn't the crescent remind you of the Hammer and Sickle?

#454 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 19, 2010, 11:47 PM:

Kaytei, she name-checked me, and I can assure you I did not go anywhere nearly as impressive as Cambridge or Carnegie Mellon. Not even anywhere as famous as LSU, for that matter! But hey, it's probably because my mom and dad were brother and sister. That tends to hold me back.

#455 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:03 AM:

Fidelio, that was brilliant!

#456 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 01:44 AM:

EClaire, #454: If I'd felt like playing, I'm sure she'd have recognized Vanderbilt -- and equally sure that her response would have been sports-related. As. If.

#457 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 02:05 AM:

Apologies for yesterday evening's double-post. I was distractedly trying to calculate the abi-sum for thye 4 universities I have attended (with the aid of Wikipedia) (It's complicated by the fact that the origins of one of them seem to be genuinely lost in the mists of time, but the answer is somewhere in the region of 2160 years, which is somewhat mind-boggling.)

#458 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 08:58 AM:

Tom Whitmore @444--there has been at least one piece on the local news here about that which was showed nothing less than genius in the art of story slanting.

One of the people pushing the building of this site had lived in the Murfreesboro area for many years and died recently; his family had him buried on the site of the proposed mosque, in accordance with his expressed wishes. Needless to say, this has become one of the issues the opponents of the mosque are waving a red flag over. The local NBC affiliate interviewed his grandson and namesake, a clean-cut young man whose vocal cadences clearly proclaim "nice Tennessee boy", who talked about his grandfather's recent death, his ties to the area, and hopes to see the mosque built, as well as how important in was to him to have been buried on the site, and how much he and his family all hated the thought of his grandfather's rest being disturbed. Short of running a chyron over his head that said "TN MUSLIMS: JUST LIKE US, REALLY, EXCEPT FOR PRAYING FIVE TIMES A DAY AND THAT FASTING DURING RAMADAN THING" and one on the bottom of the screen that said "IF PEOPLE WANTED TO DIG UP YOUR GRANDPA'S GRAVE FOR POLITICAL REASONS HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?" they couldn't have have gone much farther to give a positive spin to the local Muslim community.

#459 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 09:01 AM:

TexAnne @455--Steal from the best, I always say.

#460 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:09 AM:

BTW, 173.217.213.248 is a dynamic DNS address, not associated with any fixed net location. The troll is doing a moderately good job of covering their track.

...I wonder if they are one of these paid trolls one hears about.

#461 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:15 AM:

I wonder if they are one of these paid trolls one hears about.

If I were to hire a troll, I would want a more competent one.

You just can't get good help these days.

#462 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:25 AM:

OtterB @ 461... You just can't get good help these days

"My grandfather used to work for your grandfather. Of course the rates have gone up."
- Igor

#463 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:36 AM:


Regina Ducote: Lets just look at what you said.

No one has a problem with a mosque being built. Just not at ground zero.

Nonsense. As so many links in replies to this post make clear, there is a large body of people saying thing like, "Islam isn't a religion,", and others saying no mosques should be built anywhere. So the issue isn't quite as you paint it.

As a hick, I am deeply sadden that so called Americans like you are so cavalier about the fact that so many people lost their lives that day. Did you forget or do you just not care?

I wish I was surprised that you said this. I am reasonably certain others, will point out that, working in the near shadow of the WTC, and being at work the day they were destroyed, with a friend alive only because he wasn't at work, in the WTC on That Tuesday that she, and Patrick and any number of the people who frequent this place are far more aware of those things, and much less likely to forget it than you can, or will, ever be.

I undertand that muslims also died that day. Are you aware that muslims were also responsible for the attacks that killed nearly three thousand people that day?

I assume you are aware the typical profile for a terrorist in the US is white, and Christian. I assume you are aware that a white, Christian blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. That white Christians make up the KKK, made up The Order, run about beating gays, "ragheads" "immigrants", etc.?

I assume you want to tar all white Christians with the same brush. The same way you want to make sure we all remember this community center is owned by Muslims, "just like the ones who blew up the World Trade Center."

I guess you also voted for our Muslim president?

When we get one, she may decide to let you know.

Now the the meat of the matter. The part that actually pissed me off. You, nor I, nor anyone else, do not get to say such things. I would never stoop to implying you weren't a real American. I do think you a piss-poor example of the species, but sadly you are a real American. Teresa is too. So far as I can tell, a far better example than you are. A far more effective one than I have been (and, to play cards you will probably recognise, I'm a disable Vet, from OIF-1).

She has a bully pulpit, and uses it to champion her ideals. She champions them in the context of what she hopes for, working as if she were in the early days of a better nation. You may disagree with her stands (ok, no maybe about it you do, and have made it plain to one and all), but you can't say there is anything so-called about that. You can't say, with any sort of honesty, that it's un-American. It is the classic model of what we think of as American.

It's as American as Patrick Henry in the meeting house, asking, "is peace so sweet, or life so dear, to be bought at the price of Chains and Slavery?", though she thinks the chains are ignorance and the slavery that of of intolerance.

It's Thomas Paine, abusing the summertime soldier, and the peacetime patriot, who flee the cause when the going got rough, and the price to be paid was actual hardship. She (and the other's here) lives up to her ideals. She speaks her mind, knowing that small-minded and petty people will abuse her, will stay foolish things about her. Will insult her, by trying to arrogate to themselves the experiences she has had; as you did with your peurile sniping about her not understanding how people, "lost their lives that day" when they did that dying about a mile from where she was sitting, when she spent the days and weeks thereafter with the smoke and dust of their deaths settling on her home.

You have the gall to call that un-American. That's what makes you a "hick."

#464 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:50 AM:

Terry Karney @463
You may disagree with her stands (ok, no maybe about it you do, and have made it plain to one and all), but you can't say there is anything so-called about that. You can't say, with any sort of honesty, that it's un-American. It is the classic model of what we think of as American.

It's as American as Patrick Henry in the meeting house, asking, "is peace so sweet, or life so dear, to be bought at the price of Chains and Slavery?", though she thinks the chains are ignorance and the slavery that of of intolerance.

Not just applause, but a standing ovation.

#465 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 11:23 AM:

Terry Karney @463

I'm standing next to OtterB, clapping.
Powerfully put. Thank you.

#466 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 11:47 AM:

Stefan Jones @446, no need to start anything like that; some people on their own side are already taking care of it. Have you heard on what things the RNC spent some of the money that trusting conservatives had donated in the hope that it would be used to stop the socialofascimuslimigayostalinisation of America? And I think there've been some smaller examples of scams in relation with right-wing donations and sales, too, as well as some cases of fairly overpriced consulting, web maintenance, movie production etc. services, though I can't think of any links right now.

#467 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:03 PM:

*waves from across the Pond.* Me too.

#468 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:05 PM:

Add me to the applause for Terry. Extremely well done, sir.

#469 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:11 PM:

Terry Karney @463

From one with neither the pulpit nor the skill, thank you.

#470 ::: Lin D ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:11 PM:

Joel Polowin over on Between the wave... @141, linked to a Christine Lavin vid. Apropos this thread , and in light of... recent personal events, I do not wish the moment to slip away.

Thank you one and all.
Thank you, Teresa and Patrick, for providing this place of Light.
Thank you, moderators all, for doing that job so well.
Thank you, Fluorospherians, for gathering here and making this a place of laughter, tears, joy, support, silliness, thought-provoking conversation.
Thank you, trolls, for providing so much entertainment. And for giving me the opportunity to learn a great deal about subjects by the thoughtful, detailed, documented, footnoted, cross-referenced (not necessarily at the same time) exposition. Even in anger, Fluorospherians can be outstandingly clear and concise.

And thank you, Teresa, for the memorable "influenza cure" at the Denvention Gathering of Light.

#471 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:13 PM:

Terry Karney @463: Very well said.

It's unfortunate that the person you're addressing it to is apparently incapable of grasping simple facts if they disagree with hir blinkered worldview, never mind understanding your eloquent words.

But the rest of us appreciate them.

Thank you.

#472 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:15 PM:

Terry Karney @463: an excellent "Have you no shame, sir?" speech.

#473 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:17 PM:

In re 911 scams -- Comedian Louis Black on the ads for the coins supposedly made from silver from vaults under the WTC -- "My G/d, they saved the silver!"

#474 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:21 PM:

Terry Karney @463, Well done, sir! Well done! (/emote TapCaneOnFloor)

#475 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:31 PM:

Applauding Terry here, too. Vivat!

#476 ::: Glenda Pfeiffer ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 12:56 PM:

Terry Karney @463 This lurker is applauding, too.

#477 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 01:17 PM:

The son of Billy Graham strongly suggests that the POTUS is a Muslim, but if he's not, this is what he should do:

[ "Well, you know, you can be born a Muslim, you can be born a Jew, but you can't be born a Christian," said Graham. "The only way you can become a Christian is by confessing your sins to God, asking his forgiveness, and by receiving Jesus Christ by faith into your heart, that Christ died for your sins, shed his blood on Calvary's Cross, and that God raised him to life. If you're willing to accept that and believe that, and let Jesus Christ be the lord of your life, God will forgive your sins, he will heal your heart, and that's the only way you can become a Christian. And so if the President has done that, then I would say he's a Christian, if that's what he has done." ]

When they succeed, how much longer before everyone is going to have to pray in public, followed by eating pork in public?

Watch the video of it all, if you can stand this hogwash. I couldn't.

Love, C.

#478 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 01:37 PM:

Another voice in the chorus of applause for Terry. Too bad the person to whom it was addressed isn't capable of understanding it.

#479 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 01:52 PM:

By my reckoning, Terry has already won several internets before now, in the opinions of the members of the Fluorosphere. So, should we send this latest one to him to store with the others, or see if he'd like it donated somewhere or other?

#480 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 03:10 PM:

Teresa: In the "midcontinent city" of Milwaukee, "where the only terrorist threat is homegrown American crazies", there's been an annual Arab World Festival held since 1998 -- with the single exception of 2001, when a terrorist attack canceled that among many other celebrations. One of the festival's directors, Ramzi A. Doany, had died in the World Trade Center. The local "hicks" are well aware of it, thank you very much and have a nice day: the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has established a scholarship in his memory; he was the only one of their alumni to die in the WTC.

http://freedomeden.blogspot.com/2006/09/remembering-ramzi-doany.html

http://www.arabworldfest.com/

#481 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 03:30 PM:

*knights Terry*

What? I'm a queen.

#482 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 04:11 PM:

@481: Unfortunately, I believe you have to be THE Queen for that to be a legitimate move. Not that Terry doesn't deserve it of course.

#483 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 04:31 PM:

I think I agree with Teresa's feeling that this whole debate ought to be a matter of purely local concern. But I'm wondering how close a connection with New York City someone needs to have in order for their having a view on the matter to be reasonable and legitimate.

(My own tenuous connection with the city is that - for partly bureaucratic reasons - I was married in the municipal building in Manhattan. (As was my wife. Small world, no?) That strikes me as being obviously too tenuous, given that neither my wife nor I are American citizens.)

I don't, of course, imagine that there's a clearcut answer to this question. Lots will obviously depend on how strongly the opinion is held; how it is expressed; how it fits with the outlook characteristic of the city and so on. Nor do I think that the fact there isn't a clearcut answer undermine the legitimacy of the view to which the question is addressed. But still - what makes one a 'local' for the purposes of this discussion?

#484 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 04:39 PM:

Yet more hick shame: Murfreesboro, TN -- Church YES, Mosque NO.

Trying to hide your bigotry by saying it's about location and traffic issues doesn't fly when you have no problem with the larger Christian church recently built RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the site of the proposed mosque.

(For the record: I know someone who was killed in the WTC attack. I also know that his widow supports the building of the NYC community center.)

#485 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 04:43 PM:

Constance, #477, my grandparents and father were "saved" by Billy Graham, so I don't trust him and family/staff, but it is true that Obama has taken the same step. There is a pastor who sees him every day in the White House and he prays regularly.

Hmmm, today's WashPost has another article on Obama's prayer and belief.

#486 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 05:20 PM:

Presaged bourbons @482:

Well he might be the only gay in the village, but, er, then again, probably not.

#487 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 05:33 PM:

Polling data on the WTC mosque. Damn.

#488 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 07:03 PM:

#487: Regarding the poll results . . .

Tough. Shit.

There is no legal basis for not building that community center. None at all. We live in a country were the actively obnoxious Westboro Baptist Church is repeatedly cleared by courts to conduct their pan-hateful protests.

Beyond legalities . . . this whole controversy is bullshit. The fuss is based on rank ignorance, bigotry and political opportunism.

The oh-so-regretful "well, even if they have a right to build it maybe they should move it" talk is shameful pandering to the jingoists, no-nothings, bible-thumpers and concern trolls.

#489 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 07:16 PM:

EClaire@454

Yes, but I credit your stunning and readily apparent brilliance (which far transcends need for mere worldly recognition) for that exception.

#490 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 07:26 PM:

Terry Karney@463

Lovely, Terry. Well put.

#491 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 07:27 PM:

Stefan said it: this whole controversy is bullshit.

I am monumentally tired of it. It should stop.

Terry: well said, again.

#492 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 08:48 PM:

Lizzy L@491

I really disagree. I mean, it's obnoxious. Absolutely. And frustrating. And totally contrary to what I think of as basic American values of freedom and respect for free thought. And I've obviously had my moments of throwing up my hands too.

But I feel like this is an issue that is fundamentally about who we are as a nation. More than any other issue I can think of in recent years, this one requires people to step up and talk about the basic values that are documented in the first amendment of our constitution, and the historical context that made those values necessary and important to preserve. And people are doing that. People who normally shy away from politics are stepping up and talking about this issue, and particularly about how tolerance and religious freedom are important to them.

I think it's an important discussion. I think maybe we need to get back to talking -- calmly, factually -- about basic civics. Reminding people how important it is that the law apply equally to everyone, and what it has looked like when we've stepped away from those values. Reminding people that many of us in this country have family histories that involve oppression and discrimination and prejudice -- that we are here and successful because this is a nation where people can start over, and can expect to be judged on the basis of their personal worth and personal actions, and where we all try really hard not to let prejudice get in the way of that opportunity.

I mean... there is a vision of American values that is beautiful and achievable -- but only if people have a reason to talk about it, and to talk about how it works when it is working. I think discussions like this give us a chance to get away from talking about what's broken -- God knows, we are all all too human.

But... we've made a ton made progress. Things aren't perfect, but they continue to improve, because people continue to strive to protect justice, and a shared set of fundamental values of tolerance and freedom and respect.

And now people get to talk about that stuff, in a way that seems real and immediate. And the people preaching prejudice aren't getting what they want. So I think it's pretty cool that we can talk about this stuff openly.

#493 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 08:51 PM:

As a Louisiana native many of whose family went to LSU (lots of doctors in my family), I just want to thank Constance for having opposed the really ugly streak of Louisiana-bashing that went on for a little while yesterday. I came in to catch up on the thread today, and was made really, really uncomfortable. I was grateful to see at least one person pushing back against it.

EClaire, I'm sorry that you had the misfortune to apparently only encounter people in Louisiana unworthy of your respect. Myself, I grew up with a lot of lovely, intelligent people, some who are now conservative, some who are now liberal, all of whom I love dearly. Many of them I owe worlds to (and have been busy praising on my blog this week, coincidentally enough). And some of whom, yes, I see on FaceBook.

Can we please not stoop to writing off everyone from X demographic as worthless just because a troll wanders in and identifies as X demographic? I mean, we all agree not to do that when X demographic is a religion (say, Islam). We even seem to agree not to do that when X demographic is a US state that has enacted an ugly policy (cf. Arizona). Why does the latest troll make it OK to say, "Oh, she says she's from LSU. Well, we all know how stupid people who go there are--heck, we all know how stupid people from Louisiana are!"

#494 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 09:40 PM:

KayTei: fair enough. However, I'm not talking about it anymore.

I remember the day I decided that I would have no more conversations with people about feminism. It was about 40 years ago. I would no longer engage verbally with someone who wished me to persuade him or her (usually him) that 1)I was human, that 2) women should be paid as much as men are paid for the same work, that 3) my right to participate in any profession up to the limit of my ability (doctor, lawyer, senator, justice of the Supreme Court, fighter pilot, ironworker) was not up for discussion, that 4) all human beings have hormones, and so on... and so on... No more. I was done.

It makes me insane that we are talking about whether or not the Constitution applies to Muslims. Feel free to have this conversation if you wish -- I honor your right to do so, and in principle, I applaud you. Gambatte!

But I can't help.

#495 ::: KayTei ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 09:44 PM:

Lizzy L.

That is totally fair, and I completely understand. I have a couple of those issues too. In my case, I don't even mention that I don't discuss them, because I don't even want to get that close to the possibility of a discussion on the issue.

#496 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 09:50 PM:

Nicole @ 493... I don't know why, but I feel like launching into a Pepe le Pew impersonation, or one of Blacque Jacques Shellacque. :-)

#497 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:12 PM:

One of the things that I've seen is that not a whole lot of people seem to have either any amount of introspection nor appreciation for irony.

I mean, "my people" are Boston Irish -- and I'm very aware of "No Irish Neeed Apply," and that the received wisdom was that all Irishmen are fat and drunkards, or Irish maids and nannies would take good protestant babies away to be baptized, and that they were all to be considered as theives.

Stereotypes for Italian-americans anyone?

How about Jews supposed to be controlling all the wealth? Or that they were all Christ Killers?

And those stereotypes were al around when all thwe propagandists and bigots had were newspapers and radio!

What always struck me as the supreme *lack* of understanding of the core of the U.S. Constitution's meaning were those who, when the National Socialist Party of America wanted to do a street march on Skoki, were chanting "no free speech for Nazis!"

And I see the same now, when opportunists seek to ban the Muslim equivelent of a Quaker Meeting House.

#498 ::: Marna Nightingale ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 10:53 PM:

Fidelio @ 479: Please hold delivery of any Internets until Terry is back in the US as Internets sent to Canada may be subject to duty and are often delayed at the border.

#499 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 11:40 PM:

I'm sorry that you felt attacked by proxy, Nicole. I certainly don't think everyone from Louisiana is useless. I'd be writing myself off in that case, as well as a good 90% of my family. It's very frustrating to me though, having moved back here, to see what I always considered my hometown too through adult eyes. My boss (coincidentally, also a LSU vet school grad) who openly admits to voting for David Duke (along with at least one co-worker). My great-aunt, who is worried that if priests are allowed to marry that they'll all start stealing from the church to support their families. The bumper stickers on lampposts all over town that say "We should have harvested our own damn cotton," and yes, the jingoistic emails I get from my senator and representative decrying every move Obama makes.

That's not to say that I think they're all horrible people, it's just tiring. And it's August, and I've been stuck inside far too long because of the heat, and I just had a conversation the other day with the one friend I've made down here that shook my faith that there was anyone around that I could really connect with. We were shopping for a baby gift and saw a onesie with this graphic. She picked one up, and I asked why the gun, because the whole picture was making me a little uneasy. She said "After Katrina, it was a war zone. You should know that, didn't you go to school with someone whose uncle was shot?" My reply? "Yes, he was shot by people who thought it was a war zone." I wasn't here, I don't have the memories of that horror. And frankly, I'm probably not really a New Orleans native. My family was pretty solidly suburban, and each and every one of them was afraid to go into the city for anything other than the occasional visitor mandated tour of the French Quarter. But when you write off an entire city of people as having an "entitlement culture" it's pretty clear that there's some unexamined stuff at work.

So yeah, some of what came out at Regena was some frustration that I'm dealing with because of the people I work with, the customers I see at work, and the comments on the local news site. When will I learn to stop reading the comments? I know that isn't everybody. It does feel like a vast majority a lot of the time, and so I took it out on the troll pinata.

If you come back for French Quarter Fest next year, let me buy you a drink, and you and my husband can talk flying, and I can try to make it up to you. I promise, I'm usually in a better mood when it's not 100 degrees out.

#500 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: August 20, 2010, 11:53 PM:

Shucks.

I was pissed off. I didn't wait to see what had become of her, because that comment had not been disemvowelled. That, I am afraid, is what it takes to get that sort of eloquence from me... royally pissed.

It was the, "so called americans" which set me off. That sort of thing... it's dangerous. Yeah, I don't need to preach to people here (and what pulpit I have, is mostly here. I'm not possessed of anything like the following (at my blog) to equal the readers here; so it's thanks to you that I have the sway I do), but others will come in, and for them, it needs to be said.

As for internets... I think this is the first I've been awarded. I shall cherish it, and polish it, and keep it next to the frilly pink garter, embroidered with, Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense on it.

#501 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 12:11 AM:

EClaire @ 499... my hometown too through adult eyes

The biggest eye opener for me was in 2004, nine years since my previous trip, when I found that pretty much all but one of the bookstores I remembered were gone, or very pale imitations of bookstores. Luckily there was one left, and it had been and remains the best. I guess my former compatriots didn't read much anymore. Come to think of it, they never read much even when I was young, but I guess the invisible hand of the Free Market finally discarded what was not needed.

#502 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 12:13 AM:

EClaire, #499: ...the bumper stickers on lampposts all over town that say "We should have harvested our own damn cotton"...

That's a sentiment with which I completely agree, although not for the reasons I'm sure are actually behind it. The ongoing tragedy of slavery is how the attitudes that grew from it have kept dragging our country down for the last 150 years. They SHOULD bloody well have harvested their own damn cotton, and sugarcane, and whatever else.

#503 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 12:50 AM:

Lee, #502:
Well, I agree entirely, but I'd probably find a different way of putting it on a bumper sticker were I so inclined to spread that message. I can't think of anything particularly catchy though. Maybe "You don't get to grow rich on the labor of other people, and then complain that they're still there when you're done with them." Might be too long.

#504 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 02:27 AM:

Marvellous old-school War Department propaganda . . . warning Americans about demagogues who use hate and prejudice to divide the country.

Don't Be a Sucker

#505 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 02:50 AM:

Stefan Jones @504 -- thanks for that! Off to share it.

#506 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 03:02 AM:

EClaire,

Thanks for the apology, and the explanation. And I, too, have gotten somewhat disillusioned about my home, running into the attitudes I didn't know some of my friends and family members had, and it can be hard to look past that sucky feeling when you're surrounded by irritants and one more reminder of the crap--like, say, an ugly-minded comments troll--slaps you in the face.

(And really, WTF was with her? I may not like to hear LSU dissed outright--like I said, I've a family full of excellent doctors who went to Loyola and then LSU--but did she actually think it was somehow more reputable/authoritative/hot shit than Carnegie? WTF?)

This week I've had reason to remember all the good people, though, and how happy I am to be in contact still with some of them, so, that helps. It's a mix of people, just like anywhere else. And for better or worse, that particular where made up of Jefferson and Orleans Parishes is what I most strongly identify as "home," even if I haven't managed to move back yet, so I've resigned myself with putting up with, maybe trying to improve, the disillusioning parts, while celebrating the parts of it and the people there that I do wholeheartedly love.

I'll probably be in town in September for White Wolf's "Grand Masquerade" and then a bit after that for visiting family and friends, and I'll take you up on the offer of a drink on the condition that you let me buy you the next one, how's that?

#507 ::: Jörg Raddatz ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 07:34 AM:

Nothing really new, but still (IMO) a good read why the "ground zero mosque" debate makes no sense.

#508 ::: John Stanning ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 08:54 AM:

FWIW, for some views from the other side of the pond, BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions yesterday discussed this issue quite extensively.  Click on “Listen Now” – the topic comes up at about 08.35.

#509 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 09:02 AM:

Meanwhile, more outrage.

#510 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 10:44 AM:

Nicole (506): did she actually think [LSU] was somehow more reputable/authoritative/hot shit than Carnegie? WTF?

If she genuinely had never heard of Carnegie Mellon (which I have a hard time believing, but stranger things have happened), then naturally LSU would seem to her to be more reputable. After all, she and a lot of other people she knows graduated from LSU; whereas Carnegie is obviously just some obscure and probably dubious school that no one important ever went to, or she would have heard of it. QED.

#511 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 12:59 PM:

Nicole and EClaire: My partner and I are going to have tables at ICC. Perhaps plans for a Gathering of Light would be in order?

#512 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 02:20 PM:

#493 Nicole

Additionally many of these terrific LSU graduates, faculty, students, librarians and administrators are women, who also happen to be of color.

The Louisiana women of color who are teachers are among the most heroic people I've had the privilege of meeting and getting to know.

There are so many wonderful people in Louisiana, and alas, as in the state in which I was born and grew up, an awful lot of really awful ones too. It's Louisiana's tragedy that these are the powerful elites that have always ruled the place and still do, by and large, who remain true to the beliefs, objectives and determinations that were in place before 1860 and remain still. Very, very sad.

But the good people of Louisiana heroically keep battling. And I will also add, from personal experience, when you have these sisters at your back, you've got something very big and very real, not to mention so much love.

Love, C.

#513 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 03:21 PM:

Mary Aileen@510

I don't have any problem believing that the troll in question might have never heard of Carnegie Mellon. There aren't the omnipresent references in the mass media as there are, for example, for Harvard or Yale. And it isn't one of the major athletic powers in any of the high profile sports.

#514 ::: EClaire ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 04:03 PM:

Lee, at #511: Absolutely we should.

Nicole: that sounds like a great plan.

eclaire dot evans at gmail etc

#515 ::: Tehanu ::: (view all by) ::: August 21, 2010, 05:14 PM:

I wonder if Regena the Misspelled even knows that the first president of LSU -- when it was the Louisiana State Military Academy -- was William Tecumseh Sherman, who spent years of his life defending the Constitution she's so anxious to trash. If Sherman knew about her abysmal ignorance, he would undoubtedly rise from his grave and tear up her diploma.

#516 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 01:53 AM:

It's a date. Eclaire, you have mail. Lee, if you want to get hold of me, go straight to my web page and use the Contact Me form. It's very stripped down but it works.


Mary Aileen @510: QED. (rolls eyes) Just so.

Constance @512: Keep up the good fight.

#517 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 07:43 AM:

Mary Aileen @ 510... QED.

You mean, Sam Waterston's edwardianpunk show of the early 1980s? I have most episodes on DVD.

#518 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 10:23 AM:

Michael I @513: "I don't have any problem believing that the troll in question might have never heard of Carnegie Mellon" But a quick Google would have brought up the relevant information, so there was no excuse for the comments regarding its hypothetical (lack of) status.

#519 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 10:25 AM:

That should, of course, been (hypothetical lack of) status.

#520 ::: tykewriter ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 11:58 AM:

Did you know that your President is Irish?

In other news: his surname ends in a vowel.

#521 ::: odaiwai ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 12:51 PM:

tykewriter@520:

Did you know that your President is Irish?

Barry O'Bama is Irish? Of course he is! We've been laying claim to all US presidents since JFK (at least), and something as trivial as skin colour isn't going to get in the way of that.

Just look at those fine Irish people like Phil Lynott, Paul McGrath or Samantha Mumba.

I remember reading some years back that Colin Powell was actually more Irish-American (in terms of the numbers of ancestors of directly Irish descent) than African-American (a classification apparently based on the colour of his skin).

Which only goes to show how pointless such classifications really are.

#522 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 02:10 PM:

Of course, they're all Black Irish.

#523 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 02:32 PM:

@518: That assumes the troll had heard of Google.

#524 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 02:35 PM:

odaiwai @ # 521, of course we did. There's even a song.

#525 ::: Hal O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: August 22, 2010, 08:59 PM:

Late to the party, but there you go.

Anyway, one point I very much wanted to make:

dcb @ #328: "(I)t's not a mosque, it's a community centre incorporating a prayer room - not that it would matter if it was a mosque..."

Actually, it matters a fair amount, though not if you want to perceive it as a threat. That is, the builders are deliberately making it a community centre and not a mosque because a mosque must be open to all Muslims. A community centre, on the other hand, means you can kick overly rambunctious people out. Like, say, hirabis.

Or so that well-known left-leaning rag the Financial Times tells me.

#526 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2010, 12:47 PM:

Maybe the Cordoba Institute should have a really big steeple that neighbors don't want. After all, that bit of religious freedom was all right with Mitt Romney.

#527 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2010, 01:08 PM:

Huh.

Ron Paul weighs in on opposition to "The Ground Zero Mosque:"

In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.
They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. . . Defending the controversial use of property should be no more difficult than defending the 1st Amendment principle of defending controversial speech. But many conservatives and liberals do not want to diminish the hatred for Islam -- the driving emotion that keeps us in the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. . . .
The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. . . . . This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

That is a breathtakingly direct and concise description of the matter. Who'da'thunk?

#528 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2010, 01:39 PM:

The topic is being discussed currently on the BBC's World Have Your Say.

#529 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2010, 05:18 PM:

dcb 438: Well done re. the treatment for your guinea pigs. What was it (ailment and treatment)?

Thank you, and see also Whew! I wrote up the details here.

EClaire @499: "We should have harvested our own damn cotton,"

EClaire @503: "You don't get to grow rich on the labor of other people, and then complain that they're still there when you're done with them." Might be too long.

Maybe just: "Yes, you should have picked your own damn cotton." Probably a good way to get your car keyed (at the very least).

Re Sam Waterston, anyone else here ever see Rancho Deluxe? <crosses eyes>

#530 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2010, 10:38 PM:

Jacque @529: Maybe just: "Yes, you should have picked your own damn cotton." Probably a good way to get your car keyed (at the very least).

Don't have to put it on your car (finding the right car is left as an exercise for the reader).

#531 ::: presaged bourbons ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2010, 06:15 AM:

Tom Whitmore 522

Wikipedia suggests its probably not what you had in mind, but I couldn't help thinking of a line from The Commmitments

(6th quote down)

#532 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2010, 02:11 PM:

Rob Rusick @530: Now how could I ever possibly do something like that? <innocent sparkle>

#533 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 02:42 PM:

I'm not sure if I should post this on the current Open Thread. It feels like it more properly belongs here, but no one's posted for a while...

I often have a hard time keeping up with the traffic here; I have given the threads a quick once-over, but I may have missed it. If so, mea culpa, but I saw this today, and am about ready to cry, or hurl, or just tell people to stop being stupid right now (not that that's a useful strategy): some pastor in Florida is having a Burn the Koran Day .

Reading his quotes makes him sound like that Onion parody of the man who already knows everything about Islam and won't be learning more:

Mr. Jones...argues that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Islam's sacred book because "it's full of lies."
...
Asked about his knowledge of the Koran, he said plainly: "I have no experience with it whatsoever. I only know what the Bible says."

This is so beyond my ken that I have no idea what to do, what to say. I feel like sitting on the floor and wailing.

#534 ::: Bombie ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 03:04 PM:

Cheryl, 533

The Burn the Koran Day has been mentioned before, and the people at making light recognize it for the tragedy it is. And we're not the only ones. Take heart in that. We have climbed high, we will keep on climbing higher, no matter what tries to drag us down. Don't lose hope.

#535 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 03:08 PM:

Cheryl, #533: A friend of mine described this event as "an attempt to stir up anti-American rage throughout the Islamic world". I think that sums it up pretty well.

#536 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 03:11 PM:

#533: I can top that. I can make you crawl into a corner, scream, and bop your head against the wall until the pain stops:


But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

That's Marty Peretz, here.

"Privilege" of the First Amendment?

#537 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 03:21 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 536: Ah, yes the "they don't value life as we do" trope. That's been applied to a variety of groups over the years. Remember when the U.S.S. Vincennes* accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger jet? As the bodies of the poor souls were pulled out of the Persian Gulf, some Americans were claiming that the Iranian government had filled the plane with either (1) dead bodies, or (2) prisoners, to create a bogus incident, because "they don't value life as we do." Grrr.


*Thorough software testing is a really, really good idea.

#538 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 03:53 PM:

Jacque @529: belatedly getting around to reading about your guinea pigs*. Thank you for sharing this. I may need that information someday!

*I saw your post back when, but it was really late over here and I was too fuzzy-eyed to read it at the time, then events in meat-space took over and I forgot.

#539 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 04:32 PM:

janetl@537: Was software performance an issue? I don't remember it, and a very quick skim of some web pages doesn't raise it as an issue.

It sounds like it was entirely an issue of crew misidentification of the aircraft (and it sounds like it's a mistake they shouldn't have made).

However -- black humor, inappropriate joke, alert -- this incident does lend some credence to the theory that they don't value life as we do; the Iranian government settled for $21k per person.

#540 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 04:59 PM:

ddb @539:

*snort*. Black, yes, but not, I think, inappropriate.

(I don't really think the joke's on the Iranians there, is it?)

#541 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 05:05 PM:

abi@540: It's so black there, I can't quite see where the actual butt of the joke is. It seems to speak somewhat badly of the USA, certainly.

Financial compensation for improper death is so weird anyway. I mean, I see kind of where it came from, and I see it having value in a couple of directions, and I can't really come up with a good scheme that does away with it. So when we're down to haggling over the price, well....

#542 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 05:15 PM:

ddb @541:

I see the strain of American culture that measures the value of lives in dollars as the butt of the joke. The old phrase about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing comes to mind.

It's humor as black as India ink at midnight because that strain of Western culture that tries to describe the world in monetary terms is precisely the thing that Al Quaida have been most loudly critical of. It's one reason they targeted the World Trade Center, not to the Statue of Liberty. That's the America they wanted to be seen to be striking against.

#543 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 05:27 PM:

I just read through the thread as a break from writing code in the lab - and I add my digital applause and commendation to Terry's well-written demolition of our departed troll.

At this point, I have nothing to add to the debate save for what more eloquent writers than I have already written, save that constitutional freedoms apply to all US citizens, regardless of the desires of those who would neuter them to serve their own bigotry and intolerance.

In fact, I will add to this the same statement I delivered to all of my students this semester: I do not need to agree with someone to find what they have to say interesting - in fact, it is more likely to be interesting if I do not agree with them.

#544 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 05:34 PM:

Abi@542: I can see a thread of that. But I see that view of American thought as weird and not describing anything I see people actually engaging in, too.

I think, because we're so big, and because we've lead so much technological change, we've had to confront a lot of statistical things that many other people have been able to avoid so far.

We can actually see (and could going back at least to WWII), in front of us, the possibility of car safety improvements that would add enough to the cost of a car that most people would refuse them even knowing the odds. Whenever you have really large numbers of people involved, there are some high-cost small-effect safety changes sitting around that don't really make sense.

People's behavior clearly doesn't treat their own lives as "infinitely valuable" (even setting completely aside giving their lives in defense of others).

The question of "how safe is safe enough" is terribly difficult when we have as much information as we now do. We don't know how to grapple with these issues at all other than through some sort of "monetarization", or else through extremist positions that end up meaning "no automobiles, no mining, no railroads, no airplanes" etc.

#545 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 06:44 PM:

Stupid, stupid, stupid:

"Dallas pastor says Islam promotes pedophilia."

Yes, and based on recent evidence being a Baptist preacher apparently promotes one being an self-promoting ignorant fucktard.

#546 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 06:45 PM:

I apparently can't comment on the Peretz piece at TNR unless I'm a subscriber. So TNR at least understands the difference between a right and a privilege, even if Peretz doesn't (or acts as if he doesn't). My First Amendment freedom of speech is a right, not a privilege. My ability to speak out using their platform, however, is a privilege, not a right.

So it's quite reasonable to ask TNR why they choose to continue extending Peretz the *privilege* of posting screeds like his on their platform.

#547 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 06:56 PM:

ddb: The idea of life, and limb, having monetary value goes a long ways back... weregeld and was part of the Germanic definition of murder (i.e. killing in secret). Kill someone, and the, "bloodprice" would prevent the thing from going further (usually). But to assess the fine, one had to know who did the deed.

As to Burn the Koran Day... that's a lack of empathy. After all, they'd be all fired up with anger if a bunch of Hindus, Muslims, Shintoists, Druze, Jews, etc. elected to burn Bibles in an act of scorn.

But, sure and certain of the rightness of their belief, they can't imagine anyone else has as sincere a belief in their religion (no shock to most, but I've heard this. Been scorned, and insulted, because, having been told of the "right" way to believe, I didn't accept it. It was, I was told, only because I actively refused to believe The Truth, that I persisted in not accepting their faith. For which, perforce, I was therefore damned to an eternity in hellfire).

Unable to get outside their own model of the world, they are being asses. I say that because the only reason to do this is because they also think this will offend "islamists". Not because they have caused offense, but because as worshipers of a false God, they don't know better than to realise nothing, "real" was done.

gah... I babble.

Benjamin Wolfe: We are in the same locale... shall we arrange to meet? How do you feel about cheese?

#548 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 07:01 PM:

John Mark Ockerbloom@546

Why TNR does this is that Peretz, as the leader of a group of investors who bought the magazine last year, is a co-owner of the magazine.

#549 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 07:02 PM:

ddb @ 539: My memory was that the USS Vincennes had some very new systems that were supposed to help them identify enemy aircraft and fire more quickly, and that they weren't as well trained on them as they should have been, and this contributed to the tragedy. Looking at the Wikipedia entry, I don't seen any discussion of such, so my memory is probably at fault. (It usually is.)

#550 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 07:14 PM:

Michael I @ 548: Ah, that would do it; thanks. I'd lost track of who was running TNR these days.

Well, the rest of us can at least decide whether to give TNR the privilege of considering its commentary worthwhile.

#551 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 07:16 PM:

How does Marty Peretz type with his head in his rectum?

#552 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 07:34 PM:

Fragano: You don't want to know the image your question brought to mind.

#553 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 07:52 PM:

TNR as vanity press. So much becomes clear.

#554 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 08:22 PM:

In case anyone else needs a shot of hope in the face of despair at the dark side of humanity ... I was browsing around looking for some kind of ecumenical or interfaith prayer thing I could attend to make a small attempt to counterbalance the Koran-burning fool. My mood was not improved by the blog that says that the Muslims didn't cause 9/11, the Vatican planned it. But a little more searching turned up the 9/ll Unity Walk in DC, this year on Sunday 9/12. They go visit a number of different houses of worship along a couple of miles of Massachusetts Avenue. I think I'll go.

#555 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 09:54 PM:

Terry: I would be happy to meet up - in answer to your question about cheese, I am very fond of it, and have the great good fortune to live very close* to the best reseller thereof in the Berkeley area.

*That I have found in four weeks of living here; close in this case means "five minutes on foot, walking slow"

drop me an email; bwolfe [dot] global [at] gmail

#556 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 10:00 PM:

And for those of you who like to buy and wear jewelry, I recently found and acquired one of these:
http://www.mybelovednation.com/necklaces.html

(They have necklaces and keychains, which say, "Peace be with you" in English and Arabic, and also in some other languages.

#557 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 11:32 PM:

Someone on another site suggested a Bible-burning on April 19 in Oklahoma City. After all, "the Christians" blew up the Federal Building.

#558 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 11:33 PM:

Benjamin: If that's "The Cheese Board" then I am not lucky enough to introduce you to it.

I will drop you a line. I am, for the most part, free for the next couple of weeks, so the arranging of meeting should be quite doable.

#559 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2010, 11:43 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe @ 555... A reseller of... cheese?

#560 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 12:22 AM:

Serge, I think he means Cheeseshop. Berkeley has several, and The Cheese Board is one of the best in the Bay (The Village Cheese Shop, in its way, is as good, but much smaller. It is, however, closer to me).

#561 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 12:25 AM:

Actually my favorite thing about the Cheese Board was the chocolate chip bread rolls.

#562 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 12:49 AM:

Xopher @ 557: A phrase I've seen popping up recently to justify prejudice against anyone of the Muslim faith is "they all read the same Qur'an". Well, yes. Just like a whole lotta people read the same Bible. Head-Desk.

#563 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 12:49 AM:

That seems disloyal of you, David Goldfarb.

#564 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 01:22 AM:

janetl #562: A phrase I've seen popping up recently to justify prejudice against anyone of the Muslim faith is "they all read the same Qur'an".

That turns out not to be the case.

#565 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 01:57 AM:

The BBC had a piece on the proposed Koran-burning, with a couple of Americans who held the line on freedom of expression while condemning what was being expressed. The clueless BBC interviewer asked whether they thought that the White House was just giving this church publicity by denouncing them. Neither of the interviewers had the intelligence to ask whether the interviewer thought that the BBC was just giving them publicity by asking the question on an international radio program.

#566 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 02:24 AM:

Earl Cooley III @ 564: Yes. Just like there are various versions of the Bible...and just like any two people can read the exact same edition of the Bible and derive different meanings.

#567 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 03:43 AM:

Heresiarch: the chocolate chip bread rolls were really good.

#568 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 10:05 AM:

Terry Karney@537: In fact I think the modern American tendency, in some areas, to claim life is of infinite value is unusual (and unsupportable). Partly it may be a reaction to running into more cases where we have to think about that value (few murders per 100,000, but we've got the data collection to do the statistical analysis on drowning in 5-gallon buckets).

#569 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 11:18 AM:

Although practices of paying for death and damage to people are old, I think theres a new thing, or a new extreme of an old thing that bears some reacting to.  Its the impulse to convert everything into comparable units, which is a practice common to both science and finance.
 
There is huge value to doing so, of course.  We can cost out life-saving innovations, and thus use money as a denominator of how people are willing to trade easy availability for risk.  And science has made enormous intellectual strides by figuring out that matter and energy can be co-denominated (just to pick an example).
 
But co-denominating things loses information.  If you measure the electrical energy released by the brain, have you really measured the power of the thought?  Just because people are unwilling to pay for extra safety measures, does that mean they dont value their lives in other ways which can't be expressed in dollars and cents?
 
To continue the grim tone of this thread: given your earlier comment, I could calculate how many dead Iranians my house is worth.  Of course, ten years ago, it was worth fewer dead Iranians, but theres been a property price bubble here.  But would I be willing to kill that many Iranians to have that house?  Of course not; Id rather sleep on the streets than kill a human being for housing.
 
To add another cliché to the conversation, if your entire toolkit for parsing the world is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

#571 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 11:50 AM:

abi @569 the impulse to convert everything into comparable units, which is a practice common to both science and finance.

This starts to remind me of a discussion I remember here a while ago, about "the territory is not the map." Similarly, the summary is not the reality. As you said, there are good reasons for putting things into comparable units - to sacrifice detail in order to get an overview. Sometimes you really can't see the forest for the trees. You have to look at things that way, for example, to budget your money or your time. But that doesn't mean the details don't matter, and it doesn't mean that things that can be quantified the same way are equivalent.

Something similar comes up anywhere that aggregate information gets applied to individual cases. The most recent example I was reading about was "value added" evaluations of K-12 teachers. That analysis takes into account the student starting point and perhaps other issues, then looks at how much the student learns during the school year and so, presumably, how much value the teacher has added. It's a valid research tool and gives useful information, at the aggregate level, to adjust for things like students who are functioning below grade level when they enter a class. It is not accurate enough at the individual level to use to make, for example, teacher compensation decisions.

Similarly, it makes sense to me for large-scale policy analysis to examine things in terms of lives saved per dollar spent. But that doesn't mean you'd apply the same calculation to an individual.

Beware the statistician. He can drown in a river with an average depth of one inch.

#572 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 11:52 AM:

Umm... that should have been, the map is not the territory. Though I suppose if a is not equal to b, then b is not equal to a.

#573 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 12:51 PM:

OtterB: I think some relationships are directional: The Map represents the territory, and is an abstraction. The same is not true in reverse.

Whether The Territory = Platonic Ideal, is another question altogether (and how The Territory is reified in the mapping of same is a whole 'nother problem).

Which, oddly, reminds me I need to get in touch with the people who want me to speak in Boston this Nov, and see what aspects of interrogation/torture they want me talk about, or we will both be a trifle disappointed.

#574 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 01:08 PM:

abi@569: It seems to me that co-denominating things both loses and gains (or creates) information. We learn more about value relationships, I think, but we do also lose the sorts of things people are saying.

And one thing that has changed in the modern world is that more people are thinking of the monetary value of lots of things as their primary perception of its value.

All my memories of the "weregild" idea are that the penalty is paid in coin -- in money. Does anybody know how common it was for something roughly equivalent to weregild to be assessed (or even stated) in barter terms -- "3 cows" or whatever -- in societies where money was in common use?

If in fact it's nearly always stated in money in societies where that was a well-established possibility -- is that something of a recognition of the flexibility, the multi-valued nature, of a human? Recognizing that different families would need different things, unique to their situation, to help deal practically with the loss of a family member, and so assessing the penalty in the most flexible form?

Struck me; but yeah, I'm going a long ways out after that one. I don't take it too seriously (without some evidence).

I instantly know, of course, that I'm not supposed to be willing to trade off dead Iranians vs. my house.

When I actually try to think about it, I find I can only think of it in terms of scenarios. And in many of the scenarios that bring those two terms together -- my retaining my house, and dead Iranians -- I would be willing to make the tradeoff in those specific conditions. If a band of Iranians were trying to take my house in Minneapolis from me by force, I am in theory willing to kill them in attempting to defend it (the fact that they are Iranians is irrelevant in that version of the scenario of course).

All the scenarios that treat it really abstractly I have a hard time taking seriously. It's like those "what would you do for a million dollar?" scenarios -- mostly, I can't seriously consider the question, because I don't believe the various conditions stated can be met (things like certainty that nobody would know I'd done it, and certainty that I'd be paid). (I'm pretty pragmatic; I argue hypotheticals for fun, but it's much harder to take them seriously when I can see three pragmatic reasons it'll never matter.)

The reason economics is like a hammer (so many people think of it as the only tool) is that it's been such a big breakthrough in analyzing large-scale complex behaviors. In reality we haven't lost any other tools; but if people stop paying attention to them the results are roughly the same as if we'd lost them.

Otterb@571: The summary is not the reality; that's absolutely true. But policy needs to be decided at the summary level (at least much policy; national-level, and even down at the city level), because people can't keep enough details together in their heads, and can't make trade-offs between incomparables.

Which means that by getting a particular summary adopted, you can control the policy choice. This creates huge incentives to promulgate convincing, rather than accurate, summaries.

Anybody can drown in a river of average depth one inch; this is not unique to statisticians. In fact, it's largely "ordinary people" who are at risk -- the statistician understands what his "average" means, and will also examine other measures (such as standard deviation) and realize that there will be dangerously deep spots in that river. Whereas the "ordinary person" may make the mistake of thinking "average" means "typical" means "universal", and that therefore the river is completely safe. Glub!

#575 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 01:51 PM:

I tend to call this particular fallacy "mistaking the average for the range." It's incredibly common.

#576 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 01:52 PM:

What's this about the Map not being Terry? Until recently he was all over the Map.
("Not Terry, Serge. Territory.")
Oh.
Nevermind.

#577 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 02:07 PM:

A 26-year Armed Forced veteran has this to say about the Park 51 controversy.

(Go read it. It's a poem.)

#578 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 02:08 PM:

The ohnosecond! Armed Forces, even.

#579 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 02:19 PM:

Serge: I did, however manage to keep myself from being all over the territory.

relevant to average. The average depth of San Francisco Bay is 14 feet. Lots of shallows at the periphery.

#580 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 02:58 PM:

Not only is the map not the territory, but a map that IS the territory (or is too close to the territory) is a BAD MAP. It loses the function of mapness, which is to be a compact, simplified reference to the territory.

This is why, for example, a prototype cannot be used as a specification for testing purposes. Either it differs from the System Under Test (SUT), in which case every difference is a bug in the SUT (FAIL), or it doesn't, in which case it's a copy of the SUT and equally useless.

And as far as the "what would you do for a million dollars" question, I just saw a video from an extremely attractive guy (my opinion; YMMV) who had apparently said on an earlier video that everyone has their price and that while he's not a prostitute if someone offered him $5 million he would have a hard time turning them down.

Apparently someone did. He turned them down.

Slightly NSFW video of him talking about it.

#581 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 06:11 PM:

ddb @574:

We're in substantial agreement here. My point is about the perception of America as a society that values only what can be denominated in money*. The joke is funny and painful because of that perception, its contrast with some of our values, and its alignment with how we approach the rest of the world.

-----
* And it's not a perception that comes out of nowhere; there are people who claim to speak for us and our economic systems who preach the primacy of market forces pretty widely.

#582 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 06:14 PM:

Also, Cheryl @533 quotes:

Mr. Jones...argues that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Islam's sacred book because "it's full of lies."

I've struggled to find a sufficiently calm yet forceful way to say that he's not a Christian in my universe. But Fred Clark covers the ground more than adequately.

#583 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 06:23 PM:

One of the interesting things about the "mosk" string he refers too, is that checking it today (only for the strong of stomach... perhaps the strong of empty stomach), is how many links to Slacktivist there are to that word now.

#584 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 06:49 PM:

abi 582: For values of 'more than adequately' roughly equal to 'cogently, convincingly, and passionately'.

#585 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2010, 08:00 PM:

abi @ 581:

And there are people who have power within our political and economic systems who not only preach but also enforce the sole effectiveness of monetary value as a measure of utility in all situations. Lawyers, of course, and legislators; also corporate officers and board members.

It's interesting to me (for deep, dark, cynical values of interesting) that a society like the US that so many of its citizens really believe, despite the Constitution, is based on the religious values of a particular church holds a moral-value-free standard of measurement to be so exalted.

#586 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 01:53 PM:

Jim C. Hines has a nice (well, I appreciated it) LOLPic on the subject of "Christians" on his LJ today. (Sept 9, if you're looking at this later.)

#587 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 03:49 PM:

ddb @ 574: "The reason economics is like a hammer (so many people think of it as the only tool) is that it's been such a big breakthrough in analyzing large-scale complex behaviors."

I disagree; economics is so often thought of as the only tool because it's been such a big breakthrough in organizing large-scale complex behaviors. The failure of economics to analyze such behaviors can be seen most easily in the fact that it is only now, three or four centuries on, that the discipline as a whole is coming to grips with the limitations of the rational actor model: with such a monumental blindspot, the explanatory power of economics has always been sadly limited.

Monetary value and economic interpretations of the world have however proven to be an astoundingly successful--insofar as "successful" is interpreted in a strictly Darwinian sense--worldview because denominating the world into like currency creates a lingua franca of value. This allows people to spontaneously self-organize complex, interlocking value-chains, confident that those values will persist person to person and day to day.

#588 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 04:10 PM:

By the way, Rutte says that he's not concerned about what Wilders will say in New York on 9/11. He says that he'll be at dinner with friends in Rotterdam at the time, and certainly won't be watching TV when Wilders is speaking.

On the one hand, I appreciate a politician who defends his right to take an evening off. On the other, I am not sure how much of an ass Wilders can make of himself before his prospective coalition partners have to take some notice.

From what I've seen of Wilders in other circumstances, he'll be riding that line. Me, I shall probably follow Rutte's example and avoid the TV that day.

#589 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 05:55 PM:

Smoking Gun has a link the Koran Burner's Rulebook for ministerial students, (I think).

Draconian, and stupid, rules.

Examples: The students aren't allowed to talk to anyone who isn't in the acadamy (ok, it may be they aren't forbidden, but they aren't given time), but they have to share the gospel with one person a day.

Romantic relationships with students of the opposite sex are forbidden. Same sex romance isn't mentioned (I'd have just said, were of the mindset I think this group to have, "Romantic relationships are forbidden").

It's bizarre, contradictory, and just plain creepy.

#590 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 06:39 PM:

The CBC is reporting that the Koran burning has been cancelled, with the pastor claiming that he'd reached an agreement with the developers of the community centre to find some other location. "However, CNN reached the developers of the mosque, who said it is definitely not being moved."

Former Republican candidate for vice-president Sarah Palin said in a Facebook post that although people have the constitutional right to burn the Qur'an, doing so would be an "insensitive and an unnecessary provocation — much like building a mosque at Ground Zero."

She's so helpful.

#591 ::: Lin d ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 09:41 PM:

Koran Burner's Rulebook for ministerial students

If laughing openly at the contents has any effect whatsoever, try the category on the second to last page:
Clothe and sanity

Obviously lacking in that last bit.

#592 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 10:39 PM:

Terry Karney #589: Aside from the spelling and grammar errors (presumably necessary to a "stabile lifestyle" :-) ), a the rules make it quite clear that this "Academy" is essentially the indoctrination center for a cult. Unquestioning obedience, rigid control of diet (with mandatory weight "goals"), clothing (regardless of work duties), and showering, not to mention the cutoff from family and friends....

#593 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 10:42 PM:

Terry Karney @ 589: "Draconian, and stupid, rules."

And worst of all, poorly copy-edited.

#594 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 11:14 PM:

592
And the rule that says you can't talk to others except as necessary for work (and, presumably, the required duty of talking to at least on person a day about the Bible).

I'd like to be able to arrange a small-but-very-intense thunderstorm for the area of his proposed book-burning and (if it's different) his church, to take place starting about 30 seconds after the bonfire is lit. Lightning hitting the building is also requested.

#595 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 09, 2010, 11:50 PM:

David Harmon: Clearly indoctrinal. Familial contact is forbidden, even if they are working in the same compound. Weddings, births, deaths, are not acceptable grounds for seeing them.

Failure to meet the standard (defined as 90 percent, even though it's not. I don't know what it is, but it's not 90 percent) equals a failed year. The terms of passing are whimsical, and arbitrary.

The accounts from people who left (or from those of the church he was kicked out of/fled in Cologne Germany) are appalling. He's also being investigated for tax fraud, in how he's used the church to provide means for his business.

We shall see how it plays out.

#596 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 12:29 PM:

I hope I'm wrong about this, but to me, it looks like that church has "child abuse scandal waiting to happen" written all over it.

#597 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 01:08 PM:

In the better news dept. They burn one, we give two

Lest the culture believe that Rev. Jones' position represents that of all Christians, MassBible is prepared to take a counter action. For 201 years we have given the Bible to those without access. In response to Rev. Jones despicable act, we are prepared to give two Qur'ans for every one that Rev. Jones burns.

They will go to prisons, to hospitals, to shelters, or to any place where there are Muslims without access to their sacred text. This in no way diminishes our belief in the Bible as the Word of God. On the contrary, it is acting on the command within its pages to love our neighbors as ourselves (Lev. 19:18) and to do unto others as we would have done unto us. (Matt. 7:12).

#598 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 01:36 PM:

Good on them. I just sent a bit of money their way.

#599 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 01:56 PM:

Abi@588, doing something else while Wilders is on TV is a good idea - it avoids the problems of cleaning popcorn or coffee stains of the screen.

#600 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 02:00 PM:

Terry, thanks for pointing them out. This sounds like the right kind of counter-statement.

I must, however, admit to some amusement. When I clicked through to the online petition mentioned at the site, "To Bigotry No Sanction, to Persecution No Assistance," the Google Ads in the sidebar offered me the opportunity to meet beautiful Muslim ladies seeking men for love and marriage.

#601 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 04:01 PM:

I brought the Massachusetts Bible Society link to Teresa's attention; she's sidelighted it.

Lest you think this is an internal-American discussion, by the way, let me mention that I was talking to an Italian colleague on Wednesday night. He was telling me that he's as glad not to be in Italy these days, with the right-wingers and the Northern separatists and all. And then he brought up Obama.

He said he was hugely encouraged when America elected someone like Obama; that the fact that we could elect him really gave him cause to hope about politics. Then he mentioned Park 51, and told me, with some emphasis, how important it was that the American president would speak up in favor of the project. He said it several times, in various ways, with rather a lot of emphasis.

(I hadn't the heart to tell him Obama had moderated his support. But since he's now reversed his reversal, I guess it kind of evens out.)

When people say the world is watching? Not kidding. What we do now forms and shapes the impression our nation gives to the world. We control whether we are a light or a blight, right now, right here.

#602 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 04:34 PM:

The reactions to that link have been the brightest spot in my day (which has included my second internet (so now I can say, "I haz internets") and an award of cookies.

But I've put that link several places, and people are sending money.

Given other conversations about how we monetise everything, that speaks volumes.

#603 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 06:33 PM:

Yeah, sometimes there really is value to "Put your money where your mouth is." It's not everything, but it's a substantive something.

#604 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 10:30 PM:

USA Today Article - Apparently Quran-burner-wannabee Terry Jones went to high school with Rush Limbaugh. Small world.

#605 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2010, 11:32 PM:

News from New York More than 2,000 gather to support Park51

That seems much more in keeping with the New Yorkers I know.

#606 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 12:46 AM:

Bill Stewart @ 64:
Small world.

Can't be, if Limbaugh's ego fits in it.

#607 ::: Jake Prins ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 10:27 AM:

Which idiot (using the language used here) thinks that there ever will be an attack on grouns zero again? Obama said this morning, "We do not succumb to fear." He did by calling upon Mr. Jones not to use his constitutional right of burning any book, including the Koran, because he/ you fear the conseguences!!!!!!!
Jake Prins

#608 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 10:36 AM:

Open season. I'm not in the mood, myself.

IP is 69.208.86.107

#609 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 10:46 AM:

Not sure it's worth trying to sort out what he's actually saying there.
As far as I can tell, the consequences will be due to violating the requirement that they get a fire permit before burning anything, including marshmallows.

#610 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 11:10 AM:

Actually, I do fear the consequences of shameless hatemongering. That's not my only reason for thinking a whole bunch of negative things about the Dove people and their leader, and thinking that their proposed "demonstration" would be a really bad thing.

#611 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 11:35 AM:

Joel, I've been spending time over at Slacktivist, where one of the usually-sorta-sane posters has been putting up anti-Muslim comments for several days, and having actual facts used against hir assertions, without apparent success ... but it's produced a lot of people who are now telling said commenter to STFU. (And a few people whose feelings are hurt because said commenter is being told to STFU; apparently everyone else is supposed to respect hir feelings and let hir post bigoted rants.)

#612 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 11:43 AM:

PJ Evans @611:

Yeah, I have both of those threads open in other tabs right now. I note that the person in question has now got as far as acknowledging that s/he's not actually checking the "facts" s/he asserts.

Frankly, I call concern troll. S/he reminds me of all those people who say that marriage equality is bad because the word marriage is special, and domestic partnerships should be enough for gays. Unfortunately, most of the people who say that thing turn right around and oppose domestic partnerships when they're up for a vote.

This is the same tactic: "the mosque is OK (though Islam is Teh Eeebul and full of terrorists), but they should just put it somewhere less offensive." As though there is anywhere that community could have its center that won't be blocked by the poo-flinging howler monkeys.

I for one am tired of it, and give it a lot less rope than I used to.

#613 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 01:10 PM:

What Obama should have said.

It would have been nice if Obama had said something like that. But I don't think it's any less valid for having been said by someone else.

#614 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 02:18 PM:

I breathed the immediately dead of 9/11 for weeks and months. They are a permanent part of me, for better or worse.

I don't want to be breathing any more burning of books or of people in my neighborhood, OK? I think I have the right to feel that way, to express this as my opinion of those who protest the Park51 in any way, but particularly in the mode of burning.

This is my home. But hatemongers don't get it. They don't know what NYC is like or how it works and how so many of us, all different manage to live and work together so well.

Except the tourists, of which a jones is one no less than anyone else from the lands of the clueless, standing obliviously in my doorway, blocking my access to my home.

I am feeling pretty bitter today. How dare the idiots make it all about them and their petty hatred and money/fame grubbing rather than about those immediately dead, and then all those hundreds of thousands of others, ours, theirs and everyone else's, in that stupid consequent war?

Love, C.

#615 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 03:26 PM:

Constance:
How dare the idiots make it all about them and their petty hatred and money/fame grubbing

Making it about themselves is what makes them idiots. If everyone could see beyond the ends of their noses the world would be a far better place.

#616 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 03:30 PM:

I've been wading into the Slacktivist debate. I have made an apology for calling the person a bigot, though I have not retracted the statement they are acting in a bigoted manner.

It's a sincere apology, but is also tactical. I don't think telling the poster to shut up is wrong, but I do think telling them they ought to be banned is.

They have done nothing worthy of that, at least not in my opinion.

#617 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 03:53 PM:

I got through the time after 9/11 on Mister Rodger's Neighborhood reruns and Martha Stewart's TV shows. The sense of normalcy they provided was of immense comfort to me.

#618 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 06:29 PM:

Lee@613, on what Obama should have said. Obama wasn't talking to the world, or to liberals. He was talking to the troll, and to the right-wingers who support or tolerate the troll, and to the media who are enabling the troll, to tell them to stop this annoying offensiveness and to the right-wingers who were going to use the troll as ammunition in the fall elections, to tell them they're not going to get away with it. Different audience, different kind of message.

#619 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 06:34 PM:

9/11 and the days following it had a particularly unreal feeling for me. On that morning I was still recovering from surgery 3 weeks before, and was just beginning to understand that being laid off in the creamiest part of the wake of the dotbomb collapse was going to mean a lot of time at home even after recovery. And I was still taking pain pills at that point, so the TV pictures of the fall of the towers were more surrealistic to me than they might otherwise have been.

Thinking back on those days after the attacks, I'm still trying to understand what the difference was in the reaction of the country in general between the 9/11 attacks and the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City. I thought, and still think, that the deliberate killing of young children had to be as evil an act as could be, and yet in terms of publicly-expressed angst it seems clear that 9/11 is considered much more injurious to the nation. Is Oklahoma City discounted because the building wasn't a major landmark, or because it wasn't in a major city? Or is it just that with 9/11 we have a clear Other to blame, not just brown people, but heathens as well? Or is it the fear that 9/11 brought to us, that our enemies could rain fire on us from the sky?

#620 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 06:48 PM:

That concern troll was making me want to call them a bigot three days ago. Which I refrained from doing at the time, although I was mightily tempted. You would think that being told that hse is full of it, by people who actually know Muslims, would be a clear and obvious warning....

#621 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 07:16 PM:

P J: It's hard to explain, but I think, bigoted actions aside, it was/is honest.

It's blind and foolish; because when presented with facts, the reaction has been to not pay any attention to them.

I don't know how to best explain it, but it's more complicated than the Ducote Troll we got here.

No less pernicious in effect; perhaps more (for seeming somewhat reasoned), but not evil per se, just de facto.

#622 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 08:33 PM:

Bruce, #619: Bluntly, I think the major difference between the OKC bombing and the WTC attack was that the perp in the former case was a white American citizen. As you note, "othering" -- there was no way to demonize McVeigh as a member of any particular class, because any class that could have been chosen was far too wide a net. (Although if they had managed to settle on "outlaw militias" it might actually have done some good.) But Muslim, Arab, Middle Eastern, brown-skinned -- all those are perfectly good Otherings for most of rural America, and too many in the cities as well.

And Bush made it worse by (1) spurning the global goodwill we were offered in the wake of the attack and (2) ignoring bin Laden in favor of his long-dreamed-of war with Iraq. If we'd gone after bin Laden (with the help of all those who were willing to ally with us at the time), caught him, tried him, and executed him, a lot of this crap would have blown over by now. But Othering has been a favored tactic of the right-wing for decades; they weren't about to throw away such a useful source of long-running hate. And so here we are.

The good news (such as it is) is that it'll be another 33 years or so before Eid falls on Sept. 11 again. If we can retake the narrative by then, it won't be so bad the next time.

#623 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2010, 09:19 PM:

Re McVeigh: I recall the reaction. The first suppositions, muslim/Arab.

When it was revealed he was a white, christian, and a vet... Well, a lot of the heated furor over it faded.

No one but ourselves to blame, and we can't have that.

#624 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 12:31 AM:

Terry, #623: Another piece of it: McVeigh's political views were the "right" ones in the eyes of the people who like to make trouble. In all but degree, he was just like them -- which meant that if they condemned him too hard, they had to face thinking that they might be wrong.

#625 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 02:07 AM:

The crank-conservative narrative about the Oklahoma City bombing is that it either wasn't a truck bomb at all (e.g., it was an Fed armory going off that took down the building), or that McViegh was framed for a truck bombing in order to make anti-government "patriots" look bad. This brand of crankery is remarkably similar to that of the "Truther" movement.

#626 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 02:42 AM:

The person on Slacktivist has taken the time, thought things through, and come to the conclusion that s/he was wrong. Then s/he came back on-thread and said so.

I am impressed.

#627 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 03:25 AM:

abi beat me to the announcement. One of the things worth mentioning as well, s/he managed to avoid being more than (understandably) frustrated, as a lot of people (some of whom the person hold in high regard) were being both disputative, and moderately hostile.

In none of it did they get personal, engage in trollish tropes, etc. Everyone's vowels would have been completely safe, on a topic where emotions are running high, and the traffic was huge. It was, all in all, a bit of a pile-on, and it didn't get more than slightly ugly.

There are more than just the one lesson to be learned there.

#628 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 11:09 AM:

Small steps... Until now, the CBC news reports have fairly consistently described the proposed building as a mosque, but the latest hourly radio news report consistently referred to it as an "Islamic centre". Likewise the latest related item on their website, about yesterday's rallies in New York.

#629 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 01:36 PM:

Xopher #580: Not only is the map not the territory, but a map that IS the territory (or is too close to the territory) is a BAD MAP. It loses the function of mapness, which is to be a compact, simplified reference to the territory.

Briefly: “The map is not the territory, but you can't fold up the territory and put it in your glove compartment.”

(Not my invention; I don't know the origin, but I first saw it at Less Wrong.)

#630 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 04:12 PM:

Huh. This week's edition of "Spark" on CBC radio is all about the use of language to shift the emphasis of public discourse, with regard to the centre. 'But here’s the thing: it’s not a mosque at Ground Zero. Rather, it’s an Islamic Center that includes a pool, community rooms, and offices. And the proposed site isn’t Ground Zero. It is in Lower Manhattan, but it’s two blocks away from where the World Trade Center once stood. That didn’t stop newspapers and other online media from calling it the “Ground Zero Mosque.” And once those media sites were indexed by Google, it became that much more difficult to correct the record.'

#631 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 05:42 PM:

I suspect that one reason for the use of 'mosque' in this case is that it's a lot easier to fit into headlines than is 'community center'.

#632 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 05:54 PM:

Bruce Cohen@619: The things you cite, and some others cite later, are I'm sure all relevant points.

But also -- nearly 3000 people dead is a bigger shock than under 200 people dead. 16+ people willing to perform suicide attacks is scarier than two people leaving a bomb and planning to get away (this is irrational; attackers who preserve themselves can attack again, and are probably more dangerous, but many of us react to the commitment shown by suicide attacks). Near-simultaneous attacks on three targets is scarier than one attack on one target. Billions of dollars of property damage is a bigger deal than millions of property damage. Seeing the towers come down, unexpectedly, live on TV, is a bigger deal than hearing about the Federal Building bombing later. Seeing people making the choice between dying by fire/smoke, or when they hit the ground, is more traumatic than reading about people blown up instantly.

So while a lot of the reaction really is, I'm confident, racist / bigoted in its genesis, I think we should not lose sight of the fact that there are quite a lot of perfectly legitimate reasons why the 9/11 attacks were seen as a bigger deal than the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing as well.

#633 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 06:11 PM:

One of the things that connects 9/11 to me is this: A student in one of my classes immediately decamped to New York. Why? One of his closest friends worked as a busboy in Windows on the World. He was at work that morning and didn't make it down. He certainly wasn't American. He was an immigrant from Côte d'Ivoire. I wonder how many of the people yelling and screaming about the WTC site being a sacred place think of people like him as victims?

#634 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 06:28 PM:

Lee #622:

More to the point, there was a lot less political advantage to be had in pursuing the McVeighs and Nichols' of the world. If, for example, you were looking around desperately for a justification to overspend on expensive weapons systems and huge no-big government contracts for military support, perhaps to restart the cold war military-industrial gravy train, the OKC bombing didn't work too well as a rallying point. What're you going to do, invade Idaho? If you wanted to invade a couple random weak third-world countries for some internal political reasons, it was similarly useless. It might have been useful (and probably was) for justifying some police state measures at home, but it was much harder to pretend that those measures were safely aimed only at scary brown Muslims with funny names and weird clothes. Instead, lots and lots of Americans could immediately see "oh, shit, they're looking to target people like me," which meant a lot more resistance to such measures.

It's notable that the "ticking time bomb" argument used by the cheerleaders of torture would have been exactly as reasonable to make after the OKC bombing as after 9/11. But somehow, it wasn't as appealing to try to make it when the folks being tortured (sorry, "subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques") were plainly going to be Americans who looked and sounded just like most voters. As would the
"one percent doctrine[1]" in terms of deciding which domestic political groups to infiltrate or destroy.

The OKC bombing actually did bring some of those arguments up, but they were much weaker, because there wasn't a nice, reassuring "otherness" barrier protecting us from having to worry that the consequences would land on people like us.

[1] "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response." (Dick Cheney as quoted in Wikipedia's article about the One Percent Doctrine. It's more-or-less Pascal's Wager for paranoid bullies.)

#635 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 06:49 PM:

Is inciting a riot a crime in the US if the riot happens outside the US? At the very least, I can see Pastor 451 as a target of wrongful death suits for the casualties in the riots that have already occurred in Afghanistan.

#636 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 06:52 PM:

heresiarch #587:

Wow, that's a really nice distinction. I think both sides of it are true:

a. Economics provides a shared language and model(s) of the world with which many different peoples' ideas and plans can be coordinated.

b. Economics provides a shared language and model(s) which allow some analysis of phenomena that were previously not really understandable. That analysis is often oversimplified, but still much better than nothing.

It's worth noting that (a) is not entirely an advantage. Parasites and predators can use the shared assumptions in that language and set of models as a way to know how to attack your company, in much the same way that the fact that most of your biology is shared with other living things on the Earth makes you an easier target for many kinds of parasites and predators in the biological world. (Something with an entirely alien biology would probably not even be edible by Earth predators, like goats trying to live on nylon clothing. Similarly, parasites of various kinds rely on having compatible biological mechanisms available in their hosts. If humans had a completely different encoding from genes to proteins, it would be really hard for monkey or livestock viruses to mutate into AIDS, measles, influenza, etc.)

#637 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 06:57 PM:

Earl #635:

Would you like to accept that as a precedent? For all its imperfections, I think I'd rather stick with US law of free speech. Though I find it interesting that I was reading an article in El Pais on Friday where the writer was explaining the US first amendment in terms of what an annoying obstacle it was to the administration, who clearly would like to stop such speech.

Burning flags or korans is the same issue, as far as I can see--either some expressions of ideas are so offensive they can be prohibited or punished, or none are.

#638 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 07:02 PM:

Fragano, #633: Very few. The fact that there were hundreds of foreign citizens -- many of whom were, in fact, Muslim* -- among the victims has been conveniently buried. I rather wish that the families of some of those dead Muslims would speak up and point out that all the fuss and hooraw is being disrespectful to the memory of a significant number of the WTC dead. But I can understand why they might not want to step into that snakepit.

* Not by any means to forget the American citizens who were Muslims, but Fragano's comment was about foreign nationals.

#639 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2010, 07:08 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 631 -- Wouldn't surprise me at all. On the other hand, it looks very much as though the CBC has made some kind of official directive that the building is to be referred to only as an Islamic centre or as a community centre, and not as a mosque. Today's edition of the weekly open-line radio show "Cross-Country Checkup" was about the issues raise by Jones and his planned Qu'ran-burning, and the announcer never called it a mosque even while in conversation with callers or interviewees who did.

Since I wrote a note to them a couple of weeks ago, pointing out that their referring to it as a mosque was incorrect, I'm a little bit extra-pleased about the change. I'm glad to see them being correct and not following the objectors' agenda, even if it does cost them a word every now and again.

#640 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2010, 01:46 AM:

albatross #637: Would you like to accept that as a precedent? For all its imperfections, I think I'd rather stick with US law of free speech.

Isn't speech that results in deaths regularly cited as a type of case that goes over the line?

#641 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2010, 09:01 AM:

Earl:

If we establish the rule that any speech that causes a riot somewhere can be banned, I think I can promise you a lot more riots incited by folks, here and abroad, that would prefer some discussions not come up in public.

#642 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: September 14, 2010, 08:55 PM:

Sigh. On a related topic, the French Senate has voted 246-1 to approve the bill to ban the veil. The bill takes effect in six months, unless the courts intervene. 150euro fine for women who wear them, 30000 Euro fine and a year in jail for husbands who make their wives wear them.

It's the kind of policy that makes Wilders almost look reasonable by contrast, except that of course he spoke in NY on 9/11 and reemphasized his hostility.

#643 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2010, 11:15 AM:

Bill Stewart@624: Unfortunately, it's likely that there will never be enough evidence to actually impose the 30,000 Euro fine for forcing a woman to wear the veil.

If that was more achievable, then they could skip the fine for actually wearing it (making laws about how people dress is almost always a losing proposition), and just address the root of the problem, forcing people, directly.

I do think that the vast majority of women dressing that way in France are essentially forced into it; not necessarily by explicit threats. Some of them may not care very much. There are almost certainly some who are used to it and more comfortable continuing to dress that way, too, and this law will make them uncomfortable.

I can understand reaching the conclusion that on balance the state interest in not oppressing women, and the state interest in people appearing in public being identifiable, trumps the extreme Muslim position that women must always dress that way. (To really have an opinion on what makes sense for France, I'd have to know a lot more about France today.)

#644 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2010, 01:21 PM:

What is boggling, however, is that while the men who know what is best for all the women in France, whether all the women in in France agree with them or not, we have putative English men covering their faces voluntarily.

See here, English Soccer Hooligans at Ground Zero, with photos and video.

Brown Shirts time redux.

Love, c.

#645 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2010, 01:35 PM:

Constance@644: I'm waiting for burquas to become the standard garb for bank robbers! They seem to be perfectly adapted for it.

And are there any women in the French legislative body that passed this law? I would think it fairly likely.

#646 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2010, 02:12 PM:

645
I sometimes think they'd be good for political protests, the kind where you don't want your identity known to the government.

#647 ::: ddb ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2010, 02:52 PM:

P J Evans@646: Yes, that's another good somewhat subversive use.

And they might be made in my size (I'm 6'2"); at least, I've seen a number of women I believe are recent African immigrants, and muslim, (based on features and dress and speech) who are about my size. One was the pharmacy clerk at Walgreens the other weekend, I remember. The ones I've seen were wearing head-scarves, no veil, so I don't quite have direct evidence for the existence of burqas in that size.

#648 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2010, 04:52 PM:

I ran across this while looking for something else and liked it.

Hey, America: I'm a Muslim, let's talk

#649 ::: Mary Aileen sees undeleted spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2011, 04:40 PM:

#649 is more of that Turkish(?) spam from January.

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