Wednesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Stupid union tricks.
  2. On the Mosque kerfuffle, our President leads the way, and his leadership has an effect, commentary from an Arabic media figure,  and a representative of the left wing media response
  3. I have a question for those who offer that zoning should be blind to particularities of faith? What then of St. Nicholas (the Greek Orthodox church) which was an pre-existing church prior to 9/11 but which was damaged. The Greek diocese offered plans to rebuild the church but was rebuffed with the note that the height of their church should not be higher than the buildings planned for the Trade Center memorial. Oddly enough the plans for the Mosque in question are also higher than the buildings planned. It seems to me the left in their responses has a definite religious bias in their stance.
  4. Statistics and preschool(ers).
  5. Rockets and your toilet, two things you wouldn’t normally associate.
  6. In praise of Mr Ryan.
  7. Mr Geithner, on housing. Oddly enough what he said is just about exactly the same thing I wrote on Fan/Fred and their effect on the recession.
  8. The Fed and the failure of monetary policy.
  9. How not to do conservation.
  10. Obama and the M1 Garand.

30 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. Again is the hight requirement based on the content of the faith? I don’t think so.

    I suspect difference is location. Contrary to the implication of many reports, the ‘mosque’ is not on ground zero but a few blocks from it.

  2. Needless to say, anyone who has been to lower Manhatten knows you don’t have to walk very far before the buildings shoot up to the sky. A height restriction would have to cover an area only very close to ground zero, which I suspect this church is if it took damate on 9/11.

  3. It seems to me the left in their responses has a definite religious bias in their stance.

    It seems that way to you? Really? Because I comment here every day and I’ve strongly supported the mosque despite the fact that I think even less of Islam than of Christianity. Maybe you should think before you write.

  4. JA,

    Because I comment here every day and I’ve strongly supported the mosque despite the fact that I think even less of Islam than of Christianity. Maybe you should think before you write.

    I see, so you’ve noted somewhere how you support St. Nicholas getting zoning approval?

  5. “Contrary to the implication of many reports, the ‘mosque’ is not on ground zero but a few blocks from it.”

    What reports would that be? I never got that implication from anything I read. Virtually everything I’ve read stated clearly at one point or another that the mosque would be 600 feet away.

    Let’s be clear about what this is and is not about.

    This has nothing to do with rights, the First Amendment, tolerance, or any of that.

    Rather, this is a direct in-your-face-screw-you to the “great satan.” It is a strong statement that they are stronger than us, that their religion is stronger. That we are a bunch of idiot weaklings who can be pushed around. That Islam can build on (virtually on, damn close enough) to the rubble of the great satan to show it’s superiority.

    It is therefore no mistake that it is called “Cordoba House” after the great mosque in Cordoba Spain build on the top of a church after the Muslims conquered that country.

    Behind this no doubt is the Muslim Brotherhood (you’re familiar with them, right?) and their mentality. They are conducting a “civilizational jihad” (their term from the 1991 document “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America”) against us.

    Make no mistake – this is not about a mosque. This is about the “grand jihad,” which is the attempt to reestablish the caliphate and institute the sharia.

    Yeah I know, you think I’m a kook. But then, the smart set dismissed Churchill as a kook too.

  6. Tom,
    Check out in the WSJ opinion/editorial section today Ms Hirsi Ali had a post that is not unrelated to what you write.

  7. This has nothing to do with rights, the First Amendment, tolerance, or any of that.

    Yea politicians trying restrict the use of private property by demonizing a minority religion has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

    Rather, this is a direct in-your-face-screw-you to the “great satan.” It is a strong statement that they are stronger than us, that their religion is stronger.

    Bulls**t

    It is therefore no mistake that it is called “Cordoba House” after the great mosque in Cordoba Spain build on the top of a church after the Muslims conquered that country

    True Cordoba was built after Muslims conquered that portion of Spain but the name is famous for the toleration and diversity in that area where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together on relatively equal terms (relative to the rest of Europe at that time).

    Yeah I know, you think I’m a kook. But then, the smart set dismissed Churchill as a kook too.

    Your logic here is:

    Churchill was called a kook.
    I am called a kook.
    Therefore I’m the next Churchill.

    I wouldn’t count on it.

  8. Probably there’s better maps out there but this will do:
    http://inewp.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ch_map1.jpg

    Cordoba House is two blocks from Ground Zero with two buildings between it and what used to be the WTC. This is the ‘sacred area’ that was formerly a Burlington Coat Factory. You may not have heard about the first responders who died in the Burlington Coat Factory on 9/11. That’s because no one died in the Burlington Coat Factory despite the claims of kooks that its a ‘graveyard’. If its a graveyard then you might as well call the entire city sacred land. This is party a function of right wing idiocy and more innocent geographic ignorance since for most of the country NYC is just one big ‘place’. It is a big place, but its a really big place with a lot of things and people packed into each block…esp. Manhattan.

    http://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/the-ground-zero-mosque-obamas-twisted-logic-facts-from-fiction-photo-mapsphotosmaps/

    Doesn’t show St. Nicholas on its map but the picture clearly shows its a tiny Church right in front of 2 WTC.
    http://uppershelf.com/WTC/map.html has a better map showing St. Nicholas to be directly accross the street from 2 WTC (although its not clear if its part of larger building complex or an empty plot of land with a tiny church on it).

    For the record I would let them rebuild to the original specs as they are not directly on the site and I don’t think a church would upstage or detract from the Ground Zero memorial (if it was a commercial building I’d be more inclined to go with the zoning decision). But the two examples are different enough not to make a valid analogy let alone a claim of religious bias.

  9. I see, so you’ve noted somewhere how you support St. Nicholas getting zoning approval?

    First I’ve heard of it. But I swear that if they were trying to use the same kind of bullshit paranoid (see Tom the psychopath) reasoning to stop it, I would support it 100%.

    You’re so ridiculous. Just look how you leap to conclusions. You have no idea how height restrictions work there but you’re willing to just assume it’s because it’s Christian (!) that it was refused. You’re also willing to assume that the left is supporting the mosque’s right to exist because we… favor Islam over Christianity?? WTF. What’s the use in arguing with people whose beliefs do not correlate with reality in any way?

  10. JA,
    Yes, what is the use of arguing with people whose arguments have no connection with reality? … that unfortunately would be you.

    First I’ve heard of it

    Kinda the point, eh?

    You can’t imagine why a Islamic mosque might have more political friction than a church from a small (and to Protestants very weird) Christian denomination in a largely liberal city? Zoning in this respect is politics. A lot of deference, especially on the left, is given to Islam. This seems to be yet another example of the same.

    BTW, Mr Bloomberg who supports the Mosque also has offered his support for the plans to rebuild St. Nicholas.

    Are you saying that you would only support it if arguments which you find offensive were used to stop it, then you’d support it? That makes no sense.

    Boonton,
    St. Nicholas (unlike the other building you mention) was a sanctuary and place used for relief, housing, feeding and so on for first responders.

    You might also be interested to know that our church has a copper icon engraving constructed from copper flashing taken from the roof of St. Nicholas, it stands above a sand tray (for candles) constructed from a piece of girder from the WTC building. We have a 9/11 memorial service as well every year.

  11. Nice try, but it clearly the former Burlington Coat Factory building is much more sacred.

    More seriously your attempt to embrace the victim card fails because the two places are not analogous and there’s different people making the ‘zoning decisions’ (technically I don’t think the Ground Zero area is being run by a zoning commission) in each case. You’re also not that familiar with NYC. Most people would probably consider the Church to simply be a Catholic one which is hardly ‘very weird’ in NYC.

  12. But to illustrate why Marc’s confusion over ‘viewpoint discrimination’ is unfounded consider the following hypothetical case:

    Burlington Coat Factory announces its intention to buy back its former store and rebuild it as a mega store with as many stories as the proposed Islamic Center.

    Burlington Coat Factory announces it has purchased the land of the church (let’s say they sold out for inexplicable reasons) and intends to build a store there as high as the original church.

    I suspect the result would be the exact same thing. The construction of the outlet in the area of the proposed Mosque would be a very ho hum affair. The Port Authority or whoever’s running ground zero would probably tell Burlington that their store couldn’t overshadow the memorial.

  13. Kinda the point, eh?

    I’ve heard of the “mosque” because Sarah Palin et al decided to make a huge issue out of nothing. I haven’t heard of the church because no morons on the left declared that it was a grave insult to the relatives of the 9/11 victims, who were, after all, killed by religious people.

    A lot of deference, especially on the left, is given to Islam.

    This is the assertion I’m challenging. I don’t think the left is more deferential to Islam than it is to Christianity. It’s just that the right doesn’t think the normal rules apply to Islam, so we on the left end up defending them more often.

    Are you saying that you would only support it if arguments which you find offensive were used to stop it, then you’d support it? That makes no sense.

    I’m saying I disagree with opposing religious buildings because other people of the same religion engaged in terrorism nearby. I don’t necessarily agree with height restrictions, if they’re applied fairly. You’re saying they weren’t applied fairly, but offer not a scratch of evidence. If you’re right, I’ll be there right next to you protesting. But I’d bet a million bucks you’re not right. Because you’re just making stuff up and pretending it’s real as usual.

  14. The left is more ‘deferential’ only in the sense that it is less willing to go along with the yahooism of the right which became too enamoured of their ‘clash of civilizations’ theory.

  15. Boonton,
    As for hypothetical #2 (BCF buys St. Nicholas property) I think the nation stage might treat that in a ho-hum fashion, the community to which I belong (and likely myself) would be somewhat miffed.

    JA,
    You know, it’s statements like

    I haven’t heard of the church because no morons on the left declared that it was a grave insult to the relatives of the 9/11 victims, who were, after all, killed by religious people.

    that lead to accusations of being overly kind to Islam and all that.

    As for the height … you can use google? I found this:

    Trouble emerged after St. Nicholas announced its plans to build a traditional Greek Orthodox church building, 24,000 square feet in size, topped with a grand dome. Port Authority officials told the church to cut back the size of the building and the height of the proposed dome, limiting it to rising no higher than the World Trade Center memorial. The deal fell apart for goodin March 2009, when the Port Authority abruptly ended the talks after refusing to allow church officials to review plans for the garage and screening area underneath. Sixteen months later, the two sides have still not met to resume negotiations.

    St. Nicholas Church’s difficulty in getting approvals to rebuild stands in stark contrast to the treatment that the developers of the proposed Cordoba mosque have received. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, state Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo, and a raft of city officials have all come out publicly in favor of building the mosque, and the city’s Landmarks and Preservation Commission recently voted unanimously to deny protection to the building currently occupying the site where the mosque is to be built.

    The mosque is proposed to rise 13 stories, far above the height of the World Trade Center memorial, with no height restrictions imposed.

    here.

  16. It’s like talking to a wall here. You’re going to believe whatever you want to.

  17. As for hypothetical #2 (BCF buys St. Nicholas property) I think the nation stage might treat that in a ho-hum fashion, the community to which I belong (and likely myself) would be somewhat miffed.

    Presumably since the Church sold out your community decided for whatever reason that it wanted to relocate the church elsewhere. That, though, is just the fallacy of fighting the hypothetical. You agree that if some non-Christian Orthodox entity was trying to build there the Port Authority would probably be putting up similiar red tape and foot dragging. Therefore your claim of religious bias is not supported.

    You’re equation of the two itself is biased. On the one hand you have politicians trying to assert that the right to even have a Mosque should be denied and on the other hand a dispute about the height of a building. In terms of religious bias no one is calling for the church to be denied a right to be there. (BTW, it’s not clear to me whether the church is seeking to simply rebuild itself or if it is seeking to expand into a larger structure….for example the picture I’ve seen of it doesn’t seem to have a ‘grand dome’.)

    Here is a nice illustration of what really is a fundamental difference between the right and left. The left gets off on coming to the defense of those that appear to be bullied on by the majority. The right seems to get off on joining the bullying. How else can you equate a demand for different design choices with a demand for non-existence?

    The mosque is proposed to rise 13 stories, far above the height of the World Trade Center memorial, with no height restrictions imposed.

    I suggest you use Google Maps to explore Park Place, New York NY. The street the insititute is proposed for. You’ll note that what’s already there appears on a par or in excess of 13 stories. For example the Woolworth Building is 57 stories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woolworth_Building)

  18. JA,
    Uhm, you aren’t representative of “the left”. You can’t convince me by citing your personal views and examples of statements made concerning broad swaths of the progressive/left wing.

    Let’s face it, the left has quite regularly treated the Muslim community with tenterhooks while at the same time openly and loudly demonizing and acting in completely bigoted fashion regarding American Christian groups. There are so many examples of this that I can’t believe you attempt to disagree.

    You personally say that you dislike Islam even more than Christianity, and I’ll take you on your word for that. But … I think if you review your writing, that you have far more frequently and more strongly spoken against Christians. I have made the claim before that I think you exhibit textbook bigotry in your views about Roman Catholics for example. So by your praxis one might be excused for doubting the sincerity of your claims.

  19. Let’s face it, the left has quite regularly treated the Muslim community with tenterhooks while at the same time openly and loudly demonizing and acting in completely bigoted fashion regarding American Christian groups.

    Do you understand how stupid this is?? You’re right that I’m not representative of the left — most of the left ARE CHRISTIANS.

    If you can’t understand why the left spends more time complaining about the Christian right than they do about Muslims without resorting to a bias in favor of Islam, then you’re clearly not qualified to speak about the matter. Here’s a clue: the Christian right owns one of the two major political parties and constantly seeks to enshrine their beliefs in the law at the expense of everyone else: not just Muslims and atheists, but liberal Christians. If the GOP were 90% right-wing Muslims, are you telling me the left would still go after Christianity instead?

    It’s one thing to not understand, but you don’t even seem to be trying. It’s like you want to assume the worst about the left.

    I have made the claim before that I think you exhibit textbook bigotry in your views about Roman Catholics for example.

    BS. I’ve railed against the church and the hierarchy that raped children for generations and protected the rapists. I’ve never railed against Catholic people that I’m aware of — in fact I’ve often praised them for being smarter and more decent than the church. E.g., I often refer to the fact that a majority of American Catholics are pro-choice.

  20. Why exactly are we supposed to complain about Islam? Because on the other side of the globe someone got stoned by Muslims? OK if proximity has nothing to do with how much time we should allocate to talking about things then by this measure the right is also biased in favor of Islam. You are more likely to hear a right wing blowhard complaining about Obama or John Kerry than complaining about Islam.

  21. JA,

    I’ve railed against the church and the hierarchy that raped children for generations and protected the rapists. I’ve never railed against Catholic people that I’m aware of — in fact I’ve often praised them for being smarter and more decent than the church. E.g., I often refer to the fact that a majority of American Catholics are pro-choice.

    You’re bigotry on display. If a hospital’s adminstrator(s) were committing crimes … does that taint, color, and become the sole focal point for your. A few Administrators embezzle which from you point of view overwhelms and reduces to irrelevancy the fact that they’ve opened up new avenues of treatment and care for example.

    Perhaps this is in fact one of the key differences between right and left. The left likes to dismiss ideas of American exceptionalism … maybe that’s because the mistakes made completely overwhelm for you the multitude of good things that America has done. Slavery, the Indian treatment, and racial treatment by the government and people in the past drives the thousands of other things wonderful things that the US has done is ignored.

    Do you understand how stupid this is?? You’re right that I’m not representative of the left — most of the left ARE CHRISTIANS.

    Really. OK. I’m guessing you use an RSS feed to read blogs. Look at the liberal bloggers whom you read. Tally your perception of their religious affiliation. Do you still make the claim that most of them are Christian. It seems to me that the Christian voice on the left is very very quiet. I think I only know 2 bloggers on the left who are Christian. That is a distinct minority. I think you’ll find that if you move to other voices, the left wing leadership, the left wing pundits, left leaning academia and so on. Majority Christian? If so, they hide it well.

    And if you think the seeking to “enshrine” their beliefs in the law at the expense of others is something limited to the right … you need to examine the actions of your own party a little. Geesh.

    Boonton,

    Why exactly are we supposed to complain about Islam?

    JA made the claim he thinks less of Islam than he does of Christianity. I’m offering that might be true but doesn’t seem to be the case given that he more often complains of the latter than the former.

  22. I think Nazis are worse than people who cut me off in traffic. But if you could be a fly on my wall I’d complain more about people who cut me off. I guess I really would rather share the road with Hitler provided he was a good driver.

  23. I think Nazis are worse than people who cut me off in traffic. But if you could be a fly on my wall I’d complain more about people who cut me off. I guess I really would rather share the road with Hitler provided he was a good driver.

    Well put! This is one of those things that’s so obvious that Mark is either pretending not to see it or is really just totally blinded by his hatred of the left. Either way, it’s really frustrating to argue with someone who never gives an inch even when it’s clear he’s in the wrong.

  24. It’s also annoying since Mark refuses to play that game when it comes to the right. Ask him about Glen Beck or Fox News or Ann Coutler and he sees no evil as he rarely reads or watches them. Hell he doesn’t even seem to read the people he links too! But, of course, because I neglect to track down Muslim theologians to debate with it must be because I have soft spot for Islam.

    I’ll return the favor. When Mark invites guest bloggers to argue things like SSM should be illegal out of Islamic principles then I’ll argue with them. Otherwise I have no obligation to seek out debates with Muslims than I do to seek out debates with Hindus or Wiccans.

  25. And speaking of not being critical enough, who is it here who is always pining for the ‘honor / shame cultures’? Who is it here who keeps telling us that they are happier because they have a smaller suicide rate? And who here keeps pushing back on that idea?

  26. Boonton,
    Uhm, 70% of the world peoples belong to H/S cultures. At most 25% of the world are Muslim.

    And, you at least, I’m pretty sure have seen Lives of Others, and haven’t offered why suicide rates were such a telling statistic for them but not for thee.

  27. Mark is outed. A Islamic agent whose cover is supposedly ‘Orthodox Christian’ (probably a way to explain frequently meeting men with beards…..Orthodox indeed). Off to Gitmo with you terrorist!

  28. Boonton,
    Well, that was a completely random response.

    That is to say, huh?

  29. Clearly your praise of H/S cultures while neglecting to criticize the 25% who are Islamic is just an attempt to get the camel’s ‘nose in the tent’. Sure sure have us buy into H/S cultures….after all 75% of them aren’t Islamic…..then you’ll pull the bait and switch on us!

    I am, after all, just applying your own logic here. With a bit of satire along the way.

    I take it at this point we’ve exhausted the NYC Mosque story.

  30. Speaking of the left and Islam, I caught a half hour or so of Bill Mahr’s documentary on religion on Showtime over the weekend. He was quite hard on Islam. He did an excellent job of going to various Muslim spokesmen and women in Amsterdam and pointed out to them that they seem to hold a double standard in regards to free speech….insisting on it for themselves but ditching it when it comes to insulting their religion. He was esp. devasting IMO in interviewing a kind of Muslim ‘gansta rapper’ who couldn’t bring himself to admit that it was absolutely wrong for authors like Salmon Rushdie to have to live with death threats for ‘insulting Islam’.

    The left is quite happy to be hard on Islam.

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