Friday, August 20, 2010

Fault Lines

I really didn't want to do another political post so soon but there’s so much going on out there that it’s making my head explode.

The first thing I want to address is this flawed notion that the country’s economic problems belong to Obama now.  I agree that they belong to him to fix.  However the Right is postulating that since he’s been president a year and a half now, that he take the blame for current economic state.

Now I realize that the Republicans recognize that it’s election season and are desperately trying to run away from their role in our dire economic straits, but just because they want us to forget about it doesn’t mean that we have to, or that we should.  I mean, does the passage of time really change the cause(s) of events in the past?

Let me put it like this:

Little Georgie took his hatchet and with the help of his little friends, started whacking on a big, robust cherry tree in the park.  Eventually, the townspeople saw what was going on, wrestled the hatchet away from Georgie and sent him and his little friends packing.

Just then, a professor from the Midwest happened by and was drawn into the scene.  The townspeople implored the professor to see what he could do to repair the damaged tree.  So he set out to consult with the area’s best arborists to repair the tree and stimulate some healing growth.  They worked long days and nights, but in the end, for every new branch that grew, another one fell off.

After a year or so, the townspeople grew tired of seeing the work zone that had been put up around the tree, and resented that they no longer had any more fresh cherries.  Some of the townspeople, including a shadowy bunch that had given Georgie the hatchet in the first place, began blocking the professors path to the tree and throwing rocks whenever he appeared.

Now I ask you, who is at fault for the state of the tree?  Is it the guy that’s working hard to fix it?  Or is it the little bastards that hacked it up in the first place?

We may get impatient for a fix, but that doesn’t change history.  What it does is say more about our miniscule attention span than anything else.  There is one group bent on fixing the situation.  The other group doesn’t like that and is clamoring to be given the ax again.

Why on earth would we hand the ax back to Little Georgie and his hooligan friends?

Maybe They Should Have Bought More Coats
I’ve also had enough of the whole “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, about a place that’s not a mosque getting built on a location that’s not Ground Zero.  I hate it when verbal shorthand becomes the basis of gross misinformation. 

Yeah, the titty bars and liquor stores that are closer than the Burlington Coat Factory-cum-Muslim activity center, (the MMCA, if you will), are so much more respectful.  It seems to me that moderate Muslims are exactly who we need to be cozying up to, if we really want to drive out terrorism.  By making them jump through hoops, all we’re doing is driving more of them straight into the terrorist training camps, where they’ll be forced to do the hand-over-hand bars on YouTube, before strapping bombs to their chests and taking a trip to the mall.

How far does the hallowedness extend from Ground Zero?  Five blocks?  Ten Blocks?  Does hallowedness diffuse, the further it gets from Ground Zero?  Maybe they should just put a big dotted line around lower Manhattan.  Make Time Square the DMZ… the DeMuslimized Zone.  Then cram all the Muslims into the Upper West side, to scare all the liberals.

It amuses me how everyone says, “It’s not that they’re building a mosque, it’s where they’re building it.”  Except that it isn’t.  Just this week, Jon Stewart showed footage of anti-mosque demonstrations going on in cities all over the country, in a half dozen places where a mosque is planned.  Is it all hallowed ground? 

Actually, I guess it is… it’s the American Way… “My backyard is always hallowed ground.”

I just have one more thing to say about this issue that was tailor-made to be an election wedge issue:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”  ~Excerpt from The 1st Amendment of the US Constitution~

That goes for all religions, even the ones we don’t understand.  End of fuckin’ story.

20 comments:

  1. Check out ACT! For America, Brigitte Gabriel, Guy Rogers, Lisa Piraneo. Then look up Pamela Geller, the Wackaloon Blogger who started the frenzy.

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  2. I can't stand election years.

    That's all I'm gonna say about that.

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  3. 1. I don't think it's his fault and honestly I don't think it's entirely GWs fault either. Most of it I (truly) believe is from a perpetuation of silliness leading back to the era of the depression... Laws that weren't silly then, btw.

    2. I don't think it's the president's place to take a stance - ANY stance - on anything that isn't a direct presidential matter.
    I'm not a new yorker so maybe my feeling is different but I think that if someone wants to build something near ground zero they should be able to, regardless of what it is. If NYC doesn't want people to do that, they should buy the surrounding blocks and turn it into a park.

    The end.

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  4. Mr Dude..

    As usual when it comes to matters political, it seems that you and I are on directly opposite ends of the spectrum. In the interest of compromise, I offer..
    1. In the case of your first point, clearly the fault lies with the meat-hating, heathen, vegetarian tree-huggers that planted the cherry tree. I firmly believe the Nobel Peace prize should go to who ever develops the BACON TREE. End of problem.
    2. My liver and pocketful of singles says give 'em the coats just so they'll leave the liquor stores and titty bars alone.
    Seriously, while it would be nice to explain away all of our problems in black/white, us/them, Reps/Dems terms, I think we both know that, until the system changes (an effective third-party), the game will remain the same, regardless of whose in power, with only the faces of the players changing. What does it say about us as a country that our best political news coverage comes via Comedy Central?

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  5. I am so sick of this shit! I have spent 6 weeks with people who don't know their ass from first base, and I want to just slap them and tell them to WAKE UP and at least TRY to see what is actually going on in America today. One actually told me that she is only interested in abortion, that she is a one issue voter. How sick is that? Am I scared? Yes, I am!

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  6. If people were more honest and less self-centered, we would not have half the problems we do. How could the economy and the country in general not be better?

    One or two people above kind of said it: Things are rarely black and white, and it is a shame when people are so convinced that their side is the end all, be all.

    Personally, I don't care where the mosque (or whatever it is) is built. I support freedom of religion. If I lived in NYC and/or lost someone that day, I might feel differently. But as I have said many times before, evil and idiots come in all religions, ethnicities, and political parties (and sports teams, genders, and cities, but you get the idea).

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  7. Cassie,
    Agreed! Way too stressful. You have to be a brain surgeon just to fish out the nuggets of truth from the tonnage of misinformation (on all sides.)

    Woman,
    I think it's up to the President to guide the nation in principles. Freedom of religion (or in my case, freedom FROM religion) is an embedded principle that is on the verge of being end-run. Ultimately, it comes down to the local authorities, but in this day and age, "local" becomes "national" in a heartbeat.

    IKNAB,
    I hear ya, buddy! I'm surprised you show up here at all! But on Point #1, we are in total agreement. In my book, the inventor of the Bacon Tree gets the Nobel, the Pulitzer, an Oscar and an Emmy, and 2nd Prize in a beauty contest.

    Number two, I find a lot of truth there as well, and unfortunately it's about to get worse. Our future elections are about to be bought and sold at a level way above our heads, due to the Supremes ruling that corporation = citizen. The rest of us are just the blunt instruments to be wielded in whichever way the money dictates.

    And yes, it's a damned shame that the best investigative journalism is coming from the comedians. And that's no joke.

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  8. Judie,
    I volunteer to personally be the one to counteract your 1-issue voter, because I am as well. My issue is "Mind your own goddamn business," which covers abortion as well as many other things. It's your body, it's your decision and a bunch of other people with zero stake in the situation (let alone the usual crowd of conservative white men) have no business dictating how you should handle it.

    Facie,
    First of all, thank you for visiting. I think I recognize you from comments at That's Church.

    Secondly, I completely agree. You're basically saying what I've been saying, usually about racism, but it really applies to many issues... "Assholes come in all colors." (substitute "religions", "nationalities", etc.) (Except Ravens fans... I've done considerable research and they're all scum.)

    There was a letter in the local paper this morning, complaining that we can't let radical Muslims take over Ground Zero. And I agree. But that has nothing to do with the Two Blocks Away From Ground Zero (not a) Mosque. The radical Muslims are in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and Indonesia; they are not assembling in lower Manhattan. These are the people we need on our side. Fucking with them (while destroying the principles on which our country was founded) is only making the problem worse.

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  9. My point is that some voters clamp on to one thing and ignore everything else that is going on around them. The person to whom I was referring is married to a Muslim. I heard no mention of the mosque while I was around. AND I have a firm and fast rule to not discuss politics or religion with family.

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  10. You are so right. I don't get it. It's mob rule through the press and all it does is excite the masses. When will the majority of people understand the reason this country was founded? Religious tolerance. I'm not seeing much of it these days.

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  11. For me, the hallowed ground doesn't extend one block. I'm excited for the big transportation center they're putting there, and they can fill the rest of it with apartment buildings and Starbucks for all I care. People need to MOVE. ON.

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  12. Christy,
    That's one of the (many) problems I have with religion... that the religious always want to convert others to their way of thinking and worshiping. That's not religious freedom, that's coercion, especially when it comes to public office.

    Mundane,
    Would that all New Yorkers feel as you do... And your idea for the site would totally work. After all, you'd have business people (most likely white male business people) making big money on it. That's the American Way.

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  13. I agree that it would do some good if people would realize Obama's trying to fix something that was broken befoe he got there, but I have to say that I don't think playing the blame game does any good at this point. The Republicans don't believe it, and the Democrats have believed it all along, so it doesn't help. I wish I knew what the solution was; actually, I wish the people that could make a difference knew. Who cares what I think, right? *sigh* Frustrating situation.

    Maybe this makes people angry (and it may surprise them that I'm actually a Christian), but I wish the President didn't have to say, "And God Bless the United States of America" in every speech. WHY does he have to? It's not *supposed* to matter what religion he is or even if he IS religious. According to our own laws, we should be able to have an atheist as President. I know it comes to "feel-good stuff," but it draws too many lines. Good post.

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  14. Cristy,
    I welcome the day when the religion of a national candidate truly doesn't matter. But in today's world, any serious candidate has to at least give lip service to being a Christian. And it's a damned shame because our country was designed for it not to matter.

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  15. I agree with you on both counts. This controversy over the Mosque/Community Center thing is really getting to me though. Aside from the misinformation, it's the whole idea that people (Christians) want to ignore the 1st Amendment except when it comes to having the freedom to force their religion on everyone else. They want to freely exercise their religious rights while preventing everyone else from having that same freedom.

    I mean, look at the Church that was denied a permit to burn Korans as a 'protest' on Sept. 11. They were outraged and all that when they were told they couldn't do such a thing, you know cuz it is their constitutional right and all to do such a thing, yet if someone wanted to burn Bibles to protest the atrocities committed by the Christian Church (of which there are many), they would be up in arms about it. It's hypocrisy, plain and simple.

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  16. Raven
    It’s the classic American double-standard. We expect every accommodation for that which WE want and give none to anyone else, especially when we don’t get the benefit.

    In America, Freedom of Religion is really just the freedom of everyone to be a Christian, especially when politics are involved.

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  17. 1. I resent the notion that all Muslims are to blame for the 9/11 attacks, when that is not, in fact, the truth; FUNDAMENTALIST Muslims were to blame for the 9/11 attacks. And religious fundamentalists suck. End of story.

    2. I completely agree with Unapologetically Mundane.

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  18. Bachelor Girl,
    1. All Muslims are no more responsible for 9/11 than all Christians are for the Crusades. Or blowing up the Murrow Building in OKC. Or murdering abortion doctors. Or molesting thousands of little boys and girls. Wait, what was my point?

    2. Mundane is rife with NYC wisdom. (As you know.)

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  19. I just went off on all this because of Glenn Beck's rally this weekend. It all makes my head hurt.

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  20. And you addressed quite nicely, I might add.

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