Bad Deeds for 8-19-2010

 

Republicans Insult Democratic Women – The home web page for Minnesota’s Republican District 56 has a video comparing Republican and Democratic women. A musical score of “She’s a Lady” plays, while a parade of young, pretty Republican women (or at least, women wearing American Flag apparel, if they can’t be visibly identified as a GOP star) scroll past, many in smiles, bikinis, and an occasional gun.

Next, the music switches over to a rousing “Who Let the Dogs Out?” while images of mostly known progressive women, largely overweight, old, growling, and many of them photo -shopped, flash across the screen. A few of them are identified as men, because telling women they look like men is apparently either funny or a meant to be belittling.

The video itself is silly, useless flame-fanning, meant to be passed around via stupid political forwards or as blog fodder for Hot Air and the like. But when a local political unit goes as far as to put it on their home page, that’s something a little more serious.

 

Republicans Out-of-Touch with Wishes of Manhattan Citizens – A poll of New York City Registered Voters shows that support for the proposed Muslim Community Center in Manhattan is lowest among Republicans (only 19% for, 74% against), but is highest in Manhattan (53% for, 31% against), where the community center will be located.

 

The Muslim Community Center Controversy Was Deliberately Manufactured – On Dec. 8, 2009, the New York Times published a lengthy front-page story on the Muslim Community Center project. No one was bothered by it until May of 2010, when the controversy was sparked from a campaign launched by Pamela Geller, a right-wing, anti-Muslim blogger and founder of the Stop Islamisation of America group, which is an outgrowth of the Stop Islamisation of Europe group. Their motto is (and I am not joking): “Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense”. The group calls on its followers to avoid Fisher Price, Asda, Kentucky Fried Chicken and The Radisson Hotel chain for apparently pandering to the Muslim community. Geller once suggested that Malcolm X was Obama’s real father. (Seriously).

Geller’s sinister portrayal of the project was embraced and amplified by Rupert Murdoch’s (also owner of Fox News) New York Post. The Post quotes Geller at length and promotes the anti-mosque protest of Stop Islamization of America, which Post reporter Peyser describes as a “human-rights group.” The Post also reported — falsely — that the opening date will be Sept. 11, 2011.

Smelling blood, the Post assigned news reporters to cover the ins and outs of the development daily. Fox News, the Post’s television sibling, then went all out.

“How the “ground zero mosque” fear mongering began”

“The pens of anti-Muslim conservatives impact N.Y.C. mosque debate mightily”

“AFP: Riot police quell clashes at anti-Islam demo in London”

 

Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich Make False Comparison of Muslims to Nazis – Equating the building of a community center with a racist demonstration is wrong because it equates intended good with intended evil. Equating racist skinheads or Neo-Nazis to all Muslims is wrong (Nazis are to Germans as Al-Qaida is to Muslims [as Christianists are to Christianity]). It is also extremely insensitive to ordinary Muslims like those building Park 51. Unlike Nazis or skinheads, the founders of Park 51 are Sufis with no history of advocating hate or taking part in violence. In fact, the founder of the institution, Imam Abdul Rauf, has even advised the FBI and been a diplomatic envoy for the U.S. State Department as a part of the U.S. struggle against terrorism.

 

Will We Learn From the Past?

In 1984, in Poland, Catholic nuns and bishops were determined to open a Carmelite convent on land proper to what had been the infamous Auschwitz death camp where Jews by the thousands had gone to the ovens at the hands of a gentile army, most of whom were ostensibly Christian (New York Times, May 30, 1989).

To the Jews, the very thought of a Catholic institution on that territory was blasphemy, a sacrilege. After all, they argued, Christianity and its long-standing position that the Jews — as a people — had killed Jesus, was of itself a preeminent and underlying cause of the Holocaust.

Jews were insulted at the very thought of a cross on those holy grounds. Christians were flabbergasted at the reaction. In the first place, the purpose of putting a cloistered community of Carmelites in that place was exactly to hallow that ground, to pray for those who had died there, to be a sign of peace and reconciliation.

And, after all, half the people who died in the camps, they said, were Christians: Poles, Gypsies, and gays.

Jews were infuriated by the move. Catholics were enraged by the reaction to what they thought was a good thing to do for both groups.

It took years to resolve the issue. In the end historians determined that only 80,000 of those who died in Auschwitz were non-Jews. The other 1.2 million deaths were Jewish deaths. It was, indeed, a Jewish burial ground. And Catholics, led by the pope himself, agreed in 1993 to relocate the convent to a less offensive position in order to provide an education center meant to educate us all on the ways of peace and unity, on the issues in Christian-Jewish relations.

It was a case of Christians wanting to make what they considered a gesture of reconciliation that was seen from the other side of the issue as just one more sign of domination or aggression or assault.

The point is that we, of all people, should know what it means to be rebuffed by those who perceived our attempt to make peace as just another kind of wound. Radicals on any side may be well-meaning, perhaps, but miserably inhuman in their tactics. Sincere, perhaps, but just as surely dealing in sin as are their oppressors.

From where I stand, there has to be another way to deal with this that is sensitive to both sides, accepting of both positions, healing of both wounds and a monument to real peace. In that case, it will surely be a monument that will shine a strong Islamic light in the very face of that small part of Islam that wants, it seems, to shatter that glow.

 

The Liberation of Iraq – Yes, there was a “liberation” of sorts. More than one million Iraqis have been permanently liberated from their obligation to breathe.

The original code name for the unprovoked invasion of Iraq was “Operation Iraqi Liberation” until some smart guy in the Pentagon realized that the acronym for the invasion was “OIL.” Then they renamed it Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

Fox News Is Part-Owned By a Saudi Prince Whose Family Rules By Sharia Law – News Corp.’s second-largest shareholder, after the Murdoch family, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal the nephew of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah, and one of the world’s richest men. Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by Alwaleed’s uncle King Abdullah, is, of course, an authoritarian petro-monarchy that actually is governed by Sharia law and is known as one of the top global sponsors of terrorism.

 

Republicans Have Been Lying About the Federal Government’s Inaction on Immigration – In 2009, a total of “393,000 foreign nationals were removed from the United States, the seventh consecutive record high,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. Most of the undocumented immigrants were from neighboring Mexico.

 

For-Profit Schools Lie to Potential Students – The Government Accountability Office sent investigators to for-profit [(privateering)] schools across the country and found that all of them were misleading potential students. The schools make false claims to potential students about guaranteed jobs and encourage potential students to go deeply in debt to pay tuition.

Regards,

Jim

 

 

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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