Thursday, August 26, 2010

Aboombong, Amnemonic

<a href="http://aboombong.bandcamp.com/album/amnemonic">Cheshiahud Loop by aboombong</a>

From Pen & Mallet:
Style(s): afro-asian noise, post-rock shoegaze, musique concrète, minimalism, noise, drone, post-punk. 
Toys: amplified tongue drum, Turkish darbuka, New Mexican wooden-headed goblet drum, Igbo Ekwe (two tone log slit drum), Ibo Ekpiri shaker, Vietnamese jack fruit danmo, camel bells, elephant bells, goat bells, 16-tine Thai temple bell, Mimi's souvenir travel bells collection, Trinidadian tenor steelpan, 5-string table-top electric guitar, Kawai K3, one-man-army chants, Stylophone S1 orchestra, harmonica, drum kit.

Tracklist:
1) Cheshiahud Loop
2) From Cracked and Bloodied Fingers
3) Cromsby Grovernor Worthington's Jujujaiponmolam
4) Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, & Wang Hongwen in Dahomey
5) Noon

"Restrained" would not be a good word to use to describe this one.

A Bit of Advice

Are you are a blogger, and you want me to ignore your blog and your Twitter feed? Here's some advice: Don't quote something I've written about you in a tweet. Because one of your readers might google the quotation, which I will then see when I visit Site Meter. Out of curiosity, I might then google the same quotation, and discover your tweet in the search results.

I don't give a shit what you're tweeting about. I have a life.

On the other hand, if you miss me and the attention I give your blog, you know what to do.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How To Gear Up for Holy War, Lesson One

From "Rancor Over Mosque Could Fuel Islamic Extremists" by NPR's Dina Temple-Raston:
Experts worry the controversy surrounding an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing right into the hands of radical extremists.
The supercharged debate over the proposed center has attracted the attention of a quiet, underground audience — young Muslims who drift in and out of jihadi chat rooms and frequent radical Islamic sites on the Web. It has become the No. 1 topic of discussion in recent days and proof positive, according to some of the posted messages, that America is indeed at war with Islam.
"This, unfortunately, is playing right into their hands," said Evan F. Kohlmann, who tracks these kinds of websites and chat rooms for Flashpoint Global partners, a New York-based security firm. "Extremists are encouraging all this, with glee.
"It is their sense that by doing this that Americans are going to alienate American Muslims to the point where even relatively moderate Muslims are going to be pushed into joining extremist movements like al-Qaida. They couldn't be happier. . . ."
This year alone, the FBI has intercepted nearly a dozen young American Muslims who allegedly were on their way to terrorist training camps in Pakistan or Somalia. . . .
Intelligence officials tell NPR that what has struck them about the young Muslims they have intercepted this year is that every last one of them has claimed to be inspired by one man in particular: an Internet cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki. He's the American-born radical imam who has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day. . . .
Earlier this summer, Awlaki made clear he was drawing a bead on disaffected American Muslims in particular. He released a 12-minute video that included, among other things, a direct appeal to them.
"To the Muslims in America, I have this to say: How can your conscience allow you to live in peaceful co-existence with the nation that is responsible for the tyranny and crimes committed against your own brothers and sisters?" he began. "How can you have your loyalty to a government that is leading the war against Islam and Muslims?"
It is this last bit, about loyalty to a government leading the war against Islam, that finds some traction in the current debate over the Lower Manhattan mosque, says Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism research fellow at the New America Foundation. He's been tracking Awlaki for years and is concerned that the latest controversy over the Islamic center will end up making Awlaki look prescient.
"Over the past nine to 12 months, Anwar al-Awlaki has tried to promote this notion that the West, and particularly the United States, will turn on its Muslim citizens," Fishman said. "And some of the anti-Islamic tone that has been going around the country in connection with the mosque debate feeds into this notion that people like Anwar al-Awlaki can take advantage of."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tolerance

Some right-wing responsibility-free bloggers want to use liberals' reputation for tolerance against them. Unfortunately, some of those bloggers don't know what tolerance is.

I found myself the target of one of the aforementioned bloggers, the intellectual lightweight Lori Ziganto, who tweeted, "Creepily obsessed blogger has now taken to calling me 'That moron Lori Ziganto'. Ah, the tolerant Left."

If I understand her correctly, Ziganto is claiming that I, as a liberal, claim to be tolerant, but my criticisms of her posts show that I am not. (One of Ziganto's latest projects is to convince her readers that liberals are actually intolerant.)

But Ziganto is playing another semantic game, as I shall demonstrate.

Let's begin by getting a handle on that word, "tolerant."  What does it mean?

"Tolerant" is defined as "inclined to tolerate; especially: marked by forbearance or endurance." 

"Tolerate" is defined as "to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction: to put up with."  

Now, let us apply the definition: is it intolerant to express disagreement or criticize the views or arguments of others? No. I tolerate her blog, since I have done nothing to prohibit her from posting to it and maintaining it. When I refer to her as "that moron Lori Ziganto," I do nothing to prohibit or hinder her from sullying the internets with bullshit, i.e., the lies and fallacies with which her posts teem. In addition, I am sure that neither Ziganto nor any other responsibility-free blogger would tolerate being condemned as intolerant for strenuously disagreeing with someone.

Insofar as I contradict Ziganto, it may be said that I am intolerant. But I say that such intolerance is essential to and unavoidable in a free society in which a marketplace of ideas flourishes. Ziganto thrives on being intolerant in this sense, and it would be inconsistent of her to deny me the right to exercise similar intolerance.

Therefore, as should now be clear, the mere fact that I criticize the posts of various responsibility-free bloggers does not show that I am intolerant, or at least it does not show that I am objectionably so. In fact, all we can conclude from this is that Ziganto either doesn't  know what tolerance is, or is pretending not to know so that she can score cheap points by calling meany pants bloggers who disagree with her "intolerant." (It's not as if her readers will bother to look the word up anyway, or even know how to use a dictionary.)

Unfortunately for Ziganto, once we understand what tolerance is all about, the undeniable conclusion is that Ziganto herself is as reprehensibly intolerant as can be, as are all the xenophobic bigoted idiots who are opposed to the Muslim community center near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.

I have discussed this issue before, here and here. But it bears repeating. All of the arguments against the proposal fail. The latest Republican effort to convert the issue into votes for November is the claim that the proposal is insensitive. (Since when were Republicans concerned with being sensitive?) But that argument is an abject failure as well, as William Saletan demonstrates.

Sarah Palin expressed opposition to the Muslim community center, and Ziganto dutifully followed suit in a post packed with lies and hysteria that would make any McCarthyite proud.

Those on the right have tried to finesse this issue: they say that of course those who wish to build the center have a right to, but that they should not. But as Saletan points out,
Once we recognize the sensitivity argument for what it is—an appeal to feelings we can't morally justify—there's no good reason why the Islamic center shouldn't be built at its planned site, in the neighborhood where its imam already preaches and its members work and congregate. Asking them to reorder their lives to accommodate our instinctive reaction is wrong. We can transcend that reaction, and we should.
Opposition to the project is nothing more nor less than religious intolerance, pure and simple.

According to Ziganto, 
The alleged purpose of the mosque was to spread ‘healing’. The actual result? Not so much. So, you’d think  that the plans would have been scrapped once that was crystal clear. But, nope. Of course not. Because it’s always sensitivity for me, but not for thee, to those on the Left. 
Ziganto assumes, of course, that the only appropriate way to deal with the fact that the feelings of some bigot have been hurt is to scrap the plans. Obviously, there is another way: those bigots whose feelings have been hurt should be told that our freedom of religion is more important than their feelings and that they need to suck it up and deal. The appropriate reply to Sarah Palin's opportunistic tweet is this:
Peace-seeking Americans, pls understand, opposition to Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing
We have no obligation to respect morally unjustified feelings. And it should be clear by now that it is actually people like Ziganto who want sensitivity for themselves and not for others: according to her, we must kowtow to xenophobic bigots and tell the Muslims to piss off, no freedom to worship for you! In fact, if anyone's feelings deserve respect, it is those of Muslims who have been hurt by this shocking display of intolerance. Liberals aren't using a double standard here at all: the feelings of Muslims actually deserve respect; those of the xenophobic bigoted idiots do not. I say, as a liberal, that we must tolerate all religions in the interest of freedom of religion, and not just the religions that get Ziganto's seal of approval.

To my mind, the argument opponents of the project find most convincing is the following:
  1. Muslims want to build a community center near Ground Zero. 
  2. But Muslims attacked us on 9/11. 
  3. Therefore, they ought not to be allowed to build it. 
This argument obviously depends on the fallacious identification of the 9/11 hijackers and Al Qaeda with the people who want to build the community center. Ziganto implicitly makes that identification by including a photograph of the Twin Towers on 9/11 at the beginning of her post. Like Christianity, Islam is a heterogeneous faith, and to make the aforementioned identification shows a reckless disregard for the facts.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ziganto responds! . . . lamely.

Lori Ziganto has responded to my criticisms!

Her response:
Creepily obsessed blogger has now taken to calling me "That moron Lori Ziganto". Ah, the tolerant Left.
Some facts
  • Date of Ziganto's response: August 22
  • Date of my last mention of Ziganto: August 22
  • Date of my previous mention of Ziganto: July 7
  • Total number of blog posts in which I mention Ziganto: (including this one):19
  • Total number of blog posts I've written (including this one): 194
Some comments

Who is creepily obsessed, exactly? I post a paragraph in which I criticize Ziganto, and within a few hours, Ziganto posts the aforementioned tweet. Perhaps Ziganto is creepily obsessed, either with herself or with bloggers who bother to mention her. It makes one wonder how Amanda Marcotte feels.

Who is creepily obsessed, exactly? The blogger who offers careful criticisms of Ziganto's posts, or her obsequious readers?

Ziganto seems to have conveniently forgotten her rejection of relativism. If she thinks that it is wrong of me to criticize her, that it is intolerant of me to do so, then she is guilty of the very relativism she claims to abhor. And she is also guilty of hypocrisy. She implies that it is intolerant of me to object to her posts so strenuously. Yet she obviously has no trouble objecting to anything with which she disagrees. (Inconsistency is one hallmark of the bullshitter. See below.) But I doubt that she thinks of herself as intolerant. So I suppose that, for her, "tolerance" means something like "refusing to reject anything Lori Ziganto stands for." Ziganto has every right to say pretty much whatever she wishes, but she's out of her mind if she thinks that she should be somehow immune from criticism, that what I do is wrong because it's intolerant. That's just weak and lame, Ziganto, even for you. Learn what the word "tolerance" means and get back to me. Being tolerant does not require that we refrain from criticizing anything uttered by some damn fool with a blog.

I really want to be respectful, and perhaps I should have been more careful. Perhaps "moron" was too strong. "Intellectual lightweight," though, is probably closer to the truth. And if anyone wants to know why I think Ziganto is an intellectual lightweight, just search my blog for posts mentioning Lori Ziganto and start reading. I make a very good case.

As I recall, Lori, you had the misfortune of writing an idiotic post in which you claimed that President Obama "expressed disapproval of the United States' superpower status." I just happened to read it because, at the time, I was reading RedState pretty regularly. And, as I recall, you were not the only responsibility-free right-wing nutjob who wanted to twist and distort the president's words in that manner. So I wrote a post, "Source of word vomit stream identified as RedState's hysterical Ziganto," in which I explained what the president actually said, and I used your post as an example of the propaganda I was attacking. (And I have learned since then that all those people who search for "vomit stream" and get my blog are actually looking for fetish porn. Sorry about that.) After that, Lori, you unfortunately linked to my post in one of your posts. And this is where I made my mistake. From the fact that you had obviously read at least part of what I had written, I inferred that some kind of dialogue was possible. But I have learned that the last thing that you, or any responsibility-free blogger, is interested in is dialogue. This has been educational for me, honestly. I am a remarkably naive person, and I don't think I truly realized that bullshitters were possible, much less actual. You, Lori, are an extraordinary bullshitter. You excel at the craft. Frankly, I don't understand people like you. But I understand that neither factual knowledge nor critical thinking skills are necessary to bullshit, and could even be a liability to the bullshitter: the fact that you are an intellectual lightweight is an asset to you.

And this brings me to my last comment. One of my reasons for writing this blog is to counteract all the bullshit that is out there. We are drowning in so much bullshit these days, the vast majority of it I suspect from the right-wing smear machine, of which you are an interchangeable part, that one must pick and choose his targets. And for reasons that I have already explained, I made you one of my targets.

If that makes me "creepily obsessed," so be it. Because even if I were creepily obsessed, it would be completely irrelevant to the quality of my objections to your posts, to which you have yet to respond in a mature, responsible manner.

Conclusion

Ziganto's response to my criticisms of her posts is as follows:
  1. Φ is creepily obsessed with my blog.
  2. Φ's objections to my posts are intolerant.
  3. Therefore, we may disregard Φ's criticisms of my blog.
Well, that speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Learn from the Master

I was at the gym Friday afternoon to exercise my anxieties away, and I noticed that Glenn Beck's show was on the television attached to the treadmill I wanted to use. So I thought I would watch his show for a while. Besides, I am mildly intrigued by the plastic frames Beck has been wearing lately, which appear to have time-traveled from 1984 to the present to rest on his nose.

Beck was presenting a version of an argument that appears to be getting traction in the right-wing responsibility-free media. These arguments purport to show that those on the left actually stand for the very opposite things they are ordinarily thought to stand for. So, for example, that moron Lori Ziganto has been insisting that feminists are actually against women. Her arguments are all garbage, and her readers only want to be reassured by her words, which travel effortlessly through the echo chamber, unchallenged by those who only want their ignorant prejudices confirmed, while Ziganto cashes the checks they send her. (Great racket, if you can live with yourself while you participate in it.) She cowardly refuses to respond to any mature adults who challenge her, and instead only offers attaboy's to those who agree with absolutely everything she says.

Anyway, Beck appeared to be arguing that progressives are actually racists. (I can't seem to locate the video. You can watch a segment from the same broadcast here.) Why would he do this? You see, the Tea Party has been suspected of harboring racists, and the Tea Party is a more libertarian wing of the Republican Party, though not officially so. To blunt this criticism ahead of the November election, it appears that defenders of the Tea Party are trying to accuse progressives of being the very thing that the Tea Party is being accused of. It's a grown-up version of this old playground debate (where x is replaced by a noun or adjective, e.g., "racist," "homosexual," etc.):

You're an x.
Nuh-uhh. You're an x.
Nuh-uhh!

Now, I didn't watch the entire program. You see, I don't understand Beck's appeal. I find him difficult to watch. There's enough smug packed into an hour of his show to last a lifetime. And the only thing worse than a person who tries to be funny but isn't is a person who tries to be funny, isn't, but thinks that he's funny anyway. But the part of his argument I did catch was as follows, as I recall:
  1. The Supreme Court led by Earl Warren is known for making progress in civil rights. 
  2. Earl Warren was nominated to the Supreme Court by a Republican president. 
  3. Lyndon Johnson objected to an important section of some piece of civil rights legislation. 
  4. Johnson was a Democrat. 
  5. Therefore, progressives are racists. 
If you "attend" Beck U., I suppose you too will learn how to formulate arguments that will convince only those who already agree with everything you have to say. Learn from the master, I say.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Glenn Beck: our confused savior?

Glenn Beck is promoting what he calls "The Plan" at the 912 Project. What is this plan, you ask? No one knows. Beck assures us that he "will be explaining the entire Plan over the coming weeks and months." But it has something to do with saving the country and changing its course. (I voted for Barack Obama for precisely that reason. Perhaps Beck wants Gingrich to save the country by getting us into a holy war with Islam, I don't know.)

To this end, Beck has proposed nine principles and 12 values. And he suggests that these principles and values motivated the founders, and that without them, the United States will collapse:
We must invite Republicans and Democrats who like freedom and small government. We must invite them into a plan that makes sense! That encourages sustainability. We must get them intoyou know the saying, into the tent. But see, the tent doesn’t mean anything anymore. What is the purpose of a tent? A tent is to keep the elements away, to keep you safe in case of a rainstorm. But see, we don’t have a tent anymore with these two parties. . . . Because a tent requires stakes. A tent requires some sort of stake to hold it down to the ground. Well, what are those stakes? They’re principles and they’re values. We don’t have any principles anymore. . . . So there can’t be any tent because there’s nothing to stake that tent down! And both the Republicans and the Democrats know it. They know it. But they don’t fear anything. . . . Well, they need to. And if they don’t wake up, if they don’t go back and look for the stakes of that tent and the principles of those tents, if they don’t look back for the principles and the values of our Constitution, they should be destroyed! We’re not destroying them; they’re destroying themselves. We’re trying to save ya.
Here are the values and principles:

The Nine Principles
  1. America Is Good.
  2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
  3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
  4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
  5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
  6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
  7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
  8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
  9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
The 12 Values
  • Honesty
  • Reverence
  • Hope
  • Thrift
  • Humility
  • Charity
  • Sincerity
  • Moderation
  • Hard Work
  • Courage
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Gratitude
That doesn't sound too bad, right? Let's take a closer look.

Beck must be assuming that Democrats (and even Republicans, if we are to believe that he is being sincere) think that America is not good. Naturally, Beck believes that he is the defender of the United States, and everyone who disagrees with him are traitors. But what about your commitment to the value of humility, Glenn? Or (8) above? We should not forget that Beck compared progressivism to a cancer that eats the Constitution and must be eradicated. So much for (8). I guess Beck neglected to clear this list with Ari Fleisher.

Beck must also believe that there is no room in our democracy for we atheists. That's what (2) suggests. But what about (4)? Is the family the ultimate authority, or is God? (I assume that those who claim that God is the center of their life would also claim that He is the ultimate authority.) And if God is the ultimate authority, then what about (5)? What if this or that law offends one's religious sensibilities? And are we to infer that all those who don't worship Beck's God are un-American? But where would that leave the 1st Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion? Is the Bill of Rights un-American?

Let's think about (7). If charity is good, then what difference does it make whether one writes a check to a private charity or pays taxes for humanitarian aid? Many Christians try to argue that there is some important moral difference between these two kinds of charity, but they are splitting hairs in an effort to make their religion cohere with the secular, sociopathic politics of the Republican Party. And they're not consistent about it. They think that they should be able to veto the spending of their tax dollars on projects to which they are opposed, but when someone like me objects to spending billions of dollars on an unnecessary war of choice in Iraq, I have to pay my taxes and shut the fuck up, or I'm a traitor.

It is difficult to believe that Beck sincerely believes in these principles. He claims that God is the center of his life, and yet rejects the religious notion of social justice. His goal of becoming a more honest person is merely aspirational, as Politifact demonstrates. And he appears to believe that it is appropriate that the government force people like me to be charitable by increasing my tax burden to pay for tax cuts to the very wealthy.

One thing Beck does appear to believe in is himself:
All the elements of Beck's paranoid ethos converged recently as he announced his intention to move beyond the realm of political commentary and take an activist role in the political process. During a rally at a Florida retirement community, Beck told his gathered audience that "what we're experiencing now is really a ticking time bomb that they designed about a hundred years ago at the beginning of the progressive movement," the purpose of which was to use both the Republican and Democratic parties to create a "socialist utopia." Beck's prescribed antidote was a plan to "bring us back to an America that our founders would understand" by developing "a 100-year plan" in the mold of the Chinesethe rationale being: "Two can play at that game." Of course, at the center of the "100-year plan" is Beckor as he referred to himself, America's "Constitution czar." All the facets of the paranoid style are therean improbably wicked conspiracy to undermine the country perpetrated by the nation's powerful elite, a gauzy plan of action to take back America that emulates the tactics of the enemy and is crudely wrapped in the trappings of patriotism, and Beck offering himself as the nation's savior. 

Los Lobos, "That Train Don't Stop Here"

From Slate: Beware Those Activist Judges! *



* Except when you agree with their rulings.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Comments from Sarah Palin's new post-racial society

What follows are comments readers posted on "In Photos: President Obama turns 49," an entry in The Starting Point, a Yahoo! News blog. According to the entry, "the president plans no grand celebrations, just dinner with friends and a few fundraising stops."

According to CNN, "The president is celebrating his birthday without his immediate family because first lady Michelle Obama just arrived in Spain for a planned mini-vacation with the couple's youngest daughter, Sasha, while eldest daughter, Malia, is away at summer camp."

And by the way, let's not forget Sarah Palin's recent assertion that "with the election of our first black president, our country [has] become a new “post-racial” society."

Wayne
Wake up America. This guy is here to destroy our country. He is not an American or will he ever be one. He is for himself and what he can get out of this office. He will not be happy until he destroys this country.

Jim Jones
Is the Monkey girl making a delivery to someone in Spain, or , just another vacation, I , think she doesn't like to see a false B-Day Celebration , while she is dropping off Secrets to the enemy.

Johnnymack
any fool who wishes this closet racist,reparation,affirmative action president happy b-day needs to be deported.To kenya. Start packin you liberal anti-American scum.

IAM A REAL AMERICAN
he was bone in east la man!!!!! hope your bi-=tchs plane crashes youscum of the earth just like all muslims hope your cake is made of pig blood

Dean
Jesus warned us about Obama! The one world leader and the one world Government is in the Bible. Obama is Satan in the flesh, can't believe ya'll can't see that!

Duke
do you know why adam and eve wasn't black? did you ever try takeing a rib off a black man !!! LOL

J
Boogety Boogety Boo goodbye Muslim boy Oblahbla. 2012 you go back to the ghetto!!!

J
Great day when this som beeich gets voted out or the light of his life goes out. Which ever comes first. Oh what a great day, I think I'll dance a jig!!

Paul
49, all we can HOPE for is that he will keep on smoking those cigarettes and death would have the AUDACITY to visit Obama early. lol

Cryptkeeper
Looks like a monkey with aids

Offender
hes a liar, and america knows it, some dont care, but most do, remember, cut his legs off in november, maybe we can minimize the damage he can do before we vote his monkey @#$% out

Screw Obama He Is A Thug ...
Obama is a joke. I hope he has a lousy birthday. He is a horrible, hateful, evil monster.

Offender
how long do chimpanzees live?

J
Clearly some of you darkies have gotten way to excited about nothin, and the rest of you upstanding whites that have fallen onto the naegar lovin train, well you need to get off that express, cause its going straight to Africa with our country. If the good decent real Americans (and I mean everybody thats not no dam Paco fresh off the border or no good pot smokin non workin free loadin neeager) don't stand up and vote this som beeich out than we just gone have to get him out by any means necessary. And thats change you can believe in. Now lets get this slogan right "Yes We CAN" "Yes We CAN" get these darkies and jews up out of my country. HE WAS NEVER OUR PRESIDENT AND HE NEVER WILL BE!!

Akira Flight 316
Dear President Barry Soetoro, please dont continue pi$$ on the American people and tell us its raining.

Have a Michelle free (shes in Spain) Birthday. NO PIE 4 U !!!

Speaking of which, why didnt The First Wookie stick around for your alleged birthday?

MgKrebs
Can we spank him 49 times with a Louisville Slugger? Or maybe 57 times. Once for each state.

Steve O
everytime i see a picture of Michelle I think that maybe evolution is possible and maybe we did evolve from monkies

Bill
Lynch that filthy n*gger.

Enrique
I have a birthday present I'd like to give him. It is about 8.5 inches long with a nice circumference. I think if I could plant some Krakatoa sized eruptions deep inside that hot little butt of his, it might settle the arrogant piece of feces down some. He is not qualified to be President. He IS qualified to be my bytch-boy. And for all you libturd fans of his--while we're talking about me planting seed, get a mental image of his face contorted in pleasure/pain and his body writhing in ecstasy while I thrust my member into him. This is the way you should always picture him in your mind. When you seem him on TV, be reminded of this mental image.

Marina
Here is my bday wishes for Obama: BURN IN HELL !!!!

Steven W
Instead of turning 40, i wish this leftist was turning over in a grave somewhere.
He is trying to overthrow America.
Go Fu-K yourself on your birthday, you leftist @#$% hole president

Jason
all you blacks want is more of the white mans money...IT IS NOT OK IT BE ON WELLFARE

Turd
After being the worst president in American history this is the song they sang to me today!!!!!! Happy birthday to you,,,,Happy birthday to you,,,,,,,You lead like a monkey,,,,,,,,and you look like one too!!!!

Jason
is the term "black bastered" racist???? even thou 80% of blacks are in fact fatherless bastered????

David
With any Luck , Maybe He will choke on his Barfday Cake an Croak !.. Just a Random Happy Thought ...I feel better ..

Fire
so, how old was your mother when she died? *counts the days*

Look, Obama, you can pretend to be a hard working president, but all I see is your hideous family jetsetting around the globe every month on some new vacation and living the high life. The only work I have seen you do is hand-shake all the blacks that you can and hand out stimuluses that put us even more in debt. The worst president EVER.

Jeff D
The head lines got it right birthday BOY
LOL

Nancy
What a Waste of fresh air he's breathing.

EDWARD D
HE'S STILL AND IDIOT JUST OLDER AND BLACKER

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
Attn to the Chicago area- Due to tonights birthday party we are all out of Chicken & collard greens. There is a run on kool menthols and malt liqour across the street at 7-11

IMPEACH THIS SOCIALIST LOSER

Observation
The only ones on here wishing this illegal squatter a happy b day are either black, illeterate, or gay.

NITE STALKER
Can any one give me instructions on how to gift wrap a watermelon?

Disagreeablejess
he still looks like a monkey to me. just older. go bak to africa! he's not even a us citizen, for crying out loud! who cares what he looks like.

Louise
It's interesting to me that the majority of people that like him don't know how to spell or speak proper English. Those of us that are supporting the welfare leaches DO know how to speak properly and spell. Vote the Dems out and let those of us that work and create jobs get back to doing just that and stop the cry babies that want everyone else to be responsible for them from running the country.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The cowardice and ignorance of the Party of No

I find it amusing that Sarah Palin is claiming that President Obama does not have cojones, when it is she, and a lot of other pathetic Republicans, who are cowering in fear at the very thought of a mosque in Manhattan.

According to Slate's William Saletan, who is completely correct about this, by the way, "the threat to our values isn't coming from the mosque. It's coming from those who want to stop it."

Those opposed to the project argue that the mosque ought not to be built out of respect for and sensitivity to the feelings of those victimized by the events of 9/11. They argue that a mosque would be an Islamic symbol of victory over a conquered land. They argue that we have no obligation to allow the mosque to be built, since some Islamic nations do not recognize a similar right of Christians to build churches on their soil. And some argue that it would be disrespectful to allow murderers to build a mosque so close to Ground Zero.

All of these arguments fail miserably, yet so many Americans find them compelling. (Just read the comments made by readers of stories about the project on Yahoo! news.) Let's grant that the facts asserted in these arguments are true (and they may not be), and let's consider these arguments in reverse order. The Cordoba Initiative has no relation to the 9/11 hijackers, who died years ago. To say that murderers would be building it is to say that all Muslims are just like the 9/11 hijackers. That's like saying that your Lutheran neighbor is just like David Duke. And appealing to the worst behavior of other nations to justify exceptions to our own Constitutional principles is obviously dangerous and short-sighted. And what does it matter if some Muslims take mosques to be symbols of this or that? Christians conquered this land; in the process, they massacred who knows how many Native Americans and herded the rest into reservations. Now that land is littered with churches. Doesn't every religion erect their churches on conquered soil? Should we be more sensitive to and respectful of the feelings of Native Americans and demolish all of them? I'm sorry, victims of 9/11: our Constitutional principles are more important than your feelings. And your feelings are probably grounded in ignorance about Islam, so I don't have much respect for those particular feelings to begin with.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's summarized the Constitutional issue beautifully:
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.
Unfortunately, many Americans have been rendered incapable of rational thinking by Republican politicians and responsibility-free talkers and bloggers who frighten them out of their wits and hope to benefit politically from all of this (like this coward). So they won't listen. But they should.

Certain Republicans want a religious war. Take that prick Newt Gingrich, who is considering running for President. Gingrich said,
Some radical Islamists use terrorism as a tactic to impose sharia but others use non-violent methods—a cultural, political, and legal jihad that seeks the same totalitarian goal even while claiming to repudiate violence. Thus, the term “war on terrorism” is far too narrow a framework in which to think about the war in which we are engaged against the radical Islamists. 
Gingrich fails to mention that Christians also use non-violent methods to achieve their totalitarian goals. Converting non-believers is a common religious practice. (I owe that point to my spouse.) Christians have also used violent methods: recall the bloodshed in Northern Ireland. And yet Gingrich targets only Islam. Gingrich has also said that the planned mosque is part of an "Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization." (Way to take it to the brink, Newt.) Newt also writes,
Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for "religious toleration" are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City. Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca. And they lecture us about tolerance.
In his comment on Gingrich's note, Scott Crevier located the fundamental problem with Gingrich's approach. Cervier wrote, "I like you Newt, but can't say I fully agree with you on this one. I just don't think we can stoop to the level of behavior of the Saudis. We're bigger than that." Exactly. American tolerance in the form of freedom of religion is nothing to be ashamed of; neither is it mere political correctness, as some now charge. I can think of no better victory for American values and exceptionalism, and no better public relations nightmare for Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda than a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. (Some conservatives claim that President Obama doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, but it is actually conservatives who have trouble believing in it. The fact that a salute to American exceptionalism and Alexis de Tocqueville's experience of the "budding fruits of freedom, individual liberty, equality of opportunity and a people absolutely free to practice religion however they chose or not to practice any religion at all" appears on Breitbart's Big Government blog is hilarious when you think about it.)

And if you think it's alarmist to say that Gingrich wants a war, consider the fact that he's lamenting the fact that we're not at war with North Korea and Iran. No, I am not making this up.

But Newt's race to the bottom is exactly what Islamic extremists have wanted, and the Republican Party is doing everything it can to give it to them. As Saletan writes,
To rally Muslims against the United States, Bin Laden has repeatedly claimed we're at war with Islam. President Bush, recognizing Bin Laden's game, always exalted Islam as a peaceful religion and framed the U.S. response as a "war on terror," not on Islam. Gingrich says Bush is wrong and Bin Laden is right.
So if you wondered if the Republican Party could get any more idiotic than George W. Bush, you now have your answer. And if you want to know who is with the terrorists, look no farther than those who would reject American freedom of religion in favor of fear, ignorance, and bigotry.

America, I am so disgusted with you right now, I could puke. Let's get it together and use our freaking heads.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson