A Piece of Americanna


Given an audience, this is how people will behave.  Is there anyone who will disavow the sentiments of this American citizen? Anyone?

Keith Ellison has it right


In an interview with the BBC, US congressman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison said ‘those spearheading the effort against the Park51 project were not adequately represented as families of 9/11 victims rejecting the proposal on emotional ground, and were rather anti-Obama, xenophobic types who wanted to suppress Islam throughout the country.’

The real driver of it are people who openly proclaim that Barack Obama is not a citizen. The real organizers of this thing are people who are just proponents of religious bigotry. Nothing more, nothing less.

Around the country, this thing is emblematic of a larger issue… There have been anti-mosque efforts in Kentucky, one gentleman who wants to burn a Qur’an in Florida, there have been efforts in Wisconsin and in the Chicago area and others.

It’s not difficult to know who these proponents of religious bigotry are; and Ellison should be the keenest among us in knowing who they are for they launched personal attacks against him. Indeed they are people who openly oppose every Muslim/Islamic attempt at engagement in American public life using the tactic of linking American Muslims to any and every terrorist incident that has taken place on the world’s stage. Their rhetoric is easy to spot, ‘not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims’, or this time worn phrase of ‘radical Islam’ and equating even the most passive of Muslims, such as Faisal Abdur Raouf as a follower of “radical Islam”.  So let’s spotlight some of these useful idiots and hang their names and photos on America’s wall of racist shame, who have plagued our history.

Martin Peretz, the editor of  The New Republic actually had the following words attributed to him

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.

It should be apparent to all that Peretz is in the throes of Alzheimer’s or has succumbed to it completely. He is supposed to be one of the more intelligent among American voices having taught at Harvard University, with scores of honorary degrees, but that just goes to underscore the difference between book sense and common sense is sometimes as stark as night and day. He is somewhat well connected however, among Democrats, which might be the reason why both Harry Reid and Howard Dean have taken more subdued positions than Peretz’s but with the same outcome, the demonization or marginalization of American citizens. Oh, and I neglected to mention how Peretz, a Jew, making statements that sound so like those made against his fellow coreligionists over the centuries  now using the same diatribe is the height of chutzpah/hypocrisy. Peretz is a self-admitted racist however so having his name on the racist wall of shame is a no brainer, in my opinion.   And we think we don’t have a racial problem in this country or that it was solved with the election of Obama? Think again America!

Germany AND Ron Paul get it


While America burns with its religious animosity/racism against Muslims, Germany gives another, more tolerant view of how religious minorities should be treated.  Funny that…..after its past, but Germany,it’s politicians and social institutions are showing far more tolerance and leading by example far better than America is right now.  How?

A German television station is broadcasting the start and end times of the daily fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The broadcaster says it wants to promote integration and sensitize non-Muslim viewers to the issue. It does the same kind of thing for its other religious communities as well, however, so for the Islamophobes who might claim German television has gone over to the Sharia side, German TV could respond it’s religiously  inclusive.

Germany’s political parties, read that plural folks, are breaking the fast with Germany’s Muslims as a sign of our respect for all Muslims who live in the country.  They consider such action as embracing the multi-ethnic nature of the country’s population, and as normal as celebrating Christmas or any other religious holiday and not as a “concession” to Muslims.  What’s different about the German approach is this cultural acknowledgment cuts across political parties, and is not just something the party in power does.  Each American president has done the same thing, but his political rivals at the time did not and that is the difference.

Finally, Republican Ron Paul of Texas put the political nail on the coffin of the 51 Park Street mosque with this clear, definitive statement (red emphasis mine)

“Is the controversy over building a mosque near ground zero a grand distraction or a grand opportunity? Or is it, once again, grandiose demagoguery?

“It has been said, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” Are we not overly preoccupied with this controversy, now being used in various ways by grandstanding politicians? It looks to me like the politicians are “fiddling while the economy burns.”

“The debate should have provided the conservative defenders of property rights with a perfect example of how the right to own property also protects the 1st Amendment rights of assembly and religion by supporting the building of the mosque.

“Instead, we hear lip service given to the property rights position while demanding that the need to be “sensitive” requires an all-out assault on the building of a mosque, several blocks from “ground zero.”

Just think of what might (not) have happened if the whole issue had been ignored and the national debate stuck with war, peace, and prosperity. There certainly would have been a lot less emotionalism on both sides. The fact that so much attention has been given the mosque debate, raises the question of just why and driven by whom?

“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. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice.

“The claim is that we are in the Middle East to protect our liberties is misleading. To continue this charade, millions of Muslims are indicted and we are obligated to rescue them from their religious and political leaders. And, we’re supposed to believe that abusing our liberties here at home and pursuing unconstitutional wars overseas will solve our problems.

“The nineteen suicide bombers didn’t come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran. Fifteen came from our ally Saudi Arabia, a country that harbors strong American resentment, yet we invade and occupy Iraq where no al Qaeda existed prior to 9/11.

“Many fellow conservatives say they understand the property rights and 1st Amendment issues and don’t want a legal ban on building the mosque. They just want everybody to be “sensitive” and force, through public pressure, cancellation of the mosque construction.

“This sentiment seems to confirm that Islam itself is to be made the issue, and radical religious Islamic views were the only reasons for 9/11. If it became known that 9/11 resulted in part from a desire to retaliate against what many Muslims saw as American aggression and occupation, the need to demonize Islam would be difficult if not impossible.

“There is no doubt that a small portion of radical, angry Islamists do want to kill us but the question remains, what exactly motivates this hatred?

“If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.

“The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer.

“Conservatives are once again, unfortunately, failing to defend private property rights, a policy we claim to cherish. In addition conservatives missed a chance to challenge the hypocrisy of the left which now claims they defend property rights of Muslims, yet rarely if ever, the property rights of American private businesses.

“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.

“It is repeatedly said that 64% of the people, after listening to the political demagogues, don’t want the mosque to be built. What would we do if 75% of the people insist that no more Catholic churches be built in New York City? The point being is that majorities can become oppressors of minority rights as well as individual dictators. Statistics of support is irrelevant when it comes to the purpose of government in a free society—protecting liberty.

“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 like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservative’s aggressive wars.

“The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque—a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law—in order to look tough against Islam.

“This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

“We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.

“Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.”

I’d say Paul has pretty much nailed it!

Another Empty Talking Head that ruins America’s airwaves


I usually don’t give much credence to the many pundits and talking heads on television and radio, because they are full of nothing but hot air and don’t have anything of substance to add to the general discourse taking place in America.  They are prominent because of their personality….the ability to turn a phrase as it were, or because of their appearance and a lot of people connect to them in a way that brings advertising to the medium on which they pontificate.  That’s their job, to attract listeners and sponsors and they do an excellent job of it, but they don’t do much in the way of enlightening people or making them think about the topics of the day.

Dr. Laura (Schlessinger) is no exception and has managed to stay off the pages of Miscellany101 because she is as inane as the others.  I didn’t even care when I read she had used the word “nigger” several times while talking to a caller who was offended because in keeping with the idiocy which drives such on air people, her excuse for doing so was because others do it and the principle of frequency implies legitimacy is pretty much par for the course for such brain dead air heads.  I felt pity and empathy for the caller who thought she could find some solace in this “Dr’s” comments, when all she got was ridicule and contradiction from someone whose life has been full of the same.

What really got my goat was this comment of hers

All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Can’t have this argument. You know what? If you’re that hypersensitive about color and don’t have a sense of humor, don’t marry out of your race. If you’re going to marry out of your race, people are going to say, “OK, what do blacks think? What do whites think? What do Jews think? What do Catholics think?” Of course there isn’t a one-think per se.

because for me I’m trying to figure out what race did the caller marry that was different from her/his own?  Was it another species of animal….dog, cat, snake, rat because for the “Dr” to dispense advice on an issue of concern to a caller to say something like that implies to me the object of the caller’s concern, her husband, is not HUMAN and therefore incapable of understanding the feelings the HUMAN caller had about the particular subject at hand.  Indeed the “Dr” catches herself and realizes her mistake by saying ‘of course there isn’t a one-think per se’.  Duh, “Dr.” Laura…most people ask the question what do YOU think; the art of generalizing is usually known as stereotyping which implies objectifying people based on superficial notions of color or ethnicity thereby denigrating the individual which was the point the caller was trying to make!  Brilliant, “Dr.” now do us a favor and get a real job please because this one just isn’t working for you or for the people who listen.

There is no race problem in America!


…..’and the cow jumped over the moon…the little dog laughed to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon’, such is the fantasy land we live in here in America. That there are people who still believe there is no race problem in America, after years of Arab bashing and Islamophobia that has seen images of a female, Jewish Supreme Court nominee, dressed in Muslim garb, or torture imposed solely on people of Arab/Muslim decent, stereotypical images of a black US president dressed in scanty clothes with bones through his nose, and on and on, then the nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle is completely within the realm of possibility.

In just a few short weeks we’ve had people fired because they expressed respect for a dead Muslim, the MSM pick up and run with the false story (more here)  of the Obama Administration’s racism and fear of prosecuting the New Black Panther Party, and that same Administration react to the story by firing a black government employee because it was erroneously alleged she didn’t want to help a white farmer.  We could dredge up more examples of how race and the fear and distortions surrounding it are the impetus for politicizing a segment of the population.

The Lebanese Muslim cleric who received condolences from so many riled the “establishment” we’ve already covered.  We simply as a country cannot express any respect for Muslims, they are only to be defiled and defamed  like so many other races and ethnic groups that grace American soil and have gone on to contribute just as much to its fertility as any other.

FoxNews ran with a story about how the Obama Administration didn’t want to prosecute a black nationalist group, hoping one would draw the conclusion, because Obama himself along with his Attorney General is black they are not fit to run or govern the country because of their obvious prejudices.  Preying again on peoples’ fears and prejudices, the people who carry these stories hope you won’t immerse yourself in the details which as the links above points out, proves the story is just that, a story with no truth to it. It does serve the purpose of imposing doubt and suspicion of people against one another, the typical tactic of people whose motives and interests have nothing at all to do with the Nation’s interest or security.  But because this is America, it sells!

Obama didn’t help himself any when he had fired a woman after a 2:36 tape tape surfaced of her remarks  courtesy of right wing political hack Andrew Breitbart which supposedly showed her making disparaging and even racist comments about her job duties to a white farmer client of hers.  It didn’t matter to Breitbart, Obama, the NAACP or the other news media outlets that the tape was edited from a 43:15 tape where Shirley Sherrod pointed out she came to the realization it was her duty to help poor people no matter their color.  Equally unimportant so it seems, to race baiters and those easily intimidated by  them were the words of the white farmer who said Sherrod was helpful and is not a racist, nor did they feel this way during their interaction with her.   What matters to people who use race as the standard for conduct in society is  an entire  group  must pay for personal offenses!  We too quickly believe the lies, because like the previous examples mentioned above, we have been bred to, led to, raised to indeed are expected to believe; all Muslims/Arabs are terrorists, that a black President and Attorney General want to rule by the street and gangs of marauding New Black Panther Party members or even impose Islamic law, that people who talk of redemption and social cohesion are a threat to the moral fabric of this country and should not be allowed exposure to the rest of us.  We are a  nation made up of racists,  and the sooner we come to grips with that, ALL of us, the sooner we will be able to fix it, for without acknowledgment that we are sick, we are far less likely to seek a cure.  That has been the call for as long as I’ve been alive and it seems we are no closer to realizing it now than we were before.

More Fadlullah News


The uproar over first Octavia Nasr’s post about this Muslim-Lebanese and the removal of a respectful tribute about him from the British delegation in Lebanon’s website reveals the hold the occupation regime of Israel has on international politics.  To a disinterested observer, Fadlullah was a nationalist who wanted to improve the condition of his people….all of his people, who lived in his country and he was universally respected, outside of zionist circles that is.

For more than 50 years, he worked at “modernizing” the Shari’a and rendering it accessible to modern day youth, addressing their concerns, expectations and fears in a fast-changing world. He was truly the Mufti of the youth and of women, their guide who never oppressed their dreams and always simplified rulings. He was available for questions regarding the most taboo of social and political subjects. He was also the enemy of stalemate and a rejecter of tradition in its inflexible sense. He insisted on subjecting all ideas to discussions, debates and reassessments and was much more interested in human beings than doctrines.

…….

His followers revered him for his moderate social views, openness and pragmatism. Fadlullah issued religious edicts forbidding female circumcision, condemning domestic violence-even allowing women to wear cosmetics and finger nail polish which some clerics opposed, and insisting that women could physically resist abusive husbands. He strongly supported female-male equality. He rejected the blood-letting at Ashoura events and like Hezbollah encouraged his followers to donate blood to the Red Crescent Society instead of cutting themselves. He also opposed the call to “jihad,” or holy war, by Osama bin Laden and cruised the Afghan Taliban, which he viewed as a sect outside Islam and he was among the first to condemn the 9/11 attacks…….

He also founded or help establish scores of schools, orphanages and medical treatment facilities for his people.  He fiercely resisted Israeli aggression or encroachment into his country and that was the sore spot which landed him and those who respected or eulogized him in trouble.  Considering the benefit he sought to bring to the world’s stage, the people who insisted on Nasr’s firing or those behind the removal of words of respect from the British government’s Lebanese delegation’s web page ought to be the ones fired or dismissed.  Once again it underscores the hypocrisy in the notion that free speech exists or one is entitled to it in all things except matters related to Israeli occupation and racism.

Octavia Nasr is gone


There appears to be another fatality in the war on free speech and no it’s not some Danish cartoonist who drew a caricature of the Prophet of Islam, nor is it a tea party/birther who insulted the lineage of today’s President of the United States.  Rather it was a CNN Middle East correspondent, Octavia Nasr who had worked for that network for 20 years all because of a less than 140 word expression of regret at the death of a prominent personality from her country of birth, Lebanon.  There is no free speech among American institutions when it comes to views about the Middle East that do not conform with convention.

Ms. Nasr didn’t ask anyone on CNN to air her views, nor did she express them during a report she made on the air, rather she “tweeted” her expressions of regret or sorrow in a medium that doesn’t accept more than 140 characters and for that her 20 year career came to an end.  Her employers probably didn’t blink an eye when they told her, albeit circuitously that she has no right to freedom of expression or belief if it contradicts corporate media’s own.  This act of censorship, along with the furor created over Helen Thomas’ words, highlights the thought control which permeates corporate media when it comes to issues regarding the Middle East.

At the very same time Larry King is interviewing an Israeli Prime Minister in an attempt to soften his country’s image where very little if any rebuttal will be made to Israel’s claims of righteousness in the face of overwhelming proof of their murder, Nasr was handed her walking papers because she expressed her sorrow over the death of a man with whom she had personal contact during a very tumultuous time in Lebanon’s history.  She isn’t the only one to have felt that way about Fadlallah.

Frankly, no one is able to express sympathy towards an enemy of Israel, the darling of US media, nor against Israel itself.  Nasr’s firing was another among many shots across the bow to those who dare oppose the demonization of Israel’s enemies, be they Lebanese, Palestinians, Iranians, Syrians and on the list goes.  Free speech is not free within the ranks of corporate America and perhaps, to paraphrase Glen Greenwald, all institutions should just tell everyone in the beginning you  have no right to expect the 1st amendment applies to you; rather you must accept what others consider acceptable and not acceptable to utter, even in your private life, in order to avoid any further illusions of freedom.