“Rev.” Jones and other Michigan news


We all wish he would go away but psychosis inflates people’s sense of themselves and they just don’t get the hint that no body really wants them around.  Such is the case with media hound, Terry Jones.  You remember him, the guy who wanted to burn Qurans last summer in Florida to protest the building of the  Park51 masjid in New York city, who later reneged on that threat after intervention by some folks down in Florida, Jones’ home state…only to burn a Quran early this year.  Well he’s back and this time he wants to protest radical Islam in front of a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan of all places.  You can read about Jones’ latest escapade on the pages of that excellent blog, Loonwatch here.

Jones is certifiable and I really don’t care what he does, but what I do care about is the reaction the Muslims have to this sad fellow who really should be committed for his sake as well as ours.  For too long, the Muslim community in America has withered under the criticism directed towards them post 911, almost accepting the blame for one of the largest atrocities to happen to our Nation that they, Muslim Americans had nothing to do with.   Instead of asserting their claim to this country in much the same way as others who’ve populated America’s shores, Muslims have been reeling from claims they sponsor or are responsible for terrorism, or harbor terrorists or any of a number of racist and bigoted comments America is known for making towards those who are different than the one spewing the offensive venom and invective.

What Muslims need to do in the face of Jones’ latest threat is to invite him to Michigan, politely disagree with his premise that they are any more responsible for acts of terrorism than he himself is, acknowledge his citizenship rights to free speech and the right to keep and bear arms, thank him for his pledge to honor the citizenship rights of good peaceful Muslims (or whatever paternalistic inane phrase he wants to use to take a side swipe at the Islamic community of America) and assure him that they too will stand outside the mosque in Dearborn and any and every able bodied Muslim adult, male of female, who is legally capable of purchasing and carrying a firearm will assert their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms and to free speech; that they too will respect the rights of people to disagree with them in their act of protest but they have just as much right to that protest as Jones himself.  Should he want to enter their place of worship or talk to one of the worshippers of the mosque he is most welcomed, but that he will be escorted by people who are just as heavily armed as he and who believe as much as he that as American citizens they have nothing to fear from the assertion that their rights are as important to them as his.  They should proclaim that gone are the days when they will answer any more supercilious claims of bigotry and hatred that are thrown in their direction and that rather they proclaim proudly they have just as much right to the rights Jones hold dear for himself as every other American.  In that respect they are brothers with Jones, citizens of the same Republic, but they do not share nor indulge in the demagoguery with him and other Islamophobes that are for now so prevalent, nor do they choose to denigrate  any person who lays claim to the rights of citizenship America gives to those who live legally on her shores.  That is the very least the Muslim citizens of Dearborn should do in the face of the Jones media circus that is headed their way.  Anything less than that is a waste of the US Constitution.

And speaking of the US Constitution, have you heard this news?  It appears Michigan State police are swiping phone data from anyone they stop for a traffic violation!  If you are pulled over in the state of Michigan police for any traffic related offense you will be asked to surrender your cell phone and a device, Cellebrite UFED can then extract a wide variety of data from it including contacts, text messages, deleted text messages, call history, pictures, audio and video recordings, phone details including the phone number and complete memory file dumps on some handsets.  Sounds mighty Orwellian to me.  I’m glad to see the ACLU is on the case claiming such tactics are in violation of 4th amendment protections against unreasonable searches, and  no doubt many an opponent of the Obama administration is secretly happy too that organizations like the ACLU in a time when their ardent political foe is in power are available to fight the encroachment of government on our rights.  Let’s not forget that under the Bush administration the government was given broad powers to conduct searches even without warrants from judges if they thought a criminal act was imminent.  What’s happening in Michigan is even where there is no probable cause law enforcement is implying that if you have nothing to hide you should surrender your phone to them to have all its data transferred in a matter of seconds.  Unless you are black, which means the police will stop you whatever you do or don’t do, my advice is dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s when you’re driving out and about in the state of Michigan if you don’t want your cell phone data in the hands of law enforcement officials.

The Insanity of the Republican Party


America is headed towards a very dark place if they choose to believe the likes of Sharon Angle, the Republican candidate for US Senate in the state of Nevada.  Like so many others of her ilk, now running for public office she is able to make up statements to scare, intimidate, frighten voters into believing  her acts of demagoguery are what will save this Republic or that she alone, and the rest like her have the best interests of the people of America at heart.  I can’t imagine how or why anyone can think lying to make one fear their neighbor or fellow citizen is in the best interest of social order, but Angle is doing it and with gusto.

“My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don’t know how that happened in the United States,” she said. “It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States.”

 

This seems to be a recurring theme among racists Islamophobes, that a group of people can somehow take over the US,  supplanting the US Constitution with Islamic law.  Such beliefs should be enough to disqualify a person for public office because it shows an ignorance of the US political system; how detailed and involved a process it is that takes the participation of the entire electorate; that changing the Constitution cannot be imposed on people, yet Angle et.co are able to get people to fear that possibility.  Simply look at the city council of Dearborn, Michigan which has no Muslim members on it to consider the possibility what Angle suggests even more ludicrous.

What did happen that Angle failed to mention is what could very well happen, no doubt has happened in her state and at every level of government power and authority; the law enforcement arm of authority over-reacted in making an arrest because someone failed to adequately satisfy the arresting officer they were obeying his/her orders fast enough and with sufficient obsequiousness to avoid arrest. This has happened if officers are responsible for any event that puts them in contact with the public in any place in America.  The blogger Will Griggs has written extensively about this interaction between police and the citizens they are supposed to protect; routinely police see themselves as the sole authority when in contact with non-officers, without any allegiance to any ideology except their own.  The idea that the excesses made by Dearborn police were done on behalf of Islamic law, is as irresponsible as claiming torture or police brutality is done in the name of capitalism or democracy.  Moreover, the court system remedied the plaintiff’s arrest by finding them not guilty of the charges brought against them.  This finding of innocence was done by a local court by the way which further undermines  the spurious charge made by Angle of some vast Sharia conspiracy taking place in Dearborn.  None of that matters to the forces of demagoguery like Angle who presents a focal point for other like minded racist Islamophobes who despite all the evidence of their prosperity in ways far greater than the very people they want others to fear continue to play the victim game suffering from the interminable weight of Islamic sharia investing America’s shores.