Today we find out what happens when Southern Baptists are forced to choose between a Catholic, a Mormon, and a Blatant Hypocrite

The South Carolina presidential primary has become one of several key early state nominating contests in the process of choosing nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties for the following election for President of the United States.

The South Carolina primary historically has been more important for the Republican Party, being considered a “firewall” to protect frontrunners in the presidential nomination race. It was designed to stop the momentum of insurgent candidates who could have received a boost from strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.[1][2] From its inception in 1980 through the election of 2008, the winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the nomination.[3]

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Hump Day Link Dump (Romney’s KKK Logo and Gay Rights Bashing, Dodd on China, Carrier Low IQ, Gingrich’s Latest Lie, Robert Reich Explains, Trump Fails Again, and Newt’s Class War)

Romney uses KKK tagline for his campaign, “Keeping America American”.

Romney tells vet his marriage should be illegal.

MPAA head Chris Dodd (yes, that one) is envious of China’s Great Firewall, and think the U.S. should have one here.   Curious note… part of the point of the Chinese firewall is to avoid paying outrageous copyright fees to U.S. companies.   The point of the U.S. Great Firewall would be to force U.S. citizens to continue to pay outrageous copyright fees to U.S. companies.

Your phone company is spying on you.   This shouldn’t be news to anyone.    Most of the Republicans candidates want todstrengthen Patriot Act rules that allow this, and then claim to be supporting your freedom by doing so.

Another example of a Tea Party group walking all over that racism line.

Gingrich, obviously, does the exact same kind of thing with the Palestinians, echoing insanely racist rhetoric.

Trump’s debate strategy goes bankrupt, one of Trump’s specialties.

Gingrich tax plan: Give it all to the 1% (not the taxes…the money).

Robert Reich on how math works (and why Republicans don’t seem to care about that).

China has it’s own “occupy” movement happening.

Giving Newt the business on his “poor people, especially poor kids,  are worthless and lazy” kick he’s been off on.

UPDATE:  Larry Wilmore absolutely smashing Newt’s outrageous statements and racist supposition.

Guy who got Booted from Congress for Ethics Violations Teams with 3rd Generation Real Estate Heir (hair?) to Teach Poor Kids Value of Janitorial Work

Gingrich Says Trump Agrees to Create School ‘Apprenticeships’ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/12/06/bloomberg_articlesLVR0B76K50YM.DTL

“We’re looking to help the poorest children in America,” Gingrich said. Apprenticeships in New York’s poorest schools are a way to demonstrate the transformative power of holding a job that pays money, he said.

Gingrich said he and Trump, the host of NBC’s reality television show, “The Apprentice” who earlier this year considered an independent presidential run, would try “to create a model.”

Gingrich, 68, the former House speaker from Georgia, said his experience in public housing developments began several years ago with a program that paid students $2 for each book they read over summer break. “You’ll find remarkably few people with work experience” in public housing projects, he said.

‘Master Janitor’

Last month, he suggested before an audience at Harvard University that some poor students in failing schools could gain work experience as janitors.

And I’ll bet you read that headline and thought I was making stuff up.  Yes, the guy who got paid multiple millions of dollars because of who he knows, is giving lessons on the value of menial labor….while advocating cutting education spending. 

Frank shows Newt the *oh snap*

Barney Frank Slams Newt Gingrich For Calling For His Imprisonment | Election 2012 http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/newt-gingrich-barney-frank-and-chris-dodd-should-be-in-jail.php?ref=fpb

“It’s interesting, the charge is failure to stop Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay from deregulating,” he said. “This notion we caused the problem that started while they were in charge even by Gingrich’s standards is very odd.” Added Frank: “I wish I knew that he was willing to listen to my advice, I would have given him some: I would have told him not to impeach Clinton, I would have told his successors not to go to war with Iraq, and I would have told DeLay not to go on the dance show.” Frank speculated that Gingrich’s comments were borne out of frustration with his campaign. “He’s been having a bad year, you know —this self-styled intellectual leader of the free world struggling to stay ahead of Michele Bachmann in the polls is unsettling him so he talks even sillier than he sometimes does,” he said

Questions for Republicans And Livebloggin the First Debate

First up a is a quick video I made the other day.  It’s got a couple of those “gotcha” basic, simple questions that illustrate the fundamental issues with the Republican worldview in the 21st century.    That’s here…

My liveblogging notes are below.   A couple things that I’ve noticed in retrospect: 1) Every single candidate endorsed or doubled down on George W. Bush’s policies. If you thought he was an anomaly, forget it.  He’s the model of a 21st century Republican.   2) They never, ever mentioned the last guy who did what they want to do, or how that led directly to economic catastrohpe and the need for a “failed stimulus”.

Live notes are below…the full transcipt can be read here.

RobotPirateNinja: So far, five ads have loaded and launched perfectly. The debate itself, however, crashes every time, on every browser.

CNN, this is why you’re a joke.

RobotPirateNinja:  Wow, the EPA stands for “Job Killing Administration”. I did not know that.  (Bachmann)

RobotPirateNinja: Looks like “cut taxes” is the answer to everything, including the debt.

RobotPirateNinja: Everyone does know that “right to work” means “right to get fired for any reason” right?

RobotPirateNinja: I love how after the car bailout worked, it’s now a failure.  Wild. All of these folks wanted to sell GM to China.

RobotPirateNinja: Newt: “We can’t go to space anymore. Those robots on Mars? Obviously the opposite of innovation.”

RobotPirateNinja: ‎”NASA is in the way of the future.” – Newt….wild…this is crazy trumping crazy, multiplied by nuts.

RobotPirateNinja:

NEVER, EVER, HIRE SOMEONE FOR A JOB THAT HATES THE JOB.

You wouldn’t hire a dogcatcher that hates dogs, why elect a President that hates government? A window washer afraid of heights? No.

I’m watching this “who can hate government the most contest”…and then I’m thinking…all of these people are running for a government job…and they hate government…this is insane. It does explain most of their positions, though.

RobotPirateNinja: Hermain Cain is going to put 13,000,000 people to work…by not spending a dime. He’ll tell you how right after he’s elected.

RobotPirateNinja: Why do these folks want to keep sending money to the private sector, when private profits have never been higher, and public debt is the same (never higher)?

My god, Romney just said we need to return money to the private sector…THEN TALKED ABOUT THE DEBT. These people don’t even get the basics…or maybe it’s the people they are trying to appeal to that don’t understand.

RobotPirateNinja: oooh, fun, the Ryan Plan….Pawlenty…we’re just screwing over your kid, it’s all right.

RobotPirateNinja: Check that, Pawlenty has his OWN plan…the rush from Ryan begins.

RobotPirateNinja: John King is pathetic…”uh…uh….uh…..uh…….uh…….uh.” Just cut their dang mic.

RobotPirateNinja: Newt points out that the Ryan Plan is toxic….oh…but he’s killing Medicaid. (which largely goes to poor…old people).

RobotPirateNinja: Santorum jumps in with two feet. Ryan Plan all the way. This is why he’s not a serious candidate.

RobotPirateNinja: Herman Cain, the reason we have problems is because they haven’t been solved yet. Yes…Herman…the Ryan Plan *does* throw that grandkid out the chair…ummm…you just railed against your own idea.

RobotPirateNinja: Chil-ay. Cool place, I guess.

RobotPirateNinja: Here comes the Galveston fact-check, I’m guessing Herman loses…we’ll see…  [Ed: I was right. They aren’t even close to the same thing.]

RobotPirateNinja:

Debt Limit question…lady asked it wrong (we’ve already hit it, did a month ago, we are currently smashing piggy banks to pay bills)

Romney…we won’t raise it unless Obama stops being all socialisty….but not leading like his hair would. … Romney goes on to bash the U.S. economy and our debt….never mentions the word Taxes…or how the budget was balanced 10 years ago. I wish a questioner would mention how Bush said his tax cuts  in 2001 would wipe out the deficit by 2009.   [or how his 2005 Budget would “cut it in half” by 2009].

RobotPirateNinja: Bachmann on debt ceiling – I voted to default…and will again.

RobotPirateNinja: ‎Bachmann: “Pay the interest first, the soldiers and seniors later.”

RobotPirateNinja: Wow…Pawlenty…first amendment says nothing about keeping religion out of Government. Really…wow…

[Pawlenty quote:  “Well, the protections between the separation of church and state were designed to protect people of faith from government, not government from people of faith.”

This statement says a great deal about the current state of the Republican party.   They really do think imposing religion on government is o.k., it’s just the opposite that is bad (oh, and Muslims are bad).]

RobotPirateNinja: Pawlenty – Founders were all the same religion as me.

RobotPirateNinja: Frothy Mixture – I use faith and reason…when reason backs up my faith, otherwise, faith all the way.

RobotPirateNinja: Frothy Mixture was going for a standing ovation…he got silence.

RobotPirateNinja: Ron Paul – People can’t learn to be moral. Jeez, you can’t make this stuff up.

[Note: I missed Ron Paul’s other stunning revelation about the Constitution of Paultard land…there is no separation of Church and state, and the first amendment was written specifically to protect Christians:

Ron Paul: “But the Constitution addresses this by saying — literally, it says no theocracy. But it doesn’t talk about church and state. The most important thing is the First Amendment. Congress shall write no laws — which means Congress should never prohibit the expression of your Christian faith in a public place.“]

RobotPirateNinja: Herman Cain informs there are two types of Muslims, peaceful and THOSE THAT WANT TO KILL US. He doesn’t like the second one. He will NOT IMPOSE SHARIAH LAW. Jeez…

[Actual exchange:
“Q:Are American-Muslims as a group less committed to the Constitution than, say, Christian or Jews?

CAIN: First, the statement was would I be comfortable with a Muslim in my administration, not that I wouldn’t appoint one. That’s the exact transcript.

And I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us.

And so, when I said I wouldn’t be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us, number one.”]

RobotPirateNinja: Romney – Rational one about Muslims…comes from being in a cult, and knowing how it feels to be looked down on for that.

RobotPirateNinja: Woah…Newt goes out on a “limb” and would require loyalty oaths…cause, you know…Muslims lie.

[Actual derp:  GINGRICH: “I just want to comment for a second. The Pakistani who emigrated to the U.S. became a citizen, built a car bomb which luckily failed to go off in Times Square was asked by the federal judge, how could he have done that when he signed — when he swore an oath to the United States. And he looked at the judge and said, “You’re my enemy. I lied.”

Now, I just want to go out on a limb here. I’m in favor of saying to people, if you’re not prepared to be loyal to the United States, you will not serve in my administration, period.”

It should be noted that lying on loyalty oaths is totally not cool in a time of war, which is why they work so good.]

RobotPirateNinja: Herman Cain on pizza preference – “Deep Dish”…first thing he’s said tonight that was a clear answer.

RobotPirateNinja: Missed the gay-bashing segment.

RobotPirateNinja: Bachman – I would support an Amendment banning state marriage, but I’m not going to mess with states. She was able to contradict herself in a single question.

 [BACHMANN: John, I do support a constitutional amendment on — on marriage between a man and a woman, but I would not be going into the states to overturn their state law.]

RobotPirateNinja:  

Herman Cain – I wouldn’t have let gays die openly for our country, but I wouldn’t change it.
Pawlenty – As CinC I would let me generals tell me what do to.
Paul – We shouldn’t have an army.
Romney – DADT should be kept until we “win” the War on Terror.
Newt – Blah, blah, blah, no answer.
Bachmann – I would go back to DADT, and Newt’s answer.

[Note: Bachmann “would want to confer with our commanders-in-chief and with — also with the Joint Chiefs of Staff,”   Note for the non-idiots: Bachmann is actually running to *become* Commander-in-Chief (hint: there’s only one).]

Can we vote her off this show?

RobotPirateNinja: Santorum – I hate gays, and we should go back and punish everyone who came out under the new, fair, policy.

RobotPirateNinja: Look at Santorum’s record….you lost your last election by 18%. You are off the island.

RobotPirateNinja: Bachmann – I’m so pro-life I think woman who are raped and get pregnant should be thankful God blessed them with that LIFE.

RobotPirateNinja: Pawlenty mentions the NRO as a self-back pat…ugh.

RobotPirateNinja: Legal vs. Illegation softball question….here comes the derpfest…

RobotPirateNinja: Santorum – Jesus said to love and care for everyone, except illegal immigrants, who we should kick out of hospitals.

[Santorum: A lot of folks run for president as pro-life and then that issue gets shoved to the back burner. I will tell you that the issue of pro-life, the sanctity and dignity of every human life, not just at birth, not just on the issue of abortion, but with respect to the entire life, which I mentioned welfare reform and — and the dignity of people at the end of life, those issues will be top priority issues for me to make sure that all life is respected and held with dignity.

vs.

SANTORUM: Well, I’m the son of a legal immigrant in this country and — and believe in legal immigration. That is a great wellspring of — of strength for our country.

But we cannot continue to provide — the federal government should not require states to provide government services. [note: like HOSPITALS]

RobotPirateNinja: ‎5-year old kid walks into a hospital…should the priority be to check his green card…Ron Paul…Yes, he should not get healthcare if he’s not American.

RobotPirateNinja: ‎”Freedom has SOLVED these problems before!?!” – Ron Paul

[Actual derp:

KING: A 5-year-old child of an illegal immigrant walks into an emergency room. Does the child get care?

PAUL: [Random derp about what Paul calls “freedom”.]

KING: But should they get care? Should they get care? Should taxpayers have to pay for that care?

PAUL: No, they should not be forced to, but we wouldn’t — we shouldn’t be penalizing the Catholic Church, because they’re trying to fulfill a role. And some of the anti-immigrants want to come down hard on the Catholic Church, and that is wrong.

PAUL: (making it absolutely clear that Doctors should first check greencards)  “But, no, if you have an understanding and — and you want to believe in freedom, freedom has solved these kind of problems before. You don’t have to say, oh, you’re not going to have care or there won’t be any care and everybody is going to starve to death and — and die on the streets without medical care. That’s the implication of the question. That’s just not true, and you shouldn’t accept it.”

See folks?!  Who need medical care when you have FREEDOM from medical care?]

RobotPirateNinja: Birthright Citizenship…should be change the entire nature of this country and what it means to be American?

Cain – Immediately.
Pawlenty – Supports Alabama and Arizona law. No more birthrights for citizens.

RobotPirateNinja: Newt – Blames America’s problems on the hyperbole of partisans. Really, he does this with a straight face.

RobotPirateNinja: Newt – Put DHS people…I guess the BSA…like the TSA (i.e. created “small government Republicans”) on the Border.

RobotPirateNinja: Paul – Right now we don’t own our land, get off my yard, really, get off my yard!

RobotPirateNinja: Romney – Drill, drill, clean coal….clean coal? Has that been invented yet? No…then why did he…oh…

RobotPirateNinja: Sanatorum – 5 more years of ethanol subsidies (Hi Iowa!) but then no more…just enough to get him elected twice…

RobotPirateNinja:

Question from soldiers dad: Bin Laden is Dead…should we leave Afghanistan…(guessing no one will slam Obama for killing him.)

Romney – Gives effuse praise to…the guy asking the question. Wants the Afghanistanis to fight against the Ta…liban by themselves, I wonder if he knows where the Taliban is from.

[Actual Derp: ROMNEY: Let me — let me continue. That is I think we’ve learned some important lessons in our experience in Afghanistan. I want those troops to come home based upon not politics, not based upon economics, but instead based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals.

But I also think we’ve learned that our troops shouldn’t go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan’s independence from the Taliban. Thank you. ]

Paul – Actually says, and probably doesn’t realize it because he’s on a rant…that he would “spend that money” here. (No he wouldn’t, he’s against spending money here, or there or anywhere there might be green eggs and ham)

RobotPirateNinja: Libya

Bachmann – We should have watched Quadaffi slaughter them. She wouldn’t “lead from behind” by not even being involved. FRANCE! That’s all we need to know. “I deal with the nation’s classified secrets…which I will now casually reveal to you…oh…um…Al Qeada was there, which is why I wouldn’t have not led from behind.”

[Actual Derp: KING: Congresswoman Bachmann, should the president have supported and jointed more U.S. presence, but now a NATO operation? Was that the right thing to do? Is that in the vital national interest of the United States of America?

BACHMANN: No, I don’t believe so it is. That isn’t just my opinion. That was the opinion of our defense secretary, Gates, when he came before the United States Congress. He could not identify a vital national American interest in Libya.

Our policy in Libya is substantially flawed. It’s interesting. President Obama’s own people said that he was leading from behind. The United States doesn’t lead from behind. As commander in chief, I would not lead from behind.

We are the head. We are not the tail. The president was wrong. All we have to know is the president deferred leadership in Libya to France. That’s all we need to know. The president was not leading when it came to Libya. ”

She goes on to imply that Quadaffi is fighting Al Qaeda…I’m not sure at this point if she thinks we should be on *his* side.]

RobotPirateNinja: Newt – 10 years from 9/11 our intelligence is so innaccurate…we got Bin Laden you jackass.

[Actual Derp: “But I think what Congresswoman Bachmann just said ought to really sober everybody about how much trouble we’re in. Ten years after 9/11, our intelligence is so inadequate that we have no idea what percent of the Libyan rebels are, in fact, al Qaeda. Libya was the second largest producer of people who wanted to kill Americans in Iraq.”

Looks like Newt is warming up to Quadaffi as well.   Truly, this is bizarro world.]

RobotPirateNinja: Newt – would cut and run as quickly as possible from everywhere. Then he’d gather intelligence.

Cain – Again says we didn’t understand the problem. We don’t know. Grandma says “they are are not simple situations, it’s an absolute mess. And we can’t make a decision until we learn from the commanders in the field whether or not to deploy commanders to the field.”

[Actual derp: KING: Mr. Cain, take 30 seconds, please. People might say he’s a businessman. He has no experience in government. How would you look at your responsibilities, draw that line, vital U.S. national interests as commander in chief?

CAIN: It starts with making sure we understand the problem, which I don’t think we did. We didn’t have the intelligence. Number two, is it in the vital interest of the United States of America? If the answer is no, then we don’t go any further. If it’s not in the vital interest of America, To paraphrase my grandmother, with the situation in Libya and many of these other situations, they’re not simple situations. It’s a mess. It’s just an absolute mess.

And there’s more that we don’t know than we do know, so it will be very difficult to know exactly what we do until, like others have said, we learn from the commanders in the field.   [NOTE: Q: When you don’t have commanders in the field, like we didn’t in Libya…what do you do?  A: Derp!]]

RobotPirateNinja: Question: Military Funding…debt…hullo?

Santorum – Clinton did that…but anyway…we need a strategy, to, uh, asymmetric terrorism, so we need that base, and attack, anywhere and everywhere. The Soviets might attack at any time.

RobotPirateNinja: Santorum – Everybody in the world hates us, which is why we had to go it alone in Libya.

RobotPirateNinja: Missed the weak field question…kinda been pointing that out all along.

RobotPirateNinja: Who made the best choice for VP in 2008?

Pawlenty – Laughs, slams Biden, repeatedly…some something that isn’t happening. Palin is qualified to be President. And we’re done there…
Romney – We’d all be better than Obama. Obama doesn’t have a foreign policy…nice sarcastic contratulations on getting Bin Laden…that will be a headline tomorrow.

RobotPirateNinja: Bachmann – let’s do it American Idol style…sick…

RobotPirateNinja: Ron Paul – Can you stomach any of these people? No. FEDERAL RESERVE!!

RobotPirateNinja: Frothy Mixture impressed. Bachmann learned more in two hours about the goodness of the American people (she never finished the “than” part of that butt-kissing).
Paul – We can be civil slamming the President for everything he’s done and hasn’t done.

RobotPirateNinja: Hermain Cain – It’s about the children and grandchildren…which is why I want to get rid of Medicare for them. …..

And we’re done here…it’s spin time.

PREDICTION: Romney’s sarcastic praise of Obama for killing Bin Laden will be the lede.

UPDATE: I was wrong…seems lot of other media folks don’t like pointing out obvious logical contradictions and think Bachmann did well.   Wild.

Congrats, Assholes. You won.

Read this comment today.   Figured it was pretty honest about the whole thing, and certainly reflects what I would feel.    So congrats, assholes hoping for a generations long war against most of the world, you are one step closer to that goal.

Nudge [TotalFark] Quote 2010-08-23 07:06:58 AM
I’m a Muslim American, and the nationwide attempt to ban mosques in various locations has made me extremely frustrated, angry, and feeling helpless. I’m by and large considered one of the most passive individuals in our local community, ardently arguing against individual Muslim action in foreign-occupied countries against American Soldiers (I believe Islamically, only one state can declare war on another state).

Keep that in mind when I say that, through gentle persuasion of anti-Muslim actions, I find it harder to defend these points and harder to believe them myself. A brother told me recently that, out of defense, every Muslim in this day ought to have a gun in his home. I’ve never, ever wanted to own a gun in my life, let alone condone the usage of one except under extreme circumstance, but his suggestion in today’s conflict made me consider the thought for quite some time.

My hometown has a mosque being protested. I’m friends with a lot of the young men organizing its construction. Today, thousands of Muslims in the area pray out of office buildings and garages, simply wanting a place to worship that looks beautiful and doesn’t remind them of a tool shop. These men have spent the last several years planning this project and have been excited about every step forward. Now, protesters are essentially shutting them out, declaring in no uncertain terms that they must fight for their rights. Some of the happiest people I’ve ever seen have become angry, bitter, and hateful because of this.

I just wanted to congratulate the protesters. You’ve managed to begin the ruination of the one, and only, fully-integrated Muslim society success story in the Western World. You’ve shut down our charities, protested our religious rights, spat and and disrespected our women, and ended belief in the superiority of American tolerance.

Way to go, fuckjobs.

UPDATE: It should be noted that the “win” doesn’t include stopping the mosque, it will most likely go through anyway.  The “win” is for people like Palin, Gingrich and Bin Laden, who want a no-holds-barred war between peoples.   They made progress toward that goal today.

UPDATE2: For a slightly longer version of this (and a lot more specifics), check Frank Rich’s column for today.   Short-term political gain vs. real world progress in that war we started.

UPDATE3: Here’s a longer story about the wider phenomenon I noticed on a simple message board.  These kinds of changing attitudes are happening, today, at a rate of about 1,000 a second, I’d guess.   Thanks all that is good and holy we have a rational President right now, and not one of the bomb throwers with an even bigger bullhorn.

Like most non-Americans, Muslims across the world barely understand the vagaries of U.S. politics, including the wedge issues and posturing that turn midterm elections into mud fights. Commentators from the Middle East to South Asia to Indonesia to Nigeria praised Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for coming to the defense of the community center, even as the president hedged his apparent initial support for the project.

Obama has “placed ethics and principles ahead of politics that not only enhances his credibility to the Muslims only but also his stature as a statesman to the rest of the world,” read an opinion piece in the Daily Star of Bangladesh.

[first link]

Is there anything that would make Islamic terrorists like Osama bin Laden happier than to watch the world’s media broadcast footage of angry American protesters, whipped into a frenzy by Fox, saying hateful things about Muslims? Why are Sarah and Newt doing bin Laden’s work for him? Can’t they show just a little patriotism?

[second link]

Link Dump….

Working…can’t write…dumping link…

This is why they should. (I got sick of this nontroversy a couple days ago)

When Pat Buchanan calls your Nazi analogy over the edge, it is.

Read the comments to see why I call them nutjobs.  (note the comment and reactions to the comment that explains this away rationally.  Rationality is like the rage virus to these people, turns them crazy).’

Thanks, Rupert, for making this so obvious.  Fox News is *directly* funding the Republicans now, and not just donating 20 hours a day to free advocacy and attack ads.

Top 10 Right Wing Conspiracy theories. With the news that 40% of Republicans and 20% of Americans think Obama is a muslim, these fit right in.

Media companies stealing customer data. More definitive proof of their hypocrisy.

The Making of a Nontroversy.

Roger Ebert continues to do good stuff.

Franklin Graham makes up stuff about the President’s Dad to explain American’s ignorance re: Obama’s religion.   For some reason I think he’s doing it wrong.

We recently gave Israel $3,000,000,000 to buy $2,7500,000,000 worth of F-35s. This would be more of an actual issue if this story (and those like it) got more play.  That’s how the Military Industrial Complex works, BTW.  We borrow from China to give to Israel to buy from Us.   And a few people make out like bandits selling stuff to kill, well, bandits.  It does keep us at #1, I guess.

RIAA wants to force electronic manufacturers to include FM radios in all phones, ipods, etc.  Yes, it is that stupid, and yes, they actually are saying this is good for you.  I side with the concept of the free market on this one.

Desktop clearing link dump re: Ground Zero Mosque

Well I’ve got some bad new for y’all.  Looks like I’m backing to selling my skills on the open market, which means *much* less posting (if history is any indication).  That being said, here’s the stuff that I found interesting lately and some quick blurbs and all that.  You know the drill.

First up is some more reading on the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” (first mentioned here, here).  It’s the latest in a long line of  “scare the base about the brown people” tactics that seems to work wonders at the polls.   As the best antidote for bigotry and ignorance is exposure and information, here’s some interesting reading in that direction.

Here we have a nice dissection of Newt Gingrich’s (and other commentators) understanding of history regarding the name of the group building the mosque.

This is the important fact that Newt hopes those who read his polemic will be ignorant of: for a ruler to be legitimate in Muslim eyes in the tenth century, during the time when the Great Mosque was being expanded into its present-day dimensions, it was important to emphasize the peaceful succession of Islam from the other religions in the area.  A caliph was expected to have arrived at an accord with the Christians and Jews over which he ruled.****** Far from “symboliz[ing] their victory” the Mosque was held up by Muslim historians a symbol of peaceful coexistence with the Christians–however messier the actual relations of Christians and Muslims were at the time.*******

So what should modern Christians think when they hear a Muslim use the word “Cordoba”?  Well, I know that Newt hasn’t been a Catholic for very long now, but maybe his priest ought to direct him to read a little thing called “The Catholic Encyclopedia“.  Allow me to quote from the 1917 edition (which has the virtue of being in the public domain and easily searchable) and its entry on Cordoba:

In 786 the Arab caliph, Abd-er Rahman I, began the construction of the great mosque of Cordova, now the cathedral, and compelled many Christians to take part in the preparation of the site and foundations. Though they suffered many vexations, the Christians continued to enjoy freedom of worship, and this tolerant attitude of the ameers seduced not a few Christians from their original allegiance. Both Christians and Arabs co-operated at this time to make Cordova a flourishing city, the elegant refinement of which was unequalled in Europe.

Yes, yes, I know, history can be a bit boring and dauting at times, but my what it does for context.

Along that same line of thinking, here’s a long and detailed history of the curiously named city of Elkader, Iowa.

Elkader, Iowa was founded in 1846. It remains today as the seat of Clayton County, with a population of around 1500. It is the only city in America named after an Arab.

There’s a long and detailed history of the intereactions between Muslims and Christians, and it’s five times longer than the history of the U.S.   When someone wants to use a reference that calls to mind the positive and peaceful interactions between the popular Abrahamic faiths, and is instead smeared with the very broad brush of “terrorism”, it’s time to break out the history books.

Unfortunately this type of informed, measured response goes against the tide of the time.  That tide, to my mind, is very much along the lines of this piece, entitled:  “The state of America?  Hysteria“.

If you reengage the American media after a month out of the country, as I’ve done this week, it’s hard not to conclude that hysteria is now the dominant characteristic of our politics and civic conversation.

How else to explain the fact that questions like secession and nullification — issues that were resolved in blood by the Civil War more than a century ago — have come alive again and are routinely tossed around, not just by fringe figures but by Republican officeholders and candidates?

For example, Zach Wamp, a Tennessee congressman who opposes the recently enacted healthcare reforms and is running for governor, told an interviewer that he hopes “the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government.”

The most popular such movement involves abolishing or gutting the 10th Amendment as a way to deny American citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Even the ostensibly moderate Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has signed on to that one, while Rep. Louie Gohmert (R- Texas) speculates that such children actually are terrorist moles planted here to grow up as U.S. citizens as part of a long-range plot.

Nothing quite tops the anti-Muslim hysteria, which has led people to organize opposition to the construction of new mosques in places from Lower Manhattan to Temecula. One candidate for statewide office in Tennessee — somebody should examine their water supply — argues that the 1st Amendment does not cover Muslims.

The piece ends with what I think is probably the single best description of the modern politics landscape.

In the midst of moral panic, inchoate indignation stands in for reason; accusation and denunciation supplant dialogue and argument; history and facts are rendered malleable, merely adjuncts of the moral entrepreneur’s — or should we say provocateur’s — rhetorical will. As we now also see, a self-interested mass media with an economic stake in the theatricality of raised and angry voices can transmit moral panic like a pathogen.

I think that sums it up nicely.  It takes cooler and wiser heads to prevail in such a situation, and given the volume and reach of the provocateur’s mouthpiece (my local Fox news affiliate ran a hit piece of the First Lady tonight, something they usually reserve for their cable outlet), it’s dang hard to get a wise word in edgewise.

Humor works as well, occasionally, although sometimes the subtlety can be a bit much for the morally outraged.

Why is this an insult to the victims of 9/11? The answer, I think, is obvious. Among the titles published by Conde Nast is the fashion magazine Vogue. Vogue publishes an Italian edition. Italy, of course, was the incubator of fascism. The terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center were Islamofascists. I think the connection is clear.

It is not only the presence of Vogue at Ground Zero that is such an awful affront and insult. The Fairchild division of Conde Nast is the publisher of Women’s Wear Daily. The initials of Women’s Wear Daily are WWD. WWD sounds almost exactly like WMD. The Islamofascists who attacked our country on 9/11 are part of an Islamofascist movement that seeks to use WMD against Americans. Also, they want to use IEDs. IED also sounds like WWD, though not as much. Also, IED sounds like IUD, and many of the women-oriented magazines published by Conde Nast advocate the use of IUDs as a method of birth control. Those who advocate the use of IUDs cannot be allowed to sully the memories of the dead by building their headquarters on the site of Ground Zero.

I wanted to finish this up with a link to an act I found surprising and refreshing.  Quick background, the Anti-Defamation Leage (ADL) who claim to be “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all“, came out *against* the building of an Islamic community center in New York City.
I listened to their director, Abraham H. Foxman (I’m guessing the “H” ain’t for Hussein), on NPR defending their decision to side with the ignorant and I just couldn’t wrap my head around his point.  He kept saying how people need to be more aware of those around them and give into the bigots and fools, or something.  It really was a twist, listening to someone who, by all their own statements, should have been out in front of this thing, being that cooler, wiser head.    Instead they joined with the small-minded political opportunists, and lost the support of a powerful voice in the opinion-maker’s bracket, Fareed Zakaria.   While I find Fareed a bit too corporate for my tastes, I do think he’s, by far, one of the best international commentators you’ll find on the tubes.  Well-spoken, well-read, and now very well connected, his insights are worth paying attention to.
In regards to this topic, he can explain it much better than I, so I’ll let him have at it. (really, watch that video, he covers all the bases, including pointing out the hypocrisy involved with a primarily jewish organization telling *others* to be wary about building things in places you aren’t very welcome and causing more pain…).
Fareed then put the money where his mouth was, and returned his reward.   That’s what they call integrity ’round these parts, and it *is* rare enough to find in a media personality in this day and age to be notable.  It’s good to know there’s at least one rational voice, speaking only after taking it all in and thinking about what it all means.
I think there might be only one, to be honest.
UPDATE: Here’s a solid refutation of those who continue to try and paint the imam in question as a radical…

And, of course, an interview with Foreign Policy in 2007 explored both the depths of [Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s] ongoing contact with the Administration and his so-called radical views.

I have had meetings with Karen Hughes. However, I would welcome the opportunity to have further, deeper, and more nuanced discussions with other members of the Bush administration on how they need to understand religion and how it intersects with political affairs. To not understand the role of Islam and faith as a motivator is to be incapacitated in shaping a foreign policy that achieves the objectives of the United States.The perception in the Muslim world is that the West wants to impose a secularism upon it, which to them is equivalent to the erasure of religion in society. As an American, I know that is not the intent of the United States at all. But thats the perception. The perception in America is that when people say they want an Islamic state, they want something like the Taliban. And that is not true at all.

Rauf added that, during Ramadan, it was important to remember the love that Jews, Muslims and Christians agree that their gods preach, adding, “It also means do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.” Guess that’s one thing Rauf’s critics forgot.

This whole issue is, largely, one based on those perceptions and on clarifying the reality of the situation.  Asshats like this ain’t helping.

“Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero,” Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association wrote this week on the AFA website. “This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.”

That’s a bit too Palin-American for even the most xenophobic folks, one would hope.

That said, ADL’s misguided excess of feeling in a case in which clear thinking was requisite is not part of a pattern, which is why it stands out so clearly as a mistake. In fact, since 9/11 the organization has spoken out frequently and clearly against discrimination toward Muslims.

As Amanda Susskind, who directs ADL’s Pacific Southwest Region, told me this week, “ADL is not in the business of promoting an anti-Muslim agenda. Our original statement focused on the issues of location and sensitivity of the Islamic Community Center. The debate on those issues was hijacked by bigots, Islamophobes and those who wanted to promote their own political agendas.”