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A remarkable essay on our current National Panic…

There is a remarkable essay over at Brilliant At Breakfast which sums up the current brouhaha over the “Mosque” at Ground Zero, Obama’s secret Muslim faith, the preying of the Right on American Stupidity and more. Below are the first 5 1/2 paragraphs… I urge you to go in and read the rest (as well as the comments).

-Bill

The Republican Area 51

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington.” – Erstwhile alternate historian Newt Gingrich in opposing the Cordoba Community Center on Fox

In a paraphrase of the old bromide against the Irish, it can be said that God invented Koolaid to prevent Americans from running the world for too long.

When people of other countries put their lives on the line in the act of defending their democracies and addressing real life or death issues, about the most I can expect of my fellow Americans is to color their Twitter avatars green and change their time zone to Tehran’s. At the end of the day, however, we find ourselves on the couch with a Red Bull in one hand and the remote in the other and tuning in to Fox “News” and ensuring that Rupert’s funhouse mirror dimension remains the highest-rated cable channel. And people wonder why I criticize my country so much.

Let me impress upon you one inescapable, incontrovertible, ineluctable fact: We are simply the stupidest and most willfully ignorant nation on earth. We’re the world’s biggest racial, national and religious melting pot yet the most bigoted. As Maureen Dowd reminded us yesterday, we panic in herds yet come to our senses, if we ever do, one at a time. Our eyes snap open like a doll’s when we’re alarmed yet when we awake from one soporific or another, we need to rub those eyes for a few minutes. Stupidity and ignorance has a much longer half life than truth and the facts. If stupidity was made of hydrogen and oxygen, our country would look like New Orleans the day after Katrina. And if racial or religious bigotry was gold, there’d be a rush of grubby Republican prospectors every year or so.

And need we look any farther than the biggest news story of the day, the “controversial” “mosque” at “Ground Zero” for a glimpse of how stupid we are? If you throw enough money for ink and pixels to convince an entire nation of something, even one as rich in colleges and universities as ours, you will sway public opinion at least temporarily. When the media blitz subsides, people slowly, very slowly, come to their senses. We see it with every election cycle because we depend on people to tell us what to think and for whom to vote as well as what buy, eat, drink and even how to fornicate. It’s hard to believe but it seems almost as many Americans are as ignorant as to what’s going on at Park51 as they are of Area 51.

Frank Rich also reminded us yesterday of the wildly vacillating poll numbers regarding the very religion of our president. A recent Pew poll showed that 18% of us still persist in believing that President Obama is Muslim, a number that was as low as 11% at his inauguration (long after McCain and RNC money stopped telling us what to think). Barely over a third of us know that Obama is Christian, down from nearly half in March ’09. And the day after Pew published its results, Franklin Graham, who should never be put on television even to pitch juicers on QVC, told John King that Obama is both and “born a Muslim.”

(Go HERE to read the rest…)


Quote of the Day – and I think it is unfortunate…

“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”

– Jim Manley, spokesman for Senator Harry Reid

What we don’t need here is a Democrat that disagrees with the President. Unfortunately, Reid has to react based on his reelection campaign, not on the issue of Freedom of Religion.

Why complain about the Ground Zero Mosque and ignore the one in the Pentagon?

I guess the right wing didn’t know about it (even though the Washington Times had done an article on its existence as early as 2007.) Once again, we are in a campaign year bullshit sling…
clipped from www.salon.com

Why did no one object to the “Pentagon mosque”?
Yes, Muslims have infiltrated the Pentagon for their nefarious, prayerful purposes — daring to practice their religion inside the building where 184 people died on Sept. 11, 2001. They haven’t even had the sensitivity to move two blocks, let alone a mile, away from that sacred site.
The “desecration” began shockingly soon after the attacks. Cox reported in October 2001:
Army Chaplain Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad, the first Muslim chaplain to serve in the military, read a verse from the Koran at the memorial service at the Pentagon on Thursday, exactly one month after the attack.
Any guesses as to why no one has ever heard about Muslims praying at the Pentagon — let alone cared? It’s almost as if the entire “ground zero mosque” controversy was whipped up out of nothing by a right-wing tabloid and politicians in search of a wedge issue …
By Justin Elliott
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Fun With The Tea Party…

TPM Muckraker gave an amusing recount of this story today… I’m wondering when these Tea Partiers are going to learn anything…
clipped from tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com
Plan To Harass Muslims With Dogs At CA Rally Collapses
In the end, the people trying to stop the construction of a mosque in Temecula, California were vastly outnumbered by the crowd welcoming the growth of the Muslim community in Riverside County. Last week, we told you about the plan by some conservatives opposed to the construction of the new mosque to show up over the weekend outside the Temecula-area Muslim group’s current digs to tell those inside they weren’t welcome. To prove the point, the group planned to bring dogs — which one protester characterized as pretty much the Muslims’ mortal enemy, saying that Muslims “hate dogs.”

Here’s how it all turned out: the anti-mosque protesters were outnumbered by pro-mosque supporters, the local tea party disavowed the protest and called it hate speech, the protester we talked to dropped off the face of the earth and only one dog made it to the planned protest.
It was a fittingly unexpected end to an extraordinary tale.
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Why I think religion turns people into loonies…

The Chicago tribune says: Iranian cleric blames women’s immodest dress, promiscuity for earthquakes, urges repentance.

Here’s a clip (go into the whole article and find out what the Minister of Welfare and Social Security says is the best system to prevent earthquakes):

clipped from www.chicagotribune.com

Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.

Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair.

“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”
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Quote of the Day – This led Thom Hartmann’s Blog today…

“Army psychiatrist Hasan accused in the Fort Hood shootings is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the military’s legal system, making him eligible for the death penalty. Given that he had corresponded with an Imam in Yemen, had George Bush been president we’d now be bombing Yemen and in another war. Instead, a criminal will be prosecuted, families will get closure, and America won’t further inflame the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims or feed the extremists among them. What a difference it makes to have a sane president!”

Thom Hartmann

I couldn’t agree more.

Now it begins… The Claims Backed By NO EVIDENCE!

“Conservative Says Hasan Acted On Orders Of Muslim Brotherhood: What Do We Know?” – This article from Justin Elliott in TPM Muckraker:
clipped from tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com

One conservative writer is already declaring — without citing any evidence — that Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged shooter who killed 13 at Fort Hood yesterday, was acting at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood. So it’s a good time to lay out what we do and don’t know about the Fort Hood shooting case and the Army psychiatrist at the center of it.

In an interview with Frontpagemag, author Dave Gaubatz blames the Fort Hood killings on, among other Muslim groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says that Hasan was carrying out “the orders of the Muslim Brotherhood.” And he suggests that Hasan was sent out by radical Muslim leaders:

Malik Nabal Hasan [sic] is a terrorist supporting the ideology of Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and yes, CAIR. In Palestine, the leaders send out the young and vulnerable to carry out the murders in the name of Islam. The same is happening in America.
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In fact, CAIR released a statement denouncing the shootings almost immediately after reports of the incident:

“No religious or political ideology could ever justify or excuse such wanton and indiscriminate violence. … American Muslims stand with our fellow citizens in offering both prayers for the victims and sincere condolences to the families of those killed or injured.”

Other Muslim groups have put out similar statements.

Obama In Cairo

An Egyptian man buys a cartouche which reads 'Obama New Tutankhamon Of The World'Here’s part of the speech… but go into Huffington Post and read the whole thing… it’s important!

CAIRO (AP) — President Barack Obama called for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims” Thursday and said together, they could confront violent extremism across the globe and advance the timeless search for peace in the Middle East.

“This cycle of suspicion and discord must end,” Obama said in a widely anticipated speech in one of the world’s largest Muslim countries, an address designed to reframe relations after the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

In a gesture, Obama conceded at the beginning of his remarks that tension “has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

But the president said the actions of violent extremist Muslims are “irreconcilable with the rights of human beings,” and quoted the Quran to make his point.

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