Peeing on the Trees

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September 11, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

Media Matters says MSNBC actually hosted Pam Geller to explain why a mosque should not be built near the Ground Zero site. To me, this is a bit like bringing on Tom Delay to discuss ethics in government. Although, come to think of it, I believe that’s been done, too.

I understand the mosque is to be built at 45 Park Place, which is a couple of blocks away from the Ground Zero site. Just for fun, I pinpointed that location on Google Maps to show its physical proximity to Ground Zero:

Site of Mosque

Proximity of Proposed Mosque to Ground Zero

Don’t be confused by the World Trade Center subway station. That’s just the name of a subway station. The actual Ground Zero site is below Vesey Street; click here for an expanded view.

The way people had been going on about this, I thought the mosque was going to be built next to Ground Zero, but it isn’t. The mosque will be only 13 stories high, which in lower Manhattan ain’t nothin’. Given the other structures in that neighborhood, I can’t imagine the mosque would be visible from Ground Zero (except looking down on it from a high-rise, if they ever build one there). And I doubt Ground Zero would be visible from the mosque, unless they bulldoze all the buildings in between.

So, what’s the big bleeping deal? Geller said,

GELLER: We know in Islamic history that they build triumphal mosques on the cherished sites of sacred lands of conquered lands. So how is building a mosque, looking down at the cemetery of ground zero where they’re still finding remains outreach?

Unless they’re planning to build a 110-story mosque, it won’t be “looking down” on Ground Zero. However, it appears it might be looking down on the Amish Market. Somebody should alert the Amish.

Apparently there was some kind of hearing on the building of the mosque recently, and from the video it’s obvious hardly anyone showed up for it. I’ve seen some headlines that suggest there is some groundswell of opposition to building the mosque in Manhattan, but I don’t think most Manhattanites are that worked up about it.

To their credit, NBC and CBS have refused to air a hateful Muslilm-bashing ad in opposition to the mosque. But that doesn’t make up for MSNBC actually giving a platform to Crazy Toxic Hate Geller.

Righties are trying to tie anyone associated with the mosque to jihad, but of course to righties everyone remotely associated with Islam is a jihadist. The mosque is a project of the Cordoba Initiative, which appears to be an organization of moderate and peaceful Muslims who oppose sectarian violence. (So if we can’t be tolerant to Muslims who want peace and harmony, which Muslims can we be tolerant to? Why, none, of course. That’s the point, to hate all Muslims because they are Muslims.)

And then there’s the Florida birther-preacher named Bill Keller who wants to build a “9/11 Christian Center” as an alternative (?) to the mosque. As if there aren’t a number of large churches already there, including the famous St. Paul’s Chapel. St. Paul’s, where George Washington went to pray after his first inauguration as President, really is adjacent to the Ground Zero site but, remarkably, sustained only minor damage that day. For weeks after it was used as a “rest” station for Ground Zero workers. Parishioners kept the church open 24/7 and provided food, first aid, and places to rest for the workers.

There’s your “9/11 Christian Center.” What Bill Keller wants to do isn’t “Christian,” it’s just territorial marking. He wants to come here and pee on our trees, so to speak. Keller, stay home.

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15 Comments

  1. fshk  •  Jul 15, 2010 @10:34 am

    I had dinner in lower Manhattan a couple of weeks ago, and saw that there is actual skyscraper progress at the WTC site. I would guess they’ve already got more than thirteen stories of the building’s steel frame up. Not that you can even see it unless you’re standing right in front of it; everything in lower Manhattan is tall buildings and narrow streets.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 15, 2010 @11:01 am

    MSNBC bans Markos (for tweeting something about the inconvenient dead intern at then Congressman Cup O’ Schmoe Scarborough’s office), but welcomes Pam “Denser than Old Yeller,” Geller on to talk about the Mosque in the general vicinity of the WTC. WTF?
    What is it that they think she could possibly bring to the table that would be informed, as opposed to ingnorant, xenophobic, and incendiary? She has a soul almost as black as Dick Cheney’s, she’s correct about as many issues as William Kristol, and not nearly half as funny as ‘dead-baby jokes.’
    And, to top it off, she thinks she’s one of the Republican women hotties. Pam, Alice Cooper wants you to stop imitating what he does with mascara. And, I suspect even Tammy Faye Baker would tell you to tone it down a couple of notches.
    Still, MSNBC does give us afternoons and evenings of Dylan, Ed, Keith and Rachel (and occasionally Chris), to counter mornings with Cup O’ Schmoe.
    Pam Geller – AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  3. biggerbox  •  Jul 15, 2010 @11:14 am

    Pam Geller is a hateful, hateful person with a record of outright lies and inflammatory rhetoric. It’s a sign of how astonishingly NOT liberal the media is that she gets on TV, even on cable.

    One of the things I regret about the Internet is that, in the old days, people like her were limited to badly mimeographed physical pages that had to be distributed by hand, and they couldn’t get the kind of exposure that makes their mental illness a danger to society.

    Next time someone holds MSNBC up as an example of a liberal counterpoint to Fox News, let’s remember this example.

    (Just out of curiosity, does anyone know where Geller was on 9/11? I’m guessing far away from Manhattan. Righties love to expropriate the site for their own symbol, especially when they wouldn’t have gone near the ‘awful, decadent, corrupt’ NYC on 9/10.)

  4. biggerbox  •  Jul 15, 2010 @11:28 am

    Meanwhile, real New Yorkers are busy enjoying life instead of freaking out about Pam Geller’s nonsense. I loved watching the smiling faces of the subway riders at the site of Princess Leia on the subway. But best are the people in the background maintaining their stolid New Yorker “I’m not noticing” face.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5gCeWEGiQI

  5. maha  •  Jul 15, 2010 @11:40 am

    biggerbox — love the video. That’s so New York.

  6. felicity  •  Jul 15, 2010 @11:45 am

    I’m reminded of an incident when a Hindu man went to Gandhi for advice on what steps to take, if any, he should take against a Muslim man who had seriously wronged a member of the man’s family. Gandhi told the man to take a poor Muslim into his home, feed him, nurture him, include him in his family for as long as the man chose to remain.

    Hatred does nothing but breed more hatred. The views of a Geller only give meaning and courage and purpose to the terrorist.

  7. PurpleGirl  •  Jul 15, 2010 @12:30 pm

    There are two problems here: the cultural center which will include a mosque and the building the Cordoba Institute wants to demolish to build the cultural center. Some people want the current building to be landmarked, which will probably only delay the project and cause a change in the building plans. The use of the site for a cultural center, I think, is a separate issue. That area of downtown has many tall buildings and a 13-story building will not be overlooking any thing but some smaller buildings. I doubt it will have a sight-line to the World Trade Center site. (I don’t remember what buildings are surrounding the area right now — I used to work a few blocks south and east.) I don’t know what kind of building the Cordoba Institute has in mind, their web site doesn’t have a picture of the envisioned building, but it would probably be a regular office building because the land site probably isn’t that large.

    The Cordoba Institute itself has several scholarly projects that look very interesting; two involve studies of Sharia and its role in contemporary cultures.

    Several weeks ago, the Brooklyn Diocese (I think) backed out of a plan to sell a former convent property to an Islamic congregation on Staten Island because of protests from the community about fears of the congregation supporting terrorists. There is a beautiful mosque in a classical style up at 96th Street and Second Avenue. It probably couldn’t be built now. A few blocks from where I live there is an Islamic Center, which also houses a day school. It’s a contemporary 2-floor building; again, it would probably have problems being built now. It’s a shame people react this way, with such intolerance.

  8. kagerato  •  Jul 15, 2010 @2:06 pm

    I have to worry about what will happen if these sorts of reactionaries ever actually gain control of the government. If murdering some 3,000 people and knocking down a couple of buildings is enough to conquer all of New York, we’d be in some serious trouble if a real war broke out.

    These people would have surrendered after Pearl Harbor. Hell, they probably would have joined the Axis before then. Their totalitarian, tribalist attitude would have fit right in with Imperial Japan and the Nazis.

    People seem to get confused on the matter of insanity. Bush and Cheney? Evil, yes. Insane, no. Not even stupid, just corrupt. But these sorts, who truly want to demonize and wage war on an entire region of the world, an entire religion, and an entire set of cultures? Now that is insanity.

  9. Swami  •  Jul 15, 2010 @4:26 pm

    I never heard of Pam Geller before…but a quick Google search shows that she’s a piece of work..Atlas shrugged. com..? I got a kick out of one of her quotes, “I love Muslims. Some of my best friends are Muslims”. Makes you wonder!

  10. erinyes  •  Jul 15, 2010 @4:56 pm
  11. uncledad  •  Jul 15, 2010 @8:32 pm

    “But these sorts, who truly want to demonize and wage war on an entire region of the world, an entire religion, and an entire set of cultures? Now that is insanity”

    Right you are they are just as bad if not worse than the nutcases waging jihad. I don’t see a real difference between them.

  12. Swami  •  Jul 15, 2010 @8:53 pm

    I don’t see a real difference between them.

    One is willing to die for their cause, and the other is willing to let somebody else die for their cause.

  13. felicity  •  Jul 16, 2010 @11:51 am

    You got it, Swami. Not only are they willing to let somebody else die for their cause, they originate and promote the cause and never, but never, put themselves in a position of having to die for it.

  14. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 16, 2010 @12:28 pm

    Also too, from the late, great Phil Ochs, on war:
    “It’s always the old who lead us to the wars,
    And always the young who fall…”

    Kind of the same with religion. You don’t see some high level Muslim leader who straps on explosives and blows himself up to join his 72 virgins. No, it’s some young disaffected shlub who gets conned to into doing that.
    And if you remember a few years back, you had that hyper-religious school that was a “Cult of Dumbaya.” The older teacher told her student’s that there a ‘Religion Gap’ between Muslims and Chrisians. The Muslims are willing to commit suicide, so Christians should think about doing the same thing.
    “Oooh, Oooh, Mrs. Kotter. I have an idea! You FIRST!!!”

  15. biggerbox  •  Jul 16, 2010 @2:00 pm

    The amazing thing about this controversy is that Pam Geller gets away with spewing such nonsense in a day and age when I, sitting in Seattle, can enter the street address into Google Maps and in seconds be clicking around a street view that gives me an idea of what is across the street from the proposed site: a big boring office building somewhere between 10 and 13 stories tall, and NOT Ground Zero. Research these days is SO EASY. Why can’t people do it, before they let liars spread their hate?

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