The Usual Hysteria

September 11, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

At Salon, Joe Conason writes about the attempts by Sarah Palin and others to whip up outrage and hysteria about the Islamic center that may be built in lower Manhattan. The world’s greatest city is not siding with the haters, Conason writes.

Certainly, you can find a few people in New York who are opposed to the center. I understand that about 100 or so showed up at a hearing a few days ago to protest the building. But in a population as big and as dense as Manhattan’s, I bet there are at least 100 people who sincerely believe they are the Tooth Fairy.

I’m sure many people around the nation hear about a 13-story building and picture it looming over Ground Zero. But the block just south of the mosque site is filled by a 20-story office complex. And the block just south of that is dominated by a massive federal building. Here is a satellite image of lower Manhattan that shows these buildings directly in between the proposed mosque site and Ground Zero.

So no, people will not be able to see Ground Zero from the mosque site, unless they have x-ray vision. Likewise, people at ground level at the old World Trade Center site will not be able to see the mosque. Given the size and location of the federal building, I’m not sure people would be able to see the mosque from Ground Zero even from a tower.

Mayor Bloomberg refuted Palin’s recent tweets about the mosque:

“I think our young men and women overseas are fighting for exactly this,” Bloomberg said. “For the right of people to practice their religion and for government to not pick and choose which religions they support, which religions they don’t.”

And Borough President Scott Stringer tweeted, “@SarahPalinUSA NYers support the #mosque in the name of tolerance and understanding. You should learn from the example we set here in #NYC.”

This really is the world’s greatest city.

I keep bringing this up because (a) it’s ridiculous, and (b) one of the reasons it has taken so long to build at Ground Zero is that wingnuts around the country keep interfering. Some of the early plans were scrapped, for example, because a proposed art center would have housed a gallery, now located elsewhere, that once upon a time exhibited some paintings with a political message the wingnuts didn’t like. As I remember, at the time, the wingnuts wanted a “museum” — more like a temple — built in honor of George W. Bush’s Iraq War.

Notice that these are the same people who claim to support “small government” and “freedom.” But the only “freedom” they really want is the freedom to control the rest of us.

Wingnuts: If you ain’t a New Yorker, butt out.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 20, 2010 @10:59 am

    Republicans and Conservatives are nothing more than a conglomeration of professional and amateur ‘Buttinski’s.’
    NYC is a monolith of everything you hate, guy’s. It’s mostly Liberal, and people of all colors, religions and sexual orientations live here in relative harmony. What business is it of yours? It’s OUR city. You want to change it? Move here and vote. But that thought terrifies the crap out of you Buttinski’s doesn’t it? NYC will taint your purity.
    As you all know, I’m not a religious person at all. But, I’d be for some sort of an “Interfaith Facility” on the ground floors of the new buildings, just to piss these MFing Buttinski’s off.
    A Mosque two+ blocks from the WTC is not a really earth-shattering threat to all but a few of your fellow Buttinski’s who live here.

    Buttinski’s, stick to what you do best. Here’s your “Best Of…” list over the last few decades.
    Keep telling us how church and state must be together. Christian, of course…
    Who we have sex with, where, and what position.
    How we have to carry any child to term.
    How everyone must be allowed to carry guns – even into religious facilities.
    Tell people when and where they can buy alcohol and drugs.

    Jesus, I’m getting old. I remember when conservatives were for staying OUT of people business.
    Now, name something, anything, and one of these Buttinski’s will tell you what, when, where, why, how, and who you should and shouldn’t be allowed to do it with. And we must all live with any consequesnce you’ve forced upon us.
    Buttinski’s, you know what? Get over yourselves.
    Loosen up.
    Put away your firearms.
    Have a drink.
    Take a toke.
    Grab or rub a Buttinski friends private part. Go ahead. They want you to. They’re frustrated, too. But, ask first, just to be polite…
    Draw a pentagram.
    Or, best yet, just STFU!
    Buttinski’s, butt out……

  2. terry  •  Jul 20, 2010 @4:43 pm

    You are absolutely right. I live no where near NYC and would not presume to opine on what the City should or should not permit. Personally, there are any number of things that have been pushed by Bloomberg and some of his predecessors with which I personally disagree–which is one of the reasons I have no desire to live in NYC. The only point I would make is that you are talking about a politician and politicians trying to control other people’s lives is what politicians do–on both the right and left. I am no Paul Rand libertarian, but I do think politicians of all stripes spend way too much time telling people how they should live their lives.

  3. jugheadjack  •  Jul 20, 2010 @4:46 pm

    Built in honor of g.w.bush’s war? I didn’t see no war. I saw an invasion and occupation.

  4. PurpleGirl  •  Jul 20, 2010 @4:47 pm

    From the NYT article on the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearings, Rick Lazio apparently believes that if the current building on the site gets landmark status it means the cultural center is finished. Ah, he should go see the Hearst Building at 57th St. & 8th Ave. Nice tall modern green building and contained in the shell of a landmarked building. Hearst couldn’t have the concrete building torn down so the building was gutted and the new building was put inside the older shell. It’s called adaptive restoration (or something like that).

    And as to why it’s taking so long to rebuilt on the WTC site — well, it takes time and a lot of preparation work to put up 100 or so story buildings. Beside all the political crap and the redesigns and stuff, the physical work isn’t like putting up a one-story McDonald’s. It took 4 and 5 years (respectively) to build the first two towers. I dislike the ignorance these people display so proudly.

  5. joanr16  •  Jul 20, 2010 @5:00 pm

    Terry, the problem here is that bigots are spending way too much time telling people how to live. The Bloomberg quote cited above shows he has a pretty good understanding of freedom, if not of the actual purposes of war. And, while I generally don’t agree with Bloomberg either, he isn’t behind the building of this mosque.

    I live in the Midwest, and I have little idea of the day-to-day lives of New Yorkers, but I do know how I feel when outsiders try to meddle in my neck of the woods; the recent anti-immigrant law passed in Fremont, Nebraska resulted from a campaign financed by an out-of-state white supremacist organization. This kind of long-distance hate is happening everywhere, and it isn’t originating with politicians, unless you still consider Palin to be one of those. I think of her more an a freelance fascist.

  6. Bonnie  •  Jul 20, 2010 @6:01 pm

    George W. Bush’s war was illegal and immoral. There should never be any honoring of that war.

    Love the “freelance fascist” description joanr16.

  7. PurpleGirl  •  Jul 20, 2010 @6:10 pm

    joanr16 — Mayor Bloomberg is in favor of the cultural center and mosque.

  8. WeWantPie  •  Jul 20, 2010 @6:45 pm

    I hope Sarah Palin (a/k/a “Quitty McPayMeNow,” thanks to Ripley of Whiskey Fire) will be pleased to learn that, after reading her illiterate and presumptuous comments about New Yorkers’ feelings, 9/11 and the plans for Cordoba House, this proud New Yorker has just now made a donation to the Cordoba Institute to welcome them to our beloved city. Glad she gave me the heads-up!

  9. joanr16  •  Jul 20, 2010 @7:33 pm

    PurpleGirl – by “behind” I meant responsible for. I understand that he supports it, but he isn’t building it, which is why I find Terry’s comment confusing. In this instance the only thing being forced upon New Yorkers is the ignorance of the bigots.

  10. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 20, 2010 @7:36 pm

    “Freelance fascist.”
    Wish I’d written that…
    Don’t worry, I will! 🙂

  11. Doug Hughes  •  Jul 20, 2010 @10:36 pm

    There’s a whole lot of presumtive religious bigotry simmering here. By ‘presumptive’ – I mean the bigots presume everyone understands that ‘freedom of religion’ actually means ‘freedom of Christianity’ (quotes to the contrary by Jefferson to be ignored.) The bigoted fact has not been properly addressed – if you can make the Moslem faith a second-class religion in Manhatten, you can expand the concept to sanction anti-Islamic institutional bigotry ANYWHERE! That’s the issue and Palin knows it. She’s playing to her base with the understanding that they understand.

    The purpose of the bigotry is not to *get* Moslems – the purpose is to enshrine Christianity as the official unofficial creed of the not-really-secular USA. A lot of smart people think SP won’t run for president in 2012, but will want to play kingmaker. I disagree. She doesn’t trust anone else to preside over the theocracy she envisions.

    Look at the sequence of events. Williams of Tea Party Nation puts up a racist blog and gets kicked out of the TP association. Williams is a big player in the anti-mosque movement. A few hours after Williams is expelled, SP sides with Williams on his #1 issue – clearly repudiating the rest of the TP movement. Tea Party Nation is the faction Palin was associated with in the recent bus tour. The other main faction is more associated with Ron/Rand Paul and the libertarians who are not that thrilled with the religious nuts.

    As I see it, SP is telling the libertarians to get in line with her and Williams – complete with racial & religious bigotries – because SHE’S the bride of the ball in 2012. (The libertarian faction plans on Ron Paul being the nominee.) This can’t have a happy ending. I hope.

  12. Crazy About Urban Planning  •  Jul 21, 2010 @1:03 am

    Holy cow they are crazy. Why do they care about NY City? I get the dog-whistle, we are a Christian nation bit, but the last thing we need is for Christians to treat Muslims like the crusades are back. The biggest mystery to me is how the call themselves conservatives. Like Gulag said up on the first comment – its more like puritans who can’t help but put themselves in everyone’s bedroom, doctors office, development board, church, car radio (i.e. talk radio), anywhere else they fear we may have a fun experience…

  13. Kyle  •  Jul 21, 2010 @3:22 am

    Yeah, but what do the people of Manhattan know about terrism compared to the Bush-voting Good Christian chickenhawks of Sisterfuck, Alabama.

  14. Swami  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:53 pm

    When did the World Trade Center site become hallowed ground? And why didn’t anybody tell me?

  15. YY  •  Jul 27, 2010 @10:49 pm

    The best place for the mosque is right on the site. This as protection against repeat attacks.

    Any argument that says it will not protect the site from a repeat, is more the reason why where a mosque should end up is argument of pure political manipulation.

  16. maha  •  Jul 28, 2010 @8:35 am

    This as protection against repeat attacks.

    I assume you mean repeat attacks from jihadists. The flaw in this theory is that jihadists trash mosques all the time. Sunnis bomb Shia mosques, Shia bomb Sunni mosques, and they both bomb Sufi mosques. I’ve never heard of the Sufis bombing anybody, however. Sufis are sort of the DFHs of Islam; they write poetry and dance.

    And strictly speaking, the Islamic center in lower Manhattan would not be a mosque. It would include a prayer room, but the building itself would not be a mosque. I’ve been calling it a “mosque” too, sometimes, but that was sloppy.

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