Enough With the Buttinskys

Obama Administration

According to this Yahoo News story, people around the country are organizing protests against the proposed Islamic Center in lower Manhattan. They’ve got a photo of a bleeping protest in bleeping Tennessee. Give me a break. How would they feel if a bunch of New Yorkers showed up in their town and dictated to them what they could and could not build?

I didn’t pay much attention to it when it happened, but apparently a few weeks ago Pam Geller organized a protest in lower Manhattan in which people from across the U.S. assembled and protested the Islamic center. Exactly how many is a matter of dispute, but it was some number between 350 and 2 million.

Geller is organizing another protest for September 10. I am no good at organizing things, but I would just love to whip up a humongous counter-protest of NEW YORKERS. Well, OK, I’ll let New Jerseyites come too. They watched the towers burn and fall from New Jersey. But if anyone has any idea whom to prod to organize such a thing, speak up.

I get an impression that some of the protesters are opposed to building mosques anywhere in the U.S. A google search showed there already are three mosques in Manhattan and more than 30 in the New York City area. How do we know they aren’t going to train terrorists? some ask. I guess the same way we know, or hope, they aren’t training pedophiles at Saint Patrick’s. If we aren’t going to turn into a police state, sometimes you have to give people the benefit of the doubt that they are what they say they are.

But if that’s what worries the haters, then it’s far better to build a big Islamic center in lower Manhattan than anywhere else. It would be tricky to have a secret training camp in one of the more densely populated places on the planet.

Now that great waste of human protoplasm known as “Newt Gringrich” is saying “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” Yes, that’s mature. If the Saudis are intolerant, we have to be intolerant too, just to show we can be as intolerant as they are! That’ll show ’em!

Except the Saudis wouldn’t be affected. The ones who would be affected are “West African handbag vendors, to Egyptian halal cart owners, to a few financial workers.” Who are also New Yorkers, and Americans, by the way. Not Saudis.

Nice article by Kelly Caldwell, “Say Yes to a Mosque at Ground Zero.”

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  1. MNPundit  •  Jul 22, 2010 @4:14 pm

    The Tennessee thing is probably because of the anti-Mosque situation in Murfreeseboro. So it’s a local thing for them and it makes sense to show it because that’s the other big anti-Mosque ground zero right now.

  2. cheflovesbeer  •  Jul 22, 2010 @4:20 pm

    Maha, there is an Islamic Center being expanded upon in Murfreesboro, TN. The two republicans running for congress in the district are trying to out wing nut each other. Murfreesboro has, I believe, the largest Kurdish population in the US.


  3. maha  •  Jul 22, 2010 @4:30 pm

    Murfreesboro has, I believe, the largest Kurdish population in the US.

    Have they forgotten that we had to invade Iraq because Saddam was gassing the Kurds? (15 years earlier)

  4. bill bush  •  Jul 22, 2010 @5:05 pm

    Maha, your fourth paragraph is the funniest, most perceptive, most honest thing I have read in a while. Thank you.

    But really, now, how do you expect a counter-demonstration to happen in NY in the last weeks of the summer heat? I thought everyone was in the Hamptons then! I may be wrong on the weather there, but here in the Deep Swelter, September is just a wish for cooler weather, not a real improvement.

  5. maha  •  Jul 22, 2010 @9:50 pm

    Bill — No, folks are in the Hamptons in August. Or at least I think that’s where they go. They don’t take me along. 🙁
    September weather usually is lovely in Noo Yawk. I remember the weather on the real September 11. It was a gorgeous day. When the subways stopped working I walked about 11 blocks to get to work, and it was a perfect temperature for walking. I’m guessing it was in the low 70s.

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 22, 2010 @6:58 pm

    As I mentioned on Steve M’s site, here’s what I took from what Newt said:
    It’s the equivelant of, ‘American women shouldn’t be allowed to vote until the women of Saudi Arabia can vote.’
    And he’s the INTELLECTUAL in the Republican Party! Tells ya all ya need to know right there.
    Please Newt, run for President. Just put a term limit on yourself if you win. Only one term per marriage. That’ll leave you one term short of FDR, unless you decide to ditch the present Mrs. Newt and marry somebody else.
    Now, you know he loves you too much to do that just to get a 4th term, right Mrs. Newt? You can trust him, can’t you? He loves you so much more than the other two wives… *

    PS: Yes, I know about Presidential term limits.

  7. uncledad  •  Jul 22, 2010 @8:54 pm

    I saw one of the cable bobble heads (I think it was tweedy bird) ask a great question of one of the mosque haters, he asked: at what distance from ground zero would it be permissible to build a mosque? Of course the question was not answered, but the question should be asked every time these intolerant fools protest the centers construction. I’m sure one of those fools will answer eventually say 1 mile, then the logical follow up would be would you put the same restriction on a church or temple?

  8. biggerbox  •  Jul 22, 2010 @9:44 pm

    I’d join Pam for the protest in NYC, except I’m already booked at a protest in Oklahoma City to block them from building a church near the site of the Murrah Building. Can you imagine!! Those hateful Christian terrorists! I don’t see how people could let them practice that awful religion there.

    And I’ll consider Newt’s suggestion that we should start modeling our behavior on Saudi Arabia once he agrees that we should start with how we treat adulterers, like say, um, er, well….maybe Newt should shut the hell up?

    Don’t get me started on that Murfreesboro nonsense.

  9. Tom B  •  Jul 22, 2010 @11:31 pm

    “between 350 and 2 million. ” Gotta love those error bars.

    “I saw one of the cable bobble heads…. ask a great question of one of the mosque haters…: at what distance from ground zero would it be permissible to build a mosque?”

    What’s the radius for sex offenders? How about an atheist center? This could be a really interesting exercise in “angels dancing on the head of a pin” counting.

  10. Swami  •  Jul 23, 2010 @12:02 am

    Here’s what Newt(kick-em when their down) Gingrich needs to curb his appetite for adultery. And Rudy could benefit from a little of this medicine also.


  11. eric  •  Jul 23, 2010 @3:10 am

    Tennessee!, Tennessee!!!!, Let’s look at what they have right in Nashville Tennessee:

  12. goatherd  •  Jul 23, 2010 @10:02 am

    As the satellite image you posted illustarted, the site for the proposed mosque is approximately two and one half blocks away. Opponents are framing successfully if they can make people react as if it really were to be built at “ground zero”.

  13. maha  •  Jul 23, 2010 @10:46 am

    goatherd — exactly. Many opponents also like to emphasize that the center will be 13 stories high, which suggests that they think a 13 story building would be looming over Ground Zero and casting its shadow upon it. Um, no.

  14. Peter VE  •  Jul 23, 2010 @12:24 pm

    It would be a terrible thing if Aliou Niasse might like to use the proposed Islamic Center. He is the Senagalese Muslim immigrant who works as a photograph vendor on Times Square, and was the first to alert the police in the Times Square attempted bombing. Better he should stay a second class citizen…

  15. Lynne  •  Jul 23, 2010 @12:57 pm

    I heard on NPR a few days ago that the project was supported and financed by a Sufi group, so can’t imagine what the problem would be in any case. But of course, Americans wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, no matter where the funding was coming from.

  16. Bonnie  •  Jul 23, 2010 @3:29 pm

    I just read at TPM that Daniel Schorr died at 93. He was the last of the great newsmen. I have missed seeing him on TV these past years. The newspeople today do not even know what integrity in news means; but, Schorr was with a group of newspeople who invented it. May he rest in peace.

  17. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 23, 2010 @4:49 pm

    Schorr was the last of his generations great news lions. He was a wonderful writer, and great on TV and radio. A smart and thoughtful man.
    A job well done. RIP.
    Now, on TV, we’re left with either cute Barbie’s and Kens who can read, smile, and frown on cue, or propagandists and liars. Though, they’re not mutually exclusive.
    There are exceptions, to be sure. But they’re few and far between. Rachel Maddow comes to mind. I have high hopes for Christiana Amanpour.
    Newspapers are a dying medium. Maybe local papers will survive. I’m sure there are many good local reporters. But, when you go to a larger paper, it’s not that MORE is expected of you, it’s less. Of course, you have still have some great writers. Dana Priest comes to mind. In magazines, Sy Hersch, Matt Taibbe.
    I have great hopes for the internet. No, not “Politico,” but other sites.
    If there’s another Schorr, Brinkley or Cronkite, in our future, the internet is going to be the likely breeding ground.
    The other mediums fields appear to have grown fallow from greed and co-ownership. I’d say sow them with salt, but, one never gives up hope, ‘do one?’

  18. Doug Hughes  •  Jul 23, 2010 @7:21 pm

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”

    First Amendment – in that Constitution thingie.

    Granted, the prohibition is against *Congress* making any law which prohibits the free exercise of your religous beliefs, but I don’t think any state or local ordiance local ordinance against Jews or Mormons would be upheld.

    What planet are these fascists from?

  19. Bonnie  •  Jul 23, 2010 @8:57 pm

    I would just like to comment on how Daniel Schorr and his colleagues actually go with this story about the buttinskys. In the days of the news organizations run by the likes of Daniel Schorr, the buttinskys would not even be considered worthy of their time and attention. If the “b’s” couldn’t get a mention on the news, then they wouldn’t even bother because I believe they are more interested in their 15 minutes of fame than keeping mosques out of a neighborhood they may never visit. Of course, their lack of standing would be the reason why quality news organizations would ignore them. But, today, our time is so wasted by such insignificant people and insignificant news organizations.

  20. jack  •  Jul 24, 2010 @2:56 am

    I’ll consider Newt’s suggestion that we should start modeling our behavior on Saudi Arabia once he agrees that we should start with how we treat adulterers

  21. Anon  •  Jul 24, 2010 @2:21 pm

    People from all over this country lost loved ones on 9/11, not just New Yorkers. And New York is the one American city, that, like D.C. belongs to all of us, not just the residents of the city.

    In this incidence, I think the protestors are right. Bigoted, but right because it feels wrong.

  22. maha  •  Jul 24, 2010 @3:35 pm

    People from all over this country lost loved ones on 9/11, not just New Yorkers. And New York is the one American city, that, like D.C. belongs to all of us, not just the residents of the city.

    Those of us who were in New York that day would take exception, but let’s go on …

    In this incidence, I think the protestors are right. Bigoted, but right because it feels wrong.

    It doesn’t feel wrong to me; it feels exactly right to me. I want that Islamic center to go right were it’s planned to be. That feels right. It would be a monument to the unquenchable, wide open spirit of the city of New York. What feels wrong is a bunch of bigoted assholes perpetrating the hate and fear and ignorance that caused the attacks in the first place.

    Dear, butt out. Butt. out. And go away. Thank you.

  23. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Jul 25, 2010 @1:33 pm

    I can’t even understand the mindset that equates any mosque with the attackers of 9/11, and I frankly think that protesting the mosque shows that terrorism works. Even if I thought that building a mosque there was a bad idea (and I don’t), I’d feel that if I complained, I’d be letting a bunch of punk terrorists control me.

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