It takes just one sign
Posted by aogWednesday, 08 September 2010 at 22:29 TrackBack Ping URL

Here’s a nutcase who has the complaint that President Obama isn’t really African-American because he’s not angry enough and doesn’t attack Republicans just because they’re Republicans. My question is — can I tar the entire MAL with this, since this author is a MAList? Yes, she’s a fringe element posting on the InterTubes, but how is that different from a single fringer holding up an inappropriate sign at a Tea Party rally? The latter seems to suffice to define the Tea Party, so shouldn’t I be able to use the same principle?

P.S. Or perhaps James Lee, crazy Al Gore fan. Can we talk about how Gore’s hateful rhetoric is killing people now?

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Harry Eagar Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 23:35

I had a talk with a friend of mine last week. He was James Lee’s English teacher his first year in high school. He tells me Lee was angry and mentally ill, enough so that some of his teachers were frightened by his essays.

It’s obvious the guy was deranged, and you aren’t doing yourself any favors by politicizing a sad case of mental illness.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 13 September 2010 at 00:12

Old Media has set the standard that if some crazy does something, then any political associates are tarred with his actions. You’ve done it yourself with regard to the Tea Party and crazy people holding up placards. But apparently the only way to explain it is to do what I did here (even though it’s sardonic rather than serious). Then, suddenly, it’s clear.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 14:39

Is this an admission that Sharron Angle is clinically crazy? How would we know whether some sign-carrier is a mental case or just an angry nut?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 15:04

None of my statements here have anything to do with Sharron Angle. I don’t think she is crazy, clinically or otherwise. As for knowing about the sign carrier, perhaps if you don’t know, you shouldn’t presume.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 01:54

Uh, I’m not presuming. That’s my point.

For Lee, we have some indications.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 08:58

You were presuming they were not crazy and presuming they were representative of the Tea Party. For them, we had indicators that they weren’t typical Tea Party activists.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 13:55

I wasn’t assuming anything except that they were supporting the TP, which they were.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 15 September 2010 at 15:24

And others presumed that James Lee was supporting Al Gore’s environmental politics, which he was. Yet you didn’t like me even joking about it.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 16 September 2010 at 13:23

Show me evidence the sign holders have exhibited obvious mental instability for over 30 years, and I’ll be happy to lump them in with Lee.

You appear to be arguing that the default assumption about Tea Partiers is ‘mental defective.’

Some people — but not me — probably do think that, but I wouldn’t have expected it of you.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 16 September 2010 at 15:19

No, I am objecting to your presumption that the sign holders were Tea Partiers, and that their signs were indicative of the general tone of the Tea Party. The comments about Lee are precisely analogous — the presumption that Lee supports Al Gore’s policies and therefore his actions are an indictment of Al Gore.

Perhaps an analogy that might be clearer is Timothy McVeigh and Rush Limbaugh.

Hey Skipper Friday, 17 September 2010 at 12:36

What I object to is that the “Tea Partiers are racists” meme is a perfect example of ad hominem attack.

Harry Eagar Friday, 17 September 2010 at 18:38

i objected to that, too, although as time passes and they don’t ditch the racist kooks who rushed up from outside to walk at the front of the parade, it becomes harder and harder.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 17 September 2010 at 19:56

See, Skipper, this is why I don’t think it’s an ad homimem attack. It’s much more of a spinal reflect. Or a verbal tic — some people throw a profanity in every few words without even hearing it, others add “racist” to any negative description of a person. Just cast your mind back to this where the Tea Parties were “racist Nazis”, a claim which was simply forgotten by the next comment. I would ask about these “racist” at the front of the parade but as you can see that’s proved to be a completely pointless in the past, I don’t expect any different now. Eagar has stated he think talking about voter fraud “carries way more than a whiff of antiblack racism” in some cases. So for all we know, he’s talking about people who support required identification to vote.

Hey Skipper Friday, 17 September 2010 at 21:51

A spinal reflex can still be an ad hominem.

Heck, in addition to the odd racist and nazi, there could well be some inveterate nose pickers.

So what.

In all the fulminations about the Tea Party, I have not seen one pixel, or heard one syllable, that addresses the TP point of view, never mind try to provide a counterargument.

The same elite that is bringing the racist meme is also painting those who think the GZM something between a bad ego trip and a thumb in the eye as anti-Muslim bigots.

There is no teaching some people.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 16:15

The organizer of the antiislamiccenter rally is certainly an antimuslim bigot. It is my impression that some of the other leading whipper-uppers are mere cynics.

It would be a matter of philosophy to determine which speaks less well of the followers, those who are attracted to antimuslim bigots or those who are attracted to manipulative frauds.

In any event, if there is one characteristic that seems prevalent among the noisy TPers, it would be indifference to the limits of the Constitution.

Are the silent majority silent from assent or do they just not get the Constitution?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 20:30

Which rally? There has been more than one. I also don’t see what has to do with the Tea Parties. I also think your charge of anti-Muslim bigotry is likely specious as well.

if there is one characteristic that seems prevalent among the noisy TPers, it would be indifference to the limits of the Constitution.

Exactly the opposite. Of all the noisy groups that are politically active today, I find the Tea Parties to be by far the most concerned with and obedient to the Constitution.

Are the silent majority silent from assent or do they just not get the Constitution?

I think, to a large extent, the silent majority has turned in to the Tea Parties and they want the Constitution put back in force. This would be bad news for much of the regulatory state, which is one reason I think you so dislike them, despite your claim here.

I have to ask, though, do you have like a check list or something which your work your way down as you cast aspersion at your political opponents? You don’t seem to pay any actual attention to those opponents, you just fling the standard MAList derogatives and, as each one is shown to be bogus, move on to the next.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 14:46

Mr. Eagar -

You are strongly antimuslim yourself. What did, or does, the organizer of the antiislamiccenter rally do to earn the appellation “bigot”?

Hey Skipper Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 21:12
The organizer of the anti-islamic center rally is certainly an anti-muslim bigot.

One of the most annoying things about those painting those opposed to the GZM (see Glenn Greenwald, a certifiable MAL, and OJ), is their continuous inability to discern between a Muslims, and Islam.

IMHO, reinforced by having just now finished Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “Infidel”, Islam practiced with anything other than thorough negligence is a totalitarian death cult, and the Quran is no more worthy of admiration than Mein Kampf.

With regard to the GZM, Feisal Abdul Rauf has not notably disavowed any of the pillars of Islam, nor has he been particularly forthcoming about which of the many repellent parts of its canonical texts it should consider “inoperative”.

I don’t know whether this makes Rauf is poking a thumb in our collective eye, or is merely a particularly tone deaf egoist. His refusal to reconsider relocating the GZM, despite the ire it has raised, adds fuel to both fires.

Whatever. I come by my intense dislike of Islam honestly, as I am sure, do many others.

Am I anti-Muslim or anti-Islam? How does tagging the term “bigot” on either address opponents’ arguments against the thing?

The same way that the MSM and the MAL continually reaching for the TP-racist brush does.

Not at all.

Harry Eagar Monday, 20 September 2010 at 00:37

Rough, I am strongly opposed to political Islam, I am indifferent to its theology, except if it can be shown that the theology directs the politics, then knowing the theology might be helpful in an analytical sense. My objection to Islam is not that Muslims are wrong to avoid pork but that they are stupid to avoid good government.

And I have often said that the majority of Muslims are politically inert, they are — from the point of view of infidels — neither good nor bad. They might as well not even exist, the way nobody really cared how the Chinese peasants existed beyond their existence as a ‘sea’ for communist or nationalist active fish to swim in.

As far as I understand the constitution — I am sure the more expert here will correct me — you do not have to prove yourself to be a good Baptist/Muslim/Mormon to build yourself a place of worship in this country. You just have to have a land title or a lease and some money.

I don’t disagree with Skipper that the Quran (to the extent it is intelligible at all, which Ibn Warriq points out, about a third of it isn’t) promotes bad behavior. So does the Bible and so must any universalizing, salvationist monotheism. Christians are not prominent suicide bombers, though, because, as Benedict noted, they have secularized their politics (and as he didn’t note, internatlized their religion). Rauf appears to be somewhere further along that trajectory than most prominent Muslims and to that extent should even be given an attaboy.

Or not. It depends upon your taste. But whatever, he has to be allowed to build his church.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 20 September 2010 at 08:31

[Feisal Abdul Rauf] has to be allowed to build his church, [as] you do not have to prove yourself to be a good Baptist/Muslim/Mormon to build yourself a place of worship in this country.

He has the right to build it, but might not exercising that right fall under the “stupid to avoid good government” line of thought?

In other words, that one can do something implies nothing about whether one ought to do it. Like that crazy preacher that used to demonstrate at the funerals of slain soldiers.

Hey Skipper Monday, 20 September 2010 at 13:32
As far as I understand the constitution — I am sure the more expert here will correct me — you do not have to prove yourself to be a good Baptist/Muslim/Mormon to build yourself a place of worship in this country.

Strawman alert. No one objecting to the GZM says otherwise, and if Rauf had chosen someplace even a mile further away, instead of a building where bodies and aircraft debris came to rest, we would have heard nothing of it.

So, yes, he has to be allowed to build his mosque. But until he repudiates Islam’s repellent nonsense — must apostates be killed? — then those rather less enamored of Islam must be allowed to clearly state that the combination of what and where is hideous.

Calling them bigots thereby — an assertion I see you have not chosen to defend — is the same ad hominem the MSM uses against the TP.

My prediction on the GZM: It will not get enough capital to start, and if it does, nothing will happen because construction workers are too bigoted to work on the site.

erp Monday, 20 September 2010 at 13:45

Mollifying Muslims, and Muslifying Mollies, by Mark Steyn puts the matter into perspective. What a treasure this man is!

Harry Eagar Monday, 20 September 2010 at 14:21

It is not correct to say that no one objecting to the Islamic Center says he could build his church if he were only a good Muslim, since the whipper-uppers are saying there aren’t any good Muslims.

I have pointed out at RtO — it is obvious, although I have not seen it stated anywhere else — that all Muslims subscribe to the promise of god to make the world purely Muslim, a difference with the other so-called abrahamic religions that could not be more stark. But since I am not interested in theology, only politics, the important distinction is whether they expect god to accomplish this now, with their violent help, or sometime in the by-and-by.

Rauf counts as a meliorist, and if you aren’t going to interact with meliorists, then by default you are hoping for all-out religious war. It’s a war we would win, but I suspect we would regret the cost.

Hey Skipper Monday, 20 September 2010 at 14:44
Rauf counts as a meliorist …

If he was a true meliorist, he would understand that most people disagree with the site of his mosque (including, as a recent poll cited today in Taranto’s Best of the Web, just as large a majority in Islamic countries), and that continuing with it contradicts his asserted intentions.

Just like building a Carmelit nunnery at the gates of Auschwitz would have done.

So, he is either not a meliorist, or he is an idiot, or an egoist. That list is not mutually exclusive, BTW.

Hey Skipper Monday, 20 September 2010 at 14:45

erp: thanks for the link.

erp Monday, 20 September 2010 at 18:01

Skipper, add grifter to that list.

Harry Eagar Monday, 20 September 2010 at 21:31

I would doubt that a majority of Americans have the faintest clue where this center is. I do. I’ve been there.

Since Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is also ‘too close,’ I think the idea that he is insensitive is bunk.

Hey Skipper Monday, 20 September 2010 at 23:55

So, no mosques have been built since 9/11?

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 21 September 2010 at 15:48

There have been, with no fuss until this phony controversy was ginned up by the 100% Americans.

They never have accepted the Bill of Rights.

Hey Skipper Friday, 24 September 2010 at 13:56

I’m calling shenanigans.

The controversy was not ginned up by Americans, but by a location that was chosen stupidly or otherwise, as proven by all the mosques built elsewhere without controversy.

As for not accepting the Bill of Rights, you need to read the whole thing.

Harry Eagar Friday, 24 September 2010 at 14:27

I’ve never argued that Muslims weren’t stupid. Just the opposite.

Who would have thought that large numbers of Americans would be arguing for Saudi religious practices in the name of Americanism? Even I didn’t think the rightwing was that nutty.

Wrong again.

Hey Skipper Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 13:17
Who would have thought that large numbers of Americans would be arguing for Saudi religious practices in the name of Americanism?

Huh?

Harry Eagar Sunday, 26 September 2010 at 15:13

You can’t open a church in Saudi Arabia. Now, it appears, you cannot open a mosque in the United States, if the majority gets its way.

There is always a stratum of bigots in this country who want to impose restrictions on other religions. Only rarely do they get attention outside their localities, and never, ever like now. But visit the Becket Fund and read through some of their cases (you might find my name there), and you will see what I mean.

Hey Skipper Sunday, 26 September 2010 at 15:25

Nonsense.

Plenty of mosques have opened since 9/11, and plenty will continue to open.

This whole schlamozzle was a consequence not of what (although the what bears a lot more consideration than puff pieces like this, or reflexively slapping “bigot” upon every opponent, provide), but where.

Had the original site been even a mile further away, no one would have given a darn.

If the majority “gets its way” here the what is going to get its where shifted a little bit.

Equating that with Saudi Arabia is moral relativism in the first degree.

Harry Eagar Monday, 27 September 2010 at 00:11

Sometimes people get labeled bigots because they are, you know, bigoted. Nothing new about this particular outcry. Becket has dozens of cases where neighborhoods change and former Christian churches, no longer wanted, are taken up by, say, orthodox Jews, who are promptly attacked for destroying the neighborhood.

It’s against the law, but it happens all the time.

There’s nothing sacred about that area. Have you been there? Do you know what is right across the street from the pit? When I get a chance RtO may describe it. It won’t be pretty.

Hey Skipper Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 16:46
There’s nothing sacred about that area. Have you been there?

Yes, I have.

And I can’t imagine anything less relevant than what other business establishments happen to be there; what, you would have to retract your entire position if there were day care centers for the disadvantaged as far as the eye could see?

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Tuesday, 28 September 2010 at 22:41

Had the original site been even a mile further away, no one would have given a darn.

I believe that’s Mr. Eagar’s point; that proposition is within the comfort zone of the anti-Mosque crowd, but the Constitition doesn’t apply only if the majority approves. Thus, “if the majority ‘gets its way’ here the what is going to get its where shifted a little bit” is anti-Constitutional.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 15:56

My description of the area is now up, titled ‘Fluorescent pink plastic disco boots.’

Two issues are getting conflated. As Rough says, the Constitution allows the mosque to go anywhere churches or synagogues are allowed. End of story.

It could be objected, though, that even if legally permissible, there is something untoward about a mosque in that sacred location. There is no evidence that those precincts have been treated socially as specially sacred during the past decade.

A mile is a heck of a distance in Manhattan, by the way.

Hey Skipper Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 15:36
Had the original site been even a mile further away, no one would have given a darn.
I believe that’s Mr. Eagar’s point; that proposition is within the comfort zone of the anti-Mosque crowd, but the Constitition doesn’t apply only if the majority approves.

You both need to read the Constitution. That “the Constitution allows the mosque to go anywhere churches or synagogues are allowed.” is simultaneously obviously true and completely beside the point.

Scarcely anyone offended by the GZM is appealing to government to prevent its construction. The vast majority are vociferously expressing their offense that unreconstructed, unrepentant, supremacist Islam intends to put a monument to their hate-filled nonsense at a place so close to the twin towers that bodies and airplane parts hit it. While people do use the term “sacred ground” in referring to the area, what they really mean is that the area is forever distinct because people Islam murdered ended up there.

That expression of anger is called freedom of speech, and is just as protected from government interference as building places of worship. Its a Constitutional thing.

Just as Harry has tarred the entire Tea Party with the racism of a very few, he has tarred all anti-GZM sentiment with the demands of a number so few as to be practically invisible.

Further, proposing the GZM outside the 9/11 frag zone in the first place would have prevented most, if not all, the controversy.

Conceding people’s obvious offense and moving it would have been the act of a meliorist. Refusing to do so forces the conclusion that the whole point of the GZM is where, not what.

When it comes to meliorating and the Constitution, it pays to remember for a moment that preacher who declined to burn some copies of the Quran.

Copies which were his personal property. The burning of which was completely protected by the Constitution. When confronted by the anger such an act would entail, he changed his mind.

Part of that confrontation, BTW, included pressure from government officials and a $180,000 bill from the local police department for “protection”.

Between the GZM and the Quran not burning, where is the true offense to the Constitution?

Harry Eagar Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 15:51

No offense to the Constitution either way by the proponents, but plenty of offense to the Constitution by the Gellerites.

Plenty of people suggested to the press that it ignore both the preacher and the imam. Good idea.

I looked it up. One mile is twice the width of Central Park.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 20:32

[U]nreconstructed, unrepentant, supremacist Islam intends to put a monument to their hate-filled nonsense … [on] “sacred ground”.

But this is good, no?

As the mosque is constructed, we can fill the walls with all kinda surveillance devices. A WTC mosque will draw radical, plottin’ Islamofascists like flies to a Qur’ān - and we’ll be recording every word… Brilliant!!!

Harry Eagar Friday, 01 October 2010 at 14:10

That’s a joke with some bite to it.

To those of us old enough to remember, the arguments begin to sound like the complaints about commie embassies, or where to put the United Nations headquarters; or, on the other side of the McCarthyite divide, the similar reactions of the bolsheviks to creeping capitalism.

Some people cannot sleep if they don’t worry that there are spooks in the closet.

Hey Skipper Friday, 01 October 2010 at 19:09

One mile is twice the width of Central Park.

Oh, for Pete’s sake, an off-the-cuff is being held to a ruler.

How about this: Certainly there is no end of places Rauf could have built his monument to Islam that wouldn’t be squatting on the dead of 9/11.

But he didn’t, and, as of yesterday, won’t.

That’s some kind of meliorist you have there.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 02 October 2010 at 15:10

This thing — unlike, say, the neo-nazi march through Skokie — was clearly not meant as a provocation and was not taken as one. It was accepted, even welcomed for well over a year without fuss, obtaining five unanimous votes in favor by the local civic group, so it was not obviously offensive, or even speculatively offensive on second and third thought.

The outcry was ginned up by a (take your pick) 1) evil; 2) mentally ill publicist.

You are being played.

Hey Skipper Saturday, 02 October 2010 at 21:43

This thing — unlike, say, the neo-nazi march through Skokie — was clearly not meant as a provocation and was not taken as one.

That is wrong on its face.

Whether it was meant as a provocation, it was certainly taken as one as soon as people found out about it.

Something like 70% of New Yorkers think the proposed sight is offensive, which pretty much mirrors the sentiment nation-wide. Proving that it is the where, not the what, that people find annoying.

Rauf has completely failed to come to terms with how insufficient is his anodyne invocation “moderate readings of Islam”. This inadequacy is further compounded by the MSM’s relentless use of “anti-Muslim” where “anti-Islam” is clearly correct.

So, no, I am not being played. Just like the Carmelite nuns could — and did — easily find much better places to build their convent than in the shadows of Auschwitz, so can Rauf with his mosque.

Which, I predict, he will in the end have to do.

Because the building trades will refuse to work on it.

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