Saturday, August 21, 2010

Miss USA supports First Amendment but thinks Mosque should not be build so close to Ground Zero

Rima Fakih,Miss USA, Muslim womenThe reigning Miss USA has come out against the Ground Zero mosque, saying "it shouldn't be so close" to Ground Zero.

The 24-year-old Rima Fakih, is the first Muslim winner of the Miss USA contest and is preparing for the Miss Universe Pageant, scheduled for Monday in Las Vegas.

"I totally agree with President Obama with the statement on Constitutional rights of freedom of religion," Fakih told "Inside Edition" in an interview that will air tonight. (link)

Comment: Who cares what a Miss USA beauty queen thinks? I just like reminding people that not every Muslim women is wearing a burqa. Also, all Muslims don't think alike. They can even modernize and assimilate. Plus, it is an excuse to post a picture of a hot babe.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

David Hall's Campaign Financial Report issue resolved.

There has been considerable concern on the part of many Republicans about David Hall's improper filing of a campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission. That issue now appears to be resolved.

The primary issue was that it appeared that David Hall accepted a contribution from a corporation named AHC. A candidate cannot legally accept corporate funding. As it turns out, AHC is not a corporation but a sole proprietorship owned by David Hall. Hall is changing his FEC filling to reflect that he gave himself an in-kind contribution rather than receiving a contribution from AHC. That should resolve the issue.

During the campaign, Hall released a poll showing he was the leading contender in the Republican primary 5th Congressional District race. At the time I didn't believe it, but as it turned out he was. His exit polling was quite accurate.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a campaign doing its own polling. But why did Hall go to great pains to put up a bare bones website through VistaPrint and tout the poll as scientific and make it appear that the poll was independent? I wish he had not tried to deceive. Nevertheless, if the FEC is satisfied, I am satisfied and will overlook this minor attempt to deceive and will work for his victory.

Below is the Hall letter to the FEC. To see the original scanned letter, follow this link: Letter to FEC.

David Hall for Congress
Jeannie M. Isbell, Treasurer
5673 Lickton Pike
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

Identification Number: C00480319

August 12, 2010

Dear Ms. Jill Sugarman,

Pursuant to our phone conversation today, I am submitting the following to answer your questions and provide documentation of subsequent actions to remedy the transparency issues and apparent error in verifying in-kind contributions.

1. AHC is not a corporation. It is a sole proprietorship operated by David Hall. The language is vague on this issue and we felt it was an appropriate representation of the expenditure since it was Mr. Hall's resources. While clarification may be cloudy, we will take your recommendation in changing the name to reflect the in-kind contribution as being made by the individual rather than the sole proprietorship.

An erroneous assumption was made concerning Roberts Brothers' Coach Company. This is a corporation owned by the Roberts brothers. Mr. Gary Roberts offered the use of a bus for campaign events on 4/9/2010, 6/18/2010, & 6/23/2010. To comply with FEC guidelines we have issued a check to Mr. Roberts in the amount of $1,725.00 which equals the declared value of the use of the bus. We have enclosed a copy of this check for your inspection. The refund will be reported on Schedule B on the next filing since the refund is being made in that period.

I trust these preemptive actions will prevent the need for any further legal action.

2. We have provided a more detail explanation of individual in-kind receipts and disbursements. Should you find the additional explanation inadequate, we will amend to provide any additional information requested.

Thank you for the opportunity to take corrective actions to provide the most complete and accurate disclosure possible. It is our intent to provide a transparent representation of the campaign finances and welcome any interaction to ensure this goal is achieved.


Jeannie M. Isbell
David Hall for Congress

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Let the mosque be built; there’s no reason not to

Aug. 20, 2010, Kathleen Parker, The Tennessean

[Excerpt] Nobody ever said free­dom would be easy. We are daily chal­lenged to rec­on­cile what is allow­able and what is accept­able. Com­pro­mise, some­times mad­den­ing, is part of the bar­gain. We let the Ku Klux Klan march, not because we agree with them, but because they have a right to dis­play their hideous ignorance.

Ulti­mately, when sen­si­tiv­ity becomes a cud­gel against law­ful expres­sions of speech or reli­gious belief — or dis­be­lief — the loser is all of us.

Comment: I agree. Well said.

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More Reports from a Titty Bar at Ground Zero

"For Strippers Near Ground Zero, It’s Business as Usual Amid Mosque Uproar," writes Andrew Grossman in the Wall Street Journal. He interviews Chris, a stripper at the Pussycat Lounge. The Pussycat Lounge is one block south of the site of the World Trade Center. "The front entrance of the strip club ... offers a clear view of the ongoing construction at the World Trade Center site," he writes.

Chris, the stripper who volunteered in the Ground Zero recovery and who had eight fireman friends die in the tragedy, says “They’re not building a mosque in the World Trade Center." And, "The people who did it are not going to the mosque.” And, “I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s freedom of religion, you know?”

I wish Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin were as wise as Chris the stripper. I wish they had as much respect for the constitution.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Titty Bars at Ground Zero

Titty Bar at Ground Zero, New York DollsFor all of those enraged about a proposed Mosque being built at "Ground Zero", which is really two blocks away from the foot print of the World Trade Center, you might also want to be enraged about what else in the neighborhood.

There is an off-track betting establishment, some cocktail lounges, a McDonalds, plenty of places to conduct commerce or shop till you drop and a Titty Bar!

Actually there are a couple of titty bars and an adult book stores selling "marital aids" and adult reading material. Now, how scared is this hallowed ground in America's most thriving and cosmopolitan city?Titty Bar at Ground Zero

The titty bars are New York Dolls and Pussycat Club. Just in case you want to stop by for some patriotic pole dancing after visiting sacred ground, I am including a map and a picture of one of the establishments.

Map and some of this information lifted from Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Mosque at Ground Zero and The War with Islam

There is a difference between believing the New York City mosque and Muslim community center should not be build at the location it is proposed and in advocating the government should prohibit it from being built at that location. I don't fault anyone who expresses an opinion that they find a Mosque build at that location to be offensive. I don't fault anyone from trying to persuade those who are building the Mosque to move it elsewhere. One has a right to be offended.

There are a lot of things that offend me. Thankfully our freedoms are not dependent on not offending people. Thankfully our liberties are not subject to an opinion poll. Hopefully, the Constitutional right to freedom of religion and property rights will trump the desire of others not to be offended.

Fortunately, most responsible conservative are not advocating banning the construction of the Mosque even if they do find it offensive.
In an August 16 editorial, National Review Online stated that "no reasonable opponent of the project contests the right of Muslims to worship as they please in this country -- the First Amendment religious rights of Muslims never have been in question, at all." They go on to say , it "is unseemly and ill-considered." And, "That position in no way implies a disregard for the First Amendment."

Pamela Geller writing at Atlas Shrugs says, "The very idea of a 15-story mega-mosque on hallowed ground is indecent, offensive and outrageous." She goes on to say however, "No one has suggested abridging the first amendment to stop the mosque."

The Wall Street Journal writes, "The government has no right to stop imam Feisal Abdul Rauf from developing the abandoned Burlington Coat Factory at 51 Park Place into a 13-story complex of classrooms, auditoriums and a mosque under the name of Cordoba House. Even opponents of the mosque concede this point."

I wish National Review, Pamela Geller and the WSJ were right, but unfortunately, there are other leading conservative who argue that because the area around "ground zero" is so scared that the construction of the Mosque should be prohibited.

"When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there -- and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized or misappropriated," writes Charles Krauthammer.

Pat Buchanan, while not as explicit as Krauthammer, likewise makes an argument that banning the construction of the Mosque is appropriate and says, "When developers tried to build a mall next to the Manassas battlefield, many who had kinfolk who fought and died in that war blocked it, including Jody Powell, Jimmy Carter's press secretary. They did not fight development because they opposed private enterprise, any more than those who blocked the licensing of a casino beside Gettysburg battlefield did so because they dislike gambling."

I am not buying the argument of Krauthammer and Buchanan. If a church or temple could not be prohibited from being build on that site, neither should a Mosque. I agree with Mayor Bloomberg who said, "The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right (to build the mosque)– and if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another. "

While Krauthammer and Buchanan can make a semi-plausible argument for banning the Mosque without coming off as bigoted leaders of a mob willing to abandon the constitution, ordinary people are not as nuanced in their pronouncements or as smooth in hiding their real feelings. I talk to people all the time who view the Muslim faith as the enemy and every Muslim as a potential terrorist. Every Mosque is seen as a planting of the flag of conquest.

Here are some excerpts from chat group postings I just read today:

It's about flaunting their conquering of The Trade Center. Why do you think they chose this location? Why do you think they chose the name "Cordoba"? It's obvious that they want to rub our noses in their victory. If they build at that location it will be seen by tens of millions of Muslims as a validation of the 9/11 attack done in the name of Islam. I believe it is clearly intended as a provocation.

Another post:

The fact that we as a group are having to prove all of this is frightening. There should be no gray area. Muslims are honor bound to kill anyone who refuses to convert to Islam. Period! Islam is not a religion. It is a political group with punishments for failing to obey. Like stoning, raping, murdering, sawing off children's arms, throwing acid on the faces of women, chopping off hands. There can be no gray area on this. A devout, sincere, friendly, charming, upstanding Muslim will have to kill you, whether they want to or not. If they don't....they will be killed. So beware of those around you. Remember that they are honor bound.

Another comment:

OMG! I can't believe that the President of the United States would back the building of a "conquest" mosque at Ground Zero. I am stunned!…and next week Obama is honoring three Muslims soldiers at the Pentagon…What about all the other men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan? Obama has made it perfectly clear where is loyalties lie, and it's not with the American people. I am still in shock…this is unbelievable!

The above comments are not isolated. I am with people every day who think just like that. Even if one accepted the argument that due to the special significance of "ground zero" that government would be justified in stopping construction of a Mosque at that particular site, what is the argument for stopping the construction of a Mosque in Brentwood, Murfreesboro or Antioch Tennessee?

When hundreds march in Murfressboro demanding that the construction of a Mosque be stopped simply because it is a Mosque and when a leading candidate in a U. S. Congressional race supports them and when a leading candidate for Governors expresses doubt that Islam is really a religion entitled to First Amendment protection, I fear that our constitutional protections are very fragile.

There are those who view every one of the 1.8 billion Muslim in the world as an enemy dedicated to our destruction. They think it is impossible for a Muslim to assimilate and be good Americans. They think followers of the Muslim faith are immune to the forces of modernism and moderation.

I am not at war with Islam. I agree with President George W. Bush when in the wake of 9-11 said:

I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.
In 1942, 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were rounded up and placed in concentration camps. Since then, our government has apologized and most Americans have been embarrassed by this injustice. I am not so sure we have any greater respect for our liberties and the Constitution now an we did then.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Audit finds uncounted voting machne! Herny's lead reduced.

Senator Doug Henry's lead over challenger Jeff Yarbro just shrank from 13 votes to 11 votes after an Election Commission audit turned up a previously uncounted voting machine. What? How do you miss counting the votes off of an election machine?

This should be totally unacceptable. This does not inspire confidence in the electoral process. The Election Commission, and maybe the Metro Council, should have formal hearing and devise systems of checking and double checking to ensure that this cannot happen. How many total votes were cast on this machine? How did this happen? This only came to light because of the closeness of this particular race. How many other voting machines did the election commission fail to count? Maybe it is time for new leadership at the election commission. Every vote should be counted!

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Omaba on the Ground zero Mosque

President Obama recently created controversy by his comments about the proposed mosque at "ground zero", in New York City. The mosque is actually a mosque and a Muslim community center and the proposed site is two blocks away from the foot print of the twin towers. Nevertheless, many feel that it inappropriate and should not be permitted to be constructed at that location. Below is the full text of the President's remarks.

Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner

For Immediate Release August 13, 2010
State Dining Room

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening, everybody. Welcome. Please, have a seat. Well, welcome to the White House. To you, to Muslim Americans across our country, and to more than one billion Muslims around the world, I extend my best wishes on this holy month. Ramadan Kareem.

I want to welcome members of the diplomatic corps; members of my administration; and members of Congress, including Rush Holt, John Conyers, and Andre Carson, who is one of two Muslim American members of Congress, along with Keith Ellison. So welcome, all of you.

Here at the White House, we have a tradition of hosting iftars that goes back several years, just as we host Christmas parties and seders and Diwali celebrations. And these events celebrate the role of faith in the lives of the American people. They remind us of the basic truth that we are all children of God, and we all draw strength and a sense of purpose from our beliefs.

These events are also an affirmation of who we are as Americans. Our Founders understood that the best way to honor the place of faith in the lives of our people was to protect their freedom to practice religion. In the Virginia Act of Establishing Religion Freedom, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.” The First Amendment of our Constitution established the freedom of religion as the law of the land. And that right has been upheld ever since.

Indeed, over the course of our history, religion has flourished within our borders precisely because Americans have had the right to worship as they choose -– including the right to believe in no religion at all. And it is a testament to the wisdom of our Founders that America remains deeply religious -– a nation where the ability of peoples of different faiths to coexist peacefully and with mutual respect for one another stands in stark contrast to the religious conflict that persists elsewhere around the globe.

Now, that's not to say that religion is without controversy. Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities -– particularly New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. (Applause.) And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who led the response to that attack -– from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us also remember who we’re fighting against, and what we’re fighting for. Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam -– it’s a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders -– they’re terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion -– and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

So that's who we’re fighting against. And the reason that we will win this fight is not simply the strength of our arms -– it is the strength of our values. The democracy that we uphold. The freedoms that we cherish. The laws that we apply without regard to race, or religion, or wealth, or status. Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us –- and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today.

In my inaugural address I said that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus —- and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and every culture, drawn from every end of this Earth. And that diversity can bring difficult debates. This is not unique to our time. Past eras have seen controversies about the construction of synagogues or Catholic churches. But time and again, the American people have demonstrated that we can work through these issues, and stay true to our core values, and emerge stronger for it. So it must be -– and will be -– today.

And tonight, we are reminded that Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity. And Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been a part of America. The first Muslim ambassador to the United States, from Tunisia, was hosted by President Jefferson, who arranged a sunset dinner for his guest because it was Ramadan —- making it the first known iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. (Applause.)

Like so many other immigrants, generations of Muslims came to forge their future here. They became farmers and merchants, worked in mills and factories. They helped lay the railroads. They helped to build America. They founded the first Islamic center in New York City in the 1890s. They built America’s first mosque on the prairie of North Dakota. And perhaps the oldest surviving mosque in America —- still in use today —- is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Today, our nation is strengthened by millions of Muslim Americans. They excel in every walk of life. Muslim American communities —- including mosques in all 50 states —- also serve their neighbors. Muslim Americans protect our communities as police officers and firefighters and first responders. Muslim American clerics have spoken out against terror and extremism, reaffirming that Islam teaches that one must save human life, not take it. And Muslim Americans serve with honor in our military. At next week’s iftar at the Pentagon, tribute will be paid to three soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and now rest among the heroes of Arlington National Cemetery.

These Muslim Americans died for the security that we depend on, and the freedoms that we cherish. They are part of an unbroken line of Americans that stretches back to our founding; Americans of all faiths who have served and sacrificed to extend the promise of America to new generations, and to ensure that what is exceptional about America is protected -– our commitment to stay true to our core values, and our ability slowly but surely to perfect our union.

For in the end, we remain “one nation, under God, indivisible.” And we can only achieve “liberty and justice for all” if we live by that one rule at the heart of every great religion, including Islam —- that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

So thank you all for being here. I wish you a blessed Ramadan. And with that, let us eat. (Applause.


Comment: I know it is a heresy for a Republican to say you agree with the President and I know I risk getting kicked out of the vast right-wing conspiracy but there is absolutely nothing in this speech that I think is incorrect or inappropriate. I also believe in the First Amendment to the Constitution. I also think that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, or Murfressboro Tennessee or Antioch, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.

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