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Even in our degraded state of affairs, we have internalized the idea that it is rude to respond uncivilly to issues which our political opponents pretend to take seriously. And that's too bad, because there are a lot of these issues that should be easily dismissed by someone prominent -- the president, say, or a ranking member of Congress -- simply saying "Yeah, that's bullshit" and refusing to talk about it any more.

Foremost among these at the moment is the non-issue of all non-issues, the proposed building of a community center in Manhattan by a Muslim organization. On the list of things America needs to be worrying about at the moment, it ranks somewhere in the lower ten-thousands, but somehow, conservatives have contrived to make it the preeminent problem of the day. Even I, as you can see from this very website, have become obsessed with it, despite the fact that by every rational standard, it is complete and total bullshit. What do I mean by every rational standard? I mean that there is no sensible reason anyone would care about this issue: there are no grounds for opposing it legally (it's private property, purchased by the organization in a perfectly legitimate fashion), morally (the people building it had nothing to do with the terror attacks of 9/11/2001), religiously (freedom of religious assembly is protected by the U.S. constitution), ethically (the man behind it is a respected scholar and a Sufi, the most peaceful of all Islamic schools of thought), economically (if anything, it will be a boon to the area), or historically (there is already a mosque in the area, closer to the World Trade Center than this one will be). Even the language the right has warped to describe the building -- "Ground Zero mosque" -- is total bullshit on every level, because it is not at ground zero and it is not a mosque. When even the words you use to describe an issue are fraudulent, that's a good signal that no one should be paying any attention to you.

And yet, the bullshit keeps on piling up.

US President Barack Obama's endorsement of a controversial plan to build a mosque just blocks from Ground Zero poured fuel Saturday on a raging debate over religious freedom and sensitivities over the 9/11 attacks.

BULLSHIT RATING: Doppelbock Institutional-Grade Bullshit. The controversy is entirely manufactured, and Obama's comments did not "pour fuel" on the debate; it just gave people who already hate Obama a way to attach him to the fabricated outrage.

On Saturday the group 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, which represents some relatives of attack victims, said it was "stunned" by the president's remarks. Obama "has abandoned America at the place where America's heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see," the group said.

BULLSHIT RATING: Quadruple-somersault Grade AA Premium Bullshit. Obama has not abandoned anything, and if, contrary to what conservatives usually have to say about lower Manhattan, it truly is the place that America displays "her true values", they will remain unperturbed by this building, as they have been unperturbed by the presence nearby of strip clubs, gay bars, and actual mosques.

"Now this president declares that the victims of 9/11 and their families must bear another burden. We must stand silent at the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered with reverence or risk being called religious bigots."

BULLSHIT RATING: Octuple Kraken-style AAA Prime Unadulterated By-Prescription-Only Bullshit. No 9/11 families are being forced to bear any burden whatsoever; the risk of being called a religious bigot is only run by those who express religiously bigoted opinions; and anyone who claims that Ground Zero is "the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered" is automatically composed entirely of bullshit and should not be listened to, but rather spread across fertile soil to encourage crop growth.

Congressman Peter King, who represents New York in the US House of Representatives, said the Muslim community was "abusing" its rights and "needlessly offending" many people.

BULLSHIT RATING: Quintuple SAT-Prep-Course A-Grade Restaurant-Quality Bullshit. Only a conservative would define exercising one's rights as "abusing" them, and needless offense is not more acceptable when you direct it at Muslims.

"It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero," said King, a Republican. "Unfortunately the president caved in to political correctness."

BULLSHIT RATING: Triple Creamy Smooth 'n' Luscious Chocolate Flavored Artificial Bullshit-Style Fertilizer Product. There is, as has been pointed out repeatedly, already a mosque "in the shadow of ground zero", and context-free use of the phrase "political correctness" is an automatic three-stroke bullshit penalty.

Passions over the issue run high across the country. A Florida church has already said it will hold a "Koran-burning" on September 11 -- which this year coincides with Eid al-Fitr, the end-of-Ramadan holiday.

BULLSHIT RATING: Incalculable. Any time you find yourself burning books, whatever the issue is, you're on the wrong side of it.


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Aug. 15th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
I've been bothered all day that this was the top news item on every news show I heard/saw. Really? This is the most important thing happening today? I second your BULLSHIT call.
Aug. 15th, 2010 01:38 am (UTC)
At least HuffPo has the decency to mention the JOB'S CRISIS as their headline. But they still cover every bit of this bullshit story....
BLANK - ludickid - Aug. 15th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Butthurt is always the top story these days.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
Fave comment! - khrysha - Aug. 16th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
If the message is "hey, let's give a damn about the people and relatives directly affected by 9/11", why wouldn't they pass that little bill that lets them get health coverage?
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Because then some foreign companies would have to pay more taxes. MOAR TAXES = ULTIMATE BADS
BLANK - ludickid - Aug. 15th, 2010 08:46 am (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - gwenhwyfaer - Aug. 15th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Are you an idiot? - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 02:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - paradisacorbasi - Aug. 15th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - karma_aster - Aug. 16th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - paradisacorbasi - Aug. 16th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - karma_aster - Aug. 16th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - truthpact - Aug. 15th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - swashbucklr - Aug. 15th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Are you an idiot? - omgangiepants - Aug. 16th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
Aaaaaaaaand linked.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:47 am (UTC)
Aw! Well thanks, miss! I hear you're getting wedded up soon.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:02 am (UTC)
Damn man, beautiful job of cutting thru the bullshit! (AND Rating it!)
Such a shame that today's media has forgotten one of the benchmarks of true journalism...reporting the facts!
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:05 am (UTC)
Smile, you've been metaquotesed!
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:48 am (UTC)
Much obliged!
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:08 am (UTC)
When the media distracts with bullshit topics like that then it is obvious they are trying to blind people from noticing something that is more crucial. Then it's like a puzzle, What is it they don't want us to notice?
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely true.

Likewise, whenever a Republican is in a hurry about something, it's time to slow waaaaay down and take a good hard look at it.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)


Then again, it IS Florida.

Hullo. Linked here from Neil Gaiman's Twitter; excellent write-up.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:15 am (UTC)
Goodness. I tweeted about this, and Neil Gaiman retweeted it. I suspect you're therefore going to get the bazillion readers this deserves. Go you.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
Go, I counter, you! I always knew Neil Gaiman would notice me one day; I just figured it would be because I'm so handsome.
BLANK - rollick - Aug. 15th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:18 am (UTC)
Good post
Indeed. If it were an Islamic flight simulator school, maybe.
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
Re: Good post
I wasn't going to mention it, but there is a real dearth of Islamic flight simulator schools in America today...
Re: Good post - truthpact - Aug. 15th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Good post - mjausson - Aug. 15th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
Finally someone has some sense. Of all the comments I've read in response to articles covering this story online, the only ones with any lick of sense were given so many negative votes that it just became even more depressing a read.

So thank you
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
I really enjoy those features on Yahoo! and other news sites that let you vote down articles and comments. It's like getting the chocolate of mob rule in the peanut butter of responsible journalism! Dee-licious.
*golf clap* - lord_of_entropy - Aug. 15th, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
This is *SO* going on my Facebook page!
Aug. 15th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
"Any time you find yourself burning books, whatever the issue is, you're on the wrong side of it."

Good rule of thumb.
Aug. 15th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
having actually lived in nyc on 9/11...
I don't give two shits what's built where.
America, land of the free, excep...
Aug. 15th, 2010 10:08 am (UTC)
Well, I can't argue with this. But I must say I'm not all that upset by book burning. It's not like books are in short supply (and if you're worried about the loss of their content, just scan them before you burn them and they'll be infinitely replicable.)

But I do believe that if someone is going to burn books they should do it in winter, when doing so can help conserve other, less abundant fuels.

Of course even then it would be wiser to shred the books and convert them to cellulose insulation. As insulation, books can save far more heat than could ever be generated by burning them.

Aug. 15th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
I just tend to wonder where this 'Florida church' is going to get the koran copies to burn - I mean, presumably, they aren't standard stock for a Florida church?

Are they going to buy them specially, for the occasion? And if so, isn't there something ever-so-slightly (if darkly) amusing about that...

("So, anyway, a priest walks into a bookstore and buys two hundred copies of the koran..." - although I guess Amazon is more likely...?)
BLANK - (Anonymous) - Aug. 16th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
Aug. 15th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
The Mosque is coming from INSIDE the Trade Center!
I (idiotking from AVC comments) work right AT ground zero, overlooking the site from one of the buildings nearly wrecked in the attack. The biggest piece of bullshit for me is that this muslim 92nd Street Y keeps getting closer and closer to ground zero in the hyperbolic comments of the Sarah Palins and Newt Gingriches. First it's "in the neighborhood," then it's "near", then it's "adjacent." How long till they start screaming that the actual plan is to have muslims occupy the memorial and pray there five times a day?

Anyhow, some of my co-workers are muslim. Some of them aren't muslim, but have had to deal with a ton of anti-muslim and anti-arab prejudice because of their skin color. My favorite friggin' halal cart that I get lunch from half of the week is closer to ground zero -- and the two arab muslims who run it are awesome, hilarious, hard-working, America-loving dudes. I'm not going to let anyone say that they can't have a place for their culture and/or faith in the neighborhood where they work and live!

The people of Manhattan support this -- and fuck Sarah Palin and whatever else those New York-hating, "east coast elitist"-bashing yahoos from anywhere Staten Island and beyond have to say about it.
Aug. 15th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: The Mosque is coming from INSIDE the Trade Center!
Fantastic over-view, man!! Not only two thumbs up, but four star evaluation of what America has always been and should continue to be.
Aug. 15th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
Got here from Neil Gaiman's retweet.

I love your BS-o-meter ratings.
Aug. 15th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
I live in Alabama and am sick of the lies and comments I have to listen to on a daily basis. I have been threatened for speaking the truth and trying to interject reason and sanity into a redneck's brain (sic)
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC)
Only a conservative would define exercising one's rights as "abusing" them, and needless offense is not more acceptable when you direct it at Muslims.

Now, now - there's a great deal of context in the exercise of any rights. For instance, we all have freedom of speech, but we don't have the right to shout "Muslim" in a crowded theater. Especially if we know the person involved isn't a Muslim (Coptic Christian, perhaps, or Druze Lebanese).

We have the right to be friends with Muslims, but we don't have the right to bring a Muslim on a crowded airplane if the pilot, or stewards, or a majority of the passengers, feel uncomfortable. Federal regulations require that we declare and stow our Muslim for the entirety of the flight. Given that this is a safety issue, it's only fair.

Rights have limits in a civil society. Those limits include harming other people, making other people think about harm, scaring other people, or making them feel icky feelings, you know, like when you're cleaning the hair trap out of your sink. The American people have given Muslims so much; it's time for them to give back.
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
You, sir, are win.

Gah, I feel so internetty putting it like that.
BLANK - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:20 pm (UTC)
Your post is bullshit.
I lived in the lower east side all my life. Four generations. I would walk by the WTC a million times. Let me tell you something, you cushy lib, you don't understand that the idea of human debri floating around due to readical islam DOES offend us.

YOUR side gets offended when Palin talks. Your side makes up outrage over one race bating story after another. Your side lets London turn into radical pakistin and does nothing. We're so sorry if us 'bigots' don't subscribe to your 'suck thumb and hide' philosophy.

This isn't about those who hate Obama, you tool, because nobody brought him up in this debate until HE brought it up.

When Palestine is attacked by Jews and the Jews demand a temple, I'll await your support of that temple

When we demand a church on Hiroshima, I demand your support.

You hateful liberals do nothing but judge and insult white american conservatives and, magically, don't have the courage to attack anybody else. It's because of that your opinion is worth nothing. Well, that and the fact that you have no ties to 9/11, emotionally or physically.

So good for you, you well fed dandy liberal, I'm very happy that you ASSUME I'm a racist, but I grew up the only white kid in my area and my jewish father married an irish catholic.

WE DO NOT need lectures from you, you liberal elitist scumbag.

You always DEMAND accountability and compassion from US - you NEVER demand it from THEM.

It is for that reason alone you CANNOT be taken seriously. Kiss off. The builders of the mosque had every right to say "You know what, we realize this is a sacred area where HUMAN REMAINS FLEW, so maybe we'll work with NYC to build another one"

FUNNY how that never happens! It's always gotta be ME who bends over for OTHERS. But we know why that is - they are important and I am not. They are important because they vote for your party and I do not.

Therefore, I'm worth selling out. When I need to be talked down to, lectured, sold out or let down, I CERTAINLY know where to go.

Fake outrage. Fuck you. Come to NYC and say that to our faces. You scumbag.
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Your post is bullshit.
I grew up in lower Manhattan, live in Manhattan, and still mourn the death of a loved one in the WTC collapse, and I will happily read this post out loud to your face anytime--except you're an anonymous coward, which makes that difficult.
Re: Your post is bullshit. - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - rosefox - Aug. 15th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - nomadmwe - Aug. 15th, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Your post is bullshit. - mrph - Aug. 15th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - emurii - Aug. 15th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - usernamenumber - Aug. 15th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your post is bullshit. - dornbeast - Aug. 15th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, one more thing
The man behind building this has made it clear in his beliefs that 9/11 was due to our policies. It's odd how you do not know him and judge him instantly to be a good person/innocent yet uou judge people like us to be hateful animals.

Is that part of the liberal compassion that you phonies preach about? Illegal immigrants? Innocent. Muslims? Innocent. White american conservatives? Hateful - guilty. White sheriffs? Hateful, guilty.

What a scumbag you are. All of you who behave that way. When your area gets attacked wake me up when imam's come to your aid.

GOOD LUCK ON THAT! I'm STILL waiting for THEIR support almost 10 years later. Jerks.
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, one more thing
The man behind building this has made it clear in his beliefs that 9/11 was due to our policies.

What does that mean, "made it clear in his beliefs?" That by being Muslim he's made it clear? That he's said as much but you couldn't be bothered to quote him?

Oddly enough, I believe 9/11 happened because of our policies. That is a statement of cause and effect, and makes no judgments on whether it was justified (NOTHING could justify what happened on 9/11) or even whether I agree with said policies or not. So if that's all you got...

It's odd how you do not know him and judge him instantly to be a good person/innocent yet uou judge people like us to be hateful animals.

People are judged by their actions. He's building a community center, and is an honored scholar of a peaceful religion. People like you...
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Great post!
I love it and agree that the whole issue is 100% bullshit. However, I got a little tired of the repeated usage of the words "the Right", "conservatives", and "Republican". There are plenty of Democrats opposing the so-called "mosque" for very similar bullshitty reasons.

I use to consider myself conservative/Republican. But apparently nowadays there is no such thing as a good Republican; they are all bible-thumping, gay-hating rich white folk who oppose anything that would inconvenience them or take money from their pocket. I mean, I understand that there are quite a few like that. But the general consensus seems to be that all Republicans are like that by default and are worthy to be mocked for their ridiculous politics and their bigotry.

I guess what I want to know is: does everybody on the Left think that? Is there anyone out there who thinks maybe there ARE some good Republicans with valid views that are worthy of respect? Obviously, politics have been polarized for a long time now, but when did being conservative become equated with being ridiculous? No one expects the two sides to agree; that's why there are two parties in the first place. But is mutual respect too much to ask for?

I'm not just saying this because I'm a Right-winger. In fact, at this point I have discovered that I don't really agree with either side enough to identify with them; now I consider myself a moderate if anything.
Aug. 15th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
My brother is a Republican and a great guy. He supports gay rights, would never thump a Bible at anyone, and will go far out of his way to help people. If I did not know he was a Republican--yes, sadly, I would think all Republicans were Bible-thumping, gay-hating, over-entitled rich folks, because those are the ones I see. Politics has become a circus, and when a Republican does dare to show sense in public he is attacked by his own party.

You're suffering in the political area from the same issue I am in religion--it's hard being a Christian when that gets you equated with idiots like the "God hates Fags" bastards. Of course, our troubles coincide in the Tea Party lunatics.

I think we have to take back our names from the crazies, and calling bullshit will help with that.
BLANK - usernamenumber - Aug. 15th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Take back your label... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sort of agreed. - (Anonymous) - Aug. 15th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - johnwwells - Aug. 16th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Mutuality begins at home... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 16th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 15th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
Here via metaquotes. See icon for reaction.

Aug. 15th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Whenever I hear people getting outraged about this crap, I wonder how they would have reacted if someone proposed a chapel at the site of the Murrah building.

Looking at the website http://www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org/secondary.php?section=2&catid=30,

I can't help but notice that it's described as "sacred soil".
Aug. 15th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
If I really wanted, I could legally, following zoning and safety laws, start a gun range/gun club near Columbine or l'Ecole polytechnique.

My goal, to let everyone know that most gun owners are in no way connected to those "unfortunate" incidents.

I could do it. But I would not. Because I have common sense and decency
BLANK - schtune - Aug. 15th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - johnwwells - Aug. 16th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Totally different... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 16th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - schtune - Aug. 15th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - superdaintykate - Aug. 16th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - superdaintykate - Aug. 16th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC) - Expand
BLANK - schtune - Aug. 16th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
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flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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