Open Thread Wednesday 8/4/10

Flickr photo by catchesthelight

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

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  • my2cents

    Mike Bloomberg’s speech defending religious freedom and tolerance regarding the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” was his finest hour as our Mayor. I was proud to see him represent our city as a place where we haven’t forgotten the basic ideals our nation was founded upon. The speech was short, eloquent and moving. It may be the best political speech I have heard/read in years.

  • Claude Scales

    My2: You might also appreciate Richard Cohen’s Washigton Post piece on the same subject.

  • Fritz

    A red bike has been chained to a no parking sign on Montague Terrace for over a week. Anyone on this list forget it there?

  • DrewB

    I agree 2cents!

    I feel like something that was local issue (and not much of one) had been completely hijacked by national politicians and the Media. I find it particularly irritating that lots of people who have made a career out of maligning this city and it’s inhabitants now feel like they can come to our defense when it fits their agenda. Go back to Alaska you bimbo!

    And I also find it sad that as Bloomberg was was being so noble, the ADL was being appealing to the lowest common denominator. Though it was pretty funny this morning watching the the ADL’s national director on CNN trying to explain why his organization was (or wasn’t in his opinion) siding with the Gingrichs and Palins of the world.

  • Jorale-man

    I agree My2Cents. Something that the opponents of the mosque fail to realize is there’s a thing called freedom of religion this country. I’m glad that Bloomberg is will to stand up to the bigots who think otherwise.

  • Jorale-man

    oops, that should read “willing to stand up”

  • DrewB

    Instead of using the BS hyperbole that the MSM and Palinites have adopted can we at least call it what it is. An Islamic Center, like a YMCA, that has one small prayer room. Those people use the word “MOSQUE” like some big scary boogieman.

    And I’m also sick of hearing people say it is being built “at ground zero”. It is two blocks away. With huge buildings in between. By that measure you could also say that there is a strip club at ground zero. And a liquor store. How offensive!

  • DrewB

    Does anyone else have trouble posting in this new format? I feel the web form misses a third of my keystrokes. And then other times it jus freezes up.

  • JJ

    I disagree w/ 2 Cents. I have no problem with a mosque being built in NYC but in the shadow of the Twin Towers? I dont like that AT ALL. They can have the same freedom of religion 10 or more blocks away. Face facts, 19 muslims knocked down the Twin Towers… Let them build a mosque 1/2 mile away… FYI In countries like Indonesia (most populous Muslim country), the people want to kill people who attempt to build churches – they don’t have public discussion and debate.

    Religion and more specifically religious fanatics are the root of most problems in the world

  • Judge

    Your emotions don’t translate into law. They have the right to put a mosque there. Protesting it because it’s close to Ground Zero is ridiculous as there are mosques that already exist that are closer, so should those be closed down?

    People also have the right to protest but they should be protesting for the right reasons: religious institutions using their tax shelters to influence politics, subjugate women, persecute gays, encourage genocide and pay attorney fees for priests that diddle with 12 year old boys’ penises.

  • George Earl

    All the best to the mosque now scheduled to be built within a “stone’s throw” from the downed World Trade Center. God willing, it’ll inspire more people to pray, not only for better world peace, but for a safe future for the mosque itself. All it’ll need is one very angry individual (of any religion, or none at all), and the problems will grow virtually sky-high. It is wise to look at all possibilities.

  • AEB

    J., “They” can have the same…etc. That’s the problem, isn’t it? The need (and it IS a need) for a “they,” who aren’t us, aren’t anything like us, because of belief or a thousand other “negatively” defining characteristics.

    The Islamic region and the billions of adherents to it weren’t responsible for 9-11; group of fanatics were. Having the mosque near Ground Zero makes an appropriately ecumenical point: despite a tragedy inflicted by few, we seek to deny the spurious things that separate us, to bridge difference..

  • AEB

    …and yes, I too am having technical difficulties with the site that include:

    1. Frequent crashing–browser is Firefox.

    2. Characters not appearing as I type them.

    3. Slow age loading. That’s “page”….

  • my2cents

    Why does it matter so much to people whether it is 2 blocks away or 10 blocks away? It’s just another building in Lower Manhattan. It’s not on the soil of Ground Zero, and it doesn’t face the site either. Also it is being built by a nonprofit that seeks to heal and improve Muslim-West relations, not by an Islamist group. I don’t think Bloomberg’s speech had anything to do with Political Correctness. He can never run for mayor again. He made that speech simply because he was standing up for the rights enshrined in our Constitution. I for one am glad he stood up to those people who wrap themselves in our flag while they defecate on our freedoms in the name of religion.

  • JJ

    I just don’t like showing respect to a group that has a large % of people who hate us. There are homegrown muslims who agree with Iran/Hamas/Hezbullah, don’t kid yourselves. You think the Japanese would appreciate a United States Heros of War Museum in Hiroshima or Nagasaki?
    Are all Muslims terrorists? Of course not… are 99% of terrorists Muslim? Yes. Failing to admit that and realize it, like O’bama does, is just putting the blinders on.

  • AEB

    JJ, your analogy involving Nagasaki is false: the propose mosque is not a national memorial; the Islamic religion is not a political agenda.

  • DrewB

    JJ you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. 99% of Muslims are terrorists? That is just idiotic. Your sort of hate filled vitriol is why this country and this planet are in such bad shape.

  • DrewB

    Wow! It makes me sad to think such bigots live in my neighborhood.

  • Andrew

    While I may not always agree with Emperor Bloomberg, he was completely correct about the Islamic center. To say that any and all connections to Islam should be banned from lower Manhattan because of 9/11 is the kind of knee-jerk xenophobia that is one of America’s worst traditions, for a project that doesn’t deserve the outcry it’s attracted.

    Time profiled the Imam behind Park51, which seems like the kind of project that is good for NYC:,8599,2008432,00.html

    If this was a radical mosque or madrass going in, say, where Century 21 is, I would agree with the ADL and protestors. But to say that anything Islamic is unwelcome south of 14th Street seems un-American.

  • DrewB

    Admins, since you wisely removed the disgusting comment made by the other poster feel free to remove my bigot comment as well.

    I’ll let the Mayor speak for me:

    “This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.

    Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that,” – mayor Mike Bloomberg, fighting back against the disgraceful Republican efforts to exploit and foment restrictions on religious liberty.

  • nabeguy

    If we listen to the demagogues who are trying to make political hay out of this project, then we might as well say to the terrorists that they’ve won, and rip up the Bill of Rights. We do not live in Indonesia, or Iraq or Afghanistan for that matter, but in America which, for better or for worse, adopted freedom of religion as one of its guiding principles. And for that, we are a better nation than most.

  • caitlin

    So… how does one say “Middagh?”

  • John Wentling

    The City doesn’t seem particularly interested in rebuilding a Greek Orthodox church – but by all means, let’s expedite the Muslim center/mosque.

  • AmyinBH

    The Port Athority had been trying to get St. Nichcolas Greek Orthodox Church closed long before the terror attacks. The church was on prime downtown real estate and the developers wanting the land. The destruction of the church has worked in the Port Authority’s favor to put pressure on a small Greek Orthodox Community to give up valuable land for commercial development. Commercial Development that is not needed. We Greeks don’t have a strong voice to fight against this injustice.

  • AEB

    Yes, John, it’s well known that the city gov prefers Islam to the Greek Orthodox Church. Has to do with the “gowns” those patriarchs wear.

  • DrewB

    Nice straw man argument John. The situations are complete different. The reason that church has not been built is because of red tape with the Port Authority and design complications at the ground zero site. No one is saying it shouldn’t be built. Here is a quote from an article on the website you linked :

    “The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency overseeing reconstruction, has not finalized the exchange of land needed to provide the congregation with a new home near ground zero. Until that deal is completed, the authority cannot proceed with building the southern foundation wall for the entire site, and cannot draw up designs for a bomb screening center for buses and trucks that would go under the new church.”

    No one is saying that a church shouldn’t be built there. And no one expedited the Islamic Center. It went through the same process as any other development in the city.

  • tb

    I was wondering about the new swings at Pier 1 playground. Are they designated for children with disabilities? I’m talking about the two green swings at the very end of the set where the child is locked into a seat. Will there be more considerations for disabled children? I haven’t seen much more than this, even at Pier 6…which is quite the opposite.

  • Claude Scales

    caitlin: MEE-daw

  • bornhere

    I am relieved to learn of the glitches others are encountering (none of which happen at work, where I use a PC). At home (aka Mac-topiaville), from Day 1 of the new BHB format, Firefox started crashing, and I actually thought my keyboard suddenly quit — it takes forever to type a complete word when trying to leave a BHB comment. Firefox has crashed about 8 times in the past few days, and I actually can’t recall a single crash in the past x-many years before this. I started to think it might be BHB-related, so I’ve actually begun to access the Blog, read whatever, and then close the tab, rather than leaving it open. C’mon, Homer — be nice to us Mac-ies, too :)

  • Joe

    Bloomberg’s speech makes me proud to be a NYer especially in light of whats going on AZ as well as the many states thinking of adopting their illegal immigration laws.