The Keane Edgeby Brendan Patrick Keane
- Exorcism of my inner Peter King
- Gas question: why give Ireland's enormous wealth away? the Norweigan alternative
- Bashing the Irish -- a break neck run down on Ireland's history of betrayal
- Stephen Fry to appear on Gaelic soap opera Ros na Rún
- Stolkholm Syndrome infects Dublin
"Black women have long been treated as the red-headed step-child of the fashion industry." Keli Goff made that gaff on Dylan Ratigan's show yesterday. According to the beautiful essayist, red-heads are the accepted example of ugly duckling--Gingerellas if you will.
Her picking on one body type to make her point about diversity on Vogue covers was ironic. Diversity would mean that all kinds of body types get the cover.
Picking on red-heads seems a wee bit cruel. In Britain, red-heads are deemed "ging-ers," and such epitaphs are part of a long history of ethnic defamation against people with the audacity to live on land coveted by more powerful blondes and brunettes.
Glenn Beck's rally was held on Dr.King's anniversary forty seven years later, but also a year following his comment that "Barack Obama is a racist."
With such comments, Beck has been trying to defile Obama's style of politics. Beck is the only commentator to drudge Jeremiah Wright back up, but this time as Obama's teacher of liberation theology, which he claims is the secret Marxist belief-system of the president.
Stephen Colbert is pictured there to the right on his Thursday August 26 show, performing a segment called You Mosque Be Kidding in which he conspires with the Catholic pope. With it, he captures anti-Catholicism in one picture. Part of being an Irish American, is to be responsible to the Civil Rights story where such cartoonish prejudice was overcome for ourselves, and for others after us. We have a place in the Civil Rights story here, because we were part of that which overthrew oppression and opened doors.
Muslims are waiting for their Civil Rights moment in America. The stabbing of New York cab driver Ahmed Sharif by Michael Enright has ended the mosque debate, and reaffirmed the struggle of Muslims is no different from that of Catholics. It was a disgraceful moment, as when Joseph Rakes ended any discussion on bussing in South Boston with an American flag he used to attack Theodore Landsmark, a black attorney on the Civil Rights case. That incident led to mini-race wars across Boston in the 1970s.
Sharing information about the mosque's funding sources would be a courtesy Muslim Americans might consider extending to an American public, myself included, that do not understand Wahhabi Islam and are concerned that the Sufi proposal will become altered by the financial controls of later investors. Considering the location is a landmark site in the 9/11 narrative, such courtesies would be expected from an institution dedicating itself to dialogue, but would not be required.
The contradictions of Stephen Colbert's person/persona are as shifting as the perspective his character/self takes through the course of any show.
It's hard to say what "he" believes, because he can dart in and out of irony like a rabbit.
Jon Stewart is the only pundit to take-on the question of the Ground Zero mosque's funding with anything like detail.
The mosque is being funded in-part, by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who is also a major shareholder in Fox News Corporation. Other benefactors of the poorly placed mosque project are unknown and will remain so, according to organizers.
This means the media outlet most critical of building the mosque on top of a site destroyed by parts of the hijacked plane, is also kind-of building it.
Funding for the Ground Zero mosque is a big secret that organizers are keeping locked-up, while telling everyone this mosque is about dialogue and healing.
In mystery, the mind conjures. I am left only to piece together what this mosque could mean, from what I've learned about Saudi Arabian Big Oil money and Wahhabi Islam and 9/11. All that post-9/11 traumatic stress that went into research was reawakened with news of this mosque.
Demanding privacy and secrets about funding is puzzling and maddening to anyone who cares about what happened to people on 9/11.
Jon Stewart's Daily Show takes the day's news and by eleven o'clock boils down the biggest story to a sort of moral position that is usually smarter, more wise and funnier than anything the talking heads had to say about it at eight o'clock.
On so many issues, Jon Stewart has been a guiding moral light to me, light-hearted and truly wise. During the Bush years, Jon Stewart diffused fury, and made it possible to breathe amidst the feeling that America was becoming a Patriot Act nightmare.
Jon Stewart is invaluable to American culture. When he makes a decision, a whole generation follows his lead. I've usually been one along with them.
When Mayor Bloomberg trotted out to the podium in front of the Statue of Liberty to wallop everyone across the face with a new Ground Zero reality, he was doing so to teach the less tolerant among us, a lesson about religious freedom.
His photo-op was not addressing any meaningful controversy. Up to that speech, the cultural center was approved unanimously. If there were rumblings, Bloomberg could simply have issued a statement correcting popular misconceptions.
I wish I had learned of the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" differently. I did not understand that the poorly dubbed cultural center was in fact not at Ground Zero, but two city blocks away, and around the corner, out of sight.
In a piece I wrote called, Christopher Hitchens, "God is not Great" author, is not really an atheist, I state just that--Hitchens is not an atheist.
I defend my analysis from the starting point that atheism means "no god."
In a slanderous attack on my motivations, a priest of atheism named Austin Cline accused me in a headline of "misleading," and "fibbing." One can read his unsatisfying ad hominem attackhere.
Originally, my feeling about the Ground Zero mosque controversy was based on the sense that one victim-group--the Muslims and the British--were being memorialized with special attention, while it would be thought crass to memorialize the Irish-American victims of 9/11 with their own museum or what have you.
I wrote Ground Zero mosque? Not my favorite idea, but this is NYC with that in mind. I saw the zone around Ground Zero becoming a Disneyland of competing ethnic groups building special memorials where the richest ones would get to build theirs first.
I was critical of it, and like Governor Patterson, wondered if it could not be built in a less controversial location. That would avoid memorial competition, I thought.
This moving conversation is conducted as though under strict orders against sentimentality. It is a mark of his integrity, perhaps, that Hitchens would flay his own circumstance with the coldness he employed to disembowel Mother Theresa.
Christopher Hitchens is known for his war with those amongst us who purport to have special knowledge, unreasonably revealed to them by God. (I am not such a person.)
At the age of 85, Ed Koch is leading a state-wide campaign to "kick the bums" out and make our government work right. The New York Times tribute to him is well-worth the read and listen.
He's leading a group called New York Uprising. They focus on huge problems, and just three. They get attention by targeting politicians that resist reform. We forget politicians are supposed to fear the ire of a misled people. Ed Koch is reminding us.
Three reforms that would make New York state governance less corrupt and more fair:
Jon Stewart stood up for his friend Congressman Anthony Weiner in a long Daily Show segment analyzing who killed the 9/11 Workers Bill. If Stewart had been less biased, he could have helped his audience see how Weiner's grandstanding was obstructing getting the bill back to the House for a regular 50%+ vote this time.
Stewart comes down hard on weasely Republican politicans, calling one an "asshole" (cool), but then pretends Democrat Weiner (bigger asshole) was being a good guy for pulling his famous shouting stunt. Stewart failed to explain the clip which was edited in a misleading way. Weiner was not being a good guy. He was covering up what he and the Dems did. He could have passed the bill by normal vote (50%+), but changed the rules so that 66% was needed to win. That's why the bill that won, lost.
If you're a 9/11 Responder trying to understand why Congress voted yes, but the Bill failed, it comes down to the party's choice of abnormal vote. Democrats and Weiner changed the rules before the vote, and all their hacks in the media are staying away, letting Weiner's grandstanding be the party's cover.
[A follow-up piece to the article below was published on 10 August, called Coming around on the Muslim Cultural Center near Ground Zero.]
In New York, if you ask: Should we build a Muslim interpretation center near Ground Zero? you get two kinds of answers.
Bloomberg's "yes" is the kind you expect from a good judge. He reminds us that we have real estate laws in New York and you can not go discriminating against people that want to buy property. Similar principles apply to zoning, but there's more room to wiggle there. His answer is the official New York answer. I like it when society has principles you can count on.
My Dad had his green card by the time I was born, but he was an "illegal" before that for a brief stint while his visa was expired. That was long ago. My Mom never had a problem with her immigration status and had all the right paper work. They both vote now, and hold American passports--not a bit less American than anyone.
I "confess" this, because I just watched Bill O'Reilly talk about "anchor babies," which are the children of immigrants (like me!). I don't quite fit the criteria for being an "anchor baby," but there was a minute there listening to him that I was looking over my shoulder for the INS.
O'Reilly likes to put the fear of something in you.
- The "Left" "Right" framework falls apart when you put a Democrat or Republican in a "War" or "Peace" category. Most wartime presidents were Democrats. Most peacetime presidents were Republican.