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Mosque & the U.S. Constitution


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#1 Shlomi of Vulcan

 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 08:55 AM


Mosque and the U.S. Constitution


Written by: Sam Sloan (aka Shlomi of Vulcan)

I find myself in the unfamiliar position of defending President Obama against many of my fellow conservatives on the issue of the rights of those who wish to build a mosque complex on the site near the 9/11 tragedy in New York City.

As a Jew one of the things I am most sensitive to is the liberty of religious freedom and expression. As a people, we Jews have witnessed and been made victim to centuries of ethnic/racial/religious cleansing and bigotry. We are even seeing remnants of this kind of intolerant hatred coming from our own in the State of Israel today by a band of ultra-orthodxy and their attack on the Law of Return and the definition of "Who is a Jew".

However, in the United States one of the bastions of freedom has been the constitutional guarantee of the freedom to exercise a religious belief without governmental interference or control. It has been rightly stated in the past that the foundation stones of liberty as stated in the U.S. Constitution are:

1. Freedom of speech (a free press)
2. The right to bear arms and,
3. Freedom of religious expression.

Removal of any one of these three would undermine said liberty and bring an end to the kind of freedom envisioned by the nation's founders. Without all three fully entrenched in the hearts and minds of its people, America would simply be a faded copy of a weak and demoralized democratic Europe whose residents honestly think their psuedo-liberty is real freedom.

In a White House speech delivered during a dinner to acknowledge the end of the first fast day of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan (a dinner hosted by Presidents going back to Thomas Jefferson), the President said he fully understands how many feel about the idea of a mosque being placed on the "hallowed ground" of the 9/11 site, but more important is the defense of the hallowed ground of America's "committment to religious freedom" and that committment must remain "unshakable" even when it leaves a sour taste in our mouths.

As much as I loathe the idea of anything related to Islam being a part of the 9/11 area I must never forget that those responsible for what took place on that horrific day have killed more Muslims over the years than any one else and many American Muslims died in those two towers when all they were doing was their daily jobs and living out their lives as free Americans. What happen on 9/11 had little to do with religion or faith and much to do with terror, hate and intolerance. Should we who remain carry on that tradition of hate or can we move on from it to something better? Perhaps the real test of our nation's resolve and dedication to its Constitutional perogatives is being measured by our response to this very thing.

Is it a Constitutional right for those who wish to build their mosque on this site? Absolutely and unequivocally yes. BUT: a real question for Islam, as a religious movement that claims to stand for peace, tolerance and boasts of its sensitivity to the needs of its surrounding communities, is it appropriate? I think not!
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#2 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 07:35 PM

I don't often say this of late to you Sam, but on this issue it needs saying. I agree with you 100%.
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#3 msally

 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:49 PM

Mosque and the U.S. Constitution


Written by: Sam Sloan (aka Shlomi of Vulcan)

I find myself in the unfamiliar position of defending President Obama against many of my fellow conservatives on the issue of the rights of those who wish to build a mosque complex on the site near the 9/11 tragedy in New York City.

As a Jew one of the things I am most sensitive to is the liberty of religious freedom and expression. As a people, we Jews have witnessed and been made victim to centuries of ethnic/racial/religious cleansing and bigotry. We are even seeing remnants of this kind of intolerant hatred coming from our own in the State of Israel today by a band of ultra-orthodxy and their attack on the Law of Return and the definition of "Who is a Jew".

However, in the United States one of the bastions of freedom has been the constitutional guarantee of the freedom to exercise a religious belief without governmental interference or control. It has been rightly stated in the past that the foundation stones of liberty as stated in the U.S. Constitution are:

1. Freedom of speech (a free press)
2. The right to bear arms and,
3. Freedom of religious expression.

Removal of any one of these three would undermine said liberty and bring an end to the kind of freedom envisioned by the nation's founders. Without all three fully entrenched in the hearts and minds of its people, America would simply be a faded copy of a weak and demoralized democratic Europe whose residents honestly think their psuedo-liberty is real freedom.

In a White House speech delivered during a dinner to acknowledge the end of the first fast day of the Islamic celebration of Ramadan (a dinner hosted by Presidents going back to Thomas Jefferson), the President said he fully understands how many feel about the idea of a mosque being placed on the "hallowed ground" of the 9/11 site, but more important is the defense of the hallowed ground of America's "committment to religious freedom" and that committment must remain "unshakable" even when it leaves a sour taste in our mouths.

As much as I loathe the idea of anything related to Islam being a part of the 9/11 area I must never forget that those responsible for what took place on that horrific day have killed more Muslims over the years than any one else and many American Muslims died in those two towers when all they were doing was their daily jobs and living out their lives as free Americans. What happen on 9/11 had little to do with religion or faith and much to do with terror, hate and intolerance. Should we who remain carry on that tradition of hate or can we move on from it to something better? Perhaps the real test of our nation's resolve and dedication to its Constitutional perogatives is being measured by our response to this very thing.

Is it a Constitutional right for those who wish to build their mosque on this site? Absolutely and unequivocally yes. BUT: a real question for Islam, as a religious movement that claims to stand for peace, tolerance and boasts of its sensitivity to the needs of its surrounding communities, is it appropriate? I think not!



#4 msally

 

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 11:47 PM

Of all places in NY to put a Mosque, I ask "WHY" at this particular location? It is a belief by some extremist
that when a "victory" at war has taken place, (9/11) you build a Mosque at that location. Would Blacks allow the KKK
to build a meeting hall across the street from a AME Church? How about Neo Nazis groups put a Hilter
shrine next to a synagogue? Your arguement here would be: these are hate groups and Muslims aren't hate groups.
True. But Muslims preach death to infiedels, and Americans are infiedels. Any religon that preaches or
teaches death towards their fellow man in my opinion are in the same boat as the KKK and Neo Nazis.

I ask this: Why won't Muslims allow America to Build a Christian Church at Mecca? It bothers me when people
throw the Consitution in my face and preach about the rights of those who have no love for my Country or
its people. Lets try and show and be more compassinate to those victims and their families who have died.
This Mosque will be nothing more than a "slap in the face" to the memories of 9/11 victims.

IN OTHERWORDS, USE SOME COMMON SENSE FOLKS!!!!

#5 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:35 AM

Mosque and the U.S. Constitution


Without all three fully entrenched in the hearts and minds of its people, America would simply be a faded copy of a weak and demoralized democratic Europe whose residents honestly think their psuedo-liberty is real freedom.


Listen Shlomi, it's all very well for you to make a comment about your own people and your precious constitution, but it is indefensible to do so by expressing extremely ignorant, stereotypical, false assumptions about people who reside elsewhere, especially those belonging to ancient, noble civiliations who didn't have to write themselves into being.

Have you ever thought about the claim made about rights to free speech being "self evident" in the US? If I were you, I'd dip a toe outside of your cosy Republican world and meet some of your fellow Americans who don't feel that self evidence in quite the same way. And while you're at it, I suggest that you actually renew your acquaitance with "Europe" and what Europe actually is before you go making sweeping statements about what Europeans know, believe or live. You speak from no authority and a real paucity of knowledge that you should be ashamed of demonstrating in public. For a start, lumping the residents of several nationalities and several countries together under the category of "European" is erroneous. European countries maintain their own laws and sovereignty. We don't even speak the same language. The unique character of each country means that a federal Europe will forever remain an aspiration and never a reality - while you seem to think it's here today because you watch far too much Fox News. Wake up and understand that a so-called democracy that has frequently used the term "Un-American" to describe people not toeing the party line is no democracy. Put it this way, I can say what I like about my government and its activities and nobody - NOBODY - is going to accuse me of being Un-British, nor am I likely to fall victim to some dumb "Patriot Law", so who has the greater freedom of speech? What's that about "Pseudo liberty" again?

By virtue of your constant rants, you're the most demoralised person here by a butcher's mile.

#6 Shlomi of Vulcan

 

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:37 PM

Shall we try and keep this civil?

I use the term psuedo-liberty when referring to most European countries because none of the freedoms they enjoy today are guaranteed by any of those varied country's founding documents. I do not include England (Great Britain) in that list because it is not a European country, but one that stands alone and, historically, was the first to come up with the concept of a Constitutional form of rule in 1215 when the land barons forced the Magna Carta on the king. That famous document and infant forerunner of the United States Constitution, expressly limited the king's ability to punish "freemen" except by the expressed law of the land and not the whim of the individual soveriegn ruler. It is still in force today on the Isle as I am sure you are well aware.

The term psuedo-liberty is used because they can be taken away at any time and, apart from armed conflict, cannot be retained by the citizenary if the powers-that-be wish it to be so....Why? Because their forms of government do not sit on a foundation that literally guarantees them the freedom to speak out without retribution, the liberty to practice their particular religion as they choose, when they choose, where they choose and how they choose, nor do they have a written proclamation of law that states they can freely bear arms.

That is not to say that those living in Europe cannot defy a government that limits those basic human rights, but ultimately they have no real legal recourse apart from revolution, and the law will favor those in power. At least, for now, the U.S. Constitution, since 1776, continues to guarantee each and every citizen of the country those rights of liberty and any effort by any form of govermental body to take them away can (and frequently are) challenged in the courts of law - all the way to the Supreme Court, with that self-same Constitution used as the benchmark for a magistrates final ruling, not those in power at any given time.

So, chill-out Jules, I'm a bit more familiar with how the real world works than you may give me credit for. Besides, don't always be on the ready to be an attack dog. It isn't becoming at all, especially when it isn't warranted by the real context of what was posted.
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#7 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:49 PM

First and foremost. We all know when we dip our toe into the tempest of religious and political discussion and or debate there is a chance it can turn into a flame festival. I would like to remind all posters to please be respectful of each other when presenting your rebuttals and not resort to personal attacks.


Listen Shlomi, it's all very well for you to make a comment about your own people and your precious constitution, but it is indefensible to do so by expressing extremely ignorant, stereotypical, false assumptions about people who reside elsewhere, especially those belonging to ancient, noble civiliations who didn't have to write themselves into being.

Don't take this as a personal jab upon you or Europe. Remember our origins, and our history. We were founded upon the last remnants of European imperialism, feudalism, and the "Divine right" of Europe's monarchies built in part by the Catholic Church upon the dead carcass of the Roman empire to fill the political power vacuum left by their fall to the Mongols. Our nation was settled by religious and political dissidents of that system. Our Constitution was designed in part to permanently unchain us from servitude to any one man. The model our founding fathers chose as an ideal was that of Athens and the Roman REPUBLIC (or at least history's romanticized version of them)which they saw as superior to the imperial model they had lived under. So it stands to reason when they looked at Europe, it wasn't going to be with loving eyes, and they were going to do everything that they saw as the things Europe's governing bodies would not. Those of us descended from those people proudly call ourselves the terms Europeans used as slurs when speaking of us. Rabble and Yankee Doodle's (aka ignorant bumpkins) we are. We chose for good or ill by their current perspective to slough off the "pomp and circumstance" of our European cousins.

Have you ever thought about the claim made about rights to free speech being "self evident" in the US? If I were you, I'd dip a toe outside of your cosy Republican world and meet some of your fellow Americans who don't feel that self evidence in quite the same way. And while you're at it, I suggest that you actually renew your acquaitance with "Europe" and what Europe actually is before you go making sweeping statements about what Europeans know, believe or live. You speak from no authority and a real paucity of knowledge that you should be ashamed of demonstrating in public. For a start, lumping the residents of several nationalities and several countries together under the category of "European" is erroneous. European countries maintain their own laws and sovereignty. We don't even speak the same language. The unique character of each country means that a federal Europe will forever remain an aspiration and never a reality - while you seem to think it's here today because you watch far too much Fox News. Wake up and understand that a so-called democracy that has frequently used the term "Un-American" to describe people not toeing the party line is no democracy. Put it this way, I can say what I like about my government and its activities and nobody - NOBODY - is going to accuse me of being Un-British, nor am I likely to fall victim to some dumb "Patriot Law", so who has the greater freedom of speech? What's that about "Pseudo liberty" again?

Forgive me, isn't the demonic Fox Broadcasting owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd, and by extension a product of the British Commonwealth? :P Not all Americans speak the same language. When you live in a nation that spans a continent derivations happen. Each state in our nation has rights of individual sovereignty. The bits ceded to our Federal infrastructure were done voluntarily much in the same manner EU member nations did. Calling yourself a citizen of the British state and not a European Commonwealth nation doesn't make you less European. Seems to me you are all bailing out Greece, assuming their monetary issues as your own. Your state's defense forces practice together, and often fight together, much as our state National Guardsmen do. Some of our State Guards even do annual maneuvers in Europe with European troops. Common currency, common defense, common laws. If that isn't the actions of a unified nation, what is? Calling someone a "European citizen" isn't being ignorant. It's factual.

Those who in our nation who call someone American or Un-American based upon conformance to a set of political talking points are an ignorant minority, one frequently pointed out by European media outlets to promote the virtues of your cultures and aren't necessarily anything more than clever editing, a 21st century counterpart to the dimestore novels depicting tales of the Wild West. Were there cowboys? Sure. Were they all Buffalo Bill Coady? Lord no. Even the man who played to cheering crowds in Europe was a self derived caricature of the actual man. This was also used as a tool to prevent a brain drain from the cities in the East in the 1800's. Similarly those who you see in those media reports aren't a particularly great example of us as a whole, and to think so is biased.

@msally - if you do a Google map of the proposed site, it is close at two blocks, but it isn't within eyeshot. Also keep in mind there is already a mosque four blocks away from GZ, and has been since the 70's. I surmise they likely chose THAT SITE because land in NYC is at a premium, it was a bigger site they could do more with, and well hey, it was available. We have had similar arguments in my region regarding mosques, Mormon temples, "Moonies", and if you go back far enough even Catholics and other Protestant sects. The people protesting in those cases were wrong too in my opinion. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion. It was broadly written and clear-cut for a reason, if we backtrack on our own ideals, the terrorists really do win then what do we have left?
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#8 msally

 

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 04:43 PM

Reminds of a rule with the In-laws, we never discuss Politics, Money, or Religion. Somebody in the
"family" will go to bed angry and thats not good.

#9 mlaz

 

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:33 PM

My opinion does not realy matter. But I once had a big discussion with ww2medic about keeping your opinon to your self here and after that I speak up more, intollerance breeds intollerance.

That being said, I think if they own that building they can build a place of worship and meeting there. There are a lot of islamic people living in that area I am told. The other place was to small and this place has more posibility's. So its a sensible move that way.

You always will have people not agreeing with the placement of a place of worship. But if they would put up more of those places near ground zero for all the different ways they worship it might help people with their grief.

/edit: I should think twice before posting late at night.

Edited by mlaz, 18 August 2010 - 06:07 AM.

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#10 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:20 AM

But Muslims preach death to infiedels, and Americans are infiedels.


My memory on this is a bit fuzzy, but I believe the word Islam means "the way of peace." At the very least, it's something similar to that. Muslims do no preach death to infidels; extremists do. That is true of extremists from every religion. Saying all Muslims preach death to America is like saying all Christians will burn you at the stake if they suspect you of being a witch. There are billions of Muslims in the world, and only a small minority seek the blood of Americans.

@msally - if you do a Google map of the proposed site, it is close at two blocks, but it isn't within eyeshot. Also keep in mind there is already a mosque four blocks away from GZ, and has been since the 70's. I surmise they likely chose THAT SITE because land in NYC is at a premium, it was a bigger site they could do more with, and well hey, it was available. We have had similar arguments in my region regarding mosques, Mormon temples, "Moonies", and if you go back far enough even Catholics and other Protestant sects. The people protesting in those cases were wrong too in my opinion. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion. It was broadly written and clear-cut for a reason, if we backtrack on our own ideals, the terrorists really do win then what do we have left?


What he said.

#11 poko

 

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:20 PM

I don't care where it is two blocks away or in the basement of tower 1. I don't care if its a mosque or a muslim community center with a gym and temple. Its as simple as this:

1. Its private land they have a right to buy and engage in perfectly legal religious or other activities inside. Thats the constitution, you cannot restrict the rights of others when you assume them for yourselves. Civil society simply doesn't function that way.

2. Lincoln played Dixie on the White House lawn. When the battle is over its time to make peace and move on. You cannot continue to punish a people forever for the acts of a few.

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"Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold."

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#12 Russell Crowe

 

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:56 PM

I just wanted to take this opportunity to announce that I am a secret Muslim. :nod: or so I have been led to believe by my crazy relative's emails about how social workers and other such ne'er-do-wells are all just covert socialist-communist-fascist-terrorist-America haters. so, yeah. :P
Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd the
earth much? Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
all poems...

#13 poko

 

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:58 AM

I just wanted to take this opportunity to announce that I am a secret Muslim. :nod: or so I have been led to believe by my crazy relative's emails about how social workers and other such ne'er-do-wells are all just covert socialist-communist-fascist-terrorist-America haters. so, yeah. :P

YOU ARE THE RED SCARE!

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#14 poko

 

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 12:27 PM

Cracked has now expressed itself on the topic as well.

"Let me make something clear. In order to make these statements you must hate two things: logic and America"

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"Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold."

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#15 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:11 AM

Shall we try and keep this civil?


I find that an interesting request coming from you. I'll be as civil as you can be.

I use the term psuedo-liberty when referring to most European countries because none of the freedoms they enjoy today are guaranteed by any of those varied country's founding documents.


How do you know? Have you personaly studied the "founding documents" of every single European country? I can't say I have, besides, many European countries simply evolved unlike the United States which was founded on a single document which, I would point out, manifestly did not guarantee equal rights to all its citizens. I believe it was the Civil Rights movement that ensured that those who were black eventually got the rights and freedoms apparently guaranteed to white people.

I do not include England (Great Britain) in that list because it is not a European country, but one that stands alone and, historically, was the first to come up with the concept of a Constitutional form of rule in 1215 when the land barons forced the Magna Carta on the king.


The unique situation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is somewhat more complex than you state here. Britain is in fact legally a part of Europe and part of the Europen Union (EU). We regard ourselves as European, although (wisely) not in the Euro currency zone and very much in favour of keeping our own sovreignty within the context of Europe. Also, you're talking about a country that is mere twenty or so miles from mainland Europe at the narrowest point of the English Channel.

Besides, it's a moot point because you didn't make the distinction between the UK and the rest of Europe in your original post.


That famous document and infant forerunner of the United States Constitution, expressly limited the king's ability to punish "freemen" except by the expressed law of the land and not the whim of the individual soveriegn ruler. It is still in force today on the Isle as I am sure you are well aware.


If you read up on our history a little more I think you'll find that plenty of monarchs have sought to change the constitution or at least bend it on personal whims. Henry VIII springs to mind.

The term psuedo-liberty is used because they can be taken away at any time and, apart from armed conflict, cannot be retained by the citizenary if the powers-that-be wish it to be so....Why? Because their forms of government do not sit on a foundation that literally guarantees them the freedom to speak out without retribution, the liberty to practice their particular religion as they choose, when they choose, where they choose and how they choose, nor do they have a written proclamation of law that states they can freely bear arms.


So how does that talk of liberty and freedom square with Dubya's Patriot Act?

I believe all that talk about religious freedom and apparently embedded separation between Church and State the day America elects its first atheist president or Muslim president (for the purpose of argument I'll forget that you probably think it has!).

That is not to say that those living in Europe cannot defy a government that limits those basic human rights, but ultimately they have no real legal recourse apart from revolution, and the law will favor those in power. At least, for now, the U.S. Constitution, since 1776, continues to guarantee each and every citizen of the country those rights of liberty and any effort by any form of govermental body to take them away can (and frequently are) challenged in the courts of law - all the way to the Supreme Court, with that self-same Constitution used as the benchmark for a magistrates final ruling, not those in power at any given time.


This would be the Supreme Court to which the president can elect judges entirely in accordance with his own political views?

So, chill-out Jules, I'm a bit more familiar with how the real world works than you may give me credit for.


Not really. You demonstrate only that you have perhaps read a few history books and a familiarity with a certain version of European history, however, your knowledge of Europe and European cultures is slight.

Besides, don't always be on the ready to be an attack dog. It isn't becoming at all, especially when it isn't warranted by the real context of what was posted.


I find an accusation of being an "attack dog" from you to be hilarious. Maybe you have a split personality, and it's the other Shlomi that posts all that anti-Obama propaganda and other right wing nonsence. :)

Anyway, in terms of "real context" the interesting point about the proposed Muslim cultural centre (called "the Cordoba Project") near to Ground Zero (it's only partially a mosque) is that it is designed to reflect the religious tolerence exercised in Andalucia, Spain. I found similar religious tolerence on the Rock of Gibraltar when I lived there - somewhere else where parts of Europe are leading the way. :)

#16 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:52 AM

Don't take this as a personal jab upon you or Europe. Remember our origins, and our history. We were founded upon the last remnants of European imperialism, feudalism, and the "Divine right" of Europe's monarchies built in part by the Catholic Church upon the dead carcass of the Roman empire to fill the political power vacuum left by their fall to the Mongols. Our nation was settled by religious and political dissidents of that system. Our Constitution was designed in part to permanently unchain us from servitude to any one man. The model our founding fathers chose as an ideal was that of Athens and the Roman REPUBLIC (or at least history's romanticized version of them)which they saw as superior to the imperial model they had lived under. So it stands to reason when they looked at Europe, it wasn't going to be with loving eyes, and they were going to do everything that they saw as the things Europe's governing bodies would not. Those of us descended from those people proudly call ourselves the terms Europeans used as slurs when speaking of us. Rabble and Yankee Doodle's (aka ignorant bumpkins) we are. We chose for good or ill by their current perspective to slough off the "pomp and circumstance" of our European cousins.


But you might at least concede that many of the practices and prejudices of Europe came across the water with you. I'll cite slavery as one of them. It took a war to end that practice in America and a some ardent campaigning and an act of parliament to end it here. Which, to you, seems like the better way of resolving things? The problem as I see it is that America was in such a rush to throw out all reminders of Europe that it threw the baby out with the bath water, along with developing a few nasty habits of its own. Whatever ancient or historical models the foundng fathers of your country used, along the way some of that ideology has suffered in practical application. I speak as one who has coresponded with many despairing American friends who see that no freedoms or truths are "self-evident" in the US and see Great Britain in particular as a relative model of sanity and reason.

Forgive me, isn't the demonic Fox Broadcasting owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd, and by extension a product of the British Commonwealth? :P


I don't think anyone here would describe Murdoch and his media empire in that way, so no, he is not a "product" of the Commonwealth, but an individual tycoon with a singular way of doing things. Fox News in no way reflects the standard of news channels in this country at least, since most TV stations here are required to show political balance and a few facts. Newspapers are an entirely different matter of course.


Not all Americans speak the same language. When you live in a nation that spans a continent derivations happen. Each state in our nation has rights of individual sovereignty. The bits ceded to our Federal infrastructure were done voluntarily much in the same manner EU member nations did. Calling yourself a citizen of the British state and not a European Commonwealth nation doesn't make you less European.


I know this already since I was forced to trade my expired black British passport for a red European Union one whether I wanted to or not. I'm a citizen of the EU whether I like it or not. Shlomi doesn't seem to understand this.


Seems to me you are all bailing out Greece, assuming their monetary issues as your own.



Not necessarily. Great Britain is not in the "Euro-Zone" because we retained our own currency when the most of the rest of Europe went over to the Euro. A wise decision as it turns out. Greece needs to be bailed out because of the destabilizing effect on the rest of the countries involved in that system, and the recession. Greece's monetary issues are not our own at all, and we are only affected when Greeks strike in protest over the austerity measures forced upon them by their own government!

Your state's defense forces practice together, and often fight together, much as our state National Guardsmen do. Some of our State Guards even do annual maneuvers in Europe with European troops. Common currency, common defense, common laws. If that isn't the actions of a unified nation, what is? Calling someone a "European citizen" isn't being ignorant. It's factual.


I'm aware of military co-operation within Europe. Gee, it takes an American to be so patronsing! :) I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make here, but I think you're assuming that I've taken umbrage at Shlomi calling me a European because I'm British. He actually didn't refer to me at all in his orginal post and in fact, his response to me rather suggests he thinks the opposite, but none of that was my point at all. What I objected to was Shlomi's catch-all expression of his views about the civil liberties enjoyed by "Europeans" as one amorphous population instead of them being citizens of politically and culturally diverse nations.

Those who in our nation who call someone American or Un-American based upon conformance to a set of political talking points are an ignorant minority, one frequently pointed out by European media outlets to promote the virtues of your cultures and aren't necessarily anything more than clever editing, a 21st century counterpart to the dimestore novels depicting tales of the Wild West.


Nope. The "un-Americanism" tha broke out in the wake of Dubya's Patriot Act in the noughties was not that much of a talking point in the British media (and I can only speak for Britain on this point). The knowledge I have comes from American citizens complaining about the atmosphere the Patriot Act engendered. It affected them both socially and in the workplace. I didn't get the impression that it was a view held by a minority either.

Were there cowboys? Sure. Were they all Buffalo Bill Coady? Lord no. Even the man who played to cheering crowds in Europe was a self derived caricature of the actual man. This was also used as a tool to prevent a brain drain from the cities in the East in the 1800's. Similarly those who you see in those media reports aren't a particularly great example of us as a whole, and to think so is biased.


You're making groundless assumptions on the quality of media reporting in the UK. You're also assuming that Brits blindly believe what they see and read in he media. The thinking Brit can spot and dismiss biased and stereotypical depictions of other people's in the media. You just need to trust us more. :)

@msally - if you do a Google map of the proposed site, it is close at two blocks, but it isn't within eyeshot. Also keep in mind there is already a mosque four blocks away from GZ, and has been since the 70's. I surmise they likely chose THAT SITE because land in NYC is at a premium, it was a bigger site they could do more with, and well hey, it was available. We have had similar arguments in my region regarding mosques, Mormon temples, "Moonies", and if you go back far enough even Catholics and other Protestant sects. The people protesting in those cases were wrong too in my opinion. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion. It was broadly written and clear-cut for a reason, if we backtrack on our own ideals, the terrorists really do win then what do we have left?


I know that comment wasn't aimed at me, but I agree 100%. :)

Edited by JulesLuvsShinzon, 23 August 2010 - 07:53 AM.


#17 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 11:54 PM

But you might at least concede that many of the practices and prejudices of Europe came across the water with you. I'll cite slavery as one of them. It took a war to end that practice in America and a some ardent campaigning and an act of parliament to end it here. Which, to you, seems like the better way of resolving things? The problem as I see it is that America was in such a rush to throw out all reminders of Europe that it threw the baby out with the bath water, along with developing a few nasty habits of its own. Whatever ancient or historical models the foundng fathers of your country used, along the way some of that ideology has suffered in practical application. I speak as one who has coresponded with many despairing American friends who see that no freedoms or truths are "self-evident" in the US and see Great Britain in particular as a relative model of sanity and reason.


Oh I absolutely will cede that, and then some. But the Triangle trade was also very profitable fiscally for both nations in spite of the moral injustice on those who got stuck on the wrong end of slavery(not just black people, remember, indentured servants in the colonial era rarely made it out of their contracts alive, and were often swindled into longer servitude). So it stands to reason if many are getting fat off the suffering of others they are going to use whatever means necessary to continue the status quo. But keep in mind the Civil War's root argument had been brewing since the day pen went to paper on our Constitution, with several prominent men influencing the argument to their own end being slave owners as well.

I will also cede that we are far from perfect. There is a reason for the wording in our Constitutional preamble "We the People of the United States, in order to form a MORE PERFECT union". Remember that was our second try, our first national government under the Articles of Confederation was all in all pretty abysmal :P Another thing our founding fathers did right was make it reasonably easy for the people to alter the Constitution, though admittedly that hasn't always panned out so well as with Prohibition.

I will also say I have met many British ex-pats in my home state who wouldn't move back to the UK for all the tea in China, and fight vehemently to prevent some of the things passed in your country from coming to pass on our side of the pond. It is all perspective.

I don't think anyone here would describe Murdoch and his media empire in that way, so no, he is not a "product" of the Commonwealth, but an individual tycoon with a singular way of doing things. Fox News in no way reflects the standard of news channels in this country at least, since most TV stations here are required to show political balance and a few facts. Newspapers are an entirely different matter of course.




I know this already since I was forced to trade my expired black British passport for a red European Union one whether I wanted to or not. I'm a citizen of the EU whether I like it or not. Shlomi doesn't seem to understand this.


I never said he represented the Commonwealth as a whole in his person, any more than say Bill Gates represents America. Both are very atypical people and their respective media empires reflect that. But products of their homelands they are.

Similarly here, we have plenty who claim citizenship to their home state rather than their country for tax reasons, and still more who say "that man is not MY President!!" Of course neither is true. Like it or lump it they're Americans through and through.


Not necessarily. Great Britain is not in the "Euro-Zone" because we retained our own currency when the most of the rest of Europe went over to the Euro. A wise decision as it turns out. Greece needs to be bailed out because of the destabilizing effect on the rest of the countries involved in that system, and the recession. Greece's monetary issues are not our own at all, and we are only affected when Greeks strike in protest over the austerity measures forced upon them by their own government!


See a critical difference there is this; up until the Civil War each state had it's own paper currency until the Legal Tender Act of 1862. Only our coinage was nationalized before that. Our notes were standardized and nationalized to prevent counterfeiting and stabilize our currency during the war. If heaven forbid a catastrophe caused a destabilization of the GBP I am certain the EU would stuff the Euro down your throats too to keep their own ships afloat.


I'm aware of military co-operation within Europe. Gee, it takes an American to be so patronsing! :) I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make here, but I think you're assuming that I've taken umbrage at Shlomi calling me a European because I'm British. He actually didn't refer to me at all in his orginal post and in fact, his response to me rather suggests he thinks the opposite, but none of that was my point at all. What I objected to was Shlomi's catch-all expression of his views about the civil liberties enjoyed by "Europeans" as one amorphous population instead of them being citizens of politically and culturally diverse nations.

Ahh yes but there is commonality within your laws, though regionally worded. Kind of like how here when a law is passed and states each adopt their own versions which reflect the spirit of it, and set the Federal law as a minimal standard but will also make tweaks to it.


Nope. The "un-Americanism" tha broke out in the wake of Dubya's Patriot Act in the noughties was not that much of a talking point in the British media (and I can only speak for Britain on this point). The knowledge I have comes from American citizens complaining about the atmosphere the Patriot Act engendered. It affected them both socially and in the workplace. I didn't get the impression that it was a view held by a minority either.



You're making groundless assumptions on the quality of media reporting in the UK. You're also assuming that Brits blindly believe what they see and read in he media. The thinking Brit can spot and dismiss biased and stereotypical depictions of other people's in the media. You just need to trust us more. :)


No person with a mentality over the age of 12 yo was calling anyone who disagreed with the Patriot Act un-American. Most of us saw it as a partial victory for Al Queda, forcing us to surrender our freedom to prevent chaos as seen in the power vacuum in Afghanistan, which has existed in no small part since and because of our aiding the Mujahadin against the Soviets. Those who surrender personal freedom for security shall have neither. to paraphrase Mr. Franklin. But there again I will also say my olive skinned brother(he got my mom's Acadian skin), got stopped on the CANADIAN side of the border with his Brownbess musket for being a suspected terrorist after not shaving a few days, not on the ride up. He went up for a reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle, hard feelings much? :P

Groundless? Hardly. I read European papers (Pravda, Guardian, Adressa, Le Monde to a lesser degree)and wires like Reuters as well as my own local ones online. I do watch BBCA and PBS News broadcasts as well as the commercial ones. I am interested in the opinions of the world even though I will make my own mind up as to how well they hit the mark. Many Europeans also believe that we believe the opinions of a few. Like my nephew when visiting Berlin who when asked if all Americans owned guns claimed to have a veritable arsenal though he has never laid hands upon a gun in his life let alone owned one. Also Americans do understand and enjoy dry humor, if it's funny.
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#18 JulesLuvsShinzon

 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:27 AM

Oh I absolutely will cede that, and then some. But the Triangle trade was also very profitable fiscally for both nations in spite of the moral injustice on those who got stuck on the wrong end of slavery(not just black people, remember, indentured servants in the colonial era rarely made it out of their contracts alive, and were often swindled into longer servitude). So it stands to reason if many are getting fat off the suffering of others they are going to use whatever means necessary to continue the status quo. But keep in mind the Civil War's root argument had been brewing since the day pen went to paper on our Constitution, with several prominent men influencing the argument to their own end being slave owners as well.


Ah yes, I forgot about the indentured servants! There was a TV reality show in the UK recently in which people tried to live the lives of the early settlers in America. It was most illuminating. Bascally the indentured servants were little better than slaves in terms of status - it certainly caused tension amongst the guinea pigs.

I suppose that the diference between contemporary views of slavery in the US and the UK might heave engendered the eventual solutions to ending it. Here in the UK slavery was more remote in terms of slaves not being used and abused wholesale in this country. Whereas the British Empire definitely relied upon their labour for the economy, it was labour carried out in foreign lands for luxury goods like sugar, whereas in the US slaves were working the land right alongside thir slave masters for the basics of life. Does that make any sense? The distinction I'm trying to make is that it's easier to view something as inhuman and ripe for abolition from a distance when the example of slaves that the British reformers saw were those that had been brought to England by patrons. I would think it would be harde by far to end something when it is so much a part of the local economical infrastructure.

I will also cede that we are far from perfect. There is a reason for the wording in our Constitutional preamble "We the People of the United States, in order to form a MORE PERFECT union". Remember that was our second try, our first national government under the Articles of Confederation was all in all pretty abysmal :P Another thing our founding fathers did right was make it reasonably easy for the people to alter the Constitution, though admittedly that hasn't always panned out so well as with Prohibition.


I've always seen the amendments to the constitution to be similar to the ways in which radical new laws are passed in the UK. Britan has been through quite revolutionary changes economic amd social attitudes, and the rights of the people are embedded and implicit rather than being written down.

I will also say I have met many British ex-pats in my home state who wouldn't move back to the UK for all the tea in China, and fight vehemently to prevent some of the things passed in your country from coming to pass on our side of the pond. It is all perspective.


That would be a political perspective and I wouldn't have to work too hard to try and guess what that would be. There are conservatives on both sides of the pond. My envious Amerian buddies are all, surprise, surprise, Liberals who vote Democrat. I'm just wondering how easy it would be for your ex-pat friends to be able to influence what laws are passed or not passed in the US. Did they take up American citizenship?


I never said he represented the Commonwealth as a whole in his person, any more than say Bill Gates represents America. Both are very atypical people and their respective media empires reflect that. But products of their homelands they are.


As I am and as are you and neither of us are tycoons! Also, there's no such thing as a Commonwealth mindset. Murdoch hails from Australia, and without becoming too general in my comments, Australians are culturally quite different to us.

Similarly here, we have plenty who claim citizenship to their home state rather than their country for tax reasons, and still more who say "that man is not MY President!!" Of course neither is true. Like it or lump it they're Americans through and through.


:) There are some Scots who would empathise!



See a critical difference there is this; up until the Civil War each state had it's own paper currency until the Legal Tender Act of 1862. Only our coinage was nationalized before that. Our notes were standardized and nationalized to prevent counterfeiting and stabilize our currency during the war. If heaven forbid a catastrophe caused a destabilization of the GBP I am certain the EU would stuff the Euro down your throats too to keep their own ships afloat.


I'm inclined to think the opposite would be true. If GBP became worthless, inducting the UK into the Eurozone would be the last thing France, Germany et al would want to do.


Ahh yes but there is commonality within your laws, though regionally worded. Kind of like how here when a law is passed and states each adopt their own versions which reflect the spirit of it, and set the Federal law as a minimal standard but will also make tweaks to it.


Apart from European laws and certain European "supreme" overlords like The European Court of Human Rights, which are agreed by all particpating countries, the laws of each country in the EU are created by the people of those countries. The law in each country predates any form of European co-operation - remember, we were at war with one of the prime European partners 70 years ago! The laws in each country evolved separately, and if they are similar then that is because we are all largely Western democracies. It's not a case of top-down edicts from Brussels.


No person with a mentality over the age of 12 yo was calling anyone who disagreed with the Patriot Act un-American.

In the case of some of my friends, it was co-workers or the guy down the pub.


Most of us saw it as a partial victory for Al Queda, forcing us to surrender our freedom to prevent chaos as seen in the power vacuum in Afghanistan, which has existed in no small part since and because of our aiding the Mujahadin against the Soviets. Those who surrender personal freedom for security shall have neither. to paraphrase Mr. Franklin. But there again I will also say my olive skinned brother(he got my mom's Acadian skin), got stopped on the CANADIAN side of the border with his Brownbess musket for being a suspected terrorist after not shaving a few days, not on the ride up. He went up for a reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle, hard feelings much? :P


There you go. I was inclined to see the Patriot Act as largely a victory for Al Queda quite simply because it was doing their work for them; dividing your country by enabling and encouraging Americans to suspect and question the loyalty of fellow Americans and supressing debate about restricted freedoms and civil liberties.

Groundless? Hardly. I read European papers (Pravda, Guardian, Adressa, Le Monde to a lesser degree)and wires like Reuters as well as my own local ones online. I do watch BBCA and PBS News broadcasts as well as the commercial ones. I am interested in the opinions of the world even though I will make my own mind up as to how well they hit the mark.


I'm impressed with the diversity of your reading matter - you certainly undercut the usual impression of Americans as being insular and only interested in American affairs! Watch The Guardian though because it is the secular Bible of the left-leaning middle classes. Not necessarily a bad thing, but the paper is hardly free from bias and its readership tends to regard every sentence as gospel. It contains one view of British society and is not representative of a lor of working class Britons.


Many Europeans also believe that we believe the opinions of a few. Like my nephew when visiting Berlin who when asked if all Americans owned guns claimed to have a veritable arsenal though he has never laid hands upon a gun in his life let alone owned one. Also Americans do understand and enjoy dry humor, if it's funny.


:) I'm tempted to say - what do you expect of Germans!! :) And Fawlty Towers was too much of a hit in the US to suport the fact that Americans don't get British humour!

#19 Captain James T. Kirk

 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:56 PM

Isn't it intresting how our president who along with many other progressive politicians in Washington who have broken their solemn oaths to defend the Constitution are now using that document to condone the mosque being erected near ground zero in New York? Yes it is true that there is freedom of religion in this country, and yes it is true that the Muslims have a right to build a mosque anywhere they want to. I would be in total agreement except for a few facts such as:
1) It's being called the Cordoba mosque do you know why? because the Muslims had their first victory in Cordoba Spain. It is also being named Cordoba because the Muslims believe they have conquored this section of New York City.
2) The Muslim leader who is in charge of this mosque is a radical with ties to Al-Quada.
3) one question to think about: Who is funding this mosque?
Please forgive any misspellings they were not intentional.
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#20 sevnson_71

 

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 04:07 PM

I assume of course you have some legitimate links to back these little tidbits up James? I should note that politico blogs or emails are not legit as they are frequently biased one way or another. Seems to me superseding local governing bodies is not in the Constitutional description of the President's job, expressed or implied. If you can present to me lines of the Constitution stating other than that have at it.
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So the combination is 1-2-3-4-5. That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!- Dark Helmet; "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." - Gen. John Stark; "Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." -Robert Frost; "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams, Brewer/Patriot
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