Gas on the Fire

It is funny and sad all-at-once to see the extent to which some groups of people will go to in order to further a cheap political agenda. Only a half year ago the proposed Muslim cultural center in lower Manhattan (which is now being called the “ground zero mosque”) was not so much as a vague wisp of an issue. What a difference six months makes. When there are no issues to distract the people from what really matters, just conjure up a boogie man that the half-witted masses can rally against. Seventy-five years ago the German people had the Jews. Today we have the Muslims. Isn’t life wonderful?

It happened the other day at the site of the yet-to-be-opened center: An angry demonstration of FOX Noise viewers from who-knows-where. They were there to show their rootin’ tootin’ all-Americanism by holding a loud demonstration in favor of religious intolerance. When a black construction worker wearing a white skull cap edged his way through the peripherals of the mob, a few of the protesters confronted him with violent and obscene language. He wasn’t really a Muslim , he just looked like one to some of these clowns. The crowd was gearing up for a reflexive lynching. Isn’t that nice?

Look Away, Dixieland….
These are the same jerks who believed that Saddam Hussein was behind the attack of September 11, 2001. It was this pathetic mass misconception that gave the Bush/Cheney mob the political cover to invade the sovereign nation of Iraq in March of 2003. Then – as now – these foolish people were tuned into the FOX/Limbaugh dis-information machine for their news – and no other source. The unquenchable thirst that too many Americans have for that sweet ‘n’ tasty right wing Kool-Aid is the reason our country is in the deplorable shape it’s in.

It has always been easy to laugh at these people. Let’s face it; the extreme right wing is a satirist’s dream. But in the last year-and-a-half their message has gotten too strange to take with a mere grain of salt. Now they’re encouraging the citizenry to hate a certain minority based solely on their religion. Tell me, just what the hell does that remind you of?

Deutschland! Deutschland!
Uber Alles!

Ah! The memories!

And that message is resonating, too. On Tuesday evening some genius by the name of Michael Enright hailed a cab on East 24th Street. After a few minutes of amiable conversation he asked the driver if he was a Muslim. When the man answered in the affirmative, Enright produced a knife and proceeded to slash him about the face and shoulders. The victim, who is doing fine by the way, told the press, “This is the first time I felt like I didn’t belong in America.” The hysteria is palpable.

Some of the madness is beyond comical. Earlier in the week, the assholes on FOX and Friends attempted to portray a Saudi sheik named Alwaleed bin Talal as the sinister financial backer of “Park 51″ (the real name of the project). The problem is, they never mentioned him by name – and with damned good reason. Other than Rupert Murdoch, the guy is the largest shareholder of FOX Noise. They needed to make a cheap political point but they couldn’t be honest and reveal his very close ties to the network. Watch Jon Stewart’s brilliant (and FUNNY) report on the subject.

No Muslims Need Apply
As you are no doubt aware, this hysteria is even being directed toward the president of the United States who, although a professed and proven Christian, has been “accused” of being a Muslim. The Republicans in the House and Senate are perfectly content to keep this “scandal” going. On Meet The Press on Sunday, David Gregory asked Mitch McConnell whether or not he believed that Barack Obama was a Christian. He couldn’t bring himself to answer, “Yes, I believe that the President is a Christian.” Instead he replied:

“I’ll take him at his word.”

Honestly, if there is a more disgusting piece-of-shit than Mitch McConnell slithering though the halls of Congress, I’d sure as hell would like to know about it. Contact me if you find someone (845-294-5714).

And now former congressman Rick Lazio is jumping onto this mountain of stupidity. Poor old Rick, in case you didn’t notice, is running against Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York state. His campaign is far behind and underfunded. Now – finally – people are starting to pay attention to him. Rick has found himself a dynamite issue! He brought his weird act to my home town of Goshen on Wednesday. As he told Steve Israel of the Middletown Times Herald-Record,

Wherever you live, people are concerned about the risk of public safety, as a result of radicalized elements and terrorism.”

Rick Lazio (as Rick Lazio often does) is lying his ass off. His new TV spot accuses Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the “mosque” (it’s not a mosque), of being a “terrorist sympathizer”. He is nothing of the sort. Not only is that accusation a lie, it is one of the most despicable examples of dirty political opportunism in the history of the Empire State. Rauf has demonstrated his religious moderation too many times to count in the past decade, going as far as to work with the FBI, helping them identify possible domestic terrorist plots right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Rick Lazio is fanning the flames of an already explosive situation. Like Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck, and the rest of these perverts, he doesn’t give a flying fuck about the consequences of his irresponsible rhetoric. He needs to get himself elected.

We blew a golden opportunity here. We might have sent the message to our enemies all around the world that, when all is said and done, we are a land where the diversity of religious points of view are not only welcome, they are a blessing. Apparently I was mistaken. It’s all a sham. Someone prove me wrong.

Having a Muslim cultural center down the street and around the corner from “ground zero” is not an insult to the victims of 9/11 – no more than the presence of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan is an insult to the victims of the Spanish Inquisition. Let’s get a grip here, folks.

tom degan

AFTERTHOUGHT:

Here is a link to the Daley Show segment mentioned above. As always it is informative and EXTREMELY funny. Isn’t it sad that in this day and age we must rely on comedians for fair and balanced information? This is worth the price of the ticket.

It’s a scream.

Tom Degan
tomdegan@frontiernet.net

Published by the LA Progressive on September 2, 2010
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About Tom Degan

Tom Degan is a fifty-four-year old video artist who in 2006 became so thoroughly disgusted at the state of America's national political dialogue, he decided to take time off to become a freaking civics teacher. He was born in Goshen, NY in 1958 and, after living all over the United States and Canada, moved back there in 1992. He is a high school dropout who in 1977 received an equivalency diploma (HEY, IT'S LEGAL!) He attended SUNY in Middletown, NY and in 1986 studied journalism at the New School in New York City. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has worked as a truck driver, a radio DJ, and a metal worker... OK, he didn't ACTUALLY receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but he DID get some kind of ribbon of sorts when he was in the Cub Scouts. He is the inventor of Cheez Whiz and lives off the royalties on the sales of that fine product. He loves children and little baby duckies. FULL DISCLOSURE: He didn't really invent Cheez Whiz. His address is: 2590 Rte 17M (PO BOX 611) Goshen, NY 10924 (845) 294-5714