Author Archives: bowen1475

Freedom of (some) Religion

By: Jeff

This heated argument over allowing Mosques to be built & expanded here in the U.S. is getting ridiculous. I can understand people’s reservations about a Mosque being built near ground zero (the site is 2 blocks away, NOT actually on ground zero as I’ve heard some uninformed callers claiming when calling up radio talk shows). I understand that it was a group of RADICALS that believed they were doing what was best for the Muslim faith that flew those planes into the Twin Towers on 9-11, so of course some people are not going to be happy about this move.

But now a town in Tennessee is up in arms because a Mosque is looking to expand their current facilities, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/08/09/plans-build-tennessee-islamic-centers/. What I really can’t understand is that these protestors don’t understand (or value) a core part of our Nation’s beginnings. The freedom of religion is and always has been an extremely important part of the American identity.  If a group was looking to build a Church, a Synagogue, or an altar to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no one would care. Just because a group of extreme radicals from one religion committed horrible atrocities, does not give us as a country the right to completely discriminate against a HUGE population of American citizens.

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Weiner goes nuts: Both parties already were

by Jeff

All over the political radio talk shows today was Rep. Anthony Weiner (D- NY) ranting & raving in a very emotional House floor speech. For most of the afternoon I flipped between Sirius Left, Sirius Patriot (the right wing station), and POTUS (Politics of the United States) on my sattelite radio. All three were playing the audio clip of the video posted above. At first I was all pumped up, I loved it. Finally someone in politics getting REAL on an emotional topic (the argument was over a failed attempt to pass legislation that would provide healthcare & aid to 9-11 first responders who are now showing terrible health problems as a result of their work at ground zero). I was excited that a Democrat was FINALLY calling out all the greedy Republicans, how could anyone vote NO to help these heroes that have gone 9 long years with little or no medical help from the Government.

However, after listening to a Sean Hannity interview with both Weiner & Peter King (Republican who worked on the bill) I learned this story gets REALLY interesting, and shows how political & horrible BOTH parties can be. Let me explain:

For 5 years now Weiner & King have been working on a bipartisan effort to bring about legislation that would finally help those who are now suffering from 9-11 effects. Last night it was brought to a vote in the house. Now apparently there are two ways a bill can be passed (don’t ask me specifics) one way would require only 218 votes (Dems were able to drum up 255 votes). Another way, which would have been more bipartisan required 290 votes. This meant that King was supposed to garnder support from his fellow republicans to vote for the bill to make up the difference. Unfortunately King was only able to find 11 republican votes. Apparently last minute Weiner and the Dems decided to use the 290 vote method (they claim to make it more bipartisan; which makes sense, because had they pushed it through only on Dem support, Faux News would be all over them for “shoving things down our throat”). This was where Weiner’s rant came from last night when the Republicans voted down the aid.

However, on Hannity’s program, King blasted the Dems right back saying that had they actually cared about the people and really wanted to pass the bill, the Democrats could have passed it with the 255 votes they had (and only 11 republican votes). He claims that Weiner only chose to go the 290 vote to make the Republicans look bad. Which they do look bad.

SO did the Democrats go the 290 vote route to make the Republicans look bad? Or to make it a more bipartisan effort? Either way you shake it, only 11 Republicans in the House were ready to vote for legislation that would give aid to heroes. The use the same old disgusting excuses for saying no to the bill “It’s an entitlement program” “illegal aliens might get the aid money”. Makes me sick, but I can’t let the Democrats off easy either, they had a chance to really help people and they chose to be political instead.

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Observations from the National Civil Rights Museum

by Jeff

Last weekend I visited Memphis, TN for a fun weekend full of BBQ, Blues and of course beer. Since we realized that drinking & eating all day, every day was probably a bad idea, we decided to educate ourselves a little bit. We took an hour and a half river boat tour of the Mississippi which was not all that exciting. But, on Saturday we took the trolley a few blocks south of the fun of Beale street and visited the National Civil Rights Museum  located in the original Lorraine Motel (the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).

Seeing the face of the hotel still exactly as it was in 1968, was incredibly moving. We decided to spring for the extra $2 and get the audio tour (very dorky looking). I’m glad we did as the museum was FULL of incredibly interesting information, photos, documents, videos, audio recordings, etc., that without the tour I would have missed some really important information.

What really amazed me about my visit to the museum was all the arguments whites used throughout the 60s to fight equal rights for blacks.  There was one cartoon that really got to me. It was basically a slippery slope argument of what would happen to your perfect little white family if schools were forced to integrate. At first I thought it was a positive message as it showed little kids white and black playing together hand and hand. Then it showed the same kids dating, falling in love, marrying and eventually having babies together (the images were of a white girl with a black man). The final pane of the cartoon showed an elderly white woman with two grandchildren, one pure white, the other pure black (again, white girl, black boy). The final quote said something along the lines of “You never thought it would be possible. With school integration, this could be your family”. Apparently aiming at the fears of white people that having a black grandchild would be the worse thing in the world. AMAZING.

Other arguments I noticed were large signs calling integration, and equal/voting rights for black citizens as COMMUNISM. It amazes me that the same backwards thinking people that were hollering communism 45 years ago, are yelling the same thing today. Why is progressive thinking (gay marriage rights, unemployment benefits, etc.) now being deemed “communism”. Is there some tie between our black president, and these rants of the 60s against blacks? I don’t know, but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before Bush, or perhaps I was too young, but I don’t remember the calls of socialism and communism being screamed as loudly before Obama took office.

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