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Gearing up

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day weekend. Summer is officially over and time to get serious on Hometown Radio.

Mardi and I are starting to plot out our coverage for the November 2 elections. We’re going to start with SLO mayoral candidates: Jan Marx joins us Monday, October 4th and Paul Brown on Tuesday, October 5th. We’ll post a complete schedule as things are finalized.

Special show tomorrow (Friday) Mardi Hall is going to be at the Lemos store in San Luis on Broad and Orcutt from 3 to 7 p.m. We’re encouraging folks to bring in their dogs and cats to be microchipped for only $20. Great deal. Bring your pet and swing on by and see Mardi.

Meanwhile, the big national issue on the radio this week continue to be the nutjob pastor in Florida who wants to burn the Qu’ran. It is the latest example in a series of religious intolerant issues that have flared up around the country. We had a tsunami of calls yesterday. We’ll do part Ii today with Rev. Caroline Hall of St. Benedict’s weighing in.

Looking forward to the discussion.

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  1. californiawiseguy
    September 9, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Is it too early to give President Obama credit for convincing that foolish preacher from burning holy books and sparking escalated hostilities in the world?

    President Obama showed courage, in the face of criticism that he is an “Islam lover”, in speaking forcefully on this issue and helping maintain peace. It’s a “beer summit” times ten, as far as helping avert potential violence.

    But who knows what will happen this 9/11? I’m sure someone will try to catch the spotlight by burning something.

    One does not deliberately, flagrantly and publicly destroy a holy book unless one hopes to either antagonize or eliminate every man, woman and child who holds that book dear.

    To speak in Christian terms, that Florida preacher has been walkling hand-in-hand with Satan. I’m glad President Obama stepped up before Satan passed on his torch and helped inflame the world with the eager, assistance of some egotistical fool with a lust for destruction.

  2. richinpaso
    September 10, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Now that the Florida preacher has had the common sense return to him that desecrating a religious icon is purposefully provacative, insensitive, ill-conceived and just wrong, maybe the imam of the ground zero mosque flap will have common sense return to him and move his purposefully provacative, insensitive, ill-conceived and just wrong mosque from a site that was directly attacked on 9-11 and move it to a less provactive site. Or how about this as a compromise: how about postponing the mosque until the replacement building for the World Trade Center is completed? Or a better deal: Since the Eastern Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas that predates the 9-11 attack remains unrepaired/replaced, why not postpone the building of the NEW mosque until the OLD Easter Orthodox chruch that was there first is made whole? Don’t eastern orthodoxers have 1st Amendment protected right to practice their religion where they choose? Actually, the question is doesn’t their previously acknowledged right to freedom of religion place them ahead of the new mosque for attention of the state and city of New York?

    Another question: Why is this imam a protected individual deserving of State Department sponsored trips to the middle east, where he demanded a single state of Palestine and blamed the US for 9-11, and where the the state department bought 3,000 copies of his book to give out on that tour to conduct outreach to fellow muslims? Why is our State Dept spending millions of deficit dollars to rebuild mosques around Africa and the Middle East when the Democrats in power demand that Christ is removed from the city squares all over America? There is a definate level of arbitrariness and hypocrisy to when Democrats and their ACLU-type allies cry foul over religious issues.

    It appears that there is a “wall of separation between church and state” regarding Judeo-Christian religions and sects and government. However, the religion of choice for this administration certainly appears to be Islam as evidenced by all of the millions of dollars and effort put forth by this administration to further Islamic agenda items. No hate, islamophobia, “fear of the other” or any other leftist democrat buzzwords here, just a simple observation of hypocrisy of the people in power today.

  3. chrisinpaso
    September 11, 2010 at 3:34 am

    “Pastor” Jones has already done enough to incite the enemy just by announcing his Qur’an BBQ, let alone actually grilling the book. Motivating the enemy is not smart in time of war, and we should never forget that we are at war.

    But there is another major lesson in this situation. Just ask yourself: What motivates thousands upon thousands of people to riot just because a cartoonist in Denmark ridicules Allah? Why was Yale University afraid to reproduce the cartoons in a book about Islam and the West? Why should burning a bit of cellulose and ink lead to such a violent reaction that President Obama, General Petraeus and Secretary Gates all find themselves having to personally deal with the antics of an eccentric in Florida?

    The “War against Terror” is not against a specific country. Nor is the war really against “terror”. After all, terror is a tactic that has been used throughout history in war, including by the USA, for example, in General Sherman’s march through Georgia in the Civil War and the huge air raids on cities in WWII. In fact, it was the terror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that moved Japan to surrender.

    The “War on Terror” is obviously a war with the ideology of militant Islam, and it behooves us to understand this ideology. This rabid form of Islam takes all of the bloodthirsty passages of the Qur’an literally. (I’ve read it. Have you?) The Moslem Brotherhood and its offspring such as Al Qaida call for the destruction or subjugation of all who do not convert and seek to establish the Caliphate throughout the world. They punish apostasy with death, brutally oppress women and find joy in stoning sinners, etc. (and there is lots of etc.).

    So far, moderate Islam has been relatively low key in its condemnation of the militants, especially outside the United States. Friendly governments throughout the Islamic world live in fear of being swept away by a tide of fundamentalism, just as happened over 30 years ago in Iran. That fear is justified, for the followers of militant Islam are true believers who do not hesitate to sacrifice in the name of their god.

    Nor should we denigrate the intensity of their faith and their courage. We are not at war with a few crazies. The enemy is extremely sane and rational in the context of their ideology. And they have shown their willingness to die for their cause over and over again. It takes a great deal of courage and motivation to fly a plane into a building or strap on a bomb, just as was the case more than 65 years ago with the kamikaze pilots. It is precisely the great depth of faith and the courage to spread that faith with the sword that makes militant Islam so dangerous and cows both our civil institutions and even our leaders.

    The military struggle is only part of the fight with militant Islam. We have been doing fairly well in that arena, so far. But the military cannot carry the fight alone, nor can the military achieve a stable victory over this ideology which is every bit as oppressive and violent as the Nazis’ national socialism. In many respects, militant Islam is even more dangerous than national socialism, for militant Islam combines totalitarianism with intense religious fervor.

    The West (not just the USA) must also take up the ideological challenge in our academic institutions, our literature, our culture in general and also carry the ideological struggle to the enemy, and that requires that we shake off “political correctness”, another term for cowardice. We must understand militant Islam, confront it openly and with courage so that it is eventually relegated to the dustbin of history.

  4. californiawiseguy
    September 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Chris, the problem we’re talking about here, the emotions and propaganda that motivate someone to publicly destroy a holy book like this, is A PROBLEM IN AND OF THE UNITED STATES. That’s what we talking about here. And its our problem to deal with. That pastor is not a “victim” of Islam. He is being inflammatory in every sense of the word.

    Chris, reread what you wrote and you’ll see that your thought process involves scapegoating of Islam in a way that escalates animosity, rather the squelching it.

    Chris, also examine that at the core of most of your stated beliefs, the very foundations, are rooted in fears and insecurity. And much of it has to do with FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN.

    There is the UNKNOWABLE and there is the UNKNOWN. You will forever being making grave errors in judgement until you accept the first and have no fear of the latter.

    We change the world by changing OURSELVES. THAT is what is most efficient in solving most, if not all, problems in the world. This has even been shown to be true in scientific studies of various kinds.

    There is much to respect and savor in Christianity, Islam and other great religions. At the heart of all of them, unmistakably, is the concept of love. One love.

  5. chrisinpaso
    September 12, 2010 at 12:49 am

    californiawiseguy: You present an interesting juxtaposition.

    On the one hand, you express concern about “emotions and propaganda that motivate someone to publicly destroy a holy book” and find that this is “A PROBLEM IN AND OF THE UNITED STATES”. You take the mere threat of burning the Qur’an by a single weirdo in Florida and perhaps a couple of his fellow nut cases as a basis for finding that there is a general problem in the USA.

    On the other hand, you express no concern – at least in this string – about the widespread extreme hatred found in large parts of the Islamic world, a hatred that we especially recall today on 9/11. This is the same hatred that has lead to beheadings, riots, atrocities and the other blood letting by “true believers” and jubilation in the streets in many parts of the Islamic world when the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

    Your analysis of my person is a bit presumptuous, to say the least. Of course, ad hominem comments are a great way of avoiding a discussion about the substance of an issue.

    The simple fact is that there is a large portion of the Islamic world that is fundamentalist (i.e. Salafist/Wahabist among the Sunnis and the Shi’a mullahs in control of Iran), and a significant portion of the fundamentalists are militant to the point of finding glory in slaughtering non-believers. We are at war. A basic rule in war is, “Know your enemy.” Political correctness, however, stands in the way of acknowledging and, thus, knowing our enemy.

    You claim that the major religions all being based on love. The general history of religions casts doubts on this. The texts of the Bible and especially the Qur’an show that blood and guts go hand in hand with faith. Fortunately, Christianity has graduated from the desire to spread the faith with the sword. The main reason for this is that western culture has mitigated the violence that characterized Christianity until just a couple of centuries ago. Islam is not there yet.

    I suggest that you read “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris (at least the first few chapters). Very enlightening! You then certainly have a better understanding about the enemy.

  6. californiawiseguy
    September 12, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Chris, it’s obvious you have little respect for religions and likely are either an atheist or agnostic. I doubt you have any deep knowledge or feeling for the roots of any of these great religions that have added so much positive to our world.

    It is not the religions that are causing problems. It is the foolishness of people that is there whether there is religion or not. People often use a perverted interpretation of religion to justify all kinds of immoral actions. This is not exclusive to any one religion. But the immorality and violence would exist without religion as well.

    Chris, I consider your viewpoint and attitude as antagonistic and inflammatory and based on deep seated fear and insecurity. The world is a scary place to people who fear the unknown. Using others as scapegoats is one way of trying to cope, but it is a failing strategy that will not bring you peace or our society peace.

    I don’t like seeing hatred spread in any culture. But I know that we change the world by changing ourselves.

    Chris, you act like such a victim, and yet your life has been so blessed. But it is your fear and your lack of faith that is your stumbling block. It has nothing to do with Islam. But it is easier to blame others than to look into a mirror and realize that the problem lies within.

    Chris, your comments on Islam do nothing positive or productive. All they are are excuses for your personal hate and prejudice and lack of faith.

    • richinpaso
      September 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      californiawiseguy :
      Chris, I consider your viewpoint and attitude as antagonistic and inflammatory and based on deep seated fear and insecurity.

      Who is antagonistic? Chris expressing his 1st Amendment right to Free Speech or the GZM imam purposefully, selfishly and needlessly wanting to place a mosque next to the still raw scar of the hole in the ground where the World Trade Center used to stand? How about the Qu’ran itself that has things like the need for holy war and the killing of apostates and infidels written in it’s text? Or how about Sharia Law, that results in women gettin 50 lashes for petty crimes or women getting stoned to death for being seen with another man not her husband? What is your opinion of the woman with her nose cut off by the Taliban as seen on the cover of Time last month? Is that antagonistic… or is it simply just insane and barbaric?

      Who is insecure? Chris, who is expressing the exact same concerns about the GZM as over 70% of Americans or Muslims who riot in Europe over stupid things like cartoons of Mohamed with a bomb under his turbin or the thought of a Qu’ran being flushed down a toilet (which it wasn’t)? Hell, religious texts and symbols in toilets or urine is called ART by state subisidized welfare recipients mascarading as artisans in America.

      Who is afraid of the different or the stranger? Chris, who asks simple questions and expresses common sense and understandable feelings about the impications of this very sensitive subject or Muslims in Iran that imprison three US hikers who mistakenly stray across the Iranian border (one of whom, the woman, has fallen gravely ill), or the Muslim man that forces the females in his house to eat in another room when male guests are in the house?

      Bottom line here is that Chris has said nothing wrong. He is expressing the same concerns as many Americans. It is still amazing that you quickly choose the low road of insults, snide comments, condecension and preposterous generalities. You, my friend, are the only person here expressing anything closely resembling hate or bigotry. You think you are an intellectual, but you are not. It is simple as that.

  7. richinpaso
    September 12, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Islam is a very intolerant religion. They murder apostates that give up Islam for other faiths. They stone to death women seen with men not their husbands. They cut the hands off of pety theives. Muslims murder their daughters with “honor killings” if the daughter wishes to live anything other than a devote Islamic life. Islamic regimes destroy religious artifacts of other religions, like the Taliban destroying the Bhuddas carved into the side of the mountain in Afghanistan. The one proposed act of religious intolerance in America does not equate to the systemic intolerance of Islam.

    But the left in America says that the GZM imam has priority over all other religions in the building of an “islamic cultural center” at Ground Zero. The Eastern Orthodox are second class citizens behind the Muslims as seen by the obsticles to the repair or replacement of Saint Nicholas Church at Ground Zero. Why is our government continuing to play favorites when there is supposedly this “wall of separation” between church and state?

  8. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Rich, who is “they”? Once again you are stereotyping people and perpetuating ignorant prejudice and spreading hate.

    It’s the height of irony for Rich to complain about “intolerance” while spreading inflammatory propaganda aimed at sparking animosity among American citizens and denying Americans from practicing their completely legal faith on their own property.

    The rhetoric Rick and Chris present on this forum rings with the same bigoted anti-religion logic and fervor of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s that lead to the slaughter of millions whose religions were not state-approved.

    The United States is a nation organized through laws. Muslim citizens who follow U.S. law are deserving of every right and freedom as any other law-abiding American. That freedom is being threatened every day by opportunists and fear-mongers and sociopaths.

  9. richinpaso
    September 13, 2010 at 7:06 am

    You are obviously a hack for Islam, Wiseguy. I was clear who I was talking about. I specifically referenced those Muslims that murder their children in “honor killings”, murder apostates, destroy the religious artifacts of other religions, stone to death women and treat them (the women; obviously you can’t decypher pronouns) as second class citizens. Are you saying that Marie Clair, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the NYT and Time are all putting out propaganda? Well, you must be since they have all carried stories detailing what I have mentioned. Try doing a google search for Honor killings and tell me how many hits you get.

    You write your posts as if you have been hired by some islamic party to serve as their public relations mouthpiece. Are you so blind as to not be able to see this going on right here in America? How many homosexuals will be allowed into this “outreach center” at the Ground Zero Mosque? How many rabbi will be on staff at the “outreach center” at Ground Zero? Will Catholics be able to take communion and perform Mass at the “outreach center”? The short answer to all these questions is no. So why then does there need to be this mosque and “outreach” center if the only people the muslims running the joint are going to be outreaching to are other muslims? What is the upside to having this mosque 2 blocks from the site of the greatest carnage purpetrated on America by Muslims? Really, are you this obtuse to automatically and reflexively go with the “nazi” comments? You try to silence dissent with your broad brushing of anyone who disagrees with YOU as a nazi. That is WEAK and pathetic and certainly adds NOTHING to this debate. Your namecalling and snide barbs are grade school tactics. Next thing you will be saying is “I know you are, but what am I?” to Chris and I because you lack the intellectual capacity to answer our questions and charges with anything approaching an intellectual argument.

    Grow up, Wiseguy, grade school is over.

  10. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Rich, face it, you rarely have anything productive or positive to add to any discussion on this forum. Nearly every one of your postings is always based on making broad-brush condemnations and criticisms of ethnic and religious groups or nations, always advocating for some sort of stereo-typing of individuals and prejudicial attitudes. Yours is the rhetoric of hate and violence–with the same mannered tone of bigotry common among Nazi propagandists of the 1930s.

    When it happens to be that a Christian commits a murder in New York, we don’t forever ban the building of Christian churches in the area. Why would we do differently in the case of Muslims?

    American citizens who are Muslim have and should always have the very same rights and privileges as all other American citizens. Advocating for anything less is undeniably anti-American and goes against the very foundations of our nation.

  11. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Rich, Chris and other anti-Islam fanatics and hate-mongers by stirring the pot of religious intolerance and animosity are contributing to the very real fears of America Islamic children who go to school each day, facing ramped up derision, bullying and violence because of the divisive anti-Islam propaganda.

    These innocent children literally fear for the lives of themselves and their families each and every day because of the insensitive, ignorant and mean-spirited rhetoric from people like Rich and Chris, who, with their deep-seated fears and insecurities, apparently gain some sort of short term satisfaction by spreading fear and insecurity to others. This is NOT healthy for anyone and will only lead to more unhappiness and violence.

  12. chrisinpaso
    September 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Californiawiseguy: Your various entries, at least in this string, can’t get beyond repeating the obvious statement that Muslims have the right to practice their religion in this country and personal attacks, now sinking so low as to equate Rich and me to Nazis. At the same time, you obviously can’t bring yourself to address the problems of militant, fundamental Islam. Indeed, in your last entry you went so far as to equate a Christian committing a murder to what happened on 9/11. You obviously can’t distinguish between a criminal act committed by one person and a planned, well organized act of war. (It’s been a couple of centuries at least since Christians were motivated by their religion to commit mass slaughter.) You obviously also fail to recognize or admit the ideological motivation that led to 9/11.

    However, your argument, to the extent your statements can even be regarded as “argument” and not simply vacuous ranting, are revealing and quite common, especially in the left wing of the political spectrum. Your statements demonstrate (i) ignorance about the issue, combined with (ii) fear and (ii) denial.

    So far you have not shown that you have any great knowledge about Islam, both as it is written and as it is practiced in large parts of the world. Otherwise you would not have made the idiotic statement that Islam is founded in love, unless perhaps you meant love of Allah. Love and respect for one’s fellow human beings (aside from other true believers) is not a strong point in Islam. Just read the Qur’an, for example, Sûrah 5.51: “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.” Of course, the Qur’an offers a great deal more in this vein. Again, I suggest that you take a look at “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris, especially pp. 117 – 123.

    It is quite typical for people to fear what they cannot control. Those on the political far left, when dealing with foreign policy, often look for some fault on our part in order to explain why an Al Qaeda or other enemy is hostile towards us. After all, if it is our fault that millions upon millions of followers of Islam in the worlds would like to butcher us, we can control the situation by altering out behavior. Accordingly, the left turns on its own country and fellow citizens. Apologies for the USA, condemnation of the domestic political opponents and simply out-and-out appeasement result.

    The – often intentional – ignorance and fear lead to denial and an inability to confront the actual enemy. It’s so much easier to chase the chimera of conspiracy theories and blame your fellow Americans rather than accept the reality that there is an ideology in the world that motivates so many people to hate us and commit atrocities against both this country as well as in other parts of the world.

    Fortunately, there are still enough Americans with the courage to oppose the enemy and in fact put their lives on the line to take out Al Qaeda, their Taliban brethren and their ilk. You and the others on the far left should be grateful every day for the fact that young men and women like my son-in-law volunteer to keep you and the country that gives you so much freedom safe.

    • marilyninslo
      September 15, 2010 at 6:50 am

      Absolutely, there is a problem with intolerant segments of Muslims whose response to any actual or perceived offense is violence. Those “fundamentalists” did not just pop out of the woodwork for no apparent reason. Those fanatics did not exist in that militant form prior to the 1980s, but I do not want to go into a history lesson here.

      The issue here is obvious: we cannot use the transgressions of fanatical Muslims from other countries as an excuse to violate the civil rights of Muslim Americans, nor should we use that as an excuse to constantly hold them accountable for what the fanatics in Afghanistan are doing or what the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia are doing. Muslim Americans hold no authority over the non-American Muslims and their crimes. All they can do is condemn and distance themselves from such groups and seek to build bridges within their communities and abroad. They have no legal or law enforcement jurisdiction over Muslims from other countries. No religion in the United States has that kind of authority. Why hold Muslims to a different standard?

      • richinpaso
        September 30, 2010 at 12:26 pm

        I have just re-read this comment. “Those fanatics did not exist in that militant form prior to the 1980s, but I do not want to go into a history lesson here.” Seriously? You obviously don’t count the Munich olympics of 1972 where the PLO massacred those members of the Israeli olympic team. Obviously, your callous statement betrays your hatred of the Israelis. It is YOU that need a history lesson.

    • September 23, 2010 at 2:00 am

      Chris and Rich: let’s make a deal. I’ll read a copy of the Q’ran if you’ll read a copy of this: Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins. ($3.23 used on Amazon)

      You both seem to think the US has done absolutely NOTHING wrong with its foreign policy in the last 125 years, whatsoever. No coups, no threats, no stealth regime changes, no animosity-generating actions. This book might help your “writing for comprehension” that Rich and I have commented on before.

      • richinpaso
        September 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm

        Never said the US is without sin and I never said that the US has done absolutely NOTHING wrong with its foreign policy in the last 125 years. As a matter of fact, I have recent read “The Imperial Cruise” which talks about the unconstitutional visits that W.H. Taft made in the Far East in 1905. Teddy Roosevelt is shown as a fraud and a racist that used the talk of a super-human Aryan people that Americans were supposed to be members of 25 years before Hitler ever did. Totally changed my opinion of T. Roosevelt. That said, I’ll check out a copy of the book you list if it makes you feel better. Try reading the constitution again to refresh yourself with that masterful document. Read it for what it says not for what you wish it said.

  13. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    I stand by my statements Chris, and find your rationalizations for fomenting violence and hatred pathetic and perverted.

    I equate your attitude and statements, and those of Rich, with Naziism because the similarities in tactic, tone and intent are striking. If my comparison was truly as outlandish as you suggest, you wouldn’t feel such a need to continually protest, as the truth would vindicate you. But, in fact, the truth convicts you.

    You and Rich offer nothing productive or positive. Your solutions to most every problem you address is some form of condemnation, violence, destruction, or taking away of freedoms granted by the U.S. Constitution. There is no denying this. Your former statements voicing approval of torturing of Muslims are only a fraction of the overwhelming evidence of your moral and intellectual failures, and your violent tendencies.

    • chrisinpaso
      September 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      californiawiseguy: Especially this last entry is a fine example of left wing rhetoric. You lash out with vitriolic platitudes and personal insults while completely failing to say a word of substance. At the same time, you demonstrate complete ignorance of, or at least an inability to rationally discuss, the issues at hand. In other words, you throw a tantrum.

      That’s a pity because rational, civil discourse between opposing viewpoints is the best and really only method for fellow citizens to move closer to each other and perhaps even reach agreement. You may recall that we had an exchange over a year ago about the Prof. Gates matter in which you eventually calmed down and came around to a more rational and sober view.

      The German language uses the word “sachlich” to denote calm, rational, on point discussion. There is no single word in English that really matches “sachlich”. In any event, your contributions would surely improve, and you might actually discover that it is more intellectually stimulating if you stay “sachlich”.

  14. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Islam teaches followers to respect the gospel of Jesus Christ and to treat the Bible with reverence. It also teaches to respect the Jewish Torah. This is why we DO NOT hear about Muslims burning the Bible in retaliation for burning Korans.

    (Unfortunately Dave did not protest or correct one of his guest callers, Jack Hardy, who made the misleading, inflammatory statement on the air that Muslims routinely burn Bibles. Mr. Hardy made this inflammatory statement as part of a statement claiming that Christianity is the world’s superior religion. (Once again treating religions as if they are football teams to cheer or boo, depending upon an individual’s team affiliation.)

    • chrisinpaso
      September 13, 2010 at 7:55 pm

      californiawiseguy: Just as a PS to my entry #14. All you have to do is google “Muslims burning Bible”. Or how about the name “Rami Ayyad” and the reports such as from 12 Nov. 2007 with the headline “Bible-store owner riddled with bullets” ( http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=44501 ). Hamas bombed his shop and butchered him precisely because he was a Christian. Perhaps the reason you “DO NOT hear about Muslims burning the Bible” is because you aren’t listening.

    • marilyninslo
      September 15, 2010 at 6:28 am

      I did not get the chance to listen to the segment mentioned above. If that is what Mr. Hardy said, he does not know what he is talking about. I grew up in the Middle East in a Muslim community. Even in the midst of the conflict between Muslims and Christians, not once was a bible burned. It is considered blasphemous to burn the religious text of “People of the Book” (Ahl El Kitab) (referencing the Jews and the Christians.

      You see, Muslims believe that Jesus Christ and Moses were one of the prophets (among over 200 throughout the millennia). In fact, Muslims believe that Jesus is the most favored of all prophets, while Muhammad was the last. Most bigots are ignorant of the relationship between Muslims and the holy books. Muslims believe that before god created human beings, he created knowledge which is transmitted through writing. In fact, the first Sura revealed to Muhammad was the “Blood Clot” where the very first verses state: “Recite: In the name of thy Lord who created, created Man of a blood clot. Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous, who taught by the Pen, taught Man that he knew not.”

      All these right-wing fanatics are experts on Islam all of a sudden. It reminds me of the idiotic belief that Muslim martyrs are promised 72 virgins in the Quran, when in fact itnowhere states that in their holy book.

      Maybe a Muslim scholar would be a better source of such information on the Congalton Show. It is about time that Muslims are asked about their beliefs instead of asking the bigots who hate them.

  15. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    The 9/11 attack was a political act, masquerading as a religious act. We have no right or foundation to hold all Muslims accountable for that act of political terrorism.

    • chrisinpaso
      September 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      californiawiseguy: And because I have another couple of minutes of spare time: I am not aware of anyone who holds “all Muslims accountable” for 9/11. However, it is nothing short of blind not to recognize the religious motivation behind the attack. Indeed, your failure to recognize that Islam views politics and religion as a unity and rejects separation of church and state shows that you should do more research. I suggest the following (Islamic) site: http://www.islaam.com/Article.aspx?id=559 , especially the last paragraph:

      “Secularism cannot be a solution for countries with a Muslim majority or even a sizeable minority, for it requires people to replace their God-given beliefs with an entirely different set of man-made beliefs. Separation of religion and state is not an option for Muslims because is requires us to abandon Allah’s decree for that of a man.”

  16. californiawiseguy
    September 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Yes, Chris, through the internet it is possible to find comments that seem to validate nearly any concept, and it seems you have had luck doing just that.

    If another nation chooses to unify church and state, it is not the automatic right for Americans to change that through militaristic or other antagonistic means. Separation of church and state is a concept embraced by the founders of the United States. We should not expect that every other nation in the world immediately embrace the same concept.

    Again, Chris, you are fear-mongering and fomenting antagonism against Muslims, in this case suggesting that Islamic nations follow the lead of the United States as far as organization of church and state.

    Regardless of the individual beliefs of some involved, the 9/11 attack was a POLITICAL act, disguised as a religious act, with the planners expecting it to create antagonism toward Islamic people. And, in case you are not aware, the true details behind the destruction of the twin towers has been hidden from the general public. Most people who think they understand what happened barely have a clue regarding both the tactics and motivation behind the attack.

    Furthermore, no matter how you may feel about Islamic religion, there is no way you, I or the entire United States could possibly destroy it. It is here and we must find a way to accept it with peace and love in our hearts. Our world, including the United States, has much to thank Islam for. Islam will be with us as long as Christianity is with us. Followers of these religions will evolve and their practices may change, but neither will be destroyed either through political or militaristic means.

    Chris, you are fighting a losing battle that will only lead to unnecessary casualties of body and soul. Chris, your direction is hopeless and self-destructive and will bring you nothing but grief and frustration, although your ego may be nurtured as it devours your soul. You’re wasting your time and your life and doing nothing positive. Unless you change, your legacy will amount to less than nothing.

    • chrisinpaso
      September 14, 2010 at 4:07 am

      californiawiseguy: You should really learn to read the contributions from others more carefully. Now how in blue blazes could you possibly have understood my statements as proposing that we spread secular government by the sword? You also seem to have some ratre insights into who was behind 9/11. Do you care to enlighten us?

      • richinpaso
        September 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm

        Chris, WiseGuy thinks himself so wise (hence the name) and urbane and so far above you and I. All he really is is a marxist, anti-american, arrogant liberal blowhard filled with hatred for anyone that doesn’t march to the beat of his drum.

  17. californiawiseguy
    September 14, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Chris, I know you imagine yourself to have some great legal mind, but this is not a courtroom nor am I under arrest, so your efforts to play Perry Mason and grill or cross-examine me in this forum for your own personal satisfaction hold no sway.

    Nor do I expect to convince you to abandon your “true believer” rhetoric and begin to appreciate the utter hopelessness, futility and self-destructive nature of your world-view and the violence you promote.

    One thing I will give you credit for is your candor, which makes your pessimism, fear-mongering, bigotry, advocacy of torture and imperialism, and personal insecurity issues so blatantly clear.

    If I’m not mistaken, you also supported the U.S. attack on Iraq and took a callous attitude toward the U.S. killing of innocent Muslim women and children during the attack and occupation. Sometimes I wonder if you have a conscience or if you are a sociopath.

  18. californiawiseguy
    September 14, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I don’t have all the answers regarding the truth and lies regarding the 9/11 attack, but I do have plenty of questions as do so many thousands of experts in so many scientific, engineering, security and political fields.

    Here’s just one easily accessible example or what I’m referring to:

    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    If any of you think you know what went on simply because of what you saw on TV or read in newspapers or magazines, you’re being dangerously naive.

  19. californiawiseguy
    September 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    The statements and attitudes coming from Rick and Chris are misguided and threaten the well-being of innocent Muslims and all Americans. They go against basic principles of moral integrity that the United States was founded upon. I consider their attitudes perverted and their statements dangerous and in the spirit of Naziism

    I DON’T agree with Chris or Rick. I DO agree with the men and women who signed the following letter, men and women who have a sharp perspective on these issues unequaled by anyone who has posted here so far. These honorable men and women have expressed themselves so well that I don’t believe I need respond further on this thread and to any further deeply disturbing and misguided words of Chris and Rick. The following letter might as well be addressed to both of them personally:

    “As veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have watched with increasing alarm the rise of anti-Islamic rhetoric within the U.S. We’ve seen attacks on Muslim citizens, intolerance toward religious expression, and even threats of book burning. All this goes against the values we risked our lives to protect.

    We have served beside Muslim soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen, as well Muslim translators, who risked their own lives and the lives of their families to help us. For the servicemembers currently deployed, the success of their mission and the safety of their lives depends on a basic respect for, and interaction with, Islamic culture.

    Those who would vilify and target Muslims on grounds of their religious belief not only show a deep disrespect for American values, but put American lives at risk. It’s easy to burn a Koran when you won’t feel the heat.

    We speak as infantrymen, truck drivers, medics, artillerymen, supply sergeants, and civil and public affairs officers, professions whose success depends on good relations with a deeply religious Muslim population. That population sees the American flag we wear on our uniform and judges us, not only by our actions but on the values our citizens uphold. We must be able to point back home to the values we represent. Chief among those values is our courage as a nation to peacefully and openly engage with differences of culture and religion.

    What is a squad leader in Kandahar supposed to say to an Afghan woman who asks him why we want to burn her holy book?

    When citizens here participate in hateful rhetoric and intolerance toward Muslims, it leaves soldiers over there exposed.

    America, you gotta have our back.

    Roy Scranton, US Army Artillery, Iraq
    Philip Klay, USMC Public Affairs Officer, Iraq
    Perry O’Brien, US Army Medic (Airborne), Afghanistan
    James Redden Jr., USAR Journalist, Iraq
    Joshua Casteel, US Army Linguist, Iraq
    Logan Mehl-Laituri, US Army Forward Observer, Iraq
    Hart Viges, Army, Infantry (Airborne), Iraq
    Jason M Wallace, US Air Force Maintenance, Kuwait
    Chantelle Bateman, USMC Supply, Iraq
    Geoffrey Millard, US Army Infantry, Iraq
    Nicholas Przybyla, US Navy Cameraman, Pakistan Coast
    John McClelland, US Army Medic (Ranger), Afghanistan and Iraq
    Andrew Johnson, US Army Radar Technician, Iraq
    Daniel Paulsen, US Army Medic (Airborne), Afghanistan
    Fernando Braga, US Army Supply, Iraq
    Maggie Martin, US Army Signal, Iraq
    Adam Kokesh, USMC Civil Affairs, Iraq
    Lisa Zepeda, US Army Lab Technician, Iraq
    Brian Turner, US Army Infantry, Iraq
    Matt Gallagher, US Army Cavalry Officer, Iraq
    Michael Anthony Ruehrwein, US Army OR Tech, Iraq
    Erika Sjolander, US Army Supply, Iraq
    Bryan Reinholdt, US Army Apache Maintenance, Iraq
    Jason Chambers, US Air Force Air Freight Specialist, Iraq
    Joe Wheeler, US Army Surgical Assistant, Iraq
    Ash Woolson, US Army Combat Engineer, Iraq
    Chris Hellie, US Army Cavalry Officer, Iraq
    Sara Beining, US Army Intelligence Analyst, Iraq
    Helen Gerhardt, US Army Transport, Iraq
    Garett Reppenhagen, US Army Cavalry Scout, Iraq:

    • chrisinpaso
      September 14, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      californiawiseguy: This is ridiculous. You keep trying to paint Rich and me as wanting to persecute innocent Muslims and/or burn books, etc. You fail to make even the slightest attempt to understand what we say. You demonstrate not even the slightest willingness to address militant, fundamentalist Islam. After your comments under entry #22, it’s obvious that you are lost somewhere in the black helicopter, Never-Never-Land of 9/11 truthers. Frankly, it’s a waste of time to continue the discussion with you, at least on foreign policy. See you and hopefully other contributors who have a better grasp on reality ín future strings.

      • californiawiseguy
        September 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

        Chris, you actually believe that you know all the relevant facts regarding the 9/11 attacks? If so, you are a sucker, in addition to being a promoter of violence and bigotry.

      • September 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm

        Chris, please examine your postings. Notice that fundamental to most of your proposals to dealing with Middle Eastern problems is a reliance upon violence and rhetoric that escalates hatred and other forms of bigotry and stereotyping, which, in turn, leads to harming of innocent people.

        Yours is a lazy, cowardly approach that will create more harm than good. You are deluding yourself by trying to overcome your deep-seated fears and insecurities in a way that gives you a false sense of control. But the fact is you are NOT in control and never will be, and all the guns in the world in your hands and all the torturing of people you could ever hope to conduct will NEVER solve your problem.

        You Chris, on your dark and narrow path, have reached a dead-end. The questions is whether you will ever mature enough, ever self-examine, ever be brave enough to admit your failures and take a new direction. Or will you continue beating your head against a wall and wanting the whole world to join you in your self-pitying misery?

  20. richinpaso
    September 15, 2010 at 4:17 am

    Ignoring the madman ravings of wiseguy and getting back to the point of this thread, this issue is really born of the fecklessness and incompetence of the state, local and federal governments to adequately address the World Trade Center site as a historic site. Even if the powers-that-be rebuild a tower or towers on the Ground Zero site, it should still be made a national historic site. This would create a defined boundary no different than Gettysburg or Pearl Harbor have defined borders. Had our so-called leaders done this bit of due dilligence, there would be no 2 blocks vs 3 blocks from Ground Zero. We would know exactly where Ground Zero started and stopped. Now we are each left to define the area of Ground Zero. Many, myself included, see the Burlington Coat Factory building as a part of Ground Zero since the nose gear of one of the planes crashed through the roof of the building, leaving it unusable and subject to demolition. The imam, looking to take advantage of the great benefit of the wreckage to pick the building up for an $8 million discount, now has property to build his mosque. Good for him. However, it is worth noting that not everyone gets to do with their property as they will. Don’t you all remember that there are no drive-throughs inside SLO city limits. That is because the city zoned the fast-food joints that way. Now what if I wanted to open a drive-though church where my parishoner could services quickly from the comfort of their car. Would the city of SLO be able to stop me based on their zoning ordenances even though I am exercising my 1st Amendment right to practice my religion anywhere I want? I think that would just as easily split the community as the GZM has split America.

    I do think that there is a pro-islam/anti-christian bias in American political leadership. If my drive-through church was really a drive-through mosque, would any of you have the guts to challenge me for fear of offending my muslim faith? I don’t think you would. But since christianity is commonplace, you all would crap on my freedom of religion in a heart beat.

    While there is one good reason to let the GZM get built (the constitution), there are nearly 3,000 reasons why it is not a good idea and is incredibly insensitive to the victims families on 9/11. If our leaders had weighed in on this issue before it sprung up, then we wouldn’t be having this national argument.

  21. marilyninslo
    September 15, 2010 at 5:48 am

    richinpaso :
    “You are obviously a hack for Islam, Wiseguy.”
    No he isn’t, but your comments are racist, bigoted, dishonest, and flat our contradictory. You talk out of both sides of your mouth.

    “I was clear who I was talking about.”
    Yes you were. This is exactly what you said: “Islam is a very intolerant religion. They murder apostates that give up Islam for other faiths. They stone to death women seen with men not their husbands. They cut the hands off of pety theives. Muslims murder their daughters with “honor killings” if the daughter wishes to live anything other than a devote Islamic life. Islamic regimes destroy religious artifacts of other religions, like the Taliban destroying the Bhuddas carved into the side of the mountain in Afghanistan. The one proposed act of religious intolerance in America does not equate to the systemic intolerance of Islam.” That last sentence says it all. “THE SYSTEMIC INTOLERANCE OF ISLAM.”

    “I specifically referenced those Muslims that murder their children in “honor killings”, murder apostates, destroy the religious artifacts of other religions, stone to death women and treat them (the women; obviously you can’t decypher pronouns) as second class citizens.”

    No you didn’t. You made blanket statements about Muslims, the Quran, and Muslim regimes. If that is is not bigotry against a whole people, revisit the English language and logic.

    “Grow up, Wiseguy, grade school is over.”

    I don’t think Wiseguy is that one who needs to grow up.
    Please

    • richinpaso
      September 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      You are in full support of the murder and mutilations done by muslim men on muslim women, Marilyn. You don’t have a worthwhile opinion I am interested to hear. When you stop being a shill for the extremist lunatics in your religion and face reality that your religion advocate for maiming, murdering, mutilating, and oppressing women all over the world and admit that publically, I then would be interested in what you have to say. Until then, I say good day to you.

      • californiawiseguy
        September 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

        Rich, your continual attempts to distort the truth and post outright lies is despicable. It is obvious Marilyn is NOT in “full support of the murder and mutilations done by muslim men on muslim women…”.

        You are a LIAR Rich.

        You owe Marilyn an apology.

      • richinpaso
        September 24, 2010 at 11:15 am

        NO! I have nothing to apologize for. Marilyn defends and makes excuses for thos in Islam that do everything I talked about. She is complicit with her words of defense in the murder of all those Muslim women.

        What is despicable is your constant attempts to shift culpability away from where it belongs: on the shoulders of muslims that stand idle while Muslim women are brutalized and murdered. Its no different than if she were behind the wheel herself.

        Also, I’m happy that you have dropped the pretense and outted yourself as a kook, lunatic 9-11 truther.

        And the truth shall set you free.

      • californiawiseguy
        September 30, 2010 at 10:14 pm

        Rich, are we supposed to imagine it is mere coincidence that you continually single out Marilyn as the target of your most abusive and misleading personal attacks on this forum?

        You definitely owe Marilyn an apology, as well as owing one to so many others you maliciously attack with your bigotry and religious intolerance and all the other perverted, hate-mongering views you spew so freely and pathetically.

        I’ve asked you many times to explain what possible GOOD you imagine you are doing with such statements. You never answer, which I suppose is to be expected, considering it is most likely you have no intention of doing GOOD with your words.

  22. September 23, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Here’s what I said. No, here’s what I read and see what you really said. I didn’t say that, you’re twisting my words.

    And on and on. This is what public discourse has devolved to. Such a shame. Still looking for those “other contributors who have a better grasp on reality.”

    Marilyn and CaliforniaWiseguy seem to be coming from a fact-based reality. I mean, “who threw the first stone?” (Hint: post #2)

  23. californiawiseguy
    September 24, 2010 at 6:10 am

    Chris, it seems you have swallowed the 9/11 myth, hook, line and sinker, and are so arrogant that you reflexively attack people who question all the glaring inconsistencies in the “official” explanations of the attack.

    But please point out one single flaw or misrepresentation in the facts presented by scientists and engineers on the following website:

    http://www.ae911truth.org/

  24. californiawiseguy
    September 25, 2010 at 4:24 am

    This is the kind of despicable bigotry, prejudice and discrimination that Rich in Paso promotes with his irrational, hate-filled diatribes against Muslims, as we see so often on this forum:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/business/24muslim.html?_r=1

    This is reminiscent of the scapegoating and bigotry practices by Nazis and their sympathizers in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

  25. californiawiseguy
    September 30, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Rich, your arrogance is out-shining your ignorance and highlights your propensity to believe in every moronic, divisive, destructive or deadly idea that is labeled “conservative” by the propagandists who treat you like a willing pawn. That you feel so compelled to spread your ignorance and hate-mongering is disturbing. However, the obvious regressiveness and fruitlessness of your ideas tempers my concerns.

    For starters Rich, please point out one single flaw or misrepresentation in the facts presented by scientists and engineers on the following website:

    http://www.ae911truth.org/

  26. californiawiseguy
    October 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Rich, are we supposed to imagine it is mere coincidence that you continually single out Marilyn as the target of your most abusive and misleading personal attacks on this forum?

    You definitely owe Marilyn an apology, as well as owing one to so many others you maliciously attack with your bigotry and religious intolerance and all the other perverted, hate-mongering views you spew so freely and pathetically.

    I’ve asked you many times to explain what possible GOOD you imagine you are doing with such statements. You never answer, which I suppose is to be expected, considering it is most likely you have no intention of doing GOOD with your words.

  27. richinpaso
    October 2, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Forget it, WiseGuy. You’ll never hear an apology because I have nothing to apologize for.

    What good are your words doing on this blog? No more and no less than mine.

  28. californiawiseguy
    October 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    OK Rich, that says a lot. I think you have it in yourself to be a decent guy, and I wonder what it is that you are suffering from, what it is you have experienced in war or elsewhere, that would cause you to want to continually beat up on Marilyn and mercilessly attack entire categories of people and their religions, and slander a President? I feel strongly you have it in yourself to be a decent citizen who contributes positively to the community and appreciate all the material blessings you have enjoyed.

    I wonder what it is that has soured you so much to the point that you so eagerly try to divide and tear down our community at the very same time that your soul cries out for unity and love. Your conflict is troubling to observe; surely more troubling to live with.

    I pray that my words might somehow get you to look deeply inside yourself and realize that a change of course could aim you toward the healing and love your soul cries out for.

    I am not your enemy. Obama is not your enemy. Marilyn is not your enemy.

    Your enemy and your savior are both inside you. That is where the real battle is raging. If you truly want peace, that is where to begin. That is how you make the world a better place.

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