Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Mosque will be built

It's always nice to see the bad guys lose:

After a protracted battle that set off a national debate over freedom of religion, a Muslim center and mosque to be built two blocks from ground zero surmounted a final hurdle on Tuesday.

The city's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9 to 0 against granting historic protection to the building at 45-47 Park Place in Lower Manhattan, where the $100 million center would be built.

Ultimately, I wonder how much of this "clash of civilizations" bullshit is due to so many of these old Tea Party dudes having had their thinking shaped by the Cold War. Compared to the Soviet Union, al-Qaeda is a pretty pathetic organization to be sure, but I think a lot of Cold Warriors assume that all Islam is somehow connected to radical, al-Qaeda-tinted Islam because, during the Cold War, most Communist Parties really were connected to Russia, either directly or indirectly. Sure, there were your Titos and Maos and Pol Pots who were independent of Russia, but something like the Italian Communist Party really was bought and paid for by the Kremlin, as were quite a few European labor unions and the like. That situation isn't remotely true of Islam, but old ways of thinking have a way of dying hard. Of course, all this is going to be very counterproductive to trying to convince Arabs that we really don't hate them.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.