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Let us have a thought experiment...

And compare and contrast the following ideas...

The Left hates the Confederate flag, though it's not illegal to own one or fly it.  There are one or two that fly out here in the county.  Not here, we fly our own flag along with the national and state flags.

The Left periodically gets in a snit about the rebel battleflag because flying it is insensitive to the descendents of a group of people who were traumatized by the actions of people who fought under or supported that banner.

So, do those arguments apply to the Ground Zero Mosque?

Additional skein to follow - is the Ground Zero Mosque any different from the Carmelite Convent built near Auschwitz for the same putative reasons?


But follow the Rulez, attack arguments, not the people making them.  Heat is okay, but spittle flecked rants are not.  Don't take anything personally - there are some here who will argue just so the Devil has an advocate - stay focused on the arguments.  Of course, you shouldn't take anything personally because no one is going to be saying anything personal right?


As a person who had friends and neighbors die on 911 it is difficult to comprehend what is being done here. From all accounts, and studying what facts are available about the driving force behind this Islamic Cultural Center, these people are rubbing our nose in it. How many Muslims live in the immediate area to support such a large building? There is no mention of a memorial to the 80+ Muslims that were trapped and died that day. (Not including the terrorists)

This is not a freedom of religion issue. The Center can be moved 5 blocks to the east or 5 blocks north and still be readily available to all transportation. No one is trying to prevent the building of a mosque, it is a question of placement.

Oh...and lets not bring up the issue of the Imam's political feelings for other terrorist organizations. One of which caused the death of our Marines in Lebanon. Would we allow a Nazi organization to build a HQ in Williamsburg section of Brooklyn?

I've read the histories of the Ottomans, the Balkans, the Moors, the Battle for Vienna, and the wars in Russia. We are at war with Islam but we think they should be treated like Baptists or Methodists or Hindu's. When was the last time Episcopalians killed Marines?
Islam marks it's territory. Where it has destroyed a symbol of it's enemy, it plants a "holy place" to commemorate it. The sole purpose of this is to rub our noses in their victory. Nothing whatsoever to do with religious freedom.

I say, let them build the mosque. Once Muslims they have rebuilt the WTC, returned it to it's former owners and purpose, and given reparations to the families whose lives were destroyed.

Oh, and the first floor of the mosque must be a slaughterhouse for hogs. OK, maybe that was a little spittle flecked.
"is the Ground Zero Mosque any different from the Carmelite Convent built near Auschwitz for the same putative reasons?"

Absolutely.  The Carmelites are a cloistered order devoted to peace.  There is no doubt that their motives were benign.  The ... "people," I suppose I have to call them ... behind this mosque are allies of Islamist terrorism.  There is no doubt about their motives either. 

"The Left periodically gets in a snit about the rebel battleflag because flying it is insensitive to the descendents of a group of people who were traumatized by the actions of people who fought under or supported that banner."

Actually, I don't think they do.  I think they put on a shocked-and-horrified front when it can be used to their political advantage.  Otherwise, they don't give a damn.  The Stars and Bars flying above the South Carolina statehouse is grounds for summary execution.  The exact same symbol on, say, the uniforms of a kids' hockey team is No Big Deal, not even in Massachusetts which carries political correctness to extremes. 
Ah, but Wolfwalker - compare the reactions of the religious organizations to the request of the traumatized.

As for the rebel battleflag, there is truth to what you say, but I think you underplay some of the response, too.

"Commemorative Air Force" comes to mind...

  the problem is that the Klan usurped the CS Battle Flag and that's now what folks associate it to when they see it displayed. Most Americans can't differentiate between the Battle Flag and the "Stars and Bars" National Flag, either. That's too bad.  I have a repro Atlanta Depot Issue CS Battle Flag that I fly on occasion. Drives a couple neighbors nuts. One actually called the police to demand that THEY confiscate it. It was wonderful to see the cops school the neighbors about the role of the Police, Courts, 1st Amendment and all that.  :)

  As to the Cordoba Mosque. A bit of research will show just why THAT name was chosen, and it won't be much of a surprise to anyone here. I don't want it built.  Wouls we tolerate a shrine to Japanese War dead alongside the Arizona?  Would the Religion of Peace allow a Cathedral to be built at Mecca to support Christian tourists? Oh wait... Christians cannot even VISIT Mecca under pain of death if discovered.

Well, for my two cents, I'd simply say this.  If their true objective (as claimed) is to foster understanding between Americans and Islam... you're doin it rong (to use an intarwebz-ism).  Occam's Razor tells me that therefore, this isn't the reason.

The thing is, I do support property rights and the right to free practice of one's religion.  So they have every legal and Constitutional right to build a mosque whereever they like (once they actually purchase the second building, which apparently is not yet fait accompli).  By the same token, I see no reason for there not to be a pork slaughterhouse next door, nor a gay stripclub on the other side.  Assuming that's what the owners of THOSE buildings want to do.  Also, if there are daily protests outside the mosque (on public property of course), well... that's legal and Constitutionally protected as well.

Let's be honest.  There's not a blessed thing illegal about what they're looking to do.  It's a thumb in the eye to America and the families of those slain on 9/11 of course, but the correct answer to rudeness and contempt is more of the same in return.  And I place great faith in the ability of New Yorkers to teach these pikers lessons in rudeness and contempt they've never even dreamt of.
If they were actually building the Muslim version of a convent- something completely benign and service-oriented as a way to apologize for an atrocity caused by rogue members of their religion, that would actually be a nice gesture.

But instead, we have Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf saying things like "The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets."

Oh please. Your entire religion began in a war of conquest. Muslims not only kill civilians of other religions, but Muslim civilians. Of the same sect. All the time. If your own people are just meat sheilds, what are the rest of us?

Does anyone know about the imam's religious background? I'd be interested.

The Left hates the Confederate flag
...and love the Mexican flag, the Cuban flag, The Chinese flag...
Wouls we tolerate a shrine to Japanese War dead alongside the Arizona?
That's my question--and it's parallel not only because of the context but also because it would not be a silent memorial to the fallen, which would be bad enough from an American perspective.  According to my cousin who has taught in Japan, one of the things a person does at a Shinto shrine is to ring a bell to wake up the god to whom the shrine is dedicated so that the visitor's prayers can be heard.  Do the proponents of the mosque seriously not think people ought to take exception to hearing "There is no god but Allah and Muhammed is his prophet" five times a day coming from next door to a site where that belief prompted the wholesale slaughter of civilians?

Going further out on a limb:  Would anyone on the left tolerate a Jesuit-run chapel devoted to praying for the souls of cavalrymen who died in the Indian Wars if it were built at Wounded Knee?
Armorer: "compare the reactions of the religious organizations to the request of the traumatized."

I don't understand.  Jews had some objection to the construction of a Carmelite convent near Auschwitz?  On what grounds?  How was it handled by the Carmelite Order? 

On the Confederate flag, I must confess a blunder.  I do know the difference between the Confederate national flag (the Stars and Bars) and the battle flag, but I have to be thinking carefully about it to remember it.  The hockey-team uniform I was thinking of uses the battle flag design, not the Stars and Bars.  
WW - Rather than fill this space with my blather - read this article.
wolfwalker:  The Carmelites initially wanted to build the convent in Auschwitz, and the Jewish community objected.  JPII told the Carmelites to move the convent outside the camp's property lines, and someone from the Vatican explained the decision thus:  Having the right to do a thing does not make one right in doing it.
Or, as St. Paul puts it:
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV)

They have the right to do so ... and they would better serve their cause not to exercise that right, lest we be tempted to attempt similar destruction and building.


My take of the Confederate flag bit is that it's primarily part of the moral superiority campaign of our lefties, their version of the "death by a thousand cuts" to keep pressure on their opponents with the hope of demoralizing them.  The survival of the flag as an American symbol thus becomes the "pea" under these "princesses" mattresses.
As to the Ground Zero mosque, my take goes like this:

Back during my all-expense-paid tour of sunny Southeast Asia, the bad guys had a trick they used to use when the good guys showed up in their junglehood. They would send out a couple of their guys to serve as lures to try to draw us into their kill zone.

The problem isn’t the mosque or its location. The problem is the Islam. Muslims have been doing things like this for 13 centuries. They are well practiced at it. While trying to resist the mosque is, in a sense, admirable, it takes the focus off Islam and Mohammed and his 9-year-old trophy wife Aisha. The muslims are getting their jollies watching the idiot infidels banging their heads against their Islamic wall. They have put the infidel, once again, into a no-win situation. If the mosque is stopped, Americans have suspended their American values. If the mosque goes forward, the muslims have put their supremacist Islamic thumb in America’s eye. If the muslims walk away from the deal they are magnanimous benefactors to their fellow citizens.

My youth in the Bronx tells me to get in touch with the owner of the property across the street and propose putting one of those computer message boards on the outside of his building. The message board could be entitled “Islamic Thought of the Day” or some such. I would recommend for the opening day, “Mohammed married Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage when she was nine.” Oh, yeah, and perhaps an artful “Have a Nice Day” across the bottom of the board would be appropriate.

It’s the Islam, stupid!!! It always has been and always will be. What they want most to protect is what we must attack. There is a reason why muslims are so easily aggravated by criticism of their “religion” or proselytization of its adherents by other religions. It’s their greatest vulnerability.
Hm.  I don't think we suspend our values when we take a stand and say NO and HELL NO.  I don't like the idea or the concrete of a mosque at ground zero.  Not because of intolerance, which is what they want to accuse of having, but because of their intolerance that freed up the real estate. Would they have wanted to build a mosque if the attack hadn't succeeded?  I doubt it.

The mosque is not a symbol of hope, but a foothold.  The camel putting his nose in the tent.
 Greetings:   especially  "Cricket"

At the risk of appearing contentious, please allow me to expand a bit on my post.  It's somewhat common for my brevity to be the soul of my half-wit.

What I was trying to convey was that we must understand our opponents and their tactics.  One of the books that I've found useful in this regard was "Culture and Conflict in the Middle East" by Philip Carl Salzman.  It's short and kind of pricey, but well worth the reading.  It elucidates how the Arab culture continues to embrace its tribal origins and the concomitant conflicts with the "other".
When one views all outside the tribe as oppressors or oppressees, a concept that is globalized in Islam's "Dar al Islam" and Dar al Harb", external aggression becomes both an opportunity and a vi virtue.

Now, that keystroked, If one assumes, if only for the purpose of argument, that part of the Islamic assault on our society involves their being able to present themselves as victims of a racist, intolerant state, then our tactics in response should, hopefully, prepare for that eventuality.  What seems to me to be currently accepted as fact is the muslims don't yet have legal control of the property or the actual funding to have the mosque built.  What they do have is some architectural plans and government approval for their project.  With this relatively low level of investment, they have created a great to do and succeeded in presenting themselves via a too complacent media as being being victims of having their compassion, brotherhood, nay their freedom of religion, thwarted.  I believe that they have been largely successful in this regard.

In essence, I believe that we are in danger of seeing putting a band-aid on an abscess as a success.  The band-aid may somewhat add a layer of protection to the problem, but it's never going to cure the infection.  Muslims will continue being muslims because that is what they are brought up to do.  What we now have is a situation where we have given our muslim brothers the equivalent of an ideological sanctuary not dissimilar to the geographical sanctuaries we gave the Communists along South Viet Nam's borders.  This will not work.  We must expose the teachings of Islam including especially, the depravities, murder, thieving, raping, child molestation, etc, etc, etc and have the Muslims try to explain to the world how this is a religion as opposed to an ideology for world domination.  

I SO do not want to be the one to argue this side of it, but honestly... what would you have the government do?  On what legal basis could we prevent them from being (forgive me John) the assholes here?  Mind you, I believe that the mosque will NOT be built (but that has more to do with the funding than any opposition), but how would you feel if some city government tried to prevent you from building something on land you own because "it will offend someone"?  Hopefully you'd be pissed.  It's your land, and as long as the arcane zoning laws allow you to build whatever it is you want, why is it anyone else's business what you put there?  Sure it makes you a jerk, and an ass, and a prating cockscomb.  But you have a right to do it.

Oh and as for the "would we let the Japanase build X next to the Arizona memorial?"  I point you < a href=",+hi&hl=en&cd=5&cad=src:pplink&ei=LIlpTIy9M4nkygSFxdjFBw">here</a> and <a href=",+hi&hl=en&cd=2&cad=src:pplink&ei=LIlpTIy9M4nkygSFxdjFBw">here</a> and <a href=",+hi&hl=en&cd=8&cad=src:pplink&ei=LIlpTIy9M4nkygSFxdjFBw">here</a>.  All three are Shinto shrines less than ten miles from the Arizona.

I'm not saying that makes it right.  I'm just saying, being an asshole isn't illegal.

Well... those links are just terrible.
Try this:
Go to
Search for "shinto shrine honolulu, hi"
In the interest of inter-faith amity and peace, the imam should wait until he can meet with the archbishop and together they will announce the beginning of construction from the pulpit in the cathedral at Riyadh...
Oh, there you go with moral-equivalency arguments, Bill.  The Left has already declared those DOA.  We're supposed to show our moral superiority by turning the other cheek or something. [sound of rustling papers] Didn't you get the memo?

Some things just shouldn't be tolerated.  Starting with those calling for our deaths and submission to Islam.
Bill, I love you like an older brother that I've never met.  But that one bugs me like the "would we let the Japanese..."  Of COURSE they'd never let us build a church or synogogue in Riyadh (or Mecca, or Medina).  Hellfire... they make it illegal to bring a bible in country.  The point isn't that they wouldn't let us do the same.  The point is we're NOT them.  Do you want to be?  I sure as hell don't.

And mind you, I'm certainly NOT taking the "we need to take the moral high road here", because we don't.  We're already ON IT.  I am a firm believer in American Exceptionalism.  I DO believe our culture is superior to theirs.  And for any bleeding heart that wants to whine about "ethnocentrism" or any of that other garbage can pick up the recent copy of Time Magazine (,8599,2007269,00.html ) and explain to me how a culture who would do that to a girl is our "equal".  But they might want to bring a helmet otherwise my rebuttal might sting a bit.

Look, Fourteenth Century barbarians cannot be expected to act in a civilized manner.  And I say, if they want to be obnoxious and insensitive, then we should let them.  And THEN we should show them what insensitivity REALLY looks like.  All while staying within our own cultural standards and laws.  And if you don't think New Yorkers can out-obnoxious anyone else on the planet, I question if you've ever been there.
The nature of the polite company, that this Castle keeps, makes it impossible for me to express the true nature of skull gnashing violence that my heart keeps.
Well, Boq, write it out, then strip out all the anger-driven hyperbole, and see what remains.  You might be surprised.
MikeD...funding??? Look who we're talking about. One Saudi Sheik can finance the whole thing.

The law is the only way and NYC has plenty of laws on the books, not to mention the Feds. We need a noise study, a parking plan, an EPA study, a traffic safety study, an Air Corridor study, a ground water study, an antiquities study, a subway vibration study, and air quality study, a jobs creation study, a pigeon protection study, site plan approval, a spotted owl study, a snail darter study, an Indian Burial study, a battered women study, a child buggering study, And a driver safety course.

And it is doable. I was Chairman of the Board of Adjustment, and the Board turned down a hospital with a State certificate of need to build. It was appealed and the Superior Judge commended us for a thorough job and denied the appeal. We told them a hospital on a little country lane was not good for the community and they should swap the land for something on the highway. It was the one and only time a Town in the State of NJ turned down a hospital and won.

Truly though, the biggest problem they will have are the construction Unions. Those people will make the building not quite a building. And the inspectors...oh Yes the inspectors...and Fed OSHA...and like that. And then the Tea Party should picket.
"We're supposed to show our moral superiority..."

But, Xerxes, I Won - the Lord of the Lies, has already said that American's are no better than anyone else, many times, on his Apology Tour.  I'm with Mr. DeBille.  When they allow a hellfire and brimstone Southern Baptist church in Riyadh, Tehran or Mecca, then I'll think about changing my mind about building a mosque at Ground Zero.  Until then, chuck 'em, Farley.
Dang, this one is almost Cassandra-quality for the commentary.  Sweet.
We're supposed to show our moral superiority by turning the other cheek or something.

That's about the only time you'll hear a Lefty cite scripture as justification for anything.

Besides, that "turn the other cheek" refers to getting the proper weld on the stock...


I'd recommend reading David Frum's article here:

I'm not a huge Frum fan or anything, but it has the ring of truth to me.  Plus, like anything else... trust, but verify.  Until they OWN the building, nothing gets built.

As for making them dot every i and cross every t, well by all means do so.  Let's see the environmental impact study, and the endangered species act paperwork (speaking of, if you REALLY wanna screw with them, put a nest of endangered birds on the site).  And protest?  Oh brother, protest daily with bacon sandwiches and strippers.  I'm with you.  But if you just deny the permit on the grounds of  "I'm offended", well sir, that don't fly with me.  This is the United States of America... there's no right to never be offended.  But by God, we can show em how offensive a riled up people can be.

And seriously, do we want to be just like them?  "They can have a Mosque in NYC when we can have a church in Riyadh" makes as much sense as us cutting the noses off of moslem girls in NYC for going to school.  Just because they do it doesn't mean we should too.  Part of being better people is you need to... you know... be better.  I'm not saying we bow and scrape and pay the taqiyya.  I'm saying we practice what we preach, but pay insult for insult.

When I first started to read this, I figured The Armorer had started a bon fire and said, "Now, I want you to put it out with gasoline." My reply, *"You're out of your [REDACTED] mind!"* I believe everybody done  much better than I ever expected!

Now it's my turn to tangle with this beast. What is this "Ground Zero Mosque", specifically? Is this a Mosque or a Muslim Community Center, but not both? These are not interchangeable terms, as established in law, by those ladies in The Infernal Revenue Service. Let's see how they want to dance with the IRS.

The blood of those who died on that day make the ground sacred. No church, synagogue, mosque or any type of community center should be built there. It would be an abomination.

BillT, you remind me of the old story of the Old Blacksmith. "This little weasel of an individual comes up to this Old School Blacksmith. He's got arms like most big men's legs. The little weasel hits the Old Blacksmith on one cheek, then the other. The Blacksmith steps back from the fire, puts the hammer  and tongs down. He said, 'The Good Book' tells me me what to do the first two times, after that I know what to do and he .......'"
It's called incompatible land use.  Not much different than saying you can't build a strip club next door to an elementary school or a church...  No one is saying they can't build a mosque in NYC.  We're saying you can't/shouldn't be able to build on RIGHT NEXT TO Ground Zero.  I'm sorry, but a Shinto shine 10 miles from the USS Arizona isn't the same as this plan for a mosque immediately adjacent to the sacred ground where the WTC towers once stood...
They can build their mosque anywhere that isn't close to Ground Zero and has land available.

I have limits...and Ground Zero should be a shrine to the memories of those who were murdered there.  It is sacred ground.  If nothing else, the surivors and those who do not want to see this travesty of tolerance go forward should buy the land and in perpetuity, have their own Holocaust Museum.

 The Confederate Flag was the symbol of the Confederacy and all it stood for with regard to state's rights.  However, it is no longer a rallying point, but a reminder.  The mosque is more than a symbol. It will also be a reminder, a  place to rally, teach and build a community...of what?  More of the same hatred that led to 9-11?

I don't think you were being argumentative.  I tend to get simplistic, as I see things as either yes, or no.  If I do pause to think things through (and I do), I usually come around to the same initial repsonse I had before the train of thought went through my head.  In this case, there should be no mosque at ground zero.

You like argument too much John.  Your pile of sticks and petrol with a confederate flag and hijab on top begging for the devil inside the fire to come forth?

The presumption the left hates the confederate flag is rather thin I think.  From what I see, and even across the waters as I am, I would likely see more than most of you, most of the left don't give a rats about that flag.  The reaction to it is hardly like the reaction to something like Sarah Palin.

My own position on your old flag is it is hardly appropriate.  To me it symbolises the Dukes of Hazzard far more than the confederate half of split America it actually stood for.  I would probably think less of people who flew it.  It is a symbol of those slave days and it is also a symbol of the desire for division and strife within the US.  That said, apart from for a few of John's neighbours and a bunch of others, this flag is very much a symbol of the PAST.

The mosque will be a symbol of the PRESENT and possibly the future.  The location of the 9/11 event is important emotionally and therefore psychologically.

What have the followers of Islam done to redeem their cruel and hateful ways in terrorism?  Most still support terrorist activity, virtually all do not actively block it and many imams are trainers of that thought pattern if not the terrorism itself.  As a whole Islam isn't sorry about the event so why should they be there?

Because it's America.  Freedom in a sense.  But freedom isn't free nope siree it is not.  All Americans have to do is resist.  By law.  By protests. By inconvenience.  By politics. By good old fashioned underhanded tricks.

If Americans don't resist then well it aught to be there huh.  Instead of focusing on the resisitance to this specific place think about how to on Islam more generally and especially their activities in generating more 9/11s.  Because the impact there will be infinitely more effective.  The question is does the US want a holy war?  Does it even have a choice?

I live in an area where there is a discussion every year about the battle flag and the name of our summer festival - Bushwhacker Days. The battle flag is not officially displayed during Bushwhacker Days, but it is present on individual displays by participants. I look on it like this, there are 365 days during the year and for 360 days I say don't fly the battle flag, it just causes disruptions. However, I think that those who are disturbed by the flag should take it easy for the five days of Bushwhacker Days and let it fly without complaint. It is not being used as a symbol of hate and if you can't let go of your own feelings for a short time so that others, who are just trying to commemorate a unique time in their history, it is you that has a problem, not the ones flying the flag.

That being said I don't think it is analogous to the "community center", mosque, or whatever it is. One the one hand you have a bunch of well-meaning people on both sides, on the other you have a group of people wrestling with something that is still painful and raw and a group that does not seem to be operating with good will towards anyone.

Yes, if they own the property they have the right to build on it if it meets code, but it seems to me this process is being pencil whipped through the approval process. I remember a company that wanted to put stand-alone pay toilets up in New York and couldn't get permission for some reason. Listen, that's a town that could use all the toilets it can get. If they take the time and get the permits, then build it. Just don't tell me they can get such a thing approved faster than pay toilets.
No mosque.  Some things are wrong, just plain wrong.

Those who do not understand the symbolic nature of this particular mosque simply do not get it and never will. 

They are our enemy (by their choice and actions, not ours) and we must not allow them this moral and psychological victory over the western infidels.

Those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of a state of war are blind to the significance of this particular site, and even the name.

It is akin to renting out Auschwitz for a reunion of SS Death Camp guards.  Some things are just wrong, even if legal.
I don't really have much to add to the debate about the 9/11 Victory Mosque, I think the proper response to any such proposal at that place should be what any proper Southern Belle would do to an equally improper interpersonal relationships proposal; an icy stare and simple, flatly stated "no." It is obvious to all parties what is being proposed, in either case.

Now, about the "battle flag," I did want to add an interesting tidbit. Have you ever wondered why the campaign & regimental flags became the symbol of the Old Confederacy, instead of any of the four incarnations of the proper CS national flags? It was because that is what the Union combat veterans themselves preferred. Some years after the war, both US and CS veterans began having joint reunions on the former battlefields. At one of the first (which I do believe was Gettysburg), some of the CS regiments formed up under their old national colors, which upset the Union men something fierce; they saw those flags as ones of treason and rebellion. However, they had no problems with the campaign and battle flags, as they saw those of emblematic of now-reunited foes who fought with courage and honor. This is why the "Southern Cross," based on the standard late war battle flag of the Western Theater regiments (and also the CS Naval Jack) became the widely accepted symbol of the Old Confederacy, instead of the "Stars and Bars" of the former CS national flags.

Irony abounds in these matters, of course, as my own homeland, Georgia, had to change its state colors from one with the previously-accepted Southern Cross to one incorporating the now-forgotten Stars and Bars.

The Ground Zero Victory Mosque aint quite up to the level of the jihadiscum heathen devil worshipers planting their filth on the Temple Mount or the Hagia Sofia, but it's brushing up close to it.

Oh and The Armorer:

Next time you need to go into a long list of dont dos, just preface it with my screen name so no one gets confused as to who you're talking at.

Also, I am semi reformed now after being taken to the woodshed a couple times.
@ John the Baptist: Yup, that was why the UDC design-patented the Battle Flag for their symbol, rather than the Confederate National Flag. Didn't help when it was revoked lately.

@Grimmy: (and Grumpy, too, who has written sharply at me)  Dinna fash y'self; without some salt, the stew would be pretty bland.
In a land long long ago and not so far away that you can not get their via Delta, was a young lad whose home of residence flew the Southern Cross as a portion of their state flag. It had been so for many years, but one day some yarmuckle politician decided it was offensive (that would be you Mr Purdue.) So instead of letting the fine citizens of said land vote on it he changed it in the dead of night, and forced it through. Then he did it again not even three years later. For me and mine that flag was not a symbol of hatred. We didn't fly it at parties or on the back of our truck while throwing beer cans at mailboxes (although I must confess to the latter.....just without a large flag on the truck at the time). It meant a large number of people stood up for something they believed in, right or wrong, and took a fighting stand to defend that belief. Did they lose? Yes. Did they die fighting? Absolutely. Older now, I wonder at my obsession with that flag. When the Nazi's were defeated, their flag too became a symbol of oppression and while many Germans followed the same definition that I set forth here (they picked up arms for something they thought right, right or wrong in hindsight, at the time they felt right), reparations were made and punishment dole. But the swastika still flies and in some cases it is legally defended and has won in court to be flown on personal property. Does it make it right? No. The question brought here by the Armorer is akin to what my grandfather would call a "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question. Any answer you give will be wrong insofar as the establishment (ie the current Administration and the ruling "class" if you will) is concerned, and otherwise you will be sent to the reeducation encampment building 215A three blocks down on your right, at 8 am tomorrow. *ahem* Back at the beginning of the month, to a resounding round of indifference, I asked my own readers a similar question. If I flew a 747 in to Mecca, would they build a Southern Baptist Church next door? The obvious answer is no. We have reached something the government has not ever historically dealt with well: a moral decision. On one hand not every Islamist we meet comes with his or her own Bomb vest. On the other there is just as many whom would love to see us burn in the streets. The mosque could be a bridge to bringing peace with the overall religion of Islam (which is the 2nd largest religion in the world) allowing them to separate the radicals from their folds. Or it could be a EZ Pass commuter express lane to blowing up the new Towers. A HEV lane instead of a HOV lane. We just do not know, and we always fear what we do not know, in this case rightfully so. I think it should not be built. Not until a time that some Iman without a questionable background can stand up and make known for peace. At home the Baptists used to play the Methodists in Softball. I'd like to see the Christians and the Islamics play before a decision is made. Without the hand grenades. Until that time as another tried and true Southerner (whom I loved dearly before his passing. Hell i own every book he wrote heh) like myself once said to Yankees who demanded we remove our southern flag from our courthouse. "Delta's ready when you are."
Grimmy - you aren't the only target, believe me.  And some who were the target, left (or just lurk) because if I won't let them play by their rules then they won't play.  The difference between you and they is... you're a grown-up and respect the rules of this particular game, and continue to play.  But trust me, it ain't all about you.  There are others here, in this thread, who've received Teh Boot of Doom in email.

Argent - I would suggest your view of the flag is thinly informed, just as my knowledge of aboriginal politics in Australia is thinly informed.  And having lived through the bumpy road of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60's, my view has a long pedigree. That, of course, can weigh it down with old baggage, too - as many people have moved on. 

But should the Left see an advantage to it, they will throw down over that flag.  Especially were a Republican politician (or, more likely, their supporters) start waving it about.  Nevada Daily Steve's point would apply here, I think.  And Steve and I live in an area (the area of the Border War between Free Soilers and Slave holders in Missouri and Kansas) where, especially in some of the smaller towns and rural areas, memories run deep from that era.  Surprisingly so.  And some of that is true because it serves political purposes to keep the memories (flawed and incomplete as they now are) stoked.  It's true enough that there is actually a grassroots effort to knock down some of the walls and build some local bridges via the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area.  If you want to see that cinematically, watch The Outlaw Josey Wales and Ride With The Devil.

As to the mosque - I deliberately didn't put my position down as I find it tends to skew debate, and the conversation becomes one with me vice with one another.  Besides, I learn more this way than the other.

Put me in the 'they have the right to build it, but that doesn't make building it right" group.  I have no objection to people using the legal tools in place to try to stop the construction - there's a reason those tools are in place, double-edged sword and great source of corruption that they can be.  And that's at least logically consistent for me - the guy who bought the land next to ours dearly wants to put a trailer park on it - which, for lots of reasons, and not just NIMBY on my part, would be incompatible land use.  I've been waging low-level guerrilla war against his proposal, using all the legal tools at my disposal.  Having been frustrated there, this fellow then turned to politics, and literally picked "his man" for county commissioner, in an attempt to gain through politics what he couldn't gain otherwise.  And those of us out here organized and got out the vote to make sure his guy didn't win the primary.  There's a reason (not just this mind you) that in this year's primary we had over a 38% turnout from our commissioner district.  The usual number is about 6% or so. 

Oh, and SWWBO got 4 votes.  One shy of what she needed to be elected precinct committeewoman.  The only real perk to the position is that she would have gotten to be a voting delegate at the Kansas nominating convention.  Well, all is not lost, she will be designated by the country party committee, and because we had such a large turnout, we'll get more delegates... and she'll get to be a voting delegate anyway. 

Heh.  *That* little comment covered some territory, didn't it?
Miss Ladybug, incompatible land use would have been fine... except that no such unacceptable land use legislation is currently in place, nor even discussed prior to talk of building a Mosque/Islamic Cultural Center/whatever you want to call it (let's call it what it is, a triumphal monument they want to put up to brag about how they beat us... pretty it up how you want, they didn't pick the name Cordoba House for nothing).  I like Grumpy's position that no house of worship should be built there.  It's consistant but more than likely not a commonly held opinion.  I think if the local Jewish community had wanted to put up a new synogogue at the old Burlington Coat Factory, we'd not really have heard a peep about this.  But it's NOT a mosque.  It's NOT a cultural center.  This is their Arc de Triumph they want to build.  And honestly, I don't really think it will be built.

Want a better reason than Frum's?  Ok.  Try this.  Imagine you're the owner of the building they're leasing and "just waiting on money from Dubai to buy".  Are you REALLY going to sell this building to them NOW?  Are you MAD?  You'd just jump at the chance to break your lease with them and sell to ANYONE else.  Just to be out of the controversy.  If you want to really do something concrete (and legal) to stop this from ever being built, contact the building's owners.  Explain to them how selling to this particular buyer (or anyone likely to transfer the deed to them) would be a career ending move, and how you'll make it your life's work to make sure ALL their clients know EXACTLY who they are and what they did.
Oh and one other thing.  I posting the bit about Shinto shrines near the Arizona not because I find it morally equivalent (though... it kinda is), but because OTHERS have said stuff like "we wouldn't let the Japs do this at Pearl Harbor, would we?"  AW1 Tim posted something similar, but I've seen the Shinto shrine thing asked as well.  The fact is, we did let them.  And we did because this is America.  Not Saudi Arabia.  We're not Fourteenth Century barbarians.  We're not the Crusaders they accuse us of being.  Why in the world would we want to act like them?

If they want to be jackwagons and put up a building on their property (regardless of how offensive) then we go about showing them exactly what being a jackwagon looks like... New York style.  But violating the principles of the Constitution isn't the way to do it.
@John the Baptist:
Heh.  I now live in your former homeland, and enjoy it exceedingly, sir.  If the unwanted attentions persisted, the lady has the right to slap the offending one.  Or call a gentleman to satisfy honor and keep the creep away.

In this instance, we must rely on the New Yorkers themselves to satisfy honor if the attentions persist.  Public opinion and outcry can only carry us so far.  It is up to the locals to do what is seen as the right thing.

Dang, and here I thought I was spayshul :(

As to the flag, I'm currently of no opinion on it. In my neck of the woods, though, it has always been more of a symbol of youthful rebellion than anything else. In my teenage daze, the Reb Flag was flown or worn by those kids who wanted to be rebelliony but weren't into the hippie stuff like long hair, raggedy cloths and/or dope.

But heck. I live in California, so what would I know?

On the Shinto Shrine angle...

Put it in the context of the time. How would that shrine have gone over if it was attempted while we were still at war with Japan?

Make no mistake, the scumbags behind this Grand Mosque are part of our current enemy. These aint "moderate muslims" no way, no how.
they can build one wherever they can afford to purchase the land to  put it, subject to the various zoning strictures and bureaucracies of the locality....

and those strictures and bureaucracies should treat their application in the exact same manner with the same glacial expeditious spirit of community service with which they are normally accustomed to act....

and for every single elected or appointed governmental official who has weighed in on the topic with their own opinion, i have only one single question, to wit, "Where were you when Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was crushed by the falling towers, and where is that church now?"
Camp Lawton, a POW camp run by the Confederacy, has been discovered.  The site is virtually undisturbed, which makes it priceless to archeologists.  Would that Ground Zero could remain so.  Undisturbed.  Of course, Nan Pelosi has her bloomers in a twist and wants to investigate the funding of those who dare to protest the mosque being built.

Cassie has post on it at her blog.
Make no mistake, the scumbags behind this Grand Mosque are part of our current enemy. These aint "moderate muslims" no way, no how.

Oh no argument here.  Hell, the Arabs know it too, as Lex posted at his place: