Pixel Scroll 5/16/18 Ringworlds For Sale or Rent, Moons To Let Fifty Cents

(1) PLANE SPEAKING. CollegeHumor shows what happens when a ticket agent has to deal with the argument that “My Dinosaur Is a Service Animal” (features Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard).

(2) EARLY RETURNS ON 451. Phil Nichols of BradburyMedia saw a preview screener of “HBO’s new Fahrenheit 451” and weighed in on his blog:

…The new Fahrenheit does take many liberties with Bradbury’s story (what, no Millie? Clarisse as a police informant?), but it knows what it’s doing. Specifically, it knows what Guy Montag has to learn, and what he has to become; and it knows what Beatty is in relation to Montag. Most importantly, it knows how to show the relevance of Fahrenheit to today’s world of sound bites, clickbait headlines and fake news. Bradbury said that you don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture; you just have to get people to stop reading. And that’s exactly the world Bahrani has created here….

(3) MORE WORK FOR HOLLYWOOD LAWYERS. “Stan Lee Files $1B Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment for “Stealing” His Name and Likeness” says The Hollywood Reporter.

The epic battles in Stan Lee’s comics may be nothing compared to the array of legal fights he’s waging — which now includes a billion-dollar lawsuit against the company he co-founded.

Lee is suing POW! Entertainment for fraud and conversion, claiming the company and two of its officers conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a “nefarious scheme” involving a “sham” sale to a Chinese company.

POW! was acquired in 2017 by Hong Kong-based Camsing International, and Lee says POW! CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion didn’t disclose the terms of the deal to him before it closed. At the time, Lee claims, he was devastated because his wife was on her deathbed and they took advantage of his despair — and his macular degeneration, which rendered him legally blind in 2015.

Lee says last year Duffy and Champion, along with his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez, whom he’s currently suing for fraud, asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with POW! for the use of his name and likeness in connection with creative works owned by the company. Instead, what he purportedly signed was a “fraudulent” intellectual property assignment agreement that granted POW! “the exclusive right to use Lee’s name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity.”

According to the complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Lee has been selective about licensing his name and likeness and will only authorize the use on a non-exclusive basis.

(4) AWARD NOMINEE. Congratulations to Cora Buhlert! Her story “’Baptism of Fire’ is a nominee for the 2018 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Award”.

The nominations for the 2018 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards, which are run by the small press Bards & Sages, were announced today.

I was going to put the link to the announcement into the weekly link round-ups at the Speculative Fiction Showcase and the Indie Crime Scene respectively, but first I took a gander at the list of nominees and all but fell from my chair, because there, a bit down the page, was my name. For it turns out that “Baptism of Fire”, my contribution to the science fiction anthology The Guardian, edited by Alasdair Shaw, has been nominated in the “Best short story” category. I had absolutely no idea about this, until I saw the nominee list.

(5) BLABBAGE. Derek Stauffer, in “Star Wars Comic May Hint At Leia’s Episode 9 Fate” in ScreenRant, says that Marvel’s Poe Dameron comic may have clues about what will happen to Leia Organa in Episode 9.

Given Leia’s weakened state in the comic, it seems even more obvious that she will end up passing the torch to Poe as leader of The Resistance at some point in the near future. The only real question is if that passing will come with Leia’s retirement, or her death.

(6) ARTISTS TO BE INDUCTED. The Society of Illustrators will honor the following artists at its Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony on June 21.

2018 Hall of Fame Laureates
Robert Crumb
Hilary Knight
Jim McMullan
CF Payne
Kate Greenaway
Rene Gruau
Jack Kirby
Heinrich Kley
Kay Nielsen

(7) NEW TO SHORT FICTION? Lady Business offers a “Short & Sweet Roundtable Discussion: Short Fiction Reading Habits” with A.C. Wise, Bogi Takács, Brandon O’Brien, Vanessa Fogg, and Bridget McKinney.

One thing I’ve learned from talking to people about short fiction is that there are many different styles of reading short fiction. There are people like me who read one story (generally online) and then stop and do something else. There are people who sit down with a print or ebook magazine and read the whole thing cover to cover. There are people who only listen to short fiction in podcast form. So I was thinking about the different ways people read short SFF, and I wanted to find out more about these differences. I also thought that since lots of people have different short fiction reading habits, people who want to try short fiction might find that different pieces of advice are helpful to different people. So I’ve invited several guests to the column to talk about their short fiction reading habits and to share advice for people new to short fiction.

This roundtable features prolific short fiction readers, so they have a lot of great ideas for where to find short fiction, but I know it can be a little intimidating when there’s so much to choose from and people who read so much! I hope this roundtable gives readers a taste of how many ways there are to read short fiction and how many entry points there are, and that there’s no wrong way to read, including how much you read or at what point in life you start reading short fiction.

(8) LEND ME YOUR EARS. From Tested in 2013, “ILM Modelmakers Share Star Wars Stories and Secrets”. News to me — the crowds of the pod races in Star Wars Episode I were half a million painted q-tips.

Don Bies: One of the cool things, whenever we’re working together, is people thinking outside the box, and trying to come up with practical solutions. And in the early days, certainly it was ‘let’s see if we can beat the CG guys at their own game.’ Michael Lynch, one of the modelmakers–he was always really good at looking at things this way–he was looking at the crowds. And when you see a crowd in a stadium you’re really just seeing shapes and colors, you’re not really seeing people or individual faces.

So he came up with the idea…of using q-tips, cotton swabs, colored, in the stands of the Mos Espa arena. So there were something like 450,000 q-tips painted multiple colors, and he even researched it to find out how many reds versus yellows and blues and greens that should be in there.

And it was a process of just days of painting. Think about 450,000 cotton swabs, how you paint them, and then how you put them in. Everyone took turns at one point sticking them into the stands. And by blowing a fan underneath they kind of twinkled, like people moving around. Ultimately they did put some CG people on top of it, but I always thoght it would be funny if they caught to a close-up of the stands and you saw a cotton swab sitting in the stands next to the aliens…

(9) ALFRED THE GREAT. Hollywood Reporter headline: “’Gotham’ Boss Sets New Batman Prequel Series at Epix (Exclusive)”. Premium cable network Epix will air Pennyworth. The series has some behind-the-camera personnel ties to Gotham, but is not a prequel of that Fox series. No cast has been announced.

Epix is getting into the DC Comics business.

The MGM-owned premium cable network has handed out a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for Pennyworth, a drama set in the Batman universe from Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller.

The series will revolve around Alfred Pennyworth, the best friend and butler to Bruce Wayne (aka Batman). The series is not a Gotham spinoff but rather an entirely new story exploring Alfred’s origins as a former British SAS soldier who forms a secret company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne — Bruce’s billionaire father — in 1960s London. Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred Pennyworth on Fox’s recently renewed Gotham, is not involved. Casting has not yet begun and the series is set in a completely different universe despite hailing from Heller and producers Warner Horizon. (Others who have played the Alfred role include Jeremy Irons, Michael Gough, Michael Caine, Alan Napier and William Austin, among others.)

(10) TRIVIAL TRIVIA

Hershey Kisses were named after the “kissing” sound made by the nozzle that drops the chocolate onto a cooled conveyor belt during their production. Hershey started making its version in 1907 but “kiss” was commonly used as a generic term for candies wrapped with a twist as early as the 1820s. Hershey managed to trademark the term in 2000 after arguing that consumers almost exclusively associated the word “kiss” with their brand versus other candies.

Source: Time

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) SCALZI FREE READ. The Electronic Frontier Foundation enlisted John Scalzi to help make their point: “EFF Presents John Scalzi’s Science Fiction Story About Our Right to Repair Petition to the Copyright Office”.

A small bit of good news: Congress designed a largely ornamental escape valve into this system: every three years, the Librarian of Congress can grant exemptions to the law for certain activities. These exemptions make those uses temporarily legal, but (here’s the hilarious part), it’s still not legal to make a tool to enable that use. It’s as though Congress expected you to gnaw open your devices and manually change the software with the sensitive tips of your nimble fingers or something. That said, in many cases it’s easy to download the tools you need anyway. We’re suing the U.S. government to invalidate DMCA 1201, which would eliminate the whole farce. It’s 2018, and that means it’s exemptions time again! EFF and many of our allies have filed for a raft of exemptions to DMCA 1201 this year, and in this series, we’re teaming up with some amazing science fiction writers to explain what’s at stake in these requests.

This week, we’re discussing our right to repair exemption. Did you know the innards of your car are copyrighted?

… The use of DRM to threaten the independent repair sector is a bad deal all-around. Repair is an onshore industry that creates middle-class jobs in local communities, where service technicians help Americans get more value out of the devices they buy. It’s not just cars: everything from tractors to printers, from toys to thermostats have been designed with DRM that stands in the way of your ability to decide who fixes your stuff, or whether it can be fixed at all. That’s why we’ve asked the Copyright Office to create a broad exemption to permit repair technicians to bypass any DRM that gets in the way of their ability to fix your stuff for you.

Our friend John Scalzi was kind enough to write us a science fiction story that illustrates the stakes involved.

(13) HOUSE OF REPUTE. Real estate news site 6sqft profiles a celebrity abode which once housed sf author Robert Silverberg: “Former home of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia lists for $3.5M in Fieldston section of Riverdale”. Numerous photos of the inside and outside.

A stately English Tudor mansion in the historic Fieldston neighborhood of Riverdale, considered one of the city’s best preserved early 20th century suburbs, has just hit the market for $3.5 million, and it’s oozing history filled ghosts, science fiction, New York master politicians, and urban planners. Former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved to 5020 Goodridge Avenue after serving three consecutive terms as mayor and living in Gracie Mansion….

In 1961, Robert Silverberg, a well-known science fiction author – and not as well-known as the prolific writer of erotica novels for quick cash – bought the house. In his 1972 novel, The Book of Skulls, Silverberg mentioned the neighborhood, writing, “How unreal the whole immortality thing seemed to me now, with the jeweled cables of the George Washington Bridge gleaming far to the southwest, and the soaring bourgeois towers of Riverdale hemming us on to the right, and the garlicky realities of Manhattan straight ahead.”

(14) PROBLEM FIXER. Michael Z. Williamson’s advice is to ban the people who complain about a convention GoH.

…Your only rational, immediate response to avoid “controversy” is just to ban the person making the public scene. They’ve already told you by this action that they intend to cause trouble for at least one of your guests and that guest’s followers.

“I wouldn’t feel safe with this person at the con!”
“We’re sorry you feel that way.  Here’s a full refund.* We hope to see you at a future event.”

Then stop responding. You’ll only give attention to an attention whore.

Having seen this happen to guests at least three times, any future guest invitations I accept will involve a signed cancellation clause and a cash penalty for doing so, because once a guest has made arrangements for your event, they can’t schedule something else, and you’re eating up their writing/art/production time. They are there for YOUR benefit, not you for theirs. In my case, I currently have three novels, a collection, an anthology, all contracted, another novel offer, three on spec, an article request, three short stories and a lengthy stack of products to test and review, and an entire summer of professional bookings. I have a not-quite four year old and a teenager. Don’t waste my time then roll over for some worthless whiner….

(15) MAKING PLANS. John Ringo, in a public Facebook post, advises writers —

…With every other convention, assume you’re being set-up at this point and don’t be played for a sucker.

Oh, yeah, and as fans and lovers of liberty, never, ever attend Origins again if you ever have. Or ConCarolinas. (Sorry, Jada.) Or ArchCon. Or WorldCon.

We need a list. They never will be missed. No they never will be missed.

(16) ALTERNATE SPORTS HISTORY. Counterfactual: “Blimps Full Of Money And 30 Other Sports Fantasias In ‘Upon Further Review'”. What if football had stayed boring, or the US had boycotted the Berlin Olympics, or …?

Mike Pesca assembled the new book titled Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs In Sports History and a companion podcast. In an interview, he explained some of the book’s 31 different scenarios written by 31 sportswriters.

(17) SYMBOLISM. “Henrietta Lacks’ Lasting Impact Detailed In New Portrait” — shoutouts to unwitting donor of a cell line that has been used all over biomedicine.

When Henrietta Lacks was dying of cancer in 1951, her cells were harvested without her knowledge. They became crucial to scientific research and her story became a best-seller. Since then, Lacks has become one of the most powerful symbols for informed consent in the history of science.

On Monday, when the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., honored Lacks by installing a painting of her just inside one of its main entrances, three of Lacks’ grandchildren were there.

(18) BIRD IS THE WORD. “Dinosaur parenting: How the ‘chickens from hell’ nested”. “How do you sit on your nest of eggs when you weigh over 1,500kg?”

Dinosaur parenting has been difficult to study, due to the relatively small number of fossils, but the incubating behaviour of oviraptorosaurs has now been outlined for the first time.

Scientists believe the largest of these dinosaurs arranged their eggs around a central gap in the nest.

This bore the parent’s weight, while allowing them to potentially provide body heat or protection to their developing young, without crushing the delicate eggs.

The feathered ancient relatives of modern birds, oviraptorosaurs lived in the Late Cretaceous period, at least 67 million years ago.

(19) SF TV ARCHEOLOGY. Echo Ishii’s tour of old sf TV leads this time to “SF Obscure: Cosmic Slop.

Cosmic Slop was a 1994 TV anthology series on HBO featuring three short black science fiction movies. (I have also seen the broadcast date listed as 1995.) It features three short “Space Traders” based on the Derrick Bell short story; “The First Commandment” and “Tang”. It’s kind of a Twilight Zone vibe with George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic during the intros. (It’s as bizarre in the way only George Clinton can be.)

(20) TREK MEDICINE TODAY. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination hosts “Star Trek, the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE & the Future of Medicine” on June 2, with Qualcomm XPRIZE Tricorder Prize winner Basil Harris, Robert Picardo (actor, Emergency Medical Hologram, Star Trek: Voyager), and Dr. Rusty Kallenberg, Chairman of Family Medicine and Director of the UCSD XPRIZE Test Program.

June 2, 2018
5:00-7:00pm
Liebow Auditorium
UC San Diego

Artificial intelligence is already impacting healthcare is numerous ways. Are we far from the future portrayed in Star Trek: Voyager, of an AI holographic doctor with encyclopedic medical knowledge? What are the pathways that will yield the most profound results for AI in medicine? And what are the ethical and regulatory issues we need to consider as we develop these technologies?

Hosted by Erik Viirre, associate director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination and Medical Director of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, The Future of Medicine is an exploration of these questions and more, as they impact the UC San Diego innovation ecosystem and beyond. Our master of ceremonies is Robert Picardo, actor and star of Star Trek: Voyager, where he left a cultural impact as the face of AI medicine as the Emergency Medical Hologram, known as “The Doctor.” Basil Harris, founder of Basil Leaf Technologies and winner of the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE to develop a real-world Tricorder-like medical device, will share his experience developing DextER, an autonomous medical diagnostic device, and the future of this pathway for innovation. And leaders from UC San Diego will join a panel on artificial agents in medical technology development.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, Standback, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Lise Andreasen, Chip Hitchcock, and rcade for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

319 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/16/18 Ringworlds For Sale or Rent, Moons To Let Fifty Cents

  1. These two cases are not even remotely similar.

    As Lis and others pointed out, the mosque/community centre in Lower Manhattan was intended as a replacement for facilities that had been destroyed during the September 11 attacks. This mosque/community centre was intended to serve Muslims living and working in New York City, i.e. locals who had been affected by the September 11 attacks just like everybody else in the area. Besides, given how comparatively small and densely populated Manhattan is, pretty much any location would have been too close to the World Trade Center. In fact, I strongly suspect that there are things which are a lot more potentially offensive than a mosque near the World trade Centre site. As for too soon, Elizabeth Moon made the offensive post in 2010, i.e. nine years after September 11, 2001. How is nine years later too soon?

    What is more, a mosque is a house of worship for a major world religion. It has nothing to do with terrorism except for the fact that a few members of said major world religion commit terrorist acts. I could understand the problems, if this was a known fundamentalist mosque, but it isn’t. If a church, a mainline non-fundamentalist church, were to be built in the neighbourhood of an abortion clinic bombed by fundamentalist Christian terrorists, do you think there would have been a similar outcry? No, of course not (and rightly so, as Mike points out, because a house of worship should not be considered offensive). Because churches are viewed as “normal” in western countries, whereas mosques are not.

    And don’t even get me started on the tendency to push non-Christian houses of worship, whether mosques, Hindu and Sikh temples, Buddhist temples or even non-traditional Christian churches such as African or Aramaic churches into disaused warehouses on industrial estates, because many cities and towns will not grant them building permits elsewhere.

    As for the guy with the gun, for starters, there is no reason for anybody who is not an active duty police officer or active duty military to parade around with a gun in public. Having the right to own a gun should not mean that you have the right to carry it around in public, because it’s potentially very dangerous to bring a weapon into a crowded space. I don’t have issues with hunting or target shooting or even with carrying a gun while hiking to defend yourself against dangerous wildlife, however, these activities don’t happen on populated streets and this guy sure as hell wasn’t planning to hunt or engage in target shooting near a high school that was also a recent crime scene.

    The tendency of certain rightwing Americans to parade around in public with their guns is also a newer thing. At any rate, I never saw this in the US until approx. 10 years ago, not even in rural areas and/or in the South. You did see gun racks in the backs of cars and pick-up trucks – mostly intended for hunting, I think – but you didn’t see people parading around with their guns in public, unless they were police officers or soldiers.

    Most of the time, the insistence of certain rightwing Americans that they want to be allowed to carry their guns around in public and bring them onto university campusses, into supermarkets, bars, restaurants, conventions, etc… is pure intimidation, an attempt to drive out and scare away people they consider undesirable. Now I’m willing to accept that the guy with the gun was indeed intending to offer emotional support, however, he went about it in a spectacularly wrong fashion.

    As for the MAGA hat, he does have the right to wear what he wants, of course (and the hat alone wasn’t the problem – it became one in connection with the gun), but it is a political statement. Whereas Muslim religious garb is not a political statement except in some extreme cases. And not all Muslims wear religious garb or they only wear it at the mosque or during Ramadan.

  2. Mike Glyer: I think that question is clueless. There was a church across the street from the Oklahoma City Federal Building. It sustained considerable damage. I had the opportunity to visit there not long afterwards.

    But Stoic Cynic does have a point, in that no one would have blinked, much less objected, about a Christian church being built or rebuilt near the OKC site, which was destroyed by someone who claimed to be a Christian.

  3. @jayn —

    Reeeeeeead my quote again. It does not actually say what you claimed that it does.

    As for the mosque discussion, a few interesting quotes from the wikipedia article about the mosque:

    “Polls showed that the majority of Americans, New York State residents, and New York City residents opposed building the center near Ground Zero”

    “In addition, by a margin of 52–31% New York City voters opposed the construction, according to a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll carried out in June 2010.”

    “Statewide, by a margin of 61–26% New Yorkers opposed the community center’s construction at that location, according to another poll in August 2010, by Siena Research Institute… Among New York City residents, a margin of 56–33% opposed it.”

    That’s a lot of local New Yorkers in opposition.

    “By a margin of 54–20%, American adults were opposed to a mosque being built near Ground Zero, a national Rasmussen Reports poll found that month. Furthermore, according to an August 10–11 Fox News poll, 64% of Americans (a majority of each of Democrats (56–38%), Republicans (76–17%), and Independents (53–41%)) thought it would be wrong to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center so close to Ground Zero, and 30% felt it would be appropriate.”

    That’s a lot of across-the-board opposition.

    “Some relatives of victims of the September 11 attacks said they found the proposal offensive because the perpetrators who committed the attacks did so in the name of Islam…. A number said that it was not an issue of freedom of religion, property rights, or racism, but rather one of sensitivity to the families of those killed, in choosing the specific location of the center.”

    Or as Laouwolf put it, talking about rope in the home of the hanged.

    Some prominent Muslims also opposed the mosque. Surely nobody will accuse them of being Islamophobic?

    “Muslim neoconservative journalist Stephen Schwartz, Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Islamic Pluralism, said that building the center two blocks from Ground Zero is inconsistent with the Sufi philosophy of simplicity of faith and sensitivity towards others and disregards the security of American Muslims.[….] Another founding member of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Zuhdi Jasser, who is also the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a group of Muslim professionals in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona, strongly opposed the project, saying: ‘For us, a mosque was always a place to pray…not a way to make an ostentatious architectural statement. Ground Zero shouldn’t be about promoting Islam. It’s the place where war was declared on us as Americans…. American freedom of religion is a right, but … it is not right to make one’s religion a global political statement with a towering Islamic edifice that casts a shadow over the memorials of Ground Zero.'”

    “In an interview September 8, 2010 Abdul Rauf was asked if he would have done anything differently had he known the controversy would erupt. His answer: ‘If I knew this would happen, this would cause this kind of pain, I wouldn’t have done it. My life has been devoted to peacemaking.'”

    Even Imam Rauf himselfeventually recognized that it was a bad idea.

  4. @Cora —

    As for the guy with the gun, for starters, there is no reason for anybody who is not an active duty police officer or active duty military to parade around with a gun in public.

    Remember, Texas is an open-carry state. You and I may agree that the US needs a lot stricter gun control, but that guy had every right to be carrying that gun.

    Most of the time, the insistence of certain rightwing Americans that they want to be allowed to carry their guns around in public and bring them onto university campusses, into supermarkets, bars, restaurants, conventions, etc… is pure intimidation, an attempt to drive out and scare away people they consider undesirable.

    And some folks saw the proposed building of that mosque as a bad political idea, as well — including some prominent Muslims. See the quotes I posted above.

    Now I’m willing to accept that the guy with the gun was indeed intending to offer emotional support, however, he went about it in a spectacularly wrong fashion.

    I think we can all agree on this point!

  5. JJ: Naturally I couldn’t even finish exhaling after writing the last sentence before you weighed in to contradict me.

  6. @Contrarius, a better comparison might be with the convent at Auschwitz. A group of Roman Catholic nuns set up a convent on the death-camp site in 1987. There was outrage over it up until the Pope personally ordered them to move away.

    I’m not sure it’s possible to make a good argument for supporting the mosque but condemning the convent.

  7. Mike Glyer: Naturally I couldn’t even finish exhaling after writing the last sentence before you weighed in to contradict me.

    I didn’t contradict you, I pointed out that Stoic Cynic’s observation was as valid as yours. I’m not sure what your defensiveness is about on this. It’s not as if your comments are the only ones I respond to; I respond to comments by a lot of people.

  8. And some folks saw the proposed building of that mosque as a bad political idea, as well — including some prominent Muslims. See the quotes I posted above.

    The mosque was not supposed to provoke and intimidate – something that many, if not all, of the people parading around their guns in public clearly intend to do.

    Besides, guns can and do hurt and even kill people. Buildings, including religious buildings such as mosques, churches, synagogues, etc…, do not hurt or kill people.

  9. Earlier I posted a couple of quotes from Muslims, taken from the wikipedia site, but I hadn’t read the whole article yet. Here are several more good statements against the mosque, made by Muslims:

    “Neda Bolourchi, a Muslim whose mother died in 9/11, said: ‘I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world.'”

    “Authors Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, board members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said: ‘New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it’s not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshipers. [W]e Muslims know … [this] mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith, … as Fitna, meaning “mischief-making” that is clearly forbidden in the Koran…. As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens, and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to soothe the pain.'”

    “Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University… said: ‘I don’t think the Muslim leadership has fully appreciated the impact of 9/11 on America….. when wounds are raw, an episode like constructing a house of worship – even one protected by the Constitution, protected by law – becomes like salt in the wounds.'”

    “Rima Fakih, the first Muslim-American crowned Miss USA as Miss USA 2010, opposed the project on the grounds of it being insensitive to families of 9/11 victims, telling Inside Edition: ‘I totally agree with President Obama with the statement on the constitutional rights of freedom of religion. [But] it shouldn’t be so close to the World Trade Center. We should be more concerned with the tragedy than religion.'”

    Does anyone wish to accuse these Muslims of being Islamophobic?

  10. Reeeeeeead my quote again. It does not actually say what you claimed that it does.

    It does say that the people who speak in support of punching Nazis are actually (you’re mindreading there) talking about punching people who aren’t Nazis. And it does accuse people who’ve struggled with racists at those demonstrations of attacking racist people they call Nazis who aren’t Nazis, according to your own stringent (yet murky) standards of what a Nazi is. And you didn’t provide any actual proof that such a thing has happened or is happening. How am I being inaccurate?

    As long as you’re talking about it, why not answer a question of mine that you kept weaseling out of answering in the original discussion: Richard Spencer was the man who was at the center of the original Nazi-punching joke that started the whole kerfluffle. Do you think Richard Spencer qualifies as a Nazi (or at least, a neo-Nazi?)

  11. Contrarius: Earlier I posted a couple of quotes from Muslims

    I’m confused. Is your point here to claim that the two incidents are equivalent, or did you just drag in the MAGA guy as an excuse to have another go at the NYC mosque? Because what Muslims said about it doesn’t have anything to do with whether it was, or was not, a similar situation to the MAGA guy.

  12. @Mike Glyer

    If I offended it wasn’t the intent. My point would be no one would even consider the question in the case of a Christian church near the federal building. A large cross-section of America identifies as Christian and rebuilding, or building, a place of worship near a tragic site would not be controversial. The contrast is Islam is an “other” to most Americans. As an “other” some folks are imposing an unjustified guilt by association or there would need no controversy.

  13. @Contrarius: “I think it’s pretty easy to see a Muslim community center/mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero being political as well. It feels like staking out territory.”

    As I said, people can see anything any way, however wearing Trump campaigh stuff is actually, objectively political.

    “is there a time limit for PTSD-type outrage?”

    This is only one difference. I feel like you’re trying too hard to draw parallels between fairly different situations. But to your question: a couple of hours versus 9 years are so wildly different, the question just makes me roll my eyes again. Yeah, I feel like 2 hours later, he’s an insensitive idiot (no matter what he believes he is; he’s the least-objective person here), while 9 years later – as scarring to the American (and to an extent, the world) psyche as 9/11 was – there’s really just no comparison if you want to talk about the timeframe specifically, as if none of this stuff interrelated.

    But again, it’s just one of several things in the overall picture that make the situations seem very different. As I said up front, there may be some reactions that come from similar places (not to over-state it; they’re fairly different situations, so if this is supposed to lead to “give Moon a pass” or “stop saying this guy’s an idiot” – neither of those will happen from me; Moon was an idiot, as was this guy).

    @Contrarius: @Cora wrote “no reason,” to which you replied, “every right.” Rights are completely irrelevant to either situation.

  14. @JJ

    I suspect I might have ripped an old wound unintentionally. I know Mike worked for the IRS. There’s every chance he had friends or family there.

  15. @Greg Hullender
    I only remember the convent controversy very dimly. However, plenty of Catholics (and Protestants for that matter) died in Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps, including priests and nuns, either because they or their parents had converted from Judaism (the most famous example is probably Edith Stein) or because they were active in the resistance (such as Maximilian Kolbe and Angela Maria Autsch).

  16. It’s hardly surprising that some Muslim-Americans, aware of their assumed “otherness”, would favour being conciliatory. That doesn’t justify the arguments made by non-Muslims which reinforce the othering of Muslims, such as the idea that Muslims are collectively responsible for terrorism, or the assumption that Muslims aren’t included in the victims because the target was “America”.

    @Mike Glyer

    I’ve visited churches that were damaged or destroyed by acts of violence, both war and terrorism. It’s a hard thing to see.

  17. Stoic Cynic: What I should have said to you is that the reason I didn’t respond well to your choice of the Oklahoma City bombing wasn’t due to any logical weakness in the analogy, but due to my having spent my career as a federal employee in the IRS, the kind of person McVeigh wanted to blow up (though let me add in the interest of accuracy, the IRS office was in another part of town). And I had the opportunity to personally visit downtown OKC not long after the bombing, see the fences filled with memorial offerings, and so forth. And see the damaged church (which happened to be in the fenced area close to where the public was allowed.)

    So it’s a sensitive image for me, which you unknowingly tapped into.

  18. @JJ —

    I’m confused. Is your point here to claim that the two incidents are equivalent, or did you just drag in the MAGA guy as an excuse to have another go at the NYC mosque? Because what Muslims said about it doesn’t have anything to do with whether it was, or was not, a similar situation to the MAGA guy.

    I brought up the gun guy because it struck me that the principles were similar (not equivalent, similar). Lauowolf put it best — in both cases, it’s talking about rope in the home of the hanged. I found it interesting that folks would recognize the problem with the gun guy but not with the mosque, and since it was interesting to me I naturally wanted to explore the idea.

    I brought those other quotes in because I Googled the article after Kathodus posted that other link to mosque info, and since people had consistently been saying that people who opposed the mosque were Islamophobes, I thought those Muslim quotes were relevant to the earlier discussion.

    @jayn —

    It does say that the people who speak in support of punching Nazis are actually (you’re mindreading there) talking about punching people who aren’t Nazis.

    Not mindreading — I’m referring more or less to unintended consequences, and people not thoroughly thinking through what they are actually doing. Which is not even a little bit the same as accusing people of lying, much less “viciously lying” — much less anything about “poor, pacifist white supremacists who would never DREAM of stooping to Nazi actions”.

    Do you think Richard Spencer qualifies as a Nazi (or at least, a neo-Nazi?)

    Weaseling?? How quickly you forget.

    Here was my response to your question: “Richard Spencer? If not a full-throated Nazi, perilously close to being one.”

    I’m sorry if you didn’t find that answer definitive enough to suit you.

    @Kendall —

    As I said, people can see anything any way, however wearing Trump campaigh stuff is actually, objectively political.

    This is true. But when even multiple Muslims (see those quotes) saw the proposed mosque as political, I think it’s fair to say that the political message in it was pretty loud and clear.

    This is only one difference. I feel like you’re trying too hard to draw parallels between fairly different situations.

    I think you’re right that in the details they are different — but I also think that in the principle they are pretty similar.

    But to your question: a couple of hours versus 9 years are so wildly different, the question just makes me roll my eyes again.

    I agree about the big difference in the time period. I had forgotten that it was that long for the mosque. But I think my follow-up question is valid: is there a time limit?

    Yeah, I feel like 2 hours later, he’s an insensitive idiot

    We agree that he’s an insensitive idiot. Would he still be an insensitive idiot if he waited 8 years and then marched outside the school grounds with his gun?

    @Cora wrote “no reason,” to which you replied, “every right.” Rights are completely irrelevant to either situation.

    Rights are not at all irrelevant — the Muslims had a right to build that mosque, and the gun guy had a right to carry that gun. That doesn’t prevent either one of them from being idiots, or being seen as idiots.

    @Meredith —

    That doesn’t justify the arguments made by non-Muslims which reinforce the othering of Muslims, such as the idea that Muslims are collectively responsible for terrorism, or the assumption that Muslims aren’t included in the victims because the target was “America”.

    We agree that there were many stupid arguments put forward in opposition to the mosque. However, that doesn’t mean that **all** arguments against the mosque were either stupid or Islamophobic.

  19. towering Islamic edifice that casts a shadow over the memorials of Ground Zero.

    That is a ridiculous description. That person was deliberately exaggerating for effect. As were most of the people complaining about it. I don’t care if this complainer was Muslim. I also wonder how much Muslim factionalism had to do with it. Sufism is a minority sect within Islam.

    I think the mosque-rebuilding in downtown Manhattan (which is not very many blocks wide) was exactly equivalent to a church-rebuilding after another traumatic terrorist event caused by a domestic Christian terrorist. The only difference is racism.

  20. Contrarius: I found it interesting that folks would recognize the problem with the gun guy but not with the mosque, and since it was interesting to me I naturally wanted to explore the idea.

    Numerous people here have indicated that they recognize both the problem with the gun guy and the problem with the mosque.

    But they are two very, very different problems, and you are trying to claim that they are the same.

  21. @Mike Glyer

    I can’t apologize within the definition provided by Tasha Turner, and generally accepted by Filers, because I’m not sure I regret the analogy. I do offer my very sincerest empathy and regret for causing pain though. With that I’m flouncing the thread.

  22. Stoic Cynic: Your sincerest empathy is all I’m looking for. We’re square on that count. And I should have unpacked my feelings to begin with, rather than sniped at you.

  23. @Lenore —

    I think the mosque-rebuilding in downtown Manhattan (which is not very many blocks wide) was exactly equivalent to a church-rebuilding after another traumatic terrorist event caused by a domestic Christian terrorist.

    I would find building a Christian church two blocks from the site of a massive Christian extremist attack offensive as well.

    (And Manhattan is about 260 blocks long, and something like 15 blocks wide at the level of the WTC.)

    The only difference is racism.

    You do realize that you’ve just accused those opposing Muslims of racism, right?

    @JJ —

    Numerous people here have indicated that they recognize both the problem with the gun guy and the problem with the mosque.

    That’s not the feeling I’m getting. I must have missed that acknowledgment. Can you point out who made it?

    But they are two very, very different problems, and you are trying to claim that they are the same.

    Not quite. For example, Kathodus pointed out that the time frame was actually much more different between the two than I had remembered; and I’ve already stated that I believe the folks supporting the mosque idea (or at least many or most of them) had innocent (read non-politically-offensive) motives behind their support.

    But I did, and still do, think the basis for the outrage in both cases was very similar. Refer back to Lauowolf’s cogent phrasing.

  24. ““Muslim neoconservative journalist Stephen Schwartz, Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Islamic Pluralism…”

    This is a well known islamophobic hate-organization that accuses more or less every muslim of being a terrorist or extremist. Only a real islamophobic racist would cite Schwartz as an argument with regards to muslim opinion.

    There is absolutely nothing promineny about Schwartz and his fake organization.

  25. @Contrarius

    The conversation started with discussing Elizabeth Moon’s post on the subject – which made some of those bad arguments. If you wish to divorce it from such, you’re probably going to have to be explicit about what exactly you think those good and bad arguments are.

  26. Mike, sorry you had old wounds opened again. Thank you for telling us to be more careful with our analogies.

  27. @Contrarius: FWIW, IMHO anyone wandering around a school with a MAGA hat and a gun is being an idiot, whether or not anything happened at the school they’re near. 😉 I’ll go so far as to say anyone not law enforcement or school-hired security guard who’s doing this – with or without Trump paraphernalia – is being an idiot.

    A (reasonable) time limit for PTSD? No idea. It’s too easy to throw around “PTSD” to explain things that may not be PTSD. I suspect a lot of rando Muslim-haters are just xenophobic jerks at this point, whether or not they had or have any PTSD. Of course, IANAS (I am not a shrink). Anyway, no, I don’t have a magic number for what would be reasonable. Someone should commission a study. 😉

    However, that doesn’t mean that **all** arguments against the mosque were either stupid or Islamophobic.

    Anything’s possible, but I’ve yet to see an argument that doesn’t fit into one of those two categories, when actual facts are accounted for (I put “ignorance of the facts” into the “stupid argument” category, BTW).

  28. Yes, Texas is an open-carry state. That just means bringing a gun to the site of a very recent shooting was probably* legal. That doesn’t mean doing so was a good idea, or a kind one.

    Plenty of things that are legal are unkind, or rude, or just stupid. I could legally strip to my underwear, pour fluff all over myself, sit on the sidewalk at the nearest bus stop, and start chanting Hare Krishna. Doing so would be stupid (even if I was a Krishna devotee, which I am not), and possibly rude or unkind, depending on how loudly I chanted, and for how long. [further silly examples redacted for length and irrelevance]

    *standard “I am not a lawyer, and this isn’t anything like legal advice” disclaimer

  29. towering Islamic edifice that casts a shadow over the memorials of Ground Zero.

    I’m hoping that you meant that figuratively, because otherwise it’s fractally wrong. (It’s wrong anyway, as has been pointed out already. Muslims worked and died in those towers; their worship centers were destroyed, so why the ever-loving f*ck shouldn’t they be permitted to build replacements? Especially when said replacements were going to fit into the existing neighborhood buildings, not “tower over” anything.)

  30. @Greg Hullender–

    @Contrarius, a better comparison might be with the convent at Auschwitz. A group of Roman Catholic nuns set up a convent on the death-camp site in 1987. There was outrage over it up until the Pope personally ordered them to move away.

    I’m not sure it’s possible to make a good argument for supporting the mosque but condemning the convent.

    No, it’s really, really easy.

    There was no community need for a convent right there, and no reason the nuns had to choose that spot, and no damned excuse for not consulting other groups affected first, especially Jews, the group the Nazis were trying hardest to completely wipe out.

    Whereas the mosque and community center so vociferously opposed was in fact to meet the needs of the community. Contrarius has expressed their shock that it would have been two blocks from WTC, and cited that as a clear reason it was Just. Too. Much. And unnecessary, because there are other mosques, one within only four blocks!!!

    Except that the existing mosques weren’t sufficient to meet the needs of the community. There wasn’t enough space for everyone to pray, or attend or use other programs. They needed more space.

    And creating that space near where they had lost space they previously had made sense. The claim by some (and no, I’m not going back to see whether the claims have been explicitly quoted here, but they loomed large in the opposition to the mosque & community center), that it would have been in plain sight of WTC is, whether that objection would be valid or not, a plain, flatout lie. It would not have been.

    Yes, some Muslims weren’t in favor of it. As noted, Sufism is a minority sect within Islam, and it’s putting things mildly to say that it doesn’t often get the full-throated support of Sunnis and Shi’a. It’s relatively easy for those more numerous sects to focus on things other than meeting the pastoral needs of Sufis.

    @Contrarius–

    4. In both cases, I personally believe it would have been much more intelligent to stay away and allow a nice long cooling off period before poking the bear, as it were. It does not require either Islamophobia or gunophobia to see how the mosque and the gun-bearer were both likely to outrage a lot of people, regardless of any rational principles behind either the mosque or the gun.

    It was eight years before the Sufi Muslims of New York attempted to begin rebuilding the space they lost in 9/11 to serve a still-growing community. Nine years had passed by the time Moon wrote her essay.

    So, yeah, they waited a good long time, a good long cooling-off period. Not, you know, two hours like the guy with the gun in Santa Fe, Texas.

    But of course:

    This is a very good point, which Kathodus already brought up. See my response — is there a time limit for PTSD-type outrage?

    You have apparently decided that the PTSD-type outrage for 9/11 is essentially infinite, that there is no time after which they would be justified in trying to rebuild to accommodate their growing numbers, and that sensitivities of Red State loudmouths who experienced exactly nothing of the first-hand horror of that day should always take precedence over people who actually live in NYC, actually lost people on that horrible day, and are trying to get on with their lives.

    As for the guy with the gun and the flag:
    Man walking with pistol, American flag upsets parents of Santa Fe high school students

    Video: Man carrying gun, flag says he arrived at Texas school shooting scene to ‘Make America great again’

    Man carrying American flag and handgun arrives at Santa Fe High School just after deadly shooting

    Man with holstered pistol, Trump cap and American flag showed up to the Santa Fe shooting scene

    Notice that these are all Texas sources. No one seems to have thought this guy was normal or appropriate.

    I can’t find anything that said the guy with the gun’s wife works in the school district. In the KHOU video, it sounds like the person whose “wife works in the school district” is someone disturbed by the guy with the gun, but I wouldn’t bet money on what I can hear. Do you have a link to something that says clearly it’s the man with the gun whose wife works in the school district?

    And I’m done for now. Probably, anyway. Tired and stressed. Will likely be back, whether later tonight or tomorrow, I don’t know.

  31. Contrarius on May 20, 2018 at 4:08 pm said:

    I brought up the gun guy because it struck me that the principles were similar (not equivalent, similar). Lauowolf put it best — in both cases, it’s talking about rope in the home of the hanged.

    I didn’t say in both cases, you did.
    I don’t think they are particularly equivalent.
    Equivalent would be if in NYC, in the early hours following 9/11, someone had come to the site of the attack carrying abound box cutters to make some kind of largely gratuitous political argument.
    — And I don’t care what that argument would have been, nor, frankly, what the MAGA creep’s concept was.
    You keep the damn rope out of the house of the grieving.


    Anyway,
    Is it just me, or does this whole thread now smell heavily of troll?
    I know conversations here wander on amazing, and often delightful, tangents.
    But this isn’t one of them.
    Could we get back to maybe the fine points of WorldCon locations, or really anything else that isn’t this “necroposting” thing?

    Read any good books lately, anyone?

  32. Dear Lauowolf,

    “Is it just me, or does this whole thread now smell heavily of troll?”

    I said exactly that a day back. Too many people didn’t listen. They got played.

    A modest suggestion– when someone posts a genuinely and obviously ridiculous provocation like Contrarius did… ignore them! Make believe the comment never appeared.

    pax / Ctein

  33. After some thought, I remembered that nit everyone might not know what this “Center of Islamic Pluralism” is. First, it is not a center for organized muslims. It is a sponsored think tank, i.e lobbyinh group. It was created by Stephen Schwartz together with well-known islamophobe Daniel Pipes that people here might have heard of. Sponsors are the Koch-brothers among others. They are as representative for muslims as The Lord’s Resistance Army is representative for christians.

  34. @Contrarius:

    Was the outrage justified?
    If you believe it was justified, how does this differ from the outrage surrounding the proposed mosque?

    I have never yet heard of anyone being slain by a loudmouth wielding a semiautomatic building permit.

  35. @contrarius

    That answer absolutely WAS weaseling in the context of the original discussion, in which you defended white supremacists who aspire to a separate white homeland in the US as peaceful, nonthreatening people who were therefore different from Nazis.

    Contrarius:
    Who said anything about forced relocation? They hope to convince everyone that relocation is the right thing to do — voluntary relocation. Yes, it’s still stupid — but it isn’t violent.
    ———
    jayn
    Okay, this is edging toward hairsplitting apologetics. Richard Spencer himself has protested that he isn’t a Nazi, despite sieg-heiling Trump on international TV, the white supremacy and racial separatism as well as anti-Semitism. If he espoused the same excuse about ‘voluntary relocation’ of millions of citizens, would you say he wasn’t a Nazi either?

    Richard Spencer got punched for being a Nazi. You engaged in hairsplitting fine distinctions about who was REALLY a Nazi, and while you did so, minimized the danger of white supremacist separatism, calling it a peaceful, nonthreatening ideology. You seemed to be saying, “Well, by MY criteria, there are NO real Nazis here, so why can’t you be like me and discuss these people’s racist anti-Semitic ideas calmly instead of getting angry?” ” It was a pretty offensive stance to take.

    Not too dissimilar to what you’re doing here. “Isn’t the guy making a political statement while carrying a gun in front of a school just after a school shooting there exactly like the Muslim community who planned to build a community center near Ground Zero just after 9/11 – even though it was actually nine years later?” It’s unusually ill-informed and ill-thought-out for you, because your conversations are usually a lot more thoughtful. It reads like you just want to start an argument, and it mystifies me why you lob these stink bombs here now and then.

  36. jayn: It reads like you just want to start an argument, and it mystifies me why you lob these stink bombs here now and then.

    Every time this has happened, it has read to me like a misguided attempt to play Devil’s Advocate for the sake of intellectual discussion, which fails because of a lack of understanding of how playing Devil’s Advocate is actually done — i.e., with valid counterarguments. The repeated use of invalid counterarguments is indistinguishable from trolling.

  37. Contrarius:

    (And Manhattan is about 260 blocks long, and something like 15 blocks wide at the level of the WTC.)

    260 blocks long is irrelevant. We’re talking an area maybe 15 blocks square. 2 blocks away, among skyscrapers, is not unreasonably close.

    The only difference is racism.

    You do realize that you’ve just accused those opposing Muslims of racism, right?

    Uhh, yeah? What did you think I meant?

  38. @Contrarius: “Would he still be an insensitive idiot if he waited 8 years and then marched outside the school grounds with his gun?”

    Hmm. You raise an interesting point. Let me think…

    FUCK YES, HE WOULD! Wearing a MAGA hat, waving a big ol’ Murrican flag, and packing a pistol right outside a school – any school! – is insensitive as fucking hell, and doing so before the bodies of ten slain children are even cold, as actually happened, is even worse.

    Even aside from that, doing so is actually illegal in many jurisdictions. Because, y’know, guns are deadly weapons and as a society, we’ve decided we don’t like them around schools, and so we’ve passed laws to prevent that.

    The sole purpose of a gun is to kill things. They’re not “just symbols.”

    @Lenore Jones: “I think the mosque-rebuilding in downtown Manhattan (which is not very many blocks wide) was exactly equivalent to a church-rebuilding after another traumatic terrorist event caused by a domestic Christian terrorist. The only difference is racism.”

    Ayup. I might quibble about whether “racism” is the right word (Islam is not a race… not that that’s hardly a distinction most Islamophobes are likely to make), but I agree with the meat of your point.

    @Contrarius: “I’ve already stated that I believe the folks supporting the mosque idea (or at least many or most of them) had innocent (read non-politically-offensive) motives behind their support.”

    Then you’ve already acknowledged a crucial difference between them and Mr. MAGA-Hat Gun Dude with his big honkin’ flag. No way in hell was he going in with nonpolitical motives.

    @JJ: “Every time this has happened, it has read to me like a misguided attempt to play Devil’s Advocate for the sake of intellectual discussion, which fails because of a lack of understanding of how playing Devil’s Advocate is actually done — i.e., with valid counterarguments. The repeated use of invalid counterarguments is indistinguishable from trolling.”

    Agreed, and I just blocked a long-time RL friend on Facebook for similar behavior. I have basically lost all my patience for cutesy debate tricks used to advance dishonest positions, and Contrarius is skating perilously close to that line with me just now.

  39. Contrarius isn’t a troll, any more than Dann is. Although Comtrarius’ views on religion as displayed in this thread are certainly offensive and ignorant*, and it isn’t the first time they’ve mysteriously decided to defend the indefensible – like the white supremacy separatists mentioned above.

    Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often.

    *For example, quite thoroughly ignorant of sectarian conflict. One of those churches I mentioned visiting was a Church of England church destroyed by a massive IRA bomb and later rebuilt. In the same spot, even. Apparently, Contrarius thinks that rebuilding it was offensive.

  40. It reads like you just want to start an argument, and it mystifies me why you lob these stink bombs here now and then.

    Contrarius’s name-of choice is Contrarius.

    Lobbing stink bombs in order to start an argument is, well…I’m sure there’s a word for it…

  41. Stinkbomb lobbotomy?

    *snerk* That’s the name of my next band!

    And the album will be called, “The Gish Gallop!”

  42. In re “dude with MAGA hat, and a gun”…

    I would definitely feel unsafe, because the conjunction of “MAGA hat” and “firearm” makes me (and this is prejudice, but based on at least some amount of risk calculus) believe that the person is not trained in defensive use of said firearm, in a safe-keeping / peace-keeping context.

    And I say that as someone who once had said training, but would not do so without a serious refresher, because it was way too long ago.

  43. I’ve got to drive to Nashville again today, so this will be my last post for the day, at the very least. I don’t know yet whether I’ll stay there overnight, and I won’t make any promises about picking this thread back up after that.

    @Hampus —

    This is a well known islamophobic hate-organization

    Notice that I provided quotes from several Muslims of varying backgrounds, not just that one.

    @Meredith —

    The conversation started with discussing Elizabeth Moon’s post on the subject – which made some of those bad arguments. If you wish to divorce it from such, you’re probably going to have to be explicit about what exactly you think those good and bad arguments are.

    I don’t particularly care about whether it’s divorced from the portion of the discussion pertaining to Moon or not. I hadn’t intended to comment on the subject at all until the story about this gun guy piqued my interest.

    But a brief summary of some of the good-vs-bad arguments might go something like this:

    Bad — Muslims are evil, Islam is evil, the people who want to build the mosque are responsible for 9/11, the people who want to build the mosque are happy about 9/11.

    Good — Basically Lauowolf’s phrase, building a mosque that close to 9/11 is equivalent to talking about rope in the house of the hanged. It’s insensitive to the suffering and outrage of the victims and their families. You’ll see this idea reflected over and over in those Muslim quotes I posted, for instance.

    @Kendall —

    FWIW, IMHO anyone wandering around a school with a MAGA hat and a gun is being an idiot, whether or not anything happened at the school they’re near.

    Okay, so the time frame isn’t really the defining factor in determining whether the mosque builders were being insensitive, is it?

    It’s too easy to throw around “PTSD” to explain things that may not be PTSD.

    Yes, I’m using the term very loosely as shorthand for something like “a heightened state of tension and reactivity subsequent to an extremely stressful event”. I’m not trying to make any kind of a medical diagnosis.

    I suspect a lot of rando Muslim-haters are just xenophobic jerks at this point, whether or not they had or have any PTSD.

    No argument there!

    Anything’s possible, but I’ve yet to see an argument that doesn’t fit into one of those two categories, when actual facts are accounted for

    I think the rope/hanged aphorism works well.

    @Vicki —

    Yes, Texas is an open-carry state. That just means bringing a gun to the site of a very recent shooting was probably* legal. That doesn’t mean doing so was a good idea, or a kind one.

    I think we can all agree that the gun guy was an insensitive jerk.

    @PJ Evans —

    I’m hoping that you meant that figuratively, because otherwise it’s fractally wrong.

    It’s a quote from someone else, PJ. I’m pretty certain the Muslim who made that statement meant it figuratively.

    Especially when said replacements were going to fit into the existing neighborhood buildings

    This is not actually true. There’s a picture of the proposed building at the Park51 wikipedia page.

    @Lis

    Whereas the mosque and community center so vociferously opposed was in fact to meet the needs of the community.

    Not everyone agreed on this claim, including other Muslims. Refer back to some of those quotes I posted earlier.

    It was eight years

    Yes. As discussed in previous posts, I had forgotten how long the interval was for the mosque.

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked Kendall earlier. We all agree that the gun guy was an insensitive jerk; would he still be an insensitive jerk if he had waited eight years before parading outside the grounds of that school?

    sensitivities of Red State loudmouths who experienced exactly nothing of the first-hand horror of that day should always take precedence over people who actually live in NYC, actually lost people on that horrible day, and are trying to get on with their lives.

    Remember, a large majority of New Yorkers opposed the mosque as well. I already posted the numbers — you can review them here. Why are you disregarding their wishes?

    I can’t find anything that said the guy with the gun’s wife works in the school district.

    It’s in the video. A reporter asks him “Do you have a connection to the school?” and he responds, and I quote: “My wife works in the school district.” You can view the video here.

    @Lauowolf —

    I didn’t say in both cases, you did.

    Nono, I didn’t mean to imply that you did. My apologies for any confusion there. I just liked the expression — it’s solely my own opinion that it applies to both.

    You keep the damn rope out of the house of the grieving.

    I agree with you!

    Read any good books lately, anyone?

    I’m currently finishing up my reread of the Chalion/Five Gods books. After that, who knows?

    @Rev. Bob —

    I have never yet heard of anyone being slain by a loudmouth wielding a semiautomatic building permit.

    But you have heard of people being slain by religious extremists. As I’ve already said, I’d be offended by a Christian church being built at the site of a mass Christian extremist attack in the same way.

    @jayn —

    That answer absolutely WAS weaseling in the context of the original discussion, in which you defended white supremacists who aspire to a separate white homeland in the US as peaceful, nonthreatening people who were therefore different from Nazis.

    That’s another straw man, jayn. I do wish you’d stop building them.

    There’s a difference between saying “this philosophical principle is stupid in practice but non-violent in theory” and defending the people themselves or calling those people themselves peaceful or nonthreatening. Try not to leap from one to the other.

    @Lenore —

    260 blocks long is irrelevant.

    Why? The proposed mosque was to be north of the WTC, not east or west of it.

    Me:

    You do realize that you’ve just accused those opposing Muslims of racism, right?

    You:

    Uhh, yeah? What did you think I meant?

    That’s interesting. How do you justify calling people racists against their own races?

    @Rev. Bob —

    FUCK YES, HE WOULD!

    So, as I posted above, the time frame isn’t really the determining factor in whether that proposed mosque was insensitive or not.

    Even aside from that, doing so is actually illegal in many jurisdictions.

    But not in Texas.

    Me:

    “I’ve already stated that I believe the folks supporting the mosque idea (or at least many or most of them) had innocent (read non-politically-offensive) motives behind their support.”

    You:

    Then you’ve already acknowledged a crucial difference between them and Mr. MAGA-Hat Gun Dude with his big honkin’ flag. No way in hell was he going in with nonpolitical motives.

    I think this is a difference in degree rather than a difference in kind. I’m confident that many or most of those mosque builders had innocent motives, but as some of those Muslim quotes I posted earlier point out, there were inevitably some political motives involved as well. With the gun guy, I think he probably had some innocent motives, with a heavier weight of political motives in the mix.

    @Meredith —

    *For example, quite thoroughly ignorant of sectarian conflict.

    Seriously? Heck, I’m the one who pointed out that the proposed Imam for the new mosque was a Sufi, remember?

    One of those churches I mentioned visiting was a Church of England church destroyed by a massive IRA bomb and later rebuilt. In the same spot, even. Apparently, Contrarius thinks that rebuilding it was offensive.

    Apples and oranges. The WTC was not on the whole a mosque and was not attacked for being a mosque, whether or not it contained worship space within it.

    In closing — Thanks to all for the discussion. Interesting ideas to think about! And as for my user name — yup, I chose it very consciously several years ago as a sort of “truth in advertising”. Enjoying dialectics is not at all the same thing as trolling, however. One challenges in order to be offensive, while the other challenges in order to learn personally and to provoke others to think as well. The goal aspired to, of course, has nothing to do with whether or not I am any good at it. 😉

  44. @Rev Bob:

    I have never yet heard of anyone being slain by a loudmouth wielding a semiautomatic building permit.

    ‘It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”’

  45. @Contrarius–

    @Hampus —

    This is a well known islamophobic hate-organization

    Notice that I provided quotes from several Muslims of varying backgrounds, not just that one.

    Yeah, including that one calls into question your ability to understand distinctions. That’s not a real Muslim organization; it has exactly one full-time person, Schwartz himself, and its ties, such as they are, are all with the hard right. He gets on better with “Muslims are terrorist” types than other Muslims.

    @Lis

    Whereas the mosque and community center so vociferously opposed was in fact to meet the needs of the community.

    Not everyone agreed on this claim, including other Muslims. Refer back to some of those quotes I posted earlier.

    Muslims not members of that particular community. Not the people experiencing the lack of pastoral space, and mostly not Sufis at all. It does matter, you know.

    It was eight years

    Yes. As discussed in previous posts, I had forgotten how long the interval was for the mosque.

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked Kendall earlier. We all agree that the gun guy was an insensitive jerk; would he still be an insensitive jerk if he had waited eight years before parading outside the grounds of that school?

    If he had waited eight years, it would be hard to call it “insensitive” in respect to that particular attack.

    A gun at a school would still be problematic in a number of ways, but it wouldn’t be the same thing as rushing over there before the bodies were cold.

    IF we haven’t in the meantime done anything effective about our current epidemic of school shootings, then it could still be completely outrageous, with that school being the site of at least one prior school massacre. If these events are largely a thing of the past, though, it might never even hit the news, because, yeah, Texas, there might be no one objecting.

    Important note you’re determinedly ignoring: Without the distinctly unhappy local reaction, I’d never have known he’d been there this time.

    Now, do you have a substantive answer to whether the haters get a permanent veto on there ever being a new mosque and community center to serve the needs of Sufi Muslims in that neighborhood, because on 9/11 a bunch of Sunnis, who regard Sufis as heretics at best, committed a major attack on the US?

    I want a real answer. At the moment, I can only conclude that you answer is yes, the heckler’s veto is valid forever, no matter how much ignorance it’s grounded in.

    Seriously? Heck, I’m the one who pointed out that the proposed Imam for the new mosque was a Sufi, remember?

    Yeah, and you seem to be either happily ignorant of, or indifferent to, the fact that the objections from “other Muslims” may be coming from people who have minimal at best concern about Sufi Muslim pastoral and community needs being met. Like expecting Northern Irish Protestants to care about the pastoral needs of Northern Irish Catholics, at the height of the Troubles.

    It’s in the video. A reporter asks him “Do you have a connection to the school?” and he responds, and I quote: “My wife works in the school district.” You can view the video here.

    Got it. Thanks.

    He says his wife works in the school district. Not the school. And you’re treating that as a real connection to this particular school. Unless his wife worked at this school, the likelihood that any of the staff or students knew this guy from any other politically-motivated random gun nut with a political agenda is approximately zero.

    He may have felt connected. He wasn’t. And the students, teachers, parents were rightly alarmed by his wholly inappropriate intrusion into the aftermath of a shooting, with the bodies not cold yet. That’s a failure of empathy impossible to rationally defend–especially when failure of empathy is a significant factor in gunmen going on these shooting sprees.

    It’s not the parents who were showing a lack of empathy when they were upset by this idiot’s presence. And it’s not the Sufi Muslims who’ve been there all along, long before 9/11, who were showing a lack of empathy in wanting to build new mosque space to meet their pastoral needs. It’s the asshats who always find some reason why new mosque needs to be blocked because, after all, Muslims are (in their tiny minds) all terrorists or future terrorists…

  46. OK, so, questions of sincerity and consent.

    If I joined a debate team, I would expect to be handed a subject to argue about, and told which side to support. If I was in the audience, I would know that you might not even care about free silver, let alone believe your argument.

    This is not that sort of formal debate.

    If I’m discussing a subject with friends or friendly acquaintances (as I hope most Filers are), I assume they mean what they’re saying. I’m not here to be poked at because someone is amused by “dialectics.” Nor have I enrolled in an undergraduate logic or philosophy class (not recently, at least). If someone starts with “for the sake of argument,” I’m going to stop them right there. Because no, I do not want to hear “for the sake of argument” something you don’t actually agree with, but that has significant support among people who wish me ill, or that would be harmful if people acted on it.

    Somehow, it’s never “just for the sake of argument, we all know that men have no self-control, so prove to me that they should be allowed to vote” (or some similar crap that starts by stipulating a falsehood about the dominant group) or “for the sake of argument, refute this pile of crap arguing that Christianity should be illegal. Here’s a Gish gallop of nonsense, each piece supported by a reference that will turn out to be irrelevant or actually disprove the argument in question.” No, it’s yet another excuse for some sort of oppression–in this case, Christians get to keep their church across from the World Trade Center, but a nearby mosque is challenged–an argument that we’ve seen, over and over, made by people who mean what they say.

    Coming back days later and saying you didn’t mean it–or might not have meant it, or not all of it–doesn’t feel like you’re operating in good faith. Should we now be grateful that you’ve admitted you don’t believe everything you’re saying? I am going to try to remember this, for next time, and leave it at “on 5/21/18, commenting on the 5/16 Pixel Scroll, Contrarius said she was poking at us in the hopes of learning something, not because she believed what she said.”

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