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Oddly Ambivalent

This describes my feelings (or lack thereof) about the Bin Laden killing on Sunday. On Monday I chalked up my inexplicable numbness to shock, but I find myself at a loss to explain my lack of strong emotions three days later.

I’ve been reading and watching the reactions of Americans across the country for the past three days, and I find myself reacting to the reactions more than I do to the event itself. I suppose this has helped me to discover what I know I don’t feel.

I don’t feel compelled to condemn those who celebrate. I especially don’t feel the need to condemn the celebratory mood of Americans that were directly affected on 9/11. If you lost a family member or worse (in my opinion), have to live with the memory of watching people jump out of the twin towers, I don’t feel the right to deny you the satisfaction or healing that this may give you. Who the fuck am I to judge your pain?

I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of joy either. I don’t feel compelled to celebrate Bin Laden’s death. I also don’t feel a moral superiority over anyone that is celebrating. I don’t feel the need to diminish anyone else’s feelings with a pompous tweet or Facebook update designed to display my moral or humanitarian superiority.

Here’s the really weird one; I don’t feel compelled to use this event as a political tool. I don’t feel like lashing out at W (if someone can explain that one to me, I’d be eternally grateful). He was incompetent and worthless. We already knew that because there’s a mound of evidence proving it. George W Bush is a fucking jackass that ruined everything he ever touched, but I don’t feel like piling this failure on top of a mound that’s already taller than twin towers will accomplish anything new.

Conversely, I do feel angry when I hear anyone giving Bush credit for Bin Laden’s demise. He doesn’t deserve an ounce of credit, and telling me that he does is an assault on reason and logic. And assaulting reason and logic makes me mad. I will concede that it’s inconceivable to assert that nothing that happened during Bush’s tenure, led to the events of Sunday night. That simply doesn’t make sense. Everything that led to Bin Laden’s demise couldn’t possible have started after January 20, 2009. That’s just stupid. And if you believe this to be true, you’re unspeakably stupid. But I do know that any valuable information that was collected during Bush’s tenure, was never leveraged by the Bush administration to get the job done. We’ve seen a long history of the Bush administration’s manipulation, misunderstanding, and misuse of intelligence gathering. Bush didn’t get Bin Laden because he didn’t care to, and because he was incapable of doing it. Period. The facts speak for themselves; Bush didn’t get it done. With all that said, I’m more angry over the assault on my intelligence than I am the actual fake credit being given to Bush.

I do feel angry when people try and diminish or dismiss President Obama’s accomplishment here. It really takes a special kind of asshole to do that. You really have to be a little dead inside to be wound so tightly into a partisan knot. When your “team” mentality supersedes any kind genuine, visceral emotion, you’re just fucked up beyond what I can comprehend. I honestly don’t believe that I would have negated the very same accomplishment if it were Bush that had gotten it done. I judge people on each individual accomplishment or fuck up, independent of past accomplishments and fuck ups. We like to paint with broad brushes and either lionize or demonize across the board because doing so is easier than thinking. George W Bush is as close to a complete and total fucking loser, as any president we’ve ever seen in the history of the world. I still capable of giving him credit for not fucking up the North Korea situation. I can do this because I’m not a simpleton, and I don’t need for situations to all be black or white in order for my world view to work. If you can’t give Obama the credit he’s due, then fuck you.

My feelings all seem to be centered on issues that are ancillary to the actual event, and I’m mildly disturbed by that. So I’m going to go to ground zero tomorrow, in the hope that some of what everyone else is feeling will seep into me by osmosis.


Do you REALLY Think That America Is Great?

I can’t believe I even have to talk about this noncontroversial Muslim community center issue, but thanks to Fox, I do.

Before I get into the greatness of America, I do want to tell you one thing that you may not know if you’re not a New Yorker. The proposed community center is 2 – 3 blocks from ground zero which means that it very likely isn’t even in the same zip code as the WTC buildings. I’m not kidding. Two blocks in New York is literally a different zip code. But that’s irrelevant.

My question to those that oppose a Muslim community center is, do you really think that America is great, really? I must say that I question your sincerity if you answered in the affirmative. You see, if you really believe that America is great, you would support America’s embrace of the Muslim culture. If you actually had faith in America’s greatness, you would believe that it can overcome the will of religious radicals, Muslim or otherwise.

When we embrace Muslims and make them an integral part of our country, we’re actually welcoming them over here so that we don’t have to fight them over there. I do fundamentally believe in the principals that make America great. We didn’t become the world’s superpower without embracing many, many new cultures along the way. And as we became greater and greater, more people wanted to come here to get a piece of the American dream because our way is a better way. And as more and more people make America their home, we become greater.

Let me clue you in on something about people – we’re not different. No matter where a person comes from, human nature remains the same. We all want decent homes to call our own, flat screen TVs to put in those homes, and iPods to carry with us to work. We all want jobs that enable us to support our families, and we all want safe communities to raise our families in.

These desires are not unique to a specific race or religion. Most people would choose to pursue these opportunities if given the chance. If you don’t believe me, you’re just not paying attention. First generation Americans generally leave the majority of their parent’s rituals behind. I see Indian families all the time, where the mother is is wearing a saree and the daughter is wearing jeans. Or a Hasidic family where the adult son is wearing nothing more than a yamaka.

America offers the opportunity to obtain the house, TV, iPod, and community in which to raise your family. That’s what makes us better.

Iran is still stoning people to death. Seriously, they’re burying people up to their chests and throwing stones at them until they’re dead. Let me share a few more highlights about Sharia law with you;

-Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped. In 2005, a man was sentenced to an eighty stroke caning for drinking in Nigeria

-Islam allows a husband to beat their wives, for simply being “highhanded”. Yup, domestic abuse is permitted by Sharia.

-Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped, and adulterers to be stoned to death.

-Islam forbids smoking

-Under Sharia, all men must have beards

Does any of this sound good to you? Do you think this sounds good to anyone that has a choice? Do you have so little faith in the superiority of the American way of life, that you don’t think it will win out over stoning? Who do you think would choose a caning over a beer?

Honestly, this opposition to Muslims being embraced by America is the most inane thing I’ve ever heard. It goes against everything that went into making America what it is today. But more than that, it is fundamentally based on the fear that our way of life isn’t better. You must believe that a significant number of people will choose radicalism over iPhones. That’s just stupid on its face.

Believe in America. Believe that most people that experience America won’t choose terrorism over living a free and happy life here.


Re: The Ground Zero Mosque

If you’re a smart person, I’m not talking to you right now. This is an email I’d like to address to another demographic. Although, smart people can help me out by forwarding this to the people that you know that fit this demographic.

Dear Fucking Idiots In America,

I understand that your panties are in a bunch over a mosque that we’re planning on building at ground zero. I would like to be among the first to tell you to shut the fuck up, you ignorant bigot.

You see, your ass backward thinking is going to get me attacked, here in New York. While you wax poetic about hypothetical terrorism from your safety nest hundreds or thousands of miles away , I live with it every day. And as you propagate your ignorant, isolated views, you put me and my city in danger. I know that you don’t do this with malice, so let me educate you a little bit.

Terrorists aren’t born. They’re created. They’re recruited, and then they’re worked up to hate the purported enemy so much, that strapping a bomb onto themselves and committing suicide just to take a few of them out makes sense. Getting people worked up to the suicide bombing state takes a whole lot of demonization. You really have to frame the enemy as being a threat to all that is good and holy. If you can do that effectively, you can recruit legions of people to commit acts of terrorism until the end of time. They key is really all in the messaging. The nineteen hijackers on 9/11 were brainwashed into believing that America’s primary objective in the world is to destroy Islam. They believed that they were dying for everything that is good and holy.

When we invaded and occupied Iraq, a country that had done nothing to us, we reinforced that belief that America is out to destroy Islam so recruitment became easier. We started seeing Muslims becoming radicalized in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the UK, the US, and in Iraq, where we saw a brand new flavor of Al Qaeda emerge.

All of that happened because ignorant people got to call the shots. People that had no fucking idea about the culture in the middle east were making decisions on how best to deal with the middle east.

Let’s step back twenty years to where this all began. It really began when the Reagan administration, who were ignorant about middle east culture, decided that we needed to help Afghanistan fend off the Soviet Union. None of this was altruistic, of course. Reagan was scared shitless of the Soviet Union. So he was persuaded that going in and training and arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan was in our best interest. That was all fine and good and it worked out more or less the way the ignoramuses wanted it to in that, the Mujahideen did succeed in driving the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. It all went horribly wrong after that, when we failed to provide Afghanistan any support to rebuild their country. This created a chaotic struggle for power among various factions of Mujahideen and Islamist warlords, which subsequently gave birth to Al Qaeda.

So you see, Fucking Idiots Of America, two generations of your ignorant brethren taking action without bothering to understand what they were getting into, is what got us to 9/11.

So now that we’re here in 2010, and still dealing with this global terrorism threat thanks to ignorant people like you. I hope that, with the information I just shared, you understand why I want you to shut the fuck up.

Recruitment of terrorists continues, and we’re still in danger. It’s time to disarm the recruiters. We need to cut them off at the knees. Fighting them “over there” is ultimately what brought them “over here”, so that didn’t work.

Now we’re going to try something new. We’re going to demonstrate that we’re not out to destroy Islam, and therefore don’t rise to the level of evil that necessitates strapping a bomb to your chest. We’re going to do that by building a mosque near ground zero. We’re going to make it harder to convince some poor schmuck to commit suicide on order to kill a few of us.

I’m sorry that after all of these years, you’re too stupid to understand this tactic. But I don’t actually need you to understand it. I gave up on the hope that this was possible when you made Sarah Palin your poster girl. I just need you to shut the fuck up, and stop providing fodder for the recruitment of future terrorists. Accept the fact that we’re going to build a mosque near ground zero for the primary purpose of demonstrating that your dumb ass doesn’t represent America.

You don’t think of New York as “the real America” anyway. You can’t shun us one day, and them presume to tell us what to do the next. We’re not within your border so shut the fuck up.

You can be ignorant, bigoted, and small if you want to but do it quietly. I just want to be safe.