Queen of the Bigots

Instant Update: She’s not done yet…

We’re not sure what makes a mosque a “provocation,” necessary or not. But if you’re interested in “healing,” ma’am, you might start by not pouring salt on the wound.


I assume she wants to replace it with a statue of herself, a bit taller than Lady Liberty, so as to properly reflect the comparative status of her wonderfulness and the principles embodied by the (French!) icon in the river.

Um, okay.

As pointed out by others, why is it that those who weren’t directly affected by 9/11 turn this into a fetish?

@ManchuCandidate: Especially those who, on 9/10, considered NYC the den of sin, and not part of Real America.

Most of the time I can affect a Human Comedy pose, but this one really gets under my skin.

I’m still unclear how the “property rights über alles” crowd justifies their opposition. It’s already been bizarre to read about teabaggers insisting that the building should be “historically preserved” – aren’t they the ones who are always on the side of BigCorp wanting to drop a Wally-Mart on *real* historical sites?

Just added a follow-up tweet. She’s doubling down.

She doesn’t stop does she?

Again why the fuck does she care? NYC isn’t the REAL US America!

I really don’t get why she’s butting in on this one. She could have let it slide and stuck to slamming the NBP for Violating Our Sacred Right to Vote. I thought she was better at keeping her bigotry below the surface.

Like I give a shit about a mosque near me? Or remotely near me? Feh.

Many Muslims died in the twin towers, a fact of which I’m sure she is totally ignorant. Like so many other facts.

@Dodgerblue: Many more Muslims that subscribe to her Twitter feed.

At least it’s not “refudiate,” but she’s still not using it correctly.

@finette: As in “thus I refute Berkeley” [kicks rock]. Although, strictly speaking, Berkeley could have shoved that argument down Jonson’s throat. We’re still just talking sense impressions. Right, Nojo?

@Dodgerblue: I lost the answer somewhere in my Kantian Manifold.

@finette: I love my fellow grammarians, as that was my first response as well.

@ManchuCandidate: @nojo: I have always been amazed, and somewhat disgusted, by those people so far from NYC, who have laid claim to 9-11 as an attack on themselves, and cling to it, and have made it so much more of a fetish, than the New Yorkers directly affected, hurt, the people who lost friends and relatives.

9-11 showed what New York, yankee, liberal spirit is. It is, above all, unsentimental, it is practical, and defiant. New Yorkers responded with incredible acts of community, and charity, and real, communal spirit, dedicated to the simple, pragmatic effort to return to normalcy and get going again with life, and retaliate to the attack by showing, its not going to stop them, not going to make them change their lives or change their ways.

But all over the benighted pigfucking areas of the US, people who hate New York and New Yorkers, for whom the terms are dog whistles for “commie jews,” they cling to their sense of injury, and allow it to bind them and limit them, these people who have nothing to fear, because they have nothing worth attacking and destroying, became more afraid than the New Yorkers who were attacked, and overreacted with more fear, more willingness to submit to restrictions on their precious “liberty” in the name of security, than those who were attacked.

In the office next to mine where I work, is a young man, 40, 30 then, who worked in the twin towers, and at the moment the first plane hit, was in the underground mall between the PATH station and the buildings, he had stopped to buy a CD at Tower records. He felt the plane hit, and decided, I am not going to work today, before he had any real information on what was happening, just an amazing instinct he had, “whoa, this is bad juju, I think I am gonna take a personal day,” and got on the train and went home, before the disruption that came just an hour later that left thousands stranded and unable to get home.

He is no drama queen over it, no hand-wringer. A New Yorker, even though he is a New Jerseyan, its all about, lets get on with getting on, noone makes us stop doing what we do.

But the fucking Wassila Patriots who love their liberty so much and think they are such brave, bold, fighters, they are still, 10 years later, letting themselves be terrorized. Their reaction is just what the terrorists wanted, their reaction is the real capitulation.

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

Yeah, but oh so par for the course.

The problem is that old bugaboo about the difference between the coasts and large urban centers vs the rurals.

When I was a kid living in the boonies, I always wondered why my parents always went once a month to Toronto (besides buying Korean food.) I think in part they wanted my sister and I to not be like a Chunum (Korean for Country hick) and not be afraid of the city or different places. The problem is that hicks (especially those who never travel) are afraid of the world outside their piece of it. Always have been, always will be. Actually, it’s more of a state of mind.

One thing that I noticed when I worked in Paris for a month was the difference between many (not all) US Americans vs Canada City types–all the Canada City types I worked with took it in while most US Americans clung to each other like wet rats on a piece of wood. On the weekends, I would take my small pocket guidebook and hop on the train to Paris where I would wander the sights and streets of various areas of Paris for hours. My French is pretty rusty, but once in practice, I can speak okay. I love to people watch so this was a great opportunity. When I went to work on Monday, I would discuss my weekend with my coworkers. I think my French coworkers were surprised a bit. My Alberta born boss thought I might go native. My Tejas ex-pat coworkers were stunned. Most of them didn’t venture out the little US American enclaves. One guy mentioned that he had spent a year and half there and didn’t do what I did in 3 weekends.

That fear of difference. The fear of going into a new cultural experience. The fear of strange people. Those same fears manifested itself into darker things after Sept 11, 2001.

@ManchuCandidate: Friend of mine taught English in Japan for a couple years in the early ’90s, and I took the opportunity to visit a couple weeks.

It was a Portland-sized city on the west coast, and for all I know, we were the only two gaijin there. (Eugene gaijin, for that matter, but the pun was lost on the locals.) The place didn’t cater to foreign tourists, although they held a regionally popular cherry-blossom festival or something.

So: No English, not even a Latinate language to cheat. I would have starved if I wasn’t able to point to the plastic food for the nice ladies at the bento stand.

But it was very pleasant, very mind-clearing. Plenty of compare-and-contrast for amusement, since Japan has a Western veneer on an Asian culture. And, to get to your point, hiding out would have defeated the purpose of being there.

I wasn’t there as a conventional tourist, I was there to hang out a couple of weeks and wander around — just like I hang out and wander around at home. You take in a lot more when you’re not looking for anything in particular.

@nojo: :-)

That’s how I ended up “sailing” a faluka on the Nile while the two guys I was with (one worked in a shop) got high. I almost sailed us into a river bus. Good times.

I went to the Cairo museum — didn’t see the mummies. I figured they weren’t meant to be disinterred, plus we have mummies at the Penn Archeology museum. Seen one mummy, seen them all. Except for the cats. I liked the mummified cats for some reason. Same with the pyramids. Saw them. Loved them, but Saqqara seen from Abu Sir (a Bedouin forced settlement) was so much more.

Anyway, my mother was all freaked out about me spending a week alone in Cairo, and I did it the Lonely Planet way. Part of the deal was that I had to email my parents ever day — it was mainly a travel journal for JNOVJr who was staying with my dad.

White lines in a street were merely a suggestion. Their sleep schedule coincided with mine. And one day, when I was wandering around looking for an internet cafe, some dude named Alladin (really, although it’s pronounced more like “allah-deen”) recognized me as a tourist, and became my escort for awhile, well, until I got tired of him. He became annoying.

Sadly, the view of Saqqara from Alladin’s back yard was obstructed by the largest pile of waste I’d ever seen. Children were picking though it and setting stuff on fire. I think Alladin said it was animal feces.

Alladin’s house had one of those bathrooms with a tiled floor, a clear place for your feet, and a hole into the unknown. It was kind of cool. And we ate on the floor, and his mother’s eyes were lined with kohl, she was draped in black but covered with gold, and his little tween sister was the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen.

Had I not met him, I wouldn’t have smoked apple tobacco out of a hookah with old Egyptian men while sharing hibiscus tea. I wouldn’t have been able to sneak into Egyptian-only parks (I was told to keep my mouth shut, pay the nickle or so, and we spent a lovely evening inhaling jasmine), and I wouldn’t have almost been arrested for PDA. I never would have eaten camel. My experience would have been so less rich.

In Egypt, I realized what it must feel like to be illiterate — I couldn’t read the signage on the buses, and the street my “hotel” (I used that word VERY loosely) was on did have English and Arabic signage, but most of the places did not. I had to rely on landmarks as I wandered around. And as I wandered farther and farther from my “hotel,” I dunno, I just felt like I was soaking it all in.

And these “friends” I made, people who worked in shops or in the hotel, they took me places I’d never get to go — like the shitty bar that only served one type of warm crappy beer. It was delicious.

They taught me how to give directions to taxi drivers in Egyptian Arabic so I could get a good price on the fare. And I helped some hoodwink tourists who didn’t want to pay a fair price for lapis lazuli.

I dunno. Your experience in Japan made me think about this wonderful time I had one month before 9-11. ::sigh::

@ManchuCandidate: I’d wonder a bit, about you, and others here. I wonder if, you, and anyone else here, a community of extraordinary people, I wonder, have you ever felt you were a foreigner even at home in your own country?

I have, I do, I always have, I always do. I feel so alienated from my own culture, I feel so much like an outsider, a stranger, even at home, I mean, come on, am I the only one who has to constantly censor myself in conversation with all but my closest friends, because if I were open about my real beliefs, political, religious, and moral, I would be ostracized, despised, I would be unemployable, in the USA of today?

My only serious travel, places I have gone to for periods long enought to feel I had some genuine experiences, places where I have “travelled,” not just been a tourist, has been to Mexico, and to France.

I have loved being in those places. I have loved being a stranger in those foreign places.

There should be a word for this feeling I am going to try to describe. Its a difficult thing to describe. It goes like this, I feel so free and happy and comfortable, to be a real stranger, travelling in a foreign country, observing and appreciating and adapting, to the small extent possible, to their ways. There is a freedom in being a foreigner, in places that are not “touristy.” In tourist destinations, the foreignor rightly is stereotyped as a dumb tourist, in those places, tourists are a commodity, a tolerated evil, they are just the raw materials for a local industry, to be processed, have their money extracted, shown some “safe” and watered down examples of the local culture, so they will feel worldly, and then sent home.

I am talking about being a foreigner in a place where tourism is not so big that there is an industry built about them, small towns, cities that are off the tourist trail.

In those places, you get to experience the amazing freedom of being a stranger. You get a pass from all judgment based on local fashion, manners, propriety. If you sincerely try to attempt the local language, your efforts, no matter how pitiful, are appreciated, and encouraged, not sneered at, as when you try to speak french in paris (a glaring difference between French, and Italian, culture, is that noone in Italy will disdain your poor efforts to speak Italian, they seem gratified that you cared enough to try, but, in France, you have to reallly get into the boonies before you encounter that, and its true, in France, they will often pretend not to understand you, just because you got the accent slightly wrong.)

But the point I am making, is that when you are in one of those places where you reallly are a stranger, and not just another tourist, there is an amazing liberation. You get a pass, you don’t have to worry about commiting some unknowing faux pas, or pronouncing a word incorrectly, they will understand, you are a stranger, and new to their ways.

And this feeling is especially special, for someone who feels, and is, a stranger in their own land. Back home, you get no slack, you are different, you are labelled, branded, ridiculed, derided.

I am different, here in my home country, and also, for example, when I go to the places in Mexico that I love. But here in my own country, I am despised by many for my differences. In those places I love that I have been to, in Mexico, and in France (deepest, darkest France, I have been several times to the Languedoc, where Americans are scarce), My differences have been tolerated and forgiven and accepted, more so than they are here at home.

Two little observations, one about Mexico and one about France. In Mexico, I have travelled a lot in the Yucatan, its easy, because Cancun allows for cheap travel, instead of being contained in the tourist ghetto in Cancun itself, you rent a car, and use it as a springboard to get out into the country. And the Yucatan, outside the cities, is indian territory, this is not a spanish land, its a mayan land, and they speak mayan in the villages, not spanish. The experiences and interactions I have had an enjoyed have been with the mayans, not the spanish landlords, and it is from these native americans that I felt this feeling I described above.

In France, there was a factor that must be taken into account. I have travelled to parts of France where few Americans go, but many European tourists go, and lots of germans. Germans seem to stand out, wherever they go, they and the Israelis seem to be the only people more generally obnoxious and arrogant, wherever they go, than Americans. I sometimes got the impression in France, that I got good treatment simply because I was not the obnoxious German tourist they were more used to.

@Promnight: I feel like a foreigner here every day. Because I’m tri-racial, no one can really pigeon hole me, and I turn into (usually men’s) fantasies. I’m Brazilian (that’s not too far off, I guess — wrong continent, but similar genetic make up), or I’m Italian, or Latina or half Filipino and half white, whatever. When I tell them I primarily identify with being black, well, some folks lose it. And that’s how I know racism is alive and well in this country, even before the Palins and Tea Baggers and racists galore felt the climate was right to put their hate on full display. They flaunt it. White Pride! Well, I’m proud of Irish Grandmom and Welsh GGGmom and French whatever he was and the German Jew and German Lutheran in me, too. It’s a cool mix. I don’t want to deny any of it.

And not to beat a dead horse — I know I’ve talked about this before — when I grew up, I wasn’t accepted by the black kids. I wasn’t accepted by the white kids. It wasn’t until grad school when I was exposed to NDN “kids” that I felt accepted. I was like, “Look — I’m not enrolled, and I don’t even really know what my blood quantum is.” They didn’t care. My NuMuNu friend sewed me this AWESOME shawl (no it’s never touched the ground), and when I graduated, I was part of this special dance, and people with little money came up to me and shook my hand and slipped me dollar bills. I danced in the intertribal dances, and I danced in the Veteran dances, one of the few, if not the only, women(an) dancing with the vets. ::sigh::

@RML: I would kill to be on the pueblo and see you dance.

@Promnight: @JNOV: I’ve been a “recovering expat” since 2006, although not so recently fell off the wagon.

@Nabisco: Meh. I think expat is part of your identity. The world is your home. At least in your heart. Citizen of the world, such as.

@JNOV: The Ark. You kids are making me want to travel overseas again. If only the bank account and workload of the SFL household would agree with leaving for more than three days. Shit, more than a few days off to go to Yosemite seems like a fantasy.

@SanFranLefty: I hear you. At least we’re coastal. There’s something very calming about the sea. Wrote about it here.

@SanFranLefty: Do I have an airport for you to avoid.

@JNOV: I was sincerely glad to be back in lotuslandia so that I could see the far horizon of the sea out my window. Not Tibet? The city is one huge canyon, with poorly built houses waiting to crumble in the Next Big Shake.

@Nabisco: My airport from hell is San Jose, CA. I ALWAYS get pulled aside. They used to check for drugs. Now it’s bomb making material. It doesn’t matter how I’m dressed or where I’m going — I ALWAYS get pulled out of line.

Once I mouthed off, and then I was like, “Rut roh — sure you want a cavity search today?” So, I shut up and let them do their thing.

ADD: And really — I was usually on The Nerd Bird to Austin. Really?

@JNOV: I very nearly went all John Bolton on them after the fourth search of my bags and all the attention paid to my pronipod.

@Nabisco: Well, you do have the ‘stache…

@Nabisco: Well, I think that canyon and the rugged terrain have A LOT to do with the way their culture has developed. And a lot to do with the good and shitty ways people behave. I think about how folks treat their dead — cremation and sky burial especially — they have a lot to do with arable land. Rocky soil. Permafrost. I dunno. I just think about these things.

Worst Airports
Miami (international terminal)
Philly (all of it)

also…i get searched at Every airport, the aforementioned are the most heinous. remember when i took little shih tzu Bernie to miami to have his EYES REMOVED??? coming home they took me in a room, as usual, and wanted to know if he had heroin behind the stitched up eyes. and i’m not supposed to punch this person in the face?

and…if you aren’t carrying any contraband, abuse them all you want!!!

I do sometimes, but more when I was a teenager.

I feel for you. I’ve been ostracized by my “own” people, Koreans, because I was friends with non Koreans, etc. That was pretty tough to take at the time as I was living in mostly white rural Ontario. Rejection from people who you should have something in common with was rather tough.

Now, I don’t (or at least try not to) really care. The world is too small to just lump yourself with one group or people.

@Promnight: I’ve always felt like an outsider. I’m used to it. Comes with the gay – though I suppose we’re all gay in one way or another. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be an insider. In fact I have a horror of it. Love those parts of France. We used to go there from London, hire a small house and go grocery shopping. Great sadness to me that the OH doesn’t fly – ever – so France for us both is pretty much out. I do love to travel in the States. I love the people and I love to sightsee. Even the South.

As before noted, I was in NYC when the towers were hit and for the three weeks following. That first week was unforgettable: fire stations with flowers banked against the doors 6 feet high; the Times Square station with huge panels covered in the pictures of missing persons; the triage station set up outside St Vincent’s taking up several city blocks to which no one came; and the wonderful spirit of calm generosity. Not grateful it happened but very grateful I got to be there. I suspect others who were there feel the same. Now can we please move on?

Shamelessly lifted from the TPM discussion, ’cause it’s both relevant and snarky:

TPM user ‘backcountry’:
Now, John Wilkes Booth was an Episcopalian.

I see there are six or seven Episcopal churches within mere blocks on the White House and Ford’s Theater — the very scene of the dastardly assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

These churches must be torn down.

Doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Episcopalians, pls refudiate

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